Saturday, April 28, 2007

MacBook Pro and MacBook Battery Update

Apple released a battery management patch for all MacBook Pros and MacBooks. This small update improves battery function. Download Battery Update 1.2 from this link or from Software Update in the Apple Menu.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cable Internet in the Home Office

For your home office, Internet access choices are limited to DSL and cable. The latter is by far preferred.

For casual use, DSL offers acceptable service at a price less than cable Internet. The savings is well worth the trade-off of slower access in a home setting where Internet access demand can be characterized as casual.

For the home office, I recommend cable Internet for the much faster service. I really don't like DSL in this setting. Getting cable gets you significantly faster Internet access, as I have documented elsewhere in the AppleBlog.

I'm not a fan of any cable company, but the facts are that DSL is a dying breed that will never offer the reliability or speed of cable. If you're serious about your home office, the added expense (tax deductible as a business expense) for cable Internet is well worth it, in my estimation. Switching your home office network from DSL to cable typically takes only a few minutes.

Comcast is offering six months of cable Internet for $20 (read the fine print: the standard rate kicks in thereafter at about $43/month) through the end of April.

Leopard Spotted Running for Cover

Apple blunders its way into the future. Earlier this week, Apple announced that Leopard, the nickname for the next great operating system from Apple scheduled for release in June, was intentionally delayed until October!

In a highly controversial decision to rank development of the iPhone as more important, Apple stated that Leopard was put on a proverbial back burner in order to push the iPhone into the market by June of this year. Apple stated that a choice was made to shift staff from the OS development team, to that for the iPhone, thus delaying OS development.

What in the world was Apple thinking? The cell phone market isn't like the iPod market. Sure, other manufacturers are behind Apple's lead, but that lead isn't much--and Apple knows it. That's why Apple cannibalized its own staff in a frantic move to get the iPhone to market.

This is very bad news. Apple no longer considers the computer operating system a core business as the company launched the ho-hum Apple TV, and now wastes precious resources on the iPhone. Even if the iPhone is more successful than the already-forgotten Apple TV, the company appears to be suffering the common malady of expanding faster than can be managed successfully. This is the first sign of the disease "expansionitis" where the "boring" core business is neglected.

Ethical Digression: Accepting that iPhone is to blame is what Apple wants us to believe. Maybe so; or maybe the OS has deeper, unreported functional problems as some analysts suggest. We live in a society where corporate lying is the norm; where PR staff are paid hefty sums to craft out-right lies. We all know this, and accept this as routine. I am still naively aghast that a phrase such as, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying" has become the motto of professional sports. Perhaps I shouldn't be so disoriented, given that professional sports is just another corporate business, therefore lying and cheating are considered elemental at Apple and the A's.

As you can tell, I think this is a very bad move from Apple. The message to those of us who use an Apple computer (remember us?) is that the computing business is no longer top priority as we watch Apple make promises to users that the company doesn't meet. Doesn't this sound all too familiar? Doesn't this sound like "the other" computer company?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mail Tags for Apple Mail

Mail Tags adds keyword functionality to Apple Mail.
Keeping track of e-mail is a perennial task. Mail Tags adds a side drawer to Apple Mail wherein keywords can be assigned to individual e-mails. Keeping track of project e-mail is made easy with the use of Smart Mailboxes keyed to specific Mail Tags keywords.

Open and read an e-mail, then assign it keywords that coincide with the key sorting criteria for an existing Smart Mailbox. Later, you know right where to look for it when you wish to refer back to specific project e-mail.

The current version of Mail Tags is free. Version 2.0 is in beta development with an anticipated twenty-dollar price tag.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

iPhone and Leopard Slated for June

Apple confirmed publicly that the iPhone will hit the store shelves this June. Rumor has it that the first entry into the cellphone market by Apple will arrive on June 11th.

In a more speculative vein, Apple is expected to launch Leopard, Mac OS 10.5, in June also. As the next major operating system upgrade, 10.5 will offer built-in data backup software called Time Machine among other, as yet unannounced features.

Apple Announces New 8-Core MacPro

Apple introduced a new top-of-the-line MacPro today sporting eight processors (octal core).

Move over quad cores. The new MacPro tower computer utilizes two, 3.0 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processors offering the first such configuration from Apple. Although not intended for your typical home office installation, this unit will be welcomed by those enmeshed in intense graphics and video production.

This high-end barn burner will set you back $4000, plus about another grand for RAM.

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