The 'Book Review

Cable Company Sets PowerBook Ablaze, Glossy vs. Matte, First 300 GB Notebook Drive, MacBook Reviews, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.12.15

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

A flaming notebook that isn't the result of overheating batteries? See what happened to this PowerBook when the cable company messed up plugging in the cable modem.

Speaking of flaming notebooks, the industry will be moving toward Lithium Polymer batteries, a safer alternative to Lithium Ion that's already found its way into the MacBook.

Wondering whether to get a glossy or matte display on your next MacBook Pro? Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus compares both and chooses . . . well, read the article. I think you'll be surprised. I was.

Lots more news: The limitations of PDA for handling email with attachments, the first 300 GB notebook hard drive, some very positive MacBook Core 2 reviews, and a new Express Card that supports wireless DSL on the MacBook Pros.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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

News & Opinion

Apple Updates


Products and Services


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Cable Company Snafu Sets PowerBook Afire's Andrew reports:

"There are many ways to lose important data, and not just on your computer (where did I put my keys?). While it is almost always unexpected, and we as computer-users are often unprepared - occasionally data-loss occurs in ways that make you sit back and consider the infinite.

"Recently at the OnDeckTech 24x7 help desk, I received a call from a customer who was upset, suspecting she had just potentially lost a ton of very valuable data. A video editor here in Chicago, she has a 15" PowerBook with an 80 GB HD, two Maxtor 300 GB External Drives, and one 160 GB LaCie Porsche drive. All of which fell victim to one of the most bizarre disasters I have encountered....

"What caused this was a rather sizable explosion originating from the customers cable modem. It occurred when the cable company installer was installing her service, and plugged her cable line into the 'wrong outlet.' The wrong outlet indeed! Her cable modem caught fire, lighting the rest of her equipment on fire, too."

The Next Notebook Battery? Lithium Polymer

CNET's Michael Kanellos reports:

"A battery technology that was touted nine years ago for notebooks may finally get its day in the sun.

"Notebook makers will 'likely' soon choose to incorporate lithium polymer batteries over the current commonly used type, lithium ion batteries, Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow said during a meeting with reporters Wednesday.

"Lithium polymer batteries use lithium as an active ingredient. Lithium is a volatile material, but the lithium in these batteries isn't packed into cells as it is in lithium ion batteries. Instead, it is contained in a polymer gel. These gel batteries can't provide the same sort of energy density as lithium ion batteries, but that's now a plus."

Dr. Mac Compares Displays, Choose Glossy Screen

The Mac Observer's Bob LeVitus says:

"If you're any kind of a Mac enthusiast and are considering a new laptop sometime in the near future, you've no doubt given more than a little thought to the glossy or not question. And so, gentle reader, since the nice folks at Apple were kind enough to send me both a MacBook with a glossy screen and a MacBook Pro with an 'antiglare widescreen' at the same time, for an upcoming review in the Houston Chronicle, I've had a chance to compare them side-by-side for the past couple of weeks (and I've got the photos to prove it).

"So now I'm ready to go on the record with my answer to the big question...."

Desktops Are So Twentieth Century

BusinessWeek says:

"Sure, big boxes are cheap. But laptops with names like Ferrari are all the rage

"Pity the poor desktop computer. It sparked a revolution 25 years ago, but these days most consumers get about as excited by their home PC as they do by a lawn mower.

"Contrast that with the passion people bring to their laptops. Thanks to plunging prices, even budget-minded road warriors are flocking to sporty new notebook designs with names like Ferrari and Aurora. Manufacturers, borrowing a page from Apple Computer Inc., are decking out portable models with nifty touches. Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Imprint Finish lets users personalize the look of a laptop cover, while Dell Inc.'s XPS M2010 folds up to look like a briefcase. 'It's trendier to have a laptop,' says Elizabeth Autumn, 39, a research associate with GovernanceMetrics International who tapped away on a Toshibain a New York Starbucks one recent afternoon. 'Smaller is cuter and more manageable; I carry it around like it's my baby.'"

