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January 5, 2009 6:20 PM   Subscribe

OMG! It's THE NEW MACBOOK WHEEL! Squeeee!
posted by miss lynnster (81 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love using wheels as much as I like covering my body in soft peanut butter and flowers!

inside voice
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:24 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


"It remains to be seen if the wheel will catch on in the business world where people use computers for actual work and not just dicking around."
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:25 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Still too complicated for my mom.
posted by ColdChef at 6:25 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


ooh, i'm so glad they've reinvented the... nevermind.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 6:27 PM on January 5, 2009


I totally thought this was real when I saw the front page. Oh no, I thought. Oh no.
posted by Rinku at 6:28 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


For those of you who don't like pausing and squinting, the Wheel's innovative sentence auto-complete functionality came up with the following:

The aardvark admitted its fault.
The aardvark admitted it was wrong.
The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
The aardvark asked for a dagger.
The aardvark asked for health.
The aardvark asked for a ride.
The absinthe arrived by airmail.
The abortion went well.
The actor asked for an aardvark.
The actor asked for abstinance.
The actor asked for redemption.
The advertisement was effective.
The agile aardvark arrived by airmail.
The agile aardvark bathed with beauties.
The agriculture was cultivated by the coral.
The aggravated driver beeped on his horn.
The aggravated rooster scratched the dirt.
The Althusserian scholar gave his copy of Lacan's "Ecrits" to the abortion doctor.
The amiable Althusserian scholar asked the aardvark for an absinthe.
The amiable crocodile brushed his teeth with a toothbrush.
The amiable doctor performed the operation admirably.
The annex was covered with asbestos.
The annex was crawling with beetles.
The apple was airmailed by the doctor.
The apple was consumed by the amiable crocodile.
The apple was inquiring about the amiable crocodile's friend.
The aquamarine lifevest was not used.
The aquamarine lifevest was unpopular.
The armchair was uncomfortable.
The armchair was favoured by the amiable housecat.
The ass asked for a better absinthe.
The ass brayed the moon.
The assumptive doctor did not accept our personal check.
The assumptive agricultural expert eyed out absinthe suspiciously.
The attractive peanut farmer graded the term paper.
The attractive rooster preened its feathers to attract absinthe.
The auxiliary generator has malfunctioned.
The awning covered the agile aardvark during the amiable rainstorm.
The awning was too tall to touch.
The babbling baby asked the aardvark for some absinthe.


* Copied and pasted from a comment on Digg. I can't take credit for this (thank God).
posted by killdevil at 6:29 PM on January 5, 2009 [55 favorites]


I used to think ONN was basically the video equivalent of Irrational Public Radio (i.e., cute, hold the funny), but I'll admit I laughed at the "predictive sentence list" feature starting with "The aardvark asked for the aardvark."
posted by kittyprecious at 6:30 PM on January 5, 2009


Damn you, killdevil!
posted by kittyprecious at 6:31 PM on January 5, 2009


I have to say that they really nailed the Apple aesthetic, by the by.
posted by killdevil at 6:32 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The revolutionary new Hummingbird battery actually lasts 9 minutes before shutoff if you don't let it go through a full charge cycle.
posted by blucevalo at 6:34 PM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


On a slightly more serious note, did you all see the letter from Steve Jobs to the Apple community that was posted today?
posted by Rhomboid at 6:37 PM on January 5, 2009


And when life imitates parody, they will only have themselves to blame...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:39 PM on January 5, 2009


That was rather clever.
posted by gomichild at 6:41 PM on January 5, 2009


I dunno, this looks fucking stupid to me. How long is it gonna take you to type one sentence?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:41 PM on January 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


touché
posted by photoslob at 6:42 PM on January 5, 2009


Hahahahaha, man I feel like a heel. I really thought that was real. I don't put it past Apple or idiots to buy into something so inane.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:44 PM on January 5, 2009


I don't put it past Apple or idiots to buy into something so inane.

You pretty much lost your right to criticize people on this score when you thought something at The Onion was for totally reals.
posted by mightygodking at 6:47 PM on January 5, 2009 [32 favorites]


The sort of breathless apple fanboi was scarily, scarily accurate.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:47 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


did you all see the letter from Steve Jobs to the Apple community that was posted today?

