900 Follower Mug Contest

So it looks like I completely missed the fact that I’ve passed 900 followers! Oh well, better late than never to hold my “every-100-follower-retweet-to-win-a-mug” contest, right?

So here’s the deal: You could win a MacBlend Coffee Mug, one of my awesome brand new vinyl die-cut stickers, free copies of both of my digital ebooks (20 Easy Ways to Save Time on Your Mac & Twitter 101 Handbook for Beginners), a promo code for my 101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac iPhone/iPad App, and a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks!

But Wait! If I pass 1000 followers in the process of this contest, I’ll choose two extra winners!

All you have to do is Tweet this message:

Follow @MacBlend on Twitter and tweet this message for a chance to win a MacBlend coffee mug & other prizes! http://bit.ly/MB900 #900mug

To make it even easier, you can just click this tweet button:
Just make sure it includes the hashtag. :-)

Winner or winners will be announced this Friday, July 15th at 7pm PST during a live Ustream broadcast. Multiple entries do help but please don’t Spam your friends, they’ll blame it on me. :-( Winner(s) will be chosen by drawing.

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The Dark side of iPhone

It’s easy to say that the iPhone is an amazing device. Even if you own a different type of smart phone, you have to admit that what the iPhone did for mobile technology was revolutionary. However, most people don’t notice or really talk about the iPhone’s not-so-secret dark side.

Auto Correct <insert ominous music here>

We’ve all experienced it. We go to type in something like “Hi! How are you?” and end up with “Hi! How fart you?” Don’t get me wrong… I love the Auto Correct feature 99% of the time but there are those moments when you don’t realize it until too late that you’ve sent a few four letter words to your boss or spouse.

Auto Correct on the iPhone has caused so many instances of strange or vulgar conversation that an entire website has been created and dedicated to this phenomenon. DamnYouAutoCorrect.com has become an overnight hit and provides hours of entertainment for iPhone and non-iPhone owners alike.

Some are clean and cute replacements of normal words and some occasions are a bit more… Let’s just say risqué.

So we have to ask the question: “Why is it that the iPhone contains so many NSFW words in it’s little dictionary?” Was it an inside joke among the programmers or are we just more likely to type words that could turn into “bad words.” Maybe it’s a Freudian slip.

No matter what the reason for the vulgarity that Auto Corrects it’s way into innocent text messages and emails, iPhone users need to take that extra second or two to reread messages before they are sent to an unsuspecting victim.

You want to know the best part? As of the latest Developer Preview of Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”, Auto Correct is now a built-in feature of the Mac operating system and functions in almost exactly the same way as it does in iOS. So now when we’re typing on our Macs, we’ll need to be just as cautious. In all honesty, maybe it’s a good thing that people are forced to double check their writing. How much better would this article have been if I had read it through more than once while I was typing it?

While you’re here, be sure to download the “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” iPhone/iPad App and view “The Sign of Hope Project” on Kickstarter.

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MacBlend Mugs for Charity (St. Jude)

Last month, I placed a MacBlend coffee mug on eBay for auction. Using eBay’s “Giving Works” charitable listing feature, we were able to raise $35.99 for the American Red Cross.

The auction was won by Jay Svatos, a friend of MacBlend on Twitter who was kind enough to share his “MugShot” with us and even used the pic as his Twitter avatar for a few days!

This month, our MacBlend mug for charity will give 100% of the sale to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which provides treatment for children even if a family can’t pay and tries to find cures for children with catastrophic illnesses.

I can’t think of a better cause to support and that makes St. Jude our June MacBlend Mug for Charity. Please help me support this amazing cause and get your hands on a mug so you can’t send in your very own “MugShot”

Click here to be taken to the eBay auction page and place your bid!

You can also help share the link by tweeting this article or sharing this link: http://bit.ly/stjudemug

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Steve Jobs Presents to the Cupertino City Council (6/7/11)

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The Death of TextExpander for iPhone

One of my favorite Apps for iPhone/iPad and also for Mac is a little utility called TextExpander. It’s purpose is simple and easy and saves a tremendous amount of time and energy by allowing you to create short text codes that are automatically replaced by long chunks of text that you type frequently.

