At its Macworld Conference and Expo Jan. 11, Apple Computer announced two new products of possible interest to educators: a computer meant to compete with budget desktop PC providers and a less expensive version of the popular iPod music player.

The iPod shuffle music player is already shipping, while the Mac mini CPU goes on sale in the U.S. on Jan. 22 and worldwide on Jan. 29. It's unclear how these lower priced Apple alternatives will affect budget decisions in education--but their release brings two new Apple products, traditionally more expensive than PCs, within range of the


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