September 2004 News Archive
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Copyright 2004 by Bill Fox All rights reserved.
Last Updated: Sep. 30, 2004
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[9/30] Our BTO 20" iMac G5 has Arrived, Tracked with BoxHunter. Dana Baggett, our New England Editor, ordered a 20" Mac G5 early on the day they were announced at Apple Expo in Paris. When the order was processed, he received a shipping date of on or before September 29th. It shipped on the 24th and it arrived on the 29th by FedEx from China, despite Dana having chosen the free ground service and saving $30.
As an aside, Dana tracked it with the preview edition of MacResQ's BoxHunter. He says,
BoxHunter performed well in tracking the iMac G5. It consistently gave me more up-to-date info on the whereabouts of the package than did the FedEx web site. For example, it reported the package landing in East Boston, MA. in the early AM after leaving Indianapolis last night. That's not the usual routing but we had fog on the Maine coast here last night so maybe the FedEx plane was diverted to Logan. Then it reported a departure to Portland. None of that detail ever showed on the FedEx web site.
Look for a Macs Only! Hands-On Report on the iMac G5 real soon.
[9/30] Apple Revised the Hot Deals Offerings from The Apple Store:
The Special Deals section of the Apple Store has updated it's selection of quality Apple Certified reconditioned products. Apple Certified iBook G4's start as low as $949 and Apple Certified PowerBook's start as low as $1,349. There are also a variety of other products available at great prices. But, hurry as supplies are limited. You can also find current Sale Products, Promos and Rebates on Apple hardware and software, as well as third-party accessories in the Special Deals section of the Apple Store. All details available under the "Special Deals" tile.
[9/30] Apple .Mac Memberships Enhanced--250 MB Storage, 10 MB Files, Spell Checker and Dictionary Added: A note from Apple describes the new features,
Dear .Mac member,
We're excited to announce that your .Mac membership now comes with 250
MB of combined .Mac Mail and iDisk storage. And, in another move
designed to make life easier as traffic grows heavier and files grow
larger, we've increased the maximum email message size to 10 MB.
If you haven't tried them yet, be sure to check out two additional
enhancements recently added to .Mac Mail. There's a new online spell
checker with a customizable dictionary available when you use your .Mac
Mail account through a browser. And you can now use aliases as email
addresses either for fun or as protection when you need to provide an
email address but aren't entirely comfortable with the requester. If
your concerns turn out to be justified, you can then simply remove the
alias and create a new one the next time you face a similar situation.
We value your membership and hope you enjoy these enhancements to your
The .Mac Team
[9/30] Review--iPod Speaker Sets from $20 to $300 and the Winnah is.... Dan DeLorenzo tested five speaker sets for the iPod, from the $300 Bose Soundock to the $20 PASS from Radio Shack. Believe it or not, he chose the Radio Shack unit. Check out his reasoning in this AP article. [Dana Baggett]
[9/29] FREE 'Book FixIt Guides from PB FixIt: PB FixIt today announced six new members of the groundbreaking FixIt Guide Series. The new Guides mark a dramatic improvement on the do-it-yourself Mac laptop repair series that has revolutionized the repair industry.
FixIt Guides are now available for all iBook G3, PowerBook G3, and PowerBook G4 models. Each FixIt Guide contains detailed disassembly instructions that walk the reader through the process of easily accessing and replacing damaged laptop components.
FREE FixIt Guides are now available for these twelve models:
* PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (233 - 300 MHz)
* PowerBook G3 Lombard (333 - 400 MHz)
* PowerBook G3 Pismo (400 - 500 MHz)
* iBook G3 Clamshell (300 - 466 MHz)
* iBook G3 iceBook 12" (500 - 900 MHz)
* iBook G3 iceBook 14" (600 - 900 MHz)
PowerBook G4 Titanium:
* PowerBook G4 Ti Mercury (400 - 500 MHz)
* PowerBook G4 Ti Onyx (550 - 667 MHz)
* PowerBook G4 Ti DVI (667 MHz - 1 GHz)
PowerBook G4 Aluminum:
* PowerBook G4 Al 12" (867 MHz - 1.33 GHz)
* PowerBook G4 Al 15" (1 - 1.5 GHz)
* PowerBook G4 Al 17" (1 - 1.5 GHz)
All twelve FixIt Guides are available immediately for free on PB FixIt's web site.
[9/29] Envision Web Show of the Week "Boston Red Sox Highlights" is Available from Open Door Software: This week's Envision Web Show of the Week is of highlights from recent Boston Red Sox games. This being the last week of major league baseball's regular season, Red Sox fans remain always hopeful that "this will be the year," despite having not won a World Series since 1918. We'll see, as the playoffs start next week. The show file can be downloaded from the Show of the Week web site. Previous Shows of the Week are available in the Show of the Week archive.
[9/29] Apple Power Mac G5 Uniprocessor Firmware Update 5.1.5f2 is Available for download via the Software Update preference pane or as a stand alone updater. This update comes hot on the heals of the one issued last week that caused problems with some single 1.6 GHz Power Mac G5s. According to this Apple KBase document,
Some 1.6 GHz Power Mac G5 computers don't work properly with Uniprocessor Firmware Update 5.1.5f1. However, Firmware Update 5.1.5f2 fixes these issues.
Here are the issues you might see on a 1.6 GHz Power Mac G5:
- A kernel panic.
- A USB input device, such as a mouse or keyboard, becomes unresponsive.
- Bluetooth USB modules don't respond five minutes after starting up.
- Interruptions in iTunes audio playback.
- Disconnecting and reconnecting affected devices does not help.
- If you have any non-Apple memory (RAM), removing it usually stops the issue.
The issues revolve around some third party RAM. Apple instructs one to remove such RAM before installing the firmware update and to re-install it after updating.
[9/28] MacWireless Shipping 11g Wi-Fi Antenna Boosters: The existing wireless coverage of an AirPort base station, wireless router or wireless card, can be extended with the 11g Antenna Boosters. The MacWireless powered amplifiers boost 802.11g/b Wi-Fi signals to 100-500 mW, increasing your wireless network's range and performance, according to MacWireless. The AirPort Base Station's maximum power is 32 mW. The boosters require an external RP-SMA antenna and range in price from $99.98 for 100mW to $179.98 for 500 mW.
[9/28] Griffin Announced iBeam, a Flashlight and Laser Pointer for iPods: Griffin Technology announced the Griffin iBeam Flashlight and Laser Pointer for iPods. The iBeam package consists of two separate devices, a snap-on flashlight great for finding keys in the dark and a class III laser pointer for presentations. Both devices come with a snap-on protective cap that can be attached to any keychain for convenient portability and accessibility. The iBeam lights are intended for intermittent use when they are connected to the top of the iPod in place of the iPod’s headphones. The new Griffin iBeam package is $19.99 and will begin shipping by the end of October according to Griffin.
[9/28] Apple Revised the Offerings from One Hot Deals Retailer:
CDW|MacWarehouse has great deals on essential products for your Mac, including LaCie's 16x DVD+RW External USB 2.0/FireWire Drive, Extensis Suitcase X1, Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac: Windows XP Professional, Maxtor OneTouch 250GB USB/FireWire External Hard Drive, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition Video Card with $50 mail-in rebate, Samsung CLP-550 Color Laser Printer, Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR Camera, and much more.
[9/28] Pangea Software’s Ultimate Game Programming Guide for Mac OS X Coming Out in Late October: Pangea Software, Inc. announced that their next release will be a game programming book titled “Pangea Software’s Ultimate Game Programming Guide for Mac OS X,” and it will start shipping at the end of October.
Brian Greenstone, the developer who programmed Nanosaur, Bugdom, Cro-Mag Rally, Enigmo, Otto Matic, etc. reveals his Mac programming secrets in this indispensable book. The book covers all of the nuances dealing with various Mac OS technologies such as the HID Manager, OpenGL, OpenAL, Core Graphics, Rendezvous, Quicktime, and more. Readers will also learn how to write a plug-in for Maya, do stereo 3D rendering, networking, AltiVec optimizations, and even how to copy-protect their games. For developers interested in self-publishing their games, there is an entire chapter dedicated to marketing and sales strategies. Never before has so much critical Mac game programming information been available in a single book.
“Pangea Software’s Ultimate Game Programming Guide for Mac OS X” is expected to ship on October 27, and pre-orders are now being taken on the Pangea Software web site. Pre-orders placed on Pangea’s site receive a 20% discount off of the $49.95 cover price. This discounted price of $39.95 includes the book, the CD, and free ground shipping.
[9/28] iMove for Apple Cinema Displays Announced: MaxUpgrades announced a unique product, iMove, a computer display positioning table that enables the user to change the position of their Apple Cinema Display for optimum viewing angle and position. The iMove is available for Apple Cinema Displays (30 inch, 23 inch, and 20 inch models). The user can quickly change the position of the display to the desired distance and angle for optimum image viewing relative to his/her posture. The user can articulate the motion for precise positioning of the display by the movement of his/her hand. The Apple Display stand foot just fits in the groove of the iMove which is supported on spherical rollers that allows effortless movement of the LCD Monitor--photos. The iMove for Cinemas sell for $149-189.
In addition, an iMove for iMac G5 will be released in early October 2004.
[9/27] Final Hands-On Report--Apple AirPort Express Base Station: Apple introduced the AirPort Express Base Station (Express) on June 7th but, like many releases of new Apple hardware, supply was way below demand after it was finally released on July 14th. We provided an initial report on July 26th that primarily tested its wireless network-extending capability. The Express was fairly easy to set up and worked as advertised. The only concern we noted was that the correct documentation was not easy to find. However, not being able to use WPA encryption for the wireless extended network is also a significant concern.
