news of 2005-06-01

Switched to

You'll find the new pages here. You can still look at the archives here (we won't transfer all the old articles unless someone comes up with a really easy way for blosxom to blogger) and we'll keep the pages active. RSS is working again, too. This is the link for it, it's an Atom feed now. For everything else, head on to the new pages, please. The domain name should be changed to take you to the new pages already.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-06-01 at 03:36 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-28

Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C21

The combo updater is about 43 MB in size, currently. It'll try and fix the remaining bugs from 10.4 and 10.4.1. Apart from "general" usability and reliability, the note for the seed mentions - among other things - changes/fixes in the .Mac Notification Client, Automator, AddressBook, AppleScript, CoreGraphics, Display Preferences, Finder Search files, iCal, iDisk Syncing, iWork, JavaScriptCore, Mail, AirPort networking, Printing, Safari, Spotlight. Sounds like an interesting and well-needed updated. It's expected to have a rather short development cycle and will probably arrive in Software Update in mid June at the very latest. We'll continue to inform you about it, as we get more information.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-28 at 13:16 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-23

(Almost) Thanks, Matt!

Okay. Spotlight has simple find-by-name search. Just add quotes to the searchterm. Apple: Shoot the people who're in charge of explaining how to work Spotlight, please. After torturing them. M'kay?
Update: Nah, putting words in quotes doesn't really do what I want. It only finds files by name if you put in a whole word. "uff" won't find folders called "Stuff", for example. Too bad, too bad. So my wishlist is still where it was. Look at the article below...
Some people state that Apple is in fact advertising how Spotlight's supposed to work here. But if you look for simple find-by-name: Nada... "If you are working on a project and are trying to find that Photoshop image with a text layer but forgot the filename, just search on the text layer and Spotlight will find it for you." - Apple: I did _not_ forget the filename and there's no text in my Photoshop picture. Now what?

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-23 at 18:56 CET ]
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Wishlist for 10.4.2

- Bring back simple "find by name" in the Finder.
- Make Spotlight a user's choice, so he/she can enable/disable it for etc.
- Enable Quartz 2D Extreme by default. It's running fine, it seems.
- Bring back simple "find by name" in the Finder.
- Take the hack for synching a Nokia 9500/9300 and enable support in iSync yourself. Hate to do it over and over again whenever Apple does update iSync but leave that important bit (well, for me at least) out - like it happened with 10.4.1.
- Bring back simple "find by name" in the Finder.
- Fix overall system performance and compatibility issues. (That's the wording for every update to Mac OS X, right?)
- Oh, and yeah: Bring back simple "find by name" in the Finder. It's important.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-23 at 13:06 CET ]
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Renewed Apple-intel talks?

The Wall Street Journal talks about yet another rumour (or is it more?) of Apple being in talks with intel about the use of intel's chips in future Macs. While not completely impossible (Rhapsody DR1 and DR2 were running fine on intel/AMD processors at the time, and so does at least Darwin in current versions), a move to using intel processors would involve yet another transition. Cocoa applications would need a recompile (and then be either "P" for PowerPC code, "I" for intel code or "PI" for "fat" applications that run on both 'sides', just like Apple did with Rhapsody back then), but porting Carbon over could be a harder task. Still: Not completely unbelievable.

While the WSJ article doesn't expect Mac OS X to run on _any_ hardware with intel chips (only on Macs, just like before, even though they'd use PC CPUs), I'm sure there'd be the danger of people actually finding ways of doing it all the same.

I personally hope that IBM will put an end to such diva-like behaviour on Apple's side and deliver more and better PowerPC chips to Apple soon enough. We need the 64 bit PowerBook, the dual processor dual core PowerMac as well as a subnotebook with a G4-replacement processor that runs both quicker and cooler. But if IBM nor FreeScale can do that, does it really matter, should a PowerBook in 2007 contain some intel processor - if it delivers the performance users crave with decent battery life and software compatibility? Apple needs options. The cheapest one is probably to stick with IBM and FreeScale for the time being. But if intel really has the better plan for the future (and really: Neither you nor I know that for sure), maybe it is time for another big transition. (And those usually take about five years at Apple.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-23 at 12:46 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-17

Apple releases 10.4.1 8B15

As we've correctly predicted, Apple has released Mac OS X 10.4.1 in mid-May. The updater is about 36 MB in size and fixes various issues people have been having with 10.4 so far. It also adds a layer of security to how Dashboard widgets are handled by Safari (we've also covered that before).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-17 at 02:37 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-13

Widget Wars Episode 3

So, we read today that there's more to the Dashboard security issue than we thought. Apple's still going to basically fix this in 10.4.1, though. I'd go as far as saying: Right now, Tiger users aren't very secure. This is certainly no good news for Apple. For now: Don't install any widgets, stay away from visiting strange places on the web and do _not_ open unwanted E-Mail attachments. They basically could contain a widget that installs itself as a widget that looks like one of Apple's and replaces one of Apple's but does different - and possibly very, very bad - things.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-13 at 12:06 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-12

Apple releases DVD Player update (4.6)

Apple has fixed some issues in its Tiger DVD Player software. You can read about it and download it here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-12 at 13:44 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.1 8B15

Among other fixes in this build stands out this one: "Fixed issue where user would not be prompted before downloading a widget." - So now you know how Apple's reacted on the buzz about malicious widgets already. There's a new known issue with the new build, too (Address Book to .Mac synching) - so this is not the final build just yet. We still expect Apple to release 10.4.1 early next week. The update will be around 36 MB in size and fix various things that were found in Tiger 8A428, the retail final version of Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-12 at 02:13 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-11

Please, Apple, hear me...

I want a new preference in Spotlight's System Preference Pane. I want to be able to click on a radio button that says something like "Finder inline search by name instead of content". That would be really nice.
For now, I have to use this macosxhint in order to get almost a little comfortable with the Finder. And _wow_ is name-based searching fast compared to Spotlight. And _wow_ do I love how I get results that don't hop all over the place in the results window...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-11 at 10:22 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-10

Apple, iTMS, video, iPods, slowly.

For quite a while, there's been the discussion whether Apple will ever create a video-capable iPod (or different name) player. Also, there's been the discussion whether Apple would ever sell video content similarly to how iTunes Music Store sells music.
Early on, whenever I said "Apple should sell video", critics came in saying how movies are too big in file size and how people don't want to watch videos on small devices etc. My comment always was that video didn't necessarily mean whole movies, but rather that things could start small. Music videos. Movie trailers. TV shows. Apple has put movie trailers (in high resolution) on iTMS for a while, now iTMS is also selling music videos. I guess an ITOLDUSO is needed here. And while we're at it: I'm pretty sure that the iPod Photo (and its successors, which will probably just be called the iPod color) will be able at some point to display these music videos. It makes sense. It's fun. And it's feasible.

I guess Apple, right now, is watching the industry getting its feet wet with video stores etc. - and I sure hope they'll be there when needed. And will bring us the full iTunes Video Store at some point in time. We'll talk again.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-10 at 22:54 CET ]
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Symantec threatens Macs

Ever wondered who's going to be the bad boy bringing the first real virus threat to Mac OS X? Symantec's at least trying hard, it seems. "In a statement, Symantec confirmed that there was a false alarm problem with recent anti-virus updates to its Apple Mac security software, adding that the problem has now been fixed." - Will enough false alarms weaken the Mac's position as the safe operating system? Well, whatever. Just make sure to a) deinstall any antivirus software you've installed on your Macs and b) not to install any in the future. Unless a real threat that cannot be solved _without_ antivirus software should ever pop up on the Mac, that is. And let's hope Symantec (and other "virus companies", as I call them) doesn't spend too much money to bring Mac OS X to its knees.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-10 at 15:58 CET ]
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2005-05-10: We have store. :)

Switzerland now has iTMS access. Better late than never, Apple. Thx.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-10 at 02:05 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.1 8B13

Apple's just seeded build 8B13 of the first update to Tiger. The new build has _one_ known issue (printing to some Lexmark printers via USB). One of the next builds should become the final version. 10.4.1 is still expected to hit Software Update in mid-May.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-10 at 00:21 CET ]
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iTunes 4.8 released

Apple has released iTunes 4.8. The update is required - according to sources - for the next wave of iTMS countries, which is expected tomorrow. The download page for iTunes 4.8 mentions (in the fine print at the bottom): "Purchases from the iTunes Music Store are available only in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States." Nice. Now if only it were tomorrow, and the list would be accurate, hopefully. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-10 at 00:11 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-09

Malicious widgets? Don't be afraid. Be careful.

The web's abuzz with talk of how Dashboard widgets are a security risk. Worst case scenario: It's almost as bad as Windows without a firewall using an unpatched Internet Explorer. But let's get this straight, shall we...

Let's say I develop a widget that does nothing but erase all of the user's files. Without user interaction, no button to click. That's possible, since widgets can execute console commands. If I'm VERY evil, I'll create a nice page for that widget, advertising it as something you really want. (Imagine it to be the widget you've been waiting for.) So you'll download it. Say, in Safari. It gets automatically installed in your user's Library's widgets folder. But SO FAR NOTHING'S HAPPENED YET! No files have been erased. So, no: A click on the web won't suddenly erase your files. Sure: If you _activate_ that widget in Dashboard or Amnesty, it'll do its trick. But that's expected and well-documented behaviour. Apple can't hinder a user from destroying his or her own files! I can write AppleScripts that erase your files, applications that erase your files, I can even just tell you to try "rm -rf ~/*" in your Terminal yourself. If you happen to try out what I (well, the luckily non-existent veryevilme) suggest, you're on your own. But that's certainly not the same thing as internet worms finding their way through a security whole onto the Windows PC of your choice and doing malicious things _without_ any user interactivity.

For the time being, you should disable Safari's option to execute known files on its own. But more basically, you just shouldn't download everybody's widgets and try them out. If you must, do it using a test account on your Mac (so it'll only erase the test account's files, not your real ones).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-09 at 13:22 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-06

Quartz 2D Extreme in Tiger: Turn it on.

If you've read John Siracusa's extensive review on Tiger, you might have seen the part about Quartz 2D Extreme being turned off by default. It certainly helps taking a load off the CPU for the GUI, so you might want to turn it on to test it for a while. (I haven't experienced any glitches with it myself, so it stays "on" for the time being.) You can always turn it off again, should you want to.
To turn it on, simply install the developer tools that come on the Tiger installation DVD. They come with a lot of info-stuff that you might not want to install. Make sure to choose what gets installed and what not. In "/Developer/Applications/Performance Tools" you'll find "Quartz". In one of its menus, you can turn the feature on. However, it's turned off again as soon as you quit the app. Make sure to force-quit it, however (using Cmd-Opt-Esc or the Activity Monitor), and the feature stays turned on even through reboots.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-06 at 08:54 CET ]
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Bonjour Windows

Apple greets Microsoft in French. No, what I mean is: Apple's released Bonjour for Windows (versions 2000 and up). This basically is a new (and renamed) version of Rendez-vous for Windows. The 14 MB download enables Windows machines to discover Bonjour (ex Rendez-vous) enabled printers (as well as printers shared by AirPort base stations or Macs running Tiger) and webservers published via Bonjour. Apple says: "Since Apple first launched Bonjour in 2002, every major maker of network printers has adopted Bonjour. With the Bonjour Printer Wizard, computers using Windows can also experience the benefits of effortlessly discovering and printing to these Bonjour printers." - What they mean, of course, is that Microsoft has somehow overslept and that Apple brings PC users easier network printing. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-06 at 01:29 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-05

Apple seeds first build of 10.4.1

Apple has seeded a first build (8B9) of the first update to Tiger to ADC Select members, our source notes. There are several areas that improvements take place. Basically, 10.4.1 will be a "cleanup" job for Tiger 10.4, about 35 MB in size.

The following stuff is what's being worked on:
- file sharing using AFP and SMB/CIFS network file services
- using DHCP in wireless networks
- user login when accessing LDAP and Active Directory servers
- core graphics including updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
- synchronization with .Mac
- Address Book, iCal, Font Book, Mail, and Preview applications
- Dashboard widgets: Address Book, Flight Tracker, Phone Book, and World Clock
- creating and burning disk images using Disk Utility and System Image Utility
- compatibility with third party applications and devices

We'll report on 10.4.1 as it's being prepared for a release in mid-May.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-05 at 14:05 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-03

Tiger, iSync and the Nokia Communicators: Success.

Yep, it works. But ONLY in Tiger (iSync 2.0)! This tip is taken from the apps page at First, you have to remove any sign of ever pairing your Nokia Communicator 9300 or 9500 both on your Mac and your communicator. (Bluetooth preference pane on the Mac, Bluetooth settings in 'Connections' of System Settings on the communicator.) Any. All of them. Get rid of them. Cool. Close iSync. I mean it: Close iSync. Also get rid of the menubar item for iSync. For some reason it won't work with the communicator, anyway, you'll have to use the Also do reboot the communicator after removing the pairing(s). For some reason, it didn't work for some users (me included) if I didn't reboot the device.
Now: In the Finder, Ctrl-click or right-click on /Applications/ and select "Choose Package Contents".
In there, move to Contents/ PlugIns/ ApplePhoneConduit.syncdevice/ Contents/ PlugIns/ PhoneModelsSync.phoneplugin/ Contents/ Resources. In there, copy some icon (NOK6600.tiff, for example) and name it NOK9500.tiff (or NOK9300.tiff). You can also get a more fitting icon from this package (thanks to Kenny who posted them on
Now open MetaClasses.plist in TextEdit. Look at the structure of each phone's entry. Every phone has a key and a dict entry. Go to the right place and insert the text here. Replace 9300 with 9500 accordingly if you have a 9500. Save your work, close the file, all Finder windows and open the Bluetooth Preference Pane. If you add your communicator now, you can select iSync! We're halfway there.

