Liveblogging the liveblogging of the Macworld 2008 keynote

Again, you ask what keynote? I intend to live­blog the live­blogs. You won’t get every moment of the keynote from me, for that, check out the pre­vi­ous post of mine. But I do intend to update this post with my thoughts as the keynote pro­gress­es. As well as, you know, what I’m hav­ing for lunch while I do it.

I’ll be doing the trendy reverse order post­ing, but then I’ll re-reverse it at the end and I can’t imag­ine re-order­ing all the updates, so just start at the bot­tom

12:42 pm — It is over. Let the Apple site have it!

12:31 pm — Sounds like Steve is wrap­ping things up. Will there be One More Thing? Yes! It’s Randy New­man! Will they raise the lights? Will they unlock the doors? Will every­one get a Mac­Book Air under their seats for stay­ing to lis­ten?

12:27 pm — So, it’s all wire­less, all the time. Which means, no Eth­er­net (don­gle alert!). I men­tioned that as a rumor to my wife last night, and she thought that would be a deal break­er for her, since she can’t get a decent wire­less sig­nal in her cam­pus office, or in her lab. And her cam­pus is not the only one I have been on where wire­less access is less than ubiq­ui­tous. Hm.

12:20 pm — Hm. This note­book is look­ing good. Full-size key­board (Mac­Book style and back­lit). 13.3 inch (widescreen) dis­play. Reg­u­lar hard dri­ve (80 GB) avail­able, as well as the rumored flash dri­ve (64 GB and $1 mil­lion, prob­a­bly). Only 1 USB port… no chance it is USB 3, right? I see a mar­ket for USB-hub-don­gles! 5 hours bat­tery life (with 80 GB dri­ve, or with flash dri­ve?).

12:11 pm — The fourth thing is the new sub-note­book, the Mac­Book Air. Will it become part of my house­hold? Is this the one? Giz­mo­do is talk­ing about how Steve said it would fit inside a “vanil­la enve­lope.” Mmm. I like vanil­la.

12:07 pm — Bor­ing guest star (20th Cen­tu­ry Fox chair­guy) has been on for five min­utes. Make that six min­utes.

12:02 pm — Whoa. Now Mark’s got to be pleased. The new Apple TV fea­tures are a free soft­ware upgrade! That means the Apple TV he bought on a lark will get all this, mak­ing it an actu­al func­tion­al device. Good on you, Mark!

11:56 am — Demo dol­drums. I’m eat­ing a very nice Hon­ey­crisp apple for lunch today. Two, actu­al­ly, as they are very small. Deli­cious.

11:51 am — So, now Apple has how many… four dif­fer­ent inter­faces (oper­at­ing sys­tems?) to main­tain? The Mac OS, the orig­i­nal iPod, the new iPhone/touch, the Apple TV, and a fifth one if you count the iTunes Store. Are they spread­ing them­selves too thin? Are these mutu­al­ly exclu­sive cus­tomers? Are they so good at mak­ing inter­faces that it doesn’t mat­ter if one cus­tomer has to learn five ways to inter­act with Apple?

11:47 am — So, right, item num­ber three is iTunes. The movie rentals and a new Apple TV. Which is to say, a new “Apple TV” set-top box, not a new TV from Apple. It no longer requires a com­put­er (it had bet­ter have more hard dri­ve space) and can buy/rent con­tent from iTunes direct­ly. Rentals are $3 and $4, and HD con­tent is avail­able for $5. Same idi­ot­ic rental rules apply.

11:46 am — Is it “synch­ing” or is it “sync­ing”? Any­one?

11:42 am — A lit­tle hubris. From Steve. Wow. Turns out the iTunes movie and TV sales are below their expec­ta­tions. Not that we didn’t know that. And Apple appar­ent­ly hopes mak­ing movies rentable from iTunes will help this. Lots of movies, avail­able 30 days after they are released on DVD (wow, that’s not good) and you have thir­ty days to watch, but only 24 hours to fin­ish. That’s the TiVo mod­el too, and it sucks. If we start at 8:30 one night, but fall asleep, we can’t start again the next night until 8:30 again (what with putting the kids in bed). So we’re S.O.L. The whole indus­try real­ly needs to make the lim­it 36 hours, not 24. What, they don’t have kids? Oy. End rant.

