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issue 4

August 2009

Are Mac viruses really a threat?

s w e i v e r n o i t c Mac A c i f i c e p s c a M e som e r a w t f o s s u r i v anti


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from the editor

Welcome to issue four, we do apologise for the delay. Well, as many of you may have noticed, there’s been a slight break in Mac Action

We’re also, just for the moment, putting Mac Action on a bi-monthly rather than

some insights into the complicated operation of the Apple market in SA.

service over the past month. Apologies for the lack of updates on the status of the

monthly release rotation. But we will be keeping the website itself a lot more

Thanks for your patience and

magazine, and thanks very much to those who sent us letters demanding their

active than that so check-in regularly for fresh content while you wait for the

latest issue of the publication — regular programming will now

complete new issue to arrive, including sneak peeks into next month’s content,

resume.

all the most intriguing Apple-related news and

Lots of things happened last month necessitating some drastic rethinking. So you’ll

bearing with us through several adjustments so far. These will be the last for the year we assure you, so please go ahead and enjoy the issue, we’ve got hold of loads of software to try on our Macs and dig a little deeper into the Mac virus situation.

notice the design has changed somewhat for this fourth issue, as well as where you’re finding the magazine. We’ve moved the current and archived issues over to the Mac Action website itself, and have refreshed the site itself once again with better content management in mind so that we can update more regularly without having to generate a whole new site each and every time that we do.

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Inside

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this issue 6

News

18

Editor’s corner

30

Product reviews

Still loads to digest from the WWDC. iPhone 3GS hits SA stores (albeit belatedly), new software and hardware hit SA along with new prices, and several tales of innovative use of the iPhone and other Apple mobile products enhancing business and education.

20

Features

Anti-virus and your Mac. So what, really, is the deal with viruses and your Mac? Well as with most things Mac it’s really pretty simple, we run through it and then proceed to compare three leading AV suites available for a Mac in this feature-cumgroup test. 28

Feature article – OS 3.0 has landed. We actually heard, just the other day, of an iPhone user who still hasn’t upgraded to OS 3.0 for fearing of bricking his phone. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect of the update.

16

Letters

17

Staff Mac

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Mostly software for review in this issue. There’s the lightweight database application Bento, educational kiddie package Learning Ladder, a huge set of 1000 new MacFonts, and Microsoft’s Office for Mac suite. Check out the Office review for your chance to win a free copy as well! 31 32 34 36

38

Learning Ladder Preschool edition MacFonts 2 Bento Microsoft Office for Mac

How to

Our monthly selection of detailed, and useful, HowTo content starts here. This month we get better acquainted with email setups, iPhone innards, and optical media. 36 40 44

Understanding optical Set up your email. Unlock your iPhone.


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Inside this issue

MAC Action Team Editor

Steve Allison

Deputy Editor

Russel Bennet

Editorial Contributors

Steve Allison

Russel Bennet

Art Contributors

Advertising Sales

Editors

steve@sedgeford.co.ca

Hosting

www.virtualmags.co.za

AVC

Subscriptions

Management

www.macaction.co.za

Steve Allison

50

Russell Bennet

The little things

Our new section dedicated to those smaller bits that help you get the most from your tech purchases, and lifestyle itself. This month we’re dedicating these two pages to some cool and futuristic goodies available from www.igear.co.za.

52

iPod competition

56

Macs in action

WWDC unpacked. All of the happenings of the WWDC unpacked, distilled, and in detail.

62

Gaming Macs

This month Steve goes mad on Sim nostalgia, eschewing The Sims 3 for the micro-managed environment of latest SimCity 4 add-on, Rush Hour!

All data contained in this magazine is for information only and every effort is made to ensure its accuracy. However reviews, comment and instruction are the views of the authors and may contain inadvertant errors, for which Mac Action apologises but takes no responsibility for any actions of any person resulting from the use of information contained herein. Any prospective contributor or correspondant submitting unsolicited material with a view to its publication automatically grant Mac Action license to publish such material in whole or in part in any edition of this magazine. Any material submitted is at the risk of the sender and Mac Action cannot be held liable or accountable for its loss or damage. Whilst this magazine is devoted to the operation and usage of Apple Mac hardware and software products and such third party software and peripherals which may be attached to or installed on Apple Mac products, Apple Mac Corporation do not own in whole or in part this magazine or its publishers. Nor does the Apple Mac Corporation agree to or accept any responsibility for any text or graphic material published herein.

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news Artuslabs and their “cool piece of technology” When Robin Smith founded the software company Artuslabs he equipped his staff with iPhones. He chose the iPhone because he wanted to be in front of customers with what he termed a “really cool piece of technology.”, but the decision wasn’t all flash. Smith needed a mobile device that didn’t require an entire IT department to

iPhone is the device which lets people like Smith keep his head above water. For a

maintain, a cost which his startup company could ill afford. Sales executives at

small startup company such as Artuslabs small costs can make a big difference,

Artuslabs such as Smith spend a lot of time in the air, on the road and of course in

especially in these trying economic times. The iPhone has a built in GPS which

hotel rooms. The iPhone allows connectivity no matter where they are. With

eliminates the need and cost of renting one from the car rental company whilst

so much traveling, it is easy to get swamped in the details; meetings, locations

traveling. The iPhone can even help by reducing luggage weight, with so

and rental cars are all things that need to be kept in

many devices in one frequent travelers can

mind. Staying in contact with family back home

eliminate other items. The iPhone after all keeps all

is also important to traveling sales executives. The

Smith’s music and functions as his camera. The

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iPhone isn’t only for travel for Smith and his team. Back at the office one of the most frequently used features is the Add call feature. Colleagues can link up to ongoing calls with this feature to create instant conference calls, customers get the best service quickly. The iPhone has clearly become an important asset to Smith and Artuslabs.


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Core Group moves in

Core garden, the sculpture is a Homage to Hermes and took a mammoth ten tons of slate to create. Beezy Baily is also a South African and is the mind behind the Fallen Angel

May 8 2009 marked a concept revolution in office design when Core Group moved into a brand new head office in Sandton, sited well in South Africa’s economic heartland of Johannesburg. Whereas most head offices are nothing more than a maze of offices, Core Group has incorporated so much more. There is the new iStore linked to the offices, with an art gallery and lounge for the public to enjoy. There is even a garden if the lounge isn’t up your street. The art on display is varied but does include displays by well known names such as Angus Taylor and Beezy Baily. Angus Taylor is a South African sculptor who has had exposure at several art galleries such as the Pretoria Art Museum, the Saronsberg collection and the University of the Free State. The Core Group building has now been added to this illustrious list of South African art galleries. One of Taylor’s slate sculptures is the centre piece of the

piece complimenting the front of the building in the large garden. These pieces are the first of what are sure to be many artworks calling the Core Group building home. While the Core Group offices certainly are unique with their art gallery, lounge and garden attached, they still have to sell products just like everyone else. The iStore adjoining the offices offers the full range of Apple products the Core Group deals with. The new Core Group head office with its

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unique blend of traditional and revolutionary certainly sticks to the general Apple philosophy of innovation at every turn.

Apple continues to enrich education

student of media cannot remain chained to old structures that teach them

denominator; that is video literacy. Every student learns how to shoot and edit video

how the media used to operate. At the Cronkite school the students learn

for the modern media environment. For this the choice to adopt Final Cut Pro

how to operate in the modern digital field of journalism. That is why

has been widely praised. Cronkite’s award-winning News

Online Media isn’t just an optional course, it is a required part of the core

Director for live newscast

curriculum at the Cronkite school. This online focus is made possible by the 500

Mark Lodato said: “I

Macs. There are fourteen digital newsrooms and two TV studios with 300

don’t think we could be

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass

computer labs. All of this is kitted out with Final Cut Pro giving each and every

more pleased.” when

Communications is moulding the new generation of students

student easy and importantly free access to all the powerful technology

talking of Final Cut.

The iSchools programme is an example of Apple’s South African partner Core Groups’ commitment to education locally. On a broader scale this philosophy of driving certain education projects can also be seen in the Arizona State University.

pursuing a career in the they could possibly need. media. The tools of these Despite there being many students are Final Cut Studio different fields within this and Xsan powered by 500 journalism school, there is at Mac computers. The modern least one common

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Journalism is certainly a field in which technology has become essential to stay in the game. Truth be told


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every industry has or is becoming that way. That is why the iShools initiative using Apple technology just like the Cronkite school does is so

managers in his two Atlanta restaurants with critical. iPhones. His managers no longer need to frantically search through crude filing systems to find the details they need. Anywhere, anytime, the company’s database can be accessed to check daily The reports, access calendars iPhone and schedules, they can with its extensive even revise menu’s. The iPhone allows employees mobile to focus on the customer multiand not get sucked into tasking potential tedious paperwork. Its is taking not just management that benefits from this mobile on the restaurant power. No matter what industry. your poison, a quick search of the vast mixed Great drink database will have Food the customer on their way Group much faster than a Inc’s cumbersome book. This owner Patrick Albrecht has taken sort of iPhone use can be the initiative to supply 15 widely applied from

Power of the iPhone in business

showing customers the dessert portfolio to making table reservations. Just like any business owner with an expanding business, Albrecht worried about not being everywhere to ensure smooth operation. The iPhone has changed that, he can stay in contact with all his restaurants no matter where he is. The Mac OS X Wiki server allows all the managers to communicate freely without any trouble. The iPhone is even proving to be a powerful marketing tool for Great Food Group Inc. Photo’s of exciting new dishes can be uploaded to a digital display at the bar to entice the customers. The marketing doesn’t stop there, social networking sites are being used in conjunction with the iPhone to advertise

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forthcoming events and attractions. The iPhone has become so integral to Albrecht’s operation that he and his team can’t remember how they got on without it.

greenest notebook lineup, every Mac notebook

seven hours of wireless productivity on a single

achieves EPEAT* Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements.

charge without adding thickness, weight or cost. Using Adaptive Charging and advanced chemistry first introduced with the 17-inch MacBook

Apple Updates MacBook Pro Family with New Models & Innovative Built-in Battery for Up to 40 Percent Longer Battery Life

Apple has updated the aluminum unibody MacBook® Pro line to include 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models featuring Apple’s innovative built-in battery for up to 40 percent longer battery life. Each MacBook Pro includes an LED-backlit display with greater color intensity, the innovative glass Multi-

Pro earlier this year, the built-in battery delivers up to 1,000 “Across the line, all of our new MacBook Pro models now include Apple’s innovative built-in battery for up to seven hours of battery life, while staying just as thin and light as before,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The aluminum unibody MacBook Pro is more affordable than ever and sets a new standard for environmentally friendly

recharges before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity—nearly three times the lifespan of conventional batteries. The longer battery lifespan equals fewer depleted batteries and less waste.

