Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

How to get Sonos Desktop to work with OS X Lion

Do you have a Sonos and recently upgraded to Mac OS X Lion?  And, if your iTunes music library is stored on your Lion-based Mac, you can’t play your music, right?

I was in the same situation and here’s how I fixed it: I shared my iTunes Music folder by going to System Preferences –> Sharing.

Once I did that, everything worked.

Hope this works for you, too!


Filed under: How-To, iTunes, MacOSX, Music

Another PC user switches to the Mac

macbook.jpgWow, this week was an incredible week…my girlfriend (a PC user all her life) just decided to replace her Dell Latitude D620 (Core 2 Duo – 2.16Ghz) machine with the black MacBook (Core 2 Duo – 2.2Ghz). I think her experience speaks volumes about Mac OS X as well as the dedicated Mac applications…because it was a combination of the two that convinced her to switch.

Here’s the net of it, she needed to build a simple yoga website – Om Circle Yoga – (she’s a certified yoga instructor). I told her that I got this great web design software (RapidWeaver) from a MacUpdate promotional bundle back in December and that it would suite her needs perfectly. So, she gave it a shot and within a couple of hours, she learned how to use RapidWeaver, built her website, and launched it. Here’s the best part: after she launched her site, she commented on:

  1. How easy it was to learn and use RapidWeaver
  2. How easy and fun it was using Mac OS X (I’m running Tiger)

The interesting thing is that my girlfriend has used my Powerbook in the past for browsing the web and her impression was that it’s just another computer and does the same thing as a PC. The minute she did something on the Mac that was more than surfing the web or checking email she realized how much more productive she was on the Mac and began to appreciate what us Mac-heads/geeks have been raving about all these years.

So, big props goes to the folks at Realmac Software for making RapidWeaver such a great app and to the RapidWeaver community for building various add-ons…and, of course, to Apple, for making Mac OS X such a great operating system.

Filed under: Apple, Computers, Laptop, MacBook, MacOSX, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Software, Windows

Last day for the Macheist bundle

As of the time of this post, there is 23 hours left to buy the Macheist software bundle. You get 12 apps for $49. Two notable apps in the bundle are Snapz Pro X and Pixelmator. Hit it up at http://www.macheist.com.

(sorry for the short post but it was done on my iPhone via the mobile WordPress site)

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, MacOSX, Software

Get $600 worth of Mac software for $50

macupdate.jpgMacUpdate has another software bundle for sale and there are some really awesome applications in the bundle. In short, you get 10 applications for $50…but it’s offered for a limited time and expires in 7 days. I bought the bundle and would highly recommend them. So far, my favorites are Yep and RapidWeaver.

Here’s the skinny on the applications included in the bundle:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, Deals, MacOSX, Software

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Feature: Remote Desktop

leopard-2.pngOkay, this new feature has convinced me to upgrade to Leopard: Screen Sharing via iChat. In a nutshell, it’s a built-in remote desktop feature that doesn’t require any fiddling with your router or NAT settings. Why am I so excited about this feature? Because it will make my life SOOO much easier in troubleshooting and fixing issues on my Dad’s iMac. Yes, you can use VNC (which is what I’m currently using as my ‘family tech support’ tool) but it’s still a pain in the ass due to router config settings, telling my Mom or Dad to start the VNC server, etc.

Here’s the description from Apple’s site:

Instant Screen Sharing from the Finder

Start an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network. Just select the Mac from your sidebar and (if authorized) you can see and control the Mac as if you were right in front of it. Change a system preference, publish an iPhoto library, or add a new playlist to iTunes.

Truth be told, I haven’t tried Screen Sharing but it seems to ‘just work’ like almost everything else in the Mac ecosystem. GWhiz posted a video that shows how easy it is to use this new feature.  You can also see a high quality video of Screen Sharing via the Leopard Guided Tour video on the Apple site.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Software

Vista barely made a dent in Apple’s marketshare during Q1 2007

Research firm Gartner released a preliminary report saying that Apple’s marketshare has remained steady despite the release of Windows Vista in January.  In fact, Mac sales increased 30% year over year:


Like I’ve said before, Apple’s got the mojo.

To be honest, it *feels* like Apple’s marketshare is more than 5% because I see a lot of people using Apple laptops in Starbucks, Panera Bread, and all of the other places that offer free WiFi in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area.

Obviously, this isn’t scientific but I’m sure other people are feeling the same thing…and when PC users see more Macs out there, they’re more likely to consider switching.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Microsoft, Technology, Vista, Windows

Performance comparison between Intel-based Macs

Primate Labs released a CPU and memory performance app named Geekbench 2 and they posted test results for almost every Intel-based Mac that’s been released over the past 2 years.

Their conclusion:

There’s not a huge change in performance across most of Apple’s Intel-based Mac lineup (the high-end MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo is only 30% faster than the low-end MacBook Core Duo, for example). The only big changes occur at the low end with the (discontinued) single-core Mac mini, or at the high end with the quad-core Mac Pro.

If you’re thinking about getting a Mac, you might want to check out their results.