The Express' MSRP is a nice $129. In addition to being a small wireless fast Wi-Fi (802.11g/b) access point with a USB printer port, the base station was designed for three principal purposes: streaming music from your Mac to your stereo wirelessly using iTunes and AirTunes built into the AirPort Express, wirelessly extending your AirPort Express network and providing a much more portable alternative to Apple's Extreme (or graphite or snow) Base Station.
We have now had an Express unit for nearly two months and have used it extensively around Mac Only!'s global headquarters and on the road. This article covers our longer-term observations and the Express' use beyond wireless network extension.
Signal Strength. Complaints about the AEBS' signal strength have been posted on the web. In our experience its signal is, in fact, weaker than our Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station but only slightly so. Mostly, using our 17" PowerBook at various distances, the Express' signal has been comparable to that of a regular Extreme Base Station or only one bar less using the meter in the Internet Connect application. During general use we see no actual difference. Both Base Stations were set to be compatible with WiFi "b" and "g" devices but we have only the faster "g" devices on our network. There may be differences when compared with graphite or snow AirPort Base Stations which use only Wi-Fi "b" and have a somewhat greater signal strength.
AirTunes Music Streaming. This works very well and very easily in our experience. If this is your main use of an Express Base Station, you will be very happy. It is our secondary use and we are happy with it.
Wired Network Extension. Our new global HQ is wired with ethernet cable throughout the structure. We have Cox cable internet and use a D-Link router/switch to deliver internet via the ethernet cabling to each room. So we used the Express as a second wireless base station to extend our wireless network to both ends of the structure using it's wired backbone. That way we could use WPA encryption instead of 128-bit WEP encryption for much better security. Roaming between the base stations is a bit more of a hassle, having to join each manually (we also use a closed network with MAC address management), but to us it's worth the added security. Unfortunately, the internet connection via the Express Base Station occasionally (maybe every 48-72 hours) quit functioning and we had to reboot the Express to get our internet feed back. This has almost never happened with our Extreme Base Station.
USB Printing. Dana Baggett was unable to get his HP PSC 2110 All-in-One USB printer to work for our initial report but we had no problem with our HP LaserJet 3030. It is set up to print as a share via USB off our Extreme Base Station. After replacing the Extreme with our Express, printing worked just fine.
Portable Base Station. This is our primary use of the Express. We have carried an AirPort Base Station with us on travel since the original graphite AirPort Base Station came out. The base station has allowed us to work anywhere in the room from when most in-room internet service was dial-up via a telephone jack near a night stand and frequently hidden behind a bed. While many more hotels have in-room broadband internet connections these days and some have in-room wireless internet, many do not. So we still carry a base station with us. As far as we are concerned, the small size, weight and shape of the Express alone make it worth the purchase price.
We used the Express in six different hotels, mostly Marriotts, during the past two months and never had a serious problem getting the broadband internet connection to work with the Express. Our biggest problem was not exclusive to the Express. It was encountered at a Marriott Residence Inn which provided free "high-speed" internet from Guest-Tek. We had to authenticate by signing in every 24 hours and occasionally we could not authenticate with the Express attached. The solution was to authenticate using our PowerBook connected directly and then to attach the Express and re-authenticate. The same problem happened when we used an Extreme Base Station.
In summary, we are very pleased with AirPort Express Base Station and will continue to carry it everywhere. We are not sure if the stability problem on our wired network is a problem with our unit or its environment or if it is common to all Express Base Stations. From Apple's Discussion Forum others have similar problems, especially with reconnecting PowerBooks after waking them from sleep. But it is difficult to tell if it is the same problem since ours is intermittent.
For more information, here is Apple's AirPort Express FAQ.
[9/25] Apple Posted Extended 15" PowerBook G4 LCD White Spot Repair Program: The repair program is for 15" PowerBook G4s, Titanium and aluminum models, built between July and November of 2003 with serial numbers V7334xxxxxx to V7345xxxxxx and QT331xxxxxx to QT339xxxxxx that exhibit the white spot syndrome on their screens. It's a worldwide program covering replacement of LCDs that exhibit these white spots.
[9/25] ADC Members and Apple Employees Get 30% Discount on O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference Registration according to O'Reilly's Derrick Story. The O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference is Oct. 25-28, at the Santa Clara Westin. Here is the latest info on what's happening at the conference. To get the discount, register here and enter this code: macosx04ae . [Dana Baggett]
[9/25] O'Reilly Released "iLife '04: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue. According to O'Reilly, [y]ou shouldn't have to be a professional working for a media conglomerate to harness cutting-edge technology for your own creative expression and entertainment. That's Apple's philosophy behind the iLife '04 software suite, reports David Pogue, author of the new "iLife '04: The Missing Manual" (O'Reilly/Pogue Press, US $29.95). "Each of the five programs in this $50 package is a streamlined, attractive, easy-to-use version of software that was once hopelessly complex--or hopelessly expensive," says Pogue.
[9/25] The Apple Developer Connection Published "RIACS and Mac OS X: a Critical Edge for NASA 3D Rendering:" A research team at NASA needed a single computer platform that could handle a variety of tasks, including complex data rendering, provide access to UNIX tools, as well as a high-performance, integrated development environment (IDE), plus they wanted to use applications that don't run on UNIX. The solution? Mac OS X. This article describes how RIACS moved to the Macintosh for their 3D rendering work for NASA.
[9/25] Apple Revised the Offerings from Two Hot Deals Retailers:
B&H Photo and Video has fantastic prices of superb products for your Mac, including Canon's XL3 3-CCD Widescreen MiniDV Camcorder, AJA External Video Capture Card, Sony CyberShot DSC-P150 Digital Camera, SanDisk 512MB Memory Stick Pro, Nikon CoolScan V ED Film Scanner, Epson Perfection 4180 Flatbed Scanner, Epson PictureMate Photo Printer, Adobe GoLive CS for Mac, and much more.
MacZone has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including LaCie's 16x DVD+RW External USB 2.0/FireWire Drive, Edge 120GB USB 2.0/FW400/800 External Hard Drive, Edge DiskGo USB 2.0 Flash Drive, BTI Lithium Ion Battery for 3rd Generation iPods, Microsoft Office 2004/MYOB FirstEdge Bundle, Epson Stylus Photo 1280 Color Inkjet Printer, and much more.
[9/25] Aspyr Game Report--MTX: Mototrax is Coming to the Mac: According to Aspyr, [t]he fastest, most intense and most complete motocross game formatted yet, MTX: Mototrax, is coming to the Mac. In a quest to become the ultimate MX athlete, players use skills and savvy to beat the pros and other riendly competition in motocross, supercross and freestyle competitions. MTX: Mototrax delivers thrilling mud-slinging, fast-paced racing action at 60 frames per second. Players become further involved in their quest for track domination with authentic environmental effects, realistic sound engines and a pulsating rock soundtrack developed for the game. Slipknot, Dope or Pennywise blare from your system as you race through the Hawaiian Islands, the Bayou and the Australian Outback.
MTX: Mototrax is rated "E" for Everyone (with mild lyrics) by the ESRB. To check out screenshots, system requirements or order MTX: Mototrax, visit this Aspyr web page. An MTX: Mototrax gaming forum has begun to take place.
[9/24] MacResQ Released a FREE Preview of BoxHunter--Track Your Shipments Easily: According to MacResQ, BoxHunter does one thing and it does it really well and really fast. Enter a tracking number for a shipment coming to you or shipping from you via UPS, Airborne, DHL, FedEx or USPS and BoxHunter will automatically keep you posted on where the package is and when it will arrive at it's destination. You can track as many different packages as you want, from as many vendors as you like, using any of the different shipment methods listed above and BoxHunter will keep a tidy list of each shipment. While you're being more productive elsewhere, BoxHunter will update all of the shipments every 20 minutes so you'll always have the latest delivery information. Pretty cool.
We tried it out and think that if you ship and receive lots of stuff from different couriers, you will find this small application to be quite handy. The preview version is free but it's really a trial demo that will not let you save your package list unless registered. MacResQ sent us a registration key but we still could not get it to save our package list. The final version will cost $20. [Dana Baggett]
[9/24] Apple Java 1.4.2 Update 2 is Out and available for download via the Software Update preference pane or as a stand-alone installer. From the Read Me file,
Java 1.4.2 Update 2 provides improved behavior for applets in Safari and increased stability for desktop Java applications. Java 1.4.2 Update 2 also includes all the improvements from Java 1.4.2 Update 1.
The system will be updated to Java 1.4.2 Update 2. If the system currently has Java 1.4.1, it will be removed. Any previous Java 1.4.2 installation will be completely replaced.
For more details on this update, please visit: http://www.apple.com/java/
Actually, there are no more details on the page above.
We downloaded and installed it on various Power Macs and PowerBooks with no problems. [Dana Baggett]
[9/24] Mactracker v3.0b2 Released by Ian Page: Version 3.0b2 for Mac OS X fixes or adds the following:
- Adds iMac G5 (17-inch) and iMac G5 (20-inch)
- Adds Mac OS X Public Beta
- Adds iTunes-style searching (Mac OS X v10.3 or later)
- Mactracker application package can now be renamed
- Renamed WWDC 2004 displays in accordance with Apple naming conventions
- Fixes issue where Startup Chimes won't show for PowerBooks
- Fixes notes issue for Mac OS window
- Fixes selection/display issues under Mac OS X v10.2.x
- Other minor changes
This is a very handy utility for those who want detailed info about virtually any Apple equipment ever made.
[9/24] Mariner Calc 5.3 Released by Mariner Software: Mariner Software announced the release of Mariner Calc 5.3, the long-awaited update to its award-winning spreadsheet. Significant enhancements to the feature set have been added including: file extension support in the Save dialog, new open preferences, and Find and Replace dialogs. Numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements round out the update. A trial version is available for download.
