Friday, April 27, 2007


(I tell ya, I'm a sucker for superhero stuff!)

Well, after the great response we’ve received from all of our readers about some of our tech pieces, I’ve gone in and kicked over the anthill in the back office to see what would happen. BIG mistake. After nursing the many tech-ant bites I got, they finally settled down and told me their tale of the Internal 8x DL SuperDrive (DVD-R + CD-RW) UJ-85J drive.

This drive (we’ll call it the UJ-85J for short) is one of the most common internal superdrives for many laptops, Mac minis and the iMac G5/intel models. The 8x DVD-R writing speed, and the 4x DVD+R Dual Layer are the same specs as the Macbook Pro 17 inch models. So for laptops you know that this drive is at the top of the game because it’s in the best models Apple has to offer currently. This drive also supports 5x DVD-Ram burning, which Apple drives do not support. With the ease of use of DVD-Ram, it adds into a great bonus for those who purchase it.

Now if you feel that the burning speed on your Powerbook/iBook is slow, it’s a great upgrade to get for it. I take that back, it’s not a great upgrade. Just because the Powerbook/iBooks have a Combo Drive only…it is a SUPER upgrade! (See, yet another superhero reference!) So, once you install it and install the patch software, it’ll work as a genuine drive for you. It works perfectly with iApps or Finder, and it can boot from CD/DVD boot discs.

Another benefit is the drive’s ability to work with OS9. Since there is no burning software currently available for OS9 (you’d have to find a REALLY old version of Toast…and you can’t purchase it normally), you’d need a drive like this if you’re still in “vintage times” and using OS9.

Since the Macbook/Macbook Pro 15inch models are smaller, they do not use the UJ-85J. They use a smaller, ultra slim drive instead. With some luck, we’ll hopefully see a SuperDrive like the UJ-85J for these models in the near future. Keep your fingers crossed, eh? :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

[Apple News] NOTES FOR APRIL 25, 2007



Apparently, Apple and Gracenote are in talks to hopefully bring lyrics to the users of iTunes. It looks as if their point in all of this is to be a part of a large music industry push to get rid of the independent music lyrics websites that are nothing but gigantic popup ads and inaccurate song lyrics. Likely it’ll go the same way that Gracenote and Yahoo set themselves up with yesterday in their announcement.

Last year, Gracenote set up a deal with several different music publishers to give them the digital rights to lyrics. The Chief Executive of Gracenote, Craig Palmer, said,

“…licensing lyrics should boost worldwide music publishing revenues, estimated at about $4 billion annually, with the words to songs ultimately providing as much as $100 million in annual revenues in about 10 years as the market expands with new opportunities like online subscriptions, downloads and automotive distribution deals.”

That’s a heck of a lot of revenue they’ll think that they will create just by publishing song lyrics online in a cohesive manner. But I guess it’s a fair trade to make certain that Billy can sing along to REM’s “End Of The World As We Know It” and not sound like a complete fool…and think of it, bar bets everywhere settled by the internet. Ahhh life is grand. :D



Today Apple posted their 2nd quarter financial results, which added up to a net quarterly profit of $770 million. Also is mentioned that 10,549,000 iPods and 1,517,000 Macs were shipped during the quarter. Not to shabby folks. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

[Product Review] CHARGE!

One of the great things we’re doing here at YourMacStore is importing very cool and new items from Japan. These are things that you can’t get anywhere else, and those clever Japanese manufacturers are putting together some very interesting stuff these days. We all know that they’re about space saving and about versatility, so let me show you a couple of the things that we’ve got from them recently.

First up, the AKIBA Front Attack DDT drive case…ah yes, everyone loves the cool drive cases. Well, not only is it a sleek looking drive case that holds TWO external drives…notice the Firewire port on the front of it? How about the Firewire port on the back right next to the 2 USB 2.0 ports? Pretty nifty indeed! But, who are we at YourMacStore to try and sell you on this double external drive case…without throwing some cases into it? That’s right…how about a 600GB External Drive? How about a 1 Terabyte External Drive? Oooooh…bootable external drives rule! Especially ones that can store up to 1000GB of information!

