Stories by Ryan Faas

  • Apple's iLife '09 'a must-have update'

    Apple's iLife suite has long been a cornerstone of the company's "digital hub" strategy for organizing, managing and creatively using the array of digital media available today. In the latest version, iLife '09, the suite received major updates to almost all of its five applications. The only application that didn't gain any revolutionary new features was iDVD, Apple's tool for creating DVDs of movies and photos edited with the other iLife apps.

  • Will Apple's App Store change the desktop app market?

    There's no doubt that Apple's iPhone has changed the landscape of the smart-phone industry, and indeed the mobile phone business as a whole. But one of the most revolutionary advances that Apple offered up isn't in the iPhone itself: It's the mechanism the company developed to distribute non-Apple applications to iPhone and iPod Touch users.

  • Apple's 5 biggest moments in 2008

    Apple was a busy company in 2008. Over the past twelve months, the number of Apple-branded products on the street has become so broad and ubiquitous that it's hard to go a day without seeing evidence of it, even if you're not a Mac, iPhone or iPod owner.

  • Making the iPhone a killer business device

    After the release of the iPhone 3G (and the iPhone 2.0 update for first-generation iPhones), I reviewed the challenges facing corporate IT departments integrating the iPhone as a business device. In that three-part series, I looked at how to handle mass iPhone configuration and deployments, how to configure the iPhone to function in an Exchange environment, and the issues and rewards involved in developing custom in-house iPhone apps.

  • Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2

    In Part 1 of this series, I looked at the mechanisms available to IT staffers to activate, deploy and configure iPhones in business environments. But the biggest new business-oriented feature available on the iPhone, thanks to the iPhone 2.x firmware (included with the iPhone 3G and available for free to users of first-generation iPhones or for US$9.95 for iPod Touch users), is the addition of ActiveSync for accessing Microsoft Exchange.

  • Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 1

    One of biggest stories behind the release of the iPhone 3G -- and the iPhone 2.0 firmware update for first-generation iPhones -- was the inclusion of features designed for use in business environments. While many analysts and enterprise users have argued in recent weeks about whether the iPhone can replace Research In Motion's BlackBerry as the prevailing smart phone for business, little has been said about the tools and processes that Apple offers systems administrators to actually deploy and manage iPhones at work.

  • AquaConnect helps Macs, others share desktop apps

    Terminal servers are nothing new in the computing world, particularly for enterprise environments. Citrix and Windows Terminal Services have been around for well over a decade. While terminal servers may not be new, their host operating systems (those that are available to connect users to the server) have, by and large, been versions of Windows. Last fall, a new company called AquaConnect did something unheard of: It unveiled the first Mac terminal server the world had ever seen.

  • You have an iPhone, should you buy a new one

    Apple's second generation iPhone -- officially unveiled this week by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and dubbed the iPhone 3G -- is slated to hit the shelves of Apple and AT&T stores across the US (and in 21 other nations) on July 11. The iPhone 3G will sport both cosmetic and serious under-the-hood upgrades from the current model and will feature a new, lower purchase price. It will also ship with the iPhone 2.0 firmware, offering access to a host of new operating system features, most notably the ability to install third-party applications using the App Store.

  • The new 17-in. MacBook Pro wins over a skeptic

    There's something I have to say at the outset of this review: From the time Apple announced the first 17-in. PowerBook G4 models five years ago, I've always been a little prejudiced against them. I'd never have tried to talk someone out of buying one, but I always shared my opinion that a laptop with a 17-in. display barely qualifies as a laptop at all. It seemed to me that the 17-in. PowerBook and its successor, the Intel-based MacBook Pro, was simply too big, too bulky and too heavy -- though I confess I'd never carried one around.

  • The top 25 overlooked and underrated features in Leopard

    About five months ago, Macintosh lovers finally got their hands on Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard," which boasts more than 300 new features spread across its interface and underpinnings. Some of those features are well-known -- the Dock's "stacks" function, Spaces, Time Machine and Screen Sharing, to name some of those most talked about by users and columnists alike.

  • The new Apple TV: A true multimedia device

    Although the Apple TV first shipped on March 21, 2007, it didn't get an overhaul for almost a year. During that year, the device, which promised to bring digital media (music, photos and video) from the computer to the living room, tried to establish itself in a marketplace rife with competitors. Systems such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Netgear's EVA series, not to mention TiVo, are all striving to dominate that elusive space.

  • Making Leopard servers simple

    Leopard Server, the newest version of Mac OS X Server, sports many updated features. One of the most innovative is a new interface that simplifies server setup and management. This interface is designed primarily for small businesses or small workgroups within a larger organization that need server functionality but don't have the resources to hire a full-time systems administrator.

  • Leopard's Time Machine: Backups for the rest of us

    Since Apple first announced the initial 10 features of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" in August 2006, the one that has captured the most interest of Macintosh fans is Time Machine. Apple has billed Time Machine as the backup tool for people who hate the task. That's almost everyone, according to Steve Jobs, who says only 4 percent of computer users regularly back up their data.

  • Understanding Mac OS X Open Directory

    Directory services are a critical component of any enterprise environment. These services provide a database for central account management for both user and computer, as well as a framework for sharing that information among workstations and servers. Mac OS X's native directory service is called Open Directory.

  • MACWORLD - Why Apple dropped 'computer'

    Perhaps one of the most telling statements about the newly renamed Apple Inc. that CEO Steve Jobs made during his Tuesday keynote at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco was that the company will now be referred to as simply as Apple, not as Apple Computer.