Posts tagged: Apple Macs

Installing OS X Lion: The Short List of Gotcha’s

It’s been a wild ride for the past 24 hours since Apple released OS X Lion. For those of you contemplating the move, here’s the short answer: Just Do It… after you make a backup.

A lot has changed and much has improved. On the pricing front, it’s one of the best bargains available at $29.99. That’s the price to load it on all your Macs, not just one. You’ll need to get a current version of Snow Leopard running on your existing Mac before you can install Lion because you need access to the Mac App Store for this download-only software. For those still using a PowerPC-based Mac, sorry. And say goodnight to Rosetta-based apps as well. The road ends at Snow Leopard for you. For everyone else, it’s a No Brainer!

There are a few things you need to know before you begin the install. First, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any PowerPC-only apps that you desperately need because those are all toast once you move to Lion. Of course it’s been 6 years since Apple began the transition to Intel from the PowerPC so this shouldn’t be overly traumatic for most folks. The major apps that won’t work include Adobe Creative Suite (CS2 and earlier), AppleWorks, FileMaker Pro (version 8 and earlier), MacroMedia Studio and Freehand, Microsoft Office (2004 and X versions), Quicken (almost everything… lazy bastards!), and some older games. You can check for compatibility by selecting each app in your Applications folder and choosing Get Info. In the Kind field, if it says Universal or Intel, you’re O.K. If it says PowerPC, you’re S.O.L.

The second cautionary note concerns the Migration Assistant. This is an Apple utility that lets you migrate your data from one Mac to another. If you plan to transfer your data from another Mac to the new Mac on which you are installing OS X Lion, then you first must get the other Mac updated to Mac OS X 10.6.8. Otherwise, you cannot migrate the data as part of the Lion install. You’ll also need to install the updated Migration Assistant on this other Mac running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. Here’s the link to download the new Migration Assistant from Apple.

The final gotcha you need to be aware of is that the OS X Lion installer self-destructs once the install is complete. If you want to burn a copy of OS X Lion to either a DVD or an 8GB USB Thumb Drive, you must do so before you kick off the actual install by clicking on the Continue prompt on your Desktop. Once you purchase OS X Lion, a copy of the installer will be downloaded into your Applications folder. It’s called Install Mac OS X The links above will tell you what to do next. Or you can wait until August and Apple will sell you a Lion Thumb Drive for $69. :roll:

To play it safe, cancel the install after making your DVD or thumb drive. Then reboot while holding down the Option key and choose the DVD or USB installer you just made to perform the install. In this way, you’ll know you have a good installer to use with your other Macs. Then you can preserve it for posterity. At this point, the original installer still will be available in your Applications. But, be aware, it still will be deleted at the end of the install even if you’re using a DVD or thumb drive. So rename it if you want to preserve it.

Where to Go Next. The premiere platform for getting all of the latest and greatest tips on Lion (and almost everything else) is Google’s new Google+. We’d love to help you get started. Read our Google Plus article for some great tips.

Want an invite? Just drop us a note and include the word Google in your message. We’ll get one out to you promptly. Once you’re signed up, be sure to circle us for the latest tips and tricks.

Originally published: Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Apple’s iPad: A Home Run for Education

We’ve been anything but a cheerleader for Apple lately. And that applies in spades to the iPad. If you follow us on Twitter, here’s a sampling of our comments since the iPad was introduced last week.

The Computer Illiterate’s Dream Machine: Meet the iPad. Thinking you’ll slip your existing AT&T or T-Mobile SIM into Apple’s new iPad? Think again.

iPad: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

iPad: Uh, but wait, No Camera, No Flash, No Multitasking No thanks.

Funny: Hitler’s take on the iPad.

Why Apple Doesn’t Want Flash on the iPhone and iPad? It Finally Makes $ense.

