Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TheMacCFO en français

After a discussion of a paid anti-Apple shill on LinkedIn, @TheMacCFO has been quoted.  In French, no less, on Mac Maître.  Cool.  Would have been cooler with the right link the first time, my bad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where Does The Money Go?

Click the image for a GREAT (but tall) infographic showing the revenue cycle for the initial sale of an iPhone.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Snow Leopard Server

1. It's real UNIX

2. It's Mac OS X

3. Offers unlimited user version. No CALS.

4. Available with the Mac Mini Server for only $999

5. Free evaluation copy at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Transfer Bookmarks - Method 1 of n

Switching from Windows? Here's how to move your bookmarks from Internet Explorer on your PC to Safari on your new Mac. From

There's Not An App For That

What iPhone app is on your wish-list?  Either something you haven't found on the App Store, or maybe you didn't look.  Looking for ideas either for a deep-dive App Store search followed by a review, or possibly development.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Have A Backup Plan

It can happen.  Anything from "Oops, I deleted the wrong file and emptied the trash" to "My laptop was right there while I was talking to the ticket agent" to "Wow, my hard drive really sounds bad".  We make mistakes, we lose things, theft happens, and spinning hard drives can fail.

What's your backup plan?

Mine is simple.  My Mac's are all backed up with Apple's included Time Machine backup software to an external firewire hard drive.  This occurs hourly, with no user intervention.  Restores are easy with Time Machine.

Each year over Thanksgiving weekend, I buy an additional drive and backup my Macs to it.  This drive is stored in my bank safety deposit box, just in case.

Learn About Time Machine (Video)

Buy A Time Capsule (Amazon)

Buy A Terabyte Firewire Drive (Amazon)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

iPhones from AT&T Starting at $49

AT&T Facebook Pages Offers $49 iPhones and Straight Talk On Maps
Great to see AT&T responding.  Let's stick to the truth, VZW, you get points for having an "old skool" network with good basic coverage, but fooling folks by being "clever", "tricky", "sly", etc. doesn't cut it.

What Do You Think Of The 'Droid?

With "Droid Bombing America" TV ads, and "Droid Bombs In America" news on the business pages, TheMacCFO is frequently asked "What do you think of the 'Droid?".

Truthfully, not much, but I have to admit that I have no direct experience with it.

So I'll defer to and Daniel Eran Dilger, who is much more prepared to comment.

Full Text Here

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You take the low road, Apple takes the high road

BusinessWeek on Apple:  "In September, according to market researcher NPD Group, Macs accounted for 18.9% of all laptops and desktops sold in U.S. retail outlets. For computers priced above $1,000, Apple's share was an astonishing 89%."

Volume is one thing, but try to imagine how many $279.99 Netbooks you need to sell to generate the gross profit of just one $1,699 27" iMac.  A lot.  And which customer is more likely to willing and able to purchase a few hundred dollars worth of accessories with the PC?

Why Apple Leaves Low-End Computers to the Competition

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Verizon Intentionally Misleads To Counter Lack of iPhone

So you're running a big cellular communications company.  And you had a chance at the iPhone, but turned it down when Apple wouldn't agree to your crippleware, Vcast, and other anti-customer "enhancements".  You've had your lunch eaten by that same phone, and your latest "iPhone Killer" is turning out to be, well, a bomb ("But the ad campaign promoting the phone would be laughably awful -- if it weren't so disturbing.").  

Now what?  Well, you could go back to the drawing board.  Or you could just start lying.

"By only comparing the newest segment of AT&T's network, Verizon can advertise "3G maps" that are technically accurate, but grossly misleading to users who want to obtain data service to download email and access the web."  - AppleInsider, November 10 2009 

" ...Verizon can only advertise that the iPhone on AT&T doesn't really have enough usable service coverage, despite the fact that iPhone users consume around half of the country's mobile data bandwidth. In the meantime, observers point out that its "there's a map for that" ads really only serve to advertise the iPhone App Store, a subject Verizon should probably just ignore."  - AppleInsider, November 10 2009 


Monday, November 09, 2009

Photoshop on your iPhone (or several other phones)

Photoshop now offers a free iPhone app with photo editing features for your iPhone!

With one app, you can:

Add effects
Add filters
Crop, Flip, Rotate
Modify exposure, tint, saturation, etc.

Always saves a copy of the original unmodified photo.

Get It Now

Also for Android and WinMo.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Use Google Voice voicemail with iPhone

I'm a bit conflicted about this tip, for three two reasons:

1.  The iPhone Visual Voicemail is actually pretty good, and this tip bypasses it.

2.  This tip requires a Google Voice account, and the invitations are not always easy to get.

3.  This tip is imperfect.  So far, I can't find a way to use Google Voice and retain the call waiting feature.  But I will, and when I do I'll update this tip, so you should click the "Subscribe To TheMacCFO Posts" button to the right.

Call waiting is working.  Either my testing was flawed, or the feature did not activate immediately.  But it is now working properly.

With that in mind, here's how to use Google Voice with your iPhone and receive your voicemail transcribed in a text message or voicemail.

1.  Get an invitation.  Register at Google Voice or ask a Google Voice user for an invitation.  I'm out of invitations at the moment but hope to have more soon.

2.  Setup your account BUT DO NOT REQUEST A NEW GOOGLE NUMBER.  When prompted, tell Google you want to use your mobile phone number.

3.  Follow the instructions, which will include dialing a long string of characters on your phone.

That's it.

When a caller dials your iPhone:

1.  Your iPhone will ring if turned on, and you'll have an opportunity to answer it.
2.  If you do not answer it, the call will be forwarded to your Google Voice account.  Your message is fully configurable, as are a number of advanced call handling features beyond the scope of this post.
3.  The voicemail message is stored as an audio file.
4.  The voicemail message is transcribed into readable text.
5.  (Depending upon options selected), the audio file and text are emailed to you, and the text is sent to you via SMS.

For most messages, it is enough for me to see who called and what they wanted in general.  Perfect transcription isn't required.  When details are needed, I can listen to the voicemail with one click.

IF YOU TRY IT AND HATE IT... dial ##004# from your iPhone and you'll be back to normal.

There is no need to make ANY changes in the Settings panel of your iPhone.


Live from the Apple Store San Antonio

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Here...

But Talladega is the priority this weekend.
Mac Mini Server, initially to serve podcast production. 3.0 Review from


Free. Open-source. Feature-packed. Highly compatible with Office 2007 formats. Single interface for all apps. 3.0

iWork '09 Review from


Innovative, graphically dazzling suite. Highly compatible with Microsoft Office documents. Canvas-style page holds multiple tables. Presentation software outclasses competitors. Great bang for the buck.

iWork '09

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Have you talked to a Droid Droid?  You know, the folks that believe Android will be the iPhone killer any day now, for common-sense reasons like multiple open-source repositories, a splintered market of Droid phones each with a small share of the overall Droid market share, and, well, because it would just ROCK if the Droid would prevail over Apple, Symbian and Microsoft... you know, the smart phone OS's with market share and products.

How can you argue with THAT?!?!?!

Well, Daniel Eran Dilger puts the issue to bed nicely with "Google fans fail to contemplate why Android is free"


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A FENG member writes...

Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG) member writes:

I saw your comments today regarding MACs.  I am have a few questions  regarding the PC vs MAC.
I do corporate income taxes and I want to be able to work at home.  We presently have a PC and are in the need in the near future of a new computer.  I have a son that loves his MAC and he has been telling me to get one. I was then talking to a tech person that said,  that you can use MS Excel on a MAC.  Is that true?  I was always under the impression that you could not use MS software on MACs.  If it is true can you go back and forth between the PC & MAC without any problems.
Thank you very much for your time on this question.
PC in Southern California

Paul, thanks for your note.

I'm going to include a lot of links in this reply, because they
include helpful information.  If you look at only one link, I
recommend this one

The tech person was correct.  You have at least four practical
options for Microsoft Excel on a Mac.

1.  Purchase the Mac version of Microsoft Office from Microsoft, install it, and run Microsoft Excel. from Amazon.  This is the real Microsoft Office program with Word, Excel, etc. designed for the Mac by Microsoft.  It has some of the improved look and feel of other Mac applications, but is 100% file compatible with your PC Excel files.

2.  Purchase Apple's iWork '09 Suite for the Mac, install it, and use
the Apple Numbers software to work with Excel spreadsheets. from Amazon.  This is a suite of  presentation, spreadsheet, word processing and document layout
programs designed by Apple.  They have a much improved interface over Excel, and work with all Excel files, but do have different commands, etc. which can be a challenge if you are going to go back and forth between Microsoft Excel and Apple iWork.

3.  Use the free, open source office suite Open Office to work with Excel spreadsheets. downloadable.  OpenOffice is an initiative of Sun Microsystems, and is gaining market share rapidly.  Here's a graph of market share
.  The spreadsheet program in Open Office works with all Excel files and is EXTREMELY similar to Excel, but not identical.  Learning curve to transition is swift.

4.  Run Windows on your Mac.  I don't recommend this although it works fine, because you are missing out on a lot of why you purchased a Mac in the first place.  But plenty of folks do run Windows on their Mac, just to have a superior piece of hardware and occasional access to Windows.   At the first link above, look for "Boot Camp".

So to summarize, you need to see this to believe it.  The Apple Store at Brea Mall near you offers free personal shopping appointments.  Reserve one here

You could take a CD or thumbdrive with Excel documents in with you and the Mac Expert will show you how your documents will look on a Mac.  There are also Apple stores in Rancho Cucamonga and Pasadena, you can find them at and reserve there.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smart... Mac Mini OS X Server

Wow.  This is going to crimp Microsoft Small Business Server.

Mac Mini Server, with unlimited user version of Mac OS X Server.  $999 or less.

Read ALL about it

Thursday, October 22, 2009

iPhone Subscription Accounting Changes Explained
You may or may not know that Apple has reversed its decision to use the "subscription method of accounting" for iPhone sales.  Though this is thoroughly explained in the text, I'd like to offer that this may have been a deliberate move by Apple to cloak the success of the iPhone from competitors until after gaining significant market share.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weather Forecast on your iPhone or iCal Calendar

Easy tip.  (Modified 12/3/09 to note that this only works for iPhone users with Mac iCal.  If someone wants to write the equivalent tip for Outlook users, I'll post it or link to it... TMC)

1.  Go to (Weather Underground).

2.  Enter a Zip Code, City, State, Airport Code or Country for weather information.

3.  You'll see the current weather, plus an important "iCal" icon.

4.  Right click on the iCal icon and "Copy Link"

5.  In iCal, select "Calendar", "Subscribe" from the menu

6.  Paste (Command V) in the dialog box and "Subscribe"

7.  Make any changes you'd like to the default settings, be sure to set "Auto-Refresh" to at every day if not every hour, click "OK".  You can also rename the calendar.

That's it!  You'll notice a weather forecast on each day's calendar, one week in the future.  If you're using MobileMe, this calendar will also be synched to your iPhone wirelessly, or it will be synched by iTunes the next time you connect your iPhone.

Apple's Silent Enterprise Strategy

One of the most interesting things about Apple's rise in the enterprise -- aside from the fact that it occurred during a deep recession -- is that it happened without any real marketing push from the company.
Laura DiDio, writing for E-Commerce Times on, outlines Apple's corporate enterprise success and the surprising avenue used for penetration... users.

How many enterprises had a "PC's only, Blackberry's only" policy rigidly enforced by IT... until the CMO, COO, CFO or CEO called down and said "Can you help me setup email on my iPhone?".   Two choices, set it up and have your most visible power user walking around with a tool that outperforms the "corporate standard", or update the resume!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

AT&T Wants to Lower Your Phone Bill

Well, of course, AT&T wants ARPU (Average Revenue Per Unit) to increase as any good carrier would.  But they do offer discounts to many employees of large customers, affiliates, etc.

To see if you are eligible for discounts, go to the AT&T Business Portal and look for this button:

Enter your work email address, your school email address, your college alumni email address... any email address that is legitimately yours and at which you can receive your AT&T bill.

The discounts vary, but apply to new OR EXISTING service, regardless of phone... iPhone, Blackberry, plain cellphone, etc.

Droid? Does?

Verizon is running some ads on today's NFL games.  After listing a few "iDoesn't" items, some true and some requiring very creative application, viewers are pointed to the website.

Which provides no information, but offers a chance to sign up for Verizon Wireless emails.

Turns out this is advance work for Verizon's new phone based on the Google Android operating system.

The Samsung Instinct oops, nope Blackberry Storm oops, nope Palm Pre oops, nope Blackberry Storm 2  oops, nope Droid is expected to be an "iPhone Killer".

You can try the Google Android operating system on your Mac or PC.  Download it here and run it in VMWare Fusion, VMWare Workstation, VirtualBox, etc.

Screenshots of Google Android running on my Macbook Pro:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why ProCare?

Who would spend $99 for Apple's ProCare?

Well, it's a bargain.  Includes:

- Complete setup of any Mac you buy at an Apple Retail Store, including file transfer.  Even from a PC.
- Fast track of repairs.
- Backup consultation.
- Annual tuneup.
- Advanced Genius Bar reservations.

