Mac News Review

Will Lion Be Apple's Vista?, Java Malware Attempts Mac Attack, Mid 2011 iMac Teardown, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.05.13

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.

News & Opinion

Reviews

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Will Lion Be Apple's Vista?

PCWorld's Ian Paul says that Windows Vista (which PC World called the biggest tech disappointment of 2007 and InfoWorld rated as the #2 tech flop of all time - ed) was the first thought that entered his mind when he heard that Apple may seed OS X 10.7 Lion via the Mac App Store to all users running Snow Leopard.

Paul says that the concept of upgrading purely through a digital download does not appeal to him, and he thinks it spells trouble for Apple, suggesting that just as Windows users found themselves daunted by what would be involved in transitioning from XP to Vista, an upgrade to Lion may prove more of a hassle than it's worth for Mac users.

Editor's note: I have considerable sympathy with this analysis and am definitely a foot-dragger when it comes to abandoning software installs and upgrades on physical media for complete reliance on the Cloud. I will be dismayed if the rumors prove accurate and OS X 10.7 Lion is not available on DVD (or perhaps flash-based) physical media. I share Paul's hope that Apple will at least throw us Cloud skeptics a bone by including the capability to burn an installer disc image the way Linux distributions do, thus giving us the best of both worlds, an OS X Lion download and a physical copy of the OS as a belt-and-suspenders backup. cm

Java-based Malware Attempts Mac Attack

The Register's John Leyden reports that malware-writers have developed a Java-based, equal-opportunity botnet Trojan in an apparent bid to infect more machines outside the Windows ecosystem.

IncognitoRAT uses source code and libraries that allow it to attack both Windows and Macs - at least in theory. Only the Windows version of the malicious downloader has been spotted actually spreading, according to McAfee.

Apple Restricts Hard Drive Upgrade Options on 2011 iMacs

OWC Michael says:

"For the main 3.5" SATA hard drive bay in the new 2011 machines, Apple has altered the SATA power connector itself from a standard 4-wire power configuration to a 7-wire configuration. Hard drive temperature control is regulated by a combination of this cable and Apple proprietary firmware on the hard drive itself. From our testing, we've found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine's hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).

In examining the 2011 27" iMac's viability for our Turnkey Upgrade Service, every workaround we've tried thus far to allow us to upgrade the main bay factory hard drive still resulted in spinning fans and an Apple Hardware Test failure."

"To add insult to injury, the latest iMac EFI Update 1.6 unleashed 6 Gb/s speeds on two internal ports - and naturally, one of them is the proprietary, firmware-limited, 7200 RPM main drive that can't take advantage of those speeds anyway."

2011 iMac Can Run WiFi at 450 Mbps

Hardmac's Lionel reports that the MacBook Pro 2011 inaugurated an unheralded by Apple innovation: WiFi capable of reaching 450 Mbits/s, in support of which Apple have changed their AirPort Card and also installed three antennas (up form previous two) to allow simultaneous use of three channels of 150 Mbits/s.

Pubilsher's note: Of course, you must also have a WiFi router that supports three simultaneous channels to take full advantage of this. dk

The New iMac Processors

Hardmac's Lionel says that Apple hasn't made public the references of the processors running on the new iMac models, but through deduction and after the first teardowns, we know a little bit more about them.

First, the power draw of the CPUs installed in the 21.5" models is limited to 65W, while the processors used in the 27" models go up to 95W. Lionel deems this a good decision, because otherwise the 21.5" models would have become real heat radiators.

Lionel also documents maximum Turbo Boost 2.0 speeds and points out that only the i7 CPUs have HyperThreading.

2011 iMac and MacBook Pro Lines SSD Friendly Thanks to Intel Z68 Chipset

Computerworld's Lucas Mearian says that Apple's new iMac lineup, unveiled last week, includes technology that better marries the popular all-in-one desktops to the speedy NAND flash storage that Apple is using in more and more of its computers, thanks to Intel's latest Core-series processors being based on Intel's Z68 chipset for Sandy Bridge (see below) that allows the iMac to use a speedy solid-state drive (SSD) as a boot and application drive in tandem with a traditional hard disk drive, which is used for mass storage of files and data.

Intel Enhances Core 'i' Processor Experience with Z68 Express Chipset

PR: Intel announced the Intel Z68 Express chipset and Intel Solid-State Drive 311 Series. The Z68 chipset offers new overclocking and caching features for PC enthusiasts who want more control over their second-generation Intel Core processor based desktops. The 20 GB Intel SSD 311 is optimized for the new Intel Smart Response Technology caching feature in Z68 which helps speed boot times, application loads, and many other PC uses.

Intel Z68 Express chipsetThe Intel Z68 Express Chipset is the first product to enable performance tuning with access to the built-in visual features of 2nd generation Intel Core processor family.

The Intel Z68 Express Chipset enables the performance tuning features of unlocked 2nd generation Intel Core processors, allowing the user to change the processor core ratios, graphics clock speeds and DDR3 memory ratios to customize the performance experience of the platform. Combined with the latest Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, performance tuning is now easier than ever. Get smart performance at its best with the flexibility to set your system specs just the way you like.

Built-In PC Visuals Maximized

The Intel Z68 Express Chipset is the first product to enable performance tuning with access to the built-in visual features of 2nd generation Intel Core processors. These new visual features add a new dimension to your PC experience. Intel Quick Sync Video, Intel's built-in hardware acceleration in all 2nd generation Intel Core processors, delivers astonishing video transcoding performance, enabling your PC to edit, burn, and share your content faster without the need for add-in hardware.

In addition, Intel InTru™ 3D delivers 3D movie playback without hesitation or interruption.

Intel Z68 Express Chipset block DiagramIntel Z68 Express Chipset-based platforms provide support for third-party switchable graphics solutions, allowing end users to take advantage of the world-class media features delivered by 2nd generation Intel Core processors along with the gaming capabilities of discrete graphics products for the most demanding games.

The Intel Z68 Express Chipset delivers the latest platform features for the best in socket, LGA 1155, system performance The latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.5 enables Intel Smart Response Technology and full Serial ATA (SATA) interface speed up to 6 Gb/s to support next-generation Solid State Drives (SSDs) or traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.5 also adds support for greater than 2.2 TB HDDs in a RAID configuration.

Intel Rapid Recover Technology (part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology suite) provides a fast, easy-to-use method for the end user to recover their data and return their system to an operational status.

Intel Z68 Express Chipset Features and benefits:

  • Support for 2nd generation Intel Core processor family Supports the 2nd generation Intel Core processor family with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.01, Intel Pentium processor, and Intel Celeron processor.
  • The Intel Z68 Express Chipset also enables overclocking features of Unlocked 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family.
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) 10.52 With additional hard drives added, provides quicker access to digital photo, video and data files with RAID 0, 5, and 10, and greater data protection against a hard disk drive failure with RAID 1, 5, and 10.
  • Support for greater than 2.2 TB HDD RAID configurations Support for external SATA (eSATA) enables the full SATA interface speed outside the chassis, up to 3 Gb/s.
  • Intel Smart Response Technology - Implements storage I/O caching to provide users with faster response times for things like system boot and application startup.
  • Intel Rapid Recover Technology (Intel RRT) - Intel's latest data protection technology provides a recovery point that can be used to quickly recover a system should a hard drive fail or if there is data corruption. The clone can also be mounted as a read-only volume to allow a user to recover individual files.
  • Support for HDMI, DisplayPort, eDP and DVI High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) delivers uncompressed HD video and uncompressed multichannel audio in a single cable, supporting all HD formats including 720p, 1080i and 1080p. Dual Independent Display expands the viewable workspace to two monitors.
  • Multi-Monitor support Multi-Monitor support with Windows 7
  • Intel High Definition Audio (Intel HD Audio)3 Integrated audio support enables premium digital surround sound and delivers advanced features such as multiple audio streams and jack re-tasking.
  • Serial ATA (SATA) 6 Gb/s: Next generation high-speed storage interface supporting up to 6 Gb/s transfer rates for optimal data access with up to two SATA ports.

A Product and Performance Data abstract is available here in PDF format.

Consumer PC Market Weakness Isn't Because of the iPad

PR: The consumer PC market isn't floundering because of the iPad; in fact, the rate of cannibalization is actually declining among more recent purchasers, according to market research company The NPD Group's new Apple iPad Owner Study II report.

