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Genuine replies or just lies? Jobs has answered some emails, but how can we tell the bona fide ones?
teve Jobs has found the send button. Apparently. More and more people who send him a note are getting replies, but do you think it’s actually him? Let’s consider the evidence. For starters, the address: sjobs@ apple.com. Can you imagine how much mail must land in that inbox every day? Far too much for the CEO of your corner café to handle, never mind someone with a $25 billion cash pile. The new message sound will be pinging so often he’ll think he has tinnitus. His real email address will be far more obscure. sjobs is just a front. Then there’s the tone. Jobs is known for his businesslike manner, but some of these emails are more than terse. Hardly good PR, and not a great way to create the image of a friendly, approachable company. So what’s my gut feeling? Well, I do actually believe these emails come from Jobs. Or some of them do, at least. The trouble is, we don’t know which ones. No doubt there’s some kind of quality control you have to get through before his eyes ever rest on your words – perhaps someone employed just to watch that mailbox – but if he does light upon your message, then the note you get back will be from the man himself. Congratulations. Tell the world, tell the web and revel in your brush with email fame. But how do we know that you’re telling the truth? Therein lies the rub. While Jobs engaging with the general public, if indeed it is him, is a move to be applauded, the fact that we can’t verify these messages makes it a dangerous move. Remember a couple of years ago when Apple’s shares tanked on the back of a supposed internal email announcing shipping delays for both Leopard and the original iPhone? It was leaked to Engadget, and investors started to weep. An hour later, the email was unmasked as a hoax and the shares more or less recovered. These little email bulletins Jobs is apparently sending are simultaneously so hard to verify and so quickly seized upon by the media (even The Daily Telegraph has published ‘The top ﬁve terse Steve Jobs email replies’) that it wouldn’t be difﬁcult for someone who wanted to manipulate the price of Apple stock so they could buy on the cheap and turn a quick proﬁt to knock up a ﬁve- or sixword note with faked headers. The ultimate Fake Steve Jobs. Whether or not these emails are real, Apple has a duty to itself and its investors to let us all know the last one has been sent, and replace them with a public forum. Keep firstname.lastname@example.org up and running, but pick the best queries and answer them in person, in public, at apple.com.
Nik Rawlinson is the editor. This issue he’s been trying to ﬁnd out where in France he can watch Eurovision after a booking mix up.
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contents MACUSER, 4 JUNE 2010 – VOLUME 26 – NUMBER 12
H C T I D K S E D R U YO
▼ PAGE 56
ad P i e h t n o k iWor h t i w e c i f f o The mobile
W IN MICROSOFT
OFFICE FOR MAC 20 08 BUSINESS EDITION
Specialist Real World Columnists ▼ DESIGN FOR PRINT PAGE 76 Paper sizes: get to know your A, B, C P
▼ PHOTOGRAPHY PAGE 78
Is the Digital Economy Act wrong for rights?
▼ VIDEO PAGE 80
Create a green screen for adding effects
▼ AUDIO PAGE 82
The iPad isn’t a great music tool… yet
▼ MAC TO THE FUTURE PAGE 84
3D adds new dimension to home entertainment
▼ iWORK PAGE 86
iWork is a real hit when it comes to charts
Beginners’ Guide to… ▼ Mail PAGE 104
We show you the ropes in Apple’s email application
▼ PAGE 62
Switching to the Mac ▼ Exposé and Spaces PAGE 106
Take control of application windows and your Desktop
this issue News
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Adobe runs ‘We love Apple’ newspaper ad + Second iPhone 4G gets into the wrong hands + Apple unveils new MobileMe Mail app beta. www.macuser.co.uk/news
The latest products reviewed and rated by our team of experts, including: Epson B-510DN If you can live with the looks, you’ll get decent speed and low running costs Introducing Steam Download games straight to your computer from Valve’s online store Everything iWant A round-up of the latest, most-desirable gadgets available for the iPad and iPhone + Finder addons Top tools for an efﬁcient Finder. www.macuser.co.uk/reviews
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Adobe runs ‘We Love Apple’ newspaper ad
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely to reveal the actual iPhone 4G at the WWDC on 7 July.
Second iPhone 4G gets into the wrong hands
▲ Apple and Adobe are engaged in a heated battle, each claiming the other is guilty of having proprietary technology. Adobe believes Apple’s stance on Flash is robbing users and developers of the freedom to choose.
nce famous for its paranoid obsession with privacy, Apple has dropped the ball for a second time with its hotly anticipated iPhone 4G. Less than a month after gadget blog Gizmodo gained access to a prototype left in a bar by a young Apple engineer, someone posting to Vietnamese sites Taoviet and Tinhte seems to have got hold of another. They quickly set about deconstructing the phone to see exactly how it was put together and what components it included. Images of the handset were posted online and a video review was uploaded to YouTube. The two models that have surfaced appear to be virtually identical, although the rear of the Gizmodo handset was branded with the placeholder text ‘XXGB’, while the Vietnamese version reportedly bears a 16GB logo. The Vietnamese handset also lacks the screws on the bottom of the case that were present on the Gizmodo handset. In the video and images, the device appears to be running a ﬁrmware Page 009 diagnostics program called
Image PA Photos.com
n a surprise move, Adobe has come your freedom to choose what you create, out and pledged its love for Apple in a how you create it and what you experience new advert, despite the ﬁrm’s continued on the web,’ it says. stance to keeping Flash support from iPhone The advert is the latest blow in a long and iPad users. and drawn-out battle between the two Adobe placed the advert in The Wall Street giant corporations, and despite doing its best Journal, The New York Times and the San to portray Adobe as the champion for users’ Francisco Chronicle rights, it shows the in the US, and The level of animosity ‘Despite doing its best to portray Financial Times in is building. the UK, declaring in a Apple claims Adobe as the champion for users’ banner headline: ‘We it has excluded rights, the advert shows the level Love Apple’. The text Flash from its of animosity is building’ underneath reads: ‘We mobile device plans love creativity. We love because Adobe still innovation. We love holds the reins on apps. We love the web. We love Flash. We the development of the standard. Although love our 3 million developers. We love healthy the speciﬁcation for Flash is openly available, competition. We love touch screens,’ it begins. it’s still controlled by the company. However, after that, the tone changes. Adobe, meanwhile, argues that Apple Page 009 ‘What we don’t love is anybody taking away is in the wrong for denying
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Adobe advert fires another salvo at Apple over its refusal to support Flash technology its users and developers the choice. In an open letter posted on the Apple website last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called Flash ‘100% proprietary’. ‘[Flash products] are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, and so on,’ he said. ‘By almost any deﬁnition, Flash is a closed system.’ He also hit out at Adobe over its security and reliability, saying that ‘Flash is the number-one reason Macs crash’. In retaliation, the founders of Adobe, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock, published another letter that said: ‘We publish the speciﬁcations for Flash – meaning anyone can make their own Flash player… We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web.’ Apple has remained deﬁant about not supporting the technology in the iPhone OS, despite calls from Adobe and users alike. It’s backing HTML5 instead, which will see video run without an extra layer of software, straight from the browser. Moreover, with popularity for the standard increasing and the amount of sites choosing it to display embedded video clips rising, the likelihood of Adobe changing Jobs’ mind looks increasingly slim. With sites such as Facebook, YouTube and The New York Times all opting to make their video visible without Flash, many question the need for Apple to cave in.
Apple bumps power and price of white MacBook
pple has tweaked the performance of its entry-level laptop, the white MacBook, but at a price. The portable Mac now comes with a slightly faster, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and newer, Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics. Maximum battery life has also been improved, from seven to 10 hours. All that (plus a weaker pound) adds up to a price increase of £33 to £849 (£723 ex VAT). The rest of the white MacBook’s speciﬁcation remains unchanged, comprising a 250GB hard drive, 2GB of Ram and the 13.3in, 1280 x 800-pixel display.
Apple resolutely refuses to support Flash on the iPhone OS and is instead backing HTML5.
Apple has further incensed Adobe, as well as many third-party developers, by banning the use of Flash technology to create iPhone applications. Jobs pointed out that its lack of multitouch support was a signiﬁcant factor, but claimed that the fact that it was proprietary, would drain battery life and was unstable were also factors. In the early days, Apple owned around 20% of Adobe, but there’s no love lost between the two ﬁrms now.
Vietnamese websites expose 4G prototype
Image Courtesy of Apple
Inferno and at no point is shown with the iPhone OS loaded. Shots of it taken apart show that it uses an Apple-branded processor similar to the one in the iPad. It’s unknown where the latest leak came from, but CNN reported that $4000 (about £2748) was allegedly paid for the iPhone. Apple acknowledged that the ﬁrst device was a real prototype, but it’s still unknown whether the ﬁnal release version has been changed since that model.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely to reveal the actual iPhone 4G at the Worldwide Developers Conference on 7 July. Leaked photos and speciﬁcations of the update to the MacBook (see story above right) also surfaced on the Tinhte website prior to its launch and have turned out to be accurate. In recent years, more and more of Apple’s forthcoming hardware has been ﬁnding its way onto the web since an early fourth-generation iPod nano.
Apple unveils new MobileMe Mail app beta
pple has started public beta testing of a new version of the MobileMe Mail web app. New features include a choice of views, rules, a formatting toolbar and single-click archiving. The company has introduced a new widescreen view to show more of each message with less scrolling, with options to choose a compact view to hide folders or classic view to see more of the message list. The Rules feature will enable users to set up rules at me.com to automatically organise incoming email in the web app and on any other MobileMe-connected device – Mac and PC, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Apple is also promising improved performance, with faster load times and the ability to scroll all messages automatically, as well as increased security. MobileMe subscribers can apply to join the beta test by clicking the ‘Request an invitation’ button in the current version of the Mail web app.
Vietnamese site Tinhte has also leaked details of the MacBook update. The beta version of the new MobileMe Mail app now offers a choice of views.
Microsoft unveils revamped Hotmail
icrosoft has unveiled a new version of photos and updates from your closest of Hotmail, its widely used webmail friends on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, service. Windows Live Hotmail and over 70 other websites’. will launch in the summer, with signiﬁcant The inbox also supports inline viewing, changes to the inbox, mail handling and and sharing of photos and other attachments. mobile support, as ‘If you receive a well as better security, document, you can support for multiple now open it with the ‘The inbox also supports email accounts, full power of the new inline viewing, and sharing of improved contact Ofﬁce Web Apps, photos and other attachments’ management and right in Hotmail,’ more storage, with explains Craddock. sub-folders. The inbox also has Dick Craddock, group program manager new tools to manage mail without resorting for Windows Live Hotmail, outlined some of to ‘complex’ rules. the changes on The Windows Blog. ‘We’ve While Hotmail already supports many introduced practical innovations to help smartphone platforms, compatibility is people manage the clutter and regain control fairly limited on some devices, including of their inboxes – efﬁciently,’ he wrote, the iPhone and iPod touch. Microsoft is noting that the Hotmail inbox will also be promising improvements, with support able to display email from other providers for ﬁlters, inline message previews, HTML such as Gmail, Yahoo and AOL. It can also messages, ofﬂine viewing, conversation be plugged into social networks to display threading, ﬂagging and an option to show a ‘consolidated, privacy-protected stream or hide message header details.
Small ISPs escape crackdown on illegal file sharing
mall ISPs will be exempt from the new anti-ﬁle-sharing strictures introduced in the ﬁnal days of the Labour government. The Digital Economy Act requires ISPs to send written warnings to alleged ﬁle sharers and, if they don’t stop, allows them to implement a series of measures, such as bandwidth throttling, to persuade them to do so. The Act passed power to implement the rules and determine what measures should be taken to Ofcom, and the regulator informed the Internet Service Providers’ Association that the initial Code of Conduct would only apply to small ISPs with around 400,000 land-based subscribers. This means anyone not connected to the Internet by one of BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Sky, Orange, O2 and KC in Hull would not receive a notice from their ISP.
Nokia adds the iPad to its patent dispute with Apple
▲ A new version of Hotmail, Windows Live Mail, will launch this summer, with a number of signiﬁcant changes.
okia has ﬁled a fresh lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the iPad infringes ﬁve of its patents. The Finnish phone maker claims that the 3G version of the iPad breaches patents covering antenna technologies, the use of positioning data in applications, and technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission. However, Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall believes that the spats between the two ﬁrms are overblown. ‘I think the Nokia/ Apple lawsuits are a lot of noise… My guess is this lasts for years and they both issue some cross licences to each other.’ Apple is also embroiled in iPhone-related legal disputes with Kodak and HTC.
iPad sells out across Europe
Image Danny Bird
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
pple appears to have sold its entire allocation of iPads for its international launch on 28 May. The company’s online stores in the UK and the eight other countries where it went on sale last week are now quoting a June date for deliveries of new orders. Early customers saw their iPads arrive on or around 28 May. The US is also suffering a shortage of Apple’s newest device. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster found that within three days of the 3G model going on sale, 49 of the 50 stores he surveyed had sold out. Apple’s US
online store is now quoting a delivery time of seven to 10 business days. The company said that the shortages didn’t reﬂect a problem with manufacturing or supply, but were simply due to unexpectedly high demand, although it hasn’t commented on the latest delays. It has, however, commented on the ongoing problems some users have had when trying to connect their iPads to wiﬁ networks. Having initially suggested a series of possible workarounds, Apple has now acknowledged that there are faults, which it will address in a future iPad software update.
Mayor promises free wifi for London by 2012 Boris Johnson has promised free wifi across the whole of London in time for the 2012 Olympics. The capital’s mayor said the Wi-Fi London project would put access points in ‘every lamp post and every bus stop’. He said that 22 of London’s 32 boroughs had already signed up to the scheme. ‘Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the Internet, was born in London, so we claim paternity of the Internet,’ the mayor told Google’s Zeitgeist event in Hertfordshire. ‘London is the home of technological innovation. We in City Hall are doing our best to keep up.’ London mayor Boris Johnson recently announced the Wi-Fi London project, which aims to put free wifi access points in every lamp post and bus stop across the capital.
Apple set to take on Spotify with its new music streaming service
ith Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference approaching, speculation is mounting over what Apple may announce and high on the list is a music streaming service. The new system would allow customers to store their music libraries on centralised servers and stream them to mobile devices over an Internet connection when away from home. The ‘digital locker’ of ﬁles, as it’s being called, will require users to log into a dedicated website, where they’ll be provided
service, which had not been accepting new users for some time, closed down on 31 May. Much of the technology that underpinned Lala is expected to be integrated into the new streaming tool from Apple, as its engineers have been kept on the payroll.
Customers currently pay 79p per song on the iTunes Store, but must download ﬁles to a computer or transfer them to an iPod or iPhone before listening to them.
With the new system, purchased songs will be streamed instantly. The new service is likely to be hosted at iTunes.com, which currently points to a page describing the iTunes software itself. According to The Times, Apple has built a huge server farm at a cost of around $1 billion (about £695 million), and its purpose has been kept secret. This could be in anticipation of running a streaming service, which would require a vast processing and bandwidth resource.
‘It’s not yet known whether the service will be funded by advertising revenue or through a monthly subscription charge’ with an interface to play back remotely stored ﬁles. Rather than being stored as ﬁles on a home computer, they would be kept online, negating the need for backups or storage space. It’s not yet known whether the service will be funded by advertising revenue or through a monthly subscription charge, but further details are expected to be announced at the San Francisco Apple World Wide Developers Conference on 7 June. In December last year, Apple acquired the established music streaming site Lala for $80 million (about £55.7 million). The
▲ Use ed to download music ic onto thei ute Apple’ treami service vice iis set et to cha Users of iTu iTunes need their computer. Apple’s streaming change this.
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HTC asks ITC for iPhone injunction Image PA photos.com
▲ Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed that the company is all about ‘freedom from programs that steal your data’.
Price of freedom O
ddly, the Apple brand is they like – they don’t have to buy or develop synonymous with two things that or publish on iPads if they don’t want to.’ seem entirely at odds with each other: Now, in the technology sector, there are creativity, thanks to its adoption by the artistic few issues as contentious. Should you plump industries, and fanatical attention to design; for an open, democratic system, or one that’s and restriction, because of strict guidelines controlled by a single entity? In an equal on how developers can make and customers ﬁght I’m sure most people would choose the can use content and applications. former, but the ﬁght is far from equal. The debate between Adobe and Apple I switched to Apple while studying software seems to be bringing this dichotomy to the engineering. Part of the appeal was that forefront of everyone’s everything just worked. mind. Apple claims it’s The same couldn’t ‘Apple claims it’s doing what’s in simply doing what’s be said for my PC or in the customers’ Linux box. Spending all the customers’ best interest, best interest, opting day making programs opting for HTML5 over Flash, for HTML5 over Flash, drained what little which it calls 100% proprietary’ which it calls an enthusiasm I had ‘100% proprietary for tinkering with system’. If Apple can’t misbehaving ones. control it, it shouldn’t expose its customers I didn’t want to have to take time out to it, goes the argument. of writing code to get the application that Adobe counterclaims that what’s in the transferred music to my MP3 player to work best interest of the consumer is to allow properly. So I got an iPod. And an iBook. And, anything on the platform and see what really, I’ve never missed anything. sticks, to let people have Flash whether it Now that I use an iPhone, I don’t miss slows their iPads to a crawl and drains their Flash, either. Playing with HTML5 video batteries dry, or whether it doesn’t. We can demonstrations has convinced me that it’s the only guess what would actually happen. future. Maybe it’s not fair to shut out Adobe, However, we do have a rare insight into but by doing so Apple is ensuring the platform Jobs’ opinion on the matter. Ryan Tate, a will continue to be slick and seamless. writer for Valleywag, ﬁred off an email to Jobs It’s a compromise I can live with. complaining about the lack of Flash support for iPads. Interestingly, Jobs replied. Tate asked if Bob Dylan, who featured in a classic Apple ad campaign, were 20 today, how he would feel about the company. ‘Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with “revolution”?’ he asked. ‘Revolutions are about freedom.’ Jobs ﬁred back a message that said his actions were all about freedom. Just of a different sort. ‘Yep, freedom from programs Matthew Sparkes has a couple of that steal your data. Freedom from programs degrees in computer science, but has yet that trash your battery.’ He added: ‘Users, to pay even one of them off. He made developers and publishers can do whatever the leap from Redmond to Cupertino in 2006.
aiwanese mobile ﬁrm HTC has demanded that Apple stop selling the iPhone, iPad and iPods in the US while a legal tussle over alleged patent infringements is resolved. The company is suing Apple over ﬁve patents, just months after the Mac maker struck ﬁrst by suing it for allegedly infringing 20. Apple claims that the company has copied technology relating to the iPhone’s user interface and hardware, and HTC has now struck back over patents relating to the way that calls are placed to contacts and power management. When Apple ﬁled its original complaint in March this year, CEO Steve Jobs complained HTC had stolen technology to use in its own smartphones. ‘We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,’ he said. At the time, HTC warned it would defend itself against the claims. It has done just that by making the appeal to the US International Trade Commission for an injunction against the sales of iPhone, iPad and iPod. If successful, the claim would even prevent Apple from importing the devices into the country from its manufacturing plants in China. HTC’s vice-president of North America, Jason Mackenzie, said: ‘We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners and our customers who use HTC phones.’ The day after the Taiwanese company ﬁled its legal appeal saw its share price rise by $16 (TWD), (about 34p), showing that the legal problems aren’t affecting conﬁdence in the company among investors. The smartphone industry is awash with a series of patent claims between the major players, including Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and Apple. With so many patents and alleged patent infringements in the sector, it’s unlikely that a speedy resolution will be found.
▲ HTC claims Apple has infringed ﬁve of its patents. Apple claims HTC has breached 20 of its patents.
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Google attempts damage limitation after Street View data theft Google stops Street View car activities and readies encrypted version of its search engine after wifi data theft débacle.
Image Byrion Smith
oogle is set to launch an encrypted version of its search engine and has grounded its Street View cars after admitting it had unwittingly collected data from wiﬁ connections. The company confessed that its Street View cars had surreptitiously harvested payload data from open wiﬁ connections. The cars were meant to merely record the hotspots’ SSID and MAC address to help improve locationbased services, but the company claims the piece of legacy code used to collect the information was mistakenly reaping payload data as well. Google insists that this wasn’t used by the company and is in contact with the
relevant authorities in each country to ensure the data is disposed of properly. The search giant claims that only small pieces of payload data were collected from each connection. ‘We will typically have collected only fragments of payload data because: our cars are on the move; someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by; and our in-car wiﬁ equipment automatically changes channels roughly ﬁve times a second,’ Alan Eustace, senior vice-president of engineering and research wrote on the Google blog. ‘In addition, we did not collect information travelling over secure, password-protected wiﬁ networks.’
In a bid to head off criticism of its privacy record, Google announced that it would launch an encrypted version of its search engine, ensuring that search results couldn’t be tapped over an open wiﬁ connection, for example. Earlier this year, the company turned on encryption by default for users of its Gmail service. In a further move to restore conﬁdence, the company has also announced that its Street View cars would no longer collect any data on wiﬁ hotspots as they roam around the country. Only a month ago, Google was forced to launch a staunch defence of the collection of such data, claiming it was common practice.
015 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
HP to hook printers to net via WebOS
‘Today, geolocation services are an increasingly popular part of the web,’ Google said in a statement when it was ﬁrst revealed that Street View cars were collecting data on wiﬁ hotspots. The statement continued: ‘Wiﬁ location information is by its very nature publicly broadcast and collecting it for geolocation purposes is not new or unique to Google. Such information has been collected by companies for years, and many other Internet companies are using exactly the same information collected by different providers.’ Google has grounded its Street View cars until the necessary modiﬁcations can be made.
Good news for authors with Lulu iBook deal
nyone will be able to publish a book for sale through Apple’s iBook Store, after self-publishing venture Lulu announced a deal with the iPad maker. Apple has anointed Lulu as a ‘certiﬁed aggregator’, which will allow it to publish, or re-publish, any submitted book in the ePub format and sell that book on the iBook Store. Lulu will price books to meet Apple’s guidelines, with the author receiving 80% of the proﬁt after deducting Apple’s 30% cut. Authors will either have to submit their books as manually created ePub ﬁles or employ Lulu’s converter, which does at least guarantee that titles will meet Apple’s strict validation process.
Apple reserves the right to decline to list an eBook in the iBook Store if it determines the book violates the company’s policies on inappropriate content. Daniel Wideman, Lulu’s senior product manager, said the publisher had submitted ‘hundreds of titles’ and to date had seen just one rejected. ‘We’re committed to open publishing – to helping as many creators as possible reach as many consumers as possible, no matter the platform,’ Wideman said. ‘Publishing at Lulu means you can have your work in hardcover and paperback and as an eBook accessible on many popular devices, including the iPad.’ For more information, visit lulu.com.
Image Courtesy HP.com
P has revealed it plans to use its which] one device would become ubiquitous. recently acquired WebOS software We believe the world is [heading towards] to connect its range of printers more mobility, not less, and more and more to the Internet. differentiation between what users want to The company picked have in terms of up the ostensibly capability all the way ‘You’ve now got a series of webmobile operating from a purely voice system when it product up through a connected printers that, as they acquired Palm last smartphone capability connect to the web, need an OS’ month. Analysts through a tablet Mark Hurd, HP’s chief executive assumed it planned to through a notebook, use the software to and we expect to power a new range of play across the tablet devices, as well as existing Palm gamut of capabilities the customers want, and future HP smartphones. Now HP has and that’s where we expect to go.’ added printers to the list. ‘We expect to leverage WebOS and the Apps Store beyond smartphones into form factors such as slates and webconnected printers,’ explained Mark Hurd, HP’s chief executive. ‘When [you] think of printers, you’ve now got a whole series of web-connected printers that, as they connect to the web, need an OS. We prefer [that OS] to be our IP [intellectual property], where we can control the customer experience as we always have in the printing business, and that’s a big deal to us.’ Hurd added that the same case for controlling the software could be made ‘for smaller-form-factor products’ such as tablets. ‘We think there’s a market there and we expect to be a participant in that market, so we feel very good.’ Hurd said When asked about the iPad, Hurd said: HP CEO Mark Hurd said the company wanted to ‘leverage Web OS beyond smartphones’. ‘We’ve never felt like the market [was one in
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Chinese manufacturing plant that builds devices for Apple, as well as HP and Dell, has been beset by a rash of suicides among its staff, leading to criticism of its working conditions. Such is the range of devices manufactured by Foxconn Technology Group that if you own a Mac mini, iPod, iPad, iPhone, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360 or an Amazon Kindle, then one of its factories probably built it. The latest victim was 21-year-old Nan Gang, who was the ninth worker to take his own life, according to the national newspaper China Daily. The Taiwanese-owned company had already seen 10 attempted suicides this year and had taken some radical steps to stop that ﬁgure rising. As well as employing 100 counsellors since the suicides began, the ﬁrm has taken on Buddhist monks to see to the emotional and spiritual well-being of staff. It’s also set up a helpline for workers to call if they’re feeling stressed, and implemented a bonus system that rewards staff who warn managers about people with potential emotional problems. Chinese police admitted the latest suicide involved a young man falling from a four-story building. The incident
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Concern over increasing number of suicides at Chinese factory occurred in Shenzhen, where Foxconn has a manufacturing plant that employs a staggering 300,000 people. Many workers in these large manufacturing plants are young and live on-site in buildings that resemble large university halls of residence. With other plants in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil, India and Vietnam, the ﬁrm is thought to employ a total of around 800,000 people.
The suicide ﬁgures are certainly startling, but with such a high number of staff perhaps not unexpected. The World Health Organisation quotes China’s suicide rate as 14 per 100,000 and with single Foxconn-owned plants holding hundreds of thousands of workers, the numbers become even more worrying. In July last year, a worker at Foxconn tasked with sending out 16 prototype iPhone 4G handsets realised that one of the devices was missing. He was later found dead after having ‘As well as employing 100 counsellors, the jumped from the 12th ﬂoor of his block of ﬂats. firm has taken on Buddhist monks to see to In February of this year, the emotional and spiritual well-being of Reuters news agency claimed staff. It’s also set up a helpline for workers’ that one of its reporters had been assaulted by Foxconn security staff while taking While Foxconn has taken steps to avoid photographs of a factory from a public road. further suicides, there are still worries Police were eventually called and managed to about working conditions in the large plants. resolve the incident, but allegedly told the Critics have warned that young workers doing reporter that if he were to make a complaint, shifts of 10 or 11 hours under extreme he should realise Foxconn enjoyed a special pressure to keep to tight deadlines are status locally. simply being pushed too far. Coupled with The company recently announced net this, they claim, conditions in the large proﬁts of more than $568 million (£394 factory dormitories away from friends and million) for the ﬁrst quarter of 2010, more family make matters worse. than 30% up on the previous year.
UK designer takes bling to the next level with gold and diamond-encrusted iPad But there is a price, and it’s quite a high one. Ordering one of these will set you back £129,995, and it’s of little comfort that for the price of an average house, you get the 64GB version with wiﬁ and 3G support. The iPad was designed by Stuart’s wife, Katherine Hughes, and will be modiﬁed in
the UK. It will also come stamped with all the hallmarks you would usually ﬁnd on gold jewellery to prove just how much it would recoup for you if you melted it down. If the golden iPad has struck a chord with you, then head to goldstriker.co.uk where you can place an order.
Only 10 special-edition gold iPads have been made, but you’ll have to fork out £129,995 to own one.
Image Courtesy of stuarthughes.com
s if showing off an iPad in the UK wasn’t exclusive enough already, Stuart Hughes – the Liverpudlian designer who was also behind a £2 million platinum iPhone – has unveiled a solid-gold and diamond-encrusted iPad. The rear of the device and the screen surround are made from one piece of solid 22-carat gold, and there are over 25 carats of diamonds embedded in the case. A total of 53 individually set gems are mounted around the Apple logo. Staggeringly, the heavy gold panel weighs in at just over 2kg, so it’s a lot harder to carry around than a standard model. The designer’s website (stuarthughes. com) says that the iPad’s design ‘is outstanding even down to the precise polishing to reveal its most beautiful harmonious appearance. A magniﬁcent combination of top of the industry technology and unrivaled craftsmanship was involved in creating this masterpiece’. As well as the added bling, you also get added exclusivity, because the company will only make 10 special-edition iPads.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
coming soon WATCH OUT FOR REVIEWS OF THESE PRODUCTS IN THE COMING ISSUES
This issue’s round-up of the latest new products features two digital cameras from Sony, a LaCie networked hard drive and NEC’s 3D projector.
Sony Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 Price £tbc Contact Sony + sony.co.uk
The latest additions to Sony’s Alpha range are a pair of interchangeable lens digital cameras which, like Four Thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, are lighter than a DSLR thanks to the lack of mirror and pentaprism. The 14-megapixel sensor is physically larger than that in a compact, so images should have less noise than those shot on a compact. Both cameras can use lenses from Sony’s Alpha DSLR range with an optional mount adaptor. The NEX-5 can also capture 1080i HD video with stereo sound. Additional features include a Panoramic Sweep facility that captures multiple exposures and stitches them together in-camera, and an on-screen help system that includes shooting tips.
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LaCie Network Space Max
Price 2TB drive £235 (£200 ex VAT); 4TB drive £405 (£345 ex VAT) Contact LaCie + lacie.com/uk LaCie’s Network Space Max is a network hard drive that comprises two 1TB or two 2TB disks. It can be configured as Raid 0 for speed or Raid 1 for security. The drive connects to your local network using Gigabit Ethernet or can attach directly to your Mac using a USB 2 port on the back. There’s also a front-mounted USB 2 port, so you can download files from a USB memory stick or digital camera. The Network Space Max has support for UPnP and DNLA media adaptors, direct download from BitTorrent, and can act as an iTunes server.
Canon CanoScan 9000F Price £229 (£195 ex VAT) Contact Canon + canon.co.uk
The 9000F has a 9600 x 9600dpi CCD sensor, which Canon claims provides ‘unsurpassed reproduction with incredible detail capture’. It’s also capable of capturing images at 48-bit colour depth. A film adaptor allows scanning of transparencies and negatives, and Canon claims that one frame of 35mm negative film can be scanned in about 18 seconds at 1200dpi. In addition to seven EZ scan buttons, which let you Auto Scan to PC, email, copy or PDF, the CanoScan can also be set to recognise text automatically and save the results for editing.
Price £511 (£435 ex VAT) Contact NEC + nec-display-solutions.com NEC’s NP216 features DLP Link technology. This has a refresh rate of 120Hz, and allows 3D images to be shown from a single projector and seen by viewers wearing active glasses. It doesn’t need special screens or a filter, nor an emitter to synchronise the glasses. According to NEC, the impression of 3D is created by the interaction with the active LCD shutter glasses. The 1024 x 768-pixel resolution projector also claims low power consumption, which can be further reduced with its Eco mode. This increases lamp life to up to 5000 hours.
“Getting the perfect wildlife shot becomes your life. Losing it would be like losing part of yourself.” Stefano Unterthiner | www.stefanounterthiner.com
Portable Bus-Powered Dual-Drive System
Award-winning wildlife photographer Stefano Unterthiner has learned to be tough, resilient and fast. For his hard drives, it comes naturally. Stefano spends months in the wilderness, often in brutal conditions, making friends with his elusive, wary subjects so he can convey their true character. On location, he uses a bus-powered G-RAID Mini to store the extraordinary, up-close images he takes with his Nikon D3 camera, always conﬁdent he’ll get them home in one piece. Back in the studio, Stefano processes and edits in Adobe Lightroom, backing up on a G-SAFE drive as he makes ﬁne adjustments to coax out even more drama and intensity. Losing his precious images at any stage would be hard to bear. But that’s one danger he’ll happily live without.
3Gbit eSATA, 2 x FireWire 800, FireWire 400* and USB 2.0 Firewire bus powered – even when connected eSATA
Comes with leather carrying case
*via included FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 cable
Stefano Unterthiner trusts his creativity to G-Technology drives. Find out more at G-Technology.eu
HAVE YOUR SAY. EMAIL US AT MAILBOX@MACUSER.CO.UK
Star letter Air vs iPad
From Simon Pettman I see Kenny Hemphill’s point regarding the potential risk to the future of the MacBook Air from the iPad (see MacUser, 7 May 2010, p130), but it would for sure be a big mistake if Apple were to move in this direction. During the ash cloud saga, I was stuck for a week in San Francisco without my Air. Life was looking bleak. Fortunately, I was in the right city to buy an iPad. It’s a wonderful tool and it will no doubt be a huge success. It was just perfect for web
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EDITORIAL Editor Nik Rawlinson email@example.com Deputy editor Kenny Hemphill firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing editor Howard Oakley Technical editor Keith Martin Staff writer Alan Stonebridge email@example.com Senior reporter Paul Nesbitt
Art editor Camille Neilson Freelance designers Fanni Kosztolanyi Images Danny Bird, Jan Cihak
work, and wasn’t bad for email, but it couldn’t replace my Air. My productivity is based on speed and efﬁciency in responding to emails, drafting documents, developing presentations and the like, and even with more practice I couldn’t become even half as efﬁcient on the iPad as I am on the Air. So, my iPad now sits in the ofﬁce for clients to gaze admiringly at and use to access the web, but my work continues just as happily as before with my Air.
