Higher Ed Mac Pros Meeting Overview - Apr 18, 2001

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-10-03 devin


The unofficial theme of this meeting was "Production". Production occurs when stuff comes out, computing is when stuff just goes in. When most computers are used to receive, Mac users produce now and ask questions later. Why? Because the machines are fast and easy to use, they are therefore more appealing. As Larry put it:

Production = (speed of the computer + the speed of the operator) / (completion rate) x (the overall appeal)

Utah/Idaho Mac Mgr Showcase: iMovie Video From Around the Region by Larry Anderson

To highlight all of this "Production", Larry presented a vast array or digital video productions made by students, faculty, and staff using mac products, specifically iMovie and/or QuickTime.

Some of the videos that were demonstrated included:
  • Dixie College - Zion National Park QuickTime VR
  • Ricks College with help from BYU - Interactive Video Yearbook
  • University of Utah - U of U Women's Gymnastics Live Streamed Competitions.
If you wish to contact Larry for additional information on his presentation, he can be reached at:
Larry Anderson, PhD
Apple Higher Education
Phone: (801) 619-1119
Email: larry@apple.com

Creative/Teaching: QuickTime Authoring for Education by Brigham Young University Instructional Media Center

The BYU presentation discussed all of the things that could be done with QuickTime and how these functions could be adapted to an educational environment.

Some key points that were made were:
  • QuickTime's ability to index video, it's component based operation, its ability to be readily manipulated, and it's ability to handle multiple sound tracks make it ideal for interactive practice sessions, "How to..." demonstrations, problems solving simulations, and storytelling.
  • QuickTime products can be used in a variety of non-video applications. QuickTime Text, for example, can be"played" in a PowerPoint file without everyone having to use the same application on the same platform.
  • QuickTime 5.0, uses a whole new API set that allows captioned video productions to be searched on the fly for content. This is ideal for searchable lectures.
  • QuickTime Text can be time-stamped. As a result, it is easy to throw the text into a database and search for what you want. When combined with a text-based application that can be run in a database and points to different pieces of content, such as "Smile", learning objects can be dynamically created on the fly. One such object might allow a user to search for a word in a single video lecture.
  • Because QuickTime can handle more than one audio track, it is easy to create lectures or discussions win several different languages. If you incorporate LiveStage Pro, you can switch between tracks on the fly. Such items can be useful for a language class or for presentations
For additional information, please visit the BYU Instructional Media Center's QuickTime home page at: http://homepage.mac.com/qt4edu. (link dead)

You can find QuickTime tutorials, overview, tools, and information on how to incorporate QuickTime products into other apps for presentations. They also have a section with widgets that allow the user to do cool things with QuickTime like remote control of a QuickTime movie for example.

BYU Instructional Media Center can also arrange training sessions on QuickTime. This service is free to BYU staff, and faculty.

For more information about this and other services offered by the BYU Instructional Media Center, please contact:
Dave Egbert
BYU - Instructional Media Center
581 N. 700 E.
Orem, UT 84097
Phone: (801) 224-045
Email: dle2@email.byu.edu

Web: BYU Instructional Media Center -- http://imc.byu.edu/ (link dead)
Web: David Egbert -- http://homepage.mac.com/degbert/ (link dead)

Administration/Network: New Products by Novell by Matt French Novell Product Manager

Native File Access Pack
This is a new product from Novell. It securely and simply removes data access obstacles and allows any client to access network storage devices. The "Pack" has access software for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and UNIX.

It is server based solution administered thorough NDS. For the Macintosh, it works over IP and uses Apple authentication protocols and NMAS cluster enabled service discovery though SLP v2 which is part of the upcoming NetWare 6.0.

Basic Mac Requirements
  • OS 8 or higher
  • Chooser and network browser capable
  • TCP/IP enabled
All installation is done at the server level through a JAVA AWT enabled GUI. Administrator is done through Console One. Service must be enabled per user but access is based on a simple password method. No client software is needed just the administrator.

  • Native File Access Pack will be released as a separate product this summer on NetWare version 5.1 but will be bundled together with version 6.0.
  • A public beta is currently available for download at http://beta.novell.com/public.jsp.
  • There will be a white paper with information on how to print with the "Pack".
Novell has an interest in a developing a renewed relationships with Apple and its users. They are looking to improve products such as ZenWorks and GroupWise for the Macs.

A new product called "iFolder" which allows users to sync data on multiple workstations without user influence is coming out.

For additional information feel please click here to visit Novell's Native File Access Pack website. You can also reach Matt at:
Email <mfrench@novell.com>

Apple Updates: iMovie, Final Cut Pro, iDVD, DVD Pro by Vin Capone Apple Computer

Apple's goal with products like iMovie and iDVD is to give people the stuff to use with the latest DV and computer technology to tell their stories.