To give you an example, at the end of every Mac Tip I send out on Twitter, I include a link to my “Tip Jar” so people can see all of the other Mac Tips as well. By simply typing the letters “tj,” my text box automatically turns into “MacBlend.com/TipJar”

TextExpander even sells an App for iPhone & iPad which is even more convenient due to the obvious smaller keyboard.

Yesterday, Apple announced iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad. Amazing stuff with plenty of new features to make everyone happy. They also mentioned that developers could download and install iOS 5 the same day. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and had iOS 5 running on my phone within a short time. (insert shameless developer plug for my App: “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” [Fitting, isn't it?Download Here )

I’ve been browsing the different portions of the software and stumbled across this new feature in the Keyboard section of the settings App and noticed this new “Shortcuts” section at the bottom. It’s pretty much exactly TextExpander. You create a very short code to represent a longer chunk of text and simply typing that short code replaces it with your larger text as if it were being automatically “spell-checked” by your iPhone.

So it’s a sad day for TextExpander in the mobile world but I also wonder if this capability could be a great thing for them as Apple makes this feature more popular with consumers, they might look for a Mac version of this feature and find TextExpander waiting there with open arms.

Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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One question no one is asking about iOS 5 and iCloud

Today was a landmark day for Apple and the incredible announcements they brought to the table. Between Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud, Apple Fanboys like myself and others around the world watched Apple devices get a software makeover.

There is one question, however, that no one seems to be asking at this point when it comes to the iPhone and it’s new cloud capabilities… Data.

I’m talking about the data limits from AT&T and Verizon. One thing about cloud systems is that they rely entirely on your connectivity to the web. The fact that Apple limits some of your syncing capabilities to Wifi is great but my question is, what do people do when they run out of data to sync their Apps, documents, music, photos, magazines, and everything else.

Or will AT&T and Verizon be bringing some new data pricing plans to the table?

Leave your comments below to join the conversation.

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Take your best shot!

The MacBlend coffee mug has become a favorite of both students and fans and it’s no secret that their tricky to acquire. Normally, they’re only available by winning one of our little contests or purchasing one in our “Mugs for Charity” eBay auctions. That being said, it’s time for another one of our contests. This is a new one we haven’t tried before so we’ll see how it goes.

Anyone who receives a mug is asked to send in what we call a “MugShot” (a photo of themselves holding up their mug). This time, I thought we’d reverse it and ask viewers to send in their best “MugShot” with their favorite coffee mug. The top three MugShot pictures will win a MacBlend mug and free shipping.

Simply take your picture and post it to Twitter using the hashtag #myMugShot or post to our wall at http://facebook.com/MacBlend to be entered.

I’ll be posting the images to a facebook poll where other fans will be able to vote for their favorite so you can get your friends to become fans and vote for your picture.

If you win a mug, you’ll be able to retake your picture and get it posted to MacBlend.com.

So be creative and have fun! I’ll be retweeting your submissions as well. (unless they’re vulgar. Let’s just avoid that. :-)

The contest will end on Wednesday June 8th. Tell your friends!

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A Review of “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”

About a year ago, while walking around the Seattle Center, I stumbled across a poster for a new play that would be included in the Seattle Repertory Theater’s next season. As soon as I saw the title, I immediately put the dates into my calendar. The show was to be called “The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” At the time, there wasn’t much information about what the show would be like but that didn’t really matter. I knew I’d still see it.

The show was created and performed by Mike Daisey and directed by Jean-Michele Gregory. It’s a one man “extended monologue” that takes you through a few intertwined stories and is told in much the same way a book would be written. Each scene tells a different story and alternates as the show goes on. Mike Daisey’s performance was fantastic and impressive considering he sits in a chair in the same spot on the stage for the duration of the performance and still manages to keep you entertained.

There are several stories involved including the beginnings of Apple and the plight of Steve Jobs as the company evolved and changed. It also covers Steve’s relationship with Wozniak and describes what life must be like inside the mind of this crazed genius. There is another story involved, however, and that is Mike’s journey to the Chinese town of Shenzen where he studied the poor working conditions of Chinese laborers in the factories that create our beloved Apple products. Over the course of the show, you begin to realize that this is the true reason for this performance and as a viewer, you’re forced to take a look at yourself and your mobile devices and decide where you stand on this issue.

