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FAQ when choosing a Mac

Walt Mossberg has FAQ for those who are thinking of buying a Mac. Below are some questions that he answers in the FAQ:

  • Who should consider a Mac?
  • Who shouldn’t consider The Mac?
  • Can I run Microsoft Office on a Mac?
  • Can I use all my Windows files on a Mac?
  • Can I mix Macs and Windows on the same home network?
  • Can Macs run standard peripheral hardware?
  • What minimum specs should I look for on a Mac?
This is a good read for those who are considering in getting a Mac. It’s also for those who have friends or relatives who are asking about the Mac. Give them the link to Mossberg’s FAQ to have some of their questions answered.
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Filed under: Uncategorized

Tweak that Leopard Dock and Menu Bar

Some Leopard users are really hung up about the look of the new Dock under Leopard. Some consider ‘hate’ as too mild a term to describe what they feel every time they see the 3D dock. Hacks into the terminal can turn that 3D Dock into the 2D strip seen in Tiger.

Others seem to like the 3D Dock but not in its current state. LeopardDocks.com has a tutorial on how to replace the 3D dock or how to make it 2D.

The site also has a gallery of 3D Dock mods users have submitted. There’s Chain Link, Dark Cherry, Grass, Real Marble, and many more.

Another hack is for bringing back the hierarchal browsing in the Dock. With Stacks, Apple has removed the ability to right-click an item on the right side of the Dock to access the hierarchal menu. The Unofficial Apple Weblog suggests using the free to download Hierarchy as a solution to bring back the now missing feature.

TUAW has declared the problem of the translucent Menu bar as solved. This does require hacking into the innards of Mac OS. Not for the newbie, novice, amateur or the faint of heart.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Prince McLean’s Road to Mac Office 2008

AppleInsider’s at it again. After bringing us the nuts and bolts of Leopard, they’ve brought Microsoft Office 2008 in focus.

Prince McLean is back again with his dissection of Office 2008: its history and a comparison with the competition: iWork 08.

The road to Office 2008 starts with an introduction then the installation experience and a discussion about the user interface.

The series continutes with an Office 2008 vs iWork 08 face off. Word vs Pages. Excel vs Number. Powerpoint vs Keynote.

Word vs Pages

  • In Word 2008, Page Layout View is renamed as Print Layout View. A new Publishing Layout View is added.
  • In editing Autoshapes in Word, you still have to click OK in the editing window every time you want to see the changes made in a shape. In Pages, changes are reflected as you make them.
  • There’s no WordArt equivalent nor a bibliography feature in Pages.
  • Pages has strong graphics and composition tools.
  • Word 2008 now supports Automator while giving up VBA macros. However, Automator support will setback interested parties $300. 

Excel vs Numbers

  • Excel 2008 supports 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns
  • Excel’s formula bar is not integrated into the spreadsheet window but is instead it has its own window.
  • Numbers only has half the functions of Excel. Can’t do pivot tables, has weak statistical and financial functions, and has no engineering or database functions.
  • Numbers’ templates are consumer oriented. More professional templates are needed.
  • Excel has more charting options like radar, surface, X-Y scatter charts.
  • Numbers uses the same non-modal editing like in Pages, allowing you to see changes as you are making them. 
  • Numbers’ 3D charts can be tilted, rotated, given shadows and texture.
  • Though Excel has is more powerful and has more features than Numbers, Excel 2008 might turn off those who plan to use it for business. Numbers is for those with ‘less technical needs’.
Powerpoint vs Keynote
  • Powerpoint 2008 cut the number of view modes from five down to three: Normal, Slide Sorter, and Slide Show.
  • You can now rearrange slides in the sidebar in Powerpoint 2008.
  • Unlike in Keynote where slide transitions is previewed in the Inspector, you have to switch to Slide Show to see what a transition looks like in Powerpoint.
  • Tables in Powerpoint are nothing to write home about. Formatting Palette is awkward to use like those in other Office apps. 
  • You can’t do charts in Powerpoint without Excel. They’re tied together in this task. Keynote is independent of Numbers when it comes to making charts for presentations. 
  • SmartArt Graphics in Powerpoint make it easy to “make it easy to lay out automated designs”. Keynote doesn’t have anything comparable.
  • Both presentation softwares can export to the same formats but Keynote has more options. Export QuickTime movies under Keynote preserves animations and interactive hyperlinks can be used.
  • Powerpoint has weak graphical presentation tools and the modal approach to editing makes it annoying to edit presentations. 
  • Keynote has better templates, animation and transition sets. Added features like Instant Alpha for erasing backgrounds, Smart Builds, intelligent masking and image editing tools makes Keynote far superior than Powerpoint. 

Microsoft Office 2008 starts at $150. iWork 08 costs $79. $69.99 in Amazon.com.

