Mac News Review

Intel to Pay Nvidia $1.5 Billion, How Much Drive Space Do You Need?, TextEdit for Writing, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.01.14

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Software

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News & Opinion

Intel to Pay Nvidia $1.5 Billion for Technology

Hardmac's Lionel reports Intel has reached a compromise with Nvidia: Intel will transfer $1.5 billion in installments until 2016 in order to stop legal proceedings launched by Nvidia against them.

The Nvidia complaint alleged unfair competition, primarily regarding Intel refusing to license Nvidia's graphics chipsets on Intel Nehalem and later processor architectures, a move that significantly altered and to some degree hindered Apple notebook evolution, being one of the reasons why the 13" MacBook Pro, the MacBook, and the new MacBook Air models still use Core 2 Duo processors rather than the newer Intel Core i chips, while the 15" and 17" Core i MacBook Pros have both energy-saving Intel HD integrated graphics and state of the art Nvidia GeForce GT 330M IGPUs with automatic switching between them.

How Much Storage Space Does Your Computer Need?

LifeHacker says:

"With hard drives now storing tons of data and SSDs becoming more and more common, your computer's storage can now range from 64 GB to 3 TB. That's a pretty big range. How much space do you actually need?"

"I seem to do just fine with about 180-190 GB of space, so 250 GB provides plenty of breathing room. This has made it very easy for me to transition over to SSDs. While I certainly make use of external storage when needed, I can easily work within the confines of 250 GB on my laptop, or even desktop, computer. How much space do you need to work effectively?

"How Much Storage Space Do You Need?

  • 64 GB or less
  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB
  • 1 TB
  • More than 1 TB"

Survey results: Almost half (45.7%) report they need 1 TB or more while less than 25% can get by with 256 GB or less.

Editor's note: Something under 200 GB seems to be all I need in my computer so far (thanks to some big external drives for backup and overflow), so 256 GB is plenty enough for me as well for now. Unfortunately, 256 GB SSDs are still pretty expensive. cm

Other editor's note: I'm still using PowerPC Macs and running OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard. On my Tiger machine, the boot partition uses 59.5 GB, while on the Leopard Mac, it's 69.0 GB. I could probably pare those down by deleting apps that I never use.

In addition, I have a "work" partition for work files and downloads that uses 88.7 GB. I also have an "emergency" partition with a clean, minimal OS X installation plus some troubleshooting utilities which uses 12.5 GB. Total space needed for a dual-boot setup is about 240 GB. If I were using an Intel-based Mac and only had OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installed, 150 GB would probably do.

We will be testing some of OWC's "legacy" SSDs in some of our vintage Macs (mostly G3 and G4 models) in the near future. dk

Mac App Store Versions of TextWrangler and BBEdit Are 'Partly Crippled'

Bare Bones Software's Mac App Store FAQ says all of their current application products - BBEdit, TextWrangler, and Yojimbo - are available in the Mac App Store.

If you are using a version of BBEdit before 9.0 or a version of Yojimbo before 2.0, you'll need to purchase an upgrade from Bare Bones in order to get the latest available version. Upgrades are not currently available from the Mac App Store.

If you have an old version of BBEdit or Yojimbo, discounted upgrade pricing is available for registered customers of Bare Bones commercial products, and there is no need to buy a new copy from the App Store if you simply wish to upgrade.

You may also want to consider the differences between the App Store versions Bare Bones software and the versions available directly from the developer.

For example, in BBEdit and TextWrangler, authenticated saves (the ability to save changes to files that you do not own) and the command-line tools are not available in the App Store versions, in order to comply with Apple's submission guidelines.

For customers using BBEdit or TextWrangler purchased from the Mac App Store, Bare Bones has installers available that install the missing command-line tools in your system. These are only for use with versions of BBEdit or TextWrangler obtained from the Mac App Store and are not suitable for use otherwise. They say they are currently working on a solution for authenticated saves.

Pixelmator Shares Its Reasons for Mac App Store Exclusive Distribution

The developers of Pixelmator have posted a blog affirming that they believe the Mac App Store will be an absolute hit and that they are very excited to be part of it, observing that because it offers so many benefits to our customers, they are fully committed to supporting the Mac App Store by completely moving Pixelmator sales and distribution to the Mac App Store in the upcoming months.

To ease the transition to the Mac App Store for users, the Pixelmator transition to the Mac App Store will include a limited-time offer to purchase Pixelmator on the Mac App Store for $29 (half-price), and with the next generation Pixelmator 2.0 included for free once it's out on the Mac App Store, later this year.

The transition offer is open to everyone, not just presently registered Pixelmator customers.

The Pixelmator folks say that reasons to transition to the Mac App Store include the following points, contending that:

  • The Mac App Store is the future of Pixelmator (and probably of all other great Mac apps, too) sales and distribution.
  • Thanks to the Mac App Store, installation of Pixelmator becomes easier than ever.
  • Because they are always improving Pixelmator, you will rest assured that your Pixelmator is always up-to-date with the latest improvements and features within the Mac App Store.
  • With the Mac App Store, you can easily re-download Pixelmator anytime you wish - especially useful when you get a new Mac.
  • Thanks to the Mac App Store, developers will be able to focus even more on what they are good at; creating the best software for the Mac.
  • With the Mac App Store, the headaches of dealing with all those serial numbers and anti-piracy system stuff are gone forever.
  • And, most importantly, by downloading Pixelmator on the Mac App Store, you will be helping support their hard work, and they "love you very much for that."

