MW 2008: Liveblogging winners

Clear­ly the win­ners of the live­blog­ging com­pe­ti­tion were the guys at MacRu­mors. Their AJAX-pow­ered inter­face gave news updates in a time­ly man­ner, and their pho­to feed was show­ing rel­e­vant pho­tos at the right time.

Sec­ond place goes to Ars Tech­ni­ca, for their almost-as-up-to-the-moment feed as MacRu­mors, com­bined with a lit­tle more com­men­tary (the MacRu­mors stuff was a lit­tle dry). They get dinged on the slow and ill-timed deliv­ery of pho­tos, and their non-AJAXy good­ness. The refresh but­ton is so 2006.

Third goes to Mac­world mag­a­zine, which came through with the most in depth cov­er­age, giv­ing links and per­spec­tive. Guess it helps to have an edi­to­r­i­al staff at home to rely upon.

Engad­get and Giz­mo­do were both behind with their updates, had some serv­er deliv­ery prob­lems, and were out­classed by the oth­er three.

Questions about Time Capsule

Part of the Mac­world 2008 Keynote post-mortem. Time Cap­sule is Apple’s wire­less hub + back­up dri­ve all-in-one prod­uct. It pro­vides fast wire­less net­work­ing: 802.11n. It pro­vides a large, “serv­er-grade” hard dri­ve, acces­si­ble wire­less­ly. (By “serv­er-grade” they seem to mean 7200 rpm, SATA.) You can use this hard dri­ve to make Time Machine back­ups from all your Macs (yes, more than one can back­up to the same dri­ve, wire­less­ly). It also pro­vides a USB port for anoth­er device (a hard dri­ve, a print­er, or a USB hub) to be shared wire­less­ly.

Time Cap­sule is a big advance­ment from the pre­vi­ous 802.11n base sta­tion for one rea­son, Time Machine (the back­up soft­ware) would not work wire­less­ly before. That’s great, for the inter­nal disk in Time Cap­sule. What I can’t find out, how­ev­er, is whether an exter­nal hard disk attached to Time Cap­sule’s USB port and shared wire­less­ly will be com­pat­i­ble with Time Machine.

That would make all the dif­fer­ence to me.

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.