11:40 am — And we’re off again! Demo over, and every­one is rac­ing to catch up. Turns out the new stuff for the iPhone is also for the iPod Touch, which I also don’t have, but might have some­day. So, bul­ly for me. Sucks if you already have one though, as it’ll be $20 to join the crowd. End of item num­ber two.

11:37 am — Update on the live­blog­gers. MacRu­mors is rock­ing the socks off every­one else in terms of live updates. Mac­world is turn­ing out to be fast and inter­est­ing. Both Engad­get and Giz­mo­do seem to be suf­fer­ing under the load.

11:34 am — These are the live­blog dol­drums, where Steve is on stage doing a demo of what­ev­er soft­ware he has announced, and the live­blog­gers are either watch­ing it and not blog­ging, or scratch­ing their heads about how to exact­ly con­vey the “excite­ment” of watch­ing some­one else use a com­put­er. The live demos are right up there with the Guest Stars from Adobe, or Microsoft in terms of live­blog­ging slow­downs.

11:28 am — The sec­ond thing is the iPhone. Blah blah mar­ket­ing blah. Is 4 mil­lion iPhones a lot? And the announce­ment is… new soft­ware! That falls a lit­tle flat, since every­one has known about the 1.1.3 soft­ware update for a while now, and some folks have even seen it on iPhones. Since I don’t have an iPhone… well. Let’s move on to num­ber three, Steve.

11:21 amTime Cap­sule which is a wire­less base sta­tion with a 500 GB or 1 TB dri­ve built in for use with Time Machine. Huh. Can it back up more than one machine? Can it back up my Apple TV? It seems Steve has no answers to my ques­tions. That’s the end of the first thing.

11:18 am — Steve is onstage. There will be four things, and the first is: mar­ket­ing filler about Leop­ard. Very suc­cess­ful, blah blah. Some secu­ri­ty guard told the Giz­mo­do guys that they will be escort­ed out if they take pic­tures. Doesn’t seem to be stop­ping any­one else.

11:06 am — Here’s my set­up. I have Safari open with my blog post in edit­ing mode in one win­dow, the MacRu­mors AJAX feed in anoth­er win­dow, and in a third win­dow, all the “refresh to see updates” sites, so I can just reload all those tabs at once. Then I can switch between the win­dows with Option-Tab via Witch.

11:01 am — The jostling for seats has begun. Appar­ent­ly there was a line, now there’s a mob, and once the media have been let in, they open the doors to the throng. I hope some­one is tak­ing video of the first peo­ple in. I bet it’s fun­ny. Every­one looks so sedate (if a bit wired) in all the keynote videos I’ve seen. But then, they are already seat­ed. Giz­mo­do gets points for call­ing it the “run­ning of the media.”

10:51 am — Sor­ry for the long break. I had to gath­er snack food (nee, lunch) and then clear of a spot for it on my desk (no small feat). Now to increase the base font size in my brows­er…

10:26 am — I’m about to go take a show­er, hav­ing swept and mopped the floors in the house. Please let this not be the first time ever that Steve starts ear­ly.

How I will watch the keynote (and how you can, too)

What keynote, you ask? For shame. Do I know you? This keynote.

Dur­ing the event, I will be fol­low­ing along with the “live” text feeds on the fol­low­ing sites. My com­ments (based on pre­vi­ous years) are attached. I may also keep my own (snarky) run­ning com­men­tary here on my site. You’ll have to come back to find out.

  1. MacRu­morsLive — Awe­some feed, uses AJAX to make page refresh­ing obso­lete.
  2. Ars Tech­ni­ca — I like their offline opin­ions, but last year I had trou­ble get­ting a con­sis­tent stream of news from them. Maybe they’ll step it up this year.
  3. Engad­get — Last year they did their best, but they had two guys (a writer and a pho­tog­ra­ph­er) and they kept dou­ble post­ing, and it was hard to fol­low. I’ll try again this year.
  4. Giz­mo­do — Haven’t tried their feed before. Best of luck to them. Looks like they’ll be post­ing pic­tures, too, which is nice.
  5. Mac­world — Ven­er­a­ble paper mag posts a lit­tle slow­er than the oth­ers in their “live” cov­er­age, but they use Real Eng­lish with Prop­er Punc­tu­a­tion, so that’s a bonus.

