Mac News Review

Apple II Greatest PC Ever, Apple #1 in Consumer Satisfaction, Mac Pro Security Patches, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.08.18

This week, PC World's editors proclaimed the Apple II the greatest PC of all time, and the Mac Plus barely trailed it in the #4 position. Apple also came out in the top spot in another area this week with the #1 rating for customer satisfaction among PC brands.

Anand Tech calls the Mac Pro "everything the Power Mac G5 should have been", and Apple has already released a pair of security patches for the just-released computer.

On the accessory front, we have a pair of new mounts for the Mac mini, a USB keyboard with an iPod dock, RAM for the Mac Pro, and a wireless system for connecting your iPod to your home stereo.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Tips

Products

iPod Accessories

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple II the Greatest PC of All Time (Mac Plus #4)

Apple II

The editors of PC World say:

"The IBM PC is 25. And here are the top PCs ever, from machines you owned and loved to systems you've never heard of.

Number 1 - Apple II (1977)

"The Apple II wasn't the first personal computer, or the most advanced one, or even the best-selling model of its age. But in many ways it was The Machine That Changed Everything. On all four of our criteria - Innovation, Impact, Industrial Design, and Intangibles - it was such a huge winner that it ended up as our Greatest PC of All Time.

The Original Macintosh"Honorable Mention:

Apple #1 in PC Consumer Satisfaction

CNET News.com's Tom Krazit reports:

"A study released Tuesday by the University of Michigan shows that overall satisfaction increased by 4.1 percent on Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index to a rating of 77, the highest achieved by the industry since 1994. But customers still rate PCs lower than several other consumer product categories, including cars and appliances.

"Apple Computer led the pack among computer individual vendors with a rating of 83, a 2.5 percent improvement over last year's score. Dell, under siege all year for its customer service problems, rebounded from 2005, improving its score by 5.4 percent to 78."

Classic Gone with Nary a Whisper

O'Reilly.net's Chris Adamson says:

"With the Intel switch finished, Apple no longer sells a machine capable of running pre-2001 Mac software. 17 years of executable Mac history gone. Does anyone care?"

"Of the really important apps I used in Classic, most have been Carbonized (Graphic Converter, Quicken, Mariner Write, etc.), so even if they're not Universal Binaries, Rosetta can do an on-the-fly recompile into x86 and they run. And a few others got Carbonized, but I moved on (goodbye, Internet Explorer, hello Safari and later Shiira).

"And if it were really important to run Classic-only software, wouldn't we hear more news about emulating old Macs on the new ones? It wasn't worth Apple's time, but just as there were Mac Plus emulators for the PPC, it's got to be worth someone's time to write a PPC emulator for the Intel Mac . . . right?"

Mac Pro 'Everything the Power Mac G5 Should Have Been'

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi reports:

"The Mac Pro is pretty much everything the Power Mac G5 should have been. It's cooler, quieter, faster, has more expansion and it gives you more for your value than the older systems ever could.

"If you were happy with your Power Mac G5, then you'll definitely be happy with the Mac Pro. And if you're a heavy multitasker, you will quickly be spoiled by the four very high performance cores that have found their way into the familiar looking chassis."

Security Patches for Mac Pro

eWeek's Scott Ferguson reports:

"Apple Computer on Aug. 9 issued two security patches for its new Mac Pro, the Intel-based desktop that had just been unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

"The two patches fix two serious code execution vulnerabilities in the Mac Pro.

"The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker issued the security update for the Mac Pro and the Mac OS X Server v10.4.7."

Comparably Equipped Dell Precision Twice the Price of Mac Pro

PC Advisor's Simon Jary reports:

"A fundamental reason behind the commercial success of Windows PCs over Apple's Mac has been the wide price gap between the two platforms. Apple computers always cost more than PCs, so most people save money by buying into Windows.

"Right? Wrong. Today's Macs are often cheaper than their Dell equivalents. And the new Mac Pro is ridiculously cheaper than the Dell Precision 690 workstation.

"I configured a Dell Precision 690 to match the tech specs of Apple's base Mac Pro. In fact, I even paid to add more RAM to the Mac to exactly match the Dell.

"And the saving was still £2,046! Enough for me to add a second DVD-R drive and Apple's iLife suite of creative apps, and still be less than half price."