Production editor Jon Lysons Remote sub-editor Kirsty Fortune Sub-editors Rob Woodcock Ad production executive Michael Hills 020 7907 6129 Digital production manager Nicky Baker
Advertising manager Alexandra Skinner 020 7907 6623 firstname.lastname@example.org Account director Nicky Crawford 0207907 6624 email@example.com Online group ad manager Gary Rayneau 020 7907 6812 firstname.lastname@example.org Classified sales executive Craig Chambers 020 7907 6652 email@example.com US advertising manager Matthew Sullivan-Pond ++1 646 717 9555 firstname.lastname@example.org List rental inserts executive John Perry 020 7907 6151 email@example.com
PUBLISHING & MARKETING
From Scott Parker I’ve just returned from a visit to New York where for me a trip to the glass cube Apple Store was as necessary as seeing the Statue of Liberty. The largest crowd was around the iPad desk, understandably. I dutifully joined the eager throng and eventually managed to get my mitts on a well-handled and grubby iPad. I went through all the apps and demos on it, and had my questions answered by the helpful and plentiful store staff on hand. However, if I’m honest, I was slightly underwhelmed, probably because of the hype, as I was expecting to be bowled over. Just as well, really, as the store and, as it turned out, most of New York, was sold out of all models. Due to my reaction, I found myself popping in to various Best Buy outlets to have another paw at it and use the free Internet access to locate places to eat. Eventually, on my fourth ‘happen to be passing’ visit to the ﬂagship cube store, I was told it had received a delivery of 64GB models 30 minutes earlier, but word had somehow got out and a very large queue had already formed. My wife told me to ‘just go for it, you know you want to’, so I joined the back of the excited queue, picking up a case en route. People were going mad, most buying the maximum of two per customer. Having now had time to play with it, I have to say I think it’s an absolute marvel and so much fun to use. The decision to use the iPhone OS is a stroke of genius and it totally suits the touchscreen input, while the bundled rewritten apps show its capabilities and screen off to a tee. If Apple had tried to shoehorn the full Mac
OS on here, it wouldn’t have worked and it would have over-complicated what’s an incredibly easy-to-use device. The fact that Apple also has both the App Store and iTunes Store in place enabling the easy purchase of content is another selling point. Even my gadget-phobic wife enjoyed the ease and comfort of ordering the weekly grocery shop on it while sitting comfortably on the sofa. My eight-year-old daughter and four-year-old son took to it instantly, instinctively knowing how to use it. The age of the instant-on, coffee-table Internet device is truly here. The case is a must, as it raises it to the perfect level for typing and reading. Finally, as I paid £550 for the top-end wi-ﬁ model and a case (inclusive of all taxes), I think I bagged a bargain, as I’m guessing that the UK price for the 32GB one will be around £510 [since conﬁrmed as £499 – Ed]. Sorry for the long letter, but I guess I also wanted to make the point that you can use the iPad for text heavy input too, though it is deﬁnitely easier on a keyboard. I can’t recommend it enough. BTW, loving the extra pages in the mag.
The seven winners of the Cygnett Maestro Speaker Dock (see MacUser, 29 January, p66 and 12 February, p41) is: Kelly Easterbrook, Plymouth; Valerie Moran, Bury St Edmunds; Susan Pasch, Cardiff; Valerie Dalby, Cornwall; Georgina Horsburgh, Edinburgh; Julie Mack, Bristol; Agnes Martin O’Neil, Kirkcaldy.
Publisher Paul Rayner 020 7907 6663 firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing manager Claire Scrase 020 7907 6113 Editorial & marketing assistant Emily Hodges 020 7907 6270 DENNIS PUBLISHING LTD
Managing director technology and motoring Ian Westwood Production director Robin Ryan Managing director of advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans Newstrade director Martin Belson Managing director digital Pete Wootton Chief operating officer Brett Reynolds Group ﬁnance director Ian Leggett Chief executive James Tye Chairman Felix Dennis Printed in England by BGP Print Ltd, Chaucer International Estate, Launton Road, Bicester, Oxon OX6 7QZ Distribution Seymour Distribution 020 7396 8000 MacUser, incorporating Apple User, DTP, MacShopper and MacBuyer, is published fortnightly by Dennis Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD, a company registered in England number 1138891. Entire contents © Dennis Publishing Ltd licensed by Felden 2009. MacUser is an independent journal, not afﬁliated with Apple Computer Inc. ‘Apple’ and the Apple logo, ‘Macintosh’, ‘Mac’, the Mac logo and ‘MacUser’ are the trademarks of Apple Inc.
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Material in MacUser may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written permission. MacUser is available for international licensing and syndication. Please call Ornella Roccoletti on +44 20 7097 6134 for details. Reprints email@example.com Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation Jan-Dec 2007 14,502 per issue
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Mail MacUser, 30 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JD Online macuser.co.uk Phone 020 7907 6000 Fax 020 7907 6369 Email Letters for publication firstname.lastname@example.org Change your address, renew your subscription or report any problems at www.subsinfo.co.uk or email email@example.com Technical queries firstname.lastname@example.org Press releases and news stories email@example.com PRODUCTS AND EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS MacUser welcomes all information on new and upgraded hardware and software, but we are under no obligation to review or return unsolicited products. Ideas should be submitted in outline form only. SUBSCRIBE TO MACUSER MacUser is available on subscription at a discounted rate. For as little as £17.95 per quarter, you could receive the equivalent of ﬁve free issues every year, plus a free gift and free delivery of MacUser every fortnight. See p88 for details, or call 0844 844 0063. Savings apply to UK subscriptions. Overseas subscriptions are also available, call 01795 592914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This issue is dedicated to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Come on England.
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MAC-USING CREATIVES SHOW OFF THEIR WORK AND REVEAL WHAT MAKES THEM TICK
Chris Buzelli is a New York-based illustrator, who has worked for a number of high profile clients. These have included Time, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. He also shows his work in galleries across the US and teaches once a week. Creative workspace
Name Chris Buzelli Current employment Self-employed Email email@example.com URL chrisbuzelli.com Tel +1 212 614 8111
What was your ﬁrst Mac? I think that my ﬁrst Mac was a Macintosh Performa 6300. I have fond memories of that big beige box. I actually won it through the Adobe Design Contest when I was in college. What is the current Mac you are using? I use a 2.53GHz 15in MacBook Pro that’s hooked up to a 20in Apple Cinema Display What equipment do you use? I also have an Epson Expression 10000XL scanner and an Epson Stylus Pro printer. What’s your favourite software program? At present I mostly use Adobe Photoshop CS4. The ﬁrst application that I used was probably the ancient black-and-white bitmap based graphic program – MacPaint. Can you offer any tips for success? It took me about 10 years before I could call myself a full-time illustrator/artist. I don’t really have any tips for success other than work really hard and be stubborn about reaching your goals.
How did you get your ﬁrst big break? Now that I look back on it, my ﬁrst big break came when I got a call from my ex-girlfriend from back in college. She was the art director of Plansponsor magazine and needed a few last minute illustrations. I guess the paintings were satisfactory because she continued to call me back offering me more work and I started taking her out to dinner after each job. We soon became friends again and have worked together on numerous projects for the past 15 years. It was through this ongoing relationship that I learned how to be an illustrator. Talk us through these examples: 01 Pug Love The Santa Fe Reporter asked whether I could illustrate the cover of its special Valentines Day issue back in 2007. How often do you get a job to illustrate Love and Sex? 02 The Star and Rockets I had always wanted to work with the fabulous art director Irene Gallo on a
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03 project, so this was a dream come true. This piece was for a historical short story called The Star and Rockets and written by Harry Turtledove. It’s about Joe Bauman, who played for the minor league team the Roswell Rockets throughout the 1950s. His stats magically jumped right after the supposed alien landing in Roswell. In 1954, he had a freak ‘break-out’ year and in 138 games he hit 35 doubles, three triples and 72 home runs, the latter being a record that stood throughout pro ball until it was topped in 2001 by Barry Bonds. Check out the full story at bit.ly/2mSf3O. Reminded me of one of my favorite TV series, The Twilight Zone. 03 Sea Boy This painting was for a ﬁnancial article in Plan Adviser magazine. The only words that I was given were ‘Murky Waters’. 04 Aging Tiger Here is my contribution for an issue of ai5000. The piece was about Singapore’s crumbling economy and the article was initially titled ‘Aging Tiger’. Recently, I’ve been working larger than usual and using a board instead of paper. The larger scale allows for more detail and some extra freedom with my brush strokes. Every once in a while I ﬁnd myself in a bit of a creative slump and changing the way I work just a little really helps.
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What mistakes have you learned from? I’m always hoping for a happy mistake. My work is constantly evolving and many of my steps forwards are a direct result of mistakes. What’s your ideal project? I think I actually worked on my ideal project a few years ago. It was for the Tropen Museum, and I was commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi. The museum had acquired ﬁve new artifacts and wanted to illustrate the story behind each piece for a series of posters. I loved the idea of researching and digging deep into the history of each artifact, and translating the information into a painting. The art director gave me almost complete creative freedom, and the project was a huge success for both me and the client. Tell us something good… One of my favorite pastimes is meeting my wife after work and taking our dog to the Tompkins Square Dog Park.
06 05 Macy’s Flower Show Here’s my painting for the annual Macy’s Flower Show. I’ve wanted to work on this project for a while now after seeing a beautiful poster by Gina Triplett and Matt Curtius. And I also just wanted to paint some ﬂowers. 06 Penﬁeld Croquet Poster A few months ago I was asked by the Cramer-Krasselt Agency to work on a poster for the 14th Annual Croquet Ball. The event is held in aid of the Penﬁeld Children’s Center, a non-proﬁt organisation, which helps young children with disabilities reach their full potential through education, therapy services and family programs. I’ve never played Croquet, but I’m sure a tiger would help. The posters will be auctioned off at The Croquet Ball and all the money earned goes to the Penﬁeld
Children’s Center. The list of past artists was intimidating, and features some of my favorite illustrators, including James Jean, Josh Cochran, Travis Lampe and Jon Han. 07 Jainism I’ve designed a number of posters for the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam, and this was for a Jainism altar piece. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion. Its followers seek to attain nirvana, and to achieve this they need to escape the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Where do you draw your inspiration from and who are your inﬂuences? I have an unending list of inﬂuences in inspiration. I usually try to include something personal in many of my illustrations/paintings; for example, a childhood memory, a family member or friend, a personal relationship
What’s your favourite gadget and why? Right now it’s the iPad. I had no intention of liking the overly-hyped device, but my wife brought one home from work and now I’m hooked. It’s just so easy and accessible to use. I’m also really interested in the move of publications to the web and especially their use of illustration. So far, I’m really impressed with the way Time magazine and The New York Times functions on the iPad.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
or a favourite animal. I ﬁnd that my illustration work is stronger both visually and conceptually when I include a little something personal in the piece. Some of my favourite contemporary illustrators are many of the artists associated with The Pencil Factory and Drawger.com.
I N D U S T R Y
L E A D I N G
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H O S T I N G
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reviews FOR THE LATEST REVIEWS GO TO WWW.MACUSER.CO.UK/REVIEWS
Reviews Epson B-510DN
Reviews policy 29
Low-running costs and speedy output offset the rather ugly casing of this business inkjet
This text editor is an excellent all-rounder for anyone coding on a budget
Window management tool that beats rivals with its comprehensive feature set
This good-quality compact camera has a front screen that’s genuinely useful
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V 34 A solid choice and one of the more compelling compacts we’ve seen this year
HP Color LaserJet CP3525dn
AverMedia Volar HD
This updated blog editing tool is a musthave for both new and existing users alike
HP’s colour laser printer is easy to use and produces good-quality business prints A USB TV tuner that lets you schedule recordings and then export them to an iPod
Atomic Web Browser 2.9
A stunning iPhone shooter that has an incredible amount of on-screen action
Highly recommended if the iPhone plays a central role in managing your contacts
This iPhone web browser lets you conﬁgure many of its options to what’s best for you Download games straight to your computer with Valve’s exciting online store A round-up of the latest, most-desirable gadgets available for the iPad and iPhone
Mac OS X is great, but there are a few third-party tools that make it even greater
Awards system Editor’s Choice
MacUser ﬁrmly believes that a proper, detailed review can be carried out only by rigorously testing the product. We don’t believe value is derived from describing a product’s features without any analysis. We’ll never give a positive review to a product that we believe isn’t worth our readers buying, which means that a positive MacUser review is of enormous value to both the reader and the manufacturer of the product. Products are tested in-house wherever possible, using a mix of industry-standard and bespoke testing software suites. Top-rated products earn themselves a place in our exclusive Hot Kit section to provide you with an issue-by-issue update of the best products in any category for use on a Mac. This, along with our deﬁnitive awards system (below), lets you see at a glance which products are worth the manufacturers’ asking price.
This award can be given at the editor’s discretion to a product judged as outstanding and a must-buy in the issue.
Labs Winner LABS WINNER
Given to the products that in the opinion of the reviewer are the best in their ﬁeld at the time of testing.
Only the very best products make it into our Hot Kit section. They are the products on which the editorial team would spend their own money.
We give priority to mainstream products, but we also make every effort to cover a broad range of items, and regularly feature ‘niche’ products.
We do everything we can to publish fair and accurate reviews. If errors do occur we correct them in ‘Search and Replace’ in the Mailbox section.
A perfect product with great features at a great price.
A product with minor ﬂaws but which is nonetheless excellent.
A good product that does everything it’s designed to do.
A product that’s outclassed by others in its ﬁeld.
A poor product that we can’t recommend in its current state.
029 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Business inkjet printer
Price £424 (£361 ex VAT) Contact Epson + epson.co.uk Pros Fast + Industrial design + Cheap to run Cons Neither laser-like text nor inkjetlike photo quality + Sensationally unattractive Verdict If you can live with the looks, you’ll get decent speed and cheap running costs. However, there’s better quality to be found elsewhere.
Photography Danny Bird
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
t isn’t unusual for ofﬁce equipment to look underwhelming, but while grey plastic and sharp edges might be the norm for laser printers and photocopiers, it’s been a while since we’ve seen something as singularly unattractive as the Epson B-510DN. It’s not the size that makes it ugly, although, at 312mm tall, it’s better suited to living under a desk than next to your MacBook. The ink cartridges live in the box above and to the left of its main frame. This lends it a certain spaceshiplike aesthetic, but it’s also a strangely unbalanced look that won’t exactly ﬁt in with image-conscious ofﬁces. The B-510DN’s most interesting claim is that it’s fast – Epson says it will hit 37 pages per minute (ppm) in draft mode, which would be impressive even for a workhorse laser. A straightforward paper path coupled with its 32MB of Ram meant it comfortably put in speeds of above 20ppm in our mono tests, even if it never came close to the magical 37ppm. It was fast for colour prints as well: even an A4 photo print at best-quality mode ﬁnished in a minute and a half. Our standard ﬁve-page PDF test was output in just 10 seconds, making the B-510DN an excellent choice for busy ofﬁces. We’re used to using the term ‘laser quality’ to describe much of what modern inkjets can achieve. Unfortunately, while the B-510DN is fast, it’s some way short of the current high watermark for quality. At its standard settings, text suffered from slight but perceptible spidering. We were pleased to see that colourful business charts and graphics didn’t cause any dampness or wrinkling on the page, but the four-colour, CMYK print system was a bit of a let-down. Graduated ﬁlls weren’t particularly ﬁne, and although photo printing is normally a strong point for inkjets, our test photos suggested you’ll need another printer if you want anything approaching lab-quality prints. Borderless printing isn’t an option, and although prints look ﬁne from a distance, we noticed slight banding issues and a deﬁnite lack of impact. Overall, the B-510DN is best suited to prooﬁng jobs and internal communications, as opposed to colour documents that will be sent out to clients.
The B-510DN is certainly not short on features, including an Ethernet port, duplexing and more.
black cartridge and 3500 from the colour ones – or high-capacity cartridges. Choose these and you can expect 7000 pages However, if the B-510DN’s slightly from each colour cartridge and 4000 from underwhelming print quality is a the black one. There’s even an ‘extra high’ disappointment, you can’t say that it capacity black cartridge with 8000 pages’ compromises anywhere else. The DN sufﬁx worth of ink. on this version denotes both a 10/100Base-T Running costs are the name of the game, Ethernet port and a duplexer slotted into the and there’s no arguing that the B-510DN is incredibly cheap. A page of black and white text costs ‘It’s difﬁcult to name a signiﬁcant blind spot on its list around 0.6p from the of features, and it’s fast and cheap to run, all of which 4000-pages black will be music to the ears of corporate buyers’ cartridge, or 0.5p per page from the 8000-pages cartridge. back. The latter is particularly interesting, That’s tough competition for laser printers. A as it gives the B-510DN some truly top-end full-colour page will cost around 2p. paper handling options. Beneath the paperThere’s plenty to like about the B-510DN. out tray sits a 500-sheet paper tray, while a It’s difﬁcult to name a signiﬁcant blind spot ﬂap at the top of the printer opens to reveal on its list of features, and it’s fast and cheap another 150-sheet feeder, giving you the to run, all of which will be music to the ears option of having two different types of stock of corporate buyers. We also appreciate available simultaneously, or simply allowing that between its massive paper trays, highyou a whopping 650-sheet capacity before capacity cartridges and durable duty cycle, having to reload. you’ll rarely have to go near it to keep it Unusually for an inkjet, the B-510DN stocked and running. comes with a maintenance box for wasted However, there are enough drawbacks ink. Epson claims this will last for around elsewhere. Print quality, while not disastrous, 35,000 pages, so it’s safe to say you’ll be isn’t superlative. Its mono prints don’t come able to forget about it for a few years. A ﬁnal close enough to dislodging any laser printer interesting number is Epson’s claimed duty we’ve seen, and its colour output, while ﬁne cycle of 20,000 pages per month, which for business charts, won’t knock anyone off suggests the B-510DN should survive a their feet. Then there’s the small matter of the signiﬁcant amount of use. skyscraping price: for this much, you could You don’t need to remove any of the paper buy a decent, networked laser printer such as trays to get at the ink cartridges: when one the Xerox Phaser 3435, with enough left over expires, simply lift the ﬂap on the face of for a decent photo printer for occasional use. printer; a chunky-feeling lever unlocks the As it is, the B-510DN has plenty in its cartridges. As we’ve come to expect from favour, but it’s not compelling enough to sway business printers, you can opt for standardus from a decent laser printer. capacity cartridges – 3000 pages from the Dave Stevenson ▲ Epson’s latest business inkjet is an unwieldylooking beast, but there’s lots to like about it.
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www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Aquamacs 2 Price Free Contact Aquamacs + aquamacs.org Needs Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later Pros Powerful + Flexible + Free Cons Full preferences still too complex Verdict An excellent all-rounder for anyone coding on a budget.
Right down to the document tabs, Aquamacs fully adopts the look of a standard Cocoa application.
quamacs 2 is an advanced programmable text editor for Mac OS X. It’s a lot more than that, though: it’s two ambitious software projects, one wrapped inside the other. The ﬁrst is Emacs, the venerable command line editor that was ﬁrst developed by Richard Stallman in 1976. It’s now at version 23 and forms the core functionality inside Aquamacs. Wrapped around this core is code that takes that command line complexity and simpliﬁes it. There are two direct consequences of this: ﬁrst, software that some might ﬁnd intimidating as a command
line application becomes friendlier and more approachable; second, with the system-wide hooks built into Cocoa, Aquamacs can be a better Mac OS X citizen, behaving well with other applications and with the system itself. It’s important to remember that Aquamacs is an amalgam of these two things. It offers two experiences: the less technically inclined can stick with the simple environment they understand, while the advanced user has access to all of Emacs’ power if they need it. Most of the time though, that layer is kept hidden from view. Aquamacs menus are modal. Switch to a different text editing mode (such as HTML,
Window management tool
WindowFlow Price $22 (about £15) Contact Benedict Lowndes + windowﬂow.com Needs Mac OS X 10.5 + Intel only Pros Comprehensive features + Fast Cons More shortcuts to learn Verdict With many similar applications around, WindowFlow stands out by offering more than most of its rivals.
WindowFlow gives you complete control over your windows, but you’ll need to learn a few new commands ﬁrst. In the WindowFlow panel, you can go through the available windows and select them by hitting Alt-S.
indowFlow is the latest in a sudden rash of window manager applications for Mac OS X. This commercial release combines a variety of window moving, switching and arranging features, and does so in a way designed to minimise use of the mouse or trackpad. A two-key shortcut brings WindowFlow to the front. It displays a list of all open
and unhidden windows on the right, and a thumbnail of the currently selected or frontmost window on the left. Note that it shows individual windows, not applications. If you have six Finder windows and three Safari windows open, you’ll see all nine of them listed – the built-in Mac OS X application switcher would only show the two Finder and Safari icons. It really does
give you much more control over the window to which you’re switching. With the WindowFlow panel open, you can go through the list of all available windows and select several of them by tapping Alt-S for each. Next, tap another shortcut and the selected windows are rearranged instantly, tiled across the screen so that their contents can be easily and quickly compared.
The effect is constricted on small notebook screens, but it can be striking on an iMac or external monitor. Suddenly it’s possible to shift groups of windows around depending on your work context – for example, a written
‘It gives you much more finegrained control over the window to which you’re switching’ document can be edited with its previous drafts in view alongside, or a web page can be tested in multiple browsers simultaneously. As with the Mac OS X switcher, you can quit and hide apps from WindowFlow. You can also minimise windows or zoom them to their fullest size. If need be, you can specify certain windows that WindowFlow always ignores – useful if you want to keep a particular utility in sight at all times. There’s more. WindowFlow can move windows by fractions of an inch across the screen. Adjacent ones will snap together, or shift obligingly to one side to make room if necessary. Little details, but they add up to make WindowFlow more interesting and worthwhile than some of its competitors. Giles Turnbull
Digital compact camera
Samsung ST500 Price £130 (£110 ex VAT) Contact Samsung + samsung.com/uk Pros Good-quality compact + Wide-angle zoom Cons Can be a bit sluggish to get going Verdict The front screen is a bit of a gimmick, but we did use it more than we thought we would. In all, a goodquality compact camera.
n the surface, the Samsung ST500 is just like many of the other 12-megapixel compact zoom cameras on the market. It has a Schneider lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 27-124mm, built-in ﬂash and a 3in LCD for composing and reviewing images. The screen is touch operated, but it’s something else that sets the ST500 apart: it features a front-facing LCD screen in addition to the one on its rear. The front screen is half the size of the one on the back of the camera and is useful for a variety of reasons – for example, you can display the self-timer countdown, use it for self-portraits and display cartoon pictures to get your baby looking at the camera. In addition, the front screen can show shutter and function information. The ST500’s rear touch screen responds to gestures, much like the iPhone, and has an accelerometer so you can rotate images at the ﬂick of a wrist or start a slideshow by tilting the camera. There are 16 automatic modes, not to mention face recognition to make sure it’s always focusing on your intended target.
The ST500 has a front-facing LCD that can show cartoons to attract kids’ attention.
The all-black ﬁnish gives the camera a really stylish look and feel, and it’s thin enough to carry in a pocket without too much bulge. The ST500 has a small, 55MB built-in memory for storing a few images and takes the MicroSD memory card format. Not, perhaps, as ubiquitous as full-size SD cards as yet, but cheap enough. As you might imagine, the novelty of a front-facing screen can be a bit of a talking point. Initial scepticism over its usefulness was soon put to one side. Getting a toddler to look directly at a camera can be a bit difﬁcult, but when they can see themselves, their attention is immediately drawn. It also means those arms-length shots no longer require four attempts to make sure you’ve not cut off someone’s head, while the selftimer display means everyone is ready when the time comes. All that aside, the front screen is a bit of a novelty that soon wears off – a useful rather than essential feature. And the age-old issue of viewing LCDs in bright sunlight does render it unusable in some situations. So what of image quality? Some of the ﬁne detail in images was a little fuzzy but, overall, the pictures produced by the ST500 were impressive. Colour was particularly good, with excellent accuracy; scenes were natural without being drained of vibrancy. It also coped well in low-light conditions where ﬂash was necessary, producing natural shots that weren’t bleached out. Our only real criticism is response times: we missed a few shots due to shutter lag, but nothing drastic. Otherwise, the Samsung ST500 is a very decent compact. The body is well built and the screen on the rear is excellent. The touch controls are responsive and although the menu is a bit clunky, it gets the job done. Photo quality is excellent, as is the video footage. Whether the front-facing LCD screen is truly necessary is debatable, but we did ﬁnd it useful on more than on occasion. Christopher Brennan
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
is where you’ll ﬁnd quick access to basic essentials such as fonts and colours. Again, it’s modal and will behave slightly differently depending on your current editing conditions. There are many small changes that make things a little more comfortable for newcomers. For example, word-wrap is now switched on by default and is easy to ﬁnd in the Options menu. Everything behaves better now – and looks better, too. Simple things such as opening and saving ﬁles work like you’d expect them to. Aquamacs now even supports the systemwide spellcheck, and can be set as the default editor for various ﬁle types. Printing is also improved, because the Cocoa parts of Aquamacs know how to talk to the rest of your printing system. Generally, the look of the Cocoa wrappings is vastly improved. New toolbar icons are large, bright, friendly and descriptive of their function. Things that used to look as if they’d been ported from Linux now look like they’ve been purpose-built for Mac OS X. The modal menus are kept as minimal as possible. Aquamacs is an impressive project and the result is an excellent all-purpose editor for Mac users. But who is it for? Not experts, who will already be using Emacs (or one of its rivals) on the command line. It’s well suited for newcomers to programming and web development, and is an excellent free alternative editor for people who would rather not spend money on some of the equally powerful commercial alternatives. Giles Turnbull
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Digital compact camera
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V Price £289 (£246 ex VAT) Contact Sony + sony.co.uk Needs Mac OS X 10.3 or later Pros Excellent wide-angle to telephoto 10x optical zoom + Picture quality at low ISOs + GPS + Novel sweep panorama mode Cons Detail at ISO400 and above + Barrelling in HD movie mode Verdict The HX5V is a solid choice and is deﬁnitely one of the more compelling compacts we’ve seen this year.
ith its 10x optical zoom, HD 1080i movie option, built-in GPS and manual exposure control, Sony’s high-end 10.2-megapixel HX5V stands out for its feature-laden spec. It’s aimed squarely at Panasonic’s Travel Zoom (TZ) range and packs a 25-250mm equivalent optical-image-stabilised Sony G-series lens, as well as the clever back-illuminated Exmor R Cmos sensor that promises reduced noise in low-light conditions, the innovative Sweep Panorama, 10fps burst rate and HDR options associated with the Sony’s current H-series. To accommodate the sizeable lens, it has quite a chunky, if well-made, body. However, in the hands, the HX5V has reasonable ergonomics, with all of the controls within easy reach. Most are intuitively placed and labelled, although the burst-shooting button can easily be mistaken for the power button. At the rear, the 3in 230,000-dot LCD screen has good viewing angles and reasonable colour. Don’t rely on it for exposure, though: a real-time histogram option is offered and well worth trawling through the menu to ﬁnd. We’ve been less-than-impressed with built-in GPS options before, but the HX5V had no problems with triangulation during the test period. Coordinates are saved in
Continuing the travel theme, the Sony HX5V has a compass-enabled GPS system for recording not only the location with altitude but the position, too.
With sensitivity running up to a DSLR-like ISO3200, the HX5V has the back-illuminated 10.2-megapixel Exmor R Cmos sensor and Bionz processor, delivering 10fps bursts, intelligent Sweep Panorama and Anti Motion Blur modes.
the metadata, so no additional software is required. iPhoto, or Aperture if you have it, will pinpoint the location in Places as well as show the position in the Info window. Interestingly, data captured includes the altitude, while the HX5V’s built-in compass
‘As well as the intelligent program auto options, another good feature is the manual exposure option’ shows the direction the camera was facing, although the current version of iPhoto doesn’t support the latter feature. As well as the raft of intelligent program auto options and various scene-based shooting modes, another appealing feature is the manual exposure option. However, while shutter speeds run in 0.3 stops from 1/1600th of a second to 30 seconds, there are only two aperture settings – f/3.5 and f/8 – at its widest setting, which is a bit limiting. Still, one of the highlights is the 25-250mm lens. There’s a lot of in-camera correction of
Ideal for travel, and boasting Sony’s Optical SteadyShot system to reduce the wobbles, the HX5V packs a 10x optical wide-angle to telephoto zoom, the equivalent to a 25-250mm in 35mm terms.
distortion and chromatic aberration. However, it has good central sharpness through the zoom range although, at its widest, there was some softening at the edges, as well as some fringing in high-contrast scenes. In-camera Jpeg’s are generally undersharpened, looking rather soft in iPhoto or Aperture, but that’s easy enough to remedy. Employing the same 1/2.4in-type Exmor R Cmos sensor of earlier offerings, it wasn’t surprising to see that image quality largely mirrored that of the Cyber-shot DSC-WX1 (see MacUser, 12 February, p34). Detail wasn’t bad until we used ISO400, where noise levels remained low. It was the same story at higher ISOs. The Sweep Panorama, Anti-Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes all made extensive use of image processing techniques but, while impressive at what they do, image detail could have been better. Be that as it may, the 1080i AVCHD video is pretty decent even if it reveals the severe barrelling that’s corrected for in stills. Recording time is limited to 30 minutes, but is replete with stereo, unrestricted zooming and very effective image stabilisation, even at the longer telephoto settings. Few cameras offer the wealth of features and scope of the HX5V, and this is one of those rare examples where the potential isn’t let down by mediocre performance. Kevin Carter
Departing from the more usual 720p HD video, the Sony HX5V has 1080i (interlaced) video using AVCHD for efﬁcient storage, and playback on HDTV primarily. An Mpeg-4 option is also available at sizes up to 1440 x 1080p.
Hello World. Are you ready for this?
It’s not often that you get a chance to take on the world. Entrepreneur and Stockbyte founder Jerry Kennelly is heading up Gustavo, a new, disruptive business which will operate globally. He’s looking for the level of talent which allowed his creative stock photo company become one of the most successful in the world, before it was sold to Getty Images in 2006. He’s brought some of his former team along for a second whirl on the merrygo-round, but this time is taking on a much bigger challenge than launching one of the world’s first royalty-free stock photography companies, like he did in 1996.
Jerry is looking for supercharged, hard-working creatives for our new London office.
Passionate ad pros who have spent a few years working at a high level.
A great opportunity for a fresh, creative view. Clean design, carefully crafted typography and an eye for amazing images.
High-octane artworkers who live for interpreting and executing creative vision.
If you don’t have ambitions to change the world with excellent work, then it’s probably not worth reading any further. However, if you do have that fire in your belly, email your CV and portfolio (smaller than 6mb) with your best work to: firstname.lastname@example.org before June 25th. For file sizes larger than 6mb please use sendspace.com It might be a good idea to include a letter to Jerry.Tell him why you’d like to work for him. He will read every one. Soon enough, you might be joining one of the most exciting ventures in our industry.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Blog editing tool
Price $39.95 (about £28); upgrade $14.95 (about £10.50) Contact Red Sweater + red-sweater.com Needs Mac OS X 10.5 or later Pros Improved image handling + Rich text editing + Custom ﬁelds Cons None Verdict A must-have upgrade for existing users, and a must-buy tool for everyone else.
arsEdit has long been a bloggers’ favourite. Its interface is deceptively simple, looking like little more than an email application, but this hides a rich feature set. Version two had some shortcomings though, chief among them being the fact that it only ever achieved its full potential if you were online when you used it, which missed the point of using an application rather than a browser for writing posts. In version three that issue has been put to bed. So, too, has its inability to edit anything other than posts. Many content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, make a distinction between posts that are regularly updated entries, and pages, which feature
The media uploader can draw on Aperture and iPhoto libraries, and lets you set your alt tags at the point of upload.
less changeable content such as ‘about’ and ‘contact’ pages. MarsEdit can now handle both of these, and segregates them elegantly in its sidebar, so that clicking on your blog title shows both, but separate entries for each one below the title let you view each type in isolation. The entry editing window is little changed, resembling an email application with space for a title, tags, excerpt and the body of your entry. Categories run down the right-hand edge, along with server options, such as
whether or not you’re accepting trackbacks or comments on an entry. Of greater interest though, is the ability to add custom ﬁelds. These are non-standard ﬁelds that may be required by a speciﬁc plug-in or template in use on your site. Previously, anyone using a template like the popular Thesis would have no choice but to work within the browser if they wanted to use it to its fullest potential. Custom ﬁelds allow you to add space for extra data types that will be posted to your CMS and can be drawn on by your theme.
‘The old HTML-based editing is available if you want it, but by switching to rich text, you can use it more like a word processor’ Version three marks the arrival of rich text editing for MarsEdit. The old HTML-based editing is available if you want it, but by switching to rich text, you can use it much more like a word processor and forget about the underlying structure.
