MyMac Podcast 211 – Girls Gone Geek

On November 29, 2008, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast


Download the show here, or subscribe via iTunes
This week, Liana Lehua and Melissa Thiessen from the Girls Gone Geek podcast join the crew for some tech talk, favorite tech gear, and the future of the GGG show. Plus, Sam Levin and Cool Mac Picks!

This episode sponsored by Other World Computing

Links from the show:
Girls Gone Geek
Direct Mail/Pro
i.TV for iPhone
AppShopper.com

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Toast 9 Titanium – Review

On November 26, 2008, in Macintosh, Review, by Mark Sealey

Toast 9 Titanium
Company: Roxio

Price: Single license: $99.99
Upgrade from previous versions $79.99 after $20 mail-in rebate
http://www.roxio.com/

Roxio’s Toast has long been the software of choice for reliable and flexible CD and DVD burning on Mac and PC. In recent years Roxio has slowly and steadily added features, generally made improvements to the working of the product and changed the interface of the software… it isn’t entirely Mac-like – not that it is in any way off-putting.

Now Toast 9 Titanium (releases 9.02, 9.03 and the current 9.04 were used to prepare this review) has added several new functions which keep pace with developments in optical media technology. By and large the product can still be recommended as the market leader in its field. There are other apps – not least Apple’s iDVD – which will allow sophisticated management and burning of CDs and DVDs. But Toast’s multiplicity of features sets it apart.

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Griffin WindowSeat for iPhone 3G – Review

On November 26, 2008, in iPhone, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Griffin WindowSeat for iPhone 3G
Company: Griffin Technology

Price: $29.99
http://www.griffintechnology.com

I’ve been looking at and reviewing cases for the iPhone 3G but there is also the need for an accessory for your iPhone that a lot of folks tend to overlook. If you spend a lot of time on the road in your car, either traveling to and from work, or just traveling, gas prices permitting, then you really need to consider looking at a mount for your iPhone.

Normally if I’m driving, it’s not that far and I just keep the iPhone in its case on my belt or if I’m expecting a call in a short time period, I’ll place it in the center console. While this can work for short trips, longer times in the car need some consideration. Am you planning on using your iPhone’s GPS capability, make or receive a lot of telephone calls or do you have the luxury of plugging your iPhone into the car stereo system? If so, then consider Griffin’s WindowSeat for your vehicle.

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Small speakers don’t get any cooler than Ice from i.Sound. They are tiny, with a surprisingly robust audio. Power them via USB from your computer, or with a clever AC adapter

iVoice Pro
Company: MacAlly

Price: $50
http://www.macally.com

iVoiceIII
Company: MacAlly

Price: $40
http://www.macally.com

TuneTalk Stereo
Company: Belkin

Price: $70
http://catalog.belkin.com/

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First Look – Aluminum Unibody 15” MacBook Pro

On November 25, 2008, in First Look, Opinion, by Tim Robertson

Aluminum Unibody 15” MacBook Pro
First Look by Robert Hazelrigg

http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/
Suggested Retail Price Starts at: $1,999.00

Before I start with my critique, let me give you a little background. I’m a graphic professional that also provides IT help desk support for a large publishing company. I bought this Mac with the specific task of providing tech support and general surfing. When it comes do doing design work I’m still a desktop kind of guy. That said, this is not my first portable Mac. Prior to this 15” MacBook Pro I’ve been a proud owner of two 12” iBooks. The reason for the timing for this new purchase is because my last iBook didn’t survive the return flight from Anaheim, California last month.

I am a tried and true Apple fanboy but I do have more than a few issues with the new MacBook Pro. To start, it feels heavy to me. I’m not sure if it’s actually lighter then my old iBook or not but this is a minor issue even if it is true. However, I can’t help think Apple could have made the Mac much lighter if they used plastic instead of glass on the monitor. The glass not only adds weight to the unit; it also ads glare. I’ve heard more then a few tech writers says that the glare doesn’t really bother them. I’m perplexed at how it could not.

Even as I write this article in my dimly lit den I am distracted by the twinkling of vague reflections. For the most part the majority of the reflections are on the black bezel outside the screen area. The glare usually gets worse when I’m working in a brighter environments. Although I would never use the computer to do photo retouching, I have to say the screen is beautiful. And even though I have issues with the glass glare, the screen is sexy. The colors are gorgeous and saturated. Moreover, the monitor is also very bright. And unlike my old iBook, I can actually work on the monitor outside in the bright sunlight.

