You’ve seen the commercials and read the early reviews, but how does the MacBook Air perform in real-world usage? And by “real-world,” contributor Angus Wong means, how well does it work from bed on a lazy weekend morning (among other places and times)? On that note, Joe Kissell reconsiders sleep – the sleep feature of his laptop, that is – with the utility SmartSleep. Jeff Carlson meets a new sultry text-to-speech voice being used by Apple, and Glenn takes a quick look at Apple’s new 802.11n-savvy AirPort Express Base Station. This week also includes plenty of update news, as we look at important updates for Microsoft Office 2008 and Office 2004, a standalone AirPort Utility update, a new AppleScript solution for pasting plain text into Word 2008, and a new version of the ebook “Take Control of Switching to the Mac,” plus a quick list of other notable updates. Lastly, we note an unlimited AT&T voice plan for iPhone owners, give away several copies of the IPNetMonitorX network utility, and peek at email messages expressing dissatisfaction with Windows Vista system requirements, as written by Microsoft execs.
Apple has revised the $99 AirPort Express Wi-Fi base station to use 802.11n, the fastest wireless networking flavor now available, including support for both frequency bands.
iPhone owners can get an unlimited voice usage plan, although that plan wasn't posted on Apple's site for over two weeks after AT&T's announcement of such services.
Apple pushes out AirPort Utility 5.3.1, an update, but also the first time Tiger and Windows uses can simply download and install this refresh AirPort administration tool that first shipped last year.
If you're faced with networking questions about the speed of your connection, what services might be active on your Mac without your knowledge, and more, turn to IPNetMonitorX from Sustainable Softworks for the answers. Enter to win a free copy this week!
A new and improved version of Joe's Paste Plain Text AppleScript is shorter, more elegant, and less likely to result in the wrong font being used.
If you're unhappy with the way your Mac laptop handles sleep mode, you no longer need a command-line script to change it. This new preference pane makes it easy to tailor sleep settings to your liking.
We mistakenly identified the narrator of an Aperture 2.0.1 instruction video as Victoria, one of the voices available in Mac OS X's text-to-speech options. Apple's Sal Soghoian introduces us to the real voice, Lucy, and shows how to automate the use of text-to-speech voices in presentations.
Be careful what you put in email, my mother always said, because it could end up on the front page of the New York Times. Clearly, Microsoft wasn't listening to my mother (even though one high-ranking Microsoft executive had the opportunity).
Tired of helping the huddled masses switch from Windows to the Mac? Help is here in the form of a significantly updated "Take Control of Switching to the Mac," by Scott Knaster.
Microsoft has released a major update to Office 2008, fixing a wide variety of bugs in all the different applications, and closing a security vulnerability in Excel. Simultaneously, the company released a security update to Office 2004 to address the Excel vulnerability and another one.
The MacBook Air is the sleekest Mac yet, making it ideal for use in bed, but does it meet the needs of a mobile professional? Angus Wong isn't giving up his MacBook Pro just yet.
Notable updates this week include Things, SubEthaEdit, PopChar, WireTap Studio, ScreenFlow, Enclose, Parallels Server, and The Missing Sync for Palm OS.
Is Apple field-testing possible replacements for Steve Jobs? Can an iPod touch replace a Palm organizer? TidBITS Talk readers look into these questions as well as queries about using 802.11a wireless networking, configuring Cisco VPN settings, cooling an overheated Mac Pro, sending email from the iPhone, using voices for text-to-speech, and verifying a boot volume in Disk Utility.