Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Portables (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

New PowerBooks, Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse 699

no_demons writes "This morning Apple iCEO Steve Jobs gave the keynote at the Apple Expo in Paris. The whole PowerBook line up got an upgrade, with the 15" model now sporting the much rumoured goods (1.25GHz, backlit keyboard, bluetooth, Airport Extreme), available from today. Apple also announced a new wireless keyboard and mouse."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New PowerBooks, Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

Comments Filter:
  • by oscarmv ( 603165 ) <oscarmvNO@SPAMmac.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:05AM (#6973867) Homepage
    But at least my 1GHz Ti can boot on OS 9 to play games.

    Sob... sob...
  • by kurosawdust ( 654754 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:08AM (#6973878)
    Not to slay a slashdot sacred iCow or anything, but isn't it kind of pointless to call Steve Jobs's Apple Expo/Macworld speeches "keynotes" when he gives them every flippin' time? I mean, who else is gonna give the thing? *half-heartedly hopes for Moof the Dogcow*
  • Bah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by larien ( 5608 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:09AM (#6973885) Homepage Journal
    Still only one mouse button...

    On a serious note, I'm thinking about getting a laptop and the Powerbooks are looking like a good bet; Unix core (so I can run apache & Postgresql etc; yes, I know they work on Windows too, just about) with a nice GUI and everything "just works"(TM) rather than having to download beta drivers to get wifi kind of working under linux.

    • Re:Bah... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lysol ( 11150 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:34AM (#6974046)
      With YellowDog, wifi worked 'right out of the box'. The only issue I had with it was that it got confused as to which adapter it was. That was simply fixed by telling the wi-fi specifically to bind the proper mac address.

      YDL & Panther peacefully co-exist with no problem. I love my Tibook. I will probably never buy another kind of laptop. Well worth the money.

      Oh, and another thing, the screen is excellent. Probably the best laptop screen I've seen. Apple's parts are all pretty much top notch.
      • Re:Bah... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by warrior ( 15708 )
        Oh, and another thing, the screen is excellent. Probably the best laptop screen I've seen

        I guess you haven't seen the WUXGA screens now shipping on HP/Compaq nx7000/x1000 or Dell's widescreen laptops. 1920x1200 resolution, 15.2 diagonal. I can't believe that Apple hasn't shipped a better screen than 1280x854 on it's 15 inch model. My 15.2inch HP has more pixels than the 17inch Powerbook! The picture is amazing. As a side note, the company that makes the Powerbooks for Apple (Compal), is the same one
  • "Cassie" is back? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:10AM (#6973895)
    Is it just me, or does the new wireless keyboard [apple.com] looks a lot like the old "Cassie" [applefritter.com] keyboard prototype? (white, almost frameless)

  • innovation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hrbrmstr ( 324215 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:12AM (#6973903) Homepage Journal
    OK. I switched (back) to Apple this year (in Feb) for many reasons, one of which was innovation.

    Where's the innovation here? The mouse *still* has only one button (yeah, go ahead, start the button wars flame game) and, while the mouse has rechargable batteries, neither the kbd or mouse has a "dock" to plug in to so they can be recharged easily.

    And, at ~140.00USD MSRP (more if you don't have a bluetooth-disabled Mac) for the Apple combo, it seems like the Logitech bundle would be a better choice.

    Since Apple used bluetooth, they could have at least done something extra with the kbd (like add a mini-tablet area or speakers or *something*).

    I sincerely hope this isn't the beginning of a (bad) trend.
    • Re:innovation (Score:5, Informative)

      by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:20AM (#6973954) Homepage
      No the mouse does NOT have rechargable batteries according to the sight the mouse "Uses 2 AA Lithium Non-Rechargeable Batteries" You could put in rechargable NMi batteries (and you would probably want to) but it doesn't come with them, thus it doesn't come with a dock. Which pretty much stinks if you ask me.
    • Re:innovation (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Llywelyn ( 531070 )
      >Where's the innovation here? The mouse *still* has only
      >one button (yeah, go ahead, start the button wars flame

      I fail to see how a multi-button mouse qualifies as innovation? Logitech and Kensington have been making them for years.

      >while the mouse has rechargable batteries, neither the
      >kbd or mouse has a "dock" to plug in to so they can be
      >recharged easily.

