July 16, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.07.14 Episode #86

Filed under: Podcast — jcost @ 2:12 am

John F. Braun

The Mac Observer?s Mac Geek Gab http://www.macgeekgab.com/

Monday?s Mac Gadget http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/features/mondays_mac_gadget/

Twitter: @johnfbraun

Steve Stanger

The Mac Attack http://www.themacattack.tv

Twitter: @tmasteve

Jonathan Cost

Mac Tips Daily! and Thinkmac Reviews

Thinkmac.net – www.thinkmac.net

twitter: @MacTipsDaily

Chuck Joiner

The MacVoices Group http://www.macvoicesgroup.com

Twitter: @chuckjoiner

Bart Busschots


The International Mac Podcast – http://www.impodcast.tv

Twitter: @bbusschots


smcFanControl http://www.eidac.de/

A cool CPU is a happy CPU.  I’m actually wondering if there’s any quantitative data showing the benefit of a cooler CPU versus minimal power consumed by running fans a bit faster.

CoolBook  http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html

Reduce processor voltage to reduce clock speed

ThermographX (no update since 2008, doesnt’ see all temp sensors, but does graph)


TemperatureMonitor (free, current)


Shows values, can store history as well.

iStat Menus (now pay), MenuMeters (free), Matias iRizer (portable stand)


Thermapak  http://www.thermapak.com/

Podium CoolPad and Traveler CoolPad  http://www.roadtools.com/index-2.html

Griffin Elevator  http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/elevator

Be careful if the little rubber “feet” fall off your laptop – replaced my lost one with a penny taped to the bottom of my MBP!

Even if you’re not experiencing a heat-wave, it’s worth monitoring your temps and fan speeds anyway. If they begin to creep up over weeks or months, your machine may be full of fluff and crap! I vacuumed out my G5 iMac because it over-heated and always had fans going, now it runs much much better.

(Side note: UPS protects computer equipment against brown outs and possible power surge during heavy peak power use times.)


Many cable modems offer a status page here: or typically.

(nice if your cable modem isn’t locked down)


**Some important figures are**

Receive Power Level and Transmit Power Level (in dBmV)

Downstream/receive should be between -15 and +15

Upstream/transmit should be between +5 and +58 (below 50 is best)

Another important figure is SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) may not be available, have to break out the big guns to get this value:


This is a Java program that will extract many values (via SNMP I assume) that web status page may not make available.

Run from command line:

docsdiag -jar docsdiag.jar (-vvv)

SNR should be 30 dB or higher, mine is 34.5 right now.

There are also error figures

SigQu: received without error        = 1737538425 codewords

SigQu: correctable errors            = 106961 codewords

SigQu: uncorrectable errors          = 9387 codewords

I was told if the last two values steadily increase, this can also indicate an issue.

iPhone 4 Antenna Thoughts:

Article on Engadget from their experiences.


Our Picks:

John: 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector ($395 retail)


Steve: http://safariextensions.tumblr.com/ – list of available Safari extensions to tide you over until Apple opens their gallery.

Bart: Apple World Travel Adaptor kit – http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B?fnode=MTY1NDA4NA&mco=MTA4NDYwMDk ($39)

Jonathan: Sirius XM APP: http://www.siriusxm.com/oniphone/indexd.xmc

Requires Premium streaming account, but allows you to listen on your computer and your iPhone/iPod.  Free 7 day trial.  You can add it onto your SiriusXM account for an extra $3 a month.

Chuck: Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go MiFi with pay-as-you go plan


Chuck’s Review: http://www.chuckjoiner.com/2010/07/14/virgin-mobile-broadband-mifi-portable-connectivity-with-no-contract/


June 27, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.06.27 Episode #85

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 5:15 pm

Allison Sheridan:
Nosillacast Podcast http://podfeet.com
Twitter: @podfeet
Katie Floyd:
Mac Power Users http://www.macpowerusers.com
Twitter: @katiefloyd
Adam Christianson:
Maccast http://www.maccast.com
Twitter: @maccast
Bart Busschots:
International Mac Podcast http://www.impodcast.tv http://www.bartb.ie
Twitter: @bbusschots
David Sparks:
Mac Power Users http://www.macpowerusers.com http://www.macsparky.com
Twitter: @macsparky

iOS 4

  • Folders are pretty cool and definitely useful
  • Camera speed is INSANELY fast not! BOL folks thought it was iPhone 4 that had the faster phone, but it’s iOS4 that causes the speed, worth the upgrade just for this
  • Unified inbox
Bad or So So:
  • Allison – “multi-tasking” not as cool as I thought – I keep finding 20 apps waiting, stresses me out!
  • Limited fucntionality on 3G – no multitasking, background apps or wallpaper (what’s up with the Wallpaper?)
  • Finding it very slow on my iPhone 3G, and battery life has been poor
  • 65 security updates in iOS4, but what about iPad and older devices?
  • Exchange calendar color issue

iPhone 4

How fun was it to BUY your iPhone 4?
Bad or So So:
  • Battery life – unimpressive! – I’ve found battery life to be great.
  • Poor reception – dropped calls and 1-2 bars in areas I use to have 4-5 bars and no problem
  • No GSM buzz noise when connected to non-shielded speakers
  • First iPhone to work with my car audio system w/ iPod dock (Charging not supported – but should be corrected with the PASSport) http://www.scosche.com/products/productID/1667
  • Works well with original iPhone dock
  • Problems with using a case – won’t fit in the dock!
iPhone Death Grip Problem
  • very real. I can watch my iPhone go from 5 to 1 bar.
  • Who all is having problems?
  • Software vs. Hardware or both?
  • Problem persists with MicroCell but seems worse in areas with flakey AT&T coverage (like all of my town.)
  • 4.0.1 Coming soon (Monday)

Picks of the Week

Katie – Jiggler – http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20791
Allison – Disk Warrior http://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/
Bart – TechTool Delux – free with Apple Care on a Mac
David – OmniFocus iPhone
Adam – SonicPics, http://www.sonicpics.com/


June 10, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.06.10 Episode #84

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 12:28 pm

John F. Braun
The Mac Observer?s Mac Geek Gab http://www.macgeekgab.com/
Monday?s Mac Gadget http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/features/mondays_mac_gadget/
Twitter: @johnfbraun

Chuck Joiner
The MacVoices Group http://www.macvoicesgroup.com
Twitter: @chuckjoiner

Steve Stanger
The Mac Attack http://www.themacattack.tv
Twitter: @tmasteve

Victor Cajiao
Typical Mac User podcast http://www.typicalmacuser.com
Typical Shutterbug Podcast http://www.typicalshutterbug.com
Twitter: @victorcajiao

WWDC Keynote – We discuss what we feel was left out of the keynote as much as what Steve Jobs announced during the keynote.


TotalFinder http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/

AirVideo ($2.99) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/air-video-watch-your-videos/id306550020?mt=8
Fast PDF ($.99) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fast-pdf/id365270223?mt=8

Camera + iPhone app. ($2.99) http://campl.us/

Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard by Joe Kissell ($15)


May 31, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.05.30 Episode #83

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 8:37 am

Katie Floyd
Mac Power Users http://www.macpowerusers.com
Twitter: @katiefloyd

Allison Sheridan
NosillaCast Mac Podcast http://podfeet.com
Twitter: @podfeet

Don McAllister
ScreenCastsOnline http://www.screencastsonline.com
All About the iPad Blog http://allabouttheipad.tumblr.com
Personal Blog http://themacscreencastguy.com
Twitter: @donmcallister

Bart Busschots
Blog http://www.bartb.ie
International Mac Podcast http://www.impodcast.tv
Twitter: @bbusschots

WWDC isn’t having the annual  design awards for OSX developers (only doing it for iPhone and iPad  Apps) so ArsTechnica is doing the Ars Design Awards.  To see the top  nominees for the categories of Best New App, Best User Experience, Most  Innovative App, Best K-12  Education App, and Best Student-created App,  and to vote on the  Reader’s Choice Award go to:

Recording Apps


International iPad launch

Home Theaters

With the AppleTV rumors buzzing about, we talk about our home theater setup, our  experiences with  AppleTVs, Mac Minis, Boxee, ATV Flash, and others.



