Mac News Review

Apple #4 US PC Vendor, IT and Macs in Business, NetWare for Leopard, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.04.25

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

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Passes Toshiba, Now #4 in US Sales Race

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"Apple grabbed 6.6 per cent of the US personal computer market during Q1 on the back of a leading year-on-year 32.5 per cent jump in unit shipments, research company Gartner said yesterday.

"The move saw Apple push past Toshiba to become the quarter's fourth most successful computer maker in terms of units shipped....

"Third-placed Acer saw shipments drop 18.3 per cent between Q1 2007 and Q1 2008, resulting in its share of the US market falling from 11.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent. That's just 2.5 percentage points ahead of Apple...."

Mac Shipments Outpace Other Top Five US PC Vendors

InformationWeek's Antone Gonsalves reports:

"Apple's growth rate in terms of Mac shipments in the first quarter outpaced that of the other top five U.S. PC makers, a research firm said Wednesday.

"Apple shipments soared by 32.5% to 1 million units, compared with the 762,000 Macs shipped in the same quarter a year ago, Gartner said. Apple ended the quarter with a 6.6% market share that placed it No. 4 among the top vendors in the U.S."

IT: We're Here, We're Mac Users . . . Get Used to It

MacUser's Dan Pourhadi says:

"IT hates the Mac. The explanation as to why has always been up for debate: IT is slow to adapt; IT doesn't like diversity; IT is masochism disguised as a career; IT people want to keep their jobs; etc., etc. Whatever the reason, the Mac has always been the leper of corporate tech.

"But the times they are a'changin...."

'No Macs' No Longer a Defensible IT Strategy

InfoWorld's Galen Gruman says:

"What has changed to make the Mac fit better IT can embrace that Mac momentum, not just tolerate it, thanks to several shifts in computing that make the Mac a better enterprise fit than in the past - first and foremost being a rising threat to Microsoft's other mainstay in the enterprise desktop environment, Internet Explorer.

"Firefox, which has risen in popularity to account for 16.8 percent of browser use on the Web, according to Net Applications, as of December 2007, has broken IE's stranglehold on Internet app delivery, which it had maintained through ActiveX controls. Because Microsoft never released a version of IE for Mac OS X, Mac users were frozen out of ActiveX-based Web sites, making many SaaS (software as a service) offerings and enterprise-app Web clients off limits to the Mac."

Editor's note: Microsoft did release IE 5.1 and 5.2 for Mac OS X, but the Mac version never included ActiveX. dk

Who's Still Using Older Macs?

MacUser's Cyrus Farivar says:

"While Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek may be dumping his c. 2001 PowerMac, my G4 is still going strong...

"Who out there is still running old hardware on a regular basis?"

Apple Updates

Apple Releases Intel Mac Firmware Restoration CD 1.7

The Firmware Restoration CD can restore the firmware of an Intel-based Macintosh computer.

Note: Restoring your firmware will reset some of your computer's preferences to defaults.

You can only use this to restore the firmware after an interrupted or unsuccessful update. If your computer is already in this state, you'll need to download the software and create the CD on another Macintosh computer, or you can take your computer to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to restore your firmware. This CD can be created on either a PowerPC- or Intel-based Mac, but only works with Intel-based Macs.

Note: This CD cannot be used to return an Intel-based Macintosh computer's firmware to a previous version if a successful update has already been performed.

Different computers use different versions of the Restoration CD. Please reference the table below to determine if this version of the Firmware Restoration CD is correct for your machine. If you do not see your computer in this table you may need Firmware Restoration CD 1.4:

Computer Model Identifier

To see your Mac's model information (Model Identifier), follow these steps on the computer you will be using the CD with:

  • From the Apple menu, choose About this Mac.
  • Click the "More Info" button. This opens System Profiler.
  • The Model Identifier is located in the Hardware Overview, which is the first window you should see. It looks something like this: "MacBookPro 2,1".
  • Compare the model information to the table above to choose the correct Restoration CD image to download for your computer.

You must first agree to the Software License Agreement before downloading or using this update.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.5.2
  • Intel-based Mac.

The 22.5 MB updater can be downloaded from Apple.

