Mac News Review

Saying Good-bye to Steve Jobs, Getting the Most Out of Apple Products, Safari Shortcomings, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.10.07

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

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.

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday, and the news spread quickly via traditional electronic media and contemporary social media. Twitter was awash with comments, people shared their feelings on Facebook, flowers and other memorials were placed at Apple Stores around the world, and we all felt the loss.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California. He attended school in Cupertino, California, graduated in 1972, and spent one semester at Reed College, although he continued to audit classes, including one on calligraphy. Jobs returned to California in 1974 and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with his friend Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak developed the Apple I computer in 1975, and he and Jobs cofounded Apple Computer in 1976. Jobs ran the Macintosh development team, which introduced graphical computing to the world with the first Mac in 1984. Jobs was forced out in 1985, founded NeXT Computer immediately thereafter, acquired Pixar in 1986, returned to Apple in 1996 and began reinventing the company.

Heres' to the crazy ones....

Highlights of his "second coming" at Apple include introducing the iMac in May 1998, the first Mac with Apple's high-speed FireWire port in January 1999, the iBook in July 1999, the Power Mac G4 in August 1999, iMovie in October 1999, iTunes in January 2001, and overseeing the transition to Mac OS X (based on NeXTstep and Unix, and first released in March 2001). He moved Apple into retail storefronts in May 2001, introduced the beautiful Power Mac G4 Cube in July 2001, took Apple in a new direction with the iPod in October 2001, rolled out the iTunes Music Store in April 2003, orchestrated the Mac's transition from PowerPC processors to Intel chips in 2006, unveiled the iPhone in January 2007, launched the iPhone App Store in July 2008, and put the iPad on sale in April 2010, kick starting the tablet computing revolution.

Job's investment in Pixar made him the largest shareholder in Disney when Disney purchased Pixar in 2006, and in the past year Apple has become the most valuable company on earth. To say that he changed the world is an understatement, and his focus on excellent design, the end-user experience, and detail created a legacy that will live on.

The Internet is full of articles about Steve Jobs, including several that we posted on Low End Mac yesterday. I have cherry picked four of the most significant ones - from his family, Apple, longtime friend Bill Gates, and President Obama - to share here without further comment.

- Dan Knight, publisher, Low End Mac

Remembering Steve Jobs on Low End Mac

Steve Jobs' Family

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

Apple Inc.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Bill Gates

I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

President Obama

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

News & Opinion

Apple Discontinues Boxed Software for Education Buyers

AppleInsider's Slash Lane reports that as part of Apple's strategy to encourage digital software purchases through its Mac App Store, the company has begun informing educational resellers that it will no longer offer most boxed software except "with limited exception".

Lane notes that when Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, virtually all of the company's retail software was declared "end of life", meaning it would no longer be sold in physical form at stores, including iWork '09, Aperture 3 and iLife '11, and that the education store recently received its final shipment of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the last operating system by Apple to be distributed on disc.

Safari Lingers on as Second-Rate Browser

The Mac Observer's John Martellaro observes that most of us want the very best Web browser, and that regrettably, the largest, most successful company in the world, Apple, has flubbed it with Safari, failing to gain customer traction while Google's Chrome from has continued its stellar ascendance.

Martellaro suggests that Apple may have been able to rationalize that Safari, primarily focused on Apple customers, would never achieve a large market share because the Mac only has about 10 percent of it, but then the reason Apple ported Safari to Windows was to show the PC world what a better life could be like using Apple products, and that hasn't worked out. Instead, Google has stolen the hearts of PC and Mac users, even carving a chunk out of MS Internet Explorer and Firefox, so clearly Google is doing something right and Apple is, well, limping along with Safari, and seems to have shot itself in the foot with again with Safari 5.1.

John speculates that part of the problem may be that Safari is overburdened with too much Apple agenda, which currently and unhappily seems to be focused on dumbing down . . . er . . . simplifying software user interfaces in convergence with its mobile iOS conventions (an example being Apple's dumb-down of the cookie display in version 5.1), and observes that users who want their browser to be the best on the planet, the fastest, most secure, most stable, couldn't care less less about Apple forcing Lion gestures down their throats.

Publisher's note: For the longest time, Firefox was the most popular browser among visitors to Low End Mac. Although it took second place to Safari on Macs and Internet Explorer (IE) on Windows, the cross-platform browser had more users overall. Chrome has taken a bite out of Safari and IE share - and a bigger bite out of the Firefox share - to the point that Safari was #1 among site visitors in September, followed by Firefox, then Chrome, and then IE. Although Safari (like IE) may not be the best or most cutting-edge browser, enough people find it good enough to keep using it. (I'm in the minority using Camino, a Mac-specific port of Firefox, as my default browser, and despite improvements to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, I keep going back to Camino on my Macs.) dk

Top 5 Browsers Viewing Low End Mac by Operating System, Sept. 2011

  • Overall: Safari (40.06%), Firefox (25.21%), Chrome (17.11%), Internet Explorer (13.17%), Opera (1.17%)
  • Mac: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Camino, Opera
  • Windows: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  • Linux: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  • iOS: Safari, Mozilla Compatible Agent, Opera Mini
  • Android: Android Browser, Opera Mini, Opera, Firefox

Going Vintage: How and Why to Start Using Mac OS 9 Software

AppStorm's Adam Williams notes that despite the public funeral Steve Jobs gave for Mac OS 9 back in 2002, it is still being used and even developed for, with users attracted to its speed, unique UI, and, most importantly, the untold wealth of applications that have never made the leap to OS X.

Williams observes that if you've only become familiar with Apple computers since the debut OS X, as he did, you may be forgiven for having no idea about this rich software history that is just waiting to be explored. He's posted a thoroughgoing introduction to Mac OS 9 and how you can get started using it. He says he's come to realize that even the oldest of Macs can be useful and attract talented enthusiasts hell-bent on keeping the machines capable of productivity in a post-Internet world - but why go so low as OS 9?

He explains that beyond the fact that its simply good geeky fun to have a play with older systems and software, there's actually a lot of compelling software available for OS 9 - myriad word processing applications, graphics apps, music software, task management and number crunching tools, plus one particular area where OS 9 excels that may surprise you: retro-gaming, with countless titles to have fun with, such as X-Plane 6, Caesar I, II & III, Another World, Descent and more.

And then there's abandonware....

Publisher's note: This is Low End Mac, and we love reading stuff like this. I know of people who love using an old Mac Plus with System 6 on a floppy drive as a quiet (no cooling fan, no hard drive noise) writing machine, people using Quadra AV Macs to add text and graphics overlays to video, people using ancient NuBus Macs because of some specialty add-on card, and people who just keep using whatever aging Mac they have because they don't see any need for something newer or faster. New is great, but old has its place. dk

Products & Services

Mac Expert Shares Tips on Getting the Most Out of Apple Products

PR: Jonathan Zschau is not your average Mac enthusiast. He is a Boston-based attorney, a consumer rights advocate, a regular columnist for a popular Mac blog site Cult of Mac, and author of the new book Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You To Know.

Two years ago Zschau got Apple to agree to replace his MacBook with a brand new model - free of charge. In his new book he shares what he has learned about how consumers can get what they need and want from Apple.

It's a little-known secret, he says, but you have the ability to make Apple bend over backwards for you. The onus is on you, the consumer, to make it happen. It's your job to be an informed and proactive consumer advocate for your own interests and rights.

The book covers a multitude of Mac situations including:

  • How to save money, time, and headaches when things go wrong
  • Selecting your first Mac: Choosing what's right for you
  • Saving the most money when buying a Mac
  • How to spot defects immediately and get them repaired before it's too late
  • Getting Apple to repair or replace your Mac free of charge when it's defective
  • Making the most of your Mac's warranty and AppleCare
  • What to do if Apple sells you a lemon
  • How to get killer customer service at the Genius Bar

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You to Know is a savvy buyers guide to owning Apple products. Whether choosing a Mac for the first time or trying to get an old one repaired or replaced, this is the essential insiders guide to Mac ownership.

From purchasing tips and explanations of hardware to secrets of dealing with customer service, this insightful book shows how to select and maintain a Mac that best suits your needs and how to take full advantage of Apple's policies and procedures should anything go wrong. Also included are sections on how to recycle, donate, or dispose of your Mac, how to detect and properly articulate product defects, and how to make the most of consumer rights.

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You to Know
Jonathan Zschau
ISBN-10: 0983107009
ISBN-13: 978-0983107002
Kindle Edition File Size 1900 KB
Print Length 85 pages
Publisher Cultomedia Corp.

How to Find Nearly Anything in Linux

PR: One of the biggest challenges we face in using Linux and Unix [Mac OS X is Unix at its core - and you can run Linux on PowerPC and Intel Macs] on servers is how to find files or small strings of text lost in the labyrinthine file system of a server. "Where was that executable?" "PHPMailerHost? Where's that?"

