I have been really busy and I know my readers have noticed. With my second Master degree now out of the way, I am ready to get back to business covering new and old Macintosh tips and tricks! The tale of two MBAs is simply, while working on my MacBook Air I completed my Masters in Business Administration degree with honors.
Now my MacBook Air was not the only tool I used. The iPad was a great way for me to read my PDF textbooks. I could have my iPad with the text on there ready to search and annotate, while my MacBook Air had Microsoft Word up. This combination was really effective since I could position the iPad on the same table and easily use both tools.
That is what college is all about, right? Using tools to make life easier, in this case studies easier. Unfortunately my University still uses PDF textbooks instead of the exciting iBooks version. I am hoping that will change for the student that follow me. That will make the textbooks all that much more interactive while exciting the senses. From the demos I saw that would of been something special.
Not only did the iPad contain my textbooks, it also contained two free MBA apps that I found one day. These apps normally run $30 each but was a “special of the day”. They contained sample calculations that I may use and included a study path to reinforce. I don’t have my iPad next to me tonight so I cannot rattle of the app names. Another tool that worked really well was Wolfgram Statistics Course Assistant. This app had some of the formulas I needed to use in some of my classes for $2.99. Not bad.
Utilizing Apple technology throughout my college years (the past really made that much of a difference. When I started college with my Bachelors degree the University only “officially” supported Windows. I did not way to go through hoops (and this was before Intel Macs were on the scene) so I purchased a Dell Inspiron 6000 business class laptop. What a piece of crap! The hardware failed severely and Dell would not cover anything in the first year. I learned my lesson and my next laptop was a Mac. Lesson learned.
The difference was reliable hardware and quick software. Using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint made my assignments 100% acceptable with no possible for formatting errors. When you are dealing with APA format papers you don’t want a 99% compatibility application saving your work. You need 100% and Microsoft did a great job making sure their Office products for Windows and Macintosh were 100%. If I needed to move a Word document to my iPad I used Dataviz’s Documents to Go Premium. I recommend this app to anyone that needs to work on a paper, presentation, or spreadsheet on the go. Just send the file back to my Mac for the final formatting and time was saved.
Ultrabooks are Intel’s MacBook Air clone line up that many of the Windows PC manufacturers are now making 2012. My advice is go with the original Ultrabook – the MacBook Air for your education laptop!
All Mac users that have been using the platform since the 1980′s are too aware of the malware available for older Macs. Since Mac OS X’s release way back around 2000 malware has been a memory. The current Java VM that Mac OS X uses has a flaw that Apple patched last week.
Apple is going in the right direction with Gatekeeper in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with their sandbox feature. Until then, we can protect ourselves by either applying the Java security update patch or disabling Java in Safari.
If you have an older copy of Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard and older). My advice is to just disable Java for now in Safari to protect your Mac from any Java based Trojan Malware.
To disable Java in Safari:
- Select the Safari menu
- Select Preferences (or press Command + , )
- Click the Security tool bar button
- Under Web Content, uncheck “Enable Java”
- Close any open windows and restart Safari.
To disable Java in Firefox or Chrome you will need to disable Java from Plugins in the Add-ons area or settings.
Make sure you download the Java update that is available as of April 6, 2012. The download will be available for Mac OS X Lion and Snow Leopard editions through Software Update. Named: Java for OS X Lion 2012-002 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 7 (Snow Leopard).
This patch is essential to protect your Mac from the Flashback Trojan that started to make headlines last week.
Today Apple Inc. announced that the next Macintosh operation system will be available late Summer 2012. The official name is “OS X Mountain Lion”. No more Mac OS X, Apple is shifting away from calling the OS is just for Mac. With the ultra iPad-like functionality I can see where Apple is going on this one.
Messages is just like taking iChat and iMessage and squish them into one. The iMessage portion is like iMessage on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 5.x. Free messaging for anyone who is running an iOS 5.x device or any Mac running Mountain Lion. That best feature that is awesome is you can pick up any current messaging from one device to another device. So say you are working and your wife asks you to leave as you forgot the time on Valentines Day. You just stop using your Mac and start using your iPhone 4s and the conversation is still going while you are strolling out to the car. Awesome!