"There was nothing to worry about. I was just losing weight for some reason that my doctors couldn't figure out. Fuck you for asking."
posted by smackfu at 6:48 PM on January 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Steve Jobs should try the iTunes diet: You can eat anything you want, but you aren't allowed to take a shit.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:59 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


The "predictive sentence list" is pure comedy.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:01 PM on January 5, 2009


How long is it gonna take you to type one sentence?
See, we've evolved past typing and moved on to what we call natural selection™.
My very favorite thing about the Onion happens when people take it all hook, line and sinker. Like the time a classmate told me that Christopher Walken is addicted to hotdogs and that she always knew something was wrong with him; 'Like, duh, its his diet!'
posted by isopraxis at 7:04 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Moving on, police warn that the Sudoku Killer will kill either one, four or nine victims next."

I love The Onion. I really do.
posted by Kimothy at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


OMG! It's Todd Levin!! Sweet.
posted by tristeza at 7:12 PM on January 5, 2009


I, too, am a fan of shiny apples. Why, my stepmother is rather wicked, why do you ask?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 PM on January 5, 2009


And I love Andrea Bennett.
posted by stargell at 7:15 PM on January 5, 2009


Honestly, I would be happy to take the circular menu and nothing else. I have had it with bars. They're... just... so... dull.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:27 PM on January 5, 2009


The aardvark admitted its fault.
The aardvark admitted it was wrong.
The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
The aardvark asked for a dagger....



ZOUNDS! MacBook Wheel has pre-installed magical realism novel-writing software. SteveJobsWhattaGuy.
posted by terranova at 7:31 PM on January 5, 2009


What about that diet is like itunes?
posted by Mid at 7:36 PM on January 5, 2009


Yeah, yeah, it's ridiculous not to put a keyboard on a computer. At least, on a computer with that form factor. But a lot of human-machine interaction does involve selecting one of an ordered (or orderable) list of options: links on a web page, channels on a TV, operations at an ATM, seat-and-mirror-position profiles in an upscale car, toppings on a terminal at a pizza place, contacts in an address book. And the click wheel is honestly pretty rocking for that task.

And yeah, yeah, the virtual keyboard is grotty. But does anyone remember Dasher? You really could enter text through a click wheel without wanting to kill yourself. Short amounts of text, obviously, not essays.

So no, no, I don't want to try to code Perl or write a poem or a paper without a keyboard, but the world's getting more and more non-console-centric computers in it all the time, and I wouldn't mind a lot of 'em with click wheels.

Yeah, yeah.

True confessions: My first, and for years only, exposure to the Onion was on a mangy looking overhead transparency in my first freshman linguistics class in 1999, put up by a professor who comes off way too nerdy to be as hip to pop culture as he is. For a long time I honestly believed there were more speakers of Klingon than Navajo. (It wasn't just the Onion's fault ... it got more believable when this one classmate of mine spent much of her spare time translating the Book of Mormon into Klingon on her PDA.)
posted by eritain at 7:37 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I laughed so hard at the 'auto-complete' sentences. So so hard.
posted by flipyourwig at 7:38 PM on January 5, 2009


I dunno, this looks fucking stupid to me. How long is it gonna take you to type one sentence?

With the optional second wheel, even a mediocre DJ can reach 40 wpm.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:57 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I liked it, but you've gotta admit, this is the Onion's version of trolling. It's like they formulated the comedy around "What will get us the most web hits?"

Which, I guess, is kind of brilliant considering that's all they really want.

Posted by my MacBook Wheel
posted by fungible at 8:08 PM on January 5, 2009


You all laugh, but Apples next laptop won't have ANY kind of input device other than a screen.

You'd sell your children for a wheel.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:15 PM on January 5, 2009


That was significantly funnier than it deserved to be.

It was really the production values that did it; if anything it's better-produced and makes more coherent sense than most of the "tech minute" stories that run on my local news channel, at least the ones I've had the misfortune of watching.

Plus, given what they did to the UI in 10.5, the Wheel would really only be matching it on the hardware side.... *grumble*
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:22 PM on January 5, 2009


I would buy one. Or two. But that's just me.
posted by cccorlew at 8:45 PM on January 5, 2009


If it didn't have the onion logo on it, I would have believed it.
posted by tehloki at 8:46 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


For JoeXIII007: Pie Menus! (and for me, a trip down memory lane)
posted by hattifattener at 8:49 PM on January 5, 2009


"I'll buy anything if it's shiny and made by Apple!"

...sadly, I am guilty as charged. Oh, the shame.
posted by jokeefe at 8:50 PM on January 5, 2009


The aardvark admitted its fault.
The aardvark admitted it was wrong.
The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
.....