May 18, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.05.18 Episode #82

Filed under: Podcast — macroundtable @ 11:03 pm

John F. Braun
The Mac Observer?s Mac Geek Gab (http://www.macgeekgab.com/)
Monday?s Mac Gadget (http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/features/mondays_mac_gadget/)
Twitter: @johnfbraun

Victor Cajiao
Typical Mac User (http://www.Typicalmacuser.Com)
Twitter: @victorcajiao

Adam Christianson
Maccast (http://www.maccast.com)
Twitter: @maccast

David Sparks
Mac Sparky (http://www.macsparky.com/)
Mac Power Users (http://macpowerusers.com/)
Twitter – @macsparky

Are Solid State Drives worth the upgrade?
Victor got an 8GB RAM upgrade and an OWC 200GB SSD drive for his Macbook Pro 13″ and worked up some upgrade benchmarks. John has also been comparing the SSD options vs. moving from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM drives. In this episode we dive deep into the pros and cons of each solution. We test the theory that upgrading your RAM is the most cost effective way to get more performance from your Mac. Does going over 4GB still give you the same bang for your buck? Is an SSD worth the investment or can you max your Mac with other options? Listen in to find out.

Victor’s post on upgrading to 8GB of RAM
Snow Leopard Performance (Mac Performance guide)
MCE OptiBay
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSD
200GB SATA 3.0G/s Solid State Drive

Crucial 8GB 204-PIN PC3-8500 SODIMM DDR3 (4GBx2)
HITACHI Travelstar 7K500 HD20500

Software/Hardware Picks
Victor: Apple iPad Camera connector kit – $29.00 (if you can find one 🙂
Adam: Audioengine W1
John: 3rd Generation Wi-Fire
David: iTeleport (Jaadu VNC)
Jump Desktop


April 4, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.04.03 Episode #81

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 2:20 pm

This episode was hosted by:

Katie Floyd – Mac Power Users http://www.macpowerusers.com Twitter- @katiefloyd

John F. Braun – The Mac Observer’s Mac Geek Gab http://www.macgeekgab.com/, Monday’s Mac Gadget http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/features/mondays_mac_gadget/ Twitter – @johnfbraun

Allison Sheridan – NosillaCast Podcast http://podfeet.com Twitter @podfeet

Adam Christiansonhttp://www.maccast.com Twitter – @maccast

Victor Cajiao www.Typicalmacuser.Com Twitter – @victorcajiao

In this episode we discussed the iPad:

How we got our iPads

preorder vs. reserve vs. show up?

how was it?

First impressions

Happy Impressions

  • books
  • maps
  • typing is better than I thought

Negative impressions:

  • heavier than I thought
  • hard to plug in the connector
  • can’t figure out how to sync up my podfeet.com email
  • tried creating calendar event – add invitee, but NO….
  • gathers dust and finger prints pretty easily
  • Apple case: $39, bought it instead of a dock, weird flap, very thin, roundy standing up, maybe it will get a crease? not very Apple-like, kinda hinky.
  • Fail on download of Pages. Had to download via iTunes. Didn’t tell me it failed, just stopped and didn’t show up. grrr… trying to download again told me I had to go to iTunes

Mini rant 2: I did go out and get 1PW for iPad and then found out I did not have to do that. 1PW did send out a link to clarify but I had not seen it before. I put a post up to let people know and that has a link to the iTunes store to get a refund.

iPad Apps

  • Some are VERY expensive
  • Ability to do hybrid Apps
  • Some developers (1Password) are offering iPad upgrades for those who have alerady purchased.
  • Other developers are requiring you to purchase new versions at a premium

Mini-rant about apps, a well-written app, be it on a iPhone/iPod Touch, Mac, PC or iPad, should not make assumptions about screen size. If companies are just charging extra for something they should have done to begin with, that’s a ripoff. If it takes advantage of the features of the iPad, that’s different.

