Introduction to BitTorrent: Part I

26 08 2008

One of the leading Peer to Peer protocols is BitTorrent. If you don’t know about BitTorrent, this article is a brief overview of getting the most of BitTorrent on your Mac.

BitTorrent was developed by programmer Bram Cohen, who designed the protocol in April 2001. To this day, BitTorrent traffic makes up a significant, yet exactly unknown percentage of Internet traffic. BitTorrent works by transferring many small pieces of a larger file from many sources to later make one larger file, versus sequentially downloading a file from one source such as a HTTP transfer.

In order to transfer files using BitTorrent you need to get a .torrent file and open it with a BitTorrent client. The client will then connect you to a tracker, which will provide a list of peers for your client to connect with. You can get .torrent files from a number of places around the internet, some which are legal and some that infringe on copyrights. This part is up to you (remember, Google is your friend).

AAs for a BitTorrent client, there are a handful of BitTorrent clients for OS X that work great. However, by far the most feature rich, fast and user friendly is Transmission. Transmission is 100 percent free, open source program.

Once you have your torrent file in Transmission, the last thing you will need to do is forward ports. From within Transmission, you go into Preferences, and click on the Network tab. Remember the port number Transmission displays (or change it). To obtain your full potential of speeds, you will need to open a port from the Internet directly to your computer. This will require you to enter the configuration page of your router and forward the port or enable NAT-PMP or UPnP (to let Transmission do the work). Configuring your router will vary by the manufacturer, so check out this site for a guide to your router.

This is a beginners guide to starting to use BitTorrent on OS X. Look for more parts coming soon, in more detail.

Willowbrook Mall Apple Store Update

25 08 2008

While on a recent shopping trip to Willowbrook Mall located in Wayne, New Jersey, visable progress is being made in the latest Apple Store in the Garden State.

When visiting the Willowbrook Mall, after parking, I noticed a number or large wooden crates sitting in the parking lot. Curious, I went over to take a closer look- it turns out they were destined for the new Apple Store! From what I could gather, inside were large pieces of furniture and table tops.

The new store is going to be located in the Macys wing of the mall. Currently shrouded by a black wall, with a recently added Apple sticker on the outside. The store is scheduled to be opened sometime this fall. Keep with for more details!

Reports from an iPhone 3G and iPod Touch running firmware 2.0.2

18 08 2008

Here are some notes from the 2.0.2 firmware update installation.

Here are my notes, in chronological order since installation:

Downloading the firmware took about 15 minutes on a 5 Mbit/s / 1.5Mbit/s connection. FiOS has me spoiled at home.

My iPhone update took about 10 minutes. Note that I have recently synced and backed up my iPhone with my computer about 15 minutes prior to the installation.

Taking a screenshot just froze my iPhone while in Settings. It eventually quit and brought me back to the dashboard.

More updates coming soon.

The iMac’s 10th Anniversary

15 08 2008

10 years ago today, Apple shipped it’s very first in the line of its new generation computers. This new computer set Apple apart from the rest of the previously all beige Apple lineup. The new sleek all-in-one computer was the first of its kind. As Steve Jobs said when introducing the new iMac; “Today, I’m incredibly pleased to introduce iMac, our consumer product. And iMac comes from the marriage of the excitement of the internet, with the simplicity of the Macintosh.”

Beige Mac Plus

The introduction of the iMac computer brought Apple to new heights. It was the first computer to come in color, Bondi Blue, other than beige. The release was a breath of fresh air into the Apple lineup. Before Steve Jobs return to the company in 1997, Apple tried to rejuvenate their lineup with new inventions such as the Newton PDA and the Taligent project. While the Newton failed from a financial stand point, it was a big technical step for mobile computing and set the way for future PDA’s such as the Palm Pilot and eventually the iPhone.

The original iMac was designed by Johnathan Ive, famed designer of the iPod and iPhone. The iMac sold 800,000 units in its first five months. Predecessed by the second generation, slot loading iMac G3 in 1999 the iMac G4 again set another new standard in design. The iMac G4 came with a base made the shape of half a sphere with a LCD screen attached by a rotating metal pole. Many people considered this to be another large leap in the shape and design of computers.

iMac G4

The design of the iMac G4 was soon abandoned for the design of the iMac G5. A sleek, plastic, 3″ think, all-in-one computer. One of, if not the first, sleek all-in-one computers. Starting out with a 1.6 GHz G5 PowerPC processor, it truly was the best and most innovative in its class. It also included 256 MB of RAM which was upgradable to 2 GB of RAM. And while many might think this is small and insuffuficent, Panther only required a minimum of 128 MB and a G3 processor. So thus the new iMac G5 easily surpassed the requirements of it era.

The iMac G5 was later redesigned into what we know today. The first Mac to get an Intel processor at Macworld 2006, the G5’s design was later redesigned into an even sleeker 1.24″ think metal case. It now has up to 4 GB of RAM, comes with either a 20″ or 24″ screen, and has a processor with speeds of up to 3.06 GHz! With its enhanced preformance, the iMac has become one of Apple’s most popular desktop offering.

With Apple constantly redefining the technology industry, we are always looking for their next big wonder to be unveiled. staring with a simple little computer made in Steve Jobs’ garage, Apple has grown to be more than just as computer phenomenon, but a god in the technology field. And with the iMac now 10 years young, who know what we can expect next.

Thoughts on leaked MacBook case pictures?

5 08 2008

The MacBook & MacBook Pro haven’t seen any major revisions since their release date of 2006. With redesigns long overdue, there is word that Apple will be releasing new MacBooks and MacBook Pros this September. I think we all figured that the new MacBook design would be very similar to the MacBook Air, but is that what the buyers really want? With the release of the new iMac about a year or so ago, many people said over and over again how they disliked the new look, but we adapted to it over time. Apple is known for trying to keep unreleased products under tight control, so that makes me doubt that these new pictures are real. Also, if you’re a college student, don’t forget about Apple’s student deal! Now, one of the only pros of getting a MacBook before the highly expected MacBook 2.0, is that you can still get that iPod of your desires.

“Are these really leaked pics of a redesigned MacBook, widely expected later this year? Probably not, as Apple has always done an excellent job of keeping its new designs under wraps. But the Interwebs are abuzz with this series of shots that generally fit in with the conventional wisdom–that the MacBook line is getting an aluminum makeover, to look more like the high-end MacBook Pro.”

[Via: Crave]

A new writer for The iLife!

4 08 2008

Hi all,

Today is actually my first day as a writer for The iLife, so I thought I should start things off right by just giving you a little info on myself. Before I made it here, I worked for two other blogs (Techbugtv & Engage Games Network). I must say that it has been a bit challenging moving around from blog to blog, however I have learned valuable information every step on the way. I look forward to sharing my opinions on Apple, and trying to get good content out to everyone!!

Reports from an iPhone 3G and iPod Touch running firmware 2.0.1

4 08 2008

Here are some notes from the 2.0.1 firmware update installation.

Here are my notes, in chronological order since installation:

Downloading the firmware took about 7 minutes on a 20/5 Mbit/s connection. Fairly slow for Apple’s servers, probably due to heavy traffic.

My iPhone update took about 20 minutes. Note that I recently synced and backed up my iPhone with my computer about one hour prior to the installation.

This update WILL disturb a previously jailbroken 2.0 device, but will not brick it or fail to install the update on a device that was PWNED using the latest PWNAGE tool.

Things seem to be snappier. No Apple application crashes yet, no sign of sluggish performance.

Now trying third party applications. Installing an update on the device from the App Store still relocates applications to the back as if they were never installed.

After over 12 hours of extensive use, we have found 2.0.1 is a great improvement to the buggy 2.0 firmware. However, there are still some outstanding issues.

More updates coming soon.

The new MacBook casing possibly revealed in photos and more than 2.4 Million 3G iPhones manufactured to date!

4 08 2008

Photos that could prove to be the new MacBook casing have surfaced and could Foxconn be manufacturing 800,000 iPhones a week?!

This morning, according to a TechCrunch article, citing a source “close to Apple”; Apple has ordered Foxconn to build 800,000 iPhones per week. 800,000 is the full operating capacity at which Foxconn can manufacture, which brings up concerns of quality control as there already seems to be small casing issues with the some of the new plastic backings. After launching in 20 countries more than three weeks ago, with over one million iPhones sold in just the opening weekend, Foxconn could have theoretically built over 2.4 million iPhones since the 11th.

Meanwhile, Chinese blog (which is experiencing high server load right now) has leaked four new images supposedly of the unreleased MacBook to Engadget. While the images appear very similar to the existing MacBook Air display, they could indeed be of a new MacBook since both laptops have a 13.3 inch widescreen display. Currently the legitimacy of these images are in question. Both the MacBook Pro and MacBook are rumored to see a revision around September.

Stick with theiLife for developing news on both the iPhone 3G and MacBook revisions.

TheiLife Vacation Notice: We need Your Help!

4 08 2008

TheiLife crew will be taking a small vacation. But have no fear, the site won’t be left in despair.

I am going on vacation this Saturday for two weeks. Then the day after I get back, I begin my first semester at college, so things might become a little dry around here. Don’t fear. I have arranged for content to be posted (about) everyday to keep things busy around here. Once my schedule stabilizes, I will be able to resume my regular content on a daily or bi-daily basis, depending on free time. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may create, but it isn’t easy running a website (mostly) by myself. However, you can help! If you would like to create your own content for articles, podcasts, screencasts, videos, pictures; we are very open and accepting to all kinds of work. Simply contact us or leave a comment below indicating your intrest, and we can get you setup posting about whatever you like.