Then, when it is all over, I’ll be check­ing out the re-broad­cast by Apple.

The Master Home Computing Plan gets a wifi remote (updated)

You may or may not have read the Mas­ter Home Com­put­ing Plan, a post where I out­lined how and what my per­fect home com­put­ing plan was. That post is under review right now, but a cru­cial ele­ment has just been intro­duced by a com­pa­ny called iospir­it.

Enter Remote Bud­dy. Orig­i­nal­ly, this was soft­ware you installed on your Mac to enable new func­tions in your Apple Remote and/or your Wii remote. But now, they have added your iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote. New func­tions? Well, among oth­ers, the abil­i­ty to con­trol iTunes via Wifi. And not just con­trol. All the bells and whis­tles are there.

Check out the movie of Remote Bud­dy at work on an iPod Touch. As a frus­trat­ed remote iTunes user, this is sim­ply awe­some.

Our music set­up is pret­ty cool. We have all our music resid­ing on an Infrant NAS. iTunes on our iMac con­nects to that music, and sends it out via Air­Tunes to an Air­port Express. That is, in turn, con­nect­ed to a hob­by-built FM trans­mit­ter that sends the sig­nal out over 98.5 FM, and we lis­ten to it all over the house on our radios.

Until now, we had no way to remote­ly change the music. We had to fire up a lap­top to run one of any num­ber of mediocre remote itunes con­trollers. Or run down­stairs and change it on the iMac. Hard to do grace­ful­ly when you for­got to take Mr. Han­key out of the Christ­mas Music Mix before fam­i­ly came over.

Of course, we still don’t have a way to remote­ly change our music, as we don’t own an iPod Touch. But the future is com­ing.

Thanks to bbum for find­ing this first.

Update: bbum has come through again, this time down­load­ing and review­ing Apple’s own free iTunes remote for iPhone and iPod touch. He loves it.

Siracusa is like the best eggnog

I have just fin­ished read­ing John Siracusa’s review of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5, a.k.a. Leop­ard. It came out… last night, I guess, and there have been links to it all over the Inter­net all day. It was, as is usu­al for his reviews of the Apple OS, excel­lent. Detailed, opin­ion­at­ed, fun­ny, sen­si­ble, long, filled with screen­shots and movies (and, hap­pi­ly, a drop down table of con­tents to skip some of the more… eso­teric, stuff).

I wait­ed all day to read it, until I had got­ten some tasks done, and until I had some moments guar­an­teed to myself to savor it. I feel about his reviews like this: at the gro­cery store last week­end, I saw that the eggnog has been rolled out in the milk aisle. I love eggnog, espe­cial­ly a (local?) vari­ety called Mil­knog. When I buy it (and I haven’t yet) I will leave it in the fridge all day, wait­ing until my tasks are done, until I have a moment to savor it ful­ly. Because there is so much fat in this stuff that you can’t have too much of it.

John Sir­a­cusa is like eggnog to me. I antic­i­pate it, and the savor­ing is bet­ter the longer I have wait­ed.

If you have any inter­est in the Mac OS, you owe it to your­self to read his review. His pas­sion is the pas­sion of the Mac user, and his annoy­ances, his delights, those are, too. Feel free to skip around.

Are Apple’s recent actions a sign of their decline?

Apple has recent­ly made a num­ber of rever­sals. The iPhone price change. The iTunes Plus (DRM-free) price drop. The iPhone SDK announce­ment (after strong­ly imply­ing that there would not be third-par­ty apps on the iPhone).

So, answer me this. Are these deci­sions indica­tive of a com­pa­ny that is react­ing swift­ly to mar­ket changes, or signs that the com­pa­ny is no longer able to fore­cast the mar­ket as well as they were once able? Are they nim­ble, or stum­bling?

What do you think?

I know what Dashboard is for!

Dash­board, the wid­get inter­face for OS X, has always been a strange beast to me.  Equal parts use­less and obnox­ious, I just didn’t under­stand why Apple would revive Con­trol Pan­els.  For those of you unfa­mil­iar with Dash­board, this is an appli­ca­tion screen in OS X that you call up with a key com­bi­na­tion.  On this lay­er are lit­tle wid­get-apps, small appli­ca­tions that do one thing, usu­al­ly with an Inter­net con­nec­tion.  Like a pack­age track­er.  Or a weath­er fore­cast­er.  Or a flight track­er.  Etc.