At the end of the performance, you’re given a sheet of paper with the words “What Happens Next?” across the top. It includes different methods you can use to take action in regards to the working conditions in China and how American companies produce their products. The first item on this list is to email Steve Jobs directly. It’s been no secret for some time that Steve’s email is sjobs@apple.com and it’s also known that Steve has occasionally replied to these emails personally.

Overall, I think the show was well put together and well performed. However, I believe there were more people in the audience expecting something a little different. As someone who always appreciates documentary film, it was easy let my mind believe I had drifted into that arena and still be able to enjoy the show. I have to wonder if some audience members had gone to geek out over a show about Steve and been a bit surprised with what they heard.

I definitely recommend seeing the show if you haven’t already and while you’re there, you have to spend some time before or after the performance to check out the “Apple Museum” that has been put together by Seattle Rep. You’ll see a little of everything from the original Macintosh, to the evolution of the Mouse, to old software, iPods, and even… yes, even the Newton.

The show runs until May 22nd here in Seattle and you can still get tickets through Seattle Rep.

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A Brief History of the iPad

A Brief History of the iPad

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PSA: MobileMe Calendar Changes for Leopard Users

This is more of a PSA than a blog post but see if you’re affected by this change before moving on.

If you’re using MobileMe Calendars and Mac OS 10.5, you’ll want to be prepared for a systemwide calendar system change on May 5th. The new upgrades to MobileMe’s calendar system are in all honesty, wonderful upgrades and very welcomed. However, for 10.5 users who have yet to upgrade their calendar, here is what you need to know.

Months ago, Apple made some changes to MobileMe’s calendar system that was an optional upgrade. Many 10.5 users avoided this upgrade because they were worried about losing their iCal events and tasks.

On May 5th, those upgrades will affect everyone including 10.4 and 10.5 users. If you’re on the latest OS 10.6, you don’t have anything to really worry about as the changes should be automatic for you but you might want to backup your calendar anyway.

First, in order to be prepared, you’ll want to open iCal, click File in the menu bar and go down to select “Backup iCal.” You can place this file anywhere you’d like. You’ll also want to make sure that your Mac is updated all the way to 10.5.8. You can find out by clicking “About this Mac” under the Apple logo in the Menu Bar. The reason you’ll want to backup is in case the upgrade drops all of your events from your iCal.

That being said, here is the official document from Apple about setting up your iCal once the upgrade has taken effect.

It is strongly recommended that all Mac computers you use with the new MobileMe Calendar have Mac OS X v10.6.4 Snow Leopard or later. Mac OS X v10.5.x Leopard is not fully supported, but can still get basic functionality from the new MobileMe Calendar.

Note: To see which version of Mac OS X you are using, choose About this Mac from the Apple () menu in the upper left corner. The version will be shown directly under the words “Mac OS X.”
Considerations before upgrading to the new MobileMe Calendar:
  • If you have recently synced your MobileMe Calendar with a computer running Mac OS X Leopard, you may receive an alert when upgrading to the new MobileMe Calendar. If you are no longer syncing with any computers running Mac OS X Leopard, you can safely ignore that warning.
  • If you have a computer with Mac OS X Leopard that syncs calendars with the old MobileMe Calendar, you may receive a sync dialogue warning that all of your calendars will be deleted when upgrading to the new MobileMe Calendar. This is expected since part of the upgrade process is to delete your calendars from the old sync system. Additionally, iCal will appear to have no calendars in it until you follow the setup steps at the bottom of this article.
  • Features of the new MobileMe Calendar that are not available with Mac OS X Leopard:
    • Push updates. See this article for more information.
    • The ability to share and accept shared calendars with others from within iCal. These changes can still be made at me.com/calendar.
    • Subscribed calendar syncing.

If you need to sync a computer with Mac OS X Leopard with the new MobileMe Calendar, follow these steps:

Important: Do not follow these steps until you have successfully joined the new MobileMe Calendar. For more information about joining the new MobileMe Calendar, see this article.

