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Apple related news and tips

I just saw this over at Josh Griffin’s blog.  They opened their high school service this weekend with a rendition of Carol of the Bells played by an iPhone band.  Really fun.

Nooma as an iPhone App

Chris —  August 27, 2009 — Leave a comment


A few days ago I told you about one of the best deals I’ve seen to pick the physical Nooma DVDs.  And tonight I find out that they are now coming out as iPhone apps.  Here’s part of the description from iTunes:

This NOOMA application includes the full-length version of NOOMA Rain | 001 Rob Bell. In addition to providing unlimited viewings (no network connection required), the app also includes all the content from the 32-page discussion guide, a leader-follower feature that allows synchronous viewing of the discussion guide, the ability to email a friend with links and clips related to the film, and a link to the Flannel Store where you can learn more about the film.

From the description it gives you a screen by screen guide to guide the discussion.  Looks like it would be a great teaching tool to go along with the video.  At $4.99 it’s seems like a good value for the video, booklet, and discussion tools.  I can’t wait to check it out.

iTunes Link: Nooma Rain | 001 Nooma Rain | 001 Rob Bell

Snow Leopard Ships Aug 28

Chris —  August 24, 2009 — Leave a comment


Apple announce this morning that Snow Leopard will begin shipping Aug 28th.  If you don’t want to wait in line at your local apple store, you can order it here: Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard at $29 this upgrade is a no-brainer for me. It’s just sad to know that my old G4 powerbook is officially outdated and can’t use the new OS.  All my windows friends will need to wait a little longer for Windows 7 later this fall (Oct 22) to upgrade.

Ever have a long document and wish you could simply turn your macbook on its side and use it like a kindle to read the book/document? All you need is to download the Display Rotation Menu from Mage Software.  It adds a menu bar item that allows you to rotate your Mac Laptop and use it as if it were an ebook reader only without the several hundred dollars to Amazon or Sony.  It doesn’t work on all mac laptops because of graphics card limitations, but they have the short list of which somewhat current models are omitted.

I don’t know what my problem is, but I have WAY too many e-mail addresses to deal with. Many of them I have forwarded to/checked by gmail, but that still doesnt solve the problem fully because, for one reason or another, I still have multiple gmail accounts. I have used plugins for firefox over the years, but am irritated at having to constantly have a browser open sucking up resources I’d rather have being used somewhere else.

Finally, an easy app has been released to help monitoring multiple gmail accounts easy.  The app is called Notify, and is produced by a company called Vibealicious.  They describe it best when they say it’s “like a menu bar app, but better.”  Like a menubar app, it lives in the menu bar and changes slightly by adding color and a number when new messages arrive, but once you click, TADA!  It pops open a tabbed window showing your accounts with new messages and previews.

It is not without its issues like the fact that it opens some odd google error page when you double click on a message, and it doesn’t automatically log you into the appropriate account when opening up gmail, but it is 1.0.  The developers have already slated a .1 release for mid September to include support for google apps and possibly imap which shows a thriving development.  It boils down to this: Notify is an amazing tool that seems to be a pretty good answer to my (and your?) multi-account email dilemma.

I recently bought a new computer on which I did not install the normal pro apps I use.  That meant that I did not have quicktime pro, and I quickly realized what an incredible deal it is!  For a whole lot of common tasks, you do not need to buy or open up a huge, expensive program.  If you need to trim a bit of the beginning, rearrange the order of events in a clip, or quickly change a file’s size or format to upload to the web, all you need is the $29 upgrade to quicktime pro (on the mac).

My favorite feature has nothing to do with editing video files.  One of the handiest little preferences that shows up is the ability to play a movie on your secondary monitor or projector.  Instead of having to do some wonky dragging of the window to the other screen (which doesn’t work in many players), or use a presentation program like keynote or pro presenter, you can simply plug in your laptop, switch the display preference over to the secondary monitor, and voila!  Like I said, the $29 is totally worth it.  Click here for a link to it in the apple store.

