Garry Fong Puffer – Pop-Up Flash Diffuser
Review

On December 31, 2011, in Review, by Steve Hammond

Garry Fong Puffer – Pop-Up Flash Diffuser
Company: Gary Fong
Price: $24.99 US

Everyone buying an entry to mid range DSLR with an integrated pop-up flash rapidly learns they are not so great. Like many flashes on compact cameras, they point directly to your subject and are not adjustable. They also tend to blast the subject directly, making it look overexposed.

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About Steve Hammond

Steve is a computer geek, and he has been for many years. He has studied computer science for 15 years, with a college degree in computer science, a backchelor degree in computer with a minor in mathematics, and a Master degree in computer science. In high school he was initiated to computer on an Apple II, then his parents bought him a Commodore 64, then a Mac Plus. But in computer science, DOS and Windows PC were used mostly, so he switched to the dark side for a while. In 2000 he began doing some photography, then discovered iPhoto which make him come back to the Macintosh in 2002. Since, he became a Mac geek again and he sure won't turn back to the PC.

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The Photographer’s Eye – Interactive edition for iPad
Company: The Ilex Press Ltd.
Author: Michael Freeman
Price: $9.99 US

When Amazon announced the Kindle with its electronic store, then Apple introduce the iBooks Store a few years later, I was feeling happy about the fact that bricks of books would become digital. But I was fast disappointed when I saw that most digital books were simply a copy of the physical books. When something goes digital, I expect a bit of interactivity.

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About Steve Hammond

Steve is a computer geek, and he has been for many years. He has studied computer science for 15 years, with a college degree in computer science, a backchelor degree in computer with a minor in mathematics, and a Master degree in computer science. In high school he was initiated to computer on an Apple II, then his parents bought him a Commodore 64, then a Mac Plus. But in computer science, DOS and Windows PC were used mostly, so he switched to the dark side for a while. In 2000 he began doing some photography, then discovered iPhoto which make him come back to the Macintosh in 2002. Since, he became a Mac geek again and he sure won't turn back to the PC.

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Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad

On December 30, 2011, in iPad, Keyboard, Review, by Guy Serle

 

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad $69.99 (about $60.00 from Amazon)

I love my iPad. I truly do and its insanely great form and function blended together in an all around awesomely inspirational touch-based interface makes using it a joy. Just one little quandary. I hate using the onscreen keyboard.

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About Guy Serle

Guy is a long-time Mac user (since 1987) and insists on inflicting his opinions on technology even when others around him wishes he wouldn't. He's married and the father of two sons. He used to take Tae Kwon Do until the shame of being beaten up by teenagers became too great.

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Biggest Tech Stories of 2011
TechFan Podcast #61

On December 30, 2011, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Download and listen to the show here
Subscribe in iTunes!

Did you top tech story of 2011 make this list? David and Tim have what they consider the top ten on this episode of TechFan! Agree or disagree, let us know!

Contact the show
feedback@mymac.com and leave a message at 1-801-938-5559

About Tim Robertson

Founder MyMac.com. Podcast Host of TechFan. Owner Stoplight Network. Father of four, husband to one. Loves reading, podcasting, music, video games, the 1980s, and all things electronic and Apple.

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Mince pies and Turkey (The Leftover Show)
MyMac Podcast #381

On December 29, 2011, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast


Download and listen here
Subscribe in iTunes

More about you the listeners this week than about any news from the Mac scene. We talk about buying used Macs (kinda), the state of Radio (not really), and how to waste a perfectly good beer (OK that we did do). QuickTime gets some attention as a fast video editor and a good discussion on what we’ll do on future shows goes on (say what?). All in all, a weird time is had by all but what ELSE did you expect just after Christmas?

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Wicked Helix Headphones
Review

On December 29, 2011, in Headphones, Review, by Alan Walkowich

Wicked Helix Headphones
Company: Wicked Audio
MSR Price: $14.99 USD

 

Headphones are so commonplace today, most people often have several pairs, ranging from the free pair you get for opening a checking account to the noise canceling headphones that cost more than a car payment. With so many laying around the house, why are we always looking for another pair?

