The 'Book Review

New G4s 'Book Bound?,, Lithium Batteries Explained, BiblePlayer for iPod, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.11.12

iPod News

Bargain 'Books

Freescale's e600 PowerPC Processors iBook and PowerBook Bound?

Applications today require more and more processing power within existing system power budgets - a big challenge for developers. Fortunately for developers, Freescale (formerly Motorola's CPU division) is providing many options for increasing processing capabilities without dramatically increasing power consumption. The decision just depends on the amount of processing power you need. Three new product architectures from Freescale have been disclosed, all based on the e600 PowerPC core and leveraging 90 nanometer silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology.

MPC8641D Dual Core Processor

Freescale has leveraged its expertise in building high-performance PowerPC processors and highly integrated communications processors to design the MPC8641D Dual Core Processor. This processor integrates two e600 PowerPC cores, two memory controllers, ethernet controllers, a RapidIO fabric interface, a PCI Express I/O interface, and a high performance MPX bus that scales to 667 MHz. It's one powerful processor, but it doesn't break the power budget starting at 15 Watts.

The MPC8641D supports flexible software implementations: symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and asymmetric multiprocessing. With SMP, one operating system runs on both cores, but from a programming perspective, it appears that the developer is writing a program for a single core. With asymmetric multiprocessing, two instances of the same operating system or two entirely separate operating systems can be run on the two cores, largely unaware of each other.

MPC8641 Processor

The MPC8641 is a single core version of the dual core processor with the same level of peripheral integration - but at a lower power point. This processor is an excellent option for developers needing additional processing provided by the e600 core combined with integrated memory controllers and high-speed interfaces. It is also pin-for-pin compatible with the dual core processor.

MPC7448 Processor

The MPC7448 represents another performance leap in Freescale's discrete processor line. It provides more than 1.5 GHz processing power, increased L2 cache (1 MB), and a higher-speed bus than its predecessors. It is also pin-for-pin and software compatible with the MPC74xx processors used in current iBooks, PowerBooks, and eMacs - an easy drop-in to existing designs. But the MPC7448 keeps the power low, able to consume less than 10 Watts running at 1.4 GHz.

Processor Comparison







Single e600 PowerPC core, >1.5 GHz, 2.3 MIPS/ MHz

Dual e600 PowerPC core, >1.5 GHz each, 2.3 MIPS/ MHz

Caches per core

L1: 32 KB I/D
L2: 1 MB with ECC

AltiVec Engine

Yes - includes performance improvement of out-of-order instructions

Memory Controller

Separate System Controller, 200 MHz bus

Dual 64b DDR2, 667 MHz with ECC

Fabric Interface


Serial RapidIO, 1x/4x at up to 2.5 Gb/s per lane

Local I/O Interface


Dual PCI Express, x1/x2/x4/x8, 2.0 Gb/s per lane


0.9, 1.0, 1.1V

1.0, 1.1V



960 pin HiTCE ceramic, 33x33mm

In short, the MPC7448 should be able to simply plug into existing computers and upgrade cards designed for earlier CPUs in the MPC74xx series, while the MPC8641 processors would require a newly designed logic board.

Canadian Classifieds for Used Macs and Accessories offers a new place for Canadian Mac users now have a new online medium to buy and sell used Apple and related products.


  • Free posting of ads
  • Control panel with easy access to add new ads
  • User statistics on ads

Lithium-ion Batteries Explained

Apple has posted an article with information about Lithium-ion Batteries used in 'Books and iPods

"Rechargeable Lithium-based technology currently provides the best performance for your PowerBook, iBook or iPod. You can also find this standard battery technology in devices such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple batteries share the characteristics common to Lithium-based technology found in other devices. Like other rechargeable batteries, these batteries may eventually require replacement.

"Lithium-ion batteries pack in a higher power density than Nickel-based batteries. This gives you a longer battery life in a lighter package, as Lithium is the lightest metal. You can also recharge a Lithium-ion battery whenever convenient, without the full charge or discharge cycle necessary to keep Nickel-based batteries at peak performance. (Over time, crystals build up in Nickel-based batteries and prevent you from charging them completely, necessitating an inconvenient full discharge).