Tips

Mac Pro DIY Manuals Posted

Apple has posted the following Do It Yourself manuals for Mac Pro users:

  • Mac Pro PCI Express/Graphics Card DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Optical Drive DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Access Panel DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Battery DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Radeon X1900 XT and Quadro FX4500 DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Hard Drive DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Hard Drive Carrier DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Memory (FB-DIMM) DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Memory Riser Card DIY Replacement Instructions
  • Mac Pro Optical Drive Carrier DIY Replacement Instructions

Products

Stand By Mi Mac mini Mount and USB 2.0 Hub

PR: Gorgeously designed to accommodate your Mac mini. One look and you know it was made for Mac mini specifically. It does not matter if you put an Apple display or any other brand monitor on this baby, it will make your setup looks sharp and beautiful.

A front mount, self powered USB 2.0 hub finally!! Yes, you no longer need to reach to the back for the USB port hooking up your iPod, or any USB external devices.

Stand By MiContents:

  • Stand By Mi with USB 2.0 hub
  • Power adapter.
  • USB cable at the right length to reach your Mac mini.

Specification:

  • Dimension: W(11") L(9") H(3.3")
  • Maximum weight supported: 60 lb.
  • Type of Hub: USB 2.0
  • Number of ports: 4
  • Hub power adapter: Input 100-240V 50/60 Hz 0.3A Output: DC 5V 1A

Price: $44.99

Estimated ship date: First week of September 2006

Hang With Mi Under Desk Rack Mount for Mac mini

PR: Your beautiful Mac mini finally has something to hang out with. Hang With Mi is a specially designed rack to mount your Mac mini under your desk.

No room on your desk ? No problem. Hang With Mi will keep your Mac mini conveniently out of your way. Tucking underneath your desk, Hang With Mi allows maximum airflow that your Mac mini required to perform at optimum level

A front mount, self powered USB 2.0 hub finally!! Yes, you no longer need to reach to the back for the USB port hooking up your iPod, or any USB external devices. Don't get caught under your desk for the wrong reason!!

Hang With Mi Under Desk Rack MountContents:

  • Hang With Mi with USB 2.0 hub
  • Power adapter.
  • USB cable at the right length to reach you Mac mini.
  • Four mounting screws

Specification:

  • Dimension: W(6.8") L(6.5") H(3.4")
  • Minimum desk thickness required: 1"
  • Type of Hub: USB 2.0
  • Number of ports: 4
  • Hub power adapter: Input 100-240V 50/60 Hz 0.3A Output: DC 5V 1A

Price: $39.99

Estimated ship date: First week of September 2006

Ramjet Memory Upgrades for Mac Pro

PR: Overview: The powerful new Mac Pro continues the changeover from PowerPC to Intel based processors, with two of the top line Intel Xeon Dual-Core processors. The Mac Pro also uses a new type of memory called an ECC DDR2-667 FB-DIMM. This new RAM includes a feature called ECC (Error Correction Code), which uses an extra parity bit to detect and correct some types of memory errors. As a result the Mac Pro has the fastest and most stable form of memory ever used in an Apple computer.

Heat Spreaders: Ramjet follows a more robust thermal specification for the Mac Pro FB-DIMMs to provide more efficient cooling. This allows for the same reduced fan speed and system acoustics as the Apple original modules. FB-DIMMs made by many other manufacturers do not include a sufficient heat sink. These cheaper FB-DIMMs may increase fan noise, or drop down to a lower speed to avoid overheating during memory intensive tasks.

Matched Sets: To take full advantage of the 256-bit memory bus, modules should be installed as a matched quad (4x modules at a time). You may install a matched pair, but with a performance penalty. The Ramjet kits below contain pairs of quads of identical matched FB-DIMMs. The matched pair of 512 MB FB-DIMMs (1 GB kit) can be installed along side the Apple original 1 GB (2 x 512 MB FB-DIMMs) to create a 256-bit quad.

  • 1 GB ECC FB-DIMM kit for Mac Pro (2x 512) $275
  • 2 GB ECC FB-DIMM kit for Mac Pro (4x 512) $549
  • 2 GB ECC FB-DIMM kit for Mac Pro (2x 1 GB) $450
  • 4 GB ECC FB-DIMM kit for Mac Pro (4x 1 GB) $899
  • 8 GB Kit Coming Soon

iPod Accessories

ProType Multimedia Keyboard with Integrated iPod Dock

Razer keyboardPR: The world's most intelligent keyboard.

