Mac News Review

12 GB Flash Drive, Power Mac G5 Dual Disassembly, Smart Scroll X Software, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.10.27

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

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products

iPod Accessories

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Partial Disassembly Guide for 2 GHz Power Mac G5 Dual

Sharpening Beneath's MIKX says:

"Do not use this guide for liquid cooled G5's

"This guide does not take you to the point where the motherboard can be removed.

"We will just be removing the CPU-Heatsink Units and the Power Supply.

"(The author assumes no liability nor responsibility for any damage incurred by anyone using this guide)

"For the past two years my G5 has been sitting under my desk quite happily up until June 2006 when it started having random shutdowns and kernel panics. I tracked one of the causes down to a fault in the original Apple supplied 160 Gig SATA I hard drive using Apple Hardware Test. I replaced the damaged drive with a Maxtor SATA II 250 gig 16mb buffer hard drive (Yes! SATA II does work in Tiger in 10.4 PPC G5's!).

"Now that the G5 was in the spotlight I decided to look at this Mac's operating and ambient temperatures using Marcel Bresink's excellent "Hardware Monitor" and was shocked to see that the Memory Controller Heatsink was running at an average of 72°C, that is too hot for my liking, especially in a humid country like Japan where I live. To make a long story short, the Memory Controller Heatsink - after partially disassembling my G5, cleaning and removing huge amounts of dust now averages 57.5°C. This is a reduction of 14.5°C !"

"I have some little experience with tearing computers apart and rebuilding them, I have owned many Amiga and Mac models. FDrom swicthing off my G5 - disassembling - dust removal-cleaning - re-assembly and restart took about two hours. If you have ever upgraded a CPU in older G3 or G4 Macs you will not come to grief if you plan the disassembly like a military operation. Work slowly, thoroughly, keep notes, check everything three times.

"Assemble the tools and prepare your workspace thoughtfully and soon enough your G5 will be clean, cool and happy."

Products

12-Gigs in the Palm of Your Hand

PR: US Modular expands their Monstor Drive line and pushes the limits of micro drive technology with 12 GB of storage.

Monstor DrivesUS Modular, a leading designer and manufacturer of personal memory and storage products, announces the expansion of its popular stainless steel Monstor Drive line with the addition of a whopping ultra-high capacity 12 GB model. Small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, yet large enough to hold tens of thousands of data files, this micro drive is the perfect portable data device. With the onboard USB 2.0 port, files transfers are fast and easy. Ideal for MP3 of video files, important jpeg files, or even redundant storage for irreplaceable data, the Monstor Drives requires no external power and is both Mac and PC compatible - making its appeal universal. Proving that big things do come in small packages, these drives are the ideal mobile mass storage medium for executives, road warriors, students or anyone on-the-go. Priced at $129, the Monstor Drives will begin shipping on November 1st.

"The beauty of digital data is that it is both highly mobile and an excellent medium for archiving in that it does not degrade," explains Nick Payzant, CEO of US Modular. "As storage capacities expand, people are finding ever more reasons to take data with them and to replicate data for redundancy and security's sake. Our mission is to offer higher density storage in smaller form factors and at better consumer price-points. Ultimately, we believe that 100-percent data storage redundancy will be a common practice as people look to secure their valuable, and often irreplaceable, digital assets."

Features:

  • 12 GB high-capacity, high-performance USB Portable Micro Drive
  • Industry standard USB 2.0 interface
  • Reliable storage performance for any device with a USB port, including PCs, digital media players, handheld computers & other portable devices
  • Low power consumption
  • 1500G shock resistance rating
  • Ultra lightweight & compact (weight 16 grams)
  • Media type: Glass
  • Rotational speed: 4,200 rpm
  • Media transfer rate: 52.4-99.6 Mbits/sec
  • Transfer rate: 3.3-6.5 Mbytes/sec
  • Seek time (avg.): 10 msec
  • Error rate (unrecoverable): 1 per bit
  • Head load/unload cycles: 300,000
  • Voltage: 3.3/5.0 VDC +/- 5% Auto Detect
  • Current (write): 275 mA
  • Current (idle): 18 mA
  • Dimensions: 42.8 X 36.4 X 5.0 mm
  • Temperature: 0° to 65° C operating
  • Relative humidity: 8 to 90% operating
  • Shock (half sine): 175G (2ms) operating
  • Vibration (swept sine): 1G 0-pk (5-500 Hz) operating
  • One Year Warranty

