PowerTower & PowerCenter -- Power Computing announced two new lines of Mac clones last week, including a machine that qualifies as the fastest single-processor Mac available. The PowerTower line sports a PowerPC 604 processor running at a dizzying 166 or 180 MHz in a mini-tower case with three PCI slots, a minimum of 16 MB of RAM, and four drive bays. The PowerCenter line features a 120, 132, or 150 MHz PowerPC 604 in a low-profile (120 MHz) or desktop case, with three PCI slots and a minimum of 8 MB of RAM. Pricing for PowerTowers starts around $3,800, PowerCenters around $1,900. Tests so far show that the PowerTowers edge out Apple's high-end Power Mac 9500/150 by five to fifteen percent, even though they can't use memory interleaving, being based on the 7200 motherboard design (which is currently the only one that can crank a PowerPC 604 above 150 MHz). As with previous models, Power Computing machines ship with a keyboard, a significant software bundle (including Speed Doubler on the PowerTowers), and a 30-day, money-back guarantee. [GD]
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations
You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.