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Busted!

While editing an industry newsletter related to Wi-Fi security issues, I recently encountered several news articles that pointed to the same dire message: If you don’t secure your wireless router, very, very bad things could happen.

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About Larry Grinnell

Larry Grinnell has been a Mac user since before there were Macs, first being exposed to his brother-in-law's Apple Lisa 7/7 office system, in 1982 or 1983. After a nine year stint in the US Air Force, he took an electronics technician job at Motorola, Inc., where he stayed for almost 27 years. In that time, he held additional diverse positions from manufacturing engineering technician to technical writing to print production consultant to department webmaster. Currently, he's the sole technical writer for a small communications/electronics firm in Davie, FL. He is a member of the MyMac.com writing staff, and recently completed a two-year stint writing a weekly Macintosh and Apple-oriented column for the Palm Beach Business website (http://www.pbbusiness.com). In his copious free time, he does layout and prepress work for the Grinnell Family Association's quarterly newsletter, and runs their website at http://www.grinnellfamily.org. He also serves on the board of directors for the Palm Beach Phoenix Apple User Group. His next big assignment is to perform the editing, layout, and prepress work for an all new Grinnell family genealogy, which promises to be roughly 2,000 pages in size. Publication date is tentatively scheduled for 2015. He lives in Greenacres, FL. His cat Agnes grudgingly permits him to share her home with him.

 

Solar Walk iOS App
Review

On December 28, 2011, in Apple, Apps, iPad, iPad 2, iPhone, iPod Touch, Review, by David M. Acklam

Solar Walk – 3D Solar System model
App Developer: Vito Technology Inc.
Version 1.9.1
License: US$2.99 Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Solar Walk is an astronomy/educational application that has been available for some time and has been updated twice in the past month. Updates include a voice-over, localized language subtitles in the movie section, cosmetic changes to Uranus, Venus, and Mercury, some minor interface tweaks, addition of the Asteroid Belt, solar prominences, and a bug fix. As an amateur astronomer and an educational outreach volunteer, there are many features in this application that I find simply entertaining and some that are educationally useful. However, there are still things that should be updated, and there is room for some additions and improvements.

What I find the most entertaining with this application is the user interface and how you interact with the Solar System simulation. Solar Walk really takes advantage of the touching, pinching, twisting, swiping actions with iOS allowing you to interact and navigate through our Solar System in a very intuitive fashion. Cosmic background music can be switched on to further enhance your solar exploration experience. You can also select the 3-D mode and add another dimension to your viewing by using standard red/blue 3-D glasses. Let me give a brief example to illustrate the entertaining aspect of Solar Walk. 

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About David Acklam

I'm a retired professional engineer actively involved in community outreach working with our local educators to help engage our youth in the sciences and mathematics. I enjoy sharing our night sky as an amateur astronomer and volunteer with the Project ASTRO program, the Flandrau Science Center, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Kuiper Circle and as a docent with the Planetary Science Institute. I've been a Mac user since 2007.

Design Your Own Powis iCase for iPad
Review

On December 27, 2011, in iPad, iPad 2, Review, by Donny Yankellow

Customized iCase
Company: Powis
Prices $79.95

In December of 2010 I had the pleasure of review the Powis iCase for the iPad. I loved the case, and still think it is one of the best and nicest iPad cases I have tried. I was recently given the opportunity to try their new customization option for the cases. This allows you to upload your own photo to their site and have it printed on the front of the iPad case itself. What did I think? Read on.

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About Donny Yankellow

In addition to writing for MyMac.com since the Fall of 2005 he is an art teacher, freelance artist/illustrator, and is a father of one son. Donny is also the author/illustrator of several children's ebooks. Donny's degree is in Visual Communications and he hold certification in K-12 Art Education. His hobbies (besides Mac and Apple stuff) include soccer, animation, and reading anything written by Stephen King.

