Tag : Apple

Google Music Manager

Are you running out of space on your iPhone or Droid where you store your music? Google has come up with awesome idea by incorporating the cloud where you can store your music an acces it via an app on your phone. The key to this is that you have to have internet access to listen to your music.

To learn more about Google Music go to http://music.google.com/about/

From the Music Manager, you can:

Add music from your iTunes library, Windows Media Player library, My Music folder, or folders of your choosing to Google Music:
–Choose to add songs automatically or completely manually
–Adjust the bandwidth available for adding songs
–View the progress of songs you’re adding
–Download any of the songs that you previously uploaded to your Music library, as well as any song you purchased
from the Google Music store

You can install Music Manager by going to http://music.google.com/music/listen?#manager_pl

For the iPhone app you’ll have to get gMusic and if you have a Droid phone you’ll have to get Google Music app.

Review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z

Are you looking for a top rated, middle of the road desktop for your offices? The Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z may be just what you need. With a touch screen 20 inch widescreen monitor at $917 direct, this PC is perfect for your mainline workers — the ones that manage projects, file and search data, or deal with your clients on a day-to-day basis. While less flashy then some other all-in-one PC’s such as the HP Compaq 8200 Elite or the Apple iMac 21.5 inch, it is definitely the biggest bang for your buck.

The desktop will blend seamlessly into your offices and while you should still supply a keyboard and mouse because of the vertical screen, the touch monitor is great for zooming in and out of photos, rotate online interfaces, and use swipe commands on the internet. The screen however isn’t the best for resolution. While still sufficient for clerical and mainline office workers, it’s not going to be ideal for digital artists who use their fingers as digital paintbrushes.

With two USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader, and audio jacks are on the left side; a tray-loading DVD drive on the right side; and a power button, drive light, and +/- on screen controls (brightness, etc.) on the front. The system’s forward-firing speakers are below the screen on the front panel as well. In the back, there are four more USB 2.0 ports, a standard 3-pin power jack, Ethernet, serial port (for older peripherals like bar code scanners), a Display Port-out port, a Kensington lock port, and a handle. The handle and power jack make things easier for your IT workers: the handle makes the system easy to transport, and the standard power port means that you don’t have to keep track of external power supplies (aka power bricks): you can just use the standard power cables used by tower desktops. If you have a 802.11 b/g/n wireless network, the M71z will connect to it easily. It would’ve been nice to see a Display Port-in or HDMI-in port, so you can reuse the M71z’s monitor with a future laptop or desktop when the M71z’s internal finally become too slow, but the DisplayPort-out is still useful. The DisplayPort-out port lets you use the system in a dual-monitor setup.

Performance wise the ThinkCentre M71z is very good as well—the ThinkCentre M71z’s 2,134 points on PCMark 7 beats the EC winning HP TouchSmart 320-1030 ($699.99 list), which got a lower 1,825 point score. The recently reviewed HP Compaq 8200 Elite and not so recently reviewed iMac 21.5-inch (Thunderbolt) are both quite a bit faster than these systems, but then again both the HP and iMac are significantly over $1,000.

The combination of price, capabilities, and corporate credibility earn the Thinkcentre M71z our Editors’ Choice award for all-in-one business desktops. Its features, performance, and price are excellent. This is the system we’d buy if we were outfitting an office with clerical level desktop PCs.

Reliable Back Up and Setting Correct Expectations

Over the last five years I have seen a more passive approach to back up and disaster recovery.  Organizations are letting their data reliability take a back seat to system up-time and performance which is starting to become scary.  I typically ask CEO’s and owners what an acceptable amount of downtime for their business and they all reference about 2 to 4 hours.  It always amazes me, these types of expectations people in power have about how quickly their systems can get back up.  Never taken into account is how long it takes to build their new system as well as the time consuming process of moving data from one location to another.  It is something that is always over-looked in normal system installations.  Many businesses out there feel that their system can be up in 4 to 5 hours and typically when we review and assess a small to medium size business, we find that the average rebuild time for a single server that has a disaster is roughly 10 hours.  Of course the 10 hours for a single server consists of:

  • server build via operating system install and patching
  • application set up and configuration
  • shares/drive set up
  • data migration
  • testing and validation

It is very important to build and structure a network system that can facilitate an agreed level of downtime.  In other words, if management decides that the network can only be down for 4 hours, no matter what time of the day it might be, that will drive a completely different back up system and methodology then if bva is told that 12 hours is satisfactory from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.  Documenting the process and timeline for bring back up the system is critical and imperative.

