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Mr Macintosh Update January ’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. Handy Tips to Improve Your Mac Experience: Mac OSX Hints, don’t play Solitaire, check this site out.

2. iTunes Plus: iTunes has adopted a DRM-free music format (Digital Rights Management). This means that music you buy from the iTunes Store has no copy protection and can play on any MP3 player and can be moved to any computer. The end of the anomaly that had CDs being DRM free but online purchases having the limitations imposed by backward-thinking music business executives! Of course it costs to update your existing purchases…go to the iTunes Store and there is a link at the right called Upgrade to iTunes Plus which analyses your Library and tells you how much it will cost to upgrade your previous purchases. They are at a higher sample rate so will be better quality and have no restrictions on moving the music from computer to iPod to computer.

3. iPhone Apps: 15,000 so far… iFooty!! Keep track of your team. Ocarina is an amazing transformation of the iPhone into a musical instrument by blowing into the microphone! It has exploded globally since being created with people sharing their songs and sending graphical displays of how to play different tunes. Wonderful at $1.19. Get an account and share your music. Free Translator does what it says by using the Google Translate online, it misses some Asian languages but not bad for free. Army Knife has 2 levels, a torch, digital callipers and an emergency light! $1.19

4. iPhone Battery: They aren’t great. And as they can’t be removed and swapped like a regular phone you can’t keep a spare; it would spoil the slim contours of the iPhone I suppose. What this means is that you need a pretty rigorous recharging procedure or you will get caught out. When near your computer plug it into the USB cable, when in the car plug it in to the ‘cigarette lighter’ output, there are lots of attachments to do this from $20. Or use the supplied mains charger. Then there are 2 battery packs from RichardSolo at $79 and $99. These let you carry recharge capability without having to plug into a computer or power outlet.

5. iLife 09 and iWorks 09: Upgrades to both suites are available now with many improvements, particularly iMovie as everyone hated the last version! Buying iWorks means you won’t need any Microsoft products as Pages will open Word docs and Numbers will open Excel spreadsheets. $129 each but some of the apps like iMovie only work with Intel chip computers so they are really only for recent machines. These suite upgrades are always good value.

6. 25 Years of the Mac: The first computer to be called a Macintosh was released 25 years ago this month. Some coverage here: And a review of the original in 1984: (yes, 1984 was 25 years ago, isn’t that frightening!) From the review: “It comes with 128K of Random Access Memory (RAM), 64K of Read Only Memory (ROM) and one 400K disk drive”!!

7. Toast 10: Toast is one of the few essential pieces of software that every Mac user needs. Sure, you can burn CDs and DVDs without it in the File menu in Finder, but that offers only extremely basic choices. With Toast installed you can do a multitude of things such as: Making a CD of a video file that plays on standard DVD drives; converting movie files into ready made formats for iPod, iPhone etc; compressing DVDs from dual layer (the standard commercial format) to single layer; capturing internet audio streams and popping them on disk; this new version can extract clips from a DVD and convert them to a format you want…and more. About $160 well spent.

8. A 1,474 MegaPixel Digital Photo!: The Obama Inauguration inspired this guy to stitch together 220 images into 1 big zoomable pic of the event. Fun.

9. Malware on the Mac: Finally it has come to the Mac platform and the hackers are using a clever means to get to the Mac users. Malware is the name for little bits of software that you unwittingly download and install that sends information back to a remote computer allowing the perpetrator to retrieve information and possibly even control your computer. This stuff has been around on the Windoze platform for years but reports are coming in of some new ones for the Mac. They are hidden in illegal downloads of software that many people acquire online via Torrent sites and this worm called the iWorkServicesTrojan and is hidden in a download of a pirate version for the new iWorks 09, and there is a free removal tool online. Another one uses an Adobe CS4 illegal installer to do a similar thing. If you avoid downloading illegal software you won’t have a problem! If you are particularly paranoid you can get a free Open Source anti-virus application for Macs called ClamXav.

10. 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.

11. 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 ;>)

Mr Macintosh Tom Hain PO Box 1040 Byron Bay NSW 2481 6685 5504 041 840 8869

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