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ATPM 12.12
December 2006


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Mac About Town

by Mike Chamberlain,

Where Did You Hear That?

I write in some pretty august company here at ATPM. A quick perusal of articles and credentials will reveal that we have some serious and capable people offering the best Mac advice around (and at a price that we can all afford). If you’re reading this publication, you too are one of those who wants to stay up to speed on the latest information that will help you get the most out of your already great computer. Interestingly, that has different meaning for different people. The programmers and systems types look for different information than do the hardware geeks and early adopters, who are different still from the everyday Macaholoic who wants to know about the particular things that will help him do the things that he needs or wants to do.

Clearly, reading publications like this is a good start, but on a day-to-day basis the wealth of blogs out there are a more immediate source of up-to-the minute Mac info. What follows are a few of my regular stops. N.B., I am in the last category of information seeker: the Macaholic who wants to keep his machine up-to-date and wants to see the latest software and hardware information as soon as it comes out. Here are my regular stops, loaded in order of the “Apple” folder on my bookmarks bar. (You do have one of those, don’t you?)

The Unofficial Apple Weblog

I check TUAW at least three times a day. The site has a great Aqua-themed look and is as up-to-the minute as any site that I have stumbled across. A group of blog editors contribute a wide variety of posts on the latest Apple-related news. I often find out about Apple system software updates here first. When the ubiquitous Mac rumor mill begins to get crazy, the bloggers at TUAW pass on the best but with a more mature and down-to-earth spin. I have a number of programs on my computer that I would not have discovered were it not for the blog. The normal post on new hardware and software gives the reader a good overview of the product and a surface review. There are enough posts during the day that revisiting the site a couple of times always seems worthwhile.

The Apple Blog

This is a newer site for me, though one that seems to have some interesting posts. Information on the site seems to trend to Apple news, while also including a fair amount of hardware and software information. The layout is not as flashy as TUAW, and the information on the post before the jump tends to be a bit more sketchy. I stop back in at this site at least once a week and often more than that.

Mac Rumors

OK, I confess, I sometimes go to this site and allow myself to get all hot and bothered by the next great thing that is coming our way from Cupertino. At the moment I am all sweaty with the dream of an iPhone that will actually sync with my MacBook Pro and Palm and iPod in the seamless way that only Apple seems to be able to make happen. I may not be helping the cause, however, as this site and others like it, are often off the mark when it comes to forecasting what coming next. There is a page on this site that is interesting if you are getting ready to buy new hardware. The buyer’s guide section of the rumor site gives a current recommendation on buying particular hardware based on its position in the lifecycle of the product line. If you are getting ready to spring for new stuff, this page is worth a stop.

Inside Mac Games

This is the premier site for Mac gaming information. Great reviews, information on upcoming releases, links to demos and updates, good forums and gaming blogs. There is a membership option that I have tried in the past, but unless you are a hardcore gamer, you can get everything you want from the free information available.

MacBreak Weekly

True, this isn’t technically a blog—it’s a podcast—but it links to so much that I can’t imagine keeping up without it. Leo LaPorte of This Week in Tech (TWIT) leads a weekly conversation that roams freely and humorously across the Mac landscape. If you only subscribe to one Mac podcast, this is the one—and it’s free.

• • •

Finally, Here is a short list of good-to-have-on-hand places for heightening your Mac life:


It’s about…desktops.

Pimp My Safari

If you’re a Safari user, this site has all the extras you need.

Official Google Mac Blog

Because it’s worth keeping an eye on what these folks are doing.

The PowerBook Zone

Sometimes helpful information for road warriors.


Think of it as a Mac news ticker.

There’s no way to list all the sites that any of us use, but it would be interesting to see where our readers surf when they want the latest in the Mac world. Add a comment and a link for your favorite Mac site.

See you in the new year.

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Reader Comments (1)

Vern Peterson · December 2, 2006 - 07:33 EST #1
I'm new to blogs, but now being in a place where I can devote more time, alot more time, to my Macs( G4 desktop-MDD and PowerBook G4-currently in warranty repair), I'm going to be checking them more.

Thanks, Mike, for this great article.

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