The 'Book Review

Danes Refunded for Defective G4 iBooks, Rumored Mac Minitablet, Handle for MacBooks, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.10.01

We apologize for not being able to post The 'Book Review on Friday. Charles Moore, who lives in rural Nova Scotia, writes: "A motorized bush cutter nailed the main fiber optics cable connecting this neck of the woods to the outside world, and we lost all but local service for 12 hours." Without further ado, we present...

Last Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Tech Trends

Products

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Refunds Dissatisfied Danes for iBook G4 Failure

The Register's Austin Modine reports:

"Apple will admit no wrongdoing, but has agreed to return money to Danish customers with allegedly defective iBook G4s. The concession comes after months of fighting a report from the Consumer Complaints Board (CCB) in Denmark that claims evidence of an original design flaw in the laptops.

"A number of iBook G4 customers worldwide say that after only one year's use, the computers lose power and the screen goes blank."

Apple, Danish Board Disagree Over iBook G4 Flaw

IDG News Service's Peter Sayer reports:

"Apple does not agree that a manufacturing defect caused power failures in an iBook G4 laptop sold in Denmark, but it refunded the customer's money, said the country's Consumer Complaints Board.

"An Apple spokeswoman in the U.S. said, 'Apple disagrees with the DCCB's findings based on our own investigation, and has a strong track record for customer satisfaction.'

"The case is just one of many concerning the iBook G4 that the board has heard about, Frederik Navne Boesgaard, the complaints board's legal adviser, said Wednesday.

"Apple also faces a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California concerning a similar problem with the iBook G4. In a complaint filed on Nov. 7, plaintiff Alan Vitt said the computers' motherboards fail at an abnormally high rate...."

Apple Rumored to Be Developing OS X Minitablet

News.com's Tom Krazit says:

"Apparently the Newton doesn't fall very far from the Apple tree.

"AppleInsider is reporting that Apple has a project underway to develop a minitablet computer based on the OS X operating system it has developed for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The site is calling it 'the return of the Newton,' referring to the much-maligned but cult-favorite PDA that Apple sold in the mid-1990s."

Apple Updates

MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0

The MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0 enables file system journaling on MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. Some MacBook and MacBook Pro computers were shipped with file system journaling turned off. Journaling is recommended for all Macintosh computers as a preventative measure against file corruption.

System requirements

Installation of MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4.10.

The MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0 supports the following products:

  • MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007)
  • MacBook Pro 2.4/2.2 GHz Mid 2007)

Note: After MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0 has been installed, the Macintosh startup volume will have journaling enabled.

After installing MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0, check your hard disk drive volumes using Disk Utility. Please closely follow the steps below to check your hard disk drive volume:

  1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer then restart the computer while holding the "C" key.
  2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (You must select your language first.)
      Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.
  3. Click the First Aid tab.
  4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.
  5. Select your internal hard disk drive volume. This is usually Macintosh HD but your internal hard disk drive may have a different name.
  6. Click Repair.

Tip: It's important to start up your computer from a Mac OS X Install or Restore disc to allow Disk Utility to verify or repair your startup volume.

Tech Trends

Give 1 Get 1 'One Laptop Per Child' Program

For two weeks in November for just US$399, you can give and get the revolutionary laptop computer that lets children explore, experiment and express themselves

Any nation's most precious resource is its children. Most of the nearly two billion children in the developing world are inadequately educated, or in some cases, receive no education at all. One in three does not complete the fifth grade. The individual and societal consequences of this chronic global crisis are profound. Children are consigned to poverty and isolation - never knowing what the light of learning could mean in their lives.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization launched in 2005 by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are sufficiently affordable to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression, is announcing today a unique opportunity for the general public to put an innovative and powerful educational tool into the hands of children in the developing world.

Called "Give 1 Get 1" the two-week program will enable an individual who lives in the USA or Canada to support the OLPC Foundation and its work by paying for two XO children's laptop computers - one to give, one to get. The laptop you give will go to a child in a developing nation. The laptop you get can be used by you or a deserving child or friend. The Give 1 Get 1 program is designed to promote awareness and understanding of the education value of the XO laptop, to encourage the open-source software community to create education content to support use of the XO laptop by children in the developing world, and, of course, to put more XO laptops into the hands of those children. The two-week, limited-time offer will run from Monday, November 12 through Monday, November 26, 2007.

"Give 1 Get 1 presents a terrific opportunity for the public to help eliminate poverty and make the world a better place by inoculating children against ignorance," said OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte. "Kids are naturally global and native learners. They need to be excited and empowered by providing tools for thinking, collaboration and expression. Additionally, Give 1 Get 1 is a means to trigger greater interest and commitment from governments of developing nations, as well as those of wealthier ones who wish to help the poorest and most remote children."

