Apple Releases Performance Update 1.0 Patch for Certain Macs

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Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 03:46
Category: Hardware, Software

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Early Thursday, Apple released Performance Update 1.0, a firmware fix for Macs experiencing occasional hard drive stalls under the Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 operating systems.

The patch, a 300 kilobyte download available via Software Update, affects the following machines:

- MacBook Air (Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53GHz, Mid 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009), MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
- iMac (24-inch, Early 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Early 2009)
- Mac mini (Early 2009)

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or Mac OS X 10.6.1 (for the Snow Leopard version) to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update, please let us know how it worked in the comments.

Intel Working on Apple’s “Light Peak” Brainchild to Eventually Replace Multiple Connection Cables

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Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 04:10
Category: Hardware, News

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Ok, this is interesting. A new interconnect technology called Light Peak is being developed by Apple as a potential replacement for FireWire, USB and traditional monitor cables. Engadget reports that Apple brought the technology to Intel and asked them to create it.

Per Engadget, Apple had reached out to Intel as early as 2007 with plans for an interoperable standard which could handle massive amounts of data and “replace the multitudinous connector types with a single connector (FireWire, USB, Display interface).”

According to documents reviewed by Engadget, Light Peak would enable users to connect a variety of devices into a single Light Peak port. Longer-term, Light Peak has the potential to replace almost all the ports that are on your current computer, including networking, display driving, and general connectivity.

The technology is centered around fiber optics capable of transferring data at 10Gbps . At this speed, you could transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds. According to Intel, Light Peak can scale to 100Gbps over the next decade and has a number of other benefits.

Optical technology also allows for smaller connectors and longer, thinner, and more flexible cables than currently possible. Light Peak also has the ability to run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives, docking stations, and more. The technology is faster than the recently ratified SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) which can transfer data at 4.8Gbps and could wind up in Apple systems as soon as Fall 2010 in a line of Macs destined for back-to-school shoppers. Following the initial launch, a low-power version of Light Peak is planned for 2011, which could find its way into tablets and mobile phones.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a gander at the video from the lab…



Atlona to Ship Mini DisplayPort Converter for Older MacBooks

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Date: Monday, August 3rd, 2009, 03:51
Category: Hardware, News

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Third party provider Atlona announced the released of the AT-DP200, a converter box that will let owners of older MacBooks with DVI or mini-DVI ports connect to the new Apple 24″ display, which uses a Mini DisplayPort. The device will ship in early September per the announcement.

Per the Apple Core, the unit boasts the following features:

* Compatible with All Mac and PC computers with DVI output.
* Supports High Resolutions up to 1,920×1,200.
* Full EDID management allows storing EDID information on the converter to make sure there is always a connection in between the computer and display.
* Re-Clocking technology will insure that signal stays the same quality as it was before entering the converter.
* Video Pass-Though, no scaling.

The AT-DP200 is expected to retail for a US$179 price tag.

Apple To Buy Additional 2.2 Million Shares of Imagination Technologies

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Date: Friday, June 26th, 2009, 04:45
Category: Hardware, News

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Apple may be expanding in component companies once again, as Macworld UK is reporting that Apple has upped its stake in British outfit Imagination Technologies, the London-based company that developed the technology used in the 3G iPhone’s graphics chips

Imagination Technologies has stated that Apple is to acquire 2.2 million of its shares at £1.4275 (about US$2.351 per share.

Apple already owned shares in Imagination’s technology. On 18 December 2008, Imagination revealed in a filing with the London Stock Exchange that Apple acquired 8,200,000 shares, equal to a 3.6% stake in the company.

London-based Imagination Technologies develops intellectual property found in systems-on-chip (SOCs), including its Meta processor cores and PowerVR graphics engines.

A graphics chip based on PowerVR provides the graphics for Apple’s 3G iPhone and other companies, including Samsung Electronics and Intel, have licensed Imagination’s graphics technology.