Fortunately, most Linux (and Unix) systems provide two powerful tools for searching.

IT veteran Don R. Crawley says that you can almost always find anything you want in the file system with either the "find" or the "grep" commands. These are just two of the commands he explains in his new book, Tweeting Linux, 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less - a straightforward approach to learning Linux commands. Each command is first explained in 140 characters or less, then examples of usage are shown in screen captures, and finally more details are given when necessary to explain command usage. You'll see the most commonly used commands, plus a few gems you might not know about.

Written by a veteran IT trainer and Linux administrator, the book covers:

  • How to use rsync to synchronize files
  • Two tools for managing Apache Web servers
  • Four commands to query name servers
  • Four ways to get help
  • Four ways to install and manage software
  • The secret command that prevents even administrators from deleting a file
  • How to use diff to compare files
  • Seven ways to use "find" to search for files
  • The three steps to installing software from source code
  • The little-known Linux tool that combines ping and traceroute
  • How to create popup notices in the system tray

All information is presented in a straightforward style designed for everyday use by working system administrators.

The "find" utility does just what the name suggests: it finds things by filename, size, date modified, or any of a number of other searching options.

The "grep" tool is a reminder that there is a God, a kind and loving God. The grep command traces its roots back to a vi predecessor called "ed". The name is an acronym based on globally search (g) for a regular expression (re) and print (p) the output. With "grep", we can filter output to look for a specific text string or perhaps the absence of such a string.

"FIND"

  • "find /etc -name httpd.conf" will find the file named httpd.conf in the directory /etc
  • "find /home -user beatriceh" will find all files under the directory /home owned by user beatriceh
  • "find /etc -name "(*)conf"" will find all files under the directory /etc that end in conf
  • "find /var/log -mtime +30" will find all files under the directory /var/log that were modified more than 30 days ago
  • "find . -perm 644" will find files which have read and write permission for their owner, but read-only permission for their group and the world
  • "find -iname FindThisFile" will find all files, regardless of case, named "FindThisFile" in the current directory and subdirectories
  • "find ~ -empty" will find all empty files in your home directory and subdirectories
  • "find . -type f -exec ls -s {} \; | sort -n -r | head -5" will find the five largest files in the current directory and subdirectories

"GREP"

  • "grep -Hrn Skinner /home" will search for every instance of the text string "Skinner" in the home directory and print to standard output. The options Hrn tell grep to print the filename (H) for each match, search recursively (r) under each directory, and to prefix each line of output with the line number (n) within its input file
  • "ps aux | grep httpd" will pipe the output of "ps aux" into a grep filter to display only processes associated with the text string "httpd"
  • "grep - c "cfquery" form.cfm" will search through the file "form.cfm", count the number of instances of the text string "cfquery", and print the number to standard output

There are myriad options with both "find" and "grep". As usual, the man pages or your favorite search engine are your good friends.

Explore and experiment in your test system (You do have one, don't you?) and you'll discover many ways to use these two powerful tools to find nearly anything in Linux.

Tweeting Linux - 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less
By Don R. Crawley
List $30.00
308 Pages trade paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9836607-1-2

Also available as an ebook in Kindle format.

Published by soundtraining.net

Neato XV-11 Automated Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Neato XV-11PR: The Neato XV-11 is a smart, powerful robotic vacuum that does the dirty work of cleaning all types of floors and carpets automatically, while giving people more time to do the things they love. Unlike other robotic vacuums, it carefully avoids furniture, obstacles, pets and stairs, is a real vacuum - not a sweeper, and leaves a nicely-groomed pattern because it doesn't randomly bounce around.

The Neato XV-11 is a real vacuum cleaner, not a sweeper-vac. It uses the most powerful vacuum system with efficient air flow and suction to clean up dirt, dust, and pet hair. Press the big orange Start button and the Neato starts cleaning for you. Set the schedule, and the Neato automatically starts up and cleans for you while you are doing other things. It can automatically clean every day if you desire. When done cleaning, the Neato vacuum finds its charging base. Between uses, it will store itself on its charging base so that it will be ready for the next cleaning run.

Best of all, it works on all floor types - carpet, tile, hardwoods. It's right at home in your home, moving easily from rugs to wood to tile and back. It's one more way that the Neato XV-11 makes it easy for you to keep your floors clean.

