Saturday, June 21, 2003

Faster kitty!

Click here for your first taste of Panther, via leaked screen shots that are real.

Some of the new features look very interesting. But something caught my eye as I looked through this: Mail app, originally rumored to move to a brushed metal look in Panther appears to retain the aqua look, instead.

Come Monday, we'll all get a full featured look into this new OS, as well as new Powermacs and more.

Friday, June 20, 2003

WWDC Shirts! (Whoo!)

Yes, if you head over to the MacUnderground Webstore now you can check out (and even buy) the new "WWDC 2003" shirts.

All the shirts feature the same image, but it's a nice one, looking back at the major rumors leading up to the expo. The front simply says: "The most important keynote. Ever.", with "WWDC 2003" below that.

And, because it's such a special event, I've made the design available on three new shirts. You can remember this year's WWDC in a long sleeve t-shirt, a sweater, and even a night shirt (for some 64-bit dreams).

Make sure you get one now (if you're so nice and kind enough to buy one), because in just a few weeks, the old new products (i.e. those very nice "Col. Panic!" shirts) will be back.

Time to double down...

After taking a majority of the day to rest (perhaps staying up to keep an eye on those leaked specs wasn't such a good idea after all...), I'm back up to speed this evening with some more interesting WWDC talk.

First, there are predictions to talk about. With the keynote less than three days away, now's the time for rumormongers to place their bets. While Powermac specs shouldn't be too hard to predict (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see "Breaking News!!!" and all three installments of "Specs!", below), there are still many other things to consider.

Not just can we speculate about Powermac design and shipping times, but there's the Powerbook rumors (see "Welcome to 970 country?", below), "Viceroy" iChat, Q8 and Q6 (for all three of those see "Boxes, Blackrider, and more..." and "The codenamegame...", below), and Panther itself, which has taken a back seat to hardware rumors recently.

The first site to chime in with predictions towards WWDC happens to be the site with the most riding on the event, MacWhispers. While many think that a failing grade on these predictions may close up MacWhispers for good, the site has decided not to be conservative in what they say, posting a new article today that goes as far as to claim that the iMac may move the 970 within a month (that's just a little gutsy...).

Apparently MacWhispers pulled all the stops in contacting every available hardware source and coming up with a prediction that has the WWDC Keynote featuring Powermac 970s (of course) and Powerbook 970s. While that's not too radical of a prediction, the article goes on to claim that the entire Powerbook line is ready to move to the 970, that the Xserve 970 is ready to go, and that the iMac (as I mentioned moments ago) is mere weeks from being ready, too.

Basically put, MacWhispers has just made one big wager on an incrediby fast - and incrediby big - transition to the 970. The article even claims that the transition should be nearly complete by Christmas (fast indeed). What's interesting about the article though is that it doesn't predict what the "Q6" gadget might be, leaving us still in the dark there.

There's more to follow later today, and you can expect me to chime in with MacUnderground's predictions some time Sunday.

Welcome to 970 country?

With the newest - and most reliable - Powermac specs reporting in at 1.6, 1.8, and Dual 2 GHz 970s (see "Breaking News!!!", "Specs!", "Specs!", and "Specs!", below), a new question is just starting to surface.

Previous reports of 970 production had IBM churning out 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and possibly a lower power 1.2 GHz processors (the 2 GHz barrier was to be broken later in the year). So, where are the 1.2 (if they exist) and 1.4 GHz processors going? Currently, IBM isn't selling servers equipped with any 970s, so the only company that could use these processors would be the big ol' Apple.

If Apple isn't putting the 1.2 (not confirmed) and 1.4 GHz processors into Powermacs, where else could they go but Powerbooks? Considering these leaked Powermac specs, I'd consider 970 Powerbooks more likely now than ever before.

More later today (contrary to popular belief, I do sleep).

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Specs!

Here's a look at the potential power of a dual 2 GHz 970 machine (speculative, of course).

Reportedly, the 970 gets 90 percent out of dual processors, which is significantly better than dual G4s. Thus, a dual 2 GHz 970 machine would be comparable to 3.6 GHz.

Look out Intel, Apple's back...

Specs!

The Apple Online Store has restored the original Powermac specs pic (back to the G4 models). The G5 pic is still posted here, though ("Breaking News!!!", below).

More later...

Specs!

The Online Apple Store is currently down. You can no longer view the apparently leaked G5 specs there.

This is a huge deal. I'll have more details as they become available.

Breaking News!!!

Powermac G5 specs: (Huge massive thanks to Mac Rumors's arn for breaking this story!) The image below is from Apple's Online Store (as of 10:43 Central time, this image can still be seen in the Powermac section of the online store).

Note (9:03 a.m. June 20): I've replaced the image with the text specs. They say the same thing, so it's really no different than before.

1.6GHz, 1.8GHz or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
Up to 1GHz processor bus
Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
Fast Serial ATA hard drives
AGP 8X Pro graphics options from NVIDIA or ATI
Three PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
Three USB 2.0 ports
One FireWire 800, two FireWire 400 ports
Bluetooth & AirPort Extreme ready
Optical and analog audio in and out

More later.

The codename game...
UPDATED

Note: This quick little post is all about "Boxes, Blackrider, and more...", which you would be wise to read first (if you haven't already).

On the topic of Q6, codenames like that generally follow a certain group of products. The best example involves the letter "P":

iMac DV (P7), iMac G4 (P80), iMac 17" (P79), eMac (P69) Original iBook (P1), FireWire iBook (P1.5), Original Chiclet iBook (P29), Second Chiclet iBook (P92), 14" iBook (P54).

If you go even further back, there's the Pismo (P8), The Gigibit Ethernet TiBook (P25), the current TiBook (P88), the original MDD Powermacs (P57 and P58), and the 23" Cinema display (P63).

The closest reference to the letter Q is the in Powerbook G3 that came after the "Wallstreet" model. It was codenamed "PDQ".

Update:
I feel kinda stupid for forgetting this, but the Newton (130 and 2000 in Mactracker) was codenamed Q! There was no number afterwards, but it further suggests that Q6 may be some kind of portable device.

Boxes, Blackrider, and more...

After weeks and weeks of extremely accurate rumors regarding software releases from Apple, Think Secret has finally chimed in with some amazing WWDC rumors.

First up, the Powermac. TS says that Apple is depleting supplies of the 1.42 and 1 GHz G4 models. However, like most of us, TS is generally in the dark about a release date of the new machines. Many rumor site and followers stopped considering immediate availability when eWeek reported that a Mac OS X update codenamed "Smeagol" (for those who don't get the reference, it's Gollum's real name from Lord of the Rings) wouldn't be ready for about a month (it's assumed that Smeagol is needed to run the PowerPC 970).

And here's something that anyone (myself included) going to watch the Keynote at an Apple Store will appreciate. TS has basically confirmed that Apple Stores across the country are receiving top secret "Do not open until WWDC" boxes, that vary in size. Still, the contents of these boxes are unknown.

The article goes on to support Powerbook 15" rumors and begins to talk about the new iChat update codenamed "Viceroy", including a webcam codenamed "Q8", and a new iPhoto update codenamed "Momento" (that's right, a whole bunch of codenames...).

But here's the best part: There are two mysterious announcements that may surface at WWDC that TS seems to know very little about, besides their codenames. The hardware is "Q6" and may be linked to some kind of Mac OS X update codenamed "Blackrider".

Some people have shrown around the idea that "Q6" may be a new digital camera, linked to the "Momento" iPhoto update. But there's no real thoughts on what "Blackrider" might be.

Obviously things are getting very interesting as we approach the WWDC Stevenote.

What happens when a single forum post becomes acredited information...

Some fine person in the AppleInsider forums has apparently just decided the outcome of the WWDC Keynote for us (oh thank goodness!). Just as a note, my understanding of the content of this post comes from Mac Rumors and not the original content (viewing the original post requires registration that I don't have the energy to deal with).

Basically this person says the low-end Powermacs will have immediate availability (boxes, anyone?), and that higher end models will have a longer wait attached to them (about five weeks).

But here's the interesting part: The person goes on to claim that Apple won't release new 15" Powerbooks at WWDC, thus breaking with conventional wisdom and about fifty-bajillion recent rumors (cut me some slack on the writing, it's 12:15 a.m., I'm just a little tired).

So, do we believe a well thought out and generall accepted rumor, or do we believe one post in the Insider's forums? Especially the recent price drops are brought into consideration, I'm sticking with the Powerbook rumors.

Also, it should be noted that this is not an argument about Powerbook 970s versus Powerbook G4s at the next update. This post claims there will be no new Powerbooks at all.

