Apple VP: PowerBook G5 "the Mother of All Thermal Challenges"

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Date: Thursday, January 13th, 2005, 08:00
Category: Hardware, PowerBook G5

The Mac Observer has posted an interesting comment from an Apple VP about the upcoming PowerBook G5:

When Rob Steerum of Fulcrum Global Partners asked Tim Cook, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Sales and Operations, about the chances of a G5-based PowerBook anytime soon, Mr. Cook admitted Wednesday such a project “would be the mother of all thermal challenges.”
When asked if he meant there will never be a G5-powered PowerBook, Mr. Cook said, “I don’t want to go further in the comment.”
The comments came during Apple’s conference call Wednesday discussing its first quarter fiscal earnings with analysts.

The PowerPage maintains that we’ll see one more round of speed bumps for the existing PowerBook form factor before we’ll see the PowerBook G5 sometime in the summer.

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WSJ: Test-Driving the $99 iPod

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Date: Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 13:42
Category: Hardware, iPod

iPod ShuffleThe Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg test drives the new iPod Shuffle in his Personal Technology column:

I can understand the allure of shuffle play, and of carrying around just a subset of your music. I most frequently use my larger iPods on Shuffle mode. And, like most people, I play favorite songs more often than others, even though my whole music collection is loaded on my bigger iPod.
But, the lack of a screen on the Shuffle would bug me, personally. I really enjoy seeing the song information while I play music. It’s one of the big advantages digital music players have over playing CDs. Of course, joggers and others who listen to music while they work out won’t miss the screen, because they are rarely in a position to watch it, and the fact that the Shuffle is small and lacks a delicate hard disk will make exercising with it appealing.
There are a few design downsides to the iPod Shuffle. The lack of a screen means you can’t use playlists of collected songs on it, because you have no way to select such a list. For many people, play lists are a key part of the iPod experience.
The Shuffle also lacks many of the extra features of the bigger iPods, such as various equalization settings for music playback, and the ability to display calendar and contact information.
And I found the three-way mode button on the back difficult to move. I was forced to press it so tightly that I often tripped the playback controls on the other side.

Read the rest of the column at The Mossberg Solution.
What’s your take on the iPod shuffle? Gotta have one or stripped-down tongue depressor?

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Apple Cuts Heads

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 5th, 2005, 08:21
Category: Hardware, Mac Desktop

Apple quietly cut the price of its LCD monitors. If there is a headless iMac, the 20 incher is still pricey at $999. I think the monitor of choice for a $499 Mac may end up being the Plasma Display that is already hanging on the wall in the media room!

Newer Technology iPod Battery Lasts 22 Hours

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 25th, 2004, 07:46
Category: Hardware, iPod

Wired’s Leander Kahney reports on the new iPod battery from Newer Technology:

After nearly three years of almost daily use, my trusty old iPod was starting to give up the ghost. But thanks to a new install-it-yourself battery, it has a new lease on life — and it’s even better than new.
Wired News tested a $40, high-capacity, 2,100 mAh (milliamp hour) replacement iPod battery from Newer Technology. It was easy to install and delivered 22 hours of continuous play — more than double the play time of the original battery. (The battery tested is for first- and second-generation iPods; Newer also sells one for third-generation iPods.)

Read more at Wired News.

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The new iBook G4 – Live Wirelessly for Less

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Date: Monday, October 25th, 2004, 07:39
Category: Hardware, iBook

Apple has re-opened its online store with new speed-bumped iBook G4s available to order. The three new iBook configurations are:

iBook 12-inch
1.2GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache @1.2GHz
12-inch TFT Displays
30GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo Drive
US$999.00
iBook 14-inch
1.33GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache @ 1.33GHz
14-inch TFT Display
60GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo Drive
US$1299
iBook 14-inch
1.33GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache @ 1.33GHz
14-inch TFT Display
60GB Ultra ATA drive
SuperDrive
US$1499

According to an article in Macworld this will be Apple’s last portable announcement in 2004.