  1. Open iCal Preferences.
  2. Click Accounts.
  3. Click the plus button at the bottom of the page.
  4. For both Description and Username, enter your full MobileMe email address, including @me.com or @mac.com. If you don’t include @me.com or @mac.com, the setup will not be successful.
  5. Enter your MobileMe password.
  6. Click the disclosure triangle next to Server Options.
  7. For Account URL, enter the following without quotes: “https://cal.me.com”. Be sure to include the full URL, including the “https://”. Note that you do not need to include a closing “/” at the end of the url.
  8. Click Add.

Now that your MobileMe account is set up, iCal will begin downloading the data from the new MobileMe Calendar servers.

If you’re unsure about what to do or have questions about the upgrade, I’ll be taking appointments to help people through the changeover. Please let others know about this change so they don’t lose all of their calendar entries.

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A Gift for Mom that’s a Gift for you

Mother’s day is just around the corner on May 8th. Most people will buy flowers, a card, or maybe something specific to their Mother to show how much they appreciate having them in their lives. (More importantly, for giving life to them)

On the other hand, if you’re the “techie” in the family, your Mom probably has lists of questions about their Macs, iPhones, or iPads and always look to you for the answers.

This Mother’s day, why not give her the gift of information and take a break from being “the one with all the answers.” Whether you live in Seattle or on the other side of the country, you can purchase a gift certificate for either in-person or remote training from MacBlend on one of her Apple products or software so she can get the best Apps on her iPhone, organize her family photos in iPhoto, finally get her on Facebook or Twitter, and lots of other things you’d be in charge of teaching her if it wasn’t for MacBlend.

You can buy a Gift Certificate right here or contact MacBlend directly for a custom Certificate package. I can deliver the certificate to her email on Mother’s Day or your chosen delivery date.

Show your Mom how much you love her by helping her get her Mac/iPhone/iPad questions answered. :-)

Gift Card Type
Recipient’s Name and Email
Gift Certificate Delivery Date

 

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Changing the World with a Coffee Mug

Every month, we’ll be auctioning off a MacBlend coffee mug to a different charity. This month, 100% of sales (minus processing fees) will be going to help the American Red Cross. I’ll be covering the shipping costs to ensure the donation goes the furthest. This auction will be available for the next 10 days.

The coffee mug has been a branding foundation of MacBlend since it’s launch in August 2010 and now with the help of eBay, it can help others.

If you have a charity you’d like to see supported by this venture, visit the contact page on www.MacBlend.com.

Please help to get the word out through Facebook, Blog posts, and Twitter using the hashtag #CharityMug.

Click Here to Visit the eBay Page

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The Great White iPhone

You know something has been wanted and in-waiting for a while when even Apple’s email to the public has in big bold print: “Finally”

Today, Apple is making the white iPhone available to the public both online and in their Apple retail stores.

The real question is why release the white iPhone now? Purely based on timing and not on any form of speculation, previous iPhone models have been released during the summer. Does the release of the “Great White iPhone” mean a delay in the next model release? There are hundreds of blogs and rumor sites guessing at a fall release for iPhone 5. I have to guess that purchasers of the newly released white iPhone won’t be too happy if it’s only a single season before launching a “bigger & better” version.

Although the white iPhone has been a topic of discussion since even before the release of the iPhone 4 back in June, if we are to expect a fall release of iPhone 5, why wouldn’t they simply wait until then?

Is today’s announcement really a big deal or has it simply been too long for people to care? What seems to happen frequently with Apple products that release like this is that people could care less… until… they start seeing them in the wild. It’s easy to be unimpressed when it’s not available. However, if you’re someone who has coveted this lighter edition for some time, will you jump on the bandwagon or wait for the next generation? Hopefully the white model will be available on launch day but if Apple experiences any of the technical difficulties they ran into with this model, they won’t think twice about keeping it out of the public’s hands.

While you’re here, be sure to download my new “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” iPhone/iPad App from the App Store!
101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac - MacBlend

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Top 10 Coffeeshop Drinks

Anyone who knows me even a little knows I’m obsessed with Coffee. Hot, cold, good, bad, it doesn’t matter. If coffee beans were involved, I’d probably try it. I don’t consider myself a connoisseur but more of an advocate. That being said, I was curious as to what others prefer when they walk into their neighborhood coffee shop.

