Apple handheld computer 'by May'

Rumour has it that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is ready to announce a more formal relationship between Apple and 3Com's Palm Computing division.

Sources at a Taiwan manufacturing plant report that prototypes of the Mac-ready Palm PDAs are already rolling off production lines. Those same sources say the prototype is a hybrid of the Palm V and the Handspring Visor, with the Palm V's form factor, a colour screen and an expansion slot.

Mac OS X allows a Palm handheld connected to a Mac to appear as an external disk on the desktop - making drag-&-drop transfer of data, files and applications possible.

Intel reports strong results for last yearIntel announced good fourth quarter and fiscal 1999 results last week, citing strong demand for its microprocessors, chip sets, motherboards and flash memory.

Revenue for the company's fourth quarter ended December 25 rose 8 per cent on the year-ago quarter to reach $US8.2 billion, Intel said in a statement. Once the quarter's acquisition-related costs - about $US300 million - were factored in, Intel reported a net income of $US2.1 billion, up 2 per cent on the year-ago quarter.

For 1999 as a whole, Intel reported $US29.4 billion in revenue, a rise of 12 per cent from the previous year's results and the company's thirteenth consecutive year of revenue growth. Adding in costs related to the company's purchases - a total of $803 million - Intel recorded net income for fiscal 1999 of $US7.3 billion, a rise of 21 per cent from fiscal 1998.

Compaq to ship iPaq with management software agentCompaq will ship its first $US499 iPaq desktop computers at the end of the month. They will be equipped with Windows 2000 and a new automatic PC management software agent.

Compaq officials said the management software from Altiris will cut $US124 off the average $US226 PC setup and deployment cost because it automates the process.iPaq, announced in November, has a shape that is different from most PCs and a sleek design in black and silver, but it's mostly important for its `legacy-free' components, meaning it comes without a serial or parallel port or a Peripheral Component Interconnect expansion bus. It uses five Universal Serial Bus (USB) slots instead.

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