      The question is how long do those batteries last. If I have to replace them once every five years that they aren't recharge
    • Re:innovation (Score:5, Informative)

      by mblase ( 200735 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:48AM (#6974147)
      Oh, for the umpteenth time: Apple mice use one button because their research indicates that non-professional computer users never know what to do with a second mouse button anyway. My wife and in-laws are experienced consumers, and they never touch the second button, even after I tell them what they can do with it.

      It's a good idea, and Apple's stuck with it. If you really need those extra buttons, you may as well buy a new mouse. You're paying a premium for Apple hardware anyway, so I'm sure you can afford it.
      • Re:innovation (Score:5, Informative)

        by clontzman ( 325677 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:44AM (#6974643) Homepage
        There are really two questions here: a right mouse button and the whole Apple mouse-as-a-button concept. The former may or may not (I'd still argue that it does) have merit, but the latter issue is a really significant ding on Mac usability.

        We've been using iMacs as museum kiosk workstations and you constantly see children and inexperienced adults unable to separate the act of clicking from the act of dragging, meaning that every link they try to click, they end up dragging the image across the screen because they don't realize that by resting their hand on the mouse and adding a slight amount of downward pressure, they're still "clicked."

        Or, worse yet, if they are trying to drag something and reach the end of the table, it's not at all clear to them to grip the sides of the mouse to "hold" the click. It ends up causing us no end of headaches.

        "But the clear plastic is so pretty! They coordinate so well with the computers!" :-/
      • Re:innovation (Score:3, Interesting)

        Apple mice use one button because their research indicates

        Sadly, there was never any research. It was more of an informal observation made by Jef Raskin, way, way, back when he saw users getting confused using the three button mice on the Xerox Alto.

        And remember, the behavior of buttons back then was quite different to what we're used to now. There were no double clicks. There was no dragging. Naming conventions were awful (they were called red, yellow, and blue, but the buttons were in fact all black, a
        • Re:innovation (Score:3, Interesting)

          by willtsmith ( 466546 )
          A reasonable alternative to the right button is a "click and a half" action. Basically do a double click action expect hold on the second click. That could pop up a context menu.

          Likewise, a triple-click could represent a center button action.

          This is keeping with the concept of a simple interface. Power users can access advanced features through advanced actions.
          • by mosch ( 204 ) *
            the click and a half drags things. the triple click highlights lines of text. they're already actions in os x. ctrl-click (or right-click) brings up a contextual menu. it works, we're happy. the only whiners are people who don't even own macs.
      • non-professional computer users never know what to do with a second mouse button

        On the other side of the map, in a sick irony, there's my father (lost to Windows because of its apparent cheapness). I swear, it seems like he never uses his left mouse button. He just found the right-button one day and now he has no grasp of what the term "default action" means. I'm always like, "Open that!" And he's like, "Ok, Hmmm, let's see, Open, Edit, Play, Add to Archive, Scan for Viruses, Send to:, Delete, Cut, Paste,

    • regarding recharging (Score:4, Informative)

      by mblase ( 200735 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:51AM (#6974176)
      From macNN's blurb: "Ready to use out of the box, the Apple Wireless Mouse features two Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to three months of use. The Apple Wireless Keyboard features four Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to nine months of use, according to Apple."

      Not a big deal, even if you use disposable batteries.
      • by JamieF ( 16832 )
        Rechargeable batteries drain on their own at an alarming rate - a few percent per day. Using them in long-term applications like remote controls or wireless keyboards is not a good application because they won't last as long. Rechargeable batteries are good for certain applications (like my beloved Rio 500 MP3 player) that kill batteries in a day or two but not for stuff like this... or the emergency flashlight that sits in a drawer for 6 months. It'll be mostly drained before you get around to turning it o
    • by hype7 ( 239530 ) <u3295110@@@anu...edu...au> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:38AM (#6975167) Journal
      Where's the innovation here? The mouse *still* has only one button

      Go ahead, show me another vendor that has a wireless, one-button mouse.

      Can't find one? A-ha! That's right! Apple innovates again! :D

      (How's that for spin :)

      -- james
  • Apple is wrong... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:12AM (#6973904) Homepage Journal
    to put the fastest processor in the biggest machine, you cannot sell them like powermacs and leave pro features out of some of the lower pro models just to make the 17"inch sell more. People might not want the weight that comes with the biggest and so the 17" isn't everybodies cup of tea, these have to be carried around remember. They should have near enough the same features across the board and have screensize, HD's, memory, BL keyboard as the features to set them apart. Apples strength isn't in processors anyway so why market their PB's them as such?
    • by larien ( 5608 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:17AM (#6973933) Homepage Journal
      Another poster kinda had the point; the 12" Powerbook strength is its portability. Now, if you put a 1.33GHz G4 in there, you will need (a) more cooling and (b) more battery (or lower battery life). Both of these will add weight, negating part of the benefit of the smaller size. Also, the cooling would likely increase the overall size (larger air ducts, etc).