Now iSync should open automatically, or you can open it by hand. The communicator should already be there, albeit maybe with the icon of a wrong type of phone, because we just copied some .tiff there. Make sure that you know what you do, you can set the Mac to erase the communicator first. I did combine the databases and handyworked myself through cleaning up on one device (the commie) and then synch again. If you try and synch now, iSync wants to install a package on the phone. Do it. It comes to the Messaging part of the communicator. From there, open it and install it. Ignore any incompatibility messages, we won't ever start the app, anyway.
After that: Synch again. My commie showed me a LOT of error messages, but synched fine. The second time around, it's no more error messages - and synching is also a lot faster than I'm used to. I've checked it twice: It works fine. Fine, fine, fine. Success. :)

Now that we know that there is no technical reason for Apple not to include support for the communicators, here's to the hope that the next little update to either Tiger or iSync will add support for them out of the box.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-03 at 19:38 CET ]
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New iMac G5

Apple today introduced the new iMac G5 with up to one 2.0 GHz G5 processor (1.8 GHz for the lower end models). Of course, Tiger is the default operating system now. The machines also sport 512 MB RAM as the default and an ATi Radeon 9600 with 128 MB VRAM. Quite certainly, the lowest-end PowerMac now looks rather weak.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-03 at 15:13 CET ]
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news of 2005-05-02

Rob Enderle at it again...

Whenever Robbie-Boy writes an article about products by Apple, he seems to beg for flame-mail. I sure sent him one. This time, he's talking about Tiger, Windows XP 64, Longhorn and Linux. In the article he states: "Borrowing heavily from what we had seen in Longhorn (Microsoft's next version of Windows) last year, Tiger is an impressive piece of work." Ignoring, of course, the fact that Apple's been working on those features for at least 1.5 years, quite probably more.
He also states: "On the product side, Tiger has a number of features that appear to have been pulled from Longhorn's preview last year. The biggest one is "smart search," a feature that allows you to rapidly search a variety of file types to find what you need. With storage approaching a Terabyte now, this is an incredibly useful feature and one Windows users will have to get from a third party until Longhorn ships late next year." - Again ignoring how long Tiger's been in development, but also ignoring that Longhorn users will only get WinFS in beta form at the end of 2006. All Longhorn will have - according to current plans, at least - is smart folders, which are only saved search criteria. Nothing like Spotlight's metadata-crawling desktop search engine.
Rob Enderle: You're an ignorant, arrogant man, who's begging to be flamed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-02 at 23:09 CET ]
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QuickTime Broadcaster 1.5

Apple has released the new version today. The update brings along H.264 streaming and requires at least Mac OS X 10.3.9 as well as QT7.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-02 at 18:09 CET ]
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Jobs to open WWDC 2005

A little more than a month away, Steve Jobs will hold the keynote at WWDC 2005 on 6th of June. According to available material, the developers' conference will mostly be about developing for Tiger.
Information about the next big version of Mac OS X will quite probably not find its way to this WWDC. Instead with the new 1.5y cycle, we can expect Apple to release a first developer preview version of Mac OS X 10.5 at next year's WWDC, with a release at the very end of 2006.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-02 at 16:15 CET ]
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PatchBurn 4 first alpha released

If you've been waiting for a new version of PatchBurn (which installs device profiles for internal and external DVD-drives not directly supported by Apple's applications) for Tiger compatibility: A first alpha has been released. But make sure to check whether your burner isn't supported out of the box by Tiger, since it for example does support my external NEC 2500A suddenly. If you've upgraded from Panther, your old PatchBurn-generated profiles are still present and do work fine, btw. Might want to take them out in order to test Tiger with your drive directly.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-05-02 at 01:53 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-29

That Tiger lawsuit

Yesterday, Tiger Direct Inc. filed a lawsuit against Apple. As if they hadn't heard that Apple was going to call its new operating system "Tiger" before. MacCentral has more details about it. I guess they'll just take it back later, since this lawsuit now gives them their "nationwide" exposure they say they lack since Apple's taken over the search engines with _their_ "Tiger". Either way: Here's to the hope that Apple has to cease using the name "Tiger" and comes back to calling it Mac OS X 10.4 or even Mac OS 10.4, since the "X" moniker was always kinda confusing ("Mac O-S Ten Ten-four"? Pu-leheeze!). But my guess is that after this weekend or the next, Tiger Direct Inc. will go back to where it belongs and was before: Anonymity. Or had you heard of Tiger Direct Inc. before yesterday?

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-29 at 16:54 CET ]
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Downloads etc. on 10.4's day of glory

On the day of Mac OS X 10.4, Apple has released a few updates and a lot of gimmicks. You can find Java 2 SE 5.0 Release 1 here, for example, a roughly 50 MB download. Some people were expecting this in Tiger, but a download on Tiger's release day is just as good (it just wasn't finished in time). You'll also find some Dashboard widgets, Automator scripts and Spotlight plugins here on the Mac OS X downloads section at

Panther users will also find the Quicktime 7 update released. From the very first reports about the final version of Mac OS X 10.4, I'd say it's a very good upgrade, totally worth its money. If you want to make sure nothing goes wrong, there's nothing like copying your whole main drive to a FW drive and update on that to test things before applying to your main drive. You can, of course, do it the other way 'round if you feel lucky.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-29 at 13:33 CET ]
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Update on ArsTechnica's Tiger Review

You must read it here. Even if much of John Siracusa's rather longish review is merely techno-developer-babble to you, it sheds some very interesting lights on the history of Mac OS X and more importantly on how developers and users can take profit out of some rather dramatic changes from Panther to Tiger that users only see right now as, say, "nicer search" or maybe "better support for drivers". Or not even that. Either way: Please do read it. The whole of it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-29 at 02:00 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-28

ArsTechnica's Tiger Review

You can (and should) read it here. "Tiger includes updates that are at least twice as significant as any single past update."

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-28 at 23:52 CET ]
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Version number thinking

Today's story about Apple being sued about the "Tiger" name reminded me of that, basically, I don't want code names to be official operating system names. What's wrong with calling 10.4 "Mac OS ten-four", anyway? And then I thought how in ye olde days, Apple jumped from 7.5 to 7.6 and then to 8, and from 8.1 to 8.5 etc. And that if Apple would've kept going with that scheme, 10.2 would've been 10.5 already, 10.3 would've been 10.6 and Tiger, erh, 10.4 would have been Mac OS 11.0. Either way: Is the name/number game really necessary? I believe it was Microsoft who started it, anyway. Windows 95, I believe. Should've been Windows 4 (bad number in China, I know...). But does Apple really need to call their OSs by their code names? I mean: We rumour-mongers always did that, even when Apple still thought of these code names as secret. We talked about Harmony (7.6), Copland (never-released System 8), Sonata (Mac OS 9), Rhapsody (Mac OS X Server pre 1.0 developer releases) and even about little updates with funny names like "buster" (Mac OS 7.5.3 Rev. 1) and "son of buster" (Mac OS 7.5.3, Rev. 2). But if Apple's doing it themselves, the fun's kinda lost. Also, since the code names now are suddenly a marketing instrument, they have to be cool - instead of being formed in the middle of the night by two extremely over-caffeined programmerboys (or -gals) who _think_ something's funny and later notice that it isn't. Either way: Here in Switzerland, the 29th of April starts in less than an hour. So let's just say: Mac OS X 10.4 is now, finally, here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-28 at 23:04 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-27

The new PowerMacs.

Yep. As widely anticipated, they just suck. *cough*. Really, I'm a bit angry with Apple. They have to know that people won't sell their 2.5 GHz machines now to get 2.7 GHz machines. If you have a PowerMac G5 now, there's just no real need to upgrade. You can get a dual layer SuperDrive at basically any PC store. I say: IBM's the new Motorola. Pity, though.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-27 at 15:46 CET ]
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Now's the time: Make 'em switch!

Remember my unofficial switcher's guide, where I wanted us (you and me) to go out and switch PC users to Mac users? Well: Now's the time. Let's call it a game. Tiger's out (well, 2 days to go...) and Longhorn is taking another 18 months or so. This is the window we've been looking for.

If you come across a person complaining about what a drag their PC is, switch them to the Mac immediately. This is important. Let's help Apple turn the game upside down. Heck: If their PC is doing them wrong, they can get a Mac mini for 499, an eMac for 799 or an iBook for 999 USD. That includes Tiger and iLife and comes without the trouble of worms and viri. That's cheap enough. If that _ain't_ cheap enough, sell them your old iBook or Mac mini, if you happen to have one. They can keep their PCs for all the things they think it's better than the Mac or that are not available on the Mac. Be aggressive about it.

We have 18 months to turn the world around. Let's do it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-27 at 13:01 CET ]
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Mac/Cowhand-A Update: Nothing to see here

As suspected, Sophos' claim of having found a new trojan for Mac OS X is a bit of hot air. Well: It's not like it doesn't exist, but according to MacBidouille, Intego (another maker of antiviral software for the Mac) knows about this "Cowfight Underhand Trojan Server" for about a year - and its VirusBarrier software can get rid of it since about that time, too. Nothing to worry about either: That trojan isn't really spreading or anything.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this is not a virus. It's a "trojan horse" in the traditional (well, computer-traditional) sense, i.e. it's simply a script that - if you run it, and only if YOU run it - can do harm to your computer (in this case, it opens a port to the outside world, which is bad). This type of thing is of course possible in Mac OS X. You can even write your own if you want to. Just let an AppleScript execute "rm -rf ~" (rather don't, since that'd erase your files and folders - all of them!) in Terminal, compile the script, give it a name that fools others and send it around and voilà: You're a script kiddie yourself. This is not Apple's fault, and there's not much they can do about it, since if you actually want to erase your files and folders, you should be allowed to. So, theoretically, you could one day get an E-Mail by a "friend" (or someone faking the E-Mail address in the from-field, which is very easy) who sends you "some interesting little app", and if you run that thing, it might do harm. But really: Do you run apps that are sent to you by E-Mail, if you haven't asked for any?
The difference with the trojans existing for Windows (or at least some of them) is that they ARE in the wild, they're being sent around by the millions and use weaknesses of both Windows' security issues and dumb users to spread even more. They're often combined, too. The case where you start a Windows machine and it becomes infected with a worm which starts to send E-Mails with itself attached to all of your address book contacts is not what can - at least not yet, definitely - happen to you as a Mac user. And that's a very big difference.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-27 at 03:10 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-26

iTunes Switzerland: Yes.

I was sceptic, I admit. But MacRumors has found the country specific images for the store on Apple's servers. Nice find.

(And right now, if you go to the iTunes Music Store's country selection, something looks skewed. I.e.: They're working on it.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-26 at 13:14 CET ]
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The new PowerMacs. Huh?

2003: 2.0 GHz. 2004: 2.5 GHz. 2005: 2.7 GHz. 's that all? Ah, no, they also sport dual-layer SuperDrives. In 2006, they'll show us a 2.75 GHz PowerMac. And will say that putting a G5 into the PowerBook is "the mother of all thermal problems". But we're just kidding. The new PowerMacs (MacRumors has a few links to rumours) might incorporate a new model of the PowerPC G5. Either the 970MP - which would definitely be a wow!-factor - or the 970GX. Which would be a not-so-wow!-factor. According to the rumours, we'll know more very soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-26 at 09:35 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-25

iTunes Music Store Switzerland (et al.)?

It seems like a running gag to me. Everytime there's a rumoured new country for iTMS, someone claims that Switzerland will be among the countries to be included. This time, rumours a Swiss iTMS. I believe it when I've downloaded my first song from iTMS Switzerland. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-25 at 16:44 CET ]
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Sophos found first Trojan for Mac OS X?

We're cautious sending out info on this, since previously, any kind of virus or trojan horse for Mac OS X has proven either being only a concept (not in the wild) or wrong altogether. For now: This looks like the real deal, though. Still: Mac Trojans don't auto-propagate through E-Mail like in Windows.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-25 at 15:46 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" Review

The public beta of Mac OS X invited us to "see the future of computing", Cheetah (10.0) was, well, a "cheater", really, since it brought us half of the functionality we wanted at about 25 percent of the speed we wanted. Puma (10.1) brought the features and some speed, Jaguar (10.2) was the first version of Mac OS X considered 'final' among critics, October 2003 brought Panther (10.3), which expanded on Jaguar's success and now, finally, we're at Tiger (10.4). What will Tiger bring its users? 200 new features, claims Apple. Well, they always say something like that (although it was 150 new features ever since System 7.5, I believe) - and we end up using/noticing maybe about five of the new features. The question rather is how basic (and important) said features are. Most of us could've gladly used Panther without a Brushed Metal Finder, for example. But Exposé certainly changed the way of handling windows. What's in Tiger, then?

There are the big things, of course. - Like Spotlight (you'll use it) and Dashboard (you might use it) or iChat AV 2.0's multi-video conferencing (you probably won't use it). But there are also a lot of little improvements. For example, if on a PowerBook or iBook, you get a much better "automatic" energy saving setting that really checks out what you're doing before throttling the processor speed - maximising both your computer's performance as well as its battery power. Others are rather bugfixes. For example: You can now select more than one files in the Finder, hit Cmd-C, switch to and paste the files (instead of the files' names) into a message. With Panther and earlier, this only worked right for _one_ file at a time. Strange enough:'s Service (Services menu) still can only do that for one file in Tiger. I guess that'll be corrected in a Tiger update or with Lion (king of the cats, probably 10.5 in 2007).

So how's Spotlight, really? - Well: It sucks. (I can hear you. What?! You're screaming. But hear me out...) It all depends on how you're used to using your computer. Spotlight is one of those features that overtakes certain aspects of how you're using the computer. It takes over file search. But it also takes over E-Mail search and picture search and contact search. So if you're looking for a file you know is named "" or "script.cgi" and therefore look for 'script' with Spotlight, you'll end up with a lot of pictures, a lot of PDFs and quite some Word or RTF documents. You might find your script.cgi at the very end of the list under the "others" tab. But only if you're lucky.
Now, is Spotlight really that bad? Of course not. It's good for a thousand things. It only sucks for finding files by its name. You simply can't. You can refine your search by a file's name, but you can't simply look for stuff with the file's name. That's just gone. I hate it. But that's because I'm not as stupid as Steve Jobs thinks we all are. I _do_ remember my files' names, for example. I usually name them intelligently. I mostly also remember where I've put them. But when I don't, I think Jaguar and Panther were better for quickly finding them. In, it's a completely different story. I LOVE Spotlight in I just loathe it in the Finder.

