Choosing the right iPod for you

With Christmas coming and Apple hitting marketing hard, choosing an iPod that’s right for you or for your loved one can be a difficult task. I for one am a fan of the iPod Nano, its exceptional simplicity and sleekness and its new Genius features, creating a playlist of my most favorite songs.

But if you’re looking to make a first-time iPod purchase or pick one up for a friend or loved one. Here are some questions to ask:

1. How many songs do you have in your playlist?

-If you’re new to iTunes or have a limited amount of songs, try the iPod Nano. Its got a great selection of colors for those of you who want to make a fashion statement. Also, the accelerometer allows you to shuffle your music with a shake. The iPod Nano is available in 8GB and 16GB; 2,000 and 4,000 songs respectively.

-If you’re wanting to carry your library wherever you go, there is no comparison to the iPod Classic. With 120GB of storage, it can hold up to 30,000 songs. Great for long trips or if you don’t have access often to your iTunes library, having everything you could want and need on your iPod can be extremely helpful. $249 can be a little spendy, but a good investment.

2. Where and how often are you going to listen to your music?

-Do you only listen to music when working out? if so, then the iPod shuffle is for you. Clip the player to your sleeve and load the 1GB shuffle, with a 500 song capacity, easily with iTunes. You can run on the treadmill or in your neighborhood and hear your favorite songs. Makes a great Christmas gift for a cost of only $49.

3. Are you going to JUST listen to music, or watch videos and play games too?

-The iPod Touch is your best option for videos and games on your iPod. Its has a Mult-touch display and 3D graphics, enhancing a gaming experience and gives good clarity for watching videos.

Hopefully these guidelines and questions help bring you to a decision. An iPod can be a great gift for a friend or family member around the holidays.

Extra Tip: Consider getting a service plan or extended warranty with your iPod, simply because they are carried around and you are downloading lots of songs, videos, etc. In case something goes wrong, you’re covered.

Leave comments or questions below about other considerations when purchasing an iPod.


Standoff: Mac OS X vs. SuSe Linux vx. Windows Vista

I read an interesting post on ZDNet today about the best OS between Mac OS X, SuSe Linux and Windows Vista. It’s pretty common to see OS X and Vista in the lineup, but adding SuSe Linux was an approach I hadn’t seen recently. Needless to say, Mac OS X came out on top as far as the poster was concerned. Surprise surprise. I liked this summary:

For those who put a premium on user productivity, MacOS X is the no brainer option: it’s more matter of fact than Novell’s new GUI skin and packaging, and mostly just stays out of the way of knowledgeable users. In fact, for many it meets the IT ideal: it works so well, they don’t know it’s there or doing anything to help them – they just click and expect it to work; because, well, it just does.

I also found it interesting that it was suggested that all 3 OSes be run on Apple hardware for the test. An obvious choice to give OS X a fair shake, but an approach I hadn’t thought of.

Anyone performed a similar test or given a Linux flavor a true day-to-day productivity test?

Click here to view ZDNet’s original post.


Will Apple Take A Hit In The Recession?

With the buzz of last weeks event still electrifying the Apple stock and market, how will Apple adjust to the recession and cut in stock? I’m going to have to agree with my fellow blogger, Henry Blodget, who states that Apple Won’t Get Crushed By The Recession.

The new MBP and other products launched within the last few months have took into account the market and economy, while still maintaining the elegance and superior performance that Apple offers. They have been able to effectively balance the, ” magical halo of quality and cool” that Blodget mentions, while still lowering prices to a reasonable rate for those interested in purchasing a Mac for the first time or buying the new, sleek MBP with its innovative features. Blodget says:

  • A $1,000 laptop is not really much more expensive than an $800 laptop, especially for a product that should last a few years. Apple will never win over the folks who choose purely on price anyway, so it would be dumb for it to sacrifice its premium positioning to try.

  • The $200 iPhone has much of the functionality that many people once looked to laptops for, and some potential buyers of $500-$800 laptop will opt for that instead. Apple’s iPhone, moreover, is still the highest quality product in the market, so no one who buys it will ever feel like they’re settling for less.


I agree with Blodget’s reasoning, but still, there were many who were disappointed with the event and were hoping that Apple would lower their prices a little more in order for those struggling in a recession to be able to purchase a new Mac.

