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December 2006

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Monthly Newsletter from EmiratesMac User Group Table of Content A word from the editor Comic corner Grey market imports Cooking with Apples Review: Azureus BitTorrent Client MAC 911 Special offers EmiratesMac Racing Team How to keep your iPod clean and shiny Tips and tricks for EmiratesMac.com Review: MacPilot and DataGuardian What is this thing called Universal Binary? Create an instant background with Adobe Photoshop MiddleEastMac.com - new search engine Adobe is busy developing for Mac Review: Devon Think and Devon Agent BumperCar protects your kids online Want to write for shuffle? Join EMUG

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Grey market imports

SE CO ISS ND UE !

Photoshop tutorial: create backgrounds

Mac 911 About EMUG EmiratesMac User Group (EMUG) is a non-profit, community organization which aims to spread knowledge about Apple products in the United Arab Emirates, and increase the knowledge and skills of its members. EMUG is open for anyone to join. Web: http://www.emiratesmac. com

Issue 2 | Volume 1

Review: Devon Think and Agent How to clean your iPod EmiratesMac shuffle - The Newsletter of EmiratesMac User Group


A word from the editor

By Magnus

A word from the editor Growing pains

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can’t believe we’re only at the second issue of our newsletter because it feels like a lot more. In some ways this was a lot harder to produce, perhaps because we did a pretty good job with the first and expectations are higher. Perhaps because time was tighter this time and I had to put it together in less than a week. Despite that, I think we have some good stuff to bring you once again, with some more reviews, another recipe, Adobe tutorial, and much more.

The EmiratesMac logo The EmiratesMac logo is a combination of an apple and the UAE flag, combining the two themes of the site and the user group. When the logo was first designed by MacUAE, it was using Apple’s apple with the flag on it. We quickly realized that might not be the best thing to do, to use Apple’s apple, so we tried to draw our own shape, which is what we now use in the logo.



EmiratesMac.com is doing very well. Since last time we’ve passed 500 registered users and we’re now at almost 6000 posts. Increasingly the site is becoming a valuable repository of Apple-related information and knowledge, and I hope we can help Mac and iPod users with their questions and problems. Traffic overall is increasing month by month and especially encouraging is to see that the number of unique visitors to the site is going up. New users are signing up almost every day and we’re now averaging over fifty new users per month. End of March 2007 it will be one year since the site’s been up and running so it’ll be interesting to see how many users we have then. Someone asked me what I thought the impact of the site on the Apple-related business community in the UAE was. EmiratesMac shuffle

My answer was more than likely not much of any impact so far, but I think we play an increasingly important role as a third-party mediator and a consumer activist organization. By thirdparty mediator I mean we can work as a third-party between a customer and a business, and we have a few cases been the go-between and managed to resolve situations to the satisfaction of both parties. We’re also bringing a new element to the everyday life of Applerelated businesses in the Emirates by giving customers a public forum where they can voice their displeasure and dissatisfaction with how they’ve been treated by some business. As willing as members are to voice how unhappy they are with something, we wish they will also tell us when they are really happy with a business. It’s equally important to spread the good as well as the bad, I think. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy this newsletter. The next one will be out in a month’s time and we hope we can fill it with just as much exciting stuff as this one. We’re also working on some pretty big surprises for the next edition, so please check back with us soon to see what’s happening. Magnus Nystedt Founder and Administrator EmiratesMac.com


Comic corner

Comic corner Geekculture.com Geekculture.com has generously given their permission for EMUG to reprint their comic strip in our newsletter. Go to http://www.geekculture. com/joyoftech/ to see a new comic strip every day. Make sure you also check out all the other features on the Geekculture.com web site.

Blaugh.com Blaugh.com has generously given their permission for EMUG to reprint their comic strip in our newsletter. Go to http://www.blaugh.com to see a new comic strip every day. Use the code “blaugh� when you shop at www.Godaddy.com to get 10% off your purchase.

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Grey market imports

By Magnus

Grey market imports Interview with Apple IMC rey imports, or items from the grey market, sometimes also called direct or parallel imports, seem to be a frequent occurrence in the UAE as well as in other parts of the world. Recently I had an experience with a grey market Mac so I thought why not look into it a bit and write something in the attempt at educating consumers.

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other companies in a particular part of the world. Anything imported outside of that authorized distributor is grey as in outside the authorized channels. That is not to say it’s necessarily illegal - therefore grey and not “black”. Apple sells to authorized distributors, the authorized distributor sells to authorized dealers, and you buy your Mac or iPod from an authorized dealer.

If you didn’t know it already, a grey market item is most likely exactly the same item you would buy from authorized channels, but there is no guarantee it is. They could be manufactured in the same factories, but they could also be refurbished, demonstration products used by salespeople, stored in inappropriate conditions, some specifications may be different, it may not come with the same accessories, etc. In short, you may save some money, but you’re also on your own to some extent and you are taking a chance.

Even if grey import items are not illegal, buying them may mean that you end up with problems with warranty and service. For some products you may be limited in terms of where to go when you have problems with the product you purchased, and service and support may only be available through authorized businesses and they may only accept to work on “white” items. If the product has a serial number, chances are they can check if your stuff is “white” or “grey”.

Grey markets exist because for most products from most companies, there is an authorized or licensed distributor that has the sole right to import those products and sell them to consumers or 

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I mentioned earlier that I had an experience recently that prompted me to write about this. What happened was that I visited the showroom of a Apple retailer in the UAE to check on the price of a product and there was a brand new MacBook sitting there, still in its box. The box was open and the MacBook was sitting there, unfolded and very inviting. I talked to a sales person and he noticed my interest in the MacBook. He mentioned that it had an English keyboard and it was


Grey market imports cheaper because of that. I don’t know whether this MacBook was grey market or not, but it got me thinking about this issue, and my main thought was how can a customer make sure they are not buying grey market if they don’t want to? To look into this issue further, I interviewed (via email) Ghassan Bendali. Deputy General Manager, Apple IMC Middle East about this issue and here is the complete text. EM: What is the grey market? GB: Grey market is basically when a certain dealer/reseller/individual import some products into a certain region through a different channel then the lawful one set by the main office of a certain company. Basically importing a genuine product (not a fake or imitation) and selling in to the local market without this product being important by the licensed distributor to do that. Sometimes it is also called parallel import.

EM: Apple IMC Middle East is the only Apple-authorized distributor of Apple products in the UAE. What does that mean for businesses wanting to sell Apple products? Does it mean that they can only get the Apple products they sell through IMC? GB: It means that anybody who would like to deal Apple products have to get its product either directly or indirectly from Arab Business Machine Ltd [IMC]. And obviously from the list of products that Apple has authorized ABM to sell. EM: Is it illegal for a UAE company to import grey products on their own and sell them in the UAE? GB: This is a simple question with a complicated answer, but basically UAE have an open policy toward importing products and companies can import products even if they are not officially licensed to by the head office of the company whose products are involved. This is an oversimplification of the question, but basically this what it all boils down to.

“Grey market is basically when a certain dealer/reseller/individual import some products into a certain region through a different channel then the lawful one set by the main office of a certain company.”

