A Long Update

26 11 2008

So, we’re extremely sorry that we couldn’t get all the updates done in time!

MacBooks

So let’s get back to the start of the MacBook Events, where 3 new products (MacBook Air revised) were released by Apple probably for the holiday season. The biggest change in the MacBooks was the use of the Aluminum Unibody, which essentially means that the casing is machined from one solid block of aluminum which fundamentally makes it stronger and more durable from everyday bumps. 

The laptops have become significantly lighter, and are also more appealing to the user in terms of an LED Backlit display, which provides the “instant-on” which a student or businessman would need in those sticky situations. 

iPhone Software + iTunes + Safari

The long awaited 2.2 has arrived! However, this update was merely a bug fix for most of us in other countries and the availability to see street views has also been added as a feature into Google Maps. A significant update was the downloadable podcasts on the fly feature, which we find excellent as we finally don’t have to rely on iTunes. Could a wireless syncing come in the future? We don’t know, what do you think?

iTunes has also been revised to 8.0.2, adding an update to iPod Nano. It has allowed the earphones with Mics to be used, and the turning off of cover flow while the Nano is rotated which I find a stupid function as you always have to rotate it back before it can be used. And Yes, Infinitech does own a Black 8GB Nano-Chromatic.

Safari has been pounded with security updates and stability updates to all users.

Mystery

What happened to the in-ear headphones Apple?

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Apple Event – October 14 2008

11 10 2008

by Graphickz

 

Hey all,

Just to wrap up on the past few weeks. The rumor mills have been churning out what they believe to be is the newest MacBook on the block. In this event, Apple is rumored to be releasing the new versions of the Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Macbook Air. The Macbook has the most noticeable material change, shifting from the scratchy, glossy plastic, to the rather eye-catching anodized aluminum. The Brick, was actually just a reference to the manufacturing process, where by the new Macbooks are carved by water and air jets out of a solid block of aluminum. 

So Apple, sent out an invitation to press yesterday, here is how it looked like.

The invitation sent out to Media.

The invitation sent out to Media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently showing a 13″ screen, this is rumored to be the new Apple Macbook, that will be unveiled on October 14, at Apple’s Town Hall in Cupertino. The Macbook doesn’t appear to have tapered edges as previously expected. It now looks more like a part of the Apple Family. What do you think?

There were different variations of the invite sent out, and this was the clearest and sharpest of the lot. The New Apple price ranges are expected to take a dip, due to the crashing US Market. The Macbook is rumored to sell at $800 and the Macbook Pro at around $3000. This would largely increase the profit margins at Apple, and hopefully push up the share prices for Apple, which fell a whopping 9% last week. 

These are the pictures of the rumored 13″ MacBook. 

MacBook Keyboard Layout

MacBook Keyboard Layout

USB Hubs and Connectivity Ports

USB Hubs and Connectivity Ports

Slot Loading Optical Drive

Slot Loading Optical Drive

So there you have it, the New MacBook. Looks alot more like the MacBook Pro now. Now lets move on to the MacBook Pro, which is largely rumored not to have its design changed, as consumers are used to having the rather “expensive” feel of the laptop.

iPhone Tech Talk, World Tour

iPhone Tech Talk World Tour

iPhone Tech Talk World Tour

Don’t miss this unique opportunity. The event is free, but space is limited.

Apple technology evangelists and engineers will soon be traveling the globe bringing iPhone development expertise to a city near you. Learn about the tools and technologies you’ll use to create great iPhone applications, then work with the experts to optimize your code, refine your user interface, and apply the knowledge you gain from the sessions to enhance the capabilities of your iPhone application.

Finally, Apple has heard the cries of Developers around the world, who cannot afford to fly to the States to attend WWDC year after year. Having joined the Apple Developer Connection (there is a free membership), we received an email invitation to the event, and had to register our places in our island nation of Singapore. Most of the countries have already been fully booked! Thankfully though, not in our country. We will attempt to carry out a live-blogging session during the intro and provide insights that we have learnt during the event. Developing for the iPhone is a very exciting prospect and the Infinitech Team hopes to bring you ground-breaking applications and games to add to your arsenal.

Once again, sorry for the lack of updates.





Free MobileMe Alternative

11 07 2008
dot-Mac

dot-Mac (.Mac)

A Brief History

We all know about dot-Mac. I mean, yeah, its called MobileMe now, but hey, we would always come to remember it as .Mac, won’t we? The services provided in the .Mac package are just so comprehensive and convenient that it becomes almost impossible to live without. I know of some people who cannot imagine life without their .Mac accounts, let alone the iDisk space and the uber cool BackUp 3 services. So then, It comes down to the question of cost. Which person, in all of God’s green earth, would be that beef headed to keep on spending $99 every year, year after year, to keep their accounts going. Sure, if you were Bill Gates or somethings, you would have maybe 60 .Mac accounts. But this article here today is not for the Rich and Famous. This is for the die hard fans of .Mac who just want to stop putting holes in their wallets. This is for those of you, who need an alternative.

The Road to Saving Money

The secret to saving money on your .Mac account is to technically, find things that cost less, or for that matter, even free. Freebies are ALL OVER the net. All you have to do is look hard enough and you will find something you like. With the rise of Torrents and Applications like iSerial Reader, it is super easy to download a fully working application off the net. However, .Mac is a service, and it is built into the OS. As such, there is no simple way of just “hacking” it. Besides, it is a paid service. Do you think Apple is not going to notice a rogue .Mac account that is not billed to anyone? So yes, the road to Saving Money is not necessarily easy, but it isn’t impossible. Getting the exact same thing for free is definitely a no-no. You have got to accept that fact. If you can live with that fact, read on. If not, I suggest you give this article a miss a get back to the porn you were surfing a minute ago.

The Parts that Make .Mac

The components of .Mac is essentially what makes the service work. The smooth integration of the service into OS X, is also a remarkable feat pulled off by Apple, that I doubt will ever be present on Windows. The core components of .Mac are as follows:

  • HomePage
  • iDisk
  • @mac.com
  • Backup
  • iCards

 

Extended services provided by .Mac include the following:

 

  • Back to my Mac (dynamic DNS) remote desktop service
  • iChat (SSL encryption possible)

 

While the extended services of .Mac can come in extremely useful, sadly, there are no substitutes for these services. This is because, the dynamic DNS protocols required for “Back To my Mac” to work properly are only available through .Mac and its servers. However, if you want to insist on using iChat, you may either do it via an AIM account, or, sign-up for a free trail of .Mac and retain you login information. The .Mac account can be used to login into your iChat account for life. (I think this applies to iTunes as well)

Now let me outline the extreme usefulness of all the things that make .Mac:
HomePage
Basically, it is a service that allows you to create your own homepage with personal webhosting features. The information that goes onto your site is placed within Apple’s own servers. They do not interfere with the space you have on iDisk. These pages can be made on ANY Operating Systems and any Web Browser.
iDisk & Backup
A WebDAV based server storage, this online storage solution can be actually mounted onto your Macintosh Machine as if it were a real physical drive.                                    

The brand new, MobileMe iDisk

The brand new iDisk with the MobileMe logo

Furthermore, the space on your iDisk could easily be upgraded by applying for different .Mac packages to suit your needs. The simplicity of drag and drop is definitely a plus for online storage.

Another good thing about the iDisk is that it has the ability to easily and quickly backup your system to it. Built into the .Mac service is the Backup feature that allows you to do this. You can even restore a brand new computer from the data stored up in the cloud with .Mac.
The last and final bit to iDisk is iWeb. iWeb is an application that was developed for Apple’s suite of Softwares known as iLife. iWeb allows anyone at anytime to simply make a stunning website in seconds. The best part to this is that you get hosting straight onto your iDisk, and a rather smashing domain name is provided to you by Apple. These pages, unlike HomePage, cannot be edited by anything but Mac OS X using iWeb.
.Mac Mail (@mac.com)
With the integration of Mail into the .Mac service, an individual can simply check his @mac mail simply online through an AJAX system similar to hotmail. Having a @mac mail ID also meant that individuals could quickly check their mails via IMAP on their Macintosh Machines via the Mail.app Application.
iCards
This is a service of Apple’s to enable it’s subscribers to easily send e-cards. The only difference in this service is that these e-cards are sent directly from the @mac address and the cards are designed by professional designers at Apple.

All right then, that’s all the services covered. Now to the juicy details. We have to make ourselves an alternative. I am not going to beat around the bush anymore, so here. i’ll lay it up front straight to you.

