Archive for the 'toys' Category

Macbook Air and throttling, core shutdown, etc.

Jul 23, 2008 in toys

I thought I’d add something to the numerous, but often lacking, rants about the well-known “core shutdown” problem with Macbook Air. I’ve reported it to Apple, and they have replied that they believe they will be able to fix it via a software/firmware update, but I am doubtful.

One point that noone (that I’ve found) have mentioned is that PRIOR to shutting down the core, the CPU has already been running at minimum (600 or 800 MHz) speed for a long, long time. In other words, this phenomenon doesn’t simply cut your CPU in half – by the time it gets to that, it’s already cut it to about 1/3 by throttling. Then that’s cut in half again. No wonder those video encoding jobs in iTunes take ages…

I paid for a 1.8GHz machine. I expect every single one of those those GHzs to work for me whenever I need them. Of course, I’ll keep the machine on a flat surface and keep the vents unobstructed. Anything else would be unfair. But under near-ideal conditions I expect to get what I paid for. 

I’ve seen Apple state that this is “by design”. It’s a feature, not a bug. UP YOURS, APPLE! I promise I’ll make sure you learn a lesson (at least in Norway) if you try that bullshit with me.

I’m pissed off.

/Eirik

MacBook Air

Mar 11, 2008 in me, toys

After working with the Air for a while, and comparing it to my other macs, I must say I am thoroughly impressed. The SSD yields far greater benefits than what is typically reported in reviews, and while I don’t really believe that any 64GB storage device is worth that kind of money, this one comes dangerously close.

It is fast. Really fast. For very many things, and indeed most of the things I do most often, it is significantly more responsive than my MacBook Pro (2.4ghz, 4gb mem, 7200rpm). The difference in CPU and GPU speeds are hardly noticeable, unless I start playing heavily with Aperture or the likes. That said, Aperture 2.0 is a joy to use on the Air, and considering I was using 1.0 on a first-gen MacBook, this one sure compares favorably.

It is also “just the right size”. On the standard MacBook, the screen seems small for the size and weight of the machine. Kinda like on the PowerBook 12″ – that one would be even sexier if it were half as thick. On the Air, the screen size matches the size and weight on the machine in such a way that I have no objections any more.

The screen. It’s bright. And I successfully used it outdoors with the backlight turned to zero (that is, off). I imagine I could spend quite a few hours on the balcony having only the sun to light up the screen..

What can I say? So far I love the Air. Also the fact that I had to get a new bag for it; the backpack I use for lugging the Pro around is far too big for this one. The shoulder bag is so small most people won’t even guess it contains a laptop, charger, and an assortment of external harddrives, USB stick and cables.

New toys…

Mar 06, 2008 in me, toys

Ok I admit it, I’m attracted to tech gadgets. However I think I’m pretty picky about the gadgets I carry around regularily, so most end up being objects of hate more than objects of lust after a fairly short amount of time.

Notable exceptions to this include my first PowerBook (G4, 1.5ghz, 15″), my third (and current) MacBook Pro, and my Canon EOS 20D (sold) and 40D (current) DSLRs. The rest fall through because of lacks in build- or software quality, poor interaction with other devices, lousy, limiting and/or cumbersome user interfaces, nasty appearance, etc.

Today, I might just have found a gadget that will be a success with me. The MacBook Air. I got the SSD model (employer pays ;), but even without SSD, I’ve got to say that it simply feels “right”. Time will tell if it stays that way. Watch this space for updates.

/Eirik