Apple 30th anniversary mega-link-post!

Here’s a bit of the online celebration for Apple’s 30th birthday. Hopefully, we will not see a $7500 gold plated 30th anniversary Mac for sale anywhere.


History of Apple ComputerCNN/AP
Steve Wozniak “Woz” InterviewSJ Mercury News
Steve Jobs’ quotesWired

Visual History

Timeline of Apple Macintosh ModelsWikipedia
30 Years of Apple products galleryWired
30th Anniversary GUI GalleryWired


Is Apple getting ready to run Windows?Engadget
Nine least likely Apple-turns-30 surprisesValleywag
#7 – The iPhone Shuffle: hit a button, call a random number

Apple iPod Portable Entertainment

Creative Zen review critique

zen.jpgHere’s a an email a friend I’ll call ‘iPodFan’ sent me today regarding the Creative Zen. You might remember, I played with the Zen:M back at CES and wished it didn’t suck.

My review of this review… and I’m completely unbiased!! ;)

Creative ZEN Vision:M Media Player

This is the same cost as the 30GB iPod with Video Playback. The ZEN Vision sells at Amazon for $299. The iPod 30GB is $289.99 at Amazon. ;)

My iPod’s hard drive kicked the bucket a mere week after its warranty ran out. Talk about rotten fruit. To get my life back in tune — and to spite Apple — I picked up this Creative media player.

Just like a cell phone, but with a delicate moving part, iPods have a useful lifetime… they won’t last forever. I’m sure Apple feels the spite, enjoy your Creative media player. Good luck getting it serviced if it develops problems.

In fact, upon further research, there are some interesting warranty features:

Creative’s Warranty Apple’s Warranty
warranty is not transferrable transferrable warranty
warranty is only good in the country of purchase worldwide warranty
labor costs are covered only for the first 3 months labor costs are covered for the first 12 months
refurb models are only covered by a 30 day warranty refurb models are covered by the same 1 year warranty
buyer pays repair shipping pays shipping in the first 6 months

Surprisingly, this stylish 30-Gbyte handheld held its own against my old iPod. It matches the video iPod’s MP3 and MPEG playback, makes up for lack of AAC support with DivX and Windows Media compatibility, and dazzles with its 2.5-inch LCD.

Same size screen, wonder how nice the Creative screen looks… I’ve never
seen one that was working on display.

(Editor’s Note – I’ve seen the screen, it was pretty nice.)

The menus and one of its buttons are customizable, and it has FM radio and a mike for recording messages. Plus, it mounted on my PC as a hard drive, so I could add files by just dragging and dropping — no more iTunes nightmares.

Windows Explorer for organizing your media… that sounds like loads of fun. FM radio: more fun. I am interested in the included Mike, is he cute? Does he take dictation? It’d be cool if they included a mic. (Sorry, pet peeve, Wired copy editors suck… I’ve seen so many typos lately.) My only iTunes nightmares are having to upgrade every ten minutes. ;)

My only complaint is that the vertical touchpad is a little too sensitive. And without iTunes Store compatibility, I have to get most of my video via BitTorrent. But that’s a small price to pay to escape Steve Jobs’ stranglehold on my music collection. — Erin Biba

Have fun getting sued. How does iTunes create a stranglehold? iTunes creates full quality Fraunhofer MP3 encodings at up to 320kbps, or VBR AAC, or even Apple Lossless (okay, that one is proprietary).


Thanks for the email, iPodfan! I love it when you’ve woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Keep ’em coming!


Apple iPod

Volume limit iPod update?

ipod.jpgHmmmm….. this sounds like a great idea. Apple has been getting flack for iPods having potentially ear damaging loudness –

The move follows a class action lawsuit that was filed against Apple in a federal court in California in January, which claimed that iPods could cause hearing loss because they have the capacity to produce sounds in excess of 104 decibels and up to 115 decibels.

But it’s a 27.7 mb download for a volume limiter and “bug fixes?” That seems kinda big. I’m not sure we’re getting the whole truth here, folks. Apple has notoriously put new software into iPod and iTunes software releases, so I wonder what else might be in here?


Apple iTunes

iTunes Season Pass Fiesta!

Didn’t think they were going to stop with The Daily Show and Colbert Report, did you? Apple added multi-“we-swear-this-isn’t-a-subscription-“passes to Lost and Desperate Housewives tonight. More on this tomorrow morning.

iTunes Video Store


Mac OS X turns 5 today

osx.jpgAnother Friday afternoon Mac post, sorry Windows people. Ars Technica takes a look back at the last 5 years of OS X. For you fogies out there, we can remember that OS X was arguably the second most important thing that Jobs did upon his return to Apple (the first being the iMac). OS X made Macs cool for developers to use and many normal folks followed their lead. Nice retrospective for this piece of tech I use every day.



Why Photoshop isn’t a Universal Binary yet

You might wanna skip this post if you are not a Mac geek. Here is a personal account from one of the engineers who works on Photoshop as to why it’s not so easy to convert Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe software family to Mac on Intel.

‘But, c’mon’, I hear people saying, ‘Steve said it was just a recompile!’  Or, ‘Back during the PowerPC transition, you guys released a patch!’

Well, this time is different.  And I really wish it weren’t.  But let me tell you how…

Bottom line is, Xcode the development environment for Mac on Intel hasn’t been suited to a large application like Photoshop until just recently and Adobe wasn’t using Xcode. And Xcode is necessary to develop for Mac on Intel. If you’ve ever gone through this experience, you know that it is very costly from a human resource and financial perspective.

Definitely an interesting read to get some insight into what developing a program like Photoshop must be like.


