Decisions: Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Help Maria out everybody. She’s been anxiously waiting the release of the Mac Book Retina Pro these last few weeks, and to add to the painfully slow decision we’re all following, everyone else in the office is jumping on the consumerism bandwagon and talking up the next latest tech buy.

Stay tuned this week as our creative team here at InMotion Hosting all make their choices in what they are planning to invest in, be it the top Pad, Notebook, Laptop, or various Macs from the Apple family.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help Maria out much, all this geek talk of various specifications is just growing the want list. So I decided to throw it out there to you folks and help her make her decision. It’s like pulling teeth, because despite having settled on getting a Mac for creative purposes, their family of laptops has an incredible array of choice, overlap, and pricing purposefully to part you from your money. As I’ll now go on to explain:

On the left, the fully specced out Mac Book Air | On the right the Mac Book Pro Retina Base model

Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Maria:

Well my Dell laptop has already blown up several times and is six years old – so I’ve been thinking about getting a MacBook…

Maria! I think it’s past time to invest in a replacement, don’t you think? (Not that we’re putting the consumer pressure on her.) Anyway that said, her background is in sound production – Yes there are all sorts here at InMotion.

Maria:

I’ll be just using it for sound production, D-J software etc. I don’t do any video editing or imagery work so much. So as long as it can render this stuff with multiple channels fast…

Mac Book Retina Pro Pricing
“but it’s only $400 more..”

 

Here was my suggestion:

Seeing as you’re doing sound editing, don’t bother spending on the Retina Model! Save the $400 towards extra software or add-on hardware for your home music studio.

It’s not helped by the fact that everyone has their little bit of input on what they are buying and why. Pretty amazing that Mac of all brands has managed to stop Marketing AND Development departments in it’s tracks to stare dumbfounded at the latest new toys.

Work literally ground to a halt as we all crowded around to stare at Andrew’s new Mac Book Retina Pro Base model. The same one Maria is considering, only he uses it for the Xcode SDK, and those coding texts look so crisp maybe I don’t need glasses after all?

 

Stop Working - Andrew's Retina!

Here’s what everyone else had to say:

Mike (Marketing Manager): [He was going to go for the Retina Model I believe]

I went to see it, and it made the internet look crap. Big disappointment for me because I don’t do enough video stuff to warrant me staring at a crap internet screen all day. I think I’ll wait out ’till the next round of Apple releases.

The debate has caused a stir at all levels of the company, Bob (Executive Level) has already committed to buying the Latest Fully specced Mac Book Air.

It’s faster than my old Mac Book Pro, and cheaper than upgrading. Since I only do a bit of video editing I wasn’t going to warrant going for the retina screen either. It’s fast enough for my Office editing, and occasional rendering.

I think that’s in-line with industry consensus. Unless you’re a Photographer, or full time Video Editor, going for the Retina Family will put you in a bracket of spending for those requirements at least double that of the PC family, which is where I’ll probably end up in my personal decision tree later on.

Waiting to see if Maria will snap out of the glassy eyed ooing.. help her out bods and share your decisions with us. Is the Mac Book Air good enough for sound production? Leave her a note:

Let’s Explain Web Hosting – Behind the Scenes [Video]

Ever get bored of the techie trying to explain to you what web-hosting is all about from his bedroom recorded Skype video? Ever get confused with all the funny terms they drop in – like ‘Shared Hosting’, ‘Dedicated Servers’, it’s usually jumbled up with more screenshots of jargon, added to a robotic voiceover – you must know the type of video I mean!

Well, we understand how you feel! So our team got together and decided to ‘splain it in low-tech everyday stuff, so that even YOU can explain it to your Mom, Dad, dog, and client.

Check out our video below:

This is the catch, it was just us folks in the office, trying to explain it without going near the technology we take for granted around us. Um, do you think I set up an uncool [unfair] challenge or not?

Here’s what Anie had to say:

I guess I’d like to say what a fun process it was and how it was a different kind of teamwork that we’ve never experienced before, and we get to share this with our customers in order to have a more fun and shared perspective of web hosting from our customer’s point of view.

Which is pretty much what I was hoping for.

Anie: From beginning to end it was fun: drawing, cutting, taping, setting up and rehearsing!

Jason: I’m looking forward to using it to explain web hosting, VPS, and what I do to my friends, colleagues and affiliates. It was always a sticking point if you try to go there.

Alex: I enjoyed recording the sound with everyday office noises – even more so that I managed to get one of my own songs into the background party bit!

And the point I was making? Well, wouldn’t it be cool if as a new start-up or web-business, you could put together a simple video like this to explain your business? I’ve proven that we don’t have to have fantastic performance skills to produce something that could be meaningful to our audience. I hope you share the video as inspiration for your own office/business videos!

web hosting for beginners

lets explain web hosting

So you want to begin #HTML5 Animation?

A while ago we produced the HTML5 Cheat sheets that went down a treat amongst pro web developers. But what about those of us who are completely new to HTML5 and want to take advantage of it’s powerful features without the in depth coding knowledge?

I researched and put together a list of the top 5 Animation suites to get you a head start on creating some punchy graphics for your web pages.