[9/24] Mossberg, Biedny and Patterson Tonight on The Mac Night Owl LIVE: This week, hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will have a special interview with Walter S. Mossberg, Personal Technology Columnist for The Wall Street Journal. They’ll also hear from their favorite Mac critic, David Biedny, and a discussion about radio’s future with Chance Patterson, VP Corporate Affairs, for XM Satellite Radio. Tune in to the broadcast from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern.
[9/23] Apple's Pro Tip of the Week--Burning a CD from the Finder: Every Wednesday, Apple offers a new Pro Tip of the Week on their Pro web site. This week's Pro Tip covers CD burning from the Finder. Last week's Pro Tip was Creating Your Own Label Names. The tips are from Scott Kelby’s book "Mac OS X Panther Killer Tips," which is packed with cool inside secrets, slick workarounds, undocumented shortcuts and sneaky tricks to help you use Mac OS X. [Dana Baggett]
[9/23] Every Friday Night 7-9p.m. is Aspyr Game Night at Several Apple Stores courtesy of a partnership with Aspyr Media. Experience the latest and greatest games for the Mac.
For you lucky folks down here in Austin, TX, an Aspyr representative will give a short presentation on some of the latest games for the Mac on the third Friday of every month followed by the FREE GAMING SESSION. If you are in the Austin area, maybe you enjoyed Aspyr's feature of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® and multiplayer Call of Duty(TM) last Friday, September 17 at Barton Creek Mall. Aspyr is spicing it up a bit next month, so be sure to come out October 15th for an exciting Aspyr announcement.
The following list gives contact info for some of the participating stores. Check with your local Apple store to see if they host a Game Night and which games will be featured each week. Every Friday at 7 p.m.:
Apple Store Barton Creek
2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX 78746
Apple Store The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Apple Store Third Street Promenade
1248 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
For a nationwide list of Apple stores, visit this Apple web page.
[9/23] Students Are Going for the Mac Nationwide and it's not just our Editor in Chief's niece who just started at Yale with her brand new 15" PowerBook. Here are some telling exerpts from the Columbia Spectator:
According to market tracker IDC, in 2003 Apple sold 193,000 Macs to people in colleges and universities, a jump of 17.7% over the previous year. If you only consider laptops, the computer of choice for most new college students, Apple sales to higher education grew by 58.5% in the same period.
With regard to the price myth,
Furthermore, for most laptops, Macs are comparatively priced or even cheaper than their competitors. Currently, both Apple and Dell offer discounts to Columbia students for computer purchases. With the discounts factored in, a standard 14" Apple iBook laptop with a 1Ghz G4 processor, 40GB hard drive and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive costs $1200. A comparable Dell Latitude costs $1730.
"It was far cheaper than the equivalent [PC]," said Deborah Beim, CC '08, who debated whether to get a Mac or a PC over the summer. "Everybody who I talked to said they were far easier to use."
We hope Mark Langberg of MercuryNews.com read that one. [Dana Baggett]
[9/23] Apple Revised the Offerings from Four Hot Deals Retailers:
Brand new, and exclusively available at the Apple Store is the Bose SoundDock for iPod. Rich. Room-filling sound...from your iPod. Ahh, the power of the new Bose SoundDock digital music system. Supports iPods with Dock Connector. It brings your music to life and even charges your iPod while it plays. Proprietary Bose technology lets you get the most from your iPod' s music. The system is friendly with Mini and Standard iPods. (Just as long as there's a docking connector on the bottom of the iPod.) Comes complete with a remote. Let a new iPod experience begin with Bose.
AudioMIDI has great deals on audio and music products for your Mac, including RME Fireface 800, Ableton Live 4 with FREE Evolution X-Session Controller, Bass Station Bundle, Thomson GarageBand Ignite, Digigram Digital DJ Bundle, Glaresoft iDrum for GarageBand, Edirol PCR1, and much more.
O'Reilly has exclusively Hot Deals discounts for many of it's most popular Mac titles, including "iLife '04: The Missing Manual," "iPod Fan Book," "AppleScript: The Definite Guide," "iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual," and much more.
Ramjet has super low prices on RAM upgrades for your Mac, including 2GB DDR400 Kit for Power Mac G5, 1GB DDR for PowerMac G5, 512MB Module for Aluminum PowerBook G4, 512MB Module for Titanium PowerBook G4, 1GB DDR User Slot Module for iMac G4, 1GB DDR Kit for eMac 1.25GHz and above, and much more.
[9/23] NAV 9.0.2 Virus Definitions Updated: Symantec posted virus definition updates for NAV 9.02 dated September 16th. They are also available via LiveUpdate from within the application. [Dana Baggett]
[9/22] The iMac G5 Rave Reviews Keep Rolling In Plus One Clanger: Here are the latest highly positive reviews by,
PC Magazine and
The Straits Times Interactive
and the not-so-positive review by,
MercuryNews.com which has a few positive comments but contains a myth and an error that color the review as negative.
Here's what we wrote to the author, Mark Langberg:
Regarding your article on today's MercuryNews.com, I'll bet you've gotten some unhappy responses. You are, of course, welcome to your own opinion so if you do not like the looks of Apple's new iMac G5 as the headline implies that's fine with me. Go ahead and rage on about how it looks to you like a "laptop on a stick" or on some other criticism of its design. If I disagree, I'll just think you have poor taste and move on. But you really should check your facts before perpetuating a myth and making a just plain silly error.
Your offhand comments about price are biased and perpetuate a myth. You compared the iMac G5 with a $600-800 Wintel, not with another similarly configured and nearly similar quality Wintel. You won't find a similarly configured Dell, IBM or Sony Wintel for $600-800. Here's a couple of comparisons (<http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2004/0831_dt1300.html> and <http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2004/0831_dt1900.html>) but you can easily do the shopping for yourself instead of lazily repeating a myth. Apple consistently tops the Consumer Reports charts for quality. It's not that they are only more fashionable as your article clearly insinuates but that they have better quality and more features as well.
Your comment about poor eye height is a silly error. Don't be lazy, check the height of many, if not most, 17" LCD monitors sold and you will find the iMac G5 is not out of line as you alleged. C'mon, desk height and chair height are the real factors here.
Despite the shortcomings of your article, you make some good positive points about Mac OS X and the iMac G5. And I agree with your closing premise that most people buy simply on price, eschewing "elegant design and ease of use" but also quality and features, two factors that you forgot. But that basic economic rule applies to everything, not just a personal computer. Thankfully, not everybody is so inclined so that there are better things available than those that reside in the bottom of the pit.
and his generic response:
I've heard from many loyal Macintosh users in reponse to my Sept. 20
review of the new iMac G5, too many for me to write individual
The most common concern is that I made an unfair or incorrect comparison
between the cost of an iMac G5 and Windows systems. To pardon the
obvious pun, it's clearly impossible to make a perfect apples-to-apples
comparison. While I still regard the iMac G5 as somewhat more expensive
that [sic] comparable Windows PCs, I recognize there is much room for debate.
I hope we can agree to disagree.
And thanks for taking the time to write.
-- Mike Langberg, Personal Technology Columnist
San Jose Mercury News
Yes, we agree to disagree on that point and on the unanswered screen-height point.
[9/21] ESPN Sports Delivers Motion for the Mac, Asks for Feedback: ESPN released Motion for the Macintosh. Until now, the high definition video of ESPN Sport's Motion was only available to Windows users. ESPN Motion for the Mac only requires the latest Macromedia Shockwave plug-in available via MacUpdate.com. ESPN is asking Mac users to provide feedback on Motion for the Mac. We found it to be quite good.
[9/21] PowerLogix Filed $1.5M Lawsuit Against Former Partners and Competitors in the CPU upgrade business. We received a press release from PowerLogix describing the suit. Here is an exerpt:
PowerLogix filed a thirteen-count Federal lawsuit on September 15, 2004 seeking in excess of $1,500,000 in actual damages, statutory damages and punitive damages for what it alleges was a conspiracy by former business partners and competitors to unlawfully appropriate its software, trade secrets and drive it out of business.
The suit, pending in the Austin Division of the United States Federal Court for the Western District of Texas names WayPoint Distribution, Inc., of Albuquerque, NM; Giga Designs, L.L.C., of Fremont, CA; MicroMat Computer Systems, Inc., MicroMat, Inc., & Soft 77, L.L.C. of Santa Rosa, CA; and Virtex Assembly Services, Inc. of Austin, TX as defendants.
PowerLogix was one of the pioneer CPU upgrade manufacturers. We have bought many from them over the years, from a 200 MHz 604e to several 1.4 GHz G4 units for our G4 Cubes. PowerLogix was also a principal sponsor of Macs Only! for many years.
[9/21] September 2004 ATI RADEON Universal ROM Update for ATI Retail Mac Cards is Out and available for download. From the ATI web page,
- Bootable Mac OS X 10.1.5 or newer system
- Retail RADEON Mac Edition graphics card (installed in AGP and/or PCI slot)
- Firmware Update application file (included in download)
- The computer MUST NOT be interrupted (shut down or power failure) during firmware update.
- RADEON MAC EDITION (PCI)
- RADEON MAC EDITION (AGP)
- RADEON 7000 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9000 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9200 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9800 PRO MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9800 PRO MAC SPECIAL EDITION
Here are the release notes for each graphics card. The update is not for ATI OEM graphics cards supplied by Apple.
[9/21] Brief Hands-On Report--ATI Radeon Display Utilities v4.4 for Mac OS X 10.2.8 and Later: It is available for download. From the ATI web page,
- Mac OS X version 10.2.8 (Jaguar) or higher
- Power Macintosh Desktop Computer
- 128MB of system memory
- September 2004 ATI RADEON Universal ROM Update for full advanced feature-set
- RADEON 9800 PRO MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9800 PRO MAC SPECIAL EDITION
- RADEON 9200 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 9000 PRO MAC EDITION
- RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION
- RADEON 7000 MAC EDITION
- RADEON MAC EDITION (AGP & PCI)
Here are the release notes. Note that this utility now does support ATI OEM versions, including mobility versions, released by Apple.