I think they’re stu­pid.

But now I get it.

Dash­board is the appli­ca­tion inter­face for Apple’s upcom­ing thin client hard­ware.  A cell phone.  iPods with real abil­i­ty.  A tablet.  Instead of gut­ting Aqua down to this lev­el, they are build­ing up the abil­i­ty of WebKit to serve as the UI lay­er.  WebKit is already present on Nokia’s S60 phones.

It is not that much of a leap.  Your thoughts on my half-baked, unin­formed mus­ings?

Getting Jobsed

I was look­ing through some old draft posts I nev­er man­aged to fin­ish, and came across one I intend­ed to pub­lish about Mac­world this past Jan­u­ary. The big news, of course, was the release of Mac­in­tosh com­put­ers run­ning the Intel chip instead of Motorola/IBM’s Pow­er­PC chip. Ful­ly six months ahead of the announced sched­ule.

The prob­lem was, the machine that was announced was the iMac, near­ly iden­ti­cal to the much slow­er G5 iMac announced not three months ear­li­er. Many peo­ple had bop­ught the brand new iMac just before Mac­world, nev­er dream­ing that Apple would so thor­ough­ly update that very com­put­er just three months lat­er.

But they did, imme­di­ate­ly ren­der­ing obso­lete (or at least 2–3x slow­er) the brand new iMacs of many Apple cus­tomers.

This gave rise to the term, “Get­ting Job­sed,” first heard (by me) on Matthew Haughey’s web site. Also amus­ing was Jason Kottke’s let­ter seek­ing sup­port from Apple.

Ouch. It still stings.

The Home Computing Master Plan

[This post has been regur­gi­tat­ed from a sta­t­ic page I wrote in 2005. Thought it should live in the time­line, instead of out of it.]

I love com­put­ers, specif­i­cal­ly Apple’s com­put­ers, and I plan to live with them involved in my life as much as pos­si­ble. I have a plan, an ide­al set­up, that I intend to reach at some point, and these are its com­po­nents:

  1. Pre­cious Data Stor­age
    We have pre­cious data, our pic­tures, our movies, our music… maybe even our doc­u­ments and email. Los­ing this data would make me cry. In the plan, there would be lots of room for this data, it would be stored out of the way (so it doesn’t get tripped over), and it would be backed up on a reg­u­lar, auto­mat­ic basis.

  2. Pow­er­house Pro­cess­ing
    I expect to have a need for a fast com­put­er with lots of RAM, with a large, good qual­i­ty screen, so that I can run inten­sive appli­ca­tions (Pho­to­shop, Final Cut Express, Aper­ture, Unre­al Tour­na­ment, etc.) quick­ly and effi­cient­ly. This would live in a study, or an office, and it would be a multi­user com­put­er, it would be there for the fam­i­ly as a resource. It would need access to the Pre­cious Data.

  3. Portable Per­son­al Units
    I’m sold on the con­ve­nience of portable com­put­ing. These units would have to gain access to the Pre­cious Data, but would also need to work on their own, away from home. They would sync up when at home, but when away, they would have a sub­set of the Pre­cious Data, what­ev­er was need­ed for the trip. Each fam­i­ly mem­ber (of a cer­tain age) would have at least one.

  4. Dis­trib­uted Access
    Access to the Pre­cious Data should be avail­able from anywhere/everywhere. The key here is the abil­i­ty to view, show, and lis­ten to the Pre­cious Data. This com­po­nent of the Mas­ter Plan is pret­ty broad, but cov­ers access from oth­er com­put­ers (not owned by us), from our tele­vi­sion, from our hand­held devices, etc. Inter­ac­tion with the Pre­cious Data would be a bonus.

So, what would it take to reach this plan? Well, some of the tech­nol­o­gy already exists, but some does not. And keep in mind, I am self-lim­it­ing (for the most part) to Apple’s com­put­ing offer­ings. I don’t care if you can already do this on Red Hat, or if it’s a cinch on Win­dows. That does not inter­est me.