And Dashboard? Does it suck, too? - Nope, it doesn't. It's quite nice, actually. But then again, it's all about how you're putting it to good use. I personally use it for a couple of stickies, the weather and quick translation. I've also got the calculator and a clock up, but I actually haven't looked at those since installing the final version of Tiger. I've got a menubar clock, thank you, and I mostly forget about Dashboard's calculator and end up LaunchBar-ing, which is still there in Tiger. Summing up: Dashboard's just fine, and if you find the widgets that are really useful to you, it rocks.

Safari RSS 2.0. It rocks, right? - Not really. Well: If you're not into RSS, its RSS feature is a great introduction. If you, like me, depend on RSS feeds, then you want the full version of NetNewsWire 2.0 and nothing less. Safari 2, besides RSS, doesn't really have that many new features. It comes with what Safari 1.3 has, and this means more stability, better speed (even more so in Tiger) but not really new features besides moving around stuff in the contextual menu again.

So, is Tiger worth 129 dollars? - Yes and no. As with every OS X upgrade since 10.1 (which you got for 20 bucks as an update if you had 10.0, because Apple themselves thought that Cheetah was a cheater), the update brings a lot of new stuff. But as with every OS X upgrade since 10.1, the "old one" is okay, too. Jaguar was okay. Panther is okay. And Tiger's okay as well. It's not like you can't live with Panther for a while, still. It's a good operating system. But then again: Tiger comes with so many new things (little and big) that it's very likely you'll find things you think you couldn't live without after using Tiger for a couple of days. It's like that for me. Addictive, really. Although I hate how Spotlight doesn't really let me find things by name easily, I'm so used to having smart mailboxes in and I just LOVE Spotlight in that I can't go back. There's also a nice speed-up. The interface is faster. Really. But we're used to that now. Every OS X upgrade brought UI speed improvements. Maybe by the time the king of cats ships in 2007, we'll have reached Sonata's UI speed. (Sonata was the code name of Mac OS 9.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-25 at 12:05 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-20

RSS feed problems

The RSS feed is currently dead for unknown reasons. Please use the website for now. :/

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-20 at 23:04 CET ]
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Slowly, the clouds get thinner: Mac OS X 10.3.9 update done right...

Simply put: If you're still on Mac OS X 10.3.8 because of some horrible things you've heard, you can now update. However, you have to be a bit careful. First, I'd download the combo updater. Now you've got to update any Safari hacks, should you have installed any. PitHelmet, Sogudi, AcidSearch and the like. Then, I'd reboot and login to your main administator account (if you just have one account, that's the one I'm talking about). Make sure you quit all applications that start automatically, because you've put them into your login items. Then do the update. Don't start any applications! And _right_ after Mac OS X restarts, head over to Software Update. Apple's released Security Update 2005-004 this very night. After that, you should have a fine System 10.3.9.

If you've already installed 10.3.9 and your system is in some way not running fine, just do the same as I've stated above, and do _not_ leave out the steps you think you already did. Apparently, the 10.3.9 updater might have not been able to update some Java libraries correctly the first time you've tried, because they were in use. (That's both Apple's bug and your own fault, since you _should_ close your apps before updating, although it shouldn't be necessary on a modern system as Mac OS X.)

Either way: I think Mac OS X 10.3.9 is the final update to Panther. It's a fine system if updated correctly. And Apple will still release security updates if needed. And it's kinda fitting, too, I think. The whole Panther era was off to a bad start with 7B85's (10.3.0) FireWire issue and other bugs. Every update from then on brought some new mysterious flaws (10.3.4 was the best, I think, and then 10.3.8) and many users hosed their systems with such updates. That 10.3.9 was not the cleanest update - although Apple did a loooooooong Final Candidate phase on it - puts Panther's era to an end that serves it well. Good system, badly delivered. I personally think Apple should hand copies of Panther 10.3.9 CDs/DVD out to any retail buyer of any version of Panther. Full versions, so you don't have to go through an update process. This way, those who intend to stay on Panther, could reinstall their machines cleanly - and safely. Alas, I don't think they would do that. Here's to the hope that Tiger won't be the same story all over again...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-20 at 03:06 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-18

Sidenote: Great little utility

Pierre Chatel's great (and free!) little 'Sidenote' displays notes (RTF formatting, of course) does a simple (and thus good) job. You can read more about it here. There are, of course, more than one solution for this kind of thing. Apple does two right now: Dashboard's stickies and I like Sidenote better, though.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-18 at 16:37 CET ]
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Dual core processors...

Intel today released its Pentium Extreme dual core processor - and is thus claims "first desktop" dual core processor - before AMD and IBM, since Apple did not release their 970MP based PowerMac G5. ThinkSecret has "postponed" their rumour to Tiger's release now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-18 at 15:51 CET ]
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Adobe to acquire Macromedia

If all goes well, it'll take place this Autumn. This merger will certainly create some waves. Is Adobe too strong? Will this have any effect on Adobe competing with Apple in the software market? Questions, questions. And what about FreeHand? (Yes, Adobe finally has _both_ of the old Aldus graphics packages: PageMaker AND FreeHand...) It's a direct competitor to Illustrator, so it won't make much sense to further update the application for Adobe... Read more here at geekzone and here at TheRegister. And the official announcement.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-18 at 12:29 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-17

Apple Presentation at NAB (live coverage)

Apple demoes Tiger. H.264. iChat AV videochatting with multiple contacts.

Final Cut Pro Studio, contains FCP 5.0. Sony/HD/Apple talk from a Sony executive. FinalCut Pro 5 has direct HDV support. And "Dynamic RT Extreme", which automatically adjusts resolution and framerates to give the best "live" feeling on any given hardware (although probably a minimum hardware requirement is a given...). New codecs. Work with high-res audio formats. 24 channel in- and output. One-pass multiple channel recording. Things that interest at NAB, of course. Demo of FCP 5.0.

Also new: Motion 2.0 and Soundtrack Pro with 5000 audio-effects included.

Next up: Next generation DVDs. Blu-Ray. Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support H.264. New DVD Studio Pro HD announced. (Btw.: Apple's online store is down, of course.) ;) Pricing of the Studio apps are announced. 1299 USD for all apps together. Update for FCP Studio (from any version of FCP) is 699. Shake 4 new, too. Software should be available in 4-6 weeks.

Show's over. No new hardware today it seems.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-17 at 21:37 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.9 Combo Updater released

You can find it here at If you had any trouble with the update through SU, I suggest you download this and update again. If you haven't updated yet but really, really want to, I also suggest using the combined updater. It seems to do a better job, although I couldn't scientifically tell you why. My real suggestion is, of course, to stay on 10.3.8 until you get your hands on a copy of Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-17 at 04:15 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-16

Final Panther Update My A**?

The first reports are in, and it seems to be a disaster. Sure, there's the usual "no problemo" fraction, who have installed 10.3.9 through Software Update without any problems. (That's, of course, what Apple intended.) Then there's the usual "customize me" crew with their Safari plugins and haxies. Those are screaming for help right now, or if a bit more intelligent, they're turning off their plugins and haxies and run 10.3.9 just fine - albeit waiting for third party developers for updates to the system and software altering tools.
But there's a third crowd, and it seems it isn't small. There are PowerBooks who just don't boot anymore, there are harddrives that are not recognised by Disk Utility after the update. (And yes, those are original harddrives, built into the Macs by Apple.)
For the time being, we suggest you just wait, if you're on 10.3.8. Don't install the update until Apple releases at least an apology as well as instructions for how to proceed with a _safe_ installation of 10.3.9.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-16 at 19:41 CET ]
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And: Released. Mac OS X 10.3.9, final update to Panther

Of course there'll still be some security updates and maybe one or two bug fixes in single applications, but Panther, as some say, is now 'final'. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-16 at 11:40 CET ]
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Yet another 10.3.9 build: 7W98

Apple has seeded build 7W98 to developers this Friday. One issue (some SMB clients couldn't connect to Samba, Windows file sharing) was solved from the previous seed. Apple really wants to make sure the final version of Panther is 'safe' to be released, since all development efforts will then be directed towards fixing what bugs are left in Tiger, so that 10.4.1 (expected at the end of May, early June) and 10.4.2 can be the only focus of the operating system people at Apple. 10.3.9 is expected to be released in the coming week.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-16 at 00:05 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-15

iLife Updates

Apple has released 3 updates through Software Update: iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD. After installing the updates on Tiger 8A425, iPhoto 5.0.2 has crashed three times on me. After that, it seemed fine. I suspect that the update was actually trying to update the catalogue in the background while I was browsing through the photo library. So: If it happens to you, too, just restart iPhoto a couple of times and it should be fine.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-15 at 02:27 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-12

Ready for the desktop/notebook?

It's fun to read those "Linux is ready for the desktop" or "Linux is ready for the notebook" columns that occasionally (rather more often, sadly) pop up on technology news sites. I've read one just now. Terrible. (I'll come back to it in a moment.)
Last summer, I've written this article that told UN*X and linux geeks that UN*X is ready for the desktop and the notebook, and that it's available in form of Mac OS X on Macs. Now that Macs are cheap, too, there's really not much sense in doing what the author of the first linked article above did. All the hoops he has to go through in order to get a usable notebook running linux... Hey: Just get a PowerBook or iBook and you're ready to go. Just like that.
And one last line: When is linux ready for the desktop? When people stop talking about it. I.e. never, probably.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-12 at 20:07 CET ]
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Another side note to Tiger's announcement...

Tiger Server will also be on the shelves on 29th of April - at the same 499/999 USD prices as with Panther. And for 10 USD, you can get a replacement CD set, if you don't like it as a DVD (or your Mac doesn't sport a DVD-ROM, Combo or SuperDrive.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-12 at 18:50 CET ]
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Tiger Countdown

So it's the 29th of April, when we'll see Tiger on store shelves. That'd basically mean Apple has some three days left to declare a Golden Master - should the previous rumours prove wrong and Apple hasn't done that already.
The new pages online at Apple also confirm that a family pack would still be available - despite rumours at AI suggesting otherwise (they might change that page now, of course). Pricing stays the same: 129 USD for a single user license, 199 for the family pack.
A side note: The requirements list now doesn't show a DVD drive any longer. However: "What's in the box" at the Apple Online Store says that it comes on a DVD. So that didn't _really_ change.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-12 at 16:00 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-10

All widescreen 'book lineup in 2005?

Several bits of information - among those the always-good-for-some-notebook-info, then some Asustek info as well as another independent Asian contact - lead us to believe that Apple plans on going "all widescreen" (or at least 'more widescreen' with the PowerBook and iBook models this calendar year. The PowerBook 12" is believed to be replaced by a more comfortable 12" or 13" widescreen model, and the iBooks, sadly for some, will probably lose the small form factor of the 12" model altogether, by becoming a 14" widescreen model. There's still the chance that the current 12" model will keep its form factor as the last 4:3 model as an entrypoint.
Either way: For the professional line it would make definite sense to move to widescreen.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-10 at 16:55 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-08

Where are you, Tiger?

Around April 1st, AppleInsider said that build 8A428 of Tiger had been declared Golden Master. While both ThinkSecret and (and a lot of others) repeat that the internal build has gone GM, this rumour can't be confirmed by our sources. AI and are also saying that Apple is continuing to internally release 8A4xx builds that might become a 10.4.1 release shortly after Tiger is released.
Assuming that 8A428 is the final version of 10.4.0, this would make sense - and it would be the same procedure as with Panther back in October 2003, where only 10 days after the 'final' release of 7B85, 7C115 was released.
However: The official statement by Apple is still that Tiger would be released in the first half of 2005, and those new builds internal at Apple could simply mean that Tiger development for 10.4.0 isn't finished just yet.

We say: If Tiger is released early (a build lower than 8A430), we'd say professional users are probably better off to wait for the first update to arrive. While we couldn't test the rumoured GM build of 8A428, the last more widely seeded build (8A425) still has some glitches that might interfere with your working process. Either way: If you don't intend to quickly move back to Panther, make sure that you at least read a few reports about the final release before installing. Also make sure that you get some updates for your most important applications, as there are bound to be some problems with Tiger and third party apps. (For example, the clipboard as well as drag and drop don't seem to work right between Adobe CS applications, currently.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-08 at 12:20 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-06

Apple seeds 8A420 Tiger Server, too

And the seed notes don't make it seem like Tiger Server is as far as the client version. Some functionality is still missing, among those "Portable Home Directories".

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-06 at 20:41 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.9 7W94

Again a new seed of the "now really almost final" 10.3.9, considered the final update to Panther.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-06 at 20:37 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-05

The fastest OS 9 Finder ever?

