MacCast 03.30.2009 - Show #261
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook 3.0
* Great for quickly compiling research and information using Notebook and web clippings.
* Set up one page for each topic and then add a web clipping. Select text, images, HTML in Safari or Net News Wire and right-click. Notebook contextual menu to clip to the desired page in Notebook.
* Stores all text, images, hyperlinks, and reference URL back to source. Multidex also auto-indexes the contents.
* 30-day free trial so you have nothing to lose.
V News
V Apple AT&T 3G hard sell
* I had already told you AT&T was offering iPhone 3Gs without a contract.
V Apple Stores are now offering up the same deal
* $599 for an 8GB phone, and $699 for 16GB and you can buy as many as you want at those prices.
* These are not "unlocked" (at least not in the US) and will still need to be used on a supported carrier network.
V AppleInsider also reports a secret attempt by AT&T to move non-IPhone customers to iPhone 3Gs
* On a case by case basis customers who have not reached the end of their 2-year agreement are being offered iPhone 3Gs at subsidized pricing.
* As long as they are about 14-months into their existing agreements and agree to a new 2-year term.
* Speculation is all of this is an attempt to clear existing inventory in advance of new iPhone hardware.
V 10.5.7 appears near completion
* According to ArsTechnica, macNN, and others, 10.5.7's latest builds contain just one know issue and about 94 bug fixes.
* Build 9J34 was seeded to dev a little over a week ago and had fixes for AFP issues, machines waking from sleep randomly, and syncing mail signatures.
* A noted feature is an improved speech dictionary which should improve text to speech in the OS something Apple seems to be focusing on with the latest text-to-speech updates to iPods and the like.
* The one open bug is a biggie since it's the inability of the Safari 4 beta to install under 10.5.7.
V Snow Leopard set to show it's spots?
* AppleInsider says we may soon see the new Snow Leopard UI, much of which has, even so far, been held back from developers.
* The report says the OS will shed the "platinum" theme and go with something darker and more like what we see in the latest builds of the iApps, like iTunes.
* "Marble" is the rumored codename.
* Apple has announced June 8th - 12th, as the dates for WWDC where it is expected to show off a feature complete version of the new OS as well as announce the final release date which would likely be late summer to early fall.
V Macs without borders
* Apple has opened up international on-line stores in 20 countries to non-native purchasers
* Their new "Cross Borders" page allows you to shop in the store of one of 20 different countries
* You can then purchase and deliver Apple products to those countries at that stores prices using current exchange rates.
* The stores are still in the native language, but if you can't read it you can call Apple and their operators will assist you.
V Dubious duplicators dupe developers
V Some iPhone developers are claiming cloners are copying their iPhone apps and barely re-naming or rebranding their apps on the Apps Store, stealing their work and eating into their profits according to iLounge
* The app "TouchScan" was cloned and re-branded "TouchScan Pro" and "iCopter" has been re-birthed as "Copter Free" and "iCopter Classic"
* iLounge cites a Apple Developer Forum thread where in many cases logos are only slightly changed adding to buyer confusion. Original graphics, sounds, and other images are even often exact copies from the original apps.
* Apple's response: "sue-em", not "remove-em".
* Developers seem to be taking the fight to the store description and naming sections. Touch Scan was renamed "Touch Scan Ultimate" with the claim, "far superior to it's predecessor Touch Scan Classic! and Touch Scan Pro".
* Seems like we have a whole new category of iPhone games developing.
V Apple update roundup
V MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware Update 1.0
* For new 17-inch unibody Macbook Pros
* addresses the appearance of vertical lines or distorted graphics on the notebook display
V 8 GB 15" Unibody Macbook Pro Upgrades
* Apple's kit includes 2 X 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SO-DIMMs for USD $1,200.
* Only available for the 2.66 and 2.93GHz models, not the 2.4.
V iLife and iWork updates
V iPhoto 8.0.2
* Improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in Faces, Places, photo sharing, and slideshows.
