Apple iPod(s), Apple iTunes 7, Apple iTV

Ok, well, Steve got up on stage yesterday and spent an hour woo’ing journalists and bloggers for the second time in about two months. Every other major tech blog and tech news site has covered the presentation with pictures so I’m not going to regurgitate the same old news. Instead, I’ll regurgitate my opinions on what’s the reason for the fanfare around yesterday’s event.

  1. Every one saw the movie downloads via iTunes coming so no big deal here. Personally, I’d be a bit more excited if these downloads were DVD quality. However, that would make the downloads too big for most people to really purchase. I’ll probably purchase a movie jsut to see what it looks like on my MacBook and Mac Mini.
  2. Rumors that the Nano was going to be updated with iPod Mini-like colors have been circulating for quite some time. No big deal here.
  3. We were all expecting a major update to the iPod. Coming out with a 80GB iPod, replacing the 60GB one, and making it brighter is a bit of a snoozer. An event when the infamous iPhone or “true” video iPod actually make it out the door will actually suffer from the “Boy who cried wolf”-syndrome. Apple’s had too many of these special announcement events without really wowing journalists, bloggers, users, and Wall Street.
  4. Games on my phone. Games on my iPod. Games will be a big money maker but I think Apple has them priced a bit too high relative to where most cell phone games are priced.
  5. iTV – This is pretty cool but I really don’t want another device to deal with. Apple can live up to their reputation of being an innovator if the iTV was combined into a digital living room version of the Mac Mini. Now, I can have my computer and digital entertainment device together with hardware and software support from Apple. I can have PiP (Picture in Picture) support of digital mobile movies (DVD and downloaded), digital tv shows (DVD and downloaded), broadcast/cable/satellite tv, and my computer. Build in the Miglia TV Mini HD into this device and I now have a built in HDTV support. This is a device I’d pick up really fast.

I’m a bit bored of the news coming out of Apple recently. I still think Apple is a great company and I expect it to do really well but Apple has set the bar really high and the expectations people have of Apple’s ability to innovate seem to be disconnected with the reality of what Apple is able to deliver in a short time frame. No question about Steve Jobs’ ability to market Apple’s products but Apple is becoming a victim of their own marketing success.

We want more and we want it faster than ever from Apple. Can Apple deliver?

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CrossOver Mac Beta Released

CodeWeavers yesterday released a public beta of CroosOver Mac. A list of the supported applications is here. I downloaded and installed it yesterday. CrossOver Mac installed without issue on my Apple MacBook. Once it was installed, I installed, Word 2003, Excel 2003, and PowerPoint 2003 from Microsoft Office 2003 Professional. All three applications were working without incident with very light testing.

I was not able to install Visio 2000. I haven’t looked into why the installation was failing yet but I will try in more detail and post a bug report if it still doesn’t work. My next application to install will be Quicken 2006 Premier Home and Business.

Go on and download CrossOver Mac from CodeWeavers and give it a whirl.

CodeWeavers – CrossOver Mac

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Miglia TVMini HD is great!

I’ve been using the TVMini HD on my MacBook for a few weeks and I love it. Even with the included antenna, I’ve been able to easily pick up broadbast HD signals without a problem. At $249 from the Apple Store, it’s a good buy. If you can plug it into a desktop with enough hard drive space, you can record plenty of shows and give your Tivo a rest.

TVMini HD – Key Features

HDTV for your MacHave you ever dreamt of watching TV with a sharp clear picture quality? Do you want to decide what you watch and when you watch it? If the answer is yes then TVMini HD is the only solution for you.

TVMini HD puts you back in the driving seat: you can watch, pause, rewind, skip forward and even record live TV. TVMini HD uses state of the art technology allowing you to enjoy the outstanding quality of HDTV on your Mac.

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Lenovo and Novell Want a Ransom for Linux

I just spent 15 minutes on the phone with Lenovo trying to get information on their ThinkPads preloaded with SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. I am very surprised at Lenovo’s half-hearted attempt at preloading Linux on ThinkPads. As I mentioned in this post, Lenovo and Novell announced the preloading of SuSE Linux on the ThinkPad T60p. A T60p with the following specs is available for $3099.00 by calling Lenovo (it is not available for purchase from the website, you must call to get any information or place an order).

  • Intel Core Duo T2700 (2.33GHz, 2MB L2, 667MHz FSB)
  • 14.1″ Screen with 1400×1050 Resolution
  • 1Gb RAM
  • 100 Gb 7200 RPM HD
  • 256MB ATI Mobility FireGL V5200
  • DVD Burner
  • 9 Cell Extended Battery
  • A/B/G Wireless and Bluetooth
  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet

Oh yes, I must mention that the same exact configuration with Windows XP Home Edition costs $2289.00. Why Lenovo and Novell have to charge $810.00 more for the same exact laptop running SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is mind boggling. Why would anyone in their right mind buy this ThinkPad even if it running Linux? For those of you out there who have a T60p and would like to install SuSE, you could try running openSuSE ( Novell recently renamed the open source distribution ) and download the Lenovo software for SuSE here. It might not work because apparently Lenovo and Novell updated the SLED Kernel for the ThinkPad and I’m not sure if openSuSE contains the kernel enhancements. I am very interested to hear from any of you that try it out. I’m also curious if the software will run on other ThinkPads running SuSE so please let me know.

I still love ThinkPads ( See Apple MacBook vs. IBM ThinkPad – Part 3 ) but, by charging a ransom for a Linux ThinkPad, Lenovo isn’t gaining any friends in the community.
Lenovo – Notebooks – ThinkPad T Series mobile workstations

ThinkPad T60p 14.1″ 2007-8ZU and ThinkPad T60p 15″ 2007-9ZU

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Apple MacBook vs. Lenovo ThinkPad – Part 3

I’ve had my MacBook for over two months now. The more I use OS X, I really like it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts here, here and here, I like the simplicity, I like the ease of use, I like the *nix foundation underlying the pretty user interface, I like the choice between commercial and open source applications and I love the stability.

I’ve been using my MacBook quite a bit the last few weeks working from cafes, Starbucks, parks, and other places where a wired Internet connection isn’t available. The MacBook has been connecting to the Internet just fine. However, the laptop gets way too hot to hold on my lap for more than a few minutes. The other day, I had to put a piece of wood under my MacBook to protect the plastic table cover from burning.

The sharp edge right below the trackpad…. Ouch! The more and more I type, I find my hands getting chaffed by the edge. It’s fine if i’m sitting on my bed and the laptop is also on the bed (craning my neck downwards becomes a different issue). If I’m sitting at a table or at a desk, and my wrists are resting on the edge of the MacBook, the laptop becomes less and less comfortable on the hands. I’m longing more and more for a ThinkPad running OS X. People have gotten OS X to run on ThinkPads and people are discussing it here.
I might decide to keep my MacBook for non-strenuous short uses and I might decide to either get my ThinkPad T40 fixed, or get an X series to carry around. Not sure that I want to spend the money on a new laptop right now since I just bought the MacBook. I will probably do some research to see if I can get a T60 motherboard with a Intel Core Duo 2 GHz chip put into the T40 chassis. I have no idea what that’s going to cost to do.

Lenovo, if you’re reading this, give Steve Jobs a call ad get him to license OS X for the ThinkPad!!!! You’ll probably wind up selling more ThinkPads than IBM ever did 🙂

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