April 13, 2010
Dropbox Online Storage versus Apple’s MobileMe iDisk
In the office we each have an Apple MobileMe account to help sync our calendars, passwords, browser bookmarks etc., but the one service that I haven’t been able to use efficiently that comes part of the yearly subscription is the iDisk. Apple gives you 10gb of space which is great for any marketing or design professional who wants to back up large files that are easily accessible from other computers. The problem with iDisk is the transfer speed from my computer to iDisk server is extremely slow. And when you are working with large Graphic Design project files it’s just painful to see how long it takes to back up a file from your local computer drive to iDisk.
So, I’ve been using Dropbox and it’s free 2gb account for the past 6 months and love how simple and smooth the program is. I use it all the time to transfer files from my work computer to home computer and also have my laptop connected. Files immediately move into the Dropbox “folder” and sync up into the dropbox cloud in the background. It’s been a great addition for doing quick backups of my design project files at work when I know I will need to access them at home or via the free iphone app. The other great thing is it automatically syncs when new files or changes are detected.
Dropbox is great for anyone in the Marketing or Advertising industry (really anyone) who is looking for another back up option of files from work so you don’t need to carry an external harddrive or thumbdrive back and forth from the office. Dropbox also allows for easy file sharing features so you can share your files with others.
I highly suggest taking a look a the Dropbox features from the link below and at the very least signing up for a free account to give it a try. https://www.dropbox.com/features
March 26, 2010
At first I was very hesitant to see the movie. I thought it would be another boring, teacher wasting their students time kind of documentary. I was wrong. I enjoyed every second of it and yes, I am a design nerd. Though there are varying opinions of the font, the documentary does a great job getting insight from both sides of the debate (I wonder what side this guy is on?). Not only does it reintroduce us to some familiar faces in the design world, but it gives us a history of the font and the reasoning behind it’s creation. If you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend watching it. This may be my inner nerd talking again,but I think it’s kind of cool to learn a little something about a font that we use/see everyday. I guarantee after you watch this movie you will start spotting Helvetica everywhere. Even if you would like Helvetica to fall off the face of the earth, it’s worth the rental. ( http://www.helveticafilm.com/ )
February 19, 2010
In the coming months there are a few interesting social media events/meet ups in the area that we thought you should be aware of. Take a look and let me know if we missed any in the comment section.
February 23, 2010
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Country Springs Hotel, Waukesha, WI
April 8, 2010
8:00 am – 4:45 pm
Marquette University, Alumni Memorial Union
February 8, 2010
Having proper backups of our data is an important part of our workflow. In additon to the redundant file backup in our studio, we carry external hard drives home with us each night to a) protect our data against fire, theft, etc. and b) allows access to our files at home (vpn doesn’t really work all that great for us because of file size). Each night I run Super Duper! to make a cloned backup of my work files.
Last week when I was getting ready to leave for the weekend I unplugged my external drive without hitting eject. I wasn’t in the middle of copying anything to the drive, so I wasn’t too concerned about compromising my data. When I got into the office today, the external drive wouldn’t mount. It worked fine on other workstations, so something must have gotten messed up when I unplugged it last week. Here are some steps I took which allowed me to get up and running again.
1. Swapped out a new cable. I have seen this work in the past, but no luck this time.
2. Reset the PRAM. I restarted the computer, and then hit Command+Option+P+R during restart. Once it chimed, I let go. This didn’t do the trick either, but it often fixes a lot common problems.
3. Factory Reset. I unplugged all cables from the back of the computer including the power cable. Then I held down the power button for at least 20 seconds. Plugged all cables back in and started the computer. Once I logged in, I was greeted with a message asking me if I would like to use my external drive as a Time Machine backup. I simply clicked no and went about my business. This magical factory reset has also worked for us in the past when the internal fans weren’t sounding right.
Hopefully if your having the same problem you will find this post helpful. My advise is if the problem comes up often consider replacing the drive and/or getting your computer checked out by the professionals.
February 2, 2010
Here at Stream Creative we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of adapting new technologies. I love testing the latest software, downloading new iPhone apps, etc. Upgrading to Snow Leopard seemed like a no brainer. My understanding was Snow Leopard was supposed to just improve performance and stability over OS 10.5 Leopard. Well, having used it for 2 weeks now on one Mac in our studio I have to say I am not happy with the results. In general, the OS seems snappier and some of the new features are nice, but I instantly noticed my web browsers and Mail seem slower.
Today I did some simple testing to see if my perceptions were accurate. Here are the results. Please note, I’m not an IT professional, just a guy that works on Macs everyday in our workplace.
Here is a Speed Test running Snow Leopard (v 10.6.2) – iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo:
For comparison, here is a different Mac in our studio. Leopard (v 10.5.8) – iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo:
As you can see, it will take me a approx a full minute longer to download a 35mb video clip. Here is one more test that I found particularly interesting. I ran the speed test one more time using the Snow Leopard machine, but using Windows 7 in Parallels:
The results from Windows 7 in Parallels were comparable to my colleague running Leopard.
My advice…if you haven’t done so already, hold off upgrading to Snow Leopard. I will continue to research the issue and report back if I can fix the problem or if I see any improvement through software updates. Please feel free to comment on this blog if you have any insights you would like to share on this issue. Thanks.