Saturday, April 30, 2005

Catch the Tiger by the tail!

Well folks, Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" is finally out! The long wait is thankfully over. Nate, Steve & I took our families to the Northpoint Mall in Alpharetta, GA for the Launch event at the Apple Store last night at 6:00pm. The store was closed when we got there and they were routing traffic to the store to a nearby store that was closed for remodeling. When 6:00pm hit, the mall security got us to the store pretty quickly and the line of Mac-nuts filed in ready to purchase.

Now, no real schwag to give out this time - re: no tee-shirts . Instead, upon entering, diligent Apple Store employees handed out a scratch-ticket for a cool contest for each shopper. The big prize was a PowerBook G4. I got a Free iTunes song and found another ticket for 10% off of a total purchase price for anything bought last night in the store. I handed that to my friend Steve to use when purchasing our 5 License Tiger Family Pack as well as Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Macromedia Dreamweaver, for Nate. Came in handy! My coolest girlfriend Julie, gave me her scratch-ticket for another iTunes song. She is the bestest! From what I have gleened, the event was a great success! Still, I wish I won that PowerBook...

I installed Tiger today on a firewire external drive that was a clone of my 1 GHz PowerBook G4's hard drive. Once again, my sweet girlfriend Julie came through and let me use her 80GB Que drive for my install. Installation was flawless once my drive was cloned and ready to go. I highly recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to clone your drive if you want to go that way. I find that doing a "test" install on a cloned drive is the best way to work out any app conflicts and or work out bugs without destroying your working system. Thus far, I am highy impressed with the speed of Tiger and the neat new Spotlight and Dashboard apps. One caveat on my approval of Dashboard - where the hell do you configure the new widget toolbar? Downloading new widgets will automatically install them to your ~/library/widgets folder, but support in the System Preference pane for Dashboard/Expose is nearly non-existent. All you can do is chose a keyboard shortcut key to launch or close Dashboard. This needs a fix in my opinion.

The built-in RSS feed reader in Safari RSS, is pretty neat if that is what you look for in a web browser. It renders this blog quite well and I will continue to evaluate it. Thing is, I really don't know about the whole idea of it. I mean, If I want to surf, I will surf sites on the web. Using a web browser, no matter how nice it renders RSS feeds, is still not an aggregator/rss reader. The aggregator is all about saving browse time by putting all your news subscriptions in one easy to find place. Safari RSS doesn't do that. Someone will have to convince me that this feature is really a feature. That being said, this was the least impressive new item in Tiger. I am still very impressed with the new feel, speed and finder improvements.

I will take a look at Automator and see just what is possible with this workflow processor. I think that for the Mac enthusiast, this will be a great timesaver. For the Mac Pro however, it looks to be not configurable enough to be a huge boost for productivity. Time will tell. Anyway, Mactastic people from all over, go out and get yourself a copy of Tiger and get to it. It's worth the wait. More to come as Nate and I fiddle, fool and experiment with Tiger.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Adobe to swallow Macromedia whole...

Wow, looks like the folks at our friendly neighborhood graphics conglomerate, have decided they need to be larger by a whole bunch. Macromedia has finally succumbed to the hive and will now be known as 6 of 7. Or something like that. In an all-stock purchase in the amount of $3.4 Billion, Macromedia will be swallowed-up like Johah by the whale. Check out the Adobe press release here. You can also check out Macromedia's release here. I guess it's a wait-and-see on just how this will effect Mac graphics users in the long run. Hopefully, the fusion will create some truly spectacular new software - or at least, some better integrated ones.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Safari 1.3 update

Looks like there are more serious issues with Safari after the 10.3.9 update. Crap. Get yourself over to Macfixit for more info...

Panther 10.3.9 is out the door. Tiger, here we come...

Well, 10.3.9 is out as promised. I upgraded and encountered no real issues other than one. Safari 1.3 apparenly is not very compatible with browser add-ins like AcidSearch. Sure enough, I had it already installed and after doing the upgrade, Safari wouldn't launch. Actually, it crashed immediately after launch. I figured I would rule out any prefs problems and add-ins, and sure enough, removing AcidSearch did the trick. I also did some searching around on Macintouch and MacNN and found a supporting post from Jason Overby on Macintouch.
"After installing the 10.3.9 update, Safari crashed repeatedly. Only after some poking around, I found that AcidSearch was the culprit. This normally resides in the SIMBL folder created in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL. I also have Safari Source installed there but there appear to no problems with that. So, if others are having trouble with Safari crashes, check to see what, if any, third party add-ons you have."

I recommend that you check out the Apple Tech article on 10.3.9 before installing About the Mac OS X 10.3.9 Update (Delta).

Also, we got updates for iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto and the iSight cam. I am especially fond of the iPhoto update, as that baby launches like ten times faster now! Thanks Apple. Can't wait to get my greasy little mitts on Tiger. Just 12 more days...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Heya!

Hello and welcome! CD here. Nate and I look forward to discussing everything "Mac" in the coming days, weeks & months. We welcome your suggestions on topics of interest for this the greatest computing platform on the planet. Gadgetry, software, Apple hardware, periphs and more will be our bread & butter, but we will also stray into various other miscellany as well. Hey, we're well rounded geeks! Anyway, we look forward to "gettin' it done for the Mac"!

P.S. Look for a Mactastic Podcast to come shortly...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Welcome

Well here we go. The first post to our new site title Mactastic.com. What is Mactastic you ask... Well, it represents anything that we fellow uber-mac geeks see as being a cool product developed for the Mac platform or incredible stories of uses for the Mac. Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone that has happened upon this new site and to let you know that this is only the beginning. Check back often and stay up to date with the mactastic things happening in the world of Apple.