Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Got my iPad this morning


Got home about an hour ago with my new 16GB iPad.  The whole experience of buying it was great.  Apple truly does a great job from product design –> retail.

Like all of the initial reviews have said (Pogue, Mossberg, Ihnatko, etc.), it really is a whole different ballgame after you start using one.  If you’re hesitant, I’d recommend going to the Apple Store and play around with one.  After that, you’ll know if you want it or not.

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Filed under: Apple, Apple Store, iPad

iPhone 2.0 Software Update Released


Apple has officially released the 2.0 software update for all iPhone 1.0 and iPod Touch owners about 10 minutes ago – only about 30 minutes after the 3G iPhone went on sale.  😉

Connect your iPhone to iTunes and it should automatically ask you to upgrade.  If not, click on your iPhone in the left pane and click the ‘check for updates’ button on the general tab.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone

iPhone 3G Upgrade Articles


Thinking about buying or upgrading to the iPhone 3G?  Well, here are some articles that let’s you know what to do or expect.

One thing you should know: if you have the base iPhone 1G plan ($59.99/mo) and want the equivalent plan for the iPhone 3G, the cost is $74.99/mo – $10 extra for the 3G data plan and $5 extra for the 200 text messages (which was included in the 1G plan).

Personally, my girlfriend may buy my 1st gen iPhone.  If she does, I’ll upgrade to the 3G model.  Of course, if this occurs, I’ll post how the process went for us so you all know what to expect.

How to transfer 1st gen iPhone to someone else [AppleInsider]

Buying an iPhone 3G for current and new AT&T subscribers [AppleInsider]

How to migrate your iPhone data [Apple]

How to buy an iPhone 3G walkthrough videos from AT&T [MacRumors]

AT&T iPhone 3G plans and pricing info [AT&T]

What you need to buy an iPhone 3G [TUAW]

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

iPhone SDK & 3rd Party Apps


Wow…some very cool details that Apple has released about the iPhone SDK (beta) today. I won’t go into the details since you can read them yourself (link below). The most important thing: an iPhone software update enabling 3rd party apps will be released in June, 2008. So, it looks like we have a few more months to go before we can start buying and installing 3rd party apps w/o jailbreaking our iPhones.

There were some very cool demos shown at the press event, too.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Smartphone

New MacBook Pro vs. Old MacBook Pro


If you’re debating between getting the new MBP (i.e., the ones with multitouch and Penryn processor) or the old MBP, you’ll find AnandTech’s benchmark tests very informative.

The net: Penryn’s biggest advantage is in battery life. Performance is a tad better (depending on the test) but not a lot. So, for some of you, the reduced prices of the old MBP may be the right option for you.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Reviews

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?


refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

New iPhone firmware released (v.1.1.4)


Apple has released a new firmware for the iPhone (1.1.4) .  Apparently, all the release notes say are, “bug fixes.”

I don’t know about you all but ever since I upgraded to 1.1.3 (released during MacWorld ’08), I’ve had Safari crash several times.  Prior to 1.1.3, Safari crashed only a handful of times in 6 months.  Maybe this new firmware will make Safari more stable.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

MacBook Pro & MacBook updates…FINALLY!!


Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro and, suprisingly, the MacBook.

I’ve been waiting for over 1 year to replace my Powerbook so I am absolutely ecstatic. I placed my order for the $2,500 version of the 15″ MBP and should have it next week. Cost: ~$1,999 (+ tax) thanks to the Apple Dev Connection discount, which is 20% off on MBPs).

Side note: I love how Apple still showcases a Ducati 1098 motorcycle on the MBP product page! 

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing

MacBook Pro inventory low at Apple Stores?


FWIW, I was at one of my local Apple Stores today and asked them if they had any of the $2,500 version of the 15″ MacBook Pros in-stock.  The answer: no.  Hmm….could the updates be coming this Tuesday or next Tuesday (Feb. 26)??  Man, I hope so!

Post a comment if your local Apple Store is also out of stock.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Rumor: Reason why MacBook Pro updates have been delayed?


Here are two interesting posts from someone named “Tailpipe” on the AppleInsider forums (post 1, post 2).

