MacCast 06.23.2009 - Show #270
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
V Sponsor
V Cocoatech
* Pathfinder 5
* Snow Leopard has no Finder updates beyond Cocoa, so here is your update.
* Cool extras like the Size Browser window. Navigate through your files and folder by size to find the items using up the most disk space.
* Download a demo from the web site and try it yourself.
V News
V WWDC Aftermath
* All the items that have occurred after we recovered from our WWDC keynote haze.
V Safari 4
* Top tabs were removed. Why can't this be a user controlled setting?
V Safari 4.0.1 Update
* Addresses compatibility Safari and iPhoto ’09, fixing issues with Places and publishing pictures to Facebook.
V Snow Leopard
* No ZFS support? ArsTechnica noted that Apple removed all references to ZFS in Snow Leopard from it's site. Before the keynote the preview page for Snow Leopard specifically mentioned ZFS support.
V Up-to-date program. Customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac computer or a qualifying Apple Certified Refurbished computer on or after June 8, 2009 that does not include Mac OS X Snow Leopard can upgrade to Snow Leopard for $9.95 plus tax.
* Listener Mike took advantage of this when he purchased a new Mac and got a ship date on his confirmation from Apple. Shipping Sept, 25th arriving Sept, 30th.
* Open CL, Listener Micke says the ATI 3870 is not supported. Emailed Rob at Bare Feats and ATI is not supporting it on the 3870. Contact then if you want it.
V Macbook Pros, 13", 15", and 17"
* SD Card slot can be used to boot a Mac (ArsTechnica). Formatted as Mac OS Extended using a GUID partition map. Bootable emergency SD with tools like Disk Warrior, Drive Genius, and Cocktail.
V As noted by MacNN and others, Apple has replaced the 3Gbps SATA in the 13" and 15" with 1.5 Gbps SATA. The drives shipping with Macbook Pros can't use more than 1.5 Gbps, but could impact users wanting to upgrade, especailly with SSD. Even with SSD the change may have very little real-world impact for most users.
* The NVIDA 9400M chip can go up to 3.0 Gbps, so what's the deal?
* Turns out it was a bug and Apple released the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 to correct the issue.
V They also released the iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.4
* Fixes intermittent system freeze issues for iMac computers with ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics and fixes wake-from-sleep issues in Boot Camp.
* Early tests from AnandTech and others are reporting battery times of over 7 hours. More like 8.
V Software Updates
V Java updates fro Tiger and Leopard
* Improves the reliability, security and compatibility of Java
* Shuts down that nasty Java security hole.
V Bluetooth Firmware Update 2.0
* This update provides bug fixes and better compatibility with the Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard.
* This update is only for some Mac models, if you don't get it in via Software Update then it's one you can probably skip.
V iPhone 3.0 OS in the wild
V Features to upgrade for?
* Search - Contacts, e-mails, Apps, music, podcasts, audiobooks, video, calendar events, notes
* Cut, Copy, Paste -
* Find My iPhone - Great if you have Mobile Me. Works for iPod Touch.
* Buy Movies and TV - 10 Mb limit, so basically Wi-fi only.
* Landscape keyboard - In most built-in apps.
* Notes sync and SMS forward & delete
V Tethering and MMS, maybe?
* A rumor surfaced that AT&T would have a plan charging $55/mo for the service. At&T later said it wasn't true
V A statement on their Facebook blog denied the rumor, but left a couple things to question
* "There are a lot of reports out there, but wanted you guys to know that rumors of $55 tethering plan on top of an unlimited data plan are false. We’ll have more news to share when the iPhone tethering option is closer to launch"
* TUAW says Rogers in Canada is allowing free tethering through the end of 2009 if you subscribe to a data plan which includes at least 1GB of data transmission. Of course these are the more expensive data plans.
* Exchange and Active Sync
* Parental controls - uses iTunes ratings.
* Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) - on iPhone 3G and 3GS and the second-generation iPod touch
* Podcasts - 30 sec skip back and email to a friend
* Music and Video - control scrubbing speeds.
* Share contacts - attaches vCard to email can receive and add on iPhone.
* YouTube account sign-in and comments.
* Push notifications.
* Auto AT&T hotspot logins - Mac NN says AT&T is using the 802.21 protocol for the seamless wi-fi handoff
* Unlimited apps, or up to storage limit. 11 pages on the springboard, but MacRumors says you can have more you just won't see them. You can use search to launch.