Products

MacWireless 200 Mbps Powerline Network Adapter for Macs

PR: MacWireless has announced the release of a new ultra-fast powerline network adapter for Macintosh. Powerline networking allows you to route your network through the electrical lines that are already built into your home or office. With speeds up to 200 Mbps, this is a great way to get your Ethernet network to other floors or rooms in your building, without the need to run wires. Powerline Network Adapters are particularly useful when concrete, metal, or other obstructions in the walls of your home or office block your wireless signals. Please see below for details.

Powerline Network AdapterMacWireless Powerline Network Adapter - 200 Mbps

Powerline is ideal for:

  • Sharing broadband internet access around the home or office.
  • Connecting networks together.
  • Sharing printers, scanners and other peripherals.
  • Transferring and sharing files between computers.
  • Playing network games - you can even connect your game consoles

Powerline Networking devices convert data from your computer into a signal that can be transmitted over standard AC wires. The signal does not interfere with the ordinary current traveling through the wires. You simply go Ethernet into one adapter and take Ethernet out of one or more adapters in different outlets. Powerline adapters use your existing wiring as an Ethernet extension cable.

Up to sixteen Powerline Networking devices can be used on a network. Powerline Networking networks can run over up to 980 feet of electrical wire at a maximum speed of 200 Mbps. Network Adapters will operate on any version of Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X, and will also work with Windows. There is no driver to install and no software is required for operation. Ideal for connecting wireless access points on multiple floors or in distant rooms.

Addonics Snap-in Enclosures Make Hot-Swapping SATA Hard Drives Simple

PR: Addonics Technologies has announced its Snap-In series, a family of enclosures that allows users to hot swap hard drives between systems by just popping out the drive.

Addonics Snap-In ExDrive25The Addonics Snap-In ExDrive25 is the simplest portable 2.5" hard drive enclosure solution available. Any 2.5" SATA hard drive can be installed in this enclosure without tools or mounting screws. The Snap-In ExDrive25 acts just like a hard drive reader/writer. Users can hot swap hard drives between systems at any time.

The Snap-In ExDrive25 is constructed of aluminum for durability and efficient heat dissipation. A patented shock mount mechanism is built-in to protect the hard drive from damage. The device includes dual eSATA and USB 2.0 connectors for easy desktop-to-notebook connections. The Snap-In ExDrive25 is also bootable under eSATA to make it excellent for disaster recovery.

Snap-in Double Drive - Two Drives are Better than One

Addonics new Snap-In Double Drive for desktop systems has twin 2.5" SATA hard drive slots. To remove a hard drive users just "snap" open the drive door and pull out the hard drive. It fits inside a standard 3.5" drive bay.

Zebra Snap-In Mobile Rack - Removable Hard Drive System Earns its Stripes

The Zebra Snap-in Mobile Rack, may be the only external drive enclosure you will ever need. It is offered in eSATA or eSATA/USB models. When attached to a system via the USB 2.0 or a hot swappable eSATA port, hard drives of any capacity can be added or removed from the system as easy a popping out a cassette tape.

Addonics Snap-In ExDrive25The Addonics Snap-In enclosures support Windows, Linux (Kernel 2.4 and above), Mac OS X and above with a USB connection. The eSATA connection adds support for DOS and Solaris 10 and above.

The MSRP for the Snap-In ExDrive enclosure (AE25XSNESU) is $29. The Snap-In Double Drive (AE25SNAP2SA) is $39. Zebra Snap-In Mobile Rack with eSATA / USB 2.0 interface (ZSNESU) is $77.

Snap-In solutions are available through the Addonics online store, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including 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 1918 Junction Ave, San Jose, CA 95131, Phone: 408-433-3899.

OWC 500 GB Mercury On-the-Go: Take All Your Files with You

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced their highest capacity portable, bus-powered storage drive to date - the OWC Mercury On-The-Go 500 GB, 5400 RPM portable storage drive. The Mercury On-The-Go 500 GB offers blazing-fast FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connections, now available with 56% more data capacity than the previous award-winning Mercury On-The-Go model.

Mercury On-The-GoImmediately available and priced at $359.99, the Mercury On-The-Go 500 GB portable drive is a palm-sized performer with huge capacity that fits in a shirt pocket. Built with the latest reliable, high-performance drive mechanisms and interfaced with OWC's custom bridge solution featuring the Oxford 924 chipset, the Mercury On-The-Go is ready for your largest projects yet.

