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WWDC is a hit with iOS7 Mac OS X Mavericks Mac Pro Sneak

WWDC this year introduced many products that developers can use and program for. iOS7 and Mac OS X Mavericks are the 2 new uber cool OSes that will take Apple through the roof with awesomeness! (Ok, enough with the fanboi comments going forward.)

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iOS 7

iOS 7 has a new look that will appeal to everyone. I will admit it that I like the old style with leather and green felt. I can relate to these items. The new look I also like as the cleaned up minimalistic look that I can easily find that I am looking for.

The new interface of swiping from all sides is welcomed as the Control Center swiped from the bottom is what we have been waiting for. Controlling not only music, and closing down apps, and the ability to turn on/off (Bluetooth, Wifi, Airport Mode, AirPlay, AirDrop) is great. I had an app on my jailbroken iPhone 4 (temporarily) just to see what I was missing and this feature was one element that I thought iOS needed in mainstream.

True Multitasking is another feature that iOS 7 brings. Leave it to Apple to achieve this feat with using smart battery techniques.

Features include: AirDrop (so you can wirelessly send files to other iPhone/iPad owners without chipping or clunking the phones together), and iRadio streaming music.

See more at http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/

Mac OS X Mavericks

After running out of large cats without duplicating them Apple decided to use landmarks in California for the next 10 years. That is great if you live in Cali but since I don’t the first thing I thought of when I heard of Mavericks is the NBA. Well I learned something that Mavericks is a cool place to go surfing in California. You know there will be 1,000 articles on this name change alone during the next few months until the release of Mavericks.

Features include tabbed Finder windows, Apple Maps (with sending trip information to your iPhone!), multiple monitor support (see the dock and menu bar on any window and AppleTV is a new monitor choice for your 60″ LED), iBooks (finally), iCloud Keychain (sync all of your passwords and credit card numbers with 256-bit AES encryption across all of your devices), updated Calendar and Safari, plus Tags (similar to Evernote’s tagging system).

I am excited for these features as they will propel Mac OS further into the future with innovative new ideas.

See more at http://www.apple.com/osx/preview/

Mac Pro Preview

The Preview of the Mac Pro is something that hits home to me. My big iron is a Mac Pro from 2008 and it is still going strong. The sad part is Lion was the last OS version I can run on it. But with the 8-core 3GHz Xeon CPUs chips it is still as fast as ever.

So I welcome the new Mac Pro for it’s raw power. Encoding video is so fast on these things I cannot think how much faster the new one will be with faster RAM, SSD Hard Drive, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, and Thunderbolt 2. WOW!

I also welcome the new Mac Pro for being MADE IN THE USA! Yes, this is the Mac that will be made in Texas. Thank you Apple for bringing back manufacturing to the U.S.!

MacBook Air

The new Haswell CPU based MacBook Air now has inproved battery like up to 12 hours (13″) / 9 hours (11″)! Updated WiFi to 802.11ac and faster flash memory for hard drive this update speeds the MacBook Air past the Windows Ultrabook-clones.

It will be interesting to see if the new MBA will also be made in Texas later this year or next year. Since the new MBA is available now Apple had to stay with the current Chinese manufacturers. :(

That is a quick wrap up of the important things from this year’s WWDC.

Source: www.apple.com

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Play the original Ultima games on your Mac natively

Yes, you can play the original Ultima games on your Mac natively. Gog.com has been busy updating the majority of their Ultima games to run on the Macintosh platform.

So far we have: Ultima 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (complete), 8; Underworld 1 and 2; Worlds of Utlima: Martian Dreams and Savage Land.

Yet to update: Ultima IX: Ascension

Not bad at all if you ask me. For me Ultima was THE BEST computerized version of “Dungeons & Dragons” way back in the late 1970′s/early 1980′s. This was before the official D&D Gold Box games were created.

So if you have not even played an Ultima game or have not done so recently – visit gog.com and get one or more at real cheap prices. Tell them mac512.com and ultimamuseum.com sent ya.

While you are at it – drive down memory lane with UltimaMuseum.com to look at the majority of the Ultima, Ultima Online physical box sets, cloth maps, and Shroud of the Avatar pre-release public artwork and concepts. If you like real physical swords, Ultima Museum has a section on the Sword of Order – the only Ultima sanctioned and licensed real sword ever made.

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Logitech 811 / 810 Wireless Keyboard

Reviewing both the Logitech Wireless Keyboard 811 for Mac and Logitech Wireless Keyboard 910 for Windows.

