Working with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iTunes

Just a quick pointer to those of you using the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iTunes. And for those of you who know and / or care, I ordered my iPhone today from AT&T! The rep at the store, who was very friendly and helpful, said that they are told to tell people 14 to 21 days to come in, but that he expects it to be more like 5 to 10 days. Total price with tax and such was just over $213. And now I wait…

But anyway, for those of you who store your music and videos in iTunes and want to know how to back it all up, Apple has posted an article on just how to do so. iTunes 7 offers a new way to back up your iTunes library, playlists, and iTunes Store purchases (including Applications purchased from the App Store) for safekeeping. The Back Up to Disc feature saves your media to a blank disc (CD or DVD) and once backed up, iTunes can use your backup disc(s) to automatically restore your iTunes library. If you have iTunes 5 or 6, click here. Note that this is for both Windows and Mac computers.

I don’t need to tell you that you should be backing up your entire computer and all of your documents, but if you want to know just how to backup iTunes, this is a great article. But please, backup everything. External hard drives are quite inexpensive these days and make backing up quick, easy, and painless. For a few examples of them, look here or here.

The other article for you Apple users out there is one on how to synchronize Microsoft Entourage, Mac Office’s Outlook counterpart, with your iPhone or iPod Touch. I have posted that full article on my site at MacDeveloper website. So, if you are using Entourage and want to sync up, be sure to check that one out.

Best news reader for Windows and Mac

NetNewsWire RSS News ReaderOK, I don’t know how I missed it, but the best RSS news readers for Mac and PC are now free! Honestly I can’t say a lot about the Windows software, but NetNewsWire for the Mac is, in my opinion, the best way to stay up-to-date with your news feeds. And now NewsGator has made all this software available for free. No more need for me to use the “lite” version of their products, these are the full blown versions that have been unleashed.

One of the best things about their products is that when you use them in conjunction with their on-line account, which is free, your readers on different computers can stay in sync. That means that I don’t have to reread at work what I read at home. Also, if I am totally away from my machines, I can just use their web-based version which also stays in sync. So all my subscriptions and the associated info go with me wherever I go. For free.

Does it get any better than that?

Macs gain strength

I have been saying for a good while now that Macs are great in business. They offer ease of use, less maintenance, and are less prone to attack by viruses or spyware. (I almost said they are immune from attack, but I don’t want anyone to prove me wrong.) Now, more and more people in the industry are agreeing with me. Take for example this article in Computerworld. They are saying exactly the same thing.

One of the interesting points the article brings up, and something that has happened in my office, is that because the corporate powers are starting to get Apple products for their personal use they are starting to see those same products as alternatives for company use. In my place of work the Macs are spreading from the top down. Actually I had the first one, but after that came the VP of Marketing and our COO. Now that there are three of us with them in the top tier of the company decisions about hardware open up and requirements for software change. Granted we still invest in software that will only run on Windows, basically because there is no alternative, but that software must be able to run either on Citrix or virtualized through a product like Parallels. No longer will we just buy a Windows based program to just slap on any old desktop. Through one means or another the product has to be able to work on a Mac. And that is good for OS X, Linux and Windows. The ability to interoperate makes all the products stronger.