Here is what I found:

TOP 10 COFFEE DRINKS

1. Coffee – Just a regular coffee

2. Espresso – ‘condensed’ coffee brewed by forcing water through coffee grinds.

3. Cappuccino – 2 parts espresso, 1part steamed milk, topped with milk froth.

3. Cafe Latte – 1 part espresso, 1 part steamed milk and very little milk froth.

4. Cafe Au Lait – 2 parts espresso, 2 parts hot milk.

5. Cafe Americano – 1 part espresso and 3 parts hot water.

6. Macchiato – 1 part espresso and topped with milk foam.

7. Cafe Con Leche – 1 part espresso and 1 part steamed milk plus 1 tsp. sugar

8. Cafe Mocha – 1 part espresso & 2 parts steamed milk w/ 1tsp. cocoa powder.

9. Cafe Breve – 1 part espresso 1 part steamed half and half.

10. Espresso Con Panna – 1 part espresso – topped with whipped cream.

Which of these is your favorite? Or do you usually get something different?

Read the original list here.

While you’re here, be sure to download my new “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” iPhone/iPad App from the App Store!
101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac - MacBlend

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When do Twitter friends become Real friends?

Social Networking has become such a powerhouse of communication that it has completely changed the way we meet new people. In the past, we’d meet people at work, the grocery store, restaurants, and all of the other cliché places you’d expect.

Now with Twitter, meeting new people is as easy as clicking the follow button. Once you’ve started following a new person you’re interested in or someone has begun following you, it’s a matter of time and amount of communication that builds real relationships.

So who’s to say that you can’t have a meaningful friendship just because you’ve never met someone in person. Some of my best Twitter friends, I’ve never actually met out in the real world. Does that make them any less of a friend? Personally, I believe that a friend is someone who will stand by you, support you, have meaningful conversations, and you return the favor. None of these require being in the same place at the same time. (Of course stand by you is meant in the figurative sense)

If we can agree that it’s possible to have real friends that we’ve never met but communicate with using services like Twitter, how do we know once we’ve reached that point where we can truly say that someone is a real friend? Do we simply ask a person if we can call them our friend? Well that might come across a little creepy in some cases. I’d say you just sort of know. A few good signs would be that you know the persons real name and not just their Twitter handle and you’d both be willing and/or excited to actually meet in person.

With sites like Matchmaker.com or eHarmony.com, people search for romantic relationships. With sites like Twitter, people search for many kinds of relationships and sometimes what you find surprises you. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being cautious and keeping your private information safe as there are some strange and awful people out there. However, with an open mind, Twitter gives us the opportunity to meet and make friends with people we could have never found otherwise.

While you’re here, be sure to download my new “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” iPhone/iPad App from the App Store!
101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac - MacBlend

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How to find out if you’ve been mentioned in someone’s daily Paper.li newspaper.

I also thought about calling this “How to find yourself on Paper.li” but it occurred to me there might be people who don’t know what it is. For those of you that don’t know, Paper.li is a web service that let’s members create a daily newspaper of sorts by collecting their favorite material into one place and then sharing it with their followers. It’s a very neat idea and I believe it says a lot about the material you’re putting out into the world if you’re included in someone’s “Daily.”

When this daily is created and announced, sometimes your name might be included in the announcement as a “featuring” sort of thing. But how do you know if you’ve been included otherwise. Well, you’re about to find out. :-)

It’s actually quite easy using a simple Google trick. If we were to go to Paper.li and use their search feature, you wouldn’t find anything unless there is an actual paper with that title. Their search doesn’t look within individual articles.

Let’s say I wanted to find out if my iPhone/iPad App, “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac(iTunes Link) had been mentioned. All I have to do is Google search this phrase:

101 keyboard shortcuts for Mac site:paper.li

Adding “site:paper.li” tells Google to only search within the given site. You can use this feature to search other sites as well like Facebook.

So try it out and see if people are talking about you. :-)

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You gave Apple permission to use your location data…

Want to see where you've been? Click the map to get the iPhone location data Tracker application.

There are quite a few people up in arms about this location data thing. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s recently been brought to the public’s attention that Apple collects the location data for iPhone owners. Some people think it sounds a little too “Big Brother” and others are considered about their privacy.

It makes sense. People almost always have their iPhones with them and essentially, this means we’re all being tracked.

