News Archive for: Thursday Mar. 6th, 2008 (later added items first)
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Apple announces iPhone 2.0 Software Beta (w/SDK & Built-in MS Exchange ActiveSync)
Apple's news page today notes they've announced iPhone 2.0 Software Beta (iPhone Enterprise beta program)
"Apple today previewed the iPhone 2.0 software - scheduled for release this June - and announced the immediate availability of a beta release of the software to selected developers and enterprise customers. The iPhone 2.0 beta includes both the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) and new enterprise features, such as support for Microsoft Exchange Active Sync and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN."

The linked page has info on applying to be part of the beta test program and a link to the iPhone software development kit but that link is erroring out as I'm typing this (too busy/too many connections) - it may be fine by the time you read this. They also have a press release on the beta.

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First report on flashing a PC Nvidia 8800GT with Mac ROM
I wondered how long it would be before PC 8800's would be flashed once the Mac 8800's started shipping... not long:

"Success flashing PC 8800GT card for 2008 Mac Pro
Just thought I'd pass along the fact that I was able to successfully re-flash an EVGA brand nVidia 8800GT video card for use in the latest version of the Mac Pro.
Apparently, this often is not possible because Windows PCs only require 64K of flash memory on the card for the video BIOS they use. The Mac, however, needs a 128K flash memory chip on the card, since it has the EFI64 data AND the BIOS information stored on it. Furthermore, I understand this only works when the EEPROM ID has an "MX" on the beginning of it. Flash chips marked with a "PMC" on them won't work, even IF they're 128K.

The specific EVGA board found at in this link does have the correct 128K flash chip on it, however: ("eVGA e-GeForce 8800 GT 512MB DDR3 Superclocked Edition PCI-Express Graphics Card (512-P3-N802-AR)" - $254.99 before $30 rebate.)

The only other issue I had after flashing it with a ROM image taken from a Mac 8800GT was the power connector. The PC versions of these cards ship with a different power connector than the square type that plugs into the Mac Pro's motherboard for aux. power.

The power cable sold for the ATI X1900XT card fits it perfectly though, and they can be ordered from ATI's web site for about $18 shipped (at least anyplace in the USA).

Since my Mac Pro was originally ordered with the ATI 2600 card, going this route got me working with an 8800GT upgrade much faster than the 7 weeks shipping delay on ordering the real Mac 8800GT from Apple plus it saved me about $50. (The Apple price for the Mac 8800GT card is $349 for those that didn't spring for the $200 CTO 8800GT option originally) Even more if I get the $30 in mail-in rebates Amazon claim are valid for this purchase right now.

I suspect soon there will be fleabay auctions of flashed 8800s also...
I asked if he had used a PC or Bootcamp to flash the card and he replied:

"...I was able to download an extracted ROM that someone got from their Mac 8800GT card. I had several options for flashing it. I had a PC with a PCIe video slot on it handy, so I opted to re-flash it from the PC.

I used a USB flash-drive as the boot device, following the procedures outlined here:
(The HP utility referenced works great in Windows to get a USB memory stick reformatted so a PC can boot from it, into DOS. By copying nVidia's nvflash.exe and the Mac flash ROM image onto it, I was all set to re-flash the card as soon as the PC booted from it.)

Others who only owned a Mac Pro reported success by copying the flash ROM image and nvflash utlity onto an existing bootcamp partition. Then they booted into DOS from a bootable CD, changed drive letters to the bootcamp partition and ran nvflash.

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Review of new MacBook Pro
Cnet has a Review of the MacBook Pro 2008 Edition (2.5GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB Hard drive) giving it an 8.2 out of 10/Editor's Choice.
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ThinkPad X300 vs MacBook Air
Another article comparing the two - this one from Computerworld titled Is thinner better? The ThinkPad X300 challenges the MacBook Air.
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2008 Mac Pro owner feedback/tips page updated
I've added a couple follow-up reports to the 2008 Mac Pro feedback page, one with notes after adding 6GB more ram and a WD Raptor (10K RPM) boot drive and the other an 8800GT owner's comments that he suspects his problems (KP's, etc.) are Firewire related. (I didn't mention it yesterday here but I added another 8800GT upgrade kit owner's notes to the page.)
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Other News/Articles, Mac Software Updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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