We installed ATI Display 4.4 on our 17" PowerBook G4 with ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics and in our DP 2.0GHz Power Mac G5 with ATI Radeon 9600 Pro graphics. The utility is placed in a folder in the root Utilities folder and can also be accessed from a preference pane in the System Preferences application. In both Macs, ATI Display 4.4 only displays the Info and 3D windows. The latter is the most important feature because it allows the OpenGL settings in games to be overridden. We played Call of Duty with enhanced 2X FSAA(Super), 4X Anisotropic Filtering and Vertical Sync On and encountered no artifacts.
[9/21] Apple Revised the Offerings from One of Their Hot Deals Retailers:
CDW|MacWarehouse has great deals on essential products for your Mac, including Wacom's Intuos3 6x8 Graphics Tablet with Pen and Mouse, Samsung SyncMaster 193P 19" Flat Panel Display, SanDisk ImageMate 8-in-1 USB Reader, Epson StylusPhoto R800, LaCie 16x DVD+/RW Double Layer FireWire Drive, Epson Perfection 4180 Flatbed Scanner, D-Link DI-624 Xtreme G 108Mbps Wireless Router, D-Link DBT-120 Bluetooth Adapter, and much more.
[9/21] Mozilla's FireFox Browser Preview Release Beat Target of 1M Downloads in 10 Days by almost 5 days according to this CNet article. Mozilla set the target to get widespread testing of the preview release of FireFox, it's light, stand-alone web browser. FireFox, based on Netscape's Gecko rendering engine, is our backup browser to Safari. [Dana Baggett]
[9/21] StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 Announced Claiming Over a Dozen New Features: Allume Systems, Inc. (formerly Aladdin Systems, Inc.) announced StuffIt Deluxe 9.0, the newest version of its file compression, access, and organization software for Mac OS X. This new version offers faster file compression and decompression, a more intuitive user interface, and enhanced backup features that streamline the process of storing files on multiple CDs/DVDs, and other storage media. The new version also provides enhanced connectivity options, allowing users to save archives directly to FTP servers or their .Mac iDisk.
[9/20] Apple Adds iMac G5 to the iMac Support Page. Apple's iMac Support Page contains a wealth of information and links to more information. There's a list of top15 troubleshooting questions and a link to a specific interactive iMac G5 Troubleshooting Assistant. There are also links to support for iMac software. [Dana Baggett]
[9/20] Apple Posted the iMac G5 User Guide. The PDF file can be downloaded from this web link. Can you tell that Dana is anxious to get his new 20" iMac G5? He added a couple of BTO options so his is not in the first wave of shipments despite ordering it the morning that they were announced in Paris. Still on or before 9/29. [Dana Baggett]
[9/18] Feral Sets Up Ford Racing 2 Web Page--Demo Out Sept. 24th according to the latest report from the U.K. game house Feral Interactive. After an initial outing on the mean streets of the Paris Expo, where it wowed would-be road racers with it's all all-American power pedigree, Ford Racing 2 is now back on the grid at the Feral mansion. Friday, it got it's very own web area--check out the screenshots and the trailer for a taste of Dagenham and Detroit's finest.
Ford Racing 2 is also available to preorder and Feral has three top-value bundles available. For a drivin' and shootin' combo, try the drive-by bundle which pairs FR2 with the very dark and wonderful XIII. Or if you are a pure-bred petrol-head, try either of the just drive bundles, which team FR2 with either Total Immersion Racing or F1 Championship Season.
And the FR2 demo? It will be available next Friday, September 24th. Look for the link here.
[9/18] Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII Demo is Now Available for Download: Aspyr's Battlefield 1942 Secret Weapons of WWII (BFSW) is the latest expansion pack and it's due out for the Mac very soon. BFSW includes eight new maps and is focussed on using experimental weapons and vehicles developed for WWII like rockets, etc. The demo includes single player play on Guadalcanal island, one of the many locales the full version of the game supports. Fly planes, drive jeeps and tanks, and try to defeat the enemy to prepare yourself for Battlefield 1942's unique multiplayer play that is available in the full version of the game. Get all 300+MB of it from the links on MacUpdate.com.
Another excellent WWII-based shooter, BFSW's major claim to fame is the wide variety of vehicles to drive, from ships to jeeps, trucks, tanks and airplanes. We're still trying to master many of them.
[9/18] iPod ActionPak with 3 Utilities is Out: If Then Software presents the "iPod ActionPak," which is 3 great utilities for your iPod ($9.95). The ActionPak includes "Pod2Pod" which exactly duplicates the entire contents of one iPod to another, "Note2Pod," which is a full-featured note manager for your iPod, and "iPod Battery Monitor," which allows you to chart and track the progress of your iPod battery with the ability to save the report to the iPod, print it or send it to an eMail address. iPod Battery Monitor will also change your battery indicator to a numerical value for more accuracy during testing. The iPod ActionPak (screenshots) can be found at If Then Software's web site. The software is for Mac OS X 10.3 or higher.
[9/17] Apple Revised the Offerings from Four Hot Deals Retailers:
The Special Deals section of the Apple Store has updated it's selection of quality Apple Certified reconditioned products. Apple Certified iPods start as low as $169 and Apple Certified iBook G4's start as low as $849. There are also a variety of other products available at great prices. But, hurry as supplies are limited. You can also find current Sale Products, Promos and Rebates on Apple hardware and software, as well as third-party accessories in the Special Deals section of the Apple Store. All details available at the following URL under the "Special Deals" tile.
ClubMac has great deals on cool Mac products, including the Alume Systems Spring Cleaning, SanDisk 2GB CompactFlash Memory Card, Canon PowerShot A400 Digital Camera, TriSynergy X-Plan Flight Simulator, Sceptre X20G-NAGA II 20" Flat Panel Display, GVP Storage XP 800 Series External 250GB FireWire 400/800/USB 2.0 Hard Drive, DataViz Docuyments to Go Total Office Edition 7, Logitech MX1000 Laser Wireless Mouse and much more.
J&R has fantastic prices on essential Mac products, including Sony CyberShot DSC-V1 Digital Camera, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Aspyr Media Battlefield 1942 Deluxe Edition, Creative Labs TravelSoundi= i300 Speaker System, Epson Stylus CX5400 All-in-One Device, Extnesis Suitcase X1/Symantec Norton SystemWorks 3.0.1 Bundle, and much more.
CompUSA has money saving deals on a bevy of Mac products, including Sony's HS73/BT 17" LCD Flat Panel Display with $50 mail-in rebate, Nikon CoolPix 8700 Digital Camera with $200 mail-in rebate, ViewSonic A91F+ 19" Flat Panel CRT Display with $20 mail-in rebate, Adobe Photoshop Elements with $30 mail-in rebate, Epson Stylus Photo R300 Printer with $30 mail-in rebate, and much more.
[9/17] Apple Released Security Update 2004-09-16 late yesterday. It is available for Mac OS X 10.3.5, 10.3.4 and 10.2.8, client and server editions, via the Software Update preference pane or from this Apple web page. According to the Read Me file,
Security Update 2004-09-16 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following component:
iChat [Updated InstantMessage Framework from v187 to v193--ed.]
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798
The update fixes this vulnerability:
Impact: Remote iChat participants can send "links" that can start
local programs if clicked.
Description: A remote iChat participant can send a "link" that
references a program on the local system. If the "link" is activated
by clicking on it, and the "link" points to a local program, then the
program will run. iChat has been modified so that "links" of this
type will open a Finder window that displays the program instead of
running it. Credit to <firstname.lastname@example.org> for reporting this issue.
We downloaded the update and installed it on several Macs: G5's, G4 Cube and PowerBook G4's, with no apparent problems. [Dana Baggett]
[9/16] MacLinkPlus Deluxe v15.0 Released by Data Viz: The ultimate file format translator for the Mac, MacLinkPlus Deluxe, has been upgraded to v15.0. The new features are presented on this Data Viz web page. [Dana Baggett]
[9/16] Apple Victim of Infineon DRAM Price Fixing Scam according to this Reed-Electronics article. Infineon has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing on an international level and to pay a $160 million fine. One of the computer companies affected by Infineon's price fixing scam is Apple Computer.
DOJ specifically charged Infineon today with carrying out the conspiracy by: participating in meetings, conversations, and communications in the United States and elsewhere with competitors to discuss the prices of DRAM to be sold to certain customers; agreeing to charge prices of DRAM at certain levels to be sold to certain customers; issuing price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached; and exchanging information on sales of DRAM to certain customers to monitor and adhere to the agreed-upon prices.
Infineon is just the first fish landed by DOJ in this scam. [Dana Baggett].
[9/16] Spiderman 2 Demo Exclusively for .Mac Members Plus $10 Discount on the Game: If you are an Apple .Mac member, log in and download the free demo, exclusively until November 10. If you enjoy the Spiderman 2 game, you can get it for only $19.99 after an exclusive .Mac discount of $10. We are a .Mac member and think it is worth every penny of the $99 annual fee.
[9/16] Nanosaur II Hatchling Update 1.1 with Better Low RAM Performance is Out and available for download according to a note from Brian Greenstone. Pangea Software just released a 1.1 update for Nanosaur 2. This new update lets the game run much better on Macs with less than 512MB of RAM. Previously, the system requirement for Nanosaur 2 was 512MB with the caveat that it would usually run on systems with as little as 320MB. With version 1.1, it should now run with as little as 256MB of RAM. The new update is available from MacUpdate.com.
[9/16] Apple Revised the Offerings from Three Hot Deals Retailers:
Brand new, and only available in the Apple Store is the Harman Multimedia JBL OnStage Sound Station for iPod. The JBL On Stage is compatible with all versions of the iPod, including the iPod mini. A stereo mini jack connection also allows you to enjoy high quality audio from a variety of other devices, such desktop computers (all platforms) and laptops. Easy-to-use Touch-controls - Touch Volume Control - Just a touch increases or decrease the volume. A touch on both pads mutes or unmutes the system. JBL On Stage also remembers your last volume setting even after the system shuts down.
MacMall has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including Guitar Rig, Microsoft Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Sony Premium DV Tapes 10-Pack, Lexar 1GB 80x Pro CompactFlash Card, Logitech MX1000 High Performance Cordless Laser Mouse, Prosoft Picture Rescue, Miglia Technology Alchemy TV DVR, El Gato EyeTV 500, and much more.
CDW|MacWarehouse has money savings deals on great Mac products, including the Sony CyberShot DSC-P93 Digital Camera, D-Link DBT-120 Bluetooth Adapter, Extensis Suitcase X1, Wacom Intuos 3 6x8 Tablet with Pen, Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Flatbed Scanner, LaCie Big Disk 1 Terabyte External FireWire 400/800 Hard Drive, Epson Stylus Pro 1280 Color Inkjet Printer, and much more.
[9/15] Mozilla Opens Spreadfirefox.com Targeting 1 Million FireFox 1.0 Preview Release Downloads in 10 Days: Firefox 1.0PR is the stand alone web browser from the Mozilla open source project. Download it here. Spreadfirefox.com is the marketing effort to get Firefox well-tested with 1 million downloads in just 10 days. Firefox is our backup web browser to Safari.
[9/15] Aspyr Announced Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII: Coming soon, this expansion pack of Battlefield 1942 lets you control lethal experimental weapons from World War II according to the Aspyr web site. Straight from Allied and Axis laboratories, many of these weapons never saw combat until now. Defeat your enemies with a variety of experimental firepower, including the Wasserfall Guided Rocket, the Natter Rocker Plane, and the revolutionary Rocket Pack. Drop from a cargo plane behind enemy lines and prepare for close combat with one-shot-kill knives, new machine guns, and more. Give all of these weapons and vehicles a trial by fire on eight new battle maps.
The new features are:
- Horton HO 229 "Flying Wing"
- Sherman tank with a T-34 Calliope rocker launcher
- T95/T28 Super Heavy Tank
- The Sturmtiger - featuring a naval gun mounted atop a Tiger tank
- The American AW-52 advanced fighter
- The Wasserfall guided anti-air missile
- The Natter rocket plane
- Top secret German prototype Rocket Pack - fly and fight at the same time
- Seven new weapons include throwable one-shot-kill knives, the Bren light machine gun, the Auto 5 shotgun, and the Mauser K98 grenade rifle
- Eight new World War II campaigns, including combat missions at a V2 research facility and Hitler's hideaway, The Eagle's Nest
- All-new locations offer unique Battlefield experiences, ranging from nightfall in Prague to a winter battle in Norway
- New objective-based mode - players must accomplish specific objectives, such as destroying a secret weapons facility, in order to win the battle
- Introducing British Commando and German Elite troops
[9/15] O'Reilly Releases "iMovie 4 & iDVD: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue: This all-inclusive, step-by-step book covers:
- Essentials of film technique: Pogue provides readers with the know-how
they need to give home movies professional polish.
- Editing basics: These pages burst with clever workarounds, hidden
features, and editing tricks from the Hollywood film world.
- Finding an audience: With this guide, readers can export their finished
masterpieces back to tape for high-quality TV playback--or save them as a
- QuickTime movies for posting on a web page, emailing to friends, burning
as a video CD, or even uploading to a Bluetooth cell phone.
- Mastering DVDs: With a Mac equipped with SuperDrive, people can
distribute their movies at much higher quality than VHS tapes or QuickTime
movies by creating Hollywood-style DVDs. The book-within-a-book on iDVD
includes dozens of undocumented secrets for extending the program's design
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index,
author bio, and samples, see ths O'Reilly web page. [iMovie 4 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue ISBN: 0596-00693-4, 504 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA]
[9/15] The Apple Developer Connection Publishes "Writing Open Directory Plug-ins:" Open Directory is Apple technology that lets Macs participate on a network and access network resources, along with Windows and UNIX machines. For example, with Open Directory, an application on Mac OS X can allow users to update their personal information in a company-wide directory of employee data, even if the database is running on Linux or Windows. This article describes the implementation of an Open Directory plug-in, which responds to requests for information about resources. Read this article to learn how to write Open Directory plug-ins that take advantage of this capability.
[9/15] Envision Web Show of the Week--Botticelli: This week's Envision Web Show of the Week features the work of Florentine master Sandro Botticelli. Envision ships with a show of Botticelli's work from the Web Museum (see the Web Shows folder), but this new show highlights another excellent site, the Web Gallery of Art. The Web Gallery of Art specializes in European works from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1150-1800) and contains over 12,000 pieces.
[9/14] Apple Power Mac G5 Uniprocessor Firmware Update 5.1.5f1 is Out and available for download from this Apple web page. About Power Mac G5 Uniprocessor Firmware:
The Power Mac G5 Uniprocessor Firmware Update improves general system reliability and restores sleep functionality.
The web page also provides instructions on how to apply the firmware update.
We don't have a single processor Power Mac G5 so we can't test it for you.
[9/14] Apple Security Update 2004-09-07 v1.1 is Out and available for download via the Software Update preference pane or from this Apple web page. It's for Mac OS X client and server v10.2.8, 10.3.4 and 10.3.5. The Read Me file says:
Security Update 2004-09-07 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798
which is the same as for v1.0 of the Update released last Tuesday. Apple states this update v1.1 "...fixes the following issues in Security Update 2004-09-07 v1.0:
- lukemftpd: Corrects the path to the configuration directory
- Safari (10.3.5 only): The Safari version number is changed to provide compatibility with web sites that use an old version-checking mechanism
It fixes the problems that some people had with some FTP operations and rendering of some web sites.
We downloaded and installed it with no problem. It fixed the Safari rendering problem we had with the Best Buy web site.
[9/14] Apple Revised the Offerings from One of Their Hot Deals Retailers and Added Two New Ones:
New to Hot Deals, Office Depot has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including the Samsung 912N Narrow Bezel 19" LCD Display, LaCie 160GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive, Hewlett Packard DeskJet 5740 Color Inkjet Printer, Nikon CoolPix 3500 Digital Camera, Softpress Freeway 3.5 for Mac, Memorex 256MB USB 2.0 ThumbDrive, and much more.
Also new to Hot Deals, Tech Depot has great deals on great products for your Mac, including the Altec Lansing inMotion Audio System for iPod, Canon PowerShot S1 Digital Camera, Edge DiskGO 256MB USB Pen Drive, SimpleTech 1GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Buffalo AirStation Wireless Cable/DSL Router, Kensington PocketMouse Bluetooth Wireless Mouse, and much more.
AudioMIDI has fantastic deals on a wide range of audio products for your Mac, including the Yamaha 01X, Edirol UA25, Mackie Spike, Bias Peak 4.1 Mastering and Restoration Edition, Glaresoft iDrum for GarageBand, and much more.
[9/14] O'Reilly Launched Digital Media Web Site: If there's been one particularly bright spot in the rebounding tech economy, it would have to be the adoption of digital media tools by just about everyone, especially digital photography and music. Sales of digital cameras rival their film counterparts, and downloading music has become as almost as simple as turning on the radio. Fine artists and graphic designers are also benefiting from the growing array of new gear and software now available. To inspire digital media users to new heights of creativity and expertise, O'Reilly has unveiled its Digital Media web site.
[9/13] iPod Commercials "Mac or PC" vs "PC or Mac:" Since iTunes and the iPod firmware were upadated to work with Wintel PCs, iPod commercials have ended with "Mac or PC" before closing with the Apple logo. We wondered why the commercial didn't use "PC or Mac" instead so it was clearer to PC users that the iPod and iTunes work with Wintels. It's a small point but we just saw a new iPod commercial near the end the Broncos-Chiefs football game where it ended "PC or Mac" so someone at the ad agency had the same vibe.
[9/13] Battlefield 1942 Public Beta Patch 1 is Out and available for download from one of three servers listed on the Aspyr web page (go ->Support->Article 1182). According to Aspyr,
"[t]his update to BF1942 Mac adds better joystick controls, more stable networking code and PunkBuster support, and several other fixes. This is a public test version of the patch, an official final version of the patch will be released in the coming weeks. Information on how to give feedback to Aspyr on this patch and the full list of fixes is included in the patch's readme."
We downloaded and installed the patch and played BF1942 with no apparent problems after several hours of play.
[9/11] VisiCalc Developers Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston Receive Computer History Museum Fellow Awards according to this press release. The Fellow Awards will be given out on October 19. VisiCalc is the first electronic spreadsheet and it was developed for the Apple II, making it the first legitimate business personal computer. The Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View CA, is home to the world's largest collection of computing-related items. [Dana Baggett]
[9/11] Halo Updater v1.05.3 is Out and available for download via MacUpdate.com. The new Halo 1.05.3 Updater does the following:
- The Mac code has been synchronized with version 1.05 of the PC code (Build 610). The PC code had been updated with a GameSpy Security Hot-Fix to prevent a malicious user from being able to shut down the game on the server.
- Gamers with the new NVIDIA 6800 video hardware may play Halo using either the NV Shaders or ATI Pixel Shaders modes.
