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.
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:
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…
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
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.
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 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:
Apple has today updated Thunderbolt (again), printer drivers, and Aperture.
- Thunderbolt has been updated to 1.1 providing a slue of bug fixes for OS X Lion users.
- HP Printer Drivers v.2.8 and Epson Printer Drivers v.2.9 bring the latest printing and scanning to OS X users.
- Aperture has been updated to 3.2.1 fixing force closing and cropping issues.
Today’s updates come after yesterday’s MacBook Pro EFI update firmware 2.3.
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:
Apple has also improved the colors of the Smart Covers as well:
The whole line gets new part numbers but prices have not changed. Notice the subtle color change comparisons below:
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:
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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.
For more info, check out…www.g-technology.com/hellbent