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    $132.99 $123.99 list($149.99)
    1. Microsoft Office Standard Student
    $24.99 $22.90 list($29.99)
    2. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004:
    $49.99 $31.95 list($79.99)
    3. Linksys WPC54G Wireless-G Notebook
    $134.99 list($149.99)
    4. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 plus
    Too low to display $994.00 list($1,000.00)
    5. Apple iBook Notebook 12" M9623LL/A
    $134.98 $129.94 list($149.99)
    6. Creative MuVo Micro N200 1 GB
    $145.99 list($159.99)
    7. Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional
    $249.99 $227.50 list($299.95)
    8. QuickBooks Pro 2005 for Mac
    $21.99 list($70.99)
    9. Kingston 128 MB SmartMedia Card
    $86.22 $74.95 list($146.00)
    10. Linksys Wireless-G Range Expander
    $292.99 list($299.99)
    11. Creative Nomad Zen Xtra 60 GB
    12. SimpleTech 160GB USB 2.0EXTERNAL
    $44.99 $4.73 list($49.99)
    13. McAfee VirusScan 2005 9.0
    $189.99 $169.99 list($199.95)
    14. QuickBooks Basic 2005
    $22.99 $18.60 list()
    15. Iogear 5 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0
    $339.99 $338.95 list($399.99)
    16. Microsoft Office 2004 Standard
    $1,939.00 list($1,799.99)
    17. Sony VAIO VGN-S360 13.3" Notebook
    $29.95 $15.98
    18. Quicken 2005 Basic [Track, Balance,
    Too low to display $365.00 list($499.99)
    19. Sony Cybershot DSCW7 7MP Digital
    Too low to display $1,499.88 list()
    20. Apple PowerBook Notebook 12.1"

    1. Microsoft Office Standard Student and Teacher Edition 2004 Macintosh
    list price: $149.99
    our price: $132.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001WN16M
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • A productivity suite with a host of ground-breaking new features
    • Full versions of the leading productivity applications from Microsoft
    • Easily share ideas across platforms and around the globe
    • Confidently create stunning documents with impressive new tools
    • Spend less time managing info and more time using it

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am impressed.
    I am surprised to find myself impressed with a Microsoft product. I vowed I never would be, but I have to admit that the Macintosh Business Unit of Microsoft has truly released a must have product. I bought the upgrade as soon as it came out and so far it has only crashed once (while doing an import into Excel). If you have Office v.X then I doubt it's really worth an upgrade. Unless you see one of the new features as a must have v.X will work well for quite a while. However, if you use another product I must impress upon you how wonderful this suite actually is. The new project center in Entourage is very handy if you have problems with keeping files together and the new notebook view in Word is especially useful if you often take notes in meetings. Presenter Tool's in PowerPoint is also a great feature. Messenger is useless, but you already have iChat so you don't even have to bother with it. I have found that all of the applications feel more "Mac-like" with a more appealing interface. While a completely Apple built suite would win me over, I doubt I would be satisfied with any other companies product. If you are in a business or academic environment, then this product is a must have. So, while I think that all of the rest of Microsoft's products put together are worth about $5, this is simply a must-have product unless you already have v.X.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Another "perl" from Micro$oft
    Well, this much phrased "office" is another ugly buggy full of crap Microsoft "product". It consistently crashes, It uses some idiotic algorithm for tracking grammar that makes it HORRIBLY slow. Removed this garbage from my computer and use Nisus. Much more convenient program and by far more reliable. If you need the REAL grammar checking take Grammarian! It is the real stuff!
    I maintain the policy "NO MICROSOFT PRODUCTS ON MY COMPUTERS". I ignore them completely and I have no viruses, no security issues, I don't have to deal with zillion buttons etc. Let me put it this way: you have wonderful Apple box, what is the reason to put this PC garbage on it? Enjoy the real software, good programs and creative mood!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Basically a waste of money
    I thought the previous version looks better and even works better. I noticed only very few minor changes that didn't make this one better for me. But may be it's just me...:)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Upgrade
    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy bashing Microsoft with the best of them, and I think most "upgrades" from Redmond are a waste of money at this point, but Office 2004 for the Mac is not one of those cases.

    It is simply a must have upgrade.

    What I love about the new upgrade:

    1. Long file names
    2. Better change/edit management
    3. Lots of new features in PowerPoint (although Keynote still looks better displayed)
    4. Much cleaner interface

    I'll give credit where credit is due. This is a fantastic update, one I am glad I paid for.

    Only one beef, to be balanced, is MS should work on speeding up the apps in the .1 release.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Work around for EndNote incompatibility...
    If you have the previous version of Word (from Office v.X), you can continue to use that version of Word to insert citations from EndNote, while using the rest of the new suite (including Word 2004) for everything else.
    It is possible to have Word v.X and Word 2004 installed at the same time. The only stipulation is that you can't have both versions launched & running at the same time. ... Read more

    2. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000096L71
    Catlog: Video Games
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 13
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Dynamic weather system based on realistic atmospheric physics, with true three-dimensional clouds that form and dissipate
    • Worldwide scenery with accurate 3D terrain and auto-gen objects that fill in the world with appropriate buildings and vegetation
    • Enhanced interactive air traffic control (ATC), including traffic at all airports around the world
    • Improved support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration in multiple windows and across multiple monitors
    • For 1 or more players over LAN or Internet

    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great flying sim overall!
    If you like reality when it comes to flying buy this game. The weather effects are great! From T-storms to blinding snow to clear blue skys. You can even download real-time weather off the internet weather sites for any start location! The clouds look real not like artificial white graphics in past FS's but real and when you fly through them it you feels as if your just floating up there like the real thing. There is of course no combat in this sim but just learning how to keep a Leer Jet steady against a strong prevailing wind is a challege! My favorite feature is being able to set your fly time, location, weather type and even game speed. I have recently read another review where one guy said the ground textures are not so hot but if you zoom in using the "+" you can see the textures much clearer and the cloads! In all I think flight sims have come along way since the 90's and with each new release like this one it gets more relatisic!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get it if you are a pilot or aspiring pilot!
    As an aspiring pilot I find Flight Simulator 2004 to be a great way to chill out after a hard day at work. The scenery is incredible, and it's hard to beat the realism. This isn't really a game, so if you're thinking about getting Flight Simulator 2004 and trying to beat the top score or save the princess, forget it. Sure, there is a learning curve just as there is with flying a real plane, but it's worth it if you're at all interested in flying. Tip - start with the Lear Jet, it is one of the easier planes to get the hang of. When you get tired of the planes and scenery that come with the simulator you can pick up more at sites like and All in all this "game" is highly worth the time and money if you're into flying, or would like to get into flying!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Buldings are not 3D!!!!
    I bought this game because I love simulation games and I thought that this game could be realistic but most of the buildings are not 3D so if you care how the earth looks like less than 500 feet don't buy this game.. I could recommend the IL2 because it has much more planes and the buildings are all 3D and it's as real as this game ... Although the places you can fly is very much in this game and the planes are looking if you love flying low and want some action in the simulation don't buy this game..

    3-0 out of 5 stars Think twice!
    While the game is very detailed and realistic, the controls are VERY difficult for even an FPS-RTS player like myself to try. For example, when you press the left arrow key to turn left no matter how sensitively you press right or left again you can NEVER fly at level or straight again, there's little excitement in it, and the constant roar of the engine is an atrocious assault on your senses. If you think this game is like soaring through the great blue sky as free as a bird you are sadly mistaken. Even on the highest graphics settings, you're still just flying over a basically pixellated landscape with little variety. All the realism that goes into the physics and the controls and the geographical accuracy cannot make up for the fact that for a lot of people, this game will simply not be fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great...... only a few glitches
    When i first got this game i couldn't wait to install it.So i ran to the computer to install it.However make shure you havea lot of room on your hard drive.Cuz it takes up like 20% of it.You may see that some people don't like this game that's because they bought flight sim. 2002.I've rated it 5 stars because i own a classic flight sim 1998. It well er..... STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!On this the map makes it so much more fun and easier.You just don't take off and fly into no where you can actually fly to different airports.I stink at fs 1998 but i can easily fly a 747 from london to wherever the plane is when i wake up in the morning.If you decide to purchase this don't use the 777 it always slips on the runway.Great grafics if you have a 3d accelerator.Also the control tower and radios are awesome.Flight school realy helped me.Also on the main menu you can program an engine failure to happen a certain time after take-off.This game truly is AS REAL AS IT GETS! ... Read more

    3. Linksys WPC54G Wireless-G Notebook Adapter
    by Linksys
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $49.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00007KDVK
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Linksys
    Sales Rank: 62
    Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Early Adopters Pick: January 2003. The first high-speed wireless networking PC card for laptops to use the 802.11g standard, which is four times faster than the current standard (802.11b) and backwards compatible.

    The new Wireless-G notebook adapter (PC Card adapter) from Linksys has both the 802.11b and newer 801.11g standards built in, so you can connect your notebook to existing 802.11b infrastructure and also the new, fast Wireless-G networks. The included setup wizard will walk you through configuring the adapter to your network's settings, step-by-step. Then just slide the adapter into your notebook's PC Card slot and enjoy network access with your notebook computer, while retaining true mobility.

    Wireless-G is the 54 Mbps wireless networking standard that's almost five times faster than the widely deployed Wireless-B (802.11b) products found in homes, businesses, and public wireless hotspots around the country. But since they share the same 2.4 GHz radio band, Wireless-G devices also work with existing 11 Mbps Wireless-B equipment.

    Once you're connected, you can keep in touch with your e-mail, access the Internet, and share files and other resources such as printers and network storage with other computers on the network, wherever you wander. At home, you can surf the Web or use instant messaging to chat with friends while sitting out on the patio.

    You'll also be able to connect to any of the growing number of public wireless hotspots springing up in coffee shops, airport lounges, hotels, and convention centers. And as those hotspots upgrade to the new high-speed Wireless-G standard, you'll be ready to take advantage of the increased speeds.

    Get connected to current standard 802.11b networks today, and be prepared for the future with the Wireless-G notebook adapter from Linksys. ... Read more


    • Operates in the 2.4 Ghz frequency spectrum with speeds up to 54 Mbps
    • Complies with IEEE 802.11g draft standards, and is backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11b products
    • 32-bit CardBus Interface
    • Up to 128-bit WEP encryption
    • Compatible with Windows98SE, Me, 2000, and XP

    Reviews (151)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Flawless operation, good performance, easy installation
    I bought the WPC54G and the WRT54G. Card installation on my Windows 2000 laptop (Thinkpad T-23) was seamless (follow the instructions and you can't go wrong ...) WRT54G router setup was amazingly simple, will save that for another review.

    The card has performed flawlessly for me. Good connection to my router (about 60 feet away right now through several walls, 48mbps speed). I've been using for several days and had no connection drops. (The CD included did have the latest drivers, I didn't need to upgrade from the website.) I use it for secure VPN, and again, no issues or problems.

    The card also does very well with "Suspend" and comes right back and restores my connection without any intervention. The card gets a little warm, but its most likely sucking up heat from my laptop's CPU. No real issues there.

