Apple’s Screen Capture Falls Short

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Date: Tuesday, March 21st, 2006, 12:00
Category: Software

I used to love snapping pictures off the screen, Internet, etc. in classic. What I enjoyed most was the ability to assign that image file (screen capture file) to any location such as a folder on a spare harddrive by going through the preferences and choosing a definite location. Now the clunky hot-key operation only allows you to save it to the stupid desktop. If you want to save it elsewhere you have to go one step further and open Grab!
Even the Grab utility does not have any preference settings to allow you to choose other options such as: “ask everytime where to save” nor does it have a feature “save here…” it assumes you like to be asked everytime and thats that. By taking away our ability to choose the end result of where the screen capture goes really showed me that Apple somehow is slipping in the way they interpret users needs.
I’m not going to spend US$30-$60 for a app to allow me to get that one desired single feature. Does anybody know a HACK to allow me to customize where my hot-key screen captures can go other than the stupid desktop?
-DoubleB

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Cool Treo Application: TAKEphONE 6.50

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Date: Friday, March 17th, 2006, 13:26
Category: Software

takephone.jpgOne the problems with the PalmOne Treo’s user interface is that it is difficult to quickly pick up the phone and call someone from your address book. Sure, if you’ve called them recently, you can press the call button for a list of the last 10 people you’ve called, but that list only contains numbers for calls that you’ve placed. Not calls you’ve received.
Digging into the address book requires several clicks to find the contact you’re looking for – hardly ideal, especially while driving.
Enter TAKEphONE (US$20) from SHSH Software, a Palm OS application for the Treo 650 that makes finding and calling contacts incredibly easy. It makes operating the Treo truly one-handed and is an indispensible application.
After you install it, you can configure it to run when you press the green call button (instead of running the default “phone” application). From there you can quickly press and dial one of your pre-defined speed dials (large buttons dedicated to contacts) or you can use another view to quickly search for a contact by typing the first few letters of their name.
TAKEphONE’s enhanced searching capabilities are what sets it apart. In addtion to typing the first few characters of a name (which searches any combination of fields), there are four search methods including a sorted search that allows the ‘and’ operation in search strings.
You can also define up to five seperate “locations” each with calling-card support (auto-dials access-numbers, PINs), extension and IVR handling. TAKEphONE even includes a “capture hack” that allows you to dial numbers from other applications.
TAKEphONE is available for US$20 from SHSH Software.

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Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1

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Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 19:21
Category: Software

Apple today posted Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1 a 400kb firmaware patch that “aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.” Accroding to Apple knowledge base article 303035 (“Updating battery firmware for PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) and some earlier PowerBooks”):

This firmware update is required to keep your battery life up to specification, may recover battery life in some batteries that have developed short run times, and in some cases can recover batteries that are not recognized by the system.

If your PowerBook requires the update, it will be available through Software Update (called “Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update”). You can also download it from Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1 a 400kb firmaware patch that “aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.” Accroding to Apple knowledge base article 303035 (“Updating battery firmware for PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) and some earlier PowerBooks”):”>Apple Downloads.

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Security Update 2006-002 Released

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Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 11:54
Category: Software

Security-Update-2006-02.jpgApple just released the second security update for Mac OS X of 2006:

Security Update 2006-002 is recommended for all users and improves the reliability and security of the following components:
apache_mod_php
CoreTypes
LaunchServices
Mail
Safari
rsync
Additionally, this update incorporates Security Update 2006-001, which improves the security of the following components:
apache_mod_php
automount
Bom
Directory Services
iChat
IPSec
LaunchServices
LibSystem
loginwindow
Mail
rsync
Safari
Syndication
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61798

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OS X 10.4.5 Address Book Widget Rant

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Date: Monday, March 13th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Software

address-book-widget.jpgI don’t often get too annoyed with Apple’s software. Sure, there are at least ten things that I can think of off the top of my head that I would like to see added to or fixed in iTunes, but I am generally satisfied with the program as it is nonetheless. However, the recent 10.4.5 update replaced the Address Book widget with something that I consider to be regressive in its function and design.
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Contributed by: sculley

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Disk Utilities and Intel Macs

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Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2006, 22:06
Category: Software

I wrote to each of Micromat (TechToolPro) and Alsoft (DiskWarrior) on the status of their products with respect to the new Intel Macs. Both said they will have new versions soon which run on Intel and that their current versions should not be run on Intel Macs.
Micromat said that if you run their current version of TTP4 on a PPC Mac, and access an Intel Mac via firewire disk mode, that TTP4 will properly work on the Intel Mac, optimizing disk directories, optimizing drive space, etc. Alsoft said exactly the opposite:

The partition map of the Intel-based Macs is different from the PowerPC-based machines. DiskWarrior will not rebuild the Intel machine in Target Disk Mode.

What has your experience been with the disk utilities for the Mac? Post in the comments below.

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The Apple Core: MacBook Pro benchmarks: launch times

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Date: Monday, March 6th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

The MacBook Pro is unquestionably faster than the PowerBook G4 it replaces, but exactly how much depends on how you use it. Apple sells the MacBook Pro as “up to four times the horsepower of the PowerBook G4″ but that’s purely based on the SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks from Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Apple’s benchmarks were compiled using the IBM compiler and a beta version of the Intel compiler for Mac OS.
But SPEC benchmarks don’t tell the whole story. I tested one aspect of the MacBook Pro’s speed that affects me daily and is a better barometer of real world performance: application launch times. I benchmarked the MacBook Pro (2.0GHz) against a PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz) while launching 14 (native and Rosetta) applications and here are the results…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Security Update 2006-001, CVE-2006-0848, and the Architecture of Finder

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Date: Monday, March 6th, 2006, 07:00
Category: Software

Mac OS X has been the target of a few of proof-of-concept attacks as of late and has addressed them rather quickly. Usually the security community tries to abide by a process of professional courtesy that involves disclosure, an advisory, and releasing the gory details post-patch.
Obviously you shouldn’t rely on the kindness of strangers when it comes to such things, since it should be clearly evident that in the IT world, nobody has to play fair.
But is the issue over and done with? Did Apple really solve the problem? 2006-001 mitigates only a possible method of exposure to the underlaying flaw, without actually addressing the issue. What is the issue? Metadata.
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Firefox Universal Binary (Deer Park Alpha 2) Available

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 22:53
Category: Software

deerpark-icon.jpgEver since moving the MacBook Pro I’ve been on a quest to use only Universal Binary applications. Test builds of Firefox (code-named Deer Park) and Thunderbird are now available as universal binaries.

These are current rolling builds produced by a tinderbox directly from CVS with no additional patches. They contain all x86 and universal fixes and should be fully functional.
- Firefox test build, equivalent to pre-1.5.0.2
- Thunderbird test build, equivalent to pre-1.5.0.2

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Clean out Your Garage With iSale

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 21:36
Category: Software

isale3.jpgIf you’re looking for an easy way to sell your used gear on eBay look no further than iSale. iSale is an authorized eBay client application that was a runner-up for an Apple Design Award application and it shows. The user interface is beautiful and intuitive even if you’ve never used it before.
The single best feature is that you can start using it right away with little learning curve. Start with one of iSale’s beautifully designed auction templates, add photos from your iPhoto library and even import descriptions from Amazon or eBay and post your auction in no time.
iSale features Google map integration allowing you to track your customers and even lets you host your images on dot-Mac to save money. Use iSale’s Dashboard Widget to keep up-to-date on your current auctions.
iSale version 3.0.4 is Universal Binary and adds new template designs and German and French localizations. The full versions costs US$40 and a three auction trial version is available from www.equinux.com.

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