How to make the iWork suite a free download for current Mac owners that don’t own the apps already

For anyone having issues getting the upgrade, or if you’ve never owned the iWork suite, so don’t have the apps to update, you can just download the iWork ’09 trial version
The App Store will then allow you to upgrade to the new versions, for free.

1) Visit
2) Click Download
3) Click External Mirror 1
4) It will just be a DMG file so install like normal
5) I had to wait a few minutes / I also Quit App Store and reopened. After a few minutes it showed I had 3 updates available to Pages, Numbers, Keynote.
6) Updated as normal.

A common issue is an error message “cannot be installed because it’s from an unidentified developer”. To fix this:
System Preferences -> Security -> General -> Allow apps downloaded from “Everywhere”


New MacBooks revealed – Faster, stronger, better

The new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display weren’t the only juicy things revealed at Tuesday’s product rollout in San Francisco; there were also upgraded versions of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro.

Apple’s 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros as announced on October 22, 2013
Apple’s new MacBook Pros, 13-incher on the left, 15-incher on the right.
The most notable upgrade to the laptops is their processors. The 13-inch model now comes standard with a dual-core 2.4GHz Intel fourth-generation Core i5 processor, while the 15-incher’s base-model processor is a quad-core 2.0GHz Haswell Core i7. The smaller model can be upgraded to a dual-core 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, and the larger to a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Core i7.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has lost a bit of heft – it now weighs in at 3.46 pounds, down from 3.57 pounds in its previous incarnation. It’s also marginally thinner at 0.71 inches, down from 0.75 inches. The 15-incher went on no such diet – it still weighs 4.46 pounds and remains 0.71 inches thick.

The fourth-generation Core processor in the 13-incher has Intel’s Iris Graphics, while the 15-incher has Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics. The larger of the two MacBook Pros can also be equipped with Nvidia GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.

Apple’s new MacBook line as of October 22, 2013
Apple’s marketing lead Phil Schiller, speaking at the rollout event, claims that the 13-inch model now gets up to nine hours battery life. “So if you’re a fan of The Black Knight as I am, you can watch the entire trilogy on one charge,” he said. The 15-incher’s battery life is rated at eight hours.

Both models have been upgraded to PCIe flash, which Schiller claims is 60 per cent faster than “the previous generation.” Wi-Fi has been upgraded to 802.11ac (802.11a/b/g/n compatible) in both, and the previous generations’ Thunderbolt ports have been upgraded to Thunderbolt 2.

The base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro runs $1,299, down from $1,499 for its predecessor; the base 15-incher will cost you $1,999, down from $2,199. Both models are available beginning Tuesday.


New Macbook Air has 12 hour battery life

The geniuses over at apple have been hard at work. The lightest and the most powerful from Apple, i.e Macbook Air now comes with 12 hour battery backup. Yes, thats right, Complete 12 hour of browsing and 10 hour of music playback.

Not only this, it has 30 days of standby which means it will be available in seconds whenever called upon. You just have to put the Macbook Air to sleep and it enters in standby mode to conserve energy by default after 3 hours.

The 11inch macbook Air it has 9 hours whereas the 13-inch has 12 hours but thats not a big Deal.

The rest of the features remains the same but as always Apple provides us an option to upgrade RAM, Flash Drive at an extra cost which is a great advantage to PRO users.

Some Top features Includes

- Fourth Generation Intel Core Processors.

- Ultrafast 802.11ac Wi-Fi

- Faster All Flash Storage.

- ThunderBolt and USB.

- Display, Camera and Mics.

- Multi-Touch Trackpad.

- 720P face HD Camera.

Buying Tips

If you are buying one, do not get messed up with the previous Macbook Air which had 6 hour of battery life as some vendors still have in their stock. Please check the below Model number if you are looking to buy the new one.

Model Model Identifier Model Number Configuration
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBookAir6,2 MD760xx/AMD761xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.3/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.3/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBookAir6,1 MD711xx/AMD712xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.3/4/128FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.3/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) MacBookAir5,2 MD231xx/AMD232xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.8/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/2.0/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012) MacBookAir5,1 MD223xx/AMD224xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.7/4/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/2.0/4/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) MacBookAir4,2 MC965xx/A
MC966xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.7/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.7/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011) MacBookAir4,1 MC968xx/A
MC969xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.6/2/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.6/4/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010) MacBookAir3,2 MC503xx/A
MC504xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/256FLASH
MacBook AIr (11-Inch, Late 2010) MacBookAir3,1 MC505xx/A
MC506xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.4/2/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.4/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2009) MacBookAir2,1 MC233xx/A
MC234xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/120HDDMBAIR 13.3/2.13/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2008) MacBookAir2,1 MB543xx/A
MB940xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.6/2/120HDDMBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2008) MacBookAir1,1 MB003xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.6/2/80HDD

I think I’ll be putting that on the Christmas present list to Santa.


Versihold Media Stand A Great Stocking Stuffer for $10

If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer for your techie buddies this year, head over to Versihold and snag their personal media stand for $10. Also, while supplies last, they’re including a second tripod (not a 2nd Versihold clamp, but the tripod base) for FREE.

These Versihold stands are ‘versatile’ (see what I did there) and can be used on any standard tripod stands. I have one on mini GorillaPod and it lets me put my iPhone just about anywhere I want. The tripod(s) it comes with is just fine on it’s own, but use your own to make it a whole other tool.


Solid Gold iPad Worth The Exclusivity Factor?

customized gold ipadI guess one of the problems I’m likely to never have to worry about in my lifetime is having too much money. You know, the kind of “stupid money” that enables a person to buy not just the latest gadget, but a SOLID GOLD version of the latest gadget.

For those of you wealthy individuals that are having your butler read blogs like to you (come on, you don’t think those people actually read for themselves do you?!), you’re in luck. Camaél London has an offering you’re sure to find enticing for all that not so hard earned money you have lining your pockets. It’s a Solid Gold iPad.

You have your choice of a number of solid gold choices to choose from, and can even further customize your iPad with additional gems for the extra special feel. The company’s courier service will personally deliver your iPad to you in a custom made presentation box along with a certificate of authenticity. The cost, just £89,999, or about $150,000.

Let’s do a little comparison for the rest of us lower rent district citizens:

Solid Gold iPad or a Porsche 911 Turbo S

Solid Gold iPad or 300 regular iPads

Solid Gold iPad or a reasonably nice house in most parts of the country

Solid Gold iPad or 3061 iPod Shuffles

Solid Gold iPad or 6 2011 Toyota Prius cars

Solid Gold iPad or 5 Mac Pros, 10 Apple 27″ LED Monitors, 5 15″ MacBook Pros, 10 11″ MacBook Airs, 10 13″ MacBook Airs, 5 17″ MacBook Pros, 20 iPod Shuffles, 15 iPod Nanos, 25 iPod Classics, 15 iPod Touches, 10 iPad 2′s, and 36 iMac 27″ers

What’s interesting is they’re modifying the original iPad instead of the iPad 2 model. Seems like a behind the times offering.

I have to wonder how many of these they’ll actual sell, or how many they even project to sell.

[Image & Source: LuxuryLaunches]



AutoCAD for Mac

Steve Jobs, in the “Back to the Mac” press conference held at Apple headquarters on Wednesday, mentioned AutoCAD is finally coming to the Mac. Now all the architects and designers in the world have an option other than the Windows platform for their main workstations.

Up until recently, AutoCAD was only available natively on the Windows platform. Apple fans have been crying out for the professional application to come to the Mac for years now. Even Steve Jobs admitted to wanting the app on the Mac platform for some time.

“AutoCAD is coming to the mac — we’ve coveted this for a long time,” said Jobs during the presentation.

Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD already have a Mac version available for download as a trial on their web site. You can find it here: AutoCAD for Mac.


Echospin: The WORST Download Experience I’ve Had To Date

In all my years of working online, being online, and enjoying how the Internet has changed my life, I’ve come across technology that oftentimes exceeds expectations. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true and I also come across services or tools that set new lows for the worst I’ve ever used.

Today, one company has done just that in my book. Echospin.

