Thursday, August 14, 2008

The MacBook Pro is HOT, HOT, HOT!

My MacBook Pro is hot, hot, hot! And I mean hot as in boiling hot. I love my new Macbook Pro but the thing runs terribly hot.

Two areas get exceedingly hot: the bottom towards the back and front panel right under the screen. I cannot use it as a laptop with shorts, I'd burn my legs!

I've checked with others and I am not alone (this is not an example of a single faulty product). Its ashame because its about the only thing I don't like about the Macbook Pro.

True my old Dell Latitude ran hot and many other notebooks do as well, but frankly I can't believe how hot this Macbook gets. I am afraid to leave it lying on the couch "on" (obviously shutting the lid puts it to asleep and it cools quickly).

Nothing is perfect, so I live with it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Is the MacBook Pro 17" too big?

Is the MacBook Pro 17” too big? Will it actually fit on your lap?

This was a serious question I had before I made my purchase. I wanted the impressive screen resolution but was afraid that the MacBook Pro’s physical size and weight would result in a case of severe buyer’s remorse.

Since I didn’t know anyone with a MacBook Pro 17”, I could only experience it live in the Apple Store. That wasn’t ideal, trust me. All of the computers are alarmed, so there is no easy way to move it to your lap… nor is there a couch to sit down in and try it on your lap. I finally convinced an Apple employee to un-tether it from the alarm, but without a comfortable couch in sight, I could only pretend what the experience would be.

One thing I did manage to do, however, was to try it out in my bag. Not that I intended to travel much with this monster (if I were the traveling type, a MacBook Air would be my choice), but I didn’t want to end up making another purchase if I found it a tad too big for my bag. That all worked out, thankfully.

So, in the end, I decided it would be manageable and I ordered it online. A week later it arrived and I am happy to say that its very comfortable on my lap, much better than I expected. Its thin profile and ample area below the keyboard (where you can rest your wrists) makes it work quite nicely on your lap, on the couch, in front of the TV. The only complaint is this: it run hot, very hot at times. No shorts… you’ll burn your legs… no kidding. Now that I hadn’t thought of!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Problems with iChat? Go to port 443.

My new MacBook is awesome except when it isn't. Like iChat. Since I got this computer, I can't keep iChat connected. What happens is this: iChat will connect and then, after about 1 minute, it will disconnect and retry about 5 times until it complains.

After a little research, turns out the default port 5190 is the problem. It needs to be switched to 443. No kidding. Out of the box it doesn't work, news to Apple fans everywhere: Apple isn't perfect.

Here's what you do: in iChat preferences, select Accounts. Then under the Server Settings tab, change port 5190 to 443. Close the prefs window. You may need to quit and relaunch iChat.

On port 443, mine stays connected now!

Monday, June 9, 2008

iTunes 7.7

iTunes 7.7 will debut in July (July 11th) when the 3G iPhone ships. It will handle app store functionality, the new iPhone 3G update, the iPhone 2.0 software update for existing iPhones, and the new MobileMe cloud syncing features. You'll note that its a "requirement" for new iPhone,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New ThinkPads: X200, X400, X500

Gizmodo has a post on what promised to be the fall refresh of the ThinkPad lineup (post here).

Following on the popular X300 will be the X200, X400, and X500. The X200 with have a 12-inch screen, X400 14.1-inch, and X500 15.4-inch. All will sport the 45nm Intel "Penryn" processor (Why do laptop manufacturers spec screen sizes in inches? I want to know resolution, as in 1600x1200 pixels, they like to hide that data.)

This is good news, as the greatest disappointment with the light-weight/thin X300 is choice, particularly screen size. With the arrival of the Macbook Air, all future laptop brands will be judged by their “thin” lineups.

The rumor is that these X series laptops will have HSDPA and EVDO, two high-speed cellular data network protocols.

I am excited about the expansion of the ThinkPad X-series lineup!

The current X300:

Lenovo - 13.3 inch Display, 1.2GHz Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 1GB Memory, 64GB SSD, DVDRW | Model: ThinkPad X300 - X300
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

iPhone 3g chip

Some developer digging through the iPhone 2.0 SDK ROM came across a reference to the "SGOLD3". Seems like Apple has picked its 3G chip for the next gen iPhone.

Here the dope on this chip:

With its new - GOLD3H baseband, Infineon Technologies extends its well known S-GOLD baseband family to support the 3.5G mobile phone generation. The integrated dual-mode HSDPA/WCDMA/E-GPRS modem technology,together with high speed multimedia hardware accelerators and the advanced connectivity options enable S-GOLD3H to fulfill the requirements of tomorrow's mobile phones.

INFINEON is one of the early platform vendors to support HSDPA category 8 (7.2 Mbit/s). The implementation of equalizer based advanced receiver technology improves the data throughput, especially at high data rates, by up to 40%. In addition, the software programmable slot processing in the HSDPA Rx path provides further flexibility for performanceenhancements. The HSDPA performance of S-GOLD3H meets and exceeds all test cases as specified in the 3GPP standard.

INFINEON's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof and designed for an easy upgrade to higher HSDPA data rates, HSUPA and also Rx-diversity.

-3.5G gen chip
-HSDPA category 8 (7.2 Mbit/s)
-ARM 926 based single model/application processor
-MPEG4 / H.263 hardware processor

Check out the spec sheet

Heard that its the best on power of the new generation 3G chips (hope so).

Apple - iPhone | 16GB - MB384LL/A
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Saturday, April 5, 2008

3G iPhone

Here is my collection of random thoughts on the forthcoming 3G iPhone.

1. It's coming in June. WWDC probably. Lots of evidence is pointing this way: lack of supply of the current models, AT&T CEO slip up, Walt Mossberg prediction, etc.

2. While 3G will be a vast improvement over EDGE, I think there are some caveats, namely coverage and power. 3G has a limited rollout (coverage), so if you are not in the right place, you'll be experiencing EDGE speeds.

Take a look at the map below. It details the data coverage in my area (San Jose, CA). Note that 3G is in a limited area, whereas EDGE is pretty much everywhere voice is.

To check 3G coverage in your area visit

3. Hopefully Apple has dealt with the big tradeoff: power. 3G is a power-hungry pig. New chipsets apparently are making great headway in reducing the power load, but it's not going to be pretty. The problem only gets worse in poor coverage areas, the "fringe" of 3G coverage; here the chipset or firmware (not sure who's in charge) has to make a quick decision on either dropping down to EDGE or "trying harder" in 3g mode. And there's the rub: "trying harder" is where you burn the most power and get the least bang for the buck. And because 3G is not rolled out in all areas where you'll presently find EDGE, there will be a lot of "fringe". All in all, I am all for 3g and I'm sure Apple applied their best magic to this product.

4. No doubt the 3G iPhone will run the new iPhone 2.0 software (and existing phones too). The iPhone 2.0 software is the "SDK ready" release. So new 3G iPhone will support forthcoming 3rd party applications. What's not clear, from the current SDK documentation, is how you'll know (how the application might know) what data network it's on: 3G or EDGE/GPRS. That would certainly play into a developer's decision to push more bytes in a higher bandwidth environment. Perhaps Apple will detail this to developers in the near future. What I think a lot of developers are hoping for is some way to run their applications in the background. Apple has made no provision for this, from what I can see. This means a good instant messaging app will be hard to write.

5. Will the 3G iPhone replace the current model? My guess is yes. But I guess it depends on the price point and margin structure. At some point Apple will go down-market with the iPhone, to the masses, if you will (and that will be a good day). Will the current model continue with a price cut as a down-market product? I don't think so, I think Apple will do something more like the 'iPhone nano' to go down-market.

6. Data is important: new surveys point to the fact that iPhone users are big data users. Many are overbuying their voice plans and racking up rollover minutes. 3G is needed for the iPhone considering its use model.

7. 3G and Europe. Apple will not make huge inroads into the European and Asian markets until 3G is standard. Coverage is better there and customer expectations are higher.

Apple - iPhone | 16GB - MB384LL/A
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Revolutionary Phone

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btw, this content got published on /products