January 2004 News Archive
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-- Weekend, January 31 --
[Update 10:15a ET] iPods Discounted 10% from Apple Store Online Today and Sunday Only according to the ad on the Apple Store's front page. [Bob Unger]
Lots of new games are coming to the Mac!
I ordered the DiskWarrior 3.0.1 CD the same day it was released - Jan. 27. Alsoft mailed it via Priority Mail from Spring, TX. the next day Jan. 28 and it arrived here on Jan. 30. (Now if only a provider of one of my tax statements could be so prompt.)
The CD has the DiskWarrior 3.0.1 application on it. Installation on one's internal hard disk is not complicated.
I booted from the CD into Mac OS 10.3.2. The application opens; typically, you cannot see the desktop since Apple does not license its Finder. I had DiskWarrior 3.0.1 rebuild directories on my hard drive, my external FW hard drive and - surprise - my TechTool Pro 4 eDrive. The application ran noticeably faster than previous versions and completed its tasks flawlessly.
In perusing the DiskWarrior Read Me, I found the following info of possible interest to the owners of dual processor Macs.
Also, mark me down as someone who did not know until now that DiskWarrior works on iPods! Here's the info from the Read Me:
Among other goodies on the DiskWarrior CD is a QuickStart Manual and a complete 52 page DiskWarrior Manual in pdf format.
I liken DiskWarrior to the space tire on my automobile. It is rarely needed - except in an emergency. Then, I am delighted to have it.
MacBU at Microsoft is Featured in this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article. The employees actually use Macs openly on the M$ campus. [Lee Spencer]
New Apple Promo "Better Together.": Apple has a new promo entitled, "Better Together." The way the promo works is simple: Buy any Mac and get an Epson Stylus C84 ink jet printer free or get up to $99 on select Epson printers via mail-in rebate. Between January 30, 2004 and March 27, 2004, purchase a Mac together with an Epson Stylus C84 ink jet printer or qualifying Epson All-In-One or Epson Stylus Photo printer and get up to $99 back by mail. All details available on this Apple web page.
-- TGIF, January 30 --
The GDC 2004--Spotlight on the Visual Arts Track: The Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2004 is coming up March 25-26 in San Jose, CA. In the GDC 2004 Visual Arts Track, attendees will gain inspiration and specific practical knowledge of advanced techniques to take art and animation in new directions. Sessions are focused on intermediate and advanced artists and are expanded in length to walk attendees step by step through the latest tools and techniques.
Here is an extract of an interview with Bob Rafei of Naughty Dog and Jonathan Peedin of Redstone Entertainment on game artistry:
Every Wednesday is "Pro Day" at the Apple Stores: According to Apple, here is what Pro Day is all about:
Pepsi Cola's Upcoming iTunes Super Bowl Ad is Posted on this web site. The ad shows a number of teenagers who claim to have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally downloading music and one who is legally downloading songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store. The background music is Green Day's rendition of Bobby Fuller's "I fought the law"--we'll take Fuller's original rendition but, of course, we're over 18. [Brian Nakamoto]
From the Dark Side--Eolas' Patent May Be Cancelled Saving M$ and the Internet according to this BizReport article. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may cancel the super-vague patent which M$ was convicted of infringing on. The WWW Consortium has also claimed that the patent is based significantly on technology already existing when the patent was applied for. This is good news because virtually all web browsers and those web sites displaying multimedia content (Flash, QuickTime, etc.) could infringe on the patent, not just Internet Explorer. [Dana Baggett]
-- Thursday, January 29 --
Apple Offering iBook Video Repair Program according to this Reuters UK article. The news about the repair program for video issues in certain iBooks was emailed to Reuters by Apple's Phil Schiller, VP for Worldwide Product Marketing.
The program began yesterday and it applies to iBooks with serial numbers in a range of UV220XXXXXX to UV318XXXXXX manufactured between May 2002 and April 2003. The details are on this Apple web page. [Dana Baggett]
John Carmack to Keynote GDC 2004 Programming Track: The Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2004 is coming up March 25-26 in San Jose, CA. Carmack is the founder, owner and lead programmer of id Software. He is the programmer extraordinaire behind the popular 3D game series Quake.
According to GDC, as platforms mature, it takes more effort than ever to produce a game that will capture the attention of the public and press. The challenges facing a programmer in 2004 are no longer how to build systems, but how to build systems that create dense, cinematic, and reactive environments that push the envelope both technically and artistically.
The Programming track focuses on the challenges facing game developers working in today's market: mature consoles, a highly competitive sales environment, and increased demand for very high production values in games; and prepares programmers for the technology of the next generation.
Here are the Programming Track sessions:
Metallifizer v1.3a1 Conflicts with Retrospect 6.0 according to Dana Baggett, our New England Editor. Metallifizer is a haxie from Unsanity Software:
Dana had turned it off but it was not completely disabled (i.e. still checked in Unsanity's Application Program Enhancer). Metallifizer somehow caused the Retrospect 6.0 application to crash when launching after installation.
FBI Special Agent "Recommends" Macs according to this Security Focus article. The agent said "...many of the computer security folks back at FBI HQ use Macs running OS X, since those machines can do just about anything: run software for Mac, Unix, or Windows, using either a GUI or the command line. And they're secure out of the box."
Jef Raskin, First Apple Macintosh Project Manager is Chronicled in this article in his home town paper, The Pacifica Tribune. Raskin was hired in 1978 to write manuals for Apple Computer and ended up heading the Macintosh development project. He had a falling out with Steve Jobs who then took over the project and delivered the original Macintosh to market 2 years later. [Dana Baggett]
TurboTax for Mac State Downloads Now Available according to Dana Baggett, our New England Editor. "My state [Maine] TurboTax for Mac download was forecast to be available on February 10 according to this Intuit site which we posted earlier. Today I checked from within the application and was pleasantly surprised to find my state download available now!"
Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Strategy Posted by Apple on this Apple web page. Pepsi will sponsor 5 ads in total, including the Apple iTunes 100 million song giveaway ad.
From the Dark Side--Apple Opportunity, Many Small Businesses Afraid of Microsoft according to this ZDNet article. A survey of 600 companies with 500 employees or less found that 43% are concerned about being dependent on Microsoft and its services and a whopping 72% want to reduce Microsoft's dominance of their IT activities. [Dana Baggett]
-- Wednesday, January 28 --
Hands-On Report--Enabling WPA Security on Your AirPort Extreme Base Station: As we reported yesterday, Apple released AirPort Sofware v3.3 and Extreme Base Station Firmware v5.3. The main feature of the release is that it enables the ability of original AirPort cards to use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security in place of the older less secure WEP with AirPort Extreme Base Stations, something that only the new AirPort Extreme cards have been able to do until now. So if you have Macs on a wireles network with a mixture of original and Extreme AirPort cards or just original AirPort cards, you can now move up from WEP to WPA.