Some of the innovative features and benefits of the Neato XV-11 automatic vacuum cleaner include:

  • Powerful suction: Designed as a true vacuum with a beater brush and the strongest suction available in any robotic vacuum cleaner.
  • Methodical cleaning: Come home to that "just cleaned" look. The Neato XV-11 cleans using smart path planning and a back and forth pattern, ensuring neat, clean homes.
  • Scuff-free navigation: The robot's laser-mapping technology constantly updates its internal map so it can accurately detect objects greater than four inches in height and carefully clean around them without damaging furniture and walls.
  • Low-profile access: The automatic vacuum cleaner's low profile (less than four inches high) allows it to clean under beds, sofas and kick boards in the kitchen.
  • Cleaning scheduler: With its easy-to-use interface, customers can schedule it to clean every day automatically, keeping homes neat and healthy and carpets well-groomed.
  • Easy to Use: Just press start and it cleans for you. Low maintenance design means you just need to empty the dirt bin between cleanings.
  • Charges Automatically: Finds its base when done cleaning or when batteries run low. Then finishes cleaning where it left off.
  • Dirt Bin: Largest dirt bin in a robotic vacuum - its easy to access and empty.
  • Obstacle Avoidance: Neato cleans carefully around furniture and along walls. Its sensors even detect stairs and avoids them.
  • Path Planning: Using the laser map, the robot plans how to most efficiently clean the room, using a straight-line back and forth pattern.

The Neato XV-11 retails for $399

Publisher's note: Okay, this has nothing to do with Macs, but it's nice to see Roomba getting some competition. dk

Software

DropCopy: Share Files Across Your Wired or WiFi Network

PR: Easily and quickly send files and folders to multiple destinations across your LAN by simply dragging files onto recipients in a popup window.

The easiest way to get things from one place to another quickly without dialogs, passwords, or confirmations, DropCopy is free for personal use (up to three machines on a network) and $25 for larger networks. Donations welcomed.

DropCopy is designed to function as intuitively as possible: Simply launch it on two or more Macs (or iOS devices) and wait for the dropzone to appear. Then drag a file to the dropzone and drop it on your chosen destination.

DropCopy can be used in several different scenarios.

  • Individuals with 1-3 devices can simply download the free version from either the App Store or from the DropCopy Web page.
  • Individuals or households with 1-10 devices must purchase the Pro version from the App Store, which is tied to an Apple ID. Every machine that is linked with that same Apple ID can download the pro version for no extra cost.
  • For large households or small businesses, a site license will cover an unlimited number of simultaneous devices. Note that a site license can not be purchased or applied via the App Store, but only via a link on the DropCopy site.

System Requirements:

  • Universal Binary
  • Rns on Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6

Create An Ad Hoc WiFi Network Using Your Mac

Instructions for creating an ad hoc WiFi network to share files between iOS devices and Macs without an external router

  • Turn AirPort off.
  • Open System Preferences -> Sharing and select Internet Sharing.
  • Under Share your internet from:, select Ethernet or whatever's available. Anything except AirPort.
  • Under To computers using, check AirPort
  • Click on the Internet Sharing checkbox to the left to turn sharing on.
  • Turn AirPort back on. Your MacBook is now, effectively, a WiFi router.
  • Go to your iPhone's Settings -> WiFi. It should be showing a Network name that reflects the name of your MacBook.
  • Sometimes it takes a few moments for the new network to show up.
  • Choose Connect.

This will establish a local area network (LAN) that includes the MacBook and the iPhone. If you run DropCopy on both, you'll be able to share files.

For more information about using DropCopy, check out the DropCopy Tips and DropCopy FAQ pages for lots of helpful solutions and tips.

Adobe Flash Player 11 for Mac OS X 10.6 and Later

PR: Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform browser-based application runtime that delivers uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers.

Flash Player is optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities, enabling richer and more immersive user experiences.

Mac OS X System requirements:

  • Mac OS X v10.6, Mac OS X v10.7
  • Intel Core Duo 1.33 GHz or faster processor
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 128 MB of graphics memory
    1. ATI Rage 128 GPU does not support fullscreen mode with hardware scaling.
    2. Recommended for GPU hardware acceleration dependent features. Flash Player will use software mode for systems that do not meet the system requirements.
  • Safari 5.0 and above, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 and above, Google Chrome (beginning with Flash Player 10.2, Flash Player is integrated as part of Google Chrome), or Opera 11

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

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

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

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

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

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

Favorite Sites

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

Affiliates

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

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link

Saying Good-bye to Steve Jobs, Getting the Most Out of Apple Products, Safari Shortcomings, and More

Mac News Review

Saying Good-bye to Steve Jobs, Getting the Most Out of Apple Products, Safari Shortcomings, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.10.07

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

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.

