Tuesday, October 31, 2006

MacBook Firmware Update Addresses Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS)

MacBook owners should upgrade to MacBook SMC Firmware 1.1 at their earliest convenience. Apple improved internal monitoring systems and claims to have fixed the random shutdowns occuring in some MacBooks.

iPod Shuffle Now Shipping

iPod Shuffle
The second generation ipod Shuffle is now starting to ship. This is the new shuffle which is 1/2 the size of the original and has the innovative built-in clip.

*Update - The Shuffle will be available starting on Friday 01 November 2006.

Boot Camp Beta 1.1.2

Apple has released Boot Camp Beta 1.1.2.

This version includes:

- Support for the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers
- Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
- Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
- Support for built-in iSight cameras
- Support for built-in microphones
- Support for the Apple USB Modem
- Trackpad scrolling and right-click support on Apple Laptops
- Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys
- Improved International Apple keyboard support

MacBook Pro Speed Bump

New MacBook Pro Speed Increase
Apple upgraded the MacBook Pro with 64-bit Core 2 Duo chips that perform up to 39 percent faster than the previous MacBook Pro.

Everything else is the about the same except the hard drive capacity and SuperDrive speeds have been bumped to 120GB and 6x, respectively, for the 15-inch models and 160GB and 8x for the 17-inch. In addition, Apple has re-included a FireWire 800 port which was missing in the transistion from PowerBooks to MacBook Pros.

Pricing remains the same: $1,999 (15-inch, 2.16GHz), $2,499 (15-inch 2.33GHz), $2,799 (17-inch, 2.33GHz).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Do You See What I See?

Indian iPodThe iPod is only five years old? Google Earth may show evidence that the iPod's roots go farther back than even Steve Jobs could imagine!

Thanks Boing Boing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday iPod!

The iPod is 5 years old today (23 October). I remember my first iPod like it was yesterday. I received my annual bonus and a colleague and I rushed down to the local MicroCenter (there were no Apple Stores in Atlanta then) and picked one up.

$399 and 5GB. It's come a long way. There is a part of me that wishes I hadn't sold that first generation iPod. What a clunky classic. The scroll wheel that actually scrolled, the buttons in a circle around it, and that low-res greyscale LCD screen.

But boy did it reignite my love of music. At that point I had been married for about 5 years and was in the midsts of having our first child. As those of you know, that is all consuming and certainly a priority over everything else. But the iPod made its way into the hectic schedule in a way that was not only easy, but fun too.

I'm now on my 5th generation iPod with video and couldn't imagine life without it.

Wired has a nice, if short, article on how the iPod came to be.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't You Love Haloes?

Apple is looking good. All the numbers seem to keep skyrocketing, but what is intriguing to me is that it is now estimated that Apple has 5.8 percent of the computer market compared to 4.3 percent a year ago. The halo effect does seem to be working.

Also, AP has a review of the new line of iPods. Overall, it's very positive, particularly for the nano. He had some complaints about the video iPods though.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cool Down Your MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini

MacBook Heat and Fan Control
Some folks have complained about the heat generated by their MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini.

Eidac now has a new application which will let you control the speed of the fan(s). I'm using it now and it works like a charm. Play around with the speed to find that nice balance of sound and heat.

Everyone Has Lips

Steve Jobs is interviewed for Newsweek magazine and talks about how he doesn't believe the iPod will lose its momentum anytime soon as well as his thoughts on consumer electronics.

Oh yeah, and he uses a really bad analogy to describe it.


:-)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wikipod

Here's a novel idea (pun intended). Download some or all of Wikipedia to your iPod. Wikipod brings it to you. Now you have something to read on the airplane/bus/train.

Be More Flexible

PBSNow you can get your favorite PBS programs via iTunes. I mean, who doesn't want to hand over their $300 iPod to their kids so they can watch episodes of Arthur and Cyberchase they've seen thirteen times already?

This certainly isn't revolutionary news except the fact that one of the programs, the excellent Nova, is being priced much higher at $7.99 than the typical TV episode at $1.99. Nova isn't typical, which likely explains it according to Macworld. Nonetheless, it shows Apple is willing to play with the numbers for the sake of quality.

Related: Below I've posted a few links to original podcasts from the crew at Iowa Public Television. I have connections.

Dantastic You Dos
Market to Market: Market Analysis
Market to Market: Market Plus

Red Is The Color That My Baby Wore

Red iPod nanoStop, you're embarrassing it.

iPod nano looks awfully purty in her new red dress. It's all for a good cause ... a cool new color in the nano lineup. I kid. The good cause is (Product) Red, which is designed to capture a bit of the philanthropic spirit from everyday consumers buying products from Apple, Gap, Motorola, etc. to benefit the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. Not surprisingly, Bono had something to do with it. And despite Oprah's involvement, it's a good thing. Ten bucks of every nano purchased will go to the Global Fund. It doesn't sound like much, but I assure you, when you're selling millions of these things, it'll add up quickly.

Purchase online or at Apple retail stores.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hands-On With Zune

AppleInsider has some hands-on experience with a pre-production Zune. Summary: A respectable contender, but still falls short. Only time will tell....

:-)

True Video iPod Coming Soon?

Okay - I've stopped posting rumors up here for the most part, and this will likely be another rumor, but the fact that the good folks at Engadget are reporting it give it some validity.

Only time will tell...

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Get A Mac Ads

1. Counselor
2. Better Results (guest-starring Gisele B√ľndchen)
3. Self Pity

"Better Results" is pretty funny. So is Self Pity. Alright fine, they're all pretty funny.

Now Target Begins To Whine

Okay, it's one thing when Wal*Mart starts to whine, but now Target?

Target is saying they'll have to "rethink their investment in the DVD business" if online download pricing doesn't level out with DVD sales.

Um, hello people. If I am hogging up my precious bandwidth for 30-60 minutes to download a movie at "almost DVD" quality, no packaging, no bonus material, no ability to burn it onto a real DVD and all sorts of other limitations, it BETTER be cheaper than a real DVD.

Update: Motley Fool has an excellent rebuttal that Hollywood should send Wal*Mart and Target:

Dear Wal-Mart and/or Target,

Congratulations! We concede to your demands. You can now have the same wholesale pricing as our digital downloading partners do. Please keep in mind that you will be required to burn your purchases for your eventual customers and provide the clamshell with original artwork. The disc will contain just the movie at a feasible streamed compression quality. You will pay us immediately. Naturally you will swallow any returns.

It has been a pleasure doing business with you. Let us know if you would like to revert to the old pricing and product specs in order to hold off your obsolescence for a few years longer.

Your friend,

Hollywood

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Zune Biggest Flop of 2007

MP3.com founder Michael Robertson predicts that Microsoft's Zune will be the biggest flop of 2007.

We'll check back a year from now...