Mac News Review

Mac Users Are Snobs, Mac Freeware, 5x the Range with AirPort Extreme, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.02.22

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, 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



Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

'The Street': Mac Users Are Snobs

ITWire's Alex Zaharov-Reutt says:

"Think you're cool with your MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Pro? US stock Market news site 'The Street' has news for you: they think you're a snob!....

"Taken from research conducted by Internet advertising research firm Mindset Media, Insanely Great Mac says that the research 'found Mac users to be more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority'.

"Mac users strong enough to watch The Street's video clip without getting so offended they'll smash their screen will discover the 2 minute and 18 second video says the following....

"Mac users 'self centred, arrogant, conceited'. Out of the Mindset Media study of 7500 Mac and PC users, 'Mac users do really think they are superior'. They think they are 'self important, extraordinary and more intellectually curious'."

Mac Freeware Resource Posted

Simon Elliott, an Apple Distinguished Educator and the main trainer for the West Cornwall Apple Regional Training Centre, has posted an excellent and pretty comprehensive list of links to OpenSource and freeware Mac software applications.

Open-Source Alternatives to Commercial Mac Software

MacLife's Susie Ochs reports:

"Nope, not even one cent - these open-source offerings are free for the taking. Check 'em out and who knows? You might even wind up replacing a big-budget app. Free your mind to free your Mac.

"Macs are expensive. Let's just go ahead and admit that right away. Yes, they're the best computers on the market, and each new Mac includes useful software like Mail, Safari, TextEdit, and the iLife suite for no extra charge. But many consider certain high-priced software packages - specifically, Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, although the list doesn't end there - to be so standard that they're practically required purchases. Indeed, when people ask us about switching from a PC to the Mac, one of the first questions usually is, 'I'll have to rebuy Office, won't I?'

"Not necessarily...."

Instaling Leopard? Uninstall SideTrack First

InfoWorld's Paul Venezia says:

"Summary: Make sure you uninstall SideTrack 1.5 before doing a Tiger-to-Leopard upgrade.

"I'm not the kind of guy that leaps on new operating systems before the shrink wrap has shrunk. I like to let others take the lumps of a .0 release before I subject my core laptops and workstations to the latest and greatest. Thus, I kept my 17" MacBook Pro on Tiger until this evening.

"I probably would have stayed there for awhile longer if I hadn't picked up a MacBook Air. I've been using it daily since I got it, switching back to the 17" when I needed the screen space (heavy coding, lots of RDP connections, etc.), and I found that several of the features in Leopard were too good to pass up, especially spaces and the spring-loaded dock folders....

"The system updated successfully and rebooted. Happy that things looked like they had gone well, I started to log in - but had no keyboard....

"Then I remembered that I'd installed SideTrack...."


Dualy Extreme Delivers Up to 5x the Range with AirPort Extreme Base Station

PR: QuickerTek has upgraded the high-end Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n). Dualy Extreme with 1 Watt of RF power enables the Base Station with additional speed and range - up to five times the standard wireless range. The increased power seeks out more distant wireless signals and locks onto them with twin 500 milliwatt transceivers (or 1 Watt Transceivers) coupled to two antennas that create two combined signals paths for up to five times more wireless range.

Dualy ExtremeSeveral options are available featuring with 500 milliwatt of RF power (two 500 mW Transceivers) and another option with 1 Watt of RF power (two 1 Watt Transceivers). QuickerTek can install the Dualy Extreme on the customer's Base Station, or an already-upgraded Base Station can be purchased from QuickerTek complete.

Dualy Extreme is ideal for wireless networks at work, school, hotels, coffee shops - anywhere signal strength and speed are hampered by distance and common office and home wireless obstacles. The upgraded AirPort Base Station operates at the full 2.4 GHz range using the high-speed MIMO capability.

Two 500 milliwatt or 1 Watt Transceivers inside Dualy Extreme reach out to access points and computers capable of 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, manufactured by a wide variety of common hardware vendors.

And the dual 3dBi antennas (one for each Transceiver) provide the speed necessary for 802.11n wireless that runs in the higher 2.4 GHz wireless range. Dualy Extreme may be upgraded with even more powerful antennas for even greater distance and wireless speeds. Both antennas are attached via 3-foot cables so you can get the antennas up and away from common desktop wireless impediments.

Dualy Extreme is also designed to mimic the appearance of the Apple AirPort Base Station, so it blends nicely with other Apple equipment.

