Saturday, June 28, 2003

Vacation!

Yes, I'm off on vacation. I'll be gone all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In other words, I'll be back Friday.

Until I'm back, I recommend getting your rumor fix from any one of the three sites in the Rumor Links section (although AtAT is more for entertainment).

And, speaking of a section of the site, you may have noticed (just maybe) that the site looks just a little different. Since the "new" Blogger offers new HTML templates to work with, I decided a little change of scenery was in order.

If you've got any suggestions, comments, etc. about the site's look feel free to email them to c3net@earthlink.net (although I won't read them until I get back from vacation; see "Vacation!", above, below, and both your left and right).

When I get back from vacation, I'll be spilling the beans about Panther, and why I think it's awesome. You'll also get to see a whole bunch of Panther screen shots in the next issue of The Edition (by the way, I'll restore The Edition's links next weekend, sorry 'bout that).

Shindig!

They aren't kidding when they say the Apple Store North Michigan Avenue is the greatest Apple Store ever, and last night's big opening night party just reinforced that belief (take that SoHo!).

I hopped in line about two and a half hours before the 6 p.m. grand opening. I was about the 150th person in line (not bad, actually). I even heard the people in front had camped out overnight.

The line got much, much, much longer as the afternoon wore on. By the time the doors opened, the line went all the way around the block. Then it doubled back and went all the way back around the block. When I left the store around 7:00, the line still was still huge.

The employees were obviously excited (and for good reason), and came out to greet the people in line before the store opened. Once the doors opened they were standing right inside cheering and giving high-fives to everyone on the way in.

The store itself is fantastic. The glass staircase is big, awe-inspiring, and also just a little unnerving to walk on. The second floor features a theater with rows of big movie-theater style chairs. To the right of the theater (if facing the screen) is a big ol' software and peripheral section and the internet "café" (my only gripe is that the term "café" refers to a couple rows of iMacs with iSights on them; no actual Café is in the Apple Store). To the left of the theater is the store's fantastic Genius Bar. It's huge, it has screens showing off "Quick Tips", and it's full of geniuses. Also on the left is the "kiddie" section with those crazy sphere chairs. The first floor features all the hardware, with the checkout in back. You can try out basically every Apple machine (but, no, there wasn't a single G5 to go drool over).

Everyone got a free t-shirt on their way out (there was also the iSight giveaway; I didn't win). The shirts are very nice, and have changed since the last store opening I attended (the Oakbrook store, back in November). While I miss the "Shop Different" logo on back, the slick and simple sans-serif look is very nice.

If you're ever out in Chicago... well, you know where to go (it might not be a shindig every day, but it's still an awesome store).

Friday, June 27, 2003

It's a grand ol' shindig!

I'll be leaving in about 45 minutes to wait in line for a good two and half hours for the spetacular Apple Store North Michigan Avenue grand opening.

Expect a little report on what the new "Flagship" store is like to be posted before I head out on vacation tomorrow afternoon (more on that tomorrow).

By the way, sorry for the sluggish posting. With the sudden transition to the new Blogger, followed by the move to this new look (more on that tomorrow), and the long installation of Panther (more on that after vacation), I've been pretty busy.

It's a game of numbers...

Mac Rumors has a quick little blurb regarding potential new Powerbooks.

Apparently the Panther Developer preview features these listed Powerbook models:
Powerbook 6,2
Powerbook 5,2
Powerbook 6,3
Powerbook 5,3

The current Powerbooks carry the model numbers:
Powerbook 6,1 (12")
Powerbook 5,1 (17")
Powerbook 3,2 (TiBook)

Looking at the current model numbers, it's quite obvious the 15" TiBook is just sligthly out of place.

But what's even more interesting is the fact that there are four new numbers, as opposed to three. While this may or may not actually mean anything in the end, it definitely suggests that Powerbook updates are on the way (but really, that's not anything new).

Thursday, June 26, 2003

It keeps going and going and going...

The folks over at MacEdition have posted this interesting article that claims Apple is looking into fuel cell technology for notebooks.

I feel just slightly out of the loop here, as I didn't actually realize that computer companies were looking to utilize fuel cells to replace Li-ion laptop batteries. It's actually quite fascinating and shows some real promise for substantially increasing battery life.

Mac Rumors has some good links about this. Head over and check them out if you want to learn more.

Just my luck...

Here's a funny story. Two days ago (Tuesday) I decided to take the day off. I didn't post anything except a very short blurb that said I would start posting again the next day (Wednesday).

So, yesterday I got ready to post and discovered that Blogger was moving MacUnderground to the "new and improved" Blogger. This began around 1:00 p.m. The "Sorry" message said it would only take a few hours. At 1:00 this morning it still wasn't finished.

Isn't that a funny story?

