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MacEdition Pro News : July 15, 2002: Gigahertz upgrades, AntiWords and iCurves

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At least upgrade vendors obey Moore’s Law

Undecided about whether or not to upgrade to Apple’s latest hardware? Whether with the current LCD screen rebates, or the new gear coming real soon now? Here’s some more food for thought you may not have considered – PowerLogix is now shipping 1Ghz G4 upgrade cards. These cards are compatible with all PowerMac G4 models with AGP graphics (or all models except for the PCI “Yikes” model).

With the new PowerForce G4, PowerLogix continues to lead the market in new upgrade card designs. These are the first and only upgrade cards to use the latest and fastest technology from Motorola – the G4/7455 processor, code named “Apollo."

[...]

The Apollo has four integer execution units, one double precision FPU, and four 128-bit AltiVec execution units. It also has a 256KB on-chip L2 cache running at full processor speed. The PowerForce G4 will be available with varying amounts of L3 cache.

The PowerForce G4 processor upgrade simply replaces the stock processor card. The user removes the original processor card and installs the PowerForce G4 card in its place. It installs easily in just a few minutes by following the included instructions. Installation is about as simple as installing memory.

There are two versions, The PowerForce G4 series 100 and the PowerForce G4 series 133. The former, available now, is compatible with the original AGP Graphics (350, 400, 450, 500Mhz), the PowerMac G4 “Gigabit Ethernet” (Single 400, Dual 450 or 500 MHz), and yes even the PowerMac G4 Cube. The latter, expected in August, is compatible with the PowerMac G4 “Digital Audio” (466, 533, 667, 733, Dual 533 MHz), and the PowerMac G4 “QuickSilver” series.

That’s not all the good news from PowerLogix however. In a previous ProNews, we noted that Pismo PowerBook owners can now upgrade to G4 goodness. Not to be outdone, PowerLogix has announced 500 MHz G4 upgrades for Wallstreet and Lombard owners, both for $499.

The PowerForce G4 cards are $599 and $799 for 800MHz and 1GHz chips respectively. Unlike the latest PowerMac G4s, these cards do not come with 2MB of DDR L3 cache, but 1MB of L3 cache running at 1:4 the clock speed.

AntiWordService?

Continuing our pre-MWNY spring cleaning we stumbled upon something that deserved a mention purely for its novel title. Devon Technologies recently released a servicepack for three of its freeware tools: AntiWordService 1.0.1, CalcService 2.7 and WordService 2.3.1. What are they?

Thanks to overwhelming support from users from all over the world, the latest version of CalcService now features a French and WordService 2.3.1 an Italian localisation as well as improvements in the German and Danish localisations. CalcService 2.7 also comes with improved number formatting. Last but not least, AntiWordService 1.0.1 now theoretically supports Word documents without the proper file name extension “.doc". Due to a bug in Mac OS X up to version 10.1.5, this feature does not work yet, but but it will as soon as the system works according to Apple’s documentation.

AntiWordService enables all well-behaved Cocoa applications able to read plain text, for example TextEdit or DEVONthink Personal Edition, to open Microsoft Word documents. CalcService and WordService insert new commands into the Services submenu allowing to make simple calculations and reformat text within any Cocoa application, for example TextEdit, Mail, ProjectBuilder, OmniWeb or DEVONthink Personal Edition. CalcService replaces a selected formula by the result of the calculation sending Calculator.app into retirement, and WordService provides a variety of 30 functions for converting, formatting, sorting or speaking text, inserting the current date, time or folder contents, and showing statistics about selected text.

So say goodbye proprietary Microsoft Word document formats. Did we mention they’re free? AntiWordService, CalcService and WordService require Mac OS X 10.1.5 or higher and are available as “ServicePack 1” or as separate files for free download from http://www.devon-technologies.com/download.html For more, info check out http://www.devon-technologies.com/freeware.html

What on earth’s an iCurve?

The iCurve is the latest gismo from the folks at Griffin Technology.

The iCurve is a beautiful clear laptop stand designed specifically for Apple’s PowerBook and iBook portable computers. While iCurve could be mistaken for a modern art sculpture, its main purpose is to place a PowerBook or iBook in an ergonomically correct position when using the laptop as a permanent desktop computer. It achieves this goal in several key ways:

When positioned on iCurve, an Apple PowerBook screen is raised to a height of 16 inches. This is the recommended height for computer screens as specified by the TCO 95 ergonomic standards. It greatly reduces neck strain caused by looking down at your laptop screen for extended periods of time.

The iCurve elevates an iBook 4 inches above the desk surface - freeing up significant space for a full size keyboard and mouse. Although you can type directly on a laptop while it rests on iCurve, the addition of a full size keyboard and mouse makes for the most comfortable and healthy desktop experience. This also allows your laptop screen to be positioned the recommended distance - an arms length away.

Other highlights of the iCurve include:

  • iCurve’s rounded clear surface is perfectly matched to Apple’s LCD monitors. In addition -

  • When placed on iCurve, a PowerBook screen tiles perfectly with the height of Apple’s LCD Cinema Displays

  • iCurve greatly increases airflow underneath your laptop - keeping running temperature low and CPU performance high

  • PowerBook’s back access door is fully exposed and easily accessible while resting on iCurve

  • The curved base of the iCurve doubles as a handle, allowing a laptop to swivel and glide easily into any position

  • With its unobtrusive form and clear design, iCurve is practically invisible when in use

The iCurve is priced at $39.99 and will begin shipping in September. For more information, check out: http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/icurve/index.html

Griffin has also updated its PowerMate software to Version 1.2 for Mac OS 9. This release includes several bug fixes and feature improvements. Specifically, 1.2 fixes a bug that could crash a computer if the PowerMate was toggled during startup. It’s available at: http://www.griffintechnology.com/software/software_powermate.html

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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