Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is TV worth the price you pay?

Ok is it just me or does TV seem a tad expensive? Ok let's look at the facts here. 3 years ago you could get basic cable for $20.00 per month. Now they start you at $45.00. I know that now it's Digital or (High Def) TV and that's the old analogue system you were paying for, which is a good way to defend the increase in price. Let's also talk about the programming then. In my opinion TV programming has gone way down on the quality scale. The air ways mostly consist of reality shows; long gone are the days of Sci-Fi, Drama and Comedies that use to dominate. As you know we have a 1080P TV and now we have a BluRay Disk Player, and I am very happy with the BluRay quality. So now we are looking at cable or satellite. I am very disappointed with the options and the prices. Let's start with my least favorite company to deal with...

1) Shaw Cable.

So for basic HD they start you at 60.95/month, HD Plus is 69.95/month. Seems expensive considering I still need a HD receiver from Shaw or an HD PVR that is just for programming. Why would I pay $60.95/month to watch CSI and House? Those are the only two shows on TV that even remotely have my interest. My wife wants to watch a few shows but nothing where I can justify spending that much for lack luster, programming.

2) Shaw Direct (formerly know as Star Choice)

This came highly recommended by some of my wife's co-workers. Now I have to say it is much more reasonably priced then Cable is. Now it is much more reasonable, depending on the hardware we buy installation for Shaw direct ranges from 0 to $200.00. The programming on the other hand is much more reasonable. With programming starting at 23.00 all the way to 86.00 it seems like a deal compared to cable. My issue with Shaw Direct is the HD receiver can't work as a PVR.

3) Bell

Now Bell is much like Shaw direct with programming starting as low as $23.00 (for HD) ranging all the way to $99.00. Again fairly reasonable programming prices.

4) Telus TV

New to the TV market (relatively) is Telus. They provide 2 types ip and satellite tv. I will not slow my DSL speed so I am not going to be reviewing the IP TV, since it requires slower internet. Telus will not setup TV on their 15MB Internet; so forget that it's useless.

Telus Satellite again is fairly reasonable with HD programming starting at $35.00 going to $99.00.


With all the prices being around the same and all the promotions are almost identical, you would think we have a great competition going on between the companies. At least that's what they want you to think. Unless you get a customer retention specialist your out of luck on scoring any deals at all. At this point unless we get a great deal we are likely going with either Shaw Direct or Bell. (Probably Bell since we have the hardware). Not only that for the amount of time we are home, and the time we will watch tv we will be going with just a basic package and I can build a DVR using Elisa (Susie Linux Media Centre) to record the stuff instead of buying one. Or I can build the Media Centre and Stream the content off YouTube, Hulu, or right of the websites of the content providers. Is it just me or are we all being ripped off?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Facebook's New Privacy Settings

Well it has happened it was just a matter of time but now Facebook has really lost it. Instead of respecting people's privacy they want to go where twitter is, a real time search engine. Facebook has the numbers to kick twitter to the curb but most of the users on Facebook don't want to be on twitter, nor do they want people they don't know access to their personal information. This move by Facebook will be good for cyber stockers. With the default settings set to open, most users will be using the open settings and not even know it. Users protecting their privacy is something the user has very little information how to do, if they even know about it. They just assume that social networking sites like Facebook are safe. The way the privacy policy was when it started was the right one but now with Facebook's twitter envy I worry about them scaring off or even alienating their user base.

I know that users like my wife, my mother, father don't want what their doing being posted over the internet. The issues that have popped up about employer and employee conduct on their off time will be even more controversial because by default all their posts, and comments will be open and index-able by search engine spider bots. This will make things more accessible and once something gets on the internet it doesn't go away very easily.


The best thing I can suggest is to not use Facebook or turn all of your security settings up as high as it can go. As for what I think of the changes; I think Facebook just shot themselves in the foot, this will anger allot of users and some of them may even leave. The last few changes in facebook I have felt were lack luster, and the result has been I've been going on facebook less and less or just using programs like Tweetdeck to update my facebook status along with my twitter and myspace status.


Not to long ago twitter was audited by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner; and they locked down users profiles so it was harder to search about the user and browse other profiles that they weren't friends with. This seems to go in the completely opposite direction. Why can't Facebook get it? They are not twitter as much as they want to be their not. What they should be working towards is target ad marketing. Setting up regional deals with media companies for real time streams of programming. There are so many ways Facebook can make money without compermising it's user base, but instead it wants to be twitter.

Weather or not Facebook loses users we will have to see, since they have moved to a more twitter like format I have found myself using it less and less. I am not the only one, I know several other users that have been weening themselves off Facebook as well? What do you think? Is Facebook moving in the right direction or not?


By Trevor Tye

Reference:
cbc.ca
readwriteweb.com
readwriteweb.com

Monday, December 07, 2009

10 Geeky Gifts for Christmas 2009

Here it is my Top 10 Geek Gift List for 2009! Hope this helps when your looking for that perfect gift for that Geek of yours.

