When Steve Jobs debuted the MacBook Air on January 15, 2008 at the San Francisco Macworld conference, he famously demonstrated its thinness by pulling one out of a manila envelope. He claimed it was the thinnest laptop in the world.
Author Archives: Alan Zisman
Can you remember a time before pervasive wireless Internet access? I can. On June 21, 1999, Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s consumer laptop – the iBook – during his keynote address at that season’s Macworld conference.
On January 9, 2001, Steve Jobs famously introduced the idea that Apple’s Macintosh personal computers were ideal in the role of ‘digital hub’ – users would use their Mac to access, organize, and edit content created or stored on tools like digital cameras, personal music players, and camcorders.
Time for another look at virtualization software, letting Macintosh users run PC operating system such as Windows or Ubuntu on their Macs. There are three competitors in the Mac emulation market – Parallels Desktop (US$79 or as an annual $99 subscription Pro version), VMware Fusion (also US$79), and Oracle’s (free and open source) VirtualBox.
“My computer is secure. It’s a Mac.”
I spent a couple of weeks in sunny Italy in May – lucky me! Before going, I probably spent as much time trying to figure out what gear to take as I did researching hotels and the like.
In my previous Low End Mac article, I wrote that I was planning a trip for later this spring. I wrote about options for take-along tech gadgets: digital cameras (small is good), mobile phones (get a local SIM at your destination), tablets (bigger than a mobile phone, less capable than a laptop, but good enough for […]
This weekend, Linda relayed a question from a colleague who wondered what sort of tech gear to take travelling. As with most simple to ask tech questions, my best short answer is. “It depends.” So let’s expand on it a bit.
I have a friend who has so far survived while living a smartphone- and tablet-free life. He is thinking of getting some small device to give him Internet access of the go. He quoted a mutual friend – an iPhone owner – who said that he got an iPad “because the apps are better”.
I had a friend, Michael. We’d played music together in a local band, but by day he was a camera-person at a Vancouver TV station. He’d gotten a Mac early in 1984, pretty much as soon as they became available in Canada. He’d demo’ed it to me, and while I thought it was pretty neat, […]
I’m not much of a TV watcher. I don’t have a giant-sized screen – just a 27″ couple-of-years-old LG flatscreen model – and don’t feel any pull to upgrade to larger screen/3D/higher resolution. I subscribe to my local cable company but not to Netflix or other streaming services).
It seems like increasingly, at least for most people, digital cameras don’t matter. Sure, just as there were (film) camera professionals and serious hobbyists, there are people buying and using high-end digital cameras.
Imagine if you could seamlessly open any document and run any program on your computer. Wouldn’t that be great? Read and edit old word processor files – MacWord, anyone? WordStar? Run PC games on your Mac, Super Nintendo games on your Windows PC? Like the peaceful utopia in John Lennon’s Imagine, we’re not there yet. […]
I bought a Chromebook. Back in April, I reviewed a loaner Chromebook, a CDN$269 Samsung model. Overall, I enjoyed the experience; the hardware was reminiscent of an 11” MacBook Air ultralight notebook with many limitations – partly the result of the dramatically lower price point and partly due to running Google’s Chrome OS, an operating […]
Apparently, the thirty year reign of the personal computer, Time Magazine’s ‘person’ of the year for 1982, is ending, with sales – especially sales to home users – declining, as people increasingly opt for tablets (and to stick with their current desktop or laptop).
Yesterday was Apple’s big event – a keynote presentation before a friendly audience of Mac and iOS (iPhone/iPad/etc) software developers at the start of the company’s annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers’ Conference).
Many users complement their Macs with Apple-branded iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets. They all tie together nicely, syncing with iTunes. (Whether iTunes has grown into an ungainly combination of music player, video player, and connection device for the range of Apple devices is a question for another article.)
There was a time when, at least according to rumour, Microsoft made more money – on average – from each Mac user than from each Windows user. That was because most Mac users got copies of Microsoft Office paying the full retail cost, while most Windows users had copies of Windows and Microsoft Office pre-installed […]
In a recent blog posting, I wrote about a week I spent with a low-cost (CDN$269) Samsung Chromebook – a small and light system running Google’s Chrome OS.
A big reason for Windows users to consider a move to Mac has been the virtual nonexistence of Mac malware. Computerworld reported the existence of a million different computer viruses at the end of 2008 – but that’s been almost entirely an issue for Windows users.
In July, I wrote in Using Quicken for Mac? Read This Before You Upgrade to Lion about issues that I – along with any Mac user running an older copy of Intuit’s Quicken personal finance software – would be having when upgrading to OS X 10.7 Lion.
One of the most-heard critiques of Windows Vista was that Microsoft made seemingly random and unnecessary changes to the user interface, such as changing the name of much-used features like the control panel used to uninstall programs. The result: Users accustomed to finding an item in the same place for a decade had to hunt […]
For a long time, most Mac users have gotten along fine without installing the sort of security programs Windows users take for granted. Perhaps the Mac, built on an industrial-strength Unix core, is more secure. Or perhaps malware authors have simply ignored the Mac platform, aiming instead at the much larger numbers of Windows users.
The October release of Microsoft’s Windows 7 brought a flurry of activity on the Mac2Windows front – new versions of both of the major virtualization programs for the Mac platform: VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. While both have offered relatively straightforward ways to run Windows and other PC operating systems on an Intel Mac with […]
Apple’s Time Capsule, building the equivalents of an AirPort Extreme router and either a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive into a single unit, is a space-saving and easy-to-use way for users to combine a wireless base station and storage accessible over a home or small business network – and even across the Internet.
When Apple’s Macintosh computers migrated from using PowerPC CPUs to using Intel chips, the hacker community took it as a challenge to find to a way to run standard PC operating systems – primarily Windows and Linux – on the new Macs. The ways they came up with worked – but as with so-called Hackintoshes […]
2008 – Apple released the Time Machine backup utility as part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in October 2007. Time Machine is most commonly used to back up to an external USB or FireWire hard drive directly attached to a Mac running Leopard.
The ability to view and optionally control the screen of a remote computer can be very handy in a number of scenarios. Maybe you have a parent living in another city with questions about their computer or problems. Trying to help someone over the phone can be problematic, if when you say “Open the Finder” […]
Early in 2006, I wrote an article for Low End Mac entitled VNC, Basilisk II, and SheepShaver: 3 Ways to Run Classic on an Intel Mac. In it, I noted that the then-new Intel-powered Macs were unable to run older Mac software in called Classic Mode, but that there were at least a couple of […]
There’s an urban legend that Mac’s don’t crash. That’s not entirely accurate. Mac hard drives, for instance, are identical to those in Windows systems and suffer the same sorts of physical failures with the same frequency. And the Mac operating system, while based on a solid industrial-strength Unix core, can suffer from problems from time […]