updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon April 16, 2007
Mac Office converters
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the iSkin Duo for Apple's second-generation iPod nano, Apple has filed for its Apple TV trademark in the U.S., and Vietnam's largest company has opened the country's first store specializing in the distribution of Apple products. One MacBook Pro owner has posted instructions on modifying the portable notebook to take advantage of its newer graphics card, and Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU) is on track to release a beta set of Office 2007 Open XML to Mac binary Office converters next month, but says it will ship the final converters 6-8 weeks after Office 2008 launches. The iSkin Duo case ($30, shown at right) for Apple's second-generation iPod nano features an external hard plastic layer while offering access to all buttons and connectors on the portable player.
The first layer of the case is silicone rubber that forms to the curves of the iPod, tracing the click wheel and offering a raised section where the select button cover rests to prevent scratching. The case includes a belt clip that never allowed the iPod to fall out of the bottom in MacNN tests despite remaining completely open.
Apple TV trademark filed in U.S.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has published Apple's trademark application for its Apple TV set top box, which recently shipped to customers who pre-ordered the device. Apple's filing specifies that the original foreign filing was made on November 13th of 2006 in Trinidad as well as Tobago, and was filed under International Classification 009.
Apple's submission pertaining to proof of commerce consists of a screen capture of the company's current Apple Store webpage for Apple TV.
First Vietnam Apple Store opens
A subsidiary of FPT -- Vietnam's largest company -- has opened the first store in that region specializing in the distribution of Apple products, according to company officials.
"The shop selling only Apple products is one of the six we want to open this year in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City," said a company spokeswoman.
The company is authorized by Apple to sell products such as desktop and portable computers.
Re-clocking MacBook Pro graphics
One MacBook Pro owner has posted detailed instructions on re-clocking the "often downclocked" graphics card in MacBook Pro portables.
"This can really make world of difference with older MacBook Pros as they were really underclocked (default of 300mhz core / 315mhz memory, when the x1600 was designed to run at 470mhz core / 470mhz memory)."
The author guesses that Apple likely underclocks its graphics cards to cut down on fan noise and increase battery life.
Mac Office converters
Mac users hoping to see expanded support for opening XML-based documents created by Office 2007 for Windows will likely see a beta set of converters some time next month, but must wait 6-8 weeks after the Office 2008 launch for a final release of those converters, according to Microsoft's MacBU. The group attributed the delay to the extra time required to "incorporate and test" the final conversion code from Office 2008.