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AkiTio MyCloud Duo NAS Product Review

On December 26, 2011, in Features, Hard Drive, NAS, Network, Review, by Larry Grinnell

AkiTio MyCloud Duo Networked Attached Storage Device
AkiTio
Price: $149.99 U.S.

AkiTio MyCloud Duo NAS

I’m a big cheerleader of the network attached storage concept. In a previous job, back in the mid 1990s, my department server (two 1 GB drives) was running out of space. I was able to obtain a Quantum SnapServer with four 20 GB drives, which, due to RAID overhead, meant about 55 GB of usable space (whee!). It did the job for my department until my employer’s IT department wouldn’t let me administer my department’s data anymore and forced me to move the data to company servers. But I digress. At home, I own a crazy expensive 7.5 terabyte Synology DS-509+ and accompanying 10 terabyte Synology DX5 expansion unit (the DX5 connects to the DS-509+ via a fast eSATA connection). I use the first to back up to the second. There’s plenty of storage for my media (hundreds of backed-up DVDs, my iTunes library, and backups of my other computer). Heck, there’s enough storage for a medium-sized office! I use Plex as the media server application on my 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini. Plex, for the most part, seamlessly accesses my stored media on the Synology NAS and plays it on my HDTV.

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About Larry Grinnell

Larry Grinnell has been a Mac user since before there were Macs, first being exposed to his brother-in-law's Apple Lisa 7/7 office system, in 1982 or 1983. After a nine year stint in the US Air Force, he took an electronics technician job at Motorola, Inc., where he stayed for almost 27 years. In that time, he held additional diverse positions from manufacturing engineering technician to technical writing to print production consultant to department webmaster. Currently, he's the sole technical writer for a small communications/electronics firm in Davie, FL. He is a member of the MyMac.com writing staff, and recently completed a two-year stint writing a weekly Macintosh and Apple-oriented column for the Palm Beach Business website (http://www.pbbusiness.com). In his copious free time, he does layout and prepress work for the Grinnell Family Association's quarterly newsletter, and runs their website at http://www.grinnellfamily.org. He also serves on the board of directors for the Palm Beach Phoenix Apple User Group. His next big assignment is to perform the editing, layout, and prepress work for an all new Grinnell family genealogy, which promises to be roughly 2,000 pages in size. Publication date is tentatively scheduled for 2015. He lives in Greenacres, FL. His cat Agnes grudgingly permits him to share her home with him.

 

Spider Black Widow Holster Kit
Review

On December 24, 2011, in Adapter, Camcorder, Camera, Cases, Review, by Artie Alinikoff

SPIDER BLACK WIDOW HOLSTER KIT — $65

SPIDER PRO SYSTEM Single Camera — $135

Shai Gear

I’ve seen them advertised in the photography magazines to which I subscribe. From the very first ad I thought it was a great idea. Camera straps can be so conspicuous and cumbersome. I’ve taken to wearing my camera/strap like a sling, around my neck, with my right arm through the strap and the  camera hanging down my right side just to keep it out of my way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out for the best. Getting the camera up to eye level when it’s under your arm takes a bit of squiggling and juking to get that pesky arm out of the way.

Welcome, Spider Black Widow Holster Kit made by Shai Gear, LLC. There’s really not a lot to the system, but simple is good. The Spider contains three basic parts: belt, holster, and pad with adjustable loop.

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As our portable technology increases in performance and functionality we are forever looking for a power source. This trend is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future so we need to take additional measures to ensure we get a complete working day out of our devices.

Common sense power saving techniques are featured in this article. Some require too much compromise in functionality to be truly useful. The following guide aims to address all viable power saving techniques for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5.

External cases such as the Mophie Juice Pack or Mobius Solar iPhone Rechargeable Battery Case assist with on-the-run power requirements, albeit with additional size, weight, and cost.

The following information is not collated by level of importance or effectiveness. In many cases a combination of these techniques added together can significantly increase your available battery power.

