Saturday, January 04, 2003

MacUnderground's official MWSF 2003 Predictions!
I'll post my predictions for the keynote before Monday.
These "predictions" will be my educated guesses, based on current trends, products, prices and of course all of the rumors out there right now.
I'll even go to the trouble of telling you whether or not I was right after the keynote.
Until then, the following sites are good ones to visit.
Reliable rumor site:
Think Secret
Decent rumors and news:
Mac Rumors
Mac Forums
Unreliable rumor site (but fun to read!):
MacOSRumors

Sunken buttons...
No, it's not a new Disney version of the Swiss Family Robinson taking place in a biosphere underwater 300 years in the future.
What I'm talking about is the small change in Apple's apps featuring the "brushed metal" look. First noticed in an iChat update, these sunken buttons can be noticed in the recently released versions of iCal (1.0.1) and iSync (1.0). Neither iPhoto or iTunes has changed, yet (iPhoto 2 is expected at MWSF, iTunes 4 is expected in the next six months). But that's old news.
The new news is that the sunken buttons are in another brushed metal app from Apple, Calculator. I don't know when the change happened (I think I would remember a software update called "Calculator bubbles!"), but it has.

Still trying to swallow nine posts in one day?
MacRumors still hasn't followed up on its reported new laptop (the one that weighs 0.3 pounds less), or more correctly its lack of a reported new laptop.
If you recall, the news blurb was posted for less than an hour yesterday before it was removed. The corresponding forum thread was replaced with the message: "It has been removed for now... pending further information."
Meanwhile, Think Secret's MWSF speculation round-up left us wondering "where's the hardware?" Well, it could be in the possible surprise tablet reported at the end of that same article. A clever member at the Mac Forums discussion about Think Secret's speculation, found this.
The ViewSonic Smart Displays cost between $1,000 and $1,300, similar to Think Secret's prices, and feature a design that Apple could capitalize on using bluetooth, Inkwell, and the new high-speed AirPort that should be announced at the expo.

Friday, January 03, 2003

It'll put you on cloud nine...
Strange things getting stranger at the Mac Rumors and its forum.
The post on the supposed new laptop (see below) has disappeared. Its forum thread was replaced with this cryptic message: "It has been removed for now... pending further information."
This is the most entertaining expo I've ever seen, and it hasn't even started!

I have a love/"eight" relationship with this blog...
MacRumors (link in below post) is now reporting the possibility of a new laptop (probably iBook) that weighs 0.3 pounds less than the lightest iBook (wow!).
Check out the Mac Forums at MacRumors (like I said, there are links somewhere in today's posts) for a real debated look at the expo.
This whole thing is one big comedy of errors, so much fun!

Ready for seven?
MacOSRumors, a rumor mill falling from greatness, has posted its predictions for the keynote. How many 'b's in BS? Just read the article (can you tell that seven posts in one day is taking its toll on me?). It features a big, gawdy, brushed-metal TiVo as Apple's big DLD announcement.

Post number six...
I just wanted to quote something Think Secret (see link in an earlier post, I'm tired of writing the same HTML over and over) said in their MWSF Prediction Round-up, note the last sentence:
"We can't see Steve Jobs doing a keynote with just a bunch of iApp announcements and a new AirPort base station as the main items. There are rumblings of something bigger than any of this; something Apple should be congratulated for keeping under such tight wraps, if true. Let's say it's 40% inspiration, 60% clues, but we wouldn't be totally surprised to see an innovative tablet Mac in the $1100 to $1500 range. Just think of it...Inkwell handwriting recognition, iSync capabilities, Bluetooth and a PCMCIA slot for an optional AirPort card. Just like the iMac, it's time for Apple to innovate again."
I agree, it is time for Apple to innovate again. I thought we might be looking at a further push towards consumer electronics, but this is just as good, and possibly better. This keynote is going to be big. Why? Because every sign out there says it won't. You say a tablet is unlikely... I say "Think Different."

