MacBook Pro MagSafe Power Connector Burns up

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 12:03
Category: MacBook Pro

burnt-magsafe.jpgA Flickr user named Rheauchyr has posted a set of images of his burnt MagSafe power connector from his MacBook Pro.

When I came home today, I found that the magsafe connector was melted. Thank god the cats disconnected the Macbook pro during the day (they were probably chasing each other and tripped over the wire).

UPDATE: 2006-0316, 11:35 PM:
It should be noted that this is clearly an isolated incident. According to Digg, Apple requested that the poster remove the Flickr image set after they replaced his MacBook Pro.

I am sorry if you do not see the image(s) you might have expected to see.
The reason for this is that Apple, after dealing with this issue, kindly requested me to remove the pictures at least until their engineers had a change to investigate this issue. Since Apple support has been very helpful and already is getting me a new Macbook asap, I’m happy to answer their request.
For those whose immediate reaction is along the lines of ‘censorship’ and other big words: I don’t care.

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Ask Emory: Push Email, Good or Bad?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 11:41
Category: Mobile Phone

Dear PowerPage:
I would be very interested to hear more about your experiences with the Treo 650.
I have just purchased one and am looking at the idea of “push email”. For a start, I’m not sure whether it is a good or bad idea. Do you use this type of system? Which email program do you use on the Treo?
Chattermail seem to offer an attractive idea – messages arrive on your Treo when they arrive at your server without having to manually choose to get mail on the Treo. However how this works is a bit confusing to me!
I’d be very interested to hear your experiences on this and how you manage email on the Treo.
All the best,
Simon

Click on the headline to read the PowerPage’s resident mobile phone guru Emory Lundberg’s reply…

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The Apple Core: DIY Photoshop Torture Test

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 11:48
Category: The Apple Core

Photoshop-torture-test.jpgBack in February I posted some Photoshop benchmarks pitting the MacBook Pro 2.0GHz against the PowerBook G4 1.5GHz. Not surprisingly, the old-school PowerBook G4 won the pixel-pushing death-match in a unanimous decision due to the fact the Photoshop is written to natively address the PowerPC chip whereas the MacBook Pro is sorely hobbled by the constraints of Rosetta emulation.
If you’ve ever wondered how your Apple iron stacks up to the Photoshop benchmarks I posted, I am making available the Photoshop action and test files that I used in the test. Feel free to download them and run them on your own machine. After you run the Photoshop action, please post your results in the TalkBack below!
Download the test files on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Nokia N80 Shows up on NokiaUSA

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Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 11:37
Category: Mobile Phone

Oh, snap. The Nokia N80 has a home on the NokiaUSA website!

If we are to believe the digits given for network capabilities, this makes it very unlikely for a launch on Cingular. I find it unlikely that Nokia didn’t make a mistake — it is foolish to launch a 3G handset on T-Mobile which lacks a UMTS network.

The Nokia N80 is a 3-mega-pixel havin’ mp3-playin’, wifi-rockin’, email-fetchin’, S60 smartphone that is the absolute peak of Nokia multimedia innovation. Nokia has also announced a Bluetooth audio gateway that mates to the N80 allowing you to kick your audio from your handset to your home stereo system without cables. While Apple makes bigger and thinner iPods, Nokia is doing an end run.

Pricing is unavailable but I still expect the unlocked and unbranded flavor to fetch USD$900 upon release. if a US operator like Cingular or (gasp) T-Mobile starts selling it it is likely that they’ll charge around USD$400 for the device, as well as using the new strong-arm thug-life tactics to prevent customers from unlocking the device or de-branding it with proper firmware. It is also probable that US operators will cripple this device and there will be little you can do about it. Observe the footnote:

“To use the phone you must have service from a service provider. Many features and mobile services require network support. Some networks have limitations that affect how you can use phone features. Your service provider also may have requested that certain features not be activated in a phone. If so, they may not appear in the phone’s menu. Contact your service provider about feature support and availability.”

So even if this handset tucks you in at night and feeds your cat, there is a chance that your operator will block those features from use. It will be interesting to see how badly they screw this up. But you’re all savvy consumers who demand the best, so you’ll be paying the big bucks to get one that works as Nokia intended, right?