Windows 7 in One Week

The launch parties are a week away, so get ready for Windows 7.  Launch party hosts like TheMacCFO have received instructions on how to throw a party, how long to let guests mingle before showing off Windows 7, and how to burn copies of the music to a CD.  Fascinating.  Also provided, a launch pack with puzzle pieces, Windows 7 playing cards, Windows 7 ballons, Windows 7 napkins, free coupons for anti-virus and anti-spyware software (I could not make this stuff up) and a copy of Windows 7.  Along with a warning to install the software a few days before to "get familiar" with it.

Interesting that the same slogan is working for admirers and detractors, with Microsoft paid bloggers stressing "It's Still Windows" and critics panning it with the phrase "It's Still Windows".

Apple sees this as an opportunity.

In the coming weeks, Apple is expected to hit those computer buyers with advertising aimed at luring them to its Macs. It will likely make the case that Macs are less susceptible to viruses and are best suited to its popular iPods and iPhones. And look for it to poke fun at Microsoft for making XP owners go through an arduous process to upgrade to Windows 7—one that includes backing up all their files to an external drive, reformatting their PC, and then reinstalling all of their old programs, assuming they still have the CDs. "Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out. If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?" says Schiller.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GMail says "Don't forget Bob!" and Google Voice going viral

Google has added two great features to GMail.  Has this ever happened to you?

From GoogleLabs

Also, existing Google Voice users (like TheMacCFO) should soon be able to invite others to use the Google Voice service.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Twitter app for iPhone delivers

Tweetie 2 has been released and offers a new high level of interaction
from a mobile platform. Very intuitive and well worth $3. Screenshot  shows the "Nearby" function from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Wall Street Journal Says... Next Windows almost as good as Mac OSX!

The Wall Street Journal's tech guru Walt Mossberg says... Windows 7 might be as good as Mac OSX.  Well... he tempers it a little bit. 

My goodness.  If Walt is right, I may be stuck running an operating system that is only as good as its competitor, but on superior hardware and with superior support...  I guess I'll adapt!!!

Walt's quote, with my emphasis added.  Full text at the link.  
In recent years, I, like many other reviewers, have argued that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system is much better than Windows. That’s no longer true. I still give the Mac OS a slight edge because it has a much easier and cheaper upgrade path; more built-in software programs; and far less vulnerability to viruses and other malicious software, which are overwhelmingly built to run on Windows. Now, however, it’s much more of a toss-up between the two rivals.
A Windows to Help You Forget by Walter S. Mossberg 

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Moving information to MobileMe

TB (a Tweep) asks "How can I get information such as calendar, tasks and contacts from my Exchange server account to MobileMe?".  From previous correspondence, I know that he accesses Exchange with some version of Outlook, and he has a Mac with Leopard or Snow Leopard.

There are many ways to accomplish this.  It's easiest if you can install the free MobileMe Control Panel for Windows.  This small add-on will be important during the second part of our transfer.

First, we need to get the information off of the Exchange server and onto the Windows PC.  We will create a PST file in Outlook on the PC if we don't already have one. 

For contacts, highlight all server-stored contacts, copy them, and paste into the PST.  Then use the MobileMe Control Panel to sync them to MobileMe.

Repeat the procedure for calendar appointments and tasks. 

This is obviously over-simplified, but I'm a bit pressed for time.  Folks, feel free to post helpful comments, and I'll expand on this soon and turn it into more of a step-by-step tutorial.

This should be enough to get you started.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Compare Search Terms with Google Trends

iphone 1.00      palm pre 0.00      blackberry 0.65  

Google trends from Googlelabs allows you to compare search terms by search volume and news reference, with detailed results by region, city, time period and language.

Give it a try at!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Geocode your data easily with Google Fusion (free of course)

Googlelabs has released Fusion Tables, an easy-to-use set of database tools that allow you to map your data in a simple web interface.

Even easier when you have a how-to video from TheMacCFO!  Check it out at this YouTube link and don't forget to follow themaccfo on Twitter!

Video was created with Quicktime and iMovie at Panera Bread with the voiceover recorded in my truck because everyone else at the cafe was too noisy!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

PC Magazine Readers Rate Apple as Top Choice... Again.

When it comes to the overall satisfaction users have with their computers, Apple once again reigns supreme. The company's Macintosh PCs—which we can all state unequivocally are actually Windows PCs too, if you want them to be—have consistently proven to be favorites among readers. Apple's significantly better than average (SBA) overall score (9.1 out of 10) marks it as a clear Readers' Choice. The company moved up significantly in scores for tech support since last year too (8.6 SBA, up from 8.1)
Full story here 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Access MobileMe Email with PC Outlook

It's easy.  You simply add an additional email account (Type - IMAP) to your PC Outlook and you'll have full access to your MobileMe email account.

