Matias Now Selling USB 2.0 Keyboard

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 12:33
Category: Hardware

Canadian hardware firm Matias has released a keyboard with two USB 2.0 ports built into it as opposed to the standard USB 1.1 ports generally included with a keyboard.

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The keyboard ships in both black and white, is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and is available throughout retail electronics stores as well as online for $29.95.
If you have any comments or feedback about this, let us know.

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MWSF07: Other World Computing, Atrionix, Debut ModBook at Expo

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Date: Tuesday, January 9th, 2007, 19:41
Category: Hardware

San Francisco — Axiotron and Other World Computing have unveiled the long-anticipated ModBook, the first Macintosh laptop modified to use a tablet interface.

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The unit, which was created by Axiotron and is being distributed within the U.S. by Other World Computing is tentatively priced at $2,279 and ships as a do-it-yourself kit that adds a true pen input, 13.3″ widescreen LCD and optional Global Positioning System within a toughened satin chrome-plated magnesium casing.
For the full article as well as a picture gallery of the mobbed unveiling, check out the jump…

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17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo Wins in Macworld Review

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 08:10
Category: Review

A full review over at Macworld News put the 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo laptop through its paces with Henry Norr liking what he found.
Apple’s 17″ laptops, long the lusted-after portable of choice, have been on the market for two years now and an overhaul was in the works. In this case, the company stuck to a classic design and included a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, replacing the retired 2.16 GHz Intel Core duo processor, included a standard two gigabytes of RAM and beefed up the hard drive from 120 gigabytes to 160 gigabytes. Maximum RAM capacity has been raised from two gigabytes to three gigabytes, albeit with only two memory slots, raising the memory via a one gigabyte RAM chip and a two gigabyte RAM chip becomes an expensive proposition – about $575 through Apple and more through third party vendors.
The review is more than happy with the usual features on the laptop such as the beautiful screen, meaty ATI Radeon X1600 with 256 MB of VRAM, iSight, AirPort Exreme, BlueTooth, ExpressCard, gigabit Ethernet, DVI-out port, illuminated keyboard and MagSafe power adapter.
Norr and the Macworld Lab found the 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo to actually be a bit slower than its 15″ counterpart on some tasks such as unzipping an archive, running Unreal Tournament and some Photoshop CS2 tasks but performed speedily nonetheless and roundly beat the fastest PowerBook G4 laptops.
For the full review and details, click here.
If you’ve had any experiences, positive or negative, regarding your 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, let us know.

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REVIEW: Garmin Edge 305; GPS for your bike

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Review

garmin-edge-305-1.jpgMy top technology gadgets in order of priority are: mobile phone, GPS and iPod. I’ve previously posted in these pages that my automotive GPS is my second most required piece of tech hardware. For people that drive, a GPS navigation system is an indisputably great invention. The Garmin nuvi 660 is my GPS of choice because it combines a small profile with a large screen – and they built-in the traffic receiver. I previously reviewed the Garmin nuvi 360 in August 2006.
Garmin International Inc., makes a GPS for almost every lifestyle, as a mountain biker I jumped at the chance to test the company’s Edge 305 bicycle GPS.
You may be asking yourself what you’d use a bicycle GPS for. Think of it as a bicycle computer on steroids. The Edge 305 measures pedaling cadence, heart rate, speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent. In fact it has over 300 features…

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Apple Requires a “Direct Signature” for all Hardware

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

pre-sign-for-this-shipment.pngApple offers a new delivery option when ordering from their online store. After your order is processed an option is available to “pre-sign” for your shipment. The only problem is that FedEx won’t accept a such a form to leave your package.
It works like this: after you place the order, you can click on a link on Apple’s order status page to “Pre-sign for this shipment.” It takes you to a page that instructs you to accept the terms and conditions outlined below. You are then be presented with a Shipment Release Authorization form which you must print, sign and attach to your door prior to delivery.

Terms and Conditions
I understand that Apple requires signatures acknowledging receipt of delivered goods. By signing the Shipment Release Authorization form, I hereby authorize Apple’s carrier to leave my package at the address I have specified for delivery when placing my order. I understand that, in so doing, I assume the risk of any loss, theft, or destruction, and release Apple and its carriers from all liability that may result from, leaving the package where I have indicated on the Shipment Release Authorization form.

The problem is that FedEx considers a Shipment Release Authorization form an “indirect signature” because a live human did not sign for the package at the time of delivery. According to two FedEx representatives that I spoke to Apple specifically requires a “direct signature” for all their packages, no exceptions. So Apple appears to be sending mixed messages, telling FedEx that they require a direct signature but telling customers that they’ll accept an indirect signature.
Shippers of valuable hardware need to protect themselves from fraud, especially in light of the recent theft-in-transit scams that are plaguing technology companies.
It’s worth noting the discrepancy in signature policies in case you’re waiting for a special delivery from Apple.

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Apple Exceeds Delivery Expectations

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

I received this email today:

I already received the iPod Shuffle v2 I ordered for my wife. Ordered in September, selected free shipping during checkout, shipped from China on Monday, and it was handed to me at 10 am this morning. Haven’t been able to use it yet, but dannnnnnnng is it cool to look at!

It echoes what I’ve heard from many of you and even my own experience.
My MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo was ordered via Apple’s online store and I selected the faster “2-3 Business Days (after shipping)” option for an extra US$18. Apple’s online order status page (which I highly recommend) told me that it was shipping on 31 October and was slated to arrive on 02 November.
I was extremely surprised when the FedEx tracking page changed on 31 October. My MBP had traveled from Shanghai to Anchorage to Indianapolis on the 30th, then from Indianapolis to Philadelphia to New Jersey on the 31st. I was very excited when I read that my new MBP was “On FedEx vehicle for delivery” yesterday, when I wasn’t expecting it until a full two days later!
Sure enough it arrived yesterday and I haven’t slept much since. Obviously, your mileage may vary and not everyone is going to receive their order two days early. Apple’s overly conservative shipping estimates are another example of their commitment to under-promise and over-deliver and they deserve credit for it.

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Mac Pro Unboxing

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Date: Friday, August 11th, 2006, 00:00
Category: Hardware


Mac Pro unboxed and taken apart. Ahhh, computer porn…

PowerMax: Mac Pro taken apart!

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WWDC: Apple Drops Monitor Prices

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Date: Tuesday, August 8th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Hardware

m9177lla_125.jpgWhen Apple added the new Intel Mac Pro and Xserve to their online store after yesterday’s WWDC keynote address they also quietly dropped the prices on their flat-panel Cinema Displays:
Apple Cinema Display 30-inch – US$1,999 (was US$2,999)
Apple Cinema Display 23-inch – US$999 (was US$1,299)
Apple Cinema Display 20-inch – US$699 (was US$799)
In addition to the price drop, Apple also silently bumped the brightness on the two smaller models:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 400 cd/m2 brightness
ACD 23-inch – 400 cd/m2 brightness (up from 270 cd/m2)
ACD 20-inch – 300 cd/m2 brightness (up from 250 cd/m2)
…and the contrast ratios:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 700:1 contrast ratio
ACD 23-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
ACD 20-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
Back in May 2006 I purchased a Dell 2405FPW 24-inch display for US$760 after comparing it to the Apple Cinema Display 23-inch.

The Dell 2405FPW has 24 inches of viewable screen area, inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA connections, four USB 2.0 ports, 500 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast. The Apple monitor has 23 inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports, 270 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 contrast.

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160GB MacBook Drives get Perpendicular (Updated)

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Date: Tuesday, July 11th, 2006, 20:55
Category: Hardware

mb-sata-hdd.jpgMCE is now selling 160GB (5400RPM) SATA hard drives for the MacBook, MBP and Mac mini for US$299. Previously the largest shipping notebook SATA drive was 120GB. In January MCE announced 160GB hard drives for PowerBooks but those drives are Ultra ATA/100 and won’t work in Apple’s newest iron. So if your MacBook’s hard drive is already full, image that bad boy and upgrade to the new 160GB drives. I recommend picking up a pair so that you can have a hot spare at home.
UPDATE: Suprisingly its not Seagate Momentus 5400.3 mechanism (although they’ve had a 160GB PATA version out for some time now.) The drive that MCE is selling is a Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 mechanism – they’re first perpendicular recording (PMR) hard drive.
Click through for the whole PR…

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15,000 Songs on your Credenza

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Date: Monday, May 1st, 2006, 08:22
Category: Hardware

iPods are great little sound machines, with the emphasis on little and they pack enough power to drive a pair of earbuds for hours and hours. If you don’t need portable, you can get a lot more bang far a lot less buck. Whether you use an all Apple solution or even a PC, older computers make cheap digital jukeboxes and iTunes is free. Keep in mind that most PCs used for computing tasks are attached to some seriously lo-fi speakers. This is not what I am talking about. I have cobbled together a number digital jukeboxes, many on the cheap.
My first digital music box came pre-configured. You see, I still have my Twentieth Anniversary Mac and it was designed to play music. The Bose sound system is decent, considering the size limitations of the small drivers in the TAM head unit. The fan in my TAM always runs because of a G3 upgrade, I only have a 20GB laptop drive in it and the version of Quicktime running on OS 9 does not support Apple’s Fair Play. But, with it’s built in remote control, CD drive and iTunes, it makes for an elegant integrated music system.
Read More…

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