* Hacks have surfaced to enable tethering and MMS on AT&T
V Security
V Peter Cohen, note there are numerous security updates in the new OS
* 6 in Core Graphics alone, improved Exchange server security, 2 in Mail, and over a dozen in WebKit.
* In total it patches 46 potential security vulnerabilities
V iPhone 3GS in the wild
V iPhone 3GS speculation on the specs
V Electronista says RapidRepair has done a teardown and discovered:
V a 600MHz ARM processor, Samsung's S5PC100 based on the 65 nanometers ARM Cortex A8
* Spec say that chip is native at 667MHz and could go as high as 833MHz.
* Apple likely is cripping it for heat and or battery reasons.
* 256MB of RAM
* Capable of 720p capture and playback, but Apple limits it to 640x480 at present.
* Keeping green, packaging was smaller than the 3Gs.
V New features I like:
* Speed, speed, speed.
V Camera & Video
* Some issues were reported by iLounge with uploading video to Flickr and Vimeo. No sound and upside-down after the services process the raw camera video. Possibly due to the orientation data the iPhone adds which confuses the converters.
* Search
V Fun to play with:
* Maps with GPS and compass
* Voice Control
* Find My iPhone
V Most Accessible iPhone to date
* Voice Over, Zoom, White on Black (high contrast), Mono Audio, Speak Auto-text (corrections).
V Opening day
* Overall I think it went better than past launches.
* Pre-orders and early opening may have kept lines down.
V Were still some activation issues with some taking 48 hours.
* Apple issues a $30 iTunes credit via email to some customers impacted by the delays.
V Predictions and realities on opening weekend numbers
V MacNN said Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster was looking for between 500,000 to 700,000 units.
* Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets also predicted between 500,000 to 700,000
V Apple reported selling over a million iPhone 3GS' in the first 3 days.
* In just 8 countries vs. the 3Gs 21
* No price reduction like we saw from the 1st gen to the 3G
* In their announcement Apple removed the 'space' between the G and S. It has been changed throughout Apple's website as well.
V What's next for iPhone?
* Electronista thinks multi-core is in iPhone's future 45 nanometers Dual-core ARM Cortex A9.
* Will Apple's next mobile chip be their own design instead? PA Semi can design custom design ARM chips.
* 4G LTE support?
V Apple warns Pre customers about iTunes integration
V Daring Fireball unearthed a recent Apple support document (6/16/09)
* "Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players."
V Lynn Fox, a spokesperson fro Pre, told "All Things Digital"
* “If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider.”
V Listener Thomas pointed out something I had thought about too. This is more fuel for the iTunes monopoly fire.
* Could argue that it is anticompetitive, especially now that iTunes is all DRM free for music at least.
* Would be a weak argument, but could it open the door for the DOj to take a look?
V Checking in on Apple's latest numbers
V AppleInsider reports on May numbers from Gene Minster based on NPD Group reports
* Mac sales were down 3% from May 2008. Expects 2.2 to 2.4 million units sold in Apple's 3rd fiscal quarter of 2009.
* That would put unit sales down -12 to -4% year over year, but June numbers should be good due to new Macbook and Macbook Pro line-ups launch prior to and at WWDC.
* iPod sales were down 18% in May and the average unit price dropped 7.5%, likely due to new Shuffles.
* Munster predicts iPod quarter numbers of 9.5 to 10.5 million units, down -14% to 5% year over year.
V Steve Jobs coming back soon?
V There have been a number of rumors concerning Steve Jobs leave of absence and his health. Tuesday with Steve Jobs permission Methodist University Hospital in Memphis released a statement confirming that he did receive a liver transplant there.
* The hospital claims their, "one-year patient and graft survival rates are among the best in the nation" and indicates that is a primary reason Jobs chose their hospital.
* There has also been speculation he choose Tennessee because the state has one of the shortest waiting periods in the US for liver patients. The hospital said that Jobs had to be the sickest person on their list to be eligible to receive this transplant.
* They also say his is recovering well and his outlook is excellent.
* Another rumor this week from Reuters says he was spotted on the Apple campus on Monday and that would seem to coincide with a late June 2009 return to Apple.
* Even if he isn't back on campus he is at least back in quotes from Apple PR. In the press release about Apple selling 1 million iPhone 3GS' over the opening weekend Jobs is quoted as saying, “Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,”.
* Let's hope for the best. There was speculation that there may be a special event to herald his return to Apple.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Some One-to-One corrections
* There are 1 hour individual sessions with 1 to 1, or 3 hour sessions that are 1-to-3. The 3 hours sessions are meant to be "project" sessions with trainers watching participants do their projects and helping/ answering questions.
