VLC Updated to 0.9.9

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:36
Category: Software

Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9. The new version, a 19.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fullscreen behaviour on Windows with multiple screens.
  • Workaround bug with libxml2 >=2.7.3.
  • Video performance on Intel-based Macs.
  • Various decoders updates on Windows.
  • VLC 0.9.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.


    Intel Readying Ultra-Low-Voltage Processors for Ultraportable Notebooks

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 08:33
    Category: Processors

    Processor giant Intel reaffirmed on Friday that the company is readying a new series of new ultra-low-voltage chips, due in the second quarter, for inexpensive ultraportable notebooks.
    According to Macworld UK, the company will ship the ULV chips as part of its Montevina Plus mobile laptop platform, an updated version of the existing Montevina platform, a fact confirmed by company spokeswoman Connie Brown.
    The processors could be used in small, thin notebooks and provide the same level of functionality as notebooks priced above US$1,500.
    Notebooks currently based on Intel’s ULV chips could be as thin as Apple’s MacBook Air or Dell’s recently launched Adamo, with prices ranging between US$599 and US$1,299.
    Intel’s new series could fit into smaller spaces and use less power than the existing Core 2 Duo ULV line, which uses about 10 watts of power and is generally found in ultraportable notebooks such as Apple’s MacBook Air.
    Intel’s Montevina Plus platform also will offer new chips running as fast as 3.06GHz, for mainstream notebooks priced between $399 and $1,499.
    The company’s Montevina Plus is likely to be Intel’s most important update to its laptop platforms before the company starts shipping its new Arrandale chips for laptops later this year. The Arrandale chips will be manufactured using a 32-nanometer process and integrate a graphics processor and CPU in one chip, which could boost graphics performance while drawing less power than existing Core 2 processors. The Arrandale chips are also expected to be more energy-efficient, which could improve notebook battery life.
    Expected clock speeds on Arrandale processors should be similar to processors used in existing laptops while offering better performance by running applications through more threads while drawing less power.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.


    Apple Gives MacBook Pro Small Speed Bump

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009, 10:57
    Category: MacBook Pro

    Following up on Apple’s associated product releases today with revisions to the Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro, Apple also adjusted the specifications of its 15″ MacBook Pro. According to Macworld, Apple is currently offering its top-of-the-line standard configuration of the 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor at US$2,499. This serves as a slight boost from the previous 2.53GHz speed. For those who crave the most power possible in a 15-inch MacBook, there’s a US$300 build-to-order option that will top out the system at 2.93 GHz, up from the previous top speed of 2.8 GHz.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and, as always, let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


    Rumor: Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update May Feature Nehalem, Radeon HD 4000 Support

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:27
    Category: Rumor

    Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.7 update may go beyond its usual complement of expected fixes and incorporate support for Intel’s new Nehalem hardware architecture as well as the ATI Radeon HD 4000 graphics chipsets.
    According to netkas, a recent discovery located just five kernel extensions for the video cards and doesn’t appear to work perfectly in a bootleg installation for 10.5.6 meant for hacked Mac OS X installations. The retrofitted version doesn’t recognize DVI ports fully and doesn’t even recognize widescreen resolutions without third-party utilities to force the expanded screen area.
    Even so, the extensions are enough to identify support for the Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 chipsets by name but also to enable Core Image and Quartz Extreme acceleration of the Mac OS X interface, which would require the direct involvement of AMD, Apple or both firms to work. They also support the full OpenGL 2.1 specification for 3D graphics.
    And while screen captures currently aren’t available to support the claims as with the video hardware, the slip also hints that 10.5.7 is the first edition of Mac OS X to recognize Intel’s Nehalem architecture.
    The Nehalem architecture is a major overhaul to Intel’s standard hardware approach to processors and leaves aside the standard system bus in favor of an interface that lets the processors talk directly to memory, peripherals and each other.
    Although it’s unknown as to whether Apple will formally include the new hardware support in the release of Mac OS X 10.5.7, such add-ons will eventually become necessary. It’s been rumored that Apple is looking to use Intel’s Nehalem-based Xeon processors at the heart of its next generation of Mac Pro workstations and will eventually filter the technology down to its portables and mainstream desktops through Core i7 processors, which share the same essential design.
    Apple has also remained comparatively dormant in its support for AMD’s ATI Radeon graphics and hasn’t used hardware newer than the Radeon HD 2600 found in the iMac and as an option for the Mac Pro; the technology is now approximately two generations old.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


    Apple EFI Update Fries Vista Installs

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, November 13th, 2006, 22:25
    Category: Intel

    If you have an Intel Mac with Vista on Boot Camp… prepare to reinstall Vista after applying the latest EFI update. The Apple CSM (Boot Camp) runtimes have changed, and because Vista is semi-EFI and GPT sensitive… changing those runtimes fries the install. The good news is that Apple made these changes now so that when Vista comes out users won’t have to reinstall.

    Update: Running Windows Startup Repair does try to fix the problem, but does not fix it fully. Windows will still not boot.

    Apple EFI Update Fries Vista Installs – PCS Intel Forums

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

    Posted by:
    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.


    Intel: Let Apple Be Apple

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, October 4th, 2006, 09:25
    Category: Intel

    Intel is cool with Apple keeping its entire user experience to a closed platform despite its underlying complexities, at least according to Eric Kim of Intel’s Digital Home Group. He told reporters at the CEATEC exhibition in Japan that “Clearly, Apple’s orientation is to deliver the best possible user experience from end to end by being closed. That’s what they do, and they are very, very good at it.” He went on to say: “We have a little motto inside Intel: ‘Let Apple, be Apple.’ We are happy to serve them,” he said.

    Infinite Loop: Intel says “Let Apple be Apple”