But is this all Apple’s fault? Not at all. Unfortunately, it’s ours. Every single iPhone owner said “It’s ok Apple, you can track me anywhere you’d like!” And we did it with a smile on our faces. You know those service agreements that we never read? I often joke that if we were to thoroughly read them, we’d notice how many children we’ve signed away to software companies. The iPhone came with one of those and what we’re concerned about is even on page 1 of Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement.

Take a look.

(b) Location Data. Apple and its partners and licensees may provide certain services through your iPhone that rely upon location information. To provide and improve these services, where available, Apple and its partners and licensees may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your iPhone, and location search queries. The location data and queries collected by Apple are collected in a form that does not personally identify you and may be used by Apple and its partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. By using any location-based services on your iPhone, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its partners’ and licensees’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services. You may withdraw this consent at any time by going to the Location Services setting on your iPhone and either turning off the global Location Services setting or turning off the individual location settings of each location-aware application on your iPhone. Not using these location features will not impact the non location-based functionality of your iPhone. When using third party applications or services on the iPhone that use or provide location data, you are subject to and should review such third party’s terms and privacy policy on use of location data by such third party applications or services.

So in truth, this isn’t a question of Apple hiding something from iPhone owners or trying to be sneaky. This information is less than half a page down from the top of the document. What people are concerned about is this “consolidated.db” file on your phone that holds all of this data whether location services is on or off. As for what happens with that data once it’s shared with Apple, we don’t really know yet.

The real question is if Apple should have access to this information in the first place or if this service agreement should be amended. Personally, I don’t care if Apple has my location data. My only concern would be if this information fell into the wrong hands.

Out of all of the people who are really upset by this location data thing, I have to wonder how many of them use 4square or location based Apps.

Something that struck me as funny was that my recent iPhone/iPad App, “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” was originally rejected from the App Store because it used location data. Now for all this to come out? I love you Apple but let’s work on those double standards

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“Geek Chic” by @MollieinSeattle

My name is Mollie Ruiz-Hopper, in the digital world I’m better known as @MollieinSeattle, a lover of all things fashion, technology (Apple specifically) and philanthropy. I am beyond excited and honored to guest post for MacBlend’s blog.

I’ll preface this by sharing that my idea of a good Friday night is sitting at home on my couch with my MacBook. Writing blog posts in WordPress with multiple tabs and windows going, (if I feel really adventurous I’ll have a couple different browsers on) geeking out on Google Analytics, downloading new books to my iPad, scouring YouTube for funny videos, all while watching reruns of Star Wars or my favorite TV show Arrested Development. While sitting on my couch doing the above you’ll find me in my favorite designer sweats, most likely drinking Starbucks hot chocolate and reading through various Twitter feeds I have going. I may or may not consistently wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for my blog, I keep a pen and paper on my night stand, I usually wake up and see either words, or pictures that resemble ideas or thoughts. Sometimes I’m able to translate them into posts and other times I tack them to my cork board for further translation. I find myself talking in Twitter, DM’s (direct messages), @replies (when someone mentions you) and hashtags (topics). I really like Twitter particularly because it has allowed me to connect with and get to know some pretty awesome people- people in fashion, people in technology, people in wine, people in food and people like @MacBlend. See, I’m telling you technology is pretty cool.

My life wouldn’t exist without technology, I’m sure that goes for a lot of people right? I guess that makes me a geek but you know what I like that about myself, so I own it and make it chic in the process. My favorite color is pink for instance- what better way to chic up my iPad’s look than with a hot pink sparkle case, even my blog is pink. My iPod shuffle, it’s pink too- I mean I like to look fashionable even when I’m out exercising. Oh another example I just thought of, my favorite browser Google Chrome is decked out in the Tory Burch pink and orange skin, just one more way I chic up my technology. There are many ways we ladies and gentleman can personalize our electronics to help fit our personalities and make the nerd in us fashionable. I like to rock the color pink all day everyday, I’m usually in something pink. Maybe your favorite color is blue, dress up your lap top with a snazzy blue case or carrier, maybe you’re into MacBook cases that look like old books like my dad (they really exist I swear), whatever it is you can totally rock the fact that you’re a nerd or a geek and look classy.

