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'06 MacWorld Keynote
January 10, 2006 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Live coverage of the 2006 Apple Keynote is not available in video form. Since the stop of live broadcasts on the web, we now rely on folks actually there to give us up to date news, and here it is (in text form). It will be available later (as always, in QuickTime) from apple.com.
posted by gren (291 comments total)

 
At least post a not-shitty transcript link:

http://mwsf.macnn.com/
posted by Mikey-San at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2006


macrumorslive works better for me.
posted by devbrain at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2006


It's a no frills feed, but is more detailed and up to date than the two above. Thanks for the link.
posted by eisbaer at 9:40 AM on January 10, 2006


np eisbaer, its a friend of mine in Cupertino doing this (they broadcast to all the campus) and he is quite descriptive when it comes to these things. And as per Mikey-San's comment, =P.
posted by gren at 9:45 AM on January 10, 2006


Winston Marseilles? I thought it was just MacNN's transcript that got that wrong, but apparently not.
posted by emelenjr at 9:50 AM on January 10, 2006


oh, I did totally forget...the reason it looks the way it does (like an IRC transcript) is because well, it is.

#macworld-keynote on undernet is where this is all being posted, with one of his bots updating the page in real time for each of his comments.
posted by gren at 10:05 AM on January 10, 2006


what the hells is this?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:10 AM on January 10, 2006


10:10 < @dre^^> "intel is ready" sj: "apple is ready too"
10:10 < @dre^^> they thank each other
10:10 < @dre^^> french kissing ensues
10:11 < @dre^^> people throw their underwear on stage
10:11 < @dre^^> (ok ok, sorry)
Descriptive, indeed.
posted by howling fantods at 10:12 AM on January 10, 2006


I agree that Macrumors is the best of the bunch.
posted by alms at 10:16 AM on January 10, 2006


e.g.

10:14 am Intel Core Duo. an amazing chip.
10:14 am Intel Processor. 2-3x faster than the iMac G5.
10:14 am Same sizes. 17", 20". Same design. Same features (isight, front row, apple remote), Same price. What's different.
10:13 am No other desktop PC can match it.
10:12 am The iMac - built in isight camera. front row. incredible reception.
10:12 am First Mac with Intel processor today.
posted by alms at 10:16 AM on January 10, 2006


10:20 < @piston> I don't think dre realizes he's on metafilter and a buncha other shit
10:21 < @dre^^> yeah, I do... I'm watching the hit counter ;)
posted by the jam at 10:21 AM on January 10, 2006


The IRC Kid seems to be getting there first, but you have to wait for the (slower) MacRumors feed in order to find out what he's talking about a lot of the time. He's got a wild-eyed prophet thing going on.
posted by Grangousier at 10:22 AM on January 10, 2006


Though I don't want you to think I disrespect the IRC Kid. Oh, no.
posted by Grangousier at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2006


does universal mean we can run pc and mac apps on the same machine without virtual pc or anything like it ? (like running classic and X on the same machine?)
posted by amberglow at 10:28 AM on January 10, 2006


Three windows opening and waiting to read with each refresh.

Ahhh... the digital age....
posted by hal9k at 10:28 AM on January 10, 2006


APPLE 4 LYFE
posted by keswick at 10:28 AM on January 10, 2006


and shouldn't macs now be cheaper since the chips are the same as for pcs?
posted by amberglow at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2006


10:29 am "One More Thing..."
posted by Turtles all the way down at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2006


amber, in this context "universal" means it will run natively on the G5 Macintosh and on the Intel Macintosh. The issue of running PC apps has been the subject of much speculation by users but no statements from Apple.
posted by alms at 10:31 AM on January 10, 2006


Steve Jobs just mentioned powerbooks. Time to get the ol' wallet.
posted by furtive at 10:32 AM on January 10, 2006


Son of a bitch. I *just* bought a new iMac. This they'll let me trade? ;-)
posted by crawl at 10:33 AM on January 10, 2006


4-5x faster than the powerbook G4.
posted by alms at 10:33 AM on January 10, 2006


I don't want 15.4 inches, I want 13 inches. Anyone else loving this feed?
posted by furtive at 10:34 AM on January 10, 2006


Wow. This is probably the best keynote in years.
posted by Rothko at 10:36 AM on January 10, 2006


One more thing.

Goodness. MacBooks? Two processors in each one.
posted by tweak at 10:38 AM on January 10, 2006


*Pulls down pants, lubes up with applesauce.*
posted by ColdChef at 10:39 AM on January 10, 2006


I haven't owned an Apple Computer in about ten years, but I have to admit that these announcements are making switching sound awfully attractive. That is, until I look into my wallet and snap back to my senses.

People just don't get this whipped up over Dell, do they?
posted by MegoSteve at 10:44 AM on January 10, 2006


MacBook Pro!! THE INSANITY!
posted by xmutex at 10:47 AM on January 10, 2006


Damn. No cool low-end gadgets for us poor folks!
posted by sourwookie at 10:47 AM on January 10, 2006


$2499 - the insanity!
posted by junesix at 10:48 AM on January 10, 2006


MacBook Pro!! THE INSANITY!

Doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Powerbook" does it?
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:49 AM on January 10, 2006


Damn. No cool low-end gadgets for us poor folks!

Agreed. "Best keynote in years" if you wanna spend 2500 on a laptop.

On the bright side most of the kinks should be worked out by the time intel trickles down to the lowly iBooks.
posted by justgary at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2006


Apple now has the pictures. Woot!@
posted by ColdChef at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2006


Aaaaaand...now it's dead. Drat.
posted by ColdChef at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2006


There's a $2k Macbook with half the RAM (512MB, still enough for most biz users) and a slower chip (1.67Ghz vs. 1.83Ghz).

Keep in mind, the Macbooks are for Pro/Business users, who are more than happy to shell out that kind of money as a business expense.
posted by mkultra at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2006


WHERE'S MY AIRTUNES READY IPOD?
posted by sourwookie at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2006


The MacBook Pro page is live, tho
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2006


Like was said above, nothing for me to buy. I just wanted a mini replacement.
posted by smackfu at 10:54 AM on January 10, 2006


Keep in mind, the Macbooks are for Pro/Business users, who are more than happy to shell out that kind of money as a business expense.

Don't they already have powerbooks? I couldn't care less about market share, but this certainly doesn't help with the whole "macs are expensive" rhetoric when trying to convince friends to switch. So I'm guessing maybe apple doesn't care either.
posted by justgary at 10:55 AM on January 10, 2006


Ok, I'm not sure how macbook's powercords are new - these guys have been making their products with something similar for years.
posted by phyrewerx at 10:56 AM on January 10, 2006


Bah! No Mini, no iBook. That makes me sad. And considering the iMac was the last one updated, it seems kinda backwards. Oh well, heres hoping to April for the Minis and the iBooks.
posted by SirOmega at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2006


Don't they already have powerbooks?

Not if they have Dells.

Intel iMacs, btw, are the same price as the old ones.
posted by mkultra at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2006


My new iMac arrived two weeks ago. TWO WEEKS. I feel like a complete idiot.

Is the intel chip really two times faster?
posted by AgentRocket at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2006


and shouldn't macs now be cheaper since the chips are the same as for pcs?

Like diamonds, Macs are expensive because that makes people value them more.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:58 AM on January 10, 2006


Not if they have Dells.

If they still have dells over powerbooks I doubt anything changes today.
posted by justgary at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


Where's the flame war? Where's the haters? I'm disappointed in you people.
posted by fungible at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


PinkStainlessTail is a god to me.
posted by ColdChef at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


Or maybe cause Macs are just *gasp* better?
posted by Dantien at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


12:48 PM - "Hi, I'm Steve and welcome to my weekly podcast, Super-secret Apple Rumors." (huge laughs) "I have some pretty good sources inside Apple, and the next iPod is going to be HUGE, like 8 pounds ... See you next week."
Oh, you kidder. It failed to mention that Steve then promptly sued himself.
posted by boo_radley at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


Don't they already have powerbooks?

My sister has been waiting for about two years for a PowerBook fast enough for her to do some decent video editing on. The rumors were that the first Intel 'books would be consumer, not pro. She'll be very happy to shell out for one of these, at least once Final Cut Pro is available in March.
posted by alms at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2006


Yeah, it's not really a switching sales point, until you realize that Virtual PC (or just dual-booting, if it becomes easy for the consumer) will run PC stuff at full speed without the need for processor emulation.
posted by mikeh at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2006


phyrewerx: Sure, it's nothing new in the engineering world but it's the first time I've seen it on a laptop or any computer for that matter. Expect to see this "innovation" in other new laptops in the next 12 months.
posted by junesix at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2006


Like diamonds, Macs are expensive because that makes people value them more.

Or maybe Apple puts more into the machine than other vendors, like a webcam, backlit keyboard, PCI Express slots, better engineering, etc. etc. that adds to the value of the machine.
posted by Rothko at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2006


AgentRocket, think of it this way: we'll be smart and let them iron out the kinks before we go out and buy one. That's how I'm justifying it to myself.
posted by lackutrol at 11:02 AM on January 10, 2006


Not to derail, but anyone know of some accessory that will make an iPod airtunes enabled? Specifically a 60gig 5g.
posted by sourwookie at 11:03 AM on January 10, 2006


Where's my damn Apple Flying Car?! (with iPod integration, of course)
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:04 AM on January 10, 2006


Not to derail, but anyone know of some accessory that will make an iPod airtunes enabled?

A Mac ;)
posted by mkultra at 11:04 AM on January 10, 2006


The iWeb page is blank. That's... irony or something. If that happened to Microsoft it would be on Slashdot by now.

I'm about 60% converted to Macs at this point. I love my iBook. My next desktop will probably be a Mac and my journey to the dark side will be complete.

Still though, mac religious fanatics are enough to turn anyone off, the way unwashed hippie freaks scare people away from jam bands.
posted by bondcliff at 11:05 AM on January 10, 2006


My sister has been waiting for about two years for a PowerBook fast enough for her to do some decent video editing on.

Everyone I know working with video in any way already uses a mac. I'm not saying no one will switch, I'm saying the new macbook will appeal to a small market. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

until you realize that Virtual PC (or just dual-booting, if it becomes easy for the consumer) will run PC stuff at full speed without the need for processor emulation.

Now that I agree with.
posted by justgary at 11:05 AM on January 10, 2006


Is video of the keynote available?
posted by Sagres at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2006


backlit keyboard

Do they also put a spoiler on top of the monitor to make it go faster?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2006


AgentRocket: I think a lot of people will be asking that very same question. I saw a ton of iMac G5s and almost no laptops being carted out of the Apple stores over the holidays because everyone was expecting only Intel laptops today. Returns/Refunds are allowed within 14 days - if you call right now you may still be able to return&buy or switch up.
posted by junesix at 11:07 AM on January 10, 2006


Not to derail, but why can't I find a decent fax utility that actually works reliably on my Mac....

I am SO happy my life is just about PC-free.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:07 AM on January 10, 2006


Do they also put a spoiler on top of the monitor to make it go faster?

Is that the best you can come up with, now that we're both running with the same engine underneath?
posted by Rothko at 11:08 AM on January 10, 2006


PinkStainlessTail,

If you dont like Macs, dont buy them. Or snark in a Mac thread.
posted by Dantien at 11:09 AM on January 10, 2006


Wow. Company that makes products has convention and announces something new. Truly the best of the web.
posted by pieoverdone at 11:10 AM on January 10, 2006


Wow. Company that makes products has convention and announces something new. Truly the best of the web.

Well, some companies are more relevant to web culture than others.
posted by sourwookie at 11:12 AM on January 10, 2006


Wow. Somebody who isn't interested in a subject posts a snarky comment about how he's not interested in said subject. Truly the best they can do.
posted by bondcliff at 11:12 AM on January 10, 2006


Wow. Company that makes products has convention and announces something new. Truly the best of the web.

Wow. Company that makes broken products has to have a small-time programmer hack together a patch for a major security vulnerability on its behalf. Truly the best of the web.
posted by Rothko at 11:13 AM on January 10, 2006


A video of the keynote should show up sometime here, but it's not there yet.
posted by designbot at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2006


Well, poo. I've been saving for a new iBook with plans to buy one at the end of March. I guess I'll see how much longer I can go on the current iBook and see if I can wait until Intel chips are in the iBooks, too.
posted by eilatan at 11:15 AM on January 10, 2006


Am I the only one disappointed that the Intel Macs don't have some flashy totally new design? Compare this to when they went to G3's, G4's, & G5's. I guess they've got the kinks worked out and they don't want to mess with a good thing.
posted by designbot at 11:16 AM on January 10, 2006


I guess I'll see how much longer I can go on the current iBook and see if I can wait until Intel chips are in the iBooks, too.

Same here.
posted by justgary at 11:17 AM on January 10, 2006


Buried under all that hype about MacBook Pro is the real gem. New Widgets. Woo-hoo! New Widgets! And wait, there's more. Blogs too!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:18 AM on January 10, 2006


Oh man! I've been in desperate need to update my 1Ghz TiBook, but the last round(s) of g4 upgrades just haven't been compelling.

Finally, an Apple latop that can compete.
posted by C.Batt at 11:19 AM on January 10, 2006


justgary: ... this certainly doesn't help with the whole "macs are expensive" rhetoric when trying to convince friends to switch. So I'm guessing maybe apple doesn't care either.
They care very much. Being expensive is a crucial part of the Mac Mystique: It's part of the dues you pay to be a Mac User.
posted by lodurr at 11:19 AM on January 10, 2006


PinkStainlessTail:Do they also put a spoiler on top of the monitor to make it go faster?
You should see the frikken' detailing on the laptops! You know it's going faster with those pinstripes.
posted by boo_radley at 11:23 AM on January 10, 2006


They care very much. Being expensive is a crucial part of the Mac Mystique: It's part of the dues you pay to be a Mac User.

And the $499 Mac mini plays into this strategy how?
posted by designbot at 11:24 AM on January 10, 2006


Or snark in a Mac thread.

What, there's no snark allowed now? How very tedious. Not "mac user holding forth on elegance and design" tedious, but still.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:24 AM on January 10, 2006


I felt ripped off paying 1800 for a dell laptop, and love my 900 dollar iBook, so not sure what dues you're talking about.

With the mini and the iBook, apples trying to cover both markets. I'm just curious why they went with the upscale models first. I'm guessing for profit margin. Plus, it doesn't look good to have your top of the line products falling behind.
posted by justgary at 11:24 AM on January 10, 2006


And the $499 Mac mini plays into this strategy how?

