“I Would Buy a Mac if I Didn’t Work for Microsoft” Claims Microsoft Development Manager

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 08:57
Category: News

According to an article on Computerworld.com, Microsoft veteran software development chief James Allchin commented in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software firm had “lost sight” of customer needs and claimed that he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.
“In my view, we lost our way,” claimed James Allchin co-president of Microsoft’s platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004.
The e-mail was presented along with evidence last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp where Microsoft is defending itself against allegations that the firm used its monopoly position to overcharge Iowa residents for its software. The case is one of the two holdover cases brought against Microsoft by the U.S. government and multiple states from the late 1990’s asserting that Microsoft abused its position in the market.
“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products,” said Allchin in one of the cited e-mails.
Allchin, a veteran Windows development manager since the mid-1990’s, is still with the company but plans to retire at the end of this year after the upcoming Windows Vista operating system ships out the door. Elements of the legal transcripts and e-mails were obtained and posted by Groklaw.net, an open-source legal web site.
Like much of the evidence brought against Microsoft in past antitrust litigation, transcripts from the e-mail messages of Allchin and other executives have helped construct the case.
No immediate reply to Allchin’s comments were available from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Inc., Microsoft’s public relations firm.


Apple: Some Intel-Based Macs May Become Unresponsive After Extended Periods in Target Disk Mode

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 13:55
Category: News

A recent article on MacFixIt.com points to an Apple Knowledge Base document detailing how certain Intel-based Macs (namely the early 2006 iMacs and the MacBook Pro laptops) can become unresponsive if used as a host for FireWire target disk mode for more than 24 hours. Also worth noting is that the display and hard disk on the MacBook Pro might not go into sleep mode when Target Disk Mode has been activated for long periods of time, so be aware of this when checking if the system has become unresponsive.
Albeit a fix (either from a hardware or firmware update end) hasn’t been released, Apple suggests unmounting the host computer and restarting target disk mode sessions every 24 hours.
Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas regarding this issue.


Apple Confirms Certain Processes Can Shorten Battery Runtime

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 16:03
Category: News

An article posted on the always-useful MacFixIt.com shows Apple confirming that certain system processes can shorten battery run times according to a Knowledge Base document posted on Apple’s web site.
The document confirms that “runaway” processes (or those that use much larger amounts of CPU time than seem to be necessary) can dramatically reduce battery life on Apple laptops such as the iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Per the document: “Battery runtimes can be reduced if an application(s) has runaway or taken over system processes. This can cause the processor to work overtime and consume unnecessary battery power. […]
“If any process is taking more than 70% of the CPU […] verify if the process is needed. If not, quit the process by selecting the process and clicking the Quit button in the upper left corner of the window to regain CPU process control. This can lead to longer battery runtime.”
Practical advice and never be afraid of the Activity Monitor program, for it is your friend, despite residing in the slightly-intimidating Utilities folder.
If you have any comments or opinions on this issue, let us know.


Ecamm Network Releases Huckleberry MacBook Mirror

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 07:53
Category: News

On Wednesday, Ecamm Network announced the immediate release of the Huckleeberry MacBook Mirror according to a story on MacMerc.com.
The Huckleberry is a simple mirror device that connects to the lid of any MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop and reflects the built-in camera’s field of vision over the top of the screen, thus allowing the camera to view anything stationed behind the laptop. Simple and cool, the device retails for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
In addition to the Huckleberry units, Ecamm Network is also bundling in their iGlasses software program, which adds filters and additiona viewing modes for both stand-alone and built-in iSight cameras.


Apple Begins Small Production Runs of its iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 07:59
Category: News

Just ahead of Macworld Expo, MYiPhone is reporting that the iPhone has gone into production, according to comments from Prudential’s Jesse Tortora that “the production ramp has already begun” with small quantities to be expected for sale in the late first or early second quarters of 2007.
Tortora commented that he expects Apple to sell seven million iPhones in 2007 and 15 million units in 2008. Others have seen room for a wide-screen iPod that Tortora expects Apple to release in the first quarter of 2007.
The iPhone, which has been widely anticipated, is expected to debut at Macworld Expo, albeit production may come sometime later.


Presto! Computerless Printing

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Date: Tuesday, November 21st, 2006, 08:32
Category: News

hp-presto-printer.jpgI thought you’d like to take a look at a cool retro concept — a computerless printer. The company is Presto, and Clearstone, Kleiner Perkins and Vanguard have backed it.
HP makes a specialized US$150 device which is essentially a printer with a modem. The user simply loads paper and an ink cartridge, and plugs it into the wall and phone lines. It does not require a special phone line. The printer has its own email address using a service run by Presto that costs US$9.95 per month or US$99 per year.
In a typical scenario, the device will be given as a gift to someone who is not comfortable using a computer by someone who wants to send him/her emails and photos. The giver goes to the Presto website and specifies which email addresses are authorized to send stuff to the device, so there is no possibility of spam.
The service has a ton of nice features. For example, the font size can be made large on all emails, no matter what font size was used in the original. Photos and other attachments are formatted and automatically printed. Beautiful templates, seasonal greetings and calendars can be generated. And customized content can be delivered, such as horoscopes, Sudoko, news articles of interest, etc.
The device even knows its own ink levels and paper status, and this can be reported via email to the giver, or used for automatic ink replenishment shipments.
More details at www.presto.com — also on Amazon, Hammacher Schlemmer, Buy.com and other Web sites.


Scrybe: it could be very good indeed

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Date: Friday, November 3rd, 2006, 11:00
Category: News

scrybe-300.jpgScrybe is causing a lot of buzz on the web right now. Little is known about it, except that, based on its promotional video, it is an attractive and intuitive online (and offline) organiser that works on PCs and Macs.
If you’ve got 10 minutes, it is worth a look. In the words of one of the many quotes featured on their site:
“Either these guys have pulled of a marketing hoax that is complete and beautiful, or they have created an app that will be the first in the wave of ‘solve everything beautifully and elegantly once and for all’.”


Greek Apple Users Protest

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Date: Thursday, October 5th, 2006, 12:00
Category: News

As a huge fan of Greece I thought that the plight of the Greek Mac users deserved to be heard. This is a note I received from Dimitris Karakatsanis:

We live at Athens, Greece and we are Mac users.
We have an honestly dramatic situation in our country about the Apple products availability and paranoid behavior of the after sales service from the local Apple IMS.
I’m writing to you for the announcement of a protest site.
The WeWantAppleGreece.com has been created by Greek Macintosh users as an ultimate attempt to stimulate the interest of those who are responsible for the comic situation in our country.
We try to describe this situation in an easy-going though sarcastic manner, hoping that things might change and Apple takes the decisive step to create in our country the much desired Apple Greece or, even better, Apple Hellas! A company that will comply with the rules and standards that each Apple company worldwide complies with.


Woz on Colbert

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Date: Friday, September 29th, 2006, 11:08
Category: News

Steve Wozniak was on last night’s The Colbert Report. The full clip is here. I removed the embedded looping one that was here.


Woz to Speak in Philadelphia

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Date: Thursday, September 21st, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

woz-250.jpgWoz is slated to speak in Philadelphia on Saturday, 30 September and the PowerPage will be in attendance. If you’re planning on attending get in touch.

Steve Wozniak
iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It
Saturday, September 30, 2006 at 2:00PM
Central Library
Ticket Info: FREE. No tickets required.
For Info: 215-567-4341.

In 1975, a young engineering wizard, Steve Wozniak, created the first personal computer, the Apple I, and ignited the computer revolution. Ten years later, he received the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed upon American innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and received the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology for “single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.”