Choosing a Cloud Hosting to store all your videos on and stream them to your website may seem like an easy-to-do thing but the reality is often a totally different story.
The Mac Silver Tower 4,1 and 5,1 remain one of the most powerful Macs ever made, depending on your processor. Even the eight core 2.26 GHz version is incredibly powerful and fast, outrunning any MacBook Pro and most iMacs, as will a hexacore 3.33 GHz or 3.46 GHz. Certainly they are more expandable, repairable and upgradeable than any other Mac built since, with SATA SSD and PCI cards and graphic card upgrades readily available and easily installed. For video editors, the Mac Pro Silver Tower is one of the best computers ever built.
In terms of cost for performance, no current Mac whether iMac or iMac Pro can touch the 4,1 and 5,1 Silver Towers. What's especially wonderful is that both of them will still run the latest Apple OS and software perfectly, with just a bit of preparation. I'll take you through the steps of a successful deployment of a 4,1 Silver Tower with High Sierra.
Start by Testing Your Hardware: Apple Hardware Test
The first thing you should do is test your hardware. This is easier said than done on older hardware. Apple has some lovely software called Apple Hardware Test a.k.a. as AHT. There's no joy in suffering through crashes which are hardware related, trying to debug your OS (software).
Normally you find AHT at this path
Unfortunately, recent versions of the OS have not included AHT or at least not for older computers. Happily some enterprising Apple fans have collected all the versions of AHT out there for all kinds of Apple computers including Powermac, Powerbook, iBook, iMac, MacMini, MacPro, MacBook and MacBooks Pro.
Winning megaprojects with low initial bids and then turning a $20 million project into a billion dollar con of the client appears to be an artform at IBM. Governments all over the world have suffered, tax payers have paid for senior IBM bonuses. Ordinary citizens have gone six months or more without their paycheques.
This behaviour appears to be IBM policy and not an accident. This very grave situation cries out for a deep investigative long form feature. Together the governments of Canada and Australia and Pennsylvania (just the ones I've found so far) likely have a case of deliberately malicious business practices.
Apparently IBM has made USD $780 million building a payroll system for the Canadian Government which does not work.
Potential Savings on Payroll
The idea was to save money by eliminating jobs. Canada has about 260,000 public servants. Over 1200 people were working on payroll (accountants, bookkeepers and managers mainly with some IT guys thrown in to make it work). This is about half of one percent on payroll. Payroll is about one third the cost of accounting in our company. I'm unable to bring our accounting costs much below 3% of turnover on a sub-million dollar turnover despite strong efforts and automated software like Freshbooks.
What is LastPass and why you should use it
As they say, the only secure password is the one you can't remember. This is the idea that keeps password managers like LastPass going. With LastPass, you only need a one super-strong master password (there goes the name—"the last pass you'll ever need"), which can be a line from your favourite song translated to a different language you speak, a quote from a movie, or any other phrase that is not too easy to hack.
Once you've entered the master password, LastPass will let you access your credentials for every other account saved in LastPass (Facebook and Twitter logins, e-mail, etc.) or do the autologin (If you activated it. Don't do it.). This way, you can use strong generated passwords for your accounts, without having to remember them or writing them down.
The great thing about LastPass is that it stores your data encrypted online and the data is only decrypted locally in your browser with your key, which even LastPass itself does not have. This way, LastPass users are protected from hacker attacks like the ones that happened to Adobe or Apple users.
Editor's note: Service interruption notifications are the unloved sibling of newsletters and welcome emails. They just don't get enough love—and for the most part are fairly terrible, anonymous, vague and menacing messages, often from a no-reply address. There is a better way.
While software is our main business now, we have some hosting clients for special services. Every once in a while of course there is either expected or unexpected downtime. We strive to let our clients know about these issues in advance (planned) and in real time (unplanned). We don't try the tricky move that many hosts do of just trying to hide downtime.
We've recently upgraded our computer stock with a bunch of new (old) Mac Pros. These are the last computers which Apple built which can be upgraded (storage, memory, GPU, CPU in order of complexity). So I've updated our guide on deploying new Macs. I've often been asked about our special sauce for securing Macs and deploying them quickly so I've publishing this as a starting point for others.
Despite the title stating that this covers how to set up a Mac securely on OS X, it hasn't really been possible to secure a Mac since the App Store came into being (OS X 10.6.6 I believe). OS X 10.5.8 may be the last really secure full version of OS X ever created. Coincidentally Apple joined Prism in 2012.
Still one can make a good effort to make one's computer far less chatty. If you really want to be secure, don't use the app store at all and download your OS X updates. If you want to be a little bit secure, you have to avoid iCloud completely. Just ask the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence how iCloud turned out for her (I had no idea she was so sexy until those pics showed up).
Many of you may know that Foliovision began as a client service agency and not a software company. Our first big service was migration from Typepad to WordPress. We were literally doing dozens of migrations a month at one point. Project management in bulk was essential to the premium client experience we wishes to offer.
We started with Basecamp but eventually outgrew it (there's a long post about our Basecamp to Teamwork migration) and moved to Teamwork (back then TeamworkPM). Teamwork Projects at the time had a much worse design than Basecamp (latest version looks pretty good and even allows CSS customisation) but lots more tools (recurring tasks was a big one for us) at the time. As happy as the upgrade in features made us at the time, there was still one key feature missing. Later we called this feature Observer Status.
Foliovision now uses Markdown for formatting text in fields in our MLS listings software. You can use Markdown in either short or long description. Markdown also works throughout our project management system if you disable the WYSWIYG. This is a really quick practical guide to using Markdown without all the complicated advanced syntax only geeks need.
Micro Markdown Syntax Reference
Headers - ### Bold - **word** Italic - *word* [link text](https://domain.com/page.html) Numbered lists - 1., 2., 3. Bullet point lists - *, -, + Blockquote - > Quotation text, could span multiple lines and sentences. Image - ![alttext](http://domain.com/image.jpg)
Short Markdown Syntax Guide
The page below contains examples of Markdown syntax.
We use Markdown everywhere at Foliovision as our main project management software Teamwork offers excellent Markdown support. For some of our internal documents we desperately need tables. This was preventing us from switching everything to Markdown. I'd heard there was decent support for tables in Markdown but trying to edit Markdown tables long hand was not fun at all. This is what Markdown tables look like as plain text:
| Application - Markdown Support | Active | Preview | Price | Non-app store version | Writing Experience | Footnotes | Strikethrough | | ------------------------------ | :----: | :-----: | --------: | :-------------------: | :----------------: | --------- | ------------- | | Typora | Superb | Yes | Free Beta | Yes | ++++ | Weak | Two Tildes | | TableIt | Yes | Yes | $19 | Yes | N/A | N/A | N/A | | Marked 2 | No | Yes | $10 | Yes | N/A | Yes | Yes, GFM | | BBEdit/TextWrangler | Yes | No | $50/free | Yes | ++ | No | No |
So I went looking for a Markdown editor which supported tables well for my team. In the process I discovered a lot about Markdown and even editing. I invite you to join me on my journey. As I use OS X and most of our team does as well (we have some Linux and a few Windows users: we have fewer people using Windows than Linux at this point), this article focuses on OS X Markdown editors. Our overall winner is a cross-platform application (OS X , Windows, Linux) built on HTML5 technology and we do cover other Windows Markdown editors at the end of the article.
As some may remember, my favourite music service is Pandora (Deezer used to be a close second until they removed the "Hear This" feature). I listen to a lot of new music and discovery is important to me. That doesn't mean I want to explore a lot of genres I hate. There's a lot of good music in the world (in the sense of appealing to me) and I'd like to spend as much of my life as possible discovering those artists who will change my life for the better.
Pandora gets you there faster than anyone else. I'm currently listening to Carla Bruni radio. I only like Ms. Bruni's music about a 7 out of 10 but Pandora offers a mainly French female singer diet (way too much Ella Fitzgerald at first), leading me to discover four or five artists I didn't know. Pandora is also low-maintenance (it keeps playing without requiring adjusting playlists) and lets you tune your channels to your own tastes (no more Ella Fitzgerald much less Bossa Nova, lots more Indila, Andrea Lindsay, Thievery Corporation and Coeur de Pirate).
Recently we struggled with a difficult issue in WordPress Multisite. We take care of a network of sports weblogs. Each is for a different sport and not all the domain names sound the same.
We have a master install at say worldrecords.org (sample name, not our client's site). Logins only are SSL and all take place at worldrecords.org. An account at any site gets you access to all the sites. Hence login and password takes place at the master domain. Most visitors are not even aware of the domain switch during login.
When people would lose their password, the password reset email would not come from skatinggolds.org or lugegolds.org but from worldrecords.org. Many people would not recognise the domain and would delete the email without clicking and finishing the password reset. Worse yet the email might be considered spam by spam filters.
A year ago PHP7 launched. Those already using HHVM ran a bunch of benchmarks and came away with the conclusion that HHVM is much faster and is indeed the secret sauce of their superior pricey hosting. While scouting for hosting for a very high traffic site, I heard this from WPE, from Pressidium and from Kinsta. Out of the three principal advocates of HHVM, Kinsta's offer was the only one which made any kind of financial sense.
Since then, we've been using HHVM for that project with no end of grief in surprise collapses in the middle of the night or the middle of the weekend. Are the instability and incompatibilities worth it? For a smaller web publisher, certainly not. For a middle-sized web publisher (think top 2000 website in the US), probably not. For a very large sized web publisher (think Facebook or another top 100 website in the US) quite possibly. Here's why.