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The iPod,


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4 December 2009 Vol 25 No 25 £3.99


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4 December 2009

End of the line for Psystar?

Mac cloner’s defeat is good news not just for Apple, but for consumers, too.

C ould the Psystar story finally be drawing to a close? If you’ve

missed it – somehow – Psystar, a US-based PC builder, found

a way to convince Mac OS X that its PCs were actually Macs.

It was a clever bit of fiddling with the bootloader that upset Apple and saw it haul the company to court. Its defence was equally clever, with Psystar claiming that it had every right to buy a product and sell it on, even if it had been tweaked. It’s logical: if you bought a car, sprayed it pink and then re-sold it, you’d be well within your rights, but that’s because you don’t sign up to an End User License Agreement. The Agreement – often

truncated to EULA – restricts what you can and can’t do with the software, and in Mac OS X’s case one of those restrictions is running it on non-Mac hardware. Now depending on your point of view, this could be a good thing or a serious restriction to fair and free use. On the pro side, it means Apple’s hardware, which isn’t exactly cheap, remains desirable and thus profitable as it’s the only platform on which you can legally run the world’s best operating system. The case for the cons is that it helps Apple retain those unrealistic prices by blocking competitors like Dell and HP from building cheap Mac clones which, if you’re cash-strapped and don’t care what your computer looks like, is a bad thing indeed. For my money though, I’m glad that the courts upheld the EULA and Psystar looks set for a resounding defeat. Not because I don’t want a cheap Mac (I do) and not because I have anything against Psystar at all, which I’m actually glad had a go at bucking the trend if for no other reason than to test the law. No, the proceedings’ outcome was important because it protected not just Apple, but all hardware and software producers from a very unwelcome precedent. Had it gone the other way, there would be fair argument that another company should be allowed to strip out, tweak and re-sell the software in Sky+ boxes, making it available to anyone who refused to pay Sky’s prices. Want another example? How about mobile phones? A sector with such intense hardware homogeneity that the operating system is often the only clear differentiator. Would you want to see iPhone OS on a Motorola, Nokia or Sony Ericsson? If the courts had ruled in Psystar’s favour, countless companies could have seen their profits diminished and, in the process, we would have seen competition falter and innovation stall. Psystar may have lost this battle, but we should applaud its plucky approach for confirming, once and for all, the validity of the EULA.

Nik Rawlinson is the editor. This issue he’s been pondering the annual dilemma of what to buy his chickens this Christmas. Turkey outfits?

003 4 December 2009 End of the line for Psystar? Mac cloner’s defeat is good



4 December 2009











We step back in time to revisit the key moments that shaped Apple and the world over the past 10 years


004 004 4 December 2009 contents MACUSER, 4 DECEMBER 2009 – VOLUME 25 – NUMBER



4 December 2009











Apple climbs to fifth place in PC sales chart + US judge rules Psystar breached Apple copyright + Gates praises Jobs for doing ‘fantastic job’.



The latest products reviewed and rated by our team of experts, including: Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server We take a look at how Apple’s mini server measures up + Samsung Flashcam C10 Striking-looking and easy-to-use camcorder + Canon PowerShot G11 Canon’s high-end compact that delivers great picture quality.



Get organised for 2010 Start the year with a new attitude to managing your Mac with our 20 top tips. Review of the decade The past 10 years have seen interesting times, not least for Apple, so we look back at the seminal moments that made the decade.



Classified Looking for a specific product or service? Try these. Hot Kit The definitive guide to the best Mac products.

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Method Exploiting the rule of thirds for more powerful images Create Develop photographic looks in Adobe Lightroom + Luminous line effects in Photoshop + Tethered shooting



Master of all things techie Howard Oakley answers all your questions in our Q&A section, and focuses on understanding the Mac OS X Installer in this issue’s Mac Business section.


4 December 2009

Image Danny Bird



Apple climbs to fifth place in PC sales chart

A pple enjoyed soaring Mac sales

in the UK, even as the market as a whole declined during the third

quarter of this year, according to figures released by market researcher Gartner. For the three months ended 30 September 2009, unit sales of Macs in the

‘The decline in the PC market in the UK has slowed down and the return to growth will be slow and a difficult process,’ said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner. ‘While the consumer market continued to defy the economic environment, the business market was still very weak.’ PC unit sales fell by

UK reached 165,000, a year-on-year increase of 26.6%. Unit sales for the PC market as a whole slumped by 2.4% to 3.29 million for the quarter. Gartner

‘Apple has leveraged the [iPod/ iPhone] “halo” effect into the PC arena, dominating in the mid to higher price brackets’

Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst, Gartner

0.3% across Europe. ‘Overall, the UK’s mobile PC market saw growth and was driven by a continued increase in consumer demand for mini-

said the Mac had a 5% market share, up from 3.8% a year previously. Apple was the fifth biggest PC vendor in the UK behind Acer (24.5%), Dell (18.3%), HP (17.5%) and Toshiba (6.5%).

notebooks. With consumer spending restricted, mini-notebooks are becoming more appealing, as they provide better functionality

at the lower price points,’ observed Atwal. ‘Most of the PC

Page 009

The strength of the Apple brand in the UK has led to a 26.6% year-on-year increase in Mac sales.

Mac cloner Psystar has illegally breached some parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, according to Judge William Alsop.

US Judge rules Psystar breached Apple copyright

A pple won a major victory in one

of its court cases against Psystar, the maverick Mac cloner based in

Florida. A Federal judge agreed with Apple’s contention that Psystar violated Apple’s copyright when it sold its range of Mac clones with Mac OS X pre-installed. ‘Psystar has violated Apple’s exclusive reproduction right, distribution right and right to create derivative works,’ ruled US District Judge William Alsop in a California court, where one of the two companies’ legal battles has played out. ‘Accordingly, Apple’s motion for summary judgment on copyright infringement must be granted,’ concluded Judge Alsop. Alsop’s ruling backed Apple’s claim that its end-user licence agreement (EULA) that outlaws the installation of Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware is legally enforceable.

Alsop also threw out Psystar’s contention that someone who buys Mac OS X should be permitted to do what they want with it. In what was a grand slam for Apple, Judge Alsop determined that Psystar had illegally broken parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that outlaw

actions to circumvent copyright

Page 009


4 December 2009

Image Courtesy Microsoft

The only other top-five PC vendor to show growth was Acer, as it had a strong showing in the fast- growing but low-margin netbook sector.

Analyst reveals Apple is gaining market share despite overall market slowdown

vendors now offer mini-notebooks as they realise the importance of this category. Mini- notebooks represented more than 40% of the total consumer notebook market in the third quarter of 2009,’ he said. The only other top-five company to grow sales in the UK was Acer, which saw its unit sales rise by 35.5%, compared to falls in sales of 14.6%, 10.4% and 26.1% for Dell, HP and Toshiba respectively. Acer’s rise in sales might look impressive, but it was chiefly generated by the company’s strong representation in the netbook sector, which is fast growing but very low margin. By contrast, Apple’s rise in sales occurred despite the company’s refusal to compete in the low-price sector of the PC market.

‘Most of the vendors are facing a difficult time. Interestingly, the two vendors at either end of the price spectrum are winning the battle. At one end, Acer continued to provide price-conscious products through multiple channels to attract a wider buying audience. At the other end, Apple leveraged the “halo” effect of the Apple brand created by the iPods and iPhones into the PC arena, dominating the mid to higher price brackets,’ noted Atwal. ‘Acer gained the number-one position, while Samsung is closing the gap on Apple in fifth place, with 4.8% market share. Samsung also saw the highest performance of the quarter, with 206.6% growth year-on- year,’ he added.

