The 25-Year-Old Dent

Posted January 30, 2009 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Entertainment, Mac, MacForce, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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Amongst the more than 14 devices in MacForce’s Apple Museum is the computer that changed the course of computing forever. Diminutive in size but gigantic in concept, the beige box with the nine-inch black-and-white screen was introduced to the world 25 years ago, and it’s why MacForce exists. It is, of course, the Macintosh.

It had an 8MHz processor, 128K of RAM and featured a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive. But hardware didn’t define it; it was the interface that was revolutionary. Today we take drop down menus, icons, windows and mice for granted, but at the time it was technical magic. Command-line-only operating systems were swept from the consumer market and graphical user interfaces took their rightful place.

But Apple didn’t stop there. They also developed applications, like MacDraw and MacWrite that delivered true “What You See Is What You Get” desktop publishing. And they published interface guidelines so that all developers could develop applications with a consistent look and feel. In one fell swoop, they changed the world of computing, and thus the world.

So I raise my glass to Apple, a company that rarely looks back to celebrate it’s successes, for putting a dent in the universe in 1984. And for continuing to create the insanely great.

New Laptops from Apple

Posted January 22, 2009 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Entertainment, Mac, MacForce, Media, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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The new 17in MacBook Pro is an amazing piece of enginering, with its new aluminum unibody case, an 8 hour integrated battery, and full size desktop-like LED backlit display, the new 17in MacBook Pro is a welcome addition to the MacBook family.

Following the design standard set by Apple late last year the new 17in MacBook Pro is getting the Aluminum unibody enclosure. Carved from a single block of aluminum, the new unibody enclosure is slim and streamlined, making this MacBook Pro the world’s thinnest and lightest 17-inch notebook — just 0.98 inch thin and 6.6 pounds. But it’s not just for looks. The rigid construction of the unibody also makes MacBook Pro more durable than ever.

The battery in the new 17-inch MacBook Pro lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge and can be recharged up to 1000 times – compared with only 200 to 300 times for typical notebooks. While most notebooks wear down their batteries by charging them at a constant rate, the 17-inch MacBook Pro takes a different approach. Using an Apple-developed technology called Adaptive Charging, a microchip on the battery constantly communicates with the computer to determine the optimal way to charge its cells, adjusting the current up and down depending on a variety of conditions. Combined, these advancements offer a dramatic improvement in battery lifespan: more than three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries — up to five years.

The new battery technology in the 17in MacBook Pro is also one of the reasons Apple is able to get full desktop-quality color in an Apple notebook for the first time. With the high-resolution LED-backlit widescreen display on the 17-inch MacBook Pro, the moment you open your MacBook Pro, you’re greeted instantly by full, corner-to-corner screen brightness. The 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution (133 pixels per inch) means you can view more palettes and windows or watch HD video in its native 1920-by-1080 resolution.

Another quick hardware change that snuck in under the radar this week was the revision of the white MacBook. The white MacBook is still maintaining the $999 price point and same outward appearance, but the changes internally are great. The New White MacBook boasts the new Nvidia 9400m Chipset giving this machine tremendously more power without breaking the bank. Instead of sharing 64 MB of Video Ram with the system it now shares 256 MB with the system meaning your iphoto library will load and scroll faster and your iMovie projects will render quicker. The other big change internally is the frontside bus moving from 800 MHz to 1066 MHz, meaning data and instructions gets from the hard disk to RAM to processor faster. Currently the New White MacBook is also the only Mac laptop below $1800 to have a Firewire port.

Snow and ice can’t keep us down

Posted December 22, 2008 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Mac, MacForce, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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MacForce is open! You bet we are. Not even the snow will keep us down. Take a look at our dedicated team clearing a path to our door.
Nate Tack is here to help you with anything you need for your business.
Jamie Liptan is here to help you with any retail needs you have.

So come on down and enjoy some hot cocoa or cider along with cookies while you are shopping. And don’t forget we have LaCie 1TB Poulton hard drives on sale for only $99! Plenty of good reasons to join us on a beautiful snowy day. Please be sure you call the store before heading our way to make sure we have what you are looking for and see how late we plan on staying open.

