Apple MacBooks: Reappearing FireWire, Disappearing ExpressCard

As you no doubt heard, Apple today refreshed their MacBook lineup with across-the-board adjustments to pricing. I’ll let other sites comment on the news more generally, as this is a music site, not a notebook site. But the big news for audio in terms of I/O, just so you don’t miss that: FireWire on more […]

Apple Restores FireWire, Lowers Prices; ExpressCard Now Only on 17”

Apple giveth and Apple taketh – again. FireWire, back on the whole line. First, off, the good news coming out of Apple’s hardware refresh today: FireWire is again on the 13” MacBook, which is now confusingly called the MacBook Pro. It’s a FW800 port, too, which can be nice for fast storage. That means you […]

Apple Restores FireWire, Lowers Prices; ExpressCard Now Only on 17”

Apple giveth and Apple taketh – again. FireWire, back on the whole line. First, off, the good news coming out of Apple’s hardware refresh today: FireWire is again on the 13” MacBook, which is now confusingly called the MacBook Pro. It’s a FW800 port, too, which can be nice for fast storage. That means you […]

Images from OFFF: When Designers Make MacBook Graffiti, and Other Pictures from Portugal

The OFFF Festival, held last week in Lisbon, Portugal, has to be one of the most visually stimulating places I’ve ever been. Herds of bright-faced, young, handsome European artist boys and girls pack by the thousands into an old steel mill. In a cavernous, resonant concrete bunker, the echo of excited chatter never really stops. […]

Mac USB Audio: M-Audio Says Avoid the Left-hand USB Port, All Ports Not Equal

MacBook USB port, under scrutiny. Photo: Kevin Hiscott. Is your MacBook Pro a rightie? Something’s going on with the one or two left-hand USB ports on all MacBook Pros. I’ve heard some issues with hard disks, and now some problems with audio. (Controllers are evidently just fine.) The solution: use the right-hand USB port for […]

Updated $999 White MacBook Becomes Good Budget Choice: 9400M GPU

Photo: Rob DiCaterino. Apple apparently isn’t killing the white, $999, plastic MacBook at the low end of its line any time soon. They’ve even gone so far as to update the model – and that turns out to be a very good thing for visualists who want to go Mac on a budget. Previously, you […]

Apple’s 17” MacBook Pro: 3 USB Ports, FW800, Mini DisplayPort, LED Backlight

It’s port talk time again. As I suspected, Apple’s 17” MacBook Pro does get one additional port. You get 3 USB ports and one FireWire 800 port – though this means that, even though there’s almost no hardware that supports FW800, you’ll need an adapter for FW400 devices like HDV/DV cameras. At least unlike the […]

Your Display Isn’t Authorized: DRM Flap on New Apple MacBooks

DRM on displays and projectors? Believe it. Apple, like many computer vendors, has added DRM to its new laptops in the form of HDCP (which, bizarrely, stands for “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection”). This is doubly odd, because Apple cited technical restrictions of Blu-Ray as a reason for not including those drives on their machines – […]

Laptop Choices: Rain’s New LiveBooks

A LiveBook on the test bench at Rain Headquarters, photographed for CDM. One of the things that attracts me to computers: choice. So it’s worth noting that you do have choices when looking to laptops, PCs included. (This sounds like those lame “We know you have a choice in your travel plans” announcements you get […]

MacBook, PC Notebook with No Analog Output? Tested Solutions

So, you’ve got a shiny new MacBook / MacBook Pro — or any number of newer PC notebooks — and suddenly you realize you have no analog video output. Sure, you might be happy to output to VGA/DVI or even HDMI when you can, but for those Special Moments when that isn’t possible and you […]