Æ Ã È Ø Œ Ö – thanks to Lion there is no excuse anymore to NOT get those annoying foreign Umlaute right. Holding the respective key (a, e, i, o, u, etc.) for a little longer will bring up the cryptic character. Show some courtesy and adopt your spelling, i.e. typing skills. Thanks!
Apple provides several layers of security when it comes to your Lion installation. 1. There is a hidden partition on your hard drive if things go wrong (press Command-R during startup to access it). 2. Internet Recovery: This feature downloads Lion from an Apple server if the hard drive fails and there is no previous Lion installation available. 3. Create your own Recovery USB drive with Apple’s Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. 4. Restore from Time Machine Backup (if you have one). You can also create your own Lion restore solution, which doesn’t need Internet access.
Did you know there are eight different models of Apple’s AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS)? But only the last three versions offer Gigabit ports and simultaneous dual-band WiFi (2.4 & 5GHz). So if you want to buy a second hand unit on eBay, you better know which one! The way to tell the difference is by their part numbers: MD031LL/A (latest model); MC340LL/A and MB763LL/A or the model numbers: A1408 (latest); A1354 and A1301. All older AirPort Extreme generations should be avoided if you want fast WiFi and fast Ethernet.
Mac users who want to upgrade or repair a Mac find all the necessary information at ifixit.com. The site offers extensive repair guides for most Mac models and iPhones, including many pictures and a list of the tools required. The manuals are free and there is a vibrant community helping with troubleshooting and answers on all sorts of related topics.
If you want to treat your Mac Pro to some super cool and super fast SSD action, take a look at the Sonnet Transposer. The adapter fits any 2,5″ standard SSD into a 3,5″ hard drive bay. This might do the trick to bring you amazing startup times and programme response at acceptable costs. Transposer is compatible with 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s SATA. The drive tray adapter is $39.95.
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).
Tiny USB stick which matches the aluminium design of your Mac. The stick comes in sizes of 4GB to 32GB and supports USB 3.0. Check out the press release of manufacturer PQI. They call it the Traveling Disk Intelligent Drive U819V. I guess some PR departments just like it complicated.
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.
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.
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.
Posted in Hardware, Home, Mac OS, Misc.
Tagged AJA System Test, Freeware, Hard Drive, Mac OS, Performance, Solid State Drive, Speed Test, SSD
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).
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.
Here comes a great storage solution from Western Digital – decent size and nice design. The My Book Studio Edition II comes with 6 TB max and a variety of connections: FireWire 800/400, eSATA and USB 2.0. The thingy works with Time Machine, sports automatic backup software and supports several Raid configurations. The 6 TB storage sells for $550. There’s also a LAN-Version, The My Book World Edition II (price: $500 for 4 TB).
With ctrl+shift+eject you can quickly turn off your monitor’s brightness. This is a fast and easy way to save energy while you are away from your Mac for a short break. Works on the Mac Pro, portable Macs and the iMac.
This clever piece of code lets you use one mouse and keyboard to control multiple Macs. Teleport also enables drag & drop between several computers. You have to “enable access for assistive devices” in System Preferences –> “Universal Access”. Teleport is donation ware.
You have a choice here! Two adapters, both connecting the Mini DisplayPort of your favourite Mac to the HDMI interface of your TV. The Moshi Mini DisplayPort to HDMI ($35) and the Kanex Mini DisplayPort to HDMI ($44.95) sport full HD 1080p and audio. The audio support only works with the latest Mac models of 2010. You better check that first!
With the latest MacBook Pro update Apple introduced the new high speed port Thunderbolt. It is designed by Intel and looks promising:
↯ Up to 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions (20 times faster than USB 2.0).
↯ Provides 10 watts of power to peripherals through electrical cables (Thunderbolt also supports optical cables).
↯ PCI Express is the technology behind this, linking up to six supported devices together (by daisy-chain). Supports data, video, audio, power.
↯ Provides native support for Mini DisplayPort displays. Also supports DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI and VGA using an adapter.
↯ Compatible with USB, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet (via adapters).
↯ Supports Target Disk Mode (boot capabilities not confirmed).
Look at this thin, sweet external hard drive. If you want to store your bits in style you have to pay for it though. The magnesium Mobile Drive Mg by Freecom doesn’t come cheap. The largest drive with 750 MB of space, FireWire 800 and USB 3.0 ports is about 194 US-Dollar. But can you really pay too high a price for beauty?
Most people are happy with their Magic Mouse, but wouldn’t it be cool to add more touch control features? BetterTouch gives you just that option. After installing the little (free) tool you get a plethora of customisable touch gestures. You can add taps and swipes and clicks to Apple’s magic Mouse to execute shortcuts, start applications and control your Mac. The possibilities are almost endless!
Some people are just not into wireless networks or have annoying receptions issues. If you’re one of them the Powerline XAV2501 from Netgear might be your solution. It’s a bit bulky but provides decent network speeds of up to 200 Mbit/s and gives you back the power socket it uses to pump the Internet through your electric wires. A push on the button on the side encrypts your local network and keeps your data from neighbours with a similar system. The price for two XAV2501 Powerline adapters is roughly 70 bucks. The manufacturer doesn’t say how many units you may connect. On the good side the power consumption is really low when the thing is active or in standby mode!
Isn’t this a beauty? The Dark Walnut Dock Vers 2X. It comes in Cherry, Walnut, Bamboo, Piano Black and Piano White too, so it should fit into your living room nicely. Here’s the rundown of the specs: 2 x 15 watt speakers, 3.5 mm AUX-in/AUX-out, remote control and dock adapters. Prices start at $179.99.
Our favourite Danish design company has just come up with an elegant stereo dock for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. The BeoSound 8 offers simple beautiful design and a material mix of aluminium and six fabric speaker covers in lavender blue, purple, green, yellow, black and white. There’s a USB Line-in and it comes with a remote control, table stand and wall bracket. No word on the price yet, but it will hurt!
Here’s a well designed iPhone/iPod music dock by Yamaha. The PDX-31 features a 2 x 15 Watts digital amplifier with “extremely low noise and distortion”, Yamaha promises. There is also an AUX-in (stereo mini jack) for further connectivity. The stereo comes in light grey, black or dark red for $169,95.
Well, what more is there to say? I guess it’s all in the name: The Padacs Toccata Bluetooth Keyboard iPad Case is $69.95. The cover is leather, oh, and the keyboard battery lasts 45 hours once fully charged. Here is another nice iPad case but without a keyboard.
Known for their classic note taking products, Moleskine is now offering “two new hybrid tools” as they call it. The two paperback covers combine their traditional stylish paper notebooks with a protective case for the iPhone or iPad. Nice! No word on the price yet.
Don’t want to let go of your good ol’ first generation Mac Pro (Intel) just yet? But need to connect one or two new Apple Cinema Displays via Mini DisplayPort? The Radeon 5770 is for you. It’s affordable (US$ 249) and runs smoothly in the Mac Pro 1.1 though this combination is not officially supported by Apple. The cpu speed gain for 3D rendering is marginal (Cinebench says 2.92 compared to 2.79 with the GeForce 7300 GT). But OpenGL performance and HD video playback do improve noticeably. Well, it’s your choice, the thing works!
Here comes another hard case (and external battery) for the iPhone 4. The Mophie Juice Pack Air features 1500 mAh which according to the company brings you an extra 5 hours of talk time. It’s yours for $80. Before you buy, check out Mili’s iPhone case too!
Stylish black USB car charger for the iPhone. Solid work from Belkin. Goes for around $13 or €10.
Connecting preview monitors and other professional video equipment via SDI or HDMI to your Mac Pro can be pricey. Blackmagic’s DeckLink Series offers a welcoming inexpensive alternative. The PCI express cards support SD and HD and start from US$ 295 (SDI only). If you want HDMI support too the DeckLink Studio will set you back US$ 695.
The Mili Powerspring offers protection and extra energy for your iPhone 4. With a capacity of 1600mAh it gives you an extra 6 hours of talk time. The charging time of the integrated battery is 4 hours and all in all it doesn’t look too bad, does it? Aprx. 85 US-Dollars. Or maybe you prefer the juice pack air by Mophie?
It’s no secret, but many Mac users forget about it. If you go to “system preferences”, “energy saver” you’ll find this option to schedule start up, wake or shut down times for your Mac. Useful if you don’t want to let your Apple machine running all night. Or to set up specific times while you’re away and might need to access your computer remotely.