Microsoft Office 2011 is here.

October 27th, 2010

There are two versions: Home & Student and Home & Business.  The Home & Business includes Outlook 2011, which replaces Entourage.

Outlook 2011 will support Exchange Server 2007 or later. It will not support Exchange Server 2003 or earlier.

Really that’s all the important info on the new version.

There’s an overview of the applications contained in Microsoft Office 2011 on Apple’s site.

New MacBook Air with Flash Drive!

October 21st, 2010

Apple made a few announcements at the “Back to the Mac” event yesterday that were pretty interesting. First and foremost is the new MacBook Air with flash storage, which is available in 11- and 13-inch models. It’s 0.68 inches thick at its thickest, and 0.11 inches at its thinnest and weighs only 2.9 pounds. All unibody construction with glass trackpad. The space-saving flash storage leaves room for a bigger battery, which the new MacBook Air has in both models — 5 hours of battery life in the 11-inch and 7 hours in the 13-inch.

The new MacBook Air is available in stores now.

Apple also announced the new Mac OS X 10.7, “Lion,” which will roll out sometime during the Summer of 2011. The preview showed the Launchpad application launcher, which allows a grid of icons (similar to iPad), and Mission Control, which allows a unified view of a user’s open windows, apps and dock. Apple also announced an App Store for OS X, which will also be coming to Snow Leopard.

And then there’s iLife 11, which is free with all new Macs or a $49 upgrade. Available in stores now. iPhoto 11 has new slideshow themes, improved Facebook and email sharing. iMovie 11 has enhanced audio editing options, a People Finder that id’s people in movie clips and an easy movie trailer editor. Facebook and Vimeo sharing have been added as well. There are also new additions to GarageBand 11 like FlexTime, Groove Matching and more effects and lesson options.

FaceTime for Mac was also announced. It’s not meant to replace iChat as it is dedicated to FaceTime calls only. It pulls contacts from Address Book and you click on the person’s name to make a call (although you have to know which phone number they have associated with their FaceTime account).

Microsoft Office Updates

October 14th, 2010

This week Microsoft added three updates that fix security vulnerabilities in Office 2004 and Office 2008, as well as in Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.

Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.7 Update includes the following improvements:

Improvements for Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac

  • Stability is improvedThis update fixes issues that cause Excel to crash or close unexpectedly sometimes when you try to start an Excel application.

Improvements for Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac

  • Reliability is improved when Entourage connects to Microsoft Exchange serversThis update fixes the following issues:
    • When Entourage authenticates with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 by using the Kerberos protocol, it does not detect expired credentials and does not renew tickets for these credentials.
    • Entourage sometimes creates duplicate items in the Exchange 2007 mailbox.

The Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.7 Update can be found here.

Additional information on the Office 2004 for Mac 11.6.1 Update is on Microsoft’s site.  Open XML File Format Converter for Mac Update can also be found on Microsoft’s site.

There’s also an update for Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition.  According to the details on Microsoft’s site, in addition to several calendaring improvements, this new version of Entourage synchronizes notes, tasks, and categories with Exchange Server. This update also enables logging that can be used for diagnostic purposes.

At the end of this month, Microsoft will ship Office for Mac 2011, which will feature new versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Messenger.  Also in Mac 2011, Outlook for Mac 2011 will replace Entourage.

New DroboPro FS NAS

October 8th, 2010

Data Robotics announced the new DroboPro FS this week. The DroboPro FS has eight drive bays (as opposed to the five drive bays that are in the current Drobo FS) and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The eight drive bays make it possible to have as much as 16TB of available storage (depending on how you configure the device).

The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports can be configured to fail over if one link fails. They can also be set up to use one port for data access on the local area network and the other port to sync backups to another DroboPro FS. This capability will be made available through the Drobo Sync application, which is a free update slated to arrive at the end of the month to the included Drobo Dashboard software.

According to Data Robotics site, the DroboPro FS has a leadtime of 6 to 8 weeks.

iTunes 10 has some nice new features

September 9th, 2010

Yes, the new iTunes 10 Dock icon is fugly. I hear you. Don’t let that dissuade you from updating to iTunes 10 or really delving into some of its fabulous new features.

Ping is one of the biggest new features. A social network for music, Ping is built into iTunes 10 but is completely optional. Users can follow their favorite artists and friends, stay informed about upcoming concerts, while Artists can create their own store pages, and post announcements, photos and videos for fans.

AirPlay is another great new feature that will enable users to stream music and video to new AirPlay-enabled speakers, receivers, and iPod accessories. It’s basically like AirTunes, which allowed iTunes to stream music to speakers that were attached to an AirPort Express or Apple TV, but now it can be used with third-party AirPlay-enabled speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems from companies like Marantz, Denon and Bowers & Wilkins.

Other new goodies include 99 cent TV show rentals, a revamped Apple TV (80 percent smaller than the previous generation) with a huge selection of HD movies and HD TV shows on demand, and easier iTunes syncing for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

OK. Still hating the new iTunes Dock icon after trying out all the swank new features of iTunes 10? Visit Mac OS X Hints for a way to prettify your new icon if it’s really bothering you that much.

Snow Leopard Graphics Update

August 18th, 2010

Apple released the Snow Leopard Graphics Update this past Monday. According to the support notes on Apple’s site, the update provides stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games in Snow Leopard version 10.6.4.

More info can be found in Apple’s support document here.

The Mac Pro 12-Core: Fastest Mac Ever

August 12th, 2010

The 12-core Mac Pro made its appearance in Apple Stores and other retail outlets around the country this past Monday.

The new Apple 12-core Mac Pro features:

  • 2 – 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” processors
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 1TB hard drive
  • 18x double-layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card with 1GB GDDR5

The price for the above basic configuration is $4,999.

Users can choose different configurations, which include upgrading the processor from the Two 2.66GHz model to a Two 2.93GHz model. They can also add up to 32GB of RAM, add a Mac Pro RAID card, and install up to four hard drives. 4 solid-state drives would give the user twice the speed of regular hard drives.

The Mac Pro’s graphics cards can also be upgraded to the Two ATI Radeon HD 5770 card. There’s also an advanced single card option — the ATI Radeon HD 5870.

According to the Apple Store website, orders are being shipped within 7-10 business days.

iPhone 4 owners! Don’t install the new iOS 4.0.1 update yet!

July 16th, 2010

iPhone 4 owners! Don’t install the new iOS 4.0.1 update yet! We’ve had 2 reports of the update bricking the iPhone! Other users have been reporting similar issues with the new update.

Droptext allows you to edit Dropbox files on your iPhone

July 9th, 2010

Droptext allows you to edit Dropbox files on your iPhone (via @cultofmac)

Fantastic article – The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism

June 28th, 2010

Fantastic article – The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism on Twitter