The current and very messy state of digital publishing.

This year we’ll be working on several interesting projects, including a few that involve eBooks. After spending a frustrating amount of time researching “the best current and future-proof publishing formats and platforms” we still have more questions than answers.

The current state of digital publishing looks like an Italian opera or a Mexican telenovela where everybody simultaneously loves and hates one other. While we know there’s almost always a happy ending, we can’t exactly figure out what the outcome will be.

Let’s start with the term multimedia. I have always found this term confusing and somewhat misleading. At least in the photo and video industries “multimedia” is generally used to describe projects where photography and sound, or still images and video, are combined.

But if you think about it, printed books have always used photos or illustrations. The same is true for magazines, websites, posters, and any form of packaging. What makes a slideshow with sound more multimedia than a box of cereal? I don’t know. So, to simplify, we’ll use my friend Peter Krogh’s definition: “Multimedia eBooks means PDFs or EPUBs with embedded videos that are viewed within the body of the book. You simply click to view, without leaving the page you are on.”

A lot has happened in the digital publishing world, with clear milestones such as in 2011 when Netflix boldly announced (and a month later reversed) the separation of their DVD and video streaming services. I believe the overall message is plain as day when a company that started with a traditional pay-per-rental model (and one that delivered a billion DVDs) first transitions to a model that includes a flat-fee and unlimited rentals to a company that specializes in offering streaming video on demand.

In early 2013 major Hollywood studios started to kneel over the dominance of YouTube when DreamWorks bought AwesomenessTV, a company that manages YouTube stars, for $33 million. Several giant old-media companies immediately followed. And just last month, Amazon (originally simply an online bookseller), announced their own “Mozart in the Jungle” web series.

There’s no question in my mind that the short-term future of visual storytelling relies on on-demand video streaming platforms. Video is the new and future public literature. But what about books? For the longest time I’ve debated the pros and cons between printed books and eBooks with my friend, Chicago-based artist Tim Campbell.

Since I started using eBooks I’ve doubled the amount of books I read. Perhaps I am disrupting my sleep and shouldn’t read in bed, but the fact that I can carry dozens or even hundreds of books in my jacket pocket is a powerful experience. Of course, that can also be a bad thing. Today, the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. But that’s another topic for another day. In some instances, digital versions can offer important financial benefits. In 2013, American Airlines replaced its pilot’s manuals (35 pounds of paper) with electronic versions on iPads, saving $1.2 million on fuel per YEAR.

So, as an author and content producer (and sometimes editor), I know this much: multimedia eBooks are the way to go. But which format and platform should we use?

Here’s where the Italian opera and Mexican telenovela come in: When eBooks were introduced in 2007, Amazon launched the Kindle as its distribution method, gained a dominant market position, and took advantage of that position to sell eBooks below cost, often for $9.99. Apple launched the iPad in 2009, and a year later persuaded five of the six major book publishers to adopt the agency model where publishers set their own prices—with Apple taking a 30% cut. In 2012 the Justice Department sued the publishers and Apple for “price fixing.” Last year Apple lost the case and was supposed to pay $450 million in damages. The publishers settled for a total of $166 million. I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of that story yet.

• Devices

The tablet market grew 75% year-on-year in the last quarter. That’s almost 52 million new tables in the hands of potential readers, up from 30 million in Q4 2011.

The iPad dominates 25% of the consumer tablet market. This would immediately tilt the balance toward Apple, but the company’s market share was 40% in 2013 and 70% in 2012. In this context, 25% doesn’t look that promising.

On my wonderful $150 Android tablet, I have the option to buy a book from Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play – but not from Apple’s iBooks. This might explain why 23% of consumers used a Kindle App to download eBooks in the first nine months of 2014, and another 21% used the Kindle Fire. Apple’s iPad was used by 18% of consumers to download eBooks, while 4% used an iPhone. Barnes & Noble’s Nook had a 9% share of eBook downloads. Samsung is currently partnering with Nook, and we all know that Google can create a tsunami if it really wants to push the eBook on their Google Play. To be honest, these numbers don’t even make sense to me, so don’t kill the messenger.

