eXtra Notes

Blue Apple

Graham K. Rogers

Unpublished ideas that are not going to make it into print

Previous note (1) can be found here.
Previous note (2) can be found here.
Previous note (3) can be found here.
Previous note (4) can be found here.
Previous note (5) can be found here.
Previous note (6) can be found here.
Previous note (7) can be found here.
Previous note (8) can be found here.
Previous note (9) can be found here.
Previous note (10) can be found here.
Previous note (11) can be found here.
Previous note (12) can be found here.

I write this a few days before the Apple World conference at the Moscone Center, San Francisco where a number of new or updated products are expected to be announced. If you have followed the rumours over the last weeks and months, three main ones have come forward from time to time and in the last week or so the main press -- newspapers, TV -- have been putting forward these rumours as if they are established fact.

The products rumoured to be due for updates are the eMac, the iBook, the PowerBook and the iMac. Of these, the eMac would be most likely as this has not changed for several months (since the 1.25GHz G4 chip was used) and upping it to a G5 would be a logical development. The fires have been stoked by a swathe of price cuts of displays and of other hardware, across the board. Some XServe hardware was also updated. If this is what Apple is doing before the show, what will the show itself bring?

The rumours are interesting, if one treats them for what they are: rumours. Like gossip, the reality can sometimes be a let-down. However, I will repeat them for what they are worth. After Tuesday, when Steve Jobs gives us the concrete facts, things will be different.

I rather like all these guessing games as it really makes one focus on what "The Steve" says at his keynote address: considerably more polished than the eruptions of Ballmer of Redmond. I put a couple of links to QuickTime files in xnote, number 11. If you did not catch them then use this link and have a look at the first item. Ballmer's performance in these clips must have been enough to make several thousand switch to Apple there and then.

Let us consider the implications of such a device and such a price. Without doubt a whole lot of switching would probably occur. This might be the device that swayed the balance for countless people fed up with what Windows does to their machines: you know, viruses, reinstalling every 6 months, crashing at the drop of a hat. . . . I actually got that from a colleague and it was her description of a normal "day in the life", When I said that my eMac had been on for 6 months, she gawped and mumbled something about having another look. Can you imagine what might happen if all these people did switch: it is bad enough with Windows folks in the iPod forums already.

One person who did have another look was a former student at the Mahidol International College, who had been producing videos on a PC. We had many discussions about the Apple platform and every time he would turn round the conversation to price: "So expensive, Ajaan." Compared with a machine assembled in a back room in Phantip Plaza while you wait, I guess it is. Although, if you have ever seen the ordering process, that form magically fills up -- disk size, memory, Ethernet, modem, Video, monitor upgrade -- until the price has mushroomed and you have not even started on the software. All free of course (I am told): Windows, Office, and all the rest.

On the eMac, the software is free too. Or at least, the legitimate operating system -- industrial strength, not some Microsoft apology -- plus all the applications and a couple of games, all come bundled and as part of the price of the computer.

With student discount, that same young man picked up his eMac for 29,990 baht (plus VAT -- you don't pay that at some Phantip shops either) and it was ready to go out of the box. I have had a few e-mails from him. The first was seven days after he bought the eMac: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you," etc..

Unlike with his PC, and unlike my colleague, he is not spending time fixing, cleaning and re-installing. He is productive; and the latest e-mail tells me (apart from the B.S. praise of good teacher, that students here always give you -- true or not) that not only is he making great strides with the eMac, so are several of his friends. These students, who have only ever known the world according to Ballmer and Gates, are now queuing up to use his eMac. One apparently is about to go for an iBook. About time they all bought their own.

Maybe they could start with a headless Mac?

I wrte about about the human factor: often the weakest link in any security system. I have the screensaver security turned on, so that if I am away from the machine, a password is needed to acccess it (or to switch users). A device has been publicised of late in which it is impossible to access a computer without an external device, such as a flash drive, iPod or a Firewire disk. The software from Pariahware, Inc. (unfortunate name, I feel), turns one of the aforementioned devices into a "key". This would be most useful in an environment where security is of grave importance. I make no recommendations here: just passing it on.

All materials ©copyright G.K. Rogers. Free for individual use.

Other links:

Bangkok Post, Database
Mac Center: Thailand
OSX Faq Mac Dr Smoke's X Lab Site George Mann
Applelinks MacNightOwl MacNightOwl

Phuket Mac User Group

For further information, e-mail to Graham K. Rogers.

To eXtensions, Current items

To eXtensions, Year Two

To eXtensions, Book Reviews

To Education Page

To Motorcycles Page

Back to homepage