Apple gave us another look at the 2013 Mac Pro this week at the update release announcement for the iPad line. Today another person noted what I’ve been mulling over for some time: the interesting design is missing two major features that will keep it out of the hands of a lot of video, audio and graphics professionals. You know… the target market for that machine?
The three big features are:
Upgradability: If I can’t put the video or audio cards that I already have in it or can’t install newer versions of the same cards the the system has no use to me. Examples are:
audio interfaces such as Avid Pro Tools, RME, MOTU, etc. (It should be noted that most all Radio Stations run on RME interfaces.)
Rackmountable: If I can’t put the workstation in a server half-rack, which most studios and live production crews use, then the workstation will need a custom installation in a space where space is a premium and there are already standards for such things.
External storage: SAS Drive array cards to connect to MiniSAS and SAS Desktop Video Drive Arrays for HD and 4K Video editing. Examples are the PROAVIO, Sonnet and Promise desktop and rackmount solutions.
My point. Apple’s Mac Pro looks pretty, but professionals don’t buy machines to look pretty. We all bought Macs because they were the best functional machine I never had to think about. It just worked and anything designed for it just worked. It may be that Apple is banking on the expanded use of the Lightning Bolt port, but most professionals, self included, don’t need more cables and junk lying around. Also, there are limits to the Lightning Bolt port that can only be overcome with Bus Speeds. Live rendering all those pretty graphics you see in sports shows is a perfect example.
I’ve started writing quite a bit more lately. My tools of choice are OmmWriter for short pieces or parts of larger projects, a specific playlist in iTunes, Apimac Timer (to timebox myself), and Scrivener for larger projects. Me being lazy in a productive way, I was looking for a way to just lauch and setup all of the above for writing with a short couple QuickSilver keystrokes. Enter Applescript. In order to make it all work, I had to first LEARN enough Applescript to pull it all together. That is where this site came in handy for learning the basics of Applescript. I’ll grab a quick video later that shows how it all works, but for now, enjoy learning how to automate a lot of the repetitive things you do everyday.
If you are using Mail.app with with MS Exchange, you know the frustration of sending attachments and opening those dreaded winmail.dat files (the sender sent a MS Exchange email file as an attachment). Grr.
To get around dealing with Microsoft’s refusal to comply with email standards, I recommend two mail.app plug-ins:
Lokiware’s Attachment Tamer and Christopher Atlan’s Letter Opener Pro. Both programs will end the your MS Exchange email attachment problems. Here’s what they do:
Attachment Tamer (from the Lokiware product description):
Display (and print) images, PDFs, audio and video as icons with an optional file size limit and exceptions;
Send messages compatible with Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and other software, preventing the superfluous “ATT0001” attachments;
Send images as regular attachments, making it easier for the recipient to manipulate the image files;
Send images embedded in HTML layout and safely mix embedded images with other attachments;
Display full attachment names regardless of length instead of truncated names;
Automatically display attachments at the top of messages;
Prevent unwanted image resizing or set a default size for automatic image resizing.
Letter Opener Pro:
Allows Browser addachment of a winmail.dat file
Adds the capability to add appointments contained in winmail.dat files directly to iCal
Adds the capability to create contacts contained in winmail.dat files directly in Address Book
Adds the capability to display those dreaded nested messages
Allows you to convert attached winmail.dat Outlook Notes to plain text
And reads and delivers MS Exchange receipts (for those nutbags that subscribe to Level 3 Leadership)