The Alternatives to .Mac

I have spent quite a number of days pondering over each and everyone of these services that I am about to reveal. Therefore, I am confident enough to tell you that yes, I have found a free alternative to the famous .Mac. Let us start with iDisk and storage matters.

iDisk and Storage

The secret to iDisk’s drag and drop online storage is its use of the WebDAV system. The file format of this type of online drives allows them to be mounted on your systems. These drives can be mounted both on a Mac or a PC, but these things are done easier on a Mac.

Firstly, we need to get an online drive. Most people recommend Box.net. This company offers an online storage solution of 1GB that is free for life. However, I have recently discovered a free service that provides twice that storage!
+
MyDisk.se provides WebDAV Storage

MyDisk.se provides 2GB of free WebDAV based online Storage

Meet MyDisk.se. It is a service from Sweden that rocks my world right now. I mean yes, .Mac has ten times more storage but hey, with multiple emails, you can sign up for multiple accounts. The sign-up is quick and there is no verification process. Just provide them your email and create yourself an account. Until now, I have yet to receive any spam from a result of joining this. I am still keeping my eyes peeled for a better offer out there, so yeah, I will update this as I deem fit. So, how do you set up this WebDAV thing?
po

Well, this part is extremely easy on a Mac. First, hit ‘Apple+K’ on your desktop. Make sure the App you are running is Finder. Then, a screen similar to the one below will popup.

STEP ONE:

 

In the “Server Address” field, type out https://mydisk.se/Username. Note that the ‘Username’ here refers to the same one that you created when signing up at MyDisk.

Once done, hit Connect. You will see the following:

STEP TWO:

 

Establish contact with the Server

Establishing contact with the Server

 

Wait for the computer to establish contact. When it has pinged the server, the server will request authentication. You will then see the next window.

STEP THREE:

Type your username and password exactly as you did during sign-up

Type your username and password exactly as you did during sign-up

 

Be sure to tick the option to remember your password. It will save time the next time you connect. The computer will skip this logging-in process if you do so.

STEP FOUR:

 

New WebDAV icon

New WebDAV icon

 Finally, we have this lovely icon mounted automatically onto the desktop* or your finder. You can now drag and drop files onto the server anytime you want. You can even make folders and organize your server neatly.

I would suggest making another account just for backups. I will elaborate more on MyDisk backups later in this post.

*Do note that to see the icon on your desktop, you must enable an option in Finder’s Preferences. Go to Finder’s prefs, go to the general Tab and select the checkbox that says, Show Connected Server

 

 

Backup

Ok. So you have got yourself a MyDisk.se account. How does one go about backing up? Simple. Get yourself another account. This would be a dedicated account that only serves for the purpose of backing up data. This will also emulate the backing service that we see on .Mac, or MobileMe as its currently known as. Backing is really easy. All you have to do is drag and drop. Its that simple. Need to chuck a copy of something important somewhere? Now, you have got an online server!

The procedure to set up the server on you Mac is exactly the same as setting up for use as iDisk.

iCards

The new Mail application on OS X 10.5 has a great new feature called stationery. When composing a mail, all one has to do is select a suitable stationery and design away! Sending the card is also easy for both the Sender and Recipient. Since its an email, it can be opened on a variety of devices, including iPhones, iPod Touch, and Blackberries & Other Mobile Phones that they call smart. Here’s how you do it.

 

STEP ONE:

Show Stationery

Show Stationery

Firstly, launch Mail if you haven’t already. Then compose a new mail. When the new mail window pops up, instead of writing the email as you usually would, look for a little button on the top-right corner. The button is labeled “Show Stationery.”

This button will activate a slide out menu below the Address and Subject fields. When this happens, your new mail window should look some thing like the next step.

 

STEP TWO:

”]The selected stationery shows up, complete with photo placeholders.

Click on the image for a clearer look. You can see that there are a variety of events and stationery to choose from. Have your pick. Go wild!

 

 

The End

Thus, this concludes and wraps up the basics of free .Mac alternatives. However, I leave you with one last thought. if you can afford the membership fees, i would suggest that you get the real thing. MobileMe is designed for OS X, thus, it flow and syncs with it much more efficiently as compared to the methods that I have discussed in this article.