The 'Book Review

Portables 54% of Mac Sales, Replacing an iBook, Tiny and High Capacity Drives, New BookEndz, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.07.16

This week's PowerBook, iBook, and iPod news

Portables More than Half of Apple's Computer Sales

Apple shipped 876,000 Macintosh units and 860,000 iPods during its 3rd fiscal quarter, representing a 14% increase in CPU units and a 183% increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter.


  • Portables now account for 53% of Apple's sales with 240,000 iBooks and 220,000 PowerBooks sold in the quarter.
  • Apple sold 416,000 desktop Macs in Q3, breaking down to 183,000 eMacs, 173,000 Power Macs and just 60,000 iMacs, so perhaps there was method in Apple's madness when announcing a hiatus of a couple of months in iMac sales.
  • IBM's holdups delivering G5 processors was cited for the delay in releasing new G5 iMacs, now due in September.
  • A whopping 860,000 iPods were sold in the quarter through 13,000 distribution points worldwide, representing 70% of the market.
  • Higher education sales were up 40% over the previous year's, while K-12 sales were up 3% year-over-year.

Apple's live streaming of its Q3 2004 financial results conference call utilizing QuickTime is available for replay.

Notebook Sales Keep Apple Steady

The Register's Andrew Orlowski reports:

"Record notebook shipments kept Apple in the black in the last quarter. The company reported a net profit of $61m, before restructuring charges, on revenues of $2.014bn for fiscal Q3, 2004 ended 30 June.

"...PowerBook and iBook shipments were up 37 per cent and 26 per cent year on year, representing 21.5 per cent and 13.6 per cent of revenue...."

Replacing an iBook

MyMac's Mark Marcantonio says:

"After two weeks of looking and searching I finally broke down and replaced my aging iBook 500. Being a serious cheap skate. I was looking at all of my options. I rarely buy anything of substance new....

"Then, two bombshells happened; first, my principal agreed to let me trade-in two other old laptops along with the iBook. Secondly, by chance I looked at the CompUSA web site and noticed they had a trade-in program with prices based upon MHz. My iBook was worth a whopping $575 if all was ok. The two older Windows laptops added another potential $450. The Mac Store could only give me a realistic $340 on the iBook, and of course wouldn't even touch the other two notebooks. The down side to CompUSA was that they only sold new equipment. I consider my demo/refurbished/used purchases to be a personal badge of frugal honor....

"I was pretty well set on another iBook 12", but the sexy sleekness of the PowerBook 12" was tempting. I decided to run a couple of speed comparison tests. I counted 'Mississippi's' during the startup of both iMovie and iPhoto. The difference was less than a second. Next, I compared keyboards and cases. The PowerBook's keyboard is an absolute joy, the best I've felt since the IBM 770X. The iBook felt stiffer than my old model, something that I never complained about but on occasion did notice. The difference in cases is dramatic. The aluminum PowerBook screams cool, contemporary, however, being a teacher the iBook's polycarbonate case has proven its durability and toughness on many occasions.... After some final debating, I just couldn't justify the price difference and settled on the iBook...."

TechnoWarehouse Announces Two New PowerBook Docking Products

TechnoWarehouse LLC, a Wichita, Kansas-based Mac products retailer, just announced two new PowerBook docking products.

PowerBook users will be interested in the addition of two new BookEndz docking stations - one for the 12" and another for the 15" aluminum PowerBooks. These docks are styled to match the finish of the new portables, and the docking action is as smooth as ever. BookEndz allows the PowerBook user to connect all the external devices normally found on a desktop workstation connected to the dock. Users then have to dock the PowerBook to gain access to these desktop peripherals such as external monitor, full size keyboard and mouse, as well as external storage devices that may be too large for mobile use.

"Photo-Control, makers of the popular BookEndz docking stations, decided not to create a dock for the 17" PowerBook," said Jack Putnam of TechnoWarehouse. Preorders were uncharacteristically low, and demand has not grown as expected. "BookEndz are still available for many other PowerBook models here at TechnoWarehouse," continued Putnam.

A complete line of BookEndz docking products, as well as wireless PowerBook antennas by QuickerTek, and storage drives by WiebeTech and MCE are available from TechnoWarehouse.