Apple iPod iTunes

Real Housewives

realhouswives.jpgIt’s Tuesday, and I’m a whore for the iTunes Music Store (hey, that rhymes).

Continuing iTMS’ tradition of free downloads promoting not-yet-launched tv shows, this week we see Bravo capitalizing on the success of the “Desperate Housewives” with their launch of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”

From Bravo’s website:

“The Real Housewives of Orange County” will follow five sophisticated women and their families who lead glamorous lives in a picturesque Southern California gated community where the average home has a $1.6 million price tag and residents include CEOs and retired professional athletes.

“Roseanne” it ain’t.

Free Download


New MacBookPro redefines FireWire


Wow, I knew there was something about the new MagSafe connector I didn’t like (besides the fact iGo doesn’t make a tip for it yet). According to Gizmodo, a Dutch user had this image (and more) on Flickr but took them down after Apple quickly offered to replace the MacBook.

Haven’t heard any other cases of fiery MacBooks, but this picture is a little unsettling.


Apple Home Entertainment HTPCs Microsoft

Windows MCE on a iMac

imacmce.jpgNot satisfied with just running regular XP on an Intel Mac, the folks over at the OSX86Project have gotten Windows MCE up and running on an Intel iMac. They don’t have the IR port working yet, but I imagine that it will only be a matter of time.


(Via Matt Goyer’s Media Center Blog.)

Apple iTunes

NCAA Tournament on iTunes

Oh and here I thought that we had no Tuesday announcement for iTMS. Sure, while I’m gone they go an launch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on the “no-I’m-not-a-subscription-thank-you-very-much” MultiPass and the Academy Award Nominated Shorts, so I figured they were taking this week off announcement wise.

That’s right sports fans, for a mere $19.99 you can get condensed versions of all the March Madness games and full versions of the Final Four. Of course, you get them the next day. I’m no sports fan, but I’m guessing that for water cooler talk, this might be a smidge too late.



Intel Mac Mini reviews


Rob Griffiths (of Macosxhints fame) has posted the second part of his first week with the new Intel Mac Mini online. Not so much a review as a walkthrough of all the things he imagines folks might want to do with it. Yesterday, Rob covered his initial set-up and some application testing but today he tests the part I’ve been waiting for, HD video performance.

Now, I’ve never felt that Intel based Windows machines were faster than Macs. Most things I’ve ever wanted to do with a computer (photo editing, email, web browsing and page creation, etc), my Mac was able to handle easily and it felt fast. That is until you try throwing 720p or 1080i HD video at it. My dual 1.25 Ghz G4 just chokes on 720p and don’t get me started on 1080i. My $500 2.8 Ghz Dell had no problems at all with HD…sigh.

Why do I want HD video on my computer? Surely I’m not sitting in front of my computer watching tv? Nope, but I do like recording it and watching it on the 42″ plasma.

Bottom line on the new Intel Mini – it has no problem with HD video whatsoever. Rob even had it playing in the background while doing other stuff. They’ve also upgraded FrontRow to pull audio and video in over the iTunes sharing feature.

Not the “never-gonna-happen-cuz-it-won’t-sell-more-videos” MacPVR, but count me in anyway.


Apple iTunes

Over a billion served

billion.jpegApple’s iTunes Music Store hit their 1,000,000,000th download this evening around 9:35 PM Pacific Time. One lucky SOB got their grand prize of an iMac, 5 black and 5 white iPods and maybe best of all, $10,000 to spend on the store. I dunno about you, but 10k tracks would take me a long time to download.

Congrats to Apple on this tremendous milestone.

Apple iTunes

Slow week on iTMS?


The last few weeks on iTMS have been busy ones with swimsuits, weed, mice and buttheads, so maybe they let their engineers out of their cages last weekend. Only two new shows (although I’m not sure one counts) this week, America’s Funniest Home Videos and the more interesting release, Conviction, a soon-to-air new TV show from the creators of Law and Order. Best thing about the show, it’s a free download. Being a complete sucker for free, I watched it on the treadmill this morning… not bad, but like I need more TV in my life.

Apple iTunes

1 Billion downloads

earl.jpgWhat would a day be without a little news about the iTMS? To celebrate the billionth track sold on iTMS, Apple is giving away a Nano and and a $100 gift certificate for every 100,000 songs sold (about 500) until they reach 1 billion songs. For the billionth track, the grand prize is an iMac, 10 iPods and a $10,000 gift certificate to iTMS.

If you want to try to game the system, try downloading iTunes Music Store Estimator to give you an idea where the numbers stand. Good luck.


Apple iPod

Nano is now nano-er


The long rumored 1 GB nano was announced today for $149 just in time for Valentine’s Day. The rumor that the demise of the Shuffle was coming seems a little premature as they have both dropped in price to $99 and $69 for the 1GB and 512mb respectively.


Apple Downloads iTunes

What is Apple smoking?

weeds.jpgIt’s Tuesday morning, so what’s new for our pals at the iTunes Video Store? Looks like they bagged a big one – Showtime. It seems that premium cable didn’t want to be left out of the iTMS fun.

This morning, Weeds, Fat Actress, and Sleeper Cell launched on iTMS with their first seasons available to download. Nice thing here, they may be premium cable, but they are not premium prices. Same as before, $1.99.

So, with Showtime down, should we expect other premium cable shows to show up? There’s a certain mobster show that is due to start up in a few weeks that I’m sure would sell faster than fresh cannoli. Also, what about corporate parent, CBS? Maybe Survivor will make iTMS soon…

Fat Actress
Sleeper Cell