Mac News Review

Barriers to Mac Adoption Collapsing, Run Classic Mac OS on Windows and Leopard, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.09.26

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Barriers to Mac Adoption Collapsing

Industry Business Journal's Vin D'Amico reports:

"Apple is finally making serious inroads into corporate networks. The Macintosh is no longer viewed as an arts and crafts project. Meanwhile, Microsoft is under increasing pressure to respond to the criticism that Windows Vista has endured.

"Windows is growing old. Vista is a near disaster. Microsoft is getting beat up badly by Apple's television advertising.

"Switching computer platforms is never simple but this may be the right time to consider it....

"Macs are easy to use and standards compliant. They are built on Unix and support open standards such as Samba file and print services, NFS file sharing, RADIUS access, LDAP authentication, and even Microsoft Active Directory. Newer Intel-based Macs can also boot Windows and run it natively if the need arises.

"Macs are generally viewed as being more expensive than Windows PCs but that is not necessarily true. Apple focuses on high-performance, value-added configurations. When you compare similarly equipped systems, costs are comparable...."

Run Classic Mac OS on PCs and Leopard

MacWindows reports:

"Michael Goodine has posted a couple of tutorials to running Mac OS 9 and earlier on Windows PCs using two open-source PowerPC emulators. He has a guide for using SheepShaver, and another for using Basilisk II. (We have some information on Mac classic emulators for Windows PCs, though we haven't updated it recently.)

"It's worth pointing out that SheepShaver and Basilisk II come in versions for Mac OS X, which lets you run Mac OS 9 and earlier on Intel Macs, and can act as a replacement for Mac Classic...."

Chrome Browser Likely on Mac before Linux

ZD Net's Larry Dignan reports:

"A Google software engineer said that it's a safe bet that Chrome will hit the Mac platform before Linux. Google launched Chrome, its entry to the browser war, earlier this month only on Windows.

"When asked if Chrome will hit new platforms soon, Ojan Vafai, a Google software engineer who is working on the browser, said a 'large percentage' of developers are working on the Mac and Linux rollouts. 'We really don't know when [Chrome will launch for Mac and Linux] we've been working on it for a few months now. I would guess - and this is a total guess - that the Mac one would be first. It's just a market share issue.'"

RIM Promises New Mac Tools for BlackBerry Users

IT World's Al Sacco reports:

"Macintosh users and BlackBerry users have much in common; they can be fanatical about their favored hardware (and we do mean that in a good way). But it has been difficult to be a devotee of both, because the Mac support from Research in Motion (RIM) has been lackluster. For years, RIM BlackBerry users with Macintosh computers have complained about the lack of Mac-compatible BlackBerry tools. But that's all going to change within the coming year.

"RIM plans to release a set of new tools within the first half of 2009 which will address a number of longstanding complaints from Mac users, according to a source within RIM who asked to remain nameless because the company's not yet ready to officially announce details or release dates."

Products

Top 5 Reasons Small Businesses Dump Their PCs for Macs

PR: Mac Migration: The Small Business Guide to Switching to the Mac explains how current PC users can easily migrate to a Mac-based computer, transfer their data, and stay fully compatible with their office network.

Mac Migration: The Small Business Guide to Switching to the MacThanks to Apple's multimillion dollar advertising campaign, a record number of small businesses are tossing their PCs and switching to Macs. According to Jason R. Rich, the author of Mac Migration: The Small Business Guide to Switching to the Mac ($17.95, Entrepreneur Press, October 2008), the reasons to make the move can be credited to more than just advertising.

Rich comments, "For years, Apple was known for offering computers useful to students and to creative people who dealt with graphics, animation, music and images. But now, due to their ever-growing lineup of popular business-oriented applications and their focus on compatibility, Apple's Mac computers are now in high demand by business people working in all jobs and industries."

Hot, business-friendly applications and compatibility are just two of the many reasons small to mid-sized businesses are considering the Mac. Rich identifies a few more deal breakers for those who've decided to part ways with their PC.

1. Free, Fast File Transfer from Apple

If you buy your Mac from an Apple Store, you can bring your PC into the store and have a certified Apple Genius (a Mac Specialist) transfer all of your files and data from your old PC to your Mac. In most situations, this is a free service and can be completed within one business day (providing an appointment is scheduled).

