• Explore the magic and the mystery!
  • The Tech Night Owl's Home Page



  • Discover the power of GraphicConverter 9


  • Listen to The Tech Night Owl LIVE on the GCN radio network

    Click here to get the exclusive GCN app for your iPhone or Android smartphone!

    YOU ASKED FOR IT! Welcome to Tech Night Owl+! For a low monthly or annual subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free higher-resolution version of The Tech Night Owl LIVE and other exclusive content. For more information and simple signup instructions, click here.

    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. On the agenda is his conspiracy theory about Apple Music and the brief dustup with top-selling artist Taylor Swift. You’ll also hear his speculations about the next Apple TV, Apple’s ongoing support for Macs and a brief discussion about whether Apple’s commitment to Intel lessens the possibility of using ARM processors on the Mac.

    You’ll also hear from prolific tech author Joe Kissell, who will recount 11 “stupid” backup methods and why you should avoid them. The list includes Apple’s Time Machine, which he says has been the source of occasional problems that require you to backup everything from scratch. He’ll also present a reality check about the state of security on the Mac, with a focus on issues with Adobe Flash and Oracle’s Java, and whether you should consider buying security software.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — June 27, 2015

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.


    Advertisers Wanted: If you want to deliver information about your product or service to a growing audience of very loyal listeners, drop us a line (click Contact Us in the nav bar above). We'll send you our latest rate card with a number of affordable ad packages that will offer a great return on your investment. Try us and see for yourself how The Tech Night Owl can help you grow your business.

    QuarkXPress Still Going Strong

    June 24th, 2015

    As some of you know, I came to the Mac via prepress. By night, I labored as a freelance writer, and by day, and sometimes into the evening, I worked as a typographer in New York City. While the jobs changed, for some curious reason, I always found employment within a few blocks of an area near 5th Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan.

    In any case, the arrival of the Mac changed a lot of things. I had already become comfortable playing with those early personal computers, and had a smattering of knowledge of Basic and DOS, but I was especially pleased to be able to do everything via point and click. Till then, the traditional typesetting computer front-ends I worked on were mostly text-based, and graphical layout schemes were primitive and usually inaccurate. I could usually figure things out better via the command line, but the Mac was a revelation. Finally, there was a proper way to handle graphical interfaces.

    Continue Reading...


    Apple and Bone-Headed Decisions

    June 23rd, 2015

    So the meme playing out in the news media is that Apple, the $700 billion gorilla, was rapidly beaten down by a 25-year-old woman. Well, a woman who just happens to be a multimillionaire rock star and one of the most popular recording artists of the day. But still. All it took was one blog articulately expressing her dissatisfaction with Apple and the decision not to pay musical artists during the free 90-day Apple Music trial.

    The story goes that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP for Internet Software and Services, awoke Sunday morning to discover Taylor Swift’s posted complaints about the policy. He got together with CEO Tim Cook and, within hours, changed the royalty structure to include payments for music streaming during the period when customers are sampling Apple Music. Chalk it up as a victory for the little people fighting against an “evil” multinational corporation.

    Continue Reading...


    Newsletter Issue #812: Apple Addresses the Apple Music Royalty Problem

    June 22nd, 2015

    Although Apple Music hasn’t even debuted yet, it’s already received plenty of publicity. In an example of good intentions possibly going bad, that publicity appears to be the result of the promised three-month free trial. As the term implies, it means you’ll have a reasonable amount of time to sample the service before you decide if it’s really worth $9.99 per month, or $14.99 for up to six users.

    But in the goal of doing something that ought to have a positive impact, Apple apparently failed to consider the rights of the artists who create, produce and perform that music. So while over 70% of the revenue from Apple Music will be distributed to the music companies and, one hopes, to the composers and artists, the original plan called for no payment to be made during the free-trial periods.

    Now from an accounting point of view, I suppose that this position made sense. Apple was giving up money to entice more people to subscribe to the service, thus improving the opportunity for artists to earn money. So, therefore, the artists ought to consider the reality of the situation and take a long view. Yes, I’m speculating here, but that’s how it seems to be.

    Continue Reading…


    About Apple Music Audio Quality

    June 19th, 2015

    All right, so Apple Music doesn’t debut until June 30, but already there are loads of perceptions about the service, and certainly music quality is an important issue. What we do know is that it’ll be very much based on Beats Music intermixed with Apple’s own unique bag of tricks. How it fares against such market leaders as Spotify won’t be known for a while, but it’s a sure thing Apple is working with a huge advantage, some 800 million credit cards registered with iTunes, and a three-month free trial.

    No doubt, Apple will be pushing hard for you to take the trial subscription, expecting that many of you will keep it going, since $9.99 (or $14.99 for a family of six) isn’t such a huge investment for access to most of a music library with 30 million tracks. I suppose if you’re used to buying music, you might have suspicions. It’s not that Apple will go out of business tomorrow, but wouldn’t you like to know that your music is still available if you decide to ditch the account, or you miss a payment?

    Continue Reading...