Don't bother. These people won't be happy until Apple gives away computers for nothing. Even then they'll say something like they should be paid to use anything with an Apple logo on it. It's a losing proposition.
posted by Rothko at 11:26 AM on January 10, 2006


I was hoping for a new snazzy enclosure too, but then I'm a shallow person. Lots of good improvements, but the price point is indeed a bit daunting, still it's the uber pro line and that's to be expected. I'm gonna keep waiting till they introduce the 13" MacBook Pro (Awful, awful name change) or a 14" MacBook; just don't want to deal with the 15" form factor.
posted by Vaska at 11:27 AM on January 10, 2006


sourwookie: Well, some companies are more relevant to web culture than others.
Very true. For example, Microsoft is much more important to web culture* than Apple.

--
* ... and no, by "web culture" I do not mean "what the graphics alpha geeks think is cool." I mean what people actually do, and what they use to do it.

posted by lodurr at 11:28 AM on January 10, 2006


How very tedious. Not "mac user holding forth on elegance and design" tedious, but still.

How about "still waiting for Windows Update to finish patching my machine after reinstalling XP" tedious? Is that tedious enough?
posted by Rothko at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2006


I'm just curious why they went with the upscale models first.

Because if they'd upgraded the iBooks and minis first then they would have been more powerful than the PPC 'pro' machines.
posted by gi_wrighty at 11:30 AM on January 10, 2006


And the $499 Mac mini plays into this strategy how?

Even at $500, they're $100-200 higher than the low end Dells.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:30 AM on January 10, 2006


For people who were planning on buying the 15" PowerBook G4, it's great news. For the same $1999 price, they're getting a second processor, faster RAM (PC2-5300 vs. PC2-4200), SATA hard drive, and a PCI-E graphics card. This is a no-brainer and Apple might as well retire the 15" PB G4.

Notice that the 17" PowerBook G4 is the same price as the 1.83GHz MacBook Pro of $2499. Apple is essentially giving buyers the option of taking a larger screen or upgraded processor/RAM/HD/video.
posted by junesix at 11:31 AM on January 10, 2006


Plus, it doesn't look good to have your top of the line products falling behind.

Exactly. Why would anyone buy a Powerbook (Macbook Pro)if the iBook was twice as fast? It's either do the pro stuff first, or do everything at once. I assume they did the iMac before the PowerMacs (Mac Pros?) just because the pro desktop chips aren't ready.
posted by designbot at 11:32 AM on January 10, 2006


Even at $500, they're $100-200 higher than the low end Dells.

Dells which are four times the size, use 5-6 times more energy, make a ton of noise, and don't have the same hardware features. This comparison doesn't fly.
posted by Rothko at 11:33 AM on January 10, 2006


Rothko, I totally agree. Macs offer an enormous amount of quality with their higher cost, but most people still complain. Do people bitch and moan about the cost of Jaguars? LearJets? "LearJets cost so much because it's part of their mystique." "LearJets suck cause I can't afford them with my part-time Starbucks job."

Or maybe, JUST MAYBE, Apple can't afford to sell them for less since there is more put into the product than other systems. Occam's Razor and all that.
posted by Dantien at 11:34 AM on January 10, 2006


Because if they'd upgraded the iBooks and minis first then they would have been more powerful than the PPC 'pro' machines.
posted by gi_wrighty


Ahh, good point.
posted by justgary at 11:34 AM on January 10, 2006


How about "still waiting for Windows Update to finish patching my machine after reinstalling XP" tedious? Is that tedious enough?

I can do other things while update runs silently in the background. If I want to drown out blather about design I have to sing Crazy Horses at the top of my lungs. With gestures.

That takes a lot of energy.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:35 AM on January 10, 2006


Another rumor I heard--obviously not to be--was an extra cheap sub-notebook (smaller form-factor) with no moving parts (HDD, CDROM).

I like the idea of a sub-notebook running OSX.
posted by sourwookie at 11:35 AM on January 10, 2006


Dammit, my MacBook Pro isn't shipping until next month. Not bad, just over $3k with a faster hard drive and AppleCare.

Need braiiinss... and a new mac...
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:37 AM on January 10, 2006


Dells which are four times the size, use 5-6 times more energy, make a ton of noise, and don't have the same hardware features. This comparison doesn't fly.

Of course it does, within the context of someone putting forth the Mac mini as a bargain-priced computer.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:38 AM on January 10, 2006


I was hoping for something like this.

Maybe next year.
posted by sourwookie at 11:39 AM on January 10, 2006


I can do other things while update runs silently in the background.

Like getting your antispyware and antivirus software to do its jobs?
posted by Rothko at 11:40 AM on January 10, 2006


Dells which are four times the size, use 5-6 times more energy, make a ton of noise, and don't have the same hardware features. This comparison doesn't fly.

And no iLife. But I agree, it's a useless argument. If someone wants the cheapest computer they can find, and actually want a low end dell, more power to them.
posted by justgary at 11:41 AM on January 10, 2006


OK, so are all my current apps I have — including tons of free- and shareware — going to be unusable on a new iMac until they're recompiled for x86 (or whatever needs to be done)?
posted by DakotaPaul at 11:41 AM on January 10, 2006


They'll run fine.
posted by designbot at 11:42 AM on January 10, 2006


Rothko: And the $499 Mac mini plays into this strategy how?

Don't bother. These people won't be happy until Apple gives away computers for nothing. Even then they'll say something like they should be paid to use anything with an Apple logo on it. It's a losing proposition.
Got your religion up a little, did I, Rothko?

The Mini is an interesting case. It's quite a bit more expensive than it would be if it were made to run Windows or x86 *nix. Cringely reckoned that a computer with those specs could be sold for as much as $300 less before Apple started to lose money. (But then, it wouldn't have that cool wraparound aluminum shell and that nice thick rubber base....)

Speaking of Cringely, he made an interesting speculation about this time last year: He speculated that Jobs might go loss-leader on the market's ass, selling the Mini at $200 each to build mindshare. Would have made great business sense, but I kept thinking it just didn't make sense in terms of Apple culture and psychology. How many times has Apple stood poised on the brink of really making a difference in the market, only to pull out at the last minute and squeeze off the urge? Face it, folks: Apple exists right now to make Steve Jobs feel good about himself. If it got really big and successful, it would rapidly grow beyond his ability to control it, which in turn would mean that someone else would get the credit.

Have I nicked enough of your sacred cows yet, Rothko? Cuz if you keep me interested, I can go on like this all afternoon and into the night. My Mac Mini has a gig of RAM, so I can easily task-switch between Firefox and GIMP and Dreamweaver to trash talk about the Holy Fruit Merchant. I could start with the fact that in order to upgrade the hard drive on a PowerBook (and probably on a MacBook), you have to unscrew something in excess of 30 very small screws in about five different sizes and with two different head types (Allen and Phillips), and then, once you've done that, it's still all held together by friction clips. "Industrial design" my ass -- it's all about making an Opel look like a Rolls.

on preview: Hey, Rothko, tweak the wayback a little and riddle me this: In 1991, who had more viruses, Macs or PCs? And why?
posted by lodurr at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2006


Ah, thanks designbot. Now the hard part: convincing my wife that my G3 Desktop needs to be retired. :-)
posted by DakotaPaul at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2006


I really like the iMacs these days and what they can do for the price (and the built-in flat panel and dvd burning, and it's whisper-quiet, etc). But yeah, i bought my new iMac G5 about six weeks ago after researching and saving and trying to narrow down just the right time to buy, and it completely sucks that now there's one out for double the speed at the same price.
posted by troybob at 11:45 AM on January 10, 2006


My tip for how to afford Apple computers:


posted by I Love Tacos at 11:46 AM on January 10, 2006


DakotaPaul, I sense a hard drive meltdown in your immediate future.... just backup before you enclose it in saran wrap and alumunim foil. shiny side in.
posted by pmbuko at 11:50 AM on January 10, 2006


All the blather about the quality of Macs is usually supported by nothing. They look great: there are few other laptops that have nice sleek aluminum or monochromatic polycarbonate cases. And the fact that Apple builds their own hardware means that their laptops work with the OS really well.

But as for functional design, please; Finder is no better than WinXP in terms of usability, and worse in many ways, and in my experience (in the past I've been responsible for maintaining lots and lots of Macs) Apple hardware is no more reliable than that of a reliable PC manufacturer.

Why do I use a Mac? Because I dislike and distrust Microsoft, and don't want to enable them; because don't have the time to screw aroudn trying to make things work in Linux. If I'd known a year ago how much time I'd waste trying to get things to work on a Mac that work fine and easily on Windows PCs, I probably wouldn't have switched. But I'm over here now, and I have to admit, I do like the way my PowerBook looks. When it's working.
posted by lodurr at 11:51 AM on January 10, 2006


aluminum.
posted by pmbuko at 11:51 AM on January 10, 2006


I'm right there with you troybob, my iMac is about 2 months old.
posted by mathowie at 11:52 AM on January 10, 2006


Like getting your antispyware and antivirus software to do its jobs?

Hmmm: AVG updates automatically in about 30, Spybot S&D teatimer runs in the background and doesn't use much in the way of CPU, regular automatic scans for both were easy to schedule, and neither program cost me a dime.

When you have a nice house that people desire to get into, you take five seconds to turn the deadbolt and put on the chain.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:54 AM on January 10, 2006


30 seconds
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:54 AM on January 10, 2006


Rothko: Dells which ... don't have the same hardware features. This comparison doesn't fly.
Hmm.... thinking about this, and wondering what hardware features you're talking about, and this is what I can come up with: Integrated wifi (which can be replaced for about $30), Firewire 400 (which is unecessary if you have USB 2.0), DVI output (which you wouldn't care about if you didn't use Macs), and integrated Bluetooth (see WiFi, and add that it's a feature of dubious usefulness).

So, really, a bunch of stuff that Apple has convinced us we ought to want. A bunch of prestige shit.

For the majority of their users, Apples are about conspicuous consumption. Feature comparisons are only userful in the rationalization process.
posted by lodurr at 11:56 AM on January 10, 2006


Actually, the base Mac Mini doesn't include BlueTooth or 802.11. Costs extra :)
posted by fet at 11:58 AM on January 10, 2006


Return & Refund Policy
posted by alms at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2006


Configure-to-order, personalized or other customized product may not be returned for refund or exchange under any circumstances unless DOA.

That's the important part. If you add ram or do anything even minor it personalizes your mac and you can't return it.
posted by justgary at 12:02 PM on January 10, 2006


Look for the next big round of system upgrade announcements on 4/1/06 - the 30th anniversary of Apple Computer, Inc. Personally I'd hold off on any laptop purchases until then.

Intel chips in the iBooks and the other PowerBook sizes. My early prediction is the 1.66GHz single core in the iBooks, 1.5GHz dual core in the PB 12", and 2.0GHz dual core in the PB 17". PowerMacs will take some significant re-engineering with the cooling systems and all to maximize performance - probable upgrades in Q3 to blow the doors off the audience. All G4 systems retired by end of year.

Refresh in the iPod line with bigger memory through the models. Some hoopla about integration of the photocasts with the video iPods since Apple is going 'casting-crazy and all. Apple seems to be using remotes to go down the FM radio route so I doubt they'll be any integration into the iPods, especially with radio being bread & butter for so many 3rd party vendors. The iPod line is well represented from the $99-$399 range with the shuffle being the "oldest" iPod now so maybe an upgrade on that product - a 1-line display or something. Still no integrated wifi/bluetooth/wireless - maybe a wireless addon since that seems to be the way to go these days.

No 10.5. There would have been leaks about that by now but instead the chatter was just about fixes & minor updates to 10.4 Instead I'm sure all the software focus is on the Universal Binary switch - Office, Pro apps (a reminder note since Pro apps supposed to be UB by March), Adobe apps.

//Stops pulling ideas out of the air.
posted by junesix at 12:04 PM on January 10, 2006


DVI output (which you wouldn't care about if you didn't use Macs)

I'll disagree with you there: I was pretty pissed back when I bought an ATI AIW 9600 card and it only had VGA and S-Video outputs. Remedied this in the new PC (which has PCI express slots, just like a Mac!)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:05 PM on January 10, 2006


Can anyone find information about how long the MacBook's battery lasts? The product page seems to be avoiding the question.
posted by aparrish at 12:11 PM on January 10, 2006


Finder is no better than WinXP in terms of usability, and worse in many ways,

Finder clearly trumps WinXP by the ever-important No-Fucking-Puppy-Cartoon metric.
posted by stet at 12:12 PM on January 10, 2006


FireWire 400 is not unnecessary just because there's USB 2. For a couple of little files here and there, the difference is hard to tell. For DV? Give me (isosynchronous) FireWire instead of USB 2. Also, FireWire provides more power than USB 2.0, which is quite nice for certain devices.

There's room in the world for both interfaces, as well as purpose for both.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:13 PM on January 10, 2006


My one and only reply to all the fine people who keep railing on other people buying things.

The productivity increase I've experienced while using OS X-based Macs is such that the difference in up-front cost is completely irrelevant.

For some of you, this benefit does not exist, and the equation balances differently. Apple makes a very reasonable computer that does a very good job for some of us. Microsoft/Dell might work well for others.

The notion that one is definitively better than the other is deeply flawed, no matter which side you are taking. It's unfortunate that every Microsoft/Apple related post is doomed to devolve into "clever" snipes and pointless retorts.

Grow up.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:13 PM on January 10, 2006


If I want to drown out blather about design I have to sing Crazy Horses at the top of my lungs. With gestures.

Or, you know, skip the thread. I'm not a Mac user, but I still like to see what's going on in Mac-land. Am I the only person who likes both PCs and Macs?

Or maybe Apple puts more into the machine than other vendors, like a webcam, backlit keyboard, PCI Express slots, better engineering, etc. etc. that adds to the value of the machine.

No, I think that Apple products are more expensive than their counterparts because it makes sense for Apple to price them higher than the competition. Apple doesn't want to be Dell. Apple is very good at being in the "cool" niche, and overpricing is a big part of that. Design just doesn't cost that much, per unit, to justify that kind of pricing. Sony is pretty similar in that respect - they sell lots of devices that are overpriced, but very sleek and sexy.

