It's official. Apple's made a habit of producing long, large and reasonably thorough introductory videos for major new hardware and software they're releasing. It's great for hungry fanboys and tech journalists who can't get it elsewhere, and I guess for the growing number of folk who want a look at the stuff before plunking down coin for the new stuff coming out of Cupertino. Largely overkill, the hype usually should be enough for other manufacturers, but Apple tends to go overboard about these things (hey, new iPhone TV ads are still coming out up to now, man). Don't have a problem with it, though. Recently, some of the better ones have been the iPhone and iPod Touch guided tours (although they need serious help sourcing less awkward hosts for these things - less of the hand gestures, guys! And seriously, we're sick of the black t-shirts.) Now, they've just released on the Apple site a half-hour video for OS X Leopard, which is coming out on Friday. (For which I will take off from the Tokyo Motor Show and sneak out to the Ginza Apple Store on the 26th to see how they do a product rollout in Japan.) Cool. Us fanboys anticipate these videos like sequels to the Transformers movie. Watch the Leopard Guided Tour in different resolutions or download it (108mb for iPods and 379mb for the bigger version) here.
Recently in Macs and Me Category
It should be a no-brainer prediction that one of the high-capacity optical formats will be included in an impending iteration of iMac (nice alliteration, huh?) or other new Mac, but its still anyone's guess which of the two warring standards Steve-O will side with, and we won't likely know until the next Macworld Keynote. (Blu-Ray is emerging as the dominant format, but you never really know with notorious contrarian Jobs.) But for those portable Mac users with ginormous storage needs, you don't have to wait (well, maybe a month): Fastmac's got a solution. Fastmac announced yesterday their new slim, low-profile, slot-loading 2x Blu-Ray burner upgrade for Mac laptops. Now Mac users can enjoy burning 50GB worth of files at twice the speed, or watch a growing number commercially available BD movies like PS3 owners can. The new burner is also Adobe certified, and supports Blu-Ray video disk authoring on Mac OS X. It works with the following models: iBook G4 iMac G5 iMac Intel MacBook Pro (17-inch) Mac mini PowerBook G3 Pismo PowerBook G4 Titanium (667 Mhz or higher) PowerBook G4 Aluminum The burner works with Roxio Toast 8 Titanium or Adobe Premiere CS3 for Macs. It'll be shipping within the month but is already available for pre-order on the FastMac site for a cool US$1K special introductory offer.
And so it begins ladies and gents. As soon as Apple announces the new MacBook, PhilMUG decides to go gaga and do a conference chat filled with "ooohh!" and "aaahhh!" How cute! What transpires is a really long chat session with topics covering: 1. How does shared memory perform with the MacBook? [ perfect for the "man on the street"] 2. For Sale: [insert old PowerPC portable model here] 3. When is it coming? (7-10 days daw) 4. MacBook Black or MacBook white?
Check the local PhilMUG coverage here.
Check the local PhilMUG coverage here.
UPDATE: You can subscribe to the Philippine Podcasts by following these instructions, care of Elbert from PhilMUG: Fire up iTunes, select Advanced from the menu and Subscribe to podcast... Then enter the following URL: http://www.microwarehouse.com.ph/podcast.xml From there, you can 'Get' any of the available Pinoy podcasts. Woot! I just love good news. It's news like this that makes me proud to be Pinoy. You see, I just came from an event of monumental proportions - the launch of the Philippine Podcasting Network. Since you all read our mag, you must already know that podcasting is the newest medium of broadcasting that empowers anybody to have a voice over the airwaves. Spearheaded by Microwarehouse, a total of 25 original local podcasts will be uploaded into the iTunes Music Store, thereby allowing anyone around the world to get a glimpse of the rich Filipino culture. We'll give you an update as to when these podcasts will go live on iTunes, all ready for download - for free! Some of the more interesting podcasts include Jessica Zafra's Twisted (she's abandoned traditional media ladies and gents so this is the only place you'll hear her), the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism channel, Gayspeak by Danton Remoto, The Fully Booked book reviews, Red Box Greatest Karaoke Hits (hehe!), and the timeless Kahapon Lamang by local broadcasting luminary Eddie Ilarde. We also got several friends who contribute to our magazine with their very own podcasts. You can listen in on The Fabulous! Podcast by Dominique James as well as the PhilMUG and Podcentral podcasts. Of course, we at m|ph also have our own podcast. Since you'll have to wait a few more days, we've decided to upload it onto our site. You can download our first podcast HERE. Booya!
