Mac Pro line overdue for a hardware refresh

Because of the recent hardware failure on my MacBook Pro, I started to think about getting a new computer. Given my intensive computing needs, I naturally looked toward the Mac Pro, but I was disappointed to find that its specs are lagging behind the times. The differences between it and what other Apple computers offer [...]

The value of a good backup

While working on the fifth episode of RTTE, I learned first hand the value of a good backup. The hard drive on my editing computer (my MacBook Pro) died suddenly and without warning. Thankfully, my data was backed up in two geographically different locations. The day my hard drive died, I'd just gotten done with [...]

Java finally acknowledges upgrade issues

Not sure how many of you have been aware of this, but Java upgrades over the past several years have been problematic for Windows users. When a new version of Java came out, the installer would prompt you to upgrade, but would never prompt you to remove the old version, or do it for you. [...]

Hardware preview: Apple iPad 2

The new iPad 2 will become available on March 11th (see a neat video from Apple introducing it). In my post about the original iPad, I said the following: "In spite of the failures of their predecessors, I think Apple will pull this off. I think the iPad will be very successful." I'm glad to [...]

What comes after High Definition?

Producing (set design, lighting, filming, directing, editing) my wife's cooking show has gotten me thinking about what comes after HD, because there obviously is a large discrepancy in resolution between full 1080p HD and properly exposed 35mm film (up to 3500p) -- as I already mentioned in my post on preserving classic movies. Yes, high [...]

Always check a SATA drive’s jumper settings

I made a quick video that shows you why it's always important to check a SATA drive's jumper settings. Many of us assume that since we're dealing with SATA, not PATA/IDE drives, the jumper settings are no longer important. After all, the Master/Slave relationship no longer applies to the SATA model. Not so. The jumper [...]

Green IT Week: June 1-7, 2010

ComputersOFF.org is hosting a virtual Green IT Week from June 1-7. This is an issue that's of particular importance to me. Having been an IT director, I know how much power the combined laptops, desktops and servers of an organization can consume, and how much pollution is generated by the disposal of computer hardware (see [...]

Storage drops below 7 cents per gigabyte

In January of 2009, I mentioned the price of storage had just dropped below 9 cents per gigabyte. I see now that 2 TB drives are selling below $150 (they're $140), so it's time to update my figures. At $139.99 for a 2 TB (2,000 GB) SATA hard drive, that comes out to less than [...]

A 27 GB hard drive for $276?

While cleaning up old paperwork, I ran into a receipt from late 1999, for a WD 27.3 GB hard drive with an Ultra 66 Cable. The price for that thing was $275.94 with taxes. Nowadays, I can get a 2 TB hard drive (that's 2,000 GB) for less than $150. How times have changed!