Eye TV Hybrid for $99.95, before Dec. 31st

Elgato Eye TV

The Eye TV Hybrid, from Elgato, is a nifty little device that allows you to watch and record TV on your Mac. It normally sells for $149.95, but you can get it for $99.95 through this promotion if you buy it by December 31st, 2008.

I picked one of these up at Macworld 2008. I don’t use it a tremendous amount, but it is very handy, and I’ve been happy with it’s performance. I recommend them.

As a side-note to anyone attending Macworld in January, Elgato will be there, and they usually offer this same price during the Expo, along with discounts on their other products.

Don’t change your Mighty Mouse batteries before you have to

Apple Mighty Mouse Battery Warning

If you use an Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse, you’ve probably seen this battery warning at some point. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a little premature in when it tells you to change batteries. I sometimes get 2-3 weeks of additional use after I get the warning before the batteries actually die. And that’s using my mouse all day, every day.

Ignore the warning. Don’t change the batteries until they actually die.

Build a library of screenshots with LittleSnapper

LittleSnapper by Realmac Software

As a designer, I tend to collect various screenshots from all around the web. I use these screenshots for a variety of reasons, from design inspiration to problem-solving. I’ve never really had a great system for cataloging these screenshots. I typically use a combination of Snapz Pro, Paparazzi, and the built-in screen capture capabilities of OS X, and then just throw those images into a folder. It works, but it’s not very elegant.

Not too long ago I started using an online service called, ScrnShots to collect the images. You can upload image files, or there’s a desktop utility for snapping a screen shot and having it upload directly (here’s mine). While ScrnShots works pretty well, I tend not to be a big fan of online-only applications… partially because you can’t get to your stuff when you’re offline, and also because they’re generally not as responsive as desktop applications. At least not yet. I much prefer a dedicated desktop application, that also has good web-syncing capabilities. That way you have the best of both worlds.

A while back I heard about an upcoming piece of software from Realmac called, LittleSnapper. It’s sole purpose is to capture and catalogue screenshots, and it syncs with a sister-service website called, QuickSnapper (it’s similar to ScrnShots). This sounded like exactly what I wanted, so I’ve been anxiously awaiting it’s arrival ever since. Version 1.0 was released today. :)

I’ve been playing around with LittleSnapper tonight, and my initial impressions are very good. It gives you several ways of capturing whole or partial web pages, and straight screenshots. It has quite a few features that I won’t go over now, because Realmac has done a pretty good job at outlining them all, here.

While I think LittleSnapper is a solid 1.0 product, it does have some room for improvement. In fact, there is one thing about it that’s bumming me out. In addition to capturing new screenshots, LittleSnapper can import existing files, but the formats it can accept seem very limited. I have a large collection of screenshots in pdf and psd formats, and LittleSnapper will not import them. I can’t find any official documentation, but it seems to support a similar set of formats that an average browser would (jpg, gif, png). I was able to import a very large tif, but it choked a bit.

All in all I’m pretty impressed with LittleSnapper, and I will probably be buying a copy. It runs $39, and requires 10.5, Leopard (sorry Tiger users).

Here’s one tip: LittleSnapper can capture whole web pages (like Paparazzi) or standard screenshots (like OS X). The difference is, when you capture a straight screenshot it comes into LittleSnapper as a graphic, but when you capture a whole page it comes in as a graphic and a web archive. This is useful, because it allows you to export that captured page (web archive) as a PDF with editable text intact.

Create dedicated file-upload applications with FTP Maker

FTP Maker

Softhing’s new FTP Maker 1.0 lets you create dedicated, branded, file-upload applications that can be distributed to your friends, family, clients, etc.. Files can be uploaded to your server by simple drag and drop… no ftp knowledge required, and no other software needed.

This is a great idea. I would love to use this with some of my less technically-savvy client’s, but unfortunately it’s mac only. Most of my clients are PC users.

FTP Maker costs $30. The free trial version limits you to uploading files of 1MB or less.

via Macworld

Griffin Simplifi: iPhone and iPod dock with built-in Media Card Reader and USB Hub

Griffin Simplifi

Right now I have an iPod/iPhone dock, a USB hub, and a Media Card Reader sitting on my desk. Apparently, those three things could all be replaced by the Griffin Simplifi.

