Mac News Review

Apple's Best Non-holiday Quarter Ever, BlackBerry Desktop for Mac, Project Macsimum Impact, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.07.24

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

Reviews

Apple Updates

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple's Best Non-Holiday Quarter Ever

PR: Apple on Tuesday announced financial results for its fiscal 2009 third quarter ended June 27, 2009. The company posted revenue of $8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.3%, up from 34.8% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 44% of the quarter's revenue.

In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone and Apple TV over their estimated economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures for the quarter are $9.74 billion of "Adjusted Sales" and $1.94 billion of "Adjusted Net Income."


Macintosh Unit Sales, late 2004 to mid 2009.

Apple sold 2.6 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing a 4% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The company sold 10.2 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 7% unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhones sold were 5.2 million, representing 626% unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

"We're making our most innovative products ever, and our customers are responding," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We're thrilled to have sold over 5.2 million iPhones during the quarter, and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from our App Store in its first year."

"We're extremely pleased to report record non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings and quarterly cash flow from operations of $2.3 billion," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, we expect revenue in the range of about $8.7 billion to $8.9 billion, and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $1.18 to $1.23."

Apple provided live streaming of its Q3 2009 financial results conference call utilizing QuickTime, Apple's standards-based technology for live and on-demand audio and video streaming. The live webcast will be available for replay for approximately two weeks.

BlackBerry Desktop for Mac Due in September

With BlackBerry Desktop Software, you'll be able sync your iTunes playlists and personal information like contacts, tasks and appointments; install new software, games, and more. BlackBerry Desktop Software will offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to manage aspects of your BlackBerry smartphone from your Mac.

BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac is coming soon in September. Sign up now to be the first to know when it's available.

bb_desktop_mac_user_and_screen.jpg

  • Find all the fun and functional apps to personalize your smartphone in the BlackBerry App World
  • Make and take calls hands free with BlackBerry

System Requirements, BlackBerry Desktop for Mac: Mac OS X 10.5.5 or higher.

PocketMac

In the meantime, you can still download and use PocketMac for BlackBerry:

  • Step 1: Download PocketMac for BlackBerry
  • Step 2: Once you have downloaded PocketMac for BlackBerry, download updated drivers for PocketMac for BlackBerry

System Requirements, PocketMac for BlackBerry: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.

There is an update to the USB driver in PocketMac 4.1. It corrects connectivity issues with BlackBerry smartphones, including the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Storm. It also corrects connectivity issues for MacBook computers released in October 2008, and PowerPC-based computers running Mac OS X 10.4. The driver update must be installed only after PocketMac 4.1 is installed.

Project Macsimum Impact Seeks Mac Donations in Northern Virginia

The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and Greater Valley Tech have launched a charity initiative asking individuals and businesses to donate Apple computers.

The goal is to distribute 20 new or gently used Macs to families in need in the Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County (Virginia) areas, and over the next couple of months, they'll be collecting new or gently used Macs and getting them back into tip top shape, cleaning them up, reloading Mac OS X, and installing software, and ultimately distributing the computers to families in the local area in time for the 2009-10 school year.

The reason used iMac or Mac laptops are desired is because they have built-in displays, and in the case of the laptops, keyboards too. If you want to donate your old software to go with it, that's a bonus. Here's a list of Macs that would be ideal for donation:

  • MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro
  • iMac (iMac G4, iMac G5, or any Intel-based iMac)
  • PowerBook G4
  • iBook G4

Other desktop model Macs - such as the Power Mac G4, Power Mac G5, or Mac Pro - are certainly acceptable but would need monitors and keyboards to go with them. If you're uncertain whether or not you should donate a particular Mac, please contact the project coordinators.

Editor's note: This sounds like a highly commendable initiative that could be emulated elsewhere as well. cm

Other editor's note: If you'd like to emulate this, please read Solving the E-waste Dilemma with One Used Mac per Child and One Used Mac Can Make a Difference. Then consider joining One Used Mac on Google Groups to connect with others who want to do the same thing, organize, share techniques, and bless children, seniors, and others with those old Macs. dk

7 Tips for Using Faces in iPhoto 09

Macworld's Derrick Story says:

"Thanks to its face-recognition tool, iPhoto 09 can now put names to the faces in your photographs, letting you quickly sift through your library based on content rather than how photos are arranged. But putting this feature to work requires some effort on your part.

"If you haven't used the Faces feature yet, here are the basics...."

Putting the Mac to Work in a PC Shop

MacNewsWorld's Jack M. Germain reports:

"As more consumers bring Macs home, they're also asking for more Macs in the workplace. Some IT managers, who once had so few Macs in the system that they could easily manage them manually, are now looking at so many Apple computers across the enterprise that a more automated and organized system might be in order."

Put a Little SeaMonkey in Your Mac

McSolo's Ron McElfresh says:

"There was a time, back in the day, when Netscape was the browser for Mac users. The Netscape Communicator browser was really an all-in-one suite of tools. Browser, email, news groups, address book, HTML editor, calendar and more. If you're nostalgic for the days when real men used the internet, then you'll love Mozilla's updated SeaMonkey.

"Yes, there's yet another web browser for the Mac, this one with a long heritage and few users, yet, it's the 21st century, the age when browsers just won't die....

"Under the hood, SeaMonkey uses much of the same Mozilla source code which powers such successful siblings as Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, Sunbird and Miro. Legal backing is provided by the Mozilla Foundation."

Apple Releases WWDC Developer Sessions on iTunes

MacFixIt reports that Apple has released this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference session videos for iPhone and Mac on iTunes in which Apple engineers showcase iPhone and Mac technologies and provide in-depth technical information, live from the 2009 WWDC. Session videos are available for iPhone ($299), Mac ($299), or as a bundle ($499).

Reviews

iMac 'Powerful Enough'

PC World's Danny Allen and Macworld's Roman Loyola report:

"The 24-inch iMac's 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo E8435 processor and 4 GB of memory helped it achieve a result of 111 in WorldBench 6. To put that into perspective, the 20-inch iMac, equipped with a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo E8135 chip and 2 GB of DDR3-1066 memory, trailed closely behind with a score of 101. And the next closest performing all-in-one PC was the Sony VAIO VGC-LV180J, which earned a score of 96 in the same benchmark....

"A Mini DisplayPort replaces the mini-DVI port for connecting an external display. You can attach a DVI display by using - you guessed it - an adapter....

"The standard system configurations now come with a compact wired keyboard that lacks a numeric keypad, as well as the Home/End/Page Up/Page Down/Delete group of keys; it's as if Apple had chopped off the right side of the keyboard. A full-size keyboard is available as a customization option at no additional cost if you order an iMac through Apple.com...."

Apple Updates

How to Change the Short User Name or Home Directory Name in Mac OS X

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"If you really need to change your user account short name and home directory name (which should match), use the advanced procedure described below. Although you can change your Home name in Mac OS X 10.3 or later, you usually shouldn't."

Editor's note: This applies to every version of Mac OS X since 10.0. However, there's an easier way: ChangeShortName. This freeware app is at version 1.3 and supports OS X 10.3 and 10.4; this version is not compatible with 10.5. dk

Products & Services

CinemaView HD TV and Data Displays Announced

PR: Collins America announces a group of display and TV products engineered to radically expand the capabilities of today's Apple computer systems. The new products include 24" and 47" HD LCD displays, both with native Mini DisplayPort connections, and a full featured headless TV system with full HD TV features, as well as Mini DisplayPort connections both in an out.

CinemaView HD DisplayCinemaView believes that tomorrow's graphics and video experiences simply are not going to be the same as yesterday's, and that Apple will continue to lead and define the path forward for consumer video entertainment. An investment made into a display product today should lead to many years of easy integration with your home video lifestyle. With Apple's implementation of Mini DisplayPort connectors on its computers, and with HDMI on its Apple TV, these two interfaces define the future of Apple-centric video.

The two new CinemaView displays have the 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio and 1920 x 1080 resolution that is well suited for viewing either movies, HD TV, or data. One of these displays makes a terrific companion to a Mac, connecting by Mini DisplayPort, and routing USB 2.0 through the same cable from the Mac to the display's four port USB 2.0 hub.