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The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion
by Ben Long

O’Reilly Press
ISBN: 978-0-596-52086-1, 271 pages
$24.99 US, $24.99 CN

Canon EOS 40D: The Rocky Nook Manual
by Artur Landt

Rocky Nook
ISBN: 978-1-933952-33-8
$29.95 US, $29.95 CN

Photoshop CS3 Accelerated
by Blues Kim

YoungJin
ISBN: 978-8931434378
$24.99 US, $24.99 CN, £14.99 UK

It’s difficult for a mere book reviewer like myself to understand how publishers and book writers can keep up with the frequent updates in digital software and hardware. Just when you purchase a Canon camera or the latest update of Photoshop, new versions of these products come out in less than a year’s time. It seems like writers and publishers have to scramble to keep up with the ever expanding technology. But somehow they get the job done, and in most cases very well.

If you’re a Canon shooter, you no doubt have heard or followed the recent update to its EOS line of cameras. As a reviewer, I wish I could say I’ve gotten my hands on their newest cameras, if nothing else but for review purposes. But sadly I haven’t. However, I was sent a couple of new books on Canon cameras for review that provide me some insight about the new Canon Digital Rebel XSi/450D and the Canon 40D. I have the predecessors to both of these cameras, so what is discussed in these books under review are not foreign to me.

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Griffin iClear with Armband for iPhone 3G – Review

On November 24, 2008, in iPhone, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Griffin iClear with Armband for iPhone 3G
Company: Griffin Technology

Price: $29.99
http://www.griffintechnology.com

With all of the cases that have appeared for the iPhone 3G, there are always special cases designed to fill a specific niche for certain users. Griffin Technology’s iClear case for the iPhone 3G fills a specific spot for the active user who wants to take their iPhone along with them whenever they are on the go. Whether you are into running, bicycling or walking, then you need to check out the iClear case.

Having been into running for many years, and used to having my iPod along for the run, I was just a bit hesitant when it came time to look at and try out a case for my iPhone 3G. Something kept telling me that you just don’t take your phone along with you when you’re out there running, calls can wait. However, the capability of having the iPhone with its many capabilities outweighed that voice in the back of my mind and I chose to try out Griffin’s iClear. To begin with, the iClear case comes with a frosted hard polycarbonate back piece with a rotating belt clip, a clear front bezel piece, a static peel screen protector, an adjustable stretchable armband and, of course, a cleaning cloth. Installing your iPhone into the case is a snap, place the belt clip into the arm band, plug in your earphones and off you go.

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MyMac Podcast 210 – BigWords – Chad Perry

On November 21, 2008, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Download the show here, or subscribe via iTunes
Original MyMac Podcast Co-Host Chad Perry makes a surprise guest appearance on the show this week! Topics include: our new ustream feed, BigWords, HDCP on Macintosh, AppleTV update, and Macworld Expo plans and predictions. Plus, Sam Levin and Cool Mac Picks.

This episode sponsored by Other World Computing

Links from the show:
Kena Kai
incase Parra
Richard Solo 1800 iPhone/iPod Battery
Evernote
Searchme

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Make Music on your Mac – GarageBand Loops – Review

On November 20, 2008, in Macintosh, Review, by Tim Robertson

Make Music on your Mac
Company: Samples4.com

Price: £30.00
http://www.samples4.com

One of the greatest things first-time GarageBand users discover and start playing with is the Loops. Loops are short snippets of music that you can use to beef up your recordings. Need a drum to accompany your guitar playing? Perhaps you want some string instruments at the beginning of your track? GarageBand has hundreds of music loops to use, built right into the program. What more could you need?

Well, it turns out, if you use GarageBand often, you will need and want many more Loops at your disposal. As many as you can get, honestly. The more the merrier, as the saying goes. And that’s where Make Music on your Mac comes in.

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Two ifrogz iPhone Cases – Review

On November 20, 2008, in iPhone, iPhone Cases, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Luxe Red/Black Case for iPhone 3G
Company: ifrogz

Price: $19.99 USD
http://www.drbott.com

Time to check out ifrogz’s contributions, case-wise, for the iPhone 3G. For those who are looking for sporty, hard-style case to keep their iPhone 3g protected in, take a look at ifrogz’s Red/Black Luxe Case.

The Luxe is a hard plastic case with a two-tone finish, in this case, red and black, that offers a more up-to-date modern look to your iPhone 3G. For those iPhone users who have no wish to carry their iPhone on their belt, and feel totally cool with it in their pants or coat pocket, ifrogz’s Luxe case just adds a little bit more style and helps keep the back of your iPhone from scratching up. Light-weight and yet thin so as to not add additional heft, the Luxe case allows you to add a dash of color and pizzazz without going overboard.

