Logic Pro course with exam

June 23, 2008

On the 23rd, 24th and 25th I will be following this three day course in learning Apple’s Logic Pro. The Apple Premium Reseller I work for has giving me the oppertunity to participate in this course which will be meassured by an exam.

I will be following in depth teaching about the following subjects:

  • Working with DSP-plugins
  • Using Audio Instruments
  • Understanding Workflow Techniques
  • Editing Audio Regions
  • Using the Sample Editor
  • Working with Apple Loops
  • Using the Matrix Editor
  • Recording MIDI
  • Using the Track Mixer
  • Working with Enviroment
If possible I will try to blog some of my experiences.

Installing Microsoft Windows on your Mac

June 21, 2008

Running Microsoft’s Windows on Mac isn’t by far a secret anymore. How dissapointed I was at first I have to admit now it was a strategical and good move of Apple.

For people like me in the sales branche it meant a good pitch immediately from the start. The number pf possibilities and solutions for customers grew and that all resulted in even more invented solutions from Apple.

What I still do notice is that a fair amount of customers does not know how it works. I decided to invest a bit of time to explain what the most common options are.

Why installing Microsoft Windows on your Mac

  • You might own an application which isn’t available for the Mac OS X.
  • You might have invested a large amount of money in the Microsoft Windows version.
  • Gaming, you already own a lot of gaming titles which have been released on PC platform.
  • etc…

This is an important question. The answers listed above for instance are all valid reason why somebody should install Microsoft Windows XP or Vista on his Mac. Otherwise buying a Mac wouldn’t have been an option at all. But there are wrong reasons too!

Why should somebody not install Windows on his / her Mac

  • Not being used to Mac OS X (yet).
  • Feeling more secure.
  • To switch more easily.
  • Simply because the design was the only reason for purchasing a Mac.

The above reasons aren’t valid in my opinion. They don’t tackle an obstacle and even generate more. For instance, some people think that installing Microsoft Windows on a Mac, reinstalling all of their applications, putting back their files and do settings is much easier than start and work with Mac OS X. That’s not true!
Installing Windows on a Mac can be done on two different ways. The two different ways have certain applications to setup and facilitate everything. But for this article I will stick to the most used ones.

  • SWSoft Parallels Desktop for Mac.
  • Boot Camp.
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac in combination with Boot Camp.

Parallels Desktop is one of the better selling resources available. The application gives the user the ability to install Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Microsoft Windows Vista. The Microsoft operating system gets installed on a virtual volume on the Mac. Within the virtual volume Windows thinks that it is installed on a physical hard drive. Why isn’t the operating system being installed on a real physical volume? And what is the performance of Microsoft Windows using such technique.

Before the release of the Intel Mac’s people had to use Microsoft’s Virtual PC. The application provided a layer of communication between the Microsoft operating system and the Mac’s hardware. The layer was responsible serious slow request completion. With the release of Intel hardware for all the Mac families the problem had solved itself. So the communication isn’t a problem anymore. Not at all. However, you have to realize that there is a limitation. Trying to fully use photo-editing software, movie-editing software and 3D-rendering software can be (way) too much for Parallels.

For gamers the lack of full video performance is a no-go. So why use Parallels Desktop for the Mac then? There are enough consumers who just require to run on or multiple small to medium sized applications. For them it’s a big plus to be able to work in Mac OS X (their default operating system) and use Microsoft’s Windows plus Windows only written applications on the fly.

This brings us automatically to the second available option. Running Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Vista on your Mac’s hardware. It might sound as something special or different but it’s not. Installing Microsoft Windows on a Mac is very similar to installing Microsoft Windows on a default personal computer. The big advantage for Mac owners is they get taken by the hand, so it’s almost impossible to do something wrong and the drivers are all being installed automatically.

When the first generation Mac’s got tested by magazines and websites they became known as the fastest computers to run Microsoft Windows on. That’s exactly the reason why people might choose to use Boot Camp. In stead of using a virtual partition, emulating the operating system it gets installed directly to a physical partition on your hard drive. When you boot the operating system works directly using all hardware and support guaranteeing a fast and standalone operating system. Yes, just like installing Microsoft Windows on a normal personal computer.

If your Mac comes with Mac OS X 10.5 or you have purchased the retail version of Mac OS X 10.5 you want to find the application called Boot Camp Assistant. This application does a lot of work for you and makes sure everything goes by the books. The assistant puts you in the seat to manage your Microsoft Windows partition including creating new partitions.

