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Recently I posted about iCal and Address Book, and my suspicion that they were a couple of unsung heroes amongst the OS X-included apps. As a follow-up, I’ll start with iCal and my findings after using it daily for a few weeks.

My general conclusion is that iCal is a good calendar program as far as calendar programs go. I mean, what do you really do to make a calendar really stand out from another? On its own, I don’t think it shines the way I suspected it would. It’s helped me keep better track of my life and all the stuff that goes on around me. (My wife is especially appreciative of this aspect of my new iCal use.) At the end of the day, that’s what it’s really about, isn’t it? Read more »

Apple’s earbuds hurt. Plain and simple. They just hurt. I have yet to talk to someone who thinks the stock iPod earbuds are comfortable or even stay in their ears good. Upon realizing within the first 5 minutes of wearing the Apple earbuds that they were […] Read more »

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TiVo’s stock jumped about 17% after an article from Reuters started the rumor mill buzzing today that Apple is eyeing a takeover of TiVo. Despite Michael Ramsay, TiVo’s chief executive, saying that the company is not for sale, analysts figure the company might be an easy […] Read more »

We all know the Mac Mini suffers from a distinct lack of both USB and FireWire ports. Hubs are not exactly difficult to come by, but who wants multiple boxes attached to your svelte Mini? The Compaq USB and FireWire hub might be one solution. Read more »

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Last week we posted an introduction piece to Quicksilver, meant to walk the un-innitiated through the world of Quicksilver. This week Dan Dickinson has a great mid-level piece on tweaking Quicksilver. It’s meant for the more Quicksilver-familiar crowd, and is a great next step for those […] Read more »

There’s been lots of talk about the Mac Mini being a great PVR or media device, or how it could take the place of many an iMac and even a G4 desktop in businesses across the country. However, I see the Mac Mini as providing a different solution to the problem of computing power and flexibility. Read more »

A simple, but beautiful piece of plastic, the Griffin iCurve is the simplest, and yet one of the most effective methods of putting your Apple Powerbook (or any other laptop). But somehow this piece of plastic does so much more. Read more »

As a student, I am always taking notes in class. Normally, I just use Word or Pages, but after a few weeks of school, my documents folder begins to look like it was hit by a massive hurricane. Recently, while surfing around version tracker, I came […] Read more »

According to AppleInsider, Apple is on track to rename its Rendezvous technology to “Bonjour” as part of a settlement with Tibco Software of Palo Alto, CA over the Redezvous trademark. Apple’s Rendezvous technology, also known in the industry as Zero Configuration networking, enables automatic discovery of […] Read more »

Barefeats.com recently put several uber high-end PC’s up against a Powermac G5 to see which system was the king of desktops. As you would expect, the G5 comes out on top in every CPU test they ran. However, when it came time to test 3D graphics […] Read more »

UPDATE:
I’ve noticed this post getting a lot of play lately. Glad to see it’s viewed as useful to so many! Look for a Quicksilver & Tiger piece with new and exciting Quicksilver goodness in the coming days, here on The Apple Blog.

Quicksilver is one of the most innovative applications to be found on OS X. That may be my opinion, but there hasn’t been a person I’ve introduced to it that hasn’t said [in some form], “It’s changed the way I use my computer!” That’s awfully telling I’d say.
To be fair, LaunchBar and Butler are two more popular alternatives to Quicksilver – LaunchBar is $30 for a 5 computer license and Butler is Donation-ware. In contrast, the founding developer of Quicksilver (known as Alcor on his forums – look for an interview with Alcor in the coming weeks) seems to spend more of his time working on QS than getting around to creating a donation section on blacktree.com.

Why is it better? Alcor is one of the most responsive developers I’ve come across. Beta updates seem to come – on average – about every couple weeks. He is constantly answering questions and listening to the multitude of fans on his forums. I’ve not seen a similar, consistent practice by a developer…in my memory. So not only is Quicksilver fully featured and powerful as all get-out, but it’s always evolving.

OK, what does it do?!
Short answer: It’s a launcher. It allows you to open files from a keystroke instead of clicking through the Finder for them.
Long answer: What doesn’t it do? QS indexes your hard drive into a Catalog. That Catalog is available at a single keystroke and then allows you access to everything on your computer. Not only can you open applications, but using QS, you can move files around, append text to files, locate a file and attach it to an email…The list goes on and on and on and…

But to really appreciate Quicksilver, you’ve got to dive in. Nothing I could write would explain it nearly well enough (you’re probably saying to yourself, “Yeah, that’s painfully obvious…”). Seeing absolutely is believing. And as it says on the Quicksilver Preview page:

In the end, Quicksilver has one very important effect. , The effort associated with frequent tasks fades into the background and you are able to act without thinking. After an adaptation period, Quicksilver becomes an extension of yourself; the process fades away leaving only the results.

