Maccast 10.28.2012 - Show #417
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Citrix
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V News
V Apple's latest products
V 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display
* 0.75" thin, 20% thinner than non-retina
* Intel dual-core i5 or i7 processors with Intel HD 4000 Graphics
* Flash storage up to 768GB
* FaceTime HD, MagSafe 2, 2 x Thunderbolt, 2x USB 3, HDMI, SDXC card slot, Headphone, dual mics (no audio in)
V Available now
* $1,699 - Dual-core 2.5 GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB Flash
* $1,999 - Dual-core 2.5 GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash
V Looking at the three 13" notebook options from Apple your buying decision becomes about what features and functionality you want for the amount you plan to spend
* You can configure the 3 to similar price points
* 13" Air is all about portability with compromises in processor and ports
* 13" Retina Macbook Pro mixes the portability, but with more performance, retina display, and ports
* 13" non-retina gives you more storage, and traditional extras like Ethernet, FireWire, and the SuperDrive
V Mac Mini
V New processors
* Dual-Core Intel i5 at 2.5Ghz
* Quad-core Intel i7 at 2.6GHz
* Updated Intel HD 4000 Graphics
V 500GB or 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive
* 1TB Fusion Drive option
* 4GB RAM, upgradeable to 16GB (2-slots)
* Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, HDMI, Thunderbolt, 4 x USB 3, SDXC card slot, optical audio in and out
* 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
* Available now
* Nice bump up for the Mini which was long over due for an update
V iMac
V Thin (at the edge), just 5mm, but still bulges in the back to accommodate HDD
* Also 8lbs. lighter
V Non-retina screens at 2560 x 1640 pixels for 27" and 1920x1080 pixels for the 21"
* display is laminated to the glass to make it thinner
* new anti-glare coating process that makes it 75% less reflective
* No optical drive
* NVIDIA GeForce GT or GTX Graphics
V Option for Apple's new Fusion Drives
* 128GB Flash Drive and 1TB or 3TB HDD
* It's not a RAID, but the Finder and apps see it as a single drive
* Dives are separate in Disk Utility, but Mountain Lion "marries" them together at the OS level
* It "watches" which apps and documents are used most frequently and then copies them to the Flash drive. All happens automagically.
* Writes are ALL done first to the Flash for better performance.
* we don't know price to add a Fusion Drive in the Macs, but it's a $250 upgrade to add a 1TB one the Mac mini, so I'd guess pricing is about the same
* Standard configs come with traditional HDDs
V 8 GB of RAM
* BGR reports though that the RAM is not customer upgradeable on the 21.5" model.
* FaceTime HD camera, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x Thunderbolt, 4x USB 3, SDXC Card Slot, Headphone, Dual mics (no audio in)
V Pricing
* $1,299 - 21.5" Screen, 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
* $1,499 - 21.5" Screen, 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
* $1,799 - 27" Screen, 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 660M
* $1,999 - 27" Screen, 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 675MX
* Ship in November 21" and 27" in December
* As with the Notebooks Apple's desktop buying decision now becomes more about form factor and ports
V iPad with Retina Display (4th Generation)
V Adds new A6X processor
* 2x CPU and GPU performance
* Quad-core graphics
* ArsTechnica may a good guess at specs and thinks two A6 ARM cores running at 1.5GHz with four PowerVR SGX543 cores running at 500MHz.
* Wider LTE support, seems to be the same or similar to the iPhone 5
* Lightning connector
* Pricing remains the same
* Pre-orders October 26th, on sale November 2nd.
V Should new iPad owners be upset?
* New iPad (3rd gen) has been out for 8 months
* Nice rev for the 4th gen iPad, but nothing earth shattering
* For recent new iPad (3rd generation) purchasers you may want to try Apple's 14-day return window. They've even been know to extend it to 30-days if the iPad is in good condition
V iPad Mini
V 7.9" screen, but dimensionally smaller and lighter than other 7" tablets on the market
* Has a narrower bezel
* iOS has been tweaked to reject "hold" touches on the edges of the screen
* Dual-core A5 processor
* 1024 x 768 at 163 ppi (Non-retina, same res as iPad 2)
* 1.3MP FaceTime HD camera, and 5MP iSight Camera
* Lighting connector
* 10 hour battery life
V All aluminum and glass design.
* White/Silver or Black/Slate
* Chamfered edges like the iPhone 5
V Pre-orders started Friday 10/26 and shipping November 2nd.
* $329USD 16GB, $429 32GB, $529 64 GB (Wi-Fi)
* $459USD 16GB, $559 32GB, $659 64GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
* LTE iPads are reportedly shipping to customer November 21st at the earliest.
* Apple also updated the wall charger to 12W that works with 2nd gen and newer iPads and the iPhone 4S/5, the iPod nano seventh generation and the iPod touch fifth generation. Should help juice up your iThingies even faster.
