Apple has updated a couple of knowledgebase articles that may be useful for MacBook users. The articles cover how to enable and disable the built-in sudden motion sensor in MacBook and PowerBook computers, and also how to use the glass multi-touch track pad.… Read more
UPDATE: No USB 3.0 support for Mac OS X.
With the release of the original "Bondi Blue" iMac, Apple was one of the first to adopt USB technology, but was a little late on getting USB 2.0 implemented. USB 3.0 is just around the corner, and I've wondered whether we will see Apple jump on the bandwagon or wait for another technology. Regardless of what Apple decides to do, claims around the release of new external drives from Buffalo Technologies suggest Mac Pro and some PowerMac users may already have a USB 3.0 option available.… Read more
Every week I like to outline the utilities that have been updated and released for OS X, and provide a small review of one for everyone. While utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task, I try to focus on those that can help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week, we've got "PrefEdit" from the makers of Tinkertool and Hardware Monitor, which is a utility for managing preference files.… Read more
The Hewlett-Packard Envy 13 offers an excellent example of what a cutting-edge ultraportable should be--and it moves past the Apple MacBook Air in some important respects, despite its overly ambitious price tag.
First, let me say that I use a MacBook Air as my main machine and am well aware of its merits. That said, it is beginning to look a little long in the tooth when juxtaposed with the Envy 13--which, like the Air, offers an aluminum chassis. I will also draw comparisons with 13-inch MacBook Pro since the Envy seems to fall somewhere between this and the Air.
(See CNET review of Envy 13.)
Let's start with the Envy's engine. The Envy offers a ULV (ultra-low-voltage) processor option that you won't find in any Apple MacBook: a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo SU9600 that draws a mere 10 watts. This is Intel's highest-performance 10-watt dual-core processor--a crucial power-saving and heat-reducing option for ultra-thin designs like the Envy or MacBook Air. The more widely used SL9600 (which many reviewers mistakenly refer to as ultra low voltage) draws 17 watts.
But HP charges a premium for this processor, too. Selecting the power-sipping SU9600 adds $200 to the cost of the Envy. But at least it's an option.
Next, graphics. The Envy has switchable graphics. What does this get you? More battery life. When plugged in, the Envy uses the "discrete" (standalone) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics processor. When unplugged it switches to the less-power-hungry--and lower performance--Intel integrated graphics.
The truth be told, most of the time users don't need discrete graphics. But it can be a godsend in Windows 7, for example, when doing transcoding--which converts, for instance, a movie on a PC to a format that makes it viewable on an iPhone or iPod. And, of course, discrete graphics is needed for playing demanding games.
The ATI 4330 graphics seem to be more capable than… Read more
When you compose a new email message, Mail will frequently save drafts of the message in the "Drafts" folder. Messages will also stay here if you save them to work on later. Some people have found that these draft email messages will persist in the Drafts mailbox despite them having completed and sent the message.… Read more
When you put your Mac to sleep, the system should do so in a matter of seconds, regardless of whether it's done manually or if you have it timed for sleep in the Energy Saver settings. In some instances, though, the system may either take a long time to go into sleep, or may not sleep at all when it is on the timer.… Read more
Apple has released a small update to iPhoto, which addresses a couple of small issues that users of the program have been experiencing with the face-recognition technologies in version 8 of the program.… Read more
A number of MacBook owners who use Apple's S-video adaptor have been experiencing problems with S-video output after updating to Snow Leopard. In some cases the output will be low resolution, and in other situations it will only output monochrome colors. For others, the output is also unstable, and seems grainy or scratched and distorted.… Read more
There may be a problem with exchange server setups where when accessed through Apple's Mail program in Snow Leopard the junk mail folder disappears on the Mac. While other folders will synchronize upon creating a new account, the junk mail folder does not show on the Mac.… Read more
A number of Snow Leopard users have been complaining of blurry and pixelated icons showing up in the Finder. A growing thread on the Apple discussion boards outlines this issue, where instead of the large and crisp icons that are so prominent in OS X, the system shows grainy and low-resolution versions of them, regardless of the icon size being used.… Read more