If you're hanging on to an old, OS 9-savvy, PowerMac G4 (any model but the Cubes or the Yikes!), you can now get GigaDesign's 2.0 GHz processor upgrade card. It comes as a 1.6 GHz card but can be set to 2.0 GHz - and was tested at that speed. The Freescale 7447A processor runs its 512K level 2 cache at full processor speed. I guess you've never seen Mac OS 9 run so fast - and probably crash so fast. But with a G4 beast like that, you're good to make your switch to OS X, anyway. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-05 at 17:38 CET ]
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7 things I'd want Nokia to do with the Communicator

First and foremost, I'd want Nokia to work more closely with Apple. I understand that they at some point stopped supporting the Mac themselves (although now they do a little, media-related), but it'd be both in Apple's and Nokia's interest to have iSync support with phones even before they appear on the shelves. And I really don't think it can be too hard to write a description file for a new mobile phone, as they usually use the same protocols more or less for synching.
And now for what Nokia should do. Second thing I'd want: The UI speed should be considered a priority. I'm sure they'd have to sacrifice some battery life for better performance, but it seems to me that the much faster processor in the 9500 (compared to the 9210i) is mainly used for an eye-candy new theme, rather than to speed things up. Sure: Eye-candy is nice, too, but having used (but owned only the first and the last in the list) a 9110i, a 9210, a 9210i and the 9500, I think things got worse from the 9110i, which was perfectly acceptable in speed.
Third thing: Zoom and light indicators. What I mean is this: You have three zoom and five light levels. But when you move through them using the keyboard-combos, you don't know at which level you are. Something like Apple does in Mac OS X for the light and sound controls etc. would be nice. Wouldn't even have to be translucent. But right now, I usually have to go through the five levels of backlighting at least twice until I know I'm at the highest or lowest setting.
Fourth thing I miss: Target mode. Lemme connect the thing to the Mac via the USB-2 cable and show me both the internal as well as the media card as volumes on the desktop. Shouldn't be too hard: Cameras do it all the time.
Number five: Give it a good set of standard applications. Sure: The office part is covered, and so is messaging and webbrowsing. But there should also be an FTP client as well as an SSH-client in my opinion. Most communicator users I know use them to remote-administer a linux box. And even if the users wouldn't be using the things, it'd still give them the nice feeling that the software suite is quite complete out of the box.
Sixth: Messaging. Sure, the messaging client is quite complete and comfortable to use. But we have a large screen here. Why is it that I can only see three message titles at a time? And that when I expand the view, I don't actually see more information and only seven items? This could be solved more clearly. I'd also like to know which of my E-Mail accounts is used to create a message if I have more than one E-Mail account. Also in messaging: Let me define conditions under which different E-Mail accounts should automatically check for new E-Mail.
And number seven: A today-screen. A good one. There are several around (or coming out) as shareware, but I think they mostly suck. At least for now. Show me my next five meetings (even if they're tomorrow, please). Show me my todos. Show my favourite apps (so I can have more shortcuts than just the one you let me choose for myself in the current iteration). And also, of course, icons for new messages and the like.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-05 at 12:23 CET ]
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Why UN*X geeks do/don't switch to OS X

Some interesting thoughts to be read over at

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-05 at 09:49 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-04

Adobe CS 2 in May

Adobe today (and in a previously leaked PDF a few days ago) announced their Creative Suite 2 with updated components. It will be available "by May" and you can order your upgrades (and full versions) starting now.
While some of the apps' features sound interesting enough to try out, I haven't seen anything groundbreaking, really. Adobe's Bridge file browser seems like the completely wrong idea to me, too. With Tiger, you'll be able to organise projects' files and find files much faster, I believe - and more freely, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-04 at 13:57 CET ]
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news of 2005-04-01

Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.9 7W90

It seems they _did_ find a bug in 7W87 after all. This probably means a little delay for the update to arrive in Software Update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-01 at 12:51 CET ]
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Careful. April Fool's Day.

Well. Usually, we'd just copy a story like "Sony wants to buy Apple" and comment it. Not today, folks. ;) ... It's a bit difficult today to scour the 'net for info on the edge. But there are newsworthy items, anyway. For example: Gmail's first birthday is today. And they're offering their users now 2 GB of E-Mail storage (although both my accounts actually show 1194 MB) plus E-Mail formatting via RTF (like Apple's Much better choice than HTML, I might say... AppleInsider notes that Tiger 8A428 has been chosen as the GM build last night. We can't yet confirm that, but it sounds believable enough. And then: GriffinTech has released 'AirClick', an RF-based remote control for iPods with Dock connectors. I guess I need one of those for my motorbike...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-04-01 at 12:26 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-31

Sony wants to create the iTMS for movies

Sometime next year, Sony plans to bring their online movie stores to the 'net with a starting point of about 500 flix. They want to do for the movie industry "what Steve Jobs did for the music industry". Here's to the hope that Steve Jobs wants to do for the movies what Steve Jobs did for the 'tunes... Here's a link to the (German) story on

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-31 at 15:06 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-30

Kermadec has a point

Talking about iPod killers in his newest column at MacDevCenter, Kermadec points some things out very nicely. Good read. Nothing new though. There's no iPod killer. Yet. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-30 at 15:17 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-29

Tiger FC1 has new desktop picture

8A425 sports new "Aqua Blue" and "Aqua Graphite" desktop pictures. While not a drastical change from Panther's or Jaguar's, this is yet another sign that Tiger has definitely moved into the Final Candidate phase.
The new build of Tiger also sports a few other new desktop pictures. Among them a "clownfish" picture.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-29 at 21:56 CET ]
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Apple seeds 10.3.9 7W87

This new build is considered to be the final version of 10.3.9. With Tiger in its FC phase, 10.3.9 is also considered to be the final update to Panther. The release of 10.3.9 is imminent, although Apple could keep it under wraps until the week ends to make sure that no new bugs pop up (and should one pop up, 10.3.9's release would be postponed, of course).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-29 at 21:44 CET ]
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BBEdit 8.1 released

BareBones has released version 8.1 of its successful text editing application. Among a slew of fixes and features is support for Subversion.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-29 at 21:17 CET ]
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Tiger 8A425: Final Candidate 1

Although still having two minor issues, 8A425 is apparently considered the first final candidate version of Tiger at Apple. Reports are in that several smaller glitches in 8A420 have been fixed by now, and the new build gets rid of the "Pre-release" badge in the "About this Mac" dialogue.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-29 at 12:36 CET ]
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Apple seeds Tiger 8A425

Shortly after the last build, Apple has now seeded 8A425. More info to follow. The note to the build mentions two smaller problems, one about Japanese character search in Carbon applications and a glitch on nVidia GeForce cards.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-29 at 09:36 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-28

Easter Monday: Finder Grudge

When Mac OS X 10.0 arrived, I heard many OS 9 using folks say that handling OS X sucked. I told them to try and adapt, because mainly it was a matter of how 'specialised' their brains were coming from a long-years experience in classic Mac OS.
Over the years, we've even got labels back, although they're not as user-friendly as they once were. We've got spring-loaded folders back, but they just never felt as 'right' as in OS 9, mainly because you're always a bit surprised of how a window that springs open will look. Metal, Aqua? Will it have icon view, list or column view? It's always a surprise, which totally gets in the way. So compared to OS 9's Finder, the current Mac OS X Finder in Panther is still "just not good". It sucks. But Tiger is coming, right? Yeah, but it's the Panther Finder all over again. Sure, it has Spotlight search, which is incredibly cool and will effect how we all work with the Finder.

But the damage done when moving from OS 9 to OS X isn't cured. And it probably won't ever be. We might see Apple redo the Finder completely in 10.5 or 11.0, and maybe there will be some things in that mythical Finder-to-come that remind us of how wonderful to work with OS 9's Finder was. But now, more than four years after I've used OS 9's Finder the last time for real work, I have to admit that someone at Apple (or more likely: more than one person at Apple) just likes the new Finder too much. I just wish they'd openly state what's intended. Are we slowly moving to a useable Finder? Will its evolution move us over to a new paradigm that actually works better than OS 9's Finder? And if so: Why the incredibly slow speed at this development?

So here's my real wish for Mac OS X 10.5: Concentrate on the Finder. Spotlight's cool, Dashboard's cool, Automator is cool and Exposé's cool, too. But they're all around the Finder. Focus on the Finder itself next time, Apple. Please.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-28 at 12:29 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-26

Apple seeds 10.3.9 7W86

The combo updater is 113.3 MB in size. Sources tell us it might just be the final version.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-26 at 11:17 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-25

PyMusique works again. For now.

You'll read more about it here. But they don't seem to get the real problem. At all. Denial is their way, it seems. They claim they only want to enable linux users to buy songs from iTMS and put them on an iPod. "You still pay 0.99 USD per song...". Yeah, but does your friend if you have a track without any DRM and you can give it to him? And what if you "happen to" open your music directory to Gnutella or any other p2p network? Sure: Theoretically, a user could still oblige to Apple's and the industry's wishes by simply not sharing the tracks with anyone. The problem is: The makers of PyMusique _do_ leave the DRM out, thus enabling users of PyMusique to do more with the tracks than what the contract allows. I'm sure they'd still have answers to even that, but seriously: I'm not interested. PyMusique is a strange hack, and Apple should've never let the iTunes client write the complete DRM into the file, thus leaving the file that comes from iTMS basically DRM-less. But that doesn't make PyMusique in any way less of a threat to Apple, and I'm sure they won't simply shrug and move on now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-25 at 14:47 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-24

Happy anniversary!

It's Mac OS X' birthday today. In 2001, Apple released Mac OS X 10.0 on March 24th. It's been quite a ride, and we've been following the development of this wonderful operating system closely. Some people expected Tiger to be released today for some time, but it's become clear that Apple wanted to finish the OS before releasing it, and "first half of 2005" still has some time.
Tiger, in its most recent incarnation as 8A420, is actually quite finished. As has been mentioned in the seednote: There's only one known issue with this build, and that's that some SuperDrive enabled iBooks won't boot off the installation DVD. The note doesn't state why this is, but it seems like a bug that can easily be fixed in yet another build. However: Apple might want to wait for further feedback on 8A414 and 8A420 before hurrying to a GM build.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-24 at 13:28 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-23

Apple seeds Tiger 8A420

Apple is getting into the Final Candidate phase.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-23 at 19:54 CET ]
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Apple seeds 10.3.9 7W82

Apple has again seeded a build of Mac OS X 10.3.9, which is considered to be the final update to Panther. The update is now expected to be released within the next two weeks.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-23 at 16:52 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-22

Camino has its own website now...

And quite a friendly design, too. While we're not particularly fans of the mozilla-based browsers (since they're all using QuickDraw instead of Quartz for displaying text, which is simply ugly compared to what OmniWeb, Safari etc. do), we're aware that many of you prefer the speed of Firefox and/or Camino. So the site's certainly worth mentioning.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-22 at 20:24 CET ]
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Napster to go?

They claim you'll pay 10'000 USD to fill an iPod. And only 15 with Napster to go. But that's just marketing speak. And this article on thinks so, too - although they do see the bright side. The real problem I see here is that Apple might be forced to add a subscription based model in addition to iTMS' pay-per-track model in order to stay competitive, but I feel that it's just not "very Apple".
If you've ever thought Napster's to go service would be great and you might switch if you find a nice portable player, take a good look on the downside, too. Once you stop paying the monthly fees, the music's gone. You don't actually "own" the license to the music. You pay as long as you listen, whereas with iTMS, you actually get the song with some rights. Sure, the iTMS model has its flaws, too: For example 128 kbps files probably won't be acceptable in five years. Newer iPods, newer iTMS etc. will probably switch to other formats. But then again: People still hang on to their vinyl records, and while an iTMS track doesn't come with a nice enclosure, you at least still will have the right to listen to it in its original quality - unlike Napster's model. "You never stop paying" doesn't sound like such a good deal to me after all.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-22 at 01:43 CET ]
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PyMusique hack disabled by Apple

Apple now only lets iTunes 4.7 customers use iTMS to buy songs.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-22 at 01:20 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-19

Johansen at it again...

Jon Lech Johansen, famous through his DeCSS code, and two fellow-programmers, have brought out PyMusiqe, a tool programmed in Python that, in Windows and Linux, acts like an iTunes client. Apparently, when you buy a song through iTunes, the song isn't actually DRM-restricted: It's your iTunes client that adds the protection (based on your computer/your account). PyMusique does everything iTunes does, but doesn't add the DRM code, so you end up with an unprotected AAC file on your computer. I'm sure we'll hear more about that soon. Plus Apple's reaction to it, of course. Johansen's homepage hasn't got the code or binaries yet. The source of this article is (in German) to be found here at

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-19 at 17:44 CET ]
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Tiger phases...

According to several developers who have installed the recently seeded Tiger client build 8A414, Apple seems to have started 'cleaning up' the development. One source mentioned that the localisation of the installation process is now complete in at least two languages they tested (Italian and German), so we're assuming that this has been done lately in all language packs Mac OS X comes with. While Tiger still has a few big and some minor things to get rid of, it seems that Apple can finish Tiger earlier than WWDC 2005.

The question remains whether Apple actually wants to do that. A mid-April release is still theoretically possible, although it'd mean that Apple had to finalise Tiger in the week ahead. With 8A414 only just seeded, it seems likely that Apple would want to take some feedback still. Current build's certainly not GM quality. And like I've mentioned before: I rather see Apple do a thorough final candidate phase than ship Tiger early.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-19 at 17:38 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.9 7W79 seeded

Apple has seeded a new build of Mac OS X 10.3.9. This time it's the combo updater (usually, Apple only seeds updaters from the latest final OS version), weighing in at just over 106 MB. The final version is expected to be released in March or the first two weeks of April.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-19 at 01:13 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-18

iPod's Halo effect

Morgan Stanley again has some nice things to say about Apple and updates the rating on Apple. Apparently, the iPod's halo effect is kicking in more quickly or simply more effectively than 'the industry' has anticipated.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-18 at 23:30 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-17

Apple updates iWork

Pages to 1.0.1 and Keynote to 2.0.1. According to the release notes, the updates fix bugs, so no features are added in this release. Both updates come in at more than 20 MB, because they're really replacements, not just patches. This probably doesn't mean that this much has changed, though.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-17 at 23:03 CET ]
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Tiger: Not in April (, please)...

So TS and other rumour sites went ahead and posted something about Tiger in April. Early April. 1st they said. Or the 15th. Or whenever in April. But while we'd all _like_ Tiger to appear so early, the recent betas of Tiger just aren't ready for consumption yet. Sure, the UI feels polished in most places, but does not in others. Some features aren't finished yet, quite simply, and a PowerBook or iBook that wakes from sleep but hangs (a mentioned bug in 8A414) just ain't a Tiger PowerBook or iBook, is it. Development on Tiger does move forward, and 8A414 looks like a Final Candidate phase isn't very far any more, but there are too many little and big things to be fixed until a Golden Master can be declared. Too many to grant a release in April. And clearly: Where's the rush? In June 2004 at WWDC, Steve Jobs made it clear that Tiger would arrive in the "first half of 2005" rather than at the end of 2004 (as Jaguar and Panther's releases would have suggested before Apple announced a slower frequency of OS upgrades). And we all know that this could mean WWDC 2005 or even the 30th of June. And that only if Apple holds the promise of WWDC 2004. (We do remember WWDC 2003's promise of 3 GHz G5's in Summer 2004, right?) So: If Apple considers Tiger "about ready" in April, we recommend more testing. Panther fried FW drives (well, lost data on them) when it was considered final. We don't want anything bad like that happen with 10.4.0, so Apple: Take your time...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-17 at 09:16 CET ]
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Tiger 8A414 seeded

Apple has seeded build 8A414 of Tiger. More information later, when first installation reports drop in.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-17 at 00:30 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-16

Google widens Gmail access

Google now invites 1 out of 20 visitors to Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer Web products, said that this is just one of more steps to the final stage of Gmail, when it'll just be "available" without the beta badge. An official launch date, however, hasn't yet been revealed, but it looks like its current beta users are more than pleased with the service, Gmail being the most "clean" webmail system offered unless you implement your own on a webserver. Gmail also allows you to use (or another POP3 over SSL capable client).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-16 at 15:09 CET ]
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Google pays homage to OS X

With Google X, which sports a simple, Dock-like interface for the search engine. Nothing _really_ different or useful, but a nice nod in the right direction. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-16 at 14:11 CET ]
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PowerPC 970 MP and SP

IBM actually posted some information (not much, though) about "Antares", the long-rumoured processor that'll bring PowerMacs to the 3 GHz range, but more importantly will be a dual-core processor. There will also be a single core version of this (970GX, Antares SP) which will probably be used in iMacs as well as the PowerBook G5. It should be noted that IBM themselves make it clear that the 970MP will generally run hotter, and that special thermal diodes are used to continually check the temperatures. Apple is already using liquid cooling with the 2.5 GHz dual processor version of the PowerMac G5 now, but will probably have to incorporate it into all of the new PowerMac lineup come WWDC.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-16 at 13:19 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-15

The 987th version of the two-button mouse rumour

AppleInsider posts this rumour. It's about updated AirPort products, too, which we all expect in 2005. About the infamous two-button mouse rumour, though, they say that "It's unclear when the computer maker plans to introduce the mouse. Insiders warned that anticipation may continue to build for months as the company perfects the product." - And if Apple should ever (2006? 2007?) release a two-button mouse, AI will say they "told us so"? ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-15 at 23:48 CET ]
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news of 2005-03-10

The 'real 2nd gen' PowerMac G5 is coming

IBM is putting the finishing touches on the PowerPC 970GX according to sources, and Apple is preparing for a launch of the processor in both new PowerMacs and PowerBooks at WWDC 2005 in June. The chip's scalability enables Apple to deliver PowerBooks in the 1.5-2.0 GHz range and PowerMacs at up to 3.5 GHz, although Apple will probably clock the highend machine a little lower than that. According to the same sources, Apple will also put the 970GX used in the PowerBooks into a Rev. B iMac G5, which should be finalized "this Summer", too. More details should become available as WWDC nears.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-10 at 15:20 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.9 7W77

Apple has seeded build 7W77 of the next update to Panther. A few fixes have been made since 7W72. 10.3.9 is expected to be released sometime in March, although sources claim that Apple wants to spend more time on the final build since 10.3.9 is expected to be the final update to Panther. Security updates will still be released for 10.3.9 even after Tiger has been published, of course.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-03-10 at 15:15 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-26

Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.9 7W72

Apple has seeded the build to ADC Select and Premier members. A lot of changes are mentioned in the seed note. Areas of testing for 10.3.9 are: Bluetooth, DVD Player, FireWire devices, Modems (internal and external), Networking, Printing, Safari, Terminal, USB devices as well as general system usability and reliability.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-26 at 11:51 CET ]
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Tiger 8A393 has 'Tiger' desktop picture

The Tiger fur desktop picture looks like it'd be used for marketing purposes, too, when Apple finally releases Tiger into the wild. The buglist is slowly getting smaller with each build, however there are still some important things left to do that aren't even mentioned in that list, so I guess we're still safe to say Apple won't release it "nowish". WWDC 2005 is looking like a good (and conservative) candidate, although the build quality of 8A369 may have suggested an earlier release date.
We'll continue to inform you about newer builds of Tiger. 8A393 was released merely a week after 8A385, but Apple's generally considered to keep up the monthly seed for ADC members until they reach the final candidate phase, when more builds will arrive in shorter time.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-26 at 11:31 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-25

Tiger 10.4 8A393

Apple has seeded the new build to developers. We'll have more for you soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-25 at 19:08 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-22

iPod overhaul

According to sources, we'll see an all-colour overhaul to the iPod line as soon as tomorrow (although some say early next week). The new iPods and iPod minis will all sport colour screens (a feature that wasn't exactly a hit-seller with the iPod photo) and Bluetooth 2.0, although it's not quite clear yet what BT2 will be for. Synching wirelessly (and slowly)? Or transferring songs to your stereo? Or streaming songs to other iPod owners through 'Bonjour' (which obviously is the "new Rendez-vous")? We'll see soon enough.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-22 at 16:10 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-19

8A385: New desktop pictures

For the first time in Tiger's development, Apple has added a few new desktop pictures with this build. The 'Black & White' folder contains some nice, blurry photographs, 'Plants' has some closeups of flowers etc.
The build, btw., has a buglist that is quite a bit shorter than 8A369's. Still: The mentioned bugs are of the kind you don't really expect in a 'finished' product. Tiger as the focus of WWDC kinda implies that Apple will take the rest of the first half of 2005 to finish this operating system. It's looking good, and with every build we've seen, stability and usability have improved in the past three months.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-19 at 01:11 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-18

Tiger 8A385 seeded

Apple has provided ADC Select and Premier members with Tiger build 8A385 now. We'll report soon.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-18 at 21:26 CET ]
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The unofficial switcher's guide

And I mean for Mac people who switch (or rather convert) Windows people. It's rather simple. Goes like this.

0.) Most important: Don't EVER lie about the Mac. Don't say stupid things like "they're faster, anyway" or "they're even cheaper than PCs nowadays". Because your conversation partner could find a cheaper notebook or PC than what Apple offers and even if what they find is really crappy hardware, your argument would still be wrong, which is never good.
1.) You tell them to get a Mac, whenever you hear them complaining about Windows.
2.) If they say that Macs cost a lot of money, you either talk about the Mac mini if they're desktop people or the iBook 12" if they're notebook people. Don't lie to them, like I told you at 0.). Tell them the Mac mini costs about 550 USD (give them 512 MB RAM) and the iBook about a 1'050 USD (give them also 512 MB of RAM). Also tell them they'll want MS Office 2004 Pro for 429 USD or something like that. Again: Don't lie to them. But now...
3.) Tell them what they'll gain. Don't even start about how beautiful iLife is. Rather just talk about one thing first: Viri. There are none on the Mac. Zero. You don't even need Norton or something. But you can get Norton Antivirus if you want. But advise them to start without it. Because the single most important thing here is that they'll see they have *NO* problems on the Mac with viri, worms, spyware etc. Something they have simply come to accept and endure on the Windows side of things.

And then, if they're still interested,
4.) set up a clean new user for them on your Mac and let them sit at it for a moment. Tell them to "just" try it out, but be with them at that time. They'll click on some Dock icons or ask what they are. Show them Safari (but only shortly, just so they know that 'the internet' works), then show them *TELL* them that it has a good spamfilter. Tell them they'll still occasionally have to train that filter. Tell them that they can safely open *ANY* mail, without having to fear that something installs nasty software at opening a mail message.
5.) Show them iTunes. They might already know it from Windows, but they'll see how much more polished it looks on the Mac.
6.) Show them Microsoft Word, if you have it. Let them play with it for a moment, so they'll see that it's really the same thing - just in better packaging.
7.) Show them an application that might spoil them. If they're a photo person, choose iPhoto. If they're into music, let GarageBand speak for itself. TELL them it comes free with any new Mac!
8.) Slowly come back to the initial thought of it all. How they *won't* spend any more time fiddling with viri, worms and spyware.
9.) If it's a notebook you're using (and they'd buy), show them how to put it to sleep by closing the lid. Show them how fast instant-wakeup is, because if they've ever used a Windows notebook, they'll go WOW!, I can tell you.
And 10.) Patiently answer their questions. Don't think you know everything (even if you do). If you're not ENTIRELY sure about a specific question, tell them you'll find out and ask in a forum like's.

And only then, when they're at least half-convinced they should get a Mac, also tell them that there aren't only iBooks and Mac minis. Now tell them about PowerBooks. Tell them about iMacs and PowerMacs. And if you're in for a challenge: Convince a gamer to keep his PC for gaming purposes only and to get an iBook on the side for everything else. That's more difficult, of course, but still doable.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-18 at 13:10 CET ]
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Walter Mossberg gets it, then doesn't, then gets it...

Over the years, Mr. Mossberg has been a little flip-floppy about whether the Mac is a viable solution for people who dislike Windows or not. He now states in a new column that it is - but not for everyone. That's okay. We can live with that. Mainly, because it's right. But he still misunderstands some of the myths out there. The first one he bloody mentions is that the Mac uses a one-button mouse. Ah! Shuddup, already. People usually have two or three USB mice with more than one button at home, already, when they're switching to the Mac. So tell them they can actually use them instead of pointing out that the new Mac will come with a one-button one (which isn't even true with the Mac mini, which most current switchers would buy, and it's also only half-true with notebooks, where you might want to connect a third party mouse, anyway). Then he goes on to tell that you probably need to buy MS Office. That's cool, because most Windows-switchers probably actually use Word and Excel. Some even do PowerPoint. But he totally forgets that you also get VPC with the Professional version (at 80 USD more than the standard version) and instead later does name VPC as a needed software and prices it at 240 USD. Hey! Stupid? I mean: Sure you can go out, buy a Mac, then Office standard and then VPC separately, but that really is stupid. Instead, advise people to get the professional package, even if they think they might not ever want to use VPC. 80 USD is quite cheap for professional emulation software WITH a license of Windows XP, isn't it?
At the end he writes: "the Mac is a great alternative for mainstream consumers doing mainstream tasks who are sick and tired of the Windows security crisis. But it isn't for everybody." - But that just isn't right. Because many professionals *I* have brought to switching gladly spent the few extra dollars (well, Swiss Francs) they had to shell out for new software/shareware. Because the Mac did for them what I promised: It made the virus and worm and security issues vanish. First they were plagued, now they just use their computers. And for the few applications they still have to use Windows for, VPC is the right solution. They don't give VPC internet access at all - just like I advised - in order not to get viri etc. on that virtual PC. Which is perfectly okay with them. They can still take the data files of their financial software out of a shared folder and send them via without a problem.

And now here's your task, dear reader: Apple doesn't seem to want to bash Microsoft for all the virus and worm trouble. So please do go out and convert Windows people. If you hear someone sneeze "I had a virus on my laptop this morning...", just go to them and tell them that he or she wouldn't have had this problem with a Mac. Don't do long discussions about whether a Mac is better or Windows is better. Just tell them that the Mac is the solution. Without any discussion. Spread the word. The world needs it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-18 at 12:46 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-16

WWDC 2005 about Tiger

The main 'theme' of WWDC 2005 (June 6-10) will be on how developers can make use of Tiger's advanced possibilities. To me, that sounds like this will be the first WWDC in recent years that won't bring news about the next version of the operating system. Rather, it sounds like the 6th of June could actually be the release date for Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-16 at 16:48 CET ]
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Apple sueing again...

Interesting things happening.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-16 at 12:46 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-15

Nokia goes to bed with the enemy...

... and partners with Microsoft for mobile music. So Apple has Motorola as a partner. Apart from the fact that Motorola isn't exactly the leader in mobile phones (Nokia is at about 30 percent market share - and SonyEricsson, LG and Samsung look like better second choices than Motorola from a worldwide market view), it seems to me that Apple shouldn't have chosen one player in the first place. They should've offered access to the iTMS to any mobile phone maker out there. Or at least all the big ones. Nokia first, of course. Because after all: If online music on the mobile phone ever takes off big-time, neither Apple or Microsoft are going to be leader. Nokia is going to be. Simply because it provides the world with the most handsets.
So what's the reason for Apple? Do they feel the need to 'help' Motorola? Or do they intend to 'slowly try' the market with Motorola? I hope not, because once the deals are made, it's going to be much harder to convince any of the players to switch.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-15 at 10:52 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-14

Mac OS X 10.4. 8A378 seeded?

MacRumors lists reporting the build. According to our own sources, is currently down. Update: Site's back up and according to our sources, they don't see a new build - although other people with different seed access privileges could have access to the build. Oh and yeah: Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-14 at 18:14 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-11

German speaking group aims to bring OOo to Cocoa

Seeing how the download numbers for the latest version of on the Mac (using X11) has more than doubled from the last one, a German speaking interest group has decided to definitely bring OOo to Cocoa on Mac OS X. If and when a first version of the Cocoa-build will appear on the 'net remains to be seen, although the new initiative certainly gives some hope.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-11 at 17:06 CET ]
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Google takes over the world, part II

A while ago, I mused over how Google - smiling all the time, waving at everyone - slowly creeps up to be the master of the universe, or at least planet Earth. Or the 'net, to be more specific. Now, Google offers Wikipedia its 'help' (link in German). Sure, they offer to do it without placing GoogleAds on Wikipedia (which has a bit of a problem since it's so successful and depends on about 30 servers which can't really take all the load), but Wikipedia, which has thought about putting ads on its pages, might just fall for GoogleAds, anyway, since not only does that generate some money (and the more if you're more successful, of course), GoogleAds are also much less obstrusive than other ad systems with ugly banners. It's all give and take, isn't it. But let's just sum things up here: Google is where people search for information, Google wants to sum up the news for you, Google wants you to handle all your E-Mails with their good (and it _is_ good, after all) system, Google watches TV for you, too - and now Google wants to be in the most successful online encyclopedia. "Don't be evil," they might say, but the path to hell is plated with Golden Retrievers, or something similar, rings in my head... ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-11 at 14:16 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-10

Come again?

