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Category “Apple”

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The Mac is 30

30 years ago, the Mac was released and it changed every­thing. It def­i­nitely changed my life. I was attend­ing high school when I used a Mac for the very first time, and it along with Pho­to­shop 2.0, blew me away. I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

The Mac has come along way in 30 years, and I’m exited to see where it’s headed.

Apple put together this beau­ti­ful site chron­i­cling the his­tory of the Mac.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

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We have lost a bril­liant mind and a cre­ative genius. Steve Jobs changed the way I think about design. I will always be grateful.

Rest in peace, Steve. You will be missed.

Thank You, Steve.

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I feel lucky to have wit­nessed his brilliance.

A Backup System

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For the last 6 years or so, my backup setup con­sisted of one unre­li­able 120 GB drive that I would man­u­ally update when­ever I remem­ber to do so. That’s pretty much a pathetic way to go about it and I’ve been extremely lucky to not have had a cat­a­strophic drive failure.

I’ve been mean­ing to get seri­ous about my file man­age­ment, but I never did any­thing about it. That’s until I read Frank Chimero’s insight­ful arti­cle about his setup and how he deals with file man­age­ment. It moti­vated me to finally put a sys­tem together to pro­tect my impor­tant files, and to write this arti­cle detail­ing my cur­rent setup. I fig­ured that it can’t hurt to have more infor­ma­tion avail­able on the sub­ject for those who are interested.

The Equip­ment

Right away, I knew that my lame 120 GB drive wouldn’t make a good base for my setup. The key fac­tor in any good backup sys­tem is redun­dancy. The more copies you have of your data, the safer you are. I first looked into RAID 1 sys­tems. A RAID 1 sys­tem is essen­tially made up of two dri­ves, one drive is where you backup your data, and the other drive is used to mir­ror that drive, cre­at­ing a backup of your backup. The ben­e­fit of a RAID 1 is that it all hap­pens on the fly, so when data is stored to the first drive, it’s instantly mir­rored to the sec­ond drive. I found a few options that might work, but they were either too expen­sive or noisy.

I then looked into sin­gle hard dri­ves, which had to be quiet and large enough to store all of my data. To cre­ate redun­dancy I knew that I’d needed two sep­a­rate dri­ves. After a few days of research­ing and ask­ing on Twit­ter, I pur­chased two Lacie Quadra 1 TB dri­ves. They’re silent, afford­able, offer four con­nec­tion inter­faces and look damn sexy.

To build on the setup, I also signed up for Back­blaze, an online file backup ser­vice that’s really cheap and easy to use. The ser­vice con­stantly checks your machine and exter­nal dri­ves to see if any­thing has changed and needs a backup. It all hap­pens in the back­ground, so you just set it up and never think about it again. The first backup does take a few days, though, depend­ing on the amount of data you’re stor­ing. They have a free 15 trial, which is a great way to test it out.

I also pur­chased SuperDuper, an inex­pen­sive desk­top app that allows you to com­pletely clone your machine, cre­at­ing a bootable copy. You can even sched­ule back­ups, which is great.

Finally, the sys­tem also makes use of Drop­box and Apple’s iDisk. More details below on how I use these two services.

The Setup

I put together this dia­gram to help visu­al­ize my setup. Here’s how it works:

All of my data is kept on my iMac’s inter­nal drive. Cur­rent and archived work files, impor­tant doc­u­ments like my resume, and my Aper­ture Library Backup, live in my Drop­box folder. I do this to cre­ate more redun­dancy for my most impor­tant data.

I’ve kept my old 120 GB drive and use it to store really old work, videos, pic­tures and my iPhoto Library. This is not pre­cious data.

Every other day I have SuperDuper clone my iMac to one of my Lacie 1 TB dri­ves, lets call this one Drive A. Imme­di­ately after that is done I have SuperDuper clone Drive A to my other Lacie 1 TB drive, let’s call this one Drive B. Once a month SuperDuper clones my 120 GB drive to Drive B. I only do it once a week because the data on that drive won’t change that often. All of the SuperDuper back­ups are set to Smart Update. It’s a great fea­ture that only copies files and fold­ers that are new or have changed. This con­sid­er­ably speeds up the process after the ini­tial backup.

Once a week the cur­rent work folder in Drop­box, my Address Book and iCal data­bases, Safari set­tings, key­chain, fonts and cur­rent pho­tos are copied to iDisk using Apple’s Backup app.

For extra secu­rity, I’ve setup Back­blaze to con­stantly backup my iMac’s inter­nal drive, which includes my Drop­box local folder, and the 120 GB drive.

Dur­ing all this I have Time Machine con­stantly backing-up to Drive B.

This setup cre­ates 6 copies of my vital data:

 – Inter­nal iMac Drive
 – Exter­nal Drive A
 – Exter­nal Drive B
 – Drop­box
 – iDisk
 – Back­blaze

and 3 copies of my unim­por­tant data:

 – Exter­nal 120 GB Drive
 – Exter­nal Drive B
 – Back­blaze

This is a good amount of redun­dancy and will pro­vided a good level of secu­rity and piece of mind. I’ll prob­a­bly expand on this in the future. Those Lacie dri­ves are cheap, so why not get another one to clone one of the other dri­ves. Even­tu­ally, I want to have an off-site drive, just for added security.

When I was first looked into backup sys­tems, I had no idea where to begin. Hope­fully this arti­cle has been help­ful to those who are still unsure on how to pro­ceed. I also sug­gest read­ing this arti­cle by John Gru­ber for more infor­ma­tion on the subject.

