Posts in category apple - page 15

Apple MacBook released – cheaper than comparable Dell

Apple have released their MacBook to compete on the low-end with similar PC laptops. I thought I’d compare it to a very similar Dell offering by using the Apple and Dell web sites…

  Dell Inspiron 640m Apple MacBook
Processor Intel Core Duo Intel Core Duo
Processor speed GHz 1.83 1.83
Operating system Win XP Pro Mac OS X
Warranty 1 year 1 year
RAM size MB 512 512
RAM speed MHz 553 DDR2 667 DDR2
HD size GB 60 60
HD speed RPM 5400 5400
Optical 24xCD-RW
Screen size 14.1″ 13.3″
Screen res 1280×800 1280×800
Modem Yes No
Bluetooth No Yes
Wireless Mb 54 54
Battery Whr 53 55
Ethernet Mb 100 1,000
Height mm 38.6 27.5
Width mm 333 325
Depth mm 243 227
Weight kg 2.5 2.36
Audio-out Stereo jack Optical + stereo jack
Audio-in Mono jack Optical + mono jack
Video-out S-Video Mini DVI
Camera No Yes
Extras Works 7
iLife 06
Apple Remote
MagSafe power
Price – VAT £642.34 £637.45
Price + VAT £754.75 £749.00

That’s right, the Apple comes out at £5 cheaper.

In Dell’s favor is a .7″ bigger screen, modem and a card reader.

In Apple’s favor is Bluetooth, iLife 06, media center features, remote control, web camera, DVI and optical outputs, faster networking, bigger battery, faster RAM and a smaller and lighter package.

No doubt the anti-Apple brigade will find something to whine about but it certainly can’t be that it doesn’t run Windows.


Mac software picks – Parallels, Gmail+Growl, Uno & TheftSensor

Another round-up of the best Mac OS X software I can find.

Parallels Workstation

Piping Microsoft and VMWare to the post relative unknowns Parallels are on beta 6 of their Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X/Intel.

As well as being able to guest OS/2, DOS, BSD, Solid, Linux and all flavors of Windows their product also features support for Intel’s VT virtualization technology built into the Intel Core chips giving it an edge in performance.

Parallels also offer Windows and Linux versions of their software as well as a virtual disk compressor that works with VMware and VirtualPC as well as their own Workstations products.

They are currently offering the OS X version for $10 off so you can grab a copy for $39.99.


Growl allows other applications to pop-up messages in a very customizable way and is used by the likes of Adium messenger and Colloquy IRC.

This universal app however uses Growl to offer you a sneak preview of your latest Gmail’s as they hit your inbox. Yummy.


I’ve blogged in the past at just how annoying and inconsistent the Mac UI has become with Aqua, BrushedMetal, Platinum, ProTools, Dashboard and GarageBand UI’s all being totally different. There are even variations between those…

Uno lets you choose between Platinum or it’s darker iTunes variant for Aqua and/or BrushedMetal apps and be done with it. It’s free, fast and easy.


One of the cool things about OS X is the way Apple build cool features into the OS for application developers to use. Some examples include dictionary/spell-checking, voice recognition, iSight and AppleRemote access, system-level address-books and calendaring…

The result is you find very innovative applications using these features in new and interesting ways. One such example is DeliciousLibrary, another is TheftSensor…

TheftSensor allows you to use your AppleRemote to “lock” you machine just like you would a car with a remote locking fob. Should somebody attempt to move your laptop then an alarm will continually sound until you deactivate it with the remote. This is made possible because of the movement sensor inside Mac laptops put there to protect hard disks in the event of being dropped :)

Remember to pair your remote with your Mac so that other people can’t unlock your laptop with theirs.

TheftSensor is free but the the company behind has another more advanced non-free application called Undercover. Install this and should your Mac be stolen notify them and the next time your Mac hits in the Internet it’ll realize it’s stolen and start sending iSight cam pics of the perpetrator using your PC as well as IP tracking information.

If that doesn’t do the trick it starts to simulate hardware failures and then should it find itself on an Apple certified service center IP allocation it’ll let the service tech know it’s been stolen.


