The 'Book Review

G5 Going Mobile, Inducing Infringement Act Threatens iPod, PowerPizza Case, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.07.02

This week's PowerBook, iBook, and iPod headlines

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

eWeek: IBM: PowerPC G5 to Go Mobile

eWeek's Mark Hachman writes:

"The 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor will undoubtedly be a fixture of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. After all, it's the basis of the company's workstation and server lines. But Mac professionals, and even Linux programmers, will be waiting for word of a mobile version.

"According to officials of IBM Corp., the technology for a notebook version of the PowerPC G5, a.k.a. the PowerPC 970 series of processors, may be at hand."

Will the Inducing Infringement Act Kill the iPod?

Magic City Morning Star's IPR says:

"With Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and his colleagues pushing hard to bring the Inducing Infringement of Copyright Act ("Induce Act") to the full Senate for a vote, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is already dreading the loss of all technologies this legislation has the potential to destroy. Although Hatch wants the public to believe that the legislation will only hurt "the bad guys" in the P2P wars, EFF argues that the Act is so sweeping that "the good guys" will get taken down too. The Induce Act, which would make it illegal to "induce" people to infringe copyright, could potentially outlaw everything from CD burners to the iPod.

"Because the Induce Act defines "intent" as being "determined by a reasonable person taking into account all relevant facts," it's unlikely that a technology company like Apple would be able to easily dismiss any lawsuit brought against it. It would face the prospect of an expensive trial, with all the attendant legal fees and negative publicity. One such company, SonicBlue, recently fought against a group of copyright holders in court over its ReplayTV and spent close to $1,000,000 per month in legal fees alone. In essence, this means that copyright owners can use the 'inducement' theory to inflict an arbitrarily large penalty on any tech company that builds a device they don't like. That's not a pleasant possibility for an innovator to face as he or she tries to launch a new product."

Apple Masses Asked to Mobilise Against Anti-Copying Legislation's Nick Farrell reports:

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation is mobilising the loyal will power of countless Apple users in a bid to get an anti-copying law stymied.

"The EFF has realised that nothing is more scary than an Apple user who fears that his reassuringly expensive toy may be taken away from him. So the EFF has issued a press release that accuses the record industry of taking Jobs Mob to the cleaners.

"The complaint, which mimics the format of an actual complaint that record companies might draft, points out that "Apple advertises that its 40 GB iPod can hold 'up to 10,000 songs....'"

"Fair's fair, the Inducing Infringement of Copyright Act is being pushed at the behest of the recording industry which has monomaniacally dragged file-sharing grannies and children into court to protect its interests, so why shouldn't the free speechers find people in the IT industry who have similar fanatical beliefs?"

PowerPizzaPowerPizza Laptop Case

From the Fictional Products Department at Human Beans:

"Desirable laptops are desirable to thieves, too. Disguise your laptop with a PowerPizza and reduce the risk of getting it nicked....

"PowerPizza is designed so you can use your laptop without removing it from it's disguise. They'll think your having pizza for lunch again whilst you'll be preparing that last minute presentation for the board, on your shiny new laptop.

"Each PowerPizza laptop disguise is handmade in London using genuine Italian-style pizza boxes for maximum authenticity."

STM Loop Laptop Backpack

Transporting a 17" notebook requires a larger than average bag, solid protection and disguise against theft. The Loop Series' provide all this and more. The stylish and functional Loop's feature waterproof zippered notebook sections with removable false floors, creating a space that is perfect for any notebook with displays measuring up to 17"

The zipper on the notebook section is self-healing and waterproof. All fabrics are also water-resistant, providing superior protection from the elements. There's ample space for books, folders, peripherals, etc. Padded pockets abound for portable music players, PDA's, cameras and mobile phones.

