Tag Archives: apple

Resize Your Boot Camp Partition in a Few Steps

As the release dates for games like Red Alert 3, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are nearing, I saw the urgent need to increase my boot camp partition which holds my Vista 64-bit installation.

Normally, people would need to destroy their current Windows partition and then make a fresh new installation after using Boot Camp assistant to make a new bigger partition.

However, being lazy as usual (one of my lecturers used to say “lazy is good engineering!”), I did a lil research into resizing my boot camp partition easily without much hassle.

The easiest way is to spend 25 pounds and get iPartition and let the app do the resizing for you. But, what about a more affordable way of doing it?

Enter the Winclone method. Winclone is basically just an app that makes an image of your current boot camp partition and saves it as a file that can be restored later on to a different partition. Below are the few steps you need to resize your boot camp partition using this way:

1) Download Winclone (free, donation can be made for appreciation)

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2) Use Winclone to make an image of your boot camp, save it somewhere (i.e. Desktop or an external drive if space is an issue)

3) Launch Boot Camp assistant and restore your hard disk to its original state that has no boot camp partitions

4) Launch Boot Camp assistant again but now let it help you make a new larger (or smaller) boot camp partition

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5) Now, use Winclone to restore the image you’ve made to the new boot camp partition

6) Done! Restart into Windows and check if all is well

That’s it, you’ve successfully resized your boot camp partition without having to destroy your Windows installation. Till the next tech tip! ;)

Feel free to post any questions or comments.

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Solution to Windows Vista’s Wireless Spikes

So I have been toying around with Vista 64-bit on my new MacBook Pro. Using it mainly for weekend LAN parties. But one thing that annoys me the most about Vista is that it tends to have a lag spike every minute or so. My hero in DotA was literally doing a break dance every minute.

Having done a lil bit of research into this matter, I have finally found a solution. A lil app called WLAN Optimizer has solved my problem. What it basically does is disable Vista’s periodical (every 60 seconds to be precise) wireless network scan that was causing the lag spikes.

I recommend that you have this app running in the background and have it run automatically on startup if you use Vista for online gaming. Good luck and may the latency be with you.

Download WLAN Optimizer

So… How Good Is The New MacBook Pro?

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Really, really good.

For the first time my palms sweat not because of the heat, but the excitement and the intense feeling of using this sexy beast.

One of the major differences between this and my old 1st gen MBP is the display. It’s now LED back lit, which means much brighter display. I also noticed that the colors are more… colorful? They don’t look pale and half-dead like my old MBP’s display. I suspect the display is not using a TN panel, but rather a MVA or PVA panel (TN panels are usually the cheapest panels, 22″ LCD screens that are priced around 250 AUD uses this kind of panel).

Two graphics cards. Yes, TWO! But why you ask? First, I very much welcome Apple’s decision to use Nvidia’s platform for their MacBooks. Nvidia’s chipset is a lil unconventional, in the sense that it’s kind of like a hybrid chipset that has a GPU (or rather graphics processor) in there as well. The good thing is, you can switch between the integrated 9600M GT GPU and the 9400M GPU. If you’re just surfing the web, doing emails, or rather flirting with your fling, then 9400M is the way to go. It gives you an extra 45mins to 1 hour of battery life when not plugged into the charger. Also, another thing I noticed is, it runs much cooler too (could just be a placebo effect, lol).

I expect Apple to harnest the power of the other unused GPU in the next Mac OS, Snow Leopard where the technology called OpenCL will come to play. OpenCL is pretty much like CUDA where it allows programs to harnest the processing power of the GPU to do “number crunching”. So basically, the GPU is like an extra “processor”. I read that there’s this security research company that used CUDA to decrypt wireless passwords. They claimed that using CUDA sped up the process by 100 times. Now, that’s impressive.

Another thing is Hybrid SLI. Those of you hardcore gamers out there should know what SLI or Crossfire is. It basically allows you to combine 2 or more graphics cards to pump up more Crysis FPS. Hybrid SLI is just the same, but it combines both the integrated GPU (such as the 9400M) and the dedicated GPU (9600M GT). Right now, Apple doesn’t support this but it might come as a firmware or software update in the near future. Fingers crossed!

Chiclet keyboard. Mmm, I love it. It makes typing much more enjoyable.

Magnetic latch? F**k yeah! Cool factor++ (Hi Vince)

All ports moved to the left side. Good, now I can plug in all my peripherals and none of the cables will interfere with my mouse whenever I’m gaming (At one point I was actually looking for a 90 degree angle firewire 400 cable, lol).

No FW400 port? Damn, spent 16 bucks to buy a 6 to 9 pin cable.

MiniDisplay port? F**K! 50 bucks to get the god damn cable that allows me to use external display, and 150 bucks for a cable that lets me use a 30 inch or larger display if I plan to do so. No good!

No Toslink support anymore. Boo, no optical connection to my z-5500. But iPhone 3G headset support is pretty cool, now both the mic and headphones can be used without splitting into 2 separate ports.

Speaker holes are INCREDIBLY SMALL. No seriously, you will believe me when you look at the real thing. I guess it helps to prevent bits of food or junk to fall inside the laptop.

And finally… Prices for MacBooks increased by like 300 bucks for Aussie stores? WTF? And I thought I was gonna get a bargain by using my Malaysian credit card… :P

What do you guys think of the new MacBooks?

P/S: Oh btw, I’m currently looking for a job here down under. Hit me up if you know someone hiring for IT. ;)

One Month of iPhone 3G – Afterthoughts

It’s been one month since my iPhone 3G has served me. All I can say is this device has allowed me to use the internet on the go. There are also some features of the iPhone 3G that I like in particular:

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For example, I really, really love the intelligent auto-correction thing. It has allowed me to type fast without worrying that I am going to produce a typo. However, this only works if you are typing non-offensive dictionary words. So make sure you double-check what you have typed before sending the SMS/email. Trying to type “f**k you man” will produce “duck you man” and will make you look stupid. Be warned.

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Another thing that I really like is the ability to send and receive emails on the go. As you can see, my fellow friends are having fun comment raiding on a particular picture on Facebook.

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Apps, lots of them. I love having the ability to install apps that can help me identify songs (Shazam and Midomi) or allowing me to kill time (or as my friends describe it “looking like a retard”) by playing accelerometer-controlled games like Super Monkey Ball, Cube Runner etc (These games are controlled by tilting the iPhone itself).

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One last thing that I also liked is the ability to write chinese characters with handwriting recognition. On the above screenshot, you can see that I have typed my chinese name using handwriting recognition. Pretty neat.

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Now… Like I said, nothing is perfect. iPhone 3G has lots of bugs and problems even with the latest firmware. Here’s hoping that the next firmware will fix all these issues:

Keyboard lag: Sometimes your keyboard will suddenly feel the force of the vortex and go into 1 character per second mode. This bug is really, really annoying. Some people has suggested that activating the “magnifying glass” a.k.a hold your finger onto the screen will temporarily fix the issue. I usually just quit the offending app (usually SMS or email) and relaunch it.

Various lags: Contacts take up to 3 seconds before you can smoothly scroll and sometimes certain parts of the iPhone system suffer from abnormal lags.

Installing apps using App Store: If you’ve got an iPhone running the latest 2.0 firmware, AVOID installing apps using the App Store on the iPhone itself. I have run into numerous problems that has caused my iPhone to get stuck at the apple boot screen and I was also required to restore my iPhone several times.

App crashes: This one is also quite annoying especially when you’re trying to show your friend some cool apps you’ve just installed. You launch the app and then, boom, it goes back to the home screen. This will never stop until you restart your iPhone.

Insanely long backup times: This is one of the most annoying thing to happen especially when your iPhone needs to get restored due to some stupid problems. My backup takes at least an hour and this does not even include the sync process. Some dude over the internet posted a video that showed his iPhone backup taking as long as 8 hours! How ridiculous is that.

Horrible 3G performance: Ok, I don’t really know who to blame for this. But Optus 3G performance is freaking horrible in Australia. Some dude even did both ping and bandwidth tests on all carriers and Optus has a staggering 1200++ ms ping while the others only have 200++ ms ping. Also, the bandwidth on Optus 3G is between 5 to 7 times lower than its competitors. Cmon Optus, fix this please.

As you can see there are a lot of problems plaguing the iPhone 3G now. The stability of this device is horrible, so horrible that it’s giving a bad image to the Mac platform. Please Apple, fix them soon! /endrant

Adium Unofficial Beta Brings Back MSN Personal Messages

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… and also brings back much needed daily dose of emo entertaining messages.

warning: this is an UNOFFICIAL build so if you’re using Adium for really, really important stuff (which I doubt so), don’t use it.

download it from this forum thread (scroll down and find a post by Dimmuxx, 4th post from last) or try this direct link.

credits go to Dimmuxx at Cocoaforge forums

USB Dongle Allows Retail OS X Installation On PC

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Amazing, apparently a device called EFI-X has been crafted to allow you to install Mac OS X on your PC right from the retail discs. Check out the demo video here. I wonder if Apple lawyers are gonna threaten the creators of this device (I hope not).

My only questions are

– how much will this device cost
– do we need this device attached to boot OS X
– can it be installed on AMD computers
– do the creators of this device plan on providing drivers for hardware that are non-standard on Apple computers

Looks like we’ll know more on the release date, 23rd of June.

Safari 4 Sneak Peak

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So the word is out that Safari 4 Developer Preview is in fact lurking around the hand of developers. Turns out that my free ADC membership has it up for download too. So I played with it a while and I will talk about one feature that sets it apart from other browsers.

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Safari 4 File menu

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Fluid

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Safari web app of Facebook(left), Fluid version(right). Notice that fluid has proper icon.

Safari 4 now allows you to save your favourite web apps as…. none other than APPS themselves. So what the heck does that mean? It means that you can have a Facebook app, Gmail app, WordPress app – you name it!

While some may argue the need for such a feature, I believe there are some people out there that relies heavily on web apps for their work. Thus, having a separate app for the site alone might help to:

– Prevent crashes when too many tabs are open in one browser
– Probably minimise memory leaks for leaving your browser on too long (???)

Some of you might be familiar with Fluid, an app that allows you to do just what I mentioned above. It has some rather cool features as well. But let’s see some main differences between the two.

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These are screenshots of a web app saved using Safari 4 on the left and Fluid on the right. Notice something? That’s right, Fluid version of Facebook seems to be almost 28 times larger. But then again, Safari doesn’t have as much features compared to Fluid. So it’ll all up to user preference, personally I don’t really need Coverflow view of all links on a certain page because even though that’s cool, it’ll just mean that my quota will drain faster.

What are your thoughts? Do we really need such feature? So far I think it’s kinda redundant, but then again I’m not really a web app maniac yet! ;)