Mr Apple and the iPad

Mr Cat noticed this morning that Mr Apple was showing off their brand new iPad – which looks like it is really just an iPhone with a bigger screen – although you sure as hell will look ridiculous with that thing stuck to your ear making a call.

There were millions of opinions out there today, however I stumbled on this hilarious little video on YouTube today on the new device:

Unfortunately Mad-TV has disabled embedding on this clip, so you have no choice by to watch it on YouTube. It is still worth while.

At last, BlackBerry Desktop for OSX is around the corner

Today, on the BlackBerry blog, I noticed that V1.0 of the BlackBerry Desktop for OSX is now just around the corner. Since I am both a Mac enthusiast, and someone who thinks that BlackBerry is something without which human life will cease (thus solving global warming instantly), I have been eagerly keeping watch for news on this piece of software since I first read about it on RIM’s blog back in July, with it’s enviable list of features, including the ability to Sync your iTunes® playlists, calendars, contacts, notes and tasks — features that had ’till now only been available in the Windows version of Desktop Manager.

Today (September 23rd), I noticed that RIM have written another update about their new OSX version of BlackBerry Desktop, this time using the phrase “around the corner”, which I take to mean imminent as the expected release date, however this new post gives a glimpse to this version of the software, and it looks awesome.

A feature that I will find useful, is the ability to sync with multiple computers, which although slower is something I would use all the time, given that I have computers both at home and work. I am also pleased by the way it will allow me to select to sync with either my Bold’s internal storage or with the flash-card that I have in the device. Then, something RIM have included that struck me as such an obvious feature, yet not even Itunes® has it, is the ability to delete all music that you have synchronized with BlackBerry Desktop Manager to the device. For a flash-based device, this allows you to quickly cycle through parts of your music collection. A feature that would be very useful in Itunes to those who own iPod Nanos.

Let’s hope that we will soon be able to get this great application and make our favourite handheld work with our favourite operating system.

Snow Leopard – First Glimpses

OS X Snow Leopard

OS X Snow Leopard

My pre-order copy of Snow Leopard showed up at the local Apple Distributer here in BC just after 5pm on Friday. This morning, with some idle time, I slipped the disk into my iMac and, now, just over an hour later, I am writing this post on OS X 10.6.

As other reviewers have written, it is hard to tell that you have performed an operating system upgrade after the first boot. Even the introduction video is identical to 10.5. What was immediately apparent to me, and this is purely subjective, was that the operating system felt a tad more snappy than the older one on my 2.4GHz iMac that I use as my desktop machine. Windows seems to snap open and closed more eagerly. Wait times for applications opening seem to be a tad shorter.

Next, I opened Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design CS4 in turn, just to make sure that nothing was broken with them. Yep, all good here after a cursory inspection, so now with my major concerns out the way, it was time to try out what I really was after when I purchased Snow Leopard:

The new integration of Mail with Microsoft Exchange 2007! I am a huge Exchange fan, I love the service, however I have longed for that seamless Outlook like interface to Exchange from the Mac. Entourage, to me, has always been clunky – and then it sets you back a ton of money too, so after putting my Exchange credentials into Mail, I felt content as I watched Mail sucking in my e-mail, iCal came alive with my calendar and task items, and address book listed all my Exchange contacts and I was able to search the GAL from Address Book.

I sat back with a muffled sense of excitement, took a long slurp on my now slightly cool Tim Horton’s double double coffee and was well pleased.

For the $35 CAD ($28 US) this upgrade had set me back, just this single feature made it all worth while!

OS-X Snow Leopard available on August 28!

OS X Snow Leopard

OS X Snow Leopard

Yesterday Apple announced on their website that Snow Leopard (Mac OS 10.6), the new version of OS-X will be available for pre-order today and for purchase on August 28th (earlier than initially announced), and that the upgrade will be priced at only $29 in the USA.

I am excited by this version, as it now runs all the large applications in 64 bit, and has improved multi-tasking support on multi-core processors. I am hoping that Apple may have been waiting for this version of the operating system prior to releasing a quad-core version of the iMac.

Furthermore, Apple mention that the new version, at around half the size of the current version, will free up to 7GB of disk space on an average system over previous versions. This would be a great thing for those with older MacBooks that have smaller hard-drives, such as my little over 2 year old MacBook Pro that only has a 100GB drive.