I use Reminders all the time on my original iPad and iPhone 4s. Sure I can open iCal and see my reminders. Here is the same look and feel on iOS and your Mac. This is a win as everyone knows that the look and feel of an application can help boost productivity if it is the same over multiple platforms.
I use Notes on my original iPad and iPhone 4s as the built-in searching makes this my favorite note taking app. iCloud syncs the notes to my iPad, iPhone, and Mail on the Mac. Mail? I never understood why Notes was incorporated with the Mail app on the Mac side. Apple answered my pleas and decided to make a separate app! I like the structure better instead of trying to look for notes inside on a separate area in Mail. Pin my notes on my desktop, that will be useful.
I love this feature on my iPhone 4s. I know I will love having my MacBook Pro letting me know that I have a new email (with a quick blurb of what it is about). The best thing is the native OS integration. No forgetting to open an app just to see what is going on. The “desktop swipe” on the trackpad is a great way to hide them or see all of the current notifications.
Each application will be able to have a Share button where you can add a bookmark, add to a reading list, email, iMessage, or even Twitter. Convenient!
The best feature is being able to play a game on your Mac head to head on someone on an iOS device!
I use this all the time on my iPhone 4S. Being able to just share your screen to an Apple TV connected to your 1080p TV is great! Now when I need to play a game from my couch I don’t have to look t the screen on my Mac. I can use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard on a lap tray. Cool! One of the longest games I have been playing is for Windows called Ultima Online. Being able to have that running in Parallels up on my 1080P 46″ TV will be epic!
I give Apple credit for introducing this feature. We all know that Macs can run malware if they were compiled for the Mac OS and distributed. Why run a separate resource consuming Antivirus app when you can tell your Mac to just don’t run any apps you don’t want to. All you need is to identify the developers that you want to run their apps. Think whitelist. All apps from the Mac App Store are included.This is the best in piece of mind approach to me.
If a rogue app gets installed by accident (like a trojan horse who said it was one thing and it is not) it won’t even run. You download a rogue app of Adobe Reader. You identified Adobe as a “identified developer”. You run the “fake Adobe Reader” app and it won’t run and it won’t run your day. Simple and elegent.
Everything is integrated with iCloud so data moves from your Mac to your iPad to your iPhone instantly, or back. This is definitely magic!
I really cannot wait. I urge you to do to http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/ and watch the video. You can even download Messages (beta) now and use it on Mac OS X Lion.
Once I am able to actually use OS X Mountain Lion I will see if how I perceive how the OS works is correct. I guess using Macs since the mid 1980′s has given me some insight on how Apple’s user interface guidelines work.
It’s a new year, which means we have to review the one which just passed. Yes, this is a tiring exercise for most of us. During the first week of the year, we want to look forward, not back at a year which is no more. This article also happens to be coming on the heels of all those “year in review” newspapers, magazines, and TV broadcasts from the past week. Why do another one?
Think back to last year at this time. I made ten predictions about Apple in 2011. Why not see if I was anywhere close? Then, when we’re done, how about I give you ten for the new year?
1. SSDs will appear in iMacs and potentially Mac minis and laptops other than the MacBook Air.
Sure enough, SSDs have popped up in iMacs, Mac minis, and MacBook Pros. Tack on a point for me here.
2. Although OS X 10.7 (Lion) will include many iOS features, most users will bypass them and use the traditional Mac OS interface instead–unless they are recent “switchers” who came to Apple because of the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
This seems to be the case. I honestly don’t know anyone using Launchpad. Even at a recent Apple tech conference for educators, company reps were using the Finder. It’s basically a successor to Panels (from OS 9), an optional interface for those who need simplification. I could see it picking up more steam in educational environments as more schools go to Lion, but at this point, if you’re a Launchpad user, you’re in the minority. Score one point here.
3. The Mac App Store will be only a mixed success.
If you had asked me this question in January, the answer would have been yes. It did pick up steam as the year went on, but two events triggered a sudden increase in volume. First, Apple pulled its boxed retail software from store shelves, forcing the use of the Mac App Store. Second, the release of Lion led to a huge increase in popularity, as its distribution took place over the Mac App Store (where it is now the #1 selling download). No points here, ending my two-prediction scoring streak.
