Apple fixes disappearing Users folder “bug”

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Apple, iTunes, Mac, Software

blueitunes11logoThere was quite a bit of online discourse when a recent set of Apple updates rendered people’s Users folder invisible in OS X. The Mac Observer’s observations concluded that it was the iTunes 11.2 update rather that the 10.9.3 update as many initial thought, which seems to be confirmed by Apple’s release of iTunes 11.2.1 which fixes the problem. What confused the matter was that there were reports of Apple representatives telling people that it was intentional. After all the hacks and fiddling to restore the folder visibility, it seems that patience won out as Apple’s latest iTunes update restores visibility of the Users folder. Initially I was annoyed at the possibility that Apple was “dumbing down” OS X again, as it did when it made the user’s Library folder invisible, but as I thought about it, unlike accessing the Library folder (as an IT consultant and power user), I rarely if ever access the the Users folder. Fortunately that’s not the case and was just a “whoopsie”on Apple’s part, unless they are just backpedaling on their initial decision, so go out and update without worry.

Is Apple getting a bit slack about vetting software updates, in spite of the new beta program? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

Google is creeping onto your desktop

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Apps, Features, Google, Software

Chrome canary logoThis isn’t the first time Google has invaded the desktop space of other operating systems. Who remembers the train-wreck that was Google Desktop? However, this time Google might have it right…or at least close. Some of you may be aware of Chromium, the open-source project behind Google Chrome, which has nightly builds of the app which may squash bugs, introduce new ones, or add new “cutting-edge” features, which may not be ready for the general public. When a particular stable version gets the ok, Google cleans it up and releases it as an update to Google Chrome.

(more…)

No new hardware at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014, 09:09
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Mac, News, OS X, Software, WWDC

wwdc14 crop

We you eagerly anticipating a first glimpse of new Apple TV and iWatch hardware at WWDC? Hopefully you can settle for peeks at iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, because it sounds like that’s all we’re going to get. Sources have told Code/red that Tim Cook has no intention of parading out its upcoming hardware, or software associated with it, at the convention.

Healthbook-appicon

What you will probably see is a lot about Healthbook, Apple’s new health and fitness tracking app, which many speculate will tie in closely with the hardware of the iWatch. You can get a ton of info on Healthbook over at 9to5Mac with this article which covers it in quite a bit of detail.

How disappointed are you about the news? Will new iOS and OS X goodies be enough? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

Apple launches Beta Seed Program for consumers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, 09:57
Category: Apple, Mac, News, OS X, Software

maverickslogoApple is trying something new with its prerelease versions of OS X, it’s letting everyone take a crack at it. Tuesday, Apple launched the OS X Beta Seed Program which allows anyone with an Apple ID to download and try out beta versions of OS X. A complete FAQ for the program can be found here.

According to AppleInsider;

“It appears Apple has been quietly working to implement the new open beta policy for at least a couple of months via a “Feedback Assistant” that turned up in build 13D38 OS X 10.9.3 earlier this month. At the time, the standalone app’s purpose was unknown, though it is now believed to be part of the Beta Seed Program.”

I can see the potential benefits of having a greater number of people testing out new beta releases of OS X to work out bugs faster, which could speed up the turn-around for OS updates. I even know a number of people, including myself, who are power users that would love to try out new versions before they were released. My question, and concern, about this new program is…how useful is it really? Of the people who download the betas, how many will follow through with providing feedback, and how many will simply mess up their system because they don’t know any better, requiring a trip to the Genius Bar. How many “consumers” have the ability to send useful feedback?

If you are reading this and plan to join the program, just remember to create a full up-to-date backup of your computer(s). If anything does go wrong, be prepared to wipe your hard drive and restore everything from your backup. If you plan to try out the program, let us know and tell us why you’re doing it. Do you plan to send Apple valuable feedback, are you trying to solve a problem, or are you just curious?

 

 

Older versions of OS X to lose AIM iChat login support

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, 08:09
Category: Announcement, Apple, Lion, Mac, Mavericks, OS X, Software

ichat_logoIn a new support article, Apple has indicated its intention to remove the ability to use a mac.com or me.com ID to login to the AIM service via iChat on OS X systems older than 10.7.2 as of June 30th, 2014. To continue using the service, the article recommends either updating to 10.7.5 if you wish to continue using Lion, otherwise update to Mavericks using these instructions. If you can’t upgrade OS X, you can choose one of these methods to create a new AIM ID;

Creating a new AIM ID

  1. Create a new AIM ID from the AOL website.
  2. Add this new account to iChat by following the instructions in this article.
  3. Creating a new Apple ID requires you to re-add your buddies to your new buddy list. Re-add your buddies to your by following the instructions in this article.
  4. Remove your old mac.com account from iChat preferences.

 

 

Software Update Rundown for April 21st, 2014

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014, 09:54
Category: App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Mac, OS X, Software

software-updateWe’ll be posting info on updates of some of our favorite software along with some high profile apps that are pretty essential to anyone on a Mac or iThing, just in case you missed them. This information is brought to you by updates I get from developers and my own software use, but mostly by MacUpdate, although not officially, because that is what I use to keep all my apps up to date. I also like to add some value by throwing in some extra notes from my experiences. So let’s get to it!