[9/11] $50 Off Contribute 3.0 for .Mac Members: Enjoy .Mac member savings on the latest version of Macromedia's easy-to-use software for web editing and publishing. Contribute 3 offers 300 new enhancements, and allows you to publish directly to .Mac. If you haven't tried Contribute yet, now is the time to discover this versatile HTML editor. With Contribute, you can easily update the content of a professionally designed website. Or you can start from scratch with one of the 43 professionally designed site themes included with Contribute and build a full-featured website for yourself, your school, or your small business. Learn more about Contribute 3 and see how other .Mac members are using Contribute.
Download the free trial version of Contribute 3, including two free chapters from the Macromedia Contribute 3 Visual QuickStart Guide. Ready to buy? .Mac members get the full version of Contribute 3 for just US$99 (regularly US$149) or upgrade from Contribute 2 to Contribute 3 for just US$49 (regularly US$79).
[9/11] Apple Revised the Offerings from Four of Their Hot Deals Retailers:
Amazon has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including I.R.I.S. Readiris Pro 9 OCR Software, Microsoft Office 2004 Pro Upgrade, Intuit Quicken 2005 Deluxe for Mac, Macromedia Contribute 3.0, Canon Pixma iP4000 Photo Printer, Epson PictureMate Personal Photo Printer Nova Art Explosion for Mac, Route 66's Route USA 2004, and much more.
MacZone has great deals on great products for your Mac, including Sony's CyberShot DSC-V1 Digital Camera with FREE Carrying Bag and other accessories, LaCie 500GB External FireWire 400/800 External Hard Drive, Kanguru DVD+/RW 8x External FireWire Drive, Keyspan USB to 2-Serial Port Adapter for Mac, Adobe After Effects Pro 6.5 Upgrade, and much more.
O'Reilly has exclusively Hot Deals discounts for many of it's most popular Mac titles, including "iMovie 4 & iDVD: The Missing Manual," "iPhoto 4: The Missing Manual," "Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One," "Digital Photography Hacks," and much more.
Ramjet has super low prices on RAM upgrades for your Mac, including 2GB DDR400 Kit for Power Mac G5, 512MB DDR Kit for Power Mac G4, 1GB Module for Aluminum PowerBook G4, 512MB Module for Aluminum PowerBook G4, 512MB Module for Titanium PowerBook G4, 1GB DDR User Slot Module for iMac G4, 1GB DDR Kit for eMac 1.25GHz and above, and much more.
[9/10] Commentary--We are Tiring of Waiting for an Apple Ultraportable: What, you say? Apple makes the terrific 12" PowerBook G4, doesn't it. Yes, we know that and we agree that it is terrific and its speed at 1.33 GHz is finally up to par for a PowerBook. But it has one huge, serious failing and one modest one that keeps us from using it where we need an ultra light-weight portable laptop. More on that in a minute but let me assure you that we are in no way thinking about giving up on our main traveling companion, the fabulous 17" PowerBook G4. Why, we even use it more than our desktop PowerMac G5 when we are working around Macs Only!'s global HQ, now located permanently in sunny, and always ice-free, San Diego, CA.
So why do we need another laptop? Well, we attend a lot of all-day but partially relevant meetings and conferences, travel through a lot of airports and sit through a lot of long conference calls in odd places. We need to be able to take notes and to get on the web to keep up with our email that numbers in the hundreds per day and maybe do a little interesting surfing for information and, quite frankly, to keep from being bored stiff. We need a small, light and unobtrusive laptop with a PC card slot.
The PC card slot is essential for wireless broadband internet (see Sprint or Verizon) in places where there is still no WiFi or the host has it set up to prevent access except via a long and tedious confab with one of their IT mavens or it fails to work with our PowerBook due to software login issues. The latter happens only occasionally but almost always when we encouter ATT as the service in certain airports. Wireless broadband internet is fairly common now and it is even exceeding the speed of WiFi these days. Yes, we can go through our GSM cell phone using Bluetooth and GPRS but that service has proven to be disappointingly slow except for POP text email, which is getting pretty rare these days.
Also, many times our 17" PowerBook is too obtrusive as the seating in meetings or conferences is too close. A 15" PowerBook is also too obtrusive in those situations. A 12" PowerBook would fill the bill but guess what? Through several generations of this little gem Apple has continued to fail to include a PC card slot. We find it hard to believe that Apple continues to cripple this otherwise excellent road warrior by leaving off a PC card slot. There are USB PC card adapters but no Mac OS X drivers. Technology is changing rapidly, Apple! Relying on WiFi and cell phones does not get the job any longer.
Besides, at 4.6 pounds, the 12" Powerbook G4 is too heavy and too large. We'd probably have to give up toting our 17" PowerBook G4 on trips which we are not about to do.
What we need is something really thin and light and small. It should weigh no more than 2 pounds and preferably less. It should have a footprint no larger than a 10" screen, i.e. smaller than a sheet of paper. And it should be very thin (less than an inch) so it can easily fit into the bag with our 17" Powerbook G4. Guess what? There are at least two such laptops in the Wintel world and both have PC card slots.
Our favorite, at 1.73 pounds, is the Sony Vaio x505. A slightly heavier U.S. model at 1.85 pounds is now available but at $3,000, more or less, it's a very expensive email reader/surfer. And it doesn't have a trackpad. Only slightly behind the Sony at 2 pounds is the Sharp Actius MM20. The Actius sells for a more reasonable $1,400 and has a trackpad.
Of course, both Wintels are severely handicapped with the Windows XP operating system. But how long can we wait?
[9/10] Voice Over IP (Internet Calls) Technology Threatened By Incompatibility because manufacturers of telecom equipment, especially routers, have no adhered to industry standards according to this TechWeb article. Industry-leading Cisco is cited as an example in the article of creating its own standards to lock customers into Cisco equipment.
[9/10] Time Posts Favorable Article on iMac G5: The more we see the iMac G5 and the more that we read rave reviews about it, the better we like it, especially the 20" model that we have ordered. Here is Time's take on the latest iMac. [Joseph Sacco]
[9/9] The Apple Developer Connection Published "Developing Cross-Platform UNIX Applications with Mac OS X:" Let's say that you are a Mac developer, but need to deploy your application to a Linux or Solaris server--what to do? As it turns out, Mac OS X makes it easy to develop applications then deploy them to other flavors of UNIX. This article discusses tools and techniques for developing code on Mac OS X for deploying on other UNIX platforms, and covers issues working with Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, C and C++ and more. The article is located on this Apple web page.
[9/9] Lexmark Laser Printer Safety Recall: The recalled laser printers are Lexmark's E232, E232t, E330, E332n, and E332tn; IBM's Infoprint 1412 and 1412n; and Dell's 1700 and 1700n according to this Yahoo News article.
While there have been no injuries reported so far, this is an important safety recall based on a wrong part that may injure users. According to this CNET article these printers are Mac-compatible. At a price point of around $200, it is possible that Mac consumers have bought them for home or office since they first hit the market in May.
They are still available for sale from links posted on the CNET review site! Lexmark has posted details of the safety recall on its web site which indicate that August 20, 2004 is a significant date. Printers sold before this date have been recalled and those sold after that date may be subject to recall, depending on their serial number. Links are provided with instructions on the Lexmark support site. [Dana Baggett]
[9/9] Apple Revised the Offerings from Three of their Hot Deals Retailers:
CDW|MacWarehouse has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including Sony's CyberShot DSC-P93 Digital Camera, LaCie 1 Terabyte Big Disk External FireWire 400/800 Hard Drive, Hewlett Packard DesignJet 130nr Inkjet Printer, Enfocus Pitstop Professional, SimpleTech 256MB Secure Digital Memory Card, Canon i80 Bubble Jet Printer, and much more.
Publishing Perfection has great deals on publishing products for your Mac, including DAZ Victoria 2.0, Adobe After Effects 6.5, Canto Cumulus 6, Discreet Combustion 3, AutoFX Mystical Tine Tone and Color, Epson PictureMate, Curious Labs Poser Artist, Digital Anarchy Texture Anarchy, and much more.
B&H Photo and Video has fantastic prices of superb products for your Mac, including Canon's PowerShot G6 Digital Camera, Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Camcorder, Epson Stylus Photo RX500 All-in-One Device Nikon Super CoolScan 5000ED Film Scanner, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, JBL Invader Computer Speaker System, Canon CanoScan LiDE35 Flatbed Scanner, and much more.
[9/9] Initial iMac G5s Shipping FedEx 3-Day International, Save $30: Dana Baggett, our New England Editor, has had a 20" iMac G5 on order since the day they were announced. Yesterday he wrote:
I tried to upgrade the shipping of my BTO iMac G5 placed Aug. 31 at 5:40 AM PST. (Not sure why Apple uses PST but that's what the order says.) At the time I placed my web order I was offered free UPS 5 day ground shipping or an upgrade to Fedex air 3 day shipping for $30. (Those options are still available for new orders.) I selected free shipping. :-\
I called The Apple Store this morning - 8 minute wait time - and talked with an Apple rep who said that my order would be shipped the fastest method directly to me from the Far East by 3 day international air (probably Fedex but he didn't say so) and no upgrade was needed nor possible.
Apparently, Apple is rushing at least the initial batch of iMac G5 orders regardless of original ship mode. My order says it will ship "on or before Sep. 29."
[9/9] OpenOSX Office 1.5 is Available: OpenOSX announced the immediate availability of Office 1.5 for Mac OS X "Panther" that is a easy-to-use solution for configuring, installing and utilizing the proven open source "GNOME Office" software, offering users a wealth of productivity software. This newest edition delivers enhanced integration with Mac OS X, completely new and updated software, improved installation along with additional features and enhancements. The OpenOSX Office product is available immediately for $40 on CD-ROM, with download-only delivery available for $30, upgrades from previous versions of the product are $20 on CD-ROM and $15 for download.
