Apple releases EFI Firmware updates bringing Lion Internet Recovery to 2010 Macs

EFI

For those who have been wondering why Apple hasn’t brought internet recovery to their 2010 Macs running Lion, here is some good news, Apple recently released three new EFI firmware updates bringing Lion Internet Recovery to the company’s Late 2010 MacBook Air, Mid-2010 iMac, and Early 2010 MacBook Pro.

Available firmware updates include:

– MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.3 (2.98 MB):This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Air (Late 2010) models and addresses an issue where the sys
tem could restart if the power button is pressed immediately after waking from deep sleep.

– iMac EFI Update 1.8 (3.02 MB):This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on iMac (Mid 2010) models.

– MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.6 (3.18 MB):This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Pro (Early 2010) models.

Originally Apple introduced Lion Internet Recovery on the new MacBook Air and Mac mini models that were introduced last July alongside OS X Lion itself. OS X Lion users might have noticed that  OS X Lion by default installs a recovery partition on the machine’s hard drive, however sometimes for unknown reasons this recovery partition becomes inaccessible, and therefore Internet Recovery provides yet another fallback option for Lion installation.

iFixit Releases Improved Toolkits For Taking Apart All Your Apple Gear

 

If you are like me, then simply playing around with the software installed on your Apple gear just doesn’t seem to be enough any more, I enjoy opening up the device to see in innards, as well as exchange the default parts with better upgrades. One thing however that hinders many Apple fans from opening their Mac or iDevice are the screws that Apple uses, well now there is a new toolkit on the street that will help ease the process. iFixit’s has just released two new and improved toolkits.

The 54 Bit Driver Kit is perfect for the DIY enthusiast, and it won’t break your bank at only $25. Here’s some of the additions to the new kit:

  • Pentalobe bits to open the iPhone 4, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.
  • T7 through T20 security bits to fit Torx security screws with a pin in the center.
  • A full line of metric nut drivers.
  • JIS bits to fit the screws found in digital cameras, R/C helicopters, and other high-end electronics.
  • A custom adapter to allow our small precision bits to be used in standard 1/4” screwdrivers with larger handles, ratcheting handles, or torque drivers.
  • A 60 mm extension that doubles as a T-handle, making it easy to get extra torque and remove stubborn screws.

The Pro Tech Base Toolkit is the larger option with every tool you need for your geeky arsenal. It comes with the 54 Bit Driver Kit included, which is a great deal for $60. Here are the new additions:

  • 54 Bit Driver Kit
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • 4 plastic opening tools
  • 4 precision tweezers
  • Spudger
  • 4 metal spudgers
  • Small suction cup
  • iFixit ruler
  • Custom-made tool roll

Whats great about the Toolkit is the fact that you can use it for so many different devices, not only Apple Products, I used the screwdrivers previously to open up my PS3, and DVD player.

You can order both kits on iFixit’s website just in time for Christmas!

Apple most popular among college students

A survey of 158 college students, all undergrads, says 60 percent of new PC purchases by the group this year consisted of Macs. That’s not a huge sample, but it is a representative one, as more and more students are going with OS X-driven computers rather than the old desktop PC. According to the same study last year, Apple held only a 38 percent share, so interest in Macs among this group has almost doubled.

More students than last year also brought a tablet with them to school, though shares in that department are apparently leveling. Apple’s iPad is down a few percentage points, as is the Kindle, while the “other” category is up by 10 percent.

As volatile as those numbers are (which, unfortunately, casts a little bit of doubt on how relevant this study actually is), there are hints that these undergrads are definitely Mac-inclined in their back-to-school purchases. Apple may have become a mobile device company, but its Mac sales are still stronger than ever.

Apple releases MacBook Air EFI Firmware update

Earlier today Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1 which will fix the problems that the MBA has with with Thunderbolt performance and OS X Lion Recovery over the Internet

According to Apple, the update is intended to:

“resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Air (mid 2011) models.”

Apple emphasizes that you must not interrupt your Mac’s power during the update lest you risk turning it into a very attractive brick. The update requires OS X Lion, which is pre-installed on affected model MacBook Airs.

MacBook Airs equipped with different speed SSDs

Not all the new MacBook Airs are created equal. TLDToday discovered that Apple is yet again using two different manufacturers for the Air’s SSD drives. Some MacBook Airs are shipping with Samsung SSDs, while others are shipping with SSDs made by Toshiba. The issue that arises with this is that the Samsung SSDs are faster than the Toshiba ones.

TLDToday found that the MacBook Air with a 128 GB Samsung SSD produced speeds of up to 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read. On paper that’s a lot faster than the 156 MB/s write and 208 MB/s read speeds that the 128 GB Toshiba SSD-equipped MacBook Air achieved.

To find out which SSD your newest MacBook Air has go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac. Click the More Info button, then click System Report. Select Serial-ATA from the Hardware header in the source list. Look for where it says “Apple SSD.” If the letters after that are “SM” you have the Samsung SSD. If the letters are “TS” you have the Toshiba SSD.

Unfortunately there’s no way to check which SSD drive you have before buying the Air, unless the Apple store lets you open the box and power it on before you buy it.

Apple kills the White MacBook

With the launch of the new Sandy Bridge MacBook Air models, Apple has sent its US$999 MacBook to the graveyard. All links for the older white MacBook model are gone from Apple’s website and now redirect to the Mac landing page.

Apple’s white MacBook has been a hit with students and those with a tight budget for some time, but with the huge success of the MacBook Air since its refresh in October, there no longer seems to be a need for the white MacBook.

Though we will miss the venerable white model, it only makes sense. The new 13-inch MacBook Air is souped up enough to replace the MacBook for most people and the Air’s US$999 price tag is reasonable. If a grand is too much to drop, the new Core i5 Mac Mini may fit the bill with its starting price tag of $599.

Apple updates MacBook Air!

Copied from TUAW.com

As rumored over the past few weeks, the MacBook Air has been updated hot on the heels of the release of OS X Lion. The update sees a few welcome upgrades to the hardware, including the return of backlit keyboards and an upgrade of the base RAM from 2 to 4 GB. The 11-inch MacBook Air now comes with a 128 GB SSD, far roomier than the cramped 64 GB last generation’s base model had.

The MacBook Air’s CPU has seen significant upgrades to Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” architecture. The base CPU is an Intel Core i5 clocked at 1.6 GHz, and build-to-order options exist to bump the CPU as high as a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7. These are by far the fastest processors the MacBook Air has ever had, and while it’ll likely be a couple days before they’re benchmarked, they have the potential to be around as powerful as a 2008-model MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air has also gained a Thunderbolt I/O port, bringing it in line with the MacBook Pro and iMac updates from earlier this year. The Thunderbolt port replaces the MacBook Air’s former Mini DisplayPort and gives it the fastest port yet seen on Apple’s ultraportable line.

Tech specs of the new MacBook Air models are below.

11-inch:

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU (1.8 GHz Core i7 build-to-order)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • one model with 2 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD; another with 4 GB and 128 GB SSD
  • Thunderbolt, Two USB ports
  • OS X Lion
  • Available now for US$999 and $1199

13-inch:

  • 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU (1.8 GHz Core i7 build-to-order)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB build-to-order)
  • 128 or 256 GB SSD
  • Thunderbolt, Two USB ports, SD Card port
  • OS X Lion
  • Available now for $1299 (128 GB) or $1599 (256 GB)

The latest models will go on sale online today and starting tomorrow Thursday, July 21 in retail stores.


New MacBook Airs may include high-speed 400MBps flash memory

The next generation MacBook Air may get a flash memory boost according to a report from Macotakara. The new NAND flash memory could replace the Blade X-Gale SSDs in the current generation MacBook Air models. This Toggle DDR 2.0 technology boasts of 400 MBps transfer rates and 19-nm processing. As a result, read times could reach 261 MBps and write times could be bumped up to 209 MBps. These small memory chips may be soldered on the MacBook Air’s base circuitry.

The new and improved MacBook Air models are expected to arrive soon after the debut of Mac OS X Lion. The Gold Master version of Lion was seeded to developers last week and should be publicly available in the upcoming weeks.

MacBook Air keeps gaining in popularity!

Air

Image courtesy of Fortune

While the original MacBook Air was very popular, since the updated version was released in October 2010, the popularity of Apple’s MacBook Air has been rapidly increasing according to new research by J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz. Sales of the device have seen a 333% year-over-year rise, with a projected annual revenue of a whopping $2.2 billion.

Moskowitz said in his research note:

“We believe that the growth rate of the MacBook Air stands to moderate, but we expect the product to exhibit increasing contribution to the overall Mac business,” Moskowitz wrote. “(The fourth quarter of calendar 2010) was the first quarter in which the MacBook Air accounted for greater than 10% of total Apple Mac units. More importantly, the MacBook Air accounted for 15% of total notebook sales during the quarter, versus 5% in the prior year.”

With the introduction of the  ultraportable 11.6-inch model Apple released a perfect alternative to users looking for the portability of a netbook but with the stability of a Mac. It will be interesting to see if the MacBook Air will continue to gain popularity.

Apple updates MacBook Air software

A few days ago Apple released another software update for the late 2010 model MacBook Air.  The update can either be downloaded from the Software Update, or it can be downloaded directly  here.

Apple’s comments on what the update does are rather sparse all they say is that:

This update resolves an issue with some MacBook Air (Late 2010) systems that prevents the system from sleeping.

People had been complaining in the past that the new MacBook Air seemed to have problems with the sleep/wake features of Mac OS X as well as video problems being reported by early adopters. According to some people this update seems only to be working on 10.6.5 if you are experiencing any problems leave us a comment below.