Getting geeky with Twitterrific and AppleScript

I am most definitely a devotee of the social-networking message service Twitter. (Explaining Twitter’s appeal is the topic of another story, one I haven’t written yet.) But if you use Twitter, and especially if you use The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific for Mac ( ; free with ads, $15 without) you might be interested in discovering some of the program’s hidden features.

Before I begin, an aside: There are a lot of Twitter apps for the Mac. I’ve tried most of them, but I keep coming back to Twitterrific. Its simple interface does what I want, when I want. Some of the competitors offer interesting features, but none of them work well enough to tear me away from Twitterrific. I do have a wish-list for Twitterrific that’s about a mile long—but again, that’s another story. Despite my recognition of its flaws, Twitterrific’s the Twitter app that works the best for me.

Anyway, on to the geek-out.

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iMovie '09 image stabilization

iLife ’09 has arrived, and with it, new versions of iPhoto and iMovie.

We’ve been playing with iLife ’09 around the office today and we’ll have much more on iPhoto in a little while. But I wanted to present a brief sample video of the new image-stabilization features in iLife ’09.

Here’s what I did: I imported a few sample clips (I happened to have video of my Thanksgiving floating around, so I used those), and waited as iMovie cranked for quite a while on them, preparing them for image-stabilization. (Advice: import your videos before going to bed or going out of the house for a while—it’s a long process.)

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Apple: We're not a one-man show

In the days since Steve Jobs announced that he was taking a leave of absence from Apple, I’ve been inundated with questions from users, friends, colleagues, and members of the mainstream media. The most popular conception of Apple—one that, let’s be honest, Apple has nurtured to a certain degree—is that it’s the Steve Jobs Show. Popularly, he’s the man who invents the products, designs them, plans their marketing campaigns, the works.

Which is obviously silly. Apple is a huge corporation with tens of thousands of employees. It’s not just Steve Jobs and a bunch of lackeys. And yet, I do think that’s the perception most people have about Apple.

Jobs is, as Reggie Jackson famously said about himself, the straw that stirs the drink. And to beat the baseball metaphors into the ground, Jobs is undoubtedly Apple’s most valuable player, because he has skill in so many different disciplines. But as we San Franciscans know, having suffered through losing seasons as Barry Bonds concluded his march on the home run record, a single franchise player isn’t enough to make a winning team.

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The Mac at 25

As I write this, I have the very first issue of Macworld sitting in front of me. It’s a magazine without a cover date: because it was produced with the cooperation of Apple Computer itself—back when Apple still called itself Apple Computer—the first issue was set to debut the same day as the Mac itself. The editors back then didn’t know exactly when that day would be, and so went to press without a date on the cover.

As it turned out, the day was January 24, 1984. And so this week, we’re marking the 25th birthday of both the Mac and Macworld.

In flipping through that first issue, the few familiar things really stick out, since so much has changed in the intervening years. For example: Steve Jobs is on the cover (though he’s in a brown pinstriped suit, not in his modern-era black turtleneck and jeans). In front of him are three all-in-one Macs. Of course, they’re the originals. But I’m struck by the fact that the iMac—an all-in-one device designed for mainstream computer users—continues to be inspired by those very first Macs.

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Introducing the Mobile Mac Superguide

Apple’s first laptop, the Mac Portable (see our cover image), weighed nearly 16 pounds and cost $6,500. It was a curious thing. And people wondered, who would want one? Who could afford one? What would they do with it?

But over the years, portable technology improved. The original PowerBook line created an entire subculture of road warriors—digital nomads who worked when and where they wanted.

These days, thanks to the light and fast MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, using a portable computer isn’t reserved for a handful of gearheads. In 2005, 40 percent of the Macs Apple sold were laptops. Now that number is 60 percent. We’ve crossed some sort of dividing line: portable computers are as mainstream as it gets.

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What should Macworld Expo do next?

As we reported last week, Macworld Conference & Expo is holding a “town hall meeting” this Wednesday in San Francisco to discuss the future of Macworld Expo in a world where Apple isn’t an Expo exhibitor.

Our own Jim Dalrymple will attend the event and report on what happens, and we’ll also be in touch with Macworld Expo general manager Paul Kent this week to get more from him on the future of the biggest Apple-related trade show in existence.

In the meantime, since we’re all just waiting around for Phil Schiller’s keynote tomorrow morning—and yes, Macworld will once again be covering the event live, thanks for asking—I thought I’d ask the members of the community the big question:

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2008 in review: Most popular Macworld stories

As we’re rapidly running out of 2008, I thought I’d use this space to thank all of our readers for your time and interest in reading, subscribing to our RSS feeds, and posting in the forums.

Earlier today, Philip Michaels listed his top 10 stories of the last year. If you’re curious, here’s a list of the most popular stories on in the past year, in terms of pure page views.

  1. WWDC Keynote Live Update
  2. Macworld Expo Keynote Live Update
  3. Apple Notebook Event Live Update
  4. Apple “Let’s Rock” Event Live Update
  5. Apple Q1 Earnings Call Live Update
  6. Apple introduces MacBook Air
  7. Sending and receiving MMS on your iPhone, with a little help from your friends
  8. Review: MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo
  9. Frankenmac! What’s in a Mac Clone?
  10. Review: Aluminum iMacs
  11. First Look: Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro
  12. Review: iPhone 3G
  13. Apple unveils new MacBook and MacBook Pro
  14. First Look: iPhone 2.1
  15. 2008 predictions: Macworld’s annual forecast of the year ahead
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