W W W W WoW!

February 20, 2008 1 comment

I play WoW, that’s right, World of Warcraft. Oddly enough it has become one form of bonding time my girlfriend and I use. We both spend a couple hours each night playing together questing and killing. I’ve mentioned the game in a few posts and replies to comments I get on this site. My recent conversation with someone new to the game sparked me to write about the game in more detail on here. I am by no means an expert on the game and I am sure I still do stuff wrong all the time. I don’t go into all the deep lore and I don’t know all the acronyms for places or all the crazy ins and outs of the game.

I currently have two main characters I use. “But Jason, you can only have one main and the other is an Alt.” Let me explain. I have a lvl 42 horde character that I played with my girlfriend starting at the end of 2007. At the end of January I began to play an Alliance character on a server my friend from Tae Kwon Do is on. I say this to make a point. Get on a server someone who know is on with a high level character. This makes getting into the social aspect of the game so much easier. Knowing people ahead of time in a new place just makes life easier. You’ll get some quests in instances pretty early in the game, before lvl 15 most likely. Knowing people will help you form a group faster or help you find a lvl 70 that can drag you through the instance to collect XP and awesome item drops.

Before making a character, make sure you know which type of server you are getting into: PVP, PVE, or RP. On a PVP server, a player of the opposing side can walk up and gank you or kill you. You’ll then have to find your corpse and continue and this can happen at anytime. In PVE,  The game is insanely huge and you can virtually explore and entire continent without ever seeing a load screen. If you want to really see the beauty of the game, I suggest playing an alliance character. Their areas are really lush and gorgeous; very welcoming. A main horde area is The Barrens which as you can imagine is pretty barren. But it’s really up to you.

Play the game, make friends, and just be in awe at the sheer size of the game. And if you have an older computer (about 3-4 years old) you can play the game. Check it out. You’d think I’m the last one to the game with such a primitive post on a game with 10+million subscribers. Just trying to get people playing. Available for PC and Mac.

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Linkin Park + Apple Event?

February 19, 2008 Leave a comment

According to AppleInsider Linkin Park will be performing at a “secret” Apple event. The quote actually came from Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda so don’t blame AI if they’re wrong on this. The event is supposed to be held in NYC which is a break from the usual west coast shenanigans Apple ususally entertains us with. Does that mean an event say, February 26? Doubtful. Check out their tour schedule”

Tue 02/19/08 Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
Thu 02/21/08 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Arena
Fri 02/22/08 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Sat 02/23/08 London, ON The John Labatt Centre
Mon 02/25/08 Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
Tue 02/26/08 Nashville, TN Sommet Center
Fri 02/29/08 Oklahoma City, OK Ford Center
Sat 03/01/08 Albuquerque, NM Tingley Col. @ New Mexico St. Fair
Sun 03/02/08 El Paso, TX UTEP Don Haskins Center
Tue 03/04/08 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
Thu 03/06/08 Las Vegas, NV The Joint
Fri 03/07/08 Las Vegas, NV The Joint
Sat 03/08/08 West Valley City, UT The E Center
Mon 03/10/08 Sacramento, CA ARCO Arena

They seem booked that day but will be in NY this Thursday although I haven’t seen any invites posted for Thursday. I wouldn’t expect anything anytime soon. Sit on your hands and wallet a while longer…for when I have no idea. There were some rumors a while back about MBP’s being released in the middle of March. Ready to wait another month?

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The Last Minute MacBook Pro?

February 19, 2008 1 comment

Tuesday February 19th brought us a couple surprises. One of which was the $49 iPod Shuffle with a soon to be released 2GB version for $69. I have an iPod Video, an iPhone and a 1GB shuffle and I have always said, the shuffle is by far Apple’s best iPod, especially if you’re on the go. I wear mine to the gym all the time and you can barely tell you’re wearing it. It won very high marks for me when I ran it through the wash and once it dried and charged, worked perfectly. If it broke or I lost it, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it immediately especially at twice the space for $69. The other release today was Xsan 2 which I know absolutely nothing about so I’m not going to pretend to be excited or disappointed about this.

What wasn’t a surprise today was the total lack of new MacBook Pros. It seems like our last chance for a soon release will be Next Tuesday February 26th…IF there is an event. An event is a more likely place to announce new MBP’s than a news feed. If it doesn’t happen next week…I have absolutely no idea or hope left for us until WWDC. There is some concern now, we won’t see an update until summer when Intel releases their Montevina processors. This is something I hypothesized about before with the Penryn only being a stop-gap until then if it ever does get released. 

So what’s another week, right? Well if it doesn’t happen are you going to wait? Are you going to even switch to PC….blasphemy I know. Towards the end of 2007, people began to wonder if 2008 would be the year Apple fans would turn on their beloved company. Pitchfork march on 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino anyone?

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2 More Weeks?

February 13, 2008 1 comment

Another Tuesday has come and gone with no MacBook Prop update, but Apple is keeping their “release a week” schedule of 2008 alive and well. We actually saw a pre-Tuesday release with 10.5.2 appearing Monday afternoon. Aperture appeared on Tuesday as well. While I have only used a demo of the program, apparently it is a professional photographer’s dream come true.

10.5.2 saw a number of new features…well hundreds of fixes and features. The most notable for me was the ability to get rid of the transparent menu bar and the new Time Machine controls which include a new icon in the menu bar. There was also a speed bump to WoW along with a polygon fix, but my Mac Pro and WoW don’t get along so well which is a whole other post but I’m not the only one. The ability to view stacks as a list was also added. I looked at it for a second and said no. My main stack is my applications stack and it was just way too circa-OS9.

All in all…I’m not as disappointed this week in releases as I have been the past few weeks. However, once 10.5.2 was released, I thought “Well what obviously has to come right after that…the MacBook Pro.” I have resigned myself to the fact it will be AT LEAST another 2 weeks for the MBP. According to TUAW a rumored Apple event is coming at the end of the month, most likely February 26th. We’re supposed to see the release of the iPhone SDK this month which may warrant its own event but it’s not meant for users. We’re not going to see anything new for a few months. The SDK is for developers as the name states, so if an entire event is really planned, there has to be more to it.

The process of elimination is in our favor. The MBP has to be updated eventually and an event at the end of the month would make sense. Apple pulled out of NAB so no announcements there. So since I refuse to believe we will get the MBP on Feb 19, what do you think we will see next Tuesday? I hope I am wrong but until the Apple store goes down outside of the US and Canada, it’s not gonna happen. Keep your fingers crossed for the 26th, and pull out your lucky rabbit’s foot for the 19th, but I’m hoping on the 26th for new MBP for now.

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Another Tuesday, No MacBook Pro

February 6, 2008 Leave a comment

The Apple store went down again yesterday, Tuesday February 5, 2008…but only in the US and Canada. Many people thought we might just get the new MacBook Pro but what we did get was a 16GB iPhone and a 32GB iPod Touch. Until the store goes down across the world, there will be no MacBook Pro update so keep your fingers crossed for a worldwide Internet inconvenience. So what does all this mean?

Well, with the iPhone SDK coming out this month, people will need more space for apps, although I think and hope the 4GB will continue to do its job. Most 3rd party apps now are rarely over 1MB. Either way, the whole ordeal is not greasing my gears. What’s confusing is, why this couldn’t have been announced 3 weeks ago at MacWorld. It’s such a small bump that it could have been a top headline in the keynote and wouldn’t have outshined the MacBook Air? Maybe it wasn’t ready? Neither was AppleTV Take 2, and it’s still not ready.

The status of the MacBook Pro leaves us with more confusion. The Penryn chips are available and being shipped for other notebooks from other companies so why not for Apple’s notebook lineup? Well according to Intel’s roadmap, the Montevina chips are due in Q2 which would put the release beginning in March but for Apple more around NAB or WWDC. Remember the iPhone was released at the VERY end of Q2 of ’07. By then this would qualify for a total overhaul of the system, but the possibility does arise that Apple will release a Penryn MacBook Pro only as a stopgap until the Montevina, kinda how the Intel Core Duo was before the Intel Core 2 Duo. It simply made the transition happen sooner.

In the end, if Apple does release a Penryn model anytime soon without overhauling other areas, it will be quickly outdone by the Montevina. So if you see a Penryn MacBook Pro soon without any other changes, just wait until NAB or WWDC, if you can. I’ll give it my best shot. So far Apple has released updates every Tuesday of this year. Mac Pro, Macbook Air, pink iPod, application updates, and iPhone/iPod touch updates. Time will have to creep up on the MacBook Pro eventually if Apple keeps up this pace. Of course 10.5.2 will be out before then as well.

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MacBook Pro Update Tomorrow? Next Tuesday?

