Macintosh Year-End Bits and Pieces

Wild iPhone rumors, advanced disk repair, and a new mail server release. Plus: a Macworld Expo preview.
Posted December 22, 2006

John Welch

John Welch

Greetings, Apple users. Here’s a small collection of items for your perusal:

iPhone Craziness

In all the hype about the iPhone, I find some of the ideas floated by various Web sites quite curious, if not actually ridiculous. The most amusing of all is the concept of the iPhone as a deliberate deception. Folks, Apple doesn't do this, and they haven't since Jobs took over in the late '90s.

Amid the hype, it was interesting that no one did a simple trademark search on 'iPhone' at the USPTO web site. If they had, they would have realized that ‘iPhone’ has been owned by various companies since ‘99, of late Cisco. Yet none of the owners has been Apple. So for Apple to use ‘iPhone’ would have been a very tricky bit of legal legerdemain to keep quiet.

The other iPhone-ism I found interesting was that the entire business case for an Apple phone is "Cell phone user interfaces stink, most devices don't do what I want, Apple is good at design." Dear readers, that is not a business case, that is a set of opinions. Opinions, even fervently held ones, do not make a business case.

The cell phone market is not a fun place to be, just ask the various companies. And even were Apple to become an MVNO, the chances of them being able to maintain the level of control they like to have so that their products "just work" would be nigh-impossible. Add to that the various governmental regulations affecting this market, and Apple would have a hard time keeping secrets. I'm not saying Apple will never release a phone, but I have yet to see a valid business case for it.

DiskWarrior Disk Repair Utility

Alsoft just released DiskWarrior 4, the latest upgrade to the single best disk repair utility that is or has ever been available for the Mac. If you buy two things for a Mac, you need 1) a way to back up your data, and 2) DiskWarrior.

It is one of a very select group of programs that I will buy the new version of without hesitation, and it is a mandatory part of any Mac maintenance toolbox. Even when I've had drives so badly corrupted that DiskWarrior couldn't repair them (two since the product's initial release), I’ve never had it cause harm of any sort. There's literally no other utility I can say that about. As well, their tech support is beyond top-notch. I've rarely had support willing to walk me through a low-level rebuild of my volume headers so the volume will mount enough for DiskWarrior to repair.

Kerio Mail Server

Kerio recently released version 6.3 of its Kerio Mail Server, KMS. Kerio is a great choice if you want a groupware server that runs natively on Mac OS X, and includes full fat client support for not only Outlook but Entourage and Evolution. It now supports Over The Air (OTA) sync with Windows Mobile and Palm OS phones. Added plus: it’s affordable for a small to medium business.

It integrates with Active Directory or Open Directory, or neither. So unlike Exchange, you don't need a directory server to run your email. You also avoid Microsoft's onerous CAL issues. KMS is not a high-end mail/groupware server, but it's a solid choice for any Mac-based business that want groupware, but not Exchange-level headaches.

Macworld Expo in January

As a bit of a plug, I'll be part of two sessions at Macworld Expo in January 2007.

The first, "Blogging Under The Hood," is a look at blogging from an implementation standpoint. So it's not going to be a "Should I blog?" session, but a "I want to start blogging, what are the issues involved, and what are my options on Mac OS X for blogging?" It features me, Andy Ihnatko, Dori Smith, and Chuck Goolsbee. It takes place on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 1–2:30 PM.

The second session is "Total Network Awareness" and talks about the various tools and methods available to network administrators for monitoring and maintaining their network awareness. Along with myself, this session features Chuck Goolsbee, Julian Koh, and Shaun Redmond. The session runs on Jan 11 from 3:30–5 PM.

Both sessions are only 90 minutes, so there's a limit to how much depth we can go into, but if the demo gods are willing, everyone should be able to take something away from them. All you need to attend is a MacIT pass, no reservations needed.

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