And there's just a bit more new info, too (I'm still following Mac Rumors here, as I'm really too tired to do much else). Apparently the good French folks at MacBidouille have dropped a little something in our laps. Here's the quote:

The PPC 970 Power Macs should be available as soon as their announcement at the WWDC except for the High end model which needs two more weeks. They should arrive to the distributors in the weekend.
While this seems like it tends to fit with the Insider post, it actually differs in two major ways. First, MacBidouille claims that only one model won't be ready, while the Insider post is more vague, suggesting more than one model may have a wait attached to it. And B: (slightly more obvious) MacBidouille claims the top model will be available three weeks sooner than the all-knowing post.

Ah, it's beginning to look a lot like MacWorld... (and it's only WWDC!)

By the way, any type-os, inconsistencies, threats against "The Man", and things like that can be attributed to my need for sleep. Goodnight, and nothing interesting better happen for the next nine hours.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Breaking News
UPDATED

Apple.com is currently down via the domain Apple.com. The site can still be accessed via it's IP address: http://17.112.152.32/

Another storm on the horizon...

After dealing with some really crazy rumors - particularly that of the supposedly pants leaked Powermac photo (see "It's about time!", "A closer look...", "And the storm rages on...", and "Apple Legal doesn't strike?!" below) - things have cooled off slightly this morning. But there's more to come...

Mac Rumors has already gotten to work on the next set of rumors that are just beginning to surface. Here's what caught my attention:

Apparently AppleInsider has gone just a little nuts. They posted an article which they later hit with a disclaimer telling people not try and read between the lines (like you would with the weird "One Infinite Cantina" article), and noting that many parts of the article had nothing to do with the WWDC.

There's also still some interest in Cancom's Powermac teaser, which appears to be the more reliable of the two major rumors from yesterday (Confused by that sentence? Then read "It just keeps coming..." below).

And (saving the best for last) today's big rumor (as of 9:30 a.m.):
Mac Rumors has found a very interesting report from Mac-life.de (apparently the story has since been removed from that site) claiming to have a description of the new Powermacs. The description comes from someone at a retailer (European, I think) who snuck a look at the new 970 Powermacs. It's best to read the whole description (and to do so with a grain of salt) at Mac Rumors Page 2. Here are the most notable parts (be sure to be a little skeptical as you read):

- The words: "PowerMacintosh 970" actually appear on the unit. This goes against some recent rumors claiming Apple would stick with the "G" naming system. Many people have also pointed out that Apple either uses "PowerMac" or "Power Macintosh" on Pro boxes. It's unknown whether the lack of a space is intentional or a type-o.

- The machine's body comes in two versions, one with grey plastic and one with white plastic. It's unknown why Apple would use two different colors. The casing is also said to feature the aluminum front panel common to almost all recent rumors.

- There are spaces for five drives, optical or hard drive. These drives can apparently be pulled out and rotated in order to switch from a tower to desktop position. Just a little unusual...

- Ports, etc.: On the front, one FireWire 800, headphones, mic, three "Apple typical" buttons, bluetooth logo (more on Bluetooth later), and a chromed speaker (hmmm... Quicksilver comes to mind there...).
On the back: One FireWire 800, one FireWire 800 (that's not a type-o on my part, but it may be on the part of the original author; they may have meant one FireWire 400 and one 800), two USB 1.1, one USB 2.0, ethernet, ADC, DVI, four diagonal PCI slots, speaker connector, and mic (again?).
Some people have pointed out that USB 2.0 is backwards compatible, and thus there is no reason for the 1.1 ports. That said, it's a known fact that Apple wants people to adopt FireWire over USB 2.0 (just an observation).

- And (it just doesn't end) a aluminum/white keyboard and a wireless mouse (the other reference to Bluetooth) with two buttons and apparently some kind of aluminum scroll wheel.

Had enough for one post?

The general feeling is that people like the new description better than they like yesterday's picture (which is now basically confirmed fake), but they're being skeptical, which is a good idea. While this sounds nice (and weird), there's no info to back it up right now.

Even if it isn't an accurate description (which is a good possibility), it's still very interesting. Obviously, there's much more to come in these last five days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Apple Legal doesn't strike?!

At least not yet they haven't. But I should explain first (the key would be to read "And the storm rages on...", "A closer look...", and "It's about time!" first, if you haven't alread):

Mac Rumors has posted, via a link on their homepage, the supposedly leaked (via pants) pic of the suppposedly new Powermac. It's being done so that people who missed the pic earlier can grab a look at it, and to see what Apple's infamous Legal Department will do about it.