The Macbook Wheel : Pattern matching with irregular expesssions
posted by Afroblanco at 9:53 PM on January 5, 2009


and it's just a bit under $2,600!
posted by liza at 10:05 PM on January 5, 2009


The Onion mostly doesn't strike me as all that funny any more, but this one was really spot-on. And if they improved the predictive sentences about 5% I'd probably buy one, too.
posted by Forktine at 10:17 PM on January 5, 2009


Screen goes black after 4 seconds to save energy! Love it!
posted by Mister_A at 10:18 PM on January 5, 2009


This was really close to the mark, and very well done. Reminded me of when the Macbook Air came out, and everyone was ohing and ahing about how thin it was, how lightweight. And then they found out it has one USB port.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:34 PM on January 5, 2009


It had me at "Reinventing the Wheel."
posted by iamkimiam at 10:44 PM on January 5, 2009


Oh, and technically, shouldn't the aardvark admit it was wrong before it admitted its fault? Also, daggers before aardvarks.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:50 PM on January 5, 2009


"Virtually unbreakable, except when dropped or hit."
posted by dhartung at 10:58 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


And then they found out it has one USB port.

Would you be happier with two? I'm curious what the threshold would be.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:16 PM on January 5, 2009


And then they found out it has one USB port.
Would you be happier with two? I'm curious what the threshold would be.


Four. The correct number is four.
posted by rokusan at 11:58 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two is my threshold, since I often attach a mouse. Plug that in and bam, no ports for iPod (no FireWire too), usb drives, or for attaching a CD drive since the computer doesn't have one.
posted by ALongDecember at 11:58 PM on January 5, 2009


Would you be happier with two? I'm curious what the threshold would be.

I have a Macbook Air. Yes, two would be the perfect number. First one in case you need to use the Ethernet dongle (there's no ethernet port, you have to use the USB-Ethernet dongle every so often), second for random flash drives that you use. I have a bluetooth mouse, so that's a total of two.
posted by amuseDetachment at 12:01 AM on January 6, 2009


Two is my threshold, since I often attach a mouse. Plug that in and bam, no ports for iPod (no FireWire too), usb drives, or for attaching a CD drive since the computer doesn't have one.

Other than using a (wireless) Bluetooth mouse, do you really have all those devices plugged in at once?

Honest question. I have a laptop with two USB ports and rarely, if ever, do I use both of them. I don't often see others use two or more USB devices simultaneously, either, and I'm in a work situation where I would see that happen a lot, if it does.

Obviously, having more ports is good, but those are the kinds of tradeoffs made for an ultraportable. There's always a netbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro if you need a thicker laptop.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:56 AM on January 6, 2009


Putting it another way, I wonder if at least part of what motivates that kind of complaint isn't really that it's one port (to which you can connect a USB hub, let's face it), so much as people looking for something to complain about. Like Apple being "stuck" with a one-button mouse, which has been a non-issue for many years.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:59 AM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy shit.

When did the Onion start putting out a fake news show and when can I replace Fox News with it?
posted by flatluigi at 1:55 AM on January 6, 2009


(and by 'replace fox news' I mean subscribe to it so I can see every new segment)
posted by flatluigi at 1:56 AM on January 6, 2009


I typed this with the Macbook wheel, which is why my comment is at the bottom of the fooking page!
posted by bwg at 2:09 AM on January 6, 2009


Last!
posted by bwg at 2:09 AM on January 6, 2009


It's certainly an upgrade from the Mactini.
posted by edd at 2:47 AM on January 6, 2009


YOU APple haterz suc. I am BETa Testing the WhEel and it is awesdme.
posted by moonbiter at 3:35 AM on January 6, 2009


flatluigi: Here's their video RSS feed.
posted by JDHarper at 5:20 AM on January 6, 2009


Microsoft will be shipping their version of this with every copy of Windows 7 - but it will be made by Toshiba, and be kinda squarish.
posted by kcds at 5:25 AM on January 6, 2009


Funny thing is that Apple added two USB ports when they updated the Mac mini. It used to have two in the G4 version, which was sufficient in my mind, and now it has four.
posted by smackfu at 6:02 AM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Putting it another way, I wonder if at least part of what motivates that kind of complaint isn't really that it's one port (to which you can connect a USB hub, let's face it), so much as people looking for something to complain about. Like Apple being "stuck" with a one-button mouse, which has been a non-issue for many years.

Usually someone has the opinion that the Air sucks because it doesn't meet their specific needs, completely ignoring the fact that Apple makes several other laptop models with a variety of ports and optical drives.

It's like claiming that the Honda S2000 two-seat roadster sucks because one really needs an Accord.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:22 AM on January 6, 2009


To torture the analogy, it's like if Honda only made 3 models, and they only ran on Honda-brand gas.
posted by smackfu at 7:35 AM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear Robber, You wont believe where I am# I)m at the Mac Expo ænd I am USING thep colic new Macwheel laptop. I'll BET YOU ARE JEAlouz
posted by rmless at 7:53 AM on January 6, 2009




flatluigi, you should check out the movie that they released earlier this year. It's basically 80 minutes of this.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2009


The throwaway Sudoku Killer joke at the very end is by far the funniest part of that whole clip. It's like they came up with that joke and then thought "What do we have to stick on the front of that to get a bunch of people to watch it? I know! We'll mock Apple! That oughta do it."
posted by rusty at 8:55 AM on January 6, 2009


flatluigi, you should check out the movie that they released earlier this year. It's basically 80 minutes of this.

yeah, don't do this. It's pretty bad and has barely anything to do with the people who made these.
posted by saul wright at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2009


I can see the people at Apple going "Hmm, now that's an idea. After all, people use the laptop only for surfing theinternet, and so all they really need to be able to type is "lol", "teh", "this", "anna nicole smith sex tape" and "apple computers are far superior to Window$ in every way". Why not automate it?
posted by happyroach at 9:46 AM on January 6, 2009


Blazecock: I have a small thin laptop, and very often I'm connected to (and using simultaneously) 2 USB hard drives, a card reader, and a mouse. 4 is the correct number. At home I have 11 USB devices on a hub. Admittedly 11 ports would be excessive.
posted by dickasso at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2009


I have a small thin laptop, and I think there's cobwebs in my USB port. 0 is the correct number.

Whee, designing the world around yourself is fun, kids.
posted by bonaldi at 11:09 AM on January 6, 2009


I use a Wacom tablet, not a mouse. And I have to regularly back up my files to an external.
So, two is the correct number, people. Come on. Think outside of your own damn boxes a little.

:)
posted by miss lynnster at 11:52 AM on January 6, 2009


Putting it another way, I wonder if at least part of what motivates that kind of complaint isn't really that it's one port (to which you can connect a USB hub, let's face it), so much as people looking for something to complain about. Like Apple being "stuck" with a one-button mouse, which has been a non-issue for many years.

I'm not complaining, as I wouldn't drop that kind of money on a laptop whose greatest feature is thinness. I can see the advantages, mind you, if I were to get locked out of a screened-in porch and needed to slide something between the door and the frame to knock the hook lock out of the loop.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:09 PM on January 6, 2009


How about one with four USB ports and blanking plates for them so you can pretend you don't have them if they offend you?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on January 6, 2009


Oh, I'm not offended, either. I just thought the hype surrounding the Macbook Air bordered on surreal. As such, it can be made fun of.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:45 PM on January 6, 2009


Er, was speaking to people who seem to feel that having more USB ports than they use is a defect.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2009


Ah.

But to answer the question, I thought 2 USB ports were more or less the standard. Especially with a machine with only 120GB of storage (plenty for regular desktop use, I know, but you can't add storage to a Macbook Air without attaching an external drive). I think it's hilarious that the thinness feature, with regards to one USB port, can lead to the purchase of a USB hub, more or less negating the reason for buying the Air in the first place, i.e., having less weight to carry. But I don't really have a dog in this fight anyway - just playing around with the hype of the thing when compared to the reality.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:20 PM on January 6, 2009


tehloki : If it didn't have the onion logo on it, I would have believed it.

For absolutely no reason whatsoever, your comment inspired me to want to figure out a way to replace the apple on my Macbook with the Onion from their logo.

I have to admit, that would be pretty sweet.
posted by quin at 3:22 PM on January 6, 2009


I regularly use two USB ports - one for my mouse or my tablet, and one to plug in my USB hub which in turn links to my scanner, printer, and external hard drive and which is only occasionally used. And I agree with those who seem to think that two is a relatively standard and reasonable number of external connections to have.

That said, it does really bug me when my mouse is plugged in, and I want to print something on a flash drive. Of course, transferring the file to my desktop, then switching to the USB hub with the printer attached, only takes about 15 seconds. But I really do appreciate the chassis design of my laptop that has two ports close at hand, one port in a slightly more awkward spot, and then two more ports at the back of the laptop. Mmm, good UI at work.
posted by Phire at 3:38 PM on January 6, 2009


I have an air that I've always used as more or less a netbook/airplane computer; at the moment I'm traveling for an extended period of time, and I am starting to think that two is the right number.


Although frankly at this stage I think adding ports through a hub is fine, since I've never needed two previously. I'll probably just end up buying a big monitor with a built in USB hub, killing a variety of birds with one large piece of consumer electronics.

The problem with apple is that they consistently make really good products. I wish there were other companies making similarly good products, so I could benefit from the competition, but apparently making things work well is harder then it should be.
posted by cmyr at 1:52 PM on January 8, 2009


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