Apple Unveils New Logic Studio with Major Upgrades to Logic Pro and MainStage

Apple has released a newlynotebook design.” updated version of Logic The new 13-inch and 15-inch Studio with major return of a FireWire 800 port MacBook Pro models include upgrades to Logic Pro and Apple’s innovative built-in and new NVIDIA graphics MainStage and more than notebook battery for up to chipsets. The industry’s 200 new features that Touch™ trackpad, an illuminated keyboard, an SD card or ExpressCard slot, the

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simplify complextasks. Logic Pro 9 features new Amp Designer and Pedalboard plug-ins that provide realistic virtual guitar amps and stompbox effects to create amazing custom guitar rigs. A new set of Flex Time tools allow Logic users to manipulate the timing and tempo of audio quickly and easily. MainStage 2, Apple’s live

performance application, includes the new Playback and Loopback plug-ins to provide backing tracks and creative, realtime loop recording for performing

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on stage. Logic Studio also includes the new Soundtrack Pro 3, with new multitrack audio tools for video production, and Compressor 3.5 for encoding in a variety of formats.

quickly improve your recordings and create tighter

“The new Logic Studio is ideal for professional musicians, live performers

vintage and modern amp heads in beautiful detail with matching controls and 25

and GarageBand enthusiasts who want to take their

paired speaker cabinets that emulate the sound and feel

music to the next level,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide

of a guitar running

performances.” The new Amp Designer and Pedalboard plug-ins give guitar players great new recording and sound design capabilities. Amp Designer recreates 25 legendary

Product Marketing. “Guitar

through a real tube amplifier. Guitar players can create their own custom rig

players are going to love Amp Designer and Pedalboard and the new Flex

by mixing and matching amps, cabinets, reverbs and EQs, and can choose from

Time tools allow you to

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three different microphone types that can be positioned

production to help record challenging parts. Flex Time

tools including Voice Level Match which extracts

in 3D space to capture the ideal guitar tone. Pedalboard adds an assortment of 30

also enables recorded tracks to be moved between different Logic projects and

volume information from the vocal content of one clip and applies it to another

guitar stompbox pedals that can be arranged in any order to produce a wide variety of

matched together, even if they were performed at different tempos. All Flex

without altering any other audio content, so editors can easily correct mismatched

lush, creative effects including overdrive, distortion, fuzz, delay,

Time edits are performed non destructively and in real time, even when using the

voice levels. An enhanced File Editor includes new tools to make sophisticated

chorus, flange, phaser, tremolo, treble boost, wah and more. Flex Time is a new

highest quality settings.

edits and fine tune volume adjustments by targeting specific frequencies such as

collection of tools that allow musicians to quickly manipulate the timing and tempo of recorded audio, including vocals and instruments, to create tighter performances. Using the Flex Tool, individual beats in a waveform can be moved with a mouse click, without the need for tedious slicing and editing. Audio Quantize can instantly fix or adjust the timing of an entire performance by aligning notes and beats to a musical grid with a single menu selection. Varispeed provides the ability to slow down and then speed up an entire multi-track

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MainStage 2 lets musicians use all the instruments and effects from Logic Studio to turn their Mac into the ultimate live performance rig. The new Playback plug-in provides musicians with a backing band, allowing them to perform with prerecorded audio, like drums, sound effects and other accompaniments that can be triggered to play while they are performing live. The new Loopback plug-in allows musicians to record, layer and jam along with their own performance so a single musician can lay down a rhythm and then play a lead over it. Soundtrack Pro 3 adds powerful new audio editing

the rustle of a paper or the bump of a desk without affecting dialogue. The new Advanced Time Stretch feature stretches and compresses audio with incredible precision using three Apple-designed algorithms or other algorithms available as third party plug-ins. Soundtrack Pro and Compressor are also available as part of the new Final Cut Studio, allowing Final Cut and Logic users to share files.

Apple continues to flirt with Netbook


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Although denied repeatedly by senior officials within

sales of albums for individual song purchases from outlets like iTunes.

Apple, the rumours of the imminent launch of a new Apple mobile device,

All of these rumours recently appeared in the very

netbook-sized and featured, persist. And they’ve now developed into a full-blown product release predictions. Touted to be something along the lines of an iPod touch but with a larger (possibly 2cm diagonally) display, the new product is expected to make viewing of videos, whether high-quality HD-DVDs or the ever-popular YouTube content, an even more enjoyable experience than on any iPod device. Unexpectedly, book publishers have reportedly been in high-level discussions with Apple, which could point to this device becoming in part competition to Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader, but with far more functionality.

respectable, and usually found in the highest reliable, Financial Times of performance iMac and London. Adding substantially MacPro configurations, to the credibility of all this hearsay.

AMD/ATI demo OpenCL at WWDC At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2009, AMD demonstrated how OpenCL, executing on ATI Radeon graphics, can benefit Mac computer owners with outstanding application performance. AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 4800 series, currently

are designed to run OpenCL enabled applications and to provide a great development environment for applications. As an open standard programming environment, OpenCL is a key enabler of ATI Stream technology, which allows developers to create highly efficient applications balanced across CPU and GPU resources for maximum performance. “OpenCL is a game-changing development that will enable AMD’s ATI Stream

Even music companies are engaging further with Apple at the moment, on a project reportedly codenamed “Cocktail”, aimed at revitalising the slumping

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technology to accelerate mainstream applications,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products

feature initiated simply by tapping the display. The camera will focus

Group. “Whether you’re enjoying multimedia content or playing the latest games,

on any person or object. The 3G S allows you to shoot, edit and

the ATI Radeon HD 4870 and ATI Radeon HD 4850 in the new Mac Pro and iMac help

share video all on your iPhone. This video is shot in high-quality

graphics applications run faster.”

VGA which can be shot in portrait or landscape format. This

iPhone 3GS out Now

video can then be edited by trimming the start and end points of your

Vodacom have said that the new iPhone will be coming to South Africa this July. The new iPhone 3G S is packed with new features and capabilities. Most notably, the 3G S is the fastest iPhone yet with speeds up to twice as fast as the previous iPhone 3G. A new 3 megapixel camera includes a nifty autofocus

video. The Names in your contacts and music on your iPod can now be recognised

battery has also been upgraded somewhat, battery life when compared to the

iPhone 3G is improved under all circumstances and let’s by Voice Control. All you have to do is ask for it. There face it, it couldn’t be worse. This includes talk time, is a new digital compass internet use, video and included on the 3G S. This audio playback as well as works in conjunction with the GPS to make navigation easier than ever. No more turning your phone upside down to follow the map, the map gets automatically adjusted to point the way you are facing. The iPhone 3GS comes in a 16GB and 32GB version as opposed to the 8GB iPhone 3G. The

standby time. The iPhone 3G S now comes in two colours; namely black and white as opposed to the 3G only coming in black. The iPhone 3G S clearly has many new features but will obviously still retain all the previous functionality of the iPhone 3G. The only problem being, that

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at the time of this update, July was all-but done and still no sign of the iPhone 3G


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letters

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Hi André and Christo I’m really pleased that you are enjoying the magazine. We have had several problems with hosting the magazine and have decided to self host on www.macaction.co.za. This decision however involved a significant amount of work and so we decided to miss a

Hi Steve.

Hello

What’s happened to MacAction? Loved the first 3 issues, even though I

Firstly, I must congratulate you on the June issue of Mac month rather than put out a Action Magazine. I half hearted issue. The good thoroughly enjoyed reading news is that the August it and was delighted to issue is with our designers at finally have a local the moment and we are hard

didn’t have a Mac. Now that I have my 13" Macbook Pro, there’s no more issues of MacAction! What’s happening? Where’s

magazine supporting local Mac users!

the July issue? Where can I download issue 1 and 2 in pdf format?

I went onto your website, after eagerly awaiting the July issue to be released, to

Regards,

try and find out on what frequency the magazine would be published, but to

André.

at work with the September issue. We will, once we have got the self hosting completed, have all of the back issues available for download and as web content. Thank you for your support

no avail. Could you possibly shed some light on the matter?

and my apologies for the disappointment not putting out a July issue. Don’t forget

Kind Regards

to enter our competition telling us why you changed to Mac.

Christo du Plessis

Thanks again for your support. Steve

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Staff MAC Steve’s Macbook

The old white Macbook has been performing really well of late and I’m always amazed at just how much it will do without protesting. This month I decided that I should start thinking about the virus threat as discussed elsewhere in this magazine so I tried both the intego Virus Barrier and the opposition product from Norton. Without a shadow

where they need the images immediately. Usually, I just download onto the MacBook

SimCity just to see if it would work, which it did. I will admit it wasn’t quite as

and manipulate the images when I get back to the office. I held my breath on this

slick as Aperture but it worked well enough to be perfectly playable. There was

particular shoot and proceeded to load the images into Aperture. Within

a slight hesitation scrolling around the screen but not enough to spoil the game. As

half an hour, I had worked the images, converted them from RAW to Jpeg and

a result, I wasn’t bored and ended up playing well into the small hours so on

written out a CD. Aperture didn’t hesitate and I wasn’t faced with watching the

balance; perhaps I should have left the game at home.

of a doubt, the intego product was my favourite.

colourwheel spinning for ages, as I’d feared.