Net­worked stor­age

For a while there, I was think­ing that an Xserve in a clos­et would ful­fill both 1. and 2., but I am no longer think­ing that way. Instead, I want some big hard dri­ves with redun­dant RAID arrays, with some sort of pow­er man­age­ment and net­work­ing out to all the home units. Wired net­works are tra­di­tion­al­ly much faster than wire­less, but wire­less is real­ly catch­ing up (802.11n should be avail­able by 2007!) so maybe just a phys­i­cal con­nec­tion to the pow­er­house pro­cess­ing unit would be required. They could even live in the same location/room. I don’t want the stor­age direct­ly con­nect­ed to the com­put­er, and thus depen­dent on that com­put­er being on for net­work­ing to be work­ing. They should, instead, be inde­pen­dent­ly net­worked.

Cur­rent sta­tus: I have a 240 GB dri­ve and a 160GB dri­ve con­nect­ed via Firewire to my desk­top com­put­er, which has an inter­nal 80GB dri­ve. The 80 and the 160 are backed up dai­ly to the 240. These are net­worked to the lap­tops in the house via the desk­top machine (so it has to be on) via wire­less (so the desk­top machine has to be awake).

Ide­al set­up: Well, Ars Tec­ni­ca recent­ly reviewed two NAS (Net­work Attached Stor­age) devices recent­ly, that do what I would want. The Rea­dy­NAS looks like an inter­est­ing prod­uct, although I might need to know more Unix than I do now. It has addi­tion­al cool fea­tures like USB ports to net­work print­ers, etc. They have a use­ful-look­ing forum, too. I can see a clos­et with one of these, the print­er, and an Air­port Extreme base sta­tion in it. (As soon as Apple releas­es an 802.11n base sta­tion (Air­port Ulti­mate?) I’ll be upgrad­ing.) Cost? $1,200 gets you start­ed with 800GB of stor­age, and room for anoth­er 800GB lat­er, from Ama­zon. Apple offers their own servers, but noth­ing specif­i­cal­ly out­lined as a NAS. Though, admit­ted­ly, the Rea­dy­NAS does seem to be blur­ring the lines a bit (it does more than just store and serve files).

Big, pow­er­ful com­put­er

Again, for a while I was think­ing I’d just use an Xserve to fill both stor­age and pow­er issues, but I am return­ing to Earth now. Instead, I see a big, pow­er­ful com­put­er with not a huge amount of stor­age, and that stor­age used most­ly for appli­ca­tions, not data (the excep­tion being data that would ben­e­fit from being housed local­ly, like game data files, etc.), The NAS solu­tions I would con­sid­er (above) can all serve web pages, files via FTP or oth­er net­work pro­to­cols, etc., so this com­put­er would not need to do any of that. This just needs to be a num­ber crunch­er, though I reit­er­ate that it would prob­a­bly need to have appli­ca­tions stored local­ly. Big screen, too, to get the most out of it. Maybe two screens, but one 23″ LCD would prob­a­bly do.

Cur­rent sta­tus: Woe­ful. I have an old swing-arm iMac, slow­er even than my lap­top, that is even now just bare­ly get­ting along with sev­er­al apps open at once. It also acts as the stor­age device gate­way, but it is con­nect­ed to the net­work (and the Inter­net) wire­less­ly, because of cable jack issues in our house. The only thing that makes it bet­ter than using my lap­top is the big­ger screen, the track­ball, and the full size key­board.

Ide­al set­up: Well, the best there is right? A full on Quad 2.5GHz G5 Pow­er Mac would be great. Cou­ple that with a big LCD, maybe a 20″ mon­i­tor from Dell (they use the same phys­i­cal Philips-sourced part as the Apple mon­i­tors), or a larg­er one from Apple. I actu­al­ly think the 30″ mon­i­tor from Apple is real­ly nice, but too much for this appli­ca­tion. I’d want to add sev­er­al expen­sive appli­ca­tions and games to this set­up, too.

