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Abracadabra

MACWORLD 2008

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Guest shai_hulud
babe ruth had a career batting average of .342

this means out of 10 at bats, over 6 ended in failure.

 

i dont love every song radioheads' ever written, but everytime they put out a new record they change the direction of music. this fact alone is enough to keep me checking everything they do, if for no other reason than to see what everyone else will be doing in two years.

 

Excellent point. It brings up another one I forgot to mention. It's along the lines of that age old saying, "with great power comes great responsibility."

 

Let's use the Macbook Air as an example.

 

So, when Apple says something like, "Okay, this is our vision of where the state of the art is going," that raises the bar for EVERYONE else out there. Since they're ahead of the curve, that means everyone has to take a hard look at where the future of portable computing is going, which appears to be SSD and no optical drives. As it should, but they need to work on capacity, longevity and R/W times and get the price down to a reasonable level.

 

Which brings me to my next point. Once SD cards cost the same as a blank DVD, people are going to migrate towards using them as a storage medium for music/games/movies, because they are infinitely more rewritable and a lot more durable. On the other hand, they are easier to lose and label.

 

Also, if everything is going to be done wirelessly, then the security needs to be a lot tighter. Not having an optical drive is no big deal (in fact, this old Mac laptop I'm using doesn't have one), but the idea of tying system and software installation to wifi is a little troubling. Hackers aren't getting dumber, after all.

 

As I said, when I tried to ask questions about this kind of stuff, I didn't get answers that I felt reassured by. Most of it sounded like feel-good rah-rah trade show speak...then again, I WAS at Macworld. I just wish Apple would ditch the hubris and the "it's not a bug, it's a feature" mentality sometimes.

 

Good point about Radiohead, BTW. I don't listen to them much, but I do respect them for taking chances.

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just cause the guy standing there next to the laptop doesnt know as much about computers as you, shouldnt exactly reflect on apple. perhaps he was the last minute replacement for the guy who does know everything, but who's wife is also in the hospital having sextuplets.

 

apple is 'guilty' of branding like a motherfucker, and making you believe you NEED everything they put out, but also, look what they're up against. up until the last 2 years or so, pc's still held a near monopoly on the computing world. that's a whole lot of money to try and fight your way through. apples claims of magical fantasticness are no more off base than pc's claims of being quality, hassle free computers.

 

i suppose i look at it differently, because i dont care about technical stuff, and i dont nit pick. i see this computer as a stepping stone, rather than an ends. maybe solid state memory is ridiculously expensive right now, but by putting out a computer that has it, they force the entire computing world to step up, which means the prices are halved in the next 2 years. the science needs people taking risks and pushing the envelope in order for it to continue pushing ahead. (not that im trying to 'school' you with these comments, just sharing my opinion. i imagine we're not so far off on our base opinions here).

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mac is still supported by the Ipod, they even dropped computer off their name. PC still control the market by a long shot and Macs have a small percentage. The numbers have increased due to putting computers in schools and their aggressive marketing campaigns but i seriously doubt that they will ever take over the market or even hold half of it. People do appreciate usability but they also like control.

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*edit- Raven, did you ever switch to Mac servers, or are you still running RHEL? I remember in 2005 you saying something about that.

 

we started on RH, switched to OS X, then switched back to RHES. will probably switch to CentOS on the next major upgrade. i haven't tried out OS X server in several years, but at the time it was a waste. the GUI wasn't capable of doing really fine tuned configurations and was also incapable of noticing changes made to configuration files from the CLI which led to simply overwriting everything. All in all a complete waste for our needs. worse however, was how poorly X Serve would run MySQL. though i know the OS wasn't optimized at the time for MySQL (though it would run stable), I'd read about some shortcomings witht he processor architecture itself that had negative impacts on MySQL. basically my 6 year old shit box dell would run DB's faster then my shiny new X Serve. here's one of the articles describing the issue... http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2436&p=6

 

i have no idea how well it does now, but would assume that the changes made to the OS paired with the Xeons they have in them now would make for a nice DB server. however, i still feel that apple's server initiatives (like their apple tv) is half hearted. not enough to compel me to invest, let alone sway me away from something that although cryptic, seems to work well when properly configured and maintained.

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just cause the guy standing there next to the laptop doesnt know as much about computers as you, shouldnt exactly reflect on apple. perhaps he was the last minute replacement for the guy who does know everything, but who's wife is also in the hospital having sextuplets.

 

apple is 'guilty' of branding like a motherfucker, and making you believe you NEED everything they put out, but also, look what they're up against. up until the last 2 years or so, pc's still held a near monopoly on the computing world. that's a whole lot of money to try and fight your way through. apples claims of magical fantasticness are no more off base than pc's claims of being quality, hassle free computers.

 

i suppose i look at it differently, because i dont care about technical stuff, and i dont nit pick. i see this computer as a stepping stone, rather than an ends. maybe solid state memory is ridiculously expensive right now, but by putting out a computer that has it, they force the entire computing world to step up, which means the prices are halved in the next 2 years. the science needs people taking risks and pushing the envelope in order for it to continue pushing ahead. (not that im trying to 'school' you with these comments, just sharing my opinion. i imagine we're not so far off on our base opinions here).

 

i saw an interesting documentary that discussed that between the super long engineering times required for cutting edge electronics, coupled with the fact that companies like apple and sony really are looking to push to new levels, that these companies in fact design new products based upon technology that doesn't in fact exist yet. they just assume that based on track records and precedents (a good example being Moore's law) that by the time the concept is developed, that the technology required to run or power it will have evolved to the point that it is now available or possible. in the case of the Macbook Air, i believe they were expecting that the 45nm intel chips would be out, but ultimately got pressured into redeveloping a custom 65nm chip to fit in it. they sacrificed some power to do this, particularly to contend with the heat issues that would have been solved by a true 45nm processor. these new processors are due later this year, so you can bet you'll see them in revision B of that product. another example of this is when they had to create a water cooled system to cool down the chips that ran in one of the latter revisions to the G5, and then did away with it when they switched to intel. on the flip side, you see shit like the iPhone that really couldn't have existed a year earlier and probably sat in the lab being slowly refined until the technology caught up.

 

anyhow, i found it pretty amazing that they'd put so much effort and resource into developing products that weren't technically possible knowing that they'd slip in components along the way as they were 'invented'. cool stuff...

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Guest shai_hulud

Raven- I've heard nothing but good things about CentOS.

 

I have a lot of friends who own Macs who have never opened up the terminal before. I get asked to do a lot of "dude my computer is acting weird make it better" emails from said friends, and all I ever really have to do is run Applejack and everything typically works fine after that. The problem I have is trying to explain to people that the PPC machines aren't the best at multitasking...as in, they can do it, but you need a lot of memory (which no one ever seems to have). I then say, "What that means is, don't run iTunes and Firefox and a chat client AND Photoshop all at once on your computer, and you'll be fine". Of course, this advice goes unheeded, and...you know the rest.

 

seeking- I went with a few people who said pretty much the same thing about the "reps" at Macworld, regardless of the product. The most knowledgeable people seemed to be over by the MacPro towers (which are fucking badass, BTW). Go figure.

 

I see Apple as being primarily a consumer-oriented hardware company. They DO make servers and the MacPro, but they count on the majority of their sales to be to people who want a computer/device that does what they need it to do, and who are willing to pay for the name/style/convenience that Apple is known for. That's not a good or a bad thing, mind you, but it's a fact that should never be overlooked.

 

*edit- I just read what MAR posted, and he hit the nail on the head.

 

Anyone who's interested in this kind of stuff should read "In The Beginning Was The Command Line" by Neal Stephenson. It goes into this a lot more in depth, and is a really good read.

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apple existed before the ipod, so while it might be the one apple item that everyone has, i wouldnt say it's exactly keeping the company afloat. even without it, they'd still be surviving. either way though, apple has done more for the computer industry than anyone since jobs and gates split. the fact that computers are no longer beige towers is almost entirely acredit to apple. would they have evolved on their own eventually? of course, but even with apple to bite off, look at the pc's coming out now a days...they still look like total shit. the laptops are bulky and gross, desktops, while smaller, are still lacking anything that slightly resembles creative design.

 

i agree, apple has shifted its focus from graphics to consumer products, but they havent lost any of the prosumer quality that they had in the past. they just adapted to a much larger market. as much as people rely on computers, 90% of their use is still email/internet/office. most people don't need more.

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Guest shai_hulud

I wouldn't say that the iPod is keeping Apple afloat either, but it was definitely a turning point for a company that needed to find its way.

 

Like you said, I think we agree overall, but while I value computers more from a geek perspective (i.e., substance over style), I admire Apple's commitment to design.

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i respect that, it just seems that their substance is pretty solid as well.

a honda civic is illsuited to win a rally race, but that doesn't make it a bad car.

nawmean.

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cool articles.

 

i think with all the talk about apples failures, it should be noted that no other company has ever invented the number of products apple has. it's easy to 'succeed' when all you do is re-make what others have already invented.

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^I'm all mega Machead and all, but there's a ton of stuff that Apple didn't exactly invent... they were ideas that existed before but nobody had figured out how to implement right. A lot of their products are simply good existing ideas brought together into a single item and executed the best way possible. Tons of great stuff in OS X used to be shitty features in other OS's.

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Guest shai_hulud

I still think overall that OS X is a work in progress. It's a great system, but a good example of something I don't like about it is the fact that I can't make it look like OS 9 to conserve on resources.

 

Most Unix/Xwindows based systems give you different desktop options (KDE, *box, Gnome), but not OS X. You CAN port KDE via Darwin, but that's a lot of coding I just don't feel like doing. If someone knows different, then please, enlighten me.

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^I'm all mega Machead and all, but there's a ton of stuff that Apple didn't exactly invent... they were ideas that existed before but nobody had figured out how to implement right. A lot of their products are simply good existing ideas brought together into a single item and executed the best way possible. Tons of great stuff in OS X used to be shitty features in other OS's.

 

fair enough, but they still invested the millions of dollars and tens of thousands of man hours into bringing to market products that did not exist previously, or did not exist in that form. the cube might have tanked, but it was a precurser to the minimac and imacs. no one else at the time was even thinking of making something that small and self contained. the newton failed, but it looks nearly identicle to the palm pilots that were a huge hit for several years, leading to the blackberry and all the 'smart phones' now available.

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Mac would have went bankrupt in 1997 if it wasn't for the Microsoft investments.

 

heres the keynote speech:http://youtube.com/watch?v=WxOp5mBY9IY

 

Anyhow, the Ipod has really helped Mac in a huge way. They probably only break even on their computer sales. I don't hate mac or love it but i like how they push idea into the mainstream.

They get a lot of credit for their designs even though they took a lot of their ideas from Braun.

Idk I just don't like how they get more credit then they deserve and how their cult followers are all so out of the loop.

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I see Apple as being primarily a consumer-oriented hardware company. They DO make servers and the MacPro, but they count on the majority of their sales to be to people who want a computer/device that does what they need it to do, and who are willing to pay for the name/style/convenience that Apple is known for. That's not a good or a bad thing, mind you, but it's a fact that should never be overlooked.

 

not sure i subscribe to this. MacBook Pro's run circles around just about any other laptop out there and the MacPro's are overkill for even 90% of the Pro's out there. no doubt that that you might be able to find something that'll do high-end rendering a bit faster, but short of that, there are few machines that can give them a run for the money. though i'm almost sure that iMac's probably account for the bulk of Mac sales, it's not like the pro lines aren't selling.

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apple existed before the ipod, so while it might be the one apple item that everyone has, i wouldnt say it's exactly keeping the company afloat. even without it, they'd still be surviving. either way though, apple has done more for the computer industry than anyone since jobs and gates split. the fact that computers are no longer beige towers is almost entirely acredit to apple. would they have evolved on their own eventually? of course, but even with apple to bite off, look at the pc's coming out now a days...they still look like total shit. the laptops are bulky and gross, desktops, while smaller, are still lacking anything that slightly resembles creative design.

 

i agree, apple has shifted its focus from graphics to consumer products, but they havent lost any of the prosumer quality that they had in the past. they just adapted to a much larger market. as much as people rely on computers, 90% of their use is still email/internet/office. most people don't need more.

 

i think they aren't as focused on the Pro line is because for the most part the hardware they have is pretty much as powerful as it needs to be. i rarely here people complain that their 4 or 8 core MacPro is taking too long to run a photoshop filter like you did back in the days. the changes at this point are incremental and not crucially neccessary anymore, which leaves them a lot of time to sort out the rest of the picture.

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I wouldn't say that the iPod is keeping Apple afloat either, but it was definitely a turning point for a company that needed to find its way.

 

Like you said, I think we agree overall, but while I value computers more from a geek perspective (i.e., substance over style), I admire Apple's commitment to design.

 

in fact the iMac was the turning point, OS X was the momentum. iPod was more the tipping point that made people finally accept the fact that they werent going anywhere but up. also, iPod are very significant to Apple's bottom line. they outsell their computers nearly 22:2, make them relevant, as well influential in the entertainment industry, and help convert more PC users via the halo effect.

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Guest shai_hulud
not sure i subscribe to this. MacBook Pro's run circles around just about any other laptop out there and the MacPro's are overkill for even 90% of the Pro's out there. no doubt that that you might be able to find something that'll do high-end rendering a bit faster, but short of that, there are few machines that can give them a run for the money. though i'm almost sure that iMac's probably account for the bulk of Mac sales, it's not like the pro lines aren't selling.

 

I don't know too many people with a MacBook Pro (two, I think) but I will agree with you that it is a very, very nice machine. It better be, for what it costs...:)

 

The Pro lines definitely sell, but it's the iMac and MacMini that probably bring in a lot of the dough for them.

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both me and my wife have macs....

 

I dont think this is something I would buy... If Im gonna get another laptop it would be a mackbook pro. But My powerbook has been nothng but good to me.

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I still think overall that OS X is a work in progress. It's a great system, but a good example of something I don't like about it is the fact that I can't make it look like OS 9 to conserve on resources.

 

Most Unix/Xwindows based systems give you different desktop options (KDE, *box, Gnome), but not OS X. You CAN port KDE via Darwin, but that's a lot of coding I just don't feel like doing. If someone knows different, then please, enlighten me.

 

what OS isn't a work in progress? an OS that no longer evolves is just a dead OS. the crown jewels of OS X is the GUI, not the core. that's why the underlying system is open sourced and the GUI isn't. Also, OS X is a Unix based system (Mainly FreeBSD with a Mach Kernel). Running a stripped down GUI wouldn't save you many CPU cycles since a good part of the eye candy is offloaded to the GPU. and fact is, you can run a stripped down GUI native on OS X anyways.

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also...

 

I bought a brand new compaq laptop and it didnt even last me a year... Xp was fucked and the laptop itself was crap. I opaid like 900 for it and less than a year of having it I sold it to a friend for $150

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fair enough, but they still invested the millions of dollars and tens of thousands of man hours into bringing to market products that did not exist previously, or did not exist in that form. the cube might have tanked, but it was a precurser to the minimac and imacs. no one else at the time was even thinking of making something that small and self contained. the newton failed, but it looks nearly identicle to the palm pilots that were a huge hit for several years, leading to the blackberry and all the 'smart phones' now available.

 

one of apple's biggest problems has been that they introduce technology ahead of it's time for mass market adoption. the newton flopped, but it ushered in the era of palm top devices. it took palm more then a decade to catch up to the functionality of the newton. it's just when newton dropped, the technology hadn't been miniaturized to that degree, and it took consumers a while to figure out what to make of it. that said, apple IS steve jobs, and the newton was john sculley's baby. steve jobs is far more intuitive in predicting what people want, and when they want it. iMac, iPod, iPhone have all been on cue, as has been the deading of the floppy, the integration of wifi, and the invention of firewire. though his record isn't perfect (apple III, lisa, and IMHO apple TV). i think revision B of the MacBook Air will be a must have since most the setbacks are either easily fixed, or an obvious upgrade...

 

We also can’t help but think that a Penryn based MacBook Air would be far more desirable thanks to lower thermal output of Intel’s 45nm chips. If you are fine waiting, a MacBook Air in the second half of 2008 will give you slightly better performance, better battery life and should keep your lap a lot cooler.

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also...

 

I bought a brand new compaq laptop and it didnt even last me a year... Xp was fucked and the laptop itself was crap. I opaid like 900 for it and less than a year of having it I sold it to a friend for $150

 

no doubt that apple holds it's value far better. kinda like a mercedes vs a toyota.

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Their prices have to drop for their sales to go up. For what i paid for my Macbook Pro i could have bought a dell laptop with the same specs and cs3 at full price and still had a grand to spare.

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