Archives For San Francisco

Last Tuesday`s keynote address; at the opening of the MacWorld San Francisco conference; by Apple CEO Steve Jobs held little or no suprises for mac users who had been frequenting rumour sites online or following the spate of recent lawsuits by Apple. However it did not stop faithful attendees from reacting joyfully with each new product announcement.

However these new products were not necessarily aimed at the hardcore faithful, but to lure new users to the Macintosh fold. Leading this charge was the Mac Mini; a computer that may possibly be the future of household digital convergence.

The Mac Mini is Apple`s first foray into a sub-$500 computer and standard features include a 1.25Ghz G4 processor, 40Gb hard disk, 256Mb Ram, upgradable to 1Gb, slot-loading combo drive; CD-RW/DVD-Rom, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire (IEEE-1394) 400 port, ethernet and digital and analog video out support. The computer is not necessarily for first time buyers, as it comes bereft of keyboard, mouse or monitor. Because of its small footprint, the machine is not user upgrade, however optional factory installed upgrades include ram, Apple`s wireless solution; Airport, Bluetooth, SuperDrive; DVD-RW/CD-RW and an 80GB HD. There is also a marginally faster version of the Mini Mac with a 1.42Ghz G4 Processor and an 80Gb hard drive standard that retails for $599.

One of the first things you notice about the Mac Mini is the incredibly small profile; the machine measures two inches high by six and a half inches deep and wide; about the same height as a VCR. Although this machine seems primarily geared towards enticing ipod owning PC users to switch, the machine lends itself; with some tweaking; to become the centre piece of the long touted digital convergence. With WebTV attempting a second coming, this may be the ideal time for a device that connects to the internet, can manage your music, edit and create video and can connect through your television.

The other big hardware announcement at MacWorld was the ipod Shuffle; Apple`s entry into the flash MP3 player market. The Shuffle is incredibly small; and the assertion that it`s smaller than most packs of gum is not an exaggeration; in an average adult hand, it is barely visible and the retail prices of $99 and $149 for the 512MB and 1Gb versions make them readily accessible to almost everyone. On the day of the show, 20,000 were available for sale at the San Francisco Apple store two blocks away and within three and a half hours they were completely sold out. Ideal for users on the go and parents pandering to their children`s desire for an MP3 player, the Shuffle is an ideal size at an ideal price.

Lost in all the hardware hype at MacWorld was Apple`s attempt at not offending software manufactures with the iWork suite. iWork features two applications, Keynote 2; an upgrade to the original presentation application and a brand new piece of software called Pages.

Pages fills a void on the mac platform somewhere between Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Pagemaker; a simple user-friendly publishing application. With Adobe`s discontinuation of Pagemaker, low end users no longer had an option on the mac until now. Pages offers a multitude of templates for letters, newsletters, reports, brochures and resumes, that allow users to drag and drop their existing photos and text into.

Apple`s announcements at this expo catered to new and basic users, leaving high end users some what out in the cold, however there were many other exhibitors at MacWorld expo that filled that void.

the tease begins, he`s talking about the ipods now. 4.5 million ipods sold last christmas. 10 Million total, over 8 million in calendar year 2004.

and here it comes, more car manufacturers adding built-in ipod  adaptors; nissan, mercedes, volvo, ferarri, alfa romero and scion.

itunes on motorola phones announced at CES.

and now the show stopper, a flash ipod player; ipod shuffle. no display, smaller than most packs of gum, weighs less than an ounce. smalled LED display. either shuffle or playlist. USB 2.0, 12 hour rechargable battery, autofill feature from iTunes, share songs and data. two models; 512Mb, 120 songs, $99, 1Gb, 240 songs, $149.

available today.

acessories include a battery extender, sports case, arm band and a dock, available in 4 weeks, $29 each.

oh iWork is $79 and is available January 22.

time for the hardware annoucements. and the rumour sites were right; the Mac Mini.

slot loading combo optical drive, FW, USB2, Ehternet, modem DVI and analog video. it`s small and it`s bring your own display, keyboard and mouse. shipping with Panther and iLife `05, priced at $499 and $599; 256MB, 1.25Ghz G4 and 40 and 80Gb HD.

hour two begins

January 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

i apologise for the stuccato nature of these posts but i`m trying to post as fast as it happens, there will be a more coherent summation either tonight, depending on my access to an internet connection otherwise, it`s going to happen tomorrow.

we`re back to demoing idvd, with all the new features i`m not really getting into because you can read all about it on the regular channels later today.

next up is GarageBand and a new jam pack that features orchestral instruments plus a whole new host of features that will be demoed again by John Mayer who seems to be having a great deal of fun with it. now they`re recording four tracks live which is kind of cool to observe and experience.

iLife `05 free with all new Macs or retailing for $79 and available a week from Friday.

holy shit, Apple takes on MS to some extent with iWork, which features a new version of Keynote and a new word processor called Pages, which is now being demoed by Phil Schiller

and so it begins

January 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

with blather about the new apple stores, 101 to date, 1,000,000 visitors a day. now we`re on the new imac, more blather. we know all this. i`m waiting to be impressed. does this mean the noted reality disrtortion field doesn`t extend into the over flow room.

ooooh tiger, shipping first half of this year, but all the features we knew about all that already. oh wait, a preview.

steve`s demoing spotlight, which is the content finder built into tiger from almost anywhere, in any format. and it crashed, sort of.

next up is the mail app, integrated with spotlight, more integration with all mailboxes, smart mailboxes; allowing you to sort by content; and a slideshow built into the mail application.

also coming with tiger is quicktime 7 with a new codec H.264 and on-screen controls, realtime scaling etc, etc, etc

now dashboard; a series of widgets, including weather, currency exchange, calculator which thus far is the most impressive thing i`ve seen.

ichat also gets a bump, with up to four to video conferences at once using the new H.264 codec and up to 10 simultaneous

audio chats.

on to more stuff, steve has just declared 2005 the year of High Definition Video and just introduced FinalCut Express HD for editing HD.

and as expected iLife `05, with new versions of iPhoto, iDVD, iMovie and GarageBand, not updates for iTunes just yet. more editing features for iPhoto as well as support for RAW format.

in an interesting development, i can`t seem to log into journalspace from the overflow room`s wireless network anymore.

so i`ll just keep typing and hope for the best. imovie has new features including support for HD.

interesting developments, on stage now is the president of Sony to talk about their HD consumer cameras and is singing Apple`s praises as part of making 2005 the year of HD.

a combination of excitement and still being on CST ensured that i was awake by 5:30 this morning, but weather and train delays ensured that i arrived late enough to get stuck in the overflow room watching the keynote on big screens and almost guaranteed none of the actual keynote swag. the room isn`t full yet, but there are still 16 minutes before the keynote begins and there are a lot of journalists standing outside haranguing our handlers for access to the actual area. i`m content at this point to just deal with it. i know what it`s like, i`ve been here before, i should have braved the rain and left earlier.

i have a camera but a fat lot of good it`s going to do me taking pictures of the screen. like this

in news of swag, i managed to pick up at an event last night, the monster ipod car cable; now it`s just left for me to buy an ipod; and a copy of adobe`s indesign.

keep it here, there will be more posts, `live` from the overflow room as the keynote progresses.

the countdown begins

January 7, 2005 — Leave a comment

For the first time in several years, Apple Computer may not provide a live feed of its opening keynote presentation at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

read the rest here

however, next Tuesday is going to be one of those multiple posting days, as i`m assured there is wireless access at the keynote and i`ll posting live as details are unveiled from the keynote.

in other news, for firefox users trying to get some more ooomph out the browser here`s a tip that i found here:

# Hit “Control+T” to open a new tab.

# Type “about:config” and hit enter.

# Scroll down to where it says network.http.pipelining

# Double click to change this value to true.

# One below this you should see network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

# Double click this box and change the 4 to 8 [ed.: some sources suggest 30 or 100 instead of 8, which may conceivably seriously tax some web servers… do what you will and may god have mercy on your soul, speed demons].

# Scroll down to where it says network.http.request.max-start-delay (makes the page start to render as soon as your browser starts recieving information)

# Double click and change the value 10 to 0.

# FireFox should now run much faster.

good luck and may the force be with you.