* Can only get one-to-one when you buy a new Mac at an Apple retail store or on-line.
V Apple Store correction
* Sacramento store was in Roseville, not Rosewood.
V Finer fiddling with function keys
* Tony points out a neat 3rd party system preference pane that lets you choose which FKeys to have standard and which ones to keep their special Apple keyboard control.
* FunctionFlip, "individually controls your MacBook or MacBook Pro's function keys, turning special keys back to regular F-keys, or vice-versa".
V Snow Leopard is for Intel only.
* This release will leave PPC behind and listeners seem to have mixed feelings. Some PPC users have told me they are feeling abandoned too soon since their PPC Macs are still running and performing fine for them.
V My thoughts
V It was announced at WWDC in June of 2005 that Apple would go Intel. 4 years seems reasonable.
* No doubt though that PPC machines will continue to be around and viable for years to come.
* No "real" new features in Snow Leopard. Most are take advantage of new hardware advances.
* No way to focus the OS core and keep PPC support
* Leopard updates will continue to be released into the near future.
V New Macbook SD slot debate
* I have heard from a few people who questions Apple's move to SD
V They say true "Pro" cameras still use Compact Flash, so SD argument doesn't hold water.
* I say 13" and 15" Macbook Pros aren't probably sold to true "Pros" as a majority segment.
* FW 800 port could be used for fast CF transfers
* Most would prefer another USB port, which I agree with. Why have a slot at all?
V Determine your IPhone eligibility from your iPhone
* Play tip from Jose.
V Remedies for a slowing Mac
* David has noticed that after about a year of steady use is Macbook Pro is slower to boot and he is seeing more and more beach balls. What to do?
V What are some causes of Mac crustiness?
* Cache, temporary files, log files. These things can build up and grow over time. Clean them out with a tool like Onyx or Cocktail.
* Repair permissions, the cure all. Not sure why, but it can help.
* Sleep memory, Virtual Memory - See this a lot with notebooks if you only sleep and never reboot.
V Stop the apps that you forgot about
* Menu items, all that stuff up in the menu-bar. Do you really use it?
* System preferences, old printers and mice drivers can be big culprits here.
* Login items, these are often enabled without you even knowing it. Clear them out from your Account preferences.
* Widgets, check your Dashboard (F12 or the F4 (Dashboard key)).
V Make sure your apps are up to date.
* Apps sometimes have memory leaks and other bugs.
* Try an something like App Fresh to see if all your stuff is current.
* If a specific app is giving you fits, try deleting the preference file (PLIST). Look in the ~/Library/Preferences folder and move it to the trash (you have a backup, right?).
* Too many items on the desktop (???). I have heard this one but not sure what the cause would be. I keep a clean desktop, so never really impacted me.
V Other things to do:
* General house cleaning, remove old apps, files, etc. Archive data and get it off you Mac.
* Get more RAM.
* Reinstall OS X. I recommend doing this every 12-18 months. You don't have to, but it keeps you Mac fresh and gets the gunk out at the same time. Like an oil change for your Mac.
V Short iPod cables & recording radio
* Play questions from Will
* Two seemingly random questions, but ones I have answers for. Yeah!
* RadTech, Shortz
* Rogue Amoeba, Radioshift
V Why does my app have a crossed out generic icon?
* Scott wanted to know why recently installed apps had that generic icon with the ghostbusters "no" circle slash over it.
* Part of Leopard's security.
V Force a Safari Top Site
* Out of the box Apple pre-populates the tops sites and of course it will customize based on your browsing behavior over time.
V Rick figured out how to force a "top" site into the wall.
* 1) Add the Icon for Top Sites in your toolbar (view menu - customize tool toolbar - drag icon)
* 2) Go to the website that you want to add to Top Sites
* 3) Drag the URL from the address bar into the Icon for Top Sites in the Toolbar
* 4) Open Top Sites page and click Edit to rearrange sites as desired, click Done
* When you are in edit mode you might note that the newly added "top" site has a blue pin icon. With this you can keep sites in your top sites list.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
* Smile on my Mac
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* CocoaTech, Path Finder 5
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
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V "Hey Kate!" by The Fire Apes
* From the Podsafe Music Network (Music Alley)
* Artist's web site
* Buy in iTunes
V EOL: New iPod RED, red cedar actually
* An iLounge listener created this cool all wooden iPod complete with accessories. (via iLounge)