The Monstor Drives begins shipping in November and will be available at RadioShack, Sam's Club and other major retail locations. In addition, the Monstor Drives will be available through major e-tailers such as Buy.com, PCMall, Global, Tiger, Ingram, PC Connection and more.

Viewsonic Launches the World's First Displays with iPod Support

Viewsonic VX2245wmPR: ViewSonic Corp. has redefined desktop display options for consumers with the launch of its ViewDock VX1945wm and VX2245wm LCDs - the world's first "Made for iPod" desktop displays.1 The widescreen displays deliver a new dimension in connectivity, versatility and multimedia entertainment to enhance users' digital lifestyles.

The 19-inch VX1945wm and 22-inch VX2245wm blend ViewSonic's award-winning LCD technology with new consumer entertainment and connectivity options to offer more ways to experience digital video, music and photos. The ViewDock Series incorporates an iPod docking station, four USB 2.0 ports, an 8-in-1 card reader, a microphone, stereo speakers and a subwoofer in an ultra-stylish silver and high gloss black widescreen display. With the new consumer display line, ViewSonic not only offers millions of users a new dimension in expanded audio and video entertainment, but the opportunity to clean up and simplify their digital desktop as well.

Viewsonic VX2245wm"As a display leader, ViewSonic is constantly finding new ways to bring consumers greater simplicity and convenience to their digital lifestyle," said Jeff Volpe, vice president of marketing, ViewSonic Americas. "In addition to providing the performance people expect from ViewSonic, our ViewDock displays offer innovative options, such as the integrated iPod dock, to allow consumers to easily make the most of their digital devices, content and desktop real estate."

At affordable estimated street prices of $329 and $449 respectively, the VX1945wm and VX2245wm offer expanded connectivity through a sleek integrated base station. The ViewDock Series also features excellent front-of-screen performance, including ClearMotiv™ technology, ultra-fast 5ms response times and 700:1 (typ) contrast ratio to get the most out of fast action games, downloaded video content and full-length movies. Both displays have a wide, 16:10 aspect ratio with the VX2245wm featuring a 1680 x 1050 resolution and a 1440 x 900 resolution is available on the VX1945wm. In addition, 2x2.5-watt stereo speakers and a 1x3-watt subwoofer provide rich quality sound, while OptiSync® technology supports rich visuals through multiple inputs, including direct DVI signals for optimum source-to-display synchronization and compatibility with a variety of video sources.

Viewsonic VX2245wmCompliant with the strictest safety and environmental standards, including Energy Star, the VX1945wm and VX2245wm are available through authorized ViewSonic retailers, resellers, distributors and mail order. The displays are backed by a three-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight and are eligible for ViewSonic's optional Express Exchange program, which guarantees a replacement monitor within 48 hours, where service is available. ViewSonic offers 24-hour, toll-free technical support, seven days a week, excluding major U.S. holidays.

NuLOOQ Navigator - Put Your Other Hand to Good Use

PR: Put your other hand to good use; Logitech's NuLOOQ navigator gives you a powerful new way to interact with your applications.

NuLOOQ navigator is an innovative stationary control device, about the size of a half a tennis ball but weighs in at a solid 1 lb. Built into the device are a multi-dimensional ring, called the navring for simultaneous 360 degree pan and zoom and a touch sensitive circular disk, called the tooltuner for fine precision control.

NuLOOQ navigatorDesign, create, edit or just navigate - put the fun back on your desktop. The NuLOOQ navigator boldly goes where no device has gone before: to the other hand

NuLOOQ navigator isn´t a mouse and doesn´t control your pointer. You still need a mouse or a tablet or a trackball to move the mouse cursor and also access your mouse buttons. NuLOOQ navigator is designed to interact directly with your apps, supporting pan and zoom navigation or adjusting values.

