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Ghost Browser – the Productivity Browser for Tech Pros

Ghost Browser allows you to have multiple authenticated sessions open to the same site simultaneously, with each session having its own cookie jar, isolated from other sessions. This allows users such as web developers, testers, social media managers to easily work with multiple identities or use case perspectives without the need for multiple browsers, bookmarks, saved passwords etc.

Audio Hijack logo

My favourite audio utility gets a major update

Every single episode of This Week in Lotus (my goodness, I miss that show) that we recorded over Skype was captured using Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack Pro.

This Mac OS X app has always been phenomenally good at managing the audio inputs and outputs available to a Mac system, applying filters and effects, and then writing high-quality recordings out to just about any format you can name.

However, Audio Hijack Pro has become a little long in the tooth over the past few years, with the last significant update almost a decade ago. The UI certainly looked out of place on the recent versions of OS X – Mavericks and Yosemite.

The great news is that Rogue Amoeba has just release a brand spanking new version of the product – Audio Hijack 3:

Featuring a beautiful new UI, and significant new features, this looks a huge update for loyal users of the app.

Audio Hijack screenshot

The new app costs $49 for first-time buyers, or $25 as an upgrade.

You can download a free trial from Rogue Ameoba’s site (it overlays noise on recordings of more than 10 minutes), and it’s worth checking out Jason Snell’s review for more detail.

I can’t wait to get recording with it…

Want a review of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion?

There is only one…

19 pages long, this is the mother of all Lion reviews.  As John Gruber puts it:

Lion is the eighth landmark new-big-cat-name release of Mac OS X in a little over ten years. There’s a pattern to these releases. Rumors, anticipation, release. Many things have changed in the interim. Apple’s industry stature, the size of the Mac user base, the relative position and importance of the Mac in Apple’s overall product lineup, the App Store.

But one thing has stayed the same: John Siracusa’s splendidly deep, obsessively detailed, spot-on accurate reviews of each release. Lion, happily, is no different.

More >

Good news for Mac users with SSDs

Many Lotus community folks have been Mac users for a few years, and many have been moving to SSDs (Solid State Disks) as the price has come down and performance has risen.  The difference they can make to a heavily used system is significant, and the Notes client seems to benefit more than most applications.

I’m one of those people, being fortunate (or foolish) enough to order a 512GB SSD with a new MacBook Pro late last year.  In short, it rocks – performance is stellar, particularly on bootup and application launching.  I also notice a massive improvement when starting or resuming VMs.

However, the fly in the ointment has always been that OS X did not support TRIM (a feature that allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally), meaning that over time the SSD performance would degrade, particularly if the disk is close to capacity.  Whilst Windows 7 has supported TRIM since release, OS X has lagged behind in this (one particular) area.

So, the good news?

TRIM Is going to be fully supported in OS X 10.7 (Lion) and is already enabled in the developer betas.  Here’s is my disk configuration:

In addition, TRIM support has been added to the latest release of 10.6 (Snow Leopard) too:

One item of interest regarding last week’s Mac OS X 10.6.8 update reveals that Apple has enabled TRIM support retroactively for solid state hard drives shipped in Apple-produced configurations.

(Note that this doesn’t mean that TRIM will necessarily be enabled for all SSDs, just those that are shipped by Apple as part of standard or BTO options – I’m sure that others will be supported in future.)

I would say that this leaves cost as the final reason for not specifying an SSD in a new Mac machine, and even that issue is rapidly going away as prices fall…

Image:IBM drops a bombshell!

IBM drops a bombshell!

Well, this certainly came from left-field:


Image:IBM drops a bombshell!


Jan 16, 2008 15:31 ET
IBM Informix Dynamic Server to Deliver Support for Mac OS X

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – January 16, 2008) – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced plans to deliver Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) support for Mac OS X Leopard. Through this collaboration, the planned IDS 11 “Cheetah 2” release will be available for Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard. The first beta version is available now for download.

IDS 11 will provide online transaction processing (OLTP) data serving capabilities for the Mac platform — adding to existing support of Linux, Unix and Windows. IDS 11 will offer the high performance, low operating cost, scalability and data availability that have been the hallmark of IDS and the user experience Mac customers have come to expect. IDS provides continuous availability and disaster recovery, including support for multiple secondary servers — delivering 99.999% availability.

“The new IDS release demonstrates our commitment to meeting client and solution partner needs in industries such as education, government and media,” said Arvind Krishna, vice president, IBM Data Servers. “We are bringing leading database management capabilities of IBM IDS 11 to companies that are taking advantage of the Mac OS X environment.”

“Blazing-fast Intel processors and the stability and security of Mac OS X are just some of the many compelling reasons businesses are switching to the Mac,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “We’re thrilled that IBM is joining the growing number of Mac enterprise application developers by bringing its powerful enterprise-class IDS database to the Mac.”

“Our higher education customers have been well served by our partnership with IBM throughout the years and they appreciate the reliability and low cost delivered by IBM Informix Dynamic Server, in combination with the Jenzabar Total Campus Management solution,” Ben Bassett, VP, Software and Services, Jenzabar, Inc. “Jenzabar continues to be encouraged by the strong commitment IBM has made to IDS, as demonstrated by this extension of IDS support to the Mac platforms. IDS on Mac OS X will provide a robust database and development environment for the higher education market.”

Developers can download the open beta version of IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) Developer Edition from the IBM website:

So, can we expect more server platforms to be ported to Mac OS X Server?  Domino????