Laptop screens do get dirty quite quickly, dust, fingerprints and the like. I

As I said, this little MacBook always outperforms my

Our game review this month is SimCity 4, which I have been really enjoying, so

have been looking for a decent cleaning solution for a while and then I stumbled

much so that I wanted to take it with me on a trip. Long nights in a Hotel room

across a product called iKlear, which is supplied by Phoenix software. It works a

can be quite boring you know. As I’m sure you are aware the MacBook doesn’t

treat and the MacBook is looking as good as new. Herein lies the problem, I

expectations. I use Aperture as an image manipulation tool and generally only on my desktop Mac believing that the MacBook wouldn’t be able to cope. Aperture is

an incredibly resource hungry application and sure I have dedicated graphics memory have more memory on the and is seen as laptop than it was supplied with but it copes remarkably well. I was on a photoshoot this

being unsuitable for playing games. Undeterred, I loaded

really would like a shiny new Unibody MacBook but there’s just no need to upgrade.

month, one of those shoots

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S

eacom is comingand we can’t wait for cheaper, more reliable Internet. Russell has been particularly positive about it and I

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Speaking of Neotel; they were the great hope for competition-driven price decreases and better service. It unfortunately, at least until now, has had no real impact. I live 6 kilometres (by road) from the country’s main international airport, which can hardly be classed as remote area, yet Neotel has no coverage in my suburb.

hope he’s right. I on the other hand am a born cynic. I know how things work in Africa and I’m sure our regulatory authorities will find a way of protecting the obscene profits made by our national telecommunications operator. I hope I’m wrong and the fact that the

What the government seems to have failed to recognise is that the exorbitant cost of telecommunications is having a negative effect on the economy. It would seem though, that the government is not

landing site is offshore means that it doesn’t fall inside our local regulator’s jurisdiction. The fact that Vodacom is no longer in partnership with Telkom also gives me confidence that competition may now start to become real. Neotel and Vodacom are both customers of Seacom and if they start to reduce pricing, Telkom and MTN will have to follow suit. One small problem though; Neotel still has some government interest although I’m not sure how much. If that is the case, then it only leaves Vodacom and whilst I’m sure it will be competitive, wireless data is still more costly than ADSL. Images in this editorial courtesy of www.seacom.mu

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editor’ corner

concerned with improving the economy until its

call centres, which could provide jobs in South Africa

living — they all want to make a killing! Not only

members have feathered their own nests. The recent Eskom price hike is evidence

— were it not for the high cost of telecommunications.

that, companies don’t seem to take long-term views, they are only interested in

internationally with customers, suppliers, agents and parent companies. Not

Unfortunately, it has been

to mention the fact that several international companies have outsourced

the South African disease across all areas of business. No one is content to make a

how much they can bank tomorrow.

of that. What we need is good quality communications provided at a reasonable cost and that is the promise of Seacom. Communication is even more important to business than infrastructure. In order for business to grow it needs to communicate

Anyway, that’s the cynical viewpoint and as I said earlier, let’s hope I’m wrong. The fact that Telkom is now giving us more data for the same money by increasing the cap size on ADSL lines gives me hope. So let’s be positive and look forward to being able to download large files and becoming You Tube addicts. Although I have pointed out the business case for better Internet, I am just an Internet junkie.

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features So it’s official.

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There are viruses for the Mac! I guess that’s something we always knew but ignored, since the threat was a relatively minor one. Now though, things have changed. Apple has alluded to the fact that viruses and malware are a threat. Apple is shouting it about and encouraging us all to run out and buy anti-virus software? No, what the company has done is mention that in the new version of OS X called Snow Leopard; security features will include “Defense against viruses and malware”. Ergo, if the operating system requires security feature to protect you from the virus

the key selling points. So, companies that produce anti-virus software are rubbing their hands together, finally they can persuade us to buy their products, which up until now has been a hard sell. Mac users have traditionally been very blasé about the

and malware threat, these threats must actually exist. Of course, the anti-virus software virus threat, with good producers have jumped on reason. The Mac platform this statement and are all has not been the prime saying “We told you so”. target for virus writers. Despite that, our local iStores apparently will not be stocking anti-virus software, as the no-virus argument has been one of

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Viruses have been around for many years but in the early days of personal computers it was quite

challenging for virus writers to attack your computer. As long as you only inserted floppy discs of your own or from people you knew and trusted, you were reasonably safe. Even those of us that used pirate software didn’t feel particularly threatened since the viruses themselves weren’t as sophisticated as the modern ones. Yes, there were some pretty evil viruses that would destroy your entire system but they were in the minority. If you


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features

did loose your entire system, were largely immune from you could re-install from the threat since the vast

your system seems to fail. As you watch your hard drive

scratch, which was a fairly common activity anyway, and if your work was saved

majority of the population were running Windows. Phishing,

self-destruct, you think, “why didn’t I back-up?”

to a floppy disc, you had no problems.

producing viruses and installing

The game changed when the Internet became mainstream and we were all linked to the World Wide Web. From that moment on, virus writers could feed viruses to your computer via email and web sites. Worse than that, they could distribute their evil from your computer to everyone you communicated

well. You receive an email, read it and send it on to

spyware amongst Windows

someone else. Without you knowing it, there was

users gave them more than enough to keep their scams going. The problem now, though, is that

Mac has become a victim of its own success. With the with. By this time, large hard drives were commonplace and popularity of the Mac, the hackers and virus writers your information was stored now see us as a worthwhile on your computer target. rather than a floppy disc. The Internet allowed twoway communication, so not only could they infect your system but they could get the virus to send them information stored on your computer. Nevertheless, Mac users

There are other issues to take into account as

a PC virus embedded in the attachment. It didn’t affect you at all but the person you forwarded the email to is no longer your friend. Several Mac users run a Windows virtual machine using applications like Parallels or VM Ware. The

So, how serious is

virtual machine is just as susceptible to an attack as a physical PC. Sure the virus

the threat? Well, in comparison to

probably won’t jump ship and infect OS X but it’s still extremely inconvenient.

the PC platform, Several companies will not it’s still relatively allow you to connect to their small but that network unless you have up doesn’t mean we should to date anti-virus software ignore it. It’s a bit like making installed. You can tell the regular back-ups; we don’t network administrator that need them most of the time but the day you stop doing it,

it’s OK because you are a Mac user but it won’t help.

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features I personally don’t like antivirus and Internet security

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software producers over emphasise the virus threat

software. I don’t like the way in order to scare us into they use up bandwidth buying their products. continually updating Regardless of that, it would themselves and I particularly don’t like the nagging when you haven’t updated for a

appear that malware in all its forms is here to stay. It may be time for we Mac

Virus Barrier X5 is a complete while. Programs that run users start accepting the fact security package for Mac from continually in the that anti-virus software is a Intego. At first glance one would background use system necessary inconvenience. We be forgiven for thinking that this resources albeit only a small will just have to live with it, was just another run of the mill amount. So, am I saying that as PC users have for several anti virus programme. All anti you shouldn’t use anti-virus years. software? Well, not exactly. I Here at Mac Action, the virus software can automatically don’t like wearing monitor your system and team has got hold seatbelts in the of a couple of perform manual scans. Virus car but I find it anti-virus barrier does this and more. preferable to having my

applications, which we have put through

face crushed against the windscreen.

their paces. The aim is to help you make an informed

There are those who believe paying for anti-virus software is the computer equivalent of paying

decision as to whether you need anti-virus software and if so, which one is best for

protection money to the gangsters of the 1930s. They believe that anti-virus

you.

Images in this feature leader courtesy of: www.cgl.ucsf.edu/Research/virus/capsids/viruses

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Virus Barrier X5 has a lot of functions, all waiting to be configured. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your take on security software. For someone who is intensely paranoid about the the use and well-being of their system, Virus Barrier is great. There seems to be a feature and tool for everything. There is the standard virus protection with automatic monitoring and manual scans. From there you get a net barrier which has a firewall which can hide advertising during surfing. The spam filter is useful in that it becomes more efficient as


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Virus Barrier

R599 Phoenix Software www.phoenixsoftware.co.za www.intego.com/virusbarrier/ about your systems use. I said earlier that a lot of

your email habits are learned. There is also a hard drive backup facility as a final safety net just in case all else fails. One of Virus Barriers divisions deserves

functions can be a good or bad thing. The above can illustrate my point. Virus

functionality and simplicity. Generally, the different barriers are installed as separate programmes as opposed to one central interface. This again goes to the individual. If it annoys you going through the separate programmes then

Barrier is relatively easy to virus Barrier loses out on the use, but the sheer number of ease of use front. The functions can be a problem. alternative does however If you are the type apply, there is simply more of person who protection in this specialised approach.

special mention as it really separates the whole package from the

Virus Barrier X5 is not the

average security system. The content barrier is big brother wants to install for your Mac. The settings are highly customisable and their chosen allow the user to completely anti virus software and then leave it to do their control just what your system can and can’t do. There is kids control to block access to sites and

bidding, Virus Barrier may annoy you. More functions means more to set up,

programmes. Time spent on the net or a network can be set. Streaming music and

customise and learn. On the other hand, Virus Barrier has every security function you

video can be stopped. There is even screen and keyboard recording for the ultra

could possibly want. Its not that the tools are difficult to understand, there are just

cautious. All this and it will even send email reports

more of them. There is a trade-off between

easiest to use when compared to its competitors. This is because of the comprehensive nature of the package. Ultimately the end user must decide what is more important; functionality or simplicity.

Final thought Virus Barrier X5 offers powerful and extensive protection with the most comprehensive feature selection available.

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Norton AntiVirus Norton AntiVirus is one of if not the most well known anti-virus providers. It is with no surprise then that the latest Norton AntiVirus for Mac is essentially the same as all that preceded it. As the saying goes; if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. There is automatic protection and manual scan functions as usual and thats about it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure the interface may be spruced up a bit but ultimately the functions have remained unchanged. This is the same as any Norton, just newer. Anti virus software is not

update for you if you have

scanning functions to catch

something that people want to use, its just something that people may need to

the time. So far so good.

viruses. Viruses will be automatically detected and removed. Emails and

protect themselves against the modern hazards of the internet. The key then for

The programme itself is easy to use. The layout is simple and self-explanatory. If the user wants to customise

every conceivable option, the software is to be a safety thats possible too. At the net without being too end of the day however, obtrusive. Think about the most will install and forget. airbags in your car. You want This allows Norton to them there for protection, operate in the background but do you want them without bothering the user. bulging out of every crevice hassling you? The best anti virus for my money would then be the one you don’t even know is there. On this front Norton has done a decent job. Pop in the CD and it installs hassle free. At the end the installer will

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The only thing to do would be the periodic updates to keep up with the new viruses. So Norton AntiVirus for Mac fits the profile of a desirable anti virus package. Norton has the internet protection as well as all the

downloads will be scanned and any threats automatically removed. Various software vulnerabilities are also guarded against with the vulnerability protection function. All the bases are covered, but if you don’t think so Symantec does offer a 60-day money back guarantee. In conclusion, Norton AntiVirus Mac does all that it is required to do. The tools are the same as any anti virus software. It does all


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Norton AntiVirus

Norton AntiVirus: Dual Protection for Mac Price: R539,99 Supplier: Norton from Symantec Middle East and Africa Internet: www.symantecstore.com/dr/sat5 this without giving you a headache, and that is just what any background software sets out to do. If the end user wants to fiddle around with settings they are more than welcome to but the default, automatic operation of the software is sufficient. Simple and efficient, which is really all you need to know.

