Looking forward – looking back

There are some fundamental differences in how Microsoft and Apple does things. If you haven’t been aware of them before switching from a Windows based computer to a Mac, you’ll probably notice some of them pretty fast.

One of the first things I discovered is that things are more “binary” in the Mac world. If you have an external device it either works with the Mac or it doesn’t. There isn’t that middle ground from the windows world where it almost works, but not quite – or worse it works in even week numbers but not when the sun shine.

Another thing I fear I’ll discover after the next Apple World Wide Developer Conference is their will to leave things behind. Microsoft has an impressive – maybe even amazing – record of backwards compatibility. Almost no matter how they move forward, they never really break anything backwards. Apple on the other hand is pretty hard on legacy – if you can’t keep up, you’re left behind. They were among the first to drop the disk drive, and they been much more efficient in moving their user base to the current version of their OSX (not quite like Microsoft, which seem to have a hard time getting their users on to Vista).
I’m afraid they’ll announce that the next version of OS X – the 10.6 – is Intel-only – leaving my PowerG5 behind. It doesn’t feel like an old nor slow machine, but once Apple decided it’s too old – it really doesn’t matter – and I better start saving some cash for a new Mac.

Google and the iPhone

Appleinsider has an interesting little story. It reports how the iPhone usage shocks Google – being far above the expectations. I don’t have any expectations, have so far not used nor touched an iPhone, but frankly you shouldn’t be too surprised.

Sure I’ll probably get blamed as an Apple fanboy, but I hardly know any other company who is able to – so successfully – match the possibilities of technology with consumer desires.

Just spend a few minutes comparing the 4 iPod lineups with the current Creative mp3 offerings (10 models  – some with additional options) – Where would you fell most confident, that you picked the right model for you?

With the iPhone I guess Apple has managed to make a technology device accessible and understand how their customers might use it. It’ll be damn fun one day to try it out and see what makes it so special.

MacBook Air – fair criticism?

Earlier this week Apple introduced a new line in their laptop lineup – the MacBook Air. On the web there’s been a number of people criticizing the MacBook Air, and frankly I really don’t get why they need to have every Apple product be a perfect match for them – they aren’t and they’re not supposed to be.

“Top 10 Flaws of the Macbook Air”

Let me add a few comments to some of the points on one of the lists criticizing the Macbook Air:

  1. Battery not user Replaceable
    No it isn’t, but how often do you need that? I’ve never had to replace a battery dispite using laptops for 10+ years. Sure you should be able to, but you can’t – so be it.
  2. No Optical Drive
    Several laptops from other vendors doesn’t have a built in optical drives. It’s not a flaw it’s a feature. Use the external if/when you need it.
  3. Mono Speakers
    Who uses the build-in speakers? I always either using headphones or external speakers. When I do use the build-in speakers it doesn’t matters it’s mono.
  4. Fixed RAM and Slow Processor
    Sure replaceable/upgradeable RAM would be nice, but for most common uses 2 Gb RAM should be sufficient for the expected lifetime of the machine.
    The Core2 Duo 1.6Ghz is probably fast enough for most average uses. It’s not for Photoshop, heavy Video editing, but it’ll run Mail.app, Safari, iWork and iLife just fine.
  5. Single Link DVI Output
    If you need to have several screens attached to the laptop (or need to power a 30” display) the Macbook Air probably isn’t for you. You’re probably a Pro user, who should look at the Macbook Pro (as the name suggest).

Why the Macbook Air might be just perfect

I’ve been recommending ShuttlePCs for friends and family for the past year, and usually that they buy a reasonable configuration, and use the machine for as long as it suits their needs – then replace it. When it seems slow, lacks hard disk space or what ever – don’t bother with upgrades, spend the money on a new machine.

I’m sure geeks find it amazing to replace memory, hard disk and other upgradable parts, but most computer users these days don’t. They think of their computer just like their car – if you aren’t a mechanic, don’t mess under the hood – you’ll probably do more damage than good.

The MacBook Air isn’t for everyone, but it’s a wonderful machine for many common computer users, and probably not for geeks (that’s why they have the MacBook Pro, remember).

I personally doesn’t give a damn, that the Air doesn’t have an optical drive – I might use the optical drive in my PowerMac twice a year, and using an external drive (or a hosted drive on an other computer) will work just fine for me, thank you.

I might have a problem with the hard disk options, but with a huge digital data collection (photos, music, video and others) I’m already looking into network drives – and with 2+ GB USB pendrives, I can easily place the data on a pendrive and bring them with me.

I really like the weight and the general form factors, and while it may not be the perfect primary computer for all, I’m sure many will be quite satisfied with it – even as their primary computer.

Got Mac?

Yes I do. It’s been some months since I decided to go for a Mac, but my home office is power by a hardware monster from Cupertino – a PowerMac with to G5 cpus. I do belive I made new record from “computer in box” to the “computer fully patched and ready” – less than 2 hours (Windows XP average: 10+ hours). I probably still need a few tools and applications to be fully operational, but so far it just rocks. Mac – Go get it.

Apple keynote MacWorld SF2005

Apple choose not to do a live feed from Jobs keynote at MacWorld SanFran this time, but with a little delay it’s available online. Some surprises was spoiled ahead, but there was a number of cool introductions – The Mac OS X Tiger, iPod Shuffle (flash player), Mac Mini (headless computer), iWork (office-like suite) and an update to iLife (Moives, Photos and more). I’m still looking for PowerBook updates though. Where are they?