Mac News Review

Dumping Macs for Google Apps, SSD in iMac, Late 2009 iMac Performance Problems, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.11.06

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, 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

Magic Mouse: Pro and Con

Reviews

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Thanks to Google Apps, I'm Dumping Macs

Blogger Mike Doyle says:

"Don't hate - trust me, I'm as surprised at my decision as you are...

"I am a future Windows PC user and that is that. After a 15-year relationship with all things Apple, I've finally had it with the Steve Jobs' 'you'll use your computer they way we tell you to use your computer method of customer relations.'....

"My past four months of being a Gmail and Google Calendar user have been transformational . . . Google's web apps are more robust than Apple's desktop counterparts not to mention free. That got me thinking about all the times in the recent past I've felt hampered by Mac software . . . when it comes to using your computer it can often feel like it's either Apple's way or the highway. It's one thing to regularly ignore the needs of users by releasing software and system updates that just as regularly break popular third-party applications and add-ons . . . It's quite another to tell users that if they try to put unapproved software on their $400 cell phones (via iPhone OS jailbreaking), you may render their phones permanently inoperable...

"And then surprise of surprises, last month Windows 7 was released to rave reviews, including Wall Street Journal Mac fanboy Walt Mossberg calling it as good as Mac OS X. That pretty much sealed the deal for me...

"...thanks to Apple's 2005 shift to Intel chips, Windows 7 will become my main MacBook operating system. And if you hadn't guessed by now, after that my next computer will be a PC."

Is the Desktop Computer Doomed?

InformationWeek's Serdar Yegulalp says that popular perception is that the rise of Web-based apps, virtualization, and a crop of powerful mobile devices have the traditional PC desktop on the run, thanks to cloud computing, Web apps, software as a service (SaaS), the "free desktop" (whatever that means - dk), and the rise of netbooks and tablet PCs.

However, he suspects that the truth of the matter is more modest, and what looms for the desktop as we know it is not the end, but rather death and then transfiguration, with the desktop PC is set to go through a grand mutation of the form that will expand its reach rather than kill its current incarnation(s) outright.

Editor's note: Working from "the cloud" is what makes it possible for Mike Doyle (above) to leave the Mac behind. As a relatively new Google Docs user and a longtime webmail user, I can see the attraction of working in the cloud and having the same user experience whether you're using Windows, Linux, OS X, or an alternative OS such as Haiku OS. For another possible future, see The Future of Personal Computing: Personal Servers and Low Cost Portables. dk

iMac Upgraded with SSD

Tim Wasson says:

"As much as I didn't want to believe it, my beloved 24" iMac that I use at work finally started having hard drive issues. I couldn't pinpoint if this was an OS X issue (firmware updated, etc.) or an actual hardware issue, but the internal hard drive started acting like it was going to sleep all the time, even though that option was turned off. I would be working and I could hear the drive spin down, and everything would hang. Then after a second or two, I could hear the drive spin back up and everything would pick back up. I figured this was as good an excuse as any to upgrade the drive and do a clean upgrade to Snow Leopard. I decided that, since I had a Drobo sitting next to me, I didn't need much internal storage, but given how much work I do on the machine every day, I wanted something fast. So the decision to use an SSD was a no brainer, specifically a 120 GB OCZ Summit drive..."

Editor's note: Wasson can get away with a 120 GB SSD because he stores most of his work and media files on an external RAID setup. The 120 GB OCZ Summit retails for $400 to $500. And according to readers of Wasson's blog, there are faster SSDs available. dk

iMac (Late 2009) Owners Complain About Performance Problems

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reports:

"Owners of Apple's new iMacs, including the pricier 27-in. model, have reported major performance problems with their machines, including extremely sluggish playback of Flash-based video, according to posts on Apple's support forum."

"Others reported that the performance issue also affects some of the less-expensive 21.5-in. iMacs that Apple introduced Oct. 20."

Editor's note: This problem seems to manifest primarily - but not exclusively - with Flash content in OS X 10.6.1,particularly when viewed in Safari. Apple Support suspects the graphics card may be the culprit. One reported temporary fix is to use the power button to sleep the iMac, then wake it from sleep. Another is to remove Flash and install the latest version. Yet another is to disable AirPort. One use reports success after resetting the NVRAM/PRAM. dk

Proprietary Cable Can Put the Brakes on Replacing Hard Drives in Late 09 iMacs

OWC blogger Chris S. reports:

"Sometimes even the best educated guesses can be thrown for a loop when an unforeseen X-Factor comes into play. Such is the case with the Late 2009 iMacs.

