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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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Apple Releases Minor MacBook and MacBook Pro Upgrades

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Apple has quietly updated the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, although the upgrades are so minor that they didn't warrant a press release.

The MacBook Pro's upgrade is limited to two new build-to-order options for the high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro and the 17-inch MacBook Pro models: a 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor for $250 (up from 2.4 GHz) and a 250 GB hard drive running at 5400 rpm for $150. Otherwise, prices remain the same, $1,999 for the low-end 15-inch model, $2,499 for the high-end 15-inch model, and $2,799 for the 17-inch model.

The MacBook's update is slightly more interesting. The mid- and high-end models of the MacBook now come with a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up from the 2.16 GHz processor in the previous incarnation. The new models also feature a RAM ceiling of 4 GB, up from 2 GB; a frontside bus of 800 MHz, up from 667 MHz; and a new graphics chip, the Intel GMA X3100 with 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory that replaces the previous Intel GMA 950 with 64 MB. The new MacBook also features new media control keys along the function key row.

Although the new MacBook processors are only infinitesimally faster, the faster frontside bus should provide some performance boost, the new graphics chip could help in certain situations (although it also has some compatibility issues with advanced gaming applications), and being able to add more memory is always welcome. Prices remain the same, ranging from $1,099 for the low-end model up to $1,499 for the high-end black unit. The 250 GB hard drive is also available as a build-to-order option.

Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro now ship with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which is generally a good thing. However, in places like universities and large corporations, where the just-released Leopard has not yet been approved for use, a tech note from Apple about the MacBook is causing some consternation. It states that the new MacBook (which Apple calls "Late 2007") comes with a version of Leopard that can be installed only on this particular model, and that other Mac OS X 10.5 installation disks will not work on this model. It does not comment on compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4.10, but the fact that other 10.5 installation disks won't work implies that 10.4.10 won't either. There's a rumored 10.4.11 that could in theory enable the MacBook (Late 2007) to use Tiger, if and when Apple releases it.

 

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