Digital Video Cameras
  • New quality standard
  • Wide variety of brands to choose from.
  • Easier to set and use than Analog video.
  • Digital data is higher quality than analog.
  • Analog into an editing system converts one time. Every subsequent conversion looses a generation of quality (copy, of a copy, of a copy degradation).
  • Digital is all about numbers. It can be moved it back and forth multiple times with no loss of of quality.
  • Apple products will maintain quality of the original video source.
  • Download speed is 3.6 MB /seconds via FireWire.
  • The recommended transport medium between CPU and DV camera.
  • Plug and play.
  • Up to 400MB/second performance.
  • Up to 63 devices.
  • Industry standard for DV.
  • A multimedia operating system.
  • Can capture video or audio assets.
  • Can edit and compose in QuickTime.
  • Can deliver export the composed stuff.
  • Can playback finished video
  • Can archive video as backwards compatibility is promised from Apple
  • iMovie maintains video clips in the same Digital Video format.
  • OS X version available for download now.
Final Cut Pro 2.0
  • Acquired from Macromedia.
  • Plug and Play state of the art solution for Digital Video.
  • Professional editing effects and compositing provides productivity, quality, creativity, and ease of use.
  • The Best QuickTime based tool for video.
  • Was developed with input from pro video editing people.
  • Does audio and video editing, special effects.
  • Enables real time effects
  • Cross dissolves wipes are available for preview without rendering time.
  • With the Matrox RTMac card. Allows for a second monitor. Has analog input output.
  • Pinnacle TARGA Cine card can do SDTV and HDTV right away. Simultaneous output of SDTV and HDTV as well as editing features.
  • Easiest way to make DVD’s cheap
  • Perfect complement to iMovie or Final Cut Pro.
  • Works seamless with with Superdrive.
  • Media sold by apple.
  • Built in MPEG decoder.
  • Up to one hour per disc.
  • Preview function for testing navigation.
DVD Studio Pro
  • Pro-level content DVD authoring made simple.
  • Author encoding and burning on the desktop.
  • Maintain maximum video & audio quality.
  • Can create interactive projects.
  • Unprecedented functionality.
  • Bit rate is adjustable.
  • Build a DVD menu using a graphic application like Adobe Photoshop.
  • Can create multiple tracks, angles, languages, soundtracks, chapters, sideshows and motion menus.
  • Can set region encoding for foreign play, can create foreign subtitles.
  • Dolby digital Surround Sound encoding included.
  • Security encryption.
  • Can lockout button functions.
  • Mpeg encoding included, allows Mpeg II export.
  • Real-time preview of all creations and edits.
  • Works only on G4.
  • Designed with volume replication in mind.
For additional information on these products and their use both in the home as well as in the professional entertainment industry, you can Vin at:
Vin Capone
Apple - Development Executive
Digital Video/QuickTime
Phone: 310-264-2027
Email: capone@apple.com

Mac Lab Management With RevRdist by Richard Glaser and Mike Kimball

Due to a content change for the Mac Managers Showcase, The ACLIS Mac Support group prepared but only briefly discussed or passed out handouts on three tools used to manage and maintain the U of U labs we support.

Automated Maintenance CD
This CD was created as a means of easily conducting routine maintenance on the 400 hundred or so Macs serviced by ACLIS Mac Support. The idea is to insert a Maintenance CD into each computer in a lab, and have it automatically run routine maintenance:
  • Update hard disk driver
  • Rebuild directory
  • Delete/rebuild desktop database
  • De-fragment hard drive
Within 10-15 minutes, the entire lab would be finished, whereas manually running each machine in a lab would take much longer.

FileMaker Pro
FileMaker Pro is an easy solution to many database needs. Using FileMaker Pro, it is easy to create databases, custom layouts, scripts, and multiple user solutions. Likewise, it is easy to use FileMaker to process web forms or even serve databases on the web. This an easy way to begin establishing a web presence or to build a multi-platform, unlimited-user database.

RevRdist is a file management utility which returns our lab machines to a specified configuration on a daily basis. It consists of an application and prefs file, a server where the master System (or "image") is kept, and a distribution control file (or "distfile"). The application runs from each individual lab machine - it logs in to the RevRdist server as a read-only user, and compares the machine's Hard Disk contents to the master image on the server and the specifications in the distfile. Any differences are adjusted, and any extraneous items on the Hard Disk are put in its Lost & Found folder (except applications, which are deleted immediately). The RevRdist prefs file contains the server login info, the location of the master image, and the location of the distfile to be used. So of course it is possible (and often necessary) to have several different master images, distfiles, and prefs files, to accommodate the varying needs of machines and their users.

If you have any questions about these topics not covered in the related pages, please contact:
Richard Glaser
University of Utah - ACLIS Labs

BYU Campus Mac Lab Tour conducted by Larry Anderson

The ACLIS Mac Support staff took a brief tour of five Mac computer labs on the BYU Campus. Two labs were managed by the Music department and two by the Languages department. All labs were not open labs but were restricted to department student use only. While we were unable to talk to the system administrator at the Music labs, the administrator for the Language labs was available for questions.

Music Departments Labs
The first lab we visited was a small teaching/composition lab equipped with Blue and White G3 towers and flat screen monitors. Each machine and monitor was set atop an upright standard piano or organ. No demonstration was given but it appeared that one use of the computers was to display sheet music for the students to play. These machines were networked. While we were there one student was accessing his email.

The second lab was a slightly larger and equipped with G3 towers and iMacs. Each machine was incorporated into a teaching and composition workstation consisting of the computer, a flat-screen display (G3 machines only), a SuperDrive for storage, and an electronic piano. Unlike the first lab, all devices comprising each workstation were connected to each other. Again no demonstration was given but it appeared that any composition work done on the electronic piano could be recorded and manipulated on the Mac and then played back.

Language Department Labs
The first lab visited was a general use lab that had both PCs and Macs. All Macs were duel processor 500MHz G4 with the latest Studio Displays. Some of the work being done involved foreign language word processing and listening exercises.

The second lab visited featured a surprise, a first generation Apple II computer with its green tint monitor and duel 5 1/4 inch floppies still in use. This lab featured iMac DV's as the centerpiece for about 15 to 20 multimedia (computing, viewing, & listening) workstations. Each workstation featured either a VHS, LaserDisc or DVD player, an audio recorder/player, and a USB device that allowed TV signals, unusually foreign cable, to be fed to and viewed on the iMac.

The last lab visited was set up as a testing center with a proctor's station and about thirty to forty iMac DV testing stations. Aside from identifying what machines were in the lab, we were unable to get a closer look as a class was taking exams at the time.

Other Issues

There will be a Mac Managers Meeting next month on May 16th. Please click here to see what is on the agenda. (link dead)