#10. The iPod Touch 8GB

The Apple iPod Touch 8GB is the entry level iPod Touch. Let's face it it is an iPhone with out the phone and camera. Still you can get your email surf the web and get over 10,000 applications. It is great for anyone that wants a "Tablet PC" only smaller.



#9. The Logitech Harmony 620 Programmable Remote

The Harmony 620 can control up to 12 devices. It is can be updated to control almost every device you own. I consider it a must have for anyone with a hi-def system. It is simple, easy to use and is nice to hold. It is probably the nicest remote you will ever buy for $120.00





#8. Super Mario Brothers Wii

Granted this is already going to be an extremely hot item this year and it will be difficult to get a hold of. The multi player features in this game are excellent, think of it as Super Mario Brothers 3 updated.

It's extremely fun, and it has a very nostalgic feeling to the game for those of you who have played Mario before. This game will be a riot at parties. In all an excellent game and fun for all ages.






#7. HAUPPAUGE WINTV-PVR (USB) EXTERNAL TV TUNER

This will bring that geek of yours hours of enjoyment. If you have an old computer around you can convert it into your own PVR using Mac*, Linux, Windows 7, Vista or XP Media Centre.




#6. Apple TV

Weather you like Apple or not the Apple TV is a pretty nice device. It connects to iTunes, and can stream everything from any iTunes collection. It is a very nice gadget that any geek would be happy to get.







#5. PATRIOT BOX OFFICE MEDIA

If your on a budget the Patriot Box is a great network based media player. It has a nicer enclosure then the Asus O!Play HD Media Player. Think of it as a cheaper Apple TV. Just remember the OS on the media player isn't as nice as the Apple TV.





#4. NBOX Media Player

Yes it is the year for TV media players. This is the most inexpensive media player running 30 - 40 dollars, you load your movies on SD cards or flash drives and play them from the NBox. Not as nice as the Apple TV or Patriot Media Player but hey for $30.00 I wouldn't complain at all.



#3. Nexstar Hard Drive Dock

This inexpensive little hard drive enclosure is a very handy thing that every geek should have. With DVD's being a fraction of the size of hard drives it is impractical to expect backups to be made on DVDs. That said though, with this hard drive dock you can just backup your data to hard drives and just shelve them like you would DVDs or Tape. For $50.00 is is a great gift any geek will appreciate.




#2. The Drobo

One of the biggest innovations in storage technology to date. This External enclosure uses "ZRAID" or "Raid-Z" to get a basic hard drive spanning with redundancy. The best example of this would be RAID 5. The difference being the hard drives on the drobo can be all different sizes, unlike a RAID 5 where the Raid goes by the smallest drive.



#1. The G1 Transformers TV Series DVD Collection

This DVD collection is one of few DVD collections I will recommend. Let's face it The original Transformers are classic. There have been several spin offs and remakes of this original cartoon series. This will be a collection that will be good to have for all time.




* There is a way to hack this PVR to work with the Mac. You do this at your own risk.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Review of Samsung LN46B550 46-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV

My wife surprised me when she said let's get you a HD TV, so I looked on line what the best deals and budgeted about $800 for a HD TV. Here were the main specs I was looking for.
  • 1080p
  • Good Upsampling
  • Clear Picture
  • Good Contrast Ratio

I was considering a 37" Samsung or 40" Samsung along with a 40" Toshiba and a 42" Insignia were also in the running. I we went to (BestBuy because it was closer to our home) to have a physical look at the TV's. The picture in all the TV's were good, and from the specs it was easy to see why. I had my heart set on the 40" Samsung but the 42" Insignia had some better specs then what the Samsung had and it was bigger and 120hz.

My wife and I discussed it and I told her I would prefer to buy the Samsung, she thought the Insignia was good and tried to talk me into that one. I just couldn't do it the Insignia set is a great deal, but I haven't heard to much about them and I knew the Samsungs have an excellent reputation, and from what I read they are highly recommended. I also prefer because it had the 12bit video processor and better contrast ratio, and slightly faster screen. So my wife made my decision for me, she had picked out the 46" Samsung because she thought the 40" was to small and that was what I was leaning towards. Checking the specs on the TV we agreed it was the one to get and it was only $200.00 more then the original budget and that it was worth it. We went to ask someone to grab one for us but they only had one left and it was in a open box, so my wife (the shrewd negotiator that she is) got a discounted price on the tv, a 4 year warrenty on the TV from the Store for $80.00 and a TV Stand (They also gave us a HDMI cable, surge protector and cleaning cloth and cleaner for no cost).

All in all I am very pleased with the Samsung 46" 1080p LCD HDTV (LN46B540). The scaling on the DVD's to 1080i is fantastic, the picture is super sharp and clear. Setup took no time at all and I can't wait to build a media centre to plug into the TV. I recommend this TV with no hesitation, and so far it's been a fantastic experience.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The New Apple Touch Mouse - Review

Today I tried the new Apple Multi Touch Mouse. What do I have to say about it? It is extremely uncomfortable to hold. I found the mouse very awkward and was starting to cramp my hand. The most important part of the mouse I found the worse. The way the mouse feels is the most important part.

