Friday, October 31, 2008

Please Fix The iPhone

Here's a great site where you can vote for the features you'd most like to see on your iPhone. You know I'm a fanboy, but there are some things that really annoy me about the iPhone. Like copy and paste. And the ability to hide applications I never like notes. And the ability to listen to the iPod via Bluetooth. And a lot more. Check it out and make your voice heard.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MacBook for Sale


With the aforementioned MacBook Air purchase, we have a 2006 White MacBook for sale on eBay. Check it out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Air

We have a new Mac in the family. We just upgraded my wife's computer to a MacBook Air. Best Buy is selling the previous generation of Airs for $1299, which is $50 less than what Apple is selling the refurbished models on the web site.

This thing is insanely light. I'm in process of setting it up and transferring files. Will give a full review soon.

The box it's in is tiny, but weighs 3 times as much as the computer!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy 7th iPod!


Wow, can you believe the iPod is 7 years old now? The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a great gallery of iPods over the years.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

(Most) PC's Are Crap

My year-and-a-half old MacBook Pro recently went comatose. I certainly wasn't happy, but was damn glad I had AppleCare. It turned out being the logic board which Apple replaced within 3 days at no cost to me, other than the loss of the computer.

In the meantime, my company allowed me to pick up a backup computer. Now most of use (all but one actually) use Macs. But the lure of the low price tag compelled them to an HP.

Now many fault for Apple for the limit in choices of their computers. I for one welcome it. Shopping for a PC is a ridiculous exercise is frustration. Even though my search was already limited to HP's, there are an insane number of PCs to choose from, all within the same price point, all with different specs. It's truly insane. I researched online and went to two stores and I'm still not sure what my choices were or what they meant. I took the easy way out and chose a PC based on size and price.

It was a 14" HP laptop. God only knows what the model is and what the specifications are. But hey, I got a good deal - $650 and a free printer.

Oh joy. I get a plastic hunk of crap loaded with a crap OS (Vista). The seams don't quite fit together, the cooling fan sounds like a jet engine, the screen is sub par. Sure, it was only $650, but man, you get what you pay for.

Apples are definitely worth the premium. Sure, I know there are nicer and more expensive PCs out there. But what I saw was truly a pile of crap.

UpdateOkay, it's been pointed out that I may not be comparing Apples To Apples hear (pun intended, deal with it). Yes, it's not fair to compare a $650 PC with a $2400 Apple Mac. But I would gladly pay $1299 for a new MacBook over the $650 PC any day.

Finally, something I don't mind my tax dollars being spent on

Congress returning from their ridiculously long vacation may be receiving iPhones.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Latest Thoughts

Okay, now that some time has passed, I've absorbed information from the media event, Apple web sites, etc, and can now offer up some more thoughts.

Yawn.

Yep, that's it. Okay, don't get me wrong, the MacBooks are the nicest/hottest notebook computers on the market. And that's whether you run Mac OS X, Winblows or both. The new gorgeous screens, zippy graphics cards, mongo trackpad, faster system bus, lighter/stronger form factor, et al, are nice. If you're in the market for a new notebook, you'd be mistaken not to buy one of these.

BUT.

As an existing MBP user (and Apple Fanboy), I'm really disappointed. There's really nothing in this product refresh that's really all that compelling or innovative. I think Apple played it WAY too safe. They should have blown people out of the water with a touch screen or integrated back scratcher or both. C'mon Apple, you let HP come out with a touch screen desktop? HP? And you know they have a notebook in the works (Update: Yep).

Why a touch screen? I dare anyone that owns an iPhone to tell me they haven't tried to touch a button in a dialog box on their notebook to clear it. It's a natural progression from the current input methods. Yeah, the big glass trackpad is nice, and certainly has utility, but BORING. I'm sure Apple is working on it, and whatever they come up with blow away anything HP or Microsoft or anyone else can do. But they need to step on the gas. As they pointed out in their own media event, they have a window of opportunity here to capitalize and they're going to squander it by playing too safe.

And yes, the manufacturing process and benefits of the new MacBooks are interesting, but John Q. Public could really give a rat's ass. They want sexy looking computers which work at a nice price point. The geeks love that stuff, but the new Mac buyers don't care.

BTW - Engadget has posted a nice list of various resources to get information about the new MacBooks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New MacBooks

The details are everywhere, but here's the summary:

MacBook Pro. Unibody construction (I feel like I'm talking about an SUV) makes it smaller, lighter and more rigid. Dual mode nVidia graphics cards let you choose between battery-saving basics (but still faster than Intel integrated graphics) or super-powered performance. Glass trackpad is larger and has multi-finger gestures. No button -the trackpad itself is the button. More on that later. Screen comes in 15.1" glossy with a nice black bezel. More on that later. Firewire 800 port is backwards compatible with Firewire 400(adapter needed) More memory, more hard drive space, yada yada yada. Starts at $1999

MacBook. Two new models. Basically a smaller MacBook Pro - same aluminum enclosure, ports, glass trackpad, etc. 13.1" glossy screen. Starts at $1299 unless you want the old "White MacBook" with none of the new features for $999. No Firewire port.

24" Cinema Display. Looks like an iMac. Built-in iSight, glossy screen, easy hook-up cables to MacBook, stereo speakers, built-in microphone. Even has a MagSafe power cord.

MacBook Air. Marginal refresh. Same sky high price of $1799.

Thoughts - definitely a nice upgrade. I'm skeptical of the buttonless trackpad - Apple does not have a good track record with mice/mouse functions. Glass trackpad I guess is nice, but seems gimmicky. I'm sure when I see/feel it I'll have a different opinion. Glossy screens look great, until you get them into a brightly lit room or outdoors. Would like to see a matte finish option. Graphics card is nice. Easy hard drive upgrade/replacement (under battery) is a welcome change (as I contemplate upgrading the hard drive on my MBP) Overall, these will be popular. It doesn't have enough "holy wow!" for me to trade in my early 2007 MacBook Pro though. Would love a 24" Cinema Display, but at $900, I can find other 24" displays much cheaper. I'm headed to the Apple Store tomorrow to see if they have the new items and will update with any impressions, etc.

Ummmm....

Words cannot do this justice.


(and you thought this would be about the new MacBooks...)

Friday, October 10, 2008

New MacBooks Are A Comin'

Not that this hasn't been reported in a bazillion other places, but Apple is holding a media event next Tuesday October 14 to unveil new MacBooks. What secrets will they hold? What magical powers will they possess? What worldly ails will they cure? Only time will tell!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Woz is Nuts

In a recent interview with The Telegraph Steve Wozniak says the iPod has lived a long life at number one and will die off as did the transistor radio and walkman. Um, yes, it will eventually die off as does all technology. But he's not really comparing Apples to Apples (pun intended, deal with it). Not only has the iPod has evolved over the years, it has something the transistor radio and walkman never did - an ecosystem. iTunes, accessories, plug-ins, the works. I appreciate his contribution to the computer industry, but what is his relevance now? What has he done lately? Segway Polo champion?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Apple Doesn't Need Jobs

Steve that is. At least according to Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research (who/what?).

Ezra says there is a stable leadership in place and the company will run fine. While I certainly believe that, I don't want to be caught holding a bunch of stock when Steve finally decides to call it quits.

While Jonathan Ive and Phil Schiller are great guys, I'm just not sure they could generate the same amount of "boom" that Steve does at keynote speeches.

:-)

Via MacsimumNews

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Apple Finally Gets Smart

Apple has finally dropped the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) that has stifled developers from talking to each other, helpful books being published and more. About damn time dumbasses.

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.


Via MacRumors