Mac buying advice

Hardware takes center stage in this edition of the Macworld Podcast—whether it’s computers built by Apple or Mac OS X-compatible machines from other sources.

In the first half of the podcast, I’m joined by senior news editor Jonathan Seff, one of the co-authors of “The New Rules for Buying a Mac,” which appears in the June 2008 issue of Macworld. (You’ll find it at Macworld.com in the coming days.) We talk about different approaches to buying Macs, who should consider a MacBook Air, where to buy RAM, and other issues raised in the article.

Then, Macworld Lab director James Galbraith stops by to talk about the Open Computer from Psystar. That’s the Intel-based PC being sold by a Miami-based company that can run Mac OS X—essentially, a Mac clone, though without Apple’s seal of approval. Macworld Lab ordered an Open Computer—it’s arrived at our offices and the benchmarks will appear on the Web site Thursday. But before they do, we have a sneak preview on what it’s like to use this Psystar machine.

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Show Notes

In my round-up of the week’s news, I note that the iTunes Store has met its goal of offering 1,000 movie rentals, 63 days after the promised deadline. But that’s just one of a number of changes to Apple’s video offerings—Apple TV owners are now able to buy movies directly from their set-top boxes.

I also take a look at the saga of free Wi-Fi for iPhone owners at Starbucks. The coffee retailer is switching its wireless service over to AT&T, Apple’s partner in the iPhone biz. Last week, some users—including Macworld’s Dan Moren—reported that they were able to get free Wi-Fi on their phones at select Starbucks locations. As of this week, however, the free Wi-Fi has vanished.

In my discussion with Jon Seff, we talk about the new iMacs, which Macworld has just reviewed.

The discussion about Psystar’s Open Computer also touches on the home-built Mac assembled by our own Rob Griffiths. Macworld Lab also tested that machine.

Sponsor

This podcast is sponsored by Audible.com. Podcast listeners can click here for a free audiobook from Audible.com.

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