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PowerBook rumors
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Dave Hagan
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Jul 27, 2004, 06:47 PM
 
AppleInsider speculates that the newest mobile graphics chip from ATI, the Radeon Mobility 9800, is destined for the PowerBook. They also say that Apple is internally hopeful they will be able to release a PowerBook G5 before the next revision cycle if IBM can resolve their production issues. Otherwise, they will have to turn to a G4+ from FreeScale/Motorola.

The question is when will the next revision be made? I don't think it will be soon. Maybe November...at the earliest.
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azdude
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Jul 27, 2004, 06:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Dave Hagan:
AppleInsider speculates that the newest mobile graphics chip from ATI, the Radeon Mobility 9800, is destined for the PowerBook. They also say that Apple is internally hopeful they will be able to release a PowerBook G5 before the next revision cycle if IBM can resolve their production issues. Otherwise, they will have to turn to a G4+ from FreeScale/Motorola.

The question is when will the next revision be made? I don't think it will be soon. Maybe November...at the earliest.
Boy, what a garbage rumor.

"New thingy announced today will eventually make it to next generation products"

"Apple still dependent upon IBM's issues"

WOW.

No offense to you, of course
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psk-ele
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Jul 27, 2004, 07:00 PM
 
I don't think they would announce a PB G5 till 2005 at the earliest. The Al PB hasn't been out for 6 months yet, and they don't have a problem holding up an announcement for a few more after that. Just take for example, the introduction of the 12" and 17" Al PB. The 15" Ti PB was a year old before they replaced it with the 15" Al PB. Also, I don't think Apple wants a repeat of the Al PB introduction, when shipment was delayed by up to four months due to manufacturing problems.


The technology is available now, but I say early 2005. Though, I would be interested to see just how high they can get the G4 to go before they toss it aside.

I think the bigger question, is when will Apple go completely G5??
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TailsToo
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Jul 27, 2004, 08:03 PM
 
Yeah, probably end of the year at the soonest for new units. the 9800 would be great in the next rev, though.
     
SQLDba
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:16 AM
 
I don't see any way that Apple can jump from the 1.5's to the G5s without releasing something in between. It's too big a jump and there is still life (and profit) to be made on the G4's.

Would anyone here turn their nose up to a G4 running at 2.0?

I think a more credible rumor is one suggesting that the next PB rev will be even thinner with a redesign focusing on style (art). Let's face it - the current rev is pretty dated. And the release of that carbon fiber Sony Vaio really trumps the PB in the looks department. Performance specs on the Sony are crap but boy is it pretty - and pricey - about $3000.

I also would not be surprised if Apple would release a 12" PB running at 1.0 - 1.2 ghz that is super thin, and has a true 8 hour battery life. Intel based laptops have branched off and some are now using the low power 1.0 ghz Centrino. Perfect portable email / web machines with pretty dandy battery life. The 12" ibook can hit 4-5 hours - so a redesign into something not so powerful, but very sexy might really be an option.
     
gomariners
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Jul 28, 2004, 01:56 AM
 
Originally posted by SQLDba:
I think a more credible rumor is one suggesting that the next PB rev will be even thinner with a redesign focusing on style (art). Let's face it - the current rev is pretty dated.
Excweese me? Weren't they released like Sept 2003? When does less than one year make a design "dated"?
     
tavilach
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Jul 28, 2004, 02:28 AM
 
Wait, why is everyone now saying that it'll be between November and January?

What about the whole 6 months to 2 years thing?
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Lancer409
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Jul 28, 2004, 06:17 AM
 
Originally posted by SQLDba:
I think a more credible rumor is one suggesting that the next PB rev will be even thinner with a redesign focusing on style (art). Let's face it - the current rev is pretty dated. And the release of that carbon fiber Sony Vaio really trumps the PB in the looks department. Performance specs on the Sony are crap but boy is it pretty - and pricey - about $3000.
I've known about that thin sony one for quite a while now, as they sell injapan and grey market long before they were brought over. I think it's ugly .. there is no palm rest, optical drive, awkward blank spot above keyboard, buttons instead of keys ... not to mention it's thicker in the back then it is in the front .. i hate that. i think it's a ugly laptop .. and i dont think the powerbook looks dated, which is one of the reasons why i picked one up .. and no i'm not a sony hater .. i have waaaaaay more sony products than i do apple. i'm rather new to apples ... truth be told. anyways .. whatever the pbook g5 looks like, i'm waiting for revision b/c before i buy in .. this g4's got plenty of life in it.

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SplijinX
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Jul 28, 2004, 03:13 PM
 
Sony had a demo trailer at the BBQ Battle in DC (don't ask me why), and they had the Sony's VAIO VGN-X505 on hand to display per request. http://www.vaio.net/models/notebooks/x505/index.html

I don't think you can really compare it to any of the powerbooks cause it's an ultraportable, and it's meant almost exclusively for traveling (just think of how much smaller/lighter the 12"PB could be without a superdrive). The thing is incredibly light - roughly the same weight as a legal pad.

The positioning of the keyboard is definitely different, and there is somewhat of an angle since the battery is under the LCD in the rear, but it really is no different from a traditional desktop keyboard with no palmrest and a slight angle. If anything I think it would be an improvement since you are sitting a couple more inches back from the display and you don't have to bend your neck down quite as far. Also there are no fans!

Of course there is no trackpad, no built-in optical drive and integrated graphics. I think it would look pretty sleek if it werenít for the 'vaio' written on the back of the LCD.

There's no doubt the current PBs have a nice look and feel too them, I suppose consumers expect look "refresh" with each new offering to give it some distinction Ė just look at the 2003 and 2004 BMW 3 Series cars, there are slight differences you can pick out if you pay attention. Itís probably to Appleís advantage to keep the current design going as long as they can so they donít have to deal with retooling and a new batch of Rev A problems like warping or parts not fitting snuggly.

Iím sure when the G5 do roll out they will put it in a new case or at the very least update the case in some fashion.
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headgeek
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Jul 28, 2004, 03:32 PM
 
Originally posted by SQLDba:
I don't see any way that Apple can jump from the 1.5's to the G5s without releasing something in between. It's too big a jump and there is still life (and profit) to be made on the G4's.

Would anyone here turn their nose up to a G4 running at 2.0?
From what I seen on several websites, the G5 chip is much cheaper to produce vs a G4 (and it can do more).

What seems to be stopping Apple from going to a faster G4 processor is limited power (what's the point of having a faster computer, if the battery only lasts an hour.)

While battery capacity could be worked on... Why woudn't Apple spend their design resources on making the G5 work in a portable vs making a faster G4 chip work with a new battery technology. Give the customer what they want & make more money with the cheaper G5 chip!
     
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Jul 28, 2004, 10:53 PM
 
Any chance of powerbooks getting updated before school starts? I figure if they would have had a new model for the school year they would have released it already, or told everyone about it. So is it safe to buy a PB now and assume nothing better will come out before school starts in Aug/Sept?
     
azdude
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Jul 29, 2004, 12:02 AM
 
Originally posted by citronade:
Any chance of powerbooks getting updated before school starts? I figure if they would have had a new model for the school year they would have released it already, or told everyone about it. So is it safe to buy a PB now and assume nothing better will come out before school starts in Aug/Sept?
I seriously doubt any impending updates... oct/nov (for holiday season) is my un-informed guess. The current powerbooks are wonderful... go for it!
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sniffer
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Jul 29, 2004, 06:20 AM
 
That Sony and the 12" PB are in two separate markets. The 12" PB is a very balanced product to fit in a wider marked, and that Sony has its niche in the traveler business class, so I have my doubts Apple would want to go there. Look what happend with the Cube; the market was to narrow for it to succeed.

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SplijinX
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Jul 29, 2004, 08:03 AM
 
Originally posted by sniffer:
That Sony and the 12" PB are in two separate markets. The 12" PB is a very balanced product to fit in a wider marked, and that Sony has its niche in the traveler business class, so I have my doubts Apple would want to go there. Look what happend with the Cube; the market was to narrow for it to succeed.
I definitely agree. I kind of wish they had computer shows like car shows where companies bring in prototypes to get a feel for the market - just be nice to gawk and play with exotic machines. I know the computer market doesn't work that way and that there is much more at stake when car companies introduce something and it flops, just wishful thinking.
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bcaslis
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Jul 29, 2004, 11:28 AM
 
Yes, but has anyone seen the new Sony S150 or S170? This is a cool machine, 13.3" widescreen display 1280x800 pixels. It's called xbrite and it's the best laptop display I've ever seen. Incredibly bright and deep rich colors. You can a Pentium M 1.5GHz up to 2.0 GHz. DVD-R or combo drive, built-in 802.11g and bluetooth. 4.2 pounds!

