Tag Archives: macbook

Stop the Facebook Chain Message Madness!

If you’re on Facebook, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Recently, we’ve seen more than our fair share of chain messages making their way around, but not in our Inbox. These lovely little pieces of garbage are being sported right in the status boxes of thousands of profiles! One message claimed that if you re-posted it as your status, Facebook would donate a dollar to the Haiti relief efforts. Yet another was supposedly only for women. They were supposed to post their color of certain undergarments in their status pane, leaving the men to guess what it referred to.

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before things like this made their way onto social media platforms. We’ve already had to deal with “legitimate” spam, of course. Now, we have to try not to tear out our hair every time we see yet another of these over-forwarded messages on Facebook and even Twitter. I promise you… Facebook isn’t donating a dollar for every person that posts that particular message. And, of course, you aren’t going to see some random woman’s bra or panties if you post the color of them in your status!

Just think about what you’re doing before you blindly click on or forward a link? And if you need links to click on, try these – posted by our community today. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Don’t forget to take a moment to stop by our software center to see what hot new software deals we have for you today!

Is a Virtual Friend a Real Friend?

Recently, I asked you whether you had met anyone in “real” life who you had become friends with online. Today, I read a heart-wrenching post on Geeks. One of our long-time community members unexpectedly lost his mom two days ago. The poster talks about how he lives several hundred miles from his family. While waiting to travel home, he turned to his friends in our community for support.

The support was instant and unconditional. This reinforces the fact that you don’t have to necessarily meet someone face-to-face in order to form a true and lasting bond. Many deep friendships are made online, only to have the involved persons never lay eyes on each other (beyond webcams and photos). I see it happen every day. I witness the bonds that many of our regular community members share.

This is why I do what I do, folks… YOU. I love the community… the bonds that are formed… the lasting relationships that withstand time and distance. The community we have is why Kat loves her job so much, as well. She’s said it many times, and seeing the post from this community member just proves her point. In the twelve or so years she has been managing communities online, she has been fortunate to form friendships with people from all around the world. These people laugh with each other, cry with each other… get angry together and then become happy again together. They go through life’s experiences together… and that is such an amazing thing to witness.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the real power of friendship through a virtual friend? How has someone(s) you may only know online touched or changed your life? Feel free to share your own thoughts on one of our community sites. There are a lot of good things being posted on a daily basis by all of you!

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what new deals we have for you today!

Are You a Part of the Apple Revolution?

Geek!This is Sage Naumann’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Over the past ten years, Apple has really changed its style. Some say for the better, some say for the worse. Let’s see what computers (and other devices) were the cornerstones for the Apple “Revolution” that we know of today.

  • iMac G3 – Yep, the dreaded, heavy, and slow iMac G3 is number five. This computer took computing to a whole new level. A big screen, a nice color selection, and propaganda posters that tell you to “collect them all”, as if its a Pokemon commercial. Sadly, many of these iMacs lives have ended… either from you chucking them out of your third story apartment, or just setting in your garage to rot.
  • The iBook G3 Clamshell – Remember that thing that looks like a five-year-old’s “Learning ABCs and 123s” toy? Yep! The iBook G3 Clamshell. No faster than the iMac G3, so how is it above it on the top five list? Its because if you ever come across an iBook G3, look how slim it is! No, don’t compare it to your Macbook Air, compare it to that old IBM Thinkpad from 1999 or 2000. See how amazing that laptop was? It re-invented the meaning of “laptop” or “portable computer”, and that is why it is number four on this list.
  • The iBook G3 (Snow White) – Soon after the iBook G3 Clamshell came a sleeker, more defined, and very professional computer called the iBook G3 (Snow White). Compare this laptop to the 1st Gen White Macbook. See the resemblance? Thats because the Ibook was the cornerstone to the Apple design. The iBook G4, and the White Macbook also inherited this design, with some smaller improvements and changes. These iBooks are still being used today, because some ran at 900 MHz, with a 14′ screen.
  • The Macbook Air – Even though it is my least favorite Apple computer on the market, that does not mean it threw Apple’s competitors off their tracks. It’s so thin, that it is the “Portable Computer” of our time. Since then, competitors like Hewlett-Packard have taken the bid to make a laptop just as thin. Will they ever be as stylish?
  • The iPod – Remember when the first iPod came out? An inch thick, it looked like a brick? Well, that “brick” changed the way we looked at… or shall I say, listened to… technology. No more CDs jammed in our pockets. No more boom boxes. Now they have touch screens (iPod Touch)! It’s hard to say you don’t own one. Without the iPod, Apple’s computers might not be where they are today.

Now, you might disagree with this list – and I am sorry if you do. Hope you guys liked it, and please leave me comments on what you think about YOUR favorite Apple products!

How can You Protect Your MacBook?

If you have a MacBook, you are likely protective of it. Notebooks are stolen every day, especially from college students. Would you like another layer of protection? TotalTechie from our live community sent in the following recommendation for all of us to try.

iAlertU is the ultimate free MacBook protection system. To activate and deactivate, you simply hold the menu button on your Apple Remote. This application runs in the background, so it doesn’t show up or interfere with you work, except for on the menu bar at the top of the screen.

So here’s the point. If anyone moves your MacBook, touches your keyboard, starts to close the screen, moves the Trackpad/mouse, unplugs the AC adapter, or unplugs any devices, an alarm goes off and a picture of the person is taken. The picture is sent through Mail.app to any specified email. Note that an account must be set up in Mail.app for this to work. This can be especially useful for college kids in dorms. People are always in and out of the dorms, and I know several people who had their MacBooks stolen.

Thanks to TotalTechie for this information that many of our readers may not have known. iAlertU is completely free, and can mean the difference between a stolen MacBook, and one that a potential thief runs away from.

Laptop Fire

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James Bayliss is an active community member of ours. He was the creator of the “bouncing Chris heads”. I got an email from him with a picture attached of a burned-up laptop! It actually happened to his Macbook Pro today. He was on a Skype call with me for this video. James is now having to use Vista on his Windows machine, and it won’t recognize his web cam.

James says that he was sitting at his desk and reading Digg. He heard a pop, and suddenly the MBP started sparking and smoking… and his desk started catching on fire, too! He was slapping at the small flames to get them put out, and burned his hand. He then called Apple, and started explaining the problem. He had to answer nearly 100 questions on the phone. They even asked if he had to call the fire department, or if they needed to send out an adjuster to check for damage to his house.

They don’t want him even touching the machine, due to potential danger. He’s not sure exactly what happened. He feels it was likely a processor or something. He says it is so melted, it’s impossible to tell. James also noted that a flame literally shot OUT of the MBP! We’re really hoping this is an isolated freak incident, and won’t lead to any kind of recall. From the picture, it looks like the melted area is on the back, towards the bottom of the machine.

At the time it happened, James wasn’t even doing anything processor intensive. He was simply browsing on Digg, and checking his email. He heard the pop and picked up the machine… only to have flames start shooting out while it was in his hands!! The machine was less than a year old. Apple was extremely cordial to this point, and are willing to do whatever they can to take care of this properly. They are even willing to check for damage to his desk, and anything else in his room at the time. It’s wonderful to see that Apple is so far ready to jump in to make this right. The actual Head of Apple Europe gave James his email and private home phone number.

James plans to keep me informed as this unfolds, and let me know how things go. While this was an unfortunate incident… all of us in the community are really glad you’re ok.

Luke Skywalker

After posting this, I received several follow-up emails from other readers who have unfortunately encountered similar problems. This email comes from Patrick:

I had a similar situation with my MacBook two months ago. I was in a room adjacent to the room where the MacBook was, playing my 360. I paused the game to use the restroom, and I smelled something extremely hot. I started walking around the house to see what was hot. As I walked into the room where the MacBook was, I saw the connection between the Magsafe power adapter and the power port on the MacBook was glowing red! I immediately unplugged the power adapter. This happened about 3:00 AM in the morning. I called apple only to find out they were closed.

POST UPDATE A few weeks after posting this, I received the following email from Tom.

I have heard something that you might be interested to know. A friend of mine who bought a Mac Pro awhile back was experiencing problems with his battery charge running down faster than it should. For instance, a full battery charge would be run down in under a half hour! He contacted Apple, who advised him to take it in to a local Apple store. He did that, and the tech who looked it over kept trying to get the laptop away from my friend, saying he was very lucky. Apparently, they have been going through problems with batteries overheating, and in some cases even exploding. He talked to my friend about it, telling him a number of people had reported their Macbooks expanding over time. He demonstrated this by putting the laptop down on the counter, and spinning it around. Low and behold, it was lifted slightly from the counter by the bulging battery!! The tech told my friend he was lucky, due to the severity of his particular case. Most others had exploded before reaching such a point! Needless to say, they replaced his battery free of charge, and gave his Macbook a thorough testing. All has been well since then.


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MacBook Air Review: Stupid Decision?

Calacanis loves his, but I’m not so sure the MacBook Air is everything it’s cracked up to be. Roshan Patel submitted a “Top Five Reasons I Wouldn’t Buy a MacBook Air” this morning, after watching my recent one-second review on YouTube:

  1. No Optical (CD/DVD) Drive. I know that during the unveil at MacWorld, it was announced that you are able to use another system’s drive in order to install data, and also download your wanted DVDs from the iTunes store, but I already own many many DVDs (as discs), and installing wirelessly would virtually guarantee slower speeds. An Optical Drive is available, but why do I have to pay more for a basic item?
  2. Fragile. Apple also detailed that the case is aluminum and is very strong but I simply don’t trust it. The LCD casing is very thin, and I think that even a slight knock could bend the back (where the Apple Logo is) inward and completely destroy the display.
  3. Only One USB Port. In a world where USB powers virtually everything, I can’t just use one port. Yes, I could buy a Hub, but that would simply eradicate the portability element of a Notebook.
  4. Speed. Being considerably small, and containing small components such as processors, this could potentially run at high intensity heat, and could effectively narrow the usage life of the system. I know I have no point of reference, but I tend to use a “What If” scenario before purchasing something new.
  5. Price. Now this is what I deem to be the most important element of why I would not buy a MacBook Air. The only reason that I would even seriously consider purchasing a MacBook Air would be for the Solid-State drive, but paying more money for this, for less memory, at 64GB (80GB HDD) is a waste of time, so to avoid this, why wouldn’t I just buy a standard MacBook?

I would agree with my fellow geek from the trenches…

Apple Macbook Battery Help

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There are a few tips I have when it comes to keeping track of your battery health and performance. You can do these things from inside your Macbook, or by using a great little application I discovered.

On the battery itself, there is a tiny little ‘button’, for lack of a better word. If you push this, a guage will light up, telling you how much charge is left in the battery. This works whether the battery is installed in the machine, or taken out of it like I have here.

Inside your Macbook, you can go up to the left hand corner, and click the Apple logo. Choose the “About this Mac”, and head to the System Profiler. Once there, click on the “Power” section. You’ll see all the battery information listed to the right. You can find out about:

  • Charge information
  • Charge remaining
  • Full charge capacity
  • Battery health
  • Voltage
  • Amperage
  • Exact model information in case a replacement is ever needed

There’s also a program available called coconutBattery. coconutBattery isn’t just a tool which shows you only the current charge of your battery – it also shows you the current maximum capacity of it in relation to the original capacity your battery had as it left the factory.
You also get information about the battery-loadcycles (how often did you fully load your battery), the current charger (coconutBattery even warns you if you plugged in a wrong charger for your Notebook) and last but not least information about the age of your Mac. Best of all, you can save the current state of your battery, and then track its performance over time. Oh… and did I mention this program is absolutely free?

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Helping Ponzi with her MacBook Pro

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Ponzi is having trouble getting everything installed that she will need for our trip to Germany. So, of course, I had to give her a hand!

I taught Ponzi several neat little tricks, such as just dragging and dropping onto the desktop, or into the Applications folder. She is having trouble with some Widgets, as well. Now, she know the handy little shortcut of “Command + Q” to close out of the program.

Somehow, we get from installing things on the MacBook Pro to problems with her iPod. Apparently, Ponzi decided to take a shortcut to get things to watch on the plane… and downloaded TV Shows from iTunes. Of course, that didn’t go as planned… and I find out not only won’t the iPod sync, it also is making a grinding noise! Stay tuned for the next video to see that conclusion!

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Back to School Laptop

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – A caller wonders whether he should get a Windows-based laptop for school, or a MacBook. He plans to do school work on it of course… but also some gaming.

25% of Microsoft MVPs have said that people should wait to use Vista until SP1 is released sometime early next year. In light of that, and my own opinions on Vista, I recommend one of two things. Either buy a Windows laptop with Vista preinstalled, wipe it, and load XP on it. Or… buy a MacBook. You can use Boot Camp to create a new partition on your Mac and install Windows. Then, you can either dual boot between OS X and Windows… or wipe out OS X altogether and run your MacBook under Windows entirely.

If you’re going to use this laptop as a gaming system, you cannot skimp on hardware. I fully believe that when it comes to hardware, you get what you pay for. I would definitely choose ATI over nVidia for a graphics card if you can. I’ve heard too many people having issues with nVidia drivers in Vista.

When it comes down to it, you need to look at your price range, and your desires. Do your research. But if you want my recommendation… go with the Mac.

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Black MacBook Video

Tibor Ratkai sent me an email this morning, notifying me that my voice (as well as Ponzi’s) has been used without our permission for a video Mac-Essentials.de just produced on the new black MacBooks. Well, let me be the first to say: COOL! If they thought Derek’s remix was awesome enough to use for the video soundtrack, who am I to argue? My only wish is that the video could’ve been longer. I don’t think we ever would have found out about this if it weren’t for Tibor. Don’t know if it makes me wanna run out and get a black MacBook yet, but it certainly gives me bragging rights – to say that my voice played a pivotal role in a German video about new Apple laptops. How’s that for obscure?

I don’t know if I’d buy one of Apple’s new MacBooks right now or not. I’d much rather wait until OS X has Boot Camp baked into the operating system. That, and I’m waiting for Apple to release a few more generations of the MacBook running on the Intel platform. I’m in no rush to upgrade to a piece of hardware that might very well be a PoS. Apple’s done a good job with the MacBook, don’t get me wrong – but I’m just not enthusiastic about running out and buying one. Making the MacBook black is enticing, but not anything more than “interesting” to me as a tech enthusiast today. Ask Andru from GearLive what he thinks after he was forced to leave Boot Camp.