Final thought A simple and efficient solution for your antivirus needs which isn’t too resource hungry.

Score:

6/10

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features Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0 beta Price: N/A Supplier: Kaspersky Lab

Internet: www.kaspersky.com

The latest system hog, sorry anti-virus software from Kaspersky was not the most

than adequate nature begins to show. Immediately the system begins to slow;

does with no frills added on. So there is nothing to set it apart from the competition

pleasant experience for me. This is only a beta version, so being a little rough

programmes take longer to load which makes multitasking a hassle, the

in terms of positives, but thats fine for the majority of virus protection. You install,

around the edges can be forgiven and a final judgement should be

automatic update immediately starts chewing your bandwidth, the

forget about it and are hopefully rewarded with a system that isn’t a steaming

reserved for a final release version. That being said, you get what you get and being

programme itself is even a bit sluggish initially. Sure, the whole point of an

pile of trojans. So thats all the brains at Kaspersky had to do, exactly what, say

given this beta version, there automatic update is that it is doesn’t seem to be much done on its own but when I point. The Kaspersky Antipress stop I expect it to do

Norton Anti-Virus does. Kaspersky have so far failed to achieve this. Something I

virus not only slows your whole system but when attempting to uninstall will

just that. Every time I cycled through the menus to get to grips with the application,

noticed was that the use of the English language wasn’t the best, that may seem silly

leave your system trashed and requiring a reinstall. Yes you read that right, it

there it was chewing bandwidth again as if that was its sole purpose in life.

to most but could be a symptom of a bigger problem. If someone

destroyed a Mac operating system!

Features wise, there is everything you would expect

couldn’t be bothered to construct a proper sentence, then what else hasn’t said

To start with the Kaspersky from a run of the mill antiAnti-Virus experience isn’t virus programme. Files will that bad, one might even call be scanned as they are it adequate. It has a small and quick install coming in at just under 39 MB. Then

accessed or manual scans can be performed. For me this isn’t a problem, it does

however, its nothing-more-

what every other anti-virus

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person bothered to do? Kaspersky Labs is originally from Russia so their english wouldn’t be great, but they do have offices in the UK, how hard could it be to find


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an editor. The South African website is still under construction which is a problem if you do run into localised problems, and given the terrible performance I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. All in all the stand out issue with Kaspersky is how much the system slows down when compared to using a

Kaspersky

product like Norton. Without Final thought any features that It may only be a beta but is competitors don’t have still unacceptably poor. Let’s there is no reason to go with hope all the issues are Kaspersky because of the sorted out by the final sluggish performance. This is release. not a good bet but I must reiterate this is only a beta, it is possible to pull this one Score out the fire yet. I just don’t think that is likely; stay away from the beta, far away.

4/10

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OS 3.0 has landed

As can be expected from the month in which the Apple WWDC (WorldWide Developers Conference) is held, Apple-related news has but come thick and fast. Some of it awesome, some less so, but all rather interesting. Let’s take a quick look at one of the international highlights. Yes, at last, iPhone OS 3.0

useless bricks, and simple

users who did succesfully get

was released, causing a lot of excitement, and a

low-level disappointment at the new

through the actual software upgrade found themselves unable to register their

hell of a lot of consternation, among the global

features following “new” iPhones, again the months of rendering them functionally hype that useless. While those hordes

Apple community. Just about as soon as the software

of Mac-haters Tweeted away about how

popped up on iTunes as available for download,

afficionados ridiculously suffered these

Twitter erupted into flurries of excitement matched only by the associated FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Even the Apple hardcore had a moment’s hesitation before taking the plunge, rumours of ravaged user data, brandnew iPhones being reduced (temporarily of course) to still-stylish but functionally-

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surrounded the release colouring their decision to click that button. And yet, Apple’s servers, undoubtedly reinforced in expectation of the rush of users, promptly slowed to a

“unacceptable” headaches for little more than cut-and-paste functionality which other smartphones have boasted for years. All right, that’s true enough, but then there are loads of

crawl as the globe descended things that other on them en masse. smartphones don’t have, will Predictably, the registration never have in fact, which is server fell over, so even

the reason why 10 million


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OS 3.0 has landed

people across the globe are on the iPhone instead. Now

latest Android-powered HTC enjoyed front page on the

which might seem minor in ways but really enhances the

iPhone includes some of the small features which were, admittedly, missed. And

latest Vodashop brochures. The only Apple products in the same leaflet were two

operation of the phone, can just be rolled out at no cost to anyone with the requisite

every iPhone user who has ever bought this lovely mobile now enjoys these

variants of iPod being offered for free on various contract packages? That’s

230MB of bandwidth available to download it. However, with the even

features, and a bunch more awesome touches. Score, I think.

mad! Read a full report on

bigger news, iPhone 3G S being shipped to its lucky new owners all over the world tomorrow, that’s the iPhone upgrade which really has my fingers itching... As a

Unfortunately my enthusiasm for this device, and this excellent upgrade, was somewhat dampened in

techie and proud geek, I must have the faster processor, right now!

the same week that all this cool stuff came out, by a bit of a recce of the Vodashops of the Gauteng area searching for an iPhone for our sales exec. They don’t have them. They don’t advertise them. They recommend that people not buy them as they’re too expensive. What on Earth? Why did Vodacom pay the no doubt chunky licensing fee to become the sole provider of these things if they aren’t keen to market and promote them? The

the state of the iPhone in SA next month, we had to get to the bottom of this oddball behaviour... What do I think of OS 3.0? Well, I’m genuinely impressed that the additional functionality,

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Learning Ladder

Preschool edition Supplier

Phoenix Software

Developer AvanQuest Software

Price R199

It might sound peculiar, but as a parent I’ve been wavering to introduce my 3½ year old, officially, to the technology world.

activities, with John soaking up the characters and

However, when visiting Phoenix Software’s Jo’Burg

shapes), as well as a fairly

HQ, the new range of Learning Ladder products caught my eye. And with the

general category called Where? What? And

his age. However it didn’t exactly become an addictive experience, and whether

Preschool edition, the first in When? which a pretty comprehensive introduces the series going from this 3 – 5 concepts of year old category right up to 10 – 11 year olds, dropped onto the table before me, I was pretty excited to start the potentially long-overdue introductions.

time, history, and promotes an orderly

information presented to him unbelievably rapidly, as I suppose is to be expected at

that’s good or bad is pretty much up to you, but I sort of hoped that learning in this interactive manner would be a form of stimulation which he’d be hard-pressed to give up, which wasn’t the case.

In my aged opinion, there are a couple of things From the moment I inserted that could be

the disc with little John on my knee, he was enraptured

From the moment I inserted the disc with little John on my knee, he was enraptured, although the main “character”, a talking pencil tied into a pretty unfeasible knot, tended to freak him out a little. This first instalment covers the basics of languages (Listening and Reading), mathematics (Numbers and

strengthened in these products. Straight away, an ability to go

fullscreen would help, as approach. But which games would coding which doesn’t you choose to play in each of cause the audio to freak out these three triangles is and turn itself off after five entirely up to you and your minutes. Some clearer child, so it’s more flexible explanations of what is than it sounds. required in each game would We spent a good few hours also help out a lot, allowing that first day just trolling him to grasp and run with the through the huge variety of concept himself without my learning games and incessant intervention, which

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product review

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in the current format is needed to progress.

MacFonts 2

It is, in short, probably one

Supplier Phoenix Software

of the buggiest Apple applications I’ve ever had to use. Why should a child’s

Price

effective use of technology to promote education. It also doesn’t help that the curriculum covered has no bearing in our local schools, when he gets there.

Last word Definitely could use some more refinement.

Final score

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2/10

Developer

MacWare

R299.99

So you’re in the middle of a project which has first introduction to the called for your tapping wonders of the tech world into the outer limits of be riddled with poor your impressive design programming and a pretty badly-executed concept talents, and you’re overall? The GUI, for halted in your tracks. A instance, is an entirely potchallenge has come up luck affair, with no – and you just can’t explanations or guides seem to find the telling you what the interactable objects will take precisely correct font you to for instance. for the copy which your After a couple of days I gave flamboyant creation up. And my son proceeded demands in your to miss these sessions not regular font library! one jot. That, to me, is not

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Naturally the standard fonts installed on your Mac do cover a pretty broad spectrum, after all they’re included as the most commonly-useful and therefore flexible ways of depicting your copy regardless of the chosen platform. But for that utterly-unique, probablysensational piece of jawdropping visual creation

which you’ve now been tasked with, it’s OK to find them simply inadequate. Noone has ever risen to their rightful position on a design podium, after all, by doing everything the same way convention demands. What you need is a copy of MacFonts 2, now available from Phoenix Software. At just R299.99 it’s a small investment to make, as it opens up whole new avenues of creativity by providing you with a thousand new fonts to further enliven your seminal design work. These fonts are provided in both TrueType and OpenType formats, to ensure compatibility between your Mac and the client’s PC. What I also appreciated about MacFonts, is the Font Manager application you use to enable your new additions to your design arsenal. You can choose to


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make the new collections available permanently or just temporarily to avoid

MacFonts 2

select each one manually from the extensive list. Although there are several “extended” font sets which merely stretch the useable reach of existing system fonts, MacFonts includes a host of entirely unique,

your system becoming bogged down by an endless listing of fonts when you’re involved in more mundane work activities. There is one glaring oversight which the Font Manager does suffer from however, I couldn’t find a “Select All” button, so if you do want to enable all thousand new fonts you have to go through and

that the font sizes are substantially smaller than traditional fonts so that if you do just want to install the entire library, it won’t consume as much system space as you might reasonably expect it to.

highly creative fonts for adding the visual impact you’re looking for to your

As a wordsmith and not a professional designer, I found the endless array of

text elements. It’s easy to browse through and select the fonts you want using the

cool new fonts enjoyable to play about with, imagining layouts in which they might

Font Manager and simply enabling it for your current session instantly makes it

work, but as a professional I’m sure they could be invaluable over time. Which

available to all the applications you might need the font in – no hassle and

to me, makes the package well worth the insignificant price tag.

no fuss. There’s even an ever-useful international character set for those who may be needing to insert, for instance, the Euro symbol several times in their completed projects. And the providers, Macware, claim

Last word Liberating in some ways, but not entirely flaw free.

Final score:

6/10

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product review Bento is probably one of the most

underrated applications for the Mac. It’s a simple, easy to use database aimed at the home and small business user. Whilst it doesn’t have the relational database capabilities of Filemaker it’s a capable program and there is even an iPhone App available, which can share data with your desktop computer.

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Supplier: Phoenix Software Price: R561 www.phoenixsoftware.co.za Internet: www.filemaker.com/products/bento/

Bento was created by the Filemaker team, so they do have a pretty good idea about database applications. Yes, Filemaker is significantly more powerful but, as with most software applications, only a small amount of that power is ever exploited by the average user. I guess you could say that Bento is ‘Filemaker Light’ with one significant difference, ease of use. Not only that, if Bento suits your needs, you will save you some money too.

scratch.

Bento is a Mac application and it’s been designed with a look and feel that will be

There is, of course, the option of creating your own Library using a blank form and

instantly familiar to Mac users. Seamless integration with Address Book and iCal, as well as Integration with Microsoft Excel and

adding your own fields. All of the field types that you would expect are available and again, the ease-of-use theme shows

Numbers is a real bonus. Bento also includes several pre-created databases, or Libraries as they call them. So even if you have no

through. When you create a field, a pop up appears which guides you through the process, stepping you through choosing a

database knowledge you can get going straight away. Modifying the pre created libraries is a lot easier than starting from

field type, name and so on. Should you require more complicated fields such as calculations or drop down lists, Bento will

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Bento database

assist by configuring the form so that you know what

together using the split view option.

CD and drag the program into your applications folder.

is required. There are also helpful tool tips, which describe the type of field

Data capture can be a

Type in the licence key the first time you open Bento and that’s all there is to it.

and an example of what you might use it for.

tedious task and a visually appealing interface makes the job more interesting.

I am a complete dunce when

Once you have created your data entry forms and added

Bento caters for your needs allowing you to customise forms so they look a lot

it comes to database creation and yet I had no problem with Bento. I

some data, you can either scroll through the records one by one or use the

better. Themes are available for those users that are challenged in the graphic

created a database that works out the fuel consumption of vehicles,

impressive List view. List view displays the information in columns

design department. I particularly liked the wood finish look of the Bookworm

which will be the subject of a How To in next month’s magazine. It took me less

similar to a spreadsheet. Can’t make up you mind which view you like best?

theme.

than an hour, even starting with a blank form.

Fear not, you can use both

Installation is straightforward, insert the

If you need a database that is easy to use, cost effective and you don’t need the functionality of Filemaker, Bento is the well worth the asking price.

Final thought Not quite Filemaker but a great, cost effective database for the home or small business user

Score:

9/10

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M

Supplier: ZA Store www.zastore.co.za icrosoft Price: R4,499 (Standard Edition) Office has for Internet www.microsoft.com/mac/products/office2008/ several years been the standard office suite in the business world. Office Mac somehow manages to outperform its PC cousin in both features and user experience. The 2008 version of the suite uses Open XML so all of your documents are compatible with the 2007 PC version of Office.

Win a copy

Office Mac 2008 is the first Universal Binary

We have 2 to give away to the first two correct answers received

version of the office suite and adds several new features. As you would expect, included All are standard Office components, Word, Excel,

you have to do is read the PowerPoint and Entourage, which is the Mac equivalent of Outlook. What you don’t get is review and then a Database application equivalent to Access. answer the You do get Messenger for Mac but that’s a questions below. free download for non-Office users. There are three versions of the Microsoft Office Mac 2008; Standard, Home and

How does the 2008 Office suite ensure Student and the Special Media Edition. The backwards compatibility with the 2007 PC Home and Student Edition includes all of the version of Office? applications but loses Exchange Server Name two new features found specifically in the 2008 version of Word? support and Automator Actions. It is only licensed for non-commercial use but can be What is the name of the new feature found used on three computers. The Special Media in Office 2008 that displays your upcoming Edition is the Standard Edition with the appointments and tasks? addition of the Microsoft Expression Media Send your answers to application.

letters@macaction.co.za, and a brand A new feature, which is particularly useful in new copy of Microsoft Office 2008 Mac the 2008 version, is My Day, which is a little could be on its way to your door!

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Microsoft Office

floating window displaying your upcoming

designed templates for items Apple specific feature is the within a document, table of ability to use your Apple

appointments and tasks. My day uses the information in Entourage and you can enter

contents and bibliographies for example. Publishing Layout View effectively turns

tasks directly into the floating window. By default, it will remain on top of all

Word into a desktop publishing application, allowing you to freely place

other active windows, which text, photos and graphics. can be annoying, but there is Ledger Sheets and a new a preference setting to formula builder wizard are prevent that happening. new in Excel 2008 as well as Entourage is a fully featured more columns and rows. I mail client and personal organiser with the added bonus of a project

must say, I have never needed more but I’m sure some people do. Ledger

management tool called Project Centre. Being a Microsoft application,

Sheets are pre-created spreadsheet templates for items such as invoices. All of

linking to an exchange server the formulas have been is possible unless you opt for created, saving you a lot of the Home and Student work. Of course, for more edition. Customer relationship management is limited though, and it would

complicated formulas you’ll have to work them out yourself. This is where the

be nice to have a CRM tool included.

formula builder wizard is a real bonus, helping you to create formulas that actually

Word 2008 has a couple of interesting new features

work.

including Document Elements and Publishing Layout View. Document

PowerPoint, in this release, offers you the option of sending your presentation to

Elements are professionally

your iPhone. Another handy,

remote to change slides when you are presenting. Smart Art graphics is a handy new feature, which makes PowerPoint much easier to use and is available in the other Office Applications. You can create artistic looking bullet lists as graphics which can be placed anywhere on the page. If you are a business user and you exchange documents with PC users, Mac Office is without doubt the best solution for you.

Final thought Office is the defacto standard in corporate organisations. It works better on a Mac than on a PC, interestingly.

Score:

8/10

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how to Understand recordable discs

How many times have you stood in a store and pondered on which media manufacturer and /or type of disc to buy? Is it better to purchase the + or the minus range. If you want to record music, photographs or video, which should you buy? What do the labels on the disc mean, which disc works on what output and how do they differ. We hope to take some of the mystique out of the jargon. To date there are 2 recording standards that are widely used — DVD-R/DVD-RW and DVD+R/DVD+RW

The Disk

Terminology CD

Compact Disc

DVD

Digital Versatile/Video Disc

DVD R

DVD Recordable once only

DVD RW

DVD ReWriteable (Rewrite over existing data)

CD vs DVD

The shiny side (possibly with The physical construction of writing on) is placed face up a CD differs from a DVD. A in the CD rack. A CD and DVD DVD uses a shorter wave

.jpg. When copying an entire wedding’s photographs onto a disk, it would be prudent

look the same. They are both length laser. The DVD has 120mm in diameter and smaller pit and lands and have a thickness of 1.2mm. has less distance between

to use a DVD as it holds far more images.

DVD’s can be single sided (like a CD) or double sided (similar to a music tape). CD’s can only be written on one side. The information is not erasable. Data maybe added incrementally until the disc is full.

the coils of the data track. Whether to use a CD or DVD is based on the amount of data you want to record. If, for example, you have taken photographs using a camera’s RAW capability i.e. .RAW or .NEF, the file size is generally 3 times larger than

¤ DVD holds almost 13 times as much information as a CD ¤ DVD capacity starts at 4.7GB of data ¤ DVD 4.7GB (single sided/ single layer) ¤ DVD 9.4GB (double sided/1 layer) ¤ DVD 8.5GB (single sided/ dual layer) ¤ DVD17.1GB (double sided/dual layer)

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DVD-R

Storage Capacity

DVD-R was the first DVD recording format released. This was compatible with

DVD-R and DVD-RW both are purchasable single side 4.37 GB DVDs (also called DVD-5) and double sided 8.75 GB DVDs (also called DVD-10).These formats are supported by DVD

standalone DVD Players. DVD-R are compatible with about 90% of all DVD players

Forum.

and most computers DVDROM’s.

DVD-R and DVD-RW are officially approved by the standards

DVD-RW RW means Rewritable. You can add more data to the disc at a later stage, or alternatively completely remove existing data and start fresh with alternatively data. DVD-RW is compatible with 80% of all DVD players and the majority of DVDROM’s.

Why – and + group DVD Forum. The DVD Forum was founded by Mitsubishi, Sony, Hitachi, and Time Warner. DVD+R and DVD+RW formats are not approved by the DVD Forum standards group. They are supported, by the DVD+RW Alliance. They are supported by Sony, Yamaha, Philips, Dell, and JP.

The Functional Differences The main functional differences between DVD-R and DVD+R are: ¤ The manner in which the disc is recorded?? The price.

Maximum Writing and Reading Speeds The speed at which a disc is written is not related to the speed of the read back of the recorder. Low speed discs can only be written from 1x to 4x speed. The amount of time it takes to record depends on: ¤ The recorder (speeds of 4,6,8,12,16,20) ¤ The writing method used by the recorder ¤ The amount of information required to be written.

What is Multisession? You may have noticed that Nero or a similar disc copying package will ask whether you

recorded disc. You will have to finalise any discs written in multisession mode before

want to burn single or multi session. Multisession allows additional data to be written to a previously partially

it will be compatible with anything other than another DVD-Writer drive, often from the same manufacturer!

