MacCast 01.24.2006

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

Listen to today’s show here! podcast-mini2.gif
MC20060124.mp3 [26.8mb 00:58:26 64kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 116. iWork is the No. 2 Office suite in the US. Intel Macs, XP no, RedHat Linux maybe? Jobs reveals how to compete with the iPod. In the “real world” Intel Macs prove not quite as speedy. Intels new Core processors shipping with 34 errata. Apple launches PowerBook lower memory slot repair program. offering big rebates on new Mac products. Follow-up on OpenOSX WinTel 2.0 performance. Review of Apple photo management applications. Follow-up on issues with Nikon white balance in Aperture and Lightroom. Mixed reviews of Flip4Mac. Listener feedback on MacBook PCMCIA and Garmin GPS. iMac International pricing mystery solved? Apple “Solutions” expert reveals MacBook battery life? Most of the time if your Mac is broken it’s your fault. The “Mac Geek is listening to…” software. Mac switcher song now available for free download. Free Mac Mini car install PDF from MacFormat.

New music, 100K by The Loved Ones

That’s how it ends, Doc. Not with a bang, or a whimper, but with a “thwack.”

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Correction: I made an error with the name of the band featured on this episode. The band is called The Loved Ones, Jade Tree is the label.

There are 21 comments on MacCast 01.24.2006:

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  1. Pilot Mike | Jan 24 2006 - 02:10


    The GF’s original 1.8GHz iMic G5 does not have any perceptable fan noise except on the one occassion when something crashed OS X and pinned the CPU at 100%. It does sound like a jet engine sinnign up when those fans fire.

    I don’t know if it applies to your newer G5 iMac, but we just set the power option in System Preferences to let the CPU clock speed be throttled.

    Hearing this Maccast and thinking about that setting made me wonder if I’m getting the full CPU power. When I encode our ~one hour show to .mp3 with LAME it takes 11-14 minutes. Is that slow?

  2. James Chavez | Jan 24 2006 - 05:52

    FYI: shortly after updating to 10.4.4 powerbook 1.67
    15 inch lost its lower ram slot recognition. upper slot has 1 gig, lower slot has .5 gig. Prior to the update, powerbook never had problems recognizing both ram slots… Update problem or hardware problem ? My Serial Number is outside of the authorized repair numbers but apple will still repair computer.

    Keep up the good work, love the podcast.
    James Chavez

  3. Bernd | Jan 24 2006 - 05:21

    Looking for a free office application?

    There is a very powerful German product called “RagTime” and they offer it freely for private use.

    It is a bit XPress-like, as it uses frames for text, spread sheet, images, etc. You need a little time to get used to some things but then it’s good to use for a lot of things.

    You can find it at, under “Downloads”. For Germany, it’s called “RagTime privat”, for the rest of the world, it is “RagTime solo”.

    Bernd (Munich, Germany)

  4. Nick Circosta | Jan 24 2006 - 07:11

    cool :)

  5. Marc | Jan 24 2006 - 07:36

    Hi Adam

    I was wondering if you had utilized the PodCast Studio feature in GarageBand, and if that was why the eMacCast was released at the same time as todays show.

    Well its a great show, thanks for the great show.

  6. Ryan Gray | Jan 24 2006 - 07:27

    By the way, Sun Star Office was purchased several years ago by Sun from a German based company called Star Division.

  7. Steven | Jan 25 2006 - 05:08

    Hi Adam, concerning the 34 “bugs” in the Intel chip, this is totally common in the chip design industry, AMD has a similar buglist.

  8. -ptfigg. | Jan 25 2006 - 06:17

    The person who reviewed the photo-apps. did I nice job, however I think it was a bit off base. Remember Lightroom is beta 1, and was released to the masses in order to generate feed-back, help with bug fixes, etc This is something I wish Apple would do with their Pro-Apps. It’s makes total sense to me.

    I have been running Lightroom since its initial build and it has been 100% solid. The point is – comparing build 1 of a beta release to an application [or applications] that has been tweaked for months and in fact not a beta build is not a fair comparison.


  9. Apocalypse Dowell | Jan 25 2006 - 06:23

    FYI: The name of the band is The Loved Ones. Jade Tree is a record label.

  10. jerry | Jan 25 2006 - 07:26

    Just wanted to let everyone know that the song ending the maccast is not “100k by Jade Tree”, Jade Tree is the Record Label… the Band is “The Loved Ones” and here is the link on Jade Tree’s WS:

  11. MacFanDave | Jan 25 2006 - 09:38

    Steve Jobs was just sticking it to the man when he made his comments. (“The man” in this case is Ballmer, Gates, the other MP3 makers and the other music sites.)

    The secret to the success of iPod/iTMS is no secret. Making the experience easy and painless is Apple’s main strength. The iPod does it on the hardware side, iTunes does it on the software side and the seamless integration seals the deal. The fair DRM (the aptly-named FairPlay) protects IP while giving customers reasonable freedom.

    Steve’s comments are like Lance Armstrong telling the cycling world, “All you have to do to beat me is to ride really fast.” What he really meant is that he took the obvious path to digital music dominance, but Microsoft didn’t, presumably because they couldn’t.

  12. Chris Christensen | Jan 25 2006 - 12:58

    I really doubt the 6 hours of battery life. They would have been trumpeting that. I think the jobs quote in this article is more realistic: “about the same”.

    Chris from the Amateur Traveler Podcast

  13. Edwin Nortey | Jan 25 2006 - 10:26

    Another good open source word processor is Abiword.

    Abiword runs on Mac, Linux, and windows. The mac version is a cocoa native application that bears an uncanny resemblance to word for mac (it has a similar formatting palette). I have found Abiword to be faster than open office. I just wish I had found Abiword before I bough Microsoft office for mac.

  14. Robert Nicholson | Jan 26 2006 - 03:15

    Double Standards.

    Couldn’t help but feel that you’re applying a bit of a double standard here. Before you were concerned about the abolition of f/w 400 and had some strong words to say about it and now with the new PCMCIA cards you call it innovation that Apple is now adopting a new standard. Ask your listener just exactly what benefit the new card they have to buy is going to provide. You generally have a habit of giving a pass to Apple whenever someone has something negative to say about them. If you’re interested in appearing objective you’ll take note.

    Secondly, any review of Lightroom, Apeture is incomplete without any information about the camera the person is using. In your haste to present a one sided review of the Apple product you’ve lost all objectivity. Again, Michael Reichmann over at has reviewed both products as is much more excited about Lightroom. This is a guy who knows RAW inside out in stark contrast to your reviewer who didn’t even mention RAW. These products are for photographers who shoot RAW and want to take advantage of all the additional information captured in the image.

  15. Robert Nicholson | Jan 26 2006 - 03:34

    Secondly, if my system is working fine before I apply a software update and then things start to fail then I really don’t need to consider what else I did before applying the software update. I don’t accept your claim that it’s likely my fault. That again is giving a pass to Apple.

    Note: last week after applying 10.4.4 I saw my machine kernel panic 3 times and each time it was transfering video to my ipod in iTunes. Note for your readers here. iTunes can forget about ipods when this happens. ie. iTunes will refuse to see the ipod ever again. I’m always having to remove the ~/Library/Preferences/ when this happens. It’s the only way I can get iTunes to see the ipod again. Prior to 10.4.4 I’ve never had any kernel panics.

    Secondly during a visit to Thailand a few years back my Titanium powerbook required 3 major repairs. Topcase (speaker stopped working), logic board, and screen. I don’t think these were caused by me.

  16. Robert Nicholson | Jan 26 2006 - 03:10

    If you’ll indulge me just a little more I’d also like to say that you come across as very condescending in your podcast. This maybe because I don’t consider myself a novice user but from listening to what you say on your podcast you’re no expert either.

  17. Scott Willsey | Jan 26 2006 - 10:23

    Robert Nicholson must have an inferiority complex if he thinks you come across as condescending. Where’d that come from?

    Anyway, couple things…

    1. I think excel spreadsheets or xls files are by far the most commonly used files in my workplace that would need to be shared between people, not word documents (those would probably be 2nd though).

    2. All cpu’s have errata, most have hundreds of them. They are corrected for in bios, etc. Think of a cpu as an extremely complex hardware program. We know and accept that even simple software programs have bugs – why does the notion that cpu’s will have them as well seem surprising, especially given how complex they are? This one’s a non-issue.

  18. Scott Willsey | Jan 26 2006 - 10:16

    Oh, by the way, Robert, your comments about the reviews DO come across as condescending…

  19. David Cohen | Jan 27 2006 - 08:00


    Regarding your suggestion that international price increases for new Macs were driven by exchange rate adjustments, whoever suggested this to you was being misleading.

    A base model Intel iMac costs $1299, which converts to £727 in the UK at today’s rates. But the RRP at the Apple Store here for the same machine is in fact £929 – a $357 differential. The iMac G5 was £899, which was $300 more than the equivalent model in the US.

    The MacBook Pro is even worse – a base machine costs $1999, or £1120, in the US, while here it will be available for £1429, or for $550 more. Again, the already expensive UK price has increased by £30 or $50.

    Apple will claim that taxes, import duties and higher operating costs account for these differences, but come on! This is why I won’t buy high end Apple kit new over here – at least the price premium for a 12″ iBook G4 in the UK is ‘only’ $250!

  20. Scott Barman | Jan 27 2006 - 01:17

    One item in this podcast (which I just finished listening to) was the upgrades from Apple causing problems. I have found that when Apple does a full dot release (e.g., 10.4.3 -> 10.4.4) instead of just patches is that it is based on the “perfect world” scenario. One of the items that tends to get messed up are permissions.

    If you install software, new hardware that requires new drives, updates to major applications, or even a bunch of widgets, you should run “Fix Permissions” under disk utility first. In my experience, this has fixed over 90-percent of all Software Update problems.

    There is a nice shareware application that does a lot of the system cleanup. Not only will it fix permissions, but it ensures the cron/launchd scripts are run and does a lot of other system clean up chores. I do not remmber the name (sorry, I’m confined to a pee cee in the office) but I do remember that it was mentioned in the last edition of Mac Addict (where they listed a lot of good shareware/freeware programs).

    In either case, you should run Fix Permissions and the cleanup scripts before running Software Update. You will be glad you did!!


  21. maccast | Jan 27 2006 - 01:16

    Good point. I have talked about this tip a few times on the sow in the past, but it is certainly worth mentioning again.