Alex Kaloostian

Apple Certified Master Trainer | Systems Integrator | Video Editor | Motion Graphics Artist


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Apple’s evolving relationship with pro creatives

2006:

Here at Apple, we like to say we are at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. Creativity has always been in our DNA, so we are really thrilled to show you the best ecosystem for creating photography, video, and any kind of media.

Today we are announcing the new Mac Pro tower. This is a beautifully engineered tower case, with room for two optical drives, four internal storage drives and four PCI slots for graphics cards, audio, and anything else, all in one beautiful, rugged package.

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A few things for a slow Friday

Hey, everyone. Its Friday, and I know for a lot of you, the work starts to wind down. So here are a few things you shouldn’t miss today, while you’re wasting time waiting for the weekend:

Free Podcast!

I’ll be giving a free 30-minute podcast today at lunchtime (east coasters) looking at a few of the new features in Sierra. If you’ve been using the latest macOS for a while, there won’t me much surprising here. But for those of you who haven’t upgraded yet., Ill be showing off some featured and discussing things to consider, particularly with consideration for support staff and admins. its at 1:00 eastern, and you can sign up here.

Imaging on the Mac will be dead soon(ish)

For the first time in many, many years, Apple will be releasing an all-new and maybe revolutionary file system later this year. Rich Trouton talks about it on his blog, Der Flounder, and what this means especially for imaging systems.

Introducing the Macintosh Portable

28 years ago, Apple released the Macintosh portable computer. It was huge, heavy, ugly, slow, and awful, and the battery lasted about 5 minutes. But Jean-Louis Gassée’s introduction was mesmerizing. He assembled the thing, by hand, on stage, as he talked about it! You really gotta watch this, if only for the nostalgia and showmanship.


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A few discoveries after my first week with the new 2016 MacBook Pro

I’ve has the new 2016 15″ MacBook Pro with Touchbar (they really have to work on their naming) and I have learned a few things. Some delightful, some… not so much. I’d rather not re-hash arguments that have already been made elsewhere ad nauseam, but show you some real-world info.

USB-C

Lets get one thing out of the way, right off the bat: USB-A, USB-B, and USB-C are connectors. Think of them like shapes. USB 1, USB 2, and USB 3, are bus speeds. To make matters worse, there are three types of USB 3:

USB 1: 12mbps
USB 2: 480 mbps
USB 3.0: 5,000 mbps & HD video
USB 3.1 genUSB- 1: 5,000 mbps & 4k Video
USB 3.1 gen 2: 10,000 mbps & 4k video

As far as ports go, thats where things get confusing:

USB-A supports: USB1, USB2, USB3, 15w power draw
USB-C supports: USB1, USB2, USB3, Thunderbolt3. 100w power draw, reversible plug

So USB-C is a reversible plug and can also be used for charging and Thunderbolt, which means its ALSO backwards-compatible with SATA, FireWire, HDMI, DVI, VGA… basically everything. It is, truly, finally, the one connector to rule them all. But not every device supports all of this. Thats where things get complicated. No longer can you just look at the shape of the jack and know what it is. You have to be intimately aware of the specs of your computer. This could have been a place for Apple to forge ahead and support everything, and make things easier on their users. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

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Apple as overhauled two-factor authentication…

…And its kind of crazy confusing. But its worth it in the long run, because the new format is much better, and much faster. It looks like I’m not the only one who had trouble setting it up in the first place. But if you use AppleID for Education, VPP, ApplePay or you’re just concerned about better security, you should read this and be prepared to support your users.

Unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch requires two-factor, not two-step, iCloud protection—what?


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I want to like AppleTV more

When Apple released the AppleTV4, I was excited and snapped one right up. It was $150, which was MUCH more than comparable products from Google and Amazon and Roku, but there must have been a reason, right?

  • It must support 4k, right?
    • Well, um, nope.
  • But its from Apple, so I bet it integrates well with their other services like Homekit.
    • Um, nope, we had to wait 10 months for that, and its still not great.
  • What about iPhone?
    • Well the Remote app wasnt compatible for 6 months. Airplay works… usually.
  • Can I stream Netflix, Hulu and amazon?
    • Two our of three aint bad?
  • Well, I sync my keychain to the cloud, so at least I can auto-signin to all my channels.
    • Actually, that doesnt work yet. Still waiting for it. Youre going to have to sign into EVERY app one by one. And many of them will make you sign in again and again and again. Oh, also? Xfinity doesnt allow you to sign into many of them. Forget Comedy Central or AMC, for instance. Even though youre paying for them.
  • But it can play games!
    • Yeah, but game developers are required to support the tiny remote, so most of the games are simple and not very good.
  • The remote looks cool.
    • It looks cool. In actuality, its the worst thing Apple has ever designed. Its tiny and falls between the couch cushions. its not lit so you lose it int he dark. And its a touch screen, so you pause your show every time you pick it up… and half the time you’ll pick it up backwards.

So yeah. Was that harsh? I don’t HATE the AppleTV. but I don’t love it. And for $150 I should love it. But I cant get rid of it yet, because I have iTunes media to stream, and I can Airplay from my phone and laptop to it. Thats cool. But if they don’t get their act together soon, I’m getting a Roku. I’ll buy a used AppleTv3 on Ebay for short money and that’ll be that.


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Two Motion must-haves

Here’s an awesome script that I’ve used for years but never posted. It lets you export Illustrator paths as shape files that can be imported into Apple Motion. Yes, you can import .ai files directly, but theyre not editable. Paths exported this way are editable in Motion.

And speaking of Motion, we finally have a way to truly round-trip between FCPx and Motion! And it wasn’t Apple who gave it to us. Who, you ask? Well, Automatic Duck of course!


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DropBox is acting shady; and some security tips

DropBox recently added some new tricks that were… surprising. Ever see an app be able to do THIS in the Finder before?

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-1-24-56-pm

Whats all this, then?

Yeah, me neither. interesting. but how did Apple allow this? Spoiler: they probably didn’t.

http://applehelpwriter.com/2016/07/28/revealing-dropboxs-dirty-little-security-hack/

And here’s some more info on how it was done, as well as a bunch of useful tips when you want to investigate anything on your mack with some command line tools:

http://applehelpwriter.com/2016/08/29/discovering-how-dropbox-hacks-your-mac/


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Apple’s Laptop Problem

Let’s face it, I’m a shameless Apple fanboy with an impulse control problem and a high credit card limit. And if *I* can’t find a laptop I want to buy, Apple has a problem.

Okay, I know the problems of a guy like me doesn’t amount to a hill of beans as far as Apple is concerned, I just wanted to try out a click-baity headline to try to get my viewership into the double digits. Apple’s laptops are, basically, as good as ever, but you can’t deny we are in the middle of a shakeup; a transitionary period. Where Apple goes next will be interesting and even critical to a lot of my colleagues. I am hopeful for the next step, but I cant help also being really, really nervous.

First, let’s have a look at Apple’s portable offerings as of October 2015: Continue reading