Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Image credit of engadget
Asus is making it's way into the tablet market with the new Padfone concept. The Padfone is exactly what it sounds like: A pad with a phone inside. The phone docks in the back of the case when you wish to use the pad. The pad has an extra battery so you charge your phone while it is in the case. The pad has a 10" screen and will be running what looks like Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). As you can see from the picture, the case has a cutout for the camera so when you take pictures you will use the phone's camera.  The phone itself also will probably be running Android 3.0, and has a front and back facing camera. 

This new take on the tablet market is interesting as it combines the tablet and the phone into one product. The only downside to this is it requires Asus to force more power into the phone, which may adversely effect the performance of the phone/pad. Although the concept is good, I can only hope that Asus take into consideration important things such as power consumption.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tech Sales Are Coming

I see Memorial Day as the day that marks the start of summer sales for technology. The major hitter is usually July 4th in terms of how many items are on sale. Most new technology for the year is released during the summer, thus the old inventory needs to be cleared out. So if you needed that brand new 23" screen, an SSD, or even some other piece of technology, now is the time to look into buying them. If you don't mind have something that is fairly recent and only slightly outdated, then now is the time to buy. While new products will be selling full price, things comprobable to those product will be on sale due to the fact that they are not new. However, if you are really picky and want a really low price, then wait until the holiday season. I for one am looking for a good price on SSDs. In particular I am looking for 2 6Gb/s SSDs and 1 3Gb/s SSD. I plan on making all three boot drives for different computers. Hopefully there are some good sales this summer.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Watch Out fo MacDefender

When it comes to malware, I am usually very careful. However, I know that some of you out there use Macs. As a Mac user you tend to get the "I will never get a malware" mentality. Well that is not all true. While there is malware for Mac out there, the one you must be the most careful for at the moment is MacDefender. The malware, which doesn't look like malware, is something that can only be acquired if the user downloads it. This means you better stop downloading useless programs off the internet if you don't know what they do. MacDefender poses itself as a firewall application, meant to protect you from Trojans and other Mac virus. However, in reality it is a Trojan. You will want to remove it as quickly as possible if you have acquired it. Things to help protect yourself from this Trojan are turning off "automatically open save downloads" on Safari (if you use Safari), watch what you download, and try not to download that much.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Still Working on The Hackintosh

When I can find the time, I try and fix the hackintosh as best I can. Right now I am posting on Insanelymac and TonyMacx86 to try and help fix the freezes occurring with the GTX 460. I don't make any kexts, but I do attempt to try them out for people. Although I have full resolution, I don't have full graphics acceleration. I know this because when I attempted to play Half Life 2, but game crashed and an error popped up regarding the physics engine. Now, I could be lazy and just switch out my 460 for my 9800 GT when ever I boot into Mac, but that is just a pain. I would like to be able to consistently use the better of the two cards. With no fix in site, it can only be hoped that Apple will add fermi support. Unfortunately, at this time, it doesn't seem like Apple will be doing that. With each refresh in the past couple of months Apple has chosen AMD, formerly ATI, over Nvidia. One can only hope the switch back.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Making the Switch

So last summer you may remember that I switched out the HDD in my iMac G5 for an SSD to speed it up. Well, that was partially a bad idea. You see, iMac G5 can run on Leopard only, which means no TRIM support. TRIM enables the SSD to last longer because, put simply, it makes the SSD work less when deleting/writing files. Because of this the SSD will not die as fast as it would without TRIM. So what I did was I took the SSD out of my G5, and popped it into my Macbook. Then took the 250GB 7200 RPM drive and put it into the G5. Reinstalled all my system, but I am yet to retrieve my important files yet. Luckily I have a time machine backup just in case. After reinstalling Snow Leopard, I upgraded to 10.6.7 and immediately enabled TRIM with a third party utility known as TRIM Enabler. Although I now only have 60GB to work with, I am cutting down on what I need and don't need on my computer.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Apple Store 2.0

Image credit of macstories
 The brand new Apple Store is out, and it has iPads.... lots of iPads. To help aid the potential customer in choosing products Apple has provided them with a iPad that has a special program on it. The special program will show you everything from specs to pricing. This doesn't get rid of the employees, but it does  make the need for them a little less. This also saves paper since there is a digital display that can be updated at any time. Not only is this great for potential customers, but it also sets the potential customer up to want to buy more then one product. Prior to this, Apple had little slabs that had the specs and pricing printed on it. By replacing that with an iPad, customers end up using two devices instead of one; thus, the possibility that they will sell two devices at once it higher. It is a brilliant marketing technique, and I wouldn't be surprised if other stores start copying this too. 
You can call over a specialist using the new iPads on display

Even your iPads get iPads so you can learn about your iPad.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Starting Fresh

After almost a year I had to start fresh with my Hackintosh. Things were starting to get a little wacky, and I thought the best way to fix it would be to start fresh. However, this time I decided to do a different installation method. When I went about installing this time, I followed this guide. At the moment I have a somewhat functioning 10.6.7 Snow Leopard installation. My current hurdles are sound, PS2 keyboard support, and graphics acceleration. Due to the fact that I am using my MSI Hawk GTX 460 I will not have a perfect setup. The 460 is the one card that has random kernel panics, and the only way around that is to loop a video in the background. I have no problem with this, just slightly annoying.

