Archive for the 'Mac' Category

OS X Mountain Lion vs. real mountain lion


[via Boy Genius Report]

MacBook Air–Printing

imageDevvie has an HP Color LaserJet 3600n. The 3600n is attached to her Windows XP desktop via a USB cable and is a shared printer. I wanted her MacBook Air to be able to print from the 3600n over our WiFi network. This was not a problem from the Windows OS I run via VirtualBox (see MacBook Air–Windows in a box). From OS X Lion, different story. To read the latest installment of my attempt to tame OS X Lion, read on.

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MacBook Air–Windows in a box

imageMost commonly-used Windows programs have equivalents that run on OS X.  Office for Mac 2011 is one example which I recently installed on my wife Devvie’s MacBook Air (MBA).

However, not all Windows programs have OS X equivalents. Devvie, like me, teaches computer science at a local community college. Our computer programming classes use Visual Studio software. There is no Visual Studio for Mac. There is other reasonably equivalent OS X compatible software which she can use for her C++ classes. However, for her C# class, she needs to be running under Windows because C# (unlike unmanaged C++) requires the .NET Framework. Consequently, Devvie’s MBA needs to run Windows so she can run Visual Studio. Which meant that I, as Devvie’s  primary (and unpaid) source of tech support, had to do make this happen.

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MacBook Air–Not all Outlooks are created equal

imageAfter my initial setup of my wife’s MacBook Air, I installed Office for Mac 2011, which included Outlook. Installation was uneventful. However, in Outlook, I still cannot access her college email.

For Outlook for Mac 2011 to access an Exchange Server, the prerequisites for that server are Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 with Update Rollup 4 (KB952580) or later. However, the college’s Exchange Server version is still at 2003, and (probably for security reasons) doesn’t support IMAP. So it’s a no go.

There are possible alternatives. Entourage 2004 (and probably 2008) may work. But who wants to use multiple email clients? So Web mail (Outlook Web Access) is the alternative.

My point is not to criticize the college. Lots of Exchange Server installations still are at 2003, for many reasons. The college has its reasons, including compatibility with elsewhere in the District, budget issues, etc.

Instead, my point is that my Outlook 2010 for Windows has no problem accessing the college’s Exchange Server notwithstanding its 2003 version. So not all Outlooks are created equal.

I understand the technical reasons for the difference. OS X does not include backward compatibility for the API’s used in Exchange Server 2003, whereas Windows does. Still, I find Outlook for Mac 2011’s lack of support for Exchange Server 2003 puzzling. After all, my iPad has no problem accessing the college’s Exchange Server. Why can iOS do this, but OS X can’t (or won’t)?

Next is virtualization, so my wife can run Visual Studio 2010. VS 2010 is the software used in all of the classes she teaches. However, VS 2010 runs only under Windows; there’s no OS X version. She could use other OS X compatible software for her C++ classes. However, for her C# class, she needs to be running under Windows because C# (unlike unmanaged C++) requires the .NET Framework. Anyway, virtualization likely will be the next post in this series.

MacBook Air–First Baby Steps

imageThe MacBook Air (aka MBA) arrived early last week. But last week Devvie and I were on vacation in South Lake Tahoe. Upon our return home, I collected the MBA from my office and brought it home to set it up and get started. I thought I would share here and in following posts my experiences since, while I consider myself an experienced computer user, I am a Mac neophyte. Hopefully my experiences will be informational, or at least provide comic relief.

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Will my next laptop be a MacBook Air?

MacBook Air for my wife told you about my wife’s next laptop. Other knowledgeable people I know also are getting the MBA, including James Kendrick (aka JKOnTheRun) and Jenna Gonzalez (aka Jenna_Ice) of My Reality Tech.

I’ve been asked if I also will join the MBA club. Probably not. I rely too much in my job(s) on software that is Windows-only. Yeah, I know I could get Parallels, Boot Camp or VirtualBox. But, I also rely on digital inking, such as in OneNote. That still requires a TabletPC, such as my Asus EP121.

However, as a gadgetholic, I am well aware of my addiction, and the temptation of an alluring device like the MBA. As my wife’s (unpaid) tech support, I likely will be spending a lot of time with her MBA, so there is ample potential for succumbing to the MBA’s charms. But not yet anyway. Her MBA won’t be arriving for another week or so.

MacBook Air for my wife


My wife’s next laptop (which just became available this morning). Not a lot of decisions on specs. I chose the 13” model with the 256GB SSD and the 1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7. Should arrive next week.

This will be our first Mac laptop after numerous Windows laptops. My wife wanted the Air because it was very light but had a beautiful large display. The Air also has good battery life, which means she can use it in our house (e.g., the dining room table) without being tethered to an adapter.

This should be an interesting experience for my wife and her unpaid tech support (i.e., me).