Topics covered include:

  • Standard Charging
  • How to Maximize Power Use
  • About Notebook Batteries
  • About iPod Batteries
  • Battery Terms
  • Hot Tip
  • On Playing It Cool
  • Exercise Your Machine
  • Dispose Your Disposables

Ergonomics: Working with Laptop Computers

Stephen Didcott, principal partner for Facility Associates, says:

"I have been talking to people about the physical disadvantages of poorly designed office seating for over twenty years. However, there is a disturbing new phenomenon in modern business life that is having a dramatic effect on the health of the office nation - the habitual usage of laptop computers.

"The original concept of the laptop computer was to enable temporary computing on the move or from remote locations away from the office. This proved very useful and the cost easily justified for the highly valued Executive.

"Like mobile phone technology, the laptop computer has over time, become more portable, more powerful, more legible, more affordable and much more user friendly. Consequently, the laptop is fast becoming the preferred choice of computer in the same way that the mobile phone is beginning to replace landline equipment. But the similarities do not end there.

"When used in moderation, mobile phones and laptop computers are quite harmless; but frequent or habitual usage brings health risks....

"The posture that one has to adopt when using a laptop teetering on the edge of a small café table; in an airport lounge; on a sofa or in the car is very unnatural.

"Because the laptop screen is attached to the keyboard, we instinctively bend our neck (cervical spine) to enable our head to lower and protrude forward to view the screen. Our shoulders roll in and the chest appears sunken. With our head in this 'turtle-neck' position, we involuntary arch the whole length of the spine (thus loosing the healthy 'S' shape). The lower the laptop, the more extreme the posture."

Titanium Laptop Stand and Micro Keyboard

Portable Laptop Solution 1An elegant and stylish mobile laptop stand and micro-keyboard for the Apple Mac User on the move, the Portable Laptop Solution 1 stand has secured FIRA's coveted Ergonomic Excellence Award.

Available in two sizes to suit the pocket size of your laptop carrier case.


  • Suitable for Apple laptops
  • Folds into plastic wallet for stowage in laptop case
  • Five possible height settings
  • Integral document holder with anti-reflex coating
  • Hard foam internal protection for laptop
  • Rubber anti-slip feet
  • Winner of "Good Industrial Design" Award
  • Winner of "Dutch Teleworking" Award
  • Holder of FIRA "Ergonomic Excellence" Award

Specifications: Large/Small

  • Colour: Titanium
  • Material: Aluminium material (Hylite)
  • Sizes in use (WxDxH): 247 x 340 x 182-245mm (working height)/230 x 310 x 140-230mm (working height)
  • Travel sizes (in its plastic carrier wallet): 247 x 340 x 14mm/230 x 310 x 9mm
  • Travel Weight: 700 grams/500 grams
  • Height of laptop screen (based on 240 x 310mm screen): 440 to 510mm over five height settings/385 to 490mm over five height settings

Pricing and Delivery

  • Price (not including Micro-Keyboard), £75
  • UK Packaging and special delivery, £8
  • Overseas Packaging and special delivery Calculated by Shop

Keyboard and Mini Optical Mouse Bundle

keyboard and mouse

  • Specifications: Keyboard/Mini-Mouse
  • Colour: Titanium case and graphite keys/Silver Grey
  • Material Casing of Aluminium material (Hylite)/Plastic
  • Size (WxDxH): 280 x 135 x 10 mm/52 x 85 x 30mm
  • Travel Weight (in use): 300 grams/50 grams
  • Cable length: 1650mm/ 810mm

Design Details (Keyboard)

  • 40% smaller than a full-size keyboard
  • Ergonomic 84 UK Layout
  • Scissors Key switch offering quiet and low wobble key stroke
  • 5 hot keys for Sleep, Volume Up, Volume Down, email, and Web
  • Key Top Angles: -10 Degrees
  • Key Switch Life: 20 Million
  • MTBE: 100,000 hours
  • Mac Compatible

