The 'Book Review

PowerBook G4 Trade-In Details, iBreeze, AirPort Antenna Fix, MacTruck Case, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.01.09

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars, bold links are to outside sites, and regular links lead to 'Book profiles on Low End Mac.

PowerBook G4 Trade-In Program Details Posted

The PowerBook Zone has posted the full details from Apple about the PowerBook G4 Trade-In Program.

The program is a lot like the PowerBook 5300 trade-in program offered several years ago. PowerBook G4 owners are offered a flat rate allowance (in this case $700) for their old machine on the purchase of a new 15" or 17" PowerBook.

In this scribe's opinion, this deal only makes sense if you have a 400 MHz or perhaps a 500 MHz first-generation TiBook. Otherwise, your machine's inherent value is too much more than $700 to make it a sensible proposition.

New iBreeze Acrylic Cooling Stand for PowerBooks

iBreezeMacMice has announced its all-new iBreeze acrylic cooling stand for Apple PowerBook computers.

The completely redesigned iBreeze is a low-rise desk stand crafted completely from clear acrylic, has two low-speed, very quiet clear acrylic fans, and is powered by the PowerBook's USB port, so no AC adapter is required. It has an on-off switch and a passthrough USB port on the rear, so there are still two open USB ports when using the iBreeze.

The iBreeze will ship on January 12th and is available as a prepaid preorder for US$29.99 at the MacMice Workspace Products Co. website.

Daystar Teams Up with MacGurus on XLR8 Brand PowerBook Upgrades

DaystarDaystar Technology, creators of the first Macintosh processor upgrades, has announced that it is expanding its reach and availability by authorizing MacGurus to sell Daystar's MAChSpeed G4 PowerBook upgrades. This new relationship will allow MacGurus to offer the same exclusive performance and 24 hour service that has earned Daystar its 100% customer satisfaction status, as noted by "perfect" eBay feedback (daystartech) and's customer database.

"Frankly, the 550 MHz Pismo G4 upgrade has been so successful, that we need help meeting all of the customers needs. " said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "By bringing a Mac expert like MacGurus onboard, we can give customers a choice... and an added assurance of fast, intelligent and reliable customer service".

How The MAChSpeed G4 Pismo Upgrade Program Works.

Due to the sensitivity of the electronics within the PowerBook G3, and the need for low-power tuning, Daystar handles the MAChSpeed G4 Pismo as a factory installation. Unlike competitive Pismo upgrades, Daystar completes all upgrading and testing within its own facility, on the users system, using its own state-of-the art equipment and worldwide recognized professionals. It also includes all shipping of the Pismo unit in the price of the upgrade.

The user orders their product online from MacGurus (also available direct). A variety of discounted software and hardware installations (RAM, Drives, etc.) are also available at the time of ordering.

  1. The user is shipped a professional antistatic foam shipping container direct from Daystar.
  2. They complete the checklist, then use the prepaid label (domestic only) to return the container with their PowerBook G3 to Daystar.
  3. Daystar performs the upgrade, updates firmware and software if required, then tests and returns the upgraded unit direct to the user.
  4. The user removes the PowerBook and boots up running fast G4 speeds.

ALL shipping costs and insurance is included. The user pays an additional shipping fee for the initial shipping of the container only.

"We are extremely excited to be involved with Daystar and XLR8 again" said Rick Stephens, president of MacGurus. "Daystar fits into our model of offering only the best of the best for our customers, plus their upgrades allow us to extend our reach from the desktops to the PowerBooks".

Daystar Technology is the designer and manufacturer of XLR8 brand products. With its history from the early days of the Mac as DayStar Digital, Inc., the company continues to deliver the best of the best. Daystar currently distributes XLR8 brand products via its own web store and also via eBay and select resellers.

MacGurus is a quality focused reseller that has served the Macintosh user community since the mid 90s. The management of its own user based tech forums and focused online product sales have made it a mainstay for Mac power users. Additional information on MacGurus is available on their website.

Free Fix for Dr. Bott Wireless Airport Antenna

QuickerTek, developers of Apple PowerBook antennas and external antennas for Apple AirPort wireless base stations, has announced an improvement for a competitor's product. This free do-it-yourself "tune-up" is designed to improve the antenna performance of Dr. Bott's ExtendAIR Omni Antenna for the Apple Extreme Base Station. These instructions are posted on the QuickerTek web site for immediate download.

Some customers have requested that QuickerTek examine the possibility of applying its antenna-boosting know-how to other products, including non-QuickerTek antennas for the AirPort Extreme Base Station. Upon investigation, they decided that they could help customers get the most out of non-QuickerTek antennas.

The instructions are provided without support and are for the technically savvy. They are complete and will provide Dr. Bott customers with sufficient direction to unlock the full potential of this antenna. These antenna upgrade instructions can be downloaded from the QuickerTek website.

QuickerTek's product line includes Titanium PowerBook antennas; AirPort Base Station Antennas for Graphite, Snow, and Extreme models; as well as antennas for Power Mac G5 desktop computers.

RadTech Announces MacTruck Notebook Case, X-ScreensavRz, and PodSleevz

RadTech MacTruck notebook caseThe RadTech MacTruck notebook case, by CompuShell, a professional-grade enclosure designed to be the most rugged and functional case available for both transporting and using late model Mac notebooks.

