Kibbles and Bytes – 453

The Olympics are on but the big winner this week was a bull terrier named Rufus who walked off with top dog honors on Tuesday at the Westminster Kennel Club’s show at Madison Square Garden. Here’s a picture of the big winner:


I was flipping channels the other night and the Purina Incredible Dog contest caught my attention. They had amazingly athletic dogs doing acrobats for discs but my favorite event was the Jack Russell hurdle race. I was laughing hysterically and woke up Grace with my laughing. When she lifted her head to check out what I was laughing at, she also broke up. I sure do love dogs!

The weather here in the Green Mountains continues to be odd. Yesterday it was in the 50s and that warm weather is continuing this morning with rain. I can look out my window down the Mad River valley and see only bare ground and a swollen river. A big change is coming, though, as a cold front is pushing our way. The forecast is for the rain to freeze and then the winds to pick up (there is a high wind warning) and temperatures plummet tonight to -15 F. The trees and wildlife are a bit confused. I’ve seen a lot more deer grazing lower over the past week. Even Mothra, my cat, wants to go outside now. Spring fever in February? No way! The harsh reality of winter is an arctic cold front away.


Barkings Returns to Small Dog!

About two years ago we redesigned our web site and away went the very popular Barkings. Barkings was updated daily with Small Dog news, Apple news, and odd tidbits of information. Though this was interesting to read and drew people to our site, it was difficult to maintain and, because of our site design, caused some problems if the article was more than a few paragraphs. It required working with HTML, so not everyone was interested in contributing.

Barkings existed long before there was such a thing as a web log, but that’s exactly what it was (except that there was very little room to write anything). All we knew was that when it was gone, we missed it. Then along came the blog phenomenon and we finally had a way to bring back Barkings. It took us a little longer than we had anticipated, but we finally have Barkings back.

You can read Barkings on our blog page here and post comments to some articles. We aren’t turning on all comments right away so we can see what happens with comment spam, the latest in the spammer’s arsenal.


MacBook Pro Speed Bump!

Even before Apple shipped the first MacBook Pro, they decided to upgrade the latest laptop in the Mac line. Apple announced this week that they are providing a speed bump to the MacBook Pro. All current orders will be automatically switched to the new models. It was a bit of a pain because Apple also changed the model numbers and UPC codes, but we are all set for the first delivery.

The 1.67GHz Intel Dual Core chip has been replaced with the 1.83GHz Dual Core on the MacBook Pro’s entry-level Mac and the top of the line now sports a 2.0GHz Dual Core instead of the 1.83GHz. I guess we can’t call it the top of the line anymore because Apple also is offering the fastest chip Intel makes in the Dual Core line: a 2.16GHz Dual Core as a configure-to-order option at an additional cost of $300.

We’ve been told to expect our initial shipments of MacBook Pro units within the next week, so it looks like Steve Jobs will meet his promised February shipment dates on this new addition to the Mac line.


Oompa Loompa Trojans?

The blogs were abuzz with news of what some called the first “virus” for Mac OS X, which masks itself as the latest pictures of the next version of Mac OS X, Leopard. If you download the file “lastestpics.tgz” and enter your password to uncompress and run it, it would attempt to send the file to everyone in your iChat buddy list.

Contrary to some reports, this is not a virus. It requires user action to download, decompress, and launch the program. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would ever download a file with the “.tgz” extension. That screams WATCH OUT! You cannot be infected with this malicious software unless you intentionally download the file (or get it via email or iChat direct transfer). Then you would have to double-click on the generic icon to decompress it and then double-click on the resulting file. Depending on how you have your system preferences set up, you would probably have to enter your admin password,too.

You can’t “catch” this virus — you have to go through all those steps. Always remember that it is important to understand what you are downloading. Be cautious about running applications if you are unsure of their origins. It is easy to make a file that would erase your hard drive if you answer “yes” when Mac OS X asks you if you want to erase your hard drive.

Symantec, which has a vested interest in discovering security issues so they can sell you some software, has classified this Oompa Loompa Trojan as a category 1 threat (on at 5-point scale with 5 being the most serious threat).


Playing Around with iWeb

iLife ’06 is an upgrade well worth the price of admission. Apple has upgraded all of the applications in iLife. We have talked about the new features. I had some time to play with the latest addition to iLife, iWeb. This piece of software gives you the tools to be on the net with your own web site, blog, and/or podcast faster than any software I have seen. I decided to remake my personal website with iWeb and it was so easy and intuitive that anyone should be able to do it.

iWeb is yet another great reason to have a .Mac account because the resulting websites can be easily hosted on .Mac. Take a look at my new website at:

I’m going to be adding to my blog and photo sections from time to time and especially when I am in Hawaii next month. I plan on uploading my underwater photos soon after I surface.

