Echo Acquires Callcredit Information Group’s Bristol-Based Contact Center

March 15, 2013

Echo Managed Services has recently announced that it has taken over Callcredit Information Group’s Bristol-based contact center. Echo provides specialist products and services for utilities and public sector organizations across the U.K. Its core services, contact management, revenue management and software solutions, are underpinned by a deep understanding of both regulated and non-regulated industry.

The newly acquired contact center will from now on support Echo’s mission and this center has been offering multichannel, multifunctional complex contact management to both public sector and blue chip clients. Its services include inbound contact handling, help lines, database management and campaign planning, automated call handling and subscription services.

Speaking on this occasion, Phil Newland, Echo’s managing director said the addition of the Bristol office to the Echo group of companies is an excellent strategic fit for their business as they share their approach to offering clients high quality, value added service, dealing primarily with complex contact management requirements.

“They also share our commitment to achieving business growth. Echo continues to achieve strong growth despite challenging economic conditions and the acquisition of the Bristol team complements our growth strategy by allowing us to look beyond our traditional sectors and further strengthen our complex contact management offering to existing clients,� Newland added.

The new acquisition will enable current employed staff within the Bristol based contact center to be transferred Echo Managed Services.

Christopher Savage, managing director of Callcredit Marketing Solutions, said, “We have undertaken a comprehensive process to find the best owner of our operation and we have found the ideal organisation in Echo. It was critical to us that we identified the right partner for our clients and the best home for our staff. I am delighted that we will have a close working relationship with Echo as we collaborate on several joint projects as they continue to provide services to Callcredit.�

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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How to Select The Right Fax Solution Deployment

» More IP Fax Feature Articles

March 15, 2013

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Faxing is still a major part of the business landscape. Some are fond of the security aspects involved, others like the simplicity of it all. Some use faxing out of sheer necessity, discovering that many of their contacts still use faxes. But for those businesses looking to better integrate a fax solution beyond the standard of getting a fax machine and plugging it into a phone jack, there are several different options involved in getting a fax solution up and running.

But which one is the right one? That answer depends on conditions on the ground, and what a business is hoping to get out of the solution. There are essentially four models available to consider when it comes to fax solutions: on premise, hosted, hybrid and fax as a service, and the decision of which to use can mean all the difference in a business' success.

On-premises solutions offer the ability to keep everything in-house. While this requires quite a bit in the way of expense—all the necessary equipment, including fax servers, need to be bought before the solution can be set up—it also offers maximum control and the ability to be specifically tailored for the current software solutions the business is using. Also, high availability features can be added in, like redundant systems and virtualization capability, to provide that necessary level of service. Repairs are also always done in house, and can be started the second anyone notices something is wrong.

The second solution is a hosted solution. That takes a lot of the initial expense off the company and instead converts it to a regular, pre-determined set of expenses. It's almost like a fax service on a subscription basis, like a utility bill or the like, in which the business pays a hosted solution provider for access to its equipment and its capability to send out faxes. That allows a lot of flexibility—many hosted providers offer tiered service that can be changed according to need or the time of year or the like—but at the same time can add delays in repair and reconfiguration.

Third, there is a combination approach known as the hybrid approach. Much as the name implies, a hybrid approach allows for a lighter configuration of hardware on the premises while using a hosted service as a supplementary faxing system. This can take a lot of risk out of the equation, but at the same time can lead to waste if one part of the system is encroaching on the other part.

Finally, there is the fax as a service concept, which basically has its users e-mail the documents they wish to send to a specially formatted e-mail address, which can resend the documents as a fax. Much like with a hosted environment, it requires little in the way of hardware on hand on-premises, but can also pose challenges in terms of bringing in new functions.

The combination of possibilities means that any company looking to bring in a fax solution needs to take a long and careful look at just what it is they need done, and just what they're willing to do in response to that. Companies who want tight control over their faxes and don't mind shelling out big money in the early going will have different interests from companies out to keep their expenses to a minimum. There are plenty of solutions out there, but just which one is right is different for every firm.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

» More IP Fax Feature Articles

Xtium Marks Desktop as a Service Spot

Desktop virtualization has come a long way since the early days when Citrix and Microsoft (News - Alert) terminal services were the only games in town. With each offering, IT had to dedicate a server to storing end user desktops which were offered up over the LAN. If you weren’t attached to the LAN, you didn’t have a desktop. Forget mobile use and forget work at home. This was strictly for the 9 to 5ers.

The cloud has broken those LAN bonds. Nowadays, a full desktop with all your apps and data can be available over the Web. And there are myriad technologies and vendors to choose from. One is dubbed Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

The list of vendors grew by one this week as Xtium announced a new desktop service, which is an addition to its line of backup and virtual disaster recovery and managed cloud hosting services.

Xtiium is basing the new service on software from Desktone, Inc. The deal is similar to the recently crafted arrangement with Dimension Data where Dimension offers desktop-based DaaS. Dell, Time Warner and Fujitsu (News - Alert) also offer Desktone services.

Unlike earlier desktop virtualization, not only are end users no longer tethered to the LAN, they are also no longer tied down to a PC. Tablets and other mobile devices can access the desktop. This approach is one solution to the bring your own device (BYOD) conundrum. With a good DaaS, IT can support an array of personal end user devices with full desktops using company standard software and implementing corporate IT policies.

Xtium aims largely at mid-sized customers. Besides cloud storage, Xtium also offers business intelligence, ERP, e-mail and collaboration.

“DaaS is a natural complement to our existing cloud offerings, and completes our solution continuum from the data to the desktop and everything in between,� noted Shawn Fichter, head of product and marketing, Xtium. “Through the Desktone partnership we can remove the burden of desktop management from IT teams, and provide a secure, highly accessible, always-on solution for mobile devices, tablets and standard workstations for the entire workforce.�

The technology behind the Desktone DaaS is VDI. VDI supersedes the older client server model, which drove early desktop virtualization installs. With VDI, the desktop images are held on remote servers and the connection to the end user is brokered through a brokering service, allowing access from different locations and devices.

However, Xtium argues that VDI is complicated for IT to install and manage. With a cloud offering, the provider takes care of that complexity, serving up the desktop without the customer worrying about infrastructure.

“DaaS takes the cost and complexity out of managing virtual desktops,� said David Grant, VP, Marketing, Desktone. “The self-service, policy-based portal makes it easy to provision and manage end-user desktops. And the multi-tenancy of the platform enables Xtium and its customers to realize the economies of cloud computing in a virtual desktop environment.�

Desktone was chosen as a “Major Player� by research house in the area of client virtualization last December.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

Apple Takes Laptop Magazine’s Top Rating

For the fourth year in a row Apple takes top prize in our Best & Worst Brands. Why? Apple placed first in five of eight categories, including reviews, design, keyboards and touchpads, display and audio, and software. Apple also grabbed second place in our tech support category. The only area where Apple falls flat is value because the brand doesn’t play in the low-cost laptop space. Overall, though, Apple continues to epitomize the best of the best. 

MORE: 7 Things Apple Must Do in 2013

Reviews (20/20)

A perfect 20 out of 20 is a key reason why Apple keeps its top honors again this year. Although we only reviewed three notebooks from Apple, all notched a score of four stars or higher, and all received an Editors’ Choice. The top laptop from 2012 was the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, which had a groundbreaking screen, superb performance, long battery life and a slim design.

Design (14/15)

Just call it the design that launched 1,000 notebooks. Ever since the MacBook Pro’s debut in 2006 and the Air’s subsequent launch in 2008, the industry has been flooded with laptops trying to copy those clean lines and futuristic minimalist designs that are patently Apple. Once again, Apple has shaved the fat, making both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display remarkably thin and light while cramming the chassis full of high-end components. However, we’d love for Apple to add some color back into the mix, à la the iPod nano.

Keyboard and Touchpad (15/15)

Apple simply offers the best keyboard and trackpad experience around, even beating out our perennial favorite of Lenovo this year. The 13-inch MacBook Air’s keyboard has a similar feel to its predecessor, which is a good thing, as “it’s hard to improve on perfection.�Similarly, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was cited for its “springy feedback, plenty of travel and evenly backlit keys,� which is exactly what we look for in a great keyboard. Apple’s trackpads also received high praise for their large size and smooth operation. Words such as “effortless� and “flawless� were just some of the accolades we laid out for the MacBooks’ trackpads.

