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Apple DIY Repair

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I won't be buying any more Apple products. Here's why:

I'm generally capable of repairing my own equipment and can recognize when self-repair has been deliberately undermined. I recently had to replace a hard drive in an early generation white Intel iMac. Innocently, I believed the interior was accessible and serviceable in the manner of the externally identical white PowerPC iMacs.

No such luck. Not only do you have to remove the LCD to get to the hard drive, but you must also remove shielding around the LCD -- mostly by tearing it to bits. No doubt it is attached this way so that an authorized Apple technician will be able to confidently void your warranty if you've ever worked on the system yourself.

You'll also need a #10 torx magnetic screwdriver. And, no, #10 torx bits just won't do due to the narrow and deeply recessed screw holes. Also, since most torx screwdrivers aren't magnetic, you'll probably need to tape the screws to the screwdriver to reattach the LCD. Good thing there's a hardware store near you.

Oh, and don't forget to pick up some rubber cement to 'properly' reattach the hard drive temperature sensor while you're out looking for magnetic torx screwdrivers.

Considering the logical design of its predecessor and the tamper-evident shielding, I'm certain that this machine has been deliberately designed to prevent the owner from performing DIY upgrades and repairs.

While that is all quite annoying, at least working on the system is possible for someone with experience and determination.

Now, Apple has improved their anti-customer techniques with the 'Pentalobe' screw. It doesn't solve any problem but one: it'll keep customers from even being able to open the case.

If you're curious about Apple's evil new invention, you can read its rap sheet and view its mug shot here.
mail this link | permapage | score:9539 | -Ray, January 25, 2011

Apple to Intel move no threat to Linux

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John C. Dvorak's recent Marketwatch commentary, 'Linux is likely the big loser', is completely off base. His fundamental mistake is to assume that 'the X86 platform' is more appealing than the freedom of Open Source and that the x86 processor is the important consideration for development:
It's likely that developer interest will wane when Apple is fully engaged on the X86 platform. While Apple ran on the PowerPC chip the amount of developer effort in the Open Source camps was nil. But now that Apple is using the same processor as everyone else, targeting the Macs will now be an easy decision to make. This will be at the expense of Linux.
No, the Apple announcement doesn't mean that you'll be able to run OS X on a Dell. In the unlikely event that the Intel-based Macs are insufficiently different from PC's, Apple will build in additional hardware security features. Mac OS X will check for these features and will refuse to run in their absence.

Realistically, Apple will not make generic PC’s nor will the upcoming Intel version of Mac OS X run on non-Apple hardware. The new Apples will be just as proprietary as the PowerPC-based Apple hardware -- and just as distinct from the generic 'PC market'.

Above all, Apple is still a hardware company and a switch to commodity hardware -- or even making their new computers PC compatible -- would be a far more dangerous business risk than simply switching CPU architectures. Apple is not changing their business plan. They are changing their processor architecture and supplier only.

Try as they might, even Microsoft can’t stop Linux. And Apple isn't even trying.

The Apple switch to Intel processors is quite simply irrelevant to Linux.

Meanwhile, Apple's move makes sense from a market perspective. And it's not about clock speed or raw performance as some have suggested -- although those considerations are important. The obvious reason that rules out performance as the overriding consideration is simply that they didn’t choose the AMD Opteron for the Power Mac.

Rather, it appears that this strategic shift is (almost) all about laptops (and perhaps Mac Minis -- which technologically are just battery-less laptops in a new form factor). Laptops are now outselling desktops -- and that trend will increasingly drive hardware makers' profits. And at Apple, that trend may be even more important than in the general PC market. If this were about performance and price/performance at the high end, the partner would be AMD. This move is primarily about power-per-watt at the low end, hence, Intel.

Of course, we mustn't forget that the high-end systems will be migrated last, possibly more than two years from now. That gives Apple plenty of time to add a second partner if Intel's vast resources are unable to rein in AMD on the performance front. And, obviously, a move to AMD at that point would be a small technical task compared to the PowerPC-to-Intel switch.

With some luck and continuing success at the high-end, AMD could still get a major design win out of this transition.
mail this link | permapage | score:8836 | -Ray, June 9, 2005 (Updated: August 1, 2005)

Bypass the Java applet server restriction

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See how to create a system that uses your browser to access an arbitrary Web service. JavaScript code calls a method within an applet, which calls a servlet, which retrieves the remote information. In this way, you bypass restrictions on what an applet can and cannot do. read more...
permapage | score:8126 | -solrac, September 17, 2008

Add a kill window applet to the Ubuntu Unity launcher

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This screencast shows you how to add a Kill Window applet to the Unity launcher. This applet is a must have for anyone who was a fan of the kill applet in Gnome 2. read more...
permapage | score:8126 | -mcasperson, December 31, 2011

A system monitor applet for Gnome 3

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One of the controversial decisions made by the Gnome 3 developers was to do away with applets. For the most part I agree that applets were not very useful, but one applet I did use was the system monitor. To be able to see at a glance if the cpu or memory was being overloaded was a great convenience, and one that is sorely missed in Gnome 3.

The good news is that this new system monitor extension from paradoxxxzero brings back most of the functionality of the old Gnome 2 system monitor applet. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:7977 | -mcasperson, June 10, 2011

Tutorial: Using Apple Darwin Streaming Server on Centos 5.2

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This tutorial will run you through the installation, configuration and preparation of media for Apple's Darwin QuickTime Streaming Server on Centos/RHEL 5.2. Darwin QuickTime Streaming Server is capable of serving H.264 and mpeg4 file formats via the RTP/RTSP streaming protocols. read more...
permapage | score:7656 | -falko, October 1, 2008 (Updated: October 21, 2008)

Benchmarks: Mac OS X vs. Linux on Apple G5

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In addition to the Linux vx. Mac OS X numbers on page 7, note the Opteron-under-Linux numbers. Now that's a sweet combination!
First, the above tables demonstrate clearly that the creation of UNIX processes is much slower on MAC OS X, and the G5, the CPU, is not to blame. In the first test, the G5 2.5 GHz running Linux is only slightly slower than a Pentium 4 at 3.6 GHz. The third test shows that the G5 is even capable of outperforming the other CPUs, which points towards Mac OS X being the problem here. Even with a faster CPU, the OS X scores are all slower than the Linux scores on the G5.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:7444 | -Ray, September 3, 2005

Sysadmin tools: Apple iPad

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Perform your Linux system administration duties remotely with your Apple iPad -- seriously.
...it’s possible to work with and manage Linux systems by tapping and raking your digits on its fingerprint-prone surface. This article describes how to do just that using SSH and VNC.

[...]

The iSSH app is not only a capable SSH client but it’s also a VNC client, telnet client and X Server. Additionally, you can open more than one SSH connection and switch between them with a finger swipe. There is a limitation of a single X connection, though so you can’t run an X session in one window and a VNC session in another.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:7096 | -Ray, January 11, 2011

Apple iPad and the Linux ecosystem

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In The Linux Week in Review 25, I will reveal my thoughts, both good and bad, about Apple’s extremely popular tablet. I will also reveal how the GNU/Linux community could create a hardware/software ecosystem that could dethrone the Ipad. read more...
permapage | score:6973 | -aweber, November 21, 2011

Hardware Review: Apple Mac Mini

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Anandtech takes a fast but thorough look at the new Apple Mac Mini...
One way that Apple was able to decrease the size of the mini was by using an external power supply, an 85W one to be more specific. The power supply features no fan and is about as wide as the mini itself, but not nearly as tall. The fact that the entire mini runs off of a single 85W power supply is impressive. Remember, that's less power consumption than most high end Intel and AMD processors alone.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:6916 | -Ray, January 28, 2005

The Apple Octople

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With two quad-core Intel Xeon CPU's running at 3.0 GHz, you can finally have that 8-way SMP (symmetric multi processing) system in your own bedroom. Admittedly, the price is steep, at $4884 with 4 GB of RAM, a 500GB SATA drive, and the standard NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB video card.

Alternatively, if your needs are more modest, you can get the four-way, 2.66GHz version with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB drive for only $2857.

Both configurations include a wireless Apple mouse and keyboard.

Apple includes options for up to four SATA drives, up to four video cards, dual DVD burners, and dual wide-screen LCD monitors up to 30 inches diagonally.

Maxed out with eight cores, 16GB RAM, (4) 750GB drives, a Fibre Channel adapter, an unlimited server license, both big monitors and the high-end dual-DVI video adapter and all the extras brings the price to $18,371. Whew!

Configure your own here. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:6750 | -Ray, April 6, 2007 (Updated: April 18, 2007)

Comparison Review: Apple Mac vs. XP vs. Linux

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Call me biased, but in spite of how this review turned out, I'm going to stick with Linux!
Microsoft's overhauled desk-top OS, Windows XP, has now been unleashed on the world. It's big and requires plenty of system resources - it does run in 128MB, but only really becomes enjoyable with 256MB, a fast PIII/P4/Athlon CPU and a snappy graphics accelerator. On the other hand, there's no denying Windows XP is a very good general-purpose operating system. It's stable, fast, supports just about every kind of new hardware there is, and is backed up by mountains of Win32 software. But how does it compare to a couple of the rivals?
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:6706 | -Ray, November 6, 2001 (Updated: March 24, 2007)

Review: Apple Mac Mini

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I'm now using a Mac Mini as my main machine. This makes my third 'main machine' in 4 months...
Its so easy to get lost in getting things working or configured properly in Linux or Windows that you loose so much time that you could be using creatively. The Mac puts this back into the computer experience by taking out the hassle.

Most of all about the Mac Mini is that is looks cool, Apple didn't just bring out a desktop PC like everyone else they innovated to produce something that looks unique. Its the perfect size to pop into your bag and go to a friends house or to work and plug in an existing monitor, keyboard or mouse.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:6174 | -Ray, March 3, 2005

Tutorial: Google Mapplets

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A Google Mapplet is an application that runs inside a Google Maps results page and lets you add your own custom information to the page and the map. In this tutorial, you will write a Google Mapplet that uses the Yahoo Weather RSS feed to display the local weather in Google Maps. You will apply two solutions. The first is on the client side and uses RSS and JavaScript. The second is on the server side and uses XSLT, PHP, KML, and JavaScript. read more...
permapage | score:5936 | -jmalasko, November 4, 2008

Book Review: AppleScript: The Missing Manual

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AppleScript: The Missing Manual lists for about $25.
AppleScript mimics the syntax of English. As such, its grammar by intent should be easy for English speakers to grasp, which results in an intuitive and simple to use scripting language. However, this doesn't undermine its role as a very powerful tool for automation.
read more...
permapage | score:5920 | -Ray, February 8, 2005

Benchmarks: Apple G5 vs. P4, Dual Xeon, Dual Athlon

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From the speeds-and-feeds dept.
What's interesting is the fact that the dual processor G5/2.5GHz blows away dual processor Xeon 2.4GHz. In other words, here's two dual processor machines running at about the same clock speed. Yet, the G5 wins. That gives Mac fanatics something to cheer about.
read more...
permapage | score:5774 | -Ray, September 28, 2004

Easy wireless with Netapplet

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You SuSE 9.3 Professional users probably haven't noticed it if you're running KDE...
After several of my favorite operating systems and distributions failed to properly connect to wireless hotspots without a lot of command-line tweaking, I found Netapplet, a great little GNOME applet in Novell's SUSE 9.3 Professional that scans for 802.11a/b/g wireless networks and shows you their signal strength and ESSID. You can then select the hotspot of your choice (if several are available) and continue on to the Internet from there.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:5717 | -Ray, September 21, 2005

Hardware: The new Apple iBook G4

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The reviewer made the long trek from Windows to Linux (several) to BSD to Solaris to Mac OS X. Well, at least he has some perspective!
If you love Unix, and need a laptop that is light, durable, high-quality, quiet, has a long battery life, comes with OSX 10.3 Panther and is sheer eye-candy inside and out, then the new iBook G4 is the way to go. My only wish is that Apple should have increased the RAM capacity from 640MB to 1GB, but 640MB is also more than enough for almost everything one would use the iBook for.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:5413 | -Ray, November 20, 2003

gDesklets: Applets for openSUSE

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gDesklets is another great tool like Google Gadgets for bringing mini programs called desklets such as weather forecasts, news tickers, system information displays, or music player controls, onto your desktop, where they are sitting there in a symbiotic relationship of eye candy and usefulness. The possibilities are really endless and they are always there to serve you whenever you need them, just one key-press away. The system is not restricted to one desktop environment, but currently works on most of the modern Unix desktops (including GNOME, KDE, Xfce). read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:5044 | -Susenator, August 4, 2008

Book review: AppleScript - the Definitive Guide

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A guide to scripting with AppleScript that will cost you about $40 retail.
Taken as whole, this is a great book for the AppleScript programmer, both beginner and expert. It has a good writing style, has been well edited and well constructed. Neuburg may be putting in too many forward references, though. Other reviewers, particularly those newer to AppleScript, have called the book frustrating and confusing. I think this may be due to both the high information density in this book and Neuburg's fast introduction to topics that are better explained later in the book. If you are a newcomer to programming and AppleScript then this may be daunting.
read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:4516 | -Ray, January 31, 2004
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