I was playing around with iWeb at the office and wanted to continue to work on my project at home on my PowerBook. The first new feature I’d like to see from Apple is the ability to modify and add to your web site from multiple machines. There is a workaround that made it possible, but it involved a trip down to the office and the use of my iPod shuffle.

The database that contains your iWeb website is contain in the iWeb folder in the Application Support folder inside the Library folder. It is a file called “Domain”. I drove down to the office and checked in on the store, but the guys seemed to have that under control. Then I booted up my office G5, plugged in my iPod shuffle, and moved “Domain” over to the shuffle. Once I had driven back through the mud to my house, I simply moved the file over to the Library on the PowerBook and was able to work on the site on my PowerBook.

Another feature we’d like to see in iWeb is a “comments” feature for the blog so that it can be interactive. That’s an important feature that makes blogs fun.

To get started with iWeb, all you have to do is tell it that you want to create a new site. You are then presented with a bunch of interesting templates or themes for your web site. These range from plain white to nightlife to formal. I selected Freestyle. You then are presented with six choices of templates to get started: Welcome, About Me, Photos, Movie, Blog, and Podcast.

When you select one of these, you are presented with a complete template with spaces for pictures and text that you can easily place. To change the text, select the “Lorem ipsum…” and replace it with the text you want to use. If you want to use a picture, you can use the media browser and grab a picture from your iPhoto library and drag it over to the template. You can create links and add pictures. When you are satisfied with your page, select “Publish to .Mac” and the file is uploaded to your iDisk and you can announce your new web site to the world.

What is remarkable about this combination of iLife, iWeb, and .Mac is that Apple has once again taken what was a mysterious skill of web developers and brought it to everyone. With its intuitive and powerful interface, iWeb is a remarkable piece of software. If you haven’t upgraded to iLife ’06 yet, you should do it now! To make it even easier, Small Dog Electronics is offering free shipping on iLife ’06 and iLife ’06 Family Pack this week for Kibbles & Bytes readers.

iLife 06 with free shipping* – $79

To order:

iLife 06 Family Pack with free shipping* – $99

To order:


Final Cut Studio and Intel Anticipation Ed @
I switched to Macintosh computers back in 1999 to take advantage of iMovie 1 and Final Cut Pro 2. Then, as now, Apple offered the best and most integrated solution for editing video. I started out on an iMac DV with a 40 GB hard drive, 512 MB of RAM, a 13-inch screen, and a G3 500 MHz processor. I actually ran FCP 2 on it. I didn’t know better back then.

I eventually switched to a dual G4 Power Mac with a large flat-panel display. Of course, this greatly exceeded the iMac’s capabilities. Now I am back to editing on an iMac — an iMac G5, that is. With a very fast G5 processor, 2 GB RAM, and an excellent 20-inch screen, it’s an ideal system for editing SD video. It’s faster than the dual 1 GHz Power Mac it replaced. The iMac G5 runs the latest version of Final Cut Studio, including Final Cut Pro 5, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, and Soundtrack Pro — applications I run several times a week. I use a semi-broken MiniDV camera to connect the iMac to a television, where I can preview video playing on Final Cut’s timeline. The iMac is the perfect machine for me — fast, reliable, and integrated.

It seems the Intel iMac will be even better for editing video. Not only is the processor faster than ever, but for the first time the iMac has the option of a 256 MB video card and features a DVI-out port that natively supports video spanning. That means you can connect a second monitor to the iMac and run two separate images at a time on both monitors. You could do that with the older iMacs, but quality was limited to an analog VGA connection and you had to download a hack to get the video card to support dual displays. Now video spanning to a second monitor is native, digital, and very high quality. The Intel iMac is capable of being a no-compromise, full- time editing machine.

The only hitch is that Final Cut Studio is completely incompatible with the Intel Macs. You can’t even install the software because it was designed to take advantage of specific technologies only available on the PowerPC. When the Intel-based Macs were unveiled at Macworld, Apple announced that an update for Final Cut Studio would eventually be released. That date has now been confirmed as March 31. If you have a current version of Studio, it will only cost $49 to get the Universal version of the software. If you have Final Cut Pro 5, the upgrade is only $99. There’s even an upgrade path for the software going back to Final Cut Pro 1! Read about this here:

If you buy Final Cut Studio today, you’ll get the PowerPC version. You can then upgrade to the Universal version on March 31. This means you’ll have versions for G4 and G5 machines as well as Intel-based Macs! We’ve put Final Cut Studio on sale to take advantage of this window of opportunity. For $100 less than list price, you can own Final Cut Studio (Final Cut Pro, Motion 2, Soundtrack Pro, and DVD Studio Pro 4). See the special here:

Apple Final Cut Studio for $1199!

