MacCast 10.28.2008 - Show #242
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Smile on My Mac
* PDFpen 4
* Add text, images and signatures to PDF. Insert a scanned image or use your mouse or tablet to sign right on the PDF.
* Edit existing text in a PDF. Correct mistakes without having to go back to the original.
* DiscLabel 5.3 was also released adding Apple Aperture support.
* Free trial available so you can try before you buy.
V News
V Apple continues to shine in Q4
* Posted revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion.
* Also offered GAPP adjusted numbers. 11.68 billion in sales and 2.44 billion in income.
* Shipped 2.61 million Macs, a unit growth of 21% year over year
* Sold 11.05 million iPods 8% unit growth year over year
* Sold 6,892,000 iPhones compared to 1,119,00 in the same quarter last year.
* Jobs was on the call with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and noted that Apple sold more phones than RIM and, more significantly in these economic times, that Apple has "$25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt".
* Apple was also being very cautious for the next quarter setting guidance very conservatively for the December quarter.
* Apple surpassed it's sales goal of 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. Adding the 6.9 million iPhones from the quarter to the 6.1 million original iPhones brings the total to just under 13 million and they still have a few months left in the year.
* Jobs was asked during Q&A about the Apple TV. Said no one has succeeded in the "category" yet (I assume he means in home media PCs) and that they see it continuing to be a "hobby" in 2009.
* Analysts weren't quite as happy with the results. MacNN had a report that analysts from Needham & Co., UBS and Piper Jaffray all were looking for stronger Mac shipments with units at 2.9 million instead of the announced 2.6. They also felt iPod sales were on target or slightly lower then expected. The shining light was better then predicted iPhone sales which now accounts for about 39% of Apple's business according to the Mac Observer.
V New Mac vs PC ads jab Microsoft's ad strategy
* Apple has been airing 3 new ads in the States. Bean Counter, V Word, and Bake Sale.
* Two of the ads take shots at Microsoft's decision to spend 300 million on Vista advertising and hint that they should have used the money to "fix Vista".
* Funny, but Vista's problems are largely based on public perception. Also Microsoft does have money to do both.
* All three ads are posted and available for viewing on Apple's web site.
V What do Mac Mini and Jobs have in common?
* Rumors of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated. We'll at least we know that's the case for Jobs.
* Gizmodo recently reported a rumor that at least two European retailers were told not to expect more Mac Mini shipments.
* The Mini is likely the most neglected Mac. Last updated in Aug. 2007.
* In the past weeks there were contradictory rumors that the Mini might be updated with newer 45nm processors, NVIDIA 9400M graphics, a Mini Display port, and 802.11n.
* Latest rumors from Macminicolo say expect an increase in max RAM to 4GB, Mini Display port, and SATA Optical drive.
V Macworld also gets in on the speculation saying that NVIDA has a new smaller footprint GeForce 9 motherboard that's a desktop version of the board used in the Macbooks.
* Two of Apple's partners, ASUS and Foxconn are on board to manufacturing the motherboard for NVIDIA
* I would agree that the Mini needs to be updated or killed off. I prefer the former.
V New Macbook and Macbook Pro reports
* The Mac Observer's John Martellaro reports on a "textappearance" bug on new Mac Books when checking their Interface Information in Apple's Network Utility app. The windows shows the Wireless network adapter in the new books as supporting 802.11a,b,g but doesn't list "N" even though they do have it.
V New GPUs do offer more bells and whistles then Apple is using
* According to information given to Gizmodo by NVIDIA
* Supports Hybrid SLI mode allowing both processors to be active at once.
* Supports on the fly switching between processors
V Chipset supports 8GB of RAM
* Reports coming from iFixit and MacRumors say that NVIDIA claims while the chipsets would support 8GB of RAM the new Macbooks still tap out at 4GB. The Macs do recognize 2 4GB memory models, but in real tests run out of memory at 4GB.
* In theory all of these things could be enabled via a software update, but no word on when or if Apple will do that.
V MacNN is reporting that some users might be having issues with the new battery cover.
* After removing and trying to reinstall it can side around or not fit as nicely.
* Apple geniuses are report to be replacing covers, but the issue may be a flaw in the design.
* One user said adjusting the tabs on the cover help restore the fit. If the tabs are too flexible it could just happen again.
* When I removed the cover I did note that the aluminum did seem thin and worried about bending.
V Is GPU support for H.264 making an early appearance?
* I already told you that new Macbook and Macbook Pro owners on the Mac Rumors and Ars technica forums have been reporting decreased CPU usage when playing back large H.264 files at 1080p. Reduced from 100% CPU to just 20-30%.
* Ars confirms the new 9400M and 9600M chips have NVIDIA's PureVideoHD technology to GPU-accelerate video codecs including H.264.
* But so have other Apple GPU chips like the NVIDIA 8600GT from prior Macbooks.
* Rumors are Apple has been planning H.264 GPU decoding support with the release of Quicktime X in 10.6 Snow Leopard, but the new Macbooks and Macbook Pro have a tweaked build of 10.5.5
* The build on the new "books" is 9F2114 (while the current rest of us build is 9F33). The special build includes a file called the "QuickTime/AppleVAH264HW.component".
V Quicktime 7.6 seeded to developers
* Developers were asked to test AAC encoding/playback, Multichannel encoding, Apple Lossless playback/encoding as well as MPEG-1 playback/encoding.
* Of course many were interested in if it would enable H.264 GPU decoding on older Macbook Pros, but it looks like it didn't. At least not in this build.
V Subsidized Macbooks in the UK?
* According to a Barron's blog JRPG analyst Lisa Thompson has stated that Apple is believed to be negotiating with O2 in the UK to offer subsidies on notebooks.
* They say it would likely be the US$999 white Macbook model and with signing up for a 2 year O2 service contract.
V Now I have had a couple UK listeners write to say that Apple's UK pricing is too high and higher then the US pricing.
* Today I did a conversion an in straight US dollar to British pounds conversions the $999 model should sell for £634.75.
* The current price on the UK Apple Store site is £611.91 before the 17.5% VAT, so actually £22.84 cheaper. After VAT the price does jump to £719, which converts to $1,131.60.
* So maybe subsidizing could help offset the initial pain of the VAT, but you'd be paying O2 for two years on a phone contract.
* Ars Technica points out that O2 denied a very similar rumor just last month.
V Aperture 2.1.2 and iPhoto 7.1.5 updates
* Aperture update "Improves the printing quality of books ordered through the Aperture printing service."
* iPhoto 7.1.5 update also “the printing quality of books, cards and calendars ordered via the iPhoto printing service.”
* Available via Software Update or from Apple's support web site.
V Off again, on again Airport Extreme update
* Last Tuesday Apple released the AirPort Extreme Update 2008-003 and then quickly pulled it.
* The update for Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.5.5 is supposed to address connection issues when roaming in large Wi-Fi networks.
* Apple gave no reason for the take down and then on Friday posted the Airport update 2008-004 with the same fixes noted in the release notes.
V New iPod Shuffles show their colors
* And not much more
* Apple update the micro iPods with new colors, grey, blue, green, pink and Product (RED).
* The sizes and pricing remained the same. 1GB for $49US and 2GB for $69US
V iPod turns 7 years old
* Announced on October 23rd, 2001.
* 5GB, Click Wheel, 10 hour battery life for US$399.00
* And no iTunes Store. Yes we had to rip our own CDs. Remember those?
V First seeds of 10.5.6 show up
* Ars Technica and Mac Rumors report it appears to be a large update, if not quite as big as 10.5.5
* The build is said to include as many ad 50 bug fixes for items like audio components, iCal, Safari, AddressBook, Finder, iChat, ColorSync, Printing, and Syncing.
V Second Snow Leopard build
* Several sites including Apple Insider and MacNN noted developers receiving Apple's second build of Snow Leopard.
* Enhancements include new "simplified" installation experience, support for HFS+ file system compression (read only system files), 64-bit kernel support on some Macs, Cocoa-based Finder (partial? Ars), a new default gamma display setting (2.2 vs. 1.8), and enhanced Exchange support in Mail, iCal and Address Book.
V iPhone 2.2 beta 2 release to developers
* Expanded Google Maps functionality including street view, walking and public transit directions, and share location (email a map link).
* Rate before deleting dialog.
V Apple also recently further loosened NDA restrictions on developers.
* The new terms make it easier for developers to collaborate, conduct training sessions, and print guides and tutorials.
* Apple also opened a new iPhone developer forum.
V Sponsor
V Project Wizards
* Merlin 2
* Made in Germany for project managers, by project managers.
* Wide range of import and export formats including support for MS Project
* Integrates with iCal and
V Offers collaboration between project participants over any network.
* Host a file on the network or on the Internet and share it with other Merlin users.
* Merlin 2 Web-Modul let you edit projects via a web browser.
* Trial version (limited to 40 activities) is available so you can check it out before you buy.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V A follow-up on Archive backups
* Bob was wondering what to do about large iPhoto and iTunes libraries. He has about 80GB of data between the two.
* You could use 10 dual layer DVDs which hold about 8.5 GB. Splitting up the data. Or buy an external Bluray DVD burner and 10 25 GB discs (pricey)
V I would personally use hard drives.
* Get a 2.5" Toshiba ATA bare drive for $52.00. USB powered.
* Use the NewerTech USB 2 drive adapter to connect it to your Mac and transfer the data. USD $29.99
* Add a Protecta silicone covers. USD $7.99
* So for USD$150 + tax and shipping you could have 2 dives to shuttle back and forth with weekly or daily archives.
* WiebeTech Protective Hard Drive cases for 3.5" for $USD$5.95
V New Macbooks battery indicator codes
* The new battery lights on the Macbooks and Macbook Pros can do more then just tell you how much juice is in 'em.
