Mac News Review

Lion 'the King of Bungles'?, Mac Ownership Cheaper than PC, First 4 TB External Drive, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.09.09

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Lion News & Opinion

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

Lion News & Opinion

Is OS X Lion the King of Bungles?

The Register's Tony Smith says that while the feline lion may be king of the jungle, from where he sits, OS X 10.7 Lion is "the king of bungles."

Case in point: Someone emails you a document, you open it in Apple's Pages app for a look, read it through, and then being done with it, you quit Pages. You no longer require the document, so you put it in the Trash, and to be doubly sure you never want it to darken your desktop again, you empty the Trash. Now you have another document you want to look at, so you double-click on it, starting up Pages to load the file, but what you get is a copy of the file you not only threw away but thought you'd zapped for good.

Smith explains that Lion saves document changes in a hidden file .DocumentRevisions-V100, albeit only on drives formatted with the HFS+ file system, the standard Mac format for hard drives and SSDs (although flash drives are usually formatted for PCs for universal access), retaining copies of files that have been deleted. Not a major problem with small files like RTF text documents, but a potential one if you traffick in big graphics files and the like.

And even RTFs may contain data you want to be sure you delete for good, which unfortunately you haven't.

Smith observes that this behavior is part and parcel of a philosophically-driven push on Apple's part to dispense with files altogether, or at least the abstract metaphor of files as discrete blocks of data on a hard drive - a paradigm-shift that a lot of serious computer users (like me- cm) vigorously resist.

Smith notes that all apps don't currently support Lion's versioning system, but he grimly predicts that most eventually will. He observes that the fundamental issue in play here is Lion's default assumption that you don't know what you're doing, so it's going to make sure you're protected from data loss consequences of your presumed ignorance come hell or high water. This may be fine for novice users, who really can be clueless about such matters, but it confounds the needs and offends the sensibilities of those of us who do know what we're doing, resent being protected from ourselves, and are prepared to take responsibility for and live with the consequences of mistakes that we inevitably make from time to time.

Smith concludes with resignation that Lion is, alas, the future of the Mac OS, so Mac users will either have to get used to the new realities or change operating systems, and notes that staffers at The Reg, who made the mistake of upgrading quickly, are wondering if Lion could turn out to be the biggest booster Windows has ever had. And while owners of most existing Intel Mac hardware can at least downgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for now, although the practicality of that as a workaround will diminish with time. And that's not an avenue open to folks who've bought the latest MacBook Airs and Mac minis.

He issues an appeal to the Hackintosh community to figure out a way to make Snow Leopard run on the latest Apple hardware. I'll second that.

Publisher's note: This could be a real disaster for those who work with confidential information and could be used as a strong argument to keep Lion out of certain workplaces. Mac users would be well served by Apple explaining if, when, and how document revisions are purged from the revisions archive, and this creates a real opportunity for programmers to develop a program that allows users to manually purge the archive. dk

Welcome to OS X Vista

Rixstep says snide comparisons were inevitable, but now they seem to stick, with unsettling reports of kernel panics - something that's never supposed to happen on a system with MACH. Clearly something was very wrong with OS X 10.7 Lion.

OS X Lion: Apple's Vista Moment

How Good Is That's Jim Gardner says:

"You know when you used to have no choice but to use Windows XP, either because you couldn't afford a Mac or you had to use a PC at work? Well, you must remember, then, how annoying it was to have the same bugs and weird glitches happen over and over again; those endless days and nights trying to work on something important when, no matter how many fingers you crossed and cracks in the pavement you avoided, you knew once error message X appeared, crash Y and endless pop-up Z would inevitably follow and there was nothing you or anyone else could do to avoid the inevitable restart / reinstall / dance on one leg chanting, I'm a little teapot short and stout....

"Gardner goes on to recount how hope spiked briefly when Windows Vista was announced, but under the refreshed Aero interface veneer was "the same pustulating tripe that had ruined your life for the past millennia and, to make it worse, you knew for a fact no-one at Microsoft lost any sleep over it. This wouldn't happen if I owned a Mac, you said."

"So you bought a Mac, and now a new Mac Operating System, OS X Lion, is out. But what's this?"

Gardner goes to to inventory a panoply of Lion aggravations, frustrations, and alarmingly Vista-like angularities plaguing early adopters of Apple's new OS.

"Well, how stupid do you feel now?" he says "You drank the Kool-Aid™ and, for a while it refreshed the parts other sugar water can't reach. But then, like realising in the middle of a stage hypnotist's comedy act, that while you thought you were eating an Apple, you were really munching an onion, this happened...."

News & Opinion

Vista Beats Mac, Lion Ties Linux

MacWindows Beat's John Rizzo says that commentators who've been referring to Lion as "Apple's Vista" may be engaging in wishful thinking, but not how you might think. He notes that according to August data on worldwide market share, more computer users still run Windows Vista than use every version of Mac OS X combined.