STM Loop Laptop BackpackLoop General Features

  • Front section with numerous pockets
  • Rear section for books and folders
  • Innovative headphone/cable portal
  • Padded pockets to protect delicates
  • Waterproof zipper on notebook section
  • Ergonomic and comfortable wearing
  • Removable and rugged key fob clip
  • Rugged, removable nylon waist strap
  • Contoured, comfortable rubber handle

Large Loop Specifics

  • Accommodates up to 17" displays
  • Generous 35 cu. liter capacity
  • Small Loop Specifics
  • Accommodates up to 12" displays
  • Up to 14" in padded rear section
  • 20 liter capacity

Sports Features

  • Accommodates up to 15.5" displays
  • Two zippered stowage compartments
  • Ergonomic and comfortable wearing
  • Trieste™ notebook suspension cell
  • Portable music player compartment
  • Water resistant 600D polyester
  • Innovative headphone / cable portal
  • Waist strap with hidden pocket
  • Generous 35 cu. liter capacity

Sphere Features

  • Accommodates up to 12" displays
  • Up to 14" in padded rear section
  • Front section with numerous pockets
  • Innovative headphone/cable portal
  • Padded pockets to protect delicates
  • Waterproof zipper on notebook section
  • Ergonomic and comfortable wearing
  • Removable and rugged key fob clip
  • Rugged, removable nylon waist strap
  • Contoured, comfortable rubber handle
  • 20 cu. liter capacity

Prices: $74.95 to $94.95

SideTrack 0.9 Advanced Trackpad Driver for PowerBook/iBook

SideTrack is a replacement driver for the trackpad (touchpad) found on PowerBooks and iBooks. It brings many of the advanced trackpad features found on Windows laptops to OS X.

SideTrack supports these features:

  • Vertical scrolling at left or right edge of pad.
  • Horizontal scrolling at top or bottom edge of pad.
  • Map hardware button to left or right click.
  • Map trackpad taps to no action, left click, left click drag (with or without drag lock), or right click.
  • Map trackpad corner taps to mouse buttons 1-6 or simulated keystrokes.
  • Compatible with uControl, including uControl's scroll emulation.

SideTrack is fully multiuser aware, different users on the same PowerBook can have different settings depending on their needs.

NOTE: SideTrack is presently a public beta. As a beta release SideTrack may contain bugs and could potentially cause a kernel panic. Please exercise appropriate caution when testing SideTrack and be sure to read the FAQ for information on how to disable SideTrack if it causes problems.

New in this version:

  • [BETA] Extended beta expiration to November 30, 2004.
  • [FEATURE] Reintroduce optional off-axis scroll zone checks. Finger motions which are perpendicular to the scroll zone are interpreted as mouse motion when the "Allow mouse motion to begin in scroll areas" switch is active.
  • [BUG] Corrected conflict with "Ignore While Typing" for applications that use continuously held auto-repeating keys (i.e. non-modifier keys). For example, Photoshop requires the spacebar to be held continuously during some operations. Previously the auto-repeating key would block any attempt at mouse motion. Fix is to allow sufficient trackpad motion to always override the "Ignore While Typing" setting.
  • [BUG] Fix installation problem on machines where incorrect clock setting has put kernel extension cache modification date far in the future.
  • [BUG] Added default calibration for April 2004 PowerBooks/iBooks.
  • [BUG] Fix handling of virtual button state when corner taps are used while drag is in progress.
  • [BUG] Fix pref load handling for users logging in to the GUI as root.
  • [BUG] "Ignore trackpad when mouse is present" no longer detects the Griffin PowerMate as an external mouse.

System requirements: Mac OS x 10.2 or higher

SideTrack is free betaware.

Wildeepz Transparent Urethane Display Cushions for PowerBook G4, Dual-USB iBook

WildeepzWildeepz Display Cushion Upgrade provides a solid, stable, and insulated display to chassis interface for your PowerBook G4 or iBook when latched. Uniform, display-to-top case clearance is maintained by these transparent, expanded urethane cushions. These nearly invisible and non-reflective spring-like pads effectively prevent the display bezel from contacting the case, and aid in maintaining a gap between the screen and lower chassis. The cushions are easily applied to the display bezel. Finish abrasion is completely eliminated, as well as screen abrasion in all but the most severe use.

WildeepzFor total protection, combine Wildeepz with Notebook ScreensavRz, a sheet-style screen protection, cleaning and refinishing cloth. Wildeepz are backed with an advanced aerospace adhesive that stays put, yet allows them to be easily removed, without finish damage. 'Books fitted with Wildeepz exhibit a very rigid feel which can only be described as "Awesome". An installation template is included for quick and perfect placement of the cushions. Includes 10 per set, more than enough to totally outfit one PowerBook or iBook.

Series 1: Fits 15" Titanium and 15" Aluminum PowerBooks.
Series 2: Fits 12" and 17" Aluminum PowerBooks and all Dual-USB iBooks.


  • Transparent urethane is virtually invisible.
  • No more "PowerBook G4" decal transfer to top case.
  • Eliminates stress on hinges and latch mechanism.
  • Reduces or eliminates unintentional unlatching when handling, since latch tension is optimized.
  • Cleans up lines on PowerBook and iBook. Blueprint perfect!
  • Advanced adhesive stays put. Removes easily without harming finish.
  • Eliminates the need for a sheet-style screen protector in all but the most extreme circumstances.
  • For extreme duty, use Notebook ScreensavRz in conjunction with Wildeepz cushions.

Price: $12.95 and available from the ThinkDifferent Store.

Toshiba Develops Tiny Fuel Cell

The BBC reports:

"A tiny prototype fuel cell the size of a thumb has been developed by Toshiba.

"The Japanese electronics giant said the methanol fuel cell could power a gadgets such as a digital music player for 20 hours....

"Toshiba hopes that by 2005, the fuel cells could be used in handheld electronic devices instead of lithium-ion batteries.

"Fuel cells have been touted as a green power source for the future as they produce electricity by converting hydrogen and oxygen into water.

"The prototype developed by Toshiba measures 22 millimetres by 45 millimetres (0.88 inches by 1.80 inches) and weighs 8.5 grams (0.29 ounces)."

Netgear Pocket-Size 54 Mbps Travel Wireless Secure Router

NETGEAR, Inc. has announced the launch of the breakthrough WGR101 54 Mbps Wireless Travel Router, a pocket-size 802.11g router to enable wireless access during travel. In addition to delivering up to 54 Mbps wireless Internet access when linked to an existing wired Ethernet connection, such as found in a hotel room or conference room, the WGR101 also provides the added security of a "double firewall" along with routing functionality, and can be used in both single and multi-user environments.

Capable of providing up to five times the data throughput speed and twice the range of 802.11b wireless networking solutions, the small, attractive WGR101 has an internal antenna that eliminates the concern of breakage during packing or transport. A convenient carrying case is also included, enabling users to easily pack and carry the router and other essential accessories when they travel.

"As mobile workforces have made wireless Internet access part of their daily lives, there is a natural emergence of the desire to do the same during their travels. Now, a user with a notebook PC need not be tethered to a desk in a hotel room to gain Internet access, but can sit where most convenient. This is the inflection point to the next level of wireless Internet access experience," explained Vivek Pathela, NETGEAR Senior Director of Product Marketing. "This product is ideal for the mobile salesperson or executive who wants to establish a wireless connection in a hotel room with a broadband Internet connection, but additionally can be used to connect a group of people to the Internet wirelessly on an ad hoc basis in a conference room. This multi-user feature can also be used in a LAN party-type environment. There truly are a myriad of applications that such a compact, portable wireless router is suited for."

The WGR101 54 Mbps Wireless Travel Router is 802.11b/g compliant and delivers up to five times the data throughput speed and twice the range of 802.11b wireless products. Measuring a mere 0.7 x 2.3 x 3.4 inches, the pocket-size WGR101 incorporates an internal antenna to eliminate concerns of breakage during packing and travel.

