Mac

Evernote’s New Pricing Plans

Evernote revealed a couple of weeks ago that they’re changing their pricing plans:

Beginning today, the prices for our Plus and Premium tiers will change for new subscriptions, and access from Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices.

So, for Basic accounts like mine, I’m now limited to accessing my Evernote notes in up to 2 devices. Although Evernote‘s regional pricing plans for the Philippines offer a much lower price at PHP550 per year (roughly less than $12/yr.) for the Evernote Plus account, I’m not too keen on paying for something that I can actually get for free in other services. …

The Pre-Retina Display MacBook Pro

Marco Arment enumerates the reasons, “Why the 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro still sells.”

As we’ve progressed toward thinner, lighter, more integrated Macs, we’ve paid dearly in upgradeability, versatility, and value. There are many Macs to choose from today, but in some ways, we have less choice than ever.

When Apple introduced the 3rd generation MacBook Pro (MBP) back in the middle of 2012, it then came with the Retina Display and solid-state drives (SSDs) in lieu of the hard-disk drives (HDDs), but dismissed the optical drive altogether. Moreover, you cannot upgrade the memory (RAM) by yourself, it has to be pre-packaged when you buy it.

I own an Early 2011 13-inch Macbook Pro, and I’ll probably hold back from upgrading to the latest MBP in the near future. Why? Here are my reasons:  …

Tweetbot for Mac

I am a big fan of Tweetbot for iPhone. There’s no denying I would recommend this app to any iPhone user who wants a more robust Twitter client for their smartphone. A price tag is attached to the app in the iTunes App Store, but the price is well worth it. This app is probably the best Twitter client-app out there available to any platform. Unfortunately, Tweetbot is an iOS-only app, which makes it one of the selling points why I choose the iPhone. …

Hiarcs Chess Explorer Video Quick Tour

The Hiarcs team recently posted two videos (one for Mac and another for Windows) to give a quick tour of their products. The Hiarcs Chess Explorer applications for both platforms virtually look the same and share the same functionalities.

I have a Mac and purchased the Mac version, and here’s the quick tour:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtBdRjtrBDU&w=480]

Yet, I have to reiterate my feature requests I hope we get in the next version:

  • Engine match and engine tournaments;
  • Ability to publish PGN games to be replayable in HTML through javascript;

See also Hiarcs Chess Explorer for PC video tour.

Running Fritz 12 on a Mac via Crossover

Fritz 12 is a great chess product that unfortunately has no Mac version. I’ve installed it on a Bootcamp partition, and it works great. But I hate rebooting to Windows everytime I need it. Besides, all my files are in the OS X partition.

I also tried running Fritz 12 in a Parallels Desktop. It works fine as well, but then I have to boot Windows on top of OS X, which in the process they’re sharing the same computer’s resources, which proves to be an inefficient environment to run a resource hungry application like Fritz 12. I was only able to assign 3GB of RAM out of the total installed 8GB, and the application can only utilize 1 CPU out of the total 4.

So what about Codeweaver’s Crossover? Well, this is how it looks like: …

Hiarcs’ Mac Chess Explorer is Now Available

Got a message today that Hiarcs’ Mac Chess Explorer is finally available:

At last, after a very long wait, it has finally come for us to check out.

It comes bundled with Hiarcs 14 and costs US$59.95 for the single-core version, and US$99.95 for the Deep Hiarcs (multi-core/multi-processor version).

By the way, there’s also the PC Chess Explorer. But what the heck, we’re only interested in Mac here, right? …

Running Fritz 12 on a Mac: VMWare vs. Boot Camp

Apple discussions:

If you are running software that are CPU intensive like some of our people are then boot camp is the way to go because you will have the native speed of the machine.

So, I guess I made the better decision with going with the Boot Camp way. Fritz 12 is definitely CPU-intensive, especially when utilizing all cores of your machine.

The Chess Explorer by Hiarcs

The Hiarcs page right now goes:

HIARCS Chess Explorer is an exciting new chess product which is under development and we hope will be available in the autumn 2011. More details on the new chess explorer application will be posted here when they are ready. We hope chess players of all chess abilities who really wish to explore and improve their chess will like the new HIARCS chess explorer software.

For me, this leaves more questions than answers:

  • Is this a GUI alternative to Chessbase’ Fritz 12?
  • Is this thing available for Windows and Mac?
  • Is this Hiarcs answer due to Sigma Chess not available to support OS X Lion?
  • Can I install other competing engines?
  • Will it have intuitive interface for game analysis?
  • Will I become a better player with this software?
  • Will this be free or shall be sold for a hefty amount?
  • Do you think it can beat Houdini?

I can go on and on, even with stupid questions, but really, that page is not helping a lot. Hope Hiarcs can come up with a concrete answer and hopefully fill that bridge for a good native chess program for the Mac.

Raptor is a Great FICS Desktop Client for Mac

Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), which can be found at www.freechess.org, is a great way to play chess online for free. Besides being free, another great thing about FICS is the presence of a huge community, so that you’ll always have someone within your playing level to start a game with. It is also highly moderated by system and human moderators so that trolls and cheaters are quickly identified and acted upon accordingly.

I used to connect to FICS via Winboard or BabasChess on my Windows machine. But now that I’m on a Mac (specifically on an Intel, Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Macbook Pro 13″ Early 2011), these two programs don’t just seem to work. Good thing I stumbled upon a comment from one user in the FICS group in Facebook about Raptor Chess. …

Mac Desktop Client for FICS

UPDATE: I actually already found a great FICS client for Mac: Raptor Chess.

If you have have read in my previous post, I’ve been a Mac convert for sometime now. And I would like very much to test the computing power of a Mac upto its full potential.

I also liked playing chess on FICS or freechess.org. And I have been looking for Apps or programs that can be a desktop client for connecting to FICS. In my Windows days, my favorite was Winboard, though I sometimes used BabasChess. …

Chess on a Mac

Admittedly, Chessbase’ Fritz 12 is the best program for the PC. The Fritz 12 (or even the Deep Fritz 12) engine may not be the strongest computer chess engine out there, but the Chessbase interface is able to deliver on its purpose. I use it widely when analyzing games and studying openings. I load my favorite engines like Rybka, Houdini, Stockfish, etc., to test some of the more stronger engines.

But the problem is it’s only available in PC. When oh when can they be able to make a program for the Mac? I’m a Mac convert now, and there really are a lot of Mac users who are anticipating this from Chessbase. Although I already paid for the licensed copy of Fritz 12 for Windows, I’ll be willing to shell out another for the Mac — for as long as it will natively run on the Intel Mac. …

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