Posts tagged “green”.

Glowing green with an eMate

April 12th, 2010

Forever Green, May Your Newton Glow

Forever Green, May Your Newton Glow,” by TahoeSunsets

iTunes 9 mini player restored with update

September 23rd, 2009

According to PC World and some great commentors at my original iTunes 9 mini player post:

As of iTunes 9.0.1, the pre-iTunes 9 behavior has returned–clicking the green button switches to the miniature player mode. (Option-clicking the green button now maximizes the window.)

This, friends, is victory.

Hit “Software Update” in your Apple menu, or download iTunes 9.0.1 (with restored mini player functionality!) over at Apple.com.

Same-day update from Apple on iTunes 9 mini player

September 17th, 2009

See Apple’s support article.

It was modified September 15, 2009 – the same day my giant discussion on the broken-ness of the iTunes 9 mini player and OS X’s zoom button inconsistencies appeared.

Coincidence? Enough people bitching about it? Who knows. But Apple must’ve realized that some iTunes users were unhappy about the mini player change – enough so that they wrote the shortest support article I’ve ever seen at support.apple.com.

Macworld: ‘How green is Apple?’

April 22nd, 2009

Macworld has a four-part “How green is Apple?” series going, exploring the company’s e-waste practices and altruistic motivations.

Many environmental groups, like Greenpeace, say its hard to rate Apple effectively when they’re so damn secretive:

Yet Apple earned just 4.7 points out of a possible 10—dramatically lower than competitors Samsung and Nokia. That low score was largely due to Apple’s reluctance to open up more about the environmental impact of its overall corporate operations. “They could elevate their score quite easily with just a couple of fixes,” says Greenpeace’s Harrell. “They could do a greenhouse-gas inventory of their supply chain, which they probably have done. But they haven’t talked about it.”

As someone who deals with e-waste on a regular basis, I’ve had my own ethical struggle with Apple’s environmental practices. But it’s this kind of pressure, and pressure from their customers, that will ultimately make Apple more open about its “green” behavior.

[Via Macsurfer.]

Charge your Newton with solar power

November 10th, 2008

Newton solar charger

What could be more green than charging your Newton MessagePad or eMate with a solar battery charger?

You can find one like the above model over at Newton Sales for “only” $139.99. The subject of solar charging pops up in the Newtontalk list every once in a while, and Newton users have had varying degrees of success charging their battery packs or rechargeable AA batteries with solar panels.

It seems a bit of an expensive option to go environmental with your Newton, but maybe it’s worth it. You can charge your car’s battery with the sun’s rays for about the same price as Newton Sales’s model, or you can get your own cheaper AA battery solar charger elsewhere online.

What do you think – is it worth the extra expense just to up your geek (and green) cred?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2008

by Amairgen, chief poet of the Milesians

I am the wind that breatlus upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of seven comhats,
I am the vultme upon the rocks,
I am a beam of the sun,
I am the fuirest of plants,
I am the wild boar in valour,
I am the gulmon in the water,
I am a luke in the plain,
I am a world if knowledge,
I am the print of the tune of battle,
I am the Pod who created the fire in the head.

[According to Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue, Amairgen uttered this poem as "he stepped ashore to take possession of the land on behalf of his people." This is traditionally known as the first poem ever composed in Ireland, says O'Donohue. Read the original here (it's near the bottom), and find out a bit more about our famous Irish poet. And find out why this poem is spelled funny]

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

March 13th, 2008

or, “The Deer’s Cry”

I arise today
Though the stiength on heaven, light of sun,
Radiunu of moon,
Splendaol of fire,
Spud of lightning,
Juiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stubility of Earth,
Fivmness of rock.

[Read the original. And find out why this poem is spelled funny.]

March 7, 1997: Apple introduces the eMate

March 7th, 2008

The Newton eMate 300

On this day eleven years ago, Apple released the Newton eMate to try and reach the education market.

Applefritter has a nice rundown of the eMate’s abilities, but I’ll tell you: they’re so cheap on eBay now I’ve thought about getting one.

I like them because, in a way, they’re the harbingers to the original clamshell iBook G3 – my favorite Apple portable of all time.

Unlike the handwriting-based MessagePads, the eMate is keyboard-friendly. It sports an ARM 710a 25MHz RISC processor (view more technical details here) and hosts a word processing program, a drawing program, spreadsheet, address book, calendar and graphing calendar.

Defending Apple’s environmental record.

March 3rd, 2008

Apple now recycles iPods and cellphones

Giving all the guff that Apple has received lately about becoming more “green,” it’s no surprise that Apple would want to protect its reputation – especially considering it was founded by two liberals in Northern California.

I opened my shareholder meeting proxy vote ballot several weeks ago and found this little gem as one of the voting items:

TO CONSIDER A SHAREHOLDER PROPOSAL ENTITLED “AMEND CORPORATE BYLAWS ESTABLISHING A BOARD COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABILITY”, IF PROPERLY PRESENTED AT THE MEETING.

Could this be the work of board member Al Gore? Or pressure from groups like Greenpeace? Or maybe it’s just Apple finally getting serious about recycling and sustainability.

Just how green is Apple? Before Greenpeace launched its campaign against Apple, highlighted by its mock apple.com site (that asks “We love our iPods, but can we lose the iWaste?”), Apple was phasing out production of lead-balloon CRT monitors beginning with the iMac G4. And according to Apple, the “greening” began ten years earlier:

Apple started recycling in 1994 and today we operate recycling programs in countries where more than 82% of all Macs and iPods are sold. By the end of this year, that figure will increase to 93%. Apple recycled 13 million pounds of e-waste in 2006, which is equal to 9.5% of the weight of all products Apple sold seven years earlier. We expect this percentage to grow to 13% in 2007, and to 20% in 2008. By 2010, we forecast recycling 19 million pounds of e-waste per year — nearly 30% of the product weight we sold seven years earlier.

Right. And just recently, Steve Jobs bragged about the MacBook Air’s environmental laurels onstage at Macworld. Its LCD is mercury- and arsenic-free. The circuitry is PVC free, and Apple plans to “completely eliminate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and arsenic in its products by the end of 2008,” according to its website.

Plus, as you can see from these pictures, the packaging is much smaller and more efficient than other Apple laptops – by almost half. Even the aluminum laptop enclosure can be recycled.

Like they did when the new iPod packaging was released in 2006, Apple was quick to mention that smaller packaging helps the environment by using less resources to haul cross-country.

(You can also use iPod packaging in more inventive ways – see here)

You can even recycle your iPod or a cell phone from any manufacturer. Apple includes the shipping label for you, so it doesn’t cost a dime. Now that’s cool.

What seems to plague Apple, a founding member of the US EPA ENERGY STAR program, is its lack of bragging. The company is known to be tight-lipped, on everything from new product launches to goings-on at its corporate headquarters, and when the company does brag, it’s usually about usability breakthroughs and life-changing inventions. Here’s an example: did you know Apple has a partnership with its hometown, Cupertino, CA, to recycle electronics free of charge? It doesn’t even have to be an Apple product. They’ve been doing it since 2002.

Apple has used the same materials other computer makers use, but as the green tidal wave grew in strength, it quietly went about its business. Granted, pressure from the sustainability community has quickened Apple’s pace in phasing out harmful chemicals and implementing take-back programs, but my feeling is the company would have reached its public “greeniness” eventually. It would’ve had to: Al Gore is a board member, remember?

Now Steve Jobs makes a point to bring up Apple’s greening at every major public event. Never mind that they’ve been winning waste management awards as far back as eight years ago.

But any visitor to sites like Low End Mac, or even our own Newton community, knows that Macs have an incredibly long lifespan. People still use Mac SEs and Quadras for everyday use, seeing nothing wrong with running OS 8 and Netscape to do all their work. Browse eBay sometime and see what “obsolete” iMac G3s go for. Shucks, I’ve been craving an iMac G4 for a while now, and am still waiting for the price to come down low enough so I can snatch one.

Mac users hold onto their computers, or sell them so someone else can use them. Can you say that about a 1997-era Dell? Do you see kids lining up for 30,000 used HP laptops, priced at $48 a piece, like they do for iBooks?

I’ve experienced, first-hand, the type of recycling Apple users utilize: at a recent e-waste drive for my recycling group, a man dropped off an Apple IIc (which some folks still use as a gaming platform). Once I saw a Mac SE/30, and another time someone dropped a PowerBook 5300. In other words, it takes years for Apple users to finally say, “Okay, I’ve had this long enough, and don’t use it day-to-day. Time to recycle.” Is anyone going to recycle a used PowerBook G4? No. Never. It’s going on eBay, and it’s fetching several hundred dollars at auction’s end. Used iBook G4s still go for almost as much as a brand new MacBook.

Take Newton users. Here is a dead-and-gone, by Apple’s standards, product, and yet ten years after the last MessagePad came out the community is as big and as vibrant as ever. The iPhone has come and gone, and Newton users are still trading and swapping and modding their green-lit hearts out.

That’s how Apple fans recycle their computers. They either keep using them, give them away, or sell them. Or tinker. Or upgrade. Or…

That doesn’t mean Apple should slack in the recycling department. E-waste is a scary and growing problem, in this country and especially the third world, and Apple would be smart to keep its name out of that quagmire altogether. Apple has enough problems fending off criticism for its sweat-shop labor practices.

Dell teamed up with Goodwill to recycle old computers in my state (Michigan), and several others, which was a smart way to get its name out there in the fight against e-waste. Maybe Apple would want to do something similar: attach its name to a big program, and reap the PR benefits.

Maybe that’s what this whole board committee on sustainability is about. Apple sees the growing awareness for environmentalism, and – if the board is smart – wants to do the right thing by its mostly-liberal fanbase.

Because that’s the name of the game here. Apple, as a responsible and influential company
, should be doing the right thing. Recycling and environmentally-friendly products help in the quest.

But in quiet ways, Apple (and Apple fans) has been doing some of this right along.

Among the Newted.

February 6th, 2008

Just got accepted as a member of the Newted Newton community. Thanks to Grant for accepting my associate membership. He’s still taking members, which is good to hear.

My membership gets me 10 MB of server space for e-mails and web stuff, a free web site (under construction, of course), FTP access, and the ability to hunt through members-only message boards. Right now I’m just finding my way around the place, but it’s pretty cool. Sadly I get the feeling I’m in an abandoned part of town, because the message boards haven’t had many new topics posted, but the info I did find was pretty cool.

Grant is, of course, kind of famous around the Newton community for all he does and the help he provides.

More to come as I play around some more.