“Help Me, Help You”... To better serve you in the coming year, here’s some information I need you to provide in your initial emails. Having this information from the get-go will cut down on the number of back-and-forth email exchanges we need to get to a solution.
Last-Minute Mac Shopping Tips... Some of these deals involve a “mail-in rebate”, so you’ll want to make sure you save the receipt and get any other required documents from the retailer. Read them closely to see what you’ll need to mail in.
Eight Mac Shopping Days ‘Til Christmas... If you’re thinking of upgrading your Mac, or are thinking of shedding the shackles of Windows, you really should get some “hands-on” time with the real “Mac”-coy, so to speak. Would you buy a car you hadn’t test-driven?
Make a Coffee Table Photo Book with iPhoto... What do you get (or give)? A professionally printed, 8.5 by 11 inch, elegant linen covered, hard-bound book with quality acid-free photo-paper pages, delivered in about a week, either to you or shipped to the gift recipient.
What’s a Safe Bet for a Holiday Mac Purchase?... Let’s face it, there’s an unwritten (except right here, right now, by me) rule in consumer electronics that states that the day after you finally break down and purchase a product, they’ll announce a better, cheaper version of it.
A Lot To Be Thankful For... I’m thankful that the people, whomever they are, who compose and distribute computer viruses, Trojans, adware, spyware, and all other forms of “malware”, don’t spend their time composing and distributing their wares for the Macintosh operating system.
Why No Media Center Mac?... Having watched Apple with interest since 1984, and especially since the “rebirth” of the company upon Steve Jobs’ return, I think Apple does approach the human-computer “relationship” differently.
Give Old Hard Drives a New Lease On Life... But, wait a minute. That internal drive is an IDE drive, not a FireWire drive, and besides, it has no power supply or a box to live in. Well, for around $50, you can purchase an enclosure that’ll house, power, cool, and connect that drive to your computer.
Hope for Internet Surfers in “The Boonies”... The technology is called B.P.L. You guessed it Broadband over Power Lines. It’s a simple concept. Digital data is transmitted over the electric lines already coming into the home.
New Faster iBooks Get Built-In Wireless... This week Apple announced speed-bumps, price reductions, and across-the-line built-in wireless connectivity for all models in its popular iBook laptop computer line. The low-end iBook sports a 12” XGA screen with a CD-burning/DVD-viewing Combo Drive, a 1.2 GHz G4 processor, and a very competitive base price of $999.
Automating Your Move to the Mac... Before USB hit the scene, most PC peripherals (keyboards, mice, printers) connected to the PC via parallel ports and cables. Before the proliferation of home broadband internet connections, many home PCs didn’t ship with Ethernet networking capability.
Bridging the Gap Between Old and New... As I mentioned last week, if you aren’t heavy into digital media, you’ll be surprised just how little you have to move. It might all fit on a couple of floppy disks (the 1.4MB kind, of course).
Out With the Old Computer, In With the New... how do I get my data from my old Mac or PC onto my new Mac? Obviously, the answers to the question are as varied as the different hardware, software, and operating systems involved.
My Atlanta Date With the iMac G5... Your intrepid Mac Maineiac, going to the ends of the earth to bring you the best coverage of all things Mac. I don’t know if Georgia is exactly the “ends of the earth”, but you can certainly see them from here.
Repairing Permissions Can Help Your Mac Run Smoothly... If you find yourself unable to open a particular file, or if your Mac is running slower than usual, open up Disk Utility (Applications Utilities Disk Utility), click on the icon for your hard disk, and click the button labeled “Repair Permissions”.
Installers: Gems from the Mailbag... An excellent question! New applications can be installed on you Mac running OS X in three basic ways, depending on the functionality the new application will add to the system.
Don’t Be A Technology “Girly-Man”!... No matter what side of the aisle/Saudi Royal Family/Cambodian Border you’re on, from Howard to “Ah”nold, there’s certain to be some fascinating listening there.
One More Week to the New iMac... With their usual penchant for secrecy, nothing has been released about the new iMac other than it will sport the powerful G5 processor, most likely in a single-processor configuration.
Patches on Patches on Patches... This week the Internet Storm Center, part of the SANS Institute (an internet security research and education organization), released a troubling report. In it they warned that an unpatched Windows PC connected to the Internet will last for only about 20 minutes before it is compromised by malware of some kind.
On Cars and Computers... I got the following email the other day from a friend. It’s one of those anecdotes winding through the internet that may or may not be factual or attributable to a real person. Whatever its origins, it’s good for a few laughs. Here goes.
Here Comes Music on Your Mobile Phone!... Apple will create a new iTunes mobile music player, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of next year.
iPod, Therefore I Am... The 4G iPod comes in two “sizes” 20GB and 40GB. They’re both a “silly millimeter” slimmer than their 3G predecessors, and sport a slightly larger version of the touch-sensitive-do-everything-with-one-thumb Apple Click Wheel controller introduced on the iPod mini.
One Hundred Million Songs in Their Pocket... The milestone song was “Somersault (Dangermouse remix)” by Zero 7, and was downloaded by Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas, at 12:25 AM local time. For purchasing the song, Kevin received a 17” PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, a gift certificate for 10,000 songs from the iTMS, and a late-night phone call from Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself.
Will the New iMac Be A “Super” Computer?... Turns out the rumors swirling around a new iMac were more-or-less correct. Apple officially announced this week that they’ve “stopped taking orders for the current iMac as we begin the transition… to an all-new iMac line which will be announced and available in September”.
