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Sculley on Apple
In brief: Former CEO of Apple John Sculley says Apple has "made beautiful products, well thought through, with no compromises and great styling ... And they've made a market for them".... HTmini has posted photos from a Mac mini display at a Best Buy retail location.... NetBSD and Yellow Dog Linux have both begun to support the Mac mini -- Peter Seebach looks at open source operating system options on this new contender in the embedded PowerPC platform space.... Xbox 2 will make its first appearance on a yet-untitled half-hour special that will be broadcast globally across all MTV stations.
3.5-inch 400GB DiskGO!
EDGE Tech today released a 400GB model of its DiskGO! 3.5" Portable Hard Drive. This new product is the latest addition to the company's DiskGO! portable drive product line, which support USB 2.0 and FireWire interfaces. The hard drive comes in a protective, brushed aluminum casing that allows for efficient cooling. In addition to the new 400GB capacity, this product is also available in 80GB ($110), 120GB ($140), 160GB ($160), and 250GB ($220) capacities. "Individuals can use their DiskGO! hard drive to store any type of data. Databases, MP3s, video files, pictures, and documents can all easily be moved from a computer's hard drive to the USB portable hard drive." The drive ships with both USB and FireWire cables and a desktop stand. It also includes an external power cord and is backed by a one-year manufacturer's limited warranty. The 400GB portable drive is $350 after a $50 manufacturer's mail-in rebate.
100GB PB expansion drives
MCE Technologies today announced a 100GB version of its Xcaret Pro line of expansion bay hard drives for Apple's PowerBook G3 Series. The new 100GB Xcarét Pro-99 Expansion Bay Hard Drive is designed for the 500MHz and 400MHz FireWire PowerBook G3 as well as the 400MHz and 333MHz PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard), while new 100GB Xcarét Pro Expansion Bay Hard Drive is designed for all models of the Apple PowerBook G3 Series 1998 (Wallstreet) including the 300MHz, 292MHz, 266MHz, 250MHz, and 233MHz models. The 4200rpm hard drive models utilize native Apple hard disk drivers to operate, requiring no extra drivers or other softwarel. Both models are available immediately for $280. The drives carry a two-year warranty. The company also sells 80GB, 60GB, and 40GB models.
ScriptPak for Excel 2004
MacSpeech has released a new ScriptPak for Microsoft Excel 2004. The new ScriptPak installs almost 300 commands into iListen that allows the user to do virtually anything in Excel 2004 that they would normally do using keyboard shortcuts or menus. "Excel for Mac OS X was one of our most popular ScriptPaks," said MacSpeech Chief Evangelist Chuck Rogers. "We are pleased to provide this new set, with almost twice as commands, for Excel 2004." The ScriptPak for Microsoft Excel 2004 is available immediately from the MacSpeech web site and sells for $30. iListen 1.6.5 or later is required to use the new ScriptPak. "The new MacSpeech ScriptPak for Microsoft Excel 2004 gives customers more options in how they use Excel 2004, and provides a new tool to users seeking assistive technologies."
New iPod \"missing manual
O'Reilly has published "iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual, Third Edition" by New York Times tech columnist J. D. Biersdorfer. "Conspicuously absent is an iPod manual," says O'Reilly, "for getting much more out of an iPod, as well as putting much more into it, this newly updated edition blows open the secret doors of the chrome-and-white beauty and its many siblings, including the iPod Mini, iPod Photo, and the tiny iPod Shuffle. "This book is one-stop shopping for iPod reference and information," promises Biersdorfer. "It takes you on a joyride through the iPod subculture. And it guides you through all the cool musical and nonmusical things you can do with your iPod." The book sells for $25.
More Q2 analysis
"Seasonality and sustainability" will pose challenges for Apple, writes independent research analyst Eugene Walton. "Most consumer electronics firms understand the down cycle of the post-Xmas period, but for Apple, this is a new phenomenon. We are estimating that operating profits will pummel down to $240 for the quarter, a 40% sequential drop. On the bright side, though, Apple should still show significant progress compared with posting only $62 million a year ago." Walton asks if Apple will "be able to stay above $200 million in operating profits for the next few quarters until Xmas season rolls around again? ... We have our doubts. Competition [from Sony and Napster] for digital music is heating up, giving consumers more choices to satisfy their fill."
Jobs in Time 100
Apple CEO Steve Jobs made the Time 100 for 2005. The Time Magazine list catalogs the "world's most influential people" of the year. Jobs is listed among the "Builders and Titans," which also includes "The Google Guys," Martha Stewart, "The BlackBerry Guys," and Jay-Z. "Hot gadgets, cool sales techniques and sheer brashness (welcome back, Martha!) make these business brains the world's most influential."
