Yesterday, Apple showed off iOS 6, Mac OSX Mountain Lion and new Macbook Pro’s with Retina displays. None of the upgrades will mean much specifically for musicians. The new Macbook Pro is of course lust worthy but be carefully you loose the Firewire port. An adapter will keep your audio interface working but it’s worth mentioning. Mountain Lion continues to push the idea of files being stored with their own apps (now also in iCloud). I’m old school and like pushing my files all around between different Apps but Apple knows for beginners it makes more sense to do it the new way. Making the same file and changes to the file instantly available on iOS and Mac OSX also pushes developers to make compatible Apps that work on both platforms. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the great iOS music stuff on Mac OSX. Everything is getting a lot slicker. A native Notes app that syncs across iOS & Mac OS (goodbye Simplenote/Notational Velocity?), a night mode for the Phone that looks excellent, built-in turn by turn GPS with new Maps and Passbook. Passbook stores tickets to concerts, movies, flights and will be another good step in eliminating paper. Later in the year we are sure to see a new iPhone and maybe some TV product. Yes I am still a fanboy.
“iOS 6 gives you more features to make the things you do every day even better.” – Apple
For more info: apple.com
Last Friday morning at around 7:00AM before I left for work I was checking email on my Macbook Pro. I shut the lid but then realized I forgot to check the weather so I quickly lifted the screen open again. The screen didn’t come back on which does happen sometimes if you open and close the thing too quickly. This time however I realized how late it was getting so instead of closing the lid, waiting for the computer to properly go to sleep and open it again I just shut it again and ran out. About nine hours later I came home and opened the computer. The screen was still black and the computer was very hot. I held the power button down for a few seconds to force the machine off. I waited a bit and turned it back on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it wake up. I tried a few different things as recommended at Apple.com/support but nothing worked. Since I own an iPhone I didn’t really freak out too much because I knew I could check email if I had to leave my computer for a few days for repair. I went to the local Apple store and met with someone at the Genius Bar. In fact, because this specific Apple store (Palisades, NY) was about to be renovated they would ship my computer to Apple and then have Apple ship it direct to me when it’s repaired. I have AppleCare so hey all in all not a big deal.
Well… Monday rolls around and I’m at work at my partner Charlie O’ Donnell asks me if I am still making music in my free time. I tell him of course and then something horrible dawned on me. I’m booked to playing two shows in Europe this coming weekend and I have no computer! I know Apple is pretty quick with repairs but I started to sweat. As soon as I got home I checked the online repair status and it didn’t even show up in their system. I called Apple and they told me they just received the computer and the system would update itself shortly.
I decided I needed a backup plan just in case my computer doesn’t arrive in time. Luckily I have a friend Leslie who doesn’t need her computer as much as a supergeek like yours truly. She lent me her white Macbook which has a Firewire port (phew!) ready for my M-Audio Firewire 410. I created a user account for myself and plugged in my Time Machine backup drive. I didn’t know what to expect because I never had to go to this drive before. I was very happily surprised to see that you can simply click and open folders on the drive just as if it were a clone of my machine. I grabbed my Ableton live show files (and videos), downloaded M-Audio drivers and Ableton Live 8. Everything loaded up without a glitch! Win one for Apple.
So without any disaster looming I decided to call Apple and just see if there was any chance my own computer would arrive on time. I didn’t have to wait at all when calling the support line and spoke to a very friendly employee. He told me the computer was still in the process of being repaired. I told him I had a flight to Europe and it would be great if I had my own computer with me. I blabbed a bit about how I’d be onstage in Amsterdam and Barcelona and I really didn’t want to scratch up Leslie’s nice new Macbook. He put me on hold for a minute and told me he expedited the process and asked me to look at the online repair status. To my happy shock it said the computer would arrive by FedEx before 10:30AM this morning. I know it would have been a better scenario if my computer didn’t break in the first place but Apple deserves a pat on the back for making it so easy to grab files from a Time Machine backup drive and for superb service.
Catch me live this weekend at Defqon 2009 in Amsterdam and the Montagood Festival, Spain.
photo credit: wZa HK