Mac Information

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


Mac OS X Lion: Preparation Guide

Apple are due to launch their new operating system, Mac OS 10 X Lion 10.7, before the end of July. But the question is–are you ready?


Mac OS X Lion will run on any new Mac, bought within the last few years. Here is how to check to see if your Mac is compatible with Lion:
1/ go to your Apple menu and choose “About this Mac”
2/ check to see that your processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo or above
3/ check that your memory is above 1 GB
4/ look for the version number and make sure you are running Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 10.6.8


Article: Pre-ordering the iPad: It's All about the Brand

[This article appeared in TidBITS on March 29th 2010:
For more information about TidBITS please visit the site here]

A number of recent commentators, including one in an article reprinted by Macworld, questioned why anyone would bother to order an iPad before they had a chance to see one in a store or to read the reviews. The answer is "the brand." The strength of the Apple brand explains why people are willing to risk their hard-earned cash on something they haven't personally seen or experienced.

Strong product branding encompasses many variables, such as specifications, pricing, packaging, features, and overall utility. However, those are all part of the rational, logical reasons we buy something. Also significant, and, I would argue, even more important, are the unconscious reasons we buy a product such as an iPod or iPhone. If you talk to someone about why they bought an iPhone, they will list reasons such as the App Store, ease of synchronisation, or other functional aspects of using the phone. The closest we normally get to an emotional reason is the "cool factor," which is an acceptable way of describing your emotions towards the product without appearing goofy! However, these deep emotional keys motivate us to spend money on a product which has not yet been tried and tested.


Find your Apple on Campus store

If you teach or are studying in an education institution, make sure you use your campus store if you choose to buy an Apple product. Apple have a dedicated webpage dealing with the AOC stores. Click here.

Apple on Campus stores

Apple lists the Apple on Campus stores for Ireland, including those for UCC, DIT, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art , TCD and UCD. These stores allow studens and staff to buy Apple equuipment at reduced prices, normally a few percent lower than the normal education store.

The site also includes information on Apple products and how they can be used in education, for both teaching and studying.


First Impressions: iPhone on Vodafone Ireland

We received our new Vodafone Ireland iPhone this week, and have begun to use it on the network. Our first impressions are that there have been no problems or glitches, and that the registration process was seamless.

This is done through iTunes and involves the user entering their Apple ID and password. This worked perfectly, and the phone simply stated that it was now unlocked and registered.

iPhone 3GS on Vodafone Ireland

This is the one bit which is rather unfriendly. The iPhones which are being distributed are not set up for Vodafone, and so the user needs to type in the settings manually. IOS, the distributor, have included a two page document with the iPhone pack, which shows you the steps. The details need to be entered in the Cellular Data Network section of the Settings, under Network. Without these settings, the user can't send or receive MMS messages, or use the 3G network.
One item not included on the list is that you should restart the iPhone after you enter these settings. The MMS part will not function until you do this.

Calls, messaging and 3G quality:
We haven't noticed any difference in call quality on the Vodafone network to using any other Vodafone phone. We have not tested the 3G signal for data yet, but have been receiving emails on the move. Texting has worked flawlessly.

We have found the experience very simple and easy, although it is a bit like being a "shadow" customer of Vodafone. Their call centre will not be able to help with any queries (as stated in the letter) as their staff have not yet been trained, and when we log in to our account, there is no evidence of us using an iPhone. It all feels a bit covert right now, although it does not effect our day-to-day use of the phone, it feels a bit odd. The only issue might come if a user has a problem and needs to phone for support. IOS will only claim to be the distributor, and Vodafone won't have the answers. However as this is all part of a preliminary release, we appreciate that this goes with the territory.

If you are in a similar situation with an early iPhone on Vodafone, let us know your experiences.


Exclusive: iPhone arriving on Vodafone Ireland

Vodafone have begun to phone customers in Ireland in relation to the iPhone. It appears that they are beginning to sell the phone to customers who pre-registered.

iPhone on Vodafone Ireland

Vodafone are working with IOS, a company which will distribute the iPhone on their behalf. This is in advance of the official launch, happening in early 2010. This offer is being made to some of the Vodafone customers who registered online when they announced their intention to adopt the iPhone at the end of September . If the customer agrees to go ahead, IOS will arrange delivery of an iPhone to the Vodafone customer.

The tariffs also reveal that Vodafone are to offer a 2GB data package, twice the level offered by O2. Here are the details:

Basics: 0 minutes and 0 texts
Data allowance per month: 2GB
Free Vodafone to Vodafone calls
Contract length: 18 months
Cost of 16GB iPhone 3GS: €199
Monthly tariff: €34.99 per month

Basics: 150 minutes and 150 texts
Data allowance per month: 2GB
Free Vodafone to Vodafone calls
Contract length: 18 months
Cost of 16GB iPhone 3GS: €199
Monthly tariff: €49.99 per month

Basics: 300 minutes and 300 texts
Data allowance per month: 2GB
Free Vodafone to Vodafone calls
Contract length: 18 months
Cost of 16GB iPhone 3GS: €99
Monthly tariff: €64.99 per month

Basics: 500 minutes and 500 texts
Data allowance per month: 2GB
Free Vodafone to Vodafone calls
Contract length: 18 months
Cost of 16GB iPhone 3GS: €49
Monthly tariff: €84.99 per month

Basics: 700 minutes and 700 texts
Data allowance per month: 2GB
Free Vodafone to Vodafone calls
Contract length: 18 months
Cost of 16GB iPhone 3GS: Free
Monthly tariff: €99.99 per month

Vodafone have stated that they have a limited supply of these iPhones, and the 16GB 3GS model is the only one available. This is a limited release to those who registered early, and the full launch of the phone on Vodafone Ireland's network will around February 2010.

