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Third-party iBox Mac planned

Wired’s Leander Kahney reports on a Minnesota man who plans to launch his own Mac-manufacturing business, building a low-cost, upgradeable system called the iBox. “John Fraser, a 21-year-old engineer from Chanhassen, Minnesota, is finalizing the design for his flat ‘pizzabox’ Mac and hopes to go into production in three to four months. If successful, Fraser will be the first third party to make a Mac since Apple shut down its three-year experiment in clone licensing in 1997.” Fraser’s iBox will be based on motherboards built by Apple as spare parts for previous generations of Power Mac G4s, and will sport FireWire, USB and Airport connectivity. For US$250 to $350, a bare-bones iBox will feature a case, motherboard and power supply. Customers will add their own processor, memory, hard drive and operating system. A fully loaded iBox will cost between $650 and $2,000, depending on the speed of the chip, the size of the hard drive and other features.

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