With the way technology is today the world is literally at your fingertips, you now have the power to reach hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of people. You can engage with your favorite brands, start a blog about travel or maybe about fashion. Tools like Twitter make the world your oyster. Believe me if you will, I’m just a girl who never leaves her house without her Flip cam, digital camera, lip gloss, hairspray, iPad or blush compact. Geek chic is the way to be.

I’d like to Thank Mollie for writing this article and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. You can visit Mollie’s own blog at www.mollieinseattle.com and keep up with her latest articles. Thanks for sharing Mollie!

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101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac App

It’s official! My “101 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac” App for iPhone and iPad is now live in the App Store! Filled with some of the most useful and time-saving keyboard shortcuts for Mac users, it’s a great way to learn how to streamline your workflow and get some of those tedious tasks done by pressing just a few simple keys.

More than just a list of shortcuts, it’s an educational App that will test your knowledge with the built in Quiz that lets you post your high scores and compete with other users of the App.

Built for both iPhone & iPad as a universal App, you can buy it one time and get it for both devices.

As this is only the first of many Apps to come in the “101 Tips & Tricks for Mac” series, be sure to add your email to our notification list within the App so that you’re the first to know when a new App has launched. What’s next in the series? You’ll just have to add your email to find out. ;-)

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What’s new in Final Cut Pro X?

A few days ago on April 12th, Apple introduced the new version of their Final Cut Pro application at the Final Cut Pro Users Group “Supermeet” event. Oddly enough, they were announcing it as I was teaching an online class about the current version of Final Cut and I only managed to sneak in viewing a picture taken of the new interface. I’ll be honest, my first thought was: “Oh no, they’ve turned it into iMovie Pro.” I was quite upset and worried until a video of the announcement hit the web.

After a few hours of research and tears of joy, I learned that this was not going to be iMovie Pro but instead would be more like Final Cut Pro “Pro“. It’s absolutely beautiful and the interface is extremely clean with Apple’s “simple yet powerful” look & feel. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the major changes into a short blog that I hope it’s educational and I’ve embedded some of the videos if you feel like watching.

 

The Basics:

• Now 64 bit Application and can take full advantage of your computer’s memory.

• Interface redesign to simplify workflow now in a unified window.

 

Image Quality:

• Fully color managed based on Colorsync

• Easily handles mixed video formats without the usual stress.

• Uses Apple’s Grand Central Dispatch making video rendering a background task

 

Organization:

• Content Auto Analysis as media is captured prepares it for image stabilization.

-People Detection finds the number of people in a shot

-Shot Detection finds medium, closeup, and wide shots automatically.

-Automatic nondestructive color balancing

-Audio Detection & cleanup

-All of this happens during the capturing process without any work from the editor. Amazing!

• Range-based Keywording allows tags or keywords to be applied to specific clips or portions of clips.

• Smart Collections allow you to create groups based on any of the preceding criteria to organize your footage in your own way automatically.

 

The Timeline:

• Clip Connections: While primary audio & video become tied together automatically, you can choose to group clips and media for easy moving.

• Magnetic Timeline: Audio & Video no longer collide but react to other clips and automatically move out of the way instead of overwriting previous clips.

• Compound Clips: You can now combine collections of clips and media to move them in the timeline all at once.

• Inline Precision Editor: Double click the seam between clips to bring up this incredible tool to easily change in & out points between clips.

• Auditioning: Collect different clips that might be used in a certain location and try them out in single clicks.

 

Supermeet Apple Final Cut Studio X presentation 2eme partie from Emmanuel Pampuri on Vimeo.

 

Other Features to Note:

• Automatic Color Matching allows you to quickly sample color settings from one clip and apply it almost accurately to another.

• Sample Accurate Timeline Resolution. This allows the playhead to scrub in smaller increments than the frame rate.

• Audio & Video “tracks” are gone and flow seamlessly from one area to another.

• Audio fading is now as simple as drag and drop similar to the method used in Apple’s Logic Pro.

 

And then the best part was announced. It will be available in June. wait for it… via the Mac App Store. Wait For It…  For $299!

It does not come as a Studio suite at the moment which makes me wonder what Apple’s plans are for the other applications usually associated with it like Motion, Color, or DVD Studio Pro. I will say if they’re working on changing those in any way close to what they did with Final Cut Pro X, I can’t wait.

 

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