SSD Equals New Tricks for Old MacBooks

Wondering how to revive the flagging spirits of your aging MacBook? Nothing will have more impact than swapping out your hard drive for a solid-state drive, more commonly known as SSD. No, really. People speak of the results in rapturous language. So set aside a little time and get a few tools for an easy upgrade that can be done on any Mac released in 2012 or before. Following is a quick overview of the process, but there are several reliable video resources online.

SSDs are quite a bit more expensive than a standard hard drive, so to replace a good-size HDD will cost you at least £100. It’s worth it if your alternative is purchasing a new MacBook.

What will you need? An internal SSD, a cable or dock for initially connecting the drive externally, a set of small Phillips-head and torx-head screwdrivers, and a utility that will back up your hard drive, such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

First, format and load up the SSD: Connect it via a SATA-to-USB cable or a dock, launch Disk Utility, and click Erase. Next, with your chosen utility, you’ll clone your Mac’s hard drive to the SSD. Eject the SSD and shut down your computer.

Remove the back cover on your Mac. Before touching anything inside the case, ground yourself to discharge static electricity; an optional safety step is to disconnect the battery. Unscrew and remove the bracket covering the hard drive. To disconnect the drive, don’t pull on the long attached ribbon, but instead gently wiggle the connector itself. Remove and set aside the four screws in the hard drive. Insert the SSD into the drive bay, attach the ribbon, put the screws back in, and work backwards to reseat the drive and close your computer back up. Now restart. It might take a few moments for your MacBook to make friends with the new drive, but when it does you will notice the difference.

What will you get in return for this effort? Speed, speed and speed. If you’ve come to that point in your Mac’s life when launching an application, saving a document, or starting up and shutting down are taking a painfully long time, converting to a solid-state drive will not only solve those problems, it will have you zipping around faster than you did when that laptop was new. In numerous benchmarking tests, SSDs perform much faster than HDDs in every measure – bandwidth, input-output, response time. If you’re a gamer, designer, illustrator, photographer, or videographer, you will wonder how you survived this long without an SSD.

Standard hard drives consist of spinning platters with motors that run a mechanism over the surface, writing and reading data. The whole operation uses battery life, causes heat, and is prone to damage by both accident and heavy use. SSDs have no moving parts and their design allows them to read data instantaneously, so they don’t generate heat, make no sound, won’t break if you drop your laptop, and are more energy efficient so they save battery life. In other words, there is no downside to this upgrade.

WD Re-Designs World's No. 1 Selling Portable Hard Drive

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) company, and world leader in storage solutions, today introduced the new, redesigned My Passport® Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives. With the My Passport line now in its 7th generation, the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are now available in capacities up to 3 TB and in four stylish colours - Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. WD is also introducing a new optional accessory – WD Grip Pack – a soft band, available in a variety of colours, which encircles the drive, offering consumers an easy way to personalise their My Passport drives.

“With more photos being taken than ever before, it’s critical to have a high capacity, reliable external storage solution that you can carry everywhere,” said Tony Tate, general manager and vice president of Content Storage Solutions at WD. “The latest generation My Passport drives deliver an easier automatic back-up experience, hardware-based encryption for security and higher capacities than ever before. Consumers can keep all their content in their pockets, while expressing their personal styles with the colours and WD Grip Pack.”

My Passport Ultra portable drives come in 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and 500 GB capacities and feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption – delivering a high level of security with no impact to write-speed or CPU activity. If your My Passport Ultra falls into the wrong hands, the 256-bit AES hardware encryption protects users’ files, folders, photos, videos and music with a password known only to them. USB 3.0 compatibility provides fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second, while being backwardly compatible with USB 2.0. My Passport for Mac portable drives are available in capacities of 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and also feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption with USB 3.0 connectivity.

Sold separately, the WD Grip Pack accessory for My Passport Ultra is available in five colours (smoke, slate, grape, sky and fuchsia) and, when wrapped around one of the four colours of My Passport Ultra drives, enables consumers to create a total of twenty possible colour combinations. The WD Grip Pack comes with a colour-matched 18-inch flat USB 3.0 cable, creating a stylish complete solution. 

My Passport Ultra’s built-in WD Backup software is a simple-to-use application with focus on reducing frustration when setting up a backup plan to preserve data. Since 31% of devices have had malware at some point, having your data safely backed up onto a secondary device like a My Passport drive is critical to preserving precious data.

Pricing and Availability

My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable drives are available today in the WD store at  and at select retailers, including Amazon (My Passport Ultra:, My Passport Ultra for Mac: and distributors. My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac have a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from £59.99 up to £159.00 depending on capacity (3 TB capacity available next month). Both the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac will offer a 3-year limited warranty. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found at WD Grip Pack accessories will be available in June and will have an MSRP of £9.99. 

1. 3 TB will be available next month
2. Colours only available on the My Passport Ultra 
3. Password must be set in order to use encryption.

Samsung U28D590D Budget 4K

The Samsung U28D590D 28-inch Ultra brings 4K to the table (or your desk) at an affordable price. As screen technology goes, you do not get an IPS display for this money, but you do get a very colour accurate TN panel with a 60Hz refresh rate (when using the mDP connection). Older generation 4K displays only offered 30Hz which was fine for movie watching, but not that great for business/work use and abysmal for gaming. 

You can pick up the Samsung U28D590D here in the UK, or here in the USA (pre-order in the UK with a 1st May 2014 release date, in stock in the USA).

SimCity Finally Launches on the Mac With Native Version and Cross-Platform Servers

After being delayed for six months, EA has finally released the Mac version of the newSimCity. The game was originally set to come out in February of this year, but EA decided to delay it to "ensure a great experience" for players.

EA has repeatedly emphasized that the Mac version of SimCity is not a "port" of the PC game, but a fully native version designed specifically for the Mac using OpenGL. However, the game will include full cross-platform support to facilitate 'region play' where the cities of multiple players are connected to share utilities and citizenry, with PC and Mac Mayors able to play in the same regions...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Apple to Adopt IGZO Displays for Future iPads and MacBooks?

Apple is planning to expand its adoption of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays to reduce the energy consumption of its mobile devices, reports

According to industry insiders, having decided to apply the IGZO method to displays for MacBook, Apple is talking with LCD panel manufacturers, such as Sharp and LG Display.

IGZO is a semiconducting material that has forty times more electron mobility than the standard amorphous silicon that is used as the active layer of an LCD screen, allowing for higher resolution displays, better reaction times, and less power consumption. 

The report suggests that in addition to expanding to IGZO displays for the MacBook, Apple is also planning to use them in the iPad. Apple is said to be relying on Sharp for the displays, and last year news surfaced that Sharp had already begun mass production of IGZO displays that could be used in future Apple products. 

The site expects IGZO MacBooks to appear in the first half of 2014, but does not note when an IGZO iPad might make an appearance. Apple is expected to release a new, thinner fifth generation iPad later this year. 

Source: Mac Rumours


Apple Planning 'Something Really Different' for New Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro model, expected later this year, is "something really different" according to a video professional who says he spoke with the Mac Pro product manager.

Writing on the forum, Andrew Baird says he spoke to Mac Pro project manager Douglas Brooks on the phone after emailing CEO Tim Cook with his concerns about the lack of a new professional tower from Apple over the past few years.

Baird told MacRumors that the call didn't include any specific details about when the new machine would be released, nor its specifications -- however, he was assured several times that the new Mac Pro would be worth the wait. Brooks told him that the machine would be released later this year.

Somewhat corroborating Baird's phone call, Lou Borella -- administrator of the 'We Want a New Macpro' Facebook group -- wrote on the page that he heard the new professional Mac would be "heavily reliant on Thunderbolt" with "no internal expandability", and would have support for dual-GPU's and no FireWire or optical drive.

In mid-2012, after a minor update to the Mac Pro was announced at WWDC, Tim Cook confirmed to a fan that new Mac Pros were coming in 2013, which was later reiterated by an Apple spokesman. It has also been rumored that the new Mac Pro would be the first Apple computer in years to be 'Made in the USA'

Source: Mac Rumours



Logitech intros two Mac accessories: the Easy-Switch Keyboard and an external trackpad

After unveiling a handful of accessories designed for Windows 8, it's clear Logitech had some catching up to do on the Mac side. The company just announced two things, the Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard and the Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac, and they're both more or less Apple-friendly versions of items that were announced for Windows back in October. Starting with the keyboard, it's basically the same as the Illuminated Bluetooth K810 keyboard, in that you can pair it with up to three Bluetooth-enabled devices and switch from one to the other by pressing a button. As the name suggests, it's also backlit, with sensors that turn on the lights when your hands are hovering, and lower the brightness when backlighting isn't necessary. The truth is, the K810 does all of this too and can pair with devices running any OS; it just has Windows 8-specific hotkeys, which you wouldn't need if you were a Mac user.

[Source: Engadget]

Western Digital bumps My Book Thunderbolt Duo to 8TB, consoles regular My Book buyers with 4TB

Many of us may have liked the prospect of Western Digital's My Book Thunderbolt Duo, but there's no doubt some of us who discovered that even 6TB just wouldn't cut it. If that digital pack rat mentality describes you, the solution is here: the company has taken advantage of larger 4TB hard disks to stuff a total 8TB of storage into the Duo's enclosure. The extra capacity hikes the price to $850, although the company notes that it's including the often expensive Thunderbolt cable to avoid any surprise trips to the store. Those without the ports or budget for the Duo can still reap some of the benefits through an updated, 4TB version of the regular My Book that hums along on USB 3.0 at a more reasonable $250 price. Either of the new drives should be lurking in stores if you're hurting for space as we write this.

[Source: Engadget]

Logitech outs two wireless mice and an external trackpad, all optimized for Windows 8

It'll be another two weeks before Windows 8 PCs go on sale, but if you like, you can hand pick out your gesture-enabled peripherals now. Logitech just announced two wireless mice and an external trackpad, all optimized to support gestures in Windows 8. Starting with the mice, the Touch Mouse T620 has the same design as the M600 announced earlier this year, except it supports Win 8 gestures out of the box. (The M600 will get a software update allowing it to work the same way.) Similar to its predecessor, the T620's entire top surface is touch-enabled, which means you can do things like swipe the right side for the Charm Bar, or swipe from the left to rotate through open programs. You can also double tap with one finger to return to the Start Screen, and double tap with two fingers to show the desktop.

Moving on, the Zone Touch Mouse T400 has a touch strip that you can use to move up and down through pages, as well as scroll through the live tiles on the Start Screen. In a brilliant twist, though, the touch strip itself is comprised of two buttons, which you can use to toggle open apps or bring up the Start Screen, depending on which end you press. Finally, the Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is a Magic Trackpad-style touchpad with a spacious glass surface, which seemed impeccably responsive during our brief hands-on with it. Unlike the two mice, which run on AAs, the T650 has a rechargeable battery, which you can re-juice over USB.

[Source: Engadget - Click here to read the full story]


Oh Samsung Will You Ever Learn ?!

Searching the internetz the other day I turned up this video about the "Samsung Spider Laptop" from MiniPCPro on YouTube. This is a new laptop that you can connect your Samsung Galaxy S3 to. About half way through the video, which you can watch below, we see a mouse that accompanies the laptop. Even the presenter comments that there ay be another lawsuit coming and they are right.

It doesn't just have a slight resemblence to the Magic Mouse from Apple. Instead, if you take a good look at the mouse, it really does look almost identical. After Apple being awarded $1 Billion in the last round, I thought that Samsung would be a bit more careful. I can see it now … internal document leak from engineers … "How can we make our mouse like the Magic Mouse, but improve on it, without seeming to have copied it?" … well you have managed to make a superb looking mouse, yes, but it is an IN YOUR FACE copy that will surely gain more than my attention.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.