The Boyce Blog: December 2008

Find it on Amazon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Make mine Mint (dot com)

Wow, what a cool website:

They call it “the best way to manage your money.” And it’s free.

Anyone can sign up for a account. You then enter information about your financial accounts-- savings, checking, investments, credit cards. Do that, and at a glance you can see ALL of your financial information in one place.

Better than that: you can see every transaction for every account, right there on the site. You can find every transaction that had to do with dining out, or gasoline, or presents for your uncle. Very handy. Download them if you want.

Better than THAT: you can get reminders emailed or text messaged to remind you to pay your credit card bill, or to alert you that a large purchase was made, or to tell you that a deposit is now available. How handy.

Better than THAT: you can download a copy of Mint for your iPhone and carry all this information around with you. It’s free. Here’s the link.

cboyce says “Check it out.”

Sunday, December 21, 2008

10.5.6 update-- do it (my way)

Apple’s released the 10.5.6 update, so naturally I am getting zillions of calls about whether it’s safe to install or not. It is. Just be careful, as usual.

Do it like this:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Find the Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder, in the Applications folder, on your hard disk) and “repair permissions.” If you don’t know how to do this have me do it with you over the phone one time.
  3. Download and install the 10.5.6 update (Apple menu, Software Update...)

The updater will want you to restart when it’s done. Do that, then run Disk Utility again, and repair permissions again. That’s it.

(The updater is full of bug fixes, including some for Mail and iChat. You won’t notice much new but your machine will run better after the 10.5.6 update.)

What a cool website, and gee don’t I wish I’d found it before I took apart that iBook and couldn’t put it back together again. Click the picture and have a look.

How-to manuals. Parts. Friendly tips. cboyce says “Check it out.”

(Here’s the manual I should have read before taking apart the iBook):

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Macworld Expo news

Macworld Expo is still three weeks away and already there is plenty of news, and all of it’s bad. First, as you’ve surely heard by now, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will NOT be giving the keynote speech this time. That’s bad. Jobs’ keynotes have been a big part of Macworld Expo, often the best part.

Second, Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of worldwide marketing, WILL be giving the keynote speech. That’s also bad. Schiller’s robotic spin-meister marketspeak is a sad contrast to Jobs’ genuine enthusiasm for Apple’s hardware and software and people. I hadn’t thought about Jobs’ predecessor Gil Amelio’s last keynote speech for awhile (it was horrible-- boring, and long, and delivered in a sleep-inducing way) and I hadn’t ever thought that anything could be worse... but I am thinking that maybe it might be this time. Phil, if you’re listening, here’s some friendly advice: when you give the talk, lay off the marketing hype. Just play it straight. The products are good enough.

Third, Apple has already announced that they aren’t going to be part of Macworld 2010. I do not expect the show to survive beyond 2010. I completely understand what Apple is saying about how the whole notion of the trade show isn’t important in the Internet Age, and how they can now release information and introduce products on their own schedule instead of trying to come through every January with new and exciting stuff-- but understanding the reasons doesn’t mean I like the result. Macworld Expo gave people like me-- and people not at all like me-- the chance to meet face to face. And that was a good thing.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

AppShopper website

Here’s a handy website for you iPhone users. It’s called “AppShopper.” With more than 10,000 iPhone applications available it’s getting harder and harder to find just the one you want via the iTunes Store. AppShopper makes it easy. Here’s a screen shot.