To compare the tariffs to those offered by O2, click here..

Mac Information Christmas Gift Guide

We have put together a series of items which may help with your Christmas gift selection. We have recommended our favourite Mac, iPod and other accessories.
Christmas iPod 2009 in IrelandChristmas iTunes 2009 in Ireland
These ideas are based on products we have bought in 2009 and those we have set up with our clients.

Click here to see the 2009 Christmas Gift Guide.


Apple revamps iPod lineup

Apple have launched their new line-up of iPods, ready for the Christmas buying sseason. The biggest changes effect the iPod nano and iPod touch ranges, both of which have been revised with new storage space and new hardware features..

What now for Eric Schmidt?

This week Google announced that it would go head-to-head with Microsoft by launching its own operating system, Chrome OS. This follows on from Google's new web browser, Chrome, which launched this year. However, this also raises the question of the future role of Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.

Schmidt has been a board member at Apple since August 2006. However Apple have said that Schmidt leaves the room during Apple's board meetings when the iPhone is being discussed. Google's own mobile OS, Android, means that Schmidt has excused himself from these discussions to prevent being accused of a conflict of interest. The question now is, will he also have to be outside the room during discussions about the Mac OS, a rival to Chrome OS?
Google Chrome OS.

Apple's Back to School Offer

Apple have started their annual Back to School Offer, which gives students and teachers the chance to buy a Mac at reduced prices, and to receive a rebate when buying an iPod and Mac together.

The offer is available for teachers, lecturers and all students in higher education institutions. If they buy a qualifying Mac before September 8th 2009, they can get a €185 rebate on an iPod touch. .

Dates for iPhone 3G S launch, inc. Ireland

If you watch the WWDC keynote speech you will see Phil Schiller announce the dates for the launch of the iPhone 3G S. Here are three snapshots of those dates:.

Apple launch new iPhone 3G S & 3.0

Apple have launched the new iPhone 3G S, which is due to go on sale later this month. The new phone is faster than its predecessor, the iPhone 3G, and incorporates a new video and stills camera. It also has voice controls for making calls, a built in compass for sat nav software and other apps, and comes with the new 3.0 OS.

iPhone 3G S Ireland.

Mac Information Guide: File Sharing Using MobileMe

Mac Information have put together a PDF guide on sharing files online, using the MobileMe service. The PDF (link below) shows how to set this up, how to configure files with password protection, and how to remove them once you are done..

PriceWatch: Amazon vs Apple for new Macs

As we reported yesterday, Amazon are offering good prices on some new Macs. With the reintroduction of shipments to Ireland it gives another option to Irish buyers.

Amazon vs Apple prices for Ireland.

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..

Mac Information Guide: Using an iPhone Abroad

Mac Information have put together a PDF guide on roaming changes for data, and how best to avoid big bills. The PDF shows you how to use WiFi only when roaming, and how to change your settings before stepping on that plane..

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.

Apple announce new iPod shuffle

Apple launched a new iPod shuffle today, with two colours available. The shuffle comes with 4GB of storage for 1000 songs. Not only is this shuffle smaller than ever (1.8" x 0.3"), but all controls are now on the earbuds instead of on the face of the shuffle. The only button on the top is an on/off switch- where you can set it to play, shuffle or turn it off.


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”..

Apple reports record quarter- some notes...

Apple have reported another record quarter, with $1.61 billion profit for Q1 2009. Revenue was a record breaking $10.17 billion, half a billion higher than the same quarter in 2008. Cash and short term investments stood at a staggering $28 billion, up $3.6 billion in the quarter.

Here are a few points we noted from the financial conference call....

Presswatch: what we liked...

Here are a few sites which we think hit the mark and offered a good comment on the story about Steve Jobs’ health:.

Presswatch: Bloomberg way off the mark...

In all of the coverage of Steve Jobs’ leave of absence, we found one article particularly distasteful. This is a report from Bloomberg, entitled, “Steve Jobs May Have Pancreas Removed After Cancer”. The article is based on the premise that Jobs may have his pancreas removed after the a return of the cancer he suffered from in 2004.

I found the article distasteful on a number of levels. Firstly it is based on pure speculation; there is currently no evidence to suggest a return of Jobs’ pancreatic cancer, and suggesting this is pure guesswork. .

Steve Jobs issues statement about his health

Apple CEO suffering from hormone imbalance

Today Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, issued an open letter to the Apple community, giving details of his ill-health. It sought to reassure the Apple, and wider business community, of his health position. Jobs has admitted that he is suffering from weight loss brought on by a hormone imbalance, but has aimed to dismiss rumours of a return of his cancer..