We have not used this particular office suite. If you have, let us know what you think of it.
[9/8] Apple Security Update 2004-09-07 is Out and available for download via the software Update preference pane for Mac OS X 10.3.5, 10.3.4 and 10.2.8 and Server 10.3.5, 10.3.4 and 10.2.8. The 10.3.5 updates are from these Apple web pages (client or server).
Security Update 2004-09-07 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this Apple web page.
We downloaded and installed it on iBooks, PowerBook G4s, a G4 Cube and a Power Mac G5 with no apparent ill effects. [Dana Baggett]
[9/8] Envision Web Show for the Week for 9/6 is Out: This week's Envision Web Show of the Week from OpenDoor Software is a large collection of lightning photographs. Coming from the Australian Severe Weather site, this show contains around 500 images. The show settings are configured to go through the images very quickly, for best effect. You can certainly slow things down if you would like (use the basic pane of the Settings dialog). The show file can be downloaded from the Show of the Week web site. Previous Shows of the Week (including the recent Olympics shows) are available in the Show of the Week archive.
[9/8] VueScan 8.0.15 is Out: The update of the Mac OS X scanner drivers from Hamrick Software adds support for Epson 2480/2580 on Mac OS X and Linux, and includes support for 43 additional models of Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet/PSC multi-function printer/scanner/copiers. This update also adds support for the Plustek OpticFilm 7200 and Microtek i900 scanners, and improves automatic White Balance, making colors in images look more lifelike. Numerous other improvements and bug fixes have also been included in this release.
[9/8] CopyPaste-X 2.0.3 is Out: CopyPaste-X 2.0.3 from ScriptSoftware the one and only award winning multiple clipboard editor/archival utility was released today. CopyPaste-X 2.0.3 is extremely useful to editors, publisher, and students. Essential for anyone who extensively uses the clipboard. CopyPaste is one on the all-time best utilities.
[9/7] Free Apple Online Seminars--Current Listing: These online events are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any computer with internet access. They are designed to be no more than 30 minutes in length and offer a wide variety of resources and information for your review. Topics cover solutions using Apple and partner products and technologies.
A Blueprint for Tiered Storage--Steve Duplessie, recognized independent expert on storage technology, discusses the practicalities of tiered storage & set-up of a solution that works.
Biotech is in our DNA--Michael Athanas, Ph.D., of The BioTeam will show how to install a fully provisioned informatics cluster on one or more Xserve servers using iNquiry.
Break Through the Barriers to Digital Photography Success--Digital photography provides exciting ways to deliver new content and gain greater control over the finished product, while saving time and money.
Color Management for Your Digital Workflow--This free online seminar helps demystify color management and gives you the knowledge you need to incorporate it into your workflow.
Computational Clusters for Bioinformatics--Elizabeth Kerr, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology Markets at Apple, moderates this informative webcast discussion of the Apple Workgroup Cluster.
Guitarists and the Mac: A Conversation with Pat Metheny--Join Pat Metheny in this free online seminar and learn how the Mac can help you take your music to the next level.
Improve Your Presentation Skills--Watch this free online seminar and find out how to improve your presentation skills.
Information Lifecycle Management--Steve Kenniston, an Enterprise Storage Group analyst will offer insights as to how to manage vast amounts of data while keeping your overhead low.
Keynote: Presentations that Meet your Creative Standards--Take this free online seminar and find out how Keynote allows you to create superior presentations you would expect from a professional creative tool.
Perfectly Focused - Digital Photography on Mac OS X--This seminar will show you why you should take the plunge to digital--and how to get started with your own digital photography workflow on Mac OS X.
Unwire Your Business--Take this free online seminar and find out how Apple's wireless and mobile solutions let you take your computing environment with you wherever you go.
Why Hire a Member of the Apple Consultants Network--Learn about the services provided by and advantages of hiring members of the Apple Consultants Network.
[9/7] Apple is the Real Innovator in Personal Computing--Take Floppy Drives for Example: Wintels are finally losing their floppy disk drives according to this PhillyBlubs.com article. But it was Apple that pioneered use of the small, high density 3.5" floppy disks in Macs in the mid-1980s. Apple then became the first major computer maker to end using floppy drives altogether in 1998 with the release of the iMac. We all know that Apple is the innovator of computer makers. [Dana Baggett]
[9/7] KeyStrokes wins MacGeneration 2004 Award: AssistiveWare's KeyStrokes is an on-screen keyboard for Mac OS X. The MacGeneration 2004 award for software product of the best development team was given by a jury of professionals and specialists in the field from the over 200 French localized products submitted to the contest. Anyone interested in learning more about KeyStrokes can find the documentation and a fully-functional demo on AssistiveWare's web site.
[9/7] Cool Software Accessories--Mac3DWatch v1.2.1with RSS News and Stock Quotes Feeds is Out: Mac3DWatch is a fancy ScreenSaver for MacOS X 10.3 or higher which shows a live and spinning 3D metal watch synchronized with your local system watch, plus, optionally (in a overlaid scrolling text, like on TV) your favourite RSS news feeds and your favourite Stock Quotes news feeds. Simply hit the keys from 0 to 99 to select the channel you want to see or leave Mac3DWatch automatically rotate the channels for you.
[9/4] iNeck for the iMac G5 Announced: The iNeck fits under the iMac G5's stand and allows it to swivel around. The specs are:
- Premium quality anodised aluminium base, manufactured to the same standard as your iMacG5
- A perfect match at less than 1/2” thick
- No-hassle, just put your iMacG5 on top and give it a swing
- Very smooth movement from left-to-right, thanks to our unique ultraflat ball-bearing twister
- Your iMacG5 stands like a rock and swings like a top!
- Available in 17” an 20” versions for the iMacG5, and 20” and 23” versions for the Cinema displays
The prices given are in euros, 49.95 (17") and 59.95 (20") with availability in September. Pre-orders are being taken.
[9/4] Macs on Campus--The Top 50 Universities: How do Macs stack up against PCs? CNET posted the personal computer specs of the 50 top universities as ranked by U. S. News and World Report. Their review indicates that:
- Only seven schools out of 50 specify PC only.
- One institution out of 50 recommends PCs over Macs. (Wash. Univ. in St. Louis).
- No university recommends Macs over PCs. But Lehigh Univ. notes that some departments there have adopted Macintosh with Mac OS X as an accepted standard.
- Four universities offer hardware discounts exclusively on Macs. Three offer hardware discounts exclusively on PCs (Dell). Most others offer deals on both Macs and PC machines.
- Twenty-one schools indicate either a Mac or a PC is acceptable.
- Seventeen universities make no recommendations.
- Four schools specify laptops/notebooks.
[9/4] Mac/PC System Shootouts Updated for iMac G5: From Charles Gaba, "Yup, I've managed to burn through the new iMac G5 updates in record time [on System Shootouts.] Featuring updated $1,300, $1,900 and $2,300 Desktop Shootouts. Also featuring a fully-updated Apple Desktop Lineup comparison chart."
[9/3] Wednesdays are Pro Days at Apple Stores--September Schedule: A Pro Day seminar or presentation is given every Wednesday at the Apple retail stores. Here is September's schedule:
- 9/01 Creating Professional Presentations with Keynote
- 9/08 Desktop Management with Apple Remote Desktop 2
- 9/15 Managing Your Finances Using MYOB AccountEdge 2004
- 9/22 Manage Your Small Business with .Mac
- 9/29 Increase Your Productivity with Microsoft Office 2004
Presentation times vary so check the Apple Store nearest you.
[9/3] Apple Posted 7 New Support Documents for the New iMac G5: Search on iMac G5. Here are the results at publication time:
About iMac G5 external ports and connectors
... Title: About iMac G5 external ports and connectors, Article ID: 86813. Created: 2004-08-25. Modified: 2004-08-31. ...
Document No. 86813
About the iMac G5 Video Out port and video mirroring
... Title: About the iMac G5 Video Out port and video mirroring, Article ID: 86811. Created: 2004-08-25. Modified: 2004-08-31. ...
Document No. 86811
iMac G5: Memory specifications
... Title: iMac G5: Memory specifications, Article ID: 86814. Created: 2004-08-25. Modified: 2004-08-31. Topic Learn what kinds of memory you can use with your iMac G5. ...
Document No. 86814
iMac G5 parts you can install yourself
... Title: iMac G5 parts you can install yourself, ... Topic Think you need a new part? You can replace many of your iMac G5's parts yourself. ...
Document No. 86812
How to pick up and carry your iMac G5
... Title: How to pick up and carry your iMac G5, ... Topic Don't know how to pick up and carry your iMac G5? It's easy. ...
Document No. 86816
About the iMac G5 Sound Output port
... Title: About the iMac G5 Sound Output port, Article ID: 86810. Created: 2004-08-25. Modified: 2004-08-31. Topic Learn about the Sound Output port of your iMac G5. ...
Document No. 86810
About the iMac G5 diagnostic LEDs
... Title: About the iMac G5 diagnostic LEDs, ... Topic Learn about the diagnostic capabilities of your iMac G5. ...
Document No. 86815
[9/3] Tonight on The Mac Night Owl LIVE--MacCentral and VersionTracker: This week, hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg meet MacCentral’s Jim Dalrymple to talk about the Paris Expo and the new iMac. Also on hand will be Ken Gengler and Kevin Shields from VersionTracker. Tune into the internet radio show broadcast from 6:00 to 8:00 PM PDT, 9:00 to 11:00 PM EDT.
[9/3] O'Reilly Releases "IRC Hacks:" IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, may well turn out to be the world's most successful hack. As Paul Mutton, author of "IRC Hacks" (O'Reilly, US $24.95) explains, IRC started as a summer trainee's programming exercise. In 1988, Jarkko Oikarinen, a student at the University of Oulu, Finland, wrote the first IRC program. Subsequently, Mutton notes, "A hack grew into a software development project that hundreds of people participated in, and then became a worldwide environment where tens of thousands of people now spend time with each other."