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how to

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how to The iPhone is an absolutely fantastic device and arguably the best phone on the market but there is a problem. The iPhone is locked to a specific service provider, which limits its usefulness to users of alternative cell phone networks. If you are an iPhone user on a Vodacom contract and you don’t travel to foreign countries, read no further your phone is doing all you need it to do. If on the other hand you want to be able to use your phone on a network other than the one it is locked to, read on. You might want to, for example use a local sim card when you visit a foreign country. You might have been tempted, as I was, and bought an iPhone in another country because it was actually affordable. The

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Unlock your iPhone problem is that when you get home and insert your

(That said, my UK-sourced iPhone is now totally happy

sim card it doesn’t work so you find yourself holding an iPod touch with GPS.

on MTN, and I’m totally happy with the price I paid for this awesome mobile!)

Fear not, help is at hand. We

Unlocking the iPhone is a 2-

are going to teach you how to unlock your iPhone so that it can be used on any

stage process, first you need to jailbreak the device and then you unlock it.

GSM network. Before we start though, we must just issue a couple of warnings.

Jailbreaking does not unlock the phone but what it does do is install Cydia, which is

This article is designed for users of the iPhone 3G only, at the time of writing, it

an app that allows “unofficial” software and utilities to be installed. Once

won’t work with the new iPhone 3G S! Secondly, it is not sanctioned by either

the iPhone has been jailbroken, you use Cydia on the iPhone to install

Apple or this magazine so continue at your own risk!

Ultrasn0w, which is the unlocking tool.


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how to

With all of that behind us, let’s begin the operation.

choice of download desktop where you stored providers. Unfortunately, the the file. RedSn0w will let you

The first thing that you will need to do is ensure that your iPhone is using the

ipsw file is quite a big download, about 230Mb. The file you are looking for is

latest version 3.0 of the operating system. Plug your phone into your Mac using

called button. iPhone1,2_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw Redsn0w will ask you to Put the ipsw file and the switch off the iPhone before Redsn0w application into a you start, so do that and

the USB cable and then open iTunes. Select the Summary tab and then click on the Check for Update button.

folder on your desktop called iPhone. Close down iTunes

know that it is happy by saying IPSW successfully identified, click the Next

then click on the Next button. The next screen will ask you to select which options you would like to have, make sure there is a tick in the Cydia checkbox, you’ll need that to install UltraSn0w. Click the Next

button and then RedSn0w will ask you to switch the iPhone off by holding the The next step is to download the ipsw file and the

and then double click on the Redsn0w icon to run the

power button on the top right and then sliding the power off slider on the

Redsn0w application, which can be found all over the Web, just copy the filename

application. RedSn0w will ask for the ipsw file that you downloaded earlier. Click on

screen to the right. Once you have done all of that, you are ready to start the

into your browser and you’re the browse button and go sure to come up with your the iPhone folder on your

jailbreak - but pause for a moment!

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how to As soon as you click the Next button, you have to follow

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button. It may take a couple of attempts but persevere;

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asking who you are, select the Hacker option.

the rigmarole of holding you will get it in the end. down the power button for 2 That’s all there is to the seconds and then without jailbreaking operation, several things will happen but you can just allow it to carry on. Once RedSn0w says that the jailbreak is complete, the iPhone will take several minutes

releasing the power button, hold the home button for 10 seconds. Then you’ll release the power button but keep holding the home button for a further 30 seconds. All of

longer to finish it’s thinking so don’t unplug it yet. Once the

Tap on the Manage icon along the bottom of the screen and you will be

operation has finished on the iPhone, it should reboot and you will have a

presented with two options, select Sources by tapping on the screen. You will see a list

jailbroken phone with Cydia installed and you can unplug it from your computer.

of sources already installed on your iPhone if there are any. In order to add another

the instructions appear on the RedSnow screen so it’s The Cydia icon will appear easy to follow but the reason on your iPhone along with I said pause is that the timer all of the other installed will start counting down as Apps. Tap on the Cydia icon soon as you click the Next and there will be a screen

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source – UltraSn0w – click on the Edit button in the top right of the screen. Select the Add button, which is on the top left of the screen


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how to

and a pop up will appear asking you to enter a URL.

Done button to continue. Tap on the

find the new carrier and you are on your way.

The source that you type in is repo666.ultrasn0w.com without removing the http:/

Repo666.ultrasn0w.com source and then tap on the UltraSnow application,

Should the entire process fail

/. It must be typed in correctly, bearing in mind that the 0 in UltraSnow is a

which should be the only item on the screen. Tap on the Install button in the top

zero. Once you have typed it

right of the screen and then tap on the Confirm button. Wait for UltraSnow to install and then tap on the Return to Cydia button again. Reboot your iPhone by holding down the power and home buttons together and your iPhone should be unlocked. Hooray! I don’t know if you have to switch the phone off

in, tap on the Add Source button. Once the sources have updated, tap on the Return to Cydia button. Now that you are back in Cydia, you will see UltraSnow as a source at the top of the screen, tap the

at any stage, just plug your phone into your Mac and open iTunes. Click on the Restore button and that should take your phone back to the way it was before you started and you can try again. Also, remember that the ipsw file is not an upgrade to OS 3.0! If your phone is still running an older OS version, firstly where the hell have you been? And secondly, be sure to update it to the current OS version before going ahead and following our tips above. And once it’s all done, enjoy

your iPhone! Easily and before changing the sim without prejudice the card but I thought it was coolest cellphone on the the safest way. Replace market the sim card and switch today. the phone back on. It will take a couple of minutes before you see Searching where the network identifier should be, don’t panic at this stage, the delay is normal and your sexy new iPhone is probably not bricked! Eventually it should

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how to Set up email accounts Apple’s Mail programme is a great tool for the management of all your email needs. Despite this, if there are no email accounts set up then it really doesn’t matter how good the application is because you won’t be able to use Mail. The process of setting up your email accounts manually really isn’t that daunting and there is no reason you can’t do it yourself. For the purposes of this guide, we will presume that you are setting up Mail in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Before you start setting up

immediately be confronted

your email accounts, you should be sure that you are actually connected to the

with a welcome screen asking for your Name, Email Address and Password. Your

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you have to do is choose Add Account from the File menu. Once you have filled in your name and relevant email address along with your password, the next screen is where you set up your Incoming Mail Server. At the top is the Account Type

internet. Don’t just presume name and email address you are if you have set up could already be filled in if the internet. Test your set up you put these in when with your web browser like Safari. It may sound silly, but sometimes the biggest problems have the simplest solutions. Along this line you should also consider using software update to get the latest updates available. The first time you click on Mail in your Dock, you will

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installing your operating system. If the welcome screen doesn’t appear, all which in this case is a POP account. You then need to fill in a Description for this particular email address. You may put what you like here, all this option specifies is how this address


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set up email accounts

shows up in your inbox. If you are going to have

is about setting up multiple accounts, which we will go

for this is unchecked. This authentication is in

multiple addresses then it is recommended having something specific. If you

into later. So for the sake of simplicity, the Description should be kept the same as

reference to the the User Name and Password requests below, so all it is

describe every one of your addresses with your name there is going to be an

the Incoming Mail Server. The Outgoing Mail Server is not the same as the

asking is if you want to fill in your password when you use Mail. This option really is up

obvious conflict. Below Account Type and Description you will find

Incoming Mail Server. to you but I left the box Double check if you have put blank. The User Name and the correct details in and not Password should already be

three more boxes to fill in: Incoming Mail Server, User Name

accidently used the setting filled in using the settings from the Incoming Mail from the previous screen. Server. There should be a box Just as with the Incoming

and Password. The information needed for these should

below asking if you will only use this particular outgoing server, by default it is

Mail Server there will be a delay during which the connection to the specified

have been provided by your Internet Service Provider.

checked and you should leave it this way. The next box wants to know if you

mail server is verified.

After filling in all the would like to use relevant information authentication, the default and clicking

The next step is more security questions regarding your outgoing mail which are again largely down to

continue there will be a short delay whilst Mail checks the mail server is correct. If no problems are found you will proceed to the Outgoing Mail Server setup. The Outgoing Mail Server will also need information provided by your ISP. The first item to set is the Description. This article will

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how to

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final check before actually creating your first email account. Once you have read through this short summary and checked everything corresponds to the information provided by your ISP, you can go ahead and create the account. This should automatically open Mail,ready for use. Of course there is still the need

personal preference. It is possible to just click continue here without

dealing with just leave Authentication on the default None and the Secure

changing anything, but if you want to you can select one of five Authentication

Sockets Layer box unchecked.

options. I left everything off. These options are for different types of email accounts, for what we are

After this you will be presented with a summary of all the settings you have filled in This Account Summary only serves as a

to check your work again and the best way to do this is actually use Mail. Try sending and email, you should also get someone to send you a mail to check the incoming server. Assuming that following your checks everything worked fine, we can now move onto setting up another account. Open Mail if you haven’t already and select preferences from the Mail menu. You should now be looking at an overview of all your existing accounts.pic 6- The account which we have already created should be visible on the left with all the information of that account on the right.

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set up email accounts

Navigate to the bottom left corner of this window, there

the same process as before of setting up your Incoming

everything with the relevant information, just make sure

are plus and minus buttons here and you should select the plus to add another

Mail Server for this new account. Fill in the

you have a different Description so you can

account. This will now start the process of adding another account to your inbox. The Add Account screen is the same as the very first step when we set up your original email account. Plug in your Full Name, Email Address and Password. Now you have to go through differentiate between your multiple email addresses when using Mail. Beyond that the process is the same as before from here on in, just be sure not to mix up all your different settings for each email account. Using this method you will be able to create multiple email accounts with relative ease, the most difficult part is really just copying the information provided by your ISP correctly.