• Market share

It is extremely hard to get reliable numbers on this, so I’m using data from the most reputable sources.

Amazon currently controls 60% of eBook sales (and nearly 50% of total book sales) in the U.S. In 2010, Amazon had 600,000 e-books in its Kindle store compared to over 3 million digital titles today. In Britain Amazon’s grip on the eBook market is about 78%. Barnes and Noble controls between 15% and 25% depending of the source, and Apple dominates less than 10% of the pie with its iBook platform.

ebooks-and-social-platforms-21-638_timg ebook-pricing-analysis-3-638_timg

• Formats

Here’s where all hell breaks loose. The EPUB format is the most widely supported vendor-independent XML-based eBook format, including public library systems like New York and Brooklyn, but Amazon’s Kindle does not support EPUB (Kindle uses the KF8 and AZW formats) and there are no desktop EPUB readers that can play videos.

So, even with the EPUB as the most widely supported format, if we need to embed videos (and we all do!) then we need to consider Adobe’s Digital Editions and the PDF format. Sounds pretty simple right? Not so fast. The PDF plays on any computer, and it also works on any iPad or Kindle with a PDF reader. But, as of this writing, we do NOT have iOS or Android apps that can play PDFs with embedded videos! Back to square one.


• Conclusion

As of right now there’s no clear winner when it comes to devices. The market share favors Amazon, but the Kindle App supports everything except EPUB, the most widely supported format.

The good news is small publishers and independent authors now have access to the same tools as huge, traditional publishers. The not so great news is that we might be replacing traditional gatekeepers like Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi, and Ted Turner to name a few. To complicate matters, some programs require self-published writers to be exclusive, closing off the possibility of sales through other platforms.

In terms of pricing, the race to the bottom hurts everybody, established publishers and newcomers alike. Amazon usually gives self-published writers 70% of what a book earns, which means a novel selling for $4.99 yields $3.50. Sounds terrible, but unfortunately it is a much larger percentage than what traditional publishers are willing to pay.


• What’s next?

Considering that in 2013 more than 90% of Apple’s $183 billion in revenue came from hardware sales, my guess is that they don’t care that much about iBooks. Amazon has a clear motivation to improve the Kindle app, not only to maintain or increase its dominant market share, but to keep competing with Netflix and other VOD providers. Over 80% of Google’s $64 billion annual revenue comes from advertising, so if there’s a way to monetize ads on eBooks, you can bet they’ll be there. Adobe might also surprise us, with a Digital Editions version that supports video on mobiles devices, but I truly don’t see Apple letting that happen.


What can or should we do right now?

At this point, I don’t have a good answer, so I’m attending “Digital Book World Conference + Expo” in New York City. I’m planning to attend sessions like “Acrobat’s Secret Weapons for Publishers” and “How to Become a Book Graphic Ninja“, hear directly from publishing industry experts, pick their brains, and hopefully get a much clearer picture for all of us. So, stay tuned!


This topic, as pretty much every topic we discuss on this blog, changes rapidly. What seems like a good solution today is quickly replaced by something or someone else. I welcome anyone who wants to join the conversation via Twitter  @EA_Photo.

Related Articles:

Are tablets making us better? Yes and no.

How to optimize your reading experience.

7 reasons not to buy the Kindle Fire. l

How NOT to announce new products. Google Nexus.

Why Lenovo sucks.


I am a contrarian, or so it seems.

I am a contrarian…. That’s what a good friend just told me.  Why? Well, according to him because:

• I use an Android phone and Tablet. LG and Samsung are good, Lenovo is garbage. I actually got a Nexus 4, a Chromecast and a Nexus 5X the day they were announced. That apparently also makes me an “early adopter.”

Google Nexus 5X

• I purchased a 60D the week AFTER the 5D Mark III was made available and shot for several years with a 7D. I also used (and publicly highlighted) the  Panasonic Lumix GH3 WAY before the GH4 was hot (which I also added to my arsenal). I don’t have a Blackmagic camera, mostly because I love shooting with the Canon C100.

• I have been using Adobe Premiere Pro well before Apple released Final Cut X, and before David Fincher made the Creative Cloud cool.

