How to Upgrade a Core Duo-based MacBook to 802.11n

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 07:12
Category: How-To
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An article over at Hardmac.com provides a step by step guide as to how to upgrade a MacBook and MacBook Pro Core Duo laptop beyond its built-in 802.11g standard to the current 802.11n standard.
The first obstacle to overcome is how to install an 802.11n card in these laptops. The MacBook Core 2 Duo’s 802.11n-compatible card features three antennas as opposed to the two found in Apple’s previous laptop models. The authors discovered that the MacBook Pro’s 802.11n-compatible AirPort card had only two antennas but also the same PCI Express 1x size and connections.
The article then moves into a full step by step guide as to how to disassemble the MacBook, what tools are needed and how to proceed gently given that you’re working with a plastic casing. Upon completion, the author installed the new AirPort driver from the CD that came with Apple’s 802.11n-compatible AirPort Extreme Base Station and ran speed tests.
Click the jump for the full story…

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The Apple Core: The DVD-R media that destroyed my SuperDrive (photos)

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Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 03:00
Category: The Apple Core
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Yesterday I inserted a blank DVD-R disc into my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) like I’ve done dozens of times before. But this time was different. This time it destroyed my SuperDrive.
After I inserted the blank DVD-R media I didn’t immediately notice that it didn’t mount in the Finder and promptly forget about it. About 20 minutes later when I noticed that it didn’t mount I pressed the eject key on the keyboard and heard a horrible crumpling sound. I got chills as I watched the disc above slowly come out of my SuperDrive.
When the disc came out of my drive the white thermal printing was mostly de-laminated from the top of the disc surface. About half of the white thermal surface had peeled off inside the SuperDrive mechanism. Note: that is not a label that I installed or some sort of a sticker, it’s the white thermal printable top coat that ships from the manufacturer on the media.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Breaking News: Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Merge

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Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 00:54
Category: News

I’m a Sirius subscriber and just got this email in my inbox:

February 19, 2007
To: SIRIUS Subscribers
Today is a very exciting day for SIRIUS customers. As you may have heard, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio are merging to form the nation’s premier audio entertainment provider.
This combination of our two offerings will benefit you – our loyal listeners. As a single company, we’ll provide superior programming to you every day with the best of both SIRIUS and XM. Currently, XM and SIRIUS broadcast a wide range of commercial-free music channels, exclusive sports coverage, news, talk, and entertainment programming. Howard Stern. Oprah and Friends. The NFL. MLB. NBA. ESPN. CNBC. Fox News. Additionally, the combined company will be able to improve existing services such as real-time traffic information and rear-seat video as well as introduce new ones.
After shareholder and regulatory approvals, we anticipate that the combination will be finalized by the end of 2007. Until then, both companies will continue to operate independently. We will continue to provide you with the uninterrupted service – as well as the outstanding customer support – that you have come to expect and enjoy from SIRIUS. We do not anticipate any changes in your service during the merger process, however, please call our customer care team on 1- 888-539-7474 should you have any questions.
We look forward to the many benefits this combination will offer and continuing to make your listening experience an enjoyable one – offering more of the Very Best Radio on Radio.
Stay tuned,
Mel Karmazin, CEO

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Apple Releases WWAN Support 1.0 Updater

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 16:39
Category: News

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Apple has released the WWAN Support 1.0, a 348 kilobyte software update that provides support for Novatel’s peripherals.
The list of supported devices are as follows:
Available on the Cingular network:
Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard (HSDPA)
Available on the Sprint network:
Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 Express Card (EVDO Rev. A)
Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB Modem (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A)
Available on the Verizon network:
Novatel XV620 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. 0)
Novatel V740 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. A)
Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A)
The update requires an Intel-based Mac laptop and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be found on Apple’s software updates page or downloaded and installed via the Software Update feature in Mac OS X.
If you’ve had positive or negative experiences with this update, let us know.

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Adobe Gets Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 Out the Door

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 12:20
Category: News

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Abode announced today that it has shipped its Photoshop Lightroom software. The software, which retails for US$199 until April, then rises to US$299, functions as a workflow management program (similar to Apple’s Aperture program) for digital images.
The package supports a wide variety of digital image formats such as JPEG, TIFF and more than 150 variants of the RAW format in order to be compatible with a wide variety of cameras on the market. Featured tools include white balance, exposure control, tone curves, lens distortion and color casts.
The public beta, which was released for the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems last year, will expire on February 28th. Photoshop Lightroom requires Mac OS X 10.4.3. or later, a 1 GHz G5, G5 or Intel-based processor and one gigabyte of hard drive space to install and run. The software is a universal binary an runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware architectures.