Full instructions from Apple here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why do I have so much free drive space after Snow Leopard Upgrade?

It's because Apple changed the drive measuring scheme from base 2 to base 10, which makes sense for most of us.

When it’s running Snow Leopard, your Mac shows you the same gigabyte count on your drives as now generally appears on the manufacturer’s box, calculated in base 10, and not in base 2, which is what Leopard, all earlier versions of OS X and all current and earlier versions of Windows uses. This Apple knowledge base article explains:
A 200 GB drive shows 200 GB capacity (for example, if you select the hard drive’s icon and choose Get Info from the Finder’s File menu, then look at the Capacity line). This means that, for example, if you upgrade from an earlier version of Mac OS X, your drive may show more capacity than in the earlier Mac OS X version.

More info at Lifehacker

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You don't use OFFICE?!?!?!? Part Three

I've not had Microsoft Office on my Mac since roughly December 2007.  And I don't miss it.

It's available for the Mac, of course.  Office 2008 has been out for over a year, and Office 2004 before that.  For anything OpenOffice can't handle, I use iWork '09.  With Pages for all document layout and word processing needs, the amazing numeric presentation ability of Numbers, and the presentation tools in Keynote, this optional extra gives you a real boost over MS Office.

Take a look at iWork '09 in these short videos:

Free Trial of iWork '09, try it!  $79.99 from Apple, just $59.99 from below.

You don't use OFFICE?!?!?!? Part Two

I've not had Microsoft Office on my Mac since roughly December 2007.  And I don't miss it.

It's available for the Mac, of course.  Office 2008 has been out for over a year, and Office 2004 before that.  For most of my work, I use Open Office.  Free at Open Office.  Available for Mac, Windows or PC, it fully replaces Word and Excel and allows you to create, share, maintain, edit and distribute files fully interoperable with all versions of Microsoft Office.  Skeptical?  Straight from the site:

"Amazingly, 3 comes without any license fees, or any worrying small print. You can install it on as many computers as you like, use it for any purpose, and even give copies away for employees to use at home. No more threats of heavy-handed software audits disturbing your business."

You don't use OFFICE?!?!?!? Part One

I've not had Microsoft Office on my Mac since roughly December 2007.  And I don't miss it. 

It's available for the Mac, of course.  Office 2008 has been out for over a year, and Office 2004 before that.  But both packages, like their Windows counterparts, are bloated and slow.

I've come to the conclusion that I can avoid MS Office thanks to several free and low cost alternatives.  First, the free and built in tools:

1.  Preview and Quick Look.  Free.  Built in to Mac OS X, they allow you view most MS Office files.  With Quick Look, you don't even have to open the file!

2.  Text Edit.  Free.  Built in to Mac OS X, it allows you to edit MS Word files, while maintaining formating.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exchange upgrades breaking your bank? Don't bother.


Apple runs it's considerable infrastructure on safe, secure, reliable Snow Leopard Server 10.6.  Preloaded on every Xserve.

What else is included?

UNLIMITED user licenses for the included Mail, Calendering, Wiki, Address Book, Podcast, iChat, File Sharing and Web hosting services.  Fully compatible with Mac OR PC clients, including Microsoft Outlook.

And if for some reason you still need to run a Windows server, you can virtualize it on the same Xserve using VMWare fusion, and avoid the expense of a separate box.

The Server is here.

The Software (all included) is here.

The Reviews are here, here and here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Time Machine Tip

You already know that Time Machine is Apple's effective automatic incremental backup and restore solution, included in Leopard and improved in Snow Leopard.  The innovative restore interface accessible to regular users is probably it's greatest achievement.

You may also know that you can attach a USB hard drive to your later Apple Airport Extreme so that multiple Macs can backup wirelessly to the same drive.

If you choose to do this, the first backups could take a long time.  Did you know that you can attach the hard drive to each Mac individually via USB, make the first time machine backup, and THEN move the hard drive to the Airport Extreme?  That way, you'll only be making your incremental backups wirelessly.

It Just Works.

Airport Extreme $169.95 and free shipping

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Only Rock and Roll

Not much for the business user yesterday at the Apple event, except two items:

1.  iPhone OS 3.1 with iTunes 9 gives MUCH better control over applications on the iPhone

2.  Steve Jobs is vertical