The sun is out and Hapy has the top down on his roadster. I changed the oil in all of the motorcycles but I must be getting old because I didn’t ride in to work this morning once I looked at the temperature and saw that it was 25 degrees. Remember last year, when I had all the difficulty with my red motorcycle and its charging circuit? I took it out of storage at my mom’s condo up in Burlington and had a hard time getting it started. It’s a long story but we ended up taking the sidecar off the bike and loading the bike into the trailer to take to the dealer for some repair work. While it was there, I asked them to see if they could figure out the charging issue. It turns out that there was a bent bracket in the primary case that was shorting to the stator which in turn had fried the voltage regulator. Long story short, the bike is ready to roll! Â I’m heading over to Enfield, New Hampshire, to pick it up on Saturday.
I took the opportunity of a disassembled sidecar to replace the Harley wheel on the sidecar with a Victory wheel, which necessitated a trip to the machine shop to turn the axle down by 1/4 inch. With a little luck, I should have Hammerhead’s sidecar back on the road soon.
Apple’s annual meeting of its shareholders was held this week and as expected the board of directors was reelected. There was a question- and-answer session, and sometimes interesting tidbits come from those. Steve Jobs gave us some good news in response to the question about whether the Pixar/Disney merger was going to eat up his time. He said that, on the contrary, he was going to be able to spend more time on Apple now. That is great news because the more attention we get from Steve Jobs, the better, more exciting products we are likely to have!
He did hint broadly that there is an exciting new advertising campaign being launched next week. We hope that it is not just another iPod ad, but an ad for Macs! He emphasized that the product pipeline at Apple is “the best I’ve seen in my life” and also said, “we hear you loud and clear” when a stockholder asked about the “ultimate” media center including PVR capability.
Apple Introduces the 17-inch MacBook Pro at NAB
The Apple booth at the National Association of Broadcasters was jammed with folks checking out Final Cut Studio as well as the MacBook Pro. Apple was so confident in their latest professional laptop that all of the demos in the booth were being run on the MacBook Pro, including the newly announced 17-inch version of the MacBook Pro which joined the 15-inch MacBook Pro as the next step in the Intel processor conversion.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro adds some features besides that additional screen space. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is the only MacBook Pro to offer FireWire 800, an 8x SuperDrive, and an extra USB 2.0 port. Â NAB was the right venue to announce this product, as it is ideally suited to the video production market. Â This 17-inch Apple professional laptop is up to five times faster than the 17-inch PowerBook G4 in benchmark testing. The display is 36% brighter than the 17-inch PowerBook, too!
Compared with the 17-inch PowerBook G4, the MacBook Pro enjoys tremendous throughput improvements across the entire system architecture. Here are some examples: Frontside bus – 167MHz 1.3 GBps for the PB; 667MHz 5.4GBps for the MBP, memory DDR2 @333MHz 2.7GBps for PB; DDR2@667MHz 10.7GBps for the MBP and Graphics – AGP4X 1GBps for the PB versus 16-lane PCI Express 8GBps for the MBP.
Here are some of the specifications for the new 17-inch MacBook Pro:
– 1 inch thin! – 6.8 pounds – that is an amazing engineering accomplishment considering that most non-Apple 15-inch laptops weigh in heavier – 8X SuperDrive DL – 2.16GHz Core Duo Processor – this is stock on the 17-inch MBP and a special order on the 15-inch MBP – 1gb of DDR2 RAM standard (with expansion to 2gb total if desired) – 120gb internal 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive (optional 100gb 7200rpm drive available as special order) – One FireWire 400 port – One FireWire 800 port – Three USB 2.0 ports – MagSafe Power Adapter (same as the 15-inch units) and Lithium- polymer battery – Built in iSight camera (great for iChatAV) – Front Row media experience with infrared remote included – ATI Mobility X1600 graphics chip set on the logic board for super- fast graphics performance – Illuminated keyboard (automatically senses when the ambient light is low and turns on the backlighting) – Scrolling trackpad (who needs an external scroll mouse anymore?) – Sudden Motion Sensor (in case the unit falls, your hard drive’s data will be safe) – Digital Audio (for both input and output) with twice the volume of its G4 predecessor – Three options for External Display Modes (dual display, mirrored display, and lid-closed modes) with any DVI display – AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth standard (of course) – ExpressCard/34 slot (for the newer type 34mm ExpressCards) A replacement for the PCMCIA technology of old – iLife ’06
We should have these new MacBook Pros in stock within about a week.