Design Details (Mini Mouse)

  • Precise and Smooth Navigation
  • Easy-to-Use on most surfaces
  • Scroll and Zoom directly with scroll wheel
  • Suitable for both Left and Right Hand Users
  • Compact size
  • Optical Sensor
  • Signal Strength: 1500 signal per second
  • Tracker Resolution: 400 CPI
  • Connectivity: USB - USB / PS/2 Adapter
  • Plug and Play: Installation CD provided
  • Mac Compliant with OS 8.6 or later
  • Compliant with Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, ME, 2000, and XP
  • Certification: FCC, CE, TUV, CSA, C-Tick, VCCI, BSMI
  • Tested to comply with IEC 835-1:1993

Pricing and Delivery

  • Price (Keyboard and Mouse Bundle), £45
  • UK Packaging and special delivery, £7
  • Overseas Packaging and special delivery Calculated by Shop Programme

IOGear Introduces External 1.8" Hard Drives

IOGear has slimmed down the equipment required to transfer files on an external hard drive with the launch of its 1.8" USB 2.0 and Combo external ION hard drives. The devices allow consumers to store documents, pictures, music, and videos in one compact enclosure.

Perfect for the mobile professional, the products are small enough to be clipped onto a belt or on an airplane or car seat pocket. The external drives are compatible with both Mac and PC platforms and offer high data transfer rates of up to 480 Mbps (USB 2.0) and 400 Mbps (FireWire). Both the USB 2.0 and Combo ION Drives are backward compatible with USB 1.1 specifications. The product also offers an exclusive version of Dantz Retrospect software for easy backup.

Depending on the size of the hard drive, the products vary in price from $199.95 for the 20 GB USB 2.0 version to $299.95 for the 40 GB USB 2.0 version. Users can purchase the Combo 20 GB drive for $249.95 and the 40 GB version for $349.95 . The drives are available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers,, and selected retail outlets.

"Mobile professionals are always looking for more convenient ways to store their files while on the go or traveling for business," said Bryan Wells, storage product manager at IOGear. "With the tiny 1.8" external hard drives, consumers can save space in their luggage or on their desktop, without sacrificing transfer speed or storage capacities."

IOGear's hard drives function on Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and Mac OS 9.2 and above. The hard drives are available in 20 GB and 40 GB storage sizes and are hot swappable and Plug-n-Play. The products come with IOGear's standard three-year warranty.

Mars II Laplight: Light for People on the Go

Mars Light ModuleNo need to have a power source, you only need to plug the Mars II Laplight into a USB port

  • Free to adjust the height and angle as much as user need in order to have the best light efficiency
  • Slim and light design
  • Available to add more Lights in order to increase the lighting
  • Easy to carry with users' briefcase or hand-carry
  • Lower LED power consumption, longer life (up to 100,000 hours)
  • Most single LED USB lights are dim and only cover a very small area
  • Mars II LapLight's expendable add-on create a new level of clear bright light for your work area
  • Laplight is a very simple, perfect, and valuable LED lighting device.& The user just plugs it into any USB Ports, it can generate a stable, clear and full-spectrum light. For presentation or reading on the plane, The Laplight can give you enough light as needed and when needed
  • Adjusting the brightness, simply directly adjust the angles and directions of Mars II's "magic cable" to any position required
  • Adjusting the Mars II Laplight to the right, to the left or at the top is effortless. It is as easy as it can be
  • The Mars II Laplight is even bright enough to be use as a desk lamp

Mars II Laplight: $10.50

Harmony Express Sound Card from Miglia

Harmony ExpressBarely the size of a USB memory stick, Harmony Express is a a fully featured sound card that connects to your USB 2.0 port.

Simple to install, Harmony Express let's you enjoy the incredible sound quality of your speaker system to its full extent, thanks to its virtual 5.1 output support.

The compact design and ease of installation through USB makes it an ideal add-on for your portable and desktop computers.

Harmony Express' small form factor makes it ideal for notebook users who wish to enjoy their 5.1 sound system.