If you are planning to purchase an Apple portable for Christmas but want to wait to make sure a new model isn’t released at the last minute, you can rest easy — Apple says this is their holiday line-up.
“This new line-up of iBooks, along with the current PowerBooks we have will make-up the complete portable line-up we will be offering for the holidays,” said Moody.

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Mini Tutorial: Liquid Mishaps

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 08:27
Category: Any Laptop Computer, Hardware

A new MacFixIt article deals with an age-old PowerPage topic: Dealing with accidental beverage spills on your PowerBook/iBook.

Immediate post-spill procedure Perhaps the most important step in avoiding permanent damage to a PowerBook or iBook that has been introduced to a spilled liquid is immediately unplugging the unit, removing the battery, and performing a perfunctory wipe-down with a clean, dry cloth and/or cotton tip.
Next, if your PowerBook has a removable keyboard, lift it from the unit and allow the internal components to dry

Don’t become a statistic, these important tips can save your PowerBook from destruction. Just remember to write to us with your Extreme PowerBook story, Ok?

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iMac G5 Unboxing

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Date: Thursday, September 16th, 2004, 03:51
Category: Hardware

I’ve just put up a review on the new iMac G5 at my site, OziMac (an Australian Mac News Site). Thought some of your readers may be interested. We got our demo unit today, and the review covers setting it up, etc…

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What's on your PowerBook?

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Date: Wednesday, September 8th, 2004, 07:03
Category: Hardware, PowerBook

Remember those old “What’s on your PowerBook” print ads? The Mothership has posted four of the original print ads on their site featuring Father Don Doll, Todd Rundgren, France Lear, Tama Janowitz, Martina Navratilova, Art Monk, Greg Catchum and Michael O’Brien. What a blast from the past. So, What’s on your PowerBook?

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Airport Express Review: Great Product, Not Insanely Great

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Date: Wednesday, September 1st, 2004, 00:17
Category: Hardware

Apple Airport ExpressApple came up with a great idea with the Airport Express but fail to follow through.
Back in June, I was planning on doing some work on my house. The big frustration for me is that I wanted to be able to distribute my iTunes music to 4 different rooms in my house. I was all set to start running audio cable through my house, then Apple announce the Airport Express, the answer to all my problems (or so I thought). I got my first Airport Express tonight and started playing around with it, and I must say it works great. The audio quality is top notch (I am a Sound Mixer in Hollywood so I am fairly critical of these things). Read More…

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The New iMac is Nice Enough

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Date: Tuesday, August 31st, 2004, 06:19
Category: Hardware, Mac Desktop

The best thing about the new iMac design is that it is more compact and easier to transport than the previous version. Think of the luxo-lamp G4 iMac as a desktop computer, squeezed into a half sphere with a mighty arm holding up the screen. The latest iMac is more like a laptop computer with the screen welded in place facing outward like a tablet PC. It is then simply mounted on an aluminum support that matches the recently introduced aluminum monitors.
In terms of performance, the big difference is the G5 processor cooled by three fans that pull air from the bottom of the enclosure and out through the top. It also comes with NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 graphics processor.
So, what’s not to like? Priced at US$1,299 the base model surely represents a better value than the previous G4 iMac, but Apple desperately needs to fight back against the continuing erosion in market share. When compared to the cost and performance of a G4 17″ PowerBook, price looks fantastic, but there is a need at the low end for something other than the eMac. The iMac remains a high priced, design oriented product. Until the G5 makes it into a laptop enclosure, it has a solid place in the lineup because of its superior performance.
The call for a “headless” iMac has not been heard by Apple – yet. It would be nice to see a G5 headless box priced $100 less than an eMac. The time for a Mac with a built-in CRT has passed and the eMac should evolve into a more powerful mainstream solution. One that a lot of people have been asking for.

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