Dialing for Less : Working Mac

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 10:10
Category: Software

Following is my February 2005 article for Macworld magazine Dialing for Less : Working Mac.

Dialing for Less : Working Mac
from the February 2005 print edition
Even in the age of e-mail and iChat, sometimes it?s easier to pick up the phone. After all, you can get an instant response, and it?s nice to hear a voice once in a while. Now you no longer have to stray from your Mac when you want to call home. New software phones, or softphones, let you make long-distance (and even overseas) calls at a fraction of the cost of a regular phone call?and in some cases, for free.
I can almost hear you saying ?So what? I can talk to people with iChat now.? True, you can use iChat to text-, video-, and voice-chat with others, but there are some major differences between that program and a softphone. Most important, iChat allows you to converse only with Mac users also running iChat and with Windows users running AIM 5.5 or higher. A softphone allows you to use your Mac to talk to anyone who has telephone service.
From Skype?s main window, you can make and receive phone calls, search for other users, and send files.
In this article, I?ll look at how softphone technology works. Then I?ll walk through a setup with Skype, a popular application now available for Mac OS X.

Read more for the whole enchilada…

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XtremeMac iPod Accessories Make the Grade

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 10:07
Category: Accessory

XtremeMac makes some excellent accessories for the iPod that we have been testing. In January I reviewed the company’s kicking AirPlay FM transmitter that doesn’t require any software to be installed on the iPod. I am using the AirPlay this week on a road trip in Florida and loving it in the rental car.
I have also grown fond of XtremeMac’s iPod Silicone Cases which are compatible with most iPod accessories and feature gripping ridges on the sides. I sometimes wish that they had a belt clip but have managed to work around it. The iPod Silicone Cases are available in six colors and clear for US$19.95 individually or US$29.95 for a three-pack.
If you travel with a friend or spouse, then check out XtremeMac’s Audio Splitter for iPod (US$12.95) which splits the iPod’s audio output port into two enabling you to Jam out with a friend on that next road trip.

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HDD for Mobile Phones Withstand 1.5-Meter Drop

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 10:12
Category: Archive

The era has arrived for mobile phone hard disk drives, and manufacturers are testing these one-inch (or smaller) ultra-miniature drives, especially for impact resistance. (NE Asia Online)

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Casio Exilim EX-Z55 SD Media Issues

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 10:18
Category: Digital Camera

I am completely mortified with my experiences with a new Casio Exilim EX-Z55 digital camera. The first thing I tried to do was take pictures with it using a brand new SanDisk 1GB SD card. Following are the details of my post on the Apple Discussion boards. Read More…

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PowerBook G5: Leaks or Typos?

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 09:07
Category: Hardware

MacRumors has a story about another potential PowerBook G5 leak on the Apple Web site. You’ll remember that last week the Register first reported a story about a PowerBook G5 reference on the Apple site. I am curious though, couldn’t these “references” to the mythical PowerBook be accidental leaks or are they nothing more than a simple typo? The four and five keys are right next to each other, after all…

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Steve Jobs Covers

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 09:25
Category: Sighting

Sam Kuo collects magazines with Steve Jobs on the cover. So does Steve…

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DLO iDirect iPod Remote Control

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 09:50
Category: Accessory

DLO’s iDirect is an IR compatible remote control for all dockable iPods. It allows complete transport control of any dockable iPod from across the room while keeping it charged and connected to a home stereo or powered speaker system. The DLO iDirect retails for $49.99 and is available now.

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Sony Ericsson Themes Creator for Mac

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Date: Friday, February 4th, 2005, 09:20
Category: Mobile Phone

A number of Apple Mac developers have requested that Sony Ericsson provide some of its popular content development tools for use with Mac OS. Their wishes have finally come true. Sony Ericsson has published Themes Creator 1.60 for Mac OS X. Also supporting the Sony Ericsson V800, the Sony Ericsson Themes Creator 1.60 (including Developers’ Guidelines and Release Notes) is available.

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