"As we were getting information together for the new iMac instructional videos, we came across a little tidbit that, apparently, hasn't been covered anywhere else: Apple has switched the iMac's method of hard drive temperature sensing. They've gone from an external sensor that attached to the outside surface of the drive to a connector that seems to use the drive's internal sensors.

"On first blush, this would appear to be a good thing; an internal sensor is closer to the drive's mechanics and is likely to be more accurate regarding drive state. Unfortunately, there are no industry standards regarding the ports/pins used to access this information, and each hard drive manufacturer seems to do it their own way. And more unfortunately, when the iMac gets no sensor information via that cable, the heat exhaust fans kick into permanent high gear, so that cable must be connected.

"That means, in order to upgrade the internal drive, you need to have a connector cable that's compatible with the brand of drive that you're installing & and that's an Apple service part not generally available to the end user. Pretty sneaky, Apple!"

OWC reports that the WD Caviar drives use one cable, the Seagate Barracuda another. OWC is trying to determine if a universal thermal cable is a possibility and recommends that you look into an external FireWire 800 hard drive as an alternative to swapping out the Late 2009 iMac's internal hard drive. dk

Turn IKEA Cabinets into a Cordless Desktop Stand

Life Hacker says:

"The new iMacs, and similar all-in-one LCD desktop systems, make for a mostly cordless computing experience. Using two pieces of IKEA furniture meant for laptops and modems, you can hide the remaining wires and up the elegance."

Convert an iMac G4 into a Desk Lamp

Hardmac's Lionel says:

"If one considers only the design, the iMac 'luxo' is most likely the best model manufactured by Apple, with the Cube. Unfortunately, those models are aging, and sometimes stop working after years of operation. Nicolas found a interesting way to recycle his iMac: .

"I was planning to reorganize my desk and I was looking for a lamp with an Apple-touch. So I decided to recycle my old iMac G4. With some spare parts, one can easily transform it into a nice lamp fully articulated thanks to the famous arm...."

Magic Mouse: Pro and Con

Apple's Best Mouse Ever?

Silicon's Seb Janacek says that after years of disappointment with Apple mice, one Mac lover has hope, noting: "I have a dream . . . a dream that Apple finally gets around to creating a really great mouse. A mouse to complement its rather splendid computers and even finer software . . . And now we have another shot at redemption. Will Apple's new Magic Mouse end its losing streak at creating great computer mouses? . . . Yes and no."

I Can't Love the Magic Mouse

Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney says:

"I'm a multitouch junkie. Everything I touch has to be multitouch, or it just ain't right. I can no longer use a regular laptop trackpad - there's no two-finger scrolling. It irritates me no end if I can't point, scroll and double-click with my fingers.

"How long will it take then, to get used to the Apple's new Magic Mouse? So far, it's been frustrating. It seems like the Magic Mouse would be perfectly natural to use, but it isn't."

Magic Mouse: Great as a Mouse, but Limited Multitouch Options

AppleInsider's Prince McLean reports:

"Apple has broken its decade-long chain of terrible mouse designs with the new multitouch, wireless Magic Mouse, although its multitouch features are somewhat limited in functionality.

"If previous versions of Apple's Bluetooth wireless mice and the sticky trackball of the Mighty Mouse have left you skeptical of the company's ability to design a desirable mouse, you may be in for a surprise with the new Magic Mouse."

Magic Mouse Software Appears to Fix Issues with Other Bluetooth Devices

Dougit Design says:

"If you are having issues with your Bluetooth mouse, keyboard or BT in general on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, I recommend downloading and installing the just-released software for the new Apple Magic Mouse.

"Yesterday, when I saw that piece of software posted on the Internet, its size perked my interest checking in at 64 MB compressed and 149 MB uncompressed for the Snow Leopard version. At that size, this software update must contain more than a mouse driver.

"Then, today, at xlr8yourmac.com, there was a short posting about some reports from non-Magic Mouse users on benefits from Wireless Mouse Software Update....

"Not only does my Microsoft BT mouse now function completely correct, but Bluetooth in general is also working better for me. Way to go Apple, fixing your errors and not admitting a thing at the same time typical Apple. But, I am fine with that, as long as my stuff works!"