Personal Notebooks Used 'in the Field' Twice as Often as Office Notebooks

MacsimumNews's Dennis Sellers reports:

"Most mobile computers, although portable, are used in only two locations, and are used very differently than desktop computers, according to the '2006 Mobile PC Profile Report' from MetaFacts, a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. Most employer-owned mobile computers stay in the workplace, although when mobilized, are often used in hotels, home offices and client locations.

"Home-owned mobile personal computers spend more time outside the home than work mobile computers do outside the workplace. Besides various rooms of the home, such as adult bedrooms, living rooms and home offices, home-owned computers are used twice as often as work mobile computers in a school, at the library, in a cybercafé, or at a restaurant."

'Handheld Lag' Hinders PDA User's Work on the Road

InformationWeek's Sharon Gaudin reports:

"U.S. road warriors say they could get more work done if they didn't have to deal with what they're calling 'laptop lag,' according to a new study.

"Laptop lag is the time between when people receive e-mails with attached documents, such as Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations, on their mobile handsets and when they can get to a computer to view and possibly make changes to the documents, reports iGR, Inc., a wireless research consulting firm. While users can receive the e-mails on their PDAs, they often can't work with the attachments because of the small screen size."

Editor's note: Why Gaudin calls this "laptop lag" is beyond me, as the problem would be solved by using a notebook or tablet computer rather than a PDA for accessing email. I'd label the problem "PDA lag" or "handheld lag" for the sake of accuracy. dk

Fujitsu Announces World's First 300 GB 2.5" Hard Disk Drive

PR: Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc., one of the world's leading suppliers of innovative computer products including hard disk drives, peripherals and biometric security solutions, today announced as part of a coordinated global launch the MHX2300BT series of mobile hard disk drives (HDDs). The newest Fujitsu products feature impressive storage capacities of 250 GB and 300 GB, the first 2.5" PMR hard disk drives in the industry to attain these high levels of capacity. The MHX2300BT series will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2007.

Just last March, Fujitsu successfully launched the world's first 2.5" Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk drive to feature up to 200 GB of storage space. Today, less than a year later, Fujitsu sets the standard even higher as it introduces its latest ultrahigh capacity mobile hard disk drive series. Engineered using perpendicular magnetic recording technology, which is essential to achieving the increased capacity per platter, the new small form factor HDDs will address the growing demand for higher capacity storage solutions.

Additional benefits of the Fujitsu second generation PMR products include best-in-class low power consumption at 1.6W as well as high shock tolerance and near-silent operation. These qualities make the MHX2300BT series highly desirable for audio/video (A/V) applications such as gaming, video editing, audio recording and DVR functionality, as well as for the high-end personal computing market.

"Due to our strong focus on innovation, Fujitsu remains at the forefront in promoting advanced technologies such as perpendicular recording and SATA, while at the same time continuing to meet the industry's insatiable demand for high-capacity products," said Joel Hagberg, vice president, marketing and business development, Fujitsu Computer Products of America. "Our commitment to R&D has not only spurred the development of the industry's first 2.5" 300 GB capacity perpendicular hard disk drive, but it will allow Fujitsu to continue to achieve these aggressive milestones in advance of the rest of the industry."

Hard Disk Drive Specifications

Fujitsu designed the MHX2300BT hard disk drive series to provide specifications that are vital for today's mobile computing applications, including:

  • Capacity: 250/300 GB
  • Rotational Speed: 4200 RPM
  • Interface: SATA 2.5, ATA-8
  • Native Command Queuing
  • DIPM and HIPM Supported
  • Staggered Spin Up & Active LED Supported
  • Hot Plug
  • Best in Class Read / Write Power Consumption: 1.6W typ.
  • Idle Power Consumption: 0.5W typ.
  • Track to Track Seek Time: 1.5ms typ.
  • Host Transfer rate: 150/s max.
  • Operating Shock: 300G (2ms)

Editor's note: Alas, these are 12mm thick hard drives and just won't slip into Apple's MacBooks and MacBook Pros. dk

MacBook Pro for the Kickoff of France24, the French CNN

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"France 24, aiming to become the French CNN, or at least bringing the French-touch on news from all over the world, is using MB Pro for part of the work."

