Apple Acknowledges PowerBook RAM Problems

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Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2006, 11:46
Category: PowerBook

On 29 December 2005 I posted a story on how Mac OS X software updates are disabling the lower RAM slot on some PowerBook G4 models (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz). There are many comments from people that have experienced the problem and Apple is finally addressing it.
Apple has started a PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Extension Program and has posted a detailed FAQ about it.
PowerBook G4s manufactured between January 2005 and April 2005 (serial numbers W8503xxxxxx through W8518xxxxxx) are covered and Apple will replace the RAM slot and extend the warranty on the repairs for two years.

The PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) Memory Slot Repair Extension Program is a worldwide program covering repair or replacement of the memory slot in PowerBook G4 models manufactured between January 2005 and April 2005 (2005-01 through 2005-04) that are experiencing specific component failures. If your PowerBook G4 has a serial number within the eligible range and is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it may be eligible for repair, free of charge. Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will determine eligibility under the program. Repairs will be covered by Apple for up to two years from the original date of purchase even if your computer is out of warranty.

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Intel iMacs have Socketed CPUs

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Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2006, 10:09
Category: Intel

intel-core-duo-chip.jpgOne of the most exciting developments in the announcement of the Intel Core Duo iMac (and it’s subsequent dissection) is that the CPU is socketed. This means that it isn’t soldered to the logic board like most Macintosh CPUs have been for years and can be upgraded.
In an article in the Japanese magazine MacFan a reader claims to have upgraded the processor in a 17-inch Intel iMac from 1.83GHz to 2.0GHz without issue.
Although it’s not yet cost effective to upgrade (the 2GHz T2500 chip costs over US$700 and the 2.16GHz T2600 chip costs almost US$800) it looks promising that Mac users will finally be able to buy CPU upgrades in the future.
The real question is whether or not the MacBook Pro will also ship with a socketed CPU? Please Apple, tell us it’s true!

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The Apple Core: Apple may re-name desktops "Mac Pro"

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Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2006, 09:58
Category: The Apple Core

I’ve written a couple of posts about Apple’s new naming strategy that began with the new MacBook Pro, announced last month. After a lot of speculation about the naming of the desktop lineup it appears that Apple may have settled on “Mac Pro.”
An article at TheStreet.com indicates that Apple filed for a trademark on the phrase “Mac Pro” in New Zealand in late 2005. The November 18th 2005 filing categorizes “Mac Pro” under the following classifications:
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: MacBook Pro Orders Queue Up

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Date: Monday, January 30th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook Pro

After the keynote was over I couldn’t hit the refresh button fast enough on the Apple Store so that I could place my order for the first Intel-based notebook from Apple. As soon as the store opened I zipped through the options and slapped down the plastic for a shiny new 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro.
I placed my MBP order on January 10, 2006 at 11:02 AM PST according to the View order details button on Apple’s Order Status page. Like Steve promised, the MacBook is listed as shipping in mid-February, on the 15th to be exact. What I don’t really get is the delivery date. Even though I opted for the faster shipping service (for an extra US$18) which is listed as “2-3 Business Days” on the Apple Store, my delivery date is estimated to be February 23.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Dual-Booting Windows XP on a MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, January 30th, 2006, 00:04
Category: MacBook Pro

The Computer Guru has posted instructions how to dual-boot Windows XP on a MacBook Pro. The instructions have not been tested by the author but he believes his theory will work. Someone with an Intel Mac might want to give it a try. (Thanks Digg).

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More on the Intel Core Solo-Powered iBook

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Date: Monday, January 30th, 2006, 00:02
Category: iBook

iMacBook.jpgAppleInsider posted a juicy article on Friday with information on the new Intel Core Solo-powered iBook replacement. In addition to being reduced to a single 13.3-inch widescreen form factor and possibly shipping in both black and white AI adds some configuration details.

Although Apple has reportedly decided to base the new series of iBooks around a single enclosure and display size, it’s still expected that the laptops will arrive in at least two retail configurations — one with a SuperDrive and the other without. The latter model will fall within the sub-$1000 range currently occupied by the 12-inch PowerPC-based 1.33GHz iBook. All configurations will include an infrared sensor in the front of the laptop capable of communicating with the Apple Remote. This will allow users to control the included Front Row software on their iBook from up to 30 feet away.

The real question is what are they going to name it? My guess is that it’ll be the iMacBook. All the professional Macs will be called Macs (like the MacBook Pro) and the consumer machines will be called iMacs (hence the iMacBook). Any thoughts? Post them in the comments below.

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iMacBook Mockup

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Date: Monday, January 30th, 2006, 00:01
Category: iBook

iMacBook.jpgA Flickr user who goes by the name troelsbay has posted one of the best mockups yet of the presumably-forthcoming 13.3-inch widescreen iMacBooks (ny name) based on the Intel Core Solo processor. Remember kids, it’s only a mockup.

I made this today by tweaking and manipulating current iBook material. It’s a 13.3″ MacBook, it’s thinner than the current 12″, widescreen, with iSight and frontrow-support (IR). The mockup is based on the Appleinsider rumor.

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Griffin SmartShare Headphone Splitter (Updated)

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2006, 09:11
Category: iPod

griffin_smartshare.jpgLike any good mobile technologist, there’s a few stock items that I carry everywhere in my PowerBook gear bag. One of them is a headphone splitter so that I can jack a friend into my iPod or PowerBook during air or train travel. This little doodad can be found for about two bucks from Radio Shack.
Griffin Technology has a new spin on an old favorite. I’ve been playing with their just-announced headphone splitter called SmartShare ($20) and it’s different that the run-of-the-mill “dumb” splitter. SmartShare gives you independent volume control on each channel. This way you can jam the latest house track from Deep Dish while your mate keeps it on low.
The SmartShare is available now for pre-order from Griffin.

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FireWire Evolution Redux

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Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Hardware

firewire-logo.jpgContributed by: James Wiebe, CEO, WiebeTech LLC
15 months ago, I wrote a white paper which was entitled, ‘FireWire Evolution’. The paper contained a lot of information on the history of FireWire, and delved deeply into the marketing path which Apple had taken with FireWire 800.
I probably was a little too careful in my analysis; I tried not to ruffle feathers needlessly at Apple. In any case, it’s dangerous to predict the future.
This time, I am throwing caution to the wind and I will be a little more emphatic. If you are making storage decisions based on rollouts of FireWire 800 technology, your purchasing priorities are sadly out of order. Apple was the only champion of FireWire 800; a task it seemed to take reluctantly. Now, Apple is making marketplace moves that are absolving itself of FireWire 800.
One of the keen underlying technology themes at MacWorld 2006 is that Apple has begun to remove FireWire 800 from its product lineup. It was removed unceremoniously from the MacBook Pro, and I’m betting that it will soon be gone from the entire Macintosh product lineup, most specifically the desktop lineup.
No, I don’t have a secret line of communication with Steve, and I have absolutely no Apple engineers whispering in my ear. And I have no axe to grind with my own product line, because we do sell lots of FireWire 800 drive enclosures and docks every day. We also have some customers who are married to FireWire 800 technology for the right reasons and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
FireWire 800 was the right technology at the right time, but badly marred by marketing mistakes at the time it was launched. It had a viable upgrade path to even faster versions (none of which has ever happened).
So where to from here? Here’s my thoughts as to where Apple should go…
Read More….

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The Apple Core: PowerBook G4 Defects

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Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2006, 08:18
Category: The Apple Core

Apple is having some serious, documented issues with the 15-inch PowerBook G4s that were released in October 2005 (a.k.a “High-Resolution” or “Double-Layer SD”) and it appears that they are ignoring them.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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