Top 10 Software Tools for the Mac Road Warrior

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 11:55
Category: Article

An outstanding article over on the The Apple Blog cites 10 must-have software tools. Author Samuel Cohen brings us the best of what’s out there to make the most for the user who is “forced to make certain sacrifices in usability, power, and efficiency.”
Sidetrack: This is a free (provided you put up with the nag screen) or $15 shareware utility that adds scrolling functionality to the borders of the trackpad.
Menufela: A $5 program that makes the very most out of a smaller screen (such as a 12 or 13 inch PowerBook, iBook or iBook laptop). The application autohides the menu bar until the mouse is positioned over it in an effort to show every possible pixel to the user.
Stoplight: This is a free program that lets the user adjust the behavior of the red-yellow-green buttons at the upper left hand corner of each Mac OS X window.
Letterbox: This is a free user interface adjustment for Apple’s Mail program that switches the default view to a three-column view and helps make the most of screen real estate.
Virtue Desktops: Until Spaces arrives in Mac OS X 10.5, this will pave the way and show you just how cool multiple desktops truly are. Virtue Desktops is a freeware multiple desktop manager that helps consolidate mulltiple windows and gives the selected window the full screen while putting the others in the background to work with later.
Quicksilver: THE application launcher and one of the most useful programs ever written for the Mac. Type in a word found in a document or application name and it’ll find it, then suggest several actions that can be done with it. The program is donation-ware, so if you like it, throw a little bit their way.
CornerClick: A free program that adds programmable functionality (such as applescripts, file launches, etc.) to clicks made at the four corners of the screen.
Sidenote: A free program that acts as a miniature notepad which can be easily hidden throughout the screen and revealed by moving the mouse over its location. Items such as text, images and links can be hurled into Sidenote, which helps consolidate everything and makes the desktop more easily navigated.
fKeys: A free program that remaps the enter key (the one on the number pad of a fully sized keyboard). This allows the user to use a function-return key combination instead of having to hunt for the oddly-placed enter key.
And, finally:
Noise: A free application that makes white noise to help blend out surrounding noise or conversations.
If you have any suggestions for must-have programs you routinely use, let us know.


Matsushita to Offer Overheating-Resistant New Batteries

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:10
Category: News

According to an article from the Associated Press mentioned on the Dallas-Fort Worth’s web site, Japanese electronics firm Matsushita (which Apple has long used for components such as optical drives), whill begin mass production of a new type of lithium-ion battery that should prove resistant to the overheating problems that prompted Sony to issue a massive recall of up to 9.6 million of its batteries this year.
The recall also included batteries for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop lines.
Sony has mentioned that the overheating problems were due to microscopic metal particles in the batteries which caused short-circuits and later breakdown and even swelling. Competitor Matsushita has stated that its lithium-ion batteries can avoid this problem altogether.
The firm finally commented that the new batteries would depend on the quantity ordered, but be somewhat higher than that of existing models.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about this, let us know.


Regarding the iPhone: Chris Owes You a Sundae at MWSF

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:32
Category: Announcement

After weeks of rumors, speculation and build-up regarding the possibility of an Apple iPhone and finally a due date of Monday for an announcement, we finally received news of an iPhone – from Linksys.
Needless to say, more than a few people were disappointed.
I also promised to buy readers an ice cream sundae if Apple didn’t announce an iPhone device yesterday and it’s time to face up to this. Come Macworld Expo San Francisco, we’ll be combining the annual PowerPage photo with a Monday night migration out to an ice cream shop near the Moscone Center that PowerPage editor Jason O’Grady mentions as serving an extremely decent sundae.
We’re shooting for a time on January 8th and further details will be published as they become available.


Extreme: Anyone Knee’d a PowerBook?

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

A reader sent in the following story about an extremely damaged PowerBook – the result of apparent anger management issues:


One-two over the knee.
And a slam to the floor makes PB no more.
I am a very busy kinda guy, with little tolerance for imperfection, and every once in a while the pressure valve just pops!
In any case, I had a fairly recent backup and thanks to .Mac syncing, I’m back up and running with a new MBP.
And to tell the truth my new machine is much nicer than my 1.33 PB.

Another, even worse picture after the jump…
Contributed by: EtyHead


The Apple Core: My dream: an Apple tablet

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

apple-tablet-concept-pixel-mojo.jpgI had a dream last night about the iPod (I know, I know) and how it morphed into a tablet Mac.
As I’ve previously mentioned here, the iPhone could be a clever decoy planted by Apple to misdirect attention from the real Macworld show stoppers – whatever they may be.
Steve Jobs has told us that iTV is coming, so that’s a given, but what about the iPod? Cupertino has been famously silent about their little media player and the timing’s right for an upgrade. There’s no shortage of patent applications indicating that Apple is developing a full-screen iPod with a touch screen interface. Which got me to thinking…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.