• I dropped my monthly “all you can talk” cell plan for a “prepaid plan.” It has been saving me at least $1,200 per year. I haven’t used Skype for years, Google Hangouts is the way to go.

• I choose not to own a lot of gear. I believe renting equipment is the best way to provide clients with the best tools for each job, and it also helps to keep my overhead low.

And the cherry on top? We are seriously considering getting an HP workstation for video editing (yes, a PC computer) instead of new iMac or even a Mac Pro.

Well, perhaps my buddy is right….I am a contrarian!

Lego Lucius Malfoy with Cape Wand

But here’s the thing, as a technology consultant I spend a lot of time thinking about what will come next in terms of trends and features. I bet on Adobe Premiere Pro about a year before the flood gates opened. I also have the privilege to see many products, hardware and software, as prototypes or in their beta phases, so even though I generally can’t talk about them, I can wait until they are commercially available or I can get something cheaper temporarily.

LEGO Minifigure Collection Series 4 : Sailor

But perhaps the main reason to be a “contrarian” is that I don’t really care about the name of the brand. What I do care about is performance, reliability, and support. The faster I work, the more time I have to build my business, and the more discretionary time I get to enjoy life offline, and out of the office.

I’m obviously not the only one, check this Fast Company article “5 Contrarian Lessons From Successful Entrepreneurs” and David Ogilvy’s (one of my heroes) “Contrarian Management Advice.”


Canon EOS C300 explained for photographers.

For starters, the C300 is NOT “just bigger than the EOS 5D Mark III.” Well, it IS bigger, but it is also a completely different system. The Canon EOS C300 comes in two flavors, one with EF mount (EOS C300) which takes your good ol’ Canon lenses, and another one (C300 PL) with a PL mount.
The camera is compact box, similar in size to a Mamiya RZ with a viewfinder. It is a bit heavy, but very comfortable to use for extended periods of time. (more…)


Photography Trends, according to Google.

The “interest over time” in photography for the past eight years has remained pretty much constant. The interest for “digital photography” went from a 100 to a current 20. The term HDSLR only started by the end of 2009, with a peak in early 2001. Smartphone photography is showing a wild uptrend.

Google Trends - Web Search Interest_ photography - Worldwide, 2004 - present
Google Trends - Web Search Interest_ digital photography - Worldwide, 2004 - present-1
Google Trends - Web Search Interest_ hdslr - Worldwide, 2004 - present
Google Trends - Web Search Interest_ smartphone photography - Worldwide, 2004 - present

This is interesting, but hardly surprising. 700 million smartphones were shipped in 2012, up from 490 million in 2011. Samsung owns a 30 percent share (213 million devices) of the global mobile market, Apple follows with 19 percent (135 million devices) and Nokia is third with 5 percent global market share. The 2012 numbers are even more meaningful when you know that they represent almost TWICE the expect amount of laptop shipments for this year. It gets even more interesting when Intel announces that it will stop producing desktop motherboards in three years.  Apple’s highly expected announcement for a new Mac Pro tower, might be the last one we see from Cupertino.


The Crème de la Crème: The best articles of 2012.

Wow! What a year! We completed 200 Consulting projects, over 30 Photography and Video Workshops, 50 videos, 50 tutorials and close to 200 blogs posts….all in one year.

How was this even possible? One, this is a team effort, where everybody does what they love and excel at. Second, great time and project management, which is paramount in an industry that keeps changing (and sometime evolving) every single day.

We want to sincerely thank our subscribers (if you are not one, it is not too late. Join here) and followers for all of their continued support and feedback.

Today we would like to highlight our 10 most popular articles of the year. Later this week we will publish the 10 articles that for whatever reason didn’t get much attention but we feel are very relevant and worth your time.

Here we go!

1) Upgrading to Adobe Lightroom 4 in 7 simple steps.

No matter what previous version of Adobe Lightroom you use, it is very easy to install and upgrade to the latest Lightroom 4 platform.  Find out  how easy this is below.

Upgrade to Adobe Lightroom 4.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Catalog.

2) Canon EOS M Hands-on Review and Canon EOS M Images.

After several tests, we discussed the best and not so great features of Canon’s EOS M. Also, we shot some sample images with this mirrorless gem.

Canon EOS M Review  &  Canon EOS M Images

Canon EOS M Interior

 3)  Canon EOS Mark III, 5D3, 5D Mk III has arrived!

An in-depth technical analysis on the latest, newest, meanest Canon EOS system.  Our overview included the most important and newest features.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III


Canon EOS 5D MK3



Life after Photokina: Samsung’s Galaxy Camera.

News from Photokina are like Fall leaves. They are everywhere and it is hard to know where to start taking care of them. Because of that, we are doing two things: a few blog posts highlighting the most interesting and influential products, and a paid Google Hangout on Monday October 15 at 1pm EST, where we will discuss what we saw and learned, and how it will affect your business in 2013.

Photokina is a huge show. There are nine giant exhibition halls and most of them are two stories high. Every corner of these buildings is filled with everything having to do with the photo industry.  Canon, Leica, Nikon, and Sony introduced full-frame 35mm-sized sensor cameras, ranging from compact (Sony) to low-cost DSLRs (Canon, Nikon) to high-end pro rangefinders (Leica). Almost everybody claimed significant reductions in shutter lag and focusing speed, and many manufacturers added some form of Wi-Fi connectivity. If you think the iPhone 5 blurs the lines between cameras and smartphones you haven’t seen Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, by far the most original product we saw at Photokina.

As we saw before with Nikon’s Coolpix S800c, Android is rapidly becoming the OS of choice for smart phones.



2012: A Communique of technology trends.

Recently, we have been thinking about the most popular technology trends seen worldwide.  Here is our top-ten list of tech trends we have witnessed in the last year in no particular order:

1. Tablets and Touch-Screen Mania

Android Tablets and iPads are dominating 2012.  People are now using these devices more than laptops and desktop computers in some cases. Are they making our lives easier? Yes and no. But, we think that this is the future for all computing. Just as CD’s replaced records and cassette tapes, we believe that eventually, touch computing will replace desktop and laptop computers altogether!

There are already a lot of signs that convince us of this already.  For instance, Mac OS X Lion and Windows 8, the latest desktop operating systems borrow a lot from Android Tablets and the iPad, their mobile counterparts. These new operating systems essentially introduce a touchscreen-inspired interface. Most new cars are now even integrating touch screens to operate multiple functions in a vehicle.

Future of touch screens

Over time, mice will be obsolete, and mobile/touch operating systems will dominate.

2. Automatic Social Actions

People now expect to be able to share media effortlessly on their computers, smart phones, and tablets.  This is now being innovated in 2012, not only through cloud computing, but through social media. Social gestures appear to be one of the leading trends of 2012. For those of you who may not know what I am referring to, you may recognize this on your Facebook news feed, with apps such as Spotify. Social gestures, or the “frictionless sharing” functionality, replaces the need to click a button to share media with your friends. Instead, applications are installed and allowed to share the media you listen to, watch, or read automatically with your social networks. Most apps are even allowed to share your location on a map automatically.  Scary?  Yes, Indeed.Example of how apps share what you do automatically

If sharing becomes fully automatic, the volume of content on social networks will grow at an exponential rate.  Our guess is that people will become more suspicious and conscious of the apps they use on social networking sites.

3. Cloud Computing

The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over many different networks.  Photos, Videos, documents and other rich media are rapidly uploaded to different cloud-based storage such as Google Drive and Dropbox.  Eventually, we believe that all cloud-based computing will have infinite capacity and be nearly free of charge.



Are tablets making us better? Yes and no.

IdeaPad vs. Kindle Fire vs. iPad

This is my last post about my Lenovo Tablet nightmare experience. Six months ago (check the original post here) I made a wish list of all the wonderful things I wanted to get done with my brand new Tablet. Here’s the update:

What did I plan to achieve with my new toy?

1. Read more eBooks with­out burn­ing my legs while try­ing to fall asleep.
Accomplished. Not only do I not have to deal with the heat and weight of my MacBook Pro, but since I can’t type as fast on the Tablet, I don’t spend much time checking and replying to emails or working on other things. I effectively have doubled my annual reading average.

