Archive for the 'News' Category

Getting published just got a whole lot easier

January 19, 2012  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

Apple has released quite a few products in the past couple of years. I am loving Final Cut Pro X. And some of the iPhone upgrades have been tremendous. But I don’t think I have been quite as excited about a new product since the iPad was first announced.

Today’s announcement of iBooks Author could be that big for lawyers. Historically, getting published has been a big deal. It’s typically a lot of work (and often luck) to make it happen. But the ability to reach more people with your message and raise your credibility has been worth it.

With the rise of e-publishing, the barrier to entry for publishing has never been lower. And iBooks Author may have just smashed that barrier down entirely. Creating a professional-looking iBook publication appears now to be as simple as making a Keynote presentation or Pages document.

If you’re a little technologically savvy and have the patience to sit and write, adding “author” after “J.D” to your C.V. just got a whole lot easier.

Steve’s Legacy Redux

October 9, 2011  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

I have learned a few things in the days since Steve Jobs passed.  First, I really wish I could write like John Gruber, Walter Isaccson, and others.

Second, I have learned just how many people had strong feelings for Steve’s contribution to society, myself and my wife included.  There was just something wholly magical and grand about Steve, but deeply human and flawed at the same time.

Third, I have come to realize just how generous Steve Jobs was of himself.  Some have tried to paint Steve as uncharitable.  His decision to end Apple’s charitable giving when he returned as CEO and failure to sign the Bill Gates Giving Pledge are often cited.

But consider this.  Steve Jobs had surgery to remove his pancreatic cancer in 2004.  He had to know then that the odds were stacked against him.  Only 4% of pancreatic cancer patients live even 5 years.  And half of pancreatic cancer patients don’t even live 5 months.

No one would have blamed Steve Jobs if he had just walked away after his diagnosis.  He was already fabulously wealthy.  Fortunate ranked him as the 74th richest American in 2004 with a net worth of $2.6 billion.  Far behind Bill Gates at $48 billion.  But more than enough for Steve to spend his remaining days in quiet solitude with his family.

Instead, Steve Jobs gave us seven more years of his brilliance and drive.  He set out to change the world:  iTunes, iPhone, iPad, Mac as a real option, and who knows what else in the pipeline.  We’ll probably never know how much Steve gave personally to charity.  And frankly, I don’t care.  Steve gave of himself, at a time when he truly didn’t need to and when many others would have stepped down.

Steve, your charity won’t be forgotten.  How can it?  You changed the world.

Steve’s Legacy

October 5, 2011  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

We finally received the news we were dreading.  Steve Jobs passed away today.

There are lots of ways to remember Steve.  Some will remember his as a visionary.  Others as a terrible person (yes, such comments are already appearing on message boards).

I admire Steve for all that he was.  For all the glory Steve gets as the “creator” of the iPhone and other neat gadgets, we shouldn’t forget that his first truly great achievement was Pixar.  Indeed, Steve’s most enduring legacy will probably be that he created the right environment for others to be visionary.

And sometimes being a visionary means cutting out that which holds you back.  When he announced his retirement, we heard the feel good stories such as the one about the color gradient in the Google logo.  But there are other stories too, some that you wouldn’t exactly call “feel good”.

And based on those stories, you might say that Steve was kind of a jerk at times.  But these stories were, in the end, about making products better.

I’ve learned a lot from watching Steve, Apple, and Pixar over the years.  And I will continue to learn from Steve long after he’s gone.

I just wish it hadn’t been so soon.

Thanks Steve, for everything.

The Apple Event – Surprisingly little for business

October 26, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

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.

MobileMe calendar takes a step forward

October 20, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

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.