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the little things

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Griffin AirCurve Acoustic Amplifier for iPhone/iPhone3G Apart from looking really modern and slick, Griffin’s AirCurve amplifies the audio from your iPhone without drawing a single extra Watt from our apparently prescious SA powergrid. That coiled waveguide “horn” that you can clearly see through the polycarbonate shell projects the sound emitting from the handsets own speakers, amplified by about 10 decibels, sufficient for the whole room to enjoy your audio collection or even as an alarm clock, and one which will never fail you even if you’re property suffers a power failure while you sleep! Easily the “greenest” speaker set on the planet, and ideal for our power-challenged conditions! Price : R 399

Available from iGear

MyVu Crystal Sure you can listen to audio from your iPod using a set of decent headphones, but how about if you want to watch your videos on the move without the restrictions of the handheld screen inhibiting your enjoyment? Well then the MyVu Crystal “sunglasses” are what you need! Compatible with all video-supporting iPods, including iPhones, these swanky-looking shades incorporate a VGA-capable (640 X 480) SolidOptex display, powered by built-in Lithium-Ion batteries good for a claimed four hours of viewing pleasure, and then rechargeable either directly or via USB. Naturally a high-quality pair of noise-cancelling earphones are also built-in as well. It may seem a rather expensive luxury, but the MyVu Crystal really works a treat, looks great, and don’t in any way impact on the battery life of your mobile player. And at just 84g, you won’t feel like you’re wearing an LCD on your melon! Price : R3670

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Available from iGear


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the little things

iHome iP9 Following-up on the best-

switch your iPhone to “Airplane” mode to avoid

supporting all generations of iPods and iPhones without

eardrum-grating buzzing coming through the powerful, high-quality Reson

having to have specific inserts, and charges your mobile player while you

on significant user feedback.

stereo speakers. There’s a 75-2 alarm programming schedule, so that you can

sleep. Power-out protection is also provided, with a bay for four optional AAA

The unit now includes a remote-control in case your bedside table is

customise your wake-up time for an entire week, as well as Hotel modes for the

batteries ensuring that you’ll never miss an important meeting due to the vagaries

uncomfortably far from your bed itself, and features great shielding from GSM noise

perfect home-style wake-up experience.

of the SA grid.

The dock itself is adjustable,

Available from iGear

selling IH9 which has been a favourite amongst consumers since it launched in 2007, the new iP9 iPod alarm dock has been significantly improved based

making it unnecessary to

Price: R1499

Roth ALFiE audio system Bit big for an iPodcompatible audio extender,

There’s AM/FM radio support, a Touch-sensitive

isn’t it? Bit pricey too, regardless of the legendary audio quality the

remote control, digital alarm clock sporting a dual alarm setting, AUX-In for

manufacturer is known for.

connecting a non-iPod external player (why, we don’t know), and a 192 X

That’s because ALFiE is much, much more than just an iPod home entertainment

24mm LCD display.

dock. It features, well, pretty much everything. There’s a slot-loading DVD drive which

Audio quality is excellent, the system delivering a full 40 W of high-quality audio,

plays CDs, CD-Rs, MP3 discs, CD Video, and DVDs via the rear-mounted S-Video and

the pair of speakers augmented by a 20W downward-firing sub for

RGB outputs to your TV set.

really beefing-up the music

stream. It’s genuinely roomfilling sound in a sleek and trim package, and a musthave for homeentertainment afficionados who also happen to pack iPods. Price: R7 189 Available from iGear

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ipod competition

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Life’s Good!

ipod competition ‘I’M A MAC’

No one ever warned us about how fast-paced and cluttered life becomes after we’ve left the secure environment that is school and ventured forth into career paths unknown. Sure, we had some warning signs, like our first few nervous days at varsity where our work-load (and body weight) seemed to quadruple but there was nothing that truly prepared us for the unforgiving climate of the working world.

of the recordings she had kept from my childhood, and I overheard myself asking

It is only once you are

I recently found myself

unleashed into the frenetic ecosystem of our economy that you soon realize

trying to think back to the very first time I fell in love with all things electrical and,

I was a PC the day the first one arrived at our house as a Christmas gift from my dad.

working smarter and enjoying the simpler things in life are so much more appeasing to the tortured soul than dealing with archaic technology and a plethora of ‘divergent’ devices that all promise simplicity but instead

It was while I was traversing the net one day that I came across the sexy unibody Macbook

her all sorts of questions about the device with which she was recording my voice. I was 4 at the time. So I guess it was then that I first became captivated by the mysteries of gadgetry.

It was only after powering it up for the first time that I started to understand the implications of having a device like this at home. Games, school projects, music, movies, the internet (much later obviously) — it was all possible on this multitasking powerhouse.

deliver complexity.

for the life of me, I couldn’t I am a technophile - there is come up with the exact no doubt about it. I have an moment when I realized that I had an innate propensity to immensely strong want to analyze the enthusiasm for technology, workings of a piece of tech. especially new technologies

Have you ever noticed how, when you truly love someone, you are more than

such as personal computers,

Then, lo and behold, a few

the internet, mobile phones and home cinema.

months ago I came across my mother listening to one

excitement of not knowing what each day will bring to your relationship?

willing to overlook their imperfections and quirks and that it all adds to the

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ipod competition Well, I believe the same was true when I had a PC. I was

generation iPod with the Apple emblem on it, but

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awesome Apple products and chatted to Apple users

so in love with all the things apart from the odd Mac I my PC allowed me to do that saw in movies, it didn’t hit I overlooked all its errors, me that this was an

on local forums. It slowly started to dawn on me that this was a world I would love

blue screens, crashes, slow startups, conflicts, viruses, corruptions and

alternative to the PC-centric existence I had been living for so long.

to be a part of. A world where style is just as important as substance, a

temperamental behavior.

It was while I was traversing

However, when I entered the working world I mentioned above, I began to notice that

the net one day that I came across the sexy unibody Macbook that everyone was

world where the collective sigh of PC users was drowned out by the satisfied

the excitement of not knowing what each day would bring started

suddenly rejoicing over. At the time I was in the market for a

becoming more of a deeprooted dread of not knowing when my precious would

new laptop, so I thought I would do

next let me down.

some research on what

It was this realization that got me searching for alternatives to what I had put up with for so long. I wondered if this was something experienced by

owning a Mac entailed. Well, I

everyone or if I was the only fool being taken advantage of by my love.

must have spent weeks researching the Apple brand. I read reviews and

And then I came across the Apple brand. Granted, I

testimonials, viewed Apple video conferences, drooled over gallery upon gallery of

already had a second

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silence of Apple aficionados and a

world where simplicity and getting things done faster was a good enough reason for me to jump aboard. And so, at the end of last year, I forked out for a 13inch Macbook. I had to


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ipod competition

shake off the PC habits I had developed over time, but I

importing photographs, joining a wireless network,

sucking PC that had given me so much fun and

found the whole process of learning to use a Mac an enlightening and interesting

chatting to friends online, automatic backups, synching an iPod with iTunes, creating

heartache over sixteen years and plunged head-first into understanding the global

experience.

a family DVD and syncing iCal meetings and birthdays with a cellphone is a walk in

enigma that is the Apple brand and it has subsequently brought a

the park and all without a single error message, crash or nuclear meltdown.

clean and uncluttered perspective into my once chaotic world.

I got rid of the dust-

My name is Bradley and I’m

developing, ire-inducing, wire-wrangling, space-

a Mac.

Whether or not you’ve ever used a PC, using a Mac isn’t rocket science and has always been developed with ease-of-use in mind. So getting up and running with tasks such as word processing, email, internet,

Congratulations, Bradley. All of those who were unsuccessful this time around, take heart. Your entries will be carried forward to the next competion. Please send new entries to: letters@macaction.co.za with the subject line “ipod competition” Best of luck to all our entrants check the next issue for the winner.

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Rich pickings... at Apple’s WWDC With economic conditions forcing the cancellation of the “other” major international Apple expo for 09, MacWorld, this year’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer’s Conference) saw the usual spate of wild rumours, postulation, and projections on Apple’s tightly-guarded future product secrets doubled. So when the event kicked off in San Francisco on June 8, the seating was packed to absolute capacity with eager fans, slavering journos, and hordes of developers all busting at the seams to hear the real story. Wish we were there. Nevertheless, as ever the unofficial hype saw some

cool new version of the spectacularly successful

get a new look, although you can

over-optimistic pundits leave smartphone, it astonishingly the keynote address enough wasn’t the only big somewhat disappointed. No news. Let’s do a quick recap

now have one in white or black. Nor did it get new OLED screens. But it did get

Apple Tablet, no matt-black iPhone, no glowing Apple logos, and not even a

then, now that some of the international furor surrounding the new iPhone

twice the RAM and a substantially faster core processor. And a new 3MP

glimpse of the recovering Steve Jobs. Bugger.

has died away, on what was revealed at WWDC and therefore what we can

camera with some seriously cool autofocus functionality linked to the iconic touch

realistically be looking forward to getting our hands on in the six months left of

screen, as well as several useability enhancements primarily courtesy of OS 3.0,

this trying year.

also looked at in much more detail during WWDC.

However, looking back over the WWDC as a whole, there’s still a hell of a lot there to be excited about, Mac lovers! Although the new iPhone 3G S might have swept the focus, almost immediately, onto this very

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iPhone. Faster, fitter, and more fabulous than ever All right so the 3G S didn’t

To be honest, most of this stuff you’ll already have read


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WWDC

about considering the extensive media coverage of

the new 32 GB 3G S takes the top price point of

the device worldwide (and with good reason, 1 million

USD299 as the new premium support for a more model. programmable approach to

units sold in its first weekend is nothing short of groundbreaking in the currently-depressed market conditions). A smaller detail which may have escaped your attention, are the dramatic price-cuts. The rumoured USD99 iPhone turned out to be reality, but rather than a new, functionally-limited product Apple just dropped the old 8GB version into this highly

We hope these savings are afforded the SA market soon. The iPhone is still exorbitant here, pass these savings on to your consumers please Vodacom! One more area of improvement which hasn’t quite seen the publicity it deserves, was the newlyupdated graphics processor on the S. Now using Imagination’s PowerVR SGX mobile graphics chipset, the

latest iPhone reportedly has attractive price category. The the raw graphics processing 16GB was also slashed, performance to trounce the down to just USD169, while mobile gaming benchmark

device, Sony’s PSP, while adding OpenGL ES 2.0

3D rendering using shader programs rather than the linear, processor-heavy approach of the previous generation graphics cores. Although gaming on the iPhone has had a lot of potential up until now, the limited rendering power of the device has seen realworld results in 3D games being less than ideal. This new graphics core upgrade, in conjunction with the processor and memory bumps, make the device a real contender in the still-

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growing mobile gaming

becoming available for

the slew of updates made to

space, so expect to see a raft of new games come up in the App Store and existing

Android-based smartphones like Layar. And finally, MobileMe subscribers can

the Macbook lineup, and especially the pricing adjustments which ought to

titles perform far more playably on a 3G S model iPhone.

now make use of the handy Find my iPhone feature to locate their device should it

see these brilliant notebooks becoming more accessible even in our price-sensitive

