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Apple has released an EFI firmware update for a number of their products, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Screen Shot 2012 02 24 at 07 48 21

This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Air (Mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.

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Apple has just released an EFI firmware update for 2010 model MacBook Air, Pro and iMac’s.

EFI

This is what it contains:

This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Pro (Early 2010) models.

This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Air (Late 2010) models and addresses an issue where the system could restart if the power button is pressed immediately after waking from deep sleep.

This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on iMac (Mid 2010) models.

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Apple have released a number of updates, including an EFI update for the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air.

Screen Shot 2011 10 27 at 15 38 53

This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Air (mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update includes fixes delivered in MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1 that enhance the stability of Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, and resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Air (mid 2011) models.

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It’s a big day for Apple – Lion is out, there is a new Mini and also they have released updated MacBook Airs.

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The biggest changes from the last MacBook model are the inclusion of a Thunderbolt port, and the use of the Intel Core i5 processors.

Are you going to buy one? I already have the previous model MacBook Air and I went for the upgraded processor, ram and SSD, so the only real advantage for me would be the new processors, but to be honest I don’t really do anything that processor intensive so for now I will probably stick with what I have. Probably……

[button link="http://www.apple.com/uk/macbookair/" style="info" window="yes"]Learn more from the Apple website[/button]

The specs for the two models are below:

20-07-2011 16-06-36

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As regular readers of the site will know, I also write books in my “spare” time. Well, I have just completed my latest book, An Introduction to the MacBook for Babani Publishing. And yes, its a book all about Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

BP725

Here is how Babani describe my book:

Apple MacBooks are becoming much more popular now and with a choice of three models, the MacBook, MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, more people than ever are switching from Windows machines to Macs! This book applies to all three MacBook models.
This book will guide you through setting up and using your MacBook for the first time. It will provide you with many useful hints and tips and also warnings about possible pitfalls. It will enable you to quickly and easily get much more out of your new MacBook.
Among the many topics explained are:
• A brief look at the Mac OS X “Snow Leopard” operating system
• Configuring your MacBook for the first time
• Connecting your MacBook to a printer
• Connecting your MacBook to your home network
• Making and keeping your MacBook secure
• Exploring many of the MacBook features
• Conserving battery life
• Troubleshooting
• Backing up your MacBook using Time Machine
• Getting and installing free software from the Apple AppStore
• And much more besides…
If a MacBook is your first computer or you are familiar with Windows machines but have not used a MacBook before then this is the book
for you!

The book is 128 pages in full colour and will retail for £6.99 when its released in a few weeks time.

Anyone interested can pre-order a copy now from Amazon.

In other one of our Two Minute Reviews, we take a look at the Suede Jacket Sleeve for the MacBook Air from Waterfield Designs.

I love my MacBook Air – but I am constantly worried about scratching it. I’ve looked around for sleeves and bags to protect it, but there isn’t really much on the market for the Air – and I really didn’t want to just buy a bag that could fit anything that was 13″, so I was very pleased to be able to find the Suede Jacket Sleeve from Waterfield Designs. They do other bags for the MacBook Air, and I will be covering another one in another review shortly.

Who are Waterfield Designs?

Here is how they describe themselves on their website:

No mass production or overseas workforce. WaterField bags are designed and made in San Francisco, where rent is high, labor is expensive and competition is intense. We wouldn’t go anywhere else!

In a nutshell, WaterField products are ridiculously well-made, fastidiously designed, have more personality than you can shake a stick at, and are so “user-friendly”, that you can actually operate them with one arm tied behind your back. This turns out to be a huge benefit for high-frequency travelers; the busy, laptop-carrying, cell phone-obsessed commuting types; or the dual diaper/carrying bag parents.