G-Point 54 Mbps PowerBook Adapter

G-Point 54 Mbps PowerBook AdapterThe G-Point 54 Mbps Wireless PowerBook Adapter with antenna interface delivers the fastest wireless throughput on the 2.4 GHz band and support for external 2.4 GHz Antennas. The 54 Mbps PowerBook Adapter offers instant wireless connectivity with any Type II or Type III CardBus-ready PowerBook and has an MC connector to extend wireless range and performance with the use of external antennas.

The 54 Mbps Wireless PowerBook Adapter is 802.11g certified and interoperable with existing WiFi 802.11b product. The 54 Mbps PowerBook Adapter supports WPA, 802.1x, AES, and WEP for security and a physical security lock feature that allows you to attach a chain or cable to prevent theft.

NOTE: Apple's AirPort 3.1 or 3.1.1 software supports this card for use with PowerBooks with a CardBus slot.

  • Fast 54 Mbps wireless throughput
  • WiFi Protected Access support
  • WiFi Certified 802.11g
  • 32-bit CardBus
  • 802.11b WiFi compatible
  • 5 times faster than 802.11b
  • External 2.4 GHz Antenna Ready with MC connector
  • 1 year warranty

System requirements: Mac OS X (version 10.2.6 and higher), not supported on WallStreet PowerBook

Technical Specifications

  • Standard Compliance: IEEE 802.11b (Wireless LAN Standard protocol), IEEE 802.11g (Proposed draft standard)
  • Frequency range: 2,412-2,462 MHz
  • Transmission rate:
    • 802.11g: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
    • 802.11b:1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
  • Security: 128/64-bit WEP and password
  • Access mode: Infrastructure mode
  • Antenna: Diversity method (Internal)
  • External Antenna Connector: MC
  • Output power: 15 dBm (32 mW)
  • Interface: 32-bit CardBus
  • Communications Protocol: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DS-SS), Half-Duplex, OFDM
  • Dimensions: W2.1 x H4.3 x D0.25" (W54 x L110 x D6mm)
  • Weight: 1.6 oz. (45g)
  • Operating environment: Temperature 0-55°C, Humidity 20-80% (no condensation)
  • Power consumption: TX peak: 550 mA@3.3VDC
  • RX peak: 350 mA@3.3VDC
  • Idle: 225 mA@3.3VDC
  • radio disable: <10 mA@3.3VDC

Smart Disk FireFly Palm-sized External Hard Drive

FireFly hard driveExtreme portability, striking design, and high performance in personal storage. Store thousands of MP3s, photos, or videos. Smaller than a pack of playing cards and only 3.3 ounces, the FireFly fits easily in your pocket or purse. When you need to get to your files, you do so at fast USB 2.0 speeds.

FireFly is bus-powered, so you don't need an AC adapter. Simply plug the drive into your USB port, and you're ready to go.

FireFly features:

  • Easy installation: just one cable to connect
  • No external power supply required
  • No software to install - just plug it in and go
  • High-performance - use data or run applications directly from the drive
  • Allows you to store, edit, and archive all your files: music, video, pictures, presentations, and data
  • Weighs only 3.3 ounces and extremely compact
  • 20 GB of storage
  • Durable, reliable, and built for the road

FireFly's miniature size and weight are made possible through the use of magnesium alloy for the drive's housing - by weight, one of the strongest materials on the planet. Its thermal dissipation properties also help to wick away heat, increasing drive longevity. Hold it in your hand, and you'll sense the aesthetic and functional advantages of a metal housing over plastic.

Compared to the highest capacity pen drives, FireFly gives you superior cost-effective storage, and when you consider the cost per gigabyte, FireFly is the clear choice. With its terrific versatility and high-performance, FireFly is the perfect solution to all of your data storage needs.

Here are a few ways to put FireFly to work.

