Christmas All Over Again

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I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve. The Mac World Expo keynote by Mr. Jobs is tomorrow. Previously, I have never really cared about that, but it seems like a big deal now. In the past, he has always made some big product announcement: a super-thin laptop made of titanium with a CD burner, a desktop computer that looks like a lamp, computers in designer colors, etc. The rumor sites (also something I never bothered to look at until recently) are spouting out all kinds of craziness. The rumor sites have also gone text-only, with no graphics, in expectation of the HUGE server load tomorrow. Recently, Apple patented cases that change color (so that it can cycle colors in time with your music, or warn you if something is wrong). That happened too recently to be the announcement. Recently, a press release for FireWire2 hardware was accidentally leaked. That seems a little too mundane to be true. Some of the rumor sites are talking about a video iPod, an 8-inch tablet PC that plays music and video and works as a wireless computer. That sounds a little to elaborate to be hearing about it in just the past day or two. Rumor sites are also talking about iTracks, a music editing application. That also sounds a little too basic, unless it is super-advanced. Others rumors talk about smaller, lighter, faster PowerBooks — that also sounds a little to generic and last-minute. Even more rumors talk about 3D LCD displays, like the one Sharp has built. Additional rumors talk about PDAs and cellphones. The funny thing is I am super excited about all this, but it really does not matter one way or the other. I cannot afford a new gadget right now. My life is not going to change based on the announcement tomorrow. I would like them to drop the prices on the titanium books, though. That would make me a very happy monkey in another couple of months.

At the very least, I will be on the computer, listening to the live QuickTime stream tomorrow morning of Mr. Jobs’ keynote speech. He is a complete asshole at times, but he has such great charisma!

Updated, this morning, after the keynote speech. Announcements included a snowboard/ski jacket with iPod remote control buttons sewn into the sleeves (yawn). They also included updates to all the iApplications (yawn). Apple is releasing a new Powerpoint-like presentation application, which Steve was using for his keynote speech, but did not reveal until half-way through the presentation. Product name: Keynote. I think it was pretty slick and funny the way it was introduced, but I have no cares about this, really. When was the last time I used PowerPoint? Never? It imports and exports PowerPoint, saves in its own open file format (which is mighty cool), and outputs QuickTime movies and PDF presentations.

Now, the real stuff. There is a new browser to pollute the browser compatibility confusion. While it is cool that they based it on an Open Source project and contributed all the code back to the project, it was un-cool that they based it on KHTML/Konquerer, and not Mozilla/Netscape/Gecko. At the very least, this thing is speedy–taking less than a second to completely load the browser, and pages render super-fast. Also, it supports all the standard plugins and all the funny HTML stylesheet craziness. ESPN and Wired, which are notorious for not working on non-mainstream browsers, load perfectly fine.

Also announced were two new PowerBooks. The Uber-PowerBook was friggin HUGE! 17″ (1440 x 960 pixels or something like that) landscape display, 1GHz, 802.11g (that’s “G” and not “B,” so it is backward compatible and 5 times as fast), back-lit KEYBOARD that dims and brightens based on ambient light, FireWire800 port, standard FireWire port, etc. This was one fiiiine machine, and not as expensive as I would have expected. Also shown was the super-tiny new PowerBook, with a 12″ screen (1024×768). It is also much more affordable. The next laptop I get will probably be one of these little guys. The new PowerBooks are not titanium, but aluminum. It looks the same, but does not shield the internal wireless as much!

They also showed two new TV commercials. The first was generic and looked like a VW Bug commercial or something. The second was the most hilarious thing I have seen! Mini-Me and a basketball player (I guess I would recognize him if I knew the sport) get on a plane and sit down. Basketball player reaches up into the overhead compartment (without standing, of course), and whips out the new ultra-compact, ultra-thin PowerBook. Mini-Me looks at this, then reaches under the seat and whips out his uber-gigantic PowerBook (the laptop is bigger than he is, dammit!). They both eye each other’s laptops with the typical male “mine is bigger/smaller than yours” envy.

The laptop was bigger than Mini-Me!

The laptop dwarfs the dwarf!

Posted in: Dear Diary

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