Posts tagged “iphone”.

Touch screen iMac G4 idea

June 29th, 2010

iMac Touch?

Austin Leeds at Low End Mac:

Apple could revive the design of the iMac G4 (with sharper angles, a thinner display, and integrated speakers – all in unibody aluminum, of course). By utilizing the oh-so-ergonomic display design, touchscreen computing could be made quite comfortable. And cute.

Well there’s an idea – although I wonder if you need a G4-style body, with the domed based and swivel neck. Wouldn’t another version of the current iMac do just as well?

Part of me (okay, all of me) would love to see the old G4 design return. Practically, it would be nice to bring the screen closer if you need to touch it. Or maybe tilt it a bit to do some drawing.

File this in under “what happens if/when iOS and Mac OS combine.”

Newton Launch Day

June 24th, 2010

Happy Newton Launch Day, from Thomas Brand.

Quote of the week: close enough

June 22nd, 2010

“Verizon has reached a powerful point in their marketing: for Verizon customers curious about the iPhone, Droid is close enough. Close enough is powerful, and Apple is rapidly losing ground to it.”

- Marco Arment on a possible Verizon iPhone. His theory is that Apple will continue to lose ground to Verizon’s Droid if it doesn’t release a CDMA iPhone. As long as you can walk into a phone store that isn’t AT&T and pick up an Android smart phone, often for free, Marco’s right – it’ll be good enough.

Quote of the week: leaving Apple

June 2nd, 2010

“Even with July 11 behind the company, the focus is still on mobile devices, not the Macintosh. The Mac is why I went to work for Apple, but sadly, it is not where Apple is putting their time and money.”

- Stephen M. Hackett, over at Forkbomber, on why he quit as an Apple retail Lead Mac Genius. His thoughts on the switch to “gadgets” and the hectic repair schedule are fascinating.

Mobile Command Unit

May 17th, 2010

DDC Mobile Command Unit

Throw an MP2100 in there and your set to go.

[Via Draplin Design, via FFFFOUND!]

A bite of the AAPL

May 3rd, 2010

About two years ago, I took a dive into the Apple stock pool – with no idea what I was doing. It didn’t take long to learn how over my head I was, but I’ve stuck with it and it’s finally starting to pay off.

My original idea was to invest in a company I care about just when it was about to really break open. The previous year, Apple announced the first-ever iPhone, and I had a good feeling that after Macworld an investment in AAPL stock was a decent idea. What’s the worst that could happen?

AAPL entry point

Then the worst happened, and for two long years I’ve agonized over the stock market like never before.

But now AAPL is cruising at its highest selling price ever, thanks to stellar quarterly numbers, and I could knock out my goal in the next few weeks.

The goal? To make enough off the AAPL stock I own to keep one share and sell off the rest and still make a profit.

In January 2008, I bought AAPL at $189 – just a smidgen under it’s then-high of $200 or so. I bought five shares, meaning I paid $945.

Now, to keep one (currently at $250 or so) and still make money, I need to sell off the remaining four so that I get back something north of $945. If I were to sell four shares today, I would earn more than $1,000. That’s a $55 profit, and I still get to keep a share of AAPL stock.

See how that works?

Why keep one measly share? To have a sense of ownership in a company I respect. It’s not about the money (although it’s fun to make some). It’s about investing in my favorite West Coast computer maker – a vote of confidence.

And confidence is the word lately. AAPL has been on a tear, especially considering the low point it was at a year ago:

AAPL stock low

The little burgeoning investor voice in my told me to buy, and buy a lot, because it can only go up. But my experience after the January 2008 crash spooked me a bit, so I left well enough alone. Now, it’s paying off.

My last step is to set a limit price at $290, meaning if the stock hits that number I sell four shares automatically. Also, I’ve set a loss price at $250, meaning if it hits that mark my four shares are sold automatically, too. It’s a sweet spot, that range in between. I don’t want to get greedy, but I also want to ensure I make enough to keep that one share, plus some extra dough on the side.

Quote of the week: goodbye, desktop

April 23rd, 2010

“Back in 1998, Apple killed the floppy drive with one fell swoop. Killing the PC desktop won’t be as quick and easy, but Apple will do it over time. It started with the iPhone, and in a few years we won’t even remember the Finder.”

- Sachin’s Posterous, in a very thought-provoking post. I often wonder what OS X+1 will look like. Not OS X 10.7 or 10.8, but after the tens are done. What does the next-generation, non-OS X-based operating system look like?

[Via Sir Kendal.]

iPhone expectations

April 9th, 2010

via San Jose Mercury News

Do they ever?

The Newton, 10 years later

March 25th, 2010

Patrick Rhone at Minimal Mac:

Well, wait until I tell you that I used a Newton MessagePad as my main “daily worker” for years. Every model from the introduction of the MessagePad 120 all the way until the 2100. I used it for web browsing (as it was at the time), reading, email, notes, calendar, address book, word processor, and much more. In other words, exactly as one would use any portable computer. During that time, I saw the sort of computing I was able to do with a handheld device, and the way I was doing it, as the future of computing. With the introduction of the iPad, my faith in that future is regained.

Rhone is springing for an iPad as his main, everyday computing device. Instead of purchasing a new Macbook, he’s keeping his old, black Macbook and “upgrading” to an iPad.

The linked article, the one where Rhone talks about using his Newton MessagePad as an everyday machine, is fascinating:

I used it for everything. I took all my notes with it, used the external keyboard to type up documents and e-mail, managed my schedule and contacts, and, with the introduction of the MessagePad 2000, used it for most of my web browsing. My desktop computers were always simply a backup and data conduit for my Newtons. I did not even own a laptop, my Newton could do all that I needed in a mobile situation.

“All that I needed” is the key quote here, because the iPad (and the Newton before it) represents what most people need: e-mail, writing, viewing photos, browsing the web. For years now, the low-end Mac folks have been saying this same thing as a justification for using classic Macintosh computers. If all you need is e-mail and Word, why not use a PowerBook G3?

But take that idea and make it lovely, fluid, and seamless (and affordable), and you have the iPad. All the stuff I love about Macs – the file system, the tinkering, the more in-depth and specialized software – is what turns most of the people I know away from computers. They don’t want the hassle. They just want to do stuff.

With the Newton, you could have it both ways. Take computing and abstract it: make it a notepad, a calendar, and a few data-tracking apps, and control it with a pen. Or dig into the soup and pry open Toolkit and have your way with the device. The kicker was that this device was too expensive for the simplicity it offered. And hampered by technological limitations of the ’90s.

Simpleness. The Mac shot for it. The Dynabook did, too. The Newton. Magic Cap. The ideal was an affordable, portable, light weight (upkeep-wise), intuitive device that let you get your work done and organize your life.

Rhone felt the Newton was enough in its day, and now feels the iPad is the successor to that simplistic legacy. I think he’s right.

If you’re reading this, the computer – a Mac or PC or Linux box – probably holds a special place in your life. You tinker, you develop, you read up on ways to do things better, or how to fix problems. You work with a screen with a CPU and a keyboard, with an operating system you can change and tweak, with software you can install at will. For me, it’s a hobby. I can’t imagine life without the computer as I know it (in my case, the iMac I’m writing this on).

But for some, like Rhone, the iPad is all they need. For heavy lifting, they can keep a backup.

The Newton used to be the iPad in this equation, as Rhone points out. And for some, the MessagePad will always hold a special place in our hearts. Time and technology, however, have passed the Newton by. If you want to watch movies, browse the almost-full web, play your iTunes content, or even see your pictures in color, and you want the ideal portable computing device, you’re going to have to get an iPad. The Newton can still do a lot of what the iPad can do, and it can still be a useful device. It’s just that the iPad gives you a richer, more modern way to do it.

Rhone calls it a “return to the future” – a sense of some far-off, ideal gadget that fulfills the promises of the early ’80s and ’90s. It’s amazing to think that this flat, touchscreen gadget can, day-to-day, replace a Mac notebook. For me, it couldn’t happen. I wouldn’t want it to happen.

But for some, like Rhone, it’s finally feasible.

Apple TV as odd-product out

March 19th, 2010

Apple TV

The Apple TV has had an interesting history. Starting out, it accompanied the iPhone as Apple’s “next big thing,” even if its spotlight was dim in comparison with the iPhone’s.

From then on, it became a “hobby,” and now I wonder if it’s even that.

Consider this. On the Apple.com Store, the “above the fold” shot looks something like this:

Apple.com store homepage

Notice anything missing? The Macs and iPods and Touch devices are all there in the circle. But no Apple TV. In fact, to find any mention of the Apple TV anywhere on the Store homepage, you have to look under the “For iPod” section:

Apple TV under iPods

Deeper in the store, the Apple TV gets a mention, but under Mac Accessories. So is the Apple TV for iPods or for Macs?

What gives? If Filemaker Pro and Apple’s printer bundle can get a graphical mention on the Store homepage, why not Apple TV?

I put together a current Apple product lineup grid, showing the available desktops, notebooks, touch devices, iPods, and what I call “Misc.” – which just means anything that isn’t any of the above categories:

Current Apple product lineup

The “Misc.” section is a mish-mash. Displays, peripherals, networking and backup products – and the Apple TV. One could argue that it belong with the iPod, but I consider iPods portable music devices. And the Apple TV isn’t quite a Mac, either, even though it runs a version of Front Row and connects with an iTunes library.

No, it’s just kind of out there on it’s own. It has no rock-solid home in the current Apple lineup.

On the other hand, imagine if we added some other category. We’ll call it “Entertainment,” and then add all the other items under “Misc.” as a kind of peripherals-only section:

Hypothetical Apple product lineup

For “Entertainment,” we have to imagine the Apple TV as its own category – perhaps a harbinger to things to come. Of what? There have been rumors of some sort of Apple television. Maybe they’ve been waiting for competition. Maybe they’re striking a deal with Netflix and Boxee right now. Maybe there’s a flatscreen TV out there with an Apple logo on the back, waiting to be released.

It’s just speculation, and I don’t consider it a worthwhile rumor for the time being. Apple, now, seems focused on its Touch devices – specifically the iPad. The Apple TV is surely stuck in some development limbo. One could even argue that the fourth-leg of the Apple stool is now the iPad instead of the Apple TV.

We’re also seeing the Apple product lineup gain some complexity, with the Apple TV fitting in nowhere that makes sense. Remember when Steve Jobs returned, and he cut everything Apple was doing at the time (killing the Newton, say) down to the very minimum? He filled in the final slot in the G3 lineup at the iBook launch in 1999:

Mac G3 lineup

Back then, you had two consumer Macs and two pro Macs. In the G4 era, things became a little less simplified with the PowerMac G4 Cube (unless you want to lump it with the regular PowerMacs) and the iPod. But even then, you could fit products in definite categories: consumer Macs, pro Macs, smaller iPods, and full-sized iPods.

Where does the Apple TV fit in all this? Nowhere neatly that I can figure out. And Apple quarantining the Apple TV from the Store homepage seems to send a message. “If you really want an Apple TV, you’re going to have to dig.”