2. Update this blog from any cof­fee shop, read while com­mut­ing, work on a plane.
50/50. The Tablet is not comfortable for typing long articles like this one, and the apps are relatively slow. But reading on planes (or buses, or the subway) is absolutely wonderful. By the way, seven inches is the PERFECT size for a Tablet—big enough to read, small and light enough to hold it with only one hand.

3. Watch more movies, and use Google Music.
Accomplished. The movie quality is not great but it does the trick, especially while waiting for a delayed plane at the airport. You can set Google Music to download selected songs so you don’t need to be online to enjoy the app. Awesome.

4. Use sev­eral film­mak­ing tools includ­ing a Director’s Viewfinder, and Slate.
Not accomplished. Bright sunlight is like kryptonite to the Tablet. Plus, both cameras on the IdeaPad A1 are SO bad that compared to my two-year old HTC cell phone (add link to serendipity search results) it is like a medium format back compared to a point and shoot.



Apple announces 2012 products – News Summary for busy people.

UPDATE July 9: HP unveils four new business and consumer all-in-ones with Ivy Bridge processors, will Apple react with an updated iMac?

Our summary of the most relevant news at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote today:

MacBook Pro

• The MacBook Pro 17″ is dead.

• The (13″ and 15″) MacBook Pro line has been updated. Some models include a 2880 x 1800 pixels retina display (220 pixels per inch), Ivy Bridge processor and thinner designs (some models are as thin as the MacBook Air). The best “new” feature in my opinion is the USB 3.0, which is TEN times faster than USB 2.0.

• The 13″ MacBook Pro gets a dual-core processor.

• The 15″ gets a quad-core processor, and a GeForce GT 650M graphics card. It will take up to 16GB of RAM, has HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports (compatible with USB 2.0), two Thunderbolt ports, and the same SD card reader as before.

MacBook Air

• The MacBook Air has a USB 3.0 and bigger SSD drive (up to 512GB) which is not big enough for many professionals on the road.

Mac Pro

• After two years waiting digital retouchers, video editors, motion graphic artists, and anyone using a MacBook got a minor update; a speed bump and increases in RAM. The storage and video specs as well as USB 2.0 ports instead of USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt remain the same. Interestingly, the Mac Pro wasn’t even mentioned during the WWDC event, which makes me believe that this will be the last Mac Pro we see.


Nothing new, unfortunately. I am in the market for a new video editing station, and the lack of a new iMac is pushing me strongly towards an HP Z1. One of the HUGE advantages of Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is that it works with Mac and PC, and you won’t even see the difference. After talking to several Adobe gurus, I am considering the HP option very seriously.

OS X Mountain Lion

OS X Mountain Lion is shipping next month, and will cost $19.99. Upgrades are free for those that buy a Mac today.

• OS X Lion already integrates with Apple’s iCloud service. Another army enters the Cloud War.

• Several new apps including Messages, Reminders, and Notes.

• There’s a new Safari which now syncs all your Apple devices. I need a lot more than this to switch from Chrome and/or Firefox.

iOS 6

I can take a nap now.


Hello Google Drive, bye bye Dropbox?

UPDATED 20141027: Dropbox fights back. Starting now, Dropbox has  considerably dropped the monthly price, effectively matching the best offer in town, Google. Now both services cost only $10/month for 1TB (1,000GB). wow….


Plans - Dropbox

Dropbox Pro – $10/month

2014-10-27 13.06.30

Google Drive – $10/month
















Why is Google Drive so cool, you might ask. Well, so it happens that you get 5GB for free and you can get up to 100GB. Dropbox offers only 2GB for free. Is that enough to switch? Let’s see what Google has to say about the new service:

Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real-time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.

Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices.

Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.

I use Google Drive on Mac, my Android tablet and my Android phone and everything is working REALLY smoothly. A PC version is already available, and Google says that the iOS version will be “coming soon.” You can download the app here and here.