4. Optical drives will become optional on some models or disappear entirely.
They did on one model not named MacBook Air: the Mac mini. I do expect to see them vanish on more computers in 2012, especially smaller MacBook Pros, but sure enough, at least one model eliminated this standby. Score one point.
5. The iPod Classic will be discontinued.
I had almost forgotten about this prediction until New Years Eve, when a buddy was using one in his car en route to the bowling alley. In fact, I had almost forgotten about the iPod Classic itself until then. For audiophiles like my friend, who has 14,000+ songs (and a bunch of movies), they still make sense until larger SSDs are reasonably affordable. The Classic lives on, and my point is denied for this question.
6. There will be no legitimate replacement for the XServe.
Do Mac Pro and Mac mini servers count? Probably not. Cloud computing represents the future of servers, and Apple sees this. Rack-mounted Macs will be stuck alongside ImageWriter IIs and extra copies of HyperCard as far as Apple is concerned. Tack on another point.
7. iWork’s market share will remain static.
Where was our new version this year? There were rumors going around about an iWork update a year ago, but currently we’re still stuck with iWork 09. The share doesn’t seem to have changed much on computers, although the programs are selling well in the App Store and are generally well-liked on iOS. I’ll give myself a half point here, only because of the high sales of iOS devices, which can only add to a market share of an overall product (when OS is not a factor).
8. iPhone sales will jump dramatically in the first quarter.
Indeed, they jumped in the first quarter, due in no large part to Verizon becoming a carrier for the popular device. The iPhone has sold like hotcakes all year. In fact, even this one-time skeptic about the product (who blasted the iPhone 4 on this very site when it came out and wrote on Low End Mac that it would be another Newton) bought one this year, albeit in the fourth quarter. One point here.
9. When the iPhone 5 comes out, quality assurance will be higher.
iPhone 5? What was I thinking? This popular search term is, as of now, an unreleased product. Still, the iPhone 4S does seem to be of great quality. I did get a bumper for mine just to play it safe, but I know several people using their iPhone 4S without one who haven’t encountered any difficulties with it. I’ll give myself a half point, losing credit only because I said “iPhone 5”.
10. The iPad 2 will be a huge success and will continue to grow the device’s popularity.
Yes, yes, and once again, yes. This was the other new product I picked up in the fourth quarter, and I’m not sure how I lived so long using laptops as my ultra-portable web machines. Score a point here.
7 points out of a possible 10. Not too bad for a strange year in which Apple lost its CEO, delayed a hyped product, and shortages from Japan affected nearly everyone in the technology industry.
Now, on to the 2012 predictions!
1. A new, supercharged iMac will replace the Mac Pro.
The power users will complain about a lack of slots, but Thunderbolt should be able to step up to replace them once more peripherals and interfaces are added. (Remember the hubs for replication of old proprietary devices when USB came out?) Internal connectors could do the same in some cases. Monitors can always be added to iMacs, so those needing more than one display can relax. For server customers, expect a better Mac mini server (although I do expect cloud computing to cover most of what servers were used for in the near future). The Mac Pro is a nice machine, but it’s obvious Apple is de-emphasizing it, getting everyone ready for a change.
2. Further elimination of optical drives will take place throughout the year.
They disappeared on Mac minis last year. With thinner MacBook Pros rumored to be on the way, there’s reason to believe the optical drives will start vanishing here as well. Apple did manage to kill off the 3.5” floppy, so I wouldn’t put it past them to render CDs and DVDs obsolete next year. Some higher-end computers will probably still have them, but this isn’t something I expect to stick around much longer.
3. The discontinuation of the iPod Classic will occur this year.
I know I predicted this last year, but this time I see it happening. Apple is getting away from hard drives and going to SSDs whenever possible. Since I see those dropping in price next year, the Classic will probably suffer the fate of discontinuation.
