Want More Processing Power? $50 says Intel

Granted this feature has only been rolled out on a few low end Compaq systems purchased through Best Buy, but apparently Intel has been offering consumers an “upgrade” card, with nothing more than a serial code on it for $50. What does that code do you ask? It “unlocks” threads and cache on y?our Pentium G6951processor.

Yes, you read correctly. Intel will take an extra $50 of your hard earned cash just so you can use your processor, that you’ve already paid for, to its full potential.

This is way worse then when Apple charged users $1.99 to enable the Draft-N support in their wireless card. At least that was a feature that wasn’t advertised when people originally purchased the MacBooks.

So, is the hardware equivalent of DRM the hot new revenue generation model for vendors trying to make up for discounted hardware prices? I sure hope not. Otherwise those websites claiming to “make your PC faster” will be selling fake hardware unlocks to unsuspecting people instead of just bogus software.


Red Light in Macbook Pro Headphone Jack

Last night I went to plugin my headphones and listen to some music and lo and behold my headphones wouldn’t fit entirely in the jack, strange… I removed my headphones and went to take a closer look.

Apparently when your headphone jack is obstructed, in my case by a piece of plastic, there’s a tiny red light that lights up at the bottom of the jack. No, it’s not Skynet trying to take control of your computer.

In order to fix this, just take a toothpick or a paperclip and insert it into the headphone jack to clear whatever is blocking it.

Why your iPod won’t charge (and what to do about it)

Show of hands if you’ve seen this message on your iPhone or iPod touch:

“Charging is not supported with this accessory”

Why not?  The music and video still works… why wouldn’t charging be supported?  It upset me too.  I tried connecting it to an older Alpine stereo and it flashed me the error.

The short and sweet of it?  Previous to the 3G iPhone and 2G iPod touch, the pin-out configuration of the connection used a FireWire standard for the location of the charging pin.  The newest generation switched to using a USB pin-out standard, and low and behold, the charging pin is different!

Enter the Scosche passPORT charging adapter.  The $20 adapter (Apple actually sells it, as well as many other retailers) switches the charging pin-out, but allows the rest of the data stream to pass-through.  However, there are limitations… this from Scosche’s website:

“The charging adapter is specifically designed to fix the charging error associated with several iPod and iPhone accessories. If the accessory you are intending to use does not initially support the audio or video functionality of the iPod or iPhone , the charging adapter will not enable these features.”

What bothers me is there had to be some poor tech from Scosche who took this call:

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got a problem.”

Tech: “What can I help you with?”

Customer: “Well, I bought your charging adapter for my iPod touch, but I can’t see the video on my TV!”

Tech: “Are you connecting your iPod to your home theater system?”

Customer: “No, I’ve got it connected to a wall-mount charging adapter.”

Tech: “Great, now we need a disclaimer…”

Replacement Computer Ordered

Over the weekend the insurance paperwork finally cleared, so I went ahead and ordered a replacement computer. I got a little less from the insurance company than I expected, so instead of a new MacBook Pro I went with the new aluminum MacBook to save a bit of money.

The processor (2.4GHz) is the same core speed as my MacBook Pro was, and even though the graphics memory is shared I think I’ll be able to survive, since it is a newer graphics chipset. Oh, and I did purchase a 4GB RAM upgrade for it (obviously not from Apple), so that should further help to even the playing field.

I think I still have a copy of my GeekBench scores for my MacBook Pro, so we’ll see how the new MacBook stacks up in comparison.

Plus, the way I see it, getting the MacBook with its smaller screen gives me an excuse to buy a nice big monitor down the road!

Kevin Rose says revamp of iPod line coming, and soon

Behold the new iPod Nano! At least, that’s what Kevin Rose thinks. In a post on his blog Rose cites several rumors, including:

– Revamp of entire iPod line.
– Small cosmetic changes to Touch, Nano to see significant redesign.
– iPods to see fairly large price drops to distance itself from the $199 iPhone.
– iPod touch 2.1 software, iPhone to get update very soon after.
– iTunes 8.0 (“it’s a big update w/new features”).
– All of this coming in the next 2-3 weeks.

Crazy? Well, rumors of a Zune-like iPod have been floating around for a few weeks now, and Kevin’s comments would lend credence to the theory. There are a couple interesting things about this set of rumors.

First and foremost, the price cuts. If Apple rethinks their pricing structure based on a $199 iPhone, can we expect a $99 Nano? And second, if the announcement window Kevin presents is correct, Apple will be celebrating the 1st anniversary of the 3rd gen Nano by replacing it with the 4th gen version. Either the fatty didn’t get them the sales they expected, or Apple is counting on their customers to buy a new iPod every time they release a new generation. I’d say a little of both is true.

If Kevin Rose is correct, expect Apple’s shares to plummet as investors cry bitterly about the price cuts, then recommit their souls to Steve Jobs as Apple rakes in disgusting amounts of money this holiday season.