It all started with pre-ordering the new Sugarland CD, The Incredible Machine. Yes, I’m a country music fan, but not a hard core one. I’m into the more pop-type, crossover stuff. My daughter and I are huge Sugarland fans. A side note, if you ever have the chance to see them live, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve been to a LOT of concerts in my life including all different genres of music and Sugarland is still at the top in terms of performance value.

So I pre-ordered the CD online a few weeks ago, but interestingly enough, it wasn’t through iTunes as it wasn’t available there. It was through the Sugarland fan site. No biggie. I can expand my horizons to include other music services.

This morning, I get an email that the CD is ready for download. Sweet! I hop online, figure out it’s through a company named Echospin. Echospin it turns out, is a media delivery company for the likes of giants such as Epic, Universal Music Group, Atlantic and EMI. Not a small time gig for them.

The first issue I had was with their requiring a download application to get the CD in it’s entirety through a single link. I absolutely HATE that. I hate that Adobe does it. I hate that Microsoft does it. And now I hate that Echospin does it. BUT, again, I give it a shot thinking I need to be more open minded.

The download starts, but times out at something like 77MB out of 350MB or so. CRAP. I have to take off for a meeting, so I close things down and realize I’m not going to be able to enjoy the CD on the drive over.

I wrap up my meeting and sit down to try again. After half a dozen more attempts to use the download application, it still reports an error. No progress. So I go to the manual download option. Not the world’s end, but a pain having to do each song individually.

Guess what? Yep, TIMED OUT! Multiple times. Where does that leave me? With not even half of the download completed and NO songs from the CD to listen to. What the HECK???!!!

In a world that offers services like Amazon S3 and CDNs (Content Delivery Networks in case that’s a new term for some of you) for these VERY situations, why in the world can’t a service like Echospin get it right…the FIRST time? Makes no sense. Heck, even a guy or gal like you or I could set up a media delivery method that could handle any of these initiatives right from our living room with no out of pocket money to get it going. Yet a company like this can’t even do that? Come on.

My advice after a frustrating morning with the Echospin “service” (and you’d be hard pressed to include any positive connotations to the usage of that word) is if you end up with the opportunity to buy a CD and they’re delivering it, don’t do it. Save yourself a ton of hassle and wait for the physical CD or a more reputable and reliable service like Amazon or iTunes has it for sale.

Hope that saves some of you some frustration down the road.


How To Set Up Dual External Monitors On Your MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini

I’ve always been a bigger is better kind of guy. The biggest hard drive, biggest laptop screen, biggest monitor on my desktop, etc. It really has no end. What’s funny about me, though, is every 6 months or so I go through this big life cleaning thing and start downsizing everything. I suppose it’s some kind of self-preservation mechanism that keeps me from getting overrun by too much crap in my life.

Recently, on the tail end of a big declutter phase, I decided it would be very handy to have two 24″ monitors on my desk. Let me pause to say my dream system is a MacPro with dual 30″ Apple Display monitors connected to it. Some day, I’m going to get this setup. Course the $7,000 to $8,000 price tag to go with such a setup will definitely require me to be in a different tax bracket before I can even consider it.

Needless to say, I wanted dual monitors, which I happened to have at my disposal. The only problem is I sold both of my MacPro machines a couple of “declutter” cycles ago. I’ve got a new MacBook Pro that I use for everything. So I set out to see if I could somehow drive 2 external displays from the Mini DisplayPort on the MacBook Pro 15″.

To my surprise, it’s not only doable, it’s darn easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Matrox Dual Head 2 Go DP Edition (here’s a link to it on Matrox Dual Head 2 Go DP Edition)
  • DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
  • 2 DisplayPort to DVI Cables

That’s it. That setup will let you connect two monitors of all different sizes to your single MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini display port connection.

Setup of the device and monitors is pretty easy and straightforward. Once you unpack the Matrox DualHead2Go device, you plug in the cables and your hardware is ready to go. No power cable needed since it will pull power from the USB port on your laptop.