However this was the only thing about the mouse I had an issue with. I did love everything else about the mouse. The functionality is excellent, the Left and Right clicking is no issue what so ever. All you do is press down and the mouse detects what side your pressing on you don't need to lift your fingers to press or anything like that. The best part is the horizontal and vertical scrolling. It is by far the best mouse I have ever used for scrolling with a scroll wheel. The mouse doesn't have a scroll wheel but beats out the scrolling on every mouse I have ever used including my current Logitech G7 Wireless Laser Mouse. The scrolling speed is variable rated. So The web browser, cover flow will scroll as fast as you move your finger. Absolutely brilliant! If the mouse was more comfortable I would totally buy one for my Mac System.

The Magic Mouse is a brilliant invention, and Apple almost got it right, the mouse is very pretty, has excellent functionality, but is in my opinion, uncomfortable. Maybe I can get use to it? Then again maybe not.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

How to make a good password

I've been hacked! - No, I haven't but lots of people get hacked everyday. So Let's go over what you need to create a good password that is easy for you to remember and relatively secure for you to use. I am writing this because unfortunately a tech celeb that I flow on twitter @mostlylisa (Lisa Bettany) Read her twitter hack post. If someone like Lisa can get hacked then regular users are in big trouble.

So Let's start with the extreme side of security, where if you want to be 100% secure you will do the following:

1) Create a secure randomized password with capitals, numbers and non regular characters for each site you sign up for
2) Change your password regular and random intervals
3) You will wear a tinfoil (aluminum can also be used) hat.


Ok, the third one is a little ridiculous, but so is expecting a regular person to do this. If you want to know about all the little techy details about creating a good password go to GRC.com and read the perfect passwords article. By the way if you want a really good password generator go to GRC.com and follow the instructions for the password generator.

So I have a few simple rules for creating a relatively secure password that will be difficult to guess.

The OptionKey Password Rules:


1) Use one or two words any words or item that only YOU know that no one else does that has some sort of special or any sort of meaning to you. I recommend using more then one to prevent dictionary attacks.
2) Use your favorite number. It should NOT be in your Date of Birth
3) Use AT LEAST 1 Captial
4) Use AT LEAST 1 Alternative Character (%,* etc)
5) DON'T TELL ANYONE (except your 1 other person trust worthy person, spouse, or put it in a safe etc.)

Then you have a relatively strong password (for now).

Trevor

Monday, September 21, 2009

Changes in Alberta Health Services


Normally I just post about new technology and new trends but I need to bring to light the absolute idiocity of what the Alberta Conservative Government is doing to the Alberta Health Care system. So here is the back story. In March 2008 there was a General Election in Alberta. Ed Stelmach and the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party won an overwhelming majority (Please note that this was the lowest voter turnout in Alberta History Wikipedia Reference). So with a "blank cheque" and a "free pass" from the Alberta Tax Payer the Conservatives can do pretty much what ever they want.

So in January 2009 the Alberta Government hired an Australian economist to be the head of Alberta Health Services (now is it just me or how is an economist know anything about health care besides counting pennies?). Read CBC Article On Duckett Hiring

In May 2009 the new Health Minister Ron Liepert and his party decided to merge the regional boards into one big super board (Read Ref Link). This lead to the layoffs of many managers that got paid a huge severance for being laid off (CBC Article September 2009).

Here is an interesting note the allot of the deficit came from the Government changes to the health care system (please refer to the CBC Article September 2009).

So now we are looking into the abyss if you will. The complete and total destruction of the Public Health Care system by strangling it to death. Here is how it starts. Duckett implements a new code of conduct that puts a "gag order" on all Alberta Health Services employees. This is allowed to go though because of no public pressure or political will. (Read Calgary Herald Article)then closes 300 acute care beds (which we are already short on) at Alberta Health Services passing on the cost to municipal governments and law enforcement budgets since there is no place to take or help these people.
Police Worry About Alberta Hospital Closure 2009

He argues that here will be places in community based or assisted living programs. These programs are not equipped to handle these people with very specific needs.
(CTV Article).


"First of all if they could be in assisted living they would already be there this is going to be a repeat of history because Albertans can't learn from history. We went through this in the 90's and here we go again."

Now he is talking about crippling the back bone to the Health Care System, removing nurses (Which we are short on) saying that their job can be done by someone else who we don't have to pay as much. First of all they tried this already, and I won't get into specifics but we are back to removing highly trained and educated staff that we need to keep the health care system running. This is not a good idea!
CBC Nurses Complaint Letter 2009
Duckett Issues with Nurses in the Past

This is the problem when you don't have someone who is familiar with the training and backgrounds of personnel in the given profession. It doesn't matter what profession but if you don't understand or know about how something works then you are useless and more then likely will cause more harm then good. The oath of most medical professionals is to do no harm. Since Stephen Duckett and our Alberta conservative government didn't take that oath then I guess they can do all the harm they want that is until the next election... I hope...