I just bought an Acer Travelmate C204Ti, which is a convertible Tablet PC, with a 2 GHz Pentium M, 1 GB RAM, 100 GB HDD, slot-loading DVD+/-R/RW, integrated 802.11g and Bluetooth, slots for SD/MMC and Memory Stick, integrated fingerprint reader (!), an innovative screen hinge design that lets you use the damn thing when flying coach, and a bunch of other crap that I can't remember offhand. And I paid less for it than for the introductory MacBook Pro, which is around $2k with generally lower specs (aside from the dual-core processor.)

Like getting your antispyware and antivirus software to do its jobs?

You know, it's not so difficult to run a Windows machine safely. I don't use antivirus or antispyware software on my personal machines, and I've never had a problem with either viruses or spyware. I simply take a few precautions - I don't run the Windows shell as an administrator, I don't install things I don't need, and I block unneeded inbound and outbound traffic.

Integrated wifi ... and integrated Bluetooth

I love my integrated Bluetooth. Many, many PC laptops come with both of these now anyway.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2006


Lodurr: We're all just thrilled to betsy to hear how much you hate your Mac and how you've divined that Apple products are 'conspicuous consumption' (I always thought they were just a brand). Really. But so far all of your arguments have been baseless and slanted, so you'll pardon us blinded zealots if we stick to our Macs because we think they crash less and are easier to use.
posted by Vaska at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2006


Stet: Not only was that comment really fucking funny, but that may be one of the best reasons I've heard so far.
posted by Vaska at 12:17 PM on January 10, 2006


The type of people who buy a computer for it's looks are the same type of people who think "User Interface" and "Operating System" are synonymous.

I'd rather have stable device drivers and an almost limitless supply of compatable parts than transparent windows and colorful iconography.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2006


"No, I think that Apple products are more expensive than their counterparts because it makes sense for Apple to price them higher than the competition. Apple doesn't want to be Dell. Apple is very good at being in the "cool" niche, and overpricing is a big part of that. Design just doesn't cost that much, per unit, to justify that kind of pricing. Sony is pretty similar in that respect - they sell lots of devices that are overpriced, but very sleek and sexy."


I will be kind, and describe you as simply blind.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2006


Is a BMW just a Chevrolet with cache? Come on!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:22 PM on January 10, 2006


Rothko writes: Dells which are four times the size, use 5-6 times more energy, make a ton of noise, and don't have the same hardware features. This comparison doesn't fly.

I love mac's, but Dell's desktop boxes are equally as quiet (or quieter) and energy efficient as competing boxes from apple. Check their nominal input wattage and DB (sound) ratings. Dell makes excellent++ desktop and server hardware - far better (IMO) than apple. (their laptops are another issue however)
posted by jba at 12:26 PM on January 10, 2006


Apple: The one thing ParisParamus and Rothko can agree on.
posted by drezdn at 12:26 PM on January 10, 2006


Hmmm: AVG updates automatically in about 30, Spybot S&D teatimer runs in the background and doesn't use much in the way of CPU, regular automatic scans for both were easy to schedule, and neither program cost me a dime.

I'm not talking about updating your software. I'm talking about getting it to actually do its job. Maybe if you and your fellow Windows users spent less time singing Crazy Horses and more time protecting your machines, we wouldn't have to have these kinds of discussions all the time.
posted by Rothko at 12:27 PM on January 10, 2006


aparrish, i noticed that too. Odd.
posted by jba at 12:27 PM on January 10, 2006


Is a BMW just a Chevrolet with cache?

I'd venture to guess that most of the anti-Apple people are against anything with an above average price tag, no matter what the benefits.

They fail to evaluate each situation reasonably, same as the "mac is always best" crowd.

It's a strange thread when ParisParamus is one of the most reasonable posters.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:29 PM on January 10, 2006


what would the apple people say the benefits are to the above average price tag?
posted by xospecialk at 12:30 PM on January 10, 2006


Am I the only person who likes both PCs and Macs?


Nope, you aren't alone. I like them both too. I happen to agree with much of what lodurr says, not to say that I think Macs are worse than PC's, just that they aren't better. Macs are better for something and PC for others. I agree with many of the "mac haters" in that Mac people tend to hold their macs on high and simply invent or embelish advantages. But plenty of mac people rightly understand that Macs are more "different" than they are "better" and they just prefer them. Powerbooks are great, and OSX has some great technology, but it still bogs down after a few years begging for a wipe and reinstall like windows. It still has issues with being slow and clunky in certain aspects. It still suffers from some issues of "presentation over function" which Apple is a big fan of, as in expose'.

I personally prefer windows, but both are valid OS's. And of course people who trumpet Macs for their lack of viruses and spyware are missing the point. Macs do have better security, but they aren't uncrackable. The main reason why there are fewer viruses is because there are fewer users. Why would a virus writer want to take the same amount of time to infect 5% as many users. If Macs became as common as windows, you can bet there'd be viruses for it too.
posted by Farengast at 12:32 PM on January 10, 2006


we wouldn't have to have these kinds of discussions all the time.

The WMF vulnerability didn't affect me personally, my business, or the businesses of the people I work with one whit. Whole lotta blather and smoke.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:32 PM on January 10, 2006


I'm not talking about updating your software. I'm talking about getting it to actually do its job. Maybe if you and your fellow Windows users spent less time singing Crazy Horses and more time protecting your machines, we wouldn't have to have these kinds of discussions all the time.

I guess software engineering gets complex when you're supporting 90% of the world's computers, huh.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:33 PM on January 10, 2006


I agree. I think it's a strange thread when someone says, "The notion that one [platform] is definitively better than the other is deeply flawed," then lauds ParisParamus, who believes that very thing, as being reasonable.
posted by MegoSteve at 12:34 PM on January 10, 2006


ParisParamus: Is a BMW just a Chevrolet with cache? Come on!
OK, GOB, don't spill your coffee on your $3000 suit [g/]. Anyway, BMW since the 2002 have been nothing all that special or interesting. Unless you like leather and enjoy identifying with your inner Teuton.
posted by lodurr at 12:35 PM on January 10, 2006


Vaska: Lodurr: We're all just thrilled to betsy to hear how much you hate your Mac ...
Your inference -- not what I said. (Why are Mac users so quick to take umbrage, I woner?)
posted by lodurr at 12:37 PM on January 10, 2006


The main reason why there are fewer viruses is because there are fewer users. Why would a virus writer want to take the same amount of time to infect 5% as many users. If Macs became as common as windows, you can bet there'd be viruses for it too.

No, you're missing the point.

Every mac/windows thread has the same progression. Macs are more secure followed by the "less users" rhetoric ,which while true, isn't the whole story). But regardless, why does it matter the reason?

If the reason my mac is more secure is because there are less users, then great. It doesn't change the benefit. It doesn't change the fact that yes, my mac is more secure. If it makes you feel better to point out why, go for it. The result is the same.
posted by justgary at 12:39 PM on January 10, 2006


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by keswick at 12:39 PM on January 10, 2006


... and anyway, my Macs have each crashed more in the last year than my Win2K box did in 3 years. Alas, Win2K is essentially an orphan, and the power supply on my Shuttle XP (another fine aluminum-case computer) finally went bye-bye, so...
posted by lodurr at 12:40 PM on January 10, 2006


and anyway, my Macs have each crashed more in the last year than my Win2K box did in 3 years.

And my iBook hasn't crashed ever (I bought it a year ago). I guess we cancel each other out.
posted by justgary at 12:43 PM on January 10, 2006


Lodduer: Your inference -- not what I said. (Why are Mac users so quick to take umbrage, I woner?)

The irony in this statement is just delicious. Meanwhile, Keswick, what the heck was that for? Are you trying to get the img tag nuked or something?
posted by Vaska at 12:48 PM on January 10, 2006



posted by wakko at 12:55 PM on January 10, 2006


i have no loyalty one way or the other between mac and windows...i started out on mac, but i gave it up ten or so years ago because it was just to expensive to stay on the upgrade paths (we had gotten a power mac clone, which was a promising direction until apple pulled the rug out from under the clone makers, and the support and compatabilities starting drying up)...i have been fine with windows and keep a clean machine so i have few problems with it, other than an occasional loose spybot...we bought an imac because we started playing more with multimedia, and the cost seemed reasonable for getting something (1) with flat panel included, (2) with decent software to start playing with right away, (3) with DVD-burner, (4) with reputation for handling video and sound well, and (5) with everything pre-integrated so as to reduce compatability problems...the extra cost, if any, over putting together a windows machine with the same qualities seemed worth it considering the time and headaches involved in putting together such windows machine...

and i was rather encouraged that the first weekend we had it, i did a multimedia project on the iMac that took much less time and was much more intuitive than anything i was using on the windows system...
posted by troybob at 12:57 PM on January 10, 2006


I guess software engineering gets complex when you're supporting 90% of the world's computers, huh.

Is that the excuse this week?
posted by Rothko at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2006


AMIGA 4L!!!1

<img src="http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:cXeKcuLCsZoJ:www.sinz.org/Michael.Sinz/Art/Checkmark.gif"?
posted by wakko at 1:02 PM on January 10, 2006



posted by wakko at 1:02 PM on January 10, 2006


Is that the excuse this week?

I dunno, what's your nitpick of the week?
posted by SweetJesus at 1:05 PM on January 10, 2006


I dunno, what's your nitpick of the week?

What's your snark of the minute? Oh wait.
posted by Rothko at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2006


Vaska: The irony in this statement is just delicious....
I'm glad I was able to please your palate. I should warn you, though, that flavor -- it's not what you think it is...
posted by lodurr at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2006


I dunno, what's your nitpick of the week?

How about this latest gaping security hole? If that's not worth discussing we could always ruminate on next week's gaping security hole.
posted by wakko at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2006


Oh god, it's made of people! Wait, that's creamed corn actually. Least it looks like it...
posted by Vaska at 1:09 PM on January 10, 2006


ven at $500, they're $100-200 higher than the low end Dells.

Try comparing like with like. The PC equivalent of the Mac Mini is the Aopen Mini, which costs quite a bit more for the same package.
posted by salmacis at 1:10 PM on January 10, 2006


The WMF vulnerability didn't affect me personally, my business, or the businesses of the people I work with one whit. Whole lotta blather and smoke.

Is it really that upsetting to use a Mac at your workplace?
posted by Rothko at 1:12 PM on January 10, 2006


lodurr, what are you doing with your Mac that caused it to crash? Not one of my 3 Macs have crashed since I upgraded them to OSX in 2002. Sure, applications have crashed, but the OS has not crashed in over 3 years.
posted by evoo at 1:12 PM on January 10, 2006


I will be kind, and describe you as simply blind. ... Is a BMW just a Chevrolet with cache? Come on!

I've already acknowledged that Macs are attractively designed. In a comparison of functionality alone, though, I think they're overpriced. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I like them, although I wouldn't use one for my primary computer. I like iPods - I've bought several - even though they don't do anything that a bunch of other MP3 players do. Just like with any other purchase, you have to decide how important aesthetics are to you. For a lot of people, the Chevrolet is perfectly suitable, and they have lots of money left over for other things that might be more important than how their ride looks.

The main reason why there are fewer viruses is because there are fewer users. Why would a virus writer want to take the same amount of time to infect 5% as many users. If Macs became as common as windows, you can bet there'd be viruses for it too.

This is just not true. There are several reasons why Windows is more vulnerable to viruses and other malware. The number of users on the platform is one minor reason. A bigger reason is that most people (outside the corporate environment) run Windows as an administrator. This is just dumb, dumb, dumb, and it's almost entirely Microsoft's fault. When you install Windows, it creates an account for you in the Administrators group. The larger reason behind this is that Windows predates the existence of large networks, and was initially designed as a single-user OS. OS X, on the other hand, is quite new, and is much better designed in this respect.

That said, it is certainly possible to run Windows safely, as it is in most corporate environments I've seen.

Maybe if you and your fellow Windows users spent less time singing Crazy Horses and more time protecting your machines, we wouldn't have to have these kinds of discussions all the time.

Since you pissed all over that thread, your complaint that Mac-bashers are pissing all over this thread doesn't really carry much water.

If the reason my mac is more secure is because there are less users, then great. It doesn't change the benefit. It doesn't change the fact that yes, my mac is more secure. If it makes you feel better to point out why, go for it. The result is the same.

Well, actually, the result might not be the same. You would be less likely to be the subject of random attacks (viruses, worms, etc) but no less likely to be the subject of an intentional, direct attack. Note that I don't think that's the reason OS X is more secure, though.

And my iBook hasn't crashed ever (I bought it a year ago). I guess we cancel each other out.

Since modern OSs crash so infrequently, who cares one way or the other? I don't know anyone using either XP or OS X who's complaining of frequent crashes.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:16 PM on January 10, 2006


Is there going to be Classic support on the intel Macs? (have they already dropped it on newer macs?)

(and when you guys trade up to the new laptops--email me--i'll buy your old ibook/powerbook--i don't need intel til work switches, and they've invested a ton in this year's g5s, so that's not going to happen soon.)
posted by amberglow at 1:16 PM on January 10, 2006


PinkStainlessTail,

If you dont like Macs, dont buy them. Or snark in a Mac thread.
posted by Dantien at 2:09 PM EST on January 10 [!]


It's inevitable, as is the reverse. Witness the MS security flaw thread, we had people proclaiming their joy they weren't stupid Windows users and offering horrible advice.

This thread has been much better however, though of course Rothko once again shows he lacks any sense of humour.

It's nice to finally see Macs that peform well, reportedly. Still to expensive for my taste, but such things are of course relative. A couple of my mates will be very thrilled. Good for them.

I remember one guy telling me that the G5 was "4 to 10 times" faster than the fastest Pentium. I disputed the claim and was told I was a troll. He's gone quite quiet recently.

Ahh the Amiga. That was when I actually cared a lot about the computer I used. Now it's just a tool like any other. Youth had its advantages.
posted by juiceCake at 1:18 PM on January 10, 2006


What's your snark of the minute?

Oh, probably something about clue-free Apple Zealots who trade compatability for off-white plastic and beveled interfaces...
posted by SweetJesus at 1:23 PM on January 10, 2006


I'm at T-42 hours to my new 12" iBook and am compulsively reloading the FedEx tracking page—even if I do rue not being able to hold out until [at least] April for the Intel iBook. This happens every time I have purchased from Apple (to be fair, this is a rare occurance).

As for the discussion at hand: I run Linux at home and XP at work. I really don't care so much for the price-point or the spiffy design of Apple products, but I really, truely, absolutely love OSX. My *nix knowledge maps quite well plus I get a GUI that stomps the bejesus out of Gnome and/or KDE. I am excited to not have to pour over config files to make things work too. I do think XP is a nice progression from Win2K but the underlying DLL-based architecture with all of its rotting DOS dependencies icks me to no end. IMO the Apple vs. Microsoft vs. Linux culture war is pretty off-putting so the issue is a wash. Still, I'm buying a computing environment, not an identity.

