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Category: mac

Samsung SM951 AHCI 512GB M.2 SSD & Silverstone SST-ECM20 on Hackintosh

SSD pricing is slowly dropping to a reasonable price point that i argue everyone should at least have put their OS boot drive as an SSD and use traditional mechanical hard drives for large file and media storage.

For less than US$60, you can easily get a ADATA Premier SP550 240GB SATA-III SSD that has decent read and write speed that would improve performance on ANY desktop or laptop systems running on traditional mechanical hard drive by a magnitude of 2x-4x.  Laptop users would see an even larger jump in performance gains if their existing 2.5″ hard drive is only running at 5,400rpm.

SSDs vs Traditional hard drive speed

SSDs on SATAII and SATA-III vs Traditional hard drive speed. Graph credits to TomsHardware.

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Apple iPad Air pricing comparion – Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, US, Hong Kong

As with my previous posting on the iPad 3 price comparison, i’m here to explore the pricing differentiation across various countries. With the iPad 3 pricing, Malaysia emerged as the cheapest place to get an iPad. This time round, i am comparing the pricing across five countries –Singapore, Malaysia,  Australia, US and Hong Kong.

I am using the lowest (16GB) and the highest (128GB) capacity for the Wifi-only and the Wifi + 4G models respectively. All pricing used are from the Space Grey models since there is no price difference for color choice on the Apple online store, and USD conversion are done using prevailing exchange rate (as of 9th Dec 2013) from XE.com. For the US Cellular iPad Air, i have used the ATT part number. Again, there is no price difference for the GSM/CDMA models.

CountryDescriptionPrice (native currency)Price (USD)
MalaysiaiPad Air Wi-Fi only 16GB (MD785ZP/A)RM 1,599.00$ 496.58
SingaporeiPad Air Wi-Fi only 16GB (MD785ZP/A)S$ 688.00$ 550.40
AustraliaiPad Air Wi-Fi only 16GB (MD785X/A)A$ 598.00$ 548.62
USAiPad Air Wi-Fi only 16GB (MD785LL/A)US$ 499.00$ 499.00
Hong KongiPad Air Wi-Fi only 16GB (MD785ZP/A)HK$ 3888$ 501.68
MalaysiaiPad Air Wi-Fi only 128GB (ME898ZP/A)RM 2,579.00$ 800.93
SingaporeiPad Air Wi-Fi only 128GB (ME898ZP/A)S$ 1,108.00$ 886.40
AustraliaiPad Air Wi-Fi only 128GB (ME898X/A)A$ 899.00$ 824.77
USAiPad Air Wi-Fi only 128GB (ME898LL/A)US$ 799.00$ 799.00
Hong KongiPad Air Wi-Fi only 128GB (ME898ZP/A)HK$ 6,288.00 $ 811.35
MalaysiaiPad Air Wifi + 4G 16GB (MD794ZP/A)RM 2,029.00$ 630.12
SingaporeiPad Air Wifi + 4G 16GB (MD794ZP/A)S$ 870.00$ 696.00
AustraliaiPad Air Wifi + 4G 16GB (MD794X/A)A$ 749.00$ 687.16
USAiPad Air Wifi + 4G 16GB (ME991LL/A - ATT)US$ 629.00$ 629.00
Hong KongiPad Air Wifi + 4G 16GB (MD794P/A)HK$ 4,888.00$ 630.71
MalaysiaiPad Air Wifi + 4G 128GB (ME987ZP/A)RM 2,999.00$ 931.37
SingaporeiPad Air Wifi + 4G 128GB (ME987ZP/A)S$ 1288.00$ 1030.40
AustraliaiPad Air Wifi + 4G 128GB (ME987X/A)A$ 1,049.00$ 962.39
USAiPad Air Wifi + 4G 128GB (MF015LL/A - ATT)US$ 929.00$ 929.00
Hong KongiPad Air Wifi + 4G 128GB (ME987ZP/A)HK$ 7,288.00$ 940.39

From the comparison table above, US is the cheapest place to get an iPad Air, with Malaysia coming at a very close second.

If you look at the 128GB 4G version, Singapore is retailing at US$1030.40 compared to the US at US$929.00. That is almost an 11% pricing difference, considering the fact that Singapore remains one of the cheapest country to get an iPad. This is partly due to the different taxes and duties, with European countries carrying an extra 25% premium over their US counterparts due to the higher sales tax across Europe.


How to edit host file on Mac OSX Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion


The hosts file is a text file that maps hostnames to IP addresses.
Upon typing a url address on the browser, the system will first check if there is a relevant entry on the hosts file and gets the corresponding IP address, else it resolves the IP via the active connection’s DNS servers.

The hosts file can be edited to block certain hostnames (like ad-serving/malicious hosts), or used for web development purposes, i.e. to redirect domains to local addresses.

Editing the hosts file

Editing the hosts file in Mac OS X, is a pretty easy task, especially if you are familiar with the terminal. (Tested on Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion)

Step 1 – Open the Terminal.app

Either by typing “Terminal” on the Spotlight, or by going into Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

Step 2 – Open the hosts file

Open the hosts file by typing on the Terminal that you have just opened:

$ sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Type your user password when prompted.

Step 3 – Edit the hosts file

The hosts file contains some comments (lines starting with the # symbol), as well as some default hostname mappings (e.g. – localhost).
Simply append your new mappings underneath the default ones. Or edit one of the default values if you know what you are doing!
You can navigate the file using the arrow keys.

Step 4 – Save the hosts file

When done editing the hosts file, press control-o to save the file.
Press enter on the filename prompt, and control-x to exit the editor.

Step 5 – Flush the DNS cache

You can issue a simple Terminal command to flush the DNS cache, and have your host file changes to take immediate effect:

$ dscacheutil -flushcache

And you’re done!

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