Saturday, February 08, 2003

Supply problems? At Apple? No way!

While this is pure speculation here, I've noticed a lack of "Ethernet Edition" AirPort Extreme base stations at Apple Retail Stores.
You may recall last Saturday's post, "AirPort Extremely out of stock," in which I mentioned my inability to purchase an AE base station. I returned to the Oakbrook Apple Store today, only to discover that there were no $199 Broadband-only AirPorts in stock, and that there hadn't been for several days. I left with a $249 base station, and a question.

Is Apple having supply problems with the new base stations?
Did they just underestimate the demand of the cheaper modem-less model?
Valid questions. But also consider the fact that there's another Apple Store, about 45 minutes to an hour from the Oakbrook one, in the Woodfield mall. This obviously wouldn't be the first time Apple has suffered supply versus demand issues. Take a look at the 5 GB iPod right now, and you'll see what I mean.

Update: I've started a thread at the Mac Forums.

He sure is a little thresher

A minor update to Mactracker, the app that contains info on almost every machine ever to run the Mac OS, is out.

Of interest:
- Info on the new Powermacs and iMacs
- History for the "Wind-Tunnel" Powermac
- and, my favorite addition, the codenames for the 12" and 17" Powerbooks. They are Thresher (12) and Hammerhead (17).

Thresher... I like it!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Maybe not that slow...

Low and behold, Macwhispers does have some juicy tidbits worth dwelling on today.

Of particular interest is a report on the future of Apple products.
Here are the highlights:
- The iPod line will be updated minorly this month, with the 10 GB replacing the 20, the 20 slimming down and replacing the 10, and a brand new 40 filling the 20's spot.
- New 15" Powerbooks are being stockpiled for release as I type. The models should have 15.4" screens (as opposed to 15.2"), but Macwhispers offers no other details.
- No eMac update any time soon.
The report doesn't mention the iMac, Powermac, iBook, any kind of future DLD, or the PowerPC 970.

Here are my quick thoughts...
iPod updates this month are no surprise. As I mentioned in my last post (about ten minutes ago), Toshiba has stopped producing the 5 GB hard drive used in the iPod. Next Tuesday is a definite possibility for such a release.
15.4" Powerbook rumors have been circulating for a while, but if this report is accurate, Apple could announce the new laptops within the next few weeks.
As for the eMac, it really needs to be given a chance to lag behind a bit, justifying the extra cost of the iMac.

I really wish the report had featured some speculation on the iBook. When and even if there will be updates to the line is a subject shrouded in mystery for a while now.

Slow rumor day...

In fact, it's so slow, that I'm actually going to comment on the wacky "reporting" antics over at Mac OS Rumors!
For those who don't get the humor here, MOSR is possibly the least reliable rumormonger on the net to date. For example, on Sunday, they put a six to eight week timeframe on the release of new iMacs.

Anyway, today's more memorable "stories" from the depths of MOSR:

- New iPods "at any moment." Like now! Or now!?
True, the iPod is in store for an update, but I wouldn't trust MOSR for any definitive information. Word is, Toshiba (they produce the iPod's super-sleek hard drive) doesn't plan on continuing production of the 5 GB drive. This would bring an end to the corresponding iPod model. They are however, producing 40 GB drives now (see this AtAT article).

- Apple apparently has prototype wireless keyboards and mice, and the good folks at MOSR "expect this to happen either this summer or early next year."
Yes, we're all longing for cool wireless Apple keyboards and mice, but an eight month timeframe is just a little vague.

- "And what the heck is up with AppleWorks, anyway?"
I honestly hope Apple is suffocating the life out of it. Let's see a new Apple Office (rumors are already flying about a keynote quality text app) this year!

Thursday, February 06, 2003

I like the iLife!... mostly

Despite the fact that I have been raving about the absolute greatness of iMovie 3, it's time for a reality check. I had a big problem with iMovie recently, and I view it as worth sharing.

It was really quite simple (and yet so aggravating), when I exported a completed five-minute home movie to iDVD, iMovie told me it needed to render two clips that I had reversed. I clicked okay, and went on my merry way designing a DVD. I soon realized that the reversed clips were un-reversed, although the transition parts were not. On top of that, when I went into iMovie to figure out what happened, I discovered that clicking on either clip crashed iMovie. Fun!
I finally discovered a way to restore the clips, and reverse them again, without causing any pesky crashes. Once again, I exported to iDVD, but this time I didn't let it render the reverse clips, and nothing went wrong. (yipee!)

If you find yourself having this problem, don't hesitate to hit the "Contact" link at the top of the page and email me. I'll be happy to give a detailed solution.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

GUI Everywhere!

The Iconfactory finally kicked off its annual icon design contest, Pixelpalooza 2003, the other day.

Today, the factory released the newest version of CandyBar, its OS X icon customization tool. The new version features support for single-file sets, called iContainers, which can be created as well as uploaded. CandyBar now resembles a totally OS X version of the factory's iControl, which did just about the same thing, but in OS 9.

The real feature of CandyBar, beyond the ability to almost instantly change the default icons for folders and such, is the power to change the icons in the toolbar, without hacking into those pesky resource files.

