The office suite software market
There once was a time, when Microsoft Office was "just another" office suite. Back then, WordPerfect was the preferred wordprocessing application in the USA, while Microsoft Word was a best seller in Europe. Microsoft has won that war. Illegally (proven guilty in court in the USA).
Either way: Today, there are two main competitors for the whole office suite market: Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org. OOo tries to look, feel and work as closely to MS Office as possible. It's MS' task to find ever new ways to do the same things all over again, because if people stop upgrading to their new versions, they lose.
Now: Apple has started to re-enter the market with iWork. (Apple clearly has abandoned AppleWorks back when OS X was released in 2001.) Slowly, they're trying to do things differently. There's no real sense in directly competing with MS Office and OOo - Apple has acknowledged that. The question for me, however, is: Will Microsoft be able to fight off OOo in the long term?
On the Mac platform, it seems like OOo doesn't get off the ground. NeoOffice/J (a Java implementation of OOo for Mac OS X) is nice, but slow and doesn't feel like a Mac application. OOo itself on Mac OS X is even worse, uses X11 as the interface, which never feels just like a Mac application.
On the PC side of things however (Linux and Windows), OOo does well, and it keeps getting momentum. In my opinion, the innovation in office applications is done. OOo does basically everything it needs to do, and does them well enough. From 2.0 on onwards, OOo will have the task to defeat MS Office. It doesn't look too well for MS right now, although their defeat will take time.
On the Mac side, Apple will try and be there, should MS ever decide to kill Office for the Mac. And OOo takes its time, but will
one day come to the Mac for real, too. At least we Mac users aren't in the position where we have to actually fear
MS leaving our platform. Mac OS X has grown up. The applications are here. With or without Microsoft.
New Mac mini very soon
MacBidouille has a note
that a user ordered a Mac mini and it shows that that product is going to be replaced by a new one. The Mac mini is expected to get faster processors - but not much more. Since it's going to stay the low-end of Macs, people shouldn't expect too much from a revision of the Mac mini. Apple probably won't change the graphics, won't change the motherboard and similar things for a while to come.
VirtualPC finally fixed for Tiger
Microsoft, more than a year after having first access to Tiger builds, finally got around fixing some issues VirtualPC has with Tiger. You can get the update from MS' Mac site
. "Virtual PC 7.0.2 provides fixes for Virtual Switch, Zero Configuration Printing and the Dock Start menu when running on Tiger," says Microsoft. The updater comes as a 17 MB disk image (separate languages).
No more "iPod photo". Long live the "iPod"
Apple has released the new iPods, and the 'photo' moniker is gone, although they're of course capable of handling photos with their colour displays. However: The 30 GB model is gone. Simply gone. And the U2 model's still here, and now has a colour screen, too. Changes, but nothing really new, right? Well: Convergence. The old iPod s/w is gone. What to call those now? They're, in my opinion, still 4G, not a 5G model. They're still "click-wheel", too. Prices have been adjusted. But not too much.
iPod Phone, new iPods
iTunes 4.9 does have more than just Podcasts, it seems, although its ReadMe file doesn't say anything about it. There's several references about phones, and also the term "iPod phone" inside the application's resources.
Today, we'll also see new iPods. The Apple Online Stores are closed right now, but an image has already surfaced, showing that all white iPod models will have colour screens now (from 20-60 GB).
iTunes 4.9 released
Apple has released iTunes 4.9 through Software Update. There's only Podcasts as the new feature, but I guess they really want to push that through iTunes in this new version.
IE7 to copy Safari?
You can see two screenshots here
at MacBidouille. Apparently, Microsoft will give Internet Explorer 7 (to be released with Longhorn, some day) the Google field (well, MSN) as well as the RSS capability. And both features look like exact
copies of Safari's respective features. But maybe that's better than if they would badly try to hide they're copying?
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C40
Late last week, Apple's seeded yet another build of the forthcoming, expected-any-day-now, second update to Mac OS X 10.4. From the last build, this one corrects the following issues among other, smaller things: An issue with permission inheriting, an AirPort issue after sleep, IMAP messages sometimes disappearing when moved to a local mailbox and improved resolution for some screen savers on certain machines (some G4 iMacs, eMacs, PowerBooks and iBooks).
The developer kit (intel Mac)
ThinkSecret has a report
on the kit. Of interest for us: Windows does indeed install on those machines - and the Mac OS X version does not out-of-the-disc install on plain vanilla PCs. I guess we'll soon hear from people trying to closely match the hardware used by the developer kits to see what the installer's actually looking for.
The murmuring is that eventually, someone will come up with a way to get Mac OS X to run on the "any-PC". The first try would probably be to install Darwin on the PC and then replace parts of the system by one of a "real intel Mac"'s.
BBEdit 8.2.2 released
BareBones has released this bugfix release today. The update's free for registered users. Full version of BBEdit is 199 USD, but you might want to look into cross-ugrading to BBEdit.
NeoOffice/J is final
After the release candidate (some months ago), the OpenOffice.org-using Mac OS X application NeoOffice/J is now ready for download
. So before shelling out big bucks to Microsoft for Office 2004, you might want to check this out to see whether free is "good enough" for you.
CodeWeavers CrossOver coming to intel Macs
... well, in 2006, of course, probably. As predicted by many, moving to intel processors will help Mac users get some Windows compatibility. The availability of things like CrossOver (and CrossOver Office) and VMware will enable Windows software to run on the Mac without having to emulate a processor.
Nokia, Apple, Speculation
After reading this column about Nokia, Apple, linux et al.
, which also suggests that Nokia's Series 60 phones will one day have access to iTunes Music Store and would maybe produce an iPhone for Apple (all speculative, of course), I've been thinking about the iPhone again.
There's a distinctive problem for Apple and an iPhone: People switch phones too often, and they don't really pay for them. The majority of mobile phone users have one-year contracts, and every year, they get a mobile phone. Over the years, those cheapo-phones have gone from b/w to greyscale to colour displays, they play music and are able to play the latest ringtones and Java games. The phones are always just bad enough so you want a newer one rather sooner than later. Also both handset makers and service providers try to invent "New! Only on newest phones!" features all the time. And although they mostly aren't really necessary, this, too, helps to create upgrade frenzy. And that's not the Apple way.
It's clear that the iPhone would be the perfectly iSynchable iPodphone. But if it's really good, people won't upgrade. But maybe that's just the phone the world really needs, although both the other handset makers and service providers would suffer from it. And that probably means that Nokia won't
help Apple creating the iPhone. Dilemma.
Mac OS X 10.4.2 delayed?
Apparently, Apple has not released the update yet. Our information says that the delay should be minimal and that either 8C33 (or 8C34, if a small bugfix is still needed) should be released "any hour" now.
Fetch 5.0.2 released
Fetchsoftworks has released
the second update to its new version of the venerable FTP client. Fetchsoftworks has also stated their commitment to having Fetch 5 ready as a Universal Binary, as soon as Apple releases intel-based Macs: "The Universal Binary version of Fetch will be a free update for Fetch 5 licensees, and will be available as soon as Apple's Intel-based machines are available for customer sale."
- Fetch, of course, was always quick to jump when the transitions arrived. Fetch 3 was available as a FAT binary that ran natively on both 68K and PPC Macs, a carbonised version of Fetch 3 was delivered with Mac OS X since the Public Beta days.
Apple sued for iTunes interface
AppleInsider has the story and an image
. Apple will probably have to act soon, so they don't have to stop selling Tiger (which includes iTunes), iLife (which includes iTunes) and advertising iTunes and the iTunes Music Store.
Google prepares to introduce PayPal competitor
According to a IDG News report, Google plans on introducing a PayPal competitor. The competitor is expected to be fee-free but use Google-Ads on its pages.
Widescreen iBooks, coming?
TheRegister reports that EDN claims
Asustek will produce a 15.4" widescreen iBook, which would possibly replace the 14" iBook, which has long been too big for its screen's resolution.
A 15.4" widescreen model would certainly put some pressure on the PowerBooks again, depending on the price tag, of course. The iBook line is in for a refreshment soon (the iBook has never had such a long period before being updated before). I have to ask myself, though, why it's the large iBook that gets a wide screen before the 12" PowerBook is replaced with a 13" widescreen model...
For those who haven't yet understood the switch to intel: These new iBooks will use a PowerPC G4 processor, of course, since Apple will only introduce intel-based Macs in June 2006. Apple will support PowerPC based Macs for a long time to come, although G3-based Macs will probably be left behind at some point after
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C33
Merely 24h after 8C32, Apple again seeded another build of 10.4.2. This build is, according to our sources, going to be released through Software Update either tomorrow or on Monday. Unless, as always of course, a show-stopper bug would be found before the release time.
When released, 10.4.2 will have solved almost a hundred known bugs. The update will come as a smaller Delta Updater (size depending on whether you've installed the previous updates available for Tiger through Software Update) and a Combo Updater which is roughly 55 MB in size.
After 10.4.2, Apple plans on slowing down a little bit. Mac OS X 10.4.3 is not currently planned for mid July. Instead 10.4.2 will be "around for a while". (Again: Unless something important comes up.) Tiger was launched to much fanfare at the end of April, 10.4.1 was released half a month later - and now 10.4.2 will be released yet another month later.
"Numbers" to be iWork's spreadsheet app?
Apple apparently has filed a trademark application for "Numbers". It would certainly fit in with "Pages", iWork's wordprocessing and document layout application. AI has the info
on the trademark filing.
iWork is expected to gain all
the parts of an office suite similar to what AppleWorks once was - only better, and split into single applications instead of one big container app. I'm personally most interested in what Apple will do with the database, although I probably won't ever do much with it besides look at the funky templates Apple seems to be such a fan of lately.
By the way, you know you've read about 'Numbers' on macnews.net.tc first
. Although I guess it was an easy enough guess, since "Sheets" wouldn't have worked too well. ;)
Opera 8 on the Mac (v8.0.1)
"What, they're still alive?"
you might ask. Well: They quit the Mac platform when Safari was announced. Then came back after some time. As for why: Who knows... Either way: If you're looking for an ugly browser that costs money or shows ads instead, you can find Opera here
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C32
Apple has seeded yet another build of 10.4.2 before its release. Apple's fixed some five bugs since 8C29 and is clearly wrapping up the development process of Mac OS X 10.4.2. The update is planned to be released soon. If this build
makes it, it could be before the weekend, however sources indicate that it's going to be Monday.
New hardware coming...
Apparently, Apple has removed the single processor 1.8 GHz PowerMac from the online store. Also: The Mac mini has a delay now. Apple will probably adjust PowerMac pricing and update the Mac mini line (more base memory and possibly a small speed bump).
New Apple TV ads soon?
Errol Morris is currently working on them. He's the one who did the switch-ads, and I certainly hate
those. (Yes, hate is a harsh word, but it's necessary here.) Those ads, in my opinion, did nothing for Apple. Instead, I guess they even hurt Apple in more than one way. First: They weren't cool. And believe me: Apple should want
to be cool. If those new spots make Apple look like weird dorks again, this could even lead to lesser iPod sales... Then: They didn't actually contain much information. Sure, you shouldn't overload a 30s ad with info, but I would hope that Apple finally shows people what the Mac's really about - and where better to show that than on TV. (Well, in stores, but since there aren't so many stores and people don't have to visit them...)
Errol isn't telling much about the ads, but you can find something about it in this interview
Next Series 60 webbrowser based on WebKit
Nokia has announced that they're currently developing a webbrowser for their Series 60 based smartphones on the basis of Apple's WebKit. This could lead to a wider use of WebKit, also on small screens, where it has to compete with Opera (and it seems to win, of course, where Nokia's concerned).
The "Mac OS X for intel leaked" hoax, well, is a hoax.
I've been waiting to post about this, since I thought it'd be a hoax, anyway. And that turned out to be true. However: If the current build of 10.4.1 for intel runs basically on any similarly equipped PC, it certainly could happen that someone creates an ISO of the harddrive or the installer DVD (although there was no talk so far of the devkit including a DVD) that could be illegally shared with other PC users.
So: While this weekend's round of rumours about it being leaked was wrong, it's not totally out of the question that future rumours could be true.
IBM didn't know
... until Friday before WWDC. About Apple's move to intel. According to information we gathered, IBM's managers tried to call Steve Jobs after the press went wild with the rumours, but Steve didn't return the calls. Apparently, IBM wanted more money from Apple to drive the evolution of the PowerPC. Sony wanted to get Apple on board of the Cell processor, but that processor has an even worse performance/watt ratio than the PowerPC - according to Apple.
Notebook Mac: Same question.
What to buy 'til intel... The answer here is less simple, because you can't keep a PowerBook's screen (although a good screen might make a better sale later). But basically, we're waiting for iBook updates soon. And the iBook 12" has had a decent price for a couple of years now. If it "does enough" for you, that's probably the 'Book to buy. PowerBooks quite certainly will get a lot
better with the move to intel, when they appear on the market. As we've mentioned before, they'll probably move to a ~2.0 GHz dual core processor with the move to intel in mid to end 2006. And that
will be the time to buy PowerBooks in our opinion.
Desktop Mac: What to buy 'til intel...
Many people - if my inbox can be trusted - have a problem right now with deciding what desktop Mac to buy (if any) until the intel Macs arrive. Some are still using the aquamarine PowerMac G3s, others are using early PowerMac G4s. They feel that investing in a new PowerMac G5 would be money invested into the 'wrong' platform. And while Apple will certainly support the G5 processor line for at least five years, I guess their fear is in part correct.
My tip for those people: Mac mini and 20" or 23" Apple display. The Mac mini is a decent performer (and certainly much faster than the old G3s and early G4s), keeps its price (you can probably sell those for 300-400 USD after a year, whereas the G5 PowerMacs lose much more!) and can cheaply be replaced by another Mac mini (probably intel already in 2006) or a PowerMac with intel processor once they arrive in 2007.
This way, you get a really cool workstation now - and you have a safe plan for the future as well. The display will still be good - regardless of Apple's moves in processor architecture - in a few years.
Windows on future Macs, cool?
One really interesting point of an intel/Mac will be the (possible) ability to dual-boot Windows and Mac OS X on those machines. With the PowerPC, we had to persuade people to move to the Mac and basically leave Windows (and the apps they've already paid for) behind - or to buy VPC, which for people who were actually working
with Windows apps, was probably too slow (and for the G5 didn't arrive for quite some time!).
This is going to change with the intel/Macs. Windows people can then buy a Mac as their next computer (They WILL look nice, right? That was never the problem.), and if they really don't get infected with the one existing Mac virus (i.e. the "illness" of becoming a Mac user), they can always just use Windows on the machine. Phil Schiller has said they wouldn't prevent or support installing Windows on the intel/Macs, which means it'll work, since Apple will be using intel chips, BIOS and PC standard graphics cards etc.
But even better yet: You'll probably be able to use VirtualPC by Microsoft at a decent speed (because no processor-emulation is needed) or some other kind of virtual machine software. The nicest thing, of course, would be if Microsoft would finally deliver on what was once rumoured for VPC when it still belonged to Connectix: That Windows apps would open without a root window, i.e. they'd look a bit like Classic applications, using a different UI but in the background, they'd be using the same Desktop etc. (Don't fear, security-aware users, you could still decide _not_ to install VPC or to use it in its own biotop...) Microsoft would probably like that and hate that at the same time, since for one thing, they'd sell a Windows license with every copy of VPC (well, the non-pirated ones, anyway) and probably some other software licenses, too. The negative point for them, of course, is that once people are actually "switching" to those intel/Macs, safely because they can still use Windows and its apps, they're halfway there and do
get used to software that actually works and certainly looks
On the other hand, there's the fear that if Windows apps work too well on Mac OS X, developers could say: "Just buy the Windows version, it runs fine, we don't need to build a special Mac version..." And knowing that even Adobe tends to like cutting development hours, it's not completely
unthinkable that they would urge us to buy Adobe CSwhatever Suite as the Windows version with this exact argument.
