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New Drobo Units Announced

Two new Drobo Units are released. I first saw these a few months ago (we've been helping with the videos for launch).
We run our whole office on Drobos, love them. Incredibly reliable and easy to manage.

These two new units are awesome!

Drobo 5D

High-performance, desktop storage for professionals



  • 5 drive bays
  • 2 xThunderbolt
  • USB 3.0
  • Thunderbolt and USB cables included
  • SATA or solid state
  • mSATA solid state drive (Turbocharges cache)
  • Power Fail Protection
  • Mac OS X Lion & Mountain Lion
  • Windows 7 & 8


Drobo Mini

Portable performance storage with data protection.



  • 4 drive bays
  • 2 xThunderbolt
  • USB 3.01 x USB 3.0 port
  • Thunderbolt and USB cables included
  • 4 2.5" SATA or solid state drives
  • Mac OS X Lion & Mountain Lion
  • Windows 7 & 8



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Opening My Mind Has Opened Doors

CC_Win_title_banner

The past few years has forced me to rethink a lot of my business decisions. What I'm going to lay out for you is how I reached the decision to switch from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as why part of my postproduction department is running on Windows.

Read the whole article here –
http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/opening-my-mind-has-opened-doors

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Managing App Development



Here are my slides from the 7th ANNUAL INNOVATIONS IN E-LEARNING SYMPOSIUM. Sponsored by the Defense Acquisition University and the George Mason University Instructional Technology Program.

With the increase in mobile computing the use of apps has significantly risen. Whether you're targeting mobile phones or tablets, an app can be a cost-efficient way to reach your audience. In this workshop, you'll learn the major steps involved and how to manage application development(even if you're not a programmer yourself).

Join Richard Harrington, a certified project management professional as he unlocks the development process.

  • Learn how to identify your distribution options and register as a developer.
  • You'll also learn how to target your audience and refine the functional goals of your application.
  • Learn how to assemble your development team and efficiently develop graphic and video assets.
  • Discover multiple methods for authoring applications including software as a service, authoring tools, and programming.
  • Learn how to test your apps then submit them to marketplaces for distribution or use ad hoc methods for small groups.
  • You'll also learn practical approaches for marketing your application to your target audience.

You can download the PDF here

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Five Rules for Great Presentations



A great lesson on presentation theory from the talented Nancy Duarte.

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A Great Deal for Organizing Your Media



A colleague of mine, Peter Krogh has a
great deal going. His excellent book called The DAM Bool is being bundled with Expression Media. Here are the key facts.

The DAM Book – In The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers, Peter Krogh updates his ground-breaking book on creating and managing digital photography collection. Peter guides you through the entire digital photography ecosystem, showing you how hardware, software, file formats and workflow practices can work together to keep your images safe, and to let you get the most from your pictures. The second edition has been almost entirely rewritten, updating the material for the changed technical landscape. Chapters were added that covered the use of Lightroom, as well as an entirely new chapter on backup and validation of image files. Peter also covers the use of GPS devices and software to geotag your images.

Expression Media 2 software – When you buy The DAM Book during the month of October, you'll get a fully-licensed copy Expression Media 2 for free. (A $199 full retail value). Expression Media 2 is the a cross-platform application for managing your digital photos and media. Create easy-to-use catalogs of all your photos, movies, audio files, and many more file types. Expression Media 2 was recently purchased by Phase One from Microsoft.

Act now to take advantage of this limited time offer – Expires Sunday, October 31.

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Free Font Converter



Have an old font that's not working right? Maybe it's PC-only and you're on a Mac. Here's a free service to convert fonts –

FreeFontConverter.com allows you to quickly convert between many font formats without the hassle of installing any software on your computer. Our service works on any operating system including Windows, Mac and Linux. Our font converting service works for all of the common font formats including TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (.oft) and PostScript (.ps). We can also convert many of the less well known font formats including Suitcase (.suit) and Data Fork (.dfont) fonts.