Pre-order the 17-inch MacBook Pro now for $2799 and receive 3-day UPS shipping for free .
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16609/mymac/
Dawn is Moving on to Voodoo
It is with a mixture of regret and optimism that I announce that Dawn will be leaving Small Dog Electronics in about six weeks. I have worked with Dawn for many years. Â She’s been our VP of Marketing for the past several years, but that doesn’t even begin to describe her value to the company. She has been an integral part of our management team for nearly ten years. She was the fourth employee after me, Hapy, and Art and has literally done every job at the company, invented many of our procedures and policies, and has been responsible for creating our image while maintaining our commitment to socially responsible business practices.
Dawn has been the co-writer of Kibbles & Bytes and has edited all of our newsletters, including a few that we no longer publish, such as Eds Up, MacWomen, and Do Your Business. She has been the co-anchor of the Small Dog Electronics Dog Food for Thought Pawcast and has had about a hundred other responsibilities here at Small Dog Electronics. At one point, I made her title “focus director.”
Dawn has the entrepreneurial fire that helps push a company to greatness and we have been fortunate to have her energy for the past decade. It is that same entrepreneurial fire that has ignited her desire to start her own venture, Voodoo Marketing. I am sure that her expertise and energy will drive her to success in her new venture and I am sure that Small Dog Electronics will be one of her first clients. So while we regret that we are losing such a powerful force in our company, Dawn won’t be that far away both because her husband, Artie, will be here managing our warehouse operations and because we remain friends and neighbors.
We have opened a search for a replacement for Dawn and want to get input from our Kibbles & Bytes readers. This is probably going to be the hardest pair of shoes to fill that I have had in my business career! Here’s a link to the job description on our web site:
If you know of someone who might be interested in this position, please have them contact me only by e-mail (don @ smalldog.com). We do not accept resumes or inquiries by other means.
Don’s Top Seven Apple Values – Spring 2006 Edition Don @ Smalldog.com
Every now and then, I review the field and come up with the seven best values from Apple. Here are my picks for the seven top values from Apple:
1) Final Cut Studio 5.1
Particularly appropriate as the NAB convention draws to a close, Final Cut Studio has become the tool of choice for serious video professionals. Final Cut Pro has done more to expand the Apple professional market than any other piece of software, or hardware for that matter. Many, many times we have customers buying Apple hardware solely because they need Final Cut for their work.
Now that Final Cut Studio is universal and the MacBook Pro is out, Final Cut Studio easily makes the cut as the top Apple value. Â With up to 2.5 times speed improvement with the MacBook Pro over the G4 PowerBook, the native FCS 5.1 is a must-have for serious video production professionals.
Final Cut Studio is a bundle of five very powerful tools:
Final Cut Pro 5 – the Emmy Award-winning software for native DV, SD, HD, and film editing
Motion2 – the world’s first real-time HD motion graphics application with GPU-accelerated, 32-bit float rendering
Soundtrack Pro – a revolutionary audio editing and sound design application that makes video projects sound as good as they look
DVD Studio Pro 4 – professional authoring software for both SD and HD video, allowing you to create menus, lay out your project, and output discs with ease.
Compressor 3 – the encoding workhorse that can convert, automate, and batch-process your video. Use it to prepare files for DVD, the web, and iPod.
Buy Final Cut Studio 5.1 this week and Small Dog Electronics will ship it to you via UPS 3-day service for free and will also send you a Contour ShuttleProv2 Multimedia Controller to make your movie making even easier ($99 value!).
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16621/mymac/
2) iMac – Intel
This was the first Mac that made the transition to the Intel Dual Core processor and it remains one of the most outstanding values from Apple. Introduced at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in January, the Intel-based iMac continues the iMac tradition of being what Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal call “the gold standard of desktop PCs.”
The iMac with an Intel Core Duo combined with iLife ’06 (see value #6 below) is perfect for all your digital media needs, with significant performance improvements over the iMac with a G5 processor. With a sleek, all-in-one look, the iMac fits into any room and has horizontally oriented ports to reduce cable clutter. Â It comes stock with AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless capabilities. It has a small magnet to hold the included Apple Remote.
