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SnowLeopard - Finely Tuned

While PC users sweat, complain and ponder which over-priced version of Windows 7 they’ll be forced into buying to fix everything wrong with Vista; most Mac users are likely licking their chops at what Snow Leopard will bring, and how little it will cost.

You’ve heard it’s cheaper, faster, and even more stable than ever before. Though Apple has stated that beyond a few high-profile features like a new version of Quicktime; Snow Leopard is more of a maintenance upgrade for Leopard users, rather than the feature-packed blockbuster we’re normally used to with a full version number upgrade. You might call Snow Leopard a comprehensive tune-up.

As is almost always the case with Apple though, it’s those little tune-ups to Mac OS X that can make all the difference in your daily computing experience. If you happened upon the Snow Leopard Enhancements and Refinements page at Apple’s Web site, you no doubt found at least a handful of things that brings a smile to your face.

Sure, I’m looking forward to a speedier, fully-Cocoa Finder, a fancy new version of Quicktime, and a faster (and much smaller) OS X installation just as much as the next guy. But of much more interest to me are a whole bunch of minor tweaks that will make more of an impact in my daily routine. Read more »

When Apple introduced the Dock with OS X, people immediately either love it or hated it. Over time, we all got used to it. Among some of the usability complaints about the Dock is the fact that without hacking, you can’t simply get rid of it. Hiding the Dock will only get you so far – it still pops-up at inopportune times. If you’re frustrated by the inability to completely hide the Dock, there is a simple solution. Read more »

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In my quest to upgrade an aging dual-monitor setup, a 20” main screen with a 17” screen off to the side to house application palettes, iTunes, etc., the only question in my mind was choosing between an Apple 30” Cinema Display and a Dell 30” UltraSharp Widescreen. In this article, I’m covering both monitors from an average user’s perspective – and you may be surprised what this Apple-fanatic found. Read more »

Apple’s iTunes application is perhaps the most popular app ever installed on the Mac. It’s also one of the least flexible in terms of customization. There’s little you can do to “make it your own,” so to speak. However, all is not lost for habitual tweakers like myself; the iTunes Visualizer can satisfy your need to not leave well-enough alone. I’ve put together a list of 14 cool (and free) Visualizers to get your started with your collection. Read more »

Apple Announces Netbook! That’s the headline you wanted to see, right? That’s the headline that industry analysts and so-called experts believe Apple must have to remain relevant in today’s economic climate. That’s also the headline you’re not likely to come across unless it happens to be April 1st.

The truth is, Apple already has a netbook on the market, which they’ve been selling for over a year now. It’s called the MacBook Air. Read more »

Having used Microsoft Office for many years, despite my utter distain for them, nobody was happier than me when Apple launched the iWork applications. For my light office application needs, Pages, Keynote and Numbers are just perfect. Here are a few tips I use to make my time in the iWork apps a little easier. Read more »

In May of 2001, Apple opened its first retail outlet store in Tysons Corner, Virginia – it was immediately met by critics and the typical roster of Apple-haters with predictions of doom and massive financial losses. Eight years later, Apple has over 255 retail stores worldwide, and are the darling of the retail computer industry. So what makes them so successful?

While the Mac, iPod and iPhone are what makes Apple successful, the formula for their retail store’s success isn’t so obvious until you actually visit an Apple store. Sure, great products sell themselves, but Apple has made sure that their products have the best opportunity to do so by creating an environment that offers virtually no reason for a buyer to go elsewhere. Read more »

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There are a few really handy features in OS X that get very little attention – perhaps because they don’t have a snazzy GUI, or maybe it’s because they only appeal to certain users. Whatever the case, Summarize (found in the menubar under the Application menu) is one of those handy features that gets little attention, but delivers big by helping you get to the point. Read more »

Apple today stripped the beta tag from, and released, Safari 4 into the wild. Safari 4, which has been in beta since February, offers a host of features and enhancements to Apple’s self-proclaimed “World’s Fastest Browser.” Read more »

iPhoto is perfectly capable of displaying your photos as a slideshow or one at a time. But you’re limited to a flat display that doesn’t exactly “wow” anyone. With one simple download, you can view your iPhoto collection on a visually stunning 3D wall, right in your Web browser. Read more »

Coming to TheAppleBlog from the dry, barren desert of Phoenix, Arizona, I wanted to introduce myself as the newest TAB writer and tell you a bit about myself. A graphic designer by trade, I’ve been working in the business for over 20 years, both as a […] Read more »

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