Mac News Review

Mac mini Inside an SE/30, VMware Fusion Adds 3D Acceleration, Miglia's Digital TV Tuner, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.06.15

Totally retro. That's the only explanation for what one Japanese Mac lover has created by putting a Mac mini inside an SE/30 case - complete with a grayscale 9" CRT monitor.

On the virtualization front, VMware Fusion is closing the gap with Parallels by including 3D acceleration on Beta 4. For a look at the state of virtualization, see Parallels 3 Narrows the Gap between Virtualized Windows and Using Boot Camp.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Software

Products

iPod News

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Mac mini in an SE/30

A Japanese Mac enthusiast, who may be named Kaede Sakura, has succeeded in grafting a Mac mini into a Mac SE/30 case.

Mac mini inside an SE/30If you're not familiar with the old compact Macs, the SE/30 was the cream of the crop, with the 16 MHz 68030 (plus math coprocessor) power of a Mac IIx stuffed inside a case as small as the original Macintosh and the Mac Plus.

Anyway, the Japanese site says:

"We prepared MacMINI, case of Mac SE/30 and 9 inch gray scale monitor.

"We did not use original monitor and analog board because it can only display black and white.

"We used 9 inch Gray Scale cathode-ray tube moniter made by the TVS company.

"TVS(TAIWAN VIDEO SYSTEM) CCTV moniter series B/W CCTV ==> 9" B/W

"This CRT has the input terminal of RGB.

"The size of this CRT and the position of the hole have fit MacSE/30.

"We took out and used the cathode-ray tube and the circuit board from this CRT.

"To connect monitor we used normal VGA adaptor.

"I got a lot of opinions that you should use the LDC panel than the gray scale cathode-ray tube.

"We thought that the gray scale suited the atmosphere of SE/30. However, I understand The color monitor is more practicable."

Full description (in Japanese and English) and lots of photos online.

Link: Mac mini in an SE/30

OpenOffice Introduces Mac OS X-Native Port

eWEEK's Tiffany Maleshefski reports:

"OpenOffice.org, the open-source productivity project sponsored by Sun Microsystems, has moved forward on its long-awaited Mac OS X-native port by releasing 'Aqua,' the alpha version of the suite.

"The release, which hit the Internet on June 5, comes six years after OpenOffice.org announced a Mac port. Though OS X is Microsoft Windows' biggest desktop rival, the platform has lacked equitable support from Microsoft Office's biggest rival, OpenOffice.org."

Link: OpenOffice Introduces Mac OS X-Native Port 'Aqua'

Software

VMware Fusion for Mac Beta 4

PR: From the virtualization industry leader comes VMware Fusion. Simply the best way to run Windows, Linux, or Solaris at the same time as Mac OS X - without rebooting.

Built from the ground up for the Mac, VMware Fusion leverages nearly a decade of virtualization expertise to harness the full power of your Mac hardware, while still supporting Windows-only applications, USB 2.0 devices, 64-bit, and accelerated 3D graphics. Build 48339 is a beta build of VMware Fusion for Mac.

Break down the walls between Windows and your Mac

Say goodbye to the Windows desktop - seamlessly run Windows XP applications just like Mac applications; use Exposé to switch between any application, minimize to the Dock, bring forward only the application you care about, and use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts. Use the VMware Fusion Launch Palette to easily access all your Windows applications, and keep your favorite Windows applications in the Dock.

Turn back time on your PC

VMware Fusion's innovative Snapshot feature enables you to capture and save the exact state of your virtual machine. If your Windows virtual machine becomes unresponsive, use the Snapshot feature to rollback to that known stable state with the click of a button.

Get the most out of your Mac hardware

Only VMware Fusion takes full advantage of 64-bit and multi-core processors of your Mac for maximum flexibility. You can run 64-bit operating systems such as Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition or leverage Virtual SMP to create and run multi-processor virtual machines.

VMware Fusion also includes a cutting-edge 3D technology that enables you to play select DirectX 8.1 games on your Mac. What's more, you will get full read/write support for CDs and DVDs, as well as complete USB 2.0 support - even for proprietary video cameras, Bluetooth devices and other Windows-only peripherals.

Run Linux and Solaris on your Mac with ease

VMware Fusion also makes it easy to use UNIX-based operating systems such as Linux and Solaris right alongside Windows and Mac OS X, and with the ease and simplicity you've come to expect from your Mac. Only VMware Fusion makes it possible to copy and paste text between Mac and Linux or Solaris, or to drag and drop files from the Mac desktop to Linux or Solaris.

