Mac update — top good and bad things I’ve seen

June 30, 2008 at 7:48 am | Posted in Technology Trends | Leave a comment
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First, I must say I’m glad I got a Mac for at least one reason: It has come up in 3 business conversations in the past few weeks.  Mac seems to be making more inroads into organizations via executives.  Interesting.  So, that allows me to post it here under technology trends.

For those that care, here’s an update on my experience after a few weekends of playing with my new iMac.

my last post on my Mac generated a lot of conversation and I’ve even made a few new cyber friends, whom I promised updates from time to time.  Right now, there’s more good than bad about my Mac experience.  Here are the top 5 things that really impress me:

1) Resource management.  I can multi-task some seriously intensive activity with pretty amazing results.  Even thought my i/o and/or CPU seems pegged, the ability to still navigate with reasonable responsiveness seems far superior to Vista.  (I have a 6-mo old vista machine on roughly the same level of hardware levels)

2) Spaces.  Should be a requirement for any graphical interface.

3) Installs.  Drop a file into a directory.  I was hearkened back to my first experiences with Oracle when I realized how easy it was to install multiple database instances on a Unix box.

4) Uninstalls.  Delete the file.  Ahhhhhh.  Gotta love that unix.

5) Webcam/photo booth.  The quality of the built-in webcam on the iMac is really top notch.  does great in low light, which every other webcam I’ve had does not.  And Photo Booth is an amazing hit with my kids and their friends.  They crack up in tears when I let them take shots of themselves with all those distortion effects.

Top negative things

1) I hit the Mac version of the famed “blue screen of death”.  Mac’s was prettier, and multi-lingual, and gracefully washed my screen dark grey before the error, but a fatal error nonetheless.

2) Mighty Mouse.  Probably pure preference, but killed my index finger (how wimpy is that?)  Switched to my logitech and all is well.

3) Keyboard shortcuts.  I use the mouse very little when typing.  I do all highlighting using keyboard shortcuts, but the ones on the Mac don’t always work on non-Mac native software apps (like in a web browser).  Things like “quick highlight to the end of a line” can be frustrating.

4) Time Machine drive setup. This post says it all.  The company who once ran a great ad busting on MSFT for the whole “c colon backslash” thing is talking about GUIDS and Partitions?  Ouch.  Need to find a way to make it more intuitive given who they are.

5) Quicktime, AIFF, mac formats.  Not their fault, but proprietarily frustrating nonetheless.  Can’t we all just get along? 😉

On balance, I’m much happier now than I was a couple of weeks ago and am glad I made the purchase.   When I get my copy of Final Cut Express and have time to mess with it, I’ll post back on that experience as that is the real reason (video editing) I bought it in the first place.

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who is your booth coach?

June 30, 2008 at 7:11 am | Posted in Professional Development | Leave a comment
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Watch a football game and sooner or later they’ll give you a camera shot of the booth coaches. They sit high in the stands, well above the field, and talk to the coaches on the field via headsets. They are invaluable for several reasons:

1) They are far enough from the fray that they can see things for what they are. Contrary to popular belief, being on the sidelines is a LOUSY place to watch a football game. Your perspective is all wrong. It’s tough to see the big picture. The booth coaches can see it perfectly from their vantage point.

2) They can think clearer. It gets very, very emotional on the sidelines. You’re trying to coach right from the trenches, so to speak. Players are flying around in front of you, you’re trying to deal with officials, often you’re fighting the weather, too. It’s chaotic. Your coach in the booth is far enough away to not get entangled by those things in his thinking.

3) They are usually better strategists than the coaches on the field. As a head coach, identifying which guys have the right kind of thinking to keep in the booth during games is often one of the most critical aspects of the job.

I believe we should all have a booth coach. Someone who knows our life and career game plans. Someone who is objective and not entwined in the emotions of our problems. Someone we trust as a good strategist and clear thinker that we can trust. Someone with skills in areas where we may be weak. Do you have someone like that? Talked to them lately? I’ll be calling mine tomorrow for a catch up. Always valuable, that is.

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