But I think the positives outweigh the negatives here. And we'll tell Adobe and others *not* to do the bad step early enough, won't we.
Yonah: First intel chip in Macs, June 2006?
intel's roadmap says: "Intel expects to begin revenue shipments of its first mobile dual-core processor, code-named 'Yonah,' in 2005 and go into volume production in 2006. Based on a mobile-optimized microarchitecture and 65nm process technology, 'Yonah' is designed to provide power management capabilities and enhanced performance for multiple demanding applications and multi-threaded applications."
Which, of course, makes it the
candidate for all machines from the Mac mini to the eMac, the iBook to the PowerBook. That is if Apple doesn't change the machine lines on the way, too.
Until then, however, these lines are expected to use better versions of the G4 processor. In all the intel/Mac news, we shouldn't forget that FreeScale has announced dual core G4 processors for the future, too, which might be interesting for the same machines' iterations before they're going intel.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C29
Apple last night has seeded another build of the forthcoming second update to Mac OS X 10.4. iChat now supports multiple system logins, the notes say about this particular build. Also, iChat's startup time has been improved.
As we've said before in the article about 8C27
, Apple is going to release 10.4.2 in the coming two weeks.
Spotlight vs. Finder?
You can find many comments like this one on WIRED
. They say that with Spotlight, you can (and should?) stop organising your files in hierarchical folder structures. Spotlight, they say, enables you to dynamically create relations. The latter is true, of course, but Spotlight's only an 80 percent solution - and probably always will be
So you start working on a new project for an existing customer. Let's say it's a publication about a new product they're creating. The 'classic' way would be to create a folder called "projectname" in the folder named "customername". Inside this project folder, you'd create other folders, depending on the project, of course. For example, you might create a folder named "logos" inside the project folder. In there, you put EPS graphics of the different logos for the project. Another folder could be called "input" and contain the Word files, Excel sheets and other kind of input that you get from the customer. And then you start working in, say, InDesign to create the publication.
Now, they say, you can simply drop everything in the Documents folder. You'll find it anyway because of Spotlight. That's probably true for most files. But not for any
files. One of the EPS logos might be called "vona_leb_2a.eps" and contain no text whatsoever, because the fonts have been translated into paths so it could be opened and printed without
having the font around. Spotlight wouldn't find this file if you searched for "projectname". So while you'll find the Word files of input and probably the PDF files you created to send to the customer, you would maybe miss one or two graphics when trying to create a CD-R for the customer that includes all project files. You might even miss the InDesign files, because there isn't an InDesign plugin for Spotlight yet. Great.I'm personally quite a chaotic person.
Give me a room to work in, and any free space will soon enough be filled with paper, empty cigarette boxes and quite some pencils all over the place. And Spotlight's not a solution for me. Sure, I could
work the computer like I do with the real office, but neither me nor Spotlight would possibly find everything I need in a decent amount of time. That's why I do folder structures. That's exactly why I do folder structures.
That, too, is why I give files names like "projectname_contentdescription_exactdate.indd". So that searching for "projectname" will find it. So I know which is the newest version even if I accidentally (or intentionally) touched an older file and its date got modified.Don't get me wrong: I'm all for better ways of searching.
But to tell people they don't have to clean up after their work's done is bad practice at least. It's horror if you work with other people that have to take over after you leave. A clear structure - even if the other person thinks differently - is identifiable at least. Giving things good names is good practice at least. And dropping fifty files which all are named "logo.eps" into one Documents folder doesn't work either. Well, it does, but you'll end up with one
logo only. ;)
I think Apple's done a good job with Spotlight (despite me hating how you can't simply search for parts of filenames but have to jump through a lot of hoops for it), but telling people they can use this instead of the Finder's tools of file organisation is merely a bad excuse for not finally - and for good - fixing the Finder
So: No, WIRED, Spotlight isn't killing the Finder. At least I don't hope so. I hope that Apple will finally fix the Finder AND improve Spotlight.
More about the devkit intel Macs
xlr8yourmac.com has some nice things
to say about the boxes. But keep in mind: Those are
just the devkits, and for a final product, many things can change between now and June 2006.
Pictures of the intel/Mac devkit's inside
You'll find them here on powerpage
. It looks like they're using a relatively small mainboard with one P4 processor - as expected. If you think about what Apple wants to do with this (i.e. developers should test their apps on it), super performance certainly wasn't their main goal. Rather, this was about price/performance.
Seagate unveils 8GB 1" drive: iPod mini?
TheRegister: The 8GB ST1 is shipping now "in limited quantities... to select customers", Seagate says. The article
also talks about new 2.5" drives with perpendicular recording technology, but for the next iPod mini, an 8 GB drive would make sense.
Rosetta uses Transitive, says Transitive.
Apple's not commenting, of course. Back in 2001, Transitive showed a 1.4 GHz AMD processor using Transitive's code-morphing technology, which ended up emulating code like a 1 GHz PowerPC (which back then didn't even exist!). Let's assume that they've actually improved their technology and worked quite closely with Apple, and I'd say this gives quite a good picture of what we can expect. I mean: If a 3.6 GHz intel processor emulates a "2.5 GHz G3", this is probably good enough until updated software is released to "know" about the intel processor. Sounds good to me.
That Dashboard icon in the Dock...