Review: USB Squid at ThinkGeek

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 10th, 2009, 18:26
Category: Hardware, Review

If you are like me and own a MacBook Air, you find out pretty quickly that one USB port is often not enough. Almost everything requires a USB port, Ethernet, CDs and DVDs, thumb-drives, and external hard drives. Since I often prefer a wired connection when I can, for the extra speed (yes, still faster than wireless), I have to use Apple’s USB Ethernet adapter. If I need to plug in anything else, I loose my network connection. I soon grew tired of this and went looking for a solution.
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And I found it at ThinkGeek! They sell a device called the USB Squid which was the perfect solution and works great! Basically its a USB 2.0 compatible splitter. You plug one end into your computer of choice, and it offers four USB jacks on the other end. As ThinkGeek points out, “The USB Squid is not a real squid, as squids have 8 legs and 2 tentacles. Heck, it’s not even an octopus – they have 8 arms. The USB Squid has four arms, so it’s sort of more a quadropus.”
Unlike other tiny USB hubs I looked at, the USB Squid doesn’t require an external power supply. Obviously it won’t work if you device needs something other than bus power, but all of my everyday devices worked fine with the Squid. The four jacks also have interlocking ridges on the outside in case you want to “hook” the plugs together into a vertical or horizontal block, but I found that the moulding was a little inconsistent and sometime the plugs didn’t remain attached to one another. A minor quibble in my opinion.
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The USB Squid is manufactured by a company called Buffalo in China, but there is no way to tell what they call the device since the package is covered only in Chinese characters and no English (except for a reference to “Windows Vista”), as it is something ThinkGeek imports for sale in the US. The USB Squid is 11″ long (from plug to hub) and is currently in stock and $19.99 at ThinkGeek. If you occasionally need an extra USB port and have a little space in your kit bag, I highly recommend grabbing one of these.

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Top Three Notebook Drives Duke It Out

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Date: Friday, July 20th, 2007, 10:51
Category: Hardware

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The guys over at Bare Feats have ran a full comparison between the Western Digital Scorpio 250 gigabyte 5,400 rpm drive, the Seagate Momentus 7200 160 gigabyte 7,200 rpm drive and the Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 200 gigabyte 7,200 rpm drive.
The full rundown is available here and if you’re interested in upgrading your MacBook or MacBook Pro’s SATA hard drive, take a look.
If you’ve come across a killer hard drive or have thoughts or opinions on this, let us know in the forums.

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Recent Apple Patent Filing Describes Backlit Touchpads and Click-Wheels

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 11:55
Category: Hardware

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A recent Apple patent filing submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office published earlier this month discusses the concept of illuminated touchpads and click-wheels as a means of providing constant visual feedback.
According to AppleInsider, which pointed out the 34-page filing, Apple cited that visual stimuli could be used to both alert the user via feedback to a touch event as well as be used in low light conditions.
The patent filing also stated that such devices could change intensity or color based on motion characteristics or pressure. Visual characteristics could also be used to highlight events, especially before and after an event occurred.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Myvu “Solo” Now Available Through Web Site

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007, 07:56
Category: Hardware

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In other news, one of the cooler accessories for the iPod just became more accessible. The Myvu, an eyewear system that attaches to the iPod and simulates a 27″ video screen being viewed from about six feet away, is being introduced in a more affordable “solo” edition.
According to Macworld News, the Myvu solo retails for US$199.95 and arrives without the power pack and premium travel case found with its “fully loaded edition” cousin. The Myvu solo edition includes the eyeglasses, in-ear noise-reducing earbuds, inline audio and picture controller and microfiber protective sleeve and lens cloth.
Myvu has states that the “solo” edition is now available from its web site (which still lists it as “coming soon”) and is available through the Apple Store and ZoomSystems-based automated retail systems found in airports and Macy’s department stores.
If you’ve tried the Myvu system and have comments about it, get it off your chest in the forums.

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Reports Surface of Santa Rosa-Based MacBook Pro Overheating

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 11:31
Category: Hardware

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Your Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro just arrived in the mail. And after showing it to your spouse, kids, pets and co-workers, you settle down to work with it.
If it feels a bit too warm, that might be Apple’s contribution.
A report over on Engadget is citing how dozens of users on MacRumors and Apple discussion threads are mentioning that their newly-acquired MacBook Pros are running hot.
An intrepid reader pulled his laptop apart only to find about 40 times too much thermal paste having been applied to the logic board. Other readers have echoed similar complaints and offered similar logic board pictures.
A recent firmware update issued by Apple seems to have helped somewhat, but no official comment as to the issue has been released.
If you’ve seen this problem on your new MacBook Pro or have a solution, idea or workaround, let us know.

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Matias Now Selling USB 2.0 Keyboard

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Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 12:33
Category: Hardware

Canadian hardware firm Matias has released a keyboard with two USB 2.0 ports built into it as opposed to the standard USB 1.1 ports generally included with a keyboard.

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The keyboard ships in both black and white, is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and is available throughout retail electronics stores as well as online for $29.95.
If you have any comments or feedback about this, let us know.

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