So while Apple is far from ‘taking a hit’ in the current recession, though everyone will see a cut in stock and lowering in profit margin and purchasing, Apple will still be just find and continue to excel as the leader in innovative and user-friendly, cutting edge technology.

But I can’t help but wonder, will Apple ever make their products, like the iPhone, available at a lower price or keep it just out of reach for the average joe in order to maintain its mystical and superior quality status?


Hands On With the New Macbook, Macbook Pro, and 24″ LED Cinema Display

The new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and 24″ Cinema Display (floor model only) showed up at our Apple store, so we popped in and gave them a good lookin’ over to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without. After nearly getting the book when Ryan set off the anti-theft alarm on the MacBook he was fondling, we noted the following impressions.


Paul says: – I like the new, more Air-like design in both shape and finish. Also, this machine definitely feels peppier than our previous-gen MacBook. Still stuck with the same 1280×800 resolution as before, which is a little bit disappointing.

Ryan says: – I really like the new design, more than I thought I would based on the initial pictures.  I, like Paul, wish the display resolution was tighter. Noticeably quicker than previous models and felt like it blew the MacBook Air out of the water speed-wise. This is almost a MacBook Air replacement for my light and portable machine, but not quite. An interesting note, I didn’t find the new trackpad much different than the current one. It’s bigger, but all they’ve really done is created the bottom edge so it tips down effectively hiding the button. That feature wasn’t as impressive to me hands on as it was when Jobs pitched it.

MacBook Pro

Paul says: – I could be drinking the dual video card Kool-aid, but the new MBP definitely feels peppy with all apps that I could open. Again, I like the new sleeker look, and really like the easy access to the hard drive. Since I currently use the 17″ high resolution model, I’m not sure I could move down to the lower resolution of the 15″, but that size factor is always tempting.

Ryan says: – I have similar comments to how I felt about the MacBook. Great design. Gorgeous screen. Love all the connectors on one side. I also like the new keyboard style, picking up the Air and MacBook design. If I were buying today, I think this is what I’d go with given the nice balance between portability and power.

24″ LED Cinema Display

Paul says: – Apple is calling this display ‘the must-have MacBook accessory,’ and I think I’m buying the hype. The new display is bright and crisp, and looks good from a design perspective. I also like the new three-in-one mag safe connector that has power, usb, and mini display port connectors in one dock-like cable. Built in camera, mic, speakers and usb ports are definitely handy, and my wife will love that it’s ‘the greenest display’ from Apple yet.

Ryan says: – Let me just say, I’m in love with Apple displays…yet I don’t own one. I don’t know that this will be the one I’ll buy. It’s a beautiful display. I also love the new connector cable on one hand, and am disappointed on the other. I can’t use this display, out of the box, with any of my current Macs. Also, no 30″ option (my current dream display)…yet.

Hands On Conclusion

Paul says: – When the 24″ displays hit in November, I could be tempted to try them out alongside a MacBook. (You have to get one with the other, since the new displays only use the mini displayport at this time.) Until the MacBook Pros get the 17″ refresh as was noted in the announcement, I probably would not be tempted to go with the 15″ at this time.

Ryan says: – All in all, I was a little disappointed on announcement day. Steve spoke and I was left wanting more. I love the refresh on some of the products, but I really wanted something substantially new. I suppose I could be tempted by a refreshed 17″ MacBook Pro and possibly the 24″ LED display to go on my desk at the office where I’d only use the notebook/display combo, but other than that, there’s not a lot that makes me want to move out of current Macs and into new gear. Other than the usual “new gear happy” feeling of cracking open something fresh


My Play-by-Play Synopsis of The Apple Notebook Event

I sat down and tracked the “spotlight turns to note books” event at Apple from Engadget this morning and wanted to share and discuss some of my initial, real-time thoughts.

10:00AM: Tim Cook opened the event with a quarterly report of growing at “2/3x the market growth”.

Cook gave five reasons why Macs are continuing to grow and be successful…

1. Better computers

2. Better software

3. Compatability

4. Vista

5. Marketing

10:06AM: Something that excited me. Apple stores launching around the world: Sydney and Beijing…near and dear to my heart having lived and taught in China.