Thanks to
Rod Harlan for pointing this one out.
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How To Avoid Bad Powerpoint

Seven Deadly Sins of PowerPoint

  1. Too few slides
    2 Too many words
    3 No ‘road signs’ (where are you going?)
    4 Reliance on gimmicks (skip sound effects)
    5 Ignoring design
    6 Not rehearsing
    7 Forgetting your audience

The Rules of Presentation Design


  • Limit fonts used
    • Use a heavy font
    • Avoid stock templates
    • 3-7 bullets per page
    • A bullet is 2-5 words
    • Readability test, (stand 15 feet away from the screen, can you read it easily)
    • Design for the back of the room
    • Create your own templates
    • Use builds or simple animations to bring bullets on line by line
    • Justification & capitalization (be consistent)
    • Consider screen vs. print
    • Use transparency
    • Ease to change
    • With multiple presenters, utilize a style guide and templates
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Free Windows Media Encoder


Windows Media Encoder is dead... In it's place is the Expression Encoder 4. There's a ton of new features, but the biggest for me is that it finally recognizes QuickTime files. If you are on a Mac, you'll need to run it under VMWare or BootCamp. But it's a free application (with a more advanced version for free). Be sure to check it out —
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Encoder4_Overview.aspx

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The History of Comic Sans

This is a great short video about the history of Comic Sans and is told by the font's designer. It's really quite funny and he has a great sense of humor about it all.



And a little more followup.



Maybe I'll use it on a client project ;)
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New Documentary on PowerPoint in Production

I was interviewed for this documentary. I'm looking forward to seeing it. http://www.galloway.tv/reppt/

"Release Date: March 15, 2010 on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, & Comcast VOD

Distribution: Method Content LLC

Director’s Comment: I’ve done nearly 200 speeches in the last 3 years, and in every one, clients insisted I include a PowerPoint presentation. My film “Why Walmart Works” was about the scale and influence of Walmart, and I became fascinated with the scale of PowerPoint, which has an estimated 400 million users worldwide.

The documentary “Regarding Powerpoint” traces the origin of the program and its subsequent development. We’ll look at who uses the program for what purposes. The film will also address PowerPoint’s effect of cognitive development and syntax structure, i.e., is society beginning to think in outlines and bullet points, as opposed to to paragraphs? Does anybody give a speech without slides anymore? Will audiences listen to one?

Much as Walmart dominates physical distribution of goods, PowerPoint has come to dominate business expression and presentation. “Regarding Powerpoint” will attempt to put the program’s influence on business, education, and thinking into meaningful context."
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Cats of Microsoft

In the truth is stranger than fiction category. I give your the Cats of Microsoft.

The URL only works on campus (it's an Intranet link).
Seems to be for a good cause... but I findly it very odd nonetheless.

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Insert Flash or YouTube into PowerPoint

Hey PowerPoint lovers (and haters). My book, How to Wow with PowerPoint is 35% off and free shipping in the U.S. Simply go to http://bit.ly/c8RLd and enter HTWPOWER at checkout. The book focusses on all of the coolest features and the essential skills you need to make great-looking presentations.

Here’s a preview of a useful tip on how to insert a Flash file or YouTube video into a PowerPoint slide.

Put Flash in a Presentation
Inserting Flash animations into a slideshow can significantly extend the animation abilities of PowerPoint. However, the task is NOT easy. In order to unlock this feature, you literally need to unlock the software. This feature is tricky, and if you are of the faint of heart.
Read More...
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How to Wow with PowerPoint Free Samples and On Sale

Hey PowerPoint lovers (and haters). My book, How to Wow with PowerPoint is 35% off and free shipping in the U.S. Simply go to http://bit.ly/c8RLd and enter HTWPOWER at checkout.

Here are a few samples to check out.

Photos & Graphics: Selecting & Preparing Images for Your Presentation
Download a Sample Chapter from this book.


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Best Prize Ever


So last night, I attended a sneak peak preview session on PowerPoint 2010. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and what new features are going to be useful to my clients. I also won a "sweet" door prize.

I am open to ideas on how to use this shirt.

Here's a sneak peek on some of the new transition animations. Looks like video support is finally getting its due as well.





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Notes from PowerPoint Live


As promised, here are my notes from the PowerPoint ive conference in Atlanta, GA.

