D.T.P. by Lee -- Daily Tales and Punditry

Monday, February 23, 2004

The Next iMac

I found a splendid write-up about the potential future of the iMac. The guy makes a number of excellent points—and you simply must click as many of his hyperlinks as you have time for (best to click them into new windows or tabs). Many of them are amusing, even though they are only related to the specific words that were linked and have nothing to do with the story.

I only have on point of contention, and that is the proposed location a the optical drive. What the writer fails to observe is that there is currently no optical drive that is designed to work as efficiently if the angle of the disc is anything other than horizontal. Maybe speeds are fast enough that this doesn’t matter any more, but power users will still gripe, and there are enough power users around for that gripe to be pretty loud.

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Friday, February 06, 2004

Quality Cross-platform Video Chats Coming Soon

See, I told you! Two or three people who read my entries have chatted with me about there not really being a decent solution for a Mac user to videoconference with a Windows user. Well, there is now—sort of. And there definitely will be soon. Apple just released the iChat AV 2.1 public beta which will hook up with AOL Instant Messenger 5.5 for Windows.

Personally, I’m holding off for a little while. According to macosXrumors, there’s definitely no mistaking this is a beta version and still needs work.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

ATPM 10.02

The February 2004 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. This issue leads off with my very first cover art for ATPM.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

John Mayer and Steve Jobs at Macworld

When Steve “pondered” what he should do with his arrangement after John Mayer added his guitar flair, a voice from the audience was distinctly heard shouting, “SAVE IT!” Thankfully, he did, and you can now download an AAC version of it. [MacMinute.com]

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Burning iTunes Playlists Just Got Better

How cool is this? Apple has released an AppleScript to burn iTunes playlists to a DVD along with your choice of four different templates for on-screen navigation of the music on your DVD.

Important note, it requires all the latest stuff: OS X 10.3, iTunes 4, and iDVD 4. You also need QuickTime Pro.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Brilliant Pricing Strategy for iPod Mini—UPDATED

The fact of the matter is, this guy is probably completely right. [MacDailyNews]

Update: John Gruber makes some excellent additional points.

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Price of Apple DVD-R Media Drops

Funny, I didn’t hear His Steveness say anything about this yesterday. A 5-pack of Apple’s 2x DVD-R media is now $7.99 ($1.60 per disc) and a 4x pack is $9.99 ($2 per disc). [MacNN]

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Raena -- January 9, 2004 12:51 AM

That's still insanely expensive.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Macworld Expo Thoughts

I don’t know that I remember the last Expo that didn’t announce speed bumps to the Macintosh lineup. Interesting.

Anyway, here’s a paraphrased blow by blow and some thoughts.

At the beginning, His Steveness announced there were more than 60,000 viewers connected to the webcast with broadband, coming from more than 100 countries. That’s pretty impressive. I was, of course, one of them. In addition, the quality was undeniably amazing. I dropped out twice, but it didn’t take me long to reconnect. In the past, splotchy video and maybe a steady audio signal was about as much you could hope for.

Yes, I have safely stored away the “enhanced” 1984 ad. I’m not going to give away what they did, and I promise you it’s more fun if you look at it yourself and not just read about it from the plethora of news outlets that have told.

I’ve been reading reports that the Microsoft segment was the most boring part of the keynote, and this is probably true. But make no mistake, anyone who has to use spreadsheets is probably going to be very happy about Office 2004, and you don’t have to wait. Go ahead and pick up v.X now, and you’ll get the new version for free when it ships.

I wonder if Virginia Tech people are kicking themselves for not waiting to use G5 Xserves. Regardless, what they’ve accomplished is pretty damned impressive—third-fastest supercomputer for only a bit above $5 million.

Xserve Raid. 3.5 terabytes at $3.14 per gigabyte. ‘Nuff said!

Top iTunes customer has spent $29,500 and a 100,000 gift certificates have been sold since October. Any bets that this big spender bought the majority of those gift certificates and sold them to people who don’t have U.S. credit cards?

Billboard charts in iTunes—1949 to present. Hate me if you want, but I was totally deprived of 80s music. Looks like I’ll finally be able to build an 80s hit playlist pretty easily.

Regarding the 100 million songs being given away by Pepsi and Apple (look for the yellow-capped bottles), all I have to say is a repeat of how Steve left it. “Start drinkin’.”

I may have to give iPhoto another look. I’m a type that likes to know exactly what’s happening to my original files when I am cataloging them. I know that iTunes may rename my music files and organize them into artist and album name folders (yes, I like this setting), but the actual data in the file doesn’t get changed. For my pictures, I’ve thus far been content to simply create a folder in my Pictures folder, name that folder to match a subject, and copy my digital camera’s pictures in there. I create iView Media (free with Roxio Toast Titanium) indexes for each folder which I know only index the images and never actually changes them. Now then, iPhoto probably leaves the originals alone, too. Somehow, I managed to get the impression that there were cases where the original files might get resaved, and we all know you never want to open a JPG and resave it as a new JPG, replacing the file—especially if it’s your original copy. No, I don’t need anyone to chime in saying this or that. I’m just going to install the new iPhoto when I get my hands on it and give it a shot.

iMovie is just getting better and better. Finally, some decent-looking title effects. You can scrub audio on the timeline and trim clips nondestructively. You can import video directly from an iSight! Guess I don’t need GCam any more.

Twenty more free iDVD themes. Now, up to two hours of content per DVD!

What I perceive to have been the best-received announcement was the new iLife addition, GarageBand. While I, personally, am not likely to have much use for this application (I’m not a musician), it may be somewhat helpful if there are audio loops unique to GarageBand that aren’t found in Soundtrack. However, one of my best friends is coming along pretty well with his band, Ádamas. He desperately needs to purchase his own guitar and amp instead of using one that belongs to a colleague of his. I seriously wonder if a PowerBook with GarageBand and the Jam Pack addition (along with, of course, various needed audio/MIDI interfaces) might be something he should really consider. Sure, he could get an amp with speaker for less, But imagine the versatility of using GarageBand. The only worry I would have is whether it could be set up to be powerful enough. Ádamas has a pretty heavy sound.

Watch out, though, people like John Gruber are going to have a heydey with GarageBand. Not only has Apple rubbed against their own Human Interface Guidelines again by using a much darker brushed metal interface for GarageBand’s windows, but the sides of the main window sport a woodgrain look. Personally, I don’t complain much about HIG adherence or violations, and the effect is pretty cool on screen.

Steve’s One More Thing™ was, of course, the iPod Mini. I’m siding with Chris Breen on this one. “…the iPod Mini hints that much of Apple was on lunch break when the ‘Power Mac G4 Cube: Lessons Learned’ memo circulated.” I simply don’t get it. Sure, it’s smaller, but not that much smaller, and it’s only 4 gigabytes. Breen continues, “Let’s see, for $50 more, I can pack 3.7 times more music on my iPod and have access to a boatload of accessories compatible with the original iPod? Hmm, let me think about that…”

I thought the iPod Mini used flash ROM instead of a hard drive, but such is not the case. The $249 price tag might have been warranted if it was for something you didn’t have to worry about if it fell to a carpeted floor or you went jogging with it every day. But ATPM colleagues reminded me today that they were pretty sure the theoretical limit (sorry, I don’t remember the number, but it wasn’t astronomical) on how many times you could rewrite a flash ROM was still a barrier.

If that wasn’t enough, there was one more One More Thing™ to announce. It comes in colors. Again. I think this little perk would go over better if you could swap out the face covers like you can on many cell phones.

So there you have it. I’ll close by echoing Gruber’s question. What happened to iPhoto 3?

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Michael Tsai -- January 6, 2004 08:44 PM

I don't think iPhoto recompresses your JPEGs (just as iTunes doesn't recompress your music), but neither does it let you choose the folder structure.

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

ATPM 10.01

About This Particular Macintosh begins its tenth calendar year of publication with the January 2004 issue. (I said tenth year of publication—not its tenth anniversary. That comes in April of 2005.) This issue includes your favorite staff member’s review of Nicecast 1.0. Among other great offerings is a brand new column by Wes Meltzer called Bloggable. His plan is to offer a spin—a best of the best, of sorts—about what’s been making the rounds on Mac-centric weblogs.

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Friday, January 02, 2004

A Fix for a Problem I Didn’t Realize Was a Problem

NetNewsWire has been updated to version 1.0.7. Besides fixing a number of bugs, a new feature was introduced that I’m falling in love with. It’s a case of an interface issue that I didn’t fully think of as a problem until I saw how much better it can be. Turns out, a NNW user didn’t like the layout of NNW’s three panes, so he made adjustments to the actual application on how to make NNW appear in three side-by-side columns instead of one left column, and two additional windows on the right, one atop another. The 3-column view is better suited for the wide displays most Macintosh computers sport nowadays. The developer apparently liked it enough that he programmed it into this version, as well as another view that combines the headline and the entry’s text into a single window.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Two Words—Live Previews

Oh YES! My favorite HTML text editor has done it again. Pagespinner 4.6 has been released and, among other new features, now sports live previews. You can either use your preferred browser which is automatically refreshed—in the background while Pagespinner is still active—just a moment after a pause in your editing, or you can use an included viewer utility that automatically launches when it’s needed.

Great job, Optima System!

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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

ATPM 9.12

The December 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. This issue includes my latest desktop wallpaper images of Las Vegas hotels at night.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by mat hoffman -- December 3, 2003 07:41 PM

hey man!!!! cool little site you got here!!! keep up the good work!!!!!!!!! I especially liked the one about german polital economics!!!!!! I also think you could add american economics!!!!!! Create the best country in the universe, then let all the inferior race take over, and by the year 2060, or sooner, whites will no longer be the majority. peace, brother!!!!!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Recent Apple Goings-on

A version 10.3.1 update to Mac OS X has been released. I’d already commented to several colleagues that a .1 update would likely be out soon and that I was going to wait for it and for people’s reports before upgrading my laptop from Jaguar. I’m a little stunned it came out this fast, yet equally unnerved that there’s no word at all about FireWire 400 drives and the Oxford 911 chipset. I’ve come to understand that the number of problems with these drives is miniscule compared to the number of reports of problems with FireWire 800/Oxford 922 drives (which also isn’t as many as people make it out to be). None of this makes me feel any better, though, since I rely so heavily on a number of external drives.

On a happier note, Apple has finally set up the ability for people to purchase iTunes Music Store gift certificates without having to actually have their own iTunes account and even without having iTunes installed on their computer. It’s all done through the existing web-based Apple Store. This is yet another way His Steveness is going to realize the goal of selling 100 million songs before the Music Store is a year old. I know for a fact there are plenty of friends and family of iTunes customers who feel they have enough computer savvy, yet (gasp!) not so much of an interest in iTunes, to make buying gift certificates this way work very well. I mean, think about it—a restaurant doesn’t make you purchase and eat some of its food before you can buy gift certificates, why should you have to have a Music Store account to buy them?

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ATPM 9.11

Whups—I failed to mention earlier that the November 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

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Monday, October 27, 2003

Here Kitty Kitty

My pre-ordered copy of Mac OS X 10.3 arrived today from MacConnection. After rebate and shipping charges, my cost was $107.95—about nine bucks cheaper than Apple’s release-night-only 10% discount.

Sure, having it in my hands last Friday would just been cool, but useless. I’m not installing it on my laptop until I’ve seen some initial reports get hashed out, such as completely corrupting data on external firewire drives. I think this is only referring to firewire 800 devices and only if they are attached and powered on during the installation, which means that since I only have firewire 400 and intend to unplug them upon installation, I’m liable to not have any problem. I’m staying on the side of caution, though, and seeing if some revisions from Apple turn up.

This, however, does not mean that I won’t be enjoying Panther real soon. I previously mentioned that I bought a colleague’s used 450 MHz G4 that UPS estimates will arrive Wednesday. I can assure you that I’ll be installing Panther on this machine that same evening.

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Reasons to Buy an eMac

The top ten reasons you should buy a $799 eMac, even if you think you don’t need one (as seen on BillPalmer.net).

Lost in the headlines of Panther and iTunes last week, Apple quietly repriced the combo-drive eMac to $799. Even two years ago, acquiring a 1-gigahertz, CD-burning, DVD-playing G4 Mac with a 17-inch screen for under $800 would have required something immoral, something illegal, or being Steve Jobs’ nephew. If you’ve got a little extra cash lying around, here are ten things you may not have realized you could do with a spare eMac:
  1. Get that screen saver that has the fish swimming around, and tell unsuspecting Windows-using visitors that it’s a real fish tank.
  2. Turn it into a real fish tank.
  3. Set it screen-facing-down on your coffee table and tell your house guests that it’s the nose cone of a real space shuttle, then ask them to help you sell it on eBay.
  4. Set it up at a major crosswalk and bet pedestrians five dollars that they can’t find the “on” button within 30 seconds.
  5. Take off the speaker grilles. Put them back on. Take them back off. Put them back on.
  6. Give it to me.
  7. Drag it down to the local mall, set it up in the food court, launch Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, and charge kids to play it by the minute.
  8. Do the exact same thing in the break room at your conservative corporate job. Charge the boss extra.
  9. Order it custom-built from the Apple Store with “extra cheese.” Cheerfully await their response.
  10. Donate it to your local school. On this one, I’m serious. Placing one eMac in a Mac-using school can start them on the path toward upgrading to MacOS X, and placing one eMac in a Windows-using school just might start them on a path to buying more Macs. Even if they don’t buy any more Macs, the kids in Windows-based schools should have the chance to touch at last one real computer before they graduate, right? Remember, it’s a tax write-off.
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Saturday, October 25, 2003

More Panther Attacks

I found several more decent photos from the Tampa store and, since I came across them, I felt like pointing to someone’s shots of the Panther release at the Orlando store. I wasn’t, of course, at this location last night, but it is my home town store, after all.

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Friday, October 24, 2003

Preparing to be Bitten by a Panther—UPDATED

(Update: photos linked—see below)

Sometime between 6:30-7:00pm - You knew this entry was coming. I’m currently sitting on the floor in front of the Apple Store at International Plaza in Tampa, waiting for the 8pm Panther release. I’m 11th in line and I’d have to guess there’s 40 or more by now. This is way cool. (Update: the line later wound through the entire string of barricades and, I’m told, stretched a LONG way down toward the center of the mall, away from the Apple Store. I’m very glad I sat down early. By the time I left, around 10:30pm, the end of the line had just reached the threshold of the outside walls of the store, and those people still had to wait to get through the barricades which easily held 50+ people in queue.)

7:30pm - Workers handed out cards to win a free iMac and tried to rile us up.

7:45pm - I see box copies of Panther in the store!

7:49pm - Stickers on window read, “Tonight only, buy Panther and save 10% on everything else.”

8:04pm - Sitting in store theater, watching Panther demo.

8:07pm - iDisk can sort of be used without being online. Exposé demo up next.

8:11pm - Darn, looks like the utilities I bought for a few bucks to give me back an application switching window and a hack to reclaim the Command-Tab switching is now for naught. What they’ve built into Exposé looks pretty decent.

8:12pm - Demonstrating PDFs in Preview. Text selection now available. VERY fast.

8:14pm - Fast User Switching being shown now. Wicked cool!

8:16pm - iChat AV full release.

8:19pm - Showing Mail.app with updated spam filtering. Also showing more of Exposé and how you can use it to slide everything away and see the entire desktop. Demonstrating dragging an item from the desktop to become an e-mail attachment.

8:21pm - iCal demo. Pretty short.

8:22pm - File Vault. Great concept.

8:23pm - Just noticed the guy is doing the demo on a G4…not a G5.

8:24pm - …and a Microsoft mouse!!

8:25pm - The new Finder windows with left-column navigation has a neat feature—instead of an all-purpose eject button in the toolbar, eject icons are now located next to each ejectable item, right next to the item’s name. This means you’ll always know exactly what you’re ejecting.

8:27pm - Final demos of Finder use, and the show’s over—probably to run again for more people later. FUN!

11:42pm - Now at my parents’ house wrapping up. I’m bad. I sprung for an iSight. It’s gobs better than the firewire camera I had before (anyone wanna buy it, real cheap?). I was drawing a crowd since I was walking around the store, letting a friend of mine see what was going on. Various customers and a good number of Apple Store staff had to wave hi. All the customers and even a couple of the staff were thinking how utterly cool it was that I was walking around the store with no power or ethernet cords in my PowerBook (of course you know that Apple Stores have Wi-Fi access that anyone can use) and an iSight attached, talking to someone in Nebraska (hi, Andy).

Anyway, the freebie item was a set of dog tags with the Panther emblem on one side (silver X on a black background) and the Apple logo (black logo on a silver background) on the other. One of the tags also had words about the world release of Mac OS X 10.3 - Panther.

I saved off an iSight image of the store, but it came out fuzzy because I couldn’t hit the screen capture and hold the PowerBook steady.

Update: two photos were posted to MacMinute, but the guy who took them apparently was acquainted with my friend, Jon Gales, and sent Jon more. Jon, of course, shared with me! My appreciation to the photographer, Jack Rowland.

The photos can be found in my online album. Jack also included a nice little write-up on MacMinute that helps expand what I’ve typed, above.

“The line for the Panther launch at the International Plaza Apple Store in Tampa, Florida, began forming around 6:30 p.m. The doors opened right at 8:00 p.m to cheers and applause from the Apple faithful. Each person who entered the store was greeted with a handshake and a smile from the store staff. I estimate that more than 300 people were in line at 8:00 p.m. With a 10% discount on all hardware and the same discount on everything else in the store if you bought Panther, everything was selling at a brisk pace. I left around 10:15 p.m. and about 100 people were still in line, since the staff was controlling the number of people in the store.”
Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon Gales -- October 25, 2003 05:33 PM

Don't know Jack, but I know MacMinute :P.

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hell Froze Over—UPDATED

Yeah, I know I’m stealing Apple’s message for my headline. Sue me.

Yes, I immediately downloaded Quicktime 6.4, iTunes 4.1, and the iPod Software Update v2.1. Honestly, I’m not currently seeing a whole lot different in iTunes 4.1, but I want to stay up to date. Many of the new features listed for iTunes were accessible with version 4.0.1.

The iPod Software Update, however, is a different matter. Of course, it includes the software to utilize Belkin’s new voice recorder accessory. I’m considering whether it would be useful to me. I can think of some times it would, but not sure if it’s often enough. What I’m more interested in is a stereo line level record module. I’d use that a lot. Better yet, how about a module with both a line level input and a mono mic combined into one unit? Then, of course, there’s also Belkin’s media reader accessory. I’ve read reports from people who think this device stole the show. I’m not so sure. The way you connect an iPod to it looks unwieldily. It would have made more sense if it were something that cradled the iPod a little better. Also, I have a 256mb picture card which I would be very hard-pressed to fill before I could offload the pictures to my computer—especially since my laptop accompanies me often times on my trips and vacations.

The iPod Software Update also included some functional changes that I am able to use now. First of all, the boot-up screen now sports a progress bar. You no longer have to wonder whether the reboot got hung up on the Apple logo screen. The battery/charge indicator has also been enhanced. Originally, there were just three bars that technically only indicated if the battery was nearly (or completely) full, somewhere between perhaps 1/4 and 3/4 full, or nearly drained. Now, the indicator can apparently show the amount of charge in LCD pixel increments. It may only be accurate to 10% increments or so, but this is a huge improvement. A new game has also been added—Music Quiz. You get a list a several songs that are on your iPod and then a clip from somewhere in the middle of one of the songs is played. You then have to select which song is playing. The faster you select, the more points for that round. Obviously, being intimately familiar with all your music is a big help to play this game.

