This is our last issue of 2008, and we’re going out with a full slate of great Mac content, plus a Bonus Stories article that links to even more useful pieces on our site. On the backup front, Joe Kissell notes the Mac beta of Backblaze and changes to the pro versions of CrashPlan and Mozy, while Adam examines CrashPlan’s new direct-to-disk backup feature. For the holidays, Jeff Carlson enlists the aid of BeLight Software’s Labels & Addresses to send his Christmas cards. We also list out where we’ll be at the upcoming Macworld Expo, and track the releases of firmware updates for the latest Mac laptops, Mac OS X 10.5.6 (now with nearly instant MobileMe syncing!), the Google Earth Web browser plug-in, the Microsoft Office 2008 12.1.5 and 2004 11.5.3 updates, and a simple task manager in Google’s Gmail. In the TidBITS Watchlist, we note the releases of BBEdit 9.1, SOHO Labels 4.0, DiscLabel 5.4.1, Sandvox 1.5.3, Keyboard Maestro 3.5, and PowerMail 6.0. Your next email issue of TidBITS will arrive on 05-Jan-09, but we’ll be posting to the TidBITS Web site between now and then. See you next year!
We're taking the last two weeks of the year off, so look for the next email issue of TidBITS on 05-Jan-09. But we'll continue posting new articles to our Web site, and TidBITS Talk will also continue apace.
Apple has released EFI and SMC firmware updates for the late 2008 models of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air to correct stability and other issues.
Are you a fan of Google Earth but bemoan its sluggish launch speed? Mac users can now access Google Earth directly from their Web browser with the Google Earth Browser Plugin.
Microsoft has released yet another set of updates to Office 2008 and 2004, this time fixing two important security issues, improving general Office stability, and addressing a number of bugs.
The latest entrant in the world of online backups, Backblaze, has slick new Mac software. Private beta invitations are available to 100 TidBITS readers.
Looking for an easy way to manage your to-do list? Google has recently released Tasks, a simplified task list manager that works with Gmail.
Leopard gets another update just in time for the holidays, with Apple releasing Mac OS X 10.5.6 and a set of security fixes. This update would be less than notable, except that Apple slipped in a nearly instant sync option for calendar, contacts, and bookmarks for MobileMe subscribers.
Two online backup providers have made modifications to the pro versions of their services.
CrashPlan has endeared itself to us with its capability to perform backups over the Internet to other copies of CrashPlan. But Internet connections are slow, and hard disks are fast, so the latest version of CrashPlan also lets you back up to a directly connected hard disk.
You'd think Apple's Address Book application would be the easy choice for making mailing labels, but after fighting the program's bugs and shortcomings, Jeff Carlson turns to BeLight Software's Labels & Addresses to get his holiday cards in the mail.
Come find us at Macworld Expo in San Francisco with this handy list of our appearances!
If you work with fonts professionally, need to solve font-related problems, or just want to understand how fonts work in Mac OS X, our "Take Control of Fonts in Leopard" and "Take Control of Font Problems in Leopard" ebooks have all the information you need.
Notable software releases so far this week include BBEdit 9.1, SOHO Labels 4.0, DiscLabel 5.4.1, Sandvox 1.5.3, Keyboard Maestro 3.5, and PowerMail 6.0.
We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to articles, so we wanted to let you know about some of the pieces we haven't had room to publish. They include Adam's in-depth look at switching from Now-Up-to-Date to iCal and BusySync, Doug McLean's hunt for applications that can help minimize desktop distractions and his overview of interesting Mac OS X screensavers, Glenn Fleishman's comparison of EtherPad with SubEthaEdit, and Dennis Wurster's discovery of a PayPal label printing workaround, among much else.
Read on for a collection of links to the most interesting articles and resources that the TidBITS staff discovered on the Web this week.