14th May 2008

Free Photoshop Anthology PDF – Hurry!

Photoshop AnthologyAttention all web designers and graphic designers – if you’re a new Photoshop user you will NOT want to miss out on this terrific opportunity to pick up a FREE pdf that is packed with easy to follow tutorials, tips, and tricks on using Photoshop to it’s fullest. Even if you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, you should take advantage of this opportunity to see if you can learn a new trick or two – what the heck, it’s FREE! (A savings of $29.95).

Grab this freebie, The Photoshop Anthology (101 Web Design Tips, Tricks, & Techniques), while you can – it’s a limited time offer, so don’t delay. Did I mention that it’s FREE?

The author, Corrie Haffly, is an expert Photoshop user, author, and regular contributor to SitePoint. I love Corrie’s advice and tips in the Design View e-newsletter I subscribe to, and her articles on the SitePoint website have taught me a lot about graphic design.

For anyone who is not a regular reader of this site, SitePoint is my favorite resource for web design books, video tutorials, and general reference material. I own (and use almost daily) many of their books, learn something new from them with nearly every issue of their newsletters, and I use their HTML Reference pages and CSS Reference pages on a regular basis. I especially love their Reference pages because I can use them when I’m on the road (and don’t have their books with me) and need to look something up. Every Web Designer should be a regular visitor to their site!

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13th May 2008

Review: Apple’s Time Capsule

Apple's Time CapsuleI know it’s taken me quite a while to get around to writing up my review of Apple’s Time Capsule, the combo external storage device and wireless router that looks like a slightly larger, slightly flatter version of the Mac Mini. But I wanted to have enough time really using the thing in order to give a fully qualified opinion.

It’s been a bit over two months now since I hooked it up, and it has been hard at work backing up both of my Macs on an hourly basis, without fail, since I installed it. I have to say I really do like this nifty contraption, and I sleep much easier at night now. 🙂

Apple's Time Capsule - alternate viewI went for the 1TB model since I have two computers to back up, and for various reasons I don’t use the Wireless feature, instead I use Time Capsule as a “bridge” (hub) to which I have connected my two Macs and a PC via the ethernet ports on the back of the Time Capsule, and the Time Capsule is, of course, connected via ethernet to my firewall/router from which I get my internet connection. This means that my backups are performed at the highest possible speed, and don’t interfere at all with my normal use of my Macs as I’m working. A lot has been written about the (very good) suggestion to connect via ethernet for your first backup when you set it up – since it can take quite a bit of time to make an initial, full system backup (some users have reported that when creating their initial backup via Wireless it took overnight). Using the ethernet connection my PowerBook (with approximately 45GB of data) took just under ninety minutes for its first backup, and my PowerMac (with nearly 120GB of data) took roughly 4 hours to backup the first time. Now both run their hourly backups in only a couple of minutes.

Another nice feature is the USB port that can support either a printer (effectively making it a network printer if you have multiple computers that need to share a printer) or a second external storage drive, which would increase the storage capacity of the Time Capsule, allowing Time Machine to keep additional backup sets before overwriting the oldest ones.

For Mac users who also happen to be computer novices, or for any Mac user who just doesn’t want to fuss with tech stuff, it doesn’t get any easier than plugging in the Time Capsule. In my case, given that the Time Capsule also acts as my hub, I think it was well worth the $499 price tag. Not everyone will take advantage of it’s full wireless, router, or hub capabilities, so if you’re only looking for an external drive to back up to, and won’t use it wirelessly, you should factor that into your decision before buying one, as external storage drives can be had for less, and as long as they are directly attached to your computer, they’ll work as well with Time Machine.

If you’re interested, you can read my review of Time Machine here.

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