Monthly Archives: May 2011

Check Your Graphics Card

As you may know the new MacBook Pro uses two different graphics cards. The built-in Intel HD Graphis 3000 and the AMD Radeon HD 6750M for example. Depending on the graphics power needed, the MacBook Pro dynamically switches between the two. To find out which GPU is in use check out gfxCardStatus. The open-source tool even lets you switch between the cards manually. Useful in case you want to safe battery juice while on the go. gfxCardStatus also tells you which programs are demanding the faster chip (and sometimes unnecessarily).

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Check Your Registered Apple Products

In case you’re wondering which products you registered with Apple over the years or need to deregister a Mac because you are selling it – here is the page you’re looking for. Sign in with your Apple ID and edit your list of Macs, iPhones, iPads etcetera or look up their serial numbers. You can obviously also register a new Mac.

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Sync iPhone With New Mac

 

So you bought a new Mac and now want to sync your iPhone to the new computer? Well, Apple doesn’t make that easy for you. So here’s how: Close iTunes on both Macs and copy the following folders/files from your old Mac to the new one:

/Username/Music/iTunes

 

/Username/Library/Application Support/MobileSync

 

/Username/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes

 

 

Now you can sync the iPhone with the new Mac and merge the data. But be sure to backup first! By the way, thank Racker Hacker for this how-to!

P.S. The official way would be to use Apple’s “Migration Assistant” to accomplish the transfer.

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Inexpensive Mass Storage

It isn’t as pretty as this shiny box but the Lian Li EX-503 trumps its own qualities. It’s fairly cheap (about $240), houses up to five hard drives and connects via eSATA or USB 3.0 to your Mac. (You can get a SATA to eSATA card for a few bucks, if you need high transfer speeds.) Another option is to wait for Thunderbolt to eSATA cables or use the USB port instead. The case supports different Raid configurations.

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Check Your Drive Speed

With the help of the AJA System Test (direct download) you can determine the write and read speed of your hard drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD), external drive and USB stick. Just so you know where you are in terms of disk performance  or if you feel the need to boost the HDD bottle neck.  The tool is provided free of charge by AJA Video Systems.

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Great Multimedia e-Book

This multimedia version of Al Gore’s book “Our Choice” is a sweet adaptation for the iPhone and iPad. It uses video clips, photos, animations, graphics and audio to help you grasp the problem of global warming. The navigation is intuitive and easy to use. The app also gives you an idea what real e-Books can offer contrary to simple digital versions of paper books. Our Choice is $4.99 at the moment.

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Battery Maintenance

To ensure a long lifespan of your laptop battery Apple has a few points for you to keep in mind: First of all take note of the operating temperatures  (50° to 95° F or 10° to 35° C) and secondly keep the electrons moving! Apple uses a commuter as an ideal example, who uses his notebook on the train and then plugs it in at the office to charge. If you don’t commute, Apple recommends charging and discharging the battery at least once per month.  Need a reminder? There you go (iCal event).

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Fill out PDF Forms

Sometimes you come across PDF forms which won’t let you fill-out anything. You would have to print them out and do the job manually. This is where FormulatePro comes in. The open source tool lets you fill out PDF forms on your Mac without any hassle. You can position the cursor to your liking, adjust font size, style et cetera and save the document as a pdf file afterwards.

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Check Your Transmit Rate

In case you are wondering about the signal quality of your WiFi (WLAN) there’s an easy check for that. Just press the alt-key while you click on the AirPort status symbol in the menu bar with your mouse. Now you can see the “Transmit Rate”. The rate will vary depending on your wireless protocol (802.11 a/b/g/n) and other factors. But at least you know if you’re getting the full possible signal strength or if you should change your setup to improve the signal. 802.11g should give you speeds of 54 Mbps max and 802.11n either 130 or 300 Mbps max, depending on your n-specifications.

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