Mac News Review

27" iMac Firmware Update, USB and SSD Data Recovery, Online Bible for Snow Leopard, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.12.24

This is the last Mac News Review of 2009. We wish our readers a blessed Christmas and a safe New Year's holiday. Site updates will resume on Monday, January 4, 2010.

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

27" iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0

Apple has released the 27" iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0, which updates the graphics firmware on ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards to address issues that may cause image corruption or display flickering.

The iMac Graphics Firmware Update will update the graphics firmware on your iMac.

File Size: 683 KB

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.2

Upgrading Your Mac's Hard Drive

Writing for Macworld, iFixit's CEO Kyle Wiens says that upgrading its hard drive can be one of the best things you can do for your Mac, but is also one of the hardest to explain since each Mac model is different, and the upgrade instructions for one probably won't apply to another.

iFixit's free, illustrated online guides are of course a great help with this, with their step-by-step instructions for upgrading hard drives and invaluable resource, and in this Macworld piece Kyle Wiens concisely summarizes the process of upgrading all of Apple's recent Mac models and provides links to iFixit's instructions for each one, giving each model a difficulty rating for the job.

  • iMacs
    • Early G5 - Easy.
    • Later G5 iMacs and first Intel models - Difficult
    • More recent iMac models - Moderate
  • Mac mini - Moderate
  • MacBook Pros
    • First generation MacBook Pros - Moderate
    • Unibody MacBook Pros - Easy
  • MacBooks
    • Original MacBook - Easy
    • Unibody MacBook (aluminum or plastic) - Easy
  • MacBook Air - Moderate

Products & Services

USB Data Recovery & NAND Data Recovery

PR: eProvided, a thumb drive recovery and NAND data recovery company, looks back to when 1 GB hard drives seemed gigantic. Cutting edge NAND based storage devices are hitting the markets globally. 2 TB hard drives cost less then $129. Now we join the Solid State Drive Revolution. SSD drives are mega-fast, moving data at 400 MB/s to 1.5 GB/s. Better yet, the SD association has recently announced the SDXC; a 2 TB memory card with read/write speeds of up to 104 MB/s! eProvided celebrates 10 years in the industry in 2010 & aims to tackle any data loss from any damage to any of these cutting edge flash based devices.

SSD drives use NAND Flash Memory, tiny surface mount chips that store data. Already consumers are also witnessing the launch of SSD Raid Systems. The positives: These new types of flash memory storage devices, are lightning quick, have no moving parts, are super small and can handle extreme temperatures (-60F - 350F). The negatives: NAND flash wafers split or become damaged in many consumer devices. NAND flash storage drives are recoverable in the event of severe damage and loss of data.

eProvided consulted the department of defense on proper ways to protect data & secure data, recovered NASA's Helios Mission data after an Atlantic Ocean crash & were also called upon when NASA's Mars Rover quit due to a data glitch on Mars.

eProvided states "If your USB drive is broken or the flash drive is split in half, losing your data is painful, yet flash memory data recovery is now a solution. Solid state drives (SSD) drives, digital camera memory, iPhones, cell phones, voice recorders, USB storage or anything with storage based or NAND flash memory is recoverable."

Flash memory manufacturers implement many NAND flash memory wafers into small spaces, leaving the device easy to break. Why develop a 64 GB USB Flash Drive with eight 8 GB NAND wafers when one could use a single 64 GB wafer during the manufacturing of the device? Soon we will find 2 TB USB sticks.

Advanced flash memory recovery is the process of rebuilding multiple sets of NAND flash dumps and unscrambling code. Then, taking the numerous unscrambled files and assembling them into one single disk image; voilà, all user files are recovered just the way they were before. eProvided coins this method of recovery a "SimpleFix".

Flash memory recovery is a common every day service for a company in the business 10 years. Today's most common data loss situations: 1) Broken tip off USB thumb drive. 2) "Unknown Device" Unexpectedly. 3) Sudden Loss of functionality. 4) Wash cycling a device by accident.

Solid state drives contain numerous NAND chips. eProvided.Com founder Bruce Cullen states, "The first two Solid State Drive data recovery requests at eProvided were a success. Consumers are told all the time these services are not available. People need to be brought up to speed before losing every file they have."

BackPack iMac and Cinema Display Peripherals Shelf

BackPack iMac Peripherals ShelfPR: BackPack is a sturdy, sleek looking shelf designed exclusively to attach to the back of iMac and Apple Cinema Displays. This handy little piece of heavy gauge steel is perfectly sized to hold hard drives, USB peripherals or even a Mac mini. (If you use it to display your favorite Star Wars action figures, well totally understand.) You can use the perforated base to tie up that web of cables lurking behind your Mac.

Out of sight, but not out of reach

BackPack is the perfect place to park portable hard drives, card readers or other USB peripheral you want to hide, but need easy access to every now and then. Set your USB hub on the shelf and tie your cables to it for a super tidy workspace. BackPack is also a handy home to stash your iPhone or iPod while charging and synching.

BackPack iMac Peripherals ShelfDoubly good to have

Because its height adjustable, there's room for more than one BackPack in your life. Hang one low for hard drives and add a second one for hubs and gear (or a Transformer). If the back of your iMac faces the room, a BackPack or two is a completely fun, new way to personalize both your iMac and your workspace. The choice of what to display on your BackPack is completely yours.

Uses gravity to sit tight

The BackPack rests on the back of the desk stand on flat-screen iMacs and Apple Cinema Displays using gravity and two simple, adjustable clips. This allows you to position the sporty shelves at the perfect height without a screw ever touching your iMac. Because the BackPack uses gravity to stay in place, it will not leave any scratches or marks on your machine.

BackPack iMac Peripherals ShelfEasy on the eyes and your gear

Not only is this accessory a stylish space saver, it has some key protective benefits for your gear. This cool, ventilated shelf is the perfect way to get your hard drive or other Mac accessories elevated for better ventilation and the heat relief most electronic devices crave.

Product Specs:

  • Height: 0.95 inches (2.4 cm)
  • Width: 7 inches (17.8 cm)
  • Depth: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds (.23 kg)
  • Max Capacity: 5 pounds (2.23 kg)

Compatibility

  • Fits all iMacs and Apple Cinema Displays that use the L-shape desk stand

$29.99 - Free shipping for a limited time

Users of 27" iMac Cheer Safe Landing with CaseCruzer Advanced Carrying Case

PR: Preparing for an important trade show or presentation naturally creates stress for everyone involved. Getting there and setting up is easy enough. The dreaded moment arrives when carrying cases must be opened. Has the essential Apple iMac 27" LCD screen with aluminum keyboard and mouse landed safely? There is never any doubt for those photographers, media artists, videographers and digital editors who travel with CaseCruzer's new indestructible transport solution.

CaseCruzer for 27 inch iMacTrade show exhibitors and creative professionals will find that performing under pressure is a walk in the park when traveling with CaseCruzer's iMac 27" Computer Carrying Case. The outer shell is rotationally molded Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) that provides superior strength and durability. The interior is designed to hold LCD screens in the desirable upright position with a universal interior foam padding system designed to easily configure for customized protection. The airtight and watertight case comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

The new CaseCruzer shipping case is ideal for trade shows. Firms can easily store and transport their LCD screens, the iMac aluminum keyboards, mouse devices and display content for booth visitors without fear of in-flight turbulence or baggage handlers.

But the same is true for photographers, videographers, video engineers, editors, web and graphic designers who work with visual materials on a daily basis. Advantages also add up for those who work in motion picture production, digital cinema and advertising. In short, any professional who must travel with an iMac desktop computer and would be lost if the 27" LCD widescreen were damaged in transit will benefit from CaseCruzer's reliable, reusable transport innovation.

cruzer27.jpg

Corner wheels for tilting and convenient maneuvering through crowded places makes arrivals at distant destinations smooth and easy. The iMac 27-inch Computer Carrying Case is also outfitted with two durable cushioned rubber over-molded end handles, and enjoys an ATA 300 rating.

The creative professional's answer to worry weighs only 36.85 lb. when empty. Exterior dimensions are a compact 34.50"L x 13"W x 30"H. Other features include a weather-resistant gasket, tongue-and-groove valance for moisture protection; heavy-duty twist latches that tightly seal the case; and on each side one pad-lockable latch for the ultimate protection against theft of belongings.

It is now safe to travel cross country with a prized Apple iMac desktop computer and 27" LCD widescreen. When hitting the road or lifting off, graphic artists, gamers and media professionals are wise to think CaseCruzer: Carrying case solutions that Power Up with Peace of Mind.

cruzer272.jpg

  • Outside Dimensions: 32.25"L x 12.50"W x 29.38 "H
  • Empty Weight: 37 lb.
  • Price: $525
  • Color: Black

CaseCruzer is a world leader in reusable carrying case solutions serving Aeronautics, Communications, Computers & Laptops, Electronics, Film & Broadcasting, Industrial, Medical, Photography & Videography, Transportation, and other markets. For more info about the new CaseCruzer case, visit casecruzer.com; call 800-440-9925 in the US or 909-613-1999 internationally; fax 909-465-5598; or write to CaseCruzer at 4665 State Street, Montclair, CA 91763.

Software

Online Bible for the Mac Supports Snow Leopard

PR: If you are looking for the most cost effective, high quality Bible program available for your Macintosh, you need look no further. Online Bible, and many of its Bible, Lexicon, Note and Topic modules (detailed below), can be downloaded and used free of charge. And many of our users who own some of the higher priced Bible study programs for the Mac now say they prefer and use the Online Bible.

Classic or Deluxe CDs

While the Starter Pack and many modules can be freely downloaded also available are two CDs, containing significantly more material and offering a great value. The Deluxe CD (for $79.95) includes all of the material, while the Classic CD (for $39.95) includes all of the material except the NAS95, NAS, NIV, NKJV, NLT, and NRSV. To place an order for either CD, please visit the store.

Free Starter Pack

Download and try the free Starter Pack, assuming your computer system meets our minimum system requirements. It allows any English speaking Bible student to easily get started studying God's Word. You can even later download and add several additional modules at no charge.

The Starter Pack (102 MB) is a simplified Installer package containing these individually downloadable pieces:

  • Online Bible application (v.4.1.1) (5.9 MB)
  • King James Version Bible
  • Thayer's Greek Lexicon
  • BDB Hebrew Lexicon
  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
  • Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
  • Smith's Dictionary of the Bible

System Requirements

The following are the minimum system requirements for the Online Bible:

  • A Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G4 or G5 processor, or an Intel processor.
  • The Online Bible application can run on Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, but the installer requires an Intel-based Macintosh computer, or a PowerPC-based computer running Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.
  • At least 512 MB of free hard disk space for installation.
  • 512 MB of random-access memory (RAM) installed.
  • CD-ROM drive (required for installation using the Classic or Deluxe CDs).

Slow Internet?

For those of you who, through no fault of your own, are burdened with a slow Internet connection - e.g., you live in a rural area where dial-up service is your only choice you can use the various links in the description of what is included with the Starter Pack to locate and download, one at a time, the individual pieces of the Starter Pack and build your own Online Bible folder. The first piece you should download is the application itself; all of the other pieces assume that the application is already installed. You must also, at a minimum, have at least one Bible version installed for the app to work properly. Download each piece and follow the instructions that come with that piece. This does take quite a bit more effort than using the Starter Pack Installer package, but the individual pieces are smaller, making it easier to download them and achieve the same result: a usable Online Bible folder.

Caveat Emptor

Some of the material for use with the Online Bible for the Mac is of an interpretive nature. As such, you may or may not agree with the views expressed. You are encouraged to prove all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thess 5:21). Let the Scriptures be your guide in this matter. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa 8:20).

Freely Copied

You may share the starter pack and other downloadable modules with other Mac users. However, Online Bible modules may not be shared nor used with other Bible study programs including the Online Bible for Windows.

Notice: The above material is published for use with the Online Bible for the Mac, which retains the electronic rights. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without written permission.

The Apocrypha

Those books (or writings) here classified as Apocrypha are those that have never been accepted as Scripture for several reasons, namely:

  • The Jews never considered them part of their sacred canon.
  • Christ rejected them by citing the scriptures as the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. The Jews would understand that to be what we now consider the 39 books of the Old Testament.
  • They are never quoted in the Bible.
  • They are unreliable and contradict known historical facts and doctrines in the Bible; e.g. 2 Mac 12:44,45, Wis 13:18, etc.
  • The number of books, the verse numbering, and the actual verses themselves vary greatly depending on who prints the Apocrypha.

Online Bible makes make them available for those whose faith or Church find them generally useful.

Snow Leopard:

  • The current version of the Online Bible (v.4.1.1) behaves properly under Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard).

Mac OS 7 thru 9:

If you are still using Mac OS 7 thru 9, the developers have a limited supply of CDs available for use with those platforms. Their contents will disagree slightly with those of version 4.1.1, but you can visit our store for more information, including pricing and availability.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later (installer)
  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later (program itself)
  • Mac OS Classic version 3.5.1 available

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

Free

For more information, visit:

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