Monthly Archives: January 2012

New interface!

I got kind of tired of my old theme, and decided to give this new one a try. I wanted something clean and less crowded that allowed for long periods of reading (basically, black text on white background). I really like it for now, I’ll see how I get accustomed to it. What do you guys think? Is it burning your eyes?

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2 simple predictions for the MacBook Pro 2800×1800.

For once, I have decided to put some predictions out, so hopefully if they confirm, I can be an ass about it and say: “Told ya!”.

So apparently, the MacBook Pro might get a retina treatment…  Well, I was pondering the idea last night, trying to weigh-in the pros and cons, the problems this might bring up, and simply, if this is actually possible with our current technology. I came up with 2 solutions, which actually suit Apple pretty well. One of which I am now 100% certain we will see in the close future (maximum 3 years).

So, let’s assume this is true for a bit, what problems would a 2800×1800 display bring to the MacBook Pro? The new intel chips support even higher resolutions so that’s OK. The discreet graphics will have no problems with that (especially since PCIe 3.0 is around the corner). Well there is no problem is there!? That’s what you would think reading all these rumors! Oh yeah, Apple will be releasing a teleportation device that fits in your pockets soon, no problem!

There is obviously a problem (the main show-stopper), one that is crucial to Apple. Try to guess… Any idea?

Battery life!

Apple is obsessed by battery life (Yeah for us). They’ve been pushing it for years now. They have remodelled the MacBook Pro battery in the past, removing the parts needed for a swappable battery to make it bigger. They have tightened their battery tests. The Air can stay a month on standby… Wow. Apple diggs batteries and a HiDPI display like that would kill battery life. Plus, I haven’t read about any breakthrough in battery tech recently, please comment if I missed something.

So, how would Apple cope with this? Of course battery life is not going down, at least not significantly. We can ponder, but I made a nice drawing for you guys [cuddle]:

 

Before:

 

After:

macbook pro prediction 2800x1800

 

Yeah… Here’s my design document I would present if I worked at Apple (maybe it would be a lot nicer). We all know the Apple will not integrate BluRay, so then why keep DVD?

There is no doubt some people will cry out “But I need my DVD-ROM!!!”. Yes, go buy a USB one, they’re cheap. “But I neeeeeeed a BluRay burner!!!”. Yes, you can buy a USB one too, use Toast to burn data, and use Encore to burn videos… “But… I… NEEED… TO… COMPLAIN…!?”. Yes, go buy a PC.

Honestly though, I was a DVD-ROM activist not so long ago, but is it that essential on a laptop? I even got a faster burner from OWC. Guess what, I haven’t used it once in the past year… What a bad investment! I really do believe the Cupertino is headed that way, and I hope it’s soon!

2nd prediction will be quick. You know those neat little SSD drives in the MacBook Air… Well, when prices for SSDs go down, this will be the next step for the MacBook Pros. More space, and less power consumption makes for the perfect fit. A 512GB tiny little SSD would ease many headaches. Maybe a bigger form factor would be needed, but the essential design is there: remove every part that isn’t necessary. But the industry isn’t there yet (hopefully it will in 5  years). There is a reason why the MacBook PROs have an option for 7200RPM, 750GB dries, it’s because of the Pro thing. I do believe Apple will keep catering to us, the pros on the go, and that’s what I’m looking forward to!

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Speed-up your BootCamp VM using TuneUp Utilities 2012.

So I’ve been using VMWare Fusion a lot recently. I love how you can load up your BootCamp partition in a virtual machine, it’s darn right genius. I usually load up my Windows 7 BootCamp along-side Backtrack and have fun attacking my Windows vm (as anyone should). But I’m running an old laptop (coming five years now) and the performance has been atrocious to say the least. A bootcamp vm should not be running with only 1GB of RAM. I know, but don’t have the option.

Enter TuneUp Utilities 2012! I think I’ve used their product since the early XP days (was it out for 98SE?), and it used to be my favourite tweaking and performance booster until they came up with their new bloated and slow interface… Then things kinda got sour for me. I would still use it to clean my registry and what not, but never gave attention to the new features (that looked “dumbed down” to me). I should have!

