Monday 29 October 2007

Matthew Reilly, Leopard and our new Mac Mini

Last Friday we were at Macquarie Centre for 2 reasons. One was to get our new Mac Mini (10% off at JB HiFi!) which will become our new media centre (more on that in a later post). The 2nd reason was to go to Borders to meet Matthew Reilly and get a signed copy of his new book Six Sacred Stones :)

Also last Friday at 6pm Apple released Mac OS X 10.5, though it is probably better known by its code name, Leopard, which Apple is also using in its marketing. I didn't get a copy on Friday (despite NextByte and JB HiFi being open after 6pm) as I qualify for a $13 upgrade with the Mac Mini purchase.

It has been interesting reading the reports on Leopard (mainly since I am seeing what people's overall experiences are). I generally try to ignore the more sensationalist stuff and instead read sites whose authors know their stuff and give praise or criticism when its due (such as John Gruberor the always excellent Mac OS X reports by John Siracusa's reports).

However, I am really disappointed in the Sydney Morning Herald's incredibly poor and badly researched report "Spotty Leopard makes Mac users catty". The report implies that Apple's latest operating system is flawed and Apple have been deluged with support requests. This is simply not the case and the fault of this error lies equally with a 3rd party hack by Unsanity and Logitech. Unsanity provide "extra" functionality to the Mac by installing stuff in into the parts of the OS that Apple say not to. Generally users who install this stuff keep the hacks up to date, but what is worse, Logitech have installed this as a part of a mouse "driver".

The lesson here is when installing a new OS (whether Mac, Windows or Linux) it is best to start from scratch. Leopard (and Tiger before it) provide an option to "Archive and Install". This copies your old system files (including all the 3rd party stuff into a separate folder) and installs a fresh copy of Leopard, it also can (set by default) copies across all your user and network settings.

Back to the SMH. I have noticed of late there has been an anti-Apple bias in the reporting there (or at the very least they just copy their news from blogs). With a small amount of research (like I did above) the article could have been balanced and less sensationalist and instead provide a bit of guidance to users. At the very least once new information became available the article could have been updated to indicate it was a problem with the Unsanity hack and that users were at risk if they had installed Logitech stuff. Newspapers have a responsibility to report critically and fairly, many people read this stuff and just believe it (I had a few discussions on this at work today trying to dispel the fallacies in this article. So Asher Dunn you are now on notice.

And, yes, I will be doing an Archive and Install on our iMac

UPDATE: Apple have sold over 2 million copies of Leopard. It took Tiger (10.4) a month to sell that many!

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Leopard release date announced and price drop for iTunes DRM free tracks

Apple has announced that MacOS X 10.5 (or Leopard) will be available on October 26th and is now available for presale ($158 or $145 for Education). If you bought a new Mac this month then you can get it for $12.95. They have also added a webpage with a categorized list of new 316 new features. However, if you don't want to go through the whole list then Appleinsider has a good summary.

Also Apple (most likely in response to Amazon's MP3 store) have reduced prices of their iTunes Store DRM free tracks to $1.69. However, there is no indication currently if there is a price change for upgrading existing tracks to DRM free. Also, they have also added a number of independent labels. Good stuff :)

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Get This cancelled - TripleM you buggers!!!

Just heard today that one of my favourite radio shows (which I grab via podcast) is being cancelled. Triple M have cancelled Get This (see SMH link). Despite several time slot moves they were rating well, not sure I understand the logic of this one!!

Sign this petition to try and reverse this.