Friday, April 06, 2007

Panasonic UJ-215 slot-load Blu-ray burner shipping

You can now get a slim-line Blu-ray burner, the Panasonic UJ-215, for your Mac laptop. The good news is that it works natively in OS X, and Toast 8 supports it. The bad news is it costs a whopping US$800. Below are the burn speeds.

BD-R: 1X



DVD+R DL: 2.4X

CD-R: 8X

The UJ-215 is pictured here beside its tray-load brother, the UJ-210.

Rogers backtracks on iPhone for Canada

Three months ago we confirmed with Rogers that they will be getting the iPhone. Here is an excerpt from their response to our query:
The following is the information that we have so far regarding the release and availability of the Apple iPhone.
- The iPhone will first be introduced in North America
- Cingular is the only wireless carrier to launch the iPhone in the United States
- Rogers is actively working with Apple to launch the iPhone in Canada as soon as possible and will be the exclusive provider of the iPhone in Canada
- Apple is planning to introduce the iPhone in Europe (Q4 2007) and Asia (2008)
- Please be advised that Rogers will be offering the iPhone exclusively in Canada
- Launch date and pricing for Canada are not yet available
- Other Canadian wireless carriers will not launch the iPhone; Rogers will be the only Canadian wireless carrier to offer the iPhone
Rogers is now backtracking on those statements, according to this CBC article:
In Canada, Rogers Wireless Inc. — the only wireless service provider in the country with a network the iPhone can use — offered no launch date and dismissed the idea that it would sell the highly anticipated device as "speculation."

"We haven't announced whether we will carry the iPhone," Odette Coleman, manager of corporate communications for Rogers Wireless, said in an e-mail to CBC News Online. "Everything in the media has been speculations to this point. The only fact is that we are the only GSM carrier in Canada. That's the only fact."
Fortunately for me, I was not planning to get the iPhone anyway in its first iteration. I'm not really that interested in the iPhone until it is 3G and gets more storage space. Furthermore, I'd like to see how long the battery lasts in real-world usage, especially considering that the iPhone's battery is not removable.

[Update 2007-04-08]

Rogers has backtracked on its backtracking. Rogers confirmed again to iPhone World that they in fact will be getting the iPhone.

Rogers offering Mac-compatible 3G HSDPA laptop adapter

Rogers Wireless in Canada has begun offering the Option Wireless GT MAX PCMCIA card for its recently launched 3G HSDPA service. This allows up to a theoretical 3.6 Mbps maximum download speed wirelessly, in any area where HSDPA is supported. In areas where 3G service is unavailable, the card can fall back to 2.5G EDGE (and GPRS) as well.

Unfortunately, No MacBook Pros or MacBooks can actually use this card. MacBook Pros have a much smaller ExpressCard slot, and MacBooks have no expansion slot at all. The Option Wireless MAX card will only be useful for those mobile Mac users with G4 PowerBooks.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Apple using limited production quad-core CPU in Mac Pro

Yesterday Apple announced an 8-core Mac Pro, which made us wonder how Apple was selling them, since Intel's 3 GHz Clovertown wasn't due out yet and nobody else had them. It turns out that Apple is using a CPU in limited production to fill their needs, according to an eWeek report which quotes an Intel spokesperson.
"We are indeed shipping a 3.0GHz Xeon version [and] expect to see faster gigahertz speeds for our high-end Extreme PCs very soon, too," Bill Kircos, wrote in an e-mail to eWeek. "For now, the product is in limited production and Apple has chosen to adopt it. We will introduce another 3.0GHz Xeon SKU [Stock Keeping Unit] later on as well."
One wonders if this chip fits inside the 120 Watt TDP envelope of the slower clocked 2.66 GHz quad-core CPU (which Apple doesn't use in any of its machines), or if it runs at significantly higher power. I suspect the latter, and 120 Watt 3 GHz Clovertown quads will come out in Q3 2007 as originally planned. It will be interesting to find out just how much louder these 8-core (dual-quad) machines are compared to the existing 4-core (dual-dual) Mac Pros. Whatever the case, it looks like Apple has gotten a head start on the competition yet again.

[Update 2007-04-06]

An Intel spokesman states that the chip Apple is using is simply the Xeon X5365, and implies it isn't a special version of the chip (other than being early and in limited production). Thus, I wonder if it may in fact be 120 Watts like its 2.66 GHz X5355 brother (since I'm guessing the Q3 release version will have a maximum TDP of about that wattage), or if Apple is getting higher wattage chips in this limited production run.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

8-core Mac Pros are here

This is just a quick update to tell you that the 8-core Mac Pro is now finally here, as expected.

The 8-core option is as an upgrade option to the current quad-core 3 GHz model, for a total of 24 GHz of computing goodness. There are no other 8-core options, and the rest of the lineup has not changed (although they've dropped the prices on the Cinema Displays).

[Update 2007-04-04]

There has in fact been a small change to the options. The smallest hard drive available now is 250 GB. Previously, the smallest available was 160 GB (although the standard configuration was 250 GB).

The other interesting thing is the fact that nobody else seems to have these 3 GHz quad-core Clovertown (X5365) chips, which Apple says it's using.
Opt for the 8-core Mac Pro and you get the power of two Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Clovertown” processors running at 3.0GHz. Or choose a quad-core Mac Pro featuring two Dual-Core Intel Xeon “Woodcrest” processors and decide how fast they fly: 2.0GHz, 2.66GHz, or 3.0GHz. At 3.0GHz, the quad-core Mac Pro runs up to 2x faster than the Power Mac G5 Quad.
Intel had originally suggested that these chips wouldn't be out until Q3 2007, but this is nearly a full quarter early, and Apple says the machines are shipping within 3-5 days.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Apple adds Sony Ericsson K790 support in OS X 10.4.9

This is old news for some of you, but I just tried to sync my phone again for the first time after the 10.4.9 update. Apple has finally added support for my Sony Ericsson K790a to iSync in OS X 10.4.9, as well as for several other phones. The full list is here:
Motorola K1 Bluetooth + USB
Motorola K1m Bluetooth + USB
Motorola V3m Bluetooth + USB
Motorola L2 Bluetooth + USB

Samsung D600 Bluetooth
Samsung D900 Bluetooth

Nokia N80 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia E61 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia E62 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia N71 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia N72 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia N73 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia N91 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia N93 Bluetooth + USB
Nokia 6102 Bluetooth
Nokia 6103 Bluetooth
Nokia 6131 Bluetooth + USB

Sony Ericsson K610i Bluetooth + USB
Sony Ericsson K790i Bluetooth + USB
Sony Ericsson K800i Bluetooth + USB
Sony Ericsson Z525a Bluetooth + USB
Remember to remove your old plug-ins though, or else you'll get this iSync message: