17-inch MacBook Pro Ships w/FW800 and 8x Dual Layer Drive

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 21:40
Category: MacBook Pro

macbook-pro-17-inch.jpgAs expected, Apple today debuted a 17-inch version of the MacBook Pro, the second model in its Intel-based notebook lineup. The system, which retails for US$2,799, includes a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor and is different than the 15-inch in that it ships with a FireWire 800 port (in addition to a FW 400), an 8x dual layer SuperDrive and three USB ports instead of two.

Like many of you, I paid top dollar for my MBP15 with a much slower FW 400 port and a wimpy 4x single layer SuperDrive. The 17-inch is spec’d to be the same thickness as the 15-inch (one inch) so that pretty much negates the argument that there wasn’t enought height in the 15-inch to fit the dual layer burner. And what about all the FW800 drives that I purchased? Bummer.

UPDATE:
I understand that Apple will and should improve their products over time. This is natural. I’m just a little miffed that Apple didn’t ship the MBP15 with the DL drive. After all, the 15 and 17 are the same thickness and that was the main argument I heard about them not being able to fit the DL drive into the MBP15. I can’t help but think that this was part of Apple’s plan to differentiate the MBP17. Some say that it’s wrong, some say that it’s good business.
The Apple apologists who think that Apple can do no wrong should remember that the previous PowerBook G4 was available with FW800 and a DL drive which they removed from the MBP. An obvious downgrade of these features.

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17-Inch MacBook Pro Released

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:39
Category: MacBook Pro

I’m sure we’ll see a lot more on this later today, but for now, widen your browser window and check it out.
I’m still waiting for a 12-13″ wide-format notebook, personally. Now that the flagship is here, perhaps the more portable version is coming shortly.

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Intel Leaks New PowerMac Desktop Plans

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Intel

Intel’s Asia Pacific sales and marketing group general manager (John Antone) appears to have leaked that Apple’s Intel PowerMac desktopswill be launched in Q3 2006:

In the face of increased competition, not just from arch-rival AMD but also from upstarts like Nvidia and ATi, Intel has been forced into a complete turnabout regarding micro- processors.

The about-turn message was hammered home by Asia Pacific sales and marketing group general manager John Antone. It’s time Taiwanese manufacturers moved away from hot CPUs, running at multi-Gigahertz clock speeds, to the more computationally and power efficient designs developed in Israel that debuted in Intel’s Centrino notebook range, he says.

That transformation is now complete, and Intel wants the Taiwanese OEMs that dominate world electronics production to get ready for the Merom (mobile), Woodcrest (server) and Conroe (desktop) CPUs, which are all scheduled for commercial release this year…

Apple customers may be the first to enjoy Intel’s new CPU goodies, with the Woodcrest family of processors making it into Macintosh workstations as early as the third quarter. Woodcrest systems will be symmetric multi processing (SMP), with dual processors with up to four cores each. One such machine was demonstrated at IDF, running benchmarks under Windows XP 64-bit edition, showing eight active cores.

Computerworld > Forget hot and heavy, Intel’s new mantra is lean and mean

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Two New iTunes Features

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iTunes

Pixel from iPodBank posts this:

Ever heard a song on TV and wished you could buy the song but just didn’t know what the song title was? Well, Apple has debuted two new iTunes “features” that may help you out.
The first is “Commercial Success.” There are currently 26 songs available for download and they come from commercials for various companies including Apple, Old Navy, Budweiser, Jaguar, AT&T, Cingular, Motorola, Dockers, Diet Coke, Candies, Honda, Hilton, Citibank, Nike and more.
Apple’s other new “feature” is “As Heard On” which makes it easier for American Idol fans to download songs contestants performed on previous episodes. An interesting navigational feature here is the use of tabs which let you browse songs from “This Week,” “Last Week,” “Previous Weeks” and the “Complete Set.”

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Repairing an iBook G3 GPU failure

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iBook

ibook_screen.jpgMacBook-fr.com has published an article about repairing an G3 iBook Dual USB video failure. The Apple Repair Extension Program is now up, so the only solution for having such an iBook to work is the “DIY” solution. One of our forums’ moderator, Pacis, has found a solution that solve this issue. It’s not expensive and it’s not hard to do.
Contributed by: Vincent, Macbook-fr.com

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G-Force’s New Mac Version

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

g-force-platinum.jpgSoundSpectrum’s G-Force is a killer music visualization plug-in for iTunes that features fast anti-aliased effects, and millions of possible visual combinations that move to your music. G-Force is highly superior to Apple’s included iTunes visualizer and is the kind of plug-in that, once used, you can’t live without.
The free version of G-Force allows you to see visuals based on Sound Spectrum’s advanced mathematical engine with millions of visual effects. You can even add your own visuals.
The upgraded Mac versions have just been updated and now include a toolbar that lets you control/customize many visual effects, and also the V-Bar, which is a cool strip which you can place on any desktop edge or different monitor and have going while you work in other apps.
Specifically G-Force Gold (US$20) adds the following features:
- Toolbar for full control and customization
- V-Bar: watch G-Force while working in other apps
- Exclusive visual effects
- Album cover art and track titles
- One year of free updates
Or buck-up to G-Force Platinum (US$30) to see G-Force at its best. Platinum includes the above, plus:
- G-Force Screen Saver
- Support for multiple media players
- Standalone: visualize CDs, Internet radio, microphone, etc.

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Additional Info on Dead Airport Expresses

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Accessory

Thank you for putting the Airport Express problem on the front page right in time when mine died. At least it seems that I am not alone.
Somewhere on the linked page from the Apple discussions there is an interesting note that French site “MacBidoulle” (english version at Hardmac.com) is already looking deeper into the problem and is collecting serial numbers and other information about dead APXes. If you go to Hardmac.com and do a search on “Airport Express” you will find that they report regularly about their progress. There seems to be the suspicion that especially APXes in countries with 220 V or 240 V voltage are affected.
I had roughly the same problem with my first graphite Airport base dying. Apple acknowledged the problem with specific serial numbers at some point and I got a refurbished unit in exchange even after the warranty had expired. I hope that the work at MacBidoulle will lead to a similarly satisfying solution for the owners of dead Airport Express stations.
Contributed by:Dietmar Liehr

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The Apple Core: Apple’s Earth Day Announcements

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

mac-recycling.jpgApple made two announcements in the spirit of this weekend’s Earth Day.
The first is an expansion of its computer recycling program, offering free computer take-back and recycling with the purchase of a new Macintosh beginning in June. If you purchase a new Mac in the U.S. from the Apple Store or Apple’s retail stores you’ll be eligible to receive free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of your old computer. According to Apple, equipment received by the program in the U.S. is recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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MacBook Pro: A Love/Hate Relationship?

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 07:10
Category: MacBook Pro

Two recent posts from Digg about the MacBook Pro appear to be in conflict:
Ten Reasons Why I Hate My MacBook Pro
Ten Reasons Why I Love My MacBook Pro

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