MacForce Crew Review: The New MacBook

Posted October 29, 2008 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Entertainment, Gaming, Mac, MacForce, Media, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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After months of anticipation, rumors, and hoopla surrounding the new aluminum unibody MacBooks, they are finally here. And they are sweet! I was a little skeptical when they were announced. The previous versions didn’t have the graphic muscle to render even the most basic 3D games, due to Intel’s integrated graphics chip and 64MB of shared video memory.

The new MacBook maintains an integrated graphics card and shared video memory, but it’s not even in the same category. The new Macbook has an Nvidia 9400M integrated chipset, and while it is still shares video memory with the main system memory, it now shares 256MB–four times as much as the previous MacBook. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has been my game of choice since I got the machine, and it runs smooth and fast. It also runs amazingly cool. Even after a four-hour kill-a-thon, the bottom of the machine was only mildly warm to the touch.

The glossy LED backlit screen is really bright and vivid. The colors seem to pop off the screen at you, a dramatic difference when shown side by side. Although the gloss is very high on the new screens, the brightness offsets it. Even outside in direct sunlight, the display is crisp and clear. Another feature of the new glossy display is the use of real glass. Real glass made from silica is very hard and therefore very durable and scratch-resistant. This makes for an easily cleanable screen without the need for expensive cleaner.

Moving away from the innards of the machine to the exterior, the new multi-touch trackpad is amazing. Again, I was a bit worried that loosing the button on the top of the trackpad would be a hassle, but it wasn’t. It didn’t take me any time to get used to the buttonless trackpad. In fact, while showing friends and family, most of them don’t even notice until you point it out.

Multi-touch brings a whole new dimension to interacting with your computer. I have already integrated the new gestures into my normal workflow, and I can’t wait until more gestures are developed. The feel of the trackpad is silky smooth and hopefully since the trackpad is glass, it won’t be susceptible to the “polishing” other trackpads succumb to after a few months of wear.

Overall the new MacBook is a winner. The sleek new styling mixed with some dramatic improvements under the hood have culminated in one of the finest notebooks ever produced. I have a feeling that the MacBook line of products will be on top for a while.

MacForce Gets Cozy

Posted October 29, 2008 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Mac, MacForce, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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One great thing about hanging around MacForce and being involved deeply with our user group meetings is meeting some super-cool people from very different disciplines. Last night, we hosted our Creative User Group meeting in which Alicia Paulson presented her soon to be released book, Stitched In Time and her blog, Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia is widely known in the crafting community through her very popular blog and talked to our group about the success she has enjoyed and how it all came together for her. Alicia and her family do it all to make her work come to life on the blog and in her book. She is an inspiration to anyone who wants to use modern tools to make something truly amazing happen for themselves and you should all check out her work.

Additionally, Ian Schray from Softpress came in to give us a great demo of Freeway Pro 5. Freeway is a really great tool for those of you out there that are comfortable in a page layout program like InDesign or even Pages but don’t know or don’t want to mess with HTML. Freeway creates super-clean code and yet allows enough latitude to design your pages just way you want them to look. Ian has done a few demos of this software for us here and has another one coming up on October 25 at 2 p.m. If you missed his other demos, make sure you put that date on your calendar.

Our appreciation for the guests we’ve invited in doesn’t end there, though. We have had some really great people come in to our Theatre to present products and share their knowledge which in so many ways, is what makes this place a great place to hang out.

So, thanks very much to all the vendors and professionals from all walks of life that grace our space with their presence and thanks in advance to those of you who’ve yet to pay us a visit.

