MacCast 08.17.2009 - Show #275
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is "Say Anything" by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
* Their limited edition 7" is back up on There you'll also find "Angels with Dirty Faces" which has the full "Say Anything" track.
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Back to school. Students or teachers.
* Great for storing notes, doing research, tracking lessons etc.
* Free 30-day trial
V News
V Safari 4.0.3 update
* Includes improvements to stability, compatibility and security.
* Improvements for webpages that use the HTML 5 video tag
* Fixes an issue that prevented some users from logging into
* Fixes an issue that could cause web content to be displayed in greyscale instead of color.
* Ars Technica reports there are also several security fixes including tweaks to ImageIO, CoreGraphics, WebKit, and more.
V AirPort Client Update for MacBook and MacBook Pro
* For some owners to address an Airport connectivity issue when running on battery power.
* After installing the 10.5.8 update some users would get significant network slowdowns.
* Effected late 2007, early and late 2008 MacBooks, early 2008 15" MacBook Pros, and early and late 2008 17" MacBook Pros
V Security Update 2009-004
* Fixes an issue with OS X'x BIND DNS server.
* Using the hole an attacker may be able to interrupt the BIND service.
* BIND is included with Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server but it is not enabled by default.
V Apple "media" announcement soon
* Rumors heat up that Apple will have its yearly iPod/iTunes media announcement in early September. Around the week of the 7th. D, All things Digital is pinning it on the 9th. Makes sense since the Monday 7th is Labour Day and Tuesday would be a travel day.
* Possibly marking Steve Jobs return to keynoting an event since his leave of absence.
V New iPod Touch
* Added camera and video support
* 16GB, 32GB and 64GB at the same prices.
V New Nano
* With camera, not sure about video recording.
* "Cocktail" digital media bundles and support
V iTunes 9
* Rumor via AppleInsider and Boy Genius Report
V Blu-ray support, organize iPhone and iPod touch applications, Twitter/Facebook/ integration
* Jason O'Grady has a good piece de-bunking the "leaked" iTunes 9 screenshots highlighting the "social" features.
* BGR says, Apple will tie iTunes 9 into a “Social” application that they plan to release in the future.
* AppleInsider has had recent report of Apple adding Blu-ray to next gen iMacs.
V 8 GB iPhone 3GS
* This is an on again off again rumor based on something that showed up on Rogers Canada site.
* Gizmodo, claims to have reports of the phone still on Rogers internal site.
V iPad, Mac tablety thingy
* Cult of Mac says Apple was shooting a secret commercial for an unnamed product at the Jax Truckee Diner.
* 10" screen tabled using an "extended" version of the iPhone OS, according to Jason Calacanis (in a tweet).
* New rumors reported by Ars Technica have it in 2 editions. One with a web cam and one without for the education market.
* Borders book recently sent out a survey where the asked about customers familiarity with a Digital Reading Device called an Apple iPAD. Better not be the actual name.
V iPhone coming to China or not
* I have tried avoiding this story, but can no longer
* China Unicom seems conflicted over the iPhone if you believe the rumors
* iLounge had a report that the Chinese mobile carrier had agreed to buy 5 million WCDMA iPhones, in both 8GB and 16GB capacities from Apple
* They also had a Unicom official saying the device would be available in China
* Then Mac Observer reported that the New York Times had a Unicom spokesman denying the claims, only admitting that Apple and China Unicom are in talks.
V Matte is back in 15" Macbook Pro
* Apple slipped the option for a 15" anti-glare screen on the Macbook Pro back into it's online BTO system.
* The USD $50 option will also add back the silver bezel.
* Also adds 2-4 days to the shipping time according to Electronista.
V Snow Leopard due soon, maybe sooner
* has word via Mac4ever that the latest Snow Leopard builds (10A432) are labeled "Gold Master". The rumor later denied by other sources.
* Supposed leaked photos of the retail packaging, mostly white with an actual image of a snow leopard.
* Mac Rumors cites Daring Fireball's John Gruber and MacDailyNews as having reports of a possible Friday, August 28th release date.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Might be time for Mac Anti-virus, a scan or two at least
* My friend and fellow Mac Roundtable colleague Bart Busschots points out that there HAVE been a few Mac trojans to hit the wild. I have even covered them on this show (iWork, Photoshop, etc.)
* A new trojan, OSX_JAHLAV.D, is disguised as a Quicktime update and in the wild. Hijacks DNS requests and allows hackers to send you to web sites they pick. Often phishing sites designed to look like the site you are trying to visit.
* Picked up by visiting a site, usually when you try to play a video, will prompt you to update Quicktime and download the trojan DMG.
* As Bart points out, these days hackers want their viruses to go undetected. Using your machine for a botnet or to steal personal data.
* Several listeners reported current scanning tools, like Clam X AV, Mac Scan, and others finding spyware and malware on Macs. Sometimes it's PC stuff in attachments in emails, but why pass that along?
V Getting close to Snow Leopard, install time.
* Carlos and some other listeners are asking for a review of my new OS install ritual.
V Since Snow Leopard will be a pure upgrade, how will I do a clean install?
V I am hearing that the installer will default to an "Upgrade" and that the options for "Erase and Install" and "Archive and Install" have apparently been removed.
* Need to use Disk Utility to do the erase and install.
V If I buy the $29 upgrade only disk, how to clean install?
* I can only speculate at this point, but...
* Maybe it will ask during install to insert your original Leopard install or DVD that came with your Mac
* You will use the OS X Leopard disk to do your erase and install and then "upgrade" with your Snow Leopard disk. Would end up being similar
* After running Snow Leopard future installs default to archive and install and will bring along patched files. If you have 10.6.1 it will re-install to that version
* Rosetta and Quicktime 7 are optional installs. If you have Quicktime 7 Pro it will install automatically.
V Other Snow Leopard install ticks (hat tip to Ars Techinica)
* Won't install on a drive with SMART failures
* Scans for "haxies" and incompatible software and moves it to a ""Incompatible Software" folder.
* Copies portions of the installer to the hard drive during install for faster install performance.
* If power fails during install it can pick up where it left off.
V Re-install apps
* Do an inventory of your apps, get latest installers, disks, keys, serial numbers, etc.
* What I love about this is you will clean out all those apps to tried, but don't really use. Spring cleaning.
V Bringing data back
* Use migration assistant with your Time Machine or cloned backup as a source
* Restore user data. iTunes, iPhoto, documents, network settings, etc.
V Snow Leopard is Intel only, so if you have a G4, G5, or older Mac and want the latest and greatest part of your upgrade strategy may include getting a new Mac.
* And don't forget, Leopard isn't broken and will continue to be supported
* Not a ton of new features in Snow Leopard, so you shouldn't feel that left out.
V 1.7 SATA II Firmware update bug
* Michael alerted me to several threads on Apple's discussion boards where some users are having issues with SATA drives after installing the EFI 1.7 update.
V Users report beachballing, stutters under high load, total unresponsiveness, to drives not at all recognized.
* Apple did acknowledge an issue 7200rpm, 500GB drives in Macbook Pros
* Theory here according to MacNN and OWC is that Seagate's Momentus 7200.4 drives have G-shock which duplicates Apple's built-in HD shock protection technology and is causing the drives to rapidly spin-up and spin-down.
* Oddly the 1.7 update was meant to fix and restore an issue Apple created with an OS update that created an issue for SATA II drives running faster than 1.5Gbps.
* Now some users with SATA drives are reporting drives becoming incompatible while these drives were fine prior to the update.
* The drives are different ones, from different manufactures. Even stranger some of the same drives from the same manufacturer may work and not work in different Macs.
* Michael was having a particular issue with some 128GB SSD drives from Crucial.
* There doesn't seem to be a common thread, so I am not sure what advice to offer. Also there has been no comment from Apple.
* If you have any insights, thoughts, or fixes/ work around please send email or comments.
V Apple's customer service experience
* Dealing with Apple on customer service and be a mixed bag, but more often than not I hear stories like Tom's.
* Play comment from Tom.