I've just proven to myself, once again, that I don't know everything, despite my vanity and imagined proficiency with certain things, specially with Macintoshes and Mac OS X. I'm coming across a lot of these things in my old age, and I'm learning to dial down my know-it-allness more and more these days. Like this little tip I discovered a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes you come across the Apple Quicktime video file that has irritatingly low sound levels, and even if you jack up the volume as high as you can, it's still not enough. Even if you raise the main volume levels via preferences, you still have to shush the room and stick your ear against the speaker to hear anything. Wouldn't it be great if you could somehow just pump up the volume even more, just this once? Actually, I found out that you can, on Macs using recent versions of Mac OS X. It's a simple trick, really. All you need to do is hold down [shift] while you click on that volume icon, and the OS allows you higher levels of volume beyond the standard limits. Of course if you do this to an already loud sounding file you risk blowing out your speakers, but that's your lookout. (Maybe that's why this little trick is, as far as I know, undocumented. Of course, I'm of the "If all else fails, RTFM" school, so I might have just missed it and no one bothered to tell me.) I just feel a bit dumb for not knowing the tip after all this time using Macs, and I suppose a whole bunch of you more seasoned Mac users out there know this already. I've had to, on occasion, load up the file in Final Cut Express, raise the gain then save back the file, just to make the thing louder. Sheesh. Knowing this would've saved me a whole lot of trouble. Haven't had a chance to check if this Quicktime feature is available with the Windows version (and I'm sure someone will chime in and tell us), but it sure works great on OS X. Just one of those little things that are nice to know, so if you didn't before, well, now you do.
With his traditional flourish, Steve Jobs has just unveiled two landmark products from Apple, and they're bound to stand the market on its end once again. The much-rumored iTunes Phone has finally arrived, and no, there is no 25-song cap on it. The Motorola ROKR is the first iTunes phone to hit the market, and it can hold a hundred songs and features a built-in iTunes player. Plug it to your PC via USB cable and the phone icon appears on your PC's iTunes software's Source list so you can simply drag and drop your music files. It also features Autofill, which turns the phone into an iPod shuffle, filling it with a random bundle of your favorite songs. In fact, you can think of the iTunes phone as a more advanced shuffle, particularly since it comes with a display (where your album art pops up in full color). It also pauses your music when you have an incoming call, just as a good music-phone is supposed to do. In trademark Moto fashion, the ROKR comes with both a stereo headset (with microphone) and onboard stereo speakers. Oh, the ROKR also comes with a built-in camera, but you're probably not interested in details like that. But what is probably more exciting news is the unveiling of the razor-thin iPod Nano. Intended to replace the iPod mini, the Nano is thinner than a pencil and just a third the size of the mini in volume! So just how small is this? Jobs fished it out of his jeans' change pocket ("Ever wondered what this pocket was for?"). And it's a full-featured unit, with clickwheel, full-color screen, standard 30-pin port, USB 2.0, 14-hour battery life and 4GB of storage so you can store a thousand songs (a 2GB model is also available). It also comes with a customizable clock app (initially set to Cupertino time, haha!), stopwatch app and even full-color games. Also new is a screen lock (use the clickwheel to dial your combination! Cool!) -- If you forget your combination, docking to your PC automatically unlocks it. It's the attention to these little details that makes Apple so special. The iPod Nano comes in both white and black. And it's priced like the old mini at just US$ 249. Wow.
