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It Is Time To Work On The Go With The MacBook Air

When you travel in your work you have to have a laptop but does it sometimes feel like you are dragging around a desk top with only have the power and a battery that goes dead so fast you feel like you are racing the clock? Do your movies or graphic heavy applications look like they were done in stop-motion animation? Then it is time you work on a MacBook Air. It is beyond just being a laptop.

These are top of the line machines so have no illusion that they will set you back a bit but not because they are over priced but simply because they are so well done and feature rich. It comes in two sizes, an 11 inch and a 13 inch size but both are only 7/10th of an inch thick and both weigh under 3 pounds. They are able to keep such a small size because they use flash drives, no cd’s or dvd’s but they can borrow a cd or dvd drive from another computer if need be. Many of the features are the same on both the 11 inch and the 13 inch but some are a little different so we will use the ones from the 13 inch model, it will speed things up.

When you are using a MacBook Air it will seem like a desk top, The video is NVIDIA so it is as good as it gets. The flash memory comes in sizes up to 256 Gib with processor speeds to 1.82 GHZ and 4 MB of ram and a huge bus. That is very fast!. Your keyboard is full sized, the mouse pad is glass and you have both WiFi and bluetooth and stereo. It even has a camera for those late night calls home.

These machines are also very eco-friendly. They have no PVC or BFR and the glass is arsenic free. The cases are aluminum so recyclable. The display uses no mercury. The only way to make them greener is to make them solar powered.

These are not the cheapest laptops out there at between $999 and $1599 but the quality they are made with and the performance that they give makes them worth the money. Now you will almost want to go on the road.

Mac/IBM, Opposite Business Models

To really understand the success and quality of Apple/ Mac you have to have to look at the PC as well. It is only by understanding one that the other makes sense. It is then clear why you have two sets of products that do basically the same thing yet can seem so different.

When it comes to Apple/Mac and the PC there is no argument about which one came first. It was certainly the PC developed by IBM. It would be much later that Apple/ Mac would come along. When IBM developed the PC, however, they did something that many people thought was strange and that was that they did not keep it proprietary nor did it have an OS. It ran programs it was just not in the same way we know them today.

By not keeping it proprietary it opened up the market for anyone to make them. This explains why there are so many PC makers like Compaq, Dell, Gateway and the list goes on. Apple/Mac took the opposite approach. The machine they designed could only be made by them and only run their software.

While Apple/Mac had its own OS there was war on the PC front. The Apple/Mac OS worked so well attempts were made to copy it. The first attempts where really just shells over DOS but Windows evolved and took over the PC OS market. The machine makers of PCs also changed to making them for specific markets. PCs are mostly just components in a box, some good and some bad, so you end up with a huge range. These go from PCs using new but outdated parts that where cheap to begin with (for about $100) to the crème de la crème at close to $9000.

During this time Apple/Mac has done thing the other way. They use high quality components that were designed to work together with the OS. The result has been a consistent, high quality product. When you buy a Mac, you know what you are getting and know that it will be stable and work correctly every time.

To compare Mac and the PC is almost like comparing apples (no pun intended) and oranges. If you look at the sales and surveys you can see which one breeds brand loyalty.

How Does Mac OS X Stand Up?

The temperature of the fight between users of Mac OS X and Windows is like that of a Holy War. To them it is either “Mac OS X rules!” or “Mac OS X stinks!” while the Linux people sit on the side lines and snicker. Who is righat? It is not that simple.

First some parameters need to be established or you are asking a question like “What flower is the pretties?” There is no answers to that because it is entirely subjective so for are purposes we are talking about client platforms. Hun? That just means the OS that a user would use at work, while traveling, or at home. Right away that eliminates a lot of platforms like Unis. This leaves us with three systems left. Those would be Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Each one has its pluses and minuses.

We can start with the Windows family. It is the most used of the client platform but is that enough? It is not the easiest system to load. It is a very large set of files but it still faces driver issues that can take a while to weave through on a fresh install. Yes, there are tons of software for Windows but now almost anything you would want to use comes in a Mac for as well. As for it working the way you want or need it to you just have to hope. Windows holds their code very close but it is still the targets of most hacking attacks. There are also stability issues but every system is going to have a few.

Next is Linux. Its open source nature makes it popular with programmers and is the best platform for the price, it is free. The code its self is so small you could store it on a watch but when you start adding the extras you get more power. You also have access to 10’s of 1000’s of developers software that has been written for it. What is the downside? While Linux has come a long way it is still a little hard for a novice.

