iLife 05 arrives!

When I got back home tonite I discovered that the new iLife 05 had arrived. It took a few minutes to install, and I played a bit with the new GarageBand. It seems a little faster, and I really like the new transcription feature (notes on a staff). Put together a few measures of layered rock, remembering how easy it is to do that (it’s been a month since I’ved played with it).

iPhoto has a cool new feature where you can use a calendar to display all the photos in a given month, or on a given day. I hear it will keep track of movie clips, but I didn’t get a chance to try that out.

And iMove and iDVD look like they have some nifty new features, but I’m saving playing with those til I have a few hours to spare.

Growing pains: music servers and puppies

Four years ago I spent $200 on a 30gig hard drive for our music server (which ran on some customed-designed software named 3mer, but that’s a whole other story). We’ve finally outgrown that drive, and a random trip to Best Buy (for the Invader Zim DVD) turned up an 80gig drive for $29 after rebates! This is amazing, and we should now have plenty of music storage for a few more years.

And puppy Carley, who will be five months old on the 29th, is getting bigger and more dog-like all the time. Her fur is getting some curl to it and her face looks more grown up. She understands two commands, sit and shake, and we’re working on speak! for a very practical reason: so she can let us know vocally when she needs to go out.

Update: Looks like the old playlists got lost in the move; I think there’s a way to get them back but it could be way more work than I’d like.

Sweet spots and tipping points

The big news in the Apple world this week is the new iPod shuffle and the iMac mini. This is big news because Apple has always been perceived as having innovative but expensive products, and these two new products are positioned in the mass-market sweet spot. There’s a great illustration of that here.

Lots of people lust after an iPod, but $250 can be tough to justify. The $99 “iPod shuffle” is nearly an impulse buy. After it was announced, one Apple Store sold out of 2,000 Shuffles in just four hours — a lot of people bought one for themselves plus one (or more!) for friends. I think Apple has a hit here.

The iMac mini is going to be hot also (it doesn’t ship until Jan 22). So many people are sick of dealing with Windows issues, viruses, spyware, etc, that they’re looking for reasons to use something else. And I think more than a few of them will be thinking seriously about getting a $500 Mac, since they already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It comes with a lot of software, and they can always buy Microsoft Office for the Mac if they need it.

I’m happy with my iPod and PowerBook, so these announcements won’t affect me, but I have preordered iLife 05 for the new and improved GarageBand so I can make more music!

A hard crash

On Monday the hard disk crashed on my PowerBook. Since this machine contains my life, things were a little tense for a while. A trip to Small Dog to get a replacement drive, then a geeky half hour or so to install it. Got it pretty much all back together before I realized I’d missed a step (omitted in the instructions on pbfixit.com) and had to take it back apart again.

Then I began the hours-long process of reinstalling Panther, running System Update, and reinstalling my applications (BBEdit, Photoshop, InDesign, etc). Restored what I could from my most recent backup, which unfortunately was three months old. FTP’d down my client sites (the sites themselves are my backup!). By the time I went to bed (after midnight), I had enough restored to be productive.

I wrote a quick note to my clients telling them what happened, and reminding them to backup often!

Since then I’ve been downloading the various little things that make cyber life more pleasant, the utilities and contextual menus and so on.

An now I’m just about back to where I was.

What was lost? Some recent photos, a couple songs from the iTunes Music Store that I hadn’t yet copied to the music server or my iPod. Lots of geeky notes, like how to get various perl modules working on OS X. Some lyrics, downloaded movies, bookmarks. Three months worth of emails. Sigh.