A Day at Foxconn Constructing an iPad

This is a very rare look at the assembly process for iPads. This video also takes a look at the experience Chinese workers share at Foxconn:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cL60TYY8oQ&]

All in all, constructing an iPad looks very boring. Now I want to see a MacBook Pro with Retina Display assembly line. I imagine that anything newer might present more challenges or variety in the process. 

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Would You Rather be Ahead of the Curve or Behind the Times?

John Saddington:

It’s been one full workday with the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display and my initial reactions are matching quite nicely with my expectations that I shared in this post a few weeks ago.

It’s got style, class, and enough power to do anything that I need it to do (and then some). Of course, it does such simple things as  publishing and word processing and the like, but that’s not why you buy one of these things, right?

I’ll admit that there have been a few disappointments, the biggest one being the fact that only browser that renders cleanly is Safari – the other two major players, Chrome and Firefox, still haven’t released publicly their production-ready builds. You can download the developer version which works but most people aren’t capable of doing that.

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is ahead of the curve. Apple has made the way for third party developers to update their apps to work well with Retina display technology, but it’s to be expected that it may take a few months, or even seasons, for developers to catch up with Retina support in Mac apps.

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The Leap by Leap Motion

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d6KuiuteIA&]
As cool as it may appear, I’m actually not that interested in this sort of device. But I understand why it matters, and what potential uses it may have in store in the future. The future is what interests me — not swiping fruit and firing bullets with my thumb. And not that I’d only use the Leap to control other apps or my OS, but it would be somewhat engaging to have a new way to interact with a Mac.

The device uses cameras that are found in smartphones and the like to track users’ motion.

Learn more about the Leap or pre-order for just $70 on the Leap Motion’s site

How to Connect a Blu-ray Player to Your Mac

Steve Jobs didn’t like the Blu-ray business for some reason. It’s one of those topics I think is a moot point. I haven’t bothered to hear the story behind his dismissal of Blu-ray. What matters to me is the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

I think it’s a great device to watch a Blu-ray on in a pinch. Naturally watching Blu-rays is better suited in your family room or man cave with a large, flat-panel, HD, plasma television set.

But if you’re using a computer for your movie-watching, and that computer has to be a notebook computer, I think the new MacBook Pro is the way to go. The screen has a much wider viewing angle than other MacBooks, and the color and contrast is more vibrant and precise.

The only problem is there still isn’t a good solution for watching Blu-rays on a Mac. As this article at 9to5Mac makes perfectly clear, the steps necessary to get the movie playable on your Mac are for the nerdy at heart:

So, the hard part is getting Blu-rays to your Mac…

Macworld recommends the free MakeMKV application to pull data into an .MKV file. From there, you can use Retina VLC 2.0.2 to watch the video, or use your favorite converter (Handbrake) to move the video to iOS devices. There are a bunch of paid options (Toast 11 is $50 at Stack Social) for watching Blu-ray’s directly and turning them into iOS compatible files.

For lossless Audio:

  1. Rip Blu-Ray with MakeMKV. Select the biggest file, because that is the main title.
  2. Use MP4tools to remux the MKV file into a MP4/M4V file.
  3. Find a copy of Handbreak 9.5 (newer version no longer lets you target file size), and then make the target file of conversion between 2GB and 3GB (2048MB and 3072MB).
  4. Get iFlick from M.A.S to tag and auto-add the files to iTunes.

It takes some Jedi mind tricks to work around the wits of your Mac and get the Blu-ray to play. Forget using a Mac Mini as a media server in your for your TV—the hassle isn’t worth it.

I only hope that in the next year that Apple takes another look into Blu-Ray support. They don’t need to build Blu-ray players into the body of all of their Macs, but it would be great if you could connect an external player and watch without a lot of hassle.

But something — called “AppleTV” — tells me that Apple will not be supporting Blu-ray natively. Ever. 

Type Better on Your iPad with Logitech’s Physical “Smart” Keyboard Cover

What makes a “smart” cover is debatable. I think “smart” means its very practical and takes advantage of emerging technologies. In that case, Logitech’s keyboard cover for the iPad might the smartest of them all — at least at the moment.

Logitech promotes the keyboard cover as “ultra-thin.” Since Microsoft’s Surface keyboard cover was announced Logitech’s model looks bulky. However, what it looses in dimensions it makes up for in “available now,” clackable chiclet keys, and usability on an iPad 2 or the new iPad.

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Flashback: Steve Wozniak Speaks in 1984 to NEOAC about Apple Stuff

If you enjoy Apple history — if you have read more than one Steve Jobs biography — then you will like this speech Woz gave while he worked for Apple.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/44609839]

Remember that 1984 was the year Apple announced the first Macintosh computer? That model revolutionized computers because it was the first with a graphic user interface and mouse. It set Apple apart for many years to come. In this video, Woz is discussing that computer’s launch, and other various anecdotes are related about his time at Apple. 

Got Lucky: A Friend Gave Me an Apple Keyboard II

Oh, and an old Mac G3 tower came with the keyboard:

Two collectibles: The Mac G3, and the ever-treasured Apple Keyboard II

So at work today I was helping a coworker move a table into a conference room, when I happened to pass some storage. Sitting there on the bottom shelf was this G3, and on top was this original keyboard and mouse. In no time at all I convinced the owner these items were worth nothing to him, and I brought them home (I work a half-day on Fridays).

Read more on the new Jiving Jackalope site »