It was Passover on Wednesday, Good Friday today, Easter on Sunday, and Tax day on Monday. Here in New England, we get an extra day to file our taxes this year because Monday is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts where we file our taxes, so the deadline is the 18th. There are signs of spring all over, including the flock of about 25 wild turkeys that were causing a ruckus in my yard early in the morning. The best sign of spring for me was that they graded my road and I was able to get the motorcycle out for the first ride of the year!
There must be good news for Apple because their stock price seems to be suffering. I guess it is just skepticism that is keeping it in the sixties. But the release of Boot Camp beta that allows an Intel Mac to run Windows has caught the attention of many folks. Anecdotally, I can say that this new capability for Macs is going to be huge. I was at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility annual conference this week and almost everyone who knew I was in the Mac business wanted to talk to me about Boot Camp. I had companies that I have been speaking to for years about switching to the Mac suddenly very interested in talking and I was able to come out of the conference with a few appointments for discussions of converting whole companies to the Mac.
Yes, it is going to take some time for this to reach maturity. Boot Camp is still beta software and as such it is important to realize that there will be bugs and problems. I want to highlight a couple of issues with Boot Camp to watch out for, with our normal warning that whenever you are installing operating system software, especially software in beta, make sure you have a complete backup of your vital data, music, and photos. Do not be a regretful pioneer with this software. Take the time to make a backup! You will be glad you did even if you never use it.
The first issue to be aware of is that during the installation process of Windows XP it is going to ask you where you want to install it. You created a new partition with the Apple Boot Camp software and you MUST tell Windows to install it on that drive – the C: drive. If you accidently select one of the other options, you could erase your Mac hard drive!
There have also been reports that some people have installed Windows and have been unable to boot back into the Mac OS. Those are also anecdotal reports and it is certainly possible that these folks have made the location error I mentioned above, however, you can see why you want to make a complete backup of your data before you head out into the cyber frontier and install Boot Camp and Windows.
Aperture Goes Universal
Apple announced version 1.1 of Aperture which is now universal and works native for the Intel processor. This is a free upgrade for owners of Aperture and the Software Updater system preference will offer you the upgrade to download if you have Aperture installed. Apple also cut $200 off the price and made this powerful software within the reach of any serious digital photographer. At $299, Aperture 1.1 delivers significant performance gains on both PowerPC- based and the new Intel-based Macs, providing photographers with desktop level experience on the new MacBook Pro and delivering a powerful entry-level photography workstation on the new Intel-based iMac. Performance tests on a MacBook Pro have shown that common repetitive workflow tasks such as Lift and Stamp and searching are processed up to 4x faster on a MacBook Pro than on a PowerBook G4.
Get $10 off and free shipping this week if you order the new version of Aperture by using coupon code “RAW” when you order.
Apple Remote Desktop 3
Apple introduced a brand-new version of Apple Remote Desktop this week that supports Macs with Intel processors and introduces more than 50 new features. Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real- time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and automate routine management tasks – all without leaving your desk. Featuring Automator actions, Remote Spotlight search, and a new Dashboard widget, Apple Remote Desktop 3 makes that job easier than ever.
Apple Remote Desktop 3 offers a wide range of high-performance features, including lightning-fast Spotlight searches across multiple Tiger systems, more than 30 Automator actions for easy automation of repetitive tasks, a Dashboard widget that provides quick and convenient observation of remote systems, and AutoInstall for automatically updating software on mobile systems once they return to the network.
Installing software or software updates to your network has never been this easy. Take an existing package, either from Apple or a third party, and simply use the Install Package to copy and install on your client computers. Apple Remote Desktop will alert your system’s users to upgrades and even restart machines remotely.
The screen-sharing features of Apple Remote Desktop allow you to provide immediate help to remote users, saving time for both of you and saving precious resources in reducing travel time to get to that remote Mac to help your client, friends, or family.
Apple Remote Desktop 3 can be installed on computers that have:
Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, including Intel-based Macs with Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later and an Ethernet (recommended), AirPort, or FireWire over IP network connection.
Apple Remote Desktop 3.0 is a Universal Binary application, which means it can run on both PowerPC-based Macs and Intel-based Macs.
Apple Remote Desktop 3 allows you to add Apple Remote Desktop version 2.x clients to your computer lists and will automatically assist you in upgrading them to the current version of the client software. If you choose not to upgrade your clients to the current version, you will have limited backwards compatibility and will only be able to control/observe computers that are running version 2.x of the client software.
Apple Remote Desktop 3 comes in two versions, a 10-user and an unlimited version. The 10 managed system version sells for $299 <http://www.smalldog.com/product/40104/mymac> and the unlimited is $499 <http://www.smalldog.com/product/40103/mymac> .
They should be in stock shortly and for Kibbles & Bytes readers we have a coupon that will give you $10 off and free shipping for the next two weeks. Use coupon code “ARD4ME”.
Have you been checking out the Small Dog Electronics blog? I am very proud of the Small Dog crew for making our blog work so well. It is everything that I have wanted for the website for some time. A little history is in order here. Our first website (back when we were www.smalldoggy.com – another story) was a blog, pure and simple. We would come in each morning and write up the day’s specials and news and post it as one big text file. Thanks to Mr. Peabody’s wayback machine <http://web.archive.org>, here’s a snapshot of our first website:
Check out that Performa 5215 for only $899!
Later as we upgraded our website we introduced a section called Barkings which we updated daily. Again thanks to the wayback machine, here’s a sample of Barkings:
It became a pretty big chore to do Barkings every morning, so we reluctantly dropped it from the last upgrade to the web site with the idea clearly in mind that someday we would revitalize Barkings. It is back now as the Small Dog Blog and I think it is working very well with contributions from many of the employees here at Small Dog. If you haven’t checked it out yet, surf over to:
First Experiences with Boot Camp
I got my copy of Windows XP on Monday and started to install Boot Camp. I downloaded the software from the Apple website and followed the instructions to burn a Boot Camp CD with the Macintosh drivers on it. Then using Apple’s Backup utility from my .Mac account, I made a complete backup of my important data, music, and pictures onto my big external drive. Now I felt safe to be a pioneer with my brand-new MacBook Pro!
I created a partition for Windows using the Boot Camp software. Creating the partition was easy. Finding space on my hard drive was not. I have nearly 40GB of music, 10GB of photos, 20 GB of movies, lots of documents, email, etc., so my 120GB drive is pretty full and I am running in violation of my own rule to leave 10 to 15% of my hard drive empty. So I created a pretty small partition of about 5GB. That size was more than adequate for me.
I installed Windows from the distribution CD and had to rummage in the trash for the validation key since I had tossed it (it was on the cellophane wrapping), but finally got it installed. Then I noticed that not much would work. I realized that I had to actually use the Boot Camp CD with the drivers, so I tossed that in but my MacBook Pro would just eject it. After conferring a bit with Morgan, we decided that when I had written the title of the CD on the white area of the disk I had actually screwed it up. So I used Boot Camp to create a second disk, didn’t mark this one, and it worked – installing the ATI video drivers, the AirPort wireless drivers, and a bunch of others. After rebooting I had a MacBook Windows Pro. Of course, I didn’t have a clue about what I should use it for, but I was able to surf the Internet and run any of the stock Windows applications.
My real purpose in installing Windows on my Mac is so I can demonstrate the capability to potential customers. I can choose which operating system to boot into by holding the option key down while starting up. I have to say that Windows is everything I imagined it to be: ugly, nonintuitive, and well…Microsofty. I’ll give you one quick example: While the Boot Camp CD installs the wireless drivers that allow you to use the AirPort card built into your Mac, Windows doesn’t seem to support the WEP password but requires the entire unmemorable 16-24 character long WEP key.
We have a demo operating in the store and now I can show the capability to friends and business associates. There is a big wow factor with Boot Camp and there is little question in my mind that this will dramatically increase Apple’s market share – not overnight, but certainly over the next year or two!
I’ve also loaded up Parallels virtualization beta, but I haven’t had enough time to play with it so I’ll write about my first impressions next week.
Google launched its beta version of Google Calendar. The online calendar has some neat features, such as interaction with iCal and gMail as well as the ability to share calendars, send invitations, and publish events.
To use Google Calendar, you’ll need Firefox. Other browsers may work, but only Firefox is fully functional and supported for this beta version. I was able to use Flock and it worked identically to Firefox, as I had expected. I had problems with all the other browsers I tried (Camino, OmniWeb, Opera, and Safari). Some browsers would load but looked ugly, while others wouldn’t load at all.
You’ll also need a Google account. Anyone can have a Google account. You can use your existing email address, but if you have a gMail account, use that to log in. To set up a Google account, you can go here:
Once you have an account set up, you’re good to go! Creating events is as easy as clicking on the calendar and adding the info, or just use the Quick Add feature and enter text such as “Dinner tomorrow 7pm” and an event will be added. If you want to link a Google Map to an event, just put the address into the location field.
It’s easy to add public calendars to your calendar. Just click the + button for other calendars and search through the public calendars available, such as Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, or Apple.
The really cool thing about Google Calendar is the interaction you can create on your website if you are promoting an event. Say, for example, you have a website about your favorite dog breed and you want to promote a dog show that you are hosting, Google provides pre- made buttons for “Remind me with Google Calendar” and the HTML to add the button direct to your website. Now when a visitor clicks on your event button, he’ll get your event info added to his calendar with one click.
For an overview of how Google Calendar will work and to take a tour:
For information on sharing events on your website:
Product Review: Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-5110EOXM By Holly Buttura
How exciting can a scanner be? Let me tell you, this scanner is seriously cool! At 11.2 inches long by 5.7 inches deep and 5.9 inches tall, this is the most compact scanner I’ve ever seen. It won me over the moment I opened the box. In my opinion, it’s compact enough to be considered portable, and I don’t mean just from one office location to another. Its construction is durable and stylish.
Installation was incredibly simple. Install two pieces of software, connect the two cables, and you’re in business. An icon automatically shows up in the Dock. When the scanner is not on or connected, the icon remains but with a red circle and slash through it. Think you might have forgotten to turn it off? Whenever the paper chute cover is closed, the power automatically shuts off. I can think of several people for whom that’s a good feature! 😉
I tested the duplex scanning feature and was blown away by the speed. It’s unbelievably FAST! A double-sided color sheet fed through in less than 5 seconds and the PDF popped up on the screen shortly after. This was with a scanning quality of “normal,” which I suspect would be what one would use for scanning black-and-white text documents. The output was a little grainy, but not horrible by any means. When I changed the setting to “excellent,” the same double- sided color sheet fed through in eight to ten seconds and the PDF popped up about three seconds later. The output was reasonable compared to other scanners.
There are four settings for quality: Normal/Fastest, Better/Faster, Best/Slow, and Excellent/Slower. You can choose color mode, black-and- white, or color – or leave it at the default for Auto Color Detection. You can also adjust the brightness for black-and-white scans, including a “text only document” setting. Likewise, you can choose whether to scan as a duplex or single scan. You can file a number of different paper sizes, including Legal, Postcard, and Business Card, to name a few. You can also let it auto-detect. The two file output options are PDF and JPEG.
This scanner might be a little more expensive than the average consumer would like, but it is a steal for a small office. It’s a quick, easy, and cost-effective method of digitizing paper and is a good option to eliminate the necessity of storing paper, binders, file folders in big space-taking storage cabinets. It saves you time with the duplexing feature – ScanSnap is designed for documents containing many pages with information on both sides of the paper. It can continuously scan up to fifty sheets of double-faced paper at a speed of fifteen pages per minute, thirty images per minute. This product gets two thumbs-up for sure; in fact, if I had more thumbs I’d give them all!
Reading About Apple, Inc. and OS X
I was housesitting for Don Mayer a couple weeks ago, when I read his copy of My 500 Days on the Firing Line by former Apple CEO Gil Amelio. While the book was self-serving, it was fun to take a trip down memory lane – back to the time of Performas, ClarisWorks, the Newton, serial ports, SCSI, and 6x CD drives. Gil Amelio is widely scorned in the Apple community, but he deserves credit for some of his work at Apple, such as cutting costs, trying to keep Newton alive, and especially for buying NeXT Computers – although some have said that it was NeXT which acquired Apple. The most entertaining part of Amelio’s book is his account of Steve Jobs’s brilliant maneuvering to control Apple.
Several excellent books have been written about Apple and about Steve Jobs. The first one I read was The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, a bestselling hybrid of biography and business. Another book about Steve Jobs, iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business, became famous when Apple banned it from its retail stores. I am going to read it later this summer. Other recommended books include Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, The Cult of Mac (by by Leander Kahney, who edits the “Cult of Mac” for Wired Magazine and <http:// blog.wired.com/cultofmac/>), and Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made by Andy Hertzfeld (who cowrote the first Macintosh’s operating system and maintains www.folklore.org).
My favorite book about OS X is Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Killer Tips by Scott Kelby. It gets right to the point with page after page of clever shortcuts, workarounds, and how-tos. It’s great for beginners, but experienced Mac users will also discover many clever tips between the pages. It’s big, colorful, and fun to read. It’s also a great gift. I put it on sale for the next two weeks:
My second favorite book about OS 10.4 is the Visual Quickstart Guide. It’s another book that gets right to the point with easily digested instructions on how to do everything from setting up your computer to getting on a wired or wireless network to keeping the machine in good working order. I can often find answers in the Visual Quickstart book faster then going online or via OS X’s built-in help menu. I wish the Visual Quickstart guide was available in a searchable digital format – then it would be perfect. Actually, I wish every book was available in a searchable digital format.
I also put the Visual Quickstart Guide on sale:
The Dummies Guide books are also very helpful for learning OS X and other associated computer programs. We don’t sell them at Small Dog, but they are good.
Newbie Tip: iChat By Holly Buttura
iChat saves me from having to do a lot of running around in the office. I can ask coworkers questions as needed. I don’t expect my coworkers to drop everything when they receive an iChat from me, but sometimes with all the applications and windows open on my screen I lose the iChat window. Sure, the icon bounces in the dock, but if i have multiple iChats going I might assume it was one of the ones I’m responding to and forget there’s another open window.
For example, I get an iChat from one of my coworkers in Sales. He’s asking about a particular product spec. I try to address these the moment I get the iChat, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way and I have to refer to the iChat later. Sometimes a program will unexpectedly quit or the machine has to be rebooted. I could ask the Sales staff to repeat the information, but they’re busy folks! So to have a reference of what was said I have set a Preference in iChat to automatically save all my iChats. That way i can go back into the log and pull up the iChat, which was saved by the person’s name. This is a handy feature. Here’s how to set this up, as it’s not the default.
* Open iChat
* Under iChat in the menu bar, select Preferences
* Choose Messages from the top 5 sections (General, Accounts, Messages, Alerts, Video)
At the very bottom of the dialog box and under a “rule” (horizontal line), you’ll see the phrase “Automatically save chat transcripts.” Check that box. You can also specify where the transcripts are saved. (How many times have you let the computer automatically save something only never to know where it went?) I recommend selecting “Open Folder” and creating a folder so you know exactly where they go.
Fuzion Labs Noiz earbud earphones – $19 Until now, white has been your only option. Now comes the arrival NOIZ earphones – the colored earphones for your iPod. This brilliantly colored ear candy comes in Pink, Blue, and Stealth Black colors. Both you and your iPod can finally stand out from the crowd.
NOIZ works with all iPod models
Samsung CLP-510 Color Laser Printer – $439 Color means impact and Samsung’s CLP-510 color laser printer ensures that you are able to achieve it with vibrant colors, vivid images, and sharp text up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi resolution, even on special media, such as envelopes, labels and cardstock. The CLP-510 not only meet your color needs, but exceed them!
Harman Drive + Play iPod vehicle interface – $175 Drive + Play puts the familiar iPod menu on a backlit display right on your car’s dashboard or windshield, where you can read it at a glance. The system is controlled by the most intuitive interface available and is as easy to use as your iPod.
Harman OnStage II iPod Docking Sound Station with Remote – $119 JBL On Stage II with RF remote, is a revolution in personal sound for the iPod. The JBL On Stage II is a compact yet powerful high- performance sound system for iPod and other MP3 players. Fill your room with clear, accurate JBL sound and all the volume you (and your friends and neighbors) can handle. Use the wireless remote to control the music from up to 50 feet in any direction, even through walls. But whatever you do, rock on. Because JBL On Stage II is the iPod dock that knows how to party, and it’s pure JBL.
Harman OnTime iPod Docking Sound Station/ Alarm Clock – $164 JBL On Time is a high-performance sound center that lets you wake up to music stored on your iPod. Just connect your iPod, MP3 player or other music source to JBL On Time and experience clean, powerful and dynamic sound. The upward-firing tweeter and horizontal low and midrange transducers provide a 360-degree sound field. JBL On Time includes a radio, clock and dual alarm, and is the world’s first time machine to include a menu-driven, intuitive user interface.
Ignitek iCheer Speaker system for iPod nano – $58 Less than 3/4 of an inch thick, this speaker setup lasts over 30 hours on battery and is made exclusively for the iPod Nano.
Here are the specials for this week, valid through April 20 or while on-hand supplies last. Be sure to use the wag URL to get this special pricing.
QuickerTek Connect – $179
Easily extend your existing AirPort range without installation hassles! Portable and super-easy to use.
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16593/mymac
iPod mini 4gb Silver (2005) w/ Small Dog Groove Cube Speaker (Factory refurbished, 1-year factory warranty) – $155
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16588/mymac
Cool Home Office Setup!
Includes 20-inch G5 iMac, 20GB iPod, iPod Speaker System, iWork, and Laser Printer/Scanner/Copier – $1949
iMac 20-inch G5/2.0GHZ 1GB/250/SuperDrive/Bluetooth/AirPort 20GB iPod (color display) Kensington SX2000 Speaker System for iPod Brother DCP-7020 USB Laser Printer/Scanner/Copier Apple iWork ’06
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16594/mymac
iPod 20gb (color display) with Rain Design iWoofer iPod Speaker System (White) – $319
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag50062/mymac
LaCie 4GB Carte Orange USB Key Drive bundled with .Mac Subscription – $179
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16589/mymac
Power Mac G5 DC/2.3GHz 512/250/SuperDrive/GeF6600 (r) with 2GB RAM installed – $2299
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16528/mymac
PowerBook 15-inch G4/1.67GHz 512/80/Super/AP/BT with Ogio Citi Corp Messenger Bag – $1599
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16595/mymac
Spring cleaning dominates my weekend. We are making the annual transition from cars to motorcycles in the garage and that means cleaning the garage. Sweeping out a winter’s accumulation of dirt, salt, and grunge from a winter’s worth of spoogle (the snow that accumulates in your wheel wells) to make room for the bikes is first on the list. Then it is changing the tires on the cars to summer tires and moving the bikes out of the cellar, changing the oil, and doing a safety check.
Off to my mom’s place on Sunday and if the weather cooperates I’ll get the bike with the sidecar out of storage at her place and ride it back to Warren. I guess I also have to do my taxes sometime. Might have to watch some Cubs, too!
I hope you enjoy your spring weekend. Thanks for reading Kibbles & Bytes!
Your Kibbles & Bytes team,
Don, Dawn, Holly, and Ed