WPA has two modes, Personal Mode and Enterprise Mode. What is the difference? According to Apple:
So WPA Personal Mode is for us. We have been using 128-bit WEP security for our wireless network on an AirPort Extreme Base Station because it has a 700 MHz iBook and G4 Cube that both use the original AirPort card. We also have 17" and 12" PowerBook G4s that use the newer AirPort Extreme card. WEP, even at 128 bits, is relatively easily compromised by a determined hacker so we are glad that the tougher WPA is now available.
Enabling WPA on your AirPort Extreme Base Station and Macs is simple. First, update each Mac (including iMacs, PowerBooks and iBooks of course) with AirPort 3.3 and then update the firmware in your AirPort Extreme Base Station to v5.3 with the AirPort software released yesterday. Then follow these steps for personal WPA mode:
We used the same password that we had been using with our 128-bit WEP, not an good idea from a strict security perspective, but we've had no hack-ins so far. When we tried to reconnect after rebooting, we had to reselect the network name in the AirPort menu and click on a change to our keychain in the dialog box that popped up. All four Macs, with original and Extreme AirPort cards, reconnected seamlessly.
Tom Bihn Celebrates Mac's 20th Anniversary with 20% Discount on his great product line of cases, bags, backpacks and sleeves for PowerBooks. Tom Bihn, a Mac fanatic, has a great product line--see our review. We liked the Empire Builder bag and BrainCell cases so much that we bought them for our 17" and 12" PowerBook G4s. From their note to us:
DiskWarrior 3.0.1 Update is Out and available from Alsoft. If you have a Mac released after August 2003 you need to order an updated CD. If not and it boots off 10.2.x, you can download an updater and burn a new CD yourself.
Federal Agencies Looking to Adopt Virginia Tech G5 Super Computer Technology according to this eeTimes article. [Dana Baggett]
-- Tuesday, January 27 --
Apple's AirPort Software v3.3 with AirPort Extreme Base Station Firmware v5.3 is available for download via the Software Update preference panel and as a standalone installer. According to the ReadMe file,
We updated a number of Macs, Extreme and original, and an Apple Extreme Base Station with no ill effects. We areusing 128-bit WEP security but this update will let us enable the more secure WPA security on our network with mixed 802.11b (AirPort) and 802.11g (AirPort Extreme) Macs. [Dana Baggett]
From the Dark Side--Panther's Exposé Copied for Windows in an application called WinPLOSION. We're only surprised that it took this long. Exposé is the new application in Mac OS X 10.3.x that allows one to see the desktop or all open windows or all windows of the front-most application using the function keys or screen corners. [Jim Duncan]
Mail is updated to 1.3.3 Build 612 and Safari is updated to 1.1.1 Build 100.1. Here are the details from Apple:
FWB's Premier Utility Applications' Source Code For Sale: The source code for Hard Disk ToolKit, CD-ROM ToolKit and DriveUp! 98 is for sale according to a note from FWB's president, Mark Hurlow. However, he adds:
If interested, contact Hurlow at this email address.
MacUpdate to Give Away an iPod Mini to one of those who provide review comments on their software update listings. For the next two weeks, MacUpdate staff will examine every user review posted and by February 8th they will hand-pick the person that they think posted the highest quality and most useful user reviews to the MacUpdate web site. Make sure you leave your name and email with the review so MacUpdate can contact you when you win.
From the Dark Side II--Mydoom (Novarg) Worm Running Rampant on PCs not Macs according to this Yahoo News article. It propagates through a mail attachment. Fortunately, Macs are immune according to Symantec. [Dana Baggett]
-- Monday, January 26 --
Hands-On Review--PowerLogix 1.4-GHz G4 Upgrade, Fastest G4 Cube on the Planet: PowerLogix recently released its PowerForce G4 1.4-GHz CPU upgrade based on Motorola's new, lower power 7457 series G4 CPU. The 7457 uses less energy and produces less heat so it is ideal for the Power Mac G4 Cube. The 7457 also has a large 512K L2 cache and 2-MB L3 cache--here are Motorola's technical specifications.
Our Super Cube has been upgraded with 1-GB RAM, a fast 80-GB 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda IV hard drive, a GeForce 3 graphics card and a PowerLogix 1.2 GHz G4 CPU upgrade. Because of all the upgrades, our Cube also has a Panasonic Panaflo low-speed quiet fan in its base. We plan to keep our Super Cube (we actually have several) running as fast as it can for as long as it can. While we have, and have had, many Macs, we think at least two of our Macs deserve to be preserved forever, the G4 Cube and the PowerBook 2400c--both are elegant engineering marvels. When PowerLogix released the 7457-based 1.4 GHz upgrade for the Cube we got one, installed it and ran it through our speed tests.
The PowerLogix 1.4 GHz G4 upgrade for the Cube comes with a quiet, low-speed Panasonic Panaflo fan plus two CDs and a DVD. The discs include installation instructions as a PDF file and as a video and a CD with a firmware patch. You must install the firmware patch before installing the new CPU. We had no problems installing the firmware patch or the CPU card since we have done it many times before--see here and here. PowerLogix makes it relatively easy with good instructions and the excellent video.
So how fast is it? We ran our standard speed tests consisting of several "canned" benchmarks and several so-called "real world" speed tests. The tests are explained in detail in this review of our Cube's first CPU upgrade, an 800-MHz PowerLogix PowerForce G4. They are easy to perform on your own computer for comparative purposes. Here are the results which include the tests for a completely stock 450-MHz G4 Cube 450, our Super Cube with a 1.2-GHz PowerLogix 7455 G4, our Super Cube with the new 1.4-GHz PowerLogix 7457 G4 (in red) and our Dual 2-GHz Power Mac G5.
*After applying SpeedStart.
The new 1.4-GHz upgrade has a clock speed that is about 17% faster than the older 1.2-GHz model. Most of the CPU-related "canned" benchmarks show a 12-17% increase in speed. The so-called "real world" tests show somewhat smaller speed gains, the best being the framerate for the 3D game Quake III Arena at 12.5%.