[9/3] From the Dark Side--Why Some IT Directors Hate Macs: We know why some IT directors don't like Macs. And it isn't for the reasons given in this eSchool News article. It's for reasons far more personal, ones that we have cited many times. [Dana Baggett]
But it's not because teachers don't like using the technology, said Hayes: "There has never been a lack of interest in Macs from the teacher level." Rather, the real problem for Apple has been a lack of interest on the part of IT directors, many of whom have sought to standardize schools on the more popular Windows-based platform for simplicity's sake, she said.
Running on a single platform enables school IT personnel to alleviate compatibility hang-ups and reduces the number of headaches they have to contend with on a daily basis, she explained.
As if to underscore her point, the University of Miami on Aug. 31 announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Dell to standardize on Dell machines campus-wide. The agreement is expected to save the university about $2 million a year (see related story).
What? We checked on the Dell deal cited in the eSchool News article with some colleagues at the University of Miami where we used to be a faculty member. We know that UM has a big Mac community and that the Marine Science School is mostly Mac. So we would be shocked if the story were accurate. Well, it isn't--one more myth generated by the ignorant. You see, UM has been buying mostly Dells for those buying Wintels through the IT department for some time and the alternative has been a Mac. The deal noted in the article just "codifies" the Wintel purchases through IT with an exclusive Dell contract. Mac are not being replaced wholesale campus-wide to standardize on one platform as implied in the article. And if one buys directly off a research grant, one can still buy whatever Wintel or Unix box or Linux box or Mac one needs.
[9/2] Apple Initiates iTunes Affiliates Program: Apple's press release launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions to affiliate websites. The iTunes Affiliate Program will complement successful iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. The iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one music service with over 125 million songs purchased and downloaded to date.
"This program is a clear win-win for Apple and our partners, both large and small," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Applications. "By working with affiliate websites we're not only expanding access to iTunes, but are giving site owners the ability to connect to one of the hottest brands online, creating a quick and easy way for them to generate additional revenue."
The new program is the latest initiative from Apple to help businesses and organizations use the popularity of digital music for marketing and awareness related purposes.
We are investigating the possibility of becoming an iTunes affiliate. [Dana Baggett]
[9/2] Apple Web Site Won Top Ten Award from Support Professionals: The Association of Support Professionals announced the winners of its seventh annual "Ten Best Web Support Sites" competition, showcasing excellence in online service and support. Apple was included in the 2004 list of winners, chosen by evaluating overall usability, design and navigation; knowledge base and search implementation; interactive features; and personalization according to the ASP web site. The other computer maker to win besides Apple was Hewlett Packard. [Dana Baggett]
[9/2] Apple AirPort Card Update 2004-08-31 v3.4.3 Direct Download is Now Available from this Apple web page. [Dana Baggett]
[9/2] Apple Revised the Offerings from Two of Their Hot Deals Retailers:
MacConnection has fantastic deals on essential products for your Mac, including the You Control/You Synchronize Bundle, LowePro Tropolis 1200 Carrying Case FREE with the purchase of any PowerBook or iBook, Apple 30" Cinema Display HD/nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL Video Card Bundle, Markzware FlightCheck Pro 5.5, Adobe Photoshop CS Upgrade, Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Upgrade, and much more.
MacMall has money-saving deals on quality Mac products, including Native Instruments Guitar Rig, Miglia Technology Alchemy TV DVR, Princeton LCD190 19" LCD Display, InFocus X2 Projector, Aspyr Media Adrenaline Sports Pack, El Gato EyeTV 500, Apple DVD Studio Pro 3/SonicFire Pro 3.2 Bundle, Extensis Suitcase X1/Symantec Norton SystemWorks Bundle, Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition/Dantz Retrospect 6.0 Workgroup Bundle, and much more.
[9/2] From the Dark Side--M$ iTunes Music Store Copy Opens Today: Microsoft's digital music store opens today as a test version and, surprise surprise, it copies Apple's iTune's Music Store right down to using its own proprietary format. The look and feel of the M$ music store is likely to be less Mac-like but the songs will cost 99 cents and they will number up to 1 million just like iTunes according to this AP news article. The main differnce is that the songs from M$ won't run on the market-leading player, the iPod, but will run on some 70 other devices. The final version will completed in October with the level of "innovation" we've come to expect from M$. [Dana Baggett]
[9/1] PodPod Soft Auto Cradle for iPod and iPod mini Cup Holder Insert Announced: Griffin Technology Inc. today announced the Griffin PodPod. The soft foam Griffin PodPod slips into any auto cup holder and provides a safe secure ride for any iPod or iPod mini. It also places the iPod in comfortable reach for easy adjustment and perfect placement for the iPod or iPod mini with an iTrip on top. The PodPod will ship next month for only $9.99 and is being shown this week at Apple Expo Paris. Pre-orders are being accepted now.
[9/1] Apple Posted AirPort Card Update 2004-08-31 v3.4.3--Brief Hands-On Report: It is available via the Software Update preference pane. It was not listed on the Apple Support Software Downloads web page at publication time. According to the Read Me file,
AirPort Card Update 2004-08-31 improves reliability in mixed 802.11b and 802.11g environments and is recommended for all customers with AirPort-capable computers running AirPort 3.4 and later, including AirPort 4.0.
After this update, the AirPort Driver and AirPort Extreme Driver will each be upgraded to version 3.4.3.
We downloaded it via the preference pane it installed over our AirPort 4.0 installation with v3.4.2 of the AirPort and AirPort Extreme drivers that came with our AirPort Express. No problems have been encountered with the updated drivers so far.
[9/1] Commentary--Our Take on Apple's New iMac G5: In three words, we love it. In fact, we ordered a 20" model from the Apple Store yesterday right after they were announced. It will ship on "Sep. 29 or before." The new iMac G5 embraces Apple's principal design theme of thinner/smaller and its macro design theme of elegant simplicity. It's colors also follow Apple's recent design convention of white and brushed aluminum.
The iMac G5 is as elegant a desktop computer as any ever made expressly for consumers. It's feature set continues to be perfect for a general consumer desktop right down to the graphics that will play most shipping 3D games well. Apple even included one of the key features that we declared a must, the G5 CPU. The new iMac will sport a CPU that is among the fastest CPUs in a low-end consumer desktop.
But...having heaped all that praise on the new iMac G5, could Apple have done even better, especially in the areas of price and innovation?
The high end iMac is a bargain with a gorgeous 20" flat panel monitor. At $1899, the 20" iMac G5 is $300 less expensive than the 20" iMac G4. Our only quibble with it is that Apple should have provided a better performing 3D graphics card for the budding household gamer, even for a few more bucks.
At $1299, the low end iMac is today among the most expensive low end consumer desktops if not the most expensive. But it's packed with features and when the cheaper Wintel or Winamd desktops are similarly configured, the differences are not all that significant. And the 17" CRT eMac desktop starts at a mere $799 for the extremely budget conscious.
There are three necessary components to an all-in-one desktop computer: mouse, keyboard and monitor. The mouse is questionable as a necessity and stuffing computer "guts" into one is not yet feasible anyway so that leaves the monitor or the keyboard. Apple chose to include the computer "guts" with the monitor in the iMac G5 just like all the iMacs before it and several Wintel incarnations. Clearly, Apple's design is the best ever but it's incremental even if in many aspects.
We ask, what about the keyboard? What about size? The guts of a 133MHz 12" PowerBook G4, including a SuperDrive and a 60GB hard drive, could easily fit into a full size keyboard. The cooling needs of a 1.8GHz G5 might require a slightly larger enclosure but that also affords the opportunity for designers to make a keyboard look really cool. What about the all-in-one concept? That concept is not compromised since every all-in-one box contains both a keyboard and a monitor.
An advantage of associating the guts with a keyboard may be price. It could be packaged alone, dropping the flat panel screen, the most expensive component. The configuration would be for those who already have a monitor or who want to buy a cheap CRT, i.e. for those who buy rock bottom Wintels like public schools, companies, governments and scads of consumers world wide. It would also be for those who want a consumer desktop running Mac OS X that uses one of Apple's fabulous new flat panel displays--a fatter keyboard but a thinner monitor than those of the new iMac G5.
But what do we know? Apple's successful education strategy is built around an inexpensive iBook. And, some will point out that a computer in a keyboard has already been done. They would be right, of course. Our first actual computer, a TI-94, was scarcely more than a computer in a keyboard, albeit a pretty weak one.
In summary, we think Apple's new iMac G5 is a compelling design when compared with the iMac G4 or any other consumer desktop on the market for that matter. The more we look at it the more we like it. The iMac G5 should pump up sales of the iMac line significantly. We can hardly wait to get our hands on ours. Oh, did I say we love it?
[9/1] Apple Scores Exclusive Education Computer Deal in Bahrain: Apple just signed a contract to provide computers and information technology to the entire government school system, all grades, in Bahrain according to this Gulf Daily News article. Implementation will begin September 12th in 11 secondary schools involving about 11,000 students and nearly 1400 teachers. [Dana Baggett]
[9/1] Envision Web Show of the Week Features Classics: This week's Envision Web Show of the Week is a large collection of highlights from illuminated manuscripts penned between the 11th and 17th centuries. Based on a collection at Oxford University, this show features over 1000 images from a large number of different manuscripts. The show file can be downloaded from the Show of the Week web site. Previous Shows of the Week (including our recent Olympics shows) are available in the Show of the Week archive.
[9/1] Apple Posted Video/Photo Gallery of Apple Expo Paris Keynote by Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing. They are linked on this Apple web page. [Dana Baggett]
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