Saturday, January 25, 2003

1984...

A guest on CNN (I didn't catch her name) was talking about this year's Super Bowl ads when she was asked what the greatest Super Bowl ad of all time was.

She said (I'm paraphrasing here) that Apple had that classic ad in 1984, but then followed it up with the Lemmings the next year. The best and the worst.

In January 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh with a Super Bowl commercial for the ages. At the 1985 Super Bowl, Apple ran an ad that depicted the American public as a bunch of Lemmings. Apple has not purchased a $2.2 million Super Bowl ad this year.

Internet in Neutral?

It is for two major Mac sites.
If you haven't heard already, a server-attacking virus hit the net last night, and while most people will just notice a temporary slow down in page loading times, us Mac fans have bigger problem. It appears (I can't confirm or deny this) that Mac Rumors (which includes the Mac Forums) and Mac OS Rumors have been directly hit by the virus, making both of the sites totally unavailable.

Update
4:11 PM
Mac Rumors is back up and running, including the forums.

Quite cool...

The Mac Business Solutions 12" Powerbook Gallery is back up! Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch to call three pictures a "gallery," but they are worth checking out.

Friday, January 24, 2003

iMac, boxed to go...

Macwhispers has claims that the next iMac revisions (which Think Secret has placed on February 3) will support Bluetooth, at least in the 17" model(s).
They also spin that classic love tale, iMac meets Airport, iMac meets Airport's cousin (It's a Mac Thing!). While this is really no surprise, Macwhispers has "multiple sources" confirming the logical inclusion of the new 802.11g cards in the next iMacs.
There is a little catch with their talk of the new Bluetooth support, their source there is the Taiwanese manufacturer of the iMac. Some of the lease reliable rumor talk (like that of the 19" LCD iMac) come straight from these "sources" across the Pacific.
That said, I think Bluetooth support will be included in the next iMacs.
Macwhispers admits having little knowledge of whether or not there will be Firewire 800 on the machines.

Here's a general idea of what I expect in the next iMacs (my predictions of sorts):
- Airport Extreme across the line!
- More 17" models, although Apple will retain the 15" for affordability
- Firewire 800, but possibly on only a few models. Firewire 400 isn't going away.
- I've heard talk of 120 GB hard drives, that would have to be a custom-built machine.
- And, of course, 1 GHz G4! It's only logical, and probably only in the top model(s).
- How about February 4 for the release? That week is the most likely time, so I'm picking the fourth. Tuesday is a very popular day for minor Apple updates.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Get an iLife, and a new iMac!

Think Secret is reporting that iLife has been delayed, not because of software issues, but to correspond with new hardware speed bumps. Quoting Think Secret:
The new models will tentatively be announced the following week, possibly on Monday, February 3.
The new hardware will have iLife pre-installed, and it would be Apple's best interest to have the releases as close to each other as possible.

Hold my iLife, I'll be right back

It seems to be official, Apple won't be releasing iLife (including the free iPhoto and iMovie downloads) until January 31. And yes, the title didn't really make sense.

Get an iLife!

MacNN is reporting that Apple may delay the retail release of iLife, its iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD package. The planned release date is this Saturday, with free downloads of iPhoto and iMovie available from Apple's website.
Apparently, there is a problem with the "Golden Master" on the CD in the iLife package. MacNN speculates that the free downloads might still be available on Saturday.

Also, Macwhispers has developed its "Final Specs" for a new Apple display line. By combining various sources, they have screen sizes, pixel resolutions, and prices. We'll have to wait and see if their predictions are correct.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Track that Mac!

Mactracker 2.0 is now available! For those of you who aren't familiar with Mactracker, it's an app that has a general history of just about every single Apple computer, laptop, and peripheral.
The original Mactracker was a spiffy little app (except for the version prone to error messages), but the new version is a whole lot spiffier. It has all the latest Apple hardware, plus pictures, which weren't part of the original.
All in all, this is one powerful Encyclopedia Mac-tanica, and the new interface and expanded information make it all the more promising.