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday, and the news spread quickly via traditional electronic media and contemporary social media. Twitter was awash with comments, people shared their feelings on Facebook, flowers and other memorials were placed at Apple Stores around the world, and we all felt the loss.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California. He attended school in Cupertino, California, graduated in 1972, and spent one semester at Reed College, although he continued to audit classes, including one on calligraphy. Jobs returned to California in 1974 and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with his friend Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak developed the Apple I computer in 1975, and he and Jobs cofounded Apple Computer in 1976. Jobs ran the Macintosh development team, which introduced graphical computing to the world with the first Mac in 1984. Jobs was forced out in 1985, founded NeXT Computer immediately thereafter, acquired Pixar in 1986, returned to Apple in 1996 and began reinventing the company.

Heres' to the crazy ones....

Highlights of his "second coming" at Apple include introducing the iMac in May 1998, the first Mac with Apple's high-speed FireWire port in January 1999, the iBook in July 1999, the Power Mac G4 in August 1999, iMovie in October 1999, iTunes in January 2001, and overseeing the transition to Mac OS X (based on NeXTstep and Unix, and first released in March 2001). He moved Apple into retail storefronts in May 2001, introduced the beautiful Power Mac G4 Cube in July 2001, took Apple in a new direction with the iPod in October 2001, rolled out the iTunes Music Store in April 2003, orchestrated the Mac's transition from PowerPC processors to Intel chips in 2006, unveiled the iPhone in January 2007, launched the iPhone App Store in July 2008, and put the iPad on sale in April 2010, kick starting the tablet computing revolution.

Job's investment in Pixar made him the largest shareholder in Disney when Disney purchased Pixar in 2006, and in the past year Apple has become the most valuable company on earth. To say that he changed the world is an understatement, and his focus on excellent design, the end-user experience, and detail created a legacy that will live on.

The Internet is full of articles about Steve Jobs, including several that we posted on Low End Mac yesterday. I have cherry picked four of the most significant ones - from his family, Apple, longtime friend Bill Gates, and President Obama - to share here without further comment.

- Dan Knight, publisher, Low End Mac

Remembering Steve Jobs on Low End Mac

Steve Jobs' Family

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

Apple Inc.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Bill Gates

I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

President Obama

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

News & Opinion

Apple Discontinues Boxed Software for Education Buyers

AppleInsider's Slash Lane reports that as part of Apple's strategy to encourage digital software purchases through its Mac App Store, the company has begun informing educational resellers that it will no longer offer most boxed software except "with limited exception".

Lane notes that when Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, virtually all of the company's retail software was declared "end of life", meaning it would no longer be sold in physical form at stores, including iWork '09, Aperture 3 and iLife '11, and that the education store recently received its final shipment of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the last operating system by Apple to be distributed on disc.

Safari Lingers on as Second-Rate Browser

The Mac Observer's John Martellaro observes that most of us want the very best Web browser, and that regrettably, the largest, most successful company in the world, Apple, has flubbed it with Safari, failing to gain customer traction while Google's Chrome from has continued its stellar ascendance.

Martellaro suggests that Apple may have been able to rationalize that Safari, primarily focused on Apple customers, would never achieve a large market share because the Mac only has about 10 percent of it, but then the reason Apple ported Safari to Windows was to show the PC world what a better life could be like using Apple products, and that hasn't worked out. Instead, Google has stolen the hearts of PC and Mac users, even carving a chunk out of MS Internet Explorer and Firefox, so clearly Google is doing something right and Apple is, well, limping along with Safari, and seems to have shot itself in the foot with again with Safari 5.1.

John speculates that part of the problem may be that Safari is overburdened with too much Apple agenda, which currently and unhappily seems to be focused on dumbing down . . . er . . . simplifying software user interfaces in convergence with its mobile iOS conventions (an example being Apple's dumb-down of the cookie display in version 5.1), and observes that users who want their browser to be the best on the planet, the fastest, most secure, most stable, couldn't care less less about Apple forcing Lion gestures down their throats.

