News for Thursday, 12 January 2006

Does the MacBook Pro really exist?

By Kalomir. Original by Grognon - 12/01/2006 17:50:26 CET - Category: Apple
The MacBook pro isn't available for clients before February... and it also seems to be the case for those who work on the Apple Store, who had to prepare a photo gallery.
irpyC, member of our forums, had us notice that the MacBook Pro pictures are no more than Alubook Photoshop modified pics.
For example, on this one, the infrared port was added but the reflection was forgotten.

Or on that one, the closing hook is that of an Alubook. The new one is doubled because of the buil-in iSight in the middle of it.

Compared Images of Powerbook and Macbook

By Kalomir. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 17:42:41 CET - Category: Mac Intel
Lâm HUA, specialist of Video games at Technikart, a French trendy Magazine, posted many pics of the MacBook on his blog... and he could place his Alu 15 nearby to compare.
He also gave us his impressions:
My first impression was right: it might be a bit thinner, it is also a bit larger and a bit deepers. That's 2 bits against 1 :)
A little regret about design, the screen carter is thicker, especially because of the built-in iSight, tough welcome it may be.

His blog and the other pictures:
Here's another important information about the MacBook and its 4x Superdrive in particular, that's not double layer compatible. This is not one of Apple's turns, but a technical obligation: they had to use an "ultra slim" device, thinner than what they usually use. And there aren't any 8x or double layer models.

New Mac under Intel and Windows

By Kalomir. Original by dulrich1 - 12/01/2006 17:37:21 CET - Category: Mac Intel
Many of you wish to know whether new Intel based Macs will be able to boot on Windows or Linux x86. Here's the beginning of an answer.
As we said yesterday, tne new Macs don't have a BIOS but a (much more advanced) EFI firmware. Until now, commercialized versions of Windows do not support this firmware on IA32 platform (Intel 32bit) as opposed to the IA64 platform (Itanium). The next version of Windows (Vista) will support it, but it will take some time to find it on shelves.
As for Linux, hope is somehow bigger. EFI support is included in newer kernels and a bootloader already exists (ELILO). As this one was done for Itanium in particular, we'll have to see if it will require patches to work on IA32. Yet as the Linux community is very reactive, a patch is a question of weeks whatsoever.
As for the opposite, a Mac OS X boot on any type of PC, it will take the first PCs with EFI IA32 distributed instead of the old BIOS. This will surely not be before Windows Vista is released.

iTunes 6.0.2 and its ministore

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 13:53:56 CET - Category: Software
iTunes 6.0.2 is permanently advising the iTMS with a large banner at the bottom of the window.
As mentioned by Boingboing, iTunes is sending information about the music track being played in order to display the most appropriate ads. Some users will consider this as a private intrusion, other will judge it as standard marketing strategy.
We will not judge, but to your knowledge, you have the option to close the ministore, and then iTunes stops telling outside which track you are currently playing.
PS: thanks to all our readers who have sent us reports about this news.
[update] as mention by One of our reader (Ed): how to close the ministore in more details: simply go to "Edit > Hide Mini Store"

When will the MacMini and iBook migrate to x86? Together?

By linathael. Original by dulrich1 - 12/01/2006 13:49:22 CET - Category: Mac Intel
Apple has started its migration to Intel x86 processor with the "mass models" MacMini and iBook are both Apple's entry models, and have not been modified yet. One can speculate that they will migrate to x86 with a Yonah single core version.
If one look closer to the iMacIntel and Macbook Pro specs, on can notice many common feautres/points:
- both have the same input and output ports.
- both have a video output supporting dual display and an optical sound output.
- both are using DDR2 SO-DIMM.
- both are using the same GPU series Radeon X1600(different version mobility vs. standard)
so of course one can postulate that the motherboard of both models could be nearly identical. If true, this will allow apple to save on motherboard development cost; while giving the iMac some Pro-features such as : dual display and optical sound output. But also some disadvantages: DDR2 SO-DIMM RAM modules are substantially more expensive than DDR2 DIMM. The MacBook Pro has lost the FW800 port.
If Apple follows this strategy, the future x86-based Mac mini and iBook could migrate together and use a very similar motherboard design sharing many common features. For this, Apple and Intel only need to develop a small motherboard compatible with the EFI and that could receive the Yonah.
As soon as the both new MacIntels are available we will be able to check our hypothesis.
Nous pourrons vérifier ces hypothèses dès réception des nouveaux macs.

Inside the iMacIntel

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 13:35:31 CET - Category: Mac Intel
If from the outside the transition between the iMacG5 to the iMacG5 iSight was not really visible, it was not the same inside! The last model were really looking as a "unorganized" assembling compared to the first models which were really technical-support oriented.
Well, for the iMacIntel it remains the same as the last iMacG5.
Everything seems to be pilled up one over the other, without a real organization, and covered with a soft shield that is scotch-tapped on it!

Beside the processor to be changed, on can also notice other changes:
- Apple is back using separated Airport and Bluetooth modules.
- Diagnostic LED are gone
Of course many components have been changed but the overall aspect remains really close to the last iMacG5.

G5 Quad Motherboard

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 05:18:22 CET - Category: G5
Brice sent us these two photos of the front and back of the G5 Quad motherboard:

You can see the large heat sinks and heat pipes whose sole purpose is to cool the chipset which operates at 1.25 GHz. In addition, this system is more effective than the one from the old dual 2.5 Ghz, where under full load a small fan for the chipset would always start and create an unpleasant noise.
Now, we are approaching the reason why it was possible for Brice to take these photographs. They are definitely not very glorious for Apple, and we will let him tell you.
I have just had an on site motherboard exchange because mine broke, and you will never guess why... Because Apple stupidly forgot the 4 screws which hold the CPUs to the Motherboard (2 screws per card). So there was more than a month and a half in which the 2 cards were loose and not completely seated, which lead to the destruction of the motherboard.

Even more "funny" is that there is the evidence of it having previously been screwed in, so it obviously was disconnected (why?) and poorly reassembled before delivery.
I called Apple and asked for a replacement computer, because I did not wish to keep a machine in such a condition, but I was sent packing: they told me that they were going to send me 4 screws (because the technician arranged a trick while I was waiting).
In a similar situation, The 2 GB of Samsung Ram which I have also broke without any explanation.
This joins the previous quality control problems from Apple's assembly line, especially since we had shown that these cases are less isolated than we thought.
It is a far cry from the first Macintosh computers which were signed on the inside by the people who assembled them. Sure this is now impossible, but it should be necessary for them to do their housework and eradicate these kinds of problems which could quickly lead to a bad reputation!

PCI-Express SATA cards from Sonnet

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 04:42:13 CET - Category: Hard Drive
Sonnet has announced the release of two 4x PCI-Express cards having 4 Serial ATA II connectors.
There are two models, the E4P which has 4 external connectors and costs $299.95, and the E4i which has 4 internal connectors and costs $199.95

Eye TV 2

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 12/01/2006 04:38:28 CET - Category: Software
Elgato has announced the release of Eye TV 2
EyeTV 2 improves TV on the Mac and the iPod even more. The new user interface with pure and elegant lines establishes new industrial standards. EyeTV uses an integrated TV guide, which posts the broadcasts schedules in the primary EyeTV window and extracts information from the broadcast or from online services (TitanTV for North America, tvtv for Europe)...
The major innovations at a glance:
• New user interface with pure and elegant lines
• New virtual remote control
• Manage recording by creating lists of shows
• Manage channels by creating favorite channels
• Integrated searchable guide
• 1-Click export to an iPod
• Configure programs to automatically export to an iPod
• Files registered to EyeTV can be moved and renamed in the finder
The software will normally cost 79€, but it is 49€ until March 31. A free upgrade is available to anyone who purchased version 1 after Dec 1, 2005.
Elgato's Site
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