Thursday, June 28, 2007

MacBook and MacBook Pro SuperDrive Update

Apple Inc. released SuperDrive Update 2.1 for MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop computers. Download the patch from Software Update. Quit all other applications prior to downloading. The software installs itself immediately. Do not shutdown the computer during installation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Apple Posts iPhone Rate Plans

Due to the considerable interest in the iPhone, here are the rate plans for this new combo cell phone, iPod, e-mail, and Web surfing device.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

FixMacs Six-Month Sacramento Sabbatical

FixMacs will take a six-month sabbatical from computer system support in Sacramento. I have been invited to teach anthropology at California State University, Sacramento during the fall semester.

Teaching in Sacramento will require that I move there for the duration of the calendar year beginning in August. Current projects will be completed in July, although I will be in the Bay Area during some fall weekends by appointment.

Apple Security Update 2007-006

On the heels of OS 10.4.10, Apple released Secutiry Update 2007-006. All users are encouraged to install this patch from Software Update.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Apple OS 10.4.10 Fixes Bugs

In an unprecedented move, Apple Inc released a version 10 subordinate update to the Mac operating system yesterday.

Mac OS 10.4.10 is now available for download using Software Update. The operating system gets several bug fixes and security updates as we yet have several months to go before Leopard, 10.5, is due for release.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things Fall Apart

I have an inclination to write a thousand-word essay on this topic, as it relates to the home-office computer system--but I won't. The home office is neither home, nor office. Cars fall apart with expectations of doing so, but they keep a safe psychological distance. Cars and computers represent the extended self, although the car is to architecture as the personal computer is to the diary. One fulfills the role of cultural buffer, whereas the other represents the psyche. We don't call them "personal cars" for good reason. Convertibles notwithstanding, cars are impersonal "automobiles" moving automagically as if a movie about them might be titled, The Undriven. The driver is invisible irrespective of the amount of glass. Personal computers, are. A personal computer is a different breed from an office computer, though the hardware may be identical. Office computers always fall apart, but the personal computer, in the euphemistic home-office, should never fall apart. For good reason.

Two books titled Things Fall Apart, one by Chinua Achebe and the other by Pema Chadron, offer much the same worldview from sharply contrasting life experiences. I recommend them both. They're the best books written about computer systems, though ostensibly about other matters.

Ahh, if only I had the courage to write a third about life with computer systems. They all fall apart. Entropy.

We instinctively know this about cars, but personal computers are expected to work, and work forever without failure. "Falling-apartness" is experienced as a problem. Why? Is it the result of absurd marketing? Is it because computers at home are far more personal in a physical space dimension, such that it becomes vested in more personal, internalized meaning? The car is an icon of the extended self, but it sleeps in the garage, not inside the psychological sanctity of the home, or home office.

The home office lives a life of duplicity and illusion. The personal computer is steeped in cultural significance as if it were the extended psyche in a metaphorical form of the home-office self. That simple space is a rich source carrying meaning far beyond the impersonal presence of our personal computer. The garage is safely distant and hermetically sealed (by Hermes himself). The home office, vulnerable propinquity that it is, cannot but invade our dreams.

Enough. I shall leave the rest to your own imagination, and the imagination is what invests deep cultural power in the inanimate. The Ghost in the Machine is of our own making.

Enough. Enough to know that if your computer system is falling apart, that it's the nature of all things to do so. Entropy. We can fight it, or bring a new consciousness to the dance. Achebe and Chadron write so eloquently about expectations, and dignity among the ruins., where did I leave my car keys?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Google Reader: Web Surfing Made Easy

Those of us who frequent the same clutch of websites each day are ready for Google Reader.

Think of Google Reader as the analog to Apple Mail. E-mail from many sources lands in one window in one application for our convenience. Google Reader performs a similar function for collecting web sites as Apple Mail collects e-mail.

With Google Reader we can visit one web page, our Google Reader account, to view summaries of the contents of websites which we stipulate. Personalized, Reader fetches a summary of the websites we tell it to read.

No more clicking on a dozen web browser bookmarks to catch up on the latest. With Google Reader we read a summary of those dozen sites in one Reader window. Want to visit the site? Click on the link in Reader to go directly to the source.

Google Reader is a free tool as essential as Apple Mail on my Mac.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jobs Unveils Leopard Features

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. CEO, revealed a raft of new features for Mac OS 10.5, Leopard today.

Suffice it to say that Leopard is a major upgrade. Development proceeds with new Finder features such as simplified network file sharing and a tool to manage those pesky files we all plop down on our desktops. Other useful and powerful features were outlined today. Quick Look and Time Machine are prominent among them.

Due out in October, with plenty of time to review the details, know that the near future of the Mac OS appears enticing to me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

MacBook Pro Laptops Get Major Upgrade

Apple revamped the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro laptops today. The principle modifications included with new 15-inch MacBook Pros are an LED-based screen and boosted processor speeds. The 17-inch model retains the older LCD screen technology.

The new LED-backlit screens are more power efficient, and eliminate a major source of pollutant--mercury--from Apple portables.

Following on the heels of a MacBook upgrade, these two portable computing lines now offer the very best in mobile technology.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Meet the iPhone on June 29th

Apple squeaks under the wire meeting promises to put the iPhone on the street in June, 2007. Apple ads now assert that the much-ballyhooed cellphone and iPod will be available for purchase on the 29th of this month.

AT&T wireless (formerly Cingular) is the sole source of the iPhone initially.

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