Saturday, October 25, 2003

After a few slow days I'm back with new posts, and the long-awaited return of...

Inaccuracies abound!

That's right, MacOSRumors is at it again.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Live inside the Apple Store!

Yes, I've made it in to the big ol' fashioned Panther shindig!

And yes, the dog tags are worth waiting in line for.

Live at the shindig!

That's right folks, I'm down at the Apple Store in Oakbrook, in linr for tonight's big Panther shindig (on my new 12" Powerbook, of course).

While I'm not actually buying Panther (I qualify for the up-to-date program), I can't miss free swag (and yes, the dog tag rumors were right on the money).

Feel free to say hi if you see me (I'm wearing a MacUnderground shirt).

iSync redux...

Just three weeks after the release of iSync 1.2.1, Apple has released iSync 1.3.

And believe it or not, it's not because of some horrible flaw in 1.2.1 that could erase your home directory or corrupt your hard drive.

It's actually because iSync now supports even more super flashy fancy gizmo-filled phones (whoo.). Also, sync'd Safari bookmarks can now be accessed anywhere through bookmarks.mac.com (actually, that's kinda nifty).

Truth be told, it's not a big deal. The update isn't even mentioned on the Apple homepage.

Swag! Updated!

An update to "It's all about the swag...", below

Dog tags are sounding more and more likely, with folks who sent their youngins off to last summer's Apple Camp reporting that they got dog tags from Apple.

Meanwhile, alleged pictures of the dog tags have surfaced in this Mac Rumors Forums thread.

You can program for the iPod!

Well, not you.
But Belkin can. And other companies should be on the way, too.

CNet is reporting that Apple is very slowly opening up the iPod OS for further development. While the article suggests that it would be in Apple's best interest to release a developer kit, it seems Apple wants to be far more conservative for the time being.

Quite simply, Apple gets to pick and choose who can program for the iPod. Right now that list is really really long. Here it is.
1. Belkin

Okay, maybe it's not that long. But Belkin's gizmos are cool.

It's all about the swag...

An unconfirmed Mac Rumors report claims that Apple will be giving away Panther dog tags at tonight's world wide Panther shindig.

While it's an unconfirmed rumor, it does sound reasonable. Other, more reliable rumors, claim that Apple Store will be offering 10 percent off everything with the purchase of Panther (like they did back at the Jaguar launch last year).

And speaking of the "Jag-wire" launch, let's take a look back at last year's fantastic swag (why not? It's not like I'm doing anything in school right now).
The big highlight was the Jaguar t-shirt, but those weren't actually free (you got one with a copy of Jaguar). The free free stuff was a little less interesting (shucks). Everyone got one of three Jaguar stickers, and there were Jaguar-print mousepads for all (I still use mine, even though I have an optical mouse).

Last year's big swag "hit" was the magnetic poetry given away at Apple's big post-Thanksgiving event. Apple also made waves when they sold some Apple-branded stuff over that weekend (you know, pens and junk). This year's top swag, so far, has been the black new iPod t-shirts sold at the new iPod's launch back in the spring (of course, those weren't free).

For tonight's event, I wouldn't be surprised if this dog tag rumor is accurate. That's the kind of crazy inventive swag Apple likes to give out. Of course, a Panther t-shirt also wouldn't surprise me. Magnetic poetry was popular last year, but I doubt Apple will bring it back for this event (though they might if they do another post-Thanksgiving thing).

The "Night of the Panther" is tonight at 8:00 (in all time zones).

Thursday, October 23, 2003

It's like a G4, just without the G4 part...

Here's one strange rumor that's surfaced since yesterday's iBook release.

According to this MacSlash article, the G4 in the new G4 iBooks may not have an AltiVec unit in it (a.k.a. the "Velocity Engine").

Whaaaaa?!

While we don't know for sure right now, the iBook's specs page fails to mention AltiVec/Velocity Engine at all. And at least one person has reported that an Apple representative told him that there was no AltiVec in the iBook's G4 (he said they said). To add to the confusion, other people are reporting that the iBook's education page claims the new 'books do have AltiVec-donning G4s.

Here's the real question, though (you know, besides "does the iBook's G4 have the Velocity-gizmo?"): Is a G4 still a G4 if it doesn't have an AltiVec unit? In theory, at least, that would make it basically a G3.

For the time being, we'll have to wait and see what dirt folks can dig up when these new iBooks hit Apple Stores (which should be very soon).

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Timing is everything, isn't it Steve?

That's right, I'm still not finished with this iBook update thingy (see "Whoa. iBooks?!" and "Of course, more on the weird iBook thing...", below).

There's one element of today's unexpected announcement that I haven't gotten to yet. Timing (which also happens to be the key to a good Swedish joke).