2. Mac OS X Leopard-More Intuitive, Crashes Less, Runs Faster

Unlike Windows Vista (which has four separate editions: Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate), there is only one current edition of the Mac OS X Leopard operating system, and it comes preloaded with all new Mac computers. When you combine the capabilities of this operating system with the other software applications you ultimately install onto your Mac, chances are, all of your computing needs will be met.

3. Unlike PCs, Macs Aren't Plagued by Viruses and Spyware Downloads

The likelihood of a Mac user getting a virus is slim to none. Here's why:

  • Newer Mac operating systems, such as the Mac OS X, are built on UNIX kernel, one of the oldest and most secure operating systems available.
  • Microsoft Windows has a larger share of the market. Because more users use Microsoft Windows, it is a more attractive target for hackers.
  • Most virus writers are familiar with the IBM platform and Microsoft Windows, and therefore are only going to be able to create a virus for that platform.
  • Many of the tools and scripts used to help hackers create viruses or other malware are designed specifically for Microsoft Windows.

4. Hundreds of Business Applications to Choose From

There are a variety of applications that come bundled with a new Mac such as Address Book and iCal. The iLife, iWork, and Microsoft Office suites of software are all useful to business professionals for handling common tasks like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and editing and view graphics. In addition to these popular applications, Rich identifies 14 more "must-have" business-oriented applications in his book, Mac Migration. Mac users can access a variety of applications, most available for free 30-day trials, at Apple.com.

5. Apple Support-Accessible, Knowledgeable, and Actually Helpful

After the initial 90 day's worth of free technical support (plus one-year hardware warranty), regardless of where you buy your Mac or which system you buy, you can purchase one of several support plans. All support plans offer access to English-speaking, friendly, and knowledgeable Mac experts. This is something that PC manufacturers don't offer.

Jason R. Rich is the best-selling author of more than 37 books that cover a wide range of topics, including computers, ecommerce, personal finance, career-related topics, travel and entertainment. He also contributes regularly to major daily newspapers, including the New York Daily News, as well as national magazines and popular websites.

This book is available at all major bookstores and onlinebooksellers.

Mac Migration
October
Entrepreneur Press
ISBN 13: 9781599182711
ISBN 10: 1599182718 $17.95

New 'Take Control' Book Teaches Smart Mac Buying Techniques

PR: Many people will be purchasing a new Macintosh as the holiday season approaches, and although the decision to buy a Mac may be easy, finding informed answers to questions like "What Mac will best meet my needs?", "Should I buy now or wait a month?", "How do I move my files from my old Mac to my new one?", and "What should I do with my old Mac?" can be tough.

Mac guru Adam Engst has answered these questions countless times, and he has distilled the answers into the 98-page Take Control of Buying a Mac. Worksheets in the book help readers match their needs and budget to the right Mac model, and a chart of Apple's model launches over the last five years helps predict when new Macs will appear. Engst explains when readers can purchase to get the most bang for their buck, compares different venues for where to shop, gives advice and step-by-step instructions for transferring files from an old Mac to the shiny new one, and offers thoughts about how to get the most out of the Mac that's being replaced.

Questions answered in this book include:

  • Are there particular months when it especially makes sense to buy a new Mac?
  • Should I buy a brand new model, or one that has been out for a while?
  • What are the pros and cons of the MacBook Air versus a MacBook?
  • Do I really need a Mac Pro, or would an inexpensive iMac be a better choice?
  • How much RAM should I get, and should I buy it from Apple or a reseller?
  • How should I connect my old and new Macs so I can transfer files?
  • What should I do about iTunes authorization when moving to a new Mac?
  • Before I give it away, how should I prepare the hard drive on my old Mac?

The book costs $10.

LaCie 4big Quadra Quieter, More Energy Efficient than Most RAID Drives

LaCie 4big QuadraPR: With 7 RAID modes, max capacity of 6 TB, and a versatile hot-swap feature, the newest addition to LaCie - the 4big Quadra - proves to be a heavy hitter in performance. Creative professionals will be impressed with stackable, space saving versatility, and a revolutionary ultra-reliable cooling system. For green thinking professionals the 4big is almost 50 percent quieter and saves 30 to 80 percent more energy that traditional RAID towers.

