iChristmas Music

On December 8, 2010, a group of musicians from the North Point Ministries iBand produced a concert playing instruments that were apps on Apple iPads and iPhone/iPod Touch(s). What impresses me is they did the set in front of a live audience and I never heard any mistakes—plus it tounds great! Tis the season so let’s all enjoy some Christmas music by the way of iDevices played by the North Point iBand. Enjoy!


Navigate Photoshop from your iOS Device

Today I downloaded the Adobe Nav app for my Apple iPad and was like a little boy in a candy store once again. Even though my coworker said that this app must have been designed by a guy due to its resemblance to a remote control, it has already proven useful for me on several occasions.

As a designer that works in Adobe Photoshop constantly, I am always looking for faster and more convenient ways to improve my workflow. This app allows me to customize and then use my most often used tools from the toolbar, switch viewing modes and look through, as well as activate different documents that are in the background. Yes, one can argue that a true Photoshop pro should know all the shortcuts, but the clear and colorful interface becomes your shortcuts. It is like having a second; or in my case third monitor that is a touch screen. The Adobe Nav app is $1.99 which is a fair price, but I feel it should just come as free since you need to have bought Photoshop CS 5 or newer which is already a chunk of change in itself. Aside from all the customization, the app program works using WiFi which is connected to your version 12.0.4 or newer Photoshop.

Adobe Nav app for Photoshop and iOS devices

My wish for this app would be that it allows you to use it for the other Adobe applications such as Illustrator and InDesign where once again, a toolbar is used very regularly as part of the design process. It seems like a natural idea to me, but who am I but a user?

Adobe also came out with several other mobile apps that sync with Photoshop in one way or another. These apps are Adobe Eazel and Adobe Color Lava. Eazel allows you to paint on the iPad and then once finished, send it to Photoshop for more work, while the Color Lava is a color mixing tool that integrates into Photoshop’s color pallets. It also allows you to mix colors much like a painter does and then save your colors in groups like Adobe Kuler does on the desktop. Once again, Adobe charges for these tools as well, which I again think should be free as they almost need to interface with Photoshop to be useful. My one wish is that they would come out with an Adobe Bridge file browser for the iPad.

Get more information on Adobe Nav here.

Mobile apps overview information here

adobe updates

Today Adobe released updates to their Lightroom product (2.4) and Adobe Camera Raw (5.4). This included camera raw support for the Canon T1i (500D). This is usually a quarterly update that is made to support new hardware that has been released. Apple updated their camera raw support about two weeks ago for the same camera as well as some others. This finally means I will be able to shoot raw without worries.

Updates are available here.

share your drobo on the network!

A few posts ago I shared with you the latest storage technology called Drobo that acts like a Raid 5 drive array without the set-up hassle. Data Robotics, Inc. the makers of Drobo have introduced an add-on to Drobo, DroboShare.

DroboShare is an interface in-between the Drobo and your network, making your Drobo a Networked Attached Storage Device (NAS). Yes you could rig the Drobo on a Windows and or MAC and share it via software, but if you turned off the machine that the Drobo was attached to you lost your connection. DroboShare attaches to your router and offers a fast Gigabit connection to all of your files!

Take a look at the new DroboShare at www.drobo.com. It is $199 ($US) not including the Drobo unit which goes for $499 ($US) sans the SATA drives.


drobo: droolworthy raid alternative

drobo drive enclosureData on a hard drive is a designers life blood. Loosing time because a drive has died and the data went with it is not an option. Even for those of us that have hundreds to thousands of dollars invested in music downloads and thousands of photos from out digital cameras, loosing that special picture because a drive died is heart-wrenching. Enter into your life: Drobo, “The world’s first storage robot.”

Let’s face it, most if all of us are not IT specialists. Most of us just want data storage solutions that are plug and play. US/Firewire hard drives are great and have enabled us to store more and more, but data redundancy is not achieved by just plugging in a new hard drive. Drobo solves that problem by automating the data redundancy with Raid 5 like design, which is very common in larger corporations. The beauty of Drobo unlike Raid 5 is that it is truly a set-it and forget-it solution. Like a Raid 5, if one drive fails, replace it and Drobo will regenerate the data that was on the lost drive!

drobolator.pngDrobo hooks-up to your MAC or PC with USB 2.0, and will take up-to 4 SATA I or II drives of any size. There is Raid Administration and it comes with a utility for monitoring your Drobo. You can use the Drobolator utility on the website to see what storage capacities you get with different drive sizes.

Remember, Drobo is just one part of your storage solution. It is important to also make multiple back-up’s of your information and store it off-site whenever possible.

Drobo costs $499 and comes with a power cord, USB 2.0 cord and the software utility. No drives are included! With the purchase of some SATA drives the total cost of the unit is at least $600-700, which is a bit pricey for the average consumer. In hopes of competition helping bring the prices down, I will wait-off on purchasing one for personal use, but for a business, this is a great scalable design.

Find out more at: