Category Technology

2011 National Restaurant Association Show

I went to the National Restaurant Association Show to check out some of the technology solutions available in the foodservice market.

It was really fun to go and I just wanted share a quick list of categories I saw in the tech space. I wasn’t blown away by anything too exciting. Most of the technology related products revolved around these topics

I Just Couldn’t Resist!!! iPad

I just couldn’t resist! iPad with 3G – Launch Day

Setting up my iPad 3G at a San Francisco Apple Store

iPad First Look

Checking out the iPad with @vasily_m at the Brea mall.

Vasily holding the iPad at the Apple store

Re-Invent 3.0: Augmented Reality

Last night I attended the IXDA meetup, “Re-Invent 3.0: Augmented Reality.” The speakers were Bruno Uzzan the CEO at Total Immersion and David Glaze the Group Creative Director at The Designory, Inc.

Both speakers gave great talks, but Bruno’s talk was very visual so the video below shows a few short clips from Bruno’s demos. Sorry about the video quality. I recorded it using my MacBook’s camera. The audio quality was even worse so I just removed the audio and added some music. Hope you enjoy and I’m glad I could share.

The New Apple Line

Gradated Screens?

I was on a mission last night to check out the new Apple line up. I was set on testing the new Apple notebook screens. I focused on the screens because I was worried about the screen being gradated. Any one who has done design on a 20in. iMac knows what I’m talking about. The display washes out color towards the bottom of the screen. The 24in iMac doesn’t have this problem.

So I tested out the new Al MacBook and MacBook Pro screens. The gradiant was very minimal on the MacBook—pretty much a non-issue. The MacBook Pro has a clear screen very beautiful. The main difference between the screens seem to be saturation. The Macbook Pro’s screen has a better, more accurate saturation compared to the MacBook. The MacBook is slightly washed out. It’s very slight.

CC: iBuffet

I wasn’t able to check out the 24in LED screens, because they only had one and some creepy dude was on it the whole time.

So I’m still trying to decide on which Mac to get. I’m leaning towards the MacBook, because I really love the size. The MacBook pro seems so big to me, but I would love to have a dedicated video card and FireWire. I’m thinking that I’ll use the savings from the MacBook and put it towards a Mac Pro—I’m hoping for a redesign this spring.

Leopard Release

Mac OS X Leopard Shirt

The Leopard release was pretty neat. It was the first time I’ve ever waited in line for a product. In fact I wasn’t even there to get Leopard—I had already pre-ordered it. I was just there for the free t-shirt. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera, so the only pics I took was with my razr; which sucks. I’ll be getting an iPhone when it has 3G wireless internet support. Anyways I had a pretty good time, I met a few people, and most importantly I got my free t-shirt. The one question I have is where are all the ‘Justin Long’-looking Mac people? We all look like a bunch of dorks. heehee. Maybe all the ‘cool’ people were in the back.

Waiting in line at the Brea Mall

A lot of Mac geeks.

The Apple Aluminum Keyboard

Apple Aluminum Keyboard Unboxing Photo I broke down and bought the new Aluminum Apple wired keyboard. I went my local Apple store the day after the announcement to get iLife and iWork (possible future post), but unfortunately they didn’t have the new iMac out so I couldn’t try the new keyboard.

Well this Sunday I went in to exchange my wireless Mighty Mouse, I’ve went through two, I’m now on my third, I love the mouse, but the stupid scroll ball nipple thing always breaks. (another possible future post) So since I was there I tried out the new keyboard and decided to buy it. I went with the wired one because I need the extended keyboard.

As for my review of it… I love it. It looks OK in photos, but looks great in person and on my desk. I love the way it feels and ergonomically it is much more comfortable for me. I’m stuck on a computer probably 9-12 hours a day so ergonomics are important to me. At work I use a Dell keyboard and an evoluent vertical mouse (possible future post #3) and at home I use a Wacom intuos3 4×6 tablet and Wireless Mighty Mouse.

Good Bits

Basically if you like the Macbook keyboard you’ll like this keyboard. I was always of fan of “clicky” keyboards, but I enjoy the soft touch this one has. It’s great when your blogging at 4A.M. since it is quite. I also like the extremely low profile; it keeps me from bending my wrist too much. Finally the USB ports are 2.0! I hooked up my Canon EOS 350D and downloaded 30 or so raw images in a minute or two. It was nice not have to worry about where to plug the cable in. Apple Al Keyboard-08.jpgThe port are recessed so when you do hook up a USB cable to the keyboard you don’t have to see the fat knob part of the USB cable sticking out.

Negative Bits

I haven’t fully been able to get the “special keys” functioning. I did install the keyboard software update (1.1), which got the media, volume, and brightness keys working, but the exposeé key, and dashboard keys don’t work. I haven’t spent much time fiddling with it so if I get them working I’ll post back here. Lastly the USB ports will only power a high powered device if the keyboard is hookup to the new Al Imacs. Bummer.

Flickr: Apple Al Keyboard Photos

09/11/07 Edit: Keyboard Software Update 1.2 was released today and has fixed all the above issues for me.

Open With… Menu shows Duplicates.


01/03/2008: This article was written for Tiger. But I’ve added the new terminal command for Leopard below. Remember use this information at your own risk!