4. Some sort of iWeb replacement will arrive.
It’s obvious iWeb is on its way out. That’s a shame, as it offered some decent templates (though HTML enthusiasts did like to blast some of the underlying code) and was fairly easy to use. My entire (personal) website was created with iWeb, and I’d like to see some alternative pop up soon. Apple will hopefully be able to do this, whether it’s through Pages templates or by introducing a new program (which I could see as being cloud-based).
5. Siri will become available on other Apple products.
This will include the iPad 3, new Macs, and iPod Touches. Of course, I also see it moving out of beta. It’s been a hit so far on the iPhone 4, so I expect Apple will use it for other purposes. Imagine telling the computer to open a document or type a certain number in a particular cell on Numbers!
6. The iPhone 5 will ship in the third quarter.
Those of us who have been with the Mac for a long time are accustomed to long waits for products. System 7 and OS X were both behind schedule. Lotus Jazz became the single greatest piece of vaporware in history in the 1980s. We’re still waiting for the Cube’s production to resume (remember, it was never “discontinued”; rather, it was “suspended”). I don’t suspect, however, that the iPhone 5 will take more than a year to get out. The third quarter seems reasonable all around for this launch. Likewise, expect the iPad 3 to ship during the second quarter so the products can be spread out a bit.
7. Apple’s TV set will either launch around November or wait until next year.
I don’t really see this set coming out until either very late in the year or early next year. It’s going to take some time to work everything out. How will content be managed? What features of iOS will port easily to a television? How can Siri be perfected to work here? Can Apple design something that actually works, rather than the insipid remote designs we get from other companies? What will the set look like? A giant iMac, perhaps? Yes, there are a lot of questions here, and they’ll be answered in time. For now, don’t go anticipating this set just yet.
8. When Apple does release their TV, the Apple TV will be discontinued.
It just wouldn’t make sense to keep it around if its features will be integrated to an actual television set. The Apple TV isn’t the most popular product in the lineup in the first place, perhaps because much of the general public doesn’t quite understand what the device does. Dumping the Apple TV would also be a good idea from a business standpoint, as it would force people to buy the more expensive television set.
9. Apple stock will hold relatively steady throughout the year, with no big growth nor huge loss.
There have been questions about Apple’s long-term outlook for a while, but these concerns were greater after Steve Jobs died. Love him or hate him, Jobs was an amazing businessman who took a company on the brink of bankruptcy and made it one of the two most powerful companies in the world. Tim Cook seems like a good leader, but the shoes of Steve Jobs will be awfully hard to fill. Still, he seems to be a better fit than, say, Mike Spindler or Gil Amelio, especially since Apple is much more established than it was in 1985 when John Sculley took over the company. Investors will probably fear a bit, given the global economy in general and lack of a completely new product until the TV launches. Thankfully, there should be enough left in the pipeline from Jobs to last for a while.
10. Apple will continue its holy war against Android.
It seems we were just fighting against Microsoft over Windows, which was claimed to have copied the Macintosh. As it turns out, both Apple and Microsoft had stolen ideas about GUIs from Xerox. Apple has a much stronger case this time, especially going against a company which only seems destined to fail eventually. Google does output some good products, but has their share of problems. For example, they have almost no customer support to speak of. You’ve got a better chance of speaking directly to Queen Elizabeth II than a Google company representative (that is, one who will tell you what to do instead of searching for the answer online). They also tend to leave their products in beta for a long time and seem to have some answer to everything. Frankly, they just seem like a store brand sometimes. Google+ is the store brand Facebook, for example–it does pretty much the same thing but lacks the name recognition and is shunned by some users for not being “the real deal”. Android is that “generic” iOS clone, but this time, it’s too similar–as a math nut like myself would say, it’s nearly congruent. Steve Jobs said he would fight to the end to make sure Android was shut down for copying his product, and while not all claims may stand, I could see something happening if Apple plays its cards right. Android won’t go away entirely, but perhaps some changes will be made.
There you have it. Ten predictions for 2012. Since I’m feeling generous this year, I’ll toss in an eleventh while I’m at it. On December 24, you’ll be laughing at the Mayans and all those who believed the world would have ended the day before.
Check back in a year. We’ll see how I did this time. Here’s to topping 7 points!