According to the report, only 14% of early iPad adopters (iPad owners of six months or more) abandoned a PC purchase for an iPad, and that dropped to just 12% of iPad owners who purchased over the past holiday season. In fact, cannibalization of netbooks is actually down by 50% among more recent iPad buyers, when compared to early adopter buyers.

"The explosion of computer sales when Windows 7 launched, as well as the huge increase in netbook sales at that time, are much more to blame for weak consumer PC sales growth than the iPad," says Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "Overall it appears that the vast majority of iPad purchases to-date have been incremental to the consumer technology industry."

According to NPD's Retail Tracking Service, the under $500 segment of the Windows consumer notebook market grew by 21% for the 6 months ending March 2011 to become the largest segment of the consumer notebook market.

"The conventional wisdom that says tablet sales are eating into low- priced notebooks is most assuredly incorrect," continues Baker. "The over $500 Windows consumer notebooks market is where PC sales have been impacted the most, with a 25% decline from October 2010 to March 2011." (Editor's note: that would be with the major exception of Apple, whose MacBook families of notebooks go for at minimum twice that $500 arbitrary threshold, and have been setting all-time sales records over the past eight months or so).

It's more than likely that iPad sales added billions of dollars to the industry's coffers after years of ASP declines draining the market. According to the report, nearly 75% of consumers who bought an iPad for themselves said they had no intentions of buying anything else, making all of those iPad purchases incremental sales volume.

That additional volume has spurred the development of new accessories opportunities that also serve to direct more money into the retail market. Approximately 83% of iPad owners have purchased an accessory for their iPad, with cases being the most popular. The sales opportunities are being spread across all manufacturers and retailers, not just Apple. Approximately 50% of all cases are non-Apple branded, and according to the report about 50% of cases and more than 60% of screen protectors were purchased at a different store than where the consumer purchased their iPad.

While consumers looked far and away to find the right product to accessorize their iPad, the expansion of distribution in the fourth quarter for the device itself had little impact on sales shares. Best Buy and Apple sold 3/4 of all devices during the holiday period. Comparatively speaking the carrier stores had much weaker results, accounting for just 3% of sales. Clearly, consumers' indifference to 3G connectivity was a driving factor as sales for the basic $499 WiFi only iPad increased by almost 33% during the holiday period to nearly one-in-three sales.

"Consumers just do not see the utility in 3G connectivity," says Baker. "There's an added expense for the device and for the service, something a majority of iPad owners aren't willing to pay. Since most iPads rarely venture away from home the value of a 3G connection is likely to diminish, especially as other tablets enter the market and pricing starts to fall. When every penny counts, features that aren't core to the user becoming increasingly marginalized as manufacturers fight for every sale."

The survey, completed in March, was fielded to an online US representative sample of adults (18+) to measure trends from NPD Group's Apple iPad: Consumers' Perceptions and Attitudes Report (March 2010), and Apple iPad Owners Study (August 2010). Additionally, a pre-identified sample of Apple iPad owners from NPD's Proprietary Online Registered Panel was augmented.

EFI Update Turns 2009 Mac Pro into 2010 Model

Hardmac's Lionel notes that the 2009 and 2010 models of Mac Pro are nearly identical with the only visible difference being inside the computer, on the CPU racks - but there are also invisible differences as well (e.g. the 2010 model supports 6-core Westmere processors that will not work on a 2009 model).

Lionel reports that a member of the Netkas forum has developed software that can transform a 2009 Mac Pro model into a 2010 model (or the other way around), by forcing an EFI update. With the update, your Mac Pro will now default to booting in 64-bit mode in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Reviews

Macworld Reviews 21.5" and 27" Mid 2011 iMacs

Macworld's James Galbraith reports that the latest iMac models introduced by Apple benefit greatly from new Intel processors and greater device connectivity, and both changes offer users unprecedented speed from the iMac lineup.

