This Week In Products: Desktops, wireless and more from Apple

Infrastructure
Apple updates Power Mac G5 line
Apple unveiled its Power Mac G5 desktop line featuring the Power Mac G5 Quad, providing quad-core processing with two 2.5 GHz dual-core PowerPC G5 processors.

With 1MB of L2 cache, the Power Mac G5 Quad delivers breakthrough performance on applications used extensively by creative professionals and scientists. Final Cut Pro 5, for example, encodes SD video content up to 60 percent faster on the Power Mac G5 Quad when compared with the Dual Processor 2.7 GHz Power Mac G5, according to Apple. Adobe Photoshop runs a series of 45 commonly used filters and actions 43 percent faster on the Power Mac G5, Adobe After Effects renders video effects up to 69 percent faster, LightWave 3D renders animation up to 59 percent faster, and the scientific benchmark Bioinformatics Benchmark System (BBS version 3) completes a comparison of genomic sequences up to 39 percent faster, Apple added.

The Power Mac G5 line offers industry standard PCI Express architecture, providing four expansion slots to support high-performance video and audio devices and multiple standard graphics cards to drive an array of up to eight displays. The Power Mac G5 delivers up to 16GB of 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM and now features two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Every Power Mac G5 also includes one FireWire 800 port, two FireWire 400 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 1.1 ports, optical and digital audio input and output, and built-in support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. The Power Mac G5 line also includes Apple’s next generation mouse, Mighty Mouse, featuring up to four programmable buttons and an ingenious Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction-vertically, horizontally and even diagonally.The new Power Mac G5 comes standard with either the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE with 128MB of video memory or the NVIDIA GeForce 6660 with 256MB of video memory, both provide support for dual-displays and Apple’s 30-inch Cinema HD Display, now priced at $2,999. The NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT with 256MB of video memory and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 with 512MB of video memory are both available as build-to-order options. The 2.0 GHz and 2.3 GHz Power Mac G5 Dual ($2,999) are available now and the 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5 Quad ($3,999) will be available in early November through the Apple Store.

Epson projects products at classroom users
Epson Canada Ltd. launched two 3LCD ultraportable multimedia projectors optimized for classroom educators and boardroom presenters with the launch of the Epson PowerLite 82c and PowerLite 62c. Both projectors feature up to 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, broad connectivity options, classroom-filling audio, four-second start up and Epson’s exclusive “Instant Off” feature. The PowerLite 82c features XGA (1,024 x 768) native resolution and is priced at $1,799, while the PowerLite 62c offers SVGA (800 x 600) native resolution for $1,699 (both are estimated street prices).

Lenovo ThinkCentre E designed for small businesses
Lenovo announced the ThinkCentre E Series line of desktop PCs designed specifically to meet the technology needs of small businesses.The ThinkCentre E50 tower and small desktop PCs come equipped withthe Intel 915GV Chipset with GMA 900 graphics and the SIS 661FXChipset, respectively. Both tower and small desktop PCs are availablewith Pentium 4 and Celeron D processors and six USB 2.0 ports,including two located on the front of the PC.

Using Rescue and Recovery preloaded on ThinkCentre E50 desktops, users can diagnose, get help, and recover from a crash without the need of an IT staff, even if the operating system will not boot. In addition, users can employ an extra layer of support using Rescue and Recovery by pre-configuring automatic external backups to a server or external storage.

The ThinkCentre E50 is available now through select Business Partners. Prices for the ThinkCentre E50 start at $499.

Storage
EMC extends Connectrix line
EMC Corp. announced an expansion of its EMC Connectrix line of enterprise-class directors, switches and management tools.

Based on the Brocade SilkWorm 48000 director, the Connectrix ED-48000B scales non-disruptively from 32-256 concurrently active 4 Gbit/sec full-duplex ports in a single domain. The Connectrix ED-48000B director integrates with heterogeneous environments and supports multiple operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX.

The 4 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel Connectrix DS-220B switch is based on the Brocade SilkWorm 200E technology and can be used as a primary SAN switch as well as an edge switch in departments and branch offices. It consists of 8-16 ports on demand – for pay-as-you-grow scalability – and features the EZSwitchSetup wizard for enhanced manageability.

Iomega opens StorCenter
Iomega Corp. announced the StorCenter Network Hard Drive with built-in UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) A/V network media server and embedded FolderShare software. It will begin shipping later this month in capacities of up to 250 gigabytes (GB), with a 1TB model expected early next year.

Supporting Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computer clients at Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1,000 Mbps) transfer rates, the StorCenter’s automated Discovery Tool wizard provides setup with password-protected network storage for up to 25 users.