Groups ranging from the United Nations to the NRTA: AARP's Educator Community (formerly the National Retired Teachers Association) are enthusiastic supporters of OLPC, and many of the world's leading technology companies are contributing their expertise and resources to the cause. "This is not just a matter of giving a laptop to each child, as if bestowing upon them some magical charm," said Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of United Nations at the International Telecommunications Union World Summit in Tunis in November, 2005. "The magic lies within - within each child, within each scientist-, scholar- or just-plain citizen-in-the-making. This initiative is meant to bring it forth into the light of day."

The Revolutionary XO Laptop

The XO laptop, conceived at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and developed and manufactured by OLPC and its technology partners, has been created specifically for children in developing countries. XO taps into a child's innate capacities to learn, share and create. It is called "XO" because when you turn the letters counterclockwise, the XO logo looks like a child.

XO has many features not found in any other laptop, including:

  • Rugged design and sealed case to make it water- and shock-resistant
  • High-resolution screen that can be read in direct sunlight, as well as indoors in the dark
  • Lower power consumption using only 5-10 percent of the average wattage of a normal laptop
  • Can be powered by solar energy and human energy with pull cords and hand cranks
  • Mesh (peer-to-peer) network that turns each XO into a full-time router connecting each laptop and allowing for easy Internet access
  • No moving parts, except for rabbit ears (for the mesh network) and the hinge
  • Runs on free, open source software
  • Contains no lead, mercury, cadmium or PVC

The XO laptop, a general-purpose device, comes with a built-in video camera, sophisticated sound processing, and software for making music, creating art, playing games, browsing the web, and word processing. The XO can also be used as an e-book reader in both the dark and in bright sunlight.

A September 17, 2007 review of the XO published by Joanna Stern, Staff Writer, of Laptop Magazine concluded, "Its [XO's] altruistic purpose, along with its blend of convenient collaboration tools, clever hardware, and innovative operating system makes this machine worthy of the global recognition it's receiving. In its own way, the XO is more of a catalyst for technological change than Apple's iPhone."

Give 1 Get 1 Program Details

Starting on November 12 and for two weeks only, the public will be able to pay US$399 for two XOs, getting and giving one simultaneously. On a first come, first served basis, individuals who participate in the Give 1 Get 1 program will receive their XO laptops by Christmas.

In the meanwhile, effective today, the public can go to http://www.XOgiving.org or call a toll-free number at 1-866-XO-GIVING (1-866-964-4846) to give a laptop, without receiving one. A charitable contribution of $200 will provide a child in a developing country with an XO laptop computer of their own. In addition, visitors to the web site can sign up to be put on an alert list to receive an email reminder on November 12 that Give 1 Get 1 has started.

Products

Combination Handle/Stand for MacBook, MacBook Pro

PR: Fins-Up, LLC announces a new aesthetic, single piece combination handle/stand designed exclusively for Apple notebook computers. The streamlined design of the FIN is aesthetically unobtrusive, with only a single piece to install. The powder-coated finish matches that of your notebook exactly, becoming literally an extension of the computer. Manufactured from durable, aircraft-grade aluminum, the FIN will transport your laptop safely. It is simple to install, and to remove if needed.

Fin laptop handleThe FIN makes your portable computer even more convenient. Apple notebooks are widely known and coveted for their sleek and slick design. But these same attributes can make moving around the office difficult, carrying your computer, notebooks, and of course, a precariously balanced cup of coffee.

Now using your laptop can be safe and convenient, with the FIN! The FIN is a portable computer handle and stand in one, making typing easy and comfortable, and enabling you to literally pick up your computer and go.

The streamlined design of the FIN is aesthetically unobtrusive, with only a single piece to install. The powder-coated finish matches that of your notebook exactly, becoming literally an extension of the computer.

Fin laptop handleManufactured from durable, aircraft-grade aluminum the FIN will transport your laptop safely. It is simple to install, and to remove if needed. The FIN also acts as an ergonomic stand for your computer, making typing easy, comfortable, and efficient. Air can move freely between your notebook and the stand, dissipating heat from the computer.

The FIN is available for the following Apple notebook models: - MacBook - MacBook Pro 15" and 17"

  • PowerBook G4 Aluminum 12", 15" and 17"
  • And coming soon for the PowerBook G4 Titanium 15"

Addonics Adapter Allows ExpressCard Notebooks to Use CardBus Devices

PR: This ExpressCard CardBus adapter is a cost effective solution to add back the CardBus slot that is missing in many Notebook computer. Designed to turn any ExpressCard slot into a standard CardBus slot, with this adapter, Notebook computers that are equipped with ExpressCard only can now accept CardBus Wireless broadband card, LAN card, Panasonic P2 Card, CardBus eSATA adapter, video capture card and many other types of CardBus adapter

ExpressCard CardBus adapterAddonics Technologies has announced an ExpressCard adapter that allows users to run all their CardBus peripherals through the high-speed ExpressCard port.

