Mac news for Mac people

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The All-New iMac G5

Where Did The Computer Go?

So, which Mac fan don't want this?

Apple Puts The Squeeze On New iMac

"I think what Apple is recognizing is that at least right now the iPod is going to drive its brand and they want to take advantage of htat. Why does this look like the iPod? Because it's clearly positioned as the consumer PC for people who own iPods but don't own an Apple desktop."

Initial iMac Availability To Be Limited, Sources Say

Apple dealers are being told that flat-panel iMac G5s will be in very limited supply until late-November, early-December.

Rapturous Applause Greets New iMac

There's a single power cable which comes out of the back, and so long as you're using AirPort or Bluetooth (neither of which, unforgivably, is fitted as standard) no further connections are needed.

New iMac: No Horticultural Inspiration

It looks like Apple has returned to the original ideas of its head designer, Joanthan Ive.

iMac G5: Good Bye Arm, Hello Slab!

Given Apple's difficulty in getting PowerPC G5 chips from IBM, I think it's safe to double those estimated-shipping numbers as a realistic timeframe for delivery.

The New iMac: One Thing Too Many

I don't mean to put a damper on the wonderful new iMac, but Apple needs to look far back to the tradition of the Performa line.

Apple Expo: New Flat-Screen iMac G5 Revealed

"It's the world's tinnest desktop. It's just two-inches thick."


Apple Stock Rises On iMac Refresh


Apple Expo: Europe Buys 5 Million iTunes Tracks

Virex 7.5 Pulled From .Mac Due To 'Technical Issues'

"Due to customer feedback and technical issues currently under investigation, we have temporarily discontinued distribution of Virex 7.5 from McAfee until further notice."

'Cult Of Mac' Covers 'The Apple Underground'

Leander Kahney's "The Cult of Mac" introduces readers to Mac fans who get Apple tattoos, build aquariums out of old Macs, wake up well before dawn to be first in line at an Apple Store opening and do other things that show their deep loyalty to their favorite computer.

FileMaker Unveils Advanced Server Edition At Devcon

The advanced server, which brings better Web support to the product line, is the last of several FileMaker family members to ship this year.

P Diddy's iPod Rocks

Very reassuringly expensive.

Making A Strong Case For The iPod

Go ahead — drop your Apple iPod on the gym floor. Smush it with a weight. Take it with you while you're kayaking or kickboxing or running in the rain. But first — get an oPod.

iPods And DVDs Top Children's Wish-Lists

Mobile phones, DVDs and iPods have replaced bikes, roller-skates and footballs as children's must-have items, a poll reveals today.

Computer Sales

The University of Oregon Techno Team says the top buy this school year is the Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

Skype For Mac OS X Beta Available

Matias Releases Clear Hardcase For iPod Mini

Bare Bones Releases BBEdit 8.0


The Dramatic News From The Apple Expo: Phil Schiller Is Funny

What! No Reality Distortion Field? But instead, Phil Schiller had a quite different weapon: humour.

Let Word Do It

It makes no sense, whatsoever, to think in terms of some mythical "average" user. What does make sense is to think in terms of the defaults that will satisfy most users.

Microsoft Word And "Smarter Than"

What the Word team lacks, in my view, is an awareness that, when a user is trying to get his or her own work done, the user is always smarter than the technology.


BBEdit 8.0: Even More Muscular


Live Coverage

If you are up, and is looking for live coverage of the unveiling of the iMac G5 (maybe), Mac Observer is giving you the live coverage.

Let's Pretend Our Reporters Don't Think At All!

Scott Rosenberg: I never understood the sort of journalistic code of ethics — now prevalent in many American newsrooms, particularly those owned by big corporate chains — that requires newspeople to pretend that they are not human.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Top Stories

Can Microsoft Stomp iTunes With A Store Of Its Own?

One way Micrsofot will do to get people's attention is by promoting the fact that song files from its service can be played on a wide range of portable music players, in contrast to iTunes, which works only with the iPod.


Battle Brewing On The Digital Music Front

Microsoft's online song store may pose the most serious threat yet to Apple's domination in niche.

Apple Airs New iPod Ad

Apple began airing a new iPod/iTunes television commercial featuring "Walkie Talkie Man" by Steriogram tonight during the MTV Video Music Awards.

'iPod+HP' TV Spot Airs

"You have all your favorite music living happily together in one place."


Powerbook: 1, God: 0

In a kickboxing match between Jesus and Jobs, Steve would win.


TiVo And The Mac

For some things, the Mac doesn't "just work". Windows might be buggy malware-infested crapware that is impossible for me to depend on for a living, but when it comes to things that make the RIAA and MPAA twitch reflexively, buggy and filled with an infinite number of teenage monkey hackers beats stale and used by crusty old farts like myself.


What Is Longhorn?

Dave Winer: WHen you ask a Microsoft person to say what Longhorn is supposed to do, you get rambly hand-wavy words that mean nothing. A product with a purpose has a two-sentence description that gets everyone so excited they can't wait. Longhorn isn't designed to solve anyone's problems. I think they all know it, but they can't say it out loud because they've all drunk the Kook Aid on this.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


Apple Offers iTunes Music Marketing, Volume Discounts

Apple is now offering a number of music marketing programs and tools for record labels and musicians.


Longhorn: It's What For Dinner

Longhorn is starting to look less like Tiger than another Apple OS effort: Copland, the ill-starred mid-'90s development campaign that let Windows 95 seize the marketing initiative. Is it time to turn the tables?


Mac Users Sometimes Treated As Industry Afterthought

Unlke the HotSync software, which is free with every Palm OS handheld, The Missing Sync 4.0 costs $40. However, the price is justified if you want to take advantage of the utility's features that go beyond just synchronization.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Apple Fans Abuzz Over New iMac

With Apple's next imac expected to be unveiled as soon as next week, Mac fan sites are buzzing with speculation over the design.

HP: New iPod-Ready Printer, HPTunes Expand Apple's Products

HP has demonstrated a new portable, LCD-equipped photo printer, which can connect with the iPod via USB for direct digital printing.

Free iPods For Duke Freshmen: Tools Or Toys?

The school approached Apple about the project and got the iPods at a discount. Each student also got a $10 gift certificate to buy music from a Duke-only iTunes Music Store Web site developed by Apple.


Microsoft To Gut Longhorn To Make 2006 Delivery Date

Microsoft is cutting back its Longhorn client's planned feature set so as to be able to make its current delivery targets: Beta 1 by next year and final release some time in 2006.

See Also: Developers React To Longhorn Delay

Developers had mixed reactions to Microsoft's revamped Longhorn plans Friday, with some unhappy to see the Windows update split into pieces but others pleased with what they see as a more pragmatic approach.

Friday, August 27, 2004


HP Printable Tattoos For iPod Introduced

Along with today's debut of the "Apple iPod from HP," Hewlett-Packard also introduced Printable Tattoos that enable music fans to personalize their iPod with album cover art from top bands and recording artists, as well as to create their own original artwork and photos.

HP Set To Launch Major iPod Ad Campaign

HP will kick off a new advertising campaign for its version of Apple's iPod during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

FSU To Sign Deal With Apple

In an effort to prevent illegal file sharing on campus, Florida State University is on the verge of finalizing a deal with Apple — a deal that would provide free iTunes software to students and allow them to download music for 99 cents per song.

Apple Mulls iPod Mini Cameras For UK Store

Apple and Yashica are currently in talks over a line of colour-coded digital cameras recently launched iPod mini range of portable music players.

Austin Songwriter Needs Just Guitar And iPod For Reno Show

Filling the air in the intimate Record Street Cafe's side room with both hushed and loud accoustic guitar playing, McFarland — from Austin, Texas — had a pretty unique backing band — an iPod, with everything from full drum tracks to pedal steel guitar.

Staff Changes At Apple Europe

Apple's regional sales director for the "rest of Europe", John Perkins, is to take over as counrty manager of Apple France.

Griffin EarJams Boost Bass In iPod Earbuds

Hewlett-Packard Debuts 'Apple iPod From HP'

The Apple iPod from HP appears to be identical to Apple's own fourth-generation iPod. HP is also selling the iPod at the same price as Apple.

Apple Releases AirPort Update

The update is recommended for all customers with AirPort Express base stations.

"Planet Of The Apes" Remix Made With iMovie

Using imovie, Roger Alford edits "Planet of the Apes" into a 30-minute episode of "The Twilight Zone," complete with fades where commercials would be, a perfectly appropriate closing narration by Rod Serling, and closing credits in the exact style of the classic TV show.

Laptops Will Still Be Allowed Home With SAD 9 Pupils

There were no increases in damage to the Apple iBooks directly attributable to home use.

Apple Stock Jumps Ahead Of HP iPod, iMac Launch

Shares of Apple Computer Inc. rose to an almost four-year high on Thursday ahead of the launch of Hewlett-Packard's version of the iPod digital music player and Apple's revamped iMac computer.

HP Giving Away G5, PowerBook, iMac, More

HP has launched an "Extreme Makeover" contest in which the company will give away more than US$40,000 worth of high-tech gear, including several Apple products.

