Ratatouille Trailer Available from Pixar

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Pixar

ratatouille_200606091025.jpgNot content with transmogrifying toys, insects, monsters, fish and cars into cute, anthropomorphic and loveable characters, it looks like Pixar’s next release will be helping us all to lose our phobia of rats.
The first teaser trailer for Ratatouille is now available. If your computer can handle it, download the high definition version, the quality of the rendering/animation is stunning.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


PowerPage Podcast Episode 17 Available for Download

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast LogoPowerPage Podcast Episode 17 is now available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
On Episode 17 (39:54, 17.6 MB, AAC) of the PowerPage Podcast my guests Rob Parker and Chuck Freeman discuss:
– Dell vs. Apple displays
– Tiny memory cards
– Widescreen plug-in for Mail.app
– Coinstar machines giving iTunes credit
– iPod UI, tired?
– MS Vista beta 2 on a MacBook Pro
– m-m-m-macbook
– Installing RAM and HDD on the MacBook Pro
You can subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (AAC) or you can add the PowerPage Podcast RSS feed in a newsreader of your choice. You can also download the file directly (37:16, 16.5MB, AAC). Remember to vote for us on Podcast Alley.
A special thank you to The Tragically Hip for letting us use their music in the PowerPage podcast. Check out their first DVD/CD Box Set Hipeponymous.


The Apple Core: Verizon Treo 700p EVDO instructions

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

treo700p-100.jpgA friend sent me these instructions on how to connect the new palmOne Treo 700p to Verizon’s high-speed EV-DO network with a Mac.
The setup instructions with screen shots are on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Nokia E61: Killer Features, Seriously Under-Realised

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Date: Friday, June 9th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Mobile Phone

nokia-e61.pngDon’t get me wrong, the Nokia E61 is a fantastic device and easily the best smartphone I’ve owned to date but some of it’s BEST features seem very oddly thought out. For example:
Access Point Groups:
+ This feature is nothing short of revolutionary. The ability to set up a preferred use of networks (wireless at home and the office or 3G when I’m out) Outstanding!
– But at present it is only possible to set this as the default connection method for email & syncing. It SHOULD be possible to use this feature as the default for Web browsing & every other Internet application?
Message Notification:
For an integrated device the notification system is seriously disjointed.
+ The Standby screen (or to everyone else the ‘day view’). After much searching through menu’s I found the option to turn on message display in the Standby screen. Lovely.
– Why is it only possible to have the day view show txts OR emails? And why when you select one of these, does it display the top two messages. This is worse than useless…. despite the glaring fact you may not want the first line of your private messages clearly displayed on the front of your phone.
It SHOULD show only unread messages: Txts AND emails & only the senders name.
The LED:
+ Potentially a fantastic feature.
– But again for an integrated phone, it will ONLY work for emails.
It SHOULD work for all unread messages. Txts & emails.
+ Despite being marketed as a business phone it is a powerful multimedia device too.
– What is the point of including mp3 & video software with a mono ear piece?
Nokia SHOULD at least have supplied the short Popport to 3.5mm headphone jack that is available all over eBay. Heck if they didn’t want to put it in the box, they could at least offer it as an accessory on their online store.
Love the phone but really hoping that a firmware update will resolve some of the above.
Contributed by: Ditch


The Apple Core: iPod UI: Love it or hate it?

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Date: Friday, June 9th, 2006, 10:50
Category: The Apple Core

ipod-interface.jpgI struck a nerve earlier this week with a comment I made about the iPod user interface being tired. The problem I have is that while the hardware has evolved, the iPod’s UI hasn’t changed much in five years.
One of the reasons that the iPod is so successful, it can be argued, is because the interface is drop dead simple. So simple in fact that young children and seniors alike can pick it up with ease. This is a point that I’m willing to concede, but if the iPod is going to continue its ascension to the heights of consumer electronics legend new features need to be added.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Letterbox: Widescreen Plugin for Mail.app

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Date: Thursday, June 8th, 2006, 10:08
Category: Software

widescreen-mail.pngMacBook and MBP users will love this tasty little upgrade for Apple’s email client. It gives you a three-pane mail view that’s perfect for widescreen notebookers. It has a small re-size bug with the middle pane and the attachement column (which gets really wide) but it’s still absolutely priceless. Expect Apple to add this to the next version of Mail – if they’ve got any clue whatsoever.