Ultimately, each hardware/OS combination serves its purpose. IMO, a 12" iBook with its smaller form-factor and ability to integrate reasonably well with my WinTel work and Gentoo home environments is the ideal portable computing environment.

As for the discussion more topical to the FPP, I admit I enjoy the Apple version of these events much more than the Microsoft side. The way in which they are negotiating the architecture switch is interesting and seems to be smoother than the jump from OS9 to OSX at this point. To this end, I appreciate the links in the FPP.
posted by Fezboy! at 1:27 PM on January 10, 2006


Being expensive is a crucial part of the Mac Mystique: It's part of the dues you pay to be a Mac User.

Indeed, and shelling out those bucks practically guarantees you'll cream your jeans if the thing does nothing more exciting than work properly. If you're not absolutely intoxicated by your Apple, you have to admit you paid too much. It's that gaga-googoo that people pay for, and it's the paying for it that practically ensures it. Circular. Weird.
posted by scarabic at 1:33 PM on January 10, 2006


Is it really that upsetting to use a Mac at your workplace?

Okay, that one made me laugh. THE DAY IS YOURS, NOBLE ENEMY MINE.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2006


OK, enough of this silliness comparing Mac OS to Windows. What we should really be discussing is whether Gates or Jobs gives a better keynote.
posted by alms at 1:40 PM on January 10, 2006


The PC equivalent of the Mac Mini is the Aopen Mini, which costs quite a bit more for the same package.

Yes, there is only one PC on the entire planet with specs comparable to the Mac Mini, and it's only made by one company. Oh, and it's more expensive.

This is why I love "PC Wars" threads.
posted by wakko at 1:45 PM on January 10, 2006




I didn't buy my iBook because it was cool or beautifully designed; I bought it because it was cheaper than the other alternative I was considering, an IBM ThinkPad (and because I was sick of dual-booting Linux.) Comparing Macs to Dells doesn't really make sense. Whem I ordered a new power cord for my old Dell, they shipped it to the wrong address and didn't ship one to the correct address for three months. When the keyboard on my iBook had a space bar that didn't work on one side, I called Apple at 4 pm and woke up to find a new one the next morning.
posted by transona5 at 1:48 PM on January 10, 2006


What we should really be discussing is whether Gates or Jobs gives a better keynote.

That would be a very short discussion.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:49 PM on January 10, 2006


scarabic, that's strange. I'm neither absolutely intoxicated by my Apple, nor do I feel that I paid too much. Perhaps the sting of the cost was ameliorated by knowing that I don't have to futz with visual studio as a programming environment (which I personally dislike, but (OMG!) YMMV) or deal with installing and configuring a linux on the laptop.

I would still choose a mac laptop over a pc laptop, because I feel that the premium in price is a good balance to the time I'd have to spend configuring a linux distribution.

At the same time, I can't say that I'm "absolutely intoxicated" with system. It would be like being intoxicated with a pair of pliers. Like Fezboy! said above, it's a computing environment, not a lifestyle.
posted by agent at 1:51 PM on January 10, 2006


The keynote is up!
posted by mathowie at 1:56 PM on January 10, 2006


It's pretty, but where's the 3rd party hardware and internal accessability? I've been running the same PC for 5 years now and it still does everything I need it to do, incredibly well, since I've been upgrading certain components as necessary. Apple doesn't want to make it easy for you to upgrade, they just want you to buy a new one as soon as you think the old one isn't cutting edge enough. And all the iTools buy right into it.
posted by baphomet at 2:10 PM on January 10, 2006


Has anyone ordered one of the iMacs? The web site says ships in 1 - 3 days. Is that accurate? Someone above said the email re: the Powerbook said a month.
posted by Manhasset at 2:10 PM on January 10, 2006


In other news, AAPL closed at a NERDILY IRONIC STOCK PRICE. :-( for the fact i found it funny.
posted by jba at 2:14 PM on January 10, 2006


Shipping: If the Mini is any predictor, shipping will be a little bit slower than predicted, but they'll bump up the priority to speed delivery, so it will probably be close to a wash.

Baphomet, compatability isn't quite as bad as you might think. Many USB devices will work fine; don't buy a webcam without an explicit promise of mac compatability, though.

Apple's pretty much ditched all the really proprietary stuff (the old Mac keyboards didn't even use the same kind of scan codes), and only a masochist uses the Apple-branded mouse and keyboard. The real problem is that many of the input devices that are designed to be used with Macs (e.g., that have a splat key in the right place) have really crappy ergonomics. The keyboards are the worst: Stiff and uncertain action, noisy, clumsy feel. That's getting a little better as scissor-switch keyboards become common, but there seems to be a rule that says that mac users like crappy keyboards. Don't know what it is. (Apple's keyboards have always applied oral suction to the masculine genitalia of swamp-dwelling deer, and probably always will, and I'll never understand their bizarre fascination iwth the one-button mouse. At least they're finally getting past that last problem.)
posted by lodurr at 2:20 PM on January 10, 2006



The WMF vulnerability didn't affect me personally, my business, or the businesses of the people I work with one whit. Whole lotta blather and smoke.


Last time I crossed the freeway blindfolded I survived. Whole lotta blather and smoke.

PinkStainlessTail, at this point I mostly feel sorry for anybody who counts on you to make important decisions. It's clear that you are unable to recognize where your expert opinion stops and where your bullshit begins.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:21 PM on January 10, 2006


That's not ironic! That's just coincidental.
posted by boo_radley at 2:21 PM on January 10, 2006


baphomet: My previous Mac (first of the G3 Series Powerbook) was purchased in 1998 and has served admirably for the last 7+ years. Does this make my iDick 2+ years bigger than yours? It managed several hardware upgrades quite nicely. Apple may not make upgrading particularly obvious, but to say it can't be done or that peripherals are unavailable is incorrect. Admittedly, for the past few years it's been running YellowDog Linux instead of OSX for performance reasons but to baldly assert that one is an iTool for purchasing a mac is, well, silly.

Of course, my continued participation in this side of the discussion is also a bit silly.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:27 PM on January 10, 2006


Megosteve: Nice snark, but read Paris's posts. Maybe he believes that PCs are universally inferior, maybe not. He hasn't made any statements on the matter in this thread.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:29 PM on January 10, 2006


That new remote for the iPod would be nice if they hadn't already cut loose everyone with an iPod Photo. For the company that ran the 1984 ad, they sure do like to throw all their old products down the memory hole as fast as they can!

If they introduce a 12"-ish widescreen MacBook that can dual-boot to Windows then I know what my next computer will be. I love my Latitude X1, but I really have to wonder what's wrong with PC notebook designers when Apple consistently hits the mark with better features, better design, and a thinner form factor than any other manufacturer.
posted by stopgap at 2:45 PM on January 10, 2006


A friend assured me once that his some of his (Nebraska) relatives had "literally come to blows" over the "issue" of Ford vs. Chevy. It seemed impossible for me to believe -- but now I understand that there are so many layered of invented or imagined personal qualities to such a trivial decision. Jesus. What is wrong with people.

And it's no good saying that the other side has put those emotional qualities there (e.g., Apple users think they have something great when they don't), because that's bread-and-butter stuff in these phenomena. Witness the number of people who get all enraged in favor of their generic big-college football team because the other guys "think they're so much better than everyone else." Funny how every football team's fans gets hit with these charges, isn't it?

How about attempting to lose the (rather pitiful) emotions behind all the snarks, even at the risk of allowing your "enemy" to think highly of themselves for an instant?
posted by argybarg at 2:48 PM on January 10, 2006


Indeed, and shelling out those bucks practically guarantees you'll cream your jeans if the thing does nothing more exciting than work properly. If you're not absolutely intoxicated by your Apple, you have to admit you paid too much. It's that gaga-googoo that people pay for, and it's the paying for it that practically ensures it. Circular. Weird.

Weird? Simply looking at cost without context is what's weird.

I use Macs and PCs (in fact I built the home PC we have) so I don't consider myself quite the Apple zealot others may be, but I need to point out that I still use my first generation PowerBook G4 for production work when I'm out of the office. It's no speedster compared to a new machine, but it's been rock-solid reliable for going on 5 years now. The only thing I did was add more RAM and replace a bad battery last year.

I was still using a PowerMac 7600 (with a processor and memory upgrades, running OSX) purchased in 1996 until about two years ago.

Paid too much? You tell me. I've spent about $5500 to cover my personal computing needs for the last 10 years.
posted by jalexei at 2:49 PM on January 10, 2006


I loath PCs, and I don't think it's just the fact that I associate them with attorneys (my colleagues).

"I like them, although I wouldn't use one for my primary computer. I like iPods - I've bought several - even though they don't do anything that a bunch of other MP3 players do."

Me and My Monkey, you miss the point almost entirely. Macs are better for several reasons, including what you mention here, which is at least as important as any other reason.

I find using a PC traumatic and stressful when compared with a Mac. Aesthetics matter. Ease of use matters. Reliability matters.

The best analogy I can think of, even better than the Chevrolet v. performance car analogy is traveling at 60mph: with a Mac, you are on a paved road, with Windows, you're riding on gravel. Either road may get you there, but I try to avoid the latter surface.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:59 PM on January 10, 2006


i, of course, am an OpenBSD/Alpha user.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 3:05 PM on January 10, 2006


relatives had "literally come to blows" over the "issue" of Ford vs. Chevy.

This is really more of a Honda vs. Chevy issue.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:23 PM on January 10, 2006


**punches doctor negative in the face**
posted by argybarg at 3:24 PM on January 10, 2006


I find using a PC traumatic and stressful when compared with a Mac. Aesthetics matter. Ease of use matters. Reliability matters.

I find my PC to be as easy to use as a Mac, if not easier, for most things I do. It does some things that the Mac is simply incapable of doing. Where's the Apple version of this? Or this? I think it's pretty aesthetically pleasing, actually - the nice thing about having lots of PC vendors is that not everything has to be a beige box. I find my PC to be very easy to use. I find it extremely reliable. My last two machines have failed, oh, zero times. How much more reliable can they get?
posted by me & my monkey at 3:32 PM on January 10, 2006


PinkStainlessTail, at this point I mostly feel sorry for anybody who counts on you to make important decisions. It's clear that you are unable to recognize where your expert opinion stops and where your bullshit begins.

I claimed absolutely zero expertise. It is a simple statement of fact that the WMF vulnerability did not affect me in the slightest. Nor did it effect anybody I work with, and I work at a place where multiple people over multiple days infected and reinfected the system with the I Love You virus a few years ago.

Were you of Mac born, that you take my comment so personally?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:51 PM on January 10, 2006


Well, I went back home for Xmas to fix my Dad's screwed up iMac again -- mainly iPhoto, and the general assumption that Apple knows better when managing the system -- which is all cool appart from consitently showing that it fails in this area.

And what's up with the assumption that OSX can't manage data unless it owns its format/organization?

I've seen Windows sucking to no end, OSX is no better -- Linux is my best option so far. And of course, it adheres my computing mantras:

- If it's not free, it doesn't exist
- This solution sucks more, but it's more expensive.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:55 PM on January 10, 2006


Well, I went back home for Xmas to fix my Dad's screwed up iMac again -- mainly iPhoto, and the general assumption that Apple knows better when managing the system -- which is all cool appart from consitently showing that it fails in this area.

Huh?

And what's up with the assumption that OSX can't manage data unless it owns its format/organization?

What??

I've seen Windows sucking to no end, OSX is no better -- Linux is my best option so far. And of course, it adheres my computing mantras:

- If it's not free, it doesn't exist
- This solution sucks more, but it's more expensive.


/head asplodes
posted by designbot at 4:14 PM on January 10, 2006


This is really more of a Honda vs. Chevy issue.

"But my Chevy's cheaper, even though the wheels fall off going down the highway! Wah! Wah!"
posted by Rothko at 4:14 PM on January 10, 2006


Can someone explain this Rosetta thing?

If I buy one of these new iMacs now, will all my current software work or do the third-party developers have to do something to it in order for it to run thru Rosetta? Or does Rosetta itself do that thing while it's running?
posted by Manhasset at 4:17 PM on January 10, 2006


Can someone explain this Rosetta thing?

If I buy one of these new iMacs now, will all my current software work or do the third-party developers have to do something to it in order for it to run thru Rosetta? Or does Rosetta itself do that thing while it's running?


Rosetta basically emulates a PowerPC chip. Your current versions of your software should run right now in this emulation mode, with no updates. When third-party developers do update their applications to universal binaries, they will presumably run even faster.
posted by designbot at 4:22 PM on January 10, 2006


That's nice, Monkey. I'm glad you're happy with your computer of choice.

I love my ibook. I don't really care what you guys think about that. I love my ibook. It makes me happy. I bring it everywhere with me. I like working on it. I get stuff done on it. I love how it looks. I love how my work looks on it. I don't feel that I paid too much for it. (In fact, I had budgeted another $500 for it, but it was cheaper than I thought it was going to be.)

I'm sure macs would suck if apple had too much more market share. I'm glad it's a niche product, because it's my niche and I love it.

I have a Dell laptop at work that cost more than my ibook. It's not bad, but I don't love it like i love my ibook. I don't really know why. That's just how it is.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:23 PM on January 10, 2006


I knew when I saw an almost 200 post thread on the new Apple products that great conversation would be inside.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:39 PM on January 10, 2006


I"m a Mac user, I'm just that cool.
I'm a damn good fit with this particular tool.
The machine works for me, with upkeep I can afford,
and the problems are usually found between chair and keyboard.

:) For more stanzas, you need email and a Paypal account; I'm working towards a G6.
posted by reflecked at 4:48 PM on January 10, 2006


And just to prove that I'm not MacBrainwashed, I don't really like Safari; Firefox, is clearly superior. Also, I could't get through the whole Software part of the presentatation, and fast-forwarded...
posted by ParisParamus at 4:50 PM on January 10, 2006


This is really more of a Honda vs. Chevy issue.

This is really more of a Rothko's a moron issue.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:54 PM on January 10, 2006


This new mac book is a total dud. The design is a good pointer that they've just whammed it out the door, as is the fact that the entire range wasn't updated. (BTW designbot, this is just like the first G3 PowerBooks which were crammed into a PB3400 case, and were shit.)

