Long-time readers of my blog may remember my adventures with my 2009 27″ iMac – adding eSATA, displaying all of Hamlet, and turning it into a monitor. That last bit has become increasingly handy lately, as I’ve repurposed that now-old iMac as a monitor and server. Here are some tips, tricks, and lessons if you’d like to do the same!
Posts about the 2009 Apple iMac
This morning, Apple introduced the new iMac, with a build-to-order storage configuration called “Fusion Drive”. But what is Fusion Drive? Although it could be an off-the-shelf hybrid drive, I believe it is a software driver in Mac OS X.
3.1 megapixels is a whole lot of display. If the new iPad screen packs in enough pixels to display 65 pages of Hamlet at once, imagine what else it can show! The next time someone says “what’s so great about that screen” all I have to do is read them a scene or two from my lock screen.
It is nice to see Apple out in front with a technology like 802.11n, considering their reluctance to support Blu-Ray and USB 3.0. Although expensive, the AirPort Extreme and 2011 MacBook Pro and iMac sport top-of-the-line specs and high performance Wi-Fi. But the lack of 5 GHz support across the board means many users will stick to the crowded 2.4 GHz spectrum, limiting performance.
Paired storage is a growing trend in the laptop computer market, with many high-end machines sporting both a SSD and hard disk drive. But it remains a game for the rich, adding many hundreds of dollars to the cost of a computer, and manually placing data is inefficient. It will be interesting to see if future operating systems bring better support for paired storage, and if it will reach into the server world.
Although the SANLink appears to be something of an oddball, it indicates the shape of things to come. Thunderbolt will transform the use cases for portable and all-in-one computers, likely spelling the end of the empty boxes for desktop use. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if Apple soon canceled the Mac Pro line entirely in favor of a beefed up Mac Mini and iMac stable. And the dozen or so MacBook Pro users wanting to connect to a Fibre Channel SAN will finally have the opportunity to do so sometime later this year.
Apple and Intel introduced the impressive new Thunderbolt interconnect last month on the MacBook Pro line, but folks like me who bought one have nothing to connect to yet. It was exciting to see the wide variety of Thunderbolt peripherals on display at the NAB show in Las Vegas last week, but none of these will ship to end-users before the middle of the summer. But evidence is mounting that Apple will be the first out of the gate with a Thunderbolt peripheral, it just won’t be the sort of peripheral you might expect. I am hearing rumors that the new iMac, to be introduced this month, will be both a Thunderbolt host and peripheral in one! Read on for what this means in the real world.
Among the useful features and applications bundled into Mac OS X, Photo Booth is not exactly the most useful. Still, it’s handy to sometimes have an application to snap a photo of yourself or your surroundings while on the go. But Photo Booth has no preferences pane, and the default delay and BRIGHT screen flash can ruin your picture. Here’s a quick tip on how to use Photo Both with either (or both) turned off!
As I mentioned in my previous article, I decided to buy the 13″ Core i5 (base model) MacBook Pro. It meets my needs as a travel workstation, but how does it perform? I decided to benchmark it against my other Macs to see how it stands up.
It’s hard to stand out in the world of external storage devices, and doubly-hard to compete with the hard disk drive makers themselves. This hasn’t stopped folks like Iomega, Verbatim, and LaCie from trying to impress customers with flashy cases, software bundles, and clever functionality. But clever new twist on the external hard drive concept just rolled into the Pack Rat lair: The ioSafe SoloPRO is fireproof and waterproof. Cool!