Blake Patterson



HP: No WMA for iPod

A recent article from Wired confirms that the iPod will not be going the way of the Microsoft Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. An earlier Page 2 rumor detailed a report by a questionable source that HP is working with Apple to bring the WMA format to the iPod. Showing this to be false, HP's digital entertainment product marketing manager, Muffi Ghadiali, told Wired that they will not be supporting the WMA format for now: "We picked the service that was the most popular (Apple's iTunes Music Store)," said Ghadiali. "We could have chosen another format, but that would have created more confusion for our customers." This confirms the earlier report we received, from a rather relabile source, that there are currently no plans to bring WMA support to the iPod. In a related note, a recent statement from Microsoft, regarding the Apple/HP iPod partnership, indicates a difference in opinion between HP and Microsoft as to just what constitutes customer

New eMacs Arrive

As per the recent rumors, today Apple released speed-bumped eMacs: $799: 800MHz G4, 128MB SDRAM, 40GB HD, CD-ROM $999: 1GHz G4, 128MB SDRAM, 60GB HD, Combo drive $1299: 1GHz G4, 256MB SDRAM, 80GB HD, SuperDrive Head to Apple's eMac page and have a look.

OS X v10.1.5 Update Released

Apple has released the Mac OS X v10.1.5 update. (Standard drill--go to System Preferences / Software Udates to download.) Stated improvements in this version: Peripheral Device Support: --Expanded support for new Canon digital cameras. --Improved support for Nikon FireWire cameras. --Expanded support for SmartDisk, EZQuest, and LaCie disc recording devices. --Improved support for MO drives. Application Improvements: --Increased stability of Mail and Sherlock. --Emails are properly retained when rebuilding the Draft mailbox. --Support for 2D and QuickTime hardware acceleration for Rage Pro. --Updated Carbon applications can use Quartz anti-aliasing technology for high quality text display. Networking and Security Improvements: --Improves networking via AFP when accessing multi-level directories on Windows NT file servers. --Significant improvement to file searching on local and remote volumes. --Includes a generic PC Card driver to support a variety of PC Card modems. --Mail accounts go offline to indicate that SSL encryption settings are not supported by mail server. --Includes the Security Update April 2002. WebDAV Improvements: --More efficient iDisk mounting and file navigation. --Added support for connecting to iDisk using default DNS settings of AirPort. --Support for mounting a WebDAV volume from a non-standard http port. Asian Language Improvements: --Significant updates to the Korean Input Method, especially important when using AppleWorks. --Internet Connect and AirPort applications updated with Chinese and Korean localized

Overclocking the New iBooks

XLR8YourMac.com is running a story that reveals that the new iBooks, based on the PowerPC 750FX CPU (the IBM "Sahara"), can be overclocked in software. Whereas the bus speed/multiplier of previous G3's was set by resistors, this new G3 allows configuration via a CPU register. A user installed Apple's CHUD tools on his iBook 700 and was able to get it running at 800MHz. There seems a possibility, with more documentation, that even higher clockspeeds could be obtained. Great news for all daring owners of the new

Quartz Extreme Demo Movie

A user has just written in with news of a Quartz Extreme demo movie over at MacNytt (Swedish site). The demo was performed on a dual G4 450 w/ GeForce 2MX video. Very impressive footage -- have a look. submitted by Nastarovja

iPhoto Update

Apple has released their new version of iPhoto, v1.1.1, which can be downloaded from the iPhoto product page. Some new features in this version: Adjust brightness and contrast E-mail photos easily Set desktop background image Import from PhotoCD or PictureCD Improved printer templates Display EXIF photo data etc... Brightness and contrast adjustment is great, but if only Apple would implement a Photoshop-like "auto levels", "auto contrast", or "auto color" then those serious about image quality on the printout could take Photoshop out of the

NeXT Information Archive

A classic operating system afficionado, z80 has setup the NeXT Information Archive, a web repository for all things NeXT. He has placed many scanned NeXT brochures, documents and the like on-line to allow folks a glimpse at the incredible hardware and software put out by NeXT in the late 80's-early 90's. Steve Jobs formed NeXT after being pushed out of Apple in the mid 80's and produced a revolutionary Unix operating system known as NEXTSTEP, from which Mac OS X is derived. (Little known fact: the WWW was created on a NeXT Cube.) A great site chronicling a rather significant part of computing history. Related links: Intro to NEXTSTEP Black Hole, Inc. (NeXT computers for sale) Merger of Apple and NeXT (outstanding historical info) blakespot's NeXTStation

OS X v10.1.4 Update Available

Many users have reported that Mac OS X v10.1.4 is now available from Apple. The standard System Preferences / Software Updater drill will bring it to your Mac.

Apple Purchases FireWire Company

Apple announced today that it has purchased Zayante, a leader in FireWire technology. Have a look at Yahoo's writeup of the acquisition. Link submitted by kungfu

IBM GXP Drive Spec - Take II

Given the response to the recent posting about IBM's scary 333 power-on hour specification on its GXP series drives, it seems worth noting that in response to such a show of concern about the reliability of these drives, IBM has put out a release indicating that it is going to remove that item on its spec sheet. The linked article refers to the 120 GXP in particular, where the 333 hour spec is most apparent, but this spec can be found buried deeper in other GXP drives' datasheets--it would seem that the spec will disappear from all GXP drives. IBM points out that they honor their stated 3-year warranty on drives that have been used 24/7. Seems positive

IBM GXP Drives - Not For 24/7 Use (!)

It is no secret in the storage world that IBM's 75GXP drives have had reliability issues. We've seen stories of users replacing drive after drive of this particular device. There is even a law suit pending against IBM with regards to this drive. The successor to this drive was the IBM 60GXP series, a drive which does not seem to have generated the same, unusual level of user problem reports. Apple has used (is using?) this drive in recent G4 units. The plot thickened when IBM recently released their high-capacity 120 GXP series, but in the specs indicated that it should only see 333 power-on hours/month (11 hours/day avg). This staggering recommendation renders the drive useless for server applications or use in machines that are up 24/7. Well, a recent article on VIAHardware.com delves into this issue and discovers, disturbingly, that IBM claims to have indicated this usage guideline on ALL of the GXP line. While this guideline is easy to find for the 120GXP (on that drive's PDF datasheet found on the product site), it's buried a little deeper for their other drives (to quote the article): Neither the 75GXP nor the 60GXP have the 333 hour-per-month specification mentioned in their own versions of that document, however. The 60GXP lists this setting only in its "Functional Specifications documenta hefty 195 page engineering-level PDF. The specification in question is located prominently on page 50 in a relatively small section. The 75GXP, on the other hand, does not have a Functional Specification link and does not mention the limitation on its data sheet

Apple Prototypes

A recent discussion on DALnet's #macintosh IRC channel revealed to me an interesting site with info (in French) and pictures of a number of Apple prototypes that for the most part have not appered in the better known Apple history books/sites, such as AppleDesign. A particularly interesting unit is the "Bookcase SE." Have a look at the site, or an English translation (thanks Google) of the

Farewell Be

It looks like the sun has finally set on Be, Inc. Be, lead by ex-Apple CEO Jean-Louis Gassee, offered unto the world a robust, real-time operating system that began its life on some equally impressive hardware back in '95. There was real innovation there, and it is sad to see this happen. Though I still firmly believe that Apple made the right choice in going with NeXT over Be back in '97 in looking for a new OS strategy, I lament never having spent any real time with BeOS or, even better, a BeBox. (But then that's what eBay's for, I

OS X v10.1.3 Update Available

Mac OS X v10.1.3 update is now available from Apple. (Standard System Preferences/Software Update drill.) As stated in the update's descriptive blurb: CD Disc Recording Peripherals: Expanded support for QPS, EZQuest, LaCie, Yamaha, MCE Technologies and Sony devices Image Capture and iPhoto: Improved support for several digital camera models from Canon, Kodak and Sony Graphics and OpenGL Improvements: DVD Playback on external VGA displays on PowerBook G4 PowerBook video mirroring will be on by default when connecting to a new display Improvements for iTunes when the full screen visualizer is used Networking and Security Improvements: Login authentication support for LDAP and Active Directory services OpenSSH version 3.0.2p1 WebDAV support for Digest authentication Mail includes support for SSL encryption Have at

Apple, Sun, Ericsson Wireless Deal

As detailed in an Excite.com release, it seems Apple has joined forces with Sun and Ericsson in moving forward with content delivery. To quote the article: "Apple Computer Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Ericsson said Tuesday they have teamed up to develop a system for bringing multimedia content such as movie clips to cell phones and other wireless devices. ... Dubbed the Ericsson Content Delivery Solution, the system will include Apple's QuickTime streaming video application, content-distribution software from Sun and wireless infrastructure from Ericsson. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the system, content providers could create video clips using QuickTime and not have to worry about reformatting it to run on different kinds of devices, said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. The content would be ready for wireless-network operators to send directly to consumer devices." A move against Microsoft and Real Networks, this technology partnership is definitely a positive step for Apple and its position in the multimedia delivery market.

GeForce 4 Ti Reviewed / Benched

Tom's Hardware Guide has placed a review of the nVIDIA GeForce 4 online that encompasses the GeForce 4 MX and the various GeForce 4 Ti's available. Much benchmark data is provided, comparing these boards to other nVIDIA and ATI video cards which might prove rather useful to those trying to decide which way to configure their new G4 towers. Take a

Apple vs. Sony

ZDNet Australia has come out with an interesting story dealing with two rivals close to our hearts, Apple vs. Sony: A Digital Smackdown. Detailing the differences (and similarities) between the individual approach of each company as to just what the role of the computer ought to be, the piece is rather interesting

GeForce 4MX...Or Should We Say 3MX?

As folks are now aware, the mid and top-end models of the new pro machines come with the new GeForce 4MX installed standard. Looking at the performance graph on one of the product pages dealing with the new Macs, it seemed to me that something was a bit fishy (why a GeForce 2MX in that DP 800?). I'd actually expressed my hunch to a few folks that the GeForce 4MX was not a much (any?) higher performing card than the GeForce 3. These feelings were just confirmed with a posting on xlr8yourmac, part of which is quoted below: "Mike, just a note on your recent news about the new Macs. .. The new machines are using the NV17 chip. This is also known as the GeForce3MX - which was long delayed. Looks like they have chosen to rebadge the chip to bridge the gap between the older chips already out there and the new line they're still working on. [Nvidia is set to announce Geforce4MX and non-MX cards in early Feb. There was a page linked in last week's other net news that had leaked specs on the GF4 line.-Mike] The performance charts on Apple's site show the old 2mx Quake3 score on a DUAL-800 and the ATI Radeon 7500 on a SINGLE-800. Do not let the close frame rates fool you. Put the 7500 into the same systems as the new NV17 for a fair comparison. You'll find that for a savings of $100 built-to-order you'll end up with higher frame rates as well. Plus truly seamless dual-monitor support. " Definitely worth considering when spec'ing out a new tower at the Apple Store on-line. UPDATE: See this GF4MX vs. GF3 graph from

iMac at the Apple Store

I took a trip to the new Apple Store in Clarendon, VA today and snapped some shots of the new iMac, up close and personal. Have a look. Even though I was very impressed with the new iMac ever since I first saw photos of it, I've got to say that seeing it and actually touching it, in person, has made me so much more impressed by it. It definitely feels very solid and sturdy, moreso than one might imagine in looking simply at photos. And you want to touch it, standing there in front of it. I came away feeling it was less "cute" and more "super high tech" looking after having used it for a bit. Even though I've got a G4 DP 800, I now really want a new iMac as well (alas, but a dream, I fear...). A truly incredible piece of hardware, featured in an amazingly impressive new Apple

The Power of X Presentation

Apple has placed a streaming QuickTime link to The Power of X Presentation, given on Macworld SF day 2 by Apple's Senior VP of Software Engineering, Avie Tevanian and VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller. It's a somewhat technical presentation delving into the guts of OS X and what makes them so robust. Definitely worth a