Opinions expressed belong solely to the author, and do not represent the views of The Mac 512.
2011 is a year that we all will remember. Even if you are not an Apple fan. Here is why…
Highs in 2011:
No other tablet sine the original iPad raised the bar in tablet computing. The iPad is the successor of the Apple Newton MessagePad, and the iPad 2 builds on the iPad. The speed increases of iPad 2 gives you better working apps. Living the iPad Life© is all about mobile computing on the go with easy access to your information (and no one else that you don’t want to have access).
iPhone 4s with Siri
I am waiting until January 2nd to early upgrade to my iPhone 4s. I cannot wait as this update will give me more speed, same great security, and Siri. I have tested a friends iPhone 4s and Siri is amazing. Don’t forget that Living the iPad Life© includes the iPhone way of life too.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
This Os update is chaining how we all use our Macs. I have criticized the autosaving feature until last week when it literally saved my butt. I have reversed my opinion of the autosaving and have learned to work with this change, instead of against it from now on. Other features in Lion like gesturing makes working with my MacBook Pro easier.
What can I say – speed on newer devices, iCloud integration, and more. This update makes my life a little bit more easier.
Mac App Store
From a Mac Collector standpoint I have always been bummed about downloadable software with no retail boxes. The physical retail boxes gives you a great look at the product and makes any Mac collection that more personal. Times have changed and the world is clinging onto software being downloaded and installed. The App Store for iOS and now the Mac App Store is providing this. I have many apps on my mac from the Mac App Store and if I need a piece of software that has no retail box to collect, I prefer to get it through the Mac App Store now.
Portable computing make easy is finally here with iCloud. Love the capability it gives me. If I need a internet file server (like iDisk from MobileMe) I am using Box.net or my local Pogoplug as these gives me the “file server in the sky” document access I need from time to time. If iCloud get this feature then those 2 services may go bye bye.
MacBook Air – fastest Mac ever, let me explain
With a flash memory hard drive that gives you boot times of Mac OS X Lion of 5-6 seconds means you can get to work faster. Fastest Mac ever means the overall responsiveness, not raw computing power of the 12-core Mac Pro (nothing can touch that for raw computing power). The MacBook Air of 2011 gives you the best and fastest mobile laptop experience. Loading apps, opening/saving data, and anything else that is disk intensive is just blazingly fast.
Lows in 2011:
Loss of Steve Jobs, Apple Visionary
Steve Jobs’ passing means his concept of how computing will impact and intact with other devices may still come to fruition, but I think in a slightly changed way. If it is true that Steve wanted to help people move away from the normal TV viewing experience I believe Steve would of made TV easier to use. Steve’s vision of a iTunes ecosystem was definitely the best way to integrate your mobile and desktop computing devices. I was not sure at first but now that this scenario has played it, I am enjoying every bit of it. Once my music or video is in iTunes I an play it on my iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Macintosh. It just works and my Mac Pro with iTunes became my iTunes content server. Thank you again Steve for your vision and not being afraid to make it a reality.
That is a quick and short review of 2011. More innovations form Apple will come in 2012. Have a Happy New Year!
Remember way back in 1987 if you had a file you needed to compress, transmit to a friend over a 300 baud modem, or wanted to just save space on your floppy diskette. Many times you would of used a file compression program like Stuffit. This product has stood the test of time starting out as shareware and ending up as a paid product owned by successful companies like Aladdin and Smith Micro.
Enter in 2011 and Stuffit has transformed itself into a cross-platform Internet file compression application. Running on Windows and Macintosh you can take a file, save space, or post it on a personal cloud storage with an email link.
Smith Micro is giving away a digital download of Stuffit Deluxe 15 until December 18th at http://store.smithmicro.com/productDetails.aspx?id=18487
Stuffit was created buy Raymond Lau in 1987 as a better file compression utility. Prior to Stuffit Mac users used Packit. Stuffit would compress the resource fork and data fork portions of the files better than any other product at that time. Stuffit was released as shareware which helped it gain broad appeal as users could test it out before buying the product. I have been using Stuffit since the late 1980′s and it has seen it’s fair share of competition over the years. Since Stuffit was being enhanced to handle Windows ZIP and Unix compression formats Stuffit is as useful today as it was 20 years ago.