Put it back there. Yes, I know, we don't actually use it, but invoking Dashboard is MUCH quicker if you have the icon in the Dock. While I don't exactly know why
this is the case (and certainly hope Apple fixes this, as I'd consider it a bug), I clearly enjoy my Dashboard more now that I've put back the icon.
Someone stop the iWhiners, please...
Could all the iWhiners out there PLEASE accept the following points...
(You can maybe tell that I've been reading a lot of threads on Mac-centered online fora lately that got a bit on my nerves...)
- The transition to intel processors starts in June 2006 for consumers, so there's no need to look at current processors and talk about what Apple will use. They'll use what's new then, and they're certainly better informed by intel than the public.
- If the PowerMacs are the last machines that turn intel in mid-2007, this means that we'll see at least one more iteration of the PowerMac G5. And if they're using dual core 970MP processors, those will be quite nice machines, won't they.
- Your current Macs are not obsolete by this move. Apple will continue to drop support for older machines in their OS versions as they always did. Sure, a bondi blue iMac is not likely to run Leopard, but that's a bloody old machine, anyway. However: Your current PowerBooks, iBooks, PowerMacs, iMacs and eMacs will not only run Leopard just fine (and probably with better performance than with Tiger), they'll probably even be supported by 10.6 in 2008!
- Those intel Macs which will start to appear in June 2006 will be Macs. They'll look like Macs, feel like Macs, behave like Macs (although they'll probably leave the PPC hardware they replace in the dust performance-wise).
- If you're still whining and think it's important that the world knows that you're gonna leave the platform now for good: Tell me what you'll use instead. Between an intel Mac running Mac OS X and all of my software just fine and an intel PC running Windows or Linux, I quite certainly choose the Mac. I'm a Mac person, and I sure don't care whether the chip inside my future PowerBook is called a PowerPC or an X68-64-dualcore. What I care about for my future PowerBook is that it works, that it runs cool enough and that it gives me decent battery life. If you think the Mac's not a Mac with an intel chip inside, you're just not a Mac person. You're an iWhiner. And those do suck.
Alu PB 15" lower memory slot problem
Apple has not yet acknowledged this, but if you search for "lower memory slot powerbook", you'll find quite a few messages about this. For some reason, upgrading to 10.3.9 and/or Tiger has somehow "fried" the lower memory slot for a lot of people with 15" Alu PowerBooks (Rev. B and C according to my reading).
Apple solves the problem on a case to case basis by replacing the motherboard of the PowerBooks. Which of course SUCKS if you're out of warranty and Apple doesn't acknowledge it's their fault.
This has happened to me and I didn't really notice for some time. I have two identical 512 MB SO-DIMMs, both working fine in the upper slot, but they aren't recognised in the lower one. Strange enough: If I have both DIMMs in, sometimes they're recognised - but only until the Mac's finished booting. Then, the computer either freezes totally or gives a kernel panic.
I'm now thinking what's cheaper/better: Should I buy a 1 GB DIMM and just forget about the lower slot? Or should I give my PB away for probably more than a week and have it fixed? How much would such a motherboard cost me? Sad day for me, and I'm certainly angry about Apple.
Intel Mac benchmarks
Someone at WWDC has run some xbench benchmarks on a devkit intel Mac. However, the results can't really say much about the actual performance of either the Mac or the version of Mac OS X, since probably even the benchmarking application runs in Rosetta emulation.
Comments of WWDC attendees however are that the machines "feel like Macs", which is much more important to us, currently. Apple will make sure that performance of the intel Macs is more than good enough when they appear on the shelves in June 2006.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C27
A few bugs have been squashed between 8C26 and 27. The combo updater is still about 55 MB in size. 10.4.2 will bring quite a few bug fixes and very small enhancements. Among them are also security changes for downloading Dashboard Widgets from Safari. The update should be released within the two weeks after WWDC ends on the 10th of June.
John Siracusa about the intel move
You can read it here
. And whether you're pissed off about Apple's move or loving it, you'll find an interesting view there.
Build the latest Safari yourself.
You can get it here
and build it with Xcode.
WWDC Keynote stream
The stream's online now at this location
Commentary on the keynote...
After reporting the keynote live to you, I want to share a few of my thoughts. I guess I'll post again in a few hours, when I've spent some more time thinking about it. But here it goes:
Apple seems to be confident about this move, and they certainly do
have a plan here. Since they'll support both PPC and intel Mac hardware for quite a while, buying a PPC Mac now is certainly not a bad investment. This will become a bit unclear, though, after Apple releases their first Mac based on an intel CPU in June next year. Will people still buy, say, a PowerMac G5 then - even though they know that much better - or at least much different - hardware is coming in less than six months?
And now on to the probably greatest fear of Apple: How many hackers does it take to find out how to install Mac OS X for intel Macs on "any" PC? Only one. The one who's going to be successful. ;) Well: Apple probably has given this quite
some thought, too.
And the final thought for now: What about Windows apps and Windows on intel Macs? How "PC" are those intel Macs? I'm pretty sure we'll hear more about these things in the coming days and weeks...
WWDC Keynote Live Coverage
Here's the transcript of our WWDC keynote live coverage:
- The hall has opened its doors 15 minutes before the show should start.
- 19.00 CET - Nothing's started yet, though. Only music playing…
- Apple Online Stores are still online. Usually, if there are new products announced at such a show, those are taken offline for the time of the show, though.