10:09AM: Macs in major universities…I’ve noticed at the graduate school I attend how much Macs are a part of our classrooms, but I still see plenty of PCs in my school. I wondered if the university classroom picture they showed of all the students with their Macs was an advertisement scheme, then I remembered that its Apple, and everything is an advertisement scheme!

10:11AM: Jony Ives out talking about new ways to build notebooks. The tension and excitment is building!

10:16AM: More discussion about internal design. My excitement is tiring! And what does the word ‘anodize’ mean?

10:17AM: Enter Steve Jobs…now the excitement is back!

10:20AM: Enter ‘Multi-touch glass trackpad’…a rumor confirmed.

10:22AM: THE NEW MACBOOK PRO!!! A beautiful crescendo of technology and innovation to the introduction of their new Macbook Pro.

10:23AM: Aspects of the New Macbook: Multi-touch glass trackpad, LED-backlit display, Precision aluminum unibody enclosure, Backlight keyboard, Sudden motion sensor and more.

10:25AM: precision unibody enclosure…half of the major structural parts yet a more rigid and firm construction. Hope for a lighter, yet more stable MacBook. Brick rumor confirmed.

10:29AM: New 9600M GT, 32 graphics core and 9400 integrated graphics included in Macbook. Nice job of piecing it all together Steve!

10:30AM: “So let’s get back to this mini display port — we can drive any display we could before, but at a fraction of the size — we’re building this into everything we make. This will also be the first MBP that we offer SSD on, and you can access the drives from underneath the battery.” Not sure what all those acronyms mean, but the mini display port sorts like a smooth touch.

10:32AM: New prices on MBP…$1999, 15.4 inch display, 2.4GHz Core 2 Du of DDR3 RAM, NIVDIA 9400 and 9600. Next step up at $2499. Decent pricing for the specs given.

10:34AM: Check out GreenGlancy for some insight on the new Epeat gold rating of the MBP.

10:35AM: And you only have to wait until November for a new MBP. Why not say, “a few weeks”?

10:37AM: I’m disappointed that the rumored macbook was going to be $899 and instead is a 24-inch LED backlit display. Still, if you’re looking for a home computer, this is a viable option.

10:39AM: Wait a minute…for $100 more those options ARE available in the MacBook line: glass trackpad, 5 hours of battery life. Lowering the price by $100 from $1099 to $999. Is it enough? Maybe not low enough!

10:42AM: “$1299 for the new MacBook 13.3-inch display, 2GHz Core 2 Duo… that’s $700 more affordable for these Pro features.” Nice move Steve, emphasize the $700 drop rather than the $100 one.

10:44AM: “So we think this will be a huge success.” Will be interesting to see if the market and economy effects their projected success and if the changes in innovative technology are enough.

10:45AM: While zoning out over the process of construction again, a colleague reminded me of the education discount that could be applied to the $999 MBP. Might be enough to convince my wife…

10:51AM: Trackpad orientation…Apple’s new way of confusing first time Mac users, albeit a cool new mouse and operations concept.

10:53AM: Nice to hear that Steve’s blood pressure is down.

10:54AM: Q & A session…side stepping, waiting for Blu-Ray to take off more. Good move on Apple’s part not to lock into a fastly changing and unreliable Media Technology World.

Well, there you have it…some rumors confirmed and some new innovations and new products from Apple. It’ll be interesting to watch the Apple market and see if the new $999 MBP can drive some more wavering college students over to Macs and flood universities and dorm rooms with macusers.

Check back this week as we take apart each of the new options and innovations from the Notebook event including the trackpad, new MBP, the unibody enclosure and the $899 Backlight display.w


Apple Notebook Media Event Today at 10am pst, 1am est

This morning on the west coast Steve Jobs and Apple will present more updates and innovative details to their Notebook collection. Rumors have been flying left and right and there is even the talk of an $800 notebook that may be released. According to other sources, however, “it seems the $899 product (K29, MB382LL/A) that has appeared on Apple’s product lists is likely an LED Apple Cinema Display and not a low-end MacBook.”