Reviews

Mac mini (Late 2009): Modest Improvements

"Two Mac mini updates in seven months? Forgotten Mac, indeed," says Macworld's Dan Frakes, noting that the Mac mini received a long-overdue refresh earlier this year after 19 months since the last revision, and now there's another, offering comparatively minor improvements at the same price points, and as well as the new Mac mini models, Apple has released a Mac mini server which Macworld will be reviewing separately.

For the full review, click here:

Dual-core iMac (Late 2009) Benchmarked

Macworld Lab's James Galbraith reports:

"Apple recently updated its popular iMac line of desktop computers to include larger screens, more standard memory and bigger hard drives. Three of the four new configurations two 21.5-inch models and one 27-inch model feature 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processors and are available now. Macworld Lab has the 3.06 GHz trio and we've put them to the test...."

Editor's note: The quad-core iMac was not available for testing. Look for Macworld to review the 2.66 GHz i5 and 2.8 GHz i7 iMacs when they are available. dk

Comparing the Early 2009 and Late 2009 Mac minis

MacSpeedZone says:

"The Tables below show the major specifications and features for Apple Mac minis. Different configurations for the minis are based on Apple's Online Store. Vendors' configurations may vary."

Products & Services

Freestanding Cirque USB Touchpads Feature Advanced Touch Technology

Cirque Trackpad in use Cirque Easy Cat® Touchpad for Mac & PC

PR: The Cirque Easy Cat touchpad makes it easier and more comfortable than ever to control your computer. To perform basic mouse functions, simply glide your finger over the smooth surface to point, then tap on the pad or press on the buttons to click or activate vertical scroll by simply gliding a finger along the right edge of the touchpad. Use an Easy Cat, instead of a traditional mouse and your wrists will thank you. Easy Cat's compact size makes it a perfect traveling companion for your laptop.

Functionality

  • Cirque Easy Cat TouchpadRight tap mimics a mouse right click
  • Scroll moves vertically
  • GlideExtend virtually eliminates the edge of the pad when dragging

Features:

  • Small and portable
  • Withstands spills and abuse
  • Thin and comfortable design
  • Easy-to-find textured "right" click area
  • Easy USB, Serial, or PS/2 connectivity
  • GlidePoint Technology - Cirque's capacitive touch technology provides complete navigation control of any graphical interface, packed in a space-saving, low-friction, durable mouse alternative. GlidePoint's sophisticated sensor system quickly responds to precise finger movements.

Cirque Smart Cat® Touchpad

The Cirque Smart Cat adds comfort plus performance to computer control with an extra-large touch surface, intelligent software, one-touch scroll and zoom, and distinctive sounds for each operation. Basic mouse functions are a snap. Simply access right-clicks by tapping a finger in the touchpad's upper right corner, and quickly activate vertical/horizontal scrolling as well as magnification tools by gliding a finger along the touchpad edges.

Functionality:

  • Cirque Smart Cat Touchpad Execute, browse at the touch of a finger
  • Zoom reduces or enlarges Office documents
  • Scroll moves horizontally & vertically
  • Right tap mimics a mouse right-click
  • GlideExtend virtually eliminates the edge of the pad when dragging
  • Adjustable sounds, speed, sensitivity and orientation

Features

  • Extra-large touch surface
  • Easy-to-find textured "right" click area
  • One-touch scroll, zoom and surf
  • Three (3) mechanical buttons supported
  • Withstands spills and abuse
  • Easy USB or PS/2 connectivity
  • GlidePoint Technology - Cirque's capacitive touch technology provides complete navigation control of any graphical interface, packed in a space-saving, low-friction, durable mouse alternative. GlidePoint's sophisticated sensor system quickly responds to precise finger movements.

Cirque Smart Cat Pro® Touchpad

The Smart Cat Pro combines all the power of a top-of-the-line mouse with the unrivaled comfort and durability of a touchpad with intelligent software, one-touch scroll and zoom, and distinctive sounds for each operation. Additionally, four unique, programmable hotlinks independently execute programs/commands, open files, control browser functions, assign (toggle) mouse actions and control cursor modes.