What’s that? How does it stack up against the competition? Ok fair question, and rather than let y’all do your own research, Uncle Mike here has done some of it for you. Let’s compare the AKIBA Front Attack 1TB against…hmmm…how about one of the big boys on the block…G-Tech’s G-SATA 1000GB external drive. Over on their website is similar to the AKIBA Front Attack model…with two gigantic differences. The first difference is no firewire ports at all on the device (it’s got an eSATA PCIe adapter though – read: more work). The second, and by far the most important difference to price conscious users…it’s over $200 more than the AKIBA. Now who is giving you the best bang for your buck? Why YourMacStore of course! :D

Speaking of external drives, here’s another beauty from AKIBA. The . Similar in nature to the Front Attack dual external drive above (except no USB ports), if you want to have a 500GB external drive, this little guy delivers. It’s small, space-saving, and easy to set up. What? You’d like a smaller external drive? Why…err…sure! How about the 120GB Century SuperCombo 2.5, FireWire/USB 2.0 External Drive? Compact and portable, this external drive is even bus powered, so you wouldn’t even need a power cable in most circumstances.

Lastly I should mention our first AKIBA product to sell here in the US, the AKIBA ATA/133 PCI Host Adapter Card w/Cable. This little beauty is comparable with other PCI host adapter cards out there…only it’s far cheaper, and of the same quality!

Ok I’ve gone on a bit here about what cool items that AKIBA puts out…but all of you need to check them out yourselves. They’re worth your precious money and time. We wouldn’t bring them to your attention if we didn’t believe in how good they really are.

-Mike Leader

Friday, April 20, 2007


I know that many of us who have digital cameras, digital photo frames, camcorders, GPS devices and even cell phones have SD cards just lying around. There’s two 2GB ones lying right over there on the other desk in my office…just sitting there unused because I’ve got an 8GB one now. Should I throw them out? Give one to a less fortunate buddy? Build a cool sculpture out of them? Nope…I can now put them to good use inside my PC. (Yes, I said PC…says the guy who deals in Mac hardware all day long.)

Well, we here at YourMacStore came across an awesome little piece of PC hardware that’s currently only made in Japan, and is pretty popular there with those folks who have 3-4 leftover SD cards that can be put to better use. Without further ado, let me present to all of you…the AKIBA Silicon Disk Builder!

Now, I know that you’re saying to yourself…I already have a 200 GB hard disk, why would I want something that’s going to give me an additional 8GB of memory? Well, let me tell you…no spinning drive on this thing for one. It is Ultra Quiet because of no moving parts, and it also produces a very low amount of heat. To top that all off, it’s “Super Anti-Shock” so static electricity isn’t its bane. But because of that Anti-Shock, it makes it quite capable as an exterior/portable “hard drive”. With a little bit of modification, you too can make this work for your PC as a simple, little portable “hard disk” that is so quiet, it makes mice seem like they’re moshing at a Pennywise concert.

The only real restrictions you’re looking at here are minor, but good to know about. You cannot combine different types of SD cards because it uses RAID-0. They also need to be installed in a group of 4 cards or in a pair of 2 cards. That’s relatively minor for those of you who have a couple of these cards lying around.

So PC users…what do you think?

[Apple News] AppleTV to land in Target stores...

As reported over on Apple Insider today, it looks like Target will join the other major electronics stores in carrying the Apple TV product. While they already carry it in their online store for sale, this is an interesting move for them. Target isn't known for it's big and flashy looking floor displays and I can tell you from personal experience (after working as a logistics team member for them many years ago) their staff usually doesn't have the technical knowledge to explain how an answering machine works, let alone a 40GB video streamer. However, with some luck and some possible employee training, this could work out for Target. Not every family shops regularly at Best Buy, and a move into a larger semi-big-box store that caters to the average family, might actually perk some sales up.

It really all depends on if Target is able to step up to that kind of retail move.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


We all have looked at, scanned, or even scoured eBay at one time or another. It’s become a part of our global culture these days, putting an international marketplace up where anyone can sell anything (well not anything, but you get the idea). However, as many people have found, those good deals you’re looking at aren’t always good deals. Sure, you can get yourself a new ATI Radeon 7500 video card for your Cube, but how many of the folks glancing at that auction actually know that while it’ll work for the Cube, it could actually cause a serious meltdown? That card, for example, isn’t designed to fit inside the Cube’s tight frame, and you’d have to actually grind the case to fit it into the slots already there…as well as expose your Logic Board to extreme heat created by it. To quote Captain Jack Harkness, you’d need to tell your computer to “set your alarm clock for Volcano Day,” and nobody wants that.

