Macworld new products…Toast, Skype, Picasa… is running down the Macworld Hardware and software releases today.  Some standouts:

Toast 10 was released at Macworld.  You can get it at the Roxio Store for $79 (after $20 mail in rebate).  Or Amazon has it for $85 with no rebate hassles.

  • Roxio Toast 10 Titanium is the easiest and fastest way to burn your music, video, photo and data files on to CD, DVD or Blu-ray Disc for both Mac and PC
  • Locate, convert and burn your favorite shows, music and data to CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs, or sync to your iPhone, iPod and other mobile devices
  • Save and convert video from many popular video sharing websites
  • Automatically capture and tag streaming audio from the Internet right into your iTunes library
  • Roxio Toast 10 Titanium is the essential complement to MacOS X and iLife for disc burning and much more

Picassa for Mac and Skype 2.8Beta are, of course, free.  We are waiting (OMG don’t deny us APPLE!) for Slingplayer on iPhone

On the hardware front, get a MacBook Air from Apple for $999.

Also, OWC Offers the Newer Technologies new Voyager Q (for quad interface) eSATA, /Firewire400-800/USB SATA Hard Drive Adapter (picture below).  If you only need a USB model, Amazon has the Thermaltake for $32 (60% off).

Need a 1.5TB SATA HArd Drive to go in there?  Amazon offers a Seagate for 140 plus $8 shipping.  Or get them both for $172 (see combination deals).  Not too shabby.

Show's over…notes on Macworld 2009

Frankly we like to see a little more hardware at events but the 17 inch MacBook was pretty close to our description last week.  The $50 matte version should make people both happy and sad – as wil lthe internal long life battery.  We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want one…with 8Gb (will we be able to up our smaller MacBooks to 8Gb)?   No Mini or iMac however was rough.  We have a feeling they are coming.

iLife and iWork are both looking pretty exciting. is pretty close to what we envisaged.  There were lots of gray areas where we missed some stuff but we think we got the major gist of it across.  GarageBand learn-to-play is exactly what we had heard.  And the Magic hint?  Cool transitions in iWork.  They are Fun!

iTunes.  The end of the DRM era.  Now we don’t have to visit Amazon (but probably will continue for the dealz).  Amazon still beats Apple on price but iTunes is more convenient.

Apple Stock isn’t really reacting (update – whoops – it is tanking).

Overall however, we were left….wanting…although the Macrumorslive (best feed out there)  getting hacked was entertaining.  And obviously we have an Apple Mac hardware event coming up.

We’ll put up Apple’s videos as they become available.  What did you think?


Upgrade your MacBook Air to 128GB SSD for $389

OK, OK.. so we aren’t exactly telling you to go put a cheap SSD in your high end MacBook Air…but well, we are just leaving it out there.  Poorly-branded Low Cost PATA SSDs from RunCore are now shipping in the following varieties:

The unashamedly named 1.8-inch Low Cost Zif PATA SSDs can be sealed in a corrugated box and shipped off to your place of residence for $69.99, $119.99, $199.99 or $389.99 depending on size (16/32/64/128GB, respectively).

This "low cost" upgrade promises to boost computer performance vs. the traditional 1.8” HDD by more than 400% with read/write speeds up to 75/40MB/sec.


Yeah, the speeds are good-not-great and the quality takes second fiddle to cost.  But someone said something about there being a recession on and why not choose the place where you store your important data to cut costs?

via Engadget

Apple updates and MobileMe

Apple today released some server side updates to the MobileMe platform as well as a 10.5.6 fix.  The MobileMe Serverside updates include:


  • Searching for contacts in a large address book (more than 1000 contacts) is faster and no longer results in a "slow script" browser alert message

  • Exported vCards with multi-line addresses or notes can now be imported into the Mac OS X Address Book

  • Adds keyboard shortcut to create a new contact

  • Additional formatting options for European phone numbers are now supported


  • Adds sorting of To Do items by calendar or title

  • Long event titles now appear properly in Month view


  • Updated "Tell a friend" email message

  • Resolves an issue related to setting a new album’s key photo


  • Files and folder names that contain Japanese language characters now display properly on the web


  • Hosting of iWeb pages can be configured for personal domains ending in ".eu", ".ax", ".tl", ".gw", ".kp", ".rs" or ".su"

  • Family Member accounts now display the accurate renewal/expiration date

  • Resolves an issue that prevented some members from using an activation key (MobileMe box) to renew a subscription


  • "Keep me logged in for two weeks" checkbox now works reliably

On the update, some users may experience issues with Mail after updating to 10.5.6.  If so, run Software Update and you should see the fix.  Otherwise, you can download it directly from Apple.