Functionality:

  • Cirque Smart Cat Pro TouchpadExecute, browse at the touch of a finger
  • Zoom reduces or enlarges Office documents
  • Scroll moves horizontally & vertically
  • Right tap mimics a mouse right-click
  • GlideExtend virtually eliminates the edge of the pad when dragging
  • Adjustable sounds, speed, sensitivity and orientation

Features:

  • Four (4) programmable hotlinks
  • Extra-large touch surface
  • Easy-to-find textured "right" click area
  • One-touch scroll, zoom and surf
  • Three (3) mechanical buttons supported
  • Withstands spills and abuse
  • Easy USB or PS/2 connectivity
  • GlidePoint Technology - Cirque's capacitive touch technology provides complete navigation control of any graphical interface, packed in a space-saving, low-friction, durable mouse alternative. GlidePoint's sophisticated sensor system quickly responds to precise finger movements.

The Cirque Trackpads do not ship with software of their own, and basic trackpad functions are supported by the Mac OS without additional drivers. However, some of the trackpad's advanced features that are supported on Windows PCs are disabled on Mac installations. However, there is a partial workaround.

A shareware device driver software called USB Overdrive created by Alessandro Levi Montalcini is recommended (although not supported) by Cirque for users who wish to configure the Easy Cat Trackpad's button clicks. USB Overdrive enables button reprogramming, submenu launching vertical scrolling and more.

USB Overdrive 3.0.1 works in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), and 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes.

System Requirements for Cirque USB Trackpad Models:

Macintosh Systems:

  • Available USB port
  • Mac OS X:
    • OS X provides the following features without third party driver installation.
    • Wheel mouse scrolling (vertical scroll)
    • GlideExtend.
    • "Control-click"
  • Mac OS 8.5 to OS 9.x:
    • Easy Cat functions as a standard USB compliant 2-button mouse.
    • GlideExtend - Continued movement when the edge of the touchpad is reached by lifting and repositioning the finger to continue motion.
    • "Control-click" functionality with the right button and the corner tap zone.

Note: Cirque does not provide drivers for the Macintosh platform. Users that wish to customize their input devices on the Mac platform may find the USB Overdrive shareware utility allows for more customization of the touchpad features.

PC Systems:

  • Available USB port
  • One of these operating systems: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME (Plug-N-Play native Windows mouse driver support only)
  • Windows XP Glidepoint Driver Software Requirements: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP
    • Mac OS X (OS X provides the following features without third party driver installation): Wheel mouse scrolling (vertical scroll)
    • Mac OS 8.5-9x (This product functions as a standard USB compliant 2-button mouse): - GlideExtend: Continued movement when the edge of the touchpad is reached by lifting and repositioning the finger to continue motion. - "Control-click" functionality with the lower right button and the corner tap zone

Purchase Link

The Rail, a Cable Manager for the iMac

The Rail, a Cable Manager for the iMacPR: newPCgadgets.com introduces The Rail a new cable management product for the iMac. The Rail is a stylish cable organizer designed to match the look of your iMac. Designed from polished steel, The Rail attaches directly below the center slot on the iMac pedestal. The Rail holds up to 8 small cables in the stainless steel wire clips. Larger cables like the power cord are held in the center section. Easily stores cables for future use and fast access on the sides. Excess wires can be wrapped around the posts.

Features:

  • Elegant design that matches the look of your iMac
  • Organizes up to 4 cables on each side
  • Holds cables for future use
  • Organizes excess cable wires
  • Steel construction with polished nickel finish
  • Stainless steel wire clips
  • Includes 3 Velcro straps to bundle cables

The Rail is available for $24.95.

Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac: The Missing Manual

PR: Ideal for scrapbookers, serious and casual photographers, and budding graphic artists alike, Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac is more powerful and easier to use than previous versions. But figuring out how and when to use the program's tools is still tricky.

With Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, $44.99) by Barbara Brundage, you'll learn what each tool does, as well as when it makes the most sense to use it and why. You get easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for everything from importing photos to organizing, editing, sharing, and storing your images. You'll also find a tour of Bridge, the ultra-deluxe file browser that comes with Photoshop CS4 - and Elements 8.

"As someone who's primarily a Mac person, I'm really thrilled that Adobe is bringing out the Mac version of Elements 8 at the same time as the Windows version," notes Barbara Brundage. "It was really great not having to wait several months to write the Mac version of the book!"