  • Tweeting, Friending, and Linking: Everything you have always wanted to know about social networking, but had no idea how or whom to ask. | PDF
  • PowerPoint to Podcast: How to take advantage of this marriage of video and slide content | PDF
  • Social Slides: Integrating your work with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter | PDF
  • PowerPoint's Flash Point: Making the journey | PDF

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Laugh at Bill & Steve – The Silicon Apartment

What would happen if you locked Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the same apartment (like Big Brother)? Well you get the risque comic strip – The Silicon Apartment (PG-13). The strip is really quite good and skewers both sides.
The Silicon Apartment

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Interesting Story About Microsoft and Yahoo

Looking for a little insight into the proposed acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft? Looks like web video is one of the major influences. Check out this article over at Variety Magazine.


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Wacom Bamboo Fun is a Great Value

I recently picked up a new tablet for home use... it's actually for my three-year old who seems a bit too fascinated with the tablets in my office. Becuase budget was an issue, I picked up the new Wacom Bamboo. What I thought was merely a replacement for the old Graphire tablets is so much more. It's easy to set up, very responsive, and fun to use.

The Bamboo comes in a standard version, simply called Bamboo, which is targeted towards Windows users who need signature abilities for their documents as well as a few other perks. The "Fun" version costs $20 more (unless you go for the larger one, then its $120 more).

The tablet has four programmable buttons as well as a touch wheel. It also comes with a full version of Adobe® Photoshop® Elements and Corel® Painter™ Essentials. What surprises me is that the tablet costs the same as buying Photoshop Elements as a stand-alone application. The tablet is a nice addition to a home workstation and would be a great entry point for a new tablet user.




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Just Back from PowerPoint Live


I just got back from the PowerPoint Live Conference in New Orleans. The show was a lot of fun and I got to meet some great folks who are trying to make PowerPoint more useful. Here are the materials from my sessions.

• Video in PowerPoint | PDF | PPT
• Putting Your Presentation on DVD | PDF | PPT
• Broadcast Graphics with PowerPoint | PDF | PPT

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Adobe Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements Released


If you are a Windows user who likes to fix up their photos and video... then you should check out the new releases from Adobe. There are very solid releases with a lot of cool features. I created a few free tutorials on Premiere Elements (I love the YouTube publishing feature). You can check them out here and also learn more about Photoshop Elements.

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New Tablets from Wacom

If you'll be at the Podcast and New Media Expo show this weekend, consider checking out these free classes on the show floor. Podango is offering an “Unconference,” a featured program of the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) taking place September 28-30, at the Ontario Convention Center.

Podango, the online video and audio network that enables publishers and advertisers to “get heard” by today’s hard-to-reach, niche audiences, is heralding a wide range of topics and speakers. They include: new media pioneer Scott Bourne, host of The Apple Phone Show; Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, hosts of MommyCast; as well as Jason Van Orden, David Lawrence and others. Speakers will share ideas for building and monetizing audiences in today’s niche-oriented, interest-driven new media marketplace.
Read More...
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On the Subject of Type – Foundries!

If you'll be at the Podcast and New Media Expo show this weekend, consider checking out these free classes on the show floor. Podango is offering an “Unconference,” a featured program of the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) taking place September 28-30, at the Ontario Convention Center.

Podango, the online video and audio network that enables publishers and advertisers to “get heard” by today’s hard-to-reach, niche audiences, is heralding a wide range of topics and speakers. They include: new media pioneer Scott Bourne, host of The Apple Phone Show; Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, hosts of MommyCast; as well as Jason Van Orden, David Lawrence and others. Speakers will share ideas for building and monetizing audiences in today’s niche-oriented, interest-driven new media marketplace.
Read More...
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Windows and Mac Users Agree – Type is Good

If you'll be at the Podcast and New Media Expo show this weekend, consider checking out these free classes on the show floor. Podango is offering an “Unconference,” a featured program of the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) taking place September 28-30, at the Ontario Convention Center.

Podango, the online video and audio network that enables publishers and advertisers to “get heard” by today’s hard-to-reach, niche audiences, is heralding a wide range of topics and speakers. They include: new media pioneer Scott Bourne, host of The Apple Phone Show; Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, hosts of MommyCast; as well as Jason Van Orden, David Lawrence and others. Speakers will share ideas for building and monetizing audiences in today’s niche-oriented, interest-driven new media marketplace.
Read More...
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Dock Options

If you'll be at the Podcast and New Media Expo show this weekend, consider checking out these free classes on the show floor. Podango is offering an “Unconference,” a featured program of the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) taking place September 28-30, at the Ontario Convention Center.