I have been using Dropbox for a long time and I’ve been pretty happy. But it only gets you 2GB for free, the system is confusing for most people who move the file thinking that they are copying it, the notification system (when someone adds or removes an item) sucks and does not have OCR technology.

click here to keep reading (more…)


32-bit or 64-bit – that is the question.

By popular demand, here’s the easiest way to tell if your Mac has a 32-bit or a 64-bit processor:

Step 1: Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left menu bar of your screen

Apple Mac OX 10.7 processors

Step 2:Click on “More Info”

Step 3:Under the “Hardware” section, locate the “Processor Name”

Step 4: Find your Processor on this chart to determine whether your Mac has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor.

Yay! We got a winner! Easy, right?


The Lion in the cloud.

The release of the new Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is approaching. Apple recently unveiled a “developers preview” to get programmers up to speed with the new platform. The shipping version will be available in less than 6 months. So far, some of the highlighted features are a deeper integration with Apple’s iCloud, new sharing capabilities, and improved security. It is believed that Rosetta will stay with us a little longer, while iChat will be replaced with “iMessages.”

As expected, iCloud will be the center of Apple’s universe, and all other devices (iPhones, iPads, desktops, and laptops) will simply interact with iCloud to handle media, messaging, calendars, reminders, settings, and even purchases. Everything lives in the cloud—the device is simply a way to retrieve and add information. Oddly enough, one of the biggest changes is direct integration with Twitter. iCloud’s Documents will be competing directly with Google Documents.

Apple's new OS

Applications like Safari, Mail, iPhoto, Reminders, and Photo Booth will be able to tweet directly without having to launch or manage a separate Twitter client. Tweets will be context-aware: meaning a tweet from iPhoto will enable sharing via Flickr, while a video tweet will display Vimeo or YouTube as an option. What will come out first, the new OS or the updated line of Mac Book Pros?


The million-dollar question: Where are my ICC profiles stored?

The million-dollar question: Where are my ICC profiles stored? And the answer is, it depends on your Operating System (OS). When you first install your printer’s driver, a variety of standard profiles are added by default to the corresponding folder on your system. You can also download ICC profiles, or create your own custom profiles in which case, you will need to drag and drop them to the corresponding folder:

Windows 98/ME

Windows XP/Vista/7

Mac OS X

Now, what about Apple’s OS X 10.7? Ah, that crazy Lion…

For some odd reason, someone at Apple decided that the user library where the profiles are installed should be hidden by default, and only someone with Admin privileges should have access to it. That’s why most profile-managing and image-editing software applications (like Adobe Photoshop) that need access to the profiles are having a hard time “seeing” them.

Here’s my simplest workaround: While holding down the option key, navigate to “Go” on the menu bar, click on the ColorSync folder, and click again on the Profiles folder. Done.

I recommend dragging the (now temporarily visible) Profiles folder to your Favorites in the side bar so you can access them at any time.

apple mac os x 10.7 icc profiles issues


Using an iPad as a Key Light.

Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui playing with the new Canon EOS C300 camera. To test the camera’s 20,000 ISO capability, they shot a low-light scene using an iPad for the key light and an iPhone for the fill light. This is way too cool.

Test Technical Notes:
Camera: Canon C300
ISO: 20,000
Lens: Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS L lens
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1/25th (360 degree)
Canon Log Gamma


How to upgrade a Video Card for free.

If you are into video editing or video games, you know well that fast is never fast enough.

Surprisingly, most MacBook Pro users are unaware of a very simple trick to switch Graphic Cards, and dramatically improve performance on demand. Apple MacBook Pro laptops have two graphic cards; in my case a slower NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, selected by default to help extend battery life, and a faster NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT.

First, follow these simple steps to see your Graphic Cards:
1. Click on the Apple Logo (very top left)
2. Click on “About This MAC”
3. Click on “More Info”
4. Scroll down to “Graphics/Displays”

Apple MacBook Pro Graphic Cards

As you can see, I have a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, and a faster NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT. The highlighted Graphic Card is the one your system is currently using.