This is an awesome looking little device. I totally see one of these in my future. I’ll probably wait to see if Griffin has any show specials at Macworld, in January. if you want one of these, you can get it for $69.99 straight from Griffin, or $65.99 from Amazon.

via TUAW

Aluminum Macbooks unstable after 3rd party RAM upgrade

Aluminum Macbook and Macbook Pro

Back in October I wrote a post about how you could save over $500 by buying 3rd party RAM instead of buying Apple’s incredibly overpriced RAM. That was good advise for the previous generation of Macbooks and Macbooks Pros, but it may not be the best thing to do for the new (late 2008) Aluminum Macbooks / Pros.

According to this article at TUAW, A lot of people are experiencing significant problems after attempting to use 3rd party RAM with the new laptops. It’s worth checking out if you’re about to buy one of the new machines.

Fortunately, when Apple introduced these new Aluminum models, they also dropped the price of their own RAM by several hundred dollars. It’s not so painful to just by the RAM from Apple now.

Force Safari to open targeted links in a new tab, instead of a new window

There is one feature in Firefox that I’ve always wished Safari had. The ability to always force targeted links (those that would normally open a new browser window) to open a new tab.

For example, if you’re viewing this in Safari and you click this link, it will open a new browser window taking you to Google. I would rather it open in a new tab instead. You can temporarily do this on a link-by-link basis by holding down the Command key when clicking the link, but I want it to work that way all the time.

Fortunately, this feature is already built into Safari (at least on the Mac), but it’s turned off by default. In order to turn it on, all you need to do is paste the following command in to the Terminal (quit Safari first):

defaults write com.apple.Safari TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

That’s it. Safari should now open all links that would have opened a new window, in a new tab instead. If you want to turn this feature off, paste the same command, but replace the word “true” with “false”.

Thank you Roger Johansson!

Expandrive for $19.95 at Maczot

Mount remote servers on the desktop with Expandrive

Today only (12/03/08), Maczot is selling Expandrive for $19.95. That’s 50% off the regular price of $39.95. if you’re unfamiliar with Expandrive, it’s a great little Mac app that allows you to mount remote servers on your desktop as if they were local drives. It’s extremely handy. I occasionally still bust out Transmit, my ftp application of choice, but more often than not I just mount the server with Expandrive.

I’ve never used it, but the company also makes SftpDrive, a similar product for Windows. It’s not on sale, but you Windows users may find it helpful.

2 days only: Microsoft Office 2008 Mac Special Media Edition for $130

For 2 days only Microsoft is dropping the price of Office 2008 Special Media Edition (Mac) by 70%. It normally retails for $499.95, but you can get it for $129.99 from Amazon on 11/27 and 11/28.

I’m actually going to take advantage of this offer, even though I don’t normally use Office on the Mac. For my own documents I use Apple’s iWork. It has everything I need, and it’s much easier to use. For client-work, I must use Office 2007 under Windows, because I need documents to open exactly the same (or as close as possible) on my client’s machine as they do on mine. Although iWork can read/write office documents, formatting isn’t held very well when going between applications (iWork to Office or Office to iWork). Unfortunately, even when going from Office Mac to Office PC (or back), formatting isn’t held exactly. Some slight differences can occur, but they are far less than using iWork. That being said, there are times in my workflow when it would be more convenient to use Office under the Mac OS, and the steep discount makes it a more reasonable option.

As I mentioned, you can get the Media Edition of Office 2008 Mac (full) for $129.99, but if you own Office 2004 Mac, you can get the upgrade for $109.99 (normally $299.95). If you don’t need everything that’s included in the Media Edition, you might want to consider buying the Home and Student Edition. It normally sells for $149.95, but you can get it now for $109.99. I’m not sure if that price is under this same 2-day promotion, or if Amazon always has a discount on that package.

Here’s what the Media Edition has that the Home & Student Edition doesn’t:

  • Microsoft® Expression® Media
  • Microsoft Exchange Server Support
  • Automator Actions for Workflows in Microsoft Office
  • Upgrade pricing (Home Edition has no upgrade price)

Via TUAW | More info on Information Week

UPDATE: In just the time it took me to write this post, the price of the full version jumped from $139 to $169.99. Looks like pricing is in flux. Best Buy has the full version for $149. The online Apple Store is down in preparation for Black Friday, but it should be $149 there too.

UPDATE #2: It’s Friday morning and the price of the full version from Amazon has dropped to $129.99. Grab it while you can.

UPDATE #3: The 2-day sale is over, but Amazon still has the full version for $159.99. That’s over $300 off of the retail price. Not sure how long this sale will last.