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