MacSanta is coming to town

It’s that season again. The air is getting colder. Snow is starting to fall. Lights are going up on houses and trees alike all over the nation. Special music is heard on the radio. And there’s that feeling that permeates everything of goodness and happiness. That’s right. It’s time to save a ton of cash on some great Mac apps!

Every year around Christmastime, the fine folks at macsantadeals.com work tirelessly to give you some great discounts on some awesome Mac applications. Every day a new list of apps are posted at 20% off, and when they day is past they are archived (“Extended Offers” link) for 10% off. This continues all the way until Christmas. All you need to do is enter the code (given on the website) into the “coupon” area of the software when you make your purchase.

If you’re a Mac user make sure you check this site out on a continual basis all throughout December. Last year I bought a few apps with MacSanta, and they’re great.

Visit MacSantaDeals.com

May I recommend two apps in specific that I have and love. Both are currently located in the archived section.

1. MarsEdit (Red Sweater Software). This very blog post is being written in MarsEdit. It’s an amazing piece of blogging software. For a long time I’ve wanted a stand-alone app to reside on my hard drive that would let my type, edit, format, and work through my blogs. I use WordPress to host the blog, but I never like using web apps to do work. I’d much rather work on my Mac and then upload it all when it’s to my liking. I first heard about MarsEdit on MacBreak Weekly, and instantly downloaded the trial version for 30 days. After the first blog, I knew I was going to buy it. And so I did. It’s absolutely fantastic. It has a lot of features to format your blog and setup links. And what’s really nice is Flickr integration. It sees your Flickr account, and you can call up, view, and insert your Flickr images right from within the app. If you blog, I think you definitely need to check out MarsEdit. It retails for $29.95, but now through Christmas you can get it for 10% off.

2. Audio Hijack Pro (Rogue Amoeba). Audio Hijack is an audio recording application that I simply love. I bought it when I first got a Mac because I needed a simple app to record the teachings at my church for later podcasting. I used to use Adobe Audition on a PC to record, but couldn’t find anything within my price range for the new Mac. Enter Audio Hijack. It’s a great little app that easily records audio from Skype, iChat, iTunes, the Web, or any other input you have. That’s right, you can record audio from your existing programs to use for any purpose you’d like. The really great thing is that it encodes and saves as it records. With Audition, and even Apple’s Soundtrack Pro (part of the Final Cut Studio – which I also now have) you have to record, then save and encode separately. This can sometimes take a long, long time, which I don’t have. For church, we also sell the teachings on CD directly after the gatherings, and so I need an instant recording. As soon as I press the “stop” button on the recording, the file is generated and ready to burn. Amazing. Audio Hijack Pro is one of the apps I bought through MacSanta last year. It retails for $32, but you can get it now through Christmas for 10% off.

Merry Christmas!

Unbelievable

I can’t believe it. So close yet so far. See, I’ve recently gotten into Scrabble and love playing it whenever I can. When I saw that there was a Scrabble Facebook app, called Scrabulous, I did not hesitate to add it and begin playing online immediately. Since then I’ve started many games with people. Most I have won. One person I have had trouble beating is my friend Janelle. She’s a Scrabble beast. Well, in our most recent game I seem to have been able to keep the game close, us both exchanging first place position several times. As the game was drawing quickly towards close I came out with a monster 58-point word to take a significant lead. I held the lead for several turns even as Janelle closed the gap. It came down to the last turn. She came forth with a nice 35-pointer to take a small lead. I had three one-point letters left… 2 O’s and an S. Finding the one place to give me the most points for my word, I played my last 3 letters, thereby going “out” and getting a few bonus points from whatever was left in Janelle‘s hand – hoping they would be enough to bring me back on top.

Wouldn’t you know it….

scrabble.png

It may be hard to see the letters (as Leopard seems to have an issue with certain pieces of text in Flash, only in Scrabulous), but we tied. After all that…. going back and forth with the lead. After several great big-point words. And after staying up ’til almost 3am…. tied. 297 to 297.

Good game, Janelle. We’ll see who comes out on top next time. 🙂

Leopard Day

Leopard boxSo yesterday was the big day. Apple released the upgrade to their operating system, Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger.” As of 6pm last night, we now have OS X v10.5 “Leopard.” I pre-ordered Leopard about two weeks ago because I would not be available at 6pm on Friday to pick it up due to The Bridge. I mean, I’m not that much of a geek that I’d neglect the more important things to be one of the first in line to buy a new shiny product. The website said that if I pre-ordered, it would be delivered to my house on the 26th. And as a result, even though it was released at 6pm, I got my copy at 9:23am via FedEx. No, I was not waiting at the door, time clock in hand, counting down the minutes ’til Mr FedEx got here. I was at work and received an email from FedEx telling me that it was delivered and the time it was signed for. Very nice. So I came home on lunch and installed it on my MacBook Pro. Later that night, after The Bridge, a leader’s meeting, and some quality diner time, I came back home and installed it on my iMac. I did a clean wipe and install on the MacBook to get rid of all old files and generally tidy up the system I did an upgrade on the iMac as I didn’ t want to risk anything happening to my data on there, even though I over-backup my system.

Anyway, I have it running nicely on both machines. I must say it’s a beautiful system. There are little tweaks and enhancements and modifications all over the place (in fact there are over 300 of them) that add up to a really sweet OS.

https://i0.wp.com/images.macrumors.com/downloads/leopardexposeinspace.jpgI’ve just started using Spaces and I think I’m about to get addicted to them. They’re really sweet and so useful to maintain a clean desktop. It’s pretty easy to get used to the keystrokes to switch between spaces and to move and modify what programs are where in them.

iChat Theater is pretty awesome. The ability to show any file to the person on the other end is so cool and there are other little features included that make it pretty solid. You can now record your video chats directly in iChat. You can drag files over your video and select if you want to just send the person the file or show it in the Theaters. The background replacement is awesome, but you do need to be in front of a solid colored wall for it to work properly.

The image “https://i2.wp.com/blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/images/time-machine-logo2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Time Machine is real nice. I tried it out a bit, and I think it will be a great way to maintain your files. As far as backup goes, I still like Mozy, since it’s off-site. For now I have Time Machine off until I get a dedicated 500Gb drive for it. I don’t want to fill up my media drives with backup data.

The UI is soooo pretty. So sleek and shiny and new. I love it. Cover Flow with Quick Look is a great way to view your files, though I do find myself switching back to some of the more traditional views in some instances. They did fix the problem with how the dock looked on the sides of the screens by making it a non-3D box. The regular dock, on the bottom of the screen is so nice looking, though, that I’, tempted to put it back on the bottom, but I’m so used to it on the side that it frustrates me to have it down there.

The new mail is really nice, though I haven’t yet played with the full extent of it’s capabilities. iCal has some new features, but noticeably has a new sleeker view for your calendar events. Everything looks sleeker and beautiful.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/images/quicksilver_logo.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I have found a few little bugs, not necessarily with the OS, but with programs acting funny in the new environment. For example, I use Last.FM and Quicksilver all the time, and so I keep them out of my dock and only in my menu bar. Well, for some reason, the icons show in my dock all the time, and I can’t get them out. Other little apps, like SoundSource don’t work at all in Leopard. They’ve completely disappeared from my menu bar, though they are still on the system. I did have Keychain issues on my MacBook Pro, but I think they were my fault from trying to make the keychain do unnatural things. I’ve reset the Keychain on the MacBook and all seems well now.

So, I’ve been using it for about 24 hours now, and so far so good. Any issues are easily fixable with software updates, and so I’m not worried. Leopard seems pretty solid. I like it. We shall see if anything new develops over the next week or two of use.

Unpackaged Welcome to Leopard Installed!

And so I leave you with some random tweets I received yesterday all about Leopard. Enjoy:

thopex: “Und n”achste Woche hol ich mir dann den Leopard 🙂 (Note: I have no idea what this means, but the “Leopard” with the smiley at the end made me laugh)

cheapRoc: Happy Leopard day everyone! God bless our mother Apple and all her glory… Jobs be thy name…

thetwin314: OMG, Leopard!

rebelprince: iPhone sized line for Leopard. More cheering. Consumer as celebrity. Thoughts later, this is important.

frak: finally in leopard – w00t

erickyp: I am going to have to say goodbye & when I come back – my twitters will look like a Leopard

Anistar: 2 good things for the day: installing Leopard & Jess is ok… i can breathe

kevindente: Why do I get the feeling I’ll be reading nothing but Leopard reviews for the next week?

bblboy54: Twitter is apparently not able to hand the stress of the Leopard release.

‘Splodin Nanas!

Don’t you hate when your Nana just spontaneously combusts?

Danny Williams, an iPod nano owner claims that his Nano burst into flames while it was in his pocket. He claims that there were chest-high flames emanating from the malfunctioning iPod, but luckily he was saved by a piece of paper also in his pocket. Well, thank goodness for that sacrificial, flammable flame retardant sheet of protection!

Ok, for real, the Nano’s battery probably was defective. It probably did explode in his pocket. It’s happened before, albeit with rare occurrence in the iPod world. But chest-high flames? And a magical piece of paper to protect him from burns?

1. Paper is flammable. Glossy coating is flammable. Perhaps the coating takes a bit longer to catch, but the heat would easily transfer from iPod to leg and effectively burn. Also, why is there only a small puncture hold and mild discoloration on the card, if in fact there was a blazing inferno proceeding from his lap? Shouldn’t there be serious burning of the paper since I’m sure the flames weren’t extinguished in a few seconds?

2. If the flames were chest-high, why is his entire torso not burned? A little card in his pocket can’t protect from that.

3. Mistaken for a terrorist? I think that’s a bit extreme.

Anyway, I’m sorry his iPod malfunctioned. Apple did say they’d send him a new one. But this is obviously an exaggeration in an attempt for another frivolous law suit to get money from a company.

Engadget has the full story, with video.

I have to get back to work as my lunch break ends soon, and so…. oh no, I just spilled some coffee on myself… someone will pay for this!

Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure your iPod is protected.

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