Tag Archives: macbook

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?

Apple - MacBook Pro.jpg

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. ;)

Even Steve Ballmer Uses a Mac

Looks like Steve B (Microsoft CEO) was using the fastest Vista notebook for his presentation.

Photoshop’d or Real? You decide.

Source: Flickr

It’s Playtime: Fun MacBook Apps

If you’ve read my previous posts, you would know that every MacBook comes equipped with a motion sensor. The primary purpose of this sensor is to quickly stop your hard disk from operating when it detects that your laptop is falling. This is done to minimise the damage of the hard disk.

Technical stuff aside, the motion sensor also brought a new breed of apps. These apps utilise the motion sensor to give various feedback.

Got another friend with a MacBook? Then try playing MacSaber!

Imagine you’re Luke Skywalker, and your friend, Han Solo stole your TV Remote and you would like a revenge.

MacSaber simulates your MacBook as a lightsaber by playing lightsaber swing sounds as you swing your MacBook. How cool is that!

Download MacSaber here.

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Another cool app is LiquidMac. This app basically simulates liquid orientation, so if you tilt your MacBook to the left, the liquid will flow to the left and vice versa.

Download LiquidMac here.

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Lastly, this fun app is a dream come true for Pong fanatics.

Enter Wally Bally, the brainchild of a very talented designer Julius Eckert. Wally Bally is a game that allows you to bounce a ball to the left or right, and the rule of the game is to only bounce the ball when the wall turns green. If you bounce the ball on a red wall, it’s game over!

Download Wally Bally here.

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Know any other cool MacBook apps? ;)

Apps and Tricks Every MacBook Warrior Should Have

Every MacBook comes with a technology that dims your display when it thinks you’re not around anymore – to save power. However, ever find it annoying when the screens dims on you when you’re watching your favourite cam whore video on youtube? You had to move the mouse once in a while to keep the screen fully lit. The guy next to you probably thought you were a mouse fettish.

Fret no more, enter Caffeine. No, it won’t order Starbucks for you so you could stay awake for more cam whore videos. This little app stays in your menubar with a coffee icon, clicking on it will switch it between two modes. When the icon shows an empty cup, your MacBook will act normally as described above. When the icon shows a cup filled with coffee, your MacBook suddenly feel the need to stay awake. Not that it needs to burn the midnight oil to install huge software updates, but rather it needed to stay awake to give you the pleasure of enjoying cam whore videos on youtube without getting a wrist injury.

P/S: This app also prevents your laptop from going to sleep, or screensaver mode. Pretty handy for presentations too I guess.

caffeine.png

Download Caffeine from:

http://www.lightheadsw.com/

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Next, this trick is pretty much an internal blog post I did when I first started writing. This trick allows you to display text messages on your Login Window so that if your laptop ever gets lost, some good samaritan should be able to find out who the laptop belongs to with the info written on the Login Window when he tries booting it up.

Click here  to go straight to the blog post.

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Next up, ever wonder why on earth is your MacBook Pro so hot? If you’re using the first generation MBP like me, chances are the heat from your laptop got you fantasizing if you could cook bacon and eggs on it. Make sure you don’t put your MBP on your lap for more than 5 minutes unless you’re not planning on having babies in the future.

macbreakfast.png

A good solution to this issue would be to get a laptop cooler, or… you could crank up the fan speed inside your MacBook.

Enter smcFanControl 2, this app allows you to set your minimum fan speed from 1000 rpm up to 6000rpm. Personally, I set mine to 2500rpm when the weather is cool but most of the time I find myself cranking up the speed to 4500rpm especially when my MBP gets into heavy usage.

smcFanControl 2.1 can be downloaded from the following link:

http://homepage.mac.com/holtmann/eidac/software/smcfancontrol2/index.html

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Next, this app will turn your MacBook into a BMW. Ok, you must be wondering, what the heck am I talking bout?

Enter iAlertU, this app allows you to make use of your (LOL $19) Apple Remote as a…… CAR REMOTE!!?!?!?!

Technically, when this app is run and you hold your Menu button on your Apple Remote, your MacBook will get locked (with some PEWP¬† BMW sound in action). When your MacBook gets moved (as detected by motion detector), it will go….

PEEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEW@#@@$!@$#$#

Ok, I’m bad at sound-to-text translation – but you know what I’m talking bout. Not only it pumps out a loud noise, you can even set it to send an e-mail with a picture taken with your iSight cam. Pretty cool eh?

Hold your menu button again and your laptop will go.. PEWP PEWP! Just like a BMW!

I haven’t used much of this app but I think it could be useful for some people. The only time I used this app was for showing off purposes ;)

If you’re interested, head on to:

http://www.slappingturtle.com/home/

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This final app will be an app that you WILL love. Ever wonder if you could speed up the sleep and wake process of your MacBook? Look no further, SmartSleep is here to save the day.

To briefly explain the need for such an app is:

Ever since Apple implemented the hibernate feature onto their laptops to allow people to swap batteries while their laptop is asleep, laptops now take ages to go into sleep mode because it copies all your RAM contents into your hard disk so that everything stays in tact just as it is before you let your MacBook go to sleep and you swap out the battery for another one.

After installing SmartSleep, my laptop sleeps in THREE f**king seconds! Amazing. Before I used SmartSleep, my laptop would take the same amount of time I went to pee and return.

smartsleep.png

Also, what makes SmartSleep so special is that it helps you to switch back to hibernate mode automatically when your battery level reaches a certain treshold that you’ve set. If you don’t need that, you can even set it to plain sleep mode.

Download SmartSleep from:

http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html

P/S: Make sure you install it for all users on the computer, because the writer of this app claims that Apple stocks will fall furiously if you don’t.

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Alright! That’s all for today’s tech tip. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you liked it, kindly donate me a new 4th generation MacBook Pro. ;)

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Image Sources:

Egg on MacBook – http://sillydog.org/forum/sdt_11750.php

MagStay PRO: One Dumb Invention

So apparently some people didn’t like the magnetic power connectors (MagSafe) on MacBook’s.

Then, some “geniuses” came to the rescue:

More Info: http://thoughtout.biz/MagStayPRO

Not only it effectively removes one USB port from your MacBook, it shall put your MacBook to a toughness test when someone trips over the power cable.

What an “awesome” product, well thought out indeed (the company calls themselves THOUGHT OUT Company, LOL!).

Long story short, if you still could not detect the sarcasm of this post, just stay away from products like this. May the magnetic force be with you.

The MacBook Air: Is it for You? (Or me)

Before I begin, I would like to tell you that I am NOT a Mac fanboy. I love Mac’s, but not to the extend that I would do something like this:

stickers.png

I use BOTH PC and Mac. What for you ask? To me, I believe that PC’s are the best for [computer] games. Mac’s are better for day-to-day usage (such as surfing for porn, I mean… that’s quite a daily basis thing right!??).

And now, on to ranting bout that MacBook Air…

The MacBook Air impressed me when Steve Jobs first introduced it in MacWorld ’08 keynote. The idea that a decently powerful laptop fits into a manilla envelope is quite mind-blowing. But, do we really need such a thin laptop? Do we need to put one whole laptop with secret data in it and put it into a manilla envelope!??

mba1.png

When I first saw pics of the MBA, I initially thought… The MBA is for people who are always on the run (or running away from the police with all your downloads from The Pirate Bay). I also thought, maybe the MBA is for people who are fashion-conscious. There are people out there who would pay a fortune to get a mobile phone with the thickness of the toilet paper. I have a friend back in college who used to tell me, his Samsung flip phone doesn’t cut it anymore, he wants to get a new phone from LG. I asked why, and he said the LG is thinner. When he showed me the catalogue, I couldn’t tell a f**king difference between the two, they are both probably like 0.000000001 mm apart in thickness. But he insisted that the LG phone is a life-changing device.

Back to the MBA, at $3000, this thing definitely doesn’t come cheap. If you want the SSD hard disk on it, it will set you back for another $999! That’s like RM3300 imagine how many Ramly burgers I can buy with that amount of money. Can feed the whole neighborhood already.

Then, there’s another problem… It has NO OPTICAL DRIVE! I know being able to surf the net with no wires is great, but does it feel the same not being able to watch that pirated DVD I just bought from pasar malam (night market) on the go!? Sure you can plug in that external optical drive (which apparently is specially made for MBA, and can only be used on the MBA), but who on earth would actually carry that optical drive around.

Then Apple came up with another idea – SHARE ANOTHER PC’S OPTICAL DRIVE! Again, who on earth would wanna share his or her optical drive with you if you’re out sitting at Starbucks. You have to like, walk over to the next table, ask the person for permission to share, and even if he agrees to share his drive he will still need to install a special software if he doesn’t use a Mac (and he probably doesn’t especially if you live in Southeast Asia). By the time he finishes up with installing that software, both your laptops are probably running low on battery. Even if the laptops aren’t, they’ll probably run low the next 5 minutes reading the DVD because it takes lots of power to run the optical drive.

Then, the MBA only has ONE USB PORT. Oh how brilliant, and people are reporting that you can’t plug in a 3g modem properly on the port. So like, if I want to use my Logitech MX Revolution mouse and the external optical drive, I have to either:

a) buy a USB hub THAT WORKS on the MBA

b) do the Melbourne Shuffle and shuffle between the two devices

The option (a) is probably my best bet since I have no idea how to do the Melbourne Shuffle. But if I can’t get a working USB hub, then I’m screwed, literally. Maybe I should get this instead:

mbacraft.jpg

Nice, probably can flatten some ants with that too. Sweet, floppy drive. Time to try out Wolftenstein 3D.

Not only the MBA is thin, it is LIGHT too. At only 3 pounds, you can probably use it as a basketball replacement in case you forgot to bring your ball.

slambookair.png

So in conclusion, the MBA is probably not for me. I’m not someone who’s always on the run, more like someone who’s always on the chair. I have no fashion sense, my hair is just as bad as Donald Trump’s. I’m anti-social, I probably won’t ask the guy next table to share his optical drive with me. I can’t do the Melbourne Shuffle. The last time I’ve played basketball is probably a decade ago.

Is the MBA for you? Share me your thoughts.

P/S: This post is only for humor purposes, I am in no way against Apple products nor I am biased towards either the PC or Mac.

PP/S: No MacBooks were harmed during the making of this post.

Pic sources: Digg, Apple, Flickr & Engadget.