Test Drive a Mac Mini

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News

Woah!. I am not sure when this went live, but I guess maybe someone at Apple is listening to the MacCast. Apple has a Test Drive a Mac Mini program. It is an online exclusive program that allows you to order a Mac Mini and try it for 30 days, if you like it you keep it. Otherwise call within the 30 day trail period and you have 15 days to return it no questions asked. If you order a mouse and keyboard at the same time you can also return those. I wonder if Apple’s marketing team will be sending me a consulting fee? Just kidding.

Update: Something strange is going on. Looks like this promo is no longer on Apple’s site and the images and pages have been pulled. Even stranger is that I am an affiliate with Apple through their LinkShare program and this offer is in an email I just received, but all the links and images are dead. Hmmm. Maybe they didn’t like the idea after all? I’ll keep ya posted.

Update: (08/31 – 10:24 PM PST)
I just received this from LinkShare in my email:
“As a follow-up to an email we sent you this morning, please note that the Mac mini Test Drive promotion is no longer offered at the Apple Store. We have dynamically updated the banners and landing pages for this promotion, so if you are featuring this promotion on your site, they will automatically update to another promotion. Please be sure to update your Mac mini Test Drive text links. The rest of the promotions featured in today’s email are still live.

We apologize for the inconvenience”

MacCast 08.30.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050830.mp3 [20.1mb 43:57 64kbps]

A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 85. Apple applies for “Made for iPod” trademark, developers expecting smooth transition to Intel, Apple secures a steady supply of G4 chips, Apple wins PC Mags People’s Choice Awards, again. Stupid iPod thief gets caught red handed at Apple store, Windows apps are running under OSX86, sort of. Record companies pushing for higher iTunes prices, Safari updated version 2.01 released and special Apple Music event planned for September 7th. Typical PC User Promo, Mac vidcast recommendations, that little black dot is reminding you it’s time to save, listener comments from Argentina on “Try it, you’ll like it” concept, “Cashmere” Macs are not warm and fuzzy, issue where listening to AAC and enhanced Podcasts requiring reboots and listener review of Kensington Slim Type Keyboard. eMacCast Artwork Contest ends 9/1 please get your entries in on the MacCast forum. New music, Out of Mind by Last Minute Ville

Broaden your minds — have another beer. Have two!

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The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Macintosh: Part 8

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial

A Brief and Warped History of the Mac, part 8 (My Favourite Mac)

This week, I’ve been in the mood to reminisce and have been thinking about all the Macs I’ve owned, used or lusted over. Hopefully, this week’s edition will spark a nice thread in the MacCast forums because I’m sure all us Mac Geeks love to gush about which model is our favourite ever Mac.

Way back in the 1980’s when I was young and the Mac was just a little younger, I didn’t know much about computers, I was happy pottering with the Toshiba HX-10 machine that my grandparents bought me for Christmas when I was 4. Even at that age I could just about manage the simplest elements of the BASIC programming that it required – though I will apologise to my Mum for the hours of copying code into the computer that she was persuaded to do on my behalf.

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MacCast 08.24.2005 – Special Interview with Leo Laporte

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050824SP.mp3 [34.4mb 01:15:03 64kbps]

A podcast for Macs geeks by a Mac geeks. This is a special edition of the MacCast, my interview with Leo Laporte host and producer of the #1 podcast on the planet, This Week in Tech (TWiT), as well as Call for Help on G4/TechTV. New music, When She Speaks by John Hoskinson

Thanks to Leo for taking the time to speak with us.

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Show Links
Powermail
Nisus
Mellel
NoteTaker
Notebook
Hog Bay Notebook
Launchbar
Quicksilver
Konfabulator
BBEdit
TextWrangler
Feeder
Ecto

Leo Laporte Links
TWIT
Call For Help
The Tech Guy on KFI
Security Now
Leo Laporte’s Guide to Mac OS X Tiger
Revision 3 (Will be doing video for TWiT)

MacCast 08.23.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050823.mp3 [12.6mb 27:29 64kbps]

A podcast for Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 84. FCC documents verify Motorola iTunes model number, will it be flash based iPod Minis or 2 GB and 4 GB Shuffles? Welcome the next governor of the great state of California, Steve Jobs? Tip to speed up spring loaded folders, listener reports some serious issues with some 30″ Apple cinema displays, listener review of Desktop Manager, Tiger no longer uses Crontabs for periodic maintenance and the eMacCast artwork contest. New music, Take Back Sunday by Rally Car

Dude, where’s my car? Where’s your car dude? DUDE, where’s my car?

