Recently in Computers Category

Hard disk crash and Time Machine

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Harddiskcheck.pngIt happened shortly before christmas. I was working with my MacBook (on the sofa) and all of a sudden I could only move windows around. Couldn't switch to another program, couldn't actually work with the program I had open. Very strange, I thought, this never happened before with my trusty OS X. The only thing I could do was to turn off the machine. Then it didn't want to reboot any more. On closer inspection, I realized that the disk was making a strange repetitive clicking noise and was constantly changing its rpm. Great, broken disk!
I had been working for 4 days since my last backup. Lucky guy, you might think, but NO! 4 full days of coding work were lost, and of course in those days I managed to solve a lot of important problems. Later when I made up the lost work, I realized that I remembered quite well what it was, so I was finished in less than half the time, and it might even be better than the first version. But we will never be able to tell.

So I had to get a new disk. Top priorities for me are energy efficiency (especially in a notebook), low noise, and great performance/price ratio. This meant the very large disks and the very fast disks were out of the question. I settled with a Samsung HM320JI with 320 GB, which is a 5400 rpm model, so it runs cooler and quieter than the faster 7200 rpm drives. The speed is great, too, compared to my previous 120 GB drive.

Here's what I did to be able to work again:

MacBook and Kensington Lock

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What did I read this morning... Kensington locks don't work with the new MacBooks! Bummer. Could Apple really design the Kensington lock slot in a way that it doesn't fit a Kensington lock? I couldn't believe it, so I tried for myself:

Alien technology - the new MacBook

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It arrived here yesterday: The brick, aka Apple MacBook Aluminum or Unibody MacBook. I'm sure you've read about it somewhere. Isn't it amazing how much press this company gets when they introduce a new product? I mean in relation to their market share. But that's only surprising at first sight, because Apple has been and still is a pioneer when it comes to computers and user interfaces. Even if only few people buy Apple's products, they have a huge influence on other manufacturers' products.

Apple's switch from PowerPC to Intel in 2006 was exciting in that their computers got a nice speed-bump and were more competitively priced. But it also made the computers somewhat more PC-like. Not that they got that bad, not at all, but some of the charme of the old times was lost. For example, ventilator noise or waiting for the system to wake up from (hibernation) sleep mode was something hardly known to Mac users until then. But they really made up for this with the great Mac OS X and the beautiful designs of their machines. But Macs and PCs are since then apparently easier to compare.

Since the competition is not sleeping, PCs have improved, too. It was time for Apple to come up with something to set themselves apart from the rest again, and the new Aluminum MacBooks are exactly that. Here's my review.