MarsEdit 3’s interface has some subtle improvements, including the ability to focus on just posts or pages.
Similarly improved is the way that it handles media uploads, and this is where its ability to work ofﬂine comes into its own. Previously, if you wanted to include images in your posts, you would have to make sure that you had an active Internet connection before you even tried to embed them, as your only option was to upload them right there and then. Not any more. The improved media uploader can link to Flickr images and libraries from iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom. It also catalogues not only the images you have uploaded through it in the past,
037 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
New to MarsEdit 3 is rich text editing, so you can spend more time thinking about what you want to say and less about how to say it.
For ofﬂine editing, MarsEdit will use a placeholder in your post as a marker for images that haven’t been uploaded.
but also any other images on your server, and now gives you the option of uploading all of your media at the same time as posting your actual entry. Choose this latter option and it will embed a placeholder in your entry,
while still displaying the image itself in the rich text view or preview. Combine this with the ability to set the underlying alt text in the uploader window itself (previously you had to add this by hand
after the event) and media handling ﬁnally works just as it should. MarsEdit 3 doesn’t look like much of an update, but it’s a bigger deal than you think, and a must-have upgrade for anyone using an earlier edition. The $14.95 (about £10.50) upgrade price is a bargain, and for anyone looking to buy it ﬁrst time around, $39.95 (about £28) is very fair indeed. Nik Rawlinson
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www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Colour laser printer
HP Color LaserJet CP3525dn Price £763 (£649 ex VAT) Contact HP + hp.com/uk Needs USB or Ethernet connection Pros High duplex print speed + High capacity cartridges Cons Driver installation problem Verdict This solid colour laser printer is easy to use and produces good quality business prints, though the colour print cost is a little high. ▲ Big, but effective, the Color LaserJet CP3525dn is laid out like an ofﬁce photocopier.
usy small ofﬁces or medium-sized workgroups need printers that can produce good quality prints quickly. To justify the extra expense of colour, they need to produce it cheaply, so it can be used to best effect. HP’s LaserJet CP3525dn is in some ways, such as its weight of over 30kg, more like a photocopier than a laser printer. Its internal design feeds A4 paper from left to right rather than front to back, so it’s both wider and less deep than many of its competitors. HP appears to have been waging a war against depth, as the power cables and data connections – USB and Ethernet – both feed into the back of the lefthand end, rather than behind, so the printer can be positioned ﬂush against a wall. The control panel includes a bitmapped, colour display that’s attractive, but not much use on a business machine. There are two paper feeds, a 250-sheet front-loading paper tray and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray that unfolds from the right-hand end. A third, 500-sheet, tray is available as an option.
The bitmapped colour display is attractive, but not much use on a machine aimed at the small ofﬁce.
The four drum and toner cartridges slide in from the front, and a strangely shaped wastetoner bottle clips in there, too. The 100,000page fuser slots in from the top, so is unlikely to need replacing during the life of the printer. Software installation was marred by the CD installer reporting corrupt media. Initially, this wasn’t a problem as CDs occasionally suffer glitches, but when we downloaded
solid, though blues and greens are over-dark, compared with original on-screen shades and may need tweaking to get, for example, the correct contrast between black text and underlying colour ﬁlls. The four drum and toner cartridges and the waste bottle are likely to be all the consumables you’ll need to replace, and the colour cartridges are each rated at 7000 pages, with the black cartridge available in ‘HP has devised a separate paper path for the two yields, of 5000 and 10,500 pages. intermediate feed, before the paper is reversed to These high yields print the second side. This means it can interleave mean maintenance two pages at once, speeding up the overall print’ costs are low and we calculate the page costs to be 2p for an the 62MB driver package from HP and got ISO black page, using the high yield cartridge, the same message, we started to think that and 11.6p for ISO colour. The black price there was a software glitch. We eventually is about average for a printer in this bracket, had to use the default PostScript driver, but the colour cost is a bit high, around 2p which worked ﬁne, but HP needs to check for per sheet above some competitors. possible problems with its installer. Overall, this is a solid, mainstream colour HP claims a print speed of 30ppm for laser printer for ofﬁces and workgroups. It’s both black and colour prints. As usual, this easy to use, produces good quality business is a bit ambitious, though we did manage print and offers unusually high duplex speeds. to get 18.2ppm out of the machine printing Colour page print cost is a little high, but is our 10-page black text document. The offset by low maintenance costs. black text and colour graphics test printed Simon Williams at 14.3ppm, but the real surprise was the 10-side duplex text job, which completed in PRINT SPEED TEST RESULTS just 39 seconds, giving a speed of 15.4ppm. HP Color LaserJet It’s very unusual for a colour laser CP3525dn printer, or any printer, to produce duplex Time (min:sec) sides nearly as fast as single-sided pages. 10-page text 0:33 10-side/5-page text duplex document 0:39 HP has devised a separate paper path for 5-page black text and graphics 0:21 the intermediate feed, before the paper is 15 x 10cm photo from Mac 0:17 reversed to print the second side. This means 0 1:00 Better Worse it can interleave two pages at once, speeding Speed (ppm) up the overall print. 10-page text 18.2 Print quality varies with the content of 10-side/5-page text duplex document 15.4 the page. Black text is ﬁne with sharp, well5-page black text and graphics 14.3 formed characters, even at small point sizes. 0 20 Worse Better Colour business graphics are also bright and
039 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
USB TV tuner
AverMedia Volar HD Price £55 (£46.81 ex VAT) Contact AverMedia + averm.co.uk Needs Intel processor + 512MB Ram + Mac OS X 10.4 or later Pros Has good reception for most channels + Support for Apple Remote Cons Software pales by comparison with EyeTV 3 Verdict A decent TV tuner that’s let down by disappointing software.
The Volar HD lets you schedule recordings, so you’ll never miss your favourite show.
he Volar HD is a USB stick TV tuner, and ships with AverMedia’s own software and an aerial with twin antennae. It has a full-size antenna socket on the back, so you can also hook it up to your roof aerial. It’s technically capable of receiving HD signals, but the Volar HD isn’t compatible with Freeview HD’s DVB-T 2 format. Setting it up is straightforward: connect the antenna to the stick, plug the stick into
your Mac and then install the software. We found that the supplied antenna did a good job of picking up most channels, though ITV1 and Channel 4 proved difﬁcult. The software application has everything you would expect: an electronic programme guide; the ability to schedule recordings; and the facility to export them to an iPod or Toast, or upload them to YouTube. The iPod option exports 320 x 192-pixel H.264 ﬁles. We would much rather have an option to export 480 x 270 pixel ﬁles for viewing on an iPhone or iPod touch, though. While the AverMedia software is functional, it’s sorely lacking when compared with EyeTV 3 (see MacUser, 15 February 2008, p30). It doesn’t, for example, have support for
smart playlists, nor can you select channels as favourites and store them. There is a picture-in-picture feature that allows you to watch live TV in the corner of the screen as you watch a recording, and you can also preview 16 channels in 4 x 4 matrix on-screen. In our tests, however, the tuner took so long to display each channel in turn that it would have been quicker ﬂicking through them manually. It also supports Apple’s aluminium remote for changing channels and adjusting volume. The Volar HD does what it sets out to do, but without Freeview HD, there’s no reason to choose it over the EyeTV DTT (see MacUser, 20 November 2009, p45). Kenny Hemphill
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Espgaluda II Price £5.49 from the App Store URL bit.ly/espgaluda Verdict Espgaluda is a stunning shooter that will confound your expectations by presenting an incredible amount of on-screen action while still making it fun to play, even on the iPhone’s small touchscreen.
ntil now, our favourite iPhone shooter was Space Invaders Inﬁnity Gene (see MacUser, 14 August 2009, p37), largely because we didn’t expect the iPhone could pull off the more ambitious subgenre known as bullet hell, where the screen is peppered with enough bullets to make you queasy. Espgaluda II blows away all doubts. Our concern was that the iPhone’s screen would make this sort of game unplayable, but it’s not as inhibiting as you might expect. The protagonist is moved by dragging your thumb around the screen. Forget the storyline, though: the focus here is fast-paced and frantic action, and it’s pulled off with aplomb.
▲ The amount of action ﬂying around is simply breathtaking. It’s the most impressive iPhone shooter we’ve seen.
Focus on the bullets that swathe the screen and navigate the gaps between them. Like the best of bullet hell shooters, Espgaluda II keeps you on edge to the point that you dare not blink too often. Thankfully, the collision detection is forgiving and you can get very close to bullets without being injured. Espgaluda uses the free Open Feint to keep track of scores, bringing back
memories of trying to beat high scores in your local arcade in bygone times. Space Invaders Inﬁnity Gene is a better choice if you want a game that treats you gently, but give the free version a whirl on your iPhone 3GS or third-generation iPod touch (excluding the 8GB model) to see how much detail the hardware can push around. Sadly, you can’t join in with older models.
Copy2Contact Pro Pri £2. Price £2.99 fro from the App St Store URL bit.ly/copy2contactpro Verdict Overcomes some deﬁciencies in iPhone OS when turning text into new contacts. Highly recommended if the iPhone plays a central role in managing your contacts and meetings.
he iPhone OS includes technology that recognises certain types of information in text. It lets you view addresses on a map, and create new contacts based on that and other contact details. However, it doesn’t capture all of the adjacent information, such as website addresses and company names in email signatures. Copy2Contact Pro improves matters signiﬁcantly. Copy a block of text to the Clipboard, then open the app. It dissects the data and splits it between the various ﬁelds that make up a contact, which you can review before saving. It successfully split our email signatures,
▲ Copy2Contact improves the way you convert selectable text in any app and turn it into a record in Contacts.
even recognising separate lines marked up as landline, mobile and fax numbers, and assigned them to the correct ﬁelds. Impressively, the app doesn’t just discard information it’s unsure about. It’s placed in the comments ﬁeld, leaving you to tidy up loose ends by hand. However, the app doesn’t deal well with numbers that include a country code and a zero in brackets. The brackets are discarded
but the digit remains, so you’ll have to remove the zeroes by hand. That’s an irritating oversight but easy enough to work around, and you’re still in a better position to ensure that your contact details are complete, not to mention the time saving. A free version is also available, but the ads that pop up at launch will slow you down and you’re better off with the Pro version. Alan Stonebridge
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A lot of space is wasted when browsing websites in Safari.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Atomic Web Browser 2.9 Price 59p from the App Store URL bit.ly/atomicwebbrowser Verdict Full-screen mode is a real bonus on the iPhone. Traditional tabbed browsing, gestures and other worthwhile features more than balance out the drawbacks.
TABBED BROWSING Atomic makes the pages you have open more obvious than Safari. Site icons help you pick out the site you need.
Atomic’s full-screen mode trims back the clutter to let you see more of what you’re trying to read.
rowsing the web on Apple’s touchscreen devices is so easy because of the gesture-driven navigation of pages. Atomic Web Browser develops that aspect, and it packs in some extra features that aren’t found in Safari. Its full-screen mode makes great use of the iPhone’s limited screen space. You access it by tapping with three ﬁngers, and you can place up to seven semi-transparent buttons over it to provide access to various features, which you get to pick. You can add a link to your bookmarks, back and forward buttons, and even direct access to the settings screen, and they still take up less space than the toolbars they replace. Multiple open pages can be shown as traditional tabs or as a vertical list, complete with thumbnails. Both are faster to navigate
than Safari’s implementation. If you’re only dealing with a handful of pages at once, you don’t even need to use these mechanisms to get from one to the next. Just swipe left or right with two ﬁngers. That gesture, along with swiping up and down with two ﬁngers and the three-ﬁngered tap, can be overridden with a variety of other actions. These include going back and forward a page and jumping to the top of the page. Normally tapping the clock does that but you can turn it off to save even more space. One of the great things about Atomic is that you can conﬁgure so many of its options to what works best for you. For instance, you can turn on just the status bar in full-screen mode to keep an eye on the time, while hiding the larger interface elements that consume a valuable portion of the viewing area.
SEARCH ENGINE The search bar is far more capable than Safari’s, and you can add other sites to the list in Atomic’s settings.
There’s also an ad blocker to which you can add your own domain ﬁlters, and you can stop images loading altogether. That’s great if your network connection drops to GPRS or Edge speeds for a prolonged time. The search bar works with several websites, including Google, Bing and Wikipedia, and more can be added. Sadly, the ability to search within the current page caused us problems when the item we were trying to ﬁnd was in a Web 2.0-style collapsed section of the page. The browser was also a bit less responsive in forms than Safari, even on our iPhone 3GS. Once a ﬁeld had the focus it was ﬁne, but the sticky pause beforehand is an uncomfortable throwback to when Apple’s browser suffered from a similar issue. Atomic is a universal app, so it makes full use of the iPad’s increased screen resolution. And while full-screen mode isn’t really necessary on that device, the additional gestures make browsing a bit more comfortable. However, bookmarks aren’t synced over MobileMe, so you can’t keep them in sync with your Mac, although Atomic can import bookmarks exported manually. We’d also like to see integration with something like 1Password, especially as you can lock the browser with a Pin code, in case you leave your device unlocked. Atomic wins out over Opera, which recently appeared on the App Store, as it retains the gestures you’ve learned in Safari and extends them. Even so, it’s not perfect. If you tell it you want to see the same pages next time you open it, it reloads them all, putting an unnecessary load on the application. We hope this will change in an update, given that iPhone OS 4 allows apps to save their state when closed. Alan Stonebridge
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
ONLINE GAME STORE: Introducing Steam There’s a new way to get games on your Mac. Steam is an online store that downloads titles straight to your computer.
There are already dozens of games available on Steam, ranging from puzzlers like Bejeweled 2 and Zuma Deluxe to full-blown adventures and action games like Sam & Max.
Price Steam client is a free download + Price of games varies Contact Steam + steampowered.com
aming on the Mac has been given a massive boost with the arrival of Steam, Valve’s online store. You can now purchase and download games directly to your Mac without having to visit a retail store. This is great news for the Mac, as games are often difﬁcult to ﬁnd on the high street, outside of dedicated Apple Stores and resellers. With the Steam client
installed, you’re just a few clicks away from a broad selection of Mac games that covers everything from kid-friendly favourites such as World of Goo and Bejeweled 2 all the way up to the epic strategy of Civilization IV and the comedic adventures of Guybrush Threepwood in Tales of Monkey Island. Right now, there are a few dozen games on the store, and soon they’ll be joined by Valve’s back catalogue, which features some exceptionally high-proﬁle titles. That includes the perennially popular team-based shooters Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2, the zombie-infested wastelands of the
Left 4 Dead games and last, but certainly not least, the phenomenally successful Half-Life series. At launch, the only Mac game available from Valve’s own stable is the mind-bending puzzler, Portal, which is far and away the highlight of the launch line-up. Check out our review on p47. Steam is much more than an online store, though. It also incorporates gaming news from around the web and a strong set of community-orientated features. Here’s a guide to what Steam has to offer and why you should download it immediately if you want to enjoy a bit of downtime with your Mac.
Visit the Steam store to browse and download games directly to your Mac. It’s delivered over the Internet, so you get the added beneﬁt of not having to dig out a disc each time you want to play.
Keep an eye out for the Steam Play logo in the store, which means the game is available for Windows and Mac OS X. If you’ve bought games from Steam in the past to run under Boot Camp, you’re entitled to download the Mac version without paying again.
You’ll play games such as Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead on the same servers as Windows users, which means there are already plenty of people out there to join your team or go head-to-head in online multiplayer games, without waiting for your friends who own Macs to get on board with Steam.
Steam checks whether your game ﬁles are out of date, and automatically downloads and installs updates, so you don’t have to go looking for them.
Under Community, you can check in with your friends and groups that you’ve joined. Steam also has a built-in chat feature so you can exchange messages.
Steam lets you back up the purchases in your library, and it breaks them down into chunks that are small enough to burn to CD or DVD. That’s great if you want to install a game on your MacBook to take on holiday, or to avoid the possibility of re-downloading several gigabytes if you get a new Mac.
Some titles keep track of your Achievements that show how well you’ve mastered the game. You can get competitive with friends who own the same games by comparing against their scores.
You can send games as gifts from the Steam application, but you don’t need to install the program if you’re buying as a gift for someone else. Just visit steampowered.com and choose to send the game – either to a speciﬁc Steam user or via email.
BUNDLE AND OFFERS
Before purchasing games, don’t forget to check the system requirements to ensure that your Mac is up to the job of running them.
Keep an eye out for bundles and weekend-only discount offers. On its own, Portal will set you back £16.99. Not all of Valve’s back catalogue has appeared on the Mac yet, but Windows users can pick up Portal as part of The Orange Box, which includes Half-Life 2 and its two expansions and Team Fortress 2 for the same price.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Available now through Steam Altitude Atlantis Sky Patrol Bejeweled 2 Deluxe Bob Came in Pieces Bookworm Deluxe Braid Brainpipe: A Plunge to Unhumanity Caster Chains Chocolatier: Decadence by Design Chuzzle Deluxe Sid Meier’s Civilization IV Civilization IV: Warlords Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization Cooking Dash Diaper Dash DinerTown Tycoon DinerTown Detective Agency Diner Dash: Hometown Hero Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Escape Rosecliff Island Eschalon: Book I Europa Universalis Complete Fairway Solitaire Fitness Dash Football Manager 2010 Gemini Lost Guns of Icarus Hearts of Iron III Hotel Dash: Suite Success Killing Floor KrissX LucasArts Adventure Pack (contains The Dig, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Loom. Also available separately.) Luxor Luxor 3 Luxor: Mah Jong Madballs in Babo: Invasion Mahjong Roadshow Max and the Magic Marker My Tribe The Nightshift Code Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar’s Eye Parking Dash Peggle Deluxe Peggle Nights Portal Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery Quantz Sam & Max Season Two Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Steam Play Indie Pack (contains And Yet It Moves, Galcon Fusion, Machinarium, Osmos and World of Goo Also available separately.) Simplz: Zoo Tales of Monkey Island Complete Toki Tori Torchlight TriJinx: A Kristine Kross Mystery Unwell Mel Valerie Porter and the Scarlet Scandal Wandering Willows Wedding Dash 2: Rings Around the World Windosill Zenerchi Zuma Deluxe
Braid On the surface, Braid looks like a straightforward, if rather beautifully animated, platform game. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover some mindboggling puzzles that can only be solved by manipulating the ﬂow of time. For our review, see MacUser, 19 June 2009, p34.
World of Goo
This charming game sets you the task of constructing objects by joining blobs of goo together in order to reach the goal. On its own, it will set you back £16.99, but check the price of the Steam Play Indie Pack, which cost less as we went to press and includes four extra games.
Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse and Tales of Monkey Island If you didn’t rush out to buy Sam & Max after our review (see MacUser, 21 May 2010, p42), you can pick it up on Steam. It will set you back £24.99 on its own and, as we went to press, the previous season of Sam & Max arrived on the Mac, too. Telltale’s other big series, Tales of Monkey Island, is also available on Steam. All of them are worthwhile if you’re looking for a humourous point-and-click adventure to ﬁll a few hours.
Wednesday is games day
LucasArts Adventure Pack
The four games in this pack date back to LucasArts’ hey-day as king of the point-and-click adventure, but don’t discount them because of their age. Yes, the animation is a bit creaky and the voice-acting a little wooden compared with modern games such as The Devil’s Playhouse, but Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a bona ﬁde genre classic, and The Dig’s writing credits include none other than ﬁlm director Steven Spielberg and sci-ﬁ author Orson Scott Card.
By the time you read this issue, there should be even more games available through Steam. Valve promises that new Mac games will appear every Wednesday for the next few weeks, but that’s not the end of it. Civilization V should be available in September, and a sequel to Portal is expected to arrive before the year’s end. It looks like the Half-Life series will see a slow roll-out, which is no bad thing, since it covers the original game plus two expansion packs, and Half-Life 2 and the two episodic installments that see series hero Gordon Freeman trying to bring down The Combine, alien invaders that have subjugated Earth’s population.
047 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Portal Price £16.99 from the Steam store Contact Steam + steampowered.com Needs Mac OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.3 or later + 1GB Ram + Nvidia GeForce 8 or better + ATI X1600 or higher + Free Steam application and account + Web connection to download game Pros Truly mind-bending puzzles + Deliciously dark sense of humour Cons Only a few hours of play Verdict Portal is thoroughly entertaining from start to ﬁnish. It’s even worth sitting through the end credits, and you can’t say that about many games. That’s you, looking back at yourself through the portals. If you’re able to unravel that little brain teaser, you’ll get a massive amount of crazy fun from Portal. Even if you can’t get your head around it, you’ll have fun trying.
elcome to the Aperture Science Computer-aided Enrichment Center, where you play the role of lab rat in a series of taxing tests that will turn your world upside down and inside out until you’re dizzy with delight. Portal is played in the ﬁrst person through the eyes of a nameless heroine, who awakes deep in the bowels of Aperture’s laboratory. A tuneful computer voice directs you to step through the portal and take part in a series of tests, with the promise of the ultimate reward for your time and trouble – cake. If that’s not enough to clear your head and press on with the task at hand, then what is? In reality, you have no choice in the matter. Things start off with a test to unlock a door that even the stupidest of dogs could master, but Portal soon blows your mind with stunning puzzles that require you to look at your surroundings in new ways. The concept is simple: grab the portal gun and ﬁre a blue portal at one wall and an orange one at another to form an inter-spatial bridge. Walk through one of the portals and you’ll emerge from the other. That’s Portal at its most basic, but your objective isn’t handed to you on a platter. Inevitably, obstacles are thrown in your way. Often it’s obvious what needs to be done, whether it’s releasing a weighted cube from a dispenser and getting it onto a switch that
Puzzles start out easy with simple pressuresensitive switches that open doors.
lies on a pedestal that’s difﬁcult to reach. The challenge lies in making calculated moves, carefully placing your portals and leaping through at exactly the right moment in order to achieve a goal. Soon this experiment becomes a battle for survival, with automated gun emplacements searching with beady laser eyes, ready to stop you dead in your tracks. Portal is laced with dark humour. Turrets that have spotted
and then lost sight of you chirpily ask where you’ve gone in a girlish voice that’s chillingly sinister. With your life hanging in the balance, cake doesn’t seem like much of a reward. Portal demands that you suppress the simplistic instincts of the real world that make you think in one plane. With that skill under your belt, you’ll end up placing portals in strange places and leaping into them from a great height, propelling yourself from the other end with momentum to leap across gaping chasms. Miss and you’ll plummet into the toxic liquids that slosh far below.
It’s easy to get wrapped up messing around with the strange physics opened up by the portals, opening one directly above another and falling forever, or watching an object bob up out of two holes in the ﬂoor. That seems like a distraction, but it’s as integral to the game as a toys are to a child’s learning. Portal doesn’t so much make you think outside the box as it makes you turn it inside out. After completing the main game, you can take on select chambers again and try to complete them in a limited number of steps or portals, or within a strict time limit. This breathes more life into an admittedly short game. Valve says the aim of Portal is to see how well the concept works in practice. Luckily, it works very well, and you can look forward to a longer sequel, due later this year. Portal will set you back £16.99, the same price Windows users pay for The Orange Box, which includes Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2. They’re coming to the Mac, too, and are expected to support Steam Play, which gives you the PC and Mac versions at one price. Before you rush into buying Portal on its own, check whether that bundle is available. We’ll be looking at Half-Life 2 in a later issue, but having played the Windows version already, we can assure you its reputation as one of the best PC games around is well deserved. Alan Stonebridge
The portal gun creates gateways that get you past insurmountable obstacles such as this pit.
Later on, you’ll have to deal with moving platforms and split-second timing to reach the exit.
‘Portal soon blows your mind with stunning puzzles that require you to look at your surroundings in new ways’
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Belkin Grip Sleeve for iPad Price £29.99 (£25.52 52 ex VAT VAT)) Contact Belkin n + bel belkin kin.co .co.uk .uk
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049 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Gear 4 Street Par ty y4 Pri £49.99 (£42.54 ex VAT) Price Contact Gear 4 + gear4store.com Con You can run Gear 4’s Street Party 4 from the mains or from four AA batteries. It’s slim enough to slot ot easily in into a suitcas case or laptop bag, and works rks with any iPod with a Dock ck connector or the iPhone. It also has a line-in port and a remote control rol. rol
Native Union MM03 Pri £90 Price 0 (£76.60 ( .60 ex VAT) Contact Nat Con Native Union + nativeunion. on.com on. Design Design igned by Dav David Turpin pin, this Bluetooth handse dset come omes with a wei weight ghted base and nd comes in eit com either black or white. The MMO MMO3 3 can be pa paired d with w an iP iPhon hone and computer at the same tim time, so you can make and receive calls thr cal throug ough h your your mo mobile netw etwork and Skype.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Mac OS X is a great operating system, but there are a few third-party tools that make it even greater, so here are MacUser’s favourites.
Path Finder 5.5
Price €24 (about £20.68) Contact Objective Development + objdev.at
Price $39.95 (about £27.21) Contact Cocoa Tech + cocoatech.com t ﬁrst glance, Path Finder looks fairly similar to Apple’s own Finder, but it’s a far more powerful beast. For instance, Path Finder supports all the views that the Finder does – Icon, List, Column and Cover Flow – but lets you combine them. Cover Flow with Column view? No problem. Icon and List sharing the same window? Ditto. And there are tabs. Analogous to the same function in a web browser, a tab can contain a different view on the ﬁle system, and you can re-order tabs by dragging them. To move items between different areas of the ﬁle system, you simply drag them from a pane and onto a tab. There are two other ways to avoid clutter. First, there’s the Dual Browser, which opens up a split-pane browser between which you can drag ﬁles. Second is the Drop Stack.
▲ Path Finder lets you mix and match views, so you can have, say, List and Column view simultaneously.
This is an area on the sidebar onto which you can drag ﬁles from all over the ﬁle system, navigate to another location and deposit them. If you get annoyed by the Finder’s reluctance to display ﬁle sizes then Path Finder’s Size Browser will do it for you. You can also launch apps by typing in a shortcut. In all, Path Finder neatly knocks the Finder into a cocked hat. It can do more than the Finder does, and it’s better at it.
aunchBar is a launcher utility that can ﬁnd just about anything, instantly. It’s invoked using a keystroke – typically, Alt-Space – which causes a small text ﬁeld to drop from the menu bar in any application. You then type a few letters to locate an object on your hard disk. Files, folders, applications, iTunes music can all be opened with just a few characters. Alternatively, once you’ve located the item you’re after, you can hit Space to invoke Quick Look. LaunchBar can also search inside your Address Book to display your contacts. Once you’ve selected the name you want, press Return to open it in Address Book, or hit the right cursor key to view their address, email and phone number. Selecting a phone number will display it at large size on-screen, while selecting their email address will automatically switch to your preferred email application and create a new message addressed to that person. You can also create iCal events and to-do items from within LaunchBar. It has some clever Clipboard tricks, too, allowing you to ‘stack’ copied items and paste them in reverse ‘last in, ﬁrst out’ order or merge them into one item. Although some of LaunchBar’s features are available in Google Desktop Search and Quicksilver, there’s plenty here to make it well worth €24.
▲ Default Folder X gives you instant access to your favourite locations via the Open and Save dialog boxes.
Default Folder X
Price £25.95 (£22.08 ex VAT) Contact St Clair Soft + stclairsoft.com
efault Folder X is a ﬁle dialog enhancement that gives you instant access to your favourite locations. It appears in the Open and Save dialog boxes, performing a range of tasks to speed up your navigation. It provides instant bounce-back to the last ﬁle opened or saved, and allows you to navigate through recent folders using the Alt and the cursor keys, making it easy to snap back through your travels. This is useful
when you want to open a series of ﬁles from one folder, modify them and save them in a different folder. If you prefer to associate individual folders with particular applications, you can tell Default Folder X to bounce back to these folders within dialogs. Default Folder lets you assign your own Spotlight keywords directly from within the Open dialog. Favourite folders can be added to a separate menu on the side of the dialog, and you can jump to them quickly with a keyboard shortcut. Default Folder X, then, is an indispensable utility for Mac users.
▲ Once you’ve assigned a keystroke to invoke LaunchBar, when you hit that shortcut a small text search ﬁeld will appear in the menu bar of whatever application you’re using.
051 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Price $14 (about £9.53) Contact Aptonic + aptonic.com
ropzone adds functions to Mac OS X’s Dock, although some would argue they should have been included there from the start. Dropzone’s Dock icon becomes a target for dropped ﬁles and folders, and when activated it opens a grid of actions on which you drop them. The list of built-in actions includes ‘Move ﬁles’, which can be assigned to any folder on your Mac, as well as an FTP upload droplet; a widget for uploading to Flickr; a ‘print these ﬁles’ controller; a ﬁle zipper; and a useful script for opening, mounting and installing new applications downloaded as disk images from the Internet. Dropzone also makes it possible to create multiple instances of some actions.
▲ Dropzone sits on the Dock and when activated, it opens a grid of actions on which you drop ﬁles.
▲ Built-in actions include a widget for uploading to Flickr, a ﬁle zipper and an application installer.
You can set up several different versions of the Move ﬁles action, one for each of your favourite hard disk locations. Other actions are tied to the Internet, such as URL shorteners, blogging sites and image hosting services.
The application displays neat, unobtrusive alerts when appropriate, letting you know when an action has completed, or text has been put on the clipboard. You can also create your own and with a growing community, many more are likely to become available.
Price €29.95 (about £25.80) Contact Objective Development + objdev.at
▲ If your Desktop clutter is driving you barmy, let Hazel bustle in and do all the tidying up for you – putting all downloaded music in your Music folder, movies in your Movies folder and so on.
Price $21.95 (about £14.95) Contact Noodlesoft + noodlesoft.com
azel is a System Preferences pane that acts on rules you create, keeping ﬁles in their proper places and tidying up the mess of daily computer life. It works by applying rules to speciﬁc folders. An obvious choice is your Desktop, itself a folder in the ﬁle system. Here, you can create all sorts of rules that will keep the Desktop clean. Without any fuss, Hazel shifts downloaded music ﬁles to your Music folder and movie ﬁles to Movies, where they belong. It’s also very handy for archiving the contents of your Downloads folder.
Hazel has some clever tricks up its sleeve. It can automatically change the colour label of a ﬁle according to the folder that it’s in, or according to how you name it or what Spotlight comments you give it. This way, you could colour-code all your project ﬁles simply by giving them an appropriate name. You could also save them all directly to the Desktop and let Hazel do the ﬁling for you. Furthermore, Hazel includes some Trash management rules, capable of keeping the Trash completely empty or just preventing it from getting too full. Hazel really is one of those tools, which, once you’ve used it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
ittle Snitch monitors applications on your Mac to detect which ones try to make outgoing calls. Every outgoing connection attempt is logged and displayed in real time, if you wish. Like Firewall exceptions, Little Snitch operates rules that you can use to allow or deny an application's activity on a particular port. You set rules to govern how Little Snitch should deal with outgoing calls and can set ﬁlters for viewing sub-sections of trafﬁc. There are a few built-in rules to start you off, but it might be more useful to activate the head-up display. This pops into view whenever an application on your machine makes outgoing calls. The (minor) disadvantage is that for the ﬁrst few days or weeks after installing it, you might ﬁnd yourself constantly pestered for decisions. After a while, though, it dies down and Little Snitch compiles a list of rules based on the decisions you’ve made. From then on, you can afford to forget about Little Snitch. It watches for unexpected outgoing trafﬁc, and when something crops up, it will make sure you know about it.
▲ Little Snitch spies on your Mac’s applications to see which ones are making outgoing calls to the Internet and informs you of any suspicious activity.
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FT O S O R MIC CE 2008 OFFI MAC FOR NESS BUSI ION EDIT
MacUser and Microsoft are offering you the chance to win a copy of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition, worth £440.
icrosoft Ofﬁce 2008 for Mac Business Edition is packed with tools and features that are perfect for growing and managing your business. Updated with Ofﬁce 2008 SP2, the suite includes all the Ofﬁce applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage) that your business needs. Furthermore, the new Exchange Server support and reliable Ofﬁce for Windows compatibility take productivity and collaboration to the next level with the ability to share, collaborate and access documents in and away from the ofﬁce. For more details, visit microsoft.com/mac.