Apple Updates

AirPort Update 2006-002 for MacBook Pro and MacBook

"AirPort Update 2006-002 improves AirPort compatibility in the following computers:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook (13-inch Core 2 Duo)

"System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook (13-inch Core 2 Duo)

MacBook Pro May Become Unresponsive in Target Disk Mode

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Some Intel-based Macs can become unresponsive while being used as a host in FireWire target disk mode. This may occur if the second computer is left connected for over 24 consecutive hours to the Intel-based target Mac.

"Products affected


"To avoid this behavior, unmount the host computer and restart it with a new target disk mode session every 24 hours."

Runaway Applications Can Shorten Battery Runtime

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Battery runtimes can be reduced if an application(s) has runaway or taken over system processes. This can cause the processor to work overtime and consume unnecessary battery power.

"Products affected

  • Portable computers running Mac OS X


MacBook Core 2 Duo 'One of the Best'

PC Magazine's Cisco Cheng reports:

"Now that it's got an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the Apple MacBook is one of the best budget laptops around.

"Until now, I was convinced that a new Core 2 Duo-equipped Apple MacBook couldn't possibly come out this year. After all, the Apple MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo) had already been announced, in what I believed was an effort to create more separation from the MacBooks. So much for that theory. One week after the MacBook Pro announcement, Apple launched the MacBook 13-inch (Core 2 Duo) ($1,174 direct as tested), thereby eliminating any differentiation between the two models. Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and move on, I guess. Despite back-to-back announcements, the move is considered perfectly timed for the holiday shopping season, and with Apple's best-selling laptop by its side, a strong fourth quarter is sure to come.

"Though I normally ask for the best model available when requesting test units, I'm not crazy about the MacBook Black, which is the most expensive system in the MacBook line. You're basically paying a premium for the color, and since the best and most affordable model is the base configuration, I asked for the MacBook 13-inch White ($1,099 direct).

"The MacBook's signature white chassis is as much a part of a Mac laptop as the Apple logo. If you want to go with something other than white, well, you might as well get a PC. The glossy finish is sleek and doesn't attract as many fingerprints or smudges as would something in black; the system is easily one of the best-looking laptops in the industry...."

Pros and Cons of MacBook Core 2 Duo

Notebook Review reports:

"Studying Computer Science at Imperial College London has given me the opportunity to use a wide range of Operating Systems. In the past year, I have both casually played with and professionally worked with Linux, UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. In my personal opinion, Mac OS X impressed me the most with its logical structure; powerful hardware drawn graphics and effects; and security and stability. Therefore, I did not hesitate when Apple announced its Core 2 Duo MacBook, and ordered one the very same day.

"Seeing as the only things different between the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo MacBooks are hardware related, this review will focus more on performance and benchmarks, and less on the design and other things that have remained the same....

"Apart from being greatly impressed by the OS X Operating System, I have recently been on the look out for a more portable notebook solution. After having ceased to play computer games due to excessive workload issues, I began to notice how big and heavy my 15.4 inch Asus A6Va really was. Also, as my university course has been focusing more and more on UNIX based systems in the past year and sensing that the trend is not going to change, I began to develop the need for a UNIX based Operating System. Linux, of course, would be an obvious solution, but I often find the popular Open Source Operating System act particularly unfriendly towards me."

Another Look at the MacBook reports:

"Taking another (very serious) look at the Apple MacBook laptop computer, as an in the field storage and editing device for digital photography.

"First off I have to admit that I have never really liked the, shiny refrigerator white, iBook laptop computers. I have used them a number of times and even taken other people to Apple Stores to buy them, but just like those gum drop colored and flower power iMacs (which I had no problem installing in my client's offices), I never envisioned buying one for myself.

"But the times do change and I need a portable storage and editing device for my digital photography projects. Dragging a 17-inch PowerBook around with me everywhere is getting a little old (or maybe it is me who is getting too old). The 17-inch PowerBook (MacBook Pro now) is actually a great transportable computer but not so portable, unless you like having a continual sore shoulder and back."

Products and Services

New ZeroShock Sleeve for 13" MacBook, 15" MacBook Pro

PR: has announced the immediate availability of a new ZeroShock Sleeve designed for Apple's MacBook line of notebook computers.

The ZeroShock Notebook Sleeve is composed of a high-resistance polyurethane foam that provides superior protection against external impact force. This advanced material not only helps protect the hardware investment but also the even-more-valuable data contained within. The MacBook version of the case includes the following new features:

  • dimpled foam construction provides unparalleled shock-absorption/weight ratio
  • polyurethane exterior is more durable, water resistant, and easier to clean
  • exterior pocket for cables, discs, paper, or other accessories

"We have been pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming popularity of the ZeroShock case among our MacBook Pro customers, and we are pleased to be able to provide superior shock protection to our MacBook customers as well," said Audrey Lee, a marketing manager at

ZeroShock III 13-Inch Widescreen Notebook Case

ZeroShock IIIThis new size sports a widescreen aspect ratio for today's widescreen notebooks. To ensure proper sizing, please be sure to measure your notebook and compare to the interior dimensions listed in the Technical Specifications section below.

The ZeroShock Notebook Case is composed of a high-resistance polyurethane foam that provides superior absorption of external impact force. Applying this technology to notebook cases results in an unparalleled shock-absorption/weight ratio. Translation? Better protection for your notebook with less weight to lug around.


  • High-resistance polyurethane provides superior protection against external shocks
  • Perfect fit with new Apple MacBook computers
  • Fits most notebooks with 12- and 13-inch widescreen displays
  • Zippered pouch on top half of case for documents and thin accessories
  • Notebook can be used in place, without removing it from the sleeve
  • Low profile design that fits snugly
  • Designed to be carried inside a separate bag or backpack

Technical Specifications

  • Available colors: Black
  • Exterior dimensions (W x D x H): 14.1 x 1.0 x 10.6 inches (345 x 25 x 270 mm)
  • Interior dimensions (W x D x H): 12.4 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches (315 x 40 x 235 mm)

(To clear up a frequently asked question: Yes, the exterior thickness is less than the interior thickness, since the former measures the thickness of an empty sleeve. The interior dimensions measure what will fit inside, so naturally the interior capacity will be greater than the thickness of an empty sleeve.)

  • Materials: High-resistance polyurethane
  • Weight: 0.66 lb (0.300 kg)


ZeroShock III 15-Inch Widescreen Notebook Sleeve

ZeroShock IIIThe ZeroShock 15-Inch Widescreen Notebook Sleeve is composed of a high-resistance polyurethane foam that provides superior absorption of external impact force. Applying this technology to notebook cases results in an unparalleled shock-absorption/weight ratio. Translation? Better protection for your notebook with less weight to lug around.


  • High-resistance polyurethane provides superior protection against external shocks
  • Notebook can be used in place, without removing it from the sleeve
  • Low profile design that fits snugly
  • Two high-quality zippers with easy-to-grab rubber "mini-handles"
  • Designed to be carried inside a separate bag or backpack

Technical Specifications

  • Available colors: Black
  • Exterior dimensions (W x D x H): 15.9 x 1.0 x 11.8 inches (405 x 25 x 300 mm)
  • Interior dimensions (W x D x H): 14.7 x 1.6 x 10.8 inches (375 x 40 x 275 mm)

(To clear up a frequently asked question: Yes, the exterior thickness is less than the interior thickness, since the former measures the thickness of an empty sleeve. The interior dimensions measure what will fit inside, so naturally the interior capacity will be greater than the thickness of an empty sleeve.)