Podango, the online video and audio network that enables publishers and advertisers to “get heard” by today’s hard-to-reach, niche audiences, is heralding a wide range of topics and speakers. They include: new media pioneer Scott Bourne, host of The Apple Phone Show; Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, hosts of MommyCast; as well as Jason Van Orden, David Lawrence and others. Speakers will share ideas for building and monetizing audiences in today’s niche-oriented, interest-driven new media marketplace.
Read More...
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New Podcast Series on Microsoft Emerging Technology

My company recently produced a new podcast series called OnMicrosoft (and yes, its about Microsoft). Here's the official blurb.


OnMicrosoft—Each week, we will talk to some of the IT Pro and Developer community's leading experts about a wide range of programming, systems, and software issues. Our interviews include talks with Microsoft’s Program Manager on the .NET Framework- Brad Abrams, Connected Systems Division Architect at Microsoft- Chris Anderson, Wintellect Co-Founder- Jeff Prosise, and Group Product Manager at Microsoft- Brian Goldfarb. With discussions on topics including ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, PowerShell WPF, Orcas and SharePoint, we have something for professionals working in every part of the industry.

You can check it out in iTunes by clicking here –
Video Feed or Audio Feed.


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Producing Video and Animation for Multiformat Delivery

If you'll be at the Podcast and New Media Expo show this weekend, consider checking out these free classes on the show floor. Podango is offering an “Unconference,” a featured program of the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) taking place September 28-30, at the Ontario Convention Center.

Podango, the online video and audio network that enables publishers and advertisers to “get heard” by today’s hard-to-reach, niche audiences, is heralding a wide range of topics and speakers. They include: new media pioneer Scott Bourne, host of The Apple Phone Show; Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, hosts of MommyCast; as well as Jason Van Orden, David Lawrence and others. Speakers will share ideas for building and monetizing audiences in today’s niche-oriented, interest-driven new media marketplace.
Read More...
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Cool Free Fonts

Looking to expand your typographical toolbox? Then be sure to visit Dinc Type at the unique URL www.GirlsWhoWearGlasses.com. The site is sassy and filled with great fonts. The unique thing is that while fonts are free, the selection frequently changes and fonts appear then disappear. Its like an incredible import shop where everything’s free, but the inventory keeps changing. Bookmark and keep checking back as their fonts are absolutely fantastic.



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New Podcasts focusses On Software

It was a proud day at RHED Pixel (my office). One of our new podcasts made the front page of iTunes. On Software focusses on how software is developed, and features interviews with the creative folks who design and program the tools we all love.



(It's not every day that you're grouped with a presidential candidate, CNN, and PBS)



OnSoftware—Each week, we will talk to some of the software industry's leading developers about a wide range of programming and development issues. Our interviews include talks with Java Puzzlers author Josh Bloch, C++ Inventor author Bjarne Stroustrup, and Java Concurrency in Practice author Brian Goetz to name just three. With discussions on topics ranging from the future of C++ and Concurrency and value driven software development to Design Patterns, Agile Estimating and Planning, Iterative Development, Generics, and language compatibility, we have something for technical professionals working in every part of the industry.
Is it technical... yup. But I still think you'll find it
interesting.
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A New Windows Browser


In case you missed it... Apple released a public beta of Safari 3.0 for both Mac AND WINDOWS! To be honest, I never saw that one coming... With great new features, its a worthy upgrade for both platforms. I've seen an occasional hang-up, but the program is faster and adds some great features.

Inline find – Search within a web page by pressing Cmd+F (Ctrl+F)
Resizable Text Fields – More room when working online
Improved Security – Shoo!
Pick up the tabs – Rearrange tabs with drag and drop ease
PDFs Control – Zoom, Save, or Send to a PDF app

Get the free download
here.
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Convert Your Fonts


I just had a need to pull out TRANSTYPE SE. This useful utility comes in handy when working on a design project and getting client-provided materials? Oftentimes fonts come over (which is great), except they are for the wrong platform (which isn't so great). Instead of rushing out to buy the font again, you can usually convert it.
This shareware application converts Mac fonts to PC fonts, or vice versa. Simple in concept, clean in execution--this tool has been a lifesaver that has kept many a motion graphics project on track.
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Free Chapter on Layout and Design

I've just gotten permission from my publisher to release a chapter for free from my new book How to Wow with PowerPoint. This is the intro to the book and focusses on best practices for designing graphics for the screen (so even if you aren't a PowerPoint fan, you'll find some wholesome goodness on here).

