Disk Utilities and Intel Macs

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Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2006, 22:06
Category: Uncategorized

I wrote to each of Micromat (TechToolPro) and Alsoft (DiskWarrior) on the status of their products with respect to the new Intel Macs. Both said they will have new versions soon which run on Intel and that their current versions should not be run on Intel Macs.
Micromat said that if you run their current version of TTP4 on a PPC Mac, and access an Intel Mac via firewire disk mode, that TTP4 will properly work on the Intel Mac, optimizing disk directories, optimizing drive space, etc. Alsoft said exactly the opposite:

The partition map of the Intel-based Macs is different from the PowerPC-based machines. DiskWarrior will not rebuild the Intel machine in Target Disk Mode.

What has your experience been with the disk utilities for the Mac? Post in the comments below.

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The Apple Core: Tablet Envy

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Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2006, 08:50
Category: Uncategorized

umpc.jpgIn case you missed it, there’s a whole lot going on with tablet development these days – and it’s not in the Mac camp.
The Wintel community is abuzz about Intel’s Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) platform and a new product from Microsoft called Origami due to launch on March 9. The very stealthy Origami Project Web site only gives clues about what’s to come but the conventional wisdom is that it’s a miniature tablet PC that will play music and have full Media Center functionality, including playback of full motion videos.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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REVIEW: Griffin TuneFlex Car Mount and Charger

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Date: Tuesday, March 7th, 2006, 21:57
Category: Uncategorized

griffin-nanoflex.jpgGriffin Technology’s TuneFlex is a combination auto charger/flexible docking cradle for the iPod nano. It’s perfect for jamming to your nano in the car especially if you don’t have a good place to leave it (i.e. a cup holder) while driving.
TuneFlex has a flexible steel neck that adjusts to any angle making it visible from any vantage point. A light at the base of TuneFlex’s neck shows power status and a fuse keeps your iPod safe from spikes.
TuneFlex features a built-in 1/8″ stereo line-out connector (for attaching cassette adapters or cables) and it also includes a pass-through dock connector that lets you attach any accessory (including the iTrip, AirClick or SmartDeck cassette adapter among others.
TuneFlex is available in black for the iPod nano for US$40 from Griffin Technology.

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The Apple Core: Mac OS X 30 minute hack “woefully misleading”

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Date: Tuesday, March 7th, 2006, 01:39
Category: Uncategorized

There have been a number of salacious reports around the Web to the effect of “Mac OS X hacked in 30 minutes” based on the results of a competition in which hackers were challenged to hack into a Mac mini connected to the Internet. The story made headlines but incorrectly characterized the break-in as a genuine hack where it should have been described as a privilege escalation for a legitimate user…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Macs are cheaper than PCs by half

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Date: Tuesday, March 7th, 2006, 01:25
Category: Uncategorized

I know that it’s probably old news by now but an article in Network World claims that the Total Cost of Owning (TCO) a Mac is about half of what it costs to own a PC. From Business 2.0…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: MacBook Pro benchmarks: launch times

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Date: Monday, March 6th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Uncategorized

The MacBook Pro is unquestionably faster than the PowerBook G4 it replaces, but exactly how much depends on how you use it. Apple sells the MacBook Pro as “up to four times the horsepower of the PowerBook G4″ but that’s purely based on the SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks from Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Apple’s benchmarks were compiled using the IBM compiler and a beta version of the Intel compiler for Mac OS.
But SPEC benchmarks don’t tell the whole story. I tested one aspect of the MacBook Pro’s speed that affects me daily and is a better barometer of real world performance: application launch times. I benchmarked the MacBook Pro (2.0GHz) against a PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz) while launching 14 (native and Rosetta) applications and here are the results…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Security Update 2006-001, CVE-2006-0848, and the Architecture of Finder

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Date: Monday, March 6th, 2006, 07:00
Category: Uncategorized

Mac OS X has been the target of a few of proof-of-concept attacks as of late and has addressed them rather quickly. Usually the security community tries to abide by a process of professional courtesy that involves disclosure, an advisory, and releasing the gory details post-patch.
Obviously you shouldn’t rely on the kindness of strangers when it comes to such things, since it should be clearly evident that in the IT world, nobody has to play fair.
But is the issue over and done with? Did Apple really solve the problem? 2006-001 mitigates only a possible method of exposure to the underlaying flaw, without actually addressing the issue. What is the issue? Metadata.
Read More…

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REVIEW: Radtech BT400 G5 Bluetooth Headset

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Date: Sunday, March 5th, 2006, 22:48
Category: Uncategorized

radtech-bt400-g5-headset.jpgI’ve been testing the BT400 G5 Bluetooth Headset from Radtech (a sponsor of this site) for a few days now and like it. The BT400 connects to virtually any Bluetooth phone (in my case a Treo 650) and allows you to talk handsfree and remain in compliance with many local laws for using your mobile phone while driving.
The BT400 weighs 20g, fits me perfectly and works well. The rubber earhook is easy to switch from right to left ear operation. It’s slightly larger than my other headset (Motorola’s H500) so it may not be a good choice for small ears.
Pairing the BT400 to my phone was easy and sound quality is clear – no one I spoke to could tell that I was using a headset. Rubber ribs on the outside of the BT400 contain buttons for power/mute and talk/transfer, but sometimes it is difficult to tell the buttons from the ribs.
The volume buttons makes the BT400 loud enough to hear the caller clearly – which is more than I can say for the H500 which is barely audible sometimes.
The BT400 G5 Bluetooth Headset is available in light blue (Dolphin), silver (Marlin) and black (Sea Bass) for US$65 from Radtech. A USB charging cable is available for US$6 extra.
BT400 G5 Headset Specs:

Radio Class: Bluetooth II
Frequency: 2.4 – 2.48 GHz
Rx sensitivity: < -80 dBm
Antenna: Internal - chip-type
Range: 10 meter free-space
Input power: 5V 200-500mA
Battery: Internal Li-Polymer 3.7V, 120mA Rechargeable
Profiles: HSP, HFP, voice dialing, multi-pairing
Power Rating : 5mW (Min) - 10mW (Max)
Standby / Talk time: 250 / 5 hrs
Dimensions: 82 x 53 x 24mm
Weight: 20g

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Blackberry maker, NTP settle patent dispute for $612.5M – Mar. 3, 2006

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Date: Sunday, March 5th, 2006, 11:06
Category: Uncategorized

Blackberry maker, NTP settle patent dispute for $612.5M – Mar. 3, 2006:

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said Friday it agreed to pay $612.5 million to patent holding company NTP to settle a long-running dispute that had threatened to shut down the popular wireless e-mail service for its 3 million users.

That’s a tidy sum. But it appears to be over. Although they’ve settled before.

The real question is this: is Apple really comfortable acquiescing mobile sync to RIM, Microsoft, and smaller players?

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Update on the Nokia E61

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Date: Friday, March 3rd, 2006, 18:43
Category: Uncategorized

Well this is a bummer, man. A major bummer.

The Nokia E61 that I mentioned earlier? Well it finally got FCC Approval but I’m told that the device is set for a limited launch outside of the US for the first few weeks while the final bugs are ironed out.

Part of me wonders if this talk of bugs are legit, since Sony Ericsson and Nokia have both been very timid about releasing devices that support BlackBerry Connect in the United States while RIM and NTP go at it tooth and nail in courtrooms across the United States.

Further updates as events warrant.

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