- Steve Jobs is on stage. And on time, almost!
- The usual welcome messages. Glad so many members on ADC etc. "Today's an important day." - Wrapping up Apple's successes. Number of people visiting Apple Stores etc.
- Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold and had downloaded more than 430 million songs. Even with more and more competition, Apple's market share is rising. iPod's part of the culture, having been on the front page of "The New Yorker" et al.
- Podcast category for iTunes Music Store. Talking about iTunes 4.9 and podcasting.
- Mac sales growing 40% year over year. Tiger still loved by critics.
- Apple has delivered 2 mio copies of Tiger. Most successful release ever.
- QT 7 for Windows coming today.
- Next Mac OS X release will be called Leopard!
- Intel inside. Because IBM didn't make it to 3 GHz and didn't deliver a mobile processor based on the G5 either. The first Mac with an intel processor: June 2006 (one year from now!)
- Mac OS X was always kept intel-compatible (probably since Rhapsody).
- Until 2007, all (new) Macs should run on intel.
- Talking about how good transitions were so far.
- Registered developers can download a new version of Xcode and start creating FAT binaries that run on intel and PPC Mac hardware.
- Mathematica recompiled for Mac OS X on intel: Only 20 lines of code needed changing.
- Rosetta PPC emulator. Seamlessly lets you run software compiled for PPC only on Mac OS X on intel. Quicken, Excel, Photoshop: It works on the demo Mac with intel.
- 999 USD developer kit, which contains a 3.6 GHz intel Mac and has to be given back to Apple in June 2006, available. Only for registered developers. Mac OS X on intel only runs on Apple Macs with intel processors. Not on any PC. (Although for Apple, this would be feasible, of course.)
- Roz Ho of the MS MBU on stage. Mac versions of MS software will get more Exchange features.
- Just in: Press releases by Apple et al show support by Adobe and Microsoft for the platform shift. Apple will support both PPC and intel longterm.
- Bruze Chizen, CEO of Adobe: Adobe wants to be the first developer to have all their apps on the intel-Mac. And says to Steve: "What took you so long?"
- Steve Jobs lauds intel as being as passionate about great products as Apple.
- Intel CEO Otellini calls Apple the most innovative computer maker. Shows the intel-bunny-toaster ad by Apple from the 90s.
- Developers' job: Build universal binaries (that's what Apple calls the FAT binaries now) that run on both platforms.
- That's it. Keynote's over. No new products other than the developer kit. Steve Jobs says: Mac OS X is running well on intel. Better than Windows. ;)
ATi Mobility Radeon X800 XT
ATi has announced their newest highend graphics card for notebooks, the Mobility Radeon X800 XT. The chip uses the PCI Express interface, which currently isn't used in PowerBooks. The current PBs use the Mobility Radeon 9700 instead. A move to PCI Express and such a powerful graphics card would certainly make the current crop of PowerBooks more attractive, alas: Apple has never "just" upgraded the graphics card of a PowerBook, so this probably has to wait for another revision of the PowerBook, which isn't expected for some time to come.
This past weekend has brought us a lot of commentary on Apple's move to intel. Too much of it, really. AMD's in the picture now, too, with rumours of Apple-AMD talks. And some WIRED commentary thinks Apple will use the vapourware QuickTransit emulator, which "can" emulate PowerPC code on X86 hardware "without a performance hit". *cough*. Sure: And we'll fly in starhips next month, beam people around the world and compress files from 10 MB to 1 or 2 KB without losing information etc. *cough*.
I say: Let's now wait for Steve Jobs. In about 9 hours from now (19.00 CET) he will enter the stage at WWDC and let the cat out of the bag. Or not. We'll see.
Btw.: We'll have live coverage - as always. The link is already active
and the page is already reloading every minute, but please don't keep it open just yet, as it'd only abuse our server. ;) After the keynote ends, we'll bring the news over here to macnews.net.tc's main page and will disable the live feed page.
Apple engineer answers anandtech.com's benchmarks
You can read about it here
. We've written about the anandtech benchmarks here
. They concluded that Mac OS X is good for workstations, bad for servers. But maybe (as always) it's not that simple.
The comments in the blog entry show that it might even be more complicated. Keep in mind that whatever the outcome of such a discussion: Right now it's still true that the PowerMac sucks at MySQL and Apache, because as of now, they aren't changed. And right now, the over-simplification by anandtech.com is at least not incorrect.
The PowerBook G5 Myth
There's a fake press release making the rounds (it has typoes and it's wording's wrung, so yes: It's a fake...) about a PB G5 being released on Tuesday (and yes, Steve would announce it on Monday at the WWDC keynote, of course...).
Still: There are some myths around a possible PowerBook G5 that many people - including me - don't quite understand.
For example, the PB G5 should be the "mother of all thermal problems", Apple said in the past. And said it again when they released the last round of yet-another-G4-PBs. Yet: If you look at FreeScale's and IBM's power/heat numbers for the processors as well as what intel/AMD notebooks dissipate, it seems not only perfectly feasible (at a bit less than 2 GHz, that is), it's even almost not understandable why Apple hasn't done it in the past! Unless, of course, Apple plans to move to intel chips with the PBs first, so they could always claim that the PB G5 was "the mother of all thermal problems" and therefore couldn't be done, anyway. One more reason for a great marketing speech on Monday by Steve Jobs? We'll see.
