Saturday, November 28, 2009

iMovie 09 and iDVD for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide


Typically, Peachpit's Visual Quickstart Guide jumps you into a program giving you the "quickstart" to get working and obtain a basic understanding of the program. This book didn't follow that theme as closely as others in the series, but it's still an excellent guide to iMovie 09. If you buy only one book on iMovie, I firmly believe this should be the one. It's short, straightforward and highly accessible to someone who has never used a video camera before.

The book starts off with the essentials of movie making on your Mac, discussing important topics such as AV equipment, movie planning, lighting and composition. These preliminary chapters are an absolute gem. While I've worked with iMovie before, I never really understood the essentials of lighting, focus, and composition. A great iMovie starts out with the fundamentals and the first five chapters of the book are devoted to just this.

Next, the book gives you a "Make a Movie in a Hurry" overview of iMovie so you can quickly complete a task and have some initial success. Then, the author goes in detail about iMovie in a logical progression as to how the typical project would go: importing, editing, and exporting. Throughout the chapters the author includes tips and tricks not just about the usage of iMovie, but why a user should care about certain functions. Knowing all the features of iMovie doesn't really help unless you know how to use them in your projects to enhance your work. After reading this book, I understood much more of the power of iMovie and how to use the features of iMovie to make better movies.

Ironically, what's missing from the book is a guide to iDVD. One small chapter is devoted to iDVD and then the author directs you to his website for another 60 or so pages of iDVD info: That's my major con of the book: the title is extremely misleading. This is NOT a book about iDVD, it's strictly about iMovie. I can't imagine why the book was titled and distributed the way it was.

Pros: Easy to understand, accessible
Cons: No iDVD printed materials in book

Four out of Five dogcows

Four out of Five DogCows


Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Hard Drives: Apple’s Secret Weapon?

Who would have thought a tale of two hard drive replacements would create so much comment? Apparently it did! Read on about how the same hard drive failure was so different on a Mac and PC

Apple Tech Support Tips: 4 Steps to Bend Apple to Your Will

Need tips on how to get Apple to fix something they initially refuse to fix. Read my post over at TheAppleBlog on how to get Apple to fix things that are out of warranty, or not fully covered by a repair extension. Given the positive comments by Apple employees--I'm right on the mark

Opinion: Psystar Ruling Could Have Set Precedent for Upgrading Your Mac

With my background in law and my initial intent to go into Intellectual Property, I was particularly interested in this ruling. What concerned me most was the idea that modifying for the Apple operating system for hardware compatibility was considered a violation. This set precedent for any compatiblity update to be in violation of Apple's EULA. Read on for more details over at TheAppleBlog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is Backup on Apple’s Back Burner or Simply Abandoned?

I admit, I've been so busy with stuff, I haven't been posting articles here and I've written a bunch recently for TheAppleBlog This was kind of a spur of the moment article as I was thinking about all the features of MobileMe and how backup was going to be the big selling point. Here is an article I wrote reflecting on that fact

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Complete Guide to Apple Certification and Training

So after 20 years or so of being an "uncertified" technician, I started inquiring what it means to be Apple Certified. After months of research, I hopefully have the definitive guide over at TheAppleBlog about what it means to be Certified by Apple and the alphabet soup of it all. Conclusion: I'm probably doing it, only to make my business more competitive in a crowded marketplace.