PC users were in for a shock when they read PC World Magazine’s Top 100 Products of 2005 list this year, for sure. After Mozilla Firefox and Google Gmail, Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger took a respectable third place out of 100, making it the de facto “Best Operating System” for 2005. To take third on the list in a PC magazine was unexpected, especially when so many of the top choices are free services.
Apple gave a good show with their new product line placing all over the list in many categories. The company’s iTunes software took 35th, 12 points ahead of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 10, which came in 47th. The Mac Mini showed up at 75th, showing incredible popularity after its release in January 2005. The iPod Photo was also on the list at 78th, and iTunes Music Store showed up at 86th. Comparatively speaking, that’s five products that placed in the top 100 for this year – the second most “wins” after Dell’s six. That’s impressive for a company that has traditionally been ignored by PC users and companies. Perhaps it’s about time people took another look at Apple — PC World obviously did, and liked what they saw.
If you’re a Mac user but still need to run Windows software, but don’t want to pay the high price for VirtualPC, iEmulator is a new, low-cost, high-performance PC emulator.
Designed for MacOS X 10.3.0 or above, it reportedly runs Win98 or 2000 with the least difficulty, so if WinXP is your thing, you may be out of luck. However, for everyday tasks requiring Windows (such as the web designer who needs to check browser compatibility or a real estate broker who needs to use his company’s proprietary Windows-platform-only software), this could herald a huge breakthrough for Apple users who have no desire to have a “backup” PC.
Features include the ability to designate up to 1GB of RAM to the emulated PC, access Mac format files within the PC environment, Windows boot disk creation for installation, and even a DOS operating environment. And with a price tag under $25, it’s a bargain buy for a die-hard Macintosh user, with the added bonus of directly supporting the software developer, rather than some big multi-million-dollar corporation.
Read More | iEmulator Product Page
MacMerc has reviewed the popular webcast client iPodder X to give us insight as to whether we should fork over $24.95 to purchase. What do you get for your money? Besides the client itself you’re registered to win an iPod shuffle or iPod photo. Those of you that already own version 2.0 can get 3.0 for free now. For what it’s worth, the guys at MacMerc really like it.
Last March, the European Union’s Antitrust Regulators slapped Microsoft with a whopping $624,000,000.00 fine (that’s 624 million United States Dollars – and that ain’t chump change!) for using their market-dominating Windows software “abusively” to lock out competition in the EU. Additionally, the Redmond, WA based software giant was forced to share their source code selectively with rivals to encourage competition.
EU antitrust chief Neelie Kroes said last week she wants to take stock of the situation by Wednesday and could move to impose sanctions on noncompliance soon afterward if she is not satisfied with the concessions. The EU has within its rights the possibility to fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily global sales for each day that a decision is not applied to its satisfaction.
In other words, Microsoft will be subject to huge fines and penalties if, by Wednesday, 01 June 2005, there aren’t more concessions made in favor of the competition in Europe. Microsoft has yet to reach a compromise as the deadline looms nearer, and the EU threatens sanctions and punishment that could be as steep as 5% of Microsoft’s global daily sales for each day that passes after the deadline, before an agreement is reached. And that really isn’t chump change.
Microsoft EU Antitrust Case | KOMO
Recently I purchased a 5GB Zen Micro, made by Creative Labs - the same company that practically birthed the sound card industry. While not an avid fan of Apple’s iPod, I have to appreciate the simplicity of it’s software. Create playlists, download music, etc. and just plug it in and you’re done.
The complete opposite exists for the Zen Micro. You plug it in, load up the software, and slowly sort its contents using the “Zen Micro Media Explorer” or “Creative Mediasource.” The player itself is incredibly simple and user-friendly. An adjustable touchpad, simple interface, numerous ways to sort music, and customizable menus.
The same can’t be said for their software. Slow, tedious, and just plain inefficient are words I use to describe either program you can use for the Zen Micro. I only criticize because I know they should be able to do better than this. Take the Nomad Explorer for instance, it has far more features and is faster and easier to use than Creative’s software. I love the player, but Creative needs to step up their game if they want to seriously compete with the iPod lines.
We all hate it. We know how damaging it can be. Spyware causes the average computer user to despise getting on the internet. In some cases, it gets as severe as being the cause of identity theft. The House is trying to eliminate these malicious programs and the people that distribute them. Violators of the House’s new bill are looking at 2 years minimum for breaking these laws and more if identity theft is involved.
Read More | CNN.com
Earlier at the D: All Things Digital Conference, Steve Jobs made it known that the next version of iTunes will include built-in support for podcasts. To make that a bit clearer - iTunes 4.9 will have an option that will allow you to plug in the RSS feed URL of your favorite podcasts, which it will then use to fetch them out and download them directly to your library. No need for any third party software to do this for you any longer. What’s more, iTunes will provide a directory of podcasts in which producers can submit their work. Finally, Steve is even considering developing a model where content producers could sell their podcasts through iTunes. This is similar to what Google wants to do with video, but on the audio front. We can expect to see this new version of iTunes within the next 60 days.
Read More | O’Reilly Radar
If you are a current Windows XP user and want to try out Mac OS X but don’t feel like spending the cash on a new system then give this theme package a download. After downloading the install package and patching your UXTheme.dll file, then you will be able to experience Mac OS X on your Windows computer – at least the visual part. No need for a Mac emulator here. This is also great for people that love the Mac OS X interface and absolutely have to use a Windows based system.
Read More | FlyakiteOSX
For all you Linux gurus, SUSE Linux Professional 9.3 is now available for download via FTP. Just head on over to the SUSE mirror list and download from a nearby server. I recommend you download the mini install instead of the whole DVD. Usually you will only install a handful of applications rather than need a full DVD of applications.
Read More | SUSE FTP List
Dashboard is quickly becoming my favorite feature of Mac OSX 10.4. The explosion of widgets coming out lately blows my mind, but these are the ones that I loved so much that I had to share, because no Mac user should be without them. Read on to find out which they are.