The Apple Core: The MacBook Chasm Shrinks

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Date: Thursday, November 9th, 2006, 06:00
Category: The Apple Core

macbook-chasm-2.jpg
A very short two weeks ago I wrote about the MacBook chasm, the difference in features and benefits between Apple’s consumer MacBook and the professional MacBook Pro. I wrote that Apple’s revving the MacBook Pro to the faster and cooler Core 2 Duo processor essentially widened the gap between the two lines and that it would make potential MacBook buyers think long and hard about the MBP before buying.
Well no more.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Apple Releases Updated Core 2 Duo-Powered MacBooks

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Date: Wednesday, November 8th, 2006, 09:45
Category: MacBook

Following last week’s insistence on Apple’s part that UK online retailer play.com remove their pre-order page for Apple’s upcoming Core 2 Duo-based MacBook line, Apple has unveiled the anticpated new laptops. The Apple Store web site is currently being updated as of this writing, typically a sign of a major product introduction to market.
The new MacBooks, still available in white and black colors, will be priced at $1,099, $1,299 and $1,499 respectively depending on features. The units, which run at 1.83 GHz and 2.0 GHz configurations, feature 13″ glossy widescreen displays capable of a 1280 x 800 resolution, a 667 MHz front side bus, an Intel GMA 950 graphics unit, built-in iSight video camera, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one audio line in port, one audio line-out port, Apple Remote and MagSafe power adapter.
The low-end 1.83 GHz configuration will feature 512 MB of RAM, a 60 GB hard drive and Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW). The 2.0 GHz models will feature 1 GB of RAM, a 6x SuperDrive with dual-layer burn support and 120 GB hard drive. All MacBook models can be expanded up to 2 GB of RAM provided the user installs matched pairs.
Apple executives have claimed the new units are up to 25% faster and will help with key holiday-focused tasks such as photo work (iPhoto rated 25% faster), digital editing (iMovie rates 20% faster) and web publishing (iWeb rated 27% faster).
The new MacBooks are scheduled for release on Monday, November 13th and will be available for pre-order through Apple’s online store, typically within a few hours based on past product releases.
Contributed by: By Chris Barylick

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15.4-inch MacBook due in May 2007

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Date: Wednesday, November 1st, 2006, 00:00
Category: MacBook

Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry) will produce a 15.4-inch MacBook model for Apple for the first time, with shipments to commence in May 2007, according to sources at notebook makers. Because of the new order, Asustek will no longer be the sole supplier for Apple’s MacBook, the sources said. Both Foxconn and Asustek declined to comment on the news.

DigiTimes :: Foxconn to ship 15.4-inch MacBook to Apple in May 2007

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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: Make your own (RED) MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 11:29
Category: The Apple Core

speck-seethru-mbp-red.jpgAfter Friday’s launch of the (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano to benefit The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, there are some rumblings that Apple may extend the program to include other products as well.
Think Secret reports that Apple may be considering creating a red MacBook and iMac to support the cause.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: MacBook Pro fan control application

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Date: Monday, October 16th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

smcFanControl.jpgLast Monday I reported that it was possible to adjust the speed of the MacBook Pro’s fans via the command line. The hack involves modifying the plist files in AppleBlower.ktext and AppleFan.ktext. Editing the speed values for both fans allows you to speed them up to make your machine run cooler.
The problem is that many people don’t like to use the command line and feel more comfortable with a graphical application. Enter Hendrik Holtmann’s smcFanControl, a GUI application that lets you control your MacBook’s fan speeds manually to make it run cooler.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: MacBook RAM grease

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Date: Wednesday, October 4th, 2006, 11:54
Category: The Apple Core

macbook-ram-grease.jpg
This picture cropped up from a MacBook user claiming that it’s thermal grease that leaked onto his RAM strips.

…the thermal grease applied to the internal components has leached into the RAM slots on my motherboard and have ‘soiled’ the DIMM’s with thermal grease.

Apple notebook users get anxious over pictures like this because of the whole thermal grease over-application fiasco that plagued the MacBook Pro back in May 2006.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: MacBook WiFi hacker cancels talk

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Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

Instead of a planned presentation WiFi hacker Johnny Ellch delivered only a prepared statement at ToorCon, San Diego’s annual security conference on Saturday.
I reported last week that Maynor and Ellch were scheduled to speak at ToorCon, where the inflammatory duo’s “complete story” of their infamous MacBook WiFi hack was to be told. The talk was supposed to “offer analysis and commentary of public responses while at the same time giving anyone who has a question a chance to have it answered” according to the hyperbole on the conference Web site.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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More Bad News for Enviro Mac-Heads: MacBooks are Toxic

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Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 01:11
Category: Environment

We all know that Greenpeace isn’t too happy with Apple’s commitment to the environment. The latest news is that Apple portables have some of the highest amounts of toxic chemicals in them of 5 manufacturers tested (Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Sony). The MacBook has the highest concentration of tetrabromobisphenol A, which is a flame retardant.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

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MacBook Overheat Analyzed: Recall Brewing?

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Date: Wednesday, September 6th, 2006, 09:00
Category: MacBook

Since isolating the heatsink as the cause of the MacBook’s Rapid Sudden Shutdown (RSS), readers have isolated the specific part of the heatsink that is causing the problem, is actually the CPU thermometer itself.
Essentially the heatsink can expand during use, and comes into contact with the lead from the termometer’s sensor cable. A short circuit results, and the SMC pulls the plug. Once the system cools down, the heatsink resides and the contact is broken. This also explains why sometimes you cannot immediately power the MacBook back on. The heatsink is still in contact with the metal lead.
Apple’s solution to this is to realign the location of the thermometer and cabling on the heatsink so that it does not short circuit. That is why the new heatsink is necessary. In the view of this writer, it warrants a public recall. Any user can produce easily the scenario that causes the MacBook to crash, even with pre-installed applications such as iLife.
This also explains Apple’s recent SMC Update for the MacBook. In short, the ramped up fan is a response to Apple knowing the heatsink is going to expand, and attempts to proactively cool it down to prevent the short circuit.
Unfortunately, as countless users have shown, it is still possible with something as simple as a terminal command, to overheat the CPU. The only solution is to reproduce the crash, call Apple, and have them replace the heatsink.
That is what every MacBook owner should do until Apple implements a recall program.
Contributed by: Christopher Price – www.pcsintel.com

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