[via MacSlash]

Filed under: Apple, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacOSX, Reviews

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) delayed until October

Ugh…Apple has officially announced that Leopard will be delayed from June to October. The reason: so they could launch the iPhone on time.

However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard’s features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones.

I’d rather have Apple release quality software than release a buggy version of Leopard in June. Also, there’s gonna be hella comparisons between Leopard <–> Vista so it’s better for Apple to make sure it’s of high quality.

I’m really bummed since I’ve been waiting for Leopard to buy a MacBook Pro.  Well, now I have to decide if I should just pull the trigger and buy it now because my PowerBook G4 won’t last until October.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Software

A NetNewsWire 3.0 (pre-beta) video walk-through

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has a nice 3 – 5 minute video walk-through of the new features in the next version of NetNewsWire. After watching this video, I’m pretty fired up for version 3.0.

I’ve been using version 2.x since 2005 and it is the best RSS reader out there. Frankly, I can’t recommend it enough…if you’re a Mac user. Unfortunately, NetNewsWire is not available for Windows. NewsGator – the company that bought NetNewsWire last year – sells a Windows RSS reader named FeedDemon but it doesn’t even come close to NetNewsWire (the last time I used FeedDemon was back in July 2006 so it may have gotten better).

Anyways, here are some of the new features: (see Brent Simmons’ blog for the full list and descriptions)

  • Spotlight searching
  • Full Screen Mode
  • Tabs with thumbnails and animation
  • Feed ‘Cover Art’
  • Ability to choose a folder when subscribing to a feed

Btw, Brent Simmons is the creator of NetNewsWire. His company, Ranchero Software, was acquired by NewsGator in 2005.


Filed under: MacOSX, NewsReader, RSS, Software

Apple CFO answers questions about Apple TV, Leopard, and the iPhone

Last week, we had Apple’s COO answer questions at the Goldman Sachs Technology Symposium. This week, we have Peter Oppenheimer (Apple CFO) answer questions at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference. There were a lot of questions (from Morgan Stanley’s analyst and the audience) and, honestly, only one of them – the one about Apple TV – was of interest. The rest were your typical analyst questions that received fluffy, high-level answers. There was one interesting question asked by the audience:

Q: Is the content that is coming down to you iTunes, is that full HD content or is it similar to the chopped music, not fully analog TV equivalent? When you download “Pirates,” is it the full equivalent to buying the DVD at your local Costco?
A: It is near DVD quality. I’ve seen it running in our labs, and I can’t tell the difference. It’s an excellent experience from my point of view.

As you know, my biggest question is whether or not Apple with offer HD content on iTunes and the above question is the first time I’ve ever heard someone ask Apple anything remotely close to it. Frankly, the question should have been re-worded to, “Will Apple offer HD content on iTunes for Apple TV?” This is a much more direct question that would yield a direct answer. The question that was asked allowed Peter Oppenheimer to confirm the obvious.

I’m still baffled as to why no one else has asked Apple my question. After all, HD is the future and no one has asked Apple how they will address it.

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, iPhone, MacOSX, Technology

Most recent build of Mac OS X Leopard still has a lot of bugs

AppleInsider is reporting a long list of issues that are still in the latest Leopard build that has been seeded or provided to developers.  This confirms my gut feeling that Leopard will not be released until June.

Part of me wants Apple to release Leopard as soon as possible (because I need to replace my PowerBook G4 – it’s starting to perform with the speed of a turtle) but the other part wants Apple to take as long as possible to make sure Leopard is done right.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Technology

Another PC vs. Mac Commercial

Here’s another funny Apple commercial…actually, a lot funnier than the previous ‘Vista Allow or Deny’ one I posted. Enjoy!

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Microsoft, Video, Vista, Windows, YouTube

More Rumors for a March Release of Mac OS X Leopard 10.5

There are some more rumors that OS X 10.5 (Leopard) will be released at the end of March. I’ve come across a few sources reporting this same rumor.

With the release of Windows Vista, there’s going to be a lot more focus on what Leopard brings to the table and how it stacks up against Vista. Yes, we all agree that Vista “leveraged” a lot of features from Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) but I think Leopard will need to bring some more innovative features (other than the ones already revealed) to keep feeding the ‘pro-Apple’ momentum. Let’s hope those ‘top-secret’ features, that Steve Jobs mentioned, are killer-features.

Update (2/28/2007) I must say, my gut is telling me that Leopard will NOT be released in March but more likely in June.  There really isn’t a benefit for Apple to release Leopard earlier and, I believe, Apple will want to coincide the release of Leopard with some updated hardware (like those rumored MacBook Pros) to garner some more hardware sales.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Rumors, Software

Daylight Savings Time for Windows, Windows Mobile 5, and Mac OS X

In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. Government changed when we change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time (DST). Here are the deets of the change: (I copied it from Sun Microsystem’s Sun Developer Network)

“The United States has planned a change to its DST observance beginning in 2007. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates that DST will start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. In 2007, the start and stop dates will be March 11 and November 4, respectively. These dates are different from previous DST start and stop dates. In 2006, the dates were the first Sunday in April (April 2, 2006) and the last Sunday in October (October 29, 2006).”