Trevor

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Embroidery Formats Are A Problem

I've been working closely with a few graphic designers and we are coming to the end of a project. The client wants to get some embroidery done on some shirts. So we get quotes from the various embroidery places and the client is ok with everything so we send the job off; so far so good right? Wrong. We get a call from the embroidery place asking us for a .dst format. The designer who took this call asked me after this information was provided "What a .dst was?" as he was not familiar with it. I looked at him and asked what an embroidery place wants with an autocad sheet file, as that was the extension I was aware of for that program. After a lengthy discussion and a few hours of research we discovered that it is also an embroidery format for their software. Since we didn't have any embroidery software we told them we couldn't provide then with the format. Then they told us it would be $100 to convert the file for the embroidery. Now the order was a very small order and a $100.00 to the client was a huge deal so we didn't do the order and here is why.

After some extensive research there is no free software to convert the files. There are a lot of viewers and trail versions but none save to an embroidery format. The closest one that did is a Mac program called graphic converter which can save as a Mac Weavlet file but that proved to be useless. I also found a program on the Mac called Convert It by Macemb which says it will convert jpgs, tiffs all sorts of different embroidery formats to different embroidery formats. So I downloaded the trial and you can't save to an embroidery format unless you buy the software which is $150.00 so not bad but not in the budget.

My issue is not with the different software out their for embroidery but the lack of compatible standards with the rest of the graphic industry. These embroidery formats need to be opened up and made compatible with everything else. Much like with Print and Web (the difference being of course is resolution). Open standards with the rest of the industry would make software work better and converting files easier faster and cheaper. - imagine that!

This was my first experience dealing with embroidery shops and it left a nasty taste in my mouth, If I can avoid closed and proprietary systems I try to but I also realize that systems like Windows and the Mac OS are also closed systems and operate similar to the embroidery software shops only not as stringent. You need to have a cheap free way to convert to and from these file types. Thus far I know of none, but if I come across any I will share that information. I don't want anyone else to go though the experience I went though.

http://filext.com/file-extension/dst

Trevor

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What should a Canadian Copyright Law be?

As a content producer, I feel that there should be a flat fee for content. It shouldn't matter if you buy a DVD, CD, download your content, you should pay a flat fee for that content. The platform is irrelevant, as content should and can transend the platform.

The solution is simple.

A copyright bill that covers the content not the platform. If you have the rights to the content to view/own/rent what ever the "legal" terms of use/definition is then you can do what you want with it in the terms of use.

The terms of use should not limit the platform but want you to take the content to any platform and do what you want with it short of giving it the content you purchased away.

A DMCA style law is useless and wrong, it invites stagnation in content creation and delivery. To prove my point Artists that have released their albums under Creative Commons License

http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/11947

have been successful. For example Nine Inch Nails.

The question that we have to ask ourselves do big record/Movie companies/producers want to change to survive? Do they need a diamond crusted swimming pool or solid gold TV? If you were use to making 6 or 7 figures would you want your salary cut?

Media and content (to a point) can now be produced cheaply and relatively easily, maybe we need more CBC's and BBC's or a levy like the CD levy (Which is suppose to allow us to make personal copies of our purchased content) so we can fund more content.

The DMCA is wrong and our government officials would be a bunch of idiots if they adopted a DMCA style law here in Canada. It doesn't work in the States and it won't work here. The only reason the record/movie companies and lobbist want it is so they can charge for their content per platform which is wrong and should not be allowed.

Trevor

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Microsoft Vs Linux. Debunking Microsofts Propaganda

Well, Microsoft is at it again. Using their enormous resources to go after the competition and using other companies employees to do it to.

Arstechnica has an article showing slides of a Microsoft Test trying to "Stretch" why one person should get Windows instead of Linux. Microsoft teaches Best Buy employees how to troll Linux users

Any rate lets go through step by step why you would pick one over the other.






1) The most important reason to pick an operating system is to get it to do what you want. In my opinion, for a Netbook Linux is a superior choice. A Netbook is to be used for word processing and web surfing. It is little more then a glorified type writer. If you want a productive machine for your kids that is
safer then a regular Windows computer but doesn't cost as much as a Mac then Linux is for you.

2) Linux is self supported, you will have to learn a bit about computers to use it more then you would have to learn about a Windows system. It is NOT because Windows is easier, or safer, or even more inexpensive. It is because Microsoft has all PC manufactures (Except Apple) shipping their stuff with Windows1.

3) Linux will use less resources for running your operating system then Windows.

4) If you do want to run iTunes without being an IT expert, then Windows maybe the version for you. You do have to enable Wine on Linux to run Windows applications.

5) Parental controls on Windows does not make it safer. There are better ways to make your computer and the Internet safer for your children such as using Open DNS to restrict what websites they can see and having a router, to control when they can go on the internet and most important keep the computer in a public area where you can monitor your children and what they are doing!

Microsoft has started an offensive against Apple and Linux, and one can argue that they are safer because their market share is so low but I also know that both the Apple and Linux kernel are very secure and I would even argue more secure then Window's kernel. Regardless a computer should do what you want it do and come at a reasonable price. A Linux system will do most of the things a Windows system will do, and it will cost less. - A lot less. Regardless make sure you tell the person selling it to you what you want it to. Here are some questions you should ask.

