Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there were the same revolving updates for several file management and maintenance utilities, with some of them being significant updates. A few hardware monitoring and maintenance updates are also available that improve problem tracking and diagnosis on new Apple hardware.… Read more
There are a couple of new Apple-related videos over at CNET TV. Editor Donald Bell discusses using various hidden iPad keyboard features such as accent characters with international keyboards, using caps lock, auto-complete for Web domains, and other options. In this week's Apple Byte, Brian Tong and other CNET editors discuss the new MacBook Pro's performance, features, along with Steve Jobs' reasoning why the 13" model did not get a Core i5 or i7 chip. They also cover some iPad sales news, including some problems with the international iPad sales and Israeli customs not allowing the devices into that country.… Read more
With new MacBook Pros hitting the streets packing faster silicon, it's a good exercise to see how Apple stacks up against the competition.
Note that this is not a performance comparison--though I've include links at the bottom--but a quick side-by-side comparison that a buyer might do upon walking into Best Buy (which I've witnessed before).
And the usual disclaimers apply about price. MacBook Pros are relatively pricey, top-notch laptops designed to exude chic: aluminum enclosures, high-performance LED displays, and a fit-and-finish that is better than most competitors.
That said, some customers (surprise, surprise) are swayed by price, particularly when there's a gaping spread between two systems with roughly similar specifications.
And that seems to be the case here. Take a look and you decide.
Note that the Dell has a quad-core Core i7, the Apple a dual-core i7. But don't be deceived by core counts. The Core i7-based MacBook Pro does very well in performance benchmarks. Moreover, the Pro has Intel graphics integrated into the CPU package along with the dual-core processor, allowing it to switch between Intel and Nvidia discrete graphics to save power--which results in much better battery life compared to the Dell. In Dell's favor, the Studio XPS 16 has options for a Blu-ray optical drive and a 3G modem (both included below). The MacBook Pro doesn't.
Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro:Operating system: Mac OS X Snow Leopard Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core i7, dual-core Display: 15-inch 1440-by-900-pixel LED-backlit glossy w/camera Graphics chip: Nvidia GeForce GT 330M w/ 256MB plus Intel graphics (switchable)… Read more
Shocker! The San Francisco Bay Area is the biggest U.S. market for Apple products, according to the results of a survey conducted by research firm Experian Simmons. The study found that 32.3 percent of adult residents of the region own at least one Apple product--an iPod, iPhone, or Mac computer--compared to 21.6 percent in the nation as a whole, which makes Bay Area residents 49 percent more likely to buy Apple products.
Apple, of course, is based in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino, in close proximity to San Jose and San Francisco.
A close second in … Read more
Here's something you don't see very often: a freebie for Macs. But Digiarty Software is showing the love by offering the WinX DVD Ripper for Mac, normally $35.95, absolutely free. No strings attached.
If the WinX name sounds familiar, it's because the company has offered a few Windows-only freebies in the past--most notably the Windows version of the same app (sorry, but that offer's long gone).
DVD Ripper can copy copy-protected movies to your hard drive and convert them to any number of popular formats, including FLV, MOV, and MP4. In other words, it's … Read more
With nothing fresh on the outside, all the newness of the just-announced 15-inch MacBook Pro is on the inside, as iFixit illustrates in its latest teardown.
What is of interest to most, of course, is the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. MacBook Pros use these chips--built on Intel's latest 32-nanometer manufacturing process--for the first time.
The Core i5 processor package (the upper Intel chip package in the photo) actually contains two chips (which can't be seen in the teardown, as it only shows the outside of the packages). But inside each Intel CPU is the processor die … Read more
Bad news: the new MacBook Pros still lack HDMI, a very convenient and increasingly ubiquitous way for any laptop to output its audio and video on to an HDTV or receiver.
Good news: it's slightly easier to connect your MacBook Pro to a TV than it was before.
MacBook Pros now support an audio signal over the Mini DisplayPort jack. Believe it or not, the old MacBooks could only output video through that port, and audio had to be output via a separate audio cable connected to the audio-out jack. We can say from experience that connecting previous MacBooks … Read more
What happens to the MacBook in the age of the iPad? It survives, of course, but is less important than it was.
The most obvious indicator is Apple Store real estate. At my local Apple store in Southern California, iPads have unceremoniously pushed all MacBooks off one large display table at the very front of the store. Not an earth-shattering development but nonetheless indicative of what's really important for Apple right now: the iPad is front and center.
If you keep a blog, need a program to take notes for class, or just want to record your daily thoughts, MacJournal is an excellent choice. MacJournal comes with an intuitive interface (including a green-text-on-black option for when you want no distractions) and plenty of features like a built-in calendar, robust search functions, and the option to include just about any type of content. This latest version offers minor feature enhancements and bug fixes.