The 'Book Review

MacResQ PowerBook Repair Service, 7-port USB Hub, Noise Cancelling PlainTalk Mic, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.02.01

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

MacResQ Offers New PowerBook Repair Service

MacResQ has announced the launch of a unique new repair service for Macintosh PowerBook computers. The service, known as PowerBookResQ, will provide PowerBook users throughout the United States with a new source for service parts and labor. MacResQ has repaired and refurbished over 10,000 PowerBooks for resale and for their customers over the years.

PowerBookResQ addresses the difficulty that most users face when they encounter a technical problem with their PowerBook. Users of older PowerBooks face a tough challenge trying to find a local source for older parts and service. If a local repair center is available, costs are usually high and turnaround time is unacceptable for users who rely on their PowerBooks on a daily basis. Users of newer, but out-of-warranty, PowerBooks often have no choice but to send their systems back to the manufacturer for an expensive repair due to parts limitations and service policies.

"PowerBookResQ is the only service of its kind for out-of-warranty PowerBooks," said Shannon Jean, President of MacResQ. "From the minute the customer visits our web site or calls 866-Mac-Repair, our team of technicians and logistics personnel are focused on getting the repaired PowerBook back to the end user."

The PowerBookResQ program solves these problems by offering fast, safe, and reasonably priced repairs for PowerBook owners. Customers start by visiting or calling the toll-free number, 1-866-Mac-Repair. After just a few questions, MacResQ dispatches a custom-designed "PowerBox", built to insure safe transit for all PowerBooks, via overnight courier to the customer. Upon receipt of the empty PowerBox, the customer simply slides their PowerBook into the container and attaches a preprinted shipping label. A quick, toll-free phone call brings a courier to the customer's location for overnight shipping back to MacResQ. A MacResQ technician conducts a thorough diagnosis and contacts the customer with a detailed repair estimate. The repair is usually completed within one business day and the PowerBook is returned to its owner via overnight service.

The cost of the PowerBookResQ program is just $99.00. This includes the 3-way overnight shipping, the initial diagnostic service, and the PowerBox, which the customer may keep for future use.

"We designed the PowerBookResQ program based on feedback from our customers," said Jean. "Our Technicians have repaired and refurbished more than 10,000 PowerBooks in the past decade and we are very excited about bringing this service to customers throughout the country."

For computer resellers and repair centers, PowerBookResQ offers discounted rates on products and services. Computer dealers can send overflow service work or seamlessly outsource their entire PowerBook repair operation.

T7Hub Silver USB Hub for Power Users from Dr. Bott

Dr. Bott's new T7Hub Silver will typically be used when the built-in USB ports are hopelessly outnumbered by T7Hubthe many USB peripherals you own. If you routinely use four or more USB devices, T7Hub will undoubtedly be at the epicenter of your USB activities.

T7Hub extends a native USB port to accommodate up to 7 USB devices or further USB hubs. The necessary USB A-B cable for creating the uplink is included in the package.

Anybody with a number of power-hungry USB devices will appreciate the T7Hub's ability to drive 7 such devices (with 0.5 A each, the maximum current permitted for an individual USB device). This is because T7Hub, unlike other products on the market, comes with a 3.5 A power supply. Aside offering enough power for the most demanding applications it is also one of the smallest power supplies in its category.

Power users will also appreciate the reliability T7Hub offers. T7Hub transforms fickle performance from a bus-powered port on a keyboard into reliable duty cycles that last as long as your work requires.


  • 7-Port USB-Hub
  • Silver, matches G4, Cube, and TiBook
  • Compact external power supply
  • Serves up to 7 USB devices with high power requirements (7 x 0,5 A)
  • Indicates bus and self-powered modes (use with/without power supply)
  • Automatic shutdown when overloaded
  • Works equally well for Macs and PCs
  • T7Hub can be installed without turning your computer off.
  • T7Hub is compatible with all USB devices.
  • T7Hub is platform-independent, Mac OS (both 9 and X flavors), Win98/ME, Win2k/XP and Linux are all supported.
  • T7Hub's built-in overcurrent protection will power down individual ports with defective devices drawing too much current, leaving other ports fully operational.
  • T7Hub is a piece of art: it fits the G4 Quicksilver, PowerBook G4 Titanium and G4 Cube very nicely and also looks good beside most other computers, too!

Technical Features:

  • Compatible with USB 1.1 specs
  • Plug-and-Play compatible
  • Bus error recognition and correction
  • 12 and 1.5 Mbps transfer rate available on all 3 connectors.
  • Operation is possible with and without power supply. LEDs signal bus-powered or self-powered modes.
  • Deactivation of individual ports
    • Overcurrent protection with limits between 500 mA (min.) / 750 mA (typ.) / 1250 mA (max.), overcurrent shutdown is indicated by LEDs
    • Automatic shutdown in case of overload or overheating.
    • "Soft Start" - slow activation to circumvent too high currents when activating capacitive loads.
  • 7 USB Type A Ports for USB-devices, active devices indicated via LED.

