Davao Mac User

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OWC videos on how to upgrade your Mac’s RAM, HDD

Been looking into getting the new 13″ MacBook Pro soon and instead of paying Apple more to get a memory and hard drive upgrade, I’ll save a lot if I do it myself.

I’ve already done memory module upgrades on a Powerbook, an iBook, an Intel iMac, and a MacBook before, and fairly recently, replaced a MacBook’s dead hard drive for a new one. In all instances I used the web to find tutorials on how to do the job.

With the 13″ MacBook Pro purchase looking, I was glad to find Other World Computing’s large library of tutorials on how to upgrade a memory module or hard drives on a Mac. They also have tutorials on replacing optical drives on some Macs and replacing iPod batteries.

Other World Computing, by the way, is one of the best online resources for computer hardware accessories. Their e-commerce site, macsales.com, has one of the largest catalog for Mac, iPod and iPhone upgrades and expansion products.

OWC makes the 13″ MacBook Pro RAM and HDD upgrades look pretty straightforward. Each video begins with a skill level rating and the average time it should take for the upgrade to complete. The video also shows a list of necessary tools and also some reminders (like anti-static precaution and all that). There are three video qualities you can choose from, choice would probably depend on how fast your internet connection is.

Skill level rating for both RAM and HDD upgrade are “easy” and time required is only take 10 minutes. If the memory module and HDD upgrades are done in just one sitting, it probably just take 15 minutes.

Removing the memory module

HDD brace

Some notes on removing the bottom cover of the 13″ MacBook Pro:

  • A #00 Phillips screwdriver is required.
  • Ten screws need to be removed from the bottom of the 13″ MacBook Pro.
  • Three screws are longer than the res. These are located near the hinge.
  • The screws go in at angle and not straight down.

Screw at an angle

I’ve read complaints about how the RAM and HDD upgrades are not very user-friendly on the new MacBook Pros. However, based on these two videos I think they’re wrong. It would be interesting to see if someone with little or no experience when it comes to tinkering with computers can at least do the RAM upgrade just by watching OWC’s video.

Finally. A Mac-related post.

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Filed under: iMac, Mac, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, , , , ,

Finding an app in a haystack

AppStore

With 56,000 apps and counting, someone new to the App Store can get overwhelmed pretty quick. The top paid and free apps section in the iTunes Store can sometimes help newbies decide which apps to download first. However, even with experience the App Store  can still be difficult to wade through.

Luckily for users, there are some websites out there that can help sort through the confusion.

TUAW listed five online resources that can help you find the right app to suit your needs as well as update you on what’s new and what’s on sale:

  • Freeappalert.com
  • Appshopper.com
  • 148apps.com
  • Iviewer.com
  • Macworld’s App Guide

A TUAW commenter has suggested Yappler as another alternative to finding (and sharing) iPhone apps. Another commenter recommended Touch Arcade for news, previews and videos of the latest iPhone games.

I haven’t used any of these services yet. For me, the iTunes Store search works well enough but as David Winograd said, it needs a lot of improvements. I have the AppMiner app on my iPod touch but I don’t use it that often.

My source for the latest iPhone apps news and reviews are from MacWorld and TUAW via RSS. I used to have iLounge on my list but it seems they don’t want me going to their website anymore.

Was it something I said?

Filed under: App Store, iPhone,

How to eject a disk image

The scenario is this: I have four to six applications running with at least five windows open on my screen. I get an update or find a nice interesting app to install. I download the app and then click on the .dmg file to mount it. In most cases a small window opens after .dmg file has mounted.

Click-drag to the Applications folder to install. And when done, time to unmount the disk image. There are three methods that a commonly use when ejecting a mounted .dmg file. These are (in order of preference):

  1. Open a Finder window, then click on the eject icon next to the mounted disk image.
  2. Eject 3

  3. Right-click on the mounted .dmg file on the desktop and select ‘Eject “[name of disk image]”‘.
  4. Eject 1

  5. Click-drag the mounted disk image to Trash icon on the Dock (the Trash icon changes into the Eject icon this is done).
  6. Eject 2

All of the above methods work fine but I often find it a bit of a hassle to have to open a Finder window or use Exposé to reveal my desktop. I feel there’s an extra step or two that’s unnecessary.

But a few days ago, I discovered another way to ejecting a mounted disk image. (“Doh!” moment for me.)

I mentioned that most (if not all) disk image or .dmg files, when mounted, would open a small window where you can see the app and an alias of your Application folder. So all you need to do to install is click the app and drag it to the Application folder alias.

What I’ve just figured out is that the small icon at the bottom-left corner of the just opened window can be used to eject the disk image.  Just right-click on the icon and select ‘Eject “[name of disk image]”‘. Boom!

Eject 4

I know, I know. It’s trivial but at least now I can eject disk images in just two steps. Yay.

Filed under: OS X,

Installing Windows 7 for free

You might have heard about Microsoft’s latest-soon-to-be-released OS, Windows 7, and you might have heard from some of your Windows-using friends saying that Windows 7 is so very nice and so probably better than Vista and Mac OS X.

Now here’s your chance to try out Windows 7 to find out whether it is better than Leopard, and it won’t cost you a centavo (except for electricity and internet costs, of course).

The Unofficial Apple Webblog posted a tip on how to install and run Windows 7 RC 1 for free on your Intel-based Mac.

There are two options: use Apple’s Boot Camp or run Sun’s Virtual Box.

Boot Camp comes free with Leopard. VirtualBox costs $0. Zero as in nil, nada, zip! The latest version of VirtualBox (version 2.1.2) lets Windows 7 work out of the box.

The post links to The Fat Bloke Sings blog which has a tutorial on how to install Windows 7 on VirtualBox.

The latest Windows 7 release candidate can be downloaded (again, for free) and will work until June 1, 2010. The download is about 2.4GB big.

We’ve been having problems with GlobeDSL for almost three months now. I haven’t yet completed the registration process. I’m downloading Windows 7 RC1 through torrent.

I’ll probably have Windows 7 up and running on Sun’s Virtual Box by the end of the week. I hope my iMac can handle it. It is after all almost five years old.

Filed under: third-party, , ,

Cropping multiple PDF pages in Preview

I found this very good tip on Macworld yesterday on how to crop multiple pages in Preview.

The reason why I found this tip useful is because I wanted to get rid of the 1″ to 1 1/2″ margins seen in most of the PDF documents I download. The margins are a waste of space and that wasted space tend to make the pages look small on my 17″ iMac. It’s not a big deal to zoom in but I tend to read a lot of PDFs and that can become time consuming.

Another way this tip has helped me is when I’m reading some of these PDF documents on my iPod touch. If the text on documents with margins already look small on a 17″ screen, what more on a 3 1/2″ screen?

I can read un-cropped PDFs on the iPod touch but that would require me to pinch, zoom in and as I read the page I have to flick the page to the left and then right and then left and then right and then… well, you get the point.

With cropped PDFs, all I have to do most of the time is put the iPod touch in landscape mode and then I can read the document without having to zoom in. The text is kind of small but it is readable.

Normal page

Cropped

One limitation of course is for documents that have really small letters. There’s no choice but to pinch, zoom in and flick flick flick.

Filed under: OS X,

Moving your iTunes Library? DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Not until you read this…

Mike Schramm of The Unofficial Apple Weblog has one advice when it comes to moving your iTunes library from one iTunes installation to another: it’s not as easy as you think.

(Please check out the comments. The readers offer alternative solutions to what was linked to. Actually, the author of the blog Schramm links to also chimed in. Worth the read.)

Filed under: iTunes, ,

Finding Leopard’s intro movie and music

Victor Cajiao who does the The Typical Mac User podcast has a tip on how to grab the Mac OS 10.5 intro movie and music.

It involves digging into the Core Services folder and after six folders down, TA-DA!. The movie doesn’t play any music so the mp3 file has to play simultaneously with the movie on launching Leopard for the first time.

Filed under: OS X,

PLEASE READ

On July 21, I moved my blog to its own server.

So www.davaomacuser.com no longer points to davaomacuser.wordpress.com.

I've already got a few new posts over there so please join me at www.davaomacuser.com.

See you there. Thanks!

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