Our CinemaView TV product turns a CinemaView display into a full-blown HD television system, in addition to enabling direct connection to both a Mac and an Apple TV, too. Plug a 24" or 47" CinemaView display into the Mini DisplayPort output, connect your favorite TV peripherals by HDMI, composite, or component links, connect your Mac to the Mini DisplayPort input and your Apple TV to an HDMI input. CinemaView TV has dual cable-ready HD tuners with picture-in-picture, and includes easy-to-use onscreen controls, and an RF wireless remote. Inserting a CinemaView TV box between a Mac and either an Apple LED LCD Cinema Display or a CinemaView display turns any new Mac system into a complete HD home television system.

Together, these three new products open an expanded world of options, from simply connecting one of the displays to a Mac, using one of the displays with the TV box, or combining a Mac, the TV box, and one of the displays, as well as any other HDMI-connected peripherals into a full featured home video entertainment system, all using the high bandwidth and high quality Mini DisplayPort interface found on all new Apple Mac computers.

The CinemaView 24 LCD display will be available in October 2009 with a USA list price of $499. The CinemaView 47 LCD display will be available in January 2010 with a USA list price of $1,499. And, the CInemaView TV will be available in January 2010 with a US list price of $399. All three products are built using our UniFrameô Aluminum construction that precisely matches the design theme of current Apple computers. And, the entire approach taken in designing the products is aimed to please the most ardent Mac fans.

CinemaView products will be available from the CinemaView web site, from Apple Specialist retailers across the USA, and from hundreds of independent Apple product and custom home theater and AV contractors and resellers around the world.

CinemaView products can be reserved now from the CinemaView web site. Customers placing reservations before October 1, 2009 will receive free shipping to USA, Canada, and EU destinations.

Editor's note: There has been some discussion on the Mac Web about involvement of Jack Campbell, formerly of MacMice and several other Mac-related enterprises, such as in this New York Times blog, Owner of Monitor Company Says Mac Displays Are Real.

I know Jack Campbell a little bit as a cyber-acquaintance, although I'm hazy on the details of his legal troubles some years ago. I was a fan of his MacMice products, and I still use a MacMice DangerMouse sometimes. Jack has certainly never given me cause to dislike him. He's very charming and personable and has been very professional in our dealings about review samples and such.

Ars Technica has also been riffing on the CinemaView displays and the Jack Campbell controversy http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/04/us-company-steps-in-with-three-new-displays-for-mini-dp-macs.ars, and posted this earlier this week:

"We've just received an email addressed from Michael Collins from Collins Machine and Tool Co to let us know that yes, Jack Campbell is involved in the marketing for CinemaView displays, but that no, this is not a scam.

"Jack Campbell is indeed associated with Collins America's marketing program, as Jack is a very talented marketing guy. He is also approximately 14% as fantastic as some of his personal claims suggest (which still places him in an impressive rank as far as a product guy). Jack is also my friend. He's quirky and a little odd, but he's not a bad guy.

"'CinemaView, however, is NOT FROM JACK CAMPBELL. It is a product line that Jack Campbell has influenced some of the direction for, but he has NO ownership of the product or of any intellectual property rights related to the product line.

"Collins insists that his company and this product are both real, and are on track to start shipping in September."

Michael Collins's assessment of Jack Campbell squares with my limited impressions. As for Jack Campbell's past legal problems, whatever they were, and his incarceration, as I understand it they took place some 17 years ago and he completed his post-release supervision about a decade ago, so I think unless someone can produce evidence that he's been involved in something shady since then, it's time to let that matter rest. Reputations, once damaged, are very difficult to restore, and it's extremely easy to be cynical in these distempered times where scams and chicanery abound, but I'm all for giving people the benefit (rather than the penalty) of doubt after 15 years. cm

Software

iPhoto to Disk Freeware Image Management Utility

PR: If your iPhoto library contains thousands of photos and movies organized in hundreds of events, retrieving your media files may be a challenging experience. That's where iPhoto To Disk can help.

iPhoto to DiskWhether you need to export your photos or movies for use in other applications or you just want to archive a part of your library, iPhoto To Disk makes it easy.

iPhoto To Disk exports your media files to a well-structured folder hierarchy. You probably don't want the thousands of photos and movies in your library to all be exported to a single folder. Using iPhoto To Disk you can automatically organize your export by "event" or by "year and event" in a hierarchical folder structure.

iPhoto To Disk allows flexible naming of your media files. You can keep your original media file names, but they are most probably meaningless (they typically depend on your camera settings). Did you spend time defining relevant names for your iPhoto events? Of course! Did you label your photos and movies with titles? Great! Then, with iPhoto To Disk, you can use this valuable information to automatically rename the exported media files.

iPhoto To Disk is simple. All features are available in a single window, as shown in the screenshot below. To retrieve your media files, select iPhoto events in your library, drag your selection to the export basket, choose your export preferences and click the "Export" button. Done!