* Faces offers Address Book contact names as potential matches based on letters typed, shows Address Book icon ( via TUAW).
* Label for an unknown face is now "unidentified" instead of "unknown".
* Show thumbnails or Faces buttons in Faces view. either new or I missed them before.
* Places maps view a lot snappier (at least on my 15" macbook Pro).
V iWeb 3.0.1
* Fixes issues with publishing to an FTP server and addresses minor bugs
V Movie 8.0.1
* Improves stability and reliability
V Jeff Carlson at TidBits has delved deeper and uncovered the real meat of this update
* Split clip keyboard shortcut, Command-Shift-S
* Interlacing bug fixed. Fixed a bug where 1080i (interlaced) footage would appear combed when exported to QuickTime or iDVD
* Enter latitude and longitude coordinates on interactive maps for places not included in iMovie's built-in database.
* A new HD option to creates a 720p (1280 by 720) movie with a bit-rate of 10 Mbps. Works with HD YouTube.
V iLife Support 9.0.2
* Addresses a number of minor issues and improves stability
* Recommended not only for iLife users, but also users of iWork and Aperture.
V iWork ’09 Update 1 or iWork '09 9.0.1
* No details given, but is recommended for all iWork ’09 users.
V TMO says, improved support for other file formats as well as stability enhancements.
* Keynote 5.0.1 improves reliability when deleting Keynote files, copying slides between presentations, or working with transitions and builds.
* Pages 4.0.1 improves reliability when working with EndNote X2 or MathType 6, or deleting Pages files.
* Numbers 2.0.1 improves reliability when deleting Numbers files, importing Microsoft XLSX files, customizing the toolbar, working with some functions, or working with charts.
V iTunes variable pricing
* Expected to go live April 7th
* $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29
* Older titles cheaper, newer stuff at $1.29, but remains to be seen.
* Supposed to be at the discretion of the labels. Do you trust them to "do the right thing"?
V Beware pirate booty 3.0
* The folks at ZD's Apple Core blog say you may not want that pirate copy of iPhone 3.0 as much as you think you do.
* It may be a legit copy, but a phone home feature checks if you are an active paid up member of the iPhone dev program.
* If not you are stuck on the activation screen and there is no going back. Your iPhone will be out of commission until the official version is released.
V Macworld 2010 dates announced
* February 9th to the 13th in san francisco at the Moscone Center
* Macworld talk with Paul Kent, vice president and general manager of Macworld Expo, who said the move to February was based on attendee feedback.
* Moved away from the Holiday crunch giving developers more time to work on code after the holiday's. Also won't conflict with CES
* Runs Thursday through Saturday giving consumers a better opportunity to attend.
V Sponsor
V Cocoatech
* Pathfinder 5, the Power User Finder, but still has simple helpful features that anyone will benefit from.
* Does everything you wish the Finder did, but doesn't. Tabbed Finder? Pathfinder. Split window Finder? Pathfinder.
* Drop Stack allows you to move files using a single window interface.
* Free trial
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Migrating Appleworks database files
* Randy discovered via the Bento newsletter that Bento 2 from Filemaker can import AppleWorks (.tsv) database files
* Filemaker Bento 2
V MySQL or Filemaker
* Play comment from Tom
* This will spark a debate I'm sure. Send feedback and comments. Or better yet post on the forum.
* Right tool for the right job, or skill set.
V Web applications vs. local applications.
* This is not a hard and fast rule but a general rule
V Ease of use vs. larger learning curve
V MySQL is generally command line while Filemaker is point and click with GUI.
* Web interface GUI vs. Drag and Drop native GUI.
* Web based scripting in another language vs. native application scripting.
V GUI tools are available for MySQL and their are package installers.
* Navicat, is one of my favorite GUI tools.
V Free vs. paid
* Free, but you are on your own mostly
* Paid, support from the developer. MySQl does have a paid commercial version.
* Both platforms have robust communities.
V AirPhones review
* Matt was looking for a way to use his iPod Touch like an Airport Express AirTunes speaker.