Buying a NetBook to run Leopard? Here's a compatibility list.

Buying a Netbook to run MacOS for Christmas?  Here’s a list of compatibilities from Boingboing.  As we’ve stated before, the MSI Wind takes the crown for easiest hackintosh. (instructions).  More instructions below.

Oh and here’s Leopard running on the smallest full fledged PC, and OQO.

How To Guides:
Running Mac OS X on a Netbook: Guide, Tips, Tutorial, Walkthrough [Ditii]
Run Mac OS X on an Eee PC [Wired]
Installing OSX on Eee 1000h [Wikidot]
OS X For the Eee PC 901 and 1000H [Mac Eee]
Install OS X on the MSI Wind [Make]
Guide to Installing OS X on a Lenovo Ideapad s10 [Netbook Tech]
OSX on a Samsung NC10 [Wired]

10.5.6 here…snappieness

10.5.6 is out, go grab it from Software update (377mb here!) or via the standalone installer.

Here are the details or check below.  It looks like there are many performance improvements in this one!  Yes, we are feeling the snappieness™, are you?


The Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard versions 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3, 10.5.4, and 10.5.5. It includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.

Installation recommendations

  • Back up your computer prior to installing any updates.
  • Quit any open applications before starting the installation.
  • Do not interrupt the installation process.
  • You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you have modified the operating system through other means, or if you have moved Apple applications from their default locations (the /Applications or /Applications/Utilities folders). (This does not apply to normal application software installation.)

Installation options

Automatic Software Update

Choose Software Update from the Apple menu to automatically check for the latest Apple software.

Standalone installer

Apple Downloads offers a standalone installer that you can use instead, if you wish.

If issues occur during installation or if Software Update unexpectedly quits, please visit this article.

Products Affected

Mail, Mac OS X 10.5, iCal 3.x, MobileMe Sync, iChat, AirPort, Safari

What’s new in this update?

Address Book

  • Improves reliability of Address Book syncing with iPhone and other devices and applications.


  • Improves the reliability of AirPort connections, including improvements when roaming in large wireless networks with an Intel-based Mac.

Client management

  • Improves reliability of synchronizing files on a portable home directory.
  • Fixes an issue in Mac OS X 10.5.4 and 10.5.5 in which managed users may not see printers that use the Generic PPD.
  • Client computers that use UUID-based ByHost preferences now respect managed Screen Saver settings.


  • Addresses an issue that could cause an encryption alert to appear in the chat window.
  • Setting your iChat status to "invisible" via AppleScript no longer logs you out of iChat.
  • Resolves an issue in which pasting text from a Microsoft Office document could insert an image rather than text.


  • Includes general improvements to gaming performance.
  • Includes graphics improvements for iChat, Cover Flow, Aperture, and iTunes.
  • Includes fixes for possible graphics distortion issues with certain ATI graphics cards.


  • Includes overall performance and reliability fixes.
  • Improves Connection Doctor accuracy.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause messages identified as junk to remain in the inbox.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to append a character to the file extension of an attachment.
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Mail from quitting.
  • Improves reliability when printing PDF attachments.


  • Contacts, calendars, and bookmarks on a Mac automatically sync within a minute of the change being made on the computer, another device, or the web at


  • Improves Apple File Service performance, especially when using a home directory hosted on an AFP server. Important: If you are using Mac OS X 10.5.6 (client) to connect to a Mac OS X Server 10.4-based server, it is strongly recommended that you update the server to Mac OS X Server version 10.4.11.
  • Improves the performance and reliability of TCP connections.
  • Improves reliability and performance for AT&T 3G cards.
  • Updates the ssh Terminal command for compatibility with more ssh servers.


  • Improves printing for the Adobe CS3 application suite.
  • Improves printing for USB-based Brother and Canon printers.

Parental Controls

  • Addresses an issue in which a parentally-controlled account could be unable to access the iTunes Store.
  • Includes general fixes for time limits.
  • Resolves an issue that prevented adding allowed websites from Safari via drag and drop.

Time Machine

  • Fixes issues that could cause Time Machine to state the backup volume could not be found.
  • Improves Time Machine reliability with Time Capsule.


  • Improves compatibility with web proxy servers.


  • Includes Mac OS X security improvements. See this website for more information.
  • Addresses inaccuracies with Calculator when the Mac OS X language is set to German or Swiss German.
  • Improves the performance and reliability of Chess.
  • Improves DVD Player performance and reliability.
  • Performance improvements for iCal are included.
  • Fixes an issue when running the New iCal Events Automator action as an applet.
  • Adds a Trackpad System Preference pane for portable Macs.
  • Improves compatibility with smart cards such as the U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Card.
  • Updates time zone data and Daylight Saving Time rules for several countries.


Putting Mac OSX on a Netbook

Wired’s Gadget Lab has a tutorial on putting MacOSX on an MSI Wind Netbook.  We’re in luv with Leopard running on our 1GB RAM/8GB Flash HP Mini 1000($359).  With under 5GB used for the OS and applications, it gives us about 3Gb to play with.  We’re hoping to have an Apple product at Macworld, but until then, this will have to do.

Slingbox for Mac updated to 1.0.7

Slingplayer for Mac version 1.0.7 is out – go get it.  New features include:

  • Improved video quality
  • Online Slingbox registration added; plus users can store their Slingbox ID online for easy access
  • Improved Slingbox Setup Assistant: New setup and configuration screens are streamlined and easier to use
  • Users can rapidly cycle between Fullscreen (4:3), Widescreen (16:9), Letterbox, Windowbox, Pillarbox modes
  • Show / Hide player controls with one-click toggle

The question on everyone’s minds is: When is the iPhone/iPod touch version coming out?

Polk Audio Sound bar 60% off – $399

OK, here’s the deal of the week (year?) from Audio’s Sound bar is $600 off at Amazon for like the next 20 minutes or something.  We’ve had our eye on this for awhile and were considering paying the $1000 normal price.  Nope, $399  Merry Christmas!  (only in Titanium, black is still $1000 for some reason – take that Black Macbook!) (Thanks Marty!!)

From the Manufacturer:



SurroundBar® Series

Five Channels. One Speaker. Zero Clutter.

Select a model below:

The SurroundBar 360º DVD Theater is the best performing single-speaker surround sound theater system on the market.

Based on our highly acclaimed original SurroundBar, the SurroundBar 360° DVD Theater adds all the electronics needed along with patented* SDA® Surround Digital Technology, to deliver sensational surround sound.

SurroundBar 50 is the best performing passive all-in-one surround speaker requiring no rear speakers.

The new SurroundBar 50 is the larger version of SurroundBar featuring Polk’s exclusive SDA Surround Technology. SurroundBar 50 adds SDA Surround Technology to the front channels, plus cabinet porting and neodymium motor assemblies resulting in an even bigger, even more dynamic sound.

The original SurroundBar (42" Model) from Polk Audio is designed to complete your High Definition TV experience.

The SurroundBar the perfect match for flat-panel and shallow screen TVs, and fits seamlessly with 42" widescreen TVs. It works with virtually any surround sound receiver in any room to bring you the thrills of 5 channel surround sound from a single speaker.

Polk’s SDA® Surround Sound Technology

Here’s what sets SurroundBar speakers apart from the crowd: They do not depend on room acoustics or perfect placement to achieve the desired effect thanks to patented SDA Surround Technology.

SDA stands for Stereo Dimensional Array, a patented Polk Audio exclusive*. Matthew Polk describes SDA Surround Technology as "a mixture of acoustical engineering, psychoacoustic principles and a little magic." Read Matt Polk’s SDA Whitepaper for an even more in depth explanation on SDA Surround Technology.

Three models, thousands of uses.

There are three SurroundBar models to fit almost every application. Regardless of which SurroundBar you choose, be prepared to experience full-fledged 5-channel surround sound from one speaker. If you already have a receiver and DVD player, or have your heart set on one, there are two passive SurroundBar models to meet your needs. Both are available in either black or titanium. Just add a Digital Surround Receiver, a Subwoofer, your TV and you’re ready to go!

If you want an easy all-in-one integrated system, and don’t plan on using or don’t have an existing amplifier, SurroundBar 360º DVD Theater is an all-inclusive Home Theater system that includes a DVD player, AM/FM tuner with integrated amplifier, and universal remote control.

The SurroundBar 360° DVD Theater includes an amplifier and built-in DVD player with HDMI output for 1080p resolution to your high-definition TV.

Stunning Simplicity

Installation versatility is designed in. You can wall mount the SurroundBar right below your flat-panel TV. Or use the included cradle on a TV stand, a shelf or for set-top placement. You will experience all the thrills of surround sound…with none of the hassles of running rear speakers.

Look Ma, no rear wires!

Don’t hassle with running rear speaker wire all over the place, with the SurroundBar you don’t need rear speakers so there are no ugly wires lining your floors and walls.