* Johnathan had a similar experience with Apple in Glasgow. Had a repair done at the end of his 3 year AppleCare and then 2 weeks after it expired ran into another issue. Apple covered the repairs (new motherboard and 2 gigs of RAM) for free.
V Some tips when dealing with Apple and customer support
* Honesty is the best policy. I admit to not always following this rule. It can be embarrassing sometimes to admit you damages your favorite Apple product.
* Don't always expect a replacement or freebie on an out of warranty repair or user caused damage, but also don't be afraid to ask.
* Don't act like you know more than the Genius (even if you do). You can still offer and share information, but don't be arrogant about it. Remember they likely know about common issues reported on-line, but likely can't say they do.
* Have your backups done (if you can) before you go to the store and have a backup plan if you need to be without your Mac or device for a few days.
V Converting video files for Mac
* I have had a few people ask about this recently. Things like how to convert WMV to a format for iMovie say.
* Back in the day, my answer was Visual Hub. A Swiss Army knife of video converters.
* Well, it's back (or the engine is) as Video Monkey.
* Another useful video tool for playback is Perian. A Quicktime component that adds native playback support for a number of non-natively supported formats. (AVI, DIVX, etc.)
* And while we are at it, Flip for Mac. Free player version from Microsoft. Needed for Windows Media support.
V Gettin' Geeky with GeekTool
* Listener Oliver and some others have told me about the geek chic of Geek Tool
* A system preference pane to allow you to display files (like log files) or results of Shell command on your desktop.
* Useful for doing monitoring you your system. Display system.log file or results of the 'ps ax', 'top' or 'uptime' commands.
* A site with some cool beginner (and not so beginner) scripts
V Maximize like on Windows
* Jon ran into a common frustration in switching from PC to Mac and that is the concept of Zoom vs. maximize
* When you click the green "+" zoom button on a window in OS X, it doesn't always necessarily zoom (or maximize) to the full size of your screen. On windows the similar button toggles between a user size and a maximum size for the display.
V Apple takes a different approach
* standard state (set by the developer) and the user state, the one you set.
* iTunes for example will toggle between the "mini player" and the user state. Hold option and click the green icon to toggle between user state and maximum.
* LifeHacker and Switching to point to RightZoom. This "fixes" the issue, and I tried the software briefly. I worry a bit about it, since it runs "without any UI" (have to kill the process with Disk Utility or a terminal command) and they make key logger and other monitoring software.
* Size-up does the maximize thing, plus supports "tiling" and more. Uses keystrokes or command from the menu item. minimum USD$4.99, or you can "name your price".
V Adjusting settings based on location
* Andreas wants to tweak iPhone settings for better battery life and performance based on profiles. Play comment.
* Don't know if it can be done on the iPhone. Use Apple's feedback page to suggest it.
V On the Mac there is a cool looking app called NetworkLocation
* USD $29 from
V Will change settings on your Mac automatically based on your location.
* Uses Skyhook wireless data to auto detect your location
* Default Printer, Desktop Picture, Brightness, Screensaver Settings, System Location, Timezone, Volume, Connect to Servers, Airport on or off, Bluetooth on or off, change the SMTP Servers (Apple Mail), Open an Application or Run Script..., etc.
V Move iPhoto '08 library to another drive
* We have covered moving your iTunes library to an external, but Marc wanted to know about iPhoto.
* Before doing any of this, backup and confirm your backup.
V Under iPhoto '08....
* Quit iPhoto.
* Copy the iPhoto Library file from it's current location to your desired location (make a copy at first).
* Launch iPhoto holding down the option key, a dialog will come up asking you which library you want to use. You can also create a new one, but in this case choose the "Other library..." option.
* Select the library file on the external volume and click OK.
* Now iPhoto should be using this Library location.
* This tip can be used to jump between multiple libraries. Useful if you have a notebook and want a smaller local library for on the road. Also useful for temporarily looking at iPhoto Library files on backup DVDs.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
* Smile on my Mac
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
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V "Open Road" by Nathan Lee
* From the Podsafe Music Network, now MusicAlley from Mevio
* Artist's web site
V EOL: Sometimes it just ends
* Yes, it really does.