Built for the "On-The-Go" Road Warrior

Geared to the demanding "on-the-go" professional road warrior that requires dependable, high-performance storage, the OWC Mercury On-The-Go 500 GB portable drive is compatible with virtually all computers with an available FireWire or USB port, including all Macs and PCs. It also works with all FireWire and USB digital cameras, camcorders, and other gadgets, for an instant on-the-go portable storage solution to quickly and safely store all your digital photos and video while on the road.

With Mercury On-The-Go, you can back-up your entire desktop computer and bring it with you everywhere you go. For easy backup, the portable drive also includes the full retail software versions of the latest award-winning Prosoft DataBackup III for OS X and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows.

Mercury On-The-GoThe Mercury On-The-Go is "Time Machine" ready, meaning that it keeps an up-to-date copy of all of your files and documents under OS X Leopard™, so you can go back in time, anytime, to recover anything with ease.

In addition to the Mercury On-The-Go 500 GB drive with 5400 RPM performance, OWC also offers a full line of On-The-Go models with USB 2.0, USB 2.0+eSATA, FireWire 400+USB 2.0, as well as additional FireWire 800/400+USB 2.0 models in capacities of 120 GB to 320 GB, priced from $97.99; and 7200 RPM Mercury On-The-Go models in capacities of 100 GB to 200 GB, priced from $119.99.

All Mercury On-The-Go portable drives are available immediately through OWC and other retailers. The drives ship with a carrying case; cables for all interfaces specific on-the-go model supports; Prosoft DataRescue III for OS X; and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows. All drives are covered by a one-year warranty and are compatible with Apple OS Versions 8.5 through 9.2.x; Apple OS X 10.0.3 and higher (including the latest OS 10.5.x); and Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista.

New Low Pricing on 1 TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface Drives

PR: Other World Computing (OWC), a leading Mac and PC technology company, today announced lower pricing on its award-winning Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" storage drive line of up to 1 TB for the best value on the market. The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface storage drive provides high-speed maximum performance with a wide selection of connectivity options for FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA ports, for easy Plug 'N Play compatibility on virtually ANY computer system.

Priced starting at $155.99, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" storage drive line features the fastest single drive transfer rates possible, exceeding an amazing 80 Megabytes per second via FireWire and up to 150 MB per second via eSATA. Geared to those that want a convenient, compact single drive solution with a selection of interface options, the storage drive is ideal for audio, video, digital photography, professional music, and graphics applications. In addition, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro is also perfect for backup and is EMC® Retrospect® Backup Certified.

The winner of numerous industry awards, the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro was most recently awarded Club Overclockers "Seal of Approval" as "A Superior Product of Ultra High Quality," April 2008. "The Mercury Elite-AL Pro looks and feels far superior to other external hard drives and hard drive enclosures we've seen before," said Club Overclocker Founder Scott Vanderford in his review.

Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface Line Features:

  • High Performance: employs the next-generation high-speed Oxford 924 chipset combined with the fastest drive mechanisms available for the fastest single drive transfer rates possible, exceeding an amazing 80 Megabytes per second via FireWire; up to 150 MB per second via eSATA.
  • High Reliability: a topnotch design and high-quality components ensure it's built to last.
  • High Portability: designed for eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0+1.1 for easy Plug 'N Play on virtually ANY system.
  • Style: designed to compliment any user's system. A blue activity LED behind the front grille shows when your drive is being accessed. Created with the Power Macintosh G5 system in mind.
  • Compact Shock Resistant Design.• Warranty: includes two year warranty.• Super Quiet Operation.
  • Cables: all cables are included.

The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface storage drive line comes complete with utility and backup software, including IntechHard Disk SpeedTools Utilities for Mac OS 8.6-X, ProSoft Engineering Data Backup for Mac OS v10.2.8 or later and NovaStor NovaBACKUP for Windows 2000 or later. It also includes all the cables for FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2.0, and eSATA interfaces. The drive is compatible with all Apple® OS Versions 8.5 through 9.2.x; Apple OS X 10.0.3 and higher (including OS X "Leopard" 10.5.x), Microsoft® Windows® ME, 2000, XP, Vista; and any OS or device with FireWire®, USB, or eSATA. Mercury Elite-AL line also includes FireWire 400+USB Combo and the FireWire 800/400+USB 2.0 "Triple" models.