January 28, 2008 1 comment

Well tomorrow is another Tuesday and 2 weeks out from MacWorld. We still haven’t seen the MacBook Pro update but Macrumors.com is hypothesizing it could happen within the next two weeks. What are their speculations? Follow the link or read right here: Multi-touch trackpad, 17″ model to get LED screen which would be the last portable model to get one finally, Penryn processors which were just quietly sneaked into another company’s notebooks last week, and as I said released within the next two weeks.

So let’s say the new MBP is released tomorrow or next Tuesday with only the above new features. Will you buy one or will you wait to get the ridiculously sweet features we’ve been hoping and writing about for the past couple weeks like the new keyboard, 256MB video ram standard, 7200RPM HD’s standard, etc.? (Keep in mind there have been no rumors from the Apple camp of the video card update or the 7200 RPM HD’s. It’s primarily wishful thinking). Are our expectations set too high? I am admittedly torn because something even better could come at NAB or WWDC. So what will you do if this is all we’re really getting?

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MacBook Pro Update 2008

January 17, 2008 17 comments

Many people have claimed this was the MacWorld keynote with the least amount of surprises…i.e. none. Everyone pretty much knew what was going to happen. When this happens, however, it is much easier to look over what was expected that didn’t happen, e.g. 3G iPhone, Leopard 10.5.2, and updates to already existing Apple computers. TUAW and Engadget aren’t reporting on what was missing. This would make Steve Jobs look like a disappointment.

It seems the largest group of people completely left out of the keynote were those of us who already use Apple computers: MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. The iMac saw a complete design overhaul in August but a speed bump with the new Penryn chips should have been expected as well. Apple completely left us in the cold by offering us nothing. We should have at least seen speed bumps for most of the lines and/or pricedrops.
So what does this mean now for the MacBook Pro which hasn’t seen a real update since June ’07 and what would I like to see? (A lot of this can be applied to the other systems as well, but the MacBook Pro has really been pushed aside as of late). Well since we didn’t even get a speed bump, Apple fans should demand a total overhaul of the MacBook Pro which includes a switch to the Intel Penryn chips at 2.4, 2.6 and 2.8Ghz unless other speeds have been attained since these were announced last fall.

But as I said, a speed bump won’t cut it. All MacBook pros should ship with a 256mb video card standard with higher resolution LED displays (please keep the matte and glossy options). And the one thing I think the MacBook Air can deliver is the multitouch trackpad. I understand a lot of professionals might not use it but it’s a pretty neat feature (especially when web browsing) that should be standard, even implemented last Tuesday. For god sakes, please don’t implement the MacBook/MacBook Air keyboard into the MBP especially with the black keys. 160GB HD should be the bare minimum. 2GB RAM standard as is now in all models.

And what the MacBook Pro line needs the most is a 12″ model. I don’t think it will happen but the lineup needs it and Apple and Intel proved they can make a small computer. Make it 2.1 and 2.4Ghz Penryn 128MB video card with a superdrive and widescreen LED monitor.

How much for all this? Aside from the 12″ everything stays the same price. The MBP line hasn’t even dropped in price since June and we all know how quickly the cost of computer parts declines so all this new stuff should come at no extra cost to the original release of the current configuration.

I’m really curious to hear what you want in your next MBP or MacBook. Apple really left us all in the dark and I think we’re owed something incredible. Perhaps you think my specs are too lame. Let me know!

UPDATE: According to Engadget it looks like we’re going to be waiting until May at least for the new Montevina chips to roll out, rumored to be the next chipset for use in the MacBook Pro. While that is insanely depressing, it gives us time to make it clear what we expect to see and so far it’s nothing that can’t easily be done in 4 months time. 7200RPM drives standard was a great suggestion I just received. So keep your old G4 Powerbooks up and running for another few months.

UPDATE 2: Jaye brought up a really good feature to have on the new MBP: Be able to easily add new RAM. I’m going to take it one step further and say RAM and hard drives should be easily replaced by the user. Apple makes great notebooks but there has always been some bitch of a deal when it comes to adding RAM and/or replacing the HD. Both should be easily accomplished tasks with the new MacBook Pro. My G4 Powerbook has really easy RAM installs but I am not going to even begin to try to replace the HD. Although I have no experience, I hear changing the current MacBook hard drive is really easy. God knows you can’t personally swap out the RAM or HD easily at all in the MacBook Air.

UPDATE 3: After talking with some people, I have changed my stance on the spaced keyboard found in the MacBook Air and MacBook. Apparently a lot of people like it and they can actually type faster with it. And since it is the only system without the new layout, I think it’s safe to say that it will happen with the MacBook Pro update. Keep the suggestions coming, there are a lot of great ideas in the comments section.