      I would love to be able to get a 1.33GHz 12" powerbook, but engineering would seem to be the problem.

    • Cooling issues (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 )
      I suspect cooling issues are the reason. There's less room in the 12" and 15" models for good cooling for the CPU. I remember the bottom of the 12" gets hot as hell as it is.
    • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:35AM (#6974049) Homepage
      As a note: I'm typing this on a 12" PowerBook.

      When I got this machine, speed was not the reason why I purchased it. Performance was part of the reason why I chose it over an iBook--which I am pleased to report it is much faster than my old iBook (with its 8MB graphics card and lack of Altivec, which I needed) ever dreamed to be--but you could have made it significantly faster beyond that and it would not have held more than marginal appeal over this model.

      I purchased it for the form factor. The weight and the size. 802.11g and Bluetooth were both positive points in its favor but the true "killer app" here was that it was smaller than my iBook and I needed a small laptop.

      Apple looked at their target market and said "who is buying each of these systems and why? How much does performance matter to them compared to size and weight?"
  • As usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trollificus ( 253741 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:18AM (#6973943) Journal
    Apple seems to be one of the few companies that really understands how to make a basic keyboard. There is nothing more annoying than only being able to buy big clunky PC keyboards with 10+ intarweb keys for retards.

    All I want is a slim, compact keyboard with basic functions. Like this [akamai.net].

    Are there any keyboards like this for the PC? I would much appreciate being able to find one.

  • by Zanthany ( 166662 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:20AM (#6973955) Journal
    Apple has quietly pushed ahead the release date of iTunes for Windows machines:

    from http://www.msnbc.com/news/966392.asp

    In another hopeful sign for the industry last week, downloading sites Rhapsody and Apple's iTunes bragged that paying customers were flocking their way. And Apple, NEWSWEEK learned, quietly informed some music insiders that it's moved up the date for expanding its current Mac-only iTunes for the vast universe of Windows-based PCs to mid-October. Apple couldn't be reached for comment. As weeks go, it was a good one for the record industry.

    That seems like more of an announcement suiting the frontpages of this hallowed bytespace.
  • encryption key? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:21AM (#6973963) Homepage Journal

    The notes say the keyboard uses encryption. I'm a little curious how the key is shared between the keyboard and the computer? At first I thought it might use a standard USB cable to connect to the computer and maybe charge rechargeable batteries, (seems like a good idea!) but it does say "no cables". Maybe you have to type a key in that's presented on the setup control panel? Although I suppose it could be exchanging keys with PGP or other public key technology.

    It'd also be a nice touch if they'd have put USB ports on the keyboard, that could "tunnel" through the bluetooth back to the computer. Sure it's slow, but if you happen to have some other peripherals like a touchpad or multibutton mouse etc., that'd be a nice way to deal with some of the cord issues while maintaining compatibility with existing non-bluetooth peripherals.

    Kudos to Apple though on a bluetooth optical mouse + bluetooth enabled laptop. I don't use an external mouse on my powerbook, but I can see this as "one less cable to plug in" when getting the 'book out of the bag. As it is, when I arrive home I plug in my speakers, ethernet (yes, I have 802 but cable is faster), firewire (for my pod), and power.
    • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:01AM (#6975396)
      It'd also be a nice touch if they'd have put USB ports on the keyboard, that could "tunnel" through the bluetooth back to the computer.

      Actually I think they should've had an inflatable kitchen sink pop up when I press ctrl-option-delete on the keyboard, but sure, throw in that USB thing too.

      Steve Jobs - kitchen sink and USB. Are you listening?
  • by anonymous coword ( 615639 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:23AM (#6973974) Homepage Journal
    It seems a real shame that apple decided to put four heavy batteries in them. Couldn't they be more innovitve?

    Why don't they generate the power from the users keystrokes, or send little eltrical signals over the bluetooth protocol?