Saving Money and Time On the Mac

Posted October 29, 2008 by MacForce
Categories: Apple, Entertainment, Gaming, Mac, MacForce, Media, Microsoft, Music, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized, Virtualization

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There are a lot of cheap computers out there, but when you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, consider what makes the Mac such a great deal. A Mac is more than the sum of its parts. Its combination of cutting edge software and hardware are designed to allow you to do more while spending (and stressing) less. Here are few things that make the Mac the most flexible and affordable computer today:

The complete media center:
At 24” and 20”, the iMacs are great for surfing the Internet, but they’re also an affordable all-in-one solution for a media center. Both can playback television shows and HD movies from the iTunes store, manage and play your music collection, play your DVDs, and allow you to video chat. Why buy a DVD player, HD monitor, and amplifier when the iMac has it all? You even get a remote to control the media on your iMac from across the room using Front Row. And if you need to take your media with you, the MacBook and MacBook Pro make your media portable.

Get two computers in one Mac:
Some people want a Mac and a Windows PC, but they can’t afford both. Fortunately, today’s Macs have the same speedy Intel processors as PCs and can run Windows software using Mac OS X’s Bootcamp utility and a separately purchased copy of Windows. Now you can get the best of both worlds without having to buy a Windows computer. The Mac can do it all.

Stay connected faster:
A lot of PCs don’t have WiFi, Bluetooth, or Firewire built in. And even if they do, they might not provide the latest WiFi standard (802.11n). Most Macs come with 802.11n (up to three times faster than 802.11g) and Bluetooth. And all Macs have Firewire built in, while most PCs don’t. This allows you to transfer video from your video camera to the Mac or hook up a fast external hard drive.

Manage your media:
Macs come with Apple’s award-winning iLife software suite already installed. With it, you can manage your music (iTunes), create videos and DVDs (iMovie and iDVD), create music (GarageBand), manage and edit your photos (iPhoto), and put it all on the web (iWeb). And they’re all designed to work together. PCs typically come with a variety of crippled demoware that’s underpowered and difficult to use.

Safer computing:
Because the Mac is not plagued by viruses like Windows PCs, you can spend more time enjoying your computer and less time worrying. The reliability record for Macs is also the best in the busineess. And all new Macs have Parental Controls built into Mac OS X. With them you can manage, monitor, and control the time your kids spend on the Mac, the sites they visit, and the people they chat with.

In short, the Mac is a complete solution that can save you money and time in the long run. In these uncertain economic times, it’s important to get the most for your money and have it last. In the world of computing, that means buying a Mac.

Iron Artist Competition a Smashing Success

Posted September 18, 2008 by MacForce
Categories: MacForce, Oregon, Portland, Stumptown, Sustainable, Uncategorized

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Last Saturday we hosted a truly unique event called the Iron Artist Competition put on by local artsy recycling heros SCRAP (The School and Community Reuse Action Project). Holding true to the “Keep Portland Weird!” mantra, Portlanders flocked in great numbers to see teams battle for the title of the ultimate scrappy sculpture creator.

From the intrigued and unsuspecting passers-by to the families who made an entire day out of it, the Iron Artist Competition was enjoyed by everyone who attended. There were even some rather alien-looking characters watching over:

Using materials that would otherwise have already been added to our landfills, these creative folks donned costumes fashioned from scrap materials to build works of art out of yet even more scrap materials. Think of this as a cross between an Iron Chef competition mixed with Junkyard Wars mixed with Mardi Gras, and you can get a pretty good idea of the kind of energy surrounding the event.

While the teams competed over the course of a frantic three hours, onlookers were free to enjoy themselves and indulge in great food, festival treats, and even a beer garden. Even the kids had plenty of opportunities to take part in the reduce. reuse, recycle approach to art making. From reinventing stuffed animals to giving an old car a makeover, a good time was had by all.

Of course there was plenty to captivate the attention of the adults in the crowd as well. Local bands let their tunes be heard for blocks from the main stage, while the judges of the competition kept up a constant and humorous play-by-play to keep everyone on their toes. And when it was time to get a little shopping done, there was plenty to choose from amongst the many booths run by local vendors and artisans. A great way to help support local, independent businesses while getting to know another side of Portland not seen by many.

If you missed it this year, you should definitely keep an eye out so you don’t miss out next year!


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