Mac News Review

Mac Sales Up 39% in April, 3 Reasons for Macs in the Enterprise, Flash Drive with Recorder, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.05.21

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, 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

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

US Mac Sales Up 39% in April

Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports that, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has looked at the NPD Group's data for the month of April, iPods, not Macs, are being cannibalized by the iPad . The data shows domestic Mac sales up 39% year-over-year and on track to beat the roughly 19% the Street is expecting for the June quarter.

3 Reasons Macs Beat Windows in the Enterprise

Tech Republic's Erik Eckel says any knowledgeable technician should be willing to admit three advantages Macs enjoy over Windows when deployed in enterprise environments.

#1 Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Eckel, an IT consultant who says he's assisted hundreds of businesses and end users with hardware repairs, has come to believe that "Apple hardware is simply better and longer lasting than most other business-grade equipment", with Macs on average experiencing fewer hardware repair incidents than Windows computers.

Also, Mac OS X Server doesn't require client access licenses with, for example a single email server supporting 100 users, saving the user organization some $7,000 in client access licenses alone. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server sells for $499 with no additional email server software required, while Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard full-license pricing is a whopping $949, and adding full Microsoft Exchange 2010 Standard tacks on another $1,300.

Then there's the savings in Macs not requiring antivirus software for each workstation - approximately $3,000 annually per hundred clients.

#2 Greater Security

Speaking of which, Eckel points out that Mac OS X so far is massively less threatened by viruses, spyware infections, and the general malware onslaught that assails users of the Windows platform, contending that any arguments to the contrary are ill-informed, inaccurate, and disingenuous. He points out that using Macs will save enterprise operations a bundle in time not wasted reinstalling disk images, troubleshooting corrupt installs, or otherwise repairing virus-damaged Windows systems, citing a Yankee Group survey found 82% of C-level business respondents who rated Mac OS X reliability to be excellent or very good, with seven of 10 rating Mac OS X security excellent.

#3 Better Performance

Not only security and lower TCO, but Mac OS X shines performance-wise as well, says Eckel, with its integrated 64-bit capabilities. Tests also showing Snow Leopard boots faster than Windows 7 and is generally faster opening programs, running searches and performing other intensive tasks, better at graphics manipulation, faster at video editing, with better memory management offering faster multimedia multitasking, and better battery life on portables.

Snow Leopard Supports New 3 TB Hard Drive

Electronista reports:

"A Seagate representative has provided Electronista with a few additional details regarding Mac compatibility for the upcoming 3 TB Constellation hard drive. In-house testing reportedly showed 3 TB of usable space on Snow Leopard, indicating that Mac users should be able to utilize the full capacity of the drive without any special configurations or software updates."

Editor's note: Any hard drive over 2.1 TB needs a 64-bit operating system that supports long logical block addressing (long LBA) to access the entire contents. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has built-in 64-bit support (assuming the hardware supports 64-bit operation, which first generation Intel-base Macs do not). Windows users must buy a separate 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Vista. (Linux is also available in a 64-bit version.) Only Apple seems to have figured out how to include both 32-bit and 64-bit support with a single operating system install. dk

How and Why to Upgrade Your Mac's Hard Drive

AppStorm's Joshua Johnson says:

"As a follow up to our article on upgrading your Mac's RAM, this article will outline how to go through the same process to upgrade your hard drive.

"We'll begin with a brief discussion on why upgrading your hard drive will improve your system then move on to the pros and cons of mechanical vs. solid state drives. We'll conclude with a step by step tutorial on finding and purchasing the right HD for your Mac and point you to some instructional guides outlining the installation process for your specific model."

Perform Typing Magic on Your Mac

OWC blogger Glen says:

"From authoring emails to creating websites and posters, we use text in just about everything. Here are a few easy short-cuts on your Mac so you can spend more time creating and less on typing.

"Caught in a Spell

"Even if you don't have a clue on a word's spelling, your Mac can give you a list of suggestions....

"A Topper's Leporidae Extrication

"You don't need to leave your current application to find the right word....

"Fly from Santa Fe to Monaco in 5 Seconds

"Now that you have the correct words, you can try different font styles quick and easy....

"Finding That Mysterious Character

"To find that special symbol, you don't need to trudge through every font's ALT and ALT+SHIFT characters, nor do you have to bang out every key in Webdings, Wingdings or Dingbats. Your Mac already has them nicely sorted for you...."

Run Mac OS 9 on Ubuntu Using SheepShaver

OS News' Thom Holwerda says:

"Remember Mac OS 9, or Classic as Apple named it once Mac OS X was released? On PowerPC Macintosh machines, you can install a Classic environment which launches a virtualised instance of Mac OS 9 whenever you launch a Classic application. This environment has been dropped from Intel releases of Mac OS X, but thanks to SheepShaver, you can still set it up yourself on Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, and even BeOS if you want to. I decided to try SheepShaver on my Ubuntu machine, and discovered just how easy it really is...."

Editor's note: See SheepShaver Brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard by Alan Zisman for one user's experience. It should be possible to compile and run a version of SheepShaver for PowerPC Ubuntu. dk

Products & Services

Brando 2 GB USB Flash Drive with Voice Recording

Brando USB Flash Drive with Voice RecordingBrando USB Flash Drive with Voice RecordingPR: This USB flash drive is not only data storage, but also a voice recorder. You can records any sound into the memory with WAV format. A rechargeable built-in battery lets you have 5 hours of continuous recording. Now you can bring it wherever you go with your data and information - and records any sound whenever you need.

Features:

  • Built-in voice recording
  • On/Off switch
  • File Format: WAV - 1 GB ~ 70 hours recording
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Battery powered (around 5 hours per full charge)
  • LED indicator
  • USB 2.0
  • Portable and easy operation
  • Plug and Play
  • Supports Mac OS X or latest version, and Windows 7/Vista/XP, Linux 2.4,
  • Dimensions: 64 x 21 x 9mm (approx.)
  • Weight: 13g

Price: $23

Apricorn DriveWire Universal Hard Drive Adapter: PATA or SATA to USB 2.0

PR: Apricorn Announces DriveWire Adapter for the Upgrade Suite. Universal Hard Drive Adapter provides USB interface to any desktop or notebook hard drive.

Apricorn DriveWire Universal HDD AdapterApricorn, offers the DriveWire Universal Hard Drive Adapter, providing a USB connection to any 2.5" or 3.5" IDE/PATA or SATA hard drive. The DriveWire comes bundled with Apricorn's Upgrade Suite, which features Apricorn's EZ Gig II cloning and imaging software for Windows and Shirt Pocket's SuperDuper! for Mac. When used together, DriveWire and EZ Gig II make it easy to transfer OS, data, applications, documents, address books, email, settings and preferences - from an old drive to a new drive, in a few easy steps.

In addition to the Upgrade Suite, each DriveWire Universal Hard Drive Adapter comes with a USB 2.0 cable (USB 1.1 compatible) and high quality UL Listed power adapter. The compact DriveWire incorporates three hard drive connections into its design, a SATA connector for new style hard drives, a 44 pin connector for 2.5" notebook IDE/PATA hard drives and a 40 pin connector for standard 3.5" desktop IDE/PATA hard drives, allowing you to connect a hard drive to any desktop or notebook computer with a USB 2.0 port.

In three simple steps, users can quickly and simply transfer data from an old drive to a new drive. It's as easy as connecting the hardware, and booting up the computer using the "Upgrade Suite" bootable CD to make an exact clone of the old drive onto the new drive. Once the data transfer is complete, simply install the new drive into the notebook or desktop and the computer will boot up as usual.

There is no need to buy a different enclosure for every hard drive or worry about whether or not there will be enough power through the USB port to run the device. DriveWire is guaranteed to safely provide all the power you need. It's also compatible with all of today's 2.5", 3.5" IDE/PATA or SATA hard drives.

"As the leader in hard drive upgrade kits, our goal was to provide our customers with a truly universal upgrade kit that was both cost effective and easy-to-use," said Mike McCandless, Apricorn's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "When you combine the flexibility of DriveWire with the capabilities of Apricorn's Upgrade Suite you have the perfect data transfer solution for all of today's desktop and notebook computers, eliminating the need to purchase unique enclosures for every hard drive."

System Requirements:

  • Mac system requirements:
    • CD-ROM Drive,
    • Apple G3 or later
    • 64 MB RAM
    • available USB port
    • Supported Operating Systems: Mac OS 9.2 or later & Mac OS X 10.2 or later
  • PC system requirements:
    • CD-ROM Drive, 128 MB RAM, Pentium CPU II, available USB port
    • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 Professional
  • Pricing: $39
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited

Purchase Link: Currently selling for $33.82 from Amazon.com with free ground shipping.

ViewGuard Antiglare Screen Protectors for 20", 21.5", and 24" iMacs

PR: Intelligen LLC announced the availability of its expanded line of ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors, providing a selection of more than one hundred standard and custom sizes. Created for use in locations where sunlight and fluorescent lighting may cause potential glare, the expanded line of ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors are now available at BuyViewGuard.com with a MSRP starting at $24.99.

The ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors for notebooks, laptops and flat-screen monitors are designed with an antiglare matte coating, reducing glare and reflections caused by natural and artificial lighting. Users can comfortably use their computer in bright settings, including office buildings, cafes and parks, as well as near windows. Attaching directly to the surface of LCD screens, the matte screen protectors feature glare reduction and reduce potential eyestrain.

ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors for notebooks, laptops and flat-screen monitors reduce glare and harmful ultraviolet rays while protecting your LCD display from scratches. ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors easily attach directly to the surface of your LCD screen and the antiglare matte finish reduces glare and reflections caused by natural and artificial lighting.

ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors feature the following:

  • Antiglare Technology - Reduces glare and reflections caused by natural sunlight and artificial lighting
  • Screen Protection - Protects screens from fingerprints, smudges and scratches
  • Touchscreen Compatible - Compatible with touchscreens including Ultra-Mobile PCs and Tablet PCs
  • Anti-Ultraviolet - Reduces harmful ultraviolet exposure
  • Low-Profile Frameless Design - Seamlessly fits onto a display and stays attached even when the notebook is closed

ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protectors are now available in the HDTV 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio format for the following display sizes - 10.1", 11.1", 11.6", 13.1", 13.3", 14.0", 15.6", 16.0", 16.4", 18.4", 20.0", 21.5", 23.0", and 24.0" - as well as other aspect ratios.

iMac Models

  • 20" iMac (White) ViewGuard Antiglare Frameless Privacy Filter (17.09" x 10.69") - $119.99
  • 20" iMac (Aluminum) ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protector - $26.99
  • 20" iMac (White) ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protector (17.09" x 10.69") - $24.99
  • 21.5" iMac (Aluminum) ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protector - $30.99
  • 24" iMac (White) ViewGuard Antiglare Frameless Privacy Filter (20.37" x 12.74") - $163.99
  • 24" iMac (Aluminum) ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protector
  • 24" iMac (White) ViewGuard Antiglare Matte Screen Protector (20.37" x 12.74") - $34.99

ViewGuard products can be ordered online from BuyViewGuard.com.

Desktop Mac Deals

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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