However: I really don't expect a PB G5 on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or in a week. But then again: The rumour world was awfully quiet in the past weeks, and this certainly doesn't mean that Apple isn't working on hardware at all, it just means that people have become more careful after Apple's recent threats and lawsuits.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.2 8C26
The combo updater is now 55.1 MB in size. The build has no known issues and fixes quite a few things from 8C21. The update is expected to hit Software Update in the coming weeks until mid June. You can read more about the 10.4.2 update in our report on 8C21
(on the old pages).
intel rumour turns wild.
C|net news.com says it's a done deal
. Apple will use intel's chips in future Macs. Apple will do a full transition to intel's CPUs. Now while not totally out of the question, I personally think it'd be a bad move, since it means a lot of pain for the coming years. Apple has been in constant
transition for more than a decade. First we went from 68K to PowerPC processors (and lived with an OS which was partly using the 68K emulator for main services until OS X arrived) and then we had the transition from classic Mac OS to Mac OS X, which has basically only just been done.
A move to intel hardware would mean two versions of the operating system. For quite a while, too, since G5 users certainly won't accept a stop of the PPC version of the operating system for some
years to come. While Mac OS X is
highly portable, keeping both versions current and well-performing is going to cost a lot of energy.
On the other hand: intel is
pushing harder in many segments. And for portable computers, IBM is not currently delivering anything, really, and Motorola/FreeScale hasn't done much either. If Steve Jobs wants to sell this to us early next week, he has to do very, very good. Insanely great, he'd have to be.
macosxhints.com sold. To MacWorld.
Apparently, it's true
. Let's hope this doesn't mean a loss in quality for the site in the future.
G5 performance measured against competition
If you don't mind reading about performance and performance only
, this anandtech.com article
's for you.
There are two things very important (and sad at the same time) for me: First one is that the 2.7 GHz machine (almost a year after) is really not much faster than the 2.5 GHz machine. And the other one: For server tasks like Apache and MySQL, Mac OS X is simply not a good option. Their sum-up reads: "Mac OS X: Workstation, yes; Server, no."
- And quite certainly, after reading their document, it's true. Then again, you might choose Mac OS X Server for its functionality to cater for Mac OS X Client machines. But that's not what the linked article is about.
WWDC 2005: What can we expect?
At the beginning of the 21st century, it was clear that WWDC would bring news about the next big version of OS X, a developer preview version and the promise that the final version would come out the same year. Last year, though, Apple did all that - with the change that Tiger would be out only shortly before the next
WWDC. 1.5 years would be the new cycle for big versions of Mac OS X.
So what we can't
expect from the Steve-Note early next week is a look at Mac OS X 10.5, since that will probably be on the shelves at the very end of 2006 (to coincide with Longhorn's debut). We'll hear a lot about Tiger, though. About its technologies and about how developers should make use of them. And maybe
about what Apple will do with what Tiger enables them to do.
Traditionally, WWDC is not the place for hardware announcements. But Apple is not all about traditions, and it has announced the G5 at WWDC 2003 as well as the iSight camera. So it's not completely impossible that some or other hardware will be talked about at the Steve-Note.
Which leads us to the dearth of hardware-related rumours. Apple's lawsuits at the end of 2004 vs. rumour sites certainly has had its impact. Still: There are some things that have
been talked about.
Some old rumours never die. Apple talks to intel. A tablet Mac. An iBook mini. A PDA. A mobile phone. Those never come true, though. (Surprise us, Steve!)
Both the iBook and the Mac mini are in for an upgrade sooner or later. The iBook shouldn't push too close to the PowerBooks, of course (although they did the last
time they were updated - and for quite a while). The Mac mini is expected to get faster processors at up to 1.67 GHz. Again: WWDC is not necessarily the right place for such announcements. But it certainly could
iPod shuffle going to 1 and 2 GB is the next logical step in its evolution, a small display for at least some
information is not completely out of the question - but whether WWDC is the right place for such an announcement - we're not so sure.
Multiple core PowerPCs? The PowerMac has just been updated, and although it was certainly a rather small
step for the PowerMac, right now would be to soon after their introduction. And announcing them for August or September would quite probably kill their already lackluster sales numbers.
So: Let's not
expect too much this time. Apple still has to make sure that Tiger really takes off. Both by fixing it, but also by making sure that developers will
make use of the new technologies that Tiger has to offer.
Luxpro's new iPod shuffle clones
Luxpro has announced new shuffle clones
. Two of the three "SuperTangent" models have OLED displays now. Whether Apple rethinks the minimal interface of the iPod shuffle and now copies Luxpro for a change...?
MS MBU will bring Microsoft Office XML Open Format to the Mac
The subject says all that's currently known. Unknown is for which versions of Office:mac the Microsoft Office XML Open Format will be available. Speculation is that Office 2004 will get an update for the format, Office v.X won't and the next version of Office for the Mac, due in 2006 according to insider reports, will be based on the format.
The new format is an important change in Microsoft's ways, because it is based on an open standard. For Mac users, it's important to stay compatible, as Windows users of Office will probably make use of the format anyway.
IBM's future Power and PowerPC plans
ThinkSecret has an article
about IBM's future plans for the POWER processors. Current PowerPC processors at IBM (970, 970FX, 970GX, 970MP) are based on the POWER 4 line of processors (basically, they're scaled down and include AltiVec).
