Archive for the ‘Macintosh’ Category

The iPad Won

May 7, 2010

What iPads Did To My Family – Chuck’s Blog. This guy is, for the record, a VP at EMC.

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Rampant speculation with a hint of truth

May 1, 2010

The PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyones trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath.

via The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash – Charlies Diary.

What are they thinking?

February 17, 2010

Nicked this from Daring Fireball.  Perfect

venomous porridge – A conversation I have every month or so.

stevenf on the iPad and the New World

February 1, 2010

I’m still trying to figure out who this guy is, but I think he’s mostly right about this being Apple’s future direction.  He’s expressed a lot of thoughts that had not yet fully coalesced in my mind.  I’m not entirely sure that everything is roses in this future, but I think he’s more right than wrong.

Apple is calling the iPad a “third category” between phones and laptops. I am increasingly convinced that this is just to make it palatable to you while everything shifts to New World ideology over the next 10-20 years.

via Read it all.

Automator in OS X Leopard

November 4, 2008

Automator in Leopard is a visual scripting environment for the mac that allows you to see the api’s already exposed by the programs that you have installed and manipulate them by building a workflow and editing the settings of the workflow in sequential dialog boxes.  Your scripts can be saved so that they’re available from a right click menu when you select items in the finder that you want to manipulate.  Very easy to use and quite powerful.  You can do the same things in windows if you know vb scripting pretty well, but I don’t know of any tool from Microsoft that makes it this easy.

God and Mac at ACU?

October 7, 2008

At ACU, students navigate college life via iPhone – iPod/iPhone – Macworld UK. explains how the IT department at Abilene Christian University has developed web applications for use on the iPhone to benefit the students and the faculty in the education process.  What they’ve done is neat, but it appears that they’ve only scratched the surface so far.

Delicious Library

March 5, 2008

One of my favorite applications for the Mac is preparing for a major update. Delicious Library 2.0 will be incorporating new features along with improved performance to make a great thing even better. In addition to tracking your books, music, games, and movies by scanning barcodes; the new version will add the ability to scan your iTunes library for items to add to the Delicious Library. It’s also going to add tracking for electronics, toys, and tools (once again from the Amazon database). Very cool.

Welcome to the Club

February 16, 2008

Mark Cuban has seen the light. I’m interested to see what ideas they come up with for improving the fan experience using WiFi in the AAC.

What’s it all mean (MacBook Air edition)

February 5, 2008

I don’t think I’ve ever so many people completely miss the point of an Apple product in quite some time.  You must remember that Steve Jobs doesn’t hate Microsoft because of how they have achieved their success.  He hates them because of what they created.  Jobs spent a lot of time in the wilderness observing what Microsoft did and how they did it.  What he learned from them is to form alliances when you need to learn something to enter a new market and that protecting the core of your ecosystem is critical to building long term dominance in the industry.  Apple will never release a major product that doesn’t support one of those objectives and strives to hit both at the same time.

The MacBook Air is exactly the kind of product that epitomizes the overlap of those objectives.  Partnerships with IBM and Motorola in the PowerPC alliance failed to produce a viable alternative to the x86 processor family.  Therefore Apple has partnered with Intel to gain access to their engineering talent and unique manufacturing processes to further Apple’s product goals.  So how does partnering with the dominant processor manufacturer protect Apple’s ecosystem?  Glad you asked.

The howls of protest that you hear from the punditry are largely because they weren’t a part of Apple’s development focus group for the product.  They’d written about their beloved 12″ PowerBook and their 2400 before that.  They made up their little wish lists of must have features and nice to have features and had a grand time speculating on how wonderful life would be if Apple would only listen to them.  The problem for them is that Apple’s focus group consists of one and only one person.  Steven P. Jobs.

Steve Jobs believes very strongly in the centrality of the personal computer.   Apple’s other products exist to work in concert with the computer.  They support each other, but not directly.  It’s not a coincidence that the MacBook Air, AppleTV 2.0, and the Time Capsule were announced at the same time.  They’re intended to support each other through the desktop computer.  Through the Mac.

