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All posts tagged "hardware"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

iPod Touch a Big Mobile Internet Success

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"On the day I give up on my iPhone and trade it in for the iPod Touch, AdMob, a mobile advertising startup released its report that shows a big uptick in the mobile Internet usage via WiFi in the month of January 2009. According to AdMob, Apple devices generated 28% more requests (1.2 billion) in January versus December 2008. The iPod touch growth outpaced iPhone growth and now represents 40% of Apple requests, up from 20% in September 2008."

Wow. Nice numbers for a media player!

I imagine a lot of people take the Ryan Block route and keep an iPod Touch on the coffee table as a web tablet. It's one heck of a device and an excellent compromise for those not wanting to commit to an iPhone or AT&T.

Ben Ackerman Switches to Bold, Finds Need to Share

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:00 AM

"To better understand my gripes with the iPhone, it's important to know what I've replaced it with. It turns out, the crackberry masses with their love for all things hard keyboard that I dismissed with a smug "I can type just as fast as you on my virtual keyboard so nyah!" had it right all along. For the last 2 weeks, I've rocked a RIM BlackBerry Bold. And I've loved it. Let's just say if I didn't already keep my phone in my pants, that would be where I keep this one anyway."

This reminds me of when Cory Doctorow decided that he had to start using Ubuntu to set his content free. I never did get what that meant, seeing as you can produce your own content on a Mac quite easily and there's no DRM on it, but no one questioned his silliness. In this case, Ackerman has decided he need to tell the world he switched phones as if it's some great "pat me on the back moment."

You see, I'm not just an iPhone user. My second "work" phone is also a BlackBerry Bold. I find it impossible to take seriously anyone who says the Bold's keyboard compares to the virtual keyboard on the iPhone. There is no way on the planet earth that the Bold's keyboard is as good as the iPhone's. It just isn't. Period. I can type at least twice as fast on my iPhone, and I don't have to worry about mistakes, either; the iPhone's auto-correct is pretty damn good if you ignore it and let it do its job. As it is, I can't type a single sentence on my Bold without looking at the keyboard to make sure I'm hitting the right key.

It's nice that Mr. Ackerman has found happiness in the Bold, but frankly I'll take the iPhone's gigantic app catalog, huge screen, superior in every way media experience, awesome keyboard, fantastic web browser, and pretty damn solid e-mail client over my Bold any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today's Chuckle: iCar

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 01:00 PM

Tags: hardware, apple, icar

Apple Asked Google to Not Do Multitouch? Doubt It

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"One of the bigger complaints about T-Mobile’s G1, the first phone based on Google’s Android platform, is that its touch screen doesn’t use multi-touch, the technology which allows for a screen to accept multiple points of contact as simultaneous input. Now we may know why. Apple, which of course makes the signature multi-touch mobile device, the iPhone, apparently asked Google not to implement it, and Google agreed, an Android team member tells us."

Sorry. Not buying it. I'm not buying that Apple asked, and I'm not buying even more that Google agreed. The only source is an "Android Team Member," and the post that's been shot around the world and requoted (linked above) doesn't really have any firm proof; just conjecture and circumstantial evidence.

Sorry. Not buying it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Apple Collecting Opinions on AppleTV

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 01:00 PM

"Apple is looking for customer feedback in order to help shape the future of the Apple TV, as evidenced by a new survey posted to Apple's website. The survey, which is only a handful of pages long, asks current users what they use their Apple TVs for, how many they have in the home, and how much content comes from different types of sources."

Get the impression Apple is gearing up for something with the AppleTV? They wouldn't randomly ask questions without a purpose behind it. I'm pretty much convinced that something new is coming down the pipeline and it's going to knock us all over. They've always called the AppleTV a hobby, but maybe they're seeing it as more than that now and want to expand the product line. Maybe that TV with integrated AppleTV that Jason Calacanis predicted in October?