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Tempmarks: MacBook Pro versus PowerBook G4

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

One of the most popular questions about the new MacBook Pro is about its temperature. Users of previous PowerBook G4s (especially the 12-inch model) are very conscious of the ambient heat generated by their machines. It’s difficult to use on your lap after running for as little as 30 minutes. This heat (and lawyers) are the reasons manufacturers don’t call them “laptops” any more – they’re only referred to as “notebooks” now.
In fact, Apple’s MacBook Pro User Guide explicitly states “Do not leave the bottom of your MacBook Pro in contact with your lap or any surface of your body for extended periods.” Adding that “prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn.”
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Big Monitor (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2006, 07:00
Category: Mac mini

I mean REALLY big monitor.

big-monitor.jpg

I just plugged my new Mac mini in to the digital input on the back of my TV. I need to do some tweeking to the settings on the TV to get the picture really crisp, but it’s pretty encouraging that it just works right out of the box. I did have to make one change in the display settings on the computer (turned off overscanning or something). One more thing: Front Row looks SICK on the big screen. Good bye Windows Media Center! (Contributed by: Aaron Smith)
UPDATE: 2006-0315:
Click through for more details on Aaron’s setup…

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Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 19:21
Category: Software

Apple today posted Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1 a 400kb firmaware patch that “aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.” Accroding to Apple knowledge base article 303035 (“Updating battery firmware for PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) and some earlier PowerBooks”):

This firmware update is required to keep your battery life up to specification, may recover battery life in some batteries that have developed short run times, and in some cases can recover batteries that are not recognized by the system.

If your PowerBook requires the update, it will be available through Software Update (called “Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update”). You can also download it from Aluminum PowerBook (15-inch) Battery Update v1.1 a 400kb firmaware patch that “aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.” Accroding to Apple knowledge base article 303035 (“Updating battery firmware for PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) and some earlier PowerBooks”):”>Apple Downloads.

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Security Update 2006-002 Released

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 11:54
Category: Software

Security-Update-2006-02.jpgApple just released the second security update for Mac OS X of 2006:

Security Update 2006-002 is recommended for all users and improves the reliability and security of the following components:
apache_mod_php
CoreTypes
LaunchServices
Mail
Safari
rsync
Additionally, this update incorporates Security Update 2006-001, which improves the security of the following components:
apache_mod_php
automount
Bom
Directory Services
iChat
IPSec
LaunchServices
LibSystem
loginwindow
Mail
rsync
Safari
Syndication
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61798

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Lapvantage Loft Elevates Your Ride in Style

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Accessory

lapvantage-loft.jpgIf you’re like me, you use your MacBook/PowerBook on a desk connected to an external monitor and keyboard. The problem with this setup has been what to do with the notebook computer on the desk. Perching your notebook on a desk makes it too low to see effectively and also makes it run hot due to inadequate airflow below the unit.
This problem has spawned a cottage industry of podium stands for notebook computers that are used on desks. Back in 2002 I wrote about the Lapvantage Dome which I used on my desk exclusively until yesterday when I replaced it with an updated version, the Lapvantage Loft (US$80).
The Lapvantage Loft is an ergonomic laptop stand that supports up to 15 pounds and fits most notebooks with 15-inch displays. Other notebooks will also fit although they may hang off the sides slightly.
The Loft is available with either a black or a silver pedestal and the polished acrylic platform is available in either blue, clear or white. Pictured above is the silver/blue configuration. The Loft is different from the Dome model in that it leaves space underneath the platform for storage of things like keyboards and other desk clutter. A built-in swivel base rotates 360 degrees for easy screen sharing.
The Lapvantage Loft is extremely ergonomic, looks cool and will clean up the look of your desk in a hurry.

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Proporta Retractable USB Cable for Treo 650

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Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006, 09:19
Category: Accessory

proporta-treo-sync.jpgAs you’re already aware, I have a thing for retractable cables. One of my favorites is the Retractable USB Sync and Charge Cable for the Treo 650 (US$16) from Proporta.
Retractable cables save room in my gear bag and eliminate the spaghetti-like tangle of cables that confounds me every time I need to grab something quickly.
The best thing about the USB sync cable for Treo is that it charges the phone while connected to USB – a major omission from the stock USB cable that ships from PalmOne. The bundled cable that comes with the Treo requires you to connect a separate AC adapter to the USB cable to charge the phone. Duh.
The only con that I have found is that there’s no dedicated sync button on the retractable USB sync cable, like there is on the PalmOne version. But it’s easy enough to tap into the HotSync app and initiate your sync from there.
In realted news: Proporta is giving a free pink silicone case to anyone who buys a case for their 30GB 5G iPod (while supplies last).

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