Mac Information

Apple Macintosh, iPod, iPad and iPhone news and advice in Dublin, Ireland


Our Gear- What Mac Information Use…

In case people are interested, here is the gear we have chosen to use in our office. We spend much of our time recommending hardware and software to clients, and so we thought you may be interested in our choices.


iMac 27”
This is two years old at this stage but is still our main Mac. We love the 27” screen and would never go back to the 21” version. We will probably upgrade at the next Apple iMac release.

MacBook Air 11”
We have just ordered a new customised 11” MacBook Air, with a 2.0Ghz i7 chip, 256GB drive and 8GB of RAM. It should be with us this week and we will report back on what we think of this new laptop.

MacBook Pro 15”
This has been our main portable for over 3 years now, and has served us well. However we have not used the DVD drive in a long time, and we find this model to be heavy, certainly compared to a MacBook Air. In recent months the MacBook Pro has become a bit sluggish, and so after the latest WWDC laptop models were released, we decide to make the switch.

Printers and Scanners
We have a HP 2605 laser printer which has worked flawlessly for the last 5 years. Overall, great value for printing letters and other documents. We also own a HP 1022, which was nobbled by HP after the release of Snow Leopard, and the drivers were not updated. A real shame as this was a great, cheaper black and white work-horse.
We rarely print photos of other graphics, so a photo printer is not a main requirement. However we do have an Epson SX515, which is a multifunctional printer and scanner. In the last 6 months we have only used it for scanning. The wireless scanning feature is very useful.

Other bits
Harman Kardon SoundSticks speakers for our iMac, Vodafone office landline broadband (we do not recommend any broadband provider as they are equally awful!), Time Capsule 2TB, lots of Airport Express units to cover the building, Apple TV 2, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.


Here are the apps we currently use every day: Mail, Safari, iCal, Address Book, 1Password, Pages, iTunes, Rapidweaver, iPhoto, iChat, Twitter.
Here are other apps we like, but use occasionally: Acorn, FileMaker Pro, Dragon Dictate, Parallels, Bookpedia, iBook Author, GrandPerspective

After ten years in business, we feel we have good value for money from our equipment and although some items such as the printers need updating, the items have served us well and we have had very good service from all Macs over the years..

Check out the Apple Sale this Friday

If you have any plans to buy Christmas gifts from Apple this year, make sure you take a look at the Apple online store for Ireland or the UK this Friday. Traditionally in the US, there is a Black Friday sale after the Thanksgiving festival, and this is an opportunity to pick up a Mac or iPod at a special discount.

Apple are not known for their sale prices, but this is the one exception in the year, when the special shopping event is adopted by many US retailers. However to be fair to all customers, Apple offer the similar discounts to all of its international online and retail stores. The following teaser has been placed on the Apple online store for Ireland:

Click here for details.

Be sure to check out the site on Friday to see what offers are available.

Tips for Windows Switchers

Given that so many of our clients are switchers from the world of Windows, here are a few tips which people may find useful.

1/ Gather your usernames and passwords- especially your internet logins, such as email settings. You will need to type your usernames and passwords into your new email application, such as Mail or Entourage

2/ To transfer contacts, use the “forward as vCard” feature on your PC to email these from your PC to Mac. This is a simple and easy method to attach contact vCards to an email and then send them to your new Mac. Then drag and drop these vCards into your Apple Address Book (or into Entourage). Microsoft have a few steps on this page. However, only send about 30 at one time as trying to email too many does not work, and some cards will go missing.

3/ For calendars, export your PC calendar as a “vCal” file, which can then be opened in iCal.

4/ If you use a USB stick to transfer .doc files from your PC to your new Mac, these will open in TextEdit in Mac OS X. You can also download and buy iWork ’09 or Office 2008 to open and edit these files, but TextEdit is a free and simple way to open, view and edit Word files.

5/ Check out Mac 101 and Switch 101 on Apple’s website..

NIB confirm Mac support

We contacted NIB this week to confirm that their new Access ID card system for internet banking would be compatible with Snow Leopard and Safari 4. Readers may remember that we covered the debacle over the NIB's internet banking switch in 2007, when they cut off all Mac users for a number of weeks during the changeover. .

Back to School or University- what you need to know...

With the education season about to start up again, here are a few tips on purchasing a Mac as a student or teacher.

Firstly, anyone connected to education should purchase through Apple's Education Store (Ireland or UK). This is not open to the general public, but is instead a way for students and teachers to buy Apple products at a discounted price.

Apple Education Ireland and UK.

Review: Quickoffice Files

One App Store application we really like is Quickoffice Files, which allows you to download or place files on your iDisk, and email them to colleagues. You can also connect your Mac to the iPhone to drop files between the devices..

Amazon returns to delivering to last

Amazon ship to Ireland

Amazon have started to ship electronic goods to Ireland again after an absence of about 3 years. Amazon had stopped shipments to Ireland when the WEEE recycling fee was introduced, but have now returned to selling goods with new shipping rates..

All you need to know from the iPhone event...

  • Here is a run-down of the announcements from the iPhone 3.0 event this week:
iPhone OS 3.0 event summary
  • iPhone now on sale in 80 countries, with China being probably the biggest gap right now.
  • 13.7m iPhones sold in 2008
  • 17m iPhones sold to end of 2008
  • iPhone and iPod touch run iPhone OS- so 30m devices now run this OS
  • 800,000 downloads of iPhone SDK
  • 50,000 iPhone developers now signed up to Apple Developer program
  • 60% did not develop for Apple before this

iPhone update plugs many gaps

The new iPhone operating system, based on Mac OS X, was previewed this week at a special Apple event held in Cupertino. Version 3.0 promises many new features, 100 according to Apple. Some of these are very welcome and fill gaps which we had hoped would be filled soon.

iPhone OS 3.0.

Backups, backups, backups

With the advent of the iPhone, many of the people we work with are beginning to turn to MobileMe, Apple’s online email and sync service. However there is one very important lesson which many have learnt over the last few years, with .Mac and the new MobileMe: backup regularly..

iPhoto '09- a few impressions of Faces

Face recognition or new tagging

After one day playing with Apple’s iLife ’09 package, one thing has become clear to us- the new iPhoto face recognition feature should be called “face tagging”..