The StorCenter Network Hard Drive instantly adds up to 1TB of storage space to a network so critical business tasks like secure file backup are easier to manage, Iomega said. The StorCenter Network Hard Drive’s two USB 2.0 ports not only enable future expansion, but also support external USB hubs, allowing users to attach up to four additional USB 2.0 storage devices and two USB 2.0 printers simultaneously to a single StorCenter drive.

Features include a Gigabit Ethernet network connection for fast network transfer rates and two USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed USB) ports for future expandability. Both 160GB and 250GB models use a 7200 RPM drive; 250GB models come with an 8MB cache.

Usability features include password-protected user accounts and assignable user-directory quotas. All models include print server capability with USB-attached printers, and both USB 2.0 ports support USB hubs for further expansion.

Iomega expects the StorCenter 160GB Network Hard Drive to be available later this month for US$199.99 and the Iomega StorCenter 250GB Network Hard Drive for US$289.99.

Wireless
Fujitsu offers tablet, desktop capability with LifeBook
Fujitsu Canada, Inc. announced the LifeBook P1510D notebook.

Slightly larger than a DVD, the Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D notebook weighs in at a scant 2.2 pounds and is equipped with a 8.9-inch wide SVGA touch screen display. It can be used in tablet mode to navigate through forms-based applications in healthcare, field and sales force automation and supply chain management, or with the pen stylus. The screen can be rotated tilted to transform the LifeBook P1510D notebook into a standard notebook with a keyboard for versatility and mobility without compromise.

The LifeBook P1510D notebook, the successor to the LifeBook P1000 notebook, is powered by the Intel Pentium M Processor Ultra Low Voltage 753 and 915GMS chipset with up to 1GB of system memory.

In addition to converting from a standard notebook into a slate tablet, the LifeBook P1510D notebook can be converted into a desktop PC. With industry standard ports and card slots, users can attach a standard keyboard or large screen monitor. An optional docking station is available for drop-and-dock convenience. Full Microsoft Windows XP Professional support ensures complete compatibility with all Microsoft applications. The LifeBook 91510D will cost $1,989.

HP brings out second generation Mobile Messenger
Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. announced it has teamed with Rogers Wireless in Canada to introduce the upcoming HP iPaq hw6515 Mobile Messenger.

Weighing less than 6 ounces, the HP iPaq hw6515 operates exclusively in Canada on the Rogers Wireless GSM/GPRS/EDGE network. In addition, the quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) devices offer global roaming capabilities in many countries around the world.

To help simplify the complexities of implementing wireless solutions, HP also collaborated with 14 software developers to create the Mobility Solutions Evaluation Center. Corporate customers can visit this online resource to learn about mobile applications including e-mail and messaging, security, navigation and business software solutions. The Web site also includes HP-branded solutions such as Hosted Microsoft Exchange, Open Roaming and HP iPaq Navigation System.

Available by mid-November, the HP iPaq hw6515 will sell for $549.99 after rebate with a three-year voice and data service agreement from Rogers Wireless. It will be available for purchase at Rogers Wireless dealers and select retail locations across Canada, and HP Canada authorized resellers, or online.

Data management
Raritan updates CommandCenter, adds console servers
Raritan unveiled the next release of its CommandCenter management software appliance, along with a four Dominion SX serial-over-IP secure console servers.

This latest version of CommandCenter delivers features to simplify policy administration, and provides tighter, seamless integration with Raritan’s KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switches and serial console servers, the company said.

Raritan also introduced four Dominion SX secure console server models, including the 16-port DSXA-16-DL and 32-port DSXA-32-DL that feature dual-LAN and dual-AC feeds. An internal modem also is included in the new DSXA-16-DLM and DSXA-32-DLM models. The Dominion SX series now has more than 20 models, ranging from four- to 48-ports, including models with DC power.

CommandCenter Secure Gateway release 2.3 enhancements include Compatibility Matrix, which aids in delivering alerts and managing Raritan solutions to ensure optimal operations of connected devices throughout an enterprise, improved sorting functionality for devices, an association wizard to simplify policy creation, and tighter integration with the Dominion SX.

IBM Rational Method Composer gathers best practices
IBM announced the Rational Method Composer, which it said extends the IBM Rational Unified Process (RUP). RUP is a software process platform that has guided some 500,000 developers around the world in a broad range of software and systems development projects.

IBM Rational Method Composer provides project plan templates and best practices for helping teams quickly identify project goals, determine the resources needed to complete a project and pinpoint critical project milestones, the company said. Once this information is determined, project managers will be able to automatically send it to IBM Rational Portfolio Manager, a tool that manages project resources, schedules and tasks. The information can then be shared throughout the entire lifecycle of a project. Tools include process guidance wizards that instruct teams how to tailor the process to achieve the goals of their individual project.

