Mac News Review

Apple Tops in Satisfaction Again, Slim Profits on Mac mini, Ultimate Photo Setup, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.07.02

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Beats HP and Dell in Customer Satisfaction Again

eWeek Mobile & Wireless's Michelle Maisto reports that Apple customers were more satisfied with the outcome of tech-support calls than HP or Dell customers, according to a study from Vocalabs. For this reason, the firm reports, the Apple customers were more likely than Dell or HP customers to buy again from their respective manufacturers. 58% of Apple customers reported they were "very satisfied" with the call, versus 46% of Dell customers and 43% of HP customers. Only Apple, Dell, and HP customers were included in the survey, which lasted a year and ended May 31, 2009.

More Affordable iMacs Expected by Fall

AppleInsider's Kasper Jade says:

"Apple, which recently shaved down the cost of its popular Mac notebook lines, remains on track to pass on similar treatment to its all-in-one desktop line by this fall."

Mac mini component costs per iSuppli $599 Mac mini Uses $376.20 in Materials

iSuppli says:

"Apple Inc.'s latest Mac mini desktop computer demonstrates once again that Apple knows how to make computers better, smaller, and more attractive. Such an achievement, however, comes at a premium and bears higher component costs due to the Mac mini's use of parts designed for mobile PCs, according to a dissection conducted by iSuppli Corp.'s Teardown Analysis Service."

Profit Margin on Mac mini Slimmer than Usual for Apple

AppleInsider's Slash Lane says:

"Apple's latest Mac mini continues to demonstrate the company's capacity to develop personal computers that are both smaller and more attractive than those of its rivals, but achieving its sleeker design footprint comes at the expense of razor-thin profit margins, a new tear-down cost analysis reveals."

Reduce System Workload During Drive Cloning

Macworld's Rob Griffiths advises that if part of your backup strategy includes cloning your Mac's hard drive, using a tool such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner, you'll want to make sure that Spotlight won't index the cloned drive before you start the cloning process.

50 Apps for the Ultimate Mac Photo Setup

AppStorm's David Appleyard says:

"OS X is a popular platform for professional photographers, and offers a huge range of software which can help to take better photos, streamline post-processing, sell images, and publish them for others to view. Whether you re a complete amateur or a seasoned pro, this roundup will have something new to show you.

"We ll be covering 50 fantastic applications for various areas of photography: organizing, post-processing, geo-tagging, panoramas, HDR images, uploading/sharing images, and more."

More Tips on Moving Files from an Old Mac

The Star Tribune's Steve Alexander says:

"My e-mail in the past two weeks has included several suggestions for a reader who was facing problems with his 1994 Macintosh computer. Readers rushed to the aid of Rob Swart of Mankato, trying to back up files from his 1994 Macintosh Performa 636 to a friend's computer. He ran into trouble because he was using an outdated ClarisWorks file format and storing files on now-rare floppy disks.

"I suggested Swart e-mail files to his friend, or buy a newer Mac with AppleWorks, compatible with his ClarisWorks file format. But readers suggested alternatives...."

Products & Services

Clickfree Transformers Turn Any External USB Hard Drive Into a Clickfree Backup Drive

Clickfree TransformersPR: Clickfree™ Transformers give you all the benefits of Clickfree backup software using your own storage.

  • Already have an external hard drive? Choose the Clickfree HD Transformer.
  • Have a stack of CDs or DVDs around the house? Choose the Clickfree DVD Transformer.

Finally make use of that "plain" external hard drive that is collecting dust. Use any external USB hard drive of any size from any manufacturer.

Clickfree Transformer in useNo need for any other backup software. Just plug the Clickfree Transformer into the computer (Windows PC or Intel Mac with OS X 10.5 or later) and then plug any external hard drive into the other end of the Clickfree Transformer, and it converts the external hard drive into a Clickfree device. Use one Clickfree Transformer with multiple hard drives and backup multiple computers.

All of your photos, music, video, email and more is automatically backed up. Connect Clickfree Transformer to your computer, plug in an external hard drive and the backup will automatically start.

