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Archive for February, 2011

Thunderbolt – The Fastest Data Connection Yet

February 28th, 2011 No comments

The new MacBook Pro lineup announced last week by Apple was mostly routine – Faster processors, improved graphics, and a better camera. The big exception was Thunderbolt (formerly code named Light Peak), a new port that promises super fast connections for both video and high-speed peripherals. Between HD video, large data files, and the sheer quantity of files that users have accumulated, a new, faster and simpler connection technology is both warranted and welcome.

As Thunderbolt comes into common use, another benefit will become apparent. Everyone hates dealing with cables, whether it is connecting and disconnecting from your laptop or just dealing with the great mystery of how cables mange to tangle themselves when nobody is looking. Thunderbolt gives us a small, thin cable that will be capable of working with any number of devices. Between wireless technologies and now Thunderbolt, the days of “do I have the cable I need” or “which cable do I need” may soon be over.

Intel developed thunderbolt in conjunction with Apple, just as the two companies had collaborated on the miniaturized Core 2 Duo chips used in the first MacBook Air. That arrangement provided Apple with a head start, allowing them to tailor hardware and the OS to the new chips. Again with Thunderbolt, Apple is out ahead of other PC manufacturers, who will need time to incorporate the new technology on their logic boards. While at first glance a big plus for Apple, it could temporarily slow the rate of adoption and quantity of peripherals available for the technology. Given all the advantages that Thunderbolt provides, and the additional advantages once it moves to optical cabling, the future certainly looks bright.

Macworld ]

Categories: Insights, News Tags: , ,

New MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt and HD Camera

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Today Apple announced the latest generation of MacBook Pros. These models are more of a refresh than a redesign but do come with some welcome new features.

Thunderbolt and Expanded IO

Finally there’s another port whose name sounds even cooler than FireWire, Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is a new IO port that is up to 12 times faster than Firewire 800 and twenty times as fast as USB 2.0. The new port will be used with external drives, high-speed peripherals and even external monitors. You can daisy chain devices and the port is included on the 13″,15″ and 17″. Speaking of including ports, all models of MacBook Pro now include the FireWire 800 port.

Processor & Graphics

Per usual, the processor and graphics get a boost across the line. New quad-core i7 Intel processors and AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB GDDR5 video cards are now available on the higher end 15″ and 17″ models. The 13″ has the option for either an i5 or i7 processor which should help out with it’s speed considerably.

HD Camera

The iSight camera gets an update to 720p resolution, up from 640×480. The new MacBook Pros will include a new FaceTime app that will allow the Mac to talk to other iOS devices using FaceTime. The FaceTime app is available for older Macs via the Mac App Store for 99 cents.

The new 13″ MacBook Pro starts at $1199, the 15″ starts at $1799 and the 17″ starts at $2499. The new models are now available at the Apple Store and through Authorized Resellers.

[ New MacBook Pros ] [ Thunderbolt ]

Categories: News Tags: , , , ,

Apple Store’s New Consultant Referral Policy

February 22nd, 2011 No comments

The Apple Stores have changed the way they refer consultants.

Before, the Apple Store would direct customers to members of the Apple Consultants Network (ACN) and they would pick the consultant of their choice. Now, the Apple Store is solely working with a third-party company called OnForce to provide consulting services.

How does it work?

When a customer wants to get in-home service or other consultant help, Apple directs them to OnForce. OnForce then sends out a request to consultants in their network to bid on the job.

So why did Apple make the change?

Apple wanted more oversight over pricing, quality and service. By using a single third party company they can have more accountability and metrics on the services that were performed.

Why is this good?

Apple is trying to drive down the cost of in-home consulting and deliver a more unified experience to their customers.

Why is this bad?

In the consulting space, you get what you pay for. Driving down the price by having consultants compete with each other through a single company may lead to lower quality consultants under-cutting each other on price.

The experience may be more unified but that doesn’t make it necessarily better, just look at Geek Squad.

ACN members who do work with OnForce can’t represent themselves in any way with the customer. They can’t leave behind any info on their business or even show up wearing their own branded polo.

If ACN members don’t sign up with OnForce, they can’t be referred by the Apple Store.

Any member of OnForce can respond to the call meaning even those with no Apple certifications could be sent to do the work.

So why do we care?

In our early years, MyService was very active in the consulting space. We were ACN Members that worked with our local Apple Store in Palo Alto to help build our customer base. We survived our first two years in business by doing house calls and setting up Airport Base Stations, very glamourous stuff:) By providing great service to the individuals and businesses that were referred to us we were able to survive and grow.

While ACN members that don’t signup with OnForce can still independently market themselves outside of the Apple Store, the reality is most of these are individuals that are going to have a hard time surviving outside of the Apple Store ecosystem.

Apple’s head is in the right place by trying to deliver their customers more accountable service, but they might not be able to retain the quality and personalized service that a good Apple Certified Consultant can deliver.

As for MyService, we’ll continue to refer our customers to members of the Apple Consultants Network when they need consulting and training for their Macs.

[ Via AppleInsider ] [ ACN ]

New MacBook 480GB Solid State Drives

February 17th, 2011 No comments

We’ve got new MacBook solid state drives in stock. These latest generations SSDs from OWC come in sizes up to 480GB.

Solid state drives deliver faster boot times, faster program/file load times, quiet operation and improved reliability over standard hard disk drives.

The new OWC Pro SSDs come in sizes of 120, 180, 240, 360 and 480GB and start from $379 with installation, data transfer and shipping included.

Models are available for the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

[ MyService solid state drive upgrades for the Mac ]

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

2010 Apple Service Excellence Award

February 15th, 2011 No comments

Apple has awarded MyService the Service Excellence Award for 2010.

This award is given for providing outstanding service and support to our customers. The award is only given to the top 5% of service providers nationwide.

Thanks goes out to our staff for all of their hard work and to our customers for the great feedback!

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Donated MyService MacBook Pro in Cambodia

February 11th, 2011 No comments

Our friends at Groundwork Opportunities sent us this article from the Sao Sary Foundation that shows one of our donated MacBook Pros in use at a project in Cambodia. Awesome!

You can check out the article here.

The Sao Sary Foundation teaches children new skills.

[ Groundwork Opportunities ]

Categories: Commentary Tags: , , ,

A New Kind of Digital Book Defines Innovation

February 9th, 2011 No comments

PushPopPressImmersed in the Apple environment, a certain amount of elegance becomes expected in the products we use. Mac users are quick to embrace hardware, software and peripherals that demonstrate thoughtful design and attention to detail. Not to say that people have become blasé about it, but it has become tougher to get that “Wow” reaction. If that is the case, be prepared for a double dose of “Wow” when Push Pop Press releases the first in a new class of digital book. Their vision of books running as apps on the iPad (and other iOS devices), filled with multimedia content, is different from anything seen so far. Although not available yet, an early description provides some background and detail. Clearly this impressive team has learned well from Apple.

The breakthrough is how they are planning to present the material. An innovative interface, that largely eliminates the visual elements that we are accustomed to, and instead lets intuitive use of multi-touch gestures, provides an entirely new experience. Look for their first title later this year.

Push Pop Press ] [ Daring FireBall ]

Categories: News Tags: , ,

3TB 7200RPM Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 Drive – Now In Stock

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

MyService now has the new 3TB (3,000GB!) hard drive in stock. We offer the 3TB hard drive as an upgrade for iMacs and Mac Pros for $299. The price includes the drive, installation and data transfer. We return your old drive to you to use as a backup.

Here are the technical details on the drive:

Model HDS723030ALA640
Interface SATA 6Gb/s
Capacity (GB) 3TB
Sector size (variable, Bytes/sector) 512
Max areal density (Gbits/sq. in.) 411
Data buffer (MB) 64
Rotational Speed (RPM) 7200
Media transfer rate (Mbits/sec, max) 1656
Interface transfer rate (MB/sec, max) 600
Error Rate (non-recoverable, bits read) 1 in 1014
Load/Unload Cycles 3TB: 600,000
Availability (hrs/day x days/wk) 24×7
Idle (Bels) 3TB: 2.9
Requirement 3TB: +5 VDC (+/-5%) +12 VDC (+10%/-8%)
Requirement: Start-up (W, peak, max) 1.2 (+5V), 2.0 (+12V)
Performance Idle 3TB: 6.8
Physical size
Z-height (mm) 26.1
Dimensions (width x depth, mm) 101.6 (+/-0.25) x 147
Weight (g, max) 3TB: 690
Environmental (operating)
Ambient temperature 3TB: 5º to 60º C
Relative Humidity 8% to 90%
Shock (half-sine wave) 70
Vibration 0.67 (XYZ) (G RMS 5 to 500Hz)
Environmental (non-operating)
Ambient temperature -40º to 70ºC
Relative Humidity 5% to 95%
Shock (half-sine wave) 3TB: 300 (1ms)
Vibration 1.04 (XYZ) (G RMS 2 to 200Hz)

Bottom line – this drive is big, fast and efficient.

[ iMac Hard Drive Upgrades ] [ Mac Pro Hard Drive Upgrades ]

A Future for MacWorld Expo?

February 1st, 2011 No comments

Another MacWorld Expo is in the books and as expected, the show did not resemble those of the past. Accurate attendance figures are always hard to come by, but the compact booths and overall scaled down exhibit floor made for a crowded, if not energized, event.

Macintosh products were a bit scarce, and it was hard not to notice the lack of representation from big, mainstream companies. There was plenty of gear aimed at iOS users and depending on one’s interests, there were a few gems to be found. There were grumbles about the lack of swag (top finds seemed to be pens and cleaning cloths) and no big news-making hits, but most attendees appeared to be enjoying themselves. Overall, there was a nice entrepreneurial flavor to the show.

The future of MacWorld Expo really depends on the manufacturers and publishers exhibiting. Will they see MacWorld as an effective way to reach customers and generate interest in their products? Are conference programs and workshops sustainable? Will the next show draw enough people?

It is possible that a trip across the country to visit MacWorld may no longer be justified, even for those looking to escape winter snows for a visit to San Francisco. However, with the large installed base of Apple users and fans in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and surrounding areas, and enough companies that don’t scoff at getting in front of fifteen or twenty thousand people, it’s quite possible that MacWorld can continue to operate, even if it becomes a more “regional” show.

With MacWorld 2012 already scheduled for January 26-28 of next year, I guess we’ll find out.

Categories: Commentary Tags: , ,