Tech Support (13/15)

We appreciated Apple’s Express Lane Web service, which proposes help articles, and the accurate phone staff who answered our queries in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, Genius Bars continue to be an invaluable source of in-person support. Those factors, however, were only enough for a second-place tie with Samsung. Apple missed the top spot in this category because of its lack of live chat and help via social networking channels.

MORE: Apple Tech Support Showdown Results

Display and Audio (9/10)

Apple managed to outdo itself this past year, putting Retina displays in two of its notebooks. The 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros both feature the highest resolution displays in a notebook, with 226 and 217 PPI, respectively. All of Apple’s laptops feature bright displays and great viewing angles, including the non-Retina MacBook Air. MacBooks tend to pump out better audio than most systems in their size and weight category. Apple scored a point higher this year compared to last because of its Retina displays.

Value and Selection (5/10)

Although Apple’s selection is still limited to two main lines, the company has added two new MacBook Pros with Retina display, expanding its total catalog to six systems. Apple’s cheapest clamshell starts at a premium $999 (the 11-inch Air) and the most affordable Retina display model starts at $1,499. Apple machines are available everywhere, though, from Apple stores and Best Buy to Spec upgrades are available through when you configure to order, but are often more costly than similar upgrades from Lenovo and Toshiba. We think Apple could use a notebook under $800 at a time when the average laptop price is around $500 and even cheaper Chromebooks are taking off.

Innovation (8/10)

On the MacBook Air front, Apple did little to move the innovation needle during the past year. Shoppers pretty much got spec bumps. However, the MacBook Pro with Retina display proved the company could up the resolution ante on screens in a big way. And unlike Windows machines that have full HD resolutions, Apple didn’t make icons on the desktop so small that you need a magnifying glass to discern them. For what it’s worth, Apple is the only notebook maker that has Thunderbolt ports on all of its laptops, but there’s still a dearth of high-speed peripherals that can take advantage of these ports.

Software (5/5)

With Mountain Lion, Apple improved on the operating system front by adding such features as Notification Center, Mission Control and iMessage, which lets you communicate with any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Sharing via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Vimeo is built into select apps. Gatekeeper keeps you safe from malware and other security threats. The iLife multimedia suite also makes a return and gives amateur artists a pretty big canvas with which to perfect their next movie, photo or tune.

Best and Worst Notebook Brands 2013

  • Una McGarry Says:

    I am not confident with computers and I REQUEST that you please do not send me any
    more Apple RSS items. I NEVER use anything so adventurous as you offer for sale.
    I’ll be grateful to have my name deleted from your mailout database please. Please delete me.

  • zeno malan Says:

    I own a MacBookPro 15″. I am having trouble recently downloading photos from a Nikon Coolpix AW100. I have seen similar complaints on the internet.
    Do you have any ideas about this? Is it Nikon or Apple that can fix this problem I’m having?

    I’ve already notified Nikon. Haven’t heard a peep so far.

    Thought I’d try you since I buy your products.



  • Mike Haugen Says:

    Take me off your list. Had enough of your multiple emails every day. Thank you.

  • Douglas Butler Says:

    The personal computing power is available for such feats of technology.
    I am a user of these Apple phone’s and desktop computers . Thanks for
    sharing the blog with our company – B D. Butler , company owner , U.S.A.

  • wilma lucroy Says:

    please remove me from your Email list. thanks

  • wolfgang schwarz Says:

    In my opinion the rating for display & audio is to high because the latest Apple notebook-range has no Audio IN. For me that´s reason enough to search for an alternative!

  • Lou Says:

    Please stop sending me spam and rss feeds you damn jerk.

  • Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    Note to users who received a link to this page via email. It didn’t come from us at Perhaps it came from Apple or another source, but it wasn’t us.

  • Richard Gomes Says:

    I know Apple products since the old days of Apple ][ … back in 80′s.
    In past, Apple products had definitely superior engineering, design and quality… but also superior price tag.
    At the moment, I find difficult justify the superior price tag, since Apple products are not superior, IMHO.

    I’ve recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad and I’m definitely satisfied: definitely superior build quality, professional mechanical keyboard, excellent trackpoint/touchpad, stunning performance and excellent display. The overall design is excellent, in particular the keyboard: all keys are full size (no tiny arrow keys) and they are carefully dimensioned/positioned.

    The price tag is inferior in comparison to Apple… and I can buy a Lenovo without Windoze, which saves me some additional ~USD70 or so. Then I can install Linux in it, which works just fine, or I can install FreeBSD in it… which by the way is the operating system which Apple used to create their OSX on top of it.

    So again… for the same amount of money … or less… I can buy a much superior/professional laptop.

  • bisquit Says:

    hey broskis

  • Brad Says:

    Richard. I call shenanigans. Can you install lightroom, aperture, Final Cut, inDesign, illustrator, pages, word, excel, hype, FreewayPro 6, Guitar Pro, Logic Pro9, I realize there’s some overlap there but I’m indecisive. Those are the “professional� programs I use weekly. Can you run any of those with FreeBSD? If not, that’s not a “professional� laptop; It’s a dvd player. If you can then I’ll eat my negative attitude. And no, gimp is not a photoshop alternative any more than a pair of roller skates is an alternative to a Delta flight.

  • Eric Says:

    This is a joke, Apple is the WORST company for laptops. How can you rank a $1500 laptop with lower specs than other laptops as number 1?? What about the touchscreen windows 8 laptops with higher specs for half the price? This site is a joke.

  • Don Says:

    I have several Apple products and I like every one of them. I like my MacBook Pro laptop. It is super quiet and I really like the MagSafe power connection feature. Not only does it look great it works great too. I have an old PowerMac G4 tower that is
    10 years old. Still works great. I plan to buy another Mac tower when they come out with new ones this Spring or Summer .
    To all my friends I heartily recommend Apple products.

  • Me Says:

    Love Apple.
    Was a PC nut for several years. The resale of a Mac is also very appealing as there is no resale in the PC world.

    Yes you pay a bit more, but there is so much less vulnerability to malicious software and viruses…
    The products are so nice and clean.
    Can’t wait for the new monitor!

  • Brittany Evans Says:

    If you’re a student then I definitely agree that Apple MacBooks are the best laptops to have. Besides not having Microsoft Office, it has every other program that you can imagine. The battery last super long and the laptop itself hardly ever freezes, unlike Windows (and I’ve had Dell & Toshiba laptops in the past 2 years). I’m not into expensive gadgets but this is definitely worth the money if you’re a student or if you do work that requires a laptop.

  • imajoebob Says:

    A score of 5 for Value? Utter ignorance, or pig-headedness because you want a “crap-ware’ version of the MacBook. I’m typing this on my PowerBook, bought back in 2003 and still going gangbusters, at least 10 hours a day, seven days a week. Ten years out a notebook? You’re lucky to get ten months from any of those horrible $500 POS that PC makers dump on unsuspecting rubes.

    Value and price are not synonymous. Just as obvious as Journalism and LaptopMag aren’t.

  • Caniva Says:

    Bring on the Apple haters! Haha I love my Mac and I’ll keep buying newer generation MacBooks, iPhones and iPads til I die.

  • barathchoudry Says:

    macbooks are extremely fine and i love my mac a lot.i bought it before a year and it still has any u apple!!!

  • Apple IS King! Says:

    I bought my first Mac Air 2012 a month ago…and I have the BEST user experience bar none…I used to own a crappy PC with crappier Windows Vista…and i had a hell of a time trying to get rid of all the viruses, the slowing down of this mediocre PC, all the crashes and the booting problems ad infinitum…now with my first Mac Air…I always enjoy browsing the internet and using my Mac all the time…kudod to Apple’s ever-superior technology and softwares!

  • Elizabeth Buthelezi Says:

    I love my iPad. the problem with the Mac is not user friendly, its difficult to use more especially if you are familiar with laptop s like Hp and acer and most of the technicians are afraid to help you with anything to do with apple laptop.. Apple apps are also expensive.

  • man and van Says:

    i just bought the retina display and it look great expensive but worth it the buy just for retina

  • Deepak Jain Says:

    i bought the Macbook Pro and so far it has been a revelation. my experience so far has been gr8. I guess i am still new to give a perspective, but i don’t regret it at all..

  • Roger Says:

    Please get your facts straight repliers. Microsoft Office IS available for Macs.

    Audio LINE IN on Apple laptops is available; you just can’t use audio out at the same time, as far as I know. A serious oversight by Apple, I agree. Very little room for that extra 1/8″ jack—I’d rather have a line-in jack and only one USB port, myself.

  • Mike Says:

    My family and I have one ipad,
    four ipods, three MacBook Pro laptops-(two)-15,�(one)-17″ plus a macbook laptop 15″ and an old G4 15″ macbook-
    I have had Apple products for years (1986) and we are all connected via Airport and share music and films from one data base…Apple is visionary and beautifully designed…and expensive…

    OK….so what? My computer is much less expensive than a car and much more reliable…but I need it as much…
    still price is a consideration….

    but then when you factor in all the problems Windows has …(yes I have used Windows 8 -same program, different graphics…still designed by right brained engineers)…..

    We have a Toshiba Laptop as well and it is a pain…not the least of which is the constant barrage of ads from suppliers like Norton …
    Toshiba bundled all this crap with their computer and eliminating it took me over a week and it keeps creeping back….

    I have had this one less than a year and it has been infected twice and crashed losing everything once….(no I did not eliminate the anti virus software…. it has Norton… but that does not stop them from trying to get me to add more via endless ads and updates that are ads in disguise…)

    Apple doesn’t put anything on their machines but an operating system and programs…no ads, nothing to remove

    and removing stuff from Windows means you have to have a programing degree just to find it…

    I spend more time on computers than almost anything else and I think Apple is worth the cost for the operating system alone plus you get to stay away from Microsoft….

    and finally I know the problems and I do not think the company is without fault ..but as products go in this world… Apple is extraordinary…I love their computers…expensive or not.

  • Jeff Isbell Says:

    RSS feeds must be subscribed to. That means that those of you complaining about RSS content or frequency have at some point either asked for the feed OR bought a computer with feeds already subscribed. You can find that list of feeds and just delete the ones you don’t want. By the way if you are concerned that no one is answering here from Apple, that’s probably because this is a space for commenting on the laptop article.

    Also, if I am wrong about something I said, just tell me. I’ll appreciate the instruction. I don’t claims to be an expert on all this, but my comments are my best understanding of the facts, and I’m just trying to help YOU.

  • Says:

    make it easy for us 65 old doctor please

  • BillG Says:

    My next laptop will be made by Apple – Windows 8 has been a total disaster!

  • Reza Ghayedi Says:

    I would like to have 2013.

  • joseph lionheart Says:

    till 98 apple “was� best, OS and Hardware. after G3 they become week and in 2002 they are totally dead. They couldnt reach the speed of PC and that’s why they joined intel family and took linux as a base operating system.

    now you are showing us an PC hardware with a Linux operating system and you claim that it is much better then brothers? well it’s not, my Macbook pro 2012 USB ports are dead, its not the host controller but the power supply doesn’t feed enough power to USB ports when I connect all ports, it gets disconnected time to time…

    apple? not again. thank you.

  • Blake Says:

    I got my first Laptop in 2008, it was an HP, worked great for about a year. After that the hard drive went crazy as well as the disc drive. I paid a guy to fix both issues, he assured me that both would work like new, that was a joke. I had it for about a week after it took him about two months to fix it. As soon as I turned it on it was doing some weird things. I turned it off and never touched it again. I got a 2006 MacBook in 2011 it worked and Still works great, no issues at all. I used it until this past January. I started saving up for a new MacBook Pro in September 2012, got the one I am currently using a week ago. All I can say is Mac is the only way to go with Laptops these days. The only draw back is the PRICE, but it is worth it in the end.

  • Tara Says:

    I have used PCs at work and home for twenty plus years and although getting used the mac takes some time I find Apple products superior in every way and I have been a PC snob for years. If, like me you need to run windows programs there are programs like Parallels that will allow you to run the windows programs simultaneously with the Mac OS. Windows 8 was the last straw for me. It is pervasive and intrusive and very commercial. My Mac Air is so light, easy to carry and a joy to use. Value? A new PC comes loaded with a plethora of junk software that requires effort to get rid of; a Mac comes loaded with free iLife software, calendar, contacts and mail programs and other apps that are very powerful. The software alone is worth the extra price. I used to think I couldn’t live with out MS Office, but since I have taken the time to view the free online tutorials on how to use Pages, numbers and Keynote, I realize they have greater functionality at a fraction of the price. For MS office I pay hundreds of dollars, for Works I pay 60 dollars. Also with PCs I have to buy Outlook for mail and contact management, with apple it all comes with the machine. And Apple products sync with my peripherals effortlessly. For me there is no comparison, Apple wins hands down. With Windows there is no support, with Apple I have great support that I don’t mind paying for.

  • David's review Says:

    I am a Mac user. Here is my review on the new Mac’s. I waited a long time for the new iMac to hit the market. Great reviews from PC Magazine. Don’t believe what you read. Here is where my nightmare begins. My old mac had viruses and contaminated my storage drive everything had to be removed and placed on the desktop of the new iMac. Took 2 weeks. I purchased an iMac on Dec.4,2012. I started with the audio part with garageband and Logic pro9. I could not get them to operate correctly even with Apple support, so I moved on to learn the new operating system. My next step was photography. I purchased Adobe Photoshop CS6 installed it and mastered that system. I then moved on to iMovie. I-Move did work if you don’t mind down grading your high definition videos to 720 in iMovie. I returned to the audio systems. What I found was that apple support was worthless and half the people did not know what they are doing. You have to continue to call back to find some one with a little knowledge. Their buss phase is that I have a learning curve even when addressed with a direct question. Finally I told them to make me an appointment with one of their geniuses. I took it to the Apple Store. The issue was the Mountain Lion OXS. The input microphone knob would not adjust. It was an engineering problem that is universal to all Macs. So they send me home with a Mac that was not working correctly. I was told to wait for an update. I waited for the update that never came. By this time I am very unhappy with Apple. I want my money back after more than 3 months of the Apple run around. After 3 store managers and the Store Leader they started to listen to the possibility of a law suit. I managed to get my computer info off of the new Mac into a safe storage. This took some doing considering I was building a new Mac system that could not be completed. Finally the store leader wanders off and comes back and says my $1555.00 had been returned. My accounts show nothing. I call the store leader. So he looks into it and calls my 15 year old daughter and asked her to relay the message that my money was returned to my account. ?????????? Hello!!!!!!!! After several calls to the Store Leader he could not explain where my $1555.00 went to. He told me to call 1-800-MYAPPLE. This took several tries of trying to get Apple financing and my bank on the phone together. I received my refund March 27,2013. Do the math. Is the story over? Not even close! In the mean time after being out of business with audio which is my main purpose for having the Mac. I had to get something up and running. So I bought a Toshiba laptop with windows8. I do not have adobe CS6 for windows. So I am test all new software for windows. This is an i7 with 8gig Ram. Seems to run very good with know problems. Fast and smooth, beautiful graphics=$800.00 I have been using Mac for a long time so it is hard to walk away . Abode will not refund CS6 so I am stuck with it and I have also been working with garage band for several years so I purchased a Mac mini as a secondary system. Guess what? It has the same problems as the iMac that have never been repaired. It has to go back. I have to add here that the mountain Lion after using it for a while is very quirky. Drop and drag will shoot off into the upper left hand corner. Applications just disappear from the desktop and not to mention the long term incompatibility issues that have always existed. This is a very poor machine. A note on the support issue for windows. This is not true. The support is better for windows you just have to purchase it just as you do from Apple Care. I found the Geek Squad to be much better than Apple Care. Apple works in a very limited box. Why can they say their OSX is easier? When you are in a box of incompatibility you have less to choose from. So it is easier. Well, just do without or get windows also. It is March 28, 2013 and this Mac mini has to go back with no resolve to the issues that Mac has caused. I do want to draw your attention to the fact that Apples Mountain Lion OSX has been out now for quite a while and this issue has not been repaired at least on the to machines that I purchased and many others that I know of. There have been no call backs on these products , Rather they dodge and postpone hoping you are ignorant of the issues. I have to question Apples tactics. From my experience I do not see them as a reputable company. This is not an isolated incident. My first iMac has another long story behind it. Listen for the Apple buzz phases they use to blow you off to dodge and postpone. Here’s one. We can’t do anything. It’s not a hard ware issue. Maybe someone should tell Apple that the software is the engine and without it the hardware is a pile of junk. I have heard these phases for years. Apple is now the secondary system for me but I can’t find one that works properly. I am looking to possibly find programs that will reformat my old Mac work. Here is my review in a nutshell. The Apple graphics are better at this point if you can watch HD all the time. Reality! Probably 80% of what we watch is not in HD. Just watch Youtube or old movies. The great screen is still marginal and incompatible with most of the market place. You will see what you get. Mountain Lion OSX is quirky and unstable at times. Audio, un repaired issues garageband and Logic Pro 9 do not work correctly. Logic Pro 9 is not a stable system either. Is has latency issues. In short tempo problems. You have to adjust it. This is not good. iMovie does not work with high definition. Get out your pocketbook. It’s going to cost you. The i5 will be out dated very soon. Get out your pocketbook. Apple’s claim is that they are the best OSX in the world. Take a close look. I was convinced that I needed thunderbolt and it was in my budget to support. I was forced into using USB 3.0 to transfer 10 years of work from the iMac desktop to storage 500 gigabit about 2 hours. Thunderbolt for most of us is not necessary. Just over kill. I pull large photo file from storage with no delay. When the market is ready for that kind of speed I am sure the market place will come out with USB 4.0. I am a long time user of both Mac and windows. I hope this helps you to sort through the never ending issues of the computer market place. Thanks for reading.