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iPhone Rate Plans Leaked?

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 08:13
Category: News

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The folks over at AppleiPhoneReview.com have posted and summarily removed an ad describing Cingular’s planned calling rates for the highly-anticipated Apple iPhone. The ad mentions a US$39.99 rate for 450 minutes with unlimited mobile to mobile calling and 5,000 night and weekend minutes with data plans starting at US$4.99 a month for 200 minutes or US$19.99 a month for a 200 message data plan plus unlimited Internet use and Visual Voicemail.
The ad may have only been a sample from a private consumer survey form and full details can be found over at Jason’s Apple Core blog.
And now, the million dollar question: how much is the iPhone worth to you each month?

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Mexican Airline Volaris Now Renting iPods to Customers

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 08:49
Category: News

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An article on MacNN points to Mexican airline Volaris, which will rent iPods out to its passengers for about US$5.
Although Apple has made arrangements with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to offer integration between the iPod and these carriers’ in-flight entertainment systems, Volaris seems to be the first to offer the devices themselves, albeit the units aren’t inegrated into seat-back video screens.
The airline has begun distributing 30 gigabyte iPod video units for the rental fee of 50 pesos per flight as of February 8th. The iPods are configured with Mexican TV shows and music, although Volaris also plans to load American television shows and other genres of music.
Not a bad way to fly and if you have an opinion, let us know.

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PPUG 2007 Meeting TODAY

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Date: Saturday, February 17th, 2007, 08:00
Category: User Group
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REMINDER: If you’re in the Philadelphia region PPUG meets today at noon. See you there.
PPUG (Philadelphia PowerBook Users Group) will hold our first 2007 meeting on Saturday, 17 February 2007. The meeting will take place from noon to 3pm at the Manayunk Brewing Company.
Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
215.482.8220
We usually have lunch (and/or a brew) while we talk mobile computing. Jason O’Grady (founder of PPUG and PowerPage.org) will be on hand to talk about latest developments from Macworld Expo San Francisco which include the iPhone, Apple TV, Leopard, and the latest mobile computing news.
Sidekicks Bob Snow and Rob Parker will join us to give us their take on the latest happenings in the world of Macintosh and Apple. Additionally we will have time for Q&A. If you were at Macworld Expo, we would love to have you give us your perspective as well.
Join us for a great meeting, it’s free and open to all and your guests. Feel free to bring items to sell or swap as well.

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Hazel: Desktop Cleaning Assistant

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Date: Friday, February 16th, 2007, 10:00
Category: Software
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NoodleSoft’s Hazel (US$16, free trial) is great little application that I read about on TUAW that sounded right up my alley. From their product page:

Hazel works on whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create. It features a rule interface similar to that of Apple Mail so you should feel right at home. Have Hazel move files around based on name, date, what site/email address it came from (Safari and Mail only) and much more. Keep your downloads off the desktop and put them where they need to be.

As you can imagine, I download a heck of a lot of things daily and since Flock/Firefox can’t seem to remember my downloads location preference < !> I end up with a cluttered desktop that I have to clean daily before it gets out of control. Like David Chartier, I created a simple rule that combs my desktop and puts in their correct locations. This application is gold I tell you, gold.

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Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5 Build 3170 Released

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Date: Friday, February 16th, 2007, 10:52
Category: News

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Parallels has released build 3170, the third candidate version, of Parallels Desktop for Mac. The final build, when complete, will be known as Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5.
Parallels Desktop for Mac has become a favorite Windows virtualization tool for many Mac OS X users who can now simultaneously run Microsoft’s Windows operating systems on their Intel-based Macs without having to reboot a la Apple’s Boot Camp technology.
The new version, a 38.7 megabyte download, offers a wide variety of fixes and changes (as listed on the version’s notes page), the most prominent being better Coherence support (which allows users to run Windows applications directly from Mac OS X’s Dock), improved USB 2.0 support, Windows Vista upgrade improvements and preliminary support for Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system, due out later this year.
Parallels Desktop for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run. The software retails for US$79.99 and is available as a trial download.
If you’ve had any experience with the new Parallels build, positive or negative, let us know.

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