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Articles tagged with: Apple Computer

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 6 Comments

So I went to the Apple Store today to take a peek at the MacBook Air. Honestly, I had pretty low expectations so I thought I’d get my socks knocked off, but it was just okay. It’s more beautiful than my 12 inch PowerBook, but just by a small margin. It’s light and thin seems pretty durable, and has the beautiful LED display (but a bit of glare). But I thought I’d leave and say “I have to have one”, but it didn’t happen. If I had the extra bucks to spend it on I’d certainly get one, but I think I’d still need a more powerful laptop.

Pluses: 3 lbs., 13.3 inch low power LED display, small, new track-pad, backlit keyboard. Please note, some of these are huge pluses.
Minuses: External DVD drive (which I could live with), special MagSafe power adaptor, slow hard drive, lacking ports, 80 GB, maximum HD, no option for a spare battery and (of course) the price. Note that while it’s a metal MacBook it has a shared memory video card like a MacBook, not a MacBook Pro.

The solid-state 64 GB drive is a plus, but the $1000 price tag is certainly a minus…

If I had a 17 inch PowerBook, the MacBook Air would make a great addition as a “day” computer, when I don’t need the power or DVD drive and didn’t want the 6.8 pounds to lug around. If I could only have one machine I’d probably take a loaded MacBook 13.3 inch (5 pounds). If I could “create” an ultimate machine it would be a 12 (or 13.3) inch MacBook Pro; I could even live with an external DVD drive it it could lower the size and weight…

This kind of fits with my initial thoughts when I first saw the announcement of the MacBook Air, it’s not what I was hoping for. If you haven’t seen it, this is the MacBook Air ad.

Written By: Gary on January 26, 2008 One Comment

My Apple TV has been one of my favorite technology purchases and I never expected that I’d like it that much. Actually, I’d been interested in it but it took a visit to Best Buy, after happy hour, for me to finally commit to the 40 GB version. I took it back a few days later but only because I knew I needed the 160 GB version, bigger is better after all…

Apple TV is pretty much an ‘iPod for your television’ and iPods are pretty much the standard to beat for portable media players (at least the standard for handheld audio players) so these should be selling much better. I’ve always been impressed with my Apple TV and had been surprised they hadn’t really caught on more than they have. The Apple TV interface is excellent, it’s as good as the TiVo (except it doesn’t record), you can buy videos (and music) on your computer to load it up, but that is a little inconvenient for some people. You can convert videos for it, but that’s not for the average user. I knew it was close to what people want but it wasn’t exactly there yet.

A few weeks ago at MacWorld they announced movie rentals for the Apple TV. $2.99 for old movies, $3.99 for new ones and $1 more for HD quality. Plus, you can buy music (and music videos) on-line and view/subscribe to podcasts (for free). They changed the interface, I personally think it’s a little more complicated, but since you need to be able to browse an infinite number of music and movies I can understand it (and maybe I’ll like it too). This new interface is free to original Apple TV owners and should show up in a few weeks (I keep checking).

I heard all this when they announced it and I’ve been mulling it around in my head, but I finally just watched that part of the keynote from MacWorld (on my Apple TV, of course) and now I really think this is getting even closer to being the media box for your TV.

  • If I can start watching a movie in about 30 seconds, why am I going to rent something from the store? (there is a 30 day wait after a DVD release)
  • Why am I going to subscribe to Netflix? (all the movie extras and plus for TV shows you I get multiple episodes on one DVD)
  • If I can purchase a song the instant I need it, why am I going to run out and buy the album? (at least I think I can purchase a song, I saw Steve purchase a music video).One of the biggest shortcomings of this (and all digital video rental systems out there) is that you only have 24 hours from start to finish. It’s just not long enough, if I start it at 8 tonight, I need the ability to finish it tomorrow at 8 or 9 in the evening. Because of that, I think 30 hours is the minimum I need to seriously consider this as a way to watch movies (at least for me). As you increase the time to 36, 48 or even 72 hours it makes this a much better option, especially for the impulse buy. I know “they” don’t want bunches of other people to borrow it and view it so they longer the time, the higher the chance of this. Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more, that’s slightly complicated but it makes it a little more fair and might make the movie companies a little happier, IMHO…

    But TiVo has had these features for a while now: music and photo streaming from your computer for years now, podcasts (very limited menu selection) for a few years too and recently they’ve added movie / TV rentals from Amazon Unbox (but you wait hours for it to download). I wonder if there are more TiVos than Apple TVs out there??

    I’m confused about a few things:

  • Can you buy a movie from the Apple TV interface?
  • Can you push HD movie rentals down to your computer or iPod? (I don’t think they said that specifically for HD).

    Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:

  • How long until I can access media from my Time Capsule?
  • How long until I can rent TV shows?
  • How long until I subscribe to TV shows at a reasonable rate?
  • How long until I can dump my cable package?
  • How long until the cable internet and DSL providers complain about the bandwidth that is being used up? FYI, where the Apple TV requirements list a “broadband connection” it also says “(fees may apply)”.
  • Is the hardware in the new Apple TV exactly the same? I know the software is going to be the same, but I don’t think they said it was exactly the same either.
  • How long until the 30 day wait before renting (after new releases) is removed and I can rent as soon as it’s out? (they don’t have a delay before music purchases).

    Complaints about the Apple TV:

  • I need a video playlist option. I want to have a way to link these video podcasts and music videos into my own personal non-stop “channel”.
  • I need a way to find this tiny remote when I misplace it. It’s so small and light.
  • It needs a regular video-out and S-video out for people who don’t yet have TVs with component video or HDMI.
  • They still don’t have a use for the included USB port.
  • I think I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive!

    Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.

  • Written By: Gary on January 19, 2008 One Comment

    I’ve been trying to filter out some of the “stuff” at my house that I don’t use any more, today was the clothes closet. Some stuff will be bound for Goodwill / Salvation Army, some for the trash and a few things for the vacation pile (clothes that I take on vacation but don’t bring back).

    What I really hate getting rid of is shirts with stuff printed on them for several reasons. One, I probably paid more for them. Two, I didn’t pay anything for them but they’re pretty unique. (But) Three, I rarely wear them. Some of it’s a mish-mash but today I noticed a bit of what I had in odd quantities:

  • Apple Computer T-Shirts (5): Most of these I got as promos or won at a conference but they’re all to small, it’s either all they had or it shrunk the first time I washed it. I keep hoping they’ll magically it some day, but…
  • Tori Amos (5): A few from concerts or that I found at a music store. I’ve got one that I got autographed at a concert.
  • Indigo Girls (6): Mostly from concerts, something from an on-line group and an autographed one that a friend bought for me at an fund raising auction.
  • Domestic Violence (7): I either purchased these at an event, they were given to me for volunteering at an event or came in a ‘thanks for donating’ package.
  • Costa Rica (1): I’ve been there 4 times and only ended up with one shirt from my first trip (from one of the Zip Line through the Cloud Forest adventures).
  • Blogography (3): Cool shirts that Dave from Blogography created.
  • Sandman related (6): Shirts inspired from the Neil Gaiman Sandman series (I think they all have Dream, Death or Delerium or some combination of them).
  • Tech Shirts (10+): Other tech shirts from vendors, tech conferences (part of registration or gift for presenting), organizations or something or another.
  • My job (6+): Shirts that one of the departments printed up for work or some kind of fund raiser event.

    I so rarely wear them out (in both interpretations), I usually just wear plain (colored) shirts. If I’m changing into something to wear after I come home and shower I’ll throw one on but wearing one out and about just doesn’t happen so often. Actually, other that wearing a music one to a concert I think the only ones I’ve worn outside in the last year is probably wearing a few of the shirts that Dave made.FYI, the counts are just estimates, I didn’t actually make a tally sheet.

  • Written By: Gary on January 15, 2008 2 Comments

    Apple MacBook Air MC233LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop Apple ComputerSo I like the new MacBook Air. But while it’s smaller and lighter than all the current MacBooks, and it’s one-third lighter than the 12 inch PowerBook, you give up a bit. You can’t have a spare battery, as a matter of fact you can’t even change the battery yourself. The hard drive space is limited, an (iPod?) 80GB hard drive that runs at 4200 RPM, or a pricey 64GB flash drive. It does have the cool new multi-touch-pad and the built-in camera. No internal DVD drive, mono-speaker, only one USB port and a few other things I’m sure I’m not thinking of. If you haven’t seen it, go watch the ad….

    It’s got these minuses (but it’s been a looonnnggg time since they refreshed a 12 inch PowerBook and and I’m definitely having “Air Envy”) I think if they take apart, slap it in a regular (or slightly smaller than regular) case with a changeable battery and a real hard drive (and maybe DVD drive) they’ve got what everyone has been waiting for.

    I really thought I was going to want to snatch one up but it’s just not what I was expecting (and I’ve seen others say the same. Maybe if I actually see one, but I think until they do my (fictional) upgrades, I might just wait until the next refresh. I’m guessing the MacBook 13 inch will have the new multi-touch pad and LED screen. I can get an awful lot of power for the same price (if I buy my memory somewhere else).

    Here’s an idea for something even smaller (no DVD though). Make ma a MacBook but chop the screen in half to the size of the keyboard and somehow have the trackpad slide out! It’s really be a “wide-screen” but it’d be tall enough for normal use.

    I really miss my old Apple Duo (or was it a PowerBook Duo?)….

    Written By: Gary on August 26, 2006 3 Comments

    So Apple has a battery recall going on right now for some of the 12 & 15 inch Powerbooks and iBooks. I qualify for two and it’s a relatively easy process. I’ll tell you the four problems with it:

  • The font size on the battery is about 3 pt, you need a magnifying glass or take a digital picture and zoom in.
  • When it asks for your county it’s county, not country.
  • The confimation e-mail I got didn’t mention two batteries, I’d have been happier if there was a good web or e-mail confirmation that listed my name, address and all the serial numbers.
  • I’m surprised that I didn’t get a warning to stop using the batteries immediately as part of the process.

    I’ve got an older third battery at work that I don’t think I ever disposed of, I’m hoping that might qualify too :)

  • Written By: Gary on May 29, 2005 One Comment

    So the Security Awareness blogger (and who founded The Security Awareness Company) finally got fed up with the insecurity of Windows and switched to a Mac. I read that he switched his whole company over… There are followup posts in the blog (start at the bottom and work your way back uo).

    From Dean’s World.

    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2004 No Comment

    Rumours have it that at the MacWorld expo in January that they will release a $499 desktop with no monitor. Wow! That’ll really shake things up. Competing prices with with a Wintel machine… Imagine that…

    I was just looking at upgrade cards for an old Mac, why pay $399 for a card to get me up to the same speed when $499 will get get me there with a new machine, with new architecture, a new warranty, a faster bus, etc.

    I got this from Jeff at geekable.com

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