 

Mac

calibre 1.33.0

This app is great if you want to access PDF documents, ePub books, or other readable, in different formats. Excellent for managing books on a Kindle from your Mac.

New Features

  • Edit book: Add a tool to check spellings, access it via Tools->Check spelling…. The calibre book editor now has builtin spellcheck. You can install new dictionaries via Preferences->Editor->Manage spelling dictionaries. It comes with builtin dictionaries for English and Spanish. You can add OpenOffice dictionaries (in .oxt format). The tool checks spellings in all HTML/OPF/NCX files in the book, taking into account any language declarations in the book, so that it will work correctly on multi-lingual books as well. The code is very new, so there may well be bugs. As you type spell checking is not yet implemented.
  • Kobo driver: Support firmware version 3.3
  • Device driver for Tolino Vision on windows

Bug Fixes

  • Amazon metadata download: Fix Editorial Reviews not downloading into the comments section for some books
  • DOCX Input: Fix some text highlighting colors in the DOCX file not being correctly translated during conversion.
  • Wireless device driver: Fix incorrect syncing behavior when book matching is run for a second time while connected. This happens when the user changes the library or selects ‘Update cached metadata on device’.
  • Searching: Fix searching by date not using the system locale to interpret dd/mm vs mm/dd dates on windows

New news sources

  • Various new and updated Spanish news sources by Marc Busque

Improved news sources

  • Barrons
  • Creative Blog

 

(more…)

Apple sends out latest 10.9.3 seed to developers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, 16:55
Category: Apple, Developer, Mac, MacBook Pro, Mavericks, News, Software

maverickslogoOn Tuesday, Apple released the latest build of OS X 10.9.3, designated ‘Build 13D43′. For this build, developers are being asked to focus their efforts on testing Graphics Drivers, Audio, Mail, Contacts and Calendar sync over USB in iTunes, and Safari. 10.9.3 also adds support for 4K displays, which offers improved readability and 60Hz output from a Retina display MacBook Pro.

Build releases are appearing closer together now, this one only a week after the previous seed. This is typically a sign that Apple is close to locking the update down in preparation for its release, so be on the lookout for 10.9.3 showing up in the App Store soon. Per usual, we recommend  that you make sure to backup your Macs before applying the update, and running Repair Permissions from Disk Utility before and after the update is a good idea too.

 

 

Update Rundown for April 14th, 2014

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 08:31
Category: Apps, Mac, Microsoft, Software

software-updateEvery so often we like to post info on updates of some of our favorite software along with some high profile apps that are pretty essential to anyone on a Mac. This information is brought to you by updates I get from developers, but mostly by MacUpdate, although not officially, because that is what I use to keep all my apps up to date. I also like to add some value by throwing in some extra notes from my experiences. So let’s get to it!

TaskTime4 5.1.5

This app for tracking your time and printing invoices has been my goto for my freelance work for years. It’s inexpensive ($20) and the developer is very responsive.

  • Interface tweaks
  • improved functioning of Category popup menu
  • fixed sorting project reports by clients
  • fixed pause button size problem with autopause enabled
  • fixed stop button issue (moved timing buttons to toolbar)
  • fixed reports bug

 

(more…)

WWDC confirmed for June 2nd-6th

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 4th, 2014, 09:59
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Mac, OS X, Software, WWDC

wwdc14 crop

It was announced Thursday that Apple’s yearly developers’ conference will be held June 2nd through the 6th at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. However, this year Apple has decided to “think different” (I had to) with its handling of ticket sales. According to Engadget, Apple has already opened ticket sales on its website, but will now select attendees randomly instead of a first-come-first-served basis. The WWDC web site states;

“The opportunity to buy tickets to WWDC 2014 will be offered by random selection. Register by Monday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. PDT for your chance to attend. We will let you know your status by email on Monday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.”

Once selected and notified, you will then be able to purchase your ticket. Tickets are selling for $1599 and in order to be selected, you need to be a current member of the iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or Mac Developer Program as of the announcement of WWDC (April 3, 2014 at 5:30 a.m. PDT).

Rumors have it that Apple plans to unveil iOS 8 at WWDC, but that seems a little soon to me. What do you think?

 

 

Ted Landau retires as expo speaker

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 4th, 2014, 08:24
Category: Announcement, conference, History, Mac

Ted-LandauIn a session entitled “Confessions of an Apple Writer”, Ted Landau recounted his career writing about the Mac, which has existed practically as long as the Mac itself. He began the session by announcing that he was retiring as a Macworld/iWorld speaker and cutting back on his writing duties. As he reason, he offered, “Well, it’s just that time in my life.”. Currently a Senior Contributor at Macworld Magazine, he talked about his first “article” which was a submission to a Mac newsletter in which he described how to change the “Welcome to Macintosh” startup message using software called ResEdit.

 

(more…)