Aperture 1.1 on a PowerBook G4

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Date: Friday, April 14th, 2006, 08:10
Category: Software

aperture-box-200.jpgDerrick Story has posted a good review of Aperture 1.1 running on a PowerBook G4 on the O’Reilly Mac DevCenter Blog:

Aperture 1.1 was available this morning via Software Update on my PowerBook G4. I’ve been using Aperture on a PowerBook from the beginning, and have been waiting for the 1.1 release to provide better performance when working with big RAW files. That day is here. I downloaded the update and went to work.Many people will comment on the new color values readout that’s available in the HUD and the Digital Loupe. Nice addition, but the three truly important changes are improved RAW decoding, faster performance on a PowerBook G4, and UB compatibility on the new MacBook Pro. After just a morning of testing, Apple appears to deliver on all three counts.

Aperture 1.1 on a PowerBook G4 – O’Reilly Mac DevCenter Blog

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The Apple Core: Adobe applications and Rosetta emulation

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Date: Friday, April 14th, 2006, 07:17
Category: Software

rosetta-emuation.jpgBare Feats has posted a set of benchmarks comparing two non-Universal Binary applications, Adobe’s Photoshop CS2 and After Effect 7.0, running on a three different machines to gauge the true impact of Rosetta emulation.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


How to Avoid a MacBook Meltdown – Part II

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Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Software

Rob Kolter, a Mac-only systems consultant in Colorado and PowerPage regular writes:

After reading of your frustration with the MBP Firmware update I’ve got a couple ideas that might help you in the future.
1) Install your OS on a FireWire drive. Do the core install and when the computer reboots unplug the drive. Let it boot back on the internal drive. After the reboot, install any updates: iTunes, iPhoto, GarageBand, 10.4.6, etc. on the FireWire drive. Make a DVD master of the FireWire Drive and burn it to disk. The absolute best way I’ve found to do this is to make a Netboot install image using OS X server tools that contains the image. Once you are booted off that CD, you can use Disk Utility to restore the core OS.
2) Create an Applications folder inside your home folder. Put ALL your non-Apple applications in it. Backup your home folder regularly. I backup to a compressed disk image overnight several nights a week. I carry the most recent copy on a FireWire drive in my bag. If my OS dies a sudden death, it becomes a pretty simple process to restore my OS and then my home folder.

Read More…


Prosoft Announces Universal Binary Version of Data Rescue II

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Date: Tuesday, April 11th, 2006, 22:58
Category: Software

Prosoft Engineering has announced that the latest version of their excellent data recovery tool Data Rescue II now supports Intel-based Macs. Data Rescue II is an easy-to-use application for Mac OS X that can recover files and folders from crashed or corrupt hard drives, floppy drives and removable media. Current owners of Data Rescue II can download an update from the Prosoft Web site. A bootable Data Rescue II CD is available for US$5 (download) or US$10 (shipped).
Prosoft’s Data Rescue II won a PowerPick Award in 2006 and Drive Genius won a PowerPick Award in 2005.


Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3 Released

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Date: Tuesday, April 11th, 2006, 19:33
Category: Software

ard3.jpgApple today announced a large update to their popular remote desktop management system. Apple Remote Desktop 3 (ARD) is now Universal Binary for Intel Macs and features over 50 new features, including better remote software updates and installations and a curtain mode that prevents remote users from seeing what you’re doing. The online tutorial provides a nice overview. The unlimited client version costs US$499, 10 clients are US$299.
Apple apparently hasn’t offered any upgrade pricing for ARD3 even though they go through the expense of printing proof of purchase cards and inserting them into each box. So if you just purchased a copy or ARD2 you’re going to have to shell out the full price for ARD3.


Ableton Releases Live 5.2 (Universal Binary)

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Date: Saturday, April 8th, 2006, 15:44
Category: Software

After seeing it in action at Winter Music Conference in Miami, I’ve got more respect for Ableton Live than ever. It’s great news that they are now shipping version 5.2 which adds Universal Binary support.