Adjust brush size in one pixel increments in Adobe Photoshop CS2 without ever moving a slider or clicking on a shortcut key

Fine-tune font attributes such as leading, tracking, and more in Adobe InDesign® CS2 without using the option bar

Scroll and zoom your documents, spreadsheets, digital pictures or more with the smallest movement of the gray ring

Scrub timelines in Final Cut Pro or iMovie quickly or slowly

Change volume or music tracks in iTunes quickly while it runs in the background

And more...

NuLOOQ navigator is user configurable for virtually any application.

Features

Precision Control

Adjust brush size in Photoshop, or text attributes in InDesign, timeline in video/audio apps or just control your system volume; make fine adjustments with a feather touch using the innovative touch sensitive circular disk.

Two Finger Navigation

Gently nudge the gray ring forward, backwards, up, down, twist clockwise or counter clockwise to navigate around your digital picture, illustration, documents, spreadsheets or anything you can program. Control, what, where and how fast to navigate with just two fingers!

Quick Click to Commands

A simple click or tap and quickly execute your shortcut command. Map undo and redo or access a tool, or play/pause or whatever you need right at your finger tips.

You can configure NuLOOQ navigator to control iTunes, such as adjust volume, play/pause, go to next or previous track and more. While you are running your design or drawing app, you can still control iTunes without bringing iTunes to the foreground.

Application Intelligence

Use one of our configurations or build your own for virtually any application; NuLOOQ navigator is instantly configured for your current application.

Advanced Technology

The unique integrated sensor with 1000 levels of resolution detects even the minutest motion in multiple directions simultaneously. Move the ring a small amount to move slowly or move it all the way to get to where you want quickly.

Solid Feel

From the first time you get your hand on a NuLOOQ, you´ll feel the difference. A solid 1 lb in weight ensures the device stays still on the device. Only slight movement is required for immediate reaction.

System Requirements

Macintosh

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.4.4 or greater
  • Processor: PowerPC® or Intel® Core® Processors
  • Language: English only
  • Memory: As needed by your application
  • Disk Space: 10 MB of free disk space
  • Port: Available USB 1.1 or greater port

Windows

  • O/S: Windows XP Service Pack 2 or greater
  • Processor: Intel Pentium® 4 (or equivalent) or greater
  • Language: English only
  • Memory: As needed by your application
  • Disk Space: 10 MB of free disk space
  • Port: Available USB 1.1 or greater port

Application Support

  • Adobe Creative Suite 2
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 4
  • Adobe Bridge
  • Microsoft Word & Excel
  • Final Cut Pro (Macintosh only)
  • iMovie (Macintosh only)
  • Adobe Premiere® Pro (Windows only)
  • iTunes

User configurable for virtually any application

3-year limited hardware warranty

Available in White/Grey

$79.99

4-port and 6-port PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Cards

PR: Small Tree Communications, an industry leader in networking and storage solutions for Mac OS X, announces the availability of three new PCI Express (PCIe) gigabit ethernet (GbE) cards for Power Mac G5, Mac Pro, and the new Intel-based Xserve systems. The four-port copper PEG4 card, the six-port copper PEG6 card, and the six-port copper or optical PEG6SFP card are available for sale and delivery today.

The PEG4, PEG6, and PEG6SFP offer the highest port density and extract the maximum network throughput from today's high-end server motherboards. They are ideally suited for file servers that require high bandwidth connection to a gigabit ethernet switch using features such as Jumbo frames and 802.3ad link aggregation. Additionally, Small Tree's multi-port PCIe GbE solutions enable near wire-speed performance with low CPU utilization. Based on current Intel GbE controllers, the PEG4, PEG6 and PEG6SFP come with native driver support for all popular operating systems, including Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.