LaCie today announced the 4big Quadra, the most complete four-bay RAID solution for small servers, creative pro workstations or offices that need large storage and backup capacity, superior speed and advanced security. Offering capacities of up to 6 TB (6000 GB) and a versatile hot-swap feature, the 4big Quadra supports seven RAID modes including RAID 0 and RAID 5 for optimal performance and data protection.

Thanks to its native RAID controller that conserves computer resources, the 4big offers burst transfer rates reaching up to 200-230 MB/s* through eSATA 3 Gbit/sec. This solution integrates perfectly with most applications that demand high speed, such as photo processing, audio/video projects, prepress, and even HD post-production. Compatible with Time Machine, the 4big also comes with Genie Backup Manager Pro and Intego Backup Manager Pro for customizable backup and computer recovery.

  • rear of LaCie 4big QuadraRAID power: add up to 6 Terabytes on your desk
  • Huge capacity for backing up all your data
  • Superior protection and speed for creative pros
  • Four hot-swappable disks for nonstop data access
  • Designed to complement and enhance working environments
  • Design by Neil Poulton

"The LaCie 4big Quadra definitely sets a new standard in RAID Technology for creative professionals and small sever backups," said Arnaud Prezelin, LaCie Product manager for Creative Pro solutions. "For instance, the 4big Quadra enables digital content creators to work on multiple HD video streams or to manage RAW photos libraries with live effects."

The 4big Quadra not only sets a new standard in RAID technology and performance, but was also designed with the modern professional office in mind. Its stackable and chainable design helps to save space, and it is expandable and scalable up to four units (providing up to an amazing 24 TB capacity and 600 MB/s transfer rates). The 4big Quadra's universal connectivity (with eSATA, FireWire 400/800, and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interfaces) helps to ensure maximum compatibility with any Mac or PC.

Compared to traditional RAID towers, it saves up to 30-80 percent more energy, and its revolutionary ultra-reliable cooling system is almost 50 percent quieter, making it the perfect choice for creative professionals. The technology, performance and design of the 4big Quadra make it an ideal addition to any workspace.

The LaCie 4big Quadra will be available in 2 TB, 4 TB, or 6 TB in October through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller+ or LaCie Storage Partner at the suggested retail price starting $899 (excluding VAT). For more information, visit us on the web.

Neil Poulton was born in Thurso, Scotland. A graduate in Industrial Design from Edinburgh University and Milan's Domus Academy, Poulton first came into public view in 1989 as the creator of "the aging pens," pens made from a "living," wearing plastic that changes color and form with use. Today, Neil Poulton designs and develops best-selling, award-winning products for a variety of international clients including LaCie & Artemide. Since 1991, Poulton has lived and worked in Paris, France.

* Maximum interface transfer rate = theoretical bus bandwidth, whereas burst transfer rate = maximum drive speed. Performance depends on the RAID mode selected and burst transfer rates vary from one computer to another and may vary slightly from one drive to another. Average speed is usually lower depending on host configuration.

1 TB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 5-10% less). Capacities and performance varies depending upon RAID mode.

Software

Free iLovePhotos Moves into Public Beta, Adds Web Version

PR: Free Mac software and Flash-based web app rescues billions of photos from the 'digital shoebox' with automated photo sharing and visual tagging

smart slideshowiLovePhotos has announced the official release of its public beta. The free Mac software takes a fresh approach to addressing the billions of photos that are left unorganized and forgotten on people's hard drives each year leveraging face detection, visual tagging, automated sharing, and intelligent slide show technology to let people effortlessly organize, share, and enjoy their photos and all the memories attached to them.

iLovePhotos first unveiled this innovative photo sharing platform in private beta at DEMOfall 2008 and is launching its public beta with an enhanced user experience now that the crowds are home from DEMOfall and TechCrunch.

With the public beta, people can organize and enjoy their photos with the following capabilities:

Automated sharing:

With automatic sharing feeds, iLovePhotos takes all the work out of keeping family and friends connected with your photos. For example, share pictures of your baby's first smile, bath, trip to the park, and baseball game with close friends and relatives. Every time you tag a photo of your baby, it's automatically uploaded to the iLovePhotos.com website and all recipients receive an email with a link to the new shots.

