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Free iPhone and desktop astronomy apps: one day only [u2]

Man on the moon

To help commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first manned lunar missionCarina Software is offering two of their applications as free downloads for a very limited time.

SkyVoyager and SkyGazer are astronomy apps for the iPhone and Mac, respectively. These are excellent tools for people like me who enjoy watching the night sky.

These two apps can be downloaded for free only on July 20th. I’ve already downloaded the SkyVoyager app (retails for $14.99, I think). I’m just waiting for a website update for the SkyGazer software.

Thanks to TUAW.

Update:

It turns out I was wrong.

The bad news is SkyGazer is not a free download as I’ve mentioned earlier.

The good news is SkyGazer 4.5 and Voyager 4.5 are on sale for only $0.01 each.

Not exactly free but you can’t beat the $0.01 price tag.

I was also mistaken when I implied that SkyGazer was a Mac only software. Both SkyGazer and Voyager applications are available for Mac and Windows.

By the way, regular price for the downloadable version of SkyGazer is $29.95 and for Voyager, it’s $99.95.

Update 2:

Carina Software has suspended the $0.01 sale of both SkyGazer and Voyager desktop astronomy software for Mac and Windows due to server overload, according to The Mac Observer.

However, their iPhone apps, SkyVoyager and SkyGazer, are still free until the end of the day.

Filed under: App Store, iPhone OS, OS X, , ,

Update: iMovie 8.0.4

iMovieiMovie 8.0.4 “improves overall stability and fixes a number of other minor issues. The issues addressed include:

  • Fixed a problem with incorrect rotation when working with video created by iPhone 3GS.
  • Resolved instability when adding multiple beat markers in some languages.
  • Corrected an issue where iMovie could become unresponsive after using fine-tuning controls beyond the stabilized portions of a clip.”

This update is recommended for all iMovie ’09 users and can be downloaded via Software Update utility or direct from Apple’s Support page (35.6MB).

Filed under: iLife,

Update: iTunes 8.2.1

iTunes

iTunes 8.2.1 has been released and though this minor update still has the same obfuscated “provides a number of important bug fixes…”, this time around one thing is clear: an additional “…and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices” has cut short Palm’s effort to pull a fast one on Apple.

According to AppleInsider, the 8.2.1 update kills the Palm Pre’s ability to sync with iTunes. This comes after Apple’s warning last month saying they can’t guarantee that “newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players.” However, Palm has already advised Pre user of a fix: don’t update.

Kidding aside, one wonders what Palm’s next move will be. I hope it’s something aside from camouflaging the Pre as an iPod.

You can download iTunes 8.2.1 via Software Update utility or directly from Apple’s iTunes page. Download size lists it as 77.3MB, and 75MB for the 64-bit Windows version.

My Mac’s Software Update utility hasn’t found this update yet. Might opt for a manual download instead.

Filed under: iTunes,

Get a simple yet powerful photo editing software for free [u]

Aurora

I caught this product news at The Mac Observer website: Light Crafts, a company that makes powerful, yet easy-to-use and learn digital photo editing software, is offering for a very limited period one of the applications for free to download and own.

Aurora is described as a “powerfully simple visual photo editing, organizing, sharing and storing software that brings out the best in your photos” and is geared towards consumers. You can visit Light Crafts’ Aurora page to know more.

If you’re ready to get your free copy, just click on the “Buy Now for $19.95” button. Then look for the “Discount Coupon” field and type in the code FREE24 then press the button right beside it. Don’t worry, once the coupon code has been applied they won’t ask you for any credit card or other payment information. However, you need to give them a valid email address because that’s where they’ll send you the registration code.

Again, Aurora can be downloaded for free for a very limited time only. This offer will end July 16, 2009 at 9:14 AM EST or July 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM, Manila time. After this promo period, Aurora can be purchased for $19.95 and is available for both Mac and Windows.

Update:

I forgot to mention that once you’ve done with the order form, Light Crafts will send you two emails: the first confirms your order and the second gives you your registration/activation information and a link where you can download a copy of Aurora. The link has an expiration date and there’s a limit to the number of times you can download the software. Aurora for Mac is a 44MB download.

Filed under: third-party,

iPhone OS 3.1 beta 2 released

iPhone OS 3.0Apple has seeded beta 2 of iPhone OS 3.1 to developers. One of the new features include being able to connect to a system through Wi-Fi, according to AppleInsider. This potentially could allow syncing without the use of a USB cable though Apple has warned that physical tethering is still the preferred method for its speed and lesser power consumption.

Voice Control via Bluetooth headset is now possible, eliminating the need to rely on a wired headset or the iPhone’s built-in mic for voice commands. Users have the option of saving original copies of videos that were trimmed using the built-in video editing feature.

Snow Leopard

A new build of the Mac OS X 10.6 (build 10A411) has also been released to developers. This comes less than a week after the release of build 10A402a. This new build is considerably smaller in size (730MB) than the previous one (1.3GB).

Filed under: Apple, Inc., iPhone OS, OS X

What’s new pussycat? Faster, darker Snow Leopard

Apple’s latest build of Mac OS X 10.6 (10A402a) is more faster and integrates some interface tweaks.

Snow Leopard

AppleInsider reported that the current build is more responsive and includes interface tweaks such as the Dock’s contextual menu change to a charcoal motif with white text.

Filed under: OS X,

Update: Safari 4.0.2 [u]

Safari 4Safari 4.0.2 is “recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.”

Security fixes involves vulnerabilities in WebKit described as:

  • An issue in WebKit’s handling of the parent and top objects may result in a cross-site scripting attack when visiting a maliciously crafted website. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of parent and top objects.
  • A memory corruption issue exists in WebKit’s handling of numeric character references. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of numeric character references.

