The 'Book Review

Warnings on iBook Logic Board Replacement, Pink iBook, Wireless Cantenna, Pod Shield, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.04.16

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.

Back Up Your Data Before Sending iBook for Logic Board Replacement

MacInTouch warns that Apple is returning iBooks serviced under the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program. Data transfer is not an option with the logic board replacement program.

The iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program is a worldwide program covering repair or replacement of the logic board in specific iBook models manufactured between May 2002 and April 2003 that are experiencing specific component failures.

The iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program covers iBooks that have a particular component failure on the logic board, resulting in the computer starting up but the built-in and attached external displays exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Scrambled or distorted video
  • Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen
  • Intermittent video image
  • Video freeze
  • Computer starts up to blank screen

The program covers affected iBooks for three years after the first retail sale of the unit. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed.

The program is available for iBooks with serial numbers in the following range(s): UV220XXXXXX to UV318XXXXXX

iBooks with the serial numbers listed above may be referred to as:

  • iBook (16 VRAM)
  • iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM)
  • iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM)
  • iBook (32 VRAM)
  • iBook (14.1 LCD 32 VRAM)

WARNING: If you have any music from the iTunes Music Store, be sure to deauthorize your iBook before sending it in. The new logic board has a different ID, and you will not be able to play protected tracks unless you can deauthorize the old logic board and authorize the new one when your iBook returns.

iBook G3 Logic Board Replacement Ends Jaguar Bootability

MacInTouch reader Dana Jeffords warns that the new logic boards Apple is installing under their iBook G3 logic board replacement program require OS 10.3.2 or better. The logic board replacement includes a set of 10.3.2 install/restore CDs. The new logic boards will still boot OS 9.

Pink iBookA Pink iBook Is a Girl's Best Friend

A Cult of Mac blog by Leander Kahney says:

"Talking of pink, this custom iBook paint job in bubble-gum hue elicits a surprising amount of female lust. The paint job - performed by someone called Jeremy from Minnesota - prompted at least two dozen I-want-one comments from women visitors to his site....

"This may explain why the pink iPod mini is reportedly the hottest of the new minis. Pink seems to be selling for about $350 on eBay, approximately $50 more than the other five colors."

iBatt 0.3b Advanced PowerBook Battery Monitor and Graphing Tool

iBatt is an advanced PowerBook battery monitoring and diagnostic program. iBatt gets information about your battery that the system doesn't tell you, such as its total capacity, voltage output, and rate of charge/discharge. The beta is open to all and is available from Rayner Software.

iBatt can diagnose your battery's health and generate graphs showing battery utilization trends. Whereas the system only provides you with current charge level, iBatt tells you total battery capacity, rate of charge/discharge, current battery voltage, and battery state. The release version will have network support to compare your battery's health with other batteries in your PowerBook model. The beta version includes battery statistics and graphing (no network support), and is compatible only with OS X 10.3 or higher.

New in this version:

  • iBatt can now submit (but not view) battery information. When the server database is big enough, iBatt will be able to view statistics from other PowerBooks
  • Cleaned up preferences window
  • Removed voltage from graph legend
  • Added ability to clear battery log
  • Made battery status indicator more reliable

System requirements:

  • PowerBook or iBook
  • Mac OS X 10.3 or higher

FlyLight USB PowerBook Light

FlyLightYour presentation in a darkened boardroom will have more impact now, because you can actually see your laptop's keyboard rather than guessing (and missing) the right keys to hit. The gentle illumination of the FlyLight™ won't drain your battery or disturb others.

Features and Benefits

  • No batteries, powered by USB port
  • Long-lasting, bulb-free design for reliable light
  • No switches, bulbs, or batteries to break or replace
  • Gentle LED glow provides task light without disturbing anyone
  • Flexible neck perfectly positions light over task
  • Small and stylish enough to take anywhere
  • Uses less than 90 seconds of battery charge per hour

Dimensions: 19" x 0.25" x 0.5"å

FlyLight Platinum is backed by the Kensington 5-Year Warranty and free technical support.

Price: $20.99

QuickerTek and Wireless Garden Partner to Bring Powerful Wireless Super Cantenna Technology to Mac Users

QuickerTek has combined technology with Wireless Garden to bring powerful directional wireless antenna technology to the ever-growing group of Apple AirPort users. This high-performance directional antenna technology was not previously available to Mac users, especailly those who required longer distance wireless networking.

QuickerTek has a large number of AirPort compatible wireless antenna products for Mac users, and the Super Cantenna technology is a natural extension of its product line. This antenna technology is so appealing that when Time magazine ran a story about the wireless networking phenomenon in the October 28, 2002 issue, Cantenna was included.

Specifically, Super Cantenna is a 12dbi 2.4 GHz directional antenna that really pulls in signals in environments where AirPort and AirPort Extreme users have had difficulty making connections in the past. The directional functionality offers high gain for network users who are furthest from the base station. Users are excited about the full AirPort compatibility - from PowerBook G4s - both titanium and aluminum - as well as desktops like the Power Mac G5, and even slot-loading iMacs and iBooks. Of course, it is Mac OS X compatible. Cantenna can also be used with Apple AirPort and AirPort Extreme Base Stations.

Rick Estes, president, QuickerTek said, "The Super Cantenna antenna brings another level of WiFi performance to Mac users everywhere. It's very satisfying to offer an expanding product line to the Mac wireless community. Super Cantenna is compatible with all Mac-enabled wireless products," Estes continued.

Cantenna consists of a 12" main tube antenna body. This antenna body is made from weather-resistant UV coated metal and can be mounted outside - usually under eaves and overhangs - where networking outdoors is possible. An optional aluminum tripod for positioning the antenna; a number of custom-designed cables that attach directly to a computer or AirPort Base Station; impedance adapters and user/installation instructions are also included with Cantenna purchases. An optional 8-foot, low-loss extension cable makes optimal Cantenna placement easy.

Product prices range from $69.95 to $149.95 for standard Cantenna products. Custom designs are available and users are encouraged to call with specific applications.

QuickerTek is the only innovator of wireless antennas and RF products for Apple desktop and portable computers as well as Apple AirPort Base Stations.

Keyspan Ships Revolutionary USB Server for PCs and Macs

Keyspan announces it is now shipping its revolutionary USB Server that connects USB devices to a Mac or PC via a wired or wireless ethernet-based network.

The Keyspan USB Server has an MSRP of $129 and is available to resellers from Ingram Micro, Wynit, and D&H, and to consumers at CompUSA, CDW, and other leading computer products resellers.

Much like a USB print server, the USB Server enables attached USB devices to be used and shared by client PCs on a network. In addition to printers, the USB Server supports other USB devices such as scanners and multi-function printers.

The USB Server provides four ports for connecting to USB devices at Full Speed USB (12 Mbps). It connects to 10/100 ethernet networks via an RJ45 connector and supports static IP, DHCP, and Apple's Rendezvous address assignment. Client PCs must be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher.

"The Keyspan USB Server makes it possible to share USB printers and USB scanners across a LAN in a home office, small office or classroom," stated Mike Ridenhour, president of Keyspan. "Client PCs can be wired or wireless - providing a great way to print from a Wi-Fi-based laptop."

VGA to ADC Conversion Box

The ex•tend•it VGA to ADC Conversion Box connects analog video graphic (VGA) cards to Apple flat panel displays with ADC connections. The VGA to ADC Conversion Box enables anyPowerBook G4 versions (before DVI) and the new G4 iBook to connect to the family of Apple's flat panel displays. The VGA to ADC Conversion Box also enables users to connect PC laptops, PC desktops or other G4's using VGA (HD-15) connections only, to flat panel displays with ADC connection.

Simply connect the supplied VGA (M-F) cable to the input side of the VGA to ADC Conversion Box. Then, connect the Apple flat panel display to the ADC output connector of the VGA to ADC Conversion Box. All VESA standard resolutions are supported. Also Apple resolutions for the 15" (1024 x 768) and 17" (1280 x 1024) Studio Display, 22" Cinema Display (1600 x 1024), 23" Cinema HD Display (1920 x 1200) and the new20" Apple Cinema Display (1680x1050).

Your display will only work at its native resolution when using the VGA to ADC Conversion Box.

