It's December 28th and the world has just about recovered from the excesses of Christmas and is preparing for the New Year festivities. In some respects I'm looking forward to seeing the back of 2011, although all in all, it has been quite a good year for the Apple Harvest.
In March I got the call to return to Zurich, initially for about four and half months, but I ended up staying for eight months. That's a long time to be away from friends and family, but it has enabled me to get the Apple Harvest infrastructure to the state where I'm now really happy with it. An Airport Extreme, 3Tb Time Capsule and an additional Airport Express now work together to provide decent WiFi coverage throughout the house. The 2008 24inch 3.06GHz iMac has been upgraded with a new 1Tb hard disk and still acts as the main workhorse, running OS X Lion and Lion Server. The shiny new 13inch i7 MacBook Air is my run around of choice, but my first Mac, the 2007 15inch MacBook Pro still has a place in the office. The original iPad and iPhone 4 complete the hardware line up. Not intending to upgrade either of these yet - they work perfectly well as they are and they compliment the MacBook Air.
There are lots of new toys supporting the network now. I replaced the wired Apple keyboard on the iMac with Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard (for Mac), and Mobee Magic Chargers for the Magic Mouse and Apple Keyboard also help make the Apple Harvest a bit greener. I also got the Mobee Magic Numpad kit which lets me use the trackpad as a dedicated numeric keyboard - great from when I'm doing all my expenses, and after eight months there's a lot of number crunching that needs doing!
Finally on the infrastructure side there's the Moshi hub - a self powered Firewire and USB hub that lives under the iMac. Sadly it doesn't work with the MacBook Air because of the lack of a Firewire port on that machine, but I'm regularly scanning the internet for news of a Thunderbolt hub, and it looks like Belkin may be first to market with one which was first seen in September but there have been no official updates since then.
As usual, I seem to have acquired a bit of software over the year. The Mac App Store makes it so easy, and now that the initial problems have been resolved I use it in favour of direct purchase from the developers wherever possible. There is one notable exception and that is Alfred which just gets better and better. If you haven't heard of it go and checkout the website. I'll post more info about Alfred next time but no Mac user should be without it.
The worst thing about 2011 was that I did find it really difficult to post anywhere near as much as I wanted to. My output was half of what it was the previous year. I'm going to have a lot more time next year but in 2012 I'm going to try a new approach and write smaller posts more often. This isn't a New Year resolution and I'm not setting targets or goals. But I think it'll improve the overall quality of the blog and hopefully attract more people and more interaction. The overall aim of the blog won't change one iota. It's still going to be a blog for users and enthusiasts like myself, and it'll steer clear of rumours and bickering.
So, on that note - let me wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks for all your support over the past 12 months (and more!) and I hope I can repay you in 2012!!