OWC Tips & Deals 7/3/2004
A couple weeks ago Gigadesigns announced their new 7457 Cube upgrade line. They then began shipping about 10 days ago with the first cards hitting our dock the beginning of this past week. The day after arriving, however, we were asked to ship the product back. Although neither Gigadesigns nor Waypoint (Gigadesign's distribution and manufacturing partner) have themselves advised why this recall was done, we have since learned that it seems to be about the software. Software that was incorporated into the Gigadesign's OS X 7457 firmware enabler application that seems to be the property of PowerLogix - even referencing customers to PowerLogix by name in part of the code. This is no laughing matter as Gigadesigns advised their 7457 product is now 'suspended until further notice'. FWIW, PowerLogix Cube 1.2GHz and 1.35GHz 7457 upgrades have new, lower July 1st prices of $399 and $499.
Apple is on the money with saying 'Awesome now comes in three sizes'! The new 'Aluminum' Cinema Displays, available in a 20" for $1299, 23" for $1999, and a huge 30" size for $3299 are just that. Connecting with a standard DVI cable, these new displays require no adapter to connect straight up with current and the last couple years of PowerBook models as well as to any PowerMac with a PCI or AGP video card that offers a DVI port. The same is not true of the 'giganitron' 30" model. The first of that size, the 30" model requires a Dual Link DVI specification capable video card with one of the first and only Mac offering being Apple's Nvidia 6800 which is for the PowerMac G5 only. It's always expensive to be on the bleeding edge, and I think I can wait - especially with analysts predicting flat panel display costs to fall over 50% in the next year. Just a quick footnote, long live ADC, ADC RIP. After going from their own proprietary connector for CRTs to adopting the VGA connection, Apple has repeated history dropping their proprietary ADC 'Apple Display Connector' for the DVI standard. Going with the standard ought to bring Apple great success with these displays in both the Mac and PC markets, something that will only help make them more affordable for everyone!
Something not so awesome is Apple announcing the non-availability of their iMac line. You can still look at the specs and see how Apple touts the 'current' iMac G4 line, but what you'll find missing is the normal Apple 'Buy Now' button. When you enter the online Apple Store and go to the iMac section, there you'll see an apology for 'less than perfect planning' while be advised that no more orders are being accepted for this 'current' iMac line. The 'new' iMacs are expected to be introduced in September, at which point order taking will resume. Maybe it's a big marketing ploy, no doubt going to be a lot of rumors and speculation over what that next iMac will be.
One of the most popular system additions as of late have been DVD-Recording Superdrives. I am pleased to report that MacAddict just gave our own OWC Mercury DVR-107 FireWire/USB External Superdrive a 'Great' rating and their Editor's Choice Award! While and internal option can save good money when it is an option and only one machine needs be considered, OWC Mercury are a great option for sharing with multiple systems or just where an external Plug and Play solution has preference.
Who can honestly say they like their phone company? I am sure that there are a few, but I wasn't one of them. Fortunately, technology is making new options possible and OWC has now joined the fray with 'OWCPhone'. If you have a broadband internet connection, especially a cable service or even a DSL service that does not require you to have a local phone company telephone line, a lot of savings can be had with a Voice Over IP system. Sound expensive? Plans start from as little as $14.99 per month and needed hardware is included FREE with the service. If you're tired of paying $40+ a month for basic phone service, you'll definitely want to check this out. Today, calls with VOIP or virtually indistinguishable with a good internet connection vs. calls from a traditional land line. In addition to big savings on local and long distance calling (including unlimited plans from $25), there are also huge savings on international calls. Technology marches on and the traditional local phone company hold slips away. Next week, will introduce FasterMac.Net DSL nationwide, FasterMac.Net won't be for just dial-up anymore.
That all starts it off and you can read on for this week's Quick Tip time saver, Roger writes this Music on the Mac article looking at printing the music you make, and the Reader Specials get their normal update. Thank's for being a Tips and Deals subscriber and have a GREAT 4th of July Weekend! Oh, you might enjoy this piece on a squirrel named Patriot.
Some Quick Links
See what a Processor Upgrade can do for your Mac and compare new Macs too. Our Benchmark Reporting System lets you compare stock Apple systems versus those systems with different upgrades and against new Mac models too! It's easy and informative to compare with OWC's exclusive BRS! 9 new processors added to the results just in the last two weeks!
Use Apple OS 9.2.2 & Apple OS X 10.3.x on Macs Apple doesn't support - OWC Supports you with OS 9 Helper and Xpostfacto!
Quick Tip: OS X 'Tiger' Future, Shareware today
A lot of the neat shareware and general add on tools we see for the current OS today do seem to find their way to becoming standard features in future OS versions. While we should expect to see Apple OS X 10.4 'Tiger' sometime in the first half of 2005 (it's no where near where 10.3 Panther development was a year ago at this time), what's been shown so far has it incorporating many features that today may be added to 10.2 and 10.3 via third party applications and tools.
Jamie has shown some nice information on specifics there and there's little doubt the Launchbar application, this week's Quick Tip is all about, will too find a future OS X version building in what this application now can add on. There's always a better, more time efficient way, and Jamie will fill you in on Launchbar for our 7/3 Quick Tip, this article is posted online.
See past Quick Tip topics online in the Quick Tip Archive
Great Buys and Featured Exclusive Specials for OWC E-Mail Subscribers:
Find all the deals reserved just for Readers on your Tips n' Deals Exclusive Specials Page. What follows next is just a sampling of this week's highlights.
Featured Deals and then some..
Upgrade to a new 'Superdrive' to burn CDs and DVDs
The Fastest in FireWire Reader Specials
2-Port FireWire 400 Card for any PowerMac with a PCI Slot - $9.95
Upgrading the Mac you have can be Better than buying a New Mac!
More storage, that's Quieter and Faster too
Memory Specials & Price Trend Report:
Visit our Mac Memory Section to browse the full selection of memory we offer and/or use our online memory guide to get the right memory for the Mac(s) you have.
Total Digital Media Control - Video, Music, Etc!
That's just a small sample of the many deals you'll find on your Tips 'n Deals Reader Specials Page, check it out!
Music on the Mac 7/3 - Printing the Music you Author
Greetings from www.macsales.com/music
http://eshop.macsales.com/link.cfm?id=4062-1905 This week we will take a look at Print Music from Coda Music ( makers of Finale). Print Music is the light version of the popular notation software called Finale. Finale has been around for years but has only been available for the Mac OS for about 6 months. The same is true of Print Music.
The challenge of getting music to the printed page is daunting. Print Music has all the tools you need to get the job done. The difficulty lies in the fact that there are a lot of things musicians like to see and are used to seeing on their music. All of the variations and conventions are addressed by Print Music. The trade off to getting the music to "look right" is that the application is deep and has a real learning curve. When creating a score for a piece of music, Print Music helps you select what instrumentation or instruments you will be using. It is possible to create a "lead sheet", which is just the melody, lyrics and basic chord changes. It is also possible to create all the individual parts of the arrangement including parts for keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, strings, woodwinds and brass. To do this successfully, you really need to have an understanding of written music, treble and bass clef, how to handle instruments that are "transposing" instruments such as Bflat trumpet, tenor sax and more. This is a tall order indeed and takes some learning and practice to get right.
I find that it is crucial to write out a song arrangement roughly by hand first so you can get a handle on the different sections of the song, where it repeats, intros, endings and so on. Once you have the "big picture" about the song, you can then use Print Music to get it all down and looking completely professional. Typically, you create all of the parts for each section together. The instruments are laid out vertically aligned with each other and the music flows from left to right. It is helpful to work on an arrangement this way because you can see and hear what each instrument is doing during each measure of the song. The easiest method of entering notes is with a mid keyboard/USB interface. You select the measure where you want to record by clicking on it. There is an 8 beat countoff and then it begins recording. You play the part and then listen back. You can see the notes appear on screen as you play them in. Print Music helps you by letting you choose sounds from a basic palette so your trumpet part plays back with a trumpet sound, organ with an organ sound, etc. Another way to get notes on the page is to enter them manually. Simply click on the eighth note tool and click on the musical staff where you want that note and it's done. Of course, keeping track of all those notes on all those parts is a big job. Thankfully, Print Music makes it fairly easy to erase, edit and redo parts. Once you have the score completed and you've listened to it to check it by ear too, there is one more step. You go to "file" and choose "extract parts". Print Music then creates separate parts derived from your master score for each instrument as separate files. You simply print them out and pass them out to the band and you're in business. Yes, there are many more features, such as the ability to play music into the program with an instrument through a microphone. This only works with single note parts or even voice, but not chords. The program can also scan (with your scanner) music in. This might come in handy if you can only play or sing "by ear". This way, you can hear the music to learn it.
The printed output of this program is truly amazing and it is worth the effort to learn how to work with it. It is also only about $60.00, as opposed to Finale which is in the $500 range. Finale would be more appropriate for someone writing music and arrangements for orchestras....real professional projects. Print Music has all the features most people will ever need at a great price indeed.
As always, we encourage you to visit our Mac Music/Audio Forum to share your questions and comments!
Also, visit our website to view Roger's previous music articles online!
New upgrades and services are on the horizon. But now is time to appreciate the weekend. Funny that it was a nice day outside, if a bit overcast when I began the newsletter earlier this afternoon. Someone must have heard me say the 'B' word, Barbecue with the sky soon darkening and then rain falling hard since. It will be nice tomorrow for the 4th though(fingers crossed!). And if it isn't, there's always the movies. My wife and I saw SpiderMan 2 last night - we thought it was great - two enthusiastic thumps up for that clean, fun, highly entertaining flick.
Thanks for being a Tips n' Deals subscriber, we'll be keeping it coming! From all of us at Other World Computing - have yourself a great and safe holiday weekend!
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