We are pleased with the performance of PowerLogix's new 7457-based G4 CPU upgrade. It's the fastest G4 Cube on the planet! We are also very pleased to report that so far our Cube with the new 1.4-GHz CPU has NOT displayed the wake from sleep problem that has plagued many of our previous upgrades. Unless PowerLogix releases dual G4 CPU upgrades for the Cube, this may be about as fast as the G4 Cube will get as Apple moves its models to the newer G5 CPU made by IBM. (PowerLogix PowerForce G4 Series 100 1.4-GHz, MSRP $599)
Tune in on Wednesday 8:30p ET (5:30p PT).
Serial Number Organizer v1, Keep Track of Application Serial Numbers FREE with this freeware Filemaker Pro application from PrettyCoolSolutions.
The Mac's 20th Anniversary Heralded in Business Week in this article that will appear on February 2nd. [Dana Baggett]
-- Weekend, January 24-25 --
[Update 1:30p EST 1/24] CNN QuickVote Poll, Mac or PC Fan--Vote Today! cnn.com, scroll down to the bottom right. The poll was running 18% Mac when we voted just before posting this article.
[Update Noon EST 1/24] From the Dark Side--Federal Judge Approves of M$ Sloth and Limit-Pushing Behavior under Antitrust Settlement: On Friday, federal and state prosecutors complained to Judge Coleen Kollar-Kotelly that Microsoft is being excessively slow in living up to the settlement terms in it antitrust conviction and has still been doing things that are proscribed by the agreement, the most obvious dealing with Windows XP and it's music shopping feature that only launches Internet Explorer no matter which browser the user has chosen. While the Judge made references to things not going as fast as anticipated according to this Washington Post article, she basically refused to take any action against Microsoft and stated general pleasure with the progress of the settlement. Hey, maybe she could help NASA by appearing on TV and explaining how pleased she is with the progress of the Mars probe Spirit. [Dana Baggett]
Happy 20th Birthday, Mac! Will there be any Apple announcements today? Maybe not since the Macworld announcements are still reverberating and the Pepsi/Apple free 100 million songs Super Bowl ad is next Sunday. Still, it's the Mac's 20th.... [Update: Mac OS Rumors reported late yesterday that 20-oz Pepsi bottles with free iTunes songs had shown up already in King of Prussia, PA. We just scoured our local grocery stores, gas stations and 7-11s in Northern VA and found none.]
Free PDF of "iLife '04: The Missing Manual" Preview by David Pogue is available for download from the NCMUG. This is the 50-page sneak preview version of the coming full book on iLife '04 by David Pogue from O'Reilly. We found it to be extremely helpful with the new GarageBand application. [Update: Apple's GarageBand manuals as PDF files are located in this KBase article.]
We downloaded and played both. Jedi Academy is outstanding!
-- TGIF, January 23 --
The Mac Turns 20 Tomorrow, Saturday, January 24th. Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Apple's Macintosh personal computer to the world as introduced in the 1984 Super Bowl ad. The ad, with a slight modification of adding an iPod to the hammer-throwing model's waist, was shown at Macworld Expo during Steve Jobs' keynote address--here it is side-by-side with the original. Will Apple release anything new on the Mac's 20 birthday? Things have been pretty quiet but we'll have to wait and see.
Maine has Funds for Extending iBook Program to 9th Grade according to this Portland Press Herald article. Macs Only! was first to break the news on the extension of Maine's program to high school last Saturday. While details of Gov. Baldacci's plans call for local school district contributions, the Maine Department of Education has $28 million in leftover project funds and the iBook program is estimated to cost $22 million per grade so a majority, if not all, of the funds exist already. [Dana Baggett]
O'Reilly Released Security Warrior: Based on the principle that the best way to defend yourself is to understand your attacker in depth, Security Warrior (O'Reilly, US $44.95) by Cyrus Peikari and Anton Chuvakin reveals how your systems can be threatened.
Griffin Technology Announced Total Remote 2.0: Griffin Technology announced Total Remote 2.0, a completely rewritten version of Total Remote, remote control software for Pocket PC. This free software update adds CCF support. That means Total Remote users can now use any of the thousands of free presets written for the Philips Pronto-based remote controls. It also adds complete Macro editing and customizing capabilities. With the same capabilities as the far more expensive Pronto style remotes, Total Remote paired with a Pocket PC makes a very cost effective complete Universal Remote Control for even the most sophisticated of Home Theater systems. This software update, shipping with all new versions of Total Remote and recommended for all current users of Total Remote, is available immediately for download.
Tonight on The Mac Night Owl LIVE are Dr. Mac and Symantec: This week, The Mac Night Owl LIVE's host Gene Steinberg will talk to the one and only "Dr. Mac," Bob LeVitus, the best-selling author of over 40 books. Nancy Mohler, product manager for Symantec's Mac products, will discuss the infuriating world of computer viruses. Tune in at 9p ET (6p PT).
.mac Members Get $30 Keynote Discount and Free Themes according to the .mac web site. Keynote is Apple's premier presentation software that costs $99 before the .mac member discount. We downloaded the free themes and they are great additions to the standard Keynote themes.
From the Dark Side--We May All Be Doomed if Microsoft is successful in its attempt to take a primary role in homeland security as described in this Yahoo News article. [Kevin Stacy]
-- Thursday, January 22 --
Maine is becoming THE Mac State! [Dana Baggett]
Australian Defense Department Using Apple Xserve Cluster to simulate battle scenarios according to this Computerworld article. Meanwhile, the "brilliant" U.S. Defense Department continues to use Swiss-cheese Microsoft software in their military ships! [Dana Baggett]
Apple Posted Pepsi/Songs Giveaway Rules: As Steve Jobs announced during his Macworld keynote address, starting February 1st Apple and Pepsi Cola Corp. will begin giving away 100 million free songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store among 300 million specially marked bottles of Pepsi and Sierra Mist:
The giveaway will last until March 31 or until all of the promotional bottles of Pepsi are sold. Apple set up a dedicated web page for the promotion and posted the detailed rules. At the web page one can sign up for email notices about the promotion.
We're going to be drinking a lot of Pepsi in the next couple of months.
-- Wednesday, January 21 --
Maine Governor's State of the State Address Confirms Plan to Extend iBooks to High School, a plan that we were first to break last Saturday on Macs Only! Governor John Baldacci's address praised the state's iBook program as providing the "opportunity for 21st century jobs". Here is the full State of the State address. Currently, all 7th and 8th graders and their teachers get iBooks supplied by the state for classroom use, projects and homework. Due to the program's success, the Governor will propose that the program be extended to 9th graders this fall. [Dana Baggett]
Rayman 3 Demo was Released by Feral Interactive. The game's demo is a whopping 121 MB and is hosted on MacGameFiles.
Microsoft Settled Music Download Patent Infringement Lawsuit with E-Data Systems. They hold a European patent that "...covers the downloading of information onto a tangible object such as a CD...." according to this ZDNet article. The settlement may cause problems for a European version of Apple's iTunes Music Store. [Dana Baggett]
From the Dark Side--M$ Repents on MikeRoweSoft.com-Gate saying that they may have been overly aggressive in defending Microsoft's trademark according to this ZDNet article as we reported yesterday. It quotes a M$ spokesperson,
We'll say. [Dana Baggett]
-- Tuesday, January 20 --
Bar Harbor, Maine, iBook Program Extends to 6th Grade through a private donation according to this article. Maine's iBook program applies to all 7th and 8th graders and could be extended to grades 9-12 this fall. [Dana Baggett]
GarageBand is Hope of Musical Instrument Makers according to this Reuters article. Musical instrument sales are on an upswing and GarageBand offers a significant chance to accelerate sales. [Dana Baggett]
Halo 1.0.3 Updater is Out and available for download via MacUpdate.com. According to MacUpdate the Halo 1.0.3 Updater adds the following major items:
Mac Halo is now fully compatible with the PC version for online play. [Brian Nakamoto]
Apple's iCal 1.5.2 is Out and available for download via the Software Update preference panel or as a standalone updater. It gives you the option of viewing your calendar, event, or To Do information in a drawer or in a separate window, and includes a number of performance and reliability enhancements. Apple advises that if you use iSync to synchronize your calendars across computers and devices, you need to upgrade each computer to iSync 1.2 (or later) and iCal 1.5.2. iSync 1.3 came with Panther (10.3.2). [Dana Baggett]
Optimizing with Apple's Shark Developer's Tool--Big Payoff, Small Effort: Developers who spend a few hours with the Shark performance tool on Mac OS X may be able to realize significant performance improvements in their application. Shark is one of the free developer tools that come with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, and one of the most valuable for developers. This article guides the reader through the sampling of a real application with Shark, and shows how to improve performance--as much as 2 or 3 times or more--in a few hours by using the information provided by the Shark tool.
Bluetooth to Take Off in 2004 according to this article. [Dana Baggett]
From the Dark Side--M$ to Legally Pound a Teenager: According to this article, Microsoft is planning to sue a Canadian teenager Mike Rowe over the name of his web site, mikerowesoft.com. Mike Rowe is a teenage web designer and the richest man on the planet plans to crush him. Where is a bucket...? [Dana Baggett]
-- Weekend/Monday, January 17-19 --
Note: We are observing the national holiday, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and will resume our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday. -Editor
[Update 5p ET 1/17] SCOOP--Maine iBook Program Extending to High Schools starting this fall with the 9th grade according to a Macs Only! source within Maine's school system. The iBook program will then expand to grades10-12 for the following year.
It appears that the decision was made on Friday. The superintendent in our source's district called the school principal right away so the good news could be announced to the school. This will seriously change the way that Maine's high school students are educated and will place many Macs into many otherwise PC-only schools.
Macs Only! was the first internet publication to break the news about Maine's iBook program for all 7th and 8th graders and their teachers over 2 years ago.
[Update 10a ET 1/17] Mozilla Development Roadmap Extends to 2.0: Mozilla, the open source web browser suite, stands at version 1.6 with the release earlier this week. Now, according to MozillaZine, the developers have posted a newsgroup message outlining a roadmap that extends to version 2.0 for Mozilla. There will be a heavy focus on the standalone applications, Firebird and Thundertbird. [Dana Baggett]
We ordered iLife '04 from The Apple Store on line. It should arrive Tuesday.
[Update] Several readers pointed out that Apple does advertise Jam Pack as having "over 100" additional software instruments. From the Apple Store description:
Maybe a missing DVD in the box?
Intuit TurboTax for Mac Update is Out: A product update is available for TurboTax for Mac from within the application. What's in it is explained here. [Dana Baggett]
Massacheusetts Continues to Doggedly Pursue Microsoft Antitrust Lawsuit according to this PC World article. The suit notes that M$ has not mended its ways citing Windows XP defaulting to Internet Explorer when downloading music despite the user selecting another default web browser. M$ has agreed to remove this feature. [Dana Baggett]
TiVo Updated TiVo Desktop for iPhoto 4, part of iLife '04: The update is here. But TiVo users are still waiting for AAC, particularly FairPlay AAC, support. [Brian Nakamoto]
-- TGIF, January 16 --
[Update 3:30p ET] Tonight on The Mac Night Owl LIVE is Ted Landau, founder of MacFixit.com and author of Mac troubleshooting books, and a representative from Hewlett Packard. Ted will discuss his visit to Microsoft's Mac Business Unit and the HP rep will discuss the HP-Apple iPod deal with host Gene Steinberg. Tune in at 9p ET (6p PT).
iBooks Allow Maine Students to Investigate the State's Past via DiscoverME. According to this article:
What is DiscoverME? It is described on this web page as:
Mozilla 1.6 Final is Out and available for download. Here is a direct link to the ftp server. It includes a new cross-platform NTLM authentication module, security improvements, and crash fixes. Here are the changes:
See the release notes for more details. [Dana Baggett]
-- Thursday, January 15 --
[Update 9:30a ET] AppleWorks 6.2.9 Updater is Out and available for download via MacUpdate.com.
We downloaded the updater to the "Office Suite for the Rest of Us" and installed it with no apparent problems so far. [Dana Baggett]
New Apple Article--How to Use SSL for Network Security: Learn how to keep your network application information secure on Mac OS X Server. The Apple Developer Connection website has published a new article, the latest in its series on Mac OS X Server for small business LANs, that explains how to use the SSL protocol to provide a layer of public-key encryption on top of any TCP connection.
Apple's First Quarter Earnings Beat Consensus Estimate Once Again: Yesterday, Apple announced a profit of $63 million on revenue of over $2 billion for the first quarter of the 2004 fiscal year versus a loss of $8 million in the same quarter last year. Earnings were 17 cents per share as opposed to the 14-cent estimate that we noted on Monday.
Overall, the sales of Macs increased by 12% over the same quarter last year. PowerBooks and Power Macs were up significantly while iBooks were up slightly and iMacs were down significantly. iPods sales skyrocketed over 200% resulting in revenues of $256 million. The retail stores produced revenues of $273 million and finally an operating profit of $9 million. In regional sales, the improvement was greatest in Europe.
