MacCast 09.09.2008 - Show #237
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Faronics
* Power Save Mac, Faronics Power Save Mac uses intelligent power management to ensure workstations are saving energy and money when they are not being used.
* A typical desktop PC with a 17-inch LCD monitor requires about 100 watts—65 watts for the computer and 35 watts for the monitor. If left on 24x7 for one year, this same computer will consume 874 kilowatt hours of electricity—that’s enough to release 750 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the equivalent of driving 820 miles in the average car!
* Won't power down at the wrong time. Power Save Mac is designed to look at CPU and Disk Utilization thresholds that IT administrators can set so that Power Save Mac will not shut down computers if background jobs such as VPN, remote access, and remote backup are running.
* Try it out for 30-days and see what you think. It's only $14.40 and their site even offers an ROI calculator so you can see how quickly it will pay for itself.
V News
V Wrap-up of Apple's "Ready to Rock" event
* Speculation is high around new iPods for the Sept. 9th "Let's Rock" event.
V Jobs keynoted the "Let's Rock" event at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco
* "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated".
* Jobs still seemed thin, but gave an incredible keynote with as much energy and enthusiasm as ever.
V By the numbers
* Customers have downloaded 100 million applications from the App Store since July 11th with more then 3,000 now available, 600 or so of those being free
* The iPod accounts 73.4 percent of the music player market share
V iPod Classic
* Reduced to a single model. 120GB for $249.
V New iPod Nanos
* Curved aluminum, extruded oval design with curved glass. Thinnest iPod ever?
* Accelerometer with Shake to Shuffle. Landscape for Cover flow.
* New Ui design and new voice menu accessibility feature
* Genius playlist creation for on-the-go.
* Available in 9 colors. silver, Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, black and pink.
* 8 GB for $149 and 16 GB for $199. 8GB models are shipping now with 16GB shipping ???
V New earbuds
* Standard earbuds for $29 will have inline play, pause, track skip, and volume control, plus a mic that will work with the iPod recording app.
* And a higher end in-ear 2-driver set for $79.
* New buds will be out in October.
V iPod Touch
* Redesigned with iPhone 3G like tapered edges, slightly thicker, but back is in polished steel.
* External volume controls and built in speaker
* Tweaked user interface with Genius playlist creation
* built in support Nike + iPod, no receiver required.
* New models come with new 2.1 software and are shipping now. Current 2.0 owners can upgrade for free and an upgrade from the 1.x software will run $10.
* 3 models are available with reduced pricing, $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for the 16GB model, and $399 for the 32GB model
V New iPod Shuffle colors
* Bright blue, green, red, and pink
* Pricing, storage sizes, design and other features remain the same.
V iTunes 8
V "Genius" playlists and sidebar.
* Selecting a song from your library and clicking the "genius" icon will generate an on-the-fly playlist of compatible songs from your library. These can be saved off as standard playlists.
* Uses data from the "cloud" (other users) and will supposedly get smarter over time.
V The sidebar ties into the store and makes recommendations as well as offers other music you may like based on your currently library.
* Is opt-in and once you do it send your play counts, track names, album, artists and other non-personally identifiable data to Apple's iTunes cloud.
* This data could give Apple a competitive edge in negotiations with labels.
V New "grid" view. with Albums, artists, genre and composer views. Play the album or double-click to get a listing of album tracks. The old album view is now part of the standard list view. At the top of the first column, expand the "album" triangle to get the album list view.
* Skimming in Artist, genre, and composer modes
* Podcast grid view shows badges with unplayed episode counts and you can now set "keep" settings for each show individually.
V HD TV shows, why not movies too (HD movies are still available on Apple TV). Purchases deliver a standard def version also for syncing to iPods/iPhones.
* HD playback requires an Intel Core 2 Duo Mac or better running at at least 2.0 GHz
* NBC is back on iTunes. Apple may have given some concessions on pricing and bundles. There are already some "deals" with some NBC shows at $0.99
* New default visualizer looks like the Magnetosphere one that was rumored
* Now supports screen readers on Windows and had VoiceOver support built-in on the Mac
V iPhone/iPod touch 2.1 software update
* Available now for Touch owners and on Friday for iPhone
* Jobs promised “significantly improved” battery life, fewer crashes, “dramatically faster” backups, and other new performance enhancements.