    As another reviewer mentioned -- the card has two LED's which are basically useless. I don't care (still has 5 stars), I wouldn't care if it didn't have lights. Just kinda odd for a card that seems to do so well to have useless lights. :)

    All in all -- been very happy with my purchase of the card & router. I have had no (read ZERO) problems. Would highly recommend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Piece of Equipment
    This is a review I wrote for the router hub and the PC Card. I had already submitted it for the hub and am submitting it here also for the card. The entire review is relevant to both parts of this system. One thing I forgot to mention was that I had called Dell to see what they had available,and they were using a mix of Linksys parts as well. So i decided to go direct with Linksys equipment. Here is the review as submitted.
    For an item that is not even available in Best Buy and the other major stores when I went to buy it, the fact that Amazon has these in and out of stock, and that I received it in only a couple of days is knowledge enough to make this a winning situation.
    What about hookup and use? Another 5 star performance. Having never hooked up a wireless network before, I took the advice of the quick start guide that came with the unit, and used their included CD. They strongly recommended that you use the CD rather than manually configure, and they were right. Having seen the problems that some others were having with setup, only to be resolved (some of them) by exactly following the directions, I decided to do it that way right out of the box. I'm glad I did. This setup using the CD was about as easy as learning how to open a refrigerator door for the first time. Shutting off what they tell you to shut off, and turning on what and when they tell you to turn things on, resulted in a delightful install. Not even one glitch. The CD determined my internet connection, determined my system configuration, asked me a few questions, and bingo I was up and running.
    I bought the PC Card for laptops as well, and that was just as easy to install. Within 10 minutes I was surfing the web from all over the house. No Wires !
    Pertaining to the speed issue: I got 54Mps while I was in the same room. When I went into the living room, it went to very good instead of excellent, and gave me 37Mbps. Let's get a perspective here. A standard modem works at 56K tops. This router works at 54Mbps that's megabyte not kilobyte. Their are 1000 kilobytes in every megabyte. So 54 Megabytes per second is about a thousand times faster than a standard modem. I hooked the Linksys wireless router up to a broadband connection which is running at a maximum of 700 plus Kilobytes on the download end, and 100 to 150 upload speed. I know I am getting specific, but the point I am making is that it does not matter what the connection speed you are running at any given moment, based on how close the base unit is to the PC card. What is important is that your internet connection will never even approach the speed capabilities of this router, so don't hassle yourself with any concerns over varying connect speeds of the wireless network.
    Broadband hooked up to this wireless setup flies. As soon as you click on a site, it appears on the screen.
    Anyhow, just for reference, I am using a Dell Inspiron Notebook, hooked up to the broadband cable modem that was supplied by Comcast. The operating system is Windows XP. Installation was as near automatic as can be. They do supply instructions when using Windows ME, 98 etc, that includes one more step than XP.
    All in all this is a 5 star piece of equipment. Follow the directions exactly. It is easy. Hope this helps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much faster!
    Well this is a definite improvement in speed over the old 802.11 cards. It was a cinch to set up and seems to hold a better and stronger connection. Definitely a good deal!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nearly Indestructible, too bad it has to be
    The ONLY bad thing about this is that the card sticks out of the notebook about 3/4 of an inch, and after dropping my PC a couple times, the card's cover came off and it's bent - but it STILL works, and it may have cushioned the notebook from damage (which is much more expensive to replace). On the other hand, the fact that it sticks out means that it gets caught on things, the notebook doesn't quite fit in it's case anymore, etc...

    So I'm about to replace it, just because I hate having the electronics dangling out of the side, not because it's not working.

    It's generally always worked fine, was easy to set up, and if you use Linksys cards and routers, then it lets you use a pass phrase for WEP encryption instead of the usual HEX gibberish (much easier).

    5-0 out of 5 stars I vote yes.
    I installed it on my Sony Vaio Laptop and got it working right away. It linked to my Orinoco (802.11b) basestation with a very good signal strength and I was surfing away in no time. The following day, I cranked up my older Sony Vaio 802.11a basestation and wifi card and it worked without a hitch. The only time I had a problem with a Linksys product, they exchanged it right away. Mostly, their products have been trouble free.
    I have nothing but good things to say about them. Of course, I don't have a "g" basestation yet, but I'm fully confident it will work just fine. ... Read more

    4. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 plus Adobe Premiere Elements
    list price: $149.99
    our price: $134.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002UDQ8G
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Adobe
    Sales Rank: 24
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Photoshop Elements 3.0 plus Premiere Elements ... Read more


    • Use video clips in photo creations; include photos to video
    • Spark the imagination and learn advanced techniques with easy How Tos
    • Perfect, transform, organize, and share digital photos
    • Create impressive home videos with Hollywood-style transitions and effects
    • Burn dynamic slide shows to DVD for easy sharing

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Consumer-Level Product for Digital Photographers
    OK, it isn't PERFECT - but darn close. Yes it has a learning curve - so does anything else in life truly worth doing. Having 12+ years of digital image background, having taught numerous people about digital photography and image manipulation, using Photoshop 6, 7, CS, etc., I find this program to be excellent. I love the integration with video editing, and the product definitely exceeds expectations from a user standpoint. I tried other products from Jasc and others, they don't hold a candle to Adobe. There's a reason why Adobe is THE choice of Print and Photography Professionals around the world.

    A few comments. First, the backup utility will not burn on my 16X DVD burner at the rated speed. Second, If you are going to buy this program and use it regularly, definitely max out the RAM on your system - 1GB minimum. If you are using anything less than P4 2.8Ghz, get a new machine. Third, take the time to go through the tutorials and learn the interface - it is very little short-term inconvenience in exchange for the results you will get by doing so. Also, try the Kelby books to learn more, they are very straightforward about doing particular tasks. A great way to learn PSE3....

    1-0 out of 5 stars Adobe Elements 3.0
    Adobe is very simplistic compared to PhotoImpact 10.With both items being in the same price range, Adobe should be charging $9.95 for what it provides. With PhotoImpact you get a manual with hundreds of pages of instructions as to what it will do.With Adobe Elements 3.0, you get a booklet.Elements 3.0 is a beginners program only and not meant for anyone who has ever used a photo editing program before.

    4-0 out of 5 stars So Many Features You REALLY Should Buy Training Materials
    It get's 4 Stars rather than 5 because this software is particularly hungry for system resources compared to other video and photo editing products.This software may be worth it, however. I've used other software for the last few years, e.g., Sonic MY DVD, Roxio Photosuite, Jasc Paintshop Pro & Album. The Adobe software is really slick.
    I have a Dell 4600 ( 2 years old ) with a 2.6 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 Processor with Hyperthreading enabled.It was only after I added a GIG of RAM (Now I have 1.5 GB) and added another 120 GB 7200 RPM drive, that Premiere Elements no longer bogs down my machine. The software works well now. The features are really amazing in this package.The photo organizer is superb, and the photo editing tools work great, especially the built-in quick fixes. The video editing software allows for a lot of naunced controls.I recently upgraded to Sonic DVDit to make better DVDs, however, the native video editing capability there is weak. So I added the Adobe Premiere Elements package to get better audio and video editing features back(e.g., add and edit multiple audio tracks) for my movies.Indeed, a Tech Support person at Sonic said Premiere was a good editor to use along with DVDit.At length, there is no avoiding reality: Really fully-featured software takes some learning. No train - no gain, I guess
    To use this software productively, again, you really have to read the manual completely.Then go buy available 3rd party training DVDs. It's worth it. I'm having much more fun now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best entry level photo editing with great video editing
    This version of Photoshop Elements is substantially better than the previous version! With the added bonus of an easy to navigate video editing.Both products works seamlessly together.

    * The photo organizer makes finding a particular photo easier. (though if you already have a great deal of digital images it takes a long time to get them all sorted)

    * A new feature called quick fix is great when it works. It tends to do better on outdoor pictures than indoor pics. If quick fix does not work another feature, auto levels, does a good job.

    * The spot-healing tool is great for removing facial blemishes and other small objects that need to be removed. I have actually been really amazed at how well it works. On some photos it even can remove unwanted faces.

    * The red eye correction is another easy to use tool that consistently works well. This red eye tool is the best one I have worked with.

    * Multiple audio tracks allow for audio from multiple sources

    With all these automated tools editing pictures and video has become a whole lot easier.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent program for a very good price
    We have now owned Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements for about 6 months and I love them.Premiere Elements is an espcially excellent tool for putting together great slideshows and videos.It is very simple to use and surprisingly powerful.The only drawback that I have found with Premiere is that the video editing (lighting, color, etc.) was not initially intuitive to use.But after a little reading of the help documents, I am just amazed at what you can do with this program.We don't really have the best video camera in the world, so in poor lighting conditions it doesn't always provide the best quality video.However, with the use of Premiere I have been able to adjust the videos to make them wonderful.

    I was not quite as impressed with Elements as I was with Premiere.It too is a very good program, but I have found that the auto adjustments (for shadow, color, contrast, etc.) don't always leave you with the best picture and I often have to adjust these things manually.But since you can adjust things manually, I always end up with beautiful pictures using this program.

    All in all, I would say this combination of programs is absolutely one the best I have ever used. ... Read more

    5. Apple iBook Notebook 12" M9623LL/A (1.2 GHz PowerPC G4, 256MB RAM, 30GB Hard Drive, Combo Drive, Built-in AirPort Extreme)
    by Apple Computer
    list price: $1,000.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002A6YVC
    Catlog: Personal Computer
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 1
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    6. Creative MuVo Micro N200 1 GB MP3 Player Black
    list price: $149.99
    our price: $134.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006G9HMA
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 502
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Transfer songs w/ USB 2.0 , 1GB capacity, FM radio and recorder, Records from any Cd player ... Read more


    • Directly record music from your cd player or other audiosource with Line in
    • Built in voice recorder Record up to 16hrs of lectures or quick notes.
    • USB 2.0 USB 2.0 for faster music transfer
    • Sports armband and carrying case with belt clip. With skip-free playback and sports armband, the MuVo MicroN200 is perfect for the active lifestyle
    • Incredibly thin! Sleekest design to fit perfectly in your pocket, on yourbackpack, in your armband.

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tiny little wonder - great sound & features, but not perfect
    Its really a very small player. Flash players are a great technological advance. It was very hard to decide weather I should get a regular hard drive mp3 player or a flash player.

    You are obviously aware of the pros and cons of choosing one over the other. Flash players are exteremly portable, allow you to use your own AAA battery, widely available, but on the other hand max out at 1 GB capacity. My choice was this flash player.

    Positive qualities
    1) Great Sound, comparable to the iRiver H320 and Dell DJ 30 players I test drove earlier
    2) Very very portable.
    3) The player appeared as a drive letter as soon as I plugged in, and allowed for easy tranfer of files using Windows Explorer, on my Win XP Pro OS.
    4) Transferred 994 MB of files in 8 mins, so if you can save all your music on your machine's hard drive, this ease and speed of transfer virtually resolves your problem of limited size in Flash players, as long as don't mind refreshing your players songs every few days.
    5) Handy to have FM player, and recorder, along with Line-In recorder to convert your old vinyl tapes, or anything else you want to feed to this player.

    I would recommend 1 GB to anyone, but if you are just interested in using it for workout and are on a budget, then atleast get a 512 player. Any music player who uses a portable player owes it to himself to own one Flash Player..

    1)Browsing to the next song stops the current song. In hard drive mp3 players I tested earlier, this was not a problem. They let me play my current song, and browse through rest of the player until I found something else I wanted to switch to.

    2)You need to be aware of before making a informed buying decision is, I couldn't figure out how to use playlists.

    3)This player could easily be your only MP3 player if you can easlily have all your music collection on your PC. If you can't and you rely on carrying all your files on your MP3 player, then this player may not be for you. Then you might need another high capacity player like DELL DJ, Creative Nomad, etc.

    One good thing about this player is, I could easily connect to my car audio system with a TAPE adapter, and change songs so easily, and not worry about damaging the player or its hard drive (since it does not have any). Its lot easier to have this in your car instead of a pricey and delicate hard drive mp3 player.

    OK, now for anyone who wants to compare this player with very similar Creative TX FM. My suggestion is go with this one.
    a) create tx fm is slightly bigger and slightly heavier
    b) creative tx fm may offer you the benefit of directly connecting to your laptop or pc, without a cable (very good feature), BUT it does not offer line in port, so no recording from external sources like walkman, cd player, mic, etc. Although, both the models (n200 and tx fm) have internal mics. So, I prefer the n200 anytime over TX FM.

    I hope you find this review useful. Except for battery life which appears to be great ( i can't tell how many hours it lasts, sorry didn't observe that), i think my review should cover every other detail.