Get started today by downloading a ready-to-use virtual appliance including many popular Linux distributions from the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace. The Virtual Appliance Marketplace features over 450 preconfigured virtual machines that you can download and use with the click of a button.

Proven technology from the industry leader

Since 1998, VMware has set the standard for virtualization on industry-standard PC platforms. Over 4 million users already rely on VMware's award winning, proven technology. Shouldn't you be one of them? There is no better way to run PC applications side-by-side with Mac OS X.

Key Features of VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion for Mac is a desktop application that lets you create and run virtual machines on your Intel-based Mac. VMware's first product for the new Intel Macs makes it easier than ever to take advantage of the security, flexibility, and portability of virtual machines. VMware Fusion provides an intuitive user interface for creating virtual machines, and for running preconfigured virtual machines created with VMware Workstation, VMware Server, and ESX Server. With VMware Fusion, you can run your favorite Windows applications on your Intel-based Mac. You can also download virtual machines from the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) Website, which has a growing library of virtual appliances with a wide range of pre-installed and preconfigured applications and operating systems.

Features of VMware Fusion:

  • You can use 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems in VMware Fusion virtual machines. VMware Fusion supports Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems in virtual machines.
  • Fusion supports all Intel Mac hardware.
  • Your virtual machines can have multiple virtual processors, taking advantage of the Intel Core Duo chips in today's newest Intel Macs.
  • VMware Fusion supports high-speed USB 2.0 for a huge range of devices. Even devices that do not have drivers for Mac OS X will work in a virtual machine.
  • Virtual machines seamlessly integrate with your Mac: you can cut and paste text between your Mac and your virtual machines, drag and drop files between your Mac and your virtual machines, and create shared folders on your computer so you can easily share files and folders between your Mac and your virtual machines.
  • VMware Fusion Unity view displays your Windows virtual machine applications directly on your Mac desktop. The virtual machine window is hidden, and your virtual machine applications are displayed in the Mac dock, so you can use them just as you use your native Mac applications.
  • You can burn CDs or DVDs to your Mac's rewritable optical drive from within your virtual machine.
  • You can resize your virtual machine's display dynamically.

New and Improved Features in Beta 4

This Beta 4 release of VMware Fusion for Mac includes the following new features and feature improvements:

  • Unity - The seamless way to run Windows applications: Run Windows XP applications alongside your favorite Mac applications and switch between any open application with command-tab or Exposé. Leave the Windows desktop and Start menu behind and use the VMware Fusion Launch palette to quickly find and launch your Windows applications. Save your favorite Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock. Even use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts to seamlessly copy and paste between Windows and Mac applications.
  • Boot Camp improvements - You no longer have to choose between Windows or Mac-run Windows XP with Mac OSX off your existing Boot Camp partition. Beta 4 adds experimental support for Microsoft Vista, greatly improves Boot Camp partition detection, and when you are running the Boot Camp partition in a virtual machine, VMware Fusion automatically updates the Boot Camp partition to use drivers that are optimized for your virtual machine.
  • Improved performance - Virtual machines boot faster and applications launch faster from virtual hard disks. Interactive performance is improved over previous betas and VMware Fusion now uses Apple's multithreaded OpenGL engine for improved performance.
  • Improved user experience - The toolbar is greatly enhanced and is now completely customizable. To make the display less cluttered and easier to use, the virtual hardware buttons have been moved from the toolbar to the status bar. The virtual machine hardware editor is a now sheet attached to the virtual machine you are editing.

Link: VMware Fusion Beta

Games Compatible with VMware Fusion Experimental 3-D Acceleration

PR: VMware testing has determined that the following games, running in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines, are playable with VMware Fusion experimental 3-D acceleration:

  • Aliens vs. Predator Demo
  • Breath of Fire IV
  • Grand Theft Auto III (Tip: Set the Display Setup option Trails to OFF.)
  • Hitman 2
  • Lord of the Realms III
  • Max Payne 1
  • Max Payne 2
  • Need for Speed Porsche Demo
  • RalliSport Challenge
  • Tony Hawk 3
  • X-2 Rolling Demo

The fixed-function tests in 3dMark2001 operate successfully in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines with VMware Fusion experimental 3-D acceleration.

