Friday, March 23, 2012

iPhone 5, Fall Launch?

According to iMore, the next iPhone will be released this fall. Although there have been rumors of a larger (4 Inch) screen, sources seem to indicate that Apple will stick with the current size, 3.5 inches.  This is not to say that they are not considering a larger one, and we all know that rumors about Apple's pre-released products can be all over the board.

You can read the full article here:

iMore iPhone 5 

In summary, they claim the new iPhone will have:

  • Similar if not same sized screen (currently 3.5-inch but not set in stone)
  • 4G LTE radio
  • New “micro dock” connector
  • Fall/October 2012 release

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


A customer writes to me:

Dear Macmama,
I am an author, and have been using Microsoft Word to write my memoirs. I thought it would be easier than just using a typewriter, but I still have scraps of paper all over my desk, as well as photos I want to add. I thought writing on the computer would simplify this task, but I find myself having a hard time being organized.  Is there a better way? Daniel F., Oakland

Dear Daniel,
While Microsoft Word is a powerful word processor, and has features that most of us never use, it can be frustrating to writers who need a solution to not only document a narrative, but also organize timelines, photos, clippings, text snippets and research. And the outlining features are a bit clumsy. For outlines and project organization, I use Omni Outliner Pro, which I’ll talk about another time. 

But for writers who need to gather ideas as well as make outlines, I prefer a different solution. Enter Scrivener, a writing application that according the makers at Literature &Latte (I love that!) allows you to, “Outline. Edit. Storyboard. Write.” 

I have been reviewing Scrivener for about a week now, and I have to say I love it, and wish that I had the great American novel waiting to burst from my fingers. While the learning curve is a bit steep, the benefits are many. In this one application, you can gather and organize your research, make an outline, organize characters, photos, websites, text clippings and media files. One of the small features that I love is the “composition mode”. Like the old days, when you type, the “paper” moves, not the cursor. So you are always looking at the middle of the screen when you type. You can turn this feature off if you are more comfortable with the current word processing cursor behavior. Another feature, which is also available in Word 2011, is full screen mode, so you can remove the distractions that live on our desktops. One of the UC Berkeley professors that first told me about Scrivener loves the fact that he can still write on virtual index cards.
Scrivener comes with extensive tutorials, both interactive and video, and the user forums on the web are helpful and thorough. The developer is also very responsive when you have questions or issues, and according to user reviews, usually answers emails within a few hours. This application has been designed beautifully and thoroughly. As I said, it takes some work and study to learn, but the payoff of mastering an extensive authoring tool is worth it.

Scrivener is $45 to buy, free to try and can be found here:

Friday, March 16, 2012


Yes, today on launch day, I bought an iPad. 
I did not pre-order.
I did not stand in line before 8am (in the pouring rain).
I didn't rush into the Apple store as soon as I woke up.

I worked all day, and on the way home decided to stop at the Apple store on 4th Street in Berkeley, CA, where I live, just to see what this 3rd iPad in 2 years looks like. As I entered the store around 4PM, I asked the greeter (did they learn that from Walmart?) if they were sold out of iPads. "That depends on which one you want", he answered. How about the 32 GB WiFi model in white, I asked?
"Yes, we have those in stock". 
I love those words. Although I was not planning on buying one today, when I saw what an improvement the display is over that of the 1st generation (which I own), I thought  I kind of might like to maybe have that, like now.

So my new pal Wayne brought one over to me, and a nice tall employee fetched me a pink cover from high up on the wall, and home I trotted to set up my new iPad. In about 20 minutes, it was all done, all of my apps, movies, photos, etc. were transferred from a back up of my older iPad. Seamless and trouble free. I did have to re-add a password for one of my email accounts.

Do I love it? Not sure, but it is awfully pretty. My last model was a 32 GB WIFI+3G. I only used the 3G once, while we were moving across country, and had no ISP for a few weeks. But I have an iPhone, and did not want to shell out the extra $129 for 3G. More later!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quicken for Mac 2007 now compatible with Lion, $14.99

Intuit has finally released a Lion compatible Quicken 2007 for Mac. According to Intuit:

Quicken Mac 2005 – 2007 data files will automatically convert into the Lion compatible version. If you're currently running Quicken Essentials for Mac on OS X 10.7 Lion, and have previously converted from Quicken 2005, 2006 or 2007 for Mac, you'll be able to migrate your Quicken Essentials transaction data to Quicken Mac 2007 OS X Lion compatible.

Many Mac customers, frustrated that Quicken would no longer work on Lion moved to other financial software solutions (I moved to iBank). It is not clear whether Intuit is planning to offer an updated, more full featured version of Quicken for the future. According to

Quicken 2007 was a popular personal financial management application for Mac, but instead of building upon the popular application Intuit elected to rebuild the application as a stripped-down Quicken Essentials for Mac. The new version was widely panned by reviewers for its considerable loss of functionality compared to Quicken 2007. 

Here is a link to Intuit's Quicken for Mac OSX Lion  page.