How to enter Simply answer the question below and enter for FREE online at www.macuser.co.uk
QUESTION Who is the current CEO of Microsoft? Steve Martin Steve Jobs Steve Ballmer The ﬁrst name out of the hat will win a copy of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition. Closing date: 17 June 2010 On completing and submitting this competition, you will automatically be entered into a draw for one of these prizes. No correspondence will be entered into and the winners will be notiﬁed by post or email within 28 days of the closing date. The competition is not open to employees of Dennis Publishing or participating companies. No cash alternative will be offered. The prize(s) described are available at the date of publication. Events may occur that render the promotion or the rewarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond MacUser’s control, which may at its discretion vary or amend the promotion and the reader agrees that no liability shall be attached to MacUser as a result thereof. Proof of emailing will not be accepted as proof of delivery and no responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed, mislaid or for any technical failure or for any event, which may cause the competition to be disrupted or corrupted. Where necessary, in order to determine an outright winner or winners to a competition, the editor reserves the right to request entrants to take part in an eliminating contest (or ‘tie breaker’). Where for any reason there are more winners than prizes on offer, the editor reserves the right to conduct a simple draw to determine the winner or winners of the prizes. Unless otherwise stated, entry to all competitions is restricted to entrants of 18 years of age or over. Names of winners will be available on receipt of a request, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, to: Competitions Manager, Dennis Publishing, 30 Cleveland St, London W1T 4JD. If the winner of a competition is unable to take up a prize for any reason, the editor reserves the right to award it to an alternative winner, in which case the ﬁrst winner chosen will not be eligible for any share of the prize whatsoever. The editor’s decision is ﬁnal, and it is a condition of entry to any competition that the entrant agrees to be bound by these rules whether they be published or not, and that the decisions of the editor and judges on any matter whatsoever arising out of or connected with the competition are ﬁnal. No purchase of the magazine is necessary.
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MOBILE OFWFITIHCE K iWONOTR HE iPAD
DITCH K S E D YOUR
057 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
With the release of Apple’s popular iWork on the iPad, we look at whether it’s got what it takes to become the perfect mobile office.
Words Nik Rawlinson Main image Danny Bird
Work is Apple’s ofﬁce suite – its rival to Microsoft Ofﬁce. On the Mac, it’s the replacement for the long-lived and much-lamented AppleWorks, and boasts both a great interface and some ﬁrst-class layout tools. It comprises three programs: Pages for word processing, Numbers for working with spreadsheets and formulae, and Keynote for creating presentations. The applications appeared slowly over several years, starting with Keynote (named after Steve Jobs’ semiannual product unveilings). This was a breakthrough product, but without any companion tools, you couldn’t really call it an ofﬁce suite. Pages came next, and over the years has been reﬁned. It started out with its eye squarely ﬁxed on document layout in the style of Microsoft Publisher or a low-end alternative to Adobe InDesign, but is now as competent at handling plain text as any other word processing tool. Finally, for the sake of completion, they were joined by Numbers, a quite simply revolutionary spreadsheet application. Why is it so revolutionary? Because where most spreadsheet programs have one table per page, with the table taking up the whole page, Numbers allows you to put several tables on each page and lay them out with pixel-point accuracy. The results look great, and not nearly so dull as a regular spreadsheet. With the arrival of the iPad, iWork now ﬁnds itself unchained from the desk, free to travel with its users to wherever we want to take it. But how do these applications shape up? Are they worthy companions to their desktop equivalents, and do they really make the iPad a viable mobile ofﬁce? This is where we’ll ﬁnd out.
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Pages is iWork’s word processor. You might think Words or Letters would be a more appropriate name, but while the ﬁrst would step dangerously close to Microsoft’s marketleading word processing tool, the latter would hopelessly undersell its talents. Pages, you see, works just as well as a page layout application as it does a word processor. On the iPad, it works in both portrait and landscape orientations, and with the 1.1 update, delivered during the iPad pre-order period for UK purchasers, Apple made a subtle but important change. Previously, when you turned to landscape mode, it would take away your toolbar and give you a blank screen. This wasn’t great, as that orientation was impossible to use with the keyboard dock, meaning you lost the ability to use Command-B/I on your keyboard for bold and italic, and the buttons to do the same from the toolbar. That’s no longer the case, but what hasn’t changed with the update is the lack of a word count. Some would claim this is a consideration only for journalists, but it’s equally important for students, who will have to write assignments to speciﬁc lengths. Let’s hope that will be added in a future revision. Pages ships with 16 templates that cater for everything from blank documents to project proposals and visual reports. Even the most basic of these can be tweaked to meet your own requirements. It handles headers and footers with aplomb, allowing you to type into three boxes within each one to lay out left-, right- and centre-aligned text. There are four options for page numbering that cater
Pages makes it easy to navigate long documents.
‘Pages works with styles, like a desktop publishing application, so while you can define the various elements of your text formatting on the go – font face, size, line spacing and so on – you should instead use the various pre-defined styles’ for ‘1’, ‘1 of 12’, ‘Page 1’ and ‘Page 1 of 12’ styling and moving margins is as simple as tapping your ﬁnger on the one you want to move and sliding it left, right, up and down. With tools like this, you can create documents from scratch and email them to colleagues as ﬁnished projects: Pages for iPad is most certainly not a cut-down version of the desktop application that’s suitable for nothing more than quick and dirty edits on the go. Pages works with styles, like a desktop publishing application, so while you can deﬁne the various elements
of your text formatting on the go – font face, size, line spacing and so on – you should instead use the various pre-deﬁned styles, which include title, sub-title, body, caption, and so on. Each of these can be underlined, italicised, struck out or made bold for emphasis. There are ﬁve list styles with bullets, images, letters and numbers, while alignment can be set to left, centre, right or justiﬁed in up to four columns. Combined, these various settings will allow you to create some very sophisticated layouts, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that you could use Pages to write a whole book, although we would recommend investing in an external keyboard if you plan on doing that. As with Keynote and Numbers, Pages can make use of media stored on your iPad. It has full access to your photo albums and 15 built-in shapes in six different colours. These aren’t particularly intricate, running to squares, arrows, stars and so on, but they should be enough to brighten up a document and draw your readers’ attention to various points. Even the most basic of Pages templates can be tweaked to meet your own requirements.
You can use Pages in both portrait and landscape orientations on the iPad.
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PRINTING There’s no question that iWork for the iPad is a very accomplished suite of ofﬁce applications, but they all have one very important feature missing: printing. This isn’t entirely surprising – no applications can print from the iPad right now, as there are no drivers for any currently available printers. The long and the short of it is that this leaves you with no option but to transfer your documents to your Mac (or PC), and either print or email them from there. At least for the time being. However, if an email received by a reader of Macrumors (see bit.ly/cfSPln) turns out to be true, it seems that printing could be on the way. The reader sent an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking ‘Why no printing on the iPad? What gives?’ The three word reply was: ‘It will come.’ If this was indeed from Jobs, it’s good news for all iPad users, and particularly iWork for iPad users.
Double-tap in a cell and the appropriate keyboard will appear.
Key concepts can be illustrated with one of nine different graphs, which can be edited within Pages itself, so even if you haven’t bought Numbers, you’re not without some rudimentary number-crunching features. Pick the chart type you’re after and it’ll appear on your page in a ﬂoating frame that you can reposition by dragging it around the page with your ﬁnger. Double-tap it and it will spin around like a Widget on the Mac OS X Dashboard to show the underlying data sheet. This can be plotted with either rows or columns as the series on which the chart is built. So is Pages worth your money? Undeniably so. It may look like a simple word processor the ﬁrst time you open it, but you’ll quickly discover that it has many more tools and features than some desktop and laptop applications that cost many times its price. It’s a true killer application.
When Numbers appeared on the Mac, it was pretty radical. Apple threw away years of spreadsheeting wisdom and came up with something so much better than the status quo. If you’ve used any other spreadsheet, you’ll know that the grid into which you type your ﬁgures and
Numbers’ formatting options rival those of a desktop spreadsheet.
formulae takes up the whole of each sheet in your document. You can have several of these sheets in each document. Numbers, however, replaces the grid with tables, like the tables you might like to drop into a word processing document. Each of these tables is separate, even if they sit on the same sheet (you can have several sheets in a document) and can be used to organise different kinds of information, such as ﬁve tables for ﬁve different currencies, speed scores or weeks of rainfall. Despite being separate, though, you can draw on the data from all of them at once when producing formulae in the others. You can then reposition them all pixel by pixel on the overall page within your spreadsheet, and even intersperse them with graphs. The result is a more attractive set of spreadsheets that are not only simpler to decipher, but also easier on the eye. If you’re a spreadsheet novice, you can take refuge in the 16 bundled templates that start out with blank spreadsheets and take in loan comparisons, mortgage calculators and weight loss logs on the way. Open one up and it will present itself in a tabbed interface highly reminiscent of a buff ﬁling system. Tapping the tabs switches between the pages, while tapping on the tables themselves lets you drag them around. The really clever thing is the way the spreadsheet is aware of its size and position on the screen. Pinch and unpinch to make it smaller and larger, and when it becomes too large for the screen, the grey header cells in each row and column become sticky. This means that if you then pan around the document, only the variable cells (the white ones) reposition themselves within the header cells, dragging the header cells with them, so you can always see what you’re entering.
BUYING iWORK When you’re buying iWork for the Mac, the £71 (£60.43 ex VAT) asking price buys you all three programs, so you’re ready to work with a full ofﬁce suite as soon as you install it. Apple recognises that iPad owners may have more speciﬁc needs and that this is a lot to ask for a mobile suite, so it has split up the suite into three separate applications, each bought individually. On the US Store, they’re priced up at $9.99 apiece.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Interface reﬁnements aside, spreadsheets remain complex beasts, but mobile Numbers helps out with no fewer than four data-speciﬁc keyboards. Double-tap in a cell and the appropriate keyboard pops up. First in the list is the number-focused keyboard, which is highly reminiscent of an adding machine, with large digit buttons and two enter buttons, one of which moves you to the next cell in the row and the other which takes you down the column. Beside these, there are dedicated buttons for currency, percentage, ratings and checkboxes. The ratings button sets a special condition within the cell, so that as you tap the numbers one to ﬁve, it displays the appropriate number of stars. The checkbox button, meanwhile, is ticked with a ‘1’ and cleared with a ‘0’, and makes the iPad a handy list-making device.
You can create complex graphs and charts in Numbers.
Spreadsheets on a mobile device such as the iPad were always going to be a challenge, but it seems they were one Apple has embraced, and the result is a triumph.
‘Formulae are the powerhouses of any spreadsheet, and key to analysing your data. They can, however, be a challenge for the ﬁrst-timer. This keyboard has a handy ‘functions’ button that gives you direct access to common spreadsheet commands’ The date and time keyboard features digits and months, and a clever input bar sporting variable tags. Tap each of these tags and the appropriate button on the keyboard, and you’ll quickly build up complex strings. For example, tap ‘Date & Time’; ‘month’, 7; ‘day’, 8; ‘year’, 2009; and you’ll have a cell that reads 8 July 2009. Admittedly, it’s quicker to type this with a full keyboard on your Mac, but it’s an excellent compromise for mobile working. Perhaps the most versatile of all the keyboards though, is the one that handles formulae. Formulae are the powerhouses of any spreadsheet, and key to analysing your data. They can, however, be a complex challenge for the ﬁrst-timer. This keyboard therefore has a handy ‘functions’ button that gives you direct access to common spreadsheet commands such as sum, average and count. Pick the function you want and it will be entered into the toolbar, ready to accept your variables. If these are to be drawn from existing data on your spreadsheet, you then need only drag your ﬁnger across the appropriate cells and they’ll be entered into the formula. Tap the tick (or the cross if you’ve gone wrong) and the result will be posted in your cell without you having typed a single letter or digit.
Let’s face it: iWork is great, but its ﬁles aren’t all that widely accepted. Fortunately, both the Mac OS X and iPad versions of all of the applications let you export you work in a variety of formats for sharing them with other users. Every application can export its ﬁles to the equivalent desktop iWork format and PDF. Pages can also export in Microsoft Word .doc format (although not, strangely, the widely accepted .rtf format). If you want to download your ﬁles once you’ve ﬁnished working on them, it’s essential that you export them to one of these formats. They’ll appear in the File Sharing window inside iTunes the next time you connect your iPad. You can also share your ﬁles through Apple’s online iWork.com service, which lets your colleagues review and comment on your work, and download copies directly if you wish.
Keynote comes with 12 templates, which will help give your presentation a professional feel.
Unlike the other applications in iWork, Keynote only works in one orientation: landscape. This is because it’s designed to make presentations for display on a screen or projector. Like Numbers and Pages, it’s what we would consider a killer iPad application, but one shortcoming is more serious here than on its sibling products: the limited export options. Although each of the applications can export PDFs, only Pages can export a Microsoft Ofﬁce-compatible ﬁle. This could be problematic for Keynote users who need to use PowerPoint if they’re part of a presentation party in which all presenters are sharing a single machine – perhaps a PC. In short, you should only consider investing in Keynote for the iPad if you also have Keynote on your Mac, or you want to present directly from your iPad, on its own screen. If you don’t, your only export option is PDF. Keynote ships with 12 templates, many of which will be familiar with their equivalents on the Mac OS X edition,
Slideshows can be created using pictures from your image library.
When you resize an image, you’ll see dynamic guides pop up, so you’ll know when the edges or centre are in line.
MACUSER ON THE iPAD Have you got your hands on an iPad yet? If so, check out MacUser’s own iPad application, which lets you download every issue of the magazine for reading on the go. Every page of each issue is reproduced in digital format, complete with news, reviews, masterclasses and features. Every issue is organised in your own iPad library for ready access, saving space on your shelves at home and saving trees by cutting down on paper use. The application itself costs just 59p and includes your ﬁrst issue. Subsequent issues will be delivered as they become available on a fortnightly basis.
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including plain white and black, modern portfolio and showroom. These are all high-quality and easy on the eye, and should give your presentation a professional ﬁnish. Slides feature text and graphics. The graphics themselves are drawn from your iPad’s photo library. You can also add tables, charts and shapes in six colours, all of which will look immediately familiar to anyone who has added the same elements to a Pages document. Once again, double-tapping a chart spins it around Widget-style to reveal the table of underlying data, which can be ordered by either row or column, depending on the point you’re trying to illustrate. Everything on your slides, apart from the background, can be resized and repositioned as appropriate. As you drag elements around, you’ll see dynamic alignment guides pop up so that you know when the edges or centres are in line with one another, while drag handles on the four corners
and four sides let you resize your assets. Here, again, Keynote is quick to offer a helping hand. As you drag from an edge (top, bottom, left or right), the opposing dimension resizes simultaneously to keep everything in proportion. Resize from a corner point, meanwhile, and a dotted yellow guide will show you the path through which your resizing can pass in either direction. We reckon this is a good thing, as it keeps everything looking smart, but if for any reason you want to deliberately change the proportions of an image – for example, to ﬁll a space that’s slightly out of kilter – you’re out of luck. Every slide can have a transition applied to it by ensuring that nothing within it is selected and then tapping the transition button (if you do have anything selected then the transition button instead lets you set build-in and build-out actions that control how an element appears or disappears as you play back your presentation). There are an impressive 20 transitions at your disposal, each of which can be tailored to run for a speciﬁc period and either play automatically or only activate when you tap the screen. Most impressive among them is Magic Move, which is pretty radical even on the Mac OS X edition. Select this and you can duplicate your current slide before deleting what you don’t want and repositioning whatever should stay to their new positions. As you play back your presentation, these shifted elements will animate, so that they slide to their new positions on the second slide. This is an excellent way to illustrate a point, such as the ﬂow of money around an economy, the effect of stafﬁng changes between departments, and so on. Sadly, Keynote, which one would imagine to be the easiest application to port from the Mac to the iPad, is perhaps the least impressive of the three iWork programs. However, this is perhaps precisely because of the relative simplicity of its interface and the brilliance of the material it produces. Keynote for Mac OS X is the best presentation software on the platform, and the iPad edition is clearly designed to work closely alongside it, which will explain the lack of any PowerPoint export tools in this mobile edition. Unfortunately, this brilliance somewhat dulls its shine. As we said at the outset, this is certainly a mustbuy for anyone who already uses Keynote on their Mac, but perhaps not for everyone else.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Has the service that was designed to bring friends together turned into something a little less friendly? Simon Brew finds out if Facebook has become the enemy within…
Words Simon Brew Photography Danny Bird
n Friday 14 May, it was reported that deep inside Facebook’s no-doubt secretive underground lair, a company-wide meeting was being called. Said meeting, if you follow the party line, was ﬁrmly in keeping with the company’s way of open working, whereby employees can come together and ask whatever questions happen to be on their minds. Said meeting, if you don’t follow such a way of thinking, was a panic measure, hastily cobbled together in response to mounting criticism over the ﬁrm’s stance on privacy. Either way, it reportedly went ahead and if all staff were genuinely invited to put forward questions and voice their views, then it’s a fair bet what the theme of most of those comments was likely to be. Because in recent months, Facebook has been waging a PR war against an increasing barrage of media criticism, with the thrust of the arguments being that the service values customer data more than it does the customers themselves. People weren’t happy. The headlines were making grim reading. Something, very clearly, needed to be done. For Facebook had, in the eyes of some, gone from being a friendly place where you could keep in touch with real and pretend friends, and acquaintances old and new, to a service with an overwhelming number of security settings and options. No longer was it being seen as the soft and ﬂuffy land of web trivia, silly games and pictures that should never have left the scene of the ofﬁce party. Instead, with every creeping change to privacy settings, there’s been the sneaking suspicion that Facebook has been turning just a little bit evil…
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NOT MY FRIEND?
In hindsight, the changing of the perception of Facebook has been a long time brewing, and to a small degree can be put down to the sheer size of the service now. After all, it’s easier to perceive a ﬁrm as friendly when it’s not earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year and when its value doesn’t run into the tens of billions. Plus, with Bebo now effectively falling by the wayside and MySpace struggling to keep up, Facebook has more than 400 million active users and is only getting bigger. In short, it’s a big target that’s become the establishment where social networking services are concerned. And that means people will take pot shots at it no matter what it does. Yet there’s more to the changing face of Facebook than that, not least because a series of negative stories have inevitably taken their toll on the perception of the ﬁrm. Go back to the summer of last year, for instance, and Facebook’s policy of holding onto user data indeﬁnitely was found to be in breach of Canadian law. That, in turn, generated headlines around the world and instigated another meeting or two at Facebook HQ, forcing it to alter its policies to stay on the right side of the law. That’s not all, of course. At the end of 2009, further changes saw a relaxation of privacy settings, which made far more personal information viewable to all, with this, too, coming in for heavy criticism (we’re coming to more on this shortly). In recent times, the company has been challenged over its refusal to adopt a ‘panic button’ to help protect minors online, even though some of its rivals had gone down that path. Some of the problems weren’t the direct fault of Facebook itself, but that didn’t stop its logo being attached to negative stories anyway. Take March 2009, when the BBC reported that Facebook was being speciﬁcally targeted by hackers looking to take advantage of the amount of data that users upload about themselves. You can hardly blame Facebook if end users pack the service with information that would be best described as
unwise to share on a social networking site, even if it does provide the platform for them to do it. The easiest way to prevent personal data from being made available, after all, is not to provide it at all. Nonetheless, the attacks continued and it was Facebook, rather than the invisible perpetrators, that was left to take the ﬂack. However, all of this goes with the territory. Were Microsoft a small and insigniﬁcant company, then hackers wouldn’t target it and the waiting press would be less inclined to sharpen their pencils. Thus, given the size, power and reach of Facebook now, it’s always going to be in the crosshairs of somebody. But is this all warranted? Well, let’s put it this way: Facebook certainly doesn’t always help itself out.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
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mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now, and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it’. To be fair, however, Zuckerberg has a point. What’s often lost in the debate about relaxed privacy settings is that there’s a block of people who don’t mind, who are happy that their listing can pop up on Google so their friends can ﬁnd them just a little bit easier. We’d suspect that a large proportion simply aren’t bothered at all, and maybe that’s what Zuckerberg talks about when he describes the ‘social norms’. Most recently of all, in just the past month, Facebook has made general information – such as your name, friends list, connections and such like – available to any website or application to which you’re connected through the service. And, crucially, you can no longer restrict it from sharing some basic information about you if you used those applications. You no longer have 100% control over what information could be hidden from the wider world. Presumably, every third-party application publisher is likely to work on a differing set of privacy standards.
However, still the question remains: is the resulting furore nonetheless proportionate to the changes Facebook has made? ‘Users should be worried,’ argues Rebecca Jeschke of the EFF. ‘It’s very hard to make sense of Facebook’s privacy settings -- what’s being shared and what isn’t.’ Yet isn’t Facebook doing what many others already are? Is it really one of the worst offenders where privacy is concerned? ‘It’s hard to say if Facebook is one of the worst offenders,’ says Jeschke. ‘However, privacy issues at Facebook affect millions of people, so the decisions the company makes about the treatment of its users have wide ramiﬁcations.’ Those ramiﬁcations caught the attention of the European Commission, whose Article 29 working party wrote to Facebook in May 2010 strongly criticising the changes to privacy settings. In particular, it singled out the fact that, by default, search engines were able to pick up on users’ data. The letter urged Facebook to switch its policy so that the standard setting was to exclude search engines from indexing such material. As MacUser went to press, Facebook was still considering its response, and many of its users’ details were still available for Google to index. It does beg the question as to why Facebook has continued to make the changes it has in the ﬁrst place, although you don’t have to look far for the answer. Because, ultimately, it’s about the money. For lest we forget, Facebook doesn’t take up-front fees from its users, and when there’s even a hint of it charging for its service (a rumour that to our knowledge has never emanated from Facebook itself), it seems a matter of seconds before a protest group is set up. This means 400 million users across the world are using Facebook at no ﬁnancial cost to them whatsoever. They’re getting access to a service with a virtually unparalleled ability to rob you of lunchtimes, to help you keep up with your friends
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and to let the world know what you’re up to – and not a penny is charged for the privilege. You could hardly call that evil, could you?
DEAL WITH THE DEVIL?
hopefully had that message conveyed to it loud and clear. It’s also got far more power than most, simply down to the success of the service. But is Facebook evil or is it just a big online business trying to make a few more quid? Or in the modern day Internet world, could it be that the two are no longer mutually exclusive?
DELETING YOUR ACCOUNT
What hasn’t helped the perception of Facebook is just how difﬁcult it can be to fully delete your account. Once upon a time, the option to remove an account wasn’t there. Now, you can close your Facebook account, but that doesn’t get rid of all the associated data. Instead, it leaves the likes of photographs, personal data and friends list still embedded somewhere on the Facebook servers. So how do you go about fully deleting your proﬁle, and the personal data left behind? It’s possible, but not a quick process. And the best answer we’ve found, ironically enough, we discovered via a Facebook page. Take at look at the full guide here: http://tinyurl.com/deletefacebook.
Deactivating your Facebook account doesn’t automatically empty your data from the Facebook servers – you have to jump through hoops to do that.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
THE FACEBOOK RESPONSE
‘Privacy is built around a few key ideas: you should have control over what you share; it should be easy to ﬁnd and connect with friends; your privacy settings should be simple and easy to understand’ Facebook’s privacy statement, taken from its website
When we asked Facebook how it responds to concerns of security and privacy, and the suggestion that these areas are being compromised in the pursuit of maximising revenues, a Facebook spokesperson told us: ‘The privacy and security of our users’ information is of paramount importance to us. Everyone within the company understands our success is inextricably linked with people’s trust in the company and the service we provide. We are grateful people continue to place their trust in us. We strive to earn that trust by trying to be open and direct about the evolution of the service, and sharing information on how the 400 million people on the service can use the available settings to control where their information appears.’ We then asked whether the ﬁrm has fundamentally changed over the past few years or whether its negative perception in recent times is a product of the media. The spokesperson argued that the ﬁrm constantly grows and adds new features, and that it strives ‘to keep our users informed of how new innovations will affect how they use the service’. Facebook went on to say: ‘We fundamentally understand that maintaining users’ privacy is of paramount importance, not just to them, but to the ecosystem of the Internet as a whole. We believe that upon close examination, the new features that we have offered and the tools for our users to engage with them – or turn them off – will be embraced. At the same time, we are listening and responding to concerns. We want to be sure that our innovations are understood and, if there are things we can do better, we will. ‘These are complicated issues. We have over 400 million people using Facebook around the world, and these people, between them, have millions of different deﬁnitions of friendship, and of sharing and privacy. We understand that there are also broader public policy concerns around the issue of privacy. That is why we are committed to a continuing dialogue with our users, elected ofﬁcials and regulators around the world. Everyone in the technology industry must do his or her part to preserve the common good and take these concerns seriously.’ The spokesperson also pointed out that the Facebook service facilitates plenty of good things in the world, ‘from the connecting of people in response to the Haiti earthquake tragedy, through to helping to bring runaway teens home’.
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Cheat sheet: Keyboard shortcuts Empower yourself and take command of your Mac by mastering keyboard shortcuts. Words Alan Stonebridge
he Mac brought the mouse to the masses and it’s a mainstay of desktop computers even today, well into its third decade. It’s great for getting around in a graphical interface, but having to grab it just to access a feature that’s tucked away in a menu slows you down. It pays, then, to learn how to get around with keyboard shortcuts. Once memorised, you can perform tasks much more quickly. Many shortcuts are listed alongside menu items, to the right of their name. They’re largely consistent for common features such as saving and opening ﬁles. Plenty of features in complex applications have no shortcut assigned at all. That’s not because those features are redundant in any way. They just aren’t needed by everybody, but Mac OS X is smart enough to let you add shortcuts to any menu item that you want, so your applications are tailored to exactly what you need to do.
Mac OS X and applications provide their own keyboard shortcuts for speeding up your work. Many of these are shown to the right of their name in menu items, and they’re worth committing to memory.
System Preferences pane
▲ Press Ctrl-F7 to toggle between the functions of the bottom two radio buttons.
Shortcuts are customised in the System Preferences application, which is found in the Apple menu. Go to its Keyboard pane and click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Here, you can turn off existing shortcuts for many system features and assign new ones for useful menu items that don’t have them by default. Snow Leopard organises the shortcuts into various categories, making them easier to manage than in any previous version of Mac OS X. Select a category and you’ll see the relevant shortcuts to the right. Turn off a shortcut by unticking the box at the left of its row, and replace an existing key combination by double-clicking it then pressing the combination you prefer. However, there are conditions on how you can use the various modiﬁer keys in shortcuts, which we’ve detailed in ‘About the modiﬁer keys’ (see right). Before you start, take a look at the two radio buttons further down the window. This is the option to change if you’ve been frustrated when pressing the Tab key to skip through an online form, only to be forced to use the mouse to choose details in a pop-up menu. Beware that this doesn’t just affect forms in web pages: it also means you’ll jump between buttons in window toolbars, so it’s worth memorising the shortcut, Ctrl-F7, so you can toggle it as needed.
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How to set up a new keyboard shortcut
You can choose to have your keyboard shortcut available to one application or all of them.
In the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, click the ‘+’ button beneath the right-hand pane to call up a simple form for creating a new shortcut. Choose All Applications if you want the same shortcut to apply to a common command in many applications, otherwise select a single application from the list. Next, type the exact name of the menu item, including punctuation such as ellipses (typed by pressing Alt-;) but there’s no need
Type in the precise name of the menu item, including capitals and punctuation.
to include the name of the menu in which the item appears. Click into the shortcut ﬁeld and hold the key combination that you want to use for that feature. After it appears in the box, click the Add button to save the change. System Preferences won’t warn you if your shortcut overrides a standard shortcut in Mac OS X or an application. If you accidentally override one, return to the preference,
Finally, type your desired shortcut for the menu item in the Keyboard Shortcut ﬁeld.
double-click on your custom shortcut’s key combination and try another one. The original will be restored.
What looks like an ellipsis in a menu may actually be three full stops, so if your shortcut doesn’t work, replace the ellipsis with that and try to use it again.
About the modifier keys Shortcuts must include at least one of the three main modiﬁer keys: Control, Alt and Command. Apple recommends that keyboard shortcuts that control elements of the graphical interface should include the Command key, but mix it with other keys that make sense to you. You may well ﬁnd that simple shortcuts are already taken by commonly used features, so you can combine Command with any combination of Control, Alt and Shift, too. In fact, you can use shortcuts that only use Control or Alt, or both. Shift can be used in shortcuts, but not on its own, as that would clash with typing symbols and capital letters.
The Control key is represented by the ‘^’ symbol in menus, but that graphic is unmarked on the key itself. The symbols for Alt (") and Command (!) that are shown in menus are also printed on the keys, so they’re easy to commit to memory. The same is true for the upwards arrow that represents the Shift key. When a shortcut involves a function key, you’ll have to hold the Fn key on modern Apple keyboards to use it. That’s found at the bottom left on MacBooks and external keyboards that lack a numeric keypad, and in the block above the cursor keys on those that do have a keypad.
▲ Shortcuts must include at least one of the three main modiﬁer keys: Control, Alt and Command.
Force Quit/Front Row The shortcut to call up the Force Quit dialog, used to close applications that are misbehaving, is Alt-CommandEsc, which is uncomfortably close to the one that opens Front Row, the Mac’s media centre. It’s not unlikely that you’ll hurriedly press the keys, miss Alt altogether and end up in that application by mistake. You can disable or amend Front Row’s shortcut in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
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Just Mobile Xtand Go
MacUser has teamed up with Just Mobile to offer you the chance to win one of 15 Xtand Go o iPhone car mounts worth £27 each.
hile most car mounts are ugly and bulky, the Xtand Go is small, lightweight and stylish. However, great design isn’t just about looking good and what makes the Xtand Go different from every other car mount on the market is its tiny folding arm, which enables you to position the iPhone exactly where you want it without cluttering your dashboard. The X-shaped bracket holds the iPhone securely in place,
keeping the dock connector free for charging en and allowing you to easily switch between landscape and portrait modes. The Xtand Go also works with other ation smartphones, music players and navigation ton, devices, thanks to the glue-free Go Button, king which even ﬁxes to a case or cover, making the Xtand Go an in-car throne that’s ﬁt for the king of smartphones. For more information, visit just-mobile.com.
How to enter Simply answer the question below and enter for FREE online at www.macuser.co.uk
QUESTION What is the Xtand Go designed to hold? iPhones Sunglasses Your drink The ﬁrst 15 names out of the hat will each win a Just Mobile Xtand Go. Closing date: 17 June 2010 On completing and submitting this competition, you will automatically be entered into a draw for one of these prizes. No correspondence will be entered into and the winners will be notiﬁed by post or email within 28 days of the closing date. The competition is not open to employees of Dennis Publishing or participating companies. No cash alternative will be offered. The prize(s) described are available at the date of publication. Events may occur that render the promotion or the rewarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond MacUser’s control, which may at its discretion vary or amend the promotion and the reader agrees that no liability shall be attached to MacUser as a result thereof. Proof of emailing will not be accepted as proof of delivery and no responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed, mislaid or for any technical failure or for any event, which may cause the competition to be disrupted or corrupted. Where necessary, in order to determine an outright winner or winners to a competition, the editor reserves the right to request entrants to take part in an eliminating contest (or ‘tie breaker’). Where for any reason there are more winners than prizes on offer, the editor reserves the right to conduct a simple draw to determine the winner or winners of the prizes. Unless otherwise stated, entry to all competitions is restricted to entrants of 18 years of age or over. Names of winners will be available on receipt of a request, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, to: Competitions Manager, Dennis Publishing, 30 Cleveland St, London W1T 4JD. If the winner of a competition is unable to take up a prize for any reason, the editor reserves the right to award it to an alternative winner, in which case the ﬁrst winner chosen will not be eligible for any share of the prize whatsoever. The editor’s decision is ﬁnal, and it is a condition of entry to any competition that the entrant agrees to be bound by these rules whether they be published or not, and that the decisions of the editor and judges on any matter whatsoever arising out of or connected with the competition are ﬁnal. No purchase of the magazine is necessary.
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method OUR GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS FOR EVERY DESIGNER
Using InDesign to take the tedium out of indexing Indexing is a tedious job, but InDesign makes the whole process much less painful with its automated process. Here’s how you do it…
ndexing, traditionally the ﬁnal job in compiling a book, can be one of the most mind-numbingly tedious occupations a writer has to perform. It’s such an arcane art that there’s even a dedicated society for its practitioners. These are people who ﬁnd librarianship too exciting: cross-referencing, sub-categorising and alphabetising are their particular passions. Many publishers employ professional indexers to take an author’s manuscript and compile the index for them. But this requires a signiﬁcant amount of technical knowledge on the part of the indexer: for a book about Photoshop, for instance, they’d have to know that Unsharp Mask and Layer Mask are two radically different terms that can’t both be indexed under ‘mask’, to give just one example. And so, more often than not, it’s down to the author to compile his or her own index. The good news is that where this used to be a mindless chore, InDesign makes the whole process signiﬁcantly less painful. You no longer need to worry about page numbers, or putting entries in alphabetical order, as InDesign takes care of all this. The one thing you do have to concern yourself with, though, is consistency. To create an index in an InDesign document, all you have to do is to start
Steve Caplin is a designer and illustrator working for a range of national newspapers. His best-selling How to Cheat in Photoshop, now in its fourth edition, is published by Focal Press.