Then you have the Mac OS X. They build all of their machines so the quality stays high and there are no driver issues. Not only can you use a Mac version of a windows product but they also have a large in-house library. Because the components were designed to work together the graphics are unquestionably the best. It has few problems with stability. When you stack Mac OS X against the others it will shine above.

The iPad, Your New Traveling Companion

Do you travel? Watch movies or listen to music? Send mail on the go? How about using the web? You are looking for an Ipad, Mac’s new gadget. Almost everybody has heard of it but most are not sure just what it is. The answer is very simple.

The Ipad is about as close to a laptop as you are going to get without it being a laptop. It comes as a tablet that uses a touch screen to interact with it and is incredibly small. It is a mere half inch thick and around 9.5 inches by 7.5 inches with almost all of it screen. Since it is a touch screen many people worry that it covered in finger prints. The reality is that the screen is arsenic free and smudge resistant, Arsenic free is not the only green quality it has because it is PVC-free.

If you are traveling on a plane and don’t feel you can watch “Weekend at Bernie’s 2” its OK, you are all set. All you need to do is pop in your 64 gig flash drive and watch something else or if you are still on the ground you can watch streaming video through any WiFi connection. You are going to love the picture you get. The 1024 by 768 pixel resolution will keep you picture clear and the ambient light sensor will make sure it is bright enough. With its 10 hours of battery life you are not going to go dead on the run either and the fact that it only weighs a pound and a half won’t kill your shoulder.

These are all great features while on the move but sooner or later you will get to where you were going. How usable will it be then? You are not going to be typing 90 words a minute on a screen. No worries. You can get it with a carrying case that also includes a keyboard so you can get some work done. And, because it is hard to type looking straight down you can get a stand that fits right in the case and gives you a more natural way to type.

For any traveler that does not need a full-blown lap top the Ipad is perfect. It can do just what you need it to do and in a size that is incredibly small. For those travelers, this is a must.

Mac App Store is Finally Here

The long awaited Mac App store is finally here. The App Store finally opened for business on Jan. 6, 2011 after several months of the usual Apple hype.

The App Store seems to have been successful so far, on Jan. 22, Apple announced that 10 billion applications had been downloaded there so far. The App Store provides a mix of free and paid applications for Mac OS computers.

The idea behind the App Store is to make buying and downloading applications and programs for Mac OS as easy as downloading Itunes Since iTunes and wireless Apps have been a huge moneymaker for Apple the coming of the Mac App store was inevitable.

Mac App Store for Developers

The most interesting thing about the Mac App Store is that could be a huge opportunity for developers of Mac OS software and applications. Apple does let developers put programs on the App store if they pass its tests.

The current deal Apple is giving developers at the Mac App store is actually pretty good. Developers will pick the price for the App and keep 70% of the revenue earned from it. The revenue is dispersed to developers in the form of a monthly payment. Apple is currently charging not credit card, hosting or marketing fees for developers. It also lets persons post free apps there free of charge.

This means that the Mac App Store could be an excellent revenue stream for Mac OS developers. It must be noted that Apple could change its mind and fee structure in the future.

Apple places quite a few restrictions on programs before they go live at the Mac Store. Apple will review programs and reject them. Java and PowerPC code are currently banned from the App Store because they’re susceptible to hackers.

All Apps at the App store will also have to meet Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for Macintosh. This means that anybody is thinking of developing for the Mac App Store had better do a lot of research into it before designing their App. A little homework could make life a lot easier for Mac App Store developers.

Developer Program

Apple is also offering a Mac Developer programmer for OS developers. This program offers support and resources needed to design programs for the App store. It currently costs developers $99 a year to join. This doesn’t seem like that good of deal.

Mac OS X 10.6.6 Previewed

Even though Apple’s next version of OS, AKA Lion, isn’t supposed to be released until next summer, glimpses of it are available online.

Apple provided a sneak peak of the first build or Beta version on Nov. 4, 2010. Since then rumors that another test version could be coming have swirled. Many of the rumors speculate that Lion or Mac OS X 10.6.6 will be built around the Mac App Store.

App Store Still Coming

The Mac App Store is a widely anticipated venue where customers would be able to buy and download programs for the Mac much like people now buy and download music for the I-Pod. News reports about the version that came out last month state it has a feature for fetching and renewing App store receipts.