Primate Labs Posts 2011 iMac Geekbench Results

Primate Labs says:

"To see how well the Sandy Bridge iMacs perform I've collected Geekbench 2 results from the Geekbench Result Browser for these new iMacs and compared them against the previous Wolfdale (Core 2 Duo) and Lynnfield (Core ix) iMacs. While results aren't available for all the Sandy Bridge iMac configurations (in particular I don't have results for the 21.5-inch Core i7 iMac) there are enough results here to examine the performance of the new iMacs."

iFixit Tears Down 21.5" Mid 2011 iMac

iFixit's Director of Technical Communication, Miroslav Djuric, says that once the iFixit team heard the news that the new iMacs were out, they knew what they had to do: start sharpening their suction cups!

Removing the iMac's screen with a pair of suction cupsThe suction cup gamble paid off, says Djuric, since they discovered very early on that this latest iMac model opens the same way previous generations did. All you have to do is pull off the magnetically-held display glass with two medium-size suction cups and then remove the screws holding the LCD in place.

But what lay inside?

Djuric reports that the 21.5" iMac scored a very respectable 7 out of 10 Repairability Score, with most of the disassembly pretty straightforward and accomplished using just a T10 Torx screwdriver and the aforementioned suction cups. The verdict is that a casual user can easily replace or add RAM, although it's moderately difficult to access the hard drive and optical drive. [Publisher's note: Be sure you read OWC's warning about removing the hard drive before you attempt it! dk] However, he says that more adventurous users (those wanting to upgrade the CPU/GPU) will be obliged to remove the logic board, which is a tricky process, and will also in the process void their warranty if they replace the CPU. Another caveat: it's also quite difficult to reassemble the LCD and glass without a dust mite getting stuck in between the two.

iFixit teardown highlights:

  • The LED display is manufactured by LG and is denoted by its model number LM215WF3. This is the same display used in the previous generation 21.5" iMac.
  • Similar (but not exactly the same) to the Thunderbolt IC we found in the latest MacBook Pro 15", the new iMac features the Intel L102IA84 EFL Thunderbolt port IC.
  • The optional SSD appears to reside beneath the optical drive - or at least that's the only space the iFixit investigators could find where something was clearly missing. There's three mounting points under the optical drive that have nothing attached to them in the teardown machine, since this option is only available on 2.7 GHz 21.5" iMacs.
  • removing the 2011 iMac's logic boardIf you want to remove the logic board, you have to snake it out from the rest of the iMac - a combination of pulling up, as well as away from the casing. However, after a little bit of jiggling, it comes right out.
  • In usual Apple fashion, one heat sink is reserved for the CPU, while the other oversees the GPU. And, in usual Apple fashion, you have to void the warranty in order to get a peep at the CPU processing power underneath. "Of course," says, Miroslav Djuric, we'll do *almost anything* in the name of science: http://bit.ly/for_science
  • After popping off the CPU heat sink, you can get a good look at the Core i5 processor. The teardown machine is powered by a quad-core 2.5 GHz Core i5-2800S CPU with 6 MB of Intel Smart Cache.
  • With a bit of magic, the GPU heat sink detaches from the logic board, exposing the AMD GPU daughtercard board, which means you don't have to replace the entire logic board if your GPU explodes from too much l33t gaming or somesuch. You can just swap out the GPU board for another one.
  • The main chips on the GPU board include the AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU, as well as four Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR T2L 1 Gb GDDR SDRAM chips (totaling a cumulative 512 MB).
  • Thankfully, Djuric observes, both the CPU and GPU on this machine have proper amounts of thermal paste applied, a happy departure from the gobs applied to the MacBook Pro iFixit recently took apart.
  • The big winner in the wireless communication area this time around is Atheros. At the heart of the Wi-Fi card is an Atheros AR9388-AL1A 802.11n wireless LAN chip.
  • 2011 iMac teardownAt the heart of the Bluetooth board lies a Broadcom BCM2046 Bluetooth IC, as well as 256 KB of SST 39VF200A CMOS Multi-Purpose Flash (MPF). iFixit found this same Broadcom chip a long time ago in the first MacBook Air, but If it ain't broke, why fix it?
  • Key players on the logic board include:
    • 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5-2800S CPU with 6 MB of Intel Smart Cache.
    • Intel BD82Z68 Platform Controller Hub
    • Broadcom BCM57765B0KMLG Integrated Gigabit Ethernet and Memory Card Reader Controller
    • Cirrus 4206BCNZ audio controller
    • SMSC USX2061 (we believe this a USB 2.0 Hub Controller Family)
    • Intersil ISL6364 CRZ Single-Phase Synchronous-Buck PWM voltage regulator for GPU core power applications
    • Intel L102IA84 EFL Thunderbolt port IC

Software

Drive Genius 3.1.1

PR: Is your Mac running slower? Is your hard drive filling up and you don't know why? Are you seeing the beach ball more or having other issues with your hard drive?

