Lemieux Design

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Archive for April, 2006

Apple’s Pricing Model

Posted on: April 28th, 2006 by alemieux 1 Comment

Throughout the years, the biggest complaint for anyone in the hardware market towards Apple was that it was too expensive. The fallback argument is that when you buy a Mac your getting more for your dollar and a much more reliable machine. Still, many PC’s are half the cost of any desktop or portable machine from Apple. So when the company decided to switch to Intel chips, part of their decision was for more power, but part of their decision was for cost.

With the release of the new 17″ Macbook Pro, I was surprised to see that the prices are still pretty unreachable for the common consumer. Yes, Apple has catered to the low-end consumer market with the inception of the Mini, but I can’t recommend a machine like that to anyone.

It’s really time for Apple to change it’s pricing model to make their hardware more affordable to really compete with companies like Dell. Maybe they can subsidize their hardware sales with their sales of iPod’s and iTunes music downloads and pass the savings on to the consumer.

In all honesty, now that the release of Bootcamp makes running Windows XP on a Mac simple, people are going to start expecting a price drop in the hardware anyway. Wishful thinking? Not really. Changing Apple’s pricing model now will go a long way to making their sales margins wider than ever.

Google SketchUp

Posted on: April 27th, 2006 by alemieux

Google is now offering SketchUp, the professional architecture software, as a free download. I’ve used the full version before and it’s ridiculously easy. PC only but they are working on a Mac version.

Flash, SCORM, and the LMS

Posted on: April 20th, 2006 by alemieux 1 Comment

Recently, I’ve engaged in a project to connect a fully-functioning, self-contained, Flash-based e-Learning course to our LMS. In doing the initial research for this, I was pretty horrified at some of the comments and misdirections on some popular Flash forums. Posts like this one at Kirupa seemed to be all too common. Then there are some more subtle explanations, like this one at Ultrashock. Even this one from ActionScript.org wasn’t very helpful.


There seems to be a lot of banter about doing Flash courses with SCORM, but not a lot to back it up. I haven’t even found any decent tutorials, none that were free at least. There’s gotta be a way to do this, I thought to myself. Why is it such a pain in the arse?

Well, it turns out that after a couple of days’ worth trodding through forums, downloading tools that allow you to create XML manifest files, there doesn’t seem to be a good, straightforward way of doing this.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, please do so!

Speeding Up Acrobat Reader in Safari

Posted on: April 10th, 2006 by alemieux

It seems like a really simply thing, but it can help cut the waiting on PDF downloads. “Launch Adobe Reader, and then open its Preferences. Under the Internet section, update your network speed to LAN (or whatever’s appropriate) from 56kbps (default).

This really speeds up the Adobe Reader PDF viewer plug-in from within Safari. “

Not an incredible speed difference will be noticeable, but you’ll be much better off than at 56kbps.

From http://www.macosxhints.com/

Boot Camp???

Posted on: April 5th, 2006 by alemieux

It’s been reported here and elsewhere that Apple has released software called ‘Boot Camp’ that allows users to install Windows XP onto any iMac or Mac Book Pro running Intel Core Duo chips. The move is understandable but disturbing, I’m sure, to Mac purists. Why the hell would you want to run any other OS on a Mac? This will undoubtedly shake things up a bit, which may be what Apple is trying to do.

I’m not disagreeing with Apple, but I just find it odd on a number of levels. What are your thoughts?