Posts categorized “OS X”.

What about the Mac Mini?

June 16th, 2008

How are Mac Mini sales doing?

I always wonder about the Mac Mini.

Every time I see one I want to touch it, and I’m always on the look-out for a cheap enough model to buy. But I wonder how the Mac Mini’s sales are doing.

When it was launched, people predicted the Mini – then a G4 – would sell pretty well. Then, last summer, sites predicted the death of the Mini. Since Leopard was release, the Mini just hangs in limbo.

It’s a shame, too, because people love the pint-sized Mac enough to mod the heck out of it. Media centers, car computers – you name it, someone has put a Mini inside it. But how well does it sell overall?

The original idea was to offer up a below-$1,000 Mac so that Window users, who already own a capable monitor and keyboard/mouse set, could jump ship easily and cheaply. The Mini could run OS X and MS Office software and anything else you could throw at it, and users could expect a machine to help them “learn” the Mac OS without whipping through 40 Photoshop filters at top speed. You knew it was a modest system. You didn’t expect a whole lot.

As it stands today, though, people are switching to Apple – but mostly through the notebook route. What’s the Mac Mini’s role in all this? A new MobileMe-only device? A music server?

Plus, OS X 10.5 requires more powerful hardware, and the Mini’s modest specs seem to not up to the new iMac’s standards, I guess I’m just worried the tiny Mac will get lost in the (non-iPod) shuffle. If sales are sluggish, would Apple just drop it? Would the monitor-less experiment be over? And what about the dreaded xMac?

If anyone knows, I’d love to hear about it.

Handwriting recognition on the iPhone?

May 7th, 2008

Chinese handwriting recognition on the iPhone

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard it (Ars Technica has it too), but it seems the beta of the new iPhone firmware offers some sort of handwriting recognition, at least for Chinese characters.

iPodHacks says many “consider Rosetta / Inkwell to be the most advanced handwriting recognition technology yet developed.” And I’ve heard that elsewhere too, since it’s – in part – derived from Newton’s own HWR engine.

I just bought a spare copy of OS X 10.2 Jaguar, and it reminded me that OS X ships with Inkwell. Could my suggestion of a Newton emulator on the iPhone be any easier now? Maybe it’s already done. But how would writing with your pinkie turn out?

Newton Connection updated to 2.1

April 8th, 2008

Newton Connection, one of the applications that lets you sync your Newton MessagePad to modern OS X Macs, released a 2.1 update that allows for screenshots.

Newton Poetry covered apps like NCX, and it’s nice to know Newton developers are still working hard on viable connection solutions. NCX does everything the old Newton Connection Utilities did, but runs under OS X.

// Via Cult of Mac

Connecting your Newton to OS X

March 10th, 2008

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.

One of the challenges of owning and using a Newton in the modern computing world is its lack of support for Apple’s OS X.

There’s no easy direct-connect option that offers the stability and goof-proof usability of Newton Connection Kit or Utilities, but there are options (as this Google Answers commentary points out).

The idea is that, using apps like NewTen, Escale or NewtSync, you can sync your iCal and Address Book entries to Newton’s own Calendar and Names databases. It’s a beautiful idea, and a handy route for us Newton die-hards who want a more modern interface than OS 7+ offers. Who needs a Blackberry or Palm when you’ve got Apple’s original PDA?

I will say that I’ve tried a few these solutions, and none have worked for me. I think that it’s a combination of (a) my USB-to-serial adapter isn’t supported by my iBook G4 and (b) these applications require Newton OS 2.0 to run properly. Stuck at OS 1.3, there’s not much I can do but use Newton Connection Kit on my G3 Bondi iMac.

But some Newton users have used both of these programs with varied success rates. There has been plenty of dicussion in the Newtontalk mailing list about both applications, and some support is out there for Newton users having issues.

So let’s dig into these one by one, and see what each have to offer.

More… »