Maccast 2008.08.09

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20080809.mp3 [62.0MB 01:07:38 128kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 235. Winners of Smile on My Mac contest announced. iPhone 3g shows strong results. Rumors of iPhone Nano are back. More apps disappearing from the App Store. iPhone phone home, iPhone phone home? NPD Group says Macs cost twice as much as PCs. Rumors of new Macbooks strengthen. Apple finally prepping new displays. To shutdown or not shutdown that is the question. Installing apps outside the Applications folder. iDisk, what is it good for? Open and Save dialog box trick. Has Apple spread itself too thin? Get more WiFi details from Airport menu bar item

New music, North Wind by The Pharaohs Of Rhythm

Special Thanks to our Sponsor:
Faronics Power Save Mac – Get a free trial.

Not to be rude or anything, but this isn’t a great time for me to have a house elf in my bedroom. — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

EOL: Meet the iPhone Nano
Shownotes in: HTML or OPML
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There are 8 comments on Maccast 2008.08.09:

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  1. pds6 | Aug 10 2008 - 10:58

    Dear Adam:

    Jobs’ favorite movie was the Wizard of Oz. Every time you see something heavy-handed in the iPhone App Store, just say to yourself, “I AM OZ”!!!!!!

    Good show.

  2. Fred Zelders | Aug 10 2008 - 07:38

    Hey Adam,

    I don’t understand what you mean with “Can drag the icon from the titlebar in the Finder window into the open/save dialog box. You will see a ” ” icon and when you drop that will now be the save location for the file.”

    Can you explain?


    Lover your show


  3. Terry Vogelaar | Aug 11 2008 - 11:05

    Hey Adam,

    I want to respond to the item “Has Apple spread itself too thin?”. I agree with you that quality control has become a problem over there in Cupertino, mainly because they innovate too much to maintain. I suspect that is one of the main reasons why Snow Leopard is such a good idea. At first, it sounded totally un-Apple-ish to skip adding new features, but I think it is a brilliant idea to focus on stability and do some descent house-cleaning under the hood. If this pulls off right, it will turn Mac OS X and probably the iPhone OS into an ultra efficient, ultra stable and ultra compact OS. And when the OS is much more stable, the whole product line benefits.

    That is my $0.02

  4. macFanDave | Aug 12 2008 - 06:49

    I think you are suffering from a bit of selective memory, Adam.

    I’ve owned Macs since System 8 (I had used university owned and maintained Macs before that, so I had very little to do with core OS issues) and I jumped in early with OS X at Developer Preview 4. It was rough — kernel panics and weird permissions issues. Lots of common problems could only be fixed with the Terminal. It wasn’t really ready for the masses until 10.2. With Leopard, a lot of things are working better than ever (I won’t mention them specifically because that will bring a curse.) Of course, I’m still using a G5 and have only spent a little time with Intel-based Macs (frankly, they don’t seems that much better, but, then again, I haven’t done processor-intensive tasks like rendering an iMovie on one, so maybe that’s where the new CPU’s shine.)

    Apple’s iron grip on the App Store is absolutely appropriate for the time being. It follows Apple’s historical model. When the first Macs came out, the coding tools, MPW, was so prohibitively expensive, the barrier to entry for a developer was almost impenetrable. All of the software for the Macs was from Apple or trusted partners like Aldus or (cough, gack) Microsoft (et tu, Brute). Then, Think C, Think Pascal and CodeWarrior came around and the developer community grew. Finally, OS X came out and Apple gave away Project Builder (now called Xcode) and Interface Builder and anyone could start to develop for the Mac. When the first Macs had very limited software options, they were very stable and made Apple’s reputation for quality. As more developers pitched their wares, it became apparent that any crashes or other problems were probably the developers’ fault and not Apple’s.

    Same idea with the iPhone. With no external software for the first year, we who owned them saw how rock solid they were. Now that I can get external apps, when my iPhone crashes, whom do I blame? Clearly, the developer — when I stayed under Apple’s protective umbrella, nothing bad ever happened to me. Now, Apple is in the stage of trying to protect users from really bad software (and illegal software). I eventually see a future where you will be able to get iPhone apps elsewhere, but the App Store is still going to be the best way to get them (even if it is not the cheapest, it will still handle the transaction in such a smooth, easy way that the value of that will make up any price premium.)

    You have one final faulty assumption: you assume that since Apple has a lot of cash on hand that they can staff up quickly. You’d be right if the tasks required were menial labor. But, what management doesn’t want you to know is that there is a dire shortage of GOOD people. Sure, you could put asses in the chairs, but a lot of them would be dumbasses. Apple is staffing up and expanding its office space, and I trust that they are doing so at the maximum prudent speed.

  5. Jason Robson | Aug 13 2008 - 09:57

    I bought a Macbook and Dell laptop at roughly the same time just over two years ago. I have to say that I just don’t see the supposed quality that justified the Macbook’s higher price. The battery is going at a far greater rate than the Dell, and last week my DVD drive stopped working. My screen has also developed an intermediate flicker.

    I thought Leopard was pretty buggy when it first came out (after being delayed for months). I also found the iPhone 2.0 firmware was pretty buggy too. (No, you can’t blame it all on the third party apps!). I also experienced problems when my .mac account transitioned to MobileMe. I also worry about Apple’s responsiveness to Mac OS security issues.

    Apple *are* having quality issues with their hardware, software and services. It is right of Adam and others to bring this to people’s attention.

    I’m sure I will still be buying more Mac’s in the future, but it’s far less of a clear cut decision now than it once was.

    Apple should never be immune from criticism when they make mistakes. As a corporation, they have some pretty unpleasant character flaws (arrogance, secrecy, lack of communication, etc). I just hope this won’t lead to their downfall.

  6. Jaakko Saari | Aug 14 2008 - 05:33

    Great to hear it! I am about to download the new episode!

  7. Flyboy | Aug 16 2008 - 07:43

    Everything Apple makes comes from some other supplier probably located in China. Apple just assembles the parts in places like Mexico. In many cases the suppliers are the same ones that are used by Dell or HP for PCs. Many of the quality issues are the fault of the quality of the parts.

    The major difference in quality today from years past is the higher number of laptops sold by Apple as compared to desktop computers. Obviously, laptops take a greater beating, have smaller components, rely on finicky batteries, and have greater heat issues than do desktop computers. I do think that sometimes Apple rushes products to market that are really not ready for prime time when they are introduced. Therefore, I am not an early adopter. I usually wait for the second or third iteration of an Apple product before spending my money. I let the other folks do the final testing then I go shopping.

  8. Derek in Edinburgh, Scotland | Aug 26 2008 - 03:59

    just a follow up on Brian’s question about navigating to a folder when saving… DefaultFolder from St Clair Software –

    It does exactly what he wants, and is probably the most essential bit of shareware I use.