Lap­tops

As portable com­put­ing goes, lap­tops have the mar­ket cor­nered. Palm­tops, or hand­helds, are nice, but you can’t do any real com­put­ing tasks (try edit­ing a video on your Dell Axim, folks). I envi­sion these would be each person’s indi­vid­ual access point to our Pre­cious Data, as well as a loca­tion for more per­son­al data (option­al­ly, and strong­ly encour­aged, backed up to the NAS). I’m inter­est­ed in the whole tablet thing, but more­so in the whole “portable screen” idea, which I’ll go into in more detail in the next sec­tion. The lap­tops allow us to take a com­put­er with us, not just our Pre­cious Data. This real­ly is the least com­pli­cat­ed part of the whole set­up.

Cur­rent Sta­tus: I have a 12″ iBook, and Tiffany has her Thinkpad. Both are con­nect­ed to the home net­work wire­less­ly. Mine can check all my e-mail accounts (through IMAP and .Mac sync­ing, not via net­work­ing wiz­ardry). Mine can access the music and pho­tos stored in our Pre­cious Data, so long as the desk­top com­put­er in the base­ment is on and awake. Tiffany’s is not con­nect­ed to our net­work, most­ly because she wouldn’t be able to see our pho­tos any­way. She could use iTunes, I sup­pose. And she can print to the shared print­er.

Ide­al Set­up: I’m real­ly in love with the small­ness of my cur­rent lap­top, so I think I’d only ever get a small one again, despite the small screen/keyboard. Tiffany loves her IBM, even man­u­fac­tured by Leno­vo, so we’re like­ly to stick with the Win­dows fla­vor where she is con­cerned. But I’d love to have a 12″ Power­book, though some of the fea­tures of the new 15″ one are appeal­ing. I’d need an mouse, maybe a wire­less one, though a track­ball would be bet­ter. Any­one know of a good, portable track­ball? Aidan does not need a com­put­er yet.

Input and Out­put

This is sort of a catch all cat­e­go­ry, but most­ly includes devices and meth­ods for get­ting at our Pre­cious Data with­out a com­put­er. Hand­held devices for read­ing blogs offline, or for watch­ing recorder video, or for lis­ten­ing to music. Tele­vi­sions that are hooked into the Pre­cious Data so we can watch it in 42″ of plas­ma glo­ry. Print­ers able to print in full-col­or from wher­ev­er you are in the world. The abil­i­ty to fax your­self a hard copy of what you’re see­ing online. email­ing pho­tos from your dig­i­tal cam­era back home, where they get filed in the Pre­cious Data and put online. Web sites that update when new pic­tures are down­loaded. Input from the world, out­put to the world.

Cur­rent sta­tus: We have a net­worked print­er, a black and white laser, that is avail­able any time. With a lit­tle fid­dling, I think I could set it up to accept print­ing instruc­tions from any­where. I have a cou­ple of web sites, but they aren’t tied direct­ly to any of our Pre­cious Data. We have a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion iPod that we don’t use (except occa­sion­al­ly as 10GB Firewire disk). We have an iPod shuf­fle. Tiffany has a USB key. We have a TiVo Series 2, which osten­si­bly would let us see our pho­tos and lis­ten to our music, and might some­day let us get TV shows and watch our videos, but does not do any of that today. And that is about it. No con­nect­ed cell phone. We can’t even lis­ten to the iPod in the car.

Ide­al Set­up: I’d like a new iPod with video capa­bil­i­ties. And a car con­nec­tor for it. I’d like TiVo to get off its ass and give me a work­ing ver­sion of the TiVo desk­top, with TiVo To Go to boot. I’d like a TiVo Series 3 box (when they come out) with two tuners, built-in Eth­er­net, and HD abil­i­ty. I’d like a com­put­er that could han­dle Aper­ture, and a cam­era that could do it jus­tice (and a copy of Aper­ture, for that mat­ter). I could start a nice lit­tle cot­tage indus­try there. A good pho­to gallery plug in for Word­Press. A col­or laser for fun. A col­or inkjet that could print to CDs and DVDs. I’d like a cell phone that synced with my address book and my cal­en­dar (for that mat­ter, I’d like a ver­son of iCal that didn’t suck much… Apple, you lis­ten­ing?).

And then we dream…

What else do I want? If I could wave the mag­ic Moore’s-Law-extending, stan­dards-com­mit­tee-hur­ry­ing, lot­tery-win­ning, Apple-do-my-bid­ding wand?

