Sleep Tips for MacBook, MacBook Pro Notebooks Published

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Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 09:03
Category: How-To

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Albeit generally reliable, putting your MacBook or MacBook Pro notebook to sleep can be a bit of a gamble. When you open the notebook back up, you want to make sure the computer will wake up again or your day just got that much worse.
Over on the Apple Core, David Morgenstern has offered the following tips in getting his MacBook Pro to wake from sleep under both Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.5.
Per Mac OS X 10.4:

1. Before I put the machine to sleep, I unplug anything connected, such as an Ethernet cable, hard drive or mouse.
2. Next I use the Sleep command under the Apple Menu to put the MacBook to sleep and I wait until the screen actually goes blank before closing the lid. I don’t just close the lid.
3. When I go to wake the MacBook, I open the machine and make sure that I don’t plug anything into the machine before I wake it.

Interestingly enough, Mac OS X’s Energy Saver panel allows for multiple types of sleep (“computer sleep,” which is what we commonly think of as sleep, where the system sleeps; “display sleep,” where the screen goes black; and “hard disk” sleep, where the drive spins down).
The column then mentions that the following types of sleep can be used:

Sleep, where the Mac saves the state in RAM, which means it can go to sleep and wake up quickly, but could bring trouble if the battery runs down or is removed.
Hibernate, where the state is written to the hard disk (the safest for your data), but takes the longest time to be put to sleep and to wake up.
Combination Sleep and Hibernate, which Apple calls Safe Sleep. It may take the longest time to sleep but it also can wake quickly. And if your MacBook supports it, you can swap in a fresh battery.

For users looking to specify the sleep type used, software developer Patrick Stein’s SmartSleep lets you choose between the modes.
For users experiencing problems getting their MacBook notebook to sleep, Apple’s “Why Your Mac Might Not Sleep or Stay in Sleep Mode” Knowledge Base article offers the following tips:

There are reasons why you may want your Mac to stay awake even though you are not using the keyboard or mouse, such as when you are:
Watching a DVD movie
Listening to your iTunes music library
Running an automated backup
Away from your computer while downloading large files

The article also mentions that using Bluetooth devices can disrupt a MacBook’s sleep function:

You can allow Bluetooth devices to wake a sleeping computer by enabling “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer” in Bluetooth preferences. A bluetooth device paired correctly should not typically prevent a computer from sleeping. However, some Bluetooth mice can interfere with sleep.

Finally, applications themselves can affect sleep:

If an application uses a custom font to display text but the font resource is marked purgeable, then at some point the memory manager will purge the font from memory. When the application tries to draw text using that font again, it will be loaded from the hard drive, resetting the sleep timer.
Applications can be designed to keep the system awake and prevent idle sleep indefinitely. In developer lingo, an application may explicitly prevent system sleep by calling IORegisterForSystemPower(), and calling IOCancelPowerChange() when it receives a power management kIOMessageCanSystemSleep notification.

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Apple Begins Selling Contract-Free iPhone 3G at Full Price

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
Category: iPhone

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As of Thursday, Apple retail locations have begun selling unrestricted quantities of the company’s iPhone 3G handset at the non-subsidized price of US$599 for the 8GB version and US$699 for the 16GB version. Once sold, the buyer does not need to have an existing AT&T contract.
According to AppleInsider, activation can completed by the customer at home through iTunes.
Though the handsets are still technically (and legally) locked to AT&T service, it’s possible (but not supported) to unlock the phones for use with other mobile service providers such as T-Moble and Metro PCS, although both GSM providers do not support the 3G network the iPhone 3G needs to connect at faster than EDGE speeds.
Apple’s change in sales policy comes as the company is working to sell off remaining inventory to prepare for the upcoming launch of the new 2009 iPhone, which is expected to be released around the middle of June.
The launch may be expected to take place around this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place yet again in San Francisco, California.
If you’re en route to pick up a contract-free iPhone, please let us know about the experience in the comments or forums.