The same site, however, states that, “If Apple does introduce a $899 low end MacBook, analyst research suggests that it will increase the addressable notebook market by nearly 50% in terms of revenue”.

Whichever might be coming around the corner, its clear that this event will be interesting to follow in light of Wall Street and our current economic state. Will Jobs and Apple try to make their notebooks more accessible and lower prices, or continue to plug along and keep prices the same? What are their new innovations and how will they affect the Apple Notebooks?,, ArsTechnica, Macworld have live keynote coverage and we’ll be updating later today with information about the presentation. Check back this week as we discuss the changes and updates to Apple Notebooks at TweakOSX.


NewEgg sells 1TB for less…what’s the difference?

I’m looking into backing up my the information on my Mac since recently going through the scare of losing information or having my mac crash on me. I began looking around for an external hard drive and wanted to find a one-time purchase for as cheap as possible.

So with my newly pledged loyalty to Apple, I went over to the Apple store and checked out their external hard drive options. The first thing that pops up in the search engine is the wireless Time Capsules that Mac is selling. The 500 GB is going for $299.00 and the 1TB for $499.00. Since I cannot afford, nor do I need a wireless external hard drive, I proceeded farther down and locked onto the LaCie 1TB d2 Quadra Hard Disk
for $279.95.

But as I strayed away from the Apple Store and looked at NewEgg, I found a Lacie Design 301304U 1TB 7200 RPM USB 2.0 External Hard Drive for $149.99. This seemed to be a similar product for a staggeringly cheaper price. I read the reviews and some did say that it could get hot after two hours and the usb cable is short, but those inconvenienes are worth the $130 different between the Apple Store Lacie product and the NewEgg product. There was also an obvious difference in between the d2 Quadra and the 301304U naming of the external hard drives, though it was difficult to know exactly what those differences were.

I’m wondering, what’s the difference and are the differences relevant for a guy like me that just needs to back up basic photos, videos and documents? Do I even need a 1TB external hard drive or should I just get for 500GB? I would appreciate any guidance or advice as I search for something to back up my information.


New Apple Notebooks Heading Our Way!

Just saw over on Engadget that Apple has confirmed the rumored notebook event, and it looks like some new notebooks will be announced on October 14th!

MacRumors had already released supposed shots of the new case/flightdeck of upcoming notebooks, and there have been many whisperings around the etherworld about new machines.

What else can they change? Thinner? Lighter? Faster? What are you looking for in a new MacBook or MacBook Pro?


How Wii Tennis Can Get You To Wimbledon

Growing up as a little boy, one of the favorite parts of my year was watching the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. For those of you who don’t know, it is a professional event held in London, England every year. A tournament steeped in deep tradition and history and it never disappoints. It is one of the reasons why I loved playing tennis so much growing up and still enjoy going out to the courts every once in a while now.

I was thrilled when the Wii system came out and it the Wii Sports game, as well as Mario and Sonic Olympics’ both came with tennis and ping pong respectively! Finally, a chance to practice my game in those cold, rainy winter months!

The great thing about the Wii is that you can play it sitting down and barely move the Wii Controller, or you can take the innovative opportunity to play interactively with the system and stand up, move around, and, in the case of Wii Tennis, actually practice your strokes! Wii Tennis could be the next training ground for a Wimbledon or Olympic Champion!

Though the Wii has been around for a while and I’ve had my system for six months or so, I feel a new sense of excitement and anticipation now when I turn on my console with friends and we get pretty intense in our Wii Tennis and Ping Pong competitions!


Police: iPhone Left In Hot Car For Three Hours

Honestly, with the economic crisis at hand, and an election looming, people seem to be acting just flat out crazy. According to this report, the normally peaceful suburban town of Winnetka, IL is still reeling following the news Monday that a local resident, whose name is being withheld by police pending a full investigation, left an iPhone unattended for more than three hours in a car parked in the hot sun.

“”Security cameras have shown that the iPhone had been in the car—with the doors locked and the windows rolled up—since 1 p.m. Due to the tragic and highly emotional nature of this case, we cannot say any more at this time.”

They make people take tests to obtain a license to drive, but there is no test to own and care for an iPhone. Maybe we need stricter guidelines as to who can just walk in and purchase one of these precious gifts from above.

Click for full article.