After finally getting the system up and running, the first thing I did was download Carbon Copy Cloner and clone my fresh installation to a backup drive. I recommend that before you ever make changes to a mackintosh installation, that you always backup/clone your drive first. This will save you much frustration down the road. Another thing to note is always to keep a list of what you did during your installation to get certain things working, this will help you in the long run incase you have to do a fresh installation. As I have found out, a lot can change in almost a year.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Save When You Switch

Did you just switch from Windows to OS X? If yes, here is one of the first applications you will want to buy from the Mac App Store. It is called Parallels Transporter, and it allows you to access your Windows files from your Mac. Best part, it only costs $1 right now. Of course, you could pay someone to do this for you, or take it to the Apple store. However, this app will save you time and money. Why get bogged down trying to put stuff on flash drives and sort it all out? This app does the work for you. Now, this isn't to say you aren't going to have to go through your files, you will, but this just brings them over in a simple manner. I wish they had an app like this when some of the people I know switched, they would have loved it. Check it out, it is only $1 and if you don't like it you don't have to use it.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unix Based Systems Don't Like Sonicwall

It has become apparent to me that Unix based systems, such as Ubuntu and Snow Leopard, are becoming less able to work with firewall protected internet networks like Sonicwall. It turns out that these systems have been doing some security changes recently. These changes have added to the incapability of them working with firewall protected networks. In addition, browsers like Google Chrome also are having this incompatibility problem. Chrome is based off of Ubuntu, so it is no surprise that it is having issues. When I heard the reason for this was the security updates, I sort of laughed because the one system not doing security updates was Windows. Windows has no issue with this firewall at all, it plays perfectly fine with it. I just find it interesting that these updates are causing trouble with how they work with a network protection program. Remember, you can protect yourself better then a program can protect you. You are the one that allows what goes in and out of your computer, you are the best firewall.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10th Anniversary Mac Celebration?

It looks like Apple might be up to something. At the end of this month many Mac Store employees are coming together for an "important meeting". They are also downloading gigabytes of videos which are labeled "tutorials" and have a passcode on each file. Now, this could be Apple prepping their employees for a new product. However, it is too early for a new product to hit the line. This information comes from BGR. BGR has lain out a full list of what is happening in the near future in the Apple Stores around the country:

  • There’s an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday.
  • During the overnight shift, it’s going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple.
  • There are a wide variety of roles, we’re told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists.
  • Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
  • Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside.
  • Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
  • Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. Most meeting are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.
Alright Apple, what do you have up your sleeves?


Monday, May 16, 2011

Lion has no Fermi Support

Well this weekend I attempted to try and install the developer preview of Lion on my Hackintosh. I had a spare drive laying around so I didn't see why not. Turns out I can't even get past the post screen as long as my MSI Hawk 460 is still inside the computer. I would have to switch it out for my 9800 GT. Seems like Apple is leaning towards Raedon more and more, which is disappointing because Nvidia is a very good company. I am still reading around to see if there is a way to install Lion and switch out my card. Who knows, maybe things will change between now and this summer when Lion is released. I really hope they do, it would be a good move on the part of Apple to support Fermi cards. I am going to attempt to install with the 9800 GT in place, and then switch it out to the Fermi card, hopefully it will work. I may not get full acceleration at first, but it is better then nothing.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Buying a new iMac? Be warned!

It would seem Apple really didn't like the fact that people were tampering with the internals of their computers. Turns out that in the new iMacs you cannot simply switch out your current hard drive for a brand new one. Apple has pulled a sly one on us. The drives which go into the iMac have a 7 pin thermal sensor, something which is not on normal drives. That means you must make your decision on the type of drive you want prior to buying. Take time to think about it because you may only get one drive for your iMac.

This is quite shocking information because previous iMacs have never had this problem. For example, my 6 year old iMac G5 now has an SSD in it, something I put there to speed it up. Previous generations have always had the ability to switch drives out. However, it would seem that each generation made it harder and harder to switch out the hard drive.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype

Yes yes, I know the news is a little old, but it is important. Earlier this week Microsoft made the decision to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. The interesting fact about the purchase is that it comes right before Skype planned on going public. If that had happened, Google and Facebook would have had the chance to buy shares in it. This means Google in particular better step up its game with Google Voice. Amongst other things, there was worry that Microsoft might stop supporting other platforms, make Skype a "Windows Exclusive". Steve Ballmer assured the public that cross platform support will continue, undisrupted. I personally hope there aren't charges that will start popping up to use certain Skype services, or anything like that. In addition, I hope that Google will fight back and leave their calling service free.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Google Announces Cloud Service