So let’s get started! Read more »

Some of you may be getting the opinion that I’m a bit of a moaner. I have gripes about things only when I know the company could do better, and I think, in many cases these companies know they could do better. Unfortunately a combination of […] Read more »

Circuit City is now selling the iPod Shuffle online, with both the 512MB and 1GB versions of the Shuffle marked as immediately available. Update: Spoke too soon. Both are now marked as “SOLD OUT”. Read more »

Perhaps this is nothing new for you, the intelligent readership of The Apple Blog – but it was new to me… Ted over at PowerSDK posts about the death of his wife’s iPod. Sure, we’ve all heard about these things before, that’s nothing new – but […] Read more »

It’s that time of the year when we’re looking to increase the size of our staff by 2 (doesn’t every company have that?). We’re in need of 2 writers who have the skills to pay the bills. Also, if you’ve got sweet graphic design skills, we’ve […] Read more »

Seems that someone at Apple slipped-up and sent a periodic email to consumers in Great Britian, and it included the box art/logo for the upcoming Tiger release. The inclusion was apparently a mistake, as subsequent emails featured different graphics, omitting the Tiger box. Basically, it looks […] Read more »

The standard Mail application is what many people use, but it’s far from perfect. We’re going to take a look at some of the more annoying features, or lack thereof. Read more »

The awesome team from Panic have released version 3.0 of their award winning FTP client Transmit. Improvements include support for FTPS, column view, tabbed connection, a sidebar, better synchronization features, WebDAV support, and tons of others. I will be posting a more in depth review as […] Read more »

The Mac mini is everybodies favorite HTPC to be these days with numerous projects working on software for it. Well now someone has tossed together a great looking docking station concept for it. This is really cool but they missed a few things. Like A/V capture […] Read more »

My comments about the books from iPhoto 5 sparked a lot of feedback. Thanks to everyone who left comments; The insight, personal experiences, and information were great to read. As promised, here are my impressions from the book I ordered last week and received last night: […] Read more »

Engadget is reporting about the new Mini Skirt Blue-glo from Plasticsmith. It’s really cool looking. Of course first thought is, without a usb or firewire hub (or both) built in, it’s pretty useless. But hopefully that’s to come soon. Some of the commenters had some cool […] Read more »

Apparently, everyone was a bit pre-mature to report that the Motorola E1060 was the long awaited iTunes-Phone. It seems that the E1060 was just a demo model to show off the software, and not the actual phone. I was under the impression that you release a […] Read more »

Finally Apple is opening a retail store in my home state of Oklahoma. The new store is going to be located in Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. At this time it is unclear if this is going to be a full sized or a mini […] Read more »

Apple has posted an open call to all switchers to send their stories in. Here is a blurb from the page: Let us know what made you get a Mac instead of a PC. Did you fall in love with your iPod and then buy a […] Read more »

Sony just announced it will be releasing a cell phone that will apparently compete with the “iTunes Phone” from Motorola. It’ll be named after Sony’s long dominant (until the iPod came along) Walkman line of products. And get this: It’ll play mp3 and AAC files! So […] Read more »

In DAILY FEEDING, I’ll attempt to help you simplify some of the more daily and mundane tasks of computing. To kick things off, I’ll start with protecting your data through regular backups.

I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this topic – why? I’ve lost way too much data due to poor back-up practices. But the past few months have brought some break-throughs that will hopefully help you avoid my mistakes.

I actually lucked out about 5 months ago: I’d just run my first backup of my Home folder (after having my powerbook for almost 2 years), when I hosed myself the very next day. Thank goodness I’d made a backup the night before! And oh yes – the biggest issues arise from user-error, and I generally know what I’m doing on a computer… Read more »

Raise your hand if you’ve ordered a book from iPhoto. My father-in-law ordered one right after installing and opening iPhoto 5. He got it in about a week later and called me. He was not impressed (mind you, he’s a huge Apple nut). I figured he […] Read more »

While Hewlett Packard is having a bad week or so, Apple stands to gain some firepower. HP’s senior vice president of marketing, Allison Johnson will be moving to Apple to breath some new life into Apple marketing. In her new position, she will be responsible for […] Read more »

In what appears to be an answer to Apple’s Mac mini, Japan’s Soldam has released the Lepty PC. It comes in a casing that has the option of a Pentium M or Celeron M process and a DVD-+R/RW/RAM burner. One plus (for the Jr. High girl […] Read more »

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