MacCast 10.19.2008 - Show #241
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook 3
* Sticky notes, sticky tabs and sticky reminders. Flag pages and sections in multiple ways. Shapes, diagrams, text, etc move with note.
* Free 30-day trial on their web site.
V News
V Strong Mac Sales
V COO Time Cook pointed out some highlights
* Apple has opened 247 stores in eight countries and serves 400,000 customers per day.
* 50% of purchasers at Apple retails stores are new to the Mac.
* Apple US retail unit sales are 17.6% of the market, 31.3% in revenue
* Dominating in education? Cook says Apple is tops in US education notebooks with 39% market share, beating Dell
* According to Mac NN Gartner has crunched the latest numbers and the show Apple's total US market share at 9.5% up from 7.7% at the same time last year. That ranks Apple as 3rd in overall US PC shipments
V An Ive on design
* Jony Ive talks about the construction process of the Macbook
* "unibody"
V $999 White Macbook
* White plastic.
* 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* 120GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
* SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW), only new spec.
V The new 13" Macbook
V New "brick" construction
* 12.78 inches wide, 8.94 inches deep, and 0.95 inches thin.
* Weighs 4.5 pounds
V Features
* Ports all on left side
* MagSafe, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0, Mini Display Port, Analog/digital audio in and out, Kensington lock slot (locks battery door), and battery indicator.
* Built-in 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
* Built-in iSight
* Glossy LED-backit display
* Glass multitouch track pad with 40% more surface area. Trackpad is the button.
* Backlit keyboard on 2.4GHz model.
V Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with with 256MB of DDR3 shared RAM.
* 16 parallel graphics cores, delivers 54 gigiflops of graphics performance. Up to 5 x faster then Intel integrated.
* 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache.
* 8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
* 160GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA (2.0) or 250GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA (2.4). Options for 250GB or 320GB 5400-rpm hard drive or 128GB solid-state drive.
* 2GB DDR3 Memory
* 5 hour battery life.
* $1,299 USD for 2.0GHz and $1,599 USD for 2.4GHz
V Greener
* Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
* Mercury-free LED-backlit display
* Arsenic-free glass
* Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR)-free internal components
* PVC-free internal cables
* 41% smaller packaging
* Meets ENERGY STAR requirements and has an EPEAT Gold rating
V The new 15" Macbook Pros
V New "brick" construction
* 14.35 inches wide, 9.82 inches deep, and 0.95 inches thin.
* Weighs 5.5 pounds
V Features
* Ports all on left side
* MagSafe, Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x FireWire 800, 2 x USB 2.0, Mini Display Port, Analog/digital audio in and out, ExpressCard/34 slot, and battery indicator.
* Built-in 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
* Built-in iSight
* Glossy LED-backit display
* Glass multitouch track pad with 40% more surface area. Trackpad is the button.
* Backlit keyboard.
V NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor with dual-link DVI support; 256MB of GDDR3(2.4GHz) and 512MB of GDDR3 (2.53GHz and 2.8GHz). Alos, Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with with 256MB of DDR3 shared RAM.
* 9400M has16 parallel graphics cores, delivers 54 gigiflops of graphics performance
* 9600M GT has 32 cores and 125 gigiflops of graphics performance
* 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache or 2.53GHz or 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache
* 8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
* 250GB or 320GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive. Options for 250GB or 320GB 7200-rpm hard drives or 128GB solid-state drive
* 4GB DDR3 Memory (2.4GHZ) or 4GB DDR3 Memory (2.53GHz or 2.8GHz)
* 5 hour battery life using 9400M. 4 hours on 9600M
* $1,999 USD for 2.4GHz and $2,499 USD for 2.53GHz
V Greener
* Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
* Mercury-free LED-backlit display
* Arsenic-free glass
* Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR)-free internal components
* PVC-free internal cables
* 37% smaller packaging
* Meets ENERGY STAR requirements and has an EPEAT Gold rating
V The 17" Macbook Pro refresh
* LED-backlit 1920 x 1200 glossy display (can still get matte).
* 320GB hard drive or optional 128GB solid state drive.
* 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM;
V Macbook Air updates
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chipset
* 120GB 4200 rpm hard drive or 128GB solid state
* 2GB DDR3 SDRAM running at 1,066MHz
* Mini DisplayPort
* $1,799.00 USD on sale in November
V New 24" LCD Cinema Display
* Glossy glass LED backlit display. 1920 x 1200 resolution.
* Built-in iSight camera, microphone and stereo speakers.
* Mini display port, three-USB 2.0 ports, built-in MagSafe
* Requires a new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air with DisplayPort.
* Priced at US$899 and available in November (had one in store?)
V What did I like?
* Design is awesome. Unibody construction. Fit and Finish.
* LED backlit displays are bright and beautiful. Also kind to the environment.
* Easy upgradeability across the line (except the Air).
V Battery indicator, easy port access, battery latch.
* Battery and HD are under the battery cover. Locked with Kensington lock
* HD is on a sled and requires removing 1 screw. Flexible SATA connector cable.
* RAM is under the main back plate (above the battery compartment) Must remove 4 screws.
* Both "plates" tuck neatly into the main unibody top case. Nearly seamless fit.
V Dual GFX cards are interesting and we may see interesting things from this.
* Switching between cards now requires a log out.
* Controlled from the Energy Saver preferences (new icon)
V Trackpad, great despite no separate physical button. Right-click possible.
* 4-finger swipe to switch between apps and activate Expose.
* Macbook Air style keyboard. I like these, but you may not.
* Work with the iPhone headphones, mic and iTunes control.
* Not good, but interesting... tabs galore. One on the battery, one on the hard drive. Even one to remove the Macbook from the box.
V What did I dislike?
V Don't think they went low enough on the pricing. Would have liked to have seen at least $899 or $799.
* According to research by Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi if Apple would have priced a notebook at $900 it would increase it's addressable market by 50% in terms or revenue and 67% in unit sales. At $800 the potential addressable revenue market increase would be 69%.
* Analysts with UBS and Piper Jaffray think $999 may be enough. Get's price conscious consumers at least looking at the Mac and gives opportunity to up-sell them into the new $1,299 model which maintains Apple's high margins.
V Glass and Glossy only. Not bad for all, but designers, photographers, and artists might not like it. Finger prints and durability.
* Listener Michael sent me pictures of his new Macbook on a plane. With even with the shade closed the white cabin caused the screen to act like a mirror especially in any areas of the screen that were black. Effect was minimized by white backgrounds (but bezel was distracting and can't be changed).
* The top case, LCD, and glass are all one piece. Costly replacement should it break. (not that it wasn't before anyway).
V No Firewire on the Macbook.
* Jobs has pointed out that most newer HD video cameras on the market now support transfers over USB
* Not just about video. Backup to hard drives (sustained transfer rates, ESATA?). Audio interfaces.
* No target disk mode. For Mac to Mac transfers and Migration Assistant use a network or direct ethernet cable connection.
* Firewire adapters? May solve data transfer issues, but not camera control.
* Someone else has pointed out since iMovie '08 Apple has all but abandoned iMovie.
V DisplayPort adapter not included and Apple's Mini Display port might not be standard. Display Port is, but Apple seems to be the only one using a mini version.
* Adapters are $29.00, but if you want to drive the 30" the adapter for dual-link DVI is $99.00 and not available yet. (4-5 weeks)
* Old Cinema displays remain as is? Could have dropped the price?
* Refurbs are VERY attractive right now. 15" MBP 2.4 GHZ, 200 GB drive, 2GB RAM, FW 400 & 800, Full DVI port, $1,349.00USD. Just $150 more then a entry level AL Macbook
V NVIDIA Graphics details
* Chip was originally intended for Desktops, but Apple worked with NVIDIA to get it for notebooks. Apple is the first with the new chip, but doesn't have exclusive rights.