TheRegister says that mobile phone users switch carriers rather than phone numbers to avoid mobile spam. (SMS and MMS.) How's that work? Sure, I'll switch providers if that's any use, but if a spammer has my number, how's switching providers and _keeping_ my number going to save me? Gladly, SMS and MMS still cost money, whereas E-Mails don't. So I guess we won't see mobile spam as much as a problem as E-Mail spam.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-10 at 18:41 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.8 Combo Updater available

You can get it from this page. The ~100 MB download will let you update any version from 10.3.0 on upwards directly to 10.3.8, including all security updates up until now. If you're ever going to reinstall your Mac, you'll be faster using this than updating your machine through Software Update to the current version.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-10 at 16:42 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.8 7U16 released

A bit earlier than anticipated, Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.8. After 7U15, Apple has only changed some minor localisation issues, according to developers. The software download is variable in size, depending on the status of your machine. 27.7 MB for 10.3.7 systems with all the latest updates, bigger if you're still on 10.3.6 or earlier.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-10 at 02:27 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-09

Cheer Up, Vol. 1

Just a short note to make you feel good about using a Mac during the day (as if you needed it...): Have you ever noticed how Windows XP tells the user that a network cable was disconnected? Funny thing (or rather annoying thing, actually) is: Half of the time you already know, because it was you who disconnected it in the first place, but the other half of the time, the cable wasn't actually disconnected, it just means that you're now about to troubleshoot Windows XP's networking (or let somebody else do it instead). Cheer up, chances are you're using a Mac. And that's a good thing.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-09 at 16:30 CET ]
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Pages 1.0 The Good & The Bad

First of all: Pages 1.0 is what AppleWorks wordprocessing users have wanted for years. A modern wordprocessing application that uses Mac OS X' editing capabilities and font rendering. It also has great linking to iLife '05 (and '04 for those who don't want to upgrade that, too). If you intend to create beautiful documents with pictures and artwork easily, Pages is for you (and Word is not). But Pages will only take you so far (just like AppleWorks did). You won't create the really good brochures with it, you'll want to check out Adobe InDesign for that. And you won't use it professionally as a word processor either, you'll go to Microsoft Office 2004 for that.

Now where is Pages headed? If Apple adds AppleScript to Pages and gives users a few good scripts to start from, as well as a good database to go with it (I can very well imagine Apple taking this as the next step rather than a spruced up spreadsheet application), Pages will be 'good enough' for home users as well as the so-called 'small office'. But can it extend into InDesign's market as well?
Don't get me wrong: Pages can already create good-looking documents. It's much easier to learn, too. But don't let those spicy templates have you fooled like an April's: Pages by far isn't near a professional graphics designer's layout tools. And hopefully it'll never try to be. Users of Pages will gladly take its graphics abilities, but what it lacks right now is rather in the office department. Mail merge is a must (and with it, an easy to use database), for example. Scriptability would not only be 'cool', but would extend Pages' use incredibly.
However with working paragraph styles, Pages could very well be a good InDesign partner. And Adobe should rather help Pages be that than see it as a competitor.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-09 at 12:51 CET ]
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Letter to Steve

Okay, Steve. I hear the iPods (all of them except the photo) are doing insanely well, filling Apple's pockets. The Mac mini, I hear, is a success, too - and people are (as you hoped for) buying iBooks, iMacs and eMacs, too, although they first came to buy a mini. The plan of getting behind Microsoft's with iWork slowly is also working, it seems. Sure, Pages is not a word competitor per se, just like Keynote isn't a direct PowerPoint competitor, but this way Microsoft still provides for the 'real' Office package, while you can go about style etc. What the world domination plan needs now, though, is a PowerMac. Yep, a real one. Not those lackluster 2x2.5 type of machines you got there. Real powerhouses that make me scream "And what about the portables?" again. You know: They have to be so good, everybody wants them. Just like the G5 when it first came out.

There's talk of 'Mac OS X on PCs' again, although this time with a twist. Seems like PC manufacturers are luring you, Steve, into licensing Mac OS X to them as an alternative to virus-ridden Windows. The linked article says 'three of the biggest'. And let's just say this: If you really want to bring Microsoft to its knees, why not with HP and Dell for the businesses and with Sony for the rest of the world. But frankly: If those are really desperate to jump on the Mac bandwagon, I'd rather have them use PowerPCs than 'other' processors. Do they want to be part of the second coming of the Mac? Why not let them help, but on the right terms. HP, for example, could do simple desktops and really big servers. I'm not sure whether you should let Dell in, but Sony could do the media centers and the subnotebooks. While you, Apple, would still have the 'normal' notebooks and desktops. More importantly, though, you should get a good part of the money for the operating system. We all know that it's Mac OS X which would make those efforts a success. (Although Microsoft should in all fairness get a bit of the money, too, since it'd be basically their own fault.) ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-09 at 10:51 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-07

IBM & Sony's Cell

IBM and Sony (and Toshiba) today officially announced the Cell processor, a dual-core processor somewhere inbetween the POWER5 and the G5 processor, roughly ten times as powerful as what's used in today's entertainment market according to IBM. It's made it up to 4.6 GHz in test labs but will be produced at up to 4 GHz. Whether this chip will at any point in time make it into Macintosh hardware is not currently known. However it seems clear that if IBM can make PowerPC dual core chips (and with intel announcing dual core chips for the desktop coming soon) for the entertainment market, Apple's gonna want one, too.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-07 at 23:07 CET ]
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Tiger 8A369 developer reports

Developers around the world had quite a blast with the new Tiger build, it seems. 8A369 seems to be the first beta-quality build of Mac OS X 10.4, although there are still a lot of areas, where work is needed. Some mentioned non-working (or "not everytime working") clipboards, others mentioned StuffIt Deluxe causing the Finder to restart. Other third party applications not behaving well, too. But these will either be fixed by the third party developers or Apple - in the time until Tiger's release, which is still a few weeks (at least!) away.

We will continue to inform you of the progress in Tiger builds, of course. And we'll have one or two developers look into what's really going to lure users into buying the upgrade. (So far, it looks like Spotlight's going to be in the spotlight. ;) As well as the new look and Dashboard, both of which can easily be imitated by third party software in Panther, too, though.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-07 at 18:29 CET ]
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'Safer Internet Day' tomorrow

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the EU says it's the "safer internet day". Currently, users around the 'net wonder whether that means that no IP-packets of computers running an operating system made by Microsoft will be routed by 'the internet'. Others muse that "the safer internet" is also known as if the computer is virus-free (or again, simply a Mac).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-07 at 18:14 CET ]
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Spoofing Update (DNS issue)

The problem, it seems, is not bugs in the browser software. Rather it's the concept behind newer domain name schemes that allow international characters like ä or é in domain names.
This calls for a conceptual change and might take a while for resolving. Problem is: The fake sites possible with this spoof look so good to users, they won't spot the fake until they dig real deep (for example you have to actually take a look at the security certificate for a secure payment site in order to see that the certificate - which can be true - does not belong to the URL shown in the browser's address field).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-07 at 17:49 CET ]
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DNS spoofing issue in many browsers

According to this article at, you can trick almost any browser (except for IE on Windows, *cough*?!) into displaying false URLs etc. There's a proof of concept available (click on the first paypal link on that page to see) that doesn't do any harm (displays 'meow' as text, whereas the URL shown in the browser lets you think you're on This spoof works on Mac OS X on every newer browser. Older browsers can't find the server, since it involves newer naming schemes.

Theoretically, someone could set up a page which sells you, say, an iPod photo for 299 USD. A fake PayPal site could then be shown and after you give them your account information, well... You see.
So: Please do pay extra attention for a while until the browsers are updated accordingly...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-07 at 16:48 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-05

A few words on Tiger 8A369 and Tiger's development

Asking my "usual suspects" about the new Tiger build, they all say about the same thing: "First usable build." (Although at least one source has actually used 8A351 and 8A351B as main system build for a few days.) 8A369 feels better overall and more stable in details, too. It's also the first widely seeded build to not only include localisations, but also complete localisations. This is usually a sign that the feature set of the operating system is complete, i.e. we're now definitely in the beta phase of Tiger.
Tiger's not expected to ship in February, and sources say that March will probably pass without a Tiger release as well - although it would coincide with OS X' birthay, which would make for a nice marketing event near the end of March.
The build's speed is also noted as being much snappier than the last few seeded. Optimisation and bug-fixing is now Apple's task in Tiger.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-05 at 03:34 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-04

Apple seeds Tiger 8A369 (Server & client)

Shortly after 10.3.8 7U15, the new Tiger builds also appeared on ADC's servers.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-04 at 23:03 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.8 7U15 seeded

Apple has seeded the 26.7 MB update seed to ADC Select and Premier developers and says it has again fixed some audio issues between builds. The update to 10.3.8 is expected to be released in February now.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-04 at 19:18 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-03

'Synching' incompatible phones

I've talked about Apple's iSync not supporting newer phones a while ago (and again and again). Apple's just slow in this aspect, you know. Quite unable to keep up with the pace of mobile phone makers, it seems. But there's a solution, although it's not quite as comfortable as iSync. Still: A good one. It's called Chances are, if you can't use iSync with your smartphone (or even just mobile phone), you can still use a SyncML server. The service at does that. You get an account there and initialise the sync from the phone. You can then check your calendar and contact information on the web, too. You can even export and import from and to iCal and Address Book - but not automatically. But for people who want to use a Nokia Communicator 9500, it's a great, great service. Because instead of typing all those calendar items and contacts into your phone at first, you can simply import them this way. Cleanly. And you can still "synch" to iCal and Address Book at later times, although you'd probably only do so once a month or every two weeks, since it involves importing and exporting files on the web, on your computer and on your mobile phone. Great looking site, good service and right now it's still free. (Get an account before they go to version 3 from version 2, because the free version will be limited soon...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-03 at 12:43 CET ]
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Not so sure: Irony?

There are a lot of people who don't grasp what irony means. But this is not about that problem. This is about this article on the Mac mini. Either the article is a fake to make fun of Windows users or the writer's really that dumb. And if so, he says as a conclusion about the mini: "So is the mini a maxi value? For me, clearly, no. When I consider that a good deal of my time is spent running applications like Disk Defragmenter, Scandisk, Norton AV, Windows Update and Ad-Aware - none of which are available for the Mac platform - it doesn't make sense for me to "switch" to a Mac at this time."
(Hint to Windows users: Mac OS X automatically defragments, there is a Disk Utility included (and others are available), there are no viri for Mac OS X and you use Apple's Software Update instead of 'Windows Update', of course.) - Like I said. Either it's just a nicely written joke by Mac-heads - or there really are people out there who already can't see the good world because of all the Windows. That guy's got his MCSE certification. He probably has nanoversions of Bill Gates in his blood. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-03 at 11:34 CET ]
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iPhoto 5.0.1 Update

It's available through Software Update. The iPhoto 5.0.1 update corrects problems involving upgrading iPhoto 4 libraries, according to Apple, and also addresses issues dragging albums into folders, importing MPEG-4 movies and includes a number of other minor fixes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-03 at 03:02 CET ]
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news of 2005-02-01

Heretic question: Why's 17" the thinnest?

Doesn't make much sense to me. In my opinion, hardware-stability wise the 12" should be the easiest to make thin. However: It's the other way round with Apple. The 17" is the thinnest PowerBook, the 15" is the middle one and the 12" is the thickest. In absolute numbers and even more so when compared to their widths. Couldn't they all be as thin as the 17"?

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-02-01 at 03:50 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-31

New PowerBooks - as predicted.

Apple has released the new PowerBooks now. Go to their website for details, but as anticipated by our article here, the new PowerBooks come from 1.5 to 1.67 GHz. Sadly, the graphics card rumours were apparently wrong and the PBs use the same old cards as in the last round of PowerBooks, although the 17" model comes with Dual-Link DVI (for the 30" display). This can be added BTO to the 15" model. The optional 100 GB drive is nice - as are Bluetooth 2.0 and the new TrackPad that you can use scroll-wheel like when dragging with two fingers. Also new: Sudden motion sensor, that secures your harddrive. A _slight_ change, btw.: The lower-spec 15" model (1.5 GHz) has the enlightened keyboard now, too. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-31 at 15:44 CET ]
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The subnotebook I'd want...

Just imagine. (I know, I know, not everybody wants a subnote, but I do...) A PowerBook called "PowerBook mini".

  • 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 processor
  • 256 MB RAM (soldered, 1 slot free)
  • 10.6" display (1280*768)
  • 40 GB harddrive
  • some graphics card (doesn't really matter)
  • AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth included
  • 1 FW 400 port
  • 1 USB-2 port
  • 1 Mini-VGA or Mini-DVI port
  • Ethernet
  • 1.3 kg weight (2.6 lbs)
  • Battery life: 4h at "performance" setting, 8h or more at "power saving" setting

No optical drive, of course. In order to install software, you can either hook up a FW optical drive or attach the PowerBook mini to another Mac through "target mode" as an external harddrive. The whole thing should cost no more than an iBook 12", I think.

Right now, I'd buy that thing. Even if it was priced a bit higher than the entry level iBook. Sometimes, the 15" PB I have is just too much to carry, and even the 2.1 kg of the PB 12" or the 2.2 kg of the iBook 12" are too much then - compared to the subnotebooks that are possible. Sony shows that the size and weight can even include an optical drive, though.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-31 at 12:38 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-30

Looking for a Mac mini? Really?

Get an iBook instead. It's the same hardware, and for only about double the price, it gives you a) an integrated AirPort Extreme card, b) mobility and c) a nice TFT screen at 1024*768 as well as a keyboard and 'mouse' (well, a trackpad). Other than that, the hardware's really the same. And with the famous iBook monitor hack, you can even hook up a second display, although through a VGA connection only.
(I've tried again and again to configure 'my' Mac mini the way I wanted it to be and always found myself looking at the iBook instead. I guess my home cinema's media hub will soon be an iBook instead.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-30 at 16:03 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-29

Conspiracy? Conspiracy. Or?

Apple sells the iPod Photo 60 GB for 899 Swiss Francs through their online store. Mediamarkt has them, too, in Switzerland. For 999. I don't get it. Does Mediamarkt want to let people think the iPod's more expensive than it is? Or does Mediamarkt want to make more money off the iPod hype? Either way, it's strange...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-29 at 20:27 CET ]
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Apple typo or PB G5 soon?

TheRegister notes that some image link refers to a G5 PowerBook. However, it does look a lot like a typo - and adding such a link to an old page (when it'd be replaced with a whole new page, anyway, at a product change) wouldn't make much sense. Typo? Yes, we think so.
By now, MacRumors has also taken this story and has extended it by another typo. Apparently, the french version of the page for the 17" Studio Display (a very OLD page, mind you!) mentions a PB G5 also. However, that does - in my opinion - only tell me that people are constantly making these typoes.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-29 at 10:42 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-28

iPod users are cyborgs.

At least according to this WIRED article. Quote: "The iPod, for example, isn't just an MP3 player. It's an extension of the memory: storing the soundtrack of a lifetime, as well as names, addresses, calendars and notes." And even more importantly: "Giesler notes that users give their iPods names, and carry them close to their bodies - the vibrations of the hard drive makes the device feel alive."