  • Transfer documents easily between computers. Forget copying documents to CDs to use between home and office: store them on the ultra-portable FireFly, then take the entire drive with you wherever you work.
  • Boost your laptop or desktop storage capacity. Whether you use a laptop, desktop or both, FireFly is the perfect way to add storage capacity to your computer. Its trim size means it doesn't take up much space on your desk. If you're traveling with a laptop, just slip FireFly into your computer's carrying case. FireFly easily holds the applications and data you need. Its speedy transfer rates mean you can work directly with applications and data on the disk - no need to copy anything to an internal hard drive first.
  • Back-up vital programs and files. Don't have a CD burner built into your system? Have one, but hate the thought of creating dozens of CDs to duplicate data that absolutely must not be lost? Back-up your critical files to FireFly instead. FireFly offers great performance in copying large numbers of files from your local hard disk, is easily connected and disconnected through a single cable, and is convenient to use in your office or on the go. If your laptop fails while you're traveling, your data can still travel safely with you on your FireFly drive.


  • Interface: One USB mini-B port
  • Dimensions: 2.5" x 4" x 0.5" (103 mm x 63 mm x 13 mm)
  • Weight: 3.3 oz (93 g)
  • Capacity: 20 GB (1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Your operating system may report capacity as fewer gigabytes)

Package includes:

  • FireFly hard drive
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • User Guide

System Requirements

  • Available USB 2.0 port or USB 1.1 port
  • Mac OS 8.6 - 9.x, Mac OS X 10.1 or higher
  • Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP

Imation USB 2.0 Swivel Flash Drive

Imation USB 2.0 Swivel Flash DriveThe Imation USB 2.0 Swivel Flash Drive is a compact and powerful flash device that features a proprietary "never lose" swivel cap and a sophisticated, professional design. Slip the lanyard about your neck and wear the drive like a pendant, slip it into your pocket, or toss it into your briefcase. It weighs only one ounce.

The Imation USB 2.0 Swivel Flash Drive is available in four capacities ranging from 128 MB to 1 GB. With an ultra-fast USB 2.0 connection, it's the quick and easy way to transfer or share business presentations, digital photos and videos, or other large files. The easy to use, plug-and-play format enables you to drag and drop files and transfer data on any computer with a USB 1.1 or 2.0 port.

Downloadable software, available at no charge, allows public/private area drive partitioning and password privacy to protect your files from accidental erasure or unauthorized access.


  • Proprietary swivel design ensures you'll never lose the cap
  • Unique, miniature form factor
  • USB extension cable and neck strap included
  • Ultra-fast USB 2.0 drive (8 /sec read speed; 7/sec write speed)
  • 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, and 1 GB capacities
  • Ten-year data retention
  • Up to 100,000 write cycles
  • One year warranty

System & Software Requirements:

  • Macintosh OS 9.0 or higher, no software required
  • Windows ME, 2000, or XP, no software required
  • Windows 98SE, driver required
  • Linux 2.4 or higher, no software required

ThermographX 1.2.5 Temperature Monitoring Utility

ThermographX monitors the various temperature sensors inside your modern Macintosh G4 or G5.

  • Records maximum and minimum temperatures.
  • Shows temperature records over time, using a zoomable display so you can analyze short-term or long-term.
  • Shows individual sensor temperatures on models that have them.
  • Graphs customer-submitted temperature results for comparison with your own system.

ThermographX compatibility is still being determined. So far, it is known to provide accurate sensor readings on these models:

  • 12" & 17" PowerBook G4.
  • aluminum 15" PowerBook G4.
  • "Mirror Door" G4.
  • Power Macintosh G5.
  • iBook G4
  • G4 Cube

Note: Motorola's MPC7450CE/D Rev 5 errata indicates "The thermal assist unit (TAU) is no longer supported on the MPC7450, MPC7451, or MPC7441.". Because of this, you will not be able to measure the junction temperature on any system with these processors. At current, this includes the "Gigabit" PowerBook G4 and the "2001 Quicksilver" G4's.

New in this version: Added support for April 2004 PowerBooks and June G5's.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.2.4 or higher (Panther compatible); requires a Macintosh with compatible thermal sensors (so far, these have been found on the iBook G4, aluminum 12", 15", and 17" PowerBooks, the "mirror-door" G4 and the G5, and some G3 PowerBooks and G4 Cube models).

