Monday, December 5, 2022

Windows switchers start here

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by Giorgos Simonides


There is no end of advice out there for the switcher who wants to try a Mac in order to see if it beats Windows. But I was highly impressed by the article by Preston Gralla of Computerworld published this week on MacWorld's web site. Preston Gralla, as I learned, is a die-hard PC fan who has often come under attack from Macistas for his fervid support of the Seattle OS. Now, though, he has written about his experience of giving up his PC and living for two weeks with a Mac. 

The result, surprisingly for PC fans, is strongly in favour of the OS X operating system which he reckons beats all current versions of Windows. In getting to this verdict, though, he went through a number of hoops that will be of interest to any Windows users who fancy changing to Mac. The whole process is relatively simple, as Preston says, and the result is well worth the effort of learning some new ways.

He also installed a virtual PC machine within his Mac. For economy he chose the free Virtual Box from Sun, although he could have gone for the more mainstream (paid) options of either Parallels Desktop or VM Ware's Fusion. Whichever you choose, you have the ability to run Windows within the Mac OS, in a window or full screen, with very few compromises.

For some strange reason, the Mac he was presented with was the Air. He loved it (and has now gone on to buy one because he reckons it is so lustworthy) but the Air does have one or two quirks and compromises. While I think he would have done better with a MacBook, he liked the Air so well and didn't dock any marks from the overall Mac experience. 

If you are thinking of switching, you must read this article before doing anything else. 

Scupper the MacBook thief with Dropbox and Hazel

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Thanks to 40Tech for this educational review of getting your own back on the thief of your MacBook. Using a combination of Dropbox and Noodlesoft’s...

Batteries, batteries, batteries: Where we go from here?

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For the past twelve months I've been testing a Nissan Leaf, the all-electric motoring solution. Surprisingly, not only is it supremely quiet and economical, charged from my home port, it is fast, comfortable and very refined. In fact, it feels like a small limousine, considerably more refined even than an equivalent Audi A3 or VW Golf. I would buy an electric car in a heartbeat if it weren't for one snag: Range.

Things you won’t like about the iPhone 5

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The Sim Apple has opted for a whole new size of Sim card for the iPhone 5. The nano-Sim is 40% smaller...

Speedy Mac gives quick access to folders, apps and data

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Speedy_mac_screenEvery so often a little program comes along to make life so much easier. One such is Speedy Mac from Altomac. This little utility sits on the OS X menu bar and provides direct access to files, folders and applications through a simple menu list. It is so much easier and more convenient that using Finder or, even, starting a program from the dock. 

In Speed Mac preferences you can add frequently used files or folders, favourite or often-used applications. You can list preferred web sites, if you wish, but the main charm of Speedy Mac is in opening frequently used data. 

It doesn't do anything that you can't do yourself in a few steps, but the beauty of it is that there is only one step in every case. And you don't have to search. It even remembers and lists recent applications and files.

I started using Speedy Mac last month after reading a MacWorld article and I'm completely sold on its benefits. This one is definitely worth a try.

Mission Control comes to Lion, the next OS X upgrade

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155032-lion-camerashot_original Lion it is, and we will have it from next summer. At today's press conference we were told that Lion would mark the convergence of OS X with iOS4, with many of the popular features of the iPhone and iPad being introduced to the Mac. First innovation is a Mac App Store to provide an easier way to buy and keep apps updated. It will work just like the iOS App Store and developers will take their 70% while Apple snaffles 30%. I can see some established Mac developers having a few misgivings about this, but I think they will see the benefits in greater sales once buying and choosing Mac programs is more straightforward and enjoyable. The good news, too, is that the Mac App Store will come within 90 days as part of the current Snow Leopard OS. 

We will have to wait until summer for the other new features of Lion. I was pleased to see the increased emphasis on productivity by merging Spaces and Expose into one new feature called Mission Control. I've never really got to like Spaces and Expose but I am looking forward to trying the new features.  

Apple WWDC: When the whole is greater than the sum

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Yesterday Apple came of age, iOS moved into the big school and OSX Mavericks will have gladdened the hearts of power...

iBookStore: Will Apple be too controlling for iPad’s good?

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Great article today by David Gewirtz on ZDNet about the lessons Apple can learn from Amazon in the eBook market. David praises Amazon’s business model, in particular the opening of the Kindle eco-system to Macs, PCs, iPhones and other devices. Like me, David has a Kindle library but doesn’t own a Kindle: he reads the books on his iPhone. He suggests that a Kindle library is future-proof and, as I have mentioned many times, it doesn’t depend on just one device. He also praises Amazon’s open strategy where, in particular, even seconhand books are offered as an alternative when looking for a title. 

When it comes to Apple and the iPad, he voices his concern that Apple will wish to control its market too closely, perhaps even deciding to ban certain books if the subject matter isn’t to its liking. He contrasts Apple’s secretive, controlling methods with Amazon’s more open and communicative persona. I had a good giggle over his reference to Kim Il Jobs......

Read the full article here

iPhone 4S: UK and US price comparisons look good

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Before-tax prices in the US and Britain are roughly equivalent. It’s only our higher sales taxes that push up the cost and create the first $1,000-plus phone

iMac upgrade: No surprises but welcome speed boost

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No big surprises in this morning’s iMac upgrades and it’s good to get confirmation that the rumours were more or less spot on. We...