The Apple Core: NVIDIA to acquire PortalPlayer for US$357M

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Date: Tuesday, November 7th, 2006, 08:52
Category: The Apple Core

portalplayer-logo.jpgPortalPlayerIf you’ve ever scrolled deep into the Legal menu on an iPod you’ve probably seen the logo pictured at right. PortalPlayer is most popular for providing the audio chips for the Apple iPod.
Until April 2006 PortalPlayer sold 90 percent of their chips to Apple for use in iPods. Apple switch suppliers in April and dropped PortalPlayer, reportedly because of product delays, causing PortalPlayer stock to drop over nine dollars in one day.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: How-to: Take your MacBook Pro’s temperature

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Date: Monday, November 6th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

MBP-temp-diff.pngIf you’ve used an Apple notebook for any extended length of time you probably have an opinion on its operating temperature. But how do you quantify the temperature of an Apple’s notebook? Let’s take a look at different ways to measure the temperature in the MacBook Pro.
You may have noticed that CoreDuoTemp (upper highlight in the screen shot at right), smcFanControl (lower highlight) and Fan Control all report different temperatures on the MacBook Pro. That’s because they’re measuring different things.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: How-to: MacBook Pro hard drive transplant

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Date: Friday, November 3rd, 2006, 11:27
Category: The Apple Core

mebook-hdd.jpgI recently purchased a new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and wanted to share some of the intricacies of swapping out the hard drive.
Whenever I place an order for a new just-released machine from Apple I usually buy one of the stock configurations to avoid the potential delay of the Configure-To-Order (CTO) process. I also pay the extra $18 for delivery in “2-3 Business Days” (as opposed to opting for the free shipping) because it means that it ships via FedEx priority service and sometimes arrives several days early.
Since I purchased the 120GB configuration and my previous MacBook Pro has a 160GB drive (which is 80 percent full, mind you) it wasn’t practical to use Apple’s handy Migration Assistant to move my data over. Nor was it possible to clone one drive to the other with Mike Bombich’s excellent Carbon Copy Cloner software.
My strategy was to physically swap the larger 160GB hard drive from the old MBP to the new one but you need to do a few things to make it work properly.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Inside Apple’s new blue logic boards

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 09:43
Category: The Apple Core

macpro-blue-pcb-250.jpgIf you’ve opened a Mac to upgrade a hard drive or RAM recently you may have noticed that Apple is now using blue circuit board material as opposed to the more traditional green G10-FR4 epoxy circuit boards.
According to a colleague who has worked in the semiconductor industry for years blue boards used to be less reliable and more prone to wiskering (copper migrating between plated through holes and shorting connections) and were not as temperature stable as their green G10-FR4 counterparts.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro runs 40 degrees (F) cooler

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Date: Wednesday, November 1st, 2006, 03:00
Category: The Apple Core

I received my brand new MacBook Pro 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it runs much cooler than my previous MacBook Pro.
My Core Duo MacBook Pro 2.0GHz (2GB RAM and 160GB hard drive) would frequently reach temperatures of 162° Fahrenheit after running for more than an hour. It would become so hot that it required me to run Fan Control 1.1 if I needed to use my machine anywhere near my lap.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Inside the MacBook Pro’s 3GB RAM limitation

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Date: Monday, October 30th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

mbp-ram-slot.jpgOne of the big new features in the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro is the new 3GB RAM maximum that it supports. But 3GB is a funny number for a machine with 2 RAM slots. Why not max that puppy out with two 2GB sticks – for a total of 4GB? MacFixIt has learned that it’s not a physical space limitation and that both of the new MBP’s RAM slots are large enough to accommodate the bigger 2GB modules.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Apple issues fix for MacBook random shutdowns

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Date: Friday, October 27th, 2006, 09:16
Category: The Apple Core

Apple yesterday released MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.1 which “improves the MacBook’s internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns.” The update was released to address RSS or Random Shutdown Syndrome that has plagued MacBook owners.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: The MacBook chasm expands

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Date: Thursday, October 26th, 2006, 10:50
Category: The Apple Core

Apple’s announcement of the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro did more than raise the performance bar for their portables. The addition of the new, faster Intel chip in only the Pro model serves as a key differentiating factor between the consumer MacBook and the professional MacBook Pro.
Prior to the announcement of the Core 2 Duo, the MacBook easily had the best price/performance ratio of any Mac in history. For US$1100 you get a screaming Intel-based Mac portable. The only advantage in the twice-as-expensive MacBook Pro were a larger screen (15.4 v. 13.3), a dedicated video card (which drives 30-inch displays), ExpressCard/34 slot and the Aluminum skin.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Inside Apple’s new Core 2 Duo chip

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Date: Wednesday, October 25th, 2006, 09:42
Category: The Apple Core

Apple released a significant update to the MacBook Pro yesterday adding a new Core 2 Duo T-series processor to the mix. Let’s take a look at what’s changed.
Core 2 Duo Microprocessor
Apple has upgraded the MacBook Pro to the latest Intel silicon and the Core 2 Duo chip features a 64-bit architecture. Unfortunately, Mac OS 10.4 is only a 32-bit OS. The good news is that Apple has promised that Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and most of their software will be 64-bit aware by the time Leopard is released in the Spring of 2007.
The other significant bump in the Core 2 Duo processor is that it ships with 4MB of Level 2 cache, double the L2 cache in the previous MacBook Pro. That alone should add a noticeable performance jump in the new MacBook Pro.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.
Note: We’re still having some issues with the PowerPage server. Please keep an eye on my ZDNet Blog, The Apple Core, while we sort it all out.

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The Apple Core: DIY Mac paint

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Date: Monday, October 23rd, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

colorware-macbooks.jpgMany people responded positively to Apple’s latest PRODUCT (RED) iPod nano and further rumors that Apple may release other products in (RED) to support the cause. Customers are becoming optimistic that the return of multi-colored nanos on 12 October could signal that Apple is going to again release more colored enclosures.
While I’m not in a big hurry to return to the Strawberry and Tangerine days of yore (although I still like Sage and Ruby) I like the fact that Apple offers black and white MacBooks and that they’re experimenting with color again in iPods.
If Apple doesn’t offer a Mac or iPod in a color you like, there is a solution: paint it. Not yourself of course, that’d be far too much trouble. Instead leave it to paint professionals like the folks at ColorWare.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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