Category Archives: Macs

Switching

You might have gathered from some of my more recent posts that I've switched platform. My main machine is now a Dell laptop, running Ubuntu 8.10.

I've been using Macs since 1986, and have owned one more or less continuously since 1989. Machines that have been through the mill of my day-to-day keyboard bashing include the Mac Plus, LC 475, PowerBook Duo, iBook and MacBook Pro. I've earned a living writing about Macs and attended more Macworld Expos than I can count.

But unless Apple has a change of direction and creates some very different machines, I think that I've probably bought my last one.

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So I bought a new computer

I bought a new computer. It's not a Mac.

It's a Dell. It runs Linux. It didn't cost me £1400.

And I love it. I'll write some more about why I decided to switch later, but so far I've had it a week, and the only reason I've picked up the Mac again is to get copies of some files which aren't supported by anything other than Mac apps and save them into something sane.

MacBooks, iMovie, and USB HD video cameras

Picking up this comment from TalkBack on ZDNet:

“Actually, you’re all missing the point here. Even if you have an HD USB camcorder, you STILL can’t use it with the new
macbook – you can’t connect a drive via USB fast enough
to play the AIC video that iMovie creates. If you own Final
Cut Pro and you have the option to encode AVCHD to Pro
Res, at HD resolution, the video will not run on a USB
drive. I do, however, have a number of FW drives that will
do it…

Why have none of the tech press picked up on this? Job’s
comment was the single most arrogant and ill-informed
thing I have even seen a CEO say in a long time.”

I don’t know if this is true or not, as I haven’t got one of the new MacBooks (and now I’m wondering if I’ll bother). It would certainly be worth someone who has access to a new MacBook and an appropriate camera testing.

MacBooks, iMovie, and USB HD video cameras

Picking up this comment from TalkBack on ZDNet:

“Actually, you’re all missing the point here. Even if you have an HD USB camcorder, you STILL can’t use it with the new
macbook – you can’t connect a drive via USB fast enough
to play the AIC video that iMovie creates. If you own Final
Cut Pro and you have the option to encode AVCHD to Pro
Res, at HD resolution, the video will not run on a USB
drive. I do, however, have a number of FW drives that will
do it…

Why have none of the tech press picked up on this? Job’s
comment was the single most arrogant and ill-informed
thing I have even seen a CEO say in a long time.”

I don’t know if this is true or not, as I haven’t got one of the new MacBooks (and now I’m wondering if I’ll bother). It would certainly be worth someone who has access to a new MacBook and an appropriate camera testing.

Could Apple’s attitude to developers get any worse?

On the day that Google launched something with a rather different approach, this little gemcomes to light:

“Aparently [sic], Apple has now started labeling their rejection letters with Non-Disclosure (NDA) warnings:
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE”

So Apple’s solution to the issue of developers being unhappy about their applications being rejected on spurious pretexts is to try and stop them talking about it to anyone?

It’s this kind of crap that makes me want to make the Mac I’m typing on my last. There has to be way which supports neither convicted monopoly abusers or control-freak obsessives.

Could Apple’s attitude to developers get any worse?

On the day that Google launched something with a rather different approach, this little gemcomes to light:

“Aparently [sic], Apple has now started labeling their rejection letters with Non-Disclosure (NDA) warnings:
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE”

So Apple’s solution to the issue of developers being unhappy about their applications being rejected on spurious pretexts is to try and stop them talking about it to anyone?

It’s this kind of crap that makes me want to make the Mac I’m typing on my last. There has to be way which supports neither convicted monopoly abusers or control-freak obsessives.

How to get the full version of Office 2008 for Mac cheap

Microsoft produces a very nice, handy student/teacher edition of Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac at a bargain price. There’s only one thing: it doesn’t include the full version of Entourage. Instead, the version which it ships in the Home/Student edition doesn’t include support for Exchange servers – it’s POP and IMAP only.

If you want the full version, you’ll need to buy the full version of Office – and in the UK, that’s the difference between £100 and £300, which for something as simple as Exchange support doesn’t seem worth the money.

However, there may be another way you can get Office more cheaply, with support for Exchange. If you own any of the programmes in the Office suite, going back to Office v.X, you’re eligible for an upgrade, which Amazon is currently selling for about £180. Not quite as little as the Home/Student edition, but still better than full price.

You don’t need the whole of Office – just a single application will do. And what’s more, you’re even eligible if you own a copy that you got as part of a bundle with other products or services. In my case, my Exchange provider includes a copy of Entourage 2004 as part of the service, which means I was eligible for a cut-price update to 2008.

Better yet, even if you only own one of the products in Office, the update gives you all of them – so from my single licensed copy of Entourage 2004, I ended up with full copies of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage.