Monthly Archives: October 2012

Apple’s New Fusion Drive Works on Older Macs

fusion_drive_icon-150x150One of the interesting additions to Apple’s iMac and Mac mini lines announced last week is Fusion Drive, a hybrid storage system that combines a 128 GB solid-state drive (SSD) with a 1 TB or 3 TB traditional hard drive into a single volume to offer the best of both worlds in terms of performance and storage space. Apple’s software automatically manages the combined volume, placing the core system and other frequently used applications and files on the solid-state drive for faster access while keeping lower-priority applications and data on the traditional hard drive.

Mac developer Patrick Stein has been toying with his own Mac Pro setup and has managed to build his own Fusion Drive using command line tools. Stein configured an internal solid-state drive and a USB-attached traditional hard drive on his system and was able to combine them into a single logical volume as used for Fusion Drive.

Attached are a 120GB SSD (disk1) and a 750GB HDD (disk7) to my Mac. I attached the SSD via SATA to be sure that the system could figure out that it’s a SSD via SMART. The HDD is attached via USB. USB I chose to clearly see a difference in speed.
Stein then proceeded to test the setup, writing data first to the SSD and then to the traditional hard drive once the SSD had filled up. By preferentially accessing data that had initially been written to the traditional hard drive, Stein was able to watch as the data was automatically transferred to the SSD for faster access. Upon stopping the process, the system automatically pushed the data back to the traditional hard drive, and in one final step Stein began accessing the data once more and after about an hour was able to see it pulled back onto the SSD.

In several follow-up Tumblr posts, Stein details further explorations into how Fusion Drive works, noting that he was able to use not only the default HFS+ file system for OS X with it, but also ZFS. All of Stein’s work was performed with a standard installation of OS X 10.8.2. by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Unboxing Photos from Early iPad Mini Delivery Surface in France


Yesterday, we noted that early iPad mini pre-orders were en route to customers and that resellers were receiving shipments ahead of Friday’s official launch for the Wi-Fi models.

French site now shares some unboxing photos [Google translation] from a customer who pre-ordered a white iPad mini from French reseller Darty and has already received his shipment.
The unboxing photos do not reveal any significant surprises, with Apple opting to maintain its usual box layout for the new device in placing the iPad mini on top of a support surface containing the documentation and accessories. The iPad mini comes with a Lightning to USB cable and a power adapter, although the adapter is not visible in these photos.

Wi-Fi models of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad will officially debut this Friday, November 2 in 34 countries, with Apple’s own retail stores opening at 8:00 AM to begin sales. Cellular-capable models will follow several weeks later.  by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Resellers Receive iPad Shipments Ahead of Launch


Apple resellers have already received iPad shipments ahead of Friday’s launch, reports MacRumors.
We’re hearing mixed news on stocks, with one reseller indicating that it has received roughly 500 iPad minis but no fourth-generation iPads. The iPad mini stock level is reportedly about double what the reseller received for the third-generation iPad launch, which also included cellular-capable models. Cellular-capable models of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad will follow several weeks after this Friday’s launch of Wi-Fi models.
Another reseller says they’ve received more fourth generation iPads than iPad minis.
Launch day pre-orders have sold out for the device and the Apple Store is now showing a two week ship time.

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Archos adds the 80 Cobalt to its ICS tablet range: 8-inch screen, 1.6GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM


The FCC may have spoiled the surprise months ago, but Archos has taken to Facebook to officially reveal the new member of its Elements range — the Archos 80 Cobalt. As you may have guessed from the familiar size codification, the WiFi-only slate sports an 8-inch capacitive screen filled with 1024 x 768 pixels, supporting 1080p video playback. The other specs you’ll want to know include the dual-core processor running at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM and 8 gigs of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card of up to 64GB. Modest 2-megapixel and 0.3-megapixel shooters occupy the back and front of the 0.48-inch (12mm) thick tablet, respectively, which weighs in at a solid one pound (470g). There’s no word on a release date or pricing for this ICS device, but we’d imagine the answers are “soon” and “under $200.” Any more than that, and we can’t see people choosing it over, say, a Nexus 7, even if it does have an extra inch on the competition.  by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Nokia Lumia 820 up for UK pre-order: free on contract or £380 sim-less, wireless charger thrown in


Carphone Warehouse is now taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 820 handset, and there’s good news for the cash bereft — it’s free on contract, and the reseller will toss in a £45 wireless charging plate to boot. You can commit £29 per month to O2, Vodafone or Orange to avoid paying up front, or grab an unencumbered handset at £380 for the 4.3-inch Windows Phone 8 device in black, red or white. For that, you’ll get a 4G-capable smartphone with an 800 x 480 OLED screen, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8-megapixel camera. The free extra offer will expire when shipping starts, so if the WP8 launch has you all charged up, hit the source. by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Nokia Lumia 822 for Verizon


Now that Microsoft’s officially flooded the world with good tidings of Windows Phone 8, it’s the turn of OEMs and carriers to get the word out about their own Microsoft-flavored smartphones. We finally got a chance to play with Nokia’s previously leaked and recently announced Lumia 822 for Verizon, a mid-range handset similar to the Lumia 820 on AT&T and the Lumia 810 for T-Mobile that will cost $99 with a two-year contract. Availability is slated for sometime in November — it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Nokia device on Verizon (sorry, but those Pantech-built models don’t count), so this is rather exciting news.

Spec-wise the Lumia 822 features a 4.3-inch WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED display, an eight-megapixel autofocus Carl Zeiss camera, a 1.2MP front-facing shooter, a Qualcomm dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB or RAM, 16GB of internal flash, microSD support for additional storage, and optional Qi-compatible wireless charging. Radios include CDMA and LTE for Verizon, GSM / GPRS / EDGE / UMTS / HSPA+ for global roaming, WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS and NFC.

In terms of design, the Lumia 822 is much curvier than its siblings and the battery cover doesn’t wrap around the sides. The camera pod and flash placement matches the longitudinal setup from the Lumia 920 and Lumia 810 instead of the transverse layout found on the Lumia 820. At 142g (5 ounces) it’s quite a hefty device, but despite being 11.2mm (0.44 inches) thick, it feels very nice in hand. Build quality is solid, which is pretty much what you’d expect from Nokia. The phone will be available in three colors: black, white and our favorite, a stunning shade of grey. See for yourself in the gallery below, and peek after the break for our hands-on video. by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT


Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states


Julius Genachowski has revealed that Hurricane Sandy has knocked out a full quarter of cellphone towers and cable services in the 10 most affected states. The FCC chief believes that, as more towers expend their battery back-ups and the storm’s continued presence, the situation’s going to get worse before it gets better. He’s also reiterated that users should avoid making non-essential calls and use e-mail or social media to avoid overloading the straining networks. One point of interest in the call, was that land line phone outages were much less widespread — which might be something to remember if you’ve ever considered cutting the cord. by engadget

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Posted by on 31/10/2012 in IT

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