Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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I must admit, I couldn't resist watching the keynote yesterday. I hadn't watched keynotes for a while now and was pleasantly surprised that all the QuickTime streaming magic worked without a hitch. No connection problems, no choking on on the traffic, just smooth streaming all the way long. Nice.

And then there's Steve Jobs, who is fun to watch and who seems to live for those occasions making everything look good, not forgetting to thank the people who actually did the work etc. A nice moment was when he explained the G5's structure and talked about the branch prediction unit: ... it predicts branches ... and that's a good thing. I couldn't have put it any better.

There was also great applause when an all new Finder was announced. This properly reflects the pain the current Finder causes. Reading all over the web (2lmc, John Gruber, Matt Gemmell) leaves the impression that of course metal Finder windows are a hideous idea. Also my scepticism about the 'Places' is reinforced. True, it may be handy but isn't it just a cheap fix for column view where proper spatial navigation, 'drawers' etc may do a better job? The beauty about those traditional concepts is that they don't obscure where your files are. Oh and the sidebar does look a bit like Windows, doesn't it? Searching in fact does look pretty fast in the demo as Nicholas wrote. I'd still want to see it's speed on a couple of thousand files on a slow-ish computer with a slow cluttered hard drive (e.g. my Powerbook) before starting to be enthusiastic.

Other things about the keynote... hm, those lucky developers all get a camera – lots of cheers for that, obviously. Steve showed us that now that we can do video-conferencing we'll have to think of something to actually say to each other (we could still just put Eiffel towers in the background, I suppose). The Wolfram guy got the need for fast computers right: so we can try things out quickly, to get the parameters right. Incidentally this is also what looks cool about the new XCode: You can change your code while the program is running. One of the beauties of RealBasic now finally available for 'real' programming. Steve mentioned proper network browsing. As Apple's offerings for this in OSX have been rather poor so far, I would've liked to see that. No more strange entries showing up? No more seeing your own computer? Ability to handle WINS driven CIFS networks? The inclusion of IPSec is probably good news as well. It hopefully means I don't need that separately installed Cisco software to get into the university wireless network in the future. Hands-free automatic connection would be sweet, of course.

It looked like the fast user switching thing was put into a menu of its own in Steve's demo. Even worse the rightmost menu. Why waste such a precious bit of screen corner for this rarely used feature. I doubt people will use it more than a few times a day. It could easily find an adequate place in OSX's castrated Apple menu.

New 15" Powerbook? Nope. Bummer. It's just such an attractive machine: Rather pretty, large screen, better memory and multi-monitor support than the 12", but no Bluetooth and slightly dated by now. I had anticipated an update for it, it's current dated feel keeps people from buying one.

June 24, 2003, 18:12


Trackback “2003/06/24 09:39” from 2lmc spool:

WWDC Coverage Roundup: Panther

June 25, 2003, 10:52


Comment by Erik J. Barzeski: User icon

You can optionally (per user) not have the “user switching menu” there at all. In other words, you can have it there or not - your choice. It’s in the Apple Menu at all times.

June 25, 2003, 3:51

Comment by ssp: User icon

Very good to hear this.

I guess the sad thing is that by recent experiences with Apple’s UI design, I considered it entirely possible that you can’t turn that feature off.

June 25, 2003, 12:13

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