Intel Mac Mini Graphics Surprise

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2006, 15:04
Category: Uncategorized

The change from ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card to integrated Intel Graphics is more than a bit puzzling to me.

Ok, so the integrated Intel has 64MB as opposed to the Radeon’s 32MB. But Apple has thrown us a curve. Not only is the Intel Graphics “shared”, Apple states “1. Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 80MB, resulting in 432MB of system memory available.”.

Am I reading this right? Minimum graphics usage requires more than Apple has provided for with their Intel integrated graphics? So, the most system memory you will ever have available is 432MB instead of the 512MB advertised.

Can someone explain to me how this is an improvement and why the same Mac OS X that worked with a 32MB graphics card now requires at least 80MB?

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Response to PowerPage Counterpoint

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2006, 13:49
Category: Uncategorized

Scott raises some interesting points. By Apple continuing to control all Mac hardware unilaterally, one weakness in the Mac platform is that all CPUs come from one source: Apple. Unlike the Windows domain, if Apple doesn’t see fit to produce it, it likely will not be made.
Case in point: look at all the funky tablet-style laptops with twist-around LCDs. While one could argue this is an unproven niche market (or worse, quite possibly a fad), the fact that all Mac hardware comes from one source means if Apple doesn’t devote the resources to entering such a niche/fad, Mac users will never see it. Of course, there are some really weird niche products in the Windows domain that Mac users can live without: notebooks that still weigh over 8 pounds come to mind.
Perhaps Apple would argue that cloning didn’t work in the mid-1990′s. Maybe it simply wasn’t in Apple’s best interest to allow cloning to continue. As for the notion of a laptop “nano”, I could see Apple entering that market IF flash memory catches up with hard disks to the point where laptops don’t need HDDs anymore. I’m still dubious about a computer without an optical drive, though.
One point where I will disagree with Jason is on FireWire. I do not see any evidence of that technology’s “death”, immediate or pending. I would think the evidence Jason points to (iPods going USB-only, MacBook Pro with only one FireWire 400 port and no FW800 to be found) can be interpreted very differently. iPods and FireWire are nice, but Apple’s key to wooing users of cheap, crappy PCs to buying the little music players was the advent of USB 2.0. As for the MacBook Pro, I can tell you that those who use multiple FireWire peripherals have discovered the hard way that it is best to “split the bus”, in other words, if a notebook user has a digital camcorder and a FireWire hard disk that (s)he wants to use at the same time, the card slot on the MacBook is a welcome means of having an extra FireWire input that isn’t competing for bandwidth on the same bus as the MacBook’s built-in FireWire port.
On Scott Shephard’s “Inside Mac TV” video podcasts for Jan. 5, 2006 (“Getting the Mac Ready for Video Editing”) and Dec. 23, 2005 (“Gary Adcock’s Dual FireWire Bus Tip”), Scott discusses ways to use either separate FireWire buses or both FireWire and USB to improve performance during video editing. This makes both FireWire and USB indispensable to amateur video editors.
So what does all this suggest about FireWire vs. USB, and why is there no FireWire 800 on the MacBook Pro? Simply put, Jason is right and wrong at the same time. The absence of FireWire 800 on the MacBook Pro is a statement about FireWire. Apple is just not saying what Jason concluded. The lack of additional FireWire ports (or FireWire 800) was Apple’s way of saying “if you need more ports or if you need FireWire 800, buy a card and use it on the card’s bus.”
I am doubtful that FireWire 400 will die any time soon. Too many camcorders, hard disks, and high-end peripherals use it, some of them exclusively. If FireWire is to be replaced with a new standard, you will hear plenty of noise being made by a broad coalition of big-name players in the camcorder and computer peripheral manufacturing industries.
Just my 2 cents. You can wake up now.

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PowerPage Counterpoint

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2006, 09:27
Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been a loyal reader of PowerPage since I was hammering away on my PowerBook Duo 210 (running a 14.4k modem – with the “do not load images” option on) back in 1995. I don’t think that I disagreed with our illustrious host’s columns or comments much until the past couple of years.
The first time that I can really remember feeling strongly enough to write in (even though I didn’t) was when the iPod shuffle arrived on the scene. I couldn’t have disagreed more with Jason’s initial assessment of it – even though as I recall he recounted enjoying it in the gym sometime later. The Shuffle was the first iPod that I bought (a 512Mb) because I just didn’t want to blow dough on something more that I really didn’t need at the time. I like technology just as much as any other reader of “the Page”, yet I prefer to hold off as long as possible until I actually feel that I need something.
I don’t own a cell phone, and my Palm from 2000 has been gathering dust for a few years now. I suppose that I represent a tech-savvy guy with some Luddite tendencies as I sit here typing on my PowerBook G4 though my wireless network. Anyways, I am interested in this new PP feature, since I often have found that since the “shuffle incident” I feel that my ideas are running counterpoint to Jason’s.
Jason would love to see a PowerBook… er… MacBook nano (man, do I dislike that new name!), and while I think this is a good idea, I would quite likely be more interested in a MacBook BIGGER than 17″. I am an artist and I want/need portability and a big screen. Get a 19″ MacBook Pro into my lap and I may change my mind! This is just one example, but it does demonstrate the differences between us. I look forward to continued jousting.
Contributed by: Scott Culley
Join in on the debate! Post your article suggestion, or point/counterpoint piece via the PowerPage’s spankin’-new Get Published page. Fame and fortune await!

