Posts tagged “hack”.

Introducing: first OMP backlight

April 9th, 2009


Frank Gruendel has done it again. Last time, it was a dual-screen Newton. This time, he’s hot-wired a proto backlight into a Newton MessagePad 100 (or OMP).

Check out Frank’s Pda-Soft site for a fun photo tour of the project. It’s just a preview, but already Frank has started a buzz on the NewtonTalk list.

OMPs, and any MessagePad pre-MP130, lacked backlighting, making it hard to noodle with Newtons in dark or low-light conditions. It wasn’t until the MP130 that Apple got smart enough to include it.

But now? Sky’s the limit. Congrats, Frank!

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.