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These keyboards are exactly the same except for the non-cross-platform capability between Mac and Windows. What I mean about that is Logitech has decided to not make one keyboard for all systems, but segregate them in the hopes you will buy them both (my opinion only). What makes me jump to this conclusion is the responses in the Logitech support forum area. Any time a customer of Logitech’s makes a posting about using the 811 on Windows or the 810 on Macintosh, the canned response for Logitech’s customer support is “buy the other keyboard and it will work”. That is poor customer service!

Pros:
- Works with said supported OS (Macintosh/Windows) with their SetPoint software.
- Backlit keys are great for low light conditions.
- Can connect to three devices:
- Mac version: Mac OS, IPhone, iPad
- Windows version: Windows, Android, and iOS.
- Good quality build.
- Keys are responsive.

Cons:
- Does not support the other OS (Macintosh/Windows) with their SetPoint software. Making you buy two keyboards if you have a Macintosh PC and Windows PC (my opinion only).
- If you use the Mac 811 Version on a Windows PC there are some “dead keys”.
- If you use the Windows 810 Version on a Mac there are some “dead keys”.

All Logitech needs to do it support both the 810 and 811 is in their SetPoint software. Laziness and cash greed is the only reasonable explanations I can think of why in today’s hybrid environments Logitech would do this.

If you use BootCamp on your Mac forget this keyboard and get a different one. The basic keyboard support is there but not all of the keys work. If you use a VM from Parallels and VMWare, get the Mac version.

The keyboard is excellent if you only use a Macintosh or Windows environment. The switching between the 3 devices works great. That is why I even tried this keyboard, being able to press a button and connect to 1 of 3 devices is great.

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2013 An exciting year for Apple enthusiasts and watches

The year 2013 will be an exciting year. Apple is doing the same yet doing new things.

The same – Great products that are simple to use while giving the user power. Don’t think that hacking your device means power. It usually means removing stuff you don’t want. With Apple products that is a given from the start.

The new – iWatch (or what it is called) can be a great product if Apple chooses to. I have the iPod Nano 6th generation and as a watch it is pretty good. Looking at this iPod and it’s features tells a story about the little watch that could. iPod Nano has most of the watch features like stopwatch, lap timers, alarm, and different faceplates. What makes this product super useful is the FM Radio, Music, Podcasts, Photos (just a little bit) in addition to the watch. Wait, isn’t it the other way around? Yes, the watch portion was not the main point of the iPad Nano, but it is sure useful. I own this and use it as my current watch.

Citizen proximity Bluetooth Watch ©Citizen

The ability to provide a total watch experience will be exciting as may other watch companies have done a pretty good job already, like Citizen with their iPhone bluetooth Proximity watch that tells the wearer if there are any voicemails or emails waiting for them. The best thing is when iPhone is more than a few feet away the watch will let you know that. This will help prevent any iPhone thefts as you will know within a few seconds if your iPhone is taking off.

I like that the Citizen looks like a classic watch, classy and nice. No LED screen here but the notifications are very basic because of that. That is the trade off. I was tempted to get this watch at a “jewelers accommodation price” but that was still pricey. These watches normally goes for about $500. I will have to wait to see what Apple delivers.

Pebble watch

Watches like Pebble hold promise but with their display they are limited as they won’t fully integrate with iPhones or Android semi-ok-phones. Anytime you have a 3rd party hardware device that tried to integrates you will have a pretty good fit that is not 100%. What I do like about the pebble is the ability to sync with some features on your iPhone. I would not buy this watch as the applications will be limited in the end with full integration with iPhone.

In the end of the watch choices, once Apple enters the market officially we will see how they stack up before purchasing the Apple, Pebble, or Citizen watch.

Other parts on the horizon includes he next generation iOS and Mac OS X updates will bring both platforms more integrated. That part is inevitable.

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Review: Livescribe Sky pen

Evernote fans take note that the new Livescribe Sky pen does away with the Desktop Manager app and all notes will be synced through the cloud to your Evernote account (or a new Evernote account if you don’t have one).

Livescribe Sky Pen works with iOS Mac and Evernote

The premise is the pen records your pen strokes on special dotted paper and will connect to a Wifi connection where the pen will upload that information to your cloud storage area on Evernote. From our tests this works great. Upon setup the pen will connect to your Mac or Windows and perform an update through a USB cable connection (the web site you go to listed in the documentation details this out). Then you setup the pen to your Wifi spots and bam anytime you manually sync the information is there. You can also record voice while you write with that information being synced with your notes.

Different versions

- 2GB pack: this gives you the pen 2GB, extra utility stickers, two pen caps, 1 ink refill,and a starter notebook.

