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Archive for the ‘Product review’ Category

Until about a year ago, I had searched the Internet far and wide for a free, uncomplicated service that would let me keep a folder on my home Mac completely synced with an identical folder on my work PC and backed up online.  I found SugarSync, which allowed me to do just that for $2.49 a month.

And now it’s free.  (Actually, up to 2 GB is free.  SugarSync makes its money on packages ranging from 30 GB to 250 GB of storage.)

You can also access your files on a mobile browser or with an iPhone app.

UPDATE: I’m now using Dropbox.

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Perhaps I haven’t been keeping up.  I was surprised to read today that a new version of my favorite Mac web browser, Firefox, just became available.  Dubbed “Version 3,” it claims a new look, some enhancements, and a few goodies I have yet to try.

Despite my obvious status as an Apple Zombie, I really prefer Firefox to Safari, so I loaded it right away.  At first blush, I am liking what I see.

The first thing one notices is a slick, silvery new appearance; it looks a lot like Safari, to be honest.  It’s cool lookin’, especially when you start typing an address in the toolbar (Just try that.  Go ahead; I’ll wait.).  But, is there any more power under the hood?  It would appear so.  Firefox 3 seems quite a bit quicker, due in large part to better memory management, loading pages noticeably faster than its predecessor.

Set-up was easy, of course.  And, gosh, the price is right.

I see no reason not to try the new FireFox.  The software can be found here.

A full review will come once I have become better acquainted with the new browser.  I am sure the review will be positive.

peterbaskind@gmail.com

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From my IBM PCjr, to my Commodore 64, Mac Classic, Mac LC III, string of PCs, and finally to my current Mac PowerBook G4 — 20 years of nerd-dom — I have never had a complete, proper backup. Dangerous, I know. I did backup my iTunes database on DVDs once, but that was a couple of years ago, and I have made occasional CDs of my documents file.

Anyway, I picked up a 160 GB Western Digital Passport portable hard drive, and that was a dud because that particular drive does not work with a PowerBook G4. So I picked up this LaCie F.A. Porsche 500 GB USB 2.0 external hard drive at Amazon.com for $119. Much, more better.

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It has only been a day, or so, since Office for Mac 2008, and its communications and organization suite, Entourage, appeared in my mailbox. I am still playing with it, and learning the subtle quirks of the system. So, at this early stage, how does Entourage compare to Apple Mail, the mail client that ships with OS X?

First, configuring Entourage for mail. Odd. Set up was smooth enough, but, for some reason, Apple Mail and Entourage don’t seem to play well together. Every time I launch Entourage, Apple Mail loses its password for outgoing messages. So, I have to go into Preferences and replace it — every time. That, I simply can’t explain. Further, once I got Entourage up for the first time, I lost all connectivity, for all my computers. Again, that is something I can’t figure.

Since I joined the world of Undead Apple Zombies several months ago, I have really come to like Apple Mail. It’s simple and elegant — useful features in a mail client. But, I am willing to give something new a try.

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hd_dvdthumbnail1.png Lately, Scott has been writing a good bit about the Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD (why is this in italics? It’s a Blue Book thing. Dang lawyers.) question. And, as you might recall from a previous post, I was on the fence as to how to handle the ticklish decision situation. It seems after some late night larceny, I have arrived at, at least, a temporary solution.

Now, I have become a Apple Zombie of late. Apple Zombies are not just enamored with Apple products for their ease of use and overall elegance. There is a degree of laziness, too. We have become accustomed to just plugging something in, and letting the Spirit of Steve do all the work for us, as we quietly sip Jäger, or some other less-disgusting beverage.

All this leads me to my Blu-Ray experience. I have a wife who will give our kids nearly anything. Heck, if they told her they wanted an elephant, I would be shoveling massive amounts of poop by the next afternoon. That’s why my son has both an Nintendo Wii, and a Sony Playstation III. The latter, he simply doesn’t play with, ’cause the Wii is so much more fun. Really, it’s way more fun.

So, while he wasn’t looking, I lifted the PS III to hook up to the new big-ass HDTV downstairs. It’s a Sony TV and a Sony game console. This should be easy, I thought. They speak the same language. I’ll soon be watching my HD movies in style and comfort. Gosh, how wrong I was…

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In preparation for my impending upgrade from Tiger to Leopard — and because (I am embarrassed to say) I never back up my PowerBook G4 — I picked up this 160 GB Western Digital Passport portable hard drive today at Best Buy for $99. Let me cut to the chase: This drive does not work with a PowerBook G4.

The packaging says it works for PC and Mac but should have said most Macs. Apparently, my 17-inch PowerBook G4 does not push enough power through USB to run the damn thing. Western Digital’s troubleshoot was no help.

I have ordered a 500 GB LaCie with an AC adapter. Stay tuned….

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