    FYI, I compared the sound of this with iRiver h320 and it was comparable. I have read at many places and in reviews the iRiver is comparable with iPod in sound quality. I bet, this player sounds as good as an iPod too, but sorry, I haven't compared it directly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It is so small that I wear it every is good!
    I absolutely love this little player!I wear it everywhere I go.Heck, most people don't even notice it.It fits perfectly in the front pocket of my pants.Life is better now!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great product, but there's always room for improvement
    Met almost all user expectations for ease of use, including smart controls & default option selections which minimize clicks & scrolls (example: you go from fm radio during a commercial to play some songs and it knows you'll probably want to go back to fm when you go back to the menu)Great shuffle options, easy to use folder navigation (i recommend keeping everything in the root folder or one level down into a folder).

    I like the dial for controls, but I would have preferred a dial for the volume instead of two buttons that look like next track/prev track.Basically the controls have been reversed! but they make sense because the dial is more like a mouse because you push it in to 'hit enter.'

    FM has presets which work great and the thing even has autoscan which is cool, but when scanning, even if you hold down the direction it stops at the next available radio station, so it can take longer than it should to get to your goal with all the speed bumps (my favorite radio station is DC 101.1).

    Player features "drag-and-drop", but DRM WMA files such as the ones purchased from Walmart can only be copied to it via Windows Media Player or something that will also copy the license file.I consider this extraneous, because their agreement says unlimited loads on a portable and it's not like you can load the wma on another computer for burning / storing without acquiring a license. eh...Which actually makes me think that if you could hook up a cd writer directly to a muvo or whatever then that would kick ssa.

    You can hear the noisy backlit LCD buzz.You can't hear it after the backlight goes off, of course, so it's just annoying for that second.But man, that's annoying and makes you think that the SNR is terrible until you realize what it is.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not "Creative" at all!
    I bought the Creative MuVo in high hopes of being able to work out a the gym with a slim light weight MP3 player and enjoy my favorite songs.That was with the first player I was working fine, it took me a while to understand how to "rip" songs from my cd's and download them to the player.I also enjoyed the clear sounds, but after the second day, the headphone plug jack stopped working, and the left ear of my headphones went dead.First I thought it's just the head phones, but I tried my other pair and the left ear still didn't work.

    I manage to go and exchange the player for a new one still with hopes that the defect was not going to reappear.What I didn't know is that the new player I got to replace the broken one was more defective!This time it was about a week before the player stopped working! STOPPED WORKING! I tried to turn it on and the screen will light up but no music.I tried music.I tried many times, changed batteries, waited a few minutes to give it time to "refresh"...still no music!!!!!!! That's when I got mad. I will never buy a product by Creative again!I spent too much money on something that doesn't work.I will try other products close to the price I paid so I can enjoy an MP3 players positive usage qualities...but NEVER EVER a player made by Creative.

    4-0 out of 5 stars not bad but not great
    I have had my RIO S35 Sport for many years. I like the S35 very much. It simply works great.Let's have a comparsion.

    1) Size - The N200 is about half the size of the S35. It is good to be small but at the same time, the switches are also very small. The buttons are ok but the Scroll Wheel is too small to use because everything uses the Scroll Wheel in the N200. The S35 is bigger but it is round instead of rectangular. I can hold the S35 more comfortable than the N200.

    2) Sound - the N200 sounds very good. Both sound very good. But my aging S35 begins to make clicking noise from the begining of every song. The N200 doesn't make any clicking noise but it has a buzzing noise whenever the backlite comes on. You need to use another earphone to fix the buzzing noise. I have a Sony MDR-W24 that has a inline volumn control. If I lower the inline volumn, the buzzing noise goes away.I also try the earphone that comes with my S35, the S35 earphone doesn't have any buzzing noise either.Bottomline is that you need to use an earphone that has a bigger resistance.

    3) Screen - The S35 has a much bigger screen with 4 lines. You can see different info about the song. I have to say the S35 has a much better screen. The N200 screen is very small with only 2 lines. It only display the time and the title. No bit-rate. No file type. No remaining time. No date. No nothing from the N200.

    4) Menu - The N200 uses Icons to represent different features. You need to memorize what the Icons are for. There is descriptions for the icons but you can only see the text when you scroll to that icon. Unless you already know what the icon is for, you will, like me, end up spending all day to look for the options you want with the tiny Scroll Wheel. And there are ALOT! of Icons and Menus in multiple levels for you to scroll with the tiny Scroll Wheel in the N200. A big D-Pad in the S35 is a better way to move around IMO.

    5) Feature

    Recording - The N200 has line-in and a mic. They both works well.And it is nice to have recording. You can record memo and note and thing like that. BUT... you need to "hunt" for the Icon to switch the recording on.

    Memory - The S35 uses SD memory card. You can add more memory but I don't find it useful. You will end up putting more of you hard earned cash to the S35. The N200 already comes with 1Gig. More than big enough for everyday uses.

    Windows - N200 has a better Windows support. The S35 disappear from Windows all the time.N200 uses USB2. The S35 uses USB1. Transferring files is much much faster with the N200.

    Playlist - No playlist support for the N200!!!! but N200 supports one-level folder.I like the folder support better than playlist.


    The reason for me to get the N200 is the 1Gig of memory, the faster USB2, and better Windows support.

    This is a very good MP3 players. Highly recommanded.But only 4 stars because there are too many options in the menu and the scroll wheel is too small. ... Read more

    7. Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional Upgrade from Standard Version 4-7
    list price: $159.99
    our price: $145.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00069ECAO
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Adobe
    Sales Rank: 68
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Collect, produce, and share Intelligent Documents

    Adobe® Acrobat® 7.0 Professional software is the advanced way to create, control, and deliver more secure, high-quality Adobe PDF documents. Assemble electronic or paper fileseven Web sites, engineering drawings, and e-mailinto reliable PDF documents that are easy to share with others using free Adobe Reader® 7.0 software.

    New features

    • Enjoy improved performance
      With improved performance you can quickly convert, collect, and organize Adobe PDF documents.

    • Extend commenting capabilities
      Enable anyone who uses free Adobe Reader® 7.0 software to actively participate in reviews.

    • Easily design Adobe PDF forms
      Use Adobe LiveCycle™ Designer 7.0 software (now included with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 ProfessionalWindows® only) to create PDF forms that look like the paper forms they replace. Incorporate business logic, such as calculations and data validations.

    • Organize Adobe PDF documents
      Quickly find a list of Adobe PDF documents you have recently opened. View them as thumbnails, and drag and drop files into related collections.

    • Enjoy improved attachment capabilities
      Easily attach source documents such as spreadsheets, multimedia files, images, and drawings to an Adobe PDF document.
    Note: To qualify for this upgrade version you must be a licensed user of Acrobat 4.x, 5.x or Acrobat 6.x, 7.0 Standard.

    ... Read more


    • Easily attach source documents such as spreadsheets, multimedia files, images, and drawings to an Adobe PDF document
    • Enable anyone with free Adobe Reader 7.0 software to use highlighter, sticky note, pen, and other commenting tools
    • Create PDF files with the click of a button from Microsoft applications and AutoCAD
    • Create a single Adobe PDF document from multiple sources, including portions of Web pages and previously combined Adobe PDF documents
    • Use the included Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.0 software to create PDF forms that look like the paper forms they replace

    8. QuickBooks Pro 2005 for Mac
    list price: $299.95
    our price: $249.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00062AJQ2
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Intuit, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 48
    Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Intuit Quickbooks Pro 2005 For Mac .QuickBooks Pro 2005 includes all the features of Basic, plus additional advanced tools and customization options to help your clients work more efficiently.With QuickBooks Pro 2005, your small business clients will be able to: Set all the features of QuickBooks Basic, like the ability to easily pay bills, print checks, track expenses and more. Choose from over 120 reports and over 100 forms, and customize them in multiple ways.Exchange data with Microsoft Word, Excel and more than 325 other software applications.Track employee time and job costs. Create reports comparing estimated costs to actuals.Find key information about customer and vendor accounts instantly. Get immediate, accurate answers about customer and vendor payment status, open orders or POs.Improved for 2005: Enter downloaded transactions in just a few steps from credit card and banking institutions. Process shipments and print shipping labels with UPS, in addition to FedEx. ... Read more


    • Transfer data from Quicken for Mac or QuickBooks for Windows
    • Takes advantage of more Mac OS X features, including iCal and .Mac
    • Financial management software for small businesses
    • Easily pay bills, print checks, track expenses, and much more
    • Export reports to Microsoft Excel; customizable reports

    Reviews (10)

    3-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe there's no online banking support!!!!
    This just blows my mind.My cheapo Quicken (actually bundled free) has had great online banking support for years, but pricey Quickbooks PRO does not?What is that?This is 2005 -- I can't fathom how they could possibly release this product without online banking support.It's not like they don't know how to do it.

    Other than that I really like it.I'm using it anyway as there isn't really an attractive alternative in my opinion, as they must know...

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not as advertised:MAC to PC problems.
    If you are planning on round-tripping between your Mac and a Windows version (i.e. between your accountant or bookeeper's PC using a windows version of Quickbooks Pro- DO NOT PURCHASE this product! Unfortunately, there are two major flaws with Quickbooks 2005 7.0. The first and most dangerous is that the more you round trip the more corrupt your data will become.Secondly, if you have memorized reports you will have to errase them before round tripping and they will not be saved.
    Unfortunately Quickbooks does not tell you this before purchasing- infact they advertise this easy conversion between Mac and PC as a selling feature for their product.
    If you do not need to have your accountant or CPA manipulate your data on their PC, then the program is a good attempt to make a Windows style program into a MAC-like product.

    1-0 out of 5 stars NoBooks Is More Like It
    Don't buy it. If you're on Mac, spend your money on PC emulator and use the PC version of QuickBooks. The Mac version doesn't seem to be designed to be used as a bookkeeping system for a business. You can't print deposit slips. You can print a deposit summary, but the bank is funny about requiring an account number and a routing number.
    QuickBooks won't do payroll updates for the Mac version, so you have to jump through more hoops to get signed up with yet another vendor, then you get the software vs. software argument: "It's not our problem, it's theirs." "No, it's not our problem, it's theirs."
    And that's the first day. I understand it gets worse from there, but I'm not sticking around for the ride.
    Intuit has kindly set up an online forum so users can "share creativity" for working around problems. I thought that was what programmers were supposed to do.I thought I was supposed to spend my time running my business and using the software, not "fixing" it.But hey, maybe someone will buy that line and believe it's her fault the program is a dog.
    Intuit has taken a page from the Gates book and gone MS one better on the QuickBooks for Mac version.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not ready for prime time:more is less
    Intuit has hyped this new release a lot, but it falls well short of deserving the praise.The 2005 QuickBooks for Mac would be a definite improvement if there weren't so many little glitches and annoyances in it.Most disturbingly, accounts and numbers pull disappearing acts - they simply don't display on the screen sometimes.How confidant can you feel when you're looking at a Profit and Loss statement that has no numbers on it?

    Even though the menus are touted as being redesigned to closely match those in the PC version of QuickBooks, some things are still maddeningly hard to find.And too many basic features are still unavailable.Intuit should have kept this under wraps a bit longer and made sure it worked before they foisted it off on users eager for an improved product.Let's hope they address the bugs promptly in a maintenance update.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Rebate is phony
    The terms of the rebate aren't listed here but once you get the pakage you will see in the fine print that it is only for people who are UPGRADING from a previous version of QuickBooks. ... Read more

    9. Kingston 128 MB SmartMedia Card 3.3V (SM/128)
    list price: $70.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006BBZ3
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Kingston Technology
    Sales Rank: 473
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Ultra-thin portable storage for digital devices.
    Control digital files, don't let them control you. SmartMedia memory cards from Kingston offer convenient, portable file storage for users of digital devices such as cameras, PDAs, portable terminals, electronic music instruments, voice recorders/players, faxes, printers and scanners. With the optional SmartMedia reader, moving files from a device to a desktop or notebook is easy. Add its super compact size and 128 MB* of storage space and you can have a portable library of multiple cards for lots of digital file storage.

    Note: Some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and thus is not available for data storage. Some devices may not support all of the options listed. Consult your owner's manual for supported configurations.

    ... Read more


    • 1000G shock resistance rating
    • Compatible with 3.3V SmartMedia devices
    • True Plug-and-Play operation with hot swapping capability
    • Miniature stamp size, weighs only 1.8 grams
    • Transfers up to 3.5 MB of data per second

    Reviews (4)

    I paid for a KINGSTON 128 MB SmartMedia Card and substituted a PQI brand which I've never heard of. Jerked me around for a week when I wanted a replacement or refund, asked for my address several times, etc., finally, after a week got a refund from CAUTION: SURPLUSCOMPUTERS.COMIS DISREPUTABLE IN MY BOOK.BUYER BEWARE ! NOT THE KIND OF THIRD PARTY MERCHANT I EXPECT AMAZON.COM TO BE DOING BUSINESS WITH !

    5-0 out of 5 stars bettmac
    I purchased this Viking Smart Media card for my Olympus C4000 in July, based on recommendations I read here.I ended up using it right away for several work related events.It is absolutely wonderful and a can't miss for the price.I recently purchased a second one and may get a third soon as I keep seeing that Smart Media may go away soon.

    This is a great media card for the price, especially when you consider like brands sell for much more.

    2-0 out of 5 stars incompatibility issues
    Bought one new. Doesn't work in any of the following cameras:
    Olympus C4040, C3020, C4000, E20. Got "media error" when trying
    to format. Can't access it from a PC using a PCMCIA adaptor.
    Can format and read/write fine using a Memorex USB reader.
    Filed a warranty claim with Kingston and got a replacement.
    Still can't work in E20 but can work in a C4040. Will sell it
    on eBay soon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Huge Things Come In Small Packages
    It's amazing that 128 MB can fit in something that is about 1/100th the size of my 100 MB ZipDisc.The card works fine, and that's all you can ask it to do.The price is great also, considering that when I bought my digital 4-track, the store tried to sell me a sililar 128 MB smart disc card for 100 bucks.If you're into anything digital, this is the way to go. ... Read more

    10. Linksys Wireless-G Range Expander WRE54G
    list price: $146.00
    our price: $86.22
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00021XIJW
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Linksys
    Sales Rank: 412
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Linksys (WRE54G) 802.11G RANGE EXTENDER ... Read more


    • Compatible with the Linksys WAP54G Access Point, and both the WRT54G and WRT54GS wireless routers
    • Expand your wireless networking coverage to eliminate dead spots
    • Works with both 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks
    • Supports 64 and 128-bit WEP encryption
    • Configurable through your networked PC's Web browser or the included Setup Wizard

    Reviews (143)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Good idea, bad product, too many limitations
    I bought the WRE54G intending to extend my WRT54G wireless signal throughout a two story house.The WRT54G just doesn't have quite enough range to cover both stories, so I thought the WRE54G would do the trick.

    I was hesitant to buy this product after reading all the terrible reviews about the setup.But since I am a network professional, I work at Cisco Systems, and I'm very familiar with wireless and networking, I figured I could get through the problems others encountered.

    Three hours later, I was cursing my arrogance.This thing was a real pain to setup, mostly because of firmware issues.Now, I didn't call Linksys support to verify this, but reading the other reviews it seems that is the case.My struggle sounds like everyone else's:turn off WEP, try auto-configure... nothing but a red link light.I upgraded firmware on my WRT54G to 3.x and the WRE started working, finally, with auto-configure.Then I upgraded the WRE firmware when I could finally get to the device.

    You would think I'd be happy, but I'm not, and this is why I'm writing this review.In addition to being difficult to setup, this extender has other issues that are not mentioned by Linksys- until you go to their Knowledge Base and read up on the product.

    1.MAC filtering doesn't work, period.You can enable it on the WRT, but because the extender registers its own MAC with the WRT, you cannot filter by host MAC.

    2.The max connect from the WRE is 54Mb between it and the WRT.But to hosts connecting to the WRE, it drops to 22Mb.Still fast, but...

    3.Inconsistent signal between the WRT and WRE.This could be the WRT, but since my PC seems to have no problem connecting the the WRT from the same area, why does the WRE constantly drop the connection?Of course, when the WRE loses signal to the WRT, your hosts will lose their connection too.I tried a bunch of locations in my house, and I just couldn't find one that worked reliably.

    4.Expensive!What is the deal?You can buy an WAP54G access point for cheaper, and it has more functionality.You can even use the WAP54G as a range extender if you get the right (later) hardware and firmware version.This thing costs more than the original wireless router, and it only does half the stuff.I just don't understand why it has to cost so much.

    5.I kept having a problem where my PC would try to associate with the wrong device.It would prefer the weaker WRT wireless signal and not the WRE.I am sure there's probably a way to make it only communicate with the WRE, but... do I really have to dig around the manual to figure out how to do it?

    6.I kept thinking about what this setup would be like if I didn't know anything about networking.Frankly, I'm surprised any person without specific networking knowledge could get it working without help.


    In summary, I really wanted to like this product.But I don't, and even though I work for the parent company of Linksys I feel I should warn other users that this product may not do what you think it will.

    If you are setting up a wireless network, and want to extend your range.... I highly encourage you to wire your infrastructure together using a WRT54G router and a WAP54g access point with an ethernet cable strung between them.Relying on the wireless signal between the router and access point has proved flaky, in my experience.Yeah, I know it sucks to string a cable between the devices, and maybe that is the big selling point of this device.But for reliability and performance, wired infrastructure is the way to go.If you don't believe me, take a look around at professional wireless installations (offices, etc).If the WREs worked well, you'd simply see these things peppered all over.But you don't.... it's always access points wired to a router in a hub and spoke topology.

    Bottom line, buy this product only if running ethernet cable to your new wireless access point is not an option.Be prepared to spend a lot of time monkeying with it to get it to work, and be willing to put up with mediocre performance.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Setting up the WRE54G - caution!
    This device works great, now.But it took 4 hours, mostly on the telephone with tech support in India and the Phillipines to figure it out.The problem enters into the equation when you enable WEP encryption, since the online knowledge base and the installation CD do not tell you how to properly make it work.So here's what I suggest:

    #1Make sure you have downloaded the latest firmware for your router and the range expander.

    #2If you have ANY problems after step one, ask to speak with senior level technical support right away.The front line tech support people aren't properly trained, and the installation software won't get the job done.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Product
    I have to admit that I was hesitant to buy this booster because of all the trouble everyone was having. I bought it anyway based on the success of some of the reviewers and their instructions to others to get it to work.

    I pretty much followed their instructions to get this device to work but was not successful.So I let it sit unused for a couple of days deciding whether to send it back to amazon or eat the loss.I decided to try one more time.Since I never used the setup wizard cd that came with it I decided to give that a try.

    Well what do you know?Apparently Linksys or Cisco has finally got it together with this device.

    Heeding the advise of others to disable wep encrytion before starting, I disable the wpa encryption that my router wrt54gs is configured for.

    Popped in the setup cd and followed the instructions and voila everything worked flawlessly, the way linksys products have done in the past.

    Once I got both blue l.e.d.s I connected to the wre54g thru its network jack using the default ip and password and enabled wpa encryption first. I then re-enabled wpa on my wrt54gs, and on my wireless laptop and its working like a charm.

    The label on the bottom has wre54g v2 as the model.It came with firmware version 2.01.10 already installed.

    My wrt54gs had firmware version 3.37.1 in it, but I downloaded and installed v3.37.6 without a hitch before I started setting up the wre54g.

    I'm giving it a 4 star rating and not a 5 star because I could never get the wre54g to setup by just using the automatic setup button found on its housing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works fine with compatible equipment
    I found the setup and installation for the Linksys Range Expander was fairly simple when connecting it to a secured Linksys router. My speed at the periphery of my router was running at about 38Mbits and jumped immediately to 54Mbits once the Range Expander was installed. I had spent a good bit of time earlier making sure the router was configured and security enabled while replacing the older 11b equipment I had been using. If you aren't familiar with networking, I would suggest getting help from the outset. It may save on some of the frustration folks experience. Use the Linksys utilities rather than those proffered by the operating system. Mixing the two up in the process of installation can definitely cause problems.

    1-0 out of 5 stars linkstinks
    Do not waste your money on this piece of junk. I never ever got it to work even after numerous attempts. I struggled through the cryptic online instructions and wasted hours with the useless phone support personal who spoke an unrecognizable form of english. ... Read more

    11. Creative Nomad Zen Xtra 60 GB MP3 Jukebox
    by Creative Labs
    list price: $299.99
    our price: $292.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000EW9M8
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 710
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • 60 GB storage lets you bring up to 16,000 WMA songs (80 kbps) or MP3 songs (128 kbps) everywhere you go
    • Use AudioSync to synchronize your music on your player with your PC at work, school and home or on the road
    • Load a song a second with ultra fast USB 2.0 port, compatible with USB 1.1 too
    • Removable, high-capacity Li-ion battery -- up to 14 hrs continuous playback per charge
    • Compatible with Microsoft Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP

    Reviews (50)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not for me
    This is Creative Lab's attempt to copy Apples iPod but after using this thing for 2 days I'm now happy that I was able to change it to the real iPod instead.

    - more storage
    - metal case
    - price

    - the iPod is really not to be called tiny, but the Zen Xtra actually feels bulky and heavy
    - the case is a joke. You have to take the Zen out of your pocket and flip up the cover to see the display.
    - a hassle to operate with one hand
    - the user interface is not intuitive or user friendly (they probably did not dare to copy apples touch wheel)
    - the included software is even worse. You definately need some time to figure it out. Just annoying.
    - Take both models for a run! I had to switch off the Zen Xtra after 15 minutes because a lot of cracking noises were just too much to take. I'm not sure if it was the headphone connection or the skip protection not working properly or a combination. That was the point where I decided to go for the iPod
    - The ear buds are badly designed and did not fit. Be prepared to buy a new set right away. And they have no remote control funktion!
    - The USB1 or USB2 data transfer is just painfully slow in comparism to iPod's iLink (firewire) transfer with my Sony notebook. I have nearly 3500 songs on my computer. The synchronize (USB2) took more than an hour with the Zen and less than 25 minutes with iPods firewire connection.

    When you use an iPod you experience a product that is surprisingly functional, well designed and just fun to operate.
    You do not feel like the first person to test the equipment and then have to live with it's shortcomings.

    If you desperately need a 60 GB model rather wait for the next update of Apple's iPod. Like in the past the premium model's price won't get up. Only the specifications will get better.

    If you desperately need to save some money choose a smaller iPod or take the Zen Xtra and suffer like I did initially ...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best tech I've purchased
    Let's get this out of the way: The cover on this thing does pop off WAY too easily. That's a basic design flaw, which is practically inexcusable. But even with that flaw I LOVE my Zen Xtra. It is the single best piece of tech that I have purchased in the past two years (when I have also bought a new laptop, new desktop, digital camera, DVD player, etc.)

    My entire vast music collection is converted to MP3s on a hard drive at close to 110GB, so I went for the 60GB Zen Xtra. Though I could make use of even more capacity, as a music player there is nothing lacking. The latest firmware has resolved just about every remaining quirk. I plug the player into my car stereo, select "Play any track" and listening to my own private radio station with all of my favorite artists.

    It's a great player with good sound and battery life, at a very good price point especially compared to an iPod. Why spend $500 for a 40GB player when you can get 60GB for $150 less? Unless the iPod actually rubs your shoulders as it plays music, I can't imagine it is any better than the Zen.

    Hey Creative: Fix the cover issue, add an 80GB drive and I will be first in line for the next generation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best
    If your tyring to compare this or an ipod, defintally go for this, It can hold up to more songs than you know, great features, great quality and long lasting battery.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Its a five next to the Ipod
    As of the year 2004 and your looking for a jukebox you can play with I highly recommend this product.Its more attractive than your girlfriend or boyfriend. BIG storage, fast transfer, palm size,amazing suround sound with many different soundmodes,14 hr battery life, and many many many more features.The software it comes with easy and organized.The earbuds it comes with is awesome,fits me perfectly and again it sounds great, best sound quality earbuds produced. At times I transfer about 500 or more mp3's and it takes like 7-12 minutes and I have a SLOW computer.Only thing you should be AWARE of that all recharchable batteries-if charging while being used or over charging or charging when there is plenty left can damage it and it will slim the battery life down in half.One last thing-since the faceplate is deattachable, CREATIVE LABS should design alteranative faceplates.RED,BLUE,GREEN...ANd DOnt Drop it,its like any other baby or jukebox, it can die.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Total Trash
    I bought one of these and it worked olny ok i had trouble with importing tracks + at tis point the thing is usless at 6 mo old.
    This unit has not been dropped my most major problem occured when I had decided to fix my id3 tags which the player uses for its catalog, so i removed the MP3s with the supplied software and reloaded the same MP3s with correct id3 tages and now you cannot hear the vocals and some portions of the music.
    Creatives responce was to want to charge me to send it to them to look at and from my understanding I am not the olny person with this problem, buy another brand player do yourself a favor.
    Befor this problem player had great sound ... Read more

    12. SimpleTech 160GB USB 2.0EXTERNAL HD 3.5( STI-USB235/160 )

    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001DYTY4
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY INC.
    Sales Rank: 499
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    The SimpleDrive External USB 2.0 Hard Drive is the easiest way to add more lightning fast storage to any desktop or laptop computer.With a USB 2.0 connection, setup is a snap and data transfer rates are fast and reliable. These Mass Storage Compliant External Hard Drives are 100% compatible with any system that has a USB port. Engineered for performance and reliability, SimpleTech's high speed, high capacity drives are Ideal for any storage need, including digital music, movies and photographs. Every SimpleTech External Hard Drive comes with a FREE fully functioning copy of StorageSync Automatic Backup Software so full or incremental backups are fast and easy every time. ... Read more


    • Portable external 7200 RPM hard drive with 160 GB capacity
    • Hot swappable; plug-and-play
    • USB 2.0 provides up to 480 Mb/sec data transfer rate; compatible with USB 1.1
    • Stands vertically or sits horizontally
    • Includes StorageSync Automatic Backup Software

    Reviews (4)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Drive does its job although a few drawbacks
    After purchasing drive for mainly storing my ridiculously large music library, I no major disappointments. Files transferred perfectly from my internal harddrive with no incompatibility or reliabily issues. One complaint i do have with this Simpletech drive is that the packaging and the website advertises this drive as being 160GB but after formating it don't expect to any more than about 149GB. I'm not sure if this misrepresentation is normal among harddrives since this purchasing one. And also the green LED light on the front that SHOULD indicate whether the drive is being accessed (reading/writing), is actually just a faint white light. This light is barely visible with the lights in the room on. This makes it hard to tell whether it is safe to remove the drive or not. Over all i am pretty satisfied with the product. Would i invest in another Simple Tech product? Well, probably not

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Drive
    The drive is the better than I could imagine. It is quick, quiet, and well priced. The drive doesn't make a sound and isn't huge and bulky. It is much quieter than Western Digital drives that I have used and recommend it to anyone looking for an external drive. The drive didn't require me loading any driver software, it was just plug and play. I haven't even messed with the software that came with the drive, so I don't know how great that is. The 160 GB drive gave me 150 GB of usable space, not too bad. Overall, this is an excellent drive!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Drive is great but the backup software is crapy and locks up
    I ordered two of these hard drives. Drives are functioning well but the backup software (Storage Sync) is not reliable at all. It took me 3 tries (15 Hours each time to backup 13 GB of data). First two times software stopped responding with no error, so I had to kill the application using Windows Task Manager. Third time it went fine, but I cannot restore any files as restore utility is keep locking on me. I have wasted all my time and gained nothing. SimpleTech support person asked me to try again with no compression (another 20 hours down the drain). He also suggested Windows backup utility. Microsoft Windows backup utility is much faster compared to the StorageSnyc and did the job in lesser time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great drive that is easy to use and very fast...
    I received the drive a couple days ago. I am very impressed with the ease of use, quality of the construction, and its speed. Here is my full review of the product. Hope this helps =)

    Just feeling the drive makes one believe that it is durable. The outside of the drive is aluminum, very sturdy. Included with the drive is a power adapter, feet, instructions (although pretty simple, basically plug it in), a USB 2.0 cable, a software backup CD, and a driver CD. The feet can be mounted in all sorts of ways. They slide over the drive and latch into the divots. Mounting both ways are very secure and the drive will not fall over.

    Installation was a snap. Plug the USB cable in and you have a 160GB hard drive at your disposal. Windows 98 users will have to use the driver CD to install this drive. The drive does not turn on once power is applied. A power switch in the back must be flipped on. This gives the user control of whether the drive is in use or not.

    StorageSync is a useful backup utility that is included with the SimpleDrive. This utility makes backing up and syncing a remote drive with a computer easy.

    The backup menu is like many other backup programs. Select the drives or folders you wish to backup. Select full or incremental backup. Then backup the drive. The target media drive is the drive you choose to backup to. And the great thing about it is it is included with the drive.

    Listed on the retail box are the external hard drive's features. They can also be accessed on SimpleTech's web site at

    USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant
    One external "B" 4-pin USB (High Speed USB) receptacle
    Serial bus data transfer rates of up to 480 Mb/sec
    SimpleTech 7200 RPM HDD Technology
    USB 2.0 Provides up to 480 Mb/sec Data Transfer Rate
    Connect Up to 127 USB 2.0 Devices with USB Hubs
    Plug n' Play, One-Step Installation
    Stores All File Types, Data, and Software
    Automatic Backups with StorageSync
    Hot Swappable
    Compact design: 5.51" (H) x 8.86" (L) x 1.35" (D)
    Stands vertically or sits horizontally
    Unlimited Toll Free Technical Support
    1 Year Warranty ... Read more

    13. McAfee VirusScan 2005 9.0
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $44.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002T889Y
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: McAfee
    Sales Rank: 57
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    McAfee VirusScan 9.0 Home Mini Box .McAfee VirusScan provides advanced, real-time protection against viruses, mass-mailing worms, Trojans, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) such as spyware, adware and dialers. It protects against the threats that originate from e-mail, instant messaging, Internet downloads, file sharing programs, and Web surfing, automatically detecting and cleaning infected files before they can attack your system. Whether you're a novice computer user or a pro, McAfee VirusScan provides the ultimate in PC protection with its award-winning threat prevention technology. Automatic and virtually effortless, the software provides a safe and worry-free online experience. ... Read more


    • More efficient at handling today's larger file sizes (e.g., MP3s, digital photos), VirusScan automatically scans inbound (POP3) and outbound (SMTP) email and email attachments for most popular email clients.
    • Prevents viruses when emailing, downloading and surfing
    • Quickly detects and helps delete potentially unwanted applications (PUPs) like key-loggers, Web dialers, pop-ups and adware that can rob personally identifiable information or slow your Web surfing.
    • VirusScan scans Instant Message attachments sent via AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Messenger.
    • Whenever new viruses attack, McAfee VirusScan automatically updates itself with the latest virus definitions (DATs), silently in the background without interrupting your work.

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Super! McAfee is BACK!
    I'm a Norton user, have been since 2000.Studies were posted showing this was a better product.Next Windows XP had problems with McAfee and Norton beat them to the contract, developing a certified product first.HOWEVER, Norton is now the slacker.While on top, sucking up the money of millions, Norton is turning it's attention to other things.I love McAfee, now.Norton AntiVirus 2003 & 2004 will not catch the W32Spybot.Norton Internet Secrutiy will slow down your network, not allow you to EVER turn off Norton Internet Security, and cannot be uninstalled (must rip it out of the registry).In effect they take over your PC like NetZero, AOL, and much like a trojan.When I bought McAfee 9.0 2005 to replace Norton 2004 it caught the following:
    - (2) Trojans: Exploit MhtRedir.gen
    - (1) Trojan: Exploit CodeBase.gen
    - (1) Virus: EICAR test file
    Also, McAfee is very price considerate to their coupon people(...).I don't know what took them (4) years, but they are back in my book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Rebate woes
    I thought about going on with a tirade about how McAfee offers rebates on their products that never arrive. But too many people have beaten me to the punch. There are whole websites devoted to people who spent six months trying to get a promised rebate from them. My story is not at all original, I bought the product and carefully included everything the rebate asked for, mailed the whole shebang in and waited...and waited...and waited and FINALLY received a letter in reply saying that my claim was rejected because of missing form xxx. "I'll have to take your word on that boys as you kept all the forms that I sent to yourselves instead of returning them with this note!!"
    I could have fought them over this but why bother it's only $20 and I have no leverage.
    Instead I'll just have to content my self with this little tirade...Oh and perhaps post alink to a company that lets you download a *FREE VERSION** of their commercial anti-virus software. [...]

    3-0 out of 5 stars At least it works this time
    I had given up McAfee back with Version 7.0 when I could not get it to work and received -- let's say less than adequate support.I went to Norton Antivirus & Personal Firewall with version 2004 when my OEM installed McAfee on my new desktop and OEM Norton on my laptop were ready to be upgraded.

    The Norton software worked quite well for about 7 months.When I downloaded the updates around the first of Feb 05 from Symantec, I could not stop my laptop from going to the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).After completely giving up on being able to get the Symantec to run on my laptop, I decided to give the McAfee Antivirus 2005 9.0 a try.At least it works and does not crash my system (yet).It does lack some of the intelligence of the Norton product.The Norton product had a nice feature to create rules to help recognize activities on the laptop that were not malicious.This kept it from constantly stopping or flagging activities that were ok.The McAfee lacks this degree of intelligence.

    But, like I said, it runs.Which is far more than I can say for the 2/05 updates to Symantec's Norton products.

    I may give my Norton a try again in a month or two to see if Symantec has fixed the problems.But I will not hold my breath.

    I would prefer to have Microsoft get into the Antivirus and robust firewall arena so that we can have a product that we can at least have more confidence in its ability to play nice with the Windows kernal.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Maybe it's good stuff (?)included printed material isn't
    I bought a copy of 9.0 locally because I've always used McAfee and online updating is a bad joke with my connection. The first version, whatever it was, came preinstalled on my Gateway and came with no print documentation. Next up I bought a copy of 6.0 and got the print stuff, no real problems if a guy would just read directions I guess. I updated that one online but made mistakes (their system wasn't clear enough for me and the download took too much time)and decided to go and buy software this time based on the reputation I'd heard McAfee had.
    I was pleased to read, on the box, that just about any PC out there could run this thing but I was dismayed to find next to no printed material in the box. The box itself almost has more info than the sorry little scrap of paper inside. Quick Start Guide they all it and that's about all you get, a quick run through on preparing your PC and installation of the product. I'm not very computer literate and this thing seems to be written for Windows XP (I'm using '98). Any real operations information seems to be contained on the CD-ROM (so you'd better not throw that away), I'm not entirely sure I can figure out how to open it up- I want it in print. Another thing I don't like is that the software seems to be autogeared to search and update on it's own- not one word in print anywhere about that.
    Next time I may just see about using somebody else's software.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this piece of crap.
    This software gave me only problems, I have Win98SE,My computer was working fine before the installation of McAfee 9.0, It caused my computer to lock up every time when scaning for virus. After restarting my computer this antivirus was forbiding access to several files vital for a the computer to run, I couldn't uninstall it because did not let me open my control panel. So my computer became unuseful. I was able to start in safe mode and disable the crap. Then I used the manual scan option, it found a virus call W32\FunLove.gen it said that the files have been cleaned. I ran the manual scan again and it found the same virus in the same files previously cleaned!!. I did it 3 times and it was always finding the same virus. What a nightmare. I installed it in another computer with Win98 in it, did the same thing. Is unvelibable that a new software can perfome some badly, it is a rip off. Besides all the support of McAfee is terrible there is no 1-800 numbers and you have to pay by the minute to talk to technicians. Don't buy this crap!! ... Read more

    14. QuickBooks Basic 2005
    list price: $199.95
    our price: $189.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00062AJNK
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Intuit, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 29
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Intuit Quickbooks Basic 2005.QuickBooks 2005 Basic has the basic tools your clients need to manage their business finances faster, and with complete confidence.With QuickBooks 2005 Basic, your small business clients will be able to:Track expenses just by paying bills. Your clients can track bills and get reminders when theyâre due, view bills and create checks with one click, and track their expenses automatically.Create invoices and track sales tax automatically.Find and create reports easily. More than 120 ready-to-go reports, including financial statements, sales reports and more are available.Manage payroll and direct deposit (additional fees apply)1Get started quickly with the Easy-StepInterview, our new Learning Center and simple Help features. By answering easy questions about the business, QuickBooks 2005 automatically sets up the company file with the needed accounts and features.Locate customer and vendor records instantly. Your clients can save time and give their customers excellent service more easily. ... Read more


    • Report Navigator with sample views and descriptions make selection a snap
    • New Learning Center tutorials show how to work faster, smarter, and better
    • Tools for managing business finances faster and more confidently
    • Locate customer and vendor records instantly; create invoices; track sales tax
    • Get key facts, forms, and resources, all in one place; easily manage payments

    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Automated Payroll Processing Is Now an Add-on Charge
    As the treasurer for a church with six employees, I have used QuickBooks for the accounting and payroll for the church for more than a decade.