I hope you all enjoy it, you can download direct or visit the resources page. If you'd like to order the book (it ships in a few weeks) click
here.

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How to Wow for PowerPoint is On the Presses

The book is DONE! I have just finished a new book on PowerPoint 2007. It’s called How to Wow with PowerPoint and I am writing it with my friend Scott Rekdal. I am quite proud of it... It's full color, to-the-point, and teaches you how to do all the important stuff with PowerPoint 2007. It's great for all levels of users, especially those who feel their skills have leveled-off.

I'm trying to get a sample chapter up this week. If you want to order it, put a pre-order into
Amazon or directly at Peachpit. This way you'll get it first (heck we might even get the book out before Microsoft gets the software out).

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The Real Reason for Windows Vista Delay

While clearing off my cell phone camera, I came across this gem from Photoshop World. I had intended to sit down and watch a demo on Windows Vista (writing a book on PowerPoint makes you do strange things).

So I went to hear (and see the latest). But it seems that the Microsoft rep couldn't get the system to boot up using Windows Vista. The audience was good natured, but still after multiple reboots and attempts, it just wouldn't work). So, the unaltered photos you see here are what the audience got (at least the demo guy had a sense of humor).

So, has Vegas started taking odds on Apple vs. Windows as to who will get their operating system out the door first? What are your plans about Windows Vista?



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5GB of Free Online Storage for PC Users (and Very Patient Mac Users)

AOL has launched a free utility for online storage called Xdrive. They'll give you a whopping 5 GB (which is pretty good). The service is free (for now it appears) as it doesn't charge you or ask for any payment info. But the login screen does allude that they may ask to charge in the future (you won't be billed automatically).

“With your 5GB of secure online storage there's plenty of room to keep backup copies of digital photos, all your important documents, e-mail attachments, and other files — and still have space leftover for your music collection. It's the best way to keep computer crashes from becoming disasters. Think of it as hard drive insurance.”

In that vein, it gets even better. When I logged in, they upped it to 50 GB for free. They offer free software for Windows users that lets you mount the Xdrive as a volume on your desktop. But Mac users can still access the service through a slightly more clunky web interface.






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A Universal Media Player

Tired of trying to open your media files in a variety of players only to suffer from incompatibility and versioning issues? Video Lan Client (or VLC) is the most universal player I've found. In my tests, I opened Windows-formatted media files on my Mac with surprising success. I also see greater compatibility on the Windows side as well (plus an easier-to-use interface than Windows Media Player). If your Web video experience seems incomplete, or you are looking for another app to test your media files before distribution, be sure to check this one out. You can open and view pretty much any form of audio or video on both a Mac or a PC (or any flavor of Linux for that matter).
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Paralells Gets Even Better

Long time readers will know that we are big fans of Parallels Desktop solution for running Windows on a Mac. No need for multiple partitions or rebooting, you can have both Operating Systems going at the same time. Plus you can install the optional Tools that allow you to copy and paste between systems and even access folders on your Mac.

The good news... their
trial is still available and a new update has been released.

Recent improvements include:
  • Support for new quad-processor Mac Pro towers outfitted with up to 3.5GB of RAM
  • Experimental support for Windows Vista
  • An improved Parallels Tools package
  • Better video output improvement and acceleration
  • Added isochronous USB devices support (including WebCam devices)
  • Keyboard support improvement: Eject CD key support and more
  • Clipboard synchronization tool
  • Sound playback and recording improvement
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Microsoft Kills Virtual PC for Macintosh

Microsoft has a bad habit of buying technology... then killing it. It'd not really their fault... they've got all of that cash just lying around. The recent victim is Virtual PC. Originally developed by Connectix, it was sold to Microsoft in 2003. In a statement today Microsoft said it "has made the decision not to move forward with a Universal version of Virtual PC at this time."