Take it for what it’s worth: a dude posting in a forum for Apple rumors.  😉

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, Notebook, Rumors

AppleTV HD video review round-up


promo_appletv_box20080115.pngThis week Apple finally released version 2.0 of the Apple TV software that was demo’d by Steve Jobs at this year’s MacWorld. This is a big deal because it finally makes the Apple TV a lot more functional – adding the ability to buy and/or rent movies (SD or HD) and TV shows. However, the one question I had was, ‘just how good is the HD video quality compared to Blu-ray/HD-DVD?’ Answer: it’s surprisingly good…ranking #2 – right behind Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

It’s def worth reading the reviews as they have screen shots comparing AppleTV, Blu-ray/HD-DVD, HD Cable, and standard DVD:

I haven’t had time to rent an HD movie on mine, yet, but I’ll post a review of my experience when I do.

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Reviews

Another PC user switches to the Mac


macbook.jpgWow, this week was an incredible week…my girlfriend (a PC user all her life) just decided to replace her Dell Latitude D620 (Core 2 Duo – 2.16Ghz) machine with the black MacBook (Core 2 Duo – 2.2Ghz). I think her experience speaks volumes about Mac OS X as well as the dedicated Mac applications…because it was a combination of the two that convinced her to switch.

Here’s the net of it, she needed to build a simple yoga website – Om Circle Yoga – (she’s a certified yoga instructor). I told her that I got this great web design software (RapidWeaver) from a MacUpdate promotional bundle back in December and that it would suite her needs perfectly. So, she gave it a shot and within a couple of hours, she learned how to use RapidWeaver, built her website, and launched it. Here’s the best part: after she launched her site, she commented on:

  1. How easy it was to learn and use RapidWeaver
  2. How easy and fun it was using Mac OS X (I’m running Tiger)

The interesting thing is that my girlfriend has used my Powerbook in the past for browsing the web and her impression was that it’s just another computer and does the same thing as a PC. The minute she did something on the Mac that was more than surfing the web or checking email she realized how much more productive she was on the Mac and began to appreciate what us Mac-heads/geeks have been raving about all these years.

So, big props goes to the folks at Realmac Software for making RapidWeaver such a great app and to the RapidWeaver community for building various add-ons…and, of course, to Apple, for making Mac OS X such a great operating system.

Filed under: Apple, Computers, Laptop, MacBook, MacOSX, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Software, Windows

Last day for the Macheist bundle


As of the time of this post, there is 23 hours left to buy the Macheist software bundle. You get 12 apps for $49. Two notable apps in the bundle are Snapz Pro X and Pixelmator. Hit it up at http://www.macheist.com.

(sorry for the short post but it was done on my iPhone via the mobile WordPress site)

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, MacOSX, Software

MacBook Pro updates coming soon?


According to MacRumors, there is some talk of updates coming soon to the MBP…man, I REALLY hope this is true and that these updates happen within the next 2-4 weeks. I know, I know…I’m wishfully hoping it’ll be soon but one can hope, right?

Here’s the quote from this posting at MacRumors.com:

In looking back at the sources of the most accurate rumors, we also find enticing reports of items that didn’t come true at Macworld, but did come from credible sources.

The MacBook Pro updates are certainly coming — and soon. Even without our rumor sources, the MacBook Pros are simply due for refresh. But the most interesting tidbit is that there have been reliable reports that the Pro machines will incorporate Apple’s new multi-touch trackpad.

Also, here are a couple of the posts I’ve seen on MacRumors’ forums:

  • Someone is seeing discounts being offered on the MBP at their university store and that they only do this when an update/upgrade is ~2 weeks away
  • Some people are seeing discounts on MBPs at various retail stores
  • One person claiming that he works for a printing company that prints all of Apple’s brochures, boxes, and banners – he claims that the updates are coming very soon

As always with Apple, these are just rumors and people’s wild guesses but time will tell…but it’s killing me since I’ve been waiting to buy a MBP since August 2007!

EDIT: AppleInsider just reported some more details on the soon-to-be-released updated MBP. The gist of it: the MBP was supposed to be updated and announced at MacWorld but execs decided to delay it by several weeks because they needed the resources to focus on the MacBook Air.

EDIT (January 27, 2008): More rumors of the imminent MBP update.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): And some actual evidence(?) that the updates are coming.

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Get $600 worth of Mac software for $50


macupdate.jpgMacUpdate has another software bundle for sale and there are some really awesome applications in the bundle. In short, you get 10 applications for $50…but it’s offered for a limited time and expires in 7 days. I bought the bundle and would highly recommend them. So far, my favorites are Yep and RapidWeaver.

