87 Watt vs 60 Watt MagSafe Adapter

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Date: Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook Pro

As you know there is no AC adapter for the MacBook Pro that can be used on airplanes (because of the 75 watt limit) and there are no AC adapters for 12 volt use (i.e. in automobiles).
The 60 watt MacBook AC adapter will charge both the MacBook Pro 15 and 17-inch but at a slower rate. The 60 watt AC adapter gives off no more heat than usual (on either the charger or the MBP) when charging a MacBook Pro. We believe that this may be a temporary solution for the lack of an airline charger.
We’re looking for others to test this setup who have more knowledge about the correct voltages and battery charging requirements. Please post in the comments if you have any ideas.
Contributed by: Rob Graner


White MacBook Incrementally Faster Than Black

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Date: Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook

A test of the 2GHz white MacBook showed it offered a slight performance advantage in comparison with the black models. This confused the testers, as both Macs are, to all intents and purposes, equally configured.

“Testing the white 2GHz MacBook and comparing the results to the published scores of the black model, we saw small performance differences in many of the tests, with the edge going to the white model in most cases,” reports Macworld US.

Macworld UK – MacBook tests see puzzling results

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Karma-improved SmackBook

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Date: Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Hack

Some people thought that the original SmackBook was too violent so a YouTube user uploaded a video of the Karma-improved SmackBook which appears to take advantage of the MacBook’s ambient light sensor (ALS).


Digital v Analogue #8: A Browsing Compromise

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Date: Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 07:00
Category: music

My major music source is my iPod, played through my car, home or studio music system. I purchase the majority of my music on CD, rip them into my PowerBook’s iTunes collection, add album artwork and move them on to my ‘preview’ playlist. Songs I like stay, ones I don’t get deleted. I also have a 90 song per month subscription to emusic.com, and go through a similar process with the songs I download, re-ripping them to 128kbps AAC and adding cover artworks.
Storing CDs is a logistical problem. I have thousands of CDs, the majority of them are stored at my design studio, with another tranch in three main locations at my house. There is also a significant percentage ‘on loan’ to friends. Some of these return.
At some point I am going to rationalise this in to one big ‘alphabetised by artist’ collection in my house, at the moment, discovering where a specific CD is can be problematic… but at least I can ‘see’ the ones I do have. The songs I download are more of a problem. They sit in my iTunes collection, effectively invisible unless I remember what they are called (yeah, right!) or if they appear on one of my playlists. Worse still, if I delete a track, then later hear it somewhere else and decide that I actually DO like it, I have to pay to download it again.
So, I’ve come up with a solution. Before I even listen to them, the files I rip or download are copied to a folder on my hard drive, along with a JPEG of the cover artwork. When there are 12 ‘albums’ in the folder, I make up a CD cover featuring all 12 album artworks with their titles and artists. I then burn the music files (along with the cover artworks and PDFs of the cover artwork) to a CD.
The CD serves two main purposes; as a visual reminder of the albums I have purchased and downloaded, and as a ‘backup’ so that I have copies of every song I have purchased.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


How Well do MacBooks run Quake 4?

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Date: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 10:22
Category: Benchmark

quake4.jpgBareFeats has posted a shootout between various Macs running Quake 4 Including three MacBooks:
PowerBook G4/1.5 15″ (with Daystar 2.0GHz upgrade)
PowerBook G4/1.67 17″
MacBook 13″ (2GHz)
MacBook Pro 15″ (2GHz)
MacBook Pro 17″ (2.16GHz)

We’re still excited about seeing multi-processor support on a state-of-the-art game like Quake 4. It reminds us of “yesteryear” when Id Software was the only company to dedicate the time and effort to optimize Quake 3 for AltiVec and Dual G4 Processors. The frame rates we get for Quake 4 are much lower than Quake 3 due to the higher sophistication of Quake 4 and due to the fact that the Quake 4 test is a Network Timed Demo rather than Quake 3’s Single User Timed Demo. In other words, the “id_demo0001” demo file simulates real game play against opponents over a network.
I’m not sure at what resolution and quality level you prefer to use with Quake 4 but we chose various settings with the hope of clarifying how the various Macs perform in a “real world” Quake 4 gaming situation. We also wanted to compare Intel Macs to PPC Macs. Needless to say, the ultimate Quake 4 “engine” in the Mac realm is the Quad-Core G5/2.5GHz Power Mac with the mutant GeForce 7800 GTX. I’m sure the “ultimate” title will be passed on when the Quad Intel “MacTower Pro” shows up with SLI support.

