New 13″, 15″ MacBook Pro Notebooks Capable of Booting from SD Card Clot

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:23
Category: MacBook Pro

Apple’s newly-released 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks now boast a feature in which users can boot from the SD card slot in a pinch.

According to a tech note published by Apple, users can install Mac OS X on an SD card and use it as a startup volume simply by changing the default partition table to GUID using Disk Utility, and then formating the card to use the Mac OS Extended file format.

This capability can be particularly useful in the event that you run into problems with a MacBook Pro’s built-in storage options, particularly those equipped with traditional hard disk drives, which include moving parts.

The company notes that the new MacBook Pros have a maximum speed of 240 Mbit/s for SD media using the SD card slot, which easily exceeds the transfer rate of most SD media. For example, Class 2 media has a maximum transfer rate of 4 Mbit/s; Class 4 media has a maximum transfer rate of 4.8 Mbit/s; and Class 6 media has a maximum transfer rate of 45 Mbit/s.

SD cards that conform to the SD 1.x and 2.x standards should work in the slots, though they also accept cards that are Standard SD (4 MB to 4 GB) and SDHC (4 GB to 32 GB).  MultiMediaCards (MMC) can also be used, as well as MiniSD, MicroSD, and higher density formats like MiniSDHC and MicroSDHC, assuming they’re first inserted into one of the “passive” adapters on the market that conform to the width and thickness specifications for the slot.

Although the SD card specification for a memory card is 32mm x 24mm x 2.1 mm, Apple says you can also use thinner cards, such as the aforementioned MMCs.  Cards that have a thickness greater than 2.1mm or that have surfaces that exceed 2.1mm, should not be used, the company warns, as they may damage the SD card slot if inserted.

The slots also accept cards that exceed 32 GB, but as Apple notes, most media manufactures preformat their media using common block-and-cluster sizes that do not approach the theoretical limits of a given file system.

Most SD cards use the FAT32 file format which is commonly available up to a capacity of 32 GB.  Some smaller capacity cards use the FAT16 file format, which is generally available in capacities of up to only 2 GB.

SD cards that use the exFAT file system are not supported, nor are SDIO (Secure Digital Input Output) cards.

Best Buy Customer Purchases MacBook Pro, Receives 5-Pound Paving Brick in Box

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 09:15
Category: Fun, retail

Per TechEBlog, a Best Buy customer identified only as “Ryan” recently purchased a MacBook Pro notebook for a U.S. Best Buy location only to discover a five pound paving stone in place of the US$2164.89 notebook.


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When he tried returning the item, the store’s manager stated the following: “Apple seals the boxes, not us. Take it up with Apple.”
Sometimes words fail me.
And this is one of them.

Apple Releases MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for Unibody MacBook Pro Notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 29th, 2009, 07:10
Category: MacBook Pro

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Late Thursday, Apple Released SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for its 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, an 833 kilobyte download, adjusts the fan behavior in the notebooks when running under high workload conditions.
The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder, will launch automatically and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 on the Mac OS X 10.4 end and Mac OS X 10.5.7 on the Mac OS X 10.5 end to install and run. As always, the firmware update can be snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Speck Releases SeeThru, SeeThru Satin Cases for 17″ MacBook Pro Notebook

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Date: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 08:27
Category: Accessory, MacBook Pro

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Accessory manufacturer Speck has released two fitted cases for Apple’s 17″ MacBook Pro notebook via its SeeThru and SeeThru Satin designs.
According to MacNN, both models feature a fully-vented hard shell for protection against everyday bumps and scratches. Users can still access all ports and controls on the computer without removing the case.
The SeeThru case offers a clear shell that form-fits to the Macbook, while the SeeThru Satin features the protection but includes a soft-touch outer finish, offering more of a grip as well as a semi-translucent frosted appearance. Both cases can fully open or close, while rubberized feet help to prevent sliding on smooth surfaces.
The SeeThru and the SeeThru Satin are available from Apple stores or directly from the company for a retail price of US$50.

Apple, Dell, HP Notebook Owners Consolidating Class-Action Suit Against Nvidia

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 07:11
Category: Legal

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Respective owners of Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard notebooks have combined their lawsuits against graphics chip maker Nvidia in an attempt to create a stronger class action suit to force the company to replace flawed processors.
If successful, the case could involve millions of notebooks in question.
According to Macworld UK, the five plaintiffs, including a Louisiana resident who purchased an Apple MacBook Pro a year ago, filed an amended complaint last week in a San Francisco federal court which accused Nvidia of violating consumer-protection laws.
Nvidia had admitted to the problem in July of 2008 when the company stated that some older chipsets that had shipped in “significant quantities” of notebooks were flawed. In a subsequent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company argued that its chip suppliers, the laptop makers and even consumers were to blame.
Nvidia later told the SEC that it would take a US$196 million charge to pay for replacing the graphics processors.
Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard in turn told their users that some of the notebooks contained faulty Nvidia chipsets. Apple later stated that the company had been misled, citing that “Nvidia assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected,” Apple said in a support document posted last October.
“However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers … may be affected.”
Click the jump for the full story…

TechRestore Announces MacBook Pro Glass Repair Service for US$349

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 08:50
Category: MacBook Pro

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Service outfitter TechRestore announced Tuesday a new glass replacement program for Apple’s Unibody MacBook Pro. For those owners who have broken their glass, but not the LCD display itself, the company can replace the glass for US$349.
The repair includes the company’s usual 24-hour turnaround time frame as well as a 1-year warranty on the repair. Full details are available at TechRestore’s web site.
TechRestore is a PowerPage sponsor.

Apple Releases 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware 1.0 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:17
Category: MacBook Pro, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released its Graphics Firmware 1.0 update for its 17″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook. The update, a 770 kilobyte download, addresses the appearance of vertical lines or distorted graphics on the notebook display.
Like other patches, the update can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the firmware update and have any comments to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Users Report Additional Graphics Issues with 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro

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Date: Friday, March 6th, 2009, 09:53
Category: MacBook Pro

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As nifty as the new 17″ unibody MacBook Pro happens to be, a combined Apple/NVIDIA firmware update may be necessary. According to Engadget, a number of users on the Apple Discussions board have cited serious issues with the GeForce 9600M graphics card installed in the notebook. A GeForce 9400M card is also found in the notebook as well, but complaints cite that the random green lines and nasty artifacts appear only when the more potent card is kicked into action.
Most folks have stated that a reboot solves the problem momentarily, but eventually the issue returns to haunt them.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know if you’ve seen this problem on your end in the comments or forums.

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Problems, Solutions Reported with 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro

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Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2009, 11:46
Category: MacBook Pro

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Apple’s 17″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook has been out for about a week or so and if you have one, it may just qualify as the Coolest Thing Ever. Still, according to MacFixIt, a number of users have reported experiencing problems with their new notebooks. Though the problems aren’t widespread, here’s what you should know and be aware of should you encounter these issues:
GPU Issues:
Apple’s recent history has drawn attention to a batch of GeForce graphics processors that caused their notebook displays to randomly shut off. While the current laptops do not appear to suffer this problem, several users have reported what appears to be GPU overheating, as well as some instances of persistent graphical artifacts. These artifacts appear as either green or pink patches, grids, or lines on the display which primarily happens when users run graphically intensive applications such as games. Other users have found similar artifacts when running high-definition video.
The issues was described by poster “dallen33″ on the Apple Discussions board:

“Just got my new 17″ MBP unibody. I was watching an episode of 24 in 720p and green lines started appearing over the video. I felt the notebook and it was incredibly hot.”

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Apple Gives MacBook Pro Small Speed Bump

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

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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.

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