And to wrap up iPhone

ever go missing.

market.

news, comes the ability to tether via Bluetooth to your notebook (except on

A hand full of Pros First up is the expansion of the Macbook Pro family,

AT&T and, we’ve heard, Vodacom unfortunately), the addition of a new Tom

which now includes the humblest 13-inch Macbook swelling the

Tom navigation app as well as a built-in compass. This last feature is actually a lot more than merely a handy gimick, as it is this function which enables the next-

Although the imminent release of the latest iPhone may have grabbed most of

generation of augmented reality applications now

the headlines, we were actually more interested in

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ranks. This littlest Apple notebook has come in for some major updates to rationalise its new Pro status, including the superios battery technology


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WWDC

keyboard and “the nicest display ever fitted to a

range, the 15” Pro receives basically the same treatment

Macbook” complete the upgrade, and all of this comes in at a RRP

as the new baby, with a new and improved display, that higher-tech lithium-polymer

(Recommended retail price) of less than the outgoing model.

battery from the 17”, the SD Card replacing the ExpressCard slot, and 2.53 to

We visited the Sandton

3.06 GHz processor speeds. And, once again, a healthy price reduction. High-end

iStore just a couple of weeks after these announcements and were pleased to find this previously only available on 17” Pro models which allow for a claimed battery life of up to 8 hours, as well as

new 13” Pro already instores, and at a price R1000 cheaper than the old models

were going for. It’s still expensive when compared improved “green” credentials directly with UK or US as these latest batteries last pricing, yes, but the upshot longer before requiring is that the 13” Macbook Pro replacement and disposal of the old battery. The new Macbook Pro also gets a spec update, and can now be ordered with up to 8GB of RAM as well as a 500GB hard drive, or 256GB SSD (Solid State Drive) if you prefer. There’s now an SD slot and the return of a Firewire 800 port for those who still haven’t taken Steve Jobs’ flippant advice to “Just buy a new USB-compatible video camera”. A backlit

is both cheaper and more

17” models remain largely unchanged but also enjoy list-price reductions. Even the ultra-mobile Macbook Airs have been revised, now offering more performance, more RAM, and bigger HD capacity for a significant cost reduction of over 33% on average!

capable overall than ever before in the local market.

Snow Leopard’s claws come

Moving up the Macbook

Finally, there were the

out software announcements, and naturally the entire convention was on tenterhooks waiting for some additional info on the oft-discussed Snow Leopard release of OS X. They weren’t to be disappointed, as Apple revealed several tasty tidbits on the new environment

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including its proposed pricing structure, USD129

has released its latest Creative Suite with OpenCL support.

enhanced through this technique, and spare GPU

for a new user, and just USD29 for upgrading users.

That means that your favourite design and graphics manipulation packages from

“clocks” can be utilised for, as a prime example, calculating more realistic

this company have the mostly linear, serial numbercrunching power of the CPU

physics effects in real-time for more immersive gameplay, much like what

at its disposal as well as the stream-based parallel compute abilities of the GPU

Nvidia has done with it’s PhysX model based on the CUDA architecture, but not

for further accelerating the app itself as well as the graphical output. So that

proprietary like this model.

Much more interesting than the pricing however, where all the confirmed snippets of rumoured capabilities. Such as the integration of Mail, iCal, and Address Book with Microsoft Exchange for business users, various updates to commonly-used software, and a whole new underlying graphics engine now based on the emerging OpenCL standards which Apple has been working on alongside graphics giant ATI for a few years now. OpenCL is in fact a huge investment for all the companies involved. As it’s name suggests, it’s an entirely open standard for developers

gaming-oriented graphics card now works just as hard in business apps, boosting the speed and responsiveness of these programs and, in turn, boosting the outright productivity of users of this software. And all for, quite literally, no cost. After all you already have the powerful graphics capabilities installed for pure rendering purposes, all that

to take advantage of which, in essence, puts the massively parallel compute power of the this new architecture does is make this more broadly GPU core at the fingertips of available. Even games any application, not just games, and not just for rendering jaw-dropping visuals. Already, for instance, Adobe

60 ! MAC action

themselves can be

This also means that the OS itself is able to utilise the 3D strengths of the installed graphics hardware for accelerating its own operations, in effect making the environment even more aesthetically impressive without overtaxing the CPU and therefore limiting


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WWDC

performance. So expect OS X to become even flashier,

key areas of the Apple infrastructure which perhaps

out of the woodwork. Make no mistake, the brilliance of

slicker, and more visually arresting.

needed seeing-to. The combination of specification enhancements and lower

the iPhone has seriously come under fire since it first swept the market before it,

prices go a long way towards anulling that Apple Tax myth which was already

but the improved capabilities of the S, which developers will only now

debunkable using some simple arithmetic, and add the performance benefits to

start to fully take advantage of, allow it to take that allimportant step on and move

applications of the newlyrefurbished OS and its new OpenCL platform when Snow

those goalposts that the competition has been so firmly focussed on putting

In addition, naturally, Snow Leopard has been further optimised and streamlined for multi-processor operation, which apparently Leopard didn’t have down anywhere near as efficiently since when first introduced the multicore revolution had only just got underway, which again should yield

Leopard launches in greater performance even on September and you’ve got machines across the board existing hardware due to which perform far better at a pure efficiency much more attractive price enhancements, which is always nice. And it manages point. The added these bonus performance jumps while also being significantly smaller overall then OS X 10.5, and therefore taking significantly less time to first install.

A solid haul Although some have called the WWDC announcements a bit trivial and lacking the real impact they anticipated, we feel that this news very effectively addresses several

functionality further complements this stronger value proposition with

business-friendly Microsoft compatibility, and suddenly the Mac becomes a truly

an equaliser into the net of. It’s also been remarkable just how quickly these announcements have actually made it from the keynote to the streets, barring Snow Leopard of course which isn’t too far off now itself. Overall, Apple has responded resoundingly to

viable corporate tool.

the criticisms levelled at it from competitors and fans alike, delivering more

Meanwhile the iPhone news suggests that the worldbeating handset will

performance and functionality at lower price points than ever before,

continue to reign for some even to users who don’t time despite the explosion of immediately upgrade to the the smartphone market and latest machines available the Apple-aping attempts which have recently crawled

when the new OS sees the light of day.

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Sim City has come a long way since the first version, which had a two dimensional birds, eye view only. I have to say right from the start that I love Sim City. I think it should be compulsory course work for anyone involved in local government, or national government for that matter. SimCity for those of you

simulating human nature.

with information about the

unfamiliar is a game in which Keeping your Sims happy is a game as well as useful tips. If you are the Mayor of a city difficult task indeed. There is reading isn’t your thing, and it’s your job to manage a fine balancing act between there are several tutorials the infrastructure and finances of your city. Although Sim Nation is not a

giving your Sims what they within the game to guide want and you through the process of keeping creating a successful city.

democracy so Sims can’t vote

Once you are ready to go it alone and

you out of office, they can vote with

create your first city, you select an

their feet and move out of town. Once

uninhabited piece of land. You can

they have moved away, you lose the

make changes to the landscape before you start, a

tax income, which means you have less to spend improving your city and you end up going round in ever decreasing circles. So, the key to the game is

the budget in the black. The first thing you notice when you pick up the

keeping your Sims happy but SimCity 4 Deluxe box is that the programmers have done it’s quite heavy. That’s an excellent job of because it comes with a decent user manual filled

62 ! MAC action

worthwhile exercise since changes after the city has started will cost money. You are going to need a power station in the first instance because Sims won’t start building unless electricity is available. The next step is to zone some


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Sim City 4

land for building. You can decide to zone either

example how are you going to get your Sims from home

Everything you provide for your Sims costs money, even

Industrial, commercial or residential land but there is a demand indicator to help

to work? How are you going to keep the air pure and the streets clean? Then of

the roads need maintaining.

you choose. Before you know it, your Sims will start building houses and

course, they need policing and educating as well as healthcare and fire

factories. So, it all seems quite simple doesn’t it?

protection.

reduce your spending on any of the public services but there is always a downside.

Well, actually it is a lot more complicated than that and,

The simple solution is to build all the utilities that you might need as well as

If your Sims are not well educated, you won’t be able to attract high tech

let’s face it, if it wasn’t it would be a pretty boring game. No, there is so much

police stations hospitals, schools and fire stations but if you do, you’ll run out of

industries. If crime in your city gets too high or healthcare is not up to

more to consider — for

money quite quickly.

scratch, Sims will move away

As the mayor, you get to decide how well funded your public services are. You can

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and take their taxes with them. Cutting back on your

hard to encourage them to leave their cars at home. If

notoriously difficult to keep happy. The “not in my back

fire service will almost certainly end in disaster as fire engulfs your city.

you don’t, you will have traffic and pollution problems. Public transport

yard” theme shows through in all aspects of the game. Sims want large areas of industrial

All work and no play, as they

needs to be convenient and well funded since Sims won’t walk too far to get on a bus

land so that there are plenty of jobs but they don’t like the pollution created by industry.

or train and they want the service to be absolutely reliable too.

They want to drive their cars but they don’t like being stuck in traffic. Sims want top rate

The programmers have done

public services but they don’t want to spend all of their hard earned Simolians on tax. Set

say, makes Sims dull people, so you will need to provide entertainment. Sims love parks and wide-open spaces, which should be taken into account when you zone

residential land.Sims love to an excellent job of simulating drive and you’ll have to work human nature. Sims are

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games review

the tax rate too high and they’ll be off in search of

Your city is part of the greater Sim nation and you

see Sims walking around with placards when they are

another place to live.

need to be in a position to trade with other cities. You will need road links, rail

on strike and firemen putting out a fire.

Fortunately you do have advisors to help you make important decisions but you should be aware that they are only interested in their own department. It’s up to you to decide what the downside might be when they make proposals.

links, airports and the like in order to improve the economy of your city. The graphics are excellent,

All in all, SimCity is a lot of fun but be careful, it can be quite absorbing. I spent an entire Saturday building a city without realising how

maybe not in terms of much time had gone by. ultimate image quality but in the detail. It’s a lot of fun to

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Mac Action Issue 4 August 09  

At last issue 4 is up. Apologies to our regular readers for the wait, but it's here at last and in a new home, which it will be on indefinit...

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