Jan 06

Apple has announced a few new products this morning at MWSF:

iLife ’09 adds new versions of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWeb. New features include facial recognition and geotagging in iPhoto, major improvements in iMovie, and musical instrument tutorials in GarageBand. The new version of iLife will be available in “late January” for $79.

iWork ’09 adds lots of new features (too many to list) to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. The new version of iWork is available today now for $99.

iWork.com is an online service from Apple that lets you share and collaborate on your iWork ’09 documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

A “Box Set” of Mac OS X Leopard along with iLife ’09 and iWork ’09 will be available in late January (after the release of iLife ’09) for $179.

iTunes Plus now lets you upgrade previously-purchased iTunes songs to DRM-free versions for 30 cents per track. Most songs available via iTunes are now available in DRM-free versions for between $0.69 and $1.29 per track, with most albums staying at $9.99.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro has the same unibody design and dual graphics controllers as the 15″ model, along with a new non-removable extended-capacity battery featuring up to 8 hours runtime and 1000 lifetime cycles. A matte non-glare screen is a $50 build-to-order option. The 17″ MBP starts at $2799 with a 2.66Ghz Core2Duo, 4G RAM and a 320G hard drive, upgradable to a 2.93Ghz CPU, 8G of RAM, and a 256G solid-state drive. Systems should be available in late January.

Not seen at this announcement was the rumored Mac Mini, iMac, or Apple TV upgrades, or any demonstration of OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”.

Dec 28

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from MacHELP!

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Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from MacHELP!

I’ve responded to around 3700 emailed requests for help since January 1st of 2008 (not counting replies or duplicates). I hope to be able to help at least that many people in this coming year.

Just a reminder – MacHELP is a one-man operation (me, myself, and I) and does not have any income or make any profit. I run this site because I like being able to help people. I don’t ask for monetary donations, but if I’m able to solve your problem, please consider buying something from my Amazon Wish List.

Alternately, if you have older Apple hardware please consider donating it so that I can continue to run older versions of OS X and recreate problem environments.

A big thank you to the people who donated a “Blue & White” PowerMac G3 and a dual-CPU PowerMac G4 in 2008. I hope to be able to acquire a PowerMac G5 and some sort of PowerBook or iBook G4 in 2009. If that happens, I’ll be giving the G3 and G4 to a deserving young hacker or a “Computers for Kids” charity here in the Houston area.

As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions, or just need help with the Mac you just got for Christmas – email questions@machelp.org and I’ll do what I can!

Dec 15

OS X 10.5.6 Update Released

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Apple has released the Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update. It is available via Software Update (under the Apple menu).

Oct 22

Apple Announces FY2008 4Q Results

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Apple announced it’s fiscal year 2008 Q4 results yesterday.

The Company posted revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, up from 33.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 41 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone™ and Apple TV® over their economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures* for the quarter are $11.68 billion of “Adjusted Sales” and $2.44 billion of “Adjusted Net Income.”

Apple shipped 2,611,000 Macintosh® computers during the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 11,052,000 iPods during the quarter, representing eight percent unit growth and three percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in the year-ago-quarter.

Oct 16

Apple releases new MacBooks and LED Cinema Display

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Apple has released new 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro systems, featuring a new one-piece aluminum chassis, LED-backlit displays, NVIDIA integrated graphics (“Hybrid SLI” graphics on the Pro) and a “buttonless” touchpad where the entire surface is a tactile button. The new MacBook starts at $1299 and the MacBook Pro at $1999. The previous-generation white MacBook is still available at a dropped price of $999.

The updated MacBook Air now has integrated NVIDIA graphics and a 120G hard drive (with optional 128G solid-state drive). Prices start at $1799.

Apple also released a new 24″ LED Cinema Display, with LED backlighting, a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, built-in iSight camera and microphone, and a single cable to connect a system’s MagSafe, Mini Displayport, and USB 2.0 ports. It will retail for $899.

Oct 12

Security Update 2008-007 Released

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Apple has released Security Update 2008-007. It contains patches and bugfiles for Apache, root certificates, ClamAV, colorsync, CUPS, Finder, launchd, networking, and other applications.

Sep 20

Thanks so much to the crews from out of state (in my neighborhood, guys from NY and Quebec doing line work, with tree crews from CT) who have worked 16-hour shifts for the past week to restore power for Houston’s residents. We lost power the night of Friday the 12th at 2:45am, and got it back today (Saturday the 20th) at 1:15pm.

Now that things are slowly returning to normal, I’ll be catching up on the backlog of email sent to questions@machelp.org over the next few days.

Sep 14

Offline due to Hurricane Ike

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I’ll be offline and will not be able to respond to MacHelp email questions for a few days; I live in west Houston and have been without power since late Friday night.

I have intermittent Internet access thanks to a generator, but I will not be able to spend any time answering questions until Centerpoint Energy is able to restore power sometime in the next few days.

Your questions are being received, and they’ll be answered as soon as I can get to them.

Sep 09

Apple updates iPod Touch, iPod nano, iTunes

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Apple updated a few of its products today at a “Let’s Rock” media event.

iTunes 8 is free for download and available today. The new version adds the “Genius” feature to suggest music similar to user choices and automatically make playlists, as well as visual album cover browsing.

The second-generation iPod Touch is smaller, lighter, and thinner than the original, with new external volume buttons on the side of the curved aluminum enclosure. Storage options range from 8 to 32G with prices from $229 to $399.

The fourth-generation iPod nano has a new super-slim curved glass and aluminum enclosure, as well as an accelerometer and new colors (silver, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, pink, red, or black). The 8G model retails for $149 while the 16G model costs $199.

Jun 27

Who sent me a PowerMac G4?? (updated)

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I opened my door this evening to find that UPS had dropped off a large cardboard box; inside was a nicely configured PowerMac G4 450Mhz DP system. There’s no note or anything in the box, just the system unit and lots of packing peanuts.

Update: Since originally posting this, the mystery has been solved. Thanks to B.D. for the PowerMac G4!

This now makes two machines that people have donated in order to help me support people still running OSX 10.1 through 10.4. J.G. in Sunnyvale sent me a “Blue & White” G3 system, and the UPS label indicates that the G4 came from Chicago.