Samsung challenges iPod
"Apple is a formidable player in the market, but I don't think it's impossible to catch up with it," said Kim Suh-kyum, a vice president at Samsung's Bluetek. "We are behind because we are a latecomer. But we have strong technological prowess in manufacturing digital consumer goods, which Apple lacks." Last month, the company held an unusual news conference dedicated to its new MP3 players, claiming that it would by 2007 increase its share of the market for mini hard disk drive music players from just 7.7 percent now to become the world's top producer of the devices, unseating Apple, which controls 70 percent. "The one thing that Apple has that is going to be very difficult for Samsung to achieve in the short term is the 'cool' factor that Apple has mastered," said Shyam Nagrani, an analyst at iSuppli.
Committee backs Mac sites
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 12 news organizations filed papers supporting online Mac rumor sites' request that a California judge reconsider his refusal to shield the publishers from Apple's inquiries about sources for insider information. The organizations include the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Hearst. "We thought the order would set a dangerous precedent and make it more difficult for journalists to cover stories," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee and lawyer for the news groups. "There's a trend right now toward government and private parties using journalists as investigators for their cases." Judge James Kleinberg of Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, Calif., on March 3 decided Apple could subpoena two online news sites, the e-mail service provider for one of the sites, and the publisher of a third Web site.
iWapper 2.0 update
THHdesign today released iWapper 2.0 RSS, which allows users to easily set up a WAP server. WAP (wireless application protocol) sites can be displayed on many cell phones (GPRS/3G UMTS). "Until today, setting up a proprietary WAP server has been a big fuss and tools to set up WAP web pages are extremely rare. But now there is help." The iWapper 2.0 release adds support for RSS news feeds and dynamic text file updates and other new features. iWapper can now generate an automatic WAP index page. Other new features include the ability to apply a company logo to every page, an integrated Web browser for testing, and an automatic update function. iWapper is $15 to register.
Bonig und Kallenbach have unveiled Service USB, a cascadable USB-Interface with eight digital inputs and eight digital outputs as well as two analogue 8-bit inputs. The interface is intended for controlling various types of motors, lamps, relays, keys, sensors and fischertechnik models. An adapter with current limitation (7-15V max.1.3A) is necessary when using the digital outputs. New sample software for FileMaker 7 is available as well as software for FileMaker 6, 4th Dimension, AppleScript, CodeWarrior 6 und 7, Director und Director MX, HyperCard, Java, LabView, MaxMSP, XCode, RagTime and RealBasic.
Analyst on March quarter
Just ahead of Apple's March quarter results on Wednesday, financial firm Piper Jaffray says, "we expect slight upside to Street estimates of $0.24 on $3.17b. More importantly, based on continued strong demand being met by, what we expect will be more consistent supply, we believe June quarter guidance will be above Street consensus ($0.23 on $3.20b)." Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says significant focus has been placed on iPod units for the quarter, and "we believe some Street unit estimates have become over-aggressive due to activities seen from component suppliers in the quarter." Munster also says that "while clearly a critical piece of the overall picture," due to iPod shuffle supply inconsistencies in the quarter, "we believe it is prudent to focus on overall March quarter results and June guidance."
President Bush\'s iPod
In brief: Apple is now shipping more than four times as many iPods as Macintosh computers (Apple's sales grew 45 percent to $9.7 billion in 2004, while its net income rocketed to $508 million from $140 million a year before).... U.S. President George Bush's iPod is "heavy on traditional country singers" such as George Jones, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney (Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" is a Bush favorite).... AppleScript Pro will include coverage of Adobe's recently unveiled Creative Suite 2 in Monterey, CA, May 2-6 with a special session on scripting XML in InDesign CS2 by Olav Martin Kvern of Adobe Systems.
27dBm Transceiver for Mini
QuickerTek has has released a version of its 27dBm Transceiver for Apple's Mac Mini. The company says that users can expect wireless networking reception to extend up to a mile. The Transceiver is a high-powered wireless booster for Apple's Airport wireless functions users under both Mac OS 9/X. "The Mac Mini Transceiver resolves the range problem often experienced when using small-cased Airport-capable computers. This new 27dbm Transceiver operates on all 2.4GHz, Wi-Fi systems. The transceiver supports both 802.11g and 802.11b wireless networks.... Apple wireless products have RF output of only 30mW, while this Transceiver delivers a whopping 500mW." The $180 kit comes with mounting brackets, adapter cable, wall mounted power supply and utility software CD. The Transceiver does not require any installation software.
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