OWC Tips & Deals 8/9/2006

Greetings from Woodstock! So hard to complain about anything this week too. Got a heat wave of excitement epicentered at the Apple WWDC event. Back to cooler, normal temperatures weatherwise at the same time. IMHO, Apple is on FIRE with their WWDC event and that's the type of 'heat' we like.

Apple's WWDC: Watch the August 7th Keynote online
Rarely disappointing the Apple faithful, Jobs WWDC Keynote was on the money - at least in terms of what was expecting. Some investors/analysts expressed their disappointment for there not being a new iPod... They just don't know what WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference) is all about. There are still two Apple Expos in Europe over the next few weeks for an iPod release. Anyway...

You can watch the always entertaining always entertaining Steve Jobs WWDC 2006 Keynote presentation now posted online via Apple.com. At that same link location, got a 'ha-ha PC Guy' intro in line with their current TV Commercial series too.

The big news of course out of WWDC include the new Mac Pro Quad Xeon and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Both of which I give my take of below.

Apple's WWDC: Mac Pro Quad Xeon
The new Apple 'Mac Pro Quad Xeon' towers are here and lo and behold, all options use two of the Intel Xeon 5100 Series(Woodcrest) Dual-Core Processors. When is a dual processor actually a quad? When each 'processor' is effective a dual in it's own right with two processor cores. Easy to get confusing, kinda like when the G5 dual-cores came out last year and 'Duals' had a single processor and the Quad had two of the 'dual-core' g5 processors. Anyway, dual-core means two processors on a single die and it's how many processors you have working for ya and not how many modules plugged in, that's where it's at.

Instead of having the 'Good, Better, Best' config options to customize from - The Mac Pro is customized from a single 'base' configuration that comes to $2499. This includes 2.66GHz processors, 1GB Memory, 250GB Hard Drive, one Nvidia 7300 GT 256MB Video Card, Superdrive, Keyboard & Mighty Mouse.

From there... you can bump the processors up to 3.0GHz for $800 or shave a relatively measly $300 off by backing down to 2.0GHz.

Memory starts out as 1GB via 2 x 512MB with options up to 16GB via the new DDR2 ECC 667MHz FB-DIMMs(Fully-Buffered DIMM) memory module type. Each module is 64 bits wide with an additional 8 bits of error correction(ECC). As the memory bus supports up to 256 Bit addressing, installing at least four memory modules (have to be pairs - do not have to be the same size module in each pair set) allows for full utilization/performance available. Not all FB-DIMMs are equal and to allow for lower fan speed (for quieter system operation), Apple has special specifications regarding the thermal characteristics of the memory going into the Mac Pros. OWC will have the first stock of these modules meeting Apple Qualifications/Specifications on August 9th and you can see the options on our website right now. I warn you now - FB DIMMs are expensive. While they do use standard DDR2 667MHZ DRAM devices, each module also requires a very expensive 'AMB' (advanced memory buffer) component that effectively is a processor in its own right! With FB-DIMMs not yet widely used, Apple is likely the largest buyer and getting a very competitive cost on that special AMB component. Having said that, you'll still save up to about 25% getting your additional top-quality Mac Pro memory from OWC or even more if you max the memory and use our memory trade-in deal. Where a 4GB Set is a good deal at $1099 from OWC, 20-25% is still darn significant. And one more time - when you buy your Mac Pro memory from OWC (or Apple..), it will be the right stuff, buying elsewhere you might just get standard JEDEC spec product, that according to Apple, 'can overheat resulting in higher fan speeds (more noise) and even a throttling of the memory bus performance to prevent thermal overload'. The JEDEC spec is great for those racked servers which have multiple high-speed (LOUD) fans that make like a wind tunnel effect inside. Since the Mac Pro needs to be office friendly and such noise would drive people insane, it doesn't that kind of airflow wind tunnel going even at noisier full throttle. Bottom line - getting your after market memory from OWC will save you money and guarantee that you're getting product with specifications required by Apple.

The new Mac Pro has a total of Four SATA HD Bays. In Bay number one, the initial config price is based on a 250GB SATA. You can save $75 if you change that 250 to a 160GB or add $200 to go up to 500GB. For the other 3 bays, you can leave them empty and add your own SATA HDs later (the required tray still comes with) or give Apple $400 for each bay you'd like a 500GB drive factory installed. Seeing how we sell brand new, 5yr Warranty (vs. the 1yr standard Apple warranty) 250GB SATA drives for under $100 and 500GB for about $230 each - we're hoping you elect to save all you can on the Apple HD option and choose OWC for extra needed capacity. There are also two additional on-board SATA ports that we'll be talking more about later too... :)

By default without option, you get one high performance DVD/CD 'SuperDrive' with Dual-Layer support. These are the first Macs since the PowerMac G4 'Mirrored Drive Door' to offer a 2nd Optical bay. You can give Apple $100 to factory install a 2nd SuperDrive... or complete the SuperDrive Dual equation for about $47 landed from OWC. :)

The starting config does NOT include any wireless technologies. It's $29 extra for BlueTooth 2.0, $49 extra for Airport Extreme wireless networking, or $79 if you want both. The Bluetooth and Airport modules are separate components that plug into different parts of the logic board, so nice of Apple to do the $9 discount on the wireless 'combo' there. Correction - having looked at this config so many times, I managed to convince myself there was savings when getting BT+Airport. Truth is, the 'combo option' actually costs $1 more, not $9 less.

And Video.... The 'low-end' standard equipped is the Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB. It supports up to two DVI displays including one of which that can be a Dual-Link unit like the Apple 30" Cinema. Need more displays? Each additional 7300 GT PCI-Express costs you an extra $150. Higher end single video card performance comes by means of the ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB that can also power two DVI or Dual-Link displays for an extra $350. The top end NVidia Quadro FX Stereo 3D 'Scientific Super Display Card' is an option for $1650. I made up the Scientific Super Display part... But in reading about it - that's about right.

From a user configed base of $2124 to a user configured Maxed out Monster costing over $12,000 - there is a wide range of capability you can add into these new Mac Pros. We at OWC are darn excited as these are going to be a lot of fun. And we definitely have a couple neat products planned you'll be hearing about very shortly. The new Mac Pro line looks to be one heck of a winner.

WWDC: OS X 'Leopard' 10.5
It's never been a secret that 10.5 has been in the works. At WWDC, Apple officially lets OS X Leopard out of the bag and advised Spring/2007 for when that Leopard would be 'released' into the 'wild'.

Of the new features that 10.5 is to offer, I am most looking forward to 'Spaces' and 'Time Machine'.

Spaces lets you have virtual desktops allowing organization of your open applications and documents kind of like having multiple displays. With a simple key stroke you can flip between these 'virtual desktop' spaces making for more efficient, and less cluttered use of your actual display(s).

Time Machine looks to be the ultimate backup tool. We've talked about the importance of backing up on several occasions. Like all things Apple, Time Machine looks to make backing up easy for everyone. As important as having a good backup are the means to make use of needed data from it. With Time Machine, restoration options allow lost/accidentally deleted photos, music, even an entry in your address book to be restored to your current operating volume - merged right back in to your current files with the most recent entries maintained. Backup volume capacity dependent, Time Machine maintains not just a backup of your latest system state - but also allows recovery of data from prior points in time. Maybe you wiped out a file two weeks ago and just today realized it's gone, a normal backup from yesterday isn't going to help, but with Time Machine you can 'go back' and be back in biz.

As always, Apple continues to keep OS X well ahead of the Windows competition and Jobs didn't tell all, keeping some 10.5 features top-secret. Just the above two features make Leopard exciting to me and I look forward to it. By, the Way..... ever notice how Apple typically introduces major new OS X versions sooner and with more features than they first promise while Microsoft is always pushing back release dates and pruning features off new Windows version releases? Apple is right on saying "Hasta la Vista, Vista!"

Windows on a Mac - Current Options Reviewed
First off - this part is geared toward the Intel Mac. But, briefly - want to cover PowerPC Mac options. The current standard for running Windows on a PowerPC equipped Mac is Microsoft's Virtual PC.... and they just announced it's discontinued. Ok - no problem - if you need to run Windows on your PPC Mac, you can now purchase iEmulator for just $23.95. That application does support the Intel Macs as well - but as it is still emulating instead of taking advantage of the Intel processor virtualization, it is not currently on our recommended list if you have an Intel Mac model. Great for PowerPC Mac owners, and a future version might also be what the doctor ordered for Intel Macs too... but for now...

Something we had expected featured in the Leopard preview was the ability to run Windows or Windows Apps built into the OS. Maybe they kept that top secret. Maybe Apple worries it would not benefit true Mac software development. Or maybe/and/or they decided leave it to the third parties to support Windows running from within the Mac OS to keep their hands washed of that entirely. Bootcamp of course lets you boot into Windows (only to then need to reboot to run your Mac Apps), but third party apps Parallels and the soon to be available Parallels put Windows right where I for one want it, right on my Mac OS desktop.

OWC's Brian BellMan has created a nice Windows on Intel Mac rundown that can help you choose the option right for you... if Windows is something you need. Currently covering Apple's Bootcamp, Nova Development's Parallels, and Codeweavers 'Crossover' - this article will continue to be updated and expanded on as these applications continue to be enhanced as well as new applications added as they become available. Hopefully this will help you know the choice(s) right for you.

New NewerTech Battery model, Free Recycling for all
For Apple iBook or PowerBook laptops, the NewerTech NuPower Batteries provide the longest run times of any replacement battery available with options offering up to 62% more run-time capacity than the battery you got stock. No other competitor even comes close. Recently one competitor claimed they did and has since retracted having significantly misstated. When you want the best, there's only NuPower by NewerTech.

And adding to NewerTech's Highest Capacity line up is the new 74 Watt-Hour NewerTech NuPower Battery for iBook 14" G3 and G4 model laptops. At $129.95, this new battery offers up to 34% more capacity than the Apple stock. Also available is a NuPower iBook 14" 59 Watt-Hour model for $99.95 which offers up to 7% greater capacity vs. stock.

NewerTech NuPower laptop batteries are all built in the USA with the best quality, top shelf Li-ion cells from manufacturers in Japan and Canada. All cells are fully tested and matched to ensure optimal performance in each laptop battery we sell. As a result, NuPower Batteries run longer per charge and also provide a longer useful run-time life from charge/discharge cycles as well. A longer useable life means economic benefit for you and it benefits the environment with less waste too!

If you need a new battery, you probably have an old one to dispose of. NewerTech is proud to now offer a free return shipping label with all NewerTech Laptop batteries so that old battery you replaced can be properly recycled and disposed of. NewerTech offers this program at it's expense with all batteries returned being forwarded to the appropriate recycling/disposal centers for proper handling. Information on the NewerTech Battery Recycling program as well as information on local recycling/drop off locations can be found on NewerTech's Recycling Web Page. Throwing an old laptop battery in the trash can harm both ground water supplies as well as air quality. Proper disposal is a must and NewerTech makes that easy.

For Fun
I don't watch a lot of TV, so nice that Apple puts their TV spots online for viewing too. Usually commercials are to be avoided, but the growing series of 'Get a Mac' ad spots only make me smile. And... see the PC Guy's intro to WWDC. :)

Intro Closing:
It's been a furiously busy week. We've already got at new products lining up for the new Mac Pro. Will be getting installation videos and test results for the Mac Pro completed very shortly as well. This newsletter I had planned to get out the 8th and already it's pushing 10:30PM today, the 9th. My apologies for any 'rushed' typos and/or other content anomalies. Hope you enjoy our newsletter none the less and hey, we'll got another to follow in just a week covering the Mac Pro testing and products + more. Always the best to you and yours and thank you for being a Tips n' Deals subscriber!

I also hope you'll checkout and enjoy our latest Quick Tip, the latestReader Specials, and Roger's Music on the Mac which follow these 'special messages from our 'sponsor':

Quick Links
A better Apple/Macintosh ISP at a better price - FasterMac.Net
From $5 a month, get nationwide dial up with Toll-Free Tech Support, anti-virus blocking, powerfully effective and fully customizable anti-spam tools, web space, 5 e-mail accounts, and more. You get more and pay less with FasterMac.Net. DSL available in Northwestern Illinois/Chicagoland via OWC.NET too.

Just what does OWC do with trade-ins, open box items, discontinued goods, etc.? We put 'em up on our Clearance Deals Page. **Just added a ton of new goodies July 28th + various tidbits since**

Upgrade the Mac you have or get a new one? OWC's exclusive Benchmark Reporting System helps you answer your own question. Compare various stock Macs vs. New Macs vs. Upgrades - you pick the Macs to compare and from up to 15 different tests we've completed.

Use Apple OS 9.2.2 & Apple OS X on Macs Apple doesn't support because OWC does with OS 9 Helper and Xpostfacto!

Quick Tip: AppleJack gets you out of trouble!

As reliable as OS X can be, some basic maintenance can still be required. And not always the fault of OS X, an application can have a glitch too. In situations where OS X won't even properly startup - AppleJack can come to the rescue.

Before I started using AppleJack, when my OS messed up (usually after an update or my own stupid action) - my only option was a reinstall of Tiger. For whatever odd reason, this seemed to be the case on regular basis from about 10.4.3 to 10.4.5...and stopped with 10.4.6. Regardless of that - that which was at fault I found AppleJack was able to fix and save me that OS reinstall hassle!

In addition to getting you out of corner, AppleJack is also a great way to perform standard maintenance as well. Once installed, you can run AppleJack by first booting into single user mode (hold the 'command' and 's' key when you boot). At the command prompt, run can then launch AppleJack for options to repair disks, permissions, cleanup cache, validate preferences (removes bad), and remove swap files(can improve performance). If your system is acting funky or not even letting you fully boot up, it's very likely that using AppleJack will bring things back to norm.

Do note - you must install AppleJack _before_ you have a problem. Once installed, it will be waiting there at your beckoning should you choose to use it for preventative maintenance or for a real 'crises'.

At this time, AppleJack is available for PowerPC based Macs only. But, Intel Mac owners despair not - a version for those too should soon be in the works. BTW, AppleJack is FreeWare with no cost to you at all.

See past Quick Tip topics online in the Quick Tip Archive

Great Buys and Featured Exclusive Specials for OWC E-Mail Subscribers:

Find all the deals reserved just for Readers on your Tips n' Deals Exclusive Specials Page. What follows next is just a sampling of this week's highlights.

MacBook & MacBook Pro 2GB Mem Sets $212.50 & More
8/9/2006 Memory Report: The good news is that nothing has changed too much memory cost wise since last week. The bad news is that last week we reported on the up to 20% increases that happened since June 30th. Regardless, dollar for dollar the return on investment you get through better system performance makes memory a winner even at twice the price. Our OWC memory offering are the best quality and backed with LifeTime Advance Replacement Warranty too.

Memory for all Intel Processor equipped Apple MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iMacs, & Mac minis
These systems all feature two PC5300 DDR2 667MHz memory expansion slots. Modules do not need to be matched pairs, but installing the same size module in each slot (1GB + 1GB for example) provides maximum memory performance according to Apple.
See all memory and hard drive options for MacBook/MacBook Pro
OWC/Techworks Special: 2GB Upgrade Set for MacBook/MacBook Pro (1GBx2) $212.50

Standard DDR for all other PowerMac G5 and iMac G5 models:
1GB Matched Pair (2x512MB) PC3200 DDR 184 Pin - $114.00
2GB Matched Pair (2x1GB) PC3200 DDR 184 Pin - 225.00
1GB PC3200 DDR Module for iMac G5 Only (PowerMac G5 requires Pairs!) $112.50

For new 'Oct/20005' PowerMac G5 Dual & Quad 'Dual-Core' Models:
Eight Slots, Matched Pairs Required, DDR2 533MHZ PC4200 up to 16GB Max
1GB DDR2 Pair (512MBx2) - $ 95.00
2GB DDR2 Pair (1GB x 2) - $185.00
4GB DDR2 Pair (2GB x 2) - $417.50

Memory for iMac G5 1.9GHz, 2.1GHz with built in iSight Camera:
512MB Built in + One Slot PC4200 DDR 533MHz 240 Pin allows up to 2.5GB:
1GB DDR2 Upgrade Module - $ 92.50
2GB DDR2 Upgrade Module - $209.00

For Mac Mini, eMac G4/1.25-1.4GHz, and eMac 1.0GHz 'Education Model':
512MB PC3200/2700/2100 184 Pin DDR DIM Module now $57.50
1GB(1 x 1024MB) PC2700 DDR 184 Pin Module - $115.00

For all PowerBook 12" Models; all 'Pre Oct 19th, 2005' PowerBook G4 15" & 17" Models; All iBook G4 Models; And all iMac G4 models:
512MB PC2700/2100 DDR SO-DIMM 200 Pin Module - $49.50
1GB Samsung Factory Original - Same one Apple Installs $137.50
1GB OWC PC2700/2100 DDR SO-DIMM $120.00

For PowerMac G4 Sawtooth/AGP Graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, QuickSilver; eMac G4; iMac G3 350-700MHz Models:
256MB PC133 CL3/PC100 CL2 168 Pin SDRam DIMM Module - $24.99
512MB PC133 CL3/PC100 CL2 168 Pin SDRam DIMM Module - $67.50

Visit our Mac Memory Section to browse the full selection of memory we offer and/or use our online memory guide to get the right memory for your Mac(s).

Hard to find Apple Airport now in stock for $115.00
Apple Airport Cards for PowerBook G4 Titanium, iBook G3s, PowerMac G4 Desktops, etc. with original Airport support. Until a couple weeks ago, it had been about seven months since we last had these. If you've been waiting or need one, here ya have it for - ** Now $115.00 **

Also available - Buffalo 802.11B/G Wireless PCMCIA Cardbus 'Airport Compatible' - $35.00 for any PowerBook G3 'Pismo'; any PowerBook G4 model. Uses the external PCMCIA Slot and available for a fraction of an Apple Airport's cost + give you faster 802.11G performance too!

Other Wireless options for PowerBooks, PowerMacs & wireless routers, extenders, etc - also available from OWC.

Fast 16X DVD/40X SuperDrive Burners w/Dual-Layer from $42.99
Upgrade your PowerMac G3-G4-G5; eMac G4; iMac G4 to the latest Pioneer SuperDrive with up to 16X DVD Burn Speeds, 8X Dual Layer burn for 8.5GB per DL Disc; and up to 40X CDR/CDRW Burn Speeds. Pioneer 'SuperDrive' from $42.99 or from $49.50 in one of six Value Bundles including Media & additional Software. Use Apple's iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, DVD Studio Pro; Roxio Toast, Etc.

For PowerBook G4 15" Ti, 12/15/17" Aluminum Models:
MercuryPB 8X DVD w/Dual Layer SuperDrive Kit now from $119.99
Includes Dantz Retrospect, NTI Dragonburn, 10 Pieces DVD Media

For all iMac G5 17" and 20" Models:
MercuryG5i 8X DVD w/Dual Layer SuperDrive Kit now from $119.99
Includes Dantz Retrospect, NTI Dragonburn, 10 Pieces DVD Media

Or - Go External and burn CDs and DVDs with virtually any Mac (or PC) from $89.99!
USB2, Firewire/USB2 Models include all Cables & Media + compatible with iTunes, iPhoto, and iDVD5, Roxio Toast, etc!

Processor Upgrades
Mercury G4 Extreme for all PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, and Quicksilver models. 30 Day Money Back + 3 Year OWC Warranty
Extreme @ 1.2GHz, $197.50
Extreme @ 1.5GHz, $259.00

500GB Internal HD Upgrades from $209.00; 250GB now $82.50
250GB Hitachi DeskStar T7K250 8MB Cache & 3 year Warranty
IDE/ATA Version - $82.50
SATA I/II Version - $89.00

320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 w/16MB Cache & 5 year Warranty
IDE/ATA Version - $109.00
SATA I/II Version - $117.00

500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM with 16MB Cache & 5 year Warranty
IDE/ATA Version - $209.00
SATA I/II Version - $220.00

IDE/ATA Drives are for PowerMac G3 & G4; iMac G4; eMac G4 Models. Some of those models may require either an ATA PCI Card or InTech HD Speedtools with Hi-Cap driver for utilization of over 128GB. Also, SATA PCI Cards are available to allow the use of SATA HDs in any PowerMac model.
Get HD Speedtools w/Hi-Cap for $15
SATA PCI HD Controllers from $39.99
ATA PCI HD Controllers from $69.99

All PowerMac G5s, iMac G5s, and the new iMac Intel models can use any of the above SATA drives. Apple iMacs all support one internal drive. PowerMac G5 models support up to two SATA drives using the Factory Bays, and you can add up to 3 additional drives inside the PowerMac G5 using Sonnet's G5 Jive + an additional SATA Controller card to support the additional drives.
G5 Jive 3 HD Bracket/Cable Set $89
SATA PCI Cards for G5s from $39.99

Get Apple OS X 10.4 Tiger $89.99; Special Bundle with iLife 2005 $129.00
OWC has been able to make a special purchase of Apple OS X 10.4 full Retail Box version to offer them for just $89.99. All the updates through 10.4.7 are just a free download update way. Get Tiger 10.4 Retail Box Version - $95.00

Apple OS X 10.4/10.3/iLife 2005 Bundle Set - $129.00

Also available:
Apple OS X 10.4.6 Retail Box Version $119; 5-User Family Pack $199 and more options including:
Apple OS X 10.3.9 Panther Server for $149.00
Panther 10.3.x Single User on DVD for $47.99
Apple OS X 10.2.x for $17.99.

External Firewire, FireWire+USB Solutions from $259
Sizzling Summer Deals on 500GB Single Drive Solutions:
500GB OWC Neptune FireWire 400 Solution 1yr Warranty now - $259.00
500GB OWC Mercury Elite FW800/400+USB2 2yr Warranty now - $319.99
500GB NewerTech miniStack V2 FireWire+USB2 2yr warranty now - $299.00
Solutions above are complete with Retrospect, Speedtools, Cables, & More!

1.0TB (1000GB) OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 Performance RAID - $575.00

OWC 320GB Mercury Elite-AL FW800 7200RPM 8MB Solution - $205.00

OWC Mercury Elite Oxford911+ 3.5" FireWire 400 Enclosure Kit - $49.00

OWC 250GB Mercury Elite-AL FW400+USB2 7200RPM 8MB Solution $169.99

OWC 500GB Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 Dual Drive FW800 RAID - $299.00

See the additional options & capacities online.

Goodies from Griffin like iTrips from $9.99
Our good friends at Griffin have made it possible for OWC to offer some great deals on several popular Griffin products including:

Griffin iTrip FM Transmitter for 3G & 4G iPods - $9.99
Griffin iTrip FM Transmitter for iPod mini - $12.99
Griffin iTalk Voice & Audio Recorder for 3G, 4G, Photo iPods - $22.99

Check these and all our Griffin deals right online.

PowerBook / iBook / MacBook Notebook HDs - 100GB $119.00; 120GB $139.00
SATA Internals For MacBook Pro & MacBook models:
120GB WD Scorpio 5400RPM w/8MB Buffer & 3yr Warranty - $145.00
100GB Seagate Momentus 7200.1 w/8MB Buffer and 5yr Warranty - $209.99

*All PowerBook and iBook models require the use of a standard IDE/ATA notebook hard drive. Pre-2003 models are limited to 128GB or require Intech's HD Speedtools with Hi-Cap Driver to utilize over 128GB.

ATA Internals For PowerBooks & iBooks:
80GB Toshiba MK8032GAX 5400RPM w/8MB Buffer & 3yr Warranty $89.00
100GB Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 5400RPM 8MB with 3yr Warranty $109.00
120GB WD Scorpio 5400RPM Notebook HD w/8MB Buffer & 3yr Warranty $139.00
High-Performance 7200RPM 2.5" Drives 60GB to 100GB now from $109.99

HD Speedtools w/Hi-Cap for $15

MultiMedia via your Mac & Standalone too- Music-Movies-etc
AL Tech MediaGate MG-35 is a stand alone Multimedia Player that lets you stream video, music, movies, photos and more - from your Mac and to your TV via home network. Utilizing a hard drive installed in the unit, you can directly store such multimedia content on the MG-35 for completely standalone use. The missing home entertainment multimedia link - from $129.00!

Video Card Deals
Get equipped with the latest ATI Video Cards for additional displays as well as Quartz Extreme and Tiger Core Acceleration from $65 here - really!

PowerBook & iBook Batteries that run longer, last longer!
NewerTech iBook and PowerBook batteries are the longest lasting, longest running standard type batteries you can buy! Built in the USA using only the very best cells from Japan and Canada, these batteries are built to last.

NewerTech NuPower batteries, with up to 56% more capacity vs. Apple's original stock, are available for iBook G3 & G4, PowerBook G3s WallStreet/Lombard/FireWire models, and all PowerBook G4 Models.

