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Two MacBook Pro Features Worth Waiting For

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m keeping my 2008 MacBook Pro until Apple releases one with two features that I’ve decided are essential if I’m to upgrade [writer crosses arms and points chin upward and off to the side in a defiant stance].

SSD internal storage. I’ve gone through two hard drives on my current MacBook Pro because I toss the thing around like it’s notebook, as in a paper notebook.  Ya know, the ones that won’t break when you drop them onto the floor?  I don’t actually drop my MBPro, but when I’m done using it, I close the lid, grab it, and drop it into my laptop bag.  I don’t have time to wait for the drive to completely spin down and get its shit together.  I’m ready to go when it’s time to go.  After losing two drives, probably because of this habit, I’ve been forced to give it a few seconds before I yank it into the bag, or at least be extra careful while that drive is still spinning.  I’m ready for a solid state drive, not only for the quick startup and performance enhancement, but also because of the reliability.  Mechanical hard drives are leftovers from the industrial revolution.  Let’s move on.

Retina display. I’m still enjoying my iPhone 3Gs, but when I look at the screen on the new iPhone 4, I fell like I’m looking into the future of the MacBook line.  I don’t know how long it will take for this technology to become affordable enough to include on the MacBook Pro, but I’m ready now. Oh, and speaking of affordable…

I’m gonna go all dreamy now and say that I want all of this for $1600. I wonder how long I’ll be waiting?

Own A 1990 Supercomputer

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Part of Apple’s announcements yesterday included a huge power boost to the The Mac Pro. An article at FastCompany.com made an interesting point about the upgrade.

The new specs on this box are far beyond anything we’ve seen in a Mac.  Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors come standard, but as FastCompany points out, if you go for the dual-6-core Intel Xeon CPU option, that gives the Pro 12 cores of processing power, and “this is more or less equivalent to low-end supercomputer power of couple of decades or ago.”

If you are loaded with cash, you can also enjoy up to four 512 GB solid-state drives inside, which is almost like have 2 terabytes of RAM.  Take the Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5780 options for graphics in account and you have serious power for video and other whatnot.

And the biggest upside?  Having a supercomputer doesn’t cost millions anymore.

Is The End Near for Apple’s Exclusive Contract with AT&T?

January 26, 2010 2 comments

The first question during the Q&A of Apple’s Conference Call on Monday went straight to the question of whether or not AT&T would remain an exclusive carrier for service on the iPhone. It’s an important question, since Apple is bound by contract to miss a huge portion of the market, thanks to their firm handshake with AT&T.

Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, had an indirect answer to Munster’s question about staying with a single phone service carrier. When Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray asked Cook to “remind us what the benefits and the virtues of sticking with a single carrier in the US are,” Tim hem-hawed around with his answer. If you read carefully, you’ll see that his answer below was, “There are none.”

First of all, AT&T is a great partner. We have been working with them since well before we announced the first iPhone to get it out. I think it is important to remember that they have more mobile broadband usage than any other carrier in the world. In the vast majority of locations, we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience from the research that we have done.

Let’s rephrase the conversation. Munster asks, “You must have good reasons for only using one carrier for iPhone service. What are some of those reasons?”

“AT&T is neato.” Tim replies.

He might as well have come out and said it directly: AT&T’s days of being the iPhone’s sole provider are coming to an end.

Did anyone else hear the sound of a blackberry being squashed?

iPhone OS 4.0 Wish List

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

BoyGenius is reporting that they have “some exclusive iPhone OS 4.0 details” from one of their trusted inside sources. Sounds like it will be a significant upgrade which may give a fresh feel to 3G and 3GS iPhones.

If I could ask Apple for only one thing, I would vote for an improved navigation method for getting to the many apps on my phone. Some users like myself have nearly 100 apps on our phone, and getting to page 7 just takes too darn long.

“Why the crap do you have almost 100 apps?” you may ask. God knows I’ll never be able to use most of these on a regular basis, but for the intermediate geeks out there, it’s nice to mess around with a variety of different apps, if only to see what the iPhone is capable of.

So the first item on my iPhone 4.0 OS Wish List is a new way to navigate the iPhone. Here a few other things I’m hoping for:

  • Wireless syncing over Wi-Fi with iTunes.
  • Improved formatting for emails when sending to Windows Outlook users. (“Geez man, what’s with the Times New Roman font on your iPhone?”)
  • This is a small request, but an ongoing annoyance… please allow us the option to tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture with the Camera app!

Will Apple get into the iPhone OS details on January 27? Seems like they have a lot to cover, even if the rumor mills are half-right!

Apple Sets Date to Announce “Latest Creation”

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks pcworld.com for the image

According to MacWorld, Apple sent media members invitations for an event to announce their “latest creation,” as the invitation called it.  The event will be at 10 a.m. PT on January 27 in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.

The most surprising thing about this event would be if they did NOT announce a tablet computer of some kind. However, the specifications are still up for grabs among those of us who enjoy speculating about such things. I’ll post my best guess this week so that when it is announced, you’ll know if I’m a genius or not.

How to Batch Change Photo Keywords in iPhoto ’09

January 15, 2010 10 comments

I’ve been frustrated with iPhoto ’09, thinking that there was still no way to edit the keywords for multiple photos in one step. I don’t understand why Apple hasn’t made this more obvious, but I fortunately discovered it while wading through the menus yesterday.

The most logical place for it would be under the Photos menu, where you’ll see the Batch Change option. But if you want to start adding keywords, you first have to bring up the Keywords window.

  • Press Command-K or click on the Window menu and choose Show Keywords.
  • Now select photos from your library that you want to tag, using the shift or command key to make multiple selections.
  • Click the tag or tags that you want to apply to these photos.  Tags become highlighted once you add them to the selected photos. If you click a highlighted tag it will be removed from the photos you selected.
  • You can also use the keyword window to add, edit, or remove keywords by clicking on the “Edit Keywords” button.

Here’s a screenshot of the window:

Click for larger

What is Next for Apple?

July 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Apple’s third quarter financial Conference Call on Monday once again proved their skill in using vagueness as a tool to create buzz.  Look for the mysterious product reference in the paragraph below…

We expect gross margin to be about 31.5%, reflecting approximately $23 million related to stock-based compensation expense, down from 34.8% in the June quarter. This sequential decline is expected due to three primary factors; first, the full quarter impact of the back-to-school promotion; second, a future product transition, which I can’t discuss today; and third, the one-time true-up of our contract manufacturer deferred margin that we realized in the June quarter.

Then there was more:

We are working to develop new products that contains technologies that our competition will not be able to match. I cannot discuss these new products, but we are very confident in our product pipeline.

– Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, during Apple’s Q308 Financial Results Conference Call, July 21, 2008

“A future product transition” is all they are going to give us?  That’s just pure marketing genius.  So now the speculation begins (which is part of the fun, of course).

Look for one of the following from Apple in the next 60 days:

1. Revamped MacBook ProImages have surfaced showing a possible new casing for the MacBook Pro, though these images don’t tell us very much.  The MacBook Pro is due for change, so this is probably the most likely of announcements for the next 60 days.

2. A Touch-Screen Mac.  I believe the rumors about the “MacBook Touch.”  The timing seems perfect for this kind of product from Apple and if anyone can pull it off, they can.

3. An Updated Mac Mini.  This one is least likely, but this is a product that is due for some excitement with a design change and perhaps some cheaper prices on Apple’s monitors to create an even more attractive bundle.

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