    My ordinary USB mice don't need batteries, so I don't think that a bluetooth mouse should.
  • makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jilles ( 20976 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:25AM (#6973985) Homepage
    And it makes sense that Apple is the first to ship it (they seem to pick this kind of thing up much earlier than pc manufacturers or microsoft). Bluetooth was invented for this kind of connectivity.
    • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

      by robbieduncan ( 87240 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:12AM (#6974394) Homepage
      Microsoft has been shipping a bluetooth mouse/keyboard for months. Belkin started offering a bluetooth mouse a week or 2 ago. Apple were not the first, or even the second!
      • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Exantrius ( 43176 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:51AM (#6975310)
        yes. MS bluetooth is great.

        Except it doesn't work with anything. A friend was trying to get a bluetooth mouse and keyboard for his ibm ultra-small laptop (with bluetooth built in). He looked at the microsoft kb/m, and, well, basically you had to use a MS bluetooth dongle and disable your internal bluetooth.
        Just great. Really helpful MS.

        Asshats. /Ex

      • Re:makes sense (Score:3, Informative)

        by Moofie ( 22272 )
        I'd rather Apple do it right, than be first. Microsoft's BT keyboard [tomshardware.com] is reputed to suck.

        Hint: If you have to use MS's BT adaptor, you might as well not make it BT. What were they thinking? "Oooh! My foot! What a great target! Allow me to shoot it, a lot of times."
      • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @02:27AM (#6983487)
        I will quote my favourite MS Story here:

        Let me tell you the wonderful story of the Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse. I got hold of one of these right after Christmas and went home to try it out. As I was putting the CD in the computer, I noticed that i said "MS XP only". I was running 2000 at the time (Now running RedHat 8). OK, so I couldn't use the Bluetooth device on my computer without paying additional MS tax.

        OK, so I gave it to a friends girlfriend who had XP on the computer. She couldn't install it, so I went up to her to install the device. I put the CD in the machine and was told that I needed XP SP1 to do this. Fuckin' L. OK. The XP SP1 CD was included was after 30 minutes, it was installed on her computer. Reboot, and try the Bluetooth driver CD again. It seemed to install something but it soon told me that since I did not use the English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Danish or Swedish language, the drivers could not be installed. (She had Norwegian installed) DAMN IT!

        After the failed attempt to get the Microsoft product to work on another Microsoft product, I went to my mother to have a look at her new iBook. I though that just for kicks, I could put the MS Bluetooth dongle in the Mac USB port. So I did, and... ...nothing. No dialogs, no driver installs. Then suddenly, a new icon on the screen! A Bluetooth icon. It worked. Flawlessly. It communicated with my Sony Ericsson t68i AND the Microsoft mouse.

        Go figure.

        I also attended an MS press conference this Monday, where they presented some new stuff. The only thing new about it all was the fact that the scroll wheel tilted sideways as well as scrolled. It was annoying as hell, and the only use I could imagine was for use in Excel spreadsheets, but none of the computers I treid had Excel installed on them.

        The rest of the press conference was embarassing, it was just a collection of ripped off ideas like Bluetooth PAN integration (Available in Q2 2004 with Windows SP2) and a new chip in the optical mice, that make them last 6 months on two AAs. Just as long as my Logitech optical, that is.
  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:26AM (#6973992) Homepage Journal
    is this a real bluetooth keyboard unlike microsofts where they paired via hardware Apple might have done in it software...

    can you use the keyboard with a t68i ?


    John Jones
  • specs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:31AM (#6974018)
    Here are the current specs, shamelessly plagarised from macslash [macslash.com].

    12" Powerbooks 12.1-inch TFT Display
    1024x768 resolution
    1GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    256MB DDR266 SDRAM
    40GB Ultra ATA/100
    NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 (32MB DDR)
    Full size keyboard
    10/100BASE-T Ethernet
    FireWire 400
    AirPort Extreme Ready
    *Mini-DVI out
    $1599 with Combo Drive, $1799 with SuperDrive

    15" PowerBooks
    15.2-inch TFT Display
    1280x854 resolution
    1GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    60GB Ultra ATA/100
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (64MB DDR)
    Full size keyboard
    Gigabit Ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme Ready
    DVI & S-Video out
    $1999 with Combo Drive, 60GB drive, $2599 with backlit keyboard, SuperDrive, 80GB drive, AirPort Extreme, 512MB RAM

    PowerBook 17" 17-inch TFT Display
    1440x900 resolution
    1.33GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    80GB Ultra ATA/100
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (64MB DDR)
    Backlit Keyboard
    Gigabit Ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    DVI & S-Video out

    *The miniDVI out is a smaller connector that reuires a dongle to connect to DVI cable or vga adapter.

