Davao Mac User


OmniGroup now offering four paid-for apps as freeware

OmniGroup announced this week four of their applications are now available as freeware.

OmniDiskSweeper, OmniDazzle, OmniWeb, and OmniObjectMeter used to be paid-for apps but are now free to download from the OmniGroup website.

In their blog, Omni Mouth, the company explains their reason for making these four apps available for free (concentrate engineering resources to other projects) as well as dispel concerns that these will be discontinued (no, they’re not) or will no longer be updated (yes, they still will but not as often).

OmniDiskSweeper is a Mac OS utility that helps finds large files that may just be taking up space in your hard drive.

OmniDazzle is a screen effects application that can highlight portions of your screen, create visual effects, and track your mouse pointer.

OmniWeb, an alternative browser for the Mac while OmniObjectMeter is used by developers to optimize memory usage of their applications.

Find out more or download these free applications at OmniGroup’s website.


Filed under: third-party, ,

23 Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch reviewed

If you’re a Twitter fan and own an iPhone or iPod touch but have not yet installed a Twitter client app on your i-Device, I say, shame on you.

You ought to have a Twitter client or two or three, maybe even four, on your iPhone by now.

There in lies the problem.

To date, there are over 20 Twitter clients in the App Store. One can get real confused with all the choices available. What are you going to do, try them all one by one?

Well, you don’t have to.

The good folks at iLounge have devoted time and resources in putting together the most comprehensive review of Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch that I know of.

Twenty-three all in all.

I won’t give you the gory details, just click on the link and be informed.

As a spoiler, the two highest rated apps are Tweetie ($3) and Twitterfon (free).

I got Twitterific (free) but trying out Twitterfon. Haven’t gotten it to work yet.

But I’m more of a Plurk user now. Using the free Plurk client, Plurk. Not as slick as I want it to be but that’s another post.

Filed under: iPhone, iPod touch, Social Networking, third-party, , ,

Safari 4 problems and annoyances

It’s been approximately 24 hours since Apple released the public beta of Safari 4 and reports of bugs and crashes have started appearing in various discussion forums and blogs.

One of the issues I had was losing support for 1Password, a password management tool for the Mac. Thankfully, this issue has been resolved with today’s release of 1Password version 2.9.9.

Aside from third-party apps issues, MacFixIt also lists startup fails, crashing of Mail, and Gmail, Hotmail and other web apps not working.

Safari 4 beta has also earned the ire of some Mac users especially regarding the repositioning of the tab bar and the disappearance of the blue progress bar. Turns out that some of these changes can be reversed by accessing some hidden preferences in Safari 4.

The blog, Random Genius, has posted a list of Terminal Commands that, among other things, can bring back the blue progress bar, return the tab bar to its original Safari 3 position, remove Cover flow and more. For the adventurous and truly desperate, check out Random Genius.

For me, I get queasy even just thinking about opening Terminal. Eventually, I’ll get used to Safari 4’s new interface. I hope. Change is good. Hope and change. That’s what 2009 is all about.

Filed under: Safari, ,

Safari 4 beta: my first impressions [u]

Apple has released Safari version 4 beta for both Mac and Windows.

I gave it a try today and I’m giving my impressions on some of the new features.

One obvious change is the moving of the tabs to the top of the browser window instead of having it beneath the bookmarks bar. Kind of disorienting at first but I’m slowly getting used to it.

The currently used or active tab will have a lighter shade of gray as compared to the non-active tabs. If you have 2 to 6 tabs open, they’ll all have the same width. But once you have 7 or more tabs in the tab bar, the tab currently being used will be wider than the other tabs.

Each tab has on its left-hand side an X inside a box, clicking it closes the tab. On the right-hand portion is a triangle (called the ‘handle’) which lets you to drag the tab to a new location on the tab bar or drag it out of the tab bar to create a new window. I’m finding this a tad annoying as I have to focus my pointer one small area of that tab as compared to just clicking on any part of the tab to move or drag it. Then again, the handle does let me drag an open window with no other tabs open and move it the tab bar of another window, something I couldn’t do in Safari 3.