* No work on push notification support, copy paste, or directional GPS support
V Other Stuff
* QuickTime update. QuickTime 7.5.5, " includes changes that increase reliability, improve application compatibility and enhance security"
* FrontRow 2.1.6 Update, This Front Row update provides improved iTunes 8.0 compatibility and bug fixes.
V iPhone Security Flaw Confirmed. Fix coming.
* Security issue was discovered that allows a user to bypass the code-lock feature when enabled.
* The trick uses a combo of the 'Emergency call' button + the Home button double tap when set to go to 'Phone Favorites'.
* Once in Phone Favorites you can access individual records, make calls, send emails, access web sites.
* Apple acknowledged it is a known issue and plans a fix.
* Temporary work around is to set the "Home Button" double-click preference to "Home" or "iPod".
V First Vista Seinfeld ad airs
* Ad featured Bill Gates in a shoe store and Seinfeld spots him and helps him purchase shoes.
* The ads have some funny comedic moments and are somewhat reminiscent of the old Seinfeld TV shows, but left me scratching my head.
* In a somewhat disturbing sequence the end of the spot Jerry asks for a sign if Microsoft will someday enable technology to make computers "moist and chewy" and edible like cake. Gates wiggle's his posterior to adjust his shorts as a signal.
* The spot ends with just a Windows logo, but no mention of Vista at all.
* Microsoft claims they are opening up a conversation. Analysts say the spots do put a more likable human face on Microsoft.
V Apple finally acknowledges father of the media player.
* iPod NN reports Apple has called forth Kane Kramer, a British man, who's work is said to be the inspiration behind the iPod.
* In 1979 Kramer designed a player called the IXI that could storing 3.5 minutes of music on a chip. The design included a concept drawing that is not far off from today's iPods.
* Unable to gather funds for the worldwide patent renewals Kramers patent for the device lapsed in 1988.
* Recently Apple asked Kramer to help and paid him a consulting fee to be an expert witness in their lawsuit. He is also said to be in negotiations with the Cupertino company for compensation relating to copyright on his drawings.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Can Pystar win against Apple?
* I asked for feedback and I got a great response
* Comes down to how a "market" is defined.
V Apple does not monopolize the market for micro-computers, but does for MacIntosh OS X computers.
* Would be like trying to argue that McDonald's owns and monopolizes the market for Big Macs, or Ford for Ford automobiles.
* Psystar will have an uphill battle and the current Supreme court (if it goes that far) would likely side with big business (in this case Apple).
V Non-apple iPhone apps don't launch, what's up?
* Play comment from Andrew
* According to iPhone Atlas many users report that this issue occurs if you have too many apps installed (like 6 pages or more).
* Apps don't launch or the iPhone/iPod Touch crashes. They don't mention about music not playing.
* Reduce the number of apps installed. They do also claim that Apple is aware of the bug in the 2.0.2 software and have made a fix a top priority.
* Andrew was too modest to admit it, but he may have hit the ceiling on apps installed because he is doing an iPhone app review site at
V The 9:41 vs. 9:42 iPhone discrepancy
* Voicemail from Josh likely indicates the difference. Jobs pre-plans the keynotes to the minute and only the 1st images on the site and used during the keynote reflected the 9:41 AM time. After that all images reflect 9:42, so Steve had just gotten off by a minute.
V Use Mail "Stationary" to spruce up emails
* Many .Mac users are mourning the loss of iCards. Apple this week on it's Mobile Me blog recommended using Apple stationary as a replacement.
* These are basically HTML mail templates that have "drop zones" for images and that you then add your own content to.
V Just be aware that due to security issues many modern mail clients have HTML images turned off by default. Also not all mail clients display HTML email in the same way. OS X Mail works well because it uses the Safari (WebKit) engine. iCards were nice because it generated a JPG attachment.
