Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Keynote

538 words

Of course, many Mac people were keynote-watching while I was at uni and in the theatre today. So, I won't do any live commenting, but just add a few comments on the news I've seen so far.

First, new Powerbooks. Although I considered the titanium Powerbook G4 sufficient, it being two years old by now might have been a hint at something newer, more impressive. And impressive Apple's new 17" offering is by any means. I am just wondering whether a portable computer at this size will still be - um - portable. I sometimes find my 15" TiBook quite large. I also don't think the 17" Powerbook looks very good either, the vast areas left and right of the keyboard just look too large. Sure, they pulled a number of tricks here, all those feature-itis built-in will certainly silence the techie crowd for a few minutes. What looks like an improvement, is the more iBook-style hinge for the screen and the iBook-style arrangement of ports on the side to go with it.

An then there's the illuminated keyboard. I've heard people wanting one before, but I am not sure it's worth investing R&D resources in. While it may be an eye-catcher, spending some money on a touch-typing class should be a better investment that's also good for your neck. Looking at the photos of the keyboard also suggest that Apple seems to be using the ugly typeface for the keyboard that they use on the iBook keyboards as well, rather than the pretty typeface they've used since 1984 (and that can be seen on the cover of the new-old Pixies record if you look closely).

On the other hand, I think the 12" Powerbook is a treat. It seems to be really tiny. Apple lacked a really tiny computer so far. And together with integrated Bluetooth it must be great for people who are on the road.

I am not quite sure how to interpret the iLife thingy. It seems useless right now unless you're really into authoring with Apple's low end apps. I hope it won't mean the end of free-as-in-beer iTunes in the long run. Juding from Apple's past behaviour I am not too optimistic, though. And that would be really upsetting as Apple would then act as bastardly as other companies, first destroying the market for MP3 playing apps by introducing the neater iTunes and then making people pay up, when all the competition has been suffocated.

I don't think that the Keynote application will be too significant. It looks like a way for Quartz graphics programmers to show off a bit and will only add more distracting eyecandy to boredrooms - who cares. I wholeheartedly agree with Ars Technica's Hannibal on this topic. Then there's - finally - an X11 server by Apple based on the open source variants, which many people noted was overdue since the very first release of OSX. Good to see that Apple tries to take the pain out of having X11 on your machine (well, the installer didn't run here, it just crashed).

Finally, and probably most interestingly, there is Safari, Apple's own new web browser. I think I'll make a seperate post for that.

January 8, 2003, 3:31

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