Apple: Some Intel-Based Macs May Become Unresponsive After Extended Periods in Target Disk Mode

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 13:55
Category: News

A recent article on MacFixIt.com points to an Apple Knowledge Base document detailing how certain Intel-based Macs (namely the early 2006 iMacs and the MacBook Pro laptops) can become unresponsive if used as a host for FireWire target disk mode for more than 24 hours. Also worth noting is that the display and hard disk on the MacBook Pro might not go into sleep mode when Target Disk Mode has been activated for long periods of time, so be aware of this when checking if the system has become unresponsive.
Albeit a fix (either from a hardware or firmware update end) hasn’t been released, Apple suggests unmounting the host computer and restarting target disk mode sessions every 24 hours.
Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas regarding this issue.

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MacBook/MacBook Pro Tilt Sensors Control Roomba

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 10:57
Category: Hacks

A cool link over at the mighty digg.com describes a project over at Tod E. Kurt’s HackingRoomba.com wherein a small Perl script can be used in conjunction with a Bluetooth adapter and the built-in tilt sensors found on the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.
The script takes a short time to load, then allows the user to control the Roomba’s movements by tilting it forward, backward, left and right to propel the Roomba in corresponding directions.
The script is in an early version but functional. For more information, instructions and a QuickTime demonstration video of the project, go to the project page for full details.

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Apple Confirms Certain Processes Can Shorten Battery Runtime

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 16:03
Category: News

An article posted on the always-useful MacFixIt.com shows Apple confirming that certain system processes can shorten battery run times according to a Knowledge Base document posted on Apple’s web site.
The document confirms that “runaway” processes (or those that use much larger amounts of CPU time than seem to be necessary) can dramatically reduce battery life on Apple laptops such as the iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Per the document: “Battery runtimes can be reduced if an application(s) has runaway or taken over system processes. This can cause the processor to work overtime and consume unnecessary battery power. […]
and:
“If any process is taking more than 70% of the CPU […] verify if the process is needed. If not, quit the process by selecting the process and clicking the Quit button in the upper left corner of the window to regain CPU process control. This can lead to longer battery runtime.”
Practical advice and never be afraid of the Activity Monitor program, for it is your friend, despite residing in the slightly-intimidating Utilities folder.
If you have any comments or opinions on this issue, let us know.

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MiniBatteryLogger Tracks Battery Activities

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:23
Category: Software

Claudio Procida has today released version 1.5.2 of MiniBatteryLogger, a $15 shareware application that allows the user to view battery data such as charge and amperage over time as well as the ability to track this data via customizable colors and indicators for power events, such as surges and drains. Stored data is saved to a log file which tracks time and event occurrence while the program makes sense of this by creating charts, graphs and easy visual markers to follow.
Like other battery tracking programs, MiniBatteryLogger also shares details about your battery’s charge, actual, maximum and original capacities, amperage, voltage, cycle count, and estimated times to complete refill and discharge a battery.
The program is also compatible with the uber-cool Growl system notification program and can alert users via this application.
MiniBatteryLogger is a 2.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is written as a Universal Binary and runs cleanly on both the PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

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Mock iPhone Concept Drawing Hits the Web

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:46
Category: Humor

It may be something that’s either extremely clever or a complete waste of time, but Wired News has reported that several Photoshop jockeys have delivered a concept model of a fake Apple iPhone.
The mock-up, which hints at a rotary dial button system rather than digital push buttons, mounts the phone on a fourth generation iPod body, complete with clickwheel.
Cool stuff and amazing work. Despite the fervor surrounding the potential release of an iPhone device at the upcoming Macworld Expo, it’s nice to remember that there are those who would notice how worked up we’re getting – and still tease us about it.

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Rumors of Apple/TiVo Partnership Abound

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 09:19
Category: Rumor

Apple and TiVo
With Macworld Expo San Francisco on the horizon, the rumors abound.
The latest one according to an article on techcrunch.com centers around the possibility of Steve Jobs announcing a partnership at the upcoming show.
Albeit rumors usually spawn around this time, there is some credibility to the notion of a partnership, especially with Apple’s iTV product in the works. An article over on PVRWire agrees with the idea of the partnership and/or licensing deal, but also cites that Apple and TiVo embody different goals as well as work styles.
The joint effort may be mutually beneficial in that TiVo still has a strong brand name in the PVR world, but faces the reality of declining sales and increased competition while Apple’s connections to online video and retail through the iTunes Store could help the firm. Despite this strength, Apple remains new, untested and unproven in the television markets.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this, let us know.

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Ecamm Network Releases Huckleberry MacBook Mirror

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 07:53
Category: News

On Wednesday, Ecamm Network announced the immediate release of the Huckleeberry MacBook Mirror according to a story on MacMerc.com.
The Huckleberry is a simple mirror device that connects to the lid of any MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop and reflects the built-in camera’s field of vision over the top of the screen, thus allowing the camera to view anything stationed behind the laptop. Simple and cool, the device retails for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
In addition to the Huckleberry units, Ecamm Network is also bundling in their iGlasses software program, which adds filters and additiona viewing modes for both stand-alone and built-in iSight cameras.

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iPhone Expected to Include Clickwheel

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 06:35
Category: Rumor

With the iPhone on the way, Apple is expected to include its standard clickwheel found in several of its iPods into the device according to a report by MYiPhone.com.
The article, which cites analyst Jesse Tortora, mentions the importance of music to the device and believes that the iPhone should be considered a music player complete with phone capabilities rather than the reverse.
The first iPhone is expected to feature a camera and two batteries (one powering the cell phone capabilities, the other the music player’s) but lack Wi-Fi, video functions, a standard QWERTY keyboard and a larger OLED display. Said features are expected to appear in a second generation – around the third or fourth quarters of 2007.
If you have any ideas or comments about this, let us know.

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Apple Shifts Pricing, Features for Refurbished MacBook and MacBook Pro Units

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 09:27
Category: Article

According to a report from MacNN, Apple is changing its refurbished inventory of older MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops since the company released updated units powered by Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors this fall.
The company is currently offering its 15″ 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro with 512 MB of RAM, an 80 GB hard drive and ATI Mobilitiy Radeon X1600 with 128 MB of onboard VRAM for $1,449in both standard and glossy finishes.
A higher end 17″ 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro with 1 GB of RAM, 7,200 RPM 100 GB hard drive or 5,400 RPM 120 GB hard drive and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card with 256 MB of onboard VRAM available in both standard and glossy finishes is available for $2,199.
The popular 15″ 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro model, formerly $1,399 is no longer in stock.
Available refurbished MacBooks include the 1.83 GHz white model with 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive for $849, a 2.0 GHz white model with 512 MB of RAM for $899 and the ever-cool 2.0 GHz black model with 512 MB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive for $999. The refurbished units are based on the Intel Core Duo processor.

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Thin Client Technologies En Route for Mac OS X 10.5

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 09:10
Category: Software

Although Apple’s reported iPhone has snagged an incredible amount of attention in recent weeks, a slew of new technologies appear to be en route to Mac OS X 10.5 according to a report by Macworld UK.
Thin client technologies generally center around a larger host and save data remotely to hard drives and online services.
Reported new features in iCal and new capacities within recent and upcoming builds of Mac OS X Server point toward devices like the iPhone and others that can integrate between Mac OS X and the Macintosh platform, according to a recent report by AppleInsider.
The report cites that Apple has demonstrated some of the new integration features to some parties, the features relying on an unreleased version of .Mac. These features include the ability to beam contacts, remotely control and gain access to calendars and appointment schedules, the Mac acting as a hub of sorts while sending data to a consolidated center where other computers can access it upon logging in from other locations.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about this, let us know.

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