Font Scaling?

  • The old raster (bitmap) versus vector (paths) font issue
  • iPhone apps at (2x) size suck

Charging issue


LCD Visibility Outdoors

  • Any different than any other LCD screen?
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8+ required

iPad Internals:

iPad versus Baseball Bat:
Best and Worst apps:

Worst – we give them 60 days to fix them

  • Netflix but we applaud them for being there
  • Wall street journal – expensive AND popup ads! plus it’s slow, unintuitive


  • Marvel (free with some free comics)
  • Google Maps
  • Drawing Pad
  • USA Today
  • ABC App (no scrubbing through the movie tho)
  • Twitterific

March 11, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.03.11 Episode #80

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 9:57 pm

Bart Busschots – www.bartb.ie, www.impodcast.tv, @bbusschots
Tim Verpoorten MacReviewCast.com and Surfbits.com : @surfbits
John F. Braun – The Mac Observer’s Mac Geek Gab, Monday’s Mac Gadget, @johnfbraun
Steve Stanger – http://themacattack.tv, @tmasteve
Katie Floyd – Macpowerusers.com, katiefloyd.me, @katiefloyd

Geotagging – be careful!

  • Not all services to share photos strip out GPS data from the meta data (EXIF Data) in the photos you post (edit EXIF data with the free app Reveal)
  • Many cameras now have GPS in them, including the iPhone, so many images have GPS data when they’re taken
  • iPhone and iPod Touch apps should ask for permission any time they try to use your location
  • Many Eye-Fi cards do this with WiFi, compatible with other schemes
  • Note that location services are required for Find My iPhone/iPod Touch

The iPad

  • Apple badly misses it’s target of “world-wide availability” in 60 days
  • US get it a few days late
  • UK & a few other large countries get it about a month late
  • No release date at all for other countries like Ireland

What version of the iPad are people getting?

App Store

  • Through some very clever trickery the EFF have legally, publically, released the iPhone dev agreement
  • Selective rejection and removal of apps
  • Why is Apple handling this so badly?

Bart – 3D Sun – NASA iPhone
Katie – TextExpander 3
John – New 4GB RAM chip (OWC) and new Hitachi 500GB HD with case (OWC)
Tim – Fujitsu S1300 Scanner
Steve – HDRtist


February 28, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.02.28 Episode #79

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 5:57 pm

Allison Sheridan NosillaCast @podfeet
Katie Floyd Mac Power Users, katiefloyd.me @katiefloyd
John F. Braun Mac Geek Gab, @johnfbraun
Bart Busschots bartb.ie, International Mac Podcast, @bbusschots
Steve Stanger The Mac Attack, @tmasteve

Thank you to Chuck for the great coverage at Mac World of the Mac Roundtable. See it at the Mac Roundtable Episode #78 or at Mac Voices #1013