(Five posts in one day, and counting...)
Think Secret gives its own two cents
Almost as if saying "shut up!" to those who have said that they are just saying what won't be at the expo, not what will, Think Secret has posted its predictions, including a possible "surprise tablet?"
This is part of a round of updates to rumor mills across the net including MacRumors and Spymac.
Expo fever has really hit a fevered pitch, spreading throughout the rumor sites like wild fever, the only question is what will happen next...

Time to pack up the Christmas tree...
Over the holidays a strange thing happened to the web address http://www.santaclaus.com. A not-so-grinchy fellow pointed the URL to Apple's homepage, which at the time, featured Will Ferrell's hilarious Santa "Switch" ads.
Yeah, that's just another domain name pointing to Apple, right?
It was... it now points "to Santa Claus' home on the Internet, since 1994," aptly named www.santaclaus.com.
Only 355 days until Christmas 2003!

Don't panic... wait... alright, panic!
Rumor followers are up in arms at the Mac Forums, where the hot topic is ThinkSecret's report, "Sources: No iMac, eMac or display changes until late January."
The forum thread for this hot debate is here. All of my posts are under the name "pyrotoaster," they're the one's with the MacUnderground links and the bottom (creative, eh?).
I posted more info on this rumor and another earlier today ("What a twisted web we weave...").
This is looking like it might be the most interesting expo in quite a while...

Apple and AMD... when pigs fly through a frozen-over hell where money grows on trees!
MacRumors reports that the Inquirer claims that Apple and AMD could be together as soon as early 2004. Yay! (sorry, I don't have the means to convey my total sarcasm over this blog without inserts like this)
Sure, Motorola is no prize chip manufacturer, but we sure as hell ain't going to AMD and its "Hammer" processors. Apple is going to either announce a G5 within the new year (MWSF04, maybe) or announce a move to IBM's PowerPC line, which use something so similar to Altivec (the velocity engine) it might as well be Altivec.
MacRumors cites the Inquirer's poor record with rumors. (Ha!)

What a twisted web we weave...
Four days to MWSF and the very accurate ThinkSecret has rumormongers up in arms with its latest report "Sources: No iMac, eMac or display changes until late January," thus debunking the most prevelant rumor of the expo.
Quoting the article: "Apple will not use Macworld Expo in San Francisco as a venue to upgrade the iMac, eMac or flat-panel display families, but instead will wait to do so until late January or early February at the latest."
ThinkSecret cites "A number of highly reliable sources within Mac distributors and high level executives within Apple itself" for its article.
Rattled by the ThinkSecret report, MacRumors has left a post mentioning ThinkSecret's findings and started a forum thread regarding it. They've gone on to mention a new, less interesting, rumor of .mac Address Book syncing through iSync and .mac.
MacRumors claims this new feature of .mac will be available on January 7, keynote day, with this unusual screenshot, which is from mac.com.
It looks like the start of a very busy few days in the rumor mill and at mac sites everywhere.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

An aqua conspiracy...
It's probably nothing more than an interface "enhancement," but both the new version of iCal and of iSync have the same "sunken" close, minimize, and zoom buttons as the recent minor iChat update. Kind of strange...

Two less for the keynote...
Apple has made iCal v1.0.1 and iSync 1.0 (upgrade from beta) available for download. The most impressive new feature of the two that I've seen so far (in all fairness I'm only installing them now) is a cool menu bar icon for iSync.
So basically, this is a minor software announcement. A minor software announcement less than a week before the Mac World keynote. A little unusual, eh?
With rumormongers like MacRumors, Spymac, and MacOSRumors stumped, it looks like whatever Mr. Jobs announces, it'll be a surprise.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

The future of the 5 GB iPod
Spymac has two new articles. One about MWSF speculation, the other questioning the future of the 5 GB iPod.
Personally, I think Apple needs the 5 GB iPod, even if they dropped the price of the of the whole line by $100 (not that I think they will). It's the budget minded iPod, with plenty of space for most music fans. My iTunes library has 543 songs stretching to nearly 22 hours of listening time, and is only 1.38 GB big (admittedly, many of these songs are very short).
Apple should, however, consider including the wired remote and case with 5 GB iPods, although I don't believe there is any need for a solid-state scroll wheel on the low-cost model.

