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Archive for February, 2008

Macintosh anti-virus software part 1

February 29, 2008 Leave a comment

While currently something of an oxymoron, there’s a genuine case for running anti-virus software on your Mac. There’s not much in the way of genuine threats to the Mac OS in terms if virii but it doesn’t hurt to ensure you don’t pass anything nasty on to more vulnerable operating systems. Add in the very real possibility that a Mac OS threat will surface as the platform gains popularity and the need for Mac anti-virus becomes more compelling. We could all feel safe as Mac user’s but a smug attitude never gets much sympathy when it all goes horribly wrong. Read more…

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1.1.4 jailbreak status

February 29, 2008 Leave a comment

General opinion seems to be that 1.1.4 is mostly bug fixes with support for the soon to be released iPhone SDK. The usual groups are still working on their jailbreaks and advising users to not upgrade to 1.1.4 until the new versions are fully tested and safe. Ziphone and iJailbreak are both at the testing stages, and iNdependence 1.4 beta 5 has full support for the 1.1.4 iPhone firmware. I’m waiting to see what get announced at Apple’s next event on 6th March before upgrading. Just remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

VMware Vs Virtualbox, round 1

February 27, 2008 1 comment

VMware fusion VirtualboxI recently discovered Virtualbox, a free virtual machine client for Windows, Mac and Linux. I’ve had a chance to start some basic benchmarking of Virtualbox, so here are the results compared to VMware fusion. As a reminder, I’m running Mac OS 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Quad @3Ghz with 2Gb ram and a 500Mb Samsung HD501LJ hard drive.

The first test was boot time. Both apps were the only ones running on the Mac, with 512Mb memory allocated and one virtual processor. Windows XP Pro was the guest operating system, freshly installed with nothing extra but a virus checker added and all the latest Windows software updates. Time was measured from clicking the start button for the Virtual Machine to the appearance of the Windows desktop taskbar. VMware took 21 seconds, Virtualbox took 17 seconds. Fairly close, but impressive for the free Virtualbox to knock a few seconds off the commercial VMware. Read more…

Multiple Apple updates

February 27, 2008 1 comment

Apple chromeIt’s Tuesday, and that means Apple have some product updates for us. It’s been getting to be a bit of a ritual since Macworld Expo, and this has to be the busiest Tuesday so far. First off is the Macbook update, which seems to have been overlooked on the rumour front, with the focus on the Macbook Pro getting a multi touch mouse pad. So the new models are:

  • White 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB ram, 120GB hard drive and Combo drive for £699
  • White 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram, 160GB hard drive and DL SuperDrive for £829
  • Black 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram, 250GB hard drive and DL SuperDrive for £949

Nothing different on the design front, just updated processors, memory and hard drives for the same price. The Macbook Pro gets a more substantial update, with the arrival of the much discussed multi touch trackpad and LED backlights. Also new is the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT with 256Mb or a rather stingy 128Mb. The full updates spec and prices are:

  • 15 inch with 1440 x 900 resolution, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 200GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM for £1,299
  • 15 inch with 1440 x 900 resolution, 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 250GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM for £1,599
  • 17 inch with 1680 x 1050 resolution, 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 250GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM for £1,799

Today’s final update is the iPhone/iPod Touch 1.1.4 firmware. Reports so far suggest very little new has been added over the recent 1.1.3 firmware, with just a few bugs being fixed. As usual, wait a few days for the jailbreaks to be tested and released before upgrading.

iPhone and iPod touch wallpapers

February 26, 2008 Leave a comment

ipodtouchiphoneTUAW has a short article listing some good sources of wallpapers for your iPhone and iTouch. Onlygeeks.com have a nice selection covering lots of categories so well worth a visit. 320by480.com is another site with a large collection, though some don’t look to be optimised for the lock screen. Finally Cloudbase Skylabs have some interesting themes for the lock screen, including themed lock sliders.

New wallpaper series

February 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Rocky CoastSomething different this week. There have been enough Logo’s recently so this weeks wallpaper series is The Coast of England. Most of these shots are taken in Devon, and today’s iPhone/iPod Touch wallpaper was captured in Illfracombe on the North coast.

Categories: wallpapers Tags: , , , , ,

Virtualbox

February 24, 2008 Leave a comment

VirtualboxI’ve been toying with VMware Fusion and Parallels for a while now trying to make up my mind which one to settle on, and the decision just got a lot easier. Innotek’s Virtualbox is another X86 virtualiser, with the big distinction of being free. Innotek have just been aquired by Sun Microsystems, so it looks like there won’t be any shortage of funding. I’ve been playing with the latest Beta 3 for OS X hosts, and for a beta product it’s pretty smooth. There are virtual machine additions just like VMware and Parallels so you can freely move the mouse cursor out of the window, and dynamic window resizing is supported. An impressive list of supported guest operating systems including all flavours of Windows from the past 18 years, OS2, Linux 2.2,2.4 and 2.6 kernels, BSD’s, Netware and Solaris. One of the things I wasn’t expecting was support for hiding the windows desktop so only application windows and the taskbar show. It’s called seamless mode in Virtualbox, and operates in the same way as Parallels Coherence and VMware’s unity.

Virtualbox Beta 3 Seamless mode

This is looking like an impressive product for all my virtualisation needs, so if testing continues as smoothly as it has so far I won’t be needing anything else. Next up is some benchmarking using geekbench so I will post again when I have the results.