Here are further details in Apple's press release.
iPod Skin Case for New Mini iPods: Speck Products announced a newly designed rubberized skin for the recently announced and much anticipated Mini iPod. Apple introduced the new smaller form factor iPod at last week's MacWorld and has stated a mid-February ship date. The Speck Mini iPod Skin cases will be available at the same time.
The new Mini iPod Skins will provide protection for the new Mini iPod against dust, knocks, and scratches,while minimizing the bulk that most cases add. This skin-tight design is even more valuable for the new slimmed down iPod form factor. The case features a special shock-absorbing Dynaflex rubberized plastic construction, cutouts for the headphone, firewire port, and hold switch, and will be introduced in translucent colors inspired from the 5 new Mini iPod. The Mini iPod Skins will be sold in 3-Packs for $29.95 and individually for $19.95.
WiFi Network Sales Growth Over 200% in 2003 according to this ZDNet article. The popularity of this technology was kicked off by Apple's AirPort. [Dana Baggett]
From the Dark Side--Judge Upheld $512 Million Judgement Against M$ Internet Explorer Patent Infringement according to this ZDNet article. [Dana Baggett]
-- Wednesday, January 14 --
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro PC to Mac Conversion: From Eric Murphy, "Following up on my G5 Radeon 9600 article, this article follows my attempts in getting the PC 9800 Pro working in the Mac. While I have had success, the risks really outweigh any possible saving that can be gained by performing this modification. Hence this article is only for entertainment and information purposes only."
New Apple Enterprise IT Page Posted: Mac OS X is the ideal IT development platform: you can have your favorite cross-platform development tools and your favorite productivity applications running on the same UNIX-based machine. Check it out.
New Low-Cost Netscape ISP Doesn't Support Macs: It's disappointing that the new low-cost Netscape ISP subtly advertised on http://apple.netscape.com (the default homepage for Safari) by way of an eBay auction for netscape.com email addresses does not support Macs. (See: Mac user? Click Here.)
On the plus side, the way that they phrase their lack of current Mac support provides some hope that there will be Mac support in the future, perhaps if they get enough feedback from Mac users looking for an alternative to United Online. [Brian Nakamoto]
-- Tuesday, January 13 --
Apple's FileMaker Pro 6 Wins Best of Developer Tools for 2003 From PC Mag according to this Yahoo News article. FileMaker Pro 6 was also selected as a finalist for a 2004 Codie Award by the Software & Information Industry Association. [Dana Baggett]
HP IPod May Play WMA Format according to this ConnectedHomeMag article. While they erroneously called Windows Media Audio format "superior" to AAC, compatibility with WMA would help move lots of iPods in the Wintel world. But is Apple really on board? It means that the HP iPods would work with music services other than Apple's iTunes Music Store and use Microsoft's digital rights management technology. [Update: HP-Apple claim WMA is not in the cards according to this Macworld UK article.] [Brian Nakamoto]
Skowhegan, Maine, 7th Graders Win Award with iBooks: Here's another award-winning project from the Skowhegan, Maine seventh graders. They won the award from National Semi-Conductor for their Latin America Project. The teacher, Ms. Richter, comments:
This project illustrative of what kids can do under "The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) [which] is the largest educational technology project in the history of Maine and perhaps the world." [Dana Baggett]
-- Monday, January 12 --
Explore Mars with NASA Scientists with Maestro 1.2.1 for Mac OS X which is available for download via MacUpdate. Check out the TelaScience web site for information on what's available on Mars via Maestro. It's cool and free. [Dana Baggett]
The Serious Games Summit at GDC 2004 coming up March 25-26. The Serious Games Summit is a two-day event at the upcoming Game Developers Conference covering the intersection of games, learning, policy, and management. Today, major corporations, government and military institutions, foundations, educators, and non-profits are turning to interactive technologies as an approach to problem solving. The result is a new field where computer and video games are applied to "serious" purposes rather than entertainment. This represents a growing financial outlet for game developers, where projects can produce a social return in addition to an economic one.
The Serious Games Summit agenda is designed to address areas of concern to professional developers who want to develop new business in this emerging market; educators and gaming advocates looking at new ways to utilize interactive game technologies; and representatives from corporations, the government and non-government organizations who are looking to fund and utilize game projects to advance specific needs.
Attendees of the Serious Games Summit will learn how extensive the application of games and game technology is and can be outside of the traditional use of entertainment. Attendees will also gain considerable hands-on insight on how to successfully launch new serious game projects and advance things beyond the experiments and pioneering endeavors that have taken place so far. This includes developers learning how to attack new markets, and potential users obtaining a much deeper level of understanding on how to make their projects, past, present, and future much more successful.
Ben Sawyer was the producer for The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Virtual U project. He is the co-leader of the Serious Games Initiative, and works on a number of game-based projects via his Portland, ME based firm Digitalmill. His Op-Ed piece, "Gaming Our Way to Our Better Future," appeared in the June 2003 issue of Game Developer magazine. Sawyer is also the volunteer producer of the Serious Games Summit. Here is an interview with him:
Apple to Release Video "iPod"? Who knows but in a recent interview posted in the Internetional Herald Tribune, Steve Jobs first threw cold water on the idea and then indicated that something like that just might be under development at Apple. [Dana Baggett]
Apple's Q1 Financial Results Teleconference is Wednesday at 5p EST (2p PST) and it will be webcast from this Apple web page. Earnings of 14 cents per share are expected according to this CNet article. [Dana Baggett]
Maine iBook Program Forming Student Tech Groups to assist other students and teachers in the middle school classrooms according to this Portland Press Herald article. The Maine iBook program, which Macs Only! broke two years ago, has provided iBooks to every 7th and 8th grader and their teachers throughout the entire state. It also includes AirPort wireless networks in all the schools, techincal support and training. As with the use of Apple equipment everywhere, no large and expensive dedicated IT staffs were needed to implement the program. Students are fulfilling the minimally needed helpdesk requirements by forming support teams themselves. Other school systems should be so smart. [Dana Baggett]
Keyspan Introduced Revolutionary USB Server for Macs. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Keyspan announced its revolutionary USB Server that connects USB devices to a Mac or PC via a wired or wireless Ethernet-based LAN. Much like a USB print server, the USB Server enables attached USB devices to be used and shared by client PCs on a LAN. In addition to printers, the USB Server supports other USB devices such as hard drives, scanners, and more. The USB Device Server provides 4 ports for connecting to USB devices at Full Speed USB (12 Mbps). It connects to 10/100 Ethernet networks via an RJ45 connector and supports static IP, DHCP, and Apple's Rendezvous address assignment. Client Macs must be running Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher. The USB Server will ship in late Q1 2004 with an MSRP of $129.
