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Monday, April 24, 2006

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Apple Introduces 17-inch MacBook Pro
7:49 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple has unveiled its new 17-inch MacBook Pro notebook computer featuring the Intel Core Duo processor. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features an aluminum enclosure just one inch thin, weighs 6.8 pounds, includes a built-in iSight video camera, and Front Row media experience with Apple Remote. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro also features a MagSafe Power Adapter.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor that delivers dual-core performance in a breakthrough power-efficient design, making it ideal for use in MacBook Pro’s thin and lightweight design. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro is up to five times faster than the 17-inch PowerBook G4, running industry standard benchmarks* and offers an all new system architecture including a 667 MHz front-side bus that is four times as fast as the PowerBook G4 and 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable to 2GB that is twice as fast as the PowerBook G4.

Every new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes the same great Apple innovations as the 15-inch MacBook Pro including a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing on-the-go using Apple’s award-winning iChat AV, or recording a video Podcast or iMovie® using iLife® ‘06. Every MacBook Pro also includes Photo Booth, Apple’s fun-to-use application that lets users take quick snapshots with the built-in iSight video camera, add entertaining visual effects and share their pictures with the touch of a button. Featuring Apple’s breakthrough Front Row media experience, MacBook Pro gives customers a simple way to enjoy their digital lifestyle content including music, photos and videos from across the room using the Apple Remote. With Front Row, MacBook Pro customers can effortlessly access shared iTunes® playlists, iPhoto® libraries and video via Bonjour™, Apple’s zero configuration wireless networking built into Mac OS® X.

Every MacBook Pro comes with Apple’s MagSafe Power Adapter, designed especially for mobile users that makes charging the notebook’s battery easier than ever by magnetically coupling the power cord to the MacBook Pro. The MagSafe Power Adapter safely disconnects from the notebook when there is strain on the power cord, preventing the notebook from falling off its work surface. Every MacBook Pro also includes Apple’s Sudden Motion Sensor that is designed to protect the hard drive in case of a fall.

Designed for business and creative professionals, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a 36 percent brighter display to make reading text and viewing images even easier and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 PCI Express graphics with 256MB of dedicated GDDR3 graphics memory for demanding professional applications, and a Scrolling TrackPad to easily scroll through long web pages or pan across large photographs. Providing industry-leading connectivity and high-performance I/O, every new 17-inch MacBook Pro also includes a FireWire® 800 port, a FireWire 400 port, three USB 2.0 ports, optical and digital audio input and output, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), and integrated AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking.

The 2.16 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $2,799 (US), includes:

  • 17-inch widescreen 1680 x 1050 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness;
  • 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor;
  • 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB;
  • 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive™ with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
  • DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately);
  • built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display;
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
    ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port;
  • one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
  • Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor;
    the infrared Apple Remote;
  • 68 watt hour lithium polymer battery; and
  • 85 watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter.
  • The new 17-inch MacBook Pro will begin shipping next week through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.


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    IMG Reviews Zoo Tycoon 2
    1:40 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted a review of MacSoft's Zoo Tycoon 2, the sequel to the popular zoo simulation. Here's a clip from the review:

    Your initial goals are to create your zoo, then your exhibits, then start making money and keep everything and everyone happy. On the surface this might seem like a daunting task, but Zoo Tycoon 2 makes the animal husbandry of your digital denizens far easier than the original. In Zoo Tycoon 1, getting your peeps happy required you to add and subtract trees, plants, and scenery until your exhibit was just right.
    To check out the full review, follow the link below.

    IMG Review: Zoo Tycoon 2
    Zoo Tycoon 2
    Buy Zoo Tycoon 2

    Interactive Fiction History
    10:37 AM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

    Moby Games has an article titled Something about Interactive Fiction that focuses on one of the oldest gaming genres in computer game history. Also known as text adventures, interactive fiction titles have kept many players busy since the 70s, and continue to be a source of interest today.

    The article follows a chronological path, noting the use of the two-word parser, the beginnings of the venerable IF title Adventure, and the subsequent rise to power of Infocom and its flagship Zork series.

    The three Zork games (Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (1980), Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz (1981), and Zork III: The Dungeon Master (1982)) represent three of the thirty-five interactive fiction games released by Infocom. Infocom was the industry leader and, as Montfort points out, the creators of "practically all the best-loved IF works."
    Also discussed in the article are more current contributions to the IF genre, including the Mystery House Taken Over project, and the use of IF for purposes other than strict gaming.

