Mac News Review

One User Quits Mac While Another Embraces It, Is Apple Losing Its Cool?, 100 Free Mac Apps, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.05.14

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.

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News & Opinion

'I Am Done with Apple!'

One former Mac user bolts to Linux, and explains why in a video, noting:

"I never touch my iMac anymore, except maybe a couple times a month. I love my Dell Laptop fully loaded and that's all there is to it! Apple has lost a lifetime customer in me. Some of the Apple Stores I went into was like a country club and I could not even purchase the simplest thing without being sold every product in the store or waiting for 45 minutes while the little nerds were selling to other unwilling customers. I'm sick of giving my limited wealth with a company that reinvents ugly crap and then influences their audience to hate PC - just look at any of their ads. Go Linux!"

Why I'm Moving to Mac

Web Worker Daily's Scott Blitstein has posted the second in a series of articles on switching to the Mac after 20 years using Windows PCs. He's still early in his transition and following a clear and logical process of defining his requirements, which made him feel confident that he would have the support he needs, access to all of the right tools, and the ability retrain himself to make the necessary adjustments. And when it was time to really "pull the trigger", he found that the Mac wasn't nearly as scary a choice as it had been in the past.

Charting Apple's Loss of 'Cool'

Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt riffs on a polling firm testing a question raised this week by the New York Times and ABC News: "Has Apple lost its cool?"

Has the spate of negative publicity surrounding Apple - the Gizmodo iPhone affair, the Flash on iPhone brouhaha, the rejected apps, the patent disputes, the Jon Stewart take down [not to mention Ellen DeGeneres' cleverly nuanced apology for her whimsical iPhone ad parody] - done material damage to the Apple brand?

When Did Apple Become Uncool?

Yahoo! News' Christopher Null says it's hard to remember a time when Apple wasn't the coolest company on the planet, and that Apple has seemingly done no wrong for a decade. However, the tide is clearly changing, with Apple finding itself increasingly on the defensive against allegations that it has become stodgy, overbearing, mean-spirited, and even uncool, spending the last several months "digging its own hipster grave as it becomes an angry sourpuss of a company that many have started comparing to Microsoft."

Kent State Journalism Students: Macs Recommended

Kent State University's Lydia Coutré reports:

"Beginning in the fall semester of 2010, students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication must purchase a computer.

"Greg Blase, associate director of JMC, said this is the first semester for the 'required buy,' and it will only affect incoming students. Freshmen don't have to step on campus with a computer but will need one by the end of their first year.

"'It could be the first semester or maybe even the second semester,' Blase said. 'We haven't decided that yet.'

"Students will have the option between Macintosh and PC computers, although Blase said a Mac is recommended. A desktop computer would also meet the requirements, but Blase said he strongly recommends a laptop. Regardless, students must have a computer."

Boot Your Mac with Windows and Linux, Boot Camp Not Required

Lifehacker's Whitson Gordon says:

"Apple has streamlined the process of dual booting Windows on your Mac, but when it comes to Linux, Boot Camp isn't so friendly. Here's how to triple-boot your Mac with OS X, Windows 7, and the shiny new Ubuntu 10.04.

"If you're a Mac user, you may have already used Apple's Boot Camp to get Windows on your system for those must-have programs. With a fast new Ubuntu out, however, you might want to give it a try - but installing Linux isn't exactly easy on Macs, since they don't recognize it by default.

"Also complicating things? Linux and Windows' boot loaders will attempt to take over one another. Usually, this is a good thing, because Linux's multi-system loader makes the experience more seamless for PC users - but on a Mac, this really just makes things more difficult (no one wants to go through two menus to choose their OS). As such, installing Linux needs to be done with certain settings applied, or you'll be left with a jumbled mess. Here's a step-by-step guide to making your triple booting experience as user-friendly as possible."

The solution uses a boot manager to choose your OS at startup.

100 Incredibly Useful Free Mac Apps

AppStorm's Joshua Johnson says:

"Everyone loves free applications. One of the greatest things about Macs is the wealth of extremely talented developers that are willing to share their amazing creations without asking for a single cent.

"We've compiled an enormous list of 100 amazing free Mac applications that you can download and start using today. These apps span multiple categories and offer an incredibly diverse pool of functionality so there's definitely something here for everyone."

Mac OS X 10.6.4 to Fix Rampant USB Keyboard/Mouse Issues?

Apple Toolbox reports that users continue to experience intermittent mouse and keyboard freezes and/or system stalls after updating to Mac OS X 10.6.3 - typically the cursor freezing in place, or text input becoming suddenly interrupted then catching up a few seconds later.

Factors that can exacerbate this issue or cause it in conjunction with the Mac OS X 10.6.3 update include Adobe Flash, Spotlight problems, outdated drivers, and problematic startup/login items.

So far the most effective fix has been a downgrade to Mac OS X 10.6.2, but Apple Toolbox has received word that forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.4 includes new IOUSB files that resolve the freezes/stalls under most circumstances.

For Some, iPads Replace Desktop PCs

Computerworld Mike Elgan reports that new information says iPads are replacing netbooks. And laptops. And desktops. They may turn out to be the Hannibal Lecter of gadgets.

Elgan says extreme interpretations of Huberty's report - that the iPad is already killing netbooks - are insupportable. He thinks that iPads will kill netbooks eventually, but they haven't done so yet. He suggests everyone seems to have missed the real story in Huberty's report buried in a chart showing which other device categories the iPad would "cannibalize", showing that not only are 17% of iPad buyers making their purchase instead of a handheld video game player; 28% instead of an ebook reader; and 41% instead of the iPod touch, but a whopping 27% of iPad purchases will be made instead of a desktop PC, and 44% instead of a laptop.

Apple Developing Flash Alternative Named Gianduia

AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger reports:

"As Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight duke it out over their plugin-based, HTML-alternative web platforms, Apple is using Gianduia, its new a client-side, standards based framework for Rich Internet Apps, to create production quality online apps for its retail users."

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