Though the WGR101 is small and compact, it packs a robust security feature set including both NAT routing and Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) forming a "double firewall", VPN (IP-Sec and PPTP) pass-through, 64 or 128-bit WEP encryption, wireless SSID suppression, and is WiFi Protected Access (WPA) upgradeable. A three-mode switch enables users to select between single-user and multi-user modes, simplifying configuration. The WGR101 54 Mbps Wireless Travel Router is backed by a one-year warranty and 24/7 technical support, and is available now via leading retailers, direct marketers, ecommerce sites, and value-added resellers at a retail price of $99.99.

Plextor Introduces External 12x DVD±R/RW Burner

Plextor Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, has announced the new PX-712UF DVD+-R/RW drive with support for high-speed 12x DVD+R and 8x DVD-R recording. A dual interface supports both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and full-speed compliant IEEE-1394 FireWire, enabling Plextor customers to easily share a single external high-performance DVD/CD recorder among multiple Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows-based personal computer systems.

The PX-712UF gives users the ability to create, edit, and share customized DVDs and CDs in less time than ever before. With support for both DVD+R and DVD-R recording, the new Plextor drive helps remove the risk of purchasing a DVD/CD burner that does not comply with future DVD recording standards.

The PX-712UF supports 12x DVD+R and 8x DVD-R Writing; 4x DVD+RW and 4x DVD-RW Rewriting; and 16x max DVD-Reading. The DVD/CD burner also boasts high-speed 48x CD-R Writing, 24x CD-RW Rewriting, and 48x max CD-Reading. The drive includes a bundle of premium Microsoft Windows-compatible software from Roxio, including Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 - DVD Edition, and Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE. For Macintosh users, Toast Lite versions 5 & 6 are also included.

"The PX-700 series RDVD drives are Plextor's best selling products at electronics retailers such as Best Buy," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "Feedback from retail customers tells us that the PX-700 series drives are popular because they plug and play with Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computers and they are easily transportable from location to another, usually office to home and back again. Customers like the versatility of burning CDs and DVDs, the support for virtually every recording format, and the ability to attach to almost any computer."

The Plextor PX-712UF is a highly versatile DVD/CD burner specifically designed to deliver high-quality recording performance. All Plextor DVD/CD drives are designed for easy installation with Microsoft Windows-based personal computer systems and Apple Computer's Power Macintosh desktop line.

The PX-712UF has an 8 MB buffer and features Buffer Underrun Proof Technology to prevent buffer underrun errors and allow multitasking. Burst data transfer rates of 480 Mbps (Hi-Speed USB 2.0) or 400 Mbps (IEEE 1394 FireWire) allow users to burn a 4.7 GB DVD+R disc in approximately six minutes.

Lossless Linking/Zero Link technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc, so there is no need to reload DVD content back to a PC to make minor changes, and no need to re-burn an entire DVD after making small edits.

Plextor's bundled software package offers ease-of-use and extensive functionality for Windows platforms. The PlexWriter PX-712UF ships with Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 DVD Edition, Roxio's number-one selling DVD/CD-recording software, providing users the ability to create movie DVDs, data DVDs, music CDs, photo slide shows synchronized with music, data CDs, and backup copies of personal discs.

The PlexWriter PX-712UF drive also includes, Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE for capturing, organizing, editing, and sharing digital photos; and a 30-day trial version of Dantz Retrospect data backup software. For Macintosh users, Toast Lite versions 5 & 6 are also included.

The Plextor PX-712UF DVD+-R/RW drive is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers in North and South America in August 2004. The PX-712UF drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $299.00 USD. All retail packages include unlimited toll-free technical support and one-year full warranty.

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.

Wegener Media

  • iBook 300 MHz blueberry or tangerine, 96/6/CD-ROM, $339.99
  • Order with AirPort card installed, add $49.99
  • Upgrade to 320 MB RAM, add $44.50


  • 12" iBook G3/700, 128/ 20/Combo, $649.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667, 256/30/Combo, $999.99

Small Dog Electronics

Power Max

Baucom Computers

Apple Store

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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