I admit! I'm *fairly* addicted to gadgets! Each year, I allocate a portion of my bonus for my "gadget budget". However, whenever I get a chance (and the funds) to buy something new, I'll grab the chance to do so. But faced with the current state of economy here in the Philippines, I have to somehow restrain myself from splurging. But a couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon a post at PhilMUG.Ph announcing that one of the local Mac dealers Ynzal has a new batch of pre-owned Macs for sale. I followed the link on the post and something caught my eye: a Tangerine iBook is for sale and the price is Php 10,700.00. Since I was at my office at that time, I immediately called Ynzal and inquired if the said unit was still available. The person who took my call told me that the unit is still available but there are some hairline cracks on its screen bezel but according to him, they do not affect the unit's performance at all. I know that I have a potential bargain here so I told him to hold on to the unit and I'll be inspecting it during lunchtime. So I took an early lunch break and headed on over to Ynzal (which was in QC and I work in Makati). Upon reaching Ynzal, I immediately asked for the Tangerine iBook and I was flabbergasted when one of the staff told me that it was already sold! When they asked me if I was the person who called earlier, they confessed that they were holding the unit for me (and I heaved a sigh of relief). I had them boot the unit up and I explored its folders and some applications. The apps ran pretty fast and the hard drive has already been upgraded to 30 GB. I promptly paid for the unit (they shaved off Php 200 off the price because I complained about the hairline cracks) and went home contented that day. Before going home, I had one of our "gophers" fabricate a Ethernet cross-cable so that I can connect my Chiclet iBook to my "new" Tangerine iBook. Upon reaching home, one of the first things I did was to interconnect the two iBooks through my newly fabricated cross-cable. I simply enabled Appletalk on both 'Books and they promptly "talked" with each other. I was able to backup most of my files from the Chiclet iBook to the Tangerine iBook. Then I configured the Tangerine iBook so it can dial-up to the 'net. Configuration was a real breeze and it's gone online at no time at all! Now, the Tangerine iBook stays at home and is being used mainly as my home computer (while my Chiclet iBook resumes its mobile computer functions for me). Although not blazingly fast, the Tangerine iBook is nimble enough to create MS Office documents and is robust enough to run Adobe Photoshop CS without hanging. It works pretty well with my son's MacOS 9 games and connecting to the internet poses no problems at all. The thing I love about it the most? I can surf the web "au naturel" without fear of getting adware, trojans, viruses and other malware. My only gripe about the unit? Well, its screen resolution can only go as high as 800 x 600 but I don't need to do full-time graphics manipulation on this baby so that's just a minor thing. I intend to get a USB Dongle-type wi-fi adapter for this iBook so that I can do wireless networking at home. I also plan to have its batteries repacked so that in case of emergencies, I can still use this baby as a mobile computer. Now, who says you can't find good bargains nowadays???
...as we present to you a picture of what AOpen says is the world's smallest Mini PC: Does it look familiar? Hint: It's creamy on the outside. It has a feed-type front-loading optical drive. It's small, with a box-like form factor. And all the plugs are in the rear. Hmmm. I wonder what Steve Jobs has to say. Then again, wait til he sees the incoming barrage of iPod shuffle clones coming his way! :)
Ok, my 15 minutes of fame as one of the few iPod shuffle owners in the country has officially been extended by a week or so (the time it’s gonna take for the iPod shuffle units destined for local stores to arrive), and I thought I’d share some more observations from a week’s worth of using Apple’s new, flash-based music player. Less is more. I’m glad I got only the 512MB version. No, really. 120 songs played in random is enough to tide me over for a few days before I need to refresh the list. I have a small library (just over a thousand songs), and only about a third of that can make it to my “favorites
I never thought it could be done .. by sheer hardware architecture it is impossible to run the Mac OS X in Windows. Except if you emulate it! This is Windows' answer to the Mac OS Virtual PC. It could work both ways -- a potential switcher decides not to switch because he already has Mac OSX on his Windows machine ... or he becomes very impressed and decides to buy Apple's deal breaker -- the Mac Mini (and its portable too, if you think this ain't mobile technology), and plug in all his peripherals into that 6.5 square inch beauty - in his car. It would be hilarious to come into a coffee shop and see a guy emulating Mac OS X on his Dell or Toshiba portable. it would also be hilarious to see him use Microsoft Office for Mac rather than MS Office forr Windows XP. I'm not a "switcher" as the term suggests. I'm no die hard Mac fanatic either. My PC is like my mother and my iBook is like my girlfriend. You love em both but you can't compare. But still, it would be utterly hilarious. Diba?