iMacs and Minis get upgraded


Today Apple announced new versions of its iMac and Mac Mini lines.

The iMacs were fitted with the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at speeds of 1.83GHZ, 2.0GHz, 2.16GHz, and 2.33GHz, and come in new sizes of 17″, 20″, and a whopping 24″. One item to note is that they dropped the remote as standard equipment on the 17″ model. Base configurations range from $999 – $1999 (USD)

The Mac Mini updates were a little more subtle, but still welcome. Apple dropped the Intel Core Solo processor altogether, and now both models run the Core Duo (not the Core 2 Duo). They also received a small speed bump from 1.5GHZ/1.66GHz to 1.66GHz/1.83GHz. Pricing remained the same at $599 and $799 (USD).

I guess we can retire these rumors for next weeks event.

Apple Sept. 12th Event: My Predictions

It's Show time

The Mac rumor mill is running in overdrive today. If you haven’t heard, Apple is having a special event next week (9/12). They sent an invitation to select members of the press with the above picture, and the words, “It’s Showtime”

The event is here in San Francisco, at the Yerba Bueana Center for the Arts. It starts at 10:00am. I live right across the street, but my invitation was obviously lost in the mail.

What will be announced at the event? Well, if you believe the rumors flying around today, you can expect to see major revisions to every product Apple makes, and several new products too.

I may be wrong, but this seems a little unlikely.

Personally, given the nature of the image above, I think an iTunes movie store is almost a sure thing (along with an updated version of iTunes). I’m also predicting an update to Front Row, that will be able to browse and download movies without launching iTunes. I also think it’s feasible that we’ll see an upgraded iPod, but I’m not convinced it will be that widescreen iPod that everyone wants. It may only be larger capacities. Apple probably recognizes that even 60GB can go fast when filling it with music and full length movies.

Anything beyond that is gravy. I personally am not going to be surprised if that is the extent of the announcements. Of course, they’ll stretch it out with the usual announcements about how many songs have been sold, how many iPods have been sold, etc…

I would love to be wrong about these predictions, but if you choose to buy in to all the rumors flying around today, don’t be too surprised when you walk away disappointed. Remember what happened at the ‘special event‘ earlier this year?

10 (Free) things you can do to save the planet

In my first post over at the new blog, I listed 10 free and easy things that anyone can do to help save the planet. As part of that post I issued a challenge to all bloggers who read the list, to re-post it on their blog. So, I’m picking up my own challenge and posting it here too.

1. Don’t drive 1 in 5. This means that one day out of the week… carpool, bike, or ride public transportation to work. C’mon, just one day… you can do it. If it works out well, add more days.

2. Keep your fridge full. An empty refrigerator uses more energy. If you’re not keeping it full with food, keep it full with gallon-jugs of water.

3. Turn stuff off. It’s easy to remember to turn big things off, like lights or TVs , but don’t forget about the small stuff… like VCR, DVD, computer speakers, and printers. If they’re on, they’re using energy, even if you aren’t actively using them.

4. Stop that Junk Mail. Junk mail wastes tons of paper every day, and you don’t want it anyway. Here’s some info about having your name removed from junk mail lists.

5. Take your own bags to the grocery store. Canvas tote bags work great, but you can also take back the plastic bags that your got from your last trip to the store. Reuse them over and over, and then recycle them. Many stores give you a small discount for bringing your own bags.

6. Water at night. If you water your lawn and other outdoor plants at night, or early in the morning, you’ll lose less water to evaporation, so you’ll be able to water less.

7. Run appliances at night. Many electric companies actually lower their rates during off-peak hours. Running your dishwasher or washer/dryer at night, can save you some money, and reduce the amount of electricity that the power-plant needs to generate. Check with your power company for a list of off-peak hours.

8. Do full loads. When you do run your dishwasher or washer/dryer, make sure they’re full. running a half-full dishwasher is very wasteful.

9. Maximize trash bags. Wait till your trash is full before taking it out. The less bags you put into a landfill, the better.

10. Recycle! Most cities offer recycling programs. Recycle everything you can… at home, and at work. There’s no sense filling up a landfill with items that can be recycled. If your work doesn’t offer a recycling program, start one.

Like I said, these are things everyone can do. You don’t have to go out and buy a new hybrid car, or energy efficient appliances to make a difference. Although, those things are good too.

If you have some no cost / low cost tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.