3-D acceleration does not work on Macs that use the Intel GMA 950 graphic chipset. [Editor's note: This includes the Intel-based Mac mini and MacBook, as well as the low-end iMac. dk]

You can download VMware Fusion for Mac and obtain a beta-use serial number online.

Link: VMware Fusion Beta

Products

Western Digital My Book External Hard Drives

Western Digital My BookPR: You can't measure memories in gigabytes. But you can use those gigabytes to preserve the stuff that really matters - the photos, music, movies and documents that you never want to lose, never want to forget. My Book is full of life...your life.

It starts with research. How do people use external storage? How to they install it? How do they organize their data? Do they back up? We needed answers. We listened and learned as we interviewed people and watched them in action while they used their computers, digital cameras and MP3 players. We met with all kinds of people - photographers, artists, musicians, students, doctors, moms, dads, and business people. What did we learn? Make it elegant, friendly, engaging, and, above all else, keep it simple.

Simple to Use

Installation is a snap because you don't really "install" this drive, you just plug it in and it's ready to use. On most editions, there is no CD... the included software loads from the drive the first time you plug it in. It's so simple and integrated that the drive even turns on and off with your computer.

Elegant and Engaging

This compact drive, iconic of a book, takes up less space on your desk, stacks horizontally and allows two or more drives to nestle neatly together like volumes on a shelf.

The front power button, surrounded by light, shows your drive's activity. The circular blue LEDs on the inner ring, tell you how full your drive is (except Essential Edition.)

Environmentally Friendly

To save power most editions go into standby mode after 10 minutes of inactivity. My Book is designed without environment contaminants.

High Quality Inside and Out

We make drives. Protecting your data is in our DNA. With years of experience building drives that watch over data, we understand the exacting requirements needed to keep your data safe. Dropping, jarring, jostling - the usual bumps of everyday life - may leave no marks or obvious damage on an external drive, but damage can happen where you can't see it, and over time this damage can cause data loss.

Western Digital My BookMy Book is designed to provide the maximum shock protection for the valuable data you're storing. In addition, the heat-dissipating enclosure keeps our drives cool. Cool drives mean safer data. That prevents heat buildup... another data killer. We don't skimp on quality when designing enclosures; we know how important your data is.

We've made it simple to access and share your files from anywhere in the world, even when your local computer is turned off. From any PC, use Windows Explorer to browse through folders on My Book and open, edit and save them as though they are right there with you. Sharing your files is just as easy. Just decide what you want to share and the software generates an e-mail for you to send to friends, family, or clients with a link to your files.

EMC Retrospect Express backup software (Premium ES Edition, World Edition, World Edition II)

We've added this powerful, feature-rich software with the tools you need to easily back up and restore everything - files, applications, drivers, and your settings - or just critical files automatically or whenever you choose. Once you install Retrospect you'll be ready to start your first backup in less than 5 minutes. Step-by-step wizards guide you through installation, backup and restore.

EMC Retrospect Express backup and system recovery software (Pro Edition and Pro Edition II )

We built our Pro Edition drive for the more intense user - professional photographers, graphic designers, video editors, small office users and folks who spend a lot of time with their computers. For these pro users we've include a more powerful, feature-rich backup solution that includes full system backup and bare-metal recovery capabilities.

WD Backup (Premium Edition and Premium Edition II only)

During our research we learned that most people don't back up their data. Why? Because it's not easy, they forget, or it's just a pain. So we provided software that makes this no-fun but necessary activity as easy as possible. With WD Backup you can back up all your data files or just save your picture and music files with a few simple steps. You can also set a schedule for this tiresome job, so you don't have to think about it again

Google (Essential Edition, Premium Edition, Premium ES Edition and Premium Edition II )

We've installed Google software on the drive to make it easy for you to locate files with Google Desktop manage your photos with Picasa and simplify web searching with the Google Toolbar. We know this software is free on the web, but we've made it extra easy for you to put it on you computer

Link: Western Digital My Book External Hard Drives

Miglia TVMini Express Puts Digital TV Content on Your Mac

Miglia TVMini ExpressPR: TVMini Express provides a quick and simple solution to get digital TV straight on your Mac.

Watch, record TV, all in brilliant digital picture quality.

Surfing between channels takes on a new dimension thanks to the real-time display of what's playing on each TV station.