With a gentle introduction to get you started quickly, and advanced tips to help you produce really creative work, this Missing Manual provides the answers you need:

  • Get crystal-clear and jargon-free explanations of every feature
  • Learn to import, organize, back up, and fix photos quickly and easily
  • Repair and restore old and damaged photos, and retouch any image
  • Jazz up your pictures with dozens of filters, frames, and special effects
  • Remove unwanted objects from images with the new Recompose tool
  • Learn advanced techniques like working with layers and applying blend modes
  • Download practice images and try new tricks right away

With this fully revised, best-selling guide from author Barbara Brundage, you'll quickly be using Elements instead of spending hours trying to learn how it works. From gentle introduction to more advanced tips, this book is your go-to guide.

Barbara Brundage is the author of Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual, and Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac: The Missing Manual, an Adobe Community Expert, and a member of Adobe's prerelease groups for Elements 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac: The Missing Manual
Barbara Brundage
ISBN 13: 9780596804961,
584 pages
Book Price: $44.99
Ebook Price: $35.99
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938
1-707-827-7000

Purchase Link

OWC 'Quad Interface' FireWire 800/400, USB, & eSATA 12x Burn Speed Blu-ray External Drives

OWC Blu-ray drive with Toast 10PR: Pining for Blue-ray support on your Mac? Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that its Mercury Pro Blu-ray External Drive is the first "Quad Interface" 12x Blu-ray disc burner on the market. With the flexibility of a "Quad Interface" of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, & eSATA interfaces, the OWC Mercury Pro External Drive line offers Plug & Play disc burning compatibility with both Windows and Macintosh systems starting at $299.99.

Pricing for OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray "Quad Interface" External Solutions:

  • OWC Mercury Pro up to 8x Blu-ray, 16x DVD, 4x DVD-DL, & 40x CD Burn Speeds - $299.99
  • Same model special bundled with full retail box Roxio Toast Titanium Pro 10, $399.99
  • OWC Mercury Pro up to 12x Blu-ray, 16x DVD, 8x DVD-DL, & 40x CD Burn Speeds - $349.99
  • Same model special bundled with full retail box Roxio Toast Titanium Pro 10, $449.99

OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray Reader/Writer solutions include two 25 GB BD-R discs, connecting cables for all four interfaces, and are backed by a one year OWC Warranty.

Burn 50,000 JPEG Images, 17,500 MP3 Songs, or 25 DVD Movies on a Single Blu-ray Disc

Available immediately, the Mercury Pro Blu-ray External Drives are capable of burning up to 50 GB of data - equal to 50,000 JPEG images, 17,500 MP3 songs, 25 DVD quality movies, or just under four hours of High Definition video - onto a single Blu-ray disc in 15 to 20 minutes, the Mercury Pro Blu-ray drives also read and/or write virtually all types of optical media, including DVD R/RW & Dual-Layer, DVD-RAM, and CD-R/RW.

Special Mac Bundles Include $129.99 Retail Version of Toast 10 Titanium Pro

A $129.99 retail value, Toast 10 Titanium Pro is included with two OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray External Drives bundles for Mac users. A long time Mac favorite tool for burning CDs and DVDs, Toast 10 Titanium Pro takes burning on Macs to the next level with built-in Blu-ray data and video disc burning capabilities, in addition to DVD & CD support. Ideal for creative professionals and designers, as well as home photo and video hobbyists, Toast 10 Titanium Pro supports the burning of massive amounts of raw data files, as well as the creation of fully playable Blu-ray video discs. Using this included software, Mac users can convert and burn a wide variety of QuickTime compatible files and HD video footage from AVCHD camcorders, TiVo DVRs, ElGato's EyeTV, etc. and then play the discs on any standard Blu-ray set-top box or PS3 game console.

"By providing the double benefit of the fastest Blu-ray burn speeds in the only 'Quad-Interface' external drive, the OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray drives give Mac and PC users the high performance they need to burn large amounts of data to Blu-ray discs quickly and easily," said Larry O'Connor, CEO, Other World Computing. "Mac users seeking the easiest, most complete drag and drop video to Blu-ray disk burning solution on the market cannot find a better value than our special Toast 10 bundles."

The OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray "Quad Interface" External Drive line has been fully tested for compatibility with most Mac and Windows built-in and third party DVD/CD tools and players, including Apple iTunes, Apple Disc Burning, Apple iLife Suite, Apple Final Cut Studio 2 (exporting edited video to Toast for Blu-ray mastering), EMC Retrospect Express, NTI DragonBurn, Roxio Toast, Roxio Easy Media Creator, and Nero Burning.

Software

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac Supports Snow Leopard, Windows 7, and 64-bit Operation

PR: Parallels have announced the availability of the fastest, most seamless Windows-on-Mac solution ever: Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac. This is the latest version of the #1 Mac system utility, currently enabling more than 2 million users to run Windows, Linux, and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X. According to performance research conducted by Crimson Consulting Group, Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac performs 22% faster than the nearest Windows-on-Mac competitor in standard productivity testing of Windows 7 64-bit on a MacBook Pro. In addition, version 5 is up to 300% faster for virtual machine operations than the previous version. For 3D and graphics performance, tested under the industry standard 3Dmark 2006 Professional test suite the new version performs up to 7 times better. Users can test this for themselves with a free trial.

"As the OS battles rage between Microsoft, Apple and Linux, we provide a completely customizable solution that enables people to use the applications they need with the fastest performance available, regardless of the operating system," said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. "Parallels continues to build on its proven track record of innovation, responding to our customers by providing the fastest, smartest and most powerful Windows-on-Mac experience available."

There are more than 70 new features in Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac, many of which give users the flexibility to work in the way they want. Users can choose how much or little Windows they want to see, from running Windows in Full Screen mode where Windows completely covers the Mac user interface to the new Crystal view mode which makes Windows completely disappear. Users can even get a Mac-like experience in their Windows applications, using the intuitive Apple Trackpad Gestures technology to pinch, swipe, and rotate as they do in Mac applications.

"Ideally PC emulation should be transparent and invisible, and Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac goes a very long way towards this," said beta tester and executive in the mining industry Nic Clift. " The thing that strikes me most about Parallels Desktop for Mac is that it is trouble-free, consistent with what I expect of Mac software, and has proved to be a remarkably convenient and easy way for me to maintain as much access to the world of Windows as I want. Parallels works as neatly with Boot Camp as it does when running seamlessly in the background, along with my everyday Mac software. If anything, version 5 has made Windows emulation even more transparent and trouble-free and unless one wants to get involved with the details of setup it is easy to forget that it is even running."

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac introduces more than 70 new features and enhancements, offering a computing experience that is:

Faster...

  • Full support for Aero in Windows Vista and 7 through Windows WDDM driver, including Aero Flip 3D
  • Virtual machine size automatically optimized for best performance with Parallels Compressor
  • Improved performance for Linux guest OS from KVM paravirtualization
  • "The excellent 3D graphics performance of Parallels Desktop for Mac makes it Autodesk's preferred Mac virtualization software for customers who choose to run AutoCAD or our other design and engineering software on the Mac," said Andrew Mackles, Director of AutoCAD Product Management at Autodesk. "We are excited about the further graphics enhancements in Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac and the potential to improve the customer experiences."

Smarter...

  • A more Mac-like experience in their Windows applications through Apple Trackpad Gestures technology (pinch, swipe, rotate and more), horizontal scrolling and the application of Full Screen active corners and curl page effect
  • Copy & Paste fidelity for formatted text and complete layouts including images, even between Windows and Linux guest OSs
  • Freedom and flexibility to run Windows and Mac applications across multiple monitors1

More Powerful...

  • 7 times better graphic performance for games and 3D applications than the previous version with Direct X 9Ex with Shader Model 3 and OpenGL 2.1 support
  • Superior graphics performance for Linux guests through OpenGL 2.1 support
  • Full hardware resources can be utilized with support for 8 virtual CPUs, 64 bit Windows and Snow Leopard Server 64 bit
  • Easily move PCs (including Windows 7) and 3rd party virtual machines to the Mac with the enhanced Parallels Transporter

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish starting today - Additional localized versions will soon be available in Chinese, Czech, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish and Russian in the coming weeks.

The standard retail price (SRP) of Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is $79.99, including $175 worth of additional software for free: Parallels Internet Security 2009 by Kaspersky (1 year subscription); Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 (Disk Management); Acronis True Image 11 Home (Backup and Recovery Solutions).

