Archive for Apple

Powerbook vs iBook

Couple of discussions regarding the Powerbook vs iBook question:

* Apple – Discussions – PB 1.33 vs. ibook > noise & durability
* New PowerBook vs. iBook – The shootout.

Good summary in the later link:

* 12” iBook – it’s cheap and very good. If you can’t afford more, get this one.
* 14” iBook – it’s bigger, heavier, and more expensive than the 12”. I still trying to figure out why this is in production.
* 14” Super iBook – it’s bigger, heavier, and slower than a PowerBook. No idea why they make this one either.
* 12” PowerBook – it’s a really expensive, slightly upgraded iBook.
* 12” PowerBook w/ Super Drive – this is a nice model and you might need the Super Drive.
* 15” PowerBook – This is a great computer for the price.

Furthermore, there is some mention that the screen of the 14″ iBook can be blurry. Maybe both a 12″ iBook and a 15″ Powerbook is the sweet spot? 😉


* Clamshell mode? – iBook likely to overheat with clamshell closed.
* 6hr Battery Life – Some reports of 6+ hour battery life. Impressive.

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Powerbook battery tip bits

Here some tip bits on Powerbook batteries:

Update: A nice page at macintouch with much anecdotal stories about Apple Laptop batteries.

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The Apple Blog » Your Favorite Apps for OS X

List of useful software for OSX: Your Favorite Apps for OS X.

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Some useful tip bits about the new Powerbook

From MacInTouch, here are a few additional notes from our initial examination of the 15″ PowerBook G4/1.67GHz:

* The screen is beautiful, with a big, welcome addition of space versus iBooks and 12″ PowerBooks. (The screen seemed a bit dim at first, until we found the autosensing brightness option.)
* In size, this laptop is not very different from a 14″ iBook but a little more rectangular in shape. It has far more expansion ports, however, from a PC Card/Cardbus slot to audio input and FireWire 800.
* As noted yesterday, AirPort performance was very disappointing in comparison to that of an iBook G4, iBook G4 or eMac. We finally got the PowerBook to connect a bit better by setting the AirPort Extreme Base Station to do 802.11b protocols only, disabling the faster 802.11g option.
* Bluetooth, with file-sharing, is enabled by default.
* In comparison to iBooks (or even better, a PowerBook G3 “Pismo”), this PowerBook’s trackpad button is unpleasantly stiff, although its click is quieter. We haven’t had time yet to explore the new trackpad features, and the trackpad “clicking” option (also available on other Mac laptops) gave us problems with unintended clicks.
* There appears to be no access to the laptop’s internals with the sole exception of memory slots, behind a door on the bottom of the computer.
* Despite its faster processor, the PowerBook is quiet, on par with an iBook or a Mini and a little quieter than an iMac G5.
* Running benchmarks with Energy Saver set to “Highest” performance, the bottom of the computer became too hot to touch, but the stop stayed fairly cool. (The ambient temperature was about 70 degrees F., and the PowerBook was sitting on top of its cardboard shipping box.)
* The operating system is Mac OS X 10.3.7 (7T62) with a Darwin 7.7.2 kernel. Mac OS 9 is an optional installation.
* iLife ’05 is pre-installed on the hard drive (with QuickTime Player 6.5.2), but there’s no AppleWorks nor iWork in the bundle. A QuickBooks “New User Edition” requires registration by phone with Intuit.
* The optical drive (SuperDrive) is a Matsushita UJ-835E, the hard drive a Fujitsu MHT2080AH.
* The Mobile Motion Sensor shuts down and re-enables the hard drive quickly and may cause some data loss in the event of strong vibration.
* The PowerBook can be run closed with external monitor, keyboard/mouse and power supply.
* We encountered one hard freeze, with the SuperDrive spinning and AirPort operating, and we had to hold the power button down until the system shut off, because reset keys didn’t have any effect. The same CD mounted fine after the restart.

Also some insight as to why some people prefer Macs.

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Another Mac mini review

AnandTech, a mainstream PC review, have a look at Apple’s Mac mini – Tempting PC Users Everywhere. They have one particular page about performance where they confirm something a friend has told me. OSX needs at least 512Mb to function well.

In order to be useful the Mini Mac should come with a minimal of 512Mb.

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Mac Mini Review

Very detailed Mac Mini Review. Includes some facts about DYI upgrading the HDD and memory.

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Powerbook Battery Life

A study on 15″ Powerbook battery life: 15″ PowerBook Battery Life Tests.

Author makes some interesting suggestions about portable vs desktop Mac laptops.

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It’s small

Short review of the Mini Mac at OS News: The Mac Mini Experience. Check the picture on the first page, I didn’t realise how mini the Mini actually was. Its not much bigger than the tape.

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Care and feeding for your laptop battery

A Friend and I were discussing laptops, in particular Apple Powerbooks. He recently acquired a Powerbook from his work, plus he has an old G4 under his desk, used as a server. He usually has insightful comments, so we often have conversations about this and that new geek gadget. During the discussion we started talking about battery life and the best way to charge. I purchased a R30 for my brother two years ago with an additional Ultrabay battery. It still often gets 8+ hours of hard office-type use running WinXP. Every comment I’ve read and my experience has show that IBM hardware kit just works. This should be the inspiring goal for any laptop battery system. Although following the “Conservation of Greatness” rule, I’ve been told the IBM’s service often sucks. Luckily I’ve never had to deal with them.

Anyway we started discussing batteries, and how to best care for your battery. Based on a page I’d read several years ago I’d always been of the opinion with Lithium Ion batteries, that constant charging is a good thing to do. This page had stated that Li-Ion batteries have a finite number of ‘deep’ discharge cycles. Thus it was better to keep the battery charge to preventing the ‘deep’ discharge cycles occurring.

Richard’s opinion was the opposite of this:

“Nah I got into talking with a laptop guy on this one, and it’s the continuous connected to the mains stuff that destroys them. Doesn’t matter the battery type, if it’s continuously trickle charged it will die.”

I figured it was time to do some goggling.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The True Cost of Mac OS X

Short rant by a Mac user on The True Cost of Mac OS X.

Articulates one of the things that concerns me, at least about my use of OSX. In order to gets to the point were it “Just Work”, there is a modest outlay on these new applications. Not that this is a problem, but its something that has to be factored into the budget cost benefit analysis.

Plus the fact I’ve spent a large amount of time finding tools that work on Linux, that I enjoy using. Invest both time and money look at new applications is some thing I’m considering. That said, if I find one or two apps that really make life fun, I’ll probably swing. After all Fink and Darwin make it a breeze to install emacs or vim if I want too. 😉

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