V Apple's Q4 2012 results
* Apple announced revenue of $36 billion and a net profit of $8.2 billion for the quarter
* It was Apple's best September revenue and earnings ever with revenue up 27% and profits up 24% over the same period a year ago.
* Even though Apple's sales were $35.8 billion, beating analysts estimates, the earnings per share were $7.56 which fell below expectations of $8.75
* iPhone sales were up 58% over last year 4th quarter. Apple sold 26.9 million of them likely helped along by the recent release of the iPhone 5
* Apple sold 14 million iPads which is also a record for the September quarter, a 26% increase, but still below expectations.
* Mac sales were relatively flat. Apple said they sold 4.9 million for the quarter, just a 1% increase over last year. Still it bets the PC industry as a whole which is down 8% on average for the quarter
* And not surprisingly iPod sales continue to dwindle. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods which represents a 19% year over year decline.
* The Apple TV however saw it's unit sales double despite still being a "hobby". Apple sold 1.3 million units for the quarter.
V So Mac and iPad sales were OK, but not great. I have a feeling though that Q1 is going to be huge.
* Desktop Macs had not seen refreshes in a while and the rumors of the 13" Retina MacBook Pro possibly gave some consumers pause late in the quarter
* On the iPad side I can only assume all the iPad mini rumors had some consumers waiting to pull the trigger on a new iPad purchase too.
* Cook re-affirmed that Apple wouldn't make a 7" tablet pointing out that the iPad mini is a 7.9" tablet with a 35% larger display and 50% more useable area.
V Apple loses tablet share to Android
* Strategy Analytics announced their latest numbers for Q3 2012 tablet sales
* They claim Apple shipped a "disappointing" 14 million tablets in the third quarter. Just a 3% gain over the same period last year.
* While Apple's year over year unit shipment gains were modest, Android tablets saw their year over year unit sales double from 5 million in Q3 2011 to just over 10 million this year.
* The net result was that the study showed Apple's overall tablet market share drop 7% from 64% to 57%.
* Another interesting figure noted by the report was that global tablet shipments grew just 43 percent annually in Q3 2012, compared with 289 percent annually in Q2 2011
* None of this seems surprising as Apple has a very mature product market and competitors have been aggressively attacking it.
* Apple also lunched the new iPad almost a year ago, so sales have naturally slowed a bit. With Apple now launching new devices and targeting the premium 7" tablet space with the iPad mini it will be interesting to see how the Q4 share numbers shake out.
V Is Apple planing a streaming service?
* Bloomberg is reporting something we've heard before. That Apple is planning to launch some sort of streaming service soon.
* Interesting this time is the rumors seem to indicated it will be a streaming "radio" service.
* The deals with the labels are said to involve an advertising revenue share along with the licensing deal.
* Apple may be trying to extend it's struggling iAd business to include audio ads.
* Analyst Rich Greenfield thinks Apple may be looking to capitalize in the 2 hours a day people spend in the car listening to terrestrial radio.
* The Bloomberg piece claims Apple wants listeners to be able to buy tracks as music streams or revisit what they’ve heard in auto-generated playlists.
V Apple raises Euro app prices
* Apple raised the minimum price developers in Euro based countries can charge for their apps
* The pricing was raised from €0.79 to €0.89, or about $1.15USD
* Apple's developer TOS allow for adjustments to the pricing tiers and Apple said the changes are to account for changes in currency exchange rates.
* The adjustment also appears to impact the standard 30/70% split. The developers getting 61% of Euro based sales and Apple keeping the rest.
V Sponsor: Circus Ponies
V Notebook
* Every once in a while you find one of those great apps that you pick up for one reason and then find yourself using for more and more things
V Notebook is one of those apps
* Take notes and outlines
* Organize projects
* Do research
* Create lists and to-dos
* Create charts and workflows
* Plan events and vacations
* Just like in real life you'll find you can have Notebooks for lots of things
* And it keeps it all in one place with extras like powerful searching and indexing, flags and sticky notes, link backs in in-context information so you get more done without having to leave the app.
* It's one of those apps that you'll always want on your Mac.
* You can even try it free for 30-days so you can see for yourself.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Emails to PDFs
* Al has been working on going Paperless and asked about a way to convert Mail messages to PDF for archiving
* He specifically was wondering about using Automator
* I looked into it and there didn't seem to be a way just with Automator. You could possibly use some AppleScript, but there might be an easier way
* If you select multiple messages in Mail you can choose File > Print… and then use the Save to PDF… option
V It will then save each selected message as a PDF
* It will give them all the same filename appending a dash and number to each successive filename
* It also will not print out all the messages in a "conversation" if you use that feature. It will print the in-line quoted replies, but not items say from Sent Messages.