V The GeForce 9400M
* Single chip. 70% dedicated to GPU functions. 30% for the chipset
* Uses 256MB of system RAM (plus another 16MB to drive an external display).
* 6 Times faster then the Intel GMA X3100. Operates at about 55% of the 3D graphics performance found in the previous MBP NVIDIA 8600M GT GPU . In general graphics testing the chip shows about 82% the performance of the dedicated 8600M GT.
V Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT GPU
* 256MB or 512MB of dedicated DDR3 RAM
* Improves performance by about 2 times vs using the integrated graphics.
V Run one GPU at a time which is controlled from the Energy Saver preferences and requires a logout and login. Fast user switching?
V From some of the images seemed to me like when on the dedicated 9600M GT it used the chipset portion of the 9400M
* APC notes the chipst in the new Macbooks is the NVIDIA MCP79, which would be the one in the Integrated NVIDA chips.
* An AppleInsider piece seems to confirm my suspicions. Looks like the 9400M chipset is the controller on the new Macbooks, replacing the Intel Northbridge and Southbridge controllers (separate chips) for controlling SATA, USB, Audio, networking, PCIe, wi-fi, etc.
* Wondering about enabliing instant switching with software updates, also Snow Leopard, OpenCL (Open Computing Language).
* NVIDIA's sites does say they support using both chips at once (they call it GeForce Boost), but their site notes it is when using a NVIDIA Hybrid SLI-enabled motherboard.
* Gizmodo points out that the new MBP battery has a 16% lower capacity then the old one. Explains why you get 1 hour less battery life when using the discreet GPU (only choice on the old models). This is even with the new Macbook Pro more energy efficient DDR3 RAM. They also note starting with a smaller pool of juice (4700mAh/50Wh vs. 5600mAh/60Wh in the old model) you may need to replace the battery sooner as it ages.
V Mini DisplayPort details
* A new open industry standard promoted by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA).
V Very small connector. Uses pass-through to allow support for VGA, DVI, and dual-link DVI displays using adapters.
* No word on composite or S-video support or adapters
* Can drive up to 30-inch Cinema display even with the GeForce 9400M
* Support for both High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) and DisplayPort Content Protection (DPCP). Preventing hijacking of the signal between the computer and the display.
* Support internal chip-to-chip communication which allows for the elimination os control circuits.
V Other details not mentioned
* Apple's 14-day return policy and the 10% "restocking fee". Talk to a manager or second-tier support and you might get that fee waived.
* The new units are the first with SATA optical drives. Makes it possible to maybe replace the optical with a second HD?
* Macbook and Macbook Pros RAM slots support the 1066 MHz PC-8500 specification
* New system have a special build of Leopard 10.5.5, 9F2114. New Energy Saver and Trackpad icons 4 finger swipe and secondary click options.
V New version of Migration Assistant 1.2.2 (174). Said to be faster and allow for pausing of the migration if macs lose connection.
* Apple released the Migration and DVD/CD Sharing Update which includes Migration Assistant 1.2.3, Mac OS X Remote Install 1.1, and DVD or CD Sharing.
* Takes removing 56 screws to remove the keyboard on the Macbooks and Macbook Pros.
V Some early benchmark and performance numbers are out.
* According to MacRumors Primate Labs benchmarking shows processor and memory performance is not much improved over the prior models. Not too surprising since the processors haven't changed much. There is faster memory and bus speed though.
* ArsTechnica took a look at gaming performance and was mostly impressed. PCMag showed large increases in 3D benchmarks.
* MacRumors readers are reporting h.264 video playback may be accelerated. Using up to 1/3 the CPU of previous Macbooks. This is not confirmed, and so far seems to no be the case for all h.264 encoded videos.
* Electronista sites a recent DisplaySearch report that shows notebook sales should remain strong despite the slowing economy.
V What's next?
* Buy 'em while you can. Early reports of sell outs at US Apple stores started appearing near the end o last week. On Wednesday my local Apple Store was out of the higher end 15" Macbook Pro models. Apple's online store still seems to be quoting 1-3 day ship times.
V 17" Macbook Pro updates?
* Rumors from MacNN and Apple Insider say optical drive and display issues caused them not to be part of Tuesdays launch.
* Sources indicate that the 17" will eventually be updated to match their smaller siblings, but that rev might not happen might not happen for "several" months. Possibly early 2009.
V Blueray, Don't hold your breath. Jobs called it a "bag of hurt" mostly due to licensing complexities from Sony. Also slow uptake and don't want to pass high costs onto consumers.
* Who does it benefit? Discs are $20 US for blanks. Movies?
V iMac updates in November according to AppleInsider
* CPU refresh, NVIDIA Graphics and Display Port connectors.
V Macbook and Macbook Pro software update 1.2
* New models already have their fist software update
* "improves compatibility with external displays and includes a variety of software fixes."
* Available via software update on the new notebooks or via Apple's support website
V Apple offers fixes for NVIDIA flaws in older Macbooks
* The Mac Observer is reporting that last week Apple acknowledged a flaw in the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT video processor found in some last edition MacBook Pro models.
* Apple launched a repair program for owners of the 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 2.4GHz 17-inch MacBook Pro, and the early 2008 model MacBook Pro manufactured between May 2007 and September 2008.
* If you have one of the qualifying systems and have been experiencing video issues. Contact Applecare or visit your local Apple store for repair or replacement.
* Apple's program will cover these system for any NVIDIA video issues for up to 2 years from the date of original purchase.
V New Snow Leopard features detailed
* AppleInsider has rumors from inside source on some new features in the latest developer builds of Snow Leopard
V The Finder has reportedly been finally re-written in Cocoa, or at least "wrapped" in it.
* Layer of Cocoa around the Carbon code
* It's also said that many of the non-native built-in Apple apps in Snow Leopard might get the same Cocoa "wrapped" treatment.
* Support for Microsoft Exchange 2007. Developer have been asked to focus testing on capabilities, such as scheduling events in iCal, adding contacts to Address Book 5.0, and automated account configuration in Mail.
* Boot Image
V Be on your guard. Avoid MacGuard.
* TUAW reports on MacGuard which claims to be a new adware, spyware, and trojan removal software.
* They were alerted by the folks at Intego, who do make good Mac security software, that Mac Guard is just a clone of Winiguard which is a "Rouge Security Program" (actually malware) from Innovagest 2000 SL.
* According to the TUAW piece Mac Guard may just be a front for collecting personal and credit card data. Avoid this site and software at all costs.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V USB Webcam updates
* Robert and Sutter recommend eCamm's iUSBCam for non-UVC (USB Video Class) cameras. $9.95 USD and try before buy.
* Jeremy says his XBox 360 USB cam works "out of the box" under Leopard.
V Don't discount Emoji
* Chris says I was too harsh on Emoji support in iPhone 2.2
* Emoji are not just a way to decorate SMS and email - they are a way to express full thoughts and ideas.
* He lives in Japan and thinks the addition will have a significant impact on iPhone sales over there.
V Time Machine resets on restore to new Mac
* Play comment from John
* My guess is because Time Machine uses a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) to identify the source volume being backed up. On a new system this identifier would change even if the volume name was the same.
* Good reminder for multiple forms of backup and archives.
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
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* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* Merlin 2, Project Wizards - Project management, Gantt Charts, MS Project import/export
* Zarra Studios, iWeb Buddy - iWeb post-processor, Add Google analytics, and work with multiple domain files.
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
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V "Sore Dog" by Montgomery A Thousand
* Original music by Keiichi
* Available on iTunes
* Artist's MySpace page
V EOL: Lego Apple Store
* An Apple Store made from LEGO. (via TUAW)