    Moby Games - Something About Interactive Fiction

    Zoombinis Mountain Rescue Reviewed
    10:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    GamersInfo has posted a review of Zoombinis Mountain Rescue. Part of the Zoombinis series of titles by The Learning Company, ZMR is an edutainment title that focuses on math and logic skills, challenging players to rescue stranded Zoombinis by using analysis and reason to overcome various puzzles.

    Challenges range from guessing assigned attributes via a mode called Turtle Hurdle to the reviewer's favorite: Aqua Cube.

    Here the puzzle is more of a "guess my rule" challenge than an attribute one. Using trial and error, you work to figure out which lever moves the light around the cube in which direction. But you only have a limited number of tries to rescue your Zoombinis and avoid the Fleens, so some educated guessing is also required. Because the light moves around a 3D cube, the challenge of spatial relations also comes into play in this particular puzzle. Much easier said than done, that’s for sure.
    The full review can be found at GamersInfo.

    GamersInfo - Zoombinis Mountain Rescue
    The Learning Company - Zoombinis Mountain Rescue

    Solitaire Till Dawn X 1.5 Released
    7:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Semicolon Software is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Solitaire Till Dawn with the release of version 1.5 of Solitaire Till Dawn X for Mac OS X. The new release introduces five new games, bringing the total to a full 100 games! Version 1.5 is a free upgrade from any earlier version of Solitaire Till Dawn X. All users should upgrade.

    The first version of Solitaire Till Dawn was released in 1991 and contained nine solitaire games that would run in black-and-white or color on a Mac Plus or a Macintosh II. Ever since, Semicolon Software has been improving Solitaire Till Dawn, steadily adding more games, better graphics, and improved features, until today it stands alone as the finest solitaire package available for the Macintosh.

    There are very few products that originally ran on a Mac Plus, and yet are still under active development -- and Solitaire Till Dawn has been shareware for its entire lifetime! We've posted a "Brief History of Solitaire Till Dawn" at our Web site at , outlining its 15-year journey with historical notes and screen shots.

    To download the free demo of Solitaire Till Dawn X, head over to

    Semicolon Software
    MGF: Solitaire Till Dawn X 1.5

    Penny Arcade Joins Boot Camp
    7:50 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

    Gabe of Penny Arcade fame has posted his experience with Apple's Boot Camp, software which allows Intel Mac owners to boot into Windows XP. On a Macbook Pro running Blizzard's World of Warcraft in XP at full graphics settings he saw a doubling of framerate over the OS X version of WoW.

    I’m running WOW at 1440 x 900 with all my graphic settings jacked all the way up. I’ve got spell effects and textures and all that good stuff up as high as it can go. With these settings under OS X I hovered between 15 and 20 FPS. It was just barley playable but for raids and stuff I’d drop down to a lower resolution and take off a few of the fancy effects. Now on the same laptop, but running under Windows with the same crazy settings I averaged between 35 and 40 FPS.
    To read the rest of his comments head over to Penny Arcade at the link below.

    Penny Arcade: 04-19-06

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    The Monsters of Ahn'Qiraj
    7:49 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment has added new pages offering details about the monsters of Ahn'Qiraj. Part of the army spawned from the hives beneath the ruined city, the ancient horrors are a challenge for even the heartiest adventurers. Some of the monsters described include Obsidian Destroyers and Anubisaths.

    A new and terrible army has been spawned from the hives beneath Ahn'Qiraj, and the ruined city is now teeming with swarming masses of silithid and qiraji. But this new silithid army is not the only threat lying in wait among the ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, as the horrors of an ancient past stir once again to heed their masters' call and bring war and destruction to Kalimdor and the rest of Azeroth.
    To learn more follow the links below.

    WoW: Raid Areas
    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft

    Mac Games News for Friday, April 21, 2006

    Apple Posts New Hot Deals11:18 AM
    Call of Duty 2 Mac Reqs Finalized7:45 AM
    Custer Joins The Squad7:45 AM
    Heroes Of Might And Magic V Previewed7:45 AM
    HoMM V For PC Goes Gold7:45 AM
    Welcome To Merriweather Farm Reviewed7:45 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, April 21, 2006 on one page

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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