V David Sparks, who literally wrote the book on Paperless, has a great Print to PDF tip on his blog
* Create a shortcut for the 'Print to PDF' option in the dialog
* Open your Keyboard Shortcuts tab in the Keyboard & Mouse system preference pane.
* Click the "+" sign to add a new shortcut for all applications.
* Type in the Command exactly as it appears: "Save as PDF..." For the ellipses, use the combination: option + semicolon.
* Enter Command+P in the Keyboard shortcut field. Seems like a conflict, but it isn't because you'll access it only when the Print Sheet is active.
* Click 'Add' and you're done
* Now to Print to PDF just type Command+P to bring up the Print Sheet and then Command+P again to use your new shortcut.
V iOS iTunes crashes when accessing purchases
* Play question from Jay
* There is a 12 page Apple support thread with 176 replies on this issue
V One theory is that it may have to do with the number of apps installed on the device. I have 279 and have not had an issue, but other's report 500+ if not 1,000s
* One user suggested hiding apps
* You used to be able to do this from the iTunes Store Apps Purchases list, but it was removed in iOS 6 (fine for you since you can access it anyway).
V You can do it in iTunes
* Go to the iTunes Store
* Click on the "Purchased" link on the right
* Click on 'Apps'
* Click the "X" icon on an app icon and iTunes will ask if you want to hide the app
* Hidden apps can be viewed from the iTunes Store account area in the "iTunes in the Cloud" section. Click on View Hidden Purchases
* This feature works for Movies, TV Shows, Books, and Music too.
* I half wonder if the about of free space on the device may also be a thing to check.
* You can always try the "universal fix" of doing a Restore, though many in the thread report that not working for them
* Beyond that, I turn you you in the community. Any ideas to help Jay out?
V SSD and TRIM support
* Daley wrote to share his experience where an OWC SDD that he purchased for his 15" Macbook Pro didn't seem to give the performance increase he was expecting
V He said some areas improved, but that there was an iPhoto issue and also that the "hibernate" mode wasn't working with his SSD
* Explain "hibernate"
V He took the Mac to the Genius Bar and was told that hibernate wasn't working because his OWC SSD wasn't using TRIM that is supported by OS X (added in 10.6.8) since it's only supported on Apple SSDs
* He then tried using TRIM Enabler
* This can also be done via a Terminal command
V The problem is that the Genius was confused
* TRIM support should have no impact on the hibernate feature and enabling it for an OWC SSD may actually be the cause of the performance decrease
* OWC has a blog post about why their drives don't have or use TRIM
* Basically it's built-in to the drives
V Why do you need TRIM?
* In traditional HDDs when you delete a file or data it's not actually deleted. The system just makes the blocks on the drive as useable by the system. At some point the old data will be allowed to be overwritten.
* With SSDs though performance is much better in writing to unused, "zeroed" blocks.
* TRIM is a command that gets run to do something called "garbage collection". It sweeps the SSD for items that have been deleted and then zeros out the blocks. Basically making them empty again.
* OWC SSDs use a SandForce controller in the drives to do this same garbage collection.
* So if you look at their drives in the System Information app on your Mac they will claim to not have TRIM support, but really it's happening in the hardware.
V Java Preferences are gone
* John emailed me because he wanted to remove Java from his system or at least disable it, but noticed that the Java Preferences app was no longer in Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences
* If you're running OS X 10.7 or later and ran Apple's Java 2012-006 update this is by design
* The update installed the latest Java SE 6 and configures the web plug-in to download Java 7 runtime from Oracle the next time it runs an applet
* It also sets up the OS to use the latest version of Java SE that is installed. The latest version offered by Oracle is Java SE 7 which can be downloaded from their site.
V The Oracle version has it's own Java Preferences System Preferences pane, so Apple choose to remove theirs with this update.
* As I mentioned Java SE 6 remains installed and was updated by the update.
* The nice thing about Apple's Java Preferences is it allowed you to have multiple versions of Java installed and then configure which one the OS used. While Java SE 6 remains installed after you install Oracle's Java their Control panel only seems to show Java SE 7 (1.7).
* You can see Apple's 1.6 runtime at /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/. The file is 1.6.0.jdk
* Be careful if you update to Oracle's Java as some apps may still require the older Java 6. This is the case with Crash Plan. You can install Java 7, but then you'll need to reconfigure the CrashPlan PLIST in the terminal following the instructions on their support site.
V Edu and Government Discounts
* Play comment from Richard
* You'll find links to those store under "More Stores" in the righthand column of the Apple Online Store page
* Educational discounts are available for college students, parents buying for a college student, or teachers, homeschool teachers, administrators and staff of all grade levels
* Government discounts are available to Federal, State, & Local government employees as well as military personnel and their families.
* As Richard notes the discounts vary by specific product, but can be as high as a couple hundred dollars for many Macs
V Closing
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