Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Apple releases the new Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is in some senses the most inovative product launched by Apple in the last year: it is a complete computer, with all technology (hardware and software) that Apple is used to provide, but in a very compact case that you can take everywhere. More important than this, the Mac Mini has a very good price for an Apple machine -- starting from $499, it is, as has been said by the company, the most affordable Mac ever.

Now, Apple goes back to the same theme, but tries to make the Mac Mini even more attactive than before. Being a machine so apt to work on the living room, it certainly needed a remote control (even more than the iMac). So, now the Mac Mini comes standard with front row, the technology that allow macs use the same interface of the iPods.

More changes to Mac Mini have been introduced: now, it has speed to be really competitive with other machines, from Apple or not. The new Intel Core (in two configurations Solo or Duo), provides all the power necessary to run the most processor hungry multimedia applications. With all the software available for the Apple platform, it is now a breeze to use the iMac mini to run the software necessary for a modern living room.

This, with the innovative form factor makes the Mac mini a great system for new users that want to use Mac to improve their digital lifestyles - Pictures, movies, music, and great applications.

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Apple releases the new iPod Hi-Fi

The iPod is a great success with around 40 millions users in the US only. Given the huge number of people owning iPods, it is not difficult to see the huge demand for sound systems compatible with the iPod. Other companies are delivering everyday new products trying to fill this gap.

Apple is now trying to take part of this market that they own created. During the especial announcement of this Tuesday, Steve Jobs presented the new iPod Hi-Fi: a stereo system created specially for the iPod. From the Apple store here are some of the feature os the iPod Hi-Fi:

  • World-class acoustic design
  • Large soundstage
  • Precise imaging and separation
  • Wide frequency range
  • Room-filling power without distortion
  • Seamless iPod integration
  • Apple Remote
  • AC and DC modes
  • Analog/digital input
  • Compact footprint

If you need a world-class music system, from the same creators of the iPod, there is probably no other way to achieve the same results in terms of sound quality and integration with iPod technologies.

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Apple announces new products today

Apple announces new products today

In the typical Apple and Steve Jobs way, a "special announcement" is scheduled for today, 10am pacific time. The only prior announcement from Apple has been that "cool products" will be presented to the public.

With such cryptic announcements, wide speculation has grown in the major mac web sites. Most people believe that new computers with the Intel processor will be released. However, it is not discarded the possibility that a new iPod, this time with a bigger screen, will be presented by Steve Jobs.

It is a game of secrecy that Apple plays with the media and aficionados every couple of months. We hope that this time again the waiting is justified with very "cool products".

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Viruses threatening Mac OS

One of the big advantages of Macs compared to Windows has the resilience of Mac OS X. Based on the UNIX underpinnings, Mac OS X is an industrial strength UNIX that has been tailored for the desktop by Apple. The fact that Mac OS X is based on the Darwin kernel has made it much more secure than Windows.

During the last few years, while Windows users have been plagued by a constant assault of viruses, spyware, trojan horses, and other malware, Apple's Mac OS X has appeared immune to this type of problem.

This perception has changed, however, after two possible threats to Mac OS X have been found on less than one week. The problems, based on the way simple files are handled by the operating system, have been demonstrated to be possible to explore in order to compromise the system's security.

While this may look frightening, remember that the security flaws have just been shown as "concepts" and not real virus. Even if a real virus or worm is created for Mac OS X, it is very difficult that it will have the same consequences as on a Windows system. Most files on a Mac are protected against damage using file permissions. So, although the problems revealed this week show that Macs are not invulnerable, there is still a long way to go for virus creators if they want to make a life out of Apple computers.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PowerBook is retired from Apple store

The PowerBooks are one if the most beloved laptops of all time. I myself have one and am very proud of the little machine. This week, however, their became something of the past.

According to Macworld the PowerBook of 15-inch has been removed from the Apple online store. Apple is now only accepting orders for the new Intel-based MacBook, which is supposed to be finally delivered this month.


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Saturday, February 11, 2006

A bit of Mac history

Do you remember when the Apple II was first launched? And what about its features, such as processor, screen definition, and disks? What versions the Apple Newton had? An how many megabites were necessary to run Apple Mac OS 8?

If you are a very hard core fan you may remember some of these facts. But if you want to know this and wants to see much more, you should visit the Apple history web site.

In Apple history you can find the facts about every single machine that was designed and manufactured by Apple since its beginning almost 30 years ago. And you will certainly become fascinated with the detail of some products that are not available anymore (with the exception of a few collectors' items). Run by Apple aficionados, the site has a complete collection of data about these machines, which is periodically updated with more accurate facts.

For all mac fans, students of computing history, or simply curious people, a visit to this site will represent moments not only of learning, but also of pure fun.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Apple unveils the new 1MB iPod

It is not from today that people is considering the question: will Apple sell a version of the iPod with a smaller memory? Will this new version be introduced at the expense of the iPod shuffle?

Well, both questions have been answered today. The answer is: yes Apple is adding a new model to the iPod family, the 1MB iPod nano for just $149.

The idea of the 1MB iPod nano is easy to understand - people love the design of the iPod nano, but many still feel that it is too pricey for the small amount of memory, compared to its larger brother iPod video (if you can call the iPod video big, anyway...).

But this new version will not kill the iPod shuffle, in fact it will make it more attractive. The new versions of the iPod shuffle are now priced at $69 (500 MB) and $100 (1GB). Thus, Apple in one stroke makes it even harder for other companies to compete in terms of features (iPod nano) and price (both iPod nano and shuffle).

I don't see how closer Apple can get to total domination of the music player market. If it was already difficult to compete with the original prices, now it will be hard to justify anyone to buy any music player that is not from Apple. Another smart move that will certainly reflect in the selling of iPods for the next few months.

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