Why is there no disk drive in the AppleTV now entering its second generation?   Why is there no hard wired ethernet port on the MacBook Air despite the fact that the Intel chipset used almost certainly supports it?  Apple is deliberately following the Microsoft strategy of making a good product that stands alone into an outstanding one when it integrates with other Apple products.

Microsoft does this mostly with software.  Their OS is only okay if you compare it against other choices (Solaris, Linux, BSD, OS-X, etc.).  It’s when you start adding the complimentary products that it really takes off.  Windows with SQL Server with Exchange with Visual Studio with …  They build on each other logically and extend the influence of the platform exponentially. That’s what Apple wants.

Why does Apple go to the trouble of making servers and storage solutions for networks?  It’s probably profitable for them, but they’re not focussed on the business market which is the largest buyer of these products.  They’re investing in the future of the home market which is much larger than small business and enterprise combined.  It’s also far more important to Steve Jobs from a personal standpoint, but that’s another column.

Microsoft has released a Windows Home Server (WHS) OS in combination with several hardware vendors to offer a complete solution for the home. It’s a fairly naked attempt to copy what Apple has been quietly doing for some time. Digital media take up a lot of space and keeping it organized is a nightmare.  Many of us don’t bother trying to weed out old or duplicate files for fear of deleting something important; we simply buy a new computer with a larger drive and copy everything over. Here’s how it works for Apple.

The Mac Mini is your entry level model.  It gets you some storage, wifi, bluetooth, and the all important CD/DVD drive.  It partners with your AppleTV and a third party tuner solution to give you a direct competitor to WHS.  Need more power?  Replace the computer with an iMac or even a Mac Pro in another room.  Need more power?  Apple has a complete solution for the next level of home media management.  Storage area networks.  With an 80 gB iPod, you don’t worry about which songs to load; you load them all.  with an Apple SAN in your home, you don’t worry about which compression scheme to use for your media or how to organize your disks.  You just load and go.  Their server products are too noisy and power hungry for this application right now, but when the time is right the product will be also.

The MacBook Air (you only thought I’d forgotten about it) is the first product that really shows the plan.  MacBook Air was never intended for business users.  It’s for use in a connected home and wifi enabled world.  It’s a Mac Mini that you can take with you anywhere.  It’s not supposed to be expandable.  Used as an extension of the other Apple products in your network, it gives you an exponentially greater experience than used by itself.  At least, that’s how I believe Apple sees it.

Apple Updates iPod Line – Planet Rejoices

September 6, 2007

Actually, these updates are very well thought out and the timing is impeccable.  Refreshing the colors on the unchanged Shuffle line is a good plan for the product that is clearly a fashion item.  The new Nano line seems to be a great improvement in functionality and I think the new shape will be a hit once people get used to it.  The ‘iPod Classic’ has nice bumps in storage and battery life, and the ‘iPod Touch’ is a new product that should sell like hotcakes this year.

People who already have a cellphone that they like or who can’t use the iPhone because of contract/coverage/business requirements but would like the non-phone features can get one with tons of storage and still have the wifi browsing experience.  Very very cool.

Dropping the 4gb iPhone and lowering the price on the 8gb model are great examples of what sets the Apple of 2007 apart from the company in the past.  They’re not afraid to admit that they misjudged a market condition and modify their strategy to achieve a long term business goal.  This is a significant change from past company policy and should be recognized and applauded by investors.  Curiously to me, there was a selloff this afternoon and the analysis I’ve read is that it reflects fears that senior management was sacrificing too much profit.  I think that the analysts are missing the point which is that Apple has just sucked all the oxygen out of the room for any competing music player and any competing ‘smartphone’ product.

The aggressive improvements in capacity and feature set should keep the iPod line flying off the shelves, and the price drop on the iPhone should lead to a huge increase in sales.  More iPhones in the hands of consumers will cement the leadership role of the company heading into the spring quarter.  The new wifi downloads and Starbucks cross promotion will lead to increases in incremental revenue and even more visibility.  For the iPhone, it’s a game of market share right now.  Apple is taking a short term reduction in profit to ensure the long term strength of the line.  I think they’ve made the right call.

In the interests of fairness, I will disclose that I have a significant position in Apple stock that I ain’t parting with anytime soon.