1. Will it play my music?
2. Will it play movies?
3. Does it come with a word processor and email program?
4. Can I edit pictures on it?
5. Can I edit movies on it?
6. Can I burn movies on it? (Fair use only!)
7. Does it come within my budget?
8. How long will it last me? ( Will you have it for 6 months or 3 years)
9. Do I need any additional software? If so how much will that cost?
10. Will it be easy to backup and recover my data with out any trouble?

Get what you need. Not what some one else tells you to buy. Mac, Linux, Windows, it's all the same hardware, just what software do you like?

Trevor

1 - A few pc manufactures such as Asus, Acer, Dell and HP have begun offering Linux pre-installed on their computers.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Security should not override productivity.

I think that some network administrators are to paranoid. When a network admin takes away a feature of a machine you buy in the "Name of Security" it is annoying, useless and a waste of money. What am I ranting about? Well I went to a client's office to consult and my client had a had copy they wanted to scan and email to me. They had just got this fancy multi-copier laser printer combo and when they tried to scan and email the document it said access denied and gave an error number. So my client calls his tech support manager and the manager tells him "we disabled that it is a security concern".

Needless to say the I.T. Manager and my client had some words, but more to my point. If a company purchases or leases an expensive piece of equipment with features that the machine is purchased for it makes sense to let staff use it. Other wise it is a waste of resources. Security is important but not so important that is should hamper productivity. These I.T. managers who think that nothing but security matters better wake up this is the 21st century, if your causing a lack of productivity and a lack of communication you better watch out or it could be your head on the chopping block and be replaced with a more savvy I.T. person that understands the growing needs for communication and security. It's not just security stupid; it's also about productivity and making the most money in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort.

Trevor

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Impressions of Snow Leopard

Well, I installed and did some basic test on Apple's Snow Leopard this weekend.  I have not had a chance to thouroghly test the Adobe Creative Suites on Snow Leopard Yet.  I hope to have it done by the end of the week.  Life has been very busy I remember a time when I had time to install and test a new operating system when it first came out but these days time is short and life is busy, so I have a limited look at leopard for you.


First thing I did was a clean install I did a full backup of my files and it took 20 Minutes on a 3.0 Ghz MacPro Tower with 16 GB of Ram, 2TB RAID 0 Hard Drive configuration (4 x 7200 RPM 500GB HD).  I am pleased to report that my Silicon Image ST3132 PCI Express X 1 E-SATA card works flawlessly. The card is a mere 34.00 from B-Com computers just follow the link  ST LAB SATA II PCI-E 2 PORT RAID CARD A-341 ($34.00) and get the latest driver from the Silicon Graphics Website. Silicon Image ST3132 Driver.  Also things seemed much snappier and faster under Snow Leopard; but as I said this is just a preliminary report there will be more to come.

Trevor

Friday, August 28, 2009

The importance of being Organized

Well I did it to myself; I left it to the last minute and now I'm scrambling.  I didn't order my business cards in time for a big event that is being hosted by one of my web clients http://www.samesamebutdifferent.org.  This brings me to my point never put off till tomorrow what you are going to do till it's do.  It's a bad habit and I know lots of people are guilty of it.  So When I get home after getting Snow Leopard I will be printing out about 20 cards, then I will have to run down to the event and run home.  So I never do this again I will be ordering 250 - 500 Cards from Vista Print http://www.vistaprint.ca/.  I like their web service and sample.  I am planning ahead and preparing for the future.  Now the next time this happens I will be ordering anything I need at least 2 week in advance of the event.  This will make sure that I have enough time to do everything I need to do.  Also by better organizing myself with my Google Calander and syncing it with my BlackBerry Curve and iPod Touch I should be in pretty good shape.  As for the rest of it.  I need to step it up and do what I preach.  Plan a head, stay focused, stay on track and always have a backup plan.  In this case I just wen to the backup plan.

Trevor

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Snow Leopard and Adobe Creative Suite Compatibility (Updated)

Wow, today has been a very busy day. Getting ready for Snow Leopard is not as easy as it appears.  I've been corresponding back and forth with David Howe (http://www.twitter.com/dhowe) from Adobe and he assures me that Adobe Photoshop CS3 WORKS in Snow Leopard (10.6).

David Responded to a post I put on my Twitter, after testing with an older version of  10.6 Build that CS3 was crashing.  I was being perhaps too pragmatic with posting that CS3 didn't work in 10.6 but it is better to be safe then spend allot of time reinstalling 10.5.  The Adobe FAQ release didn't give any real light on the subject but implied that CS3 Would not work in 10.6 (But it does).  Please read the twitter correspondence below.

DH: "Which CS3 product is crashing on SL for you? And what build of Snow Leopard are you using?"

TT: " Snow Leopard 10A261"

DH: " Photoshop CS3 works based on the testing we've done. And we worked with Apple to fix any issues we did find."

 TT: "Based on your twitter post I can take it everything will work golden? On some of the last builds I did have a few crashes."

