Apple Archive

Apple Unveils the eMac

Apple today introduced the eMac, a new desktop computer targeted specifically for education that mimics the all-in-one design of the original iMac. The eMac features a 17-inch CRT display (1280x960 maximum resolution at 72 Hz), 700MHz G4 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce2MX graphics, 128MB RAM, and a 40GB hard drive. The US$999 model features a CD-ROM drive while the $1,119 model includes a DVD/CD-RW combo drive. Apple also unveiled a new PowerBook G4 running at speeds of 667MHz and 800MHz and featuring higher-resolution 1280x854 15.2-inch display. The new PowerBook G4 also features a new 4x AGP ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor with DVI output.

A Top-Secret, One-of-a-Kind Mac

OSNews reader Henrik "rain" Petersson writes: "In a drafty shed in rural northern California is perhaps the rarest Macintosh ever made: an electronically shielded Mac used by a spy or military agency. The machine appears to be unique, and is so secret, no one knows anything about it." Part I and Part II of the article at Wired.

Why Do New iMacs Surf So Slowly?

"They're here, they're slow, get used to it. At least for now. One of Apple's top goals for its new flat-panel iMacs is to get home consumers to switch from Windows PCs. But some who rushed to order the attractive new computer sight unseen say they have been disappointed: For Web browsing -- still the biggest time use of home computers after e-mail -- the new iMacs are notably slower than a PC. Yep, even an older, cheaper one." Get the story at Wired. Some G4 benchmarks against the PCs and commentary can be found here.

The DirectX API Now on MacOS

Coderus, a UK-based company is now offering MacDX, an OpenGL wrapper API for MacOS based on Microsoft's DirectX gaming API. While the company have not make public any technical details as to which parts of DirectX are actually supported, it might be safe to assume (and this is just a guess), based on the fact that their package only takes 10 MB of hard disk space as opposed to 120+ MB of Microsoft's full DirectX SDK, that only the critical and most used parts of DirectX have been wrapped so far. On a similar note, the open source DirectX OpenGL Wrapper from Real-Tech for Windows, Mac and Unix enjoyed a new released version just a few days ago.

Hey Apple, Give me Visual Clarity!

"Compared with Mac OS 9, running under OS X feels like someone smeared Vaseline all over my monitor. I have uncorrected vision, and I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. But prolonged exposure to Mac OS X--particularly its anti-aliased text--really peeves my eyeballs. The abundant anti-aliasing is just one of the many problems I have with the Aqua interface. The gratuitous shadows around windows eat up screen real estate that I would rather keep to myself. I'm greedy with my pixels and don't like it when Aqua absconds with them." The editorial is at ZDNews, while OSNews reader Doug Gruber submitted the news for the second part of the story "Why I don't own a Mac".

The AltiVec Difference

"Apple first introduced PowerMac G4 computer systems using AltiVec -- a high performance vector processing expansion to the PowerPC architecture -- in the fall of 1999. Architecturally, AltiVec adds 128-bit-wide vector execution units to the PowerPC architecture. Early versions of the G4 processor had a single AltiVec unit, while more recent versions have up to four units (simple, complex, floating, and permute). These vector units operate independently from the traditional integer and floating-point units". Read the interesting article at O'ReillyNet.

Why I Don’t Own A Mac – Editorial at Rush Magazine

This editorial at Rush Magazing talksback to Apple's request to hear from PC users. The author has a problem with the speed, price and "complete hardware" solution Apple is providing. On the pros, the auhor lists the way the machines look and the fact that underneath you are dealing with a BSD UNIX. On a similar editorial at ZDNews: "But as it turns out, our reviews team recently did a hands-on with the fastest Power Mac on the market, equipped with dual 1GHz PowerPC G4 processors. Though it's obviously the fastest Power Mac yet, it's interesting to look at what you get compared with a high-end PC. The system's P133 SDRAM, 80GB hard drive, 64MB Nvidia GeForce4 MX video card, and not-so-SuperDrive all look pretty pedestrian next to the Dimension 8200 and Pavilion 950, yet the Power Mac costs $3,000 without a monitor."

Mac Market Built on Sand?

"Remember Steve Jobs' "sand" concept for the creation of personal computers? About the time he lent his star power to the creation of the original Macintosh back in the early '80s, Apple's founder famously described his dream factory: an oceanfront site that would haul raw beach sand in one end, cook up its own silicon and deliver fully configured PCs out the other end. This vision of vertical integration and rugged self-sufficiency is a cornerstone of Apple's culture that has informed the company's every move during Jobs' two tenures there. (It's telling that the only time Apple ever seriously toyed with opening up its hardware and software specs - porting the Mac OS to Intel processors and allowing a short list of third-party vendors to create a tightly controlled roster of hardware "clones" - was during Jobs' exile in the late '80s and early '90s.)" Read the rest of the editorial at ExtremeTech.

Apple Releases Remote Desktop Application

From the press release: "Apple today announced Apple Remote Desktop for MacOSX software, which enables users, teachers and administrators to remotely manage other Mac desktops anywhere on a local network, AirPort wireless network or across the Internet. With Apple Remote Desktop, teachers can view students computer screens, perform group demonstrations and help individuals with real-time screen-sharing, text chat and the request attention command. System administrators can provide remote assistance, get comprehensive system profiles, reconfigure system settings and quickly and easily distribute software applications across hundreds of computers all from one central location over both Ethernet and AirPort wireless networks."

On MacOSX and G4 Performance

"Apple has two performance headaches right now: the processor and the OS. Apple's director of core engineering Brett Halle last month promised us that OS X performance was a paramount concern, and to be fair, his division need take no blame. The BSD he inherited has the industry's best respected IP stack, for example. The problem is, one former Apple engineer told us, in serializing the twenty five year old BSD layer with the fifteen year old code of the extensions NeXT began to add in the mid 1980s." Read TheRegister's analysis of the G4 SPEC benchmarks Heise reported last week.

The Power of X

"For those who aren't familiar with OS X, it is a full implementation of BSD Unix with a Macintosh front end, which is to say world class inside and out. OS X is faster, smarter, prettier, and easier to use than any version of Windows. In short, it is exactly the competitor Microsoft needs. And the timing couldn't be better." Very interesting and easy-reading article, but I would not say "faster" in the above excerpt. Robert Cringely is at it again, this time discussing how the best thing for Apple, for users, and even for Microsoft, would be an Intel version of OSX.

Several Apple-Related Editorials on the Web

"Welcome to today's multiple-choice quiz. Apple Computer is: (a) the top design shop in the computer industry; (b) the manufacturer of the best PC on the market; or (c) destined to forever remain a prisoner of its own success. Actually, the answer is all of the above." Editorial at News.com regarding the failure of Apple to attract the corporate market. OSOpinion features an editorial called "Apple Bidding To Regain Speed Throne". On ZDNews you will also find the editorial by Stephan Somogyi "Why Apple should support Microsoft's .Net".

What Steve Jobs Won’t Do at Apple

"I can only infer that Steve Jobs has a vision for the future of Apple Computer. I say this because after spending more than an hour with the Apple CEO recently, I walked away knowing more about what Apple won't do than what it will do. Here's an example of what Apple won't do: Steve says Apple will not get into the home entertainment business--not during the next 24 months, anyway. You won't find Apple doing a personal video recorder, à la TiVo or Replay, or an advanced set-top box, à la Moxie. According to Jobs, those devices have yet to catch on, a fact perhaps best borne out by Microsoft's recent staff cuts and reorganization of its UltimateTV unit. TiVo has had its problems, too." Read the rest of the editorial at ZDNet AnchorDesk.

New Power Macs Break 1GHz Barrier

"Apple Computer on Monday broke the 1GHz barrier not once but twice with the delivery of new Power Macs. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company unveiled faster Power Macs that analysts and Mac users say could close the "gigahertz gap" with PCs. Apple shipped three new Power Macs, with the top-of-the-line model packing two 1GHz PowerPC G4 processors. The other new models have single 800MHz or 933MHz processors. The company also shipped Nvidia's GeForce 4 MX graphics processor, about a week before the card's scheduled announcement." Read the rest of the report & analysis at ZDNews.

The Future of Apple – A Special Report at BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek features an extensive set of articles, editorials & interviews with key Apple people regarding the future of Apple and MacOSX. A very good read overall. In the meantime, MacUserUK and MacMinute revealed that Tuesday 22nd of January is the most likely day that Apple will announce three new, top of the line, PowerMacs: 800, 933 and dual 1 Ghz, with all models "shipping immediately." Pricing and additional specifications are unclear, although sources suggest that Apple may make the SuperDrive standard on all systems.

Press Responds With Mixed Reactions to Flat-Panel iMac

While most Macintosh sites have welcomed the new flat panel iMac, some Mac-only journalists, most analysts and other serious publications were not so impressed and some were actually seemed worried about Apple's future. The main theme of their reviews is that Apple this time has done more damage than good with the extreme hype they spread, that iMac is not exactly what someone would call 'revolutionary', that pricing is not acceptable for the price cautious PC users especially when there is some resession in the global economy and that the Apple market share has shrank (and continues shrinking dangerously) to 2.9% of the desktop market since last year where it had 3.3%. Read the articles at BusinessWeek, ZDNet, C|NET, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and Business 2.0. A good part of the Mac community was shocked because of no announcements whatsoever about the PowerMac line of computers and the corporate Apple market, but hope is still strong that new, G5 computers will be announced in spring. Update: Add ArsTechnica and I,Cringely to the opinion soup critisizing the "Jobs Distortion Field".

News from MacWorld’s KeyNote – iMacs Indeed

So, the big weapon that Apple was highly touting are indeed the new iMacs. Previous low end models were in the price range of $1000, but the new price range of iMacs will start at $1300 USD and goes up to $1800 USD. The specs:
  • 700 MHz G4, 128MB RAM, 40GB drive, CD-RW - $1,299 (available March)
  • 700 MHz G4, 256MB RAM, 40GB drive, DVD/CD-RW - $1,499 (available February)
  • 800 MHz G4, 256MB RAM, 60GB drive, SuperDrive (DVD burn) - $1,799 (available January)

  • All iMacs will feature a GeForce2MX graphics chipset and the two high-end models include Pro Speakers. To the dissapointment of lots of OSNews readers (judging from our comment's section), the 15" LCD monitor only does 1024x768 (by design, good quality LCDs can deliver easily higher resolutions to this screen size - unlike CRTs which are more bound to the screen size). Get the latest info and detailed information from Steve Jobs' keynote at MacMinute and C|Net News. Our Take: This was over hyped all last week. ZDNews reported that Apple has not hyped anything in such a way ever, and they should have introduced something revolutionary. Apple should not have hyped these new products so much, as they are just a more modern & futuristic revision of an existing product. I am dissapointed in the way they tried to manipulate the crowd. Also, the entry level iMac has a ridiculously small amount of memory and no DVD playback. And it does not even meet my $1000 budget to buy the low-end machine Apple has to offer. I am dissapointed with Apple for more than one reason.

    Apple’s “Secret Weapon” is a New iMac, Thanks to TimeCanada

    TimeCanada was "kind enough" (someone could say that they have screwed up, and they now link their index page to Time.com - but we know a few tricks of our own to link to the 'right page' which they try to hide) to write a story about Apple's new iMac, that is supposed to be revealed tomorrow during Steve Jobs' keynote speech at MacWorld SF. At this writing, the article is still up but hidden from the front page of TimeCanada, and the date on the article is January 14, 2002. If the article will be taken down, visit Slashdot for details and lots of comments. Our Take: I am personally very dissapointed, if this is indeed the "big secret" that Apple was keeping and was hyping enormously all week. Firstly, I was waiting for something else as the "secret weapon" than an iMac update (no matter if this update may be big), and as I read in the article, while it does not give any hardware specs except the fact that the new iMac will have DVD burning capabilities, the prices start at $1300 up to $1800 USD for the highest model, and that $1300 is $300 more than the previous low-end iMac model. I do not care about DVD burning (I only want playback) and even if the new iMac can do.. coffee, simply put, this is just too expensive for me, as I was expecting to buy a new G4-based iMac for $999 as I wrote recently. Plus, the new iMac looks like an egg (that's not necessarily bad though :). Update: Updated link and many pictures of the new iMac.