* You can also use Mail templates and print to PDF, or use iPhoto cards and print to PDF then attach for compatibility.
V If you feel limited by Apple's designs there are free and paid mail template add ons
* Jumsoft Mail Stationary, 100 themes for $39.00
* Equinux Stationary Pack 111 themes for $29.95
* Novocon Design, free templates
* Design your own if you know HTML, CSS and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty you can even design your own templates. Apple Blog has a pretty good how-to.
V Reset iPod warnings
* Rick wanted to know how to undo the "Don't ask again" checkbox that comes up in some warning dialog boxes in iTunes when connecting and syncing a device.
* Connect the device and in iTunes Control+Click (right+click) the device icon and choose reset warnings.
* For other apps, you might check the preferences to see if there is a reset, or remove the preferences file (typically found in ~/Library/Preferences), just know that will reset all preferences for that app.
V Review: Koi Pond for iPhone/iPod Touch
* Play review from Kevin
* Koi Pond
V Mac making unusual chimes at start up
* Carmen has a one year old Mac Mini that has begun to chime 3 times at startup and was wondering what that means
* Any tones beyond the typical boot up chime are typically generated by the Power On Self Test sequence (POST).
* These chimes are generally related to the RAM issues
V Intel Macs
* No SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) or the RAM installed does not meet specs, the screen will remain black but the power LED on the front of the computer will blink once per second to signal the error. Error may be due to damaged RAM, incorrect type of RAM, or not having RAM installed.
* RAM passes the Power-On-Self-Test (POST) but still cannot be used. Gray screen, sound three tones and blink the power LED three times, pause, and repeat the blinking until the computer is turned off.
V Newer iMacs (mid-2007)
* 1 tone, a 5-second pause, repeat - No RAM installed
* 3 successive tones, a 5-second pause, 3 successive tones - RAM does not pass data integrity check
* 1 long tone when holding down the power button - Firmware upgrade in process.
* 3 long tones, 3 short tones, 3 long tones - Firmware restoration from CD in process.
V Older Macs (non-Intel)
* 1 beep = no RAM installed
* 2 beeps = incompatible RAM types
* 3 beeps = no good banks
* 4 beeps = no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)
* 5 beeps = processor is not usable
V Speeds on the Macs USB buses
* In looking at the System Profiler (Apple->Get Info... --> More info...), David noticed that it listed a couple USB buses and "High Speed" USB buses. He also noticed that the devices on the "High Speed" bus were not all at the same speed. Was wondering what the differences were. Did his Mac have some 1.0 and not 2.0 jacks.
* In looking at my Mac there does seem to be a "USB 1.0" bus that is internal and contains the Bluetooth controller and IR receiver.
* The "High Speed" bus is all the external jacks, but different devices seem to be running at different speeds.
V Turns out the current USB spec defines 3 different data rates (up to 480 Kbps):
* Low Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 1.5 Mbit/s (187.5 kB/s) that is mostly used for Human Interface Devices (HID) such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks.
* Full Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 12 Mbit/s (1.5 MB/s). Full Speed was the fastest rate before the USB 2.0 specification and many devices
fall back to Full Speed. Full Speed devices divide the USB bandwidth between them in a first-come first-served basis and it is not uncommon to run out of bandwidth with several isochronous devices. All USB hubs support Full Speed.
* High-Speed (2.0) rate of 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s).
* The device can set the speed. So my iPod, iPhone, hard drives are all running at 480 Mbps, but my keyboard, Wacom are running at 1.5 Mbps, and an older scanner is connected at 12 Mbps.
V External drives, bus powered or not?
* J was wondering a couple things about external hard drives.
* What is your opinion on bus-powered vs. outlet powered external drives?
* Also, will daily on/off cycles of a drive that is plugged into an AC adapter damage it? Or should it be left on all the time?
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac, Textexpander
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "You Don't Need and iPod" by Uncle Seth
* Off the Podsafe Music Network
* Band's site
V EOL: Mac Vader Pro
* Mac Vader Pro returns to Dragoncon