Sunday, December 31 2006 @ 05:35 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
Although, not publically announced to the usual media fanfare, Apple has published a support document admitting to having shipped iPod Videos containing the RavMonE.exe virus that affects only Windows systems. The virus is reported to not have any impact on Mac systems or the iPod itself.
The affected iPod Video stock, is reported to be iPod Videos purchased after 1 September 2006. Any virus program installed in a Windows system is apparently sufficient to stop the virus in its tracks. Otherwise, you can refer to the links at the Apple Support page for the relevant removal tool.
Wednesday, December 20 2006 @ 02:37 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
Apple has recently, unofficially introduced the inclusion of Dashcode 1.0 with the lastest version of Developer Tools contained as a standard package with the current Intel Macs. Dashcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Dashboard widget development. For the less IT initiated, an IDE is essentially an application that allows you to rapidly create another application or in this case, a Dashboard widget with little or no knowledge of programming.
Although, very much in beta stages, Dashcode is a remarkable IDE. We took it for a test run and managed to come up with our own RSS widget in under 10 minutes! Dashcode comes armed with templates for the less 'programmer inclined', which allows the rapid creation and deployment of Dashboard widgets.
Another great leap ahead for Apple in its efforts to expand its 'Widget Universe'. Although this is a welcome addition to the already expansive Developer Tools, there is currently little documentation on Dashcode itself and its Help file is still missing. In the interim, its pretty much guess work and heavy reliance on your familiarity of other Apple applications that use similar UI, e.g. Pages and Keynote. Otherwise, extensive documenation on Dashboard widget development can be found at Apple's Developing Dashboard Widget page.
So without further delay,... get our MacRiot RSS widget now. For those of you itching to give Dashcode a go, download your copy today from our download page.
Click image to download our all new MacRiotRSS Widget.
Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 05:52 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
Reach the nirwana of an uncluttered Desktop with MacRabbit's DeskShade. The Desktop, is often the most used area on any Mac. A great place to put files or folders we are actively working on or the most convenient place to drag and drop images from our Internet browsers for safe keeping. Trouble is, over time, the Desktop becomes a nightmare for neat freaks, which is only exacerbated if you're using a Mac with a smaller display.
DeskShade provides an instant alternative. In a nutshell, it allows us to cover our Desktops with the active wallpaper or even a movie. With preference settings that actually allow opacity adjustments to the playing video. This allows us to run a translucent movie atop of the active wallpaper, all in all, giving a cool ghostly effect to Desktop mod junkies.
DeskShade retails at USD$12.95 and is a great buy if you want to keep your Desktop looking spanking clean. DeskShade also comes with a built in screen lock utility which can be quickly activated through the DeskShade icon in the menubar or by toggling predefined hot keys. The current release of DeskShade (2.0.3) also features iPhoto integration to make wallpapers out of your favourite photos quickly and easily.
Get rid of the clutter! DeskShade's a definite plus on any Mac system.
If you happen to have a desktop Mac and another portable Mac, Abyssoft's Teleport might be right for you. The simple application allows you to share your keyboard and mouse across both Macs. As well as, clipboard sharing.
Its easy as pie to set up. Simply download and install Teleport on both the Macs, a few settings later and you're sailing. The advantage of Teleport is to allow you to manipulate two or more Macs at the same time from one interface, simply by moving off the edge of your screen. The pointer then magically appears on the other Mac's screen, very much like how it does when your Mac is configured for dual display mode. Only instead of using a single computer and two displays, you are harnessing the power of two computers with a 'single dual display'.
At the moment Teleport is donationware and works great even with its minor development bugs.
Reports have come in that the current line-up of Mac hardware that support the draft IEEE 802.11n WiFi standard are having intermittent trouble getting on WiFi networks. This issue is said to be restricted to certain router brands and models, e.g. 2Wire.
There does not seem to be a solution at the current time and Apple was unavailable for comment.
Friday, December 08 2006 @ 02:38 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
Apple has always been on the frontier of consumer electronics. Being one of the first to introduce IEEE 802.11g WiFi protocol in their consumer electronics line. Or popularly known as the Airport Extreme form factor, which represented a major advancement in its day, boasting a 54Mbps transfer rate over the earlier IEEE 802.11b standard, or Airport form factor, which topped out at a mere 11Mbps.
Lately, Apple has been at it again. Unknown to most, the latest range of Intel Core 2 Duo Macs come equipped with the ground breaking IEEE 802.11n format which promises to deliver a WiFi bandwidth that comes close to the traditional 100Mbps wired Ethernet networks that we are already so accustomed to seeing in our offices.
See the Inside Mac images of the latest IEEE 802.11n ready Airport Extreme cards inside!
Wednesday, November 22 2006 @ 12:10 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
Its long overdue but Apple has finally introduced a one-stop reference web page. Detailing every repair/exchange program for almost all models currently, in production. For most part, Apple has been issuing silent recalls for years, repairing and exchanging only affected units. There's now a way to keep track of those programs and realise whether your Mac is one of those affected systems.
"All MacBook and MacBook Pro computers, PowerBook G4 computers starting with PowerBook G4 (12-inch 1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz), and PowerBook G4 (17-inch 1.67GHz) and iBook computers starting with iBook G4 (Mid 2005) have Sudden Motion Sensor technology, built-in protection for the hard disk that is designed to help prevent disk failures if the computer is dropped or undergoes severe vibration".
That's Apple's official representation on its geneology of its introduction of the much spoken of but seldom understood Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS) technology. For ease of reference, for iBook G4's, SMS was introduced in its 1.33GHz model launch.
To clear the air. SMS is not a hard drive technology in itself, so running out and buying a particular hard drive model will not ensure implementation of the technology. SMS is actually an amalgamation of hardware and software developed by Apple. SMS software integrated into Mac OS X works in tandem with SMS hardware that is hard soldered into the logicboards of the models mentioned above.
Other than just protecting your hard drive and data from harm, the SMS can be a source of entertainment and to some extent, interface improvements to your SMS equipped Mac system. Here's a compilation of some of the more popular applications that have been designed to exploit the SMS:
SeisMac : is a Mac OS X application that makes your SMS enabled Mac into a seismograph. It accesses your Mac's SMS in order to display real-time, three-axis acceleration graphs.
MacSaber : uses your Mac’s SMS to detect movements, fast and slow and creates light saber sound effects. Effectively turning your Mac into a Star Wars style light saber.
Carpenter’s Level : Carpenter’s Level is a dashboad widget that will turn your Mac into a Carpenter’s level tool. When you tilt the notebook left or right the bubble will move from left/right. Useful to find out if your desk is level or not.
AMSVisualizer : a 3D visualization of the Sudden Motion Sensor that displays an image of a Mac portable relative to the detected motion on your Mac.
SMSRotateD : the Sudden Motion Sensor as a screen rotation trigger for automatic screen orientation based on a notebook’s physical orientation (portrait or landscape).
MultiAlarm : Movement Alarm designed for all Apple laptops with sensor
Bubblegym : a game that reacts to how the machine is tilted. The gameplay is simple but challenging, control the balls by leaning the computer and get to the clouds before they disappear.
BumpAlarm : BumpAlarm is a program that uses the motion sensors in Apple’s new Powerbooks to trigger various actions when motion is detected. It can be set it to automatically play a sound file, send an email alert, or run an applescript.
The list goes on but the uber SMS application floating around the Internet, is this one:
If you find slapping your Mac a heart stopping act, there's now a gentler solution from Medallia. Enter ShadowBook, which allows you to commit the same Slapbook-like desktop transitions by a simple wave of your hand (requires ambient light sensor equipped Mac)!
...one more thing. If you like car alarm like features on your SMS enabled Mac, check out the up and coming iAlertU at slappingturtle.com (requires IR equipped Mac working with Front Row remote).
MacIntel portables have been plagued with immense heat ever since their launch. Although, Apple has carried out its due diligence by introducing newer firmware versions for the MacBook and MacBook Pro, you can still override the installed firmware with Lobotomo's SMC Fan Control 1.1.
The firmware updates by Apple have undeniably aided in suppressing the heat. With users reporting reductions in heat since updating their Macs but if you're running processor intensive applications, the SMC Fan Control 1.1 is the tool for absolute control. In a nutshell, SMC Fan Control 1.1 allows users to override the internal fan control, allowing users to preset the minimum fan speed. What is required is an administrative username and password to enable the applicaiton.
Because its an application that runs atop of Mac OS X, it doesn't permanently override the default firmware control over the system's fan/s. The application must be re-enabled after a system shutdown and when the system comes out of sleep or a screensaver.
Although, Mac OS X's UNIX base renders it naturally immune to most virus and spyware attacks, there are still some simple steps that need to be implemented against, human access. From unwanted snoops or nosey parkers who happen to come across your unattended Mac. Truth be told, a Mac fresh out of the box is relatively undefended against such tomfoolery and some basic steps need to be taken.
Although, this article is more cogent for Mac portable owners (owing to its greater exposure to potential snoops and nosey parkers) but the principles explained can be applied to any Macs. What follows are simple steps that a Mac user can take to secure their Mac against snoops who try to access or hack into your Mac through physical acccess.
This article details how to:
implement a screensaver password
secure a user account
secure your Mac against unauthorised startup access
Wednesday, November 15 2006 @ 01:01 AM SGT Contributed by: Mack
The MacBook had us gawking in amazement; how and why Apple would come up with such an awesome product. Feature-packed with everything anyone might need on-the-go. From a built-in iSight to an IR remote to cheese off Windoze users (who currently don't have an equivalent) in public.
But... with all great things that attempt to break the barriers of our imagination, there are always birth pains and its seems that the MacBook woes aren't over. To date the MacBook is still prone to suffer from any of the following:
inability to boot
SATA hard drive failure and (of course);
excess heat when run over long duration or set to carry out processor intensive tasks
Its disheartening for sure. To see something that is positioned to revive Mac's installbase market share, by tempting more switchers with a low price tagged featured packed portable , leaving new switchers with a sour after taste from frequent visits to their local Apple Service Provider (ASP).
The worse experience is to watch a new switcher demanding a refund after repeated visits to their ASP and dumping the Mac platform completely, vowing never to return. Maybe its a case of missed expectations but unless Apple beefs up their quality control, it seems that the Apple onslaught, with their new evangelism tool after the iPod, might come to a premature halt before it gains the necessary momentum to propel Apple back into contention with other platforms.
Its anyone's guess now, whether the move to bump the MacBook to an Intel Core 2 Duo processor platform is a wise move. The processor upgrade is enticing but the shared video memory that remains status quo, isn't. Its this one crucial fact that separates the MacBook from the MacBook Pros - speed-wise at least.
For now, for those of us, considering to go Mac; our best advice is to dish out a little more and go for the less problem proned MacBook Pro. A definite better long-term investment.
Current batches of MacBook have reported high incidences of intermittent shut down. Although, initial remedies in the form of logicboard replacements seemed to have cured the issue, Apple has localised the issue to stem from a heatsink defect rather than a logicboard fault.
If you have a MacBook that shuts down by itself without warning or one that starts up only to shutdown or restart again then the best move is to quickly send your MacBook to your nearest Apple Service Provider for a remedy.
At time of reporting, there has not been an official recall on this issue but Apple appears to be making positive efforts to remedy the situation.