Naturally, the biggest news was that iTunes 4.1 is also available for Windows 2000 and XP. According to what I read, Apple had commanded about 70% of the legal music download market up to today. To hell with what nay-sayers think about Apple coming up with a Windows version too late and that competitors have had their service out for a little while—Apple is going to own the digital music market. Period. That 70% was built from only the tiny number of Mac users compared to PC users. Even if only a fraction of Windows users latch solidly onto iTunes, I can’t see that any other service has a prayer of catching up.

In related news, Apple has allied with AOL. This means that all 25 million AOL members now automatically have iTunes Music Store accounts. Their credit/payment information is already on file with AOL, so all they have to do is log in. Make no mistake, I abhor AOL. But even I admit—this is big. Very big.

Also big is the promotion Apple got into with Pepsi. Hey, if you drink Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Sierra Mist and don’t care much about this music stuff, be sure to peek at your bottle caps. 300 million caps are part of the promotion and 100 million of them are worth a free iTunes download. That means, if you get a bottle that’s among those which are part of the promotion, there’s a 1 in 3 chance it’s a winner. You can’t get odds that good anywhere else. If a winning cap doesn’t do you any good, I’ll gladly accept it on your behalf! :-p

It makes perfect sense that iTunes Music Store customers should be able to access and purchase audiobooks without having to set up a separate Audible.com account. Unless you want to use the monthly subscription service, you can now buy audiobooks a la carte with your existing iTunes Music Store account.

That pretty well wraps it up. I’ll sign out by mentioning that Apple has sold 13 million tracks and, unless I’m mistaken, were hoping to sell 100 million songs within one year—which will be April 2004. Steve, keep adding new music and don’t piss off those Windows and AOL users, and I think you’ll reach your goal well before April!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention two other new features of the Music Store—gift certificates and parental allowances. Gift certificates are self explanatory. Allowances is a great concept. Parents can create an account for their children with, of course, control of how much is spent. At any time, they can decide when and how much their child can spend to buy music. Once they set it up, the child logs in and has a credit on their account and can buy music up until that credit is gone.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


PADDdock.jpgI’m seeing a growing number of people participating in Giles Turnbull’s brainchild for OS X users to show off their Docks. Ergo, I offer a picture of my own.

My Dock’s size is snapped to the non-anti-aliased size (hold the Option key while dragging the separator) that is one position bigger than the smallest setting. I keep my Dock pinned to the bottom right of the screen which, essentially, means my Trash can is always in the same place—like it was in Classic. Also, I use ClearDock to fiddle with the color and opacity.

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ATPM 9.10

The October 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. Your favorite writer has made another showing this month with a review of the Incase Sling Pack.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003


“For users who have not yet upgraded, the Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update no longer appears in Software Update.” [MacRumors]

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

15" PowerBook Finally Updated

It’s been, what, 10 months since the release of the 1GHz 15" PowerBook? We all knew it was coming, but it’s nice to see Apple finally updated the 15" model.

Mind you, I’m not sad that I no longer have Apple’s top-of-the-line PowerBook. The 1.25GHz speed increase is not likely to be such a huge bump that I’d immediately notice. I don’t really have much use (at least not yet) for AirPort Extreme, FireWire 800, or USB 2. I also don’t care much for the new hinge design. It’s more fluid and has a tendancy to twist simply by the inertia of picking up the computer. Additionally, I’ve mentioned in the past that the new design necessitated relocating the ports to the sides—definitely something that doesn’t appeal to me.

I’m still keeping watch for the supposed peripheral for iPods that’s supposed to be announced. I’m holding out for an audio recording device—hopefully with both a line input and a microphone.

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Thursday, September 04, 2003

ATPM 9.09

The September 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Solution for Safari-downloaded QFX Files

Blessed be “wscody” who submitted an invaluable tip to the Mac OS X Hints web site. Thanks to him, I’m one more step (oh okay, one more HUGE step) closer to dumping Internet Explorer completely. His Folder Action Script fixes the type/creator codes for QFX (WebConnect) files that are offered by bank web sites. IE gets them right. Safari doesn’t. Finding this post not only taught me how I could have been correcting it myself all this time (manually fixing the type/creator codes), but went a big step further by providing a script that automatically fixes the codes whenever I download a QFX file! I’m a very happy camper.

So, at this point, I believe I’m quite safe in saying that the only reason IE remains on my computer is to check web page rendering in that God-forsaken browser, and to access the rare web page that contains something Safari isn’t handling. So far, QFX problems aside, I’ve not encountered anything else IE could do that Safari couldn’t.

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Monday, August 25, 2003

NetNewsWire Update

NetNewsWire has been updated to version 1.0.4. This looks to be a pretty nice enhancement. Previews should render much better now that it uses Web Kit (Safari’s HTML renderer) and you can define a custom style sheet. A new HTML Differences feature that helps you see changes when an existing entry is updated—deleted text appears in red and new text appears in green. Performance has been substantially improved. TypePad support has been added, as well as gzip compression.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Pro Apps Update

Users of various professional Apple apps such as Final Cut Pro will want to check the Software Update panel for a plethora of upgrades to .0.1 versions. Be sure to re-run the Software Update panel after downloading the initial pro apps updater and restarting. You’re looking at about 50 megabytes if you pull down all five updates.

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Sunday, August 03, 2003

ATPM 9.08

The August 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. As expected, Matt Johnson created some desktop wallpaper images based on his cartoon strip, Cortland.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Competitive Upgrade for Final Cut

Everyone would’ve told you it should happen. Apple is wisely offering an extremely attractive Final Cut competitive upgrade to Adobe Premiere refugees. You can either give Apple your Premiere install CD for a free copy of Final Cut Express or send them the Premiere CD plus a UPC/bar code from an original Final Cut Pro box to get a $500 check sent to you.

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Saturday, July 12, 2003

Size Matters

Yikes—I didn’t realize the G5s were that much larger than the G4s.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Andy McConnell -- July 14, 2003 07:34 PM

D---. It won't fit in the hutch above my desk--unless I put it on the top shelf...

From http://www.apple.com/powermac/specs.html

Size and weight

* Height: 20.1 inches (51.1 cm)
* Width: 8.1 inches (20.6 cm)
* Depth: 18.7 inches (47.5 cm)
* Weight: 39.2 pounds (17.8 kg)

• • •

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Good Idea, Bad Price

A PocketDock looks to be the perfect solution for the proprietary FireWire connector on the bottom of the latest iPods. But wait a tic. $16.95?? Sure, this thing enables you to use all your old accessories with 6-pin connectors, but I’m thinking about what is possibly a large number of people who’d simply like to use the standard 6-pin to 6-pin cables they already have. Why pay 17 bucks for an adapter when Apple’s own cable with the proper connector is just three bucks more—and you won’t have potential issues with making proper contact. Everyone knows that even though adapters are important, the fewer you use, the better (and, think about it, a cable itself technically is an adapter).

