iDiddy Eliminates iPod Spaghetti Factor

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 18:52
Category: Hardware

iDiddyWhen the iPod shuffle was announced back in January I expressed some concern about the “Spaghetti Factor

I was expecting Apple to do something innovative with the lanyard like include the headphones in it, instead you plug headphones into the bottom (top?) and the result is a mass of spaghetti hanging from your neck. The spaghetti problem is blatantly obvious in the new TV ads where people are dancing around with them around their necks. I bet we’ll start hearing stories really soon now about how the lanyard/headphone combination gets caught car doors, etc.

An interesting product called the iDiddy appears to have addressed this oversight with a wearable and tangle-free earbud and case combination for all iPods.
The iDiddy is a quality product that starts with a gorgeous hand-sewn leather iPod case, but that’s where the similarity to other iPod cases ends. What makes the iDiddy different is that the earbuds have been embedded into their “iLanyard,” making the earbud wires otherwise invisible. The iLanyard can also be detached from the case and can be used with any audio device with an eighth-inch stereo mini jack. One nice feature is the small clips on the side of the iLanyard for attaching the earbuds when not is use. The iDiddy makes your iPod easy to hang on a hook when not in use and easy to grab when you’re on your way out the door. Read More…


Apple Announces Multi-Button Mighty Mouse

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 13:54
Category: Hardware

Apple Mighty MouseApple today announced a new USB mouse called Mighty Mouse (US$49, free shipping). The wrinkle: rather than giving us a standard two-button mouse (that we’ve been begging them for forever,) Mighty Mouse is a sleek “no button” model like the Apple USB mouse that has two tiny sensors under the hood for left and right clicking. In addition they’ve added two side buttons that seem to be positioned in a slightly ackward location.

Meet the mouse that reinvented the wheel. The scroll wheel, that is. At $49, Mighty Mouse features the revolutionary Scroll Ball that lets you move anywhere inside a document, without lifting a finger. And with touch-sensitive technology concealed under the seamless top shell, you get the programability of a four-button mouse in a single-button design. Click, roll, squeeze and scroll. This mouse just aced the maze.

Mighty Mouse is a multi-button model with a cable. I would have prefered a Bluetooth model but suspect that the wireless version could be announced for around US$79 in the fall. I wish the Mighty Mouse was a little more like the two-button mouse with built-in trackpad mockup from Chris Hungate that we posted in May.
Will you be purchasing one?
(Thanks to everyone, and I mean everyone, that wrote to me about my earlier piece.)


Mighty Mouse Video Review

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 11:11
Category: Review

Mighty Mouse Video ReviewKevin “MacDaddy” Lim has posted a video review of the Mighty Mouse. In it he shows the retail box, the Mighty Mouse System Preference, while focusing on the mouse’s four buttons and little grey Scroll Ball. Kevin also goes through some of the Mighty Mouse’s hardware design quirks. You can download the video review as a QuickTime file in two sizes: Large (17MB) or Small (5.4MB).


Apple Jump Starts iBook G4 and Mac mini Lines

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Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 10:31
Category: Hardware

Apple iBook G4 RevisionApple today introduced a speed bumped iBook G4 lineup. The aging iBook line was rejuvenated to include faster Power PC G4 processors running up to 1.42 GHz, 512MB RAM standard, better graphics and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth.

Apple today enhanced its affordable iBook G4 line for consumers and education customers with faster Power PC G4 processors running up to 1.42 GHz, 512MB memory across the line, higher performance graphics and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The new iBooks feature two patent-pending Apple technologies made popular in the PowerBook G4 line, the scrolling TrackPad and the Sudden Motion Sensor, with prices starting at an affordable $999.

The new July 2005 iBook G4 lineup:
1.33GHz, 12-inch, 40GB, Combo Drive – US$999
1.42GHz, 14-inch, 60GB, SuperDrive – US$1299
*The new iBook G4s include: 512MB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 9550, Bluetooth 2.0, Airport Express, scrolling trackpad and sudden motion sensor.
In related news, Apple also revised the Mac mini lineup:

Apple today announced enhancements to its Mac mini line, the most affordable and compact Mac ever, with 512MB of memory standard in every model and prices starting at just $499. The Mac mini also features built-in wireless networking with AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth starting at just $599, and the ability to burn DVDs with a SuperDrive for just $699.

The July 2005 Mac minis come in three flavors:
1.25GHz, 40GB, Combo Drive – US$499
1.42GHz, 80GB, Combo Drive, Bluetooth and Airport Extreme – US$599
1.42GHz, 80GB, SuperDrive, Bluetooth and Airport Extreme – US$699


iBook Revisions and new Mac minis due Next Week

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 22nd, 2005, 09:00
Category: Hardware

Apple iBook Update ImminentOur friends over at Engadget are reporting that revised iBooks and Mac minis are coming out next week:

“new part numbers in Apple?s databases confirm they?re coming shortly as well as a revision to the Mac mini line that was rumoured at the end of last month. The iBook price points are set at $999 and $1,299, which drops the $1,499 model, while for the Mac minis we?re looking at a triple lineup at $499, $599 and $699″


Griffin Announces Chameleon Cases for iPod mini

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 21st, 2005, 10:35
Category: Hardware

Griffin Chameleon Cases for iPod miniGriffin Technology has announced Chameleon Cases for iPod mini. Chameleon Cases are made of a sturdy and dense polyvinyl material which is much tougher than regular silicone cases, according to Griffin. Inside a Chameleon Case, your iPod is shielded from the elements and even though the click-wheel is covered it remains completely protected and fully functional.
Features include:
- Tough rubber form fitting case
- Easily removable
- Includes easy on/off belt clip
- Included 21″ lanyard
- 16 cool designs
The price for the Griffin Chameleon Case is US$14.99 and it is scheduled to begin shipping in August of 2005. Pre-orders are now being accepted now at the Griffin Technology Web site.


Think Secret: New iBooks Imminent

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 20th, 2005, 08:41
Category: Hardware

Think Secret is reporting that Apple is due to release an iBook update as soon as this week, perhaps even today:

Details of the updated iBook are unknown, as is a firm release date, given the fickle nature of hardware updates. Apple last revised the iBook in October 2004. Since that time, the company bumped the PowerBook G4 in February 2005, paving the way for an iBook revision that would cannibalize sales of PowerBooks less.

The refreshed iBook may feature a new industrial design to accommodate a wider HD-compatible display, which would jive nicely with Steve Job’s proclamation at Macworld Expo that 2005 is “the year of HD.” Read more at Think Secret.


PowerBook Revs Miss Apple Expo Paris (Update 2)

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 20th, 2005, 07:36
Category: Hardware

Apple PowerBook G4 2GHzAppleInsider is reporting on the potential of an upgraded PowerBook G4 announcement at Apple Expo in Paris on 20 September 2005.

At the high-end, the new PowerBooks are expected to gain a mere 30MHz speed boost that would put the 15-inch and 17-inch models at 1.7GHz. Additionally, the new 15-inch PowerBook is expected to step up to the feature set of the current 17-inch PowerBook.

Click on the headline to read more…


Environmentalists Criticize the iPod

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 15th, 2005, 14:53
Category: Hardware, iPod

“Apple’s robust earnings report for the latest quarter surprised few, given the runaway success of its ubiquitous iPod, yet there already is concern sales of the digital music devices will not suffice to keep Apple growing in the longer term. Moreover, criticism against iPods is on the rise, particularly from environmentalists,” Shihoko Goto writes for UPI.
Goto continues, “…many analysts are already worried that Apple is far too heavily dependent on a single product… Apple faces the problem, however, that even its computer sales hinge on the success of the musical device, said Chris Green of London’s Computing magazine… Meanwhile, environmentalists have complained that Apple has been less responsible than other companies in using recyclable products in its music devices. The batteries and microprocessors inside iPods contain potentially hazardous material, and the company should be ‘more proactive in using materials that are less harmful to the environment,’ Zeina al-Hajj, campaign coordinator for toxic-waste disposal at Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, told United Press International.”
From MacDailyNews. Click through to read Apple’s side of the story.


Mac mini Really a PowerBook?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2005, 20:00
Category: Hardware

Digitimes has posted a story comparing the Mac mini to a laptop:

What do you call a mobile computer that has no display, no keyboard and no other input devices? Apple Computer calls it the Mac mini and it is really a desktop PC that is designed and built like a laptop.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise as some have said that the iMac shares motherboard lineage with the first iBook. It only makes sense that Apple would try to get a higher return on their R&D investment by re-using their PowerBook motherboard designs in smaller desktop Macs.
Another interesting part of the DigiTimes article is the total component cost of the Mac mini.

iSuppli?s Teardown Analysis service estimates the bill of materials cost for the Mac mini at $274.69. With manufacturing costs added, the total rises to $283.37. This sum does not include additional costs for items like intellectual property, software, licensing fees, shipping, logistics marketing and other expenses.