Mr Macintosh Update February 09

Hello There Macintosh User!

If you are getting this email you have sometime been a client of mine — Thank you for your past custom!

1. The Wollumbin Institute: A locally based “learning community of organisations committed to sustainability” that is a very expansive website based resource. Spend some time exploring, bookmark it and revisit regularly. There’s a lot here.

2. Google Earth Update: Google Earth has updated and now has views of some of the sea floor! Data gathered by the National Geographic Society and others is accessible and fish migrations can be observed. Apparently.

3. TED Talks, Prize Winner: When you have marvelled at the sea floor in Google Earth take the time to watch this video from Sylvia Earle at the TED foundation. It is essential we begin to take responsibility for our actions and the simplest thing that we can change easily is our diet…

4. iMovie Is Back: The version of iMovie in iLife 08 was a clunker loved by no one, whereas the original iMovie HD enabled thousands of people to become sophisticated home movie makers. iLife 09 is now out and the new iMovie is considered a return to form but it has quite a high system requirement, ie G5 minimum and really Intel-chip only. David Pogue is a big user, here’s his take on it:

5. iPhone Apps; Now 20,000 of Them!: iMonopoly an apparently quite complex version of the old favourite board game. $5.99 iShoot has been top of the charts as a tank battling game. Lite version is free, full game $3.99 Quite a lot of apps, particularly games, have a free lite version so you can try them and if you like it you buy the full deal. Seems to work. ShoZu If you are an avid FaceBook-er or any of the many social networking sites, this freebie lets you upload directly from the iPhone camera onto your page. Beatmaker is a pro music studio in the iPhone. Costing $24 and weighing in at 149MB it is a music recorder in the palm of your hand! Letting you create beats on the go which you then download to your Mac and work on more. Amazing. BOMRadar gives you an animated image of the rain map for a particular area of Australia. You can see the rain coming! $1.19 Article on making an iPhone game in the Guardian, the new way to make money quickly:

6. Using iLife 09: Each time a new version of iLife arrives it has new features and these need to be learned! The best way to get to grips with them is to watch a Californian explaining how it all fits together in an online video. Each of the five applications that make up iLife (iPhoto, GarageBand, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb) has a whole heap of video tutorials explaining each feature in depth. Cup of tea in hand, computer on, iPhoto open and off we go…

7. Using Gmail for All Your Email: There is a lot to be said for switching over to Gmail. It is like a browser email in that you can access your account from any computer, like Hotmail or Yahoo, but it goes a lot further: you can configure Apple Mail to receive your email onto the computer and if you have a laptop and move around a lot it will send the emails you write via the Gmail server so you don’t have the problem of having to switch servers depending on where you are. From the Gmail Settings page you can also forward email from any other account, like your Bigpond or Ozemail accounts for example, so that they are collected by Gmail and arrive via their servers. The advantage to this is that you can set up auto responders that send a reply telling people that you are out of town for a while if you go on holiday. The point is not they can be done in Gmail and no where else, which isn’t true, but that it is very easy to set up. And we do like ease of use don’t we! In Leopard 10.5 the current operating system Apple Mail configures the account for you automatically, you give your Gmail user name and password and it does the rest. You can have as many Gmail accounts as you like and they have a big data allowance as well. Lots of good reasons to be a Gmail user. is the address for a guided tour.

8. Google Sync Instead of MobileMe?: Google have released Google Sync which is a free alternative to the paid Apple MobileMe service that syncs your contacts and diaries over the internet. Still in an early form that doesn’t include email syncing, this is a development that will in time become a full free sync to rival Apple’s paid MobileMe and Microsoft’s Exchange.

9. The Fuss About Twitter: Twitter is, along with FaceBook, the most successful of the social network sites. Not so much a website as part of the change to having an element of social networking via the internet in our lives. Unlike FaceBook which has a photo section and all manner of added (and often pretty mindless) applications, Twitter is just for ‘tweets’ — short messages of up to 140 characters — between connected people. It can also be seen as a series of mini-blogs, go to Twitter Search and enter a topic you are interested in to see what comes up.

10. Putting the Social Networking Revolution in Perspective: Clay Shirky is a guy who is very good at explaining how this is developing and what it means to us all. A long talk but essential viewing.

11. Robert Cringely: The best columnist around has left PBS and has his own blog, it’s a must-read-regularly!

12. Parallels Desktop 4: Parallels the way, along with VMWare Fusion, of running Windows (yuk!) on your Mac without having to restart, which is what you have to do if you use the free Apple utility called Boot Camp. It runs just like any other application although it is a full Windows operating system. You can go to full screen, copy and paste between the Mac and PC and even switch to Coherence mode where the Windows desktop disappears and it is completely integrated into the Mac scheme of things. Version 4.0 is now out and it has improved performance and runs games much better. I loathe Window’s unfriendly-ness, but if you have an essential application that only runs in Windows then this is the way to go for about $120 for the Parallels application. You will need to provide your own copy of the Windows operating system to install, either XP2, Vista or soon Windows 7.

13. Teach Yourself to Type Online: Its all online now even typing. This offering is free and well worth getting the kids to do a lesson before playing that game!

14. BSMUG: The Byron Shire Macintosh User Group (BSMUG) holds monthly meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of the month upstairs at the Mullumbimby RSL. Catering for Mac beginners as well as experienced Mac users. Visit the website and the forum for more information.

15. A Reminder of My Rates: I charge $88 per hour including GST. No call-out fee or travel charge in the Byron Shire. Half hour minimum. Telephone support costs the same in 15 minute increments. Email support is still free! Please include plenty of detail in your email inquiries! Serving the Byron Macintosh community for over 8 years. Until next time, Thank you Tommi ;>)


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