Apple wins first legal battle with Psystar

protections that prevent Mac OS X being installed on non-Apple hardware. Alsop also dismissed Psystar’s claims that Apple was abusing its copyright. Although Apple’s victory was more or less

complete, the company faces another legal battle with Psystar in a Federal court, based in its home state of Florida. In August,

computers”,’ asserted Psystar in its second lawsuit. ‘Apple’s share of revenue in the market for premium computers – computers

priced at over $1000 – is currently 91%. ‘This case raises a wholly separate set of issues from those in Apple Inc vs Psystar Corp because that case is limited to Psystar computers running Mac OS X

Psystar petitioned a Federal judge in Florida to rule that Apple illegally limits Snow Leopard to running on Apple hardware.

‘Judge Alsop also threw out Psystar’s contention that someone who buys Mac OS X should be permitted to do what

they want with it’

Leopard,’ claimed Psystar’s legal team. ‘Both the technical mechanisms used by Apple to tie Mac

OS X Snow Leopard to Macintoshes and the technology used by Psystar to get Mac OS X Snow Leopard to run on Psystar computers are new and different and not within the scope of the California litigation,’ the company claimed.

‘By tying its operating system to Apple-branded hardware, Apple restrains trade in personal computers that run Mac OS X, collects monopoly rents on its Macintoshes, and monopolises the market for “premium

Gates praises Jobs for doing a ‘fantastic job’

A pple CEO Steve Jobs was the

unexpected beneficiary of some kind words from Microsoft co-founder Bill

Gates, who credited Apple’s mercurial leader with saving Apple and ‘doing good things’. Gates was a panelist on Keeping America Great, a 90-minute US TV special aired by the CNBC cable TV station. Gates shared the spotlight with veteran investor Warren Buffet. Gates initially looked bemused after a member of the studio audience, business undergraduate Damien Matthew, asked Gates if he could ‘just comment and tell us what your thoughts are on the job Steve Jobs has done as the CEO of Apple?’ The audience laughed somewhat nervously before Gates began a well-natured tribute to his erstwhile rival and nemesis, and the man who has commissioned numerous TV commercials that disparage Microsoft’s Windows operating system. ‘He’s done a fantastic job [as CEO of Apple]. Apple’s in a bit of a different business, where they make the hardware and software together, but when Steve was coming back to Apple, which was through an acquisition of NeXT, which he ran, Apple was in very tough shape,’ said Gates, who modestly left out his own role in bailing out Apple in 1997.

‘In fact, most likely [the company] wasn’t going to survive. And Jobs brought in a team, and he brought in inspiration about great products and design that has made Apple back into being an incredible force and doing good things. ‘And it’s great to have competitors like that. [Microsoft writes] software for Apple… We compete with Apple. But of all the leaders in the industry that I work with, [Jobs] showed more inspiration, and he saved the company,’ Gates concluded.

Quote, unquote

‘We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android.’

Gameloft finance director Alexandre de Rochefort explains why the games developer is focusing more of its efforts on iPhone games than those for Google’s Android platform.


4 December 2009

Image PA Photos

NNNNNeeeeewwwwwsssss aaaaassssshhhhh

No iTunes fix in

Palm Pre update

Palm has released a software update for its Pre handset, and for the first time has failed to restore syncing with Apple’s iTunes. The two companies have been engaged in a cat-and-mouse game ever since Palm introduced the Pre earlier this year and decided to use iTunes to load music onto the device. Apple almost immediately broke the connection, only for Palm to restore it. The breaking point may have been the response of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) to Palm’s complaint that Apple was breaching the terms of its USB licence. It sided with Apple, telling Palm that by tricking iTunes into thinking that a Pre connected to a Mac or PC via USB was an iPod, Palm was the one at fault.

Palm made no mention of iTunes support in its release notes for the latest Pre software update, which focuses on email, instant messaging and SMS support.

Rogue ends iPhone app support

R ogue Amoeba, the respected

developer of Mac applications

including Airfoil and Audio Hijack,

has abandoned plans to develop new iPhone apps in despair at Apple’s review process. Coming just a day after Facebook developer Joe Hewitt said that he’d given up on the iPhone, Rogue Amoeba’s revelation is a sure sign that developers’ patience is being tested to breaking point. Many are unhappy with the largely oblique and inconsistent way in which Apple assesses whether or not apps meet its criteria for inclusion in the iTunes App Store, the only legitimate way that apps can get onto the iPhone and iPod touch. Rogue Amoeba’s experience is recounted at some length by its chief executive, Paul Kafasis. The company submitted an update

to Airfoil Speakers Touch, an app that lets you transmit audio from a Mac, using the desktop Airfoil software, to an iPhone or iPod touch. The update addressed a significant issue with audio syncing, but was otherwise unchanged from the original version which Apple had approved. Suddenly Apple took issue with the app’s use of images of Macs to indicate where audio was being transmitted from, citing a section of the developers’ licence, which prohibits the use of ‘the Apple logo or any other Apple-owned graphic symbol, logo or icon’. That was back in July. With little or no communication from Apple, Rogue Amoeba resubmitted the app on three occasions, seeing it rejected each time. Finally, with the offending Mac images removed, the update

was approved, displaying instead a logo for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is, according to Kafasis, ‘the organisation defending the rights of both consumers and developers in the digital world’. This approval has, however, come too late for Rogue Amoeba’s boss. He has had enough. ‘We wanted to ship a simple bug fix, and it took almost four months of slow replies, delays and dithering by Apple. All the while, our buggy, and supposedly infringing version, was still available. There’s no other word for that but broken.’ There will be no more Rogue Amoeba apps, and it’s expected that updates to its existing software will be sporadic. ‘The iPhone platform had great promise, but that promise is not enough, so we’re focusing on the Mac,’ explained Kafasis.

Queen’s speech cements ‘three strikes’

T he Government has used the

Queen’s speech to confirm that it will press ahead with plans to

disconnect illegal file-sharers, scotching rumours that the proposals would not be put before the next Parliament. The ‘three strikes’ proposals will be included in the Digital Economy Bill, to force ISPs to penalise persistent file-sharers. As expected, the Government plans to initially withhold the threat of disconnection, while Ofcom is tasked with measuring the effectiveness of warning letters – a study that will last a year. If illegal file-sharing

is not reduced by 70% by April 2011, the Government will begin ordering that illegal file-sharers be disconnected after receiving two further warning letters. The bill was welcomed by the BPI (British Phonographic Industry). ‘The creative sector in the UK needs new measures implemented urgently that address this problem for now and the future if the UK is to lead Europe in giving consumers innovative and high-quality digital entertainment,’ said Geoff Taylor, its chief executive. The mood wasn’t quite so celebratory over at the Open Rights Group. The privacy

body is urging people to contact their MPs and protest against the bill. ‘This plan won’t stop copyright infringement and, with a simple accusation, could see you and your family disconnected from the Internet – unable to engage in everyday activities like shopping and socialising,’ says a statement on its website ( ‘We have a few days to show this (and any future) Government that it can’t mess with the Internet – just ask the 600,000 people who recently had access to their Xbox Live accounts blocked. Any of us could easily be next.’


4 December 2009

Image Verizon via YouTube

Image Nokia

One of Verizon’s ads shows the iPhone in the Island of Misfit Toys because its 3G coverage is so poor.

iPhone assault

I t’s not often Apple gets out-muscled

when it comes to marketing, but the

company is under sustained attack in

a campaign by US network Verizon, which

has variously attacked the iPhone for being

dysfunctional and even unmanly.

While Apple uses a relentlessly upbeat

strategy with its Mac and iPhone commercials

that combine a sort of cheery Californian

feel-good outlook (‘There’s an app for that’)

with an insider bitchiness (the ‘Get a Mac’

campaign, which

ridicules the PC

the iPhone is dismissed as a Liberacé-styled

jewelled accessory that embodies ‘semi-

functional giggling brat vanity’. Meanwhile,

the Motorola Droid, which is available from

Verizon, runs ‘thousands of Android apps

with axle-greased ease’ and is ‘a bare-

knuckle bucket of does!’.

Perhaps Verizon ‘protesteth too much’.

Certainly, if industry rumours are correct,

the leading US network would actually love

to carry Apple’s iPhone. And according to

industry insiders,

Apple is busy

character), Verizon

has decided to go for

the jugular by focusing

on the iPhone’s weak

point. And that’s

Apple’s choice of US

exclusive network

partner, AT&T.

‘In a Verizon advert that oozes thinly disguised, testosterone- fueled homophobia, the iPhone is dismissed as a Liberacé-styled jewelled accessory ’

developing an iPhone

‘nano’ that will work on

Verizon’s US network

as well as AT&T’s.

In the UK, Apple

has seemingly realised

that exclusive network

tie-ups are clearly in

AT&T has even

the past. Given O2’s

gone to court to try

to prevent Verizon from running one of its

adverts on US TV. In the advert in question,

the iPhone appears in a parody of a well-

loved US Christmas special telling the story

of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. In it,

an iPhone shuffles dejectedly onto the

Island of Misfit Toys, where flawed toys are

banished because Santa can’t offload them

to children at Christmas.

‘Hey, check out the new guy,’ exclaims a


A spotty elephant toy asks: ‘What are

you doing here? You can download apps

and browse the web.’

rather mixed record

with UK 3G coverage, it was only a matter of

time before a rival UK network started running

adverts highlighting just how poor the iPhone’s

telephony was in this country.

With the iPhone now available from

Orange, and with Vodafone due to carry the

handset, Apple UK may just have escaped

from having its most important product

being attacked in TV commercials over here

for its distinctly patchy 3G coverage. Hey,

everyone’s a winner.

‘Yeah, people will love you,’ adds a doll.

The iPhone stops in its tracks before a

map of AT&T’s 3G coverage in the US pops

up above it like a thought bubble.

‘Oh!’ exclaim the assembled toys, as the

map wilts Dali-style and the alleged inadequacy

of AT&T’s coverage becomes apparent.

‘You’ll fit right in here,’ chuckles a toy plane.

In another advert, Verizon takes aim at the

iPhone itself. In an advert that oozes thinly

disguised, testosterone-fueled homophobia,

Paul Nesbitt has never ceased to be amazed by the sheer oddness of Apple over the decade that he has spent writing about its alternating moments of madness and genius for MacUser.

Apple overtakes Nokia on profits from phones

J ust two-and-a-half years after it

entered the handset market with the

iPhone, Apple has overtaken market

leader Nokia when it comes to making money

from the mobile market, according to a report

by market analyst Strategic Analytics.

Strategic Analytics analyst Alexander

Spektor claimed: ‘Apple became the world’s

most profitable handset vendor in Q3 2009.

Fueled by strong volumes, high wholesale

prices and tight cost controls, the PC vendor

has successfully broken into the mobile

phone market in just two years. What can

Nokia do to regain the number-one position?’

It was a stunning achievement for an

upstart such as Apple to overtake the world’s

leading mobile phone company on profits.

Apple accounted for about 17% of the

world’s smartphone market compared with

39% for Nokia, according to to Gartner’s Gartner’s figures figures

for the third quarter of

2009. And that’s not

even counting the overall

handset market, which

Nokia also dominates.

Gartner believes

‘smartphones account

for 14% of overall mobile

device sales’, so Apple

has less than 3% of the

total global market for

mobile phones.

However, Spektor’s

contention soon came

under attack on the

grounds that while

Nokia’s entire Q3 profits

were $1.1 billion (about

£665 million), Apple’s total

profitability came to $1.67

Despite having the biggest market share, Nokia has fallen behind Apple in terms of profits.

billion (about £1.01 billion).

This would imply that Apple’s entire non-

iPhone business only made $570 million

(about £345 million) for the third quarter, an

extremely unlikely scenario.

The solution lies in whether you consider

the ‘real’ revenues accruing to Apple from the

iPhone, or the revenues that Apple can register,

according to US accounting regulations, which

require the company to account for iPhone

revenues over a two-year period.

When Apple’ iPhone sales are accounted

for in the quarter in which the company

actually makes a sale, they reach $2.85

billion (about £1.72 billion) as opposed to

$1.67 billion. This suggests Apple almost

certainly eclipsed Nokia as the world’s most

profitable handset maker.


4 December 2009


Microsoft executive suggests Windows 7 copies some features of Mac OS X…

  • M icrosoft rushed to distance itself from the embarrassing assertion by one of its executives that the

company had copied parts of Mac OS X in

the latest version of Windows.

Attending a Microsoft partner conference

in London, Microsoft partner group manager

Simon Aldous said: ‘One of the things

people say an awful lot about the Apple

Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very

graphical and easy to use.

‘What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7,

whether it’s traditional format or in a touch

format, is create a Mac look and feel in

terms of graphics,’ said Aldous.

However, while Aldous acknowledged

that Microsoft might have used Mac OS

X as an inspiration for Windows 7’s look

and feel, he claimed that Microsoft’s

operating system was superior underneath.

‘We’ve significantly improved the graphical

user interface, but it’s built on that very

stable core Vista technology, which is

far more stable than the current Mac

platform,’ he said.

Nonetheless, Aldous’ comments upset

some of his colleagues at Microsoft,

who are sensitive to allegations that the

company copies Apple’s ideas when it

comes to software development.

A clearly peeved Brandon LeBlanc, a

Windows communications manager at

Microsoft, commented in the official blog

for Windows he runs for Microsoft. In a

posting entitled ‘How we really designed the

look and feel of Windows 7’, he wrote: ‘An

inaccurate quote has been floating around

the Internet today about the design origins

of Windows 7 and whether its look and feel

was “borrowed” from Mac OS X.

‘Unfortunately, this came from a Microsoft

employee who was not involved in any aspect

of designing Windows 7. I hate to say this

about one of our own, but his comments

were inaccurate and uninformed.’


4 December 2008

Image Microsoft

Windows Mobile loses market share

Aldous’ comments are interesting, as

Apple has often alleged that Microsoft has

copied its operating system technologies.

Indeed, the company waged a long-running

and ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against

Microsoft in the 1990s alleging that

the Windows giant had ripped off Apple

technologies in the development of the

Windows operating system.

Moreover, at Apple’s Worldwide

Developers Conference in June 2004,

Apple taunted Microsoft with allegations of

plagiarism when the Mac maker unveiled

an enormous poster that read ‘Redmond,

start your photocopiers’.

W indows Mobile lost 28% of its

market share in the smartphone

market in one year, according to

Gartner. And the research outfit painted a

grim outlook for Microsoft in the smartphone

market as its OS gets squeezed between

proprietary systems from Apple and Rim on

one side and open-source operating systems

such as Android and Symbian on the other.

Gartner’s research revealed that Microsoft

had a 7.9% share of the global smartphone

market during the third quarter of this year,

down from an 11% share for the same

quarter in 2008. During the same period,

Apple’s market share with the iPhone rose

from 12.9% to 17.1%, while Rim’s market

share with the BlackBerry rose from 16% to

20.8%. Meanwhile, Symbian’s market share

fell from 49.7% to 44.6%, a drop of 10%.

Google’s open-source smartphone

operating system, Android, rose from nothing

to 3.9%, Palm’s WebOS took 1.1% and various

other Linux-based smartphone operating

systems accounted for 4.7%.

Gartner predicted the global smartphone

market would grow by 29% to reach 180

million units for the whole of 2009, overtaking

notebooks in total unit terms. ‘At present,

smartphones account for 14% of overall

mobile device sales, but Gartner expects by

2012 they will make up around 37% of global

handset sales. Smartphone revenue is

forecast to reach $191 billion (about £115

billion) by 2012, higher than end-user

spending on mobile PCs, which is forecast

to reach $152 billion (about £91.95 billion)

in 2012. From 2009, user spending on

smartphones will start to surpass the

forecast for consumer notebooks,’ the

company predicted.

