Roman Ladder

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Posts tagged Mac

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RetroChallenge Winter WarmUp #1

Since it’s nearly the middle of January, I suppose I ought to get off the stick and get going on this, or at least say something about it:

I am participating in the RetroChallenge Winter WarmUp 2013, which is a call for folks who like retro computing to attempt to complete a project, using old technology, within the month of January. This is a counterpart to the RetroChallenge proper, which takes place in the summer. There are some rules about what equipment and what sort of projects qualify, but generally anything you want to do with a computer or game system that is at least 10 years old is good.

My project: to learn HyperCard (or more accurately, HyperTalk) to build a HyperCard database for cataloging my vintage Kenner Star Wars collection on my Macintosh 512ke. I’ve wanted to actually use this beautiful old computer for something ever since I got it, and I’ve wanted to document my Star Wars collection for a while, so it seemed like a match made in a galaxy far, far away.

First steps will be to obtain the actual HyperCard authoring software, and download it to a disk the 512 can actually use. I’ve got a PowerMac 8100 connected to the Internet to facilitate this—it can write to the low-density 800k disks the 512 wants.

I don’t expect creating the database to be very difficult in itself; the hardest part of the whole thing is just finding the time to do it. I suppose I’ve upped the difficulty level by waiting so long to actually get started. So, here goes!

Filed under retrocomputing RetroChallenge Mac HyperCard

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Thus far I’ve maintained that my (late 2006) iMac is more than enough for our computing needs, that it is doing just fine with the iLife updates and the Mac OS X updates, and there’s just no reason to move to a new machine. Until now.

This new iMovie 11, while impressive in it’s features, and definitely a great move forward, is really taxing on this 4-year-old machine. Part of that is the notion that when this iMac was new, the average consumer wasn’t shooting HD and bringing it into iMovie, not with all the crazy real-time effects and editing that you can do now. Just importing and processing the video (optimizing the video format, creating thumbnails, etc) take a huge chunk of time. Then you have the in-app pauses and spinning wheels as you put together your movie. Then you have exporting to a share-able format, converting down to put on MobileMe, for example. I’m sure this would all be a lot faster with a state-of-the-art machine.


So far, I only do this a few times a year. But if I were doing this more, I would have to have something faster – this is ridiculous.

Filed under Apple Mac iMovie

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Mac (i)OS, the Future of the Desktop

There was a giant argument raging on Macbreak Weekly on the future of the Mac OS.  Alex Lindsay thinks Apple, within 5 – 10 years, will license or open source the OS, pretty much abandoning the desktop in favor of its mobile iOS platform.  Andy Ihnatko vehemently disagrees, thinking there’s lots of life left in the desktop; he is merely curious about what Mac OS XI is going  to look like.  I think they’re both kind of wrong.

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Filed under iOS Mac

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Notes on Notebooks

Overall, I think this was a great announcement. Like many, I am a little dismayed that the new MacBook does not include a FireWire port, but otherwise I am impressed. Glass screens don’t bother me in the least, and I haven’t used the button on a trackpad in a long time—I am apparently one of those rare people who doesn’t disable the trackpad-tap feature on his notebook; in fact, I rely on it, and miss I it on other machines whose owners have turned it off.

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Filed under Apple Keynote Mac Steve Jobs