The 'Book Review

Aviator Laptop Stand, the EVDO Superhighway, Reducing MacBook Pro Heat, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.10.16

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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

News & Opinion

Tech Trends

Tech Tips and Info

Products and Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Computers Involved in Battery Recalls

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CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says:

"Notebook computers are now a part of modern life. They can be found in offices, schools and homes across the country. There are tens of millions of portable computers in use. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of at least 47 incidents involving smoke or fire associated with notebook computers, from January 2001 through August 2006. To promote safe use of notebook computers, batteries and chargers, CPSC offers the following tips:

  • Do not use incompatible computer batteries and chargers. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the product manufacturer.
  • Computer batteries can get hot during normal use. Do not use your computer on your lap.
  • Do not use your computer on soft surfaces, such as a sofa, bed or carpet, because it can restrict airflow and cause overheating.
  • Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.
  • Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
  • Avoid dropping or bumping the computer. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the computer and battery. If you suspect damage contact the manufacturer.
  • Do not place the computer in areas that may get very hot.
  • Do not get your computer or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
  • Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user's guide."

Reduce MacBook Pro Temperature in Software

The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"A MacRumors forum post by Rokem details a hack for the MacBook Pro fans that can significantly reduce its operating temperature.

"Now my processor is 40-50°F cooler, and 5-10°C for all you out of the USA. Battery life is maybe 5 minutes shorter, and the fans are not all that much louder.

"Rokem achieved the temperature reduction by modifying the plist files AppleBlower.ktext and AppleFan.ktext. Essentially, he edited the speed values for both fans so they kick on a little sooner and run a bit faster."

Cruising the EVDO Superhighway

Macworld's Rick LePage reports:

"For the past two months, my MacBook Pro and I have been happily - and seamlessly - connected to the Web 24/7, no matter where we've been - be it Boston, San Francisco, Syracuse, Portland or Seattle; up Interstate 5 from San Francisco to Seattle or on Interstate 84 alongside the Columbia River in Oregon. I have been connected, not by hopping on and off available wireless hotspots, but via Novatel's V640 EVDO card and Verizon's BroadbandAccess Connect EVDO service.

"EVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) is a 3G (third-generation) cellular standard currently supported by Verizon and Sprint in the US, and a number of other mobile carriers throughout the world (T-Mobile plans to add support for 3G services next year). Verizon had previously offered a PC Card that let you hook up a PowerBook G4 to the BroadbandAccess service, but it was only recently that a card has been available for use with the MacBook Pro."

Foxconn Secures Notebook Orders from Apple's Steve Shen reports:

"Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry) has received notebook orders from Apple Computer and will start volume shipments of one new MacBook model to the US vendor by the end of this year, Vincent Chen, an analyst at Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA), was quoted as saying in a Chinese-language Commercial Times report last week."

Tech Trends

Intel Readies Merom-based Celeron Ms for Q1 '07?

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Expect to see the first Core 2 Duo-derived Celeron M processors in Q1 2007, the same timeframe Intel has assigned to the release of low-voltage Core 2 Duo CPUs, it has been claimed by folk who've had a look at the chip giant's latest mobile roadmap."

CompAmerica's Snow Leopard Laptop Weighs Only 2.8 Pounds

PR: CompAmerica has announced its new Snow Leopard Laptop (or SL2 for short) an ultra-lite, ultra-durable little bundle of mobil computing joy.

Snow Leopard LaptopIf mobility, durability and portability were all rolled into one product, the Magnesium Alloy Case design of the SL2 certainly does deliver. "The SL2 is a remarkable first!"

The new SL2 Laptop weighs in at a mere 2.8 pounds, including the battery. Yet is has a wide 12" WXGA [1024 x 768] screen that's fit to play DVDs, watch TV, browse the Web, and everything in between. It can burn CDs and DVDs and is designed for work or for play. 100% compatible with all Microsoft, Adobe, and other PC products, SL2 breaks new records for the Ultra-Light league, the first ultra-light that does not compromise on features. It includes a 4-in-1 memory card reader, for instance, and even has its own built in Fingerprint Reader.

Yet, though it possesses all the features of the largest laptops, the SL2 can practically fit in the palm of your hand, it is all of 11 x 9.3 x 1.2 inch in dimension, scarcely bigger than a pad of paper.

Though much lighter than nearly every other laptop in the world, SL2 sports a standard A4 size Winkey Keyboard and touchpad locator and a very vibrant High Definition audio interface. SL2 is being shipped with a choice of Microsoft Windows XP Home or Pro, and is also 100% compatible with Red Hat and other Linux, and a wide variety of software options.

With a starting price of $1,399, the SL2 is about 40% less than the price of the nearest small laptop competition.

For more information, contact CompAmerica at 908-931-1200.

