Friday, January 18, 2008

Apple announcements redux

As I have stated previously, I am not an Apple fan boy.  For the most part, I like their products and for me they provide solutions that are applicable to my work.  We have 3 Windows XP machines here at B-Scene,  a quad core MacPro, a Powerbook G4 and an 8 core MacPro.  The Intel Macs are also running Windows XP.  Nance runs Parallels and I run VMWare.

The Windows machines as well as the Macs provide us with issues and challenges as well as solutions.  I will admit that, for the most part, The Macs tend to be more stable.  I have an annual ritual with my Windows machines whereby I clean off the boot drive and re-install Windows from scratch in order to get it back to a stable condition.  I have never had to do that with a Mac.

A few people have taken me to task on my recent comments regarding Apple's product announcements at MacWorld.  Some of those comments have made me re-think my position on some of these products.

MacBook Air:  I pointed out a lack of FW on this machine.  Other people have also pointed out the inability to change the battery, no optical drive standard, small hard drive, high price etc.  Well, in fairness to Apple,  I think this machine is really targeted at the individual that is traveling a great deal or has a long commute on a train.

I think for that market, Apple has a winning solution on their hands.  The machine is very elegant, very lightweight (there are lighter machines out there), and has a very small footprint.  The addition of the multi-touch technology is also very nice.

For myself and the majority of the readers that come here, this machine is of no value.  That's OK.  It's not meant to be.

Apple TV: Two of my main beefs here are with time and cost.  I suspect that Apple had to acquiesce to the demands of the big movie studios in order to get this rental service off of the ground.  And, I must admit, it's a start.  A jumping off point for this new type of service.  In order to be successful, the model will have to be adjusted IMHO.  The 24 hour limit has to be addressed as should the cost of the rentals.

James Hendrick commented on my previous rant that the Apple TV is targeted at homes with WiFi.  His experience in streaming 720p across 802.11g is different than mine.  I have attempted to stream 720p material from my computer in the home office out to the xBox 360 in my living room with little success.  Maybe that is a fault of the xBox or the distance from the PC in my office.  For me, I have little confidence in it.  I stream MP3s just fine.  Not video.

Having worked in the tech sector for 30 years now, I have adopted a pragmatic approach to solutions.  Too many times I have seen failures occur because of a brand loyalty or technology loyalty that brought in products inappropriate to apply as solutions.

My loyalty lies with the company that provides the solution that best fits the problem being addressed.  That might be Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Sun or any other number of tech solution providers.  This pragmatic approach has served me well in the past.  I do not plan to abandon it.

As a final side note, I neglected to mention that I have one other PC here.  It's a Mac Plus from 1986.  It still runs like the day it was made.

1 comment:

modifoo said...

Now you made me curious: With all that machinery you have, what do you use the Mac Plus for?


(And a little side remark. Apparently it is not very difficult to swap the battery of a Mac Book Air. See here:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/01/24/video_confirms_ease_of_macbook_air_battery_replacements.html )