Surge Protectors and UPS

  • Stay away from the $5 – $10 dollar power strips. They only offer basic protection.
  • You can get better protection for $15 to $25 (or more).  These strip will have better ratings and some special features, jacks for your phone line, cable line, even Ethernet.
  • Surge Station – These large surge protectors fit under your computer or on the floor. They offer superior voltage protection and advanced line conditioning. You can get one of these units for as little $30 US, or you can spend upward of $100 for more advanced models.
    • Example: Digicom power station 2520 joule surge protector 8 outlet Black $26 at Amazon
  • Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) – Is a big battery back up –  If the power goes out, your computer will continue to run, feeding off the stored battery power. This will give you a few minutes to save your work and shut down your computer.  These units tend to cost from $30 US if you can find a deal to a few $100 dollars or more depending on the type of equipment you want to protect.
    • People think UPS’s will keep them going throughout the power outtage!
    • On consumer level UPS on average you get 7 – 8 minutes, more on larger units. Most connect to computer equip via USB and can shut down computer at a specific interval .
  • A UPS generally protects a computer against these different power problems:
    • Voltage surges and spikes – Times when the voltage on the line is greater than it should be
    • Voltage sags – Times when the voltage on the line is less than it should be
    • Total power failure – Times when a line goes down or a fuse blows somewhere on the grid or in the building
  • UPS come in all different sizes, one of the best ways to find what UPS is right for you is to use a website that offers a UPS selector.
  • One of the companies that makes UPS’s is APC (APC.com)  UPS Selector – where you input computer type, monitor, processor type, internal hd and stuff like that.  The selections you can choose from do include current mac models.  The results will give you a pretty good idea on what kind of UPS you need for your system
  • Better surge protectors and UPS may come with some sort of guarantee of their performance. If you’re shopping for more expensive units, look for a product that comes with a guarantee on your computer. If the unit fails to protect your computer from a power surge, the company will actually replace your computer. This isn’t total insurance, you can still loose your data, but it is a good indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.
  • Remember no No surge protector is 100 percent effective.  
  • iPhone chargers
    A plethora of options have sprung up – perhaps there’s a big problem to be solved here? If you’re at a show or an all day event, you can’t actually USE your iPhone all day without one of these devices.  Tweeting is probably the root cause…or searching for wifi…or searching for 3G if you’re in San Francisco!

    Wi-Fire hfield.com extends wireless range if you have a localized outage and need to “borrow” someone else’s wifi.  Up to 1000 feet range.

    Drop in Apple quality on software

    • John’s issues with iWeb
    • Not Apple, but Flash Plugin in Safari (Unexpectedly Quit…I now expect it regularly)
    • Aperture 3 abomination
    • Allison’s issues with iTunes (spinning pizza wheel on starting videos, stuttering on videos, doesn’t remember external monitor is gone)
    • Look at all the errors and calls to debugger in the Console, I’m surprised the system doesn’t crash immediately


    • Bart – iPhone Game Optia at iTunes – puzzle game where you have mirrors and other optical devices to try get a laser to blow up targets. LOADS of levels and builds up very slowly so you pick up a lot skill without noticing.
    • John – Google Analytics Automator Action – echoone.com
    • Steve – Dropbox dropbox.com
    • Katie – Cnet Tech Tracker   cnet.com/techtracker/
    • Allison – Logitech Portable Lapdesk N315 with a mousepad pullout tray target.com (don’t pay over $30 for it!)

    February 17, 2010


    Mac Roundtable 2010.02.16 Episode #78

    Filed under: Podcast — macroundtable @ 2:45 pm

    The Mac Roundtable crew took the Main Stage at Macworld 2010 to talk about the success of the show, Apple’s absence, provide some show picks, and answer audience questions. Participants included (in order of appearance):

    Chuck JoinerThe MacVoices Group
    Don McAllister
    Ken Ray
    Mac OS Ken
    Victor Cajiao
    Typical Mac User Podcast, Typical Shutterbug Podcast
    John F. Braun
    Mac Geek Gab Podcast
    Katie Floyd
    Mac Power Users
    Allison Sheridan
    Tim Verpoorten
    The Mac ReviewCast
    Adam Christianson
    David Sparks
    Mac Power Users, MacSparky
    Dave Hamilton –
    Mac Geek Gab Podcast


    January 27, 2010


    Mac Roundtable 2010.01.27 Episode #77

    Filed under: Announcements — themacattack @ 11:43 pm

    Your humble hosts for this episode:

    Katie Floyd – Mac Power Users
    Adam Christianson – MacCast
    Jonathan Cost – Mac Tips Daily
    John F. Braun – Mac Observer’s Mac Geek Gab
    Chuck Joiner – The MacVoices Group
    David Sparks: MacSparky / Mac Power Users
    Tim Verporten – The Mac Reviewcast
    Steve Stanger – The Mac Attack

    The Mac Roundtable crew gather to discuss Apple’s announcement of the iPad (’nuff said).

    Apple’s iPad

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