Apple Quietly Updates iBooks -- Apple's entry-level laptop family received a minor refresh this week, picking up a speed bump and larger hard disks but little else. The basic $1,000 12-inch iBook configuration now includes an 800 MHz PowerPC G3 processor (up from 700 MHz) and a 30 GB hard drive. For $1,300, you can move up to a 12-inch iBook with a 900 MHz processor and a 40 GB hard drive. The larger 14-inch model, at $1,500, also sports a 900 MHz processor and 40 GB drive; a build-to-order option offers a 60 GB drive, 640 MB of RAM, and an AirPort card. The big surprise with this update is that these models don't support AirPort Extreme, especially since this revision is likely to be the one that students and school districts will consider for the next school year. However, with school budgets tightening, perhaps Apple is attempting to keep costs down until AirPort Extreme is more widely adopted. The new iBooks are available now. [JLC]
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.
- Apple Quietly Drops PowerBook Prices (02 Jun 03)