With 2012, TuneUp seems to have gotten back to it’s roots again (somewhat) with greater customization of the app itself, greater control over automatic stuff, an anti-newb “all-features” section and finally, “shut your mouth” options! Hurray, what’s not to like? Well many reviews I’ve read and watched find it bloated… it is. But you really have to go through every single optimization wizard to really get a gist of what TuneUp is capable.

A quick walk-through of the awesomest optimizations

The basics are self-explanatory. After installation, you should run the 2 main optimizations left (Increase Performance & Fix Problems). Note: Do not set “Increase Performance” to the first setting (“best performance” IIRC), we will use the awesome Turbo Mode to make Windows really ugly. Some notes to take though, you will want to disable automatic defragmentation since your running in a VM. I don’t know how that would end up and I don’t want to find out. This brings me to the first important thing in TUU 2012, the settings. Let’s go right ahead and tame that vocal program!

Settings:

Notification area icon: Always (you’ll see why in a bit).

– Notifications: Disable everything! (Thank you TuneUp Corporation).

– 1 click maintenance: Disable Defragment hard disk.

– Automatic maintenance: I’ve disabled it completely, I like to have control over these things. You could also just disable the Defragment hard disk option.

Now TuneUp will shut it’s mouth, and wont screw up your BootCamp, sigh of relief.

Optimize System:

Why is TUU running it’s own service you ask? You don’t like that don’t you? Me neither, unless you set it up correctly right here. Basically, the “Disable Programs” feature is what justifies the extra service. TUU will automagically shutdown processes which either stay on, or don’t stop when you close an app (ex. Google Chrome). This is all customizable, and a significant boost in performance will be felt if you set it up correctly. Disabling startup programs should be a no-brainer, go ahead and disable pretty much everything except anti-virus, bootcamp services and essential stuff (that should be around 4-5 programs).

“Live Optimization” should be enabled with it’s 2 options. Configure Economy mode is self explanatory, configuring Turbo Mode is simply the best damn thing about TuneUp! If your running BootCamp, it’s probably because you play games, or work with a highly demanding application (3d, architecture, CAD etc.) and you really just boot-up in Windows for that. Well, do you see the “beautiful” windows interface while your gaming? Me neither. In conjunction with your earlier Visual Optimizations (probably set close to medium), Turbo Mode will make your Win7 machine look like shit… Hurray! Enable everything in Turbo Mode, and make sure it runs by default. Badaboom, you’ve got yourself a responsive VM.

Now if you want the beautiful bells and whistles, just select “Standard mode” from the TUU icon in your system tray (that’s why we’re leaving it there). Pretty cool stuff. I would end this section by checking out “Optimize system startup and shutdown” and applying the recommendations if they suit you, it will help startup that VM faster.

“Gain disk space” is self-explanatory and the usual temporary files, restore points etc. clean-up. “Fix problems” is mainly useless.

Customize Windows:

Finally, there is one really cool feature here, that I would encourage every-single-body to use. In “Personalize options and behaviours” go to “Start and maintenance” and the “Desktop and Taskbar” tab. Enable “Execute desktop and taskbar in a separate process”. You’ve guessed what this does, and trust me, when Windows crashes on you this is awesome. A nifty tweak.

Conclusion

So, we’ve been through the main features of TuneUp Utilities 2012 which will really help you run Windows (BootCamp or not) in a VM. Even though the software is bloated, runs an extra service and the interface is really slow, I hope you have seen past these issues and consider TUU for what it is: a great performance booster. As I said before, the reviews I’ve seen seemed to mention the basics, but never really go in depth (I’m sure some of them do). If you compare TuneUp with other optimizing software, it’s in a league of it’s own, and according to me, that justifies it’s price. Plus, your mom and her computer will thank you (and maybe give you cookies, hopefully homemade and hot, mmmmmm). Until next time!

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