Due to this change, everyone with a computer, smartphone, PDA, etc. will have to install a software patch to account for the change. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass and Microsoft doesn’t make it easy for you to determine if you need to patch your system (Apple auto-includes it in the Software Update). So, I thought I’d make it easy for you all and just tell you what you need to do:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Daylight Savings Time, How-To, MacOSX, Mobile Software, Software, Vista, Windows, Windows Mobile

Vista vs. Mac Commercial

This Apple commercial is pretty freakin’ funny – especially, if you’ve used Vista because there’s some truth to it. Here’s the skinny: in Vista, every time an application needs to access or write to the registry, a pop-up window is displayed asking if you will allow or deny the request (the goal is to provide better security). This can get annoying because you can’t configure Vista to always allow ABC application to read/write to the registry. Thus, every time ABC app attempts to do so, the ‘allow/deny’ window pops-up.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Microsoft, Video, Vista, Windows, YouTube

Windows Vista Sidebar Wish List

Vista Sidebar Screenshot

I’ve been using Windows Vista Ultimate for about a month now and have had a chance to use Sidebar a little bit. Overall, Sidebar is nice but there are a couple of things that can be improved upon:

  • Sidebar is limited to a fixed width column on your desktop – it would be nice if I could widen this column since I have a 20″ widescreen LCD monitor (Dell 2007WFP).
  • It would also be nice if I could change the size of the gadgets so, for example, I can read more of the headlines in my RSS gadgets.
  • Sidebar allows for multiple ‘pages’ (or columns, if you will) of gadgets but the only way you can view the second, third, etc. ‘pages’ is by clicking on the left or right arrows at the top of the Sidebar column – it would be nice if I could customize Sidebar to cycle through my ‘pages’ every x seconds/minutes. I will rarely cycle through these ‘pages’ on my own.

I can’t offer a true comparison between Sidebar and Mac OS X’s Dashboard because Dashboard is only available on Tiger (OS X 10.4) and I’m running 10.3.9 (Panther). However, I have used Dashboard on other Macs and Sidebar has a leg-up on it: Sidebar gadgets/widgets are displayed on your desktop – with Dashboard you have to hit a button to view the widgets. Since Sidebar gadgets are displayed right on the desktop, they will be viewed more often…after all, isn’t that the point of these things? Anyway, I’m (wishfully) hoping Microsoft will include these improvements in Q4 2007 with Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

Filed under: MacOSX, Microsoft, Sidebar, Sidebar Gadgets, Software, Vista, Windows

Can Apple be successful in our living/media rooms?

In a nutshell, yes. But, I think it’ll take another 1 to 1.5 years. Why? Because the Apple TV only meets part of our needs as an entertainment device/media extender. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great first generation product (and, apparently, is selling very well) but it leaves a lot to be desired.

If Apple makes the following scenario a reality, then I think Apple will dominate our living rooms and sell more Macs but Apple will need to introduce the following products:

  1. The next gen Apple TV (let’s call it AppleTV 2.0)
  2. Standalone iPod/iPhone docking stations that will wirelessly sync to iTunes/Apple TV and charge the device
  3. DVR software for the Apple TV that can record HD content
  4. Updated synchronization software to sync the content between a Mac, iPod/iPhone, and Apple TV.

Synchronization & Content Portability

I come home from work, wake-up my Mac and connect my iPod and/or iPhone (or dock it in a standalone docking station). Upon doing so,
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, DVR, iPhone, iPod, MacOSX, Technology, Thoughts

12″ MacBook Pros in June?

Word from AppleRecon is Apple will be announcing 12″ MacBook Pros at the WWDC in June. Some of the deets:

  • LED backlit displays
  • 12″ Widescreen with 1280×800 resolution
  • Intel 2Ghz Core 2 Duo
  • 1GB RAM w/standard configuration
  • ATI Radeon X1900 with 256MB
  • Weight: ~3.5 lbs.
  • Price: $1,799

Let’s hope AppleRecon’s sources are correct.

Personally, if this is true, I think it’s great that the 12″ MacBook Pro will be added to the line-up but I’m waiting for the 15″ LED backlit MacBook Pro with Leopard. What about you – planning on getting a MacBook Pro this year??

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, MacOSX, Rumors, Technology

Special Apple Event on Feb. 20?

AppleRecon has posted some interesting info about an upcoming Apple Event where Steve Jobs will present OS X 10.5 (Leopard), iLife ’07, iWork ’07 and updated Mac Pros. AppleRecon is also saying Leapord will be released on March 24, 2007.

This is the first and only site I’ve come across that’s reporting this so I’ll leave it up to you to decide how viable it is.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Rumors, Technology

Switched to Mac because of Windows Vista

Now, this is not something you read about everyday – Erika Jonietz from MIT’s Technology Review magazine (a great magazine, btw) wrote an article about how she is now using her Mac as her primary computer after using Windows Vista Ultimate. Uh, this is not what Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer wants Vista to do.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Microsoft, Reviews, Technology, Vista