MacDirectory Magazine

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MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 52 of 162

MacDirectory 51 CLOSER LOOK need access to your desktop system. Thanks to virtual network computing (VNC) it's now possible with your iPhone (or Touch, if you're within range of a wireless LAN). VNC is the technology that makes Leopard's screen sharing and remote desktop connections possible. In terms of convenience and a slick interface, ReadPixel's Remote Tap is the leader of the pack when it comes to getting access to your Mac ($6.99, ). Its greatest advantage is the ingenious ways it simplifies navigating a large screen from your handheld's 3.5- inch display. It uses its own application launcher and a system it calls Window Autofocus to automatically enlarge the section of the screen you're working on and a magnifying glass tool to jump somewhere else. The program's one drawback is that it bypasses Apple's built- in Remote Desktop so it needs its own, lightweight server to be running on the remote Mac. It also means that Internet connections are more challenging to set up and present more security issues if you're not careful. WinAdmin ($7.99, uses Windows' built-in Remote Desktop protocols to screen share with your PC. It takes a comparatively no-frills approach but the setup was comparatively easy. One thing to keep in mind is that if you're connecting to a system behind a router (or an AirPort serving as one), you'll need to learn how to set up port forwarding and will want to familiarize yourself with some of the security issues posed by remote access. For example, Remote Tap gives you the option of using the Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP) feature available in most routers. This not only simplifies the task of setting up remote access but also simplifies a potential invader's access to your home network. If your life is so mundane as to rarely warrant a Twitter and your Facebook Friends List barely numbers in the hundreds, you may prefer The Blimp Pilots' Distant Shore ($.99, ). The creators of the inexplicably popular Koi Pond have developed a social networking application for the shy and insignificant. You wander along a quiet seashore collecting shells and searching for message-bearing bottles. You then exchange the shells for bottles to cast your own messages into the cyberspace sea. Answers will arrive in the grass beach hut where your trips along the beach always begin. The process can become rather addicting, believe it or not. On our first excursions along the beach we found bottles with messages ranging from off-color jokes to a lengthy lament over a recently lost love. The drifting bottle, however, is only an analogy. We sent out a when-did-you-receive-this message from Portland, Oregon, and just a few bites of a sandwich later, received a reply from Manchester, England. By the Numbers Mariner Calc for the iPhone ($4.99, ) shows a good deal of potential as the phone's first self- contained spreadsheet. The initial release boasts 145 functions that you can apply to a 32,000 x 256 column worksheet. It can read and edit native Excel files and, in most cases, will gracefully report errors for functions that it can't handle. The program provides its own cut, copy and paste functions. It can go to a specified cell, but does not yet offer a search capability. The only way to share files is over a wireless connection and there's no system for syncing files between platforms. Like many of the major iPhone applications, Mariner Calc makes its debut with more promise than performance, but with Mariner Software's experience with desktop applications, we're confident that this will soon find itself in the "must have" category for anyone whose life revolves around spreadsheets. Is that 15 oz. box of Cheerios on sale for $2.99 really cheaper than the 12 oz. box for $1.98? If you're in penny-pinching mode, questions like that really add up. CompareMe ($2.99, ) could easily pay for itself on one trip to the supermarket. It can handle virtually any unit of measure or item count you can imagine. Once you input your data, it shows the results with the percentage of discount or premium you would pay. DISTANT SHORE MARINER CALC COMPARE ME

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