TT: "The CS3 Crashes were working with files over 1 GB in size running blur and sharpen filters. (large format print stuff)"

DH: "There were many builds of Snow Leopard after 10A261. There were issues with earlier ones that have been since been resolved."


 TT: "I am going to test CS3 this weekend once it comes out to make sure so people don't upgrade prematurely, I'll let you know if I have any issues"

DH: "If this still happens with the GM build of Snow Leopard, let me know." 

So there you have it "Adobe" themselves may not have said anything and the FAQ may have left allot of people thinking CS3 was not going to work but Quoting David Howe: 

"Photoshop CS3 works based on the testing we've done. And we worked with Apple to fix any issues we did find."

So go ahead and upgrade to Snow Leopard.  David says it will work and until I get my own testing done; that's good enough for me.  I have to also say it is really good of David to come out and let us know what is really going on.  After all Adobe should have just come out and said it works it shouldn't have come from David, who was good enough to tell us.


Thanks David.


Trevor Tye

UPDATE
List of software supported by Snow Leopard

http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adobe CS3 & Snow Leopard


UPDATED Please See August 27th Post!

Well with only 2 days to go Mac users everywhere are freaking out! They are really excited for the new snow leopard operating system and they want their old software to work! We have to keep in mind Snow Leopard is what Leopard should have been in the first place; it is a re-write on pretty much everything Apple has done until this point. When Adobe was asked about older Adobe Software (CS3 in particular) here was their response



"Q. Will older versions of Adobe creative software—such as Adobe Creative Suite 3 or Macromedia® Studio 8 software—support Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6)?"

"A. Older versions of Adobe creative software were not included in our testing efforts. While older Adobe and Macromedia applications may install and run on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6), they were designed, tested, and released to the public several years before this new operating system became available. You may therefore experience a variety of installation, stability, and reliability issues for which there is no resolution. Older versions of our creative software will not be updated to support Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6)."


Adobe-SnowLeopard_FAQ.pdf



This is a very unfortunate situation for all computer users. If we have to start shelling out thousands of Dollars for upgrading our software, (I think CS3 to CS4 is around $899.00) then piracy will go up make no mistake about it. If Apple and Adobe want consumers to be continuously purchasing their software they need to make it worth our wild. Make the CS4 Master upgrade $499.00. Make it affordable so people will want to buy it. I understand Adobe needs to make a profit but the money they say they are losing to piracy would be compensated by the number of people willing to shell out $500 for the latest software bundle. Taking this approach will be easier for Adobe and the consumers in the future. If upgrade prices are affordable for everyone not just companies and businesses then everyone wins. No one pirates, no loses their job because of lost revenues. Maybe some guy upstairs doesn't get that new ivory back scratcher but he still gets to drive his BMW.

There is going to be a major issue within the next couple years and it is going to hit the web hard if we don't nip this in the butt right now. If people are going to be forced to re-buy all their software that they have all ready purchased then they may stay with the older operating systems and browsers. This is very bad. There needs to be a cost effective balance between running old software and buying new hardware. If that means that Operating Systems have to come with seamless virtual machines (ie. parallels in coherence mode) then Apple and Microsoft have to integrate it. You can't expect people to rebuy all their software because their computer died, or they upgraded their operating system. Consumers need a fix and they need one now, so who is big enough to step up to the plate? Microsoft? Apple? Adobe? More then likely it will be some poor open source guy that just wants it to work.

Trevor

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Apple Tablet Rumors


On twitter today there is a bunch of talk about the Apple Tablet; which I am starting to find very annoying. Would everyone like an Apple Tablet? - Yes probably. Is Apple going to sell it for $400 - $500 dollars? No probably not your probably looking at Mac Mini Pricing on the "Apple Tablet". Everyone and their dog has been a buzz about this since the netbooks have first come out but there is one thing that everyone is forgetting. Since Steve Jobs came back Apple will not ship a bad product. If a product is not great it is worked on until it is. We have seen this with the iPhone, the iPod, and Mac OS X. Let's face it Mac OS X.3 and X.4 were great updates to the Mac OS, they were fast and stable. Leopard was more hit and miss in my opinion. My point is that Apple's products seem finished. There is none of this Microsoft Vista, shipping before it's ready garbage. If Apple came out with a product before it was ready and it worked like a piece of garbage that would hurt the company more then anything else.

Everyone is forgetting one thing. Apple has a reputation for creating great products; so everyone wants one. If they had a reputation for creating mediocre products there would be none of this "Buzz". I know Apple has a tablet cooking. I have my own opinion about what it is going to look like and how it will perform. I will even write a post about it later. Apple will come out with a Tablet style computer when it is good and ready, we all know they have them they are just getting the bugs out; I for one am willing to wait until Apple gets it right. As for now if you want a netbook either get an iPod Touch/iPhone or get a netbook and load Linux on it. For right now that is as close as your going to come to a Apple Netbook. For now...