UPDATE: Thanks to Luke for the comment about Quicktime X.  Apparently, with the release of Snow Leopard, many of the pro features will be included.  Which means it’s time to preorder Snow Leopard for $29 instead!

Another Mac Bundle Box

Chris —  August 3, 2009 — Leave a comment

Mac Bundle Box released another incredible bundle deal.  This time they are selling 12 apps that, if purchased separately, would cost $458.59 for $49.

The no-brainer of the group for me is the Keynote Themes.  I use keynote almost every week, and get tired of the stock themes. These themes by Jumsoft are beautiful.  From there I only need one more program to make it worth my while, but to be honest, I didn’t find it.  I already have programs that do the video compression, web design, and disk management offered by some of the other programs.  It is definately worth looking at, but be careful not to buy it just because it’s a deal.

Well, I’ve been using the new iPhone 3.0 software for almost 12 hours now.  Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • Search:  I think the way they implemented this by having it be to the left of the main screen is interesting.  Although I found myself swiping into it accidentally often.  I hope I get used to it being there.  It’s is a great program launcher though.  I have about 7 screens of apps, and it can be difficult to find certain ones.  Now with the search and few letters into the spotlight search, and up it comes.  It was also great finding things in email.  I really like how they used icons next to the results, it makes it easy to identify what each result is.
  • iPod Features:  I wasn’t ready for the first time i opened my music library and it needed to update.  I had to cruise down the road for a few miles before I was able to fire up my tunes.  So you may want to open up your library right away just so it can update.  I listen to alot of podcasts, and there are a few new settings.  Now under to time bar there are 3 new buttons.  One allows you to send a link to the podcast to a friend.  Nice for those of us who create podcasts.  Two allows you to jump the podcast back 30 seconds incase you missed something.  And three allows you to change the speed of playback.
  • Cut and Paste: This one is so big.  I can’t believe it took so long to get this.  The implementation works well, exactly how I would expect it.  And it works in so many places.  It was supper easy to move text from a web page to an email, or a web address into a note.  I love it.  This makes the whole device so much more useable.
  • General Impressions: My iPhone 3G feels a little snappier.  The transitions from screen to screen definitely seems smoother.  Overall not huge impact on performance, but it just seems a little tighter. 

Here’s some thoughts from one of my favorite Tech Pundits: 10 nifty things about iPhone OS 3.0.   

How was your first day with it?  What’s your favorite new feature?

Apple’s WWDC Keynote

Chris —  June 7, 2009 — Leave a comment

Well it’s almost upon us, the Keynote for WWDC.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the workings of Apple, WWDC stands for the World Wide Developer Conference.  They hold it every summer, and the last few years it has become home for big announcements from Apple.  (Last year we got to see the iPhone 3G for the first time.)  

So what do we think Apple will give us tomorrow?  The rumor sites and Mac pundits all seem to feel we will get an announcement of an new iPhone, although there seems to be mixed feelings about when it will ship.   For what it’s worth, I’d be surprised if we see it ship tomorrow, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us get the iPhone 3.0 software.  It seems Apple is getting us ready by releasing an iTunes update last week that was 3.0 ready.  

We’ll probably also hear more about the plans for Snow Leopard, their next OS version, and when it will hit the streets.  My guess is late summer or early fall.

If you are interested you can check out more of the rumor round-ups, including supposed pictures of the next iPhone:

Enjoy the speculation, we’ll all find out tomorrow.

MacUpdate Spring Bundle

Chris —  May 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Mac friends, I know what you are thinking, not another software bundle, I was thinking the same thing, until I saw what’s in this one.

One of my favorite all time techy tools kits has been the amazing Tech Tools Pro. I’ve used it a number of times to diagnose problems on my computers and on friends machines. I’ve been meaning to upgrade my copy, and now I can get it, plus more. In addition to Tech Tools, the bundle includes: Parallels, Notebook (another piece of software I use everyday), RipIt, and NetBarrier just to name a few. At only $49.99 it’s well worth the cost.