Click through for all the numbers.


Sidekick 3 Details

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Date: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 10:15
Category: Mobile Phone

sidekick3-reference.jpgOn Tuesday June 6th, the FCC released new juice on the Sidekick 3: the reference guide and owner’s manual. More filings are on the FCC’s main page. (Note: You must change the extension on the downloaded file from “.cgi” to “.pdf”).
Most of the rumors that had been published before this release were confirmed. The new Sidekick 3 will have EDGE connectivity for faster Web browsing. There will be a mini-SD card included (size unknown) which will be used for both storing pictures from the new 1.3 Megapixel camera and for storing MP3s for the new music player.
MP3s will be transferred via USB 1.1 (cable included). You will now be able to use a hands free headset through Bluetooth connectivity. vCard files will also be transmittable through Bluetooth. The new Sidekick is doing away with the scroll wheel that has become so identifiable with the Sidekick. It will now have a trackball in place of the wheel which will give the added function of being able to scroll left and right as well as up and down.
The battery will now be removable. Now you can carry a second battery for backup. A new instant messaging client integrates both AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN messenger together into one easy to use program. Jump screen backgrounds will also now be customizable.
The new Sidekick 3 promises to be a much improved experience. All we need now is a release date. T-Mobile still remains silent about anything to do with the Sidekick 3. If you call T-Mobile they will say that they have no information. There has been speculation of a July 10th release. Lets hope it’s soon!
Contributed by: Paul Grossman


MacBook Discoloration

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Date: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 09:00
Category: MacBook

macbook-discoloration-250.jpgFlickr user TSwartz has reported a problem with his white MacBook getting discolored on the palm rests:

The spots don’t wash off, I’ve only had the MacBook for two weeks. Genius at Apple Store told me to call Apple about it, as he’s never seen anything like it. My iBook didn’t discolor in the 3 years I had it — can’t be my hands. I don’t smoke, don’t use latex, etc. And for those who worry about my hygiene habits, thanks. I wash my hands.
More people are having this issue in the Apple Discussions:
and at MacRumors:

MacBook Discoloration on Flickr


The Apple Core: Google SketchUp released for Mac OS X

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Date: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 09:49
Category: The Apple Core

sf-city-hall-200.jpgWhen Google acquired @Last Software on 14 March 2006 I got excited about the prospect of having a tidy little application to design all the house projects that I have planned for the summer. Needless to say, I was a little bummed out when I found out that the company’s SketchUp application was only available for Windows and that the Mac version was “coming soon.”
It looks like Google is one of the few software companies out there that actually keeps their word when it comes to releasing Mac versions of their software.
The setup instructions with screen shots are on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Pimp Your MBP With Vista

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 23:59
Category: Software

I know that it has been reported ad nauseam all over the Web but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can install Windows Vista beta 2 on the MacBook Pro. (No word yet on if it works on the MacBook.) Hans VB’s blog has the installation instructions and a page of screen shots to go along with it.
Have you spent the two plus hours this endeavour requires? Share your experience in the comments below .


Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

This myth is so fantastically absurd that it has to involve Mark Stephens, writing under the name Robert X Cringely. Remember, Cringely was also involved with spreading the Red Box Myth, the Mac OS X Microkernel Myth, and the Mac OS X Needs a Linux Kernel Myth.
His recent speculation that Leopard would not work on PowerPC Macs managed to imply some sort of Osborne Effect for Intel Macs that could only be managed by Apple actively obsolescing all PowerPC Macs this year:
“Speeding-up performance is great, but normally a system vendor won’t want to do that for older hardware, which might encourage some users to keep their old box and just add a new OS. […] For this reason alone, I’m guessing that the new OS X Kernel won’t be backward compatible to PowerMacs. But this is just a guess.”
Read more in “Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted