Mac News Review

Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Update, Why OS X Is Best for Writers, Free Clipboard Manager, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.08.24

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.

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News & Opinion

Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Update

PR: OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.1 includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Resolve an issue that may cause Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quit
  • Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail
  • Address an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt display
  • Resolve an issue that could prevent iMessages from being sent
  • Address an issue that could cause the system to become unresponsive when using Pinyin input
  • Resolve an issue when connecting to SMB servers with long names
  • Address a issue that may prevent Safari from launching when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file
  • Improve 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentials.

For information on the security content of this update, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

File Size: 24.2 MB

System Requirements: OS X Mountain Lion v10.8

Publisher's note: The big question for MacBook users is will it improve battery life. We'll cover that in today's 'Book Review. dk

Why OS X Is Best for Writers

AppStorm's Matthew Guay says that while Macs are used by everyone from NASA to the White House yet can't shake the perception that they're designer goods - well-suited for creative types but not serious hardware for real business work - no matter how often they've been proven to be simply great computers for anyone who cares about a good computing experience.

However, Guay observes that perhaps because Macs really are so good for creatives, many little things make OS X a great writing platform, maintaining that it's the best OS for writers. He notes that notwithstanding the iOSification of OS X and increased emphasis on touch/gesture input in Lion and Mountain Lion, if anything, OS X remains the best OS for keyboard usage, with a vast array of keyboard shortcuts with ways to switch between apps and spaces to shortcuts to automate tasks and jump between words, lines, and more when editing text, plus contextual menus in most places you can type, the new Substitutions macro feature in Mountain Lion, proofing anywhere with OS X's built in spell check and dictionary, and much more.

Why Would You Not Update to OS X Mountain Lion?

Forbes' Wade Fulton says that being an Apple enthusiast, he installed OS X Mountain Lion almost the minute it hit the App Store and says he's loved every moment of his Mountain Lion experience and recommended the upgrade to all of his clients.

Fulton notes that users who have switched from PC to Mac and still have a bad taste in their mouth from Windows upgrades that wreaked havoc on their old PCs and seemed to do more to harm ones workflow than improve the overall user experience, are in for a nice surprise with Mountain Lion.

Fulton likens using a Mac instead of a Windows PC to driving a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or comparable high performance luxury automobile as opposed to a run-of-the-mill econobox. The Mac is just more fun to drive, simple, powerful, finely tuned, leaves you in charge, and works as an extension of you, and says that what's so awesome about Apple's OS upgrades is that they're incredibly affordable and make your Mac even better - like being able to buy a BMW and then continuing to get all of the new features they come out with every year for a few bucks instead of having to trade the car in for a new one.

Publisher's note: I have two answers to the question posed by this article's title. Some Mac users have hardware that does not support Mountain Lion, including a good percentage of OS X 10.7 Lion users, and some Mac users have chosen to remain at OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard because it remains compatible with PowerPC software and doesn't turn so many traditional Mac features on their head. (It's the last version of OS X not tainted by the success of iOS.) My 2007 Mac mini falls into the first category, and my software collection also puts me in the second. dk

Mountain Lion Gripe List

TUAW's Michael Grothaus says that he thinks OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is the best OS Apple has ever released, feeling like a completed version of what Mac OS X 10.7 Lion should have been - fast, clean, incorporating some more iOS concepts to OS X and that for the most part, it just works.

However, he has some some gripes about Mountain Lion, most minor and probably correctable in future updates. His list of Mountain Lion misdemeanors includes issues with Mail, Calendar, Safari, Notification Center, and more.

Products & Services

Logitech Unveils Washable, Ultra-Durable Keyboard

PR: Logitech has unveiled the latest entry in its line of PC keyboards, the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310. From a light dusting to a rinse in the kitchen sink, this keyboard is easy to clean and easy to dry. It's also designed for a comfortable typing experience with a familiar layout and sleek, thin profile.

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310Because life and its messes will happen, regardless of how careful you are, Logitech designed the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 to look and function like new, even over time.

The Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 can be hand-washed repeatedly, and can be submerged (with the exception of the USB cable) in up to 11 inches of water. Convenient drainage holes at the back of the keyboard allow for easy drying while key characters are laser printed and UV coated to help ensure the letters don't fade in the wash. Plus, the Logitech claims that the keys can last up to five million keystrokes, meaning this keyboard can take a pounding as well as a washing,

"We've all experienced that moment of distraction followed by panic, when a cup of coffee or a soda spills all over your keyboard," says Sophie Le Guen, senior director of mice and keyboards at Logitech. "Because life and its messes will happen, regardless of how careful you are, Logitech designed the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 to look and function like new, even over time."

Another matter that a washable keyboard helps address is germ vectoring with keyboards in multiple-user environments, health care settings, and such. Studies have consistently shown that computer keyboards are apt to have higher bacterial counts than typical toilet seats.

This full-size keyboard's contemporary design complements both your computer and your work space. It comes complete with F-keys and a number pad, and is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. With twelve hot keys for instant access to Internet, e-mail, play, volume and more, you can readily open your most-used applications with a single keystroke. To make life even easier, this keyboard requires no software for setup, simply pull the device straight out of the box, plug it in and type away.

The Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 is expected to be available in the US beginning in August and Europe beginning in October 2012, for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Publisher's note: This is not a Mac keyboard, but ever since OS X 10.4 Tiger shipped, you can go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse and select Keyboard, then click on Modifier Keys to map Option to Command and Command to Option. After that, the placement of the Option and Command keys will be what a Mac user expects. dk

Software

ClipMenu: Free Clipboard Manager for OS X 10.5 and Later

ClipMenuPR: The free utility ClipMenu can manage clipboard history. You can record 8 clipboard types, from plain text to image.

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

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

ClipMenu is a freeware/donationware.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later.
  • 64-bit support in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.
  • ClipMenu is a Universal binary, so it will run on Intel and PowerPC Macs.

Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player Brings Blu-ray to Mountain Lion

PR: Macgo has released its Mac Blu-ray Player updated to use with Apple's recently released OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. With 1080p playback, Mac Blu-ray Player can optimize UHD Blu-ray on your Retina Display while also offering the convenience of being able to support all media formats.

Mac Blu-ray Player

Macgo says its Mac Blu-ray Player is not only the first Blu-ray player for Mac OS, but claims it's also the best media player for both the Mac and PC platforms. It can support all Mac OS X versions from 10.5 to the latest 10.8, as well as all existing Mac models, including MacBook Pro, Air, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. Advanced technology lets Mac Blu-ray Player play any commercial Blu-ray disc/DVD released in any region.

This app can also function as an all-in-one media player with all media formats supported, including Blu-ray, DVD, VideoCD, MOV, MKV, AVI, FLV, WMV, MP4, MPEG, RMVB, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3, and even ISO format. YouTube fans can watch YouTube videos directly from within the player.

With OS X 10.8, Macs can work better with iPhone and iPad. In this case, Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player can stream Blu-ray movies from Mac to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch wirelessly with its build-in AirX function.

A full array of features makes Mac Blu-ray Player one of the most versatile media players on the market. In addition to SNS share on sites like Facebook and Twitter, the program is also boasts multi-language support, UHD audiovisual quality, lightning quick loading speed, and a user-friendly interface, making it a n ideal choice for those seeking UHD Blu-ray entertainment on Mac Mountain Lion OS.

System Requirements

  • OS Supported: Mac OS X 10.5+ to 10.8
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor or higher recommended
  • RAM: 512 MB RAM or more
  • 250 MB of free disk space.
  • An internal or external (USB 2.0 or FireWire) Blu-ray drive

Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player is available now at $39.95.

Publisher's note: Be sure to read Dan Bashur's review of Mac Blu-ray Player published in July. dk

You cand download a free trial version.

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