After an installation of Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Vista the first hell people run into is searching and installing all the drivers. Since it’s a Mac and you are dealing with Apple the only thing that needs to be done is inserting DVD (no. 1) or the normal retail DVD and a pop-up appears. All drivers will then be installed automatically. The update manager will also guarantee all drivers and Apple applications (such as iTunes for example) will be updated whenever a new release is available.

Running your Adobe Creative Suite 3, AutoCAD or playing numerous games such as Crysis, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare becomes all possible with Boot Camp. The only disadvantage you might be facing is the fact that both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows are two separate operating system. So every time you boot the computer (with the ALT key / Option key) you will have to choose between Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.

For Power Users the combination between Apple’s Boot Camp and SWSoft’s Parallels Desktop for the Mac might be a warm welcome. Parallels offers the ability to mount a physical partition on which Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Vista is installed. So now you can access your operating system while running Mac OS X. For Power-Users it’s the perfect mix. It allows them to maintain, edit and install all kinds of content while using Mac OS X as their default. As soon as heavy applications are needed to be run switching to Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Vista only requires a restart.

So this was a bit of basic information on the subject. How things work. Keep in mind that not only SWSoft’s Parallels is an option. VMWare Fusion also offers such technology. This application also has certain benefits. Go to your local store or visit the links below for more in depth information about the software.


Ubuntu Linux should promote making backups #Prt. 1

June 19, 2008

What is a real backup? For a person it can mean burning a CD / DVD with files. For an other person it can mean buying a hard drive. So are there even more options. 

Ubuntu Linux has definitely grown in the last few years. It has become a solid distribution which is proving to be compatible and adaptable in this modern digital lifestyle. For a lot of people the content is beginning to mean a lot. Photographs are being stored, music is being purchased and movies are being edit. Not every person immediately realizes what the consequences might be when a hard drive fails!

Since the the personal computer market has transformed itself from 20mb hard drives to 1TB hard drives in a relatively short period the principals of making backup’s is only officially known in the enterprise market. For consumers and even small businesses buying an extra hard drive often means expanding the total size of their storage capacity! Nothing more.

In it’s own market Apple has accomplished something incredible. Their backup solutions targets all their existing and new CPU owners. Apple’s Time Machine made Mac owners suddenly know a lot more about what a backup means and provided a state of the art solution which requires almost no setup. In combination with Time Capsule the popularity and amazement of exciting and new customers is certainly there to taste. Except the revenues Apple is making… the rumor around the brand has seen a major uprise!

In my opinion that’s exactly what Ubuntu Linux is ready to take and should take on!

I remember the days when F-Spot wasn’t installed on Ubuntu Linux by default. I even remember the days when all kinds of media applications weren’t installed by default and were under major development. Today the day I see Ubuntu Linux gaining more and more recognition and progress in becoming adopted. More people have downloaded and installed Ubuntu Linux in the last two years than before.  I’ve read uncountable stories how people use Ubuntu Linux every day without being experienced in IT or UNIX / Linux. So this distribution is really growing fast. 
Even I use Ubuntu Linux for digital media now these days! So I even don’t want to think about the possibility of loosing my files. Working for years in sales and as technical service provider making backups is a habit for me. Also for more people it’s a habit.

But not for the largest group of users!

In my point of view Ubuntu Linux shouldn’t be responsible for providing a solution. Ubuntu Linux just could help a lot of not knowing users by making them realize what their files mean to them and by default implement a backup tool. With the right kind of marketing it will create a positive vibe and more rumor around the brand.

In #Prt. 2 I will write more about the present backup solutions available.

Haven’t wrote in a while

June 19, 2008

Today was any other normal day for except the fact I attended a tech-series presentation. This presentation was organized by Apple to share knowledge and information about media and IT solutions. 

For some reason the whole evening made me realize what matters to me a lot and the feeling I forgot about. All of it is just my world. I love technology, I’m always interested in knowing more about it and just experience it.

That’s why I started blogging again. I logged in today and discovered I had up to 78.500 page views so far. I’ve started this blog on July 2006 and with only 20+ articles I find 78.500 views a bunch! It also motivates me seeing that a certain number of published articles is responsible for that. So I really have the feeling I contributed to the community.

I’ve been seriously out of the game with Linux for quite a while. Just a few days ago I installed Ubuntu Linux because I desperately needed to bring a portable with me. I found Linux to have grown and matured. I’m really looking forward in exploring it again.
For the most time my work involving Apple hardware, Apple’s Mac OS X and related products. I’ve also became a store manager at HTR Nederland. So a certain amount of my free time also disappears in that function and related tasks.

I’ll be plunging myself into the world of Apple and Linux in an interesting way for absolute beginners. Just subscribe to my blog and sit back.

Don’t sell your PowerPC G4 yet!