My thoughts on something big at MWSF
(This was my post to a Mac Forums thread about something big at MWSF, much of the discussion was about an Apple PDA. I'll post something new later today)

Let's think about this for a second.
• Apple dropped the Summer Expo in a clever scheme just a few months ago.
• MWSF is now the only time everybody is paying attention to what Apple is doing (unlike people like us who are always paying attention).
• The iPod was a big success, and there's leftover technology from the Newton.
• We aren't going to see an update to the iBooks or TiBooks, and we probably won't see an update to the Power Macs, either.
• Besides, updates aren't big things (although new, faster iMacs would be cool), we really want to see a groundbreaking new device.
• I know it's already been said, but bluetooth serves little use in the iPod, Firewire really is much better for mp3.
• Jaguar featured the introduction of some neat-o handwriting gizmos (Inkwell), which serve no to even less than no purpose in today's desktop (or even laptop) computers.
• Apple hasn't even tried to get support for PocketPC devices, and that leaves out a part of the PDA market.
• With the exception of the Tungsten, Palm PDAs are pretty mediocre, which would help the introduction of any Apple PDA.
• Don't rule out the iPad/iTablet/iWhatever. Windows-based tablets are pretty lousy, Apple could whip out some cool innovation (it is what they do best).
Any Apple DLD PDA would fuse the ideals of the digital hub, the Mac OS, and the Tablet. This will definatly be something totally new (in the way the iPod was) and very creative (that wild mood ring casing, for a strange example).

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

When you're hot...
I was reading the Chicago Tribune Magazine from the Sunday, December 22 issue of the Trib yesterday (I was bored) and while I was yawnily reading through the "Hot or Not 2002" article (if you're daring enough to call five pages of the word "Hot" followed by the word "Not" an article) I perked up to see the TiBook noted as (get ready!): "Hot." What a relief, Apple is hot! (I know, "Hot or Not" barely qualifies as an article, and this barely qualifies as a blog post)
Just in case you were wondering, the "Not" to the "Hot"-ness of the TiBook was Playstation. I'm not really sure what the two have to do with each other, either.

Monday, December 30, 2002

"The Deal with DealRAM"
RAM is cheap, right? If you buy your memory from Apple, it probably isn't (the "Double your RAM" deal is the exception). So what do you do when you can't afford to add 512 MB of Apple's RAM to your new iMac, which ships with only 256 MB of RAM? You go to dealram.com. But should you trust your computer's performance to the lowest-price RAM?
Yes. Well, more specifically, yes. Because DealRAM isn't just a database of the lowest-priced RAM, it also offers links to brand-name memory from companies that don't operate out of a yahoo store (you'll see what I mean by that in a minute). True, the brand-name stuff will run you around two to four times as much as the generic kind, but if it makes you feel better to say: "my iMac has 512 MB of Kingston RAM," then you can get that from DealRAM, too... and you're also crazy and/or winning the lottery right now, here's what I mean.
512 MB of Kingston iMac RAM costs $228.94 shipped, but has the added reliability of coming from the MacWarehouse. The cheapest 512 MB iMac RAM (which was not available as of 12/30/02) cost $57.69 shipped, and had the added "reliability" of coming from 18004Memory.com. Brand-name memory is not for the budget-minded Mac-user.
In my case, I needed to upgrade my 256 MB RAM in my iMac. It would cost $200 to have my new (June 2002) iMac shipped with 512 MB on one unit. 768 MB over two units would cost $300. I upgraded to 768 MB for a mere $60 through DealRAM.
I got my RAM from Boundless Technology, which operates out of a yahoo store, and sells generic memory, cheap. My RAM was affordable, and arrived fast. On top of all that, it works just fine, and was a breeze to install (thanks to Apple).
In the end, you have to wonder if I'm satisfied with DealRAM or Boundless Technology. For the sake of ending sooner so I can watch News Radio on A&E (a show where they use old Mac laptops), I'll say I'm happy with both.
My recommendation, check DealRAM next time you need new RAM for your Mac (you should know how to install it yourself, Apple's support site offers help there).