No software drivers required. Harmony Express is directly supported by compatible operating systems. No need to install any additional drivers.

Virtual 5.1 output: Harmony Express supports virtual 5.1 output, helping you to maximise the potential of your 5.1 system.

Macintosh Compatibility

  • Mac with USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Mac OS X 10.3.4 or higher

Mac Recovery Bundle from WiebeTech and Prosoft

WiebeTech DriveDocks teamed with award winning Data Rescue software from Prosoft Engineering. The quickest route to data recovery from corrupted notebook or laptop drives for Mac OS X users

All Mac Recovery products include Prosoft's Data Rescue software (personal user version).

Simply connect your corrupted drive to a WiebeTech drive dock, connect it to your computer via FireWire, and allow Data Rescue to perform recovery procedures.

For 3.5 inch IDE drives:

  • Mac Recovery ComboDock: FireWire800 / USB2 Docking Device for 3.5 inch Hard Drives
  • Mac Recovery FireWire DriveDock: FireWire Docking Device for 3.5 inch Hard Drives

For 3.5 inch SATA drives:

  • Mac Recovery TrayDock for 3.5 inch SATA Hard Drives

For 2.5 inch notebook drives:

  • Mac Recovery Notebook DriveDock: Bus powered Docking Device for mounting notebook drives over FireWire

To prevent possible data loss Data Rescue should be used prior to using any repair utility. Because no data recovery software can work in all situations, the recovery success of Data Rescue will depend upon the condition of the drive and data structure. Data Rescue can be used as an emergency CD as long as the host computer is operational.
Pricing and availability

Product/ Product Code/ Price/ Availability

  • Mac Recovery FireWire DriveDock/ MAC-RECOVERY-FWDD/ 149.95/ In stock
  • Mac Recovery Notebook DriveDock/ MAC-RECOVERY-NBDD/ 149.95/ In stock
  • Mac Recovery ComboDock/ MAC-RECOVERY-CDK/ 199.95/ In stock
  • Mac Recovery TrayDock SATA/ MAC-RECOVERY-TDK-SATA/ 199.95/ In stock

Put Your Linux-Running Aluminum PowerBook to Sleep

Linux kernel hacker Benjamin Herrenschmidt recently posted on the debian-ppc mailing list a patch that finally permits sleep on aluminum PowerBooks.

The patch is in test stage and will work just for Al PowerBooks with an ATI graphic device. iBook support should come, sooner or later, Herrenschmidt is working on the video wake-up code. Nvidia graphics based, instead, are for the moment left out of the games. Patch applies to 2.6.x kernels.

Another badly desired feature has been added. Sleeping is usually called suspend-to-RAM, as opposed to suspend-to-disk mechanism that at the moment is known to work well but is clearly not that flexible and comfortable.

Repair Your Hard Drive

Hardmac's Lionel has posted this report:

Source :

"We thought it was impossible, but Indif did it! He repaired his 2.5" hard drive, and got his data back:

"A short time ago, the drive of my laptop started his requiem. One day, it made painful "crack and crisp" noises, and the computer froze. I rushed to shut it down, waited for a while until the mechanics cooled off, but it was useless, it didn't boot any more. R.I.P. Hard drive :(....

"With resignation, i bought another bigger drive. but I still had in mind to find a way to get my work back. I install the "said-to-be-dead" drive in a USB case, and vainly tried with Disk Utility, that cannot detect anything, while the poor drive is suffering the hell, trying to spin with an awful noise.

"This weekend, I decided to perform a highly dangerous "last chance" operation: dissecting the drive... With a Torx screwdriver, I open the metal panel and check out the mechanics...."

iPod News

BiblePlayer for iPod Catches On

Cnet's Matt Hines reports:

"For those seeking spiritual guidance via a handheld device, a California start-up called BiblePlayer is offering free downloads of the world's best-selling book for use with Apple Computer's iPod media player.

"The brainchild of Los Angeles-based programmer Pablo Mendigochea, BiblePlayer offers three different text versions of the Bible that can be read on the iPod's screen using the device's "Notes" function. The company also markets a deluxe version of the product, which features MP3 audio readings of the Bible on CD-ROM for $29. Either product can be used with any third- or fourth-generation iPod....