"With the introduction of these cards, we believe that Small Tree is offering the most complete portfolio of multi-port gigabit ethernet cards for Mac OS X systems available in the market today," stated Derek Robb, Vice-President of Sales and Business Development at Small Tree Communications. "Customers can choose either PCI-X or PCIe cards with 1, 2, 4, or 6 ports and either copper, optical or SFP connectors. Plus we provide them with our highly optimized Mac OS X drivers and a level of support not found from other networking solution suppliers."

The PEG4 adapter includes four independent copper 10/100/1000Base-T GbE channels in a single PCIe slot, while the PEG6 includes six such channels. The PEG6SFP GbE adapter provides greater flexibility with six independent Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) channels that can be customized to simultaneously meet optical and copper networking requirements. Customers can specify which sockets should be dedicated for optical or copper use. Additionally, users have the option of populating only those sockets necessary for current needs, leaving open the opportunity of tailoring remaining ports for future specifications.

iPod Accessories

Blinkit: A Fun Way to Light Up the Holidays on Your iPod

PR: Here's a bright idea for a cool and useful holiday gift that's sure to put an extra glow in the season of lights for the iPod lover on your list - Blinkit, the iPod Fun Light.

This versatile flashing light accessory for Apple's ubiquitous portable music and video player not only blinks in sync to the music but has a brilliant light beam for safe nighttime visibility when you are shopping, caroling, partying or just out for that winter walk or jog.

Teens, college students, young adults, Baby Boomers - anyone who has a mini, nano, or any other iPod with a dock connector - will be the buzz of the holiday party or family gathering with their must-have Blinkit flashing in any of six modes. What's more, Blinkit dresses up for the season with interchangeable tinted lens caps in holiday red, green, blue and yellow.

"Blinkit is the sight of music," says William Weibel, CEO of Intuitive Devices, Inc., a Silicon Valley inventor and Apple aficionado who designed the Blinkit. "Think of it as audio eye candy for your iPod."

Blinkit has a practical side, too, with a variety of helpful uses wherever you need light. You can use it to light up a path or sidewalk, find your way in a dark parking garage, spotlight keys in the bottom of a purse or backpack, illuminate door locks, read a book or map, or locate a seat in a dark theatre.

Blinkit fits your iPod simultaneously with headphones, and the adjustable mirror system lets you direct light forward or to both sides with a high-output beam visible up to several hundred yards away. Its efficient design minimizes iPod battery use to a negligible level.

At last count, more than 3000 accessories are available for the iPod, from the ordinary to the outlandish, but none quite as fun and handy as Blinkit. The essentials atop most experts' lists include carrying cases, external speakers and upgraded headphones. Now you can add Blinkit.

Blinkit is available for $29.95.

Software

Smart Scroll X 2.0b3

PR: Smart Scroll X brings new scrolling options and enhancements to Mac OS X:

  • Super Wheel - smoother, more comfortable scroll wheel action.
  • Grab Scroll lets you scroll by clicking and dragging anywhere in a window. Currently for Cocoa applications.
  • A "High Gear" for your scroll wheel, so you can have super-fast scrolling when you need it.
  • Universal Scroll Keys to scroll without having to reach for the mouse. Scroll keys are the same in every application, giving you fast & dependable scrolling right from the keyboard.
  • Adds Scroll wheel support to FileMaker Pro 6 and 7 (as well as live scrolling).
  • Adds Live Scrolling and proportional thumbs to AppleWorks 6.

Grab Scroll

Grab scroll works with any mouse or pen or trackpad, etc. It is essentially the same feature as the hand tool available in many graphics programs, but now you can use it for scrolling in any Cocoa application (support for Carbon applications is forthcoming).

  • With a single-button mouse, a scroll key lets you turn the cursor into an open hand: hold the first key and tap the second one. To scroll, click and drag with the mouse. Grab scroll mode ends when you release the first key (the 2nd key is used to activate grab scroll, and also to scroll faster when you want).
  • With a multiple-button mouse, you just press one of the buttons (select one) to grab the page and slide it inside its window.
  • With a graphics pen, you'll probably want to setup the extra buttons so that the first one does a middle-click (so you can use it to grab scroll) and the 2nd one does a right-click. Since the pen lets you move the cursor farther with less effort and more precision than a mouse, you can keep the normal speed at 1x for maximum control and set the other speeds to some high value.