  • Carl Says:

    I just bought an iMac because I am so tired of my PCs trashing and operating slowly. I’m not sure about the iMac especially because of the higher cost, but decided to give it a try after using the PC for over 20 years.

  • Apple IS King! Says:

    David’s review–a bunch of BS, paid apple troll from copycat samesung!

  • LOLing at David's review Says:

    � The input microphone knob would not adjust. It was an engineering problem that is universal to all Macs.�

    What model Mac, exactly, is the one that comes with a “microphone knob�?

  • SargeV Says:

    David’s review was quite interesting. I am using a Toshiba laptop which is not that impressive. The problems are continuous and the speakers have a tendency to create a high pitched sound requiring the use of headphones. I really do not care what other people use but I know what works for me. I have had the good fortune to use a Mac for a short while about 4 years ago and I must say that I would rather have a Mac. They may be more expensive but my experience is you get what you pay for. On that note David’s review was just a lot of BS. I do not believe most of what he says because it contradicts my experience and the mention of a � microphone knob� pretty much sums it up. David, you were either paid or you are just a liar. In either case You convinced me of nothing. I am on a fixed income but I will get a Mac somehow before I die. It was the only computer that brought me pure joy in using it. To me that is priceless.

  • Bob Says:

    Microphone knob? Really?

  • Lynne Filton Says:

    I bought the 2013 – 15 Mac Pro 2.7g with Retina Display – about one month ago – I have window 8 installed in it also. I can go back and forth between Mac and Windows with a program called Parallel.

    So far I really like it.

    BUT the 2013 model not longer has the CD/DVD player – I don’t recall seeing that addressed anywhere.

    I had to buy a Super Drive attachment for CD/DVD use. I know they are ‘fazing out’ the CD’s and DVD’s – but I still would have liked to have it in the computer.


    i heard of Mac for 10 yrs before i bought one. 13 in MacBook Pro. Could not ask for a better machine. Bought iPhones from 1-5 love it bought iPad 1 liked it bought i pad 3 good for my real estate business. bought iMac 27 in works well in business 2 yrs ago. I am thinking of buying the new iMac 21 in for home. Will never own another pc

  • Jim Archibald Says:

    Just a point on durability, two years ago I accidentally dropped my Macbook Pro onto a concrete floor from a height of about 4 feet. it landed on its edge, result, small ding on the edge of the screen housing. Started it up and it ran fine and has done for the last two years with no issues. Value: priceless!
    Oh, Dave you’ll find the volume control knob under the desktop!

  • drdj Says:

    i love apple. i’ve been using it for 2 years now. but this rating goes a little exaggerated . haha ! i love apple! but upgrading every time is not a way to thanks apple. we need to use mind, not blindly believe things

  • roband1959 Says:

    It all depends on what you do, how passionate you are about it and how badly you need to have the latest and greatest. That is a Mac Pro w/RD. It is clean, concise, futuristic, awesome, fast, quiet, without viruses, without costly software and a huge software market designed for the MacPro and Mac Air.

    I have been a PC person for almost twenty years, my first was a Gateway desktop with a 25″ monitor, $2,000, thought I was styling…that was in 1999, six Dell Laptops later and thousands of dollars in programs, virus removal and protection, replaced hard drives, motherboards, and keys I moved to the dark side…MAC.

    Yes, it is much more expensive but, I feel safe and have a wonderful synced system with my iPad and iPhone. Whatever I need I have immediately. Take a chance and come on over to the Dark Side with the rest of the world – MAC is the place to be, definitely!!!!!

  • John Says:

    Regarding David’s rather hysterical rant, since when has there been a ‘input microphone knob’ on a Mac? I’ve used dozens of models since 1985 and the only ‘knob’ I can remember was the headphone and speaker volume control on some of the REALLY early models.

    And his old Mac had viruses! That stopped him copying his files to his new iMac! For two weeks!


    What ‘viruses’ were they David? The last genuine viruses that caused any sort of problem were on Mac System 7 way back in 1991. By the launch of System 8 in 1997 and OS 9 in 1999, the 24 or so Mac viruses were virtually eliminated. So, David, are you saying that you were not running AV at this time?

    Jump forward to Mac OS X and it is a utterly different OS, based on UNIX. David, the old Mac viruses can’t run on UNIX, so they ‘CAN’T’ have slowed you down. There are STILL no viruses for Mac OS X, despite all the ‘security’ companies frantically bigging up any security scares. The only problems have been a few poorly written Trojans (which are not viruses) and the usual problems with Flash and Java, which both have little or nothing to do with the OS. Since OS X was introduced the only valid reason for having AV on it is to capture all the Windows viruses that are embedded in emailed MS Office files and which the Mac can quite innocently pass on to another PC user 100% without harm to themselves.

    Ranters like you, and if your post above is anything to go by you use similar tactics dealing with people, really have no right to advise anyone on how to polish their shoes let alone make decisions on computers they will have to invest money in.

  • Kelly Says:

    I used to have Dell laptop w Vista & it crashes 3 times. I got tired of it I bought macbook pro and never look back.
    No more PC in my house they are all junks.

  • John Says:

    Not another Apple fanboy site, at least compare the laptop with the same price. The windows latop are all $600 whipe the macbook pro is at least $1000-$2000. Bias.

  • Mac Hater Says:

    “Yes, Mac bad, PC good. Yes, OS X inferior, Windows superior.� Mindless troglodytes. Know what? Walk into any creative department worth its salt in the year 2013, and you’ll find nothing but iMacs, MacBook Pros, iPads and iPhones as far as the proverbial eye can see – ’nuff said. You get what you pay for. Your arguments are tantamount to comparing an Audi A4 to a Chevy Volt.

  • Mac Hater Says:

    As an aside, I’m channeling Borat: “All other PCs … have inferior potassium.�

  • Steve S Says:

    In halfhearted defense of David, I believe he must have been talking about some skeuomorpohic virtual “knob� within Garage Band or Logic Pro. I am not a user of either of these programs, so I am just guessing from the context of his difficult-to-read rant. My $0.02.

  • Drew B Says:

    I got to this page via a link on Apples website not a RSS- I never had a RSS issue I didn’t subscrib to with my mac.

