An alert reader notes in response to our article in TidBITS #182 that although the Centris 660av and Quadra 840av, and possibly the PowerPCs, will perform voice recognition, record and playback CD-quality audio, and work as a v.32bis modem, they most certainly will not be able to do all these tasks simultaneously. So forget about telling your Mac to interact with communications programs. In fact, the only report he had of Casper (voice recognition) on a Centris 660av beta machine was not promising; it was apparently too slow to be useful. Let's hope that changes with the shipping code. And of course, there have been problems with the way the Duo and Express Modem work together to replace some of the guts of a modem, so emulating a modem may not be a wonderful idea in all cases.
He provided some other interesting details and comments. The Centris 660av and Quadra 840av will support 24-bit color with sufficient VRAM, just like the Quadra 700, but not the Quadra 800 or currents models of the Centris.
In addition, apparently Motorola just announced the low-power version of the 68040, so it's likely that we'll see an '040 PowerBook before the end of the year, and since the low-power version of the PowerPC chip won't be out for some time after the first 601 chips ship, we're unlikely to see a PowerPC PowerBook nearly as soon.
Jonathan Kolodny <email@example.com> writes:
Anyone on the verge of buying a new hard drive who might be concerned about compatibility with the Power PC (either through upgrade or purchase) should consider this advice from Paul McGraw of APS:
"Preliminarily, I understand that standard SCSI drives will work in a Power PC, though if I were a betting person, I would probably bet on the third-high (1" x 3.5") form factor, rather than what is referred to as a "half-height" or 1.65" x 3.5" form factor. Many large drive capacities are currently available in this form factor - some with spectacular performance numbers - and more are being announced each day."
If you don't need high capacity (yet) you might want to wait three to five months when more high-performance drives will be available. Keep in mind that a slower drive will negate some of that speed advantage that tempted you to buy a Power PC in the first place.