Archives for 2011 | MacGizmoGuy Blog

Portable MacBook Printers, Scanners and Mobile Peripherals

With Mac laptops comprising more than 2 out of every 3 Macintosh computers being sold, the demand for insanely great Mac mobile accessories is booming. Along with the general trends in computing towards consolidation of components and miniaturization - it's easier to build more compact and light-weight computers and peripherals these days. It isn't that long ago that a 'portable' computer was like lugging around a sewing machine. And computer peripherals - even ones designed for Mac toting mobile professionals were the sort of thing you had to 'lug around' and not just 'pop' into a laptop bag.

Case in point: The best mobile printer for Mac to date now incorporates both USB and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and an integrated battery in a reasonably compact form-factor. It's a battery powered Mac compatible portable printer you can actually travel with.
MacBook Portable Printer with Bluetooth

Likewise: For those who need to scan on the road, the mobile MacBook scanner market has some slim, USB-powered photo and receipt scanning and document management devices to help you chew through paperwork at the press of a scan button.
USB powered scanner for Mac OSX

Not all Mac laptop users need these kind of self or battery-powered travel accessories to print and scan ANYWHERE. But for certain business users who 'just-gotta' get it done, get that signed contract scanned and sent to the corporate office, or those documents or invoices scanned and printed as proof, these portable computer accessories fit the bill.

Biggest Apple FLOP of 2011 - Intel ThunderBolt Rollout

Apple ThunderBolt Peripheral Port
When first introduced on Apple MacBooks in February of 2011, that tiny ThunderBolt interface port sat poised to change the future of computer peripherals and expansion. Integrating both mind-blowingly fast direct access to the PCI-Express bus and rolling in DisplayPort monitor functionality, there's no doubt it's going to change the landscape of personal computers for the next decade and beyond. But what good are Apple-Intel ThunderBolt ports if there's not much of anything to actually plug into it?

With only PARTNERS and PROMISES - and ZERO SHIPPING PRODUCTS on the day of ThunderBolt's release, this has got to be one of the biggest Marketing and Product Rollout FLOPS Steve Jobs had to take to his grave. For months, the only Apple Inc product to cling to was a $49 ThunderBolt cable - limp and begging for something, anything to plug into it. Where was a ThunderBolt backup drive to go along with that new Mac?

Fast forward to the end of 2011. Promise Technologies was the only Pro level high-end game in town delivering ThunderBolt drives for many months. LaCie only recently moved from announced to shipping products as it utterly struggles to ramp up production and distribution of it's LittleBig Disk ThunderBolt SSD and platter drives. Seagate GoFlex ThunderBolt drive adapters have yet to ship. Sonnet Technologies line of drives and TBolt adapters are still temporarily stuck in 'Real Soon Now' mode. And the biggest player of all in storage - Western-Digital - is still only in the cheerleading section and not out on the playing field. Yet.

Yeah we got the ThunderBolt Cinema Display now: Ho-Hum. And perhaps most bizarre of all - The truly professional-grade Macintosh Pro tower workstations have YET to see an upgrade that includes ThunderBolt ports?!? That's got to be the biggest WTF I've ever seen foisted on Apple's high-end customer base.

In 2012, things can only - and WILL get better. ThunderBolt technology and it's benefits are an iceberg just breaking the surface. But what a disappointment it's been so far. Apple should be ashamed. We were sold a carriage with no horse, but I see some coming down the road towards us… "Better Late Than Never" isn't the way a world-class, leading-edge technology company like Apple ought to be addressing its customer's needs.

Mac Tax Preparation - TurboTax for Mac OSX 2011

If you're raring to go - to get a jump start preparing to file 2011 taxes on a Mac - There's a digital download of TurboTax for Mac Deluxe Federal + E-file + State 2011 available NOW. The retail, boxed versions of Mac TurboTax 2011 started shipping on November 25th.

Alternately, a somewhat more affordable way to do taxes on Mac OSX is with Mac Version H&R Block At Home 2011 Deluxe + State

Be prepared for A LOT of additional update prompts between now and filing your 2011 return. Bugs get fixed, last-minute Congressional tax law changes may occur, and you'll simply want to file the most accurate Mac tax return possible.

SEO For Mac Website Designers And Owners

With a record 4 million+ new Apple computers being sold each quarter, there's more folks creating and promoting their web sites on a Macintosh than ever before. While there's never been a shortage of great web design software for Mac, until recently it's been harder to find OSX compatible SEO for Mac software programs to help with the task of internet marketing and back-link building.
SEO Tools For Mac Web Masters
Two things are helping Apple website owners with Search Engine Optimization and Marketing tasks in particular. First, several of the most notable SEO programs for OSX now run cross-platform using the Adobe Air platform. Programs such as Article Submission Helper, or the best All-In-One Mac SEO program out there - Market Samurai For Mac - can be written once using Adobe AIR and run on any computing platform. Second, many 'Cloud' based SEO tools and SEM link building services now live up on the web. As such many web-based Apple SEO and back link building services exist that can help you with Mac internet marketing using Safari or FireFox for Mac - no OSX application program needs to live on your hard drive at all.

