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Showing posts from January, 2008

The MacBook Air, 3G and the Internet

I've been reading a lot about how Apple "screwed up" the MacBook Air because it didn't include a "3G mobile phone modem".

The idea that Apple should have included a 3G chipset is, of course, stupid.

Just about every modern 3G handset out there can operate as a 3G modem for wireless internet. A handset can be connected to the MacBook Air via either USB or Bluetooth, automatically giving any Mac full wireless internet capabilities - over the cell phone network, without WiFi.

So what are the pundits talking about? They're talking about the purpose built modem plans and cards that are sold by the mobile service providers. Of course, these cards exist just because many older laptops didn't have bluetooth. These purpose-built 3G cards are effectively obsolete. These power-hungry, service-dependent cards are still being sold because they work adequately well with old computers. But given modern handsets and bluetooth, the old cards won't be around m…

MacBook Air features in the MacBook Pro?

Now that the MacBook Air has been revealed, many are curious about what's next.

The MacBook and the Mac Mini continue to be lower-cost winners for Apple and their customers. It isn't costing Apple much to keep these designs around, and they continue to sell well. I don't suspect that Apple will substantially change these machines until Intel releases a compelling alternative to the Core 2 Duo platform.

The MacBook Pro is also a winner, but its basic design has been around since about 2003. I suspect that the MacBook Pro will have a substantial redesign in mid-to-late 2008.

Does the MacBook Air reveal the roadmap for the Pro?

It's time for an update, and Apple's recent products should give us a hint of where its going: Thin and Gorgeous.

Apple's most recent new products, the Nano, Touch, and Air, all follow that attractive theme. Products that don't fit that mold are clearly yesterday's designs. Apple's flagship notebook line no longer fits the futu…

Why the MacBook Air sucks

In the spirit of PC Magazine, here are thirteen reasons why the MacBook Air sucks.

1. $999 SSD option.

Crazy-but-true, the 64 GB solid state "disk drive" option costs $999. I'm sure I could buy a 64+ GB solid state drive for much less. Although I haven't shopped for one, they should cost about $200, right? So Apple, why $999?

2. No Vista

That's right, you buy this thing for $1799 (or more), and it doesn't come with the ultimate Vista - a $600 afterthought? If I want to spend money on a laptop, PLEASE include the Ultimate!

3. No MS-Office

Again, you buy this thing, you can't even edit MS-Word documents - its an extra piece of software that wasn't included!!! This is getting painful!

4. No replaceable battery.

My Olympus digicam used readily-available AA batteries. This thing uses a built-in weirdo battery.... that can't be replaced by normal users! What's the deal??? I want to use AA batteries, so if my battery runs dead on the airplane, I can …

MacBook Air Disassembled

Now what we've all been waiting for is a full disassembly of the MacBook Air. How take-apart -able is the MacBook Air? Is there a good opportunity for Apple to upgrade the RAM to a full 4 GB? Is it possible to swap-out the HDD with a larger capacity model, or with a non-standard SSD? And how easy is it for a user to replace the battery?

Fixing my Bent and Warped PowerBook

My 12" PowerBook G4 developed a little warp or bend so that it didn't sit flat any more. It would wobble on a desk as I typed - annoying! It all happened when I dropped it on the front corner, distorting the case.

A straight edge on the front palm rest clearly showed the bend.

To fix it, I removed the battery and put some slight pressure on the corner, reforming it into its original shape. Then I used a couple small vice grips, covered in cloth, to reform the case, trying to work out the dent "in reverse order in which it was created".

This process is much like how a body shop repairs a dented fender.

The repair looks great - it isn't 100% perfect, but close to it. Now it looks great AND it sits nice and flat on my desktop. And I didn't need to buy a whole new case.