Fantastical for Mac and iPhone – Review

On February 21, 2013, in iOS, Macintosh, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Fantastical for Mac
Company: Flexibits
Mac requirements: 10.6.6 or later
Version: 1.3.6
Price: $19.99
Mac App Store link

Fantastical for iPhone
Company: Flexibits
Works with: iPhone 3GS and above, iPod touch 3rd generation and above, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Version: 1.0.4
Price: $4.99
iTunes link


I don’t use the built-in calendar apps on my MacBook or iDevices very much. I still love my paper calendar hanging in the kitchen. There was nothing compelling about the calendar apps that made me want to use them. Since I started using Fantastical I’ve had a change of heart.

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Take Control of CrashPlan
Book Review

On October 29, 2012, in Book Review, Macintosh, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Take Control of CrashPlan
Author: Joe Kissell
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc
Price: $15.00
138 pages, ebook-PDF format
ISBN: 9781615424047

You’ve heard it before: backup, backup, backup. You’ve also heard how you should back up to a bootable clone, using software like Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, and have another backup from which you can retrieve individual files, like Time Machine. Finally, you should also have your files backed up off site.

I recently purchased a one year subscription to CrashPlan for my off site backup. I immediately told the software to upload my entire hard drive. Twelve days later it finished. Oh how I wish I had read Take Control of CrashPlan before I clicked the upload button.

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OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide

On August 20, 2012, in Book Review, Mac OS X, by Peter Nikolaidis

OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide

The Ultimate Quick Guide to OS X
Author: Chris Seibold
Publisher: O’Reilly Media
Released: July 2012
Pages: 272
Price: $14.99 US

I recently had the opportunity to review a copy of the OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide from O’Reilly media. In typical O’Reilly fashion, the book is well written with friendly, conversational jargon. At some points, I found the dialogue to be a little bit distracting, but not so much to be seriously bothered by it.

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Learn MyMac
Episode 8

On May 2, 2012, in Learn My Mac, Tutorial, Video, by Elisa Pacelli

Genius Playlists and Genius Mixes in iTunes

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Bookle App

On February 27, 2012, in Apps, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Version 1.0.4
Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Mac App Store link

Bookle is a newly released EPUB reading app created by Adam Engst of TidBITS Publishing and Peter Lewis of Stairways Software. Its simple interface and built-in Mac gestures make Bookle an excellent way to read on your Mac.

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My New Mac
Book Review

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

My New Mac
by Wallace Wang
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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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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Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made
Publisher: O’Reilly
Price: Paperback from $24.95

‘Revolution in the Valley’ is a collection of anecdotes that describe what was happening at Apple during the development of the original Macintosh computer. Written by Andy Hertzfield, one of the key engineers on the Macintosh team, the stories are presented in chronological order from 1979 and 1985, but they aren’t tied together in a single narrative. Instead the book is more like an edited and neatly presented collection of memories and ephemera, with all sorts of interesting photos and screenshots accompanying the text. This gives the book a very humane and personal feel, and it’s hard to sense the depth of feeling Hertzfield and the other Apple engineers had for the company and the project that they were working on. In between the tension and the arguments there are moments of genius and incredible foresight, and though computer historians may well argue over who invented the graphical user interface and the truly user-friendly personal computer, there’s no question that the Macintosh was the product that brought them together into a package that was economical, powerful, and above all commercially successful.

Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made

Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made

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Scruffy Florida
TechFan #37

On July 8, 2011, in Podcast, TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Download the show here, and subscribe in iTunes!
David Cohen is in Botswana, Africa, and his audio quality via Skype is better than usual. Up first, David has a real beef with the Steam service, and Tim is sick of no good gamepads for the Macintosh. Other subjects include NASA, the Space Shuttle program, hacking cell phones and voice messages, News of the World, break-ups via FaceBook, Google Images searches, and a lot more.