Editor's note: Curiously, the Snow Leopard is larger than the discontinued 12" PowerBook G4 in every dimension, yet it weighs 1.8 lb. less. In terms of computing power, this 1.2 GHz Core Solo laptop will take a back seat to Apple's larger, heavier, $1,099 low-end 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook with its 1280 x 800 widescreen display. Finally, there's no indication whatsoever of estimated battery life, which tends to be abysmal on low-end Windows laptops. dk

Tech Tips and Info

Cannot Adjust Display Brightness or Resolution Using OS X 10.4 - 10.4.2

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"If you can't manually (or via an application) adjust the brightness or resolution of your PowerBook display in Mac OS X 10.4 through 10.4.2, or if Displays preferences only shows the native resolution of the built-in display, download and install the Mac OS X 10.4.3 Update, or later."

Editor's note: Why not just get the 10.4.6, 10.4.7, or 10.4.8 combo update while you're at it? cm

MacBook Battery Not Recognized after Being Fully Drained

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"If your MacBook's battery is fully drained of power, the battery will put itself into a low power state to preserve its ability to charge in future. Fully draining the battery might be done by running the battery until the computer sleeps and then leaving the battery in the sleeping computer for an extended period without plugging it in."

Products and Services

Aviator Laptop Stand

PR: With 92% of business travelers and over 50% of vacationers carrying a laptop, it's no surprise. According to the World Airline Entertainment Association, success will go to those airlines "Who can provide the best entertainment onboard the airplane. The passengers depend on & expect access."

Aviator Laptop StandBoeing's Connexion service is re-launched by Panasonic & it's "Ready To Go" - FCC awards air to ground frequencies for in-flight high speed broadband - New PicoCell Satellite Antenna Technologies promise to lower overall weight & costs - SIMS & other games coming soon.

Keynamics LLC launched the new Aviator Laptop Stand earlier this year in anticipation of in-flight high speed Internet. In-flight Internet preparations are a boon for this manufacturer of airplane tray table laptop stands, which make using a laptop on a plane more comfortable & productive.

Aviator Laptop StandThe Aviator is the first and only laptop stand designed specifically for both on the go professionals and airline passengers.

The stand eliminates the "hunch" and allows the passenger to rest back against the seat for spinal support, achieving neutral postures as OSHA recommends. The Aviator Laptop Stand turns any flat surface into an instant computer workstation for use at the hotel, coffee shop, office, dorm room, or boardroom.

Ultra-Compact and weighing only 9 ounces, the stand stores flat in the side pocket of a laptop case. It is universal and fits all laptops.

Aviator Laptop StandThe Aviator is designed to be sturdy and extremely stable to handle turbulence and bumping from other passengers. The stand has been tested to hold 1,500 pounds. It safely extends the keyboard of the laptop 2.5" over the front edge of the tray (or desk), and raises the screen by 3". The keyboard is positioned at a comfortable angle for typing and the screen is raised to the proper eye level for reduced neck bending and back strain.

Keynamics designed their stand to accommodate the reclined seat in front, providing room to work comfortably and it avoids being crushed by the sudden recline of the seat ahead.

Both the FAA & the airlines are concerned about exploding batteries. The Aviator allows the most unimpeded, open & natural airflow of any stand on the market. Natural airflow conserves power because internal fans cycle less. USB assisted external fans drain batteries while contributing to the overheating problem. Cool batteries do not explode.

Aviator Laptop StandThe Aviator Laptop Stand comes in three colors.

Aviator Specs:

  1. Stored Dimensions 12.62" L x .50" W x 3.35" H
  2. Riser: 12.62" L x .25" W x 3.35" H
  3. Crosspiece: 10.5" L x .50" W x 1" H
  4. Riser Spacing: Outer 8.75", Inner: 5.75"
  5. Riser Top Surface Contact Area 12"
  6. Universal - Fits all Laptops

The Aviator sells for $19.99 and has a 30 day 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.

launch2net Mobile Internet Connections for Mac OS X

PR: Attach. click. connect. launch2net allows you to establish a mobile Internet connection anytime, anywhere. Connect your mobile phone, USB-modem, or PC datacard to your Macintosh computer and run launch2net.

launch2net features an automatic setup routine and already includes all necessary network settings. Just click "connect" after the automatic setup process and you are online!

launch2net supports many mobile devices used by mobile network carriers worldwide. The software supports high-speed HSDPA and 3G UMTS connections as well as standard EDGE and GPRS protocols.

PC datacards, USB-modems and mobile phones: launch2net supports most mobile devices of all major manufacturers as well as most mobile network providers worldwide. Check with the links below to see if your device and network is supported.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9, 10.4.x

System support: PowerPC and Intel-Macintosh Computer

launch2net 1.4.9 sells for €75 (about US$95)

Valence Offers Laptop Users a Battery Alternative

PR: In light of the recent laptop battery recalls, users who are waiting for replacement batteries can turn to Valence Technology, Inc. to supply batteries. Valence's N-Charge Power System offers users up to 10 hours of battery runtime with the safety provided by Valence's patented Saphion phosphate technology.

Unlike traditional cobalt oxide Lithiom-ion batteries, Valence batteries are made using a patented phosphate based cathode material. Phosphates are stable in overcharge or short circuit conditions and have the ability to withstand high temperatures without major incident. Using Saphion technology means Valence batteries in normal use and conditions are unlikely to be subject to "thermal runaway" that can cause fires. As a result, Saphion technology possesses safety characteristics that are fundamentally superior to those of cobalt oxide Lithium-ion batteries.

