Macworld Thoughts

Of the things announced by El Steveo, I have to say that I’m thrilled by the technology in general, but not terribly interested in owning much of it. My thoughts:

* MacBook Air: yep, it’s tiny. My laptop really serves as a portable desktop, so a super-thin slightly underpowered/underfeatured laptop just does not do it for me.
* Movie rentals: I couldn’t care less about the AppleTV integration (as I don’t have an HDTV and likely won’t have one for a long, long time), but may rent a movie or two on the Mini connected to the TV just to try things out. It has that faster-than-Netflix immediate gratification factor, but Netflix has a huge catalog whereas iTunes will have “over 1000 movies.”
* Time Capsule: I’m interested in the hacking potential (for example, buying the small one and upgrading the hard drive), but my current backup solution doesn’t need to change. Well, it sort of does, but that’s a topic for another post where I ask about and compare offsite/online backups.
* iPhone firmware: I’m skeptically excited about this. I’d really like to install and use it, but I really need to force myself to wait until the 3rd party landscape (both hacks and official) becomes a bit more clear. Webapps are great and all, but I rather enjoy MobileTwitteriffic, Stumbler, VNsea, iSolitaire, weDict, iRCm, and weDict. Many of those things are impossible to do over the web, or at least would be so slow as to discourage use.

Posted in: Dear Diary iPhone

10 thoughts on “Macworld Thoughts”

  1. While the address was happening, I got an e-mail from Netflix, telling me that the somewhat-limited online viewing (1 hour per dollar of monthly subscription) is now unlimited, with over 6,000 titles in movies and TV to choose from.

    Nice timing on their part. They had to have known what was coming.

  2. The unlimited Netflix streaming would be great if it worked on Macs. It’s only available through Windows Media Player, unfortunately. I don’t have the hard drive space on the Mini to dual boot or use Parallels just to watch videos.

  3. The movie rentals are expensive though! 3.99 for 24 hours of a new title? You can rent the dvd (and get all the special features) from the Red Box for only $1 per 24hours (more actually, depending on return time), and that has a physical infrastructure and distribution to support. Apple’s prices should be half of what they are.

  4. So… Red Box is a McDonalds thing? It’s kind of nice to be able to watch something without having to return it to the video store (we always get hit with the late fees), but I guess I hadn’t noticed the price in the announcement. $3.99 seems a dollar or two too expensive.

  5. On the subject of Maccery, I was curious what you might have to say about Leopard. There are a few things that look appealing, but I’m not too sure if it would be worth it given the age of my Dual G5 PPC. Thoughts?

  6. I’m loving that new Map feature with pseudo-GPS. Saved me from buying a standalone unit. That’s what I’m appreciating more and more about the iPhone’s functionality: I have so many THINGS in that one package, so many that I really use.

    And that icon movement thing and paginated home screen and web clip capture are all handy.

    Almost full featured enough that I don’t covet the Air. But, of course, I do.

  7. Brandon: I’m pretty happy with Leopard on my aging single G5 iMac. I can’t say that I use too many of the new features. QuickLook and Spaces are the ones I use all the time It’s so much easier to pop open a picture or PDF without having to launch Preview. With spaces, I have one screen for music and communications (email, IRC, iTunes) and one for actually doing work. I don’t really use Time Machine, haven’t ever opened Leopard’s Mail app, and only use Safari to look at things in a different browser. For me, it was worth it, but then I happened to have that $100 iPhone refund credit at the time to offset the price.

    dmax: 3rd party hacks are giving me the paginated home screen and icon rearranging (admittedly, using a not-as-fancy list interface instead of wiggily icons.) Navizon provides the pseudo-GPS. The web clip is kind of cool, but by iPhone home screen does something similar. That being said, I still want 1.1.3. I just want my third party apps even more.

    Also, did you notice that people are starting to report that the Air is sealed, like an iPod or iPhone? You can’t actually get to the battery, memory, or hard drive. Well, I’m sure you can, with the right tools. I’m sure that 3rd party companies are going to sell upgrades and repairs, much like the battery and hard drive service you can get on iPods. Still, it seems a little less-than-cool to do that with a laptop.

  8. Having drunk the Kool-Aid many years ago (bought stock before the Bondi Blue iMac) I’m cool with waiting for the official apps roll-out without figuring out the hack approach. I have a reasonable amount of cautious trust that, slowly, the soft/firmware parts of the iPhone will evolve to a really nicer level than they are now.

    Biggest complaint: no place to plug in a memory card on the phone. Tant pis.

  9. Redbox is an automated video rental system found in grocery stores (never saw on in a McD’s, but i wouldn’t doubt it)

    You swipe your credit/debit card, choose the movie you want on a touch screen, and your dvd pops out the side of the machine. For every night that you keep the movie (due back at 9pm), it charges your card one dollar. If you keep the movie for 25 nights, it stops charging and lets you keep it.

    The machine is slightly larger than a soda vending machine. You can return the movie at any location, so I can grab a movie on my way home from work, and return it to the location closer to my place.

    Not quite as convenient as downloading from the internet, but much more reasonably priced! Apple has to get their prices in line with this and Netflix if they want to compete.

  10. I only said McDonalds because I went to the Redbox website to try to make sense of what they were (they weren’t terribly helpful without signing up for an account I didn’t want) and saw that the only locations around me were McDonalds. Since I haven’t been to a McDonalds since the 80s, I figured it was probably a McDonalds thing.

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