Google announced yesterday that it will be introducing a cloud based music services. This is the second major company to make this shift, the first being Amazon. www.music.google.com is where you can go if you wish to sign up for the beta program. If allowed in, you will have the ability to upload your personal library and stream it on the go. However, this will only work with Android devices and regular computers. iOS mobile devices will not be able to use this service, or, at least, not off the bat. Knowing Google they will deliver service to iOS devices later on once they know people will use their service. Amazon made the same move on not allowing iOS devices, but later on made capability available. This announcement begs one question: Is Apple getting a cloud based service ready? There have been rumors, and of course they all sound convincing. People around the web suggest that Apple may have built a data center with PETABYTES of storage. Every petabyte is 1000 terabyte, just to put it in prospective. We will have to wait and see who wins the cloud wars.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good Timing Gamestop

Yesterday I received an email from Gamestop promoting their new sale. Boy did I laugh when I saw what it was. Due to the reason events with Sony's PSN, it would seem Gamestop is trying to empty out stock. This means you could get a PS3 for as little as $200. Wether or not you need one is up to you, I myself was always looking into a Blueray player. Most likely I will pass this one up, but it is something to think about. Plus, when PSN does come back up, anyone who uses this promotion should really not give any information to PSN no matter how safe Sony claims it is. Another possibility is that Sony knows their sales will drop due to the recent incident, thus they may have instructed sellers to put a sale on to keep the sale of their consoles going. What ever it may be is unknown, however if you need a PS3 now is your chance to get one at a low price.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Microsoft is Really Trying

Over the weekend I happen to stumble upon a new Microsoft advertisement. Usually I don't care about them, they don't have anything of interest. However, this one is funny and strikes a good points. Buy a PC and go to Hawai is what Microsoft is pushing now. They say that with the money you save buying a PC, instead of buying a Mac, you can go to Hawai and enjoy your new laptop. The ad is not without its flaws. It of course states things like MobileMe is only used for online backup, which is not entirely true. It also tries to draw comparisons between different sized hard drives as compared to a solid state. Again, not quite the comparison you want to be drawing, solid states are much faster. Another notable difference is that all the Macs offer matte display options, where as none of the PCs offer this option. I give props to Microsoft, they are really trying. In my opinion though, they just haven't hit that one ad that will have a last effecting. Take the first iPod ad for example, it was simplistic and to the point. This is what Microsoft should be aiming for in their ads.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

iMac Refresh

Images provided by Apple.com

As expected, a new line of iMacs was released yesterday. The new line came with two of the things rumored to come with it. There is a brand new processor, as well as the addition of thunderbolt. But wait, there is one more thing that snuck its way in! A brand new Raedon 6970 for the 27 inch top of the line iMac, a Raedon 6770 for the bottom 27 inch and top 21.5 inch, and a 6750 for the low end 21.5 inch. This graphics boost is a much needed, and much welcomed, addition to the iMac family.

In addition, the brand new Sandy Bridge chipset has been added as the processor. These processors are up to 3x faster that the core 2 duo that was in the previous iMacs. Plus, they come with turbo boost 2.0, which allows the computer to change the clock speed of the CPU when needed to as to boost performance. Theses CPUs bring a much needed boost to the desktop line, putting them on par with the new line of Macbooks.

And finally, there is the addition of not one, but two Thunderbolt I/O ports. This will not only give you the option to hook up tons of extra space if you want to, but you can also have a three way display done through the mini DVI ports. That means you could purchase a 27 inch iMac, two 27 inch mini DVI LCD screens, and hook them up to have one giant screen. That would be great for gaming, as well as video editing.

That two refreshes down for Apple, but there is one product that is hiding. One product that has not been refreshed yet. That is the Mac Pro. It will be interesting to see how long it is until the Mac Pro is refreshed.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Apple's Online Store is Down: Refresh Time!

If you have never seen the above image, then you have never witnessed an Apple Online Store refresh. As we speak the store is currently down. Why you may ask? Well rumors have it that a new set of iMacs will be coming out today. They are rumored to have the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the new Thunderbolt technology. Other then that, not much else has been rumored. Personally, I would like to see a slightly update design. Word of the update should come at about 8:30 AM EST today.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

White iPhone Extravaganza

Thicker white iphone 4
Last thursday Apple quietly unveiled the White iPhone 4 on their website. This phone was due out with the release of the iPhone 4 last year, but never went on sale. It was seen through out the internet on different sites, rumored to never be release. There was fake versions, mods, things you could do to your iPhone 4 to make it white. There was no given reason by Apple as to why the White iPhone was never released on time, but there was a statement made by Steve Wozniak about it. He had bought parts to mod his iPhone 4 and made it white. He said the parts made taking pictures with the phone difficult as the flash turn the picture a little too bright. Whether or not this is the reason is still unknown. In addition, it has come into the light that the White iPhone is slightly thicker then the iPhone 4. You may not see this as a big deal, but other sites like Engadget brought up a good point. When you change the size of the phone, you produce a big problem for case makers. Case makers now have to produce cases for both a White iPhone on AT&T as well as on Verizon. That is in addition to the two different types of cases they had to make before. That means case makers will have to make four different cases, which can be costly. This is very unlike Apple to have an abnormality with the sizing of their products. Apple has always prided itself on perfection and size, among other things. As of now, there has been no statement as to why this is. I have a feeling it will be touched on in June during WWDC 2011.