MWSF05: A Look at iWork

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 16:21
Category: Software

iWork '05Apple’s new iWork productivity suite strikes me as a curious beast. Pages and Keynote 2.0 make beautiful documents and presentations yet it seems that Apple recommends you have iLife on your system too. From Apple’s initial marketing pages (oh what a word to choose) it seems that integration is the word of the day – using movies, pictures and pages to make your Keynote presentation fly. Read on…

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Apple Gets Hit by the Ugly Stick

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 16:08
Category: Archive

SAN FRANCISCO — After seeing Apple’s new hardware announcements today, one word comes to mind – UGLY. The emperor has no clothes, there, I’ve said it.
Take a look at the iPod Shuffle, it looks like a combination of one of those cheapo digital cameras combined with a digital thermometer. Yuck. No Apple design flair whatsoever.
Also, I was expecting Apple to do something innovative with the lanyard like include the headphones in it, instead you plug headphones into the bottom (top?) and the result is a mass of spaghetti hanging from your neck. The spaghetti problem is blatantly obvious in the new TV ads where people are dancing around with them around their necks. I bet we’ll start hearing stories really soon now about how the lanyard/headphone combination gets caught car doors, etc.
While we’re at it, take a good long look at the Mac mini. It looks like an external hard drive from 1999. While not quite as ugly as the iPod Shuffle, it has absolutely no redeeming design values whatsoever! What? It’s rounded? Big whoop! Maybe they should have called it the Mac SCSI?
Folks, face it. The new Apple hardware is butt ugly. Was Jonthan Ive involved in these designs? Curiously, Ive was noticably absent from the promotional videos usually played during the keynote.
I know that both products have their market and that they’ll sell lots of them, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like them. Frankly, I expect more from Apple’s design team and I am extremely underwhelmed and disappointed.
Don’t be an Apple apologist! Steve has no clothes.

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Apple Plays for Growth

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:01
Category: Archive

It’s quick-spin time, so get ready: this is the Macworld we’ve been waiting for.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: the Macworld you (and I) are waiting for is the one with faster Mac towers and G5 PowerBooks. But for years, we’ve watched as Apple has been content to be a niche player, milking the faithful (that’s you and me) for all we’re worth. Apple’s market share hasn’t really grown since the crash in the 90s. Profits, revenues, all up — but the Mac languishes. For the pro market, that’s been a big deal. Don’t believe the hype: a LOT of production in audio and video is now on PCs, in what was once an all-Mac nirvana.

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GarageBand 2 Revealed

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:57
Category: Archive

GarageBand 2 gets one of the biggest upgrades in iLife `05 (second only to iMovie). No audio interface hardware as rumored, but here’s the scoop:
Good news: More features inherited from Logic — live viewing and editing of notation, automatic pitch correction and groove correction, built-in guitar tuner, instant save to loop library and (drum roll!) finally supports MIDI import.
Bad news: (As far as we can tell) no MIDI export and no printing of notation. Those are “pro” features, apparently, according to Apple. (Stay tuned, though, I’m hoping they added this and didn’t tell anyone.)
See full details at createdigitalmusic.com, where I’ll be posting updates.

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Mac mini for me and you

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:24
Category: Announcement

The new Mac mini. It just had to be more than a cheap headless desktop computer, but it is far less. It?s a laptop without a screen or keyboard or battery. It?s an external drive with a computer squeezed in. Cheap PCs are mostly towers, generic boxes that can be added to, but are largely hollow, empty and without style. They are desktop behemoths with no guts. The Mac mini is flexible because it is small. read on……

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MWSF05: Key Notes

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:20
Category: Archive

Just past the link are my blow-by-blow notes from the today’s keynote address by Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo San Francisco. Please pardon obvious mistakes and typos….

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BANG#!^&….. was that the Sound of a Backfire?

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 12:30
Category: Opinion

The First Amendment to the Constitution is an umbrella shared by a variety of groups. It protects the ability of the public to communicate without undue restriction from their government. There are certainly limitations to this protection and the courts move the lines around constantly. Apple Computer made a fundamental error when they moved beyond plugging internal leaks and sued Think Secret. On the face of it, Apple has every right to protect internal information by keeping it secret, but pushing some of the smallest players out from under the protection of the umbrella risks antagonizing the larger news outlets. The editorial policy of the New York Times may be quite different from that of the National Enquirer, but they do share protection from the same particular set of laws. That is why the PowerPage took notice when Think Secret was sued. While our focus may lean more towards consumer protection than it does rumor and speculation, any diminution of protection for news outlets is of concern to us, especially an attack on small internet based journalists. read on…….

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No Live Feed – Don?t get Paranoid

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 10:34
Category: Opinion

The idea that Steve Jobs pulled the live feed in a fit of pique is a bit too paranoid for me to buy into. I have made time to watch it in the past and have had problems with the feed on a number of occasions, so I expect that it just might not be technically feasible to expect consistent results with the numbers that are projected for this year. It would not be good to present QuickTime in a bad light. Now that so many Windows users have iPods and QuickTime, it is just not worth the risk to give them a frustrating experience that would have less to do with Quicktime and more to do with the limitations of their connections to the internet.