  • A decent PVR with real home com­put­ing pow­er (Apple again, bring Front Row to the Mac mini). A nice big screen to watch it on (can you imag­ine brow­ing and buy­ing stuff from an iTunes Media Store on your 42″ plas­ma TV?).

  • I’d like an 802.11n wire­less net­work (540 Mbit/s baby! For com­par­i­son, HDTV trans­fers data at 55 Mbit/s). The spec has been final­ized (see here) and devices are expect­ed by 2007.

  • I’d like to be able to bring our lap­tops home and slot them into a cra­dle where they would pow­er up.

  • As soon as they were in range of our wire­less net­work, I’d like our lap­tops to sync their data with our Pre­cious Data.

  • I’d like a cheap, 8x10 dig­i­tal pic­ture frame, or heck, why not a poster-sized one, that con­nects wire­less­ly to our Pre­cious Data for it’s con­tents. I’d like it pow­ered by induc­tion, so I don’t have to plug it in.

  • I’d like a 20″ tablet com­put­er, more of a wire­less screen than a wire­less com­put­er, for work­ing on the work­horse com­put­er while I’m on the deck. Bet­ter, I’d like all our lap­tops, and the portable screen, too, to become screen slaves to the work­horse com­put­er once they are in net­work range, and the work­horse would let mul­ti­ple users be logged in at once (I’ve heard this called a “ter­mi­nal serv­er” or some­such), all using the workhorse’s many CPUs and, much mem­o­ry. Once out of range, they’d revert to their own selves, with data and maybe even apps and OS synced while they were in touch. I’d pay for a Fam­i­ly Pack OS X license if it could do that.

Apple to Intel (updated)

How can I not write about this? You may have heard: Apple will be tran­si­tion­ing all their com­put­ers to Intel chips start­ing one year from today. I just fol­lowed along with the keynote where Steve Jobs announced this (and not much else, but who’s quib­bling).

So. Den­ny point­ed out that this means it’ll be a few years before he buys a new Mac. I think that may be true… but if this results in faster lap­tops, I may not be able to make myself wait. And Xserves… can you imag­ine an Xserve with real com­put­ing pow­er behind it? Or what a Mac mini could turn out at its cur­rent pri­ce­point?

My thoughts on the keynote as report­ed by a few folks who were actu­al­ly there:

  1. Mac OS X has been run­ning on Intel for five years? I think there are some Apple engi­neers today who will see their first day­light in a long time. For no ver­i­fi­able rumor to have sur­faced about this before last week… they must have lived under guard.

  2. The sur­fac­ing of the rumor last week must have been an inten­tion­al leak. If the lev­el of secre­cy that was evinced had been kept until this morn­ing, when he talked about it in front of a huge crowd at Apple’s World­wide Devel­op­ers Con­fer­ence, there would have been pitch­forks and flam­ing torch­es, you can be sure.

  3. Paul Otelli­ni, Intel Pres­i­dent & CEO, took the stage and said “he’d nev­er give up on Apple, like IBM has.” Ouch. Con­sid­er that bridge burned.

  4. That said, IBM appar­ent­ly promised faster chips (Steve’s famous asser­tion of 3.0GHz chips by… last year) and cool­er chips (because real­ly, Power­books are still run­ning G4s) and have not been able to deliv­er.

  5. Will my new Power­book come with an “Intel Inside” label? I fer­vent­ly hope not.

More thoughts added an hour lat­er:

  1. Glad we bought our iBook last fall, and not, say last week. Now I feel nei­ther cheat­ed, nor that the wait for a new one will be too long. Woe to those who were wait­ing until this con­fer­ence to buy a new machine. Shelf life of a new Mac is now 365 days and count­ing.

  2. Apple may have thought that this was the best time to do it, giv­en record iPod sales to keep the com­pa­ny afloat while no Macs are sold. I mean real­ly, who is going to buy a Pow­er­PC-fueled Mac now? Any­one? Maybe Steve Jobs will buy a few mil­lion and donate them to schools/Africa ala Bill Gates.

  3. Does this mean Apple will have noth­ing to show at next January’s Mac­world show? Hm. Methinks I sense some con­sumer prod­ucts in the pipeline that aren’t com­put­ers.