Deals on iPod Goodies
1800mAh NuPower Battery for 1st/2nd Gen iPods normal $14.99, now $9.99
46% more run time capacity vs. Apple stock battery. Jam again, Jam longer!

See NewerTech Batteries for iPod 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, Photo & Mini + Online Videos.

NewerTech Universal FireWire/USB Dock Adapter - $9.99
For all iPods with Dock Connector - Connect iPod to system with USB/USB2 or FireWire Cable. NewerTech DockSpot iPod White LED Light - $2.99
Nifty compact light that powers off any iPod with Dock Connector

NewerTech Clean & Polish Kit for Apple iPods, iBooks, etc - $15.00
Not just some crummy cleaner or diluted polish in a bottle - this is a professional grade kit with two polish types and special cleaner that really restores.

Add BlueTooth for $19.99; Wireless mice from $12.99
Add BlueTooth to any Mac with USB 2.0 Built in or that has a USB 2.0 Add on Card! Synch/Connect with BlueTooth Phones, BT Headsets, and other great Bluetooth enabled accessories for $19.99

Logitech RF Wireless 2 Button USB Mouse w/Scroll Wheel, only $12.99!
I have been using the mouse happily since August. And have heard great feedback on the Mouse and Keyboard wireless combo to. Logitech Wireless Freedom for an unbeatable price.

You'll find more great deals, updated regularly on your Tips 'n Deals Reader Specials Page, check it out!

Music on the Mac 8/9 - 30 Amps, 100+ Pedal effects under your arm

Greetings from www.macsales.com/music

Black Box vs. Pod XT

What am I referring to? The M-Audio Black Box and Line 6 Pod XT are guitar preamp/processors/audio interfaces. Both are very popular and loaded with features. My goal this time is to try and make a fair comparison of the 2 products for you...then you decide which is right for you. It is valuable to compare against the PodXT because it is the product to beat in today's market. The Black Box has just gone through a firmware update with more amp models and effects and is even more powerful than before. Let's see how the Black Box fares.

Line 6 is the company that started the amp/fx modeling revolution a few years ago with their Pod and now improved Pod XT. The real desirability of any preamp/modeling processor lies in the quality of the sounds. It doesn't matter how many extra features there are if the modeled amps don't sound great. As a working guitarist playing over 100 gigs a year all over the country, I have a lot of experience with both of these products both live and in the studio. It is incredibly convenient to have the sound of over 30 classic and modern guitar amps built into a box you can carry with one hand.

The concept is both simple and revolutionary. Both units digitally emulate the usual palette of great guitar amps such as old Fender "tweed" amps like the 59 Bassman, Marshall "Plexi" 100 watt stacks, small boutique amps like Mesa Boogie Mark II C, Soldano, Hiwatt, etc. They also model a useful array of effects and effects pedals such as distortion, wah wah, chorus, delay. As a guitarist, there are a few absolute must have sounds. The 1960s Marshall Plexi amp as used by Van Halen and countless others is a benchmark sound that guitarists want. The Marshall emulation on the Black Box is a slight favorite for me in that it sounds identical to my ears. The Marshall (several to choose from ) amp models on the Line 6 sound quite good and useful but not quite so identical to me. Another sound guitar players look for is a fender Deluxe Reverb amp sound. Think "small amp" with a warm sound. These amps did not get very distorted when cranked all the way but that is their charm. A warm, tube driven clean sound that works well for rock, blues, etc. Many people use small amps turned all the way up in the studio and find that a small amp can sound huge when recorded. The Fender and Vox emulations in the Pod XT sound a little warmer to me...less pointed and rounder....perhaps strange words to describe sound...but I am trying to use the words pros often use to describe their sounds. I would say that both units have a variety of VERY useful amp sounds, some slightly more convincing than others.

Both units feature a wide assortment of modeled effects. Delays, distortion, chorus, flanger, etc. From mild to wild to just plain scratch your head crazy sounding....there are tons of effects and effects combinations to choose from. Both units score well in this area. The Black Box has a unique advantage in one area because it also features a set of effects called "beat Sync" effects created in association with noted designer Roger Linn. These effects change or repeat in some way over time and can be synced to stay in tempo with your recorded tracks via USB connection. These are some very cool effects as made popular by John Mayer, Eric Clapton and others. If that is all these units did one would feel they got their money's worth...but there's more!

Both boxes are also USB audio interfaces and so can get your guitar sound into your computer via USB. Once again, the Black Box has a slight advantage because it also has a low impedance mic input so it can be your complete audio interface solution. As an M-Audio product, it also works with Pro Tools software, a big claim that the Pod XT simply can't make. The Black Box is a small rectangular box with a separate foot controller. It's foot controller is a minimalist affair that lets you change to different presets and has an expression pedal than can control various functions such as wah, delay time, etc. The Pod XT has a very full featured foot controller. It is so full featured that it takes some time to understand how it all works. I find it to be very well thought out and worth the investment in time to get it figured out. The Pod XT comes in two flavors, the PodXT is an unusually shaped unit...sort of like a kidney bean. It is a bit odd looking but I guess it is just stylish in it's own way. You can then also buy a separate foot controller, just like with the Black Box and it's separate foot controller. Line 6 PodXT Live is an all in one unit that combines the PodXT and controller into one unit that sits on the floor. This thing looks a bit daunting but is actually very useful. One of the factors here would be whether you travel a lot. I find it much easier to travel with a Black Box or PodXT and their separate foot controllers because in 2 pieces, it is much easier to pack. The PodXT Live is nice but is so big, it's a little harder to travel with. The "last but not least" factor is cost. The Black Box and foot controller cost less than the PODXT and its controller...not a lot, but maybe a factor for you.

Both options are excellent and if you could go back in time just 25 years and show them to a guitarist, he or she would find it impossible to believe what this technology can do. My opinion is that both units sound very good and that the unique beat synced FX and mic input on the Black Box give it a slight advantage as an all around "do many things" work horse. So for your next gig, just tuck 30 or so amps and 100 or more effects pedals under one arm and get rockin!!

For all you aspiring songwriters out there...follow this link to incredible (and free) advice on writing hit songs from a hit songwriter and producer in Nashville.

Get our entertaining new Widget called Daily Guitar Jam.

Visit studioA recording studio and Other World Computing's new audio showroom by appointment - email: rogerad@macsales.com

For all your audio/music needs, macsales.com/music online.

Subscribe to the "Rock Your Computer" PodCast.

Browse and read other 'Music on the Mac' articles by Roger posted online.

See how Roger created The Garage Album CD at The Garage Album website.

Interact with Roger and other Apple Music/Audio users in our online music and audio forums.

About our Music Guru:
Roger Adler is a four-time Emmy nominated composer, producer, and performer. He is an endorser and clinician for the iGuitar by Brian Moore Guitars and his work is recognizable in over 1000 television commercials. Adler performed at the Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. as recently as 2005 and his recordings include appearances on the Groundhog Day feature film soundtrack and The Garage Album. He is widely recognized for his role as Music director for the A&E television series "The Best of Comic Relief" starring Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg and for 16 years as Music Director for the popular series "Wild Chicago." Adler is the owner of two recording studios serving the professional entertainment industry, i^3 audio at North Pier in Chicago and studioA at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake, IL. In addition to facilitating the Daily Guitar Jam Widget, Adler produces the popular Podcast Show "Rock Your Computer" which broadcasts to an international audience via Apple's iTunes Music Store.

No complaining here when it's Apple that's hot and the weather, nice and cool again, that's not!

And we're excited. These new machines really rock and take much of the Apple PPC to Intel doubt away. With the universal support including Intel as well as our PowerPC G5/G4 and even G3s to continue - Apple's so far accomplishing the best of both worlds with a smooth transition to the new platform + the solid support give to us users who make up the very large installed base with the far from obsolete PowerMC processors too.

More than just performance today, we're looking very much forward to being able to enhance these machines with faster processors tomorrow too. Mac Pros as well as the Intel iMacs and Mac mini Intels all have processor upgrade potential. That's potential we will help Intel Mac owners unlock too.

A lot more to come and first looks at the Mac Pro and our first Mac Pro product all to come in our newsletter next week.

And hey, sorry about any problems with the newsletter last time. All should be well this time around and for the foreseeable future. Thanks for reading and have yourself a great Friday and beyond. And.. Thank you for being an OWC Tips n' Deals subcriber!

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