WWDC The Tale of the Tiger... Tiger is designed to more fully exploit the capabilities of the powerful 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors now used only in Apple’s high-end PowerMac line.
Can You Keep A Secret?... This week I’m issuing another of the “Whatever you do, don’t buy a new Macintosh” warnings that I broadcast from time to time. Why, you might ask, would a “cheerleading” Mac advocate like me tell you not to buy a new Mac?
All Aboard the AirPort Express... But, wouldn’t it be great if you could access your music through any set of powered stereo speakers in the house? You can with Apple’s new AirPort Express. But there’s much more to this new system than just music.
Fireworks in June for Mac Users... Usually, Apple clusters new hardware and software releases around such events, getting as much advertising “bang for the buck” as possible. So, the days and weeks leading up to these events are often devoid of new offerings, and instead filled with rabid rumor-mongering. It appears this year may be an exception to the rule.
Voice Over Internet Protocol The Next Big Thing?... VoIP allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular analog phone. VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that travels over the internet.
There’s No Free Lunch... Yes, this week someone posted a file across the many peer-to-peer (P2P) file “sharing”sites (you know, the stuff I’ve been covering in articles over the last few months). The file was labeled something like “Office 2004 for Mac Demo”.
“The More Things Change…”... Now, this is bordering on absurd. During his revelatory glimpse into the future of computing, Mr. Gates announced “for the first time, I can say that the floppy disk is dead”. Hallelujah!
“They Say It’s Your Birthday…”... Wednesday of this week was Apple’s iTunes Music Store’s (iTMS) First Birthday. To coin a phrase, “it’s not getting older it’s getting better”. Before I cover the new features, let’s genuflect on the highlights of Year One.
Apple Debuts HDTV Tools, PowerBook Bumps... Just when you thought Apple had fallen into the digital music “deep end” and was forsaking their core computer-making business to deliver Britney and Christina to iPod-toting minions, along comes a serious spate of software and hardware updates.
Man, PCs are Expensive!... The eMac is an all-in-one machine, with a 17-inch CRT display. eMacs are undoubtedly the best value, dollar for feature, in the entire Mac product lineup. In fact, as I discovered by comparing them with the entry-level offering on Dell’s website, they’re even less expensive than a Dell.
First Trojan Horse for Mac OS X? Maybe... Before I go on (and you rush out to buy Virex or Norton AniVirus), let me point out that this Trojan Horse exists only as a “proof of concept”, created by Intego itself. That’s what they’re paid to do explore potential weaknesses and come up with solutions to prevent exploitation.
Is it April Already?... Dateline: Redmond, Washington. April 1st, 2004. In what many industry analysts consider a bold move, software giant Microsoft today announced a new product: Windows for Macintosh (Deluxe Edition), or “WMD”.
A Scary Thought: MLTI on Windoze... Mathematics. They may have solved problems like: “If Johnny begins downloading and installing the latest Critical Security Update at 56 Kbps, and Jennifer begins downloading the latest virus definitions from MacAfee at 128 Kbps, which laptop will have a “Fatal Exception Error” first?
Getting a Stamp of Approval on Email... And it’s not hard to figure out who would end up selling us these stamps my only question is, would the stamps bear a profile of Mr. Gates looking left, or right.
Tips for Combating Windows FUD... What in the world is FUD? You guessed it: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It refers to any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon. As Mac users, we run into Windows FUD all the time. Here’s some common examples of Windows FUD, and some thoughts to give you both peace of mind and some ammo to become a good FUD-fighter.
iPod mini Makes a Big Noise In Its First Week... Well, over 100,000 preorders were taken, and last weekend lines (normally reserved for store openings) formed at Apple’s retail stores. Demand for the multi-colored mini models was high. What makes the iPod mini attractive?
Keep Your Directory Happy and Healthy With DiskWarrior... to the rescue comes DiskWarrior. DiskWarrior builds a new directory using information from the damaged directory, recovering files and folders that may have appear lost. The new directory is error-free, and is also optimized for maximum directory performance.
Ninety-Nine Cents Worth of Nothing... Remember the Simon and Garfunkel tune, “The Sound of Silence”? Yes, it’s available at the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), but it turns out there are nine other songs available for purchase from the iTMS that consist of nothing but silence!
Don’t Know a Quarter Note from a Quarterback? Try GarageBand... GarageBand can hold sixteen tracks of music, either loops, or recorded vocals and real instruments, or a combination thereof. When you’re done, with the click of a button your song is rendered into a CD-quality AIFF file, from which you can export an AAC file.
Planning a Trip to Mars? Take a PowerPC... What computer processor do you choose? You guessed it! The control computer on the Mars Exploration Rover, “Spirit”, which this week started motoring around the Martian surface, runs on a cousin of the chip that runs your Mac.
MacWorld 2004 Roundup... Two really bizarre representatives from Microsoft demoed some new features in Microsoft Office 2004 for the Mac, which will be available in the Spring, none of which I have any use for. Sorry, but easier print previews in Excel are BORING!
Don’t Buy a New Mac!... Whatever you do, don’t buy a new Mac. That’s right, you heard me, don’t buy a new Mac, or any Mac peripheral. Now, you’re asking, “Has Pete gone over to the Dark Side?” No, not at all. The complete exhortation is: don’t buy a new Mac, or any Mac peripheral, until after January 6th, 2004. Why? Next Tuesday the 6th is Steve Jobs’ Keynote Address at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. Undoubtedly, there’ll be wondrous things debuted there.