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, July 06, 2003

“Check As You Type” Is Finally Defaulted to On in Safari

It’s about time! In spite of having used the v1.0 final release of Safari since the day it was released, I just realized that the feature to check spelling as you type (words not recognized appear with red dotted underlining) is now enabled by default. All the beta versions defaulted to off and it was getting pretty annoying to have to go turn it on all the time.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, July 02, 2003

ATPM 9.07

The July 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. Two items from this issue really struck me. Matt Coates’ Machine Language column makes some splendid observations about the iTunes Music Store. He notes that “the brilliance of Apple’s plan is that it wasn’t especially brilliant. It was just common sense uncommonly well-executed.” Also, this month’s Cortland is a brilliant Matrix spoof, pitting cheap PCs against productive Macs. And stay tuned—next month should bring several desktop wallpaper images inspired by this month’s cartoon.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, June 29, 2003

Chicaco Apple Store Photos

Yikes! Now I’ve got to get up to Chicago sometime soon. The new Apple Store there looks amazing! It even features Apple’s first internet café.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Hello, iPod. Goodbye, MD

Sony really dropped the ball. [Gizmodo]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Very Brief Comments About Announcements

John Gruber has some very terse yet very insightful things to say about Apple’s latest offerings. I’m largely in agreement with his thoughts, but I’m going to risk a lynch mob by saying that, honestly, the metallic motif doesn’t really bother me much. I am in no way saying I love it, but I’m not saying I hate it, either. I mean, I did use a tiled metal look for the surrounding background of this blog, right?

I’ve always enjoyed chromes, silvers, greys, metallics, etc. I’ve even managed to get my office set up with these colors, with the exception a couple pieces of leftover brown furniture from my old office that I can’t get rid of. At least it’s all on the opposite side of my room. [Daring Fireball]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Monday, June 23, 2003

iChat AV Gets Videoconferencing Right

Sweet! iChat AV looks to be a fantastic enhancement to an already great IM client. I’ve yet to find someone with a camera to try out the picture, but I did try an audio chat and it was a beautiful thing. Too bad Jon’s camera (which included his mic) kept cutting out, limiting chats to a few minutes, but that’s not iChat’s fault.

I don’t think the interface could be much simpler. You get icons that plainly indicate whether a person has videoconferencing or audio-only capability. The audio is also full duplex. Best conferencing implementation I’ve ever seen!

Anyone wanna chat?

Whups, not good. I just tried hooking up my camera and it’s not working. I’ll monkey with it later.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

G5 Mods, Already

A Spymac reader Photoshopped a slightly altered version of what the front of the G5 should’ve looked like, adding a second optical drive and centering the little piece that holds the power button and ports.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

WWDC Wonderment

I feel like a total geek. Here I am at work with two displays powered by my dual 800MHz G4 tower that belongs to my office and two more displays with my personal 1GHz TiBook. I was following five or six auto-refreshing sites, including MacMerc, two MacMerc chat rooms, and three or four one-on-one chats with a few friends including MacMerc’s Jon Gales, himself.

My initial reactions to WWDC03: the specs on the G5s are impressive. I don’t really care for the case design. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I suppose it’s not all that bad.

Too bad there was nothing about new PowerBooks. I guess His Steveness had to save something for MWNY, huh?

Can’t wait for Panther. The Finder looks really cool. As I’m typing this paragraph, I’m watching the Quicktime rebroadcast of the keynote and I’m taking a look at Exposé for the first time. OH MY GOD! I just saw it in action! IT IS INCREDIBLE! I am SO buying OS X 10.3!

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Can You Say, “Traffic”?

I hope this site doesn’t get slammed! Jon with MacMerc decided to link to me as thanks for sharing the links to pictures of the new G5 I found so he could post them on the MacMerc site.

Welcome to those of you who are visiting via MacMerc!

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by walt15 -- June 23, 2003 03:03 PM

I must say thanks for the photo's .. its the best thing except for being there personally - or being able to watch a stream of it (soon hopefully)

Posted by Jon Gales -- June 23, 2003 06:16 PM

Always looking to spread the love :).

• • •

Friday, June 20, 2003

WWDC 2003 Keynote Webcast & G5 Specs

Spymac reports, “Apple will provide a QuickTime version of Monday’s announcements. ‘Tune-in on Monday afternoon June 23, 2003 to see a replay webcast of Steve Jobs’ Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.’” [WWDC 2003 Keynote Page]

In other news, like you haven’t already heard, Apple managed to leak its own specs for the new G5 machines.

1.6GHz, 1.8GHz, or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 Processors
Up to 1 GHz processor bus
Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
Fast Serial ATA hard drives
AGP 8x Pro3 PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
One FW800, two FW400 ports
Bluetooth & Airport Extreme ready
Optical and analog audio in and out

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Keynote webcast

Spymac reports, “Apple will provide a QuickTime version of Monday’s announcements. ‘Tune-in on Monday afternoon June 23, 2003 to see a replay webcast of Steve Jobs’ Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.’” [WWDC 2003 Keynote Page]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

iPod Software 2.01 Fixes Pops Between Tracks

Woohoo! Much better.

I generally try to shy away from being an early adopter of software updates. The times I’ve done it before, I’ve been burned—either moderately or severely.

However, the between-track pops that the 3rd generation iPods are infamous for have been annoying me to the point that I decided to try this update right away. Besides, I still have the 2.0 installer which I could’ve used to wipe the iPod, install v2.0, and transfer my songs and contacts back in.

Apple could have really done well to advertise that v2.01 fixes the audio pops. Instead, they only mention improved playback performance.

I’m a little curious on some of the other enhancements, too. I wonder if anyone can elaborate on them. I read on a MacFixIt entry that they thought the On-The-Go playlist improvement was more of a bug fix—not an enhancement. The improved handling of MP3 VBR songs is pretty self-explanatory. But what is different in regard to having fixed the artist sorting and improved the backlight?

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric -- June 20, 2003 11:44 AM

I guess the enhancement versus bug fix argument for the On-The-Go playlists comes down to how the original feature spec was written :) Gotta love semantics.

Seriously, thought, the ability to add songs to the OTG Playlist while it's playing is excellent. However, it could be one of those things that obvious from a user perspective but gets missed when marketing writes up the requirements.

• • •

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Forget IE, Worry About Office

“In his latest column for BusinessWeek, Alex Salkever says that Apple’s real worry isn’t the loss of Internet Explorer—it’s the growing chance that Microsoft will abandon Office for the Mac.” [MacMinute.com]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Say Bye Bye to Mac IE

Raena took a moment to nicely summarize the future of Internet Explorer and what it likely means for Mac users.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Thursday, June 12, 2003

I’ve Got Final Cut Pro 4!—UPDATED

Never mind that the big 4@4 event to kick off the availability of Final Cut Pro 4 is this weekend. My pre-ordered copy arrived today! I’m having a lot of fun playing with Soundtrack.