Try Drive Genius 3, a hard drive utility on the Mac platform DrivePulse, Enhanced Defrag, DriveSlim, Enhanced Repartition are a few of the award-winning features of Drive Genius 3.

Drive Genius 3 is used by Apple at the Genius Bar as part of the ProCare Yearly Tune Up.

Drive Genius 3 now runs as a 64-bit application and includes new features such as DrivePulse that monitors the overall health of your drive, alerting you to possible issues before they become major problems, RAID Support, Email Notifications, and has enhanced previous features including Defrag, Repartition and Scan from version 2.

New in version 3.1.1:

  • Live defrag can now be canceled (on some machines this may require a wired keyboard).
  • DrivePulse is now installed on a per-user basis instead of for all users.
  • The Information tool now displays use-based statistics for drives in the Details tab.
  • DrivePulse will open a Finder window for mounted volumes with a click on the disk icon in the DrivePulse menu.
  • Initial support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
  • Bug Fix: Defrag and Repartition now work with native "large block" (4 KB) drives.
  • Bug Fix: Minor Duplicate issues with native "large block" (4 KB) drives.
  • Bug Fix: Stability improvements to DriveSlim while searching for files.
  • Bug Fix: Stability issue if a drive was removed from the system while a defrag was in progress.
  • Bug Fix: The overview information for unmounted volumes was displaying free space as used space.

System Requirements:

  • Intel
  • Mac OS X 10.5.3 or later

$99

Publisher's note: Also see Charles W. Moore's recent review of Drive Genius 3.1 on MacPrices.net.

Typinator 4.4 TextMacro Utility Gains 35 Enhancements

PR: Ergonis Software releases Typinator 4.4, an update to their text expander application. Typinator is a powerful, yet elegantly simple solution that boosts your productivity by automating the process of inserting frequently used text and autocorrecting typing errors. Version 4.4 comes with a list of 35 enhancements, including a new preference setting to control the volume of the expansion sounds, several fine-tuned enhancements of Typinator's Quick Search and Quick Define feature and more.

The new version also offers improved compatibility with FileMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Safari, Google Chrome, and many other third-party applications.

New in version 4.4:

  • On Mac OS X 10.5 or newer, Typinator has a new preference setting that controls the volume of the expansion sounds.
  • After creating a new auto-correction from the selection or clipboard, Typinator puts the correction on the clipboard, so it can be pasted over a misspelled word.
  • The Cmd-F shortcut now enters the search field when the set list or abbreviation list is selected.
  • Smarter relevance ranking for items that were previously selected in a Quick Search.
  • Typinator now shows the total number of abbreviations in the header of the set table.
  • Starting a Quick Search with (*)(*) searches all items, ignoring search keywords.
  • Entering a set keyword in the Quick Search field now shows all items in this set when no other search terms follow.
  • Typinator now comes with large (512x512) Finder icons.
  • Abbreviations and expansions that contain numbers are now sorted numerically in the abbreviation list.
  • Typinator no longer warns about a deprecated method.
  • Works around a problem with long expansions in Coda.
  • Solves an issue where Espresso showed a 'Failed to get keycode' error message upon certain Typinator expansions.
  • Fixes a problem with multiline expansions in Sparrow 1.0beta7 and newer.
  • Adds a new logging mechanism for remote debugging.
  • Fixes an expansion issue with MessengerPro.
  • Works around a problem where FileMaker Pro's Get(ActiveModifierKeys) function incorrectly reported pressed modifier keys after certain expansions.
  • Works around a problem in InDesign that caused expansions with cursor position to fail.
  • Fixes an issue with expansions consisted of quoted strings in Script Debugger.
  • Works around a cursor positioning problem in LaTeXiT.
  • Works around an issue in Google Chrome that caused terminators of whole word expansions to appear before the expansion.
  • The quick define function now recognizes a selected word as potential autocorrection even when it is surrounded with whitespace (notably in InDesign, which adds return characters to copied text).
  • Works around an expansion issue in RStudio.
  • Works around a problem with expansion of 'whole word' abbreviations in InDesign.
  • Solves a problem where abbreviations added with the quick define function did not become available immediately.
  • Works around an issue with expansions inside Google Spreadsheet cells in Safari.
  • Works around an expansion problem with RubyMine 3.1.
  • Works around a cursor positioning problem in MacVIm.
  • Fixes an issue with multiline expansions in iCab.
  • Works around a cursor positioning problem in MarsEdit.
  • Fixes am expansion issue in Photoshop.
  • Works around a problem with 'quick expansions' in Editra and Unitron.
  • Importing text files with empty lines no longer creates empty abbreviation items.
  • Solves a problem when abbreviations containing space characters were created with the 'quick define' function.
  • Works around a problem with incorrect clipboard data produced by Adobe Illustrator.
  • Works around an expansion issue in MacGiro.

See the product page for further details.

System Requirements: Typinator 4.4 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or newer. Mac OS X 10.6 or newer is recommended. Typinator 4.4 is a recommended update for everyone running on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Typinator can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to Typinator 4.4 is free for all customers who purchased Typinator in the last two years. For information about purchases, including enterprise licenses, volume discounts, and upgrade pricing offers, see the company's web site. Visit Ergonis Software's website to learn more about the changes in this release and to download and try the new version.

Publisher's note: See Charles W. Moore's full review of Typinator (version 3.6).

BlueGriffon Open Source HTML5, CSS3, SVG, and MathML WYSIWYG Editor

PR: BlueGriffon 1.0, a new WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content editor for the World Wide Web, has been released for Macintosh, Linux, and Microsoft Windows. Powered by Gecko, the rendering engine of Firefox 4, it's a modern and robust solution to edit Web pages in conformance to the latest Web Standards, including HTML5, CSS 3, SVG and MathML. Easy to use, BlueGriffon is the perfect editing environment for both nontechnical and advanced computer users to create and publish professional and attractive Web sites without requiring coding skills. It is available for download free of charge.

BlueGriffon webpage editorBlueGriffon 1.0 can create and edit all HTML 4, XHTML 1, and HTML 5 documents offering full support for the HTML 5 forms, the HTML 5 video and audio elements, and more.

BlueGriffon 1.0 also has an advanced CSS support. The built-in Style Properties panel offers controls for all the CSS properties and values Gecko implements. The usual suspects from CSS 2 but also a lot from CSS 3: 2D Transforms, Transitions, Shadows, Linear/Radial Gradients and Repeating Gradients, Border Images, Columns, Flex Box Model, and more. This panel automates as far as possible the insertion of styles into the document, meaning it will always find a way to apply the requested styles.

style properties in BlueGriffonBlueGriffon embedding the popular 'SVG Edit' add-on for Firefox, it is then easy even for nontechnical users to add SVG-based vectorial graphics to any Web page. Accessibility is also an important axis for BlueGriffon, the editor offering a simple user interface to manipulate the most important ARIA attributes.

Add-ons are available for BlueGriffon from bluegriffon.com as part of a "Freemium Model". Already available add-ons include a Table Layout manager, a MathML mathematical formula editor, and a Toolkit manager. A professional CSS Editor with features unprecedented on the market will be released soon.

BlueGriffon is a WYSIWYG Web editor, meaning that Web pages will render in BlueGriffon exactly as they render in Firefox 4 and that all the user's editing work can be done in that view instead of directly typing HTML or CSS code. Of course, more advanced users can toggle between the WYSIWYG editing view and the HTML code view.

"The Authoring community needed a cross-platform Open Source content editor for the Web matching the modernity, speed and power of the most recent Web browsers, an easily extensible editor allowing efficient Web designs. That editor is BlueGriffon", says Daniel Glazman, CEO of Disruptive Innovations SAS.