System requirements:

  • iPhoto To Disk requires Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher and iPhoto '08 or higher.
  • iPhoto To Disk is available in English and French.

iPhoto To Disk is freeware. You don't have to pay anything to use it.

Pagehand: An Elegant Little Word Processor for OS X Leopard

PagehandPR: Admirers of fine typography and advocates of uncluttered design will be impressed with the looks of Pagehand - a new word processor for OS X 10.5 "Leopard".

Developer Ross Carter says if you appreciate the look of a finely prepared document and you're tired of fighting your word processor, why not give Pagehand a try? Download the free 30-day trial. It's fully functional.

Highlights include:

  • Designed exclusively for Mac OS X
  • Uses PDF as its file format; anyone can read your documents perfectly, fonts and all
  • Places all controls outside the text area; no dialog boxes or inspectors cover up your work
  • Categorizes your fonts for you, so you don't have to scroll through a long list every time you select a font
  • Was designed from the beginning to use styles in a simple, intuitive way
  • Never forces you to choose from a bewildering array of small icons
  • Helps you with typography, whether you are making fractions, using a special character, or looking for a nice ornament

Features

  • Pagehand can do most of the things you expect a word processor to do:
  • Columns and Margins
  • Tables
  • Sections
  • Page numbers, in various formats
  • Updating date field
  • Spell checking
  • Pagehand effectsTemplates (we call them Document Styles)
  • Headers and footers
  • Document properties (author, subject, etc., plus custom properties)
  • Word count
  • Automatic updating with new versions
  • Autosave
  • Automatic text replacement
  • Styles
  • Find and Replace
  • Smart Quotes
  • Smart Insert and Delete
  • Speech support
  • Page and column breaks
  • Adjustable hyphenation
  • Pagehand layoutLayout guides
  • Show Invisibles
  • Magnification (or scaling, zoom in and out)
  • View one or two pages at a time
  • Scale to full page
  • Scale to page width
  • Split view, horizontal or vertical
  • Adjust color of text, background, underline, and strikethrough
  • Small caps
  • Ligatures
  • Superscript and subscript, full size or small
  • Text shadow
  • US or metric measurements
  • Adjustable baseline and kerning
  • Adjust paragraph space before, space after, leading, line height
  • Widow and orphan support (we call it Prevent Stragglers)
  • Keep Together and Keep With Next
  • Tab leaders
  • Bullets and numbering
  • In addition, Pagehand has some features that most word processors lack:
  • A document format (PDF) that everyone can read
  • Automatic grouping of your fonts into categories
  • Support for Apple font collections
  • Print guides
  • In-app feedback (and we do read our feedback)
  • Choice of tabbed or untabbed windows
  • Ruler shading to indicate how indents affect paragraph shape
  • An editor for your Apple spelling dictionary
  • An editor for the document-level spelling dictionary
  • Smart Quotes can be turned on or off at the character level or in a style
  • Direct menu support for over 60 special characters
  • A viewer for ornament characters found on your Mac
  • An editor for creating typographically correct fractions
  • An efficient user interface that avoids reliance on icons
  • A superbly easy-to-use Styles editor
  • A handy button to set the default font for a document
  • Adjustment of character weight, width, and obliqueness
  • Help pages that include tips on using your Leopard fonts
  • Of course, Pagehand is brand new, and the 1.0 version does not provide all the features we would like to offer. As future versions appear, we hope to add:
  • Footnotes
  • Text boxes and more versatile text flow around graphics
  • Resizing and editing of graphics
  • AppleScript support
  • Plugins, for supporting indexing, table of contents, etc.
  • Localizations for other languages
  • Advanced typographic support

Pagehand already has the features many people need. But there are more on the way.

System Requirements: Pagehand requires OS X 10.5 or later.

Price: $49.95 - Introductory offer $39.95

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