Not that the news is great for Microsoft, with the reality that despite the success of Windows 7, more than half of all computer users in the world still run Windows 7's main competitor, Windows XP.

Here's how it breaks down for desktop operating systems based on NetMarketShare's metrics for August:

  • Desktop operating system version trend, Oct. 2010 to August 2011Windows - 92.90%
    • Windows XP - 52.46%
    • Windows 7 - 30.60%
    • Windows Vista - 9.40%
    • Windows NT - 0.18%
    • Windows 2000 - 0.18%
    • Windows 98 - 0.05%
  • Macintosh - 6.03%
    • Mac OS X 10.6 - 3.46%
    • Mac OS X 10.5 - 1.17%
    • Mac OS X 10.7 - 1.03%
    • Mac OS X 10.4 - 0.31%
    • Mac OS X (no version reported) - 0.04%
  • Linux - 1.07% (0.91%)

John Rizzo also notes that 6.03% of computer users now run Mac OS X worldwide (13.36% of US users), marking the first time the Mac has broken the 6% threshold, thanks to Mac hardware sales being up 24% while the PC industry languishes with anemic 3.8% growth. Nevertheless, Windows much-maligned Vista still has a 9.40% worldwide market share, meaning that for every 10 Mac users, there are 15 Vista users, and Windows XP still blows everything away with a 52.46% worldwide market share, Windows 7 lagging well behind at at 30.60%.

However, with OS X 10.7 Lion taking 1.03% of worldwide market share in August, after shipping for just over a month, there are now almost as many Lion users as there are Linux desktops of all types (1.07% market share).

Google's Eric Schmidt: 'I Was on the Apple Board Until I Couldn't Stand It Anymore'

BetaNews' Ed Oswald reports that former Google CEO and now Chairman Eric Schmidt offered some insight into his time on Apple's board to attendees of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce 2011 conference, saying that while he was proud of his time with the company, "I was on the Apple board until I couldn't stand it anymore."

However, Schmidt graciously praised Steve Jobs' achievements and leadership of Apple, stating, "What Steve has done at Apple is certainly the best performance of a CEO for over fifty years, maybe a hundred years. But not only did he do it once, he did it twice. We've all benefited from the tremendous innovation at Apple."

Steve Jobs on Newsweek cover

Newsweek Steve Jobs Cover Chosen as 'Cover of the Day'

Newsweek has thanked SPD (the Society of Publication Designers) for naming the magazine's Sept. 5 edition Steve Jobs cover their Cover of the Day, congratulating Creative Director, Dirk Barnett, and Director of Photography, Scott Hall, for their work.

Mac Ownership: Cheaper Than a PC After All

BeatWeek's Bill Palmer says he's staring down two major product upgrades before 2011 is over: replacing his current 15" MacBook Pro and an aging Chrysler that he says he ended up with because it was in the "good deal" category, professing to not care much about cars in general anyway.

In assessing the remaining value of the two items, Palmer makes two complementary observations:

  1. By investing in what he considers a real computer, he's saved money.
  2. By grabbing a bargain car, he may have cost himself money come trade-in time.

"In fact," he says, "both situations come together to explain why owning a Mac computer can be (if you're smart about it) cheaper per year than owning a Windows PC," and that's without factoring in the cost of having to buy extra Windows-based software to compensate for the the lack of bundled tools you would get with a Mac, or what you'll need to spend on Tylenol to ease the pain of dealing with Windows.

He's just talking about hardware costs and contends that owning a Mac is cheaper in the long run - provided you can afford to buy one in the first place.

Details are provided.

Apple Considering USB 3.0 in Addition to Thunderbolt

VR-Zone's L.G. Nilsson observes that a lot of Mac fans have been disappointed by Apple's apparent lack of interest in the USB 3.0 standard, but VR-Zone has been tipped by an unnamed insider that Apple is looking at USB 3.0 as a potential feature to add on future products, and they deduce that it's likely to happen before Intel integrates USB 3.0 support into its chipsets.

Nilsson notes that a USB 3.0 host controller sells for $2-3 in large quantities compared with $10-15 for Intel's Thunderbolt chip, and the latter also requires a device chip and additional chips on the device, making Thunderbolt a very expensive solution for simple data storage and so forth.

For that reason alone, it would make sense for Apple to implementing USB 3.0 support into its products, especially at the lower end of their Mac price range. While USB 3.0 can't match the raw performance Thunderbolt, that level of performance would rarely (if ever) be required by the typical consumer user that Apple leans toward catering to. Backwards compatibility is another USB 3.0 bonus, with USB 2.0 devices supported.

