Mar 29

G4/G5 System Needed

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I’m in need of a G4 or G5 system so that I can dual-boot Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4 in order to troubleshoot and help people running those older versions of the operating system (both of my personal systems are Intel-based and run 10.5). If someone has an older system available and would like to donate it to the cause, please email and let me know.

I run MacHELP as a non-profit hobby; it makes no income. I usually answer between five and ten questions a day and have helped more than 1200 people with their Macintosh and Mac OS X problems since April of 2007.

Mar 24

Happy Birthday, OS X!

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As seen here on TUAW, Mac OS X turned seven years old last Friday – it was launched on March 21, 2001.

A timeline of releases:

* Mac OS X Public Beta (September 13, 2000)
* Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah (March 21, 2001)
* Mac OS X 10.1 Puma (September 25, 2001)
* Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar (August 23, 2002)
* Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (October 24, 2003)
* Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (April 29, 2005)
* Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (October 26, 2007)

Mar 09

(note: I’m willing to do “real world” reviews of iPhone cases if companies would like to send samples of their products for review)

I’ve had an iPhone since they came out last year, and ever since I got the phone, I’ve been on the search for the perfect iPhone case.

I started out with an iPhone Total Body Skin from BestSkinsEver (ShieldZone sells an identical product, at a higher price). This protects the screen, and adds some not-really-needed protection to the back and sides of the phone that gives me some peace of mind.

After that, I added a generic snug form-fitting rubber/plastic case bought off eBay. It was okay (better than nothing at all), but didn’t quite fit right and started to “sag” and get loose after only a month or so.

My second iPhone case was the Incase Leather Fitted Sleeve for iPhone. I bought this one from the Apple online store, using part of the store credit that Apple gave out after the iPhone price reduction. It was in use less than a week; the case didn’t fit properly (too tight) and the stitching started to put little divots/indentations into the screen and body protective film. The port access holes never lined up right, and the leather bits on the sides of the phone would “roll” one way or the other. I eventually just took it off and threw it in a drawer somewhere.

My third iPhone case was the DLO Jam Jacket. This was a big improvement over the generic rubber sleeve case and the leather fitted case. However, I don’t use the iPhone earbuds and don’t need to carry them around, so I used a razor blade to cut the “earbud holder” off the back of the case. I used that case for six months or so; my only real complaints are that the texture and “tackyness” of the rubber used tends to attract dust and dirt and that the holes on the side for volume and mute access aren’t very user-friendly (I often had to pull the top part of the case off the phone when I needed to get to the mute switch).

I was at MicroCenter tonight, and ran across what is, for me, the best case for the iPhone – the XtremeMac Tuffwrap. It’s got the same basic shape and “grip” as the DLO case but without the headphone stuff on the back, and has nicely-formed ports for access to the lock button, side buttons, and bottom dock connector. It came with a TuffShield screen protector, but I’m not using that because the phone already has a protective skin permanently installed.

Other than the generic rubber case I first got off of eBay, the XtremeMac Tuffwrap is also the cheapest case I’ve purchased for my phone, at $19.95. So far, I’m very happy with it.

Mar 07

iPhone SDK and Enterprise features announced

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At a special media event on March 6th, Apple announced availability of the iPhone Software Development Kit and the iPhone Enterprise Beta Program.

The SDK allows developers to write applications that run directly on the iPhone and consists of a new version of XCode (3.1) and an iPhone Simulator that runs on an Intel-based Mac (the iPhone SDK will not work on a PowerPC-based system). Application distribution will be through the iPhone App Store in the next version of the iPhone software/firmware.

The SDK and development environment are available as a free download from Apple’s developer site. For $99, developers will receive a signed key from Apple that lets them sell (or give away at no charge) an application through Apple’s distribution and hosting network. For applications that are sold, Apple will take 30% of the purchase price; free apps will be distributed at no charge other than the cost of the signed key.

The new iPhone Enterprise features consist of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, secure enterprise-grade virtual private networking, and security features like the ability to remotely wipe/erase a lost iPhone.

Version 2.0 of the iPhone software/firmware is expected to be available to end users in June; certain developers and some companies in the Enterprise Beta program will have access to beta and pre-release versions.