Saturday, 14 March 2009

Cheapest way to connect two Macs for Logic Node use

Logic Node allows you to utilise the power of two or more Macs when working in Logic Pro. The Logic Node software provided with Logic distributes the computing power required to run plugins and greatly reduces the load on the CPU of the main Mac used for the DAW, this is great for matching up say a Mac Pro with a Macbook or harnessing the power of a second hand Mac Mini to boost your existing set up. However it relies on the use of Gigabit ethernet (1000 base or 1000 kBits ethernet) connections to enable fast communications between your Macs to prevent any latency being added. Slower connections such as the more common 100 base ethernet may work but are unreliable in practice.

This is fine if you have a router or switch that supports Gigabit ethernet but if you don't and are unwilling to splash out on a expensive new router or ethernet switch hub just for Logic Node, then here's a simple, fast and cheap way of connecting two Macs. Apple states that you need at least a PPC G5 mac with Gigabit ethernet connections.

Use a crossover cable - the best approach is to use an existing ethernet cable and an adapter for gigabit connection. This is more flexible in the long run as you can change the cable attached at a later date if you need a longer or shorter length if equipment is re-positioned.

I found the Hama Cat 5 Crossover adapter works fine (link below) is well made and great value.

So try out Logic Node simply, and cheaply! (More notes are in the comments)

Logic 9.1 64bit update - Logic Node is not yet supported when running in 64 bit mode. (Jan 2010)

More on Logic Node

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Public beta of Live 8

A public beta of Ableton Live 8 is now available for download...
A public beta of Live 8 is now available. If you own a full version of Live (versions 1 - 7) and would like to test Live 8, you can download the current beta version at

Great way of syncing files across Macs & PCs, Linux

Dropbox I've been using this service for about six months it's an excellent sync and back up solution - stores your files encrypted on Amazon's S3 servers. Dropbox works across Macs, Windows and Linux. Dropbox has had rave reviews, I've not had a single glitch with it syncing about 1.3gb of files across two macs.

Dropbox creates a folder on your PC and can be used to 
  • sync files across several machines
  • access your files via the website
  • storage for back up files
  • share large files to other people
  • set up shared access for several people to a folder or files
  • host image galleries
  • compatible with Truecrypt containers etc.
  • all files remain on your PC/s as well of course
  • it actually works, unlike many of these things
Also dropbox has
 a decent versioning system so if you change or delete a file you can look back at previous saves and restore previous versions. The developers are helpful and very active in releasing new versions, check the forum for the latest experimental builds of Dropbox. 

2gb storage is free.
If you register using my personal link, below, I get more free space and so do you (above the usual 2gb)

Move the tab bar on Safari 4 and other hidden preferences

Safari Buddy v1.0 makes it simple to change often requested hidden preferences.

A Mac OS X Utility that enables the ability to change several hidden preferences in the Safari 4 Public Beta web browser, such as: moving the Tab Bar, reverting the Progress Style indicator, disabling Google Suggest and Top Sites and more.
I think the tabs on top approach is intended to show the tabs open across multiple open Safari 4 windows without you having to click on the underneath windw, or they're simply copying Google's Chrome.

Freeware from:

Terminal method to directly set preference:
To quickly change the tabs to the old Safari 3 position enter the following into terminal:
defaults write DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO

To change tabs back to the top, enter again but with -bool YES at the end.