Publisher's note: USB 3.0 has 10x the bandwidth of USB 2.0 and is backward compatible with it. However, USB 3.0 has data separate channels for send and receive, so it can read and write data simultaneously, which makes things even faster. USB 3.0 also supports higher power output - up to 900 mA vs. 500 mA for USB 2.0 - which would be an additional drain on laptop batteries. Now that Thunderbolt is established, it would make sense for Apple to replace USB 2.0 ports with 3.0 ports in future Macs (and iDevices!). dk

Living with Satellite Internet

Busman's Holiday's Steve Wood (formerly a Low End Mac contributor) notes that if you live in an area where dial-up has been your only option for Internet service, the commercials for satellite Internet may look pretty attractive, promising quick online access to web pages, photos, and videos at an affordable price.

Wood lives in a rural area of Indiana where dial-up and satellite were the only options until recently, since they're also in a cell phone dead zone, so accessing the Net via an iPhone, iPad, or other similar device wasn't an option. Consequently, he's been a satellite Internet customer since January 2008 and notes that while service is usually considerably faster than dialup, it falls far short of true broadband - even low-end DSL or other broadband packages - with choppy videos, VoIP impossible, and horribly sluggish upload speeds.

That was in good weather, with snow and rain fade plaguing connection reliability, not to mention deliberate throttling when close to the account's bandwidth limit, with the only recourse being to upgrade to a $99/month premium package. There were also unexplained outages during bright, sunny weather, possibly due to demand outstripping bandwidth.

Wood concludes that if you have no other options and are willing to eat the exorbitant cost, satellite Internet service is better than a dialup connection (other than for reliability), but be aware that you'll be paying way too much for rather slow and unreliable service that possibly still requires a dial-up backup.

Converting Email from Eudora

TidBITS' Adam C. Engst, a longtime Eudora fan, says he's been writing about how to convert email out of Eudora for several years now. Throughout that time, he's been using Gmail, yet after 18 years of using Eudora, he couldn't just quit cold turkey. Much as he likes Gmail, there are certain things it can't do that Eudora could, and then there were the hundreds of thousands of messages he had stored in his local Eudora Folder, the need to send bulk messages (such as notifications of DealBITS drawing winners) - Engst says he can't imagine Gmail allowing a message with 900 recipients - and retrieving the occasional old message from years in the past.

However, the loss of Rosetta PowerPC emulation in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has forced the issue. Eudora is a literal nonstarter in Lion, so it was time for permanent workarounds, the stickiest issue being that Engst's Eudora Folder has somewhere approaching 1 million messages and thousands of attachments stored in over 600 nested mailboxes, some dating back 18 years, posing a significant challenge for import tools.

Engst considers the pros and cons of Mail, Thunderbird/Eudora OSE, MailForge, Gmail, MailSteward, Mail Archiver X, Eagle Filer, DEVONthink Pro Office, Eudora Mailbox Cleaner, and several other programs to replace Eudora and/or handle his huge archive.

27" Thunderbolt Displays Start to Ship

ZDNet's Jason D. O'Grady reports that Apple appears to have begun shipping its new $999 27" Thunderbolt Displays to stores this week, giving hope to impatient customers who've been waiting almost two months for the new monitor, although he says there haven't been any reports of the new displays actually arriving in customers hands just yet.

New-in-Box Vintage Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh Sold on eBay

20th Anniversary Mac
20th Anniversary Mac.

A rare vintage collectible item, a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (also known as TAM) that is still sealed in its original box has shown up on eBay eBay.

This model was released by Apple in 1997 and sold for $7,500. Finding a brand new one in packaging that has never been opened is exceedingly rare.

20th Anniversary Mac in original box
20th Anniversary Mac in original box.

As described by the seller, only the interior accessory box that holds the remote control battery has been inspected in order to remove those batteries in the interest of protecting the rest of the system from battery deterioration damage. The rest of the computer and all other components are claimed to be brand new and sealed as originally shipped from the manufacturer. Also included are framed copies of the original purchase receipts for the perspective new owner.

Heralded as a celebration of Apple's 20th anniversary, the TAM was first announced at Macworld Expo San Francisco on January 7, 1997, with a release date of late Spring 1997 and pegged at an original retail price of $7,499 - expensive even then. The TAM's design radically deviated from other personal computers in an era when personality-less beige boxes dominated in the PC world, including most desktop Apple models, with few exceptions to the conventional "box with monitor" form factor configuration. By contrast, the TAM featured a metallic green/gold paint, and was equipped with one of the first desktop based LCD displays, in a 2.5" deep enclosure. Although its logic board was one of the only unique internal components, the exterior was designed to represent a state-of-the-art futuristic vision of where personal computing could eventually take us, and arguably it does share some analogical design nuances with today's Apple iMac desktop models.

