Archive for October, 2010October 26, 2010
Last week’s Apple event was a little of a disappointment. I had been hoping for some good news for Mac business software. Perhaps a new version of iWork. Or maybe some powerful new features in Mac OS X Lion. So I found myself feeling rather empty after the event. The new MacBook Airs look really cool. But I don’t really need an ultraportable. My vintage MacBook Pro is still humming along just fine. The iLife upgrade is interesting, but not compelling for anything we do in our business.
But Mac OS X Lion was the big disappointment. I expected to see more than an interface teaser. I am not sure exactly what I was hoping for, but nothing excited me. In fact, with the switch to an iOS apps-save-their-state paradigm, Lion raised more questions than anything. Is every app going to need a major upgrade for Lion? Memory is already at a premium (my tales of woe with Safari and 50+ open tabs could fill an entire blog). Hopefully Lion will make better use of our limited resources, rather than requiring big memory upgrades (Vista anyone?).
Well, there’s always January.
Before today’s Apple event begins, I thought I would squeeze in a note about an important Apple release from last week. Apple updated the MobileMe calendar application. The MobileMe web app now much more closely resembles the iPad app. But more importantly, it now supports calendar sharing.
We previously had been using iCal server on Mac OS X server. But this setup limits us to syncing our shared events to our iPhones by plugging it in. Two years ago, that wouldn’t have been a problem because my iPhone couldn’t last an entire day. But batteries and cell efficiency are far better now. My iPhone 3GS lasts a couple days without being plugged in. And working off a two day old calendar is a big no-no.
So we’ve tried setting up a few shared calendars using the new MobileMe sharing, and it works pretty well. I ran into one situation where I updated the text of an event and it didn’t sync to the “shared” computer. But other than that one hiccup, the sharing has worked quite well.
We still have big plans for Mac OS X server, but right now it seems that the plug is being pulled on iCal server.
Late last month, Ars Technica reviewed the latest release on the virtualization front, Parallels Desktop 6. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you will have noticed that I have a wandering eye when it comes to software. We started out using Parallels, but switched to VMWare because Parallels wasn’t very resource-friendly. Other than a short detour with one computer trying out Parallels, we have been pretty solidly in VMWare’s corner. But Parallels isn’t staying put. They’ve added a lot of features and performance in recent releases. What’s amazing is the level of integration that has become possible between Mac OS X and Windows. Seamless integration seems to be rapidly approaching on the horizon.
Read all about Parallels Desktop 6 over at Ars Technica.