The 'Book Review

iLife '05 Not for Clamshells, iBook Hard Drive Upgrades, Mac mini Price Protection, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.01.28

The week's portable Mac and iPod news, including the Mac mini

'Book News

Mac mini News

iPod News

Bargain 'Books

'Book News

iLife '05 Cannot Be Installed on Clamshell iBooks

A new Apple Knowledge Base Article says:

"iLife '05 requires a computer with a display resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels. This means that iLife '05 cannot be installed on the original iBooks. The original iBooks are Blueberry, Tangerine, or Graphite in color. The iBook (FireWire) computers, which are Indigo, Key Lime, and Graphite in color, are also affected.

"If you attempt to install iLife '05 on one of these iBooks, you'll see an alert message:

"iLife '05 cannot be installed on this computer. This software requires a computer with a higher-resolution screen."

Do It Yourself Hard Drive Upgrades

A PowerBook Zone reader has posted some well worth reading tips on do-it-yourself iBook hard drive upgrading.

"I used the instructions here: and I printed out all 18 (yes 18) pages of the instructions before starting. Also recommended."

12" iBook a Rugged Machine in a Compact Body's Dennis Sellers says:

"So there I was at last week's Macworld Conference & Expo, exiled to the 'hinterlands.' That's the nickname we members of the press gave to the room holding those of us poor wretches not blessed with actually getting into the keynote hall where Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke. I was using my new 12-inch iBook when I discovered that I could log onto the AirPort network set up for the conference speakers. Apparently, no members of the press using a PowerBook were able to do so; I suspect that I 'lucked out' because iBooks seem to have better AirPort connectivity than their pro level big brothers.

"That was just one of the advantages I found in having the iBook with me to cover Macworld San Francisco 2005. It was a darn-near perfect companion for a journalist always on the move.

"...for down-and-dirty, on-the-fly basic computing tasks, it's hard to beat the small iBook. . . . It doesn't have the punch of the PowerBook (hard core gamers just laugh at their ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics with 32 MB of dedicated DDR), but it's tougher (thanks to its polycarbonate plastic enclosure) and has a longer battery life than the PB. If I drop and damage a US$1,000 iBook, I'll have a mild heart attack; whereas if I dropped and damaged a PB costing twice that, I'd have a major heart attack."

Roaring Laptop Sales Boost PC Market

USA TODAY 's Michelle Kessler reports:

"It's official: The desktop PC era is ending, and the age of laptops has begun.

"From Thanksgiving to New Year's, U.S. retail stores sold 24% more laptops than during the same period in 2003, says a study by researcher Current Analysis. Desktop sales fell 7%, Current Analysis says.

"Those booming laptop sales drove the overall U.S. personal computer market up 8% during the fourth quarter, researcher Gartner says....

"...The desktop as we know it will soon start to be phased out, says Mike George, a vice president at No. 1 PC maker Dell. Laptops are taking off because they're:

  • Cheaper
  • More powerful
  • More useful

"Desktops won't disappear. They'll evolve into other forms, such as media PCs that look like DVD players. Dell is even working on a portable PC somewhere between a desktop and laptop, George says. Rival Apple introduced its version, the Mac mini, this month."

Temperox Monitors Temperature of CPU, Power Supply, and Battery

PR: Temperox monitors the temperature of your PowerBook or iBook.

It monitors the temperature of CPU bottom side, CPU intrepid bottom side, power supply bottom side and the battery. Additionally, Temperox monitors the speed of rear left fan, rear right fan and the CPU core voltage.

Note: There are some PowerBooks and iBooks without any sensor, so it is not possible to monitor the temperature of those machines.

System requirements: Mac OS X

Temperox is freeware.

Maxtor Won't Make 2.5" Drives

Extreme Tech reports:

"SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Hard disk drive maker Maxtor Corp. said on Monday it has decided not to go ahead with previously announced plans to make a 2.5-inch disk drive and would take charges of $5.4 million to $7.0 million as a result.

