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The New Line of Retina MacBooks

October 25th, 2012
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Another product that was announced recently was a 13 inch retina MacBook. The revamped laptop was introduced in the latest event sponsored by Apple, and attracted huge attention from the Media.

The new laptop offers many of the features available in the top of the line 15 inch model. This includes the innovative retina display, which makes this laptop the one with best display offered by Apple to this date.

The 13″ has received a unibody in aluminum, and the combination of form factor with powerful hardware will make it a perfect candidate for a desktop replacement.

Another feature of the retina MacBook is its flash memory drive. This means that software starts faster since the drive is so much quicker than a normal hard drive.

With all these features combined, the new retina MacBook has everything to become a successful hardware platform, especially in the education market. Students and professors are more than happy to use a slimmed down laptop that has not only all the features found in bigger machines, but also a high quality retina display.

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Macs: too expensive or not?

June 22nd, 2009
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In the last few weeks we have seen an ad campaign by Microsoft, that implies that Macs are too expensive. Few people understand that this is a myth.
Clearly, many people when confronted with the opportunity of buying a computer consider price to be one of the most important variables. Certainly one cannot buy a laptop at any price, since few people can shell out more than a few thousand dollars to buy a computer.
However, if you do a clear analysis, it becomes clear that the exact cost of a computer is not the most important factor to consider when you are buying a new machine.

Factors in Buying a Laptop

First, remember that a laptop is one of your more personal working items. A laptop is even more personal than a paper notebook. You use it everyday, for many hours per day.
Consider the price of a laptop, divided by the days it is used, and you will see that it is one of the cheapest items you use.
For example, suppose you use a laptop for 3 years, which is standard for a Mac. This is more than 1000 days. This is less than two dollars per day, even if you buy a $2K laptop.
Two dollars per day, on the other hand, is less than the cost of a sandwich.
What do you think is more useful, a $2 sandwich that will keep you for a few hours, or a working tool that you will use during the whole day?
Also, notice that the laptop is useful everyday, even on weekends…
Looking from this side here are a few features that I consider more important:

  • quality of screen
  • easy of use
  • quick service on case of damage

While the advertisement by MS makes sense on the surface, when you stop to think about the factors, it really doesn’t add up… What do you think?

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Using an outliner to organize your ideas

April 30th, 2009
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An outliner is a software used to create and maintain structured content. You can use an outliner to create the structure of a blog post, an essay for school, or for a project at your job. No matter what the task at hand, it is always useful to structure your ideas, and nothing better to do this than an outliner.

Thankfully, there is also no better platform to use outliners than the Macintosh. Since its inception, creative people of all professions have used Macs. This being the reason why there are so many great outliners for the Mac, as compared to other operating systems such as Windows.

In this article, I will talk mainly about the most well known outliner of all, OmniOutliner (from the Omni Group). Many of the options on OmniOutliner, however, are available in other products, which Iwill cover with more datail in the future.

Using an Outliner

The basics of an outliner such as OmniOutliner is to create an structure, that can later on be filled with real information. Think for example on the relationship between a book and its table of contents. While a book has lots of information, it also has a clear structure that is present on its table of contents. An outliner can be used to create the table of contents and transform it into a full book, with details filled for each section.

The main interface of the OmniOutliner allows users to create main topics, subtopics, sub-subtopics, up to the contents of each division.

OmniOutliner allows one to use a graphical interface with buttons for these common operations. It also provides several keyboard shortcuts, that allow very fast data entry and formatting. OmniOutliner is not only useful to create outlines, but it also helps in visualizing data. Sometimes we have data that is structure in a hierarchical format, such as for example an XML document. With an outliner, we can visualize the elements of such a hierarchy, by looking just at the elements that are of immediate interest.

A good outliner also provides many export options, so that users have the freedom to transform the data they created into one of several output formats. OmniOutliner provides a large number of export options, so that users can translate their data into the required output format, such as a MS Word document, for example.

Conclusion

Outliners have many applications, and can be used as personal organizers, digital notebooks, or just as a place to joint down random ideas. However, a good outliner is essential to hold data and organize information. It is really great that Macs have a good number of outliners, from which OmniOutliner is just a good example.

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Apple versus PC: a comparison

April 20th, 2008
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If you are a Mac fan you already know how better the Macs are compared to similar PCs. What many people think, however, is that this is just an exaggeration by Apple users.

In the past it was difficult to do any direct comparisons between Macs and PC, mainly because the processors used were so different. People always complained about comparisons that would show processors with the same speed, and not accounting for the differences in architecture between PCs and Macs.

Now that Apple has moved to use Intel processors on its whole line, it has become much easier to draw more meaningful comparisons. And they are starting to appear. For example, see this one from popular mechanics:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/reviews/4258725.html?page=1

After matching two pairs of Macs and PCs, they reached the not-so-difficul-to-draw conclusion that Macs are much faster to start up and shut down, and perform much better in a set of stardard tasks.

Moreover, their tests show that Apple machines run Windows faster then similar PCs.

Still, this is not the ultimate test that is going to convince the hard-core PC followers. However, it shows that is becomming easier to make this kind of comparison, and the reality will eventually become clearer for everyone.

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Buying a new Mac on eBay

December 9th, 2007
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Having a Mac is a dream for a lot of people, but at the same time it can be expensive. New Macs are always loaded with the best technology, and great technologies, such as automator, time machine, the new aqua interface. However, at the same time, the price tag for new macs can be prohibitive, especially if you are used to PCs from HP or Dell, selling nowadays by close to $300.

A solution for you may be at hand: look for used Macs on sell at eBay. EBay is by far the most famous place to sell used technical equipment. It allows users to contact sellers directly, and this makes life easier for everyone.

Here are some advantages of using eBay to locate your new Mac, fully loaded with Mac OS X:

  • It is much easier to get information from sellers. With direct connection to the current owners, you can get the information you need about each equipment on sale.
  • Large selection: In a traditional store, you have only a limited number of options. Even at the Apple store you will have only access to the latest models, although some of the older models could work just as well for your application.
  • Better prices: since there is a large variety of Mac computers on sell at eBay, you can also find bargain prices, from people that want to sell fast. It is much easier to get bargains from owner than from stores, anyway.

So, if you desperately want that Mac but don’t feel you have enough money to afford, you should always take a look at eBay. It can very possibly make your shopping experience much better and cheaper.

Do you have any experience buying Macs on eBay? If yes, leave a comment describing it…

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