As with all Clickfree products, you don't have to install or set up any software. Clickfree will do it all for you right out of the box. Automatically searches for over 400 file types, no matter where they are on your computer. One Clickfree Transformer can be used with multiple external hard drives and can backup multiple computers.

Features

The Clickfree Transformer can automatically back up more than 400 different file types, including:

  • Photos
  • Music
  • Video
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint files
  • Financial data files
  • E-mail and E-mail attachments
  • Favourite websites

The Clickfree Transformer offers incremental backup; upon first connection it will automatically find all of the user data files and copy them to the hard drive. Each time after that, it will only back up the new files or the ones that have changed.

While the software's default settings will probably be sufficient for most users, it is user-modifiable, providing full control over the backup settings. Even after the settings have been changed, the backup will still run without any user interaction.

Backs up data from multiple computers. Easily restore your lost files back to your computer. Transfer your files to a new computer. Share photos, music, and videos with friends.

Clickfree hard drives come in 500 GB ($179.99) and 1 TB ($249.99) capacities. Bundles containing the Clickfree HD Transformer and a 120 GB to 500 GB bus-powered 2.5" drive are available for $119.99 to $249.99.

  • Clickfree HD Transformer: $59.99
  • Clickfree DVD Transformer: $39.99

Trans International Pro Cable for Mac Pro

PR: Trans International, a company known for maximizing Macs, has introduced Pro Cable for Apple Mac Pro as an internal storage solution.

An affordable data protection, performance enhancement, and hot swappable internal storage solution for 2006,2007, 2008, and 2009 (Nehalem) Mac Pros, Pro Cable gives the freedom and total control to Mac Pro owners to manage internal storage by selecting a third party fast SAS/SATA Host Adapter of their choice.

Unique hot swap feature allows the drives to be mounted and unmounted in running machines. A true convenience and improvement for the power users.

Quick and easy installation.

OWC Memory Upgrades for 2009 'Nehalem' Mac Pro Offer More Options, More Total RAM

Mac ProPR: Other World Computing (OWC), has announced that its full line of high performance multichannel 1066 MHz DDR3 72-bit ECC memory upgrades for 2009 Mac Pro "Nehalem" models offer options not available from the factory, twice the RAM available, and up to 79% savings over same sized Apple Factory upgrades, plus a lifetime advance replacement warranty and money back guarantee.

OWC Memory Upgrades Offer Mac Pro "Nehalem" Owners Two Advantages

  1. More upgrade options than offered by the factory: Three 4 GB module-based OWC Memory Upgrades - 12 GB (3 x 4 GB), 16 GB (4 x 4 GB), and 24 GB (6 x 4 GB, 8-Core models only) - are not offered by the factory. The 16 GB OWC kit offers double the memory of the highest factory installed option of 8 GB for the Quad-Core models.
  2. Lower cost than factory options: OWC Memory Upgrades cost up to 79% less than the factory upgrades. For example, the 32 GB factory memory upgrade for the Mac Pro 8-Core costs $6,100, compared to the OWC 32 GB Memory Kit priced at only $1,299.99 - a savings of $4,800. In addition, Mac Pro owners also have the option of retaining their original factory memory modules to be set aside for future use or send the modules to OWC for a cash back trade-in of up to $20 per Apple factory memory module.

Premium Quality at Significant Savings

OWC Memory Upgrade Kits for the 2009 Mac Pro "Nehalem" models are engineered with premium quality components and are designed to meet, if not exceed AppleDesign Specifications, including use of Apple required thermal sensor equipped EEPROM, JEDEC board design, and chip components; and are fully RoHS and JEDEC compliant. Like all OWC Memory Upgrades, the Mac Pro Upgrade Kits are backed with a Money Back Guarantee and OWC's Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

Pricing for OWC Memory Upgrade Kits up to 16 GB for 2009 Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.66 GHz and 2.93 GHZ models:

  • 6 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $118.99 (3 x 2 GB matched memory modules)
    21% lower price than factory 6 GB upgrade.
  • 8 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $154.99 (4 x 2 GB matched memory modules)
    38% lower price than factory 8 GB upgrade.
  • 12 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $499.00 (3 x 4 GB matched memory modules)
    Available from OWC only - Not offered by factory.
  • 16 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $659.99 (4 x 4 GB matched memory modules)

Available from OWC only - Not offered by factory.