ThermographX is $7 shareware.

palmOne & Mac: Sharing the Digital Lifestyle

The new Zire 31 and Zire 72 handhelds from palmOne are a natural extension of your Mac. With color screens, ease of use, and compatibility with great Mac apps such as iPhoto, iCal, Address Book, and iSync, it's easy to take your digital life with you on the road.

Swap and share. Import photos taken with the Zire 72 camera into iPhoto. Or vice versa - move photos from iPhoto to a Zire 31 or Zire 72 for an always-with-you photo album. And keep iCal and Address Book in sync with either handheld using the free iSync software.

Show off your photos on your handheld. Transfer photos or entire albums from your Mac to your palmOne device.

Synchronize iCal and Address Book with your palmOne device. And then back it all up to your .mac account.

Communicate without wires. Use AirPort Extreme to connect to the Internet for email and Web browsing. Use Bluetooth to connect to your handheld for some very cool functionality.

Enhance the connection between your Mac and palmOne device using software that makes the most of each.

Sony Ships Lifelike Color X-brite LCD Panels

Sony X-brite LCDThe Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Sony UK has brought its rather good X-brite Vaio notebook displays to the standalone monitor market in the form of the 17in SDM-HS74P and 19in SDM-HS94P screens.

"In the UK, the technology is dubbed 'X-black' rather than 'X-brite', but it's the same system. It yields enhanced image contrast, high brightness, very rich and vivid colours, and a screen that really is black when it's powered down rather than dark grey. That's coupled with very fast response times - 12ms in the 19in model's case, 16ms for the 17in screen.

"X-brite-based screens come closest to delivering CRT image quality in a notebook, we reckon, and now you can connect a desktop PC to one too...."

LaCie Introduces Largest & Fastest External Hard Drive: 1.6 Terabyte Bigger Disk Extreme

LaCie expands its Extreme line of external hard drives with the Bigger Disk Extreme - up to 1.6 terabytes of storage with the fastest speeds on the market, available worldwide summer 2004. The Bigger Disk Extreme performs up to 50% faster than first-generation FireWire 800 drives, pairing ultimate capacity and throughput to accommodate the editing needs of video and audio professionals.

"The Bigger Disk Extreme truly breaks barriers of both size and speed," says LaCie Senior Product Manager Olivier Mirloup. "With burst transfer rates reaching up to 85 MB per second and unrivaled 1.6 terabyte capacity, this drive is designed to support multi-stream audio and video editing in a variety of formats."

The Bigger Disk Extreme includes all necessary cables for use with its FireWire 800/400 and iLink/DV ports, making it ideal for professionals working with audio, DV or SD video, and video RAID projects on both Macintosh and Windows platforms.

A true plug-and-play device, the Bigger Disk Extreme has a built-in RAID 0 configuration that allows for instant high-speed data transfers of up to 85 /s and immediate large-scale backup without the need for complicated setup. Bigger Disk Extremes are hot pluggable for file sharing among FireWire 800/400 and iLink/DV workstations. No drivers or software installation is required for those using Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Mac OS X operating systems.

Bigger Disk Extremes feature a stylish metallic design crafted from sturdy aluminum alloy for portability and protection, and are significantly smaller, quieter and much more affordable than RAID towers. A smart fan system, improved heat dissipation, and automatic on/off feature prolongs performance and drive reliability. The included drive stand provides stability and allows for upright desktop use to save valuable desk space, while an optional rack-mounting kit enables placement in standard 19-inch racks.


  • Professional choice for video/audio editing and imaging
  • Largest storage with up to 1.6 terabyte capacity
  • Fastest throughput for optimal editing
  • No setup required with build-in RAID 0 array

The Bigger Disk Extreme will be available summer 2004 through LaCie authorized resellers, specialist stores, and mail order partners, with a suggested retail price of $1,199 for the 1 TB and $2,199 for the 1.6 TB drive. Drives ship with FireWire 800 cable (9:9-pin), FireWire 400 cable (6:6-pin), and iLink/DV cable (6:4-pin). Also included is a power supply and LaCie utilities (SilverKeeper for Mac OS 9.x and 10.x users and Silverlining® for backup and drive management). Mac OS X, Windows 2000 or Windows XP is required for FireWire 800 operation. US warranty is one year; Europe is two years.