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MacCast 08.20.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050820.mp3 [19.1mb 41:45 64kbps]

A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 83. Apple’s 007 security update break 64-bit, new update available, Apple launches Repair Extension program for iMac G5s. Is Apple trying to temp you to upgrade pre-Intel? Apple Retail Stores having a negative impact on independent resellers and iPodderX now does Windows. More Mac OS X for generic PC debate, Tip on making a mightier Mighty Mouse. Will Apple ever produce a PDA? Tip on how to never forget to add a mail attachment again, comments on music on the MacCast, my opinion on why Apple needs a “try it, you’ll like it” program and announcing the eMacCast artwork contest. New music, Beautiful Drive by Tara Leigh Cobble.

Up in the sky, look: It’s a bird; it’s a plane… It’s Superman

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Microsoft “iPod” Patent isn’t a Patent

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Feedback

Well, seems like the media spin over the so called Microsoft iPod patent is even bigger than we thought. Look at what listener Nick just pointed out to me:

I wanted to comment on something you talked about in your 8-17 show regarding Apple’s iPod patent problems. There seems to be a lot of misinformation regarding this story and I’m glad you talked about this. One thing that I’m not sure if you’re aware of though, is that Microsoft’s patent application has been turned down too, so they don’t hold the patent on this technology either. They simply turned the application in before Apple did. This is still unclear but from what I understand, the descriptions on both applications are too vague and overlap one another somewhat. The patent that Microsoft filed seems to have more in common with Smart Playlists and the way that a device could assemble a playlist by looking at a user’s habits, etc. (similar to the way Amazon.com suggests other products you might like based on products you’ve already purchased). Regardless of what happens with Apple’s patent, it looks like Microsoft will have a hard time getting the rights to this because it seems to be a pretty basic use of databases.

There is some good additional information over on the Register, read it here.

Patent Links
Apple’s Patent Filing (Robbin, Jobs, Schiller)
Microsoft’s Patent Filing (Platt)

MacCast 08.17.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050817.mp3 [17.9mb 39:08 64kbps]

A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 82. Microsoft iPod patent dispute, $50 iBook sale results in mob and injuries, Apple may be partnering with Google to sell iTunes, Apple releases Security Update 007, build your own Mac for $199 and a Hong Kong inventor files DRM patent lawsuit against Apple and others. OS X for Intel PC feedback, MSN Messenger 5 with other chat systems, Apple Certified Alliance Directory, recommendation for running Apple scheduled maintenance scripts, make sure you run the latest version of Disk Utility when repairing permissions, buyer beware when purchasing older Macs. No Tiger upgrade. Is the single processor 1.8 GHz G5 the buggiest Mac ever? Some thoughts from a MacCast listener. New music, Prozac Girl by Sunspot

We evil magicians have to make a living too.

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The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Macintosh: Part 7

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial

A Brief and Warped History of the Mac, part 7 (Soul of a Mac)

Welcome to the HitchHiker’s Guide to the Macintosh.

Firstly, I want to say thanks to all the people who emailed me or left feedback on the site in relation to my six-part history of the Mac feature. Hopefully many of you will keep reading the column as I move on to other topics.

It is human nature to anthropomorphise the objects around us – we all like to think that our pets have the same sort of thoughts as we do and we like to think that the objects around us have personalities. Can you honestly say that as a child you never looked at a car and thought of the headlamps as eyes and the radiator as a mouth with an expression?

Well, in this column I want to explore the aspects that give the Mac a distinct personality and ask ‘What is the soul of a Mac?’

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Review: Samsonite XT780 Case

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News, Reviews

Samsonite XT780 starstarstarstar
This review is on a piece of hardware that is usually given only a slight afterthought. I’m talking about the case your mac goes into. I’ve had a Samsonite XT780 for about 3 months and I’d say its a perfect mac companion. The front semi-lockable (its as if you’re locking a door by turning a knob) compartment holds your chargers and portable mice. The Apple charger fits perfectly into one of the compartments, as does the Apple mouse.

Now, onto the most important feature: the computer. If you have a 15 inch powerbook or 14 inch ibook, then you’re in luck. It fits perfectly. But if you have anything else, it’s not going to fit snug enough to provide adequate protection.

There are pockets galore on the TX780, but many of them I found rather unhelpful. A few papers and a small paperback book can fit into the final back compartment- that much I understand. But there are some pockets I cannot find a use for. For instance, in the front compartment where the charger and mouse holders are, are 3 small pockets less than an inch deep. I can’t even fit my iPod firewire cord in it. Flipping back to the other end of the bag, there is a zipper for a sizable pocket. However, the stitching on the bag (and the fact that its leather) doesn’t allow for expanding, so you’re left with a large pocket that can only hold very wide thin things, I suppose A magazine or ONE legal pad may fit in there.

Overall though, the bag looks smart, and has what I look for in a bag, plenty of pockets. Although some seem confusing and useless.