Letterbox is a plugin for Apple’s Mail.app that takes advantage of your widescreen monitor. It rearranges the interface into three vertical columns – so the message pane is to the right of the message list, rather than below. You’ll probably need at least 1280 and perhaps 1440 horizontal pixels for this layout to work well for you.Letterbox-screenshotLetterbox was born of this plea and subsequent discussion at Ars Technica.

Letterbox: Widescreen Plugin for Mail.app | aaron.harnly.net | Aaron Harnly

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XtremeMac NBA (and MLB) iPod Cases

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Date: Thursday, June 8th, 2006, 10:26
Category: iPod

xtrememac-iconz-heat.jpgThe NBA playoffs are under way and if you’re a sports freak (little bit a theme going today, sorry) you may want to look at some of the NBA iPod cases from XtremeMac.
XtremeMac is the only vendor that is authorized to sell NBA cases for the iPod video (US$30) and nano (US$25). Unfortunately, they don’t have a case yet for every team (you know, licensing) but there’s probably something on the list you’ll like.
There’s no Dallas Mavs cases, but they do have a kickin’ Miami Heat case for the iPod video. Here’s the breakdown of cases that are available:
NBA: Video
– Heat
– Lakers
– 76ers
NBA: nano
– Lakers
– Pistons
– Bulls
– Celtics
– Dwyane Wade
– Lebron James
NBA Basketball not your thing? they also have some MLB iPod cases too:
MLB: Video
– Yankees
– Red Sox
– Cubs
– White Sox
MLB: Nano
– Yankees
– Red Sox
– Cardinals
– Giants
– Angels


iLap: Solution for a hot Problem

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Date: Thursday, June 8th, 2006, 10:48
Category: Accessory

ilap_back_s.jpgiLap from Rain Design, Inc. is a sure winner when it comes to combating the heat problem. iLap is made out of aluminum with sand-blasted and silver anodized finished. It is designed for PowerBooks and MacBooks.
iLap (US$50-70) ships in a well-packaged box that reminds me of a new MacBook. It is worth every penny when it comes to using it for those big projects that demand hours upon hours to finish. It is so well designed that the heat problem doesn’t faze you.
Testing it for the last two weeks was a breeze. It made life a lot easier. With a velvet cushion in front and a swivel base allows for the perfect elevation for your MacBook on your lap. To the point you can take your MacBook with you to bed (remember to shut it off before dozing off) or your favorite chair.
iLap comes with four plastic tabs to allow for even more protection from sliding. It really is the perfect solution to the heat and one that I would highly recommend to other MacBook/Pro and PowerBook owners.


The Apple Core: Closing the Mac price gap

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Date: Thursday, June 8th, 2006, 10:40
Category: The Apple Core

I was digging through some old crates in my garage last night and stumbled across some of my old college notebooks. While flipping through them I happened across a couple of computer price lists for students. I graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, one of the first Universities in the United States that required you to purchase a Macintosh to attend (I believe that Darmouth may have been the first).
I had my own Mac when I enrolled (a Mac II with 13-inch color monitor) and didn’t need to buy one, but the price lists are extraordinary to look back at.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Get Your NetFlix Freak on

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 7th, 2006, 20:18
Category: Software

netflix-freak.jpgIf you’re a NetFlix subscriber there’s a cool little application that you need to check out called NetFlix Freak.
NetFlix Freak is a Mac OS X application for managing your rental queue that is a must have for fellow freaks. In addition to viewing and managing your rental queue, NetFlix Freak offers some features that aren’t available on NetFlix.com.
For example, on the site you have to use a cryptic button interface to rearrange movies in your queue (something you need to do a lot) but NetFlix Freak allows you to drag and drop your films to rearrange them. You can also add movies to the top or bottom of your queue with one click, shuffle your queue and keep notes on movies.
The latest version supports NetFlix profiles and allows you to search IMDb, Google Movies, Rotten Tomatoes, or Amazon for movie details. I prefer to use NetFlix Freak over the Web site. The interface is simple and fast and it’s a lot easier to spontaneously add a film that you want to see using NetFlix Freak as opposed to wading through the cluttered NetFlix Web site.
Granted, NetFlix.com is busy by design. They want you to constantly rate movies so that they can build a better profile about you thus improving their recommendations. My problem is that I find myself endlessly clicking on movie ratings when I’m on the site and I forget what I came to it for in the first place.
NetFlix Freak is so loved at the PowerPage that it’s an O’Grady’s PowerPick. Download a 30-day free trial or buy it for US$15 from The Little App Factory.
O'Grady's PowerPick 2006