I had attended the Final Cut Pro User Group Network’s gathering during this year’s NAB convention. Those who attended received an e-mail offer last week for a $50 discount on upgrades and a $100 discount on new purchases. An Apple reseller (one of the gathering’s sponsors) called The Tech Superpowers made the offer. I received an e-mail from them stating the offer on June 4 and I ordered it on June 7. It shipped on the 10th via UPS Ground and arrived today.

If I manage to stop by the Apple store this weekend for the event, it might be interesting, if the opportunity presents itself, to comment that I received my copy two days early.

UPDATE: My friend, Andy, pointed out that I made several major factual errors above. That doesn’t surprise me, considering the haste in which I wrote it. It’s been slightly rewritten.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Quark XPress 6.0 Finally Released

The OS X-native version of Quark XPress has finally been let loose.

We’ll see whether Quark, Inc. gets high or low marks from the user base.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Beatles’ Record Label Prepares to Fight iTunes Music Store

At first glance, this looks like it could be bad, but one would have to believe that Steve Jobs isn’t that stupid. Surely the Apple Computer board wasn’t clueless on this issue and has plans to resolve it.

In a nutshell, the Beatles’ holding company, Apple Corps, Ltd., controls Apple Records which released the Beatles’ records way back when, and was also used to release the Beatles anthologies. Back in 1981, because of trademark malarky, Apple Computer had to sign an agreement to never go into the music business and even had to pay a $26 million settlement several years later when Apples started being capable of producing music files and software.

Now, with iTunes, the iPod, and talks that Apple may have sights set on buying Universal Music Group, the Beatles’ record label is likely preparing to make things rather ugly.

Full MacDailyNews story.

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Dan -- September 13, 2003 03:30 PM

Not only do I think this lawsuit is ludicrous, but the contract itself contains no merit whatsoever. In a country based on free enterprise, I fail to see the legality in an agreement that prevents a for-profit business from entering a specific industry. Apple has nothing to worry about -- any legitimate problems regarding this case will be taken care of by public reaction.

Posted by Gloria Stalarow -- February 3, 2004 11:21 PM

I am not quite sure why the Beatles label is so worried about losing money.Is that all there is to life.I am just worried about keeping my health up,which right now is not easy.I love the Beatles and Paul and Ringo but enough is enough.

• • •

Monday, June 02, 2003

ATPM 9.06

The June 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. It includes my review of HTML Character Converter.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Saturday, May 17, 2003

The New 30GB iPod Reviewed

Since other people do much better at reviewing stuff than me, here’s an excellent rundown of the new iPod. It completely packages my own thoughts…except there was no mention of the frequent need to reset the thing that is starting to be widely documented. I anticipate a version 2.1 software update before long. [MyAppleMenu]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Friday, May 16, 2003


A LEGO Mac goes up for auction on eBay U.K. [MacInTouch]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Knowing When It’s Time To Backup iTunes Tracks

This, I think, is going to prove to be a great little tip.

“If you, like me, don’t relish the task of re-ripping your entire CD collection after a hard disk failure, then you’ve probably enjoyed iTunes 4’s CD/DVD playlist backup facility. However, keeping track of what you’ve backed up can be a pain. Here’s a simple solution.” [Mac OS X Hints]
Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Friday, May 09, 2003

I’ve Been A Bad Boy

I couldn’t stand the behind-the-times feeling any longer. I just bucked up, bit the bullet, and bought one.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Putting One Million Songs In Perspective

You’ve undoubtedly seen the news—Apple has sold a million tracks in its first week of operating the iTunes Music Store.

I started wondering what that much activity translated to. Someone is sure to have figured this out by now, but I’ve not seen it yet, so here goes:

1 week = 1,000,000 tracks
1 day = 142,857.1 tracks
1 hour = 5,952.4 tracks
1 minute = 99.2 tracks
1 second = 1.65 tracks

Yes, that’s a bit faster than one song sold every second, 24 hours a day in a seven-day period of time!


Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Friday, May 02, 2003

ATPM 9.05

The May 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

I was a bit busy for this issue. It includes my NAB 2003 report and an interview with MobileTracker’s Jonathan Gales. There was also going to be a review of HTML Character Converter but it got held for the June issue. Don’t worry—the reasons were honorable. I’m not pissed! ;-)

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Monday, April 28, 2003

Music To Our Ears

I’m getting tempted further and further to buy an iPod. Regardless, Apple’s new iTunes Music Store alone is going to be great. I, for one, fully intend to make use of it. I’m even downloading iTunes 4 as I speak…er…type. Who knows, I may even whip out the credit card and buy some music, too.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

OS X 10.2.5 Released

I know I’m late, but I have to at least let you know that I did notice the 10.2.5 update for Mac OS X.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Forthcoming Adobe Updates

Photoshop (and ImageReady) 8, Illustrator 11, and InDesign 3 are expected to see the light of day by the end of this year.

Full eWeek article.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Mac-loving Comedian

“Scott Bruce, a stand-up veteran who has performed at venues all over the country, is an unabashed Apple advocate who gently berates Mac-hostile audiences with his partisan brand of humor.”

Full Wired News article.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Safari Redux

Public Beta 2 of Apple’s web browser, Safari, has been released. For those following more closely, this build is v73.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Tuesday, April 01, 2003

ATPM 9.04

The April 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

QuickTime Updated

It’s time to check your Software Update panel. QuickTime has been updated to version 6.1.1, citing “important bug fixes to MPEG-4 streaming.”

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Monday, March 24, 2003

X Turns Two

Admittedly, it sort of snuck up on me that Mac OS X marked its second birthday today.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, March 23, 2003

Panther to Officially Debut at WWDC

Though it was largely assumed to be the case, many are probably happy to hear Apple’s official announcement that the next generation of OS X, code named “Panther,” would be introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Allow me to make the observation that virtually all the other web sites I’ve seen that talk about Panther refer to it as OS X 10.3. Yet, Apple’s announcement says nothing of version numbers. While I’m sure there’s plenty of grounds beyond assumption that have the next version number assured, I’d be amused to see Panther come out as something like OS X 10.5. Indeed, Apple’s System Software version numbers have, thus far, a pretty good history of skipping from either .1 or .2 up to .5. System 6 only got up to 6.0.8; System 7 went from 7.1.2 to 7.5; and then we saw Mac OS 8 go from 8.1 to 8.5. (Yes, there was an 8.2, but it was just an internal development version in advance of 8.5.) I might as well also mention that OS 9 has capped at 9.2.2. Even if it is updated to work properly with Panther, it will probably only get bumped to 9.2.3 or (if tradition holds) 9.2.5.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- March 24, 2003 12:58 PM

Yea but this is NeXT style now. They used to do lots of updates and went roaring through the sub versions. Also, they don't want to speed up because the day when they reach 11 means a whole new ad campaign.