BIRTV Expo Begins In Beijing — Apple Attends

One of the more important events in the Macintosh world in China, the BIRTV Exhibition for 2004, kicked off on August 25th.


Shuffle Theory

Just a few weeks ago, I purchased a new 4th generation click-wheel iPod — and I haven't heard Fugazi once.

A Digital Divide

It would be better for consumers if Apple began licensing its digital rights management software, only because the iTunes Music Store will not be able to lock up access to all the copyrighted music in the world. But RealNetworks' conetnion that Apple is stifling freedom of choice is self-serving.


Best Of Mac: The Best Text Editor On The Planet

Why BBEdit? Ask anyone who uses it. It's sweet.

Macs Are More Expensivve, Right?

Are PCs cheaper than Macs? No, despite what you read in the PC press, it's the other way around. Compare Apples to apples, and Macs are cheaper than PCs.


What Failure Rate Do You Want To Start With?

A new train system in the UK is causing problems with commuters, with doors not opening at stations because of problems with satellite.

"Keep a sense of perspective on this," claims Southern spokesman. "We run over 1,700 services every day, day in, day out."

Well, keep a sense of perspective on this, Mr. Spokesman. Do we send new doctors into the field and tolerate them when the these new doctors kill one or two patients daily? Give them time, the doctors will get better.

Do we employ new cooks in restaurants, and have a few cases of food poisoning daily? Give them time, the cooks will get better.

Granted, this is no life-or-death situation here, but hey, we learnt in Computer Science 101 that when you introduce new systems, make sure you have fall-back plans that will work.

It will be a sad day when it is taken for granted that new systems will always not work perfectly. It will be a sad day when it is the norm for the actual users to be the beta testers.

"Ooops, sorry. I've just killed your husband. Sorry, but we will get better. New chef, you know? Here's a voucher for your next meal. See you again!"

Apple And DRM — Clueless, Or A Wink-Wink?

What a lot of people may not be aware of is that, all of the DRM or anti-priacy measures Apple implemented in iPod + iTunes can easily be broken. Whether it's the authorisation requirement of purchased tunes from iTMS, or the inability to copy songs from an iPod back to your computer, there are ways to defeat them.

Of course, Steve Jobs is probably aware of the fact that, there is no such thing as a fool-proof DRM. Ever.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Top Stories

Tunes, A Hard Drive And (Just Maybe) A Brain

Shuffle commands have been around since the dawn of the CD player. But the sheer quantity of music on an MP3 player like the iPod — and in its desktop application, iTunes — has enabled the function to take on an entirely new sense of scale and scope. It also hightens the risk that a long-forgotten favorite song will pop up, for better or for worse, in mixed company.

See Also: Circuits Discovers Shuffle

"You fool," gasped the Arch-Editor, as he fell to one knee, black fluid running from his ears, "Have you not heard? This iPod can play music... at random."

Editor's Note: Tomorrow

Editor's Note: Reader

Editor's Note: Singapore


Sprint Certifies QuickTime, Xserve G5 For Phone Media

Telecommunication company Sprint on Thursday announced that it has certified Apple's Xserve G5 and QuickTime as mobile multimedia delivery platforms for Sprint's own PCS Vision Multimedia Services.

Pittsburgh Apple Store To Open Sep. 4

San Francisco Apple Store Holding 'College Night'

"Amazing prizes will be given away every half hour, including an iPod mini and a PowerBook G4."

Microsoft To Debut Store

With the ability to funnel 350 million users a month to the store via its Hotmail, Messenger and MSN sites, Microsoft will likely become the number-two player int he market for legally downloaded music and ultimately could challenge Apple's reign at the top.

See Also: Microsoft Reportedly Sought iPod Support For Upcoming Music Store

Of course Microsoft sought iPod support, and of course Apple said no.

Editor's Note: Tomorrow

Editor's Note: Reader

Editor's Note: Singapore

Microsoft To Take On Apple's iTunes In Netmusic Battle

Microsoft will not be delivering a competitor to the iPod, but a number of hardware vendors are expected to piggyback the announcement of its service and launch portable players in direct challenge to Apple's phenomenally successfully product.


The iPod Club


Express Takes Digital Music A Step Further, But It's No iPod

There is much to like about this first version of AirPort Express. But I suspect music man Jobs is already on a mission to compose something even better.

Dominions II: The Ascension Wars

For the strategy game aficionado, Dominions II is a worthy title. It is difficult to learn to play, but once you overcome the steep learning curve, it is a satisfying game.


Microsoft Updates Tablet PC OS

Among the input improvements is an in-place pen input panel that opens directly below an input area such as a text input box. In addition, the updated operating system has real-time handwriting recognition in which the user can preview the text conversion before placing it into a document.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Paris Readies For Packed Apple Expo

Apple Expo is thought by many to be the cornerstone of the French love affair with the Mac. More and more people come to the event each year.

"I'll Stay Out Of Politics' — Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed he will stay out of politics because there are more Democrats than Mac users.

Synaptics Up On Strong Outlook For Notebook, iPod Sales

Shares of Synaptics rose Tuesday after an investment firm said the maker of touch pads and pointing sticks for notebook computers is poised to benefit from unexpectedly strong back-to-school notebook sales. The analyst also said that the latest white Apple iPod, which uses the company's interface products, is doing well at its lower price points.


Attend School — Get Cool Stuff

OmniWeb 5.0 Review Generates Odd Commentary

What really floored me is that many of the people writing had a distinctly angry tone, as though I (and the Omni Group) had intentionally tried to hoodwink them.

Apple Blossoms

If Apple's stock has been outperforming the overall market thanks mainly to one product's success, just imagine how much more room there could be if all of Apple's units start clicking at the same time.


Video iPod? How Steve Jobs Can Not Take Back His Words

Why is Apple looking for an engineer to work on video integration for the iPod, even after what Steve Jobs has said? Here are some wild and crazy ideas...

1. Apple will pioneer a new eyeglass add-on, where video will be piped to just one of the two lens. Now, you can watch video while exercising.

2. The iPod will not only be able to record audio, but video too.

3. Daddy and mommy can listen to jazz in the frontseat of their BMW, while the kids can watch Barney in the backseat. From the same iPod.

Do you have any ideas beyond what Microsoft is doing with its portable video player?

Rumor Today: More Than The iMac?

Everybody knows that Apple will be unveiling the brand new iMac G5 next week at Apple Expo Paris. (Apple better be, after their earlier announcement about the discontinuation of the current iMac G4.)

But, AppleInsider is saying that there will be more products being launched too. (I hope it's more than just the expected iSight update.)

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Rick McKay: Broadway: The Movie

The testimony, shot over 5 years with a single off-the-shelf digital video camera and cut together with impossibly rare recordings of legendary performances on a Power Mac running Final Cut Pro, offers fans something like a second chance to experience what it was like inside the 10 city blocks and 40 prolific years that yielded the best in American theater.

Apple Delays G5s With NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

The company said it could ship the system a bit sooner if the customer would accept an ATI card and wait for the Nvidia card to be sent at a later date.


A Craving That 10,000 Tunes In My Pocket Would Satisfy

I don't want an iPod. I need an iPod.


iPod Mini Aims To Shake Up MP3 Player Market

Korean digital music buffs do not carry their entire CD collection. Instead, they cherry pick the most popular music numbers on the Web and frequently change the selection to follow rapidly-changing trends.

AirPort Express Review

I've been waiting years for Apple (or someone) to elegantly bridge the wireless void between my Mac and existing home stereo, and in that capacity (though limited and one-way) it works as advertised.

OmniWeb 5.0

OmniWeb 5.0 in a nutshell: outstanding browser features, but an oudated rendering engine.


Are We There Yet?

This blog from Grant McCracken brought up an interesting point: is the iPod and iTunes Music Store such a success that the record labels cannot afford to sell songs at iTMS? That is, is it time that Apple can push the envelop a little?

Is There A Moral Doctor In The House?

Don't steal music, advise Apple on each and every iPod. But what if the iPod already comes with free music when you purchase it from Apple?

Saturday, August 21, 2004


Freshmen Receive Long-Awaited iPods

"Cool" was the word of the night as eager members of the Class of 2008 gathered en masse on the East Campus Quadrangle Thursday to receive their long-awaited and highly-publicized welcome gifts: 20-gigabyte Apple iPods.

Upperclass Students Ask, 'Why iPods?'


Hypocrite, Thy Name Is Real

Real's record for promoting the "healthy, open competition" made possible by reverse engineering for interoperability is less than inspiring.


The State Of Mac Browsing: An Embarrassment Of Riches

For me, Safari comes out on top. I'll stick with it, because the navigation and security tools are convenient and easy to use.


What's Next On Microsoft's Security Agenda?

Even though the Windows XP Service Pack 2 bits are done and in the midst of being disseminated, there's no rest ahead for Microsoft's security team.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Top Stories

An Ear For Downloads

"Part of it was that we [] havve a level of service and a level of product and a customer base where frankly we just met Apple's standards. Apple gets dinged sometimes for not partnering in certain spaces, but they've certainly partnered well with us. And there's just the fact that Steve Jobs get literate listening. When we first talked, it was about great spoken performances of books.


Apple To Make Moves At IBC

Apple has confirmed it will have a "major presence" at IBC in Amsterdam this September. IBC is Europe's key trade show for media, video and broadcasting professionals.

Hackers Revive iTunes Music Sharing

A group of anonymous programmers has released new software that allows music to be swapped via Apple's popular iTunes jukebox. OurTunes works only among computers that share a network, however.


My True Love Is Small And Expensive

The iPod is modern, it's practical and it provokes reactions ranging from subtle jealousy to a sly sort of admiration. Best of all, it slots perfectly into my life.

99 Cents Or A Dollar?

When I see "$299.99," I don't think "Hey, not even $300!"; instead, I think: "Profit padding."

Okay, I Guess I'm Sorry Too...

"The iPod mini hints that much of Apple was on lunch break when the 'Power Mac G4 Cube: lessons Learned' memo circulated." is a good line — and one that I was loathe to waste.

A Political Struggle

Customer loyalty, usually a wonderful thing, can be turned into passion that looks very political indeed.

Are Macs Too Expensive?

Unfortunately, many consumers never get past the price tag.

Infected PCs Need Not Allowed


Apple Remote Desktop 2 'Well Worth The Money'

Mobile Mac: Travel Survival Tips

DVD Studio Pro 3.0: Update Adds Enhanced Effects, Workflow Improvements

If you're contemplating going beyond iDVD — or if you're still suffering through using DVD Studio Pro 1.X — don't hesitate to jump to DVD Studio Pro 3.0. Users of version 2 won't get any life-changing productivity gains from version 3, but the new Graphical view and other workflow improvements are welcome.

FontAgent Pro 2.1: Font Manager Gives Small Studios A Boost

FontAgent Pro 2.1's all-in-one organization, activation, and repair facility is topped only by its clever and easy font-sharing feature. Despite some nagging flaws and inflexibilities, it's an excellent choice for a small studio or an individual user.

Mac Gems

iPod Voice Recorders: Griffin iTalk Takes The Lead In Sound-Quality Race With Belkin Voice Recorder


Microsoft Pays Dear For Insults Through Ignorance

Insensitive computer programmers with little knowledge of geography have cost the giant Microsoft company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business and led hapless company employees to be arrested by offended governments.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Top Stories

PowerBook Batteries Recalled

Some 28,000 rechargeable batteries used in 15-inch Apple PowerBook G4 computers are being recalled voluntarily by Apple, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. An internal short in the batteries made by LG Chem Ltd., of South Korea, can cause the battery cells to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

iPod Music Player Winning Over Japan Fans

The iPod is proving a colossal hit on the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony's own turf. The tiny white machine is catching on as a fashion statement and turning into a cultural icon in Japan, much the same way it won a fanatic following in the United States. Although Apple doesn't release regional sales figures, six of the top eight selling music players in Japan are iPod models, according to a market research company.


iTMS In Oz, Apple Needs Unwired?

Australian ISP Unwired has hinted at an alliance with Apple that could see the two partner on a music service within a month, local reports claim.

Free Freeverse For .Mac Nuts

Apple is making two new games available to subscribers to its .Mac suite of Internet services.

PocketMac Blackberry Edition Announced

Information Appliance Associates today announces the first tool to sync Mac users' data with RIM BlackBerry handhelds.

iBoom Turns iPod, iPod Mini Into A Boombox

Apple Credit Account Program Launched

"Apple has made financing so easy that within minutes you can own the Mac system of your dreams."

The Other RoadTrip

What happens when two companies come out with an FM transmitter for the car called "RoadTrip" in the same week?


Who Is Real Actually Helping: Us, Themselves, Or Apple?

Real, through this promotion, may have shot itself in the foot... and in the long term helped Apple.

OS 9 Had One Thing Over OS X: Disk Copying Ability

My Huge Mistake About The Mini

Well, the mini is not a flop. In fact, it's a hit. I can't deny it. So, here's my apology, Steve. The mini is no Cube. I was wrong, and you were right.


Built For Active People

With its small stature, impeccable build-quality, understated styling and wonderful user interface, the iPod mini is one of the most likeable and portable MP3 players around.

Still Leading The Pack

What can I say about the iPod except that I love it so much that the folks at Apple will have to pry it out of my cold hands if they want it back.

OS X In A Windows World

Your chances of running a Mac officially in the workplace, unless your job description warrants it, are pretty close to zero. That doesn't mean it can't be done. A little sleuthing, a little know-how, and your colleagues will be asking why your computer is so much cooler and easier to use than theirs.


Real's Hijack Of FairPlay? No Big Deal To Apple, Real, And Their Customers

As I like to remind my dear readers, here in Singapore, we don't even have photo prints and photo books in iPhoto yet, so, naturally, we can't participate in the grand shopping experience of either iTunes Music Store nor Real's Rhapsody store. I don't even own an iPod or any MP3 players (except my computers, of course). So, obviously, the latest issues surrounding Real's reverse engineering of FairPlay doesn't concern me. :-)

No, seriously. I believe it's not a big deal as many has made out to be.

Let's do one pretend exercise. Let's pretend that, instead of selling DRM-protected music files, Real is selling unprotected, no-DRM, plain old MP3 files.

Now, in this pretend world, of course Real's customer can purchase Real music files, and upload them to the iPod for their listening pleasure. (In fact, there are already such stores out there, just that they are not from Real.) Would Apple fans then be protesting against Real reverse-ennginnering FairPlay to allow their music to be uploaded to the iPod? Obviously not.

Now, of course, Real is not selling plain old MP3s. If, in our pretend world, Real is selling non-protected music files, while Apple is being forced to sell DRM-protected music files, wouldn't that place iTMS in a disadvantaged position? Music fans will flock to Real in huge numbers, wouldn't they?

Well, not really. Because Apple is selling non-protected plain old AAC files too.

After all, it is well-documented (by everybody except Apple, that is) that you can simply burn your iTMS files onto audio CDs, and the DRM is automatically removed.

Even if Apple removed this functionality due to pressure from third-parties, somebody will immediately crack whatever DRM system Apple is imposing on its customers. After all, it is well known (well, at least to the Slashdot community :-) that all DRM can be broken. That's what you get when you place the encryption algorithm and all the encryption keys together in the same customer's hands.

But let's pretend some more. Even if Apple invented a perfect DRM system that cannot be broken, the channel between the speakers and your brain will still be unprotected, so I wouldn't worry too much. Until someday where the iTMS requirements include a trip to your local Apple Store to get a decryption chip implanted into your brain, we can safely pretend that Apple is selling non-protected no-DRM plain old AAC files.

So, in our pretend world, everyone is selling non-DRMed files, that can be freely uploaded to any MP3 players out there. So, you see, it's really no big deal.

Now, when viewed in this light, wouldn't you say that the fact that Real reversed engineered FairPlay to be, well, a non-issue?

P.S. Sony will be the ultimate loser in this pretend world, as their player does not play plain old MP3s.

P.P.S. The whole "freedom of choice" advertisement campaign by Real is entirely tasteless and stupid, but that's another story.


Pros Point To Flaws In Windows Security Update

Security researchers say they're starting to find flaws in Microsoft's latest major update for Windows XP.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Top Stories

It Doesn't Have To Be This Way

You take a different journey on an Apple. If you're not a techie, it's a slight morass at first. However, it's a journey worth making. The initial expense was quite high, but I can't see myself needing more power or capabilities for years. PCs now seem positively clunky. I, for one, won't be struggling to peer through any Windows any more.


Glaser: Harmony Is The Way Forward

"We thought there's a real emerging problem here and rather than just line up in a format war, let's try to rise above that."

70,000 Expected At 21st Apple Expo

RealNetworks Versus Apple. War Report

RealNetworks has seen the first fruit of its self-declared war against Apple — declining stock values nad a deluge of anger from Mac, iPod and iTunes fans.

The iPod And Its Ilk Will Not Stop At Music

"As the pods go up in gigabytes," says Jakob Nielsen, "it's inevitable that they will become general purpose storage devices. Add a colour screen and they become photo viewers."

Making Free iPods Pay Off

Unless you're extremely gullible, the promise of getting a free iPod from looks extremely dubious. But surprsingly, the site appears to be legitimate.

OnlyMac Announces Release Of MacFamilyTree 4

Music Fans Sound Off

"We felt there was a vocal minority coming to the site that would intimidate others from actually learning about the freedom of choice in music," RealNetworks spokeswoman Erika Shaffer said.

Player Penetration By The Numbers

250 million and 93%. Those are just two of the figures by Microsoft, Apple, Real, Macromedia, and others in reference to the number of people who have downloaded their media players. This is a realistic look into what those numbers actually mean.

Mac Version Of Doom 3 Sees Setback?

The id folks responded that, due to optimization problems, Activision has no plans to publish the port themselves.

Apple Computer "Outperform"

Industry data suggests that the creative professional computer market has rebounded.