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ArtText 2 – Review

On November 20, 2008, in Review, by Donny Yankellow

ArtText 2
Company: BeLight Software

Price: $39.95
http://www.belightsoft.com

Do you want a cool logo for your business card? or a fancy button for your website? but can’t afford the high end programs like Photoshop or Illustrator to create them? or maybe you don’t have the skills to make one from scratch If so ArtText 2 by BeLight Software allows you to do just that for a lot less money ($39.95).

ArtText allows you to make a logo, button for your website, funky text designs and more with a few clicks of the mouse. Once you have those parts of the design done you can apply numerous textures, patterns, and even make the design have a 3D look to it.  the amount of materials you can apply to your design for a dimensional look is impressive. From glass to metal to “artistic” you’ll find something that works for you.

Just because the name implies a Text/Font program there are more than fonts in ArtText 2. If you don’t consider yourself artistic there are over 200 pre-made designs that you can start with.  Pick a design, change the text or color or materials, save, and you’re done.

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Sidewinder Deluxe for iPhone 3G – Review

On November 19, 2008, in iPhone, iPhone Cases, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Sidewinder Deluxe for iPhone 3G
Company: Marware

Price: $39.95
http://www.marware.com

If you’ve just purchased a new iPhone 3G and you’re considering a case, you may just want to wander on over to Mareware’s website and take a look at the new Sidewinder Deluxe for the iPhone 3G.

If you’re like most people, you have a tendency to forget where you left your earphones for your iPhone, at least I know that I have. Marware’s Sidewinder Deluxe solves that problem for you by including a retractable side arm that you can wrap your earphones around and carry it with you wherever you go. Sporty and light, you just take your iPhone and place it into Marware’s Flexi-Shell case, then just snap it into the black plastic holster, place it on your belt with the clip and go.

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PowerDock2 Charging Station

On November 19, 2008, in Dock, iPhone, iPod, iPod Mini, iPod Touch, Review, by Alan Walkowich

PowerDock2 Charging Station
Company: Griffin Technology

Price: $49.99 USD
http://www.drbott.com

An era of technology has metamorphosed our homes into a brimming mass of cords and assorted gadgets. How can you organize such chaos? Griffin Technology’s PowerDock2 will calm the obsessive-compulsive organizer in you. A charging station that conveniently charges two iPod or iPhone devices at once using universal docking wells with easy-to-use adapters.

Designed to adapt to multiple versions of iPods and iPhones (See compatible list at end of review) the PowerDock2 offers distinction and efficiency in a humble package. The brushed aluminum design allows the PowerDock2 to compliment a corner of your office to a breakfast nook in the kitchen. A slim design, allows the charger to discretely blend in with its surroundings or spotlight itself when on its own. Included with the charger is a power supply cable (6’) and six plastic dock adapters. Each adapter has a corresponding number, which you match with a provided table to allow your device to seat properly.

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Stationery Pack 2 – Review

On November 18, 2008, in Macintosh, Review, by Donny Yankellow

Stationery Pack 2
Company: equinux

Price: $49.95
www.equinux.com

Back in January I reviewed Equinux’s Stationery Pack software which adds over 100 stationery templates to Apple’s Mail program. Well, Equinux has recently released Stationery Pack 2, and if you are hooked on stationery in your email, and Stationery Pack 1 is not enough for you, Stationery Pack 2 might be worth checking out.

Stationery Pack 2 adds another 122 templates to mail. Within these 122 templates are variations on most templates bring the total to 660! Some templates have over 80 variations. The templates might vary in color, or the imagery might change. Below is a bowling template with its four variations.

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Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone 3G

On November 18, 2008, in Cases, iPhone, iPhone Cases, by Alan Walkowich

Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone 3G
Company: Marware

Price: $34.99 USD
http://www.drbott.com

The Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone 3G is a versatile neoprene sport case manufactured by Marware. Primarily designed for the athlete in all of us, the comfortable armband is the Sportsuit’s greatest attribute. To sweeten the purchase, you still have the option to wear the case using a belt-clip or to place directly in a pocket or purse. A removable key/money holder is included along with a screen protector and microfiber cloth.