Many businesses are looking to move their data into the cloud and normally referenced to bva that it is a cheaper alternative to onsite back up, but I can tell you that is not the case.  Moving the data offsite in a reliable and consistent manner can be a bit tricky depending on the solution.  For the solution to thrive, you need a reliable telco provider such as fiber as well as a stable power grid.  Depending on the solution, data roughly can cost $4 to $12 per gigabit (GB) depending on the compliance standard set forth for data retention.  (30 days, 12 months, 5 years, 7 years)  There are several great softwares out there that can be loaded on any server and completely hardware agnostic.  This software drives the back up job and can point it to any iSCSI target. This software can also move the data offsite to any destination you prefer and typically the software you select will provide that option via several data centers.  Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and even Apple are a few that have gotten in this business and will continue to grow and large back up solution providers.

Apple to Reveal iCloud and iOS 5

I read today that Apple will deliver the keynote on June 6th announcing some exciting news.  The annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is held in San Francisco and has become a cult event almost.  This year they are not letting anyone down, with some exciting leaks news involving the next-generation versions of Apple’s software platforms, namely iOS 5, the Mac OS X Lion (new operating system), and the cloud service called iCloud.  The iCloud will directly compete with many other services now in production.  Unconfirmed reports appear to indicate iPhone 5 won’t be revealed until late summer, and won’t be in stores until fall.  Apple’s iCloud allow consumers to mirror their music libraries online for playback anywhere, on any PC or iOS device. Apple obtained the domain icloud.com in early 2009 and have been rumored to try to tap the commercial market but looks like they are simply targeting the residential for their service offerings.  Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) is the eighth major release of of the OS X operating system.

Is Apple throttling web apps?

Tests indicate that iOS uses multiple techniques to hamper performance of web apps launched from the home screen of an iPhone or iPad.  Web apps launched directly from the Safari browser run about twice as fast as when launched from the home screen.  Is Apple trying to force users to use the App Store, so they get their cut, by making web apps appear to perform poorly?

Read more here

HP’s Colorful New Touch-Screens

It’s pretty cool how HP has taken a great step in forward thinking.  Their goal in the PC world is moving people toward the touch screen.  Many other hardware manufactures have come up with many models but quite frankly they fell short.  HP has taken note from Apple and really trying to hop on the cool and treandy kick which I feel they will have some success.  I have tried a few of the models and they work very well and feel that they can fit in many market segments.  Health, legal, and education are huge markets here in Phoenix where these units will thrive.  HP is known for good enterprise and consumer products even though they have made some poor business moves their products are overall good.

HP’s new focus on product design, appearance, user experience and ease of use, as well as provide a user computer that is very powerful and quick.

These units are HD touch-screens with keyboard/mouse operation. A couple of interesting new differentiators are the following:

  • patented ergonomic feature that enables the desktop monitor to slide down to a 60-degree angle

  • HPLinkUp application that allows a user to operate the desktop of another computer within WiFi range

These HP units range from $750 to $1,000.  They will be available about the end of Q2 of this year.

iPhone on Verizon

Its been quite some time, back and forth between when and how this was going to happen.  A lot of blogs and gossip articles have been written between many reputable websites.  After years and years of speculation, the Verizon iPhone is real. As Verizon president Lowell McAdam put it, “If the press writes something long enough, eventually it becomes true.”  I find this really funny after all the publicity that Verizon put in the media.  It’s ironic how Mac really stayed out of the subject matter and for the most part never drew a line in the sand with a yes or no.  The word comes fresh out of Verizon’s press conference in New York City, where the company has confirmed that they plan to offer the iPhone 4 early next month. Update: February 10th, to be specific.  From what has been published so far, the Verizon iPhone 4 appears to be identical to the AT&T iPhone 4 .

It does not support Verizon’s 4G/LTE network, and Apple took their standard “We don’t talk about future products” stance when questioned on the matter. The 16GB iPhone 4 will set you back $199.99, while the 32GB model will cost you $299.99 (both prices on a 2 year contract.  Additionally, it looks like it’ll have at least one feature that the AT&T model doesn’t (currently): WiFi hotspot, which allows the iPhone to act as a Cell-Data-Fueled-Wi-Fi router for up to 5 devices.