Dualy Extreme Compatibility - Apple AirPort Extreme Base Stations - (first version and the gigabit version); common 802.11b/g/n wireless computers and access points; 120/240 VAC wall outlet power adapter;

  • Proprietary cabling included;
  • Some disassembly required to connect to the Base Station; Size: 2.75"x 2.75"x 0.70";
  • FCC, CE rated

Dualy Extreme Pricing (SRP)

  • Upgrade kit (500 milliwatt) - for user installation: $350
  • Upgrade kit (1 Watt) - for user installation: $495
  • Upgrade QuickerTek installed on your Base Station Extreme (500 milliwatt): $400
  • Upgrade QuickerTek installed on your Base Station Extreme (1 Watt): $550
  • Upgraded Base Station Extreme (500 milliwatt) - Base Station and Dualy Extreme already installed): $580
  • Upgraded Base Station Extreme (1 Watt) - Base Station and Dualy Extreme already installed): $730

Like most QuickerTek products, the Dualy Extreme is backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

MaxConnect Makes Room for 4 More Hard Drives in 2008 Mac Pro

PR: MaxUpgrades announces availability of MaxConnect for the New early 2008 Apple Mac Pro system , MaxConnect an internal hard disk drive mounting solution, that allows four additional SATA hard disk drives to be installed in the Optical bay of the Mac Pro system.

MaxConnect for Apple Mac Pro Optical bay internal hard disk expansion solution allows Mac Pro system to utilize two extra SATA DATA channels (available on the logic board) along with existing Optical Drive, MaxConnect flexible design allows Mac Pro system to house eight hard Disk Drives internally.

MaxConnect hard disk drive mounting system allows users to install eight disk drives without any PCI Host Controller, this enables users to install six SATA disk drives connected to native SATA ports of the Mac Pro System and two ATA/IDE Hard Disk drives connected via ATA data channel, all eight disk drives are bootable and native Mac Pro drive interface support, Mac Pro System can have 6 TB SATA RAID with transfer rate exceeding 600+ MB/sec (sustained transfer rate).

MaxConnect for Mac Pro Optical Drive Bay Features

  1. Two piece construction, Precision machined Aluminum.
  2. Slip in Design in the Optical Bay, no modification needed.
  3. Optimized for Air Flow.
  4. Surface Treated for electrical insulation.
  5. Flexible Upgradability.
  6. Install two SATA drives in the Optical Drive bay with the Optical drive (Optical Drive with 6 total SATA drives, on board SATA Channels No SATA Controller required).
  7. Install two SATA drives in the Optical Drive bay with two ATA/IDE Drive (8 total internal SATA drives: No SATA Controller required).
  8. Install four SATA drives in the Optical Drive bay (8 total internal SATA drives: Two internal ports SATA Controller required).

The MaxConnect internal hard disk drive mounting solution ships with power cables, SATA Data Cables, it is priced at $129.

Sonnet's Basic Ethernet Adapter for PCI Express

PR: Sonnet Technologies announces the immediate availability of Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic, its latest PCI Express (PCIe) adapter card for Mac Pro, and Power Mac G5 & Windows computers with PCI Express expansion slots. Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic is a Gigabit Ethernet network adapter card that expands or adds Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in any compatible computer.

Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic offers basic networking support, yet it supports gigabit speeds over common CAT-5 cabling, so costly cable replacement is unnecessary. This Sonnet card offers plug-and-play installation and simple configuration, and its 1000/100/10Base-T auto-negotiation and full/half duplex communication support allow it to be used in most networks. Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic includes a low profile mounting bracket that enables the card to be easily installed in low profile PCs.

PCI Express Ethernet CardMac Compatibility

  • Mac Pro
  • Power Mac G5 (with PCI Express slots)
  • Mac OS X Version 10.5 and later

PC Compatibility

  • PC with PCI Express slot
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP with SP2
  • Windows Server 2003

Presto Gigabit PCIe Basic (part number GE1000-E) is available now for the retail price of $39.95.

iMac VESA Adapter Kit

PR: introduces its iMac VESA Adapter Kit. The iMac VESA Adapter Kit is specifically designed for Apple iMac all-in-one computers that are deemed VESA noncompliant or non-compatible by wall mount and articulating arm manufacturers. These iMac models include: 20" Aluminum iMac, 17" and 20" iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, 17" and 20" iMac with iSight, and also the G5 17" and G5 20" 2006 iMac models.

iMac VESA Adapter KitThe iMac VESA Adapter Kit integrates with the iMac's stand and cable management hole using a patent pending fastening system. Its unique design eliminates the need to remove the stand from the iMac or modify the computer in any way; ensuring that warranty is not void due to the disassembling of the computer. This feature also maintains the integrity of the iMac as a "portable" computer system as the stand remains intact with the iMac. After the interface adapter bracket is attached to the VESA mounting device being used, the fastening system allows the user to mount and dismount their iMac computer quickly and easily.

