Archive for the 'Computers and Gadgets' Category


This is for our Headbanger members

iPad Drum Solo

A Question for the Colorists

Though, those of you who have experience can answer too.

“How many of you are using a Cintiq? And what size?”

I ask because I saw this:

But $3700!! If I had that kind of money, I wouldn’t need to color funnies. That is the dilemma…

Backup Backup Backup
Backup Backup Backup

Last week, the hard drive on my iMac died. Died completely. Couldn’t even get it to boot from the system install DVD it was that bad. Took it to an Apple Certified Repair store and they got a new drive in there and had it ready for me for pickup yesterday (4/14: I am pre-dating this blog to keep Steve’s on top). Right now, I am restoring my system in its entirety from a Time Machine backup I made the day before the hard drive died. With any luck, I will be using my iMac with all software, settings, files, etc. as it was before, as if nothing had happened.

I was lucky. My hard drive was making strange sounds that I thought were suspicious and after looking up some threads on the Apple Boards, I knew that I needed to make a complete backup of my hard drive immediately. Most of the time, a drive just dies without warning….

So for those of you who work on computers on a daily basis (and that’s pretty much everyone here), let my experience serve as a very important reminder to make a complete backup of your hard drive–not just your work files and such–using Time Machine or other Boot Copy software at least twice a month. There’s lots of good articles and suggestions on software and hard drives that serve this function well. It’s one thing to loose your work, but there’s also all the software you use, all the preferences and plug-ins and other support applications/functions you use on a daily basis without thinking, your mail threads, address book, photos, music, etc. Should you lose these, I doubt any of us can really recall the stuff on our drives well enough to go and download them again from the web. Can you remember all the sites you’ve bookmarked on your browser(s)? Backing up your entire drive for possible system restore purposes is the best insurance against loosing everything.

The things you find…

in the Mac App store. “Help Kiko get the precious totem back!”

Question for Cadre Colorists

Have any of you updated to the latest version of Leopard, version 10.6.3? If so, have you noticed a shift in your monitor’s color? I am not sure if its just my imagination, but after updating, I could swear I am seeing my colors differently, especially when I view my RGB files with CYMK Preview on. While we’re at it, what Color Calibration (in System Prefs > Monitor) do you all have your monitors set at?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Synth Britannia

You’ll have to bear with me on this…I am going to get quite wordy.
My RSS reader pointed me to this excellent if very Brit documentary (Oh BBC, why do you operate like you’re a radio station?) about the history of Synth Pop. As someone who was just starting to form my musical tastes at the height of the Synth Pop era, this documentary was quite revealing. I was (and am) into a lot of the bands featured in the documentary. Learning the back story and history of the movement produced some quite eye opening points: OMD and The Human League were actually one of the first or leaders to experiment in electronic music?! The impetus of synth pop actually lie squarely with the punk movement in Britain in the 70s?! A frustrated member of The Human League left to form Heaven 17?! New Order wanted to be popular enough to be played in clubs?! God, Gary Numan is just a normal old guy! Read more »

Content Aware Scaling

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I’ve seen a few 3rd party apps/plugins attempt to do this with limited success.  Hopefully Adobe has taken the time to get it right.  For those of us that have to prepare lots of marketing materials, this kind of functionality could saves weeks of man hours per year.

Sorry, I’ve been AWOL

Nothing interesting of note in this post, just glad to be back on the Cadre — my tower died and I didn’t save my bookmarks, and then I couldn’t remember my username…how sad when the memory starts to go.

So, a quick update of  all the excitement going on here:

As I mentioned, my seven-year-old G4 flipped out, so I found a Mac Pro and an Apple Cinema Display on the refurbished section of apple.com. Go me! I’ll have to put up with the jury-rigged laptop and dying monitor until the new machine arrives. The old machine’s in the shop right now and, if repairs aren’t too pricey, it’ll be resurrected as a scanning station for Randy’s art sales business.

Yesterday morning, a tree fell on our house. Small tree, didn’t have far to go, so it didn’t do a lot of damage, but it did poke a 1′ x 3′ hole in the roof over the carport, and crimped the water heater’s vent. This is the second time a tree has fallen in my neighborhood in four months. The first tree (a huge oak that crushed a house) was termite-damaged; this one was dry-rotted and filled with carpenter ants. Even though we’ve been getting regular rain about once a week, the long drought has done its damage. I wonder how many more trees will crumble?

I have not seen any movies lately. My deadlines have been back-to-back, and this week will be the worst. Ouch. But Astonishing X-Men is now finished and off my plate, so at least there’s that. Secret Invasion is frickin’ KILLING me. Why did I ever think a big summer crossover would be cool?? There are like fifty bozillion characters!! AUGH.

The book: “Telling Stories with Color” is still in draft stage. I think it’s supposed to be on the stands in September, but that may have changed because I needed a lot more time on the drafts than originally planned. It feels like I’m rushing through it; the design is a bit crap and I’m having to cram a lot of information into not-enough pages, but whatever. I just want it finished, but carving out time in my schedule to dedicate to it has been impossible. Next week I should have time to get chapter 2 under control, and fine-tune chapter 1; then it’ll feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Cat update: we have four now, officially. Mina, whom some of you know, is still kicking, but slowing waaay down; Frankie, who joined the family right after the Japan trip; and we adopted two strays, Mei-mei (an unbelievably affectionate and vocal Russian Blue, who is currently an indoor/outdoor cat) and Gracie (also very friendly, but hates being indoors).

Well, that’s about it. I’d better get back to work — I gotta get through 15 pages of Thor by tomorrow morning, then 15-17 pages of Secret Invasion by Friday morning. NO FUN.

Hey, anyone wanna go on a Geek Cruise in November? It’s basically a Mac conference on a cruise ship. The Mediterranean; Egypt; Greece; Italy Turkey; Cyprus.  http://www.insightcruises.com/top_b/mm08_top.html – parties of 4 or more get 10% off both the conference and the cruise. Trish Mulvihill and the Hories are already signed up… and it’s a tax writeoff, since it’s all about training!

Okay, gotta go. Sorry this is such a me-me-me post. ;)

– Laura

MacBook Air

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So the big announcement at MacWorld today was actually a Thin announcement: the MacBook Air.

Other than the great industrial design and the fact that they squeezed in a full keyboard, 13.3″ screen, and included gesture technology in the trackpad, I am a little hard pressed to find for whom this was built for? Conduct external data exchanges completely via wi-fi only? I guess if you are a traveller on the go, it makes for a great companion to your desktop, but I wonder if Apple seriously thinks they’ll be able to sell this as a standalone computer. And let’s not forget that the world isn’t 100% covered with wi-fi portals. What happens then? A very interesting, though risky, venture I may say. Your thoughts?

Cool DS app
Cool DS app

Now it’s a sketchbook.

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http://www.collectingsmiles.com/colors/

The Upgrade Dance!

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Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love Microsoft.

I’m working on a post to describe my lovely fun filled vacation time trying to fix all my Windows problems so I can play Orange box with no problems. Lets just say my Tampa airport experience was a mild inconveinience by comparison…