Publisher's note: For the longest time, Firefox was the most popular browser among visitors to Low End Mac. Although it took second place to Safari on Macs and Internet Explorer (IE) on Windows, the cross-platform browser had more users overall. Chrome has taken a bite out of Safari and IE share - and a bigger bite out of the Firefox share - to the point that Safari was #1 among site visitors in September, followed by Firefox, then Chrome, and then IE. Although Safari (like IE) may not be the best or most cutting-edge browser, enough people find it good enough to keep using it. (I'm in the minority using Camino, a Mac-specific port of Firefox, as my default browser, and despite improvements to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, I keep going back to Camino on my Macs.) dk

Top 5 Browsers Viewing Low End Mac by Operating System, Sept. 2011

  • Overall: Safari (40.06%), Firefox (25.21%), Chrome (17.11%), Internet Explorer (13.17%), Opera (1.17%)
  • Mac: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Camino, Opera
  • Windows: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  • Linux: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  • iOS: Safari, Mozilla Compatible Agent, Opera Mini
  • Android: Android Browser, Opera Mini, Opera, Firefox

Going Vintage: How and Why to Start Using Mac OS 9 Software

AppStorm's Adam Williams notes that despite the public funeral Steve Jobs gave for Mac OS 9 back in 2002, it is still being used and even developed for, with users attracted to its speed, unique UI, and, most importantly, the untold wealth of applications that have never made the leap to OS X.

Williams observes that if you've only become familiar with Apple computers since the debut OS X, as he did, you may be forgiven for having no idea about this rich software history that is just waiting to be explored. He's posted a thoroughgoing introduction to Mac OS 9 and how you can get started using it. He says he's come to realize that even the oldest of Macs can be useful and attract talented enthusiasts hell-bent on keeping the machines capable of productivity in a post-Internet world - but why go so low as OS 9?

He explains that beyond the fact that its simply good geeky fun to have a play with older systems and software, there's actually a lot of compelling software available for OS 9 - myriad word processing applications, graphics apps, music software, task management and number crunching tools, plus one particular area where OS 9 excels that may surprise you: retro-gaming, with countless titles to have fun with, such as X-Plane 6, Caesar I, II & III, Another World, Descent and more.

And then there's abandonware....

Publisher's note: This is Low End Mac, and we love reading stuff like this. I know of people who love using an old Mac Plus with System 6 on a floppy drive as a quiet (no cooling fan, no hard drive noise) writing machine, people using Quadra AV Macs to add text and graphics overlays to video, people using ancient NuBus Macs because of some specialty add-on card, and people who just keep using whatever aging Mac they have because they don't see any need for something newer or faster. New is great, but old has its place. dk

Products & Services

Mac Expert Shares Tips on Getting the Most Out of Apple Products

PR: Jonathan Zschau is not your average Mac enthusiast. He is a Boston-based attorney, a consumer rights advocate, a regular columnist for a popular Mac blog site Cult of Mac, and author of the new book Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You To Know.

Buying and Owning a MacTwo years ago Zschau got Apple to agree to replace his MacBook with a brand new model - free of charge. In his new book he shares what he has learned about how consumers can get what they need and want from Apple.

It's a little-known secret, he says, but you have the ability to make Apple bend over backwards for you. The onus is on you, the consumer, to make it happen. It's your job to be an informed and proactive consumer advocate for your own interests and rights.

The book covers a multitude of Mac situations including:

  • How to save money, time, and headaches when things go wrong
  • Selecting your first Mac: Choosing what's right for you
  • Saving the most money when buying a Mac
  • How to spot defects immediately and get them repaired before it's too late
  • Getting Apple to repair or replace your Mac free of charge when it's defective
  • Making the most of your Mac's warranty and AppleCare
  • What to do if Apple sells you a lemon
  • How to get killer customer service at the Genius Bar

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You to Know is a savvy buyers guide to owning Apple products. Whether choosing a Mac for the first time or trying to get an old one repaired or replaced, this is the essential insiders guide to Mac ownership.

From purchasing tips and explanations of hardware to secrets of dealing with customer service, this insightful book shows how to select and maintain a Mac that best suits your needs and how to take full advantage of Apple's policies and procedures should anything go wrong. Also included are sections on how to recycle, donate, or dispose of your Mac, how to detect and properly articulate product defects, and how to make the most of consumer rights.

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You to Know
Jonathan Zschau
ISBN-10: 0983107009
ISBN-13: 978-0983107002
Kindle Edition File Size 1900 KB
Print Length 85 pages
Publisher Cultomedia Corp.

How to Find Nearly Anything in Linux

PR: One of the biggest challenges we face in using Linux and Unix [Mac OS X is Unix at its core - and you can run Linux on PowerPC and Intel Macs] on servers is how to find files or small strings of text lost in the labyrinthine file system of a server. "Where was that executable?" "PHPMailerHost? Where's that?"