Writer iPad App

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Yes­ter­day, the tal­ented Oliver Reichen­stein, and his crew at Infor­ma­tion Archi­tects, released Writer for the iPad. The app is a well-designed, stripped down writ­ing tool that allows you to focus on your writ­ing instead of dis­trac­tions. There’s a Focus Mode that removes auto-correction, spell-checker, tool­bars, scrolling, edit­ing, cut/copy/paste and fades out all the text except for the three lines you’re work­ing on. The mode is really great for when you’re stuck on a sen­tence and need to con­cen­trate on that small sec­tion of text.

Much atten­tion has also been paid to the typog­ra­phy. Writer doesn’t have any fancy for­mat­ting set­tings. Instead, font type, text size, col­umn width, lead­ing and con­trast have all been opti­mized to pro­vide the best read­ing expe­ri­ence in both por­trait and land­scape modes. The app makes use of Nitti Light, a mono­spaced type­face by Bold Mon­day.

I’ve had the priv­i­lege of beta test­ing the app before it’s was released, and I can eas­ily say that Writer is one of my favorite apps on my iPad. I’ve used it many times to write blog posts, emails and even por­tions of my book. I’m eas­ily dis­tracted when I write and this app helps me to focus. Oliver and crew paid a great deal of atten­tion to the details, and it shows. I applaud them for the excel­lent work.

Oliver posted an arti­cle detail­ing their think­ing behind the app.

iPhone 4

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The iPhone 4. Sim­ply amazing.        

Dieter Rams Less and More

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“Good design is as lit­tle design as possible.”

Damn right. Words to live by.

Dieter Rams is one of the most influ­en­tial indus­trial design­ers of this past cen­tury. Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent of Indus­trial Design at Apple, is heav­ily influ­enced by Rams’ work. You can see huge sim­i­lar­i­ties between Apple and clas­sic Braun prod­ucts in their sim­plic­ity, beauty and function.

From Novem­ber 18 – March 14, The Design Museum in Lon­don is hav­ing an exhi­bi­tion titled “Dieter Rams Less and More”. The exhi­bi­tion will show­case Rams’ inspir­ing designs for Braun and Vitsœ. I might have to head to Lon­don just to see this.

To sat­isfy your fix, here’s a short doc­u­men­tary of Rams, a Dieter Rams Flickr group and a Braun Flickr group show­cas­ing the clas­sic Braun designs.
       

Grid Calculator 1.3

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A new ver­sion (1.3) of the excel­lent Grid Cal­cu­la­tor has been released for the Mac. The main fea­ture of this upgrade is the abil­ity to cal­cu­late grids for web design. It’s the only stand-alone app that I know of that sup­ports both print and web. Pretty sweet. I’ve been told that the PC ver­sion is com­ing soon.

Here are some more new features:

• Inches and Points sup­port.
• More paper sizes (DIN, ANSI and Arch).
• Great new time-saving fea­ture “Copy Set­tings” intro­duced — NO more back and forth!
• Mod­i­fied “Quick con­ver­sion” sec­tion.
• Web designer friendly, use Points in 72 ppi res­o­lu­tion and cal­cu­late your grid.

Get Grid Cal­cu­la­tor 1.3 for Mac OS X        

Introducing LegiStyles™

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As some of you already know, I use Net­NewsWire for all my feed read­ing duties. It’s an amaz­ing desk­top appli­ca­tions that offers a ton of great fea­tures includ­ing syn­chro­niza­tion. One of the great advan­tages of using NNW is that you can use cus­tom CSS styles on your feeds.

There are a bunch of styles out there that are good but they all kind of look the same and most of them don’t focus on typog­ra­phy and read­abil­ity. I’m try­ing to fill this void with what I like to call LegiStyles™, a series of cus­tom NNW styles I’ve cre­ated that focus on design and typog­ra­phy. Best of all they’re free.

As of now I have 4 styles avail­able but I plan to add more over time. If you don’t use NNW, I highly rec­om­mend it. If you do, head over to the site and down­load a style or two.

I’ve setup an RSS feed as a way to keep informed on news and updates. For all you Twit­ter users, fol­low LegiStyles for updates and also reply with any feed­back using @legistyles.

Enjoy.    

FontShop Releases FontShuffle

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Today FontShop Berlin announced the release of FontShuf­fle, a type spec­i­men cat­a­log for your iPhone or iPod Touch. When I read this I jumped out of my chair. I’ve been wait­ing for an app like this since like for­ever dude! But after down­load­ing it and play­ing around with it this morn­ing, I’m a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed. First I’ll start off with some of the good things about this app and then I’ll get into the stuff that makes this app fall flat on its face. Read More »

NetNewsWire Style 2.5

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Ver­sion 2.5 of my Net­NewsWire style is now avail­able. The design is sim­ple and clean with a great deal of focus on typog­ra­phy and leg­i­bil­ity. In this new ver­sion I’ve made some improve­ments that will enhance the read­ing experience.

Another enhance­ment that I was hop­ing to imple­ment was a con­sis­tent ver­ti­cal base­line. But because of incon­sis­ten­cies within RSS feeds it was very dif­fi­cult to accom­plish, prob­a­bly even impos­si­ble. For exam­ple in cer­tain feeds blocks of copy are not wrapped in the para­graph tag, instead just use the break tag. For this rea­son it’s hard to con­trol the text and ele­ments like images.

Any­how, I’m very exited about the fea­tures I was able to add.

New Fea­tures in Ver­sion 2.5

  • Wid­ows
    Pre­ven­tion of typo­graphic wid­ows in titles and body copy via jQWidon’t.

  • Cap­i­tal­iza­tion
    All words in title are capitalized.

  • Image Resize
    Images wider than 600px are resized to fit the fixed width of the style.

Spe­cial thanks to Oliver Boer­mans for help­ing me with some bugs.

To install just dou­ble click the file.

Down­load NNW Style 2.5