Contact TechFan at and leave a message at 1-801-938-5559

Word 2011 for Mac

On May 20, 2011, in Features, Review, by Owen Rubin

Microsoft Word 2011 Macintosh (Version 14 if you are counting)
$149.99 for Home and Student version of Office
$279.99 for Business and IT Pros version of Office

For as long as I have been using both versions of Word, one for Mac and one for Windows (yes, I use a Windows computer too), I have often wondered if they truly came from the same company. While they can read and write compatible files (mostly), their user interfaces have always been quite different, making it difficult to go from one version to the other and remember where all the commands are. Additionally, the two programs would leapfrog each other in features, almost as if they were competing with each other to see which could outdo the other with their latest features. And Word 2008 for the Mac seemed to completely miss the boat when it came to using some of the newer and cooler interface design elements of Mac OSX, almost as if the designers had never seen such a system. With Word 2011 for the Mac (Intel Macs only), most of that has changed.

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Battle of the Note Apps
Day 4

On April 21, 2011, in iPhone, iPod Touch, Macintosh, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Day Four

Remember The Milk
iTunes link
Developer Web Site
Version 1.5.0
Free; Upgrade to Pro $24.99/year or $2.99/month
Works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Remember The Milk (RTM) is a popular note and to-do app for iPhone that, surprisingly, doesn’t have a dedicated iPad app. An online account is needed to use the app.

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Bento for Mac, iPhone, and iPad

On March 21, 2011, in Apps, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Bento 4 for Mac
Company: FileMaker
Cost: $49 individual, $99 family pack of 5 licenses, $20 instant upgrade rebate for existing Bento users
Requires: Mac OS 10.5.7 or higher; support goes back as far as Power PC G4 Macs
Mac App Store link

If you ask a Mac user about database software, most will reference FileMaker, the standard for creating business databases. However, FileMaker may be more than what’s necessary for a small business or home user. That’s where Bento 4 comes in.

Bento 4 is an easy-to-use, dare I say fun, database application for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Recently upgraded, Bento 4 includes many new features users have asked for that make creating libraries in Bento 4 easier than ever.

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Find a Mac App Store Bargain

On February 24, 2011, in Apple, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Store News
Cost: Free
Requires: Snow Leopard

With the success of the App Store within iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Apple decided to give Mac users the same experience for their computers with the release of the Mac App Store.

Like the iTunes App Store, the Mac App Store can be browsed by Categories, Featured, or Top Charts. But there’s nothing within the Mac App Store interface that shows which apps are on sale, or have lowered their price. That’s where Store News comes in.

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Macworld’s Mac Troubleshooting Superguide

On February 1, 2011, in Book Review, by Mike Breed

Macworld’s Mac Troubleshooting Superguide
Company: Macworld
Price: PDF: $12.95 USD, Printed Book: $19.95 USD, CD-ROM: $12.95 USD

Most of us are well versed in using our Macs and troubleshooting the comparatively few issues that arise from time to time with their use. Every now and then we run into a problem we aren’t quite sure how to approach. For instance, if your printer stops working after an upgrade of your OS, do you zap your parameter RAM or should you try uploading new printer drivers from Apple first? If you’ve tried a number of fixes and just can’t figure out what to do next, the Macworld Mac Troubleshooting Superguide may have the answers you’re looking for.

The Mac Superguide provides tips on everything from installing software and operating system upgrades to solving issues with networks. It’s virtually an A to Z guide to fixing just about every common issue that faces users of the Mac platform.

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Seriously Scary iPad Owners
MyMac Podcast 318

On November 5, 2010, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Listen to the show here, and subscribe in iTunes FOR FREE.
Guy starts off the show by himself and offers some help to someone looking for a way to transfer all his old data to a new drive and Sesame Street jumps on the App Wagon. Fortunately for everyone, Gaz finds his way on and the G-Men talk about some of the upcoming Android Tablet competition. iPad owners get angry at the flip of a switch and is there ACTUALLY a virus in the wild for OS X?
If you haven’t subscribed to Tim Robertson’s TechFan podcast yet, you are missing some great stuff! Just go and do it!
Contact info: Want to be on the show as a listener invite? It’s as easy as Han Solo shooting Greedo first! Drop us a line and let us know you want to be on the show. Gaz and Guy on Twitter,, or our Skype direct number 703-436-9501. Also go into iTunes and leave some feedback.
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