This is why we here at YourMacStore strive to provide our Cube owners with not only that awesome card, but the special bracket that goes with it to help it fit in your Cube right. Not only that, but also a special extended heatsink on it to help keep your Logic Board safer from heat damage. So while you’ll be paying a bit more than that online auction, you’ll be ready to go with all the items you need, instead of finding out after the fact that you need more than just the card. Not to forget to mention that if you didn’t know you could get those items from YourMacStore (and not some random eBay person), you could be facing a complete loss of your Cube, and that would be awful.

Now, many of you reading this are pretty knowledgeable about situations like this, and while we wouldn't expect you to make an error like this, it can happen to a not-so-knowledgeable user. So if you can, make sure to let your fellow Cube-Owners know where they can go to get the items to keep their Cubes intact.

Building a better bargain isn’t always about selling to make money, but in the end it’s about selling the correct items to a customer, so they are protected. You don’t want to lose a valuable customer to something like I mentioned above…they could walk away from Macs entirely after a meltdown…and we all don’t want that. We here at YourMacStore really want to give the best bargain possible…but sometimes the better bargain involves paying a little bit more than just bottom of the bucket pricing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Our crack team of Mac Investigators here at YourMacStore decided to check out the limits of the memory capacity in both a Core Duo and a Core 2 Duo machine. Their preliminary findings (a nice way of saying what was shouted to me as there was a flash and some smoke in the warehouse) was that when inserting 3GB of memory (1GB+2GB) into a Core Duo MacBook Pro (in it’s cool black SeeThru case) was that there was no boot at all. No, not the Italian leather kind of boot…literally the computer wouldn’t start at all. However, if you use the 2GB module only, all is fine and it works. A good thing to know if one of your memory slots happens to go bad on you. Just drop in a 2GB memory chip and you’re still good to go.

Now how about a Mac mini with a Core 2 Duo upgrade? The crack team of Mac Investigators tested that as well, and while there was no smoke and flashes when they gave me the rundown, I could still smell sulfur in the air. Seriously though, we found that it’s the same exact thing as the Core Duo MacBook Pro. The 3GB support isn’t likely for this kind of setup, but for a newer generation of bridge chip that’s coming in the near future.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

[Product Review] DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK...

Hey there folks! We just got some great new stuff in from FastMac…their release of the G4 7455 1.4GHz/2MB Dual CPU upgrade. Now, just so you know, you can’t even get this at the FastMac online store…but you can get it from YourMacStore!

In many situations, thanks to the 2MB L3 Cache, the 7455 1.4GHz actually can beat the 1.8 GHz Dual. Roughly speaking, the performance is about the same between the two processors because of the L3 Cache on the 7455 1.4GHz model. (Want to know the difference between an L2 and L3 Cache? Check this link out…) While the 7455 is older and of a lower clock speed than the 7447, it seems to have been given another chance as of late. I say this because Sonnet pretty much discontinued the majority of the 7455 line of products, except for the 1GHz models. They have faith in their abilities to stack up against other processors and at a decent price too. Now if you look at the Giga 1.4GHz for Cube, FastMac 1.5GHz, and FastMac 1.4GHz Dual, they are all from the 7455 line as well. I’d say with how it’s going now for the 7455 model, you could call it a comeback…but, “Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years.”

(ok lame reference to an LL Cool J song, I apologize…Just FYI so you know, things like this get stuck in my head all day and they have to pop out eventually. )

The primary reason that the 7455 is sticking around is that the chip itself has become quite a bit less expensive in the past year. Recent improvements on the 7455 have given it the ability to work with a lower voltage, so power consumption is quite a bit lower than previous 7455 models…which was the prior model’s weak-point in comparison to the 7447.

Well in the end, we feel that you can’t argue with a low price and great performance…right?

(Yes, thanks for your patience...I had to take a sick day on Friday the 13th and couldn't post...but I'm back in action...and we've got more posts for the rest of this week coming up daily!)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

[Apple News] Delay of Leopard

Hiya Folks!

Just posted over at

iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We can’t wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard's features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we're sure we've made the right ones. [Apr 12, 2007; 15:48pm]

Well it seems we're going to have to wait til October...

While it's great that the developers will get one at the WWDC in June, is having to wait longer for Leopard because of the iPhone fair? Tell us what you think!


Macbooks with Core 2 Duo processors, meet Memory!

For those of you lucky folks out there who have a Macbook Pro with a Core 2 Duo processor, I’m sure you’re saying to yourselves, “I sure do wish I could add 2 more Gigs more memory to this awesome notebook…but it’s so expensive!” Well, not anymore. If you’re willing to do it yourself, you can save a little over $500 on that memory addition.

“What’s that Uncle Mike? Did you just say that I can get 2 additional Gigs of memory for my Macbook Pro? “

What? Why do you keep making me repeat myself? Sheesh, I’m not that old. Yes, you see the Apple online store quotes $575 to add 2GB of memory to a MacBook Pro, and that cost is WAY too high. If you were so inclined to do it yourself, you could just go and see this lovely entry, order it, and when you get it, just put it into your MacBook Pro yourself! That’s an INSANE amount of savings, at the cost of a little bit of your time to put it in.

Don’t forget that Apple officially announced maximum memory for the MacBook is 2GB, not 3GB. So some folks would think that you can’t use a 2GB module for it. But actually it just works fine.

Now all that goodness aside, there is a tricky part to this. Those models have 2 memory slots, but the maximum they can utilize is 3GB of memory (1GB + 2GB). Even if you use 2 pieces of 2GB memory, you can only use 3GB worth of that. As my WoW buddies would say “Teh suxxors.” But that’s not totally true. If you run those same modules as a pair, it’ll work as dual channel, and that’ll work faster by 2-5% in a MacBook Pro and iMac. MacBook is another case as Video memory is shared with main memory there. This makes Dual Channel highly recommended. Granted if you don’t focus on graphic performance, 2GB+1GB is just fine, but if you need graphic performance, a pair configuration is highly recommended.

Hey, you in the back there…you look a little confused. What? You’ve never put memory into your own computer? Well…that’s something you should learn how to do! I’ll talk to one of our nice techs and see if they can write something up for a new post later next week. While they’re doing that, and while I’m writing up the next post here, I’d like to pose a question to all of our readers out there, and I’ll post the answers in a later blog…

What kinds of things would you like to see covered here in the YourMacStore Blog? While we do know a lot about Macs and such…we don’t know everything that YOU want to know. So start by asking us some questions…any Mac-Related questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them. That’s all for now!

-Mike Leader

Monday, April 9, 2007

100 Million iPods served...and counting!

Apple announced today in a press release on their website that they have officially sold their 100 millionth iPod. Just over 5 years ago, Apple sold the first iPod and that has now turned into five different generations of players, from the amazing 80G iPod Video, to the tiny & cool iPod Shuffle.

“At this historic milestone, we want to thank music lovers everywhere for making iPod such an incredible success,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that.”

The iPod's popularity has spawned a gigantic market for accessories over the years. From hard plastic cases, to leather-bound sleeves, to even some desktop stereos, over 4000 seperate items center around the amazing iPod. Now even 70% of US made automobiles have some connectivity for the iPod...

We all LOVE our music!

Friday, April 6, 2007


Building a Super Mac Mini

Who’s faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to change the course of mighty rivers? Can leap tall buildings in a single bound? Why Super Mac mini that is! What’s a Super Mac mini? Well read on true believer…

As we all know, the Mac mini is already a powerful tool out-of-the-box. However, with a little bit of modification, your Mac mini can be almost as powerful as a Macbook Pro. I know right now you’re saying, “Mike, will you please stop saying things you can’t back up?” Ahah! I can back this up!

