Denki News

January 10, 2007

iPhone announced!

Filed under: iPod & iTunes, Macintosh — icruise @ 6:57 am

By now you probably know that yesterday Apple announced the iPhone, a combination iPod and smartphone. I for one am still in shock, since this is the first time in a long time that Apple has delivered something that makes even the rumors and mockups look bad. Let’s take a look at it. (More after the jump.) (more…)


October 14, 2006

Stream music & photos to your Xbox 360 from your Mac

Filed under: iPod & iTunes, Macintosh, Video Games — icruise @ 12:03 pm

One nice feature of the Xbox 360 is that it can stream music and photos from your PC. However, it only works if you have Windows, and it doesn’t directly interface with your iTunes library either. Nullriver Software recently introduced Connect 360, which is a Preference Pane for Mac OS X that allows your Xbox 360 to stream music from iTunes and photos from iPhoto. Basically, it fools the Xbox 360 into thinking that your Mac is a Windows PC, and it also allows you to access your playlists and albums. It can’t handle iTS purchased music, but that’s no big surprise.

It’s a tad expensive at $20, but I tried the demo (which limits you to 100 randomly selected songs and photos) and it worked very well. It would be nice if it could stream video somehow. I believe this is possible if you have a Media Center PC. If Connect 360 can emulate a Windows PC for music and photos, maybe it can emulate a Media Center PC for video. Anyway, this is worth keeping an eye on.

September 12, 2006

It’s Showtime! — Today’s iPod announcements

Filed under: iPod & iTunes, Macintosh — icruise @ 2:00 pm

Apple’s been busy recently. They refreshed the entire iPod line, released a new version of iTunes, added feature films to the iTunes Store (no longer called the “iTunes Music Store”) and in a very unusual move, they even announced a product that won’t be shipping until next year — a box that will stream video content to your HDTV from your computer. I’ll be talking about each announcement soon, but let’s start with the iPods. (More after the jump.) (more…)

September 7, 2006

Apple battery recall replacements arriving

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables — icruise @ 5:43 pm

As most of you no doubt already know, Apple has recently followed in Dell’s footsteps in recalling Sony-made lithium ion batteries for their portables, thanks to the possibility that said batteries might overheat and cause a fire. This is bad news for the companies involved, but it couldn’t have come at a better time for many PowerBook and iBook users, since their batteries are likely nearing the end of their functional lives anyway.

This was the case with my 12″ PowerBook G4. I had one battery that I got for my original 12″ PowerBook (back when they were first released in 2003) and one that came with my current 12″ PowerBook (from about a year and a half later). I signed up for the recall online and was told that only the older of the two batteries was eligible. However, DHL brought me two new batteries a couple of weeks later. The model and serial number of my other “non-eligible” battery don’t seem to be part of the recall, so I don’t know if it was a mistake or not, but I’m not going to be complaining. Two new batteries will extend the functional life of my PowerBook by quite a bit. Since they retail for around $130 apiece, this is a pretty big deal.

On a side note, the return process for these batteries was very painless for me. Just put in your serial numbers on the web site above and request a replacement. They’ll send you a new battery or batteries and you send back the old one in the same box, using the pre-paid postage label. Some people have mentioned that they’ve had trouble getting batteries that should be eligible for the recall recognized by the system, however.

July 26, 2006

Why I don’t use Linux (much)

Filed under: Macintosh — icruise @ 10:41 pm

In the past few weeks there have been a few high-profile Mac bloggers writing about how they are switching to Ubuntu Linux. Mark Pilgrim and Cory Doctorow‘s main beef with the Mac OS seems to be that it is a (mostly) closed platform and the file formats for Apple’s major applications are similarly closed, making it difficult to get your data out once you’ve put it in. I’m simplifying here, but that seems to be gist of it. Bryan O’Bryan, who ran the Mac site ResExcellence, has a bit of a different reason. He’s fed up with Mac users picking nits about his free site and seems to think that the Mac community is full of, for lack of a better phrase, mean people. He also has complaints about the stability of Apple’s software, but he makes it clear that it was the Mac community that tipped him over the edge.

I’ve used Ubuntu briefly, and an embedded version of Linux known as Qtopia fairly extensively. And I hate it. Let me try and explain why. (More after the jump.)


July 25, 2006

Apple servicing stained white MacBooks

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables — icruise @ 9:38 pm

Apple has quietly added a Knowledge Base article that reads, in its entirety:

“If your MacBook is exhibiting discoloration on the top case after some use, please contact AppleCare for service.

This seems to be tacitly acknowledging the problem I wrote about a while back, where parts of white MacBooks would turn a nasty yellowish brown after only a moderate amount of use. It’s good to hear that they are taking care of the problem, although its cause is still unclear. It certainly isn’t a problem that affects the majority of MacBooks, however.

[via TUAW]

June 24, 2006

Mysterious stains on white MacBooks

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables — icruise @ 5:00 am

Hot on the heels of the news of flaking black MacBooks are reports that white MacBooks are exhibiting strange discolorations on the palmrest area. A user has even set up a website documenting the problem and claiming that 38 users have contacted them with similar complaints. It should be obvious that the problem doesn’t affect all MacBooks (my sister has a white MacBook that has no problems, for example) but it is possible that the materials used in the case somehow react with certain people’s body chemistry. There were scattered reports of the aluminum PowerBooks having problems with their palm rests actually getting tiny holes in them, apparently because of some kind of reaction with the sweat in the user’s hands. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out.

[Edit: Apple is apparently providing service for people affected by this problem.]

June 4, 2006

I can have both: The desktop + laptop solution

Filed under: Macintosh — icruise @ 8:10 am

In the days before laptops became so powerful, most people used them as secondary systems. They would have a desktop for "real" work and use the laptop only when they had to, but I have been using a laptop as my main computer for years. My first was a giant black and white screened behemoth with a 286 processor, and since then I've gone through 7 or 8 other laptops (mostly Macs). I never liked desktop computers. I didn't like being tied down to one place (even if I didn't use the computer outside much, being able to move to another room in the house was nice) and somehow laptops seemed more personal than desktops to me. That's why I ordered a MacBook Pro the day after they were announced. My 12" PowerBook had worked well as my main computer, but it was starting to feel a tad slow for a few things, and I also wanted a bigger screen. However, I decided to cancel my order and get an iMac instead. I had decided to go back to the traditional "laptop + desktop" setup, but not for the reasons that you might think. (More after the jump.)


May 27, 2006

Flaking black MacBooks?

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables, Rumors — icruise @ 6:01 pm

There has been a fair amount of discussion recently as to the nature of the matte black plastic that makes up the casing off the black MacBook. It has an almost rubberized feel to it, which is quite different from the surface of the white MacBook.

A post on marklemdotcom first brought up the idea that the surface of the MacBook might be coated with something that could easily flake off by scratching it with a fingernail. The discussion in this thread on the MacNN forums (and my own very cursory examination of the black MacBook) seemed to indicate that this was not the case.

But then today another post on the MacNN forums pointed out that someone on Flickr also had problems with flaking finish on their MacBook. The two problems don't really look the same — the first one looks like a clear coating was being rubbed off, while the second looks like black paint has been chipped off by the user's watchband. The interesting question is, why would the chips reveal what appears to be white underneath? Even if Apple used some kind of coating on the MacBook, wouldn't they have used black plastic underneath? It's possible that it's only the frame surrounding the wrist rest that is affected, but it's a little disturbing nonetheless.

Without more evidence, it's hard to say one way or the other. But I do know that my Pismo PowerBook had no such issues with the finish. I hope this doesn't become the "nano scratch" of the MacBook line.

May 18, 2006

Stop Him Before He Modifies Again!

Filed under: Macintosh — icruise @ 9:01 pm

(This is a short piece I wrote a while back about Keita Suyama, the Japanese modder I mentioned in yesterday's news.)

TOKYO – You might say Keita Suyama is obsessed with modifying Macintosh computers. His office is strewn with various tools, electronic parts, and partially disassembled computers. He grinned sheepishly as he talked about his most recent project — a black flat-panel iMac. (More after the jump.)


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