It’s Not a Conversion, but…

2 02 2008


Apple’s been putting out nice stuff lately. I’m personally a *nix fan. But I will give credit where it’s due. A couple of week ago, MacWorld didn’t really shock anyone, especially if you follow rumor blogs on Apple. Macworld for me was like a kid on Christmas that already knew what he was getting. Everything there was predicted. There were even some pretty accurate mockups of the Macbook Air. I think the only thing that no one really expected was the Timecapsule, which coincidentally is what excited me the most. An airport extreme with a 500GB server grade drive. I know I could probably just buy a draft N Linksys or D-link with USB connectivity and an external drive for like 240. Maybe I’m just getting sucked in to the whole Mac thing.

Anyway, I’m getting a Mac this month. Macbook Pro specifically. Going back those rumor blogs I was talking about, there’s word going around on a new MBP. It’s supposed to have the new Penryn Intels and the multitouch pad that’s on the MB Air. The new “low-end” 15″ MBP is estimated to ship with 2.5GHz. Supposedly will also allow a BluRay option. A battery-life tracking website has also been getting test results from the Apple IP range with system identifiers of “MacBookPro4,1” The current ones are 3,1. Since the new Penryn chips have SSE4 instructions and SSE4 support is a new feature on 10.5.2, I’ll be looking for the new MBPs when 10.5.2 ships. While it’s not concrete evidence, it’s enough to make me wait.

So as a nerd, I feel it pretty necessary to experiment with a Mac. That’s how I’m rationalizing this. I keep telling myself this isn’t a switch. But seeing how easily I got sucked in at Macworld, I think I may be headed that way. I mean, Jobs almost had me convinced that the lack of an optical drive on the Air was a ‘feature’. And I thought that being able to access the optical drive from a networked computer was revolutionary. I went home and realized I could do that between a Vista and XP, Fedora 8 and XP , etc.

I’ll be back with more news on the Mac Hunt ’08 as it develops. In the mean time, any current Mac users with tips, trick, news, hacks, essential programs etc for a new user…input is very much welcome.


Update: The battery tracking site is down! Server overload? Or an outside influence cracking the whip? *Alex forms conspiracy theory*


How’s About That 4TB Laptop? 1TB iPod?

17 10 2007

“Bigger is better”. We’ve all heard the slogan. Texans like it big. But where’s the future headed? We want smaller phones, smaller cameras, smaller computers. At some point though, I’d like to think there’s a compromise between size and functionality. The folks at Hitachi seem to have defied the inverse relationship between hard drive size and capacity. Nano technology sounds like something in a science fiction movie when in fact, it’s being studied and developed actively all the time. It just hasn’t really been implemented in the consumer’s market because of cost. Cost or not, it’s exciting know that something like this even exist.


Hitachi revealed a new, re-vamped GMR in which they claimed to be able to quadruple storage size. Hitachi has managed to create the worlds smallest disc drive heads, 30-50 nanometers. That’s 2000 times the width of a human hair. While I would have been okay with calling it GMR2.0 *sarcasm* the new technology was actually dubbed, “Current Perpendicular-to-the-Plane Giant Magneto-Resistive” or CPP-GMR head.

To be put into simple terms, the smaller the head, the thiner tracks it lays down on the disc. Thinner tracks mean more room for more tracks. It’s like asking “how many non-overlapping lines can you draw on this 3×5 flash card using this sharpie.” and THEN asking, “How many non-overlapping lines can you draw on a 3×5 flash card using a 0.5mm lead pencil. ” Current drive heads can read and write tracks at 70 nanometers while Hitachi’s CPP-GMR can do 30-50. We will be seeing 4x the storage from drives in desktops starting 2009 and 2011 for notebooks, says Hitachi.

What if you could put these drives in digital cameras or even, iPods. Oh hey, since you mentioned iPods, guess what? Apple CEO, Steve Jobs is up at bat again in this “cat and mouse” as he put it, between the hacker community and his precious multi-touch handhelds. 2 weeks ago, Apple released 1.1.1. An update that erased people’s 3rd party apps and bricked phones that had been unlocked. Unlocking, by the way, is legal according to the DMCA, passed by congress last year. Despite the release being punitive, the hacker community was not demoralized and went to work at reversing and recreating the hack. Last Thursday, the consumer fired back at Apple with another unlock and jailbreak hack. And again on Sunday, with a “one click” application to make it even easier.


.Rather than start off on another tirade on how greedy, immoral, petty and restrictive Apple is, suffice it to say it feels good to stick it to them. And yes, I can say that on a personal level. Low and behold screenshots of MY new iPod Touch. I still think Apple has a great product. It works, it’s fast and it’s sleek. Although I don’t think that’s reason enough to overcharge for mediocre hardware. The company is a different story. Apple seems to instill this sense of elitism among its fans. And how does Apple repay those elitist sheep fans? By stiffing them 200 bucks in the first 2 months of the iPhone release. I sometimes equate Apple fanboys to Oakland Raider fans. No matter how many disappointments, they remain fanatically glued to those sources of overly-hyped product. Just remember, Apple came from Unix.


More Corporate Crying

3 10 2007

AT&T will cut you off if you hurt their feelings – yah, it’s getting THAT ridiculous

Should Apple take a hint from Microsoft? – Old Zunes can install New Zune’s firmware. Cool concept, inferior product.

Apple Playing The Prison’s Jailor

26 09 2007

With the recent release of the iPhone, new iMacs, the iPod nano, the iPod Touch and rumors of new brushed aluminum notebooks, Apple has been in the ‘spotlight’ (pun intended) pretty much anywhere you look. As a matter fact AAPL stock closed at $153.00 yesterday; a 52 week high. Performing at 74.8%, it’s quite possible we may see $200. As it stands, it’s almost 2.5 times Dell’s market cap. Michael Dell is eating his words. In 1997, Dell was asked what could be done to fix Apple, a then deeply financially troubled company. He said “What would I do?” In front of several thousand IT managers. “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Aside the fact that Apple is a growing company, as an open source/Free Software Foundation supporter, I’ve really come to hate this company. There’s no denying that they do export a superior product but God help me because it’s so infuriating when a company feels the need to discourage “curious consumers” from exploring the full capabilities of their hardware by threatening to break their half-thousand dollar machines.

Before the official release, a couple of iPod Touch units have been circulating. A “curious consumer” named “Martyn” was on the verge of being able to gain more functionality from his unit. He had no intention of posting the means to do so online, but on a private secure section of his site. Apple caught wind and sent a Takedown Notice to his ISP which in turn prevented “Martyn” from obtaining the help he needed to continue development of releasing the shackles on the iPod Touch.

What is Apple hiding? Apple is releasing another Newton, this time with multi-touch technology. */rant-start* If they think they’re going to sell us the same hardware with virtually the same specs, put software on it that restricts/adds functionality and then lower/raise price accordingly and not expect people to try to squeeze more functionality out of their overpriced hardware, they must be crazy.*/rant-end* My wild-ass guess is once this thing is unlocked you’ll be able to “upgrade” your 300 dollar iPod into an 800 dollar Newton (Price speculated…randomly) and THAT’S what Apple is scared of.

I’ve heard arguments that Apple is simply worried about its intellectual property. Company secrets and competition is the capitalist/American way. That’s fine. But if you can’t protect it, you don’t deserve it remaining a secret. How can you not expect this to happen when you intentionally remove the ability to add calendar entries to the Touch unless it’s docked to a computer, when it’s very possible with the iPhone. “They run the same damn binaries.” And that came from inside Apple.

Why Apple decided to disallow Calendar modifications and remove the email client for no apparent reason is beyond me. The only thing I can think of is….

Alex’s “Jerks That Hate Freedom” List
1. Apple (+1)
2. Michael Moore (-1)
3. Verizon


PS. Apple… I hate you…but will begrudgingly buy your product and be a “curious consumer”