Free Pixelmator 1.x updates will continue to remain available through conventional channels until version 2.0 is released.

Editor's note: For the low-end perspective on the Mac App Store, see Low End Macs and the Mac App Store, where I argue that going Mac App Store exclusive may cut a developer off from half the current market. dk

Is TextEdit Your Word Processor?

TextEdit for Tiger
TextEdit 1.4 for OS X 10.4 Tiger

Text Edit for Leopard
TextEdit 1.5 for OS X 10.5 Leopard

AppleTell's Charles Moore has been "wondering what proportion of Mac users, especially new ones" just use the bundled software applications that come with their Macs - in the case of a text app, TextEdit

"These days, TextEdit is actually an amazingly powerful and capable mini word processor that supports some pretty advanced near page-layout functions, such as text kerning, ligatures, baseline adjustments, and style copying and pasting, as well as creation and application of style sheets, tables, the insertion of TIFF, PICT, JPEG, and GIF graphics into document pages, and conversion of documents to HTML format, although there's not much in the way of HTML markup tools, and it can also save documents in Word format."

Download Guy Kawasaki's The Macintosh Way for Free

antimusic.com reports:

"Guy Kawasaki sent over this announcement on Wednesday: A long time ago (1987 exactly), I published my first book, The Macintosh Way. I wrote it because I was bursting with idealistic and pure notions about how a company can change the world, and I wanted to spread the gospel....

"I recently re-acquired the rights for this book, and I'm making it freely available from the fan page of my upcoming book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. To download The Macintosh Way:

  1. Go to the fan page.
  2. "Like" the page.
  3. Click on The Macintosh Way book cover to download the PDF."

Software

Kindle for Mac Kindle 1.2.3 for Intel-based Macs

PR: Kindle for Mac allows you to read more than 450,000 books on your Mac. No Kindle required.

Get the best reading experience available on your Mac. No Kindle required

Kindle for MacAccess your Kindle books even if you don't have your Kindle with you

Automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync. Create bookmarks and view the annotations you created on your Kindle.

Shop for Books in the Kindle Store

  • Search and browse more than 775,000 books, including 107 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. If you are a non-US customer, book availability may vary
  • Find New York Times Best Sellers and new releases from $9.99
  • Kindle for Mac Get free book samples - read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy
  • Books you purchase can also be read on a Kindle
  • Kindle newspapers, magazines, and blogs are not currently available for Kindle for Mac

System Requirements:

  • A Mac with an Intel processor
  • At least 512 MB of RAM
  • Screen resolution of 800 x 600 or greater
  • Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • 100 MB of available disk space

BayCard HyperCard Clone Available on the Mac App Store

PR: Bayhoff Software has released BayCard, a modern day HyperCard clone. It was designed to allow nonprogrammers to bring their own visions to life without the need to learn how to write code.

Like HyperCard, a BayCard document can be thought of as a stack of index cards. Unlike HyperCard, BayCard does not feature a scripting language. In place of a scripting language, BayCard features over 25 powerful interface widgets including, but not limited to, tables, lists, web pages, date pickers, and iTunes-style star ratings.

BayCardBayCard is a versatile program. It can be utilized in many different ways by different users. For example, one user may choose to use BayCard to organize their life. Another user may use the program to design a simple presentation. Finally, a third user may use BayCard to design several point-and-click adventures.

Additional Features

  • 11 Ready-made Stack Templates: Book Collection, CD Collection, DVD Collection, Games, Medications, Notes, Recipes, Serial Numbers, Simple Presentation, To Dos, and Vocabulary.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Intel only
  • Mac App Store app
  • 2.0 MB

BayCard 1.0 is $19.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category.

Smultron 3.8 Text Editor Smultron 3.8 Text Editor Gets New Life on the Mac App Store

PR: The Mac App Store has given the formerly freeware Smultron text editor a new lease on life in a fully updated for Snow Leopard Version 3.8, selling for $4.99 only through the Mac App Store.

Smultron features:

  • Easy navigation - Smultron has all open documents in a list with beautiful Quick Look icons to your left just like e.g. iTunes so you can easily switch between many documents.
  • Flexible - It is easy to program with Smultron as it colours the content in different colours depending on what the code does. And you also have many ways to search for words and line numbers to help finding code you're looking for. You can also split the window in two to display two parts of the same document or to compare two different documents side by side.
  • Smultron 3.8 Text Editor Multiple views - You can also preview HTML-files directly in Smultron and save snippets of text and insert them simply with a shortcut. And if you don't want to be disturbed by other applications or the desktop you can let Smultron cover the whole screen to let you concentrate on your work.
  • Advanced users - For the more advanced users Smultron can find all those system files that are normally hidden and it has authenticated open and saves for them. Smultron can also use regular expressions and it can run commands and scripts.
  • International users - For all international users there is full support for all encodings.

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 or later

Smultron for $4.99 on the Mac App Store.

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