Business Machine

Technology, business
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And, not least, about
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Weblog Archive Cutedge

by: Bernard Teo

Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
Some Rights Reserved.

Thu 14 Oct 2004

The Mac OS X Developer Seminar @ The Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory

Category : Technology/DevSeminar.txt

There's a Mac OS X Developer Seminar next Friday at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory at 1.00 pm (to 5.00 pm). It's free. Just register.

Leon Chen from Apple will be covering Mac OS X 10.4, the Tiger release, and some of its cool features.

I'm also going to be presenting but I'm staying on Panther (10.3.x) and showing how we can go under the hood (of the OS X Aqua interface) and turn on all those delightful stuff in the Unix layer.

I'm calling my talk, "The Developer's Mac - Productivity, Power and Portability".

I'm showing how productive we can be when we have all these tools on tap, ready to use. And we use tools that cut across the arts and sciences, moving effortlessly from one mode of thinking to the other.

So, I'll show a complete application built using tools like Photoshop, GoLive, iPhoto, Apache, PHP, Java, WebDav, MySQL, Postfix, etc, all the while sustained by the great music coming out of iTunes (no, I won't show the iTunes part).

The power comes from simplicity, from being able to find just the right tool to solve any problem, and being able to express any solution, on a single computing platform. And you do get computational power - you can do a lot on an iBook, let alone an Xserve.

Finally, the portability comes from being able to move the work around, both in the sense of being mobile and being platform-agnostic. We can move our finished product to just about any hardware platform on earth.

It'll be great if I can show the complete demo on my iBook and then show everything running the same on our PC laptop - with no change of code. We're working on it.

Posted at 11:21AM UTC | permalink

Reflections on Man United, iCal, and a life well lived

Category : Commentary/ManUtdiCal.txt

I thought there would be something like this - Manchester United's fixtures on (where you can also find Arsenal's fixtures if you follow the gooners). This is what I now have on iCal.

It's wonderful - iCal displays the time as local time, from whatever locale you view the calendar. No need to check the newspapers or guess if it's a Wednesday or Thursday morning that United is playing.

See what I mean about how the technology is helping us to merge work life with the rest of our lives.

The calendar with the orange tab, above, shows the Singapore Public Holidays. You definitely don't want to schedule a business meeting on a holiday. And my wife updates an Appointments calendar for me, when she needs me to know when I have things to do for the family. I also publish my work calendar, of course, so that's where she goes to get an idea of my schedule.

It's all very easy to set up, if you have your own server. iCal calendars are published using WebDav servers and it's not that difficult to turn on WebDav support using the Apache web server that Apple builds into every OS X machine.

It's the little things that count, and these little things do add up to quite a lot, if what you're looking for is a quality life, or a life well-lived.

I was reading this review of the Mac by a "die-hard" PC user, the other day. It's interesting reading, if only to understand how PC users think and it'll be a useful reminder for when I'm teaching our OS X courses. A PC user is very concerned about speed - e.g., how fast a window opens or scrolls - but what I observe is an absence of context.

Context is what your inner eye is looking for when you think about what you want to do with the machine. For example, using iCal to coordinate a family's schedules. Or using the Font Book, below, to organise the typefaces on my Mac, so that I can use them to add colour to the messages I'm trying to communicate - on a web page or on a piece of printed page.

I love reading Allan Haley's "The A B C's of Type" and I often have it by my side when I work. I've created a collection containing some of the typefaces that Allan Haley covers in his book and I can make them available with just one click in the Font Book.

But I digress. Yes, the Mac may be slower than a PC when it scolls or opens a window. But I don't often notice it because my mind's usually on the context, on what I'm trying to communicate or achieve, and what I can tell you is that the Mac's usually faster than the time I take to find solutions or ideas. Context is the key. Without it, we're always going to be pointlessly arguing about the merit of one tool or the other. With it, the choice is so clear - at least to me.

Posted at 10:20AM UTC | permalink

Put your Mac to Work Now how would you do something like that?

Weblogs. Download and start a weblog of your own.

A Mac Business Toolbox
A survey of the possibilities

A Business Scenario
How we could use Macs in businesses

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