The MacValley blog


Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.


Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

Editor: Tom Briant


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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bytes and Pieces for May 31, 2011

A rumor has appeared breathlessly suggesting that Apple will substitute the A5 chip, used in the iPad 2, for the Intel Core 2 Duo chip in the MacBook Air at a date in the future.

Nonsense. First of all, I don’t doubt that Apple has an experimental MacBook Air rocking an A5 chip. Apple has all kinds of stuff in its secret lair at 1 Infinite Loop.

When should you take this rumor seriously? When you hear rumors from reliable sources that Apple has a Universal application format for the A5 and the Intel x86 chips. I would also listen for a rumor that Apple has licensed or created software to allow Intel-only Mac apps and the previous Universal app format for Intel and PowerPC chips run on the A5. Think Rosetta 2.

As an alternative, Apple could announce a SDK to allow iOS applications to run on an A5 MacBook Air.

Let’s return to the here and now, (now defined as the month of June). Appleinsider reports that Apple wants the Mac App Store to serve as the conduit for Lion 10.7 from Apple’s servers to your Mac at 3:30 am. No waiting for the Apple Store to open. No need to put on pants, either.

And news about the other guys in Redmond. Microsoft had to walk back comments by Steve Ballmer about “Windows 8” and its arrival in 2012. Who broke the news to His Loudness that Windows 8 is, as yet, still in the “breadboard stage?”

The other half of Wintel, Intel, announced that it would make custom chips for big Apple.

Finallly, Apple announced upgrades to the iWork suite for iOS. Now iWork works on all 3 iOS platforms; iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.

Well, don’t forget to attend the MacValley meeting tomorrow night at the VanAlden Senior Center in Northridge.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MacValley's July 2011 presentation on 10.7

On Wednesday, July 6th, 2011; MacValley Apple User Group will present "How to Prepare for the upheaval that 10.7 promises to bring to our life."

My sources tell me that 10.7 promises to bring as much change to the Mac as the transition from OS 9 to OS X did.

Among the topics covered:

1. How to tell if your favorite program(s) will still run under 10.7.
2. How to dual-boot between 10.6 and 10.7. It's a LOT easier than dual-booting under Windows.
3. How to keep your favorite old peripherals working under 10.7.
4. Neat new features of 10.7.

Got questions? Got ideas for topics you want covered? Send me comments.

MacValley's Office 2011 presentation on June 1st, 2011

MacValley will have a presentation on Office 2011, focusing on Word 2011, on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011.

Elena-Beth of the Apple Consultant Network will show us how to make best use of Word 2011. If you have questions about Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook for Mac; bring them, too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

June meeting of Macvalley coming up!

Stop and think for a minute. How many times have you gotten to see a presentation by an Apple Listed Consultant? At our regular meeting on June 1st, MacValley will have our own Apple Listed Consultant Elena-Beth Kaye presenting Microsoft Office. Elena-Beth will give an overview of Office, and she also will show us the latest on Microsoft Word. Plus, she’ll have some handy tips for those who already own Microsoft Word.

We are so proud to have Elena-Beth as both a presenter for our group, as well as being MacValley’s emcee. Not only is Elena Beth a top-notch consultant, she’s really easy to get to know, and she’s always got helpful tips and advice for MacValley’s members, guests, and visitors.

MacValley General Meetings are held at Wilkinson Center in Northridge. For more info, go to our Meetings Page at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Warning! Malware Alert!

Dear Friends:

if you haven't read about the MacDefender Trojan Horse, then read on.

Our President, Cristael B., alerted me to it. She got a message from Tony Edwards about this.

Tony's message mentions the Intego blog. Intego makes legitimate anti-virus software and I suggest you read this post here.

In short, you should NOT download MacDefender! IT is a Trojan Horse meant to rob you blind.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Voice

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So, Where Will you get 10.7 from? (Not the torrents!)

Where will you get 10.7 from?

Appleinsider reports that Apple plans to offer the upgrade to 10.7 through the Mac App Store. You’ll have to upgrade to at least 10.6.6 to get the App Store running on your Mac right now.

Apple already uses the Mac App Store to distribute the Developer Previews of OS X 10.7, so it makes sense that they would use this distribution channel for the final product.

Of course, not everyone has sufficiently fast and reliable Internet to download the upgrade to 10.7. Apple will need to prepare lots of DVDs for those people. Many people prefer to have the “hard copy” of the software for future reinstallation.

Apple went to a USB flash drive for copies of 10.6 that it includes with the MacBook Air. A hint for the future of all Macs or just an option for people buying the high end MacBook Airs? We shall see.

In any case, 10.7 will not run software written for the PowerPC chip. So if you have some old program written in Carbon that ran under both OS 9.2.2 and 10.x that you really rely better decide what to do. Keep the old computer around? Partition the Macintosh HD on your new computer so you can install 10.6 or 10.5? Go to an external hard drive for one or more of the OS versions?

You’ll find articles covering several options in this summer’s Voices.

The Tablet Wars

As I read Appleinsider, Motorola’s marketing people kept the Xoom in mind. The Xoom appears on every pageview with the splashscreen from Angry Birds on the screen.

I remember back to the days of early PCs-it really is time for me to sign up for AARP-when Microsoft Flight Simulator served as the test of PC compatibility. Now Angry Birds is the test of every tablet. If a consumer level tablet can’t play that game, it’s toast.

Now for two more contestants to ramp up their offerings. Both Barnes & Noble and Amazon offer E-book readers. Now it appears they want to offer more versatile tablets.

B&N has told the SEC it intends to offer something more. It already has an upgrade for its Nook Color reader. For $249, the Nook Color isn’t an iPad; but it’s only $249.

And from Taiwan, source of so much information on Taiwan’s computer business-reports that Amazon has placed an large order with Quanta Computer, the big Original Equipment Manufacturer. Rumor has it that Amazon intends to go beyond the Kindle and offer a color tablet with an LCD screen. They intend to offer it in 2011. No word on whether they plan to offer some version of Android for their operating system or stick with the software in the Kindle.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Cinco De Mayo celebrates the victory of Mexican forces over the troops of Emperor Napoleon III in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. It is NOT the Mexican Day of Independence. That falls on September 16, 2011.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The May 2011 Voice is up

The May 2011 Voice is up and further news

Friends and neighbors, the May 2011 MacValley Voice is up. Log on, give it your member name and number, and enjoy it.

A bit off-topic, but the Grubersnorts (Ken Gruberman and Ellen Snortland) have $25,000 in pledges! They can now take their production of Ellen’s play “Now That She’s Gone” to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Your editor is proud to have contributed to this effort.

Now back to topic. The more your editor hears about OS X 10.7, the more he wants to know. My sources tell me that Rosetta is not included with their Developer preview and that the lack of Rosetta and PowerPC compatibility will wreak havoc. A lot of the smaller 3rd party programs that you install that run in the background still retain their PowerPC roots.

If you want a list of the PowerPC programs on your Mac, go to the Apple menu and click on “About This Mac”. You’ll get a basic description of your Mac.

Below that you’ll see a button “More Information...” Click on that.

You’ll see a list of contents on your left-hand side. Go down that list to Software. Below that, you’ll see an indented list. You want the first item, Applications. Click on that.

In a minute or so, after a survey of your computer’s applications is done, you’ll see an alphabetized list of programs. To sort these programs by program type, click on the “kind” column. You’ll be surprised. You’ll probably have to upgrade a program or two if you haven’t upgraded in a while.



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