Testing New Tools for Doing Good Work

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

The MacSparky Paperless Field Guide

In iBooks Author, iPad, Strategy, Teaching on 05/11/2012 at 3:39 pm

David Sparks is an attorney and a leading Mac podcaster, co-hosting the Mac Power Users podcast with Katie Floyd on the 5by5 network. (Yes, that’s a lot of nerdy name-dropping, which is sort of the point of blogs. Work with me.)

David is a good explainer of how to do things with technology. He published two books last year, Mac at Work and iPad at Work. I have Mac at Work and it’s a great resource.

Paperless is unique though, and earns this ALT Blog pointer, because it’s sold only through iTunes and is readable only on the iPad. He produced it with Apple’s iBooks Author. Here’s his own description:

The book is a deep dive on paperless workflows for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It takes full advantage of iBooks Author and includes picture galleries, interactive images, movies, 32 screencasts, and nearly 27,000 words. There is over an hour and a half of video. Not only does this book tell you how to go paperless, it also shows you.

And here’s an excerpt from one of the reviews on the iTunes store:

[T]he book is beautiful. I think it serves as a model of how ebooks should evolve over the next couple of years. And I say this even though I am very much a bibliophile. The integration of text and screencasts and graphics of various kinds is very effective.

I post this link, even though I haven’t even bought it yet, because I believe he’s earned his reputation as a knowledgeable and trustworthy tech coach, and because I want to see what someone like that can do with iBooks Author, and I thought you’d want to see it as well.

I’m buying my copy this weekend, and I hope to post a review soon.

MacSparky – Blog – My New Book: The MacSparky Paperless Field Guide.


Bootable OS X Lion Installer Explained

In Administration, Mac Desktop on 05/09/2012 at 11:17 am

Lion DiskMaker Icon

What is a “bootable Lion installer” and why would I want one? Macworld’s Dan Frakes explains:

Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X, Lion (OS X 10.7) doesn’t ship on a bootable disc—it’s available only as an installer app downloadable from the Mac App Store, and that installer doesn’t require a bootable installation disc. Indeed, this lack of physical media is perhaps the biggest complaint about Lion’s App Store-only distribution, as there are a good number of reasons you might want a bootable Lion installer, whether it be a DVD, a thumb drive, or an external hard drive.

For example, if you want to install Lion on multiple Macs, a bootable installer drive can be more convenient than downloading or copying the entire Lion installer to each computer. Also, if your Mac is experiencing problems, a bootable installer drive makes a handy emergency disk. (Lion features a new recovery mode (also called Lion Recovery), but not all installations of Lion get it—and if your Mac’s drive is itself having trouble, recovery mode may not even be available. Also, if you need to reinstall Lion, recovery mode requires you to download the entire 4GB Lion installer again.) Finally, a bootable installer drive makes it easier to install Lion over Leopard (assuming you have the license to do so).

That newer article delves into some nerd-specific steps, but today Macworld posted an article, Lion DiskMaker makes it easier to create a bootable Lion installer, that seems easier. If this is still challenging nErdSPeAk to you, then check with your department or college’s tech support people, and show them this link!