T7Hub Silver sells for $59.

MCE Battery Charger for iBook Coming This Month

The MCE Battery Charger for the 12" dual-USB iBook provides a convenient means to simultaneously charge two Apple iBook Li-Ion batteries quickly and easily. Two and a half hours is all it takes to have two fully charged batteries ready for use at any time.

Helpful indicators provide instant user feedback on the completion of the charge process as well as on the detection of a battery error. Built-in smart circuitry ensures that each battery is completely and safely recharged every time, providing users with the maximum usage time between recharging and also establishing reliable long-term battery life.

Since the MCE Battery Charger for the dual-USB iBook has a lightweight and compact design, it's easy to take along in a carrying case to provide quick battery charging wherever you go.

The sleek design of the MCE Battery Charger superbly matches the attractive styling of the dual-USB iBook, making it a perfect companion for the computer you've come to value immensely.

Available mid-February 2002.

Dr. Bott iPod Connection Kit II with Tape Adapter

Dr. Bott's iPod Connection Kit II with Cassette Adapter includes everything you might need to bring your music anywhere you might want it. iPod Connection Kit provides most every option for connecting to iPod's 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack to automobile stereo systems, home stereo systems, mic input of computers and other devices, boom boxes, and tape players.

Dr. Bott's iPod Connection Kit II includes:

  • Auto Charger for iPod
  • Cassette Tape Adapter
  • Mini Stereo Extension Cable (male/female)
  • Mini Stereo to RCA Cable
  • Mini Stereo Connection Cable (male/male)
  • iPod Carry Pouch

Dr. Bott's iPod Connection Kit II w/ Tape Adapter sells for $47.95

BIAS PowerBook Bundles

BIAS delivers bundles for your PowerBook with the Digigram VX Pocket PCMCIA card. Put studio power together with laptop flexibility for field and live performance recordings.

The VX Pocket PCMCIA card gives you two 24-bit analog converters, S/PDIF stereo in/out SMPTE in, and supports sample rates from 8 to 48 kHz.

With these software bundles, you'll have a completely mobile audio workstation!

BIAS offers a full spectrum of PowerBook solutions, listed below:

  • Peak LE PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, Peak LE, and Roxio Toast Lite
  • Deck LE PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, and Deck LE
  • Peak VST PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, Peak VST , and Roxio Toast Lite
  • Deck PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, Peak LE, Deck, and Roxio Toast Lite
  • BIAS Studio LE PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, Peak LE, Deck LE, and Roxio Toast Lite
  • BIAS Studio PowerBook Edition: Includes Digigram VXpocket, Peak VST, Deck, and Roxio Toast Lite

BIAS PowerBook Bundle Features

  • The VXpocket is full duplex, offering simultaneous and independent record and playback capabilities.
  • Sampling rates supported are 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, and 48 KHz.
  • PCM encoding/decoding rates are 8, 16, or 24 bits.
  • The VXpocket can run applications that comply with Microsoft's WAVE protocol.
  • Digigram's Sound Manager driver for Mac OS makes the flexibility and features of these cards available to Apple Macintosh PowerBook users. An ASIO driver is also available.

BIAS PowerBook bundles come in a number of configurations. Please consult the system requirements for the particular software package you are interested in.

New Special Pricing On BIAS PowerBook bundles - Save hundreds of dollars on BIAS Software bundled with the Digigram VX Pocket PCMCIA Audio Card - As low as $599.

iParrot Noise Canceling PlainTalk Microphone Headset for $9.95

Macsense has teamed up with voice recognition leader, VXI, to provide a headset at a great price. It's available for $9.95 from Micro Center.

Users can connect the iParrot ST to a home computer to perform various multimedia applications, iParrot headphonessuch as online chatting, Internet gaming, or listening to music CDs. With ViaVoice or iListen dictation software, you can draft email messages or compose large documents without touching the keyboard. This headset also offers stereo sound with speakers covering both ears, and separate volume controls for each ear. This makes the iParrot ST an ideal solution for dealing with noisy environments.

Product Features

  • Additional Cable Required: No
  • Built-in Volume Control: Yes
  • Built-in Mute: Yes

Mic: Apple special 3.5 mm plug which is fully compatible with the PlainTalk audio port used on recent Macintosh models

Speaker: 3.5 mm stereo plug wired with right on ring, left on tip and ground on sleeve

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.

Circuit City

These prices seem too good to be true, and maybe they are. Apparently there's not much stock. Good luck!

Micro Center

Small Dog Electronics



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