Upgrade from Parallels Desktop 4

Current Parallels Desktop users can upgrade their existing software for $49.99. Users that purchased version 4.0 on or after October 1, 2009 qualify with a proof of purchase for a free upgrade to version 5. Customers who purchased from the Parallels Online Store will be notified directly with their upgrade key. Customers who purchased Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac with Channel/Retail/e-tail Partners have to proactively claim their free of charge upgrade.

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is available starting today at the Apple Store, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, MacMall, MicroCenter, Target, and hundreds of other retail locations nationwide.

Volume pricing and site-license opportunities are also available for new customers by contacting the Parallels Sales Team at sales@parallels.com or 425-282-6400.

ClipMenu: Free Utility to Access Clipboard Histories via Menu Bar or Hotkey

PR: ClipMenu 0.4.1 is a clipboard manager for Mac OS X.

Clipboard History

ClipMenu can manage clipboard history. You can record 8 clipboard types, from plain text to image.

To paste a recorded item, you just pop up menu by invoking the shortcut key, and select a menu item from the menu.

Snippet

You can also register texts you frequently use, like e-mail addresses, user IDs and so on, as snippets. You can paste these snippets from the menu, too.

New in version 0.4.1:

  1. Fixes a bug that causes force pasting regardless of the preference.

New in version 0.4.0

[new]

  • 64-bit support in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • Add autosave function to save clipboard history periodically.
  • Automatic update support using Sparkle Framework.
  • Add a dialog to ask you whether enable/disable "Launch on Login" option.
  • Add an option to enable/disable reordering history when clipboard data is changed.
  • Append the application's version number to a tooltip on the status menu bar icon.

[changed]

  • Change default keyboard shortcut keys (Cmd-Shift-V, Cmd-Shift-B).
  • Change folder icon when mouse over a folder menu item in a menu.
  • Make status bar icon selectable.
  • Add new status bar icons (by Dave Ulrich).
  • Change the label of "Quit" menu item to "Quit ClipMenu".
  • Add a suppression button to the dialog window to ask whether show it or not.
  • Multithread start up operations.
  • Update Shortcut Recorder framework.

[fixed]

  • Fix a glitch occurred when max history size is decreased.
  • Fix an issue with preferences panel.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later.
  • 64-bit support in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

Freeware/donationware

Snippet Monkey: Shortcuts for Phrases You Frequently Type

PR: Snippet Monkey saves you countless hours monkeying around by allowing you to create shortcuts for phrases you frequently type. We call the phrases snippets and Snippet Monkey allows you to create new snippets from the clipboard or via our easy to use snippet editor.

Try Snippet Monkey, and let us know what you think. Snippet Monkey's feature list includes:

Snippet MonkeySnippets can contain any combination of:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Date and time in a format of your choice
  • Nested snippets
  • Cursor location commands
  • Only Typing accelerator with support for Sniplets
  • Supports disabling on a per application basis
  • Easily create a snippet from the contents of the clipboard

New in version 1.3.3: Updated for Snow Leopard

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Previous Version for Mac OS X 10.4-10.5 available

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

$12 shareware

Bible Study Reimagined: Logos 4 Bible Software Prerelease for Mac

Logos 4PR: The Logos 4 interface is streamlined, powerful, and yet easy to use, which is a great achievement for software that can manage digital libraries of more than 10,000 titles - Mac Users: We're sorry, it's coming! - presently shipping a prerelease Alpha of the Mac version

Logos Bible Software has announced the release of Logos 4, the newest version of its popular Bible study software.

More than three years in development, Logos 4 represents the new standard in digital Bible study.

"When we sat down to design Logos 4, we knew it couldn't be just another upgrade to the previous version," said Bob Pritchett, President of Logos Bible Software. "Logos 4 is a complete re-imagining of what a desktop biblical study library ought to be."

The Logos 4 interface is streamlined, powerful, and yet easy to use, which is a great achievement for software that can manage digital libraries of more than 10,000 titles. Some of the features in Logos 4 include:

  • Logos 2 An advanced search system that can return library-wide searches in less than 1 second.
  • A Smart searching that suggests synonyms and alternate terms.
  • Synchronization "to the cloud" for backup and to keep preferences, notes, reading plans, and your library in sync across all your computers, including PCs, Macs, and iPhones.
  • A smart tab and window management system for workspace customization and multi-monitor support.
  • The Cited By tool, which returns the books from your library that cite the material in your active window.
  • 60 new high-resolution maps of the biblical world.
  • A custom-built index of all the places mentioned in the Bible.
  • A one-of-a-kind family tree diagram for every person mentioned in the Bible.
  • A database of every thing in the Bible (like altars, fig trees, or Goliath's sword), with cross references, pictures, and links to dictionary articles.

Mac Users: We're Sorry, It's Coming!

Logos Bible Software 4 is dual platform, but the Mac version is not finished. We are presently shipping a prerelease Alpha of the Mac version.

Logos 4The Alpha for Mac shares the same underlying code as the Windows version, but is missing much of the user interface, which needs to be coded specifically for the Mac.

The Alpha can update itself over the Internet. We plan to release an update every two weeks or so, which it detects and downloads automatically when it is run.

If you order Logos Bible Software 4 today, you will receive one disc that installs the Mac Alpha on Macs, and the Windows version on Windows.

You can install on either Mac or Windows or on both. Any data you create in either version - Mac or Windows - will be automatically synchronized over the Internet.

You can choose to run the Windows version now, and know that your data, notes, and settings will transfer to the Mac version when it is complete, or you can choose to run the prerelease Alpha version on the Mac. Or both.

If you are already a Logos Bible Software for Mac user, upgrading to Logos Bible Software 4 will not change your existing installation. You can run the older product side-by-side with the Alpha for Mac.

If you are not an existing user, but need a stable Mac version right now, you can purchase Logos Bible Software 4 now and install it on either Mac or Windows. We will soon make available a free download of the old Mac product with instructions on how to activate it to use the larger set of licenses that come with Logos Bible Software 4 base packages. This is a bit of a hassle, for which we apologize.

Logos Bible Software 4 is a completely new product. We started over so that we could take advantage of the latest technology for both Windows and the Mac, and because we wanted to do things right.

The first version of Logos for Mac was started long ago using our last generation design. It took too long, and was still being developed (by an outside partner) as we worked on new platform development for Windows. We had to choose between continuing that effort and having a Mac product that remained a generation behind, or starting a new Mac project that shares code and matches--or exceeds!--the Windows product feature-for-feature, complete with synchronization of all your data.

It was an easy choice, but a hard pill to swallow in regards to timing, because it reset Mac development to the starting line just after we'd shipped our first version.

Today we have all of our Mac development in-house. We have a team of talented developers working long hours to finish Logos Bible Software 4 for Mac. We just moved a Windows developer to the Mac team to get there faster. (Don't worry--he's a Mac user at home and at heart. He only coded for Windows to feed his family when that was the job available!)

The good news is that we're moving forward as a multiplatform product. Logos Bible Software 4 is not even sold for Mac or Windows; we have both a Mac and a Windows version on every disc. (And iPhone support as well!) We don't have different pricing. You don't have to specify Mac or Windows when ordering. Our goal is that Logos Bible Software 4 just works--for Mac and Windows.

The Mac version is not finished yet, though. We have the core of the system working on both platforms, and the Mac Alpha release reads and indexes the exact same resources and data files as the Windows version. It synchronizes with the server and even uploads and downloads notes, settings, and other data. It can automatically update itself over the Internet.

It just needs work at the user interface level, and we're doing that as fast as we can.

Why didn't we wait? Because the Windows and iPhone versions were both ready, and because the new collections have so much value in them we didn't want to delay offering them to our users. Delaying wouldn't speed up the Mac product, it would just delay access for the larger group of users.

Windows users are still the majority of our customers, but we're seeing an incredible move to the Mac. That's why we've developed a common code base and a unified product. And our powerful synchronization system accommodates those poor souls forced to use Windows at work when they have a Mac at home as well as making it easy for switchers to jump. You'll be able to make Bible study, not your platform, a priority, and switch easily from Windows to Mac to iPhone (to web!) without losing a thing.

We're so sorry to be late with the Mac version again, but we know you're going to love the result, and we want you to know that the Mac is a top-priority.

Please Note: You may purchase Logos Bible Software 4 for Mac Alpha right now, and use it on Mac or Windows, but there will be no technical support for the Mac version until it becomes a final release. Every two weeks or so, it will automatically download an update, and keep getting better all the time. If you aren't comfortable with an Alpha release you should probably wait until it is a final release and support is available.

For a demonstration, pricing, and full feature list, visit logos.com

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link