Macworld SF 2003 Keynote Reactions
January 7, 2003 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I don't know if you've been watching the keynote, but Steve Jobs has announced an array of new Apple products. Including updated iApps, a new browser (Safari) (which, by the way, is Open Source), Keynote (a presentation app), a 17-inch Powerbook and a 12-inch Powerbook.
posted by bshort (84 comments total)

 
By the way. Disclaimer: I'm still a Wintel user (W2K on an Athlon box), but I've been seriously considering performing the Switch, and this just might be the excuse I need.
posted by bshort at 12:00 PM on January 7, 2003


a new browser (Safari) (which, by the way, is Open Source)

Actually its only the html rendering engine that is open source. Still really cool though. And the Keynote looks like an attempt at powerpoint replacement since it can read and write powerpoint presentations as well as its own.
posted by jsonic at 12:03 PM on January 7, 2003


This for some reason, didn't get mentioned. Being able to do a double clickable X Windows install without loading Fink is good news.
posted by machaus at 12:05 PM on January 7, 2003


What's the point of Safari? It renders type really small (kind of like the old "tiny on a mac, big on a pc" font defaults of yesteryear), it does ok with CSS (like metafilter), but why didn't they just reskin chimera? Do we really need yet another browser? (for the mac there's now: IE, Mozilla, Netscape, Chimera, iCab, and OmniWeb)

The digs Apple is clearly taking at IE and Powerpoint are interesting. I always thought that $300 million from Microsoft they accepted a few years back was so Apple would speak kindly about MS products.
posted by mathowie at 12:10 PM on January 7, 2003


For you geeks out there, Apple also announced support for X11 (the UNIX windowing environment, not the next release of their OS). Apple is in a great spot with OSX now-- with their "iLife" (aka iApps) suite and now a native browser, they truly have the most grandma-friendly computer experience available and at the same time, all the geeked out features hard-core slashdot types require. The current Achilles' heel (there always has to be one with Apple, right?): Their lack of high-end hardware. There's just no reason for anyone to buy their towers right now. G5 is long over due.

On preview: machaus beat me to it.
posted by gwint at 12:10 PM on January 7, 2003


It's funny that the Keynote screen has a graphic pie chart for market share, given PowerPoint's total dominance.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:10 PM on January 7, 2003


And they should've called it Surfari.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:11 PM on January 7, 2003


Apple seems to be getting a little bolder in its attack on M$. Did you happen to catch the MS Office-like puzzle piece for Apple's iLife apps?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:13 PM on January 7, 2003


It looks like they're also supporting 802.11g now.

Konqueror is kind of an odd choice for a browser engine, though.
posted by sad_otter at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2003


safari works nicely thus far. much zippier than ie 5.2.2.
posted by patricking at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2003


What's the point of Safari?
Less reliance on MS while still having the option available in IE5/Mac.

I always thought that $300 million from Microsoft they accepted a few years back was so Apple would speak kindly about MS products.
True, but that deal has lapsed. I think both companies are keenly aware of what this means for them moving forward.

...given PowerPoint's total dominance.
It always will dominate, but having an inexpensive way for Mac users to not only view Powerpoint but also create (better) presentations is an attractive goal for Apple.
posted by jragon at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2003


Using Safari right now. It's a lot faster than Chimera, as advertised -- especially in terms of things like reloading pages from the cache (click on the "back" button and gasp) and typing in text boxes (Chimera's really slow about that). Safari lacks tabbed browsing and stored passwords (which Chimera has), but that's about it as far as I can tell. Very few problems with rendering pages.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2003


But no new iPod! I wanted an update so the prices would go down.
posted by Utilitaritron at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2003


XFree86 has had an X11 installer for OS X since at least the summer (I did my first X11 install on my tiBook in July, before I'd heard about fink!) It's not entirely clear to what extent Apple is involved. Me, I'm more interested in seeing GTK+ (whether Carbon or Cocoa) so we can get native compiles of Gimp and other packages.

Meanwhile, the 17" alBook is gorgeous but too heavy, and the 12" alBook looks perfect, but I can't imagine using OS X on a screen smaller than the 1280x854 resolution of the 15" tiBook.