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Grey market imports EM: The common benefit of a grey market item is that it’s cheaper than the authorized product. Why should consumers pay more for an authorized item? What’s the benefit to the consumer of buying an authorized item? GB: I will answer this question in two folds. First and foremost is the price issue. It is true that sometimes, and I have to stress the word “sometimes”, price is better when you buy from the grey market. The reason behind that obviously is that grey market by definition is opportunistic, and if they did not see a certain gap, they would not be there in the first place, It is like how wrong phone numbers are never busy. But it is not true that the grey market price are always cheaper, on many occasions prices from grey market are similar to “official” prices. But even when prices from grey markets are a little cheaper, in my opinion, they are not worth the hassle. I am not speaking from my position in ABM alone, but also my opinion as a consumer as well. We have seen many many cases where unsuspected customers where under sold some items saying they are cheaper. Like obsolete products, refurbished products, and on a couple of occasions (fortunately only a couple) defective products. The problem arise when the consumer try to find the “agent” for this product to report the problem, only to find out that the said dealer or retailer is not part of their channel, and hence no retribution possible for the dealer of such products unless the consumer decided to litigate which is not the easier of the routes in the first place.

“I know that when a new product is introduced we have a spike in the grey market, then it falls down sharply after two to three weeks. Also portables are the main products that are being grey imported, you will hardly see any desktops. But with the iPods it is a totally different ball game. The sheer popularity of the product is making the Even if the product that the consumer grey market on it very is purchasing is the fully functional, latest release, genuine product, and still strong.” 

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a bit cheaper, the question remains, is it worth it taking a risk? I guess each of us will have his own answer to that. EM: Do you have any estimates on how much grey market Apple products are sold in the UAE? GB: Unfortunately, no we do not have any estimates, but we have trends. I know that when a new product is introduced we have a spike in the grey market, then it falls down sharply after two to three weeks. Also portables are the main products that are being grey imported, you will hardly see any desktops. But with the iPods it is a totally different ball game. The sheer popularity of the product is making the grey market on it very strong. EM: What’s the implications for the market as a whole of this grey importing? GB: The most vocal implication, i.e. the one that the people hear a lot about is frustration. Frustration from customers who cannot get their products serviced properly, frustration from dealers having to answer calls they usually feel they do not have to, frustration from employees wasting their time trying to solve issue that are not supposed to be there in the first place, etc. Setting a price structure and finding the right channels to do that is a very complicated process, and grey market have big implications on this structure. Which means again implication on the image and market share of the brand. Obviously we try to take measures not to let this happen even with the existence of the grey market. EM: Assuming grey importing of Apple products into the UAE is not in IMC’s interest, what does Apple IMC do to fight this grey importing?


Grey market imports GB: There are many very well known ways to fight grey market. The first one is to always stay competitive on the price, to add value to your product, allow people to easily distinguish your product from the grey import, work closely with the large retailers. add extra services to your products, etc. EM: What about warranties for grey imports? For example, if a customer buys a new grey market Apple computer in the UAE, what warranty cover do they have? GB: We follow Apple’s policies to the letter, so if Apple say that a product is under warranty even if it is grey, we cover it, If they say it is not then we don’t. It is important to understand as well, that Apple is a global company and has its own image that they want too keep. We try as much as possible to contribute positively to this image. EM: For a customer, is there any way they can verify that an Apple product that they want to buy is not grey market? GB: Regarding the Macs we have a very well established channels of dealers and retailers where you can buy with ease of mind. with the iPods we have a hologram with our logo on each of the iPods to distinguish it from the grey import.

Support EmiratesMac

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t present there are no fees involved for using EmiratesMac. com or being a member of EmiratesMac User Group. However, there are

EM: What action, if any, do you recommend that a customer that finds grey market items on sale in the UAE, take? GB: As I said, people in the UAE selling Apple products from the grey market are not doing anything illegal, so there are really little a customer can do beyond gently voicing his/her opinion to the shop keeper to try to source out his product from the correct channel.

“We follow Apple’s policies to the letter, so if Apple say that a product is under warranty even if it is grey, we cover it, If they say it is not then we don’t.”

And that concludes our interview with Ghassan Bendali from Apple IMC. I went to a Radio Shack store to inquire about iPods and acted like I was interested in buying one and looked at a nano, a 30Gb, and a 60Gb. All were without IMC’s hologram. Talking to the sales guy about this, I said that I had been told that a it should have the hologram sticker on it to not be grey market. The sales guy just said that’s what the MacStore puts on there because they are the official dealers. I asked if I buy an iPod from Radio Shack and there are problems with it, can I bring it back and is it covered by warranty? He answered that anyone buying from Radio Shack could just bring it back to Radio Shack and they would fix or replace the iPod. It’s clear that grey imports is not a simple issue. Depending on who you talk to you’re probably going to get different views. What is clear is that it’s an issue that consumers should know about so they can make an informed decision. significant costs for running the site and the group, and we would certainly appreciate any support you would be willing to show us. On the homepage of the site there is a link which you can click on if you want to give us monetary support. There is also information about how to support us in other ways. EmiratesMac shuffle




This month’s recipie

By Crystal Apple Chicken Quesadillas 4 Flour tortillas (approximately 8-inches wide) 1 cup cooked, shredded or chopped, chicken meat 1/4 lb cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, sliced or grated 1 apple, sliced 1/4 cup salsa Makes 12 quesadilla triangles. Salsa 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed, finely diced 1/2 red onion, finely diced 1 jalapeño chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced 1 serano chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced Juice of one lime 1/2 cup chopped cilantro Salt and pepper to taste Optional: oregano and or cumin to taste. Makes approximately 3-4 cups.

Cooking with Apples Apple chicken quesadillas STEP 1: Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet. Flip it a couple of times with a spatula, then let it sit in the pan heating up until air pockets form and parts of the tortilla begin to puff up. Flip it again. STEP 2: Place cheese slices on half of the tortilla, at least 1/2-inch from the edge of the tortilla. Add chicken pieces on top of the cheese. Fold the tortilla over like an omelette, and press down on the folded tortilla with the spatula. Lower the heat to medium. At this point, if you have enough room in your skillet, you can add a second tortilla to the pan to begin to heat it up. STEP 3: When the cheese inside the quesadilla has melted, remove the quesadilla to a cutting board. Open it wide and layer on apple slices and salsa. Fold the tortilla back again, and cut it into 3 triangles, as if you were cutting a pie. (You don’t have to cut the quesadilla into triangles, it just makes it easier for kids to eat.) STEP 4: Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Fresh tomato salsa Crystal is the founder and editor of EmiratesBaby.com. She writes about various kinds of issues of interest to parents in the UAE. Crystal will be bringing us a new recipie based on apples in each edition of the newsletter. She promises it will be an exciting and mouth-watering mix of dessert, main courses, snacks, and more. Recipe by Simply Recipes: http://www.elise.com/recipes/ archives/004077apple_chicken_ quesadilla.php



STEP 1: Start with chopping up 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes. STEP 2: Prepare the chilies. Be very careful while handling these hot peppers. If you can, avoid touching them with your hands. Use a fork to cut up the chilies over a small plate, or use a paper towel to protect your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn’t hot enough, you can add a few for heat. STEP 3: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add some ground cumin. STEP 4: Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine. Serve with chips, tortillas, tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, pinto or black beans. EmiratesMac shuffle


Reviews

Review: Azureus BitTorrent client

By Glenn Brynjulson

Azureus is free software. Learn more about it and download it from http://azureus.sourceforge. net/. Other BitTorrent clients worth checking out include Bits on Wheels (http://www.bitsonwheels.com/), Transmission (http://transmission.m0k.org/), and AcquisitionX (http://www. acquisitionx.com/). For an overview of BitTorrent clients for Mac OS X, go to http://www.emiratesmac.com/forums/showthread.php?t=839.