In the highly completive world of dominating search engine rankings and leveraging Social Media - 'Build it and they will come' - just doesn't drive web traffic like in the good old days. You need to make it happen with great content, spot-on keyword research, quality content, an appealing website, and developing relentless Mac backlink building tactics to get your website(s) onto page one of search results. Fortunately, more SEO tools than ever exist to help Apple using web masters with those tasks.

SEO Link Building Tip : Automate Social Bookmarking with this FREE web-based Safari friendly Mac backlink tool.

Best Mac Tax Software 2011 - Get An Early Jump

There's good reason to get an early start on your US income taxes. Some deductions need to be in place prior to year's end (such as setting up a HSA - Health Savings Account), while others (such as IRA contributions) can wait up until the April 17th, 2012 tax filing deadline. Slated to ship on November 25th, the Mac TurboTax 2011 Federal and State Deluxe edition is all most will need to file a full 1040, a Schedule C for self-employed, and more.

TurboTax Mac Deluxe

Federal + State Edition
Available for PRE-ORDER

For Do-It-Yourselfer's, nobody makes tax prep on a Mac so easy. Intuit now bundles both the Windows and Mac OSX version of Turbo Tax in the same retail box to simplify purchase - and Amazon also offers a direct downloadable Mac version as well.

H&R Block's AT HOME tax program for Mac taxes 2011 Deluxe Fed + State is also available:

H&R Block Mac Tax Software 2011

Fed + State + eFile

Best Mac Accessories : 2011 Computer Add-On Trends

An interesting year is ahead for Mac gizmo freaks as some new tech trends are emerging in the Apple peripherals arena. Demand for wireless Bluetooth accessories has blown through the roof thanks to millions of iPads, iPhones and recent iPod Touch models. Of note: Hands-Free / Bluetooth speaker systems - and wireless BT keyboards for iPad in particular.

Apple recently upgraded the built-in iSight to HD on recent MacBooks. For others, 720p high-resolution HD webcams for Mac models like the mini and Macintosh Pro meet the needs of those who want better clarity and resolution in their online video-chat experience.

With so much downloadable online content - plus home DVR capable set-top boxes - There seems to be slightly less interest in computer TV Tuners for Mac as many simply nab or buy their content elsewhere these days rather than capture and export the content themselves.

The quest for better audio is driving more discerning ears to higher quality laptop audio and the best desktop computer speakers and headsets they can find - Especially for MacBook owners frustrated by the tiny built-in speakers.

TimeMachine has made backing up your Mac a no-brainer. But as our photo, music and video libraries explode - USB 2.0 and FireWire are both showing their age as woefully slow ways to copy or transfer a ton of data. Intel and Apple's new ThunderBolt port - and the inevitible arrival of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed promises to change our notion of truly High-Speed interfaces. External hard drive manufacturers are already switching to the backward compatible USB3 interface - so keep USB 3.0 on your tech radar. It is the future of USB - and will ship in numbers that will dwarf ThunderBolt adoption in comparison.

Solid-State flash memory SSD drives - Perhaps the single best upgrade or Build-To-Order option you'll ever experience - aren't just for MacBook Air's anymore. Once you SSD, you'll never go back to the truly pokey and horribly unreliable spinning patter mechanical hard drive.

Printers have evolved greatly in the past year: HP in particular with it's touchscreen E-PRINTERS and adding AirPrint compatibility for wireless iPad - iPhone printing. And auto-duplexing printers are more common and affordable than ever - making the most of BOTH sides of a sheet of paper. We've come a long way, baby.

All in all the best Mac accessories you'll want to own just keep getting better. And at ever more affordable prices.

ThunderBolt For Mac - Next Generation Device Interface

Intel and Apple ThunderBolt Port
Apple and Intel released a new computer interface port - THUNDERBOLT and have been incorporating it across it's Mac laptopand desktop computer line. It promises up to 10GBps potential bandwidth throughput to deliver literally a 20-Fold increase in device speeds over USB 2.0.

MacBook ThunderBolt Port Accessories
We'll have to wait for ThunderBolt drives, SSD's, TV Tuners, Webcams, Printers, Keyboards, Mice and other accessories to take advantage of the 10GBps bandwidth. Once code-named LightPeak - Thunder-Bolt promises a huge leap in data transfer speeds for Mac gadgets and add-ons. This versatile computer port co-developed by Intel and Apple replaces Apple's min DisplayPort - yet will allow nearly any sort of device to connect with it. Other peripheral interfaces like USB2, 5GBps USB3, FireWire, SCSI, eSATA and beyond -- can work THROUGH ThunderBolt ports with the slew of ThunderBolt adapters that will become available later this year. Stay tuned, this is game changing computer technology for the next decade.

Skype For Mac - Download v5 Release

Latest Version of Mac Skype - v5 Release
After a bit of a frustrating beta release, the offical version of Skype 5 For Mac is now available for download. WIth some much needed refinements and improvements, the much more "Mac-Like" interface has been improved, shrunk, and alot less of a screen-hog.