This iBook release is part of an amazing PR blitz towards Windows users. The key to it all is iTunes for Windows, of course. But at the same time, Apple's putting on the Panther hype and now iBook hype, too. And there's even some cross-over hype between the two ("ALL NEW iBOOKS SHIP WITH PANTHER").

And there's even more hype, too! The eMac line saw a price drop today ("The eMac: Sure it's ugly, but it's cheap and easy!"), and Apple isn't done plugging the new Powerbooks.

In fact, the Apple homepage says it all. The main headlines is for iTunes, but the four li'l headlines are for iBooks, Panther, eMacs, and Powerbooks. The angle is something like this: "Hell, why download iTunes for Windows when you can just buy a Mac (with Panther!) and download iTunes for Mac instead!"

Hey, that's not a bad idea.

Of course, more on the weird iBook thing...

Here's some more details on these unexpected new iBooks (see "Whoa. iBooks?!", below).

- G4 processors across the board
- One 12" model, with two 14" models
- Clock speeds at 800 MHz (12"), 933 MHz (14"), and 1 GHz (14", and yes, that's Powerbook speed).
- Here's the catch: 256K L2 Cache (the 12" Powerbook has 512)
- DDR RAM, but it maxes out at 640 (not even close to the 12" Powerbook's 1.25 GB)
- AirPort extreme ready, but Bluetooth isn't built-in
- All three models have slot-loading Combo Drives (that means all new Macs ship with CD burners built-in now)
- Hard drives start at 30 GB (12") and go to 40 and 60 GB (14")
- USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 on all models
- The new 'books will ship with Panther installed

Prices on the new iBooks start at $1099 (the sub-$1000 notebook is no more) for the 12", and go up to $1299 and $1499 for the 14" models. Still cheaper than the 12" Powerbook, but just barely.

Yes, when you take a look at the specs, it becomes quite obvious that these new iBooks are good, but Apple's made sure they're not Powerbook good. And that's fine by me (I just paid $1399 for a new Powerbook).

And it does appear that rumors of a hip new look, along with rumors of a GOBI G3 processor, aren't true. While I'm sure the iBook will get a new look in a future revision, I doubt Apple will move "backwards" to the G3. It seems that the G4 will soon be the new G3, once the iMac and Powerbooks move to the G5 (in all fairness, that move for the Powerbooks is probably at least a year away).

Whoa. iBooks?!

Apple has released new G4 iBooks today. I kid you not.

Despite rumors of a completely new form factor, and IBM "GOBI" G3 processors, the new iBooks look pretty much like the old ones, and have G4s under the hood.

Well, that's a surprise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Here kitty kitty...

One Mac user has already received their copy of Panther, despite the fact that the official release date supposedly is this Friday.

The OS is actually on three CDs this time, along with another CD for Xcode. You can see some pictures here.

Current reports suggest that Apple's going to pull out all the stops for this Friday's Panther shindig.

Jump ship?

MacMinute is reporting that some Windows users are starting to find OS X more appealing.

The story, which originated at Microsoft Watch, is that more than a few folks have become a bit disgruntled by Microsoft's recent announcement of yet another delay in the development of "Longhorn" (which is M$'s next major Windows update. You know, the one with the really wimpy codename).

These folks seem attracted by Apple's steady release of major OS X updates (at a rate of about one per year), with Panther's upcoming release just making things look even better. Of course, the last two major OS updates have each cost 130 clams, but they've generally been worth it (I've been using the Panther beta, and it seems pretty darn good. Of course, I'm paying just $20 with the OS X up-to-date program).

And then there's the fact that there hasn't been a Mac virus since the last ice age (yet Apple still insists that .Mac's virus protection is super important). Of course, that might change if Apple ever hits that double-digit market share. Or it might not, since we don't really know if the lack of viruses is only due to a lack of Mac-virus developers, or if it's a combonation of that and strong security in the OS.

Anyway: More switchers = More gooder.

Monday, October 20, 2003

A million strong...

Apple is reporting two new milestones for iTunes and the iTunes Music Store.

First, Apple has announced that there have been over one million downloads of iTunes for Windows since its release on Thursday.

And as if that's not enough for us statistic-craving Mac users, Apple also has announced that since the iTunes for Windows launch there have been over one million downloads from the iTMS (both Mac and PC).

That's a millions sales in less than a week. Just for reference, the iTMS generally sells 600,000 songs on the Mac every week.

Powerbook power!

Sorry for the sudden weekend hiatus folks, but things are back up and running.

Why the hiatus? Well, I was very busy gathering together the gold in my coffers for a new Powerbook. In fact, I'm typing this on that new Powerbook right now.

I could have waited to make the purchase, but I wanted to qualify for the Panther Up-to-Date program (which saves me $110).

So sit back and relax faithful readers, and get ready for more posts written in the kitchen!