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‘Tis the season to drive around town buying presents, travel hours to see relatives, to try to keep from being the Grimp while muttering Bah, humbug! under your breath. In all seriousness, the holidays are a great time to relax, stay away from email and your desk, and focus on spending time with your family.
If you’re like most of us, your Mac is the machine you use to get work done, and you’d be just as glad to get rid of it for a few days while you unwind. But then, your Mac can be a nice companion on trips and during holiday parties, giving you an easy way to play festive music, throw pictures together into a movie, and more. iOS devices are great for that too, but sometimes its nice to have a full computer at your disposal.
That’s why we’re wondering: when you travel for the holidays, does your Mac come along too? Or are you just as glad to leave it at home and get a few rare days that you’re not in front of the computer? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Last year, one of the newest features Apple announced for the iOS and iPhoto was Photo Stream, a simple way to get the pictures you take on the go on your Mac. If you have an iPhone and take pictures all the time, but want to keep them on your Mac, it’s a great service … provided you don’t take more than 1000 pictures before syncing with your Mac.
It’s an interesting way to keep your pictures synced along with the rest of your files with iCloud, but most of us have many different ways we sync data already. From Dropbox and other online storage apps to social networks where we usually share photos directly already, there’s a ton of ways to get your pictures off your phone without syncing or using Photo Stream.
More interesting, though, is that Photo Stream could work just between two Macs, or a Mac and a PC with iCloud installed. That way, your most recently imported photos are on all of your devices, even if you don’t have an iPhone.
So do you use Photo Stream on your Mac? Do you find it very useful, or could you just as easily use something else? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Optical Disks are rapidly going the way of cassette tapes, zip disks, floppies, and every other form of removable storage we’ve used over the years. Yes, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks are still important, but they’re far from the most important thing for computer users today. We watch movies and listen to music online or download them from the iTunes store, we download programs from the App Store and games from Steam, and we backup and share files with Dropbox, iCloud, and dozens of other online backup services.
CD and DVD drives are annoying at best. They break more often than not (yes, I’ve seen over a half-dozen DVD drives break over the past several years), and keeping your disks scratch-free is an exercise in futility. Then you have to keep the disks around just in case you ever want to rip that song or install that program again.
That said, DVDs are still rather useful, if for nothing else than watching movies. Downloads are great, but when your internet connection is slow or the discount section at the store beats iTunes prices, the trusty old DVD still serves its purpose. That’s why I own a Samsung external DVD drive to use along with my MacBook Air (I know, Samsung and Apple, sitting together on my desk…).
How about you? Do you use an external DVD drive, or have you kicked disks to the curb as Apple has started dropping DVD drives from its latest Macs? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!