To order:

Have fun editing!


AppleCare Now Global and Mike Hogan’s New Toy

Mike Hogan is Small Dog’s Apple rep and every now and then he comes up with a gem for us. Mike sent me an email this morning with some news about the change to Apple’s warranty policies and AppleCare Protection Plan. I opened the mail and there was only a sound file. The sound file was Mike’s voice explaining the new features (no comment about the early morning intrusion of Hogan’s yapper). It saved me the time of reading one of his messages, which we seldom read anyway. Seriously though, Mike also pointed out that a shareware program called Audacity was pretty cool. So I downloaded it and the MP3 translator (LAME MP3 Encoder) and sent him a reply that was just a small sound file.

Audacity is a free cross-platform sound editor that can be downloaded at:

The news that Mike was sending to me was that Apple has changed their warranty and AppleCare Protection policies to provide coverage for most Apple products if you find yourself with a problem outside the USA. In the past, only some products were covered (primarily laptops) under the Global warranty. Now all products with the exception of the iMac are covered under the Global warranty.


Garage Sale Coming Next Week!

We are going to be holding our latest Small Dog Electronics Garage Sale next week. This one is going to be a little different because we are going to be offering a bunch of iBooks, PowerBooks, and other Macs in “as-is” condition. You can be guaranteed that these Macs have something wrong with them, but they are good as fix-me-ups or as a source for parts. We are pricing them low to move them out. We will also have our usual assortment of products for the Garage Sale.

These sales are strictly first-come, first served, so look for Kibbles & Bytes to come out sometime around 7:00PM Eastern next Friday if you want to be first.


Mark Jones Checks out Circus Ponies Notebook MarkJ @
Yesterday as I walked to the refrigerator in our office to grab a soda, Holly, who was with Hapy and Carey going over new products, asked me if I’d write a review of Notebook by Circus Ponies. She knew that I’m one of the few people here who use Notebook regularly and I’m always saying how much I like it. So here goes!

Originally I used Notebook 2.0 just as a basic note-taking application, and then as a phone log. The interface is designed just like (obviously) a notebook. It’s easily customizable to suit individual taste, as a spiral, pad, or perfect notebook. You can set up the pages as text (in no particular format), outlines, or just plain lists. The more I worked with it, the more uses I found for it.

I communicate with a number of Small Dog’s vendors and customers and, of course, all of Small Dog’s employees. Notebook allows me to attach files (Excel, Word, photos, graphs, audio notes, etc.) in their original format and relate them to conversations or projects right on the page with my notes. Web links, photos, and Address Book cards on the pages are great timesaving features. Aside from the drag-and-drop method of adding images, Notebook also allows direct loading from digital cameras and scanners. If you forget where you’ve put a file, it has a great Super-Find feature, similar to Tiger’s Spotlight, which allows you to find files by text, keywords, or date created, among a few others.

Tis software has innumerable uses. It’s simple to use, easy to customize, and loaded with features that make organizing large projects stress free and even fun.

Notebook 2.0 sells for $43! Order this week, and we’ll ship for free to the 48 contiguous U.S. states!

To order:


Start Soapbox

Baseball Has Been Very Very Good to Me

The relatively unnoticed announcement from the International Olympic Committee that baseball and softball would not be allowed as an Olympic sport in the 2012 Olympics is an outrage. Baseball and softball are team sports that are played all over the world. Softball and baseball are the first sports to be cut from the games since polo was cut in 1936. Cuba, Australia, Guatemala, Brazil, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and Taiwan all spoke up in favor of allowing the sports to continue on the Olympic level after their now-final appearance at the 2008 games in Beijing.

Baseball was a demonstration sport at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and 1988 Seoul Games and became a medal sport in 1992 at Barcelona, where Cuba won the gold. The Cubans beat Japan in the 1996 final at Atlanta- Fulton County Stadium, where the 32 games had an average attendance of 28,749.

While the sting for U.S. professional baseball is not very severe, the close association of women’s softball with the men’s game probably doomed that sport as well. The concern seemed to be that U.S. professional baseball players would not be participating in the games because they would occur during the middle of the major league baseball season. While not too many baseball players dream of an Olympic gold medal, for women softball players Olympic gold was the pinnacle of the sport.

Major league baseball is getting more and more international in its scope and one day the World Series may become a true world series with international competition. The Olympics could have been an important step in this direction, but MLB will probably work toward international competition without the IOCC.