* AirPhones App
* Sends all audio from your Mac out to the iPhone or iPod Touch
* Designed to send iTunes and other Mac audio over WiFi, could connect external speakers to your iPod Touch or iPhone.
V Beware of using partitions
* Time Machine/ Cloned backups via SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.
* As drives get larger and larger some people are using partitions to do multiple kinds of backup. (Time Machine, Super Duper, Archive).
V Still a single point of failure.
* Striped (RAID-0), scary RAID.
V Backup mix
V Local (Connected or NAS)
* Redundancy through RAID (mirrored drives, DROBO)
* CD and DVDs
V Remote Backup
* Off-site (iDisk, S3, Mozy, etc)
* Flickr, SmugMug
* CDs and DVD (at office, bank, relatives house)
V Macbook case cracking
* Tomas and others are reporting cracks in the cases of their Macbooks.
* Mostly in areas of the top case near the edges, but there are other locations.
* Flicker group with images
* Normally this type of "damage" might not be covered by Applecare, but I have been reading many reports that Apple is making an exception in this case.
* If you are not under Applecare anymore try anyway.
V Anatomy of your iTunes folder
V Mac OS X
* /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library
* /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml
* /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music
V Microsoft Windows
* \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl
* \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music Library.xml
V iTunes Library (.itl) file
* This file is a database of the songs in your library and the playlists you've created. Some song-specific data is saved in this file (play counts, ratings, etc.).
V iTunes Music Library.xml
* This file contains some (but not all) of the same information stored in the iTunes Library file. The purpose of the iTunes Music Library.xml file is to make your music and playlists available to other applications on your computer.
V iTunes Music Folder
* All the music, podcast, and video files (TV shows, Movies, etc.). This can be loaded from another location (external drive, network drive) and it's location is set in the preferences.
V Mobile Applications
* The application (.ipa) files on your iPhone or iPod Touch
* Seems to need to be in the same location as the iTunes Library file
V iTunes Library Extras.itdb" and "iTunes Library Genius.itdb
* These are new to iTunes 8
* Can't find much info, but they appear to be SQL Lite databases for the CDDB (Gracenote) data and the Genius data respectively.
* Tried opening them in a SQL Lite tool. Genius file was encrypted.
V Other files
* Album Artwork, Album artwork.
* iPod Games, iPod Games files and data (.ipg)
* Previous iTunes Libraries, backups of libraries from older versions
V Changing the iTunes folder location
* All these files, except the iTunes Music folder, need to be kept together.
* Hold option key down when launching iTunes and choose "Create iTunes Library...".
V Microsoft's new Mac price attack ad
* They admit Macs are for cool people. John Gruber notes that's an unusual tactic. So PC users are not cool?
V "Lauren" wants a 17" notebook with a "comfortable" keyboard for under $1,00
* She tries Apple, but finds only a 13" Macbook for under $1,000.
V Ends up with a 17" HP from Best buy for $699.99, what no sales tax?
* AppleInsider notes it's missing 802.11n, Gigabit Ethernet, digital audio inputs and outputs, weighs 7.75 pounds, and has the resolution of Apple's 15" Macbook Pro: 1440 by 900.
* Still is more than half the price and I don't think those features would move it up past $1,500 bucks.
* Despite her claim, the woman in the commercial is an actress, not a "regular user".
V Typical arguments against the ads are cropping up
* Total cost of ownership. Service and support. Included software, anti-virus etc.
* Some have said it;s not cool to directly attack your competitor, on this I think we have to conceded to the "People in glass houses" argument.
* All said in done, these ads and the latest "kid" ones all sell the PC illusion and do it well. Apple also sells some illusions the question is who do you trust more?
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac
* Audible
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* CocoaTech, Pathfinder 5
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "All of My Idols are Dead" by Killola
* Lisa from the band sent the tracks
* They just got back from SXSW
* Download the album for free on the band's site
V EOL: Sit on it Steve!
* Cult of Mac found these cool "Apple" stools in Milan. One in familiar rainbow colors.