Welcome to 2005! As we gear up for Macworld Expo, we’re starting the new year off with a rich collection of Mac news and information. Apple releases new Xserves and is shipping Xsan, Boingo finally launches its service for Mac users, and old favorite Graphing Calculator arrives for Mac OS X. 2005 also brings a successful move for our main mailing lists – Adam shares the details. Lastly, Matt Neuburg listens to several random sound utilities, the Omni Group releases OmniWeb 5.1, and we note a few more Macworld Expo events.
Helping Asian Tsunami Victims -- The mind boggles at the loss of life and destruction caused by the recent earthquakes and resulting tsunamis. Our thoughts go out to the millions of people affected, and particularly to our readers in those countries
Circus Ponies Software Sponsoring TidBITS -- 2005 is starting on an upbeat note for TidBITS, with Circus Ponies joining us as a sponsor. I've been relying heavily on their NoteBook program since the middle of 2003, when I realized that I needed to take manual control of my to-do list (see "The Well-Worn NoteBook" in TidBITS-745)
Nisus Software Sponsoring TidBITS -- If NoteBook is an old program from a new company, Nisus Writer Express is a new program from an old company. Nisus Software is celebrating its 20th year, and the company's flagship program is now Nisus Writer Express, a complete rewrite of the classic version of Nisus Writer that TidBITS has relied on from the very beginning
Adam Takes the Fifth! The findings of the annual MDJ Power 25 survey are out, and this year the industry insiders who participate in the polling placed TidBITS's publisher Adam Engst fifth in the list of people who wield the most influence and power in the Macintosh industry
OmniWeb 5.1 Ships -- The Omni Group has released OmniWeb 5.1, an update to its full-featured Web browser (see "OmniWeb 5.0: The Powerful Web Browser" in TidBITS-742)
Partying at Macworld Expo SF 2005 -- Although we're not seeing the types of extravagant Macworld Expo parties that existed several years ago, this year's show offers several opportunities for Mac fans to gather and have fun
Nisus Writer Express 2.1.1 Released -- Nisus Software recently released version 2.1.1 of Nisus Writer Express, their increasingly powerful word processor for Mac OS X
DealBITS Drawing: GarageSale Winners -- Congratulations to Tim Williams of mac.com, Jim McElligot of hemostat.com, and Keith Rettig of multirater.com, whose entries were chosen randomly in last week's DealBITS drawing and who each received a copy of iwascoding.com's GarageSale
On 31-Dec-04, I moved all our subscribers from our aged Power Mac 7100 running ListSTAR 1.2 (we're talking systems that saw their last significant upgrade in 1997) to our shiny dual-processor Xserve running Web Crossing, which serves static and dynamic Web pages, provides a high-performance object-oriented database, and handles all our normal and mailing list mail (short of three translation lists that I still need to move), among other things.
Overall, the move went well, although the welcome message generated quite a few more bounces than I'd expected due to the roundabout method we'd used to track them in the past
Perhaps paving the way for Steve Jobs's scheduled keynote address at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple last week announced an upgraded line of Xserve rack-mount servers, as well as the availability of its long-awaited Xsan storage area network product.
The top of the line Xserve G5 now sports dual 2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 processors and a 1.15 GHz front-side system bus, which Apple calls the fastest in the industry for a 1U rack-mount server
Boingo Wireless has finally released their Mac OS X client software for connecting to thousands of commercial wireless 802.11b hotspots. Boingo is an aggregator, meaning that they combine for-fee hotspots from dozens of networks into a single user account: subscribers use one login and pay a single session or monthly fee, either $8 per day or $22 per month for unlimited use
There's a story behind every piece of software, but I doubt any can compare with the tale of Graphing Calculator, which shipped with the first PowerPC-based Macs and continued to be bundled with Mac OS 8 and, in version 1.3, with Mac OS 9
Call me weird - and no doubt you will - but I often like to have my computer make random noise. The reason is that when I'm working at my computer on a piece of writing, I don't like silence
We've been a little unhappy of late with how Take Control news has been appearing in TidBITS issues. It's not taking the place of other Mac content; our issues have just been getting longer
The second URL below each thread description points to the discussion on our Web Crossing server, which will be much faster.
Personal Finance Software -- Quicken is the undisputed champ when it comes to personal finance software, but alternatives do exist