One interesting thing about the new version of CandyBar (besides the fact that 1.5 comes after 1.3), is that it features full 10.2.4 support. Does this mean the next OS update is on it's way?

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Gigahertz goodness...
iMac (second revision) Rumormonger Round-Up (Yee-haw!)

Two, and only two (unless you count the Built-to-Order machine) iMacs. With a 1 GHz processor and DDR RAM in the top model. Here's the beautiful part, not one rumor site correctly predicted it!
So, here's a look at a handful of major rumormongers across the web, and how well they predicted today's iMac revisions...

Big Winners!
None!
As I said before, not a single site correctly predicted the new two machine line of iMacs.

Winners
- Mac Rumors correctly predicted the $1299 and $1799 prices, although they struck out on their predictions of a third, $1499 machine. More astoundingly, they scored with their DDR RAM and 4x SuperDrive predictions.

Not Bad... but not that good, either...
- Think Secret originally suggested the week of February 3, and correctly predicted eMac price drops and the $1299 price tag on the new low-end iMac. That said, they offered almost no real details about the new iMacs, and seemed surprisingly in the dark.
- MacUnderground's predictions were a little vague, and struck out on Firewire 800 support in the high-end machine, but I did manage to predict the February 4 before any major rumormonger. Also, I was right about the 1 GHz clock speed and AirPort Extreme support.

The dreaded losers...
- Mac OS Rumors. They predicted the revision would come in late March/early April. Need I say more?
- AppleInsider predicted four machines, ranging from $999 (which happens to be the new entry-level eMac price) to $1699.
- LoopRumors also claimed four models, only predicting specs on three. The high-end model had no DDR RAM and a 120 GB hard drive. They did not predict AirPort Extreme on their two lower models (of the three).

All in all, Apple did a pretty good job surprising us with this release.
Rumors to watch in the next week:
iPods, I know new iPods next Tuesday would make three straight weeks of new releases, but there's speculation out there claiming just that.

The iMac line has been updated.
The two new iMacs are $1299 and $1799.

Waiting...

With iMac updates supposedly hours away, new details appear to be emerging about the new machines.
Mac Rumors reports that there will be three models, starting at $1299 and $1499 with 15" LCDs, and topping out at $1799, the sole 17" model. This directly (and openly in the post) counters with what AppleInsider is reporting. They claim that there will be four new machines, following this scale:
15" 867MHz, CD-RW, $999
17" 867MHz, Combo Drive, $1199
17" 867MHz, SuperDrive, $1499
17" 1GHz, SuperDrive, $1699

I find AppleInsider's specs hard to believe, as I think there will be more machines above 867 MHz. I also disagree with Mac Rumors on this, as I think there will be more machines with the coveted 17" LCD.
We'll all know soon enough...

Monday, February 03, 2003

Just a day away...

New iMac updates are actually less than a day away now, as the second revision to the LCD iMac, originally introduced just over a year ago, is expected to be announced tomorrow.
Both Mac Rumors and Think Secret have posted their final two cents tonight, and now we wait.
MacUnderground's official predictions for the new iMacs can be read here, in the January 24 post.

Think Secret originally speculated today for the release. MacUnderground predicted tomorrow for the release before any major rumormonger. Both Think Secret and Mac Rumors currently predict the updates for tomorrow.

End of the line for the G3?

LoopRumors reports that a "reliable source" (if I had a dime for every time I heard that!) tells them that G4 iBooks will be out in early May.

We have received word from a reliable source that a new updated iBook with a G4 processor will make its way into the education notebook in 'early May.' This will complete the transition of the company's product line to the G4 processor.
-LoopRumors

Getting past the fact that the above statement is grammatically confusing on many levels, it suggests that a G4 iBook would only be available to the education market. Why would Apple introduce a new education product at the end of the school year?

Also, what about the future of the G3? I'll admit that it's a dated processor, but Think Secret ran an article in December speculating that the G3 still had a life ahead of it, with the G3 "GOBI" revision on the way.
Considering the fact that the iBook is supposed to be the affordable laptop, and the 12" Powerbook is $1800, I don't think the iBook will be sporting G3s any time soon, although May is still a few months off...

Accuracy note: LoopRumors is a relatively new site, although they scored poorly with their MWSF03 Keynote predictions.
Think Secret has a record of good reliability, and placed second with their Expo Keynote predictions.

Oops I did it again...

Mac Rumors is reporting that Toshiba (which manufactures iPod hard drives) accidentally leaked specs for new iPods. Macwhispers is also reporting on new iPods, which could be released either this week, or next.
The new iPod family may be without the 5 GB model, which Toshiba no longer plans on making.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

In light of the loss of the Columbia and her crew, there will be no posts today.
Now is a time when NASA needs our full support. Write to your Congressmen and women in both the House and the Senate, and urge them to increase NASA's funding. It's Congress's "penny-pinching" policy that has kept NASA from developing a space plane and a one-stage rocket system, that is both cheaper in the long run, and much safer.

Xicons has posted an icon set devoted to the memory of STS-107 and the crew of seven devoted astronauts.
Regular posts will resume tomorrow.