The Vote That Really Matters: A 16-year-old’s view of Apple’s iPad: iFail (via @scobleizer)

Michael Dell demos what the iPad coulda/woulda/shoulda been. (via @engadget) #android Mini5

iPad Web Surfing: Here’s what the future holds. (via @gadgetweb) #surfsdown

RT @cultofmac: “Pundits On The iPad’s Closed System: It’s Doom For PCs, No It’s Great”

Apple iPad Micro SIM guarantees that you’ll be paying for two wireless data plans instead of one.

Funny: iPad v. A Rock (via @TechCrunch)

RT @TechmemeFH: Apple reinventing file access, wireless sharing for iPad (Prince McLean/AppleInsider)

Today’s Math Lesson: Hulu + Flash = Free Internet Movies. iPad – Flash = Megabucks for Apple from iTunes Movie Store sales

RT @dcagle: The library of the future, courtesy of the iPad #apple #toon

So what’s with the headline? Have we changed our mind? Well, no. It’s a lousy machine for us and for anyone above the age of puberty. But sometimes you need to look beyond the forest to find the nugget in the trees. And we’ve found the iPad’s Sweet Spot: It’s Lower School Education, Stupid!

For all the reasons that make the iPad an undesirable computing device for adults, it turns out these same qualities make it an almost perfect learning platform for young children, ages 3 to 12. In fact, we think it has the potential to revolutionize preschool and elementary education.

For openers, we can all probably agree that the key to a good education is good teachers. And that’s especially true when it comes to computer education. The problem, of course, is that teachers of young children don’t have the time or the resources to keep up with computer technology because they’re so busy doing all the things that parents should actually be doing to raise their kids. So, other than turning kids loose with a computer game, PCs have been all but worthless in lower school education because the teachers never had time to master the devices themselves. The iPad fixes that because of its incredibly simple learning curve. Any teacher can master the richness of the iPad interface in an hour. And it turns out that’s probably true for young children as well. If you don’t believe it, hand a kid your iPhone and come back in an hour.

A computer is important in early education because it’s much more patient and individually focused than any teacher ever could be. A computer doesn’t care how many times it takes a kid to master a specific topic. And, for young children, they need the repetition at their own pace until they actually get it. The iPad can handle all of these repetitive tasks while freeing the teacher up for observation and pinpoint coaching. So it levels the playing field by getting the “slow learners” up to speed without the usual frustrations of dealing with kids with different levels of comprehension. And the iPad accomplishes this while making education fun instead of frustrating!

Young kids learn with their hands. Walk in any lower school classroom if you don’t believe it. The iPad is a hands-on device. You use your hands literally for everything: a mouse, a navigation instrument, a drawing tool, and for writing and typing. So it’s a natural for kids, just like a hammer.

If you’ve ever visited a Montessori school, you’ll come away appreciating how critically important group collaboration can be to early education. Working in teams enhances learning in so many ways. The iPad is a natural collaboration tool. It can be used to encourage kids to jointly develop rich multimedia reports pulling from the web, their textbooks, images, and their classmates. iWork for iPad at $9.95 per application is the perfect development tool. And, as Steve Jobs demonstrated, the iPad makes a perfect presentation tool. Teaching kids to stand in front of their peers and tell a story is probably the single most important thing kids can learn in elementary education. You learn a lot more teaching others than you’ll ever learn as a student. Most of today’s adults never got it… nor did they have the opportunity that the iPad presents.

We could write a book about the advantages which would flow from getting rid of hardback books. Not only would it save trees and natural resources, but it also could turn books into living, breathing educational tools with rich multimedia presentations instead of static images. Instead of kids lugging around a backpack full of textbooks which will be obsolete in a year or two, they could carry an iPad with all of their learning tools, their schedules, their homework, and their presentations. Think about the possibilities, and you’ll come to appreciate why the iPad really could revolutionize education as we know it. We hope so. Go talk to the educators in your community and get them excited about this Golden Opportunity. You’re only young once!

For a well-balanced, thought-provoking review of the iPad, head over to emergent by design.

We’ll leave you with Neil Curtis’ 3-minute, adjective-laced version of Steve Jobs’ iPad Introduction. And, just in case you missed the Grammy Awards last night, there was an iPad Presentation there as well. Funny stuff!

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