Archive for the 'Mac Stuff' Category

March 28th, 2011

Care to Join Me for a Cruise?

Hey, are you busy a year from next month? Care to join me for a cruise…and a tour of CERN?

I’ll be a featured speaker on the MacMania 14 cruise, which will run from April 12–19, 2012. This is the first time MacMania is doing a river cruise, and it sounds fantastic: leave from Amsterdam and follow the Rhine through Germany (and, eventually, along the French border), with stops in such interesting locations as Cologne and Strasbourg. The cruise ends in Basel, after which you can opt for an add-on tour of CERN in Geneva (I’m so there!) or a few days exploring Paris (I’m, uh, already there). The classes I conduct will cover both Macs and iOS devices, with a special emphasis on the iPad. (By the way, if you read the descriptions of my sessions, you may be able to find a subtle clue as to the subject of my next Take Control book.) Other MacMania 14 speakers are Josimar King and Chris Marquardt.

But wait, there’s more! This particular cruise happens to share the same ship and itinerary as the Bright Horizons 12 cruise, sponsored by Scientific American. So you can also attend seminars on astronomy, neuroscience, and other fascinating scientific topics.

The cruise and its various add-ons are, as these things tend to be, on the pricey side, but I think it’ll be money extremely well spent. Start saving your pennies (or centimes) now.

A good time will be had by all; I hope you’ll join us!

March 20th, 2011

Tweeting an Entire Ebook: Take Control of Your Paperless Office

Well, I’m doing something kind of crazy: I’m tweeting the complete text of one of my ebooks! That’s right, the entire contents of Take Control of Your Paperless Office is about to be released for free—in plain text, one 140-character segment at a time. You can watch the exciting drama unfold in real time (at the rate of one tweet every 15 minutes) by following @zapmypaper on Twitter. It’ll take 17 days to tweet the whole 118-page ebook, but anyone who’s sufficiently motivated (or crazy) can read the whole thing on the Twitter Web site or via their favorite client. For those who would rather read the book in a more conventional format, Take Control is offering the book at a 30% discount for the duration of this project.

In my ebook, I talk about scanning paper documents and then shredding the originals. So this is my attempt to “shred” an ebook via Twitter—and the first time I know of that anyone has tried to do anything quite like this. I don’t know if this is going to turn out to be the best idea ever or a complete waste of time, but either way, it should be entertaining.

I wrote up a separate page detailing how I’m pulling this off, and talking about things like special styles I use to give Twitter followers some sense of the original style and structure of the ebook. You can read all the gory details at Tweeting an Ebook.

The tweeting commences at noon Eastern time on Monday, March 21, 2011. I hope you’ll join me at @zapmypaper and help spread the word!

March 17th, 2011

Joe Talks Backups on MacVoicesTV

Over the years I’ve done lots and lots of podcast interviews about various things I’ve written, and I’ve become one of the more frequent guests on MacVoices, hosted by Chuck Joiner. Now Chuck is moving more into video with MacVoicesTV, and as a result our most recent interview is available in either video format (embedded below) or audio format. In this episode we talk about the latest versions of my two Take Control ebooks about backups—Take Control of Mac OS X Backups and Take Control of Easy Mac Backups.

Due to bandwidth constraints and the limitations of my Mac’s built-in iSight camera, the video on my side is a bit choppy in places, and the sound is slightly out of sync. We discussed how to improve this next time (I’ll try to obtain a better camera; we’ll also do simultaneous recording on both ends and then edit together the footage), but it’s passable as is. Now I need to work on my video presence—I can see that years of doing audio-only interviews have led to some bad habits. And with some luck, we’ll move to a larger apartment in a few months so we can get that playpen out of the background!

February 27th, 2010

Unhelpful Error Message of the Day

iDisk Error

Gee, thanks. That tells me so much. I would have never understood the problem without this detailed explanation.

At least it appeared over and over, as though with repeated exposure I’d eventually get the point.