IBM Rational Method Composer includes an open, Eclipse-based platform that delivers RUP and IBM Rational Summit Ascendant’s library of best practices for building higher quality software and systems. RUP customers are eligible for an equivalent number of IBM Rational Method Composer licenses at no charge.

Metasolv Provisioning 5 aids order management
MetaSolv Software, Inc. announced the introduction of Provisioning 5, its next-generation order management product, designed to automate provisioning tasks to support the service fulfillment process.

Provisioning 5, formerly known as MetaSolv OMS, provides back-office provisioning management functions to orchestrate the essential tasks required to deliver ordered services to customers as well as managing internal network buildouts for broadband, IP, data and mobile services. The Provisioning 5 solution framework facilitates interoperability with multiple systems, including legacy and commercial applications, and is designed to simplify how new services are designed, bundled and delivered. Provisioning 5 utilizes a 100 per cent J2EE (JEE) meta-data driven architecture that is tuned to scale and handle the demands of the largest tier-one carriers and is intended to provide the flexibility required to manage highly complex service processes essential for next-generation service delivery.

As part of the introduction of Provisioning 5, MetaSolv is also introducing Service Studio for Provisioning, building on the capabilities already released with MetaSolv’s Activation 5 platform. Service Studio for Provisioning is a graphical tool designed to allow the rapid design and deployment of services and service provisioning processes.

Apple Aperture aimed at photo artists
Apple introduced Aperture, an application that automatically groups sequences of photos into stacks based on the time interval between exposures.

RAW images are maintained natively throughout Aperture without any intermediate conversion process, and can be retouched with stunning results using a suite of adjustment tools designed especially for photographers. Aperture’s nondestructive image processing engine never alters a single pixel of original photos so photographers have the power and flexibility to modify or delete changes at any point in the workflow. As Aperture allows users to create multiple versions of a single image without duplicating files, photographers can experiment without risk of overwriting the master image or using up large amounts of hard drive space. Aperture images can also be launched directly into Adobe Photoshop for compositing and layer effects.

Aperture features a color-managed pipeline with support for device specific ColorSync profiles and a set of output tools for photographers to showcase their work. Print options include customizable contact sheets, local printing and color-managed online prints. Aperture will be available in November through the Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $599.

Link CheckUp keeps link swap agreements in order
Mystik Media has released Link CheckUp, a Windows utility to manage your link swaps and advertising on other web sites.

Link CheckUp includes Web site error handling and reporting. If you should encounter an error when checking sites, Link CheckUp will continue to check the site two more times. If it should fail on the final attempt, it will generate an error report so that you can view full error information.

You can check an unlimited number of sites. Link CheckUp runs in the background. Import a list of sites from a file, or from search engine inbound link results. Add notes to each site, so you can remember the partnership arrangements that you’d negotiated.Link Checkup costs $19.95 (US), runs under Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/2003.

Security
Locked Addresses added to CanIt anti-spam software
Roaring Penguin unveiled CanIt ‘Locked Addresses.’ Users can now create random-looking e-mail addresses that forward mail to their regular inbox, but only accept messages from one particular sender each, automatically rejecting mail from spammers or any unauthorized third party.

Locked addresses work by ‘locking on’ to the first person or organization to send e-mail to a user’s particular locked address. Once that first sender has been identified, the locked address will reject e-mail messages from any other sender and log that information for the user. Users can create an unlimited number of locked addresses and use them when entering information in web forms or signing up to ewsletters/mailing lists.

Locked Addresses are included with all purchases of Roaring Penguin Software’s CanIt-PRO Anti-Spam Solution, and all current CanIt-PRO customers will receive access to the new feature as part of RoaringPenguin’s standard support.

TimeSpring offers data protection for MS Exchange
TimeSpring Software Corp. announced the immediate availability of TimeData for Microsoft Exchange Server- continuous data protection software that allows Exchange administrators to recover lost, corrupt or deleted e-mails.

TimeData for Exchange’s search and recovery tools allow administrators to find and restore a single email, email group or mailbox without resorting to time consuming and disruptive “brick-level” backup and restore procedures.

The TimeData for Exchange software captures all changes in real time and stores it in a time-dimensioned data repository. This continuous protection eliminates the backup-window and the data loss vulnerability inherent in traditional backup and snapshot systems. The TimeData repository can be located off-site for disaster recovery purposes. TimeData’s policy driven data retention tools facilitates advanced information lifecycle management (ILM).

TimeSpring’s TimeData CDP software is available for SQL Server, NTFS as well as Exchange. All are immediately available through resellers and directly from TimeSpring.

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