Clearly the smartphone market will become

very important, but Gartner warned PC vendors

who are ‘eyeing the booming smartphone

market’ that it will prove a tough nut to crack,

especially if they enter the market with

handsets running Windows Mobile.

One Gartner analyst, Roberta Cozza,

predicted that by 2012 around 62% of the

whole smartphone market would be open

source ‘with Symbian, Android and other

Linux flavours’. Meanwhile, the rest of the

market will be dominated by ‘closed

environments’ such as iPhone and BlackBerry.

Cozza said Microsoft could find it harder

to charge licence fees from handset makers

who increasingly have the option to use

free-of-charge operating systems such as

Google’s Android. Already, Microsoft’s

licensees, including Samsung, HTC

and Sony Ericsson, are developing

Android handsets, while Palm and

Motorola have stopped offering

Windows Mobile phones altogether.

Windows Mobile’s strongest

position is in the enterprise

market, but around 80% of

smartphones are sold to

consumers, according to Gartner.

PC vendors have traditionally

used Windows Mobile when they

offered smartphones, but not

counting Apple, Gartner found that

‘PC vendors’ cumulative share in

Windows Mobile is losing market share as it tries to find space in the competitive smartphone OS market place.

the smartphone market has been

static, at less than 1% for years’.

Cozza said: ‘PC vendors should

realise that while convergence of

technologies offers an opportunity

to enter into the smartphone

arena, the business models, go to

market and positioning of products

is very different from the PC

market. PC vendors will find it

difficult to simply use existing

supply chains and channels

to expand their presence in

the smartphone market. The

smartphone and notebook markets

are governed by different rules

when it comes to successfully

marketing and selling products.’

Olympus E-P1. Not an SLR. Not a Compact. It’s a PEN.


4 December 2009


Life’s little apps and Zunes

Contrary to what Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie believes, apps are the way forward for the smartphone market, so Apple must get its approval process sorted.

R ay Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software

architect, recently told attendees

at the company’s Professional

Developer Conference that applications won’t

be important on smartphones soon because

‘all the apps that count’ will be available on

every smartphone. Instead, he said it was

the operating system itself and the built-in

functionality that will count.

His point was that phone applications

Remember the Zune? That was

Microsoft’s personal media player that was

going to break the iPod’s stranglehold on

the market. Its key feature, or unique selling

point in marketing speak, was its ability to

let users beam songs to each other. The

latest version is the Zune HD. It doesn’t

have a Hard Drive. And its screen isn’t High

Definition. It does, however receive HD radio

in the US and can store 720p HD movies so

are much smaller and less complex than

desktop applications, which means the

time to write and port code is shorter, thus

making it easier and less expensive to write

for every platform.

you can play them back on a larger screen.

Just what you want from a personal media

player. That’s an indication of how much

Microsoft has lost touch with the market

for mobile devices.

Ozzie’s comments were widely seen as

an attempt to downplay the catastrophic

way in which Microsoft has dropped the

ball in the mobile devices market. Once

At a time when it should be putting

everything into improving its share of the

fast-growing smartphone market by building

on the foundations laid by Windows Mobile,

the undisputed leader, Windows Mobile now

faces stiff competition

it’s marketing personal media players that

are designed to be

from Apple, Google

and Palm. If

anything, though, his

remarks highlighted

how much Microsoft

still has to learn

about the market for

mobile devices.

There’s a great

‘What makes the iPhone so popular is the developers who produce apps that perform tasks many of us never dreamed of doing on a phone in a way that makes them a joy to use’

connected to HDTVs

and talking about

adding Zune features

to the next version of

Mobile. And at a time

when it should be

chastened by the way

it’s being threatened

by Apple, Palm,

deal more to levelling

the playing field with

respect to third-party applications than

Google and Rim, it’s

instead denouncing

the market for third-party apps, which many

making it relatively easy for developers to

write them. As Apple has shown with its

see as being crucial to the popularity of the

iPhone, as irrelevant.

disastrous approval process, balancing the

interests of customers and developers with

those of the data networks in a way that

Perhaps the clue to Microsoft’s view of

third party apps is in Ozzie’s phrase ‘all the

apps that count’. If those apps are the ones

makes sense isn’t exactly what you could

call straightforward.

In Apple’s case, it would appear that it

has been unable to either come up with a

set of guidelines for approval that make any

sort of logical sense, or that it has failed to

communicate its policy to those responsible

for accepting or rejecting applications.

Whatever it is that has gone wrong, it has

already driven two high-profile developers

away from the iPhone platform, and more

could follow suit.

That a company that has done such

a great job of building and marketing a

new smartphone platform could get it so

wrong should be a stark warning to others,

especially Microsoft, which hardly has a

that allow us to talk, send texts, access the

Internet, exchange email, look up contacts

and check calendars, then he’s right, they’ll

all be available on all platforms. And, yes, big

developers will develop for all platforms.

However, one of the key things that

makes the iPhone so popular is the

thousands of independent developers who

produce wonderful applications that perform

tasks that many of us never dreamed of

doing on a phone in a way that makes them

a joy to use.

Many of those developers have been

writing for the Mac OS for years and have

formed a bond with the platform and with

each other. It’s them and the apps they write

who will make the difference. That’s why

glittering recent history when it comes to

selling mobile devices.

Apple has spent so much money advertising

iPhone apps on TV. It understands how we

use the iPhone and what it will take to keep

us upgrading year after year.

Sadly, it doesn’t yet seem to understand

how to communicate effectively with

developers, or even with its approval team.

That approval system needs an overhaul,

and quickly. Then Apple can demonstrate to

Microsoft just why third-party apps are so

important to every smartphone platform.

Kenny Hemphill has been at MacUser since

the week Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs

returned to the company, and the Internet was

something that ran on one Mac in a cupboard

in the corner of the MacUser office.


4 December 2009

coming soon


This issue’s round-up of the latest products features Macally’s cooling stand, a series of MFDs from OKI and a Bowers & Wilkins iPod speaker.

Macally EzBookPad

Price €39.95 (about £35.67) Contact Macally +

Macally’s EzBookPad is an aluminium cooling stand

for laptops with screens up to 15in in size. The feet

are fully adjustable, allowing you to place them

anywhere on the stand, so you can set the height

and tilt. There’s also a fan that’s powered from

a USB port on the laptop, and which can also be

positioned anywhere on the surface of the stand,

so you can use it to maximum e ect.


4 December 2009

OKI MB400 series

Price from £300 (£261 ex VAT) Contact OKI +

OKI’s MB400 series of mono LED multi-function devices features

three network all-in-ones, two of which can send and receive faxes,

as well as scan, print and copy. The MB460, the cheapest of the

three, is a PCL-based device, which has a resolution of 2400

x 600dpi and a 250-sheet input tray. The other two machines

support PostScript 3, have a resolution of 1200 x 1200dpi, and come

with a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray in addition to 250-sheet and

530-sheet feeders, respectively. All three have duplex as standard

and have quoted print speeds of up to 28 pages per minute.




Price tbc

Contact Blue



The Yeti is the first microphone to attain THX certification. THX is

a quality assurance audio reproduction system, originally designed

to ensure that Return Of The Jedi’s audio soundtrack was

accurately reproduced in cinemas. It has since become a recognised

standard and the THX mark is seen as an assurance of high quality

audio. The Yeti is a USB condenser microphone, which is designed

for podcasts, interviews, music and video soundtracks. It features

zero latency, amplified headphone monitoring, microphone mute,

and hardware-based gain adjustment.

Bowers & Wilkins MM-1

Price tbc Contact Bowers & Wilkins +

Hi-fi specialist Bowers & Wilkins is best known in the Mac

market for its Zeppelin iPod speaker dock, which has garnered

plenty of praise for its audio fidelity as well as its stunning looks.