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-28 at 13:29 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-26

Apple's Security Update 2005-001

Guess they'll number it that way from now on. ;) You can read about it here, and get it - of course - through Software Update.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-26 at 03:21 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-25

Anandtech's second Mac article...

... from a PC Power User's Perspective. Quite longish again, but well written and nicely pro PowerBooks. ;) Go read it here...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-25 at 06:43 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.8 7U10 seeded

The 25.1 MB package has been seeded to ADC Select and Premier members. For this build, devs are asked to look after Graphics and OpenGL intensive apps especially games and general system reliability. This build has a kernel fix concerning audio.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-25 at 05:25 CET ]
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Lismore's Guest PC

Lismore Systems announces that they're going to release Guest PC in February. Seeing how VirtualPC (now by Microsoft) does a 'good' job on Apple's hardware, I think they must have something better - or wouldn't bother to try and compete at all. We'll sure look into it as soon as more information on this piece of emulation software becomes available.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-25 at 04:40 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-22

Apple: Leave Cmd-Space ALONE, already!

Edit: Nevermind, you can disable the keyboard shortcuts for Spotlight in Tiger 8A351 in System Preferences. ;) (Apple devs: Put a sticky on your displays that tells you NEVER to steal Cmd-Space from Adobe's applications' zoom function again...)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-22 at 02:59 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-21

Apple seeds Tiger 8A351

Another build for Tiger, and Tiger Server as well (also 8A351). There are a few known issues with this build concerning, among other things, SMB copying. But overall, Apple seems to have put a lot of work into the builds since 323A. More to follow...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-21 at 23:23 CET ]
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PowerBook G4

Sources suggest that Apple will release another PowerBook G4 round in the next two weeks. The notebooks will only up the tech specs to 1.67 GHz max and will incorporate the just announced ATi Mobility Radeon X700. Bigger harddrives are also mentioned. We'll probably see the 12" model at 1.5 GHz, the 15" at 1.5 and 1.67 and the 17" at 1.67 GHz until the PowerBook G5 takes over in Summer (or "late Summer").

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-21 at 14:43 CET ]
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Update on Mac mini: AppleWorks

The Mac mini does indeed come with office software: AppleWorks 6.x is included. I guess they want users to buy iWork. And I also guess people will. :)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-21 at 03:34 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-19

Mac mini compared...

I've read this article and others that try and compare the Mac mini to cheapo PCs. Well, I think that I'm better suited to do this than a lot of those PC-heads. Because I'm a PC-head, too - but I also am a Mac user.

So let's go. First: Style. The Mac mini is so small and inobstrusive, you basically can hide it behind a PostIt™ note. The cheapo PC is so big and ugly that you're going to put it under your desk, so usability lacks (put in a DVD for me, please?). But quite clearly, the Mac mini wins hands down in this area.

Second: Operating System. The Mac mini comes with Mac OS X. The cheapo PC either comes with nothing at all (barebones system) or Windows XP Home. Both aren't really an option. So you'll either go Linux or add some money for Windows XP Pro, but the latter will eat your computer by letting in worms, viri and script-kiddies (in this order). But then Linux doesn't let you use professional software like MS Office or Adobe and Macromedia products. So again, the Mac mini clearly wins.

Third: Multimedia. The Mac mini comes with iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and GarageBand. This point goes to the Mac mini, and no, I'm not forgetting what the PC comes with, it's just not worth mentioning.

Fourth: Office software. The Mac doesn't come with office software, but neither does the cheapo PC. So you'll end up buying MS Office (money!), using or buying iWork for 79 USD. iWork also gives you Keynote 2. Point goes to the Mac mini here.

Fifth: Games. The Mac's not good at it. For the PC, you'll need a better graphics card, because the on-board graphics system isn't up to the task, but that'll only set you back a little money, unless you go big. But at least you can. The PC hands down wins in games.

Sixth: Ease of use. The Mac wins.

Seventh: Troubleshooting. There's a lot more troubleshooting for the PC. So the PC wins.

That's 5:2 for the Mac, and I'm quite sure that the seventh point is somehow misinterpreted by my person. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-19 at 20:02 CET ]
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PowerBooks and eMac EOL

PowerBooks and eMac (SuperDrive version) have been called end-of-life'd by MacBidouille. Both a new PowerBook and a G5 eMac have been rumoured to be announced at MWSF or the month after - here on our site.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-19 at 16:48 CET ]
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Voice controlled iPods?

You can read about a company's efforts to create voice controlled music players at TheRegister. However: I think different. ;)

All the voice control I'd need for my iPod could fit into a headphone or a remote control unit that goes between the iPod and the headphones. It'd need a microphone (small, inobstrusive) and a tiny chip. It'd only have to be able to do the very basic controls of 'play', 'pause', 'next' and 'previous'. So nothing really fancy is needed, I guess, to enable voice controlled iPods... Doable? Yes. Should Apple do it? No, we just need a third party developer to do it. I'm sure someone would buy it.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-19 at 15:00 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-18


The official pages at Apple are online.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-18 at 21:07 CET ]
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Mac OS X 10.3.8 7U7 seeded

Apple has seeded the second build of 10.3.8 to developers. According to our source, this build further improves graphics drivers and OpenGL performance, Active Directory and certain applications' launch speed. Also a focus of 10.3.8: Another performance issue with LDAP (DNS) lookups.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-18 at 11:42 CET ]
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Pages: First Impressions

We've asked a few of our contacts for a short review of Pages, the word processing part of iWork, and have a few things to say about it.

First and foremost: You can disable the bloody templates. ;) - Or rather: You can choose one of your own or 'Empty' as your default template and never again have to see all of those overbombing templates Apple has created for "the rest of us" who panick when presented with an empty page.

Second: Pages is said to be a tad slow on older hardware. However: It works fine on anything G4 above 800 MHz, according to our reports.
Working with Pages is pretty straight-forward, from whichever word processing application you're coming. It quite certainly replaces the AppleWorks word processing part beautifully, but it also converts Word documents nicely, with tables and all. (I'm sure you can create Word docs, though, that give Pages some headaches. But why try...)
The file format for Pages has the suffix '.pages' and is not compatible with any other known word processor. You can however import the most important formats and export to RTF, PDF, HTML (which actually creates 'nice' HTML files with a CSS file that does not include any unnecessary stuff, so it's quite useful!) and DOC. Sadly, you can't specify .doc as your default format, which would be handy if you'd like to use Pages as a full Word replacement.

Overall, the reports have been quite positive, although some wishes have been voiced, too. For example, there's no way of setting a 'default font' - you'll have to create a default template in which you specify the font. Not much hassle, though. And once you start working with your own templates, that feature might become useful again.

One tester notes that 'Justify' has an issue with shift-returns and full-returns, i.e. you can't tell it to not justify the last line before a shift-return, which looks quite ugly, of course. Hopefully, Apple will address such issues in a 1.0.1 update rather than in Pages version 2 next year...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-18 at 04:00 CET ]
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New iTunes/Pepsi promo

It'll start at the end of January 2005. MacRumors has a copy of a screenshot that shows Apple was preparing pages for the promotion.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-18 at 03:30 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-17

A rant. Sort of... ;)

Microsoft is good. (*cough...*) Yeah, I can hear you rumble. But think of it: MS has spent the past two or three years helping Apple. They've let viri and worms take over the desktops and notebooks running Windows XP. They've made it harder than ever to actually use their OS, since it now takes even activation to get to a working system. But they didn't stop there! They admitted there's a spyware problem (a big one) with Windows by putting out an anti-spyware software now. And they don't even stop there and have postponed Longhorn over and over again.

Wake Up, Apple! - I mean: How much opportunities can Microsoft give Apple to succeed? They've done everything imaginable apart from going out of business, which is understandable, I believe. Wouldn't make much sense now, would it. But Apple: Are you, at all, willing to take the chance? The Mac mini is certainly one step in the right direction. But I don't see you fighting for it just yet. The window's still open. But Microsoft isn't known to be very patient with competitors. They've given you some time, but that time will close when Longhorn arrives. Then, people will upgrade their PCs and upgrade to Longhorn.
Before that is the time when you can persuade people out there that there's a better way. Come on! Bring on iBooks for 699 and 799 USD. Come ON! Bring us faster PowerMacs and PowerBooks already. Give what it bloody takes. If MS makes it to Longhorn before Apple can snatch back some of the market, if Linux continues to eat into that window MS has opened - and Apple continues to struggle along with cash to spare in the back pocket... Could we really forgive Apple?

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-17 at 13:04 CET ]
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VGA PocketPC and VNC -> Mac

WIRED has a story about an Austrian Mac user who leaves his PowerBook at home and uses it from cafés and other places via VNC over WiFi on his PocketPC, which has a 640*480 screen. While I'd rather see Apple do a real subnotebook once again (we've got the cheap Mac now, now we're pushing other stuff, right?), I think it's a nice story. Not that _I_ would consider working like that, really - although I sure hope there'll be a VNC client for my Nokia Communicator one day... ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-17 at 12:09 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-16

Agile Messenger for Nokia 9500/9300

'Sometime in January 2005', they state on their downloads page for the great (and free!) multi-messenger application Agile Messenger, which I once dubbed 'iChat for your mobile phone'.
The file you'll want if you're using a new Nokia Communicator 9500 or 9300, is actually already available for download on the linked page. You'll just have to replace "S60", for example, with something referring to your phone's type. If you don't manage, send me a line. If you do, tell me how you like the application. (It's also available for Nokia Series 60 mobile phones such as the N6600 or N7610, Sony Ericsson's P800/900/910 as well as a bunch more.)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-16 at 11:59 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-14

iBook & PowerBook G5 in Q2/2005?

You can see here at that both an iBook and a PowerBook G5 are expected in quarter two of 2005.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-14 at 14:00 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-13

WIRED wrong?

In this article about MacWorld in general, iPod and Mac mini, WIRED's Leander Kahney says that while the iPod shuffle is clearly a success, there are voices about the Mac mini which put it down as 'another Cube', which was a 'huge mistake'. I think Leander (or the cited MacWorld visitor) is wrong here, since... Let's just think for a moment what was bad about the Cube, shall we?
The Cube was not bad in fact. It was its price. Read anything about the Cube, or just think about it for a moment... It wasn't really the Cube's fault. ;) It was clearly its price. Had the Cube been priced at 799 or 699 USD back then, we'd see Cubes all over the place now. So, in my opinion, WIRED's wrong here. Okay. Leander Kahney is wrong. Or rather Kevin Krank, head of the service department at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, who said "he wasn't impressed with the Mac mini".

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-13 at 12:25 CET ]
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Apple's new Tiger tour

You'll find it here. Shows you the new look of Tiger, which has obviously changed again. The menubar still has the new look, but the Apple logo and Spotlight logo are different.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-13 at 03:18 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-12

iTunes 4.7.1

Although the update doesn't bring anything new but iPod Shuffle support, it's probably still worth downloading. ;) Software Update has it at 8.6 MB size.
Update: Apparently, 4.7.1 solves a security issue, where malicious playlists could cause iTunes to crash and could execute arbitrary code.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-12 at 02:22 CET ]
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Editorial: Next - the world...

Rumour sites around the world: We should all pat ourselves on the shoulders. We've asked Apple for a long time to create the Mac mini, although we'd have been pleased with an uglier box, even. ;) But Apple's got it right, and it wouldn't be Apple if the new Mac wasn't right on target but also incredibly sexy, so you'll just have to have one.

But with these years of rumours about a cheap Mac, let's not forget the reason behind those rumours. And the reason was market share. Apple just didn't have a stake in the low-end market. And a cheap Mac was, so we always said, the way to go for this to happen.

Dear fellow Mac heads: Apple's job was it to create the machine, make it beautiful and cheap enough yet powerful enough to please the crowds. They've done their part. Now it's ours. Go out and preach again. Sure, when people a few weeks ago said that Macs were still too expensive, we could point them to the iBooks, but those didn't turn enough heads. Now you can shove a Mac mini down their throat. But make sure to explain to them that their TFT display, their hp printer, their USB keyboard and USB threethousandsixty button mouse works with the Mac mini. And make sure they understand that a Mac mini is a real Mac. Let's be Macevangelists again... So that Apple can - once more - claim 10 percent market share.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-12 at 01:40 CET ]
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"BBEdit Light II" - TextWrangler

BareBones Software has released TextWrangler 2.0, and it's free. There's a nice article on MacDevCenter about it, and if you were ever keen on BBEdit but didn't have the money right then and there, give this new "BBEdit Light" a chance, although BB doesn't like it when you call it that. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-12 at 01:21 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-11

What's there, what's not...

Here's the list of what we did see from our rumours:

  • iPod Shuffle (our prices were both right, it seems)
  • Mac mini (again, the pricing was right, too)
  • iLife '05
  • iWork '05

Now to what was wrong...

  • Tiger (no release date, but we were right about Steve showing off Dashboard, although that really was an easy guess...) ;)
  • PowerBook G5 (it'll come, just not right now)
  • PowerMac G5 (it'll come, just not right now)
  • Asteroid (now: will we see that one day?)

All in all, we'd say this was one good keynote. Sure, the Mac mini probably had all the spotlight, but it's got all the rights to that, too, we think. The Mac mini will sell a lot to switchers - but also as 'secondary Macs' or 'home entertainment Macs' to previous Mac owners. Here's to the hope that it won't be sold out the day it hits the market (22nd January in the US, 29th January for the rest of the world).
iWork looks nice, although without a spreadsheet application, it still can't replace AppleWorks or MS Office totally. But I guess we'll see 'Numbers' or something like that in about a year.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-11 at 21:41 CET ]
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MacWorld San Francisco Keynote (Live)

Time to go...

  • Stage still empty, still up. The international stores are also still up (they usually go down first).
  • The usual nervosity before a Stevenote. It's time now, but we're still waiting...
  • Are you nervous? Sorry, sorry, I know, I shouldn't add list-items if nothing new happens. ;) I'll only add bullets now if something's really new... Oh, yeah: U2's 'Vertigo' is playing. The usual up until now, it seems. :)
  • Lights go out.
  • Steve enters the stage.
  • Talk about the retail stores. Numbers etc.
  • Talking about iMac G5. We're in the 'wrapping up the year' mode now. Business as usual...
  • Tiger. 10.4 is being demonstrated. Looks the same as newer builds reviewed on, one of our contact says.
  • Sorry if we're slow updating the page here, but after all, it's still recap time. Nothing new about Tiger so far. A number, though: More than 200 new features according to Steve. Although those numbers usually count _everything_ worth mentioning...
  • An error message on Tiger. This doesn't belong to the demo, we fear...
  • Still spotlighting... Album art search. More...
  • Talking about 2.0's new features, new looks...
  • Quicktime 6.x is renamed 7.0. Nothing new compared to the latest Tiger betas reviewed, though. H.264 etc.
  • Dashboard. ;)
  • Basically, Sherlock's search channels are moving to Dashboard, it seems from the demo.
  • Translator module translates in real time - as you type. Nice. ;)
  • Btw.: Online Store's down now. Guess we've missed that point in time as it was still online when the keynote started...
  • iChat AV 2's new features. Just like we know them... (This ALL is basically still recap mode...)
  • We've just confirmed this: QT7 is Tiger, will _not_ be released today according to what Steve said so far...
  • Video time. Calls 2005 year of HD video...
  • Final Cut Express HD introduced. (We'll put the really new stuff in bold now.
  • iLife '05:
  • iPhoto now has MPEG-4 capability, since many digicams offer to store videoclips. Also: Projects, subprojects (better organisation, basically, of photos...). RAW format support. Advanced slide shows. Transitions can vary between photos.
  • More and cheaper books from iPhoto. Probably still only US customers, though? Would be a pity...
  • iMovie HD. (Although HD cams are, well, quite expensive...)
  • A long talk between Sony's president and Apple's just took place on stage. Talk about integration, about HD video... But nothing really newsworthy.
  • iDVD. 15 new themes. 1-step DVD creation.
  • GarageBand. John Mayer demoing. 8 track recording, realtime music notation, etc.
  • Next... iWork. - Keynote 2 is first.
  • Pages. Schiller's demoing it. "Does it all." 40 Apple designed templates (not that I'd care, but AppleWorks users are accustomed to them, I guess...). iWork is 79 USD, just like iLife (which is more expensive now...).
  • Mac Mini ... Very 'little' Mac. Nice, quiet, FW/USB-2/analogue and digital video out. 499 USD for the 1.25 GHz model, 599 for the 1.4 GHz model. Available on January 22nd. -> image...
  • iTMS. More than 250 mio songs sold.
  • iPod. Nothing new besides iPod jacks in new Mercedes cars. Motorola phone now.
  • The flash iPod: iPod Shuffle. One ounce weight. USB-2. 12 hours on battery (charged through USB connection). 512 MB for 99 USD. (We told you so. Well, the price point.) ;) 149 USD for the 1 GB version.
  • Keynote seems to end now...
  • is updated with the new goods.
  • All said and done. Thanks for reading.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-11 at 20:02 CET ]
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MWSF Roundup 3

  • Flash-based iPod - It'll either cost 149 or 99 USD, depending on which of our sources is right. Its name shall be "Shuffle", the rumour-mongers say, and it'll pack 1 GB, or 240 AAC encoded songs. Although if it really hasn't got a display, I wonder how 'Apple' exactly it can be, and whether people won't whine about the price here, since they can get memory stick MP3 players with 'more' interface for 'less'. We'll see...
  • iPod mini 5GB - At 249 or 199 USD, again depending on which source is right.
  • Asteroid - FireWire breakout box. This rumour stirred the crowd, since it probably was the reason for the first rumour-suit (don't let your mind wander off...) in December 2004.
  • Headless consumer Mac at 499 or 599 USD - One for me, one for you? Has the time really come for Apple to take back some of the market? Will the device be 'good enough'? And further: Will Apple keep updating it over the next year, so that it stays attractive?
  • iLife '05 - Let's see what's inside (no details so far).
  • iWork '05 - According to rumours, this will contain both Keynote 2 and Pages. Recently, 'Pages' was found trademarked by Apple, so this sounds like a good one, although ThinkSecret did a step back and mused whether there would be an iWork package or simply separate applications.
  • PowerMac G5 - A new PowerMac G5 will appear at MWSF or shortly (about a month) thereafter.
  • PowerBook G5 - Sources not so sure anymore that it's ready for primetime. An interim G4 upgrade is an option, too. This would probably be the 'worst' thing about this MWSF, since it's been almost a year after the last PB G4. 1.67 GHz vs. 1.5? That's not really newsworthy and should have been a silent upgrade half a year ago...
  • Tiger - We'll hear the release date. And not only that, we'll also see Steve Jobs show off Dashboard quite a bit. Hopefully, we'll also see some important news about Tiger, but Dashboard seems to be the 'lickable' feature, whereas Spotlight is the technological feature. Since MWSF is very consumer-oriented, Steve'll probably talk more about how Dashboard might change your world. And he'll emphasise its Exposé relationship, in order not to stir more Konfabulator talk. Which'll still happen out there, won't it. ;)

We're going to go into 'text-mode' for the time of the keynote and will, of course, keep you informed.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-11 at 11:00 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-09

WIRED's vapourware awards

You'll find, among many other things, Longhorn on 3rd: "Obviously, Microsoft won't be able to finish the code until it's had a peek at Apple's forthcoming Tiger." Of course, Apple's 3 GHz G5 is also on the list - at 8th place.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-09 at 17:44 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-08

Editorial: Should the industry pay more attention to BitTorrent?

And I don't mean whether they should shut down more networks, although that's probably what they're thinking about right now. What I mean is: The BitTorrent trackers around the world (and the recently deceased especially) should give the creators of the illegally shared media quite a good idea of the potential of a commercial version of P2P. Here's how I mean that...
BitTorrent websites that host the torrent files usually give the users statistics about the files. I.e. you can look at the number of finished and unfinished clients (every client's a server). This not only tells a user whether the download's "going to be good" (i.e. fast), it also shows which files are more popular than others.

Now let's for the moment not think about 'moviez', 'gamez' or 'warez' - let's think about TV shows for now. (Although the same thoughts might apply to other areas as well.) People around the world are downloading the newest episodes of their favourite TV shows the very day they first air. There seems to be quite an interest in that. Now the creators of those shows could react in two ways, really. One of them, I think, is the right one. The other one's the one those companies tend to choose. ;)
They should simply make the episodes available to users out there. Legally. At a subscription or per-episode price. (Better do both...) They should make the eps available at the time they air. There's one very good reason why they should do that instead of trying to put their thumb on the illegal downloads. And it goes like this:

The users will download the eps anyway. But if they can download officially - and at an 'okay' price - the companies would make money, they otherwise wouldn't.

Those companies might argue that if they 'kill' the inofficial downloading of episodes of TV shows, they don't "lose money", but even if that was true, it'd still mean less money. However: The past few years should definitely have shown them that they simply don't stand a chance. Look at the music sharing crowd. Until Napster came along, people were already exchanging MP3s on FTP, Hotline, Carracho and other systems. Napster made things big. "The Industry" killed Napster, but what happened? Some people simply went back to the older systems I've mentioned, but most of them simply jumped to other solutions - and although "the enemy" (the illegal traders of songs) certainly took a hit - i.e. it became more difficult to get at the songs you wanted - the basic situation (which "The Industry" doesn't like at all) stayed the same: A new album comes out, and the same day or sometimes even before that, it's available for free (illegally, of course) on the net for everyone to enjoy. Systems like iTMS didn't change that basic problem, but they moved a lot of illegal music downloaders to the 'good' crowd. As Steve Jobs has put it: Good karma. And a much better experience overall.

I think the creators of TV shows should take action soon. The big sin's already happened, anyway. Want an episode of a TV show in good resolution without ad-breaks? No, you don't have to buy an expensive DVD box several months after the show first aired - you can simply download them. If you're on a broadband connection, it's really not much of a problem (besides the 'karma' issue of illegality). My call is simple and should be understood even by the most simple minds in the industry: "Hey, come and make some money, honey."

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-08 at 13:57 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-07

And here's the first pic...

If you find clearer (better res) shots, I'd be glad to put them up...

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-07 at 16:14 CET ]
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It's not a rumour...

At CES now, Motorola has officially announced their iTunes compatible phone, and it should be ready for your buying pleasure at MWSF. Sadly, I haven't found any previews or reviews with pictures yet. But I guess they'll pop up over at infoSync today.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-07 at 15:20 CET ]
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Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.3.8 7U3

Apple today seeded ADC members with a first build of 10.3.8. So we _will_ see Panther go up to .8, just like Jaguar (last version was 10.2.8). The update will bring users of Panther general system stability improvements along with graphics performance increases.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-07 at 01:50 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-06

OmniWeb 5.1 released

OmniGroup has released version 5.1 of OmniWeb, which should fix some issues with 5.0/5.0.1. The release notes are to be found here, although you'll have to read through the beta release notes, too, since the final version's only includes changes from beta 5.

In other news, CharlesSoft has released BootCD 0.6.1 (link is direct download,'s website does not yet reflect the new version as we're writing this...).

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-06 at 10:06 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-05

Gmail accounts revisited again part 3

This time around we're going to do it differently. I have 10 Gmail accounts to give away. Feel free to donate a little money to me through my PayPal account - but it's not mandatory. The best reasons will get an account (really good reasons will get two...) But the first step is always: Contact me (mail link below) and tell me why I should give you one. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-05 at 13:06 CET ]
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PSX Emulation on OS X

You can get PCSX for Mac OS X here and reanimate those PSX games you've bought. The emulator does PlayStation 1 games, apparently. I'm sure many people who once have bought VGS from Connectix are glad they can now use the PS1 games on OS X.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-05 at 10:47 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-04

Apple does.

The stores are open again, and there's now new Xserves (2.3 GHz) and the displays are at a new lower price (starting at 999 USD), just as we predicted before the stores came back up. Also, Apple has released Xsan at 999 USD per node, which we've written about several times in its development cycle.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-04 at 14:53 CET ]
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Apple to reduce Cinema Display prices

... and quite drastically so. The 20" one is down about 500 CHF according to our source (thanks, btw.). So is the 30" one. The 23" one is down about 300 CHF, it seems. (I compare pricing between a leaked screenshot of Apple's store and, where prices might already be lower than before at Apple's. So the difference could even be bigger...) Apple Online Store still down, btw.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-04 at 14:18 CET ]
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AppleStore closed...

MacBidouille notes that Apple's online stores are closed as of now. New Xserve hardware's expected by AppleInsider and others. We'll see when the stores come back up. The American Apple Online Store is up, though, but it's the usual case that European stores go down first.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-04 at 10:51 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-03

Confirmation of iWork moniker

MacRumors sheds some light on the iWork name. Apparently, IGG has changed its app's name from iWork to iBiz, and an earlier patent application from IGG has changed to Apple's application back in August 2004.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-03 at 23:23 CET ]
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news of 2005-01-01

The plot doesn't thicken... (MWSF Roundup 2)

Or does it. Well, we're talking about the usual rumour-wave before MWSF. It's still about 10 days away, but as could be expected, there are now quite a few rumours floating around. What I mean by that the plot doesn't thicken is that right now, we're in the phase where the field actually widens. In our experience, this means that about 75 percent of the rumours will turn out to be false. So let's take a closer look at what MWSF has in store for us - along with a bit of commenting, shall we.

  • Flash-based iPod - This rumour was one of the first to appear on the 'net with a target date for MWSF. The rumour was first based on some deal about flash-based memory, which could, of course, be targetting something else than a flash-based iPod version. There have been various mock-up pictures between then and now, but none seem to be 'true'. However: There has been confirmation from various sides to our site, and believe this one will become true. The price for the device as well as the memory size could not be confirmed so far, but if the second rumour is true, it'll either cost 149 or 99 USD.
  • iPod mini 5GB - One year after the iPod mini's first introduction at 4GB, Apple will release an updated version, maybe with new colours. The device's price will be reduced to 199 USD, according to our sources. This rumour's believed to be entirely true.
  • Asteroid - The famous FireWire breakout box rumour (which started on and AppleInsider) is believed to be the cause for Apple's lawsuit about 'something' versus 'someone', which amused the crowds a few days before christmas. Thus, we believe, it's true and will go with GarageBand 2.
  • Headless consumer Mac at 499 or 599 USD - Given the relatively late appearance of the rumour and the focus of various sources (we were contacted by 2 'good' sources about it a day prior to ThinkSecret's article), we also believe this one to be true.
  • iLife '05 - It's a given. The only thing still unclear is whether Apple will or will not bring out iTunes 5 along with the rest of the iLife crowd.
  • Keynote 2 - This rumour has been confirmed.
  • iWork '05 - We've been covering Apple's development of the next generation of AppleWorks for quite a while, and were (back then) a bit surprised that it was Keynote which made it to the market first. However: It seems that as with the 'cheap Mac' (or cMac), Apple wanted to wait for the right moment in time. The previously rumoured 'Document' application will, according to this new ThinkSecret article be called 'Pages' now. In order to replace AppleWorks totally, the suite would, of course, also have to have a spreadsheet application and some kind of 'FileMaker Light'. But Apple could say that if you need a database, you can get FileMaker instead (FileMaker Inc.'s still a subsidiary of Apple).
  • PowerMac G5 - A new PowerMac G5 will appear at MWSF or shortly (about a month) thereafter. Discussions are, according to our sources, still going on in Cupertino.
  • PowerBook G5 - The next PowerBook revision will be the initial PowerBook G5. Talk about whether it's ready to be announced at MWSF '05 has been muted by now, but as far as we know, we'll see either the PowerBook or the new PowerMac released at MWSF.
  • Tiger - It's been rumoured by various sites a while ago that Tiger would be released at MWSF, but that's pure nonsense. It's not ready yet. (The rumour was based on some combo deal with iLife '04 and Panther, which ends at MWSF, but that's because of iLife '05, of course.) However, we will hear the release date of Tiger and the public will finally see more of the new look that Tiger betas have gotten in the time since WWDC.

There have been other rumours floating around, too, but we don't give them any credibility. The following ten days will hopefully bring new information, and we'll update this list and post another roundup shortly before MWSF. Also, we'll of course be reporting live, so you can read the report if you don't have the chance to be there yourself or watch the stream.

[ written by fryke™ on 2005-01-01 at 15:45 CET ]
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