QuickerTek 802.11n Upgrade Released for Older PowerBook Models

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 08:25
Category: News

Even if Apple’s newest Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro laptops may be a bit rich for your blood, QuickerTek might have a solution. The recently-released nQuicky, which functions as an 802.11n CardBus adapter, works with any PowerBook sporting a free PCMCIA slot, including the “Pismo” PowerBook G3 (the unit with built-in Firewire) and the Black PowerBook.
According to MacNN, the nQuicky, which retails for US$150, allows for full compatibility with 802.11 b, g and n networks and boasts a speed of 300 megabits per second as well as three times the range of a standard 802.11 g network.
QuickerTek has stated that the nQuicky will be available in late June and require Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to run. The nQuicky ships with a year’s warranty from QuickerTek.


VLC Updated to 0.8.6c

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 08:05
Category: Software

Video Lan Client, the popular open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), has recently been updated to version 0.8.6c. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, adds the following bug fixes and changes:
-Windows Vista compatibility.
-Cropping in Direct3D.
-Full screen change crash on Mac OS X.
-RSS filter string overflow.
-Few memory leaks.
-MKV demuxer crash (related to seeking).
CDDA / Vorbis / Theora / SAP plugins:
-Security updates (VideoLAN-SA-0702).
-Fixed a problem with detecting embedded subtitles (GAB2 format) in AVI.
-Updated FLAC API compatibility.
-Support for new v4l2 encoder API.
-New localisation: Arabic, Persian.
VLC 0.8.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is available as a free download.
If you’ve tried the new version and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.


Apple Ups iPhone Battery and Screen Specs

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2007, 15:53
Category: News

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We’ve seen it before – Apple under-promises and over-delivers when a product’s launch date comes around.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does fray the nerves a bit.
In a recent announcement, the company has announced that its upcoming iPhone will feature a longer battery life and has switched its display from optical-quality glass.
For the full details, check out Jason O’Grady’s The Apple Core blog and let us know what you think.


Newton Connection Reaches Version 1.1

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2007, 09:22
Category: Software

I’ll grant that this is somewhat out of left field, but someone wrote me a few weeks ago wondering if I could fix their Apple eMate. There are still Newton units out there and for those of you who still have one, Newton Research‘s Newton Connection 1.1 has just been updated to version 1.1.
The new version, a 6.6 megabyte download, still allows users to back up their Newton data onto their desktop, but without needing to enter the Classic environment. The software is still a work in progress with the authors stating the program can’t sync yet but asking for bugs and feature requests to be submitted.
Version 1.1 offers the following fixes and changes:
-This version of the application is self-contained and does not require an installer – simply move the NCX application wherever you like.
-The frameworks installed separately as part of version 1.0 (build 21) are no longer needed and can be removed by double-clicking the UnInstall21 script.
-The script runs in the Terminal application which you should close when it has completed. If the script fails, open UnInstalltext editor to view the files that should be deleted and do it manually in the Finder.
Newton Connection requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available for free.
If you’ve tried this or another Newton communication program and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know.


Macworld Runs Benchmarks for 17″ Santa Rosa MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2007, 08:42
Category: Benchmark

The guys over at Macworld News have posted the benchmarks for Apple’s newest generation of the MacBook Pro laptop.
The new units, which are based on Intel’s Santa Rosa hardware architecture, fared well in tests and performed as expected for the most part, but lagged in graphics cards tests, despite the new Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics chip found on the new laptops sporting more VRAM and additional upgrades over the ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 found on the previous generation of MacBook Pro laptops – specifically in tests involving frame rates on Unreal Tournament 2004.
Macworld has stated that the magazine, Apple and Unreal Tournament makers MacSoft, are looking into the situation and that the game’s code itself may not be optimized for the new hardware.
Improvements offered by the much-lauded Santa Rosa architecture appear to be present, as tests revealed that the new chipset and backlit-LED displays helped improved battery conservation.
For the full report, click here.
If you’ve picked up a 17″ MacBook Pro with the Santa Rosa architecture and can provide comments or feedback about it, let us know how it’s worked for you.


PPUG Summer 2007 Meeting

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Date: Saturday, June 16th, 2007, 10:01
Category: User Group

PPUG (Philadelphia PowerBook Users Group) will hold our annual summer meeting TODAY, Saturday, 16 June 2007. The meeting will take place from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Manayunk Brewing Company in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.
Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
We usually have lunch (and/or a brew) while we talk mobile computing. Jason O’Grady (founder of PPUG and PowerPage.org) will be on hand to talk about latest developments in the Macospere including new MacBooks and MacBook Pros, WWDC, Leopard, the impending iPhone and the latest mobile computing news.
Bob Snow and Youngmoo Kim will join us to give us their take on the latest happenings in the world of Macintosh and Apple. Additionally we will have time for Q&A.
Join us for a great meeting, it’s free and open to all and your guests. Feel free to bring items to sell or swap as well.


FCC Clears Apple Bluetooth Headset

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 17:14
Category: News

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In a pretty-much-expected move, the Federal Communications Commission granted approval to Apple’s Bluetooth Headset today. Full documentation is available here.
According to iLounge, the move signals the accessory being ready on time for the June 29th launch of the iPhone.
To date, the headset is designed around a single button which allows the user to accept incoming calls.
More information on the headset will be posted as soon as it becomes available.


PowerPage Podcast Episode 47

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 13:43
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast Logo
Episode 47 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (1:09’10, 23.57MB, AAC).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Youngmoo Kim and Chuck Freedman.
Topics include: WWDC Leopard demonstration, Safari 3.0 for Windows and iPhone
Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
Thank you to The Tragically Hip for allowing us use their music in the podcast. Check out their new album World Container in stores now.


Palm Lays Off Employees in Restructuring Process

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 13:05
Category: News

Late Thursday, Palm announced that it had instituted layoffs that would affect a “small percentage” of its 1,200 employees. The firm stated that most of these employees would be downsized from Palm’s development group and affect the employee base within the United States.
According to Macworld News, Palm has faced a steady decline in its handheld device markets and has taken on a restructuring effort in which equity investors Elevation Partners took a 25% stake in Palm, investing US$325 million in the company.
Once an unquestioned leader in the handheld market, Palm has seen its market share decline in the face of growing competition, even in the smartphone market, where its Treo handheld device has historically done well.
A spokesperson for the company said that despite reorganization and layoffs, Palm is still hiring in other areas.
“We’re flattening our organizational hierarchy and doing some realignment,” he said.
An exact number of possible future layoffs was not immediately available.


Microsoft Office 2008 to Ship in Late 2007

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 12:47
Category: News

On Thursday, Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit stated that it remains on target to ship Office 2008, its Macintosh version of the Microsoft Office suite, in the second half of 2007.
The company, which recently replaced the Mac BU’s general manager Roz Ho with Craig Elser, answered questions about the timeline for the product. In an interview with MacNN, Elser cited that the departure of Ho (who has now taken a place within Microsoft’s Entertainment and Services division) should not be taken as an indication that development for Office 2008 has been altered.
“The overall focus on the (Mac Business Unit) is delivering Office 2008 for Mac in the second half of 2007,” stated representatives from the company.
Additional details can be found over at Microsoft’s mac mojo blog.
Information such as new features, machine specifications and retail prices have yet to be determined, but will be forthcoming the moment we have them in hand.