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Apple’s Prosumer Mac

imacs

Today Apple introduced a 24" “Prosumer” iMac, which fills the price gap between the 20" iMac and the Mac Pro. Here's a brief run-down of its features.

  • 24" Display at 1920x1200. This display is 1 inch bigger (diagonally) than the 23" Cinema Display, although it runs at the same resolution. Apparently 24-inch displays are cheaper and more widely produced — important as there is going to be a lot of demand for this Mac. Even so, it's very bright (400 cd/m2 and has a 6 ms response time.
  • New Processor. It's based on the new Merom chip, aka Core 2 Duo. It's a 64-bit chip and comes with 4 MB L2 cache. You can order it with a 2.16 GHz or 2.33 GHz ($250 extra) chip.
  • It now supports 3 GB of RAM. The new iMac uses 667MHz DDR2-SDRAM (PC2-5300) and has two slots (configurations: 2x512MB, 2x1GB, 1x1GB+1x2GB)
  • New graphics card — NVIDIA 7300 GT graphics processor with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM dedicated graphics memory (7600 GT - 256 MB available CTO). This is a great graphics chip, much faster than the X1600 in earlier systems.
  • FireWire 800 — extra throughput for external hard disks. This should accomodate most non-RAID HD's just fine, seeing as most single disks come in well under ~80 MBps.
  • DVI port — like earlier Intel iMacs, the new one supports external DVI displays up to 1920x1200.
  • Audio features — Internal 24-watt digital amplifier, optical input/output (S/PDIF combo).
  • The 24" iMac starts at $2000, so it's a very powerful system at a great price for smaller design studios.

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Changes in Leopard

The past few weeks, there has been some speculation suggesting that the next version of Mac OS X (code-named Leopard) will ship with a completely revised GUI. (To those not in the know, a preview version of Leopard was handed out to developers at WWDC a few weeks ago, with a "missing piece" Apple declined to demo.)

leopard x

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Widsense for AdSense

Widsense is a small widget to be used with the Dashboard provided by Apple in Mac OS X.4. You enter your Adsense username and password on the back and it displays the impressions, clicks, and revenues for the current day, the 2 previous days, and the current month. You can save your login and password, so that you do not need to mention it each time you launch the Dashboard.

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A proposal for a BlueTooth pen

Wacom's tablets operate via a sensor board in the tablet itself (which senses pressure, click, and other parameters) and a smaller sensor in the pen, which lets the tablet's sensor board know if it is being moved (and/or clicked).

However, the tablet's circuit board/CPU does most of the heavy work as far as moving the cursor around and drawing is concerned. Compare the price of a Wacom pen by itself (around $15 to $35) and the price of a tablet.

Here's the concept — move the major circuitry to the pen itself, which would be equipped with a small battery. Miniturizing the circuitry could be a a bit of a problem, but figuring as most of the electronics inside a tablet are to accomated its size, this could probably be easily solved.

The point of having the circuitry in the pen is that a pen is easier to move around (also easier to lose, but whatever...) and would work on any (relatively smooth) surface.

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Fourth Mac OS X browser test

In our last test, we tested the four major browsers on Mac OS X (Safari, FireFox, Camino, and OmniWeb). Since then, there have been several improvements on almost all of the browsers, so we decided to test again.

All four of the browsers are Universal Binaries — good news for owners of Intel-based Macs. We tested the latest versions of the browsers as of this writing — Safari/Webkit 2.0.4 (the version that comes with OS X 10.4.7), FireFox 1.5.0.4, Camino 1.0.2, and OmniWeb 5.5 Beta (which can be downloaded from the Omni Forums.

We tested browser speed (page loading, image loading, JavaScript performance), RAM usage, special features, and standards compliance, among others. Read the whole thing here.

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The first version of Photoshop

Photoshop's developers, Thomas and John Knoll began development on Photoshop in 1987. Version 1 was released by Adobe in 1990. The program was intended from the start as a tool for manipulating images that were digitized by a scanner, which was a rare and expensive device in those days.

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How to play different region DVD’s on your Mac

Thanks to a stupid law, every DVD player (that includes the one in your computer) is sold being able to play only discs with the same region as the country it was sold in. That includes Macs too, sort of. On a new Mac, the DVD drive is automatically locked to the region code of the first DVD it is used with. From then on, this can only be changed four more times.

You pretty much have two choices — either find the region code that you'll be using the most and set it to that one (since the four times are going to be used up sooner or later) — or "flash" your drive to the region free, which goes with the risk of destroying the drive.

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Request a feature

Photoshop CS2 has been out for well over a year, and already people are speculating on CS3 (mostly for Intel compatibility). According to Adobe, it's scheduled to arrive in 2007 Q2, but until then, you can request features on Adobe's website. 2007 Q2 seems a bit unreal when you consider that Apple will be completely on Intel processors by then...

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NewsVine goes public

NewsVine is a website that lets the users write the news, whatever category it might be (and even if it doesn't fit into the traditional "news" category).

They went public a few days ago (an invite is no longer needed to view the site). When you register, you get your own subdomain on the site where you can seed (provide links to) or write news. You can then comment on news written on any site.

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CreativeBits Widget 2.0

The second version of the CreativeBits widget is finished. You can now select categories at one click, so it's easy to keep track of new content. Also there is a node preview mode, which lets you see the illustration and read the first few lines of an article or entry. Clicking on the title opens it in your browser. It is available in Universal Binary for both PPC and Intel systems — download now. This version of the CB widget is based upon News Reader by Ben Kazez (used with permission).

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