Mac Stuff

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011


Oddly enough, I don't think I would be married to Marisa if it hadn't been for Steve Jobs.

Allow me to explain: the first time Marisa and I ever hung out for more than a few minutes alone with one another was when I helped her diagnosis an iBook with a failing hard drive. I spent hours sitting at the dining room table (which is now our dining room table) running diagnostics and what have you. That is where our friend began, over that piece of silicon and plastic which wouldn't have existed without Steve. Over time (ok, a long time) our friendship deepened into love and eventually we figured out that we should be together.

Thanks for that, Steve.

I don't really have anything profound to say about his death, other than 56 is too young for anyone to die: world changer or not.

The Mac OS X Lion Project Book

Lion250When I first thought about writing a tech book the subject seemed obvious: something Mac related.

That didn't work out, but I managed to write a few books about WordPress, TypePad, and even the Kindle (thanks to the four people who bought this one!).

I really enjoyed writing those books, but in the back of my mind I still wanted to write a book about something Mac related.

Enter Lion.

Lion is Apple's latest and greatest operating system, and The Mac OS X Lion Project Book is my book about it!

Now, this book is in Peach Pit's Project Book series, so it won't tell you how to use Lion. It tries to answer the question, "I have this super cool Mac running Lion, now what the hell can I do with it?"

Lots! I had so many ideas, in fact, that I wrote way more than 240 pages (the book's length was capped at 240) so we'll be releasing 6 additional ebooks (which I'll blog about when they are available).

What's covered in the book? Why, I'm glad I asked myself! You'll find out how to:

  • Encode your DVDs for playback on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Apple TV
  • Bend iChat to your will
  • Create a wonderful Web site
  • And more!

Now, if you're looking for a book that'll teach you Lion, I have a few suggestions:

Tweet tweet, here's your password

twitterpassword.jpgOne of the many reasons I love OS X is because it includes a tiny little program called "Keychain Access," which does more than one might assume. It is sort of a central place where OS X stores passwords, credentials, and the like.

I use Keychain Access fairly frequently to come up with random passwords for various things. Today, I needed to create a blog account for someone, so I turned to Keychain Access to create a memorable, but complex, password. See that third password option? Twitter!

When the Twitter obession crosses over into password utilities it is clear to me that all the cool kids are using some new, and little known, service. I wonder what it is.

No new iPhone 3G S for me


As you might know, I like Apple products. Generally I upgrade to the latest and greatest as soon as it is announced, but I won't be doing so in the case of the recently announced iPhone 3G S. Why is that? Well, when I heard that you could get the 16 GB version for $199 I was ready to place my order. What I didn't consider was that AT&T is subsidizing that price, much like they subsidized the cost of my current iPhone 3G.

Since AT&T wants to actually make some money off the iPhone (the nerve!) I'm not eligible for the upgrade price of $199 until 05/12/2010. That leaves me with the choice of shelling out $400 for a new iPhone, or being happy with my current iPhone (and the free OS update that'll make it feel like a new phone).

I think I'll save the money this time around and buy whatever new iPhone is available in May 2010.

Fork You: Pickle of a Jam

I finished editing this episode a few weeks ago, but when I migrated all my stuff from my work MacBook Pro (which I had to give back to Wharton) to my shiny new Mac Pro (which I'll blog about soon!) it got lost in the shuffle. In fact, I had deleted all the video footage off of my MacBook Pro in an effort to save space, so this episode may never have happened! Thank goodness for my Time Capsule which had saved copies of the video for me, saving me from myself.

You can download the episode in glorious QuickTime here, and if you have some time (and you like Fork You!) feel free to rate us on iTunes.

See, I'm totally a pseudo-Mac celeb

joyoftechscott.jpgOnce and awhile I try to explain to friends and family that I am kinda sorta pseudo famous in very particular situations (namely Macworld). I usually end up sounding like an idiot, but now I have proof!

The good folks at The Joy of Tech included yours truly on this year's Macworld Expo Celebrity checklist. Some might say that they were just running out of ideas, I like to think that I am just so darned handsome that they couldn't resist including me.

I leave and TUAW gets a redesign

newtuaw.jpgOne of the things I harped on over and over again when I was in charge of TUAW was the need for a re-design. I watched as smaller WIN sites got a re-designed and was assured that TUAW would get the same treatment sooner or later.

The other thing that I really tried to get, as soon as the iPhone was released, was an iPhone specific version of TUAW.

I left TUAW a little while ago and today they unveiled a new design (with a new logo that I don't really care for). has been up for awhile now too, though it is being publicized now.

Good job to all my former TUAWers! Imagine all the other good things that'll happen now that I am gone!

My first piece for a magazine


Earlier this year I tweeted about one of my goals for the year: writing something for a print publication. Luckily for me, one of my Twitter follower is Jason Snell, who is a big mucky muck over at Macworld. Macworld, if you aren't a Mac geek, is the leading Mac news publication in the world. For some reason Jason thought that some opportunity for me might popup at Macworld.

Months past and I had forgotten about wanting to write for a magazine when I was contacted by one of the senior Review editors to write some reviews of antivirus software for the Mac. I knew AV reviews would be a tough sell, but I didn't think my NAV 11 review would end up being the most loathed article on (and by a long shot!). This doesn't seem to bode well for future Macworld writing assignments.

At least the folks at Macworld seemed to like my writing.