    I just upgraded the software used by the church to QuickBooks Basic 2005 this year and found that we can not use QuickBooks to compute the payroll tax withholdings unless we subscribe to one of Intuit's payroll services.This is a change in the way payroll is handled by the software from previous additions of QuickBooks Basic.

    This additional subscription makes the cost of upgrading to QuickBooks Basic 2005 more than triple the published software price (...) because the least expensive of the subscriptions is $199 per year.

    In response, I have developed a an Excel spreadsheet that can do the computations for our organization and I will not be subscribing to Intuit's payroll service.

    The rest of the package seems to work as intended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Context is everything
    I used QuickBooks, happily, for years -- until they stopped supporting tax tables for the Mac, about 1999. They migrated us to Aatrix TopPay -- a nightmare -- but at the time, the only company making payroll software for the Mac. I stayed with them, though their UI was ghastly, forms didn't work, customer support poor -- feeling it was better than going to a PC. Finally this year, my experience with their version 15 was so terrible that I gave up entirely -- bought QuickBooks -- and set it up on my PC. What ease of use! What intuitive, easy navigation! What joy! It took me very little time to set up my company, calculate payroll, and be on my way.

    So -- compared to what I've had to deal with for the past 5 years -- this is magnificent.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I would have given it a 0 star if I could.
    Just do one thing. Try to create an invoice with British Sterling Pound symbol or Japanese Yen symbol.

    It doesn't take many problems for a software to be obsolete. Just one problem that cannot be fixed.

    If you have a global dream for your small business, this software isn't it.

    What a junk. I am going back to Microsoft Money. ... Read more

    15. Iogear 5 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card ( GIC251U )

    our price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000BZ2WA
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: IOGEAR
    Sales Rank: 901
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    IO Gear/Aten (GIC251U) 5 port USB 2.0 PCI Card ... Read more


    • 4 External Type A USB Ports
    • 40 Times Faster Than The Original USB
    • Supports High Speed Data Transfer Rates of up to 480 Mbps
    • Fully Backward Compatible With USB 1.1
    • Compatible with Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, ME, XP; Mac OS 8.6 or Greater. Requires Mac OS X for USB 2.0 support

    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A cost effective upgrade
    Part of my continuing effort toupdate my Dell (Dimension 8200) was to add USB 2 connectivity. Hooked up to the USB 1 ports on the Dell were:photo printer, film scanner, flatbed scanner, PDA, Compact Flash reader, wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, flash drive and external harddrive. Needless to say, there were not enough ports, I had to plug/un-plug devices constantly and since these were USB 2 devices connected via USB 1, they were operating at a reduced speed. Considered buying an external USB hub but it would not have resolved the issue of connecting USB 2 devices to USB 1. I was finally compelled to buy a USB 2 card when I found out that USB 1 does notsupport Apple's IPOD.

    I bought this particular unit simply because it was the best selling model here in Amazon. I chose the Amazon's re-seller, Office Depot because it listed the lowest price but after shipping and taxes it actually cost me more than if I bought from Amazon directly. So the lesson is: check the shipping cost and if there is a sales tax (if there's a store in you state, you'll be taxed) before clicking the purchase button. In hindsight, I should've just picked this up at a local Office Depot. A few people complained that they received a generic unit instead of an Iogear unit, technically I don't think it would make a difference however, it sure would bother me if a vendor did not deliver what I asked for, after all it is my decision and the vendor should respect that! Office Depot btw did deliver what was specified.

    Installation was fairly easy. But if you've never opened you PC before I would recommend having someone with a little experience nearby, for moral support if anything. Luckily Dell's are known for well designed cases and allows for easy upgrades. You simply press the lever, open the case and insert the card in the first available slot and that's basically it! (fyi: on the Dell, the original usb 1 comes integrated with the motherboard) If you're running a recent version of Windows XP, the PC should recognize the new card and you're ready to go! In my case, I had to install via the CD since I have an older version of XP and never bothered with upgrades. It was still pretty simple. Also for some unknown reason I had to re-install one of the scanner's software.

    I was very pleased with the increased speed of my printer and scanners. I no longer have time to make myself a cup of coffee while scanning or printing photos! Since performance was not an issue I left the wireless mouse, wireless keyboard and compact flash reader in the original USB1 slots.

    Most PC's older than 3 yrs come with USB 1, most peripherals manufactured in the last couple of years are USB 2, some are backwards compatible but at much slower speeds and in the case of Apple's IPOD, it won't work on USB 1 at all. For $20-25, this is an inexpensive, cost-effective computer upgrade. Especially if you've invested a substantial amount in or plan to buy peripheral equipment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Once it's running, you'll love it.
    Once you get it connected, this is a great little card that will speed you through digital camera and MP3 player uploads. Mine didn't come with instructions so, I assumed correctly that you're supposed to install the software first, restart, and then shutdown. From there you can take apart the computer and install the card. My card however still did not work and I was about ready to Google away for an answer when I decided to e-mail the company instead. Someone from their tech response team quickly replied, "Try placing the card in different PCI slots on the motherboard in case there is an I/O conflict with one of your other devices." Not that I know or care what an I/O is in the first place, but I did as they recommended and voila it works like a charm.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this card from 3B Tech
    I ordered this card from 3B Tech, through Amazon. They mailed me a generic one instead. I have learned a lesson. I will never order from them again. Just a reminder: BEWARE!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great little USB PCI Card
    Needed more than two USB ports for my home office destop PC. This card was a perfect fit. Didn't even need to use the included drivers because Windows 2000 and XP already support it. The price was right, too. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Precisely What I Needed!
    My Hewlett-Packard desktop PC (nearly four years old) has two USB 1.1 ports, but I needed more ports and needed to upgrade to USB 2.0, so I contacted the local computer repair/maintanence shop and quickly realized that upgrading a piece of hardware was something I could probably do.After finding this product, I ordered the Iogear 5 port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI card; four days later, the product came via FedEx-Ground yesterday (Jan. 31).Opening my CPU wasn't as hard as I figured it would be, but what was a bit tricky was removing the metal slot-cover of the PCI slot I chose to use--but when the cover was out, the PCI card slipped in easily and I replaced the card-holding screw.Now I know what "Plug-and-Play" really means!After only about ten minutes, my computer was back up and running.The O.S.--Windows ME--recognized the new hardware, but I had to install the drivers from the Iogear CD.

    I now have four USB 2.0 ports for the three USB-powered devices I have, so I don't have to swap their cables in and out anymore.

    What prompted me to do this hardware upgrade was that, for Christmas, I got a Seagate 160-gig external hard-drive; initially, the hard-drive was sluggish, due to the data-transfer limitations of USB 1.1; but now the hard-drive works great.Also, the external drive no longer bogs down my computer's processing power (766 Mhz Celeron).

    What's amazing is the 40-times difference between USB 2.0 and 1.1

    I'm really happy with this PCI card--it's precisely what I needed.What I'm even happier with is the fact that I saved money buy installing the card myself; I didn't have to rely on the local computer shop and be charged an extra $50 for labor ($70 was the price I'd been quoted, presuming the shop would've installed a $20 5-port USB PCI card similar to this Iogear product).

    Instead of investing in a new computer (I don't care for Windows XP, anyway), I think I'll just gradually make the computer I have better.

    Overall, I'm glad I made the decision to upgrade to USB 2.0 -- thanks, Iogear, for making this fairly inexpensive PCI card. ... Read more

    16. Microsoft Office 2004 Standard (Mac)
    list price: $399.99
    our price: $339.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001WN0M2
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 98
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • A productivity suite with a host of ground-breaking new features
    • Access e-mail, documents, contacts, and more from one central location
    • Take notes, flag information, and record audio directly into documents
    • Convenient Excel page-layout view and PowerPoint presenter tools
    • Improved junk e-mail protection

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wow.
    Wow. I said this one word when I started working with Microsoft's latest revision to their suite of software, Office 2004.

    Wow. I also remember saying this when I say the gigantic headed Bill Gates up on the video screen behind Steve Jobs a few years ago when Apple and Microsoft agreed to play nice. (OK, there was more to it than just "play nice," but as usual, I digress.)

    I do really like Office 2004. I like what I can do better with it. And, there is now also an envy factor. Not only do I have a better operating system at home than at work (my employer is still stuck in XP-land), but I now have a better Office software suite.

    Allow me to tell you that I have been an Microsoft Office user for a few years, on both Windows and Mac OS 9. I was very happy with having Office X work so well on cross-platform work (when I travel without my Powerbook, I carry my USB thumb-drive and Office documents are quickly interchanged across operating systems.)

    So, I have been very pleased with this latest version of Office. The 2004 suite installs very smoothly (I recommend following the install program, but you can drag-n-drop the entire suite also.)

    I won't go into great detail about many of the different features (many Mac websites and magazines are filled with the current buzz about Office) but I will mention some high points and a few quirks.

    I loved Project Center. This made Entourage a win for me. Prior to this, I had Office X, but I used Apple's Mail exclusively. Now, I use both (I'll mention this in one of my reviewed quirks below.) The ability to organize, track, and group all my electronic work together (emails, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, contacts, calendars ...) has been very useful. Plus I like the reorganized Entourage viewing panel for reading emails (the email opens and can be viewed to the right of the screen, rather than the traditional top and bottom view.)

    Plus I really liked Word's updates in two key areas: Notebook layout and the formatting palette's transparency. The notebook layout helps me to take notes smoothly during presentations. Plus, it has a sound recording option. This was really neat. At a recent User Group meeting on databases, I sat and took notes during the presentation, and recorded the presenter's voice. During playback (90 minutes for about 8 megabytes), my notes are marked to the side by where in the presentation the recorded voice is currently. I'm almost willing to go back to college with this tool! But I can see where it will be useful in my current day to day work also. (I have a colander for a memory retention device, and I'm always taking notes in some form or another.)

    Plus, I like the new feature of the formatting palette. When idle (maybe 10 seconds, if I counted), the palette allows the window below to show through, so that I can read my stuff a whole lot easier. Formatting for output is easier with this palette.

    I use Excel, and I like it as a simple database. But I didn't see any really killer upgrades (but then I'm not a power user in the Excel world.) I do like how the charts and diagrams seem a whole lot easier now.