Bowers & Wilkins is hoping to achieve the same with the MM-1,

a pair of desktop stereo speakers designed to be connected to

your Mac. The company describes the MM-1 as ‘a serious hi-fi

speaker: a full range, active, near field monitor, with two separate

drive units including an aluminium down tweeter for a refined

treble performance’. It employs Bowers & Wilkins’ digital signal

processing chip, which provides increased bass output, removing

the need for a sub-woofer.

4 December 2009

Image Chris Robson

  • 020 mailbox


SSSSttttaaaarrrr lllleeeetttttttteeeerrrr

Windows heaven

From Jeremy Burns

I am a smug Mac user. I have great

delight in teasing friends and family who

use PCs, telling them how easy Macs

are. I hadn’t realised how accurate I was

until I wondered if it would be sensible to

upgrade my Parallels installation from

Vista to Windows 7.

I fired up Vista on Monday for the

first time in about a month and today is

Thursday. In that time, I have been unable

to use it for more than about 15 minutes,

as it has downloaded and installed 34

heavyweight updates, performed a number

of thorough virus scans and needed about

a dozen restarts. These have rendered

Windows inoperable as it has hogged

network bandwidth, CPU and memory for

hours on end. To get on with my day job,

I have had to switch Vista off and leave

it to do its thing over night.

Now I appreciate Macs need updates

too, but that all happens silently in the

background, a restart is rarely needed and

it doesn’t get in my way. Will I upgrade to

Windows 7? Maybe, if I can be convinced

that it will bring me an easier life. Now all I

need to do is choose which version I’d like

and decide whether it’s worth about £140.

Snow or no Snow

From The MacUser forums at

macpheasto > I was thinking of picking up a

copy of Snow Leopard on my way home today,

but a few comments on Twitter have given me

second thoughts. Should I fork out for SL, or

keep my rupees and stick with Leopard?

axtron2005 > I upgraded when it first came

out and have had no problems with it (Mac

Pro 2006; C2D MB). It feels quicker and

seems quite solid for my limited home/light

office use. It’s worth the money.

HeatherKay > No Snow for me. I’m not sure

what benefits the upgrade will give me. First,

it will break my PostScript Type 1 font

collection, so I have to decide whether to be

illegal and convert them to OpenType or just

drop all of them until I can buy new ones.

Second, it will kill my old AppleTalk printer,

and I can’t afford a new one at the moment.

So, for now, Snow Leopard is not on

my shopping list.

mrstevenrogers > SL is running on four

systems here with no problems. If you do

get SL, disable the ‘guest’ account before

the upgrade.

Artworker > As HeatherKay said, if you use

PostScript Type 1 fonts, don’t upgrade

unless you can afford the time and money to

replace them with OpenType Font versions.

Otherwise, check that all your essential

software is SL compatible (some of mine

still isn’t) before making the jump.

petermillard1 > Snow Leopard running

without issue on a MacBook and two iMacs

here; average hard disk space recovered

12GB per machine. If you’re sure you won’t

have critical software issues, I’d do it.

SAughton > I’ve been having problems with

external HDDs. Snow just doesn’t seem to

cope as well as Leopard did. Other than

that it’s okay, but I can’t say I miss it when

I’m using the Snowless iBook.


4 December 2009

macpheasto > Thanks for the opinions. I’d

forgotten about the font issue, I’ll have a

look tonight. I have a rather large – and

somewhat old – font collection, so it may

well be a problem.

big_D > Running it on three machines (my old

first generation 24in iMac, a 13in MacBook

Pro and mini), and haven’t had any problems.

That said, I don’t have any additional fonts.

technoidiot > I’m on the Snowy one. I have

problems with an HP PSC 1410 – it prints

fine, but I can’t scan. No HP driver as yet. I

have a friend, who after going to 10.6.1 found

he couldn’t use his Epson Photo R380. He

MacUser Awards 2009

competition winners

The winner of a Mac mini is:

David Ackers, Balham Hill, London

The winner of a Sonnet Fusion F2 640GB

portable Sata Raid is:

Colin Alcock, Solihull, West Midlands

The two winners of Orbitsound T12 stereo

soundbars are:

Chris Andrews, Stone, Aylesbury, Bucks

Tony Barnes, Denver, Colorado, US

eventually got that working with quite a bit of

The five winners of T3 mobile speakers are:

fiddling, but I’ll admit he was fit to be tied

Arthur Battram, Grantham, Lincolnshire

since it had worked well on 10.6.0.

Paul Beard, Poole, Dorset

krisjones2 > Have you tried firing up Image

Scott Burkett, W Bancro , St Toledo, Ohio, US


Rachel Byfield, Ramsbury, Marlborough

technoidiot > Now that’s a great idea – it

Darren Connor, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire

hadn’t occurred to me.

mrstevenrogers > Can’t the fonts folder be

The winner of an iDowell iBox is:

backed up then after the upgrade use ‘font

Jerry Creedon, Lissarda, County Cork, Ireland

book’ to install the fonts back to the system?

HeatherKay > Not really. It’s the way the OS

The winner of a iDowell iPack UPS is:

handles the font data to represent it on

Nigel Curry, London

screen and print. The font handling routines

for PostScript Type 1 fonts have been,

The four winners of an Booq Taipan

essentially, dropped as of Snow Leopard.

Bacpack, Steel, are:

It’s possible to convert Type 1 to

Peter Davis, London

OpenType, but when you have a library of

several thousand fonts, it’s not something to

relish – and it breaks the licence agreement.

As it stands right now, I have maybe 30

font families that will work with Snow

Leopard. The other 3,970 will either have to

be binned or slowly converted, or I’ll have to

work through and choose the ones I really

can’t live without, and then see if it’s worth

converting them.

Right now, it’s not worth my while for the

relative benefits of Snow Leopard.

Artworker > Also for future reference anyone

who is going to be seriously affected by the

PostScript Type 1 font issue with Snow

Leopard won’t be using Font Book. They’ll

have a proper font management application.

tombolt > With a studio full of G5s and G4s,

and a large font collection and everything

working perfectly well, I can say no, and

probably not for a long time yet. Not sure

what I’ll do if I need new Macs, as new ones

will only come with Snow Leopard. Still, as I

Andrew Douse, Rugby, Warwickshire

Julie Earnshaw, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Michael Gagan, She eld, South Yorkshire

The five winners of a Griffin Navigate are:

Aidan Gill, Windlesham, Surrey

Ray Guthrie, High Littleton, Bristol

Marc Hindley, Forres, Morayshire

Peter Hobby, Poole, Dorset

Richard Johnson, Harlesden, London

The 10 winners of a Griffin AirCurve are:

Jon Landeryou, Bedminster, Bristol

Andrew Mayne, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire

Catherine Miller, Millbrook, Southampton

Erica Parkin, Wigan, Lancashire

Alexander Porter, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen

Iain Priestley, Balsall Common, Coventry

George Rankin, Jamestown, Dunbartonshire

Giles Rolph, Hanwell, London

John Rudkin, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Peter Russell, Wanstrow, Shepton Mallet

say, it’s a production environment and it all

The three winners of a Prosoft & Josoft

works perfectly well for the moment.

bundle are:

David Sung, Liverpool

JJJJooooiiiinnnn tttthhhheeee ddddiiiissssccccuuuussssssssiiiioooonnnn

The Mailbox pages of MacUser are not

the only place you can have your say.

Whether you’ve got an axe to grind,

or just want to gush about your latest

Mac purchase or cool accessory, we’re

interested in your opinions. Go to the

MacUser forums at

to start talking with other Mac users

from across the globe about anything

and everything Apple and Mac.

