MacCast 11.22.2009 - Show #285
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is "Say Anything" by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
V Sponsor
V Faronics
* Deep Freeze
* Free trial available
V News
V New Core i7 iMac posts good numbers
* Numbers from Geekbench and Cinebench from MacRumors and Barefeats
* Most numbers coming in just under the 2.93GHz quad-core Mac Pro and flattening the Core 2 Duo iMacs
V As Barefeats points out, the iMac Core i7 2.8GHz with 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, Radeon HD 4850, and 27" LED comes in at $2399.00. The similarly config'd quad-core Mac Pro 2.93GHz with a 24" LED Cinema display will run you almost twice that price.
* Of course you don't have the expandability of the Pro enclosure, but with the iMacs specs, many won't need it.
* The Core i5 iMac seems to clock in about 30-35% lower than the Core i7 and as Barefeats out it's only 10% lower in price, so the i7 iMacs are a good price to performance value.
* Now keep in mind these are 64-bit numbers and running multicore benchmarks. Real world apps and performance differences will be more varied.
V Holidays looking good for Apple and Consumers
V up to 25% savings on some Macs according to "leaked" Black friday ads?
* up to 30% on all iPods (excluding iPhone or iPod shuffle), up to 25% on all Macs, and up to 15% on all accessories.
* The "up to" being the key word here. Don't get suckered.
V Gene Munster thinks December sales will fill Apple's stocking
* Looking at NPD group's October data which indicates a 7% Mac Sales growth, he predicts a 14% year over year growth for December.
* That would mean 2.9 million Macs in December, which could happen with the new iMacs, Macbooks, and Mac Minis lining the tables.
V The coal in Apple fans stocking could be the rumored dealt of the Mac Tablet
* DigiiTimes (classically inaccurate) is reporting Apple is going to wait on a 10" LG OLED touchscreen for the new device.
* Pushing the release date to the second half of 2010 to wait for component costs to fall.
* The report says pricing between $1,200 and $1500 if Apple waits. Crazy.
* Would also give Apple more time to do content deals?
V Apple working on "Concierge" app
* AppleInsider and MacRumors both reporting on sources who say Apple is planning to release a "Concierge" app
* View memberships, make appointments for services at retail stores, like the Genius Bar or One to One
* Recently at my Apple Store an employee did use his iPod Touch to check me in for an appointment
V iPodNN reports there may be a couple other apps as well
* App to allow iPod Touch and iPhone replacements from the floor rather than at the Genius Bar
* iPod app for managing inventory in the stockroom.
V Frustrated Devs flee App Store
* Joe Hewitt, Facebook. Justin Williams, Second Gear. Paul Kafasis, Rogue Amoeba
V I mentioned these fears before that App store opened and some devs are starting to agree. Apple deciding what is allowed or not allowed is not always a good thing.
* OS X on iPhone is a double standard.
* Where apps are malicious or might break Apple's service or EULAs they have the "kill switch".
V Media and users would be all over bad apps. And it's not like the review process has stopped them.
* Review doesn't go deep into source code
* have had approved apps that mine phone numbers, etc.
V Williams concerns over small developers apps not getting approval after months of work.
* Also had a hard time selling his apps when he wanted out. No way to transfer in Developer Connection.
* Customers get no future updates. Have to re-buy apps from the new developer.
V Kafasis' AirFoil Speakers took 4 months (3 rejections) to get a bug fix pushed.
* Update rejected for inappropriate use of "Apple-owned Graphic Symbols."
* Images were from OS X and in the originally approved app.
V New automated first process to screen for use of private APIs.
* Typically Apple just warns devs to avoid private APIs as they may change. On the iPhone they are banned from use.
* Hewitt developed an iPhone framework used by some developers called Three20 that uses a private API call. ArsTechnica confirmed that had nothing to do with Hewiitt transferring Facebook iPhone app development.
* iPoddNN says the developers Rogue Sheep warn that just using the API, even referencing the API even without calling the banned API can get the app rejected by the automated system.
* Using the wrong category name might trigger a false rejection.
V Is Apple getting more serious about gaming?
* AreTechnica notes a recent Apple job posting calling for a "Game/Media Software Engineer"
* Description says, "to work on interactive multimedia experiences on the iPhone and iPod Touch."
V Also calls for
* 3-4 years of video game development experience, shipped at least one AAA title
* passionate gamer
* Nintendo is worried about the iPhone and games and entertainment are huge categories on the App Store
V Updates, fixes, and hacks. Oh my!
* Snow Leopard updates for Canon, Brother, HP, and Lexmark printers
V LED Cinema Display iSight Firmware Update 1.0
* Fixes the iSight on the LED Cinema display not being recognized in some applications
V Server Admin tools 10.6.2
* Updates, fixes, and improvements to iCal Server Utility, Podcast Composer, Server Admin, Server Monitor, Server Preferences, System Image Utility, Workgroup Manager, and Xgrid Admin
V Boot Camp Drivers Update 2.2
* Addresses issues with the Apple trackpad and turns off the red digital audio port LED on laptop computers when it is not being used
* Includes support for the Apple Magic mouse and wireless keyboard.
V Hackers get back Intel Atom support in 10.6.2
* Complex hack using terminal commands and replacing the OS X kernel
* Will allow netbook "hackintoshers" to run the latest Snow Leopard update.
V Error message in the "launch deamon" (launchd), seems to reference a possible build of 10.7 (11A47)
* via AppleInsider & MacRumors.
* 10.6 builds started with '10A' and 10.6.2 builds '10B'. First number indicating the major version.
* No word on it's feline codename though.
V Macs rank 4th in build quality
* Numbers from an extended warranty provider, SquareTrade, based on 30,000 consumer experiences. (via ArsTechnica)
* Macs failed just over 10% of the time in 2 years and 17.4% over 3 years.
* Asus, Toshiba, and Sony ranked higher, but Asus' number were just barely better than Apple's. Just under 10% in 2 years and 15.6% in the 3 year number.
* SquareTrade also found that netbooks are 20% more unreliable than other laptops.
V Don't let you Mac inhale
* "The Consumerist", blog posted a story about two different people getting denied AppleCare coverage because their Macs were exposed to second-hand smoke
* There is nothing in the AppleCare warranty that says smoking around the Mac would void AppleCare
* Apple claims the contaminated Macs fall under a 'bio-hazzard' classification by OSHA and therefore can't force it's technicians to work on the machines.
* Seems ludicrous to me. I could see not replacing components if the smoke caused the damage.
* Have you or someone you know been denied AppleCare on your Mac due to second-hand smoke?
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Free trial available
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Free OS X virtualization
* On the last show I left out Sun Virtualbox
* Play comment from Jason.
V Free Office alternative from Lotus
* Listener Todd told me about, IBM Lotus, Symphony.
* Based on older OpenOffice 1.0 and running on JAVA. Built on Eclipse.
* The download process is kind of a pain
* Tabbed interface could open Microsoft XML formats, but don''t think it can save them. Supports Office 97-2003 formats.
V Hardware change bypasses firmware password?
* According to listener Jason, if you remove RAM from your Mac it will negate the firmware password
* Apparently if you add or remove RAM and zap the PRAM it removes the password.
V Piracy can also give your Mac scurvy
* As Daniel pointed out, pirated apps also sometime come with viruses and Malware. iWork and CS4 recently had trojans.
* Also, you often can't get support or updates for pirated apps.
V Beware of aftermarket copies of OS X too
* Not really piracy, but buying OS X second hand can be tricky
* Disks bundled with Macs are very often machine specific, so make sure you are getting a retail copy.
V The ins and outs of Mini Display Port
* Lot's of confusion over the Mini Display Port connector. All depends on if you are going in or out.
V 27" iMac supports Mini Display Port in, but only for Mini Display Port Connections
* Input is only supported on the 27" models and not the 21.5"
* Can for example go from a DVD player with HDMI out into the 27" iMacs Mini Display Port in connector.
* Can use a device like ElGato's EyeTV (USB) to input analog devices like a DVD player.
V Mini Display Port out can connect to other digital inputs, like HDMI, VGA, and DVI with a simple adapter cable.
* From Apple. About USD $30
* MonoPrice, Mini Display Port to HDMI USD $9.75. Mini Display Port to DVI, $9.75
V To connect older Macs that have DVI-out to a new LED Cinema Display (Mini Display Port in) you need a converter box
* Gefen DVI to Mini Display Port Converter. USD $149.00
* Audio can be analog or digital in. For digital you need a TOSLink cable.
V Adding keyboard shortcuts to everything
* Seems like I covered this recently, but let's update it for Snow Leopard
V In System Preferences-->Keyboard. Click the 'Keyboard Shortcut' tab
* Left column lists the categories and the shortcuts are displayed in the right column
* To set up your own, click the "+" icon near the bottom of the right column. To remove them, click the 'Application Shortcut' category, select the shortcut in the right column, and click the '-'.
V Adding a shortcut
* Click the "+"
* In the dialog, choose the specific application, or choose "All"
* Type the menu title EXACTLY as it is written in the menu. You can also type sub menu items.
* Assign the shortcut. Make sure to choose something unique and not already assign to another item in that app.
* Click 'Add' and your done.
V Maccast One Minute Tip: iPhoto Places
* Play tip
* One Minute Tip Podcast
V iTunes random is random
* Dan noticed that his iTunes 'Shuffle' seems to be repeating some tracks more often than others, and it probably is.
* Within a true random all variations are possible. That means it could happen that you hear the same track multiple times in a row or a single album could play in sequence. It's improbable, but not impossible.
* Also the human brain tends to see out and look for patterns even in randomness.
* What Dan wants is less randomness. You want a system that forces items not to repeat which isn't random.
* Apple added a way to force non-randomness into the shuffle algorithm, but seems to have removed the feature.
V Secure your PDFs
* Alejandro needed to send a digital document with some sensitive data and wanted to know how to assign a password.
V This works in Snow Leopard, not sure if it's the same for Leopard.
* From you application choose 'File'-->'Print'
* In the lower left, use the 'PDF' dropdown and choose 'Save as PDF...'
* In the dialog click the 'Security Options...'
V Check the 'Require Password to open this document' option and set and verify a password
* You can also require a password to even copy text, images, or other content
* Set a different password to restrict printing.
* Click OK and then 'Save' to save the PDF
V If you already have a PDF, you can secure it in Preview.
* Open the PDF in Preview
* Choose 'File'-->'Save As...'
* In the dialog box check the 'Encrypt' checkbox.
* When you hit 'Save' you will be prompted to enter a password.
* Make sure you don't email the password with the document and your actually better not to email the password at all.
* Of course another option is to use an encrypted disk image created with Disk Utility.
V Closing
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V "Should Have Known Better" by Rob Blackledge
* From Mevio's Music Alley
* Artist's website
* Buy on iTunes
V EOL: Monkeyboy seeing Aluminum and White
* I'm sure this is just what Microsoft likes to see at one of it's press events. A bunch of journalists using Macs. (via Cult of Mac).