The award-winning TVMini hardware comes with The Tube software, its simple interface eliminates the window clutter on your monitor usually associated with other TV solutions.

All of this at a great price! So grab TVMini Express from its box, plug it in and you're off.

Key Features

  • Watch and record all your favourite shows in superb digital quality
  • Great performance, crystal clear picture and perfect sound
  • Includes The Tube TV software
  • Real-time information of what is playing on each TV channel
  • Export TV shows to your iPod
  • Two year warranty offers total peace of mind

Putting the digital life into your Mac

This is what it's all about, award-winning Miglia TV technology in a tiny USB stick.

Watch digital terrestrial TV on your Mac, record it to your hard drive to watch later or save it to your iPod to get that TV-on-the-go experience.

TVMini Express's integrated digital TV tuner lets you enjoy a wide range of TV channels so there is something for everyone.

As its digital TV, images are sharper and cleaner making your TV viewing all the more pleasurable. This is about fresh ideas, having fun and rediscovering TV on your Mac or iPod.

Created for you and your Mac

Created for your Mac, TVMini Express blends in with your favourite computer, not only in style but also in performance.

Its elegant design allows perfect integration within your home or office environment.

Of course, TVMini Express is backed by ourexclusive two-year warranty for total peace of mind.

Macintosh Compatibility

  • Mac with built in USB 2.0 connectivity
  • G4/1.25 Ghz or higher, Intel processor
  • Mac OSX 10.4 or higher

£34 (about $69)

Addonics Diamond Hard Drive Kit Features Built-in eSATA/SATA

PR: Addonics Technologies has announced a hard drive kit with built-in eSATA and SATA connectors, which allow users to easily connect an external SATA hard drive to a system or use any SATA hard drive as a removable cartridge drive.

Addonics' Diamond Hard Drive Kit is the first enclosure to feature built-in eSATA/SATA connectors as well as provide the first direct bridge design, which connects the SATA hard drive to the computer in native SATA mode.

The Diamond Hard Drive Kit can be easily attached to any computer externally via the high performance eSATA port or used like a drive cartridge in the Diamond drive cradle mounted inside a standard 5-1Ú4" drive bay.

The SATA direct bridge in the Diamond drive enclosure also isolates the SATA hard drive power and data connectors from the wear and tear that most removable SATA hard drive systems are subjected to. The hard drive inside the Diamond enclosure can also be accessed by any computer via eSATA or USB connection using the Addonics USB - eSATA adapter. Users can also install any 2.5" SATA hard drive into the Diamond drive enclosure using an optional hard drive mounting bracket.

Addonics offers a wide assortment of IO converters, cables and accessories to give the Diamond drive enclosure and cradle unlimited connection and installation possibilities.

For example, a user who wants the combined features of an external eSATA hard drive and removable hard drive would order the Diamond Combo hard drive, a bundled kit that includes an enclosure; cradle with SATA interface; a eSATA data cable; and a power adapter. The MSRP for this configuration would be $49.95.

Constructed in heavy gauge aluminum, the Diamond drive kit is built to last while at the same time providing excellent heat dissipation for the hard drive.

System requirements:

Operating system support in external hard drive mode includes eSATA - DOS, Windows 95, NT(SP6), 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac, Linux and Solaris. USB support is provided for Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac, Linux and Solaris. Internal hard drive support includes all the previously mentioned operating systems as well as optional interface support for IDE or SCSI.

The Diamond Hard Drive kit is available through the Addonics online store, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, and Ingram Micro.

Addonics Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a broad line of external and mobile storage products. Addonics is headquartered at 2466 Kruse Drive, San Jose, CA 95131, Phone: 408-433-3899.

Link: Addonics Diamond Hard Drive Kit

New Kensington SmartFit Products Promote Smarter, Healthier Computing

PR: Kensington Computer Products Group has announced seven new SmartFit products that create a tailored computing experience in minutes.

SmartFit is a patented three-step system from Kensington that allows users to find the optimal settings for their workstation accessories quickly and easily. Kensington's SmartFit line of products incorporate color-coded settings that can easily be adjusted to provide a range of users with the most favorable computing environment.

"With ergonomic injuries costing US industry $50 billion per year, using workstation accessories correctly is critical. We developed the SmartFit system in order to demystify ergonomics for the consumer. We studied how people interact with their computers and assessed the variation in their computing needs," said Tom Pscheidt, Global Ergonomics Product Manager, Kensington. "The result is an extension of our 'Smart Made Simple' product philosophy: we engineer our SmartFit products to provide the most complete out-of-the-box solution that can offer a personalized level of comfort for a wide range of people with minimal setup time."