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About Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of www.everydaymacsupport.com. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is also the lead host on Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.

The Cult of Lego
Book Review

On December 23, 2011, in Book Review, Review, by Neale Monks

The Cult of LEGO
By: John Baichtal and Joe Meno
Publisher: No Starch Press
Format: 304 pages; full colour hardback
Price: $39.95 ($31.95 electronic book)

If it looked as if No Starch Press were intent on cornering the market for coffee table books appealing to geeks with their ‘Cult of Mac’ and ‘Cult of iPod’ books, then their latest offering, on LEGO, will surely cement that impression. Like those earlier books, ‘The Cult of LEGO’ mixes beautiful photography with incisive writing and a distinctly postmodern approach to the many and varied ways adults use LEGO blocks.

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About Neale Monks

Neale Monks has used Macs since 1990, when he was won over by the simplicity of printing from a networked Mac compared to doing the same thing with networked PCs. Since that time he's written for several Macintosh magazines including Macworld and Macformat as well as MyMac.com, InformIT, Peachpit, TidBITs, and the now-defunct AppleLust web site. Besides using Macs to make his living every day of the week, he likes to tinker about with vintage Macs, and a few years back wrote an e-book called 'Buying Used Macs' published through MyMac.com. Neale has a degree in zoology and a PhD in palaeontology. He lives in the market town of Berkhamsted on the edge of the Chiltern Hills.

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iOS Gaming Comes Of Age

On December 22, 2011, in Features, Opinion, by Tim Robertson


I knew it was only a matter of time. Back when the iPhone was first released the only apps on the device was those created by Apple. It didn’t take the company long to roll out the ability for third party developers to create an ecosystem that would take the platform to new heights. And, obviously to everyone, it was video games that led the charge.

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About Tim Robertson

Founder MyMac.com. Podcast Host of TechFan. Owner Stoplight Network. Father of four, husband to one. Loves reading, podcasting, music, video games, the 1980s, and all things electronic and Apple.

Happy ChristHannaKwanzmas from the GMen
MyMac Podcast #380

On December 22, 2011, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Download & Listen here
Subscribe in iTunes

All relatively quiet on the Mac front so the GMen decide to have a little discussion about bigger or smaller iDevices, how Amazon is doing with the Kindle Fire, and what they got for their loved ones for Christmas…SHHH. Don’t tell.

Some links:
Tech News of the Weird link:
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 Platinum by Aspyr $26.13 at Amazon
Angry Birds Seasons HD by Rovio Mobile Ltd $1.99

The Music:
MMO- Texual Healing

Please visit and check out the artists that supply great music to our podcast!

Contact info: Drop us a line and let us know you want to be on the show. Gaz and Guy on Twitter, guy@mymac.com and gaz@mymac.com, or our Skype direct number 703-436-9501. Also go into iTunes and leave some feedback. Also don’t forget our FaceBook Page!

All Guy wants for ChristHannaKwanzmas 2011

On December 21, 2011, in Features, by Guy Serle

All Guy wants for ChristHannaKwanzmas 2011 (A Holiday Rant)

 

 

It’s near the end of year which means that yes, it’s time for another Holiday rant from Guy. It’s been a couple of years since I did this and with a family taking up so much of my time, I’m going to re-purpose some of the older content already published. Let’s call it something now and today. How about, “Re-cycled Content”. Yep that sounds nice and green and full of what ChristHannaKwanzmas should be (but isn’t) all about. To begin with, let’s go back a few years and give you the explanation of what ChristHannaKwanzmas is. READ on!

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About Guy Serle

Guy is a long-time Mac user (since 1987) and insists on inflicting his opinions on technology even when others around him wishes he wouldn't. He's married and the father of two sons. He used to take Tae Kwon Do until the shame of being beaten up by teenagers became too great.

 

Learn MyMac Episode 5
Services Menu

On December 21, 2011, in Learn My Mac, Video, by Tim Robertson

What is the Services Menu on your Mac? Find out here!

