Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CodeWeavers Site is Down - and the Download Party is On!

In case you haven't heard of it, and you are seeing this writing TODAY, you can download CrossOver for free - today only!

CodeWeavers, the famed Mac developer, had charged itself the Great American Lame Duck Presidential Challenge, with one of the criteria being oil price dropping to $2.79 per gallon, among other things. Lo and behold, it came true! And as promised, CodeWeavers is giving out CrossOver for free today, and only today.

CrossOver lets you run Windows programs on your Mac (or Linux for that matter) without needing to install Windows or virtual machines.

CodeWeavers site is down as of now, thanks to the flood of traffic flocking to get the free downloads. Living up to their promise, CodeWeavers is still feeding the files for you to download, even if the site is dead. Hey, it's free, and it's worth a try!

Yet another Mac tips is on the web!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wishful thinking: Mac Tablet

The Apple rumor mill is once again running in full throttle, this time clamoring that Apple will be unveiling the next generation iPod some time in September 2008. Some believe (or hope) that Apple will also refresh the Macbook product line. Speculate away! What's fun about Apple if it isn't worthy of speculation anymore? But honestly, each time when the tech community gets jittery about possible product launch from the fruit company, it is also the time to go over the wish-list of future Apple products. I'll go right to the bottom of the list: Mac Tablet.

The tablet patents

Bearing in mind that patent application is a weak indicator of future product development, the tech community has nonetheless given attention to a few Apple patents concerning tablet computer. One of them was filed in 2005. A more interesting one was some kind of docking system that allows the user to slot the tablet into a dock with full-size screen and use it as a desktop computer.

How a Mac tablet should be like

But wait a minute, you say, there is already a third-party tablet mod call the Modbook. True, but I am more interested in something smaller, easier to carry, like a paperback book. The iPod Touch is nice, but the screen size is too small for reading or note-taking. The key is to have something small and light that one can easily tuck it into the bag, while large enough to do some meaningful reading and writing. It seems that ZDNet holds this same idea too. I contend that a paperback size tablet with all the iPod Touch functions plus a ebook reader and a simple office suite is enough.

A docking station for a portable computer is not totally unthinkable. We have been using the HP notebook docking station in the office for some time. However, you will need to supply your own monitor, keyboard and mouse to use a docking station like this. I would like to see a docking station that looks like that patent above, completed with a full-size screen, a hard drive that acts as a storage expansion and backup of the tablet, and even extra memory to do some memory-intensive tasks that you only do at the desk, like gaming. Apple can sell the whole thing as a package, or sell the tablet separately and demand a premium on the docking station, I don't care, I really want a paperback-size tablet!

A Mac tablet that lures PC users

I hypothesize that a Mac tablet can reach the mass of PC users and let them taste the Mac experience like never before. This is how it should work: you connect the tablet to the PC using some simple docking unit, which then brings up iTunes (as expected). Now imagine iTunes acting as an environment where a PC user can operate the tablet like a generic Mac desktop. Why not? It's called remote desktop, a function that comes in every copy of Leopard. There will certainly be some ohh's and ahh's, and a upward tick in the Mac market share.

With the iPhone and Leopard, Apple has acquired enough skills to make a compelling packaging of a tablet mac like that one in my shameless speculation. Let's see what Apple has under its belt: multi-touch, multi-lingual writing recognition, remote desktop (for iTunes to sand-box the table), Time Machine, a highly scalable OS, really small computer parts used in Air, and sheer genius in product design. Cupertino, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7.0 Now Available

Microsoft's little chat program for Mac is not dead. In fact, it is very much alive, so much alive that it is now part of Windows Live.

The new version supports bonjour networking within your LAN. There is also a new search function inside the contact list that mimics Spotlight search. That's about all for the consumer side of it. The corporate features are a little bit more exciting, but I find them largely irrelevant to most Mac users.

So here's the thing: for all you iChat and Adium users out there, do you really care? As for me, I will stick with Adium, thank you very much!

But I would really like to know what you think, so I am running a little poll to find out what IM clients most people use on their Macs. Look for the poll at the sidebar to throw your lot in, if you are interested in adding your numbers to it. The poll will be held till May 16, 2008.

If you are so inclined in trying out Windows Messenger for Mac 7.0, by all means do so. You can download the program at Mac BU official website.

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Note-taking in Preview 1: The Highlighter

We all do a little article research once a while. Whether you found the articles from online journals or through the course reserves in your college library, chances are, they come in PDF format. If you are like me, you wouldn't care to print the articles out; reading them in Preview does it, thank you very much.

When reading on paper, we like to make the black-and-white printouts a little more exiting by highlighting and note-taking at the side. Well, we can do just that in Preview.

In this series, I will share a couple of tips on article reading using Preview, starting with the virtual highlighter.

Text Highlighter in Preview

Let's say you have your text PDF file opened in Preview. Here are the steps to mark up a snippet of the text:

  1. Use your cursor to select(highlight) the text snippet.

  2. Look for the "Mark Up" function in the toolbar or under "Tools" in the menu bar.

  3. If you want the mark up to stay permanent, remember to re-save the PDF document.

That's it!

Use Different Colors

If you don't like the default color Preview assumes, or you like to use multiple colors just like you have many different highlighters in the physical world, you will love the color palette.

Goto Tools in the menu bar, and select "Show Colors". The color palette will show up on screen. I like to keep the color palette open side-by-side with the article I am reading, since I like change the mark up colors all the time. It is super handy!

That's it folks, more tips on Preview are on the way. Stay tuned!

Yet another Mac Tips is on the web!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

MacNify Widget 2.0 Now Available!

MacNify proudly presents the MacNify widget version 2.0. The widget gains new look, consistent with the new Leopard theme on the website. Underneath the new shiny surface are great improvements including:
  • A lot more reliable RSS feed control.
  • Ability to control length article summary on the widget.


Get MacNify Widget.

As always, MacNify is a great way to discover cool and useful Mac tricks like blowing up the screen or placing dashboard widgets directly on your desktop. MacNify widget makes learning a lot easier by brining the tips right onto your desktop.

User Instructions

  1. One-click to read the full article in default browser.
  2. One-click to take you to MacNify homepage.
  3. Scroll bar.
  4. Move slider to the left for shorter article summary; right for longer article summary.

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!