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Apple "Tablet" For Sale on eBay

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, February 11th, 2006, 20:31
Category: Uncategorized

ibook-tablet.JPGApple has filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office for four patents that relate to tablet computing leading to rumors that the company is developing a tablet-based Mac. The patents include:
1) Gestures for touch sensitive input devices
2) Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices
3) Touch-sensitive electronic apparatus for media applications, and methods therefor
4) Visual expander
Touch sensitive input could be used in any number of devices including a tablet computer, iPod, mobile phone/smartphone and PDAs. You can read more about the patents on MacRumors.com. Hrmph.com has posted photos from the gesture patent depicting a user using gestures on a tablet user interface.
If you can’t wait for Apple to release a tablet-based Mac you grab one today from…
Read More…

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Dot Mac, Apple Store Temporarily Unavailable

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Date: Tuesday, January 10th, 2006, 12:04
Category: Uncategorized

Dot Mac and The Apple Store are both down.
Back Soon

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Apple Prepping a Camera? Suspicious Patent Application Filed

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Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2005, 12:45
Category: Uncategorized

quicktake-100.jpgAccording to Macsimum News, on Nov. 29 Apple was granted a reissue patent number RE38,896 by the US Patent & Trademark Office for “Apparatus and method for rotating the display orientation of a captured image.” This Reissue Patent makes clear reference to Apple’s QuickTake digital camera that was discontinued in 1997.
As you can image the speculation is flying about what the patent means and if Apple will launch a new camera at Macworld Expo next month to go with their now shipping Aperture software application. Personally, my money’s on an iPod camera attachment. they’re all color now, after all. As an owner of the original QuickTake 100 camera (pictured) I sure hope that it’s not a traditional digicam.
Read more at Macsimum News.

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Mac OS 10.4.3 Released via Software Update

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Date: Monday, October 31st, 2005, 20:19
Category: Uncategorized

The 10.4.3 Update delivers overall improved reliability and compatibility for Mac OS X v10.4 and is recommended for all users.

It includes fixes for:

- AFP, SMB/CIFS, NFS and FTP network file services
- AirPort and Bluetooth wireless access
- Core Graphics, Core Audio, Core Image, and RAW camera support
- disc recording when creating and burning media
- .Mac sync services
- Spotlight indexing and searching
- Dashboard widgets: Dictionary, Flight Tracker, Stickies, and Unit Converter
- Address Book, AppleScript, Automator, Dictionary, Font Book, iCal, iSync, Mail, and Safari applications
- Disk Utility, Keychain Access, Migration Assistant, and Software Update
- compatibility with third party applications and devices
- previous standalone security updates

For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n301984

For detailed information on Security Updates, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798

Writer's Block Live

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 31st, 2005, 11:36
Category: Uncategorized

badge2.jpgI’ve been reading Mike Evangelist’s live blog of his experiences working at Apple: Writer’s Block Live and it’s fascinating. Mike was a director of product marketing at Apple from April 2000 to July 2002 and was responsible for Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, iDVD and few others.

I

WiFi iPod in the Works

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 18th, 2005, 09:03
Category: Uncategorized

According to Mac OS Rumors:

Apple is working on a wi-fi equipped iPod with networking capabilities and the ability to directly interface with Airport Express base stations for streaming of iPod audio — and even downloading of music from the iTunes Music Store, grabbing Podcasts, et cetera.
A version of Safari designed to run on the iPod could be forked off of Apple’s mobile phone port — in fact, the mobile Safari effort was probably targeted at the iPod as one of its primary supported platforms all along.

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iTunes 6.0?

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Date: Wednesday, October 12th, 2005, 12:25
Category: Uncategorized

Someone posted a screenshot on flickr of an error dialog that he received in iTunes saying “This item requires at least iTunes version 6.0 to purchase.” Go get the link from Digg and check out the comments. Some are calling it a fake…

So I open up iTunes, do a search for “Death Cab for Cutie”, and click on the “add to cart” button below “iTunes Originals – Death Cab for Cutie”. Then, I get that message.

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