Adam Watson, South Brentford, Middlesex

Alex Wickett, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Three prizes of a Rain Design iLap 17in

Notebook Stand are:

Don B Wijetunge, London

Denis Williams, Hailsham, East Sussex

Paul Jarram, Long Bennington, Nottinghamshire

The winner of a £400 Fotolia voucher

(see MacUser, 25 September 2009, p55,

and 9 October 2009, p66) is:

Chris Watson, Redditch, Worcestershire


Dennis Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland St, London, W1T 4JD


Editor Nik Rawlinson Deputy editor Kenny Hemphill Contributing editor Howard Oakley Technical editor Keith Martin Sta writer Alan Stonebridge Senior reporter Paul Nesbitt Columnist Simon Brew


Art editor Camille Neilson Freelance designer Heather Reeves Redesign by Steven Savage Images Danny Bird, Pat Hall, Hugh Threlfall, Jan Cihak, Chris Robson


Production editor Jon Lysons Remote sub-editor Kirsty Fortune Sub-editor Rob Woodcock Ad production executive Anisha Mogra 020 7907 6067 Digital production manager Nicky Baker


Advertising manager Alexandra Skinner

  • 020 7907 6623

Account director Nicky Crawford

0207907 6624 Online group ad manager Gary Rayneau

  • 020 7907 6812

Classified sales executive Craig Chambers

  • 020 7907 6652

US advertising manager Matthew Sullivan-Pond

++1 646 717 9555 List rental inserts executive John Perry

  • 020 7907 6151


Publisher Paul Rayner 020 7907 6663 Marketing manager Claire Scrase 020 7907 6113 Editorial & marketing assistant

Emily Hodges 020 7907 6270


Managing director technology and motoring Ian Westwood Production director Robin Ryan Director of advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans Newstrade director Martin Belson Managing director digital Pete Wootton Chief operating o cer Brett Reynolds Group finance director Ian Leggett Chief executive James Tye Chairman Felix Dennis

Printed in England by BGP Print Ltd, Chaucer International Estate, Launton Road, Bicester, Oxon OX6 7QZ Distribution Seymour Distribution 020 7396 8000

MacUser, incorporating Apple User, DTP, MacShopper and MacBuyer, is published fortnightly by Dennis Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD, a company registered in England number 1138891. Entire contents © Dennis Publishing Ltd licensed by Felden 2009. MacUser is an independent journal, not affiliated with Apple Computer Inc. ‘Apple’ and the Apple logo, ‘Macintosh’, ‘Mac’, the Mac logo and ‘MacUser’ are the trademarks of Apple Inc.


Material in MacUser may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written permission. MacUser is available for international licensing and syndication. Please call Winnie Liesenfeld on +44 20 7097 6134 for details. Reprints

Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation

Jan-Dec 2007 14,502 per issue


Mail MacUser, 30 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JD Online Phone 020 7907 6000 Fax 020 7907 6369 Email Letters for publication Change your address, renew your subscription or report any problems at or email Technical queries Press releases and news stories PRODUCTS AND EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS MacUser welcomes all information on new and upgraded hardware and software, but we are under no obligation to review or return unsolicited products. Ideas should be submitted in outline form only. SUBSCRIBE TO MACUSER MacUser is available on subscription at a discounted rate. For as little as £17.95 per quarter, you could receive the equivalent of five free issues every year, plus a free gift and free delivery of MacUser every fortnight. See p66 for details, or call 0844 844 0063. Savings apply to UK subscriptions. Overseas subscriptions are also available, call 01795 592914 or email

This issue is dedicated to Janis for baking some delicious mini Christmas fruit cakes for the

MacUser team. Mmmmm


thank you!

The paper used within this magazine is produced from sustainable fibre, manufactured by mills with a valid chain of custody.


4 December 2009

Image Robert Leslie



Michael Grecco started his career in Boston while in college working for the Associated Press as a photo stringer. A er working for the Boston Herald and then People magazine, he decided to pursue his dream of shooting portraits and celebrities. He now resides in the Los Angeles area.


Name Michael Grecco

Current employment Self-employed



Tel +1 310-452-4461

What was your first Mac and what other

equipment do you use?

When I started my business again in Los

Angeles, I realised I needed a way to send

out promotional pieces. My first Mac was an

SE/30, with 4MB of Ram and a 40MB hard

drive, which sounds ridiculous now. Now the

office has eight Macs, my MacBook Pro, the

studio manager’s 24in iMac, another iMac

for the office music, two eight-core Mac Pros

for the images and two Mac minis – one is a

FileMaker Pro and Calendar server, and the

other is an image server. We also have a few

high-end scanners and high-end printers.

Can you offer any tips for success?

Well, I think they’re twofold: work hard and

don’t let yourself get discouraged. Keep

looking – look at what you’re doing and look

  • 04 Martin Scorsese

Here, I wanted the director to be seen as one

with New York. We shot him on a balcony on

57th Street, with the city behind him.

at what others are doing around you. Your

work has to exist in the current world and

have some sort of relevance.

As a child, what did you want to be

when you grew up?

  • 05 Russell Simmons

    • I shot the producer/entrepreneur in a

recording studio. My goal was to develop a

unique mood and look to the image. This was

shot as part of a series for Business Week.

  • I totally wanted to be an astronaut until

  • I looked at my first Time-Life book on

photography. After looking at masters

such as Ralph Gibson and Bruce Davidson,

  • 06 Fashion Image

This was done as part of a fashion story on

Canadian fashion for Glitterati magazine.

  • I knew I was going to be a photographer.

  • I had no doubt.

How did you get your first big break?

  • I don’t know if I ever had one particular

break. The little jump I had was in 1993

when I did a very moody and distinct series

of images for Business Week magazine of

the top entrepreneurs in the world. This

included flying to the UK to shoot Richard

Branson and Anita Roddick.

Talk us through these examples:

01 Steve Martin

This was for Time magazine when Steve

Martin wrote his memoirs. I had this idea that

  • 07 Martin Scorsese

This image was shot as part of a portrait

session with the director. I asked him to run

through a range of expressions – and soon

found out how well he can act.

What or who inspires your work?

  • I tend to take all the art I’ve ever seen along

with me for inspiration. I do have a great

appreciation for surrealism though, and bring

along a little bit of René Magritte wherever

  • I go. That said, I look at a great deal of

contemporary art, too. The Chelsea Handler

prop was inspired by a contemporary artist

whose work I’ve bought.

he had spent his life in the garden writing,

and the vines and garden grow around him.

What mistakes have you learned from?

Thinking you know something you don’t.

02 Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar

This was another feature magazine story

where the concept was the intimacy and

closeness of these two artists.

03 Chelsea Handler

This image was shot as a cover possibility for

her new book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, in

which Chelsea describes growing up in New

Jersey among the partially renovated cars

from her father’s automotive hobby.

What’s your ideal project?

My ideal project would be a series of

conceptualised images where I can work

with good set builders and creative people

to make my vision come alive. Right now, my

concept pictures are usually single images.

Tell us something good.

It’s sunny and 23°C in Santa Monica today.

It’s a good day to write and create.



4 4

December 2009

December 2009








4 December 2009

  • 024 reviews



Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server


An excellent option for anyone who wants to run Mac OS X Server on a small network

Samsung Flashcam C10


This striking-looking camcorder is easy to use and comfortable to hold

CameraBag Desktop


This fun toy allows you to add different effects to your photographs.



If you’re on a budget, this is an inexpensive way to convert video to a different format

Canon PowerShot G11


It might not be for everyone, but this compact produces images with superior noise levels

Pure Chronos iDock


Redesigned radio alarm clock with an iPhone-compatible Dock connection

Pure Siesta Flow


Wake up to the sound of your favourite Internet radio channels

Canon Pixma MP990


Truly excellent wireless photo printer that merits our Editor’s Choice award

Parallels Desktop for Mac


It may be more expensive than its rival, Fusion, but it’s worth every penny

Doom Classic


Old-school gamers will lap up the iPhone version of this venerable shoot-’em-up

Championship Manager 2010 Express


If you love football, you won’t be able to tear yourself away from this iPhone app

Command & Conquer Red Alert


The first installment of the addictive real-time strategy game for the iPhone

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000


Well-designed wireless keyboard and number pad for notebook users

RRRReeeevvvviiiieeeewwwwssss pppppoooolllliiiiccccyyyyy


MacUser firmly believes that a proper, detailed review can be carried out only by rigorously testing the product. We don’t believe value is derived from describing a product’s features without any analysis. We’ll never give a positive review to a product that we believe isn’t worth our readers buying, which means that a positive MacUser review is of enormous value to both the reader and the manufacturer of the product.

Products are tested in-house wherever possible, using a mix of industry-standard and bespoke testing software suites.

Top-rated products earn themselves a place in our exclusive Hot Kit section to provide you with an issue-by-issue update of the best products in any category for use on a Mac. This, along with our definitive awards system (below), lets you see at a glance which products are worth the manufacturers’ asking price.


We give priority to mainstream products, but we also make every effort to cover a broad range of items, and regularly feature ‘niche’ products.


We do everything we can to publish fair and accurate reviews. If errors do occur we correct them in ‘Search and Replace’ in the Mailbox section.

AAAAwwwwaaaarrrrddddssss ssssyyyyysssstttteeeemmmm



Editor’s Choice

This award can be given at the editor’s discretion to a product judged as outstanding and a must-buy in the issue.



Labs Winner

Given to the products that in the opinion of the reviewer are the best in their field at the time of testing.

Best Value

Only the very best products make it into our Hot Kit section. They are the products on which the editorial team would spend their own money.

MMMMMaaaaacccccUUUUUssssseeeeerrrrr rrrrraaaaatttttiiiiinnnnngggggsssss

A perfect product with great features at a great price.

A product with minor flaws but which is nonetheless excellent.

A good product that does everything it’s designed to do.

A product that’s outclassed by others in its field.

A poor product that we can’t recommend in its current state.



4 December 2009

Photography Danny Bird

Mac server

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server

Pri Price £799 (£695 ex VAT) £7 (£6 (£695 (£6 VAT VAT) £7£799 Contact Apple
Price £799 (£695 ex VAT)
£7 (£6 (£695 (£6 VAT VAT)
Contact Apple

Pros Affordable compact Mac server

+ Two internal hard drives

Cons No built-in optical drive

Verdict An excellent and good value

option for anyone who wants to

run Mac OS X server on a small

or medium-sized network, though

the lack of an optical drive will be

a problem for some.


4 December 2009

T he Mac mini has been a hit since

it was launched back in 2005,

and not just as a regular desktop

machine. It has also been put to work as

a server, from small one-off workgroup

installations to the Nevada-based

Macminicolo server farm. Apple

has now officially acknowledged

this with its new Mac mini

server, slightly tailored to server-

focused rather than solo user

requirements. This means it isn’t

suitable for everyone, but it is a

rather more worthy product than

you might think.

Despite its rather clumsy name,

this is a well-considered machine. On

the back it has five USB sockets, two monitor

ports (one mini-DVI and one mini DisplayPort),

one FireWire 800 socket and a single

gigabit Ethernet port. There is also a pair

of analogue/digital audio sockets, although

those will be less of a concern in a server.

On the front – well, there is actually

only one thing that really distinguishes this

from the regular mini, but it is significant: a

complete absence of an optical drive. In its

place inside the mini there’s a second hard

drive, a twin to the 500GB model below it,

giving a total of 1TB of space. As standard,

these drives are set up as regular storage

volumes, and as Snow Leopard Server is

preinstalled, the majority of users will keep

it like that. The alternative would be to

reformat and merge the two drives as Raid

0 (for striped speed) or Raid 1 (for mirrored

safety) instead.

The difficulty here is that this requires

using the supplied installer DVDs, and as

there’s no DVD drive, you’d be forgiven for

wondering how. There are essentially three

ways to go about this: run a second Mac in

Target Disk Mode (requires FireWire), use the

optical drive network sharing trick introduced

for the MacBook Air, or, our preference, buy

the external MacBook Air SuperDrive. Most

modern software is downloadable, so you

won’t face this problem often, but it should

be considered.

The drives are standard 5400rpm laptop

mechanisms; not the fastest possible, but

perfectly adequate. You can add an external

drive to the FireWire 800 port for snappier

throughput, and the five USB ports means

The absence of an optical drive on the front of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server may prove problematic for some.

that adding inexpensive USB storage is also

simple. The mini’s single Ethernet port might

be an issue if split traffic routing between the

local network and the Internet is required, but

Apple’s USB Ethernet Adaptor would do the

trick in this case.

We’re used to thinking of the Mac mini

as a kind of entry-level Mac, but today’s

but apart from the fact that this isn’t suited

to large-scale access, it barely scratches

the surface of what’s available from Snow

Leopard Server. Centralised file serving is

useful, and you can manage and control

client access (cross-platform) very efficiently,

but on top of this, you’ll also be able to

manage network Time Machine backups,

calendar and address

‘Centralised file serving is useful, and you can manage and control client access (cross-platform) very efficiently, but on top of this, you’ll also be able to manage network Time Machine backups’

book sharing,

and scheduling,

email, instant

messaging and video

conferencing, web,

blog and wiki serving,

and so on.

machine is surprisingly well-suited to life

as a server. With a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo

processor, 3MB on-chip level two cache (1:1

speed), a 1066MHz frontside bus and 4GB

of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, this is actually

a very respectable machine that’s perfectly

capable of handling light to middleweight

work. There are reports that its two SO-Dimm

slots support 4GB cards, giving it an unofficial

8GB maximum, but for most of the tasks it

will face 4GB should be ample.

Why bother with a server in the first place?

You could, as many do, simply switch on file

sharing on a regular Mac and be done with it,

Buying Snow

Leopard Server on its own will set you back

just under £400, and adding this to a roughly

equivalent Mac mini (with SuperDrive but

just 320GB disk space) pushes the cost to

over £1000. That’s still reasonable for a total

server solution – just look at the costs for

equivalent Windows server solutions – but

it’s still not as cheap as this Mac mini server.

Not everyone needs a server, so this will

never be a sales chart-topper. But the scope

and ease of use of Snow Leopard Server

and the affordability of the Mac mini should

make this a big hit in the server world.

Keith Martin

With five

USB ports, two monitor sockets, a FireWire 800 port and a single Ethernet socket, connectivity isn’t a problem.






































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4 December 2009

Digital camcorder

Samsung Flashcam C10

Price £129 (£112 ex VAT)


Contact Samsung


Pros Neat design

Cons Average video quality

+ No still image function

Verdict Overall an okay camera,

but not one that really stands

out from the crowd.

The C10’s design stands out, especially the upturned nose, which is supposed to make the camcorder more comfortable to hold.

I n such a crowded market, the Samsung

Flashcam C10 camcorder is going to

have to stand out to really impress. The

specifications seem run-of-the-mill for this

price point: the C10 shoots at 720 x 576

pixels in H.264 format, has a 2.7in LCD

screen and a 10x optical zoom. It’s available

from Argos for about £130.

The design, however, is immediately

striking, with the small pebble-like shape

really much nicer, to our eyes at least, than

the straight-up types such as the Flip or

Kodak devices. The zoom toggle button sits

on the top of the camera and your thumb

sits naturally on it. The buttons on the body

could do with being more clearly identified,

as they’re all the same colour and are only

distinguishable by an icon etched onto them.

Mind you, over time you’ll get used to which

button does what.

Its upturned nose is supposed to make

the camcorder more comfortable to hold for

prolonged periods, but we’re doubtful about

its ergonomic benefits. It takes a little while

to get used to holding the camera at such an

angle, but, thanks to the rotating screen, it’s

not prohibitive.

The menus are easy to navigate, although

this is most likely down to the fact that there’s

not much in the way of extra features in the

Image editor



Price $19 (about £11.42)

Contact Nevercenter


Needs PowerPC or Intel processor +

512MB Ram + Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Pros Instant + Good photo effects

Cons A little expensive + Overkill if you

have the iPhone app

Verdict A fun photographic toy, the

desktop version isn’t as essential as

its iPhone contemporary.