The pic disappeared from the site where it was initially posted not long after the rumor surfaced (to be exact, the site itself disappeared, pic and all). As of now, there's still no evidence that it was the work of a "Cease and Desist" order from Apple Legal. It appears that whomever posted the pic, simply took his site down.

Now the pic has been up at Mac Rumors for several hours, with no action from Apple. Considering the fact that the rumor is now over eight hours old, action would most likely have been taken ASAP if action was to be taken at all (sorry, that was just a little wordy). Obviously, Apple would want a real pic to be taken off the internet immediately in order to protect the secrecy behind this massive keynote.

All things considered, there's now a growing mountain of evidence against this pic being real. Many people now point out that the pic's printing press look was added after the creases in it. Unless Apple is suddenly printing newspaper ads on used paper, I'd say we're looking at one big fake (of course, I've been saying that for several hours...).

Panther on Safari?

Here's just something interesting I've noticed...

There's talk that Safari v80 is actually a Panther (OS 10.3) app. This supposedly explains the installer package and the added frameworks files. This also could very well explain why v80 doesn't work too well on current Jaguar machines.

And, if you haven't already heard, Apple has actually confirmed (i.e. not a rumor) that Safari 1.0 will be available "Soon." Now if only they weren't so vague...

And the storm rages on...

First, make sure you've read all of today's posts. This basically makes references to all of them.

On the subject of the supposedly leaked (via a pants stuffing) Powermac pic:
While there is a case to be made for the now pulled pic, there's an ever greater case (in my humble opinion, at least) to be made against it. If you can get past the fishy "I shoved it in my pants" story, you have to deal with the fact that many parts of the pic don't add up. This includes some image problems around one of the handles and the Apple logo. Also, you have to consider the recent rumor that it doesn't fit with (there are quite a few). And then there's the fact that it's got just one slot-loading optical drive...

On the fallout of the leaked (once again, via a pants stuffing) pic:
The Mac Forums at Mac Rumors was down for over an hour under the pressure of heavy traffic. There's a real debate over justification of the image and whether or not it's real. It should also be noted that after claiming there was a report to support the pic's accuracy, Mac Rumors has doubled back and now says that there are significant doubts that the pic is real.

Just think, if this is effect of an apparently fake pic, imagine what a real one will do...

It just keeps coming...

Despite the fact that we're still getting over the supposedly leaked Powermac pictures (see "It's about time!" and "A closer look..." below), another interesting WWDC tidbit has popped up. And it also relates to the Powermac.

A German retailer, Cancom, has decided to advertise new Apple desktops available Monday. The picture doesn't actually depict a new machine, but obviously this adds at least some support to those who believe Apple will not just announce new machines on Monday, but announce immediate availability, too.

While I believe Apple will announce new Powermacs (and Powerbooks) on Monday, I'm not betting on immediate availability. It's possible (and it would be nice), but unlikely.

Back to the German thing: Initially, the ad apparently described the new machine as a "G5" but it doesn't seem to anymore. The ad itself simply depicts a Powermac covered in (ooohhh...) brown paper. The covered Powermac is obviously an existing model.

A closer look...

First, you might want to read the post "It's about time!" below (if you haven't already).

Anyhoo, rumor followers have been taking a good long look at the supposedly leaked picture of the new Powermac that appeared on an AngelFire site earlier today. The picture has since disappeared (of course), and now the question on everybody's mind is: "Was it real?"

My guesstimation of an answer is "NO" (the caps aren't meant to be shouting, but just dramatic emphasis). While many have simply decided the thing is ugly, there are real reasons it doesn't see right. Most notably (and this was noted in the first post) is the fact that the model appears to only have one optical drive. Current Powermacs have two.

While it's true that some parts of the Powermac pic do correlate with recent rumors (mostly the handle design and metal front), many parts don't. For instance, there's no front-side ports (i.e. FireWire, USB, headphones, etc.), which have been reportedly added to the new Powermac models. And, while the picture doesn't provide an accurate view of the case's materials (it looks like a bad crumpled Xerox, for those who have seen it; the person who posted it claims he had to smuggle it out in his pants), it appears that the whole machine is metal or metalic-y. Recent descriptions have had only the front being made of Powerbook-style aluminum.

