iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite Bring Continuity

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apple-logo.pngOf all the features announced during today’s WWDC event, the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite “Continuity” features were easily the most impressive to me. It’s such a small detail but the ability to answer phone calls and non-iMessage texts on my iPad and Macbook Air is an absolute game changer for me.

It makes sense.

When I get home, it’s iPad time. I leave my iPhone charging by my bed and carry the iPad around with me for web browsing purposes. Why browse on a tiny screen when I have an iPad? And whenever I want to do some word processing (like right now), I put down the iPad and pick up my Macbook Air. It’s great to know that with iOS 8 and Yosemite, I don’t have to worry about missing a phone call or text message from non-iPhone users.

OS X Yosemite will also bring other noteworthy features like a new look, refined Safari and a more useful Notification Center. iOS 8 already had its facelift so most of its new changes were functionality oriented. I look forward to trying out the new keyboard and I’m glad to see TouchID receive third party support. Now I just need TouchID capable devices.

It’s going to be some time before we see these new features in production ready states. Apple is saying Fall 2014 but I cannot wait so I’ve thrown my name into Yosemite beta program. Let’s just hope it isn’t a complete disaster in its beta state.

A Summer of Betas

windows-8-logoThe following betas are available for testing:

  • Mac OS X Mavericks
  • iOS 7
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 8.1

I could be running beta operating systems across all my computing devices. From tablets, smartphones and laptops to home servers and desktops. I could be living on the very bleeding edge. I could but I will likely not and here’s why.

I threw iOS 7 beta 2 on my iPhone 4S and iPad 3. I’m enjoying the early look but it hasn’t been all smiles and rainbows with Apple’s latest. There were a number of app crashes, battery draining issues and just overall glitchiness. Still, I am sticking with it and will experience the evolution of iOS 7 towards Gold Master.

I have access to OS X Mavericks but unless I can eventually upgrade to the final release, I will stay away.

As for the Windows 8.1 Preview, I’ll install it as soon as I rebuild my PC. It’s an upgrade which should easily be replaced with the final release.

Windows Server 2012 R2 will likely remain unused since I have no intentions on disrupting my home server unless I can easily upgrade to the final build as well.

The computing future is always evolving and I’m pleased to catch a glimpse of what the future has in store however I can.

WWDC 2013 Impressions

apple-logo.pngIn the middle of the E3 hubbub was Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and in it were a number of notable announcements. Here are my initial gut reactions to those announcements.

Mac OS X “Mavericks”

It was only a matter of time before Apple moved away from big cats and onto something else. Names are names and I can live with whatever Apple comes up with.

I was impressed with two specific features of “Mavericks”:

There are interesting features tags and the new calendar as well but those aren’t items that I will be using on a daily basis. I sincerely hope the power efficiency improvements will be noticeable on my Macbook Air.

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A VMWare ESXi Project?

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vmware-esxi

VMWare & ESXi are staples in the business sector. I don’t have privilege to play around with that technology at work so I aim to bring it to the home space.

Did you know VMWare’s vSphere hypervisor is free? That’s my ticket to enabling this VMware dream in the home. This is my ticket to running at least two operating systems at the same time and effectively use old hardware.

The operating systems I would like to run are:

  • FreeNAS
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Mac OS X Server

The hardware I am planning to run with will be my brother’s old PC.

  • Intel Core2Duo E6400 @ 2.13 GHz
  • 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC-6400 RAM
  • ASUS P5B Wi-Fi/AP motherboard

Those three items are the most significant items because they are the ones that will determine the compatibility and effectiveness of this whole initiative.

Unless the latest version of the hypervisor somehow retroactively made the motherboard’s NIC and storage controller compatible, I will have to perform some customizations OR buy a new compatible storage adapter and NIC card.

Of course the latter will cost me some money but it will allow me to use existing hardware. The most costly option would be to purchase and build new hardware dedicated to this initiative but I think that’s a little overkill.

The easiest option is to forgo VMware and install right on the hardware. I would my brother’s box with RAM and install Windows Server 2012 on it. Then I will use my existing Shuttle ST20G5 home server and install FreeNAS on that. But then what’s the fun in that?