Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPhoto Book Themes - Printed Guides!

Those of you who've followed my writings know that I'm an avid photographer and have amassed more than 50,000 photos in my iPhoto Library. I've created several iPhoto books and think it's a great way to share your photos, give incredibly special gifts, and also make an obsolescence-proof backup of your photographs.

You might also know that, frustrated with the scant information about the layouts in iPhoto, I created a rather obsessive Web site that documents all of the possible layouts in each iPhoto book theme, in order to make it easier to create iPhoto books. Originally, it was a tool for myself as well as an experiment in giving away information. The site has been live for about a year, and it has steadily grown in popularity. I get letters from people almost every day who've used my site to create their iPhoto books.

For a long time, I've been wanting to create a print version of the Web site (as a PDF, that you can download and print yourself). While the Web site is good for a quick question, I thought it would be handy to have a nicely laid-out concise guide to each iPhoto book theme. In the print version, I have given examples of every single possible layout for each theme, and made it easy to figure out how to recreate those layouts in your own book. (The Web site, is nowhere near as complete.)

So there are 16 beautiful little mini e-books, one for each iPhoto book theme. They're almost done, and now I'm just working out the details about selling them online.

Meanwhile, I'd love to give you a sample. It'll be a PDF of the guide to iPhoto's Modern Lines book theme. It's absolutely free, and the only thing I ask in return is that you tell me if you find it useful and if you'd ever see yourself buying such a guide for any of the other themes.

To get your copy, just drop me a line and ask for it!

Thanks for your interest.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

TimeMachine Is Not Backing Up Your Photos

A while back, I lost a lot of information because I was relying on TimeMachine to back up my iPhoto Library. What I learned is that TimeMachine will not back up an iPhoto Library (that is, any of your photos), if iPhoto is open. Since I leave iPhoto open all the time, mine never got backed up. But since Apple promises that TimeMachine completes full, automatic backups in the background, I never suspected there was a problem until it was too late. After an iPhoto crash, my old library was no longer visible, and the backup was nowhere to be found. That's when I wrote this.

Today, I got yet another sad letter from someone else who lost photos and information about their photos because of this issue. So, I thought I would write an open letter to Apple asking them to at least have TimeMachine warn users if it has been unable to backup their photos. I posted it on their feedback page. Perhaps if enough of us write them, they'll fix this glaring error in an otherwise brilliant program.

Dear Apple:

I have been trying to warn folks that TimeMachine does not backup an iPhoto Library if iPhoto is open. Since many people (like myself) keep iPhoto open all the time, that can mean losing hundreds or thousands of photos while you're assuming that TimeMachine is doing its job.

The fact that TimeMachine promises to do full, automatic backups in the background (as stated on your Web site) keeps people from worrying about their iPhoto Library until it's too late and the unthinkable happens: they have a disk failure, or some Apple person tells them to reformat their drive. Do you have a backup, they ask? Yes, the user confidently replies. I backup faithfully with TimeMachine. Little do they know their iPhoto Library was NOT included.

If TimeMachine can warn users that they haven't completed a backup in 10 days, it seems like it would be a good idea to also warn users when TimeMachine has not been able to complete a backup of the iPhoto Library because it has been open. In that way, users wouldn't be lulled into a false security, and most importantly, they wouldn't lose their photos.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

McAfee Pushes Fear of HTML 5

McAfee just published its “McAfee Labs Threat Predictions for 2010” in which it says “cybercriminals will ... take advantage of HTML 5 to create emerging threats”.
You might think that that McAfee had found a vulnerability in HTML 5 that might encourage those attacks. You’d be wrong though.

McAfee says that HTML 5’s popularity, its strength in creating online applications, and finally its success in solving some of the cross-compatibility issues that have plagued the web for a decade will in fact encourage hackers to attack HTML 5 driven sites, since they will presumably now have a bigger target.

In other words, since HTML 5 will be used more, it will attract more attacks. How is that news? Hmm, I wonder if we’ll get more attacks on mobile devices since there will be more of them next year, too.

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