On top of that, they've cut a ton of corners. There's a comparison that spells it out, but no FW800, no S- or comp video, no PCMCIA and no modem (on a laptop!) is rubbish.

What's more, those promised speed boosts are likely to be lies as well -- the spec tests are for dual-processor setups. Running them on a single-proc G4 was bawz. That the iMac is now only twice as fast shows that, er, it's probably exactly the same speed. Well done apple. (source)

Finally they're not saying what the battery life is! They always say. Since they're not, and since the power adaptor is 15W stronger, this mac is going to last 10 minutes on a lap, isn't it?

Even when it is running, you have to look at the stupid name. PowerBook is a great name and brand: books with power future-of-information all those great connotations. Mac Book Pro ounds like Disabling Extensions for Dummies or some shit.

So: Fewer features. No classic apps. Not wildly faster. Same old case (but heavier). Crap name. Shit battery. Why would I want one?
at least it has wireless and more space than a Nomad.
posted by bonaldi at 5:13 PM on January 10, 2006


Lessee... I started out on the old Radio Shack colour computer, which eventually transmogrified into a nice Unix-like OS/9 box; then snagged an old 8086 DOS box which was eventually replaced by various Wintel stuff for well over a decade. From Win 3.1 to Win95 to Win2K to WinXP to Win2K; from 8086 to 386 to AMD K6 to AMD Duron; from 4k to 1Gb; from tape storage to 60Gb RAID; from a hacked-in 300bps modem to wireless networking. Add into the mix experience with VMS, Unix, early Mac OS (v4!), various incarnations of Linux and FreeBSD, and touch-and-go on a few other OSes.

Suffice to say, I've done a helluva lot of hardware hacking, programming, OS hacking, technical support, and so on and so forth.

I was perfectly content with Win2K. The OS was stable, at least. Didn't fall over itself all the time, unlike that abortion of a Win95. And when I made the decision that I would install only the applications absolutely necessary to accomplishing work instead of futzing about playing with freebie apps and shite, it went for several years with minimal hassle. Had to reboot regularly, mind, and keep the registry clean, but it was otherwise pretty decent.

I switched to MacOS mainly out of opportunity: my work laptop had kicked the bucket and I had no need for any specific Windows-only applications. The price was exactly comparable to buying a brand-name Wintel laptop with similar specs. So I went for it; Macs hold their value well enough that I could always resell it with minimal harm to my pocketbook.

I have absolutely no regrets. This little iBook kicks ass around the block. It's lighter than anything else in the price range, the battery lasts much longer than my previous laptop, it's every bit as quick as I could need, and the quality of the freebie/shareware software is leagues beyond that of Windows stuff. Less selection but higher quality, fersure.

There is an almost visceral quality to OSX's advantages over Windows. It simply feels like a more professional, designed, intentional, intelligent GUI. And when I've poked around at the Unixy end of things, it's pretty obvious that there's a whole lot of power under the hood that, were I in a hacker frame of mind, would lay absolute waste on anything Microsoft has dared imagine, let alone implement.

I will never go back. I really enjoy using my iBook. I can't say as I ever felt good about my other computers: they were just crude tools.

It's like the difference between using a dull knife and a sharp one; or B&D cordless drill versus a Bosch drill; or Walmart paint versus Benjamin Moore's Ultramatte; or Rotgut versus Quail's Gate; or 8-track versus SACD. They all do their job more or less adequately... but only the latter feel good as you use them.

Some people can't appreciate the difference between adequate and excellent. So be it; no skin off my arse.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on January 10, 2006


I hated Mac OSs 6-9. With a passion. Back then it was really tough to argue the superiority of Macs as compared to PCs. Still, I managed. What's with that Single Window Interface or whatever they call it? And all those dialogs within dialogs, what the hell is that? And why is it when I select the 'e' in 'The,' Windows selects the whole word?

But that was then. Now I don't really care either way, though I do enjoy reporting to IT all the problems I have with the PCs in my department. It only gets frustrating when they try giving me Mac advice like, "you have to map that to a drive."

My last home Mac lasted me 8 years and only cost $1,200, so I call that a bargain. With it, I made the money back in one week. My new iMac G5 didn't strike me as so stable a design so I got the 3 year warranty extension. And I'm glad for it. I've already had to have the midplane replaced and now Bluetooth has gone out and I can't mount anything but manufactured CD-ROMs. What I got out of it: Never buy first generation. But it's looking more and more like Apple is only giving things two generations, so I'm still not sure about that theory. My biggest fear is that as (if) Macs become more popular, manufacturing quality will go down. That would suck.

The new Intel line of Macs kinda has me worried about future upgrades for work. I don't think it will be too troublesome (Steve's previous keynote was quite reassuring) but Apple has a tendency to leave users behind so I dunno.

I was really hoping iWeb was going to be something more but I should've known it was going to be like the rest of the iLife suite. I'm getting tired of maintaining all the AppleScripts I use now to manage my site.
posted by effwerd at 5:14 PM on January 10, 2006


Oh, and last quarter's business performance... pretty nice.
posted by effwerd at 5:16 PM on January 10, 2006


This is really more of a Rothko's a moron issue.

Ironically, the Dothan-based PC that I built is sitting under the Mac Mini I'm using to write this very comment. Almost always turned off. :)

FWIW it's been pretty much my job to manage servers and desktops over the last ten years, so I have experience fixing a variety of different setups and platforms. I don't have anything against PCs per se, but I know from years of experience which hardware and software combinations are safer, which is easier to use, and which is easier to repair.

I also know which is more cost-effective. I still perform live sets with my trusty five-year old Powerbook G4. There are few Windows laptops out there that can still make music after five years, let alone run. Having to buy two PC laptops for every one Powerbook is a money-losing proposition (especially given how copy protection used to be managed for audio software, before the Internet took over that job).

If I'm a moron for calling certain people on their comments in this thread, those folks are even worse off. I really feel for them.
posted by Rothko at 5:24 PM on January 10, 2006


They've cut a ton of corners: No FW800, no S- or comp video, no PCMCIA and no modem

They've been phasing out modems from most products over the last 6 months. S-video will hopefully be handled via the DVI port (like on the Mac mini and Power Mac G5). The PC Card slot has been replaced with something (in theory) better. And no one ever used FW800.

All four seem like logical refinements that they would have done anyway. (not that I don't think the whole thing is a rush job)

That the iMac is now only twice as fast shows that, er, it's probably exactly the same speed. Well done apple.

Yeah, except for the PowerBooks at least, there was no dual core chip available. That's the point of switching to Intel.
posted by cillit bang at 5:32 PM on January 10, 2006


>> And what's up with the assumption that OSX can't manage data
>> unless it owns its format/organization?
> What??

I guess you never used iPhoto and Aperture.
posted by NewBornHippy at 5:49 PM on January 10, 2006


I think his comment was a joke, cb; either or he is one stupid dude. Or am I stupid for taking you straight?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:51 PM on January 10, 2006


I claimed absolutely zero expertise. It is a simple statement of fact that the WMF vulnerability did not affect me in the slightest. Nor did it effect anybody I work with, and I work at a place where multiple people over multiple days infected and reinfected the system with the I Love You virus a few years ago.

You implied expert knowledge when you claimed that it didn't affect you, your company, or any companies that you deal with regularly. I'm quite sure that the IT staff at at least one or two of those firms would assure you that it affected their day.

Ignoring the fact that you have no clue if any computers, even your own, were infected (after all, smart attacks are done quietly. perhaps install a keylogger, and nothing user-visible), your claim is still asinine. If your corporate security was put under extreme threat for nearly a week, that's a significant problem.

Would you be willing to put all of your corporate documents on the internet, password-free, for a week? Well you just did... and maybe you got away with it.

Were you of Mac born, that you take my comment so personally?

You don't get it. This isn't about PC versus Mac.

This is about shutting down dangerous and incorrect claims being made out of ignorance and bravado.

Feel free to make more snide remarks. Your claim that WMF was all bark and no bite will still be a prime example of ignorance and arrogance.
posted by I Love Tacos at 5:51 PM on January 10, 2006


Hell, they both run Linux so why are you all arguing?
posted by Loto at 6:18 PM on January 10, 2006


In other news, Google Earth for Mac is officially out today. (The secret beta was floating around a few weeks ago.) Good day for Mac people.
posted by fungible at 6:38 PM on January 10, 2006


FWIW it's been pretty much my job to manage servers and desktops over the last ten years, so I have experience fixing a variety of different setups and platforms. I don't have anything against PCs per se, but I know from years of experience which hardware and software combinations are safer, which is easier to use, and which is easier to repair.

... for you. My years of experience have demonstrated that, for me, managing, maintaining and repairing Windows machines is generally easier, and is quite safe. So, are you right, or am I right, or is this simply something that depends on the specific experience of the person in question? My guess is #3.

I also know which is more cost-effective. I still perform live sets with my trusty five-year old Powerbook G4. There are few Windows laptops out there that can still make music after five years, let alone run. Having to buy two PC laptops for every one Powerbook is a money-losing proposition (especially given how copy protection used to be managed for audio software, before the Internet took over that job).

My Inspiron 7000, which I've had since that model came out, still works as well as it did when I bought it. When it came out, I installed NT 4 on it. It's running Windows 2000 Server now, and it's slow compared to what I'm used to, but it still works fine. That thing is a tank. I've installed Windows on it twice - once for each OS. So, again, I'm not sure what your anecdote proves.

If I'm a moron for calling certain people on their comments in this thread, those folks are even worse off. I really feel for them.

You're not a moron. I've learned to tolerate morons quite well. But a little less smugness and self-righteousness would take you a long way.

You implied expert knowledge when you claimed that it didn't affect you, your company, or any companies that you deal with regularly. I'm quite sure that the IT staff at at least one or two of those firms would assure you that it affected their day.

It didn't affect my company, nor the ones I've been working with lately. That's not to say it didn't affect anybody, or that it wasn't a big problem, but it sure wasn't the end of the world. Most of these vulnerabilities are more effective against individual users rather than corporate environments. Almost every automated vulnerability relies on the victim running as an administrator, which isn't nearly as common in larger organizations as with home and small business people.

Ignoring the fact that you have no clue if any computers, even your own, were infected (after all, smart attacks are done quietly. perhaps install a keylogger, and nothing user-visible), your claim is still asinine. If your corporate security was put under extreme threat for nearly a week, that's a significant problem.

If your corporate security was put under extreme threat because of this, you need new corporate security, not new computers or OSs.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:57 PM on January 10, 2006


Paris, I'm sorry you find the road so rough when driving a PC; That's not my experience at all. I've been using PCs regularly since 1985, and have used MacOS 6, System 7, System 8 and OS X as my primary work machine for a total of about 6 years over that time.

Sure, style matters. But it doesn't matter so much that it's worth getting religious over.

And for whatever it's worth: The only time I find anything easier to do on a Mac is when I open and close the lid on the PowerBook. There isn't a PC laptop that I'm aware of that has that kind of quick and stable wake/sleep response. Other than that, it's simply inferior in most important usability regards. You mileage apparently varies, but I think you're at least as blind as you think I am, so...
posted by lodurr at 7:12 PM on January 10, 2006


Rothko: If I'm a moron for calling certain people on their comments in this thread, those folks are even worse off. I really feel for them.
Smug, much? (Though I am puzzled: I can't figure out where you think you "called" anyone on anything in this thread.)
posted by lodurr at 7:15 PM on January 10, 2006


If your corporate security was put under extreme threat because of this, you need new corporate security, not new computers or OSs.

Not every organization can run a monolithic firewall, if only because not every organization is itself monolithic. Firewalls (and particularly VPN clients) do not interact nicely. At our University alone there are several large organizations with incompatible VPNs, and for various legal, economic, technical and logistical reasons it is not feasible to put everyone behind one single firewall. Corporate security is more than a checkbox in the system tray.

The latest Windows vulnerability affected us a great deal, for the simple reason that depending on our situation, we were forced to leave a number of machines more exposed in order to run our various interconnected and separate departments and organizations. Many other machines we are responsible for, yet we cannot control usage policies because of ownership. That's the hard reality of this particular "corporation".

In my group alone we had four Windows machines affected from a group of 40 managed PCs, let alone some 60 other laptops or desktop that are personally owned, which we must repair.

The amount of work required to make sure personal files are backed up before reinstalling Windows and applications, on a variety of hardware that vendors make proprietary prevents us from deploying images — and that makes repair work take many, many man-hours that we desperately needed for dealing with, in this latest incident, incoming students and new classes.

Windows is a fucking hassle to manage, let alone repair. And it seems there's a new vulnerability every other day that forces us to keep pushing back important projects and new services. With very few exceptions, there is no software on Windows that other, safer operating systems (including, yes, Linux and OS X) cannot run. Windows has been a drag on improving and adding to services our group can provide; Microsoft's monopoly is holding us back, essentially.

This is my personal assessment from working in IT as both a grunt and a manager for the last ten years or so.
posted by Rothko at 7:21 PM on January 10, 2006


Smug, much?

I don't know, maybe. After years of being lectured to by people who use video games and the like as the yardstick of utility for a given computer, I get a little tired of the blasé attitude taken to security and the corresponding blather that follows in consideration of any legitimate alternative.
posted by Rothko at 7:26 PM on January 10, 2006


People people! Seriously, why does this happen? Why do Mac-haters feel comfortable snarking in an obviously pro-Mac thread? Why do MS-haters feel comfortable snarking in a pro-Windows thread? Why does ANYONE feel the need (nay, entitlement) to step into a conversation and piss all over it?

I swear, it's not about which is a better system, but about who has the complete lack of character to take what is a bunch of people's enjoyment of the tool they use and make them suddenly defend it's usage?! What kind of idiot are you? Just STOP! Didn't your mother's teach you "if you can't say something nice...don't say anything at all."??

This just boggles my mind. Mac-haters, go STFU. Like Christians (who also have a strong majority, at least in the US), you feel so superior cause everyone else "believes" what you "believe" that you have to treat those who don't as lesser, or stupid, or whatever. Instead, go revel in your superiorty of the herd mentality and leave us unwashed heathens alone. Please.
posted by Dantien at 7:27 PM on January 10, 2006


... Mac-haters ... PC haters ...

And why do you use those terms? I for one don't hate either. I have an opinion about why Mac lovers love their Macs, and Mac lovers tend to find that opinion very threatening for some reason. I can tell you tons of bad things about PCs; I agree with most of what Rothko has to say in his last message (though I don't know a system admin who's not a Unix zealot that thinks a network full of Macs is any easier to manage for security than an NT domain).

"This happens" for a very simple reason: People treat their computers like religion. They're just tools. And I get annoyed when my tools don't work as they ought to.
posted by lodurr at 7:37 PM on January 10, 2006


Battery life on the new machines is going to be under three hours. Boo.
posted by bonaldi at 7:41 PM on January 10, 2006


Bummer. Though I suppose that's what happens when you replace one processor with two more complex processors operating at about one and a half times the clock speed. (Not to mention the energy cost of faster RAM.)

Welcome to speed: The battery life on big-fast Windows laptops has always sucked. There are some real battery champs on the Windows side, but most of them don't run Intel and they're mostly poorer-performing than Apples. The slowness of the PowerPC has been a kind of secret asset to Apple for a few years now, in that it allowed them to get more battery life. (I'm not complaining. Most people really don't need that kind of speed in a laptop. Those that do generally just shut up and deal.)
posted by lodurr at 7:49 PM on January 10, 2006


"Sure, style matters. But it doesn't matter so much that it's worth getting religious over."

But it's not style. Style is superficial and non-functional. We're talking the equivalent of architecture and ergonomics.

Ultimately, Macs v. PC may be about the fact that people aren't uniformly gifted to appreciate things. I find the whole Windows experience jarring to my right-brained, artistic, unstructured character. I don't like structure; maybe the people who do can't see the superiority of Mac OS, and never will?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:54 PM on January 10, 2006


No one's started a metatalk thread asking for the anti-mac comments to be deleted yet, have they?
posted by Hildegarde at 8:02 PM on January 10, 2006


"Battery life on the new machines is going to be under three hours. Boo."

It would be nice if you could dynamically manage battery consumption with processor "horsepower" reduction, but I guess chips don't work like that (beyond the degree to which this is already being done)
posted by ParisParamus at 8:07 PM on January 10, 2006


You're careful in your phrasing, Paris, but your message boils down to "I'm more sensitive, artistic and special than you are, you silly PC users."

As for style versus function, I still don't see it. The much-vaunted Mac UI is a mish-mash of extremely conservative design rationalizations that were functional twenty-two years ago, and haven't been very functional for a long time. But they look great, in the box, on the desk, and up on screen.

As you, Tog, et al have noted ad nauseum, but don't themselves seem to truly grok, the Mac is all about the emotional response to the machine. It really isn't about function at all in the sense of actually accomplishing the things you say you're trying to accomplish -- it's really about feeling good while you use the machine. It's about the upholstery, not the mileage; about the stereo, not the engine. These MacBooks are Lamborghinis to Alienware's Testarossas; they're some fussy hand-built luxury sports car like a Cumberford Martinique that looks great and feels wonderful, but will cost you your firstborn's college fund to insure and needs to be shipped cross country on a flatbed when it breaks. [Aside: These are metaphors, Rothko, don't get carried away.]

What I find most fascinating about all of this is the endless need of Mac people to rationalize these emotional attachments to their machines. They should just revel in it, be honest about it, and admit it: They like Macs because being a Mac user makes them feel special.

It's real simple: Admit that, and you take away the ability of anyone to hurt you over your choice of computing hardware.
posted by lodurr at 8:08 PM on January 10, 2006


Lodurr, you are not completely wrong; if Macs weren't more stable, easier to maintain, easier to load new software onto, and didn't have a longer depreciation cycle, you would be right.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:12 PM on January 10, 2006


... nice if you could dynamically manage battery consumption with processor "horsepower" reduction ...

Well, actually, they can work that way, they just typically don't. Transmeta was founded in no small part on the promise to do exactly that, and their chips do it rather well. They've licensed the concepts to AMD, as I recall. Intel has similar but somewhat less flexible techniques. I know that IBM has designed a number of PowerPC variants that can scale speed to reduce power consumption.

You don't see them in actual PC products very often, though, and I think it's because (American) people don't want anything that's "low performance". Witness the stellar sales of the Cadillac 8-6-4.... Seriously, though, you can find PC laptops that work that way. Anything with a Transmeta chip (you basically have to order those in overseas models, now), like the Casio and Sharp laptops (very small, very nice). But not so much in the American ones.

Apple's never used any of this kind of technique, to my knowledge, though AFAIK they could have gotten it in a PowerPC chip. Maybe they couldn't get the units from IBM; maybe they felt their battery life was long enough already.
posted by lodurr at 8:16 PM on January 10, 2006


Why Hilde? We are supposedly adults. The point was to ask why people feel entitled to make others feel bad on MeFi. I'm not asking to have the comments deleted...just confused as to why people do this. It's like walking into someone's home, taking a dump on the floor, and laughing about it.

And let me get it out of the way before anyone else does-
Metafilter: taking a dump on the floor.
posted by Dantien at 8:19 PM on January 10, 2006


Though I suppose that's what happens when you replace one processor with two more complex processors operating at about one and a half times the clock speed.

Is it, though? The iBook G4 gets at least double the battery life of the PowerBook G3 266, despite running at something like five times the clock speed.

Is this the real price of all that Intel i86 cruft?
posted by bonaldi at 8:19 PM on January 10, 2006


(not that I don't think the whole thing is a rush job)

Do you have a job at Intel or Apple, working on the Apple/Intel project? If not, you can't make an educated statement on the timeline.

For what it's worth, I know one person who is working on the project, and they were confident recommending that I purchase a Rev. A model. The only concern they expressed is that the magnetic power connector is less tolerant towards dirty contacts, and that real-world use may (or may not) require occasional power contact cleanings.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:22 PM on January 10, 2006


Here's another analogy/non-analogy. Macs are not the computer equivalents of B&O hi-fi components (which, for the uninitiated, are ok-sounding stereo components that are visually attractive). I would actually never buy B&O, simply because their "thing" doesn't make the music sound any better.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:25 PM on January 10, 2006


Paris, as you know, depreciation cycles have no inherent relation to the quality of the item being depreciated.

As for your other points, in my experience Macs are not more stable and are harder to maintain. (E.g., I don't have to "repair permissions" on Windows boxes to keep the filesystem from slowing down.)
posted by lodurr at 8:25 PM on January 10, 2006


bonoldi, I doubt it's as simple as that, but from what I know it is true that the Intel chips used in these laptops are a lot less efficient than PowerPC chips. Also, the there were significant advances in battery technology between the G3/266 models and the G4s -- and I woudl expect that the G4 is more efficient than the G3. That was the trend in PowerPC design, because IBM saw increased power efficiency as a general good. (After all, they wanted to gang thousands of these things into parallel architectures. More efficiency = less heat and lower operating costs = better customer value = more mainframe sales. IBM loves mainframe sales.)

You won't see Apple using AMD or Transmeta chips, btw. It doesn't really make development sense for them to do so. There are enough differences in how the chips and chipsets work that it would be a significant complicating factor to design and test non-Intel x86-based Macs in parallel to the Intel Macs. Plus, as I understand it, Apple has negotiated a sweetheart sourcing deal with Intel that is almost certainly at least partly predicated on using only Intel chips.

That's not to say that Jobs won't start playing Intel the way he played IBM. He'd be a fool not to, actually. I bet Intel reps visiting Cupertino will soon be reporting back to their mothership with spy shots of AMD-based concept machines...
posted by lodurr at 8:35 PM on January 10, 2006


Do you have a job at Intel or Apple, working on the Apple/Intel project? If not, you can't make an educated statement on the timeline.

I shall refrain from expressing opinions about companies I don't work for in future.
posted by cillit bang at 8:37 PM on January 10, 2006


... on the "rush job" idea: I suspect they've been working on this hardware for a long time. Don't forget that they've been building and testing OS X on Intel since 2000....
posted by lodurr at 8:38 PM on January 10, 2006


Not every organization can run a monolithic firewall, if only because not every organization is itself monolithic. ... Corporate security is more than a checkbox in the system tray.

You'll note that I never mentioned anything about monolithic firewalls. Corporate security is more than a firewall.

The latest Windows vulnerability affected us a great deal ... That's the hard reality of this particular "corporation".

Then either your corporation should use another platform, or it should hire better Windows system administrators. But your particular organization is not necessarily representative of, well, anything.

The amount of work required to make sure personal files are backed up before reinstalling Windows and applications, on a variety of hardware that vendors make proprietary prevents us from deploying images ...

There are quite a few tools available to help you with this sort of stuff. If you just store all your personal files in your Windows profile, which is the default, just back up your profile directory. Or use roaming profiles. Or use one of the many, many workstation backup products available on the market. I realize that this is still a hassle, but it's not as difficult as you make it out to be.

And wait a second - you're an Apple fan, and you're complaining about proprietary PC hardware? Have we entered Bizarro World? You know, in the corporate world, this is often handled by buying fleets of identical machines from the same vendor, right?

Windows is a fucking hassle to manage, let alone repair ... Microsoft's monopoly is holding us back, essentially.

I'm sorry to hear that it's affecting your performance. Windows need not be a hassle to maintain, though - there are plenty of people doing this pretty easily. They may be able to take advantage of functionality that you're not able to, because of your organizational environment. For example, you can do all sorts of stuff very easily with group policy objects, but only if you can deploy machines within Active Directory.

But just because you have problems, doesn't mean that everyone else should just throw away their entire IT organizational investment and switch to Macs.

After years of being lectured to by people who use video games and the like as the yardstick of utility for a given computer, I get a little tired ...

Well, you know, if you want to play games, that seems like a valid measure of utility for a home computer.

All that said, the new MacBook looks quite nice. I won't be getting one myself, but I can't blame anyone else for wanting one.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:41 PM on January 10, 2006


"Paris, as you know, depreciation cycles have no inherent relation to the quality of the item being depreciated."

I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that a five year-old Mac will be slower than a new one, but much less painful to use than a five year-old PC.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:37 PM on January 10, 2006


...all I wanted was for those interested to be able to read what was happening at the keynote in real time since unless yer there, you cant. 200 of the preceding 233 are just OS X > Win XP flame, which wasn't my intention. I just thought the real time text broadcast was a fantastic way for me (and many others) to enjoy the keynote as we use to when we could stream it.
posted by gren at 9:50 PM on January 10, 2006


Indeed, and shelling out those bucks practically guarantees you'll cream your jeans if the thing does nothing more exciting than work properly. If you're not absolutely intoxicated by your Apple, you have to admit you paid too much. It's that gaga-googoo that people pay for, and it's the paying for it that practically ensures it. Circular. Weird.
posted by scarabic


Yes scarabic, you got us. The only thing that keeps me with apple is the whole paying to much psycho babble. Hell, creative people every where use macs simply for the allure of paying too much.

I have no problems with most reasons windows users bash macs. Works better for you? Great. Always use to it? Great. Need it for gaming? Great. But insulting the entire community of mac users as if they don't have a brain and just pull out their wallets as if they were hypnotized is a moronic statement. Sure, come mac users may fit your profile, just as some windows users wouldn't use a mac no matter what amazing the product. What is it about mac/pc wars that causes normal posters to make ignorant staments.

As for your other points, in my experience Macs are not more stable and are harder to maintain.

For certain users. Buying a computer for grandma? You're points won't mean anything to her. Mac would be the best way to go.
posted by justgary at 10:44 PM on January 10, 2006


I shall refrain from expressing opinions about companies I don't work for in future.

Don't be daft. The problem wasn't that you expressed an opinion, it was that you implicitly claimed knowledge that you could not possibly have, and then drew conclusions based on the "knowledge" that you'd pulled completely out of your own ass.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:21 AM on January 11, 2006


I have bought Macs because they're the best at the time.

1989: $6000 16Mhz Mac IIcx vs. $5000 20Mhz AST 386 clone.

people said Windows 3 was just as good as MacOS 6/7, but that's crazytalk.

1995 $2500 7500 vs. $2000 Gateway P133

Windows 95 was decent (somewhat better multitasking and memory management), but having used it at work 1995-2000 I think I was better off with 7.5.5/8.x since Win9x had a way of going south after a month or three.

1999 $2500 350Mhz B&W G3 vs. $2000 500Mhz Pentium III

The G3 is now running 10.4.3 like a champ. Good value.

2002 $2500 800Mhz PBG4 vs. ?

People say XP is just as OS X's Finder, but that's crazytalk.

2003 $1500 home-built 2.6Ghz P4.

Gotta have my games. Plus Visual Studio and stuff.

2006 $2500 MacBook Pro vs. $2000+ Acer TravelMate

oh yeah. Come to papa.

I need php, unix, OpenGL and stuff. I think Linux is a pile of crap. XP is usable, but only just, there are dozens of things I run into every hour that are suboptimal with it. Vista looks good (and I'll be saving a partition for it), I expect Vista to narrow the usability gap significantly.

Macs have KP'd (kernel panic) on me more than XP (~four times versus never), but I use my Mac about 100x as much as my P4.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:34 AM on January 11, 2006


gren: The 2005 Macworld thread looks like it was much nicer, though it still devolved into a system war at times. Perhaps the difference is the impact of the new stuff announced. The Shuffle and mini were more talk-worthy than Macbook Pro.
posted by catachresoid at 12:52 AM on January 11, 2006


It's about the upholstery, not the mileage; about the stereo, not the engine.

Y'know, I find that my iBook provides both some sweet Corinthian leather and astounding mileage, both a kickass stereo and a gutsy engine.

For some, it's about having our cake and eating it, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:43 AM on January 11, 2006


Personally, I've pretty much only used PCs (except for some systems in a college lab that was running system 8, I didn't do a whole lot on those. The boot times were laughable!), but I think my first laptop if I ever get around to one will be from Apple. And maybe a Mac Mini, just to screw around with. Too bad I don't really have extra play money, heh.

I like to tinker and futz with my computers, so having a relatively open box running WinXP isn't really frustrating for me.

However, I absolutely refuse to buy an iPod. If Apple will not allow formats like ogg or flac on their pretty little toy, then it's not for me.
posted by Talanvor at 2:03 AM on January 11, 2006


I'm interested in the assertion here at the Core Duo is less efficient than the G4. From everything that I'd read on Anandtech and other sites, it seems that it's much more efficient than previous Pentium chips to the extent of both increasing battery life *and* performance at the same time. Of course, the G4 isn't a Pentium chip, but it's worth noting as well that during the keynote, Jobs continually reiterated the need for more performance per watt, and said that the Core Duo delivered where the G4 and G5 didn't; in fact, that was the entire point of switching to Intel for the laptops. If you could have fit a G5 into a Powerbook, they would've done so.