-- Weekend, January 10-11 --
Running Mac OS X Panther Released by O'Reilly: According to O'Reilly, Apple has shown no mercy to the Macintosh power user--that dedicated individual who knows his or her machine thoroughly inside and out: what makes it tick, and what makes it tick better. In the rapid evolution of Mac OS X, there have been three major releases since its introduction in March 2001. Each new release challenges the power user to conquer the learning curve once more, and Mac OS X Panther is no exception. With more than 100 new features, including a new Finder, there's plenty to master. Fortunately, power users have a secret weapon in "Running Mac OS X Panther" (O'Reilly, US $39.95) by James Duncan Davidson. This book takes readers deep inside Mac OS X's core, revealing the inner workings of Panther for those who want to get the most out of their system.
Feral Announced XIII for the Mac: XIII is an first person shooter game with style, strong storyline, groundbreaking gameplay and innovative graphics. XIII sets off in search of his past. His only clues are the number 13 tattooed on his collarbone and the key to a safety-deposit box in one of New York's most prestigious banks. XIII marshals the power of Unreal II technology and unique comic-style visuals such as cell shading, flashback graphics, pop-up windows and visual sound effects. XIII Mac edition will be released from Feral Interactive during Q2 2004.
-- Friday, January 9 --
Apple to Sell iPods with Hewlett Packard Branding in a strategic alliance announced yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In addition, iTunes will be shipped with consumer computers from HP with a link from the desktop. The link will allow direct access to Apple's on line iTunes Music Store for downloading songs. HP is one of the most respected brands in the PC-Wintel world for consumers and scientific applications so this deal is HUGE for Apple. Here is Apple's full press release.
PowerLogix Announced ClearCube Enclosure for the G4 Cube: The ClearCube is an updated acrylic enclosure for the PowerMac G4 Cube. The ClearCube is a follow-up to the PowerCube, a limited quantity run of aluminum alloy enclosures and is no longer in production. The ClearCube offers several improvements over the original Cube enclosure so Cube owners can now realize significantly enhanced CPU and graphics performance without the risk of additional heat, a common problem when upgrading original Cubes.
Here are the features according to PowerLogix:
• Flame polished cast acrylic
They can be ordered now for $129 plus shipping. A discount will soon be available when ordering through CubeOwner.com.
Macs Only!'s Macworld Expo 2004 Show Floor Report: Brian Nakamoto, our West Coast reporter, walked the Macworld Expo 2004 show floor in record time, even with stopping at every booth with a new product. Here is his show floor report.
Macworld Expo 2004 Best of Show Awards were announced in this IDG press release. Here is the list:
Feral Interactive to Publish ChessMaster 9000 for Mac: Feral will be publishing, world’s most popular chess simulation: ChessMaster 9000 from Ubi Soft. ChessMaster 9000 is the latest in a best-selling series (the last version to appear on the Macintosh was ChessMaster 6000 in the late 90s). The player is given the choice of different boards and different opponents (Computer or real life player) of different strength.
ChessMaster will allow the player to enjoy and learn from more than 800 classic games, including the best of 2001 and 2002 Grand Master games, features avec 150 different opponents, has the best graphics ever seen in a chess program with true 3D gameplay and can be played online. The Macintosh version of ChessMaster 9000 is being developed by Feral’s porting partner Zonic and will be released for Mac OS 9 and X. More details about the Mac version of ChessMaster 9000 will soon be available on Feral's web site.
Speed Download 2.2 is Out and has been completely re-optimized and tweaked for Mac OS X 10.3.2. This version also adds the ability to update and monitor all your favorite Macintosh applications quickly and effortlessly, as well as be, the centralized download hub on any Mac OS X system. This added value is FREE to all registered SD2 users. There are no monthly or yearly subscription fees to pay! Speed Download 2.2 works and is only $20 from Yazsoft.
Tonight on The Mac Night Owl LIVE: This week, The Mac Night Owl LIVE will be covering all the excitement of the MacWorld announcements with exclusive interviews from the people who made them. Tune in at 9p EST (6p PST) to hear the inside scoop on some of the hot products at the show.
Xserve G5 Servers have Newer G5 CPU based on the 90-nanometer technology. This second generation G5 consumes less power and that will produce lower heat that we noted Monday was needed to get it into the Xserve. This is confirmed in the Xserve G5 Technical Overview just posted by Apple. What this also means, since the Xserve G5's are due out in February, that faster Power Mac G5s are just around the corner as are possibly other Apple hardware items using the G5. Perhaps there will be a Macintosh 20th birthday announcement along these lines on January 24th.
Pooch 1.4 for Making Mac Clusters is Out: Yesterday, we noted Apple's Xgrid. Today we note that Pooch combines Macintoshes to create easy-to-use cluster computing. Version 1.4 debuts a new graphically-based, dynamic job queue and scheduling system taking advantage of Pooch's built-in heuristic functions and cluster diagnostics. It also sports an updated graphical user interface taking advantage of features introduced in Panther, Apple's latest Mac OS X. Pooch supports industry-standard MPI, combines Rendezvous, multiprocessing, and grid computing, and installs on a node in seconds.
-- Thursday, January 8 --
[Update 7:15a EDT] Macs Only!'s On-Scene Macworld 2004 Photo Gallery: The photos were taken by Brian Nakamoto, our West Coast reporter. There appears to be a lot more empty space in the Moscone Center this year. We'll post Brian's close-out show floor report tonight.
Maine Students Defend Their iBooks in this set of letters to the editor of the Portland Press Herald. The letters are in response to criticism by a student in another Maine school. he contended that the iBooks should be made available only to high schoolers. [Dana Baggett]
iBooks Used for the Skowhegan, Maine Community Project: This is an award-winning example of what seventh and eight grade Maine students can do with their iBooks and iMovie. The project received a first prize from the Maine/USA Geographic Alliance!
Skowhegan, Maine is the home of the late US Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith. [Dana Baggett]
Apple Posted Xgrid--Make Your Own Mac Cluster: A free technology preview version of Xgrid was released by Apple on Tuesday. According to Apple,
If you have a home network and crunch a lot of data, Xgrid may be for you. Xgrid is being developed by Apple's Advanced Computation Group. This preview release of Xgrid is fun and easy to try out with its demoes. We just wish it worked on processing Halo's graphics....