November 9, 2007

With the introduction of Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 another series of Apple computers got pushed back. Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 feature fair system requirements compared to the economical lifespan of modern / current day computers.

Mac OS X 10.5 is already running on my Apple Mac Pro 2.0GHz (2x Intel Xeon Dual Core CPU). Since I’ve also acquired Adobe Creative Suite 3 I was more than thrilled to experience a speed bump. Unfortunately Adobe Creative Suit 3 can’t be run on 10.5 yet.

I find my Apple Powerbook G4 (1.25GHz PowerPC and 1,5Gb System Ram) running noticeably slower than with Mac OS X 10.4.10 (Tiger). While you might find Mac OS X 10.4.x fast enough and you have no shortcomings, you might want to play, explore and learn about Ubuntu Linux on a Mac.

Currently Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft) can be downloaded also for PowerPC computers. While the PowerPC isn’t being considered a important architecture for Ubuntu they still have a community team safeguarding this release.

You can download Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) for your PowerPC from these locations:

Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft)

Kubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft)

Upcoming period I will dedicate some time in order to write a user experience / review about this specific release on my Apple Powerbook G4.

Career details

November 9, 2007

Almost two years have passed since the first day I started working at an Apple Premium Reseller. In those two years I had not only the privilege of selling Apple (related) products I also worked a full year as an Apple Technician.

Now featuring the best of both worlds I’m more than eager to blast of into my third year selling Apple (related) products. But this time I feature not only knowledge but also technical experience.

During my function as Apple Technician in Rhenen and Veenendaal I’ve diagnosed and repaired Apple hardware such as:

  • iMac G5’s / Intel’s
  • Powerbook G4’s
  • Macbook (Pro’s)
  • iPod’s
  • Airport Express’ / Airport Extreme’s

This baggage allows me to better assist customers in general but especially business related customers. In combination with Apple’s Sales Trainings I’m looking forward to built up a career.

Restoring your previous xorg.conf file

September 15, 2006

Resurrecting your xserver by restoring your previous xorg.confA few days ago I installed Cedega on my portable with Ubuntu Linux installed on it. After installation I customized the application options / preferences and ran the test utility. The test revealed that my 3D Acceleration wasn’t working. I found that a crucial part to have working so I started fixing it.After a while I made a mistake and my (already highly customized) xorg.conf got re-written by all kinds of default settings. Since the xserver uses the file in order to start-up correctly you can imagine that my xserver crashed.In Ubuntu Linux the xorg.conf file makes a backup of it’s current state before it accepts getting edited or rewritten. This does not apply when you edit xorg.conf yourself though (editing with Vi or Gedit). So I got an backup waiting to be restored, with all my setting related to resolution, drivers, AIXGL/Compiz and so on. I’ll use my own example in order to explain how you can restore the previous xorg.conf file.After I rebooted Ubuntu Linux started up correctly until it came across xserver section. There the xserver crashed and I was presented with a terminal screen which kindly asked for my username.I logged in with my normal account and entered:

djons@tosh-empire:/$ cd /

This command brings you to the root of your system. If you enter:

djons@tosh-empire:/$ dir

You will see you are at the beginning point of the system.We need to proceed towards the xorg.conf location. Hit the following path in order to get there:

djons@tosh-empire:/$ cd /etc/X11

Note that X11 is with a capital X. All Linux distributions, UNIX variations and thus also Mac OS X feature this.When you are in the X11 directory you will see a file structure similar to this:

djons@tosh-empire:/etc/X11$ dirapp-defaults gdm xorg.conf Xsession.dapplnk rgb.txt xorg.conf~ Xsession.optionsconfig susewm xorg.conf.20060807011320 Xwrapper.configcursors X Xresourcesdefault-display-manager xinit xserverfonts xkb Xsession

You should pinpoint two files, they are the files with which we are going work:


The question marks represents year, month, day and some more info. But the date is the most important since you can easily pick the most current back-upped version of xorg.conf before things went sour. So now it’s time to replace our corrupt xorg.conf with a previous working version.First of all we have to delete the current corrupted xorg file. To make this happen do the following terminal work:

djons@tosh-empire:/etc/X11$ sudo rm xorg.conf

Now we have to rename the back-upped version in order to get our installation working with icons and mouse. Do the following terminal work:

djons@tosh-empire:/etc/X11$ sudo mv xorg.conf.????????????? xorg.conf

We’re done. The only thing you have to do is restart your machine and wait till it’s done booting up the installation. In order to get your machine rebooting hit the on/off switch once or use the following command:

djons@tosh-empire:/etc/X11$ sudo shutdown -r now