While it is possible to take the time and try to justify this machine, I wouldn't recommend wasting your energy doing so. Considering the low picture quality and the inaccuracies with many recent rumors, I doubt it's the real deal.

Besides, it's plain ugly...

It's about time!

Yes folks, with less than six days to Steve Jobs WWDC Keynote speech, it's about time we finally saw a Leaked Pic of the new Powermac. It's currently viewable right here.

Now of course, there's no confimation that this is actually a real slightly crumpled picture of the new Powermac, but it does fall in line with recent rumors describing a sleeker look, a metal front (at least it looks metal in the pic), and less obvious handles.

The next step is to see whether or not Apple Legal takes action against the image. I've got a copy of it on my hard drive in case the original goes down.

One interesting note about the pic is that it appears that the model shown (assuming it's an actual Powermac) has only one optical drive. Current Powermacs (Mirrored Drive Door models) have two drives, because many pro users want a SuperDrive as well as fast CD burning or reading.

And thus the calm ends and the storm begins...

Monday, June 16, 2003

Vote!

Today's web poll at TechTV's The Screen Savers is one for all Mac fanatics to vote in. The question: "Do you care about the Mac?"

Come on! Stand up for Apple and vote!

Of course, the poll question stems from the folks at TSS talking about WWDC rumors. With the keynote just a week away (see the exact countdown at the top of the page), talk outside the Mac community is heating up.

Buy it now!

The MacUnderground Webstore has been updated with brand new shirts and mugs.

The new shirts all feature the text "Col. Panic!" on the front, with MacUnderground's info on the back (including a little gag line at the end).

As before, the mugs act as donations to MacUnderground to pay for upkeep and future improvements.

Go on, you know you want to buy something...

Bummer...

This is very important to anyone who has gained access to a copy of Safari v80, and isn't supposed to have access to a copy of Safari v80.

My advice is to, if you enjoy surfing with Safari, not install v80. My copy of v80 began crashing, frequently. I then learned that not just can I not replace it with the Beta 2 from Apple's website, but I also can't reinstall it. Ouch.

That said, I only installed v80 knowing the risks involved. I'm not surprised that something went wrong. So, until Apple releases the next Public version of Safari (most likely the official version 1.0) I'll be using good ol' Chimera 0.6 to surf the net.

Let me just be clear: If you haven't installed v80, don't. If you have installed it, don't try to get rid of it. You know, I'm thinking there just might be a reason Apple doesn't want people downloading these untested builds...

The MacUnderground Edition!

Yes folks, it's Monday the 16th and the first issue of the MacUnderground Edition is ready for download.

You may have actually noticed that the downloads (available in both .sit and .zip forms) were actually ready about an hour or so ago, but that's not really important. What matters is that the first issue of MacUnderground's monthly PDF publication is ready to download.

The June 2003 download decompresses into a folder (aptly titled "June2003") containing an .rtf Read Me file and the 10-page Edition. Please (oh pretty, pretty please!) read the Read Me first. It has info on what's inside the PDF, and details on the recommended application to open it with (long story short, open it with OS X's Preview, if possible).

So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 15, 2003

UPDATED
T-minus...

Head on over to this page and have a look at a cool little countdown to the WWDC Keynote.

Update:
You don't have to bother clicking that link anymore, because the countdown can now be seen at the top of this very web page (maybe you missed it). A very special thanks to the folks at 3cmug and to Luke Sands for letting me use the countdown.

T-Minus 7 days, 15 hours, 16 minutes, 10 seconds...

Mac Rumors has put together a really nice rumor round-up regarding the upcoming WWDC Keynote, now just over a week away.

All this while French rumormongers are finding much more to talk about. Apparently one French retailer claims to have received boxes from Apple that relate to WWDC. They can't open them, but have decided that they must contain Powerbooks (in the first box or boxes) and 19 inch eMacs (in other, larger boxes).

Before we enter panic mode, let me be very clear: There are no 19 inch eMacs. This is a bit of a flub on MacBidouille's part (they picked up the possibility from their own forums). So while this looks completely inaccurate, it's still sort of interesting.

Meanwhile, there's a whole week ahead of us. Mac Rumors stresses in their round-up that a lot can change in this last week. If you recall back to the MWSF Keynote back in January, there weren't reliable reports of the 12" and 17" Powerbooks until mere hours before Steve Jobs took stage.

There's a busy rumor week ahead (plus the release of the first issue of the MacUnderground Edition tomorrow), so be sure to get a good night's sleep...