Get the free version of Stuffit Deluxe while you still can.
Yes, iTunes Match has shipped and it is the best cloud streaming service out there. At first I thought iTunes Match would be the service where if you wanted to listen to some music you would download it to your iOS or Mac device, and then listen to it. No. iTunes Music is the only service that lets you download and stream that music. Your choice.
You will need to be running iTunes 10.5.1, so update your Mac or Windows computers first. If you use iTunes 10.5, you will only see advertisement saying iTunes Match is available and be directed to Apple’s web site. On that web site it will say you need version 10.5.1.
In order to use iTunes Match you can to go to iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC, purchase iTunes Match, and wait a few hours for iTunes Match to scan your music, process what it needs to upload, and upload what is missing. Immediately is everything you already bought in iTunes. I did not attempt to upgrade to iTunes Match through iOS, so I don’t know if this is possible.
Once that is done I went to my iPad iOS device and navigated to the Music section inside of Settings. iTunes Match automatically appeared and I turned it on. I received a warning that my music on iOS would be deleted and replaced. I accepted this and navigated to my Music. Nothing was deleted but I had new icons for what would be on my iCloud. I say it this way because my MacBook is uploading the files.
As uploaded music appeared the cover art popped into my iPad’s Music album listing. Since iTunes Match already gathered the information for my 2,500 music files it knew what I had and what I was uploading. Anything iTunes Match matched was available immediately (after step 2). I could then download or stream it. Cool! The rest was not able to be played or streamed. So you don’t have to have the music on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you just have to have an Internet connection somehow.
I read that if you have more than 25,000 non-iTunes bought music iTunes Match would halt the music upload process. The only way around this is to create a new iTunes Library by opening iTunes while holding down the Option key. iTunes will prompt you to create a new one and where to place the library. I recommend you first backup your existing iTunes library (found in your Users folder, and the Music folder underneath that).
So in the end iTunes Match is really the bees knees! The process took a few hours to analyze and upload my music.
I have been working with iCloud and it is really amazing with documents. I started with looking at my iPad and Pages and after setting up iCloud to work with Pages for iOS everything synced up to iCloud. From there I could access the documents from my iPad or iPhone while on the go. I could log into iCloud.com and download the documents from there. When I was signed into iCloud.com on my Mac any changes I did to a document with Pages for iOS was immediately reflected once I saved the document by doing back to the Documents main page.
I started up Pages for Macintosh and no iCloud set up screens, no way to access iCloud files. You need to log into iCloud.com and download the document you wish to work on, then select the document from the Downloads folder. This tells me Apple is not 100% done with the Mac side of iCloud with Pages, Numbers, or Keynote for Macintosh integration. This looks like a major enhancement for Pages ’12. So is this still useful? Yes.
What about going from the Mac to iOS? You have 2 options: sent the file to your iPad or iPhone through email, or look in your personal Library folder and drag and drop (a copy) of your Pages/Numbers/Keynote file into the Mobile Documents folder. Inside are folders for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, inside of these folders is a Documents folder. Just drag and drop a copy of your iWork document (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) into the right folder and into that Documents folder and your document is converted to iOS format and sent to iCloud automatically.
To access Mobile Documents folder you need to go to the Finder, select the Go menu, hold down the Option key, and select Library from the menu. I made a Alias of Mobile Documents and put it on my Desktop for easy access.
I’d say this is off to a great start. Sending iWorks documents to my iPad and iPhone is easy as pie. Downloading those documents back to my Mac takes an extra two steps. I know Apple will fix the mac integration, we just need to give them a little longer.
One thing I always forget is that Mac OS X releases does not include Java. I was trying to print my Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides coupon last week and was troubleshooting why that was not working. On Snow Leopard it worked, but I forgot one thing – I need to manually install Java whenever I upgrade to a new Mac OS X release. Sometimes I have experienced that the Java runtime will say, other times it does not.
So if you are like me and need that Disney coupon to printout on Lion, head over to Apple’s Java Download page at http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1421