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News Archive for Monday Sept. 21, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Updated HP Drivers for OS X 10.6.1 (again)
Apple's HP Printer Drivers for Mac OS X v10.6 (full pkg) download page was updated again today. As before, Check Software update under 10.6.1 to see if there's an updated driver for your specific HP model, rather than downloading the full (all models) pkg.
It wasn't updated when I first posted this, but they've now revised the doc on OS X v10.6: Printer and scanner software again (I assume for the updated HP drivers. The doc notes an "*" next to a model number denotes an updated driver; "+" denotes a newly added model, but I don't know if that's reset for every update. I suspect it's an indicator of all changes since the original 10.6.0 pkg included on the SL DVD.)
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My First impressions on new (5th gen) iPod Nano
I'd hoped for a new iPod Touch with built-in camera but that didn't happen (yet). However the changes to the new Nano were enough to interest me (as an owner of a 1st gen nano) and this weekend I stopped by a few stores to take a look at the new model. Despite having a (small) Apple store within 1/2 mile or so, the BestBuy there was sold out of the 16GB Nano's in other than Purple and Pink colors. The Target in the area was also sold out of most colors (only had black 16GB's IIRC). But a nearby Walmart (closer than the Apple store) had a few of the 16GB Nano's in the color I wanted (Orange) at $175. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to buy one, but while looking at the new model a customer with one showed me theirs (playing back some ITMS Movies on it) and I whipped out the plastic. (My 1st gen Nano had been used so much the battery had about 30min runtime tops, and the bigger screen, video camera, FM radio, etc. features plus 16GB made me bite on it. Although I do prefer the flat sides of the older Nano.)

I've not used the video camera yet (and understand its limitations), but I really like the new model - a huge leap in features compared to my 1st gen Nano. Although the video capture is only 640x480, the fact it's so tiny means you can easily carry it with you at all times. (This is why I like pocket cameras - although larger models have better specs/capture, that doesn't matter if you don't have it with you.)

I connected it to a Mac with iTunes 9 (required) and found it already had v1.0.1 software. (The apple doc I linked to on Sept. 10th mentioned that update in a doc about possible video camera preview black screen - perhaps some early shipments had v1.0.0.)

And unlike my 1st gen Nano, iTunes sync'd a couple older iPod games I'd bought (Peggle and Sonic) although some others were not synced (Ms. Pac Man Demo from years ago). (The 3rd and 4th gen Nanos supported iPod games also IIRC but never owned one.) The new Nano comes with Klondike, Maze and Vortex preinstalled. And another feature I liked with iTunes 9 was the ability to sync only specific episodes of some collections (i.e. TV shows, SNL shorts collection, etc.).

And I spent hours this weekend converting some larger format movies to iPhone/iPod touch format (using Handbrake 0.9.3) on the Mac Pro. (The Handbrake iPhone/iPod Touch preset sized converted videos were as much as 1/2 the size of the same Universal/AppleTV format - saving a lot of space on the Nano.) Granted the new Nano's screen although larger than the previous version, is a lot smaller than the Touch/iPhone but still usable IMHO. (Better than I expected before seeing it.) FYI - The nano comes with a short (incomplete) flyer on features/usage, get the full user guide PDF at Apple's iPod manuals page.

BTW: While doing this I saw Handbrake 0.9.3 quit (again) during conversion - which I'd first reported back in March in the 2009 Mac Pro first impressions article. So I downloaded Handbrake 0.9.3 again and overwrote the original app (which I'd D/L when it was first released) - that solved the problem. (More than 5 hours of encoding/conversion without a single error or problem.)
Anyway, although I haven't used every feature yet (and the included earbuds are not the best), I'm very pleased with the new Nano. As someone that doesn't own an iPhone 3GS or a Touch, IMHO it packs a lot of features in a tiny package you can always have with you. (Still hoping they'll offer a Touch w/Camera in a few months, as well as support the FM radio that's present in the Broadcom chip inside the new 32/64GB models. That chip also has 802.11N support as well.)

(I've linked to many reviews of the new Nano since it was announced and included another review today in the Other news/reviews listings - Zdnet's 5th gen iPod nano review although it's not as detailed as some others.)

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More reader feedback on VirtualBox 3.0.6 (freeware VM)
This morning I updated the previous page here of Mac owner reports on freeware VM VirtualBox with more reader notes/tips on VB 3.0.6.
Included in today's update are tips for a previous reader's problems adding the VB Guest Additions to Fedora, a Parallels/Fusion user's wish list (to be able to run OS X server in VB) and a follow-up to a previous post last week noting VB does run with 64bit Snow Leopard kernel boot.
I welcome other user feedback on VirtualBox - please include the VBox version you're using as well as Mac Model/OS X/Windows version it's running. (And especially interested in any specific features/reasons why you'd buy Fusion or Parallels instead of using VirtualBox.)
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MacBook Pro Nvidia 8600M GPU Failures/Repairs page updated
I've updated the page on MacBook Pro 8600M Failures/Repairs with another reader report on a failure and repair that was covered by the extended GPU warranty on affected models (after "qualifying" per the special test app).
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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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Other News/Reviews/Articles, Misc. Software Updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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