"I'm just loving BlueGriffon Editor! XML, HTML5, CSS, ARIA, SVGEdit all built in. Easy interface, win/mac/lin", said Molly Holzschlag, Web Evangelist at Opera Software and Web Design guru.

"The HTML Editor I'm using today? BlueGriffon: The next-generation Web Editor based on the rendering engine of Firefox", said Nick Longo, founder and original author of the popular CoffeeCup editor.

Disruptive Innovations SAS, original author in 2005 of the Open Source Web editor Nvu under the leadership of Linspire Inc., started BlueGriffon to give a more modern editing companion to Firefox, Mozilla's wildly successful Web browser. Disruptive Innovations SAS contributed most resources for this project.

BlueGriffon 1.0 is available in Czech, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. The cross-platform Web editor works on Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS X (10.5 and later, Intel only), and many Linux-based systems.

Disruptive Innovations SAS is a French software company founded in October 2003 by Daniel Glazman, a longtime advocate for standards of the Web with more than 20 years of technical expertise in markup languages and software, including three years at Netscape and fourteen years in W3C's Working Groups. Daniel Glazman was appointed cochairman of the W3C CSS Working Group in April 2008. Based in Saint-Germain en Laye, France, Disruptive Innovations SAS delivered in the past premium products like the popular editor Nvu to Linspire Inc. or the XML editor Etna to the Connexions Project.

Publisher's note: I have been using Claris Home Page 3.0, a WYSIWYG HTML editor and site manager, since 1997. Over the years I have supplemented it with Nvu and KompoZer, which was vastly superior to Nvu but still had some bugs and did some things I didn't like. I have spent a few minutes with BlueGriffon and been impressed. For the most part, it works as I want to work, and it will probably displace KompoZer in my current workflow. With a few improvements, it's possible this will replace Claris Home Page, but it's not quite feature complete enough for that yet. dk

Parallels Server Mac mini Edition Lets Businesses Run OS X, Windows, and Linux Side-by-Side

PR: Parallels has announced the launch of Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition, a new edition of its one-of-a-kind Mac server virtualization solution optimized for Mac minis running Mac OS X server software.

Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition lets businesses turn an Apple Mac mini server running Mac OS X Server into a multipurpose platform capable of running Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems and their applications side by side. Tailored specifically for small businesses that need to consolidate a few servers, Parallels makes it simple to provide mission-critical software on a cost-effective Mac mini.

Businesses can reduce their need for different hardware platforms, saving space, power and administration time, while easily adding new services without the need to increase the budget for additional hardware purchases.

"Smart organizations can get even more performance and savings from their Mac mini server by using Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same box," says Kim Johnston, Vice President of Marketing at Parallels. "Businesses can reduce their need for different hardware platforms, saving space, power and administration time, while easily adding new services without the need to increase the budget for additional hardware purchases."

"Our business has used a Mac mini as a primary server for a few years, but we also had to run a separate Windows server for applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint. Thanks to Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition, we consolidated everything onto our Mac mini and saved money, space and time. One of our favorite features is remote administration of the Parallels Management Console for easy deployment and backing up of virtual machines," comments Bruce Rubin, owner and developer of Radical Design Software and Oribus.

Features

Parallels Server 4.0 Mac mini Edition is the only server virtualization solution optimized for Apple server hardware. Its features, capabilities and benefits include:

  • Virtual machine provisioning up to 2 virtual machines with 2 virtual CPUs and 4 GB of RAM
  • Support for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms
  • Smart installation technology for the host and express installation capabilities for both Windows and Linux guests speeds time to deployment
  • Configuration capabilities for USB devices via host or virtual machine
  • Shared folders for Windows, Linux and Mac OS guest OSs
  • Integrated snapshots, incremental and full backups of virtual machines streamlines the ability to protect the virtual environments without the need for 3rd party software
  • Consolidate Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server and other Windows Server applications directly on your Mac mini
  • Extend your Mac OS X server capabilities with Linux applications like Moodle, Wordpress, and MySQL providing new capabilities to your small business

Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition requires Mac OS X or OS X Server 10.5.2 or later. 2 GB of RAM is required, and 4 GB is recommended. 64-bit operation is supported by all 2007 and later models.

Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition is available now for $299. It can be purchased from Parallels.

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.

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