Armchair CEO: Apple
Friday, January 21, 2005
Mac vs. Mac: Apple's OS Split Personality

There's a cage match in your mac. If you've got a .mac account or iLife apps, you've got a split personality...

In one corner, your operating system and the Finder. Most people simply use folders (also known as directories) to store and sort their data. This metaphor has been around since before the graphic user interface (GUI), and despite the ranting of Jef Raskin, continues to be the ruling paradigm in personal storage.

In the other corner, there's the "storage" system of iLife and .mac... No doubt you have music in iTunes. That's not too bad, except iTunes has decided to sort your music by author. Now iPhoto is another story. It has one of the most confusing and frustrating file structures I've ever seen. Now for fun, open up iMovie. While it's cool that you can access your photos and music from within iMovie, you shan't ever mess with the OS!

Here's the deal: if you put all your files in the folders where YOU want them, the iLife stuff won't like it.

I ran into this in, of all places, the Desktop Pattern prefs. There's a little section for iPhotos, and one for folders of your own. I had downloaded quite a few cool desktops, and wanted to use them. But slow caching makes that folder crawl when I put it in the prefs. The iPhotos work much faster. But importing those desktops into iPhoto is unnecessary and wasteful-- they are copied into the iPhoto folders.

You can see where problems creep in. If you don't use iTunes, it's bad too. iMovie puts together a rag-tag group of files also...

Add you .mac, and you now have localization issues. I recently set up an old mac as a backup. Since you can use .mac to sync machines, I thought, cool, all my bookmarks and such will be here! But alas, I had changed the user name to Homer Simpson. And now, when I get email, it's addressed to him, not me.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Apple - QuickTime - Macworld San Francisco 2005 Expo Keynote

I tried to watch the keynote tonight, but QuickTime, as a streaming media, is just terrible. I've got good pipes into the house, but QT clearly doesn't handle loads appropriately. It took a LONG time to connect, and never rebuffered. But audio kept dropping out, video lost sync, all on a decent G4 machine. BOO!!!

Anyways, BIG news in Apple land. Picking up on the millions of iPods sold over the holiday season, I think they are in a really good position to finally increase their market share. The Mac mini is just brilliant. Just a few percentage points would mean a lot to the bottom line too. Can't wait to see the stock tomorrow!

And a $99 iPod? Whoo baby, better get 'em now before they sell out for xmas. Let's just say this thing will literally be flying off the shelves.

I'm not so impressed with iLife and iWork. How many people don't use spreadsheets? Well, you won't with Apple, because AppleWorks is still around, still sucks. No new spreadsheet in iWork. So you won't be working too hard. I'm also not sure why iWork's Pages app doesn't seem to be touting any web page building functionality.

Oh wait, I know why! They don't want to piss off Microsoft or Macromedia. Although they should piss off Macromedia. Those turkeys still have yet to put Flash player on a Palm, and still don't have Flash optimized for OS X. Losers.

Anyway, there's some other stuff. iLife '05. Yeah, this was inevitable. I'm not sure why, but the educational price is quite a bit steeper. Like a 200% increase. Why? Another nonplus event: "Magic Movie Editing." Oooooh, they finally put in a feature that Microsoft has had in their Movie Maker app for some time now. Cupertino, start your copiers, heh.

But this Mac mini thing has me excited. For $1002 you get:
a 1.4 GHz G4 CPU,
80 GB drive,
DVD burner,
512 MB RAM,
and a wireless keyboard and mouse.

With my educational discount it's just under a grand. Pretty. Frickin' Sweet.

Now I'm going to go create a how-to describing how you can turn the thing into a Media Center PC to rival Microsoft's piece of crap...
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