Okay, and why would anyone who doesn't own a DVD burner bother paying for iLife? The iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie upgrades are free!
posted by jburka at 12:21 PM on January 7, 2003


Oh, and I meant to say: my fonts look exactly the same between IE6/PC and Safari in my testing. I even went to cnn and checked what words were at the ends of each line. Looks totally lined up here.
posted by jragon at 12:21 PM on January 7, 2003


Okay, and why would anyone who doesn't own a DVD burner bother paying for iLife? The iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie upgrades are free!

Someone without broadband, said Steve during the keynote. Haven't downloaded iPhoto 2 or iMovie 3 yet, so can't speak to how big the files are. (Safari was only 3 MB!)

As for using OS X on a screen the size of the 12" PowerBook, that's the same size screen and resolution as my 12" iBook. It's more than doable, though I wouldn't go lower than that.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2003


G5 is long over due.

Isn't the IBM PowerPC 970 more likely to be the next processor in high-end Macs?
posted by timeistight at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2003


Isn't the IBM PowerPC 970 more likely to be the next processor in high-end Macs?

Yeah, I've heard those rumors. I was using the term "G5" generically to mean "the generation after G4".
posted by gwint at 12:29 PM on January 7, 2003


I like that they're doing their own branded X11 implementation, but OroborOSX has server me well.
Using brushed metal skin on the browser is lame. I want my browser to look like the rest of my productivity applications.

I switched 11 months ago. I'll say this, with Windows I didn't feel cheated every time they wanted money for an upgrade, and I was content to stay on Windows 95 for 5 years. With the Mac, I was sold on the "and you get all this free!" aspect of the brand. Now that I don't get anything free I feel cheated because they made me feel entitled to the upgrades/enhancements, and usually the upgrades are compelling.
Did they say if they're throwing these versions in with new machines\OS purchases, or do you need to spend $50 and upgrade out of the box?
posted by putzface_dickman at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2003


Oh, and I meant to say: my fonts look exactly the same between IE6/PC and Safari in my testing. I even went to cnn and checked what words were at the ends of each line. Looks totally lined up here.

My fonts on this site (set at 10pt/8pt) are larger in mozilla and IE than they are in safari. The fonts on the ticketstubs site have no font size setting in CSS (left at browser defaults) and the fonts are not only smaller in height, but at a much reduced weight due to the anti-aliasing. It's actually kind of hard to read the ticketstubs site now.
posted by mathowie at 12:33 PM on January 7, 2003


With any new box, you get the most recent versions. You only get iDVD if the box has a Superdrive.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:33 PM on January 7, 2003


Just remembered that iPhoto 2/iMovie 3/iDVD 3 aren't available until the 25th. (smacks forehead)

putzface_dickman: they will be included with new machines; you will also be able to download all but iDVD 3 from the web for free. Don't react to the rumors, react to the facts.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:36 PM on January 7, 2003


I always thought that $300 million from Microsoft they accepted a few years back was so Apple would speak kindly about MS products.

No, it was a stock purchase. Microsoft sold the shares some time ago (at a profit).
posted by kindall at 12:38 PM on January 7, 2003


It's actually kind of hard to read the ticketstubs site now.

Ah ha, good point. I was reading sites that use pixels rather than points for their web text. Of course, that's a whole 'nother discussion.
posted by jragon at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2003


Matt, I had to change the CSS on my site after I saw how small the fonts rendered in Chimera (not that my CSS was top-rate, but there you have it). Ticketstubs looks fine on Safari on my computer (iBook 600) -- did you just make a change?
posted by mcwetboy at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2003


One more thing regarding rendering problems with Safari. Note the little "bug" button; I've already submitted a bug about everyone's favourite monkey site. It's still a beta.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:48 PM on January 7, 2003


mcwetboy, I reacted to my own shallow reading of the apple website. it wasn't until I went back and noticed the less conspicuous #76797C; sidebar note that my panic attack / hissy fit stopped.
posted by putzface_dickman at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2003


Interestiung that they are using the konqueror engine. Konq has always been my favorite browser. It is about as fast as IE and has intelligent popup killing. It also doesn't have the serious bloat problems of mozilla. Up until now, I had just assumed that konq had lost the open-source browser war and would quietly die off. Hopefull this spurs more development.
posted by phatboy at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2003


bshort: I'm also using W2K (and Mozilla) on an Athlon and have been thinking about switching, and am interested in the 12" PB. Are you me?