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zureus is a Java-based BitTorrent client for Macintosh, Linux, and Windows. Let’s start with what is BitTorrent? It’s a peer-to-peer file sharing technology that allows your computer to download files, fast. Part of the bargain, however, is that you allow people to also upload those same files from your machine. Setup was a breeze, with Azureus’s Configuration Wizard. The wizard asks first if you are a beginner, intermediate user, or an expert. It then provides choices based on your skill level. The program asked me for my upload speed, advising me to choose one a bit less than my maximum upload speed. It told me which port it would use. Of course, that particular port was not open by default on my Mac’s firewall or my router’s firewall. And in my router, I forwarded both TCP and UDP traffic on that port to my machine’s internal (LAN) IP address. The biggest complaint I’ve seen about Azureus is that it can be demanding of resources, using much of your available RAM

and dragging down performance. If you have adequate RAM and pretty fast processor, you shouldn’t let the complaints stop you from trying the program. Its full feature set, graphs, charts, helpful (!) error messages, and configurability make up in part for its less-than-svelte profile. Check out the Azureus web page wiki which is one of the better BitTorrent tutorials that I’ve seen. BitTorrents are fast becoming the preferred method of distributing on-line content. Forwardlooking programs now have integrated BitTorrent capabilities. Unfortunately, there are more ways to misconfigure BitTorrent and your router than to configure them correctly. Azureus is a good starting point for folks who want to try BitTorrent and want to learn more about it. Configuring everything can be a trick, if you don’t have a good roadmap. Azureus, its wiki pages, and its configuration wizard provide that roadmap, along with some warnings about pitfalls along the way.

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Copyright © 2006 by Glenn Brynjulson. This article may be reprinted by any Macintosh or Linux User Group in its newsletter or publication distributed on paper or on line, with credit given to the author and original publishing user group (Glenn Brynjulson, Apple Core of Siouxland). Commercial or other publication prohibited unless the author grants specific permission.




Mac 911

MAC 911

By Christopher Breen

“I purchased a music video from the iTunes Music Store (iTMS). Can I play the audio on my iPod nano?”

About the author Senior Editor Christopher Breen is the author of Secrets of the iPod and iTunes, fifth edition, and The iPod and iTunes Pocket Guide (both Peachpit Press, 2005). Find Chris’ books at www.amazon.com and www.peachpit.com.

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Solutions to your most vexing Mac problems Get iTunes Video audio on your nano I purchased a music video from the iTunes Music Store (iTMS). Can I play the audio on my iPod nano? Doesn’t buying a music video entitle me to enjoy the music track separately from the video?--Bill Robertson Yes and no. Buying the music video grants you the right to enjoy it on a compatible device, such as a Mac or PC running a recent version of iTunes. However, the iPod nano is not a compatible device for video files. As you’ve discovered, your nano will reject the file if you try to load it. You can open unprotected videos with a compatible player and editor such as QuickTime Pro and then extract and export the audio track. Regrettably, videos sold on the iTMS are protected so that you can’t do this. But don’t lose hope: one immutable rule of media states, “That which can be played can be captured.” And your purchased videos are no exception. Download a copy of Ambrosia Software’s WireTap Pro ($19) or Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack ($16). Each of these utilities allows you to capture the audio your Mac is playing (see “Listen In”). Just fire up one or the other, turn on capturing, and then start playing the music video. When the video is complete, stop recording and do what you will with the resulting audio file. You can use WireTap Pro free to record AIFF files with the controller; if you attempt to use any of the program’s other options, such as scheduling, a voice-over will appear on your recording. Audio Hijack and WireTap Pro are both available as Universal applicaEmiratesMac shuffle

tions. And a fully functioning demo of Audio Hijack is available; its only limitation is that it will overlay noise on all recordings longer than ten minutes. The dirt on scanners I have tons of old photos I’d like to digitize. But when I’ve tried scanning them with my HP Officejet 6110 all-in-one, I get messy streaks running down the middle of the image. I see matching streaks on the underside of the scanner glass, where no amount of window cleaner can get them off. Do you know of any way for me to get rid of the streaks? And why do so many scanners have this problem in the first place?--David Scott It’s the nature of the beast, I’m afraid. Dust and gunk (some generated by the mechanism inside the scanner) will find its way onto the underside of the scanner glass. The trick to getting rid of these streaks is figuring out how to remove the scanner glass in order to clean it. Some scanners are friendlier than others in this regard. Your Officejet 6110 is, I’m afraid, among the less-friendly models. HP’s official line on the matter: “You cannot clean the underneath side of the scanner glass on any all-in-one. This should be performed only by an authorized service provider.” A more thorough explanation might read: “You cannot clean the underneath side of the scanner glass on any all-in-one unless you know how to conduct a Google search, read the English language, and operate a Torx #10 screwdriver.” What the heck, I’ll even eliminate the first of those steps for you by directing you to fixyourown-


Mac 911 printer.com. Here you’ll find discussion threads explaining how to get inside the 6110 to clean the glass (and some other parts as well). The usual warnings apply: If the steps seem beyond your ability, don’t try them. And if you wind up breaking your Officejet along the way, you’ve only yourself to blame. Child protection services I’m entirely new to computers. I just got a new Mac, and I’m wondering how to make sure my 11-year-old daughter does not accidentally open inappropriate Web sites. I recently downloaded the program LimeWire, which I’d heard can help find files online. My daughter wanted to download a song by her favorite band. But when she entered the band’s name in LimeWire, she was directed to a Web site that no child should ever see. How can I keep that from happening again?-via the Internet Before I launch into some specific suggestions, let me point out (without leaping atop a soapbox) that giving your daughter access to a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing application like LimeWire is a bad idea. Not only can she download mountains of inappropriate material, but lots of the content on a P2P network like that is ill-gotten--pirated movies and music, for example. Moral issues aside, if the wrong people find your daughter sharing copyrighted material, you and she could be looking down the barrel of a nasty lawsuit. So, first step: uninstall LimeWire. Next step: educate yourself about the dangers of the Internet. Regrettably, there are just as many crooks and creeps online as there are in the real world. You and your daughter both need to clearly understand that you should never provide personal or financial information to an unfamiliar

source, whether it’s on a Web site or in a chat room. (An excellent source for some tips on general online safetyfor kids is Common Sense Media.) Once the two of you have the lay of the land, it’s time for you to think about filtering the content your daughter sees. I can suggest a couple of options. One is Intego’s ContentBarrier X4 ($60). It offers a variety of protective measures including filtering out Web sites with potentially inappropriate content (adult or violent, for example). You can configure it to block streaming media, P2P networks, chats, and e-mail. You can also set up a “white list” of acceptable sites and create schedules that allow your child to use the Internet only during specific hours. ContentBarrier can also send e-mail alerts to parents when untoward events occur. Another option is SafeEyes. This is a $50-peryear Web service that offers some of the same benefits as ContentBarrier (see “Hide Your Eyes”). It will block unwanted Web content, eliminate popup windows, and allow you to create schedules for Internet access. (As we go to press, program blocking isn’t yet supported in the Mac version.) Additionally, it monitors and logs what your child is doing, providing parents with a list of access attempts and transcripts of chats. You can give SafeEyes a free 15-day trial. Doing the dish I have a Dish tuner that includes a digital video recorder. That setup works fine for me, but I’d like to find a way to record a few of my favorite shows onto DVD and then export them to my iPod. I was thinking that my Mac mini might be the tool for the job, if I can figure out a way to import selected shows to it from the Dish tuner, edit out commercials, and then record and export the shows. EmiratesMac shuffle

“I’m entirely new to computers. I just got a new Mac, and I’m wondering how to make sure my 11-year-old daughter does not accidentally open inappropriate Web sites.”

“I’d like to find a way to record a few of my favorite shows onto DVD and then export them to my iPod. I was thinking that my Mac mini might be the tool for the job...” 11


Mac 911 “I recently bought an 80GB IO Magic GigaBank Premier external hard drive. My PowerBook G4 will not recognize it.”

“Is malware on my Power Mac probing my other computers to find an unguarded way in? “

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Do you have any suggestions on software or hardware solutions?-Paul Barsa If you had a standard TiVo, I’d suggest you wait for the TiVoToGo service, which TiVo says will ship sometime this year. While the TiVoToGo implementation on a Windows PC was underwhelming, taking way too long to transfer and burn programs with poor results, the Mac implementation I’ve seen looks far more promising. But a Dish DVR is a different beast and you won’t be seeing TiVoToGo on it in this lifetime. Just as there are hacks for TiVo, there are hacks for getting into the Dish DVR and copying files from it. Unfortunately, they’re convoluted and require a working knowledge of Linux or Unix, or an understanding of using OS X’s Terminal. Put Google to good use, and you’ll find some of these hacks. If you have a camcorder that offers a video pass-through option, I’d try that. The quality isn’t ter-rific, but if you already have such a camcorder, this way is an inexpensive alternative. You plug the video and audio outputs of the DVR into the inputs of the camcorder, string a FireWire cable between the camcorder and the Mac, flip the camcorder into pass-through mode, start capturing in iMovie, and begin playback on your DVR. When you finish recording, you can edit the results in iMovie and export it for burning to DVD or your iPod. Splitting underpowered USB I recently bought an 80GB IO Magic GigaBank Premier external hard drive. My PowerBook G4 will not recognize it. The drive works well with my PC, so I know that the drive itself not the problem. How do I use it with the Mac?--Horacio Plotkin

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Although these drives behave quite nicely when they are plugged into most USB 2.0-compatible Macs, they refuse to perform when plugged into a G4 PowerBook. The problem is that the PowerBook’s USB ports don’t deliver enough electrical power to satisfy some external USB drives. Regrettably, plugging the drive’s AC adapter into a power source won’t help--the drive still wants to see a certain amount of juice coming in via USB. When the drive doesn’t see the necessary juice, it won’t work. What you need is a USB Y-cable. This is a cable with a squarish USB male B connector (which you can plug into your hard drive) on one end and two USB male A connectors (the rectangular USB connector) on the other; you can plug those last two into your PowerBook’s USB ports, supplying the additional power to run the external drive. Unfortunately, these cables are devilishly difficult to find. Addonics Technologies makes a Dual Inputs USB Power Cable for $10 that gets close. It includes the two USB A connectors but has a female USB A connector on the other end. You can complete the connection with a standard USB male A-to-USB male B cable. Alarmed by port 445 Every few minutes, my Power Mac G4 (running OS X 10.4) tries to communicate with the other Macs and Windows PCs on my home network. The communications go out over port 445 and systematically try ports above 49000. I have no idea why this is happening. Is malware on my Power Mac probing my other computers to find an unguarded way in? If so, what do I do?--Steve Good


Mac 911 Making the conversion Your Mac may be one of the easiest-touse machines you own. Yet sometimes it may stubbornly refuse to perform what seems like the easiest task. For example, let’s say you’re trying to view or play Media File A in Application B, and your Mac does nothing more than shrug its virtual shoulders. Conversion is key in such situations. Here are some of my favorite ways to do it. QuickTime Pro As you probably already know, the free version of QuickTime Player is a perfectly fine media player. But when you pony up the $29 to switch on all its features, it becomes a powerful audio and video converter. QuickTime Pro does a great job of converting movies to other formats (MPEG-4 and an iPod-compatible H.264, for example) and provides better compression for slide shows you’ve exported from iPhoto. Graphic Converter Apple’s Preview can open most common graphics files. But when you Negating navigation need industrial-strength conversion, My fiancée and I have been workLemke Software’s GraphicConverter ing on a wedding Web page, using ($30) is the tool to use. It can open .Mac’s home page for our site. The nearly 200 graphics file formats and only problem is the irritating naviga- can export to approximately 80 file tion bar that .Mac adds to the top formats. Max The free Max supports of your page when you upload the more than 20 audio formats including file. But we finally figured out how MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Apple to remove this annoying automatic Lossless, AU, and Monkey’s Audio. addition. Open your iDisk, navigate Max lets you batch-convert just about to the Sites folder, and then go to any audio files you throw at it, rip authe folder for your site. Locate the dio CDs, and, like iTunes, rip selected .html file for the page from which tracks as a single gapless track. Switch you wish to remove navigation and Unlike Max, the free audio converter open it with a text editor. In the text Switch lets you convert Microsoft’s editor, find and remove everything unprotected WMA files with the help from !--NavBarWrapperBegin-- to -of the Flip4Mac plug-in NavBarWrapperEnd-- , and then save (free). your changes. When you next visit your site, the Navigation bar should be gone.--Tison Campbell It’s not malware that’s doing the probing. It’s probably your Mac just doing its job. Port 445 is used for Server Message Block (SMB), a networking protocol used by Windows, and now the Mac, for sharing files. If you’ve switched on Windows Sharing in the Sharing preference pane, your Power Mac will occasionally check in with your Windows PC to make sure the two are still on speaking terms. That action is what’s setting off the alarms on your PC. If you’d like to put an end to these alarms--and you’re not sharing files between the two machines--simply switch off Windows Sharing. If you need to keep Windows sharing on, configure whatever security app you’re using on the Windows PC to accept your Mac as a trusted member of your network. (In other words, tell it that any request from your Mac’s IP address should be accepted without question.) That should stop the alarms.

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“QuickTime Pro As you probably already know, the free version of QuickTime Player is a perfectly fine media player. But when you pony up the $29 to switch on all its features, it becomes a powerful audio and video converter.”

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Special offers

Special offers A

s a recognized Apple User Group, EMUG receives various kinds of offers for our members. Here are some of the current offers that you can take advantage of. All offers are as far as we’re aware available to the UAE. If you have any problems with an offer or any questions, get in touch with us and we’ll try to sort it out.

Elgato: Various discounts on EyeTV and EyeTV Hybrid; expires 12/31/06.

Other World Computing: 5% off miniStack hard drive storage systems; 10% off NuPower PowerBook and iBook batteries; complete information: http://www.mugcenter.com/vendoroffers/otherworldcomputing.html; expires 3/31/07; to order, use http://www.macsales.com/mugpromo.

MacAddict/Mac|Life magazine: 40% discount on one year subscription; expires 2/27/06.

Peachpit: 35% off “Apple Training Series: iLife ‘06” by Michael Rubin from Peachpit, complete information: http://www. mugcenter.com/vendoroffers/peachpit0406.html, expires 12/31/06, to order, use coupon code: MAC-SMP-CHT3. ProSoft Engineering: 25% off Drive Genius, Picture Rescue, Data Rescue, Data Backup & Data Recycler; ongoing; complete information: http://www.mugcenter. com/vendoroffers/prosoft.html; to order, order through the ProSoft Engineering web site and use discount code “PRO247”. ScreenCastsOnline: 20% discount on Premium Membership, plus complimentary DVDs of back catalog, complete information: http://www.mugcenter. com/vendoroffers/screencastsonline.html; expires 2/12/07; to order, use http://www. screencastsonline.com/mug. Apago: 25% discount on PDF Shrink and PDF Enhancer Standard Edition; expires 1/31/07 AppleWorks Users Group: Discount on Macintosh batteries; no expiration. Actoris: 25% off Xpress Schedule or Food Cost Manger; no expiration. Delicious Monster: 25% off Delicious Library; expires 11/30/06.

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FastMac: 23% discount on internal Bluetooth upgrade for select PowerMac systems; expires 11/30/06. Intriguing Development: 20% discount on iRemember; expires 12/31/06.

Micromat: 20% discount on all products; expires 1/31/07. Mishimo: 25% discount on my Notes; expires 11/30/06. MYOB: $25 off First Edge & $100 off Account Edge; no expiration. O’Reilly: 30% off all titles; no expiration. Peachpit Press: 25% off all titles by joining the Peachpit Club; no expiration. PumpOne: 40% discount on various products; expires 1/31/07. Rogue Amoeba: 22% discount off Audio Hijack Pro; expires 2/28/07. SmileOnMyMac: 25% discount on DiscLabel; expires 11/30/06. TidBITS: 10% discount on Take Control eBooks; no expiration. TidBITS: 50% discount on Take control eBook bundle of Sharon Zardetto Aker’s “Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X” and “Take Control of Font Problems in Mac OS X”; expires 1/31/07. Globalsat Technology Corporation: 25% discount on Mac products; expires 2/28/07. VersionTracker: Discounts on VersionTracker Pro and MacFixit Pro; expires 1/31/07.


EmiratesMac User Racing Team

EmiratesMac Racing Team

EmiratesMac User Group member iDubai took part in his first race in the Gulf Radical Cup series in Dubai on October 27. Showing what a good driver he is, he came in on fourth and second place in the two races, doing us all very proud. He also later took part in races in Bahrain where unfortunately he didn’t finish the race. But that doesn’t matter, we’re still extremely proud of him and wish him all the best for future races.

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How to keep your iPod clean and shiny

By MacUAE

How to keep your iPod clean and shiny I

The cleaning napkins are from DAISO and the electronics cloth you can get from any good electronic store. When MacUAE’s not busy taking care of his iPods, you can occasionally find him hanging out at at www.emiratesmac.com.

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Pods, you might own one, two or more. They are everywhere these days. People take them everywhere they go. I own a collection of iPods that I use frequently. Every iPod I own get its fair share of daily use. Before I leave home every morning, I take one. Maybe a shuffle today or a nano... maybe I’d like to watch some video on my lunch break. I like to keep my iPods as pristine and shiny as possible. I use Apple socks or overpriced Leather Cases to protect them. Other cases like the ones made from silicon just scratch the iPod as they trap dirt which rub against the shiny case. People might ask why bother? Well, I consider Apple products to be a work of art first of all. I usually keep all my toys in good shape and Apple products deserve to be treated in a special way. Who cares? I do! I have come across two products that help me in this. One is a mobile cleaner and the other is an electronics cloth by 3M. The mobile cleaner, shown here in a yellow and green pouch contains small napkins with what seems to be special formulated solution diluted to be used to clean mobiles without causing damage. EmiratesMac shuffle

They do a great job in removing dirt and fingerprints. The 3M Electronics Cloth is made from Micro-Fiber which is a material made to capture dust particles without causing any static while rubbing. I tried to simulate fingerprints and dirt on my iPod to demonstrate my method. Using the wet napkins, lightly clean the iPod making sure all surface area is cleaned. Usually no pressure is needed. The solution will dry instantly, but might leave some water spots here and there! Complete this by polishing the iPod with the electronics cloth. Now the iPod is as good as new. Repeat this process to keep your iPod clean. Other cheaper methods might work, but through experience other methods might scratch the iPod and produce multiple small scratches that will multiply in no time! I also use the same method to keep my other Apple hardware clean. Enjoy our iPod(s).


Tips and tricks

Tips and tricks for EmiratesMac.com W

e’re back again with some more helpfil tips about how to use EmiratesMac.com. As we grow in number of users and number of threads and posts, it’s increasingly important that the people who use the site regularly know something about how to get around the site, and how to use some of the features it offers.

Quoting posts When you post a message as a direct reply to someone else’s message, it’s a good idea to quote their message. Especially in a busy thread this becomes one way that you can make it easier for others to follow the discussion. Just click on the quote-icon in the message you want to quote, then click on Post Reply. You can click on several quoteicons if you like which means you will quote several messages. Buddies As the site grows and more and more users join, it may become hard to see how is online or not. All users that are online are listed in the Online Users box on the home page and the more users online, the harder it will be to find your friends. One way to make this easier is to add users to your Buddy List. Right now your Buddy List displays toward the bottom-left of the homep-

By Magnus

age, and your Buddies show up in the Online Users box with a (+) after their username. You can add someone as a Buddy by going to their online public profile page (see next item). Information about users You can find information about other users by clicking on their username as it’s displayed in a thread. A drop down menu will appear with a number of options. Click on View Public Profile and you will be shown all the information about that particular user that they chose to make public. From the Public Profile Page you can also add users to your Buddy List. Searching Before you post a new thread to the site it’s a good idea to search the site first to see whether your issue has been discussed previously. If you click on the Search link in the menu bar it takes you to the search page. From there you have a range of options that may help you narrow down what you find. You also have the option of using Google to search through EmiratesMac in particular or the internet in general.

