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Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Computer woes

On the evening of April 16th, I decided to do a QuickTime (version 7.4.5) update on my iMac which Software Updater had notified was available. Everything appeared to go smoothly with the update, that is, until I restarted the computer. Nothing. It just sat there with the Apple logo and the little spinning wheel — for forever. When I started it with the Panther (OS X 10.3.9) CD and attempted a permission repair with Disk Utility, it returned various errors and could not fix the permissions. LIkewise, Repair Disk also returned errors and could not repair the damage. I tried everything. Disk Warrior (v. 3) got stuck on Step 5 just looking for data. [Note to self: purchase DiskWarrior 4.]

To make a very ugly and long story short, one new purchase of a 500 Gb external hard drive, two additional purchases of additional and expensive recovery software, and nine days later, I finally managed to recover as much data as possible with the DiskWarrior software I already owned. I just had to be patient and let it run for a day and a half. 🙄 The next step was to do a reinstall (in place) of just the operating system so the computer would be able to start on its own. Now the computer finally works again. Unfortunately, not all applications remained installed, and I’m still sorting out the ones I’ll need to reinstall. Some of my web browser plug-ins are also no longer installed. In addition, some of my email was lost, most particularly, the email in the Inbox when the computer crashed is gone, as well as a few other email folders. I’m almost finished sorting out and refiling all the email that was recovered. What a time-consuming mess that’s been!

In the midst of all the problems, Steve put me in contact with a local Mac genius. We spoke on the phone last Wednesday morning for almost an hour. One of the nifty pieces of software he uses will clone my hard drive for simple recovery in the event of future crashes. It’s called Super Duper! and it certainly is cheap enough. I intend to get it and use it as soon as I can get the iMac back to normal. At that point, I could clone the harddrive to the external disk, then completely wipe the internal disk, thereafter moving the cloned copy back onto the internal. Well, I think that’s how it works. Unfortunately, the external drive I just purchased is USB, and my operating system requires a firewire external for such purposes. Still, the purchase will be worth it so I won’t have to go through the agony and frustration of this last week and a half.

During all this time, some pretty cool things, and one not so cool thing, also happened. I’ll be posting about those as time permits.

4:04 pm EST

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So light, so thin they can easily disappear without a trace as happened to Steven Levy, technology columnist for Newsweek. One possible theory? It was accidentally tossed into the recycle bin with the newspaper. (via Mac Observer)

8:56:59 pm EST

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Would I be posting it here if it weren’t an Apple? Don’t take my word for it. PC World tested a bunch and concluded:

Fastest: Apple MacBook Pro
The fastest Windows Vista notebook we’ve tested this year is a Mac. Try that again: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we’ve tested this year–or for that matter, ever–is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware. The $2419 (plus the price of a copy of Windows Vista, of course) MacBook Pro’s PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88 beats Gateway’s E-265M by a single point, but the MacBook’s score is far more impressive simply because Apple couldn’t care less whether you run Windows.

Of course, Alienware’s Area 51 m5750 was the fastet gaming computer.

Best gaming performance: Alienware Area-51 m5750

With a 256MB discrete graphics card, a 2.33-GHz Core 2 Duo T7600 processor, and 2GB of RAM, the mobile Alienware really cooks at gameplay (though it cost $3269 when we tested it). It hit a frame rate of 126 frames per second in Far Cry at 1280 by 1024 resolution and 32-bit color, leaving most other desktops in the dust. It has since been superseded by the Area-51 m9750.

So, if Apple put a better graphics card in its MacBook Pro, would it then be the fastest gaming computer?

You can read the full review for the MacBook Pro here, and for the Alienware here.

7:03:028 pm EST

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And here’s a perfect example via the iPod Observer:

Apple lowered the price of its DRM-free offerings at the iTunes Store from US$1.29 to $0.99 on Wednesday. Along with the price drop, Apple also announced that its iTunes Plus catalog now includes over two million tracks, making it the largest legitimate copy protection-free music collection in the world.

The price reduction follows the launch of the Amazon MP3 music download store which offered a wide selection of iPod compatible copy protection-free songs for 99 cents.

Many have attempted to compete with iTunes, but it took a great company like Amazon to put the fear of God into Apple. Now, if Amazon would only allow consumers to use Amazon Gift Certificates to purchase music there, we’d have real choices.

6:58:04 pm EST

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This just in — General Motors has told customers that in the future they must only buy gasoline from Exxon stations. GM will get a share of Exxon’s revenues as part of the deal.

Ummm, not really, but it’s a good analogy for Apple’s heavy-handed tactics.

And while I’m on the subject of Apple, it just irks me to no end that this buffoon has sat on its Board of Directors since March, 2003.

8:27:00 pm EST
UPDATE (9:09:00 pm EST): More Gore via LGF.

A High Court judge has ruled that schools should not show a climate change film by former US vice-president Al Gore – unless teachers balance his one-sided views.

According to Mr Justice Burton, Mr Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth contains nine scientific errors that are not supported by mainstream scientific beliefs.

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What are they doing?

Does Apple think it’s suddenly invincible?

Some users, with their iPhone in various states of hack, discovered that their iPhone was bricked after the 1.1.1 Update. Apple’s response is that “they should purchase a new iPhone,” according to Jennifer Bowcock, an Apple spokeswoman.

An update to the iPod Observer article notes they contacted Ms. Bowcock and she denies making the statement to Daily Tech. I don’t think that matters in the larger scheme of things. Instapundit points to this ZDNet blog post. The damage has already been done. A lot of people are very unhappy. Is it any wonder? Where does Apple get off charging hundreds of dollars for iPhones and then forcing people to only use Apple software? Unlocking the iPhone may be a different story, however.

And then there’s this little ditty from the Apple – Boot Camp page [emphasis mine]:

Boot Camp Beta Expiration

Boot Camp Beta versions 1.0 through 1.2 expire on September 30, 2007. Boot Camp Beta is licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. To continue previewing Boot Camp after September 30, click the Download Now button above to install the latest version of Boot Camp Beta. You do not have to reinstall Windows. This new beta license will allow you to continue using Boot Camp until Mac OS X Leopard is available (expected October 2007).

Mac Observer wonders if version 1.4 will simply stop working after Leopard ships this month, thereby forcing current users to upgrade (purchase Leopard) in order to continue using Boot Camp, or if current users will be using the program outside the license agreement.

I don’t like this sort of thing. I’m still using 10.3.9 Panther and, the way things are going at Apple, I probably will be for a very long time. After that, who knows? I may become a reformed Mac Addict.

8 :10:43 pm EST

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Competition for iTunes

iPod Observer reports Amazon.com launched Amazon MP3, its DRM-free music download service, today. Most songs are only 89¢, and most albums $8.99. Apple’s songs with DRM are 99¢, and their DRM-free songs (iTunes Plus) are $1.29. I’ve found Apple’s DRM to be a frustrating pain, and a 40¢ per song savings without DRM caught this devoted Mac and iTunes user’s attention. Couple that with the fact that I already love using Amazon, and I was interested.

Amazon MP3 is still in beta form, but it seems easy enough to use, and I rather like that it’s uses the browser interface for single song downloads. Considering this was its launch day and there are probably tons of people checking it out, I was surprised everything loaded and downloaded so fast. It seemed to me to be significantly faster than iTunes. Unfortunately, the Amazon MP3 Downloader is required to download albums, and the Mac version is only for OSX 10.4 and up. Guess I won’t be buying albums there, which is okay since I rarely buy them anyway.

The one other drawback I found is that you can’t use Amazon’s electronic or paper gift certificates to pay for music purchases. I hope they change that as I really like and prefer using iTunes’ prepaid music cards. If they do, I can see myself permanently making the switch.

11:05:12 pm EST

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