• • •

Apple Pulls Safari Seed Project

Should’ve seen this one coming. The very fact that even I have been able to give v67 a try demonstrates the leaks were pretty major.

Now, bear in mind that, at this point, this is the only web site I’ve seen mentioning this—and I’ve never previously known of this site. I imagine it’s reputable though—certainly no less reputable than mine! It is, after all, written by a Detroit Free Press columnist. In any case, MyAppleMenu pointed to it—a site which has an RSS feed that I follow.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- March 23, 2003 03:17 PM

It's true. I was just pissed that I decided to hold off on the screen caps until tonight and thinksecret posted em. Should not have hesitated :(

• • •

Friday, March 21, 2003

Bug? That’s Not A Bug. That’s A Feature!

Assuming there’s no reason for Apple to be misleading about the issue, I’m happy to have found this Knowledge Base article which explains why my G4 PowerBook often doesn’t reach 100% battery charge.

“The batteries used in these computers are designed to avoid short discharge/charge cycles in order to prolong the overall life of the battery. Because of this, when setting the Mac OS X battery status menu bar icon to display charge state by percentage, you may notice that the reported charge stays between 95 percent and 99 percent. When the battery level eventually drops below 95 percent, it will charge all the way to 100 percent.”

In layman’s terms, this means that the battery is intentionally allowed to drain up to 5% (in a manner analogous to a period of nonuse) before firing up the charger. It seems reasonable that the more frequently you charge the battery—especially short cycles—the shorter the battery’s overall life will become. This “feature” keeps the trickle charge modes less frequent, prolonging the battery’s usability.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Al Gore Joins Apple’s Board

This announcement could prove rather interesting.

Al Gore says, “I have been particularly impressed with the new Mac OS X operating system and the company’s commitment to the open-source movement. And I am especially looking forward to working with and learning from the great board members who have guided this legendary company’s inspiring resurgence.”

Full News.com story.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Bryan -- March 20, 2003 09:38 AM

So will Al Gore claim to have invented Apple?

• • •

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

G3 iMac Blackballed

I’m making mention that Apple axed the CRT-wielding G3 iMac from its product list because I’ve referenced it to colleagues as a relatively decent Mac for a pretty low price. iBooks are now the only new G3 machines you can buy and, if you go with entry-level models, share the least-expensive-new-Mac pedestal with the G4 eMac.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

It’s About Time

I guess I never knew accountancy was a word. Regardless, Mac News Network is indicating Apple is preparing to take on a new challenge.

All I want to know is, what took them so long?

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Sunday, March 16, 2003

He Works, She Works, We All Scream for iWorks

I, for one, hope that the reports of yet another front that Apple is fighting to sever dependancies on Microsoft are true. There’s no reason to doubt them, for now.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Friday, March 14, 2003

Think Big

Possibly hot on the heels of the “lunch tray” 17" PowerBook, it seems Apple may be announcing a 30" LCD Cinema Display sporting 2400x1500 resolution.

What kind of punditry does it speak when you can buy a computer display that’s bigger than a lot of people’s home television sets?

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Text Box Tip

Whether you prefer to triple click, or your mousing skills are in good shape and you can aim, this text selection tip is a good one.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Saturday, March 08, 2003

A Diamond in the Rough—UPDATED

At least there’s one person who’s a smarter-than-the-average-automaton military officer. I’d be curious to know what sort of apps the guy is running, since you know the Army’s IT department isn’t writing Mac software.

Full Wired story.

Update—3/10/03: Chris took a bit of exception with my wording, above, so I decided to clarify. What I meant to say was that someone in the military was headstrong enough to go through the effort of acquiring a Macintosh. I didn’t mean to implicitly say that military personnel tend to be automatons. I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. I just don’t imagine we’re going to hear many more stories like this one where someone takes the effort to go against the grain of armed forces tradition and standard procedure.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Friday, March 07, 2003

iMovie 3.02 Released

Apple updated iMovie to version 3.02 today via the Software Update panel.

I have a feeling this update isn’t going to be of much use to me. I haven’t found much description from Apple on what this update does, other than “improved performance and stability.” Well, jeez, is that not basically the general purpose of any software update?

While a MacRumors forum is full of posts of largely satisfied people, a post on VersionTracker states, “iMovie 3.0.2 remains completely useless for me. [The] video runs ahead of the playhead while audio remains synchronized, even when the movie isn’t playing, getting ahead of the timeline by thirty frames every six minutes of movie time.”

Yep, this is exactly what I’ve been experiencing. Is there a fix?

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Sunday, March 02, 2003

ATPM 9.03

The March 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- March 2, 2003 10:07 PM

Sound the cannons. Another good issue as always.

• • •

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Window Snapshots

This entry is largely for my own benefit—something I can search back for if I ever need to (hey, I’ve seen other bloggers do it, so I feel justified). However, I would be totally thrilled if anyone else learns something new out of this, too.

I came across a MacDevCenter entry that discussed various methods of screen snapshots. I had previously been certain it was possible to take a snapshot of just a single window object in OS X but couldn’t, for the life of me, remember how to do it. This article, among other neat tricks, reminded me that to do so, you start with the Command-Shift-4 technique of capturing a boxed selection, and then tapping the space bar to get a camera icon that will grab whatever window it is hovering over. Pretty neat.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Bye Bye, BBEdit Lite

Today seems like another sad day. Bare Bones Software came up with TextWrangler—a less expensive (and less-featured) alternative to BBEdit Pro. What they weren’t so forthcoming about was that TextWranger completely replaces BBEdit Lite. Officially, you cannot download BBEdit Lite anymore. If you have a 6.1.2 installer laying around, archive it safely…now! I said you can’t “officially” download it because, at this writing, you can snag it from Bare Bones’ FTP server. Get it quick. If you missed it, and you want it, and you’re on my good graces, just ask. If you missed it, and you want it, and you’re not on my good graces, beg!

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Lee Bennett -- March 3, 2003 09:17 AM

I guess BareBones Software decided it was a REALLY bad move to just make BBEdit Lite drop off the face of the earth. Daring Fireball is reporting that the BareBones web site has been modified to indicate that although BBEdit Lite will no longer be developed or supported, it can still be downloaded. There even a page now that compares BBEdit Lite to TextWrangler.


• • •

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Slim Cases

I picked up a 5-pack of Apple DVD-R media. The new $14.95 price is much better than $24.99. I’m also liking that they now come in the slim jewel cases. However, I miss the attractive, aqua-colored Apple logo that used to be printed on the inserted sleeve.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Friday, February 14, 2003

OS X Update Disables PHP

The only reason this caught my attention is because in spite of really not knowing anything about PHP, I was actually fooling around with a little random phrase generator that works off of PHP.

