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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.

Adapting the adaptor July 21, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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Engadget reports that the MacBook Pro‘s big-ass 85 watt MagSafe power adapter has been redesigned to be smaller and lighter and approximating the size of previous power bricks of older models. Same price too – US$80. Not immediately available though. Maybe in about a month. Nice to know.

Heads-up: Office update July 13, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Downloads, Microsoft, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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More updates, gang. Those nice Mac folk who run Microsoft apps in their computers might want to know that Microsoft’s released an update for Office 2004 yesterday, proving there is still some residual love, however small, for the Mac in Redmond. The Office 11.3.6 Update is largely a security fix, with some other little tweaks and fixes.

What this update is:

This update fixes a vulnerability that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code. This update also addresses an issue with using public folders in Entourage, and it contains the latest postal code information for Japanese addresses.

What this update is for:

Office 2004 Standard Edition, Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Office 2004 Professional Edition, Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, Entourage 2004.

It’s a 15.6MB download, and you can get it here.

Macbook Redux! May 15, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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Apple just upgraded the MacBook line with faster processors, 1gb RAM and larger drives today. Everything else remains the same. Specs:

2.0GHz White MacBook, 80GB, 1GB RAM: $1099
2.16GHz White MacBook, 120GB, 1GB RAM: $1299
2.16GHz Black MacBook, 160GB, 1GB RAM: $1499

More on the Apple website. Time to upgrade? Again?

Heresy April 28, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Microsoft, Notebooks, Operating System, The Big Experiment.

Far below us, the rims of ice edging Hell’s lakes of fire are hardening and getting thicker. The flames will dim and the damned’s breath will fog. Fur coats will be in short supply. Sometime soon, Satan will finally slip on the thick snow on his morning rounds of the cooling sulphur pits and break his neck.

Why? This rabid Mac fanboy, this former two-year Chairman of the Philippine Macintosh Users Group, this current owner of four Macs and four iPods and a Newton, this early adopter of numerous Apple first-iterations, this Bill Gates heckler, this Mac-A-Doodle blogger …is using Windows XP on an IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T43.

Wait, there’s a backstory. In the magazine company where I’ve been working for close to two years, I have not had a computer to use. Until yesterday. I have refused the desktop Windows boxes they’ve been trying to assign me all these months, holding out vainly for an office-issued Mac. No joy; only the Art Department boys get the tricked-out Intel iMacs, and the F.A. guy is the one gets the shiny new Mac Pro.

So I’ve been using my Powerbook since, bringing it to work everyday and generally beating the heck out of the poor thing. Been feeling a little down looking at the wear and tear it’s been going through and having nothing to blame but my own stubbornness and recalcitrance. Well, the past few months I’ve been softening up and thinking about succumbing to the inevitable. What the hey, I thought, a lot of my comrades with new Macs are regularly double-booting into the Twilight Zone anyway. But somehow I couldn’t bring myself to going through with it.

Until yesterday, when they bribed me with the Thinkpad.

It’s not a big chunky beige box with a cheap monitor and plasticky mouse and keyboard. It’s sleek, jet-black and fancy with three magic letters on it that anyone, even Mac fanboys, would respect: IBM. And it’s a notebook that’ll let me work anywhere and won’t take up valuable real estate in my tiny office. Hmmm.

It’s a nice machine, despite what my gut instincts scream out. The ThinkPad T43 has been an Editor’s Choice of PC Magazine (the Philippine Edition of which I used to edit), and is considered one of the emerging classic business machines with surprising longevity. Trim, compact, stuffed to the gills with frills. From a little lamp at the top of the screen to light the keyboard in dark work areas to a biometric fingerprint reader on the deck. From dedicated keys for flipping between webpages, a rocker switch for scrolling up and down, a hard-wired blue key for model-specific support called “Access IBM”, that red little eraser-nubbin in the middle of the keyboard, to great battery life – it’s even got a surprising snappiness to it.

But still.

Anyways I’m taking the plunge and using the ThinkPad as my work machine starting today, and give my Albook a well-deserved break. I will also take this opportunity to do the big thing: live with the enemy, and see how it really is. We Mac heads scoff and mock (it’s fun, right?), but we do it from a safe and sanitary distance. In this age of detente and convergence in the OS world, I’ll see for myself how it really is, and I’ll chronicle the experience slowly, in bits and pieces, over the coming months in Mac-A-Doodle.

I got the ThinkPad up and running tonight, downloading shareware and configuring the thing, tweaking the settings, getting the wifi to run, putting up firewalls and running anti-virus software and ad-and-spyware blockers, and rebooting countless times and getting confused and mixed up – but still becoming pleasantly surprised a couple of times despite myself. I’d forgotten how fun this mess could be. Already I have a bunch of stuff I’m itching to say, but we’ll save it for the next entry in this series, which I’ll call The Big Experiment.

All I can say now is, I composed this post entirely on the newly set-up ThinkPad, and it ain’t so bad.

But we’ll see, won’t we?