Apple Expo 2004 To Focus On European Marketplace

Real's Petition Backfires Thanks To Apple Fans

Spring Cleaning 7.0 Adds System Snapshot, More

The upgrade to the company's uninstaller and system clean-up tool adds several new features, including System Snapshot, which allows you to see exactly what changed on your Mac after installing or updating software.


Watching A Windows User Trying To Bum Free Wireless Access Off Of An Apple Store

The list of reasons why the majority of the public should immediately switch to the Mac platform continues to grown, and on some days the list seems endless.

Feature Creep: The Real World

I really have to hand it to Glaser. Steve Jobs may someday permit licensing Fairplay technology to competing music services, but Real's CEO, almost assuredly a dedicated Apple worshiper, has single-handedly insured that his own company won't be one of them.

Apple's Real Rivalry

I'm not convinced Real's plan will further its long-term agenda much — or take a very big slice of the Apple pie.


Few Extra Programs Needed If Switching

If you're considering switching to a Mac, you're probably wondering if you'll need to buy a lot of new software. Maybe not. Apple's OS X computers might not need extra software to do the tasks you want.

OmniWeb 5.0: The Powerful Web Browser

The Omni Group deserves support for raising the standard of how a Web browser can go beyond — far beyond — the basics of rendering pretty pages.


Rumor Today: iWork, ProBand, Pods

Those observers at, well, The Mac Observer, discovered that Apple has just filed a bunch of trademark applications. Is iWork the next release of AppleWorks? Perhaps ProBand and Pod are the professional (read: expensive) version of the GarageBand and iPod?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


RealNetworks Targets iTunes With Song Sales, Ad Campaign

Apple's iPod Invades The Classroom

iPods are being used to listen to languages and othe rmaterial in a few college courses, quickly making the pocket-sized gizmos the newest sweetheart of the college learning experience.

Darren Brandl, Student Filmmaker: Film Mogul In The Making

Supported by his iMac and Final Cut Pro, Brandl has been the recipient of multiple national awards for his work. Not a bad resume for someone who just graduated from high school.

Longer G5 Chip Delay May Hurt Apple Earnings

"Apple had previously stated that it expected to have shortages of its 1.8 GHz and 2.0 GHz procesors through July, with supply catching up in August. We now believe that IBM may be having difficulty meeting its revised supply commitments."

'Playlist' Magazine To Focus On Digital Music

The magazine was originally to be called iPodworld, but the name was apparently changed after Apple said it would not give permission for use of the name.


Why iSync Is Cool. What It Really Needs.


Color-Changing Case? It's Already Here

There's been a lot of hooha lately about Apple's patent of a color-changing computer case, powered by little LED lights. And there's a lot of speculation what the next iMac, as a result, will be like.

But, an interesting point out there suggests that this has already been implemented by Apple: the sleep-light on the latest iBook and eMac.

Monday, August 16, 2004


Phil Schiller To Keynote Apple Expo Paris

Philip W. Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, will present the keynote address at Apple Expo Paris later this month.

Dell, Apple Set Up New Beachheads In Taiwan

Apple recently announced that it would set up a flagship store and two franchised shops in downtown Taipei.

Apple's Strategy A Familiar Tune

With more competitors jumping into the market, the question is whether Apple will be able to keep its dominance in the portable music player market or whether the iPod will eventually go the way of the firm's Macintosh business.

Mentor: Students Benefit From Laptop Program


Why 2004 Won't Be Like 1984

Whether you like it or not, there's a high-stakes competition going on to establish a de facto standard DRM format, and at the moment, Apple is winning. THis game is far from over, and Apple's going to be damned if they're going to give RealNetworks or Microsoft a helping hand.


What's Wrong With Windows XP Lite

Microsoft is now offering Windows XP Starter Edition to some Asian countries. The price of the operating system is lowered, but it comes with some serious limitations: you can only run three applications concurrently, there is no home networking, and there is no multiple user accounts.

On the surface, this might seem like a good idea. After all, customers were asking for a lower-priced operating system, and Microsoft is giving it to them by giving customers the features they need, and not the whole kitchen sink.

But dig a little deeper, and you'll find that this product is so wrong.

Firstly, rather than adding value at the high-end, Microsoft is subtracting value at the low-end. It's not like Microsoft is saving money by removing features — the features are already there. In fact, I'd bet that by offering this Starter Edition, Microsoft is increasing it's own workload with a development and testing process that has been made more complicated.

So, it becomes a game of numbers. To its targeted customers, Microsoft seems to saying this: well, since you are not giving me enough money, I'd limit you to only the magic number of three applications. It's not like I'm saving a bundle on my development cost because of this limitation, and I'm passing the savings to you, my dear customers. It's just simply you are not giving me enough money, and so I'll limit you. Not a great way to start a relationship with a new customer, isn't it?

To offer a lower-priced Windows by removing already-completed features just seems so wrong. At the bare minimum, Microsoft should offer the full features of Windows XP Home Edition at a lowered price. Add more value from the high-end (such as its Professional Edition), and make the new value enticing to customers, and attract them to pay more. Apple may not be the perfect counter-example here, but Microsoft should perhaps learn from Apple on how the Mac operating system has been enhanced almost annually, with features that users will queue up to buy.

Secondly, Microsoft should pay more attention to its customers. They are not asking for a cheaper operating system with less features, because they can't afford the price. They have seen Linux — a full-fledged operating system at a cheaper up-front price. They are asking for a cheaper operating system with the same features because they've seen Linux, and they don't see the difference between Windows XP and Linux.

By offering XP Lite, Microsoft isn't really changing the equation. The cost per feature is probably still worse off than Linux.

But maybe XP Lite is not really targetting at the end-users. Maybe it's the resellers who are asking for this? Maybe it's the bean-counters who are asking for this? I don't know whether this is true, but if it is, Microsoft has a greater problem than just XP Lite. Any companies that stopped listening to its real customers will have a major problem, sooner or later.

Overall, XP Lite, I feel, is a mistake on Microsoft's part. For all its talk about innovation, I don't see a bit of creativity from Microsoft in solving the Linux problem.


Cheap Windows Comes Under Fire

In its research note, Gartner said Micreosoft's tactics were not well thought out and "fail to meet the most basic needs."

Ambitious Package To Raise Productivity (And Microsoft's Profit)

Microsoft is now pursuing a strategy to transform Office from a bundle of programs on personal computers into a family of software that can put Microsoft's technology deeper into the operations of corporate data centers.

Entertainment World Wary Of Microsoft

But these days, studios fear digital piracy more than they fear Microsoft and have slowly begun to make deals to use its software tools, albeit on a non-exclusive basis.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Inside Cult Of Mac

Welcome to a small but passionate community that includes doctors, corporate honchos, housewives, technicians and students. The Cult of Mac is spreading slowly, but rock steadily, in Calcutta.

Apple Releases Safari Update For Jaguar Users

The new v1.0.3 release "improves the Safari rendering engine to expand third party application support and delivers the latest security enhancements."


Who Ever Heard Of An Apple For The Students?

An iPod! For nothing! A free, 20-GB MP3 player for jack diddly squat! I don't want to overreact here, but when I got to school, it took my dorm three weeks to furnish a reliable supply of toilet paper!

Riding Out A Hurricane With Apple Technology

At this point, it's just me, my PowerBook, and my iPod. Thank goodness for Apple technology, eh?

The Boy Who Cried 'Mac Tablet'

After all Apple's protestations to the contrary, could this really be the year of the Mac Tablet?

What If Steve Jobs Had Stayed Back In Benares?

In the early '70s, a stoned hippie called Steve Jobs arrived in Benares looking for nirvana.


iPod's Still The Apple Of My Ear, Even With A Walkman In Hand

"How's it compare to the iPod?" "Battery life is a lot longer, up to 30 hours." "The LCD readout is kind of dim." "Battery life is a lot longer." "I understand it can't play MP3 files." "Battery life is a lot longer." Sense a theme here?


Software Worthy Of Stealing

The Mac OS is in John Dvorak's Top 10 Most Important Software Programs, ever.

Remember The Good Old Days?

Make That iBook-Pad Already

Scobleizer: I think it'd be nuts for Apple to not do [a tablet PC].

All the components are there. The question is whether Apple can do one that is good and cheap.

Count The Pods

How many iPods can you spot in the Olympics?

Push For Your iPod?

Dave Winer wants fresh content off the Internet onto his iPod everytime he does a sync. Don't you want too?


Is Microsoft's Firewall Secure?

While the firewall in Windows XP Service Pack 2 is an improvement, it falls short of the standard of protection expected of commercial firewalls, according to some industry observers.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


Jahil Nelson: Animating For The Super Bowl

Xserve RAID gives us tremendous versatility to access our media in real time, which lets us take on big projects and do them fast. We don't have to wrry about the technical issues — we can concentrate on the work itself."

Net Publishing Made Profitable

After 13 years of experimenting, veteran Net publisher Adam Engst has finally stumbled on a good busines model — fast-turnaround e-books.