Displays Supported:

  • 15" Apple Studio Display, 1024 x 768 @ 60 Hz
  • 17" Apple Studio Display, 1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz
  • Formac Gallery 2010, 1600 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
  • 20" Cinema Display, 1680 x 1050 @ 60 Hz
  • 22" Cinema Display, 1600 x 1024 @ 60 Hz
  • 23" Cinema HD Display, 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz

The G4 PowerBook with 8MB of video memory will only support thousands of colors with the 23" Apple Cinema Display.

This conversion box will not work with stock video card in the G3 Desktops, any G3 iBooks, G3 PowerBooks, or any iMac.

Package Includes:

  • One VGA to ADC Conversion Box
  • One Universal 24v Power Supply
  • One VGA 6' M-F Cable
  • One 6' USB Cable

Price: $299

Protect Your Investment with Trendy Geek's Pod Shield

Fans of Apple's iPod digital music player now have a new product to protect their musical investment. A Pod Shield from Trendy Geek is the latest in geek couture that, when placed on an iPod, protects the player's screen and stainless steel casing from scratches, dirt, and fingerprints.

Pod Shield"Of all the portable music players on the market, iPods take the biggest beating," said Joseph Piccirillo CEO of Trendy Geek. "Because of their small size, they get tossed with keys into men's pants' pockets and stuffed into ladies' handbags. It's easy to scrape the surface and make an iPod look old before its time. Now iPod users can safeguard the beauty of their music player with the invisible protection of Pod Shields."

Pod Shields are inexpensive and transparent. They are made of a thin material that clings to the iPod using high static. The front film covers the iPods' delicate screen. The back film is designed to fully cover the stainless steel back and sides of the unit while still enabling users to place their iPod comfortably in a docking station. When the shields need replacing, there is no sticky glue or residue to remove - they simply peel off.

"The Apple iPod has won numerous design awards. It's the perfect blend of form and function," said Robert Murino, Vice President of Sales for Trendy Geek. "Why hide it inside an unattractive, bulky plastic case? Pod Shields allow music lovers to show off their iPod without blocking access to the dock connector, lock button or headphone jacks."

The MSRP for Pod Shields is $9.99. One package contains six pieces, enough shields for the front and back of three iPods. Pod Shields are currently on sale from the website for $6.99. Pod Shields fit all Apple iPods but are optimized to fit generation three iPods.

Kingston Technology Introduces 1 GB CompactFlash Elite Pro Card

Kingston Technology Company, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of a 1 GB CompactFlash Elite Pro card featuring the latest in high-density flash components. Kingston's newest 1 GB CompactFlash Elite Pro provides a low, price per megabyte solution of reliable, high-speed media.

Technological advancements combined with the increased popularity of high-end digital devices are driving the demand for higher capacity CompactFlash memory cards. Responding to this dynamic market, Kingston extended its line of high-speed CompactFlash cards with the release of its Elite Pro line of products. Backed by Kingston's renowned service and support, the new 1 GB CF card is designed to enhance performance of demanding imaging applications used by both advanced amateur and professional photographers.

"Kingston's 1 GB CompactFlash Elite Pro cards are ideally suited for imaging professionals who want to maximize their storage capabilities," said Mike Kuppinger, digital media product manager, Kingston. "With ultra fast transfer rates, users will enjoy more efficient production workflow than ever before," added Kuppinger.

When used in conjunction with a matching high-performance digital device, Kingston's CF Elite Pro provides an ultra fast transfer time with a write speed of up to 5.2 MB per second and a read speed of up to 6.1 MB per second.

Kingston's 1 GB Type I CompactFlash Elite Pro card, part number: CF/1024-S has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $349.00*. All Kingston CompactFlash products come with a five-year warranty and free technical support. For more information on Kingston's Digital Media product line visit the Kingston website.

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) and the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz.

Club Mac

  • new 12" iBook G3/800, 128/30/CD-ROM, $699.95 after rebate ($739.95 before mail-in rebate). FedEx Standard Overnight, $9.99.

Small Dog Electronics

  • new 12" iBook G3/800, 128/30/CD-ROM, AirPort, $759
  • refurb 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/SuperDrive, also includes Postworx Speed Ball Detachable Feet for Laptop, iSkin ProTouch PB Arctic White Keyboard protection, $1,375

Baucom Computers

PowerBook Guy

Apple Store

Wegener Media

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals, Best iBook G4 Deals, and Best iBook G3 Deals.

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