  • Integrated iPod dock
  • 10 programmable hot keys for storing macros and keystrokes
  • Media Center keys to control media programs like iTunes
  • Normal keys can be programmed to act as other keystrokes
  • Line-out for audio peripherals
  • Two USB Ports for convenient peripheral plug-ins
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Gold-plated USB connector for maximum conductivity

Zoom iHiFi Plays iPod on a Stereo Wirelessly

iHiFi transmitterPR: Zoom Technologies, Inc. today announced that it began shipping its new iHiFi™ line of wireless products for playing a stereo remotely from an iPod, MP3 player, computer sound card, or other audio device. Zoom's iHiFi line now includes a Bluetooth receiver that attaches to a stereo or powered speakers, a line of Bluetooth transmitters for iPods and other audio devices, and Combo products that pair the iHiFi receiver with an iHiFi transmitter.

The complete Combo solution retails for approximately $99. The iHiFi line includes Transmitters custom-designed for various iPods, and also includes a Universal Transmitter designed to work with any iPod or other audio source that has a headphone jack. With iHiFi wireless, an iPod can be used as a powerful remote for control of song selection, playlist and volume at a range of up to 70 feet from the iHiFi receiver.

iHiFi receiveriHiFi Bluetooth wireless technology provides excellent range and high fidelity sound, and is far less susceptible to interference and static than FM wireless approaches. iHiFi allows people to dance, socialize, work or relax with high-quality audio, but without the isolation, discomfort and interference of headsets. Connected to powered speakers, iHiFi provides an inexpensive portable music system for the garage, deck, kitchen or wherever someone wants to enjoy his or her favorite sounds.

The Model 4353 Universal Transmitter includes a battery that can be recharged from a computer's USB port or from an iHiFi Receiver power cube. Some other iHiFi Transmitters, including model 4350 for the iPod mini and model 4354 for the iPod 3G and 4G, are custom-designed to fit particular iPods and to draw their power from the iPod. The Model 4360 iHiFi Receiver plugs into standard input jacks on an audio system or powered speakers, and its power cube plugs into an AC outlet. The Model 4360 iHiFi Receiver works with all iHiFi Transmitters and with Zoom Bluetooth adapters supporting A2DP profiles, including USB Class 1 Bluetooth Model 4310BF, USB Class 2 Bluetooth Model 4320AF, and PC Card Class 1 Bluetooth Model 4312AF.

Software

Bible-Discovery Bible Studying Software

Bible-Discovery Bible Studying SoftwarePR: Bible-Discovery is complex Bible studying software.

The following items are included in the current version:

Several Bible translations

  • English translation by King James (KJV).
  • Original Bible in Greek (TR - Textus Receptus 1550/1894).
  • Original Bible in Hebrew (WLC - Westminster Leningrad Codex).
  • Hungarian translation by Gaspar Karoli.
  • Other Bible translations can be downloaded from our home page and can be used after installation.

Dictionaries.

  • Digital Ancient Hebrew-English dictionary.
  • Digital Ancient Greek-English dictionary.

Tools for helping to understand the texts in original language.

  • Strong's numbers for the original Greek (TR) Bible. (Strong's number: etyma of the words in the original text sorted alphabetically, numbered)
  • Strong's numbers for the English Bible translated by King James.
  • The original Greek/Hebrew lexical meanings of the words can be checked by clicking them.
  • LXX - Greek Old Testament: Septuagint with Strong's Numbers.

Other features

  • Bookmarks can be organized into categories. Verse lists can be compiled by topics.
  • Complex, quick search feature. The program can be used as a concordance. The search results are showed in 1 second (1 GHz CPU).
  • Customizable font size and colour. Visually impaired users can customize the display of the text.
  • The original Bible in Greek, readable phonetically.
  • The original Bible in Hebrew, readable phonetically.
  • Bible translations can be imported from text files.
  • Parallel and comparative Bible read feature.
  • Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris.
  • User interface in English, Hungarian.

The following parts, modules are planned to be added within 1 year:

  • Chronological read feature.
  • Several Bible translations.
  • Quick bookmarks to complement the categorizable bookmark system.
  • Protestant cross-reference system.
  • Several other cross-reference systems.
  • Add your own comments to Testaments, chapters, verses.
  • Bible quiz (game).
  • Projector module for speeches and performances, even for praises and songs.
  • User interface in German, Slovak, Czech, Romanian etc.
  • Maps of Bible scenes.

Several copyrighted dictionaries, Bible translations and Bible tools, which can be installed as separate plug-ins and can be purchased after the trial period expired.

The feature rich program engine is totally free. However, the extension plugin with the Greek and Hebrew dictionaries is a shareware product. You can support the development by purchasing this plugin.

System requirements: Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS

Desktop Mac Deals

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For more deals on current, recently discontinued, and older notebooks, see our MacBook deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" aluminum PowerBook G4 deals, 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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