For Ciggies And Spliffs

Hardware Matti Lampila is an enterprising soul. He turned a dead Apple mouse into an ashtray — with a prominent Apple logo, of course.

Apple Will Attend MacExpo London

Apple has confirmed that it will attend MacExpo in London this November.


Further Your CS Development With Mac OS X

Mac OS X offers the best combination to satisfy your inner geek and get your day-to-day tasks out of the way. Sometimes you want to explore, other times you just want to avoid hassles and get your work done.

The Apple Store Price-Matching

While the end user may benefit from lowered prices, it is a well-known secret that prices of Apple products are controlled, so what can we gather from this latest marketing move? Is this a case of "Do your part in the fight against resellers, report any suspicious prices!"?


4th Time Is Charm For Apple's iPod

For Personal Reasons, Focus Is On Micro-Level

Dueling Music Boxes

This week I've been playing with three new products designed to bring your digital music library into your home stereo system.

Apple eMac 1.25GHz

James Bond 007: NightFire

Although certain parts of it got a bit tediously repetitive, on the whole I found it great fun.


Sheesh, Indeed

JHromadka, in Slashdot: Jobs takes a month off on medical leave, and they try to sneak the Newton back. :-)

What Was Actually Broken In AirPort Express' Music Streaming

There seems to be a great confusion out there in the world of armchair critics *cough*slashdot*cough* about what is actually being broken in the latest Great AirPort Express hack... so, here' s my attempt at summarizing (and simplifying) what's going on, based on what I understand.

In the ideal scenario as envisioned by Apple engineers and lawyers...

Step 1: iTunes decrypt songs purchased from iTMS. This step is omitted if the songs are not protected (e.g. MP3s that you rip from your CDs.)

Step 2: iTunes encrypt the output from Step 1, using a "secret" algorithm so that only AirPort Express know how to decrypt.

Step 3: iTunes send the output from Step 2 to AirPort Express.

Step 4: AirPort Express receives the output from Step 3 from iTunes.

Step 5: AirPort Express decrypts the output from Step 4, using a "secret" algorithm.

Step 6: AirPort Express send the output from Step 5 to your speakers.

Now, what was broken? Only Step 2. Which means that other applications besides iTunes can now encrypt audio streams that the AirPort Express will decrypt will play.

Please note that the decryption algorithm in Steps 1 and 5 are not broken in this hack. So this hack is not about removing the DRM protection in songs protected by iTMS (i.e. Step 1), nor is this hack about allowing other devices or applications to hijack (and play or record) songs that is meant for AirPort Express (i.e. Step 5).

Having said that, everyone is still expecting Apple to come down hard on this hack.

(P.S. Yes, I know I'm simplifying a little. It's not the algorithm that is "secret", but the public and private keys.)

(P.P.S. I am no expert on this, so please do correct me if I've gotten anything wrong, or if someone else has a better summary.)

Friday, August 13, 2004


Euro Filing Reveals Apple 'Handheld Computer'

The filing, made in May this year but only published this week, covers a "handheld computer" and contains sketches of what look like an iBook screen minus the body of the computer.

Apple Releases iPod Updater 2004-08-06

Griffin Debuts All-In-One iPod Device

Griffin Technology today announced the RoadTrip, an all-in-one iPod charger, FM transmitter and cradle in one compact unit.

Apple Making Inroads Into Film Editing; Avid Remains King

Ask any professional who has worked in the film or video industries for at least a decade, however, and he or she will tell you that the leader in this space is not Apple, but Avid Technology.

Stanford University Lab Builds An Xgrid

What began as eight computers providing 4 GHz of processing power has become as many as 200 systems around the world providing between 80 and 130 GHz of processing power.

Apple To Open Second Japanese Retail Store This Month

Apple will open its second Japanese retail store later this month int he western Japanese city of Osaka, it said Thursday.


Apple Replays Old Mistakes

Apple's resolve to go it alone and not work with others backfired in the past and will do so again if ikt doesn't change its ways.

Avoiding The iMac

Expedient iTunes Music Store Browsing


Apple 17-Inch PowerBook G4

I, Pod

Audio Hijack Pro 2.0

Microsoft Office: Mac 2004

The Mac version of Microsoft Office has several new features that differentiate it from its Windows stablemate.

Must Haves: Upper Case iPod Cases


More Reasons Not To Upgrade

One common wisdom in the Macintosh land is to never install updates from Apple immediately. Wait a while, and let all the other beta testers upgrade and report their successs or failture before you do so. Who knows, maybe Apple will even pull the update so that they can work on it somemore before you update?

But now, there is another reason why you shouldn't update so quickly: find out if the latest and greatest Apple patch will disable your beloved hack — whether it is to play Windows Media files through your AirPort Express, or copy your RealNetwork files to your iPod.

Sometimes, the computer industry can make one sad.

Where Is My Network?

Apple has apparently done the right thing, according to Glenn Fleishman, in naming the default SSID of its wireless network based on the AirPort's unique hardware identifier.

"What happens when 500 networks in a building are called 'linksys,' 'default,' or 'netgear'?"

Rumor Today: iMac Is Coming

Think Secret believes that new iMac — to be unviled late this month at the Paris event — will be a flat screen monitor with the CPU attached at the back.

Welcoming The New PM, SM, MM

Singapore has a new Prime Minister, Lee Hisen Loong, yesterday. (See my other blog, SingaporeSurf, for some links.) It is No-Big-Deal for almost everyone here in Singapore, as we all know this day is coming.

The other two acronym up there in the title refers to Senior Minister (SM), the appointment created previously for the first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, which is now occupied by the second (and outgoing) prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, and Minister Mentor (MM), the appointment now created for the first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. Yes, that's right, all of the prime ministers in Singapore are now in the same cabinet.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Apple Posts Compressor Update 1.2.1

Apple Store Gets New Search Engine Features

Johansen Breaks AirPort Express Encryption

Jon Lech Johnasen, author of DeCSS, has discovered the public key that the AirPort Express users to allow software to play audio through it. "This is a huge step forward in giving standard applications the ability to use an Express for audio output," according to one developer.

OmniWeb 5.0 Now Available


Memos From The Parking Lot

To walk outside my apartment and essentially cross a street, all without losing my connection to a network, where I could keep working without sacrificing any productivity — I'm not sure I could have even comprehended a scenario like that back in 1999.


iTunes And Windows XP SP 2

Conspiracy theory from a MacDailyNews reader: Microsoft is starting an online music service. Microsoft releases an update to Windows. Their largest competitor's software no longer works. Raise your hand if this is a shock to you.

iTunes didn't "no longer works." What happened is that the firewall in Windows is warning the user that, hey, iTunes is sending out and receiving data into your computer. If you trust iTunes and Apple, then just press this "OK" button to allow the network traffic.

Which is precisely the correct behavior of a firewall. If Microsoft's firewall didn't do this, I'd say that Microsoft has failed in SP2.

One have to remember that there are quite a bit of network traffic for iTunes: Rendezvous. (This is what iTunes is using to share music, and find other users that are sharing music.)

Sorry, but if you are going to post in a forum accusing Microsoft (or any other companies) of doing illegal things, firstly, get your facts straight.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Area Schools Take Laptops

Nine local high schools will get laptop computers this fall in a deal brokered between the state and Apple late last week.

No Sales Tax This Saturday At Three Massachusetts Apple Stores Open 24 Hours

The Apple Store is participating in Massachusetts' Tax-Free Days all day Saturday.

Apple Struggles With Motion Problems

Apple has published a number of Knowledge Base articles describing issues with Motion, its application for real-time motion graphics.

Meet The iPod's Intel

PortalPlayer, which filed for its IPO on Aug 4, bears watching over the next few months. Here's why. PortalPlayer gets most of its business from a Taiwanese company called Inventec. And Inventec is the company that makes this little device that you may have heard — it's called the iPod.

Turning Jukeboxes Into Teaching Aids: A Chat With Tracy Futhey

Behind the Duke University's initiative is Tracy Futhey, chief information officer and vice president for information technology. Gadgets can't make poor teachers great, the West Virginia native says, but they can improve the educational experience.

Apple Releases Pro Application Support 2.1

Apple Posts Java Update

Apple Updates DVD Studio Pro

Maelstrom For Mac OS X Updated

Apple Releases iSync 1.5

iSync 1.5 adds support for more devices such as the latest Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Sendo phones.


Apple And Sun: Learning From Each Other

Apple needs to learn from Sun how to share.

OS X Calculator: Sick, Unreliable?

The built-in calculator in OS 10.4 may be wildly unreliable.


Apple Pleasure: iPod Mini Demystified

Aple's iPod mini is a deliciously cruel device. Like a chocolate cake when you're on a diet. It's possibly the most beautiful piece of digital audio hardware currently in existence — but it costs over Rs 20,000 and has a capacity of only 4 gigabytes.

The Next Do-It-Yourself Mac: Maximize Your Hardware — From Installing A SuperDrive To Building A Music Server

Apple iPod

The latest iPod is incremental progress. If you haven't yet joined the cult of iPod, the improvements and lower prices mean your patience will be handsomely rewarded.

Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition


How To Please Your Customers?

Well, definitely not using Windows server to run a Linux show. Or to use the same Windows server to run a Macintosh show either.

Windows Longhorn?

I'm not sure why Microsoft feel the need to reinvent the name of their operating system with every major release: Windows 1.0 to 3.1.1, Windows 95 to 98, Windows NT 3.5 to 4.0, Windows Me, Windows 2000 to 2003, Windows XP. Sure it's confusing, isn't it?

But, anyhoo, can you help out Microsoft's marketing department in coming up with a new name for Longhorn?


Microsoft Opens Cut-Price Windows

Microsoft is to launch a cheaper version of its Windows Xp operating system in an effort to halt the rise of low-cost Linux software.

IE Is Evolving, But Is It Enough?

Microsoft reiterated this week that it does not plan a new version of Internet Explorer until it releases the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Top Stories

SIGGRAPH: Apple Introduces Production Suite

Apple on Tuesday introduced Production Suite, a new package that combines together Final Cut Pro HD, Apple's recently released Motion software, and DVD Studio Pro 3.


SIGGRAPH: Apple Releases Motion

Motion uses "Behaviors" — procedural animation techniques that simulate gravity or wind, attraction and repulsion between multiple objects and other activities.

iTunes Music Store Tops A Million Songs In US

Apple said that iTMS is the first commercial online music download service to offer a million song catalog.

Apple Gives Money For Old Macs

Apple UK is offering businesses a rebate on old Macs if they trade them in for new models.

Punching At iTunes

How rivals are taking aim at Apple's dominance in digital music.

Roxio Selling Software Division, Focusing On Music

Sonic will purchase essentially the entire Roxio software operation including Roxio's CD and DVD recording, authoring, photo and video editing application products including Easy Media Creator, PhotoSuite, VideoWave, Easy DVD Copy and Toast.

Apple Releases Mac OS X V10.3.5


Making A DVD With Just 1 Mac And 7 PC's

The results were absolutely astounding. And all it took was a farm of 7 PCs, 1 Mac, and about 48 man-hours.

On Track With Route 66

With a little work and attention to how people use maps for a variety of purposes, Route 66 could become a first class product.

EyeHome: So Close, Yet So Far

The convenience of having one's digital pictures on the TV is a blessing, as is dialing up a digital movie on a moment's notice. Music playback works, but it plaes in comparison to the SlimServer software on the Squeezebox from Slim Devices. If you can get past the interface, the EyeHome functions quite well.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Top Stories

Mac Keeps Lead On Linux

"In emerging markets like China, Russia and Latin America, many locally assembled PCs are sold without an OS or with Linux," Gartner reports. "On 90 percent to 95 percent of these PCs, a pirated version of Windows is installed within the first few days."


FileMaker To End Upgrade "Amnesty" Program In Sept

FileMaker today announced that its FileMaker Pro 7 upgrade "amnesty" program — available for versions of FileMaker Pro dating as far back as 1993 — will end on September 17, 2004.

Is There Life After Jobs?

Who'll Do Jobs' Job?

Lacklustre Tablet PC Sales Suggest No Mac Version

The chances of Apple introducing a tablet-style Mac appear to be slim to nothing, following the latest figures to show how the Windows-powered version has failed to make much of an impression.

Online War For Danish Music Sales

Microsoft and Apple are vying for the growing Danish market for online music sales, with the two rivals planning simultaneious debuts of legal music downloading services in Denmark.

Apple The Fashion Brand

The iPod mini demonstrates that what will differentiate consumer technology use in the future will not simply be the functions. It will be about how you implement and package those functions.

Consumer Reports Rates Apple Tops In Reliability And Support


iPod Hooks Another Victim Of Consumerism

Suddenly, I realized in a zombie-like trance: Everyone in the world owns an iPod. Without it, I was nearly extinction. iPod, therefore I am. I was sans pod. Who was I?

Apple Enterprise, Please!

How About A .Mac Type Service For Developers?

A .Mac for ADC members seems to be a logical addition to the developer services.


BT-500 Mobile Mouse


If you want to let your kids explore the Internet at times when you can't provide direct supervision, BumperCar is a must have — it's easy to set up and quite a vigilant watchdog.

InCopy CS

Adopting InCopy will require some changes to any established workflow, but the benefits — smoother production cycles and peace between artists and editors — can be huge.

InDesign CS PageMaker Edition

All in all, you get a solid list of features that make an already powerful program even more so.

Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Even if you're too cool for the Dungeons and Dragons or hobbit rigmarole, Return of the King's fast-and-furious combat, gorgeous eye candy and immersive sound make for some truly enjoyable aracde-style action.

Office 2004

Sure, it's got its share of annoying quirks, bunglesome solutions, less-than-snappy performance, and weird behavior, but it's still the king of productivity.


The PodFreq has just about everything we could as for in an FM transmitter. But it looks like a protective case and does indeed cover the iPod's back and sides, but not the highly scratchable lCD screen or anything else on the iPod's front.


We hate waiting. That's why we dig DV-caputing hard drives such as the QuickStreamDV.


Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six 3: Raven Shield

It's realistic approach to battle made for some totally immersive moments. But its difficult learning curve will definitely be a stumbling block if you just want to open the box and have fun from the get-go.

Toon Boom Studio 2.5

If you're creating or converting traditional animation into any digital format, Toon Boom should be a part of your palette.

Xserve G5 Dual 2GHz

If you have high-performance computing needs or are looking to set up a render farm, the Xserve is the perfect solution, with its rackability, connectivity, affordability, and raw power.


Walkman? That's So 1980s

I am not sure why Sony — and a lot of other people — thinks that the Walkman is such a great brand name. To me, the brand Walkman means casette-tape player. Big, bulky, and sequential access to my tunes. In fact, if I am not wrong, Sony's portable CD-player was marketed under the name Discman.

So, I am not entire sure there's wisdom in re-using the brand Walkman in Sony's latest MP3... er, well, digital music player.


IBM Tells Users Not To Install Windows XP Update

While developers at Microsoft may be celebrating that they finished work on Service Park 2 for Windows XP, IT departments around the world now face the question on whether they should update their systems, or not.

Sunday, August 8, 2004


Apple Keeps Hits Rolling With iMix

What good is the perfect tune for the perfect moment if your friends don't hear it and don't know you were the one who picked it?


The Art Of The Parlay, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About Platform Licensing And Market Share

Toss it back and forth long enough and a nuggest of conventional wisdom eventually comes to be treated as fact.


Another Switcher

Chris Pirillo: I'm ready to start recommending OS X over Windows — especially for novice users.

Saturday, August 7, 2004


Apple's Mini Player Sells Out At Taiwan Debut

Only 100 units of the iPod mini were available yesterday. One company official said more would be coming but couldn't say just when.

SoHo Apple Store Celebrates Two Million Customers

Apple's SoHo retail store in New York City celebrated its two million customer today by giving away more than US$2,000 in Apple gear to a lucky customer.

State Reaches Accord With Apple To Put Laptops In High Schools

Apple agreed Friday to a revised deal that will place laptop comptuers in roughly one-third of Maine's public high schools this fall, Education Commissioner Susan Gendron said.

Apple Aces Academia

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his troops have clearly been on a college roll.


Apple, Real And 'Best Interests'

Apple is a chess player, and Real Networks is trying to play the game with Apple. All we have seen is one of a series of moves, and the better story is much further down the road.

iPod Tech Support — Second Time's A Charm

Having a person who can actually see (or in my casee, hear) the problem you're having can be much more effective than just talking to someone on the phone.


It's Hard To Commit: Apple Or Sony?

I'm not placing bets on the long-term victor. Apple has floundered too many times in its history to be counted on, even now. And Sony could succeed, somewhat like Microsoft, on sheer size and momentum.

Well, Just Listen To This... It Really Works

What is there to write about when the software and the device just plug in and start working?


Is Virtual PC Finally Coming

Microsoft has just release Windos XP SP2 to manufacturing. That means that the latest Virtual PC from Microsoft will finally be reaching your hands soon.

Make Your Applications Nice And Quiet

Previously, I wrote about one of my wishlist, of being able to mute just particular applications on my Macintosh, while allowing other applications to play sounds. Thanks to a reader, it seems that my wish has already been granted.

Rogue Amoeba's Detour "lets you control where audio from all your programs is going." And, based on the screenshot, it seems that it can also control the volume of individual applications too, which is exactly what I wanted.

However, the cost of Detour is US$12 (6.25 Big Mac from where I am living in Singapore; 4.14 Big Mac in United States, 9.52 Big Mac in China, and 3.56 Big Mac in Britain.) which is a bit higher than my taste for this functionality alone.

But if you have a need that is served well by Detour, do check it out.

Thanks For The Mention

Here's a thanks to Your Mac Life for mentioning this little website of mine in the latest edition.


Microsoft Comes Through With Windows Service Pack 2

After some last-minute waxing and buffing, Microsoft finally sent its Windows XP Service Pack 2 to amnufacturing early Friday.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Top Stories

Apple 10-Q Reveals Operational, Financial Details

Apple's French business unit is being sued by Virgin Mega and the French Competitition Council, which allege that Apple has wrongfully refused to license its FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology to competitors.


New Features Added To iMix

New additions include Most Recent, Featured, staff picks and a running counter — the number of iMixes created so far is 81242.

Image Flaw Pierces PC Security

Six vulnerabilities in the open-source PNG image format could allow intruders to compromise computers running Linux and may allow attacks against Windows PCs as well as Macs running OS X.

Apple Releases Xcode 1.5

The update includes "an enhanced version of the Xcode IDE with enhanced features and improvements to the user experience, speed, and the build system."

iPod Could Help Profits At Proffitt's

Retailers are looking for unique ways to capitalize on iPod's popularity.

"Mini" Apple Store To Open In Syracuse

The store will be only the second example of Apple's new "mini" store format, with the first store slated to open in California's Bay Area.

'Music Moguls Will Cringe At iPod Hack'

Apple's threat of legal action over a RealNetworks iPod "hack" is entirely justified, market analysts say.

Apple Posts iPhoto 4.0.3 Update

The text of the update information is identical to the 4.0.2 release published earlier this week. "iPhoto 4.0.3 addresses minor issues with Smart Albums and European books, and provides notifications when new versions of iPhoto are available."

Hays High Students Excited About Hitting The Ibooks This Year

"This is going to make learning a lot more fun."

HF-Lima Rethinks Use Of Middle-School Laptops

The Honeoye Falls-Lima school board is trying to figure out what to do about the middle school laptop computer project that was launched in February with a focus on use at school and at home.

The 'Big Mac' Supercomputer Biz

"What's really nice about the G5 pizza-box-size servers is how well they dissipate heat... Apple was definitely the best value proposition."


I Want An Apple Credit Card

The possibilities are endless for an Apple Credit Card and I can't wait to have one in my wallet. How about you?

Aural Exam

A more pressing issue for Duke and its higher education peers is whether iPods in particular and technology in general improve a student's journey to the heart of education.

Apple And The Legacy Of Napster

Where does the user figure in this story? Good question — one that Apple can't answer with a straight face.

iPod Tech Support — The $399 Pyramid

Eh? So Apple doesn't suppor third-party headphones, I pondered.


AirPort Express: A First Impression

Using AirPort Express On A Hotel Room Ethernet

New Apple iPods Vs. Creative's Zen Touch

Apple's player keeps getting better. I'm not sure I can say the same for Creative's offering.

Mating iPod And BMW Is A Brilliant Concept, But First Try Is Crude

The BMW adapter is still a disappointment because of the limitations it imposes on tne normal use of hte iPod.


Rumor Today: AppleWorks X

The source of the rumor? A listing for an upcoming book entitled "AppleWorks X for Mac OS X: A Visual Quickstart Guide."

I hope what this means is that Apple, in addition to Keynote, has now a word processing and a spreadsheet application. And AppleWorks X is a suite consisting of all these applications, plus, perhaps with a version of FileMaker Pro.

And, hopefully, like the current AppleWorks/ClarisWorks, the entire suite is also available for Windows.

One can dream, can't I?

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Top Stories

Apple Fans Pull For Jobs

News of Steve Jobs' cancer operation has Mac news sites seeing record traffic, forums are bulging with unprecendented number of psotings, and Apple is being swamped with messages of sympathy.


iPod Professor Dr. Michael Bull Speaks With Playlist

Apple Aims At 'Access For All'

Apple has published extensive documentation to encourage developers to add Universal Access features to applications.

Linux Surpasses Mac As No. 2 Desktop OS

"This is the year that Linux overtakes the Mac on the desktop, and maybe my laptop will help accelerate that," Martin Fink, HP's vice president of Linux, said at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo during a keynote speech. However, industry research firm IDC said it believes that this has already happened.

Apple's SAN File System Turns Heads

Apple plans to undo the notion of expensive storage software with the launch of its Xsan SAN file system this fall, for just $999.

E-Data Settles With Apple, Sues 14 US Companies

E-Data said that it has reached "a worldwide agreement for past and future royalties" with Apple for a license. The patent covers the downloading and recording of information, such as music, from a computer onto a tangible object, such as CDs, DVDs, and MP3 players."


Apple AirTunes And AirPort Express

It was too hard before so we never used the stereo. Now that it's easy we listen to music almost all the time. Nice.

Apple, If You Remove A Software Update, Explain

Users who have already installed the update have a right to know why the software is no longer available, whether or not it's safe to use, adn when to expect a "fixed" version.

Apple And Motorola: A Smart Duet

By agreeing to let the cell-phone maker put iTunes on certain models, Apple gets to test a new market for its music downloads.

Apple, RealNetworks Live In Never Never Land

The Real Reason Apple's Mad About "Harmony"

The grand scheme only works if the platform is secure.


Print Explosion Deluxe

Overall, the range of projects, the extra images, clip-art and fonts combined with the fact that Print Explosion Deluxe is only $10 more than Greeting Card Factory, makes this an easy choice fo the family.

Greeting Card Factory

This is a program that you can give to someone who's intimidated by computers and to the person who's a geek, and they will both enjoy the process and the results.

DVD Studio Pro 3

No other DVD authoring program in the $500 price class is capable of creating such stunning, highly creative DVDs as Apple's DVD Studio Pro 3.

Resetting The AirPort Express

AirPort Express Frequently Asked Questions


Wishlist: Finer Sound Control

Sometimes, I simply wish to be able to mute just a particular application on my Mac — say, Safari, for example, when it is playing some Flash movies — while continuing to play sounds from other applications such as iTunes and such.

Human Spam Filter

I wonder if there are anyone out there who will want to employ me to be their human spam filter. I'll do nothing the whole day except to read e-mail and to manully tag junk e-mails and spam. Guaranteed 100 percent accuracy only after, say, 1 week of training.

But seriously, folks. For those who depend on the e-mail inbox for their livelihood, this seems to be a service that will be valuable. What do you think?


The Decline And Fall Of The Wintel Empire

Even with a well-coordinated, ypervigilant work force, Microsoft and Intel face the reality of dealing with three- and four-front wars.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Top Stories

An Ode To iPod

To Steve Jobs' fans (I am one), he's the Edward Tufte of digital design, sculpting objects of desire out of metals and plastics that somehow marry Art Deco with Frank Gehry, the classical with rock and roll, the pragmatic with the magical. Nowhere does this resonate more than with the iPod.


New Computers For Bayonne Schols Will Be Able To Show Latest Web Pages

The $543,096 contract with Apple includes the leasing of 507 eMac model computers for each classroom in the city's 11 elementary schools and 35 for Bayonne High School for a three-year period.

Reacting To Jobs' Cancer, Apple, Pixar Shares Fall

Apple shares declined Monday, slipping 2.35 percent, or 76 cents, to close at $31.58 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

iPhoto 4.0.2 Update No Longer Available

It appears Apple has removed the iPhoto 4.0.2 update, which was initially released on Monday, without any explanation.

Dr. Mario Roederer: Revolutionizing Flow Cytometry

When Roederer began developing on the Mac, there was a bit of a steep learning curve. "But once you get over that initial learning curve, it's glorious."

Apple's iPod Is Here, But No iTunes

Computer maker Apple launched iPod mini in India on Tuesday but was not sure when the web-based music download service — the iTunes Music Store — will be available.

Click At Your Own Risk

Apple's iPod digital music player may be the hottest electronic toy in the world, but it has almost no legal use in Austrlia.

The "Big Mac" Supercomputer Biz

Apple wasn't a serious playr until researchers discovered how well its high-end computer clusters perform for a relatively low price.

The Importance Of Back-Ups: Tech Firms Often Unprepared To Replace Their CEO

Silicon Valley's business culture is partly to blame: It traditionally has worshiped its visionary companyf ounders and charismatic leaders. Tech companies' rapid product cycles add to a short-term mentality. And executives working on cutting-edge technologies are loath to embrace stodgy management structures.

Publis Disclosure: Health Of CEOs Brings Up Issues Of Personal Privacy

Recent revelation highlighted the need for high-ranking executives of publicly traded companies to disclose their serious health problems.

Apple Versus RealNetworks: A Lawyer's Perspective


Apple's Control-Freak Tendencies Could Crush iPod

Apple can't win by keeping its music technology to itself.

Illness Shows Us The Human Side Of Super Steve

How strange it must be to have your own illness be the talk of the town and the subject of speculation concerning your companies' stock prices.

Moving On Up: The New iPods


21.5 Things You Can Do With Office 2004

This article is here to show you some of the nifty little tweaks you can apply to Office.

PocketMac Pro 3.3: Software Supplies Mac Functionality To Your PDA

PocketMac Pro 3.3 is not the only way to get a PocketPC working with OS X, but its e-mail and Web features (as well as its support for PIMs other than Address Book and iCal) give it the edge.