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Apple Activates iTunes Genius Recommendation Engine for Movies, TV Shows

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Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 07:15
Category: Software

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Apple this week activated its iTunes Genius recommendation engine for both movies and television shows, a feature it had originally planned to bring out alongside the iTunes 8.1 release.
According to AppleInsider, the Genius engine, Apple’s proprietary recommendation engine used for collaborative filtering and iTunes’ built-in rating system, allows users to generate recommendations based on their current music catalog.
During the iTunes 8.1 release a few weeks ago, Apple had promised to expand the feature to video files before pulling the plug for undisclosed reasons.
As of Tuesday, users reported Genius iTunes Store recommendations for movies and tv shows appearing alongside their iTunes libraries.
When selecting an TV Show from your iTunes library, for instance, the Genius sidebar now lists additional episodes from that show’s same season, additional shows from other seasons, and then 10 recommendations for similar shows.
If you’ve seen this feature in action, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, Points Out New Features to Come

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Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 12:22
Category: iPhone

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Apple held its long-awaited iPhone OS 3.0 announcement today in front of a crowd of developers and invited media. The announcement mentioned prominent new changes including the addition of push notification, which Apple stated as requiring an overhaul of its servers to accommodate. Upon delivery, push notification can deliver signals such as sounds and text alerts to Apple, which can then push the data to the iPhones.
According to MacNN, Apple has also expanded the business models offered by the App Store and, allowing users to purchase additional content within an application provided that users have already signed in via their iTunes account. From here, users can purchase items such as books, regional content or extra game levels.
Apple then cited that the inclusion of approximately 1,000 new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will grant developers access to features such as iPod libraries, embedded e-mail, audio/video streaming and Google Maps integration. Core Location should also enable turn-by-turn navigation, allowing practical driving applications.
Company representatives also stated that iPhone OS 3.0 will support all standard Bluetooth protocols, including Bonjour, allowing iPhones to be able to use features such as automatic device detection as well as peer-to-peer gaming sessions that would locate possible opponents to play against within a given area. Third-party sccessory makers have also been given direct hardware control with the new firmware, permitting functions such as tuning an FM transmitter from the iPhone interface.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Apple Releases Front Row 2.1.7 Update

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Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:14
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released Front Row 2.1.7, an update to its media control system for Mac OS X. The 12.6 megabyte download provides iTunes 8.1 compatibility and is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
Front Row 2.1.7 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases iTunes 8.1 Update

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Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:07
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released iTunes 8.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 63.4 megabyte download, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

  • Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation).
  • Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.
  • Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.
  • Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.
  • Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.
  • Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus.
  • Includes many accessibility improvements.
  • Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.
  • iTunes 8.1 is available for free, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be snagged using Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, positive or negative, let us know over in the comments or forums.

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    The Apple Core: Has the iTunes Store jumped the shark?

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    Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:18
    Category: The Apple Core

    US-digital-song-sales.gifIndustry analyst Forrester Research has released a report saying that Apple’s iTunes has experienced a collapse in sales revenues this year. Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period and concludes that since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 percent, with the average transaction size falling 17 percent.
    There are two things that Apple should consider if they expect to get more sales from the iTunes Store…
    Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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    The Apple Core: Hollywood wants to change iPod DRM

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    Date: Friday, December 1st, 2006, 09:28
    Category: The Apple Core

    Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s deal with Universal Music (a unit of Vivendi) to pay a US$1 royalty on every Zune player sold in exchange for licensing its recordings for Microsoft’s new digital music service, Hollywood now wants in on the action.
    Why in the world would Microsoft agree to such a dangerous precedent? The obvious reason is that MS needed to get access to the Universal catalog. My favorite (and more dastardly) reason comes from Macalope who claims that Microsoft did it “to try to screw up Apple’s business model.”
    Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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    Special edition Beatles iPod could be in the wings

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    Date: Thursday, November 30th, 2006, 10:14
    Category: iPod

    beatles-ipod-nano-red.pngOn Monday Fortune magazine reported that Apple is negotiating with The Beatles to distribute their music online via an exclusive arrangement with the iTunes store. The deal would be a coup considering that The Beatles have yet to license their music to be sold online and they are one of the last major holdouts that people mention when criticizing online music sales.
    The buzz began in April 2006 when Apple Corps Ltd. (The Beatles record label) head Neil Aspinall mentioned that they were re-mastering the entire Beatles catalog…
    Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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    New iTunes Visualizer: SoftSkies

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    Date: Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006, 08:41
    Category: Software

    softskies_livingroom.jpgIf you like SoundSpectrum’s G-Force visualizer for iTunes (and who deosn’t?) then you should check out their latest effort, SoftSkies.
    Designed to be more soothing than intense, SoftSkies fills your screen with serene cloud imagary that moves to the beat of your music. It’s perfect for connecting to a flat-panel display during your Thanksgiving and holiday entertaining. The basic version is free, Gold and Platinum will cost you.
    SoftSkies Gold (US$20) includes:
    - An extensive set of designer skies especially created for Gold
    - Several dozen Living Images showcasing Scenic Castles, Swiss Structure, and Utah Landscapes
    - Configurable album cover art support
    SoftSkies Platinum (US$30) includes:
    - SoftSkies Screen Saver
    - SoftSkies Standalone
    - Multi-Player Support

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