Filed under: third-party

Old news: Mac OS 10.5.1 update out; freezing iMacs patch out, too

Here’s a bit of old news. Apple released an update to their latest operating system. That was fast. Less than a month of Leopard’s release. Three weeks to be more precise.

Fire up your Software Update, Leopard owners or you can download it manually from Apple’s website.

Also released last week was Apple’s fix for freezing iMac displays. The iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 (link to Apple’s website) is “for 20-inch and 24-inch aluminum iMac computers with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor.” Not all aluminum iMacs need this update. If you don’t have the required hardware, the update won’t show up in your Software Update.

Filed under: OS X

Twenty updates from Apple

MacMerc.com lists 20 updates Apple released in the week or so.

Security Update 2007-008 (10.3.9 Client)
Security Update 2007-008 (10.3.9 Server)
Soundtrack Pro 2.0.2
Server Admin Tools 10.4.11
Final Cut Pro 6.0.2
DVD Studio Pro 4.2.1
Motion 3.0.2
Color 1.0.2
Cinema Tools 4.0.1
Compressor 3.0.2
Pro Applications Update 2007-02
iPhoto 7.1.1
Mac OS X 10.4.11 Combo Update (PPC)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 Update (Intel)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 Combo Update (Intel)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 Update (PPC)
Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 Update (Universal)
Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 Combo Update (Universal)
Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 Update (PPC)
Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 Combo Update (PPC)

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leopard’s mosaic screen saver

I didn’t even know that this feature exists until I heard it from a podcast. I think it was the MacCast Loop or the Typical Mac User Podcast. There is a screensaver option creates a photo mosaic out of pictures in iPhoto. The effect is hypnotic, according to Michael Rose. From what I understand the effect goes something like A picture will first show up on the screen and it will slowly zoom out revealing more pictures in the process. Then the pictures will resolve into a mosaic of a picture from your iPhoto library and this will just go on and on and on.

I think this is a really cool feature. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about this until after the Davao Mac Users Group meeting. I couldn’t have demoed it anyway since I don’t have iPhoto ’08 yet.

Can’t wait to try this out soon.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mac ultra-portable at Macworld San Francisco 2008 – AppleInsider

AppleInsider is reporting that their sources is telling them an ultra-compact, ultra-portable Mac is going to be introduced next year at Macworld San Francisco. The much rumored, much anticipated sub-Macbook will be 50 per cent lighter and much slimmer than the Macbook Pro. The ultra-portable is shedding off some flab by getting rid of the optical drive. A NAND-based drive will result into faster boot times and better power efficiency. Also contributing to power efficiency is the adoption of a 13-inch LED display. MWSF will be held on January 15 to 18, 2008. More from AppleInsider.

Filed under: Uncategorized

The good and the bad in the Leopard

The Unofficial Apple Weblog asked its readers to vote for the little good things and the little bad things in Leopard. What topped the ‘Good‘ list are Quick Look, an improved Finder, and iCal Dock icon showing the correct date. The top ‘Bad‘ things are the changing Stacks icons, two step edit of iCal’s info, and Spaces pulling you away from dialog sheets. That last bit’s got me confused though. I don’t know what that means. I’m surprised the translucent menu bar and 3D Dock didn’t make the ‘Bad’ list. Then again, the topic’s been talked about, discussed and argued ad nauseam.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mac tip for newbies: Guest accounts part 2

On a previous post, I talked about Jeff Gamut’s tips on creating Guest accounts. Setting up a guest accounts lets your family and friends to use your Mac without having to deal with the worry they might accidentally close or delete a project you were working on. But does having a guest account also let’s you dictate what a guest user can or cannot do or use? Yes, and this is where Parental Controls comes in.

Jeff Gamut returns to discuss the finer points of Parental Controls, a new feature under Leopard. Using Parental Controls you will be able to limit what applications your guests can open and what websites they can access. There’s also a nifty feature for parents where they can limit the number of hours their child spends on the Mac on weekdays and weekends. A bedtime limit restricts access to the Mac in a specific time period when the child is supposed to be asleep.

Read more of Jeff Gamut’s quick tip of Parental Controls here.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Finding Leopard’s intro movie and music

Victor Cajiao who does the The Typical Mac User podcast has a tip on how to grab the Mac OS 10.5 intro movie and music.

It involves digging into the Core Services folder and after six folders down, TA-DA!. The movie doesn’t play any music so the mp3 file has to play simultaneously with the movie on launching Leopard for the first time.

Filed under: OS X,

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On July 21, I moved my blog to its own server.

So www.davaomacuser.com no longer points to davaomacuser.wordpress.com.

I've already got a few new posts over there so please join me at www.davaomacuser.com.

See you there. Thanks!

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