- 4GB pack: this gives you the pen 4GB, extra utility stickers, two pen caps, 1 ink refill, and a starter notebook.

- 8GB pack: this gives you the pen 8GB, extra utility stickers, two pen caps, 1 ink refill, and a starter notebook.

-8GB Pro pack: this gives you the pen 8GB, 1 year of Evernote Premium, the protective hard case for the spiral notebooks, extra utility stickers, two pen caps, 1 ink refill, and a starter notebook.

 

Livescribe Sky 8GB Pro Pack

Usability

I found using this pen is like using any other really think pen (non-BIC). My handwriting was pretty good and the flow of the ink was good. Recording audio worked pretty good with the pen recording any writing noises. To eliminate that you need to buy a headphone with microphone from the company and have that plugged in. You can playback the entire note recording or tap with the pen on the ink and the pen will starting playback from that point. This is really cool. Your mileage may vary with note recording. This seems to be better suited for a school lecture hall setting.

Expandability

Memory is not expandable so make sure you purchase a GB amount. The pen keeps all notebooks and voice recordings on the pen. The only expansion is through purchasing other notebooks. There are 4 spiral notebooks, 8 hard bound notebooks, and a flip style of notebook. The pen can only use each book once as the book is stored in memory and in Evernote. To use a different hard bound notebook 4 you would need to archive the current notebook from the pen to remove it (all notes and voice recordings still stays in Evernote) and use a new hard bound notebook 4. You need to only use special printed notebooks form the manufacturer or print your own on your laser printer. If you go the do it yourself printing you will be archiving 4 notebooks more frequently.

 

 

Overall

This pen idea is a great way to keep notes and audio recordings synced together. We found no problems as the Livescribe player is runs on iOS, Macintosh, Windows, and Android. Evernote is a great way to track all of this kind of information so the wifi syncing makes sense. It took a few minutes at most to sync the information. When I would sync after a meeting by the time I got to my desk the information would be there in Evernote.Livescribe Notebooks

 

 

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Get iTunes 20% off and download iTunes 11

iTunes Thursday is here!

iTunes $25 Gift Card

Yes that is right.  A little known secret is that your local Bed Bath and Beyond is selling until November 30, 3012 a iTunes $25 gift card for $20!  Saving your 20%.  If you missed Black Friday iTunes discounted gift cards, drive to a local store and pick a few up.

Plus iTunes 11 is out today!  iTunes 11

The best looking iTunes yet. Enhancements include quickly finding your content on the default screen. What I like is you can switch quickly through your content on the left drop down menu and access the controls on the top left. This puts iTunes back on the top of the best multimedia apps of all time.

Do  yourself a favor and get the new iTunes and make it the center of your digital media world. You will be glad you did!

iTunes 11 Details

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Evernote version 5 is out on Mac and iOS

I discovered Evernote in 2010 and wanted a personal cloud to store everything in. The idea of a cloud based note storing app was awesome but I wanted more control of my data. After a period of time I realized that trying to hobble my own solution between devices resulted in using a cloud service like Pogoplug and going back and forth between apps. Not seamless so I eventually took a look at Evernote again and fell in love with it.

Version 5 of Mac and iOS version of Evernote are here (iOS came out last week but we waiting as the Mac version was right around the corner). Version 5 puts both on par with the level of features.

Evernote for Mac version 5Evernote iPhone Version 5

Changes for Mac

- Left panel has shortcuts, entire notes list, rearrange notebooks graphically, and the last 5 recent notes.

- Atlas view to see on a map where that note was taken.

- Note List can view the notes as cards.

- Improved Search including type ahead search.

Changes for iPhone/iPad/iPad mini

- New Home screen with slide up/down sections.

- Page Camera.

- Places

- Recent Notes on iPad only.

Since I have been using the new versions I love them even more. More and more of my life has been imported into Evernote and the best thing is I can export the notes and files as HTML for a backup locally.

See the Evernote User Guides for Macintosh and iOS here.

Source: Mac Version http://evernote.com/evernote/whats_new/mac/

iOS (iPhone / iPad / iPad mini) - http://evernote.com/evernote/whats_new/ios/

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Java, I banish you!

The final straw has bee pulled and Java has lost. I am afraid I have to remove Java from all of my Macs and never use it again due always wondering if some Java exploit will let some malware onto my Mac. Mac and malware? I have been asked many times before, “I thought Macs cannot get malware?” I always tell them that a Mac can if the malware is written specifically for the Mac OS X platform. I don’t think the new Gatekeeper  in Mountain Lion can stop this as Java is the pass thru connector.

I decided I did not need some web scripts running from various websites in order to protect my Mac and more importantly my data and personal information! Not getting scared here, just being safe. An ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure! My Mom always told me that and I do believe it.

Checking if your Mac has Java

Mac Java Preferences

Navigate to the Application / Utilities folder and run the Java Preferences app.

If you receive an error saying “To open … Would you like to install one now?”  Click the Not Now button.

Your safe!

Uninstalling Java

If the Java Preferences app opened then you can remove Java with a few file deletions.

(These instructions I got from CNET as credited in the source below).

Delete this file: Macintosh HD/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework

Delete this folder: Macintosh HD/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

Delete this folder: Macintosh HD/Users/UserName//Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

Now you are safe from any future Java exploits.

Aftermath

You can always install Java for the Mac, do something on the web that requires it, then remove the JavaVM.framework and the JavaVitualMachines at will. I am just eliminating one more infection possibility. Should I trust GateKeeper more that it would catch everything rogue application trying to run? At this point in time until I read or see this work in action I will still be safe. Not to knock Gatekeeper as I believe Apple’s certificate signed approach is the most secure aspect of Mountain Lion.

For me; being safe is better than being sorry.

Source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57501517-263/new-java-7-exploit-can-potentially-affect-macs/

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57408841-263/how-to-check-for-and-disable-java-in-os-x/

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Mac OS X Mountain Lion Upgrade Install and aftermath

Today we are looking at the Mac OS X Mountain Lion installation once you download the app from the Mac App Store. So far I absolutely love this version of the Mac OS. I only had 3 apps that were not compatible (one was my fault as I did not update it before upgrading). The other apps are too old (previous version of the latest version ) and I don’t use them anymore on that Mac. This is easily fixed by downloading necessary updates after the Mountain Lion install.

Mountain Lion InstallSo to begin installing Mountain Lion you need to either 1) Download the app and the installer will automatically open, 2) Run the Installer form the Applications folder or from LaunchPad.

Either way will give you the main installer screen (to the left).

Then you just select the continue buttons, accept the terms, and select what hard drive to install it on. From there it will take about 3 minutes (depending on Mac speed) and your Mac will reboot. The rest of the install will take about 30 minutes (+/- on your Mac speed). Then reboot again and you are now in Mountain Lion.

 

Mac OS X Mountain Lion Incompatible Apps Dialog box

Mac OS X Mountain Lion Incompatible Apps Dialog box

 

If you do have some incompatible your Mac will let you know which ones when you boot into Mountain Lion for the first time. To avoid this is to remove the older Apps you don’t need and won’t be supported and update all of your current apps before installing Mountain Lion.

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the Installation screens while in Mac OS X Lion:

Mountain Lion Install

Mountain Lion Install

Mountain Lion Install

Mountain Lion Install

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mac OS X Mountain Lion out now with backup disc instructions

Horray! Mac OS X Mountain Lion shipped today. I am downloading it right now (that is a great $19.99 spent). Yes, I know that Apple dropped the “Mac” part of Mac OS X. I cannot change just yet. I have been using Mac OS since, well System 5.

Mac OS X Mountain LionDo you just install it without performing a disk check? My advice is no. Check over our Mac OS X Mountain Lion Prepare guide first (without installing the new OS). Then come back here.

(added 05/26/2012 8AM) In the Prepare Guide it will suggest you back up all of your data. I personally user Time Machine as if I need to restore I can easily.  BUT there is another option that I use when I migrate from one hard disk to another hard disk – create a complete bootable working copy of your current system by using Carbon Copy Cloner. Carabon Copy Cloner will let you image your disk to another hard drive (or seperate partition on the same drive). This way if your upgraded Mountain Lion system is not working with all of your apps and the manufacturer has not updated them you can still hold the option key when you boot your Mac and select the backup drive still with Mac OS X Lion.

Ok. Now that you are ready lets back up your install disk image. Leave the Installer for OS X up and pull up the Finder. Open your Computer disk (mine is called “Macintosh HD”) and find the Install OS X Mountain Lion installer. Right click the app and  select”Open Package Contents”.  Then navigate to Contents folder and go inside of the SharedSupport folder. In that folder is a disk image you want to copy to another drive. It is 4.35GB in size. When you are ready to burn a disk just take that disk image and mount it in the Disk Utility app. From there you can burn the disk image to a physical DVD disk. Make sure you use a dual layer DVD disk as the 4.35GB disk image is compressed.

Great you are now set to go ahead and install Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Enjoy installing it and have fun with all of the goodness contained inside.

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