Saturday December 7, 2013
DoubleTake from Echo One is an easy-to-use app for creating panoramic images and accurately placing the edges between images.
Using its own algorithms, DoubleTake makes a best guess at where two images should have their edges united. Of course, a best guess can sometimes be wrong, so you're free to drag images around to produce a better edge match.
Seams between images can have aberrations that make the place where the images join up more apparent. DoubleTake allows you to adjust the seam's width, which allows the app to soften and blur the join. You can also use the seam handles to move the seam to a less busy or problematic area in the images.
DoubleTake is $24.95. A demo is available.
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.
Friday December 6, 2013
It's going to be a wet, snowy weekend here, just the type of weather to stay inside and work on increasing a Mac's performance. While there are many ways to enhance performance, we're going to concentrate on working with a Mac's drives, to give them a bit more get-up-and-go, or to increase reliability.
Courtesy of Apple
Specifically, we're going to look at the Mac's built-in support for RAID arrays, as well as how to create Fusion-based drives. Let's start with RAID arrays.
The Mac natively supports three different RAID types: Raid 0, also known as a striped array; RAID 1, known as mirroring; and JBOD, sometimes referred to as concatenated or spanning. Besides the native RAID support, there are software- and hardware-based systems that can bring additional RAID types to your Mac, but let's focus on the ones that are directly supported by the operating system.
Use Disk Utility to Create a RAID 0 (Striped) Array
Use Disk Utility to Create a RAID 1 (Mirror) Array
Use Disk Utility to Create a JBOD RAID Array
You can use the three guides above to learn about each of the native RAID types the Mac supports, as well as how to create the various RAID arrays. But be forewarned: all of the methods for creating RAID arrays will erase any data that's already present on the drives involved. So, repeat after me: I will back up my data before starting this project.
That leaves creating a Fusion drive as the last item in this weekend's DIY. Fusion drives need to have both an SSD and a slower, but larger, hard drive. The Fusion drive combines everything into one logical device that your Mac can use for both very fast data access and storing a large amount of information.
Setting Up a Fusion Drive on Your Current Mac
How to Delete Your Mac's Fusion Drive
As with creating RAID arrays, creating or deleting a Fusion drive will erase all data on the drives involved.
Thursday December 5, 2013
German retailer Conrad Electronic has started taking orders for the standard 3.7 GHz Quad-Core ($2,999.00) and the 3.5 GHz 6-Core ($3,999.00) configurations. Conrad claims that Apple will release the new Mac Pros on December 16th.
Courtesy of Apple
Conrad hasn't said why it thinks December 16th is the launch date, but it certainly could be. Apple has already committed to December for the product's release, and the 16th being a Monday, it's an ideal time for both media coverage and giving retail stores a traditionally slow Sunday to ready stock and displays.
While we don't have any information to back up the move by Conrad, it seems to be one of two likely time frames for Apple to release the new Mac Pro. So, what's the other likely date? Anytime before December 16. Businesses are the likely market for Mac Pros, and purchasing budgets dictate when capital expenses are made. With the end of the fiscal year fast approaching for many companies, they'll be motivated to make last-minute purchases under their current budgets, rather than hope they can roll the Mac Pros they need into next year's budget requirements.
Start checking the Apple store, or just stop by About: Macs to find out when order-taking for the 2013 Mac Pro goes live.
Wednesday December 4, 2013
The beta version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 has been making the rounds of the development community for a while now. Recently, Apple released 10.9.1 to its internal AppleCare workers. Apple typically releases software updates to AppleCare workers a short time before an official release. The idea is to give the customer care group a bit of time to get used to the new software.
Courtesy of Apple
OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 is believed to focus on updates to the Mail app, to better support Gmail and Smart Mailboxes. In addition, VoiceOver is improved, and new graphics drivers are rolled into the update.
The Mavericks 10.9.1 update will likely make its appearance sometime next week.