    At home I have both Mac(2) and non-Mac(5) computers as well as droid(2) and IOS devices(6)

    The bottom line is that Apple just gets what the user experance needs to be!
    And they delivers it better than anyone else- hey they have OS issues but like a couple of % of window based issues.

    What good is a little faster, bigger, cheaper etc if it’s a PITA to use?
    I drive a car that most may think is exsesive, yet it puts a smile on my face even driving down to the 7 Eleven – the user experance is where its at.

    I’m not anti-MS as I have a software company that makes only native MS solutions for large enterprises. I have a MSDN subscription that entitlies me to use just about any software MS made, way back to DOS ;-) .
    But when it comes to everyday use of a computer it’s mac all the way. And yes there is MS Office for the Mac- use it everyday.

    I go to a windows box maybe every couple of weeks instead of using the windows VM slice on my mac because it have some program I can no longer get ,upgrade or care to allacate the resources on the Mac VM.

    Someone posted that
    “Walk into any creative department worth its salt in the year 2013, and you’ll find nothing but iMacs, MacBook Pros, iPads and iPhones as far as the proverbial eye can see – ’nuff said.�

    I don’t agree because this is too limiting-
    Walk into the HQ of GE, Comcast, Symantec to name a few and you will be surprised at how many of the staff are using Mac’s instead of windows units- from admins to the C level, Mac’s are slowly being adopted by corporate users when given the choice.

  • Steven Luce Says:

    @wolfgang schwarz … Thunderbolt.

  • Drew B Says:

    I use a 2011 i7 MacBook Pro 15″ and this past Xmas got a i7 Mac min $800, I installed 16GB of Ram for $90.
    Bought it to be the house media server but after hooking up a dell 24″ LED I use it as a desktop as well, as fast as any Dell I have

  • kreme Says:

    Interesting post there David. Next time consider separating your paragraphs so it’s easier to read. I gave up halfway because it was too hard on my eyes. Not to mention that I feel your issues are isolated.

    I’ve been a jumper for the past 20 years. Mac/PC… For the most part, I loved my PCs and the Macs never wowed me. When Snow Leopard came out, I sat on the fence and danced between the two a little more than I did in the past. I had a Mac Mini and a 13″ Macbook Pro, as well as an HP tower and laptop, and one that I built myself. They ran (and still run) Windows. For the most part, I ran Windows on my Macs too. Mostly because I couldn’t give up many of my PC programs at the time. I believed I couldn’t live without them.

    Jump closer to the present. Lion came out. I liked it, but it was still lacking in something I couldn’t put my finger on. Regardless, I splurged for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and vowed that I wouldn’t run any MS software. Ironically, I was under the impression that I could not live without Office, but I was on a mission to get away from having to call MS every time I reformatted or whatever it was that I did. I made this decision with most PC software. I’ve had enough of draconian DRM. I experiment with my machines. I take them apart, put them back together, upgrade, build, etc, and I shouldn’t have to feel guilty or penalized for doing it since I do it only for myself.

    Now we’re at Mountain Lion. Once given the time, I can’t say there is anything that MS produces that I feel the need for anymore (other than a legacy game I still love to play from time to time on my Win 7 Partition). Everyone has their niche in life. Windows 8 wasn’t mine and it helped make my decision easier; so did my iPad.

    I love the seamless integration between all my iDevices. It’s something I’d been dreaming of for the last 20 years and Apple met my expectations. If MS had gotten there first, I might be saying something different. I’m not sure. All I do know is that I don’t like the direction MS has taken. I wanted to though.

    Anyway, I’ve had issues with both PCs and Macs. Neither one is perfect. I’ve dealt with customer and technical service on both sides. There’s a reason I learned everything there is to learn about fixing my own PCs. My experiences have led me down that path. As for the Macs. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a few issues here and there and I’ve taken my Macs to the Apple store on occasion and I’d take them back if I had to. The people were friendly and seemed like they had a passion for what they did. This alone is enough to make me want to go back. Apple has always been good at replacing my products too. I wouldn’t say they are perfect, but I’ll continue to pay the premium due to the fact that I feel like I’m paying for a lot more than just the Mac.

    I have the convenience of the Cloud and the app store; a beautiful machine. I can open some of them myself and upgrade them if/when I choose. I don’t have to call Apple every time I want to re-install my OS or my Office software. When I buy a new iDevice, my documents are ready to work with and my software is waiting for me and all I have to do is download it; no questions asked. I’ve found alternatives that work better for me in the long run. I’m not saying I can’t upgrade a PC if I want to. What I am saying is that Apple has made my experiences far more positive than Windows ever did.

  • 08140791930 Says:

    Fine apple


    Whew,……all these reviews are making my head spin. Such a controversy. I have only ever owned PC’s. I have worked on them, dismantled them, upgraded them, have worked on music projects on them, have done a load of business on them, and recently i’ve grown so weary of the instability. When I buy something I just want it to work like expected! No slowing up, no viruses, no barrage of ads, upgradability, or at least not have to be upgraded so soon.

    I have been using my roommates MAC 15 PRO now off and on for about 6 months, and I can clearly tell that it is a wonderful machine. Every time I turn it on it gives me exacty what I expect. Reliable, fast, glitch free, smooth typing operation, quiet as a church mouse, no overheating. The trackpad and gestures took some getting used to, but in the end, I love it so much more that the old 2 button clickity clack.

    The price seems sooo high though. Couldn’t they make the price to the consumer lower? I mean, since it is packed with similar technology as other equipment. I think that Apple is kinda greedy, and won’t justify their high cost (not that in a free market it’s a requirement or anything). I think that they make a superior product in a lot of aspects, but I’m not sure exacty what machine I can compare it to in the same price range.

    The main thing that SCARES me about Apple products is that they are mostly only compatible with other Apple products. Where is the free enterprise? Like, why can’t you sync other products with Apple stuff, like my Samsung smartphone. It wont read it at all, even as an external hard drive. I find so much product diversity at reasonable prices in companies like Samsung, I’m not sure I’m ready to give that up all together.

    I am really on the fence here, but want to move in the way of progress and ease of use, as well as the ability to customize.

    Another thing, why is Apple for all it’s glory not in the TOUCH SCREEN game like Windows 8?
    That is really concerning to me, because I don’t want to get caught up in the typical buy an Apple product, then have to go out and buy a replacement one in 6 months because it has 1 new feature whirlwind!!!!! I really wish that Apple would put it’s BEST technological feet forward ALL the time, and deliver products that not only last, but are packed with ALL of the features the competition has to offer (IN A TIMELY FASHION).

    Now that would make most peoples decision much easier, and convert many more a lot faster, although I suppose they wouldn’t be able to milk every dollar out of their loyal followers every 6 months. Sad But True

    Throw me a bone here Apple, i’m trying!!!!!

  • Rose Says:

    It is said that a secret organization named the Church of Almighty God incite to boycott the Apple product and to attack the people who buy the Apple product in China.
    It is said that the organization is a group with a strong hate to the America.

  • Geri O Says:

    Man, what an interesting display of responses.

    First, a Macbook may not be very user-friendly…to a Windows user. Stop treating the Mac like a Windows machine.

    Second, if you do anything seriously with audio, you’ll use a USB preamp, NOT any crappy line in. And if you want to make the next step, use the USB preamp’s output. You can hear a considerable difference in quality. This applies to any computer, not just Macs. Pretty silly to lay lousy sound quality on a Mac’s line in or line out when this is the case.

    Oh, and Rose…Check the Earth’s orbit. You’ll probably find That church’s leader in a spaceship up there. And China is a lot easier to see from space than the USA. At least that’s what _they_ say…:o))

    Geri O

  • Geri O Says:

    Oh, and David…You owe me the 3 minutes I wasted reading that, what, review???