Don't get wrong, I'm a diehard PowerBook lover but this has me sorely tempted. The size to me is great for traveling like a shrunken 15" PB, just as fast or faster, lighter and a just awesome display. You have to see this display in person, it actually puts the PB displays to shame. It works out to be more expense than the PB if you configure it the same, but it really seems to me to be the best windows laptop design I've ever seen.

Originally posted by sniffer:
That Sony and the 12" PB are in two separate markets. The 12" PB is a very balanced product to fit in a wider marked, and that Sony has its niche in the traveler business class, so I have my doubts Apple would want to go there. Look what happend with the Cube; the market was to narrow for it to succeed.
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GoDucks
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Jul 29, 2004, 04:18 PM
 
In adition to the obvious G5, the one feature I'd really like to see in the next PB is a 120GB ish HD - even as an option. I have had the 15 Inch Ti with Superdrive and a 60 Gig for 20 months now and the largest HD available now is onl 33% greater. I use my laptop as my primary machine and don't want to bog it down with external devices so I'd really appreciate the option of the larger drive...
     
MrForgetable
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Jul 29, 2004, 04:23 PM
 
maybe I should wait..
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magid
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Jul 29, 2004, 05:11 PM
 
Go for it now, i just recieved shipment of my 15" 1.5ghz and i gotta tell you this machine is amazing! I feel that it just as snappy as my 1.8 G5, but maybe because it is brand new. I would say get it now, it is def worth it and will last you a long time.
     
AgBlue
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Jul 31, 2004, 06:46 AM
 
You might want to take a look at this sight. I think I read somewhere before a obut people buying new lights for their laptops. Anyway, worth a shot. Ps, sorry for your misfortune, but if you have a camera, try to get us some pics of your repair. Would be quite interesting.. Tanks.


http://www.moniserv.com/doc/ccfl.htm

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Jul 31, 2004, 07:12 AM
 
Next Rev will probably see something like a G4 1.75Ghz. It would be nice to see 2.0. but I don't think that any chips at all have been able to run that fast.
     
n_lim
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Jul 31, 2004, 09:16 AM
 
bcaslis I totally agree.

I know this is a bit out of the thread, but really Apple needs to pay attention to the new sony s-series. I love my powerbook, but this is the first PC laptop that has ever made me want to switch back in a very long time. The specs and the screen are incredible. Even dell has a new 12" widescreen portable that has a better screen than the 12" powerbook. In person though, the apple puts the sony (and I am sure the dell) to shame in build quality and aesthetics, but in pure specs like performance and weight, the new sonys seem to be the high water mark for what the 12" should be competing with. I love OSX, but these new sonys really have me tempted. Good looks and an awesome OS can only go so far without competing on other fronts like screen clarity and resolution, not to mention performance. If the processors aren't there yet, at least improve other aspects of the design to stay competitive.
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iomatic
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Jul 31, 2004, 02:28 PM
 
Originally posted by n_lim:

...
Good looks and an awesome OS can only go so far without competing on other fronts like screen clarity and resolution, not to mention performance. If the processors aren't there yet, at least improve other aspects of the design to stay competitive.
Ah, but...

on the flip side, screen clarity and resolution and performance can go only so far without competing on an awesome OS and good looks..!

Appearance means a lot to clients (even the most conservative and close-minded ones); believe it or not. If I can connect to their WiFi system, while they fumble around finding the switch to turn it on on their laptops, that also counts.

$.02

back to the conversation...

Yes, I completely agree that Apple needs to set precedence, but in a smart way. Does a widescreen sacrifice anything? Are memory slots going to add weight/dimension/cost? Does losing an optical device reduce anything? Product managers I'm sure are tasked with weighing the benefits of options versus overall aesthetics (not just looks, but useful form). It's quite funny to read on the boards, "I want this obscure function, it will sell a lot!" with no product testing, engineering expertise, or marketing intelligence, which comes about as if simply conjecturing about personal needs is some kind of insight to excellent product creation. Ha!