Apple Security

Apple Security patchOne of my friends, who shall remain nameless, got me this Apple Security patch for my birthday. This is an official (though old, since Apple doesn't use that logo anymore) patch, my friends. Can you say collectors' item? I thought you could!

I am thinking about getting someone to sew it onto my laptop bag because I'm a geek like that.

Thanks, mystery gift giver!

Me at Macworld 2008

People flocked to themYou may have noticed that all has been quiet here at Blankbaby for the last week or so. That's because I found myself, once more, on the West Coast attending yet another Macworld (this marks my 4th Macworld). Apple announced some stuff (I'm not getting a MacBook Air, but I did buy a Time Capsule for those who are interested) and I met a great many people.

This Macworld was the best Macworld I have been to for both myself, and TUAW. We covered the heck out of the show, did some great videos (some of which I'll share below), and I had a chance to meet some TUAWers that heretofore were merely words on a screen to me.

In addition to all the TUAW goodness I got to see some fine Mac web folks that I have come to respect over the years, as well as meet some people whose work I admire. Thanks to the magic of Twitter I was finally able to meet both Jason Snell and Andy Ihnatko (Andy told me I am much slimmer than my Twitter icon made me out to me. I bet he says that to all the bloggers!). I even ran into, and interviewed, web maven Merlin Mann.

Overall Macworld 2008 reminded me that Mac folks are some of the best, and shortest, people out there. I mean really, people, it was tough for Chris to try and frame some of these interviews since I am seemingly a giant amongst the Mac people. What up with that?

Now some videos:

Veronica Belmont:

Walt Mossberg (who runs away at the end of the interview):

The always entertaining Merlin Mann (some have said Merlin and I should have our own show. What do you say, Merlin?):

The ever knowledgeable Chris Breen:

The iNo:

A shuffle a day give away at TUAW


I don't usually talk about TUAW stuff here at Blankbaby, but since I know you folks like free stuff I thought you might want to know about this. All this week we're giving away an iPod Shuffle a day. All you have to do is leave a comment on the day's post and you're entered!

We start off with a gray shuffle... what color will tomorrow bring? I'll never tell (and, in fact, I don't know!). At the moment there are 535 comments on the entry. Sweet!

ComputerWorld likes TUAW


Some of you know that I’m the Lead Blogger over at TUAW (that’s the Unofficial Apple Weblog to you, buddy), which has meant that Blankbaby has far less Apple related content than it did at one point. I blog with a great bunch of folks over there who are all very enthusiastic users of Apple technology (I don’t think we’re ‘fanboys,’ but then again we probably are). We all enjoy writing about Apple, but I’ll admit that there is a small, but very vocal, minority of commenters on TUAW that aren’t kind. They can sometimes suck all the joy out of blogger (I want to be clear, though, that most of TUAW readers and commenters are great).

ComputerWorld has just listed their top 15 geek blogs and TUAW wasn’t on the list. Fret not, loyal Scott lovers, TUAW was the very first honorable mention. TUAW was left out of the top 15 because of its ‘singular focus.’ Hurrah for us! It is nice to have someone notice all your hard work.

Theocacao: Serious Kudos to TUAW

Since most of my writing about TUAW on here consists of bemoaning the negative aspects of being a blogger for a popular blog, I thought I would point out some of the good things too.

It is sometimes difficult to remember that members of the Mac community (and it is a community) actually appreciate what we're doing over at TUAW. When I read a post like this it really puts all the negative crap in prospective.

Thanks, Scott. You rock!

Do I sound like Madonna?

madonnaAt the moment I am still in San Francisco, sitting the hotel lobby using my computer thanks to the wonders of EVDO. I had lots of fun at Macworld this week, and did lots of work as well. One of our goals for this Macworld was to shoot lots of video, and I think we were partially successful. We shot lots of good stuff, but it is taking us a little longer than I would like to get it up on the site (though that is mostly due to a number of technical problems). Anyway, some video is up at TUAW, like this hands on with OWC's ModBook. I had fun doing this video, and I didn't think I was half bad interviewing folks. Leave it to TUAW commenters to crush my dreams:

scott, where are you from??? you've got that quasi british-madonna accent going on. passable job? stay away from cameras and stay in front of your computer. you just went down 10 steps in my book.

This marks the first time I have ever been compared to Madonna, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I don't think I have a 'quasi-british' accent at all, though I do enjoy speaking the Queen's English from time to time. At least I can console myself with the fact that this comment is from the small, but vocal, minority of people who read TUAW and think that everything we do sucks (though why they continue reading is anyone's guess).

Pip pip and all that.

Macworld 2007 Showroom Quick Tour

Ah, video how I love it. Ryan from Netscape joined my great team from TUAW to cover the hell out of Macworld 2007, and methinks we did a great job.

Above you'll see this video in which Ryan and I walk the entire show floor. It is a single shot that lasts for 40 minutes, though Ryan sped it up in Final Cut so the video is 5 minutes long.

The audio is a little... uneven. It starts off very loudly so be warned!

Center City Philadelphia Macintosh Users Group

ccmuglogoTanner just emailed me to tell me about tomorrow’s Center City Macintosh Users Group meeting. I didn’t even know that Center City had a MUG. All the MUGs I have seen meet out in the burbs, which just don’t cut it for me (since I don’t drive that means the Regional Rail, and that’s just not going to happen during rush hour. Unless I’m going to play D&D. A man has to have his priorities).

Here are the details for tomorrow’s meeting, including very detailed directions on how to get to the meeting room. I will most likely be in attendance, since Mac people are my people.