It’s not often that an Apple product gets me well and truly frustrated. Generally I can pinpoint a repetitive problem and find other people with similar issues, and often find a solution.
But the current problem I’m having with Keynote is completely unacceptable and I have absolutely no idea why it’s occurring.
Let me set the scene. You’re working on a large multimedia presentation that uses video backgrounds, transitions, pictures and transitions. In a burst of creative genius, you furiously hammer out a dozen slides and sit back to admire your handiwork. In your eagerness, you press the Play button before saving to see the result of your work, and suddenly the screen goes black and you hear the tell-tale sound of the optical drive and the sickening startup chime (it’s sickening because you realize all your hard work could possibly be toast).
In my case, I was working on a presentation with more than 250 slides, with videos, photos and transitions — the works. Even though I had saved a few minutes earlier, I still lost work. The strange part is that there seems to be no real connection to when the button works and when it restarts. My theory is that somehow it determines the longest time between saves, then breaks — just to spite you. The other unusual thing is that the MacBook starts up without any of the information requests like when it shuts down improperly. I can’t figure it out.
Have you ever seen anything like this before?
[tags]Keynote, troubleshooting, Mac OS X, iWork, iLife[/tags]
Most of the time I’m quite happy with the products that come out of Cupertino. If I wasn’t, I’d probably not start a blog with so many Mac tips.
But recently I’ve noticed 2 video-related things that have stymied my plans of multimedia bliss.
I use my MacBook to do a lot of video presentations inside Keynote and PowerPoint. These vary in complexity but mostly involve photos and text. Recently I wanted to up the ante with a video background with text over top, but Keynote didn’t want to play nice. Instead it offered the helpful warning you see here and told me to either lower the resolution or lower the number of colors. I tried both: I lowered the resolution of the projector to 800×600 and changed the colors to thousands, but nothing happened. I even used the external monitor as the single display but that didn’t change anything.
All this because Apple decided to use an integrated graphics chip and only give it 64 MB of video memory. Why not make the amount of memory given to the graphics related to the amount of memory in the system? I have 2 GB in my MacBook, so I can easily offer up an additional 100 MB of memory to the graphics processor. Or, why not just solve all the problems with a dedicated graphics system.
My second beef has to do with the way Apple’s video applications deal with second monitors. Using Front Row, iTunes visualizer or an iPhoto slideshow with an extended desktop will always result in the video being played on the primary display. There is a specific preference inside Quicktime that tells the application which screen to use when playing fullscreen. Why not have the other programs honor this? It would be so handy to be able to have a visualizer playing on one screen, while still being able to select the tunes on the internal display. I was able to come up with a solution with Front Row but that is far from the most effective.
These may be small issues that only affect a small number of users, but with these fairly simple changes, Apple could make their products even more enjoyable to use, and effective when running a professional presentation.
[tags]Apple, OS X, MacBook, iPhoto, Front Row, graphics[/tags]
Yesterday morning was Apple’s annual developer convention — called WWDC — and in case you weren’t able to read about everything that was announced, here’s the important stuff to take away from Steve J’s presentation.
- 3G iPhone — now with more speed!
One of the big complaints about the original iPhone was that it used the slower EDGE network for surfing the web and emailing. Not anymore. iPhone 2.0 takes advantage of the faster 3G network to enable you to surf and email at near WiFi speeds. In addition to the data rates, the new iPhone also contains GPS for geotagging photos, uses a more sculpted shell, and comes at a lower price (from $399 to $199!).
- OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard — slightly different name, slightly different OS
While Steve Jobs only briefly mentioned the new Mac OS, Apple has an entire page dedicated to the new cat. This new version contains fewer incredible new features, but instead focuses on polishing the interface and under-the-hood system.
- MobileMe — .Mac’s replacement
MobileMac is positioning itself to make most of the applications people use on a regular basis (Mail, iCal, iPhoto, etc.) more platform-neutral. Basically, this service will allow subscribers to sync their data together and view anything in a regular web browser. It could be a cool service if you have multiple computers, but it will cost $99/year.
- iPhone / iPod touch software 2.0 — adds many new features
Available in the 3G iPhone for free and the iPod touch for $10, version 2.0 of the OS acclaimed for its interface contains many new features, the biggest being Microsoft Exchange support for enterprises, and 3rd party applications. Some of the demos look pretty amazing, and there should be even more available when the iPhone and system upgrade are available in July.
[tags]iPhone, WWDC, Apple, Mac OS X, iPod touch[/tags]