Thursday, April 16, 2009


...So hilarious!

Monday, February 9, 2009

How to reach 8 hours of battery life on the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros

Let's admit it: when people realize that the new 17-inch MacBook Pro is able to reach 8 hours of battery life, even the very last 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks seem a little bit inferior.

But I'm here today to prove that, indeed, 8 hours of battery life can also be reached on the "smaller" MacBooks.

Sure, there are some limitations but, if you're away from a power plug, this article wants to help you optimizing battery life.

You might already know that wireless connectivity and screen brightness are some of the major factors that limit battery life, but what else can you do to reach 8 hours of battery life?
Here is the list of small steps I've performed to reach the goal:

  • Turn Airport and Bluetooth off
  • Keep display brightness and keyboard backlight at a minimum (...but don't strain your eyes!)
  • Turn off your display whenever you're not going to use it for a few minutes: how to do that quickly? Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Exposè & Spaces > Exposè and enable a "Sleep display" active screen corner
  • Keep your Mac updated: the newest version of the software might help!
  • Keep processes under control: if necessary search for "Activity Monitor" and find out who is using your CPU
    • avoid typical CPU-intensive tasks like iMovie, GarageBand, Final Cut, Photoshop, etc...
    • avoid virtualization software like VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop; in case you need to use Windows application consider one of the following:
      • use Crossover, which is certainly lighter (not every application works though)
      • [thanks Leto_Parallels!] under Parallels you can reduce power consumption:
        • go to the "Optimization" under "Virtual Machine Configuration" and choose to prefer battery life over performance
        • enable the "Adaptive Hypervisor", which will help keep either OS you're running at a minimal resource consumption when not being focused on by the user.
    • if you need to keep an application open but you won't use it in the following minutes, think about suspending it.
      • "App Stop" lets you temporarily freeze any application and reset to zero usage of the CPU by that program with very few clicks.
      • For those of you, Terminal geeks: killall -STOP Mail to freeze the application and killall -CONT Mail to resume it
    • Quit Finder easily after enabling the "Quit Finder" menu option:
      • use TinkerTool if you want to do that through the GUI
      • for those of you, Terminal geeks: defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool YES; killall Finder
    • If you need to browse... disable Flash. In Firefox it's really easy: go to Tools > Add-ons > Plugins > Shockwave Flash > Disable
    • Kill the process or, if unsure about what that might cause, logout or restart to reset runaway programs
    • If you use Quicksilver, set "Catalog rescan" to "Manual". If Quicksilver seems to be eating up all of your CPU, try this; if that doesn't help temporarily quit Quicksilver.
    • Don't perform hard disk-intensive tasks:
      • don't put your MacBook to sleep if you're going to use it again soon, this sucks a lot of energy! Every time you do that your Mac is also hibernated: this means that the content of the temporary memory (RAM) is dumped to the hard disk... if you have 4GB of memory this might cause up to 4GB of data to be written on the hard disk!
      • avoid, once again, applications like iMovie and Final Cut
    • Avoid the Dashboard
      • If you don't use it, disable it:
        • Use a graphical tool such as TinkerTool
        • Or use the command line: defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES; killall Dock
      • If you want to quit it temporarily
  • Minimize usage of the CD/DVD drive
  • Mute your speakers
Naturally these advices apply to any portable Mac out there.
Hope this article has dramatically improved the battery life of your Mac!

[Update: added some information about Parallels power consumption]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mount ISO images under Mac OS X (Snow Leopard, Leopard, Tiger, etc...)

After reading this article I've discovered that mounting ISO images under the brand new Windows 7 can seriously be a pain in the @$$!
As reported on the small how-to, mounting a ISO image under Windows 7 it's a travel from bad written third-party applications to Windows crashes.

Let's compare this to what happens under Mac OS X: how can you mount ISO images on a Mac?
Well... you double-click it. Done. That's it.
No third-party applications nor crashes: I guess we now have another proof of what the Mac user experience is like!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mac fans are actually loving Windows 7

n625423665_1176822_6101 When my friend tcid posted his Windows 7 review I had the evidence something was changing. He is no more bashing Windows just because is a Microsoft product. I think that the little improvement in Apple market share is making him more reasonable. After all he was not doing ethical fud. He was doing reality distortion fud and the increase of the Macs in the world should have lowered the power of controlling minds that Cupertino seems to had in the past over him.

Reading news on the web seems that not only Tcid changed his mind about Windows. And the change was not a turn form hate to indifference, but form hate to love. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?

I don’t know what happened, maybe the new Windows taskbar is recalling OSX dock showing also huge improvements, for example the ability to have a look at browser tabs and not only at windows, that is going to be the real killer feature of Windows 7.

I don’t know if Windows XP users would appreciate there features. They share (Although for different reasons) the idea of operating system with the European Union and I can’t say if it more insulting for XP users to be compared with Europeans Union  members (The politics, not the people) or the opposite.

To sum up the situation below I will share some statistics collected among my friends.

Who, like me, has Windows Vista installed skipped the beta of Windows 7, they are going on with Vista (It should work well, after all). We are not actually thinking that Windows Vista is better than Windows 7 but we are lazy and we are not thinking that the super-bar and the performance improvement are good reason to dismantle a perfectly working system to make room for a beta that has an expire date. I am  sorry, but I am not used to reinstall the operating system often. Just to be clear I will surely adopt Windows 7 form day one, till the release of Windows 8.

Who has a Mac not only downloaded the beta to reduce the bandwidth of Microsoft’s server in the first day of the release, but actually were the first person who fired up their Windows XP bootcamp. And they were all positively impressed. They are still using OSX as their primary operating system, but I think that is due more to the lack of support that Apple is giving to software not made in Cupertino than to other reasons.

Who owns a netbook skipped Windows Vista but gave a chance to the Windows 7 beta and is using it in everyday. They tested a lot of operating systems, to find what is fitting best with their hardware and the response is a clear victory of Windows 7. Netbooks that originally shipped with Linux have no more evidence of their past with Xandros or Ubuntu. Who owns a netbook is also a Windows 7 tester.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you more details about what Windows XP and Linux users are thinking, but they can’t be friend of mine. (The last sentence was ironic, if you know what it means).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here comes another MacBook Air clone

Do people like the MacBook Air?
Looking at the clones coming out every day, it seems so!

Look at these pictures and be amazed!

The real MacBook Air:

MSI clone (already described here):

Olidata clone:
Enjoy the clones!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Microsoft wins both at CES and at MacWorld

We all know that the Windows 7 beta build leaked just some day before the new year’s eve and some weeks before both the MacWorld and the CES, the two most important technology conference in the first months of each year.

That leakage broke the plans at Cupertino, that decided to keep their new kitten, Snow Leopard, away form the brand new Microsoft operating system that is going to be the real sold out in technology for 2009, as proven by the very high request to the servers since day one.

Add to this the health status of Steve Jobs that is leaving Apple without a full-time leader, and a fist-order keynote-man and you will have as result one of the worst MacWorld ever for Apple users. This edition was so bad that one of the coolest product was an HP Windows Home Server. Not actually a good sign for a company that is still selling the Mac Mini, a piece of hardware that is more suitable to a museum than on the shelf of a modern store.

ces-08-southOn the other side, as usual Microsoft kicked off the CES with its CEO speech and a bunch of technical demos. Also this keynote was not as good as the one of the past, maybe for the absence of Bill Gates. Ballmer is great when has to speak to developers, a little less when has to speak to consumers. However he should have been convincing when he announced the public release of the beta of Windows 7. Maybe he is not the best speaker, but surely he is good in creating hype.

In conclusion we have a Microsoft product listed as cool in one of the Mac-conferences and the new Redmond operating system is definitely the most desired technological product of 2009.

Apple needs to find something better than an high capacity battery, pretty useless in a 17’’ laptop that is going to be moved only from a desk (with power supply available) to another desk (with power supply available).

And not forget the trial of Palm to take back the position he had in the past in mobile devices. The iPhone should be advised: in the 2009 it won’t be the Jesus-Phone anymore.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

First Windows 7 crashes

As you've probably learned from my last article, I've just installed the latest Windows 7 beta; it sometimes freezes and neither CTRL+ALT+CANC works.
Here is the video of what happens.