As far as battery life for the MacBook Pro goes, I find it concerning that they aren't releasing numbers. However, if it does turn out to have below average or merely average battery life, it will be more down to a rush job in fitting all the new pieces together rather than the processor being inefficient.

By the way, it's clear that no-one here is impressed by anecdotal reports of Macs vs PCs. What is worth noting is that for the past two years, Apple received the highest customer satisfaction rating of all computer manufacturers. You could say 'Well, all of those Apple users are just drinking the kool aid and of course they'd say they love their computers,' but that only goes so far and basically assumes that Apple users are more stupid than the average customers. Perhaps it's nice to think that.
posted by adrianhon at 2:36 AM on January 11, 2006


ParisParamus: "Paris, as you know, depreciation cycles have no inherent relation to the quality of the item being depreciated."

I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that a five year-old Mac will be slower than a new one, but much less painful to use than a five year-old PC.
Of course it will, for you, since you prefer Macs. "Depreciation" has nothing to do with it.

(What my comment meant, since you have no idea, is that your original comment was meant to imply that the fact that Macs hold monetary value better -- which they do -- is because they are of higher quality. On the average, they probably are. I was pointing out that resale value is not a function of quality, but rather of perceived quality. There is a critical difference.)
posted by lodurr at 4:38 AM on January 11, 2006


... much more efficient than previous Pentium chips to the extent of both increasing battery life *and* performance at the same time.

It might well be; the term "performance per watt" is revealing, though. The Core Due probably does have better performance per watt than the G4. But performance isn't that easy to measure -- as you say, PowerPC:x86 is not apples:apples, and even if the architecture were similar, clock speed wouldn't tell you very much.

IOW, it could be true that Core Due has better "performance per watt" and still uses a lot more juice.

There are other factors in the poor battery life. PC users have become accustomed to snappier graphics performance than Mac users are accustomed to, and it wouldn't surprise me if the designers and product planners kept that in mind. This is also a high-end machine; as I noted above, but maybe didn't stress enough, battery life just isn't as important in that segment.

One aspect of the "rush job" theory does work, I think, and that's software: OS X has been built for Intel for years, sure, but (especially in laptops) there's a lot of low-level tweaking that probably still needs to be done. I wouldn't be surprised to see battery life improve dramatically with each new patch, as MacBook drivers are tweaked.

(Also: While Core Duo may be better for a laptop than G5, that's probably not a function of size as much as heat. The package for Intel chips is often quite large. I don't know how big the Core Duo package is, but that, along with the Intel chipsets, might have had enough of an impact on board placement that the battery size had to be reduced. This and other questions are probably being exhaustively discussed elsewhere....)

From a market-aesthetics point of view, I would have liked it better -- it makes a better narrative, for me -- if they'd stayed with PowerPC. But I understand the reasons for going Intel. I also think I understand why it took them so long, but that would entail me casting perceived aspersions on The Steve, and Mac faithful take a dim view of that, so I won't do it again in this thread.
posted by lodurr at 5:08 AM on January 11, 2006


fff: .... gutsy engine.

Peff. "Gutsy" is relative. Wintel laptops are ridiculously over-powered and over-dressed, so the iBook/PBook can run rings around them just by virtue of shedding weight. And all that extra power doesn't do Wintel laptop users any good, because the vast majority of them aren't doing anything with it.

An automotive analogy: Getting a 2.8GHz Wintel laptop versus a 1.8GHz MacBook is a bit like picking the 427 Cobra over the 389 Cobra when you only ever drive to the corner for milk: They're both overkill, and a Matrix XRS will outperform either on the important metrics, while still out-cornering them. (Though, truth be told and if I could afford it, I'd still pick the Impreza WRX over any of them.) So our G4s "perform" better than Wintel laptops because they're better suited to what we use them for.

Computer choice and allegience is not a rational activity. Threads like this illustrate that. Then again, most human activities that we think of as rational are really rationlized after the fact to make them fit our ideal of what we ought to be doing and why we ought to be doing it. There's a whole field of endeavor and study that focuses on those tendencies. It's called "marketing."
posted by lodurr at 5:11 AM on January 11, 2006


One final comment (famous last words), and then Im outta....

I poo-poohed the software/hardware availability issue -- figured I'd just use OpenOffice or AbiWord, and I needed to use Macromedia stuff for my work, anyway. But OO isn't there for Mac and AbiWord Mac is very unstable and all the other word processing options basically suck (ended up buying Office 2004); Fireworks has "progressed" since the last version I used in '01 from being a clusterfuck to an unmitigated nightmare, and there are just no cheap and simple options for graphics manipulation on Macs (so I break down and learn GIMP); Mac builds of F/OSS stuff like TBird (finally had to give it up) and Firefox are often unstable and buggy. And don't even get me started about what happened when I tried to buy a webcam...

I did the switch in part because I thought it would be a better career move. I mostly used a WAMP stack for my web dev, anyway, for implementation on LAMP; U[nix]AMP was a more natural fit, I thought. And once I broke down and bought Office, my writing problems were resolved. But potential switchers should be less seat-of-the-pants than I was. They should not assume they'll have everything they need when they move over. Just about everything can be approximated, true, but if you're doing much at all with your computer, it will take some effort. You'll have some self-re-education to do.

(OK, one final: Safari vs. IE? That should be what Mac users focus on in pissing contests with Win.geeks. I have bitches about it, but they're nits; I won't even use IE at all unless I have to browser-test something.)
posted by lodurr at 5:22 AM on January 11, 2006


OK, one final: Safari vs. IE? That should be what Mac users focus on in pissing contests with Win.geeks.

How would that improve anything? I can think of responses to such falling into four main groups:

1. Opera is better than either Safari or IE, and it's better on Windows.

2. Firefox is better than either Safari or IE, and it's better on Windows.

3. IE 7 will be better than Safari, and it's only on Windows.

4. Nothing's wrong with my IE. I tried those features you speak of once and disliked them.
posted by catachresoid at 6:01 AM on January 11, 2006


OK, you've got a point, and I missed my own point: Browsers are an emotional issue for most people. My only emotional issue with IE is the profound sense of insecurity I experience whenever I use it....

(I'm kind of a browser-slut, anyway; I've got 'em all, I use 'em all. I even use Mozilla sometimes. Though I hardly ever slum with NN4 anymore...)
posted by lodurr at 6:03 AM on January 11, 2006


Don't be daft

Matt, is this taken as a username? DontBeDaft is my new name!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:16 AM on January 11, 2006


or, DaftDuck
posted by ParisParamus at 6:17 AM on January 11, 2006


News Update: Steve Jobs is quoted in the NYTimes and also in the Wall Street Journal that they expect people to run Windows on these machines, and that they aren't doing anything to prevent it. So there's an answer to a question that many people have had.
posted by alms at 6:41 AM on January 11, 2006


Alms: that is disgusting!
posted by ParisParamus at 7:14 AM on January 11, 2006


I'm very interrested in possible interest in a tv tuner for iMacs. Does anyone have any info about popular that has been?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:17 AM on January 11, 2006


"I'd rather have stable device drivers..."

Get a Mac.
posted by majick at 7:29 AM on January 11, 2006


And then there are some of us weirdos who like OSX because it reminds us of IRIX.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:40 AM on January 11, 2006


I don't have to "repair permissions" on Windows boxes to keep the filesystem from slowing down.

AFAIK this is borderline myth. I've never repair permissions and my Macs run fine (except for the hardware problems I listed earlier for my home Mac). I also can't see how screwy permissions would slow down overall performance, the OS is checking file permissions anyway when opening and/or executing files, so what's the difference? I'm not so technically inclined so you can take this question as either rhetorical or genuine. I can see how it might screw up functionality of some applications that require specific permissions and find a file not setup correctly, though.

They should just revel in it, be honest about it, and admit it: They like Macs because being a Mac user makes them feel special.

Can't I just admit I love Macs because they conform to my aesthetic and functional expectations? Just like my phone, my car, my TV, my stereo, et cetra, et cetra. I don't look to consumer products to make me feel special; I get that kind of stuff from the black market ;).
posted by effwerd at 8:08 AM on January 11, 2006


lodurr: What I find most fascinating about all of this is the endless need of Mac people to rationalize these emotional attachments to their machines. They should just revel in it, be honest about it, and admit it: They like Macs because being a Mac user makes them feel special.

Well, here you set up a nice little no-win situation, because anything said about OS X as compared to Linux or WinXP can be dismissed as a rationalization from the start.

For me, my reasons for choosing OS X can be summarized as:
1: Cygwin and most ports of UNIX apps to WinXP are ugly and annoying in dealing with the mis-match between the two types of operating systems.
2: Getting MSWord and other proprietary applications running under Linux is extremely ugly. And while I support OO.org, it does not always work with MSWord documents.
3: OS X offers all the UNIX utilities I depend on, and access to the software I need to use for institutional reasons.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:43 AM on January 11, 2006


Oh, a comment on the opening post. I have yet to understand the obsession with live coverage of events like this in a blog form. If that's the highlight of empowered citizen journalists, then the whole concept is a stinking pile of crap.

Don't give me one-liners of "talking about iPods." Give me clean copy that cuts through the usual bullshit, provides analysis, and gets the reactions of other stakeholders.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:10 AM on January 11, 2006


Perhaps the ATI video card is what's sucking up all the power in these MacBooks to cause the battery life to be so (rumoured to be) short? Perhaps while Apple and Intel were trying their damnest to get everything to work together, someone said "oh shit, we need a video card to work in there, too" and just grabbed one from ATI without having a fully power-saving driver out for it yet. (this is pure speculation)
posted by Space Coyote at 9:26 AM on January 11, 2006


ParisParamus: Alms: that is disgusting!
So this is a moral issue for you, hmm?
posted by lodurr at 9:44 AM on January 11, 2006


... without having a fully power-saving driver out for it yet.

Sounds plausible. As I said, we'll see after the OS gets patched.
posted by lodurr at 9:45 AM on January 11, 2006


KirkJobSluder: And then there are some of us weirdos who like OSX because it reminds us of IRIX.
UI or internals? (I though IRIX was Motif.)
posted by lodurr at 9:47 AM on January 11, 2006


IRIX had it's own creatively named "Interactive Desktop" once upon a time, although it was really only a few SGI apps that took advantage of it. I was being just a bit snarky, just to point out that a chunk of Mac is coming from users of Unix workstations.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:12 AM on January 11, 2006


Just thought I'd share a thought from one who uses my computers daily as tools, but who has little technical knowledge (certainly when compared to most of the posters in this thread): no one has commented on what, to me, is one of the more attractive reasons to buy a Mac: absence of choice.

I'm a musician/teacher by profession, and don't have a huge interest in computers--I just use them as a tool to do the things I need to do (usual business stuff, media apps--lots of those, web publishing, etc.). So I'd say I'm definitely in the shallow end of the pool here.

When I need my computers to do something new, I don't want to spend hours and hours searching through multiple available apps of widely varying quality, etc. I really actually like that, when I need some video editing software, not only is iMovie already right there on my hard drive, it's incredibly intuitive to use. And if I got heavily into video editing, Final Cut Pro is right there for me to purchase.

For me, consistency in quality combined with very intuitive app use and limited choice is a great combination.

But I know that's a scandalously anti-geek point of view.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:18 AM on January 11, 2006


loosefilter: Oliver Steele said the same thing, and he's the alpha geek's alpha geek (worked for Apple, married Marvin Minsky's daughter).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:38 AM on January 11, 2006


Heywood: no kidding--here I thought I was just lame, but it turns out I'm totally cutting edge. w00t!
posted by LooseFilter at 10:54 AM on January 11, 2006


in case somebody wants to know.. the shown intelmacs do run win2k3 and vista but not winxp
posted by suni at 1:53 PM on January 11, 2006


"So this is a moral issue for you, hmm?
posted by lodurr at 12:44 PM EST on January 11 [!]"

Lodurr, that was a joke.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:25 PM on January 11, 2006


Like I said before, purchasing this was basically a low-risk gamble for me. I did it mainly because a good number of geeks who cut their teeth on Linux kept saying good things about it.

To my delight, what really makes this a delight is that it works exactly like I'd expect it to. If there's a GUI language, this OS X speaks my dialect. It's kind of cool. So many things just feel right.

It's very likely because I walked into this fully expecting I'd have to relearn the OS, and so approached it with a good attitude.

(Which I figure may be Apple's gamble: that when n00bs start dual-booting, they're going to end up liking OS X GUI better than Windows Vista GUI.)
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on January 11, 2006


It is an interesting, perhaps unprecedented happening, described by FFF. Apple probably didn't have to think long and hard about the risks and potential benefits of such comparison OS shopping (one could even imagine a way to test drive an entire OS to try it out?). I wonder if the Dark Side is concerned about this...
posted by ParisParamus at 9:24 PM on January 11, 2006


ParisParamus: Lodurr, that was a joke.
Paris, that was a joke.

Also, I don't know what you mean by your comments on "comparison OS shopping". MS probably hardly thinks about that at all, at the design stage, except when designing for server applications.

As for "test drives", I can only think of two OS test drive implementations off the top of my head: Geos (which was extremely cool), and the various CD-bootable builds of commercial Linux distros. Those are both distant-follower situations. Test drive doesn't make sense as a marketing strategy unless people don't know what you are. Everybody who's interested in a Mac knows what they are -- to them. E.g., to me, Mac was "Unix."
posted by lodurr at 4:48 AM on January 12, 2006


Lodurr, I was just musing that if there was one, not-too-expensive machine that ran both OS's, it would follow that Apple and MS might market "test drive" versions of each, say, 30 day versions, which would allow....um...test drives? Does that not sound plausible?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:12 AM on January 12, 2006


actually, Apple might market such; MS would have almost no incentive to do so...
posted by ParisParamus at 5:15 AM on January 12, 2006


ParisParamus: actually, Apple might market such; MS would have almost no incentive to do so...
Well, it's purely moot. Jobs has sworn that Apple wll never again allow a Mac OS to run on non-Apple hardware. And in any case, Apple as an entity is so perenially smug that they construe rising share price as evidence of God's blessing for their current strategy (even as their market share increases at a snail's pace).*

That said, my reading on Steve Jobs is that he wouldn't sanction a test-drive program. Not because he thought it would expose OS X to undue criticism, but precisely because it would be likely to make Apple a more successful company in terms of market penetration. I think he lies awake nights filled with anxiety that arises from his repressed fear of market success. Look at all the great opportunities he's bobbled or almost bobbled. Consider that he mishandled the iPod halo marketing for a solid year and a half. (The only explanation I can find for that is that it wasn't his idea.) The guy loves his little ponds, and he's scared to step out of them. (But don't expect him to ever admit that....)