Underwater Communication and Music Listening Device for MP3, iPod, CD, Cassette, XM Radio

New underwater technology developed by a Marco Island YMCA Swim Coach who wanted to communicate instructions to his swimmers while they were swimming, in an effort to make their practice more efficient, has designed something that has a myriad of applications. Together, Coach Kamal along with Olympic Coach Richard Quick (Stanford University) will meet at the Olympic Time Trials in Long Beach, CA this weekend to introduce the high-tech product that will revolutionize swimming instruction.

sportZjamPeople love music and sportZjam makes it possible to take music with you, not just on land, but at sea! Popular devices such as the MP3, iPod, XM Satellite Radio, CD/Cassette players can't get wet. But the underwater wireless sportZjam can. Simply connect your electronic device on land to a transmitter and only take the wireless sportZjam in the water with you. You will be able to hear your music up to a mile away. One transmitter can be received by an unlimited amount of people with the sportZjam. sportZjam has 14 different channels and a volume selection mode.

sportZjam is the perfect gift for a family member, friend, or student athlete who no longer has to choose between working-out and studying now that they can tape their lectures and listen to them again as they workout. Books on tape can also make leisure sports even more enjoyable. Regardless of the activity, sportZjam makes listening to music easy because you leave your bulky electronics behind. Don't ever worry about getting caught in the rain/snow while you're running, walking, biking, skiing, playing hockey, riding your motor cycle or jetski/waverunner. You're expensive electronics that are not waterproof will be safely stowed away- sportZjam can handle the rest.

sportZjam is economical (about $60. per player) for youth sports programs such as water polo, football, hockey, tennis, skateboarding, synchronized swimming and more. Most collegiate programs use costly communication/instruction devices to guide with practice. If you are having a scrimmage, each coach can have one transmitter and they can be set to different channels allowing each group to talk solely to his/her team members. Up to 14 different teams can connect at one time at the same location. Group/organization/school discounts available.

Use sportZjam anytime weather or water gets in the way of your listening pleasure. Leisurely sportZjam can be used in hot tubs, snorkeling, and on wave runners to listen to music and to communicate information.

Statistics reveal that some students are able to better focus on independent class work if they listen to classical music. sportZjam can make that happen without disturbing the students who prefer to work in silence. Using sportZjam in the classroom is not only economical, it is effective. If students need subtle reminders to get back on task and words of encouragement to carry on, a message can be delivered to them from the teacher.

Complete kit with sportZjam, transmitter, and connect cord is about $98.

Harman Multimedia's Portable Music Box Set to Travel

Harman Multimedia has announced the introduction of JBL On Tour, a portable audio system designed to meet the demands of students, professionals and consumers on the go. Slightly larger than an eyeglass case and roughly the size of two iPods, JBL On Tour is the ultimate addition to any digital music player, personal CD player, or laptop or desktop computer.

JBL On Tour's portability encourages consumers to share their music, providing them with sound at home, at their desks or on the road. The combination of unique and innovative design with advanced speaker technology provides a clean and clear audio experience. The portable audio system utilizes a stereo pair of Odyssey transducers and features six watts of total power. On Tour comes equipped with touch volume controls, an integrated protective cover and stand, and white-chrome accents. The use of four standard AAA batteries provides more than 24 hours of operation at normal listening levels.

"The popularity of digital music players has exploded in recent years and what has been missing is a portable, attractive, and great-sounding set of speakers to complement any digital music player - such as iPod," said Joe Milano, Harman Multimedia's director of strategic accounts. "Harman Multimedia's JBL On Tour was developed specifically for the music lover on the go, delivering high-quality sound in the palm of the hand."

JBL On Tour is compatible with all digital music players and personal CD/DVD players as well as laptop and desktop computers. With a suggested retail price of $99.95, JBL On Tour will be available in early August.

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

  • used 15" PowerBook G4/500, 128/20/DVD, 60 day guarantee, $899.99
  • with 16x Combo drive installed, $,1099.99
  • Upgrade to 1 GB of RAM, $189.99
  • add 512 MB of RAM, $99.99
  • Add an AirPort card, $54.50


Small Dog Electronics

Power Max

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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