ArtMatic Voyager 1.1: Bryce-Like Landscape Generation Returns To The Mac

ArtMatic Voyager 1.1.2 may not fabricate images realistic enough to fool you, but what it does produce is impressive.

RSS On Your Mac: What It Is, Why It's Cool, Why You Need It

America's Army: Special Forces 2.1

If you're looking for a great, free way to explore player tactics in a good, realistic environment, then there's nothing better out there than America's Army.


Ten Worst Laptops, Ever

The original Apple iBook (the toilet seat edition) got into John Dvorak's top ten worst of the laptops. "I described it as a 'girly' computer... This got me into a heap of trouble with politically correct Apple users."


Microsoft Shifts Researchers To Windows Unit

Microsoft is shifting about 70 technical staff from its research unit into its Windows effort as the company gears up for Longhorn, the next major release of the operating system.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Top Stories

Apple's Back-To-School Blast

Apple appears to have put itself in the sweet spot, as the desktop market continues to wither and the laptop market for K-12 starts to flourish.

Will Uncle Sam Like The Taste Of Apple?

Uncle Sam's coffers, which have long remained elusvie for Apple, are finally opening up. As the federal technology budget ballooned, Apple's market share in computers sold to the government rose from 1.6% in the first quarter of 2003 to 2% in the same period this year. Today, Apple is the government's No. 6 computer supplier — and climbing.


FileMaker Ships Work Requests

FileMaker Work Requests automates the process of creating, tracking and reporting on work orders.

Apple Holds Convergence Cards — Analysts

"Apple's biggest advantage is its knack for making products that are easier to use than the competitio's, a desirable skill in the mainstream consumer market."

iMovie Strips FairPlay DRM From iTunes Songs

Apple iMovie can be used to strip the FairPlay digital rights management protection (DRM) on iTunes songs, according to a report by German news site

Apple Distinguished Educators To Teach At DLexpo

A host of Apple Distinguished Educators are scheduled to teach at the first Digital Lifestyle Symposium.

Apple's Minimum Not Attained But Gendron Won't Give Up

The Maine Education Department failed to reach its goal of signing up enough high schools by the end of July to account for 8,400 laptops, the number necessary for an interim plan to put laptops in some high schools this fall.

Start-Up To Make iTunes Sing On Linux

CodeWeavers, which specializes in software that lets Windows programs run on Linux,s aid on Monday that it has a new version of its software that adds support for Apple's iTunes.

iPod Demand Helps Renaissance To Bumper Profit

Overwhelming demand for Apple's iPod has helped local distributor Renaissance to a bumper six-month result.

Adam Dorn: DJ Mocean Worker Keeps It Movin'

"All my DJ gigs, fromt he smallest bars to the Chemical Brothers, have gone off without a hitch. Nothing crasehs. My sound cards are better than turntables. The technology is so tight and stable and crystal clear, I won't play records again. There's no reason."

Readers Speak: Who's Right In iPod Fight?

The responses came down fairly heavily on Apple's side, though it was hard to tell whether that reflected agreement with Apple or general favor for the company.

What's Next For Apple?

Steve Jobs' cancer surgery has Wall Street wondering about the company's future.

See Also: Health Scare A Reminder Of Jobs' Icon Status

iPhoto 4.0.2 Update Corrects 'Minor Issues'

The update "addresses minor issues with Smart Albums and European books."


No "Halo" Effect? Look Again

The success of iPods and Apple stores stopped Macs' market share from sinking lower. And signs indicate even more future converts.

iMovie 5 Wishlist

"So, what would you do to make it better without turning it into Final Cut for Babies, smart guy?"

Keeping iPod At The Center

Keeping the iPod at the center of all these is clearly the way for Apple to ride the wave of the latest digital music revolution.

Convergence Kills


The Song Stops When I Want It To Stop

I can control when a song starts and stops in iTunes.

Peripheral Vision 1.6.3

Peripheral Vision monitors your Bluetooth, FireWire, Network, USB and File VOlume connections, and can present a number of notifications when it detects activity in any of these areas.

Word 2004 Bigger, Better, But Not Faster

If you need the utmost in cross-platform compatibility in your word processor, or if you need a "writing" program more powerful than many desktop publishing systems in the past, Word 2004 is for your.


Best Question Of The Year

... as asked to an Apple sales guy: Hi, I'd just like to find out... if I buy the 17" Powerbook, can I install Windows XP Pro in it?

Runner-up? Is Photoshop bundled inside [the iPod]?

Why Apple Matters

Gizmodo: A company selling a competing product is hoping that people who already bought the competitor might also purchase their product, just because it matches... This is why the iPod is interesting: it's fascinating to watch how everyone reacts to it.

Subservient President

He knows how to start a war, drink beer, and rewrite the constitution. But he doesn't know how to read newspapers, study history, or resign.


How Microsoft Will Die

This is no longer the PC era and monopolies are no longer necessary.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Top Stories

Jobs' Rare Variety Of Pancreas Cancer One Of The Most Curable

Pancreatic cancer can come in different — and sometimes fatal — forms, but the rare type that Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced he had been treated for is among the most curable.

Apple CEO Jobs Says Has Cancer Surgery

Steve Jobs has successful surgery for a rare form of pancreatic caner, Apple's co-founder told employees in a company-wide e-mail on Sunday, that was made available to Reuters. "I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was)."

See Also: Text Of Message From Steve Jobs

"I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September. While I'm out, I've asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, so we shouldn't miss a beat. I'm sure I'll be calling some of you way too much in August, and I look forward to seeing you in September. P.S. I'm sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express."


Use iPod, Go To Jail? Keep Your Eyes On Congress

Millions of people could soon be carrying illegal devices in their pockets. That's the message from the "Save the iPod" campaign.

Steve Jobs Leads CEO Pack

Apple CEO Steve Jobs remains America's leading CEO, according to Forbes' monthly CEO approval poll.


What Would Happen If Steve Jobs Died?

Change At Apple: Is It Time For A Successor To Steve Jobs?

AV PowerBooks: Is This What Apple Needs?

Given that AV options are becoming more widely available for PC notebooks, Apple needs to respond to this growing market.


Apple Xserve RAID

Apple's AirPort Express Worth Price, If You Use All The Features



Do You Want Some TNT today?

Imagine this guy, who discovered that the airport security folks have mistakenly planted some TNT in his luggage, is going to a U.S. destination, and if the customs and/or security staff at the U.S. airport has discovered the TNT, what is going to happen? He is going to go through hell, that's what it is going to happen. He will be lucky if he can see his family again for the next few months.

And that's why I am going back on the promise I've made to myself on bringing my daughter to DisneyWorld once she is able to appreciate Mickey Mouse. Hong Kong DisneyLand, here I come... :-)

Sunday, August 1, 2004


A New Age Dawns: Father And Daughter Musicians Create Synthesized Sound

In varying degrees, father-and-daughter musicians Frank and Kerry Leva represent music's high-technology future by adapting their instrumental training to the computer age.

Apple, Circuit City Head To Carousel

Two big names in retail electronics and computers are coming to Carousel Center mall in the fall: Circuit City and an Apple store from Apple Computer.

Long Waiting List For Apple's iPod Mini

Demand has been outstripping supply as hundreds of eager buyers in Singapore rush to lay their hands on the new Apple iPod mini digital music player.

Apple, RealNetworks Clash Fuels Industry Debate

The increasinlyg rancorous feud between Apple and RealNetworks is refueling controversy about Apple's business model, copyright law and the impact of incompatile technologies on the music business.


Apple's Jobs Strikes Sour Note In Bashing Harmony

You called Harmony a "hack." I call it history. And I want to warn you, in the words of that great Guttenberg-compatible software writer Arnold Toynbee, that he who forgets history is doomed to repeat it.

My iPod Or Apple's?

What Apple seems to be telling its customers is that they don't deserve to buy music from anyone but Apple — and in its own way, that's as disrespectful a message as the one that Real has sometimes communicated in the past.

Apple Joins The 64-Bit Party

Apple has proven its ability to bring Mac OS developers up to speed on new technologies.

Neat Idea: The Mini-Me Drive


Alias Sketchbook Pro

The one real drawback to Sketchbook is that it doesn't integrate well with Photoshop or Painter. But as a standalone application for creating quick sketches, Sketchbook Pro stands ahead of the pack.

Apple AirPort Express Shuffles The Deck With Wireless Fidelity

While the capabilities of the Express may make it sound complicated, it is not.


Amercian Innovation Is Now In Danger, Except...

Sir Harold Evans: We've gotten fat, dumb and happy. Obviously, we still get someone brilliant like Steve Jobs — and the iPod. I think [the iPod] is marvelous.

The photo used in MyAppleMenu's header is by elroySF. Recent photos used can be viewed here.

MyAppleMenu is edited by Heng-Cheong Leong. This site is not affiliated with Apple Computer, Inc. or any other companies in any manner. Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, Power Macintosh, PowerBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook, eMac, iMac, iBook, iPod, and Mac OS X are registered trademarks of Apple Comptuer, Inc. All other brands or product names are trademarks of their registered holders.

Creative Commons License
This site is licensed under a Creative Commons License.