--
* Just to clarify here: I can see at any given time many many opportunities for Apple to radically increase their market share and hence their profits. But the Jobsites in the company rejected market share in favor of "cool"-share when they brought Jobs back on board and torpedoed the clone market. (Remember the Mac clone market?)

posted by lodurr at 6:30 AM on January 12, 2006


Remember the Mac clone market?

The one that nearly drove Apple out of business? Yeah, I do remember that. (I owned one of the clones, a PowerTower Pro if I remember right. Incidentally, it sucked.)

Apple's profits come primarily from their hardware, not from OS market share. They tried doing it the other way 'round once, and it was a disaster. Hardly a surprise that they're not going to try it again.

PCs that can run OSX == less profit for apple, because it cuts into their hardware sales.
Macs that can also run windows == more profit for apple.

Pretty simple.

(That said, the "test drive" thing won't happen, because the macs will already have OSX on them, and MS would have no incentive to offer a 'test-drive' version of windows for them.)
posted by ook at 10:43 AM on January 12, 2006


Ook -- thanks for mostly corroborating my opinion.

As for the clone market and what it proved... It proved first that partnering with Apple is a little like partnering with the school slut: They're with you as long as you keep making them feel pretty, and then you're history. It also demonstrated that Apple had nothing sufficiently valuable to sell without selling the hardware. After all, when offered the opportunity to buy from Apple, or buy cheaper from someone else, they bought from someone else.

The clone market was a foolish move to begin with; it was a mist-timed gamble by a company that couldn't afford to hold out long enough for the gamble ot pay off. Put simply: They weren't IBM, and they couldn't afford to take a loss while their cone strategy restructured the industry. I think it maybe could have worked, but only if Apple had been willing to make itself a much smaller, leaner, moer customer-responsive company, and it was prepared to do none of those things. (Yes, I'm aware that many apple users think Apple is fundamentally customer-responsive. They'er wrong; Apple is very good, rather, at divining what customers will pay for. There's a difference.)

I supported Macs at a small college while the clone adventure was going on, BTW. We kept buying Macs because once Apple had given us our educational discount, the price break for clone systems wasn't sufficient to overcome institutional conservatism. That said, as someone who supported a lot of Macs, I also know that their build quality could be pretty piss-poor. So we didn't stick with them out of quality fears.

Apple has been much more careful of teir image since Jobs came back. He understood that their appeal was as a prestige brand, and that the market for Apple OSs wasn't large enough to justify becoming a software company. (Anyway, that would ahve meant direct, instead of oblique, competition against Bill, and I don't think Jobs has the stomach for that.)

What's really interesting is to see them squander their position in media. Sure, iTunes makes a shitload of money; they could make so, so very much more, if that's what they wanted, and they could lock up downloadable media in a Microsoftian grip. I have a really hard time believing they are holding back out of the goodness of their hearts.
posted by lodurr at 11:02 AM on January 12, 2006


lodurr, how could they make "so, so very much more" and lock up media? Without being overtly evil, natch.
posted by bonaldi at 2:12 PM on January 12, 2006


Of course, if they did that, a lot of people woudl think they're "evil". Whatever the hell tat means. ("Evil" being one of those words that people trot out when they want to ensure that peopel stay too confused to actually understand what they're talking about.)

Since I don't believe in "evil", you're not likely to ever hear me call Apple that; I do know that they're nobody's friend. I mean, seirously: OS X is loaded up with tight linkages between media and OS and OS vendor [Apple]; it's at least as bad as WinXP in that regard. Do this little experiment: Next time iTunes comes up for auto-update, close the auto-update window, drag iTunes off the Dock and restart just to make sure it's really gone. Then do your iTunes software update. When you're done, iTunes will be right back on the dock.

This is a company that patented a three-window media player, using very vague language, just so they could prevent anyone from competign with them in the Mac media player space. This is a company that sued the people they stole their UI ideas from. (For ... um. .... stealing Apple's UI ideas.) It's a company that wooed hipsters with a "rip mix burn" mantra while obstinately sticking with their own DRM'd format, and pitching a hissy whenever anyone tried to unlock it.

Like I said, I don't do "evil." But Apple ain't no heros. At least Microsoft don't really pretend to be anything but bastards.
posted by lodurr at 6:45 PM on January 12, 2006



Ook. Let me rephrase: How could Apple make all this extra money and seal up media downloads tight? I'd discount anything that would cause a massive backlash among users because, unlike Microsoft, end users *are* Apple's direct customers.

(Oh, and since the Mac came out in 1984 while Microsoft was still selling DOS and Windows was years off, how do you figure Apple stole UI ideas from them? Unless you mean they sued Xerox. Which they didn't.)

(And when Rip Mix Burn was the mantra, iTunes ripped in MP3. It now rips in AAC. The only DRM is for things from the iTunes music store. Which, er, allows burning.)

(Plus since when was putting an icon on the equivalent of the start menu and using the weakest-possible DRM that keeps the record companies at the table equivalent to abusing a monopoly and making some seriously nasty DRM that counts your hard drives?)
posted by bonaldi at 8:07 PM on January 12, 2006


I don't know where my comment went, so I'll make it again. Lodurr, I was referring to Mac Hardware that runs both; not non-Mac hardware that does. It just seems that such a machine might be more likely to get someone to try Mac OS.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:07 PM on January 12, 2006


(by giving them an escape hatch in case they don't like it, or need Windows.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:07 PM on January 12, 2006


)
posted by ParisParamus at 9:08 PM on January 12, 2006


Paris, the Mac hardware will always be sold with OS X installed, so there's no reason for a test drive.
posted by lodurr at 5:30 AM on January 13, 2006


Bonaldi: I guess it was naive of me t suppose that everyone had heard of Digital Research.
posted by lodurr at 5:33 AM on January 13, 2006


Lodurr, I've heard of Digital Research. Are you talking about them with reference to the Apple-could-seal-up-the-market or Apple-sued-the-people-they-stole-the-GUI-from?

Because if it's the first, you're really going to have to be explicit, unless Steve Jobs was off flying his plane the day IBM came along to offer him the entire music download market.

If it's the latter, you make no sense. CP/M didn't have a GUI. It's fairly undisputed that Xerox had a bare-bones GUI, Apple nicked it and added all the stuff we know and love today.

Eitehr way, you still haven't answered: How could Apple make all this extra money and seal up media downloads tight? Discount anything that would cause a massive backlash among users.
posted by bonaldi at 6:24 AM on January 13, 2006


Bonaldi: Again, I guess I was naive to suppose that everyone had heard of GEM. I forget how old I am, sometimes.

As for Xerox: No, Apple never sued them. But if you have a passing familiarity with the history of GUIs, you know that Apple clearly stole a fair number of their ideas from the Star. "Steal" is too strong; at the time, in the spirit of the time, it was fair borrowing. It's only when Jobs and the lawyers got involved that it became "stealing."

Eitehr way, you still haven't answered: How could Apple make all this extra money and seal up media downloads tight? Discount anything that would cause a massive backlash among users.

Why should I have to? Those are your rules, not mine. In any case, they already have pretty restrictive controls on their music library, and it doesn't seem to bother their current core users.

Stop being a fanboy and take an honest look at what you're doing: You're giving LOVE to a corporation and a brand. It's never going to give you love back.
posted by lodurr at 6:41 AM on January 13, 2006


Jesus, lodurr. Gem came out in 1985, and was hailed as a "Mac killer". What in god's name does this have to do with Apple stealing a GUI from Microsoft?

(I'm not saying they didn't steal from Xerox: they did. But not from Microsoft, as you claimed.)

Plus, I'm really not being a fanboy here: I'm genuinely interested in how you think they could seal up this market better than they are already. They pissed the advantage of the Mac up the wall, it'd be a shame for them to do it again.

So, for the umpteenth time: you said they could be making millions more. HOW? I'm not asking just to shout down your answer, but because I WANT TO KNOW.
posted by bonaldi at 8:40 AM on January 13, 2006


So ... er, is that it? You didn't really know how they could do it and were just windbagging?
posted by bonaldi at 1:05 PM on January 13, 2006


You know, you are one combative little prick, bonaldi. Protestations aside, you're either an apple fanboy or you just feel such a compulsion to WIN ARGUMENTS that you'll hang in there on a three day old thread, persistently checking to see if someone's answered you. Kind of pathetic, really.

If I offer you a strategy that I think would allow Apple to lock up the media download market, and you don't agree with it, you'll just call me a "windbagger"; I can't "win" this argument.

Then again, dude, maybe you can't win it, either. Because the only people who care now are you and me and, as far as I'm concerned, you don't even know what you really think, much less what media download strategy might work for Apple.

You want a strategy? OK. Here's one.

Go for broke -- sell a raft of Minis and new cheap iBooks at cost, with iTunes pre-installed (which is redundant, of course, since Apple contrives to put iTunes in front of you as often as possible). Saturate the market. As noted above, people who know hardware sourcing estimate that Apple is making a pretty good margin on the Mini and on their laptops; they coudl afford to cut a couple hundred off the Mini, probably more.

Apple can afford to do this, incidentally, because they have a huge cash reserve. (Built up from their big hardware margins.)

It's almost as though the Mini was desiged for this strategy. It sits so neatly on a shelf, outputs ot TV, works as a DVD player, etc. And, most important, it integrates with iTunes like any Mac.

iTunes and iPods have achieved market ubiquity -- which is to say that, while a lot of peopel still don't use them, they are effectively synonymous with "music player" in the public imagination. Apple has not monetized that as effectively as they could. They could increase penetration by giving them away, and then encouraging peopel to use iTunes for their music. Get them locked into iTunes, and they become a living breathing revenue stream -- the "subscription consumer" that Bill Gates has been dreaming of for half a dozen years.

You've moer or less stipulated that you'll not be satisfied with anything that leaves users pissed off, but you haven't said whic users. It's true, there are a lot of DRM.geeks who don't like Apple for their DRM stance, but they're deeply in the minority, and modifying the iPod-Mac relationship to bypass DRM for iTunes songs is beyond the capability of most users, Mac or Windows.

Now, let's compare that strategy with reality.

apple have shown a really profound conservatism in how they understand and exploit the iPod halo. They've succeeded more in spite of their natuer than because of it. They didn't think of it, so while some of their more visionary senior people understood its potential, it suffered from Not Invented Here syndrome. They failed to grasp the importance of podcasting for longer than they should have, as well -- it had to be pointed out to them by people who were hacking iTunes for podcasting. They get that, now -- really rather too well, but see comments about "which users", above.

The evolution of the iPod is slower than it shoudl be, too. The devices are slow, underpowered, behind the tech curve. The video iPod is a solid year behind more capable rivals in the same price range. What does it have that the competitors don't? Why, iTunes! So, how does Apple epxloit that? With an anemic offering that packages television shows for display on tiny screens.... IOW, their product managers missed again: They thought the video iPod was an iPod, when it should have been a media player -- it should have been something you can get flexible output from.

Had enough, yet? Or do you want to crow some more, pischer?
posted by lodurr at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2006


Win? I was trying to say that this wasn't an argument -- I did really want to know what you thought. It's just that since I'd already asked, y'know, four times and each time you'd dodged the answer and patronised or attacked me I was beginning to think you were just trolling, especially combined with the factually inaccurate* tangents, not to mention the endless carping about Mac "lovers" upthread.

I wanted to see if you were right; that they were squandering this media lead and if there was something they -- and I -- have been overlooking. There may well be, but your plan isn't it.

I agree with you that they're being conservative about the iPod halo, and even when they get something right -- like encouraging the third-party add-on market -- they then fuck it up by strangling it with charging for recognition.

But I don't see how eating into their cash reserves to give away iBooks and iPods makes any sense. If they did manage to seal up the 12% of the download market they don't already own, what would they be left with?

A decimated revenue stream, a monopoly in a market that they've already said basically just covers its costs, and a business model entirely at the mercy of the record companies. That is a plan, alright.

What's more, the evolution of the iPod is as fast as it needs to be. it's probably too fast, as all the people buying iPod minis on ebay for Christmas proved. It's as fast as it needs to be because iTunes+iPod doesn't really have any rivals that offer the whole package of function, software, shop and image.

Thanks though.

*Do you ever retract anything you've been mistaken about (there's plenty above), or do you just breeze on? I don't know what a pischer is, but I do know what pathetic is, when I see it. Fight on, Lodurr Christian Anderson, fight on.
posted by bonaldi at 3:05 PM on January 13, 2006


Well, bonaldi, I was right about one thing: You didn't like my answer, and you used it as an opportunity to count coup.

Curious: What other things "above" am I "mistaken" about? If I think I'll be mistaken, I'll retract. I was mistaken about GEM, for example (though I'm quite sure I remember reading that DR remained convinced that they'd infrineged on nothing from Apple). But you say there's "plenty" more.
posted by lodurr at 4:54 PM on January 13, 2006


Do we speak the same language? Count coup? I really was interested in yr answer, honestly. I just disagree now I've heard it :)

Now I'm really going to come over all fanboi, but ok:

I mean, seirously: OS X is loaded up with tight linkages between media and OS and OS vendor [Apple]; it's at least as bad as WinXP in that regard.

No it's not. XP's default rip sittings are with DRM on. XP has copy protection that checks what machine it's running on. XP has its browser integrated right into the shell. There is no mandatory linkage on the mac, beyond the choice of default apps, and elements of .Mac (though fewer than people assume).

This is a company that patented a three-window media player, using very vague language, just so they could prevent anyone from competign with them in the Mac media player space.

They hardly did it to prevent anyone competing, that's just inflammatory language. And playing the patent game is mandatory for survival nowadays -- as burst are showing.
As is Microsoft with its patents on the iPod interface.

This is a company that sued the people they stole their UI ideas from. (For ... um. .... stealing Apple's UI ideas.)

I've just realised you were talking solely about DR here, and not Microsoft. But yeh, like I said it would have been hard for Apple to have stolen ideas from a product that came out after theirs.

It's a company that wooed hipsters with a "rip mix burn" mantra while obstinately sticking with their own DRM'd format, and pitching a hissy whenever anyone tried to unlock it.

Rip mix burn came well before they'd implemented protected AAC. But, and contrast XP here: You can't even rip to DRM on a Mac. That's how little DRM there is.

[/hangs up fanboi hat, runs off to weep over unrequited love while Safari beachballs]
posted by bonaldi at 5:14 PM on January 13, 2006


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