$.04
     
bcaslis
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Jul 31, 2004, 06:49 PM
 
While in general I agree with you, the new S series could be a very real problem for the PowerBook. No question the PowerBook has better build and the OS is better.

But with the Sony I can get in 4.2 lb laptop:
1.) The best looking display I've ever seen in 1280x800 pixels in 13.3 inches. A little small, but reasonable for such a portable machine.
2.) Up to 2.0GHz Centrino processor. While I don't complain about the G4 performance as much as others, these processors give both performance and good battery life.
3.) USB 2.0, Firewire (400 and the funky 4 pin connector), pc card slot, audio and video.
4.) 802.11g and bluetooth built-in.
5.) Radeon Mobility 9700 with 64MB ram. You know the one in the 15" and 17" that you can't get from Apple in the 12".

Apple really has nothing to compete with this kind of machine. And I have the feeling more like this are on the way. There are a number of Sony and Toshiba's with this new xbrite type screen and it's really stunning. People will easily pass over the PowerBook for these. When I look at this new Sony, I really have trouble seeing what has been left out.

Finally, I've been in lots of meetings with people fumbling over their laptops while I whiz away with my PowerBook. But really, you can get a Windows laptop to do these (though not quite as elegently). It's just that most Windows users use these things because that's what is given to them. They don't really know how to work them, they would still be fumbling if they had PowerBooks.

Originally posted by iomatic:
Ah, but...

on the flip side, screen clarity and resolution and performance can go only so far without competing on an awesome OS and good looks..!

Appearance means a lot to clients (even the most conservative and close-minded ones); believe it or not. If I can connect to their WiFi system, while they fumble around finding the switch to turn it on on their laptops, that also counts.

$.02

back to the conversation...

Yes, I completely agree that Apple needs to set precedence, but in a smart way. Does a widescreen sacrifice anything? Are memory slots going to add weight/dimension/cost? Does losing an optical device reduce anything? Product managers I'm sure are tasked with weighing the benefits of options versus overall aesthetics (not just looks, but useful form). It's quite funny to read on the boards, "I want this obscure function, it will sell a lot!" with no product testing, engineering expertise, or marketing intelligence, which comes about as if simply conjecturing about personal needs is some kind of insight to excellent product creation. Ha!

$.04
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Spliff
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Aug 3, 2004, 02:57 PM
 
I hope they make a carbon-fiber Powerbook. The aluminum case isn't working: pitting from sweat and warping from heat.
     
kafoochy
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Aug 3, 2004, 04:42 PM
 
Originally posted by psk-ele:
Also, I don't think Apple wants a repeat of the Al PB introduction, when shipment was delayed by up to four months due to manufacturing problems.
Although the first rumor of the forthcoming iMac's delay was heat issues, it appears that it may be a shortage of chips. Either way, if there is a shortage of G5s for the iMac, they wouldn't be able to produce a G5 powerbook based on current supplies, and it may be a while before sufficient quantities are produced. If it is a heat issue that is delaying the iMac, there would certainly be a heat issue with any Powerbook.
     
Powaqqatsi
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Aug 3, 2004, 05:57 PM
 
Originally posted by SplijinX:
I definitely agree. I kind of wish they had computer shows like car shows where companies bring in prototypes to get a feel for the market - just be nice to gawk and play with exotic machines. I know the computer market doesn't work that way and that there is much more at stake when car companies introduce something and it flops, just wishful thinking.
Now that's a good idea.
     
SplijinX
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Aug 3, 2004, 07:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
I hope they make a carbon-fiber Powerbook. The aluminum case isn't working: pitting from sweat and warping from heat.
Aside from the cool factor and high price it won't be that much different from plastic. Carbon fiber has little to no lateral strength (ie Lance Armstrong could do bunny hops on his Trek OCLV carbon fiber bike and be able to get away with it, but if he takes a spill and his frame landed on a curb, it would shatter; an aluminum frame on the other hand would probably get scratched up and worst case be dented).

As a result, a Carbon Fiber Powerbook would have to have an internal metal skeleton (you wouldn't it to collapse by having you palm over it) and therefore add some extra bulk. Maybe that's why other laptop manufacturers have not been able to get notebooks nearly as thin as Apple's?