  • Materials: High-resistance polyurethane
  • Weight: 0.63 lb (0.360 kg)


Both cases for the MacBook and MacBook Pro are available immediately.

GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 Data Card Supports MacBook Pro

GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 Data CardPR: The GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 gives you Option's proven performance and reliability in the new ExpressCard/34 format.

Within its compact form we provide a multi-band, multi-technology receiver offering the best receiver speeds available today.

  • Wireless DSL-like speed up to 7.2 Mbps
  • Future-proof slimline ExpressCard design (34 mm width)
  • Worldwide connectivity by Multi-standard (HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE and GPRS) and Multi-bands support
  • Faster and more stable connectivity with two antennas and Advanced Receiver Technology
  • Plug 'n Play through Zero-CDTM technology
  • Compatibility assured with legacy PC's: optional CompactCardbus- ExpressCard Converter

The unique fold-out antenna increases reliability in weak signal areas and is part of our Advanced Receiver Technology (ART) package, bringing the benefit of Receive Diversity and Receive Equalization. Both are essential for getting maximum performance in today's hostile radio environment. Backward compatibility ensures HSDPA connections at lower data rates of 3.6 Mbps and 1.8 Mbps.

The wireless data card has inherent support for 3G operation at 384 Kbps in conjunction with Quad band EDGE and GPRS.

Optionally the GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 can be supplied with our Compact Cardbus- ExpressCard/34 Converter ensuring compatibility and peak performance for laptops equipped with a Cardbus interface.

The GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 uses Option's Zero-CD technology. Applications, manuals and drivers are distributed and installed immediately the GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 is inserted for the first time.

There is no need for a CD or bulky printed book, GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 is a truly unique Plug 'n Play solution.


  • Worldwide coverage through triple-band HSDPA/UMTS, quad-band E-GPRS/GSM
  • Multimode HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM card
  • Advanced Receiver Technology incorporating Receiver Diversity and Equalization
  • Zero-CD Plug 'n Play technology
  • Provides HSDPA and UMTS High-speed data (up to 7.2 Mbps) connectivity for mobile users
  • Provides EDGE/GPRS/GSM data (up to 247 kbps) connectivity
  • Transparent handover between UMTS and GSM/E-GPRS networks
  • Compatible with nearly all popular notebook PCs equipped with ExpressCard/34 card slot and Microsoft Windows operating system
  • Optional Cardbus-ExpressCard Converter
  • Securely access corporate resources with its transparent support for IPSec and VPN technology
  • PCSC-driver for EAP-SIM and other 3-party applications in need of a Smart Card Interface
  • Supports third party applications that provide Video Telephony (3GPP 3G-324M, H.324, H264 Baseline Video), SIP, SMS, IM, MMS,Internet and Email
  • Comprehensively tested on infrastructures and networks worldwide
  • Future proofing through Flash Memory technology


  • HSDPA/UMTS Air Interface:
    • WCDMA 850/1900/2100 MHz
    • 3GPP FDD compliant, up to 7.2 Mbps Peak Rate
    • UE Power Class 3
    • High Speed packet-switched data:
    • Support for UMTS QoS traffic classes
    • Support for PPP, IP transparent and non-transparent modes
    • Circuit-switched data Single-RAB streaming: 64, 57.6, 28.8 and 14.4 kbps
    • Dual antenna Receiver Diversity
    • EMEA variant supporting diversity on 2100 MHz
    • World variant supporting diversity on 850 and 1900 MHz
    • Receiver Equalisation
  • EDGE/GSM Air Interface:
    • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • EDGE Power Class E2, GSM Power Class 1 at 1800/1900 MHz and Power Class 4 at 850/900 MHz; coding scheme UL & DL - CS 1-4, MCS 1-9
    • Packet-switched data:
    • Multislot (E)GPRS Class 12, (E)GPRS Class B Type 1 MT
    • Streaming, Background and Interactive QoS Classes Supported
    • Circuit-switched data: 14.4, 12.2 and 9.6 kbps
  • Terminal Equipment Interfaces:
    • Drivers: Windows 2000 Pro, Personal and XP Pro/Home, Vista and MAC OS X.
    • A PCSC compatible driver, compliant with ISO 7816 and 3GPP TS11.11
    • SIM-ME interface as specified in 3GPP GSM TS11.11 and GSM 11.12 and with compliance to ISO 7816.
    • SIM Application toolkit capable SIM to 3GPP GSM TS11.14.
    • NDIS or Standard modem emulation for compatibility with terminal programs/diallers and for use with proprietary operating systems. AT Interface 3GPP TS27.005, ATD*99# and ATD*99***<CID># support
    • Multiple communication ports for simultaneous data call and network coverage reports

Hardware Specifications

  • Card Type: ExpressCard/34
  • Miniature External Antenna Connection
  • Red LED for GSM/GPRS/EDGE and blue LED for HSDPA/UMTS
  • SIM card interface compliant with 3GPP 31.101 and 31.102 supporting 1.8 and 3V UICCs
  • Environmental Operating temperature: 0 to +55ºC
  • RoHS Compliant


  • All applicable regulatory approvals, Operator and Infrastructure IOT
  • Microsoft WHQL certified drivers



PR: Put your Battery under control

MiniBatteryLogger is a Cocoa application designed to monitor your laptop battery and log all the relevant power events.

The chart view shows the graph of charge and amperage over time, with customizable colors and indicators for relevant power events. Every change in power properties is logged to file with time and date of occurrence, and it's listed in the detailed log view.

The Battery Inspector tells you all the details about your battery: charge, capacity (actual, maximum and original), amperage, voltage, cycle count. It also reports the estimated times to empty and to full charge.

Share your battery data among MiniBatteryLogger users and compare your battery against the others. MiniBatteryLogger is interfaced to a shared battery data archive that can also be accessed by a Web interface.

The application also notifies you about cord connections and disconnections, begin and end of charge with Growl notifications. A customizable threshold lets you be informed when the battery charge decreases under a given amount.

New in version 1.5.3:

  • Bugfix: status item preference is now correctly enabled when checking "hide dock icon".
  • Other minor improvements.

System requirements: MiniBatteryLogger requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 "Panther" or later Notebook computer

System Support: PPC/Intel

$10 shareware


PR: A small free utility for continuously measuring your computer's CPU temperature.

For English and German users, this final release is virtually identical to beta 9. The Dutch localization has been updated (thanks amonre!), however.

The 1.0 series of MenuTemperature is supposed to be a minimalist, does-the-job release. That is, it doesn't come with a lot of features, but it completely fulfills my original requirements - and more.

For those who haven't been following or are new to this site, MenuTemperature is a small Mac OS X utility for measuring your computer's CPU temperature. It provides the 10-minute average of measured values as well, and lets you set the frequency (interval) at which gauging takes place. The current value is displayed prominently in the menu bar, as a status item, although you can decrease the font size if you find it too distracting, or if it simply takes away too much space. Either Celsius or Fahrenheit values can be displayed.

For MacBook Pro owners, SpeedIt, a third-party kernel extension is used, because access to CPU temperature values is not currently otherwise possible.

MenuTemperature supports Sparkle, which means you don't have to worry much about missing out on new versions - you are notified, get to read the release notes if you wish, and can automatically have it download the new version and restart the application, making the often-tedious process of keeping your software up-to-date rather seamless. Or, you can manually check my Projects page, which will always point out the latest versions.

Obviously, quite a few features are planned for the future, so if you have ideas, they may already be in the works - nonetheless, I do of course highly value any feedback. Positive, negative, but hopefully constructive. Tech support is primarily handled, too, through the comments field below - keep in mind that your question (and answers to it) may be of interest to other readers as well. That said, you may, of course, contact me in private, but I cannot guarantee any response times at all.

MenuTemperature only works with machines of users who have provided me with information on how to retrieve the temperature values. If your machine isn't currently compatible with MenuTemperature (there's a high probability of that!), I rely on your feedback. Usually, that boils down to reporting the results of ioreg -lw 0 and sysctl -a to me, as well as the machine code (which you can retrieve from System Profiler, and will look something like MacBookPro1,1). Again, I can only do this by getting this information from actual owners of the machines!

New in version Version 1.5.3:

  • Fixed support for Core 2 Duo MacBooks

New in version 1.5.2:

  • Added support for Core 2 Duo MacBooks
  • Added new French localization; thanks Clément Mouchet!

New in version 1.5.1:

  • Added support for Core 2 Duo iMacs and MacBook Pros
  • Added new Traditional Chinese localization; thanks Mario Wu!
  • Fixed a mistake in the Dutch localization; thanks Denis Defreyne!

New in version 1.5:

  • Much of the code has been rewritten for more efficiency
  • Many additional models are introduced
  • The AuthHelper isn't needed any more
  • MenuTemperature can now keep track of the CPU frequency as well
  • Several smaller changes have been made

System requirements:

Mac OS X 10.4 or later and one of these machines:

  • Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) (PowerMac3,6)
  • Power Mac G5 (June / November 2003) (PowerMac7,2)
  • Power Mac G5 (June 2004) (PowerMac7,3)
  • Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) (PowerMac11,2)
  • 15-inch PowerBook G4 (April 2004) (PowerBook5,4)
  • 15-inch PowerBook G4 (January 2005) (PowerBook5,6)
  • 15-inch PowerBook G4 (October 2005) (PowerBook5,8)
  • 12-inch PowerBook G4 (2005) (PowerBook6,8)
  • iBook G4 (August 2005) (PowerBook6,7)
  • iMac G5 (2004) (PowerMac8,1)
  • every Intel Core 1 (Solo or Duo)-based Mac

System support: PPC/Intel


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.

Apple Store

Some substantial price drops on Apple refurbs this week.

  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/SD, $899
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 1 GB (2x512MB)/80/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, black, 1GB (2x512MB)/80/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 15" 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,349
  • refurb 15" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/100/SD, $1,499
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/100/SD, $1,799


  • 12" iBook G3/900, 640/40/Combo, AirPort, $599
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 640/60/Combo, AirPort, $619
  • 14" iBook G3/800, 128/40/CD-RW, Scratch and Dent, $399
  • 14" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $519
  • 14" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, AirPort, $549


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.

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 128/40/Combo, $599.99 less $25 =$574.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/Combo, $599.99 less $25 =$574.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/60/Combo,$999.99 less $25 =$974.99

The PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G4/800, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $499.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz with 512/30/CD, AirPort, $429.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz with 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $529.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz with 512/30/CD, AirPort, $479.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz with 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $579.95

Wegener Media

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $619.99
  • Upgrade to SuperDrive - $99.99
  • Upgrade to 8x SuperDrive - $129.99
  • 512 MB RAM Upgrade with purchase of machine (total 640 MB) - $49.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/CD, $275
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $369
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $425
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/DVD, $455
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $499
  • Add AirPort for $79

Custom Macs

  • clamshell iBook G3/300, 128/3/CD, OS X 10.2, $259.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600, scratch & dent, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, $259.99 $209.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, $259.99


  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, OS X, $209
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/30/CD, OS X, $329

Computer Geeks

  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, AirPort, OS X, $479.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/CD, AirPort, OS X, $519.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.3 GHz, 512/40/Combo, AirPort, OS X, $749.99

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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