Mac News Review

Apple Switching to Intel, Classic Won't Be Supported on Intel-Based Macs, Keyboard and Mouse Sharing, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.06.10

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, iPod, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Tips

Reviews

Products and Services

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple to Put Intel Inside

The week's top Mac story is Apple's decision to switch from PowerPC processors to Intel CPU beginning in June 2006. Apple expects to complete the transition by June 2007.

We've already posted several articles about the transition at Low End Mac:

Classic Not Supported on Intel-Based Macs

Daring Fireball's John Gruber reports:

"I haven't seen this reported elsewhere, and there hasn't been any official announcement from Apple, but page 67 of Apple's Universal Binary Programming Guidelines PDF explicitly states that Classic apps are not supported in the Rosetta emulator that runs PowerPC apps on Intel-powered Macs (emphasis mine):

"Rosetta is designed to translate currently shipping applications that run on a PowerPC with a G3 processor and that are built for Mac OS X."

PCs Are Too Noisy

The Wall Street Journal's Charles Forelle reports:

"Quiet computing isn't just being practiced on the fringes. More mainstream manufacturers are seeing value in quieter PCs. Some of Lenovo Group Ltd.'s new IBM-brand desktops have a cooling system engineered to reduce noise. Apple Computer Inc. markets its new Mac mini as "whisper-quiet." Dell Inc. maintains several acoustics labs with echo-free test chambers, in part to ensure that its machines meet the various noise guidelines employed in Sweden and around Europe.

"Designers say noise is becoming more of an issue as PCs rev up and push their way into the living room to play digital music, video and games. A computer's mechanical parts - including cooling fans and spinning disk-drives - generally work harder as a PC takes on more tasks. And noise barely noticed amid the buzz of the workplace can be less welcome at home."

Tips

Use One Keyboard and Mouse to Switch Between Mac, Windows PC on the Fly

lifehacker.com says:

"I have what I believe is my dream setup. My office desk has one keyboard and mouse in the middle, and two monitors above. On the left, I have OS X running from my PowerBook and on the right, I have Windows XP running on my HP desktop. There's one mouse pointer and I can move it back and forth across the monitors just like I was on a single system. While I can't drag windows from one monitor to the other, I can copy and paste text across and move files easily with mapped desktop drives on both ends.

"Simply put, I get the best of both worlds. I can stick to Mail, iCal, and iChat for productivity on the Mac side, while running audio, video, and text editors on the PC side (I will always have a PC around just for Homesite, which I'm using to write this very article). I can run any app that comes out and catches some buzz and I have the ultimate web browser testing environment. In a matter of seconds, I can tell you if a new design will work in any of six popular browsers across both platforms.

"With the advent of some open source tools and the Mac mini, it's easier than ever to duplicate this setup if you've got two monitors running on a PC."

Reviews

Intel Dual Xeon, AMD Opteron, and Dual G5 Compared

anandtech.com reports:

"It is a professional 64 bit Dream machine with supersonic speed! It is beautiful. It is about the ultimate user friendliness. It is about a lifestyle. It is a class apart. You guessed it - I am parroting Apple's marketing.

"For some reason, the performance of Apple's gorgeous machines has been wrapped in a shroud of mystery. Yes, you could find a benchmark here and there, with one benchmark showing that the Power Mac is just a mediocre PC while another shows it off as a supercomputer, the unchallenged king of the personal computer world.

"This article is written solely from the frustration that I could not get a clear picture on what the G5 and Mac OS X are capable of. So, be warned; this is not an all-round review. It is definitely the worst buyer's guide that you can imagine. This article cares about speed, performance, and nothing else! No comments on how well designed the internals are, no elaborate discussions about user friendliness, out-of-the-box experience and other subjective subjects. But we think that you should have a decent insight to where the G5/Mac OS X combination positions itself when compared to the Intel & AMD world at the end of this article."

Products and Services

Daystar Updates MAChSpeed Control for Tiger, Adds New Features

PR: Daystar Technology, an Apple Authorized Reseller and Mac Technology Integrator, announced the upgraded release of its XLR8 MAChSpeed Control, CPU performance software.

The new version of MAChSpeed Control incorporates a wide array of tools for CPU/Cache configuration, profiling, testing and compatibility. The update (version 3.4) also includes compatibility with all Apple operating systems from Mac OS 9 though Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

XLR8 MACh Speed Control

Exclusive new benefits include:

  • Works in any Apple OS from 9 though 10.4 Tiger!
  • Cranks "tested" backside cache speeds on iMac,

PowerMac G3, G4 systems and CPU upgrade cards up to 10%

faster than factory defaults.

  • Boosts CPU speed on iBook G3s and fast G3 CPU Upgrades, up to 20% faster.
  • Isolates CPU and Cache problems on all Apple single CPU systems with its built in burn-in tester and "retest on restart" feature.
  • Systems operate 100% compatible when Mac OS X is installed on "OS X Unsupported Devices".
  • Faster G4 speeds for applications in Mac OS 9 with its exclusive AltiVec implementation.
  • Better application compatibility for upgraded Power Mac G4 systems through automatic updating of the Kernel and

Apple System Profiler.

"This is not just another piece of 'Cache Switching' software", said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "MSC's ability to actually think, by profiling components and protecting users from getting themselves into non-boot situations, coupled with its exclusive features, makes it the 'Swiss-army Knife' of Mac CPU utilities - a valuable tool in any system."

MAChSpeed Control is available via download or USPS, direct from Daystar's website.

It is sold in versions for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and combo packages.

Download Version Version Price

  • MAChSpeed Control - OS X 3.4 $ 16.95
  • MAChSpeed Control - OS 9 2.8 $ 9.95
  • MAChSpeed Control - OS X/OS 9 3.4/ 2.8 $ 19.95
  • Include Postage Paid CD - $ 24.95

Existing Daystar customers within the last 12 months will be upgraded free of charge. Detailed information on MAChSpeed Control's features and use is available in the online product sheet.

Kensington SlimType Keyboard for Mac

PR: A stylish Apple computer deserves an equally stylish keyboard. The Kensington SlimType Keyboard for Apple Computers takes its inspiration from Apple's distinctive sleek lines and contemporary design. That low-profile form is then packed with performance and convenience functions. Low-travel, scissor-switch technology delivers a crisp, responsive touch for faster typing. And multimedia hot keys provide intuitive, one-button control of audio and video playback.

Features and Benefits

  • Sleek contemporary profile complements clean Apple styling
  • Scissor-switch technology delivers crisp, responsive touch typing
  • Laptop-style keys for faster typing with a lighter action
  • Intuitive hot keys for one-touch multimedia control
  • Convenient hot keys launch sleep and calculator modes
  • Easy USB connection

System Requirements: Desktop computer, USB port

Slim Type Keyboard for Mac is backed by the Kensington 5-year warranty and free technical support.

Plantronics Multipurpose Stereo Headset for Macs, iPod

PR: Plantronics have announced availability of the .Audio 85, a foldable, multipurpose stereo headset that provides high quality listening for Apple iPod and Apple computers, including iMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, iBook and Mac mini. The .Audio 85 also provides excellent voice transmit for Apple's popular iChat and GarageBand, as well as online gaming, speech recognition and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication applications.

"With the .Audio 85, Apple users can experience unparalleled sound and comfort with the latest computer multimedia applications," said Dean Hovey, vice president and general manager of mobile and entertainment markets for Plantronics. "In addition, the .Audio 85's sleek and compact design ensures users are always in style in the home or on the go."

The .Audio 85 is designed for a broad spectrum of Apple users, from gamers to professionals. It is ideal for VoIP applications to place and receive audio or video calls anywhere in the world. Music and movie aficionados will enjoy the ability to add voice tracks to GarageBand or voice-over to iMovie projects. Any audio or video enthusiast, as well as entry level computer users, that want high quality listening and voice experiences will benefit from the quality and simplicity of the .Audio 85.

The .Audio 85 features advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology for superior noise canceling in the microphone," improving speech recognition accuracy and providing excellent voice transmission ," and brilliant full-range stereo sound. The QuickAdjust microphone boom ensures correct placement for speech applications and the inline volume and mute control enables effortless control. The .Audio 85 headset offers an adjustable headband, and soft swivel-mounted ear cushions, so users can work or play in comfort. Featuring USB plug and play compatibility, users can get started in a snap.

The .Audio 85 comes with a leatherette carrying pouch for storing and travel. The .Audio 85 has a suggested retail price of $79.99 and is available at Apple's US online and Retail Store as well as other retail outlets where Apple products are sold.

iLugger Announces Soft Case for iMac G5 Owners

PR: LTA Projects, the original maker of iMac G5 portable cases, has released a new and improved version of their iLugger G5 iMac case. New standard colors include Solid Black, Solid Gray, Blue/Black 2 Toner, and Orange/Black 2 Toner, and include the following new features:

  • Padded backpack straps that hide away when not in use
  • New sturdy non-slip shoulder strap pad
  • Padded handstrap with Velcro closure
  • Extra 'Grab' handle on the front side
  • Rigid plastic screen protector inside of extra soft padded facing
  • Pen and other miscellaneous pockets on the front of the bag (hidden for aesthetics)
  • Business card / ID pocket on the top
  • Sturdier construction & materials
  • Roomier inner pockets to carry a Mini, and up to 20" Cinema Screen

iLugger 2The iLugger sturdy soft case was designed for iMac G5 users to carry a 17" or 20" from home to office, or take along to the next presentation. This high quality, heavy-duty carryon size bag works for both iMac models, and provides thick padded protection all the way around. The bag is compact enough so that even a 20" G5 iMac can be carried on an airplane.

LTA Projects / iLugger sells direct to the public through their website and also through a growing number of resellers. Dealer and distributor inquiries are welcome. For order inquiries and other information, please call 1-877-897-5158 or email LTAprojects[ATfrontiernet.net.

LTA Projects is a computer case maker and manned blimp manufacturer based in Cookeville, Tennessee. Steve Garner, LTA Projects owner and longtime Mac user, designed the iLugger sturdy soft case to carry and protect his G5 when transporting for blimp designing duties between his home and the hangar. "I wanted G5 processing power that I could take from home to office, to on site presentations. The new iMac G5 filled the bill in every way . . . except I could not find a case for it anywhere. Fortunately, our balloon manufacturing expertise translates well into making carrying bags."

Miglia Technology Releases AlchemyTV DVR 2.4 and EvolutionTV 2.4

PR: Miglia Technology, a leading manufacturer of video, audio and storage products for Mac and Windows, has today announced the latest free software upgrade for Alchemy TV DVR and EvolutionTV.

This latest release of the AlchemyTV DVR and EvolutionTV software allows your Mac to start up at a predetermined time, perform a TV recording and shut down again post recording. This is a major step towards turning your Mac into a VCR/DVR replacement for all your favorite shows no matter the hour.

Eric Ferraz, Product Marketing Director, Miglia Technology, commented: "Since AlchemyTV DVR and EvolutionTV were launched, we have continually invested in developing the feature set of our TV software. This feature is a huge step towards turning your Mac into a complete DVR replacement."

EvolutionTV is available now from Miglia's distribution partners, refurb or online store, for a recommended retail price of Euro 209, $279 and £149 (all prices are ex VAT).

All units carry a full 2 year RTB warranty.

A list of distributors and resellers is available on Miglia's website.

The AlchemyTV DVR is available now, from Miglia's distribution partners, refurb or online store, for a street retail price of £85, Euro139, $159 ex VAT.

To download the free upgrade, go to <http://www.miglia.com/Support/alchemytvdvr.html>

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers every two weeks:

For deals on laptops, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals, Best iBook G4 Deals, and Best iBook G3 Deals. For deals on iPods, see our Best iPod Deals.

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