* Posts by Nathan Boal

13 posts • joined 27 Aug 2007

Can Western Digital drives vary their spin speeds?

Nathan Boal
Thumb Up

The mystery is solved!

I'm glad to see this particular tech myth put to bed. You have to give it to WD for a clever marketing trick though...

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Apple 17in MacBook Pro

Nathan Boal
Jobs Halo

@TeeCee

Thing is, what's the real difference between one screw and a placcy cover, and ten screws and one big metal plate? Effectively nothing for all intents and purposes.

Also, Apple provide clear instructions in the manual telling you how to do it, plus the warranty remains in tact. The only time Apple won't cover you is if you damage something while you're upgrading it, and they'll still cover you for unrelated areas.

It really isn't anywhere near as bad as people make out...

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Nathan Boal
IT Angle

Oh ffs...

"upgrading the memory on this model is extremely difficult"

No it's not! I'm tying on mine right now - you remove a total of 10 easily accessible screws and the bottom panel of the computer comes right off, exposing the internals of the computer, where you can easily replace the HDD, Memory etc.

If TheReg consider this to be difficult, I suggest they stop calling themselves an IT site...

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Apple shares MacBook break-in tips

Nathan Boal
IT Angle

Are you kidding?

10 Screws? Oh noes! You realise that once you take the ten screws out, the entire bottom panel comes right off, exposing the entire computer, making the RAM and HDD easily accessed and upgraded? How hard is that exactly? What were they expecting?

Before the pre-Unibody MacBook Pros, you had 4 screws to open the memory access panel, and if you wanted to upgrade the hard drive, it took a lot of work as you had to essentially dissassemble the top case - involving removing a total of about 27 screws inside and out, using a credit card to prise open the clips right around the keyboard tray (which never went back together quite the same afterwards), unclipped the mouse/keyboard ribbon cables, untaped some wires over the HDD, unscrewed the HDD cage, unscrewed the drive from the HDD cage, swap the HDD and reverse the process to put it all back together again - ie, not something your average user will want or be able to do.

Compare that with the new MacBook Pros. 10 screws, lift bottom panel off, unscrew HDD from its mounting, replace and reverse the process. Easy peasy.

I thought TheReg was an IT site and they think THAT's hard? Pleeeeeaaaaase.

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Apple drops white Macbook processor speed

Nathan Boal
IT Angle

I see the Reg has done their research before posting...

Yes, Apple have reduced the processor speed on the white MacBook, however they have changed the platform its running on, so that reduced processor speed is balanced by an increase in FSB from 800MHz to 1066MHz.

A properly researched list of changes can be found here :

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/01/21/apple-quietly-updates-entry-level-white-macbook/

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Apple prices MacBook Pro battery surgery

Nathan Boal
Jobs Halo

@Jeremy - Give me a break...

Okay, so you get a battery which is designed to last over 3x longer than a normal laptop battery, lasts longer on a single charge than a normal battery and you're still whining that after approx FIVE YEARS you might have to pay Apple £139 for a new battery (including Labour AND safe disposal of your old battery pack) rather than the £100 approx which Apple charges for the standard, replaceable battery packs for its laptops. Give me a break...

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Darling's budget targets small business

Nathan Boal
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Who's a tad sceptical?

We're screwed either way...

1. VAT falls and retailers will increase their profits by failing to pass on the full 1.5% drop - Customers end up paying much the same regardless, except instead the retailers get more money instead of the government. Once VAT goes back up, retailers will be quick to add 1.5% onto everything, meaning we'll be paying more than ever.

2. Fuel/Tobacco/Alcohol duty will be increased to offset the VAT cut - Who thinks that once VAT goes back to its original 17.5% the duty will be decreased to match? Thought not...

The only real way to honestly 'inject' £12.5bn into the economy is to cut income tax so people have the money to spend in the first place.

The only good thing to come out of this is the slower phase-in of the new car tax system which will save me about £100.

Mine's the one with a wallet as empty as ever...

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Apple opens Macbook front in iPhone jailbreak war

Nathan Boal

OS X Version...

The new MacBooks and MacBook Pros use a newer build of OS X 10.5.5 which might account for the issues experienced. If true, that means the next update (10.5.6) will likely implement this 'feature' on all Macs. Time will tell...

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Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Nathan Boal
Jobs Halo

A few points...

"although the screen alone wouldn’t be enough to justify the extra expense" - Coming from an original MacBook Pro (Core Duo 2.0GHz), I bought a MacBook as it seemed like a baby MacBook Pro which suited me more for portability. However, the screen quality of the MacBook is very poor (well, it's probably fine for a consumer laptop, but it was a definite downgrade compared to my previous MacBook Pro's glossy screen). I tried it for a few days but in the end I was straight into the Apple store to exchange it for the new MacBook Pro. The difference is mindblowing, even compared to my old MacBook Pro. The colours are amazingly vivid, the contrast is fantastic and the viewing angles are excellent. I thought the screen was worth paying the extra for alone, the dedicated graphics chip was a bonus.

Just a nitpick though... "For these guys, that alone will justify the £250 price differential". It's DIFFERENCE. DIFFERENCE! Unless you're a mathematician or engineer performing differential calculus, the word you are looking for is DIFFERENCE. This North American habit of using 'differential' when comparing something as trivial as a football score has got to stop. Now.

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Apple swipes £121 for 'free' MobileMe trial

Nathan Boal
Jobs Halo

Apple responds - Apologises, fixes problem and offers 30 day extension

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/07/19/apple-sends-another-mobileme-apology-e-mail-and-extension/

"Apple is now offering those affected an additional 30 days to their trial service above and beyond the original 30 day extension for the rocky transition. As a result, affected users will get a total of 120 days of free trial MobileMe service before they are required to start their subscription."

Nice.

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Seagate's US customers get refund

Nathan Boal
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HDD Makers bring this upon themselves...

Hard drives are computer components, the only thing they get used in is a computer. Therefore, the clash between the manufacturer's claimed capacity vs the capacity reported by ALL computers is one of their own making. I've never come across a device yet that doesn't use the 1GB=1024MB definition, so it's totally illogical for HDD makers to use 1GB=1000MB except as a way for them to legally make a 930GB drive but labelled as 1TB.

This is such a long standing issue which needs sorted out. The HDD makers and the rest of the computer industry have got to sit down and sort this out as it's only going to get worse as larger and larger drives appear on the market. The confusion caused to average computer users is not acceptable (I'm sure many techies are tired of trying to explain why a brand new 500GB drive is 35GB short...)

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Apple gives MacBooks some Santa Rosa loving

Nathan Boal
Stop

FAO frankgobbo

This has to be (along with the whole 'omg, I bought a new 500GB Hard Drive and there's only 465GB of usable space, wtf?' issue) the most uninformed thing that comes up in relation to Apple products outside the US.

US Prices *DO NOT* include sales tax, whereas the UK (and I'm assuming Australia too) include VAT at 17.5%, which normally equalises the prices to within a reasonable amount.

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BioShockers delivered from DRM hell

Nathan Boal

Pointless but will be removed eventually

I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments posted so far, I am totally against DRM in any shape or form.

Saying that, I remember reading somewhere that games companies tend to put heavy copy protection on their products when they are launched due to the massive number of people anxious to play the game, thus making sure they get the maximum number of people buying their own copies of the game. Then after a year or two they remove the copy protection through the latest patch as the demand for the game dwindles.

I suspect the same thing will happen with Bioshock, although rather than just discontinuing a simple CD/DVD check, they will have to disable the SecuROM protection too. I suspect they probably pay SecuROM for providing this 'protection', so they will probably discontinue it once the sales of the game drop below a certain point where it doesn't make financial sense to keep paying for the SecuROM functionality.

The whole 5 installs/5 reinstalls business is absolutely scandalous. As a former top-end gaming rig owner (I have a Mac Pro these days, with a Xbox 360 for gaming), I understand a lot of people like to rebuild their PCs regularly, or reinstall Windows from time to time. This will do nothing but totally rub their top customers up the wrong way.

Another nail in the coffin of PC gaming I think... the 360 version is as always far simpler for the consumer and the graphics are still amazing on a big HDTV.

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