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The One September 27, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Alternatives, Announcements, Hardware, iMacs, The Other Side of the Fence.

It seems the fading Gateway still has some fight left in it. The former computer giant has unveiled its contender for the iMac throne with something Gateway calls, simply, One.

Tale of the tape:

  • 3.6″ thick all in all
  • 19-inch widescreen LCD
  • 2 models at US$1300/US$1800
  • 1.5GHz/2GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB/3GB memory
  • 320gb/500gb hard drive
  • special online-only model at US$1500
  • all black front
  • metal shell
  • all cords and most ports out of sight (all on the power adapter)
  • side-mounted slot-loading DVD burner
  • no announced date of availability, but soon

Now call me silly, but doesn’t that look like something we all know?

Heads-up: MacBook/MacBook Pro update September 25, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Apple Inc., Downloads, Hardware, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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Apple’s just issued MacBook/MacBook Pro Update 1.0 via Software Update.

This update enables file system journaling on MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook computers. Some MacBook and MacBook Pro systems were shipped with file system journaling turned off. Journaling is recommended on all Mac computers as a preventative measure against file corruption.

Eh? The 660KB download is explained further on the Apple Support Page here.

MacPics of The Day: Why when I have just two ears? September 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPods, MacPics, Meta, Wala lang.

The pods in the Doodler‘s possession at the moment. (Yes, that’s my grubby hand.)

Roughly a quarter of a terabyte of storage right there. And six pairs of headsets. Somewhere.

Conspicuous by its absence is the original 5gb I bought when it first came out in 2001 (yes, I am a shameless early adopter), when all this iPod mania wasn’t even a gleam in Jobs’ eye. In a moment of weakness I sold it, as I eventually would a white, button-happy 4th Gen. Shoulda kept them. Hope to add a Touch to this handful someday.

Another view:

Blogger thanks Apple for making him switch back to Vista (Eh?) September 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Alternatives, Hardware, Microsoft, Oddities, Operating System, The Other Side of the Fence.

A blogger posted a big thank you to Apple for making him switch from Vista to Mac, then back to Vista. While on the surface this sounds like a back-handed compliment, it actually makes sense – I think.

Aviv Eyal, co-founder and VP of Grouper Networks (which was eventually acquired by Sony), and co-founder of Friskit, wrote in his blog that Macs made him appreciate Windows Vista, which had previously confounded him no end:

I was getting very frustrated with Vista on several of my PCs and laptops on a daily basis to a point that I stopped enjoying working on computers. On a clean Vista Pro install with just IE, Outlook and Office on strong Dell workstations and on a Vaio laptop, I kept getting hangs and crashes left and right. I now run Vista using the excellent Parallels Desktop for Mac software. It is worth every penny.

Eyal calls Windows the “light” side of the force, and Macs and OS X the “dark” side. He expounds further on this odd compliment:

With 4GB of RAM on a 2.4ghz Intel core 2 duo MacBook Pro laptop, I get very decent performance from Vista running virtually in Parallels, in full-screen mode it is easy to forget that you are not running Vista natively, so if I need to use word or powerpoint I just switch back to the dark side virtually on Parallels and if Vista hangs crashes I just quickly restore the virtual machine to a previous state while I keep working on my Mac apps.

Uh …ok. I think. At least this underscores that fact that there is no reason not to buy a Mac these days. Even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

Check out Eyal’s post on his blog here.

iPwn: Fixing a broken iPhone glass screen for $5 September 19, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPhone, Issues.
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While users are reasonably assured that the iPhone screen is relatively scratch-proof, apparently it isn’t shatter-proof.

Some folk are finding their iPhones with shattered screens, for various reasons, and Apple refuses to cover this in the warranty. The repair, not surprisingly, costs more than the phone itself. According to Apple, a new glass screen (just the glass screen, not the touch-sensitive surface) costs US$250 plus tax and shipping. Doh!

A dude going by the name of Epic Proportions on The Something Awful Forums pulled out his week-old iPhone from his pocket and saw that the screen, for some reason, had shattered. Dismayed by Apple’s response to his cry for help, he figured out a way to fix it for US$5 and some time and elbow grease.

Read about the story of Epic Proportions and get a step-by-step of his ingenious workable solution here.

Possible explanation for NBE September 18, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPods, Issues.
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An LCD engineer from Taiwan posted on the Apple Discussions page on the Apple Support site today a possible explanation for the Negative Black Effect plaguing the new iPod Touch as being poor quality control with the anti-reflective (AR) coating on the screens. The engineer says:

The AR coating is essentially a clear layer that prevents light from reflecting off of that surface. What’s happening here is the upper glass layer is reflecting light from the LCD screen back down onto the said screen. Without an AR coating you get exactly what you see – shimmering blacks. The problem isn’t noticeable with vibrant colors on screen. Rotating the screen will change the way this light is reflected to your eyes and may minimize the problem, but since the LCD was engineered to give best color output when looking straight on, you’re left with a losing battle.

No official response yet from Apple, but the AR coating theory seems as good an explanation as any. Let’s hope it’s this simple.

Major glitch popping up in TouchPods September 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPhone, iPods, Issues, Rants, Steve Jobs.
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(That’s my pet name for the ungainly and awkward “iPod Touch”, by the way; some folk call it the iTouch, but I think not. Besides, TouchPod has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree?)

Something called the “negative black effect” (speak about inappropriate names) is appearing in an increasing number of TouchPods.

Reports have surfaced earlier this weekend as the TouchPods began selling at Apple Stores that the new screens seem to be inferior to the iPhone’s, contrary to the Jobster‘s (stupid name; but Stevester seems worse) statement that screens are the same. Blacks aren’t as black, and colors seem washed out, as in this side-by-side pic from Gizmodo (iPhone on the bottom):

More units seem to have it worse: some TouchPods’ black portions look like the shimmery, odd blacks you get from film negatives (hence the “negative black effect” name), and they seem to be a spotty and erratic phenomenon. Look at this comparison from Apple-Touch.com (iPhone on top):

Apple seems to be taking in defective units and replacing them without question (which is a tacit admission that a problem exists), but sometimes the replacements themselves have similar problems. No official statement yet.

Caveat emptor. Certainly a strong argument against early adoption, and for waiting for the first revision. Or just waiting for the 16gb, 3G, open-line iPhone that everyone seems to be expecting. Hmm.

Check out a sampling of reports from Apple-Touch, Tech.Blorge, Gizmodo and Engadget.

MacPic of The Day September 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Because You Can, Funnies, Hardware, iPhone, Issues, Pics, Services.
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iPod Touch Teardown! September 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPods.
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It’s the one we’ve been waiting for: an iPod Touch autopsy, and the gang at Ifixit have obliged us once again, God bless them.

See the wonderful carnage here.

Double autopsy! iPods nano and Classic get the teardown treatment September 11, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPods.
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The Doodler‘s favorite teardown authority and parts/upgrade site, iFixIt, is at it again. If you’d like to see take-aparts of the new fat nano and the thin Classic, look no further.

See the guts and glory by clicking on the relevant pod: iPod nano; iPod Classic.

Can’t wait to see their iPod Touch feature.