▲ When you add an item to the index, the page numbering and alphabetisation will be done automatically as the index is generated.
indexing. It helps to have the Index panel open (Window > Type and tables > Index), so you can check your progress. On each page, select a key word or phrase, and choose New Page Reference from the pop-out menu at the top of the Index panel. Since you’ll be doing this a lot, it’s worth learning the keyboard shortcut for it. The default is Command-7, but you can easily add a more memorable shortcut, such as Ctrl-I, using the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box (from the Edit menu). Pressing the key combination opens the New Page Reference dialog box. The words you’ve highlighted will be ﬁlled in for you automatically, and that’s all there is to it: for a simple index entry, you can just hit Enter and the reference will be stored, along with the page number on which it appears, ready for you to build your index at the end.
You can get even more sophisticated if you wish. For example, while ‘Unsharp Mask’ will appear by itself in the index, it should also appear under ‘ﬁlters’. So after you’ve added it as a regular entry, you can press Command-7 to bring up the dialog box once more. This time, pressing the down-arrow button in the dialog box will nudge the words down to the second slot, freeing up the ﬁrst. If you type ‘ﬁlters’ in here then a new category will be created in the index, with any entries you’ve included in this way appearing beneath it. The Type pop-up allows you to choose a special type of index entry. If you have a whole chapter on Unsharp Mask, you could specify that the entry runs for the next however many number of pages, or to the end of the section or document. You can also use this pop-up to add cross-references, which must be added by hand. So under ‘Unsharp Mask’, you might choose to include ‘See also: Smart Sharpen’. The ‘Sort by’ ﬁeld is for when you want an entry to be listed other than strictly alphabetically.
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▲ Adding additional topic levels produces nested indexes – here, for example, ‘Unsharp Mask’ will appear nested under ‘ﬁlters’.
For example, in a book about rock music ‘The Beatles’ should be listed under B, and not T, so you’d type ‘Beatles’ into this ﬁeld. As well as clicking on OK, which adds the entry and dismisses the dialog, you can click the Add button to leave the dialog open. You can also press the Add All button, which will add every instance of the selected word in the current document. This is useful for proper names or for major topics, but it needs to be used with care so you don’t overwhelm the index with minor entries. It’s also worth noting that the Add All button won’t recognise different forms of a word, so if you use Add All with the word ‘brush’, it won’t index any instances of either ‘Brush’ or ‘brushes’. The bottom pane shows an expansible list of all the entries in the current document, so you can check what you’ve entered so far. This is more signiﬁcant than it might seem, as similar but not identical entries will be listed separately in the resulting index. If on one page you refer to the ‘Burn Tool’ and, on another page, the ‘Burn tool’, then they’ll appear as two distinct listings in the index: InDesign isn’t clever enough to recognise that they’re essentially the same entry.
▲ Usefully, InDesign enables you to specify precisely how a topic’s page numbering should be listed if it runs for several pages.
panel. It may take a few seconds for InDesign to complete the process, and then the index will appear in place. At this stage, you’re likely to notice some errors – you may have indexed some items both with and without capital letters, for instance. You need to resist the temptation to correct these on the generated index itself, as this won’t feed back into the indexing system. Instead, you have to make the changes in the Index panel, where all the index items will be shown. By double-clicking an individual entry, you can open and then edit it. If you’re working on a multi-document project, such as a book
in which each chapter is a separate ﬁle, then you need to have all the ﬁles open for the Index panel to show every entry in the book. Once the editing has been completed, choosing Generate Index again will update it. As the index is created, InDesign will also create paragraph styles for each entry and heading type. You can edit these using the Paragraph Style panel to use the font, leading and indent type that you want. Although it’s a bit of a bore, producing an index gives you full control over the ﬁnished project, and ensures that entries are referenced in the correct way.
You can add simple index entries without opening the dialog: after you highlight the word or phrase you want to add, you can press Command-Alt-Shift-[ to add that entry to the index instantly. There’s a useful extra command here, and that’s to do with indexing proper names. If you highlight ‘Thomas Knoll’, for instance, pressing Command-Alt-Shift-[ will duly add the name to the index as written. But if you instead press Command-Alt-Shift-], the name will be indexed as ‘Knoll, Thomas’. When you’ve indexed every word, you can create the index itself. Create a new text box at the end of the document and choose Generate Index from the pop-up menu on the Index
For a multi-document book, the Index Panel will show only items that appear in currently open documents, even if others are listed in the index itself. So if you need to edit it, ensure all relevant documents are open.
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DESIGN FOR PRINT: Paper sizes – get to know your A, B, C ‘As easy as A, B, C’ can’t really be said of paper sizing conventions. Never, fear, though, as we explain the intricacies of the various standards.
aper size is something to which we don’t give that much thought, most of the time at least. If you have a printer, chances are it’s an A4 model. If not, it’ll almost certainly be an A3 inkjet, perhaps even one that can print onto oversized A3 – probably SRA3. However, have you ever stopped to wonder where this ‘A’ paper size thing comes from? It’s all part of ISO 216, the International Standards Organisation system of paper sizes. The ISO system was deﬁned in 1975, but it’s based on a widely adopted 1922 German DIN standard. (In fact, its roots go right back to paper formats developed in 1798 during the French Revolution, which themselves came from the writings of a German physicist in 1786.) This is used almost everywhere in the world. Only our American and Canadian cousins have held back, sticking with the less-logical Letter and Ledger sizes, and the ANSI paper sizes spun from this just 15 years ago. The ISO system is based on some fascinating (well, to me at least) mathematical logic. It starts with the largest of the A paper sizes, A0. This has an area of
precisely one square metre, and the long size of the paper is the short size multiplied by the square root of two – or 1.4142135… Those of us who aren’t complete number freaks can be forgiven for pausing there and feeling a little blank. Another way to describe it is this: the long side is the length of the diagonal line across a square made from the shorter side. What makes this particularly clever is that Keith Martin is MacUser’s technical when you take the A0 sheet of paper and editor. He has been using Macs cut it in half, you end up with two A1 sheets. since the beginning, and has a background in everything from graphic They’re proportionally exactly the same, just design and print to multimedia. smaller – half the area to be precise. Keep cutting the sheets in half and you step down the ‘What makes this so clever is that when you take the A0 A paper size list: sheet and cut it in half, you end up with two A1 sheets. A2 to A3, A3 to They’re proportionally exactly the same, just smaller’ A4 and so on. This helps reduce paper waste in commercial printing and simpliﬁes scaled reproduction – for instance, photocopying up or down sizes. Put like this, it seems so obvious and Here, you can see how cutting the sheets of paper sensible that it’s strange to think this has only in half results in the next size down, so cutting A0 in really been standardised in most of the world half gives you A1, dividing A1 gives you A2 and so on.
Another way to describe it is this: the long side is the length of the diagonal line across a square made from the shorter side.
ISO 216 size ratio
A3 A5 width
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C-series paper is only used for envelopes, and these correspond to the same-numbered A and B sheets.
during the mid- and late-20th century. Britain settled on this in 1959, long after Iran, Italy, Norway and dozens more. As well as controlling production waste and simplifying stock control, it also helps in calculating weight. For example, a sheet of A4 paper is a sixteenth of the area of A0. If a paper’s weight is 80gsm (80 grammes per square meter, the area of A0) then the A4 sheet is 5g (80gsm divided by 16). Use this size stock to produce a 200-page magazine and the result will weigh 1kg, plus negligible allowances for cover stock and binding. Cut this to 70gsm and 160 pages and you’ll save almost a third on weight. If you’ll be shipping or posting large quantities, this can be an important concern. America’s Letter size, shorter and wider than A4, has a rather less-precise foundation: its said to be based on a quarter of the maximum reach of a papermaker vatman’s arms. Even stranger, it existed as two slightly different sizes until the 1980s, when thenPresident Ronald Reagan stepped in and picked one. Okay, the weight thing can be worked out in a roughly similar way, but it’s nowhere near as elegant or easy. US paper weight is generally based on 500 sheets of 17 x 22in stock, typically then cut in four to make Letter-sized reams. Divide the paper weight by 2000 (1/500th of a quarter of the given weight) to get the actual per-sheet weight, then extrapolate up from there for ﬁnished document weights. Not fun at all when working in pounds and ounces. Okay, enough history and comparison, let’s look at some practicalities. Understanding how paper sizes relate can be very useful when talking to printers or planning out some work. The A sizes are ﬁnished, trimmed ones. For paper to go through commercial printing presses, there has to be room for mechanical gripping, and full-bleed artwork needs to print onto larger areas and be trimmed down
and B sheets. A particular A-sized sheet will ﬁt into an equivalent C-sized envelope, and that can ﬁt into a matching B-sized envelope, although that’s probably overkill in terms of preparing something to be posted. C sizes weren’t part of the original ISO or earlier DIN standards, but as paper sizes were standardised and post-sorting machines were developed, it became an essential step. Until the 1840s, all envelopes were made by hand, and in the US and Canada there are still dozens of different standard sizes. (Oddly, some of those North American envelope formats are named A2 through to A10, although they have nothing to do with the ISO paper sizes. How’s that for a recipe for confusion?) There are even more series in Sweden – they went overboard with the paper size idea and created further ones labelled D, E, F and G as well. Fortunately, most aren’t common even in Sweden and they’re unknown elsewhere. Japan’s B-series is slightly oversized, but otherwise it follows the full ISO ‘You’re not likely to see B-size paper in ofﬁces, but it’s paper standards. common in the printing industry, where multiple pages The ISO are printed together before folding and trimming’ paper sizes work together with impressive logic. True, the names aren’t as interesting as the this copy of MacUser. It isn’t always obvious, English sizes that were ousted. From Albert to and adverts also cloud things, but magazine Emperor, via Foolscap, Duchess, Elephant and structures are based on the number of pages others; not as practical but highly evocative. in each print production section. For example, You’re free to choose non-standard sizes news is usually the last to be written, laid out for your design projects if you prefer, but and printed, so that’s done in its own section. remember to think about how your choice The B series is also used for envelopes, ﬁts into the paper size your printer uses. If posters are also often produced in B formats, it doesn’t work out well, you’ll have a lot of and B5 (larger than A5, smaller than A4) is waste and increase your print costs. The not an unusual ﬁnished size for books. next time you put a sheaf of A4 paper in your The C-series sizes are only used for printer, take a moment to remember how this envelopes, and the sizes are – wait for it – size works and where it came from. geometric means of the same-numbered A
afterwards. Put an R preﬁx onto the paper size name for sizes big enough for trimming. SR sizes (SRA3 and so on) are big enough for full bleed and grip as well. There are two other ISO paper standards: B and C. The B-series sizes are the ‘geometric mean’ (sorry, maths again) of the nearest A-size sheets. B1 paper sits between A1 and A0 sizes, while B0’s width is precisely one metre, so the smaller sizes are clean fractions of a metre. You’re not likely to see B-size paper in ofﬁces, but it’s common in the printing industry, where multiple pages are ganged up and printed together before folding and trimming. A B2 sheet-fed printer is typically used for printing eight-page sections (A4 fourup, two-sided) for magazines and brochures. B1 allows 16-page sections (A4 eight-up, two-sided). Printing in sections is what dictates the length of production schedules for different magazine sections, and hence the length of the different parts. Flick through
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PHOTOGRAPHY: Is the Digital Economy Bill wrong for rights? Copyright is a complex issue, which is why it’s so galling that the Digital Economy Bill was passed by MPs with little understanding of it…
allowing lazy designers to head straight to the f there is a sight more depressing in government-appointed body to license the modern political history than watching photo. Perhaps an unresponsive user on Flickr 40 Members of Parliament debate the might also count as reason enough to simply Digital Economy Bill on its second reading in start using a photo commercially. It would the House of Commons, I can’t think of it. have effectively turned Google Images into a The bill, a crucial bit of legislation with widemassive stock library, controlled by a single ranging effects on digital content creators, government body. And, the Internet being users and distributors, was pushed through simultaneously enormous and more multithe second reading at the tail end of the day, Dave Stevenson has been a camera national than a Gap advert, photographers with just 5% of its members present. At one buff ever since the whirr-click of his from other countries could potentially miss point, just 15 MPs debated it. That made ﬁrst auto-winding compact in 1993. His best friends are now his camera, out on years’ worth of royalty payments for a fair few empty seats in a house with a tripod and a copy of Lightroom. before discovering their work had been capacity for 646 members. declared an ‘orphan’ and was being used The catalogue of mistakes, missteps and to sell something in Britain. near-disasters associated with the Digital However, while IT-illiterate MPs wreaked Economy Bill would be hilarious if it wasn’t merry havoc on other areas of the Internet, going to either seriously impact creative the ejection of clause 43 professionals or occupy a great deal of the meant photography survived new coalition’s time as they repeal bits of ‘The catalogue of mistakes and near-disasters largely unscathed. That’s very it, as the Conservative Party has promised, surprising, as the average despite helping vote it through. An enjoyable associated with the Digital Economy Bill MP has the same grasp of highlight of the third and ﬁnal reading was would be hilarious if it wasn’t going to copyright nuance as the watching Mark Todd, former Labour MP seriously impact creative professionals’ average Page 3 model does for South Derbyshire, making the most of of nuclear physics. his moment in the limelight by suggesting This was beautifully you didn’t need to notify your ISP if you encapsulated in early April moved house. when the Labour Party ran a brilliantly Importantly for the photographically destructive poster casting David Cameron as minded, the bill came within a whisker Gene Hunt from the TV programme Ashes to of costing photographers serious money. Ashes. When I say ‘brilliantly destructive’, of Hoisted out at the last minute, section 43 set out a new government body for ‘orphan works’. An orphan, it was proposed, was a creative work whose author or copyright holder couldn’t be found. So, if you were a creative director who found a great image online but couldn’t trace the author, you could claim it and pay the government to use it instead. The problem – and it’s a problem that pervades the entire bill, more or less – was that the clause was worryingly non-speciﬁc about all kinds of minutiae. It didn’t specify how much of an effort you had to make to trace the creator of a photo. So a picture with its Exif data stripped out might excuse you from The posters that both Labour and the Conservatives thought were okay to run, despite breaching the rights of the copyright holder. making serious enquiries,
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Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill would have allowed websites such as Flickr to become giant depositories for unscrupulous stock agencies.
course, what I mean is ‘slapdash and lazy’. The Conservative Party instantly seized on the image of David Cameron as a go-anywhere, do-anything TV hero, and ran its own derivative poster using the same image, thereby proving my point that MPs are to copyright law what staplers are to gunpowder. The picture they used was a publicity shot from Kudos, the production company that makes Ashes to Ashes. The terms and conditions attached to the image say magazine and newspaper editors are free to use it as long as they’re doing so in editorial that promotes the show in some way. Doing the work that Labour Party should have done before David and Ed Miliband were allowed to enthusiastically gurn in front of it before the media, I established within ﬁve minutes that, yes, the shot was copyrighted by Kudos; no, you can’t use it for anything but promotion of Ashes to Ashes; and, no, neither the Labour Party nor the Conservative Party had approached Kudos to ﬁnd out whether it was okay for them to use the image. Someone found it online, slapped David Cameron’s face on it and before anyone could blink it was a poster. The kicker? Kudos has instructed its lawyers to demand that both political parties cease using the poster. Finding all this out took a herculean amount of effort and the kind of detective nous that would make Poirot blush with pride, so it’s understandable that lawmakers from both parties made such a fundamental mistake. Sorry, what I meant to say was that it took 10 minutes of searching online and ﬁve minutes more on the phone to conﬁrm it. Of course, political parties messing things up is what makes the world go around in an election month, but the near-calamity of the Digital Economy Bill for photographers, married to the main parties’ recent
Google Books is the subject of a multi-million dollar lawsuit in New York over its supposedly unlawful use of photographers’ images. Clearer legislation would go some way to prevent such cases.
demonstrable lack of either knowledge or respect for existing copyright law, suggests they’re not the best people to be drafting laws that will affect copyright owners. It’s not that the way work is protected doesn’t need considering. Google’s impressive books service (books.google.com) is under the
to creative types needing to go to court when their rights were trampled on. However, the onus is on photographers as well. Putting full-resolution, un-watermarked ﬁles on the Internet to share with your fans is like wandering around West Ham wearing an Arsenal shirt – you’re inviting trouble. The easier you make it for unscrupulous webmasters to ‘The main parties’ recent demonstrable lack of pinch your work and pass it off as if they have the rights to it, knowledge of existing copyright law suggests the more it’s going to happen. they’re not the best people to be drafting laws Protecting your work that will affect copyright owners’ doesn’t mean the end of online galleries or Flickr, but it does mean making sure that consideration of a court in Manhattan, where your work is unmistakably yours, and that the American Society of Media Photographers it’s all but useless at larger sizes. Politicians and others are suing because their work has should be doing more to make sure they fully been reproduced by Google. Whatever the understand the laws on which they’re voting, outcome, clearer legislation would put an end but protecting your rights starts at home.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
VIDEO: Create a green screen for adding special effects to your videos Once the preserve of blockbuster movies, green screens are becoming an increasingly popular tool. Here’s how to set up your own.
against, but obviously if you’re ﬁlming in front reen screen effects may have once of blue, you can’t wear jeans and if you go for been the preserve of big-budget green, then it’s best to steer clear of khaki or Hollywood movies, but chroma key, any earth tones. as it’s also known, is increasingly cropping up The area that you’re shooting against in places you wouldn’t expect to see it. also needs to be one solid colour to get Take a peek at Stargate Studios’ Virtual good results once it comes to cutting out Backlot Reel 2009 (bit.ly/d4PnpE). In addition everything on the Mac. Depending on the size to scenes where you would expect it to be of the subject you’re ﬁlming, you’ve got a few employed, such as explosions, spaceships Will Head is co-founder and director options available. and exploding spaceships, you can see that of Fixation Video – an online video If you’re just shooting the head and it’s even used for general outdoor shots in production company that specialises in making video content for the web. shoulders, then you could get away with a TV shows such as Ugly Betty. portable collapsible screen, since there’s While some of the more advanced only a small area you need to ﬁll. You can techniques used still require blockbustershaped budgets, the basic principle is simple enough to ‘While some of the advanced techniques used execute with just a solid area of colour to shoot against, still require blockbuster shaped budgets, the and a powerful enough Mac to basic principle is simple enough to execute process the video afterwards. with just a solid area of colour to shoot against’ The basic principle behind chroma keying is to shoot your subject in front of a ﬁnd suitable 1.5 x 2m screens for around the single-colour background and then remove £100 mark, and they’re often reversible, with that colour completely, so it’s transparent blue on one side and green on the other, so once you’ve imported the footage to your you have options when it comes to shooting. Mac. So rather than standing in a studio in If you need more of your subject in shot, London, the actor could be on a beach in or you’re ﬁlming more than one person, then the Caribbean or in front of the Eiffel Tower. you’ll need a bigger area to shoot against. A Alternatively, you could place a presenter in 3 x 6m fabric backdrop should be sufﬁcient, front of a virtual set, which saves having to but it’s best to check that it’s designed for put a set together each time you shoot a ▲ Rosco makes paint speciﬁcally designed for painting chroma key work and not just as a regular video for a regular production. walls to create a permanent chroma key screen. Perhaps the most important thing about any work that involves chroma keying is to start with the best possible footage to work from. Since you’ll be digitally manipulating every single frame, the easier you can make the job for your Mac, the better the ﬁnal results will be. That’s not to say you can’t tidy things up a little later, but you’ll have a much easier job if you have good original footage. The ﬁrst thing to consider is what colour to shoot against. You could choose any shade you like, but you need to ensure that the colour you want to remove doesn’t feature in any part of the foreground image you want to keep. If it does, you’ll end up with transparent areas in the part of the foreground shot, which will ruin the whole effect. If you’re shooting people, that rules out red and leaves either blue or green (the purer the colour, the easier it is for your Mac Here, the subject’s colours are signiﬁcantly different to the background, which makes it easy to chroma key. to handle). You can choose either to shoot
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background. A suitable material backdrop will set you back around £50, and you’ll need a stand, too, which you can pick up for around £80 if you don’t have one already. A stand that’s 2.5 x 3m will provide plenty of space for your subjects. By draping the fabric on the ﬂoor and taping it in position to create a curve, you’ll also produce a seamless transition that will appear to be solid colour where the ﬂoor meets the screen. The main disadvantage of fabric screens is that they can often get creased or wrinkled while being stored, so the ﬁnish isn’t always completely ﬂat. If you have a large, smooth wall available, then you can buy speciﬁc chroma key paint and make your own permanent screen. Rosco Chroma Key paint comes in both blue and green, and a £60 tin will easily cover a couple of walls. If the plaster ﬁnish is smooth, then you won’t need to worry about uneven surfaces complicating your shot. The downside of painting a wall is covering the join where it meets the ﬂoor. For perfect results, you’ll need to create a curved ramp – also called an inﬁnity cove – that blends the wall into the ﬂoor. Installing one is considerably more expensive than just painting a wall, however. If you’re just shooting from the waist up, though, then it’s not an issue. If you do need a person fully in shot, then the other option is to create a raised platform for them to stand on and paint that the same colour as the wall. Provided the platform is far enough away from the wall and lit correctly, the result should appear to be solid colour to the computer. Once you’ve got your screen in place, the next thing to consider is lighting. In addition to lighting your subject as normal, you’ll also need to light the screen as evenly as possible. Differences in light levels will result in the colour varying in shade when the footage is imported into your edit program, so the more uniformly you can light it the better. More low-power lights are better than a few high-power ones. You also need to ensure that there’s sufﬁcient light on the wall to avoid any shadows being cast by your subject, as that can also make things difﬁcult once you’ve captured the shots to your Mac. One way to help reduce this is to place your subject as far away from the screen as possible. Obviously, you’ll need to ensure that the screen still covers their outline, so how far away you can move the subject depends on how big your screen is (as well as the size of your studio). Ideally, you should be aiming for at least a couple of meters gap – more if the space will allow. Green light can be reﬂected back from the screen onto foreground elements if they’re too close. If any of this spills onto things you want to keep in the ﬁnal shot, then cutting them out on your Mac will be tricky. The greater the distance between the screen and what you’re shooting, the less likely this is to happen. Putting a decent amount of space between your subject and the screen also
Uneven lighting on your green screen will create problems later on, as you’ll need to cut out the footage.
You need to make sure that there’s sufﬁcient light on the wall to avoid any shadows cast by your subject.
has another advantage – if you then shoot with a short depth of ﬁeld, your performer will be in focus and the screen blurred slightly. This helps create the appearance of a solid area of colour and will remove some of the imperfections in the screen, which is especially useful if you’re using a fabric screen that’s creased. When it comes to framing your subject, you don’t have to worry about safe areas or even too much about where they are in the shot. Since you’ll be cutting out the background, you can then place them anywhere on the frame during the edit. The main thing is to ensure that the background fully covers the area behind their outline. If they need to move during the shot, then rehearsing this ﬁrst lets you double-check
that they’ll be in front of the screen at all times. Even if they’re going to remain relatively static, it’s worth getting them to extend their arms to ensure they don’t go out of shot or off the background. Finally, you’re ready to start ﬁlming, but even at this stage it’s worth shooting some quick test footage to check everything will work once you get the footage onto your Mac. If you can quickly test a shot while you’re in the studio, you’ll know that it works and not have to spend a lot of time later trying to ﬁx mistakes or possibly even reshoot. Of course, shooting your green screen footage is only half the challenge – there’s still plenty to do once you’ve got it onto your Mac, which is something we’ll be covering in a future column.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
AUDIO: Why the iPad isn’t a great music production device… yet Apple’s new baby has a lot of potential, but for some musicians, is hamstrung by lack of hardware input, at least for now.
useful on such a small screen. Most rely on sequencing pre-created loops, drum hits, phrases or melodies. There are tiny virtual keyboards, guitar strings, beat boxes and turntables, some more usable than others and some admittedly great fun. You can multitrack audio with apps like FourTrack and there are external microphone accessories that you can add too, since relying on the iPhone’s built-in mic for professional recording is a bit of a non-starter. If you do manage it though, the recordings are at least technically in CD quality, even if they might feature lots of room noise and be ‘A broad cross-section of sensible opinion highly directional thanks to the design of the microphone. seems to suggest that while it’s not quite Perhaps more interesting than the game-changer that the iPhone was on the slew of novelty iPhone apps is launch, it’s still pretty darn impressive’ the upcoming app/hardware combo from guitar bods Line 6, called the Midi Mobilizer. From the previews suggest that more than any of Apple’s other this looks pretty handy, letting you record devices, it’s all about the apps. The hardware from any Midi keyboard’s Midi outputs into is a blank canvas – it’s what you run on it the app on your iPhone, saving the data and that matters. allowing you to then email it in SMF format, Why is this relevant to musicians? Well as the standard for Midi ﬁles. You can also back I have noted before, audio production is right up there with the most heavyweight tasks you can throw at any computer. The iPad’s hardware is good, but on paper not up to the levels we are used to needing to make music. I admit it’s not quite an apples-withapples comparison (no pun intended), but it has a 1GHz processor and 256MB Ram – very broadly what you might have got as standard on a desktop Mac around the turn of the century. The storage is decent enough, with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB ﬂash memory, and the touchscreen is great. The problem at the moment for anyone wanting to use it for music creation is the lack of expandability and inputs, the ‘closed ecosystem’ and hidden ﬁle system that would make content creation like multitracking audio rather more difﬁcult than it should be. If you have followed the coverage, you will know that Apple isn’t marketing the iPad as a music-making machine. I don’t think even Steve Jobs’ legendary powers of reality distortion could convince us that it could replace a Mac for music, at least not yet. But then it didn’t market the iPhone as one either, and there are hundreds of music-based apps for that, even if most of them aren’t all that pparently, Apple has released something called the iPad, not that I’d heard about it. Okay that’s not entirely true, we’ve all been saturated with news, reviews and opinions about it for weeks now, despite the fact that at the time of writing it had only just been released in the US and not yet in the UK. A broad crosssection of sensible opinion seems to suggest that while it’s not quite the game-changer that the iPhone was on launch, it’s still pretty darn impressive. People who have used one
Hollin Jones is a full time musician, music producer and writer. His music has been used in TV and ﬁlm. In a previous life he was a Mac support specialist.
New iPad apps like StudioTrack demonstrate what could be possible on the iPad, if proper audio input hardware existed and was allowed by Apple.
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Daw remote control is much easier to implement over wiﬁ and there are already some excellent apps coming out, like AC-7 Pro from Saitara Software.
up settings and download them into Midicapable devices. Of course Midi data isn’t sound: it’s a series of instructions to tell other software what notes to play, how hard and in what order. Midi data must be connected to a sound source to generate any noise. As such, this isn’t a studio replacement by any means, but still interesting. Which brings us back to the question of the iPad as a viable music-making device, given that the way you interact with it is much the same as the iPhone, and with the caveat that it’s brand new and handson experience has been limited so far. It’s probably helpful to be a bit clearer about the phrase ‘music making’. You can break this down into at least three categories: music generation, audio recording and music production. The iPhone, and by extension the iPad, aren’t bad at music generation, as this can often be achieved using synthesis through the CPU or fairly simple algorithms to randomise pre-created content like beats. Audio recording is hampered by the lack of any kind of really usable audio input that isn’t a tiny and relatively fragile mini jack connector. Music production: editing and using effects to create songs in a way you could on a Mac, is still something of a pipe dream. For all the marketing speak surrounding the apps and as much fun as they are, you’re not going to replace a digital audio workstation (DAW) on a Mac with an iPad or iPhone until some of these limitations are overcome either by Apple or some revolutionary hardware/software product from a third-party manufacturer.
All is not lost, though. The will is there and for a device that’s so new to market there are quite a few music apps appearing, which do take advantage of the best bits of the iPad. Multitrack, GrooveMaker, Looptastic and other catchily-titled apps to name but a few. Sonoma’s StudioTrack (sonomawireworks. com) is relatively costly at $40 (about £26), but still much cheaper than desktop software. It’s remarkably slick and looks almost
conventional DAW running on Macs. People have already made iPhone apps for this, but the large screen of the iPad is perfect for remote control. There are plenty of protocols out there already for controlling playback and mixing without touching the mouse or keyboard, and these are being tapped into already by developers to make software like MidiPad, TrixMix 2 and Entrackment, which is designed to control GarageBand. This really is something that professionals can get their ‘I can’t see it becoming a serious recording teeth into, and compared to the alternatives, things like the or production tool in itself just yet, but the excellent but pricey JazzMutant potential is there, and as a Daw controller, Lemur, a basic wiﬁ only iPad, with it already seems to be pretty advanced’ an app costing under a tenner or thereabouts is an attractive proposition. Would I buy one just like something Apple might have made. It for that? Probably not at the moment, but supports eight tracks of audio recording I know many pros who would once they’d (funny how things come full circle), mute and seen it working. Recording in one room solo, built-in effects, bounce down for added but playing in another? No problem – do tracks and wiﬁ sync among other rather cool it yourself with a dedicated app. In fact, features. The problem is that it only works other live performance controllers could be with the iPad’s built-in audio hardware and built in much the same way. Lights, VJing, this is, I imagine, what will seriously hamper DJing, and so on. the chances of it being used in any really I will eventually buy an iPad – maybe a professional setting. second or third generation one, when like It’s difﬁcult to imagine using the iPad as the iPhone, the feature set has matured it stands for anything really serious to do sufﬁciently. I can’t see it becoming a serious with music. Beyond the hype, the excitement recording or production tool in itself just yet, and hyperbole, it’s still a musical sketch but the potential is deﬁnitely there, and as a pad until Apple opens up the system or DAW controller, it already seems to be pretty developers port versions of their DAW to the advanced. Let’s hope that the hunger from platform. One thing it is good for though, and musicians to make it even better keeps the in a professional context too, is controlling pressure on Apple to do just that.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
MAC TO THE FUTURE: 3D is bringing a whole new dimension to home entertainment The red-and-blue glasses are long gone and 3D tech is on the rise; but one company more than all the others has learned the lessons of the past.
’ve been to Tokyo several times and I always make time to visit Akihabara, the area of the Japanese capital devoted to the geekiest of pastimes: comics, games and computers. It’s true that recently, Akihabara has become more touristy – we’ve got to the point where Hollywood director McG ﬁlmed a music video set there, featuring Kirsten Dunst singing, entirely without irony, 1980s power-pop paean to solitary pleasure, Turning Japanese – and also less relevant to the mainstream, looking inward to the nerdiest interests of the fanboys. That said, this just means you have to hunt a bit harder for the genuinely interesting stuff. Both can be found in Super Potato, a shop devoted to retro video games. It’s difﬁcult to ﬁnd (although everything is difﬁcult to ﬁnd in Tokyo, thanks to its ludicrously complex address system, and the fact that I can’t read or speak Japanese). Like many Japanese businesses, Super Potato occupies several ﬂoors of a building – but not the ground ﬂoor. The trip up the narrow, windowless staircase ﬁnds you squeezing past other Otaku, their shy eyes usually hidden behind big, black-framed glasses, backs pressed to walls lined with posters for old Final Fantasy games. The shop looks like a university library, thanks to its cabbage-grey vinyl ﬂooring, buzzing strip lights and the fact it’s dominated by ﬂoor-to-ceiling shelves. These are all ﬁlled with old games, all neatly wrapped in cellophane, and many are boxed and look brand new. To a lifelong gamer, it presents the feeling of being transported back in time to the early 1990s, when 8-bit graphics were realistic and the two button controller of the Nintendo Entertainment System (Nes) was a sophisticated input device. I had come to Super Potato with a very speciﬁc mission, though. It’s one of the few places in the world with a working Virtual Boy, reputed by legend to be quite the worst piece of hardware Nintendo ever made. Originally introduced in 1995, it was discontinued within a year, and effectively ended the career of its inventor, Gunpei Yokoi. The fact that Yokoi created the ludicrously successful Game Boy and is credited by Mario’s Shigeru Miyamoto as reﬁning his own approach to game design, should give you an idea of how bad a career stopping train wreck the Virtual Boy was.
What was so bad about it? Well, that was why I was in Super Potato. The Virtual Boy literally has to be seen to be believed, because it’s a 3D games console, and this brings us to the crux of this column – 3D is once again the tech industry’s obsession. This year’s CES show was dominated by 3D televisions and Avatar proved the public could take a 3D movie to their hearts. Sky Alex Watson is the editor of is trialling sports coverage in 3D, and it’s Custom PC and bit-tech.net; he making progress in games, too – graphics can survive both the blue screen of death and a kernel panic. chip manufacturer Nvidia launched a method for PC gamers to see graphics in 3D, and 15 years after the Virtual Boy disaster, Nintendo has announced a new 3D console, called the 3DS. ‘This year’s CES show was dominated by How does this relate to 3D televisions and Avatar proved the Apple? While the interest of the public could take a 3D movie to their hearts’ movie studios in 3D is currently conﬁned to the cinema, 3D ﬁlm in the home is the obvious next step for the industry (if not the consumer) – and whether Apple is licensed to supply 3D movies via the iTunes Store will be a
The Virtual Boy was a justly short-lived 3D games console developed by Nintendo in the mid-1990s.