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Etiquette As more users register for the site and engage in discussions it is important that we all act in a nice way toward each other. EmiratesMac should be a place where users are friendly and anyone can visit without having to experience bad language and personal attacks. Here are a few suggestions for making EmiratesMac.com a nice place for all: • If you have a question, search through the site first. • Don’t use bad language. • Quote something from the message you’re replying to. • Don’t assume others will have the same knowledge and experience you do. • Do let Adminstrator or Moderator know if you think someone has done something you feel is inappropriate.

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Reviews

By Magnus

Review: MacPilot and DataGuardian MacPilot Koingo Software claims that MacPilot can “unlock over 300 hidden features and other advanced UNIX commands with ease” and I don’t doubt that is true. When you start the application you’re shown a bewildering array of buttons and options. You can with a click of a button control settings in the Finder, Safari, Mail, and more, and set how your Mac operates when it comes to disks, networking, sharing, etc. As an example, MacPilot will enable Safari’s debug menu with one click on a button. You can accomplish the same thing yourself by typing “defaults Screenshot of MacPilot

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write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 1” in the Terminal. Most if not all of what MacPilot offers can be accomplished in different ways by the users themselves but it often requires entering commands in the Terminal and not everyone is comfortable doing that. What MacPilot offers is a one-stop-shop for all such customizations. Clearly, MacPilot competes with similar applications like TinkerTool (http://www.bresink.com/osx/TinkerTool.html) and Onyx (http://www. titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html). It seems pretty evident that MacPilot includes more functionality than either


Reviews

Screenshot of DataGuardian

of those applications. What you have to decide I guess is if it’s worth $20 for the all-in-one-place convenience offered by MacPilot. DataGuardian DataGuardian offers 448-bit encryption for some of your most personal and sensitive information such as usernames and passwords for web sites. Basically DataGuardian manages databases in which you put your content. The content can be anything in text, meaning it could include usernames and passwords, journal entries, brief personal notes, etc. These databases can then be protected with username and password and pretty advanced encryption. You can create different databases in DataGuardian and keep related information in separate databases. For example, you can put all your web usernames and passwords in one database, your personal diary security in another database, etc. Each database can have it’s own structure and contain different kinds of fields of text. One of the nicest feature of DataGuardian is that it integrates with the Mac OS X Keychain. This means that information you store in a DataGuardian database can be automatically filled in on a web site when you have to enter username

and password. It’s also nice to see that Koingo Software has included an export feature with which you can export the content of your databases to standard textfiles. This enables you to get your data transfered into some other system if you so choose.

According to Wikipedia, “In cryptography, encryption is the process of obscuring information to make it unreadable without special knowledge. Encryption has been used to protect communications for centuries, but only organizations and individuals with an extraordinary need for secrecy had made use of it. In the mid-1970s, strong encryption emerged from the sole preserve of secretive government agencies into the public domain, and is now used in protecting widelyused systems, such as Internet e-commerce, mobile telephone networks and bank automatic teller machines.” Source: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Encryption

You can find more information about MacPilot and DataGuardian at http:// www.koingosw.com/. You can also download an evaluation copies from there, and buy licenses if you want to. Both applications cost $19.95 per license. We will be giving away a licensed copy of both Data Guardian and Mac Pilot at a future EMUG meeting so make sure you attend.

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What is this thing called Universal Binary?

By Magnus

What is this thing called Universal Binary? A

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in June 2005 that Apple would completely switch their Mac computers to using Intel processors. Initially he said that in mid-2006 they would have lower-end models moved over and in mid-2007 the higher-end models would follow. In reality the transfer started in January 2006 and was completed in August 2006. Jobs also told the world what had been suspected but never confirmed, that Mac OS X already from the start had been running on both PowerPC and Intel computers. In fact, when he made the announcement he was using an Intel Mac.

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computer has one or more CPUs, Central Processing Units, which are often described as the brains of the computer. Although that’s not really a very good analogy it does give nontechnical users some idea of what the functionality of a CPU is in a computer. The current models of Macs all run some CPU made by Intel, most commonly the Core 2 Duo processor. Before switching to Intel, Apple used the G4 and G5 families of PowerPC processors manufactured by IBM. The thing to know right from the start here is that different families of processors speak different languages. A PowerPC processor cannot speak the same language as an Intel processor. It’s a bit like a conversation between one guy speaking Arabic and one guy speaking German, without either one knowing the other language. During the mid-1990s Apple was going through a transition similar to the present one, where they switched from the CPU-family they had been using, the 68000 series, to the up-and-coming PowerPC family. In 1991 Apple joined forces with IBM and Motorola to develop the next-generation of CPUs, commonly known as the PowerPC processors. In 1994 the first Mac was launched with the PowerPC 601 CPU. That Mac was the Power Macintosh 6100/60.

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That transition was also lined with compatibility problems similar to now. Software-manufacturers faced a situation where they had to make their 68000 software run on PowerPC architecture. Apple’s solution was Fat Binaries where an application contained code compiled for both platforms. Then when the application started it was decided which code to execute. In a similar way the current Mac OS X can decide which code to run on an Intel Mac. A Universal Application, or a Universal Binary file format, contains executable code for both Intel and PowerPC processors. The operating system can decide when the application starts what code to run.


What is this thing called Universal Binary? A difference from the previous transition is that Mac OS X now includes something called Rosetta. Basically Rosetta is a technology that translates PowerPC code into Intel code, meaning that an Intel Mac can run PowerPC applications. This all happens transparently and without you having to know or do anything about it. It’s because of Rosetta you can still run software like Microsoft Office on your brand new Intel mac. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And it is, by and large. The problem is that the translation from PowerPC code into Intel code takes time for the computer and not everything is translated 100% correctly. This can lead to your Intel Mac feeling a bit slow at times, slower than it should be. One remedy is to put as much RAM in your Intel Mac as possible. Rosetta seems to really love taking up a lot of memory so your Mac will do better with more RAM available. Another thing you can do is to look at what’s actually running with Activity Monitor (found in Applications > Utilities). It

will show you everything that is running and if it says “PowerPC” in the column “Kind” it will more than likely slow your Intel Mac down. If you have PowerPC programs running you can then decide to uninstall them or to force-quit them.