Tags: hardware, appletv

Jason Snell Hates the 24" LED Cinema Display

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple’s new 24″ LED Cinema Display suffers the fatal flaw of “ridiculous, terrible glare,” according to Jason Snell, editor of Macworld, who informed his Twitter followers Monday he’s putting his monitor back in the box and returning it to Macworld Labs. Snell has spent his professional career as a writer covering Apple and, despite the presumed objectivity of his position as the editor of one of the larger, more recognizable mainstream media brands associated with the Cupertino computer maker, likely wouldn’t give up on such a major piece of Apple hardware unless he felt it was poorly executed."

I'm not commenting on this. I still think that the criticisms of the glossies are way overreaching, but I figured I'd post this just to prove that I don't only post stuff I agree with. Incidentally, I have seen the 24" Cinema Display at the Apple Store, where the glare is pretty unbearable on all of the glossy displays, and the Cinema Display is no better or worse than any of them. Then again, I've heard since I got my MBP that I would hate the glare on that one, too, and I find it completely tolerable.

I'm Vincent Ferrari, and I like glossy displays.

Hackintosh on the Cheap

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Desktops" @ 09:00 AM

"If you missed out on the last p0wnz deal it looks like this deal from Dell is now bye bye see ya later gone. Sorry if you didn't take advantage of this because I got a 99.8% fully functional Mac Pro Hackintosh."

That really isn't too bad, actually. The Vostro 420 (the replacement for the 410) is going for under $500 on Dell's site right now. Not a bad way to dip your toe into the Mac waters. Of course you run the risk of not being able to do updates and so on, but if you can live with that, a Hackintosh might be for you.

Any of you folks out there running a Hackintosh of some kind?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Big Hard Disks Now Available for 5th Gen iPods

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 02:00 PM

"If your iPod is out of room and you don't want to do the necessary surgery on it yourself to upgrade the hard drive, some pros are now ready to do it for you. Rapid Repair just announced the first 240GB iPod upgrade, which is available for all original iPod Video models."

If I still had my iPod video, I'd so be right on this. 240 gigs is a nice upgrade. Of course, when I had my 5th gen video iPod, I only had a 160 gig HD on my iMac!

Apple 101: How to Correctly Use the Mighty Mouse

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 11:00 AM

"Here's a simple one-finger solution for Mighty Mouse right-click problems: Use only your index finger for both buttons. Using the index finger for left-clicking and and right-clicking provides reliable operation of the buttons on both sides of the mouse. Your thumb should not be further forward than the side button on the left side of the mouse. The position of the fingers on the right side of the mouse is relatively unimportant."

As maligned as the Mighty Mouse is, it's still my favorite mouse ever. Apple did a great disservice making it not take-a-partable, and the silly roller ball (which is really the best part of the Mighty Mouse) really does get gunked up a lot, but other than that, I thoroughly love my Mighty Mouse and wouldn't trade it for any other mouse I've ever used. I haven't had too much trouble getting it to pick up right clicks, but I've also learned to make a distinct click on the right side. Maybe it just takes practice!

Orange iPhone Exclusive in France Struck Down

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 09:00 AM

"France's leading mobile operator, Orange, has failed to restore its exclusive deal with Apple to sell the latest version of the iPhone in France as the Paris Appeal Court confirmed a competition watchdog's ruling, reports Reuters."

I don't see how having the iPhone on one carrier hurts competition. The only thing it does do is give one carrier a phone that other carriers can't carry. In essence, the argument being made is that other companies simply can't compete with the iPhone. Maybe it's because I'm in the business and have been for so long, but I'm just a little jaded when it comes to cries of "competition" in the wireless industry. Is it really competition when every wireless carrier offers almost the same plans for almost the same price? Sounds more like collusion than competition to me. I wouldn't be surprised if the carriers in Europe, to avoid stupidity like this, just start doing what they do in the US: only have phones on different bands altogether. For example, a T-Mobile 3G phone (1700 Mhz) won't work on AT&T's 3G Network (2100 Mhz). It won't be long before carriers in Europe start changing up their networks just so only their devices will work on their network.

It should be noted that France's gripe was mainly with the 5 year length of the exclusive agreement, though, meaning you can do this horrible exclusive thing as long as you don't do it for too long. Isn't it nice to know your business practices are being guided by those geniuses of business also known as the government?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Patent Application Hints at Video Conferencing on iPhone

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"A recent patent awarded to Apple indicates that the company is planning to bring video calling and recording features to its iPhone handset. According to InformationWeek, the patent also includes a description section including the following potential features: "In some embodiments, the functions may include telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, blogging, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing, and/or digital video playing.""