It's currently unknown, however, whether future versions of the PowerPC will be direct derivates of POWER 5 or 6 - or rather an evolution of the PowerPC 970 line of processors. Yet another processor, the Cell processor, could also have an impact on processors made by IBM and used by Apple. The nearer future however seems a bit clearer. Apple can soon get its hands on the 970GX and 970MP. The GX chip would make sense in iMacs and eMacs, the MP for PowerMacs. None of those chips is really intended for use in notebooks, however.
European iTunes affiliate program
that Apple today started its iTunes affiliate program for European iTMSs (including Switzerland). Also, customers can now use Click&Buy options with iTMS in Europe (Switzerland excluded).
New iPod shuffles?
The obvious next step for the iPod shuffle would be to become bigger on the inside. Rumours of 1 and 2 GB shuffles are abound. Some speculate that a 2 GB shuffle would need a display to still be useful, but that's just unlikely speculation. Of course, a 2 GB model would still be appreciated, since people not only use them as music players but USB memory sticks also. So they'd enjoy a 2 GB model as both a device with more space for music, but also for a medium with more space for "just files". In all likelihood, we'll see the 1 GB model replace the 512 MB one and the 2 GB model take the 1 GB model's price spot.
One of the oldest FTP clients for Mac OS and later Mac OS X, Fetch, has recently reached version number 5. Today, FetchSoftWorks
has released a bugfix update to 5.0.1.
Notebook prices falling. And Apple?
All over Europe, the sub 800 EUR notebooks are becoming more and more ubiquitous, as you can read here
. While Apple's 12" iBook still is a good thing to buy, it seems that the Mac - in the notebook sector - is once again becoming a premium brand automatically - unless Apple adjusts its lineup, which doesn't seem very likely.
The iBooks are
the product that is likely to be updated soon, though. With rumours of new screen sizes (14" widescreen, 15" widescreen), a price reduction doesn't seem likely. The 12" model would be the right candidate, though.
Tiger: Good, bad and ugly.
So, the first month since Tiger's been released has passed. It seems that a lot of people have upgraded their systems from Panther. A new OS version always seems to itch us, doesn't it, whether we specifically need
its features or not.Tiger's main new features are under the hood.
There's been a lot going on there. Spotlight's much more than just the (broken?) interface you see at the top right corner of the screen. The 64-bit additions will pave the way for developers to make more use of the G5's capabilities. And on the kernel level, Apple's been tidying up a lot of things, too.But all of this - in light of many people's troubles with 10.4.0 and 10.4.1 - seems like Tiger's more important to Apple and third party developers than it is to end users.
Sure, the verdict on Spotlight is mixed. Some people plainly love it, others hate it, and the others like it in some
places but hate it in others. The verdict on Dashboard is mixed, too. Looks nice, but brought a big security issue with it. While Apple's actively solving this problem, it certainly didn't help Apple's clean slate about viruses, worms and other security issues. Also it's much more eye-candy than a real feature (let alone more than 10 new features, since Apple counts every widget it includes as a separate feature in its list of 200 new features). Let's be honest: There've been other web services like Dashboard's before, and Apple already had a clock in the menubar, and Calculator.app and Stickies.app are probably still
the better solutions to their respective tasks.So where are we now?
Simply put: Tiger's not there yet. There are performance issues (1 GB RAM is
enough, isn't it? It's more than recommended at least...), there are security issues, there are bugs and there are graphical glitches and UI mishaps. Basically: We're right where Panther was at 10.3 and where Cheetah was at 10.0 - the OS needs fixing. And Apple knows this, too. With 1.5 years until 10.5 arrives, I wouldn't be surprised if Tiger would reach 10.4.12 or 10.4.15. Still: Here's to the hope that the main issues people have with Tiger, currently, get solved with 10.4.2, due in the coming weeks.
That Spotlight issue...
You might remember my gripe with Spotlight's lack of find-by-name
from "the old pages". I've received many a helpful (*cough*) e-mail about it, but apart from maybe three or four, they all basically mentioned just the obvious, i.e. that you can either just try and pick the right one from Spotlight's default search (which finds far too many results, as it also searches content) or use the dreaded Cmf-F in Finder and switch around the search criteria and put part of the filename into the 'name contains' field - leaving the main search field completely empty. All of those tips have, of course, not been unknown to me. See: I've been using Tiger for quite a while now. But they don't actually solve the problem. Which is that Apple seems to think that "names are not important", to quote Douglas Adams' character Slartibartfast.
Here's to the hope that Apple will
get its act together and give users a choice. For me, file names are
The comment system
It seems like leaving the comment system open for anyone to post is not a very good idea. After about an hour, I already had comments that came from bots, it seems. I hope the spammers don't use blogger-identities just yet, since I think you might actually want to use the comment system (which will ease my mailbox a little). I'll read the comments - and will also answer there, if I can. Apart from that, macnews.net.tc should stay as it always was.
The move's done...
With the old pages linking to the new ones and vice versa, as well as the domain name updated (so macnews.net.tc should actually take you here as soon as the DNS servers you're using know about it), I consider the move done, and new articles - such as the QT one below - will of course appear here
from now on. Hopefully, we won't run into similar problems with this change - but I guess for some time to come, this will be it.
QuickTime 7.0.1 released
In Software Update. The update adds some compatibility for pro users and fixes some issues - a security issue among them. Sure glad Apple keeps fixing Tiger etc. We'll have more information on the forthcoming 10.4.2 update soon.