Feral Interactive to Publish Mac Version of Bionicle: Feral will be publishing the Lego game Bionicle. Bionicle features will let the player enter the legend of Bionicle, Lego’s best selling game ever. Bionicle features all 6 Toa’s, each of them playing a stunning game environment such as swimming in the see, snowboarding in the mountains, gliding from tree to tree and much more fun. Use Toa’s elemental powers to defeat Makuta, reveal the 7th Toa and return the island of Mata Nui to light. Be the Toa Live out the legend. The Macintosh version of Bionicle is under development by Zonic and will be released for Mac OS X. Details will appear soon on Feral's web site.
Griffin Announced SightLight a FireWire Light for Apple's iSight web camera. Griffin Technology, Inc, announced the release of SightLight, a FireWire based light made exclusively for Apple Computer's iSight Web Camera. With SightLight users can look their best when using iSight with iChat AV. The SightLight slips directly onto the front of the iSight and beams a warm bright glow onto the subjects directly in front. Settings include On, Off and an Auto light mode, which senses the amount of ambient light and adjusts SightLight's output accordingly. It sells for $39.99 and will ship this spring. Pre-orders are being accepted.
LiveTime Support 2.5 Out Soon: LiveTime Software announced that version 2.5 of its J2EE based technical support and Helpdesk product, LiveTime Support will ship this month. This version includes a new dashboard for technicians, which provides instant access to key metrics about cases and performance for each user. Also today, LiveTime has strengthened its support for the OSX community, with its offer of customized support and training for members of the Apple Consultants Network (ACN). LiveTime Support is a complete J2EE, web-based technical support and help desk solution providing a comprehensive scalable support infrastructure for organizations.
-- Wednesday, January 7 --
[Update 7:15a EDT] The Steve Show 2004: Brian Nakamoto is covering Macworld Expo 2004 on site for Macs Only! and he was there at yesterday's keynote address by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Here is his complete report on it. Stay tuned for other reports from the show floor this week.
Analysis--Steve Jobs' Macworld 2004 Keynote: Yesterday, we posted a note on Steve Jobs three major announcements: G5 Xserve, GarageBand and iPod mini. But there were other interesting tidbits mentioned in his keynote address:
So what do we think? If you are interested in music, especially recording your own music, the keynote was great. Most of the keynote was devoted to this topic. For those who play instruments and/or sing, the new iLife application GarageBand has got to be really terrific. When we were teenagers, around when Steve Jobs was, it seemed that there were lots of garage bands--it was a real in thing then. Today, we know few families whose kids are in such bands. But, maybe GarageBand will spark a massive re-vitilization of them.
If you only want to use an MP3 player for music that you frequently listen to and have only a moderate number of contacts and calendars, a 4-GB iPod mini is also terrific. Since we have only 178 songs on our 30-GB iPod, we would definitely get an iPod mini if in the market because of its small size and simplicity--a silver one to match our PowerBook. Many people point out that for $50 more one gets an additional 11-GB and more functionality but to us that's like paying 50 cents more for a humongous cup of softdrink that you won't drink. We think the iPod mini will be hugely popular even at $249.
If you are interested in computing other than with music, the keynote may have been a disppointment. But we think that you shouldn't let it get to you. First, Apple has had to diversify to survive as a company and it is a hit in the consumer digital music field, a huge success in this spoke of Steve Job's digital hub theme. Second, Apple no longer saves up all of its announcements for Macworld. Recently, there have been many more announcement points during the year. As quantities of faster and cooler G5s become available later this year, we will see faster Power Mac G5s with other features and G5 PowerBooks and maybe even newly-designed G5 iMacs.
We look forward to an exciting 2004. [Photos by Brian Nakamoto]
Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynote Re-Webcast is Available from this Apple web page [Apple changed it after publication time. It's now fixed.] The quality is exceptional from here via Earthlink DSL. We had a lot of difficulties with the original web cast. QuickTime 6.5 on our G4 Cube (10.3.2 QT6.5) hooked up to a LAN fed by aT-3 line kept freezing a few seconds into the webcast and every few times it gave us a 453 error message--insufficient bandwidth. However, it came though fine on a Beige G3 (10.2.8, QT6.3) and an iBook 500 (10.3.2, QT6.5) hooked up to the same ethernet hub. One of us had no difficulty with a G4 Cube (10.3.2, QT6.5) fed by Verizon DSL.
QuickerTek Announced AirPort Extreme Base Station Adapter: QuickerTek, a developer of Apple PowerBook antennas and external antennas for wireless Airport Base Stations, announced an adapter that allows third party wireless products to work with and at the Apple Airport Extreme rates. This adapter allows all third party wireless vendors to work with Airport Extreme Base Stations. This wireless adapter enables the Airport Extreme Base Station to recognize non-Apple external antennas that heretofore have not been compatible with Apple's design. These adaptors are available in two connectors, SMA and MCX and are only available from QuickerTek Inc. and their master distributor MacAnywhere.com. Suggested retail prices for these two adapters are $49.95 and can be purchased from retailers such as TechnoWarehouseLLC.
-- Tuesday, January 6 --
[Update 6:30p EDT] Macworld Keynote--The Most Salient Product Announcements: Steve Jobs made three announcements of new or semi-new products during his keynote address to Macworld Expo 2004 in San Francisco's Moscone Center earlier today.
The first is the G5 Xserve, the first but only item on our Monday deficit list that was announced. Out in February, it will come with single or double 2-GHz G5 CPUs plus an assortment of other excellent enhancements, including many for the Xserve RAID, and will cost $2,999-3,999.
The second is GarageBand, a new member of the iLife software suite. The iLife apps, other than iTunes, get upgraded and the whole suite will be available January 16th for $49. GarageBand, thankfully without the "i", is for people who want to make music from instruments or voice with a simple application along the lines of iMovie and iDVD. There are two new accessories for GarageBand, JamPack with more software instruments, loops and amps and a 49-key music keyboard for $99.
The third is the least-kept secret, iPod mini. iPod mini is a business card-size MP3 player that holds 1000 songs, has a brushed aluminum case in five colors and costs $249. It will be available in February in the US and April elsewhere.
We will have some comments and analyses on the keynote announcements in tomorrow's edition.
Steve Jobs Keynote Address Kicks Off Macworld Expo 2004 Today at noon EST (9 a.m. PST). Brian Nakamoto, Macs Only!'s West Coast reporter, will be in attendance and will file an on-scene report following the keynote. Look for other reports from the show floor during the week.