When it comes to opening new tabs, aside from the keyboard shortcut Command-T, in Safari 3 you can open a new tab by clicking on the empty space beside the right-most tab. This is an undocumented feature. This works as long as you only have about 10 tabs open. But once a window has more than 15 tabs (which I tend to have often), that empty space becomes inaccessible.

In Safari 4, Opening a new tab is as easy as clicking on the “+” button rightmost side of the tab bar. Very convenient.

One thing I’ve noticed is that I sometimes need to click on inactive tab twice or thrice to activate it. Not sure if it’s my mouse acting up or some bug in the beta.

Top Sites
Also new to Safari 4 is Top Sites, a visual representation of your most visited sites. This idea is nothing new. Google Chrome and a Firefox plugin has had this before Safari 4. Apple has made it look better and more useful though.

By default, Top Sites shows thumbnails of your most visited websites, arranged in a 4 x 4 grid in a pseudo-3D interface. You can adjust the size of the thumbnails by choosing Large (6 thumbnails), Medium (16 thumbnails), or Small (24 thumbnails).

The thumbnails can be rearranged by clicking on the Edit button found at the lower left corner of the screen. You can tack a website to one specific location on the grid by ‘pinning’ it to that location. When a favorite website has been updated, a star will appear on the upper right-hand corner of the thumbnail.

You can set every new tab or new window to open Top Sites in Preferences > General.

Full-Page Zoom
Sometimes, when reading a long article or blog post, I’l use the Zoom In option in Safari 3 to enlarge the text so that I can sit back on my chair and read. But this would often result to messing the webpage up with sentences overlapping images and putting things where they shouldn’t be.

The Full-Page Zoom feature lets you zoom in or out of the page, making the font size bigger or smaller while scaling images and graphics, preserving the layout of the page.

Full-Page Zoom tend to accentuate some of the low-quality images on a website. Full-Page Zoom didn’t work while I’m writing this post on WordPress. You can turn on the Zoom Text Only option under View in the menu bar.

Cover Flow

One more cool thing about Safari 4 beta is the use of Cover Flow when viewing bookmarks as well as history. Very nice eye candy and very useful. One issue I’m having is not because of Safari itself but with my Logitech VX Revolution’s scroll-whell ratchet mechanism which causes me to skip items on Cover Flow for every roll of the wheel. Not a problem for most users though.

Other features include smart address field, smart search field, and phishing and malware protection.

There are two other changes I forgot to mention. First, the refresh button has been moved into the URL address field. Second, the blue progress bar which indicates that a webpage is still loading has been changed into a spinning wheel which overlays the refresh button inside the URL address field. I’m still getting used to the relocation of the refresh button.

I find the Full-Page Zoom feature to be impractical when using a 15-inch, standard aspect ratio (4:3) monitor. The webpage becomes too large for the screen when I zoom in and I have to use the horizontal scroll bar to view the right side of an article. It would be a good idea to use the Zoom Text Only option.

One annoyance with Safari is when it comes to zooming in/out or increasing/decreasing font size. Ctrl-scroll wheel down results to zooming in or an increase in the font size while ctrl-scroll wheel up is zoom out or a decrease in the font size.

But for Firefox, Google Chrome, and IE, the exact opposite holds true: ctrl-scroll wheel up for increasing font size and ctrl-scroll wheel down for decreasing font size.

Apple is going against the grain on this one and their approach is counter-intuitive. Doesn’t it make more sense for scrolling up to zoom in and scrolling down to zoom out?

Under the Hood
Safari 4 is using the new Nitro Engine which lets it execute JavaScripts up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3.

I think I’m noticing some spiffiness but not that much.

Safari 4 also adds HTML 5 media and offline support, CSS effects, CSS canvas, Acid 3 compliance and Speculative Loading.

CNET’s own tests show Safari 4 to be 42 times faster than IE7, 6 times faster than IE8, 3.5 times faster than Firefox and 1.2 times faster than Google Chrome. Check out the graphs and read more here.

AppleInsider looks into the UI changes and how that ties into the Snow Leopard.

Get to know more about all the features, old and new, at Safari 4 beta’s feature page.

Download it here.

Filed under: Safari, ,

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Today’s the 54th birthday of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.

Wishing him a great birthday and I hope he is well.

Filed under: Apple, Inc., ,

New Mac OS 10.6 screenshots show interface tweaks

AppleInsider has screenshots from World of Apple that shows a revised Keyboard Shortcuts Preference pane in Systems Preference.

Another new feature is the ability to open nested folders within Stack. Demonstration of this feature can be seen here.

There’s also a new Put Back option which returns a file in the trashed items to its original location. Much more convenient than dragging the file back into its original folder or to the desktop.

Developers have nixed the idea of an early release for Snow Leopard saying the current build of Snow Leopard still require considerable refinement.

Filed under: OS X, ,

A post chockful of iLife ’09 and Work ’09 reviews and tips

It has been almost a month since the release of iLife ’09 and a little more than that for iWork ’09. There had been a lot of reviews, almost all of them positive, about Apple’s latest iteration of their office and multimedia suite. There also have been a fair number of useful tips posted for these new apps.

This post is about a month’s worth of iLife ’09 and iWork ’09 reviews and tips. Most of the tips come from Macworld, a very good resource for the latest news, reviews and everything else Mac.

One more thing: posting iLife ’09 or iWork ’09 reviews may seem like I’m preaching to the choir. But if you are planning to purchase iLife ’09, iWork ’09 or both, it’s better to know the strengths and weaknesses of the apps that you’re getting from these suites.

One last thing: PowerPC Mac owners should know ahead of time that one feature in GarageBand may not work for them. Ars Technica reported that one of the system requirements for GarageBand’s Learn to Play is “an Intel-based Mac with a dual-core processor or better”.

Use the keyboard to entering formula in Numbers ’09
Swap texture fills among iWork ’09 apps

Creating slideshows with titles and watermarks
Extracting audio from movies
Adding new locations to iMovie ’09
Changing how iPhoto ’09’s Add New Faces box resizes
Getting audio in to your Mac
iMovie photo management
Apple’s bug fixes for iLife ’09

GarageBand ’09
iMovie ’09
iPhoto ’09
iWeb ’09
iPhoto and iMovie ’09 (podcast)

iLife ’09
PC Mag
USA Today
Wall Street Journal

iWork ’09
PC Advisor
PC Mag
Sydney Morning Herald

Filed under: iLife, iWork, , ,

Apple: there are compatibility issues with iWork ’09 files

Apple has acknowledged that iWork ’09 files can not be opened by users still using iWork ’08.

The work around for this issue is to save iWork ’09 files as iWork ’08 or Microsoft Office files.

[source: MacNN]

Filed under: iWork

Adobe says Acrobat, Reader has vulnurablities to affects Mac versions as well

Adobe announced that Adobe Acrobat and Reader has a bug that could let a malicious attacker take control of your computer. Affected versions are from versions 7 to 9.

I don’t know about you but when it comes to reading PDF files, I find Apple’s Preview to work just fine. When I first got a Mac, one of the first apps I installed was Acrobat Reader for the Mac. I soon found out that it did something funky to my 800 Mhz iBook and Preview made it redundant.

I deleted Acrobat Reader and since then never found any reason to want to use it again.

[source: Macworld]

Filed under: third-party,

Macworld review: White MacBook Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics

As far as system updates go, the changes to new white MacBook are welcome, if subtle. The new faster graphics will make casual gamers happy, and who doesn’t like additional RAM? Though the slightly slower processor didn’t help performance any, this new white MacBook is a solid entry-level product. And if you need a Mac portable with FireWire, it’s your most affordable choice, with the cheapest MacBook Pro costing twice as much as the white MacBook.

[source: Macworld]

Filed under: MacBook, , ,


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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