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Apple has been much maligned but I don’t know it is a pretty cool customer service company.

At 5pm, we discover the trackpad doesn’t work on a MacBook. Fire up the apple store app on the iPhone and make a 730pm appointment.

It’s a four year old Mac so out of warranty. Most companies could care less. They can fix for $45 for the trackpad plus $40 labor. And it keeps us from having to spend another $1k for a new computer.

Show up. They run a diagnostic and discover the ambient light sensor also reports a fault. The apple genius is awesome. We discover diagnostic seems wrong. Says it will be fixed by 8am tomorrow.

Wow. Samsung may be rocking sales but this kind of service is hard to beat!

And of course the whole transactions is completely electronic. They have complete repair record and send u an email. Amazing.

Macbook Air multitouch, remote disc and superdrive

OK some quick things on using a Macbook Air:

* “Superdrive”:http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/15/the-macbook-air-superdrive/ is a USB drive, but amazingly it only works with the Macbook Air. I don’t really understand that as it is just a USB device. Belongs in the, that’s crazy. Now of course, I don’t plan to use it anywhere else, but why did Apple do this?
* “Remote Disc”:http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=307317. I have to admit, this is kind of Microsoft-ish in the hacked way that it works. First, you have to get the install DVD and put it into a Mac or a Windows machine. Very strange not to have this as a free download somewhere. It loads some huge driver. The biggest bummer though is the remote drive is only useful for installing software. You can’t watch a DVD with it, you can’t burn a DVD or CD with it and sharing is all or nothing so that if you allow sharing, anyone on your network can snarf the drive. Seems like a quick hack feature to me.
* “Multitouch”: . The new Macbook Air uses the same touch controller as the iPod Touch and iPhone. Actually most of the gestures are already available on the Macbook and Macbook Pro. The only one I found that are new is the pinch and squeeze to zoom in and out. Also only works on the Finder, Safari and iPhoto. Most useful feature is zooming in on thumbnails with Finder although you need to hold a Control key down to make it work for full zoom.

The documentation of these new features is really small and in fact, lots of the multitouch things are already available on the current Macbook and Macbook Pro. The

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Dead MacBook Pro with Flashing Question Mark

I had the classic, well it worked when I booted, but as soon as I wanted to do real work, it dies problem. Basically, when I try to start the MacBook Pro now, I get the grey screen and the startup chime. Then it sits there doing nothing (I can actually hear the click as the hard drive tries to move). After about two minutes, a folder with a question mark comes up. Not good. Hope everyone is religious about backing up. (I’d recommend the “Simpletech”:http://simpletech.com/commercial/products/simpleshare.html that is just about $140 and works very well.

The mac is so graphical it isnt clear how to even query google. In this case it is called a “Flashing Question Mark”:http://8help.osu.edu/1244.html. The main thing you need is a System CD. Of course who carries one of these around (I will from now on!) and then you run the Disk Utility from it to see if you can uncorrupt the hard disk as “Apple”:http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58042 recommends. If you can not even see the disk then you do the PRAM reset described below.

Here is what I’ve tried as “Apple”:http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303234 recommends and I’ve learned some cool command keys too

# First reboot. Apparently, holding the Option key, Command key and the Power button down is the equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Del in the PC world.
# Reset the PRAM which is the equivalent of the CMOS reset on PCs. You do this by hitting power and before the grey screen comes up you haver to hold the Option, Command and the P and R keys down. It then reboots and again and when you hear the chime you are done.
# Reset the Power Manager chip onboard by taking out the battery and removing from AC power and holding down the power button for five seconds

To see if it is really a hard disk, you can hold a different keys to get different things to boot according to “Apple”:http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303124

Press C during startup Start up from a bootable CD or DVD, such as the Mac OS X Install disc that came with the computer.
Press D during startup Start up in Apple Hardware Test (AHT), if the Install DVD 1 is in the computer.
Press Option-Command-P-R until you hear two beeps. Reset NVRAM
Press Option during startup Starts into Startup Manager, where you can select a Mac OS X volume to start from. Note: Press N to make the the first bootable Network volume appear as well.
Press Eject, F12, or hold the mouse (/trackpad) button Ejects any removable media, such as an optical disc.
Press N during startup Attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot).
Press T during startup Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode.
Press Shift during startup Start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items.
Press Command-V during startup Start up in Verbose mode.
Press Command-S during startup Start up in Single-User mode.
Press Option-N during startup Start from a NetBoot server using the default boot image.

Alas none of these worked for me. I lose quite a few hard disks with laptops mainly I think because I travel alot and run them hard. This particular macbook has been running hard but it was powered down properly and so forth, so maybe just early mortality. I’m sure glad we bought Applecare.

Small MacBook Pro Adapter MA938LL/A

I wish that they had shipped this smaller brick with the initial MacBooks, but at least you can buy a much smaller adapter for $80 in a few weeks…

MacNN | Briefly: New MBP adapter, Duke/iPhone solved

brief: Apple has begun shipping a new MagSafe power adapter for the MacBook Pro with the model number MA938LL/A. The new 85W adapter is significantly smaller than the old iteration, appearing physically similar to the 65W adapter included with 13″ MacBooks. In early June, Apple debuted a new line of MacBook Pros, some of which include LED-based screens and offer significantly better battery life. The new adapter appears to be compatible with both newer and previously released MacBook Pro models .

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Mac Book Pro 15″ First Impressions

Well, wandered over to the Apple store. They are an amazing retail experience. I’ve never seen such a crowded store. The people there are amazingly friendly. Ended up buying a Mac Book 15″ with 2.2 GHz and 120GB hard drive. This has the new LED screen that is supposed to be very color accurate. Lots of gnashing, but finally got it in the matte screen and not the glossy. They said matte was better for colors, while the website seems to say glossy is better blacks. Who knows, it is a great screen. It is pretty heavy, but the installation experience is absolutely amazing. It actually lets you take a picture of yourself with the inSight camera. I just love that.

And the other thing is that wifi isn’t some strange mystery. It just seems to work.

In terms of making it work in the Windows world, Rennie and Will both recommend “Parallels”:http://parallels.com as the way to run Windows applications. In particularly, I need Outlook to run against Exchange and also Adobe Photoshop CS 2 as well. Its $79 online. Also you’ll need “Bootcamp”:http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/ to run Windows natively and eventually I’ll need an upgrade to “Mac OS X Leopard”:htthttp://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/p://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/

Also, I’ll need a nice bag and “SFBags.com”:http://sfbags.com is great for that.

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MacBook Pro refresh and Back to School Promotion

Hurray, now that the hardware is updated, its time to buy. There are lots of incremental improvements, but the biggest news is the LED-backlight in the 15.4″ and the upgrade to 1920×1200 on the 17″. Drool, drool. Also, you can now get a 250GB hard drive and 4GB of memory, so they are getting closer to a replacement PC. Still hefty at 5 pounds plus, but what the heck. Pretty cool. And if you are an educational customer, you can also get a free $199 rebate if you also buy an iPod.

Think Secret – Apple delivers MacBook Pro refresh

Apple delivers MacBook Pro refresh
June 5, 2007 – Apple launched its long awaited MacBook Pro upgrade Tuesday, which packs a number of features that had been expected, including Intel’s new Santa Rosa architecture with Core 2 Duo processor speeds up to 2.4GHz and an LED-backlight display on the 15.4-inch model.
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Pricing remains the same for the three configurations, at $1,999, $2,499, and $2,799, but numerous specifications have been upgraded across the board. All models now come standard with 2GB of RAM, an 8x dual-layer SuperDrive, and an NVIDIA 8600M GT graphics card with 128MB of memory on the low-end model, and 256MB on the mid-range and high-end models.

The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, with the new LED-backlight display, is 0.2 pounds lighter than the outgoing model and weighs 5.4 pounds now. In addition to decreased weight, the new display should also improve battery life for users. All MacBook Pro models remain 1-inch thick.

In a move that caught Think Secret sources off-guard, Apple elected to include a higher resolution 17-inch display as an option. While the stock configuration remains at 1680×1050, customers can configure their laptop with a 1920×1200 display if desired for an extra $100.

Hard drive capacities have also been increased, to 120GB on the low-end model and 160GB on the other configurations. All drives spin at 5400 rpm. Customers can upgrade the hard drive to a 200GB or 250GB drive, and RAM can now be maxed out at 4GB.

The new MacBook Pro line is available now.

AppleInsider | Apple launches “Major in Mac” back-to-school promo

Apple launches “Major in Mac” back-to-school promo

By AppleInsider Staff
Published: 10:00 AM EST

Apple Inc. on Tuesday launched its annual back-to-school promotion offering students and teachers significant discounts on new iPods (or a free iPod nano) when they purchase of a qualifying Mac system through mid-September.

Qualified education customers who purchase a new MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Pro using their education discount and also purchase an iPod or iPod nano will receive up to $199 back after mail-in rebate.

To be eligible for participation, individuals must buy a qualifying Mac and a qualifying iPod on the same sales receipt or invoice from June 5, 2007 through September 16, 2007. The offer is available only on purchases of new products and includes all Macintosh computers except for the Mac mini.

MacBook Pro refresh

Hurray, now that the hardware is updated, its time to buy. There are lots of incremental improvements, but the biggest news is the LED-backlight in the 15.4″ and the upgrade to 1920×1200 on the 17″. Drool, drool. Also, you can now get a 250GB hard drive and 4GB of memory, so they are getting closer to a replacement PC. Still hefty at 5 pounds plus, but what the heck. Pretty cool.

Think Secret – Apple delivers MacBook Pro refresh

Apple delivers MacBook Pro refresh
June 5, 2007 – Apple launched its long awaited MacBook Pro upgrade Tuesday, which packs a number of features that had been expected, including Intel’s new Santa Rosa architecture with Core 2 Duo processor speeds up to 2.4GHz and an LED-backlight display on the 15.4-inch model.
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Pricing remains the same for the three configurations, at $1,999, $2,499, and $2,799, but numerous specifications have been upgraded across the board. All models now come standard with 2GB of RAM, an 8x dual-layer SuperDrive, and an NVIDIA 8600M GT graphics card with 128MB of memory on the low-end model, and 256MB on the mid-range and high-end models.

The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, with the new LED-backlight display, is 0.2 pounds lighter than the outgoing model and weighs 5.4 pounds now. In addition to decreased weight, the new display should also improve battery life for users. All MacBook Pro models remain 1-inch thick.

In a move that caught Think Secret sources off-guard, Apple elected to include a higher resolution 17-inch display as an option. While the stock configuration remains at 1680×1050, customers can configure their laptop with a 1920×1200 display if desired for an extra $100.

Hard drive capacities have also been increased, to 120GB on the low-end model and 160GB on the other configurations. All drives spin at 5400 rpm. Customers can upgrade the hard drive to a 200GB or 250GB drive, and RAM can now be maxed out at 4GB.

The new MacBook Pro line is available now.

Latest MacBook Pro 15″ out on June 11 at Apple WWDC

Think Secret – MacBook Pro update planned for June with new display

MacBook Pro update planned for June with new display
May 8, 2007 – Apple placed an initial order for 15.4-inch LED backlight displays with Asian manufacturers last month, targeting a June announcement that would make availability of a new laptop on or within days of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 11, sources tell Think Secret.
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Apple placed its first order in mid-April looking for in excess of 100,000 15.4-inch LED backlight displays. The call went out to a number of LED backlight display manufacturers, including Samsung

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