RIP Apple Xserve

It was 2006 when Apple brought an Intel Xeon Xserve into the running of business and home servers. The beginning of November 2011, Apple decided it was time that the Xserve would be discontinued before February 2011. The replacement would be the Mac Pro Server and the Mac Mini Server which have both been available for a while and are both very strong machines. They differ in price depending what you want to do with them. The Xserve, which was used for a variety of applications, including file server, web server, high-performance computing applications using clustering, and more can now easily be replaced by one or multiple of the current Mac servers.

You can even buy a Mac Mini and pay a short monthly fee for this service, http://www.macminicolo.net, to run “your Mac Mini” as a server for website hosting, files etc.

If you have an old Mac at home running OS X that you want to turn into a Home file / printer server, follow these instructions,  It’s easy!

To all who have an Xserve currently, I hope they are ‘serving’ you well (heehee) and you enjoy your professional ‘server’ while the rest of us turn our Mac into a web or FTP server from home.

RIP Apple Xserve.

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Adam Duce’s Pick of the Week – Week 2

Hey there TechZany Communtity!

Time for my pick of the Week!

This week is going to be a piece of Software called Spotify

What is Spotify? Well this will explain:

Think of Spotify as your new music collection. Your library. Only this time your collection is vast: 10 million tracks and counting. You can create as many playlists as you like from this collection – just drag and drop the tracks you want.

This is great! Espesially that you have the option to have it free! But there is a bad thing with the free version. There are both Visual and Audio Ads. However you can get get rid of this for around £5 a month. This is called the ‘Unlimited’ Mode. There is also another feature called ‘Premium’ Mode which you can have for £10 a month which gives you Spotify wherever you go. On your Mobile and on your Laptop without an Internet Connection.

This can be found at http://spotify.com

Thanks for reading

Post by Adam from AdamOnline.info

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Apple Mac App Store Launch

Today Apple released their long awaited Mac App Store, which is available for download via Software Update. The Mac App Store is basically like the iOS App Store for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but tailored specifically for Mac Apps (apps that run on Mac OS X). There are over a thousand paid and free apps already available on launch day, featuring one-click download and install, and purchased apps will run on all your personal Macs. Here is Apple’s official press release: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/01/06macappstore.html

It was originally thought that the store would ship with Mac OS X Lion (which is slated for release in late 2011), but Apple announced last October at their “Back to the Mac” event that the store will in fact run on the current version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). However, you do need to run Software Update to download a minor OS update (v10.6.6) which installs the “App Store” app onto your machine and places it in your dock.

The Mac App Store is definitely all about app discovery.  Find new and exciting apps by browsing the top charts, featured apps, category lists, or searching by keywords. When you find an interesting app, you can check out screenshots, user reviews and a full description before choosing to buy. The developer is allowed to customize their app “page” in the store, with their own color scheme and background image.

Once you click the buy button, the app is downloaded and installed to your Mac in the “Applications” folder, and appears in your Dock. It is also “linked” to your iTunes account, so you can download the same app on all your other Macs without having to re-buy it. There are of course many free apps in the store as well.

Apps? But I already have apps!

Some are asking why a Mac App Store is needed. The Mac already has “apps”, and has for 26 years. Why do we need a locked down, walled garden app store to “infect” our otherwise open OS? Well, there are several reasons. For one thing, these apps go through an approval process similar to iOS apps, so you know you’re getting a good quality product, tested by Apple. Secondly, these apps install and uninstall themselves cleanly using a centralized process. Meaning, the apps won’t leave hidden files all over your machine when you delete them, and installation is easy and takes only one-click. Also, they’ll auto-update themselves using a centralized process controlled by Apple. And finally, since app purchases are linked to your Apple ID (iTunes Account), if you buy apps on one Mac, you can easily re-download and re-install them on another.

Downsides & Bugs

As cool as the Mac App Store is, there are a couple of downsides. First of all, Apple doesn’t allow developers to post demos or free trials of apps. You must actually purchase an app to try it. This is rather unfortunate, as I have personally discovered countless apps by trying the free demo or trial version first, realizing it was cool, then buying the full app. I might not have bothered if I was forced to buy before trying. Secondly, apps you have already purchased beforehand (such as iLife apps) will not be updated by the App Store. You have to uninstall and re-purchase the apps to get the full App Store benefits such as updates.

We also found a few bugs with the store, which are probably just launch day traffic issues. Several app pages load blank, the first screenshot doesn’t load until you click on others (and if there is only one screenshot, it never loads), and we received errors purchasing several apps. Trying again usually solved the problem. These issues will likely be fixed as traffic subsides, and/or Apple releases an update to the store.

Our App Picks

Here are a few app picks we liked on launch day:

  • Twitter (free, basically “Tweetie 2″ for Mac)
  • The Incident ($2.99, fun retro-style action game which works very well with a keyboard)
  • TextWrangler (free, excellent text editor by the makers of BBEdit, great for editing HTML)
  • MenuPop (free, makes the menu bar available inside any window on any screen via a hot key)
  • And Yet It Moves ($9.99, adventure game with unique art style and lots of fun)

Create Your Own Mac Apps

Apple offers a new Mac App Store Developer Program, similar to iOS, which costs $99 / year and allows you to publish your own free or paid commercial apps. You create apps using Apple’s Xcode development system, and their Cocoa programming language. However, if you prefer web development, I predict that services such as Appcelerator Titanium will soon support creating HTML5 / JavaScript apps for the Mac App Store. As with iOS development, you get 70% of the revenue from your app’s sales, and Apple keeps 30%.

Summary

App stores really are the next big thing, for both mobile and desktop platforms, and Apple knows how to do them right. The Mac App Store is nearly perfect and a welcome addition to OS X.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Written by

Joseph Huckaby

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Merry Christmas

I would like to wish all of our readers and viewers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Expect  a lot of new TechZany content in the new year.

Some recent things to note:

– Advertising Sales!

– New TechZany Writer – Adam Duce

I hope everyone is enjoying themselves on their holidays.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

The TechZany Network Writers & Staff

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Adam Duce's Pick of the Week – Week 1

Hey there!

I will be giving a Pick of the Week whether it is something to do with Hardware, Software or anything about with Computers. This is going to be something that I will publish on this site only.

This Week will have to be Windows Live Writer 2011

Download Free!

If you don’t know what this is I will paste a Full Explanation from Microsoft Below!

Windows Live Writer makes it easy to tell your stories like a professional blogger. You can create beautiful blog posts including photos, videos, and formatting, and see what it will look like online before you publish to your blog. Writer works with most major blogging services, including WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, and many more, so you can compose your blog post while offline, and then publish directly to your blog in minutes.

Windows Live Writer is part of Windows Live Essentials, which also includes Windows Live Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Family Safety, Windows Live Mesh, Bing Bar, Messenger Companion, Microsoft Silverlight, and Outlook Connector Pack (Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector and Social Connector Provider for Windows Live Messenger). You can install just Writer or all of Windows Live Essentials.

So, this program is  very easy to use, I really think you should try it out!

Post by Adam from AdamOnline.info

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Verizon

Considering the fact that I am staying in America and that our Villa has Broadband, we have Verizon. I have to say that it is incredibly slow I didn’t even get past 0.75MB of download speed.  It’s slow and doesn’t load YouTube videos all that well. Sometimes it forgets that its supposed to be loading a page, keeping in mind that this is not the PC because it never acts like this when I am in my home office.

Leave your thoughts and experiences about Verizon below.

Post by Adam Duce from AdamOnline

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