The 'Book Review

Tiger Tips; Legacy PowerBooks; PowerBook Decay; FlashPoint Share Drive for Car, Camera, and Computer; Bargain 'Books; and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.05.06

This Week's PowerBook, iBook, and Notebook News

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

Tiger Talk

News & Opinion


New Products

Bargain 'Books

Tiger Talk

Tiger Migration Guide Posted says:

"The Tiger Migration Guide is available for download now. It covers only the changed and new features, and is meant to help you get started quickly without taking away the fun of discovering the new OS. I sincerely hope you will find this eBooklet worth the - free - download.

"The low-res, print-disabled version of the Tiger Migration Guide is a free download of approx. 1.9 MB. If you like the guide you can buy a high-res, printable version (which also allows for copying and annotating) for 5 USD / 4 EU.

"If you pay for the Guide you will not only sponsor IT-Enquirer, and help me earn a living, but you will also receive a Bonus Chapter containing the new and changed shortcuts.

"As the price for which the Tiger Migration Guide is sold, is relatively low, and the Guide itself is an electronic file, the reality is that you can copy it ad infinitum. I therefore appeal to your honesty, granting you a license in the process to have it read by up to 5 readers. I hope this will cover most people's needs. If you need more 'copies', please email me so we can work out a decent and fair deal."

AppleTalk without TCP/IP No Longer Supported in Tiger

An updated Apple Knowledge Base Article says:

"Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9, and Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.3.9 support file sharing (AFP) connections over AppleTalk. However, Mac OS X versions 10.0 to 10.0.4 and 10.4 and later can only connect to AppleShare over TCP/IP.

"If you want to connect from versions 10.1 to 10.3.9 to Mac OS 8 sharing (which is AppleTalk only), be sure to enable AppleTalk.... Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X can both connect over TCP/IP without AppleTalk, so this step is optional in the absence of Mac OS 8.

"Mac OS X 10.4 and later don't support Personal File Sharing (or other AFP) over AppleTalk, though by initiating the connection from the opposite direction you could still achieve an IP connection from a Mac OS 8 computer to a sharing Mac OS X computer. The Network preference pane in Mac OS X 10.4 and later still offers the AppleTalk checkbox, but it is for browsing AppleTalk-advertised resources and zones. The subsequent connection must be over TCP/IP."

In short, this means that Macs with a version of the Mac OS that don't support AppleTalk using TCP/IP will not be able to use AppleTalk to connect to Macs running Tiger - and vice versa.

CEI Takes a 'Tiger' by Tail, Embracing New Mac OS

LocalTechWire's Rick Smith reports:

"Two Triangle area firms have moved quickly to capitalize on the latest versions of the Macintosh operating system, and in very different ways.

"CEI, the very high-end visualization software firm in Apex that was spun off from supercomputer firm Cray a decade ago, announced Monday that it would support the new Mac product since it supports 64-bit operations as opposed to less sophisticated 32-bit....

"While Macs have long been the darlings of graphic artists, more and more engineers are embracing Apple as an alternative to Linux and Unix....

"Lulu is making the Tiger guide available in two formats - $14.95 as a downloadable PDF file and $29.95 in printed form.

Daystar Confirms Tiger Compatibility for Upgrades

PR: Daystar Technology, a provider of CPU upgrades, has announced that it has verified, tested and qualified its upgrades running in the latest releases of Apple's new version of OS X, 10.4, Tiger.

According to Gary Dailey, president of Daystar, "The Latest announcement of Tiger has raised questions on compatibility, given Apple's official 'upgrade cards are not supported...' statement.

"First, let me say clearly, there is no problem with our upgrades and any version of Mac OS 9 or OS X through Tiger. The statement from Apple (used with every release of Mac OS X to date) does allow Apple to refuse tech support calls on systems using upgrade cards. We, however provide toll-free unconditional support to all of our customers. As always our CPU upgrades perform at full speed and with full compatibility.

"We have tested Tiger with upgrades on OS X supported systems; the MAChSpeed ZIFs, G-Celerators, and MAChSpeed Pismo upgrades. There are no issues with the upgrades themselves. The MACh Carrier and Lombard upgrades have not been tested with Tiger, as Tiger cannot install on these systems (unsupported systems). XPostFacto (the Open-source utility) may solve this problem in the next few months.

"MAChSpeed Control (the optional XLR8 software package sold with Daystar upgrades) is being updated to work within the new Tiger Kernel rules. Currently, they will install, but the utility will not open in Tiger. Current Daystar customers will be upgraded when the Tiger compatible revision is released."

Daystar currently distributes/resells Apple, XLR8, Giga Design, and a variety of leading brand products via its store front and web store . Daystar offers a wide array of Apple performance products. It also sells and services Apple products via its storefront in Buford, Georgia.

Additional information on Daystar Technology and XLR8 can be found via the Daystar website.

News & Opinion

The Value of Your Legacy Portable

PowerPage's Garrison Gunter says:

"As new machines continue to roll out of Cupertino, along with the release of Tiger this week, my old iBook dual USB 500 MHz machine continues to decline in value. You can't get a portable for what this little bugger is worth, and it's not the fastest roach on the track anymore.

"This particular machine has no burner, and is in need of a HD replacement, making it a bit of a fixer-upper. So, what do you do with that old ibook/pbook that just isn't worth getting rid of?"

PowerBook Old Schoolers Club

PowerPage's Mark Standen says:

"From an Outbound through to a 2004 PowerBook, I dusted off my laptops and fired them up for a trip down memory lane."


PowerBook Decay has posted a tongue-in-cheek look at titanium PowerBook durability

"The machine was - and still is - incredible, but on delivery the casing was disappointingly shiny and new. Thankfully, and with only minor wear, tear and abuse, my PowerBook iDecay is now deteriorating nicely....

PowerBook Decay

"At last, the port flap is now bent and losing paint. I'm delighted that the paint on the top is now being held on by a collage of stickers. Around the edges, I've finally got the "eczema" effect that is so desirable these days, with large chunks of paint falling off regularly. Most importantly, I have the perfect laptop for important meetings with clients where that "who the hell are these people?" stare is always welcoming....

"So, I thought I'd share my delight at the way in which my PowerBook has aged of late. Thanks to Apple, you may be able to achieve the look and feel of the PowerBook iDecay yourself, without sifting eBay for an original model. Simply do nothing to your machine during normal use, and with a bit of luck, your PowerBook will also end up looking like a pig's arse in no time."

Review: 15" PowerBook G4

APTM's Chris Lawson reports:

"As was widely expected, Apple released an update to the PowerBook line in January. More of an evolutionary step than a revolutionary one, the new PowerBooks add comparatively little in the way of new features or specs but, with the 'AlBook' design on its third revision, there is a higher level of refinement than ever before.

"The gotta-have-it new feature is the new scrolling trackpad, letting you use two fingers on the trackpad to scroll and pan about the screen....

"Unfortunately, the trackpads have had their share of problems. While scrolling is incredibly improved, basic mousing has taken a step backwards in reliability. There are countless reports of people having problems with jumpy cursor movement, overly stiff buttons, trackpad tapping, etc. Apple has acknowledged the problem, though a permanent fix has yet to be discovered or disclosed...."

12" 1.5 GHz PowerBook Plays Well with Others

eXtensions' Graham K Rogers reports:

"I had not owned a PowerBook for about 5 years, sticking with desktops: a 500 MHz iMac and then the 1.25 GHz eMac. One concern with my 12" PowerBook was screen size - several people I know use the 15" version, but as a primary computer. My screen is not large, of course, but has a larger display than that earlier laptop, a 5300cs. It is also considerably faster and has a better ethernet port. Those older machines required an adapter to fit the standard RJ45 connector."

Good tutorial on PowerBook connectivity.

New Products

FlashPoint Share Drive

PR: Xmultiple Technologies, has come out with a new product, the FlashPoint Share Drive. A USB Flash memory pen drive that can both store data and transfer data without the need of a computer.

For digital camera users, automotive electronics, and the new wave of cell phones, the FlashPoint will let you transfer images from the camera/MP3 player/cell phone to the FlashPoint USB Share Drive anywhere and at anytime without the aid of a computer. Then if you wish, you could copy these to another USB flash drive through the rear USB female connection of the FlashPoint - again without the need of a computer. The FlashPoint is a self-powered USB flash drive that can store data and transfer data from other peripheral devices. Such as USB flash drives, digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, cell phones, etc.

The FlashPoint Share Drive will play a larger roll in the auto industry with more and more cars are being equipped with sophisticated electronics. The automotive industry can retrieve data or transfer data to a cars intelligence system without the need of a laptop computer or cumbersome cables. The consumer can transfer data (mapping data, MP3 files, etc.) from the home/office computer to the car, in a form factor small enough to fit on a key chain.