Considered to be at the cutting edge of industrial design at its time, the system was Apple's legendary product designer Jonathan Ive's first major project for the company. It featured a separate Bose subwoofer, keyboard with leather palm rest, a detachable mouse, and a flat screen display, even though it was designed and released more than 14 years ago. Rumor has it that some of the original 20th Anniversary Macs were delivered to their buyers via limousine service.


YouTube clip of Jonathan Ive discussing the Twentieth Century Macintosh.

TAM prototype used in Batman and Robin
A TAM prototype appeared in Batman and Robin.

This forward thinking Ive design also made several appearances during it's original release in 1997. It's sleek and futuristic shape was even featured in the entertainment world and considered way ahead of its time in making cameos on Seinfeld, Friends, The Pretender, and Batman & Robin.

The auction closed Sept. 07, 2011 with a winning bid of $7,300.

How I Tune Up My Vintage Macs

System Folder's Riccardo Mori notes that there are people who like to push their vintage Macs to their limits, but his approach is slightly different, giving precedence to the user experience. Whatever the vintage, Mori insists that any Mac he acquires must be smooth to use.

His advice is to be conservative and refrain from installing the last OS version your vintage Mac is theoretically able to run. He says that the point, for him, is "what can be done today with a vintage Mac's original processing power?" and that keeping things balanced (e.g., refraining from installing a Mac OS version or other software that is too memory- or resource-hungry) will ensure a pleasant user experience overall with any vintage Mac.

Publisher's note: This is sound advice. For instance, any 8 MHz Mac is going to feel sluggish running System 7, and pre-PowerPC Macs will be more sluggish using ATM and/or TrueType fonts instead of bitmapped ones. The list could go on, but the best experience usually comes from trading some new features for smoother performance. dk

Products & Services

Seagate First to Deliver 4 TB External Drive

Seagate GoFlex Desk external hard drivePR: Seagate is shipping a new 4 TB GoFlex Desk external hard drive - the highest capacity hard drive in the industry. This latest addition to Seagate's GoFlex Family of external hard drives showcases a streamlined industrial design that delivers a smaller footprint and is purported to better reflect the aesthetic of today's office environments while still providing all of the benefits of previous GoFlex drive generations.

The new 4 TB GoFlex Desk drive is available now from seagate.com and will be available from select online retailers within the month for a manufacturers suggested retail price of $249.99. 1 TB, 2 TB, and 3 TB units are also to be offered in the same form factor starting at $109.99. The GoFlex Desk for Mac external drive features both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month.

Seagate GoFlex Desk external hard drive"Yet another industry first for Seagate, we have reached a new high-capacity in the 3.5" hard drive form factor. At Seagate, we are committed to pushing the limits for our customers and will continue to adapt and innovate our products based on customer needs," says Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Retail products for Seagate. "This latest GoFlex Desk drive offering, with its new industry-leading capacity point, is a statement of our continued commitment to meet consumer needs."

As more of our entertainment and personal data become digitized, the significance of greater access to local storage becomes increasingly more valued. The new GoFlex Desk 4 TB drive has the space to contain over 2,000 HD movies, and comes at a time when people are archiving more of their memories in the form of digital photo and video.

"IDC foresees there being an increase in global demand for personal storage capacity driven by the growing creation and acquisition of digitized videos, photos and music," comments Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC.

Debuted in May of 2010, Seagate's award-winning GoFlex Family of hard drives provide an alternative approach to external storage solutions by allowing users to change interface adapters to stay current with the latest in interface technology. With USB 3.0 still undergoing adoption and the emergence of Thunderbolt technology in the coming months, the GoFlex adapter concept has been proven as an idea that works and Seagate plans to continue with this design for future iterations of the company's external hard drives. The GoFlex drives are also Windows and Mac OS X compatible and have the flexibility to go between both operating systems. In addition to cross-platform compatibility, the GoFlex Desk drive can also be utilized with the GoFlex Home adapter if one chooses to use it as a network drive.

Whether you have a PC or a Mac computer, or if you go back and forth between the two, you can access and save files on the same portable hard drive anytime without reformatting (note however that reformatting to HFS+ is required to use backup software for Mac or Time Machine software).

With the preloaded back up software, the GoFlex Desk external drive provides automatic, continuous back with encryption for all your files. The included USB 3.0 adapter also works with USB 2.0 ports making it easy to connect to your Windows or Mac computer. The adapter also features an illuminated gauge to display available space on the drive.

System requirements

  • Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (32-bit & 64-bit) operating system or Mac OS X operating system 10.4.9 or higher
  • USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
  • For the USB 3.0 interface: SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (required for USB 3.0 transfer speeds or backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports at USB 2.0 transfer speeds).
  • Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system

$109.99 - $249.99

Magma Announces 3-Slot PCI Express Expansion Chassis for Thunderbolt

PR: Magma, a developer of PCI Express connectivity products, introduces ExpressBox 3T, an expansion chassis with three PCIe slots and a lightning fast connection through Thunderbolt.