Intelligent slide shows:

Like a great radio station for your photos, iLovePhotos can bring back long-lost photos and favorite memories. It intelligently creates slideshows based on the people in your photos, how frequently they appear in your collection, and who they're with most often. And these portable slide shows can be embedded on Web sites, blogs, and social network profiles and also be distributed and played across multiple platforms, including iTunes for synching directly with iPods, iPhones, and Apple TVs.

detecting faces

share barFace detection and visual tagging:

iLovePhotos makes it easy to tag and organize photos. Instead of photo albums and folders, iLovePhotos organizes photos based on the people in them. Simply click on a friend's photo to show every photo they're in.

Alongside the launch of its public beta, iLovePhotos introduced a new Flash-based version of its Mac application. Users can access the online software from any Mac or PC without downloading any software. And people can even bring their photos straight in from Flickr.

WindowShade X 4.2 Released

PR: WindowShade X provides an exciting and useful way of organizing your work on Mac OS X. With this handy tool, you can assign the following actions to the minimize button and a double-click on the window title:

  • Minimize the window to the Dock, like always;
  • "Windowshade" the window into a tiny strip to quickly peek below or get it out of the way;
  • Minimize-In-Place the window so it becomes really small so you can move it out of the way yet still see what is going on;
  • Make the window transparent so you can continue working in it while seeing things under it;
  • Hide the application quickly;
  • Do nothing and ignore the action (sometimes it is quite useful as well).

These actions can be set on per-application basis so you can configure your workspace to be convenient for you - get more accomplished, and make it happen quicker/

New in version 4.2:

  • The price of WindowShade X has increased from $10 to $13.50. (Will take effect on Wednesday)
  • Added support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard v10.5 and later.
  • Dropped support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. WindowShade X now requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger v10.4.11 or later.
  • No longer supports setting custom shadows. This feature never worked 100% properly in Mac OS X 10.4 and cannot be made to work at all with Mac OS X 10.5 without extensive rewrites
  • Addressed a problem that could cause an infinite recursion and then a crash (the SUIS problem).
  • No longer subjugates World of Warcraft.
  • No longer uses CGSUniqueCString().
  • MIP windows no longer appear below the bottom of the screen in 10.5.
  • MIP windows now respect the Dock size in 10.5.
  • Addressed a bug that caused a MIP window to expand into an invisible window when clicking on the Dock icon when all windows in the application are MIPped.
  • Now allows windowshading of the iTunes 8 window when double clicking on the title bar.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when closing all windows (option click close widget) in Cocoa applications.
  • Addressed an issue that rendered WindowShade useless in Firefox 3.x.
  • Note: MIP does not currently work with Spaces.
  • Includes APE 2.5, SCR 1.5, and UI 3.7.1.

ProSoft Engineering Releases Drive Genius 2.1

PR: ProSoft Engineering, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of Drive Genius 2.1, with the new DriveSlim feature.

"We're really excited about the new DriveSlim feature we've added to Drive Genius 2. This feature allows you to quickly scan your hard drives for files that you may want to delete, which will free up valuable hard drive space," says Greg Brewer, CEO of ProSoft Engineering. "This adds even more functionality and usefulness to the multi-award winning Drive Genius 2."

DriveSlim is loaded with these features:

  • Search for all duplicate files, show you their location and let you delete the unnecessary duplicates, while making alias in their places.
  • Easily locate large files and delete them from your hard drive
  • Select which languages you want your Mac to support, and delete the others (that you don't speak).
  • Trim applications to only support the new Intel-based Macs.
  • Backup any and all files that you have marked for deletion in DriveSlim. That way, you can save the files off to a CD, DVD or hard drive, in case you ever want those files back.

"We are constantly improving and adding features to Drive Genius 2 for our users. From the free Leopard DVD update for all our users, to this new free feature, we are striving to create the best utility on the Mac platform. ProSoft prides itself on great customer service and support, alongside award-winning products. We're also excited to offer a competitive upgrade to Drive Genius 2. Details can be found at our website," Brewer said.

Drive Genius 2 is available for purchase online and at Apple Stores.

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