Multitouch. Introduced with the iPhone, brought to the Mac with the MacBook Air, it now makes its debut on the MacBook Pro. Surprisingly, Apple is doing it using the same trackpad, not a larger one like the MBA has.
Although nominally faster at 2.5 GHz, the new Penryn CPU used in the new MacBook Pro has a larger Level 2 (L2) cache – 6 MB vs. 4 MB in the previous generation – plus an enhanced SSE4 vector engine. A 2.6 GHz build-to-order option adds $250 to the price.
The standard hard drive is an impressive 250 GB, way more than the 160 GB that was the norm last year, and Apple offers two options: more storage with a 4200 rpm 300 GB hard drive or more speed with a 7200 rpm 200 GB drive.
Apple has also updated its notebook keyboards, which no longer have an embedded numeric keypad and have an Option key on the right side, replacing the old Enter key.
This model includes 512 MB of video memory for the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor. It has 3 USB 2.0 ports, one more than the 15″ MBP offers.
Note that the built-in display is only capable of 18-bit color, not the full 24-bit color you might expect.
Unlike pre-2007 models, where every USB port could provide 500 mA of power, only a single high-powered device can be attached to the USB ports, and software will enable one of its downstream ports to supply 500 mA of power. If a second high-powered device is attached, it will behave like a normal bus-powered hub and only provide 100 mA per downstream port.
The Apple Remote, which had been included with previous models, is now a US$20 option.
Although it is not officially supported, the Early 2008 MacBook Pro can run macOS Sierra using Colin Mistr’s Sierra Patch Tool. However, WiFi is not supported on this device. See our macOS Sierra page for more details and a link.
Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions.
To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.
Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.
- introduced 2008.02.26 at US$2,799; 2.6 GHz build-to-order option $250 additional; refreshed with 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and 1920 x 1200 display standard 2008.10.14; replaced by faster Unibody model 2009.01.06.
- Part no.: MB166 (original), MB766 (Oct. 2008)
- requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard through 10.11 El Capitan, macOS Sierra via patch tool – see macOS Sierra on Low End Macs. Broadcom BCM4321 WiFi module, if present, is not supported by Sierra. macOS 10.14 Mojave and later are not supported.
- Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
- Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
- 64-bit operation is supported.
- OpenCL is supported.
- OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
- AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
- AirDrop is not supported.
- Power Nap is not supported.
- CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, soldered in place, no upgrade options
- Level 2 cache: 6 MB shared cache on CPU
- Bus: 800 MHz
- RAM: 2/4 GB, expandable to 6 GB using PC2-5300 DDR2 RAM
- Performance: Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 3228 (2.5 GHz), 3047 (2.4 GHz)
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT on PCI Express with dual-link DVI support, faster GPU speed than Core Duo model
- VRAM: 512 MB
- Video out: DVI connector (VGA supported with included adapter; S-video and composite video supported with optional adapters)
- display: 17″ (43 cm) 18-bit 1680 x 1050 117 ppi color active matrix
- optional display: 17″ (43 cm) 18-bit 1920 x 1200 color active matrix
- supports 1680 x 1050, 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 640, 800 x 600, 720 x 480, and 640 x 480 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
- allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode
- Hard drive: 250/320 GB 5400 rpm SATA; optional 200 GB 7200 rpm, 300 GB 4200 rpm, and 320 GB 7200 rpm drives
- optical drive: 8x dual-layer SuperDrive writes DVD±R at up to 8x, DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at 8x (double-layer at 6x), writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 10x, reads CDs at 24x
- floppy drive: external USB only
- USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports, only one high-powered device device allowed
- FireWire 400: 1 port
- FireWire 800: 1 port
- Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
- WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
- Modem: optional v.92 56k external USB modem
- Bluetooth: BT 2.1 built in
- IR receiver: supports Apple Remote
- ExpressCard/34: 1 slot
- expansions bays: none
- size: 10.4 x 15.4 x 1.0″ (265 x 392 x 25.9 mm)
- Weight: 6.8 pounds (3.08 kg)
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the 17″ MacBook Pro, Dan Bashur, 2014.02.16
- The 2008 MacBook Pro value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.02.27. “Perhaps the best thing about the new models is what they’ve done to prices of last year’s MacBook Pro line.”
- MacBook Pro a revelation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2010.02.08. After using G4 Macs for over a decade, spending a weekend prepping a first generation MacBook Pro was a real eye opener.
- Protect your notebook against loss, theft, data loss, and security breaches, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.08.25. 10 percent of laptops are lost or stolen every year. Tips on preventing theft, securing your data, and recovering from a lost, stolen, or broken notebook.
- The 64-bitness of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.08.19. Although Apple is promoting Snow Leopard as a fully 64-bit operating system, it defaults to running in 32-bit mode.
- The Road Ahead: 64-bit Computing, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.08.19. Personal computers started with 8-bit CPUs, Macs started out with a 24-bit operating system, and 32-bit computing is starting to give way to 64 bits.
- OS X 10.6 requirements, why Apple owns the high end, when to upgrade your Mac, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.14. Also Microsoft Word patent infringement, BackPack shelf for iMac and Cinema Displays, two updated Bible study programs, and more.
- OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for $29, run Windows on your Mac for Free, Update Breaks Office 2008, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.07. Also getting your Mac ready for Snow Leopard, Time Capsule doubles capacity, Picasa 3 for Mac, Bodega Mac app store, and more.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Intel’s promise fulfilled: More processing power per processor cycle, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.06.30. Apple promised improved CPU efficiencies when it announced the move to Intel in 2005. Three years of MacBooks show the progress.
- Low End Mac’s Safe Sleep FAQ, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.15. What is Safe Sleep mode? Which Macs support it? How can you enable or disable it? And more.
- The Safe Sleep Mailbag, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- MacBook White updated, DIY Mac tablet, danger of ‘Safe Sleep’, $350 80 GB SSD kit, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.05.29. Also Apple tablet ‘confirmed’, 3G and lower cost MacBook Air models rumored, 500 GB bus powered hard drive, Mini DisplayPort adapters, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,299, and more.
- Mac ‘Book Power Management Adventures, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your ‘Book won’t power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn’t been without its problems – slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- The 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.01.07. The new model is a bit faster, a bit smaller, a bit lighter, and has an incredible 8-hour battery life.
- Ubuntu Linux and Boot camp make it easy to create a triple boot Mac, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.12.24. Boot Camp makes it easy to install Windows on Intel Macs, and Ubuntu now makes it easy to install Linux to a virtual Windows drive.
- Notebooks and blackouts, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the power goes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keep working for hours and hours.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Unibody MacBook video problems, DisplayPort DRM loosened a bit, Mac netbook discussion, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.05. Also free licensing for Mini DisplayPort, the sexy clamshell iBook, Apple’s liquid cooled notebook plans, Sonnet FW 400/800 adapter, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- MacBook slowdown without battery, DisplayPort and DRM, 256 GB SSD, MagSafe solutions, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.26. Also Mac netbook prospects, laptop cooling table with 2 fans, solar notebook bag, hard shell cases for unibody ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- Another way to run WeatherBug, Aspire One runs OS X, 17″ MacBook Pro hi-res display, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.25. Also finding that ‘just right’ notebook computer, car, or truck.
- Software to keep your MacBook cool, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.11.25. Heat is the enemy of long hardware life. Two programs to keep your MacBook running cooler.
- Virtualization shootout: VMWare Fusion 2 vs. Parallels Desktop 4, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.11.20. Both programs do the same thing, but one runs Windows XP smoothly alongside Mac apps, while the other bogs down everything but Windows.
- Just right: Papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear MacBooks, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.20. Some people like small and light notebooks, others prefer huge desktop replacements, but the best value tends to be in the middle.
- Love my refurb MacBook Pro, Eudora forever, and the lightest AA batteries, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.18. Also questions about Nvidia GeForce 8600 problems in earlier MacBook Pro models and importing Eudora mailboxes into Eudora successors.
- Kensington Ci95m Wireless Mouse: Great battery life, smooth performance, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.13. Kensington’s slim wireless mouse is well built, works smoothly, has great battery life, and avoids Bluetooth pairing and wake-up issues.
- Debunking the Apple Tax, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.31. “…no one else is offering the quality of computer construction that Apple offers in the same price range.”
- One OS to rule them all, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.29. With Fusion or Parallels letting you run Windows at full speed, Mac OS X gives you the best of both worlds.
- The October 2008 MacBook value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.10.15. Apple changed the entire MacBook lineup on Tuesday. How do close-out prices compare to the new ones?
- ‘All Nvidia GeForce 8600 chips bad’, subcompact MacBook in 2009?, instant on notebooks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.08.15. Also MacBooks in high demand in education, first quad-core ThinkPad, new Dell notebook claims 19 hour battery life, new Logitech mouse clips to your notebook, bargain ‘Books from $200 to $3,069, and more.
- Economic crunch may slow Mac sales, a recycled Cube, ToCA Race Driver 3 for Mac, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.10.10. Also don’t buy RAM from Apple, customize your Mac’s appearance, MacTribe expanding into print, My Apple Space social networking, and more.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- CodeWeavers brings Google’s Chrome browser to Intel Macs, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.10.02. Google’s new Chrome browser uses separate processes for each tab and brings other changes to Windows users. Now Mac fans can try it as well.
- Dell’s quad core workstation notebook shows where Apple’s 17″ MacBook Pro falls short, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.09.30. Inch thin notebooks have their place, but some users need more power and expansion options that current MacBooks simply cannot accommodate.
- Apple Trumps Microsoft in Making the 64-bit Transition Transparent to Users, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.18. To use more than 4 GB of RAM under Windows, you need a 64-bit PC and the 64-bit version of Windows. On the Mac, OS X 10.4 and later already support it.
- Portable Mac as primary vs. secondary computer, looking at ThinkPad design, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.09.17. Also learning from the Mac Portable, upgrading a PowerBook 5300, another free app to assure maintenance routines are run, and more.
- Bring back the Macintosh Portable, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.09.09. Not to fault today’s MacBooks, but there’s something to be said for a no compromise, very expandable, portable Macintosh as well.
- SATA, SATA II, SATA 600, and Product Confusion Fatigue, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.08. In addition to the original SATA specification and the current 3 Gb/s specification, SATA revision 3.0 is just around the corner.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- MagSafe out of warranty replacement, Nvidia Flaw Affecting Macs, MacBook Air revision soon, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.08.22. Also 160 GB microdrive from Intel, MacBooks on grocer’s shelves, Intel future CPU plans, a checkpoint friendly notebook case, bargain ‘Books from $220 to $2,699, and more.
- Simple Mac security in the age of malware, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.08.13. Unlike Windows PCs, at this point Macs can’t become infected simply from being on the Internet, but you still need to be careful about your downloads.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- Kensington Portable Power Outlet a great accessory for the road warrior, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.22. With three AC outlets and two USB charging ports, this compact device is a great way to have extra power outlets when you’re on the go.
- Free VirtualBox for Mac now a virtual contender, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.07.21. A year ago, the Mac version of VirtualBox lacked some essential features. Over the past year, it’s grown into a very useful tool.
- New MacBook models for the back-to-school buying season?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.21. Intel’s new Centrino 2 platform plus the long time since MacBook and MacBook Pro updates makes new Mac notebooks almost a certainty before school resumes.
- 4-core Core 2 Extreme mobile CPU in August, 256 MB SSD coming to MacBook Air, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.07.18. Also Centrino 2 shipping, OS X running on tiny MSI Wind notebook, fuel cell notebooks one step closer, free laptop tracking service, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,649, and more.
- MacBooks cheaper than PC laptops, SSD power draw debated, MacBook Air showdowns, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.07.11. Also Samsung fires up 128 GB SSD, next gen MacBook Pro design, drawbacks of MagSafe, 7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm drive benchmarks, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,649, and more.
- More air: Expectations for future MacBook and MacBook Pro models, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.07.08. Next generation ‘Books are expected to include Intel’s next generation Montevino processor, but wireless power and wireless USB could give Apple a leg up on the competition.
- Laptop a better bet than desktop, MacBook vs. Pro, problems with 17″ MacBook Pro screen, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.06.26. Also making AppleCare worthwhile, Toshiba takes on Apple in the ‘thin laptop’ war, 200 GB 7200 rpm drive for $99.75, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,749, and more.
- MacBook vs. MacBook Pro, 500 GB drive for MacBooks, Toshiba intros lightest laptop, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.06.20. Also 17″ MacBook Pro ‘best desktop replacement’, 15″ MacBook Pro vertical stripes and off-color screen, solar power for the MacBook Air, magnesium shell for the MacBook, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,749, and more.
- No widescreen display for me, accessing MacWrite files, Fedora Linux for G3 Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.06.19. Why monitors need more height, not more width; using MacWrite files, unleashing old Macs with Linux, and using badram to work around bad RAM in LInux.
- 16:9 computer displays: Let’s not go there, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.17. “…there’s no reason our computer displays should match the proportions of our television displays.”
- SSD prices to dive, MacBook heat, solid state drives for MacBook and MacBook Pro, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.06.09. Also Scorpio 7200 rpm 300 GB notebook drive, USB 2.0/FireWire Blu-ray drive, Acer’s tiny, low-cost Linux laptop, bargain ‘Books from $180 to $2,699, and more.
- 5 business essentials for ‘The Switch’, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.06.06. If you’re planning a migration from Windows to Macs, these five steps will help you succeed in making the switch.
- Fast drives mean fast Macs, 256 MB SSD, 16:9 ratio notebook screens the new norm, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.30. Also Centrino 2 delayed, traveling with a MacBook Air, time for notebooks to drop internal optical drives, how to right click with a trackpad, bargain ‘Books from $279 to $2,699, and more.
- WiMax likely, Apple not green enough, next MacBook in Q3, Cool Feet for notebooks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.23. Also LED backlighting in all MacBooks in 2009, cooling down hot laptops, OLPC plans second generation laptop, universal Apple notebook battery charger, slim external third-party SuperDrive, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- MacBook holds its own against Dell and HP notebook pricing, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.05.23. Comparing specs and prices, the MacBook also trounces Sony, but the MacBook Pro is another story altogether.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Limited USB bus power in Santa Rosa Macs, 1 TB in your ‘Book, MacBook cooler, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.16. Also Hitachi first to market with 320 GB 7200 rpm notebook drive, Apple to refund for sparking power adapters, interoffice style sleevecases, 10 hour external MacBook Air battery, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Windows on Macs: Three paths for integration, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.05.14. Mac users have three routes for running Windows apps: Run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization, or use a compatibility layer such as WINE.
- Mac growth 4x PC rate, USB power famine, Montevina chips not in new iMacs, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.05.02. Also reducing energy waste from peripherals, fixing the Mac’s shortcomings, Open Computer shipping and reviewed, why Apple bought PA Semi, 5x the range for Time Capsule, Mac gaming mouse, and more.
- Firmware 1.5 screen blanking, air travel notebook stand, battery calibration, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.25. Also aluminum MacBook rumored, PowerBook converted to desktop, Apple IIgs converted to notebook, new battery tech may end explosions, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Graphic glitches plague Penryn ‘Books, MacBook Air reassuringly solid, 3D Notebook mouse, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.18. Also adding RAM to a MacBook Pro, notebook buyer’s guides, falling in love with the MacBook Air, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- 18 bits can’t display millions of colors, today’s magic is different from yesterday’s, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.04.16. Also more feedback on Mac browsers, slow dialup Internet, and a SCSI-to-USB 2.0 solution.
- Mac benchmarks, firmware updates for all MacBooks, sleep-and-charge USB ports, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.11. Also troubleshooting the MacBook Air, keyboard protectors and sleeve cases for the MacBook Air, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $3,099, and more.
- 18-bit video inadequate, restoring AppleWorks speed, Macintosh display info, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.09. Also problems importing AppleWorks drawings and a damaged, unfixable mail database in Outlook Express 5.
- Millions vs. thousands of colors: What’s the difference?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.04.07. Once again Apple is being sued over a Mac that can display ‘only’ 262,144 colors per pixel, not the millions it claims. Does it realy matter?
- First 320 GB 7200 rpm notebook drive, USB ports inside MacBook Air, Modbook impressive, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.03.28. Also Vista on MacBook Air, 256 GB SSD you can’t afford, new BTO MacBook Pro 18 percent faster, MacBook impressive, solar laptop bag, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- MacBook Air tossed out with newspapers, Penryn MacBook and MBP reviews, MacBook Periscope, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.03.14. Also Intel shows 160 GB SSD, Microsoft losing ground, fix for MacBook Air overheating, mini surge protector with USB power, multiple monitors with MBP, bargain ‘Books from $260 to $2,699, and more.
- 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro worth it?, iBook video fixed, Compact Flash vs. SSD, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.13. Also buying a used Power Mac G4, a Power Mac 7600 still in daily use, OCR software for modern Macs, and Leopard on a Blue and White G3.
- Apple outsells Dell in education, 2008 MacBooks reviewed and benchmarked, migration tips, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.03.07. Also an open firmware fix for PowerBook RAM slot issues, wireless FAQ for PowerBooks, 256 GB MacBook Air possible for 2009, new Samsung and Travelstar drives, bargain ‘Books from $229 to $2,699, and more.
- Penryn advantages, Leopard on a G4 Cube, scanner advice, upgrading Sawtooth, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.05. Also why no LED backlight on the new MacBook, Final Cut mostly works with integrated graphics, and Diablo II problems under Leopard.
- When is 2.1 GHz slower than 2.0 GHz? When it’s the new MacBook, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.02.28. It’s completely counterintuitive, but the 2.1 GHz MacBook benchmarks slower than the 2.0 GHz model it replaces.
- New MacBook and MacBook Pro models, MacBook Air design ‘wasteful’, Penryn benchmarked, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.29. Also hands on with the new MacBooks, MagSafe issues, MacBook Air temperature tests, cooling stands and notebook cases, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,349, and more.
- Restore stability to a troubled Mac with a clean system install, Keith Winston, Linux to Mac, 2008.01.15. If your Mac is misbehaving, the best fix just might be a fresh reinstallation of Mac OS X – don’t forget to backup first.
- Fast, compact, light, quiet, cool, long battery life, large screen, affordable: You can’t have it all, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.12.05. Notebook design involves trade-offs. Small, light, and quiet means a smaller screen, lower capacity batteries, and a slower, cooler running CPU.
- 64 GB flash drive in a MacBook Pro, Leopard kills keyboards, X3100 vs. GMA 950 graphics, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.11.16. Also PowerBook Medic, MacBook vs. MacBook Pro, MIT’s pedal powered laptop, a free battery logger, bargain ‘Books from $200 to $2,719, and more.
- Cross-platform computing: Better than it’s ever been, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.11.13. Macs can read PC media, both Macs and Windows PCs play nice with each other on networks, and emulation makes it easy for Intel Macs to run Windows apps.
- MacBook Pro fastest Vista notebook, 2-finger scrolling for older ‘Books, 802.11n USB stick, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.11.09. Also Samsung announced 64 GB flash drive, bling shells for MacBooks, online petition about vertical lines, bargain ‘Books from $100 to $2,719, and more.
- External $100 Sony DVD burner likes Macs, Brian Gray, Fruitful Editing, 2007.10.10. The box and manual say nothing about Mac compatibility, but this 18x USB 2.0 DVD burner is plug-and-play (at least with Tiger).
- FastMac 8x SuperDrive and BurnAgain DVD: Fast and easy multisession disc burning, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.08. FastMac’s 8x SuperDrive upgrade is remarkably fast compared with older PowerBook burners, and BurnAgain DVD makes it easy to append files to a previously burned CD or DVD.
- Region free DVD viewing on Macs and Windows PCs, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.09.07. There are three ways to get around region restrictions on your computer’s DVD player: software, hardware, and extraction.
- PC war losers, Mac ‘just works’, $68 802.11n for older Macs, a free font manager, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.08.31. Also DVD region locking, the iMac’s glossy screen, Mac mini powerful enough, Chromac iMac housings, SanDisk’s 8 GB flash drive, and more.
- MacBook Pro ‘a dream machine’, wanted: MacBook with TrackPoint, MacBook power alternative, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.08.17. Also the MacBook as a back-to-school option, a lemon of a MacBook, software update for Santa Rosa ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $130 to $2,599, and more.
- I love the Mac mini, no iPhone in court, no region-free DVDs on MacBooks, and more, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.07.31. Also 15 years of ThinkPads, reliability and all-in-one devices, and thoughts on upgrading operating systems.
- 250 GB 5400 rpm notebook drive benchmarked, Apple shrinks pro MagSafe adapter, $150 Linux laptop, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.07.27. Also touchup paint for TiBooks, Dell and Lenovo offer wireless USB, Logitech’s nano mouse and receiver, and bargain ‘Books from $130 to $2,199.
- VMware Fusion beta 3 adds new features, takes a giant step toward release, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2007.04.11. Looking for a virtualization solution for your Intel Mac? The latest beta of VMWare Fusion makes several improvements and includes some unique features.
- 1 core, 2 cores, 4 cores, 8: How Much Difference Does It Make?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.04.10. Geekbench scores make it possible to compare the newest 3 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with the 1.5 GHz Core Solo Mac mini – and all the models in between.
- CrossOver: Run Windows Apps on Intel Macs Without Windows, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2007.02.28. If you need to run Windows apps on your Intel Mac once in a while, CrossOver may be the least expensive way to do so since it eliminates the need to buy a copy of Windows.
- Simple ergonomics for the road warrior, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.01.16. The benefits of external keyboards and mice, laptop stands, typing gloves, and anti-RSI software for notebook users.
- Parallels Revisited: Release Version Far More Polished than Beta, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2006.11.21. Parallels lets you run Windows or Linux without rebooting your Intel-based Mac, and it’s made great strides since the beta came out earlier this year.
- To AppleCare or not to AppleCare?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.11.20. Consumer Reports, which generally recommends against extended warranties, says AppleCare makes sense. But does it?
- Pre-2006 Software: The Big Reason You Shouldn’t Buy an Intel Mac in 2006, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.11.09. If you work with software that predates the Intel transition, you may be better off sticking with PowerPC Macs. And if you use classic apps, you definitely want to avoid Intel.
- Better laptop performance: What’s the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- Region Free DVD Viewing Options for Intel and PowerPC Macs, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.09.12. Several hardware and software options that will let your view ‘wrong region’ DVDs on your PowerPC or Intel Mac.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat, ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze – seven stands designed to keep you ‘Books running cooler.
- Drive matters, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.06.14. There’s more to picking the right hard drive than size, spindle speed, buffer size, and price. But how can a 5400 rpm drive ever outperform a 7200 rpm drive?
- Power strategies for using your ‘Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you’re traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your ‘Book.
- Comparing Apples to Apples: When is Macintel faster? When does PowerPC make more sense?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.01.29. Benchmarks show the Intel Core Duo flies through native code but plods through PowerPC programs. Will PowerPC or Intel give you the more productive workflow?
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