Magma ExpressBox 3TMagma's ExpressBox 3T, their first Thunderbolt to PCI Express expansion chassis, will be revealed at Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco (Sept 13-15). ExpressBox 3T provides an 'outside-the-box' solution for using PCIe cards with Thunderbolt-equipped computers. High-performance flows are possible by connecting a Thunderbolt equipped computer to a Magma ExpressBox 3T containing PCIe cards such as video capture, media transcoding, audio processing, and fast data storage. And because Thunderbolt is also based on DisplayPort technology, you can daisy chain a high-resolution display with your Magma ExpressBox 3T.

Magma's ExpressBox 3T provides an easy, rock solid migration path to newer and faster computers while protecting the customers investment in specialized PCI Express peripherals made for video capture and edit, broadcast video, pro audio, communications, data acquisition and more.

Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt is a high-speed I/O technology running at 10 Gbps per channel that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. High performance workflows are possible by connecting a Thunderbolt equipped computer to a Magma ExpressBox 3T containing PCIe cards for video capture, media transcoding, audio processing, and fast data storage. And because Thunderbolt is also based on DisplayPort technology, a high-resolution display can be daisy chained with your Magma ExpressBox 3T.

"ExpressBox 3T is the first Magma expansion product specifically made for Thunderbolt-equipped computers. Now, with Thunderbolt technology, mobile, and all-in-one customers have easy access to the fastest I/O technology available today," says Randy Jones, CEO and President at Magma. "ExpressBox 3T is a must-have expansion solution for media creators. Magma retains its leadership position by continuing to introduce cutting edge technology for media production and other computing professionals."

ExpressBox 3T is encased in an anodized silver chassis with three PCIe 2.0 slots, a cooling fan, a 220W internal power supply, and travel bag for easy transportation. ExpressBox 3T and up to six Thunderbolt devices can be daisy-chained including Thunderbolt and DisplayPort displays. Magma is actively working with development partners such as Apple, Avid, AJA, Red, ATTO, Fusion-io and Promise Technology to validate application performance with ExpressBox 3T in broadcast video and pro audio environments.

For more information about Magma products, call (800) 285-8990 or (858) 530-2511 or visit magma.com.

OWC's $249 Twice-as-Fast-as-Factory Solid State Drive for Mid 2011 iMacs

OWC Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program for the Mid 2011 iMacPR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced a lower starting cost for installation of a 6 Gb/s SSD via the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program for the Mid 2011 Apple iMac. Starting from less than half the cost of factory SSD options, the OWC program gives Mid 2011 iMac owners/buyers the option of having OWC install up to three award winning, SandForce Driven OWC Mercury 6G Solid State Drives up to 480 GB each and with data rates over 2x faster than factory SSD options. Program options also include a larger capacity hard drive up to 3.0 TB and certified Memory Upgrades up to 32 GB. 27" iMac owners also have the option of OWC installing the industry's only eSATA interface and experience data transfer rates up to 600 MB/s. OWC's installation service program offers multiple configuration options starting at $169 with a 48 business hours or less installation turnaround.

OWC Options Create a Better Than Factory Built 2011 iMac

Owners of a 2011 iMac can experience the following benefits from the OWC Upgrade Program and enjoy a superior performing iMac than what is available direct from the factory:

  • Over Twice As Fast & Double The Capacity Solid State Drive: OWC Mercury 6G SSDs offer capacities up to 480 GB, up to nearly double the capacity than the single factory 256 GB SSD option, and offer read/write speeds in excess of 550 MB/s over twice the performance than the factory 3G speed limited SSDs. Support for a RAID-0 configuration allows data rates of up to 1 GB/s (1000 MB/s), nearly four times the data performance vs. factory options in available multi-SSD configurations. Depending on other options selected, up to three OWC Mercury 6G SSDs can be installed for a total of up to 1.44 TB SSD capacity.
  • More Main Bay Storage Configuration Options: iMac owners requiring more storage capacity than the factory stock 500 GB - 1.0 TB hard drive can have OWC replace it with up to a 3.0 TB drive for up to 6X greater platter based storage. Or, instead of a traditional hard drive, OWC can add an additional OWC Mercury 6G SSD with up to 480 GB capacity to the 3.5" drive bay.
  • Additional & Lower Cost Memory Options Than Factory: OWC can add up to 4X the factory maximum installed RAM with the OWC RAM 32 GB option. Or, select from other OWC Memory Upgrade options providing 8 GB total RAM starting from $80. For iMac owners only seeking a memory upgrade, OWC Memory Kits for the 2011 iMac are also available with savings up to 77% compared to factory upgrades and come backed by OWC's free installation videos and lifetime support.
  • Only eSATA Interface Option Offered For iMac: With fast data transfer rates up to 600 MB/s, OWC's external eSATA port option for the 2011 27" iMac lets users take advantage of plentiful and affordable eSATA external drives for data backups and transfers at up to 6X faster than the built in FireWire 800 interface.