  • by Erik K. Veland ( 574016 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:32AM (#6974024) Homepage
    These are not Pro keyboards! We need a PRO keyboard (and a multiple-button scroll mouse to boot) now.

    And please make it match the feel of the new Powerbook-keyboards and aluminum-colored!
  • Not the iCEO (Score:4, Informative)

    by penguinsloveme ( 696292 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:35AM (#6974054)
    He's not the interim CEO any more, he's the CEO.
    • Re:Not the iCEO (Score:3, Informative)

      by li99sh79 ( 678891 )
      He's not the interim CEO any more, he's the CEO.

      Actually, Steve kept the "i" when he dropped the interim. He though it went well with iMac, iTunes, iLife, iChat, etc. One of his more, er, conceited moves, but that's Steve for you. :D


  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:37AM (#6974066)
    And I got it a little over a year and a half ago. The good old PB 667mhz and what now a redesign and faster processor. When will apple stop the pain!

    On a more serious note. I don't really see to much of an improvement in powerbooks. A couple of extra features and the wireless stuff added is cool. But nothing really big enough to really need an upgrade yet. Probably when the G5 is able to shrink and run cool with less power for a power book. But right now the 667mhz power book meets all my needs and it is fast enough. For most of my use (The Maxed out RAM helps).
    I don't have an issue with the wireless keyboards but I do with the wireless mouse. It seems way to easy to loose. Especially with mice because those are the things I drop all the time because of the fact they are always physically moved all the time. I would be happier if the wireless keyboard had a USB port on it to hook up the usb mouse to. I know the wired keyboards had that and Sun Had that on all their keyboards until they went USB and I really liked that concept because of where the keyboard is the mouse it close buy so you can sit back and still have the keyboard and mouse reach. Also when the mouse dropped the wire acted like a safety cord preventing it from hitting the ground, Also making it easier to pick up while typing because you just pull the wire up. Now with wireless you drop the mouse it goes clunk on the grown scratching its nice finish. and worse when you go to try to reach for the mouse you bend over and the keyboard then fall to the ground hitting in a way that some of your letters pop out. because you always touch type you have no real idea where they keys go back to. so you put them in First come First serve. But because one of the keys that fell off was the shift key you put it in replace of the V and B key so when ever you try to write any word with b or v in it will always put vb in it. This will make you look like a Microsoft guy which will then cause all your coworkers to loose all respect for you. So they work the political engine of your company and find a way to get you fired. Now without the job you cannot finish the payment on your powerbook so the Repo man comes and takes it. But after he looked at the keyboard he points out the keys are in the wrong spot. So you cannot even get full reboed value from it. Which puts you in debt.... When will apple stop hurting people!
    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:25AM (#6974497) Journal
      I don't really see to much of an improvement in powerbooks.

      Take a closer look at the 15" model.

      • PC133 RAM becomes DDR333.
      • 1GHz CPU becomes 1.25GHz.
      • Bluetooth is integrated.
      • 802.11b becomes 802.11g.
      • 60GB disk becomes 80GB.
      • Radeon 9000 becomes 9600 (think vastly imporved pixel / vertex shaders).
      • FireWire 800 included.
      • Oh, and the new magic glowing keyboard.
      Nothing entirely earth-shaking, but together they make it a lot more appealing. And before you ask, mine's on order...
  • Oh crap... (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrselfdestrukt ( 149193 ) <nollie_A7_firstcounsel_com> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @08:38AM (#6974076) Homepage Journal
    Damn! I can see it already...
    My boss asking me to change the batteries in his mouse every day.
  • by radoni ( 267396 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:31AM (#6974546)
    "Apple has made setting up Bluetooth devices as simple as turning them on and clicking through an intuitive setup assistant. The mouse and keyboard are no exception: The new combined Keyboard and Mouse system preference panel includes a Bluetooth tab that lets you set up your new wireless mouse and keyboard in a snap."

    does this not bring into mind the classic x86 BIOS message "Error 5: keyboard not FOUND. [press F1 to continue]"

    seriously though, wireless USB protocol keyboards frighten me due to your keystrokes being transmitted in "plain sight." how is bluetooth and the 128-bit encryption any different? are there plans to allow a single bluetooth keyboard to work with many different computers (i.e. for administration just hit a switch on the device and you can flip to a different channel or something).

    sure, use this wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, but to get either working initially we're gonna have to require that you use mental psychokinetic rays for dialog navigation. i'm sure somebody has the real scoop on this

    so what it is?