    I've been a PowerPoint fan for quite a while now. But Apple's Keynote took away most of PowerPoint's thunder with its release. In 2004, PowerPoint fires back and wins back some issues on "Gee-whiz" tricks of animation and preview. The little addition of a timer makes the preview ability (the presentation on a separate screen/projector and the preview screen on your laptop) a key issue for the combination of making smooth and organized presentations. There are a whole new bunch of animation transitions and tricks. But, Keynote still wins in slide transition (the cube transform in PowerPoint falls flat.)

    With this segue, I'll mention some of the downsides to Office 2004 which I experienced. In setting up Entourage, I brought over both an IMAP account (my .mac address) and a POP account (another email address). The IMAP works well enough, but I am used to "seeing" the email the Apple Mail way, and it took me a while to get used to seeing my .mac emails not move around as easily in filing (I'd have to copy the email somewhere, then delete it from the IMAP inbox. And my POP account (which worked so easily in Mail), never did get set up. I'm not smart enough to figure it out yet, so I still use Mail. And if Apple gives Mail a revision with at least an option to view emails from the side, rather then from above, I might switch back. All I know is that I like Entourage, but I don't really like it.

    And, I encountered a series of application failures in PowerPoint when building a presentation for this review. Every one seemed somehow related to slide animations, but I couldn't see any one issue. For every one, I allowed the program to send its report to Microsoft with some hopes that this might get resolved.

    And now, I'll finish by letting you know that Mom always said if I had nothing nice to say, that I ought not say anything at all. I have gotten in trouble with not listening to my Mom before. So with that, I offer my review of MSN Messenger: iChat Rules! But if you want full functionality of Entourage, load Messenger, but don't run it. With it installed, Entourage will let you preview emails when you are running other applications in the foreground (definitely useful feature.)

    Lastly, as mentioned at the beginning, I use different Office versions, and I move documents around routinely to others. This Office version has one other neat trick -- a compatibility report. I can check my 2004 documents for compatibility with other versions to see what items might not work well. This is a nice simple feature, and I see this helping me out some also.

    2-0 out of 5 stars That's all ????
    As a user of v.X, I was looking forward to this. Well, as much
    as anyone looks forward to new MS software. Maybe a root canal would
    be more fun.

    I just don't see it. They want me to cough up $350 for a some really minor
    feature additions? Even on the MS webpage, they have a hard time finding
    more than 1-2 bullet 'enhancements' for each component. And I'd have
    to believe that NoteTaker or NoteBook is a better application than whatever
    MS's v1 of their Notebook facility is. And don't forget the all important Messenger
    integration :(

    Very disappointed. ... Read more

    17. Sony VAIO VGN-S360 13.3" Notebook PC (Intel Pentium M Processor 735, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD-RW Drive)
    list price: $1,799.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00079F7J8
    Catlog: Personal Computer
    Manufacturer: Sony CE
    Sales Rank: 30
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Equipped with the productivity tools that keep you going, the S360 is the notebook for those who will not sacrifice function for performance or convenience.Integrated multimedia features, wireless capability and advanced technologies make the S360 notebook your ideal companion for enhanced productivity and entertainment at home, in the office or on the road. An upgraded hard drive and graphics card will improve your notebook experience whether you are using it for business or pleasure. The 13.3" widescreen display and generous keyboard won't cramp your style whether you're on a plane or at a hotspot. The integrated CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive gives you the power to view, play or store the information you need to disc. At 4.2 pounds, the S360 will be easy and convenient to bring with you wherever you go. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    2-0 out of 5 stars don't buy this nootbook
    I read the comment about the fan noise this computer has, but I didn't care and bought this computer anyway. I just got this laptop today and the first thing I noticed is how ridiculously loud the fan is. I have a Dell laptop, but I can't hear the fan on my Dell's even when I press my ear against it. I called Sony's Service Center, they told me that alot of customers have called them complaining about the fan problem and a investigation is underway, but I am so pissed off right now because this product has a blatantly defective fan and Sony has failed to pull it out of the market.
    Honestly, the fan makes so MUCH noise that this computer is not even worth buying.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Awsome Notebook
    I got this notebook (one generation back - the S260) and it's great! The widescreen is absolutely beautiful and it's light, powerful and has a good battery life. The only issues I have with it are that it does not have a DVD burner and it lacks (at least the s260 model) bluetooth. Also there's no keyboard light like the IBM thinkpads have. Other then that, it has everything I ever wanted in a notebook! I highly recommend this product. Also, thier support is GREAT. 24/7 support and onsite assistance. I've already used thier support once, and I was truly impressed (and it takes a lot to impress me).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
    First, I have to say that I have a customized S-Series notebook from and not this particular configuration. It's more or less similar, though. I have more RAM, a DVD Burner and Bluetooth. My wife bought one last month after a year of laptop envy and is equally pleased with her configuration. Point: the core components here are solid.

    I have personally never owned a laptop that was consistently as reliable as this one. Yes, there is fan noise but it's nowhere near as loud as some reviews make it out to be. To answer another reviewer: there are 2 USB ports and 1 Firewire port. I benchmarked all the hardware using Norton Utilities (yeah, yeah) and everything but the speed of my DVD Burner came up with excellent ratings.

    The Xbrite monitor technology is great for using this laptop under high sunlight conditions outside. I also use it for Photoshop and feel that, despite its size, the 13" screen is ideal compared to the pixilated, grainy appearance of most other LCDs. My only major complaint about this laptop is that it does not have a DVI output for connecting it to something like an Apple Cinema Display. It does, however, have a standard RGB monitor output that works fine.

    The chassis is light and very sexy. Along with the new Sony T Series latops (midget versions of the S series) I can honestly say there is no better slim notebook for Windows users. I also own a 12" Apple Powerbook G4 that I use for travel and, despite its reputation for being the sexiest of the ultra-lights, I still much prefer my Sony S.

    The Intel 2200 Wireless Lan is really great for using wi-fi hotspots. A friend has a lower end Intel Wireless LAN and can rarely even detect hotspots that my S-series simply connects to automatically.

    If you mainly want a light computer for wireless internet, iPoding, running business apps and editing digital photos, the canned configuration offered by will do fine. If you want to really trick out the guts of one of these, go to

    One word of advice I can offer to anyone interested in any version of this laptop is: buy the extended life battery (sold separately.) It's worth every penny. My G4 goes through two whole battery cycles in less time than it takes my extended life Sony battery to run down once. It's like the energizer bunny on steroids.

    3-0 out of 5 stars fan is problem
    This is one of the best laptops I've had....BUT...the fan can drive you crazy! I cannot take this to the library because people might think there's a race car in the computer - that's what it sounds like and it's constant and annoying! Sony says on their support site that the issue is "under investigation" so I didn't want to wait for the results and returned this beauty...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Questions for owners
    Two questions for current owners of the S-360 only:

    1) A reviewer listed it as having only (2) USB 2.0 ports but the specs list (3). How many?

    2) Another reviewer was turned off by fan noise. Do other users experience the same problem? ... Read more

    18. Quicken 2005 Basic [Track, Balance, Budget]
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00029J1Q8
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Intuit
    Sales Rank: 155
    Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description

    Intuit Quicken 2005 Basic.Whether you're managing your personal finances, investing for your future, or running a small business or all three there's a Quicken product that's right for you. Quicken 2005 Basic for Windows includes over 100 customer-driven enhancements that allow you to accomplish what you need with a lot less work.See your complete financial picture in minutes! Find out what you have and where it's going, pay bills, plan for your future, help save more money, and take control of your finances. System Requirements:IBM or compatible Pentium 200 (Pentium II 300 recommended)Windows 98/2000/Me/XP32 MB RAM (128 MB RAM recommended)100 MB Hard Drive Space, plus 45 MB for Microsoft Internet Explorer if IE 6.0 or higher is not already installed (IE 6.0 included on CD-ROM)Double speed CD-ROM (4X or higher recommended for multimedia) ... Read more


    • Quickly and easily create a personalized budget
    • Powerful, easy-to-use tools for managing personal finances
    • Track checking, savings, and credit-card transactions in one place
    • Reconcile bank statements and balance checkbook in minutes
    • Write and print checks or pay bills online

    Reviews (23)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Less than one star - terrible!!!
    I've been using excel to track my money for years, and just bought quicken to streamline it.The only way to get any of my historical information in is to type each entry individually!If your bank is not a participating institution (if they didn't pay Quickn/Intuit additional charges) the only way you can enter your transactions is by typing each one individually!What's the point in automating asystem, if you can't automate it?It's not even something you can upgrade - no imports from excel or any other format in any 2005 quicken!Not a good deal.

    1-0 out of 5 stars WASTE OF MONEY
    If I am not sure, I play it smart and buy the program used.In short I was not satisfied with what I recieved.If the anecdote, "You get what you pay for." was applicable in this case, this program would be worth it's price, but it's worth less than I paid.Amazon low price of 13 some odd dollars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Product...great price
    I've been using Quicken for 5 years and think it is a great product. I just bought this new version to replace Quicken 2000. The new version has a number of improved features. It was really easy to transfer the data from my old computer/old version of Quicken to 2005. I used online chat and found them to be very helpful. Not sure why this product gets such a bad rap.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I thought it would be better than Quickn 2002.I was wrong!
    I was perfectly happy with my older deluxe version of Quicken, but found that a)I didn't use most of the deluxe features, b)had several years worth of transactions that I couldn't archive due to a bug, and c)due to a bank change, I could no longer get transaction downloads.So, I bought 2005 basic.BIG MISTAKE! This "new improved" product is so cumbersome and confusing, I've practically stopped using it.When I start it, there are "messages" about my accounts, but I can't read them in the basic version. All I can do is delete them.The "home" page has 8, count them, 8 "Cash Flow Services" options that actually take you to sign-up pages touting for-fee additional services, many of which my bank already provides for free.And there are buttons to EVERYWHERE that you have to work to get rid of. (Hellooooo.If I'd wanted to use to pay all my bills, I would not have purchased Quicken.) This product is like one of those teaser game CDs that cost $5.00 but only gives you one level.And I don't really want the other levels.All I want is a product that does what it did before in a way that avoids making me relearn everything!

    Ok, on the up-side, it does do a pretty good job of keeping track of my bank transactions and it seems like you can tailor it to suit some specific financial priorities, but it's just so incredibly painful to have to relearn EVERYTHING just because the banking industry changed download file formats. Microsoft may be trying to take over the software industry, but at least they don't want to be my bank so much that they totally screw up an otherwise good product.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good at what it does, but doesn't help to get out of debt
    I find Quicken to be good at what it's supposed to do -- track and manage expenses, creating reports to see spending trends, and paying bills. But, I found it was lacking in providing me direction on how to get out of debt. I found this direction, however at This web site has interactive that guide you through the process of targeting and paying down debt on a paycheck by paycheck basis. I use it in coordination with Quicken to guide me on which bills to pay, when and how much. Try it! ... Read more

    19. Sony Cybershot DSCW7 7MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
    list price: $499.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007S8C7I
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 89
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    7.2-megapixel recording * Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens * 3X optical zoom (2X digital/6X total zoom) * 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 38-114mm * Real Imaging Processor for high-quality images and faster camera response * 2-1/2" color LCD * JPEG options: resolution up to 3072 x 2304; 3072 x 2048; 2592 x 1944; 2048 x 1536; 1280 x 960; 640 x 480 * ... Read more


    • In 5-shot burst mode, capture up to five 5 MP shots or 100 shots VGA at 0.9 frames per second
    • Powered by AA-size batteries (charger included); stores images on MS cards
    • 7-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 15 x 20-inch prints
    • 3x optical zoom; large 2.5-inch LCD display
    • Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens is specially produced for very compact cameras

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great little camera.
    It's compact but not too small.I was looking at Canon SD500 and Sony W7, and chose the W7, as the SD500 was just too small in physical size and really needed to hold it with both hands to feel secure.W7 is easy to use and picture quality is great.It would have gotten 5 stars if it had shutter and aperture priority mode built in.1Gb memory stick, 15 minute charger and extra batteries should be considered must have accessories with this camera. ... Read more

    20. Apple PowerBook Notebook 12.1" M9690LL/A (1.5 GHz PowerPC G4, 512 MB RAM, 60 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD-RW Drive)

    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007KX4WO
    Catlog: Personal Computer
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 3
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Ultra-compact. Full-featured.

