Different Thunderbolt chip spotted in MacBook Airs

The brains behind the port you'd find on one computer would be similar to the same port on another machine, right? That's not the case when it comes to the Thunderbolt ports on the latest MacBook Airs, which joined Apple's Thunderbolt-equipped club earlier this month.

A report on AnandTech notes that the Thunderbolt controller found on the MacBook Air is a smaller version than the ones found on other Thunderbolt-equipped Macs so far. With other machines, Apple's been using a controller code-named Light Ridge that sports four, bidirectional Thunderbolt channels and two DisplayPort outputs. However the … Read more

Is the Mac App Store a rip-off for games?

Apple's Mac App Store is now on virtually every Intel-based Mac out there. It's come preinstalled on new systems since January, including the brand-new MacBook Air and Mac Mini desktops, and it was pushed to owners of prior systems (who have at least OS X v10.6.6) via a downloadable update.

While you're not locked into it for buying new software as you are with the App Store for the iPad, iPhone, and other iOS devices (jailbreaking aside), it's so convenient and easy to use that it's probably your first stop when looking for … Read more

An indie blog editor with all the trimmings

MarsEdit makes blogging easier, letting you ditch clunky browser-based editing in favor of a full-featured, fully Mac-powered desktop editor. With nice bonus features like autosaving, Technorati tag editing, blog-specific image settings, support for Tumblr, and a speedy Flickr browser, MarsEdit is a great example of indie software done right. It gives you lots of functionality, a professional level of quality, responsive support, and (of course, this being indie software) a modest price tag.

Also this week we have the latest version of 1Password, the secure Web site log-in and password utility that only requires you to remember one password. Our … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers, Lion edition

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers. This week readers wrote in asking numerous questions about OS X Lion, including ways to set up dual-boot environments, options for clean installs, whether or not Rosetta could be hacked to work, and options for re-downloading the Lion installer either for different Macs or for creating a boot DVD after you have already installed Lion. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few answers here, we welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the … Read more

RAID and Lion's FileVault disk encryption do not mix

If you have your system configured to boot from a RAID volume, you may find when installing OS X 10.7 Lion that the system will give you a warning stating, "Some features of Mac OS X Lion are not supported for the disk." While you can continue the installation and get Lion running, what this warning means is the installer is not able to create a recovery partition on your hard drive, and therefore the system will not be able to run advanced disk management features that include FileVault disk encryption.

These advanced volume management features are … Read more

Roundup: 17 iPhoto tips

iPhoto '11 is a powerful tool for organizing and sharing photos, and it has a few editing tools that let you quickly adjust the look of your photos. Like much of Apple's iLife '11 suite, iPhoto is easy to use, but to get the most out of it, I present 17 tips that will show you how to organize, edit, and share your photos.… Read more

How to set up multiple iPhoto libraries

I take a lot of photos of laptops and other hardware that I review as a freelance tech writer. I also take a lot of photos of things that aren't tech products, and I don't like have to sift through pictures of PCs and printers when I'm browsing my iPhoto library. The solution? Multiple iPhoto libraries.

Dividing your photos among multiple iPhoto libraries is useful if you use your Mac for home and work. It's also useful if your iPhoto library is eating up a large chunk of your hard drive. You can set up additional iPhoto libraries on an external hard drive, though this solution is probably more useful for Mac desktops, where a hard drive is connected or always nearby. For laptops, however, it's a great way to offload some of the seldom viewed or older pictures in your library.

Multiple iPhoto libraries are easy to set up and switch between. Here's how:

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How to back up your iPhoto library

A computer crash can be devastating, especially when you lose all of your photos. I trust that if you are a Mac user, you are performing regular Time Machine backups, which saves a snapshot of your entire hard drive and stores it on an external drive. For the extra cautious, you can also save a copy of your iPhoto library to an external hard drive or a disc (because who knows--your Time Machine drive might fail one day). Here's how in iPhoto '11:… Read more

Some Lion users plagued by black-screen bug

A number of early adopters of the OS X 10.7 Lion upgrade are running into a fairly severe bug. What happens is that Macs will crash with a black screen, which requires a forced shutdown. Some systems may show kernel panic messages on-screen, but the majority of them just have a black screen. The issue seems to happen specifically when certain graphics events are happening such as manipulating images in applications, or triggering interface elements when graphics events are occurring. In addition, it happens when systems are woken from sleep.

Most systems that appear to be affected are 2010 … Read more