  • by bluemilker ( 264421 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:34AM (#6974574) Homepage
    When the old 12" powerbook came out, a major issue of contention was that the G4 was losing a significant chunk of its performance advantage over the G3, because it didn't have the 1 meg of L3 cache [] (google cache link) that the rest of the powerbook line came with.

    My first thought about these updates was "maybe apple has finally put some L3 cache in the 12" model!" But when I went to check it out [apple.com], they had removed every mention of L3 cache on their pages. I doubt that they took the cache OUT of the larger models, so is this just an attempt at obfuscation by no longer mentioning the cache, or did they finally equalize the chipset?
    • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:00AM (#6974811) Homepage
      All of the PowerBooks now use the same motherboard chipset and the same new PowerPC 7457. This processor has 512 KB of on-chip full-speed L2 cache.

      Previous PowerBooks used older 74xx processors with 256 KB of on-chip full-speed L2 cache and varying amounts of off-chip quarter-speed L3 cache.

      The L3 isn't really needed anymore due to the doubling of the faster on-chip cache. Sure, 8 MB of L3 cache would be neat, but it would also up the price. Be glad the new books have the nifty Mobility Radeon 9600!
  • by chargen ( 90268 ) <pete.petey@org> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @09:41AM (#6974620) Homepage
    From the Mouse specs:

    Power Source:
    Uses 2 AA Lithium Non-Rechargeable Batteries (included), on/off switch

    Another stunning lack of innovation ... Why not put two contacts on the bottom and create a USB powered charging base, like the Logitech etc cordless mice.

    I suppose because most people still wouldn't get this for an aftermarket mouse as it has no scroll wheel. Come on Apple! Put your flat-scroll wheel patent to work! Let's at least see something!

    I also hate the way they talk about having a single button as being "easy and comfortable to use, regardless of the size of your hand". What a way to talk up a mouse for simpletons!

    Anyway... love the computers...

    • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:27AM (#6975046) Homepage
      >Another stunning lack of innovation ... Why not put two
      >contacts on the bottom and create a USB powered
      >charging base, like the Logitech etc cordless mice.

      Let me get this straight: "Innovation" now means doing what your competitor has done for a long time? Am I missing something?

      As to why they did it this way: My best guess is that they didn't want them to slowly die. Rechargeable batteries need to be plugged in more and more frequently when you keep them plugged in when not in use and their charge lasts for less and less time.

      So rather than have an ignorant customer say "I've had this mouse for three years and its completely unusable now!" they make it clear from the get-go that you need to swap the batteries every so often.

      The real factor here is how often they need to be replaced.

      >I suppose because most people still wouldn't get this for
      >an aftermarket mouse as it has no scroll wheel. Come on
      >Apple! Put your flat-scroll wheel patent to work! Let's at
      >least see something!

      If you want those features, buy your hardware from Logitech. Stop asking Apple to make everything from Desktops to Hummers.

      Incidentally, they do put their "flat scroll-wheel patent to work": in the iPod.
  • Also Microsoft (Score:3, Informative)

    by theridersofrohan ( 241712 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:37AM (#6975150) Homepage
    has a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo, here [microsoft.com].
  • ATI 9600 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by obi ( 118631 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:54AM (#6975334)
    Nice. great GPU. Frankly I couldn't care less about 100Mhz more or less CPU-clock wise.

    One question, however: does anyone know if the drivers for the R300 series are (or will be) available for PowerPC?

    iirc, the R300 has a binary-only DRI/xfree86 module for x86. Fine, but do they have it for PPC?

    I know nVidia couldn't care less about linux/ppc - I wonder if ATI does (doubt it, for fear of pissing off Apple maybe?)

    I'm also assuming the Airport Extreme card is still unsupported in Linux? That's not a big deal if you have a cardbus slot like on the 15" and 17", but it is a big deal on the 12" - having no wireless support whatsoever in Linux would be a bummer. (And I doubt you can put an old Airport card in them - if I remember correctly they didn't have the same interface)

    Oh, and don't give me "MacOSX is at least as good as Linux" - It may be true, but I'd like to have a choice, if at all possible. There's a lot of Linux programs I've grown used to, and Fink, while good, doesn't cut it compared to Debian for instance.

