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Monday, November 14, 2005

UpGrades on All!

Well it looks like there's a lot out there on the horizon. but let's first look at what some have on hand.

First, it looks like the guys over at Macs Only have gotten their Quad G5, and have showed their test results.
"The speed tests are composed of a series of 'canned' benchmark applications and several so-called 'real world' tests that anyone can repeat on their own Mac for comparison by following the steps that we perform," Fox writes. "Here are the results comparing the new Quad 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with the previous generation dual 2.5GHz model. Both were upgraded to 1.5GB of RAM. The Quad has the stock Nvidia 6600 graphics card while the Dual has an upgraded Nvidia 6800 Ultra graphics card. Both were running Mac OS X 10.4.3 from the same hard drive."


"Surprisingly, the Quad with a stock Nvidia 6600 graphics card beat the Dual with an Nvidia 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card in the Quake III Arena and Doom3 3D game tests. This is likely due to the Quad's four CPU cores. We know that Quake is a multiprocessor-aware application. Perhaps, Doom3 is also. The Quad did poorly with the Halo test, running at less than half the frame rate of the Dual, so we'd have to drop the visual quality of the test settings in Halo to play it well. The Quad also had a reduced frame rate running Call of Duty but it is still playable at our test settings. We played several hours of Call of Duty on the Quad without noticing a significant difference."

more here

Apple has been upgrading its tech support "Discussions boards" over the weekend. The revamped discussion boards will be worth the wait. New features will include a improved search engine, capable of searching for numbers and running proximity searches.

Discussions will also offer RSS support, so users will be able to track topics using Safari RSS.
Another new feature will enable users to mark posts as a question and then to later mark it as answered. This means other users will be able to quickly navigate to threads that contain answers to problems.

The URL also changed from http://discussions.info.apple.com to http://discussions.apple.com.
As of 11:30am this morning I'm having problems with the pages loading slowly or incorrectly or not loading at all. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

Rumor Alert!!!
According to the Apple Insider:
"Apple Computer is on track to introduce the first Macs with Intel processors as early as January, which should help the company avoid any potential sales slow down in the first half of 2006".


They are also saying that that the iMac and PowerBook are targeted to be the first two Mac models to receive Intel processors in January and Apple will be updating their associated product lines for the second time in as little as four months.

As mentioned before, Apple may release a upgrade to 10.4.4 before xmas. It seems The first seed of Mac OS X 10.4.4 fell into developers' hands late Sunday. Build 8G7 delivers about 30 fixes and improvements, according to seed notes accompanying the update.

Several bugs related to Quartz Composer have been corrected with this build. DVD player,GarageBand and USB/FireWire audio is also said to have been fixed or improved.

Other News
A developer by the name of Martin Hering is working on a new project called MediaCentral. Inspired by both Apple's Front Row and the CenterStage project, it aims to be a media center player for many media types.

Lubbi from iPodwizard.net has put together a tutorial that shows you how to change string constants into an image. This tip will teach you how to add image to menu items to the iPod's file menu system.

The University of Portsmouth is using podcasts to help potential students to make informed decisions about where to study.

The scheme will be developed over the next few months and will include useful tools for existing students such as course documentation and advice about careers, including student enterprise and setting up a business.

"Eventually we hope to have students showcasing their work to employers through Podcasting," said Claire Sambrook, Senior Lecturer in the department of Creative Technologies.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple offered to donate copies of Mac OS X for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)$100(US) laptop program.

The $100 laptop program is a project developed by the MIT Media Lab to provide inexpensive computers to school children in developing countries. The laptops can run off an electric adapter, or generate its own power with a hand crank.

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