Seriously though, I'm sorry that I didn't post jack diddly yesterday, but there was really nothing I could do. Expect (barring any other "new and improved" craziness) some new posts later today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I'll catch up on posts tomorrow. I'm taking a Post-Expo day off today.

Monday, June 23, 2003

WWDC Thoughts...

Well, I've given the Reality Distortion Field some time to wear off, and here are my general impressions coming away from the Stevenote.

Good stuff:
- The G5 is infinitely awesome
- Powermac G5s are priced well (Now that's a surprise)
- Panther looks very cool
- iChat AV looks nice
- iSight is sleek

Not so good stuff:
- G5 not shipping until September (never mind what Steve said about August, the guy at the Apple store read an official message from Cupertino that says "September" for the new Powermacs. We'll have to wait and see who's right...)
- Panther's $129 price tag isn't justified
- Panther's release date is too vague
- iSight is freakin' expensive
- 15" Powerbook is now way overdue for an update

It winds up being a generally even balance between good stuff and not so good stuff.

It now appears that Apple's going to sit on the new Powerbooks for another month, releasing them during the Create conference in New York. There's not yet confirmation of this, but it seems like a strong possibility. The 12" Powerbook may or may not be updated, although its recent price drop suggests that something new is coming.

It's only a matter time now...

11:36 a.m. (CDT)
The Apple Online Store is down. It's almost time to meet the G5 (whoo hoo!)...

Even more last minute news...

With just half an hour to go before Steve himself takes the stage, the folks here at the Apple Store in Woodfield have announced that there will be "Special Announcements" at the store after the keynote is finshed.

Boxes, anyone?

Last minute news...

Think Secret has posted some last minute news and rumors toward WWDC.

- Safari is at GM (Golden Master) for version 1.0
- The Powermac "G5" is in fact "Q37", and also known as "Neo" within Apple
- Also posted are some pictures from around the keynote, including a covered banner (G5, anyone?)

Just an hour now...

So very very close...

With about three hours until the beginning of the WWDC Keynote, here are MacUnderground's plans...

I personally will be viewing the Keynote at the Apple Retail Store in Woodfield Mall, but I won't be posting with live updates of keynote announcements. Frankly, there's really no reason for me to bother with such live updates because if you head over to Mac Rumors you'll find a list of several sites providing their own live updates.

I would recommend that any readers looking for live updates just tune in to Mac Rumors, and then check back in here later this afternoon. Regular (well, maybe a little above regular) posts will resume a little while after the keynote finishes.

Don't forget, if you can't see the keynote live but still want to bask in Steve's Reality Distortion Field, Apple is streaming the speech after it ends. While they don't provide an exact time (Steve's speeches do have a tendency to run a little long), the Keynote is supposed to end at 2:00 (Central Time).

MacUnderground's various predictions are over in the "WWDC Rumor Watch" column. You can read a nice lengthy post talking about the predictions and my general final thoughts just below (see "So very close...", below).

In just three hours... Black turtleneck... bottled water... It can only mean one thing: Stevenote.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

So very close...

With the keynote now just one day away, you'll notice that the "Rumor Watch" column has changed a bit. The new "WWDC Rumor Watch" column features each of my predictions and the possibility that we'll see them.

Obviously new G5 Powermacs will arrive, per Thursday's leaked specs. The real questions (besides "What will the new Powermacs look like?") are about nearly everything else. There's Panther (screen shots were leaked yesterday, see "Faster kitty!", below), iChat (codenamed "Viceroy"), the iChat webcam ("Q8"), the mysterious device known only as "Q6" (see "Boxes, Blackrider, and more", from Thursday), and (of course) Powerbooks.

The mysterious "Q6" aside, the big question is about the Powerbooks. A new 15" Aluminum Powerbook is expected, but there's no way to tell whether it will have a G4 or a 970 under its hood. While there's definitely evidence to suggest a Powerbook "G5" (i.e. 970), so little is known about the 970 the no one's even sure there's a portable chip ready (although there are rumors that suggest there is).

There's recent info to back up Powerbook 970 claims. The leaked Powermac specs revealed no model using a 1.2 or 1.4 GHz chip. There's been evidence that IBM has been producing 970s at both of these speeds, and IBM isn't producing 970-powered Blade Servers yet (therefore, Apple may be the only company using the chips currently being manufactured).

So, while there's evidence to support a Powerbook 970 prediction, I'm only giving it a "Maybe" status. This is mostly because I want to make sure that expectations for the keynote are realistic. The 15" Powerbook will be updated, and updates to the other Powerbook models is a possibility.

One thing that can be said for sure, considering the various leaks and lack thereof, is that this may very well be the most important keynote speech in Apple's history (and it looks like it'll be an entertaining one at that!).