What a difference a day makes

I'm catching up on a day's worth of rumors, and what a day it was.
Here some highlights:

- Spymac reports that Apple might start selling clothes through their retail outlets. You might remember that Apple Retail stores sold small Apple-Branded products for about a week around Thanksgiving last year.
- Mac Rumors, Mac OS Rumors, and Spymac are all reporting about new LCDs from Apple.
- MacWhispers reports that Apple has ordered low-power Firewire 800 bridge chipsets from Texas Instruments. Apparently, the ordered parts would only be iPod compatible, this has sparked wild rumors about upcoming iPod updates.
- And speaking of the iPod, Mac Rumors has pointed out that Apple's online store isn't shipping the 5 GB iPod. Apple claims that the 5 GB iPod stock was depleted from holiday sales. The 10 and 20 GB iPods are shipping in 5 to 7 days.
- OS X Audio reports that the next iApp will be an audio app called iTracks.
- Finally, Mac Rumors is also reporting on the possibility that the IBM PowerPC 970 could be in mass production on February 24.

Of course, talk of upcoming iMac upgrades are still flying around.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Whoops!
The End of LoopRumors crazy Jobs at Intel story

After the information in LoopRumors's story was declared fake by arn, the Mac Rumors webmaster, things started to die down. LoopRumors has now pulled the story, and Mac Rumors has removed reference to the story from their website.
LoopRumors hasn't commented on the incident.

In other news, this tenth post sets a new MacUnderground record for the most posts in one day. The previous record was nine.

All quiet on the western front
Following LoopRumors crazy Jobs at Intel story

No news is good news! There's been no word on the reported Jobsian announcement at the Intel Sales and Marketing conference in Las Vegas, although the Mac Forums have lit up with posts over this interesting topic.
It's looking more and more like LoopRumors posted a totally Photoshopped image.

Big announcements at a marketing event?
Following LoopRumors crazy Jobs at Intel story

I just wanted to point out that if there actually was a little speech or announcement by Steve Jobs at an Intel event, why is it at a Marketing conference? And is it me, or are there a lot of PC conferences in Las Vegas?

Have they heard of Photoshop?

LoopRumors is reporting that Steve Jobs himself will be speaking to Intel. No, I am not making this up. The supposedly Intel-employed informant that tipped off LoopRumors, on the other hand, just might be. (Maybe, you think?)
An included picture of the Apple logo displayed over an Intel stage at the Intel Sales and Marketing conference in Las Vegas, is the apparent proof of this stunning upcoming speech.
By the way, anyone with Photoshop Elements could forge that picture. Hell, I could make it look like AMD, or Pepsi, was speaking on that big stage.

Some PC weenie is laughing his or her butt off right now, at LoopRumors's expense. Hi-larious

All signs point to "yes"
iMac Watch

Still waiting on those new iMac updates? Well, here's a little something straight from the Apple Online Store.
The CD-RW only LCD iMac has the infamous "2 to 3 week" shipping time. That's AppleTalk (dated pun, get it?) for "Do not, under any circumstances, order this computer."
New iMacs are on their way, and should be here in January/Early February.

I'll knock some iSense into you, okay?

Also at LoopRumors today is a new opinion in the site's "iBall" column. The editorial-of-sorts complains about the weaknesses in Apple's advertising.
I actually disagreed with the opinion expressed so much, that I wrote an email to LoopRumors explaining that Apple's advertising hasn't been this good in years, and that we shouldn't dare to jinx it.

I'll admit, Apple still has some advertising ground to cover, but they're doing pretty well right now. I can assume that the folks at LoopRumors have never worked in advertising, because I think their opinions would be different if they had. The thing is, we can't just make an ad that says "Mac OS X looks good and is cool and will help your kid to better in school, so there!" Nobody would pay attention long enough to see the grey Apple at the end of the ad.
Ads have to grab people's attention before they sell anything. The ad with Verne Troy and Yao Ming does that pretty well. It also has a screen shot or two, and a look at why Apple's hardware is so darned cool.
Does it say a thing about the OS? Does it showcase any one of Apple's multitude of free iApps? Does it tell Wintel users why to switch? No. It doesn't do any of those things. It does something better. It gets your attention long enough to tell you that Apple innovates, and that's all it needs to do.

Besides, Apple can't sell OS X to PC users until it finishes selling it to Mac users.
If LoopRumors just has something against Jeff Goldblum they should say it, And that's my two cents.

One... two... no wait, go back to one.

LoopRumors has posted an update showing that the Super Drive in the new 17" Powerbook has decreased in speed.
Apparently, the drive has dropped from 2x burn and 6x read to 1x burn and 8x read. I can't in any way, shape, or form afford a 17" AlBook, so I don't really find it interesting.

Is that a 20.1 Cinema HD Display in your pocket?