If you update Mac OS X to 10.2.4 (I haven’t yet, but will after I’ve seen a few early-adopter reports), you may wish to check out the steps Jon Gales outlined to re-enable PHP.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Thursday, February 13, 2003

OS X 10.2.4 Update Released

[From MacMinute] Apple today released Mac OS X 10.2.4 via the Software Update control panel. The update delivers “enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: Address Book, Classic compatibility, Finder, FireWire, Graphics, OpenGL, and Sherlock. It includes AFP and Windows file service improvements, as well as audio, disc recording, graphics, and printing improvements.” The download weighs-in at 40.9MB.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Safari Updated

Apple updated its Safari web browser today. Could someone tell me why every page load comes with an Activity window listing for file:///Library/SafariEnhancer/html4.css with an error that the file doesn’t exist? Yes, I’ve played with Safari Enhancer, but only to zap the metallic interface.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Tom Dyson -- April 16, 2003 12:33 PM

Did you ever solve this? I'd love to know the fix.

• • •

Thursday, February 06, 2003

PowerBooks Can Take the Heat

I’m not even going to touch on why an Apple Macintosh PowerBook would end up in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Aaron Steele, who shared this hot story (forgive the pun), hasn’t even figured out why yet.

Now realize, I am not suggesting anyone try it, but it is truly a statement to Apple’s hardware quality when this baked PowerBook actually booted up after the ordeal! The keys had popped and melted and the LCD display was badly distorted but, with an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor, you’d never know anything had happened.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Every time I tell myself I’m not going to in any more punditry on this Mac vs. Windows banter, something that piques my interest turns up. A MacFixIt entry reports that if Microsoft stopped developing Office for Macintosh after version 11, Sun Microsystems would be inclined to develop its StarOffice suite for OS X compatibility.

In other news, Mac News Network reports that Microsoft is developing a new “switcher” campaign of its own.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

iDVD 3 Issues

There are some iDVD 3 issues to be aware of. I’m still waiting for my copy of iLife, so this information isn’t first hand. MacFixIt reports that if you choose a frame to use as a button preview, the frame is not remembered and ends up being a different frame if you navigate away from that menu then return. The bug applies to both still frames and motion menus and is a major flaw that worked perfectly in iDVD 2.

The post also reports that some readers noted the progress bar stops updating after a period of time, leading you to believe the burn process had hung. The advice is to not abort an iDVD burning session if it appears the bar as stopped progressing since the DVD is, most likely, still burning properly. Don’t abort it manually unless you get an error message or if a few hours (for a full DVD) pass without completion.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

New Apple Hardware

The Apple iMac lineup was updated today. The model with a 17” display now sports, among other improvements, a 1GHz G4 processor, 256MB of DDR memory, and the 4X SuperDrive that debuted in the latest Power Mac towers. It also supports AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, though the actual hardware to use either is sold separately. The 15" display model comes with an 800MHz G4 processor. The machines are priced at $1,799 and $1,299, respectively.

eMac prices have dropped to $999 and $1,299, adding another sub-$1,000 machine to Apple’s arsenal.

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Monday, February 03, 2003

Settlement, or Hush Money?

From MyAppleMenu:

Microsoft Talking To Apple About $1.1 Billion Settlement
The talks indicate that Microsoft is seeking to prevent a prolonged battle to win court approval for the settlement, analysts say. (Bloomberg via MyAppleMenu)

Update: 10:14 PM—Additional information on MacCentral.

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Saturday, February 01, 2003

ATPM 9.02

The February 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2003


Hey astronomy fans (lookin’ at you, Andy), go download Celestia. It’s available for both Classic and OS X. Best of all, it’s free! This is a must-have for any school science teacher.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2003

New Apple Hardware

Today, Apple Computer announced the 1.42GHz dual-processor G4. A moderate bump in speed, but the new machines now include (or support) Firewire 800, AirPort Extreme, and Bluetooth.

In addition, as if new 20-inch Cinema Display for $1,299 isn’t enough, Apple dropped the price of the 17-inch Studio Display from $999 to $699, and the 23-inch Cinema HD Display is now just $1,999—down from $3,499. This monster of a display is now actually something a “prosumer” can actually consider buying thanks to this huge price cut.

Finally, in a continuing effort to phase out OS 9, Apple now has a completely separate page in the online Apple Store that lists the machines for sale that can boot OS 9. The 1.42GHz model is conspicuously absent! And we, of course, know this separate page wouldn’t even exist if Quark XPress fanatics hadn’t bellyached that their offices wouldn’t buy any new CPUs this year if they can’t boot in OS 9. For anyone who isn’t in the know, Quark is only just recently talking about Quark XPress 6 which will include (drum roll) native OS X support.

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Posted by Lee Bennett -- February 2, 2003 10:56 PM

Maybe no one cares, but I post for completeness. I failed to mention that the new Power Macs also include a faster DVD-R SuperDrive—bumped from 2X to 4X.

There. Now I feel better!

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Adobe Photoshop 7.0.x AltiVecCore Update

Something to take note of if you are a Photoshop 7 user running a Macintosh G4. This is a plug-in that enhances reliability (read: supposedly prevents crashes) with the AltiVec engine.

In spite of user comments on VersionTracker, speed increase is not what this update is about.

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Sunday, January 26, 2003

Keynote (the event, not the software)

I’m aware that I’m a bit late to be making any comments about the MacWorld Expo, but since I only tonight got my blog up and running, I still wanted to jot down some thoughts.

Can I just say, uhm, “WOW!” I don’t care if people disagree with me but that was quite a presentation. The new PowerBooks look superb, though I admit I’m not terribly interested in a laptop as small as the 12" or as big as the 17" models. My 15" TiBook barely fits in my computer bag as it is. AirPort Extreme, which adopts the 802.11g protocol, I think is a good move, too, though I’m not racing to upgrade because 99% of my wireless use is for typical internet functions and 802.11b is more than fast enough. The times I’m transferring large files between computers on a LAN, I’m generally tethered with an ethernet cable.

What I am drooling over is that keyboard! My Kensington FlyLight suffices, but having a backlit keyboard that automatically lights up when ambient light reduces would just take the cake.

Yes, I’m going to purchase iLife when it’s available. Planned to do so on my way back to Orlando on Monday, but you’ve probably heard by now that its release has been delayed. Sigh. I guess waiting a bit longer won’t kill me. I’m pretty anxious, though, for the feature to set markers in iMovie and have them automatically become chapter indexes in iDVD.

I’ve been using Safari and it is just plain fantastic! If you’re running OS X 10.2 and you’re hesitating on trying out Safari, don’t wait any longer!

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