Not saying it can't be done, but they'd have to rework it to get the bulk back down and also look for additional ways of dissapating heat.
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MrForgetable
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Aug 3, 2004, 09:49 PM
 
Originally posted by SplijinX:
Aside from the cool factor and high price it won't be that much different from plastic. Carbon fiber has little to no lateral strength (ie Lance Armstrong could do bunny hops on his Trek OCLV carbon fiber bike and be able to get away with it, but if he takes a spill and his frame landed on a curb, it would shatter; an aluminum frame on the other hand would probably get scratched up and worst case be dented).

As a result, a Carbon Fiber Powerbook would have to have an internal metal skeleton (you wouldn't it to collapse by having you palm over it) and therefore add some extra bulk. Maybe that's why other laptop manufacturers have not been able to get notebooks nearly as thin as Apple's?

Not saying it can't be done, but they'd have to rework it to get the bulk back down and also look for additional ways of dissapating heat.
actually carbon fiber is pretty strong. I've seen carbon fiber hoods bent from a very bad accident which just needed to bend back and a little buff. it was the only thing on the entire car that survived.
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headgeek
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Aug 3, 2004, 11:56 PM
 
In regards to all the people concerned that they are going to buy a PB now & the G5 PB will be announced in a month or two... check out http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

It's a great page & has a lot of useful information.
     
kafoochy
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Aug 4, 2004, 12:53 AM
 
Originally posted by SplijinX:
Aside from the cool factor and high price it won't be that much different from plastic. Carbon fiber has little to no lateral strength (ie Lance Armstrong could do bunny hops on his Trek OCLV carbon fiber bike and be able to get away with it, but if he takes a spill and his frame landed on a curb, it would shatter; an aluminum frame on the other hand would probably get scratched up and worst case be dented).

As a result, a Carbon Fiber Powerbook would have to have an internal metal skeleton (you wouldn't it to collapse by having you palm over it) and therefore add some extra bulk. Maybe that's why other laptop manufacturers have not been able to get notebooks nearly as thin as Apple's?

Not saying it can't be done, but they'd have to rework it to get the bulk back down and also look for additional ways of dissapating heat.
Although you're almost correct as is MrForgetable, you're confused on a few points. Carbon fiber can easily be made laterally still as the carbon fibers can be oriented to maximize strength. You can do bunny hops no matter the medium; carbon fiber gives a compliant ride yet is very very strong. It's high strength-to-weight ratio is why it is used in aerospace construction in high-stress structural applications. If Lance was in an accident with an aluminum, the frame would deform and become unrideable. You'll notice a handful of complaints about AluPBs sustaining dents from relatively small impacts and you can thank the aluminum for this. One last thing, the internal skeleton of all of the Titanium Powerbooks was made of carbon fiber (remember when the 15" PB was actually an inch thick and barely more than 5 lbs? I wonder why this is...)
     
drewm
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Aug 5, 2004, 03:54 PM
 
it boggles my mind that someone would switch laptops just because of some hardware issue like a screen or something. It's the OS stupid!!! That Sony's still running windows ya know.
     
kafoochy
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Aug 5, 2004, 04:11 PM
 
Originally posted by drewm:
it boggles my mind that someone would switch laptops just because of some hardware issue like a screen or something. It's the OS stupid!!! That Sony's still running windows ya know.
Well that's true to a point, but when the computer gets too hot so that you can no longer use it siting on your lap than it doesn't matter what OS you have. In this case I'd be more productive with a Windows laptop that doesn't singe the hairs on my legs than a Mac that I have to put down and give a breather. Apple is about the hardware as well as software. Both of them make up the user experience. When you have to lug it around all day or if you travel frequently, then weight makes a difference. If you're in the field a lot or travel via plane/bus the more work you can get done on one battery charge without having to find a plug is very important. Or if the lack of screen brightness, makes you squint and makes it hard to look at, then the hardware issue is important.

Have you used Windows recently? You make it sound like people that use windows don't get anything done. I'm sure many people would argue that if they had macs they'd get more done, but in truth many of them do just fine. I have to use Windows occasionally at school and it has yet to kill me.

And don't call people stupid. It's not nice.
     
drewm
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Aug 5, 2004, 04:52 PM
 
good points.

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