The device is powered by an internal battery, which allows it to be used to copy data from the shared folder without the need of external power. It works with Windows 98/Me/2000 and XP or Macintosh OS 9.x and 10.x. Buttons for power control, load and dump of data, controls the process.

FlashPoint comes in 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB flash memory configurations.

The FlashPoint will make sharing on-the-go a simple and convenient task. Teachers will be able to download class assignments and lectures away from a computer by simply plugging the FlashPoint into the students USB flash drive or MP3 device and hitting the transfer button - all accomplished away from the computer, sharing on-the-go.

Kanguru Solutions Releases Tiny Kanguru Zipper Pro Hard Drive

PR: Kanguru Solutions has announced the release of their latest in portable and low cost hard drives, the 20 GB Kanguru Zipper Pro.

Kanguru Zipper ProThe Kanguru Zipper Pro offers the perfect blend of storage and portability in a USB 2.0 hard drive. It provides a greater storage capacity than competing Flash drives, while remaining more compact than a 2.5" external hard drive. In fact weighing just 40g, the miniature Kanguru Zipper Pro is lightweight and small enough to fit comfortably in your shirt pocket, yet capable of storing up to 20 GB of data!

A USB 2.0 swivel-style plug unfolds neatly from the side of the Kanguru Zipper Pro and fits directly into any available USB port for instant plug and play access. The exterior alloy enclosure of the Kanguru Zipper Pro is extremely rugged, as the unit is able to withstand up to 1500Gs of shock.

This high speed, high quality USB 2.0 hard drive excels in mobilizing and sharing data. Inside this unit is a 1" mini hard drive, similar to the IBM Microdrive, offers a rotational speed of 4200 rpm and works with Windows and Macintosh, most without any device drivers. As an external drive, it can be used for saving or backing up data, storing photos, MP3s, or important documents for home and office use.

A division of Interactive Media Corporation, Kanguru Solutions manufactures high quality, secure and portable computer storage peripherals that have provided consumers with secure back-up solutions for more than a decade. Interactive Media Corp. was established in Massachusetts in 1992.

XtraDrive Turns Unused Flash Memory Cards into USB Drives

PR: MediaGear announced the next generation of its popular keychain drives called XtraDrive, to help satisfy the growing consumer demand for convenient extra USB flash drives created from unused memory cards.

XtraDriveXtraDrives have a colored, transparent cap that allows the user to see if a media card is installed. Also, to eliminate crowding of several drives together on a PC or notebook, the XtraDrive package also includes a USB adapter cable.

"Photographers have an abundance of old memory cards that are no longer used because of their low megabyte storage. The new XtraDrive gives these outdated memory cards a brand new life," noted Terry Smith, VP of Marketing at MediaGear.

"Most new cameras come with a 16 or 32 MB card and the photographer quickly moves up to higher capacities - especially now that prices are dropping. The digital camera user can pop these outdated flash memory cards into a compatible XtraDrive and easily load and transfer data or photos from computer to computer via the USB ports," continued Smith.

An added bonus of this new generation of keychain drives is the inclusion of an 18" USB cable for use when slots on the computer are too cramped for space.

"The new XtraDrives are great looking too. We went for see-through colorful, gem tone caps that are visually appealing, but more importantly allows the user to see if a memory card is already inserted into the drive," added Smith.

The drives can accommodate most card formats including Secure Digital (SD), MultiMediaCard, Sony Memory Stick, Compact Flash Types I and II, MicroDrives, SmartMedia, and xD.

Retail pricing is: $14.95 MSRP. The new USB-compatible XtraDrives is currently available at Office Depot, MicroCenter and Fry's Electronics, and from the MediaGear website.

QuickerTek Antennas Boost Wireless Range of New 15" and 17" PowerBooks

PR: QuickerTek has announced the first AirPort antenna upgrades for the new PowerBooks. The new high-speed 1.5 GHz and 1.67 GHz notebooks feature AirPort Extreme wireless networking built in and the QuickerTek antennas extend the wireless range dramatically. The new antennas are $99.95 from QuickerTek dealers.

While the thin metallic chassis used in modern PowerBooks is lightweight, it constricts the available wireless signal range of the internal AirPort antenna. QuickerTek's solution is to mount a more powerful antenna outside the PowerBook case, free from the case RF restrictions. These new antennas are similar to the previous QuickerTek PowerBook antenna designs, but the internal connector has been updated for compatibility with the latest PowerBook models.

"Again QuickerTek is first with AirPort antennas for the latest Apple computers. Our PowerBook customers are delighted with the improvement in wireless range and signal strength. Now that AirPort Extreme is built in, these new antennas are hugely popular," said Rick Estes, president, QuickerTek.