Mac OS X Tiger’s LogoI install a good amount of Apps each week. Which means I get a lot of clutter. One of the tool’s I’ve used since I have been on the Mac is AppZapper. It great for uninstalling all the lame preference files that don’t get removed when you drag an App to the trash. This reduces the worries of worry about having a bunch of crud all over you hard drive.

The dilemma I had was when Apps update themselves. I’m a web developer/design student. Being such I’m always installing and updating different browsers to do testing. I also have multiple programs for editing html and/or other markup/programming languages. So I noticed the problem this week when right-clicking an html file and finding that I have a bunch of options.
Screenshot of “Open with” menu

Now, I like having a bunch of options, but why do I have the same App listed multiple times? It is because a lot of Mac Apps update themselves by downloading the new .app file, then putting the old .app file to the trash, and then placing the new .app file into the Applications folder. Apparently doing this will cause the updated version of the App to get added to file association list again which causes you seeing the same App twice in the “Open with” contextual menu. At least that is what my assumption is…


So what’s the solution? It appears to be a long command in the terminal.

Tiger Terminal Solution

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Right-click and choose Save as to Download text file of code for Tiger.

Leopard Terminal Solution

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Right-click and choose Save as to Download text file of code for Leopard.

Here is what it looks like in the terminal. Screenshot of Terminal The terminal doesn’t give you any sort of feedback so to test just right-click an item and see if the problem as been fixed. I was happy to see it didn’t require a restart.
Screenshot of TerminalI was able to find the information in a post called How to rebuild the LaunchServices database from the Mac OS X hints website. The article details what the command does as well as the commands options are. I’ve only tested this on an Intel Macbook running Mac OS X.4 Tiger, so I can not vouch for other systems. If the only problem you are having is that Apps that are no longer installed are still showing up in the “Open with” contextual menu then try this tip from I tried this before I tried the terminal command and it didn”t work for the duplicated apps.

One Year, One Mac, and Seven Hard Drives

Image of macbook with superduper logo and the AMS Venus T4 I’ve been on a mac for about thirteen months. Prior to that I had been following mac news and podcasts for two years, but at the time I couldn’t afford a new computer. Unfortunately by the time I was ready to purchase Steve announced the Intel switch. I decided to delay my purchase until both laptop lines went Intel so I could make the best decision. Now I know that during this time everyone said if you need a Mac, buy one, its not like a ibook or powerbook is going to be useless in a year. I agree with that statement, but if you already ready have a moderately fast computer, I already had a great self-built PC, I think there is less of a hurry.

I went for the macbook. Mainly because I new I was going to be buying a powermac now a mac pro in the future so I didn’t see the need to have a super fast video card. Plus I just like the white plastic better. :) So now I’m gearing up for school in the fall and I’m hoping on getting a Mac Pro sometime this fall. I’m kind of waiting for upgrades of the CPUs, video card options, and hopefully a new redesigned case. Maybe this is more like hoping.

This past weekend was basically used for backup, backup and more backing up. I found myself with one group of HFS+ drives, another group of NTFS drives, and one 500GB FAT32 drive with a mixture of Mac and PC stuff on it so I could transfer one thing to another. The only thing I use my PC for now is to download podcasts, since I had all my subscriptions and music library on my PC. So I bought Superduper (blog-review, podcast interview w/ the developer) and got to work. It was very simple I backed up each NTFS drive to a disk image on one of my HFS+ drives then reformatted each NTFS drive to HFS+. Then the disk image was blasted back onto the newly formatted drive. SuperDuper made this really easy to do.

Here are the steps I used to back up one of my drives.

  1. General Interface SuperDuper's Interface Notice in the interface it tells you in plain English what is going to happen.
  2. Pick the drive you want to copy. Dropdown list for selecting which drive to copy
  3. Pick the drive you want to backup to. Dropdown list for selecting backup drive
  4. Select the type of backup you want to do. Standards scripts dialog
  5. Click Options to choose settings: Options Button
    1. General Options Smart update is feature you don’t get in the free version. Its definitely worth the price as its function is to read the source drive for any changes then update them on the destination drive. Of course the first time you do a back up will have to copy everything over. General Options Interface
    2. Advanced Options Advanced Options Interface

The next question people usually have is “How did you hook the internal drives to you Macbook?” Part of the reason which made this easy was my AMS Venus T4 RAID box (the T4 has been updated to the T4U). Its able to connect up to four IDE drives. These drives can set it up to be seen as 4 seperate drives, one combined drive, or 2 separate drives. The device doesn’t require four drives to be connected. The T4 can work with one, two, three, or four drives connected. Also the drives don’t need to be equal in size. It doesn’t do automatic RAID 5 like the Drobo, but it is $375.00 cheaper. OS X can create a RAID 5 from the drives, but software RAIDs are not considered as reliable or robust as hardware RAIDs. I have had the Venus T4 for about 12 months and I’ve never had a problem with it, I just hope they come out with a SATA drive compatible one that has Firewire 800 out. The last part of my setup was a 500GB Western Digital My Book. This is a pretty barebones external drive, but the price is great, and this drive is only used as a third backup for offsite storage. Remember if you house gets robbed or burnt down, all you data will be gone too. This now brings me to my favorite feature of SuperDuper. It has the ability to backup a hard drive to an encrypted disk image. This way you don’t have to worry about partitioning the backup drive or buy one backup drive for every drive you have. I have three drives backup to my WD My Book