Monthly Archives: July 2011

Faster and Cheaper Mac Mini Arrives for 2011

The 2011 Mac Mini DesignIn case you missed it. Apple unveiled a brand new (revised) Mac Mini at the same time it was launching OS X Lion through the Mac App Store. The best about about this mini, besides the quicker processor, easy internal access and HDMI ports, is the price tag; starting at $599 US and then going upwards to $799 and $999 configuration.

Now comes the bad news; No more optical drive. (Look again, I know I did) So if you used your Mac Mini to watch DVDs you’ll need to buy an external drive. This major design overhaul also makes installing older software on this mac mini a little more difficult, but not impossible. (It has USB ports so if you’re a pirate you’ll be able to still install your stuff) If you own the discs, you’ll have to create external DMGs and then load them through USB.

The new Mini comes pre-loaded with Apple’s latest OS X Lion (v10.7) and even though it has a few USB ports for using standard peripherals, you’ll likely want to buy Apple’s Magic Trackpad so you don’t have messy wires laying around.

Technical specs of the 2011 Mac Mini:

The 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU inside the $599 model we tested helped the system to feel quite snappy in anecdotal testing. And in our CPU-centric Cinebench test, which stresses all of a computer’s processing cores to measure raw CPU performance, the 2011 Mac Mini’s score of 8,741 was a fair bit ahead of last year’s Mini, which came in at 5,072.

Let’s take a look at the backside and see what kinds of connectivity it has.

2011 Mac Mini Connections

The standard, power, USBs are all there, but there’s new stuff too. The single HDMI port so you can hook this up to an HDTV and skip out on buying a monitor. A Thunderbolt port which allows you to chain up to 6 peripherals and boasts transfer speeds that are up to 20x faster than USB 2.0. And the card reader slot. For getting stuff off your SD cards.

Inside 2011 Mac MiniThe size is incredibly small at just 7.7 inches square and 1.7 inches thick. Ease of accessing the internals makes upgrading memory a breeze. The Mac Mini will come with a standard 500 GB hard drive, but you can opt for a bulkier 720 GB hard drive at extra cost. And you’ll either have 2 GB or 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ram pre-loaded but you can max out at 8 GB, should you need all that.

If you’re into burning CDs/DVDs and need that option you can buy the external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive for $79 US.

You can see that it stacks up nicely against the new MacBook Air and the revamped iMac. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Mac this would be the one you’re after, but keep in mind of the added expense of wireless peripherals to get the most from the new OS X and likely upgrading the RAM so that it doesn’t get bogged down with heavy web browsing.


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OS X Lion Arrives in the Mac App Store Today

OS X Lion Banner
Today is the day! Long-awaited and talked about OS X Lion (Version 10.7) update has finally arrived. Available for download through the Mac App Store. And guess what? – It’s only $29.99 if you already own Snow Leopard.

I went into detail about what will be available with OS X Lion a while back, but today it’s officially released and ready for the public to dive into head first.

If you’re keeping track this will be the first ‘true’ test of just how simple the Mac App Store really is and how it will pave the way for Mac users to be able to get large programs/full applications without having to go out and buy the boxes and multiple discs at the Apple Store, which they’re discontinuing anyway.

OS X Lion IconsComfort, speed and ease! No lineups, no busy malls, nothing. To upgrade your Mac to OS X Lion, you don’t need to drive to a store, bring home a box, and install a bunch of discs. All you do is click the Mac App Store icon, buy Lion for $29.99, and your Mac does the rest. Just make sure you have what you need to download Lion to your Mac, so before you head over to the download, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements.

To upgrade today, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure your Mac can run Lion.
    Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard.
    Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard to purchase OS X Lion from the Mac App Store. If you have Snow Leopard, click the Apple icon and choose Software Update to install Snow Leopard v10.6.8, the latest version.
  3. Download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store.
    Open the Mac App Store from your Dock to buy and download it. Then follow the onscreen instructions to install Lion.

If you’re already using Lion, let me know how you’re liking it in the comments or on Twitter @mac_addiction and let me know your initial thoughts.

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Left Handed Mac User? No Problem

Most lefties have adapted to the righty-centric world of computing, but not necessary when using a Mac. Apple’s wired and wireless mouses and most third party mice have symmetrical designs, so they can be left-hand friendly with the adjustment of a few settings in Mac OS X.

Change Mouse Button Setting to be Left Handed
The main thing you want to do is change the “Primary mouse button” to be on the right button instead of the default left:

  • Launch System Preferences
  • Click on “Mouse”, look for “Primary mouse button:” and select the bullet box next to “Right”

This reverses the behavior of the right-click (alternate click) so it becomes a left-click, and therefore a lefty’s pointing finger becomes the primary button.

Left Hand Setting Screen Cap

Change Trackpad Settings to be Left Handed
Using a MacBook or Apple’s magic trackpad? – You can adjust the right-click to a left-click instead:

  • Go back to System Preferences and click on “Trackpad”
  • Next to “Secondary Click” select “Bottom Left Corner”

Track Pad Screen Capture
The literal right and left clicks are a little less necessary for trackpad users though because, regardless of which is your dominant hand, you can always just use a two-fingered click to activate the ‘right-click’ or secondary click anyway.


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RSS Feed Added To MacAddiction Blog

We are happy to announce the live feed added along the right navigation pane and along the bottom right of every page as you navigate the site.

You can also click here to see the feed contents right now.

Thanks to @iambraga on Twitter for the suggestion

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Temperature App for Menu Bar

Want to know what the temperature is outside while working on your Mac, without leaving an open application? – There’s an app for that and it’s FREE.

Meteorologist Menu Bar Preview

Called Meteorologist, this app does just that, sitting in your menubar giving you weather updates on the locations you specify. Meteorologist displays a location’s temperature and descriptive icon to demonstrate the current weather situation all in the menu bar. After clicking on the menu item, a drop-down menu displays multiple location’s weather, the forecast, highs and lows, humidity, pressure, UV index, visibility, wind speed and direction, and even the sunrise and sunset times.

You can also customize the settings as to what should always be displayed and what should only be included in the drop-down (full) menu.

If you think the dashboard weather app is a little limiting in the information it displays this app picks up the slack and the best part, is that it’s FREE.

Download Meteorologist at SourceForge.

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