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Archive for November, 2005

Getting Ready For Aperture (Updated)

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I am quite excited for my copy of Aperture to finally get to my doorstep. In the mean time, I have been reading the “Aperture Getting Started” document from Apple.

If you’re wondering about whether to buy Aperture, or just want to know what it can do, you can get the manual here. (PDF File)

Some things I’ve picked up from the document:

  • You can import all or just a portion of your iPhoto LIbrary. Aperture maintains the structure as well as all adjustments and information, also known as metadata, applied to the images. You can only import from iPhoto 5.
  • You can create as many versions of an image as you need. For example, a client may request color, sepia, and black-and-white versions of the same wedding shot. Instead of saving multiple copies of that image…you simply create different versions of the master file.
  • A vault is a container consisting of an exact copy of your Library. It’s best to store your vaults on multiple external hard drives. A Vault Status button changes color when your vault needs updating.You can have multiple vaults being monitored.
  • Different views include a Full Screen button which puts the image on a simple black background. I have always wanted this in iPhoto. In Aperture, you can use the adjustments HUD (heads-up display) while in Full Screen view!!!
  • A Metadata Inspector let’s you write and change all metadata for the photo. By Default it is shown at the same time as the Adjustment Inspector.
  • The Light Table is a freeform workspace where you can arrange images and create mockups of webpages. That will be incredibly useful. You can also print the Light Table.
  • Aperture provides different layouts to work with. e.g. Standard, Project Management, Ratings and Keywords, Adjustments and Filters, and Maximize Viewer.
  • You can work on more then one project at a time by using tabs.
  • View images in grid or list view.
  • It’s not a magnifying glass. It’s a “Loupe”. It can be made smaller or larger and the magnification can be greater or less.
  • You can choose to display any of the metadata with the images as you view them.
  • You can create stacks by the different metadata in a photo. This is useful when you take a group of shots of them the same thing. Allowing you later to choose the best one from the “Stack”.
  • Rating is done by stars…and an x if it is a reject photo.
  • There is a keywords HUD for easily adding keywords. The only easy way to do this in iPhoto is the Keyword Assistant.
  • Query HUD let’s you search for images by rating, keywords, etc, or combination of any of them.
  • When using an external editor (e.g., Photoshop), after saving it, it will appear in the viewer as a version but the new image file is saved as a new master file linked to the original master.
  • You can print the books that you create in Aperture as a pdf document.
  • You can add watermarks as you export images.
  • There are quite a few options in how you export a webpage. This feature is sorely lacking in iPhoto. There are also quite a few options when creating a book.

After reading through the whole document, I am even more excited for the software to get here!!!

Using A Mac To Record Your LIfe

About 8 months ago, I was reading a book by my ancestor. He lived in Switzerland and was one of my first ancestors to come to America. The book was his history and was a large part in why I visited Switzerland this year and learned alot about where I came from.

When I got done reading the book, I wondered what stories of me would be remembered in five generations from now. After thinking about it, I realized that I was starting to forget things that happened just five years ago. How in the world would they know about me? So I made a plan to change that.

I call it my Memory Journal. I realized that I have already forgotten quite a bit from the first few decades of my life. If those memories are fading already, I can’t imagine what it will be like in a few more decades. That thought scared me.

My memory journal consists of memories that I have never written down but would like to remember. Each day, I think of something to write. Some of my posts have been my first plane ride, the first time that I got in big trouble, the names of my elementary teachers and something they taught me, the first time I used a cell phone, etc.

You’d be surprised at how much comes rolling back when you think about it. I don’t write really long entries, but I put enough detail in there so that I will remember it when I’m sixty. And, I write as if someone is reading it for the first time. It should be clear enough to give them the story, but not too long to bore them.

Why is this on the FreeMacBlog? Because, like most everything else, things are easy to do on a Mac.

To write these journals, I use a program called MacJournal. It is free and makes it very simple to keep a daily digest.

I keep a good backup of my computers, but also I print the full document out every two weeks so I am sure to not lose any of it.

One final tip would be to find a way to remind yourself each day. Personally, I don’t like to have too many emails in my inbox so I have an email sent to me each day and my rule is that I can’t erase it until I have written the entries. To do this, I use a cron job, but you can use iCal or a free online service like They’ll send you an email every day at the same time.

If emailing isn’t a daily thing for you, you can try an old fashion way like a rock on your pillow that can’t be moved until you write in it. Or keep your iPod and iTunes library off limits until it’s done.

If anyone has any other tips of tries it and finds it rewarding, please let me know.

Opening of Salt Lake City Apple Store

We went to the opening of the Salt Lake City Apple store this weekend and it was a blast. We arrived at 9 AM for the 10 AM opening and were probably between 200 and 500th in line. (The first 1000 received free t-shirts. Every t-shirt was a black XL with the words “The Gateway” and a white Apple logo on the front, and “Designed by Apple in California” on the back.)

We were told the 1st person in line arrived at 9 PM the night before. My uncle Kelly was 4th in line, arriving at 1 AM. His website,, has awesome coverage of the store’s opening, with photos, video, and a detailed write-up. He and other early comers were also interviewed by the Salt Lake Tribune: Apple store draws fans galore.

Salt Lake City Apple Store Pictures

Yesterday, Richard posted the new Apple retail stores on the Google Map and today he is attending the opening of the Salt Lake City store. He sent me some pictures for a first look. (Thanks to Sean for letting us use his camera phone.) Looks cold, but the store looks nice. (Flickr Photo Set)

SLC Apple Store 1

SLC Apple Store 2

SLC Apple Store 3

SLC Apple Store 4

SLC Apple Store 5

SLC Apple Store 6

New Apple Stores: LA, Sherman Oaks, Salt Lake

I have added three more Apple stores to our Apple Stores mashup: two in California and one in Utah. I suppose I won’t write about it every time I add a store to the map, but I am excited to go to the opening of the Salt Lake store this Saturday. I’ll report back on the event.

A New Kind Of Powerbook

This weekend, I went to see the Disney film “Chicken Little.” Over all it was pretty good, but the way that the story line progresses really took me by surprise. The little town of Acorn had quite an adventure.

Much has been said about how the success of this movie will influence the talks between Pixar and Disney. And while I didn’t think the movie was horrible, it certainly didn’t have the finesse of “The Incredibles”.

There was one part of the movie that caught my eye though. If you are anything like me, you can spot a Mac in a movie in an instant. It seems that so many movies have them and the glowing white Apple is so recognizable. Well, I never expected to have my eye jump to a Powerbook in a cartoon. But it did in this movie. No, not an Apple Powerbook, but an Acorn Powerbook. I don’t remember that one in Mactracker.That’s pretty cool.


But perhaps it should look more like this: