Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As the proud owner of a Apple PowerBook 17 I never expected to run into any problems, especially something as odd as what I am about to tell you. This article is about a strange little issue that sprang up about a year ago with the screws located under the battery.

A Problem Arises
Last year I was doing a lot of design work and everywhere I went, my PowerBook was right beside me. Hey, you never know when you will be inspired or just need to surf the Internet at the local Starbucks. Well one faithful morning while sipping on my Americano, just before a client meeting, I could not get my laptop open. The release switch somehow became jammed, and after repeatedly trying to open it, I resorted to a business card. Like a criminal with a credit card breaking into a locked room, I wedged the business card right above the switch or button that you would normally press to release the screen and moved it from side to side. Luckily this worked and was able to proceed to my meeting without delay. However this did not solve the switch problem.

A New Routine Was Formed.
Now with the dawn of each day I was forced to break out a business card to open my PowerBook. What a disgrace. I tried to fix it a couple of different times over the course of a 6-month period and failed every attempt. I know! I know! "I should have taken it to the Apple Store. They would have known what to do." But the thought of forking out $500 big ones kept me from doing that one. I asked friends, search the Internet and the only thought that seemed to be left was to open it up and look at the locking switch. This however would have been more trouble than it was worth. So I dealt with the problem the best I could. It really wasn't that bad, annoying and somewhat embarrassing, but not bad. The computer worked great and after awhile I became pretty good at opening the computer with out anyone suspecting a thing.

A Moment of Greatness.
Back in early March a colleague of mine dropped his Ti-book and snapped the monitors hinge. What an awful moment, right! He was lucky it wasn’t worse. With the help of the Internet he found a replacement hinge and after about a week of hooking his laptop to a plasma screen he was able to fix it. I was beside myself when I saw the job he did and thought, wow, if my colleague can fix his monitor, I can certainly fix my problem. So that day as he was describing to me how he had to take his computer apart, like separating the titanium alloy frame from the monitor in order to get to the shredded hinge. I began to open my PowerBook up starting with the battery. This is where I noticed 2 very small screws were loose and 2 others were missing where a plate conceals the mouse pad components above from the battery. Dumbfounded I called my colleague over to have a look only to discover one of the screws had lodged itself near a magnet that keeps the latches tight. Talk about a AH-HA moment. My colleague and I were blown away how these screws could have come loose, but on further investigation we found that these screws were thin and must have become out from being moved around so much.

So moral of this story is don't get screwed by your laptop.
Every once in awhile remove your battery and give all the screws a little tighten to be sure they stay in. Consider it a tune up or a rotation of the tires.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

MAC PRO Dream Machine.

The latest addition to the Mac Pro family: was added earlier today to Apples superb product line. The world’s first 3.0GHz, 8-core Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro. On Apple.com they say "Consider the bar officially raised". I would say, that bar was officially raised awhile ago.

Like many other geeks out there, it's always fun clicking that buy button and tricking out a dream machine. Ah... to imagine that much raw processing power for CS3 and other graphic aplications. So read on and lets see what my screaming fast Mac Pro would have in it.

First stop processor. This is a NO BRAINER, of course I would have the 8-core power with two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Clovertown” processors. We are talking Howling Fast.

Now we are on to the memory. I went with 16GB, this is a must when you are working with 10GB image files or like to have every Application open you own.

Storage is the next must have. If you are like me you have a large music, video and image library so lets go with a 500GB in Bay 1, 2, 3 and 4. One is the applications drive, two is for music/audio, three is for video projects and four is for images.

Now it is time to speed the rest of the way through my build out. Lets ad the top of the line display card money can buy. What is this you ask... Well is is the NVIDIA QUADRO FX 4500. This card has 512MB of onboard ram, with Stereoscopic 3D support(http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d_stereo.html), and of course the 2x dual link DVI for the TWO 30inch displays I am going to add to my dream package.

Finally to finish the system out. I will need two 16x Superdrives and of course Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and Airport Extreme.

Now I am ready for my total. It can't be two expensive, because I only got 2TB of storage and did not add on the wireless keyboard, apple care, nor OSX SERVER. Oh boy, Oh boy.

THE GRAND TOTAL IS...... $15,037.00

Not awful, Not in my budget either. But it was fun non the less. What's your dream machine got in it? Leave a comment and let me know.