    Geri O

  • 50frames Says:

    I got the 15 in macbook pro with retina display in Oct of 2012 and love it! Was an adjustment period from my Sony Vaios that I’ve had for years but once I got all the apps/software I needed and also got Win7 running in parallel for some software that doesn’t come in Mac version, life was good. I run a video editing business and was desperate for a laptop that has enough juice to handle high def video editing. No other laptop available off the shelf was powerful enough for this purpose and I needed a machine instantly as I was struggling with a deadline and a slow Vaio that kept crashing. Walked into the Apple store and 20 mins later walked out with the solution to all my problems and a savior for my business. It was expensive, very expensive!, but not significanlty more expensive than if I was to get a comparable Sony or other machine…but these were not available off the shelf whereas the Mac was, and frankly, I think it’s a better machine in terms of lightness and battery life and display. My one complaint is the DVD burner not being included in the package…fair enough it’s not installed in the computer itself as people don’t use DVD burners very often anymore but you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it after buying such an expensive laptop already. Haven’t had any crashes or dramas. I also have an iPhone 5 and iPad2 and all the devices integrate together so well. Thanks Apple and keep making the fun products.

  • kreme Says:

    @Pocket Protector:

    The feature whirlwind you speak of is superficial at best. It generally only matters to a person if it’s something they’ve been waiting for and it just came out after a major purchase. The number of complaints you’ll see online is nothing compared to the satisfied silent majority, and for the most part, most people will get over it. I personally don’t find Apple’s turnaround any more extreme than anyone else’s.

    As for touch screens. Is it really important to you when it comes to a laptop or tower? Would you be just as happy (or happier) with a Wacom tablet that is more precise and mature in this area? Or are you referring to a tablet where touch, weight, convenience, and portability is important? I’m just curious. Most people may not feel that touch capabilities are as important on an upright screen as it would be on a tablet or a convertible device.

    I only bring this up because I’ve had convertible laptops in the past. I thought they were revolutionary and that I would utilize them for all they were worth. When I look back, I rarely used the stylus and touch capabilities due to its cumbersome nature on a device of its size and weight. I’m also not inclined to reach up to my screen if I don’t have to. I don’t see a reason or a need for it. Since I’ve already been there, I’ve come to realize that ‘touch’ is not as necessary as I once thought it was. I do enjoy my iPad though–that’s the only place I’ve found where touch makes it more useful. It has more to do with design than the fact that it appears as if it’s the latest thing.

    I can’t fully justify Apple’s cost in words, except to say that I feel their machines are better built and that most machines I’ve found of similar design and spec are often the same price or higher. It’s easy to say that you did your research on a mac vs PC and that there is no justification, but once you’ve opened a Mac Pro and replaced/added hard drives and Ram, you will see where the premium is justified. Same goes for the Macbook Pros (not the retinas). When I purchased my Macbook Air, all the other PCs that were similar in design and spec were the same price or higher. The only difference I see is that I can buy a cheap PC that appears to have similar specs, but once owned for a while and upgraded/fixed/etc from time to time, I started to realize that shortcuts were taken to bring that price down.

    I won’t deny that PC’s appear cheaper and that they’re the way to go if you’re a gamer or you just want to surf the web and check your email. In all honesty, if that is all you’re going to do, why spend more? I will deny that it’s cheaper in other areas once you add the cost of a copy of Windows and MS Office (if they’re not included and you need them). There are other higher cost PC software that will also fall into play if it’s necessary to you. This is all subjective on your intended use. All Macs come with a copy of Garage Band, iPhoto, and iMovie. This is included in the price of a Mac and these apps would add to the cost of a PC if you added programs with similar functionality onto a Windows machine. These are not areas I dabble in, but they may matter to someone who has an interest. Macs also come with programming and disc creation software built in. This would also cost you in the long run if they were of interest to you. If not, there is no argument regarding the cost of the better computer and it comes down to preference.

    I disagree that Macs are a closed, Apple-only, environment. In today’s world, anything goes. I can work on a Mac and pick up where I left off on a Windows machine (even a Linux machine), and vice-versa. Dropbox and Skydrive make moving files around much easier than it was in the past, and for me, a Word document is a Word document, regardless of what I’m using to create or edit it in. Apple’s Cloud is surprisingly friendly and easy to use on a PC, and skydrive is just as friendly on a Mac. None of these companies want to lose out. They want their share, regardless of what you’re using.

    Your photo issue with your Samsung is the same as my issue with my iPhone though. I’m not satisfied with Apple’s methods when it comes to putting photos onto my Macs. They don’t make it easy or straightforward for their own devices. This makes me refer back to the previous paragraph. Apple is not as closed as one might think. They’re just… different. One workaround is to use iPhoto to import your pictures. This may or may not work for your device. I’m also going to assume that you’re using an Android OS on your Samsung. If not, I know we can install Skydrive and grab pictures from it–that may solve your issue if it’s a Windows 8 phone. Otherwise, perhaps Google has an app for the Mac OSX that would make this easier? I’m not sure, but it is something I would look into. I wish there were an easier way, but this is not so that Apple can restrict the user to Apple-only devices, that much I know of for sure.

    I hope this helps clear things up for you. I’ve been a user of both for over 20 years and I find pros and cons to both. Anyone that says there isn’t a learning curve is out of touch with reality. You just need to give whatever you choose the time of day to learn what it can really do and what it will really cost you in the long run. Hopefully, it will work out for you in the end.

  • concerned citizen Says:

    I almost vomitted when i read your “value and selection� section. Please educate yourself of the product and company you are reviewing before talking about something you obviously know nothing about. I’m a designer. I demand professional grade equipment and performance so that I can create a professional product. If I wanted a piece of shit for $500, I would buy one. I don’t want a piece of shit, so I’m thankful that apple doesn’t listen to your retarded advice, and continues to make computers for people who can appreciate and respect professional grade / high-end products.

  • Abbas Says:

    The real problems with Mac are…
    1) It is expensive and technology keeps changing every other day.
    2) Pirated software can’t be used and in a developing country, it is almost impossible for general public to purchase original software (as it is super expensive). I do not like to use the pirated ones but again I do not have money to purchase the original ones.

  • Jonathan Says:

    As usual the iHating trolls are out in full force.

    If you value your time and factor that into your purchase, then Apple is the only game in town. Sure you can get a $500 laptop, built of plastic, using substandard parts, and installed with an OS that will eventually become bogged-down and virus infested. The amount of lost productivity over its life is just too much.

    Or you can buy a Mac and use it as the tool it is designed to be. Fast, light, built like a tank, and has the rock-solid OSX. Heck, it even runs Windows flawlessly. I run windows on my mac in a virtual machine. Best Windows laptop I’ve ever owned.

    Trolls here just can’t get past that part. You get what you pay for. Thank goodness Apple doesn’t listen to these people. Just keep cranking out great machines Apple. You have nothing to worry about.

  • Godfather1013 Says:

    All this controversy and passion! I can make a couple of points, but I will tell a short story first. I bought a Dell, brand new, back in ’01. My first computer. It was fast and did what I needed it to do, for a short time. Then, the internet connection crashed. I spent a day and a half on the phone with someone in India, trying different things, being disconnected several times, sometimes purposely, I believe. Dell’s tech insisted it was my provider, they insisted it was Dell’s problem. Finally, it was determined that it was, indeed, Dell’s problem. Being new to the computer world at the time, I was hesitant about doing any changes to the settings myself, but the tech walked me through it, and that problem was resolved. Two weeks later, the hard drive crashed. Since it was under warrantee, they sent someone to replace the hard drive… a week later.

    Every time I had a problem with the Dell, it was a hassle getting help with it. When the computer became infected with a virus after several other problems, it just stopped working and finding someone qualified to rid the damned thing of the virus at a reasonable cost proved almost impossible, so we bought our first iMac G5. A revelation! Gone was the tower that took up so much space. Gone was the old CRT monitor. In it’s place was this beautifully designed, slim, all in one monitor/computer. It was easy to use and get used to. There are plenty of on-line tutorials to help you out. After a year, the hard drive crashed. I thought that this would be a hassle, but no, there was an Apple store nearby, and when I took it there, I was treated like I mattered and the tech listened to my problem. They took the computer, and in two days, I had it back with apologies for the problem. The service was outstanding. The Apple personnel enthusiastic and helpful. They never talked down to me, again, treating me like I mattered.
    Since that time, we have made the switch to Apple completely. We have a 2011 iMac that is great. I recently upped the RAM myself. I just switched from my 2011 MacBook 13 inch, to a brand new 2013 MacBook Pro 15 inch. All of my data flowed effortlessly from the old to the new. I have access to my files on the iMac, and all of my calendars in the iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and iPad are synched, as are my photos, music and files.
    Yes, I have become an ‘Apple Scruff�. to steal from George Harrison’s song. I am impressed by the quality and almost trouble-free operation of all of their products. More than once, I have called the techs and with a question and not been asked for a credit card. I am very happy with my switch from the PC world to Apple. Apple haters can spew at me all that they want…. I am happy with my investments.
    Do I wish that Apple products would cost less? Of course I do! Would I trade the quality for a cheaper price? No, because in the long run, cheaper ends up costing more. I am not wealthy, so I save for each new item well in advance, but I am willing to do so because I believe in Apple as a corporation.