Mac Rumors is fueling the fire for the ever-persistent talk of a new LCD line-up from Apple with a report of a new Apple Display certified in November. The entry at TCO Development, which maintains a listing of certified monitors and displays, reads:
Apple Model A1038, "Cinema HD Display", 20.1", Certification Date: 2002-11-21
Rumors of new Apple LCDs have been flying about since October, when the 15" Display was removed from the Apple Online Store. A 20.1" model would fit in perfectly between the current 17" and 22" models.

Nifty

If you use Safari and visit Apple's website, you'll get to see a little graphic in the upper left-hand corner of the Powerbook image. It says: "Welcome Safari User." I guess Apple just wants us to feel all warm and happy inside.

Grab the mop, Mable!
Playing The Sims: Unleashed

As already mentioned, pets are a big part of Unleashed. Not just can you have your own dogs and cats, but other dogs and cats wandering the neighborhood will visit your house. There's just one problem with these guests, they can make a mess on your sidewalk.
If a visiting animal has to go when it leaves your neck of the woods, it might just leave a puddle on your sidewalk, which you have to mop up. If you don't, your outside Room Score bottoms out. Your one defense would be to shoo all visiting animals, hopefully deterring future canine and feline guests.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

A very Goldblum conspiracy

The "Cosmos" ad has disappeared from the Apple website. While it isn't nearly as funny as "Big and Small," it makes you wonder. Or it doesn't. I just thought it was strange.

Dude...

Here is a very interesting news article about a Dell Inspiron Laptop.
I can summarize it quite simply: The 15 year old daughter of a Foreign Official in Pretoria (I'm not entirely sure where that is), received second degree burns when her Dell's battery pack exploded. The resulting fire incinerated a couch, with large flames threatening the entire living room. The girl is being treated at a local hospital.

So it appears that Apple's flammable power cords had to be out done by Dell. When will Dell's shameless copying of Apple end?

Anyway, I though up a new slogan for Dell: "Dude, you're getting treated for second degree burns!"

By the way, MOSR also claims that Apple has tablet prototypes, but that they won't release anything along those lines in 2003, "because of market conditions."
I think it's safe to say that MOSR is on its way to another award for inaccuracy (they should really give the other inaccurate sites a chance!).

Mac OS Rumors locks in its predictions for the year (let's hope they're up to same high standards as their MWSF predictions!)

Infamous rumormonger Mac OS Rumors has put together a list of predictions for Apple's 2003 announcements. Before I highlight them, I must remind readers that MOSR has a terrible track record with rumors. The site actually received the "Bad Publicity is Good Publicity Award for the Absolutely Worst Predictions of the MWSF03 Keynote." They scored a whopping -145 (from a base 50) on their predictions. (In perspective, the next worse site had a score of 5, and the best site had a score of 145)

Now that I've cleared that up, here's what MOSR "predicts" for the new year:
- The PowerPC 970 (also referred to as the G5 by MOSR) in machines in the month of September. While I think the 970 is a sure thing, September is an optimistic, although not unreal, guess.
- A Power Mac update between mid-March and late April. G4 hitting 1.4 GHz.
- You'll get a kick out of this one: "New iPods are due out in March, according to internal documents acquired by [Mac OS] Rumors yesterday."
- An iPod-based video Digital Lifestyle Device sometime this summer.
- A possible totally new DLD sometime in the spring.
- The major iChat update that MOSR has been obsessing about is now supposedly in...
- Mac OS X 10.3, which MOSR predicts will ship in mid to late September (right around the time they predict the 970).
â?¢ Finally, the most far-flung of their predictions (in my humble opinion): Dual G4 17" Powerbooks running at least 1.2 GHz processors, released sometime in the latter half of the year.

Here's the problem with a Dual 1.2 GHz 17" Powerbook premiering in the "latter half of the year."
1. It would have a one hour battery life (I'm slightly exaggerating there). The G4 is already a massive battery drain, the current 17" only has a 4.5 hour battery.
2. It would weigh more, and the 17" already weighs a ton.
3. It would literally get hot enough to fry an egg.
4. It would be outrageously expensive.
5. Apple won't release new G4 Powerbooks once the 970 is on the market (which will be sometime in the latter half of the year). Who would buy an expensive new machine that'll be replaced with a Powerbook 970 six months down the road?

Anyway, the predictions made by MOSR that are actually a possibility are probably educated guesses, not "sources" and "internal documents." Now that these "predictions" are on record here, I'll be following them, keeping tabs on MOSR's accuracy all the way.