About Tim Robertson

Founder MyMac.com. Podcast Host of TechFan. Owner Stoplight Network. Father of four, husband to one. Loves reading, podcasting, music, video games, the 1980s, and all things electronic and Apple.

 

My New Mac
Book Review

On December 20, 2011, in Book Review, Macintosh, by Neale Monks

My New Mac
by Wallace Wang
Publisher: 
No Starch Press
Price: Paperback $29.95 (ebook $23.95)
ISBN 9781593273903
xxii + 481 pp


A bit over three years ago I compared two Macintosh books for beginners, David Pogue’s Mac OS X Leopard Edition: The Missing Manual and Wallace Wang’s My New Mac. To cut a long story short, they’re both good books, but aimed at somewhat different audiences. The Missing Manual covers just about every aspect of the Mac operating system, giving power users the information they need to do all sorts of different things. But it doesn’t actually tell a new Mac user what they can do with their computer. To get the most from The Missing Manual, you need to have a fair idea of what you want to do first.

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About Neale Monks

Neale Monks has used Macs since 1990, when he was won over by the simplicity of printing from a networked Mac compared to doing the same thing with networked PCs. Since that time he's written for several Macintosh magazines including Macworld and Macformat as well as MyMac.com, InformIT, Peachpit, TidBITs, and the now-defunct AppleLust web site. Besides using Macs to make his living every day of the week, he likes to tinker about with vintage Macs, and a few years back wrote an e-book called 'Buying Used Macs' published through MyMac.com. Neale has a degree in zoology and a PhD in palaeontology. He lives in the market town of Berkhamsted on the edge of the Chiltern Hills.

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video2brain
Review

On December 20, 2011, in Review, by Elisa Pacelli

video2brain-Video Learning
Company: video2brain
Price: Various, most between $19.95-$49.95

 

My Courses:
Adobe Photoshop Elements 10: Learn By Video $49.99
Duration: 5 hours 20 minutes
Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 10 $34.99
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

I’m a visual learner. Tell me what to do, and sometimes I get it. Show me what to do and I understand much better. What’s the best way to show someone how to do something? Make a video, of course!

video2brain (v2b) has taken the concept of showing how to master a particular skill and has run with it. Formed in 2002, v2b has courses in English, German, French, and Spanish, with over 515 hours in English-language titles.

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About Elisa Pacelli

Elisa is a wife, mother to 3 boys, "creative genius", and all-around techno geek. She enjoys reading, quilting, knitting, cruising to Caribbean beaches, and learning new things in the technology world. In the evenings Elisa can be found knitting while listening to podcasts or watching Netflix on her iPad. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Vicki Stokes.

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5 From an Aperture User
Review

On December 19, 2011, in Review, by Steve Hammond

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5
Company: Adobe
Price: $299 U.S.

Introduction

I am an amateur photographer, a passion I’ve had since 2000. In 2002 iPhoto became my photo management software, and I used Photoshop Elements for further editing my pictures. I switched to Aperture version 2.0 around 2009, keeping Photoshop Elements as my external editor. Last year, I upgraded to Photoshop CS5, and since then I always wanted to compare Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to Aperture, mainly because Aperture and Photoshop integration is poor.

This review/article about Lightroom 3.5 is the result of that investigation. To compare both applications in depth would take much more than a few pages, as you will read below. But at the end, my hope is that you will find some help when considering jumping to professional image management software.

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About Steve Hammond

Steve is a computer geek, and he has been for many years. He has studied computer science for 15 years, with a college degree in computer science, a backchelor degree in computer with a minor in mathematics, and a Master degree in computer science. In high school he was initiated to computer on an Apple II, then his parents bought him a Commodore 64, then a Mac Plus. But in computer science, DOS and Windows PC were used mostly, so he switched to the dark side for a while. In 2000 he began doing some photography, then discovered iPhoto which make him come back to the Macintosh in 2002. Since, he became a Mac geek again and he sure won't turn back to the PC.

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