Here’s the skinny on the applications included in the bundle:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, Deals, MacOSX, Software

Apple updates MacBook & MacBook Pro notebooks


macbook-pro.jpgApple quietly updated the MacBook and the MacBook Pro today. Here are the deets:

MacBook

  • The clock speed of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors got a small bump: 2.0 -> 2.0Ghz and 2.16 -> 2.2Ghz
  • The architecture has been upgraded to Santa Rosa (finally!), which provides an 800Mhz front side bus (compared to the older 667Mhz front side bus)
  • Upgraded the Intel graphics card to the Intel GMA X3100 w/144MB of DDR2 SDRAM

MacBook Pro

  • Option to upgrade the 2.4Ghz processor –> 2.6Ghz
  • Option to upgrade the hard drive to 250GB SATA drive @ 5400 rpm
  • Option to upgrade from 160GB (5400 rpm) to 200GB SATA drive @ 7200 rpm (previously, 160GB was the only option if you wanted a 7200 rpm SATA drive)

One thing to keep in mind: this is NOT the MacBook Pro processor upgrade that we are hoping to see in January 2008 – i.e., the upgrade to Intel’s Penryn processor.

The Penryn processor will provide 6MB of L2 cache vs. 4MB L2 cache and reduced from 65nm –> 45nm (this means a bit faster and will run a bit cooler). So, if you were waiting for that, keep waiting…like me.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, Computers, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Notebook

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Feature: Remote Desktop


leopard-2.pngOkay, this new feature has convinced me to upgrade to Leopard: Screen Sharing via iChat. In a nutshell, it’s a built-in remote desktop feature that doesn’t require any fiddling with your router or NAT settings. Why am I so excited about this feature? Because it will make my life SOOO much easier in troubleshooting and fixing issues on my Dad’s iMac. Yes, you can use VNC (which is what I’m currently using as my ‘family tech support’ tool) but it’s still a pain in the ass due to router config settings, telling my Mom or Dad to start the VNC server, etc.

Here’s the description from Apple’s site:

Instant Screen Sharing from the Finder

Start an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network. Just select the Mac from your sidebar and (if authorized) you can see and control the Mac as if you were right in front of it. Change a system preference, publish an iPhoto library, or add a new playlist to iTunes.

Truth be told, I haven’t tried Screen Sharing but it seems to ‘just work’ like almost everything else in the Mac ecosystem. GWhiz posted a video that shows how easy it is to use this new feature.  You can also see a high quality video of Screen Sharing via the Leopard Guided Tour video on the Apple site.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Software

MacBook Pro processor upgrade in January 2008?


This is a pretty old tidbit but I thought I’d post it anyway since a few friends didn’t know about this rumored update. The processors will be upgraded to Intel’s new Penryn processor. Here are the details of the new Intel Penryn processors. There aren’t any rumors as to which ones Apple will use in the MacBook Pros but my guess will be the 2.4Ghz and 2.6Ghz processors.

The size of the Penryn chips will also be reduced from 65 nanometers (nm) –> 45nm, which should allow the chips to run a bit cooler.

For reference, the current MacBook Pros come with either 2.2Ghz or 2.4Ghz processors.

macbook-pro-penryn-chips.gif

FYI, the price reflects the purchase price in 1,000-unit trays from Intel so it’s not the price we would pay. 😉

So, if you’ve been thinking about buying a MacBook Pro, I’d recommend waiting another 3 months…that’s what I’m doing.

EDIT (January 16, 2008): Well, Steve Jobs did NOT announce any updates to the MBP during yesterday’s MacWorld keynote. Needless to say, I’m extremely bummed b/c I’ve been waiting for 6+ months to upgrade my Powerbook G4. There are rumors that Intel is having/had an issue with the thermal sensor on the Penryn chips and that supply will be tight through February. If this is true, we prolly won’t get updated MBPs until March/April. I’m hoping when the MBP is updated with Penryn we’ll also get the multi-touch trackpad and the revised keyboard layout/design like the MacBook Air.

EDIT (Jan 28, 2008): More rumors that the upgrade will happen within the next 1 – 4 weeks.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): Some actual evidence of the new MBP?

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

[via AppleInsider & Engadget]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

It’s official: iPhone will support 3rd party apps!


Ah, finally…Jobs has stated that Apple will be releasing a SDK in February, 2008. Man, I’m psyched! Hopefully, I’ll see SplashID (or an equivalent) come out for the iPhone early next year.

Jobs announced it on Apple’s Hot News section of their website – here’s an excerpt:

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software

Apple to allow 3rd party apps on the iPhone in January?


BusinessWeek has an interesting article that says Apple may offer a SDK for the iPhone in January, 2008 – i.e., at MacWorld.

Hmm, very interesting.  Personally, I think it’s only a matter of when Apple will official support and allow 3rd party apps to run natively on the iPhone.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software