"BiblePlayer offers a King James Version of the book, as well as the World English iteration and the Spanish New Testament. Mendigochea has plans to launch products based on Dutch, French and German translations of the Bible, as well as a Torah-oriented download."

Contour Design Announces Ultra-Clear Hard Case for Click Wheel iPod

Contour Design announces another addition to the award winning iSee case lineup for the iPod. Hot on the heels of the recently launched iSee-20, Contour announces the iSee-40 for Apple & HP 40 GB 4th Generation Click Wheel iPods.

iSee-40"Contour customers have been demanding more of the hard case line that started with our original iSee. They just love the low profile fit," says Mike Jackle of Contour Media & Retail Products Group. "We are the market leader in the Apple iPod hard case accessories. Last week we released the iSee-20. This week it's the iSee-40 and this is not the end of the line".

The iSee-40 is manufactured using the very latest in ABS plastics technology, offering unrivaled protection from hard impact while providing easy access to the iPod controls and accommodating a wide range of third party accessories. Not only does the clear, scratch-resistant plastic protect the iPod, but also coupled with the stylish, horizontally mounted belt clip, the iSee-40 significantly enhances the natural look of the iPod while resting comfortably at the hip.

Key features

  • Ultra-clear case offering all around protection for the Apple iPod
  • Easy access to all of the iPod's controls
  • Flexible docking port protector offers complete protection and accessibility to the iPod docking connector using Contour Design's simple latching mechanism
  • Top opening provides easy access to the headphone jack, hold switch, and third party products such as FM transmitters and voice recorders
  • Strong, detachable, belt clip provides a secure, stylish, and comfortable fit

The Contour iSee-40 is now available for immediate delivery through Contour Design and our extensive distributor and reseller partners, worldwide. MSRP is $19.99

New eVo 2 from iSkin for the Click Wheel iPod

The Think Different Store has in stock the new eVo 2 from iSkin Inc. for the click wheel iPod (4th Generation) - superior protection for Apple's market leading personal music player.

eVo 2In response to customer input, iSkin recently introduced the eVo 2, its update of their hugely popular iPod protector. eVo 2 is designed to offer all around surface protection while maintaining the natural beauty of the iPod.

iSkin has left in place the most popular features of the eVo such as the form fitting design, rear heat release pores, and elegant lines and combined them with needed upgrades and other key refinements to create the eVo 2.

iSkin's eVo 2 now ships with an upgraded reinforced rotary RevoClip and an improved screen protector that maintains an ultra-clear view of iPod's screen. eVo 2 has an all-new six point soft contact base that reduces the possibility of your screen scratching. The eVo 2 allows devices like the iTrip to connect seamlessly while maintaining solid protection by featuring a thinned-down top surface with beveled edges. iSkin has maintained the available color selection including the Ultra-Glo (glow-in-the-dark) skin tones with future plans for limited edition skins and an even greater selection of colors.

The iSkin eVo 2 sells for $29.99.

Ice Creme & Ice Creme M Scratch Remover

Easily remove surface abrasion and scratches from acrylic surfaces.

Ice Creme Ice Creme allows you to easily remove the scuffing, scratching, and abrasion that tends to occur on highly polished acrylic panels, like those used in several consumer devices and popular computers. Products like the iPod, iBook, PDAs, and cell phones can all benefit from the ease of use and power of Ice Creme. Makes scuffed-up plastic products gleam like new. Great when you want to spruce up or sell your gear.

The regular formula is for plastic products. The "M" version contains an additional bottle of metal polish for products like the iPod's polished metal back panel. Both versions include special application and polishing cloths.


  • Two part formula removes even aggressive damage.
  • "M" version removes damage from iPod's metal back pan.
  • Enough to repair several units.
  • Includes application and polishing cloths.

Price: $24.95

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

Small Dog Electronics

PowerBook Guy

Apple Store Special Deals: Apple Certified

Power Max

sFor 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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