Apple introduces 17″ MacBook Pro

Apple have announced the 17″ MacBook Pro at their US Store that should be shipping within the next 7-10 days (early May).


The machine is almost identical to the 2GHz models of the 15.4″ MacBook with the following differences;

  • Processor is no longer an option – Core Duo 2.16GHz only
  • Screen resolution changes from 1440×990 to 1680×1050
  • FireWire 800 port
  • USB 2 ports up from 2 to 3
  • Battery power increase from 60-watt-hour to 68-watt-hour
  • Battery life increase from 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours
  • Hard drive options are limited to 100GB 7200rpm or 120GB 5400rpm
  • Superdrive recording for DVD-R and DVD+R up from 4x to 8x
  • Superdrive can now burn double-layer DVD+R
  • Width and height increase to accommodate larger screen
  • Weight increase from 2.54kg to 3.1kg


It’s good to see the FireWire 800 port make a comeback which should quiet some critics of the 15.4″

The larger resolution doesn’t share the same aspect ratio as it’s smaller sibling – adopting for a much wider display – indeed the 17″ only boasts an addition 60 vertical pixels against the horizontal increase of 240.

The battery life is interesting – there’s no way I get near 4.5 hours on my 15.4″ MacBook and Apple had been very quiet on battery life with little or no mention until recently. I’m hoping that the batteries for the 17″ will be compatible with the 15.4″ to perhaps boost up from my current 2-2.5 hour battery life running just simple non-3D apps.

The hard drive options still lack Seagate’s 160GB Momentus option – very strange when you consider they already use the Momentus line and the 160GB has the same physical and environmental attributes. Unlike the previous Titanium PowerBook models it seems replacing the hard drive is not a do-it-yourself task and would, I imagine, invalidate your warranty.

Still you can’t argue about the price – the Apple US store currently puts the price of the standard 17″ 2.16GHz/120GB model at just $300 more than the 15.4″ 2.0GHz model.

Upgrade the 15.4″ 2.0GHz model to 2.16GHz/120GB and it’s actually $100 more than the 17″… despite being a smaller screen, 4x Superdrive and no FireWire 800…

Oh well, perhaps I’ll upgrade to the 17″ when it gets the 64-bit Merom. Unless my MacBook is already 64-bit


What are the unknown devices in XP on the MacBook Pro?

This article was written when Boot Camp had limited device driver support and is now therefore out of date.

Apple’s Boot Camp provides the majority of drivers required including the elusive ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 driver however there are a few devices without official drivers. These are;

Apple Remote/IR Receiver

Described as: USB Human Interface Device

Identification: USB\VID_05AC&PID_8240\5&11730951&0&2 (05AC 8240)

Attached to: Intel 82801G USB Universal Host Controller – 27CA > USB Root Hub

Status: Seems unlikely Apple will deliver a driver but should be easy for a third party.

Apple iSight Camera

Described as: USB Human Interface Device

Identification: USB\VID_05AC&PID_8300\5&7A1792C&0&4 (05AC 8300)

Attached to: Intel 82801G USB2 Enhanced Host Controller – 27CC > USB Root Hub

Status: Apple will probably deliver a driver but if not should be a standard imaging chip (Micron).

Trusted Platform Module

Described as: Unknown device

Identification: ACPI\IFX0101\1 (IFX0101)

Attached to: Intel 82801GBM LPC Interface Controller – 27B9

Status: You can grab the Infineon TPM package from Intel’s web site – but who wants it?

Intel Hardware Monitoring

Described as: PCI Device

Identification: PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27A3&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_03\3&B1BFB68&0&38 (8086 27A3)

Attached to: PCI bus 0, device 7, function 0

Status: _Either Intel or Apple should deliver a driver but probably simple for a third party.

Keyboard back light?

Described as: Unknown device

Identification: ACPI\APP0002\A (APP0002)

Attached to: ACPI

Status: Apple might deliver a device but again if not a third party shouldn’t find it that tricky.