You see, there are three great processor Intel Core 2 Duo upgrades for the Mac mini: the 2.0GHz, the 2.16GHz, and the mighty 2.33GHz. Right now the 2.0 and 2.16 are reasonably priced (for example: the 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and the 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) and would give your Mac mini quite a bit more power, if you were willing to install the new processor yourself. However, the 2.33GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo processor would practically be a “super upgrade” from the basic Mac mini “solo” processor. Granted the 2.33GHz processor is a bit pricey, but that is a lot cheaper than buying yourself a Macbook Pro (without the portability and such).

For those of you out there who are nervous about updating your processor, you really don’t have to worry. Most dealers will be happy to install the processor for you for a fee. Please remember that installing this kind of modification may void your warranty, so please check that before doing so.

All in all, the upgrades are worth it in speed and efficiency. While the cost may be daunting to some, it’s really a lot more affordable than most folks think. For example, the Mac mini I’m using right now is set up with the 2.33GHz processor, and wow it’s fast!

-Mike Leader

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Yesterday, Apple released the 8-core Mac Pro workstation. Currently, the Quad G5 is already quite fast, but with the power of TWO Quad Core Intel Xeon processors running at 3.0GHz in the new 8-Core, that’ll make it run up to 2x faster than the Power Mac G5 Quad!

Looking at Apple’s website, building that 3.0 GHz 8-Core will add on an additional $1498 to the cost. The standard model alone is $2499…so the base price of the “Octa-Core” hits with a bullet at just below $4000. I bet some of you are cringing and saying “OW Mike! Why did you shoot me right below my $4000?” It’s easy, because that’s a cheap price.

“Cheap price? What’s in the water there at” (Trust me, you if you haven’t had beach water, you don’t want it.) What we’re talking about here is that it’s a cheaper prices than say the 2 PC Quad Core 2.66GHz Xeons…that’ll run about $2500 for a dealer…so you can imagine the retail price. (The prices for a 3GHz model aren’t available yet, but they should be a heck of a lot higher when they do come available.)

What we think here is that if you have an original Mac Pro, and then replace the 2 CPUs to Quad Core, it’ll work as an 8-Core processor. That’s a pretty big upgrade, and whilew we’re considering how to make it happen on our store, you start getting your wallets ready…you know that you want one.

-Mike Leader

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Speck Products Presents:

The SeeThru case for MacBook Pro

13” varieties

15” varieties:

Everyone loves to keep his or her gadgets protected, because naturally we’re all a little clumsy. Who hasn’t dropped their iPod or notebook at least once? Heck, the first thing my girlfriend got when she got her iPod for her birthday was a clear plastic case to keep it from getting scratched…and to look at the inscription on the back too. I know you’re saying, “Mike, what about notebooks and laptops?” Especially with the great look that Macbooks have, we don’t want them to get scratched, and that would mean either not taking them out of the box they came in, or finding the right kind of case.

The SeeThru case from SpeckProducts is pretty darn cool, provides a lot of “oomph” for it’s cost, and is available either for the 13” or the 15” MacBook Pro. The case itself is 1.5mm thick, and snaps right on with a minimal amount of work. However, we found that attaching the bottom part is a little bit tricky, just because you have to make sure that the little hooks are in the right place. However, once in place, the SeeThru really…well…shines through. It not only has openings in the case for you to get at all of your ports and indicators without any issue. This coupled with the 74 vents on it to make sure that the heat from your MacBook is properly vented, helps to keep the case light, but durable. It also has some nice little rubber feet on the bottom to keep it from sliding around on slick surfaces.

One of the best things about the Speck SeeThru cases is not just the scratch protection, but the esthetic value of the color change. You can see at the links posted above what a MacBook Pro would look like in each of the colored cases. The 15” ones, for example, have a wonderful red case, that when placed on a black MacBook Pro creates a wonderful dark cherry color, and while on a white MacBook Pro it is a bright red color that practically leaps off of the case at you.

These items will go a long way for users who want to stand out from other Mac users AND protect their notebooks from scratches. I might even dare say that someone creative enough could do all kinds of things with the clear case, even getting out their paintbrushes and painting it! (Please note that Speck Products doesn’t advocate this, and neither do I, but it sounded creative at the time.)

In the end, this is a great little worthwhile product, and if you’re looking for a way to keep the scratches off of your MacBook Pro, then it’s the item for you!

-Mike Leader