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Stick It to Your Mac with HD

On November 18, 2008, in Macintosh, Review, Video, by Owen Rubin

Pinnacle TV for Mac HD
Price: $149.95
http://www.pinnaclesys.com

Equinux TubeStick Hybrid for Mac
Price: $129.95
http://www.equinux.com

A number of products have hit the market recently to let you watch TV on your Mac. Two of these, both “USB sticks” recently caught my attention, so I felt it was time for a head to head comparison of two of these; the Pinnacle’s TV for Mac HD Stick, and Equinux’s TubeStick, both very small USB tuners for your Mac that let you watch TV right on your Macintosh.

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Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual-Drive USB 2.0 + USB 2.0 Powered Hub
Company: Other World Computing

Price: $299.99
Macsales.com

Hardware Requirements: Any Mac with a USB port

Who doesn’t love REALLY BIG hard drives? More space for all our stuff. I remember buying a hard drive for my first computer which happened to be a Mac Plus with a SCSi port. It was a 40Mb (yes, I said 40Mb) external drive that set me back $700 and at the time I thought there was no way I was EVER going to fill this monster! I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing and then we’ll continue with the review…are you done? Good.

Of course I’ve bought countless internal and external drives since then and the same thought used cross my mind all the time; “Can I justify buying a drive this big?” Circumstances of course have made such questions silly in this day and age of digital content. There IS no such thing any longer as too much storage space. We need it for audio, for video, for editing webpages, operas, yodeling dog tracks, and immeasurable other things that were mostly just dreams to use computers for back in the day of my old Mac Plus. Naturally whenever a gap is created in technology between what we have and what we need there is someone there to fill it. You can get external drives from almost anywhere these days, but buying from Harry’s Fish supplies and computer sales can be an iffy thing when it comes to support after the sale and that’s where some makers really shine.

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Luxe Case for iPhone 3G – Review

On November 17, 2008, in Cases, iPhone, iPhone Cases, by Alan Walkowich

Luxe Case for iPhone 3G (Blue/Black)
Company: ifrogz

Price: $19.99 USD
http://www.drbott.com

The second decade of the 21st century is only a year away and the expanding capability an iPhone 3G provides has stunned a technology driven world. The iPhone has emerged as a status symbol, an attention grabber and a lifeline for so many. As you can see by searching Google for iPhone cases, the world continues to race ahead, and the style of your iPhone case needs to be innovative and just as stunning as what it is protecting.

ifrogz’s Luxe Case is perfect for the business professional, the athlete or their children. The Luxe is a smooth (hard) plastic case with a metallic finish that has a “velvety soft” feel. Extremely slim, lightweight, and with several color options, the Luxe Case offers an opportunity to find your own individuality. The included screen protector helps to keep the iPhone looking as though you just walked out of the Apple Store.

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Axio 13.3˝ Hardsleeve MacBook Pro – Review

On November 17, 2008, in Cases, Macintosh, by Gil Poulsen

Axio 13.3˝ Hardsleeve MacBook Pro
Company: Axio

Price: $99.99
http://drbott.com

As a Mac consultant/troubleshooter for the past fifteen years, I tend to carry a lot of baggage around with me. And not just the psychological kind, mind you. What with computer toolkits, innumerable CDs and DVDs, cables, chargers, adapters, product manuals and the like, I find it necessary to employ a big, bulky suitcase-style laptop bag in the course of completing my appointed rounds.

There are those times, however, when all I really need to have at the ready is my precious 13.3” black MacBook. And in those situations, I’m usually stuck lugging around that same big, bulky suitcase-style laptop bag, the better to shield the MacBook from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Sure, it would be nice to have an alternate-and sleeker-option for protecting my laptop, but I’ve never been convinced that those neoprene “wetsuit”-style sleeves would offer a great deal in the way of protection-especially should my MacBook chance to encounter that most fearsome of all adversaries, the ubiquitous “hard, unyielding surface.”

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MyMac Podcast 209 – David Biedny

On November 14, 2008, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast


Download the MP3 here, or subsribe via iTunes at this link.
David Biedny from Mac|Life stops by for a chat about product reviews, and how the web is really changing the game. Sam Levin returns for a Cool Mac Picks returns, and Guy, Tim, and David look at the latest happening on MyMac.com, as well as future changes to the weekly podcast.

This episode is sponsored by Other World Computing. Check them out here!

Links from the show:
David Biedny

Cool Mac Picks
iHome iH70SRC 15 Watt Computer Speakers with iPod Syncing/Charging Dock
Iomega eGo Desktop Hard Drive

Ocarina
Guitar Rock Tour

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