Arguably the biggest event of the year in Apple-Land happened Tuesday with Steve Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld San Francisco. Among the announcements were the surprisingly early Intel-based Powerbook (now dubbed the MacBook Pro) and the iMac (sans G5). The execution (at least, the beginning phase) of the Intel transition is upon us and many of the questions people had raised are starting to be answered.
One of the biggest was whether Windows will run on this new generation of Macs. Short answer: not yet. Basically, Windows XP uses a different boot system than Apple does (BIOS vs EFI) and so XP is a no-go (until it’s hacked). However, Windows Vista is just around the corner and is expected to run on the Apple hardware. Another however: it was pointed out here that they apparently don’t support the same file structure so that could poise a problem with data transfer from one to the other. Regardless, the main point is that Apple itself has chosen not to attempt any sort of restriction.
With this groundbreaking new step, what kind of company would Apple be if they didn’t give us some hot new advertising to fawn over? PDF mentioned that he was reading somewhere that the ad was essentially a ripoff of a Postal Service video. He then mentioned that he thought that the song that Apple used in the ad was a Postal Service song, which we both thought would have been cool and made sense. I was intrigued by this so I decided to check it out.
As it turns out, nope. The song from the Apple ad is actually God Moving Over the Face of the Waters from Moby Songs 1993 – 1998. A shame, since it would’ve been such a cool tie-in. The Postal Service video is for the song Such Great Heights from their album Give Up. See it here..
Out of fairness, I have to say they do share an awful lot of similarities. The shots are similarly dramatic, and the music gives a similar vibe as well. Now, if you wanted to see a video that was totally different, than maybe check out the video for We Will Become Silhouettes directed by Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jared Hess.
And speaking of music, iTunes (and friends) received various amounts of updates as well. Of everything though, iTunes is receiving the most notoriety for a new feature called the MiniStore, a small pane docked at the bottom of your library that updates each time you choose a new song to listen to. The reason this caused so much stress is that to update the information, iTunes needs to take at least some information (the song title and artist) and transmit it back to Apple which then responds with updated recommendations. At the very minimum, because it is indeed transmitting private information (albeit unimportant information) this could effectively brand the MiniStore as spyware.
Thankfully, Apple has responded by assuring users that the information sent is only used to call up the recommendations and then discarded. This is great, but what really bothered many was the fact that they just added the MiniStore in and failed to mention that it is in fact using your internet connection to send your information to Apple without permission. Personally, given all the information, it really doesn’t matter to me but I can understand the concern. If you can get past this, the MiniStore is actually a pretty neat feature, and is easy enough to hide if you don’t want to use it (it has its own button at the bottom near the EQ and Visualizer buttons).
If you’ve visited Apple’s site lately and can keep from getting distracted by all that sweet, sweet MacBook pr0n, then you may have noticed the Apple site has gone widescreen. Their homepage is now somewhere around 800px wide while the MacBrook pages are closer to 900. It’s quite an interesting change, but with each successive page they add, the navigation continues to look older and more outdated. Pinstripes? What is this, 2003?
Speaking of wide screens, I’m coming up on a year’s ownership of the Cinema display, and nearly 2 years of ownership on the Powerbook. As much as I’ve enjoyed my first Mac ownership experience, like the iPod, I can’t help but look even more forward to my next one. I’ve been quite back and forth between the different options. A Powermac seemed like a good idea, but it’s rather large and I whined before about how it was rather difficult to choose a model.
I briefly considered a Mac mini but it would have to receive the Intel treatment first. Even then, I’d miss the fine auxiliary display provided by my 12″ Powerbook, which leaves but one option: I need whatever MacBook Pro takes over for the 12″ Powerbook. The original proved to be a quite lovable size so I see no reason not to expect a MacBook Pro version. I don’t expect the current screen to stick around; more than likely we’ll see a similar size in a widescreen format. Hopefully that will be accompanied by higher resolution and brightness more akin to that of the cinema displays and larger MacBook bretheren. While we’re at it, let’s throw in the Intel Core Duo at 1.83 Ghz and 2 Gb of RAM. And hey, how about one of them newfangled 7200 RPM hard drives, and we’re all set.