The impact on the women is more severe. Croatian softball player Jelena Cusak said the decision will cut off crucial funding for youth softball programs around the world. “These kids won’t have the Olympic dream anymore,” she said. “They won’t understand this decision. We can’t explain it to them. They don’t know the politics.”

Baseball is played all over the world and there are certainly more baseball and softball fans than there are fans of other included sports such as archery, fencing, handball, and curling!

Shame on the IOCC. Baseball and softball belong in the Olympics!

What do you think about the IOCC decision to drop baseball and softball from the 2012 Olympics? Share your opinion at the Small Dog Soapbox:

End Soapbox


New Products

Rain Design iWoofer Speaker System – $129 iWoofer. The fresh and radical iPod speaker system. iWoofer is designed to make a striking impression for the eye as well as the ear, with unique combination of features like downfiring subwoofer and the smallest ipod speaker with radio. iWoofer distinctive sci-fi yet friendly looks matches your fun loving lifestyle and let you share with all to enjoy.

Black: (no picture available for black version)

iWoofer for Nano/Shuffle – $129 White:
Black: (no picture available for black version)

Rain Design iLevel Adjustable Laptop Stand – $79 Because you don’t sit at your desk in a fixed position, we designed the iLevel stand to be dynamic. Drag iLevel’s slider to adjust the screen height to your new eye level whenever you shift position. Rotate iLevel’s built-in turntable whenever you want to share ideas with others. Designed to match the Apple MacBook and PowerBook, iLevel is made of steel with silver paint finish, so you can work comfortably in a stylish and solid desktop setting.

12″ PowerBook/MacBook Pro –
14″ PowerBook/MacBook Pro – mymac

Mobility iGo iTip A61 for iPod – $15 Unique itipTM Technology enables any itips compatible power adapter to power/charge thousands of mobile electronic (ME) devices using interchangeable tips. These tips automatically configure to ensure each device gets the precise amount of power.

iSkin eVo3 Blush – $29.99 The amazing eVo3 raises the bar by being the first silicone protector to feature an ultra-clear, scratch resistant screen and face protector for the iPod with video. As with all iSkin products, the eVo3 is precision molded to provide the ultimate fit with a high quality finish. It’s designed to provide maximum protection without added bulk and to enhance the look of the iPod. The iSkin eVo3 is crafted from durable, high-grade silicones.

30GB 5G iPod Video –
60GB 5G iPod Video –



Here are the specials this week, valid through February 23rd or while on-hand supplies last. Be sure to use the wag URL to get this special pricing.


iPod nano Protection on Sale!

MobileJuice ScreenShield 3-Pack for the iPod nano – $5

To order:

MobileJuice nanoGear PowerGuard, ScreenShield, and WheelFilm Bundle – $5

To order:

MobileJuice PowerGuard 2-Pack – $5

To order:

MobileJuice SkinArt Silicone Case (available in six colors) – $7

To order: Frost White
To order: Solid Black
To order: Transparent White
To order: Turquoise Blue
To order: Light Pink
To order: Lime Green


Used Apple iPod 20gb Clickwheel (A Condition) with Small Dog Electronics Groove Cube (w/ AC Adapter) and CARTunes – $209

To order:


Power Mac G5/2.5GHzDP 512/160/SD/Rad9600XT with Adobe Creative Suite CS 2 Standard (full version) – $2899

To order:


This week only!

Free Small Dog iPod Ear Buds (Retractable) with any iPod purchase. Just enter coupon code ReelBuds when placing online orders.


Micro Accessories 65 Watt AC Adapter for PowerBook or iBook – $39

To order:


Protect your keyboard with a hint of pink!

iSkin ProTouch XT Apple Keyboard Protector (Blush Pink) – $25

To order:


PowerBook 17-inch G4/1.67GHz 512/100/SuperDrive/AP/BT (r) with AirPort Express Base Station (n) – $2079

To order:


How soon do you pack for a trip? My wife, Grace, and I are total opposites. We are two weeks away from leaving for our trip to Hawaii, but I looked in the spare bedroom the other day and Grace was already gathering suitcases and clothing. I’m the sort that waits until the last minute and grabs whatever I think I might need and tosses it into a bag. It’s a good thing the airlines limit our luggage!

Despite my concerns about the IOCC, I’ll be spending some time watching the Winter Olympics this weekend and, of course, the NBA All Star game.

Thanks for reading this issue of Kibbles & Bytes. Have a great weekend!

Your Kibbles & Bytes team,

Don, Dawn, Holly, and Ed

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