At this time is corporate speak for never, in fact never ever. Recent competition from Parallels and VMWare have made the Windows on a Mac space a bit cluttered. Additionally, Microsoft alluded that rewriting Virtual PC to run on Intel Processors would mean having to essentially rewrite the program.

"The (Macintosh business unit) still recognizes that customers need access to Windows applications from their Intel-based Macs and feels confident that alternative solutions offered by Apple and other vendors, combined with a fully packaged retail copy of Windows will satisfy this need," the company said.

Anyone else find it ironic that Microsoft which started as a company that made Mac software, has decided that it is too difficult to get their software to run on Intel chips. Go figure. Guess they're too busy getting Vista out the door.


For more details, head over to
CNET.

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Get Your Sport on in Las Vegas

For those of who work in Sports media (or if you live near Las Vegas), you should attend the C4-Sports conference. The event is billed as an explosive vision of sport. The conference is aimed towards those working for professional and collegiate sports teams, sports media experts in production, editing, content creation, and distribution, and IT and communication professionals from sporting arenas, stadiums, and facilities. They will explore state-of-the-art media technology solutions designed to improve performance, create revenue-generating opportunities, and increase profits

Richard Harrington will be teaching three conference sessions as well as two free classes on the trade show floor.

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It’s all About Covering Your Assets

Apple launched Aperture, then Adobe announced Lightroom. Leave it to Microsoft to get in on the fray. iView Multimedia is now part of Microsoft. Micrsoft has picked up three products: View MediaPro, iView Media, iView Catalog Reader. As people gather more and more photos, movies, and other digital files, keeping track of them all gets even harder. Yan Calotychos, has written a letter about the Microsoft deal which you can read here.


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Join Me in Discovering PowerPoint 2007

I've caught up on my sleep and appear to be a glutton for punishment again. I have been asked to co-author a new book on PowerPoint (more details soon). Essentially, I will be putting together a new book on design principles and techniques for effective screen graphics. The book is going to focus on all versions of PowerPoint, including the recently announced PowerPoint 2007. I am starting to wade into this latest version (its a public beta). If you are a cutting-edge, risk taking technocrat, feel free to join me. You can download the beta (legally) from Microsoft by clicking here. It's a Windows only program (though its running just fine on both my MacBook and MacBook Pro). I welcome your comments as I work on the new book. Requests and suggestions are welcome.

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Take Our Monthly Survey – Hardware

It's that time again... we've launched our survey for July. This time its all about hardware. For your next computer purchase will it be Mac or PC? Desktop or Laptop? Be sure to vote for your next credit card bill... inquiring minds want to know.


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Windows vs. Mac – the OS Showdown



With a sense of humor firmly intact, New York Times columnist David Pogue
reviews Microsoft Windows Vista. David takes a look at several of the new features in the latest version of Windows (set to ship next month). His mission... prove that “Microsoft did not steal ideas from Mac OS X.” Does he succeed? It all depends on your perspective so you'll want to judge for yourself. You can take a look at the quick video for free online.
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Another way to run Windows on an Intel Mac

So, I am a cross-platform kinda guy (but its hard to be while mobile). No one wants to lug two or three laptops around. I frequently need to teach Adobe products (such as their video apps) but not all run on a Mac. Toss in my writing duties and I really need to dabble on the other side at least weekly. Most of you probably heard of Boot Camp from Apple, but that wouldn't work for me. Why?

1. It requires you to not have your drive partitioned when starting the install. This doesn't work as I keep my laptops split into 2 or 3 partitions for media management purposes.
2. I really hate having to reboot.
3. Just cause I'm in windows doesn't mean I want to run another email client, give up access to my iCal, etc.

The solution? Its called Parallels Desktop. It functions just like Virtual PC did, allowing you to run windows in, well a window, or go full-screen. Why do I like it?
1. It's FAST. it uses hardware, not software emulation.
2. It's easy to install and tweak.
3. Windows is installed into a virtual machine... if things go 'bad' you can just trash the virtual machine or create a new one. Its just a disk image file.
4. Its affordable. During public beta its only $39. Later it'll go up to $79. (You do need to provide your own legal copy of windows - but it runs nearly all flavors of windows, not just XP).

Download and Evaluate Parallels Desktop Release Candidate 2 for Mac.
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