New Pricing for Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface Storage Drive Line:

  • 250 GB w/8 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM, now $155.99
  • 320 GB w/16 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM now $169.99
  • 400 GB w/16 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM was $187.99
  • 500 GB w/16 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM now $199.99
  • 750 GB w/32 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM now $249.99
  • 1.0 TB w/32 MB Data Buffer, 7200 RPM, now $349.99

Corsair High-Density Memory Line for Mac Pro

PR: Corsair, a worldwide leader in high performance computer and flash memory products, announced today the launch of their new Corsair high-density Memory Line for Mac Pro desktop systems. Made especially for the high performance demands of the Mac market, the new Corsair Mac Pro Memory Kits are fully buffered 667 MHz solutions, available immediately in 2 GB (2 x 1 GB modules) and 4 GB (2 x 2 GB modules) DIMM kits.

Mac Pro Memory is 100% Apple Compatible - Lifetime Warranty

The Corsair Mac Pro memory modules are qualified at the Apple Test Labs in California and are 100% compatibility guaranteed with a lifetime warranty. "We are excited to extend our Corsair memory solutions to support the high performance Mac Pro Desktop Systems," said John Beekley, VP of Applications at Corsair. "These modules offer end users the ability to greatly maximize the amount of memory in their Mac Pro," added Beekley.

Corsair Mac Pro fully-buffered Memory Modules are immediately available:

  • VSA2GBFBKIT667D2 - 2 GB Kit (2 x 1 GB modules): $165 MSRP
  • VSA4GBKITFB667D2 - 4 GB Kit (2 x 2 GB modules): $225 MSRP

Corsair Mac Laptop Memory Line

In addition to the new Corsair Mac Pro desktop line of memory products, Corsair also recently launched the first high performance memory modules made especially for Mac laptops. The new Corsair memory modules are the industry's first low latency modules specifically tuned for the new Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop computers.

The new Corsair Memory Line for the Mac Pro is immediately available through Corsair's authorized distributors and resellers worldwide priced at $165 for the 2 GB kit and $225 for the 4 GB kit. Corsair memory products are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Complete customer support via telephone, email, forum and Technical Service Xpress is also available.

Software

NetWare Client for Mac OS X Gains Full Leopard Support

NetWare Client for Mac OS XPR: Prosoft Engineering, Inc., the developers of easy-to-use, award-winning utilities, today announced that the latest version of NetWare Client for Mac OS X now fully supports Apple's Mac OS X Leopard operating system.

"Prosoft is dedicated to continuing support for NetWare environments. NetWare Client for Mac is now compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)," states Greg Brewer, President and CEO of Prosoft Engineering.

Availability: NetWare Client 2.0.1 for the Mac OS is available for purchase online.

Rescue Kit for Mac OS X Lite Beta

PR: Try the brand new recovery solution for Mac. You cannot afford to lose all information on your computer. Lost productivity can be devastating! Rescue Kit for Mac OS X Lite restores your system to its original state and rescues sensitive data enabling you to be up and running. It can safely and easily backup both Mac and Windows data to any media, including USB, FireWire and network storages. It does what it says - and comes to the rescue.

Highlights:

  • Smart Backup
  • Fast Restore
  • Backup your critical data

Unique:

  • Backup your entire system with ability to boot from the created image
  • Dramatically improved data safety technology
  • Recover individual files
  • Return your system to a stable and usable state

Valuable:

  • Off-load folders/files to other partitions or drives before re-imaging or reinstalling the whole system

Bring your system and data back to life with enhanced recovery:

  • Receive effective, uncomplicated system tool that can rescue your sensitive data from the worst stages of disaster and return your system to a stable and usable state;
  • Off-load folders or files to other partitions or drives before re-imaging or reinstalling the whole system
  • Recover individual files in minutes from a corrupted disk by copying them to any external media or CD/DVD disk or to a local drive;
  • Easily avoid the need to reload or re-image your system with enhanced recovery features for unparalleled protection: you can restore your data without having to install any additional software, even Paragon Rescue Kit for Mac doesn't need to be installed!
  • Broad your data protection with easy backup and data safety tools:
  • Perform complete system backup - create even a bootable sector based image;
  • Safely and easily backup both your Mac OS and Windows OS and data to any media including USB, FireWire devices or network shares;
  • Browse backup images and restore separate files and folders from them;
  • Export the necessary files and folders from a backup image;
  • With its easy-to-use interface and proven Paragon imaging and recovery technology, now you can have a dramatic improvement in data safety and ability to restore partitions /Individual Files/Folder Restore.