By providing a method for attaching noncompliant iMac computers to VESA mounting devices, users of the 17" and 20" iMac computers may now enjoy the same ergonomic benefits other computer users have from mounting their displays. Users now have the option to recapture desk space, position and adjust their iMac to meet their specific needs, and ultimately increase their comfort and productivity. It is our belief that computer equipment should be adaptable to the user's needs and requirements, not the other way around.

The iMac VESA Adapter Kit is made from high-grade aluminum steel with a durable powder-coat and clear anodize finish complimentary to the elegant Apple iMac style. With the iMac VESA Adapter Kit attached, the iMac complies with the VESA MIS-D, 100, C version specification and will connect to any VESA-compliant mounting system having a 100mm x 100mm (approx. 4" x 4") attachment. The fastening system is hollow and allows the user to still utilize the cable management hole of the stand for cables, even after the system is mounted.

The iMac VESA Adapter Kit It is compatible with any 17" and 20" Apple iMac computer. At, our goal is to provide a practical solution to Apple iMac users who want to mount their iMac all-in-one computer using VESA wall mounting systems and articulating arms.


MacSpeech Dictate Ships

PR: MacSpeech, Inc. has announced that MacSpeech Dictate 1.0, a new speech recognition solution for the Mac, began shipping to iListen Founding Customers. Crossgrades from iListen to MacSpeech Dictate will go into production next. New copies of MacSpeech Dictate will go into production following crossgrades, shipping directly to satisfying pre-orders from Macworld Expo, and then through the distributors for various retail stores and resellers.

"MacSpeech is quickly ramping up to handle the staggering demand for MacSpeech Dictate that followed our demonstrations at Macworld Expo in January," explained Andrew Taylor, president and CEO of MacSpeech, Inc. "The release of this product will happen in deliberate steps. First we are taking care of those whose early help brought the company to this point."

MacSpeech Dictate is a new speech recognition product for the Mac, with underlying speech recognition powered by the dictation technology used in Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance Communications, Inc. MacSpeech Dictate delivers a Mac user experience, and conforms to behaviors already familiar to Macintosh fans worldwide. Beyond dictation, MacSpeech Dictate lets people perform basic navigation of their Mac and control it with their voice using familiar commands like print, cut, copy, paste, etc.

System requirements: MacSpeech Dictate requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher, including Mac OS X 10.5, and requires Intel-based Macintosh hardware.

New MacSpeech Dictate solutions with a choice of headsets, will be priced starting at $199. Registered customers of iListen will be eligible to purchase MacSpeech Dictate at special introductory crossgrade price of $79 (regularly $99). Anyone who purchased the MacSpeech product, iListen, in 2008, can crossgrade to MacSpeech Dictate for $29 through April 15, 2008.

Ettore Software Shipping TypeIt4Me 4.0

PR: First previewed at Macworld Conference & Expo 2008

Ettore Software Ltd. has started shipping an enhanced version of its long-standing text expander for Mac, TypeIt4Me, introduced at Macworld Expo in January. Since 1989, TypeIt4Me has allowed users to set up short abbreviations which expand to words, pictures, phrases, paragraphs or indeed entire pages when typed.

New TypeIt4Me version 4.0 will now automatically correct spelling mistakes. Unlike competing products which require the user to set up long lists of typos and their correct spelling, TypeIt4Me's AutoCorrect uses Apple's built-in OS X spellchecker, AppleSpell and requires no user set up. Users can turn AutoCorrect on/off via a hotkey, which also allows changing among up to three supported languages (including English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish and Portuguese).

Company founder and CEO, Riccardo Ettore says: "Users have long been able to define commonly mistyped words to expand to their correct spelling. With 4.0, they can now leverage the power of OS X's built-in spell- checker and have their typos automatically corrected while they continue typing, instead of seeing it underlined in red."

Also new in 4.0 is Autocue, which allows users to define boilerplate text with variable parts to be typed when prompted at expansion time.

TypeIt4Me 4.0 costs $27 ($14 for students/ teachers). Upgrades are $9, but free for users who bought the previous version after 1 August 2006

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