Fortunately, most Linux (and Unix) systems provide two powerful tools for searching.

IT veteran Don R. Crawley says that you can almost always find anything you want in the file system with either the "find" or the "grep" commands. These are just two of the commands he explains in his new book, Tweeting Linux, 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less - a straightforward approach to learning Linux commands. Each command is first explained in 140 characters or less, then examples of usage are shown in screen captures, and finally more details are given when necessary to explain command usage. You'll see the most commonly used commands, plus a few gems you might not know about.

Written by a veteran IT trainer and Linux administrator, the book covers:

  • How to use rsync to synchronize files
  • Two tools for managing Apache Web servers
  • Four commands to query name servers
  • Four ways to get help
  • Four ways to install and manage software
  • The secret command that prevents even administrators from deleting a file
  • How to use diff to compare files
  • Seven ways to use "find" to search for files
  • The three steps to installing software from source code
  • The little-known Linux tool that combines ping and traceroute
  • How to create popup notices in the system tray

All information is presented in a straightforward style designed for everyday use by working system administrators.

The "find" utility does just what the name suggests: it finds things by filename, size, date modified, or any of a number of other searching options.

The "grep" tool is a reminder that there is a God, a kind and loving God. The grep command traces its roots back to a vi predecessor called "ed". The name is an acronym based on globally search (g) for a regular expression (re) and print (p) the output. With "grep", we can filter output to look for a specific text string or perhaps the absence of such a string.

"FIND"

  • "find /etc -name httpd.conf" will find the file named httpd.conf in the directory /etc
  • "find /home -user beatriceh" will find all files under the directory /home owned by user beatriceh
  • "find /etc -name "(*)conf"" will find all files under the directory /etc that end in conf
  • "find /var/log -mtime +30" will find all files under the directory /var/log that were modified more than 30 days ago
  • "find . -perm 644" will find files which have read and write permission for their owner, but read-only permission for their group and the world
  • "find -iname FindThisFile" will find all files, regardless of case, named "FindThisFile" in the current directory and subdirectories
  • "find ~ -empty" will find all empty files in your home directory and subdirectories
  • "find . -type f -exec ls -s {} \; | sort -n -r | head -5" will find the five largest files in the current directory and subdirectories

"GREP"

  • "grep -Hrn Skinner /home" will search for every instance of the text string "Skinner" in the home directory and print to standard output. The options Hrn tell grep to print the filename (H) for each match, search recursively (r) under each directory, and to prefix each line of output with the line number (n) within its input file
  • "ps aux | grep httpd" will pipe the output of "ps aux" into a grep filter to display only processes associated with the text string "httpd"
  • "grep - c "cfquery" form.cfm" will search through the file "form.cfm", count the number of instances of the text string "cfquery", and print the number to standard output

There are myriad options with both "find" and "grep". As usual, the man pages or your favorite search engine are your good friends.

Explore and experiment in your test system (You do have one, don't you?) and you'll discover many ways to use these two powerful tools to find nearly anything in Linux.

Tweeting Linux - 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less
By Don R. Crawley
List $30.00
308 Pages trade paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9836607-1-2

Also available as an ebook in Kindle format.

Published by soundtraining.net

Neato XV-11 Automated Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

PR: The Neato XV-11 is a smart, powerful robotic vacuum that does the dirty work of cleaning all types of floors and carpets automatically, while giving people more time to do the things they love. Unlike other robotic vacuums, it carefully avoids furniture, obstacles, pets and stairs, is a real vacuum - not a sweeper, and leaves a nicely-groomed pattern because it doesn't randomly bounce around.

The Neato XV-11 is a real vacuum cleaner, not a sweeper-vac. It uses the most powerful vacuum system with efficient air flow and suction to clean up dirt, dust, and pet hair. Press the big orange Start button and the Neato starts cleaning for you. Set the schedule, and the Neato automatically starts up and cleans for you while you are doing other things. It can automatically clean every day if you desire. When done cleaning, the Neato vacuum finds its charging base. Between uses, it will store itself on its charging base so that it will be ready for the next cleaning run.

Neato XV-11Best of all, it works on all floor types - carpet, tile, hardwoods. It's right at home in your home, moving easily from rugs to wood to tile and back. It's one more way that the Neato XV-11 makes it easy for you to keep your floors clean.