The iMac sports a built-in iSight camera for video conferencing with iChat AV, and with Apple’s innovative Front Row software and the Apple Remote, you can navigate through and play music, movies, slide shows, and DVDs from across the room.
With prices starting at $1299 for the 17-inch model, which includes 512MB RAM, big 160GB drive, CD- and DVD-burning SuperDrive, AirPort, and Bluetooth, you cannot beat the value for a high-end desktop home or office computer. Â It is a shoo-in for #2 in the top seven Apple values.
Buy any Intel iMac this week and get AppleCare Protection (see value #3 below) for your purchase for only $75!
iMac 17-inch Intel 1.83GHz 512/160/SuperDrive/AP/BT with AppleCare Protection Plan – $1374!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16622/mymac/
iMac 20-inch G5/2GHz 512/250/SuperDrive/AP/BT with AppleCare Protection Plan – $1424!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16623/mymac/
3) AppleCare Protection Plan
AppleCare: Peace of mind for your Mac.
AppleCare is an extended warranty and more. Is it a good deal? Should you buy AppleCare with your new or refurbished Macintosh computer?
We are asked these questions all the time. Let me state from the start that I generally have a negative impression of extended warranty plans and get annoyed when I am buying something at a retailer and am pressured to buy some extended service plan. I think that in most cases they are just a waste of money.
I want to make the case, though, that AppleCare is very different and is an excellent value that you should consider for your Mac.
There are two basic benefits of AppleCare:
The hardware portion of the AppleCare Protection Plan extends the one- year warranty on your new or factory-refurbished Mac from one year to three years. It adds two additional years of coverage. (iPod AppleCare adds one year.)
This ensures that you will have access to genuine Apple repair parts and qualified Apple service technicians, should your Mac require service. You will be able to take your Mac to any Apple-authorized service center or send your Mac to Apple directly for depot service. Both parts and labor are covered for the three years.
Unlike many manufacturers of consumer electronics products, Apple maintains a comprehensive network of service organizations in virtually every corner of the USA. Just about all of the Apple resellers are also service authorized and can repair or facilitate repair of your computer.
New and factory-refurbished Apple products come standard with 90 days of free technical support via telephone (Apple recently changed iPod tech support to a single incident in the first 90 days). AppleCare Protection Plans extend that to three years as well (two years in the case of the iPod). This is the real hidden value of the AppleCare Protection Plan.
You get direct telephone access to Apple’s own technical support group. AppleCare representatives can help troubleshoot Apple hardware, the Mac OS, including Mac OS X, and many Apple-branded consumer applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, iDVD, Garage Band, QuickTime, and AppleWorks.
Technical support is available seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM central time.
The plan is comprehensive and includes the whole system: mouse, keyboard, AirPort Card and Base Station, and up to two Apple displays with your Power Mac G4 or G5.
To qualify for AppleCare, you have to still be within the one-year Apple warranty period on your new or factory-refurbished Mac. Kailey Roy here at Small Dog Electronics sends an AppleCare reminder letter to each of our customers just before their warranties expire.
The Apple display is covered only if it is purchased at the same time and same location as the Mac that you are using, there is also a separate AppleCare Protection Plan now for Apple displays.
The AppleCare Protection plan is valid in both the USA and Canada.
With the cost of the most common repairs on any Mac far in excess of the cost of AppleCare Protection, it takes only one failure of a component to justify the protection and peace of mind that AppleCare Protection provides.
To make your consideration of the value of AppleCare just a little easier, here are some specials on AppleCare Protection Plans for this issue of Kibbles & Bytes:
AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac and eMac – $135
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14121/mymac
AppleCare Protection Plan for iBook – $199
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14122/mymac
AppleCare Protection Plan for Power Mac G4/G5 – $199
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14123/mymac
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro or PowerBook – $269
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14124/mymac
AppleCare Â Protection Plan for iPod – $49
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14125/mymac
AppleCare Protection for Apple Display – $77
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16624/mymac
4) MacBook Pro 15-inch
I’ve been using my MacBook Pro for over a month now, and I’m in love. I know that the newly announced 17-inch MacBook Pro has a larger screen and a few other enhancements, but won’t fit in my motorcycle saddlebag and would barely fit on my lap. I find that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the perfect size for my main computer and is light enough and powerful enough to be my Mac of choice when I travel, too!