I think that for every "Switcher" there are at least two "Swishers", as in "I wish the hardware were faster and cheaper, because I really want to run Mac OS X, but my sense of value won't let me."

It sure would be cool if you could buy the fiber-optic keyboard as a full-size USB peripheral.
posted by jmcmurry at 12:56 PM on January 7, 2003


I gotta say though, the inline spellcheck on every form kicks ass for safari
posted by mathowie at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2003


No one has yet mentioned what was perhaps the coolest single feature of the day: the backlighting on the alBook keyboard that comes up automatically as the ambient light goes down.
posted by alms at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2003


Oh wow, great, yet another "standards-compliant" browser to test against. It's getting to be so that it takes half an hour to write a single line of HTML/CSS. I'd love to see how it handles DOM scripting.
posted by dvdgee at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2003


jmcmurry:: Heh, maybe. That would be strange. :-)

The thing that I find most attractive about the new powerbooks is the built-in bluetooth receivers. I have this dream of a notebook that can also serve as my desktop machine without having to plug in any annoying cables. Microsoft is offering a bluetooth based mouse and keyboard, and then with USB dongles for my scanner and printer all I would have to do is place the powerbook within range of my desktop (and maybe hook up a power cable and a cable for an external monitor), and I'd be set.

Now if only they would build some sort of bluetooth-based monitor...
posted by bshort at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2003


For those who want fancy lit keyboards, eluminx makes one. Seems to be PS2 only though. And there are plenty of industrial keyboards around.

But as usual, yes, Apple's is fancier.
posted by SiW at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2003


I can't believe no one has mentioned this silly, silly, unbelievably cool thing: "Burton Snowboards partners with Apple to create the Burton Amp, the first and only jacket that controls an iPod through the touch of a sleeve — no more fumbling with zippers, gloves and pockets." Talk about geek couture. And it's only[/sarcasm] $500!
posted by blueshammer at 1:19 PM on January 7, 2003


off topic: bshort, I have the Microsoft Wireless Desktop for Bluetooth, and I absolutely love it. Sure there is a slight lag when the keyboard or mouse wake up from sleep mode, and you can't use it outside of Windows XP SP1, but so far I love it. Even playing games is not a problem.

As for Mac, I think it's more of a "We don't need you Microsoft" display of strength.
posted by riffola at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2003


What dvdgee said. How many hours of QA do they want from us? (oh, anyone who says "just write to the standards" hasn't done much real world commercial web developlment).

Honestly, they could of "stuck it to MS" by using mozilla.
posted by malphigian at 1:29 PM on January 7, 2003


jalexei's brain through this thread:

Blah blah CSS blah rendering engine blah blah konqueror blah blah....My God that 17" screen PowerBook G4 is fucking gorgeous! (looks down at previously cool, now also-ran 550Mhz PBG4, starts to plot a bank heist...)
posted by jalexei at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2003


I started to have doubts about Safari when I realized that there were no settings to play with. I closed it and went back to IE when I discovered that my Moveable Type bookmarklet would not open.

Yeah, it's still a beta. The other iApps are practically betas too, though, and I can stand to use all of them. Bleh.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2003


mathowie: have you tried openapple + and openapple - to control font size? You can also use an option in the "view" menu to add the equivalent buttons to the toolbar. Most other browsers have these options but they're usually well hidden. I suppose it's also a beta so they might fix the default size for a new version.

that said, I really wish it had tabs.
posted by advil at 1:34 PM on January 7, 2003


Today is a good day for cool hardware. Between The Big Flat Thing (i.e. the 17" PowerBook) and the Little Square Thing (Nintendo's GBA SP - 3"x3"x1.5" when folded up cellphone-style, front-lit screen ala the Afterburner), the future's looking very stylish.