Some of the innovative features and benefits of the Neato XV-11 automatic vacuum cleaner include:

  • Powerful suction: Designed as a true vacuum with a beater brush and the strongest suction available in any robotic vacuum cleaner.
  • Methodical cleaning: Come home to that "just cleaned" look. The Neato XV-11 cleans using smart path planning and a back and forth pattern, ensuring neat, clean homes.
  • Scuff-free navigation: The robot's laser-mapping technology constantly updates its internal map so it can accurately detect objects greater than four inches in height and carefully clean around them without damaging furniture and walls.
  • Low-profile access: The automatic vacuum cleaner's low profile (less than four inches high) allows it to clean under beds, sofas and kick boards in the kitchen.
  • Cleaning scheduler: With its easy-to-use interface, customers can schedule it to clean every day automatically, keeping homes neat and healthy and carpets well-groomed.
  • Easy to Use: Just press start and it cleans for you. Low maintenance design means you just need to empty the dirt bin between cleanings.
  • Charges Automatically: Finds its base when done cleaning or when batteries run low. Then finishes cleaning where it left off.
  • Dirt Bin: Largest dirt bin in a robotic vacuum - its easy to access and empty.
  • Obstacle Avoidance: Neato cleans carefully around furniture and along walls. Its sensors even detect stairs and avoids them.
  • Path Planning: Using the laser map, the robot plans how to most efficiently clean the room, using a straight-line back and forth pattern.

The Neato XV-11 retails for $399

Publisher's note: Okay, this has nothing to do with Macs, but it's nice to see Roomba getting some competition. dk

Software

DropCopy: Share Files Across Your Wired or WiFi Network

PR: Easily and quickly send files and folders to multiple destinations across your LAN by simply dragging files onto recipients in a popup window.

The easiest way to get things from one place to another quickly without dialogs, passwords, or confirmations, DropCopy is free for personal use (up to three machines on a network) and $25 for larger networks. Donations welcomed.

DropCopy is designed to function as intuitively as possible: Simply launch it on two or more Macs (or iOS devices) and wait for the dropzone to appear. Then drag a file to the dropzone and drop it on your chosen destination.

DropCopy can be used in several different scenarios.

  • Individuals with 1-3 devices can simply download the free version from either the App Store or from the DropCopy Web page.
  • Individuals or households with 1-10 devices must purchase the Pro version from the App Store, which is tied to an Apple ID. Every machine that is linked with that same Apple ID can download the pro version for no extra cost.
  • For large households or small businesses, a site license will cover an unlimited number of simultaneous devices. Note that a site license can not be purchased or applied via the App Store, but only via a link on the DropCopy site.

System Requirements:

  • Universal Binary
  • Rns on Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6

Create An Ad Hoc WiFi Network Using Your Mac

Instructions for creating an ad hoc WiFi network to share files between iOS devices and Macs without an external router

  • Turn AirPort off.
  • Open System Preferences -> Sharing and select Internet Sharing.
  • Under Share your internet from:, select Ethernet or whatever's available. Anything except AirPort.
  • Under To computers using, check AirPort
  • Click on the Internet Sharing checkbox to the left to turn sharing on.
  • Turn AirPort back on. Your MacBook is now, effectively, a WiFi router.
  • Go to your iPhone's Settings -> WiFi. It should be showing a Network name that reflects the name of your MacBook.
  • Sometimes it takes a few moments for the new network to show up.
  • Choose Connect.

This will establish a local area network (LAN) that includes the MacBook and the iPhone. If you run DropCopy on both, you'll be able to share files.

For more information about using DropCopy, check out the DropCopy Tips and DropCopy FAQ pages for lots of helpful solutions and tips.

Adobe Flash Player 11 for Mac OS X 10.6 and Later

PR: Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform browser-based application runtime that delivers uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers.

Flash Player is optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities, enabling richer and more immersive user experiences.

Mac OS X System requirements:

  • Mac OS X v10.6, Mac OS X v10.7
  • Intel Core Duo 1.33 GHz or faster processor
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 128 MB of graphics memory
    1. ATI Rage 128 GPU does not support fullscreen mode with hardware scaling.
    2. Recommended for GPU hardware acceleration dependent features. Flash Player will use software mode for systems that do not meet the system requirements.
  • Safari 5.0 and above, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 and above, Google Chrome (beginning with Flash Player 10.2, Flash Player is integrated as part of Google Chrome), or Opera 11

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

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

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

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

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

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

Favorite Sites

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

Affiliates

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

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link