Now, let’s switch to the faster card.
Important: Make sure you save any documents, projects or websites you are working on. You will need to log out to complete this step.
1. Go back to the Apple Logo (very top left).
2. Click on “System Preferences” and the “Energy Saver”
3. Under “Graphics” select the “Higher Performance” option
4. Click “OK” to log out.

Apple MacBook Pro System Preferences

Apple MacBook Pro System Preferences Energy Saver

Apple System Preferences Log Out Dialog

Done. The laptop will do a quick reboot and switch to the faster Graphics Cards, which obviously will need more power and generate more heat, so I strongly suggest you only switch to the faster card when using a Power Adapter.

To go back to the slower, more battery friendly NVIDIA GeForce 9400M follow the same steps and under “Graphics” select “Better Battery Life.”

Cool uh? You’re welcome.


Conversations with Friends.

Today we start with Episode 001 of our bi-weekly series “Conversations with Friends.”

The goal is to meet with different people we find interesting (and opinionated) and simply chat about trending topics, recent developments in technology, new toys that we like or hate and simply have a good time while enjoying a glass of wine.  On today’s episode I talk with Justin Katz about the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB Wireless Memory Card. Did we like it? Watch to find out.

If you want to participate on our conversations or would like us to cover a specific topic just post a comment or shoot me an email.

Next week I’ll add the link with step-by-step instructions on how to set up the Eye-Fi Card on an iPad, an Android Tablet, and a Mac Book Pro. Here are the card’s features.

The wine we tasted was the 2009 Casarena Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina. It was very good and a great buy for $14.


Some (bad) news about Hard Drives.

The Hard Drive world has seen a lot of action lately.

When inventory levels plummeted 90 percent in less than a week after the Thailand flood in October, the top-selling hard drives on and went up anywhere from 50 up to an absurd 150 percent. Over the past few weeks, Hard Drive prices are finally starting to drop, and the trend should continue throughout the year until supply meets demand sometime around Q3 2012. AppleInsider did a fascinating analysis on this topic by extrapolating MacBook Pro pricing.

Apple Laptop

On related news, Apple is apparently in the process of acquiring Anobit, which makes chips that greatly increase the performance of flash memory on devices like the iPhone 4S.

Seagate Technology completed the acquisition of the hard disk drive business of Samsung Electronics for $1.4 billion in stock and cash. The deal was approved in Australia, China, and the E.U.

In 2010, HDD shipments from both Seagate and Samsung represented 40 percent of the HDD market. Western Digital and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies still held the number one position with a 50 percent share. Western Digital intends to buy Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion in cash and stock and the acquisition is expected to be finalized by March.

The mergers are not good for photographers, filmmakers, and any creative relying on desktop hard drives. With Western Digital’s acquisition of Hitachi, and Seagate’s acquisition of Samsung’s segment, the two companies will control approximately 90% of the market.



Google Android OS is bad, and Apple iOS is awesome. Really? Read this first and then let’s talk.

UPDATED: Jan 07, 2012. According to The Daily Beast (via Engadget) Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak prefers “many aspects of Android’s fussier-but-deeper UI to iOS’ one size fits all, simplified approach.” Citing improvements in voice command software, navigation and consistent performance, “Woz” seems to believe Apple has a lot to learn from Google’s mobile platform. See?

Android OS vs Apple iOS fight

For the past several days I’ve seen different articles criticizing the Android platform because it is “too open,” “too messy,” and that it is “uncontrolled.”
I completely disagree. Let’s stop for a second and consider the other option: Apple’s iOS.

A few days ago, I was testing the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Wireless Card on several different Canon EOS systems (I will link the article here when it is available) to shoot remotely to an Android Tablet and an iPad.

To install the Eye-Fi App on the Android, I opened the Android Market, searched for “Eye-Fi,” downloaded the app, confirmed the download and clicked open. The entire process took less than 45 seconds.

Then I wanted to do the same for the iPad; I went to the App store, searched for “Eye-Fi,” and suddenly I get a message saying that I needed the latest iPad Firmware to download the App.

The nightmare begins: I connected the iPad to my laptop and immediately got a second message saying that I needed to download the latest version of iTunes to download the latest version of the iPad firmware (to download the Eye-Fi app.)