Microsoft Releases Open XML File Converter Beta

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 15:06
Category: News

On Tuesday, Microsoft released a beta version of its Office Open XML converter program, which allows Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v.X users to be able to open Office XML and Word Macro-Enabled Document files used in Microsoft Office 2007. Here, users can open the files as a Rich Text Format document and work with them from there.
The Office XML and Word Macro-Enabled Document file formats are identified by the “.docx” and “.docm” extensions at the end of the file names.
Microsoft’s web site warns that this is a beta release (the version number currently stands at 0.1) and the following issues have been listed with the software:
-Macros and Visual Basic content are not included in the converted file.
-Charts and SmartArt graphics are converted to pictures.
-Graphics and other objects in the document might appear with a different size.
-Color fills and shading in tables might not be preserved.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains a bibliography or citations.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains WordArt.
-Document layout and formatting might not be preserved.
-Some Unicode characters might not be preserved.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains very large pictures.
-Conversion might not succeed if you use an SMB network volume as the preferred destination for converted files.
-Picture bullets might not be preserved.
-Fonts might be substituted.
Users must have version 11.3.4 or later of Microsoft Office or version 10.1.9 or later of Microsoft Office v.X and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later installed to run the converter.
The Open XML Converter beta is a 24.9 megabyte download and can be found here.
If you’ve tried the converter and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.


CrossOver Updated to 6.1

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 10:46
Category: Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 6.1. The new version, a 38 megabyte download, offers the following changes and updates:
Mac OS X-specific changes:
-Added handling of mailto: links, both within and outside of CrossOver.
-Added support for installing a set of Windows-specific truetype fonts.
-Fixed a problem with Quartz-wm on new Tiger install disks. Previously this problem caused CrossOver to crash on some new Macs.
-Added a feature that will check for available updates.
-Improved support on Leopard.
-Added Japanese localization.
-Improved support for composed characters
-Some cosmetic changes to the GUI. No major redesigns.
-Improved the menu-syncing algorithm.
New application support:
-EVE Online
-Quicktime 7
-Ichitaro 2006 and 2007 (Japanese locale only)
-Ichitaro Viewer (Japanese locale only)
-IBM HomePage Builder 10 and 11 (Japanese locale only)
Application fixes:
-Fixed some font problems in FrameMaker 7.1
-Added support for RPC over HTTP in Outlook 2003 when running in a Windows XP bottle. This allows use of HTTP mail in Outlook.
-Improved authentication support in Outlook 2003.
-Lots of widespread graphics improvements. Game rendering and performance should be much improved.
-Improved the Equation Editor installation process.
-The Half-Life 2 Intro now plays properly
-Several IE fixes: and now load properly. Improved IE launch times.
-Improved Quicken window rendering.
-Lots of doc revisions.
-Fixed a problem with black icons in the Outlook shortcut bar.
-Fixed autocompletion in Outlook
General CrossOver fixes and improvements:
-Major update of DirectX support.
-Added the ability to automatically download and install localized versions of some installers and service packs, including IE.
CrossOver retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Intel-based hardware to run. A fully functional 30-day trial version is available for download and testing for potential users.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about the experience, let us know.


Apple Releases Updated MacBooks

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 09:41
Category: News

If you were wondering why the Apple Store was down for a few hours this morning, it was for the right reason.
Apple has just released a refreshed and updated line of MacBook laptops, complete with faster processors, improved wireless systems, higher end optical drives and additional RAM.
Check out Jason’s Apple Core blog for full details and we’ll post more about these machines as soon as information becomes available.


Melting MacBook Documented via Picture Gallery

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 08:00
Category: MacBook

A forum post over to the German web site has documented an instance in which a German MacBook owner left his laptop unattended as it played a DVD of “Scary Movie” and returned to discover that the heat from the laptop had actually melted some of its plastic.
A full gallery has been posted over at and an article over there describes the unit’s heat buildup and lack of adequate cooling:
“MacBook’s are well documented to produce tremendous amounts of heat. Our AppleDefects MacBook easily reaches and sustains processor temperatures of 95 degrees celcius (203 farenheit) when running under load, with absolutely zero cooldown despite the tiny fan blasting. The super-heated air that is produced is then blown out the small back port. You‚Äôd never want to use our particular MacBook on your lap without a thick book or some other protective pad, the heat produced is scolding – but so far not hot enough to physically melt the machine itself. It should be noted Apple doesn’t recommend using laptops on your lap, as we have reported on in the past.”
While there may not be any guaranteed means of preventing heat buildup on your MacBook (I love mine, but it does get toasty), several temperature monitoring programs such as CoolBook are available.
If you’ve seen anything similar in your own experience or discovered a better setup for letting the laptop function with better circulation, let us know.


AT&T Memo Forbids iPhone Pre-Sales

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

A memo sent around to AT&T‘s retail stores has instructed employees not to create wait lists or process pre-sales for Apple’s long-awaited iPhone.
According to AppleInsider, the memo contains the following highlights:
-“The exact date has not been announced, specific dates should not be provided to customers.”
-“Sales for the iPhone will be on a first come, first served basis. No wait lists of names will be taken and NO pre-selling is allowed.”
-“Two models of the iPhone will be available, a 4GB will retail at $499 and an 8GB will retail at $599.”
-“If asked what the price will be, answer that the prices have been announced as $499 for the 4G and $599 for the 8G, respectively.”
-“There should NOT be any additional speculation/discusson about pricing.”
-“AT&T will be the only wireless carrier in the U.S. launching the iPhone and will have exclusivity for the foreseeable future.”
The report, which was originally carried over at BoyGeniusReport, stated that AT&T employees will received web-based training, workbooks and other iPhone product materials to help train them for the launch next month.