"The goal of our Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program for iMacs is to offer customers the most comprehensive choices and support available for a better than new iMac ownership experience," says Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "Lowering the cost to get into a 6 Gb/s SSD increases the opportunity for more iMac owners to unleash the full capability of these exceptional machines while applying those savings to adding more RAM or a larger hard drive to further maximize their iMac's potential."

The Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program for 2011 Apple iMac is available for immediate ordering. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the program, OWC has created an easy to follow FAQ.

Software

QuickBooks for Mac 2012 Saves Small Businesses Time with a Lion Experience

PR: Small businesses can find more ways to save time with a Mac experience they expect in the latest release of QuickBooks financial software from Intuit Inc.

QuickBooks for Mac 2012 offers more than 50 new features and enhancements that give small businesses faster access to important information and simplify critical business tasks. The product becomes available on Sept. 26.

"As more and more small businesses adopt Macs, we see increased adoption of QuickBooks for Mac," says Dan Wernikoff, senior vice president and general manager of Intuits Financial Management Solutions division. In response, we've recommitted ourselves to making the product even better. With Apple's new Lion OS, we focused on a simple, elegant and easy to use native experience, while continuing to add new features that save small businesses time."

Faster Access to Important Information

For small businesses, having instant access to important data when and where they need it can mean the difference in getting paid on time or overlooking money owed by a customer. QuickBooks for Mac 2012 makes it intuitive and fast to find needed information with features such as:

  • Improved Search: Use keywords to find items such as customer or vendor contacts, transactions, amounts and dates. Apply filters to refine search results or save searches for future reference.
  • Customer and Vendor History Panels: Get an at-a-glance view of customer details, such as open balances and notes, right next to open invoices. Small businesses can now complete transactions and answer customer questions quickly and easily.
  • Transaction List: Browse and sort forms by date, customer name or other criteria while entering invoices, expenses and sales receipts. With all the information at ones fingertips, it eliminates the need to flip through past transactions one by one.

"The new search feature is powerful. It helps me instantly track down specific transactions, customer contacts, reports you name it," says Christine Holzmann of CH Graphic Designs, LLC in Peachtree City, Ga. "With the intuitive functionality of Spotlight or Google, search will save me a lot of time finding what I'm looking for in QuickBooks."

Simplified Multistep Tasks

Saving small businesses steps on common, repetitive tasks saves more than time. It helps to reduce bookkeeping errors. New features in QuickBooks for Mac 2012 simplify key multistep tasks, including:

  • Batch Online Banking Transactions: Import multiple transactions from bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks at once. Automatically create smart rules to match payees downloaded from online banking accounts to QuickBooks names.
  • Progress Invoicing: Easily create multiple invoices from a single estimate to bill for a project over time. Invoice by line item or by percentage of job estimates and easily track invoice details.

"The batch entry feature for online banking transactions saves me valuable time spent entering and renaming transactions one-by-one and it saves me from making errors in the process," says George Qualley of Qualley and Bleyhl, P.L.C. in Des Moines, Iowa. "By expediting transaction entry in a foolproof way, QuickBooks gives me more time to focus on running my law firm."

Get Up and Running Fast

In addition to adding timesaving features, the 2012 release makes getting started easier than ever for small businesses new to QuickBooks. With the introduction of the Get Started Right program, QuickBooks for Mac 2012 users receive one hour of free technical phone support with a QuickBooks expert.

QuickBooks for Mac 2012 is scheduled to be available for purchase directly from Intuit or by calling 888-729-1996 beginning Sept. 26. It is expected to be available at Apple retail stores, Apple.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Costco.com, Fry's, MacZones, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples on Oct 9.

Suggested retail prices are:

  • 1-User: $229.95
  • 2-User: $439.95
  • 3-User: $599.95

Additional seats can be purchased for $209.95 each.

Celtx Free Project Organizer and Text Editor

PR: Celtx is described by its developer as the world's first all-in-one media preproduction project management system for media creators and writers, replacing 'paper & binder' preproduction with a digital approach that's more complete, simpler to work with, and easier to share.

Celtx helps you produce all types of media film, video, documentary, theatre, novels, machinima, comics, advertising, video games, music video, radio, podcasts, and however else you choose to tell your story.

You can use Celtx for the entire production process write scripts, storyboard scenes and sequences, sketch setups, develop characters, breakdown & tag elements, schedule productions, and prepare and circulate informative reports for cast and crew.

Fully Integrated

Celtx is designed to help your entire production team work together on a single, easy to share project file eliminating the confusion of multiple project files, and the need for 'paper and binder'.

The Complete Media Preproduction System

Celtx on your desktop delivers the most fluid writing experience you can always keep your fingers moving as fast as your thoughts and your creative flow is never interrupted. Celtx Studios makes it simple to share projects, manage workflow, and securely store your work. And Celtx Script for the iPhone/iPad lets you write on the move, and sync scripts with your desktop and your Studio.

Nonlinear Project Development

Celtx puts a choice of fully integrated development tools right at your fingertips, giving you total flexibility to determine how your story takes shape.

More than 1,000,000 media creators in 170 countries create with Celtx in 30 different languages. Celtx is used by independent filmmakers and studio professionals, and by students in over 1,800 universities and film schools many that have adopted Celtx for teaching and class work submission.

Writing Tools

Celtx includes five dedicated industry standard editors for writing:

  • Screenplay
  • Stageplay - International and US standard
  • AV scripts - including documentaries, music videos and advertising.
  • Audio Play - including radio plays and podcasts.
  • Comic Book
  • Novel

Celtx includes the essential features that writers need to keep their fingers moving - like intuitive formatting, text autocomplete, page breaks, dual column dialog, scene management, scratchpad, embedded notes, title page generation, pagination, printing, spellchecker, keyboard shortcuts, find and replace, script importing and exporting, PDF and HTML script reports, and collaboration.

  • Text Lock - The Text Lock feature enables a writer to lock a script from further text editing, while still allowing others with whom they share the project to continue working. This can be used to protect a script while it is being marked up and broken down for production. The script can be locked and unlocked as many times as needed.
  • Revision Mode - Revision mode provides writers with the ability to lock scenes when editing a script that is in production. The feature supports the Hollywood standard A and B scene nesting, an innovative numeric mode, plus the ability to create your own unique nesting style template. A 'Fix' feature can be used to manually change any scene nesting. Revision mode also enables edits to be colour coded to help keep track of changes made between revisions or by different writers.
  • Adapt To - With a single click Adapt To converts any fully formatted script of one type into a fully formatted script of another - for example, a Stageplay to a Screenplay - displaying in an instant the multimedia potential of your work.
  • TypeSet/PDF - TypeSet/PDF provides precise automatic formatting of your script to industry and international standards. The Celtx server uses the very powerful LaTex typesetting tool to deliver perfectly formatted scripts, which can be saved within the feature in PDF format. Full support is provided for optional formatting features like Mores and Continueds, scene numbering, dialog numbering and paper size.
  • Index Cards - Celtx includes reversible, colour coded Index Cards that are intelligently tied to your script and auto populate with the Scene Headers and first 40 words or so of the scene. You can flip the cards to type notes on the back, colour code them to track plot lines, and drag and drop them to reorder scenes.
  • Story Development Forms - Celtx helps you develop your story with preloaded forms for key elements like locations, scenes, props, characters, and 32 other production categories. You can use the forms to organize your thoughts and kick-start a media rich storyline that includes sound files, images and video clips. Celtx story development forms are intelligently tied into your script, informing the story and each scene with valuable production information.
  • Template Engine - If the default setting for a Celtx project doesn't fit your needs, you can create your own new, blank state Template that will only open the documents you want.

Pre-Visualization Tools

Storyboarding - Take your media project to the next level by adding a storyboard based on your script and adding individual or batch images in to the storyboard. Each storyboard image is accompanied with a shot description to help you communicate your creative vision. Rearrange images and sequences within the project to construct your visual narrative. Then when you're ready, use the slideshow feature to play the images to help pre-visualize your media project.

Sketch Tool - The Sketch tool can be used to add overhead camera and lighting setups to your projects. The Sketch tool includes preloaded icons for camera, lights and people that can be tagged with text, and tools for drawing lines, arrows, shapes and adding text. Plus, professional art packs of additional images (e.g. girl, boy, crowd, car, furniture/fixtures, etc.) can be purchased from the Celtx web site.

Media Rich Breakdowns

You can add sound files, video clips, digital photos and scanned documents to your project to create a media intensive breakdown. You can then associate the media with any one of the 36 production categories, including wardrobe, props, and locations.

Productivity Tools

  • Catalogs - Catalogs provide a way for you to organize and view the many production items and research details required in the preproduction stage of any media project. Each Celtx project includes a Master Catalog which auto-populates as you breakdown your script, ultimately providing a searchable dashboard view of all your story's elements and production items. Additional Sub-Catalogs can be created for specific production categories - like props, characters, and wardrobe.
  • External Documents - You can add any document from any application to your project - PDFs, budget spreadsheets, images, and scripts written in other applications - to help stay organized.
  • Scheduling, Call Sheets and Shooting Reports - Celtx includes a 'Just In Time' Scheduling feature that lets you manage your projects in real time. Open a schedule based on your script and drag and drop scenes to the calendar to build your shooting schedule. Generate customizable Shooting Reports to keep track of the resources you'll need during shooting, including lists of props, actors, and wardrobe items. Create Call Sheets to ensure your crew knows where and when to show up for the shoot.
  • Inter-Project Document Management - You can also drag and drop documents between projects. Grab a document from one Project Library and drop it in to another Project Library and you're done.