Complete Your Home Theater with One Speaker

The Polk Audio SurroundBar is designed to complete your High Definition TV experience. It’s the perfect match for flat-panel and shallow screen TVs. And it works with any surround sound receiver in any room to bring you the thrills of 5 channel surround sound from a single speaker. The SurroundBar’s unobtrusive design and color-coded hookup configuration make it a welcome addition for anyone who wants the thrilling benefits of 5.1 surround sound and none of the hassles.

Patented SDA Surround Technology Delivers a Full Room of Sound

Get professional surround-sound from a single speaker bar, regardless of your room’s layout

Our patented SDA Surround technology means there’s no need to install rear speakers. SDA Surround creates a completely immersive 5 channel surround experience, as if there were dozens of speakers all around you, all from a single, 43-inch long cabinet. No rear speakers are required. This technology is based on fundamental research into the way our ears process sound and perceive the direction of sounds.

The SurroundBar works in any room; SDA Surround is not dependent on your room’s walls to produce the surround effect. It uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers or special room characteristics.

Some other single speaker surround solutions bounce sound off of walls and require symmetrical rooms and un-cluttered side and rear walls to create a surround effect. Since the SurroundBar works directly with the hearing mechanism and requires no special room characteristics, it can deliver a room-filling 5 channel surround experience in nearly any location.

SDA Surround technology relies on a mixture of acoustical engineering, psychoacoustic principles and a little magic. The original SDA technology, developed in the early 1980’s, was a two-channel technology intended to overcome a fundamental problem of stereo reproduction. SDA Surround utilizes the same basic principles but expands the technology to allow for reproduction of surround sound without the need for rear speakers. This technology requires no reflecting surfaces or special speaker placement and can be connected to any surround sound receiver. It will work well in almost any room of any size or shape and will deliver a surround sound experience for almost all listener locations. Because of the psychoacoustic principles on which the technology is based, SDA Surround achieves exceptional continuity side-to-side and front-to-back so that sounds closely follow the action suggested on screen. It also delivers consistent soundstage depth, even directly to the sides, a quality only achieved by the best conventional hard wired systems. This quality makes SDA Surround seem more like having dozens of speakers around you providing smoother and more immersive surround sound.

Innovative Design with Simple Installation

Seven 3 ½" Dynamic Balance Drivers and three ¾" Dynamic Balance Dome Tweeters deliver clear, natural midrange, high frequencies and lifelike imaging. An aluminum-extruded enclosure eliminates cabinet resonance. The anti-diffraction grille and bezel help create open, spacious imaging. And it’s magnetically shielded, of course, for safe placement on or near TVs.

Installation versatility is designed in. You can wall mount the SurroundBar right below your flat-panel TV. Or use the included cradle on a TV stand, a shelf or for set-top placement. The Polk Audio SurroundBar is a welcome addition for anyone who wants all the thrills of surround sound…but none of the hassles or clutter.

Technical Specifications

  • Driver Complement: 9 x 3.5" composite cones
  • Magnet Structure: Neodymium drivers
  • Tweeters: 3 x 3/4" silk dome
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Recommended Amplification: 150 watts/channel
  • Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 23 KHz
  • Efficiency: 90 dB
  • Bass Technology: Dual front ports
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 51" x 4.5" x 5.1"
  • Weight: 15 lbs

    Product Description
    The Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 is 51" wide to offer an enveloping surround sound experience to anyone who wants better sound from their TV but does not want to install rear-mounted speakers. It delivers surround sound from a single, multi-driver loudspeaker located under or over the TV screen using SDA Surround technology. SDA Surround technology uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers. It can deliver a room-filling surround experience in nearly any location in almost any type of room with no special room characteristics required. The SurroundBar 50 is sized to match the width of 50" Plasma and LCD TVs. In addition to using SDA Surround technology on the surround channels, the SurroundBar 50 adds SDA Surround image enhancing technology on the front Left & Right channels to further enhance the surround experience as well as produce a huge stereo sound field from a two-channel source. New drivers and crossover design along with a larger enclosure produce far better bass performance than the original SurroundBar. The aluminum enclosure houses nine mid/bass drivers with Neodymium magnets, three dome tweeters and a four-PC board crossover with over 60 components.

Addonics USB to Ethernet Adapter

Engadget points us to a great little tool that just came out of the gate.  Addonics NAS (network attached storage) adapter is a little block with Gigabit Ethernet in and USB out. This basically allows any and all of your USB HDD’s and USB Sticks a free (or $55 retail) ride on your network.  It has SMB and FTP so it works on Mac but AFP would be a bit better.   Maybe in a firmware update?

We’ll put it in the as soon as it hits stores.

Great idea!

We’d love to see a wireless version too!