The MacTruck provides notebook protection under the most severe conditions imaginable. In tests, the case survived intact and remained functional even after being run over by a full-size, four wheel drive truck. The case also retained its form during a test in which the truck parked one of its front tires squarely on the cases side. The heavy-duty version is constructed of 3 mm thick 6061 aluminum alloy and weighs about 5 lbs.

MacTruck cases, sized for each Mac portable, add minimal bulk and allow complete use of the notebook without removing it - providing full access to all ports and optical drives. The opened case can also be manipulated to provide a slight incline for more ergonomic keyboarding. The cases feature a durable, powder-coated finish, topped by an epoxy clear-coat. Available in 3 appealing colors: Brushed Aluminum, Aqua, and Deep Red. The RadTech MacTruck - Ruggedized defined.

Pricing starts at $199 USD.

X-ScreensavRzAlso debuting at MWSF, the new X-ScreensavRz. This new edition is black in color and features an elegantly debossed "X". Constructed from RadTech's exclusive Optex fabric, codeveloped with the optical polishing industry, RadTech's ultra-thin ScreensavRz provide single solution LCD care. ScreensavRz provide LCD display protection, cleaning and refinishing (abrasion and keymark removal) without the need for chemical sprays or wet-wipes.

RadTech will also be showcasing their new control-thru PodSleevz case. The PodSleevz is the ultimate, full-coverage protective sleeve case for 3G iPods. Based on RadTech's popular PowerSleevz notebook sleeves, the PodSleevz formfitting case adds almost no bulk to Apple's svelte iPod, and is the first case to fully envelope the iPod while allowing operation of the devices touch control buttons right through the case! The PodSleevz features control zones debossed into its 0.8 mm thick Optex face which provides perfect control sensitivity.

Weighing a feathery 4 grams, PodSleevz utilize a supple, double polished Vinyl window for iPod display protection, as well as a die cut knockout for docking port cable access. The PodSleevz allow full use of Apple's included clip case, as well as most third party iPod accessories; Griffin iTrip, Belkin Voice Recorder, Altec Lansing's inMotion, etc.

OWC Introduces 5400 rpm 80 GB Mercury On-the-Go Portable FireWire And FireWire+USB 2.0 Drives

Other World Computing (OWC) has introduced 5400 RPM 80 GB Mercury On-The-Go FireWire and FireWire+USB 2.0 storage solutions.

The announcement was made by OWC at the Macworld Conference & Expo, being held January 5-9, 2004 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where the company is exhibiting in booth #2233.

Immediately available online through OWC, the 80 GB 5400 RPM Mercury On-The-Go drives feature an 8 Megabyte (MB) data buffer and are available with either a FireWire only interface for $349.97 or with both FireWire and Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 interfaces for $359.97. The IEEE1394/iLink-compliant FireWire interface features two ports (one powered 6-pin and one unpowered 4-pin), while the USB interface on the combination drive supports both USB v2.0 and v1.1.

"While it would have been difficult to imagine such a speedy, high-capacity drive in a pocket-sized package just a short time ago, the newest of OWC's Mercury On-The-Go portable storage solutions makes that a reality today," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "With data transfer rates in excess of 40 MB per second, our 5400 RPM solutions are fast enough for even the most demanding A/V applications and are indispensable tools for 'on-the-go' professionals in need of practical, high-performance storage solutions at the right cost."

Weighing 11 ounces and measuring only 3.5" x 5.5" x 1.0", Mercury On-The-Go drives provide convenient and portable solutions for additional storage capacity, transporting large files between multiple computers and real-time audio/video editing. They are 100-percent plug-and-play-compatible for quick access wherever one travels. Additionally, the On-The-Go drives can be used with any electronic device that has FireWire and/or USB data ports, including digital video and still cameras.

In addition, OWC has reduced prices on select Mercury On-The-Go storage solutions. Updated pricing is as follows:

  • 40 GB 5400 RPM w/16 MB buffer: $249.97 (FW only) and $259.99 (FW/USB),
  • 60 GB 4200 RPM: $249.97 (FW) and $259.99 (FW/USB),
  • 60 GB 7200 RPM: $339.97 (FW) and $349.99 (FW/USB), and
  • 80 GB 4200 RPM w/8 MB buffer: $299.97 (FW) and $309.97 (FW/USB).

Mercury On-The-Go drives are compatible with any operating system with FireWire or USB (combo model) support, including Apple OS 8.6-9.2.2, OS X and Windows 98SE/2000/XP. Features include shock-protective design, a cool blue activity LED, near-silent operation and multiple connecting ports. Drives may be powered (via FireWire or USB) or with the included AC adapter, and all cables, formatting software and a one-year warranty are also included.

Bargain 'Books

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 (Gigabit Ethernet/2001) and G4/667 (DVI).

Wegener Media

Baucom Computers


Small Dog Electronics

  • 12" iBook G3/800, 128/30/CD-ROM, AirPort, $749
  • new 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo. Also includes: installed Small Dog Brand 256 Mb PC133 SO DIMM, Aspyr: X2-Wolverines Revenge, $1,299
  • new 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo. Also includes: Ogio Jack Pack Messenger Bag (Royal), $1,539

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals and Best iBook Deals.

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