QuickerTek is a recognized leading innovator of antennas and RF products for Apple desktop and portable computers. QuickerTek products can be purchased at Mac dealers such as Small Dog Electronics, TechnoWarehouse, PowerBook Medic, Di-No Computers and many others.

iProtect Micro Screen Saver for PowerBooks and iBooks

PR: MaxUpgrades iProtect Micro Screen Savers provides protection against dust, scratches , grease, and oil that gradually get deposited on the laptop keyboard and palm rest area by everyday use. iProtect Micro Screen Savers is made with ultrafine microfibers effectively protect and removes dust particles, grease and finger prints that gets deposited on the the laptop, it also provides protection for laptop LCD Screen from keyboard and track pad indentation caused by the keyboard keys touching the display when the laptop is closed.

iProtect Micro Screen Savers prevents the series of faint white lines that correspond to the edges of the keys on the keyboard to appear on the the LCD Screen when the laptop is closed and keyboard key edges come in contact with the display. This oil accumulation can leave permanent marks on the screen.

iProtect Micro Screen Savers have two different surfaces designed to clean and protect laptop LCD screens. The soft vanquished surface (front surface) is designed for fine particle removal and dust cleaning. The rough and interlacing strands of the knitted surface (reverse side) is designed to clean fingerprints, grease and marks.

The iProtect Micro Screen Savers features a fringe wave design that will not scrape the LCD panel compared to the fringe stitch found commonly on most cleaning cloths.

IOGear Eliminates Wi-Fi 'Dead Spots' With Powerline Networking

PR: IOGear has launched its Powerline Networking Kit, a connectivity tool that allows users to access home computers as networking and gaming devices, share Internet connections, printers, transfer files, play games, and more through the most pervasive medium in the house - the electric power lines.

By connecting two computers with a 10/100 Base-T adapter through power lines, it improves the file transfer speed and quality of broadband access. This device marks the arrival of a long-awaited tool for gamers who play with a remote partner by connecting gaming devices to the broadband router. With an improved Internet connection and smooth broadband streaming, gamers can now have online access in isolated parts of the home to prepare for and participate in online gaming tournaments.

With no extra wires, 56-bit DES hardware encryption, bandwidth up to 14 Mbps, and a range of 990 feet, the Powerline Networking Kit is an easy-to-use tool for every connected home. It can also be used to extend a Wi-Fi network to the furthest part of the house or facility.

"Users often experience the loss of a Wi-Fi signal when moving away from the room that has the router. A well connected home should allow people to work or play from any room in the house, while maintaining their space and privacy," said Miranda Su, vice president of sales and marketing at IOGear Inc. "By introducing the Powerline Networking Kit, we are giving users the ability to stay connected, whether they are working on an important email or playing their favorite online game."

IOGear's Powerline Networking Kit is priced at $99.95 (MSRP) and is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers and selected retail outlets. It is compliant with HomePlug Powerline Specifications 1.0 and worldwide compatible. The only requirement for a successful installation is the 10/100 Base-connection. The Kit also comes with IOGear's standard three-year warranty.

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

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 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

Apple Store

  • refurb 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/CD-ROM, $799
  • refurb 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/Combo, $799
  • refurb 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/Combo, AirPort Extreme, $849
  • refurb 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme, $1,299
  • refurb AirPort Extreme Card, $69
  • refurb iPod 40 GB (non-Click Wheel), $329

Small Dog Electronics

  • new 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/Combo, AirPort Extreme, $999
  • new 12" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, PC2700 SO DIMM 256 MB DDR 333, AirPort Express Base Station, Kensington Pocketmouse Bluetooth, $1,729

Baucom Computers

  • used 12" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 512/40/Combo, $839

Wegener Media

  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 128/10/DVD, $499.99
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 128/10/DVD, $549.99
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 256/40/DVD, $649.99
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 256/40/DVD, $699.99
  • Add PCMCIA wireless card with purchase of Pismo, $10
  • Add an AirPort Wireless card, $89.99 installed
  • G4/550 MHz upgrade card, $249.99
  • Add a Targus laptop bag, 99¢
  • One Year Extended Service Guarantee, $99.99
  • OS X Jaguar for $19.99 with purchase of your Pismo


  • 12" iBook G3/800 Combo, $649.99
  • 12" iBook G3/900 Combo, $689.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $889.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz 512/80/SuperDrive, Bluetooth $1,749.99

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

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