Archive | May 2011

Mac server slowing down your network?

I had only been tinkering with MacOS X for a few days when I had my first annoyance yesterday. It might have been just my fault, but judging by the amount of Google result on this problem, I thought I’d just quickly write out my solution.

The symptoms:

– Server Admin takes 5 minutes to actually appear, before that it’s shown as “not responding” in Activity Monitor.
– Server has a working internet connection, but you can’t load updates or a web page in Safari.
– Overall, all computers in your network are taking forever to load web pages, almost looks like your ISP put you on limited bandwidth.

The cause (in my case):

– I had done a few consecutive installs of the OS to dial in the ideal settings. When you select some of the options under “What is this server going to be used for?”, the wizard starts up DNS service automatically. Apparently, this new DNS server is stored in your Airport Extreme base station.
– With every page you load, your computer goes knocking on your server’s door for DNS info which obviously isn’t there, resulting in a prolonged load time.

The solution (in my case):

– Open up Airport Utility > Manual Configuration > Internet and delete the local DNS server (10.0.1.x).

Your Airport base station will automatically reboot, relaying all updated DNS info to the computers in your network. Et voila … your at full speed and your server will respond normally once again.

I hope this post will help frustrated users restoring faith in their MacOS X server. If not, good luck looking for your particular solution.

Advertisements

Final Cut Pro X: closing the gap

Final Cut has always been a professional application, but it looks like the latest version of Apple’s video editing software is opening up it’s features and tools to a much broader audience.

The new version is called Final Cut X (as in ten) and was first announced and demoed last month  during a big meetup by the Final Cut User Group in Las Vegas. It has been rebuilt from the ground up to support 64bit and, at first glance, looks like a grown-up version of the latest iMovie. It will be shipping in june and pricing is set at $299 (problably €299 for us Europeans).

When it comes to “look and feel” the gap between iMovie and
Final Cut has become really narrow.

Losing the pro look, making the pro feel more accessible

So, is Apple trying to make professional video editing more accessible or is the new layout just a more efficient workspace? I think a lot of pro users will miss the classic, grey, pro look at first. Personally, I don’t give a damn how the software looks, as long as it lets me do my editing in an efficient and intuitive way. Final Cut Pro X comes with a bunch of new features: things like a magnetic time line, compounding sequences to declutter your time line, auditioning multiple sequence options inside your timeline, background rendering and some great new tagging options will, I think, give editors a more efficient workflow and cut down on editing time. On the other hand, non-pro users will get the hang of the software way more easily and, combined with the fair price, have a larger set of tools at their disposal.

What about the studio?

It isn’t quite clear yet whether Apple revamped the entire Studio suite. I’m pretty sure DVD Studio Pro isn’t going to make it to this new version (just like iDVD didn’t in the iLife suite). But what about Motion and Soundtrack Pro? Will all programs be sold separately via the Mac App Store? Will there still be a physical box in stores? All of these questions will probably be answered when Final Cut Pro X launches. One thing’s for sure: the new “easier” look and feel and increase in features have made Final Cut Express completely redundant. Another app bites the dust.

Check back in about a month for my first impressions.


Birth of a server

Thanks to a mac shuffle throughout the house (the misses got a new laptop), I found a new candidate in my never-ending search of a pet project. I decided to turn my old first generation white Macbook (FLASHBACK!) into a Mac OS server. I have very little experience with servers, none actually, so I’m curious to see how it’ll go along. The goal is to host my own portfolio/company website, as I’m (hopefully) going to graduate next month. To start it all off, I went ahead and registered http://www.gilplaquet.com (powered by Priorweb).

What I’ve done so for:

– Installed Snow Leopard server
– Installed Insomniax to keep the Macbook awake (for some reason that particular model doesn’t like waking up with the lid closed since Snow Leopard)
– Installed Sequel Pro for editing MySQL databases (I know, I know, real geeks do that stuff in Terminal)
– Exploring the server OS, probably ruining stuff all over the place

What I’m not sure about / would like to know:

– WordPress, Drupal or … ?
– Will Telenet start bitchin’ (I know they block port 80)?
– What are absolute essentials when running your own (Mac) server?