news of 2004-12-31



Depending on where you live, ...

the new year has either started already some hours ago or you'll still live in 2004 for a while. For me, 2004 has a bit less than five hours left. Whatever: I wish you a happy new year! And may MWSF start soon and Steve Jobs present us some stuff we really, really want. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-31 at 19:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-30



Making sense of that headless Mac rumour

Ever since Apple killed the clones (1997) and restructured their product matrix, many people asked themselves why Apple left out a really basic desktop Mac, like the PowerMacintosh 4400 once was (which was based on a cheaper motherboard design Apple licensed to clone makers). The iMac came but didn't leave people entering the Mac market with a choice without screen. We've discussed a 'headless Mac' a few times here on macnews.net.tc (cMac as in consumer Mac or 'cheap' Mac) ourselves, but Apple obviously was afraid it would eat into iMac and eMac as well as lower-level PowerMac sales, where Apple can get bigger margins.

The past few days now have shown a renewal of this "rumour that just doesn't want to die". So for a moment, let's assume that rumour is right and we'll see it at MWSF in January 2005. (And let's not think much about MOSR's claim of it being a "compact design reminiscent of Xserve meets iPod, with a hint of G4 Cube", since that would be what, a slim design in white colour with, erh, no success? I don't quite get that Cube part...) ;)

ThinkSecret first broke this story in this article, shortly after sources of our own indicated it "could be". We didn't at the time post the rumour, because as we've said at the beginning of this article, people often mused about such a Mac, and it just didn't seem as if Apple was "in" to such an idea. Now, assuming that those sources are right we could see what we've discussed here in March 2004 and here in November 2003. (Given the age of these articles, the specs are of course out of date by now...)

There's one thought that we think is important here: Apple probably always has wanted to do this. Ever since killing the clones. But the time just wasn't right. (Bear with me...) Back then, the image Apple and the Mac had in the press around the world was that it was going to die sooner or later. And if a doomed company releases a very cheap product, its image is basically doomed. But the iPod changed all that. Because when you're successful and you bring out a cheaper product, it's going to attract the 'second round' of adopters. And while Apple's try to sell the new iMac with a bit of iPod-halo effect seemed more like an afterthought without much success potential, this machine could simply make it. Just think about it... The iPod was probably the success story this holiday season. Apple was ready to sell a lot of them, and reports are in that they did sell a lot of them. And now Apple brings you the real thing in form of this 'cMac' (although it probably wouldn't call it that, would they? ;)) - and it's affordable, too! And it can re-use a PC-owner's TFT or CRT display and probably the USB printer as well! Yes, let's conquer the world. Virus-free and in Aqua style, baby.
Then again, this all is assuming that those sources are right. It's assuming that Apple feels ready for such a move. Let's just say: It would make sense and I'd finally buy another desktop computer again.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-30 at 21:16 CET ]
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Review: Nokia Communicator 9500

It's not usually a very bright idea to get a new smartphone from Nokia before there's at least one firmware upgrade and before Apple gets its act together to support the phone in iSync. That's a little bit different with the new Communicator, although I still want iSync capability as soon as possible - and a firmware upgrade will eventually fix some bugs and speed things up. But don't misunderstand me here: The bugs are rare and the communicator feels finished, so if you want one: Get one.

The reasons why I intended to buy this communicator (and now bought it) actually make iSync somewhat useless. Because once you've started organising your life on the 9500, you're stopping to use iCal or any other PIM-device you might have. The reason why mobile phones need synching to your Mac is that they themselves are very restricted, usually. Sure, you can enter information on a (reasonably) smart phone like a SonyEricsson T610, S700 or the likes. You can enter them even better with a palmOne Tréo or some variant of those PocketPCs with GSM features. But you'll still want the same info on your computer, because the device just isn't enough PDA (personal digital assistant) and just isn't enough on its own. At least if you're like me.
I'll need iSync probably once every three months, as soon as it connects to the Nokia Communicator 9500, because I'll do everything on the device itself - and with an MMC of 512 MB (sold separately and they're quite cheap nowadays, a smaller or bigger one will do, too), I can back up the communicator's 80 MB easily, so I don't have to fear to lose all my information, should the device ever crash so hard that it can't read its data and needs a total reset.

The Nokia Communicator 9500 doesn't come cheap, but it's complete and will serve you well for more time than 'just' another smart phone. It has an integrated keyboard that easily lets you handle your office and PIM needs. Yes, you can get your E-Mail (through GPRS, HSCSD and WiFi!) with attachments, and if the attachment is, say, a Word file, you can even edit it and send it back without damaging it too badly. So for short weekend trips away from home, the weight of the 9500 (222g) actually lightenes my package, since I don't have to lug my PowerBook around, unless I need to do some serious graphical work.

Now to the middle part of this review: The desillusional part (the really bad stuff comes last, after this paragraph). The Nokia Communicator 9500 is a business tool. It won't surprise you with many bells and whistles. It will not become your gameboy and although it does feature an MP3 player, it probably won't replace your iPod, either. You can install some games, too, but basically: This tool's reduced to its primary focus, and that's an office away from the office. You can SMS, MMS, fax and E-Mail - whether you're at a WiFi hotspot or out in the field on a GPRS (or EDGE, but we don't have that here yet) network or a good old GSM data connection. You can browse the web using the integrated Opera browser, but the screen's small and the browser a bit slow with complex sites, so you'll probably use that for googling information and download a new eBook or two to use with the free MobiPocket Reader or Adobe Reader. MemoWare has the free books for it. Reading eBooks, btw., is very good in the two column mode! But if it's serious gaming you want for leisure, I suggest to either stick with a gameboy, an N-Gage or simply stay at home instead of going out. ;)

Now for the bad stuff.

Yes, I still miss iSync. I have many contacts and had to enter them by hand. Sure, this process allows me to clean things up (i.e. get rid of all the contacts I've assembled over the years that don't serve any purpose any longer, like for example the hotline for Sony Clié problemsolving), but the initial setup of the device this way takes much longer than needed. PC people can use the dreaded PC-Suite from Nokia, which I hear is better now than a few years ago, but we want iSync, don't we.
Then there's a certain slowness for application starting. Once the apps are open, switching between them is okay, but if for example Opera (or Adobe Reader, or MobiPocket Reader) isn't started yet, it takes a few seconds to get it running. I can adapt to that by keeping the important apps open, but the fact that I have to adapt tells me something's wrong with Nokia here. ;) But as usually with their phones, the second or third firmware version will be a lot better in this aspect. So we'll have to wait for those.
And the third bad point is nit-picking on my part. There'll soon be the smaller sister of the 9500, the 9300. It's smaller and lighter. Almost like a normal mobile phone in closed state. Does the WiFi part really take up so much space? Or is it the camera that I don't need? I wish the 9500 were as small as the 9300 (but still with WiFi) and that Apple would get its act together for synching this wonderful PDA to my Mac.

But to sum things up: The Nokia Communicator is still (ever since the original Nokia Communicator 9000, actually) the best connected PDA around. This newest version builds on the older ones and brings important changes (Bluetooth, WiFi, GPRS, finally enough memory) that make it a "must-have" upgrade for users of older versions.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-30 at 14:46 CET ]
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Will Apple support my new smartphone?

A while ago, I talked about how Apple needs to be faster in supporting new phones through iSync. (Here and here...) Well... I have a Nokia Communicator 9500 now. While I intend to keep it as my only device for calendar information, it would still be nice to synch contact information. Sadly, Apple still doesn't support new phones very fast... Why? Is it really that difficult? The last time I talked about this, someone informed me that actually, Apple does not use SyncML as transport language. But after digging a little bit, I guess it just depends on which mobile phones we're talking and actually, iSync acts as a SyncML server - yet it doesn't automatically understand any SyncML client. Hopefully, newer versions of iSync will come out soon with support for quite a few newer smartphones that are currently not supported. And not just that 9500 I just bought. Also some Series 60 devices (which should be the same to support like the already supported Nokia 6600, 7650 etc.). If you want to help me out here: Go to www.apple.com/feedback/isync.html and suggest support for Series 80 (Nokia 9500, 9300) and newer Series 60 phones (Nokia 7610, 6630, 6260), too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-30 at 11:07 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-29



ThinkSecret says iLife '05, Keynote 2, too

Read our early MWSF report here. ThinkSecret now confirms most of our report come end of year. However, ThinkSecret also posted about a sub-500 dollar Mac today. If ThinkSecret's right, I'll buy one of those for my home cinema. Give it a bigger drive, VLC and it's ready to go. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-29 at 10:34 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-28



MacRumors falls for Innocent Saints' Day

If you've read this article on MacRumors' front page and believed any of it, you're the victim of a victim. Spanish people celebrate December 28th like many other people do April 1st. So: No, Apple's not probably going to be a mobile carrier anytime soon. ;)
The article linked at MacRumors.com, among other things, says: "On the other hand", says Slope, "the sucess achieved by the iTunes Music Store has shown us the way to go: by selling songs to consumers at $0.99 apiece, we have accumulated a valuable expertise that will be most useful for billing them talking minutes".

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-28 at 22:17 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-24



NeoOffice/J much better now...

Right before Christmas, neooffice.org has released a beta version of its OpenOffice.org port. It now uses native Aqua menus and has scrollwheel support for mice that sport those. Give it a download...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-24 at 11:16 CET ]
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Challenge for Apple?

MacRumors posts these patent applications. One is shock protection for the iPod, the other, they say, is about a mouse with a scroll wheel. Can Apple do it? Will they do it? A mouse with ONE button and a scroll wheel? ;) Merry X-Mas, folks!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-24 at 10:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-23



Now: Sunbird

After Firefox and Thunderbird, the Mozilla project now releases their first usable Sunbird downloads. This latest effort is a calendar/scheduling application, and it's currently in the version 0.2 area. You can get the latest Mac OS X build here and look at it yourself (actually, the build available now, for me, crashes on first startup...). What's next: Mozilla Desktop Search named Moonbird? Or an office application called Rainbird? Who knows, but they sure try to opensource the desktop apps, be it on Mac OS X, Linux or Windows. Maybe someday all of those applications will have a button called 'upgrade your system to the newest version' which automagically installs the right version of linux for your hardware? ;) (That'd sure give MS the creeps, eh?)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-23 at 14:26 CET ]
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Seed Night

Apple seeds Tiger Server 8A325 as well as a new .Mac SDK (v1.0.3), a Kernel Debug Kit for Tiger 8A323 and others.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-23 at 12:11 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-21



Tiger 64bit? Okay.

Just to clear things up a bit: Tiger never was advertised to be 64bit 'clean' throughout the system. Developer documentation always said the same thing. The problem I see - and that's why I brought it up at all - is that consumers out there usually think quite 'simply', naturally. They buy G5 computers because they're '64bit'. And they'll upgrade to Tiger, because - as is simplified for them - it 'brings 64bit support'. If you look at www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/64bit.html, it certainly doesn't look like Apple tells consumers quite directly, that Tiger is not in fact 'a 64bit operating system'. However: For the consumer it won't make a difference either way. If you're interested in the details, look at the linked pages in this and the last article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-21 at 23:26 CET ]
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64bit in Tiger only for server processes

At least, so it seems on this article at ADC. This sounds quite different from what Apple promised at WWDC, when they boldly claimed Tiger to be a 64bit operating system. The article now says that "the use of a 64-bit address space is limited to non-GUI application". The kernel, we read, is compiled in 32bit mode for all machines, whether they're using a G5 or an older processor.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-21 at 16:32 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-17



That iPhone rumour

Sadly, it's not gonna be the long-rumoured iPhone from Apple. It's gonna be a 'good old' (debatable) Motorola phone with some iTunes like software add-on and probably iSync support. Sure, the phone's gonna make synching some 'tunes to the phone simple enough, but it won't be the smartphone from Apple that once was rumoured to surprise the heck out of Nokia, Motorola, SonyEricsson and the likes. So: Take it as it is. It's sure going to be a nice phone and all. But not 'the iPhone'.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-17 at 22:43 CET ]
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The Days of Panther

While we don't know for now, whether there'll still be a 10.3.8 update in the coming months until Tiger's released, it's about time we take a look at Panther's history. Sure, the big cats only live for 1 year (or 1.5 now), but they all have their ups and downs. And we, sadly, must admit, that the Panther era (so far) wasn't all good. In fact: It started with probably the biggest hickup in OS X history.

That hickup, of course, was the original FireWire bug that killed thousands (we don't have exact numbers, of course - could be millions, but we doubt that...) of external harddrives. This happened just by installing Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther, released 2003-10-10) and rebooting without taking off the FW drives. Okay, only some FW drives were affected (one particular chipset, IIRC) and mostly FW800 drives. Although those of course are used mostly in professional environments, so this was really bad, bad, bad for a start. Strangely, it seems that no developer from ADC with access to Panther seeds had tried Panther with such a drive. Or at least the makers of the FW chipset (or external harddrive makers) had not tested Panther. At all. Or the bug simply only turned up in the very last stage of Final Candidating. Either way: Apple said that the cause for the bug was in the chipset, which was using stuff which was not intended to be used in FireWire devices in the first place. However, the public of course pointed the finger at Apple (probably the middle finger quite often, too), and Apple soon released 10.3.1 (2003-11-10), which solved the problem, but the user still had to install new firmware onto their drives. From within Jaguar, of course.

On 2003-12-17, Apple already issued 10.3.2, which again fixed FW 800 drives. *Cough* --- On 2004-03-15, Apple released 10.3.3. And Apple did not take that much time because of 10.3.2's stability, but rather to release a really, really good build this time. On 2004-05-25, 10.3.4 came along, and with this release, Apple 'did' it. This was the first Panther build that most people could simply live with. It also was the last version that did not have sound troubles on Apple's MDD G4s. So sound pros today are either updating their Macs to G5s or they're living with 10.3.4. Come 2004-08-09, Apple brought us 10.3.5 and made things worse. Not only did that update bring the mentioned sound bug, but it also brought video glitches to some people's machines, some CDs suddenly didn't show up on the desktop anymore and others reported deep problems with disk images (they simply didn't work any more). Basically, it was 'back to 10.3.4' for many people. The same happend, when Apple released 10.3.6 on 2004-11-05. Many troubled people went back to 10.3.4 immediately.

And then, Apple released Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S215 (the build number alone means there went a lot of work into this) on 2004-12-15, just two days ago. So 2004 wasn't all bad. And Panther wasn't (and isn't) all bad. Sure, we're all looking forward to Tiger for one or the other reason (or many reasons), but with 10.3.7, Apple has released a Panther build that works. (Unless you're using an MDD tower and want to work with audio, that is. That problem still isn't solved, so it's back to 10.3.4 for those poor guys.) So let's just say that Panther had a lot of trouble right from the beginning. Sure: There are many people (like myself), who were quite lucky. Never had any problems, every update went without a hitch. But compared to Jaguar's update history, Panther was bad. I guess the initial FW800 bug just wasn't a good omen for Panther's era. But on the bright side, there's 10.3.7 now, which fixes many, many of the bugs earlier versions had - and Tiger is only a few months away now. We'll make sure to update this story, should problems arise with 10.3.7 or should there be 10.3.8 before Tiger. And when Tiger's here, we'll take another look at the days of Panther. Yep, that was a bit long, but it's that time of the year, isn't it. Looking back and everything... ;) Btw.: If we forgot something BIG or you have a correction to make, please use the contact link below...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-17 at 13:36 CET ]
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Samba: Again a vulnerability...

We've covered Samba (and Apple's inability to update to later versions...) quite a few times lately (here, here and here). Now, there's another vulnerability - and only a patched 3.0.9 version or the fixed 3.0.10 are safe. Apple, as of now, uses 3.0.5 in Mac OS X, so it seems they did in fact update to later versions over the past few months. But unbelievably, almost, not to a 'safe' version, but to one which in October still was affected (and of course is affected by this new vulnerability).
This leads us to believe that, basically, keeping Windows FileSharing (which is Samba) accessible on Mac OS X just isn't very safe. Both because of Samba's vulnerabilities, but even more because Mac OS X' Samba isn't kept up to date by Apple.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-17 at 01:12 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-16



iTMS tops 200 million downloads

According to this MacCentral article, Apple has sold the 200 millionth track on iTMS now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-16 at 15:22 CET ]
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What we so far know about MWSF

We're pulling our strings, of course, and hope to get as much information before MWSF '05 actually happens, but so far, the following is all we can safely say...

MWSF will - for the coming years - be the greatest Mac show for the public, and as such a place for new product releases. As Apple certainly doesn't want to spend the whole rest of the year waiting for next January, other products appear "when they're ready". If they're ready near WWDC or AppleExpo Paris, those spots will be chosen for an introduction, but usually, Apple either creates a special press event or just releases the news to the press 'the usual way'.
MWSF '05 has quite some stuff in it, however. Apple will definitely announce a release date for Tiger. Whether that will be March, April, May or June, we can't yet say, sadly. Apple will introduce at least one updated Macintosh product: PowerBook G5 or PowerMac G5 or both. If only one is ready to be announced, the other will be brought upon us about a month later, we're told. But it sure seems that Steve Jobs would like to introduce both products directly at MWSF. Details about the products will emerge in the coming weeks. Also, we'll see the iPod mini updated to 5 GB, and the flash-based iPod (the "mini" mini, same form but even smaller than the mini) with 1 GB of space will be released, probably for 199 USD.
iLife '05 will be released. That is set in stone. However: The feature set has not yet seen the light of our day. About this time last year, Garage Band rumours were out, but this year our sources have stayed mum about any new application. (Though there still are people at Apple developing the successor to AppleWorks.) Keynote, however, will be released in version 2, but will stay a separate package, although it'll get better iLife integration.
The eMac G5 will appear, according to the same sources that brought us the original eMac G5 info, sometime early next year, but probably not at MWSF.

For now, that's it. We'll cover the rumours about MWSF '05 in the coming weeks, of course.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-16 at 15:13 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.7 Combined Updater available

You can get the 97 MB file here for future reference, if you've already installed it. My suggestion: Always keep your Combined Updater up to date, so in a case of reinstallation (or if you're installing a new machine), you have it readily available. (If your machine, like mine, came with a Panther installer earlier than 10.3.6, you'd have to download the full 97 MB everytime you reinstall, so the whole process is much faster, if you already have the Combined Updater for the latest OS version somehwere on an external drive or CD.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-16 at 14:12 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S215 released

As predicted by our site, Mac OS X 10.3.7 made it to Software Update sooner than initially expected (end of year, then Christmas...). Thanks for reading our site regularly. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-16 at 00:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-14



ADC down, back up

Apparently, ADC Connect is down at the moment. The last time we've seen that happen, it didn't mean any big news, the site just came back normally afterwards. But we're watching this, of course.
And it's back up again. As expected without any visible big changes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-14 at 23:45 CET ]
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Apple kills Harmony

As c|net reports, one of the latest iPod updates has killed support for Real's Harmony based AAC files. It's clear that Apple hasn't informed its users of the move. However, while some voices say this could affect quite a few users and many, many song-files, I just don't think so. It was a November update, and the fact that we haven't heard any of it so far tells me what I thought before, anyway: iPod people do _not_ want Real's music. And they sure didn't want to use a service that Apple said themselves could one day be affected by a firmware upgrade. Apple back then said Real was using 'hacker tactics'. Guess the 'security issue' is now solved. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-14 at 21:58 CET ]
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80 GB iPod drive

Toshiba releases, according to this TheRegister article, an iPod-sized (1.8") 80 GB drive later in 2005 that could lead the next iPod revision.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-14 at 11:58 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S215

Another new build of 10.3.7 - so fast after the last one - suggests that the release is imminent. So the question "before or after christmas?" will probably be answered soon. The update weighs in at 25 MB and will focus on Graphics and OpenGL, Audio, Printing and FireWire devices, as we've mentioned before.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-14 at 10:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-13



iCal 1.5.5 released

Through Software Update, Apple today has released iCal 1.5.5, which primarily brings the changes from 1.5.4 plus better synching to iSync devices if using Mac OS X 10.2.x. So: Panther users don't really need the update, but are still prompted to download and install it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-13 at 20:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-12



Swiss paper 'SonntagsZeitung': iTMS Switzerland coming

According to an article in today's SonntagsZeitung, Apple will tell us at MWSF '05, when to expect the opening of iTMS Switzerland. There had been much speculation in the past month about the Swiss iTMS. First someone said it would come together with the 'rest of Europe', then the music industry said they were ready (after Apple had said otherwise before) but Swiss copyright laws were lacking and now Apple is reportedly saying they're in definite communication with the music industry, although they wouldn't go into any detail. Here's to the hope that Switzerland won't have to wait another year...
SonntagsZeitung also mentioned that harddrive-based digital music players' market share would go down to 50% this year in Switzerland, and that thereof, Apple would take 'only' 80% this time, not 90% as in 2003. And they linked that - partially - to the fact that iPod users in Switzerland cannot buy tracks online. (There are three big online music stores, but they sell WMA.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-12 at 15:08 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-11



Tiger 8A323A seeded

... through Software Update. The 680K update "... delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.4 'Tiger' 8A323 and is recommended for all users. For the changes to take effect, a restart is required."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-11 at 01:09 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-10



BBEdit doesn't like Unsanity?

After a kernel panic in Tiger (maybe shouldn't have tried to bluetooth-synch my Sony Clie through Mark Space's Missing Link software just yet?) and starting BBEdit 8.0.3 again, BBEdit said that it sadly had crashed, and then goes on to say: "You appear to be using one or more system additions or preference panels which employ Application Enhancer. APE works by running its own code inside of BBEdit and other applications. This can lead to crashes, unpredictable application behaviour and other symptoms of incompatibility. If you continue to experience problems after removing all third-party system additions and preference panels, please contact barebones.com support for assistance."

I must say, I like Barebones' attitude here. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-10 at 03:44 CET ]
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Tiger Mail.app: The good things

You're going to love Mail.app in Tiger. Or at least I will. Sure, some will say they don't like the new look (then again some always do...), but I like even that. I actually like it a lot! But more importantly: Spotlight is going to rock your world of E-Mailing, if you use E-Mail professionally (but probably also if only privately).
Never has searching a lot of messages been so easy and fast. And while I'm a BIG fan of automatically archiving new messages through an extensive rules-system, I still love that new automatic mailbox in Mail.app that shows me the unread messages, whether they're in my private box, my first or second most important customer's mailbox etc. Handling mail just gets easier and better with Tiger's Mail.app (version 2.0).
I hope Apple puts Spotlight to good use in many other applications, and I'm sure they will. I don't need it so much in Address Book where they have, but I'm sure Apple will find other places where this groundbreaking technology will fit perfectly.
Mail, which can become a BIG issue quite fast if you keep three or four (or more) years of E-Mail, and intend to search for something specific you remember you've once written or read, is a perfect candidate. And Apple is doing well there.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-10 at 01:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-09



New seeds: Dashboard Widgets (QT) and Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S214

Tonight, Apple has seeded a 55 MB Quicktime movie about developing dashboard widgets. Apple also seeded a 25.4 MB sized new build of 10.3.7, build number 7S214. Mac OS X 10.3.7 is still expected to be released before the end of this year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-09 at 23:59 CET ]
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Apple's new startpage now live

A while ago, we reported about Apple's new startpage on apple.com/startpage (which you can already take a look at...). livepage.apple.com (Mac OS X' default start page) now links to apple.com/startpage as expected back then.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-09 at 14:01 CET ]
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New eMac: Flat screen

While the iMac has gotten its G5 processor and a great, clean new look, the eMac has gotten less attention lately. Sources now claim that the next eMac will finally get rid of the last CRT display in Apple's line-up. TFTs are now cheap enough for this entry-level Mac.



Both in order not to compete with the iMac G5 and to keep pricing down, the eMac will sport a 15" TFT, though. The 1024*768 resolution is 'good enough' for its use (and schools who want bigger displays can still get reduced pricing on iMacs) and certainly makes the new eMac an attractive buy for home-users, too.
Overall, the new eMac will be a 'small iMac' in some sense. According to our sources, the new eMac will indeed have a G5 processor (1.6 GHz PowerPC 970), but will only appear when (or after) the PowerBook G5 is introduced.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-09 at 13:22 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-07



iPod mini to go 5 GB in January

Although the maker of the 5 GB 1 inch harddisk of Apple's next revision of the iPod mini is yet unknown, Apple is expected to up the mini from 4 to 5 GB in January, in order to better compete with the competition. This would also make 'more room' for the rumoured flash-based iPod.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-07 at 12:32 CET ]
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Thunderbird 1.0

Only shortly after Firefox 1.0, mozilla-based E-Mail client Thunderbird reaches version 1.0. And the project certainly intends to replace IE and Outlook Express on the PC. How does it look on the Mac?
While Firefox still doesn't feel like an application that's 'home' on the Mac, Thunderbird - albeit with some graphical glitches in some dialogue boxes - does feel like it belongs on Mac OS X. And it will certainly lure some people away from their usual E-Mail clients - mostly those who already use Firefox as their main browser, probably, but maybe also some old Eudora Light (or ad-based) and Netscape users who think it's time to try something new.
After initial big problems, the mozilla open source project has managed to create rather small-footprint applications out of the codebase. And with every year of development, the projects (change their names, yes, but also) become more viable solutions that can take from Microsoft what once was stolen. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-07 at 10:38 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-06



Speculation on IBM, Apple

TheRegister publishes this article which reads a bit like a conspiracy theory. Read it to create your own opinion. However, I think Apple's stock price has gone up because of expectations on iPod sales this quarter and not because IBM would buy Apple or create a joint venture. (The speculation article bases on IBM's sale of its PC division.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-06 at 13:24 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-02



Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S210 seeded

Again a new seed of 10.3.7. As we've mentioned in our first report on 10.3.7 (7S202), the update is expected to be released to consumers still in this year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-02 at 10:36 CET ]
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MacRumors now delaying rumours on a daily basis...

While until yesterday, MacRumors.com said that iTMS Canada would obviously be live on Nov. 30th, the site suggests today as the day. If, however, iTMS Canada doesn't go live today, they'll probably 'update' the rumour accordingly. Let's hope (for Canadians) that 'inside sources' doesn't mean the users in Canada who frantically click on iTunes' built-in store functionality, noticing that it still isn't live and regard any message iTunes gives as a sign that it's coming now really, really very soon. ;)

(Of course, it's now online...) ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-02 at 10:32 CET ]
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news of 2004-12-01



Those 'entertainment server' rumours

Now even Merrill Lynch sees such a device in Apple's future. Maybe our concern about Steve not liking TV was published a few weeks too early - and Apple will surprise us with such a device as early as January?

The concept certainly makes sense to me. Right now I have to connect my PowerBook to the video beamer and the home stereo in order to watch movies I have on the Mac. With a central media server, I could not only have all my video and music files 'over there', I could also free up some space on my external FW drives (or connect them to the media server?). If a company can get an entertainment system for the home right, it's Apple - as apparently both Sony (which we'd have put in number one spot before the arrival of the iPod and AirPort Express) and Microsoft (their Media Centers aren't exactly as simple to use and crash-proof as such a device should be) don't manage.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-12-01 at 14:51 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-29



Merrill Lynch: Apple will sell 4 mio. iPods this quarter

Steve Milunovich (of Merrill Lynch), today raised Apple's rating again. If you have Apple shares, don't sell them now. ;) If you don't have any, buy them the next time they're lower. But the most interesting part of the report: "iPods are being adopted faster than Sony Walkmans were [...]" - (However: I'm not so sure that you can compare the numbers directly, impressive as they may be.)

Also, UBS analyst Ben Reitzes said: "Over the weekend we surveyed several retailers nationwide and visited Apple stores in the New York area, noticing solid retail momentum for Apple." - UBS has increased its price target Apple Computer Inc. from 66 USD to 77 USD a share.

While the hype around Apple and the iPod certainly helps Apple selling even more iPods, Apple surely would like analysts to emphasise their iMacs more, because Apple's probably going to be out of iPods before christmas, anyway. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-29 at 22:03 CET ]
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I think: Steve Jobs doesn't like TV

And you might think why I think that. Well: The Mac's all about media of any type right? Desktop Publishing made the Mac big, Desktop Video once was Steve's new killer-application when introducing FireWire and the SuperDrive, music is also big on the Mac. Yet: Apple seems not a tiny bit interested in adding TV features to the Mac. Or will they?

How happy would I be, were Apple to release iSomething, a small box that connects to the Mac via FireWire and to the TV cable (and other input methods, probably), bringing TV to the Mac. Apple could surely create great software to go with it and has the technology (MPEG-4, H.264) to make archiving TV shows a great experience. Sure, there are third party solutions, but for the Mac, they are quite expensive. AFAIK, Apple could sell a simple TV tuner box accompanied by great software for 29 USD. If only they wanted. But, probably, Steve just doesn't like TV and thinks we should get out more (with an iPod, of course).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-29 at 19:51 CET ]
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Gartner: 3 of 10 largest PC sellers will die before 2007

Yet they of course don't say which ones. ;) ... Which kinda leaves me asking: Does that include Apple? Or: What good is a prophecy like that, anyway? What if only two will vanish from the face of Earth? Will that mean Gartner was right to 66 percent? Well, let me put it this way: I say only two will die, and if only two will, does that mean I'm gonna be richer than Gartner by 2007? Probably not. Sometimes, headlines like the one commented here just make me angry. Sure, Gartner has probably put a lot of work into this and has analyzed a lot of data, but it just seems to be a wildly inaccurate business to create such predictions.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-29 at 19:03 CET ]
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Planting Trees

Sounds like a title from the eighties or something. But this article on TheRegister about MS IE's security flaws is a new one, and it takes a look at how one would do more secure development, instead of how MS seems to be working. The article concludes: "The answer is simple: you follow basic best practices for security and never, ever divert from them." - Yet, Microsoft has been failing this principle for a long time. And now they're caught in a game that just doesn't seem to end, because of their past: It seems they'll always have inherently insecure code, which they'll try to keep up fixing.

Or to take another metaphor than the tree-planting one in the linked article: If you've spent more than a decade filling a house with - essentially - crap, what do you do? Sure, you could live in it and occasionally put some of the stuff to the trash when you need the space. But wouldn't you be better off cleaning the house and getting rid of everything you don't really need? In one version you continue to live in a very dirty and crap-filled house, in the other, you might have to move to a friend's house for a day or two but could live in a nice clean, comfortable house from then on. Sadly, Microsoft just won't do that, as far as I can see.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-29 at 17:37 CET ]
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IBM/Sony/Toshiba to unveil Cell chip in February

TheRegister mentions that IBM and Sony are now 'ready to announce' the Cell-based workstation (which will be a rackmount server dedicated to the development of software, i.e. games, for the Playstation 3). The Cell processor, according to TheRegister's article, is a POWER derivate with three cores (every core can run a separate operating system) and AltiVec. TheReg poses the question, whether this chip could be interesting for Apple, too. We'll know more in February 2005.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-29 at 12:25 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-26



Moore's Law, POWER 5, PowerPC et al.

You can read here on TheRegister about how IBM leaves competitors in the dust with their new pSeries servers. Some quotes: "The consequence is that IBM is currently able to deliver in line with the expectations of Moore's Law and will probably be able to do so for the next two generations of the PowerPC chip." (And others don't!) - "... IBM has now delivered almost a tripling of system performance (and a 37 per cent price performance improvement). That is what the benchmark indicates."

The article makes it certainly look as if IBM just did things right, while others blindly went down the old path, just to end up going: "Duh!" - Does this mean good things for future PowerPC processors, which are derived from IBM's advances with the POWER series of processors? Yes. Will we see the results of this in a Mac near us anytime soon? Probably next year. However: The truth never is a simple as TheRegister leads us to believe, and quite probably, other players in the field will not just keep on going "Duh!" but rather react to 'new circumstances' as well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-26 at 15:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-25



Seed frenzy

Apple has seeded Mac OS X Server 10.3.7 7S206 now as well, as well as Xsan 7N155 (for which 10.3.7 builds are recommended).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-25 at 00:57 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-24



Update 10.3.7 7S206

The reversioner is in the disk image file, apparently.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-24 at 16:00 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S206

People who installed 7S202 should be aware that a reversioner is not currently available, i.e. you should _not_ upgrade to 7S206 now. Areas of testing in this build are Graphics and OpenGL, Audio (Firewire Audio), Printing. An issue where saving to a fileserver would end up with truncated file names is resolved and SMB printing should work from 10.3.7 to Windows Server 2003.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-24 at 00:52 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-23



ADC Select & Premier members get 8A294/8A297 on DVDs

Currently, Apple's shipping developers the two latest builds (Tiger 8A294 and Tiger Server 8A297) on DVDs, an ADC Select member reports. "The DVDs look like the ones you get with your Macs when you buy them, only they're black instead of gray. They look evilly good." ;) Our contact also had a little something else to share: "Apparently, Apple thinks the contents of the envelope are worth 1$, since that's what's the envelope's marked as."

Apple is expected to have started work on 8Bxx builds of Tiger by now. Developers are expected to receive another build of Tiger before christmas. While the current build is already 'quite stable', as our sources claim, 'quite' can mean anything from 'good' to 'barely usable', depending on the developer's needs. Reports are in that some Carbon applications have major problems with this build, for example Fetch 4.0.3's keyboard shortcuts are acting very weird. Of course both the application developer and Apple are working to keep compatibility up as much as possible. However the bigger changes of such an OS upgrade usually do make application updates necessary.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-23 at 13:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-22



Apple releases iCal 1.5.4 Update

It's a security update, not a feature update, though. Available through Software Update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-22 at 22:45 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-20



Rather extensive look at Tiger

ThinkSecret has a new and rather extensive look at Tiger up along with a lot of screenshots.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-20 at 01:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-19



iTMS on Linux

Or so to speak. Cross Over Office, a plugin for Linux, enables users to run (some) Windows applications. Version 4 has been released with full support for the Windows version of iTunes. We've told you about their iTunes support quite a while ago in August, when preview version 3.1 brought this support. This is certainly an important step for iTMS, too. Sadly, Cross Over Office does not yet directly support the iPod in iTunes. There are, however, other projects for Linux that do.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-19 at 02:56 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-18



Apple seeds Dashboard SDK Tiger 8A294

Today, Apple released a 10.6 MB sized SDK for Tiger's Dashboard. Developers can use this to develop widgets for Dashboard in Tiger 8A294. Whether this is widgets' finalised SDK remains unknown, and probably it will take some tweaking on your widgets before they'll run on the final version in the first half of next year. On the other hand, this is the first time Apple's released the SDK for Dashboard, so it might also mean that its standard is in fact finalised.

Update: The documentation mentions that the Dashboard interfaces are preliminary and are likely to change prior to the release of Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-18 at 22:52 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-17



Mac OS X 10.3.7 7S202 Seed

Other than claimed by AppleInsider and other sites copying that rumour, the first seed of 10.3.7 weighs in at only 15 MB, not 50. Apple seeded the build late last night and included - among other things - the following information (other sites seem to be wrong here, too, for some reason): Core Foundation improves directional formatting codes, CoreGraphics fixes some printing issues and colour calibration issues with transparency. And: lookupd is improved for, well, domain name lookup (a problem mostly with Safari that showed up recently). Mac OS X 10.3.7 is expected to be released still this year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-17 at 11:33 CET ]
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More Musings on why Mac OS X is...

the proof that Linux is not ready for the desktop. I've just read this column at osNews and - again - can't understand how these people think that Linux could be anything like ready for the desktop or, as in this piece, notebook. I mean, read this quote: "With suspend to disk, you can be up and running in a fraction of the normal boot time." - Listen up, linux users: If you wake up a Mac OS X notebook (an iBook or PowerBook) from sleep, it takes between 0.2 and 0.8 seconds to be ready for your input. Yes, that's sleepin' and not suspend to disk, but if you're willing to try it out, you'll notice you don't need suspend to disk on a Mac.
There's more. Read this: "There is one downside to this option. Proprietary video drivers from NviDIA and ATI do not work with software suspend. This means that if you want 3D acceleration, you have to sacrifice software suspend support and vice versa. Since gaming on my laptop is not considered a high priority, this is one trade off I am willing to make." - I mean: Are these people really willing to sacrifice basic things like video driver support for other basic things like suspend to harddrive? Get real. Get a Mac.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-17 at 02:36 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-16



osNews G6 rumour

The author of this article tries, in my opinion, to create a rumour out of speculation (based on previously known facts and developments). Basically, what he says is that the Power4 processor was used to develop the PowerPC 970 and that the Power5 processor will be used for the next generation PowerPC at IBM.
More 'conservative' speculation on various Mac rumour sites however suggest that the PowerPC 970MP will merely be a dual core version of the 970FX with some hints taken from IBM's advances in the Power5 development (so: rather think evolution than revolution).
Our sources within IBM point to two new processors arriving early next year: A dual core desktop/workstation processor that will eventually replace the (current) PowerPC 970FX and a lower power PowerPC 970 variant that is aimed at the embedded market as well as Apple's notebooks. IBM is not believed to put this processor into ThinkPads, the last ThinkPad ever to use a PowerPC being the rather unsuccessful ThinkPad 850 with a PPC 603.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-16 at 00:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-13



PowerPC rumours

Thinksecret updates us on recent PowerPC developments at IBM. According to their sources, we'll see both the 970MP and a single core version of it, which is probably going to be called 970GX (which would follow IBM's previous naming scheme with the 750 line of processors, although that didn't _actually_ reach a GX variant, the once rumoured 'Gobi' processor). Both of those lines would start at 3 GHz and contain 1 MB of Level 2 cache without any Level 3 cache.
The article also muses about January's PowerBook introduction, which could see a lower-power PowerPC 970 variant at speeds of 1.6-1.8 GHz, or the long-rumoured PPC 7448 based, last round, of PowerBook G4. Our own sources confirm that Apple has long been ready for that PowerBook, but that FreeScale, up until now, was not ready to ship that G4 family processor in quantities. More news as January comes near.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-13 at 14:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-12



So, now. Gmail grown up?

Today's news of Gmail offering POP3 access to its free (although still restricted to invitations) 1 GB E-Mail system makes Gmail a grown up E-Mail system that you can use both with your favourite E-Mail application as well as through their great webmail system (the best we've encountered anywhere on the web!).
Gmail is still in beta, however, and however gorgeous and wonderful its system is now, there are a few things Google might do in the future, when it opens the gates to anyone, that may turn the sweets sour.

For example, Gmail being free is mainly supported through the Google AdWords system. If you're reading a message on Gmail's webmail system, you'll see Google's ads just like you do when searching the web using Google or on the right side of this very page you're reading - if you're reading us on the web rather than via RSS. If you're, however, reading the message in your favourite mail client, say Mail.app for example, you won't see any Google Ads right now. That's beautiful. However it also means Google's giving you a free 1 GB E-Mail account without ever showing you any ads. That's free as in free beer, and that can't be, right? My guess is that we'll see some sort of Google Ad system directly inside the messages once Gmail comes out of beta. Or that POP3 access will be restricted in some ways, i.e. you have to log on to Gmail once a week or something through their website.