Two extra scrolling speeds are available, in addition to the normal speed. One by holding a user-selectable key while dragging, and the second by starting to drag near an edge of the area to scroll.

Faster Scroll Wheel

You can make your scroll wheel faster when you hold down a user-selectable key, up to 12 times faster. In addition, the speed multiplier you choose is applied on top of the acceleration already provided by the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane: this means you keep the same level of control as you have now, but you can scroll farther and without having to spin the wheel nearly as much.

Universal Scroll Keys

A welcome alternative to always having to reach for the mouse, Scroll Keys are a real time saver for anyone who types a lot!

With automatic scroll focusing, all you do is press a Scroll Key and Smart Scroll X automatically selects and scrolls the correct pane. Scroll Keys also feature their own adjustable scrolling speed, with optional progressive acceleration, so that you can easily scroll multiple pages simply by holding down a key.

Scroll Keys are the same across all applications: no need to remember different keys for each app. Because of this, and because Scroll Keys are conveniently located in the corner of the keyboard, you can even scroll without having to look at the keys.

Scroll Keys are made possible by the new kind of keyboard shortcut used in Smart Scroll X, which doesn't involve hitting letter keys (hence avoiding conflicts with existing key combinations). Instead, you hold down one of the four corner keys and you scroll by hitting one of the others (some keyboards have these keys on both sides, letting you scroll with either hand) :

FileMaker Pro & AppleWorks Enhancements

Smart Scroll X brings scroll wheel support and live scrolling to FileMaker Pro 6 and 7. You can now use your scroll wheel mouse for scrolling FileMaker Pro documents. Note: With some layouts you may need to click one of the scroll bars once before the scroll wheel works. A fix will be available in the next version of Smart Scroll X.

AppleWorks 6 users get live scrolling and proportional thumbs, as well as scroll wheel support.

Live scrolling updates the document while you drag the scroll bar thumb. Proportional thumbs show how much of the document is being displayed, and they make it easier to see which part you are viewing. They are also easier to grab with the mouse.

Scroll Next

If a window has two or more scrollable panes, it is the one under the mouse pointer that scrolls. Automatic scroll focusing will select one of the panes for you when you press a Scroll Key to start scrolling, but chances are it won't be able to guess the correct pane every time. To let you scroll another pane without reaching for the mouse, Smart Scroll X adds the Scroll Next feature: hold down Control and hit Shift to select the next pane in the window for scrolling. The mouse pointer jumps to the selected pane too, providing visual feedback.

Scroll Next is quite useful in applications such as Mail for example, where one often wants to alternatively scroll the list of messages and the text of an email.

Note: In the current version of Smart Scroll X, scrolling in Carbon applications only works if the mouse pointer is above the pane to scroll. An upcoming version of Smart Scroll X will remove this limitation, and also enable the Scroll Next feature for Carbon applications.

Other Features of Smart Scroll X

Finally, Smart Scroll X lets you select a comfortable scrolling speed for Scroll keys (including optional acceleration), and offers a larger selection of scrollbar arrows positions (still useful from time to time, although with Grab Scroll and Scroll Keys you won't need to click on arrows very often anymore). You do not need to restart applications for these changes to take effect.

New in version 2.0b3:

  • Improvements to Super Wheel and Grab Scroll.
  • Various fixes for Scroll Keys, the preference pane and registration reminders.

New in version 2.0b2:

  • The Smart Scroll X Installer should now open correctly on all systems. Thanks to Fernando Bracho for reporting this!

New in version 2.0b1

  • New Super Wheel feature.
  • New Coasting feature for Grab Scroll.
  • New Grab Scroll feature for Carbon applications.
  • Universal binary.
  • Streamlined preference pane.
  • Various fixes and improvements.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

System support: PPC

$19 Shareware

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link