Mac Viruses

Apple’s recent ads talk about how there are no viruses written for
Mac. That statement is not entirely true. Viruses are released for
Mac. in 2005, 143 viruses targeted Macintosh computers. Compare this
with the 150,000 written for PCs and it does not sound bad but the
statement is still incorrect. By the way, if you want to view the new
Macintosh ads, go here.

Apple Displays with built in cameras

Apple recently patented a display that includes thousands of tiny image sensors that will allow the screen to act as a camera.  This will allow the user to look at the screen as images are taken and will change the way I see people in instant messaging conversations where the person always looks like they are staring above or below us depending on the position of their camera. 

Windows on the Mac Update

I got the latest intel update for Mac OSX. It was about 150MB but now
I can see my NTFS partition for Windows within Mac OS. I am glad to
know that I can edit those file whenever I wish. I was about to try
to mount the volume from the Unix shell but it was there before I
could try. 🙂

Windows on a Mac

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you will know that on Wednesday,
Apple released software called Boot Camp that allows users of the
Intel processor macintosh computers to dual boot with Windows XP and
Mac OSX. Naturally, this interested me. I downloaded the software
and repartitioned my drive, allocating 10GB for the Windows partition.
Next, I had to get a copy of Windows XP with SP2 already on it. I
had my class slipstream SP2 onto an installation disk so I was
prepared to slipstream it but Ian had a copy already so I just burned
the disk. I had my own CD key to use. The next step was to burn a CD
of drivers that would allow me to use the mac features within Windows
XP. This also provides support for the Mac hardware including the
wireless Airport card, Bluetooth adapter, and other devices. After
that, I started the Windows XP install just as you normall would do on
a PC. The installation was the part that took the longest. After
installing, I updated to get all the latest patches, I joined it to my
domain and then installed a game to try out the graphics card.

The graphics adapter is amazingly adaptable. (no pun intended) I was
able to adjust the amount of system memory it uses. I have it using
256MB but I might decrease that. My entire system has 2GB of RAM in
it. My bottleneck is the GPU, not the RAM so the additional RAM is
not helpful. I ran Battle for Middle Earth 2 (BFME2) and the graphics
did look pretty bad. I was able to adjust a few thigns to clean it up
but it certainly does not look as nice as Justin’s machine (3.5GHz AMD
Athlon 64, 256MB Graphics card). Another issue is the fact that my
widescreen resolution is not supported in game. I can, however,
utilize the 1920×1200 resolution in the OS.

To switch between Windows and MacOS Tiger, hold down the Option/Alt
key as the computer boots. It will then give you a selection screen.
The screen does not look anything like the boot loaded in Windows.
This is a graphical menu that you click on. Is this functionally any
better than the one included with XP? No, but it does look nice.

I do wish that the two systems could share data on the file system.
MacOS uses the HFS+ file system and Windows uses NTFS. I was hoping
that Apple would write some drivers to allow the XP OS to read from
the HFS disk and vice versa. This is not a large inconvenience though
because I primarily use network storage. There is 1.2TB of storage on
the network that I can take advantage of.

The process was fairly simple and I do not miss the other 10GB so I am
happy to have tried this.

Mac Mini

I bought a Mac mini a few weeks ago. I have had my eyes on one for
quite some time. I love it that they are so small. I have it hooked
up to my 23" Apple Cinema display. I found out soon after I purchased
it that it really needs RAM. I got one of the new Intel machines.
Some of the software I use has not yet been optimized for the Intel
core so it runs in emulation mode. This slows some programs down.
One program specifically, Firefox, does not yet have an Intel version.
They do have an Intel beta that I hear is not too bad.

I bought 2GB of RAM for it but it did not work in the machine. I had
to send the RAM back and I am still waiting for replacement sticks to
arrive. The machine runs a little slow with only 512MB of RAM in it.
I was dissapointed that the new Intel Mac Mini uses shared video
memory. The old G4 mac mini models did not use shared memory. This
reduces my main memory and I just wonder how good it really is. Apple
says it is great because the system memory is DDR2 running at 667MHz.
I have not had any problems with it but I haven’t really played any
games or anything on it.

I had to get one of those white keyboards to go with the mac mini
because they look sweet. I also wanted to have the special mac keys.
I was going to sell my G4 cube to Richard but he did not buy it so I
guess I really did not need a new keyboard. I had a mac keyboard with
the G4 cube. Oh well. The cube still runs fine and it has Tiger on
it so I will use it someday or find someone who wants to buy it.

Mac Handwriter

Last week I picked up a Mac Handwriter. It is a tablet for the mac
but it is quite old. I did not have the stylus but I was told the one
from my other tablet would work. It uses PS/2 ports so I had to get
an adapter for it. The tablet was $3.00 at Goodwill and the adapter
was $4.00 on eBay.

I guess I will know in a few days if it will work or not.

Apple monitors

As some of you know, I bought an Apple Cinema HD 23" widescreen monitor about 6 months ago.  I still love the beautiful picture and high resolution it offers.  Here is another interesting thing about Apple monitors that I found on Engadget. 
Unknown to many Apple retail store customers, especially those dialing AppleCare for help with the matter, at the managerÔÇÖs discretion any retail store is able to replace displays, laptops, or iMacs with even a single dead pixel, regardless of location. Even displays that exhibit dead pixels within the ÔÇ£normalÔÇØ range can be replaced free of charge if the customer deems the so-called ÔÇ£pixel anomalyÔÇØ unacceptable.
I still highly recommed these displays to anyone.  I would have liked to get the 30" display but both the price and the fact that I would need a new video card with dual-link DVI stopped me from purchasing it.  BTW: I use the display with my PC without problems. 

Mac fans fantasize over new hardware

This is the new iMac. Everything is built into the monitor. It has a slot loading DVD burner, a large widescreen display and the G5 processor. Very sleek and an efficient design. One misleading thing about it is that while it is a G5, all the desktop machines are Dual G5’s so this one will not perform at the same level as the standard desktop companions.

Despite all the rave reviews of the last iMac, I did not like it but this one is a completely different animal. The other one had a base and was interesting to think about but this one is something to be envious of. As you can see from the picture above, it is not lacking in the number of ports it has. The inside view shows the efficient design. It reminds me of a laptop design.

Here is the greatest monitor yet. It is expensive ($3000) but worth it. It measures 30 inches wide and sports an impressive 2560 x 1600 resolution. I looked at the plasma displays a few months ago to compare them to this one and the resolution on the plasmas is nowhere near this. This monitor actually uses two DVI ports to operate and it requires the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL card. I assume that other cards will support it in the future. Apple also has a 23 inch model that supports more graphics cards. That one is rather impressive too. It is also about $700 cheaper.

For some reason, most foreigners bring Macs to Japan

It is really interesting to see how many people have macs here. Macintosh computers are really popular among the foreign ex patriots, students and teachers. I figured after I met the first one that I would not meet many more but there are actually a number of people living in my apartment complex who brought macs with them rather than PCs. One of my students saw that I had a mac and asked me if Macs were more popular than PCs in the US because he noticed so many people from the US with Macs. I told him that they only made up about 2-3% of computer sales and that I was just as confused about it as he is.

I was sad because gmail does not support the old version of Safari (the web browser for mac) and the new version of Safari requires a newer version of the Macintosh operating system. Internet Explorer: Mac is not supported either. I heard that Mozilla Firefox supported gmail but I wondered if the Mac version did so I downloaded it and tried it last night. Sure enough, it worked just find and now I can check my gmail account using wireless networks near my building. The latest version of firefox is rather nice too. It has tabbed browsing. This is where multiple browsing windows can be condensed to a series of tabs at the top of the program. It was a feature that made me use the Opera browser for a while. You can even get mouse gestures another feature I liked in Opera through a download-able extension. I think I may switch to firefox on my PC too. *Justin: you might want to try it out.* Click to download it for PC. DOWNLOAD If you decide to use firefox and want to get the RSS for this blog, go to the Bookmarks menu and select ‘Manage Bookmarks’. Under the ‘File Menu’, select ‘New Live Bookmark’. Create a name for the Live Bookmark and add the URL specified in this old blog entry.

I see that iPods are getting popular here too. The most popular thing is still the MiniDisk. I see everyone carrying a minidisk and listening to them on the train but following MD in far second is the iPod. I went to the apple store in Osaka over the weekend and it was really nice. It is a large metal building that looks like one of their machines with a large glowing white apple on the side. Like most places here, the building is many levels but it is very classy with glass staircases and nice lighting with plenty of sales associates. They have an area with bean bags where you can try apple machines on the second floor. I found that I could buy apple software in English too. I really want to upgrade my operating system but everything was very expensive so I did not get the software. I will need to shop on eBay or something if I ever want to upgrade.