Berlin, April 7, 2006. Ableton today announced the release of Live 5.2, bringing immediate native Intel-Mac support. This development makes Live 5.2 one of the first professional audio applications on the market to run as a Universal Binary to take advantage of Appleā€™s fastest machines: the new Intel-Mac.
Intel-Mac Live 5.0 users can purchase a Live 5.2 serial number for 49 USD/39 EUR via the Ableton webshop. Customers who purchase the upgrade to Live 6 from the Ableton webshop will receive a full refund of this 49 USD/39 EUR. Live 6 is scheduled for release in Q3. Complete information on Live 6′s specs, availability, and pricing will be made available this summer.
Intel-Mac users who purchased Live 5 after Steve Jobs’ announcement of the new Intel-Macs (January 10, 2006) will receive the Live 5.2 download at no additional charge.
For all other Live 5 users on PCs and non Intel-Mac machines, Live 5.2 will be released as a free bug-fix update.

I recommend that you download the latest demo from Ableton.com and try the lessons.


How to Avoid a MacBook Meltdown – Part I

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Date: Friday, April 7th, 2006, 10:40
Category: Software

Thank you to all the people that wrote to me about my MacBook meltdown yesterday after installing Mac OS 10.4.6 and the MacBook Pro Firmware update. PowerPage reader Bill Elkus wrote about one of the best suggestions that I’ve received:

Before I install any system update, I make a bootable backup using Synchronize Pro X from Qdea. Then if I don’t like the update, I just boot off the external hard drive and overwrite my internal hard drive with the prior image. It takes perhaps ten minutes because it only writes the changes (most of the time is spent finding the changes).
I use Synchronize Pro X religiously at least once a day and it has saved me more then a dozen times over the five years I have owned various versions of the application. Rather than chase down some corrupted preference file, I just revert to an earlier state of my Mac. If I have done substantial work in the mean time, I can usually keep that too since Synchronize Pro X has an option to show you what it is going to change before overwriting anything and it allows you to selectively remove any particular file or files from the process.

Heed this advice fair reader and learn from my mistake.
Rob Kolter wrote How to Avoid a MacBook Meltdown – Part II on 12 April 2006.


10.4.6 and/or the Firmware Upgrade Killed my MacBook Pro

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Date: Thursday, April 6th, 2006, 11:48
Category: Software

software-update.jpgDO NOT install the Mac OS 10.4.6 update or the 1.0.0 Firmware update (For the MacBook Pro) on your machine until the dust settles a bit.
I got swept up in all the excitement yesterday about Apple’s release of Boot Camp, an official dual boot environment for Intel Macs. To use Boot Camp you must install Mac OS 10.4.6 and the latest Firmware update for your specific Mac (in my case MacBook Pro (early 2006) Firmware Update 1.0.)
I didn’t follow my own advice to wait a minimum of 72 hours before installing any Apple update and am now paying the price.
Read more…


Apple Releases Mac OS 10.4.6 Update

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Date: Tuesday, April 4th, 2006, 08:45
Category: Software

software-update.jpgWaiting in your Software Update function is the Mac OS 10.4.6 Update:

The 10.4.6 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies:
- login and authentication in a variety of network environments
- file access and byte range locking with AFP file sharing
- network access when using proxy server automatic configuration files
- connecting to Cisco VPN servers using IP/Sec
- using Bluetooth wireless devices
- searching iWork ’06 and Microsoft Office documents with Spotlight
- saving Word documents automatically when using a network home directory
- creating Automator workflows for iPhoto 6
- synchronizing contacts and calendars to .Mac and mobile phones
- mounting and unmounting iDisk volumes
- compatibility with third party applications and devices
- previous standalone security updates
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n303411.
For detailed information on Security Updates, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798.

As always, the PowerPage recommends waiting at least 72 hours before installing any software updates on a production machine.


Convert WMA to MP3 with EasyWMA

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Date: Monday, April 3rd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Software

Last week I posted a piece on my ZDNet blog about voice recorders lamenting that the new Olympus DS-2200 voice recorder (US$289) I purchased doesn’t yet work with Intel Macs.
So there I was, stuck with a bunch of MWA files that I created (including PowerPage Podcast #13) that I couldn’t do much with. I thought that I’d be able to simply open the WMA files in QuickTime Pro (via Flip4Mac) and convert them to something useful, but alas Flip4Mac isn’t compatible with Intel Macs either. Bleh.
A quick search of MacUpdate yielded a little nugget called EasyWMA a US$10 application that did exactly what I was looking for: converting WMA’s to MP3s.
EasyWMA accepts wma, asf, wmv, wav and features manual or automatic bit rate selection from the source, batch processing and ID3 tags support. Now I only wish Olympus would reimburse me the US$10.