    More. That’s the word that best describes the 12-inch PowerBook G4.

    It has more speed, thanks to a 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 processor. It offers more memory: 512MB, to be exact. It provides more storage, with a standard 5400-rpm 60GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive. It boasts more power to burn CDs with its DVD / CD-RW combo drive. The only thing less about it is its affordable price.

    As Smart as It Looks
    Housed in a stunning, scratch- and stain-resistant aluminum alloy enclosure and weighing just 4.6 pounds, this diminutive powerhouse features a high-resolution 12.1-inch TFT XGA active-matrix display with brilliant 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. You’ll marvel at the way this supersharp display fits into such a remarkably small frame: just 10.9 inches wide, 8.6 inches deep and 1.18 inches thin. Perfectly smooth on all surfaces, the 12-inch PowerBook has no doors, protruding latches or levers to break, no external buttons to accidentally press and no sharp edges to catch on your clothing.

    Built for Speed
    The 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 delivers blazing-fast performance, thanks to the PowerPC G4 with Velocity Engine, which processes data in huge 128-bit chunks and accelerates the data-intensive processing required by next-generation video, voice and graphics applications.

    Scroll Mate
    Scrolling through web pages or large documents on a trackpad can challenge even the most nimble fingers. That’s why every 12-inch PowerBook G4 features a new trackpad with scrolling capability. Just drag two fingers over the trackpad to scroll vertically and horizontally or pan around any active window. Change this feature to suit your needs: Customize your trackpad settings or turn off scrolling completely via System Preferences.

    Handled with Care
    Now the 12-inch PowerBook G4 is equipped to help protect your most valuable asset: your data.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars it goes everywhere with me :D
    i've been a mac user all my life, i have tried a few windows based systems but they just seem poorly integrated and clnuky and too much trouble, i don't mind playing with them at work for the 'geek factor' but i do all of my music and digital artistry on my macs and wouldn't have it any other way.

    since the 12" powerbooks came out i have been drooling over them, but i had a 15" titanium powerbook and then recently got a g5....but when my titanium powerbook practically fell apart, i decided to buy the 1.5hz 12"pb (combo drive).

    i absolutely love this thing, its so small and cute but it can handle anything you throw at it, i thought the screen would be too small to do my graphics work on it but i can easily sketch away with my graphics tablet wherever i am.

    the battery life is good, its compact and relatively lightweight, made of metal, built very solid and runs osx.what else could you want?!

    the one thing i was a little unhappy with was the screen because its just a regular lcd, alot of 'windoze' notebooks are using those nice shiny 'crystal bright' displays.
    if apple had those displays in a widescreen form factor on this thing, it would be absolute perfection, bar none.

    but overall im very happy with it and its abilities to perform anything i throw at it.
    if you are considering one then go to an apple centre and play around with one for a while...i bet you will go home with one, or want to :D

    osx tiger is fast, sleek, powerful, futuristic, beautiful.
    and below the hood in the terminal you have access to its darwin/unix.
    ive never had a virus EVER in my life thanks to being a mac user, no spyware, MUCCCH less chances of being hacked, my titanium powerbook only crashed once in the whole 3-4 years i had it, and my g5 and 12" powerbook have NEVER crashed.
    sure it is possible to get a 'lemon' and have problems, it IS a computer afterall and there can be things that go wrong, but overall....macs just work. and in doing so they let you work without screwing around with settings and troubleshooting.

    i honestly dont know why people still bother with windows, its primative compared to osx.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A TRUE Switcher!
    I am writing this review in order to give you my thoughts on this powerbook versus the last guys that wrote a review about switching. First off there's no way you can compare apples to oranges, or in this case Apple to Windows computers. Because first off Apple's processor is much more efficent in the way it handels information. You can not look at Gzh! there are many more steps involved than just that. Now I will go down the line of "cons" that superman2k3 had.
    1 - The screen is small, there's no doubt about it but that's what you have to sacrifice for the smallness of the 12 inch powerbook, and I still do not know what he means by clearity in the font, I can easily read what I am typing, what folders say on my desktop and anywhere else there is typing of FONTS!.
    2 - I have 512 mb of RAM in my powerbook. It runs perfectly smooth and flawless. My powerbook 1.5 ghz runs faster than my neighbors 3.0 ghz pentium desktop!
    3 - First off with the accessories the $60 mouse he's talking about is the Apple bluetooth wireless mouse. You can get a corded mouse much less. And second of all you DO NOT have to buy just Apple accessories. I have a mini wireless mouse that I got when I had a windows laptop (with windows XP) and to use it on the windows laptop I needed to install drivers and other software, well one night I decided to try it on my powerbook and it worked GREAT! with no drivers, nothing. The manufacturers website never stated it made for a Mac! Only for windows 98, 2000, ME, XP ect.
    4 - Now I don't know about you but I personally don't have any reason what so ever to get to my hard drive. With 60 or 80 gigabyte discs I don't think I will be randomly droping new ones in. In fact I don't think I will ever even open up my RAM slot for more RAM. There is just nothing inside the computer I would ever want to mess with. Instead I would just send it in to Apple.
    5 - Well in a way this is true. Most software for Windows won't work for a Mac but you can however get a $80 software called Virtual PC made my Microsoft for the Mac computer. This program enables you to run every program made for a PC. And when you buy future programs you will just buy the mac version instead.
    6 - What do you mean NON SCROLLING. This trackpad in my powerbook has a built in scrolling function. Just drag two fingers over it in a webpage, a word file (yes Microsoft makes all of the Office suite, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ect. for Mac) pdf's, Jpegs, you name it it works. And I know it only has a single button but if you need a sort of "right click" just hold down the Ctrl button at the same time. A list (just like on a Windows) pops up.
    7 - As I stated earlier you can't compare apples to oranges. The Apple computer will run faster, smoother, and is already pre-loaded with amazing applications that would cost you hundreds of dollers on a PC like iPhoto, but mostly like iMovie and iDVD.
    8 - Innovation, give me a break!!! Apple invented the personal computer. They wrote the Mac Operating System (OS) that Microsoft eventially copied back in the 80's. In fact there was a huge lawsuit over it. You can search Google if you want to learn more! And Apple has to compete with PC's everyday. I mean you think about it, a person is not going to buy both an Apple laptop and a PC laptop together! THINK HERE MAN!
    9 - You DO NOT have to order any more warrenty from Apple, Apple gives you a one (1) year warrenty for your machine already, in fact better than most PC manufactures, however you may want to purchase the extended warrenty because laptops get a more rugged approach to them then desktops. Now this would be the same case as if I were buying a Dell, HP, Compaq (owened by HP so is relativley the same machine) or any other PC. And they're all in the same price range for the extended warrenty.
    10 - As I stated earlier (I seem to have to repeat myself a LOT!) almost all hardware devices work both ways. And software, if you want to keep your PC software you can purchase an $80 virtuall PC software that will run it just fine!

    Now I hope I did not make anyone angery by this, it's just the facts. And in conclusion the Powerbook is a remarkable tiny, shiny, all around great machine that has the looks and feel of Apple all around, from the hardware, to the OS it is all Apple (with no viruses or spyware) and the best part of it is that if you ever have any problems at all, because Apple makes the whole thing (inside and out) there is just one (1) number to call for anything dealing with it. Try doing that with a PC company. They'll just refer you to another company who will refer you back. That's if you get an actuall representative! Not just a computer on the other end. Well I hope this helps to clear up any thoughts you may have. I am a TRUE switcher. I went from a PC for five (5) years to a mac for now my 3rd month. And I LOVE IT!

    One more thing "Once you go Mac, you'll never go Back!"

    ~God Bless!~

    5-0 out of 5 stars Faster than My Old iBook, that's for Sure
    I have a friend of a friend who works at an Apple store and just recenlty he let me play with all the new stuff, some old stuff too and here is my impression of the new, improved 12 inch PowerBook. First off, and I feel like shouting this, but I won't, "It's about time Apple put out a computer that had enough memory in it to actually run it!" I have an old G3, 14 inch iBook and right off the bat I had to buy more memory, bumping it up to 640 megs, so knowing this baby comes with 512 right out the door, will bring a sigh of relief to anybody thinking of buying one.

    The screen is too small for my tired eyes, but if you're young and seeing 20/20 or don't mind reading glasses that shouldn't be a problem. This machine is small and sleek, comes with an Airport Extreme card built in. This model comes with the DVD/CD-RW drive instead of the Superdrive, so you can't record video, but for an extra 200 bucks, maybe you don't want to. Compared to my aging, but still working like a champ iBook, this baby screams. And the 60 gig hard drive gives you plenty of room to load up those MP3s to play in iTunes.

    The machine does not, however, come with one of those nifty, light up in the dark keyboards and you don't get a FireWire 800 port, 400 only, but I guess Apple had to give them up, due to size considerations. But as I said, this machine screams, really screams and for 1500 bucks, it's a deal. It would have been nice if Apple could have figured out a way to engineer a G5 chip into the machine, but, I suppose they are still too hot and a fan or fans would have made this silent marvel both noisy and bigger. Anyway all in all I have to say, well done Apple. Five stars and worth every one.

    Jack Priest, Sailor home from the Sea

    5-0 out of 5 stars You'll fall in love with this go-anywhere Powerbook!
    I made the "switch" last fall when the 20" iMac G5 was released, and was looking to pick up a laptop with the same quality hardware and OS. I knew I wanted an ultra-portable laptop, partially because of the price and partly because a laptop is just not meant to require a desk to use it. (In my opinion, anything over 15" or 6 pounds is a desktop-replacement). I had originally considered the 12" iBook, which is a great value (1.2 GHz + Airport Extreme!) for the money. In the end, after getting the "i"Mac, I though I'd go with the "Power"book. My decision was partially due to the realization my 15 GB iPod is about 60% full, so importing the iTunes collection would have taken up a good chunk of the iBook's 30 GB drive.

    It's quite a bit more expensive than the iBook, but you get a faster processor, a disk drive that twice as big and faster, Bluetooth, and an aluminum case that looks stunning. Also worthy of mention would be the new features in the 2005 Powerbooks, namely a scrolling trackpad (I wish my iMac had one now!), Sudden Motion Sensor that'll park the disk heads if it senses that it might have just been dropped, and Bluetooth 2.0, a standard so new there's no peripherals that'll use the 2.0 speeds, only its 1.1/1.2 legacy support. 512 MB is finally enough for standard usage (I can't endorse anything less than 512 MB for OS X), but I still upgraded the memory. Too bad Apple still has 256 MB built-in, as I had to pull the socketed 256 MB SO-DIMM to put in a 512 MB SO-DIMM, unlike the 15" and 17" which come with a single 512 MB SO-DIMM and an open slot.

    If you can afford the extra money over the iBook and need the features, this machine will quickly become your pride and joy. If a 30 GB HD is big enough and you won't be doing heavy-duty iMovie editing, I still believe the iBook is an unbelievable price/performance value.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Items to get with your 12" PowerBook G4
    There is no question this is one of the best laptops available at a great price. I have a new Sony Vaio laptop as well, which has an outstanding screen, but all comparisons stop there. The G4 12" wins hands down on all other counts, from the full size keyboard, easily accessible ports, etc.
    The point of this review, however, is to suggest several items I use with the G4 12". First, a Tom Bihn "Brain Cell" laptop case... works well on its own but even fits in my backpack. This case is light but still strong; I never have to worry about my laptop while on the road. Second, an XT-Stand from GJB enterprises. This raises the laptop to a nice angle and allows heat dissipation while maintaining stability, and is nicely portable as well. Third, a Targus (or other reputable brand) optical two-button mini mouse, which I prefer wired so as never to have to replace batteries (a problem for wireless bluetooth or IR models). That's all you really need. ... Read more

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