Drag in a photo and 10 different versions will be displayed along the bottom of the application’s window.

T he iPhone’s built-in camera has never

won awards for image quality, and

performs poorly in comparison with

the cameras in rival smartphones. There are,

however, apps available that compensate for

these hardware deficiencies.

CameraBag is one such iPhone app. In

seconds, it applies one of a set of pre-defined

image processing filters to your photographs,

and spits out something different; a stylish,

funky photo to replace your dull original. It’s

simple to use, it’s fun and it’s a bargain at

just over a pound.

CameraBag Desktop is essentially the

same application, but for use on your Mac.

Using it is very straightforward. Drag in a

photo from anywhere, and you’ll see 10

new versions of it appear along the bottom

of the CameraBag window. Each is a preview

of one the built-in filters at work; just click on

one to see it full size.

As you’d expect, the desktop application

offers a few more features than its iPhone

cousin. Images can be exported at a wider

range of sizes, from 100 to 1600 pixels.

There’s also limited cropping ability, using

preset sizes only (you can’t specify an


4 December 2009

first place. There’s a time lapse setting and

a wind noise reduction option, as well as

built-in image stabilisation, but otherwise not

much to really get us excited. One feature we

did like was the Easy-q setting, which at the

press of a button puts everything into auto

mode. So, if you’ve been tinkering around with

backlight or you’ve set it to record in black

and white, simply press the Easy-q button to

get back to basics. One odd decision is the

lack of a still photo capability. Other cameras

manage to combine photo and video, so it

seems strange for the C10 to leave it out.

Video quality was average and, like many

Video converter


Price $129.95 (about £78.18)

Contact Miraizon +

Needs PowerPC G3 or later or Intel Mac

+ Mac OS X 10.4 or later + 512MB

Ram + QuickTime 7.2 or later

Pros Simple interface and workflow

+ Good results in movies with little

saver if you’re converting several clips that

originated from the same reel or shoot.

After lining up movies for conversion,

the Video tab lets you choose from a list of

common operations, such as moving between

standard definition Pal and NTSC video, and

to 25 and 30fps (frames per second) movies

at 720p and 1080p line resolutions. These

are Reframe’s idea of presets, though you can

override frame sizes and frame rates below.

You’ll have to choose one on the Audio

tab as well; the two operations aren’t

directly linked. You can independently control

interlacing of video and gain on audio, and

of these small camcorders, filming indoors

motion + Inexpensive

there are advanced settings that control

yielded grainy results. Other than that, colours

Cons Sticky advanced settings and

algorithms for image and audio quality. You

were good and sound wasn’t bad, either. All in

no true presets

can set scaling options (padded, cropped

all, the performance from the Samsung was

Verdict An affordable alternative to

or stretched), motion vector analysis, and

fine but hardly earth shattering: you’re not

hardware converters, though playing

whether to use motion compensation,

going to be disappointed, yet neither are you

with advanced settings doesn’t turn

temporal interpolation or film to video telecine

likely to be over the moon with the results.

out great results in all circumstances.

conversion to deal with changing frame rates.

The Samsung Flashcam C10 isn’t as well

specified as some of its competitors and the

video quality is at best on a par with the other

devices we’ve seen, but we did find it simple

to operate and used it regularly over the

time we had it. If you’re just looking to chuck

quick videos onto YouTube, then fine, but

you wouldn’t want to use it for anything more

demanding. As it stands, there’s not enough

to mark it out from the crowd. The C10 is a

decent camera at a fair price, but really there

are better alternatives available.

Christopher Brennan

‘In seconds, it applies one of a set of pre-defined image processing filters to your photographs, and spits out a stylish, funky photo to replace your dull original’

arbitrary crop size). On the iPhone, image

borders are either on or off; here they can

be applied per image. This means you can

use the black-and-white effect, with a border

normally used for a Polaroid-style effect.

Multiple effects can also be applied to

one image, although we got better results

by using this sparingly.

CameraBag on an iPhone is a must-have

application, because it offers so much for

such a good price. On the desktop, it feels

less compelling. You can’t email directly

from the desktop version, nor can you

drag images out of it. It lacks the iPhone

version’s spontaneity, and seems very slightly

overpriced for what it offers.

If you already have CameraBag on your

iPhone, we can’t see a convincing argument

for buying the desktop application as well.

If, however, you love toy camera photography

and have no intention of owning an iPhone,

then there might well be £11-worth of

entertainment here.

Giles Turnbull

R eframe is a tool for converting

movies between video standards.

Its main focus is the Pal and NTSC

formats, and SD and HD resolutions, which

could cost you a small fortune using a

hardware-based converter.

We can’t fault the immediate clarity of

Reframe’s workflow. Its four tabs show the

process from left to right. Drop movies into

the Input tab, choose the video and audio

settings, then choose the output format

on the last one.

The Input tab seems mundane, but it

conceals some important features. Press

Edit and you can choose which video and

audio tracks from multi-track files to convert,

and override the source’s aspect ratio. You

can also force Mpeg decoding to interpret

video as film, progressive scan or interlaced

footage or rely on automatic detection.

The Transfer button lets you set up the

Video and Audio tabs for one item and

transfer those settings to every other item

in the Input list, which is an excellent time-

Each tab links directly to the help file,

which requires careful reading to make the

right choices. Advanced settings are sticky, so

every time you open Reframe, you’ll have to

check they’re appropriately set for the footage

you’re working with, rather than following a

wizard that asks about your movies’ content.

Picture quality in a frame with little motion

was very good, with smooth lines on a static

or slow moving car. However, there was

obvious shimmering of colour on the car’s

body that wasn’t noticeable in the NTSC

version. No matter which motion vector and

frame rate conversion settings we chose, a

fast-moving car travelling across the frame

and towards the camera became juddery.

Conversions for iPod and other devices

can be done with tools such as QuickTime Pro

7 or Mpeg Streamclip. For video standards

conversion, Reframe doesn’t mean you can

abandon hardware alternatives, despite its

decent speed on recent Intel Macs. However,

if you’re on a tight budget around Final Cut

Express’s level, it’s an inexpensive way to

add software conversion without stepping

up to Final Cut Studio’s Compressor.

Alan Stonebridge

Reframe’s presentation is clean and uncluttered rather than bombarding you with technical details, though you’ll have to dip into the documentation to understand its advanced settings.


4 December 2009

Digital compact

Canon PowerShot G11

Price £569 (£495 ex VAT)

Contact Canon +

Needs Mac OS X 10.2 or later

Pros Picture quality + Low noise

+ Vari-angle LCD + Viewfinder

Cons Pricey + Slight cramping of

controls + Fringing at wide end + No

HD video + Mostly plastic construction

Verdict Given its price, lack of HD

video, plasticky build and quirky

controls, the G11 isn’t the ideal carry-

everywhere camera it could have been.

F ew high-end digital compacts have

stayed the course like those of

the G-series from Canon, and their

popularity shows no signs of abating. We

were very impressed with 14.7-megapixel G10

last year (see MacUser, 21 November 2008,

p34), although noise levels above ISO400

meant either having to use a tripod or switch

to a DSLR to avoid speckling – hardly the

impression of a typical walkabout camera

for street photography.

In response, Canon has taken an

unprecedented move of offering the

replacement G11 with a smaller, 10-megapixel

CCD using the same-size 1/1.7-in type (7.6

x 5.7mm) sensor. With nearly 50% larger

photosites and improved signal processing,

the G11 boasts the same ISO80 to ISO3200

range, but the maximum sensitivity jumps

from a lowly 1600 x 1200 pixels on the G10

to full resolution on the G11.

Canon also listened to comments about

the fixed LCD screen, and the G11 is the first