Another story is this: Gmail has a nice new way of looking at e-mail messages differently. You don't sort, you search. (Btw., even mail sent through their SMTP-server is saved on Gmail's webmail! Good!) That's a good approach, actually, but Mail 2.0 in Tiger is even better at it than Gmail on the web. So all in all, I'm looking forward to using Gmail accounts as my primary e-mail accounts. But will they be able to keep Gmail this good if many users will use it like I do, i.e. without ever looking at an ad? I don't think so. But we'll certainly see in the future.
Btw.: There have been hints that IMAP will find its way to Gmail in a while, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-12 at 01:41 CET ]
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Gmail POP3 works fine...

It was my fault entirely. Sorry. Didn't see that _both_ the POP3 and the SMTP connection had to use SSL. pop.gmail.com doesn't answer to port 110, simply because it listens to an SSL port instead. Works fine, works fine. :) Happy camper here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-12 at 00:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-11



Gmail does POP3

According to Gmail users - and I've tested it myself - Gmail now offers POP3 access to its accounts. According to heise.de, this feature was not yet activated for all users when they were testing, but probably the rollout was just taking its time. Great news! Sadly, as of now, the POP-server just doesn't answer. But then again, this _is_ a beta phase after all, and we expect their POP-server to answer sometime during this day...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-11 at 15:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-10



Amazon iPod store

Not to confuse that with iTMS, mind you! But apparently, Amazon has confirmed to AppleInsider that it'll have an 'Apple iPod Store' at amazon.com ready very soon. Whether Apple likes the leaked info or wanted to create some hype with a media event is currently unknown. However: This sure is good news for the holiday season, right?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-10 at 00:02 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-09



Firefox 1.0 released

You can get it here. The browser is quite a bit faster than others on Mac OS X, and while its interface still shows its ugly end (cross-platform, anyone?) ;) - it's nice to have alternatives. Let's forget about IE - on any platform - and make Firefox the cross-platform standard. We can still enjoy better interface work in Safari and OmniWeb - and keep Firefox for compatibility.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-09 at 10:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-08



Apple, Jobs win Billboard awards

Apple has made 'Brand of the Year', Steve Jobs is 'Visionary of the Year' for his dual role as CEO of both Pixar and Apple. The sad thing: Real Networks' Rhapsody has won against iTMS. Then again, they couldn't possibly give Apple and Jobs all the four awards they were nominated for, could they.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-08 at 21:23 CET ]
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Apple seeds Safari 1.3 DP5

And answers a question we here at macnews.net.tc had for a while. Apparently, Safari 1.3 takes the WebKit development of Safari 2.0 and gives it back to Safari 1.x (without the other improvements of Safari 2.0). Be aware that installing this developer preview doesn't let you go back to the GM version of Safari 1.2.x you had previously installed. The only way to get back to it is to reinstall the system and update it to the previous state. Basically: Do not install this on a system you want to keep running over a longer period of time. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-08 at 21:19 CET ]
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Apple: Now's the time for the iPod Flash

Dear Apple, you're certainly aware that the holiday season is about to begin - and that your iPod sales will skyrocket. But there still are a lot of potential iPod buyers who, in lack of money, will go buy those cheap, MSN compatible flash based music players. If you have a 1 GB flash based iPod mini ready that you could sell for 149 or even 99 USD, we urge you to release it right about now. Make sure that every child has enough time to scribble down his or her note about this new iPod. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-08 at 19:47 CET ]
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Delicious Library

The new (ground up) version of Delicious Library, your 40 USD does-it-all DVD/book/etc. software library with a gorgeous Mac OS X interface, is now available. It has won O'Reilly's innovator price, as you can see on the linked site. The really new thing about this one is, of course, its bar-code reading capability. Use your QT-compatible webcam (iSight, for example) to read your items' barcodes. The software then looks it up for you.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-08 at 16:57 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-06



Mac OS X 10.3.6 Combo Updater available

You'll find it here at Apple's downloads (links to download page). Size is 92 MB for the combined updater. I like those, because when I have to reinstall a machine, I can simply use the combined one instead of letting the computer download everything through Software Update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-06 at 12:09 CET ]
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Apple announces "Apple Dashboard Widget Contest"

Which means that they're definitely called 'widgets' now instead of gadgets. ;) Developers with access to the latest builds of Tiger should enter the competition until 30. November 2004. The best widget wins an iPod 40 GB. Sadly not of the 'photo' variant. Read more about it here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-06 at 11:48 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-05



Apple releases Mac OS X 10.3.6

As predicted on this very site, Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.6. You can read more about the changes here on our site or directly here at apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-05 at 22:55 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-04



Quite a bit on Spotlight...

You'll find here at developer.apple.com quite a bit of information what Spotlight really is, how it works and how you as a developer can make use of it. Certainly interesting for future Tiger users, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-04 at 12:45 CET ]
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Tiger Server 8A297

Apple has seeded Tiger Server, first time for ADC Select members, according to sources. The DVD disk image weighs in at 1653 MB.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-04 at 10:39 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R28

Apple seeds this new build, also the Server version of the same build and J2SE 5.0, based on JDK 1.5.0-rc-b63, the latter one only for Tiger builds 8A294 and up. The Mac OS X 10.3.6 build 7R28 comes without reversioners and can only be installed on 10.3.5 GM. A release of 10.3.6 is expected in early to mid November. Key enhancements of this update are improved file sharing for AFP, NFS and SMB/CIFS, more reliable automounts, improved OpenGL with updated graphics card drivers, FW/USB compatibility (more devices), updated Calculator, DVD Player, Image Capture and Safari applications.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-04 at 10:38 CET ]
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Firefox: RC2 released

You'll find it here on their FTP server. Final release still expected on 9. November 2004.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-04 at 10:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-03



Ex-Apple, Ex-Be going to lead PalmSource

Jean-Louis Gassée, founder of Be Incorporated and once president of the Apple Products Division, is now CEO of PalmSource (which has bought parts of Be earlier). Whether this will significantly change the direction of PalmSource remains to be seen. Cobalt, or Palm OS 6, will bring quite a few bits from BeOS to Palm (however don't expect it to _look_ like BeOS) - most importantly true multitasking.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-03 at 11:49 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-02



Mac OS X "world's safest" operating system

As if we didn't know that already, there's more info now. Mac OS X (based on Darwin) and BSD outperform both Microsoft Windows and Linux in security. I'm sure we'll read about "only coz of market share" and the likes, but to evaluators: Does it really matter why it's the safest? (And I think there's more to it than just lack of market share...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-02 at 17:53 CET ]
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iPod Download

Been using that nice plugin which allows to get songs from an iPod from within iTunes? Stopped working in iTunes 4.7, eh? Well: You can use HexEdit to change that. Open "/Applications/iTunes/Content/MacOS/iTunes" and look for 'iPod Download'. Then change that to read, for example, 'iPod Dawnload'. Make sure _not_ to remove or add a character, though, just replace one. After saving that 'work', iTunes and iPod Download will work again as expected.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-02 at 00:12 CET ]
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news of 2004-11-01



Tiger's Burnable Folders and Smart Folders

AppleInsider updates us on a few changes in smart folder management (along with screenshots of those). Basically, you can now create burnable folders through a new contextual menu item. Dragging stuff to them creates aliases. Inside the folder, you'll see a yellow 'burn bar' that allows you to burn the files associated with the aliases.

The second thing mentioned is that smart folders are getting smarter, and that smart folders' column view option has been replaced with a 'groups view' option, which shows the contents of the smart folder as Spotlight search results.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-01 at 18:17 CET ]
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Camera Mobile Phones burn Digital Camera Sales

Gartner Group and Infotrends note that currently, with mobile phones getting megapixel cameras and memory card slots, they start to hurt digital camera sales. Sounds reasonable, too, since the home user is probably fine with 1-2 MP cameras and doesn't want to carry a lot of gadgets.

Now will a similar effect happen to the iPod (and other MP3 players)? Some mobile phones already have MP3 playback. And for some users, a few songs are good enough.

One important difference between the markets is that while 'real' digital cameras are - for the home user - about as easy-to-use as a mobile phone, the iPod is more than just an extended version of what you can do with songs on your mobile phone. But: Mobile phone makers are going to learn. And Apple even helps them, bringing, for example, iTunes to Motorola phones next year.

I guess this will really hurt flash-based MP3 players, since basically an MP3 enabled mobile phone is just that: A flash-based MP3 player. Maybe Apple going into the flash-based MP3 player market is not so good an idea in the first place.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-11-01 at 14:16 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-31



So, Google wants on the Mac desktop...

And apparently, it'll take at least a few more weeks if not months, until Google will automatically index your harddrive for you and display local results in your browser of choice - or something like that. Having shortly looked at how Google Desktop on the PC does and how Spotlight works on Tiger, I have to admit, I don't really understand why Google wants to enter this market. Spotlight, which will be publicly available in the first half of 2005, will outbeat Google's approach by far. Their one advantage, as I see it, just really isn't one. They mix local results to internet results. Now if I'm writing a paper on a subject and go searching about it, I'll drop over my own feet all of the time? Super. ;)

However: If Google supports Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3 with their desktop application, I guess there will be a market for those who won't initially upgrade to Tiger, when it'll be available. And on the PC side... Microsoft was the first to announce such technology. For Longhorn. (And even before the term 'Longhorn' was anywhere.) They then said Longhorn wouldn't have this feature, since they're late already. Now that Google's in the game, they're instead going to bring their own desktop search tool out before even a public beta of Longhorn appears. Guess Google will have a hard time on both platforms... Maybe they'll announce a linux approach now?

Remains to be seen how it all plays out, but I guess the game will play in Apple's favour in the end. Google pressed others to bring these features on as add-ons to the system. While Apple, as far as I can see, does it right. Spotlight will drive 'search' in every aspect of the operating system and gives third party developers the chance to make use of its engine (on Mac OS X, that is, via an API). Interesting times, once again...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-31 at 21:00 CET ]
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A few notes on Tiger 8A294

According to some reports, Tiger build 8A294 takes a bit longer to install than some of the builds of late. Whether that's due to 'taming' the beast a bit remains a speculative thought, however. After installation, the build is as snappy as any 8A2xx build tested by our sources, they report. There are, however, instances of lag, and some Carbon applications will probably need updating (or Tiger needs fixes, time will tell...).
The new build incorporates yet a new look of the menu bar, which probably shows the direction in which Tiger development (at least regarding the look) is headed. 'Aqua Blue' shows graphite backgrounds for both the Apple and the Spotlight logos in the upper left and right corners - until you click on them, that is. Then they turn to a darker blue. The logos are nicely bevelled now.



In this shot you multiple things. First, there's the bevelled logos in the menubar, but you'll also notice that in 'current' applications like Adobe Photoshop CS the looks don't yet match. This will probably be fixed in newer builds soon. Apple currently notes some problems with Carbon based applications and their toolbars, and this design glitch might be only a small problem that will be addressed. The look in this screenshot is, of course, Graphite, not Aqua Blue (I find this more consistent right now).

The Finder, in column view, now has a 'more info' button that opens the usual get-info dialogue, as you can see in the next screenshot.



Working with an 'empty' system (i.e. a clean install without any actual work data) is not much fun - and certainly doesn't show off Spotlight's abilities. Similarly, Mail.app 2.0 really shines when you have a whole lot of E-Mail rather than an empty test mailbox active. Thus, I've tested the FW-migration tool when installing this build. The external FW drive took quite a while to transfer everything into the clean installation of Mac OS X 10.4 8A294, but after that, basically everything worked just fine. A few utilities that enter the system more deeply (for example antiviral tools, network extensions etc.) need to be reinstalled, but the transferring application informs you of those. Spotlight, btw., just works. It's fast and really does what Steve promised us at WWDC: It finds what you're looking for.
For now, Tiger is certainly not ready for 'average users' and, as Apple puts it, 'productive environments'. But the time nears when the new operating system is feature complete, and we'll then see optimisation and bug-fixing that will, over time, create the best Mac OS X version yet.

We'll report more on this new build, the first one for ADC Select members since they were shipped the WWDC build via snail-mail, in the coming week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-31 at 16:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-30



Apple seeds Tiger 8A294 to ADC members

Apple has seeded the new build this weekend. There are quite a few noted issues in the build, so it's not recommended to use it in production systems, even if you usually ignore Apple's warning thereof. ;) (For example, activating SMB shares may corrupt login passwords and similarly fun stuff.) Yet: For ADC Select members, this is surely good news, since the last build they held in hands was the one released at WWDC.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-30 at 22:39 CET ]
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More Apple seeds...

Apple also seeded Mac OS X Server 7R27 as well as Xsan 7N154.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-30 at 00:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-29



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R27

Apple also changed the download process for developers, according to sources. Apparently they don't choose the location from where they're downloading anymore. In the past few days, download for ADC members was on and off.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-29 at 14:03 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-28



Firefox 1.0rc1 released

Late last night, Firefox 1.0rc1 was released to the servers. Get the file here (from this directory).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-28 at 06:16 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-27



Newer Tiger Info (and screenshots)

Thanks to a source with access to one of the newer Tiger builds, we can show you a few new screenshots.



This one shows the new battery menu bar item. It offers a bit more choice than Panther's.



Here we see the family control options in place.



A look at Mail.app's new interface.



You can get info on an e-mail account and get a window like this.



Here you see that Safari 2 offers a choice for your default RSS reader application.



Finally, we can encrypt Virtual Memory, too.



And the 'target disk mode' from Startup Disk system preference pane...



Another good look at the new style of interface, this time System Preferences. Currently, it seems that Tiger has three interface styles. NewAqua (like Panther), Brushed Metal (like Panther) and Aluminum. And then there's the new menubar style you can see in some of the screenshots.



TextEdit opens Word files with tables. Still with some issues, but basic support is here.

We hope to bring you more and new information on Tiger's process soon. Stay tuned...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-27 at 22:31 CET ]
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The iPod Video done right...

We know that Apple in all probability won't release another iPod in the coming six months. My guess is that we'll see the white iPods go all colour screen in the next revision (5G). This might happen next Spring or Summer. Video, in my not-so-humble opinion, is the logical next step. Sure, there are issues (we'll come to those in a moment), but rather than dismissing an iPod Video, I hope that Apple will take these issues head-on, solve them and create the real next step in a future generation of the iPod.

The Issues
Apple has repeatedly said users wouldn't want to watch videos on such a small screen. At yesterday's press event, Steve Jobs looked at the first PMCs and said they were too big, too heavy and had too small a screen. That's two issues. The first one is a question: Would there be enough potential buyers? And the second issue is a task rather than a question. The task is to create a device small enough to be pocketable (iPod size) and a screen large enough for viewers to enjoy flicks. The third issue is missing content, also mentioned by Steve Jobs yesterday (and the reason they went with photos for the iPod Photo, where licensing is a non-issue and content is readily available on the user's part).

So, would there be enough potential users?
This question is both difficult and easy to answer. Surely, 'music' has more potential users than 'video' per se. But how many potential users are enough for Apple to produce an iPod Video? We don't know. What we do know is that people around the world are watching a lot of music video clips, a lot of TV in general and that they do buy a lot of movie DVDs. If you can simply hook the iPod Video to a TV set like you can with the iPod Photo, I don't really see the problem of the small screen. Video would also just be 'yet another' feature. You could still use the iPod for music or photos only. And I guess a lot of future iPod Photo owners will mainly use it for music playback rather than photo sessions.

Small enough device, big enough screen...
The current iPod's size is perfect. No need for it to grow, no need to shrink. Now if the whole front could be a screen, that'd make a good screen for watching short flicks like music videos in a train. It responding to touch would reduce the need for hardware buttons and scroll wheels. Problem solved? Well: I'd let Apple surprise me. If they have an even better way of doing it, please do so...

Missing content?
That's flat-out a lie, in my opinion. There's a lot of video content. Let's start small! Apple could use the iTMS to also sell music videos. Actually, they could use MPEG-4 (H.264, preferrably) with AAC sound which would result in files about 30 MB in size, and you could choose at play-time whether you want to see the video or just use music playback. I'm sure there could be said a lot more about music videos alone (and this is feasible and attractive, I think!), but let's move on. TV shows. Using H.264, a 45 minute TV show (which is 'normal' for many series) could be about 200 MB in size for a good quality video file. Sure, that's a lot of space, but I see people buying DVD boxes of old seasons, so why not buy the shows while they're still new? And to the creators: Why not sell the shows directly to the customer? And then there's movies. People love movies. (Apple loves movies, too, and I'm sure Steve Jobs is proud that that Nemo DVD was the best-selling DVD ever?) And I'm pretty sure that a mom would love to be able to give her kid the iPod to watch a movie or two instead of having to take care of all those DVDs and video cassettes and that the kid doesn't eat the packaging. Well, I hope the kid won't eat the iPod Video, but you see what I mean, probably.

Conclusion
My conclusion is simple. No, we won't see an iPod Video for some time now. Yet, if done right, the iPod Video could simply be the next iPod. In several senses. It could be the next success explosion for Apple. It could be the next step in content sales for Apple (iTunes Video Store etc.). And it could simply be the coolest music player that is already an icon more than the Walkman by Sony ever was! Additionally, it would also double as a video player you could hook up to your video beamer or TV set. Give it the right Java interpreter and suddenly there are also a lot of games available (those do sell well for mobile phones all over the world, maybe with the exception of the USA). May my critics be reminded, that we do already live in the 21st century. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-27 at 13:22 CET ]
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Critical Mass Reader Mail Leading To An Answer. ;)

We do get a lot of e-mails by readers. Questions, comments and criticism. We don't usually react to them publicly, but the inbox has hit critical mass this time. ;)

You all know that I'm not just another Apple fan boy, and that while I enjoy Apple's technology and generally have a positive feeling about what Apple's doing, I also criticise them quite often. Today, however, is not that day. Yet: I've rarely encountered so many critical voices after Apple had released another product. People, it seems, think the iPod Photo is "too little, too expensive" (quoting one reader's message). The consensus of the critical messages is the following: Many people think the iPod Photo will not attract many people, as its colour screen is too small to view photos in good enough quality. I beg to differ...

As long as the iPod does not gain video capabilities, think of the iPod as a music player first - and everything else second. Yes you can use it as your newsreader on-the-go by feeding it textlets. Yes you can use the new iPod Photo to have your family photo slideshows with you when visiting relatives (and show them on their TV set, using the A/V cable, too!), but the most important thing about this new iPod - at least in my opinion - is that listening to music and selecting tracks becomes more beautiful.



A nicer graphical interface as unobstrusive as this one is a pleasure to behold - and can make all the difference.

I can imagine myself, holding my iPod 4G 40 GB model, sitting next to an iPod Photo user. If he's looking at his photo collection, I won't mind, really. But seeing him use the colourful interface will quite surely turn me green with envy. Would I have paid the 100 USD more to get the iPod Photo 40 GB instead? Doesn't 100 USD sound like a bit much for just the interface? Well, I guess I would have to go into that mode and tell everyone around me that it synchs with my iPhoto collection, too (which you know is not a big interest of mine), but I guess I would have paid those 100 USD, in fact, for the interface. But I'll probably stick with this one that I have for now, since it's still the best music player around. And it'll serve me well for another two years. I guess my next iPod will have video functionality.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-27 at 01:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-26



Looking good...



However: This is definitely a mockup (made by Apple, though) and not a screenshot. The resolution of the actual display is lower.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 23:30 CET ]
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Unsanity: ShapeShifter 2

This new release comes with a slew of new features.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 22:10 CET ]
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Apple releases iTunes 4.7

You can get it here at apple.com/itunes/download. While the software doesn't seem to be necessary in order to access the iTMS in new countries, it's sure recommended to use the newest version possible. This version is also needed for the new iPod Photo. One new feature for other users, too, is the automatic finding of double songs. (Gotta try that now...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 20:27 CET ]
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New iPods!

There's a black U2 20 GB model now, and the iPod Photo for 25'000 pictures. iPod Photo 40 GB for 499, iPod Photo 60 GB for 599 USD. iTunes 4.7 is used to transport fotos to the iPod Photo (downscaled?).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 20:16 CET ]
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New iTMS Countries: No Switzerland

As expected, iTunes has gotten available in more countries today. The list shows Austria, Belgium, Deutschland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States now. We'll keep you updated.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 19:01 CET ]
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Mac OS X and Viri

There's been a lot of talk about Mac OS X security in the past 72 hours. The verdict: You're still safe, if you're using Mac OS X and keep it updated. If you really want to install an antivirus package on your Mac (maybe also because you don't want to send viri to your Windows using contacts accidentally), you might want to check out ClamXav. Might be of some use in the future, but also in the present. And be it only to provide you with a nice "nothing found" message... It's free, too. (Note: There still are some rough edges in the application and the installer, however, it should basically work fine. If you notice some window that doesn't seem to react, just quit the application/installer and restart it afterwards. Worked for me the second time around.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-26 at 01:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-25



iTu(n)esday

Tomorrow's the big day of the music announcement. We're certainly expecting new iTMS locations (Switzerland, please?) as well as an iPod (or similar device) using the 60 GB drive. The black U2 branded iPod is in talks as well. We'll see tomorrow...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-25 at 18:58 CET ]
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iEmulator

There's another kid in town. iEmulator emulates a PC on a Mac, or so they claim. There's a bunch of screenshots available, "untouched" as the site promises, that show the software emulating up to 4 PCs at a time. They claim they can get a 1.5 GHz G4 emulate about a 500 MHz PC. However you should keep in mind that performance and experienced performance are two different things altogether. The software should be available in November, so we're waiting for comparisons to VPC before applying for a license. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-25 at 15:35 CET ]
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Windows XP is 3 years old

Happy Birthday, Windows XP! Teletubby-Land has found its way to 'their' desktops on 25th of October 2001. Around that time, I was testing near-final builds of Mac OS X 10.1 and was eager to follow the future evolution of that operating system. In the past three years, we have not only seen the final release of Mac OS X 10.1 (Puma), but also the final releases of 10.2 (Jaguar) and 10.3 (Panther) as well as several 'service packs' in the form of releases such as the most recent 10.3.5 update. In the same time, Microsoft has released SP 1 and SP 2 for Windows XP, both without seriously updating the feature set of the operating system. Granted, they kinda had to focus on the security issues - and many people around the globe are glad they did - but on the other hand: If you want to make sure you're using the most insecure operating system, prone to attackers using worms and viri, Windows XP is still the way to go. And with Longhorn 'just around the corner' (2-3 years?), here's a toast to another three years of Windows XP, while we on the good side will be enjoying Tiger (10.4) in the first half of 2005 and probably Mac OS X 10.5 before Longhorn arrives. Cheers!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-25 at 13:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-24



AMD: Surf the net securely - use a Mac?

MacBidouille posts a french ad by AMD that asks users to surf more securely.



The picture shows a Titanium PowerBook (minus the Apple logo), which of course is a good advice, since Mac OS X is still without virii (although there's now a hand-made rootkit available - and no, it's not a virus...).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-24 at 15:09 CET ]
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Or will we see the PB 7448?

Freescale publishes new information on the PowerPC 7448, MacBidouille has the link (French, but you'll find the linked PDF easily). Guess it all depends on what information is true. Our sources claim a) that Apple has a PowerBook with PPC 7448 ready, basically but that b) Apple could just skip this revision in favour of an earlier-than-expected (early 2005 instead of 2nd quarter 2005) PowerBook G5. Either way: Now is definitely not the time to buy a PowerBook.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-24 at 15:05 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-23



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R24

... and cleans up the older builds with a special 'fix it' package that should get rid of the damage done by earlier betas of 10.3.6. A release of Mac OS X 10.3.6 is expected next week, possibly even 7R24.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-23 at 04:13 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-22



Apple seeds Xsan 7N153

The 53 MB package shows that Apple is still creating about a new build every third day (the first build seeded to developers was 7N130 at the end of August as we reported). Speculation now is that Apple will announce a much broader and bolder business strategy early next year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-22 at 02:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-21



Misunderstanding at AppleInsider

AI posted this about 10.3.6 developer builds today. They say Apple has eased the update process from build to build, removing the reversioners. However, that's not true. The latest build, 7R20, did not contain a reversioner, however that was only the case because the build was _not_ intended to update earlier development builds of 10.3.6. Instead, the build was only applicable to the GM version of 10.3.5. If you are a developer with access to beta builds, do not install 7R20 over 7R14 or 7R12 etc., because after the upgrade, you won't be able to open some of Apple's applications (like iChat, Mail.app for example), effectively ruining your experience...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-21 at 02:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-20



About the PowerBook non-show

I'm sure you're aware of the fact that macnews.net.tc was the first and one of the more prominent rumour sites to talk about the PPC 7448 PowerBooks we then thought would arrive in Autumn 2004. Apparently, this will now not be the case, and we want to apologise, if our rumour has caused any inconveniences.
We have used the past 24 hours to talk to the two separate sources we had for the rumour, and of course they're sad, too, that it didn't come as predicted.
From what we hear, three things have happened that led the PowerBook 7448 not to come true. 1) FreeScale, after being spun off of Motorola, has taken a lot more time than Apple was expecting. The PowerPC 7448 is simply not ready, although preproduction PowerBooks had been made. 2) IBM and Apple have been working hard to bring the PowerBook G5 to the market. And while IBM, too, had its share of problems creating more refined and less power consuming (and heat generating) 64bit processors, it apparently has made it possible that 3) Apple can announce the PowerBook G5 in January 2005. Apple basically had two options when it became aware of the delay of the PPC 7448 and the advances of IBM. They could've postponed the 7448 based PowerBooks by a month or two. However, with the PowerBook G5 coming closer, that wouldn't have made much sense. While choosing to go with the 'old' PowerBooks for the holiday season might not be comfortable for Apple, they rather sell more PowerBook G5's next year. According to our sources, the PB G5 will be announced in January and will be available in quantities a month or two afterwards.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-20 at 19:47 CET ]
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MAMP

Macintosh, Apache, MySQL and PHP. webEdition has posted a simple installation for a development environment that can just as easily be removed (just trash the MAMP folder). (Updated with English link...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-20 at 16:04 CET ]
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Apple announces Tiger Early Start Kit

... and will probably soon start seeding new builds. The "Enterprise" title song springs to mind while I'm typing this. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-20 at 13:43 CET ]
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PowerBooks skipped?

"This new line-up of iBooks, along with the current PowerBooks we have will make-up the complete portable line-up we will be offering for the holidays...", David Moody has said to MacCentral. This could very well mean that the 7448-PowerBooks won't see the day of light at all. Which could mean that the PowerBook G5 is being readied for a January announcement. We're digging our sources...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-20 at 00:28 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-19



Xserve with 400 GB S-ATA drives

Apple has also added new options to its Xserve line. A new 'ultimate' configuration for the Xserve offers 3x400 GB S-ATA drives (1.2 TB of storage) and the Xserve RAID can now have up to 5.6 TB (14x400 GB) of space.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-19 at 18:30 CET ]
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Opinion: Single processor PowerMac G5 1.8 GHz

Apple has introduced a new entry-level model to their PowerMac G5 line. 1499 USD (2299 CHF) is, while certainly not cheap for an entry level desktop computer, cheaper than the previous entry into the PowerMac area. Although I'm glad Apple takes a step into the right direction with this new model, I don't think it's the right thing to do. The PowerMac label should be reserved for the highend models, but a 1.8 GHz single processor PowerMac with a 600 MHz frontside bus, 256 MB of RAM and a GeForce FX 5200 with 64 MB VRAM doesn't cut it for me. Unless it'd cost 999 USD (1499 CHF).

I'm sure Apple has their own plans and it will all play out well - as it has in the past - but I'd rather have seen the same PowerMac named something else, strip the SuperDrive, strip the FW800 ports and sell it for 500 USD less. The new model, as they sell it now, seems not very attractive for me. Home users might as well buy a better iMac for the same price (not so expandable, true) and professional users are surely better off spending a little more for a 'real' PowerMac (i.e. the dual 1.8 GHz one). For now, I'll call this new Mac the 'loserMac'.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-19 at 15:25 CET ]
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Apple updates iBooks

As predicted by several rumour sites, the iBooks have been brought to 1.2/1.33 GHz G4 processors. AirPort Extreme is built-in and the pricing starts at 999 USD.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-19 at 14:37 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-18



New Server!

You're looking at the new server. Everything's okay and will be fine. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-18 at 20:27 CET ]
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Special Music Event Next Tuesday!

Apple has invited several press people to a special event on 2004-10-26 (10 AM PST in California). U2 will probably perform their iPod ad song. And quite possibly a _bit_ more (iTMS Europe, iPod 60 GB...).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-18 at 18:49 CET ]
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Apple also seeds Mac OS X Client 10.3.6 7R20

We're in the wrapping up phase of this update, and a release is now expected anytime, basically - probably as early as next week.

The ReadMe for this update will read: "The 10.3.6 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users. Key enhancements include: improved file sharing for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks; more reliable network automounts and launch of network applications; improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphic drivers; additional FireWire audio and USB device compatibility; updated Calculator, DVD Player, Image Capture, and Safari applications; improved compatibility for third party applications; previous standalone security updates.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-18 at 11:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-15



Apple seeds Mac OS X Server 10.3.6 7R20

The server version focuses on Active Directory Plugin Authentication, AFP Server Performance, SMB Sharing for Windows XP clients (especially for large files writing to the SMB share), Mail server SMTP authentication when using CRAM-MD5.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-15 at 12:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-13



Microsoft also updates Office v.X

You can get the updater to 10.1.6 at the MacTopia site.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-13 at 16:39 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5.1 Beta 2

The second beta is out and ready for download. Version 5.1 brings OmniWeb to a newer WebCore version and compatibility with sites like Gmail. Beta 1 had some flaws that have now been corrected. A final build of OmniWeb 5.1 is expected in the weeks ahead.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-13 at 10:52 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-12



New iPod ad: U2 "Vertigo"

You can take a look here at apple.com/itunes/u2 and at the iTMS there's a 2min extended version.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-12 at 17:32 CET ]
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Cherry OS: Fraud?

Cherry OS claims to emulate Mac OS X at 80 percent of the host's CPU speed. For about 50 USD, that's quite a cheap Mac (OS sold separately...). Their website says (right now) they feature a 'skin enadled GUI' (sic!). Well, I hope they have not so many typoes in their software, then. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-12 at 17:14 CET ]
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MS Office 2004 (Mac) SP1

You can read more about it here. Will be available soon here at Mactopia, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-12 at 16:08 CET ]
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Apple releases Remote Desktop 2.1

Fixes and new features include support for full screen mode when controlling and observing remote computers; support for controlling and observing remote computers with multiple monitors; support for mouse scroll wheel and right-click when controlling remote computers; support for computer restart for packages that require a restart; improved reporting of output for the Send UNIX command; improved printing of hardware and software reports; improved remote data collection; improved file copy for files on networked home directories; and enhanced column sorting in Administration application.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-12 at 16:04 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R14

Select and Premier ADC members have access to this latest build of Mac OS X 10.3.6. A release of the update is expected in the coming weeks. Developers are still asked to test this build against Graphics including OpenGL intensive games and DVD playback, FireWire, Safari, Disc Recording (CD and DVD), USB, Mass Storeage devices etc.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-12 at 14:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-11



Creative copies iPod (again)

This time the mini with their Zen Micro.



Doesn't the interface look remarkably similar to an iPod's? Sure does. Read more about the yet-to-be-introduced Zen Micro here at gizmodo.com and also look at the bigger picture (pun intended).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-11 at 13:27 CET ]
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Apple's Business Strategy

Does, according to this article, pay out. Changes the way Apple's looked at in business. When Steve Jobs introduced Xserve, he said that they'd enter this market in a very "humble" way. I'm sure making the list of supercomputers isn't quite what Steve meant back then by his words. However, I'm also sure that he meant Xserve to have such kind of reviews and press (and success). But, and the linked article says that, so I quote: "Apple's next challenge will be knocking on the right doors." Well put.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-11 at 09:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-10



A Windows Power User's 1 Month Trip to OS X

Now that was an article I was begging to read. Really. I've heard a lot of switchers' stories, but they mostly were - mildly put - relatively 'dumb' users. Apple clearly caters to those with Panther and will even more with Tiger (Spotlight will show you 'desktop pictures' if you search for 'wallpapers', for example). But someone who grew up with DOS and puts Windows XP to good use and is able to have his/her system running without a crash for several weeks: I hadn't heard much about such a user trying out a Mac. This article on anandtech.com will give you a better idea, too.
The following quote should give you an idea about the fact that the author was willing to give OS X a real chance (and probably more so than most die-hard OS 9 users still out there...): "The benefit of leaving applications running even when you're not using them is that when you do need to use them or open a file with one of them, the response time is instantaneous - as opposed to waiting for an application to load. Of course, you can do the same thing in Windows, but for some reason stability and performance seemed to remain unchanged under OS X, whereas I almost always ran into an issue with Windows - whether it was having too many windows open or too many programs running."

He's also talking about browsing speeds, and quite certainly, he makes a point that we Mac users seem to have forgotten. Remember the days before Chimera and Safari, both of the browsers that are responsible for bringing the Mac 'up to par' with Windows? Well... Considering the amount of web browsing that we all do on a regular basis, Safari's rendering performance is nothing short of unacceptable." - If you think he's wrong, just take a look at the numbers he got comparing Safari to IE on Windows. Not unusually, Safari was 30% slower. That's of course much better than OmniWeb 3.x/IE 5.x/Netscape 5.x back in the old days, but it's still bad.

One other point in his article is very important to me: "The keyboard and mouse both look great but fall flat on their face when it comes to functionality. For a company that has seemingly done a good job of allowing form and function to go hand in hand, and for a company that has developed some of the best human interfaces to digital technology, the input devices are a strange enigma." - I have to admit that I wasn't really aware of this fact, but I haven't used a Mac mouse in years (I'm using the original Microsoft IntelliMouse with IntelliEye, the best mouse ever made ergonomically - for right hand mouse users at least). I've recently installed an iMac G4 at the company I work for and found the mouse incredibly bad. And I've been a mobile user for years, so I was using the perfect keyboard for me for years. Actually using the iMac's keyboard (and it's the same that comes with the PowerMacs) was so ugly, I had to get back to my PowerBook instantly. I totally agree with the article's writer here.

The biggest weak point of the Mac is Games. The article says that in some places and of course in the 'Games' section. For years I've been saying that if you want to use a Mac and want to play games: Get a GameCube or a Sony Playstation 2. The Mac quite definitely just isn't for games, and I doubt it'll ever be. In my opinion, Apple should rather forget about pampering game developers. It just won't happen...

A final comment to the article about Mac pricing: Sadly, the writer completely ignores anything but the most expensive Mac. Sure, he's a power user, so he really needed the dual processor PowerMac. But the fact that he has to doesn't apply to other users. I'm well aware (as many of us are) that it's the PowerMacs that still give the false image that Macs are expensive. And this article only looks at them. The iMacs are priced well against the competition, the eMacs anyway, the iBooks are great value/price performers. But even the PowerBooks, the professional notebooks Apple is selling, compare well to Windows counterparts. I'd have given the article five out of five stars if I did have a star-based system for reviewing reviews, but if a good article writer starts to talk about the price of Macs, he or she should definitely not ignore everything but the most expensive Mac Apple is willing to sell.
I still think that this is a very good and important article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-10 at 17:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-08



If anyone ever...

... wants to badmouth Apple's quality to you again claiming that Apple had to recall some PowerBook batteries, just remind them of the big DELL 4.4 mio. power adaptor recall of October 2004. These things happen to the best (and the rest) of computer companies. The fact that they actually fix things for free is also a sign of quality of service. Quote: "Dell today asked 4.4m notebook users to return their power adaptors after it admitted these peripherals pose both a fire and electric shock hazard." Not exactly a low number of notebooks, eh? And I wouldn't want my power adapter to catch fire and expose its electrical stuff, because it cracks open. Could cause my apartment to burn down. Another important quote, to show you just how _many_ users are affected: "Those parts shipped alongside computers were bundled with Dell's Precision M40' Latitude CP, CPi, CPiA, CPtC, CPiR, CPxH, CPtV, CS, CSx, CPxJ, CPtS, C500, C510, C540, C600, C610, C800, C805, C810, V700, C-Dock and C-Port; and Inspiron 2500, 2600, 2650, 3700, 3800, 4000, 4100, 4150, 5000, 7500, 7550, 8000, 8100, Advanced Port Replicator and Docking Station. [...] The adaptors were shipped between September 1998 and February 2002 inclusive." Compared to that, the number of affected 15" PowerBooks (first generation aluminum only, and only some of them...) that had their batteries replaced simply pales.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-08 at 17:59 CET ]
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So, those 60 GB iPod drives...

... will finally be put to a good use, then. ThinkSecret reports that within the next two months, Apple will release a 60 GB iPod with 2" colour screen (filling the 499 USD spot) that has iPhoto integration. Also, an A/V out port will be there. Other than that, it's gonna be a 'normal' 4th generation iPod, according to TS' sources.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-08 at 11:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-06



Leander Kahney of WIRED likes VPC 7.0

You can read his short review here. Basically I can't really add anything but just sum it up for you: It won't do wonders (no, you're not going to play 3D shooters in VPC just yet) but for those who could live with VPC 6.x, VPC 7.0 is going to be a good upgrade. And a must if you need VPC and have a G5.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-06 at 12:39 CET ]
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EC continues to harass MS

And I personally like it. WIRED has the story about the EC considering 'cleaning Windows of DRM'. Now here's to an interesting twist in the story. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-06 at 12:33 CET ]
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What is really on our iPods?

Let's assume the dust has settled and Steve Ballmer's remarks don't drive the blood into our heads anymore. If we cut down through what he said and try to squeeze something useful out of it, it would be something like this: "Many people have MP3s on their iPods that they don't have paid for." We can certainly agree that this sentence isn't altogether wrong, since we can't deny that there was quite a long time when legal music downloads weren't even possible and the old Napster was thriving. And when the original Napster was killed, other services (Gnutella, Kazaa etc.) picked up where things were left - long before iTMS came into the game, and long before other countries than the USA had access to its songs.

Let's talk open here, I'd say. Back in the days, I have downloaded a few hundred songs from Napster. I have later used some or other Gnutella client to get more. I still can't access iTMS, since it's simply not available here in Switzerland. My iTunes library has about 13 GB of music. 12 of those 13 GB of music are, however, not from some misty online source, they're ripped from CDs. Legally so, although the term 'ripped' still sounds quite bad in some ears. And I personally guess I'm not the exception out there. We could have a poll, and I'm sure someone's gonna do it one day, but my guess is that most iPod users have some illegally downloaded songs on their iPods and many CD-ripped songs to crush the other number.

I could erase the illegally downloaded songs. That'd be quite a difficult thing to do for me, though, since I have often bought the albums that I liked later on. And it's not like you could create a smart list in iTunes that would list only pirated tracks. ;)

So what's Ballmer (and also 'the music industry') going on about? Instead of bashing iPod users and customers, they should - in my humble opinion - increase their efforts to ease buying tracks online. That's what Apple does, and I'm glad they're doing it. One day, I hope, I'll see that 'buy' icon next to a song in iTunes and clicking it will actually work for me in Switzerland...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-06 at 10:40 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-05



MS releases VPC 7

Improves performance by 10-30 percent and adds G5 compatibility. More can be read here...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-05 at 12:13 CET ]
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Aluminum theme in Tiger

AppleInsider has screenshots of the new Mail.app (in Tiger's 8A27x builds) showing a theme we were expecting quite a long time ago. They're calling it Platinum, but in my head, that doesn't quite ring. The theme fits the aluminum clad hardware Apple's making, so let's just call it an aluminum theme...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-05 at 10:58 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R12

Just after the weekend, Apple has seeded a new build of 10.3.6 to its developers. No new information in this build, so it's still: Graphics including OpenGL intensive games and DVD playback, FireWire,Safari, Disc Recording (CDs and DVDs), USB, Mass Storage (external HDs, optical drives, card readers, etc.).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-05 at 10:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-04



Security Update 2004-09-30

Released through Software Update. Still no SMB/Samba update, it seems. AFP Server, CUPS, NetInfoManager, postfix, QuickTime are the areas of this update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 23:39 CET ]
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Gmail teasing users...

... with new features. In the past, a red 'New Features' link in the upper right menu showed us what was changed. Right now, that link is there, too, but it only says that new features are about to come soon. Now let's see what they have for us...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 21:35 CET ]
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Mac.Ars PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5 GHz Review

You'll find their good and extensive review here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 21:17 CET ]
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B&O and iTunes

If you happen to enjoy a Bang & Olufsen home equipment and a Mac, you can now link them using a swedish Mac fan's software.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 21:08 CET ]
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apple.com/startpage

ThinkSecret reports that livepage.apple.com will be replaced next week. Apparently, the new page will be centered around Apple's own Hot News and their products and services (.Mac, probably). You can already take a look.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 21:04 CET ]
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Steve (the other one) bashes iPod users

... as MP3 stealing crowd, as you can read here on TheRegister. Maybe our Steve (Jobs) should bash that other Steve (Ballmer) in public, too, sometimes? A good ol' spanking would do, too. MTV Celebrity Death Match would surely be funny for us, too... Or let me put it differently: It's not a news day in the Mac world, really. But SpaceShipOne has apparently taken the X-Prize. I'm tired. ;) Oh, and Jason Deraleau at O'Reilly writes a better comment about this iPod thing. He probably didn't work that much before writing it. He still used the same 'other' joke to refer to the Steves (and even included Wozniak). But I saw that only after I first posted this story... ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 20:59 CET ]
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Flash iPod no-go?

TheRegister updates the story about SigmaTel and Apple. Obviously, SigmaTel has announced a deal with Rio this past weekend. So: The source for the flash iPod rumour obviously was led down the wrong path somewhere. Doesn't mean Apple can't do a flash iPod all the same, but kinda defies the original rumour.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-04 at 11:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-10-01



Flash-based iPod?

MacRumors posts this story today. While I don't think Apple should even enter this competition, really cheap iPods could make even clearer that Apple ownz this market.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-01 at 23:41 CET ]
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Again a Samba vulnerability

This one affects versions up until 3.0.5, so the currently installed 3.0.2 is quite certainly affected. Read the security notice at samba.org for more information. Hopefully, Apple will fix this soon enough by letting us download another of those security updates. Too bad they still mean rebooting the whole machine... :/ Also note that another Samba issue we mentioned more than two weeks ago (!) is still not patched in Mac OS X.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-10-01 at 16:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-30



Accepting your island... (Editorial)

Apple will ship Tiger in the first half of 2005. And 10.5 at the end of 2006, probably. Our beloved OS will get better. But it won't conquer Windows. Here's why...

First and foremost: Mac OS X has been better than Windows in many aspects ever since it was first released. Apple has kept improving its features, polished the interface (and keeps polishing it, apparently) and added new features (and will do so). Yet, even the long wait for Longhorn doesn't make businesses and home users switch. The iPod is creating some switchers, the new iMac and the gorgeous PowerBooks and iBooks are turning heads as well. Yet a big landslide just ain't happening.
The UN*X folks have shown much more appreciation for the solid base and availability of big-brand applications (like Adobe's, Macromedia's and Microsoft's) that Mac OS X has going for it. We've read lots of comments, we've seen SUN workstation owners adopting PowerBooks and iBooks, we've seen O'Reilly adopting the Mac in General, which is a good sign. However: That's a relatively small group, and only part of it has actually made the switch. Others still prefer a good old PC dual booting into Windows and Linux or emulating Windows' APIs on Linux. Safer bet, they say - and they're not locking themselves into Apple's hardware (although that can run Linux, too).
Apple has to 'accept their island', as I've put it in the title of this column. And it probably already has. They won't conquer Windows in the few years ahead until Longhorn. They probably won't even reach the 5 percent mark again they once had. Or the 10 percent mark. Apple will continue to struggle with market share. Now, market share is not as important, because Apple is financially well and will continue to sell Macs to its island, so we're happy. But conquering those other 95 percent, as Steve's once put it, is a task for decades rather than years. And I'm alright with that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 11:51 CET ]
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Everyone colours MP3 players now, so...

After Creative and Toshiba (and possibly more that I don't know of), now Sony says they're going to ape Apple colouring some MP3 players. And that's good for Apple, although it'll probably mean 'good-bye' to iPod minis' colours...

Let's rewrap up what happened after Apple had coloured their iMacs. How did that play out? Apple created the five colours for the iMac and everyone started to use those translucent colour schemes for basically everything. And just when it started to show, Apple went Indigo and White for the iMacs. (I know about Dalmatian and Flower Power, but let's just slip that under the rug, since they were a mishap...)
Will we now see the same? I certainly hope so. The original iPod is an icon, and even if all other MP3 players become white, you'll still notice an iPod instantly. But the mini? Let it come in two shades of brushed metal: A lighter and a darker version. And let the other players try to sell 'something pink'. ;)
Should Apple be afraid? I think not. It's quite a simple marketing effect that's happening. Something 'bright and new' can be a hit, the followers won't be - and it's the leader that will change the tune. And Apple, after all, is the leader here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 11:38 CET ]
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Five new iTMS countries in Europe

In October, five new European countries will get access to iTMS. While I hope that Switzerland is among them, I kinda know that it won't be. But hope dies last, doesn't it. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 09:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-29



Apple announces Logic Pro 7

And you can take a closer look here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-29 at 16:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-28



iMac G5 display spanning

According to this forum thread, you can use the usual firmware hack to enable the new iMac's monitor spanning capabilities. In the past, this hack has been working beautifully on all the iBooks I've installed it on. However: You do this on your own, Apple won't pay if you mess up your iMac.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-28 at 17:17 CET ]
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FreeScale confirms new processors

Among them is the 7448 (which will be used in the next round of PowerBooks according to our sources) and also two other contenders of the e600 family (G4) of processors: The 8641 and the 8641D (dual core) processors. You can read the press release here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-28 at 16:44 CET ]
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Those Microsoft PMC devices...

I've read about all of the reviews about the first Portable Media Center device available, the Creative Zen PMC-120. A new one's out on infoSync now. Some find the device too big, others like the size. Some mention that converting video for use on the device is ultimately too slow, unless you're using a yet unavailable dual core 6 GHz Pentium V or something. But what most of the reviewers tend to forget is: Buying this device will give you a device that is old in a few months and doesn't deliver adequate quality.

Let me just say what I think here. A portable media player on which I have all my media files (be it audio or video), that I can connect to my home theatre etc. is great. The Microsoft PMC solution, however, is not. 320x240 is, I believe, about the quality of a VCD. Sure: That's enough for the supplied screen (which is too low-end), but even on a slightly bigger TV set, you'll see artefacts and pixeling. Not to speak of my video projector enabled home theatre, where I find 640*320 (scaled to the projector's resolution) 'good enough', but I'd rather want more than that. Plus: The fact that you have to re-encode all video files before they can be synched with the device doesn't exactly make them better.
In a few months, this hardware will be old. Much because it even seems old now. If Apple would take its chances, they could do for this (very young) market what they did for digital music. The Microsoft PMC project, as it is now, is a DOA project. And those who do buy these devices will either replace them in the coming year or go back to the 'old days' instead, letting their PMC catch dust.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-28 at 12:53 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.6 7R9

to ADC Select and Premier members. File size is 30.6 MB. Changes from 10.3.5 include: Graphic drivers, OpenGL, Safari, FireWire, USB, and Disc Recording (CDs and DVDs).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-28 at 11:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-27



iLife '05

Apparently, Apple has extended their 'Panther & iLife 04' promotion until MWSF 2005 in January. And apparently some people are making a connection to a possible release of Tiger there. Our take: MWSF 2005 in January will show us iLife '05. However, Tiger will still be some months off in January. While development on Tiger has sure shown great progress in the past two months, no new builds have been made available to Select and Premier members, which we expect to happen months before a possible release of Tiger. We'll keep you informed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-27 at 12:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-26



Weekly Roundup

Although this past week was a bit of a non-show, let's wrap it up. We've seen a lot of iMac G5 reviews lately, and all of them found the new iMac to be good and not too expensive, the latter being a nice turn for Apple, of course. We've also talked a bit more about Spotlight here and there. Apple has released its Java 1.4.2 Update 2 through Software Update, and then we've heard about Apple acknowledging some iMac G5 17" models' noise problems. And we had news about the PowerBooks. We'll keep you updated throughout next week. Hopefully, we can talk about a new Tiger build. The wait has been very, very long now...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-26 at 00:37 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-24



Apple acknowledges iMac G5 noise problem

And offers to exchange the power supply for affected 17" models. At least in Germany, that's already out. We're expecting an official statement later today.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-24 at 15:23 CET ]
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Mac.Ars and Camino

In an interview with Pinkerton, Mac.Ars takes a look at browsing on the Mac. While I'm no particular fan of any mozilla-based browser (long story made short: I thought Netscape was a very badly hacked together application on classic Mac OS and never warmed up to the idea that a few hundred or thousand people got to mess with a messed-up source code as big as Alaska...), I have to admit that of all mozilla-based browsers, Camino (and Chimera earlier) was always the best and leanest. And the interview also gives some insight on historical (non-)events, such as Camino almost ending up as AOL/Netscape's Mac browser...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-24 at 01:39 CET ]
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Java 1.4.2 Update 2

Apple is offering it now through Software Update. Apple seeded a final candidate of the software two weeks ago (as we mentioned) and has apparently fixed remaining bugs now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-24 at 00:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-23



Yet another good iMac G5 review

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal, has good things to say about the new iMac as well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 17:41 CET ]
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One opinion about the music industry

And a very good one to read. He quite shocked his audience, I believe, but he's right on quite some subjects he's talking about. Andrew Orlowski, that is, in his speech to the music industry in the UK (linked above).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 17:15 CET ]
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Gmail accounts re-revisited

I've again to give away 5 Gmail accounts. As usual, contact me via the contact link below this article, if you're ready to pay 5 EUR via PayPal. Remember: This amount of money is rather your support for macnews.net.tc than any actual payment for the account, of course. So if you don't even _want_ an account, we happily accept your payment, too. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 12:41 CET ]
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New PowerBook G4 coming

As we've told you in the past, this Autumn will show us another round of PowerBook G4 series. (G5 PowerBooks will come in Spring/Summer 2005.) According to our sources, there'll be nothing radical about the next upgrade to the PBG4. We'll see the 12" model move up to 1.6 GHz, as well as the lower-end 15" model. The high end 15" and the 17" model will get the 1.8 GHz processor.
All of them are PPC 7448 processors that should run cool enough at these high rates (as cool as current PBs, our sources put it, although we find that not really 'cool' on some occasions...). The graphics card will be the ATi Mobility Radeon 9800 for 15 and 17 inch models, the 12" will - according to sources - stay at its current nVidia card but lowered in price by 100 USD. The release date for the PowerBooks has been specified as "mid to end October".

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 12:30 CET ]
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iMac G5: The desktop replacement replacement

time.com mentions that in a column about how great a desktop computer the iMac G5 really is. Like from a sci-fi movie, they say. (If only power-over-air would be an option, or that iPod could be synched wirelessly...). They also make a point that good products are a better switching campaign than the ill-fated switch campaign Apple (and I'm glad about it) has stopped doing.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 11:37 CET ]
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Apple seeds Xsan 7N141

Again, Apple has seeded developers with a new version of their Xsan file sytem for Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. SAN, of course, meaning Storage Area Network, which is a bit of a strange acronym, if you think about it, comparing it to LAN and WAN...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-23 at 00:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-22



Apple might or might not...

MacRumors is saying that AppleInsider has been saying that there might or might not be an Apple position for someone who could or could not work with third or first party iPod accessories. You don't believe me? Go read it yourself... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-22 at 19:07 CET ]
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MobileTouch (iPod's wheel for mobile phones)

Synaptics, maker of the iPod's scroll wheel, has nnounced that very wheel for mobile phone use.



There aren't currently any mobile phone makers on the list, but there sure could be very soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-22 at 17:03 CET ]
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NetNewsWire 2.0b3

Ranchero Software has published the first public beta of their RSS-reader's new version. Looking good! Going the other way of Safari 2, NetNewsWire 2 will incorporate webbrowsing in tabs, so when you want to look at a news item's full story, it'll open the web page in a new tab for you (if you want so).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-22 at 12:19 CET ]
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Slow news day, 'bit of humour?

"OS 9 users are filthy," said Tom. I asked him: "What makes you say that?" Tom rolled his eyes and nodded in the general direction of Sarah. "She just switched to OS X and wanted me to put the trash on her desk."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-22 at 11:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-21



iMac G5: 5 out of 5

Yes. PC Magazine has rated the G5 iMac. Whether its name was a hint... ;-) Quote: "With the iMac G5, Apple has given Mac fans yet another reason to stay in the fold. And its unparalleled execution should attract would-be Windows PC buyers, as well."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-21 at 23:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-20



Yet another Spotlight detail

Tiger development doesn't only cater for those of us who want the UI to be more lickable, faster and more complete. Spotlight data, according to a Tiger preview session in Paris, is available in Terminal, too. I'm pretty sure there'll be a lot of scripters hacking away as soon as they get their hands on newer Tiger builds...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-20 at 19:02 CET ]
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Where do you want to go tomorrow, eMac?

Giles Turnbull at O'Reilly writes down his idea that the fourth iMac config (low end edu config mentioned in the developer notes of the iMac) could replace the eMac. While that machine (40 GB harddrive, no optical drive, Geforce 4MX 32 MB) will certainly be cheaper than a 'normal' iMac, it's still going to be more expensive than a current education eMac. So: I wouldn't say it's obvious that the eMac's days are numbered, but the question remains whether Apple will create another version of the eMac, possibly with a G5 processor?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-20 at 18:22 CET ]
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Tiger/Spotlight Detail

Just a little detail about how Spotlight is going to ease your life. Say a customer calls you and is sure that he _did_ send you that file you need. You just enter the customer's name into Spotlight, and it'll find the file, whether it was sent to you via E-Mail or iChat. This actually means that files you get via iChat are 'tagged' with the user name. While this sounds great for usability: What about privacy? If I send the same file to another contact, will that new contact see where _I_ got the file from? Will that person also see an e-mail address or other (certainly private) information? We'll have to look into that more closely in the coming months. Quite certainly, users will not be able to completely shut down Spotlight if they want to - unless they stay in Panther.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-20 at 01:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-18



Editorial: .Mac - Die or Revolve...

First there was iTools, a free set of internet tools specifically for the Mac user. Then, Apple turned these services into a yearly subscription service for 99 USD. When Apple introduced .Mac, 99 US dollars seemed a bit much, but the user also _got_ quite a lot for it. Nowadays, however, .Mac seems out of place to me. Too expensive by far.

Let's take a look at what you get when you subscribe to .Mac: ".Mac is a suite of Internet essentials designed for the Mac user. With a .Mac membership, you can easily share movies, photos, and files; access your email, bookmarks, Address Book, and documents from any computer; and synchronize your most important data between multiple Macs. In addition, your .Mac membership gives you peace of mind with powerful virus protection and backup software." The description goes on to tell us about a whopping 15 MB of e-mail storage space, 100 MB iDisk and .Mac bookmark synching.

While .Mac certainly has the advantage of good Macintosh integration, the basic services are all available separately, and new users might want to look into alternatives.
E-Mail is not that big an advantage anymore for .Mac. There's 1 GB freemail accounts by now - and Google (with Gmail) is out to become the major force in freemail, even while still in a closed beta state. Also, any ISP basically gives you an e-mail account (or many) for free with your internet account, and most also sport POP3/IMAP4 access as well as webmail. Many also include something like 'iDisk' and 'Homepage', although maybe not as user-friendly as .Mac does.

I personally think that .Mac has to either upgrade big time, or it will just die eventually, because of lack of interest. I also think that .Mac is a strange place to place 'Backup'. Sure, backing up to your iDisk is adorable, but why not give Mac users (not .Mac users) the ability to properly back up their Macs out of the box and onto the media of their choice without a separate service? (To make money is the answer.)

If you're looking for a bit of webspace and a good e-mail service with a Mac-centric name, take a look at macosx.com, they have good, fast and cheap services (9.95, 29.95 and 49.95 USD per year). But: What would Apple have to do to let .Mac survive? Reducing the price doesn't seem appropriate. Upping and revolutionising the services would rather sound like Apple...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-18 at 21:46 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-17



Yet another Security Update

Apple's released Security Update 2004-09-16 through Software Update. It updates iChat. Apparently, there was an issue with it...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-17 at 02:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-16



The Microsoft iTunes Music Store

David Pogue, in this (free reg. required) NYtimes article, muses that basically Microsoft has just copied the iTunes Music Store from Apple. It offers more or less the same for the other side of the coin, the coin featuring an iPod and an all-other-players-in-the-world side. For the US market only, so far.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-16 at 18:56 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-14



Sony still makes great PDAs

... however only in Japan, as we all know. And it's a pity for the end users in the USA and Europe. Their newest gadget, the PEG-VZ90, is the first PDA with an OLED-display we know of. And the specs of this display, compared to the 'old ones' (look at the table at the foot of the linked page) are very, very impressive. We're talking 10 times the contrast of Sony's earlier PDA screens (1000:1 compared to 100:1) and we're talking 100% NTSC colour range, compared to about 40% with older PDA screens (remember those being a little washed out looking?).



(Give it an iPod's harddrive, an iPod look and it could be a PowerPod...)

The display's also much faster at refresh rates and has a 180 degrees viewing angle both horizontally and vertically - that too makes 100% of what's at all possible. At the same time, this baby is an energy-saver, it seems. And we (if you're outside of Japan, I count you in, if not, I envy you) don't get this PEG-VZ90. At all. But I'm certain we'll hear more about it soon enough. So we can envy it even more.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-14 at 16:44 CET ]
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More Gmail accounts...

I've again to give out a few Gmail accounts. Please use the contact link below this message and give a short and good reason why you should get an invitation. :)

Update: Those accounts are already gone. However, I've just noticed that my secondary Gmail account has some invitations, too! ;) So if you're one of the first 3 to send me a good reason, you'll get one. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-14 at 12:37 CET ]
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Apple fixes the fix

... acknowledges the FTP hickup and sends out a corrected version of the latest Security Update (now 2004-09-07, v1.1). We've mentioned the FTP problems and warned you _not_ to install any strange old (security-lacking) versions here expecting a fast fix from Apple. Which now happened.

Update: After installing this new update, you should definitely repair permissions via Disk Utility or the terminal, as many apps in /Applications seem to get their permissions flawed. (Please use the contact link below this article if you have any idea why this is...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-14 at 10:56 CET ]
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Samba 3.0-3.0.6 have issues

And Samba on Mac OS X currently is at 3.0.2. There's an advisory at samba.org. Bad people can bring a server (or your machine, if you've activated Windows sharing) to a halt. As Apple's version is affected, we advise you not to keep Windows sharing activated, unless you need it - and then only for a short time.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-14 at 10:51 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-13



New Tiger builds coming...

As mentioned earlier this month, newer Tiger builds will soon come into the hands of ADC Select and Premier members. AppleInsider posts this article with screenshots of iChat with additional Jabber support (it's still unclear how/if this will be interoperable with the AIM network...), parental controls and more on Safari's RSS features.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-13 at 23:16 CET ]
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Apple vs. Apple settlement?

MacRumors posts a story derived from Daily Variety & Ultimate-Guitar.com that says the settlement would "possibly dwarf the 26.5 mio. USD paid" in 1991. Apple had - before that - promised not to go into the music market, but with MIDI interfaces and QuickTime had violated the earlier agreement. MacRumors muses that Apple Corps (The Beatles' label) could become a large shareholder of Apple, with Paul Mc Cartney on Apple Computer Inc.'s board of directors. I personally think: Why not even merge the two and let Apple Music become the biggest of the 'big five' in the music industry? Apple Computer certainly has a lot of music-momentum at hand, currently...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-13 at 21:05 CET ]
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Emulation at full speed?

Hard to believe. This WIRED article says Transitive has QuickTransit ready, which should enable 'near native emulation speeds'. Sure. Everyone's done it wrong in the past. Now there's the solution. Rob Enderle (who in the past was flamed by this very website for saying things like "IT people who choose Mac risk being fired." or "Don't buy an iPod or use the iTMS, because Apple might go out of business.") said "Transitive benefits from the fact that most modern machines are fast enough to emulate each other without much affecting performance." I'm pretty sure he would say something similar if Transitive had announced that their software can replicate food for free without an external source of energy.

_If_ this however should prove true, Apple will go out of business. And yes, Rob, I've said it before you did. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-13 at 17:32 CET ]
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IBM's Linux POWER 5 Server

IBM today introduced a new OpenPower system, putting it against more expensive (but performance-comparable) HP and Sun systems. Two- and four-way machines will be available, starting at around 5'000 USD.
While this does not directly concern the Macintosh, IBM's success with the POWER line of processors is important, because the 64bit PowerPC processors derive from their (higher end) POWER processor parents. (The PowerPC 970 and 970FX are derived from the POWER 4 processor. Currently, IBM is preparing a 'son of POWER 5' aka PowerPC 980 as well as a low-power version of the PowerPC 970 for use in notebooks.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-13 at 17:09 CET ]
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Hello, Apple, wake up, please...

Nokia is going to ship the Nokia Communicator 9500 soon. It is Symbian based. Series 80. Features Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. And it would be nice if we Apple users could synch that baby as soon as we get our hands on it. It's been announced more than half a year ago, so I guess you're alreay finalising the support for this new smartphone in iSync, right? And oh yeah: There's also going to be the cheaper Nokia Communicator 9300. Lacking WiFi (and an integrated camera) but still sporting Bluetooth, so that, too, would be nice of you to support in iSync. Right? Right? (You might notice that I think Apple is always a few steps behind with iSync.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-13 at 16:45 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-10



8x DVD Burning

While this might not be world-important, MediaMarkt in Switzerland currently sells a 'PyroGate' (NEC drive inside) 8x external USB-2 DVD +/- R(W) burner for 199 CHF (about 130 USD), which works quite well with Mac OS X 10.3.5 and Toast 6.x. It's not supported in the Finder/iTunes/iDVD etc., but if that's not important to you, it's quite a cheap and good solution for archiving. I've only been able to test the device with 4x media so far, but that works well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-10 at 12:34 CET ]
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iMac G5 developer notes

... in a 60+ pages PDF document. You'll find a lot of information in that document regarding the new iMac's clockwork. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-10 at 10:10 CET ]
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Security Update, FTP server...

Some people seem to have problems with the FTP server 'fix' in the latest security update from Apple. MacBidouille - and probably other sites - are 'fixing' the problem by replacing the new FTP server with the old one. That's of course a bad idea in the first place, because Apple replaced the old one because of a security issue. We thus advise people not to do it. If your FTP service doesn't work right now: Go to Apple's support forums and search them for a solution involving the currently installed version. Apple will probably send out another update soon enough, too, to solve the problem, although it hasn't yet publicly acknowledged the problem.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-10 at 09:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-09



That new Tiger look...

With Tiger builds currently on the edge of becoming 8Bxx builds (last current word we had was 8A22x and counting...), we'd like to post a (very small) shot of how Graphite's gonna look.



Newer builds for ADC Select and Premier members are expected this or next week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-09 at 16:14 CET ]
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Real's still comfortable...

They've sold 3 mio. songs at 49 cents apiece - and have probably lost as much as 20 cents per song. Their discount, however, will end soon. After that, they want to sell songs for 99 cents, and sometimes some songs at 49 cents. They sure had the attention of the market for a while, but it doesn't sound like a real danger for iTMS (just as expected). The real danger, of course, is Microsoft (as always).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-09 at 15:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-08



Steve Jobs is back

Read it here. Apparently, he's back and will pick up work in a few days. All's well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-08 at 23:14 CET ]
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Apple seeds Java 1.4.2 Update 2 FC

This 26 MB file is for developers to test their Java using products. Fixes since Java 1.4.2 Update 1 include overall applet support improvements in Safari, correct behavior when LiveConnect is used on a cold launch of Safari, drag and drop improvements, and double-byte input method fixes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-08 at 21:25 CET ]
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LaunchBar users: Meet QuickSilver

As my long-time readers know, I'm a fan of LaunchBar, the keyboard-kowboy's application (and other things) launcher. Version 4 of that baby is currently in public beta. Now another user of LB has linked me up to QuickSilver, which currently is at Beta 28. And I'm converted. The software is currently free and fits Mac OS X like a glove. Give it a try!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-08 at 11:07 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-07



WinSwitch 2.0

It sounds like some Windows software, but wincent.org's name is part of it. It's a Fast User Switching replacement menu item. It's free. And you can make it show your user icon instead of the name (which often is too long), or choose one of the other options... The new version 2.0 is announced and ready for download here...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-07 at 10:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-05



Virtual PC 7.0 screenshots

AppleInsider has posted a gallery of screenshots of the new version that will be in stores soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-05 at 18:09 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-04



ADC up again

... and nothing changed, it seems.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-04 at 13:41 CET ]
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ADC down?

"The doors to connect.apple.com will be open shortly. We apologize for the interruption," the page says. The last time we saw that happen, it didn't have to do with a big new release for developers, such as, say, a new Tiger build. But we can hope, can't we. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-04 at 11:32 CET ]
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Apple offered Sony a deal

And Sony went solo, it seems. According to this article (quoting a Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun article), Sony could've been part of the iTMS early on in its history. This would probably have given the iTMS even more marketing power from the beginning vs. Microsoft later in the game, but without Sony, Apple can take all of the crown for being the innovator 'who saved the music industry' (WIRED).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-04 at 11:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-03



New Tiger builds soon?

This AppleInsider news blurb says newer Tiger builds could be seeded as early as next week as both CD and DVD disk images - first through Apple Seed and later through ADC (Select and Premier). We're sure looking forward to new information on Tiger...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-03 at 14:03 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-02



Quote of the day...

A friend of mine looked at the new iMac G5 and instantly said: "It could have been half as thick, had they used a G4 processor. Pity." - Which reminds me of the fact, that Apple will stay with the G4 for the next round of PowerBooks that will be announced in September/October...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-02 at 09:46 CET ]
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news of 2004-09-01



Apple seeds Xsan 7N130

Xsan is Apple's SAN file system for Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. It is yet unclear, whether Apple wants to give their business strategy (which started out with the Xserve) another push with things like Xsan, Xgrid etc.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-01 at 14:57 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-31



Keynote is over

It hasn't been a very exciting keynote, however. The iMac is new and is, as has been expected earlier, a 'computer in a display', basically. The three fans make a PowerBook G5 look farther than ever, and we still expect a new PowerBook G4 this Autumn.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-31 at 12:28 CET ]
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The Keynote (live update)

Hello. We'll put the new stuff in bold type. For now, the new lean theme is online for everyone, updating every 60s. We'll switch back to the normal 'Tiger' layout after the keynote.

Phil has entered the stage. Steve Jobs is alive and well and will come back during September. Phil then was talking about iTunes Music Store, iPods, BMWs etc. And that Mac OS X is now definitely the operating system of the Mac with over 12'000 applications.
Phil's talking about Mac games and that there are more and more games coming out for PC and Mac simultaneously..
(We're a _bit_ late with our report, but we're now in live contact...)
Luxology demoes 'Modo', a 3D tool.
Motion demo. Still nothing really and entirely new.
Tiger. 'More than a year before Longhorn.' 150 new features. Nothing additional to what we know from WWDC, though.
Production Suite. Yes, we're all waiting for the iMac. ;-)
Tiger's again being demoed. Spotlight at large. 'Superfast.' Smart folders, System Prefs, Address Book etc. Still nothing new - at least for those like us who've seen the WWDC keynote.
(Our connection to the keynote is on-and-off right now, sadly, but we'll keep updating as soon as we get more information...)
QuickTime, and presentation of H.264. Until now, we're seeing the same stuff like at WWDC...
Safari RSS (still talking about Tiger). Then Dashboard... And Automator. Maybe it's not Phil's voice that's getting us bored, maybe it's the lack of news...?

So... Almost 1.5 hours have passed since Phil has entered the stage. And we have yet to hear anything new... I guess if it were Steve on stage, we'd hear the _exact_ same stuff, but it would somehow _sound_ more interesting. Probably that field around him...

iChat's multi-conferencing is being demoed.
Phil's talking about the current iMac model. We're quite certain, that we'll hear now about the new one... Yes! The new iMac has a 1.6 or 1.8 GHz G5 processor, at least 17" display, is white and has an aluminum foot. Integrated speakers point downwards. The thing has 8x AGP graphics, up to 2 GB RAM, 600 MHz frontside bus, Serial ATA etc. Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme are not included but available. The power button is still _behind_ the iMac, sadly (why not put it on the screen?!). The page at Apple about the iMac G5 is up.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-31 at 12:17 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-30



Gmail accounts: Gone. :)

I was sure they'd go quite fast, and so they did... I'll give more when I get more...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 23:18 CET ]
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New iMac G5 in patent filing?

MacRumors updates their site with a notion of a patent filed on 2004-08-24, that shows something like this:



While the pyramid form does not strike us as very elegant in the drawing, the patent is actually for the dual swing arm. We'll see tomorrow...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 23:15 CET ]
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Gmail Accounts...

I have 3 Gmail accounts to hand out. Find an intriguing reason for me to give it to you (and be one of the first 3 intriguing reasoners...) and it just might be yours... Drop me a line using the contact link below this article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 18:55 CET ]
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BBEdit 8.0

BareBones has just released version 8 of the text editor that still doesn't suck, as they put it. Some badmouthers will of course say that BareBones is at least trying to make it suck by putting in a lot of new features, but initial testing tells us that if they've tried, they didn't manage... ;-) Here's the link.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 18:12 CET ]
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AppleExpo Paris 2004



We'll report live from the keynote on Tuesday morning (10.00 CET) with contacts live from the keynote giving us information. If all goes well, you'll see a 'lean' layout during the keynote for bandwidth reasons updating automatically (do not reload by hand too often, please!).

Expected news: iMac G5 (1.6/1.8 GHz), some or the other software update. We'll see a new PowerBook G4 maybe tomorrow, but we will see it this Autumn. Along with the PowerBooks, the iBooks will also get faster processors. We will also hear again about Tiger and one or the other hint at Longhorn delays. There hasn't been much talk about a new eMac, although putting a G5 into that machine should be easier than putting it into an iMac or PowerBook. Our sources have confirmed that Apple was working on such a machine, however Apple might want to wait with such a release until a PowerBook G5 is ready. Some sites are naming 'iSight 2' as an extra tomorrow, however, the updated iSight (with the new magnetic holder) is already in sales channels, and another (bigger) step is not expected anytime soon. More news tomorrow, when everything's happening.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 17:53 CET ]
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New iPod TV ad: 'Sterio Rock'

Featuring 'Walkie Talkie Man' by Steriogram. See it here on apple.com. Btw.: The internet nor the world did go down, while I was away, and we'll update with news on AppleExpo Paris soon...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-30 at 17:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-25



Internet goes down tomorrow...

... and I'm leaving for the rest of the week into a warmer area. Actually, the latter thing is true, as I'm going to Northern Italy with my girlfriend on our Suzuki Burgman 400. However, the two things are not related at all. There's however something like this going around the web: "Aleksandr Gostev from Kaspersky Labs was speaking at a conference hosted by Russian Information Agency Novosti. The cyber terrorists main targets will be the US and Western Europe, he said." Quote taken from this Inquirer article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-25 at 19:40 CET ]
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Virex 7.5 eats mailboxes

Using Virex 7.5? Delete it from your computer until a fix is available at the very least. In a long history, this is just the newest incident on the Mac, that unnecessary software like antivirus or disk-tools instead of helping (we got no viruses for Mac OS X and Apple provides a good disk utility with OS X) actually harm your Mac and/or your data. If Virex 7.5 finds, for example, a MyDoom virus in one of your mailboxes, it actually doesn't delete the virus or the mail message - it deletes the 'file', i.e. the .mbox file, i.e. the whole mailbox. If it's in your spam-folder, that might be okay. But you don't want to lose any important mail, do you? I say: It's WINDOWS viruses we're scanning for, so let's stop doing it. Spreading Windows viruses actually helps others making the switch to the Mac. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-25 at 17:30 CET ]
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3D Desktop Beta 1 available

You can get it here. It's not _entirely_ what I expected but is a nice little demo for now. And it can launch apps already (yay!). While it works with aliases (i.e. you don't 'move' an item to the 3D Desktop window), be aware that dragging such an alias to the (normal) desktop actually moves its original there. Which is bad, I think. But as I've said, it's rather a demo of what it could become one day than a useful app per se.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-25 at 11:34 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-24



Extending the Dock

There's DragThing (and there has been since the earlier days of classic Mac OS), of course. But if that's too much for you, you might want to give Overflow a spin. It very nicely extends the Dock.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-24 at 22:58 CET ]
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Which country spams the most?

Still the USA according to new numbers from Sophos. 42.5 percent of all spam originates in the US, currently (while almost 75 percent of all spam messages link to websites that are in China!). Apparently, laws against spam (9 months after initialisation) don't really work.

I personally think the whole E-Mail system should simply be replaced over time with a new system that is completely white-list based. This could also be done by the users, of course, but would in effect turn communication a bit more difficult.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-24 at 16:28 CET ]
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Reading RSS feeds...

... will get even better over time. We're quite sure of that. In less than a year (hopefully), we'll all be used to reading those feeds (such as our very own RSS-feed) in Safari 2.x. We'll have tab-sets of RSS feeds to wade through. But let's not forget that a separate newsreader application like NetNewsWire can be cleaner and more complete for the task. NetNewsWire 2.0 (not in public beta yet) is promising to be good. And we sure hope to get our hands on a beta version soon, as we'd like to be ready to report about it as soon as it's available.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-24 at 15:20 CET ]
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MacBidouille: Future iPods could do GSM, WiFi

Their recent article shows a job listing for the group at Apple that makes the iPod. It says you need experience in protocols such as GSM, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11, FireWire and USB. Of course this doesn't mean that the next iPod will support all of these - however it looks like Apple's at least interested in giving the iPod wireless connectivity also.
The job listing can be found, for example, under no. 2142016 on jobs.apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-24 at 15:07 CET ]
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Musings on a slow Tuesday morning...

"Google takes over world, crystal ball says..." - So for many users, Google's search engine has taken the place of managing Favourites or Bookmarks. It's even replaced a spell checker for many (just search for 'bookmarks' and 'bokmarks', the one with more results is probably the right one...). Then Google went and introduced their news aggregation thingie (news.google.com in constant beta, it seems). And now, with Gmail, they want to handle all of your E-Mail. If I ever wanted to write a plot for a cy-fi thriller, Google's scheme would be a nice start for the evil guys. "We can't get into everybody's computer, but we can make everybody connect their computers with our services. Over time, by giving them more and more personal services, we can accumulate all of their relevant data." Read that again with that good old Nazi-German accent American actors acquired when they played Germans in the Wonderwoman TV Series (and others...) - and suddenly it's even more frightening. Is it just the luck of mankind that Google, for now, does not seem to be the bad guy? ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-24 at 11:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-23



Lack of Tiger news and its effects...

Since showing Tiger to developers at WWDC 2004, Apple has only released one newer build through Software Update (150K update). While development has been quite fast behind closed doors (as we've reported here, Apple's well in the 8A2xx builds...), rumour sites have not acquired much new information about the next big release of Mac OS X.

This lack of news sometimes has strange effects. ThinkSecret is updating their reports by simply telling readers more about the long-released WWDC build, we ourselves have told you about Fast Logout & Autosave on the 14th of July and AppleInsider repeated what we said about Fast Logout and Autosave on 11th of August.
The latest rumour from AppleInsider mentions resolution independency, a feature that has long been requested along with higher resolution displays. After digging a LOT (we first didn't find any reference to it), we have to admit that this feature _will_ be part of Tiger. Apple says: "In future release of Mac OS X we expect this parameter to be settable by the user the same way a user can today go to the Displays Preferences Panel to change the screen resolution." In Tiger, however, this will not be a user-level feature and will only be available to developers.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-23 at 23:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-20



ServerWatch about Panther Server (10.3.5)

Quoting the summary: We suspect most organization considering a Panther migration are weighing Mac OS X Server alongside Linux servers. One consultant with whom we spoke said he sees Apple's mix of proprietary and open as fortuitous. "If keeping the GUI proprietary fosters speed of development, I'm happy with that," he said, adding, "I think it's telling that some of the open-source desktops are copying the Apple 'look-and-feel,' which is superior to anything else out there."

A nice article by Ben Freeman. He has made one error: Macs don't run on POWER processors, they run on PowerPC processors. And Mac OS X Server doesn't run on POWER or PowerPC processors, it runs on Macs. Other than that, he's done a good job. ;-) Worth the read...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-20 at 10:32 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-19



BusinessWeek Apology (iPod mini)

BW's Alex Salkever has written a column to apologise for his early criticism on a possible iPod mini success. He's still criticising it a bit, but he now has apologised openly. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-19 at 23:44 CET ]
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Apple replaces burning 15" PB batteries

"The recalled batteries have the Model Number: A1045 and serial numbers that begin with: HQ404, HQ405, HQ406, HQ407, or HQ408. Batteries with the affected serial numbers contain cells that were manufactured by LG Chem, Ltd. of South Korea during the last week of December 2003 only. " Read more details here at depot.apple.com. Sadly, mine isn't part of that model number. I love to get free replacements. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-19 at 18:59 CET ]
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newertech's RoadTrip

... offers FM transmitting from iPod in a car for 19.99 USD. However: iTrip is certainly the better solution, as RoadTrip only uses _one_ frequency (so you're done if a local station uses that one, too) and takes power from the cigarette lighter, so you can't use that to charge your iPod at the same time. Here's the shop for RoadTrip. iTrip may be 35 USD, but those 15 USD plus are probably a good investment. Go here for more info on iTrip.

Funnily enough, Griffin Technology, the maker of iTrip, also offers a 'RoadTrip' product starting in September: An FM transmitter and combined charger for iPod & iPod mini... Griffin's RoadTrip can also be connected to your Mac and be used to 'stream' your Mac's sound to any FM receiver nearby. For 80 USD, that's quite something... And the longer I think about these products and that the item starting this article was newertech's RoadTrip, I think I should rather just have talked about Griffin's stuff. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-19 at 13:30 CET ]
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Coradine's LogTen 2.0 released

This might be only for a really small fraction of my readers, but I thought I'll still mention it shortly: LogTen is a professional logbook solution for pilots. It's the only such solution built for Mac OS X, and from what I read, it uses Apple's APIs very well. Searching your logs for info is easy and the app even has that smart search saving feature known from iTunes or Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-19 at 12:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-18



iTunes Music Store: More than 50% in German online music

According to the 'Phonoverband', iTMS has more than 50% of online music sales with currently ca. 570'000 songs per month of a total of a little more than a million. Closest competitors T-Online Musicload and AOL each sell about 150'000 songs per month, the Phonoverband says. I want my MTV, erh, iTMS in Switzerland (and other European countries)...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-18 at 15:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-17



New iSight coming

ThinkSecret notes that the current iSight model is disappearing to make way for a new, updated model. The new model is already in circulation, sources say, and the only (visible) change is a new mounting that attaches magnetically.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-17 at 10:38 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5.1 to have newer WebCore

So soon after the release of OmniWeb 5.0, OmniGroup is already testing the follow-up release of 5.1, which will adopt the current Safari version of WebCore, which also supports the nice shadows behind text feature we're using here on macnews.net.tc. A first sneaky-peek version has been seeded to beta testers and is working incredibly well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-17 at 09:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-16



Tablet, no/yes?

Once in a while, TheRegister.co.uk enters the Macintosh rumour market with quite wild things. This time, they foresee the long-awaited Apple tablet computer as you've certainly read by now (I was away for the weekend, so I've just read it...).
With AppleExpo Paris and the recovered Steve Jobs' return only two weeks away, the 'rumour round' seemingly has opened.

The new iMacs quite certainly will make their debut at AppleExpo (17 and 20 inch models only, according to ThinkSecret), but whether we'll see this tablet computer remains unclear. MOSR simply combines these two rumours and muses whether the new iMac could simply be that tablet computer, but we don't go for that, do we.
Our own sources still have only little info on the iMacs, but the tablet computer rumour is a complete unknown among them. Which doesn't mean it couldn't be...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-16 at 10:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-12



Apple to open second Japanese retail store

on 28th of August. Read more here at apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-12 at 13:33 CET ]
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iMac G5 info

Information about the next iMac generation is rare to come by, we can tell you as much. Reading MOSR may amuse you, but not really inform you. We've heard that despite hopes of people that the iMac G5 would be a big step forward in performance, people shouldn't get their hopes too high. The iMac will stil be a consumer-level Mac, clearly differentiated from the PowerMacs. For one, the iMac will be a single processor G5. It'll also lag behind the PowerMacs memory-wise. Although it'll be 64bit capable, the memory of the iMac won't exceed 2 GB (unless someone comes up with a 2 GB brick to fill each of the new iMac's slots). Still: The iMac G5 will crush the old G4 one in every area. Just don't expect it to be a better PowerMac. (We've heard such requests in our mailboxes...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-12 at 12:44 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5.0 released!

I was lucky enough to be among alpha and beta testers of OW5, and it's one great browser. My new default for now, anyway. You'll find a digicam picture of the box here on omnigroup.com (the picture also shows an old NeXT or OpenStep version of OW in the background) and, of course, the release at OmniGroup's site.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-12 at 01:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-11



More Apple updates

Apple has updated DVD Studio Pro to 3.0.1, Compressor to 1.2.1 and also released Pro Application Support 2.1. A little more information is available here at MacCentral.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-11 at 09:35 CET ]
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Java 1.4.2 Update 1

... available via Software Update. Should improve behaviour of applets in Safari.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-11 at 07:39 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-10



Apple releases iSync 1.5

As has been rumoured earlier, Apple was finishing iSync 1.5 lately, and has now released it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 21:25 CET ]
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Apple announces 1 mio songs + at iTMS USA

Quite proudly, Apple announces that iTMS USA now has more than 1 million tracks available. This number, sadly, is not yet true for iTMS Europe. News about iTMS Europe are expected at AppleExpo in Paris at the end of this month.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 16:49 CET ]
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Apple to announce 'Production Suite'

Today at SIGGRAPH. The suite contains Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro HD and Motion - for about 1300 USD.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 16:46 CET ]
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Internally at Apple, Tiger's at 8A213 already

... and Safari 2.0 is right now at build v153. ADC Select and Premier members are still waiting for newer builds of Tiger to come out of Cupertino, so they can really dive into Tiger's development.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 15:21 CET ]
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Tiger 8A171 Info

The first build of Tiger to come out of Apple after WWDC, 8A171, was just a very small (150 KB) update through Software Update. It's meant to test the Software Update mechanism and contains only one change to the operating system other than the build number: Spotlight can now search vcards, according to the release notes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 13:21 CET ]
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SonicSolutions takes Roxio's products

So the next version of Roxio Toast Titanium will probably be called SonicSolutions Toast Titanium. Quite a long name, eh? ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 10:52 CET ]
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Apple seeds Tiger 8A171

... through Tiger's Software Update. More information later.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 09:48 CET ]
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10.3.5 7M34 Combo Updater

If you want to download the combo updater instead of just the 'Delta' one (from 10.3.4), you can get that one here at http://search.info.apple.com/?search=Go&lr=lang_en&kword=kbdload&q=10.3.5. (Actually, the update is not yet available as of this time, but will be soon enough.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-10 at 01:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-09



Apple releases Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M34

... to the public. Yep, it's in Software Update now, just as anticipated. Once more, our sources were perfeclty right (a big thank you goes out to them) about Apple 'wrapping up' development.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-09 at 22:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-07



Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M32

Apple has seeded this new build of 10.3.5 tonight. The seed note contains reduced 'areas of change': Core Graphics, Audio/Sound, Bluetooth, Video drivers, NFS and Safari. File size (update from 10.3.4) is still 41.5 MB. Apple is slowly wrapping up development on 10.3.5. A release seems imminent now, although it's still possible that a bigger bug could delay release until later in August. 7M30, seeded just a few days ago, already felt 'finished' and fixed some bugs we experienced with earlier builds of Mac OS X 10.3.5.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-07 at 01:00 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-06



ArsTechnica: History of the PowerPC

Quoting their introduction: "To make a long story very short, IBM needed a way to turn POWER into a wider range of computing products for use outside the server closet, Motorola needed a high-end RISC microprocessor in order to compete in the RISC workstation market, and Apple needed a CPU for its personal computers that would be both cutting-edge and backwards compatible with the 68K."
You can read the whole, long article here at ArsTechnica.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-06 at 12:17 CET ]
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Details about Apple's quarterly SEC filing

Available here on macminute.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-06 at 12:15 CET ]
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OmniDiskSweeper

It's an old tool alright (from the NeXT/OpenStep era, actually), but it can't be mentioned enough, I think. I've just used it again, and think I'll tell you about it while I'm at it.
ODS is a shareware tool that in its 'demo' mode is already powerful enough to serve its task: It finds the 'bad guys', the space wasters, on your harddrive. Fire it up, select a disk and let ODS sweep that drive.



What it does is: It scans your selected drive by directory and shows them ordered by size. At the top: The biggest folder (in my case, Users/fryke is the 'bad guy') and lets you go through it in column view, always showing the size of the directory selected.
This lets you, very easily and quickly, find the space waster files, and very often ones you didn't even remember. In the full version, which is payware, you can directly, without asking again, delete those. In demo mode, you just look at them and then delete them in Finder or Terminal. You can get the tool directly here on OmniGroup's website.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-06 at 12:08 CET ]
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iPhoto 4.0.3

... in Software Update. Seems like Apple has solved the problem, as we've anticipated, rather quickly. You can also get it here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-06 at 11:36 CET ]
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MS Office for Mac: Get rid of those PDF icons

I'm sure if you've used MS Office v. X or 2004 in combination with Adobe Acrobat Professional, you've seen those PDF icons-bar that uses too much vertical screen real estate and _can't_ be removed normally. Thank God, there's a way to remove those. You just have to delete the 'PDFmaker' files in the subfolders of 'Applications/Microsoft Office/Office/Startup/'. No more additional PDF maker toolbars in Office. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-06 at 10:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-05



It's not started yet...

Those beta times, eh? Every year since Rhapsody DR2 (PowerPC and PC Compatibles), I've been following the development of the next version of Mac OS X. This year seems to be a bit different, though.

Fifteen minutes ago, I decided to give the WWDC Preview of Tiger another spin. So I did. Installed the build on an external FW drive and booted it. Importing my data from the internal drive didn't want to work. Not too bad, I thought, I'll just 'drive' a clean Tiger, then. It's a nice clean system. However, an empty system isn't much to look at, if you haven't got anything to do. After looking at macnews.net.tc both in HTML and RSS view in Safari 2.0 for a few minutes (switching back and forth) and looking at an almost empty drive with Spotlight, I decided to boot back into Panther, where I felt at home again. Quite clearly, for me it's been too long since the first build of Tiger I got my hands onto. I'm looking forward to the days of beta, but this build is not ready for me to dive into just yet. And then I remember that 10.3.5 7M30 isn't exactly final, either. So my beta-sucking mind doesn't feel too bad right now. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-05 at 20:52 CET ]
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Mossberg tests BMW/iPod integration

... and finds it a tad less distracting than other solutions, but far, far from perfect. I agree, I expected more from companies such as BMW and Apple.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-05 at 18:14 CET ]
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Editorial: iSync - The promise, the problem

When Apple introduced the first iSync beta version in 2002, they managed to do what Apple does best: Provide a simple solution to a seemingly big problem.
The problem it tackled was synching between various devices like PDAs, mobile phones, Macs and iPods. There was, however, a second problem iSync addressed: Mobile phones mostly didn't synch at all with Mac OS X.

With every new version, iSync supported more and more modern mobile phones. However, mobile phone makers often bring out new phones - and users (at least here in Europe) often switch mobile phones. The current game is often that you buy a mobile phone that you think Apple could support because of a resemblance of features to an older, already supported, mobile phone. And then wait for Apple to release a new version of iSync with support for more mobile phones.
Apple, however, does not release iSync versions on a regular schedule and does not update the list of supported devices inbetween iSync releases. So right now iSync 1.4 is the current version. Supported mobile phones, I hear, are quite well supported. But the new Nokia flagship business phone 6230, for example, is not supported by iSync, although it offers Bluetooth connection and SyncML as the transport format of 'synching' - just like the supported Nokia mobile phones.

Now, what would be a better solution? It seems like Apple is too slow to keep up with mobile phone makers. What if Apple made iSync extendable and gave phone makers a way of easily adding newer mobile phones to the list of supported devices in iSync? I guess that could work - and pay off to Apple, mobile phone makers and, most importantly, the user.
For the time being, however, we're waiting for iSync 1.5, which promises, again, to support more and newer mobile phones.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-05 at 11:49 CET ]
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MOSR back (again)

Not that it's really that important, but Mac OS Rumors is back online after several weeks of non-reachability. The 'original Mac rumor site' has a pretty rough history of being off- and online, being right about some and far out on other rumours. Either way: My rumour-site tabset looks better in Safari without the exclamation mark on MOSR's tab. So welcome back. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-05 at 11:22 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-04



Toshiba's 60 GB 1.8" drive before end of year

If the statement by that Toshiba guy earlier at Computex in Taiwan is true (that Apple had already ordered the drive in large quantities), this could mean that a 60 GB iPod model for 499 USD is still 'doable' before the end of the year, now that the drive is announced for that timeframe. The drive is as large as the current 40 GB iPod model's and a one-mechanism version (such as the current 20 GB model's) holds 30 GB. Apple could therefore also replace the 40 with a 60 and the 20 with a 30 GB drive for the holiday season, which would be perfect for Apple (and consumers). This is, however, speculative. First, Toshiba has to actually produce the drives in time. Here's the link to Toshiba's pages about the drive.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-04 at 17:42 CET ]
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Apple pulls iPhoto 4.0.2 update

Apple has stopped delivering the iPhoto 4.0.2 updater both on their website and through Software Update. No reason was given so far, but it's expected that a 'showstopper-bug' was found and will be fixed asap. If you often use iPhoto and have already updated to version 4.0.2, we advise you to back up your iPhoto library now and wait for the newer updater, which should be available soon. If you still have to use iPhoto in that waiting period, at least you have a backup if something goes wrong.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-04 at 16:33 CET ]
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Reader Feedback

I want to thank all of you who wrote in to congratulate me on the new design of macnews.net.tc. I'm glad to report that from all the mails I've got, over 90% were positive ones. I'm sure that some of those who don't like it didn't write me, but I can, of course, only listen to those who actually tell me something. ;)

One request I heard three times: Category icons. I'm not a particular fan of this, but let me put it this way: If someone manages to send me a .sit or .zip file with layered Photoshop files containing at least three category icons (layered so I could adopt the style for further icons) that I think perfectly fit macnews.net.tc's new design, I'll start using them. This is not a contest, there's no jury but myself, so it'll be very subjective. Almost tyrannic. ;) But if you're interested in styling those category icons: Send 'em over. The most important categories, I think, would be: Generic (for everything else), Apple (for general stuff concerning Apple), Mac OS X (for updates like 10.3.5), Tiger (a special one for that, yep), Mac hardware (one icon fitting iMacs, PowerMacs, iBooks AND PowerBooks), iPod, mobile phones/smartphones/PDAs. There are certainly more, but that'd be a start. I'm looking forward to seeing your ideas...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-04 at 15:13 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-03



Apple: Sweetness Regained

You'll want to read this BusinessWeek article about the second coming of Steve Jobs. It's not very objective, though, and sounds as if I had been asked to write a very optimistic view on Apple's prospects. But: This is exactly what Apple needs - good press.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 22:59 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M30

to ADC Select and Premier members. Areas of testing in this build: Core Graphics, Audio/Sound, Bluetooth, Video drivers, NFS, Safari and Power Management (Sleep). File size of the build is 41.5 MB.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 21:10 CET ]
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Delicious Library 3.0

ThinkSecret previews the forthcoming application for your home entertainment library with many a delicous detail, such as barcode scanning with iSight, for example. The report includes a screenshot slideshow.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 20:11 CET ]
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About macnews.net.tc (Version 2004.2, code name "Tiger")

Welcome to macnews.net.tc. Our tagline "macintosh rumours with common sense™" is our motto. What we mean by that is that we post news and rumours from the Macintosh world and try to put them into the bigger picture. While we're certainly not entirely free of subjectiveness, we often find other rumour sites to be a tad incapable of thinking outside the box, which is important to us, when we're scanning the information we get our hands onto.

We don't want to go as far as to say we're 'better' than other rumour sites, although you might agree that some of them often just fantasize quite wildly. We do that, too, but if we do, we tag those articles, so you can always be sure where we're walking and what we're talking about. (Wild guesses mostly happen in times of 'slow news' days combined with rain.) ;)

That said... Our interface is really simple. You have total control over what news you want to look at. Either by selecting 'home' (showing the newest articles only), 'this month' etc. from our main menu - or by adding dates to the URL, for example "http://story.ch/cgi-bin/macnews.cgi/2004/08/03" will take you to the news of the day I'm writing this - 3rd of August 2004, the day of the new design dubbed "Tiger". 'rss feed' is the link to our RSS feed, to which you can subscribe using a newsreader application (or Safari 2.0 in Tiger or OmniWeb 5).

You can also use our 'spotlight' imitation on the upper right, where you enter a word and hit enter - and the resulting page will show you all articles that contain that word.

The 'e-mail comments/info' link below each article creates a new E-Mail message for you with the subject already set. The 'story link' is for linking to an article of ours from your own website, blog or a forum thread. ('back to top', of course, takes you back to the top of the page you're looking at.)

On the very right edge of our site, you see the options to support us: PayPal donations are always welcome, and there's the Google Ads. We're big fans of Google and Gmail, so you might see some references to those things mixed into our crop of Mac news & rumours sometimes.

We hope you enjoy reading our site regularly and thank you for your ongoing support!

Take me back to the homepage, please...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 20:00 CET ]
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Intego releases WiFi Locator

For about 30 USD, these keychain devices let you see wireless networks' availability. Has anyone ever used one of those? Do they show you networks you can't join (i.e.: are they dumb)?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 18:17 CET ]
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MacCentral about Harmony vs. Apple: A lawyer's perspective

In this article, MacCentral shows a lawyer's (Scott Culpepper) perspective on the case, should Apple decide to take Real to court. My personal opinion about this is quite clear, and I've already posted it here on macnews.net.tc a few days ago.

I again have to say that I think Apple should not sue Real over this. Not only would they carve into the drive they have with the image of 'cool' with the iPod and iTMS, it's also not that sure that they would even win a lawsuit. Apple would be much better off talking to Real and the options they have in working together. A company suing another company, in my opinion, always looks quickly like the bad guy. And if Apple wants to uphold their image of being for 'open', there's only one path they can really take, isn't there?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 17:54 CET ]
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Apple releases Xcode Tools 1.5 to ADC

Currently, Select and Premier members have access to the new version. All ADC members will have access to the Xcode Tools 1.5 on 2004-08-05, the day after tomorrow. ;-)

The ReadMe file for Xcode 1.5 mentions, among other things, GCC 3.3 improvements, Dead-code stripping, Remote debugging, Code completion for Java and AppleScript, Subversion source-code control system support, Native build system support for AppleScript, Enhanced debugger with a memory browser, globals browser, and ability to display file static variables, Faster Editor Performance, Ant templates, Documentation bookmarks, Speed improvements.

[ Update 17:30 - ThinkSecret has now also posted about this. ]

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 12:44 CET ]
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iTunes on Linux

heise.de (German) reports that CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office (version 3.1 preview) can run the Windows version of iTunes. It's working just fine, access to the iTMS also works, the only important thing still missing (but in the works) is iPod support.

iTunes has long been the most requested app on CodeWeavers' site. Apparently, those guys are working quite hard on that project.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 12:30 CET ]
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macnews.net.tc 2004.2, or "Tiger"

In anticipation of Tiger's new, more glassy, look in some parts of the system, we've come up with our new site design. If you prefer the old, more plain look, you can still use the lean one. But if you're anything like us, you'll want to use that new look of Tiger. ;-) Comments welcome... (more about macnews.net.tc 2004.2)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-03 at 09:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-08-02



iPhoto 4.0.2

The 7.1 MB sized upgrader is available in Software Update. Or as a 5.9 MB (?) update here on apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-02 at 23:06 CET ]
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New iPod mini competitor

Rio releases the Rio Carbon 5 GB player. Looking at it, I almost expect it to fold open to a clamshell-style mobile phone - and I'm wondering when we'll first see something like that. The Carbon is certainly a 'good' competitor to the iPod mini - and I hope Apple will come out with an updated version of the mini with, say, 6 GB space soon enough.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-02 at 15:21 CET ]
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iomega REV 35 FW drive coming

And it's aimed at Mac users, as MacCentral puts it. I personally don't see the need for a very expensive removable 35 GB harddrive solution, but that's just an opinion. I think iomega had a winner with their zip-drives in the past when they were about everywhere, becoming a de-facto standard. The jaz-drives already were much less of a success. Nowadays, iomega's offerings have been replaced by optical media widely, and for even larger stuff, 'normal' external harddrives do an excellent jobs. If that drive were at least able to sport USB-2 AND FW400/800 at the same time, that would make a better package.

For me to buy such a system, it would have to be the following: Just small enough external box with USB/USB-2/FW400/FW800 ports, so I can use it basically with any computer that might be in need for it; caddy system for standard 3.5" IDE (and all the newer variants like E-IDE, of course) drives with cheap caddies. I could then buy empty caddies as well as cheap (and also expensive/big if I wanted to) internal drives to extend that system. If the base system (including two caddies, perhaps?) were cheap enough, I'd buy two of them instantly. What do you think? Use the comments link below this article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-02 at 14:34 CET ]
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Good Luck, Steve!

Steven P. Jobs had a small cancer removed from his pankreas over this weekend. Without going into too much detail: He's going to be well, expects to make much too many phone calls in his month off and will be back at the end of August. Good luck, Steve!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-08-02 at 11:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-30



eWeek about Xandros Linux

... as a means to ditch Windows, but not completely. But honestly, if you read through the article and how it's 'almost like Windows' but without the security issues, the author makes it read as if it was simple and transparent at the beginning. You then learn that Xandros uses Crossover and Win4Lin. And that he sometimes uses IE via Crossover and sometimes on Win98 in Win4Lin... Wouldn't it be just much easier to either use Windows XP (applying all the patches when they're available) or, to get rid of it, use a Mac? (Read this article for more about UN*X on the Desktop at macnews.net.tc...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-30 at 11:09 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-29



TS looks at Safari 2.0

With still no new Tiger builds available after WWDC 2004, ThinkSecret takes another look at the WWDC build's Safari release. With pictures.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-29 at 22:35 CET ]
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Apple responds to Harmony

Apple warns Real and its users that future software upgrades (and future iPods) might not play Real's songs. Apple also said: "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-29 at 16:09 CET ]
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That curious time.com remark about 4G iPod

The article is here. And the important (?) quote: "But you should know that internally the new iPod is a ground-up reconstruction, and its really compelling applications - the ones that very well might get the goat of anyone unable or unwilling to upgrade - are still secret. All that Apple is saying is that there's more to this than what's being publicized." - It certainly sounds as if time.com heard a hint at features not publicized yet. However, we doubt that. Would certainly be cool if it actually were a colour screen, just not using them with current firmware, eh? ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-29 at 15:33 CET ]
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PowerPC G4 Extended?

AppleInsider rumours that a next PowerBook revision could make use of the so-called 'PPC G4 Extended' by Motorola, running at up to 2.0 GHz. Our own sources, however, point out that Motorola is set to release the MPC 7458 and 7448 at speeds of up to 1.8 Ghz 'soon' (earlier 7448 rumours). If Apple is doing one more G4 round of PowerBooks, we're expecting them not to reach 2.0 GHz, sadly. The first PowerBooks with 2 GHz are expected to be based on a low-power G5 processor by IBM - but certainly not this year. We also recently talked about PowerBooks here (Radeon Mobility 9800) and here (no competition, really).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-29 at 14:01 CET ]
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iPod mini 2G: 6 GB drive?

MacBidouille reports that Hitachi will unveil a 6 GB version of their microdrive later this year. While not a massive jump, a version with more space of the iPod mini would certainly be appreciated by customers. In somewhat related news: Switzerland sees the first pink iPod minis (seems they're the worst sellers in other parts of the world, then...) at Heiniger AG's online shop.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-29 at 13:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-28



Apple releases WebObjects 5.2 Developer Evaluation

... to ADC Select members. So if you've got ADC Select access and want to take a closer look at WebObjects, this is the time for it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-28 at 22:01 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M28

Apple has just seeded build 7M28 of Mac OS X 10.3.5.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-28 at 03:49 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-27



Bluetooth headsets with CD-quality

You can read more about them in German here on heise.de or directly (in English) on Zeevo's site. Zeevo is offering the ZV4301 chip for device makers. This could, basically, enable future Bluetooth-iPods to stream music wirelessly to a stereo headset. But there are, of course, other uses for this technology, too. For example iChat, or simply listening to music wirelessly from your PowerBook.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-27 at 18:45 CET ]
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ATi introduces Radeon Mobility 9800

And we can quite safely assume that this chip will be used in future PowerBooks. Currently, we expect Apple to ship new PowerBooks (still based on G4) in the last quarter of 2004 (Oct-Dec), unless a G5 version can be delivered by January 2005, which is still in discussion.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-27 at 18:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-26



iSync 1.5 soon?

ThinkSecret is hinting at Apple's iSync feedback page, where version 1.5 can already be selected as the version used. Current beta builds of Mac OS X 10.3.5 still sport iSync 1.4, so iSync 1.5 is probably developed separately at Apple.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-26 at 18:39 CET ]
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Real's Harmony implications

Reading some articles around the web about Real's Harmony technology (for example this one), I can't help but notice that 'they' (the article writers) get something wrong. They seem to think that Real's approach might harm Apple. Sure, some iPod owners might consider (also) using Real's store instead of just iTMS. But what rather will happen is that users of the Real Online Music Store will consider the iPod as a viable digital music player now.

For Apple, the money lies in iPod sales rather than music sales (as has been covered very widely in the past), and Real's Harmony, which bypasses iTunes and probably puts an 'Apple MP4 wrapper' around Real's AAC files, will help extend iPod sales. People who buy iPods are very likely to also try iTMS (if available in the respective country) and might end up leaving Real's store altogether. We all know that Apple currently has the leading digital music player iPod and the leading online music store iTMS. So don't fear, dear readers, as this is actually good news, whatever those column-writers might want to tell you. Mostly because this time, Apple is in the position of Goliath.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-26 at 16:40 CET ]
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Real's Harmony technology: iPod compatible

Real announces that their technology dubbed 'Harmony' will let iPod users buy, download and use songs from the RealPlayer Music Store. This after Apple turned down Real's plea to support the Real AAC format on the iPod directly. Real's effort to support the iPod certainly shows how important the iPod is in the digital music market - and how the iPod's position of being the one most important digital music player will eventually be a real winner for Apple, with other players adopting the technology Apple uses instead of the other way 'round. It's just not necessary for Apple to support WMA or Real.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-26 at 10:39 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-23



VPC 7 in October

says AppleInsider. Isn't this a bit, well, late?
If the real reason for delaying VPC 7 now is really Windows XP's SP2, I say: Release it already! SP2 is an update that'll come. And users could still choose to buy the upgrade when the update's ready... Or is Microsoft just trying to hurt Apple's G5 sales a bit?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-23 at 11:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-22



Birth of iPod

WIRED takes a look at the birth of the iPod.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-22 at 13:09 CET ]
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Tiger's System/Finder

ThinkSecret brings us another instance of their Tiger reports. This time about the Finder and System changes, which aren't so many (yet), as testers of the WWDC build have confirmed.

Coverage of Tiger has slowed to a crawl throughout the rumours and news pages, mostly because the single build that's come out of Apple does not yet contain the juicy changes we're all waiting for (aka the 'lickable' menu bar). Spotlight is certainly the most important change so far, but this will change your life only if you start to actually use Tiger as primary system, which not many testers have done yet, as our reports show. This will probably happen with the next few builds. And then, more and more 'spicy' information will become available.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-22 at 13:08 CET ]
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iTMS Europe adds 3 indie labels

"Apple(R) today announced that it has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels, Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2, adding tens of thousands of additional independent tracks from leading artists to the iTunes(R) Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. With three of the most influential independent record labels on board, iTunes Music Store customers in Europe now have access to an impressive catalog of independent artists including Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, the Pixies, Prodigy, Stereophonics, Paul Weller and The White Stripes." - Full press release here. So, basically, all's well in the best online music store of Europe. Now let's have _all_ European countries up and running as soon as possible, please... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-22 at 12:53 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-20



Is there a competitor? At all?

Today I was talking with a colleague. About how some luxury cars are different from others. I won't tell what each of our favourite was, because I don't want to start a flame about luxury cars. However: We both agreed that once you enter a certain segment of luxury, the product starts to feel finished, complete yet simple and - of course - beautiful.

Now you might wonder what this has to do with macnews.net.tc, and we'll get straight to that. I took out my 15" PowerBook when we hit that point in our talk. Now, we all know that product design is a strength at Apple. However, we often forget how incredibly good these people are. And although my colleague is actually using some Dell notebook and doesn't like Mac OS X very much, we could both agree that Apple has done this (the finished, complete yet simple and - of course - beautiful look & feel) right.

We then thought about the other notebook makers. Dell, Toshiba, IBM, Sony... Yet we couldn't find one (!) notebook that could match the aluminum PowerBook(s). Not at any price, really. They might feel like a nice car with every bit of technical mumbo-jumbo that's fab this decade, but that's exactly how they fail the 'complete but simple' approach.
Apple does this very well, we have to admit, but it could also easily be copied. The main features, we think, that give this 'luxury car' feeling: No description of features on the notebook (we both hate the Intel inside, WiFi/Bluetooth enabled, DVD-R stickers that other brands can't seem to get rid of, Apple simply 'has' those things, and of course the user knows it), no additional (and never even used) application buttons, no LEDs other than the one indicating the sleep function (and the charging LEDs are on the power cable), no optical drive trays, no fancy design experiments but 'simply beautiful'.

Now my question to you, dear readers, is a strange one - as I know you love Macs like I do. Still, I think it's an interesting one: Is there another brand of notebooks that does manage?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-20 at 12:31 CET ]
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60 GB drive speculation around the web

With Apple _not_ releasing a 60 GB iPod today, people are currently driving crazy, it seems, around the web. Apple's inofficial statement: No 60 GB iPod. There are several possibilities now. The most probable one: The 60 GB iPod will come, but later on (Apple Expo Paris?). The less probable ones include video iPods and a more simple 'PowerPod' (aluminum) with additional 'professional' features like 'home on iPod'.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-20 at 01:04 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-19



hPod: September

HP's iPod is coming in September. And it's going to be based on the 4G iPod now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-19 at 15:39 CET ]
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And one thought about iPod's UI

I'm very glad that Apple has now gone back to the initial design of the scroll wheel with the four buttons around it for both the iPod mini and the 4G iPod. The 3G iPod's line of four buttons was a clear step away from the simplicity of the original iPod (and the 2G iPod, of course).



I'm probably in for a 20 GB model now. My music library has gone from 6.0 to 9.4 GB in the past two years, so that 2G 10 GB model does seem a bit small nowadays (and I hate removing songs, even if they're not that good...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-19 at 14:57 CET ]
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As anticipated: New iPods

Pricing and everything was correct, too. 299 USD for the 20 GB model, 399 USD for the 40 GB model. The 'highend' spot of 499 USD is now free for the 60 GB model, which Apple will reportedly release in a few weeks. Info about the new iPods and here's the link to the Apple Online Store...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-19 at 14:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-18



That newsweek article online

It's three pages of iPod glorification. Granted, the iPod's worth the glorification, but that comes from an Apple fan, doesn't it. ;) Right now, the article seems to be down, though... But the cover of the magazine, which is the really important part, has been copied throughout the web already (even to less-rumoury sites such as MacCentral).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-18 at 11:52 CET ]
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Newsweek cover shows new iPod



And it's still whiteish, with a silverish hue around the wheel. Or so it looks on that cover.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-18 at 04:40 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-17



Quite an extensive Sendo X review

... to be found here at TheRegister. The author uses a PowerBook 12", so he's a fine guy, anyway. ;-) ... We've been talking about the Sendo X over and over again (search for 'sendo'), but the smartphone based on the Series 60 platform just isn't available yet here in Switzerland (and most other European countries), but I'm told it should be available 'this Summer' (if _that_ ever comes, although today was nice and hot).
Nokia has used the time the X didn't ship and introduced the Nokia 6600 (which I'm using) and the 7610 - but both seem to fall short in a few areas where the X should shine. So: Bring it on, Sendo. (Do Sendo phones ever come out in Switzerland at all?)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-17 at 22:31 CET ]
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New iPods on Monday

And they're confirmed. They're going to be slightly smaller (slightly, really) and will resemble the iPod mini in design of the scrollwheel (buttons inside), which is good. Whether they're going to come in mulitple colours or only aluminum remains to be seen, though.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-17 at 21:22 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-16



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M20

After seeding 7M18, Apple has now given ADC Select and Premiere members this new build. The 41 MB sized file is an update for 10.3.4, actually, and not a combined updater. While it may still contain debug information that will be removed from a final version, it'll anyway be quite a big update. The seed note does not contain any changes from 7M18 according to our sources.
Key enhancements planned for the 10.3.5 update are:
- improved support for NTFS formatted volumes
- improves reliability for user logins and mounting of home directories in a networked environment
- updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
- improved Bluetooth compatibility for Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and Bluetooth phones
- additional FireWire and USB device compatibility
- improved font management
- updated Mail and Image Capture applications
- improved compatibility for third party applications
- previous standalone security updates

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-16 at 12:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-15



SonyEricsson unveils P910 smartphone

The new version of SE's highend smartphone includes a thumbboard that makes SMS and E-Mail handling easier. The basic featureset stays the same, but memory is up to 64 MB (from 16) and the included memory stick is 32 MB (up from 16). More info and pictures can be found at infoSync.no.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-15 at 14:12 CET ]
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Apple's 3rd fiscal quarter: Good.

... and the new iMacs are going to be based on the G5 processor. A happy day for Apple and Mac users alike, it seems. Also mentioned by rumour site ThinkSecret: New iPods soon, with smaller form factor and in several colours instead of white. Well, I hope they'll still make a white one or a silver one, since I wanna buy one soon... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-15 at 01:35 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-14



Tiger Detail: Fast Logout & Autosave

We're going to bring you several tidbits about Tiger in the coming weeks and months. The first of these is a treat by Apple, really. We're going to like this... For example, if you start typing an e-mail message in Mail.app in Tiger and then choose 'Logout' from the Apple menu, Mail.app has already saved your draft ("Autosave") and the logout can happen really fast ("Fast Logout"). Whether this will be implemented or not in the applications you use is of course on the developer's side. But it's a good thing that Apple defines such things for Tiger.

On a sidenote: We have installed a little PayPal link on the upper right of the default layout of macnews.net.tc. So if you enjoy our site and can spare a little money: Send it our way! We don't depend on it, but it makes it easier to pay the bills for the server.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-14 at 19:29 CET ]
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ADC members receive their Tiger seed

As we anticipated on 2004-07-09, ADC Select and Premier members have been shipped the Tiger Preview by snail mail. There are, however, no newer builds available on ADC so far.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-14 at 15:03 CET ]
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About Tiger's Windows integration

... or the lack of talk about it. This three page eWeek article talks about how Apple still seems to forget about how important this is for Apple's business appeal. My note on this, however is: The industry seems to be begging Apple for a business strategy. And Apple stays as mum as it has been before. It doesn't seem to want into the business sector, or it would speak out, wouldn't it?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-14 at 13:09 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-13



Gmail

I've been testing my gmail-account in the past few weeks now and can only say: I'm impressed. They're going down the right path with this one, it seems. There still are some glitches (which they know about), but they're probably going to be fixed soon. The interface is one of the best web-application interfaces I've seen so far - and certainly the best web-mail interface I've seen.

There are things I'd want in a final version. IMAP access would be nice, of course, but I guess Google doesn't want to allow this, since it'd prevent their ads to work, unless they'd translate every message into an HTML-message that included the ads... Doesn't sound right, somehow.
A different approach could be: A Google Gmail Client Application. Sure, it wouldn't be Mail.app, but it'd work offline, too, which is my main gripe with web-based e-mail. (I want to be able to organise and prepare e-mail messages when offline...)

Currently, the service is in beta, and only a few (hundred, thousand?) accounts are 'live'. The only way to get an account right now is on invitation from another account-holder, and not all account-holders get invitations to send. I almost wish Google would keep it that way forever, as it makes the service somewhat more exclusive...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-13 at 13:48 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-12



Apple seeds Xcode 1.5 7K560

to ADC Select & Premier members. The new code is called 'Beta 2'. In other news, Jaguar is running a competition for a black iPod. They seem to have forgotten to also colour the buttons black, though. And: Currently, the linked site is not available.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-12 at 20:33 CET ]
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I hope I can share this the right way... [off-topic!]

I had quite some fun reading the comments to this osNews article about computer annoyances. One of the annoyances is boot time, and one Windows XP user answers that like this: "I am happy using hibernation. If XP begins to feel buggy, then I reboot." - The problem with this, of course, is that XP begins to feel buggy as soon as anyone's actually using it, which would result in an endless loop of reboots... :P - And btw. it's nice to read so many comments about how the Mac awakes from sleep in 1 second. That's really one of the big achievements Mac OS X has made over previous (and all other) operating systems.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-12 at 12:51 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-10



palmOne and the Mac

So they've got their new Mac Centre. And they stop supporting the Mac soon. Which one's true now? Palm has been supporting and skipping support for the Mac throughout the years, and it's always been a game of hide and seek for Mac users. Then Apple made a big step by introducing Palm support with iSync - but didn't quite succeed. Also, that solution still needs Palm's desktop software, so it won't support models that don't come with basic Mac support. The one solution out of this misery I see: Get a smartphone from Nokia or SonyEricsson that works with the Mac out of the box through iSync - and forget about Palm and PDAs, as they're not necessary any longer.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-10 at 13:02 CET ]
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Yet another "plan how to save Apple"

You'll find it here at BusinessWeek. Alex Salkever talks about his "six-step plan for Apple".
I want to add my own six points here:
First, Apple should bring out those new iMacs as soon as possible. The iMac should be again what it initially was: A self-seller. A cheap Mac for everyone. A 20" iMac? Hell, that just doesn't make sense. Why buy a computer that is old half a year later when the display's still new? Give it a 15" widescreen and a 17" widescreen and make it cheap.
Second: Now that the 'middle seat' is empty again, we need a 'consumer desktop' machine. A 'cheap G5', so to speak. Make it a single processor 1.8 GHz machine, for example. And make it well cheaper than the duals.
Third: Start to win with the iPod. Sure, it's already a success, but imagine how many you'd sell by lowering the price on a 15 GB model instead of introducing higher-end models that replace the current ones. Or: Do both. Introduce 'new' 40 and 60 GB models and keep a 15 GB model at a MUCH lower price.
Fourth: Release new PowerBooks faster. Give them 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 GHz over time. Two-month schedule would be fine. The G5 will be the big surprise, but enhancing the G4 steadily will keep the sales up until then.
Fifth: Embrace the home even more. AirPort Express is nice, but what the users really want is a home cinema component that handles all types of media, i.e. video, photos, sound.
Sixth: That 12" PowerBook is too close to the iBooks. Make it different. Make it widescreen 13" or even widescreen 12". Real small, real powerful, real PowerBook.
Or: Scrap all that (and also the linked article above) and just go on with your own plans, Apple. They've been good over the past few years, haven't they. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-10 at 12:57 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-09



ADC Select Members get Tiger on 2004-07-12

ADC Select members got a note that they'll get access to Tiger Preview on 12th of July. We're expecting newer builds of Tiger shortly after that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-09 at 16:00 CET ]
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SIPphone to introduce Mac client

Interested in VoIP? Go to SIPphone's website later today (Friday). It sounds interesting, although I think this'd be for US customers mainly?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-09 at 10:22 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.5 7M18

Major areas of change: Audio/Sound, Bluetooth, Firewire, Graphics, OpenGL, Mail, Safari, Networking. We'll know more in the future about the quality of this build. Right now, this is all the info we've got.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-09 at 10:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-08



ThinkSecret about Tiger's Spotlight

You'll find their article here. While it doesn't add much more information to what has already been said before, it kinda 'covers it all' again and is food for the hungry rumour mouths. Apple has yet to seed another build after the WWDC Preview, which will - hopefully - bring the GUI advances Steve Jobs' build at WWDC obviously had over the build that was handed out.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-08 at 09:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-07



Is UN*X ready for the Desktop?

I've chosen this day to make some fun of the linux geeks. Sorry, if you happen to be one and feel a bit irky after reading this...

Ever since I first read about (and tried) the most important UN*X desktop environments of today - i.e. KDE, Gnome and Aqua - I wondered whether an industry-strength UN*X could be my operating system of choice for my notebook(s). I've tried all of them on several occasions and finally came to the conclusion that UN*X is in fact ready for the desktop. It'll have to be a Mac, though, and the operating system of choice would be Mac OS X 10.2 or higher with the Aqua UI. The Mac's UN*X gives the user a very comfortable desktop environment and a flood of applications and utilities to boot. But it doesn't end there. There are native versions of several industry-leading software packages available for Mac OS X additionally to all the great open source replacement options, for example Microsoft Office 2004 :mac (which is, to some extent, better than the Windows native version), Adobe CS or Macromedia Studio as well as Maya (soon also the unlimited version).

So whenever you hear someone say that this or that UN*X derivate is now almost really ready for the desktop: Remind them of the fact that there already is a trusted and tested version of UN*X for the desktop: Mac OS X. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-07 at 13:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-06



iPods are security threat for companies

... says Gartner Group. Because you can use the iPod as an external harddrive, which allows malicious code to be brought into the company and intellectual property outside of the company. Of course, that should then read 'external harddrives' instead of 'iPods', eh? We asked a security specialist (my mom is a secretary) about the subject, and she said: "They should also ban fax machines, as these are much more likely to be used for bringing confidential information to the outside. Oh, and, yeah: That lady who brings the coffee. So we have three main issues at hand: iPods, fax machines and the lady who brings the coffee."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-06 at 18:49 CET ]
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THE switcher's column

Or something like that. Fun to read, although I think he's pushing the limits of his ability to write on some of his EIGHT pages switching column. (From an Acer notebook to an iBook G4 12".)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-06 at 01:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-05



MacRumors' 2.5/2.0 GHz benchmark comparison flawed

As you can read here at MacBidouille (if you understand French), MacRumors is comparing apples and oranges (although both machines are by Apple) when showing a dual 2.5 GHz's Cinebench numbers (using a beta optimised for the G5) vs. a dual 2.0 GHz's numbers (using a non-optimised version). The 2.5's numbers are okay. But the 2.0 would do better using the same code.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-05 at 15:21 CET ]
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2005: The Year of Movies?

Now let's see. DVD quality video, encoded with H.264. A 90 minute movie fits onto a CD-R if encoded by H.264. Including 3 language and 5 subtitle tracks. With broadband connections, such movies can be downloaded in acceptable amounts of time. Apple has the technology (QuickTime, iTMS) and the connections (Akamai for networking, Pixar for the movie industry) to do this. Will we buy H.264 (MP4 would make a good name for those) flicks for 10 USD (or 9.99 for marketing reasons) a piece in 2005?

Some people argue (even Steven P. Jobs) that while people want to buy music, they want to rent movies. While that might be a very generalising truth, there are also a lot of people who actually buy movies. A whole industry has been built around DVD sales. I'm pretty sure that licensing issues would be huge (well, at least as difficult as the music industry), but the music industry is just learning that 'the internet' is not only a danger (which it already also is for movies, not just music!) but also a means of cheap sales (i.e. no packaging required). And it's not as if the movie industry was made of entirely different people/companies, either...

So... I hope we'll see a convergence here. Let iTunes and iPhoto become iMedia (and give it a better name), let it handle your photos, your songs, your movies (iMovie!) - let it also be the player and store, of course - and voilà: Apple is your one-stop media shop and entertainment center. Will it happen? I don't expect an answer from you or myself. I expect one from Apple, though, one day.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-05 at 10:32 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-04



Apple seeds .Mac SDK

From the notes: "The purpose of the DotMacKit and its contained classes is to give developers allof the tools that they would require to tightly integrate the Internet-based services offered by Apple in its .Mac product with their own." And: "The .Mac Kit will allow you to build applications with networked features to leverage .Mac's 24/7 service and over one half million paying members—all without any network programming. It will also cover the new .Mac-enhanced features in Tiger such as syncing to .Mac with SyncServices as well as the new dynamic DNS capabilities of Rendezvous."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-04 at 11:16 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-03



Another rant? Yet again? Yes.

And I still hate to rant. Really. This time this is about a formerly very, very good website: PowerPage.org. They seem unable to control their content for quality. A recent article titled "Iraqi Security Forces use PowerBooks" shows the following picture. Are PowerPage's editors blind?



These are quite clearly no PowerBooks. It's a pity.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-03 at 16:35 CET ]
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WIRED: "Searching for the perfect OS"

This WIRED article talks about the reasons and consequences of Spotlight in Tiger. A quote: "If it's implemented well, Spotlight may become an extremely interesting technology. It's obvious that with the growing amount of data that's stored on today's computers, it becomes more and more important to have the means to search this plethora of information in an efficient manner." That's right. However, Tiger's still about a year away - and until then, Objective Development has part of the answer with LaunchBar 4 (currently in public beta).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-03 at 16:05 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-02



Some Safari 2.0 (Tiger) details

AppleInsider reports on Safari 2.0 Beta in Tiger. They also state that "Apple didn't recreate the web" since Safari's first beta. However, Dave Hyatt's newest blurb about Dashboard tells a different story about WebKit. Interesting stuff - and a good approach by Apple.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-02 at 18:03 CET ]
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iMac: -1.20 EUR!

Seems like a nice error. ;-)



(macosx.com thread where the picture can be found here.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-02 at 16:38 CET ]
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Slimmer PowerBooks?

The PowerPage.org is rumouring Apple's investment in slimmer, thinner harddrives and optical drives for next generation PowerBooks. The limiting factor: The PowerPC G5.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-02 at 12:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-07-01



New iMac: September

Source: Apple. Yes, you've read right. The Apple Store says that Apple planned to empty the stock on 'old' iMacs for the time when the new one would be ready, that now they're basically out of iMacs and the new one would be announced and released in September. G5? You bet.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-07-01 at 23:55 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-30



I didn't want to, but I have to: Rant - Dashboard, Konfabulator

I won't go into great detail on how I feel about Apple "ripping off" third party developers. Let's say this: I'd want Apple to catch bigger fish than Arlo Rose, i.e. I like Apple's Final Cut Pro competing with Adobe's Premiere (and basically killing it on the Mac), and I like how TextEdit evolves into a much better word processor than, well, Word (TextEdit in Tiger can read/write Word files with tables!).
Now about what really pisses me off about this Konfabulator vs. Dashboard discussion (or rather flame-war) that's going on throughout the web: I don't like the fact that Konfabulator took old ideas (Desk Accessories were part of the original Macintosh operating system, putting stuff together via scripting is way, way older than Konfabulator, web services weren't a Konfabulator invention etc.), mixed them with Apple technology (mainly Quartz, Apple's display engine) and sold this as the greatest thing on Earth. Well, I can agree that Konfabulator is great (and will be until Tiger's released, I'm sure), but being pissed off at Apple because of that just seems wrong to me. And the reaction to it pisses me off.

Developers out there: You're doing great things on the Macintosh platform. You're doing these things on the platform which Microsoft and others have tried to rip off for decades. If you invent something really, really, really great: Get money, get a patent and then release it if you want to get rich without being 'ripped off'. It's a cruel world. And Apple had to learn some tricks in order to survive. I'm very glad Apple did learn. And quoting myself: I'd want Apple to catch bigger fish. Fore more info about Dashboard's roots, read this daringfireball.net column about it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-30 at 23:25 CET ]
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Dave Hyatt about Dashboard

"It's _not_ just JavaScript." Instead, he says, Dashboard widgets are effectively webpages using WebKit to be rendered. So they have all the options that WebKit offers. Read more at his blog. It also means that we can probably do quite a bit more with Dashboard than one can with Konfabulator. It certainly sounds very intersting.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-30 at 12:25 CET ]
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Tiger 8A162 installation report

The WWDC Tiger Preview comes on one installation DVD (and is about the same size as a Panther DVD or the three Panther CDs combined, so it's not really much bigger). Installation is smooth and without any changes from Panther (so far). After installation, the user is asked whether he/she wants to transfer his/her settings and files. This transfer utility can also be called later, but then only offers FW transfer, not - as initially - also importing just another volume's files.



Below the infamous about-box shot:



System Preferences with Spotlight's, erh, spotlight:



Copying files in Finder looks different and shows much less detail (will probably be changed later in the development process):



And finally: Safari's RSS support:



We haven't had much time to test this build yet, but we'll inform you soon enough.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-30 at 10:22 CET ]
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And just to quiet (or unleash) the whiners...

-> Tiger's going to cost 129.00 USD. Too much, you say? Get over it. Apple's said so in their press release. (Not that you should get over it, but that it costs as much as Jaguar and Panther did.) And we're good with that. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-30 at 08:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-29



Safari 1.3 seeded

ADC Premier and Select members have access to a Safari 1.3 build for Panther. This build (v146) does not contain any visible new features, i.e. no RSS feed browsing or anything Tiger-related.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 19:44 CET ]
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Tiger Server information

You'll find Apple's press release here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 19:24 CET ]
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Apple cuts AirPort Extreme prices

... by 50 for the 'big' station and 20 USD for the card. The 'cheaper' base station has been removed, sadly (who needs modems?).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 19:22 CET ]
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AirPort 4.0 Documentation

AirPort Express will come with a new version of AirPort software. You'll find the documentation for AirPort 4.0 at manuals.info.apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 19:12 CET ]
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Just a quote from the WWDC keynote we missed before...

... about display quality. Steve Jobs said: "Our competitors buy the panels we reject."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 13:12 CET ]
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Apple seeds Java 1.5 DP for Tiger Preview

The new developer preview of Java 1.5.0 Beta 2 requires a preview build of Tiger. So far, the WWDC Preview Build is the only build of Tiger that has left Apple as far as we know.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-29 at 11:07 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-28



Wrapping up WWDC Keynote Live Report...

Gotta say: Tiger sounds interesting. As Apple has said a few weeks ago, the development speed is going down a bit. No more upgrades every year, rather, we're seeing 1.5 years right now. Whether we'll end up with a two-year strategy remains to be seen. However: We _wonder_ whether next year's WWDC will be the place to show the successor of Tiger (since WWDC will probably be about the time when Tiger's actually released...).
And now begins the time of Alpha/Beta reports, of course. We'll keep you informed about Tiger in the future. We hope you've enjoyed the stay on our site today and will report later on or tomorrow, depending on the flow of information about Tiger in the following hours.
The automatic refresh of this page has, of course, been removed by now.



You'll find a lot of information with screenshots of Tiger at www.apple.com/macosx/tiger. Especially, look at the page about Spotlight, which shows Tiger's interface enhancements.
And information about the new displays at: www.apple.com/displays.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-28 at 20:56 CET ]
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WWDC Keynote Live Report

(You'll find the newest information at the bottom of this article. Read as you would.)

  • We have several live sources for our live report. Two persons are reporting from the keynote with iChat, two others, including myself, are scanning several other live transcripts for additional information.
  • The Apple Online Store (UK and Switzerland) is now down, which probably means new products. However, the US Apple Online Store is still up, so... (?) [US store went down when the 30" display was announced...]
  • Keynote is about to start. People are sitting down now. Tension - at least for our partners over there - is tangible.
  • Communication devices are asked to be turned off. However, we'll try to stay in contact with our informants.
  • 19.00 CET. Time to start. Officially... Music is still playing.
  • 3'500 attendees. 17% more than last year.
  • iTunes, AirTunes, AirPort Express, iPod/BMW integration... We'll report more when there's _news_ to report. ;-)
  • Steve addresses the 3 GHz promise. The expected excuses. "We're still doing good."
  • New Displays: New 23" display. Aluminum. Steve's showing it. New 20" display 1299$, new 23" display 1999$. New 30" display, 2560*1600, only works with G5 PowerMac, because of a new nVidia graphics card. Two DVI adapters. 599$ (the graphics card, that is). All displays have one cable that splits to DVI, FireWire and USB 2.0. 30" display is 3299$.
  • On to Mac OS X. 12 mio people using it. Half of the installed base. 12'000 native apps.
  • MS Office 2004 is great. Maya Unlimited coming to Mac at the end of Summer. 25% of Maya sales on Mac.
  • More application developers are being discussed.
  • Even more of that. The interesting stuff will follow, we hope.
  • Tiger Info... Tiger ships in first half of 2005.
  • Over 150 new features (*cough* or enhanced features...). Some are 'groundbreaking'. Making fun of Microsoft's Longhorn with the banners in the lobby you probably already saw in recent days. "Redmond, we have a problem..." etc.
  • 64bit UNIX.
  • Better SMP support.
  • "Spotlight" search technology. Metadata like iTunes' incorporated into the Finder, or rather, the entire system.
  • (We were right, we were right, we were right about Tiger bringing metadata. ;-)) You can use the spotlight technology to search in Mail, Addressbook, iCal etc.
  • System Preferences. Top bar removed, uses spotlight technology, i.e. a search field lets you find what sysprefs you're looking for.
  • Spotlight is system wide and extensible to (all?) applications, works with most current applications. Magnifying glass button in the top right corner of the screen becomes a search field if you click on it. Popdown list of images, mail, contacts etc.
  • Full indexing of contents (text, PDF etc.)
  • Next generation MPEG-4: H264. Very scalable. Frank Casanova is demoing QuickTime on Tiger.
  • Incredible efficiency of H264 codec.
  • Safari... with integrated RSS. :) (So Apple is now on to kill another third party app?)
  • Integration of spotlight and Safari's RSS. Aggregate news and search through the news for the things you want.
  • New basic technologies: Core Image and Core Video, doing processing in the GPU instead of the CPU. With over 100 professional quality real time filters - available to developers for use in their apps. (fryke: "Sadly, we'll probably not see much use of those features in cross-platform apps like Adobe's and Macromedia's applications...")
  • Steve's demoing Core Image, Core Video with a demo app called 'Funhouse'.
  • This takes quite a bit and is sadly not reproducible in text. ;-)
  • .Mac, better integration, better synching.
  • Dashboard. iTunes controller, calendar etc. Basically: A dashboard. :) Appears and disappears like Exposé at the touch of a button. It looks really like Konfabulator integrated into the system. It's extensible, of course.
  • Automater: Visual Scripting. (fryke: This was looooooooooooooong overdue, I think...)
  • (I start to wonder if there's "one more thing" at the end of the show...)
  • Demoing Automater. Categories of actions on the left, actions appear below when you click on one. You then set up your script on the right. You can link actions together, like getting images from a website and adding them to the iPhoto library and putting together an iDVD slideshow. Not that you couldn't have done that in AppleScript before, but now users have easier access to the great power of AppleScript.
  • iChat: Now on to iChat AV. Talking to multiple people (conferencing): 10 people in audio chats, 3 in video.
  • All attendees will get a preview copy of Tiger. As it's not shipping until 2005, they should keep in mind that it's still "early". Keynote is over: Nothing more to add...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-28 at 20:46 CET ]
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OpenOffice 1.1.2 for Mac OS X

You'll find the new version here. The 155 MB file also contains Xfree86.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-28 at 17:30 CET ]
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Tiger screenshots fake?

MacRumors has revealed some Tiger screenshots this weekend and has 'confirmation from ThinkSecret'. The source of the screenshots, however, is a known troll from Slashdot, which isn't exactly the kind of source you'll want for Tiger screenshots. We'll keep you informed. The fact remains that the shown features are part of Tiger, as far as we know.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-28 at 09:44 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-27



Re: Scooter, (Was: Comparing Xserve to Windows 2003 Server)

I first thought: Wow, finally someone's comparing this. However, the article really is quite non-sensical. The user tested an Xserve G5 with Panther Server against some desktop computer running Windows 2003 Server. The user, however, doesn't know much about Windows and couldn't even create a user, which is quite definitely the user's fault and not the operating system's. If you still want to read the 'article', go here, but I can't really say I would, if I were you.
Now, you might think that posting this is quite non-sensical, too - and you're probably right. But it's been a nice weekend, so I _had_ to post _something_ Mac-related in order to post this:



Girlfriend and I bought this wonderful Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter and rode it to some lakes in Switzerland. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-27 at 11:15 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-26



PowerTune: Making Apple's PowerBook G5 possible

eWeek reports on IBM's PowerTune technology, which will make iMac and PowerBook G5 a possibility. However, a chip using this technology has not yet been released as far as we know. Apple still says "not this year". Whether we'll hear more about this in the near future (Monday?) is unknown at the moment. Monday, of course, will bring news on Tiger, which we all anticipate. Keep your eyes on macnews.net.tc, as we'll bring you the news as soon as possible. We'll also test drive Tiger for you as soon as Monday night (with a report as early as Tuesday).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-26 at 12:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-25



ThinkSecret: Displays yes, iMac no for WWDC

In their newest article, TS are making fun of rumour sites that bet their money on an iMac for WWDC. While I wouldn't go so far as to bet money on anything like a Macintosh rumour, I agree with them about the facts. They're not mentioning the iPods, though, which have been confirmed to me by at least two 'good' sources (i.e. they were right before and had inside information about iPod/iTMS themes). You'll find our WWDC Roundup(s) here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-25 at 01:03 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-23



Sophos releases Anti-Virus update for Panther

Sophos fixes its AntiVirus software to work with more than half a year old Panther operating system. - And I wonder why they even _did_ that, because I'm pretty sure that the customers they've had in the past have either upgraded to another maker's antiviral tool or just lived without one, since there's still no known (working, bad) virus for Mac OS X out there. But *if* there's ever going to be one, Sophos now has a tool that works with Panther. Let's just hope that their virus definitions are a little more up to date, eh? ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-23 at 17:28 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-22



Those unnecessary comments...

There are two kinds of unnecessary comments. The one sort are comments like I've made in that news blurb about the U.S. Army buying Xserves. Believe me, I know that we shouldn't mix Macintosh news with politics. The other sort of unnecessary comments: Flame mails. ;-) Believe me: I won't change my mind politically, just because someone tells me to f*! off and that he or she won't read my site any longer. I tend to believe in freedom, and freedom of speech especially. So if I once in a while hurt your nationally challenged feelings, please feel free to ignore that. It's not as if I personally attacked you. I just share the opinion of the _others_ if you happen to feel attacked. That said, back on topic. Or at least almost... I'm the proud owner of a Gmail account now. I'm testing this for a while and will give a short report soon. First impressions: Webmail done right. It's fast, easy and gives everything one needs - besides POP3 or IMAP access, that is. I wonder how much I'll miss that after a while, since basically, it's just a matter of adapting to a new 'mail application', which I've successfully done before. However, Mail.app was and is quite good, and I continue to use that for my main accounts.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-22 at 16:42 CET ]
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Apple sells 1566 dual Xserves

... to the U.S. Army research, according to this news article. A good sale for Apple. However, I'm not really a fan of the U.S. Army. But maybe this supercomputer will find out that the US should stop bringing war to the world and instead focus on peace a bit more?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-22 at 01:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-21



"iPod your BMW" 'released'

You can take a closer look at the promotion here at apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-21 at 20:40 CET ]
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Apple extends iBook logic board repair program

If your white iBook G3 has screen hickups or similar problems, head on to this Apple FAQ page. You might get a free logic board replacement. Sad as it is that Apple has to do this, it's still good they ARE doing it. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-21 at 17:02 CET ]
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Remote Desktop 2 released

Apple today has released Remote Desktop 2. With 50 new features. I wonder if the 'new speed improvements' are counted among those 50 new features, as Apple usually mixes 'new features' with 'enhancements' when they count. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-21 at 15:26 CET ]
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More "iPod your BMW" details?

Gizmodo claims to have more details. They say that the Dock for the iPod is in the glove-bay and the steering wheel has (very simple) controls for the iPod (previous, next track, mute).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-21 at 12:02 CET ]
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SendoX hits shelves

British mobile phone manufacturer Sendo is now shipping the long-awaited SendoX (Series 60) smart phone. More information at infoSyncWorld.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-21 at 12:00 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-20



Photograph of 2.5 GHz watercooling

Techseekers.net has some photographs of the dual 2.5 GHz machine's watercooling (click the picture for more):

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-20 at 14:46 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-18



'State of the Rumours IV' for WWDC 2004

SotR III here
SotR II here
SotR I here

As we near Steve Jobs' WWDC 2004 keynote address, the "plot thickens", as some say. Well, actually it's become much thinner in the recent past. The new PowerMacs have been announced 'early', but as we all know, they don't deliver what Steve promised a year ago. They're still viable solutions for the next five months, it seems.
We haven't heard too much about Tiger yet, but it's still clear that WWDC attendees will take a set of CDs with them: Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" Preview. As the conference is developer-centric, much of the time Steve will spend on the stage will be spent laying out what Tiger will bring - and with that, what Xcode 1.5 will bring. (Read our recent article about Xcode 1.5.)
After last week's special iTunes Europe show, we're not so sure Apple is ready to unveil the new iPods with 60 GB harddrives. Instead, Apple might introduce them (and also a new, even cheaper 2/2.5 GB iPod mini model) later this Summer without much hoopla. However: Steve has used last year's WWDC to unveil the PowerMacs, which are not entirely 'developer-centric', either, so there's still a chance.
New PowerBooks (G4 MPC 7448, probably) will be unveiled at AppleExpo Paris this year, according to rumours. And no: We won't see an Apple PDA or tablet device - nor an Apple 'iBox' set-top box. If so, I'll buy one (better than eating the paper I'm writing this article on, since it's a PowerBook instead of paper...).
Btw.: The link for the WWDC-keynote stream is not yet known. We'll inform you as soon as we've got it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-18 at 17:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-17



Motorola's MPC 7448 Apple's next notebook processor?

According to Sonnet Tech's Vicki H. Burkhard, Motorola (Freescale?) will release a successor to the MPC 7447A which is currently used in Apple's PowerBook line. The new processor named 7448 will probably be used in another iteration of the PowerBook G4 in Autumn 2004. A PowerBook G5 is not expected this year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-17 at 20:05 CET ]
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iTunes Europe event in QuickTime

You'll find it here at apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-17 at 20:02 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-15



Our comments link now features a (*gasp!*): Subject.

Yes. If you click on the comments-link below our stories, the resulting e-mail window in your favourite mail-application should now feature a subject that has the same title as the respective story. (This after getting a message that read "It doesn't work." with the subject of 'information for macnews.net.tc', which was very helpful.) ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-15 at 17:12 CET ]
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UK, France & Germany

... rest of Europe following in October, this year. We're talking about iTunes Music Store Europe, of course. Price per song: 0.99 EUR. Sounds good. Now if only _Switzerland_ were part of the countries online. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-15 at 15:56 CET ]
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iTMS Europe for all Europe?

MacBidouille posts that there'll be three localised iTMSs: UK, France & Germany. All other European countries will have access to a generic English version of the shop. Price per song between 1.05 and 1.19 EUR, which is definitely more than US citizens pay per song on iTMS - and might not be very competitive with other online music stores in Europe. Apple might say that their store is better in some ways, but it'd still be a sad thing. Good thing, though, if the availability rumour is true.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-15 at 10:07 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-14



iTMS UK confirmed

A user on macosx.com has taken a mobile-phone-photograph (i.e. bad quality shot) ;-) of an Apple ad in the UK. Guess we'll hear more tomorrow.



Here's to the hope that Apple will announce iTMS not only in the UK, but also in the rest of Europe. And in Switzerland. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-14 at 17:15 CET ]
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Nokia's Summer 2004 "iPhone" Galore

This Summer, Nokia will release the 6260 smartphone, the 6630 3G smartphone and a wireless keyboard for (newer) Series 60 phones. And it raised the feature set of Series 60. More information available at infoSyncWorld.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-14 at 10:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-11



Apple seeds Xcode 1.5 build 7K525

... to ADC Select and Premier members. Many changes, among them: gcc 3.3 updated, Java Application Servers Development, CHUD 3.5 tools etc. Also new: A CodeWarrior importer.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-11 at 22:02 CET ]
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Remote Desktop 2 nearing GM

According to this ThinkSecret article, Apple is finalising Remote Desktop 2.0 now. No exact release date known so far.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-11 at 15:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-10



250 Mio. QuickTime 6.x copies downloaded

... and I'm very sure that I myself have downloaded it more than five times. *cough*... Well, I don't think Apple could in any way decide who's downloaded it more than once - and competitors aren't going to do that either for their software - so the number 'counts'. Just don't try and imagine 250'000'000 QuickTime 6 users, as that number would quite certainly be wrong. Also, because QT6 is now bundled with the iTunes for PCs download.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-10 at 15:58 CET ]
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Everyone's a manager again (AirTunes speculation worldwide)

Yep. Apple has once more brought something very, very simple to market - and the heads of many wannabe-Apple managers are keen to speculate what's coming. If those articles were to be true, we'd see a WiFi enabled iPod this Summer, then a highend version of the AirPort Express with an integrated harddrive and display and then an even more advanced one that also streams video to your home cinema as well as Bluetooth remote controls. But let's keep it cool, shall we?

Apple has released AirPort Express and AirTunes enabled iTunes 4.6. They want to actually sell some of those AirPort Express stations, so don't expect an updated or higher end version anytime soon. A WiFi-enabled iPod would sure be fun, but you can already use iTrip to stream to your stereo without WiFi or just hook up your iPod directly to your stereo, so there's not as much need for a WiFi enabled iPod, really. Also: You might synch such an iPod with your Mac, albeit very slowly, which isn't exactly what users want. Also: You'd still have to charge your iPod via a cable of some sort.

Also, there already are plenty of Bluetooth remotes out there. They're called Bluetooth enabled mobile phones or smartphones or Palm devices using a software called Salling Clicker, which does iTunes remote very easily and also does a lot, lot more.

Yet, Apple cleary moves deeper into the 'digital hub' strategy with AirPort Express and AirTunes. And one day we just might see that 'iBox' which has been rumoured several times with several names. But it might turn 2005 or 2006 until we actually see it. And then it will probably something like the AirPort Express, with a highly extended feature set: Video streaming (MPEG-4/AAC only or also DVD?), iPhoto shows, Keynote presentations etc. But: No harddrive. Why, you might ask, no harddrive... And the answer is very, very simple: Apple wants the Mac to be the center of the digital lifestyle. Apple wants the Mac to be your digital hub. Just like Steve Jobs always said. (Of course you can still rip your DVD/HD-recorder's recordings to MPEG-4/AAC on your computer.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-10 at 13:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-09



iTunes 4.6

The new version is available in Software Update. New: AirTunes support. And "many small enhancements", i.e. nothing visible.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-09 at 20:36 CET ]
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Target missed. (I gotta rant.)

Now that Apple has failed to deliver 3 GHz within 12 months, we have to adapt. (No sense in not accepting, as you won't get a 3 GHz PowerMac for it, anyway...)

Apple excuses quite simply and states that IBM can't deliver faster 90nm processors at this time. That's okay. So it's not Apple's fault. But with that, Apple (or IBM) has destroyed the trust we users put in the switch from Motorola to IBM for future processors. Yes, we weren't content with Moto's development speed (which kinda stopped short at the G4, anyway, it seems), but now we're facing the same problem all over again, it seems. And if Steve Jobs promises 3 GHz for January at WWDC, will we see at least 2.7 eventually? Or will Apple just move the lower-end machines to 2.0 and 2.2 GHz, leaving the high-end at 2.5? (A bit like they upped the 1.8 Ghz model to a dual 1.8 GHz model last winter?)

I must say, I'm mildly disappointed. Sure, the 2.5 GHz machine still sounds like a good computer, but the other models are merely a bit updated models for higher prices. And everything said about the future today does _not_ look too good. They say a PowerBook G5 is still a big problem. They say the same about an iMac G5. And no word about future G5s so far. Then again, maybe that's a good thing, as we couldn't be sure about it, anyway. End of rant.

Update: Someone just asked me whether I really need 3 GHz. To answer that shortly: Nope. Not at all. But take a look at that middle model. It just doesn't seem so much more than the old one. And I'm not a G5 buyer, anyway. I just think that Apple doesn't earn much praise for this new line-up. Something's wrong at Apple. Also: Those old displays. Apple's about style, too - right? Well, those displays don't match the G5s. And it's almost a year since the G5's introduction. And almost 1.5 years since the aluminum PowerBooks' introduction. I'm just in rant mood now. ;-) If you want to disagree with me, just ignore this "article" you're reading. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-09 at 17:14 CET ]
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Apple releases new PowerMacs

As predicted by ThinkSecret, Apple has released new PowerMacs today. But: No more single processor models. The 'cheapest' G5 now comes as a dual 1.8 GHz model for 1'999 USD. The highend model will be available in July and comes with dual 2.5 GHz processors and is liquid cooled (starts at 2'999 USD). More information at Apple's PowerMac pages. No new displays so far, btw.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-09 at 15:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-08



Up and down the rumour alley...

Yesterday late, the rumour world went wild about the PowerMacs that should have arrived today. They didn't. Also, it seems that the promised 3 GHz won't make it into this release. Instead, ThinkSecret (and others picking up on TS) suggests 1.8, 2.0 and 2.5 GHz PowerMac G5s 'soon' (as in any day now).
We've confirmed with our own sources that Apple is ready to announce (not necessarily deliver) 3.2 GHz PowerMacs at WWDC. However, it wouldn't be very stylish of Apple to release 2.5 GHz machines now and announce 3.2 GHz machines for Autumn or anything like that. We have three words written on our Stickies: Wait and see. And I guess in the current whirlwind of rumours, that's the only thing one can do, unless one's getting a call from Steven P. Jobs himself. We'll know more after this week ends - or after the WWDC keynote at the latest.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-08 at 17:37 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-07



Security Update 2004-06-07

Apple fixes the latest security issues with Mac OS X through Software Update. (ca. 1.3 MB)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 22:55 CET ]
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Jobs unveils 'AirPort Express'

(featuring 'AirTunes') ... which not only acts as a 'portable AirPort Extreme Base Station' but also connects users' home stereo to iTunes libraries. Sounds good. ;-) -> Link at apple.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 19:23 CET ]
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iPod mini 5 GB?

Seagate is about to announce a 1" harddrive with 5 GB capacity. Apple could make use of these (slightly) bigger harddrives in a revision of the iPod mini. Hitachi, Cornice and Magicstor are the current options in 1" drives, and they all only go up to 4 GB so far (4.4 GB for Magicstor). However, 6 and 10 GB 1" drives are expected for the end of this calendar year - and it would certainly make more sense for the iPod mini to go directly to 10 GB instead of such a mini-move.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 14:22 CET ]
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Confirmation: iTMS Europe June 15th

macworld.co.uk notes that a special event in London will take place on the 15th. The slogan to go with the event: "The biggest story in music is about to get even bigger." The event starts at 11.00h, which is noon for us in CET. I'm not keeping my fingers crossed for a Swiss iTMS, though. We'll see. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 13:20 CET ]
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Steve Jobs remains richest man in Silicon Valley

according to this Mercury News article. Quote: "The executive who topped the list last year, though, did it without exercising a single option: Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 11:19 CET ]
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'State of the Rumours III' for WWDC 2004

You'll find SotR II for WWDC 2004 here and
SotR I for WWDC 2004 here.

Tiger
Mac OS X 10.4, code-named "Tiger", will be introduced as a preview version.

New Macs
We'll see new PowerMacs at up to 3.0 or 3.2 GHz (different rumours). Also, an iMac G5 has been rumoured lately.

New iPods
60 GB iPods have been widely rumoured, since Toshiba is introducing such a 1.8" drive soon.

PowerBook G5
New PowerBooks are expected in Autumn, not Summer, according to our sources.

I won't reiterate the other things (the not so credible rumours), but I'll add that some of the above rumours might even appear before WWDC. A recent PowerPage article talks about a special announcement this week, and an iTMS Europe on 2004-06-15 has been rumoured.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-07 at 10:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-06



Application icons rant

Is it me? I think not. Sure, your set of applications may vary, but in my Dock, more than 40% of the icons are blue&grey. Finder, Safari, Mail, NetNewsWire, iChat, BBEdit, Bluetooth FileExchange, FileMaker Pro... When I'm switching through my active applications (most of the time it's about 10-12 apps) I sometimes have a hard time finding Mail.app. Couldn't that stamp be, say, orange. Or yellow. Or green. Red. Purple. What's this about? It's not as if other colours than blue&grey wouldn't make nice icons. I think Fetch, Acquisition, iCal etc. have nice icons, too. But most of the icons are just blue&grey. Not that I think Adobe's solution of having all apps' icons look pretty much the same (but not blue&grey) is better, but at least they're not just ... well, I've already said that now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-06 at 16:56 CET ]
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Fedora Core 2 on PowerPC

I haven't read much about it on the Mac-centric media, but that could well be because I wasn't paying attention, but Fedora Core 2 has a development tree for PowerPC machines. The referenced article shows you in a few steps how to go about installing Fedora Core on your Mac.

Now the question: Is this important, really? Well, for some, I'm sure. The Fedora project is slowly becoming the main focus of linux desktop development. It's sponsored by RedHat and driven by a growing community. While there's always YDL (YellowDog Linux) for the PPC, Fedora should turn out to be an interesting alternative soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-06 at 09:32 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-05



Thank you, Apple.

This is going to sound corny, but I want it to, so that's fine. It's seventeen years this Summer that I have put my hand on a computer mouse for the first time. It was at school. I was thirteen and was fascinated with computers. I had used a C64 at a friend's house. I actually wrote BASIC programs on paper at home that I would then go hack into that C64's command line prompt - to see whether they worked as I expected them to. When they didn't - which often was the case - I corrected them both on the computer and on paper. This was fantastic and terrible at the same time. It meant that I loved computers - and that I didn't have one.

Then, as I said, I went to that school and first laid my hand on that computer mouse. Someone gave me a 800K disk with System, Finder, MacPaint and MacWrite. I looked at that little beige box, at the rainbow Apple logo and the type that read 'Macintosh Plus'. The screen showed the symbol of a disk with a blinking question symbol. It couldn't possibly be any clearer about what I had to do. I put the disk into the drive and that disk symbol was replaced with the symbol looking like that Mac Plus itself, only that it had a smiley face. And it winked at me. All is well in this best of all worlds, it seemed to say, and that it would now let me into its world, which would be good. And it was good. It was so good, in fact, that it hasn't let me go ever since.

And I want to thank Apple for so many things... I don't know where to start, although I know where to end. But let me start first, anyway. Thank you Apple for MacWrite. It made me the writer that I am today, for which I'm more than grateful. Thank you Apple for MacPaint, as it taught me more about how symmetry works than any other thing or person in the world. Thank you Apple for making it difficult for me to get my own Mac, because it made my very first own Mac so much more of an experience (Macintosh PowerBook 150, more than six years after my first experience with that Mac Plus). Thank you Apple for creating machines that actually helped me writing what I wanted to write, because they were made for me, it seems (PowerBook 150, PowerBook 180c, PowerBook 520c, PowerBook 190, PowerBook 5300ce, eMate 300, iBook 300, PowerBook 15" G4/500, iBook 12" 800, PowerBook 15" G4/1.33...). Thank you Apple for bringing WYSIWYG and DTP to my life, as it helped me create books instead of just letting me write stories. Thank you Apple for the iPod, which enables me to spend more time actually creating something instead of switching CDs every hour or so. Thank you Apple for iSync, which made me keep appointments that I would otherwise have forgotten (I was a wreck with PIM stuff before iCal/Mail/AddressBook and a Series 60 phone made it possible to easily keep an overview...). Thank you Apple, and this is now the end of my list, although I'm sure I have forgotten a thousand things and more, for that smiling face on the symbol of a Mac on that screen of that Macintosh Plus at that school in 1987.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-05 at 12:10 CET ]
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"Mac users don't tolerate shit."

Or: Read about 'broken windows'. Or why the Mac is a good neighbourhood, and Windows is the place you just don't want to stay.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-05 at 09:08 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-04



Product/Service announcement next week?

The PowerPage has received such info from one of their sources. However, WWDC is close, and the 'being busy' could be related to that. While PowerPage mentions 90nm PowerMacs and 60 GB iPods as possible reasons up for a release party, there's of course also iTMS Europe which is expected in June by some - and I'm pretty sure Apple's getting Tiger ready for the public (or at least ADC Select and Premier members). Let's wait until the end of next week before we judge PowerPage's rumour.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-04 at 19:14 CET ]
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Memo to Steve Jobs



*cough*!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-04 at 15:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-03



An Ex-Microsoftie about missing opportunities

... and a probable demise of Microsoft. It's quite an interesting read, too. And the writer, Jeff Reifman, who left Microsoft in 1999, was fed up with MS when he tried Outlook 2003. He now uses a PowerMac G5 and Panther. And he sees how things should be. ;-) Read the article at SeattleWeekly here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-03 at 16:46 CET ]
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iTrip mini, 60 GB 1.8" drives etc.

Griffin has announced the iTrip mini, and infoworld says Toshiba is ready to ship 60 GB drives (fitting the 'normal' iPod) in July/August. However, Toshiba hasn't released a press release as it seems. Everyone around the web is just repeating what infoworld says...
And then there's that "page 2" rumour talking about a PowerBook G5/2.2 GHz at WWDC. Actually, it's just someone posting to someone's mailing list. That's the kind of rumours we were lucky not to have seen lately. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-03 at 01:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-06-01



The notebook Apple won't build...

Speaking of those 4GB flash-memory based harddrives... Bear with me. I'm a writer of German short stories. I love to write in trains, out in the green, in cafés etc. Hence, I'm quite obviously always looking for such a writer's tools. The following is, thus, probably not right for you. But _I_ would buy it instantly. (Some nostalgy involved.)

I imagine... A notebook. Style: 12" PowerBook. But smaller. 10" widescreen display at, say, 1024*600. Display type would be active-matrix greyscale. Yep, greyscale. Those were the only displays one could use under any light-conditions. But they don't make those any more. So: Transreflective colour TFT. Processor: 500 MHz G3. Or higher, if a more modern processor uses less power, that is. RAM: 256 MB. Harddisk: 4 GB flashdrive, as mentioned above. Optical drive: None. (No need. You'd put the thing in FireWire-TargetMode for synching with your main Mac and could also install the OS etc. like that.) Form factor: About the size of one of those old VAIO picture-books. And battery power for more than eight hours.
Sure, the thing wouldn't run OS X like a king, but hey: What speed do you need for TextEdit? And it'd still double as an iPod that could also display DivX (erhm, MPEG-4, legally acquired in some or other way, *cough*!) movies. The harddrive, of course, could be replaced by a 'normal' notebook harddrive with up to 60 GB. You would sacrifice battery life for space then, of course. But that thing could still last for more than 6 hours. End of wishlist. - Oh, and the other nostalgy part: This could be called "eMate 500". ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-01 at 13:13 CET ]
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iCook: Overclocking 750FX-based iBooks

A software called iCook enables some iBook G3 users to overclock their iBooks in 50 MHz steps. You can clock your iBook from 300 to 1200 MHz. However, the developer's 700 MHz iBook could only take 800 MHz - and it wasn't very stable at that. Also, you'll lose Mac OS X' processor speed management while using the kernel extension (however, everything goes back to normal after a reboot), so you can't expect battery life to be 'normal' when overclocking your baby. I, personally, wouldn't. But there's always people who want to do such things just because they can. And now they can. ;-)

Btw.: I've also heard of new 4GB flashmemory-based notebook harddrives (link in German). If you manage to put one of those into your white iBook G3, I'd try and use OS 9 to see whether you suddenly get more than 7 hours of battery life with the screen at 30% brightness. I wouldn't be surprised... And it would make a great writer's tool!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-01 at 12:59 CET ]
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10.3.4 gives it away - new PowerMacs, iMacs

New PowerMacs? Sure. A completely new iMac G5? Quite probably. The update contains hardware information for a new PowerMac (7,3, the current model is 7,2) and probably a (completely) new iMac (G5?) with the code of 8,1 (previous iMacs used the 6,x number). More information (in French) here at macbidouille.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-06-01 at 11:45 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-31



One simple Exposé change?

Two (contradicting) sources informed us about one (common) subject in Tiger: Exposé. While one source 'has seen' a lot of 3D effects in the new Exposé, our other source has only heard of one simple addition to Exposé, which is an additional control which shows all windows, regardless whether they are hidden or not.
Our guess is that the second one is 'true', while our other source may (or may not) have seen some stuff Apple is trying out in current builds of Mac OS X 10.4. Whether or not we'll see any of it at WWDC 2004 remains to be seen.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-31 at 13:38 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-27



iTMS Europe next month?

MacRumors cites this reuters news about Sony's ongoing pursuit to challenge Apple in Europe and expects Apple to sell songs in Europe for 1.29 EUR, which would be a disaster, as that's about 1.50 USD! Let's just hope that under no circumstances a song would cost more than 0.99 EUR, which still would be more than in the USA. I smell a "much too little, much too late and too expensive, anyway" kind of thing. But I certainly hope MR (and their sources) is wrong here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-27 at 14:35 CET ]
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A 'faster' Safari: Shiira?

You'll find a description and the download of this new browser here at MacUpdate. It's quite nice, and some people see it as faster than Safari. The feature set is similar, the look is uglier (but you can, it seems, load your own icons...). And the shortcuts for switching between tabs is not compatible with some international keyboards (such as my Swiss German one, sadly).



You'll find the project's homepage here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-27 at 12:36 CET ]
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BootCD 0.6

Finally! charlessoft.com has released BootCD 0.6, which brings Panther compatibility. BootCD is a utility that lets you create a CD-R out of your installed Mac OS X installation. Add some tools of your own and you have your own, booting support CD.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-27 at 00:12 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-26



10.3.4 Combined Updater

If you want to keep the Mac OS X 10.3.4 Update for later (re-)installations, you can download the 79 MB sized combined updater here at "www.apple.com/support/downloads". (You can also get the Mac OS X Server 10.3.4 updaters there.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 23:02 CET ]
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Apple releases Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H63

... in Software Update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 22:35 CET ]
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And while we're at it...

... "The Mac is a harsh mistress." And Microsoft? "Microsoft, ladies and gentlemen, is a cheap whore. [...] There's a certain painted-on mystique to her, of course. We've all been indoctrinated with the propaganda, the hooker with the heart of gold, the disturbingly wide-mouthed Pretty Woman. When you find her, though, beneath the paint she's really quite plain. You take what you need from her, but reluctantly and because you have no alternative. You get what you want, but she is almost peripheral to the act."

Want more of that one? Go to this hilarious article comparing OSs to types of women.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 20:19 CET ]
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Comparing the Mac to Islam

You'll find quite a good column about it here. On some forums around the world, of course, people don't get the point the writer wants to make at all.* I'm sure she gets a lot of hate-mail from Christian Americans who've already forgotten that the USA is not exactly a one-religion country. Which makes me think about whether those people actually think the USA are in a 'holy war' themselves... Which then leads me to the thought that people just shouldn't try and compare computers to religions - period.
As an atheist, let me put it this way: There's quite a difference between "My religion is something between me and God" and "Writing is something between me and my Mac". I'm quite glad that while writing my books & stories, I know for certain that my PowerBook exists, while in my religion, God doesn't. ;-)

If you think you yourself have missed the point she wants to make and are just angry about even the thought someone would compare the Mac to Islam, read the following quote aloud and try to ignore your hatred for a moment. If it doesn't work, do it again. If it still doesn't work, go to a priest and let him explain it to you. The quote from her column: "The choice to use a Mac or to be Muslim in today's world is not easily understood. In a world where the vast majority of computers are PC, where Islam is perceived as the enemy, why would someone choose to be a Mac user or a Muslim?"

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 20:12 CET ]
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iBook 14" SuperDrive 'standard' model

... for 1699 USD? AppleInsider says so. And their reasoning sounds okay. This would mean you can get a SuperDrive equipped 14" iBook through normal channels soon. However, you might want to spend the 100$ (instead of adding an AirPort Extreme card to that iBook) more for a PowerBook 12". Not only is it faster and also has Bluetooth (another 50 USD) integrated, but is smaller and sexier, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 19:46 CET ]
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The iPodLibrary

A new project called ipodlibrary.com has started to store reference works (and later probably other eBooks, they call the iBooks...) for iPod users. Someone should quiet definitely start a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy now. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-26 at 19:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-25



Prosumer report: Maxtor One Touch FW Harddrive

Today I woke up and thought: "Hey, my external 60 GB harddrive is only as big as my internal 60 GB drive. How am I going to backup AND archive with this?" - So I went to the Media Markt to buy a 160 GB drive. And came back with a Maxtor One Touch 200 GB FW/USB-2 harddrive. I didn't care about the 'one touch', as I thought it'd only be Windows compatible anyway. But I was wrong.
The product includes Retrospect Express. - And it backs up what you want on the touch of the one prominent button that also serves as a blue LED process indicator. Which means it blinks. But the really, really good thing about it is: It just works as promised. The last time I've bought a product this good was, well, when I bought the PowerBook. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-25 at 19:12 CET ]
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hothardware.com about ATi Mobility Radeon 9700

They've tested the mobile graphics card in a PC notebook, but comparing it to desktop ATi cards is still a test that can also be important for users of new PowerBooks (such as myself). It seems like the "M11" is comparable to the desktop 9600XT, which also was kind of the 'father' to this mobile graphics card. Sadly, the test does not compare it to its predecessor, the ATi Mobility Radeon 9600, which was used in the previous PowerBook generation. (Of course, there's always Tom's Hardware's extensive review of the new card, which also takes the previous model into the comparison.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-25 at 11:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-24



Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H63

Apple has seeded the new build to ADC Select + Premier members. The seed note does not contain any known issues. We're expecting Apple to release 10.3.4 any build now, but have no definite information just yet. Right now, 7H63 is being tested is all we can say. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-24 at 23:34 CET ]
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Apple empties stock on G5s

Until 2004-06-26 (WWDC!), Apple offers ADC Select and Premier members G5 1.6 GHz models for less, which obviously means that they're emptying their stock now. Some websites have updated their rumours on new PowerMacs at WWDC, and a recent 'page 2' rumour at macrumros.com joins our 3.0 GHz number and the PPC 975 part, although our most reliable source points at 3.2 GHz now. In any way: It seems like we're definitely going to see new PowerMacs at WWDC.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-24 at 17:58 CET ]
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Emulating a MacSE (System 7) in Flash...

You'll find a wonderful flash animation here. However, some mouseclick-stuff is wrong, and it doesn't really emulate a Mac, of course. But it's a nice demo for the days when those old Macs are truly gone. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-24 at 13:34 CET ]
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A little more information on Apple's reorganisation

ThinkSecret has put together a little more info on how the new iPod and Mac divisions are being led after 2004-06-07, when the changes are in effect.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-24 at 13:31 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-23



'State of the Rumours II' for WWDC 2004

You'll find our first roundup article on rumours about upcoming products at WWDC 2004 here. I'm just mentioning changes to the rumours this time.

Tiger
Mac OS X 10.4, code-named "Tiger", will be introduced. A developer preview will be released. This information is backed up by Apple as well as third-party developers.

PowerMac G5 at up to 3.0 GHz (PowerPC 970FX)
The introduction of new PowerMacs is sure, however we've received information this weekend that puts some doubt into the 3.0 GHz number and the processor type. Instead Apple might surprise us with machines using the even newer PPC 975 processor at speeds of up to 3.2 GHz.

New iPods
We've given this one 50% the last time, and we're holding on to that. Higher capacity iPods are in the making, however: WWDC doesn't seem to be the right event for their introduction.

PowerBook G5
There's always the possibility that Apple announces them early and delivers them late, but those babies won't feel your hands until October at the earliest, according to our sources.

iTablet
(Reiterating...) - The rumour's now almost as old as a Newton revival or the infamous iWalk. If you hear about it, just forget about it. PC tablets have shown that there's no real market for them out there. While Apple would have the hardware and software knowledge to make a great tablet device, Apple's also very careful about entering new markets. The iPod was a killer product, but to enter a tiny market with a similar product won't cut it. Even more so, because iTablets would sell to Mac customers mostly and not attract and conquer the Wintel users out there. 0% for this one.

(Also reiterating...) - Please keep in mind that Apple is shifting their focus from MWNY/MWBO to WWDC, as it seems. And while WWDC is clearly a developer event, it gets enough attention from the press for Apple to also release consumer products at the show. We're expecting that quite a big part of Steve's keynote at WWDC will be about Apple's new hardware products, while prosumer/consumer applications will probably take almost no time there.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-23 at 01:35 CET ]
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Speeding up Safari

Yep, it works. Read all about it here on O'Reilly or at the original macosxhints.com thread. - Basically, you can set some 'initial delay variable' lower than Apple thinks is correct. This seems to work just fine. You can also set it back to 1.0 if you wish so, of course. I have made the changes in Terminal while Safari was closed, as I'm not sure whether Safari reads its new defaults while running...

The code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 0.25

If you want to set it back to the original value:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 1.00

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-23 at 01:18 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-22



Security Update: Finally.

Apple has finally fixed that Help Viewer security issue themselves. The update is available for all currently supported versions of Mac OS X (as well as beta versions of 10.3.4).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-22 at 23:28 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-21



Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H60

Apple has seeded yet another 10.3.4 build. Only known issue right now: Some iBooks take a while before going to sleep. As we've said a few days ago, Apple is wrapping up development on Mac OS X 10.3.4 - and will release the update in Software Update within the next two weeks. We'll keep you informed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-21 at 12:20 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-18



And then: Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H58

Always the same. Say something - and Apple does something. ;-) ADC Select & Premier members have access to build 7H58 of 10.3.4 now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-18 at 22:14 CET ]
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The future PDA will know where I left my carkeys

This heise.de message (German) talks about a system with neuronal networking technology that is shown items. It then learns them and will remember where it has last seen them. So, I'm thinking. A really personal digital assistant will - of course - have to remember the stuff I'm constantly forgetting, just like a really non-digital personal assistant has to. This is great. Now what was the URL of the server I have to save this article to? ;-)
In other "no-news": Apple hasn't seeded another build of Mac OS X 10.3.4 so far. The next one is expected this week, however, with a release of 10.3.4 within two weeks after that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-18 at 18:52 CET ]
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I don't usually do this...

... but this is just too stupid - so I have to mention it. There's someone on slashdot asking for help. He wants to travel and take notes while at it. He used to take a paper notebook with him, but that's too uncomfortable for him now. But: He doesn't want a notebook/tablet/PDA, rather something like a (!) clock radio with USB and keyboard. Huh?! Here's the link to the discussion. - A certain amount of people give advice that is only logical (i.e.: do use a PDA, because they're not that expensive - and you can buy used: Alpha Smart, Apple eMate 300, Palms with keyboards etc.). And then, of course, a couple hundred messages that state that the original question is just stupid.

However, the whole thing has one point going for it: People talk about how to take notes while traveling. And I'm quite sure that there are travels where an iBook or PowerBook isn't your best companion (lack of power outlets in certain regions etc.). My question now is this one: Has any of my readers ever travelled with an iPod and a microphone for it? It seems like a nice way to take notes. And if you want to write a book after your trip, listening to your own voice while writing can be, I guess, quite normal. A bit like loud thinking... And: Much nicer than trying to read what your freezing hand wrote into that wet paper notebook, too. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-18 at 02:08 CET ]
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Opera releases version 6.20 for Series 60 phones

I know, I know. I've been bashing Opera's Mac browser in the past. And believe me, I'll continue to do so. But! Their browser for Nokia's Series 60 platform is the best thing I've ever seen on that platform. It, basically, puts the web in your mobile phone. The new version has some nice new features and: If you've got a Nokia 6600 in basically any part of the world (except the USA, afaik), you've already got a license for the browser (version 6.10). You can update to 6.20 without any problems at all. Just make sure that installing replaces the old version and that you install on the MMC instead of the internal memory (because of memory issues rather than registration issues).
In Opera's words: "Make sure you choose the version for Nokia 6600 and not 3650/7650/N-Gage. When you install this on the new MMC it will pick up the registration info from the previous installation of Opera and continue to be a full version. The process is automatic.
If you have to replace your phone, but keep the original MMC, Opera will no longer be registered. This happens because the registration code is locked to the IMEI of your old phone. All Nokia service centers have information on how to generate a new registration code for Opera. You have to provide them with both the old and new IMEI numbers."
- You can find all this information, download link and more at this Opera forum page.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-18 at 01:38 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-17



Apple updates Garage Band

To version 1.1 to be exact. In Software Update. From the release notes: "GarageBand 1.1 addresses isolated performance and stability issues, allows per-track Echo settings similar to other effects, supports loop libraries in other disk locations, supports importing unprotected AAC audio files in addition to AIF and MP3 files, and addresses issues with ReWire support, moving GarageBand songs between different computers, Help support, fixing the timing of individual notes (as well as entire regions), and dragging entire tracks in the timeline."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-17 at 22:57 CET ]
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Virginia Tech awaiting Xserves

According to this ThinkSecret article, Virginia Tech will receive their Xserves in June.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-17 at 14:25 CET ]
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osNews about Apple and the enterprise market

... or Apple's lack of success therein. Good read - and my thoughts, exactly. While Apple's server and client hardware and software is certainly up to the tasks, there just isn't enough to persuade enterprises to make the switch. And the most important point: Enterprises need roadmaps. Apple, instead, tries to surprise their customers year after year.

While we might all agree that Microsoft takes much too long with Longhorn, and that this is a chance for Apple, at least Microsoft tells businesses more or less what's going to come. On the Apple side of this ocean, we have no real idea of what Tiger (and Tiger Server) is going to be like. And we have even less of an idea on what the step after that will be like. We just know that Steve said that Mac OS X was going to be the basis for 'the next decade' - and he said that in 2000 without ever mentioning it again. Read the article here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-17 at 12:11 CET ]
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Computerworld compares 12" PowerBook to iBooks

Mainly to the 14" 'highend' iBook, which (if you add an AirPort card) costs more or less the same in the US. You can read the comparison article here..
As _I_ would, the author mentions that it's just a bit difficult to choose from these models.

Now let me choose for you. ;-) ... If your budget is tight, get the 12" iBook. It's a great value for the money. No SuperDrive, but apart from that it's good enough for most things. With that 'display enabler', you can even hook up a second monitor and work on two desktops at the same time.
If you want a SuperDrive, I'd go straight to the 12" PowerBook. The 14" iBook is too big and heavy for what you get in screen resolution (1024*768, just like the 12" iBook and PowerBook).
And if you want a bigger screen, you'll want the 15" model. It's really the perfect mix of display resolution, speed and mobility. The 17" is rather a replacement for people's Cubes, i.e. not really portable - but a sexy silent desktop.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-17 at 11:44 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-16



Fryke's State of the Browser Speech

So here we are, in the middle of 2004, and things have changed in the Macintosh browser world since the days before Safari Beta 1.

Back then, browsers were slow. Internet Explorer was about the fastest you could get on Mac OS X, but its interface, while 'modern' on Mac OS 9, was 'ugly' on Mac OS X. Its Aqua stripes were faked, apparently, and their choice of appearance themes for IE didn't match Aqua. At all.

Today, we've got three code-bases for browsers on the Mac that are worth mentioning.

1. Internet Explorer 5
It's still the one showing pages that somehow won't work with others, because someone forgot to support the standards. Back when it was first released, it was hands-down the standards-compliant browser - period. For any platform. Today, it's old, ugly and slower than the rest.

2. Mozilla based browsers
Mozilla itself is still available, but no-one in their right mind is using it as their primary browser. FireFox has taken that place. It's come a far way, is adequately nice for a cross-platform application and certainly pleases many out there. There are other Mozilla based browsers, but they lack momentum at the, erh, moment.

3. Safari/WebKit based browsers
First, there's Safari itself. Apple's own browser has won many friends among Mac users, and certainly earns that, too. It's a fast, easy-to-use and complete browser. Its engine being available to other applications, there are now several applications using it. Mail.app, for example. Or help viewer. Or: OmniWeb 4.5 and OmniWeb 5.0. The latter is still in beta, but it's going to be the browser for the power user once it's released. It's not free, but it also has lots more feature than any other browser out there I know of.

Have we forgotten about Opera's Mac browser? No, we haven't. We just don't like to even mention it. While Opera makes great software for other platforms (and their browser has found their way on small-screen devices like the Nokia 6600 I like so much), they once tried to uglify Apple's image by stopping development of the Mac version because of Apple's own browser development, just to start the development again after everyone noticed that they were still around at all. Their browser for the Mac isn't free and it's ugly. 'nuff said.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 22:03 CET ]
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Microsoft Office 2004 shipping

This weekend showed us the first users having installed the retail version of Microsoft Office 2004. Reports are even: No problems installing and running the software. And it looks nice & fast. Good for Microsoft. ;-)



1. A screenshot showing the installation process.



2. Word starting up with more opaqueness (if there's such a thing).

We're waiting for more user reports and will take a closer look at some of the problems that have been reported with the beta version earlier this year (i.e.: worse MS Exchange compatibility than with Office v. X).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 21:08 CET ]
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Apple patents (?) translucent window behaviour

You'll find the info at this US government page.



Click on 'images' below the referenced article for more information on Apple's intentions with this patent. Apparently, this is about windows slowly becoming translucent after a specified period of time (if no user input or window change occurs). The window would also lose focus after a certain level of translucency has been reached (i.e. user input, like a mouse click, would now 'belong' to the window below the translucent window). Question is whether Apple really _gets_ this patented, as it would probably mean some problems for MS' Longhorn.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 20:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-15



That Safari security issue...

Just a little update. It seems that the afterprocessing feature of Safari isn't even needed. So there's only one rule now: Don't click links you don't know are secure. This one is, of course. Or isn't it? You see, we can call this one bad now. Please, Apple: Fix this. We don't need that autorun feature, really. Clicking a link in Safari to erase your home folder just shouldn't happen.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-15 at 19:35 CET ]
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A short review of Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H56

Very short indeed: Runs okay on a PB 15" G4/1.33. Application launching is much improved over builds of Mac OS X 10.3.3 and earlier.
While other sources expect 10.3.4 to be finished next week, we're guessing that Apple will still try and improve one or the other line of code before releasing it - so soon after 10.3.3, nonetheless.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-15 at 17:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-14



Security hole in Safari

(this time more serious than an Intego-Trojan...) - If you've set Safari to automatically process known file-types (such as .sit or .dmg files), a malicious webmaster can prepare bad things for you. You'll click on the link for the .dmg (which he can, obviously, also cloak as a link to another website...). The disk image is then downloaded and processed. Now the security flaw comes into play. Automagically, an AppleScript is loaded in HelpViewer and from there an application on the DMG (and paths are always /Volumes/"Volume Name" for dmgs) is automatically started. This app can, of course, be a simple AppleScript that, say, deletes EVERYTHING your user can delete (i.e. your home folder). More information at fundisom.com's warning.

You can, of course, disable the automatic processing of known file-types in Safari's preferences, which reduces the danger (or at least the automation of it, if you still doubleclick the malicious item on the .dmg, you're still owned...).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-14 at 12:25 CET ]
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Video iPod rumours

MacRumors is citing this AppleInsider rumour, where some video (on TV/external screen via Dock) features are described in quite strange ways for a rumoured fourth generation iPod. Somehow 'Home on iPod' got mixed with these video features.
If I try to make some sense out of it: A fourth generation iPod is coming. It should have max. 60 GB harddrive and the feature 'Home on iPod' will be brought to Mac OS X (was originally planned for 10.3). 'Home on iPod' will let you have all of your stuff on the iPod (or another external disk) and login to any Mac running 10.3.x with your own home folder. Also, you'll have your movie trailers and other videos on your iPod. And while you won't be able to view the video content on the iPod's screen, you'll be able to (?) connect your iPod to its Dock and then to a TV or other external monitor.
I hope Apple doesn't do that only. Because at home, where the Dock to my iPod is, I already have a PowerBook I can connect to TVs... The vPod needs its own video output to work - and even better would have a colour screen that could also be used to watch photos and videos. Whether people _would_ watch whole movies on such small screens is rather irrelevant (and I think some actually _would_! at least music videos, for example...) as such small colour screens are not that more expensive than the black/white screens Apple is using, nowadays.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-14 at 10:34 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H56

Nothing new in the seed notes, known issues still involve resolution problems between logins, wakeup problems on some machines etc.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-14 at 00:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-13



'Aluminum' appearance in Mac OS X 10.4?

When Apple brought 'Graphite' as a second hue to Aqua, it made perfect sense, as it perfectly fit the graphite PowerMac G4 as well as the later Titanium PowerBook. Now that all Macs are either white (eMacs, iMacs, iBooks) or aluminum (more 'yellow/brown' in the gray than 'blue/green'), an 'Aluminum' appearance would perfectly fit the new style of Apple's hardware. Whether or not Apple will change the appearance of Mac OS X in Tiger is still unknown - but small adjustments are expected, because Apple has always used the chance to do them in the past few iterations of Mac OS X.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-13 at 15:26 CET ]
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WiFi (the b variant) flaw

In Australia, someone has found a way to disrupt WiFi networks with a simple WiFi access card. Instead of joining a network, one can use the card to disrupt WiFi networks in a range of about 1 kilometer. I certainly hope no-one in my vicinity is going to try this out... Read more at MacCentral.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-13 at 14:49 CET ]
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If you have a 15" AluBook, ...

... you'll probably like my new desktop picture. It's a very blurred photo of the keyboard and gives a nice overall look and feel to the PB.



Hope you enjoy it. It's about 500K in size. (Click on the picture to get the high quality version.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-13 at 12:28 CET ]
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MacBidouille had a look at VPC7...

And was surprised (very positively so) to actually find direct graphics card support in VPC7. This is, well, huge - and worth the wait, I think. The app also has a new icon, reportedly (in French). ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-13 at 12:21 CET ]
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Most said: "WiFire" or "wiFire".

Answering my call to give me names for the un-term "Wireless FireWire", most said "WiFire". Although this still doesn't entirely hide its roots, that's a term I could live with. Mental note: If I ever can actually buy hardware that supports this, I'll call it WiFire - unless something better or at least different comes up. Thanks to all of you helping me out here. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-13 at 11:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-12



New 'Intego Trojan' for Mac OS X

Let's just call them Intego-Trojans instead of 'real' trojan horses, shall we? It's a program that looks like a Microsoft installer but isn't, actually, this time. That's not a security issue of Mac OS X (like Intego might want to make it look) but rather a case of 'dumb user' if he installs such files. More at MacCentral's article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-12 at 21:32 CET ]
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Please give us an acronym or sumthin'!

I never thought I'd cry out loud for an acronym, but 'Wireless FireWire' is just terribly, terribly wrong. Sure, we could just call it 'Fire', but there's already something warm and bright that sort of earns the term for being, well, fire. 'WiFW' doesn't sound good either (and doesn't solve the linguistic or even mathematical problem). Whatever. Wireless FireWire has been specified is the news in this bit.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-12 at 21:08 CET ]
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VirtualPC 7 delayed

Microsoft's MBU has announced that VPC 7 will not appear in the first half of 2004, but rather in the second half. Sad news for G5 owners, who still can't run VPC because of that. According to Microsoft, there have been more problems than anticipated. You can read more at this macobserver.com article...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-12 at 11:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-11



Apple should re-enter innovation.

Remember the days? Of course you do. Apple was an inventor. Apple brought a human user interface to computing. Apple - together with Adobe and Aldus - made Desktop Publishing possible. Apple basically invented a personal digital assistant that was more than an electronic (and worse) version of a simple notebook (a paper based one, I mean). And more...

And nowadays? Apple brought us the iPod. That's great. But it's not an innovation in the sense I mean it. We had portable music before. We even had _digital_ portable music before the iPod. I don't say it's a bad product. I love the iPod and I dig Apple's success with it. But it's not something like Desktop Publishing or the invention of a Personal Digital Assistant.

Apple has actually stopped being an innovator. They started being a company that makes money instead. Which isn't bad per se, but the time of only slowly making better products that are basically the same as the old ones only adopting other people's inventions (Bluetooth, G5 processor, AirPort and AirPort Extreme...) should be over now. This doesn't cost. This just makes money. But Apple was - and should be - more than that.

Now let's move a little bit away from that track, shall we? Apple has the Newton. (Patents and everything.) Apple has a good solution for PIM tasks (iCal, Address Book, Mail, iChat AV etc.). But Apple doesn't do a PIM-device!
Those who make PIM-devices don't seem to get what originally was great (in my opinion) about Apple's invention of the PDA 'Newton'. They make mobile phones that only hardly connect well to computers. They're also too complicated for the mass of the users. Or they make PDAs, which have a hard time of being well-connected (or are only for a 'chosen few', like the Nokia Communicator, which only in its next iteration will get back on track with the state of technology, which probably means it'll be behind when it actually ships...) and usually are just really bad at being mobile phones.

Now, what Apple can do about this is the following... (And I'm not laying out the idea completely. I want Apple to do it. They've shown with the iPod that they can do it.) Apple must take their knowledge from Newton, iPod, Human Interfaces and combine those things into a handy device which inspires people to communicate. And this doesn't have to be a mobile phone OR a PDA. It has to be the next big insanely great product. Thank you.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-11 at 18:12 CET ]
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A short review: PowerBook G4 15"/1.33 GHz

As some background information, I'd like to state that I haven't bought a 'professional' class machine since the original Titanium PowerBook G4/500 in early 2001. So I can't make first-person comments on the quality of the pro-hardware Apple has released since that time.

Back in those days, the TiBook was really the one big marketing instrument for Apple. People lusted for it even when they were total Win-heads. And even I, being a PowerBook-user for five years back then and a Mac-user for more than a decade, had to admit that the TiBook was the best notebook ever made. Until I bought one...
The original TiBook got way too hot, lost a bit of colour soon and had the ugly 'feature' of remembering the keys of the keyboard as marks on the - otherwise gorgeous - screen. Also: Battery life in Mac OS X back then was sub-par to OS 9. It's still sub-par today, but things have gotten a lot better - and you can't even boot the new PowerBooks from OS 9, so the question about it is really futile.

After the TiBook I bought an iBook 12" G3/800 in 2002. I've had to had it replaced two times at the beginning before I got one that did not just die. It was an awful experience, really - and I thought badly about Apple's quality control for a while. I heard that it would have gotten better, but then Apple released the first 15" AluBook and we heard of lacking quality at the screen hinges, the screen itself (white clouds) and some screen locking failures. - Yet, I had to upgrade now in order to do my graphics work in reasonable amounts of time and with less opportunities to drink coffee or smoke cigarettes.

And I can say that this new PowerBook certainly helps me smoke less cigarettes and drink less coffee, although I probably smoke and drink more in the spare-time that I gain because I can work faster now. ;-)
The first thing I noticed when I opened the PowerBook and started her up: Quality. This machine breathes quality. It has an aura of power and stability. It radiates the phrase "I'm a finished product." and gives a calm feeling in my tummy that nothing can go wrong as long as I work on this computer. The aluminum looks better than the Titanium, although the plastic frame is really, really ugly. (Apple: It's really REALLY ugly!) I guess it helps stabilising the PowerBook, but it's ugly. Did I mention that it's ugly? Okay. One forgets about it the instant the display lights up, so this is not really such a big deal.

Speedwise, I can only compare this machine to my old iBook. And it's no competition, really. This PowerBook zooms through my work, which includes doing heavy graphic editing in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. I guess a PowerMac G5 user would disagree, but I don't care about those, because my Macs need feet (i.e.: I can't live with non-portables, anyway). I guess the 1.5 GHz version would add a little more oomph, but the difference wouldn't even be 10%. Whether the 'really high end' version with the 128 MB VRAM would add more for my kind of work - I don't think so. I'm not the gamer and not the 3D-designer. I basically need those features for QuartzExtreme only, and for that, 64 MB VRAM is enough.

So let's wrap it up. It's a great notebook. It's a great PowerBook. It's a very nice machine and it's certainly worth the money over an iBook. And Apple: Please do something about the plastic frame.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-11 at 16:24 CET ]
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PearPC Panther Update

According to the 'about' page of the project, Panther is indeed running, although relatively (what a word...) slowly. Still, the project is young, and over time it might become a solution for some tasks.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-11 at 15:25 CET ]
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PearPC makes some splashes...

There's a PowerPC emulator for PCs, running on Linux and Windows XP as it seems. I haven't read through all the comments, but the only screenshots of Mac OS X running in PearPC I could find showed the boot/options process of the first Panther installation CD, which leads me to believe that an actual installation is currently failing.



(Please prove me wrong. I'd actually like such an emulator. Would give Windows users the chance to see how good Mac OS X really is. I don't see a real danger of PearPC eating Macintosh sales...) - The reasons for this could be quite a few, one of them being that the project is at version number 0.1, currently. You can read more at OSnews.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-11 at 11:33 CET ]
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Apple updates Backup to 2.0.2

You can read about it at MacCentral. However, if you really only need to backup stuff from your Mac to a FireWire-HD, you can also use the free SilverKeeper by LaCie, which does a good job, too, and doesn't make you buy a .Mac membership. And always remember my article about backups as well as the other 'articles from the past' on the upper right corner on this page.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-11 at 09:35 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-10



New PowerBook. For me, at least.

Yes, I've bought one of those shiny new PowerBooks. To be exact: A 15" Combo (1.33 GHz) model. I chose this one, because I don't really need a SuperDrive (got plenty of DVD-burners around the house) and am a fast and blind typer (so I don't need the backlit keyboard, either). Speed seems very, very good, coming from an iBook G3/800, and I'm configuring the baby right now. All seems well, so far. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-10 at 16:18 CET ]
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'State of the Rumours' for WWDC 2004

At the very end of June, people around the world are expecting quite a few things from Apple. Let's take a look at the various rumours and the percentage we're giving them right now.

Tiger
Steve Jobs will introduce a developer preview of Mac OS X 10.4/10.5, code named 'Tiger'. He'll also set the date for release (and add quite a few jokes about Longhorn while at it). Apple will try and keep their cycle for OS releases and keep it within 2004, but there are rumours that Tiger will be a more drastic OS upgrade and might take until early 2005. 100%, of course, as Apple has already announced they will talk about Tiger at WWDC.

PowerMac G5 at up to 3.0 GHz (PowerPC 970FX)
After January had passed without any expected announcements of PowerMacs at up to 2.5/2.6 GHz, the rumour world has turned back to Steve Jobs' promise of delivering PowerMacs at up to 3 GHz by Summer 2004 (a year after the introduction of the PowerMac G5). We're giving this rumour 99%, because by that time, IBM should have solved their delivery problems of higher clocked PPC 970FX chips.

New iPods
While WWDC isn't exactly the right place for it, end of June would be about the right time for the introduction of the next round of iPods - and the second generation of iPod mini. 50%.

PowerBook G5
Apple has just released the last round of PowerBook G4 - and they will last until at least September/October, when they're probably going to be replaced by the first PowerBook G5, using the low-power version of the successor to the PowerPC 970FX. But Apple has loved to surprise us, anyway, so we're still giving 25% to this rumour.

iTablet
The rumour's now almost as old as a Newton revival or the infamous iWalk. If you hear about it, just forget about it. PC tablets have shown that there's no real market for them out there. While Apple would have the hardware and software knowledge to make a great tablet device, Apple's also very careful about entering new markets. The iPod was a killer product, but to enter a tiny market with a similar product won't cut it. Even more so, because iTablets would sell to Mac customers mostly and not attract and conquer the Wintel users out there. 0% for this one.

Please keep in mind that Apple is shifting their focus from MWNY/MWBO to WWDC, as it seems. And while WWDC is clearly a developer event, it gets enough attention from the press for Apple to also release consumer products at the show. We're expecting that quite a big part of Steve's keynote at WWDC will be about Apple's new hardware products, while prosumer/consumer applications will probably take almost no time there.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-10 at 10:59 CET ]
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MOSR claims Mot's PPC 7460 will come...

... and cites "their most reliable sources at Motorola" for it. However: By the time FreeScale (the processor spin-off of Moto) would release those enhanced G4 processors, Apple should be using G5 processors in all but eMacs and iBooks (early 2005). While there'd still be interest for faster G4 processors until then, it seems like Apple would be stuck with 1.33 to 1.5 GHz PPC 7447/7457 until 'early 2005' - if the rumour does indeed turn out true and FreeScale would release 1.6 to 2.0 GHz G4s by then. But the gap between a 2.0 GHz iBook G4 and a PowerBook G5 of any speed beyond 2 GHz would seem a bit too big - unless pricing of the PowerBook'd go up, which we certainly don't hope.

However, MOSR's PPC predictions have not been the most accurate over the past few years, and there's still a chance that IBM will not only cater for PowerBooks but also for eMacs, iMacs and iBooks in Autumn this year, when the successor to their 970FX is expected in both a 'normal' and a low-power version - to be used in PowerMacs in January 2005 and portable Macs maybe even earlier.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-10 at 10:44 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-07



Apple releases test update for 10.3.4 7H50

Apple has released a test update through Software Update, bringing beta version 10.3.4 7H50 to build number 7H51a.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-07 at 20:24 CET ]
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Apple's quarterly SEC filing wrapped up

You can find a wrap-up of the document at this MacMinute.com page. iPods seem to be quite good, I hear. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-07 at 11:13 CET ]
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Apple seeded 10.3.4 7H50 on Wednesday

The new build, according to our sources, is much more stable already than the previously seeded builds of 10.3.4.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-07 at 10:44 CET ]
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news of 2004-05-03



Apple Security Update 2004-05-03

Apple has released a security update containing changes in AFP Server, CoreFoundation and IPSec. It's available via SoftwareUpdate.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-03 at 23:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-28



Apple releases iTunes 4.5

New features...
iTMS: Free Download/Single of the Week, iMix - Publish your playlists, Music Videos Page, Movie Trailers, Radio Charts.
iTunes: Party Shuffle, CD Insert Printing, Wishlist, WMA (unprotected only) file import, new encoder (0.5 times the size of original file, lossless), link-back to the music store from your library.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-28 at 11:16 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-21



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H41

... and notes changes to Core Audio, OpenGL, Graphics, Core OS, and the High Level Toolbox among other things.

One important note says about application compatibility: "[Mac OS X 10.3.4 7H41...] includes a fix that may result in a performance gain in launching applications that aren't prebound." And about device compatibility: "We have taken a small number of changes that may impact devices (SCSI drives, USB Flash Media, TWAIN scanners, iPods & some PC Cards). Some additional devices include Audio FireWire and connecting an iPod via USB 2.0."

Apple also notes some known issues with this preview build. If you don't want to bleed, wait for a more mature build before testing your development against 10.3.4...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-21 at 15:13 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-20



Windows equipped mobile phones? No problem!

infoSync.no notes that a new version of PocketMac enables Mac OS X users to use their Windows Mobile handsets with their Macs.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-20 at 11:46 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-19



Pricing & Availability

The Apple Store is now back up online and has the new PowerBooks and iBooks available for your shopping pleasure.

All PowerBook models include AirPort Extreme now. The SuperDrive writes at 4x, which is welcome, too.

PowerBook 12": Starts at 1'599 USD with 1.33 GHz and a Combo Drive. For 200 USD more, you get a SuperDrive.

PowerBook 15": Starts at 1'999 USD with 1.33 GHz. 500 USD more give you a 1.5 GHz G4 processor, a backlit keyboard, 80 instead of 60 GB harddrive, 512 instead of 256 MB RAM and the warm, fuzzy feeling of having the most powerful PowerBook to date in the good 15" form factor.

PowerBook 17": Just like the fastest 15", but bigger. For 2'799 USD.

The iBooks start at 1'099 USD for the 1 GHz 12" model. The middle model has the 14" screen and a 40 instead of 30 GB harddrive for 1'299 USD. The 'highend' iBook has a 1.2 GHz G4 processor and AirPort Extreme is included for 1'499 USD.

No comments about the availability of the new machines to be seen anywhere right now...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-19 at 15:06 CET ]
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Apple announces new iBooks, PowerBooks

Apple has just announced iBooks at 1 and 1.2 GHz as well as PowerBooks at 1.33 and 1.5 GHz. For the first time, you can have the 15" AluBook at the full speed of the highend 17" model, which makes perfect sense for mobile professionals who don't want to buy extra-large notebook bags. ;-) And yes, you can also have the Mobile Radeon 9700 with 128 MB VRAM (standard is 64 MB). More information at apple.com's PowerBook pages...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-19 at 14:53 CET ]
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Apple starts introducing again...

Apple introduced new versions of their video editing applications at NAB'04 and added 'Motion', a new application for 'real time motion graphics design'. And today, so rumour sites along the web say, we'll see new PowerBooks and iBooks. We're watching store.apple.com, of course, but might not be able to update macnews.net.tc in time. (Still not having enough time, lately.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-19 at 10:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-09



First Mac OS X Trojan isn't, really.

Yesterday, Intego released a statement about the 'first Mac OS X Trojan'. But it's really a proof of concept posted to a newsgroup only. Doesn't do any harm to your computer and according to WIRED: "It isn't in the wild, and can't be spread in the wild. It's a non-issue."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-09 at 22:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-08



Renew - Automatic Software Update

Myndlink Software wants to update your third party software on Mac OS X. Just like Apple's Software Update preference pane, Renew does the same for other software.



We're looking for more information and reader feedback, as this sounds very interesting. Version number right now seems to be 0.4.

Update: Having installed the current public version, I have to say: It works as advertised. There are several conflicts with Renew not knowing which application is which (but it asks you quite nicely) and one obvious bug, which is that if you keep multiple versions of applications, it asks you to update the older ones. If you have something to add, drop me a line, please.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-08 at 11:03 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-06



An apology...

I'm recovering from increasing amounts of stress (i.e. not yet recovering) and thus can't update macnews.net.tc as often as I'd like to. In other news (;-)) Apple has released a security update for Jaguar and Panther and the PowerPage expects new PowerBooks (not G5 based) in the next few weeks. And: Everybody's quite surprised how few hardware upgrades Apple has released in the recent past.

I'll pick up posting on a more regular basis at the end of the week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-06 at 09:49 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-05



'De-DRMing' iTMS AAC files

PlayFair does just that for your own iTMS music files.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-05 at 13:23 CET ]
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Apple trademarks 'XSAN'

according to this macrumors.com article. SAN stands for Storage Area Network. The product will probably be sold with Apple's Xserve product line.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-05 at 13:06 CET ]
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IBM about their POWER chips

A short trip through the history of IBM's chips. I wonder where IBM sells the 750GX nowadays, if it does at all...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-05 at 09:43 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-04



"Am I ready to ditch my Mac and use Linux only? No."

You'll find this (the title line) and other stuff in Dan Gillmor's column titled "Linux on desktop gaining in OS race". It's not really about the Mac, however Dan gives it credit where it's due.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-04 at 23:11 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-02



LaunchBar 4 Beta 1

My favourite launcher utility is growing in features and flexibility. The current beta will expire on 30.4.2004. Looking good, working fine for a beta. Check it out... (And yes, the last article was an April fool's joke, of course... This one, apparently, isn't.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-02 at 11:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-04-01



Apple is dead

After more than a decade of messages around the world that "Apple is going to die soon", Apple today formally accepted the message and dissolved the company. Several companies have issued statements about buying assets. According to an Apple spokeswoman, Disney buys the QuickTime part of Apple, Sony buys iTunes/iPod and Microsoft buys Mac OS X. As Bill Gates puts it: "We're interested in Mac OS X' code base, because we want to fight Windows' security issues at the very root, which is still DOS, although we managed to hide this from many third parties with Windows NT and higher."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-04-01 at 14:00 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-31



OmniWeb 5 Beta 4 released

This release features a ton of fixes for bugs and crashers, as well as bookmark synchronization using .Mac iDisk or any WebDAV server. Be sure to read the full release notes at (URL Release Notes) for all the details.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-31 at 08:49 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.4 - "Tiger"?

MacMagazine.com.br (completely unknown to us, previously) posts this and that Apple is internally at Mac OS X 10.4 8A85. Our latest information had been about build 8B12, so we're a bit in doubt about either source. However, more information will become available as WWDC (end of June) nears.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-31 at 00:58 CET ]
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Apple posts Xgrid Developer page

You'll find it at this location.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-31 at 00:55 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-30



Rumours around the web...

MOSR is talking about a direct move to the PowerPC 975 (aka G6) for the next PowerMacs, delivering the promised 3 GHz speed, while the PowerPage.org is strongly expecting new PowerBook G4 models this week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-30 at 15:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-27



WebObjects 5 in 15 minutes streaming video

rentzsch.com has released a 15 minute tutorial to WebObjects 5. Go, become a web developer fast. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-27 at 11:32 CET ]
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40+ Panther Secrets @ macworld.com

Macworld.com has issued 40+ tips & tricks for Panther for all to see. Some of them ain't exactly news to most of us, but others might be things we previously overlooked.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-27 at 11:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-25



Apple still has to learn...

... to anticipate sales of killer products. It's a pity. No iPod mini worldwide until July.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-25 at 17:41 CET ]
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A first look: Office 2004 Preview

Just to calm some of our readers who have asked for screenshots, really. I must say I'm not a typical 'Office' user. Or maybe I am: I use it mainly for opening documents from others, make some changes and send the documents back. Ever since Mail.app (i.e. Mac OS X), I've sworn off to MS Outlook Express and Entourage, but I still like to take a look from time to time.



What we see is that there's a new default view option, which is to have the list of messages vertically and the preview pane for the message on the right. This is very good for all the widescreen users (and Mac users often are), but don't fear: The more 'normal' views are still there.



Excel also has a new default view. It shows pages. And I think together with the split-pages preview, Excel has a strong focus on usability. You can still look at your tables in 'normal' view, i.e. without any kind of preview for printing.



On first look, Word has the least changes, i.e. no different default view. From the screenshot you see, however, that the palettes become translucent when not active, which makes the eye of the user focus on the content, which is a welcome effect.

If you have specific questions about this Preview build of Microsoft Office 2004 :mac, use the contact link below this article.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-25 at 11:15 CET ]
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Mac.Ars about 3 years of OS X

Yes, yesterday was the third anniversary of Cheetah (Mac OS X 10.0). Eric Bangeman takes a trip down memory lane and mentions good and bad about our favourite operating system.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-25 at 10:37 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-24



Official: EU-Commission fines MS 497.2 mio EUR

and adds some measures about opening server source code and splitting WMP from Windows (XP). Read the whole thing here. However, Microsoft is sure to appeal against this ruling. Yet, it's always fun to see MS judged.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-24 at 12:28 CET ]
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The Gimp 2.0 is here

You'll find a few sources here at gimp.org for Mac OS X versions. The Gimp 2's main work is interface work, which should lead to more acceptance in the graphics design area. Update: Link works again, right now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-24 at 12:11 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-23



Apple announces shipping of single processor Xserve

According to Apple's Press Release, Apple is now shipping the Xserve model to customers. Cluster and dual processor models will start shipping in April.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-23 at 15:03 CET ]
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Office 2004 on DVD?

According to sources testing the preview of MS Office 2004 :mac, some parts of the software mention that the software will come in form of a DVD instead of one (or more) CDs. Whether this will be a problem for users who simply don't have a DVD reading device (many older iMacs and iBooks as well as CD-RW-only TiBooks) or if there's also going to be a CD-version available is not known as of yet.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-23 at 14:40 CET ]
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AAC is Audio-Codec for the ROM-part of DVD-Audio spec

... according to High Fidelity Review. (Found it in German at heise.de.) According to heise, the plan is to, additionally to uncompressed audio, add DRM'd AAC files to the DVD-Audio as a plus for consumers. The decision of the DVD-Forum may or may not have been based on iTMS's success.

Update: heise has just updated its article... It seems that the decision has in fact _not_ been made yet because of the high licensing price for MPEG-AAC.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-23 at 12:35 CET ]
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Six barriers to open source adoption

During a keynote at the Open Source Business Conference 2004 last week, Ray Lane (former Oracle executive) laid out six barriers for wider open source adoption. Some of them also concern Apple (which is using open source tools in Mac OS X Server, too). Let's take a look where Apple could learn from some of these points.

1.) Lack of formal support. - Apple clearly has an advantage here.
2.) Velocity of change - While linux offers an advantage here in that security issues are fixed quite fast by the community, this isn't the way to go for corporations, as these fixes are often not tested very well when they're released. Also: You'll often find several options to 're-secure' your system, which might make decisions more (and too) difficult. Apple has an edge here, because they prepackage the overall system and yet issue security patches in a timely manner.
3.) Lack of roadmap - Apple has to learn here, and maybe more than linux. While one can look at the current developments of open source in General, linux (the kernel) specifically and even create input for some projects, with Apple it's the same every year (for now): Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X Server, an upgrade costs 999 USD per server (quite a price, isn't it...) and then server admins are left in the dark for a good part of the year until they have to decide whether to upgrade again for 999 USD or not. There's no public roadmap. There hasn't been one since the roadmap to Mac OS X, which was several years ago.
4.) Functional gaps - Here's where open source can shine, but often doesn't. And it's a bit worse for deployers of Mac OS X Server, because while an open source project might cover a gap, it often takes quit a bit longer until there's an OS X version and even more, of course, before Apple adopts something to the core of Mac OS X.

For a more in-depth look at all of the six points (but linux-focused, of course), take a look at the article at techupdate.zdnet.com.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-23 at 12:22 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5 coming along nicely

Recent reports tell us that a fourth beta is coming soon, and that it adds - among other things - a lot of performance and bug fixes, iDisk synching. The final version of OW 5 will quite certainly make a splash in the Mac community. The 'Workspaces' feature alone makes it worth trying.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-23 at 11:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-22



Mariner Write 3.6, MS Office 2004

Mariner Software releases a new version of their word processing application with a 'slew of new features'. Mariner Write is one of the MS Word competitors. Up until today, sadly, none of those has been able to replace Microsoft's application in a really good way.



In a related note: Microsoft has released a preview version of Office 2004 (to magazine editors etc.). Reports are that the preview is still a bit on the 'crashy' side. However, Microsoft still has some time before releasing Office 2004 in mid-2004.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-22 at 14:48 CET ]
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That PowerMac rumour...

Okay, tomorrow's the day, according to MacPlus.org's rumour. MacRumors.com adds a second possible date to the long-awaited PowerMac update round: 30. March 2004. And then there's IBM's Power event on 31st, too. We'll see.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-22 at 13:23 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-20



Merging Safari and Finder?

roughlydrafted.com is talking about pros and cons (and is pro-merging, basically). While I very, very much don't want a more bloated Finder, there's one thing I would love the Finder to adopt: Tabbed browsing. Just think about it for a moment. I pretty much use the Finder as a one-window application already (column view), but if that Finder window had tabs like Safari, the Finder would at the very least have a point for using Brushed Metal, but more importantly: We could browse the file-system more easily. Home folder in one tab, Desktop folder in another, second harddrive in a third. Choose a file in one tab, drag it to the next and place the file where it belongs. Makes Spring-Open Folders even more useable. I'd like that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-20 at 12:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-18



Three products Apple should have made...

... by now, if I were in charge and a very large group of people with the money to buy enough of the items. I know, I know. But I wonder if some of you agree with the things I would want Apple to release.

1.) The cMac
The 'consumer' (or 'cheap') Mac is built to sell. A pizza box with a footprint of a closed 14" iBook, containing the cheapest viable and available processor (probably about a 800 or 900 MHz G3 processor right now), 128 or 256 MB RAM (expandable to 640 MB RAM), a 30 GB harddrive and a Radeon Mobility type of graphics chip as well as a CD-ROM or Combo drive. VGA connector. FireWire, Ethernet and USB. The cheapest model's price could be as low as 399 USD.

2.) The ePad
This small pad is a mix between a tablet PC and a Newton-style PDA aimed at education. Running Mac OS X (not a 'light' version) off of an iPod-type 20 GB harddrive, this device has a transreflective TFT display running at 800*600 pixels. Home folder synchs with your Mac at home (FireWire) and an additional USB port allows the connection of a keyboard to make longer text input easier. Footprint about half-a-12"-iBook. Price: Lower than an iBook.

3.) The iServe
The iServe is your home's central box. Connected to the LAN either via Ethernet or WiFi, the iServe is not only your home server but is also connected to your home theater and home stereo system and TV cable. Comes with Bluetooth, a Bluetooth remote as well as a Bluetooth keyboard with integrated touchpad, so you can surf on your large screen TV or video beamer. TiVo meets Mac meets server. Of course all of its media can also be streamed throughout the house through Ethernet or WiFi. Price: Depending on options...

Which of those do appeal to you? Which don't? Hit the link below the article to drop me a line...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 19:35 CET ]
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Apple wins 3 design awards

At Ce'Bit 2004, Apple has won three times the iF design award 2004. For both the 15" and 17" PowerBook as well as the iSight FireWire camera.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 19:11 CET ]
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FileMaker Pro 7 First Impressions



Just a small look at it, really. Looks nice, behaves well, opens old databases just fine. We'll have to look deeper into the new features, of course, but for old-time FM-users, it should be said that an update should be absolutely painless from our perspective.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 15:19 CET ]
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MacDevCenter about Speech

This article talks about what you can do with your Mac and Speech. It's quite impressive. Completely forgets about anyone who doesn't speak the American variant of English or even (gasp!) German, French, Spanish or Japanese, but it's still impressive. It's also impressive that Apple seems to have put a lot of energy into this forgetting completely about the fact that the world isn't English speaking. Well, so do we here at macnews.net.tc - our page is in English - but while you can easily copy our articles and more or less translate them through Google or Babelfish, you can not use the Mac's Speech features easily while speaking another language. End of rant. Still a good article. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 14:33 CET ]
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AppleInsider: 4th gen. iPod

This AppleInsider article expects Apple to release a new iPod in April (iTMS' birthday) that not only has a colour screen but also some sort of video output. In line with this, also a new version of iTunes is expected.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 00:34 CET ]
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Apple preparing PowerMac introduction?

Apple's homepage today reflects the power of the PowerMac G5. While this is not exactly news, it would perfectly fit to prepare the introduction of even faster models using the new PowerPC 970FX, which is rumoured to make its entrance in less than a week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-18 at 00:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-17



Remote Desktop 2

ThinkSecret notes in this article that Apple is developing Remote Desktop 2.0, which will incorporate some VNC technologies and allow it to be a client for other operating systems at the very least. (Hopefully, it'll also serve others...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-17 at 13:52 CET ]
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'Spoken interface': MAc OS X 10.4?

This Apple page talking about the spoken interface says that it's coming 'soon'. Yet it names the 'next major release', which will either be called 10.4 or 10.5 as far as we know. ... My take? Well: It's probably going to work in English only, right? Too bad. Because while Windows doesn't have such great features included in the OS, there are many third parties adding them in several languages, while they're just not available on the Mac. I'd love to be wrong and hear my Mac talk German for the first time, but I doubt it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-17 at 11:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-16



HP PCs with iTunes end of March?

This macrumors.com article shows that meta-info on HP's music site gives that away.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-16 at 13:05 CET ]
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Apple's New Mouse Patent?

Remember that drawing with an iPod scrollwheel on a mouse? Seems like Apple has a new patent, describing an optically based scrolling feature on a mouse. "Optical touch pad configured to translate finger motion into movements on the display screen." Read more at MacPlus.org's article (in French).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-16 at 13:03 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F44 released

Just as we told you. We love to be right. ;-) Get it here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-16 at 00:50 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-15



iTMS has sold 50 mio. songs

... or, well, given away a few, too, of course. MacCentral has the story.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-15 at 16:43 CET ]
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GraphicConverter 5.0 released

Lemke Software today has released version 5.0 of its beloved graphics converting shareware in the major languages the application provides. Many, many new features and bug fixes from the older version (4.9.3).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-15 at 13:52 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-14



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F43

Apple has seeded the new build on Friday. Again, nothing new to report from the seed notes. Internally, one source which has a good trace record for such info tells us, Apple has seeded 7F44 by now and is going to release it early next week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-14 at 15:08 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-12



MS Access for Mac in June?

Florida State U mentions this exactly on one of its pages.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-12 at 14:48 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-11



Adobe starts "Adobe Designer" Beta Test

Adobe's XML-forms generator application now dubbed "Designer" starts with a closed beta-test programme. You can apply for the beta at this location.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-11 at 18:17 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-10



A short report on Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F40

The builds 7F34 through 7F40 appear more than stable enough for release. Apple has apparently got the time for thorough testing and for small improvements. It has been rumoured that 10.3.3 contains support for yet-to-be-released hardware, but we haven't found confirmation for this yet. We're expecting Apple to release 10.3.3 any day now, as the bug-list has been at zero (the kb-article not being online isn't really a bug) for a few builds now.
As with previous builds of Mac OS X 10.3.3, major areas of change are the Core OS, Carbon, Cocoa, Graphics and Imaging, High Level ToolBox, Printing, and USB, according to Apple's seed notes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-10 at 12:50 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F40

Yes, yet another seed. Compared to 7F38, this build has a fix in the prebinding performance area.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-10 at 10:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-09



FileMaker 7

The upgraded family is now officially available. FileMaker Inc.'s new version offers, among other things, a new kernel for the software, 'graphic relational stuff' and some new user interface features.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-09 at 17:20 CET ]
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SonyEricsson unveils K700, S700 mobile phones

Focus is clearly on media. The K700 features a VGA camera, the S700 an 1.3 MP digital camera with 8x digital zoom (no analog zoom, sadly). You'll find the K700 here and the S700 here at infosync.no.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-09 at 13:16 CET ]
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Downtime...

Our server was down from yesterday evening until noon today (CET). We apologise for the inconvenience. (It was our provider's provider's fault, according to our provider.) Grrr... Now back to the good things. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-09 at 12:31 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-08



FileMaker 7 details

ThinkSecret posts a little more details about FileMaker 7.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-08 at 13:31 CET ]
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Another look at 20 years of Macintosh

And another interview with Jef Raskin.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-08 at 09:21 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-07



14" widescreen displays

In a short article, heise.de is reporting that several notebook makers will release 14 inch widescreen models this Summer. According to reliable sources, Apple is planning to replace the current 12" PowerBook model with a widescreen one that uses either a 13.3 or 14.1 inch display. If Apple wants to keep the price of that model lower than the 15" model's, the screen resolution would however be 1152*768 rather than the reported 1280*800 for the 14" widescreen displays heise.de is talking about. Our take: Replacing the current 12" PB model with a 13.3" (1152*768) one would make sense and be well received by the market. It also would more clearly set apart the PowerBook line from the iBook line.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-07 at 15:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-06



The History of the Mac OS

Can be found at www.kernelthread.com/mac/oshistory/. It's a nice lineup. Mistakes I've found so far:

- Copland was codename for 'System 8', not 'Mac OS 8'
- Puts 'Gershwin' (System 9) as an effort after the Copland debacle, but actually Gershwin was projected when Copland still promised success. And rightly, the page says that probably nobody has ever worked on Gershwin.
- Rhapsody aimed at workstation and server market? Nah, Apple wanted Rhapsody as the Mac OS, really. There was a timeplan for Rhapsody Developer Release, Rhapsody Premiere Release and Rhapsody Unified Release (which would've finally killed the classic Mac OS). However, the final version of Rhapsody was Mac OS X Server 1.0 (Rhapsody 1.1, really) as the strategy was shifted and Carbon announced.
(Still looking for mistakes myself.) ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-06 at 19:35 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-05



IBM's gloating

An IBM internal memo apparently has cropped up, saying things like: "We've handed Intel another defeat. Earlier this year, we kept them out of the Apple G5 and now we've thrown them out of Xbox." - Earlier this year, another IBM memo showed that Apple was actively thinking about choosing intel, however, it was decided that this was a no-go, because it would lead the customer-base into another of those really big transition phases (68K -> PPC, Classic Mac OS -> Mac OS X).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-05 at 19:29 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F38

Late yesterday, Apple has seeded the latest build to ADC Select and Premium members. No news in the seed notes (same as 7F34, basically). This build is expected to be released to the public early next week, according to our sources.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-05 at 12:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-04



New 10.3.3 build?

Railheaddesign.com talks about a new seed of Mac OS X. ADC Select members confirm that there is no newer build than 7F34 available so far.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-04 at 17:24 CET ]
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No cheap Macs?

Apple's Corporate Controller Peter Oppenheimer says: "We're not focused on shipping four, five, six hundred dollar PCs. We don't think there's a good way to innovate there or differentiate, and we don't think people are making a lot of money." (You'll find the whole article here...)

Which leads me - again - to the following thinking... While it's certainly true that there isn't much money in selling really cheap headless Macs (say: 499 or even 399 USD), there's certainly sales to be found in that area. The W/Lintel user has a choice: He can buy really cheap or medium or expensive hardware for computing. The Mac user can choose any one from one computer maker: Apple. And Apple's entry-level eMac costs its price. My question is: Is there a market for an eMac without monitor? And my answer, even if it costs 599 or 699 USD, is yes, because a) the eMac's display is not that good, anyway and b) the easiest way for a PC user to switch to the Mac is to keep his investment in peripherals like a display.

A headless Mac doesn't need a SuperDrive. It needs 128 MB RAM soldered to the motherboard (expandable to 640 MB RAM), it needs a 1 GHz G4 processor, the usual ports and a Combo drive (they're cheap nowadays). My old saying (it's old now alright): Take an iBook, strip off the screen and sell it for 499 USD. Yes, you could design a nicer machine - and yes people would buy that for 599 USD. Sadly, it just seems like Apple really doesn't want to do that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-04 at 16:53 CET ]
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MacWorld about MS Office 2004

MacWorld has posted a 'first look' on Office 2004. Without pictures, but better descriptions of the features than on MS' page about the new version. Worth a look if you're going to buy the update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-04 at 13:41 CET ]
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"Things I don't like about being a Mac user"

You can read the full column at osNews. It says things like: "To me, the iBook is the perfect example of what mobile computing is all about. It's small, yet can accommodate an optical drive. Battery life is exemplary. You really can use this machine away from the mains for a good four hours. And we're not talking about using huge capacity batteries that double the size of the machine. The iBook is whisper quiet in use. The advantage of using an archaic 800MHz G4 processor is that it hardly ever requires active cooling so there is no obtrusive fan noise. You can start up the machine in the quietest of environments without drawing undue attention to yourself and without annoying others. Finally, the instant wake up from sleep is a revelation. This may sound like a trivial point but not having to wait for your laptop to wake up when you open it really does make a difference to usability." Then, of course, comes the part about not liking to be a Mac user. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-04 at 11:36 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-03



Rozz Williams: Thank Apple for FreeBSD

Yes. In a column called just that, Rozz Williams talks about how FreeBSD was called 'dying' and then saved by the company that was called 'dying' all along.
The article reminded me of how linux people (or rather slashdotters) call Apple names - or rather say Apple doesn't give back to the community that much. This one sheds a different light.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-03 at 10:03 CET ]
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OmniGroup releases Beta 3 of OmniWeb 5

You can find it on their beta page. It's still a beta, but has made much progress in stability and speed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-03 at 04:36 CET ]
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news of 2004-03-01



About that 3-Step Backup

A few people have found this article quite interesting but didn't know how to exactly backup the three important directories to a FireWire harddrive. So let's shortly go through the whole process...

1.) The three important directories
The first one's your home folder. It's "/Users/yourshortusername" and contains your data (unless you've put your data all around your harddrive outside of your home folder, which you shouldn't do) along with all of your preferences for the Desktop, your applications, E-Mail accounts etc.
The second one's Application Support, which you'll find at "/System/Library/Application Support". and the third one's another support folder at "/Library/Application Support".
If you have X11 applications like The Gimp compiled for your system, you'll also have important files in other directories. You'll have to make a list and add those paths to the list of 'important directories'.

2.) Backing up
I use the Terminal for backing up. Open it (FireWire drive attached) and enter:

sudo ditto -rsrcFork "/Users/fryke" "/Volumes/FireWireVolumeName/fryke20040301"

... then hit return. It'll ask for your password and then start doing its job silently. Don't close that Terminal window. It's working. You can use the Finder to look at the FireWire drive and see the directory 'fryke20040301' get crowded. I give the date in the resulting directory, so I know when I last made a backup. Of course you'll use your own shortname instead of fryke and your FW-drive's volume name.

Then you do the same thing for the "other important directories".

sudo ditto -rsrcFork "/System/Library/Application Support" "/Volumes/FireWireVolumeName/SysAppSupport"
sudo ditto -rsrcFork "/Library/Application Support" "/Volumes/FireWireVolumeName/LibAppSupport"

And again, there's no step three. Btw.: You'll find these (and similar) articles at the upper right of the default layout for future access.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-03-01 at 12:14 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-29



Xbox 2 SDK on PowerMac G5...

The Inquirer reports that Microsoft delivers the SDK for the forthcoming Xbox 2 as a PowerMac G5 (dual 2 GHz) running a custom Windows NT Kernel.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-29 at 11:51 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-28



MacDevCenter raises a finger

... about WiFi, Bluetooth etc. - security is lacking, and maybe we shouldn't adopt WiFi where it's not necessary. However, if you're equipping an office, at some point some people will want WiFi. And adding one WAP (and some workers might bring their own...) can affect the whole network.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-28 at 13:37 CET ]
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Microsoft on every DVD?

news.com posts that the DVD forum has endorsed VC-9 (among other standards) for the HD-DVD video specification. This would/will bring part of MS Windows Media 9 to the standard. Means the standard needs to lose its proprietary status. Means Microsoft will have something like an official standard. Scary, eh? Well, it could also be good. In some way. I'm sure. Hmm... Now I gotta get out and have a drink.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-28 at 01:29 CET ]
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Mac OS X = No need for 3rd party disk utilities.

... but people only learn slowly. Here are my three survival tips for living with a modern Macintosh computer. ;-)

1.) Learn to backup and reinstall
You might not believe me, but this is the most important one. I do regular backups of my home folder [ "~/" ], system application support [ "/System/Library/Application Support" ] & [ "/Library/Application Support" ] and my applications folder [ "/Applications" ] to a firewire harddrive. If I want to "optimise" my harddrive, I erase it, reinstall Mac OS X, apply all the recent updates to Mac OS X (keepin' them on the FW drive), copy the backup onto the newly installed system and am ready to go in about 50 minutes. Yes, 50 minutes. Much less than any disk optimisation tool takes for optimising a drive! And even more important: Some disk optimisation tools actually kill your drive(s).

2.) Mac OS X comes with a Disk Utility.
Yep. The included one. It's quite good and is on the first installer CD of Mac OS X. Start up from that disk and look at the Apple menu. From there, repair your disk (checking is included and you'll want to repair it anyway if it finds something) and repair your permissions. Do both things twice while you're at it. Once a month is reasonable, once a week is quite certainly more than good enough. And you can also do them from the running system as long as everything's okay.

3.) There is no step three
... to quote Apple's iMac three-step internet connection ad.

I think it's really important to try out these things. A firewire drive (should of course be large enough to keep those backups and all of the other stuff you might want to keep on it) may look like an expensive investment to you, but it's certainly worth it and can double as a secondary "safe" system (yes, you can boot from external drives!). If you take the cost of a disk optimisation tool away from the drive's price, it looks even better. And if you think you need to defragment your drive(s): Read Apple's take on it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-28 at 00:56 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-27



Nokytech.net: PC cases like G5s

Nokytech.net (French) posts some pictures of the Lian-Li beasts.

 

They look quite okay, as you can see.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-27 at 19:14 CET ]
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Quad PowerMacs?

MacDailyNews posts a rumour about quad-processor PowerMac G5s. Their nostalgic take on it doesn't make the rumour very believable, but it would sure kick some ass if we could buy quad processor 2.5 GHz PowerMac G5s anytime soon. The low power consumption of the PPC 970FX would allow Apple to do this in a reasonable computer case (such as the current one).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-27 at 19:04 CET ]
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Good news about the iPod mini

MacWorld.co.uk has a story about the iPod mini overtaking the first generation iPod's sales of 125'000 units in the first quarter. (It's a short article.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-27 at 19:00 CET ]
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Why buy MS Office 2004 :mac?/Why buy office packages at all?

MS Office 98 was a finished product. So was Office 2001. And Office v.X. What do you need Office 2004 for?

Microsoft Office 2004 for the Mac does not offer the XML-file formats and -options that Office 2003 for the PC offers. That's one biggie. I would update to 2004 for that, maybe. But as I'm not really working with Office (I only have to have it because of file compatibility with clients), I don't see much reason to upgrade. I'd rather see better stability in another update to Office v.X. That might still happen, but I guess MS will soon enough forget about v.X, because there's 2004 now.
Microsoft has a problem. The problem is: They won't innovate that much in the next five to ten years concerning Office. They haven't innovated much in Office in the past five years. So why buy an office package? The next five years, in my opinion, will show open source alternatives catching up. We'll see an OS X native version of OpenOffice.org in that time frame, I believe, and it will be just as good as MS Office. Or at least good enough if you consider its price.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-27 at 18:48 CET ]
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Some thoughts about notebooks

Early last year, Steve Jobs named the year 2003 the year of the notebook. While this was certainly true for the whole PC industry (the ratio notebook:desktop changed faster in 2003 than in the years before), Apple acted rather against their own words. The PowerMac G5, while certainly needed, took away a lot of the initial momentum Apple was building at MWSF 2003 with the introduction of the 12" and 17" PowerBooks. Apple only updated the PowerBooks once more in 2003 and added the 15" model to the aluminum list. (And the iBooks made the step into the G4 family of processors.)

It's 2004 now for almost two months and Apple's been mum about PowerBooks and iBooks. Well, they did say that a PowerBook G5 would take some time and that they wouldn't expect one before the very end of 2004. With the PowerPC 970FX, however, a 64bit PowerBook has become the focus of many discussions around the web. The question is not if Apple will make one, the question is when it will be released.

The new PPC 970FX consumes 12.3W at 1.4GHz. The new PPC 7447A consumes 20 Watts at a clock speed of 1.42 GHz. So, actually, the G5+ is the processor that's better suited for a professional notebook! We can safely assume that if you run the G5+ at 1.4 or 1.6 GHz, it makes quite a viable notebook processor. Apple can build the machine around it, I'm sure. Whether a 12" PowerBook with the current form factor can hold the beast: I just don't know the exact size of the G5+ compared to the G4 used in PowerBooks now. But I wouldn't mind if Apple replaced the 12" PB with a 13" widescreen one offering 1152*768 pixels.

Now to the when. After yesterday's notice about PB G5s I again contacted my previous sources in the know about future PowerBooks (although they missed the 12" and 17" models in early 2003), and they more or less said that it'd still take a month or two. My take? WWDC 2004. It seems to become the culmination point for Apple this year (Apple won't attend MWBO 2004, it seems...). We'll certainly cover the possibility of a PowerBook G5 in the near future, scrambling through all the information we've already got.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-27 at 17:04 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-26



croquer.free.fr says PowerBook G5 in about 8-12 weeks

and iBooks to use Motorola's PowerPC 7447A in a future upgrade. Our own sources could not confirm croquer.free.fr's rumour that the PowerBook G5 is near to ready. However: We've been surprised in the past (Aluminum PowerBooks early last year, for example). croquer.free.fr has not much of a track record so far and has been wrong in the past (for example about IBM's PowerPC 970FX running at 2.6 GHz instead of 2.5 GHz, however nobody but ourselves had that right back then).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-26 at 17:00 CET ]
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Correction: It's quite stable. ;)

In my previous post I mention that Safari v125.1 appears 'crashy'. However after a restart I haven't had a single crash of Safari in 10.3.3 7F34. I've also received comments from a few developers: Some have also had that crash on first launch, others have not. It seems to be okay.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-26 at 16:04 CET ]
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Safari 1.2 v125.1 in Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F34

Apple has apparently updated Safari (and WebKit) for Mac OS X 10.3.3. However, this build (Safari) seems a bit crashy, sadly. (First launch: Crash. Second launch: It seems a bit better now. Haven't found any changes, really - not UI-wise, anyway.) The Mail.app build in this seed notes v614/613 as the build number.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-26 at 11:48 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F34

Apple seems to be wrapping up the work on Mac OS X 10.3.3. The single 'known issue' in this build is, that "The Knowledge Base article referenced in the installer read me is a place holder. Article is not available online yet." This means the ReadMe note has now been written and the KB article is now being prepared. Whether or not 7F34 will be the build downloadable through Software Update remains to be seen, though.

The 10.3.3 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users.
Key enhancements include:
- network volumes are now available in the Finder sidebar and Desktop for convenient access
- improved file sharing and directory services for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks
- improved PostScript and USB printing
- improved font management
- updated Disk Utility, DVD Player, Image Capture, Mail and Safari applications
- iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync
- additional support for FireWire and USB devices
- new ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
- improved compatibility for third party applications
- FileVault, FireWire 800 and WebDAV improvements from Update 10.3.1
- previous standalone security updates and Bluetooth Update 1.5
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n25713

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-26 at 11:06 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-25



Apple offers 'more memory for less'

In a new promotion. In a range from 25 to 700 USD (depending on how much you purchase and for what Mac) US customers can get rebates. However, you'll probably still be cheaper off buying RAM from a third party.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-25 at 17:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-24



A nice read (for Mac users)

David Coursey has written a column about a few of his latest XPeriences with Windows PCs. And he has titled it with the solution: "When Windows won't work, it's time for a Mac."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-24 at 14:53 CET ]
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PowerBook G5 thoughts

Larry Angell writes at macminute.com that key components for a PowerBook G5 are ready. And indeed they are. We can also safely assume that Apple wants to release a PowerBook based on the PowerPC 970FX as soon as humanly possible. However, the chip would still have to run at a maximum of 1.6 GHz in order for the PowerBook to stay usable on the road. IBM's PowerTune technology will certainly help here, but with the constraints of a PowerBook form factor, higher clock rates can not be expected with the current chip. Whether Apple will skip this one and use the new PowerPC 7447A (updated G4 by Motorola at up to 1.5 GHz) instead is speculation. However: The question is not, whether Apple will release a PowerBook G5. The question is simply about the when. The 970FX is the first G5 processor that would be acceptable in a PowerBook, but Apple may want to wait for IBM to come up with a chip that can work at higher clock rates with similar power consumption than the 970FX now has at 1.6 GHz or lower.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-24 at 12:08 CET ]
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Apple releases security update

In your software update control panel. This one's about: "Security Update 2004-02-23 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components: DiskArbitration, IPSec, Point-to-Point-Protocol, tcpdump."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-24 at 00:02 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-23



Nokia unveils Communicator 9500

 

... and infoSync.no has the story.
Symbian 7.0 (Nokia's Series 80 platform) is used as the operating system, and the new device not only finally features GPRS/EDGE access, but WiFi, too! Here's the new sysadmin-tool. :) The official description from Nokia can be found here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-23 at 18:48 CET ]
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Palm synching, Xgrid software, 10.4?

osNews has an article that talks about future options for Apple on how to handle PDAs, Xgrid etc. No news about Mac OS X 10.4 in this one as the title'd suggest, it's more about Apple's future OS strategy in general.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-23 at 11:42 CET ]
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Vertu's new mobile phone collection

I have no idea whether this one's supported by iSync, but if you're buying one, you probably have a personal human assistant that takes care of synching your address books, anyway. And I bet she looks good. ;-)

The Nokia-based handsets are made to be tactile and visual dreams come true. Using not only leather, high tech ceramics and sapphire glass but also liquidmetal alloys and stainless steel keys, the new Vertu Ascent costs a few thousand dollars/euros/pounds/francs, depending on where you live. And you won't buy it in your local electronics store - and probably comes without a contract. There's the rumour that it doesn't take prepaid cards at all. ;-) There's an article about it over at infoSync.no.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-23 at 11:31 CET ]
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iTrip works with iPod mini

It doesn't exactly fit the iPod mini, but can be attached and used. You can take a look at a picture here and read the article here at PowerPage.org.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-23 at 11:14 CET ]
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Feedback weekend about Mac OS X 10.4/10.5

The article about the next big OS X upgrade generated a lot of feedback. It seems that the fact that some ex Be engineers now work at Apple for some time gives the rumour much more credibility than I initially anticipated. However, the source has not as of yet doubled with another contact.
We are still reading all of those E-Mails that have reached us in the past two days. One of them, quite interestingly, talks about how the new Finder could work with metadata the way BeOS made use of it (mails being basically simple files the Finder could work with, for example). Wider use of metadata has been requested by many critics of Mac OS X in the past, and it certainly sounds reasonable to assume that Apple listens to them. The possibilities of making use of metadata seem infinite - and we'll see (sooner or later) how Apple thinks about it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-23 at 10:59 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-22



Destra providing iPod playable AAC?

MacRumors notes that Destra is acquiring about 30'000 Sony songs. They will be available in WMA and AAC, copy protected and playable on iPods (the AACs, of course). For more, see here (Australian IT article).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-22 at 09:42 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-20



First Mac OS X 10.4/10.5 info?

We must admit, we're doubting this one. We've received word that 10.4 is planned for 'end of 04'. So far, so good. The info goes on to inform us that Mac OS X 10.4 will go "further than anticipated", introducing not only a database-driven new Finder (although the file system itself will still be HFS+) but also a wide support for file metadata. According to the source, this will rather replace than extend current implementations of Creator/Type, Labels etc. According to the source, current (very early) builds of Mac OS X 10.4 are best described as 'radical'. Our source ends the (short) information with the addition that because of the 'radical' new features, Apple might call this one Mac OS X 10.5 instead of 10.4.
Our other sources near Apple weren't able to confirm or deny any of this - they haven't heard anything about the next OS X version yet. ADC Premier and Select members inform us that nothing about it has yet been said about it to the (ADC) public and that first information is still expected at WWDC, which will be even later this year than in 2003. While we doubt the source of this piece of information, we thought you might still be interested. We've asked for more (and more precise) information, and we'll post it as we get it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-20 at 02:08 CET ]
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iSight 1.0.2 Firmware Update

Apple has posted a firmware update for iSight through Software Update. According to the release notes: "The iSight 1.0.2 update provides improved auto exposure and auto white balance functionality, enhanced IIDC compliance and better overall performance. The iSight 1.0.2 update is recommended for all iSight users."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-20 at 01:55 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-19



Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F32

And, according to sources, notes a single known bug: "If you need to install Java 1.4.2, please do it before installing this build. There is a version issue if you install Java 1.4.2 after 10.3.3. This will be addressed in the next build." - It's not quite ready for release yet, but nearing.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-19 at 11:41 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-18



ADC up again: Nothing new...

... but a new home page with a nice graphic. No new build of 10.3.3, sadly, we're informed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-18 at 06:57 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-17



ADC site down for the moment...

Right now, connect.apple.com does not let users in. Probably an update... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 23:30 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5.0 Beta 2 released

A lot of bug fixes in this build. You'll find it here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 22:57 CET ]
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Apple releases iSync 1.4, opens WWDC registration

Today, Apple's released iSync 1.4 through Software Update. Its main new features are compatibility with newer Series 60 phones as well as the iPod mini. There are also a few bugs fixed, according to Apple.
In other news, Apple is taking registrations now for WWDC 2004, which will be held from 2004-06-28 to 2004-07-02. Obviously, Apple has pushed WWDC's date further into Summer, because Apple won't be at MWBO 2004. Whether this also means that Mac OS X 10.4 will take longer than until end of 2004 (which was previously assumed) is not as of yet known.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 21:35 CET ]
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The "First REAL Office"

Chinese Evermore Software wants to create the MS Office alternative with EIOffice 2004. Sounds interesting. Mac OS X development is mentioned - but not ready yet. Java-based, apparently. Certainly one more development to watch, if you want to leave Microsoft behind. Pricing sounds interesting, too: You lease the software for 99 USD per year or 249 USD for three years.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 17:33 CET ]
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iPod mini on Apple's frontpage

It's coming.



In stores at 2004-02-20. At least in the United States.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 16:01 CET ]
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Follow-up article about that "smart PDA"

You can find it here.
The author is going great lengths to defend his first article. He also urges readers who don't believe him to take it as speculation. As such a reader, I'm going to both flame the author and build some speculation on my own.

The flame part
So you came up with an idea when you looked at your Clié. You like your Clié, but it has some flaws. Like the thumbboard being a bit too small. Like its Mac OS X integration being too limited out of the box. Like PalmSource saying there won't be Mac OS X compatibility with Palm OS 6 out of the box. And then you frankensteined a Clié-sized, iPod harddrive wearing 'smart PDA' with probably an almost full-sized keyboard (Clié sized?!) that you now admit could very well be misinterpreted as that tablet rumour and be sold under any name, basically. Okay. Why not. ;-)

The speculation part
I've tried. I've tried to come up with something good. But whatever I think of, it either becomes too big to be a PDA (and being too big, it won't compete with PDAs and smartphones, because people like to wear those things in jackets instead of bags) or too small for using a version of Mac OS X. I'm okay with this rumour if it turns out true. I'd love to be surprised by Apple and Steve Jobs. But the way the author describes the device, it just doesn't work. Clié size doesn't go with 7" screen and/or good keyboard. Inkwell doesn't go with keyboard (why have a keyboard if Inkwell is actually good?
I hope Apple chooses to create a smartphone instead. Take a SE T610, increase it a bit so it can have a 176*240 pixel screen and larger keys, give it really good iSync integration (should be no problem at all!), give it an iPod mini harddrive (even 2 GB sounds good), give it iTunes/iPhoto integration added to the usual iSync candidates, give it iChat mobile (there already _are_ AIM clients for smartphones over GPRS, so that's doable) and an interface that doesn't suck. Nokia's Series 60 (Symbian) is quite good, actually. But I'd expect Apple to innovate here. Give it Bluetooth, Firewire and/or USB-2 (we're talking 2 or 4 GB here!), add iSync for Windows (let's say for 29.90 USD) and make the camera (640*480 is enough, 2 MegaPixels would be nicer, of course) tiltable so we can use it for iChat A/V sessions when we're at home (and connected to the Mac via USB-2/Firewire) as well as for digital photos. If it can have WiFi in that small size, do so.
Do I expect this from Apple? No. Would I buy one for ~500 USD? Yes, please.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 12:28 CET ]
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Microsoft offers not to comply to Europe's demands

In a move to calm down the jury, Microsoft has offered to add a CD with competitors' software in future Windows packages. According to Financial Times, the European Commission is shaking its head, though. Europe could, if they go to extremes, force Microsoft to exclude the Windows Media Player from their operating systems. Mr. Mario Monti already explained that he's willing to force Microsoft to lay open the communication interfaces between server and client. According to the council, the whole thing should be over come 1st of May.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 11:30 CET ]
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Apple seeds Dec 2003 gccLongBranch Tools

"This package contains a revised gcc3.3 enabling the -mlongbranch option. This option is only useful for executables/shared libraries with text addresses larger than 32Mbytes. Enabling this option causes a lower powerpc calling sequence." - Not sure what it really is, as I'm no software developer myself, but I guess it causes a lower powerpc calling sequence. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 10:11 CET ]
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Matthew Thomas' list of UI glitches in OS X

Specifically, he's targetting Mac OS X 10.3.2 and applications shipped with it. His points are mostly true, although some could probably be argued out in a good old flame war. ;-) The sad part is that he seems to think he's attacking. He seems to want a flame war. At least I can't explain why else he'd be so defensive at the end of his article...
However, I still find his collection of UI glitches an interesting read. And although he thinks it's a waste of time, I still say: Submit those bugs to Apple, if they are indeed bugs.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-17 at 08:55 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-16



ThinkSecret: No new PowerMacs in February

Among other stuff, ThinkSecret notes today that sources told them not to expect the next PowerMac G5 earlier than March.
For all we know, the new PowerMacs are ready since January, waiting only for IBM's official announcement (and availability) of the PowerPC 970FX. However, February is over in less than two weeks, anyway. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-16 at 14:39 CET ]
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Yet another Apple PDA rumour

macnet2.com has an article about such a device. However, it's more of a column about market share with a rumour-addon... We go with Steve here, though: Won't happen anytime soon. The PDA market is going down. Smart phones are replacing PDAs - and if you've got an iBook, an iPod and a SonyEricsson phone - all connected through iSync, there's not much need for a PDA any more. Putting an iPod sized harddrive (as suggested by the article) in a PDA makes it too heavy and too big (and you'd want the 40 GB drive instead of the iPod mini's 4 GB drive for sure!) for a PDA.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-16 at 12:28 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-14



Make Safari "Keyboard Kowboy" compatible :)

I've always been a fan of OmniWeb's shortcut system. As a 'keyboard kowboy' (I browse with minimal interface overhead, mostly using the keyboard only), I'm in love with "Cmd-L (focus in location bar) - 'mn' - Return" - which brings me directly to macnews.net.tc. Or "Cmd-L - 'g searchterm1 searchterm2' - Return" - which searches google.com for the two search terms. It's fantastic. And you can have that in Safari, too. Officially works with 10.2.6 (and up), 10.3 (and up), Safari 1.0 (v85), Safari 1.1 (v100) as well as Safari 1.2 (v125). The latter is not tested by the maker - but by myself. Works great. It's called "Sogudi" - and it's really a really good one. One thing, if you're going to try it out: You've sadly got to add a space-character after the shortcut. (You'll find a screenshot here.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-14 at 13:12 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-13



Macromedia releases beta version of Shockwave-Player 10

For media developed with Director MX 2004, you'll need a new shockwave plugin. The beta version is available as of today.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-13 at 14:34 CET ]
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GarageBand 1.0.1 - 21.5 MB of clarification.

Apple has released the first update to GarageBand. Reports range from better overall performance to nothing at all, but quite surely the 21.5 MB size of the download does kinda interfere with Apple's message: "This update clarifies specific alert dialogs regarding system performance." You can find the download here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-13 at 11:58 CET ]
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Xcode v1.1.1 (7K233) seeded

The full update will be released soon, according to our sources. The build is delivered as a >600MB .dmg file, with changes in many areas according to the seed notes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-13 at 10:19 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-12



More PowerPC 970FX (90nm) thoughts

... from TheRegister this time. The article can be found under this link. Looking good.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-12 at 18:23 CET ]
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When marketing people go too far...

"Install Spector on your Mac and it will record EVERYTHING anyone does on the Internet." - Last time I checked, there were quite some people on 'the internet'. But hey, haven't we all wanted super-powers sometimes? Can I sue them if their software doesn't show me the content of Steve Jobs' e-mails? ;-) (I wonder when they're going to change the description. Drop me a line...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-12 at 18:10 CET ]
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NYT about iPod and competition

(free registration required to read the whole article) - They've got kind words for our beloved digital music playing device: "The iPod is still smaller, more attractive and more thoughtfully designed than any of the upstarts."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-12 at 10:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-11



Information on PowerPC 970FX

Confirming our long standing information that the 90nm PowerPC 970 has been running well at 2.5 GHz (the expected top speed of the next PowerMac G5 in all of our 'next G5' rumours, such as our oldest mention of it), this article talks about "The Microprocessor Report Analysts’ Choice Award for Best Desktop Processor of 2003", that goes to "IBM’s PowerPC 970FX, which shipped to Apple late in the year for use in the Xserve G5 and possibly other still-unannounced systems."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-11 at 22:07 CET ]
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iChat AV 2.1 (Beta) one-way video chat

The beta, if installed by both parties, allows people to do video-chats one way. Good one! Now you can test iSight before buying it by chatting up someone who has got one. -- Update: According to a reader, this was available in 2.0, too, via contextual menu.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-11 at 16:55 CET ]
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Electronic News about 90nm PowerPC 970FX

In this article, they say: "IBM is about to deliver its very first volume production of an SOC on 90nm, said Reeves. This will be a design for Apple." The term 'SOC', which means about 'system on a chip', has Mac-heads turn their heads, but probably is no real news, as IBM already delivers PPC 970 chips to Apple on a mini-board. We'll keep you updated.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-11 at 16:54 CET ]
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One good marketing article about Apple & Steve Jobs

There are many, many articles about Apple from a marketing perspective nowadays. They're mostly badly written and "don't get the first thing about Macintosh". Or Apple. Or Steve Jobs. This one is better in many ways. (David Yoffie interviewed.)

One example: "If Steve had really been thinking in terms of the breakout strategy [about the iTunes music store], he would have started out on Windows and come to Macintosh later like everybody else in the world. But that's not the way he thinks. Just to put yourself in the position of anybody else in the world devising the same product, the first thing you do is make it for the 400 million market and then you do it for the 25 million market. He does it the other way around. I think that Steve has blinders on that make it very hard for him to break out of this pattern."
I'm sure many Mac-lovers will find this quote harsh and faulty and bad, but he does have a point. And more points in the whole article. Good read!

Another quote, this time about the continuing fascination people have with Apple, despite its ever-shrinking market share: "Well, partly it's the brand. And what does the brand stand for? The brand stands for cool, hip, cutting-edge products that capture people's imagination. Jobs is a CEO who has a flair for the dramatic, and also captures people's imagination. He is the rebellious part of the computer world. Like Bill Gates, he's another college dropout who is a self-made man, but he does it with much more flare than Gates."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-11 at 12:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-10



VPC 6.1.1 Update available

From Microsoft's site. Apparently paving the way for upcoming WinXP security updates or something. At least they say: "This update addresses security issues and bugs related to running upcoming Windows XP Professional service packs." ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 20:17 CET ]
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SonyEricsson: More phones in that video...

In the now pulled promotional video, there are other phones to be seen that have not - as of yet - been released. In the picture below you see the T650 on the left and a hinge-turnaround-kinda phone on the right.



Both look good to me at first sight.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 19:16 CET ]
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Safari 1.2 improvements laid out

Dave Hyatt has written up what's new in Safari 1.2 (v125).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 12:26 CET ]
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SonyEricsson T650 spotted in promotional video

The video has since been pulled from the web (... and is likely to appear again somewhere), but the rumours are that the T650 will replace the T610 and T630 models, featuring an 1.3 MP camera and a Memory Stick Duo Pro slot. Both additions will be welcomed by previous T610 and T630 users. (The camera of those phones, well, sucks.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 12:17 CET ]
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Wireless USB-2 and Firewire

While 1394ta.org has announced "wireless firewire" (802.15.3) in December, Intel is said to be announcing wireless USB-2 soon. Both will provide only about 55-60 Mbps, which is rather low for harddisk and DV use (what firewire is mainly used for) but might just be okay for printers, scanners and CD-RWs etc. Our take: USB will have an advantage here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 12:10 CET ]
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Update for Mac OS X 10.2.8

In Software Update, you can now download updated graphics drivers. Word is that DVD video playback should be better after the update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 12:06 CET ]
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MacRumors: More iTMS Europe delays?

In a new tidbit, MacRumors hints at various problems that might put iTMS Europe introduction further and further away. Bad news for us Europeans, Apple and the music industry?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 12:03 CET ]
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Hypertransport 2.0

The new specification has just been released, features almost double the throughput of HT 1.0 (22.4 GB/s to 12.8 GB/s) and will probably be used by PowerMacs in the second half of 2004. The next iteration of the PowerMac G5 is likely not using it just yet.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-10 at 11:58 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-07



Mac OS X 10.3.3 supports Pioneer's 107D drive

And natively so, MacBidouille reports (in French). This means that future hardware will probably make use of the drive. No other news about 10.3.3 so far. ADC members are still waiting for a new build after 7F24 was pulled from seed servers.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-07 at 15:14 CET ]
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Denial of non-rumours?

A recent MacRumors page 2 article says that any Apple-Nokia rumours are 'unfounded'. The thing is: There have been no Apple-Nokia rumours. Maybe I should add to this 'story' that also any Apple-AMD rumours are unfounded. As well as those recent Apple-LG rumours. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-07 at 13:57 CET ]
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iTMS sells silent tracks for 99 cents apiece ;-)

According to this heise.de article (German), Apple's iTunes Music Store somehow automatically took in 'silent' tracks (including a silent 30s preview) like "Silence" from Slum Village.
The silent track may make sense on the whole album, however users might get pissed off if they don't really _wanted_ to download a silent track. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-07 at 13:54 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-06



FileMaker 7 features revealed

ThinkSecret has the story. Release date: Probably first half of 2004.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-06 at 23:33 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-05



Apple releases iChat AV 2.1b & Bluetooth 1.5

BT 1.5 is only available via SU right now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-05 at 21:46 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-03



ATi announces Mobility Radeon 9700

A chip that could well be used in future PowerBooks. From their press release: "The MOBILITY RADEON 9700 visual processing unit (VPU) delivers the highest standards of performance required by the most demanding notebook users. It has more processing power than ever before seen in a notebook graphic card. It redefines the mobile computing experience for the next generation of home and business users."

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-03 at 18:39 CET ]
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Ambrosia: Snapz Pro X 2.0

Ambrosia Software today released Snapz Pro X 2.0, their screenshot and screen-camera utility. Pity that it costs 69$ (upgrade from 1.0 is 20$).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-03 at 14:47 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5 - First Impressions...

The verdict first: Great browser for big displays, almost unusable at 1024*768.

Really, if you've got the screen real estate, this is the browser for the hardcore web user. After testing it for a few hours, I've decided to use it full-time when I'm at home (a 17" TFT display connected to my iBook, giving me an extra 1280*1024 pixels) - but to use Safari when I'm reduced to the 12" screen of my iBook.

But let's get to the features that make this new browser such a revelation...

Shortcuts
It can't be said enough times: OmniWeb's shortcuts are a real timesaver. I open a new window or tab, enter 'mn' into the location field and hit enter. Boom, I'm here on macnews.net.tc. I do the same with 'movie ring' and find the results of the IMDB (internet movie database) for the keyword 'ring'. And 'trailer ring' gives me the results for 'ring' at Apple's movie trailer site. The shortcuts are just really, really good. And you can make them for your own sites.

Visual Tabs
The 'tabbed browsing' feature has been a hit since its invention (I wonder why that first one didn't get a patent for it, it was afaik some strange Windows based browser that used IE as its base in 2001...) - and finally OmniWeb gets its system, too. OmniWeb however, goes a different way with tabs and tab-bookmarks. OW shows tabs vertically in a drawer - as thumbnails you can adjust in size. You can also hide the thumbnails, so you can view more of them at the same time. However, while the graphical representation of the opened pages is really better than 'just tabs', it eats horizontal screen real estate. And that's why this feature sucks at 1024*768. Many modern pages are layed out for 1024 horizontal pixels - and OW's tabs use about 100 pixels to be at least useful. An option for a 'traditional' tab-bar (horizontal) would be nice for smaller screens.

Workspaces
OmniWeb has got no 'tab-bookmarks', OW has 'workspaces'. A workspace, however, is far more than 'just tab-bookmarks' à la Safari. You can open, say, two windows with 5 tabs each and save that as a workspace named 'work'. Then open a new workspace with one window and seven tabs and save that as 'leisure'. Type F1 to get to the first, F2 for the second workspace. Or use Ctrl-Cmd-RightArrow/LeftArrow to cycle through your workspaces. This feature is far faster than using tab-bookmarks in Safari, mostly because all your workspaces keep being loaded once they're loaded. (Sure uses some RAM, but we've got that covered, right?)

Bookmarks
OmniWeb 5 has the best bookmarks management of all available web browsers. Period.

If you're going to try the beta out, keep in mind that it is a beta version. It crashes quite often and quite unexpectedly so, but I'm sure that this browser will do you good service once it's finished, which will be soon. If you've got the screen for it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-03 at 13:36 CET ]
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Java Dev. Release

Apple releases 50.6 MB Java 1.4.2 Developer Package to ADC members.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-03 at 09:18 CET ]
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10.3.3 7F24 removed from ADC

The beta version of the Mac OS X update has been pulled by Apple, according to our sources. We also need to clear up on the size of the update. As it's a combined updater, the 75 MB are only relatively big. (10.3.2 was 36.9 MB and is obviously included in the 10.3.3 update.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-03 at 02:11 CET ]
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news of 2004-02-02



Apple releases Java 1.4.2 through Software Update

Not much more to say. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-02 at 23:02 CET ]
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Apple releases Safari 1.2

Apple has just released Safari 1.2.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-02 at 22:54 CET ]
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OmniWeb 5 Beta 1

It's out. And it works quite well indeed. There are several usability features that I've been missing during the time I had abandoned OW for Safari (because of tabs, mostly) like keyboard shortcuts and 'open link behind' and stuff. And now OmniWeb comes back with a bang. It gives back all of these and adds even more. Most prominent feature for me right now: Site preferences. (Yep, I can set OmniWeb to _always_ open macrumors.com with the font size set to 80%.) I can also set pop-up blocking on a per-site basis, so that those bad sites which actually _need_ to pop up a window _can_ open up one. (Yes, you can also just stop looking at such sites, of course.) ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-02-02 at 20:26 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-31



Monday's the day...

... at least of OmniGroup. On Monday, OG will release the public beta version of OmniWeb 5. This is an important day for me, personally, because... OmniWeb 3.x was the only browser for Rhapsody DR2, really (the first version of 'Mac OS X' that I was actively using, on a PowerMac 9500/200 and an AMD K6/200 machine). And when Apple released Mac OS X 10.0, OmniWeb was the only browser that didn't suck (remember how sluggish IE was?). With OmniWeb 4.5, OG turned to Apple's WebCore as the driver behind the browser, which added the speed necessary to the best web browser from a usability standpoint. OmniWeb 5, if all goes well, will not only be one of the fastest web browsers on the Macintosh platform, it'll also go a step further in usability with its feature set. In the days of free browsers, OmniWeb is the only pay-browser that actually is worth its money.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-31 at 16:10 CET ]
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"Smart File Sharing"

Wei-Meng Lee writes in his column at macdevcenter.com about Lava Software's PC-Mac-NET FileShare. However, I'd rather see macdevcenter.com feature articles about how easy it is to make FTP the basis for such an effort. At least from the Mac side. And there's free FTP-Server software for the Windows side, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-31 at 01:29 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-29



New seeds...

Apple has seeded Mac OS X 10.3.3 7F24 (75.5 MB, so it's quite a biggie...). Also, Safari 1.2 has been seeded to developers.

Seed note contains the following info:

The following is information on Mac OS X Update 10.3.3 build 7F24. Mac OS X update 10.3.3 is an update to Mac OS X v10.3. Please test against these major areas of changes in this update: Graphics, OpenGL games, USB devices, printing, browsing networks, Cocoa applications.

Known Issues:
- On some machines with BlueTooth support, menu bar items may not appear (e.g. clock, airport status, bluetooth status, etc.)
- On some machines with BlueTooth support, peripherals may fail to mount. If this happens, try removing the BlueTooth status icon in the menu bar (hold down Command key, click and drag off menu bar.)
- Power Mac G4 500 MHz Dual Processor machines may fail to wake up from sleep
- Slower bootup time may occur
- Installer read me currently only has placeholder text
- Some relocated applications may not get up
- Timezone may be reset to Pacific Time Zone

Our take: These issues will most probably be solved in a newer build, which is expected to be seeded next week. As Mac OS X 10.3.2 is quite stable, Apple is in no rush bringing out 10.3.3 - unless this build has support for new hardware, which is expected in February.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-29 at 19:02 CET ]
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AirPort update message:

Apparently, a simple reset of the base station solves the aforementioned problem. Thanks to the ones who were writing in!

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-29 at 12:50 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-28



AirPort Update problems?

A reader wrote in with some problems regarding the recent AirPort software update. He writes that when trying to upgrade the firmware on his AirPort Extreme base station, the administration software just disappears (read: crashes), without even a notice. (No 'Submit bug to Apple' message or anything...)

Has anyone seen the same (or similar) behaviour? Has anyone found a solution? Use the link below this message to drop us a line...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-28 at 17:38 CET ]
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Seven logic boards, then back to Linux

Steve Mallet of OSDir.com writes in his column about those lousy iBooks of 2002/2003. About how he fell in love with 'the forbidden fruit' (Mac OS X) and how after all this trouble (six dead logic boards in two iBooks) he went back to using Linux full-time, in order to circumvent vendor lock-in.

And it's really a sad, sad thing that this happens at Apple. Surely, the iBooks' quality doesn't get as much attention at Apple as the PowerBooks', but failing logic boards shouldn't happen. Or not that much, anyway.

My own iBook G3/800 12" works like a charm. Its quality is top-notch. I haven't had a single hardware problem with this iBook in its entire life. However: I had two before it. Those two had failing logic boards.
I've ordered the iBook at a local (but too distant to just pick it up) reseller in Switzerland. It came two days later. It was a 14". Not what I had ordered. Back it went, and the next day, my 12" was here. I unpacked it. (And you know how nice those days are, the new-Mac-unpacking-days...) I installed everything I needed. Then the screen went black. Woops? I tried again. Sure enough it worked. For three hours. Then I sent it back. DOA. They replaced it instantly and I got the new one only about a week after the 14" had arrived. Good service! This one lasted about a week before it went black the first time. I tried. I didn't want to have it replaced once more. But after a few going-blacks, I sent it back again. Again it was acknowledged DOA and replaced instantly, which meant another two days without my iBook. I was at the time finishing my latest book called 'Mein|Eid', so I had to take the files to my PC running Windows XP, where I finished the book. That's the real reason why the font Minion Pro is used throughout the book. ;-) Then I got the new replacement iBook.

Ever since, I've been a happy user of the little 'book that could. It's the perfect notebook for me (until the 12" PowerBook came, but when I heard it got hot, I was glad I still had the iBook...) as a writer. For graphics design, I wish I had a 15" PowerBook now and then, but when I hear that 'some of them' have problems with the display, I think I might just wait for the next revision. Hopefully, there'll be one before the PowerBook G5, because that's a first revision again. And those do have problems, usually.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-28 at 16:59 CET ]
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"A visit from the FBI"

You've just got to read this. It's about a teacher inviting an FBI computer security guy. It's fun to read, anyway, but further down the page, you'll find stuff like this: "If you're a bad guy and you want to frustrate law enforcement, use a Mac." There's other Mac hints, too. Such as the FBI using Macs internally, because OS X is secure from installation to using and can run UNIX and Windows software (via VPC, probably), too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-28 at 15:24 CET ]
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Old AirPort cards can access all channels...

Since the update to AirPort 3.3 yesterday, you can now access all WiFi channels. This was a drawback before, since AirPort Extreme base stations (and other base stations) could set the channel to something old AirPort cards couldn't even see. Now, all's well.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-28 at 10:49 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-27



Gates about security...

You'll find a few quotes in this c-net article. There's a lot of bla-bla. I'd love to ask Bill Gates to install a Windows XP machine for me with broadband connection. Why? Because as soon as the Windows XP installation has found the network card, the computer is attacked. I had the installation of my sister's PC fail two times until I even guessed that this could be the problem. However, after having installed Windows XP: How do you get your insecure system up-to-date without a network connection? How do you download a firewall software without a network connection? You guess right: You need a Mac OS X or Linux machine with a CD-burner. ;-) (Or a patched and secured Windows XP machine, of course... But that's not really an alternative, is it?)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-27 at 17:27 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-26



Apple releases January Security Update

7.8 MB in your SU control panel. Info: MacCentral.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-26 at 23:03 CET ]
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New wireless drivers

OrangeWare has released a new driver version for Mac OS X. With the driver installed, you can use many "PC" WiFi products such as CardBus cards (with TiBooks etc. that have a PC-Card slot) and PCI-cards. It's - or so they say - the only solution for 802.11a wireless networks. A definite license costs 15 USD per seat - a demo version is available at the link above.
While OrangeWare's driver has been available before, the new version now supports 3com's widely available network cards that use the Atheros chipset. If you want to be truly independent, you might consider buying a D-Link, Sony or Linksys (or other) card that brings 802.11a/b/g compatibility to your PowerBook/PowerMac.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-26 at 14:08 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-23



The Mac turns twenty.

Yep. Tomorrow's the day. Some people expect new Macs and/or iPods that day or the Monday after. We've been saying that the new PowerMacs would come in the month after MWSF 2004, so this would be a nice date for them.
If you speak German and can see 3sat, the TV station will spend some time for the Mac's birthday in 'neues' on Monday at 21.30h.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-23 at 19:25 CET ]
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5 things for iPod software 3.0...

Harold Martin writes at this little o'reilly blog about the things he wants the iPod to have. He mentions line-in recording. But I'd rather have that and an integrated stereo microphone, please. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-23 at 19:22 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-22



Mac OS X 10.3 Server reviewed (part 1)

Read Slashdot's Pudge's review part one here. Part two will follow soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-22 at 00:50 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-21



ShapeShifter 1.1 released

... and the new version (.dmg) brings the changes needed for Max' themes to shine. We'll see text colour changes etc. Not entirely needed for a working environment, of course, but fun all the same. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-21 at 23:43 CET ]
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New PowerMacs ready

According to one source which previously informed us about the next revision of the PowerMac G5, Apple is ready to deliver the PowerMacs based on the PowerPC 970+ (90nm process) at up to 2.5 GHz.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-21 at 09:43 CET ]
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Use your Mac's keyboard with GarageBand

You can use this driver software called 'MidiKeys' to use GarageBand without a MIDI or USB keyboard (well, not that kind of USB keyboard...). MacBidouille has an article in French about using it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-21 at 00:47 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-20



no updates?

Yes. We've been off the 'net for almost 10 days now, which has various reasons. The most important one: The cable modem died and was not replaced until today. Now, everything should be back to normal - and we'll provide updates on a day-to-day basis as usual.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-20 at 21:10 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-11



Now that the music industry is dead... ;-)

I initially wanted to name this little article 'Now that the music industry is saved... ;-)' but noticed that it isn't and remembered that WIRED magazine once said (not too long ago) that 2003 was the year the music industry died. Oh, well, this is not about music piracy for once, this is about video piracy...

This news.com article is talking about possible solutions for the video industry. The article (and the McKinsey source they're quoting) says that while the damage is already done for music, it's not yet for video. Ignoring, of course, the wide availability of movies in DivX, Xvid and other formats, free for all (illegally) on various file-sharing networks.

Broadband, for many, many users, is already here. The kids (whether they're rich or poor, whether they have a credit card or not!) are downloading TV show episodes and movies as soon as they are out. Sometimes even before they're out. So let's just say: The damage is done already. And as it happened when Napster was stopped, the file-sharing won't die when 'they' stop one or two services.

Still, the article has one message that I think is important: The content providers should address the problem by working with the broadband providers. Cablecom Switzerland charges me each month for internet access, but they also send me my phone bill, as my home phone is connected to the cable modem. Wouldn't it be great if I could go to Cablecom's website, choose a flick or TV series episode and automatically get charged a bit after the download has worked? They could use an open standard, say MPEG-4, and add the same protection Apple is using.

And here's why this makes it to macnews.net.tc: Apple already has the solution! Or most of it. Three easy steps, Mr. Steven P. Jobs: Create a video jukebox (like iTunes but for video) and call it iFlix (or whatever), then copy the store solution you're using for iTMS. The third step? License the store to broadband providers. Like that, Apple doesn't have to provide the bandwidth. Like that, Apple doesn't have to address the video industry themselves. Like that they can conquer the world before Microsoft knows what hit them, because it'll be a self-runner.
There's a fourth step, of course. Apple would have to add a third iPod product. The portable video player you can attach to your home cinema or TV set.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-11 at 21:09 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-10



iPhoto 4 first-try report

After installing iPhoto 4, the application updates your photo archive, which can take quite a while, depending on the amount and size of images you have archived. After that, you'll be surprised at the speed. Well, I was, at least. The new options are nice additions, but it seems mostly evolutionary than revolutionary. Most features are known from iTunes (sharing options, smart albums), so they feel quite natural, which is a good thing. But the most important thing about this release is quite certainly the fantastic speed of the application. On an iBook G3/800, iPhoto rocks. No complaints. Have a faster Mac? You'll be happy.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-10 at 16:24 CET ]
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WIRED looks at the birth of Macintosh 20 years ago...

Their article summarises the time before 1984-01-24, when the famous 1984-spot aired. Did you actually know that Steve Jobs was against the Mac project at the beginning?

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-10 at 16:17 CET ]
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The 20 Macs that mattered most...

WIRED is covering them with 20 little stories. Some of you might be too young to have even been there, when the first, the 128K Macintosh, was released. But it's a good read and a little bit of nostalgy for all of us, how ever old or young we are... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-10 at 03:30 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-09



Is rebranding iPod/iTunes through HP (and possibly others) the solution?

We've (among many others) criticised Apple for basically locking iPod and iTMS together so that no other digital music players can play tracks bought through iTMS as well as that iPod cannot play tracks sold by other online music services. Now Apple has announced a deal with HP, which will essentially sell iPods that look HP (but show the Apple logo at startup). But is this the right answer?
Well, yes and no. The game's still the same, basically. For buyers of HP's iPod clones, the rules are the same as for Apple's direct customers: They're locked into the iTunes Music Store (unless Apple and/or HP go a step further and add WMA playback to iPod/iTunes). While Apple is likely to announce more of the same deals later this year (there are several possible partnerships), Apple is unlikely to add WMA playback and probably won't allow HP to do it, as it would kill the iPod rather quickly, should HPs player be able to do more in this game.
However, with iPod being the top-selling player and iTMS being the top-selling online music store, chances are that people see it the way Apple wants, i.e. that if you want the most choice, you lock yourself into Apple's game. Which isn't bad either, because iPod (and the clones that will come) is the most attractive and the best digital music player (albeit not the cheapest) and the iTMS is the biggest and easiest-to-use online music store.

Several questions, however, remain...

1.) When will international versions of iTMS appear? In time for the market?
2.) Which (if any) other players will do the same as HP and sell rebranded iPods? (And when?)
3.) How will Apple's partnerships with Pepsi and AOL play out?

We've also got to remember that this game is only very young now. iTMS is not yet one year old - and after all it was the kick-off for the legal online digital music revolution. 2004, in our opinion, is the year that will decide much of what's going to happen in the rest of the decade. There are very big names besides Apple that will also have a voice: Microsoft and Sony being only two of the strongest.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-09 at 17:23 CET ]
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A comparison between high end PCs and Macs

RobGalbraith.com has published a 10+ pages report comparing PCs and Macs in digital photo handling. While the Mac doesn't come out at the top, the comparison looks much better than a year ago, when the dual G4 PowerMacs were easily crushed by the competition.
However, it remains to be seen what the 90nm PowerPC 970+ processor can add to the bottom line - along with other enhancements to the underlying hardware.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-09 at 17:08 CET ]
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About those 90nm PowerPC 970+ chips...

IBM is set to introduce the chips at up to 2.5/2.6 GHz (depending on other factors such as cache and bus speeds) in early February. The recently introduced Xserves use the 2.0 GHz variant of this new chip already. And Apple will, according to our sources, reveal the new PowerMacs with 2.0, 2.2 and 2.5 GHz (middle and high-end versions are dual) at the end of January or early February. All of the new machines will make use of the new chip, although there's the possibility that the low-end version will initially use the older 130nm chip to still sell more of those (with a silent upgrade later on). This, however, seems less likely now that Apple's already taking orders for 90nm chip Xserves. We'll see soon enough...

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-09 at 15:44 CET ]
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HP iPods, VPC 7, WinExpose

Apple an HP have announced that HP will sell rebranded iPods and include iTunes with their PCs.
Microsoft will release VPC 7 in June (with or without MS Office 2004).
And here you'll find Expose for Windows. It's shareware for 9.95$, and it quite certainly will be stopped by Apple, we think. So if you use Windows, grab a copy as fast as you can. ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-09 at 15:36 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-06



Feedback...

Thanks to all of those (more than two dozens) viewers that have expressed their thankfulness to our service today! We're quite proud here to be one of the few sites that actually were able to provide an (almost, 60s) live text-feed of the keynote by Steve Jobs. One user wrote: "1. One minute reloads. Most sites did not have this. And to top it off, the only one that worked besides yours was Macminute (their window could not be minimized to a smaller size) and their reload died halfway through the Keynote Presentation. 2. Ran efficiently and without errors. 3. Informative! [...] The most annoying site went to Macteen who asked for a donation three-quarters of the way through the Keynote." Again, thank you!

Looking forward: We're still waiting for those new G5s, Steve. Reports were in (and confirmed) that a PowerMac G5 revision at up to 2.5 GHz would be ready for today's show or within the month after the show. However, Steve Jobs also promised 3 GHz G5s within a year after the introduction of the original G5, which will be in June. This is going to be close... ;-)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-06 at 21:35 CET ]
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After the keynote...

So this was it, this was the keynote of MWSF 2004. And while there wasn't anything that wasn't on the rumour sites (such as ours) before the show, it was an entertaining one. GarageBand came kinda late (for the rumour sites), but was worthwile at the keynote. This sounds like big news for musicians, and 49$ is certainly a low price for iLife - and you're getting it for free with a new Mac, which is quite nice.

But about those iPods... The pricing scheme looks a bit strange now: 249$ buys you 4 GB, 299$ buys you 15 GB (that's one large gap), 399$ buys you 20 GB (that's a very small GB gap and a large price gap) and 499$ buys you 40 GB (that sounds about okay, just like before). The 'iPod mini', although more expensive than anticipated, is one cool unit. Its style is unprecedent, taking the iPod into the new year very well. It's small and light enough for everyone - and still packs a thousand songs like the original 5 GB iPod (Apple started to count differently when adding AAC as a format for the iPod). And while this may or may not be enough for your music collection, this is still a lot of music for such a small device. We're looking forward to trying one out.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-06 at 20:18 CET ]
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The Keynote Live Transcript

(We post the news in 'normal' mode, i.e. the newest item will be the lowest item. macnews.net.tc is set to reload every 60 seconds, so please do not reload the page by hand.)

• Steve Jobs just entered the stage. The crowd is cheering, of course, and we're now set for the usual roundup beginning.
• Steve mentions Mac's 20th birthday. "The computer for the rest of us."
• Steve shows us the "1984" ad. - A free "1984" poster for attendees.
• Now we're in the roundup. Panther is the subject. The 150 new features are reiterated...
Final Cut Express 2.0 officially announced. Richard Kerris is demoing it now. 299$, 99$ upgrade for FCE owners.
• Next up: Microsoft Office 2004. Roz Ho, MBU talks about Word, Excel and PowerPoint having had its birth on the Mac platform. Kris Barton is demoing MS Office 2004 now.
• New to MS Office for the Mac: Project Center. Available throughout MS Office applications. Networked, too. On a server or your iDisk. MS Office 2004 for Macintosh will be available in Spring 2004.
• Next up: The G5. Virginia Tech, more specifically. A video is shown about the 'BigMac' (System X).
Xserve G5. 1U. Single & dual 2.0 GHz G5 processors. 3 models: 2'999$ (single), 3'999$ (dual) and 2'999$ (dual, computer node). Also updated: Xserve RAID (3.5 TB in 3U, 2 Gb Fibre Channel). Xserve RAID also certified for Windows Server 2003 and two linux distributions.
• iTunes/Music Store is next up. 30 millions of songs sold. iTunes Music Store has 70% of the legal downloads statistically. 50'000 audio books sold since October. New today in iTMS: Billboard Charts. And: 12'000 new Classical tracks. Totals to 500'000 available tracks. Makes iTMS the largest online music store in the world. "So that is iTunes." (i.e.: no international stores yet.) :/
• Next up: iLife '04. "Like MS Office, but for the rest of your life." ;) Contains iTunes 4.x, iPhoto 4 (#1 feature: supports up to 25'000 photos, smart albums, rendezvous photo sharing, editing while doing a slideshow [rotating, rating etc.], improved slideshows with better song selection [iTunes playlists] and transitions [cube!] book-printing available in Japan now, in Europe in March), iMovie 4 (trim clips, timeline alignment guides, new titles, iSight import, audio scrubbing), iDVD 4 (new themes, enhanced menus, enhanced slideshows, navigation maps, pro encoding 2 hours on one disk, now works on Macs without SuperDrives), GarageBand - the recording studio for everyone (digitally mix up to 64 tracks, 50 MIDI instruments, 1'000 loops from SoundTrack, record live audio, 200 pro-quality audio effects). (Steve Jobs is playing around with Garage Band for quiiiiiiiite a while now. Must be fun.) ;) Now James Mayer is playing the guitar into the Mac, while Steve's selecting different guitar amps. iLife '04 sells for 49$. Cheap enough! GarageBand alone is worth a few hundred bucks.
• USB-keyboard with 49 keys for 99$ that you can use with GarageBand (not Apple made, just reselling it).
iPod. Last quarter: 730'000 units sold. Today: 15 GB instead of 10 GB in the 299$ model. New Apple in-ear headphones (sold separately). New ad. Not one more thing? Ah, yes. The rest of the market... Introducing: The iPod mini... 4 GB, 1'000 songs, 0.5 inches, 249$. Alu. And sexy. And really mini. ;-) The four buttons are on the solid state scroll wheel. And in several colours. Silver, gold, blue, pink, green. Anodized aluminum. February for the US, April for the world.
• One more thing... (?) Nope, that was it.

Side note for the keynote: Rio released a new 4 GB MP3 player probably based on Cornice's 1" harddrive today. The player retails for 249$. So, basically, Apple has the same stuff at the same price in a much nicer package.
(The date and time you see below this article is changed everytime the transcript is updated. Thus it will not reflect the date and time when we actually started reporting here, which is about 3 hours before the keynote.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-06 at 20:12 CET ]
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Palm delivers Palm OS 6

... to device makers (Sony, PalmOne etc.). This'll mean a nice round of PDAs in springtime, we guess.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-06 at 17:06 CET ]
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ThinkSecret MWSF roundup

ThinkSecret posts its rumour roundup for MWSF 2004 keynote, which starts in less than 4 hours.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-06 at 14:11 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-05



MWSF 2004 Keynote Coverage

We'll be covering the keynote live here on the site and will install an even lighter theme for that time. It will auto-reload every minute, so you won't have to hit that button over and over again. ;-) We're looking forward to the event as much as you do. Happy waiting-time... You can test-drive the MWSF-layout at http://macintosh.fryke.com/cgi-bin/macnews.cgi/index.mwsf if you want to.

The QuickTime streaming link is back up (was up in December and then taken down again): http://stream.apple.akadns.net/.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-05 at 23:39 CET ]
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GarageBand is 'in'.

According to this MacRumors article, Apple will definitely announce GarageBand tomorrow.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-05 at 23:14 CET ]
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Pre-MWSF-keynote-rumour-addons...

MacRumors mentions that Philips' Stremium is coming to the Mac.
Even more interestingly, Cornice is now offering a 2.0 GB 'Storage Element' (MacMinute has a PDF document about it), which would fit a mini iPod very well (sells for 70$ in large quantities).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-05 at 22:18 CET ]
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news of 2004-01-02



OmniWeb 5 news...

The masters of the web browser user interface are at it again: OmniWeb 5 is coming in 2004. A preview site shows you some of the new features, more to follow at MWSF 2004 (a preview version will be made available in February).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-02 at 00:07 CET ]
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