Next you install the Matrox PowerDesk software. This allows you to control settings across the monitors and handles a single stretched image across both monitors. I didn’t run the laptop display alongside the dual monitors. I just used the 2 external Dell 24″ displays and was very pleased. The picture was gorgeous and it was just like other dual monitor setups I’d used on desktop machines in the past. Here are a couple of pictures of where I placed the Matrox and MBP under my desk:

There were, however, a few wrinkles. First, your Mac won’t see the external displays as separate devices. Instead it sees it as one monster monitor. My displays were each running at 1920×1200, but as far as the Mac was concerned, it was just one device. This kills the ability to dock applications or other windows onto a particular display. You have to manually move things around most times. Also, the dock, which I typically have centered at the bottom was in the middle…..of the one monster display. This means it was half on one monitor and half on the other. Moving it to the left-hand side fixed that though.

The other problem I’ve run in to is some weird issue where my MacBook Pro loses the ability to display to the monitors. I have to go through a painful unplugging, plugging in and sometimes restart process to get things working again. Of course it comes at the worst times too. I finally broke down and called tech support (which I HATE doing) because I thought there might be an issue with the Matrox device itself. Turns out DisplayPort connections are some of the most finicky. Didn’t really get that problem solved.

Overall, this was a cool experiment, but not a realistic long term setup. If you’re desperate, give it a try, but keep your expectations realistic. It’s not without it’s faults.

Also, there are different Matrox devices for analog, DVI and even a triple display device.


Would you be a Verizon iPhone switcher?

An interesting post was put up on talking about a survey conducted by ChangeWave Research. The survey found that over half of Verizon customers want an iPhone. 54% to be exact. That’s a HUGE number for Apple and HAS to be a consideration when looking at what seems to be an inevitable roll out on the Verizon network.

The typical Verizon customer, I believe, is there because of call quality and network coverage. Plain and simple, Verizon is the best in both of those camps. I don’t know that anyone other than hardcore sales people for other providers would argue those facts. 49% of Verizon’s customers were “very Satisfied” with the service. Compare this to 23% for AT&T.

I have both a Verizon phone and an iPhone on AT&T and I would agree. Despite disliking AT&T’s coverage, I just can’t give up the iPhone, yet it’s not solid enough to replace my Verizon phone completely. My biggest complaint is dropped calls and call quality. Seems like both of those things have been getting worse over the past year. Initially I thought it was a problem with the iPhone. Other phones on AT&T don’t appear to have the same problems as us iPhone users. However, I’m now wondering if it’s just AT&T in general. Check out this graph of dropped calls over a recent 90 day period:

Sure different phones have different reception strengths and weaknesses, and the iPhone certainly could be one of the worse devices. There just seems to be more reception problems lately. I’ve also noticed data getting spotty service overall. Yesterday, for example, I was at my kids’ track meet, out in the wide open with 4 bars and data was dead. The iPhone was even reporting 3G service. That’s becoming a common occurrence for me.

All that to say, I personally think it’s time for the iPhone to make a move to Verizon. Verizon has always been behind the curve on cool devices. We’ve lived with the boring phones for years now, but they DO work well. I bet that Verizon stands to gain a huge boost in new customers if it finally releases a cool device like the iPhone on their network.

The sad part is, people are starting to question if it will happen this year. One analyst with BroadPoint AmTech says it won’t happen until the first quarter of next year. Here’s for hoping he’s wrong. I’m ready to go back to carrying one cell phone!

Read the entire ZDNet blog post here: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year.


Pay At Starbucks With Your iPhone

I’m not sure whether to think this is creepy or cool. Starbucks announced last week that you can now pay for that Mocha Soy Latte with an app you can download onto your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s called the Starbucks Card Mobile App and basically will function as your Starbucks Card once you plug your card number into the app.

Right now the only stores accepting the digital payment are select stores in Seattle and the Silicon Valley. Strangely, you can also use it in all US Target Starbucks Stores. That’s odd to me because those “leech” type stores always seem to be behind the times in Starbucks technology.

Feels a bit strange to me overall. Sure it’s convenient to pay for everything with your phone, and I know it’s just a matter of time before every Tom, Dick and Harry follows suit. I also know micropayments via a cell phone are all the rage in Japan. Still seems futuristic and kind of like technology is taking over my life (as if it hasn’t already). Maybe I just need to get with the times.

Anyone try this app out yet?