1./ Purple – $20 Mac OSX App for HTML5  iPhone, iPad and web animationsPurple HTML5 Animator

Hmmm, this was the cheapest of all the apps, looks beautifully built. But it has strong limitations in that it’s only for Mac users and that there are no mouse over or button animation features. Another nasty hiccup was browsing their demo site, I came across a browser incompatablity issue and graphics wouldn’t display. The animation demos looked nice on my iPhone but didn’t scale and couldn’t interact so there is still some room for improvement.

“SAY WHAT!@#%^!? – I thought we were supposed to be moving away from Flash and all it’s hiccups!?”

Yes – currently unless your browser supports ‘WebKit’ Extensions, you can’t view the work you put all that effort into. Purple say that in the next update of Firefox 5, this compatibility issue will be resolved, and therefore their HTML5 WebKit animations will be supported.

2./ Tumult Hype – $50

The graphics user interface of this suite seems particularly well thought out. You have the full options of animations given to you whether you are trying to create mouse-over animation etc. I Love this suite and at 50 Squids I think they hit  great affordable pricepoint with me. Now if only I had a mac. Hype is only available for Mac and they have no plans to produce a version for windows.

3./ Hippo – $30Hippo HTML5 Animator

They have gone to the effort of creating some really easy to understand tutorials for their software suite. The pricepoint is a really attractive low $30, matched only by the fact the tool feels a little clunky and buggy at times. This seems to match the windows platform hiccups as a PC user I have steadily gotten used to. The demos in their gallery show a great range of capability with mouse-over animation and button functions recently added. The Developers behind this tool are active which gives me great confidence there is more to come with this animation suite, and their support team seem really approachable. Definately a thumbs up for the beginner with HTML5, including anyone fearful of animation and timelines.

4./ Adobe Edge – $PREVIEWAdobe Edge HTML5

Adobe Edge is in preview beta release so grab it while you can. I was quick to end up being disappointed, just like Flash was known for it’s user ‘unfriendly’ workflow. Adobe Edge starts off appearing to have a more intuitive layout, but seems to be lacking many editing tools. I’m sure this is just a limitation of using the Beta release, but I’m sorely limited to be able to create new concepts when I want to trace different shaped paths, or cropping windows.

5./ Sencha Animator – $199Sencha HTML5 Animation

Wow this suite has it all, but the beginner can be easily scared off or confused at the layout of the purchase pages. Sencha has been around the longest and probably has the most stable editing suite out there. There is an amazing array of tools coding window, and even a nicely laid out support forum. But where this is let down is that it’s currently the most expensive on the market, and as a beginner sure enough it’s the lowest priced software Sencha is offering, but look down the list or at the sidebars and there’s a lot of cross navigating to developer architect tools, higher priced packages, amazing training courses in different softwares, and you suddenly become bewildered at your first attempt with coding HTML5 to think; ‘maybe you should get used to a simpler tool before investing 200 bucks?’

Summary of HTML5 Animation tools

Overall I think Tumult Hype is the winner for me, because of it’s GUI useability and function range. So much so I might have to go out and purchase a Mac just to get on this editing platform. In the mean time Hippo Animator will do as long as I can cope with it’s buggyness. I must have crashed the software 3 times in one session already! :(

Interstate Skills Training AKA Systems Bootcamp

IMH is taunting our techie knowledge-base this week as we flew in Trey from our Virginia Beach office to take the lead with training our new associates here in Los Angeles.

We have recently increased our Los Angeles division with new hires to manage our ever-growing server systems. Rather like Jordie LaForge heads up engineering of Star Trek, we had Trey to bring our guys up to speed with hands on training while under Nerf Gun attack from the marketing department.

His specialty is the systems-specific, advanced-level training, which comprises mostly of investigative analysis work to proactively reach out to our customers before they hit a resource issue. Our Systems team are the core the company stands on and will handle customers who may have advanced concerns like being unable to handle server problems themselves in case they couldn’t figure out their root access.

Trey is successfully flying home to Virginia Beach this evening after commenting

“Well the turbulent weather wasn’t expected from LA” – Yes we had ‘electrical storms’ here! “…and I think I successfully trained our systems core team to manage any high pressure situations” – (That marketing team improvised and simulated using Nerf guns from across the office heheh.)

The Apple Craze!

When working for a tech company, it’s pretty inevitable that you’ll run into a few tech gadget early adoptors. In our case, we have plenty of Apple enthusiasts that just “have to have” the latest releases of their products. If you’re an Apple enthusiast yourself or are simply aware of the latest Apple craze, then you know about the new iPad hype.

Bob and his new iPad

Well here at our office, our Director of Sales and Marketing, Bob, beat the rest of us to it.  He  purchased the new iPad during the online presale and received it on March 16th, the official retail release date. Guess it’s the better way to go to avoid standing in line with all the other Apple fanatics! However, it turned out that the line at the Manhattan Beach Apple store wasn’t too bad, according to another Apple enthusiast in the office who went out and bought the new Apple TV digital media receiver on his lunch break! Talk about Apple envy…he “had to have” a new Apple product as well!

Bob Happy With His New iPad

I myself just joined in on the Apple craze and got the iPhone 4S a couple of months ago. Needless to say, it’s my new addiction…