Activity Monitor

Adobe User Group started

A

n Adobe User Group for the UAE is being organized under the name of Digital Media ME. According to their web site (http://www. digitalmediame.com) they will have a first meeting soon and you can fill in a form on the site to let them know you’re interested. Being familiar with the concept and benefits of a user

group, we at EmiratesMac encourage anyone interested in Adobe software, privately as well as professionally, to show your interest and sign up with Digital Media ME. Knowing that many Mac users use Adobe software we’re sure that quite a number of EMUGers will also be members of Digital Media ME. EmiratesMac shuffle

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How-to

By Zaid

Create an instant background with Adobe Photoshop Want an instant background for a project, desktop image when nothing inspires you? Take an image - just about any will do - and apply motion blur to it, here are the steps: STEP ONE: Look

in the Layers Palette, I assume that you have a single layer in your palette there, so we shall duplicate this layer twice to apply our effect to them. From Layer menu on top, choose New > Layer via copy, a new layer named Layer 1 is created, repeat the step one more time to have a second layer. STEP TWO: Select

the middle layer in the Layers palette by clicking on it once, then Choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

STEP THREE: In

the motion Blur window take the slider all the way to the right, play a little with the angle rotation tool until you are satisfied with the result and hit OK button. Don’t worry about nothing changing yet, because your top layer is not affected yet, only the middle layer which is hidden is affected. STEP FOUR: Select

top most layer by clicking once on it. Open the same Filter window and this time take the slider down a bit, and don’t forget to change the angle. Zaid Al-Hilali is an Adobe Certified Instructor operating from Dubai. You can reach him on 050 736 2306.

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How-to STEP FIVE: Now

in the Layer Palette click on the Blending mode drop menu and choose any effect that suits your image to blend the color and light of top layer. This method of creating a background is simple and it can result in some very nice effects.

Alternative method For instant background with a feeling of depth apply the following steps to any image of yours, but first choose your two foreground and background colors. STEP ONE: Choose

Render > Clouds filter. This will result in your image being turned into something blurred, almost looking like clouds.

STEP TWO : Then

use Blur > Radial Blur with an amount of 100 and Zoom as the Blur Method.

STEP THREE: Next

step is to Use the Distort > Pinch filter using 100 as the amount. You can apply this last filter several times to make the effect more pronounced. STEP FOUR: For

final step you can use Image > Adjustments > Hue Saturation to colorize your image further by increasing Saturation and sliding Hue. In the example image this is exaggerated.

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MiddleEastMac.com - new search engine

By Magnus

MiddleEastMac.com uses Google’s Co-op feature to build a Custom Search Engine (CSE) which Google describe as “A Custom Search Engine is a tailored search experience, built using Google’s core search technology, which prioritizes or restricts search results based on websites and pages that you specify, and which can be tailored to reflect your point of view or area of expertise.” You can find out more about Google Co-op at: http://www.google.com/coop/

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MiddleEastMac.com - new search engine miratesMac has launched a new web site called Middle East Mac available at http://www.middleeastmac. com. It’s a search engine containing information about Apple, Macs, and iPods in the Middle East. The search engine is using Google’s Co-op feature, enabling us to create a search engine of our own and control what sites to include. This new site was born out of the frustration with trying to find relevant and up to date information about Apple, their products and users in the Middle East. You probably recognize this yourself, where you’ve spent considerable amounts of time trying

E

a contributor or email us suggestions, we reserve the right to reject or accept the sites at our discretion. We hope that you will consider helping us out by adding sites to the search engine. It could be sites about Mac, sites about iPods, sites about some particular software for Mac, someone’s personal blog which deals with Mac or iPod, and pretty much anything in between. If you feel that a site has something to do with Apple stuff and it is in or about the Middle East, chances are it belongs in MiddleEastMac.com The more relevant sites that are included, the better the change we all have of

to search for something concerning Apple in particular to the Middle East. It’s hard to find that sort of information and what information there is can easily drown in the vast amount of data available in search engines like Google Right now only a few web sites are included in the search engine’s database but we hope that users all around the Middle East will help us out and add sites. Anyone with a GMail account can become a contributor and add sites themselves. Users can also email us suggestions (emiratesmac@mac.com) and we will add the sites. We will try to screen sites before they’re added to keep some track of what is included in the search engine. If you add sites as

finding what we’re looking for. One day MiddleEastMac.com will be the first place users think of going to when they need to find Apple information in the Middle East.

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Adobe is busy developing for Mac

Adobe is busy developing for Mac W

e all know about the problems Adobe is having getting Universal Binary versions of their main software like Adobe Creative Suite out the door. Our best guess at this moment in time is sometime in 2007. For designers, graphic artists, photographers and other professionals who rely on Adobe software the day cannot come soon enough when they can run their Adobe software at full speed on their Intel Macs. In an attempt at showing you that Adobe is actually pretty busy working away on Mac software, here is a collection of their more recent releases. With version eight, the Acrobat family of software became Universal Binary. Acrobat also receives a long list of improvements and additions. According to Adobe they’re trying to satisfy business users as well as creative professionals, who are two of the main groups of users of Acrobat. It seems that Adobe has made progress especially in terms of usability, with wizards to walk users through features, for example. Adobe keep cranking out new beta versions of LightRoom in what seems to be a steady schedule. LightRoom is clearly meant as a competitor to Apple’s Aperture and it’s in many ways similar in look and functionality. It seems focused on advanced amateurs and professionals, and offer a streamlined workflow solution for someone who shoots a lot of pictures. Another beta version is Adobe’s SoundBooth. SoundBooth stands out compared to the other applications here because it’s Intel only. This means that it doesn’t

run on older PowerPC Macs. When this became known Adobe was accused of all kinds of things by many people, but they probably have their reasons for doing this. SoundBooth is branded as an audio-editing tool for non-audio professionals. If you’re, let’s say, a Flash or web developer and you need to do some audio editing, then SoundBooth is probably a viable choice. The most obscure of the applications we talk about here is arguably FlexBuilder. Flex is Adobe’s name for their technology for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). I guess to put it simply, Flex is the development tool with which you can develop interactive, dynamic Flash applications that talk to other web sites, databases, and servers to give the user a “rich” experience. Version two of FlexBuilder is available as a beta for Mac and it is Universal Binary. The final Adobe launch we’ll mention is Contribute 4. In comparison to the other applications we’ve mentioned, Contribute 4 is not Universal Binary, it’s PowerPC only. That may seem strange to many since Contribute 4 was introduced in October 2006, over a year after Apple announced that they would switch to Intel, and even after all of Apple’s Mac line-up had become Intel-based. Contribute is all about publishing content to web sites. It’s not about designing web sites, Adobe leaves that to DreamWeaver. But with Contribute different users can have different access to update a site’s content. Why it is still not Universal Binary is anyone’s guess. EmiratesMac shuffle

By Magnus Acrobat

Contribute

LightRoom

SoundBooth

FlexBuilder

Read more about these products and download trial or beta versions at: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flexbuilder2/ http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/ http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/soundbooth/ http://www.adobe.com/products/ contribute/ http://www.adobe.com/products/ acrobat/

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Reviews

By Magnus

Review: Devon Think and Devon Agent D

evon Think and Devon Agent from Devon Technologies are not the best known applications for Mac. They are good examples of high-quality Mac software that many users would benefit from having on the hard drives and we hope we can give you some idea of what they can help you with. Devon Agent Most of use depend on search engines like Google to find information every day. But don’t you often feel frustrated about not being able to find what you’re looking for and be able to “drill down” into the data? It’s like you’re prospecting for gold in Alaska and you want to find that nugget of gold Screenshots of Devon Agent

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and Google only pours lots of sand in your washing pan without helping you much weed out the dirt. Devon Agent can actually help you zero in on the golden nugget in ways that the online search engines can not. In Devon Agent you type in what you’re looking for and the program will connect to a number of online search engines and databases, retrieve the information they have, analyze it, group and related it, and finally display a list of hits. The application groups the results by keywords and in the Digest view you can see a list of the pages the result was found together with a brief summary. Then under the Pages tab you find more detailed information about


Reviews every page in the results. Clicking on any of the topics (keywords) displays a spider-wed like picture of how Devon Agent thinks they relate to one another. By clicking on the topics in they web, the web changes, and can possibly reveal new relationships you had not considered previously. If you regularly perform the same searches you can save your search-parameters in a Set which then can be called up at any time. Devon Agent has a built-in web browser and supports a plug-in architecture which you can use to connect it to pretty much any data source. I don’t think Devon Agent is immediately and intuitively user-friendly and it takes some working with to get any real benefit out of. But if you are searching the web a lot, Devon Agent may just help you find better results. Devon Think Describing what Devon Think is all about is easier in a way than Devon Agent. Devon Think is sort of the catch-all repository for any and all information and files you have that you want to save, index, so you can go back

and find them later. I threw all the files for this newsletter into a Devon Think database and it indexed them all nicely. And this was text files, Word files, Pages files, all kinds of picture formats, etc. Devon Think couldn’t read an Illustrator file, and an EPS file, but the rest was no problem. So Devon Think is a database where you can keep all your digital files, but it’s also a pretty good text editor (with a full screen editing mode), a web browser (using Safari’s technology), and more. Perhaps the most interesting part of Devon Think however is the search technology that is built in to the software. Devon Technologies claims that advanced artificial intelligence can help you sift through your databases and retrieve information in various ways. The database I worked with was not very large so I couldn’t really verify this claim, but I have no reason to doubt that it’s true. If you have a lot of digital information that you want to collect in one place, try Devon Think.

Screenshot of Devon Agent

Screenshot of Devon Think

You can find more information about these products at http://www.devon-technologies. com. Devon Agent is $49.95 and Devon Think is available in Professional version ($79.95) or Personal version ($39.95). You can buy Agent and Think Professional together for $99.95. We will be giving away a licensed copy of both both Devon Agent and Devon Think Professional at a future EMUG meeting so make sure you attend.

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Reviews

By Crystal

BumperCar protects your kids online E

BumperCar 2 is available from http://www.freeverse.com/bumpercar2/. You can download a trial version and if you decide to keep it you pay $29.95. Apple has some information about their family-friendly features at: http://www.apple. com/macosx/features/family/ KidsBrowser from App4Mac (http://www.app4mac.com/kidsbrowser.html) is a competitor to BumperCar. It’s slightly more expensive at $49 but we recommend you try it before you decide to invest your money in either application.

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very parent is concerned about what their kids do online. And I think parents realize that there is only so much they can do to protect their kids but they want to do what they can. When it comes to browsing the web it’s easy for anyone to accidentally stumble into a site with less-than-acceptable content. It could be bad language, inappropriate topics, pictures with things kids shouldn’t see, etc. Mac OS X has parental controls built-in but they are pretty limited. What BumperCar does is extend those controls by having you create a new user account and setting BumperCar as one of the few applications the new user can run. You could even set BumperCar to be the only application that can be run by the new, limited user account. With your Mac OS X admin account you can then configure BumperCar. Finally set the Mac to automatically

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log in to the new account and you’re done. At the heart of BumperCar is a customizable homepage. There are ready-made home-pages with links to various resources suitable for different age groups. It probably makes sense for you to customize one of the homepages and add the URL of your kids’ school, and possibly also some of their favorite sites that you approve of. You can customize a white list (approved sites) and a black list (denied sites). There are also quite advanced settings for language where you can customize the filter settings to what you feel is appropriate. One cool feature is that you can monitor your kids’ online activities via BumperCar’s ability to connect to .Mac. And really handy for many parents is the options for controlling when BumperCar can actually be used online. You can limit the time your kids can use BumperCar to certain hours. So even if they sneak up at night they can’t get online. I was impressed with BumperCar and can warmly recommend it to anyone with a Mac that wants to limit what children can do on the Mac. BumperCar is a good choice for parents wanting some control over their kids’ online time, but I think schools should also consider getting it.


Write for shuffle

Want to write for shuffle? I

f you’re reading this and you’re a member of the EmiratesMac User Group we hope you will consider contributing. We’re looking for any type of articles you would be interested in writing, from something about the history of Apple and their products, reviews of hardware or software, essays, tutorials, or hints and tips. If you are concerned about your writing ability, whether your text will be good enough for a newsletter, don’t be. We will provide any help we can to assist you in your writing and work with you to develop and refine your work. And to be honest, the people who write for shuffle already are no literary giants, as I’m sure you can tell. We’re just ordinary users just like yourself. If you would consider writing something for shuffle, send us an email (emiratesmac@mac.com) or leave a message with your idea at EmiratesMac.com.

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Join Emirates Mac User Group

Join EMUG • • • • •

Want to meet other Apple users? Want to learn more about your Mac or iPod? Want to help others with their problems? Want to have some fun? Want to save some money on your Apple purchases?

To become a member • • •

Membership EmiratesMac User Group is a non-profit, community organization which aims to spread knowledge about Apple products in the United Arab Emirates, and increase the knowledge and skills of its members.

Member benefits • • • • •

Presently, membership in EmiratesMac User Group is free. That may change at a future date when membership terms will be reviewed. Membership benefits and special offers are subject to change at any time and will be reviewed annually by EmiratesMac and participating businesses. To see the latest details, go to http://www. emiratesmac.com/usergroup. Memberships are renewed on an annual basis and the membership period is January to Decemeber. New membership cards will be issued each January for members who wish to remain in EMUG. After applying for a membership, you can pick up your membership card at an EMUG meeting or other event.

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Go to http://www.emiratesmac.com/usergroup and sign up, or; Fill in the form below and fax it to +971-2-6664289, or; Fill in the form below and mail it to EmiratesMac. PO Box 70263, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

5% discount on any product in a MacStore in UAE. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offer or promotion, and limited to one item of the same type per invoice. At participating Salam Studio & Stores in UAE, members can get special offers and sign up for a customer loyalty program. 5% discount on any finished goods product, e.g. Macintosh computers, at Computer Direct Access (CDA) in the UAE. This offer does not apply to accessories, iPods, or software. The right to participate in members-only events, and discounts at select EmiratesMac-organized events. Access to a dedicated discussion board on www.EmiratesMac.com where you can interact with other members, ask questions, and put in suggestions for activities and anything else about what we do.

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Please provide as accurate and complete information as possible - Please print!!

Name:

PO Box:

Username (if registered at EmiratesMac.com):

City:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

Mobile:

Instant Messaging:

Note: Your membership will be processed as soon as possible and you can pick up your membership card at a future EMUG event. Membership details and benefits are subject to change at any time. If you have any questions or concerns, go to http://www.emiratesmac.com. Membership in EMUG is currently free but a membership fee may be introduced in the future at which point you can decide whether to continue to be a member or not.

EmiratesMac shuffle


Shuffle Dececmber 2006