5 Year Old Macbook vs the Latest Macbook Air

I recently noticed that my Apple MacBook, (late 2006), doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I’d think that an almost five year-old computer would start to be sluggish.

I don’t use that many processor intensive applications, but with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.7), I am able to run SETI@Home, VMWare Fusion running Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat, Remote Desktop Connection, Photoshop, iTunes, Transmit, Chrome (with 10 tabs open) and Firefox, all at the same time without bogging down. When I boot my Macbook to Windows 7, the performance is similar.

My Macbook has an Intel® Core2 Duo Processor T7200 (4M Cache, 2.00 GHz, 667 MHz FSB). The only hardware upgrades I’ve done on it were to increase the RAM to 3GB and install a 320GB 7200 rpm hard disk. I have three paritions on the disk: a 100GB Mac OS Extended for OSX, a 75GB NTFS for Windows 7 and a 140 GB NTFS for data.

While browsing EveryMac.com for the specs for my computer, I noticed that the Geekbench score of the latest Apple MacBook Air (late 2010) – 2698 – wasn’t that much higher than my Macbook – 2603. The current Macbook Air uses an Intel® Core2 Duo Processor SL9400 (6MB Cache, 1.86 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB). I would think that the MBA, with a larger L2 cache, faster FSB and SSD would at least be a lot faster than my Macbook. In fact, when I run Geekbench on my Macbook, it scores 2706.

Of course the Macbook Air is 2.3 lbs (1.04 kg) lighter and has a much greater cool factor than my Macbook, but I’m strong enough to handle 5.2 lbs (2.36 kg). When my Macbook starts to feel slow, I’ll probably go to an SSD and replace the DVD drive with my current hard disk in a MCE OptiBay.

The latest 13″ Macbook Pro, with an Intel® Core i7-2620M Processor, has a Geekbench score that 6796. That would probably be OK for another couple of years.

Nexus S and the Apple Wireless Keyboard

When I bought a Samsung Nexus S in December, I had problems using the Android keyboard because I have big fingers. They aren’t the sausages I remember when I shook George Duvivier‘s hand, but they’re big.

Inevitably, when I used the keyboard in the portrait mode, a key press would often result in a mistyped letter. I thought a Bluetooth keyboard would help with this problem and I miraculously received one for Christmas.

The Apple Wireless Keyboard follows Apple’s design aesthetic, which I happen to like (in spite of the Macintrash category I use on this blog).

I thought it would be a simple task to pair the two Bluetooth devices, but for several months, I was unable to find a suitable IME app that would work. You would just think it would work, but it didn’t. Last December, I tried Teksoft’s BlueInput demo and Elbrain’s BlueKeyboard JP. Neither of them worked at the time – I couldn’t get the keyboard to pair with the phone.

I don’t know if it was the Gingerbread update to 2.3.3 or an update to BlueKeyboard JP, but the last time I tried to connect them, the Nexus S and the Apple Wireless Keyboard started working together. I did the following:

On the phone, turn on Bluetooth – “Settings/Wireless Networks/Bluetooth

  • Power on the Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • If the keyboard isn’t listed under “Bluetooth devices” select “Scan for devices
  • Once the phone finds the keyboard, it will display “Paired but not connected” under the device name
  • Under “Settings/Language & keyboard “check “BlueKeyboardJP
  • Under “Settings/Language & Keyboard” select “BlueKeyboardJP settings
  • Check “Connecting Process
  • Selected keyboard” should have the Bluetooth keyboard’s name checked

Finally, open an app that uses text input. Touch and hold (long press) in the text box until “Edit text/Paste/Input method” pops up. Select “Input method” then select “BlueKeyboard JP.” In the Status bar, next to the Bluekeyboard JP notification icon, it will say, “Connecting….”

Elbrain’s documentation for Bluekeyboard JP shows that the notification icon changes color for three different states – Disconnected, Connecting and Connected. It’s very subtle.

I’m currently using version 2.16 of Bluekeyboard JP, which has ads displayed at the bottom of the screen. Since I got Bluekeyboard JP working, I thought I’d use the paid version, which has a user dictionary, but the comments in the Android Market for BlueKeyboard Pro JP say that the paid version also has ads.

Update: I just installed Teksoft’s BlueInput demo 1.8 and it also works, pretty much the same as BlueKeyboard JP.

Android Macbook

I downloaded LiveAndroid, a LiveCD for Android running on x86 platforms from Google Code, to try on my Macintrash.

Currently I am running OS X 10.5.7 and Windows 7 (build 7100) on my Late 2006 Macbook (Core 2 Duo, T7200). I’m also using rEFIt as my boot manager. The Android LiveCD showed up as Tux on the boot screen and I got to the Android desktop with the message, “Please connect charger, the battery is getting low: less than 15% remaining”. I was running on AC and the battery was fully charged. I dismissed that warning and went into the console (alt+F1) to try to configure networking.

The liveandroidv0.2.iso supports DHCP, so I tried to get the network running using the howtouse live-android instructions:

ifconfig eth0 yourip netmask yourip’s mask

e.g. ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.10 netmask 255.255.255.0

That resulted in ifconfig SIOSIFADDR: No such device

I also tried ifconfig eth1 but received the same message. I didn’t look at the startup log. What’s the use of anything