V If when you press the button you see some unusual flashing this is what it means:
* The first LED flashes for 5 seconds: The battery has not yet been charged to what's required for a single indicator light. Ensure the MagSafe adapter is properly connected.
* LEDs representing the current charge flash 5 times, then fade: The battery is charging, but does not have a full charge.
* All LEDs flash 5 times: The battery needs to be replaced. Contact an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
* LEDs flash from left to right and back again 5 times: The battery is not installed, or is not recognized. Verify that the battery is installed correctly. (also know as Knight Rider Mode).
V Listener Macbook Questions
* Play questions from Nathan
V between 2.1 and 2.4 processor performance
* Watch the Barefeats website
* They did a 2.2 vs 2.4 Macbook Pro and only saw a maximum of 9% performance difference
* Big news in Macbook performance over prior models will be new NVIDIA graphics and the faster 1066MHz frontside bus. Both models get that.
V With Applecare is the battery covered?
* 2-3 years is standard life for Li-ion batteries.
* Life is defined as when it can at maximum only hold 80% of original battery capacity.
V How "future-proof" are these new Macs
* Hard drive and memory upgrades are very easy
* Snow Leopard should be a simple upgrade and very likely boost performance
* No firewire or Express 34 slot might limit external device options.
* If (Mini) Display port doesn't take off may need to rely on adapters.
V Free Codeweavers software on 10/28
V Back in July CodeWeavers came up with the Great American Lame Duck Presidential Challenge. If one of 5 events happened during George Bush's last 6 months in office they would give away their software free for a day.
* Gas drops to $2.79 a gallon.
* Milk drops to $3.50 a gallon
* U.S. jobs exceed 138 million
* The Twin Cities median home price returns to $233,000
* Osama bin Laden is captured.
* Well gas (in the Twin Cities) dropped to $2.79 a gallon so until midnight Central Standard Time on 10/28 you can get a free copy of Crossover Professional for Mac (or Linux) a $40 value. Also includes CrossOver games.
* Uses "Wine" technology to allow you to run some PC apps and Games without needing Windows.
* Credit goes to Brad for the heads up.
V OS X keeps asking for your wi-fi password
* Craig is having an issue where the secure wifi network he is connected to keeps asking him to re-enter the password.
* Check the settings under the 'Advanced' options in the Network System Preferences. Make sure that wifi network is in the list and the 'Remember any network this computer is joined' option is checked.
* Verify the keychain using the Keychain Access Utility. Under the Keychain Access menu you can select Keychain First
Aid and verify or repair the keychain if needed.
* Try running Disk Utility and doing a repair permissions.
V Unlearn words added to the Dictionary
* This works in only some apps in 10.5 only.
* Type the "learned" word into TextEdit.
* Right-click (Control+click) the word and select "Unlearn Spelling". That should remove it.
* This trick might not work in all apps, but it does work in Text Edit and removing it there does remove from the system wide custom dictionary.
V Get a copy of Dictionary Cleaner from Two AM Software, It is a System Preference pane for 10.5 that lets you manage the custom dictionary words.
* After you make your edits, you have to log out and log back into your account to get the changes to take effect.
V Listen to iPhone Audio via Bluetooth
* Play trick from Dan
* Now this will work as long as you stay on the Voicemail screen, but if you nav away it will stop.
V Here's how to make it stick so you can nav away from the voicemail screen and sleep the iPhone and still hear the audio:
* Make sure your home button double-tap setting set to go to the phone favorites, and enable the iPod controls.
* Start the iPod audio.
* Go to the voicemail screen, click the 'audio' button, and select your Bluetooth device. The audio should start playing through Bluetooth
* Double tap the home button to bring up the iPod controller.
* (Pause the playback and then ) press “iPod”, which will take you to the iPod app.
* Double tap the home button again, which will take you to the speed dial screen.
* Now you can navigate away and the audio will continue to play.
* To stop the audio going to the Bluetooth device, return to the voicemail screen, click the audio button and select an audio source other then the Bluetooth device. Receiving and ending a call will also disconnect the iPod audio from the Bluetooth.
* Obviously battery life is shortened, but in a car or while docked should be fine.
* I had a hard time consistently repeating the trick, so it is for sure a hack and a bit buggy.
* Audio seemed to also continue to play via the main speaker, so might need to plug in a headphone adapter to stop the internal speaker.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac, PDFPen 4
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* Merlin 2, Project Wizards - Project management, Gantt Charts, MS Project import/export
* Zarra Studios, iWeb Buddy - iWeb post-processor, Add Google analytics, and work with multiple domain files.
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "Cities of Refuge" by Matthew Blake
* Original music by Matthew Blake
* From his new EP "Ice Pictures" which you can download for free on his MySpace page
* Artist's MySpace page
V EOL: 1st Gen iPod Review
* A review of the 1st Gen iPod (via TUAW)