  • Godfather1013 Says:

    I’m sorry that my story wasn’t short, but I get carried away when writing about things that I believe in.

  • jim hunt Says:

    i have had a few macs now. Apple are not infallible but i think i can sum it up thus. When i used PCs, i found i spent more time tinkering with the damn things to keep them running than being productive. this was in the old days when windows was a complete hackers dream system. I tried going back to PCs when i was short of cash at upgrade time, never again. Oh and after leaving my 12 year old daughter and her friend alone with my new Imac, i came back to find they had used imovie to create a home movie using the inbuilt webcam, been online and found sound effects. With out any prior knowledge or assistance.

    there is too much cheap stuff in the world.

  • Ian Palmer Says:

    I am a responsible computer user and have been for 20 years. EVERY SINGLE PC over three years old I have ever used has had some major issue and ended up being so slow that wastes so much time it is counter productive to use. I have owned three macs since 2001 (currently a macbook pro), I have never installed anti virus, never had a break down, never failed to boot up, never had a problem EVER.

    Macs are not cheap but they are certainly fantastic value. They are also extremely easy to navigate around, updates are seamless and can run any software you want now. Great re-sale value, a fine investment.

  • The Best Way to Unlock Your iPhone 5

    The Best Way to Unlock Your iPhone 5

    The most popular and quickest selling iPhone to emerge from Cupertino, California tech giant Apple is the iPhone 5. Many users have purchased the device, which is the first 4G LTE capable Apple smartphone, through their carriers at choices of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB in black or white and have been very pleased with it. However, things happen and people may want to take their iPhone 5 to a new carrier, perhaps one that runs on a prepaid network so they can save money on expensive mobile phone plans. This option is not possible unless the individual has their iPhone 5 unlocked via IMEI unlocking.

    IMEI unlocking is a safe and legal way to unlock an iPhone 5. Individuals who bought their phone through AT&T Wireless in the United States or at other carriers across the world can quickly and easily have their iPhone 5 unlocked through an online service called AT&T Unlock iPhone. In fact, not only can a user unlock their iPhone 5, but they can unlock essentially any generation of Apple”s smartphone that was purchased locked to a carrier.

    The process of IMEI unlocking is simpler than one might think. Visit attunlockiphone. The next step toward unlocking the iPhone is to locate the IMEI number. To do that, access the phone app and its keyboard, then dial *#06#. The iPhone”s 15 digit IMEI number will then be displayed on the screen. Another way to do this is to go to “Settings,” “General” and choose “About.” The IMEI number is displayed on the “About” screen.

    The next step is to select the network on which the iPhone 5 is currently running from a dropdown menu on the AT&T Unlock iPhone page. This menu is near the bottom of the page beside a button entitled “Unlocked Now.” There is a fee beside each choice that the user is required to pay. This is legal as consumers are required to pay for an unlock code when they choose to unlock their phone through their carrier.

    The unlock code will then come to the individual via email. It is then possible to unlock the phone. To do that, the user should access “Settings,” go to “General” and select “Reset all settings.” Afterward, the iPhone should be connected to iTunes via its connector to the computer from which it syncs. iTunes will then provide the user with a message that says, “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked.”

    However, there is another way to IMEI unlock an iPhone 5 via AT&T. To do this, all that is needed is that the device be connected to iTunes straight away, without obtaining an unlock code. The unlock method is easy. iTunes version 10.7 is the latest version required for the process.

    Once iTunes recognizes your iPhone, the user should click the name of the device at the left side of the screen. He or she will then be brought to a screen that gives options of checking for an update or restoring the iPhone to its original settings. The latter should be selected, and then a message stating, “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” will appear. The user can then insert a nano SIM card of their choice into the phone to use it on said carrier. AT&T iPhone 5 can easily be used with T-Mobile.

    Can the iPad Rescue a Struggling American Education System?

    Illustration: Alex Washburn/Wired. Photo: Kajojak/Flickr

    Matthew Stoltzfus could never get his students to see chemistry like he sees chemistry until he added a digital component to his lesson plan.

    Stoltzfus, a chemistry lecturer at Ohio State University, struggled for years to bring complex chemical equations to life on the blackboard, but always saw students’ eyes glaze over. Then he added animations and interactive media to his general chemistry curriculum. Suddenly, he saw students’ faces light up in understanding.

    “When I see a chemical reaction on a piece of paper, I don’t see coefficients and symbols, I see a bucket of molecules reacting,� Stoltzfus said. “But I don’t think our students see that big bucket of molecules. We can give students a better idea of what’s happening at a molecular level with animations and interactive elements.�

    And many such students are getting this multi-faceted education on tablets. Tablets are reinventing how students access and interact with educational material, and how teachers assess and monitor students’ performance at a time when many schools are understaffed and many classrooms overcrowded. Millions of grade school and university students worldwide are using iPads to visualize difficult concepts, revisit lectures on their own time and augment lessons with videos, interactive widgets and animations.

    “In the shift to digital, it’s not just about replacing textbooks but inventing new ways of learning,� Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said. “Some of the education apps being developed for iPad are approaching learning in an entirely new way, and that’s exciting.�

    Sallie Severns, founder and CEO of iOS app Answer Underground, told Wired that tablets’ simplicity, ease of use and the massive range of academically minded applications available are drawing teachers and educational technologists to the platform in droves.

    Tablet-based learning is no longer the niche it was a year or two ago when we saw a handful of early adopters jump on board with iPad pilot studies in selected grades and classrooms. Schools and teachers are embracing the technology in a big way. A Pew study of 2,462 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers nationwide found that 43 percent have students complete assignments using tablets in the classroom. A PBS LearningMedia study found 35 percent of K-12 teachers surveyed nationwide have a tablet or e-reader in their classroom, up from 20 percent a year ago.

    The iPad is the most popular tablet option among educators. Apple sold 4.5 million of them to schools and other educational institutions nationwide last year (it sold 8 million internationally), up from 1.5 million in 2011.

    Tablets have proven especially popular in elementary education, and they’ve been a “revolution� for kids younger than 8 because they’re fun and intuitive, said Sara DeWitt, Vice President at PBS KIDS Digital. The taps and swipes are easy to learn, so kids spend more time learning their lessons, not their hardware.

    “The iPad has given us an opportunity to make technology transparent,� she said. “The touchscreen interface is so much more natural than a mouse and keyboard, kids can jump right in.�

    That said, there’s more to using a tablet in the classroom than handing them out at the door.

    Teachers and school district administrators must decide how to best integrate them into the curriculum, considering things like the number of tablets per classroom, which grades receive them first, what content is accessed, and when.

    “How tablets are integrated into classrooms is key to success,� Severns said. “Planning, preparation, implementation and evaluating apps are key to using this new technology.� While adoption is broad, the ways educators are using them varies from class to class, school to district.

    Apple’s iTunes U is one tool making iPad-based course integration easier by helping teachers create and curate a wholly digital curriculum. Teachers can pack iBooks textbooks (including titles from major publishers like McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), audio and video, documents, and even iOS apps into a single package that students navigate as they progress through the course.

    When it launched in 2007, iTunes U was a source for audio and video lectures students could use on their iPods, but Apple introduced a new app in January 2012 that leveraged the capabilities of the iPhone and iPad, adding in iOS apps, iBooks, and video to the mix. Downloads have topped 1 billion, and iTunes U is used by more than 1,200 colleges and universities and more than 1,200 K-12 schools and districts.

    Severns said iTunes U is “paving the way for how educators teach and students learn� because it allows for unprecedented ease in distributing and accessing academic content. Simply log on and it’s there.

    Still, it can be easier or more beneficial, particularly in K-12 classrooms, for teachers to just round up a collection of dedicated apps (there are more than 75,000 education related apps in the App Store) for students to use. There, tablets are often supplementary rather than being used for the bulk of coursework, so a full blown iPad-based course (like with iTunes U) isn’t necessary. Tablet time is often a reward, where students will get to play a game that isn’t just fun, it’s building on skills and concepts they’re focusing on in class. iOS has built-in controls that can let teachers lock an iPad into a single app and place restrictions on functions like browser access to ensure kids are learning, and not goofing off.

    Third party apps also can take advantage of the social networking opportunity inherent to mobile devices. Students can ask questions of each other and the teacher, something Severns said is absolutely necessary to ensure everyone understand the information.

    Stoltzfus, the chemistry lecturer in Ohio, said the social networking aspect allows him to poll students mid-lecture to determine how well they’re understanding the topic. He can adjust his lesson on the fly, which he said is “where tablets can really really help us in terms of progressing in pedagogy.�

    We are approaching the day when tablets won’t be an option, but a requirement.
    Arkansas State University, for example, requires all incoming freshman to have their own iPad. Many similar policies.

    But as tablet adoption proliferates amongst those students and schools with the money to buy the devices, low income students and cash-strapped schools may be left behind. That could deepen the divide between those with access to the latest learning tools and those with traditional technology and limited Internet access.

    We’re seeing this kind of segregation already, but some of it is self-imposed. Many college freshmen, for example, are using iPads in class while many upperclassmen prefer their laptops or even pen and paper for coursework.

    “Five years from now when young students come into college, the expectation is going to be a lot different than it is now. They’ll be used to using tablets in middle and high school,� Stoltzfus said. “We have to be the ones that are pushing the limits.�

    Apple Launches iBookstore in Japan

     TOKYO―March 6, 2013―Apple® today announced the launch of the iBookstore℠ in Japan featuring titles from major and independent publishers, including a great selection of books from Kodansha, KADOKAWA, Bungeishunju, Gakken and Gentosha. The iBookstore has a wide selection of emerging and established authors including Shyotaro Ikenami, Jiro Akagawa, Atsuko Asano and Ryu Murakami. The iBookstore in Japan is the best way for book lovers to browse, buy and read books on iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®.

    “We’re excited to launch the iBookstore in Japan with a wide selection of Japanese publishers and authors,� said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We think customers are going to love how engaging and interactive the books are to read, and how beautiful they look on iPad.�

    “We’re thrilled to have our books on the iBookstore,� said Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, Chairman of KADOKAWA Group Holdings. “More than anything, I think it’s great the iBookstore lets us offer our readers a wide variety of reading experiences that they can’t have anywhere else and that they can only have on their iOS device.�

    iBookstore customers can choose from a wide selection of enhanced books that look incredible on iPad, as well as digitally exclusive titles including Ryu Murakami’s fiction novels “At the Airport,� “Exodus of Middle-School Students� and “I’ll Always Be With You, Always,� which has interactive emails in each chapter to bring you even deeper into the story.

    “I’m excited to offer three of my works exclusively on the iBookstore, and hope that readers love them as much as I do,� said author, novelist and filmmaker Ryu Murakami. “As an author and Apple user for 20 years, the arrival of the iBookstore allows me to tell stories in a way you simply can’t in a physical book.�

    Beloved children’s books including “Piyo-chan: A Letter for Piyo� come to life with interactivity, transitions and audio, while new favorites including “Toy Story 3: So Long Partner� let readers easily read aloud at their own pace.

    “We couldn’t be more excited about how incredible ‘Piyo-chan: A Letter for Piyo’ looks on the iBookstore,� said Hiroaki Miyahara, President and Representative Director of Gakken Holdings. “We’ve taken this beloved Japanese children’s book and made it more engaging with gorgeous animations and interactivity that makes learning more fun.�

    Cookbooks are even more useful on the iBookstore with titles such as “I Love Cheesecakes!� from culinary specialist Kiyomi Ishizawa that allows cooks to easily search recipes and ingredients. Additionally, the iBookstore offers best-selling fiction novels including “Sora-Tobu Kouhoushitsu� by Hiro Arikawa, “Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu� by Nagaru Tanigawa, and “Tenchi Meisatsu� by Tow Ubukata. Also available for purchase and download on the iBookstore are world-renowned Manga titles including Eiichiro Oda’s “ONE PIECE,� Mari Yamazaki’s “THERMAE ROMAE� and Hirohiko Araki’s full color version of “JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE� Part 4, which is digitally exclusive on the iBookstore.

    The iBookstore is available in 51 countries and offers hundreds of categories including cookbooks, history books, biographies, picture books and children’s books with free books available in 155 countries. The iBooks® app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has been downloaded 130 million times worldwide.

    Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

    Press Contacts:
    Christine Monaghan
    (408) 974-8850

    Tom Neumayr
    (408) 974-1972

    Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iBookstore, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    iTunes U Content Tops One Billion Downloads

    CUPERTINO, California―February 28, 2013―Apple® today announced that iTunes U® content downloads have topped one billion. iTunes U features the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent libraries, museums and organizations helping educators create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for iOS users around the world.

    “It’s inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U,� said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before―there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn.�

    More than 1,200 universities and colleges, and 1,200 K-12 schools and districts host over 2,500 public and thousands of private courses encompassing the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more. Leading universities including Duke, Yale, Cambridge, MIT and Oxford continue to extend their reach by enrolling more than 100,000 students in single iTunes U courses, with Stanford University and The Open University each surpassing 60 million content downloads. The Ohio State University’s Matthew “Dr. Fus� Stoltzfus’ General Chemistry course enrolled over 100,000 iTunes U students in the first year it was offered.

    “The interest my iTunes U course receives from non-college students is overwhelming,� said Professor Stoltzfus. “I’ve been working with high school teachers who use my iTunes U material to prepare to teach their own classes, high school students all over the world who are leveraging the course to tutor their fellow classmates, even retirees who download my iTunes U course to stay intellectually active.�

    Over 60 percent of iTunes U app downloads originate from outside the US, giving schools of any size the ability to share their content with a worldwide audience. The unmatched global reach of iTunes U gives educators, like University of California, Irvine Professor Dan Stokols, international recognition and acclaim in their fields.

    “Because of iTunes U, I have been able to introduce students and colleagues in China to research on the links between chronic multi-tasking, information overload and stress; discuss research publications and degree programs with students in Europe; and exchange information about the influence of neighborhood design on community levels of physical activity and obesity with students in Australia,� said Professor Stokols, whose Environmental Psychology course enrolls over 170,000 students on iTunes U. “The opportunity to impact so many students who are gaining interest in environmental psychology by taking my free course on iTunes U has been highly rewarding and gratifying for me as an educator and learner.�

    “I see success unfolding before me on a daily basis,� says Chrissy Boydstun, a teacher from Mansfield Independent School District in Texas which provides each of their over 10,000 high school students and faculty with an iPad®. “Students are engaged and working hard as they use the incredible amount of information at their fingertips in a way that is meaningful and impactful. I love the way iTunes U provides a roadmap to take students beyond what a typical lesson or lecture could achieve.�

    Educators can create iTunes U courses in 30 countries including recent additions: Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. These courses, and other education content, can be accessed via the iTunes U app in 155 countries. In addition to thousands of individual iTunes U learning materials, over 75,000 educational apps are now available for iOS devices on the App Store℠. Additionally, with the free iBooks® Author app on the Mac® App Store, writers and publishers continue to bring ideas and stories to life sharing more than 10,000 original Multi-Touch™ books with the world.

    Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

    Press Contacts:
    Trudy Muller
    (408) 862-7426

    Simon Pope
    (408) 974-0457

    Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iTunes U, iPad, App Store, iBooks and Multi-Touch are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.