    It's hard to find a decent laptop. I wish the 12" came out with the ATI Radeon 9200.

    Right now I'm hesitating between the Apple AlBook 15" and the Sony TR1 series. They both have issues with Linux though. :-(

  • by Rai ( 524476 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:54AM (#6975338) Homepage
    Am I the only person who would rather deal with a couple of cables than have to feed batteries to my keyboard and mouse every couple of months?
    • Forget the batteries, I just don't want to find out where my 18-month old hid the mouse!

      I just wish I still had some non-wireless phones!
  • 4200 RPM HD?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sbot5000 ( 562763 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @10:58AM (#6975384)
    Did anyone else notice that the stock 80 GB HD is 4200 RPM - almost 30% slower than the 80 GB 5400 RPM HD Option(+$125)?

    Is this lame? How much does it matter performance-wise?
  • lithium batteries :( (Score:4, Interesting)

    by novarese ( 24280 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:43AM (#6975860) Journal
    The mouse requires lithium AAs, which are insanely expensive ($2.50 each, compared to maybe $0.30 for Alkalines), and not widely available (very few manufacturers are making these). Lithium AAs have a higher voltage than alkalines (1.8v vs. 1.5v), and NiMH rechargables are even lower (1.2-1.3v) so the chances of rechargables working well is VERY slim.
  • Will they Learn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by akpoff ( 683177 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:59AM (#6976082) Homepage
    As much as I really like my TiPB, I always get the impression the PBs are designed by people who work in some business neverland (OK, so they do).

    First -- where's the bloody VGA port? You can't just grab your TiPB and use it as a portable office. The one time you forget to put the DVI-2-VGA adapter in your pocket is the day you'll want to project the current project in the conference room. I wouldn't replace the DVI with VGA but add it to the base system.

    Also, what's with moving all the ports to the sides? Have you spent any time typing on a laptop with cables sticking out the side? I know -- Apple's pushing wireless connectivity but most offices still don't (and won't) have 802.11x connectivity due to security concerns. And there's still no wireless Firewire. As a bonus the older TiPBs looked tidier with the cables flowing out the back, hidden by the screen. Now they look like Pippi Longstocking when cabled up.

    Lastly, an old rant, two buttons on all mice -- especially the built-in track pad. I understand the argument that one mouse button is less confusing for some users, but for whom? All the Macworld video clips tout high-end use by graphic designers, photographers and music producers. I can hear them in the focus group "Come on, Wayne...it's for the noobs." How about putting a big red icon in the middle of the desktop that reads "Don't Panic". Clicking it (with either button) would display a help entry accompanied by soothing music: "Right-button - Mostly harmless. Used by the smart set to get more work done. Safely ignored by you."

    • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <.gro.ognats. .ta. .todhsals.> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @04:00PM (#6978733) Homepage Journal
      Also, what's with moving all the ports to the sides? Have you spent any time typing on a laptop with cables sticking out the side?

      Er, yes. And it doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I love that I can just lean to the side a little to see what I'm doing when I need to connect a cable. No more standing up and/or blindly feeling around the back of the laptop for the correct port. Apple did the right thing by putting the most commonly-used ports (i.e. modem and ethernet) closest to the rear, where they are least likely to get in the way. Same with the AC input on the opposite side. I've been working like that for two years with my iBooks, and never felt like protruding cables were stealing valuable workspace-- and I'm a lefty!

      Also, you can't make the laptop particularly slim if you've got to put the hinge on top of a row of ports.

      I also have no complaint about the single trackpad button. I am apt to click with either thumb at any given time, and it's nice to know that I don't have to worry about which side of the trackpad button is under that thumb. When I want to pull up a context menu, I have to consciously hold down Ctrl. I think this is the right way to go about it, because you're not concentrating on hitting the correct button by default-- only when you WANT to activate the secondary function.

      I use a multibutton mouse with scroll wheel on my G4 at home, and I've set it up so that both buttons return a click, but clicking the mousewheel brings up context. This way I can tell by feel exactly what I'm clicking (and also so I don't get used to having the context menu pop up when I left-click, so I don't keep hitting the wrong button when 'm working on a righty's computer.)


APL hackers do it in the quad.