Tuesday April 15, 2014
Microsoft today announced the availability of a lower-cost option for its Office 365 suite.
Courtesy of Microsoft
The core apps in Office 365 for Mac (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and One Note) are available in various subscription tiers, including home, business, and enterprise. Office 365 Home is available for $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month, and includes a 5-user license that lets you run up to five copies on your Macs, PCs, iPad, or Windows tablet.
The newest tier being offered is a single-user subscription license that allows you to install Office 365 on a single Mac or PC, plus one copy on your iPad or Windows tablet. Pricing for the new Office 365 Personal tier is $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month.
Remember, this is not a new version of Office for the Mac; it's essentially Office for Mac 2011 with a new pricing structure. If you would prefer the old non-subscription prices, you can find Office for Mac 2011 available online from various resellers.
Microsoft has said it's working on a new Mac version of Office, but so far hasn't provided a release date.
Monday April 14, 2014
No, as fun as it would be for Apple to start selling micro-hydroelectric systems, there will be no iDam in our future. Apple's interest in purchasing a small hydroelectric facility near the Haystack Reservoir is to help provide renewable energy to the Prineville, Oregon data center currently under development.
Apple Data Center, Prineville, Or - Image courtesy of Google and Europa Technologies
Apple is already powering the new data center with renewable energy in the form of wind energy contracts from suppliers in the area. But Apple has also indicated that its plans are for the site to be 100%-powered by renewable energy sources. To that end, Apple plans to build a 200-acre solar farm on nearby land in Prineville.
Apple's interest in the 3 to 3.5 megawatt hydroelectric facility seems to be an interim energy source as it continues working its way through the permitting process to develop the large solar farm. As currently permitted, the micro-hydroelectric facility doesn't run in the winter months, when the agricultural canal that feeds the facility is shut down because of freezing weather.
When it began the Prineville data center project, Apple said that the data center would be powered by wind, solar, and micro-hydroelectric sources. With this purchase, two of the three renewable energy sources are in place.
Sunday April 13, 2014
The Mac mini is missing this week from the refurb store's inventory; likewise, various MacBook models are seeing a bit of a decline in availability. But even so, we found some pretty good deals this week that deserve your consideration.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Best Deals of the Week **
This week's best deals include a 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro that can save you $540 off the current retail price, and a 2011 27-inch iMac that can be had for $570 less than its original retail price. And don't forget that while the 2011 iMac may seem to be an older model, it has the advantage of a built-in SuperDrive (DVD/CD read/write). It also comes with a one-year warranty, just like all the other Apple refurbs.
Apple Refurbished Store
Quantities are limited, so if any of these tickle your fancy, be fast on the trigger to make a purchase.
- 2013 11.6-inch MacBook Air (Review) 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $849.00
- 2013 11.6-inch MacBook Air (Review) 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 256 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $1,019.00
- 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Air (Review) 1.8 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $849.00
- 2013 13.3-inch MacBook Air (Review) 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $929.00
- 2013 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.4 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel Iris Graphics 4000: $1,099.00
- 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 500 GB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,499.00
- 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 256 GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,599.00
- 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.4 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 256 GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics: $1,659.00 **
- 2013 21.5-inch iMac (Review) 2.7 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and Intel Iris Pro Graphics: $1,099.00
- 2011 27-inch iMac (Review) 2.7 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 6770 Graphics: $1,129.00 **
- 2013 27-inch iMac (Review) 3.2 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 755M: $1,529.00
- 2012 Mac Pro (Review) 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Xeon with 1 TB hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics: $2,139.00
- Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display: $799
- 2013 AirPort Extreme with simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology: $169.00
- 2013 AirPort Time Capsule with 2 TB drive and simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology: $255.00
iPad - Fourth Generation (Review)
- 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $499.00
- 128 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $579.00
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $449.00
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $529.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $609.00
- 128 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $689.00
iPad mini (Review)
- 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $249.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $419.00
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $359.00
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $449.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $529.00
- iPad Air (Review)
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air $529
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air $619
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air $699
- 128 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air $789
Want to find out more about Apple refurbished Macs? Take a look at the process my wife and I experienced when we took the Apple refurbished store for a spin.
Saturday April 12, 2014
Virtual Box is a free open source virtualization app that allows you to run Windows, Linux, OS X, and other operating systems concurrently while you continue to use your Mac. No need to boot to a different operating system; Virtual Box lets multiple operating systems run at the same time.
Virtual Box 4.3.10
Virtual Box is an excellent method of running a Windows app that isn't available in a Mac version. Simply install Windows and the apps you wish to use in Virtual Box. When you need one of the Windows apps, just launch Virtual Box and start using the app.
Virtual Box requires a bit more technical savvy to set up and use than commercially available virtualization apps, such as Parallels or Fusion, but because it's free, you may be willing to dig through the 300-page manual to get it set up. You won't need to spend a lot of time with the manual for the most basic setups, but if you need anything special, the manual is there for you.
Virtual Box 4.3.10 is free.
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.