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good indicator about how the studios are feeling about Apple. If it does start supplying 3D movies – and if 3D ﬁlms become more widely popular – then there will be pressure on Apple to start ﬁtting 3D screens to its laptops and portable devices. Current 3D displays involve the use of glasses and fall mostly into two camps: those that use polarised lenses in the glasses, and those that use active shutters. Hollywood ﬁlms tend to use the former; Nvidia’s 3D vision is the most notable kit using the latter. With polarised glasses, each lens has a different polarised ﬁlter, which only lets similarly polarised light through. The cinema then shows a ﬁlm that comprises two polarised images, projected onto the same screen (this is the reason that, if you take your glasses off in a 3D ﬁlm, you see a very fuzzy picture – it’s actually two images, intentionally misaligned); when the glasses and your brain recombine them, you see an image with ‘real’ depth. This method works very well if you’re able to create special 3D content (something Hollywood is happy with); active shutters can help create depth with existing content, which is why Nvidia has opted for it. This requires glasses with built-in liquid crystal ﬁlters that are wirelessly synced to the computer and in Nvidia’s system, an LCD monitor running with a 120Hz refresh rate. This is precisely double that of a standard LCD screen. The liquid crystal displays in the glasses ﬂicker on and off dozens of times a second, blocking and unblocking the lens to control what each eye sees, while the screen displays different images for each eye, resulting in the perception of depth. We’ve tested Nvidia’s system for MacUser’s sister title, Custom PC, and in some games it’s really rather good. The problem is that as the games it works with weren’t built for 3D, you end up with niggling problems such as HUDs that are difﬁcult to read, and the cost of the glasses and a 120Hz screen, which are expensive and yet often based on mediocre TN panels. It doesn’t exactly sound like an experience Apple is going to be rushing to implement, does it? Can you imagine Steve Jobs standing
Super Potato is located in Akihabara, an area of Tokyo that’s devoted to comics, games and computers.
The fact Nintendo is going for 3D implies it’s found a method it thinks can be comfortable for the mainstream – that is social and without clunky glasses – and early indications are it’s either clever camera trickery or an autostereoscopic screen from Sharp (or a combination of both). You can see the former in effect in a Japanese Nintendo DSi game called Rittai Kakushi e Attakoreda, which uses the DSi’s player-facing camera to track the position of your eyes to give the image depth. The video is amazing, you can see it here: ‘The fact Nintendo is going for 3D implies tinyurl.com/macuser3d. that it’s found a method it thinks can be Autostereoscopic screens comfortable for the mainstream’ work in much the same way as stereoscopic 3D only without using glasses with polarised lenses. Instead, they use a parallax barrier, a layer You need to press your eyes up against it, of material placed on the screen with angled sealing off your peripheral vision. Inside the slits that sends slightly different visuals to darkness, everything is bright red – the Virtual each eye of a correctly situated viewer. Boy uses two motorised, monochrome LED Both of these methods are signiﬁcantly displays, and they move across your ﬁeld of more elegant and appealing than the 3D view to create a 3D image. being touted by the rest of the industry – and It’s a uniquely horrible experience. 3D has as such, much more likely candidates for always been an attempt to create a more inclusion in an Apple product. The fact that realistic view of the world on a ﬂat screen, Nintendo is using one (or both) in a portable and the Virtual Boy’s weird, red-and-black gaming device whose main rival is the iPod graphics are exacerbated by the solitary touch only makes it all the more likely experience created by having a sealed screen Apple will be paying close attention. clamped to your face.
on stage to introduce a new iMac or iPod and producing a big pair of plastic glasses from his pocket to use with it? Let’s return to the Virtual Boy, because it exempliﬁes everything that’s wrong with 3D, problems Nintendo must have ﬁxed to want to return to 3D. The Virtual Boy looks like a discarded prop from The Lawnmower Man, a giant, bright red visor resting on a wiry tripod, with a standard game controller underneath.
Images Alex Watson
Super Potato is packed full of vintage video games.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
iWORK: iWork is a real hit when it comes to charts Creating good-looking charts and graphs can be a real chore in Excel. Thankfully, iWork’s built-in templates make the whole process a breeze.
Numbers to illustrate this table and then copy it. Open Pages or Keynote, position the cursor at the point you want to insert the chart and choose File > Paste. It’s really that simple. The only thing that tripped me up the ﬁrst time I did this was that I wasn’t working from a saved Numbers ﬁle. Neither Pages nor Keynote will link to an untitled Numbers document, so remember to save it ﬁrst. Tom Gorham has worked with Macs When you click on a chart that has been since 1991. Although his background copied from Numbers to Pages or Keynote, is in print and web publishing, he’s a devotee of any software you should see a black arrow pointing towards that makes his life easier. it. This arrow – it can be extended to reveal more information – shows the ﬁle name of the original Numbers document to which it’s linked. Clicking on this takes you straight back ‘Having one source of data for a chart or graph to the Numbers document – obviously makes life simpler and means making it a quick job to return fewer chances of the data getting out of sync’ and edit the data on which the chart is based. The arrow also includes a chunky Sync button In fact, it’s so easy to create and edit and whenever you click this, you re-import 3D bar charts, exploded pie charts and data from the spreadsheet and the chart is mixed charts, that I’ve found myself using automatically updated accordingly. iWork to create diagrams that I use in other While I’ve been experimenting with applications. That’s not as awkward a solution this feature, I’ve noticed a few things that as it sounds. I’ve exported charts from I haven’t seen widely documented. For Numbers to Adobe InDesign documents by example, if you subsequently decide you putting the chart on its own sheet and saving it as a PDF (either by exporting as a PDF or using the Print menu to create a PostScript ﬁle and saving this as a PDF). From there, you can drag it into InDesign, where it remains as high-quality vector artwork. While that has proved useful enough on occasion, though, what I ﬁnd most underappreciated about iWork 09’s charting abilities is the way you can share chart information across all applications. Keeping charts and data separately updated in each iWork application can be a chore if the underlying data changes, and what iWork 09 allows you to do is to share the data from a Numbers spreadsheet and reference it from Pages and Keynote. Having one source of data for a chart or graph obviously makes life simpler and means fewer chances of the data getting out of sync. Establishing a link to the data in different applications is simple. If you have tabular data in a Numbers spreadsheet that you want to display as a chart in other iWork Charts can look entirely different in various iWork applications, but can be linked to the same data source. documents, you ﬁrst create a chart in
s beﬁts a suite made by Apple, iWork applications carry a deserved reputation for good looks. Base a document on one of its built-in templates and it’s well nigh impossible to produce something ugly. And if you’ve ever wrestled with creating attractive pie charts in Excel – something that’s exposed my design limitations – it’s clear that nowhere is iWork’s presentational beauty more marked than in the charts it creates. Whether you’re in Keynote, Pages or Numbers, graphs look great, irrespective of the data that sits behind them.
087 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
You can tell when a chart is linked to a Numbers spreadsheet, as you should see a black arrow. This can be extended to display more information.
would like the chart you’ve already embedded in Pages to appear in a Keynote presentation, you can copy and paste it. The link back to the original Numbers document survives the second pasting. You can, however, only use Numbers as the source of the data. If you create a table and chart in Pages, you can copy it to Keynote or Numbers, although there’s no link between them. It’s also important to remember that for fairly sensible reasons the syncing works one way only. While you’re free to edit the data and the chart in Pages or Keynote as if you’d created it locally, when you press the arrow’s Sync button these changes don’t translate back to the Numbers document. In fact, an inadvertent press of this button could ruin everything: if you’ve made changes to the data in Pages and attempt to sync these back to Numbers, it’s the data from the Numbers document that will be reimported again and the changes to the data that you made locally are wiped out. If you’ve made changes in Pages or Keynote and want to keep them, you need to remember to click the Unlink button in the arrow to remove the link between applications. Not everything has to be the same in Numbers and Pages charts. While the data has to be consistent between the applications, you can make substantial changes to the appearance of the charts in your Pages or Keynote – for example, changing their colours, adjusting the angle of 3D charts or even turning them from pie charts to bar graphs, without breaking the link back to Numbers. You can do this without ill effect because, although it appears that you’re copying the chart from Numbers to other iWork documents, the link you’re actually making is to the Numbers data itself. As an aside, as we’re talking about personalising charts, it’s worth highlighting the rather confusing way iWork deals with colouring them. The obvious way for chart newcomers to select chart colours is by clicking the Inspector’s Chart tab and pressing the Chart Colors button, which is useful if you need to apply a set of colours or textures to a particular chart (click the
There’s more than one way to colour a chart in iWork – often the simplest way is to drag a colour from the Colors palette onto the chart element.
Apply All button to do this). It’s just as easy Numbers spreadsheet, even when that to select the Graphic Inspector, and with the spreadsheet is stored remotely – something bar or segment in a chart selected, choose a that comes into its own if you’re giving a colour from the Fill menu. Even quicker is to presentation somewhere while the data drag a colour from the Colors Palette (View > on which it’s based was still being worked Colors) over the relevant element of the chart. on back in the ofﬁce. It’s something that I But back to linking charts. The biggest couldn’t see a way to do with iWork, even with weakness of what’s otherwise an excellent the help of AppleScript or Automator. feature is that charts don’t automatically It turns out that there was a simple update either when the underlying data solution. I just needed to keep the original changes, or when the document is opened or saved. Nor do you get any ‘The obvious way for chart newcomers to select indication that data in the chart colours is by clicking the Inspector’s linked document has changed, Chart tab and pressing the Chart Colors button’ so you ﬁnd yourself nervously pressing the Sync button every so often, just in case. And as there’s no universal Sync button, if Numbers document accessible on a cloud you have linked multiple charts in a Keynote storage service such as MobileMe’s iDisk presentation, you end up having to perform or Dropbox, and reference the chart in the same syncing routine for each one. Pages and Keynote from that. As long as you Still, the feature’s potential is superb. remember to sync from Keynote or Pages, I really wanted to have a chart in a you should get the latest chart information presentation that could update from a no matter where you are.
Charts can even make an unblemished transition from iWork to Adobe InDesign.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
GET MORE FROM YOUR MAC AND APPLICATIONS WITH OUR STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES
Illustrator CS5’s Shape Builder tool Building complex objects in Illustrator has become easier than ever before with the introduction of CS5’s Shape Builder tool, as we show.
n early versions of Illustrator, building complex objects meant drawing or modifying individual paths, cutting rectangles and ellipses to remove unwanted areas and then joining the endpoints together manually. It was a slow, laborious process, often frustrated by warning dialog boxes advising you that you were trying to join two incompatible endpoints. The Pathﬁnder panel made the process a lot easier, in that it allowed you to select pairs of objects and combine them into one, to remove the front object from the back one (and vice versa), and to remove all but the overlap between the two shapes. However, Pathﬁnder
had its own problems: you’d frequently ﬁnd Illustrator unable to work with complex forms, and you’d have to remember the stacking order of your objects in order to remove the front from the back one correctly. With Illustrator CS5, however, Adobe has made a giant leap forwards in terms of ease of use and sheer power of operation. The new Shape Builder tool is an intuitive tool that you simply drag over selected objects to combine or remove them from the composition. This has made object construction easier than ever before, enabling you to work with shapes in an entirely new way.
Illustrator CS5’s Shape Builder tool removes the pain from combining multiple shapes. It’s far more intuitive than the Pathﬁnder panel as you don’t have to worry about the stacking order of objects and joining endpoints.
Steve Caplin is a designer and illustrator working for a range of national newspapers. His best-selling How to Cheat in Photoshop, now in its fourth edition, is published by Focal Press. Kit required Illustrator CS5
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1. Start with the elliptical shapes
We’re going to draw a simple graphic of a coffee mug, using only the Rectangular Marquee, Elliptical Marquee and Shape Builder tools. Start by drawing an ellipse for the top of the mug, then duplicate that for the bottom (Alt-drag to move a copy; Alt-Shift-drag to move it vertically). A pair of concentric ellipses drawn on the right will form the handle.
3. Give the object some physical presence
Another ellipse at the top of the mug will form the opening. To stylise it further, you can add a couple of rings around it: simply duplicate one of the original ellipses (Alt-Shift-drag it) to make two pairs of rings that are roughly equally spaced between the top and bottom of the mug. Here, we’ve set the ﬁll to None so we can see the construction.
5. How the Shape Builder tool works
Select the Shape Builder tool from the Tool panel, or use the shortcut Shift-M. As you move the tool over the artwork, you can see each region marked out by a dotted grey overlay. Even though you’re yet to perform any operations, Shape Builder is already seeing the artwork as a set of independent shapes divided by the bounding lines around each region, rather like using the Magic Wand on a bounded Photoshop selection.
2. Draw the body that joins them
To make the body of the mug, you can use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a box that lines up with the extreme left and right sides of the ellipses you’ve already drawn. If you make sure Smart Guides is switched on (Command-U), the rectangle you draw will automatically snap to the correct points on the two ellipses.
4. Selectively manipulate objects
Shape Builder only works on selected objects, which means you can protect other artwork on the page from the tool by selecting only those items you want to manipulate. When you select the whole mug, the Shape Builder tool will affect the entire artwork. Here, we’ve ﬁlled the shapes with a pale yellow, set to Darken mode in the Transparency panel, so we can see the effect more clearly.
6. Pick out the shapes you want
When you drag with the Shape Builder tool, it marks your drawn path with a straight line between the start point and the end point, and all the shapes that lie along that path are tinted grey. Although we’ve dragged over both the bottom ellipse and the rectangular body, only the lower two segments are highlighted here.
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7. Extend the active region
You can use this approach to drag over all the segments you want included in your initial operation. Here, dragging from the bottom ellipse all the way up into the top-right corner, within the handle area, causes all the segments we pass over to be highlighted. In addition, the perimeter of the selected segments are highlighted with a red stroke to make the active region even clearer.
9. Reduce the number of strokes with a marquee
Although the Shape Builder tool defaults to tracing a straight line, if you hold down the Shift key when dragging, you trace out a marquee selection. This is useful for selecting multiple regions that can’t be selected with a single line drag. All the segments touched by the marquee are selected – they don’t need to be enclosed by it.
11. Tidy up the top section
You can repeat the process three more times to complete the top portion of the mug. Drag within the top third to combine all those segments, drag across the inner top ellipse to return it to its original form, and then repeat the process for the outer top ellipse. These last two operations remove the rectangular body of the mug that previously intersected the ellipses.
8. Amalgamate the complex selection
As you release the mouse button, the selected segments are instantly merged into a single object. The grey highlighting disappears, as does the red stroke that popped up while you were dragging: these are both temporary indicators to aid the merging process and don’t colour or stroke the objects themselves.
10. More about strokes and marquees
This is the result, which merges all the segments in the middle portion of the mug into a single object. Although you held down the Shift key to perform a marquee selection, you could also have combined the objects with the standard line selection: you would just have to have made a couple of additional strokes to include all the segments. Fortunately, Illustrator can now add multiple segments to an object.
12. Subtracting from a selection
If you hold down the Alt key while moving the Shape Builder tool over a segment, it’s still highlighted in grey, but the cursor changes from a small arrow cursor with a tiny plus sign next to it, indicating that the tool was set to add two or more segments together, to a small arrow with a minus sign, showing you’re now working in Subtract mode.
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13. Click to remove
When you click the mouse button, the inner portion of the handle is duly removed from the assembly. But you can also Alt-drag with the Shape Builder tool, and once again the areas you drag over are highlighted. Here, the tool is being dragged through the segments that make up the upper ring, although we’re unable to drag all the way to the left without including the upper portion of the mug in the selection.
15. Unite objects to affix the handle
Finishing the mug requires just a couple more steps. You can drag with the Shape Builder tool from the handle into the top part of the mug, and again into the bottom part of the mug, to unite all those objects. You can also Alt-click within the inner ellipse at the top to remove it from the assembly, creating the hole in the top of the mug.
14. Remove the last traces of overlaps
When you release the mouse button, the segments you dragged over are removed, and you can repeat the process for the bottom ring. Here, there’s a small segment left behind, on the far left of the upper ring – we couldn’t select it as part of the removal operation. No problem: we can Alt-click within that unwanted object to remove it.
16. Manipulate particular strokes
As well as selecting regions, you can click the Shape Builder tool on a stroke to select just that part of an object’s perimeter – here, we’re selecting the lower half of the upper ellipse. When you Alt-click the button, that part of the stroke is removed from the object. The result is an object bounded by an open path, in which Illustrator completes the ﬁll by joining the two open ends of the path.
17. The Shape Builder tool’s options
Double-clicking the Shape Builder tool opens its Options dialog box. Here, you can set the ‘gap detection’ – as with Live Trace and Live Paint, the Shape Builder tool can work around small holes in drawn artwork. You can also set the way the tool highlights and strokes rolled-over selections. Of particular interest, though, is the Colour Picker, with a checkbox that’s marked ‘Cursor Swatch Preview’.
18. Recolouring with a swatch preview
When you check the Cursor Swatch Preview button, a tiny row of three coloured boxes appears above the tool. When you click to merge objects, the result is coloured using that swatch. The three colours show a selection from your current Swatches panel, with the selected colour in the middle: pressing the left and right cursor keys on the keyboard will cycle through all the swatches you currently have available in the document.
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Creating Alpha Transitions in Motion 4 Alpha transitions add personality to your video, so we show you how to make your own unique transitions in Motion 4 for use in Final Cut Pro 7.
lpha Transitions were introduced as part of Final Cut Pro 7 and they’re a great way to create dramatic, eye-catching and out-of-the-ordinary transitions. While you could create the same result by using a variety of compositing techniques in Final Cut Pro, or any number of other compositing applications, the real advantage of Final Cut’s Alpha Transition is that it does all the heavy compositing work for you. The simple, easily adjusted controls enable you to quickly change the settings and timing of the transition without having to recreate or unnecessarily manipulate the elements that go into creating that transition. You can also save your Alpha Transition as a favourite just
Kit required Motion 4, Final Cut Pro 7
like any other effect, ready to be reused again and again, saving you the job of rebuilding the transition each time. To get started, you can download a free set of Alpha Transitions for both HD and SD work from Apple’s website (apple.com/ﬁnalcutstudio/ resources) and you can buy others from a variety of third-party sources. However, the real fun and value of Alpha Transitions is to be had by creating your own. In this tutorial, we’ll look at the different elements needed for an Alpha Transition and how you can create those elements in Motion 4. We’ll also consider some of the things of which you should be aware to get the very best results from your new transitions.
Chris Roberts is an experienced professional video editor who teaches at NTI Birmingham, one of Europe’s leading Apple Authorised Training Centres, boasting a world-class roster of Apple Certiﬁed Master Trainers and Apple EMEIA Mentor trainers. Teaching-certiﬁed courses cover Final Cut Studio applications for both beginners and advanced levels.
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1. Create a new Motion project
Open Motion 4 and create a new project. We’re using the DVCPRO HD 1080i50 preset to match the source footage and sequence settings used in our Final Cut Pro project. Choose Edit > Project Properties (Command-J) and ensure the background is set to transparent and your project is the correct duration of your completed Alpha Transition. Here, we’re using a two-second (50-frame) duration.
2. Create animated elements
Use the Paint Stroke tool (press P) to draw a stroke across the Canvas. Press Command-2 to go to the Library and apply the Write On behaviour. It will match the stroke’s 50-frame duration. In the Inspector, set the Shape Outline parameter to Draw and Erase. Click the Shape tab and look for Outline settings in its Style pane. Set Brush Type to Airbrush, then adjust the width and spacing so the paint dabs are close. In the Geometry pane, change the Shape Type to B-Spline and increase the roundness to further smooth the path.
3. Changing the colour and width of the stroke
TIP Jump across to the Stroke pane, change the Stroke Color Mode to Color Over Stroke and use the gradient control to adjust the stroke’s colour, starting and ending opacity.
Further down the pane, click on the disclosure triangle next to Width Over Stroke. It expands to reveal a graph. Add new control points somewhere near its centre, and then increase the values so the stroke ﬁlls the screen near the mid-point of the animation.
Return to the Style pane and tick the Additive Blend option to give your stroke a nice glow as the dabs overlap.
Parameter sliders top out at a reasonable maximum value, but you can go beyond that. Either drag a control point upwards beyond the top of a graph, or click in the numeric ﬁeld and type a value, or click and hold the mouse button on that ﬁeld and keep dragging right.
4. Export to Apple ProRes 4444
Watch your paint stroke animate and further adjust the settings as necessary. Remember that you can leave Motion looping playback as you make these adjustments and, provided your Mac is powerful enough to render the effect you’re building, this allows you to preview the effects in real time. Once you’re happy with your paint stroke, choose File > Export and export your video with the default settings. The Apple ProRes 4444 codec will preserve the transparency of your Motion project’s background. Next, import this video ﬁle into your Final Cut Pro project.
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5. Apply and adjust your Alpha Transition
Select an edit point in your Final Cut Pro sequence and choose Effects > Video Transitions > Wipe > Alpha Transition. Double-click the transition to change the duration to two seconds. Drag your imported video ﬁle to the ‘Clip’ clip well. With the transition full screen at its mid-point, it should hide the underlying edit. Use the Mid-point Offset slider to adjust this ‘cut point’ within the duration of the transition if required.
To save this transition as a favourite, double-click the transition and choose Effects > Make Favorite Effect. Your transition will be added to the Favorites bin at the top of the Effects tab in the Browser. Rename this transition, then right-click it and choose Set Default Transition. You can now quickly apply this completed transition to an edit point or group of clips by selecting them in the timeline by pressing Command-T.
6. Working with wipe mattes
Change the amount of Motion Blur for animated objects in a project’s properties under the Render Settings tab. Adjusting the number of samples gives a higher-quality effect, while shutter angle deﬁnes the blur’s size. Motion Blur is only rendered in your exported ﬁle if you enable it (see step 6) via the Render pop-up menu in the Canvas or in the Export Options box (see step 11).
7. Creating the wipe matte
Open the Project Pane (F5) and create a new group below the existing Buzzsaw group. Move to the start of the project and select the Bézier Tool. In the HUD (F7), ensure Fill is selected, set to white, and Outline is deselected.
In this next example, we’re creating a two-second animated buzzsaw transition. We’ve already animated the buzzsaw graphic with a Throw behaviour and a Rate parameter behaviour applied to the image’s Z-rotation parameter. We’ve also enabled Motion Blur (View > Render Options > Motion Blur) to give the sense of a spinning blade. However, because the buzzsaw won’t ﬁll the entire screen, we have to create a wipe matte to complete the transition so that when we apply this to a cut point in Final Cut Pro, the blade’s motion across the screen will seamlessly blend from one clip into another.
Press Shift-V and scale the Canvas to see the full view area. Draw a shape over the Canvas (remembering to go through the buzzsaw and around the hole in the middle, as that portion of the graphic is transparent and the video that’s beneath it will show through). Rename the new Bézier layer Wipe-Matte.
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8. Animating the wipe matte
In the Wipe-Matte layer’s Properties tab, open the Position parameter, rightclick the X parameter and add the Link parameter behaviour.
In the Layers tab, click and hold on the Buzzsaw layer and drag it into the Source Object well of the Link behaviour. Use the X-offset value to realign the wipe matte correctly under the buzzsaw. Your wipe matte’s X position is now linked to the movement of the saw.
9. Exporting the clip and wipe matte
In the Layers tab, disable the Wipe-Matte group by unchecking the activation box. Press Command-J and ensure that your project’s background is transparent. Export it as an Apple ProRes 4444 video ﬁle called Buzzsaw-Clip. Disable the Buzzsaw group and re-enable the Wipe-Matte group. Export another video ﬁle, this time using the DVCPRO HD 1080i50 settings (or whichever settings best match your project preset) called Buzzsaw-Wipe-Matte.
11. Using clip alpha mattes
If you need to send your custom Alpha Transitions to an editor via the Internet, you may be able to reduce the ﬁle size by using a foreground clip that doesn’t have an alpha channel. In this case, you’ll need to create an additional ﬁle for the Clip Alpha Matte well, which will be used to create an alpha channel using standard compositing techniques.
10. Using the clip and wipe matte videos
Import these ﬁles into your Final Cut Pro project and reset the existing Alpha Transition. Drop the Buzzsaw-Wipe-Matte ﬁle into the Alpha Transition’s Wipe Matte clip well. Where the matte is white, it shows the transition’s outgoing clip. Where it’s black, it shows the transition’s incoming clip. Drop the Buzzsaw-Clip ﬁle into the Alpha Transition’s ‘Clip’ clip well to set the transition’s foreground.
With Scale Transition Asset Durations selected, adjusting an Alpha Transition’s duration in Final Cut Pro adds or removes frames as required. This may result in a loss of temporal quality and inconsistent playback as frames are skipped or repeated.
In Motion, ensure the Buzzsaw group is enabled and the Wipe-Matte group is disabled, then choose File > Export. In the dialog box, choose an appropriate output codec other than Apple ProRes 4444 (based on your project settings). Click Options and then the Output tab in the Export Options box. Make sure Motion Blur is enabled if required. Once exported, choose File > Export and click Options again. In the Output tab, change the Color to Alpha and again enable Motion Blur if required. Use the ﬁrst ﬁle in the ‘Clip’ clip well and the second ﬁle in the Clip Alpha Matte well. This creates transparency on the new foreground clip wherever the matte is black.
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Create your own eBook in InDesign InDesign can turn your publications into eBooks for the iPad. We show you how to do that while working around some of the limitations.
hanks to the iPad, the ePub format has gone from being the name of a dull but worthy technical format used by devices ‘someone else’ owned to something of major interest to the whole publishing industry. This is the format used in the Apple iBookstore, and it is an open-source standard. It can contain DRM, but it isn’t, itself, proprietary. These ePub ﬁles can be read in many other tools too, including Adobe’s Digital Editions reader software. In this tutorial, we use this for testing our work. The ePub format is actually based on a zipped folder with a speciﬁc set of items inside. It uses XHTML and CSS, and it’s possible to create these with a text editor, some code reference guides and a great deal of patience.
Here we’re going to look at using InDesign, which is a much more visual and friendly tool to use, to do this. If you haven’t looked into this before, you may ﬁnd what the ePub format can and can’t do is quite surprising. In the regular sense, the ability to design layouts in ePub form is largely non-existent, but from an information design standpoint this is a rather interesting development. Both InDesign CS4 and CS5 have ePub export features, referred to as Export for Digital Editions and Export for ePub, respectively. InDesign CS3 can do this too, to an extent, but we recommend that you don’t bother until you’ve upgraded to at least CS4. The following steps were performed using InDesign CS5, but doing this in CS4 is essentially the same.
Keith Martin is MacUser’s technical editor. He has been using Macs since the beginning, and has a background in everything from graphic design and print to multimedia. Kit required InDesign, Adobe Digital Editions
PART 1: FORMATTING Creating an ePub book requires thinking in a slightly different way from normal. First of all, you can’t just take a regular page layout and convert it to the ePub format. Instead, you have to create everything using an inline structure that uses a single ﬂowing stream of
text, with graphic elements inserted within the text ﬂow. Yes, this can impose restrictions on the layout possibilities, but there’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, just put aside any ambitions to make layout-driven, design-rich
ePub pages. It isn’t that this is something we’re waiting for (as such, anyway), it is more that the whole ePub-based eBook concept isn’t about sophisticated layout. It is a way to read information in a virtual book-like manner, with ﬂexible attitudes to ‘page’ breaks.
1. Getting started
First, create your document. The concept of page size in eBooks is vague and variable, but begin with something more book-sized than magazine-sized; B5 is a good choice. eBooks don’t automatically show facing pages, but you may ﬁnd it useful to see a couple of pages at a time as you work.
2. Working with multiple documents
If you are dealing with a long document, you may ﬁnd it easier to work with multiple documents set as an InDesign ‘book’. Choose File > New > Book… to control everything using the Book panel. Use the panel’s menu to add and reorder InDesign documents, update cross-references and export to ePub format.
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3. Hold the front page
Your ﬁrst page should hold your cover image. This is the one thing that won’t be placed in the ﬂow of text, so it is seen as a separate entity. This should be a single graphic, and in our experience a box size of 348 x 502 points or pixels (123 x 177mm) is the maximum that’s used in Adobe’s reader.
4. Set the margins
Set your margins to something comfortable; InDesign’s half-inch default is ﬁne. Just remember you’re not making a regular layout, you’re just approximating a typical eBook display area. On the page after your cover, make your text box. When you place text into it, hold down the Shift key so InDesign ﬂows it into as many new pages as necessary.
Embedded fonts work in Adobe Digital Editions, the free eBook reader software. Internally, this uses the regular @font-face CSS2 spec. Sadly, however, this fails to work in the majority of today’s eBook readers. If you rely heavily on this, you’ll be rudely awakened when you test it in less forgiving readers.
7. Need some space
5. Choose your type
Adobe Ado offers the ability to embed fonts in your published ePub ﬁles. If you use Ope OpenType fonts this works, and it also wor for many, but not all, TrueType works fon Forget attempting this with fonts. Pos PostScript fonts, though.
If you want to have spacing between paragraphs, set this in the Indents and Spacing section of the Paragraph Styles Options for the relevant style. Alternatively, do this in the Paragraph panel for one-off uses. Simply adding Returns won’t work as these are collapsed down in the ﬁnal ePub eBook display.
6. Setting up a style guide
Whether you’re embedding fonts or not, set up paragraph and character styles for your type formatting. This way, you’ll get control over size, style and position, at the very least. But don’t use InDesign’s Nested Styles feature; it’s not built into the ePub export. Apply all styles directly, or through style mapping or generation when importing styled text.
8. Produce bulleted or numbered lists
Select your text, go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists, and pick either Apply Bullets or Apply Numbers. These are mapped to unordered or ordered HTML lists in the output. If you dig into the ﬁle and use custom CSS, you can control these structures.
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100 GRAPHICS 9. Scale and align graphics
You can scale graphics, but remember that the images will be resampled to screen resolution in the end result. When output, images are smaller, relative to text, than they appear inside InDesign. Again, this underlines how unsuitable ePub is for pixel-precise layouts. When aligning images, don’t use the Custom options in the Anchored Object Options dialog. Although Adobe suggests using this, it doesn’t make any difference to the ﬁnal ePub output. Instead, use standard paragraph alignment settings (left, centred and right) to position the graphic horizontally. Cut and paste elsewhere in the text ﬂow to reposition vertically.
10. Use custom positioning
If you want to create a single document that’s useful for both print and ePub output, you could use custom positioning to get the print output to look more interesting. As long as the graphics are pasted into the right point in the text ﬂow that’s where they’ll appear in the ePub output. This approach brings the possibility of a not-insigniﬁcant level of work, so consider your options.
11. Indenting a graphic
If you want to indent a graphic, you can either use non-breaking spaces (Command-Alt-X) or other boxes. Text boxes don’t work, and graphic boxes with no content aren’t preserved in the output. Graphic boxes, however, do publish with the image dragged out of the visible bounds. All this type of fudging is frowned upon though, so try to get around the need to do this.
PART 2: NAVIGATION So what’s left for the eBook designer to work with? The ePub format isn’t that useful for the illustrated non-ﬁction market, at least not as it stands. It’s also a non-starter for magazines. But if you’re publishing text books, ﬁction, reference works or any publication where simple image alignment within the text ﬂow is good enough, there’s a lot that can be done. You may have to rethink your ideas about presentation, but it isn’t a pointless exercise. Enough of the layout difﬁculties; instead, think about how eBooks are supposed to enhance the reading experience; not by form but by function. Bookmarking, notetaking, searching and interactive
table of contents navigation are all things that make eBooks more useful than their printed cousins. Setting up a Table of Contents (TOC) is important for all but the shortest eBooks, as this helps readers jump to different sections in the publication. There are two different ways of implementing these: as a section of text with navigation links and as a speciﬁc navigation panel or menu that’s shown separately from the actual content. Don’t try using InDesign’s TOC-generating feature; that data is stripped from the ePub output. Instead, use hyperlinked text – or rather, the cross-reference variety – as that adds automatic control possibilities later.
12. Adding section headers
Start by making sure that your section headers have their own distinct paragraph style. Just select an instance of your styled-up section header text, choose New Paragraph Style from the Paragraph Styles panel’s menu, name it and click OK.
13. Add cross-references
Move to the start of your text and choose Type > Hyperlinks & Cross-References > Insert Cross-Reference. Choose Paragraph from Link To, pick your section head style from the list on the left, then choose the correct item from the right-hand one. Choose Full Paragraph or Paragraph Text as the ‘format’. Press OK. Now add another crossreference. Repeat until all your sections are listed. InDesign wraps each crossreference in double-quotes. You can remove these and customise the text if you like, being careful not to delete the original text. But before you do anything, make sure you understand the options.
14. Edit section headers and update cross-reference links
Choosing Type > Hyperlinks & Cross-References > Update Cross Reference will sync your handmade TOC with the linked text. Use this to control your cross-link TOC text, or leave the editing to the end.
15. Customise cross-link items
If you don’t want quotes and want to customise your cross-link items, you’ll need to edit the cross-reference formats or make a new one. In the New Cross-Reference dialog, click on the pencil icon. Here, you can edit an existing format to update existing cross-references or make a new one with the ‘+’ button.
