LAST July, attendees at the semi-annual MacWorld convention in New York City were openly disappointed by the keynote address by Steve Jobs.
There was no real news: Apple Computer Corp.'s summer innovations amounted to speed bumps and mild restyles of the established iMac and G4 tower lines.
But for January's Mac fest on its home turf in San Francisco, Apple's PR machine went into overdrive. Daily teasers promised goodies "far beyond" the devices the ever-busy Mac rumor Web sites describe. (One even put up a QuickTime movie of the purported "iWalk" PDA, which turned out to be a fabrication.) The Mac-watching industry was in a frenzy. (Even generating a media controversy when word leaked out about an exclusive scoop with Time magazine.)
So did Jobs deliver? Possibly. After the ritual trotting out of software company execs (including Adobe Systems showing its still-MIA Photoshop for OS X), Apple's CEO and hypester-in-chief pulled the curtain on the radically rebuilt iMac.
It bears absolutely no resemblance to computers of the past. If anything, it resembles a lamp. Not surprisingly, more than one observer noted its vague resemblance to the Pixar mascot (Toy Story, etc.) An unscientific sampling of aesthetes here in the Law Technology News newsroom shows an even split for and against the new design.
Apple Computer Inc. has introduced its Titanium PowerBook G4, now standard with the DVD-ROM/CD-RW slot-loading combo drive, an AirPort card, gigabit Ethernet, and Mac OS X10.1.1 and Mac OS 9.2.2 installed.
The premier configuration offers a 667 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, a 48 GB hard drive, and 1 GB SDRAM memory.
Reader Response no. 286.
Intuit Inc. has unveiled the Quicken Deluxe 2002 R2 Updater, which rectifies a number of glitches with the earlier OS X-friendly version. Split transactions are now calculated correctly in the Security Detail window, and in the Register. The Lots button is now present in the Investment Actions window. Split transactions of 14 or more lines are now calculated correctly when running a report, graph, or budget.
Reader Response no. 287.
The new computer is basically a domed pedestal, with an attached, swiveled LCD monitor. It takes only a finger to move it around and packs a lot of guts in the dome: G4 processors running at 700 and 800 MHz power the new machines, and a DVD-writing SuperDrive grace the top-of-the-line $1799 model. (The cheapest is $1300 and features a CD burner.)
But the new iMac wasn't all unveiled on Jan 7. Somewhat buried in the hoopla was an enlarged iBook, with a 14-inch screen. It's another pound heavier, approaching a hefty six pounds. But it's still lighter than many other full-featured notebooks, especially because its optical drive is always on.
Jobs also announced the near-demise of the G3 (it still powers the iBook), and that Apple's new Mac OS X, otherwise known as Unix with a human face, is now the default bootup system for the Mac.
Fear not; the "classic" OS 9x remains on the hard drive and can be made the default. Apple also debuted a nifty consumer photo-organizing program, a free download called iPhoto. Like its iTunes freeware, iPhoto lets users organize digital photo collections, publish them on the Web and -- get this -- have an online publisher compile hard-cover scrapbooks.
Unlike iTunes, iPhoto is for OS X only. And its rudimentary editing capabilities aren't about to make pros abandon the industry-standard Photoshop.
But just think -- a Mac-using attorney can put together a slide show of demonstrative evidence, complete with cross-fades (and please, resist the music the program offers to accompany the slides), and show it in court minutes later.