Saturday, August 30, 2003

They cut in line!

There's new news to report on the Powermac G5 front. While Apple Stores across the country are currently showing off the single-processor models (I took a spin on a 1.8 GHz model at the Apple Store Chicago this morning), shipping times for the top of the line Dual 2 GHz model have crept into September.

The delays were initially - and still partially - attributed to Apple's desire to fill education orders before the start of the school year. Now Think Secret reveals another reason (and this one's even more interesting than the education one!).

Apparently Apple has put a Powermac order from Virginia Tech ahead of even day one preorders. Exactly how many computers do you have to order to cut ahead of the earliest of the early adopters? The answer is 1100.

The University is taking 1100 Dual-Processor Powermacs and using them to hopefully create one of the world's five fastest supercomputers. That's 2200 PowerPC 970s. And each machine is reported to be carrying 4 to 8 GB of RAM, putting the cluster's total RAM somewhere between 4.4 and 8.8 TB. The cluster should deliver about 10 Teraflops of performance (translation: it should be very powerful).

All you folks who ordered the Dual-Processor Powermacs on day one will just have to wait a few more weeks (unfortunately I can't feel that sorry for someone who's getting a Dual 2 GHz G5). Just remember that your order's been bumped back for a good cause. Virigina Tech is on a deadline to get the cluster up and running in time to be ranked in this year's Top 500 Supercomputer list. An all-G5 cluster near the top would sure look good for Apple.

Friday, August 29, 2003

The last fling (for summer, that is)...

I'll update with new posting tomorrow.

I'm heading away from the suburbs to get a better view of Mars before it moves off again.

But, just in case you can't wait for another juicy Powerbook rumor, Think Secret is claiming that the new 'books were ready to go in August but have been delayed to September. But really, what's another week or two after waiting several months?

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The latest Powerbook hub bub...

MacBidouille is claiming that Motorola has fallen so far behind in producing the 7457 G4 that Apple will put a revised 7455 in the next Powerbook revision.

While it's really quite believeable that Moto has screwed up again, we have to remember that this is a rumor. And MacBidouille doesn't have a great accuracy record as of late.

Of course - as I already said - it seems very possible that Moto could be behind on production. In that case, this rumor could in fact be accurate. That possibility has led some to complain that after such a long wait, Apple will only present us with lackluster speedbumps in the upcoming Powerbook revision. I'm willing to argue that even without the 7457, new Powerbooks - at least the 12" and 15" - could still be a big improvement over the current ones.

A revision to the 15" Powerbook would mean a new enclosure, with AirPort Extreme, FireWire 800, a newer graphics card, a possibly backlit keyboard, and more new tech. Remember, it's been nearly ten months since the last TiBook update.

The 12" Powerbook has plenty of room for improvement outside of its processor. Apple could make it thinner, give it some much needed L3 cache, and possibly even add a backlit keyboard. On top of a speedbump, that would be a nice revision.

The point I'm trying to make is that even if this rumor is correct (emphasis on the word "if"), it doesn't mean Apple can't pull off a decent revision to the Powerbook line.

Now we just have figure out when...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Waiting...

Apple's homepage has been updated, with the new versions of Macromedia's Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Studio taking center stage.

This probably means that we won't see any new announcements (*cough*Powerbooks!*cough*) until Thursday at the earliest.

Monday, August 25, 2003

It's an Amazonian rumor mill...

In my last post I said that there weren't any new Powerbook rumors today.
Sadly, I spoke too soon.

As if Amazon.com hadn't already given us enough to chew on when they declared the 15" Powerbook unavailable (see Sights set on the Amazon... (.com), from Aug. 20), the e-tailer has now announced that supplies of the 12" Powerbook have dried up as well.

Begin Stevenote countdown...

Mac Rumors might not be feeding us any new Powerbook rumors today, but instead they're reporting that Apple Germany has confirmed that Steve Jobs himself will present the Apple Expo Paris keynote.

What Steve could announce at the keynote is anyone's guess right now, but possibilities include Panther's release, new iPod "peripherials" (see here), iTunes for Windows' release, a new hardware device, updated iMacs, a long-rumored audio iApp, or maybe even new Powerbooks (but let's not get our hopes up!).

But I think we can rest assured that Steve's going to have something pretty damn cool up his sleeve for his fourth Stevenote of the year (1. MacworldSF; 2. iTMS Press Conference; 3. WWDC; and 4. Apple Expo).

Apple Expo runs from September 16 through the 20th. No plans for a webcast or Apple Store presentation have been announced, and the Expo keynote hasn't been webcast in past years.

Needless to say, we should all hoard bottled water and break out our black turtlenecks.