From footrests and monitor arms to keyboard platforms and lumbar supports, Kensington offers over 20 ways to bring the benefits of SmartFit into the workspace and cater to every aspect of people's computing lifestyle.

Kensington SmartFitThe Kensington SmartFit System

The Kensington SmartFit system was developed by performing statistical analysis on an anthropometric database developed by the United States Army. There is a direct correlation between the size of an individual's hand and the rest of his or her body measurements. Kensington partitioned this data into four percentiles, each corresponding to an individual color.

Each SmartFit product ships with a colored hand chart so users can easily find their correct SmartFit "comfort color". By placing their hand on the chart, users can quickly determine the color that represents their ideal setting and then adjust the SmartFit product according the color-coded instruction guide that is included in the package.

Click the following link to view the colored hand chart :

http://us.kensington.com/docs/ Kensington_SmartFit_System_Handchart.pdf

The New Kensington SmartFit Products Include

Kensington Over/Under Comfort Keyboard Drawer with SmartFit System (SKU K60717US) - This unique Keyboard Drawer/Monitor Stand adjusts both keyboard and monitor height to match your SmartFit personal comfort color. Universal design works over or under a desk to fit any workspace and individual body size. Suggested retail price, $84.95.

Kensington Modular Keyboard Platform with SmartFit System (SKU K60718US) - Fit any size desk space with adjustable platforms. Use all 3 platforms for a large mousing area or remove 1 platform to fit just your keyboard. Low profile articulating arm simply adjusts 6" in height, +/-15º tilt and rotates 360º to match your SmartFit comfort color. Includes wrist rests for keyboard and mouse. Suggested retail price, $142.95.

Kensington Modular Long Arm Keyboard Platform with SmartFit System (SKU K60719US) - Fit any corner or curved workstation with adjustable platforms. Use all 3 platforms for a large mousing area or remove 1 platform to fit just your keyboard. Low profile articulating arm simply adjusts 6" in height, +/-15º tilt and rotates 360º to match your SmartFit comfort color. Includes wrist rests for keyboard and mouse. Suggested retail price, $249.95.

Kensington SoleMate Comfort Footrest with SmartFit System (SKU K56144US) - The full-featured foot rest steps up with greater leg, back, and foot comfort. The luxurious memory foam pad soothes tired feet and eliminates pressure points. With a flick of the foot-operated lock, the angle can be adjusted to the perfect angle for all-day back and leg comfort. Height adjusts 3.5" to 5". Suggested retail price, $74.95.

Kensington SoleMate Plus with SmartFit System (SKU K56146US) - Reduce muscle strain and fatigue by supporting your legs at an optimum angle. Height adjusts from 3.5" to 5" and angle adjusts 30• and locks into place with a simple press of the foot. Large non-skid surface. Suggested retail price, $64.95.

Kensington Flat Panel Monitor Stand with SmartFit System (SKU K60046US) - Gain valuable workspace, organize your desk and position your monitor to the desired height. Platform adjusts from 2.5" to 4.5" above the desk and allows for keyboard storage. Two adjustable shelves holds speakers, a PDA cradle, or just about anything on your desk. Supports up to 35 lbs. Rubber feet protect surface. Suggested retail price, $54.95.

Kensington Lumbar Back Support with SmartFit System (SKU K62823US) - The Lumbar Back Rest looks˜and feels˜like no other lumbar support. The unique shape supports and aligns your spine while the heat-activated memory foam construction molds itself to your body for a truly comfortable fit. Suggested retail price, $44.95.

"One size does not always fit all," said Pscheidt. "The best way to enhance people's computing experience is to offer them accessories that cater to their individual needs. The SmartFit System lets the vast majority of people interact with their computing products as though the products were custom-made for them."

Kensington's revolutionary SmartFit system takes a holistic approach to ergonomics by working with the overall computing environment to produce a complementary solution. "Kensington takes a proactive stance on promoting wellness rather than simply compensating for discomfort or blindly following a hodgepodge of poorly-understood rules on ergonomics," said Pscheidt. "Computers are people's windows for communication, entertainment, and work," said Pscheidt. "Kensington gives them the tools to make computing a more comfortable and productive experience."

Link: Kensington

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