Valence's N-Charge Power System is a universal, external battery that provides up to 10 hours of continuous runtime for notebook computers including many models from Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM, Lenovo and Toshiba. Valence's VNC-130 battery offers up to 10 hours of runtime and can be used as the primary power source for the laptop instead of the internal battery. Laptop owners concerned about being restricted by airline carriers from carrying on their laptops can remove the restricted internal battery and carry on an N-Charge Power System to power their laptops in flight. The N-Charge Power System provides safety in a long lasting adjunct to traditional laptop batteries and easy-to-use, anytime, anywhere power.

Valence's N-Charge Power System is regularly deployed for a wide variety of uses in educational settings, including K-12 schools, and healthcare settings, including hospitals, where extended runtime of laptops is required. The N-Charge Power System helps to free notebook computer users from ties to AC power, improving both mobility and productivity.

A complete list of laptop models supported by the N-Charge Power System can be found on Valence's web site ( ). N-Charge Power Systems can be ordered directly from Valence via the web site or by calling 888-VALENCE. The N-Charge Power System is also available through a variety of computer suppliers including CDW, Dell, InfoLogix, Insight and PC Connection.

Paintable Canvas MacBook Sleeve

My Sleeve Not YoursPR: MySleeve features:

  • Tailored sleeve for MacBook 13inch
  • Untreated heavy duty artist's canvas outer
  • 100% cotton
  • Super soft padded, waterproof black microfibre lining

Designing your sleeve

My Sleeve has been designed to make it easier for you to achieve the effect you want.

Before applying your design, remove your laptop.

Next, pull out the lining so you have a long tube which is open at one end

Cut a thick piece of card and push it down into the sleeve so it stretches the canvas and gives a flat surface to work on.

Create your design and then reseat the lining, making sure it overlaps at the bottom of the sleeve. The lining creates a protective layer between the canvas and your laptop.

You may want to prime canvas before painting and seal your design with a waterproof coating afterwards. Make sure to allow your design to dry completely before re-inserting the lining and using your sleeve to carry your MacBook.

Laptop Protection-STOP Security Plates

PR: US Diversified Tech, LLC becomes one of the newest promoters of the S.T.O.P. (Stop Theft of Office Property Security Plate. Laptop security concerns every laptop owner. STOP is in the business of protecting your mobile equipment, which includes laptop theft prevention. STOP's anti-theft system is a unique patented protection that solves the problem of equipment theft by eliminating the reason for most theft: "The resale value."

The facts:

  • More than 1,700 computers are lost or stolen every day.
  • 97% of them are never recovered, according to the FBI.
  • Data stored on the devices - customer lists, financial data, and correspondence is critical.

Professional thieves are not interested in the laptop or notebook itself, only its resale value on the open market. STOP's security system reduces the street value of the item to zero. Someone finding the device at an airport, or an employee who might consider keeping it on "permanent loan" is motivated to return it. STOP's anti-theft system, also, effectively protects notebooks, Blackberrys, PDAs, cell phones and other mobile equipment.

Every piece of equipment protected with a STOP Security Plate is automatically registered with STOP. Registering your STOP Security Plate number and pertinent equipment information is critical for equipment and especially for notebook or laptop recovery.

Additional products and service offered by STOP include their STOP Monitor Mobile a combination of state-of-the-art bar code scanning software, a handheld Pocket PC and a laser bar code scanner, which automates and simplifies asset tracking. STOP Monitor Mobile complements STOP Monitor , our Web-based asset management application

All of these and many other Laptop Theft Deterrent products are available from US Diversified Tech, LLC on their website or by calling 888-361-8718. Government & most all Educational Purchase Orders accepted without prior authorization.

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.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Baucom Computers

  • used PowerBook "Lombard" G3/333, 256/10/CD, $215
  • used PowerBook "Pismo" G3/400, 256/20/DVD, $305
  • used iBook G3/366, 256/10/CD, $199 (add AirPort for $95)
  • used iBook G3/500, 256/10/CD, $275 (add AirPort for $95)
  • used iBook G3/700, 256/20/CD, $325 (add AirPort for $95)

Wegener Media

  • used 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, BT, $749.99
  • Upgrade to 80 GB hard drive, $119.99
  • Upgrade to SuperDrive, $99.99
  • Upgrade to 8x SuperDrive, $129.99
  • Add 512 MB RAM (total of 768 MB), $49.99
  • Add 1 GB RAM (total 1.25 GB), $189.99
  • 1 year extended service warranty (w/purchase of machine), $99.99
  • Add AirPort Extreme card, $39.99


TechRestore is offering a $25 discount to 'Book Review readers off any PowerBook or iBook in stock. Just enter the code CWM during checkout when ordering online. The coupon code is valid from now through 2007.12.31.

  • used 12" PowerBook G4/867, 128/40/Combo, $699.99
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, BT, $779.99
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, BT, - $899.99
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $899.99
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, $999.99

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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