I'm digging the idea of video conferencing on the iPhone, but dreading the fact that it would probably only work with iChat whose video conferencing I've never actually gotten to work whenever I've tried. I think the interesting part of the idea of a camera on the iPhone is one of Apple's other patents; a camera embedded behind the display. That to me is a whole lot more plausible than a forward-facing camera hole up near the ear piece.

Friday, January 30, 2009

NVidia Update Yanked, No Explanation Given

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple has yanked a software update that was intended to fix graphics-related issues with its latest notebooks just two days after pushing the patch to users via its Software Update mechanism. It's unclear what prompted the removal of the patch, released Monday as NVIDIA Graphics Update 2009 and pulled from the company's website and automatic software update system on Wednesday."

I have to say that despite the complaints mentioned in the article and in the Apple Forums, I have had no such issues since upgrading. In fact, as I mentioned on the day the release of the update was posted, it actually fixed my only issue with my MacBook Pro's display and that was it not waking up when my Dell monitor was connected. I'm glad I grabbed it before they yanked it because it has made my life a whole lot easier!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy 25th Birthday Mac!

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 08:00 AM

"Demo of the first Apple Macintosh by Steve Jobs, January 1984, in front of 3000 people. Andy Hertzfeld captured the moment quite well in his retelling: "Pandemonium reigns as the demo completes. Steve has the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face, obviously holding back tears as he is overwhelmed by the moment. The ovation continues for at least five minutes before he quiets the crowd down.""

Steve Jobs unveils the original Macintosh, January 1984. Most of you have probably seen this, but it's still worth watching again or for the first time if you haven't. Of course that original Mac was well out of the price range of most people, but then again, so were most computers at the time. In honor of the Mac's birthday, let's do something completely hacky: what was your first Mac, when did you get it, etc.?

My first Mac was the 800 Mhz iBook, and I bought it in April of 2004. It was the first time I had ever owned an Apple computer and it was one of the best computers I've ever owned in my life. I later sold it because my company is a heavy Microsoft company and from the moment I sent it to the guy I sold it to, I regretted doing it. I didn't get another Mac until the Intel MacBook came out, and I splurged for the black model, extra RAM, and tons of accessories. I even bought my wife one for Christmas a year later. In the intervening time, I bought a 17" iMac 1.83 Core Duo, and then recently got rid of both my BlackBook and my iMac and replaced it with the new 15" MacBook Pro.

That's my Mac lineage. What's yours?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

15.4" Matte Display Conversion Aimed at Silencing Whiners

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 AM

"If you're one of those people who would have gotten one of the slick new 15" MacBook Pros but just can't bear the thought of using a glossy LCD screen, then you need to know about TechRestore. The electronics repair service, known for its speedy repairs of Mac laptops, has introduced a new service that trades the glossy screen for silky matte goodness."

Yep, that's right. If you have a 15" MacBook Pro (the new shiny purdy one like yours truly) then you too can spend $200 more to have the beautiful screen converted to a matte finish so that you don't have to go through the pain of adjusting the viewing angle to minimize reflections when the sun is glaring over your shoulder. Honestly, I think people are a little ridiculous when it comes to their disdain for the glossy screen, but if you're one of "those" folks, then this might be for you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Ahead and Eat the Red Sn0w

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

"A picture is worth a 1000 words but a video might be better in this day of Photoshop and fake YouTube videos. So we're thinking of doing what we did before Christmas for yellowsn0w - show a demo of the jailbreak on Musclenerd's Qik account."

Not too shabby. These guys do some amazing stuff with no assistance from Apple at all. I'm continually impressed with how they figure out what code to replace and how to hack it. If you have a second-generation Touch, this is your lucky week!

