Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Really Like The Dual Display Set Up

These 2007 Dell ISP LCD monitors calibrate nice in Mac OS 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard. However, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard disables your ability to use the OS's System Preferences to calibrate these older, non-Apple, third party displays.

I really like the dual display set up. One small thing I like about moving away from CRT displays, over to the LCD environment, is that I don't hear the Cathode Ray Electron Gun "kick-start" when ever I wake the computer up. I'm glad these 2007 Dell ISP LCDs have come down to an affordable price range. I'm glad to move away from CRTs after using them in my business for over 10 years.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Caution To Snow Leopard Users . . .

Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1" S-IPS LCD Monitor Wide
If you are a Mac user, this monitor is a good IPS display technology alternative to buying an Apple Cinema Display. These displays calibrate nicely, especially if you are using the System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant in Mac OS 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.

The Apple & Dell IPS LCD displays don't have external contrast adjusters. With the IPS LCD, there is no contrast adjustment on the display or in the Mac OS. It stays in the right contrast all the time. Only Brightness and RGB levels can be adjusted externally as well as selecting PC Mode and Mac Mode. So with Tiger and Leopard, the contrast is about right so that I can begin the calibration process, starting with adjusting the External Brightness Control on the monitor to get the black levels to match, in System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant.

But in Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, the default-fixed contrast setting is too bright in the black and shadowed areas, so it's impossible to manually adjust the brightness to get the black levels to match in System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant. So, all of the monitors' external controls are functioning in Snow Leopard but Snow Leopard's new default brightness is beyond the Dell monitor's external adjustment range as it is with most older Apple CRT displays and most other non-Apple third-party Mac-friendly LCD displays.

So this monitor is great for calibrating with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS 10.5 Leopard but Snow Leopard will render this monitor un-usable. It's almost like Apple is treating all third party-non-Apple displays like "Jail-Broken" iPhones. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Mac Mini Re-design . . .

It looks like Apple came up with a new way to keep the Mac Mini from cannibalizing iMac sales, they raised the entry level price point to $700. But it looks like they redesigned the enclosure so that it is easier to get inside to swap out memory DIMMs.


It's interesting to see that they gave it the all aluminum enclosure treatment and, with the HDMI port, it looks like it is now a better media server for someone's TV/family room.

The Mini is an interesting product to watch in it's slow evolution. My mac support friend shared with me these thoughts about about the new Mini:

"From an engineering perspective, there are two flaws with the new mini:

1 - The aluminum case will likely attenuate the wireless signal and people will complain about the limited range compared to the plastic mini. Any metal enclosure surrounding an antenna presents a Faraday shield and as demonstrated with the aluminum laptops, G5 and Mac Pro, reception range is quite limited when compared with the MacBook and prior plastic laptops.

2 - The 5400 RPM hard drives cannot move data as quickly as 7200 RPM hard drives. At $700, there's no excuse. The days of the under-performing Performa are long gone.

Why Apple insists on handicapping the mini's performance, I don't know. In my not so humble opinion, the mini should be the equivalent of an iMac without the LCD panel. Their fear of cannibalizing iMac sales is unfounded until they try. The industrial design aesthetics of an aluminum enclosure do look good and I give them credit for making the mini service friendly.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the early adopters' reports on the reduced wireless range... – JGT"