Mac News Review

Apple Tops BusinessWeek 50, Many G3 Macs Now Considered Vintage, a Tiny 6 GB Pocket Drive, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.03.31

PowerBook, iBook, iPod, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. News about Apple's transition to Intel CPUs and other Intel developments is covered in The Macintel Report. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Computer Tops BusinessWeek 50

BusinessWeek Online's Peter Burrows says:

"It's remarkable that Apple Computer Inc., heading the BusinessWeek 50 list of the best corporate performers, was on the brink not so long ago. 'Oh, the company was going bankrupt, all right,' recalls ex-board member Edgar S. Woolard Jr. But in mid-1997, Woolard called Steven P. Jobs and asked him to retake the helm of the company Jobs had co-founded in 1976. In short order, Jobs tightened up operations, re-energized Apple's talented troops, and in 2001 oversaw the debut of a magical little device called the iPod.

"Those cute gizmos, in their various digital-music-and-video-playing incarnations, have made Apple more powerful than ever, a Wall Street darling that has the early lead in the race to define the world's digital media future. The question of Apple's social and cultural impact was perhaps settled once Jobs was the subject of a Saturday Night Live parody (for cranking out iPods so small they're invisible). But the question still dogging investors, who have bid up Apple shares more than 100% since January, 2005, to around $64, is: Can the company keep it up?

"The answer will depend not only on successive generations of the iPod but also, to a large degree, on Apple's Macintosh PCs. While the iPod gets most of the headlines, the Mac still brought in 39% of Apple's sales in 2005. And while most analysts think that iPod sales will continue to skyrocket for the next couple of years, they also believe that the music player market will come back to earth at some point...."

Link: No. 1: Apple Computer, BusinessWeek 50

Apple Vintage and Obsolete Products List Updated, Adds Many G3 Models

Apple has updated its document that specifies obsolete and vintage Apple products worldwide for which it has discontinued support.

Vintage products are those that were discontinued more than five and less than seven years ago. Apple has discontinued hardware service for vintage products with the following exception:

  1. Products purchased in the state of California, United States, as required by statute. Owners of these products may obtain service and parts from Apple Service Providers within the state of California, United States.

Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than seven years ago. Apple has discontinued all hardware service for obsolete products with no exceptions. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.

All retail Apple Stores and the Canadian, European, Latin American and Asia-Pacific operating regions follow the U.S. product list, but make no distinction between vintage and obsolete. When applied to the retail Apple Stores and these regions, all products on the list are considered obsolete.

The early iMacs (Rev. A-D), original PowerBook G3, PowerBook G3 Series (WallStreet), PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard, Lombard), clamshell iBooks, blue & white Power Mac G3, and Power Mac G4 (PCI) are now on the list.

Link: Vintage and Obsolete Products - AP/CN/EU/LA/US, 2006.03.22

Products

Western Digital's Tiny 6 GB Passport Pocket Drive

Passport Pocket Hard DrivePR: Big capacity in an ultra-thin, pocket-size drive. Now you can store your photos, music, video, and document files, large and small, and carry them conveniently in your pocket or purse.

Sometimes big things can come in small packages. And that's what this ultra-thin drive delivers; big capacity in a pocket-sized device designed to let you store and carry your photos, music, video, and document files - large and small.

Passport Pocket Hard DriveFeatures:

  • Fits easily in a purse or pocket.
  • Provides an easy way to carry files from place to place and from Mac to PC or PC to Mac.
  • Includes a convenient flip-out, rotating USB connector.
  • Powered by your computer, so it doesn't need a power supply.
  • Includes a free rubberized sleeve for additional protection.

Passport Pocket Hard DriveIdeal for:

  • Transporting digital music, photos, video and business files, large and small.
  • Temporary backup for your important digital assets.
  • Moving data from Mac to PC or from PC to Mac computers.

System Requirements:

  • Macintosh
    • Available USB port
    • Mac® OS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later
  • Windows
    • Available USB port
    • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP

Package Contents:

  • WD Passport Pocket Drive
  • Rubberized protective sleeve
  • Quick Install Guide

Performance Specifications

  • Rotational Speed: 3,600 RPM (nominal)
  • Buffer Size: 2 MB
  • Average Latency: 8.30 ms (nominal)

Seek Times

  • Read Seek Time: 11.0 ms
  • Track-To-Track Seek Time: 1.0 ms (average)

Physical Specifications

  • Formatted Capacity: 6,144 MB
  • Capacity: 6 GB
  • Height 0.370 Inches (Max)
  • Length 2.410 Inches (Max)
  • Width 1.80 Inches (+/- 0.010 inch)
  • Weight 0.10 Pounds (+/- .10 lb)

You can purchase Western Digital products at many stores or online.

Price $129.99

New! Scheduled to ship by 2006.04.05.

Link: WD Passport Pocket Hard Drives

Touchscreen-Enabled iMacs

touch-enabled iMacsPR: Troll touch-enabled Apple iMacs. Any model, any color. Send your machines or purchase the entire touch-enabled iMac package from us. Touch-Enabled iMac Intel Core Duo systems now available.

TouchSTAR2 G4 iMac

  • Touchscreens available.
  • Machines must be customer supplied.

TouchSTAR1 CRT iMac

  • Touchscreens available.
  • Machines must be customer supplied.

TouchSTAR3 iMac

  • iMac Intel Core Duo Available NOW!
  • 17 and 20 inch

G5 iMac touchscreens available.

  • Machines must be customer supplied.

Touch-enabling allows you to transform the world's most innovative desktop computer into an instant kiosk, mall directory, POS terminal, virtual MLS book, personal communications device and so on. The possibilities are truly endless and unlimited.

For more information, or to discuss touchscreen solutions, call us toll-free (USA only) at 1-800-201-1160.

Troll Touch Worldwide, telephone us at 1-661-257-1160, fax 1-661-257-1161 or email to sales@trolltouch.com.

Link: Touch-Enabled Apple iMac

AirPort Amplifier for AirPort-Equipped iMacs

PR: The iMac Connect is the fastest and easiest route to increased wireless performance, all with no wires and no disassembly. If you can use a web browser, setup is a breeze. For $199.95 all AirPort-equipped iMacs can be boosted to five times the standard wireless range.

Now iMac users can easily connect AirPort and AirPort Extreme networks without taking the iMac apart and messing around with cables, wires and other confusing nasty bits. AppleCare remains intact. iMac Connect gets power from either USB or AC adapter. For those who demand complete mobility there a model with an internal battery ($229.95 ). Rather than attach to the iMac, it simply rests on the desk.

Between the internal AirPort card and the access point (commonly an AirPort Base Station), iMac Connect amplifies wireless signals going in and out of the iMac. You connect to different networks just like using a standard iMac.

How does Apple AirPort Express compare to the iMac Connect? Although they both perform some of the same functions, they are different. AirPort Express cannot perform as well, due in part to the smaller buffer inside the AirPort Express slowing performance. AE can only be powered from AC adapter - limiting mobility. Changing networks requires a lot of extra work. iMac Connect eliminates each of these standard limitations. iMac Connect accepts external antennas, unlike the AirPort Express where you don't have to have access to the RF port connector. iMac Connect generates four to five times more RF output and has a more sensitive receiver than the AirPort Express. iMac Connect works on all 802.11b/g systems, Mac or Windows.

Five times the standard iMac wireless range is made possible with a 200 milliwatt antenna. This measure refers to RF power - the rating for wireless products. A stock iMac has about 30 milliwatts of RF power. Improving the RF rating from 30 to 200 milliwatts is what gives you that extra wireless range and speed.

You also can use any popular wireless network hardware include access points from LinkSys, Belkin, dLink and of course, Apple AirPort and AirPort Extreme Base Stations. That means just about any 802.11b or 802.11g networks and your Mac OS X or later operating system. You can even move your iMac Connect from your iMac to any other WiFi-ready computer - Mac or Windows.

QuickerTek's iMac Connect combines a more powerful 2dBi antenna with a design that does not require opening the iMac. Later, if you want even more power, you can add one of QuickerTek's powerful antennas.

Like most QuickerTek products, it's backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Link: iMac Connect

Westinghouse Digital's Latest HD-Grade 17" and 19" LCD Monitors

PR: Westinghouse Digital Electronics, one of the top five LCD TV manufacturers in the US, has announced the latest models in its HD-Grade LCD monitor line, the 17" LCM-17v8 and the 19" LCM-19v7, offering fast response times, high brightness levels, and sharp contrast ratios, making them the ideal display solution for the home or office.

Complementing the company's current HD-Grade family of 17" to 20" high-quality, flat panel LCD monitors, the LCM-17v8 and LCM-19v7 feature a stylish black chassis, sharp 450:1 contrast ratio, fast 8 ms response time, and 300 cd/m2 brightness, to deliver an enhanced viewing experience for working on documents and spreadsheets, sending e-mail, surfing the Internet, or enjoying digital entertainment.

"Westinghouse Digital continues to introduce LCD displays that enhance the user's business and entertainment computing experience, offering industry-leading performance features in a lightweight, compact form factor," said Rey Roque, vice president of marketing for Westinghouse Digital Electronics.

The ultra-thin, two-inch monitors leave a small footprint on the desktop or can be easily mounted on the wall, and offer integrated speakers and a DVI input to deliver a complete multimedia experience for watching DVD movies, playing video games or viewing digital photos.

The LCM-17v8 is available at retailers nationwide for an estimated price of $229.99 and the LCM-19v7 for $299.99.

Product specifications:

LCM-17v8

  • Screen size: 17" color TFT LCD Monitor
  • Native resolution: 1280 x 1024
  • Aspect ratio: 5:4
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 450:1
  • Viewing angle: 150-degree (horizontal)
  • 130-degree (vertical)
  • Response time: 8 ms
  • Display Colors: 16.2 million colors

LCM-19v7

  • Screen size: 19" color TFT LCD Monitor
  • Native resolution: 1280 x 1024
  • Aspect ratio: 5:4
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 450:1
  • Viewing angle: 150-degree (horizontal)
  • 130-degree (vertical)
  • Response time: 8 ms
  • Display Colors: 16.2 million colors

Westinghouse Digital Electronics' LCD TVs and monitors are sold at retailers nationwide.

Link: Westinghouse Digital

Desktop Mac Deals

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

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

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