Add-Ons

You can customize Celtx with add-on tools.

Customization helps you increase productivity and be more creative.

  • Celtx Studios offer a feature-rich toolset to simplify and improve the collaboration and workflow process.
  • Share projects quickly and easily.
  • Store every project, every version, and every file.
  • Manage team workflow.
  • Sync scripts with your iPad/iPhone.
  • Access projects from any computer.
  • Privately preview projects on the web.
  • Chat online with other Studio members.
  • Personalize your studio with logos and backgrounds.

Standard Celtx is free desktop software. Celtx Plus, which includes Pro Add-Ons, is $14.99.

TenFourFox 6.0.1 PowerPC Port of Firefox 6

TenFourFoxPR: TenFourFox 6.0.1 is now available and is equivalent to Firefox 6.0.1, repairing the issue with fraudulent SSL certificates released by DigiNotar. Users should note that all previous versions of TenFourFox are vulnerable to these certificates, so you are strongly urged to upgrade. There are no other changes to this version, and as such, there is no new changeset pack for builders (the old 6.0 one continues to apply to the current release repository).

Optimized versions of TenFourFox are available for PowerPC G3, G4/7400, G4/7450, and G5.

System requirements:

  • TenFourFox (hereafter "10.4Fx") requires a G3 Power Macintosh, Mac OS X 10.4.11, 100 MB of free disk space and 256 MB of RAM. 512 MB of RAM and a G4 or G5 processor is recommended. Video playback is likely to be poor on systems slower than 1.25 GHz; a G5 is recommended. Mac OS X 10.5.8 is supported.
  • Intel Macintoshes are not supported, but the G3 build is known to run under Rosetta in 10.5.8 and should run under Rosetta in Intel 10.4.11. It is not tested with Snow Leopard. 10.4Fx will not run under 10.7 Lion, as Lion does not support Rosetta and 10.4Fx is not a Universal binary.

Make sure you select the appropriate build for your Mac from the download page. The G3 version will run on any supported Macintosh, but it will not take advantage of the additional features of G4 or G5 processors. The G4 and G5 versions will not run correctly on a G3, and the G5 version will perform worse on non-G5 Macintoshes.

If you are using a G4, you should try to choose the correct version for your processor generation (7400 or 7450 "G4e") as performance may be impaired if you run the wrong one. If you don't know which G4 processor you have, the instructions posted in Which Version will tell you how to find out.

TenFourFox uses modified Firefox source code, rewritten to remain compatible with Mac OS X v10.4 and the Power Macintosh. It also contains specific optimizations and special features for PowerPC processors. For this reason, it is not exactly the same as Firefox. However, it is intended to be as compatible with it as possible, including most add-ons and most standard features. You can treat 10.4Fx as equivalent with Firefox 6.0 in most circumstances, with specific exceptions noted below.

Note that add-ons which require an Intel Macintosh will not work with TenFourFox, even if they are otherwise compatible with Firefox 6, and add-ons that require 10.5 Leopard may not be compatible with TenFourFox running on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, even if they are compatible with PowerPC.

TenFourFox no longer supports plugins or Flash

Plugins on PowerPC are of special concern because Mozilla is making updates to their plugin architecture which may require the plugins themselves to be updated, and there are certain difficult-to-correct bugs with them already on Tiger. Most importantly, Adobe Flash for PowerPC is no longer maintained and has known security risks that can crash or leak data, and QuickTime for Leopard will lose its own support with the release of OS X Lion. In addition, Flash 10.1 is rapidly becoming unsupported by many applications.

For Internet video, the developers strongly recommend the use of Perian and any of the available video download add-ons for Firefox.

For YouTube, they recommend MacTubes (see below). If you have a high-end G4 or G5, you can also use WebM for selected videos by visiting http://www.youtube.com/html5 and enabling HTML5 video. This will set a temporary cookie enabling browser-based video without Flash. You do not need a YouTube account for this feature, but you may need to periodically renew the cookie setting. Not all video is available in WebM.

MacTubes Free YouTube Video Player and Downloader Supports PowerPC

MacTubesPR: MacTubes is YouTube video player and downloader.

You can create playlists and download video files.

It is freeware.

System requirements

  • Only for Mac OS X.
  • Universal binary application supported PowerPC/Intel processor. (Maybe)
  • Mac OS X 10.4.2 or higher, including 10.5,10.6, and 10.7
  • Safari 2.0 or higher with Adobe Flash Player Plug-ins 9.0 or higher
  • Safari 4.0 or higher with QuickTime 7.6 or higher (for "Video Player/QuickTime Player")

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