Think Different About Desktop Computers

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Date: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2002, 01:00
Category: Archive

I think Apple needs to really Think Different about Pro desktop computers. In fact they should just abandon the desktop and get down on the floor. I have never been a fan of the current tower case, introduced with the Blue & White G3. It was bigger and bulkier than it had to be and offered less room for internal expansion than the Power Macintosh 9600. I think the G5 processor should come in a box that is meant to sit on the floor with no removable drive bays. It would house the power supply, a motherboard with an AGP and four PCI slots, airport and as many as two 3.5 (?) hard drives. All removable drives would sit on a FireWire/USB docking station on the desktop.


I think Apple needs to really Think Different about Pro desktop computers. In fact they should just abandon the desktop and get down on the floor. I have never been a fan of the current tower case, introduced with the Blue & White G3. It was bigger and bulkier than it had to be and offered less room for internal expansion than the Power Macintosh 9600. I think the G5 processor should come in a box that is meant to sit on the floor with no removable drive bays. It would house the power supply, a motherboard with an AGP and four PCI slots, airport and as many as two 3.5 (?) hard drives. All removable drives would sit on a FireWire/USB docking station on the desktop.

Computers are just too bulky and that’s why so many towers sit under desks with their optical drive the only reason they can’t just be pushed back to the wall and forgotten. Apple should capitalize on the power of Firewire and just locate a bootable optical drive on the desk, sitting on top of an optional docking station with FireWire and USB outlets conveniently facing forward to plug in any other peripherals you like. And just stack up other modular drives and devices one on top of the other if you need them.

It’s time Apple set itself apart from the competition by making the Pro computers into a clearly differentiated product. If the G5 chip meets expectations, Apple could start making the kind of performance boasts it made when the G4 came out. I can see a top of the line Quad processor G5 and maybe some clustering software that would allow all the networked G5’s to work together as a supercomputer when needed!

This kind of thinking would really start to exploit the power of OS X and catch the competition flat-footed. Other manufacturers would have to convince Microsoft to accommodate them in order to push those types of boundaries. Unlike the competition, Apple seems to be taking risks and innovating during this economic downturn. Apple has to exploit the advantages inherent in Unix and OS X in a big way by selling some easy to use, powerful workstations at near PC prices!

This is really just the refinement of an idea I floated at Go2Mac in July of 2000.

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