NAVIGATION SETUP To make a true table of contents that shows in the Digital Editions navigation pane or the navigation menu of most other eBook readers, use InDesign’s Table of Contents Style dialog. With your section headers (or whatever you want to use as your navigation targets) styled, choose Layout > Table of Contents Styles. In this dialog, click Edit to edit the default TOC style.
16. Style guide
You can ignore the options for styling the TOC; it won’t be used in your page content. Select the style used for your section headers (and any others you want to include) in the right-hand list and ‘Add’ it to the ﬁeld on the left. Click OK, and the setting up is done. All the important work was done when you applied the chosen section head style in the ﬁrst place.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS SETUP
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17. Adding metadata
18. Export your ePub document
If you’re an InDesign CS4 user, choose the Deﬁned Styles, Include Embeddable Fonts and View eBook after Exporting options in the General section, then go to the Contents section. Pick XHTML as the format and enable the Include InDesign Table of Contents Entries. The Default style is automatically selected. Click Export.
One last step before generating your ePub document involves adding the metadata. Choose File > File Info, and add the document title, author, description, keywords and copyright notice. The rest is ignored by the ePub export, so you can ignore it as well, at least for this project.
Choose File > Export for > EPUB… (or File > Export for Digital Editions if you’re using CS4), name the ﬁle, and check through the export options in the next window. Include the document’s metadata and add the publisher data – the one bit of data not handled in the previous step.
19. View your eBook
20. The finished article
21. Customise your eBook’s CSS
22. Validate your eBook
If you’re using InDesign CS5, choose the Page Layout ordering and View eBook after Exporting options in the General section, then go to the Contents section and choose XHTML for the ePub format and include the InDesign TOC entries. The Default style is automatically selected. Make sure all the boxes in CSS Options are ticked, then click Export.
You can use the free Sigil utility from code.google.com/p/sigil to delve into the code of an ePub ﬁle and customise the CSS. There are some rendering errors in this application, but it generally does a good job of opening up the technical parts of what InDesign has generated for you, should you want to explore this area.
Your ePub document will be opened in Adobe Digital Editions, so you can test things out and see what changes you need to make. Once you’re satisﬁed, you can move on to uploading your ePub document for others to use. InDesign’s output throws errors in many ePub validators, but Lulu.com accepts these.
You can validate your document against the epubcheck 1.0.5 standard that Apple expects at bit.ly/doxcDw. It trips with an invalid date format, but we’re told this isn’t a problem. If you have an account at Lulu.com, you can add iBookstore distribution and upload your ePub ﬁle. They’ll take it from there, but be certain your ePub eBook is ready.
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THE PERFECT MAC FOR YOU
BEST iPAD LAUNCH APPS The iPad is upon us. If you’re buying one, have one or have one on order, what are the must-have apps that you can’t afford to be without. We’ve scoured the App Store for the best downloads to get your iPad-owning life off to a ﬂying start. All this, PLUS the latest reviews, breaking news and more in the next issue of MacUser, ON SALE 18 JUNE at all good newsagents. Reserve your copy today. * Contents subject to change.
Photography Danny Bird
The Mac is attractive and easy to use, but under those glossy and glassy exteriors there’s a wealth of modern technology, much of it given confusing acronyms. What does it mean, and how do you know what you should look out for when buying your next Mac? We’ll decode the most important acronyms, so you can make a better, more informed choice next time around.
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Beginners’ Guide to... Mail Here, we take you on a guided tour of Apple’s email application, an integral part of Mac OS X.
ail is Apple’s default email application. It works with the company’s own MobileMe service, as well as regular Pop and Imap servers, so has excellent all-round support for common industry standards. As an integral part of the operating system, it works well with other tools in Mac OS X, including Address Book, from which it can draw names and addresses, and iCal, to which it can post appointments and reminders. Here, we’ll walk through the key parts in its interface and explore a security feature that could save you from a deluge of unwanted email.
UNREAD COUNTS The numbers in lozenges show you how many unread message you have in each account.
▲ Mail doesn’t display remotely hosted images by default, as these can be tagged to reference your email address.
▲ If you want Mail to display remotely hosted images, just click the load Images button on the blue strip below the toolbar.
unsubscribe link. Spammers can tag these images so each one is unique, and tie those unique references to the email address to which each message was sent. Opening the message calls down those images from the server so they can be displayed in the body of the message and, as with the rogue unsubscribe link, conﬁrms your email address as valid and active. For this reason, Mail doesn’t display remotely hosted images by default; instead, it builds up the body of the message with empty image holder boxes. However, if you’re absolutely sure you know who the sender is and you’re happy for them to continue sending you messages, click the Load Images button on the blue strip below the toolbar and they’ll be downloaded and inserted into the message.
We all know that we shouldn’t click on links in emails from people we don’t know, and we should also all know that clicking the unsubscribe link in a spam email is often a shortcut to getting even more junk mail. Why? Because all you’re doing when you click on such a link is conﬁrming that your email address works. In all likelihood, you’ve just automatically added your details into a veriﬁed database that can be sold for megabucks to the highest spamming bidder. However, did you know that you could be conﬁrming your address as an active, valid destination simply by opening and reading your messages? Opening any email that makes use of remotely hosted images may have the same effect as clicking that
All of your mailboxes are organised in the sidebar. You can add as many as you like and click on each one to see only the messages it contains. Clicking Inbox shows all messages in all incoming mailboxes together.
Mail plugs into Spotlight, Mac OS X’s system-wide search tool, so its search tool is both fast and comprehensive. Enter your search term here and the results will show up in the mailbox below. The more you type, the better it will ﬁlter the results.
HIGHLIGHTED MESSAGES Rules allow you to mark out important messages so that they’re quickly brought to your attention. Here, all emails from Apple are given a blue background. Related messages will also be highlighted so that clicking on one shows you which other ones could be relevant.
JUNK MAIL BOX
Mail tries its best to recognise spam and ﬁlter it out. Messages it believes are unwanted will be dropped in the Junk folder. You should check in here periodically to make sure it’s doing it right and rescue any misﬁlings. The more often you do this, the more accurate it will become.
Your outgoing messages are kept separate from your incoming mail. This makes it easier for you to sort through your mail. Again, these are separated according to the account from which each message was sent.
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Switching to the Mac: Exposé
Take a closer look Even with the windows neatly arranged, it can be difﬁcult to pi pick out the one you want. Rolll over Rol over on one e and and pre press ss the Sp Space ace ba barr to take a closer look. Keep rolling around und to inspect other windows, too. When you’ve found the correct window, click ck on it and you’ll be returned to the Desktop with wit h that that wi window at the front of the st stack ack and re ready ady to us use. e.
Working on n your your Ma Macc gets gets me messy ssy wh when en lots lot s of of wind wind indows ows ar are e open open pen.. Expo Expo xposé sé get gets s the si situa tuatio tua tion n unde underr cont control wi with th some keyboard keyboa key board rd and mo mouse use sh short shortcuts ortcut cuts s that that wi willll help you to get around your applications’ windows. It takes all of the windows on your Desktop and tiles them neatly, without overlaps, so you can ﬁnd the one you want among many. There are different ways to use it: with keyboard shortcuts, mouse buttons and on-screen gestures.
Via the Dock Click and hold an application’s icon in the Dock to see all of its open windows. In this mode, click on the icon for another application that’s running and its windows will appear instead.
Open and minimised windows Exposé divides windows into two groups. Those above the line are open and visible on the Desktop, while the ones below it are minimised into the Dock.
Go straight into Exposé’s preferences by holding down Alt and pressing the Exposé key, or open System Preferences from the Apple menu and click the Exposé & Spaces icon.
You can set each corner of the screen to trigger different Exposé actions, or to start the screen saver or put your Mac’s display to sleep. Provided you set the corresponding action in the Security pane to immediately request your password, that allows you to lock your Mac without logging out when you’re leaving your desk for a while.
Click one of the pull-down menus in this pane and hold down any combination of Shift, Ctrl, Alt and Command, and the symbols for those keys appear in the menu. You need to hold that same combination when moving the pointer to a corner of the screen to trigger the action, which helps prevent Exposé kicking in when you’re trying to use Apple or Spotlight menus.
If you’re using a multi-button mouse and as long as Mac OS X recognises all of its buttons (which may require installing additional software from the manufacturer’s website), you can assign Exposé functions to those buttons.
Spaces gives you several Desktops on which to arrange your applications. They’re not real Desktops, of course – it’s just a way for you to tell Mac OS X that you want to work with a speciﬁc set of applications
(or even just one) at a time. When you jump to another space, Mac OS X shifts everything else out of the way so that you can concentrate on the applications you want to use at that precise moment.
Click the ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons to create up to 16 spaces in a grid of up to four columns and four rows.
Applications can be assigned to a space in two ways. First, you can click the plus button to pick from a list of applications that are running. Second, you can choose Other… from the list and browse to the application. Hold down Command if you want to add more than one application, or you can drag them into this box from the Finder.
You can set applications to appear in one space or all of them, so you can always keep an eye on iChat or iTunes in its Mini Player mode, for instance.
Jump between spaces by holding down Ctrl and using the arrow keys, or by holding down Ctrl and pressing a number. Ctrl-0 takes you to space 10 and Ctrl-Alt-1 through Ctrl-Alt-6 take you to spaces 11 through to 16. You can customise these shortcuts just as you can for Exposé: go to Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts. Just make sure your choice doesn’t clash with shortcuts in your favourite applications.
Press F8 to zoom out and see all spaces. In this view, you can drag windows to new spaces. Hold down Command at the same time and any other windows that belong to the same application will follow suit. Windows can also be moved by dragging them to the edge of the Desktop and holding the pointer there until you jump into the adjacent space.
Exposé and keyboard shortcuts
Recent Apple keyboards have special icons on the function keys. The one marked F3 shows a rectangle with several smaller ones inside it, which represents the Desktop and windows within it. That’s the Exposé key, and it behaves differently depending on which other keys you hold down before pressing it. Pressed on its own, the Exposé key shows windows for all applications that are running. Hold down Ctrl and press it to show only the current application’s windows. Holding down Command, every window is moved out of the
way so you can interact with the Desktop to open ﬁles or drag them into windows. While dragging a ﬁle, you can press the same combination to bring back the windows or use the other Exposé shortcuts to once again tile the windows and ﬁnd the one you want to drop the ﬁle into. To do that, drag the ﬁle over a window preview and hold it there for a short while until you’re returned to the Desktop with that window in front. You can also trigger Exposé by dragging a ﬁle icon over an application icon in the Dock and holding it there for a moment.
If you kept your old PC keyboard or just prefer a different type, you can still access Exposé with function keys. As you don’t have an Exposé key, instead press F9 to show windows for all applications running, F10 to show only the current application’s windows, and F11 to temporarily move all windows out of the way. These shortcuts can be changed in System Preferences. Try setting them in Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Exposé and Spaces as you can pick from more key combinations there than you can in Exposé’s own preferences pane.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
THE MAC RANGE Apple has a variety of Macs to suit different needs and pockets. Find out which one’s for you.
pple’s Mac range can be split into six families: three desktop and three laptop. Of these two, the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro are aimed at professional users. Of the others, the iMac will suit anyone
but the most power-hungry user; the Mac mini is a budget option for those who already have a keyboard, mouse and display; the MacBook is the budget laptop; and the MacBook Air is for anyone who values portability.
MAC PRO The Mac Pro hasn’t been updated in over a year and, with the imminent launch of Intel’s six-core ‘Gulftown’ processors, a new model is likely to appear soon. The new chips, which will be marketed as Xeon 5600, will run at up to 3.33GHz and have 12MB of Level 3 cache. They’ll almost certainly be used in dual-processor conﬁgurations in the Mac Pro, giving a total of 12 cores. The current Mac Pro range comprises two models, one with a 2.66GHz quad-core processor and the other with two 2.26GHz quad-core processors. Both have 8MB of shared Level 3 cache and an option to upgrade to 2.93GHz, and an integrated memory controller with three channels that delivers up to 2.4 times the memory bandwidth of the previous model, while cutting memory latency by up to 40%.
The current family of iMacs features 21.5in and 27in 16:9 widescreen displays. The enclosure is aluminium and the glass screen covers the full width of the computer. The iMacs have Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06GHz, which can be upgraded to 3.33GHz. There’s also a 27in model with a 2.66GHz Core i5 quad-core processor, which can be upgraded to Core i7. All four iMacs come with 4GB of Ram, which can be upgraded to 8GB on the 21.5in models and 16GB on the 27in iMacs. One of the 3.06GHz, 21.5in models has a 500GB hard drive, while the others all ship with 1TB disks. Those drives can be upgraded to 2TB, but the 500GB disk can’t be changed. For graphics, the least expensive model has an Nvidia GeForce 9400M, the next two have ATI Radeon HD 4670 chips with 256MB of Ram, while the Core i5 model has an ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB of Ram. The Core 2 Duo 27in model can have its graphics upgraded to the Radeon HD 4850. All iMacs have a built-in iSight video camera, AirPort Extreme 802.11n wiﬁ networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a total of four USB 2 ports, one FireWire 800 port and a built-in SD card slot.
The quad-core model costs £1940 and has 3GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRam, which can be upgraded to 8GB. The eightcore Mac Pro costs £2553 and boasts 6GB of the same high-spec memory, which can be upgraded to 32GB. Both have 640GB serial ATA, 7200rpm hard drives, although storage can be expanded up to 4TB via four 1TB serial drives in the Mac’s four drive bays. There’s also a 18x double-layer SuperDrive for reading and writing DVDs and CDs. The Mac Pros’ Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphic card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory provides both Mini DisplayPort and dual-link DVI video output, providing almost three times the previous performance. For even more graphics power, the ATI Radeon HD 4870 card is also available.
109 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
There’s only one MacBook currently available – a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo model in a white polycarbonate unibody enclosure, costing £849. It has 2GB of DDR3 SDRam, a 250GB hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor and an 8x doublelayer SuperDrive. There’s a Gigabit Ethernet connection, two USB 2 ports, and digital/analogue audio input and output. Battery life is quoted at 10 hours.
The two MacBook Air models have Core 2 Duo processors running at 1.86GHz and 2.13GHz, and cost £1174 and £1378 respectively. Both have 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRam and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics. The 1.86GHz model has a 120GB hard drive, while the 2.13GHz MacBook Air has a 128GB solid-state drive. Neither has a SuperDrive nor an SD card slot. Both have a single USB socket and audio output jack. Battery life is quoted at ﬁve hours. The MacBook Air and all the MacBook Pros have Mini DisplayPort connectors to attach external displays. These can be used to connect to DVI and VGA displays by using adaptors, which are sold separately. All have built-in iSight cameras, 802.11n wiﬁ and Bluetooth.
The Mac mini ships in three conﬁgurations. Two have a SuperDrive and Snow Leopard installed, while the other one has two hard drives, no SuperDrive and ships with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server installed on one drive. The Server model has a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, dual 500GB hard drives, 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRam and Nvidia’s GeForce 9400M graphics chip. The hard drive, memory and graphics card can’t be upgraded. Of the other two models, one has a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of Ram and an 160GB hard drive. The other has a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of Ram and a 320GB hard drive. The
2.26GHz model can have its processor upgraded to 2.53GHz, its Ram boosted to 4GB, and the hard drive expanded to 320GB or 500GB. The other model can have a processor upgrade to 2.66GHz and a 500GB hard drive. Both of the latter models have the Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip and an 8x SuperDrive.
The 13in MacBook Pro now has the Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor, which has 48 processing cores, three times more than the 9400M processor in its predecessor. A 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with a 250GB hard drive costs £999 and a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 320GB hard drive costs £1249. Both models have 4GB of Ram and a quoted battery life of 10 hours. The 15in and 17in models get Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and a new graphics-switching technology that toggles between more powerful Nvidia GeForce GT 330M and energy-efﬁcient Intel HD Graphics processors. The Core i5 and i7 processors include an integrated memory controller, hyperthreading, and Turbo Boost. The 15in MacBook Pro is available in three conﬁgurations: one with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive priced at £1499; one with a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive at £1649; and one with a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 and 500GB hard drive at £1799. The 17in model has a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive for £1899. All the above MacBook Pros have 4GB of Ram. All models have LED-backlit wideangle displays at up to 1920 x 1200 pixels on the 17in, while the 15in model is available with an optional high-resolution 1680 x 1050 display. Apple also offers 128GB, 256GB and 512GB solid-state drives (SSDs) as an option on all models, together with other build-to-order options that include bigger and/or faster 7200rpm hard drives and the option to double the amount of memory to 8GB of Ram.
MAC BASICS Every Mac desktop has Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth and 802.11n wiﬁ as standard, with the exception of the Mac Pro, on which the wiﬁ card is optional. The Mac mini and Mac Pro have ﬁve USB 2 ports,
while the iMac has four. The Mac Pro and iMac also have FireWire 800 connections: four on the Mac Pro and one on the iMac. All laptops have 802.11n wiﬁ and Bluetooth. The MacBook and MacBook
Pro also have Gigabit Ethernet, while the MacBook Air needs a USB-toEthernet adaptor. All models have an iSight camera, microphone and at least one speaker.
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iPOD/iPHONE/iPAD RANGE Want one of these small objects of desire? Check their specs to find the one with your name on it.
The iPod shufﬂe comes in two capacities – 2GB (£46) and 4GB (£60) – and a choice of silver, black, pink, blue and green. The latest model has a new feature called VoiceOver, which announces the name of the artist and track that’s currently playing. The supplied earphones have an inline remote control and there’s a clip on the rear of the shufﬂe to allow you to attach it to clothing.
The nano is available in nine colours, including silver, black and (Product) Red. There’s an 8GB version, which costs £118, and a 16GB model, which will set you back £138. The nano now has a built-in FM radio with a buffer, so you can pause live radio. It also has a built-in video camera.
The iPod classic is the most capacious of all Apple’s music players. It comes in either black or silver. Both have a capacity of 160GB and cost £193. The classic plays video, like its nano and touch siblings, and you can ﬂip through album covers using the click wheel, thanks to Cover Flow.
The touch is best thought of as an iPhone without the phone features or a 3G data connection. It comes in three capacities: 8GB for £152, 32GB for £234 and 64GB for £306. It features a 3.5in, 480 x 320-pixel display, and comes with several built-in apps such as Safari, Mail and Address Book. The touch supports any iPhone app that doesn’t require a 3G connection or GPS.
111 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
The iPad, Apple’s new tablet computer, has a 9.7in screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, and you can choose a model that uses only wiﬁ to connect to the Internet or that has a 3G chip to allow you to connect from anywhere. Like the iPhone and iPod touch, it also has support for Bluetooth. It uses the same Dock connection as the iPod and iPhone for syncing and charging, and also has a microphone, built-in speaker and headphone jack.
As you’ll know if you read our iPhone buyers’ guide (see MacUser, 12 March 2010, p44), deciding which iPhone to buy is a mineﬁeld. However, choosing the hardware is less complicated than selecting a pricing plan. There are two very different models available. The iPhone 3G comes with 8GB of storage and costs approximately £349 on a pay-asyou-go tariff. It has a slower processor than the 3GS though, and lacks that model’s builtin compass and upgraded camera.
There are two iPhone 3GS models available: 16GB (£449 on pay as you go) and 32GB (£549 on pay as you go). Both are available in black or white. The 3GS can record and edit video as well as still images, has a 3-megapixel sensor, and has a lens that can auto focus or allow you to focus manually. The other differentiating feature between it and the 3G is Voice Control – a feature that enables you to control some features of the iPhone using your voice.
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The who’s who of top products
Don’t shell out for a product until you’ve checked out our top-fives, from video editing and DTP software to printers, monitors and digital cameras. Top 5 displays APPLE LED CINEMA DISPLAY The ﬁrst LED-based Cinema Display is designed for MacBooks with a Mini DisplayPort, and it can be used to charge them, too. Reviewed 16/01/09 URL apple.com/uk
LG Flatron M2294 Wide LCD TV Monitor Rating 4 Reviewed 07/11/08 URL lge.com/uk Samsung SyncMaster F2380 Rating 4 Reviewed 26/02/10 URL samsung.com/uk Eizo CG301W Rating 4 Reviewed 01/02/08 URL eizo.co.uk Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 Rating 4 Reviewed 06/11/09 URL samsung.com/uk
Top 5 external hard drives SEAGATE FREEAGENT DESK FOR MAC
An inexpensive 1TB external hard disk that delivers good performance. It has one USB 2 and two FireWire 800 ports. Reviewed 02/01/09 URL seagate.com
Western Digital My Book Studio II 4TB Rating 5 Reviewed 03/07/09 URL wdc.com G-Tech G-Drive 2TB Rating 4 Reviewed 26/02/10 URL g-technology.com Freecom Hard Drive Pro 1TB Rating 4 Reviewed 02/01/09 URL freecom.com/uk LaCie 5big Network 5TB Rating 4 Reviewed 21/11/08 URL lacie.com
Top 5 DSLR cameras
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A 12.3-megapixel sensor, eight frames per second shooting, HD video and dual memory card slots all packed into a sturdy metal body make the D300S a winner. Reviewed 11/09/09 URL nikon.co.uk
Nikon D5000 Rating 5 Reviewed 03/07/09 Nikon D3s Rating 5 Reviewed 26/02/10 Olympus E-30 Rating 4 Reviewed 05/06/09 Canon Eos 500D Rating 4 Reviewed 05/06/09
URL nikon.co.uk URL nikon.co.uk URL olympus.co.uk URL canon.co.uk
Top 5 super-zoom cameras NIKON COOLPIX S570
The Coolpix S570 has a 12-megapixel sensor, 5x zoom lens and slips easily into a pocket. It also takes great pics and offer good value for money. Reviewed 12/02/10 URL nikon.co.uk
Olympus Pen E-P2 Rating 4 Reviewed 26/02/10 Fujiﬁlm FinePix S200EXR Rating 4 Reviewed 15/01/10 Ricoh GR Digital III Rating 4 Reviewed 29/01/10 Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Rating 4 Reviewed 09/04/09
URL olympus.co.uk URL fujiﬁlm.co.uk URL ricoh.co.uk URL canon.co.uk
Top 5 video applications CAMTASIA FOR MAC 1.1
Camtasia can record video and audio from your Mac’s iSight and mic, add transitions, effects, and share the ﬁnished video easily on YouTube. Reviewed 08/05/10 URL techsmith.com
ScreenFlow 2 Rating 5 Reviewed 20/11/09 Final Cut Studio 2009 Rating 4 Reviewed 28/08/09 DV Kitchen Rating 4 Reviewed 24/10/08 After Effects CS4 Rating 4 Reviewed 10/10/08
URL telestream.net URL apple.com/uk URL dvcreators.net URL adobe.com/uk
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Top 5 office applications MERLIN 2.5
Merlin is a top-notch project management application. It’s powerful, easy to get to grips with thanks to its manual and templates, and works well with Mail, Address Book and iCal. Reviewed 01/02/08 URL pro projectwizards.net projec
Daylite 3.7.3 Rating 5 Reviewed 06/06/08 Nisus Writer Pro 1.3 Rating 5 Reviewed 31/07/09 Kerio Connect 7 Rating 5 Reviewed 12/03/10 Studiometry 6 Rating 4 Reviewed 22/05/09
URL marketcircle.com URL nisus.com URL kerio.co.uk URL oranged.net
Top 5 audio products LOGIC STUDIO
Its headline grabbing new features for guitarists, Amp Designer and Pedalboard are certainly the highlight, however, there’s plenty here for all musicians. Reviewed 28/08/09 apple.com/uk URL app
Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Rating 5 Reviewed 15/02/08 Logic Express 9 Rating 5 Reviewed 23/10/09 Reason 4 Premium Rating 5 Reviewed 26/09/08 Hear Rating 4 Reviewed 09/05/08
URL native-instruments.com URL apple.com/uk URL propellerheads.se URL joesoft.com
Top 5 web publishing tools DREAMWEAVER CS4
For years, Dreamweaver has been the de facto standard for professional web development. It’s now fully integrated with Adobe’s Creative Suite. Reviewed 26/09/08 URL adobe.com/uk /uk
BBEdit 9 Rating 4 Reviewed 30/01/09 Coda Rating 4 Reviewed 29/02/08 Flash CS4 Rating 4 Reviewed 10/10/08 Flux 2 Rating 4 Reviewed 26/02/10
URL barebones.com URL panic.com URL adobe.com/uk URL theescapers.com
Top 5 laser printers
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XEROX PHASER 3435
A good choice for workgroups that need mono printing. The high purchase price is offset by low running costs and speed output. Reviewed 09/04/09 URL xerox.co.uk
Samsung ML-1915 Rating 4 Reviewed 20/11/09 Kyocera Mita FS-1300D Rating 4 Reviewed 26/09/08 Canon i-Sensys LBP5100 Rating 4 Reviewed 21/11/08 Oki C710n Rating 4 Reviewed 24/10/08
URL samsung.com/uk URL kyoceramita.co.uk URL canon.co.uk URL oki.co.uk
Top 5 multi-function devices CANON PIXMA MP990
The MP990 does duplex printing, labels discs, captures 35mm slides and negatives, and it has six ink tanks: including grey for mono prints. Reviewed 04/12/09 URL canon.co.uk
Samsung SCX-4600 Rating 5 Reviewed 26/02/10 Canon Pixma MP540 Rating 5 Reviewed 28/08/09 HP Photosmart C6380 Rating 5 Reviewed 30/01/09 Epson Stylus Photo PX710W Rating 5 Reviewed 29/01/10
URL samsung.com/uk URL canon.co.uk URL hp.com/uk URL epson.co.uk
Top 5 inkjet printers HP PHOTOSMART A636
Photo printer with slots for common camera media cards. Includes 120mm touchscreen LCD and 20-sheet input feed. Reviewed 10/10/08 URL hp. hp.com/uk /uk
Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Rating 5 Reviewed 01/01/10 HP Photosmart Plus Rating 4 Reviewed 20/11/09 Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Rating 4 Reviewed 02/01/09 Canon Pixma Pro9000 MkII Rating 4 Reviewed 08/05/09
URL epson.co.uk URL hp.com/uk URL epson.co.uk URL canon.co.uk
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Top 5 publishing tools INDESIGN CS4
Adobeâ€™s latest page-layout environment delivers various improvements including tighter integration with Flash, precise alignment tools and numerous other important tweaks. Reviewed 26/09/08 URL adobe.com/uk
QuarkXPress 8 Rating 5 Reviewed 15/08/08 Fusion 2 Rating 5 Reviewed 21/11/08 Universal Type Server Rating 4 Reviewed 18/07/08 Acrobat 9 Pro Rating 4 Reviewed 04/07/08
URL quark.com URL extensis.com URL extensis.com URL adobe.com/uk
Top 5 photo editing tools PHOTOSHOP CS4
One of the most important applications on the Mac, the CS4 edition helps it retain its crown as the king of all photo editing and montage tools. Reviewed 26/09/08 URL adobe.com/uk /uk
Aperture 3 Rating 5 Reviewed 26/02/10 Portrait Professional 9 Rating 5 Reviewed 09/10/09 Eye Candy 6 Rating 5 Reviewed 15/01/10 OnOne Plug-In Suite 5 Rating 4 Reviewed 15/01/10
URL apple.com/uk URL portraitprofessional.com URL alienskin.com URL ononesoftware.com
Top 5 illustration/3D tools ILLUSTRATOR CS4
The CS4 edition of Illustrator builds on the rich toolset of CS3, adding more intelligent features and some fantastic new tools. Reviewed 26/09/08 URL adobe.com/uk /uk
Phantasm CS Studio Rating 4 Reviewed 01/08/08 Cheetah 3D 5 Rating 4 Reviewed 15/01/10 Cinema 4D Release 11 Rating 4 Reviewed 10/10/08 Live Interior 3D Pro Rating 4 Reviewed 07/11/08
URL phantasmcs.com URL cheetah3d.com URL maxon.net URL belightsoft.com
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Apple dealers are thriving all over the UK, ready to answer your Mac queries
LOCATION FINDER Scotland North Wales Midlands South-west South-east London Nationwide
TO ADVERTISE, CONTACT CRAIG_CHAMBERS@DENNIS.CO.UK OR CALL 020 7907 6652
Albion Computers London, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey
Call 020 7212 9090 Email email@example.com URL albion.co.uk 22 years’ experience with Apple for Business and Education Apple Premium Reseller Apple Authorised Service provider Apple Solutions Expert for Education New iStore in Crawley
SupportPlan (UK) Ltd Central London
PowerPlay Services East Sussex )#*$"%#) ' )+!&("+,S
Call 08448 157167 URL powerplayservices.co.uk
Apple Authorised Service Provider PowerPlay offers a local drop-in service or a nationwide courier service for all Apple repairs and upgrades
Cancom Brighton Cambridge Edinburgh Guildford Kensington High Street
Call 0800 027 2292 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URL supportplan.com Supporting Mac and Windows in creative environments since 1991 Apple Authorised Service Provider Apple Solutions Expert for Print & Publishing Web solutions
Call 0845 6863500 URL cancomuk.com Part of a €420 million company Apple Solutions Expert in Education Authorised Apple Service Provider Conﬁgure your Mac on our advanced website
Whellams Computer Services Central London
iCentre: The Meadows Shopping Centre, Chelmsford
Call 020 71831969 Email email@example.com URL wcscomputer.co.uk Professional Mac support and solutions company, specialising in the print and publishing industries Flexible support contracts Support for Xserve, backup and networks
Call 01787 477664 Email lee@icentre-headofﬁce.com URL icentre-chelmsford.com iCentre is the perfect environment for test-driving the latest Apple iPods, Macs and software, while also offering 1-2-1 demonstrations, advice and a full range of accessories
MR Systems Central London
Robert Harding Computers Ltd Sussex; South Coast
Call 020 7697 2200 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URLwww.mrsystems.co.uk Experienced Apple Authorised Service Provider Remote support and helpdesk Competitive prices
Call 01273 728827 Email email@example.com URL rh-computers.com Authorised Service Provider since 1979 Privately owned company, giving personal & professional service always Student Discounts also available
Trams Ltd Central London and Christchurch, Dorset
Encompass Home Counties
MicroMend Ltd 3 Tottenham Street, London, W1 (Near Goodge Street Tube station)
Serviceweb Ltd Kent
Call Trams Sales: 020 7820 7111; Rapid Sales: 01202 703040 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URLs trams.co.uk and rapidgroup.net One of the UK’s premier Apple resellers and Authorised Service Providers. With 20,000 items available online, we provide a comprehensive range of products and services
Call 020 7636 6667 Email email@example.com Walk-in computer repair centre Fast turnaround Apple Authorised technicians Data Recovery Service iPod repairs
Square Group Ltd Central London High Wycombe Derby
URL squaregroup.co.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call 0800 08 27753 Apple Premium Reseller Video, Print & Publishing & Education Apple Solution Experts Apple Authorised Service Provider Training Centre
Call 01462 790773 Email email@example.com URL encompassuk.com Authorised Service Provider Mac OS X server specialist Mac OS X Leopard roll-out Digital colour specialist Consultancy (network design) Cross platform
Call 01227 794768 Fax 01227 792765 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URL serviceweb.co.uk
Authorised Reseller and Service Provider On-site and carry-in service Software and hardware installations iPod service Xserve specialist Showroom Windows-to-Mac migration
Visual Information Services Ltd Reading; International Services
Call 0118 9886633 Email email@example.com URL visparts.com
Independent Apple parts supplier. We also repair and upgrade all Apple computers at our workshop. Our engineers have over 20 years experience and knowledge of all things Apple.
Core Technical Solutions London, Surrey and surrounding areas
MacKing.co.uk Harrem House, Ogilvie Road, High Wycombe
On-site and workshop repair services Helpdesk and remote support Apple Certiﬁed technicians Sales and installations Businesses and Home users
We sell refurbished and used Macs. We also do repairs and with a parts library spanning almost every Mac for the past 10 years, why look anywhere else for the part you need
Call 0800 756 9905 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URL coretechnicalsolutions.co.uk
Call 01494 355333 URL macking.co.uk
123 www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Meet your local dealer… We catch up with your local dealer to ﬁnd out what they offer Mac users. This issue, we talk to iCentre, previously known as CT Solutions, about its new business-to-business services.
ormerly known as CT Solutions (a new name, logo and brand refresh took place in August 2009), iCentre has ﬂourished in the consumer market since its May 2008 opening at The Meadows Shopping Centre in Chelmsford, Essex, afﬁrming its position as an established retailer on the high street. As one of the 47 Apple Premium Resellers in the UK, the company provides more than just the full range of Apple products – it also offers one-to-one demonstrations, and expert advice both before and after sales. The business-to-business sector in Essex has seen healthy growth in recent months and iCentre has been quick to get involved. The company has taken some serious steps to push its proﬁle in the businessto-business sector, including organising business suppers, business breakfasts, Chamber of Commerce activities, business shows and even some exciting enterprises with local schools. iCentre is currently expanding its efforts in Essex, having appointed a UK business
sales manager, Lee Jiggins. Jiggins has a wealth of experience and understands the full beneﬁts that can be achieved by introducing customers to using Macs for their business. iCentre caters for all types of business needs, whether they just want to upgrade a desktop Mac through to overhauling an entire system. Services include: • Pre-sales advice • The full Mac and accessory range • Software • Server solutions with backup • Cabled and wireless networks • Installations • Telephone and remote support • Maintenance contracts • Consumables, cabling, storage and accessories If you would prefer to discuss your objectives, budget, questions and iCentre’s business-to-busines service in more detail, you can book a consultation with Jiggins. For further information, contact Lee Jiggins on 01787 477664 or via email at lee@icentre-headofﬁce.com.
iCentre The Meadows Shopping Centre, Chelmsford Call 01787 477664 Email lee@icentre-headofﬁce.com URL icentre-chelmsford.com iCentre is the perfect environment for test-driving the latest Apple iPods, Macs and software, while also offering one-to-one demonstrations, advice and a full range of accessories.
Apple Tree Graphics LTD Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Jennings Computer Services Ltd Scarborough and York
SL Electrotech (Instrumentation) Ltd Loomer Industrial Estate, Staffordshire
GBM Digital Technologies LTD Manchester
MCC Group Warrington Chester Liverpool Stoke-on-Trent
Evo Data UK Ltd North West
Call 01527 570535 Fax 01527 570355 URL atg-it.co.uk Apple Centre Retail and business showroom Training for major software packages Pre-sales and consultancy Network design and installation
Call 01782 563999 Email email@example.com URL slelectrotech.co.uk Apple Authorised Service Provider & Reseller Fast turnaround On-site and workshop repairs Helpdesk and remote support Apple Business Solutions and Consultancy
Call 01723 374196 Call 01904 796580 Buy Online jcsltd.co.uk Authorised Apple Reseller & Service Centre Apple warranty repair Out-of-warranty repair Mac, iPod, accessories, upgrades Cross-platform support Online store
Call 0161 605 3838 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URL gbmdt.co.uk Retail and business sales specialists with a technical support team to provide maintenance, installation and support services for business and education
Call 01539 898232 Email email@example.com URL evodata.co.uk
Call 0870 444 4990 Fax 0870 444 1373 URL mccdigital.com Apple Premium Reseller Apple Solutions Experts for Education/Creative Apple Authorised Service Providers Training Installation Maintenance
Troubleshooting Hardware/software Repairs Full Mac Server network installations Re-designs Support contract Guaranteed response times Mac products and equipment
The Bookyard Ltd. Liverpool, Nationwide Service
RGB Solutions Ltd Edinburgh, Scotland
Call 0151 291 6240 Email firstname.lastname@example.org URL thebookyard.com Online store offering new and used Apple spare parts with next-day delivery Old or faulty Apple hardware purchased and recycled Expert diagnosis & repairs with nationwide collection
Call 0131 554 8888 Email email@example.com URL rgbsolutions.co.uk •Apple Sales •Service & Support •Server & Network Installation •Creative Industry Specialists •RGB Solutions provides Apple Macintosh Sales, Service and Support
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WE CAN HELP YOU
THEY CAN HELP YOU
If you need technical advice, write to us explaining the problem in full. Please include all the details of hardware and software you use.
There’s a wealth of information and help available online. Here are some useful sites that may be worth turning to along with the MacUser site.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Post Help, MacUser, 30 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JD
Apple’s pages provide helpful information; try the search options to ﬁnd speciﬁc help. URL info.apple.com
EMAIL YOUR PROBLEM TO HELP@MACUSER.CO.UK
Keep abreast of software releases and ﬁxes, and track down new utilities and tools. URL versiontracker.com
The big read Before electronic books can take off, a universal format that can be read on different devices needs to be agreed and implemented.
t seemed a simple enough request: a leave the house, and another that you can well-illustrated history of painting that I only read when standing up. can browse on both Mac and iPad. There’s DRM aside, the formats are a mess. no shortage of excellent printed books that PDF, the lingua franca for computer-readable would ﬁt the bill, but it all gets a bit messy documents, still suffers problems ﬂowing when you go electronic. content when browsed on smaller screens. Amazon’s much-touted Kindle Store only When you create your own books for iPad, operates from amazon.com, not amazon. it’s worth avoiding, as existing conversion co.uk, and despite its huge range of titles, tools struggle most with PDF input. If you’re it still concentrates on texts rather than unlucky, you can waste hours trying to tag colour illustrated volumes, as beﬁts more your PDF, or simply give up and convert it to restricted devices HTML, which is much such as the Kindle. more amenable to ‘PDF, the lingua franca for Understandably, the conversion. ePub vast free Gutenberg seems better suited computer-readable documents, library has a limited to electronic books, suffers problems ﬂowing content range of illustrated and enjoys good when browsed on smaller screens’ support on the iPad. books, being drawn from an age when Lacking any major colour reproduction commercial proponent, was limited. Unlike most other online eBook though, its authoring tools are a motley crew, stores, WHSmith has a wide range of as detailed later in Mac Business (see p128). products that dare to have colour illustrations, Having long been a PDF evangelist, it from which I quickly bought nine titles doesn’t come easy to admit that it’s the published by Scala Vision; these are Adobe wrong format for anything. With its plethora ADEPT-protected ePub (or PDF) titles that of different variants from PDF/A to PDF/X, this require Adobe Digital Editions, which being might seem unlikely, but the fundamental Flash-based is not available on iPad or Linux. problem is its focus on appearance rather Thankfully, both the Mac and iPad boast than structure and content of documents. a gamut of reader applications that ease If only Adobe had learned from Knuth’s LaTeX this digital babel. Armed with Apple’s iBooks and Goldfarb’s SGML, we might have a truly application, Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Stanza, generic tool. Instead, applications such as and others, the iPad is something of a Word, when fed the wrong fonts, spit out polyglot. But these are far from ideal: iBooks words irrespective of paragraph structure, doesn’t play with protected ePub works, and leaving you hundreds of pages over which while Stanza may be terriﬁc value, it has its to touch up the reading order. fair share of foibles, and can’t access the Finally, electronic books bear VAT at majority of protected books. For the moment, full rate, unlike their paper counterparts. protected iBooks can’t be browsed on your I presume this is because anything that’s Mac, meaning that you’ll need to buy two downloaded is classed as software. How copies of each commercial book: one for your much longer can it be before HM Revenue Mac, the other for your iPad. It’s a bit like & Customs deems books to be decorated having to buy one physical book that can’t processed timber and taxable accordingly?
Howard Oakley has used Macs in science and medicine for 20 years, and developed commercial software.
27in iMac models with quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors should have SMC Firmware Update 1.0 applied to ﬁx problems with Target Display Mode, and EFI FW Update 1.0 to resolve problems when playing audio through the headphone output mini-jack and turning on the display backlight. They’re at support.apple.com/kb/ DL1030 and DL1031. Mac OS X Security Update 2010-003 for 10.5.8 and 10.6.3 closes a vulnerability to maliciously crafted fonts. It’s available from support.apple.com/kb/DL1029 (Snow Leopard), DL1027 (Leopard) and DL1028 (Leopard Server). AirPort Base Stations and Time Capsules are unable to support NAT port forwarding to L2TP VPN servers at private
addresses if MobileMe is enabled. Apple suggests working around this by disabling MobileMe if NAT port forwarding is required, in support.apple.com/kb/HT3944.
Mac OS X Server 10.6.x Setup Assistant doesn’t allow host names to start with digits. Changing the name to start with a letter resolves this.
Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 may crash AFP services when a ﬁle residing on a share and aliased on a client system is placed in a folder to which that user doesn’t have access. The crash can occur when the user tries to access the ﬁle through its alias. The only workaround is to avoid this situation.
Color 1.5 may display anamorphic SD media both letterboxed and vertically squeezed on external video devices. Apple suggests either setting the external output to HD (720 or 1080) resolution, or deselecting the Anamorphic 16:9 checkbox in Sequence Settings before setting video output to anamorphic SD.
MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3 for the latest 15in and 17in mid-2010 models improves graphics stability for high-performance video and gaming, and ﬁxes other bugs. It’s available from support. apple.com/kb/DL1026.
Mac OS X v10.6.3 1.1 Update (Combo) is recommended to complete the update to 10.6.3 if the original release of the Combo update was applied to 10.6 (not 10.6.1 or later). Go to support.apple.com/kb/DL1017 (client) or DL1019 (Server).
From Russell Caplan Q When ploughing through a recent load of updates, I became a bit confused about how comprehensive Software Update is when it checks my Mac. Can I safely assume it picks up everything that I need to update, or do I still need to check some areas manually? A The aim of Software Update is to check your hardware and installed software, and spot all Apple updates that might be required. In practice, it seems to work quite reliably at that. The biggest problems arise when Apple applications are moved from their default locations in the main Applications folder, perhaps onto another volume, in which case they may get forgotten. If you don’t always use a wireless keyboard, it’s possible that updates needed for that wireless keyboard might get omitted when it’s disconnected. Software Update relies in part on the packages stored in /Library/Receipts (as does repairing permissions), so tampering with the contents of that folder is likely to result in glitches or failure. Those ﬁles aren’t the original installer packages, but much smaller lists of ﬁles received, husks of the original updates. If you’re in doubt as to whether you need to apply an update, simply download the standalone version, mount and install it. If it isn’t required, Installer will soon tell you.
Snow Leopard bugs me
From Richard Hallas Q Having used Snow Leopard almost since its release, I’m frustrated by the number of bugs that remain even in version 10.6.3. Among the more irritating are those in the Finder and Dock – for example, the Dock icon for iCal doesn’t update its date daily, but shows the date on which my Mac last started up. Why is this?
Software Update relies on the contents of the /Library/Receipts folder, so don’t tamper with its contents.
A This isn’t one of the generally accepted bugs in Snow Leopard, but probably results from a damaged Property List ﬁle somewhere, determining the way the Dock handles the iCal icon. An easy way to ﬁx it is to drag the iCal icon from the Dock, and replace it. However, if you don’t restart before putting the icon back in your Dock, it’s possible that Like some other applications, iCal’s Dock icon should show useful the mistake will recur after additional information, the current date. If that gets stuck, remove it from the Dock, restart: and replace it. a while. Restarting should allow your Mac to ﬂush its caches and repair any underlying damage Among the many internal changes in that could be the cause. 10.6 was a complete rewrite of the Finder Another common issue that has troubled and its underling libraries, and that appears early releases of Snow Leopard is incorrect to be the cause of this and other issues. As display of icons, which can appear pixellated, Snow Leopard matures, we should see these as if an icon image of low resolution is being progressively resolve, and a Finder as reliable used instead of a higher-resolution one. as that in Leopard restored.
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www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
Stopping sticks From [name withheld on request] Q Our students need to use Macs with devices connected to their USB ports, but we want to prevent them from accessing USB memory sticks. Is there any way to do this without using glue? A You’re wise to avoid gluing USB connectors into the ports on your Macs, which would cause support problems in the future. This limits you to a software solution, which inevitably requires that your students don’t have administrative status on their Macs. If they do have the ability to access the System folder, they could circumvent or reverse your security. The preferred method for disabling connected USB storage devices of all types is to move the ﬁle at /System/
‘Phantom shares’ may disappear when you try to open them, leaving you with a cryptic network error message. Check network and modem/router settings in case they’ve gone awry.
The name game
From Robin Forrest Q I have a similar problem to that reported by Liz Denton (see MacUser, 26 March, p93), in that a PC server named ‘Thomson’ has appeared under Sharing on my two Macs running Mac OS X 10.5.8. Both are connected ﬁrst to an Ethernet hub and that to a BT Home Hub. ‘Thomson’ appears when AirPort is disabled, and disappears when the Home Hub is turned off. What is this server? We also had this question concerning the same problem. From David Ward Q Recently, one Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.3 has been showing a shared item named ‘pop’. My house is remote, so it can’t be a real computer. Could it be because I have recently had a lot of problems connecting to my mail server? A Reports like this have become surprisingly common, but neither of these phantom shares are likely to be intruders. BT Home Hubs are rebadged Thomson modem/routers, so in the ﬁrst case it looks as if the modem/router is declaring itself to the Macs as a shared PC.
You can disable access to external USB storage devices such as USB memory sticks by moving out the IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext kernel extension and restarting the Mac.
Library/Extensions/IOUSBMassStorageClass. kext into another folder, perhaps named Extensions (Disabled), and restart. As this is a Kernel Extension, it could possibly have undesired side-effects, but should achieve your aim better than anything else.
An alternative might be to capitalise on the fact that USB memory sticks use MS-Dos FAT ﬁle systems, so moving /System/Library/Filesystems/msdos.fs to another folder and restarting should prevent them from mounting.
Web design software like Dreamweaver can be ﬁddly to connect to a remote server, as some older versions may only support password-based authentication for SFTP transfers.
In the second case, ‘pop’ is the name of the Internet protocol used to deliver email to your Mac, and could be the modem/router, or an artefact left in one of the Unix hidden folders following connection to a Pop mail server. Before resigning yourself to living with this quirk, you should check carefully through your Network pane in System Preferences, and connecting to your modem/router using your browser, to ensure that everything is still set up properly. It’s also worth running a general health check: restart from your latest Mac OS X install disc, run Disk Utility from there, and ﬁrst repair your startup disk before repairing its permissions and restarting from your normal disk. If none of those does any good, the chances are that these phantom servers will disappear as spontaneously as they appeared in the ﬁrst place.
attained. Leaving out a camera has kept both power consumption and cost down, although it’s widely expected that a future model of iPad will sport a still if not video camera. Only time and sales will tell whether Apple has made the right compromises in this initial model.
Missing iPad features
From Mike Bird Q Why doesn’t the iPad run Snow Leopard, have a Xeon processor and a camera? A Hopefully, by now, you’ll have had a chance to use an iPad and realised that Apple didn’t conceive it as a highly portable computer, but as a quite radically different device. Although iPhone OS is fundamentally Mac OS X, it has substantial tweaks and changes that are needed for its different purpose. Some of these, such as its inability to run multiple applications at once and its approach to security, are intended to maintain system integrity, increase reliability and prolong endurance on battery power. The choice of a custom system-on-a-chip based around an ARM processor greatly reduces power consumption, too: although a low-power version of a general-purpose processor might have packed a bigger punch, it would also have shortened battery endurance to less than half that actually
From Neville Grey Q I’m struggling trying to connect clients running Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 to a Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. Although SFTP works ﬁne in both Terminal and Fetch from those same clients, it fails every time in Dreamweaver, reporting an FTP error of an incorrect login or password. Do I have to upgrade those clients to CS4, which does seem to work reliably with the same server?
Did you know… Failed Internet protocol connections ons are often misreported as being the result of incorrect user names or passwords – for example, if you try to collect your mail when the server is not responding. Simply click on the Cancel button rather than re-entering your login details, and try again later.
A While it would be good to upgrade those clients in due course, you should still be able to get Dreamweaver CS3 to connect properly to most if not all servers, including Snow Leopard. The error that is being reported gives a clue to the problem, but is nevertheless slightly misleading: older versions of Dreamweaver only support password-based authentication for SFTP, and this is usually disabled by default. You can rectify this by editing the text ﬁle at /etc/ssh/sshd_conﬁg on your server; note that this is a different ﬁle from ssh_conﬁg. Open sshd_conﬁg in a text editor, locate the PasswordAuthentication option and switch it from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. Save this, then restart SSH on the server, and older versions of Dreamweaver and some other products should then be able to connect properly. You should, however, avoid leaving passwordbased authentication open if the server is open to the Internet, as it’s too easy to hack even with quite robust passwords.
Did you know… Because they’re aimed at consumer mer markets where security and robustness is paramount, iPhone and iPad software development is controlled by Apple. If you want to create your own tools and widgets for your iPad, look to Dashboard-style Mobile Safari web apps rather than standalone applications.
are severely limited and trying to add error bars, multiple axes and other essentials can quickly drive you crazy. If money were no object, the best graphing package is Aabel (gigawiz.com), but even with educational pricing, this is hard to justify. Two free options that have strong support for technical graphing are the statistics and graphing language R, from stats.bris.ac.uk/R, which is script-based but has extensive documentation, and the more friendly crossplatform Veusz, from home.gna.org/veusz.
From Andrew Heaps Q I’ve just bought a new 27in iMac. I understood that Mac OS X 10.6 runs in 64-bit mode, but my machine appears not to. Why is this? A There are currently three groups of Macs. A few models, mainly Xserves that will only run Mac OS X Server edition by default, start up with the kernel and extensions running in 64-bit mode. As servers, they’re unlikely to need to run old Kernel Extensions to support external devices, and should only be running server software, which all beneﬁts from being 64-bit now. Some older models, such as Intel iMacs manufactured up to September 2006, can only run in 32-bit
Power up my Mac
From David Ward Q Living as I do in a remote corner of Scotland, I’m used to power cuts, but during the snow just before Easter, we were blacked out for 30 hours. I’m now looking for a battery-powered ADSL modem/router that would allow me to keep connected with my laptop. What do you suggest?
A The only practical way of coping with such prolonged power outage is with a generator; From Jonathan Tate a modest-size petrol unit should be up to Q Which application would you recommend supplying your laptop, a modem/router and for students to construct good-quality a little lighting. science and engineering graphs with For shorter periods, a good uninterruptible features such as multiple axes, which power supply (UPS) could sufﬁce. Connect have defeated us all when trying to use your desktop Mac to it, conﬁguring the Energy Microsoft Excel and Numbers? Saver pane to shut down your Mac in the ﬁrst couple of minutes after mains power is lost. A General-purpose business charting Use another of its protected outputs to power software, such as Excel and Numbers, cater your modem/router; once the computer has very poorly for scientists and engineers. shut down there should be ample in the UPS Although both offer X-Y graphs, their options battery to keep your modem/router going for several hours, which could give you time to decide whether to start up a generator, for instance. If you can, stick to wired Ethernet networking to eke out batteries as long as possible. For that reason, it might be wise to have a separate modem/ router without wireless support, and a wireless base station, the latter being shut One strategy that can be employed to cope with prolonged mains power loss down when there’s no is to set your desktop Mac to shut down soon, and then use remaining UPS power to keep your modem/router running for laptop access. mains power available.
A bit of trouble
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
If you don’t fancy creating scientiﬁc graphs using R’s sophisticated script language, the more accessible Veusz supports features such as multiple axes and error bars.
Some Macs, such as early eight-core Mac Pros, have 64-bit capable hardware, but their EFI ﬁrmware is still 32-bit. Apple will need to provide 64-bit ﬁrmware upgrades for these.
mode and have no option but to remain in full 32-bit mode. However, the great majority of Intel models are capable of running in 32- and 64-bit modes. For the time being, Apple recommends that they should normally start up with a 32-bit kernel, but they will beneﬁt from running as many 64-bit applications as possible. This gives them the best of both worlds: the 32-bit kernel supports the great majority of current Kernel Extensions, so you should not suffer kernel panics from bugs in newer 64-bit versions. Once your Mac has launched a 64-bit kernel, it’s committed to running all extensions in 64-bit, too, which could disable graphics tablets, screen colour calibrators and all manner of external devices. If you’re conﬁdent that you don’t rely on 32-bit extensions, you can try running in 64-bit. Free tools such as Kernel Startup Mode Selector, from bit.ly/ WGKG2, will help you try it out by letting you switch between the 32-bit and 64-bit kernels. Once there’s better support for 64-bit extensions, Apple will make 64-bit mode the default.
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macbusiness FACING A BUSINESS DILEMMA? EMAIL HELP@MACUSER.CO.UK TODAY
Inside ePub and iBooks iPads may support many electronic book formats, but Apple has chosen ePub. But why ePub rather than PDF, and how do they differ?
f the iPad is all about content, getting the most out of your iPad and the business opportunities that it invites are likely to depend on creating content for it. When you wish to load an iPad with your own books, or want to publish to the iPads of others, you need to understand ePub, the format used by Apple’s iBookstore. The ePub format is founded on XML and XHTML, markup languages descended from the work of Charles Goldfarb and others on SGML at INM in the 1960s. XML emerged as a more practical solution for the structured representation and storage of data, from the generic SGML. A simple example of structure given in XHTML (or HTML) might be: <html> <body> <p> EPUB rules. </p> </body> </html> This can then be rendered as a single paragraph of body text containing: EPUB rules.
Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) adopts a fundamentally different approach to content. It was previewed as Carousel in 1991, a time when PostScript had only been available for a few years and there was a profusion of different document viewer formats. By its launch two years later, few foresaw it as anything distinct from the handful of competitors at the time, but it has since stormed to success as the most universal ﬁle format apart from plain text. Acrobat didn’t perhaps develop universal appeal until version 3 was released in 1996, by which time it had good web integration, initial colour and prepress features, forms and scanning support. PDF was, at its inception, a layout-oriented format intended to preserve the placement and appearance of every letter and graphical element on each page. Its success in markets such as pre-press has hinged on control and preservation of layout, typography, and colour rendition. It has achieved this through its close link with PostScript, Adobe’s most fundamental and pervasive technology. While PostScript remains ﬁrmly wedded to
high-quality output devices, and formed the basis of the text and graphics display engine in Steve Jobs’ NeXT computer, PDF has shown itself to generalise much better, and has become the engine of choice for Mac OS X, replacing Apple’s more primitive QuickDraw from classic versions of the Mac OS. An equivalent PDF text object displayed on a page might be represented by a stream (normally compressed and encoded) of the form: stream BT /F1 12 Tf 100 100 Td ( EPUB rules. ) Tj ET endstream This uses operators to set the display font and size (Tf), to move to a ﬁxed position on the page to start rendering the text (Td), then to ‘paint’ the glyphs (Tj) supplied in parentheses. Recognising the need to organise content better within PDF ﬁles, Adobe has tried to merge control of layout with structuring tags,
From web content If you can, create well-structured content in XHTML 1.1 using OPS Style Sheets, a subset of CSS 2, as these are standard in the ePub 2 format. Convert illustrations to Jpeg, PNG, Gif or Svg ﬁles, so they aren’t reliant on non-standard rendering. For iPhone and iPad targets, ensure that PNG images are left uncompressed, as there are circumstances in which these devices may not decompress them properly. If you want a custom cover, create this as a separate Jpeg or PNG image and place it in the book folder. Having assembled your content in a clear, structured manner, start Calibre and click the Add Books tool, selecting the top-level XHTML ﬁle in the subsequent dialog. If your
book is parsed without error, you should next check its metadata using the Edit Meta Information tool, adding any custom cover. Then click on the Convert eBooks tool to turn it into ePub format. You may need to experiment with the settings in this complex series of dialogs, but should start with ePub as the output format, a base font size of 10pt or 11pt, and a default output proﬁle in Page Setup. Calibre will then create the ePub ﬁle in the given path, typically in the ﬁrst-named author’s folder in Documents. Make further adjustments to the .epub document in Sigil. Content can be displayed as the reader will see it, as source, or split between both, but you’ll observe how Calibre
Calibre also has a built-in book reader that lets you browse and check titles you’ve added to its library.
and Sigil add their own markup to support their features; avoid tampering with Sigil’s as it will block its features. Most importantly, use the TOC Editor command in the Tools menu to check and edit your book’s table of contents, which depends on marked-up headers h1, h2 and so on.
From page layout The next best starting point for ePub books is in an authoring platform such as InDesign CS4 (or CS3), though you may need to adopt different practices – for example, converting styles to tags. It’s best if you have tags that correspond to the h1, h2 and similar markup deﬁned in an XHTML 1.1 DTD, so they can convert directly into ePub format. When designing layout and other visual aspects of your book, remember that much of this will be left to defaults imposed by the book reader software. Typographic control is best encapsulated in images. iStudio Publisher, £34.99 (£29.78 ex VAT) from bit.ly/dCjtol, is a newcomer that features the direct export of books in ePub format. Although this could be a refreshing change and is a bargain, it’s still early in its development cycle, so has signiﬁcant limitations, such as not yet supporting iStudio Publisher offers good features to support the use of images, but they aren’t exported to ePub books yet.
features of Kovid Goyal’s hugely capable freeware Calibre (from calibre-ebook.com) or Julian Smart’s free eCub from juliansmart. com/ecub. Working from pre-existing PDF will involve much more work if your book is going to be readable, as you’ll need to create properly ﬂowed and tagged PDF before conversion will be worthwhile. It may actually be quicker and less frustrating to use Docudesk’s DeskUNPDF ($69.95, about £45, from bit.ly/deikPp) to convert from PDF to HTML, rather than trudge along for hours in Acrobat Professional. Good though Calibre is, you’ll probably still need to tidy up chapter divisions and the table of contents using Sigil, free from code.google.com/p/sigil. Protecting ePub ﬁles with DRM is most likely to be accomplished using Apple’s FairPlay system through the iTunes Store; this contrasts with Adobe’s dominance of the PDF protection market. Barnes and Noble offers eReader (ereader.com), which can either be read using Stanza or its own tools. Third parties such as LockLizard (locklizard.com) who have so far concentrated on PDF DRM may offer ePub solutions, although pricing is likely to be out of reach of smaller businesses and self-publishers. Aside from its beneﬁts in handling content, ePub is thus set to keep Apple in control of retail sales of electronic books for iPad.
inclusion of images in ePub output. You’ll also need to be careful to employ its styling structure so that output is properly tagged. If there’s no other option, you can tag up existing PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat Pro. The problem of hard line breaks disrupting ﬂow results from painting of individual lines as blocks of glyphs using a single Tj operator, which makes a book all but unusable. Another essential is structuring headers to generate the table of contents. One approach is to open the Content/Order/Tags navigation panel through the View menu, which lets you touch up properties and reading order, and insert tags if preferred. Experiment with different approaches to see which works best with your workﬂow, particularly the all-important conversion to ePub format. If all else fails, use Acrobat Pro to export to XML or HTML. Creating good ePub books from PDF documents depends on how well structured their content is.
Summary ! Although the iPad has third-party support for other formats, its primary electronic book format is ePub. ! ePub books are Zip-compressed folders containing textual, graphic and other content. ! Text content uses XHTML, which doesn’t support the same control of layout and appearance as in PDF. ! Converting existing books to ePub is easiest if they’re in HTML or XHTML format, for which Calibre and eCub are helpful tools. ! PDF can be extremely difﬁcult as a source, as it may lack structure in its content, resulting in disrupted line ﬂow and blank tables of contents. ! There’s no primary authoring tool for ePub at present, but Adobe InDesign CS3 and CS4, and iStudio Publisher, offer export to ePub books. ! The sole ePub editor and tweaking tool is Sigil, which is great for adjusting structure and tables of contents. It can be slow at times, though. ! DRM is most easy through Apple’s iTunes store, using FairPlay, although there are third-party options.
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
exempliﬁed by a tagged version of the same trivial text: /P << /MCID 0 >> BDC BT /F1 12 Tf 100 100 Td ( EPUB rules. ) Tj ET EMC This deﬁnes the paragraph (/P) as a marked-content sequence ID 0 (/MCID 0), begins the sequence (BDC), places the laid out text within it as before, and then ends the sequence deﬁnition (EMC). ePub books, despite their .epub extension, are Zipped folders normally containing a minimum of one sub-folder named META-INF, and a top-level ﬁle called mimetype, holding the single line of text: application/epub+zip Inside the META-INF folder is an XML ﬁle named container.xml that varies little between books, as it merely speciﬁes the root ﬁle within which the rest of the book contents are listed. However, that root ﬁle (which is named content.opf) can be placed at the top level of the book folder, or within a sub-folder, provided its path is given in container.xml. The root ﬁle content.opf is another essential structural component that provides metadata, a manifest of ﬁles that make up the book, and its ‘spine’. In the same folder given by container.xml is the table of contents navigation map, toc.ncx. Content of the book is delivered in XHTML and supporting ﬁles that may be placed at its top level folder, or within sub-folders, in the manner of a website. There can also be images, CSS style sheets, fonts, XSL templates, thumbnails and more, normally structured into sub-folders for clarity. Protected books encrypt those content ﬁles, with complete details being stored in encryption.xml and rights.xml, added to the META-INF folder. It’s perfectly possible to author ePub books with a web design tool, or even handroll them in a text editor, and then build your own structural XML ﬁles, with help from the excellent tutorial provided at bit.ly/cyQw6N. However, the format has some limitations that you’ll need to take into account. Most importantly, free styling and formatting of text won’t be transferred into an eBook, which only contains styling that has been marked using Character, Paragraph and Object Styles. Font usage is limited to OpenType, and must also be incorporated into styles. Most frustratingly, text box layout with respect to pages and other objects may be discarded by authoring software when exporting as an eBook, needing to be restored by direct editing of the eBook’s constituent ﬁles. This is particularly important if you wish to keep ﬁgures and their captions together at a particular point in the text. By far the easiest route to ePub is from HTML or XHTML, through the conversion
www.macuser.co.uk 4 June 2010
LAST WORD: Keeping an open mind Flash, as Steve Jobs is eager to remind us, is clearly not an open standard, despite Adobe’s very public claims to the contrary…
he relationship between Apple and was swift. Flash is open, said Warnock and Adobe is cooling faster than a midGeschke, because Adobe publishes the May evening in the Cairngorms. And speciﬁcations for Flash, allowing anyone to it seems neither party is in the mood to warm make their own Flash Player. Users, they said, things up. Just in case you haven’t been should able to make up their own minds following the sorry tale, Apple doesn’t want whether they want Flash on their iPhone or not. Adobe’s Flash technology on the iPhone or, Having read Adobe’s response, the only by extension, the iPad. This much has been possible conclusion is that it realises it clear for a couple of years and was enough doesn’t have any sort of reasonable argument to persuade Google to re-encode the video and has decided instead to obfuscate. Saying on YouTube so that it doesn’t rely on Flash. that Flash is open because it publishes the The latest spat was sparked when Apple spec is like saying the iPhone OS is open forced Adobe to abandon its Packager for because Apple publishes an SDK. Openness iPhone, which was due to ship with Creative requires that third parties can contribute to Suite 5. This would have allowed developers the development of the spec themselves, to publish ActionScript 3 (the Flash scripting not merely employ it to build something. language) projects to run as native apps Despite Adobe’s denial, Flash is not, and on the iPhone OS and have them delivered never has been, open. through the App Store. Apple’s immediate Next, there’s the issue of choice. Sure, response was to update the License in an ideal world we would be free to choose Agreement for the iPhone SDK and ban the whether or not to have Flash on our iPhones use of anything other or iPads, but that than Xcode-supported choice would be languages for writing an illusion, as it is ‘Openness requires that third apps. Bottom line: on Macs and PCs parties can contribute to the Apple doesn’t like currently. If you want Flash and doesn’t to watch much of development of the spec want it anywhere the web’s video or themselves, not merely near the iPhone. animated content on employ it to build something’ If you’ve ever your Mac today, you experienced Flash need Flash. That’s content slowing not choice. It’s not your web browser to a crawl or crashing a choice when choosing not to have Flash it completely, you’ll get the gist of Apple’s means denying yourself access to a huge argument. And if you’ve ever tried to view chunk of content on the web. We tolerate Flash content in Google Chrome on a Mac, Flash not because we like it or want it, but you’ll be cheering from the rooftops that you because there’s no alternative. Allowing Flash won’t have to put up with the same on your on the iPhone would risk the same situation, iPhone or iPod. where the ability to run certain apps would be Performance isn’t the only issue cited by dependent on ‘choosing’ to have Flash. The Apple. In Steve Jobs’ ‘Thoughts on Flash’, arrival of HTML5 with its audio and video tags he detailed a litany of problems: security, means there’s now an open alternative. the interface, battery life, and the fact that None of this means Apple is entirely app developers would be reliant on Adobe right, though. As Jobs acknowledges in his keeping the Flash development tools up to ‘Thoughts on Flash’, Apple itself develops date in order to make use of the new features proprietary technologies. It also places available to them in the iPhone OS. strict restrictions on their use. In fact, to That last point seems to have hurt Adobe many people, Jobs’ words in favour of open the most. Flash, says Apple, is proprietary. standards will have an extremely hollow ring And that means that anyone using it to to them. They’re wrong: Apple has a good develop apps is tied to Adobe. On the other record of adopting open standards, from hand, HTML5, which is Apple’s preferred PDF to BSD and WebKit. Others point to alternative for video and animation on the Apple’s dreadful and inconsistent approvals iPhone, is open. process for the App Store, and they’re right, Adobe’s response, a full-page advert in it’s awful. It’s also irrelevant in this argument. some US national newspapers, signed by Whether or not Apple is justiﬁed in its founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke, anti-Flash stance, and I believe it is, the
crude, and perhaps ugly, truth is that it has developed a platform that has proved wildly popular and over which it has retained absolute control. It doesn’t have a monopoly in any recognisable market and therefore isn’t in danger of breaching anti-trust laws. If developers don’t like that, they’re free, as many have done, to walk away. If users don’t like it, they’re free to buy another device. It is, as Adobe says, all about customer choice.
Kenny Hemphill has been at MacUser since the week Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to the company, and the Internet was something that ran on one Mac in a cupboard in the corner of the MacUser ofﬁce.