Stories by David Read

Fastest IMac in Town

The first upgrade card for iMacs is here, and it's fast. With its 466MHz processor, Newer Technology Inc.'s iMaxpowr G3 is the fastest iMac configuration yet. If your older iMac is beginning to huff and puff during its daily grind, you may want to consider an upgrade. Unfortunately, you can't use this one in the currently shipping iMacs-specifically the 350MHz blueberry model and the iMac DVs-but it's compatible with earlier models. So if you're not averse to opening up your machine, the iMaxpowr G3 will give you the fastest iMac in town.

An Incremental Step in the Right Direction

Remember when production difficulties at Motorola Inc. led Apple Computer Inc. to knock 50MHz off every G4 system? Well, Apple has restored that 50MHz to the latest G4s, including the long-awaited 500MHz Power Macintosh G4. The jump in processor speed from last year's models, the 400MHz and 450MHz G4s, may be incremental, but it makes this G4 Apple's top-of-the-line system. If the speed boost is worth $3,499 to you, you won't be disappointed with the G4/500.

Affordable Black-and-White Network Printing

Laser printers have become as ubiquitous as the office watercooler -- and nearly as inexpensive. Even small offices and home offices can take advantage of the printing speed and quality offered by the latest generation of low-cost, Ethernet-ready laser printers.

Alpha Centauri: A New Vision of the Future

Sid Meier, the man who came up with a PC gaming institution called Civilization, has managed to reinvent the strategy-game genre once again. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, published by Aspyr Media Inc., begins where Civilization left off: your colonists, last seen blasting off into space toward the nearest star, are now building a new civilization on a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri. While this sequel superficially resembles Civilization, it incorporates such sweeping changes to its predecessor's civilization-building model that it feels like a completely new game.

Mac G4: New Systems Feature Unified Architecture

After some initial confusion, Apple Computer Inc. has tidied the Power Mac G4 into a powerful line of systems, all finally with the same architecture. At first, Apple offered high-end systems with the new Sawtooth design and an entry-level system with the older Yikes architecture, based on the blue-and-white Power Mac G3. Now Apple is offering 350MHz, 400MHz, and 450MHz models, all with the Sawtooth design.