Safari 4.0.2 update can be downloaded and installed via Software Update utility or downloaded directly from Apple’s Safari Download page (Leopard [40 MB], Tiger [26 MB], and Windows [47 MB]).

I was noticing some problems when I was using Safari 4.0 and then 4.0.1. I actually consider Safari 4 beta working much better than the final version. One of the issues I experienced involved having my Mac becoming really sluggish. This after having at least 20 tabs open at one time and made worse when I was on a site or sites running Adobe’s Flash.

I already updated to 4.0.2 and so far so good. But I can’t really say for sure since this version hasn’t gone through its paces yet.

Update:

An hour and a half after I published this post, I suffered my first 4.0.2 crash.  I had about 14 tabs open in three separate windows. I went Filipino Freethinkers‘ forums then opened two threads in separate tabs. Boom. This time there was no Flash to blame. Something is buggy with Safari 4. I hope this gets fixed soon. Hooray for History > Reopen All Closed Windows from Last Session. Bah.

Filed under: Safari,

How to eject a disk image

The scenario is this: I have four to six applications running with at least five windows open on my screen. I get an update or find a nice interesting app to install. I download the app and then click on the .dmg file to mount it. In most cases a small window opens after .dmg file has mounted.

Click-drag to the Applications folder to install. And when done, time to unmount the disk image. There are three methods that a commonly use when ejecting a mounted .dmg file. These are (in order of preference):

  1. Open a Finder window, then click on the eject icon next to the mounted disk image.
  2. Eject 3

  3. Right-click on the mounted .dmg file on the desktop and select ‘Eject “[name of disk image]”‘.
  4. Eject 1

  5. Click-drag the mounted disk image to Trash icon on the Dock (the Trash icon changes into the Eject icon this is done).
  6. Eject 2

All of the above methods work fine but I often find it a bit of a hassle to have to open a Finder window or use Exposé to reveal my desktop. I feel there’s an extra step or two that’s unnecessary.

But a few days ago, I discovered another way to ejecting a mounted disk image. (“Doh!” moment for me.)

I mentioned that most (if not all) disk image or .dmg files, when mounted, would open a small window where you can see the app and an alias of your Application folder. So all you need to do to install is click the app and drag it to the Application folder alias.

What I’ve just figured out is that the small icon at the bottom-left corner of the just opened window can be used to eject the disk image.  Just right-click on the icon and select ‘Eject “[name of disk image]”‘. Boom!

Eject 4

I know, I know. It’s trivial but at least now I can eject disk images in just two steps. Yay.

Filed under: OS X,

Updates: iPhoto, MacBook Air firmware, iPhone SDK 3.1 beta [u]

Apple’s has released iPhoto 8.0.4 “addresses a rarely encountered issue involving photos imported into a previous version that could affect overall stability, and corrects references to a few points of interest and location names that were labelled incorrectly” and this update is recommended to all iPhoto ’09 users.

MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2 has also been released which according to AppleInsider delivers compatibility for a new series of internal MacBook Air replacement batteries. AppleInsider also notes that firmware update requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 and will make modifications to the MacBook Air’s micro-controller on the logic board.

Both updates can be downloaded by using the Software Update utility or from Apple’s Support page:

iPhoto 8.0.4 (102.3 MB)

MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2 (623 KB)

AppleInsider also reported that Apple has just posted a beta upgrade to their iPhone SDK as well as their iPhone OS . Coming on the heels of the just released iPhone OS 3.0, iPhone OS 3.1 beta and iPhone SDK 3.1 beta is said to include new extensions for the OpenGL ES Graphics which can be used to improve graphics on the iPhone 3GS. The beta also lets developers choose their preferred video recording quality.

Update:

MacDailyNews has noted that aside from the above mentioned features, iPhone OS 3.1 beta might also have non-destructive video editing, vibrates when moving home screen icons, faster boot time, and Voice Control over Bluetooth.

Oh, MMS support is back for AT&T customers. Yay.

Filed under: Apple, Inc., iLife, iPhone, , ,

Updates: Final Cut Pro; Time Capsule, AirPort Firmware; Java; Bluetooth

According to AppleInsider, Apple has released updates for Final Cut Pro and a firmware update for Time Capsules and Airport Base Stations.

The Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 update fixes problems with real-time playback in Final Cut Pro with Mac Pro (Early 2009) models and Xserve (Early 2009) models.

Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.4.2 provides several fixes, including:

  • Fixes some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks
  • Fixes an issue with clients that enable 802.11 “Power Save”
  • Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices
  • Fixes an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE
  • Fixes some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers

It is recommended, however, that the user first download Airport Utility Update 5.4.2 before upgrading to the 7.4.2 firmware. The utility is available for both Mac and Windows and is needed in order to install the new firmware.

Previous updates not mentioned

Apple also released a few more updates last week including Bluetooth Firmware Update 2.0 and a patch for a a security hole in Java.

Bluetooth Firmware Update 2.0 provides bug fixes and better compatibility with the Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard. It installs on all Macintosh systems with Bluetooth based on the Broadcom chipset.

The Java plugs a critical security hole that has been around for months again according to AppleInsider. Apple came under heavy criticism in the previous months for failing to patch a hole in a version of Java that shipped with Mac OS X that could leave a user vulnerable to attacks when using the web.

Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) and Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) versions of the update are available.

You can fire up Software Utility or check out the links below to manually download the files (except for the Time Capsule/Airport Base Station firmware):

Filed under: Airport, OS X, Time Capsule, , , ,

PLEASE READ

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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