Pricing for OWC Memory Upgrade Kits up to 32 GB for 2009 Mac Pro 8-Core 2.26 GHz, 2.66 GHz, and 2.93 GHz models:

  • 8 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $154.99 (4 x 2 GB matched memory modules)
  • 12 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $227.99 (6 x 2 GB matched memory modules)
    24% lower price than factory 12 GB upgrade.
  • 16 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $299.99 (8 x 2 GB matched memory modules)
    40% lower price than factory 16 GB upgrade.
  • 12 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit -$499.99 (3 x 4 GB matched memory modules)
    Available from OWC only - Not offered by factory.
  • 16 GB DDR3 ECC Memory Kit -$659.99 (4 x 4 GB matched memory modules)
    Available from OWC only - Not offered by factory.
  • 24 GB (6 x 4 GB matched memory modules) DDR3 ECC Memory Kit -$979.99
    Available from OWC only - Not offered by factory.
  • 32 GB (8 x 4 GB matched memory modules) DDR3 ECC Memory Kit - $1,299.99
    79% lower price than factory 32 GB upgrade.

To assist both existing and new model Mac Pro owners in selecting the correct memory upgrade for any 2006-2009 Mac Pro model, OWC has created a simple to use guide that shows what RAM type and speed each Mac Pro model utilizes.

Benchmark Testing Reveals Upgrades Boost Performance Up to 51%

Independent memory benchmark tests by OWC engineers on a wide variety of Mac computers have consistently demonstrated the dramatic system performance gains that installing more memory provides. In a battery of tests conducted with 2009 Mac Pro models that utilized as much as 90% of installed memory, OWC engineers found that they could improve even "the fastest Mac ever" performance by up to 51% with the addition of an OWC Memory Upgrade Kit. OWC Memory Upgrade performance gains are even more apparent when using memory intensive applications, such as audio/video, photo, and 3D modeling simultaneously with other regularly used workflow processes, like downloading a large file, replying to an email, and having several web browsers open.

Free 'Do-It-Yourself' Video for Easy Installation

The OWC Memory Upgrade Kits for the 2009 Mac Pro "Nehalem" models are fully supported with a free online instructional video to make user installation an easy 15-minute procedure. Videos showing both memory and hard drive upgrades being installed into a 2009 Mac Pro are available for viewing.

OWC - Trusted Name in Mac Memory

OWC memory upgrades are available from 16 MB to 32 GB for nearly every current and past Apple notebook and desktop computer manufactured during the past twenty years, including Mac Pro Xeon, iMac, PowerMac, Xserve, iBook, and PowerBook computers. By maintaining an active state-of-the-art test lab, OWC ensures its memory upgrades offer the highest product quality and reliability and backs them with a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty and Money Back Guarantee.

The full OWC Memory line, as well as a compatibility guide for the correct upgrades for each specific Apple model, can be found online.

Software

Use Cameras 1.0.1 to Manage All of Your Cameras

Cameras appPR: Take control of your cameras. (Your iPhones, too.)

Do you have multiple cameras? Do you spend time quitting iPhoto every time you connect your iPhone? Wish you could have your DSLR open Aperture and have iPhoto launch when you connect your point-and-shoot camera? If so, Cameras is the solution you've been waiting for.

With familiar System Preference functionality, Cameras allows you to manage what happens when you connect your:

  • Digital camera
  • iPhone
  • Digital media reader
  • Any photo device

In addition to launching a specific application when you connect a camera, you can also have your images download automatically. Never again spend time launching the right app or quitting apps that you didn't want to launch.

New in version 1.0.1:

  • New auto-download status item and window that can be hidden while a download is running.
  • Holding control while plugging in a camera will force the prompt window to appear.
  • Cameras is now free.

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

Cameras is now freeware.

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