"Maxtor said it made its decision on Jan. 18, adding that it expects to spend $7.6 million to $9.0 million to pay third- party vendors for tooling, equipment, and component parts inventory related to the suspended disk drive."

Celebrate Freedom with a Patriotic Mouse

PR: Looking for a cool, inexpensive mouse for your Mac mini or 'Book? The Patriotic Mouse is uniquely "Mac," with a clear, very hip, iMac-ish look. But plug it in (or turn on your Mac), and it lights up red, white, and blue!

Patriotic MouseIt's optical; it's a scroller mouse; it's definitely American; and it's more cool than the Apple Pro mouse.

Mouse has 3 buttons (left & right plus a scroll wheel). Fully OS X & OS 9 compatible - just plug it in and go.

The Patriotic Mouse sells for $10.99.

New Pinder Laptop Cases, Bags, Carry Cases, and Sleeves

PR: Pinder Bags designs stylish laptop cases and bags in a variety of colors using only the finest materials available, including water repellent 1000 Denier Nylon Cordura, closed cell foam, YKK zippers, ripstop nylon, and nickel plated hardware. Every laptop case and bag is guaranteed for life.

Pindar bag detailPinder has also announced that 5% of their revenues will go to your choice of 6 charities including Amnesty International, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Doctors Without Borders,, National M.S. Society, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pinder Thin laptop bags have a sleek stylish design that will make a nice home for your notebook computer. It can be carried with the included shoulder strap or placed inside your favorite bag, tote or backpack. The top loading design makes it easy to access your laptop for airport security and the slim laptop case design makes it great for trips to the coffeehouse or work/home.

Pindar bagFeatures:

  • 1000D Water Repellent Nylon Cordura
  • 100% Nickel Plated Hardware
  • 1/4" Closed Cell Foam Padding on 5 sides
  • No. 8 YKK Zippers
  • Ripstop Nylon Interior
  • Strong tubular nylon handles
  • Easy access pocket for phone/PDA
  • Large pocket for power supply
  • Shoulder strap included
  • Pinder Lifetime Guarantee
  • 5% donated to your choice of 6 charities

Internal Dimensions: (Width x Length x Thickness), Medium: 15 1/2 in x 11.5 in x 2 in

Medium will fit most laptop computers with 14" to 15.4" screens including the Apple PowerBook 17", Apple PowerBook 15", Dell Latitude, Dell Inspiron (except 9200), Compaq, IBM ThinkPad, and Toshiba.


  • haute pink
  • mo' green
  • silver vodka
  • sky high blue
  • orange martini

Price: $44

Free shipping on all orders in USA.

Mac mini News

Apple to Honor Price Protection on BTO Mac mini

Mac Minute reports:

"Following yesterday's [1/25] price drops on certain build-to-order (BTO) Mac mini components, Apple said it will refund the difference to affected purchasers, according to Mac Minute readers...."

Mac mini Complete Disassembly Documentation Posted

Smash's World's Ben Guild says:

"Another friend, after seeing my site, slipped me this PDF. It has the complete disassembly of the Mac mini . . . including all required tools, high-quality images . . . everything you could possibly need.

"It's almost 22 MB (which is a hosting nightmare) so I've got a Bit Torrent tracker running.

Mac mini Take Apart Photos

From Nakfull Propaganda:

"Photos of Mac mini taken apart. It's a stock (40 GB) configuration. Missing in these photos is the daughterboard that the AirPort Extreme and internal Bluetooth module connect to (and those boards and antennas as well).

"Note: Some of these images are over 1 MB."

PC World Looks at Mac mini

PC World's Rebecca Freed reports:

"Apple's new, entry-level desktop system, the Mac mini, is a solid little (emphasis on little) machine. If I didn't love my G4 PowerBook so much, I'd be very happy to have a Mac mini on my desk, and I can't quibble with the price. The test unit that Apple sent us has 512 MB of RAM (DIMM), plus built-in 802.11g WiFi and Bluetooth.