Waterfield

Here is how Waterfield Designs describe the Suede Jacket Sleeve:

[box style="rounded" border="full"]It doesn’t get any thinner than this! The Suede Jacket Sleeve helps prevent scratches and dings on your Mac and the custom-sizing plus stretch memory of the Ultrasuede® insures a snug fit. An embedded layer of neoprene inside the bottom of the case protects your laptop where it needs it most when you set it down. A finger loop on either side helps you easily slip the sleeve over your laptop. This elegant, low-profile sleeve slips easily into a briefcase, messenger bag or backpack and helps protect your laptop from the minor bumps and bruises of daily use. Custom sizes for each of the Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro models.[/box]

A Closer Look

The Suede Jacket Sleeve comes in a plastic wrapping to protect it during shipping.

Waterfield Designs Suede Jacket Sleeve

Waterfield Designs Suede Jacket Sleeve

As you can see, the sleeve is about the same size as the MacBook Air, which means it provides a very nice and snug fit.

Waterfield Designs Suede Jacket Sleeve

And here is my MacBook Air mostly protected – again, you can easily see how snug the fit it, which I was very happy about.

Waterfield Designs Suede Jacket Sleeve

Final Thoughts

I really like this sleeve. It feels very nice to stroke (if that’s your thing) and it is very light weight. It holds the MacBook Air very well and it protects it against scratches. Obviously it won’t protect it from dropping it, but that is not what this sleeve is designed for. This can be carried in another bag or just carried on it’s own.

I really liked the option of either a horizontal or a vertical sleeve – everyone has their own preference so that is really good.

The time from ordering to delivery was excellent as well – so thank you Waterfield Designs.

And if you have a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, you can also buy the Suede Jacket Sleeve.

If you want to protect your MacBook Air, and you don’t want another bag, then the Suede Jacket Sleeve is a must have as it really does protect your MacBook Air, is very well made, is reasonably priced and it feels nice too.

Sizes and Prices

Each size available in Horizontal and Vertical: 


11″ MacBook Air $25

13″ MacBook Air $29

13″ MacBook $29
13″ MacBook Pro $29
15″ MacBook Pro $33
17″ MacBook Pro $35

[button link="http://www.sfbags.com/products/laptopsuedejacket/laptopsuedejacket.htm" style="info" window="yes"]You can order your Waterfield Designs Suede Jacket Sleeve here[/button]

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Yesterday Apple released a new EFI firmware update that solves an issue some people had with blank screens on the new MacBook Air.

Mac Update

Mac Update 2

Here is the information Apple provide about this update:

About MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.0

This update resolves a rare issue where MacBook Air boots or wakes to a black screen or becomes unresponsive. This update is recommended for all 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air (late 2010) models.

The MacBook Air EFI Update will update the EFI firmware on your notebook computer. Your computer’s power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source. When your MacBook Air restarts, a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. It will take several minutes for the update to complete. Do not disturb or shut off the power on your MacBook Air during this update.

Personally I hadn’t experienced this problem with my MacBook Air, but I’m more than happy to install the new firmware to ensure I don’t have it in the future!

Have you been hit with this problem?

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Microsoft is starting to show off some of the features for its forthcoming Office for Mac 2011 suite – so if you have a Mac you may want to take a look at what’s coming down the road.

Office Mac 2011 Logo

I’m mainly a Windows guy, and I have been for a very long time, but I also use Apple products. To me, its all about using the product that’s right for me and what I want to do – I have an iPod, an iPhone and I have an iPad and I have Windows computers. I also have an older MacBook Pro (which I run Windows on) – ok, don’t get me started! Ian Dixon and I even talk about Apple products on this weeks Media Center Show podcast.

I’ve used Microsoft’s previous edition of Office for the Mac – Office 2008, and frankly I wasn’t blown away.

So when news started to come out about Office for Mac 2011 I wasn’t exactly rushing to take a look, but now I have I am actually kind of interested.

What interests me the most is the Ribbon and actually Outlook, so I will be keeping a close eye on those developments.

Microsoft have also published a couple of videos to show you some features:

You can learn about all the new features from the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 website or by reading the Mac teams blog.

Do you use a Mac? What are your thoughts?

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