The Complete Apple Press Release is below for those who are interested in the details:

Apple to Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard on August 28

CUPERTINO, California—August 24, 2009—Apple® today announced that Mac OS® X v10.6 Snow Leopard™ will go on sale Friday, August 28 at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple’s online store is now accepting pre-orders. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard® users for $29.

“Snow Leopard builds on our most successful operating system ever and we’re happy to get it to users earlier than expected,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “For just $29, Leopard users get a smooth upgrade to the world’s most advanced operating system and the only system with built in Exchange support.”

To create Snow Leopard, Apple engineers refined 90 percent of the more than 1,000 projects that make up Mac OS X. Users will notice refinements including a more responsive Finder™; Mail that loads messages up to twice as fast;* Time Machine® with an up to 80 percent faster initial backup;* a Dock with Exposé® integration; QuickTime® X with a redesigned player that allows users to easily view, record, trim and share video; and a 64-bit version of Safari® 4 that is up to 50 percent** faster and resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins. Snow Leopard is half the size of the previous version and frees up to 7GB of drive space once installed.

For the first time, system applications including Finder, Mail, iCal®, iChat® and Safari are 64-bit and Snow Leopard’s support for 64-bit processors makes use of large amounts of RAM, increases performance and improves security while remaining compatible with 32-bit applications. Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) provides a revolutionary new way for software developers to write applications that take advantage of multicore processors. OpenCL, a C-based open standard, allows developers to tap the incredible power of the graphics processing unit for tasks that go beyond graphics.

Snow Leopard is the only desktop operating system with built in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and it allows you to use Mac OS X Mail, Address Book and iCal to send and receive email, create and respond to meeting invitations, and search and manage contacts with global address lists. Exchange information works seamlessly within Snow Leopard so users can also take advantage of OS X only features such as fast Spotlight® searches and Quick Look previews.

Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard, the next major release of the world’s easiest to use server operating system, will also go on sale Friday, August 28. Snow Leopard Server includes innovative new features such as Podcast Producer 2 and Mobile Access Server and is priced more affordably than ever at $499 with unlimited client licenses. More information and full system requirements for Snow Leopard Server can be found at www.apple.com/server/macosx/.

Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard on August 28 at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers, and online pre-orders can be made through Apple’s online store (www.apple.com) starting today. The Snow Leopard single user license will be available for a suggested retail price of $29 (US) and the Snow Leopard Family Pack, a single household, five-user license, will be available for a suggested price of $49 (US). For Tiger® users with an Intel-based Mac®, the Mac Box Set includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife® ’09 and iWork® ’09 and will be available for a suggested price of $169 (US) and a Family Pack is available for a suggested price of $229 (US).

The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller between June 8, 2009 and the end of the program on December 26, 2009, for a product plus shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US). Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 90 days of purchase or by December 26, 2009, whichever comes first. For more information please visit www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate. Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1GB of RAM and is designed to run on any Mac computer with an Intel processor. Full system requirements can be found at www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html.

*Testing conducted by Apple in August 2009 comparing prerelease Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard with shipping Mac OS X v10.5.8 Leopard on a shipping 2.0 GHz MacBook® system and a shipping 2.66 GHz iMac® system, both configured with 2GB of RAM. Performance will vary based on system configuration, network, file sizes, data sets and other factors.

**Testing conducted by Apple in August 2009 comparing 64-bit Safari 4 to 32-bit Safari 4 on prerelease Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard on a shipping 2.0 GHz MacBook system and a shipping 2.66 GHz iMac system, both configured with 2GB of RAM. JavaScript benchmarks based on the SunSpider Performance test. Performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection, and other factors.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

You can find this press release in the press-release section on Apple’s website

Apple ship iMac with a keyboard that has no numeric keypad?

The new small apple keyboard

The new small Apple keyboard

While drooling over the new iMac in the Apple Store today, I was a little perplexed when I noticed that all the display models had a small compact keyboard that looked like a Macbook keyboard, with no numeric keypad or separate arrow keys. The salesman confirmed my suspicions that this was indeed the way that Apple was now shipping them and not just the store display. My immediate thought was “how desparate is this company to save money?” [Read more...]