"This system has the same advantages and drawbacks as a typical notebook (except it doesn't have a screen). On the plus side, it's extremely light and portable, and fits unobtrusively into lots of different environments, unlike a typical tower system. On the minus side, it's relatively difficult to upgrade, and you can quickly clutter up your work space with external peripherals. And its external power brick is about a quarter of the size of the box itself....

"It's interesting that the audio port doubles as both line-in and line-out, meaning that you can bring in audio (such as from a guitar or keyboard, or a turntable or tape player) through the port as well as hooking speakers or headphones to it....

"It ran about as hot as Mac notebooks tend to - I could feel heat coming from the back vents and from the bottom after about two hours of use. One pleasant surprise was how quiet the Mini is: I heard a little drive noise when the CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive was spinning up, but I usually didn't hear the hard drive, and the fans are very quiet. Even better, when I plugged headphones into the combination line-in/line-out jack, I didn't hear the droning system noise my PC pumps out."

New Mac mini Home Theater Site:

PR: With the release of Apple's Mac mini desktop computer and the massive following it is sure to create, has announced the launch of a premier site focused on providing comprehensive coverage on the coming cult following of the Mac mini and its uses in home theater. will set the standard in this new niche market by providing a single location on the Internet for Mac mini and HT enthusiasts to find any tips, tricks, hacks, reviews, accessories and links pertaining to their favorite computer and their favorite hobby. The next few months are sure to be filled with firsthand accounts, mini mods, insights and satisfaction as thousands of Mac mini owners put their tiny computers to work in their Home Theater. aims to be the best source of Mac mini and HTmini information on the Web.

Mac mini a Perfect Upgrade and Switcher Computer

Macworld's Jennifer Berger reports:

"When Steve Jobs unveiled the Mac mini at Macworld Expo in January, the reaction was a mix of amazement (how did they get that Mac so small?) and uncertainty (can a well-made computer really come in a tiny package?). After all, many Mac veterans thought they'd seen it before - they haven't forgotten the ill-fated Power Mac G4 Cube, Apple's other diminutive Mac.

"But Mac lovers haven't seen this before. The Mac mini isn't targeted at design pros, it's for regular folks who want to do basic tasks. And it costs as little as $499. It just may be the perfect upgrade for many Mac users, and Windows-to-Mac switchers.

"We've given the Mac mini a thorough going-over, even dismantling it to probe its insides. We can now report that, although the Mac mini has its flaws - such as its unacceptably tiny amount of RAM - many people will find it the perfect Mac."

Of particular note:

"One surprise in our testing appeared when we tested the hard-drive access speed by duplicating 500 MB of data. The 1.25 GHz Mac mini beat the faster 1.42 GHz model by 10 seconds. Upon further investigation, we found that the 1.25 GHz model actually contains a 5,400 RPM drive, despite Apple's claim that it contains a 4,200 RPM drive. The 1.42 GHz model, does contain the slower 4,200 RPM drive."

The Mac mini Experience from a Linux-user's Perspective

OSnews special contributor John Yanosko says:

"The box arrived at my home in the Southern US two days after leaving Shenzhen. It was light, as if I had ordered a new hard drive. When I opened it, the package was neat and trendy, with a cute little setup book I didn't need. For the first time since the power supply in my beloved Mac Plus had gone wonky back in '93, I had a Macintosh.

"After the Plus died I was lured over to the Windows world by the promise of cheap multimedia, and was bitterly disappointed by the horrible GUI of Windows for Workgroups 3.11. I upgraded to Windows 95 but was still unhappy with the instability of the OS, so I switched to Red Hat Linux, and have been using Linux ever since, although like many of us I still fix my relatives' Windows machines every few months....

So how does the Mini compare to desktop or laptop Linux?

"First there's the machine itself. My old box was noisy like an old Hoover. The Mini is quieter than many so-called 'silent PCs.' The fan came on briefly (and quietly) when I turned the heat up to test it, but other than that there is only the faint chirp of the hard drive - my monitor is louder. I have room for my feet, and I don't have to reach under my desk to stick in a CD. There aren't even any keyboard/mouse wires to get tangled up in, as mine are wireless. You can buy small crappy PCs, or small expensive PCs, but you can't buy something this small and elegant and stylish except from Apple....

