Snow Leopard UTD finally arrived

After 6 days since the release of Snow Leopard, my UTD discs finally came in the mail yesterday. I was somewhat upset during launch day when my order status said backordered. It’s puzzling that the company who made the software and distributes it, is backordered. I could’ve gone to the store and bought a full version. I heard they had a ton there.

My co-worker got his full version copy 10am that day. I couldn’t wait so I borrowed it from him after he upgraded his MBP and upgraded my MBP. So far I’ve gotten a few app crashes but it seems after the first crash, they tend to run normal again. I hear 10.6.1 is around the corner so it should fix some stuff.

Anyways, here are some pics I took.

snow leopard osx

snow leopard osx

snow leopard osx

As you can see from the 3rd pic, the UTD (Up to date) discs are upgrade only. The retail $30 ones should be full versions. Another thing I noticed is there is a Optional Install folder now on the disc. It has OS X applications such as Mail, iCal, Address Book, etc. Also has Rosetta. This is great coz in the past, if any of the apps needs to be reinstalled, you can either copy it from another working OS X and fix the permissions or reinstall OS X. Now just pop in the Snow Leopard disc and you can install it anytime.

Here’s a before and after pic of my hard drive on my Mac Mini MB138LL/A. Notice the changes to the hard drive size.

Here’s an article that explains about the capacity change – http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=589.

ExpressCard Adapter for MBP 13″

One of my few gripes about my new Macbook Pro 13” is no ExpressCard slot. Coming from the first gen MBP 15”, I used it for my Verizon V740 internet card. Well I found the solution. Apiotek made a USB to ExpressCard adapter – UB-EC01. I bought mine from Macsales.com. It took only 2 days to arrive.

I had to reinstall the Verizon software before it recognized it and worked. Because it plugs in the a USB port, I lose one port and the device sticks out. I don’t mind much since I use a bluetooth mouse and I got my portable internet device working again. Verizon wanted me to sign a brand new 2 year contract if I wanted to get a new device that plugs in to the USB – hell no! Here are some pics I took.

expresscard adapter

macbook pro mb990lla

My new MBP 13″ MB990LL/A

I finally bought the new Macbook Pro 13” MB990LL/A last Saturday. It’s replacing my first gen Macbook Pro 15” MA464LL/A. It’s 3 years old and still works great but it overheats. I was able to get a free iPod Touch 8GB and a $100 towards a printer – after rebate. I thought I could pull out my old hard drive from my 15” and swap it with the 13” but I was wrong. I’m guessing because the processor is different – Core Duo and Core 2 Duo. It took half of Saturday to transfer my files over but I got it to how I had my old laptop on the new one. With the help of Migration Assistant, the task was simple. It only took longer than I thought because I had a lot of files to transfer over.

I’ve already upgraded the storage with a Seagate 500GB hard drive and I’m planning on upgrading the ram to 4GB. So far, what has impressed me is the battery life compared to my old MBP. Here’s a comparison between my old and new MBP current setup.

MB990LL/A (new) MA464LL/A (old)
Processor: 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo
Memory: 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 (Upgradeable to 8GB) 2GB 667MHz DDR2 PC2-5300 (max)
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA 5400rpm 100GB SATA 5400rpm
Grapics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9400m 256MB shared ATI Mobility Radeo X1600 256MB GDD3 dedicated
Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy 1280×800 resolution 15.4-inch TFT 1440×900 resolution
Expansion: One FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps), two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps), SD card slot One FireWire 400, two USB 2.0 ports, and ExpressCard/34 slot
Network: Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ethernet Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ethernet (didn’t know it had Gigabit)
Wireless: Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (based on IEEE 802.11n draft specification); built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) module Built-in 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme (802.11g standard); built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
Weight: 4.5 pounds 5.6 pounds

My old MBP was a work horse so I expect nothing less with the new one. I am however, taking a big hit on the video card being shared but I won’t be doing much video editing as I thought I did in the beginning.

Here is my initial Pros and Cons on the MBP 13” compared to my old MBP 15”.

Pros:

  • Improved battery life
  • Upgrading HDD and ram is painless
  • Runs at a lower temperature
  • Trackpad gestures similar to the iPhone
  • Firewire 800
  • SD Card reader
  • Cheaper
  • Ram is expandable to 8GB
  • Core 2 Duo

Cons:

  • Shared video memory. I noticed a much lower FPS while playing WoW and visit a heavy populated area – while running other programs in the backgroun (ie: iTunes, Firefox, Quicktime, and other apps)
  • No ExpressCard slot
  • No Firewire 400 port
  • Scratches easier
  • Being a pound lighter, it doesn’t feel at all lighter

I’ll probably extend my list more as I continue to use it. So far I’m impressed. It’s a great upgrade for me.

macbook pro mb990lla

macbook pro mb990lla

macbook pro mb990lla

macbook pro mb990lla

macbook pro mb990lla

iPhone 3.0 available for download

I got a message this morning from my cousin Kuya Ronald asking if the iPhone 3.0 software update was available today. I didn’t hear anything these past weeks so I wasn’t sure. I got to work and plugged in my iPhone 3G on my MBP and as soon as iTunes loaded, I get this message.

So plug in your iPhones and update them to get the new goodies.

Apple announces their new toys for Summer 2009

Today Apple announced new products: the iPhone 3G S and a 13” version of the Macbook Pro. First, the new iPhone 3G S. I’m not too excited about this one. Most of my excitement has been sucked dry by AT&T’s lack of coverage area. It’s supposedly 2x faster, has video capture support, 32GB model, voice activated controls, and better battery life – it’s still doesn’t help get a better reception with AT&T. My iPhone is a cell phone first before any other goodies that it can do and unfortunately, it doesn’t do a good job of being a cell phone. I just can’t wait until AT&T’s exclusive deal is over and hope that a better and a more reasonable monthly cost provider gets the deal.

The second new hardware announced today is the 13” version of the Macbook Pro line. After reading the headline and initial stats, I was excited and glad I didn’t get a new laptop to replace my old MBP yet. This is basically the black Macbook with added power and ports. There are 2 models, one with 2.26GHz and 2GB ram and the 2.53GHz and 4GB ram. I almost decided on getting the 4GB ram model until I did a comparison between all the models. Now the prices have decreased but here’s where I get disappointed. Both 13” model have Firewire 800 support – great! But how many devices do I own or reasonably priced devices that support this connection? Nowhere did I see a listing for Firewire 400 support excep the 12” Macbook model. The video card is also shared memory, unless you go for the high end 15” model or the 17” model. Another missing port is the ExpressCard / 34 slot. This is only available on the 17” MBP model. Currently, I am using this slot for my Verizon V70 internet card. They did however, gain a SD card slot. Haha, I’d trade that slot in for any of the other missing ports I mentioned in a heartbeat any day!

I really do want a new laptop and a smaller one. I’d have to look at what I’ll be using it for and if the lacking hardware will be an issue. Either way, I’m looking into getting one in a few months.

Hurray, iPhone OS 3.0 preview

Today, Apple held a preview of their upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 and SDK. A lot of my wants will be coming. I may keep my iPhone 3G longer than planned – even though AT&T’s coverage is garbage. Here are a few that I’ve read about so far.

  • MMS support (Finally! Welcome to half a decade ago, if not more.)
  • Copy and paste (The pics during the demo looked promising and easy to use.)
  • Spotlight search (Though I don’t use it enough on Leopard, it’s a great tool to search across multiple locations.)
  • Peer to peer connection via Bonjour
  • Multiple players for games
  • CalDAV support
  • Voice memos
  • Sync notes
  • Turn by turn map
  • Modem tethering was mentioned but not demo’d ( I wonder once this capability is available, how much will AT&T charge extra? 😦 )

Those are just some of the new features that will be released sometime this summer (damn, that long?). Beta is available for developers today. I may look into the SDK more this time and maybe develop some stuff too – not sure yet though.

You can read the play by play on Engadget’s website – http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/17/live-from-apples-iphone-os-3-0-preview-event/. Thanks Apple, I’m a little excited about my iPhone again.

Upgrading my iMac MB324LL/A

My 320GB hard drive is starting to fill up on my iMac so I decided to get a 1TB hard drive. I knew opening the iMac is going to be a pain. I’ve seen videos from YouTube on how to open the previous plastic models and it looked hard. Nevertheless, I needed to upgrade my hard drive and I want someone else to do it. Besides, I wanted to know how to do it and do it myself. So the first thing I needed to do is look for videos on YouTube. I kept getting the plastic iMac model but kept searching. I found 2 pretty good videos: by lexusnut and by Zenn3k. Those were my starting point.

Update: their videos on Youtube are no longer there. I’ll keep their usernames in the post just to show credit.

It took my cousin and I two hours to finally access the motherboard area. I cannot stress enough on how careful you must be. Apple has placed wires in many areas where if you lift something quickly, you may pull it out of place or unplug it – leading to damaging your device. We documented the process and uploaded it on YouTube to help others.

My 320GB hard drive is starting to fill up on my iMac so I decided to get a 1TB hard drive. I knew opening the iMac is going to be a pain. I’ve seen videos from YouTube on how to open the previous plastic models and it looked hard. Nevertheless, I needed to upgrade my hard drive and I want someone else to do it. Besides, I wanted to know how to do it and do it myself. So the first thing I needed to do is look for videos on YouTube. I kept getting the plastic iMac model but kept searching. I found 2 pretty good videos: by lexusnut and by Zenn3k. Those were my starting point.

It took my cousin and I two hours to finally access the motherboard area. I cannot stress enough on how careful you must be. Apple has placed wires in many areas where if you lift something quickly, you may pull it out of place or unplug it – leading to damaging your device. We documented the process and uploaded it on YouTube to help others.

So now I got the new 1TB hard drive installed. How do I get my old system on the new drive? There are 2 ways to do this. The first way is to use Time Machine (if you actually did use it). You can install a fresh copy of Leopard on the new hard drive. After installation, you get an option to use a Time Machine back up to restore. I’ve tried this but since I have over 200GB of data, my iMac ends up sleeping while trying to load the data to restore.

The second option is the image the old hard drive and restore it on the new one. This option took me about a day to complete. What you will need is an external hard drive, your old hard, and the new hard drive. If you image your old drive before installing the new one, you don’t need a second external enclosure. The first thing you’ll do is to boot your computer using the Leopard DVD. Open Disc Utility on the Leopard DVD. Do not do this while booted on the hard drive. It’s possible that it will not work because the drive you are imaging is in use. The external hard drive is where you will save the image file. Once finished, restore the image onto the new hard drive. That’s pretty much a brief summary of what I did.

I did run into some errors while formatting the new hard drive. This post helped me outhttp://macosx.com/forums/hardware-peripherals/290989-disk-utility-problem-erasing-large-external-hard-drive.html.

The image/restore process took most of the day. It may be quicker or longer for you, depending on the size of the data. Make sure you take any necessary precautions before working on your expensive Apple hardware 😉