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Archive for April, 2008

iPhone for $199?

April 30, 2008 3 comments

Looks like American iPhone buyers will be in for a treat when the ‘everyone thinks it’s due in June’ 3G iPhone launches. The latest gossip is that AT&T will heavily subsidise the device on a two year plan, bringing the price of an 8Gb 3G version down to $199. The story started at Fortune, so head over there to get all the details.

Other claimed details of the next gen iPhone include it being 2.5mm thinner than the current version, and will have a GPS chip for navigation and other location-based services. While this all sound good, I’m thinking there’s not much chance of us brits getting the 3G iPhone for the equivalent £99.

Read

Categories: apple, phone Tags: , , ,

Imac update: Good Value?

April 28, 2008 1 comment

Apple has today updated the spec of it’s iMac range of all in one computers. As usual, UK buyers are not getting as good a deal as our US neighbours. Here’s the updated specifications with US prices, US Prices in pounds using the current exchange rate and UK prices.

  • 20 inch screen, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB memory, 250GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2400XT 128MB $1199 £602.53 £799
  • 20 inch screen, 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2600PRO 256MB $1499 £753.29 £949
  • 24 inch screen, 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2600PRO 256MB $1799 £904.05 £1149
  • 4 inch screen, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 8800GS 512MB $2199 £1,105.06 £1389

As you can see from the price comparison, the difference in US and UK pricing ranges from just under £200 at the bottom of the range to £280 at the top. Even in these days of economic uncertainty that seems like a lot, especially on the lowest model. Since Apple give a worldwide warranty with all their products, the best advice for anyone visiting the States is to buy your Apple products there, or get a travelling friend to buy for you. As long as the voltage difference isn’t a problem (I know it isn’t on the laptops, you just need a UK plug adapter) you’re saving a nice wedge.

Categories: apple, computer, macintosh Tags: , , , , , ,

Hackintosh disaster recovery part 2

April 24, 2008 5 comments

In part one I looked at the steps I took to get my hackintosh working again after accidentally overwriting the boot information. The computer has been working fine for over three weeks since, and I haven’t found any side effects with software or hardware. My latest efforts have been focused on making bootable backups for use in the event of an unbootable hackintosh. Read more…

MacUpdate Update (MacUpdate² ????)

April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

I fired an email of to the guys at MacUpdate yesterday after receiving a somewhat misleading email about their current software bundle. This was the reply.

‘Don’t worry about it. Come back closer to the end of the promotion if you want (like Thursday or Friday even). The bundle will be where you want it to be. :)’

The reply missed the original point, since I was asking about advertising a bundle as available today when three apps were not yet ‘unlocked’. Looks like the guys at MacUpdate are pretty confident all ten apps will be included, so I expect I will be buying the bundle before the end of the week.

MacUpdate Bundle: Get it all Today?

April 22, 2008 Leave a comment

This morning I received an email from MacUpdate about the currently running software promotion. Nothing unusual there, I bought the last bundle. The thing that got my attention is the email making no mention of the last three applications being locked until sales targets are reached. With lines like ‘Total Value: $474.76 (get it at MacUpdate for $64.99 today)’ it actually reads like all ten apps are available now. I checked the web site and the locks are still there, so why does the email not mention this? Here’s the email I received, make your own minds up.

MacUpdate has just launched our biggest time limited Mac software bundle ever. It includes Parallels and 9+ other top Mac apps. Get them for $64.99 (retail: $474.76) and save 86% on this milestone bundle.

Buy the MacUpdate bundle at: http://www.mupromo.com

In 2007, we sold over 27,000 bundles. We expect this event to be one of the biggest Mac software event offerings ever seen.

Parallels ($79.99)
BannerZest (49.00)
Sound Studio (79.99)
DVDRemaster Pro (49.99)
Typinator (29.99)
StoryMill (44.95)
Leap (59.00)
MenuCalendarClock (19.95)
Art Text (39.95)
Hazel (21.95)
———————————————-
Total Value: $474.76 (get it at MacUpdate for $64.99 today)

NYC demands fix for WiFi issues

April 21, 2008 Leave a comment

This story made me chuckle. The New York City Department of Education have suspended delivery of all Macs until WiFi connectivity issues have been resolved. Current suggestions are that the fix will be included in the 10.5.3 update. From the article at AppleInsider, Apple has ‘apologized for the delay both in an email to faculty obtained by AppleInsider, and in a notice on the Apple product catalog on the Dell Managed Systems website’.That’s a lot more than us joe public’s have received so far for a problem that has existed since Leopard first shipped.

The second part is the most ironic given the history of public digs between Apple and Dell. All Apple wireless systems are currently held by Dell Managed Services, who have the DoE contract to handle computer procurement. So Apple has a problem with it’s laptops and Dell won’t release them until it’s fixed. Priceless.

Categories: apple, bug, computer, macintosh, software Tags: , , , , ,

Hackintosh goes mainstream?

April 19, 2008 Leave a comment

With the recent news that Psystar are offering Mac OS compatible computers with Leopard pre-installed it appears the mainstream Mac press have taken notice. Macworld published an article yesterday detailing Rob Griffiths experiences of building and testing a hackintosh. Not much in the way of information on the install process, but there are some benchmarking results using Cinebench, Quake 3 and Xbench.

Its a good read until the conclusion, which I strongly disagree with. Listing the ‘many pitfalls’ as including ‘follow poorly-translated instructions to get everything put together’ makes me wonder what instructions Rob was using. There are some clear and well written guides online, especially at InsanelyMac. Having to shop around for the best components is something PC builders and users have done for years to get the right system, so it’s not a hackintosh weakness. And as for the case not being as attractive as a Mac Pro, is that really why people buy Mac Pro’s?

Read at Macworld

Hackintosh hardware prices

April 18, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve had some positive comments recently from people who have built a hackintosh using the same components I used. For anyone looking to base a system around the Core 2 Quad Q6600 Aria have a deal on as I type this (16:31 in the UK) for the Q6600 at £129.19 including VAT. Only 20 left at that price, and it’s the cheapest quad core processor I have seen so far. I’ve commented on my experiences of this previously so I won’t repeat it all again, just mention that mine is running great at 3Ghz with a heatsink and fan.

Categories: computer, hackintosh Tags: , , ,

New Apple product rumours gain pace

April 17, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year when anticipation of the Apple WWDC starts to grow. We already know that iPhone firmware V2 will be released in June, and now the much rumoured aluminium refresh of the Macbook has had its credibility boosted. MacRumors.com has some images found on a .Mac web page that show an aluminium Macbook as well as a redesigned Macbook pro. The Macbook looks much more expensive than the current range, so how will Apple separate the two price points in terms of spec? The graphics chip alone doesn’t seem like a big enough difference to justify the price jump so what other treats are in store for the Macbook Pro?

Macupdate Promo

April 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Following hot on the heels of the Macheist Retail bundle comes the latest Macupdate deal. As before, there’s seven software packages on offer for the slightly higher than previous $64.99, with three more to be unlocked after sales hit certain numbers. Hazel, Art Text, MenuCalendarClock, Leap, StoryMill, Typinator and DVDRemaster Pro are the apps you get to start, with Sound Studio, BannerZest and Parallels Desktop as sales targets. There’s some very interesting software in this bundle so it’s one to watch to see if the final three apps are added.