Trevor

Monday, August 24, 2009

The importance of Backups


Well, it has finally happened. I have had a flash drive that has failed on me. Everyone says how dependable SSD drives and Flash Drives are but you know they are just as prone to failure as regular hard drives. My brother had a 120GB SSD die on him, another had a 8GB flash drive and I've had my 16GB OCZ Rally Drive die on me. I know it's just the luck of the draw but it still ticks you off. I had some data on the flash drive that I hadn't backed up yet I usually back it up when the drive is almost full. So what is one to do? If I still lose data and most people consider me to overly cautious for backups what are other people suppose to do when they maybe backup every year or so. I myself am running very low on hard drive space I only have 8 TB of hard drive space with backups on other hard drives and optical disks. My best solution for tech savvy people would be to suck it up and get a Drobo. (read my review of the Drobo). As for everyone else have 3 copies of everything. One on your computer that you use, One on a backup External Hard Drive and One on removable media such as DVD's or a flash drive. Maybe if your very lucky you will never have to use them but if anything ever happens at least you have your data. With hard copies (prints) of pictures, movies being digital, mp3's from itunes it is only a matter of time before consumers demand having a hard copy of their software, data, and other items they buy from the internet.

Trevor

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Future of News and Analysis

As I get older I realize not only how hard it is to try keep on top with the latest technology but the latest programming languages, techniques, hardware, software, the list just goes on and on. So I've been keeping up to most things via podcasts and twitter. I also read .Net Magazine (see image on the left) and Maximum PC (sometimes).

I get most of my news and information from twitter and by verifying it. I use several sources to verify something that I heard or read. Now is this the future of news? Yes I believe it is. Making money though online advertising and sponsorship. Yes I know I said the dirty word "sponsorship" but you know what if the future of news is to be in this kind of "instant" format you have to make money to survive and people will want it free because it has always been free. Investors like Rupert Murdoch say you will Read Mashable Article. I disagree. I think you will have more magazine type targeted advertising. It is the closest thing to keyword advertising for the print market; you know exactly what the content is for the people who are buying it. For example a few years ago .netmag use to have a cover of a sexy girl with a laptop. My wife use to hate me buying the magazine because of the cover; but I was buying it for the content. Now they have some neat cover designs with no girl and I still buy the magazine because the content is

1) still good and

2) still relevant to what I do

when this stops I will stop buying the magazine.

I know they have the magazine online but I want the print version because it is easier to read and if there are any examples in it that I want to follow along with; it is easier to follow along in a book or magazine then on a webpage.

So where does that leave the future of news? Well if you are getting it instantly via twitter and/or other sources then what people might be interested in is a balanced opinion. So you will have analysis magazines or "papers" (this sounds like a news paper!) that people will pay maybe 2-3 dollars instead of the $1.00 that it is now. You are paying for the analyzed information from a reputable source not just some blog or webpage (ironically enough the writer for the paper might have their own blog). I do buy a news paper every Saturday; it's for the articles. I don't buy it everyday I get that online but if I can sit down for 10 - 15 minutes on Saturday and read an opinion while drinking a coffee, people will do that.

The future of people getting their news is Twitter. The issue that News papers have is it's not business as usual reporting yesterday's news. It is the Analysis of the week maybe month and charging 3 bucks a paper for it.

Trevor

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Direction

I have been very busy building ads for kijiji and Craigslist. I can't say who I'm building the ads for but it is my idea for marketing on the free classifieds postings. The companies cost is just takes my time (I'm on payroll), so I am hoping to develop a way to make and post the ads more efficiently so I don't get board of posting them. This is a new direction for the company, they are use to spending tones of money on print advertising, and even though print is not dead (yet) it will be very close to dead soon; especially with all the problems the major news papers are having with cash flow (apparently). Make no mistake I think this is going to work out very well. With a reduction in costs and the increasingly large number of people going to the Internet for research, pricing, etc; I can see sales even increasing for them.

Some people may say it's too early to get out of print and to them I say, with the amount of time, and money wasted to meet deadlines, copy corrections, wording issues, the tiny little space you get, the web is a much better format for advertising. Your target audience is much more precise, you can change it when ever you want, post what ever you want any time you want and you won't have to look at a mistake for the next year because of a damn typo.

Now don't get me wrong print will never go way you will always need signage, banners, fliers, but print advertising as we know it is far to expensive to maintain compared to internet advertising and most people are online now. So as technology evolves and changes to be more and more digital all the analogue technology will disappear into the abyss, leaving options for advertising. Imagine a 2'x6' LCD panel that is malleable for easy handling. Using that for your trade show display or a holographic 3D display, the technology is advancing so fast we don't know what is going to happen.

This New York Times article http://bit.ly/2iKqfH about HP could be a the canary for the print industry. Who know what the future will bring for all I know MS Bing could become the #1 search engine over Google (not in my opinion) but hey stranger things have happened. After all in the late 90's before Steve Job's return to Apple we though we would all be running windows and the Mac would be a distant memory.

Trevor

trevortye@optionkey.ca

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Revamp of my personal blog

When I originally decided to keep my blogspot blog my thinking was that I would put my tech articles on my website and on my blogspot blog. I have decided that is to redundant and since I have so much research to do before I post a tech news post I think that I will make this a personal opinion / rant blog.

So a few things, first of which last Saturday August 15th we had a family tragedy, my Grandfather died at the age of 75 without warning. This was very difficult because he was a man who loved his family very much and loved life. He was the kind of man who would give without giving a second thought and did not need a reason to. He is survived by this 3 daughters, 1 son and 12 grandchildren.

I have finished a new website for a non profit organization, which I think has turned out pretty good. Down below is a thumbnail of the website and here is a the link to the live site http://www.samesamebutdifferent.org



On top of that I need to finish setting up and configuring the computer for Decor Tile Company along as their website. I am really excited to show them the website I have for them I think they will like it allot, I will post a link up as soon as I finish debugging it.

Life has been crazy with doing quotes and other proposals I don't know where I find the time. A major reason I am able to continue doing this is because of my fantastic wife, without her I don't know how I would get by and personable. She has taught me allot about time management. I had no idea how lousy I was at it before.

If you have any tech questions, comments or suggestions please send me an email trevortye@optionkey.ca Don't forget you can also follow me on twitter @trevortye

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Drobo Review

Drobo Review

I was recently asked to come up with a way to have lots of storage with redundant data backup. Automatically I thought of setting up a computer with RAID 5. I wouldn't have to be a powerful computer it was just going to be a file server and all the other NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices were as much if not more then a cheap computer system with a RAID 5 setup. However the client did not want to have to login and have to meddle with the file server, so I did some more research and found DLINK has a 4 Bay Drive NAS that does RAID 5 but the reviews for the device were less then encouraging and given that the client works with a Macintosh computer I thought I would look around some more. Then I came across this device called drobo. Drobo has firewire 800 and USB 2.0, for connecting the device to a computer and apparently did redundant data back similar to that of a RIAD 5 without the problem of backing everything up and redoing the RIAD array with Larger Drives. I did some more research and found the product reviews for the device to be outstanding and that is is very reliable. There are 2 issues I have with the drobo is that unless you buy the drobo share it doesn't work through apple talk but you can use SAMBA to share the device. The drobo also doesn't have e-sata so you are missing out on 3gbits/s data transfer as compared to Firewire 800's 800Mbits/s data transfer. The drobo is basically maintenance free and apparently can go up to 16TB of hard drive space if drives get that big using the SATA format. Would I recommend a drobo to anyone? Yes I would I even want one but at $600.00 it is a bit hefty a price with no hard drives but well worth it. It is great for everything and I would encourage anyone looking for a NAS style device but it doesn't have to sit on the network or to hook it up to a router with hard drive support to look seriously at the drobo. It is compatible with Apple, Microsoft and Linux Operating Systems. For the Simplicity and convenience go with the drobo.

Here are some reviews for your reference:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/05/drobo-review/
http://reviews.cnet.com/external-hard-drives/drobo/4505-3190_7-32470303.html
http://www.raoulpop.com/2009/hardware-review-second-generation-drobo/
http://www.macworld.com/article/59534/2007/08/drobo.html

Monday, January 19, 2009

Windows 7 Beta - In Review

Microsoft Windows 7 Beta in Review.

We'll it's been a week and here it is an unbias review of Microsoft Windows 7 Beta. First of all I will say this, the Windows 7 Beta is better then Vista SP1. More of my software works on Windows 7, it's faster, cleaner, and much less annoying. It's true, I am a Mac user but as far as Microsoft Operating systems go, I have not seen one this good since Windows 98se. I hope that when Windows 7 ships many of the bugs and problems in the beta will be gone. My system is a QX9650 with 4GB of Ram, 3x256GB hard drives in a RAID 0 Arrary, P5K Premium Motherboard and a 3870X2 Video card.

The other system running the beta is a QX9650 with 2GB of Ram, 1x320GB hard drive, P5K-E Motherboard and a 8800gts 320MB Video card.

Here are a few of the issues I have with Windows 7:

* Dual monitor displays do not work on N'vidia and ATI cards
* Windows will not recognize SMB shared Drives which is really not good for NAS devices networking with Macs, Linux or Unix systems.
* VNC causes blue screens of death.
* A new networking feature called home group which is annoying and I found did not work well with my other windows, mac and Linux systems.
* To open ports in the windows firewall in really different now and a little confusing. - This will just take some getting use to.
* log me in* does not work in the Windows 7 beta
* Search causes blue screens of death.

Other then that I found The windows 7 beta very stable, quick and reliable. I must say I am very hopeful for windows 7 after that big disappointment with Vista, Microsoft needs a winner and they may have found it. I like the show desktop button in the bottom right hand corner also the live preview is kinda neat, but useless. The task manager is much better organized and structured, the annoying user account authorization has been toned down so it is not annoying you every minute (It appears Microsoft found the right balance when it comes to the UAA, I hope that it remains how it is.).

If Microsoft is looking to the future then Windows 7 will be the next OS for the next 7 years. As successful as XP that remains to be seen. For now Microsoft is on the right track and all I can say is keep up the good work, do go astry, and ship something that works. We don't want another ME or Vista, give us something that works and works well.



The OptionKey

*Correction, I had said go to my PC doesn't work, The software I was reffering to is Log Me In and VNC

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