The 15-inch MacBook Pro (I didn’t like the name at first, but now PowerBook seems odd) was the first Intel-based notebook from Apple. It utilizes the Intel Core Duo processor that makes it up to four times as fast as the fastest PowerBook G4. It now features a built-in iSight camera, which is one less piece of hardware that I have to drag along when I am traveling. It makes video conferencing as easy as instant messaging!
The MacBook Pro also comes with the Apple Remote and Front Row. I haven’t lost my Apple Remote yet, but I see less value for that device with the MacBook than the iMac.
Apple’s beta program for Boot Camp, which allows you to boot into Windows XP, and Parallel’s Virtual Machine beta, which allows you to run Windows (or other OS) in a separate window, show off the versatility of the MacBook Pro. I haven’t found anything interesting to compel me to boot into Windows or to launch Parallels VM, except to demonstrate it to people. I recently had a meeting with a web hosting client and we spent about five minutes on web-hosting issues and about 45 minutes demonstrating the capability of the dual-boot nature of the MacBook Pro with Boot Camp.
The 15.4-inch screen on the MacBook Â Pro is 67% brighter than on the PowerBook G4. It is truly a noticeable difference in brilliance. At just 1 inch thick and 5.6 pounds, the MacBook Pro is one of the slimmest and lightest laptops you can buy.
The MBP has integrated stereo speakers and microphone, an IR receiver for that Apple Remote, an illuminated keyboard for low-light use, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, and a very handy scrolling trackpad. We’ve talked before about some of the safety features, such as the innovative MagSafe power connector and the sudden motion sensor. All of those throughput comparisons I did above for the 17- inch MacBook Pro apply also to the 15-inch model.
This week, if you buy any new 15-inch Â MacBook Pro, we will include a Free 2nd Apple 85 Watt MagSafe AC Adapter!
MacBook Pro 15-inch 1.83GHz 512/80/SuperDrive with 2nd Apple 85 Watt MagSafe AC Adapter – $1999
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16626/mymac/
MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.0 GHz 1gb/100/SuperDrive with 2nd Apple 85 Watt MagSafe AC Adapter – $2499
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16625/mymac/
5) iWork ’06
Two of the easiest-to-use applications for $79! Professional results with minimal effort. I like to think of Pages and Keynote as applications that can “save your butt” in an emergency. Everyone can look good using an application like Keynote or Pages. Launch Keynote and you can put together a presentation that will blow away your competition. You’ll start to feel like the Wizard of Oz when you see how easy it is to look so nice! No one with a Mac should even think about touching PowerPoint, as the amount of work to make a PowerPoint presentation look as nice is not worth it. Pages has made great strides and though it may not quite be ready to replace your desktop publishing software, it is ready to replace your word processing software.
Two of the best applications on the market for only $79. This is how software should be priced. Order now and we’ll throw in a FREE Small Dog Coffee Mug.
6) iLife ’06
While the MacWorld Expo in January will probably be best remembered for the introduction of the first Intel-based Macs, I think that almost of equal importance were the improvements to iLife that were introduced at that same show. The iLife suite of digital lifestyle products is unparalleled in the computer industry and provides a strong measure of extra value whether you are buying a new or refurbished Mac that comes bundled with iLife ’06 for free, or if you buy iLife on your own.
This extraordinary value includes these applications that you may find yourself using regularly:
iPhoto 6 iPhoto 6 features faster performance, support for up to 250,000 photos, full-screen photo editing, and the ability to create professional-quality greeting cards and wall calendars. New to iPhoto is the idea of photocasting, which is like a podcast only with images. In case you’ve forgotten, what makes a “cast” is the delivery method, allowing a RSS reader to automatically update with new information. In the case of a photocast, you’ll upload new images and the folks subscribed to your feed will automatically know about them. If they are iPhoto users, too, an album will be created and they will have full-res photos identical to the ones you took. I use iPhoto every day – I don’t remember what life was like without it!
iMovie HD 6 iMovie HD features Apple-designed iMovie themes that automatically combine customer video and photos with professionally produced movie scenes to give a professional polish to any video. New audio tools using Core Audio make your customers’ movies sound as good as they look. And iMovie HD is the easiest way to create video podcasts. iMovie HD also features automated movie making, improved performance, easier editing, more effects and access to new sound effects, and tighter iLife integration. I used iMovie to make a simple video of my scuba dive with the manta rays and it took me about half an hour to do the whole thing, including editing and adding music.
iDVD 6 iDVD features 10 new themes in both widescreen (16:9) and standard (4:3) format, and each theme includes a family of designs. iDVD also features: Magic iDVD for automatic DVD creation; themes with dynamic drop zones; autofill drop zones; simplified, more powerful editing; improved slideshows; enhanced Map View; and tighter iLife integration. When I was in Hawaii, I used iDVD to make a DVD of the many photos and videos that I had taken in Hawaii so that I could give it to my landlord before I left. It was a piece of cake, and the landlord was impressed with the ease and quality of the work!
GarageBand 3 New to GarageBand is the ability to add a track of artwork for a podcast. The best way to describe this is that it looks like the track view of iMovie with more audio tracks. Most other GarageBand features add improvements and ease to podcast creation. GarageBand is a radio station in a box. iChat interview recording, jingles, built- in speech enhancer, and one-click publishing to .Mac. I thought I would never use GarageBand because my musical talent goes about as far as plugging in my iPod, but with these new features I see new horizons.
iWeb iWeb is brand spanking new. iWeb is an easy way to create web sites and includes 12 Apple-designed templates covering basic web pages, photo albums with slide shows, blogs, and podcasts. One-click podcast publishing using a .Mac account. I have created my website <http:// web.mac.com/donmayer> to share photos, movies, and my writing. I’ve started to post all of the soapboxes I have written over the years to my blog on iWeb. I like the software, For a 1.0 piece of software it is very powerful and easy to use. I hope that Apple continues the development of this product as part of the iLife suite,
If you do not have iLife ’06, it is well worth the $79 to upgrade to this latest version. If you have several Macs in your home, the Family Pack of iLife ’06 might be an even better value at $99. To make it even easier, we will ship either one for free via 3-day UPS this week!
iLife ’06 w/free UPS 3-day Shipping – $79
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16628/mymac/
iLife ’06 Family Pack with Free 3-day UPS shipping – $99
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16627/mymac/
7) .Mac – An Essential Mac Tool
.Mac is one of the best values that Apple has to offer. Forget about the .Mac email account that you can access anywhere. The advantages start with an easily accessible online storage system and continue through the ability to share calendars and sync your address book via iSync.
Here’s the short list of .Mac benefits. (I am sure there a more to come from Apple, too!):
Publishing with iWeb
Seamless integration with iWeb – the newest member of iLife ’06 – makes it easy to publish your websites with a single click of a button.
.Mac iDisk makes it easy to exchange files with friends or centralize your documents so that you can access them anywhere, at any time.
Communicate, coordinate, and stay in sync with your club, team, or organization. .Mac Groups includes a group email address and website.
Let your friends and family subscribe to your shared iPhoto albums and view your full-resolution photos on their own computers.
Protect your precious memories with this powerful upgrade to .Mac Backup. Scheduled automatic backups are as easy as 1-2-3. This one piece of software makes .Mac an extraordinary bargain and worth the price of admission!
.Mac Mail is ad-free and elegant. Use your account through Mac OS X Mail or through .Mac Mail on the web. Virus protection is built right in.
.Mac Sync keeps up-to-date information at your fingertips, whether you use multiple Macs or whether you’re on the road without your Mac.
The Learning Center offers step-by-step tutorials on the applications you use most, including iLife, iWork, Mac OS X, and .Mac.
Annual Subscription for .Mac on sale for $89 (can also be used as a renewal).
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag14112/mymac
Annual Family Pack of .Mac on sale for $169
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16630/mymac/
If you buy any new Mac at the same time as .Mac, you can get an additional $30 rebate from Apple!
Seven Best non-Apple Values Dawn @ Smalldog.com
To round out Don’s best Apple values, I’m going to talk about the best non-Apple values. To make this list, the product either needs to be free, less than $50, or such an incredible value that it makes sense to mention.
1. Firefox IMHO this is the best browser available. I’m not alone, as our web traffic at PodJungle.com shows that about 40% of the visitors are using Firefox. What makes Firefox better than Safari? It plays much better with some of the Web 2.0 sites that I use on a regular basis. With extensions such as the Google Toolbar, it is immensely more expandable. Firefox is free.
2. Quicksilver The ultimate in controlling your Mac. People either love this application or they just don’t get it. I happen to love it. One of the best sites that I’ve found for making Quicksilver more functional is the 43folders blog. The second link goes directly to a post regarding training yourself to use Quicksilver.
4. Small Dog Electronics’s ClickCase If you have an iPod nano or current iPod that runs video, this is one of the best values in cases on the market. It is made of good-quality leather (the kind of leather that feels substantial), provides access to all the controls including the docking port, and protects the screen with a click cover. Priced at $19 for nano or $27.50 for the iPod, it blows the doors off of Apple’s leather case.
5. Rebate on Xerox Phaser 8500N and 8500DN The $300 mail-in rebate that is being offered for one of my favorite printers is what helps this printer make the list. This basically discounts the final price of the printer by 35%.
6. The latest web offerings by 37signals Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-Da Lists, and Writeboard by 37signals allow you to collaborate via the web in a manner that was only a dream a few years ago. Each web-app has a free component and is priced in such a manner as to allow for scalability. I’ve integrated some of these web-apps into my daily routine and can’t say enough cool things about them.
7. Just about every digital camera under $300 Digital cameras have substantially dropped in price in the last year or so. The quality of the low-priced cameras is so good now that they will work well for just about everyone. The camera that I purchased four years ago for $350 can’t compare to those currently in the $150 price range. If my out-of-date camera didn’t work so well, I would upgrade to a less expensive model. If mine is fabulous, just think how great these new cameras are!
Well, I pretty quickly reached my seven non-Apple values and I could really keep going. Other things I might mention include a Voice Over IP solution such as Vonage.com (which I love) or Skype, Google Earth (as well as Google and all its add-ons), Apache Web Server, PHP and MySQL, NetNewsWire, and so on! If there’s a product that you think should have been on the list, let us know by posting a comment to this blog post:
iSync My Cellphone ed @ smalldog.com
iSync 2 is one of the great features of Tiger (OS 10.4). I use it to keep my addresses and Â iCal calendars in sync on multiple computers, my iPod, and my Palm Pilot. iSync will allow you to sync your computer’s contacts and calendars to certain cellphones, but my current phone is too old to join the party. This has been a pain, as I’m always adding phone numbers to my Mac address book, but then I have to tediously reenter them on the tiny cellphone pad.
I’ve always wanted an iSync-capable phone, so I was secretly glad when my old phone began showing signs of irreparable decline.
Visiting the cellphone store is not fun. Between the convoluted calling plans with their nonsensical pricing schemes, special offers (and special catches), and the cellphones with their confusing rebates and obscure-but-essential features, getting a new cellphone can be a real chore. Even when the salespeople are helpful, they typically don’t know anything about cellphone-to-Mac connectivity. If you want an iSync-compatible phone, it pays to do some research before going to the store.
First, Apple keeps a list of iSync compatible phones here:
Many people have been able to get phones not officially on the list to sync with their Macs via iSync. If you really want a phone that’s not on Apple’s list, you might go to Google to see if anyone has made it work with iSync.
There are several ways to physically sync with the computer. Bluetooth is a great way to sync. You’ll need to get a Bluetooth phone and your computer will also need Bluetooth or a $30 Bluetooth adapter. No additional cables are needed. You can get a USB cable to connect the phone to the computer as well. The USB-to-phone cables are typically proprietary, and can be $50 or more when purchased at the cell phone store. Small Dog sells cables for many cell phones that allow you to charge and sync the phone from the computer, along with a third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation iPod. See a photo of this here:
You can find these by searching for Malleable Devices on www.smalldog.com.
Motorola, Cingular, and Apple have teamed up to create iTunes-capable cellphones. These allow you to load iTunes playlists and music purchased from the iTunes Music store on your phone. This means you can leave your iPod at home – at least on short trips. They’ve been moderately successful.
It’s been long rumored that Apple will introduce its own Apple- branded, Apple-designed cell phone. This would be a great way for Apple to keep the lead in pocket-sized digital entertainment/work devices. Imagine the Newton and the iPod wrapped into one – with a cell phone to boot. I hope this happens. Apple has registered www.iphone.org.
For now, I think I’ll get a Palm Treo 650 running the Palm OS. This means I’ll no longer need to carry my Palm around when I travel. I’ll be using it with iSync and also Mark/Space’s Missing Sync software. Missing Sync is an excellent program. See it here:
All I have to do now is figure out which plan to sign up for and decipher the current rebate schemes!
Fogware HYB Art DVD – $22 Explore the world of fine arts and their history with this great tour! Â The Art DVD collects a world of creativity for your perusal. See and feel the emotions of art and the famous (and not so famous) artists who created it all. Expand your knowledge of art, understand the language of paintings and get truly prepared for your next visit to the art museum!
Fogware HYB History DVD – $22 Learn about the events of the past that created your present. The History DVD takes you on a journey back in time, as you learn about life in the past — and the people and events that shaped it before you were born. World and U.S. History included.
Fogware HYB Places DVD – $22 Discover the natural and man-made beauty of America with this collection of software tours! The Places DVD will take you on a journey rich in scenic beauty and historic wonder from far east to the coastal west. Includes tours of Alaska & Hawaii, The Southwest, The Southeast, The Northeast, The Midwest, The Rockies, The West, Florida and Texas.
Fogware HYB Space DVD – $22 A collection of the very best in space exploration! With the Space DVD, you’ll venture into space and explore what hides above the skies. Titles include Stars, The Earth, Astronomy, The Inner Planets, The Outer Planets, The Solar System, Space Speculation, Space Exploration and The Universe.
MacPlay Jewel Quest – $22 Explore the ancient ruins of Mayan civilization while discovering hidden treasures and priceless artifacts. In this unique new take on the classic-style matching game, you must rearrange valuable relics to turn sand tiles into gold. As you venture deeper into the jungle, you will encounter increasingly difficult puzzles containing secret twists, cursed items, and buried artifacts. ESRB Rating “E” for Everybody.
MacPlay Mah Jong Quest – $22 Kwazi needs your help! Three terrible dragons have appeared without warning, wreaking havoc on the once peaceful village. With the guidance of twelve spiritual animals, solve the mysteries of the ancient tiles to restore balance to the Empire. You must find and match Yin and Yang to proceed through each of the 60 puzzles. This is your destiny, this is Kwazi’s Quest. Choose from over 150 additional Classic and Puzzle layouts to improve your skills or just to have fun. ESRB Rating “E” for Everybody.
SDI iH30B iHome iPod Boom Box with Radio – $119 The Boom Box for Apple iPod & Shuffle with FM Radio and Presets. Rich full sound you can take anywhere with a built-in dock. The portable design lets you bring the party anywhere you go! Auxiliary/MP3 line- in jack with patch cord for other MP3 players and audio devices.
Hasbro iDog – $29.95 The little dog with BIG sound! Just plug him in to your music player and I-DOG plays your music through his built-in speaker or your headphones — and rocks out! Wanna dance with I-DOG? Try placing him near a speaker and dance along as he grooves to the beat. I-DOG even changes his mood to suit your music. Simply play something new and I- DOG entertains you with expressive movements and flashing LED lights that change color!
Here are the specials for this week, valid through May 4 or while on- hand supplies last. Be sure to use the wag URL to get this special pricing.
Factory-Refurbished iMac 17-inch G5/1.9GHz 512/160/SuperDrive/AP/BT with additional 1GB RAM – $1089
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16629/mymac
Ultimate Portable Presentation System – $3129
PowerBook 15-inch G4/1.67GHz 512/80/Super/AP/BT with iWork ’06, and InFocus LP120 Mobile Projector
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16588/mymac
Canon Pixma Printer, Digital Camera, SD Card, and Camera Bag – $239
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag10009/mymac
Apple iPod 20gb with Color Display and CARTune FM Transmitter & Charger – $225
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag50065/mymac
iMac 20-inch G5/2.0GHZ 1GB/250/SuperDrive/BT/AP (new) with iPod mini 4gb Silver (refurbished) – $1499
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16631/mymac
It looks like a sunny spring weekend here in the Green Mountains. A good weekend to rototill the garden, wash and wax the bikes, and get a couple of rides in. Grace and I are heading up to Burlington for a fund-raiser for Bernie Sanders for Senate, featuring a comedy show by Al Franken. Political season is in high season already in Vermont!
Thank you for reading Kibbles & Bytes and have a great spring weekend!
Your Kibbles & Bytes Team,
Don, Dawn, Ed, and Holly