Palm's Pre May Finally Be Legitimate Competition

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 08:00 AM

I remember it very clearly. It was January 2007, and I was sitting in my office furiously refreshing the page on my work computer reading the liveblogging that was going on. It was finally here; Steve Jobs was announcing the iPhone. It was a device thousands upon thousands of loyal Apple customers were dying for. A phone designed to work with their platform, not hacked to "function" with it. Out of the box, it was designed to sync our contacts and calendar, give us e-mail that was better than anything else on the market, and a web experience that no one on the market could match. I'll never forget how my mind boggled that day, and I haven't felt that way about a product announcement since then. Today, however, I think another company has finally done something that I never thought I would see: developed a competitor to the iPhone that could take a bite out of the iPhone, and surprise of surprises, it's Palm. Read more...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Returning to the Mac: 1 Year Later

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:00 PM

"After being entrenched in Microsoft Windows territory for many years, due to professional necessity and excellent experiences with the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad product line, I decided to take a leap back into the Mac fold in February of this year. At the time I was still sporting a nearly four year old ThinkPad as my personal laptop, and while this was an absolute workhorse system, it was time for something fresh. On February 5, I walked into my local Apple Store and purchased a 13″ white MacBook, essentially the base model, for $1099. Certainly no beast with its low-end specs (by Mac standards), and only an 80GB hard drive, I was simply looking for a decent machine to take with me on trips, enjoy while not working, and primarily use as a way to "learn" Mac OS again."

Dave is a friend of mine who made the trip back to the Mac, and after a bit of a rough start he seems pretty happy with his Whitebook. I would say his experiences match most returning Mac users' experiences pretty well. A little bumpy at first (even with the occasional hardware failure) but after that, it's all smooth sailing. Mostly. Check out his article, though. Very well-written and well-thought out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Aluminum and Glass: The New MacBook Pro

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 10:00 AM

Product Category: Notebook Computer
Manufacturer: Apple
Where to Buy: [Affiliate]
Price: $1999 - $2499 ($2499 configuration tested, no BTO options)
Specifications: Detailed Specs Here


  • Solid smooth design;
  • Powerful CPU and GPU;
  • Excellent screen.


  • Trackpad is somewhat fidgety;
  • A tad on the heavy side;
  • Expensive.

Apple has ditched the two-piece shell of the MacBook Pro, opting for a new single-piece shell they refer to as "brick." Is the new MacBook Pro a divine piece of masonry or an over-hyped marketing gimmick? Read more...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Apple: "Our Holiday Line-up is Set"

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Despite Internet rumors of forthcoming product releases, an Apple representative confirmed that the company has no plans to release any new products before the holidays. “Our holiday line-up is set,” Apple spokesman Bill Evans told Macworld."

Sad Christmas Tree (Of course it's sad; there were no new Apple products under it!) photo via Hajime7 on Flickr.

Well, thus ends that batch of rumors. Turns out Apple won't be releasing any new iMacs, Mac Minis, or Mac Pros before the holiday season. There's still a persistent rumor that the 17" MacBook Pro will be getting an update a-la the 15" models soon, but I think this pretty much puts the kibosh on the whole thing. It has been a busy year, nonetheless, for Apple. They've updated the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, spec bumped the iMac, spec bumped the Mac Pro, updated the iPhone, the iPod Classic, the Touch, and the Nano, and released a new firmware version for the AppleTV, so it's not like Apple was asleep at the switch this year. What do you think? Are you happy with the holiday line up, or did Apple miss a chance to make further inroads with customers?

New MacBooks Not "Clicking" With Owners?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple is reportedly looking into issues regarding its no-buttoned glass trackpad on its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. According to a blog post by an Apple fan, he had sent an e-mail to Steve Jobs over issues he was having with the new hardware. He then received a call from an Apple representative shortly after sending the message, who said that Apple was currently "looking into the complaints, but has no immediate resolution."

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my review of the new MacBook Pro, and honestly I haven't bumped into this precise issue. I have had my share of fidgitiness (is that even a word?) with the tracking, but the clicking seems to be working fine. The good news, of course, is that Apple seems to have gotten enough complaints that they're actually looking into it. I'm wondering though; if you've already gotten yours, are you having issues with the trackpad clicking or any other issues with the new glass trackpad? I'm interested to know how widespread this actually is.

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