You can see Steve Jobs keynote address by QuickTime Streaming from this Apple web page and this PRNewswire article has the satellite coordinates. We'd be surprised if it were not shown in the theaters of most Apple Stores.
iBooks Handed Out to 7th Graders by NH Governor on a snowy day following the holidays recess yesterday according to this TheWMURChannel.com article. Seventh graders in six New Hampshire schools got iBooks thanks to $1.3 million in private donations. [Dana Baggett]
Web Browser Share of Primary Internet Use to Shrink in favor of other internet applications acccording to this Yahoo News article. Some 76 per cent of web surfers use other internet applications like media players, chat software, software updaters, etc. [Dana Baggett]
Similar to the Web Browser Plight, E-mail will Fade according to this TechWeb News article. [Dana Baggett]
It's available today from Thursby.
This sale will last until 11 January 2004, so one needs to act quickly!
-- Monday, January 5 --
Mac OS X 10.3.2--How Fast Is It? As background, we have benchmarked every version of Mac OS X (except 10.3.1, a quick fix) starting with 10.0 because its speed has been the source of its biggest complaints that has persisted right through Jaguar's last version, 10.2.8. Apple made some progress with a couple of 10.0.x updates and with 10.1 and 10.2. But, as we noted in our last Jaguar benchmark, all of the Jaguar versions through 10.2.8 were basically the same speedwise. Our previous speed test of Panther (10.3) in October concluded that it was much faster in some very important aspects than the last version of Jaguar, 10.2.8. Since Panther's latest update, 10.3.2 includes new graphics drivers, it may be even faster. Well, how fast is it?
We ran our complete suite of speed tests on 10.3.2, consisting of a number of "canned" benchmarks and several so-called "real world" benchmarks. They are described in detail in our G4 Cube 1.2-GHz upgrade review and are simple enough for anyone to repeat on their own Mac for comparison. We used a completely stock 450-MHz G4 Cube (except for the 704 MB of RAM) and our dual 2-GHz Power Mac G5 with 1.5-GB RAM and an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (retail) graphics card as test machines. Each test was run three times with a cold boot in between and the average score or number of seconds computed. Here are the results comparing 10.3.2 with 10.3 (10.2.8 is also included):
*Much faster is both more than 2 seconds and more than 10 percent. **First number is after upgrade and second number is after applying SpeedStart.
In comparison with the last Jaguar version on our stock G4 Cube, Panther is much faster in 2D graphics and in finder operations. Startup in our G4 is also much faster with Panther (10.3) than with Jaguar. But the 10.3.2 Update slows down the startup time significantly, 75 seconds versus 44 seconds. Applying SpeedStart 0.1 and rebooting twice recovers some but not all of the lost speed to 52 seconds, similar to Jaguar 10.2.8's startup time. Disk performance also seems to be slightly poorer with the 10.3.2 update. The major improvement is in 3D graphics, i.e. 33 fps vs 21-22 previously.
The dual 2-GHz Power Mac G5 tests also confirm a significant speed up in finder operations running Panther over its special version of Jaguar--10.2.8(G5). There is also a strange anomally with the Let1kWindowsBloom test and the G5 running Panther (10.3) or the 10.3.2 update that we can not explain--we ran it several times under a variety of circumstances and got the same results. Again, startup time in 10.3.2 prior to applying the SpeedStart patch was significantly slower than in 10.3. After applying the patch there is no significant difference between 10.3 and 10.3.2. The major improvement in 10.3.2 is again in 3D graphics, the Quake III Arena performance fps increased significantly from 291 to 355.
In summary, the Mac OS X 10.3.2 update is much faster than 10.3 in 3D graphics, most likely due to the new graphics drivers included with 10.3.2. Without the SpeedStart patch, startup time in 10.3.2 increases significantly.
Macworld Expo 2004 SF Starts Tomorrow--What Will Apple Announce? Macworld will be kicked off tomorrow at the Moscone Center in San Francisco with Steve Jobs' keynote address starting at noon EST (9 a.m. PST). Apple posted a web page for the keynote's webcast by QuickTime Streaming. It should also be listed here sometime today.
After an incredible 2003, what will Apple announce at Macworld for 2004? Well, we really don't know and neither does anyone else outside of a small group in Apple despite what you may read. Accordingly, we have long given up trying to predict what Apple will do and what Steve Jobs will announce. However, there are a few areas in Apple's product lines that are lagging and deserve attention that we will mention. Hopefully, they will be addressed.
First on our list are Apple's terrific value-leading servers, Xserve. They currently have dual 1.33-GHz G4 CPUs. Xserves need to be outfitted with G5 CPUs. The newer lower-temperature G5s made by IBM will allow this. Apple needs to dance lightly here since the G5's parent drives IBM's servers. Since the newer G5s will also be faster, we'd be surprised if the Power Mac G5s don't also get a nice speed bump.
Second on our list is the iMac. The relatively new 20" iMac is terrific but the iMac in general probably suffers from the megahertz myth among consumers even with a more-than-adequate 1.25-GHz G4. Giving them low end G5's would do much to squash this problem after all the G5 supercomputing publicity and their higher megahertz. Moving to a G5 might require a different enclosure to deal with the higher heat output of the G5, a design change opportunity that usually improves sales.
Because of power and heat considerations, we think it will be more time before the PowerBooks get a G5. There may be a small speed bump on the higher end PowerBook G4s to keep interest alive. We'd like to see the 12" PowerBook get a PCMCIA slot or at least a USB or FireWire adapter with MaC OS X drivers so that us Roadwarriors can keep up with wireless internet developments with Apple's tiny PowerBook. The iBooks just went G4 so we don't forsee any major changes for them in the near future.
Third on our list is AppleWorks, Apple's very nice and inexpensive office suite. It's been an age since AppleWorks 6 came out with Mac OS X compatibility. Even at v6.2.7, AppleWorks still has a few bugs and is in need of updating, both keep it from being an excellent but somewhat lesser alternative to Microsoft Office v.X for the rest of us. AppleWorks should become part of the iLife family, offer total interoperability with Microsoft's Word and Excel without becoming bloated with unnecessary features and work well with FileMaker Pro. The drawing and paint components should be upgraded and the presentation component might be dropped in favor of Keynote. Apple also has to dance a bit lightly here because it still needs Microsoft Office for the Mac as long as Office is the defacto office productivity suite standard but there is still no reason to not have an outstanding alternative for the rest of us.
-- Thursday, January 1 -- Happy New Year!
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