The interesting thing is that the Mac App Store itself still hasn’t been revealed. Mockups of it have been posted at Apple’s website. Apple has also been accepting Apps for the App store from developers. The company has also been developing alliances with major software firms such as Oracle.

The latest speculation is that Apple will release the next beta test of Lion and the Mac App Store to the public at the same time. Another strong possibility is that Apple will bring out the Mac App Store when Lion is released.

Problems with Lion

Although there have been no official announcements from Apple about a Lion delay. It is quite possible that there are technical problems that Apple has to work out.

Reports indicate that Lion was supposed to contain the wireless printing feature Air Print. Yet Air Print wasn’t mentioned in the documentation made available last month. This means that there could be problems with it and Lion. It isn’t known whether these problems could affect other Mac OS X applications.

One potential hurdle to both Lion and the Mac App Store is that this technology will have to work flawlessly. It will also have to be fairly easy to use and accessible to those with minimal computer knowledge.

It isn’t clear whether Apple has gotten either Lion or the App Store to function on those levels. If it hasn’t both projects could be delayed for weeks or months.

Another potential hurdle is integration with other operating systems.

Apple recently backed down and opened up future versions of Mac OS X to Java developers. So it is entirely possible that the Mac App Store could feature some other companies’ products.

Apple and Oracle Cooperating on Java for Mac OS

Apple and Oracle are now cooperating to bring Java back to the Mac OSX operating system. Even though Apple has stopped using Java on new versions of Mac OSX it is working with Oracle to make future versions of Mac OSX accessible to Java.

Business software giant Oracle and Apple have announced that they are working together in something called the Open JDK Project. The Open JDK Project is apparently an attempt to develop an open source version the Java Platform Standard Edition.

Apple has or will apparently make the source code that would let JDK’s developers integrate their project into Mac OSX available to the Open JDK Project. Since the Project is apparently run by or connected with Oracle this would make Oracle software accessible to Mac.

There is no word on whether this will lead to Oracle products being available from the Mac App Store. Apple is supposedly developing a Mac App Store where customers can buy and download popular software.

Since Oracle sells mostly to business clients this may not be a likely scenario but you never know. One possibility is that Oracle products could be made available through the Mac App Store to businesses that use the Mac.

One interesting dilemma facing many IT departments is that many companies have a few employees that use Macs. This can create headaches because the majority of users at the same company use Windows.

Apple and Oracle could be trying to solve this or at least make it easier for Mac users to access the Oracle products. Oracle is the dominant specialty software provider in a number of businesses including the financial and accounting sectors.

Another possibility is that Oracle could be developing a line of products for small business people and those who work at home. A growing segment of the market in the United States is employees who do their jobs from home via computer. Many of these individuals need access to company systems many of which run on Oracle products.

Quite a few American companies are pushing work at home because it reduces costs. Oracle and Mac could be planning on an App Store for business users to tap into this growing market.

Apple Officially Dumps Flash from Mac OS X

Apple has made its decision to kick Adobe’s Flash out of the Mac OS X official. On Oct. 23, the company announced it won’t include Flash in Mac OS X bundles anymore. The Mac Book Air will be the first Apple product with no Flash components built in.

Apple has had a public conflict with Adobe for quite some time and has announced it will no longer use Adobe products such as Acrobat, Reader and PDFs. The reason for not using Adobe products isn’t entirely clear.

Although Apple’s efforts to create a Mac App Shop where users can purchase Apple software indicate that Apple probably wants Mac users to use its proprietary products. This would translate into more money for Apple and a profitable new market. Steve Jobs has said the Mac App Shop should be online for Snow Leopard within 90 days, screen shots of a mockup of it have been posted at the Apple website.

The creation of the Mac App Shop would theoretically put Apple into competition with Adobe in the software business. Obviously Mac is trying to get an edge on its competitors. Expect antitrust actions against Apple over this in the near future.

Flash and Adobe Isn’t Totally Gone from Mac
Although they no longer have Apple’s official seal of approval, Flash and other Adobe products aren’t officially gone from the world of Mac OS X. Mac users can still install adobe products themselves.

Apple spokesman Bill Evans told reporters that Apple will be “happy to support Flash” on older Mac products. He said this means the latest Flash versions from Adobe will be available to Mac users with existing Flash products.

