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”



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.


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?


Get Outside-TrailRunner for Mac


Its definitely summer time now that school is out and the weather is heating up. Kids and parents alike seem to take a slower pace to life, and now is the opportunity to, instead of hanging out inside with your extra time, try and get outside and burn off some of that winter weight. TrailRunner for Mac can be a great way for you to keep track of and chart your movements this summer.

TrailRunner is a route planning software for all kinds of long distance sports like running, biking, hiking, inline-skating, skiing and more. If you ever asked yourself how long your workout routes are and what route you should choose for this evening – then TrailRunner should be your training-partner.

What’s great about this free program is that you can interactively look at trails and maps before you work out, as well as chart and collect routes before and after you traverse them. If you’re someone like me who loves to track progress, TrailRunner can be a great program for you to use this summer so that you can look back and see the progress that you’ve made. You can even export route descriptions onto your iPod to use while you’re actually on the road. You can download TrailRunner here.


Apple Launches iWork ’09

According to an article at MacWorld, Apple is improving business options for its program, iWork ’09. The program gives more flexibility and power to the business presenter, as well as adding options to each of the iWork components, Keynote, Pages and Numbers.

Keynote: Magic Move and Keynote Remote gives you better presentation options and lets you control your slides from your mobile device for a cost of $1.

Pages: Adds more viewing options, including a full page view and adds support for scientists and math formulas.

Numbers: gives you the option of creating ‘categories’ for your spreadsheets. According to MacWorld “Numbers also features new chart options, including mixed chart types, multi-axis charts, charts with trendlines, and error bars.”

Apple is continuing to improve and make more popular its iWork programs, giving businesses more opportunities to use Macs to run their business through. Steve Jobs says, “With iWork ’09, Apple continues to demonstrate that innovation is possible in office productivity software, and that creating impressive presentations, documents and spreadsheets doesn’t need to be complicated.”

What are some options that aren’t found in iWork ’09 that you wish were there? Let us know in the comments section.


Changing Default Microsoft Word Template

I’ve had a nagging problem since installing Microsoft Word 2008 for the Mac. For some reason the default template adds an additional 10pt space after each line making it look like double spacing is turned on. I have to change it every time I type a doc, not a big deal. The bigger deal is having to change it EVERY TIME one of my kids or wife wants to type something. I finally sat down to change it today once and for all. Here’s what you need to do to make a change to the default template for Word 2008:

1. Make a backup copy of Normal.dotm (Default Word Document Template) found in /Users/~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/.
2. Open the Normal.dotm.
3. Make whatever changes you’d like to make to set it up the way you’d like to start each new document in Word.
4. Save the template.

That’s it. Keep in mind that whatever changes you make to the template will change the starting point/default template for all future Word documents.  This process should also work for other default templates for Microsoft Office for the Mac applications.


Sims 2 Holiday Expansion Pack Review

On the Sims 2 Holiday Expansion Pack, you have an add on in the game. The add on includes things like different outfits, hats, and decorations. However, the Holiday Expansion Pack only includes 2 holidays: Christmas and Halloween.

With Christmas, you can get your family ready with decorations, Christmas trees, and decorative and festive wallpaper. You can even throw a New Years party for your sims and friends to enjoy. There are only certain days you can throw parties for New Years/Christmas. When you do decide to throw a party, Santa Claus will come to your house and leave presents under your tree for your sims to enjoy in the morning.

For Halloween, there are only simple decorations. No party, no trick or treating, just decorations.

Christmas was the big focus for this expansion pack.


Sims 2 Review: A 14 year old’s evaluation

Sims 2 is one of the most addicting games I have ever played. You can create your own person and customize every small detail about them (makeup, facial features, shape of face, ect.). Once you have created your family, you can also create your own house.

If you have never played, I don’t suggest reading the guide. Its a pretty easy game to figure out. The pictures and labels for building and customizing your own house makes it pathetically easy to build. If you want to take it a step further, you can create your own neighborhood by creating houses and shops for your sims to enjoy.

One of the most important features to this game is the sims themselves. Keeping them happy, fed, and making sure they don’t get sick can get tricky. Make sure your sim doesn’t die by always checking their needs. Make sure all their needs are always full green bars, or else your sim may die or become sick.

Another important feature is money. Your sim needs a job so you have money for food, bathroom/kitchen appliances, some sort of entertainment so the fun meter doesn’t drop, and a bed to sleep on. Those are the most basic things to have on this game and also the most important.


How To Rip DVD’s on Your iPod

I’m always looking for tools that can make me life easier…one-click even. I know ripping DVDs to a portable device is hardly something new, but I’ve been using an application from Xilisoft called DVD to iPod Converter that makes it one click.

Anyone who’s tried hacking together your own DVD ripping solution knows that it’s not easy or simple. There are always lots of steps using a number of applications to get something down to carry on your iPod or other portable media device. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after loading up DVD to iPod Converter, I was able to insert a DVD, click the Convert button, and let the software do it’s thing.

There are lots of options for different devices, file quality, screen size, etc. Check out the software here.

PLEASE READ: This is not intended to encourage the stealing of DVD content you don’t own. Use the software at your own risk.