"The Mini recognized my HP printer and I only had to click a box to share it. It set up my monitor properly with better refresh rates than Xorg ever managed. After one polite soft-sell (for .mac, $99 a year, no thanks), reminding me that this is indeed a proprietary system....

"The GUI differences between OS X and the Gnome and KDE desktops I'm used to are not overly significant....

"Overall, though, the desktop is beautiful, fast and very smooth. It's more responsive than a Gnome or even a KDE desktop on a much faster machine...."

iPod News

Making a USB Battery from a 9v Cell

Engaget's Ryan Block says:

"Sometimes there's just nothing worse than a USB-powered gadget (you have like, a thousand, right?) that doesn't have any juice. Well, fear not! The mad scientists over at hackaday have a relatively simple 9v-cell-to-USB hack, simple that is, if you're the type who feels comfortable with a trip to Radio Shack and wielding a soldering iron. Just be careful, aight? We won't be held responsible if you spill battery acid on yourself, melt a hole through your finger, or, worse yet, short out your toy."

Audio Bible Player for iPod 1.5

PR: Read and listen to the Bible on iPod. Includes daily devotionals, reading plans, and more with Audio Bible Player.

The ultimate audio Bible - Read and listen to the Bible on your iPod!

Now you can take God's Word with you anywhere you go. Using iPod's 'Notes' feature, you can read and hear the Bible on your iPod. Each book is logically organized so finding the chapter you want is a breeze. The audio bible translations we currently offer are the King James, Modern American Standard Version, and Spanish Reina Valera.

With Bible Player Deluxe, the 'Play' link is activates the audio bible allowing you to listen while you read.

After nearly 100 years, Charles Spurgeon's devotionals have been enjoyed by millions. His two classics 'Faith's Checkbook' and 'Morning and Evening' are now available for reading on your iPod. These brief meditations will help you start your day off right.

With Bible Player Deluxe, the 'Play' link will play the devotional's audio reading.

Read the Bible in a year

Have you ever wanted to read the entire Bible? Bible Player makes this goal achievable by organizing your bible reading plans. Select the current month and date, and your day's readings are presented. Scroll and select a reading and Audio Bible Player will load and play that reading.

Read and Hear over 100 Bible stories and Parables

The Creation. The fall of Man. The epic battle of David and Goliath. The birth and life of Jesus. Over 100 Bible stories from the New and Old Testament have been sequentially categorized and presented in their original telling straight from the Bible. Plus, every major Parable of Jesus is indexed to allow you to hear the teachings from the Greatest Storyteller.

Audio Bible Features

  • complete MP3 audio Bible on CDs
  • Professional recording. No music.
  • Only 900 MB space on your iPod.
  • Compatible with any MP3 player or software (WinAMP, etc.)

Bonus Modules

  • 5 reading plans
  • Morning and Evening devotional
  • Daily Proverbs Module
  • God's Promises Module

Audio Bible Versions

  • King James Audio Bible
  • World English Audio Bible
  • Reina Valera (NT, Psalms, Proverbs)

Note: This product is delivered on CDs. Download not available.

New in this version:

  • added audio versions for modern American Standard Version. this is a more friendly translation than the Old English King James
  • added new Spanish version of the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs

System requirements:

  • Any 3rd or 4th generation iPod (mini, iPod photo, or iPod Shuffle)
  • Mac OS X

Audio Bible Player for iPod is freeware. Upgrade to Deluxe version for $29.

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

Baucom Computers

PowerBook Guy

Small Dog Electronics

  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, AirPort, PC2100 SO DIMM 512 MB DDR 266, $1,249
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, Bluetooth, PC2700 SO DIMM 512 MB DDR 333, Leather Lap Protector with Small Dog Logo, $1,759

Power Max

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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