The Addonics ExpressCard to CardBus adapter is a cost effective solution to retain the CardBus slot in notebook systems. Many new notebook PCs are abandoning the CardBus slot for the faster ExpressCard, which can make CardBus peripherals obsolete.

The Addonics adapter connects CardBus Type I or II supported devices to any ExpressCard 34/54 form factor card slot. Users can now run any CardBus peripheral through the ExpressCard slot, including CardBus wireless broadband cards, LAN cards, Panasonic P2 Cards, CardBus eSATA adapters, and video capture card and TV tuner cards.

ExpressCard CardBus adapterFeatures:

  • Connect any CardBus card onto ExpressCard 34/54 card slot
  • Great for connecting CardBus devices onto Notebook computers that are only equipped with ExpressCard slot
  • Supports Type I and Type II CardBus Cards
  • Great for CardBus wireless broadband card, LAN card, P2™ card, video capture card or any 32-bit CardBus adapter
  • Hot-plug capability supported through ExpressCard connector
  • RoHS compliant
  • Compatible with Windows 98/ME, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista Mac OS X 10.4.x with no drivers necessaryÝ

*does not support 16-bit PCMCIA card such as ATA Flash, 4-in-1 DigiAdapter or CF DigiAdapter. Under Mac OS X, Panasonic P2 cards are currently not supported with this adapter.

ÝDrivers for the devices connected through this adapter must still be installed.

The ExpressCard to CardBus Adapter (ADEXC34CB) is simple to install. Users just insert any CardBus device into the adapter, and then insert the adapter into the ExpressCard slot on their system. The computer will instantly detect the new CardBus device. Users then follow the onscreen instructions to install the drivers of the newly installed CardBus device.

Additional support for the adapter includes 1-lane 2.5 Gbps PCI Express; PC Card 32-bit CardBus compliant; and hot-plug capability through the ExpressCard connector. The adapter is compatible with Windows 98/ME, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista and Mac OS.

Specifications

  • Supports ExpressCard 34 and ExpressCard 54 form factor
  • Supports 1-lane 2.5 Gbps PCI Express
  • Compliant with PCI Express Specification, revision 1.0a
  • Supports Type I and Type II PC Cards
  • Compliant with PC Card Standard 7.1
  • PC 98/99 compliant
  • Compatible with Windows 98/ME, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Mac OS X 10.4.x with no drivers necessary.Ý
  • PC Card 32-bit CardBus fully compliant
  • Hot-plug capability supported through ExpressCard connector
  • Dimension (W x D x H) - 65 x 125 x 10 mm.
  • Weight - 40 grams
  • 1 year warranty

The Addonics ExpressCard to CardBus adapter has a MSRP of $69.95 and is available through the Addonics online store www.shopaddonics.com , major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, and Ingram Micro.

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Apple Special Deals

A great selection of refurbs at The Apple Store this week. Includes three 17-inchers, including two below $2,000, and a gaggle of MacBooks a low as $749.

  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/SD, $849
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, $949
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, $999
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120 5400 rpm or 100 7200 rpm/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399
  • refurb 17" hi-res 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599

TechRestore

TechRestore is offering a $25 discount to 'Book Review readers off any PowerBook or iBook in stock. Just enter the code CWM during checkout when ordering online. The coupon code is valid from now through 2007.12.31.

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $529.99 less $25 = $504.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/80/SD, $799.99 less $25 = $774.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, $1,049.99 less $25 = $1,024.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,199.99 less $25 = $1,174.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,349.99 less $25 = $1,324.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 2 GB/100/SD, $1,399.99 less $25 = $1,374.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/120/SD, High-Res, $1,249.99 less $25 = $1,224.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/15/CD, $219
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 384/15/CD, $229
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $299
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 384/20/Combo, $3-9
  • Add AirPort for $69
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $475.00
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $515.00
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 512/40/Combo, a few extra scratches, wear, $520
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 512/40/Combo, $555
  • Add AirPort for $69

Wegener Media

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 256/40/Combo, $589.99
  • 12" PowerBook" G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, $629.99
  • used 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,179.99
  • used 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,239.99
  • used 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,299.99
  • remote not included, add one for $9.99 with MacBook Pro purchase
  • upgrade to 2 GB RAM, $99.99 installed with MacBook Pro purchase

Power Max

  • open box 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $1,029
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,249
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,449
  • open box 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/120/SD, $1949.00
  • open box 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $2,199
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,599
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,688

ExperCom

  • 14" iBook G4/933 MHz, 128/40/Combo, APX, $499
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 128/60/SD, $579
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, AP, $599
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/80/SD, scratched, $899
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $1,049

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/20/CD-RW, $239.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $219.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $349.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $259.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, APX, $499.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $279.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, $449.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/800, 256/40/Combo, $599.95
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, $729.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, BT, $899.95

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our MacBook deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" and 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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