Monday, August 17, 2009

Notes about Snow Leopard and 64-Bit Support

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

It looks like not all users understand about 64-bit support in snow leopard.
So, here is how it works:

on all Macs, except xserve, system boots by default 32-bit kernel.
This kernel can run 64-bit apps justs fine on core 2/core i7 based cpuz.
64-bit kernel works only on macs with 64-bit efi, this is limitation set by Apple,
technicaly 64-bit kernel can be launched by 32-bit efi just fine.
also Apple disabled 64-bit kernel support for any macbooks, even with 64-bit efi.
64-bit Kernel can run both 32 and 64 bit apps.
On hackintosh only cpus with ssse3 can run 64-bit kernel/apps, its core2/corei7 based cpus.
if kernel is 64-bit, then it can load only 64-bit kexts.
if kernel is 32-bit, then it can load only 32-bit kexts.
Userspace program cant load plugins with other architecture, for example menumeters will work only when you booted legacy, so menubar created by 32-bit application.
Quicktime uses InterProcess Communications(IPC) to load 32-bit codecs in 64-bit player.
64-bit safari uses IPC to load 32-bit flash player plugin.

To try to boot x86_64 kernel on Macintosh, edit this file:


find there:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review: Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 3GS

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

The iPhone 3GS is awesome except for one thing: its battery life, or lack thereof.

My battery experience had been awful. Recently, I was on a flight from Chicago O’Hare to San Diego with my new 32GB iPhone 3GS in airplane mode. When I boarded the flight, my battery charge was 85 percent. During the flight, I shot two videos about two minutes long each. I composed 17 emails, some attaching the videos. I also listed to music and watched a movie I purchased from iTunes. By the time I landed, the battery went from 85 to 27 percent.

Jason O'Grady previously posted some suggestions for extending an iPhone’s battery life, including…

1. Minimize use of location services
2. Turn off push notifications
3. Fetch new data less frequently
4. Turn off push mail
5. Auto-check fewer email accounts
6. Minimize use of third-party applications
7. Turn off Wi-Fi
8. Turn off Bluetooth
9. Use Airplane Mode in low- or no-coverage areas
10. Adjust brightness
11. Turn off EQ
12. Turn off 3G

So, in order to keep our iPhones running longer we should revert to iPhone 1.0? It sounds like Apple wants me to use my iPhone 3GS as an iPod touch. Gee, thanks Steve. I upgraded from the original 8GB iPhone 2G to the new 32GB iPhone 3GS because I wanted a better phone. I don’t like to scale down or compromise on my toys so I began researching external battery packs.

Before I settled on the Mophie Juice Pack, I bought the KONNET PowerKZ from Amazon. It is designed to fully wrap around the iPhone. It adds a bit of bulk, but I liked the idea of a full enclosure. Sadly, this unit was terrible… pieces were falling apart (like the actuator to the iPhone’s upper power button), and whenever I would get a text message, the iPhone would make the “chirp” sound that it makes when you plug in external power. It was like the Konnet unit was going offline momentarily when the phone was receiving data.

I returned it a few days later and purchased the Mophie Juice Pack 3G from Amazon instead.

While the Mophie Juice Pack 3G doesn’t fully wrap around the phone, it is superbly constructed, and works perfectly. If is also fully iPhone qualified by Apple. I’m not sure if the Konnet PowerKZ was or not. If your iPhone is not fully charged, when you plug in the Mophie, it will recharge your phone to fully capacity, assuming the Mophie is fully charged itself. Best thing though, if your iPhone is already charged, it will draw power from the Mophie first before using the internal battery. I tested it out.

I woke up at 7 a.m. yesterday and put the fully charged iPhone in the fully charged Mophie Juice Pack 3G. During the day, I made heavy use of Twitter, Facebook, recorded some video, took pictures, plenty of emailing and Safari use. I played Flight Control, Monopoly and watched some movie trailers. I did not plug the phone into the car charger at all during the day. When I got home around 8 p.m. I heard the “chirp” once as the iPhone changed power source to the internal battery. 13 hours had gone by with heavy use and my internal battery only now began to drain.

Mophie also makes a slimmer model, called the Juice Pack Air, which fully wraps around the phone. I chose the Juice Pack model merely because I wanted the most battery life. The Juice Pack 3G has an 1800 mAh battery, vs. 1200 mAh in the Juice Pack Air.

The only thing I wish the Mophie had were a combination LED flash / flashlight… and with the flash that actually worked on demand when you use the iPhone’s camera, either from still photos or for video capture.

Well done, Mophie.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Apple introduces 2TB Time Capsule backup appliance

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

Apple doubled the capacity on its Time Capsule router with integrated hard drive Thursday, giving users a full 2 terabytes of storage in the top-of-the-line model.

The new model is available for $499 from Apple.

Rumors of a 2TB Time Capsule first broke this April, when a picture of a box with the expanded capacity first appeared at ClubMac. At $499, the 2TB model has replaced the price point of the 1TB model. The lower-end Time Capsule is now available for $299.

Earlier this year, the company introduced new AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules with dual-band support. The new models allow simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking. With dual-band, base stations can simultaneously support iPhones and other 802.11b/g devices operating at 2.4 GHz, while also broadcasting 802.11n wide signals in the 5GHz band to maximize throughput for notebooks and devices such as Apple TV.

Time Capsule drives were also made accessible over the Internet for MobileMe subscribers. Additionally, the new Guest Network feature allows users to set up a secondary network for friends and visitors with Internet-only access without handing out a WiFi password.

Time Capsule pairs the existing AirPort Extreme with a hard drive to serve as a backup appliance for Leopard machines running Time Machine, in addition to acting as a simple file and print server. It is offered for both Mac and Windows users, although Windows PCs (or Macs not running Leopard) won't have Time Machine and therefore will access it only as a regular file and print server.

Apple kicks out MobileMe iDisk app for iPhone

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

It still can't multitask, but as of today, it's finally capable of accessing and sharing iDisk files. Apple has at long last let loose a long-awaited application for iPhone OS 3.0 that enables iPhone and iPod touch users with MobileMe accounts to access the inner sanctums of their own iDisk. The app lets you login, view files (up to 20MB or so, sayeth Apple) and share files by sending others a link via email to whatever you deem appropriate. There's also an option to password protect those files and limit the amount of days the download is active, though viewing files is limited to iPhone-supported file types such as iWork, Office, QuickTime, PDF, etc. If you're a paying MobileMe user, go on and give this one a download -- it's free, you know?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Replace your iPhone 3G battery for $6

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

It's a sad fact of life: iPhone batteries wear out. Most users learn this about 18 months after they buy one, when the phone can barely last a day without running out of juice. Sadder still: With iPhones sealed up tighter than an astronaut's flight suit, there's no easy way to replace a worn-out battery.
But there is a way. In fact, if your iPhone is out of warranty anyway (and at 18 months it undoubtedly is, unless you extended it) and you're reasonably handy with small tools, you can swap in a fresh, longer-lasting new battery. Your cost: As little as $6.
Start with the battery itself. Meritline sells a iPhone 3G-compatible 1600mAh battery for $5.99 shipped. The standard 3G battery has a capacity of 1150mAh, so in theory the replacement should give you about 50 percent more runtime.
Now it's time for some surgery. The iPhone may look airtight, but a little careful prying with an X-Acto knife (or similar tool) will get the case open.
To see how, check the nicely illustrated iPhone 3G Repair Guide at Rapid Repair. Once you hit Step 10, just swap in the new battery and close everything up. That's really all there is to it.
Well, almost. I've got a few caveats, starting with that warranty thing again: Opening up your iPhone will void your warranty. So will installing a third-party battery. This isn't a big deal if the warranty's already expired, but if it hasn't, take your iPhone to Apple. I understand they're good about dealing with battery issues.
The real caveat is that unless you're comfortable with tiny tools and electronics, you may want to hire a professional for this. It just so happens that Rapid Repair can do the job.
In fact, they have a pretty nice deal: $39.99 buys you a "lifetime battery," meaning Rapid Repair will replace it for you every 12 months. You'll also have to pay a one-time installation fee of $29.99 and cover shipping costs. Still, it's way cheaper than a new iPhone--and a bum battery is a chief reason people buy replacements.
Given that my 3G hasn't had its first birthday yet (it's a mere seven months old), I've yet to attempt a battery replacement myself. But when the time comes, I'll almost certainly rise to the challenge.
I've replaced iPod and Zune batteries before, and both times were a piece of cake. I've got to assume this isn't much tougher. If you've tried this option, let me know how it went!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Apple Patent Points at Next-Gen iPhone Video Chat Again

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

A new Apple patent on a motion-aware iPhone user interface points again at the possibility of a front-facing video camera for video chat in next generation iPhones. One that won't require the 3G videoconferencing kit.

The new patent describes a morphing interface that will adapt to the motion of the user. For example, if you are in a shaky bus, the elements on a list will get bigger so you can target them better with your fingers. In the patent, the drawings depict a front-facing video camera that—if implemented—will enable the possibility of having face-to-face real-time communications between two iPhone users or—hopefully—one iPhone user and a desktop iChat user. And yes, with "face-to-face real-time communications" we really mean video sex.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Math, New vs. Old

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

More math on the new systems....

Exclude the differences in hard drives (retail difference less than $50) and RAM (retail difference, less than $200.00)....

Old model prices:
8- core 2.8 GHz / 2 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / ATI 2600XT Bang: 18,245 Bucks: $2,799.00 Bang / Bucks = 6.518 per $
8- core 3.2 GHz / 2 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / ATI 2600XT Bang: 20.851 Bucks: $3,999.00 Bang / Bucks = 5.214 per $

New model prices:
8- core 2.26 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 640 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 18.088 Bucks: $3,299.00 Bang / Bucks = 5.483 per $
8- core 2.66 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 23.281 Bucks: $4,699.00 Bang / Bucks = 4.954 per $
8- core 2.93 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 640 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 25,644 Bucks: $5,899.00 Bang / Bucks = 4.347 per $

So basically the new models are a wallet ass kicking. Old models better bang for buck. The new low end 2.26 GHz system is just a little better in value than the old high end.

For the new high end bang / buck to be equivalent to the old high end (ignoring differences in hard drive, RAM and video card), it would have to be priced at $4,918.10 ((4.347 / 5.214) * $5,899) ... New 2.93 is 19.44% too expensive.


Doing some math with the new "Nehalem" powered Mac Pro's

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

OK so a buddy of mine at a local Los Angeles advertising agency sent me a link with benchmarks of the new "Nehalem" powered Mac Pro towers. People are scratching their heads about the higher priced & slower clocked Mac Pro's. Benchmarks

This is very reminiscent of the old "Megahertz Myth" days.

So Vic & his aerospace engineering degree did some math and is playing Devil's Advocate.

The previous generation "low end" 2.8 GHz 8 core got a score of 18,245 on high end render work, and the current "low end" 2.26 GHz got a score of 18,088 on multi-render operations.

Old 2.8 GHz 8-core: 18,245.
New 2.26 GHz 8-core: 18,088

18,245 / 18,088 = 1.008679787705, so the old low end was less than 1% faster. So if they made the new one 2.28 GHz, it would be faster than it, ho hum.

Yeah the new 2.93 smokes the old one (it would have been nice if they had benchmarks for the old 3.0 GHz and 3.2 GHz 8-core systems, but I did more math to address that below).

My only concern is the public perception that the old ones are slower, but I think pro users can see the pure benchmarks. Mom & Dad buying iMacs would scratch their heads if they released a slower clock speed machine for a higher price.

What I'm going to look for are the prices of the just discontinued systems, as the new ones cost more ... would like to compare bang-for-the-buck old vs. new.

And while these new ones are clocked lower, it just means that the new Nehalem processors are faster at a lower clock speed, and that'll give them more room to speed up for the .... ahem ... next generation.

If the old 3.0 and 3.2 GHz 8-cores increased speed linearly over the old 2.8, their scores would have been:

3.0 GHz 8-Core: 19,548
3.2 GHz 8-Core: 20,851

Thank makes the new 2.93 GHz 8-core 1.2298x as fast as the old 3.2 GHz 8-core. (25644 / 20851 = 1.229869071028), so a 23% improvement.

Scaling the new Nehalem to 3.2 GHz would give it a score of 28007, so...

28007 (Nehalem scaled to 3.2 GHz) / 20851 (Old 3.2 GHz 8-core) = 1.343 - so, at the same clock speed, the Nehalem is 34.3% faster than the previous generation.

So who has the previous generation price list for me?


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The 17-Inch MacBook Pro (Unibody) Gets Lovingly Gutted

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

Check out this take-apart of the new 17" MacBook Pro.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apple launches unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro

Need help with your Mac, iPod or iPhone? Contact Victor Orly!
(310) 891-6820 x101 or email

Apple at Macworld introduced a new version of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The new model uses the same unibody aluminum construction of the 15-inch version and is just 0.98 inches thick -- enough to make it the thinnest 17-inch notebook ever, the company boasts. It now revolves around a 17-inch, LED-backlit 1920x1200 standard display that is much more accurate than in the previous generation: it claims a 60 percent larger color gamut, a clearer 700:1 contrast ratio and wider 140-degree horizontal and 120-degree vertical viewing angles.
The extra space is also used to ramp up performance and gives the system up to a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo as well as room for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory. Battery life has also been dramatically improved, Apple claims: the stock model now lasts for up to eight hours of wireless use on a charge and has a lifecycle of up to 1,000 charges, making it more environmentally friendly than past notebook batteries. The feat is accomplished through a new intelligent system that adjusts the current to each battery cell on the fly to maximize the charge.

Expansion ports include a single FireWire 800 port, three USB ports, Ethernet, ExpressCard/34 and a Mini DisplayPort connector.

A single stock configuration at $2,799 is available and comes with a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of memory, 320GB of hard drive space and a 512MB GeForce 9600M GT for video. Users can custom-order the system to swap the hard disk for a new 256GB solid-state drive and to pick a new, $50 anti-glare display option for professionals who need to stress absolute accuracy. The system should be available today from the online Apple Store.