Key Features and Benefits of Paragon Rescue Kit For Mac OS X Lite:

  • Bootable Recovery Media Perform a full backup/restore and/or file/folder rescue even if your operating system cannot be booted.
  • Complete system backup Create even a bootable sector based image
  • File Transfer Wizard Get complete access to any file system (even if they are unmounted or corrupted).
  • Data Backup Safely and easily backup both your Mac OS and Windows OS and data to any media.
  • Individual File/Folder Restore Built-in image browser to quickly find and restore individual files and/or folders.
  • Network Support Easily backup and restore from any accessible network.
  • Backup to any media Backup vital data to any media, including USB, FireWire devices or network shares.
  • All file systems are supported Get access to the most commonly used file systems (FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS, HPFS, EXT2FS, EXT3FS, Reiser, including Apple HFS(+)).
  • Easy-to-use Intuitive, easy-to-use Wizards handle the most common and even complex tasks.

Key features

  • Supports GPT and MBR hard disks;
  • Supports USB 2.0 hard drives;
  • Supports USB flash drives with GPT and MBR partition structures;
  • Backup a separate partition including service data of the file system;
  • Perform any Restore operations in case of the operating system corruption or other boot problems;
  • Backup to any media, including USB and FireWire devices;
  • Restore a partition or separate files from the backup archive;
  • User friendly interface. Easily understandable icons and wizards accompany all functions of the program;
  • Easy-to-use, straightforward Backup and Restore Wizards provide a unique possibility to carry out these technically complicated operations even to a novice user;
  • Easily browse an archive of a separate partition getting access to its contents and copying the required information wherever you want to;
  • Access all file systems at once - just boot Recovery CD;
  • Network support;
  • DVD+/-R (DL) Support.

Basic Backup Features

  • Backup a separate partition;
  • Backup all kinds of volumes;
  • Save backup images to local drives;
  • Save backup image to remote USB or FireWire device;
  • Save backup images to network;
  • Burn a backup archive to CD/DVDs (or write them to ISO-image files for later burning);
  • Compressing backup image;
  • Set archive names and add comments;
  • Interrupt backup operations if necessary.

Basic Recovery Features

  • Restore a separate partition from any accessible location;
  • Browse backup images by File Transfer Wizard;
  • Restore separate files and folders from backup archives by File Transfer Wizard.

User Interface Features

  • Wizard driven User Interface;
  • Wizards for the majority of operations;
  • Display estimated archive size;
  • Display operation progress in graphic form and step by step;
  • Display archive information.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger;
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
  • CPU: Intel based Macs;
  • RAM: 256 MB;
  • CD/DVD-ROM.

Supported hard drives and removable media

  • Parallel ATA (IDE) HDD (MBR and GPT based);
  • Serial ATA (SATA) HDD (MBR and GPT based);
  • SCSI HDD (MBR and GPT based);
  • All levels of SCSI, IDE and SATA RAID controllers;
  • CD-R/RW;
  • DVD-R/RW;
  • DVD+R/RW;
  • DVD+/-R (DL);
  • USB 1.0/2.0 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) devices (MBR and GPT based);
  • PC card storage devices.

Supported File Systems

  • NTFS (all versions);
  • FAT16;
  • FAT32;
  • Linux Ext2FS;
  • Linux Ext3FS;
  • Linux Swap;
  • HPFS;
  • Apple HFS (+);
  • Other file systems (in Sector-by-Sector mode).

Restrictions

  • Backup an entire hard disk is not supported;
  • Backup image can be restored to the same partition it was made;
  • Backup of the first EFI (FAT32) partition (for GPT disks) is prohibited. There is no need to backup/restore this partition

Desktop Mac Deals

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