Here’s a rare prototype translucent Apple hard drive circa 1985

Apple and its cofounder Steve Jobs certainly helped design and popularize storage devices throughout computing history. For example, the Mac mainstreamed Sony’s 3.5-inch floppy drive in the 1980s, but Apple was working on its own storage devices even before the Mac debuted. One of our buddies discovered this eBay listing advertising for what appears to be a prototype of a previously unknown NISHA hard drive adorned with the colorful Apple logo. It comes in a translucent case, and it could easily be the first Apple product we have seen like this, even though it never shipped. It is neither a Hard Disk 20 drive Apple introduced on Sept. 17, 1985 specifically for use with the Macintosh 512K nor is it a Hard Disk 20SC.

The latter product was the first SCSI drive Apple manufactured and deployed on the Macintosh Plus in 1986, effectively obsolescing the Hard Disk 20 unit. It is a safe bet that this unit represents an early prototype of one of Apple’s hard drives, but it could also be a new hard drive design that never saw the light of day. The seller could not tell either, as the drive did not power up. Eagle-eyed readers are aware that Apple of the past had been designing its own storage devices and the aforementioned Hard Disk 20 serves as an illustrious example of the company’s closed approach to hard drives.

Read more

Apple ends its buy a Mac, get $100 off a printer promotion

Apple, effective today, ended its buy a Mac, get a $100 off of a printer promotion. The promotion typically runs yearly, so we are not sure why Apple stopped it. Apple sells a few $100 printers, so they typically advertise the promotion as “Buy a Mac, get a free printer.”

Although Apple is putting a stop to the program, they will continue to sell printers in their physical retail stores and online stores, according to the internal memo posted above. Customers who bought a printer within 90 days of Jan. 16 can still claim their $100 rebate from Apple.

Apple still has the rebate page up, below:

Read more

OWC gives Mac Pro users the first PCI Express SSD option

The easiest way to upgrade your Mac Pro’s everyday performance is to replace its slow internal hard drive units with pricier and much speedier solid-state storage (SSD), as it typically provides many times faster access times compared to HDDs and way greater sustained transfer rates. The problem is, you can only put flash storage inside the Pro’s hard drive bays that connect to the SATA interface.

Unfortunately, your super-fast SSD is limited to transfer rates of the Mac Pro’s SATA controller.

Enter OWC’s upcoming PCI Express-based SSD solution for Mac Pros, due for release “in the very near future.” Why does it matter? Well, for starters, it is a dream come true for the Hackintosh community. However, there is more to it than meets the eye…

Read more

OWC puts together Mac Mini Stack Max: USB 3.0, 4TB 3.5 inch drive, eSATA and more

We love this add-on to the Mac Mini that turns it into more of a pro-device (and a cube!).  The business up front is a DVD-R drive (not sure about BluRay) and an SDXC card reader that complements the one on the back of the mini. On the rear, you get a high power USB source for quick-charging an iPad as well as a few USB 3.0 ports that require separate drivers.  Also on the back is an eSATA port for fast external peripheral support as well as two Firewire 800 ports. Inside, there is room for up to a 4TB 3.5 inch hard drive which you can order with the Mini Stack Max or you can bring your own.

This is interesting because it is moving the Mini more toward a pro-like setup.

.

OWC has not put a price on the Mac Mini Stack Max but expects them to be available in March. Read more

Best Buy: Santa better watch his back

Love this Best Buy commercial but I’m not sure Apple’s Retail division does.  Best Buy also undercuts Apple significantly in Mac prices.  For instance, they have the 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros $200 off and $150 off the 13-inch MacBook Pro as well.

They even have $50 iTunes gift cards for $40. (see all discounts)

No offense to our friends at Best Buy, but those price discounts often have a cost: you will almost always get better customer support at an Apple Store.  Read more

Walmart offers free Smart Covers/$50 iTunes with iPad 2 (also Target)

From 9to5Toys.com:

Walmart today lists the iPad 2 in all sizes and varieties with a “Starter Accessory” which include previous generation Smart Covers or USB wall chargers (or $50 iTunes Gift Cards when ordered and picked up site-to-store).

If your shopping tastes take you to Target, you can get a $40 Target GiftCard with iPad 2 purchase (or $450 iPad 1 32GB 3G/GPS). They also have various other iTunes/Apple device offers via circular including this 10% off printable coupon, below:

Read more

Apple releases Thunderbolt, printer drivers and Aperture updates

Apple has today updated Thunderbolt (again), printer drivers, and Aperture.

Today’s updates come after yesterday’s MacBook Pro EFI update firmware 2.3.

Read more

Apple updates Smart Covers, kills the Orange but adds a lovely dark gray (and “color-matched fiber lining”)

New MacBook Pros weren’t the only thing updated quietly in the Apple Store this morning. Apple has updated the whole line of Smart Covers for iPad. You’ll notice the Orange Smart Cover is now gone and Apple has added a lovely Dark Gray Polyurethane model. Apple has added “color matched microfiber lining” to the description of the leather products (gone are the gray lining across the board) as you can see in the images below:


click to enlarge

Apple has also improved the colors of the Smart Covers as well:



click to enlarge

The whole line gets new part numbers but prices have not changed. Notice the subtle color change comparisons below:

Read more

Apple quietly updates MacBook Pros with faster processors and bumped specs

As leaked by Mr. X (and it didn’t take until November) Apple quietly updated its MacBook Pro line this morning. There are slight processor speed improvements across the board with updated hard drives and video cards peppered throughout. Compare today’s MacBook Pros, above, with yesterday’s MacBook Pros, below:

Read more

Hitachi G-Speed series drives and enclosures deliver professional-level reliability and performance

This is a sponsored post

Until recently, I merely thought of Hitachi as the company that builds the OEM hard drives that are found in some Apple and other high end PCs.  It turns out that Hitachi makes very high quality enclosures for those same hard drives that companies like Apple demand for their machines.

Hitachi’s drives that range from the G-Drive portable hard drives (which I reviewed earlier this year, above) to the newer G-Speed for high end A/V professionals.  Take for instance the G-Speed FC XL, shown below:

The SAN Ready G-SPEED FC XL offers industry leading Fibre Channel performance and easily supports multi-stream ProRes, uncompressed HD and 2K Film video editing work flows. A 16-drive G-SPEED FC XL connected to a dual-channel 4 Gbit Fibre Channel host bus adapter will pump out over 550 MB/second to support the most demanding post production environments.  Upgrade mini SAS model,  back panel below, and expect up to 800MB per second.   That’s uncompressed 60 frames 1080P with room to spare and virtually unlimited space for drives with its stacking functionality.

.


Advertisement

For more info, check out…www.g-technology.com/hellbent

If Apple did make printers…

The Onion joked that Tim Cook’s first order of business as CEO would be to begin making printers again.  Of course that is a bad idea.  But, let’s say that we’re in some alternate reality.  The above SWYP: See What You Print concept created by Artefact is a very Apple-y solution to printers.  Perhaps the HP/Canon/Epsons of the world should take note.

Read more

More confirmation of white iPod touches

.

We’ve been rambling on about white iPod touches for awhile now. Back in June we postulated that Apple would create a white iPod touch after successive launches of white iPhone and iPad and launched a survey (over 80% of you wanted that guy above).

In July we told you they were coming at the next refresh and then later we showed you the front panel (below).

After that, Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo bravely forecasted that a White iPod touch was en route.

Today, MacRumors has joined in with their own information:

MacRumors has received information indicating that the next iPod touch revision will be a very minor change, with the primary addition being the introduction of a new white model. Only minor changes are expected for the existing hardware, with the addition of an oleophobic coating for the display and a revised ambient light sensor seemingly being the main differences. Otherwise, we expect the models to be nearly identical to the current fourth-generation iPod touch model.

Could we put in a request for a better backside camera? Just give us 2-3 megapixels and auto-focus like an early iPhone and we’ll shut up.

Read more