eMacs for Everyone -- In a surprising move, Apple has announced that it is now selling the all-in-one eMac to anyone who wants one, barely a month after introducing the low-cost, CRT-based system solely for the education market. (See "Apple Rolls out Education eMac and Faster PowerBooks" in TidBITS-628.) The move brings the clunky cathode-ray tube display back to Apple's mainstream product line after a much-touted shift to an all-LCD lineup with the flat-screen iMac, but there's one strong reason for the reversal: the eMac's $1,100 price tag puts a 700 MHz PowerPC G4 within reach of more consumers, some of whom are still balking at the flat-screen iMac's $1,400 minimum price tag. The default configuration of the eMac will ship with 128 MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard disk, along with a CD-RW drive and a 56K modem (which weren't standard on the education version). Of course, the eMac still features a 17-inch CRT display, built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet, two FireWire ports, five USB ports, and an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphics controller; an AirPort card can be added for wireless networking. [GD]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.