Adobe Security Upgrades for Mac OS X Will Stop
Apple will stop supplying Adobe security upgrades to Mac OS X users as part of its regular security patch process. This could be a concern for Mac OS X users because it could leave their Adobe products vulnerable to Malware and hackers.

This means that Mac OS X users will have to monitor Adobe’s security blog and download security upgrades direct from Adobe itself. It could be possible for Mac OS X users to sign up for security upgrades from Adobe itself.

Adobe has announced plans to create an automatic security upgrade for its products on Mac OS X. It isn’t known when this feature will be available but Adobe should announce it on its website.

Mac OS X Lion Coming Next Summer

Apple should release the next generation version of Mac OS X which is tentatively called Mac OS X Lion sometime in Summer 2011. The exact date of the release has been determined but Steve Jobs said the release should come next summer at his October 20 press conference.

Jobs told reporters that OS X Lion will have many of the same features as the other Apple operating system iOS. This probably means that Lion will function much like the iOS operating system found on Apple Mobile devices. This means that people familiar with iOS should have an easy time finding their way around on Lion.

It could also provide greater connectivity between Macs and devices such as iPad or iPods. Jobs could be anticipating the growing use of tablets like the iPad in business. It could also show what the next generation of Apple mobile devices could look like.

Jobs hasn’t made any announcement about computers that would be based on Lion. It is a safe bet to assume that Apple will release Macs, laptops, tablets and other devices designed to run on the new operating system.

More Downloadable Mac OS X Apps Coming
The biggest feature of the Lion will be the ability to download apps much like iPod users can. This could be Apple’s attempt to counter Google’s online software. Google is trying to compete with Microsoft by offering a wide variety of online programs including document and business software.

Apple could be moving into this field with apps that could be easily downloaded for business and other purposes. Apple has already made money with its App Store for iPod. Jobs is looking to cash in further by launching an App Store for Mac.

Mac App Store
Jobs announcement indicates that a Mac App Store will be up and running within a few moths. Mac users would be able to download new programs and apps for their computers much as iPad users now download songs.

How this will affect Mac users and IT professionals is hard to say. The major target of these apps could be small business and home office users. In particular people who need reliable computers but don’t have a big IT budget.

Another big market for these apps could be the corporate market. Instead of relying upon an IT department, companies could simply buy Mac products and download the apps that they need. The users would pay for Apps as they bought them.

A Mac app store is planned to go into business for Snow Leopard users within the next 90 days, Jobs announced. What this App store will look like is unknown but it should be exciting. The next generation of Mac OS X will be even more interesting.

Lion would presumably designed to make it easy to run apps from the Mac App store on Macs. This could become the preferred business model for the software industry if it is successful.

Mac App Store Coming

Apple is trying to take a lot more control of software development and users of the Mac OS X with its Mac App Store. The Mac App Store would be a website where apple users could download software for Macintosh and devices running Mac OS X like people download apps from app store.

Such a website would certainly make things easier for Macintosh users. A person who wanted to add a function such as a writing program to their desktop would simply download it directly from Apple.

This could place serious limits on the freedom of software developers trying to create Mac desktop applications. It would also make it harder for independent developers to create and sell new programs for Apple products.

App Store is New

Exactly what a Mac App store would look like or how it would function is not entirely known. Steven Jobs announced the creation of an App store for Snow Leopard in October. The Mac App store could make life easier for IT technicians and others because all they would need to do to get new App products would be to log onto the App store.

Jobs also announced that there would be an App Store for the new Mac OS X Lion which will be coming in summer 2010. The details of Lion aren’t available yet it’s probable that Lion will be designed to function with App Store.

Jobs could definitely be onto a major new cash cow here. People who are used to downloading Apps for their phones will be willing to do the same for their computers. The growing number of small business people and persons working at home will need software for their computers and constitute a huge potential market for Mac App Store.

There could also be a big corporate market for the Mac App Store as well. Some companies could conceivably outsource their IT to the Mac App Store.

Previews of Mac App Store Online

There are some snapshots of the Mac App Store online at the Apple website. These screenshots show what looks like a basic ecommerce website with icons for a variety of Apple programs that visitors can presumably click on and buy.

Programs in the mock of the App Store now on display at the Apple site include iPhoto, Pages, Roll Em, Garageband, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers, Color Studio and Fast Lane. Presumably all of these programs would be available at the App Store when it goes online. Mac OS X users should stay tuned because App Store is going to be a very interesting development in the world of Mac.