P.S. If you laid the 17" Powerbook and the Gameboy Advance SP flat, side-by-side on a table, the GBA would be thicker. There's something incredibly amusing about that. (Especially imagining someone running a GBA emulator on the Powerbook.)
posted by wanderingmind at 1:39 PM on January 7, 2003


will the keyboard on that 12"er be standard or like a subnotebook style? i'm hoping it's the same size keys as the other PBs. anyone know?
posted by dobbs at 1:55 PM on January 7, 2003


I don't see why it would be any different from the iBook keyboard size.
posted by machaus at 2:03 PM on January 7, 2003


I just noticed that Surfari automatically imported my IE bookmarks and made them available in their own folder. Cool.

dobbs: it looked like the keyboard on the 12 inch and the 17 inch were the same size.
posted by alms at 2:04 PM on January 7, 2003


Another browser with incomplete CSS/DOM support that misleads web servers (it mentions Gecko in its useragent even though it doesn't use it and doesn't do everything Gecko does) and is likely to gradually & unpredictably evolve? Great. Thanks, Apple. Just as Opera's being sorted out developers get a new half-finished bit of software to support.
posted by malevolent at 2:29 PM on January 7, 2003


Here's a really interesting e-mail from Don Melton, the engineering manager of Safari to the KHTML open source folks. Apple seems very committed to open source in this arena. (Here's the response email)
posted by gwint at 2:29 PM on January 7, 2003


judging by the photos of the 12" over the AlBook, it's exactly the same size. On a similar note, anybody else wonder why they didn't include a bigger keyboard on the AlBook? Seems like they could have at least included all three modifier keys (control, option, and command) on BOTH sides of the keyboard... maybe even a proper 10-key (instead of that janky fn-key set-up).
posted by maniactown at 2:32 PM on January 7, 2003


Safari did the same thing Cimera did to me... the font size. That drives me nuts. I need to play with my style sheets... but even then sites I visit such as MetaFilter are rendering small on Safari, and I have MeFi set to 12/10. If I set it higher, it will be wrong when I move over to the Windows machine.

The Powerbooks look nice, but of course as always, very pricey, especially for someone who just bought a tower. I'll probably still look for getting an iBook, since all I do on a laptop is write.

I was hoping the rumors of a new multimedia hardware device were true, but it looks like that turned out to be the 12" Powerbook.

The main problem Apple has is that while everything works real well, and thats all find, people are looking at $500 Windows machines. I thought it would be a good idea to have a iBook powered machine is a small cube-like box, no monitor, and charge around $500-600 for it. Emphasize what it can do over the specs, and it should work.
posted by benjh at 2:37 PM on January 7, 2003


Safari... am I the only one saying, "uh... tabbed browsing? hello?"
posted by benjh at 2:40 PM on January 7, 2003


I've downloaded Safari, and while I like it, I've got a couple of quibbles--first when you mouse over a link, there's no status bar to tell you where you're going (I like to know if I'm going to a completely different site or if I'm staying on the same site). My second quibble, which is more minor, is that links that open in the sidebar on IE don't work quite that way in Safari.

I do like the speed, though, and it's a lot easier to reorganize bookmarks than in IE.
posted by eilatan at 2:41 PM on January 7, 2003


Nevermind, I found the status bar. One would think that would be in preferences, which is where I initially looked.
posted by eilatan at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2003


I'm hardcore IE when it comes to browsing, it's the best browser (on both platforms), IMO, that renders well and has a good package around it.

I've been using Safari today, and I'm liking the speed a lot. It does have rendering issues, and they have made some CSS-rendering choices that go against the grain, but on the whole it's a good browsing experience.

I'd like to see the non-beta version have many more preferences-controlled features, tabbed browsing, and a JavaScript debugger.
posted by o2b at 2:54 PM on January 7, 2003


I think the best thing about the new browser is that we finally have a reliable company making a browser for the mac. Until now Mac users have had to rely on Explorer, which really hasn't been updated for years and is inferior to the PC version.

So, now I think there's some hope that the Mac will have a browser that potentially will have as many options as IE on the PC. It's really annoying that there's still no way to have bold, italic and link buttons in programs such as Movabletype and Hotmail on the mac.
posted by einarorn at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2003


jburka: Me, I'm more interested in seeing GTK+ (whether Carbon or Cocoa) so we can get native compiles of Gimp and other packages.

Check out the gtk-osx project at sourceforge.. they just had their initial release.

there are a couple things stopping me from doing this "switch".

a) Apple's pricing structure is quite silly.
b) ONE MOUSE BUTTON?! STILL??!?

(and yes, I realize on a desktop you can get a Logitech, but what about the heinously crippled laptops?)
posted by shadow45 at 4:15 PM on January 7, 2003


Safari... am I the only one saying, "uh... tabbed browsing? hello?"

No, you're certainly not the only one - but am I the only one who still wonders what the point of tabbed browsing is, and who can't figure out why people suddenly consider it a standard feature? I tried it when Mozilla came out and as far as I can tell it just replaces a stack of windows with a stack of tabs...

shadow45: "heinously crippled"? not really. MacOS uses command keys for copy & paste, so there's no need for a middle mouse button, and you trigger contextual menus with the Control key. As the old joke goes, Macs do have two mouse buttons - the second one is located on the keyboard...
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2003


Here's my $.02 American regarding Apple's continued use of a single mouse button on their laptops; they should maintain the single button form factor (as it's what they are known for and they have long stated that they like the simplicity of it...) _but_ the button should sit on two sensors instead of one. By default it acts as one button, but i, as a more advanced user who would prefer greater functionality over aesthetic simplicity, should be able to go into the system settings and change it so that a press on the left side gives me a left click, and a press on the right gives me, well, a right click.

Problem solved. Everyone is happy.

Seriously, the single mouse button is _the_ key reason i haven't 'switched back' to Mac.
posted by quin at 4:40 PM on January 7, 2003


my only comments about safari. STRIKE one: It made itself the default browser. Very rude, especially for a beta. STRIKE two: I can't seem to turn off font smoothing... WTF?

Also - I hate tabbed browsing.
posted by folktrash at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2003


Jeez, enough about the one-button mouse already. (This comes up all the time.) I am, right now, using a two-button scroll wheel USB mouse on my iBook -- I just plugged it in and it worked. Support for multi-button mice and scroll wheels is built into the OS. If a multi-button mouse is that important, just buy one. (It's not like everyone uses the stock mouse that came with their computer on the PC side, either.)

As for laptops, contextual menus (second mouse button) can be brought up by holding the control key while clicking -- the control key is very close to the touchpad and control-clicking can be done one-handed. Or, again, you could plug that two-button mouse in.

folktrash (on preview): Safari didn't do that to me; I still had Chimera opening when I clicked on something in NetNewsWire. As for anti-aliasing, it's built into the OS.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:10 PM on January 7, 2003


Safari asked if I wanted to make it the default browser.
posted by o2b at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2003


I think the best thing about the new browser is that we finally have a reliable company making a browser for the mac.

i'm a happy xp user but i am curious why microsoft hasn't come out with an ie6.x version yet. ie has been out on the pc side forever now. does ms release patches and stuff for ie/mac?

as to the powerpoint issue. why is it that the ms office on the mac packaging and icons looks so cool, but on pc it is fuddy duddy?
posted by birdherder at 5:55 PM on January 7, 2003


it neither asked me, or changed my default. odd.
posted by rhyax at 5:58 PM on January 7, 2003


I started to have doubts about Safari when I realized that there were no settings to play with.

Quit Safari and restart it.

I know at least two people who had this problem -- it seemed to be caused by moving Safari from the desktop into the Applications folder while it is running. Since the app was automatically installed to the desktop, we both double-clicked on it, thinking it was a disk image, but it started the app instead. So we moved it to the apps folder, and then the prefs didn't work. Quitting and restarting fixed it.
posted by litlnemo at 6:42 PM on January 7, 2003


Annoyances so far:
  • Lackluster keyboard support. Tabbing through a form does not highlight all form elements; it only goes through text fields, ignoring checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdowns. I want to be able to Tab, Shift-Tab, and Spacebar through a form without having to constantly move my hand to a mouse.
  • Sets self as default browser and imports IE bookmarks without asking.
  • Command-option-click on a link (a combination I'm accustomed to as the "Open in new background tab/page" command) saves the link target to your default download folder. Again without asking.
  • Other complaints already mentioned: no tabs, tiny text, tacky chrome skin, status bar off by default, sparse preferences.
All in all, a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there just yet. Let Apple and KDE iron out the kinks with this beta before we accept this new browser into the fold.

What do the standards gurus have to say?
posted by brownpau at 8:17 PM on January 7, 2003


to open a link in a new background window try command-shift-click.
posted by goddam at 9:09 PM on January 7, 2003


Thanks, goddam. That works.

Mark Pilgrim's comprehensive critique of Safari for web designers. With many more links. That pt=px scale is annoying.
posted by brownpau at 10:01 PM on January 7, 2003


Sets self as default browser and imports IE bookmarks without asking.

Well, no, it doesn't set itself as the default browser, with or without asking. It does import IE bookmarks, though. Since you can easily delete them if you don't want them, I consider this a feature.
posted by kindall at 11:44 PM on January 7, 2003


I hope those of you requesting features or pointing out bugs are also using the bug button in the Safari toolbar to report these problems.
posted by maciej at 12:37 AM on January 8, 2003


OT but maybe you can offer a suggestion. I've just switched from Earthlink to DSL which means I won't be able to use the pop-up blocker anymore. What is the best way to rid yourself of unwanted pop-ups under XP. I'd hate to lose IE but I'd give another browser a shot if I had to.
posted by revbrian at 2:29 AM on January 8, 2003


Mozilla.
posted by machaus at 5:16 AM on January 8, 2003


to open a link in a new background window try command-shift-click. This was the clincher for me. I've become so used to this from iCab and OmniWeb.
posted by Utilitaritron at 6:33 AM on January 8, 2003


Hey all, please feel free to yell at me if this is an inappropriate question and derailing of the thread but....

I'm a long time Wintel user thinking of switching. I'm going to grad school in the fall and am trying to find a replacement for my seven year old Pentium I laptop from undergrad (the little man running on the treadmill inside the box to power the machine is getting very tired.)

Ok, so I'm really interested in Powerbooks/iBooks for all the obvious reasons. Ease of use. Stability. Terrific photo and music, beautiful displays and design, lightweight, etc.

I want the system I get to be useful for the longest time possible. I'm thinking to meet that requirement I should probably get a Powerbook as opposed to an iBook? I don't really know how the power and speed of the G3 processor compares to the G4..so, am I right in thinking Powerbook? Or should I wait to buy a Mac until they come out with a G5 so technology I invest in now is not rapidly eclipsed? Please, give a Mac neophyte some advice!

Oh, plus, any of you with G4 Powerbooks, what sort of battery life do you get?

Thanks in advance MeFi Mac users.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:04 AM on January 8, 2003


pjgulliver:

If those are your concerns a G4 processor would be your best bet. G3's aren't bad chips really but OS X is optimized for G4s so G4s are the way to go if future compatibility is what you're after.

There are those who'll say that G4 technology has already been rapidly eclipsed, but there's no telling when a G5 or the like is finally coming. Don't hold your breath. Besides a decent G4 will be a good enough leap over a Pentium I, and in any case you don't seem the type to require bleeding-edge technology if that's what you've been using all this time.

I have no personal experience with Powerbook batteries though.
posted by furiousthought at 7:23 AM on January 8, 2003


pjgulliver - particularly in a portable, the difference between a g3 and g4 isn't that spectacular (unless you're using PhotoShop - filters or doing video editing, or maybe encoding music). In fact a lot of people opted for the iBooks because they have better airport reception than the PowerBooks. Coming from a PC, anything you get is going to "feel" slower because Windows is tuned so that applications open faster and seem to respond faster. Even if the Mac applications process faster (which is a debate that doesn't belong here) those types of system response kinds of feedback make a huge difference in the way users perceive the speed of a system. You're better off spending some of the money you save on more RAM.

I have the original titanium powerbook. The large screen is fantastic, and that would be the only reason I would get it over an iBook. The iBooks feel kind of small to me. It's a personal thing though. I can tell you that the nubs that keep the powerbook screen from rubbing against the keyboard disappear pretty quickly. My screen is indelibly marked by the keyboard. I've seen some people using a cloth over the keyboard when closing it. If you get a PowerBook, I'd certainly recommend you use that before it's too late for you as it is for me.

With a new battery, I get between 4 to 5 hours with standard use. I have an older battery now, and I get more like 3 now. I can easily get through a full DVD on a single charge which is nice for plane trips. The batteries do only seem to last a few years of active use. OS X is a bigger battery hog than 9 was in my experience. I have 10.1.5, 10.2 may have enhanced battery saving -- I'm not sure.
posted by willnot at 7:25 AM on January 8, 2003


Furious. Thanks. I think what I want is

1) something that wordprocesses well
2) something that can run a statistical program like STATA relatively quickly
3) same for large spreadsheets
4) something for large amounts of internet based research
5) something that I can use as an enormous jukebox
6) something I can organize my pictures with and conduct basic photo editing on
7) something I can buy one or two good games for
8) something that I can do all of the above with for the next four years or so,

so, I guess from that, the G4 would be a good choice.

One last question, do y'all think a G4 Powerbook will go obsolete before a similarly priced P4M 2.0g Wintel notebook?
posted by pjgulliver at 7:28 AM on January 8, 2003


Thanks willnot!
posted by pjgulliver at 7:34 AM on January 8, 2003


I'm not familiar with statistical programs like STATA and don't know if there is a good equivalent on the Mac. I can tell you that if you intend to do Pivot Reports in Excel, you really are going to want to have a PC.

I say this as somebody who is Mac to the core. I prefer the Mac version of MicroSoft's office apps in every way except there. PowerPoint is WAY better on the mac. Word is better (in my opinion), Explorer is better (although I've started using Moz), Outlook is probably better on the PC, but I use it on the Mac because I prefer the interface. But, pivot reports are WAY better on the PC. They also seem to be better for DB queries (although I've seen an update that is supposed to bring some of those capabilities to Excel X)
posted by willnot at 7:57 AM on January 8, 2003


I'm impressed by the decision to use the Konqueror base. I don't much like KDE anymore (on my system it brings back memories of the Great Boston Molasses Flood) but Konqueror blows Mozilla/Phoenix/etc. out of the water (I'm still trying to get Skipstone to compile, so I haven't ruled out the entire engine yet). Anti-aliasing without recompiling, non-brain-damaged font size handling (in order to get my site to look decent in Mozille the characters have got to be about an inch tall in IE, whereas Konqueror and IE are pretty similar). And it's faster, although it's still slow enough to annoy me.

And foregoing tabbed browsing here is one of the few Apply decisions I agree with. I run the Ion wm on X11, which has a sort of built-in tabbedness (you can run any number of apps in a window and switch using tabs on the titlebar) and it's faster to start a new Mozilla window and switch back and forth than it is to open switch. And it doesn't cut into your view window, either.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:10 AM on January 8, 2003


pjgulliver- if you get any good laptop, you'll probably be able to do all that stuff fine (STATA runs on OS X). As to obsolescence, that's probably impossible to answer because it depends on your usage (most would consider your PI laptop beyond obsolete), but one thing to note is that fancy Apple hardware seems to hold it's value a lot better than the fancier PC stuff. You'll be in a better spot if you have to trade up.


FWIW, that 8000 came out around 10/00 and the Ti 400 1/01, I think both initially retailed around $3k.

posted by jeb at 9:51 AM on January 8, 2003


Jeb--thanks! Believe me, I consider the PI laptop beyond obsolesence. I haven't done anything other than work on my resume on it in a long, long, time...thank god I have a P4 desktop at work.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2003


I'm thinking to meet that requirement I should probably get a Powerbook as opposed to an iBook?

I got the 700MHz/14.1" iBook (the top of the line of the bottom of the line) last fall and I've been really happy with it. I maxed out the RAM (640MB) which is key. I'm running the latest version of OS X, and the iBook does fine with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. My desktop machine's a 400MHz G4, so the iBook doesn't feel much slower than my desktop.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2003


Revbrian: I use the Proxomitron. Stunningly powerful, runs under XP (or any Windows back to 95), and the default configuration is powerful enough that you probably won't need to touch the other features. It's basically a straightforward search-and-replace for web pages that works before they ever hit your browser - it can strip out pop-ups, ads, anything you ask for.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2003


Thanks kirkaracha.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2003


pjgulliver - Just bought me the G3-700Mhz 12" iBook with 384MB of RAM and an Airport card last Fall, and I've found it sufficient for web design and development work, and even video and multimedia. I've run Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, Flash, Director 8 on this baby, and I use the included Apache and PHP for debugging, and performance has been more than acceptable. (Well, expect slowdowns when you go into dozens of graphic layers, but hey, I'm okay with that.)
posted by brownpau at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2003


My G3/700 iBook is faster than an old G4/400 with ProTools because ProTools doesn't support AltiVec.

I use an external FireWire HD for recording and mixing because it seems to be faster (and it's surely larger) than the 20G in my iBook.
posted by hoskala at 3:22 PM on January 8, 2003


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