Eddy's Profile

  • May 18, 2006
  • 11
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Latest comments made by: Eddy

  • "We're sorry. We have detected that you are outside of the United States. This service is currently only available to residents within the United States." Small detail.
    Eddy had this to say on May 26, 2006 Posts: 11
    Rhapsody, Real's Free Music Service, a Viable Music Source?
  • When offering a cheap machine, Apple has to look into their marketing. As Calista suggests: why include firewire? But isn't the answer that this is the primary way to feed video into iMovie? Cutting out firewire might give buyers the impression iMovie has no value. Same for a weaker processor (Celeron of Core Solo) and iPhoto will be a permanent lacking your scrolling or even show the lollipop cursor for most of the time. Both arguments together and the inclusion of (the latest iLife) is more a con then a pro. I am not an everyday user of iLife at all, I'm just saying that iLife is part of promoting the Mac. People will expect some acceptable or even a solid performance. The risks Apple runs is that the word gets out that the Apple experience isn't what it is made to believe. Leaving out options like bluetooth (although I think it doesn't add much to the cost of building the machine) might not been seen as high impact (I am not using it either), but a machine has to anticipate being used for three to five years. A lot will happen in that time and bluethooth will only increase penetration into our lives. Bluetooth (being wireless) might not complicate internal design, while firewire (which probably doesn't cost too much to add either) at leasts needs a connector that is located logically. Profit, as Joshua already mentioned, is important. Although, at this moment is Apple able to afford less profit to gain marketshare. Then again, Apple probably doesn't want mass-buyers (like schools) to jump to this lower-end option. Support is also a huge factor, as mentioned. Part of the value of running MacOSX is having many of the open-source applications available. While you might not like the interface of Gimp or Open-Office, they are free and offer features that you would otherwise have to buy. Installation and usage isn't up the user-experience Apple sets out to offer, but it is an option. And many open-source projects are delivered with improved user-experience specifically for MacOSX. *) The conclusion is that a MacBook, whatever you think of it's value-point, does not require you to buy anything extra. No virus protection or other malware-removal software, no Office suite, no image-manipulation software. There is really a lot of software included or out there. And the MacBook will prepare you reasonably well for things to come. The precondition perhaps is that you aren't buying your computer with a specific taks in mind, but that you are a real novice buyer trying out the Mac; the kind of users that would go for a low-end Mac as suggested. After everything is said here, I think Apple probably is thinking about lower-end machines themselves. It only makes business sense to keep looking for value-points. I am making a case against such a low-end machine and Apple might make a fool out of me by introducing on the moment I click the submit button. So, I am not saying that it won't come. I am just pointing out a few arguments and deriving a conclusion from that. I am just a clueless as the next guy. *) Don't try to counter the argument with freeware for Windows; adding/removing on MacOSX won't clutter your computer, while on Windows it *will* degrade overall performance. Many "bargain" PC's come with an "impressive" list of included software: free stuff like Acrobat Reader, crippled stuff like expiring malware protection, or versions of products that are at least two years old. Something that keeps you busy exploring for about two months, until you really want to get something done. On MacOSX, a lot of freeware comes in disk-image files and most of those applications I run directly out of those files never actually installing them at all, so removing (or just moving) them is even simpler.
    Eddy had this to say on May 26, 2006 Posts: 11
    Is There Room for a Really Cheap Mac?
  • I've heart complaints about the first portable Mac before. Judging it from todays standards, it would not be a good design. However, I used one during a time when the alternative was bringing a PC with me consisting of a seperate box, a screen, a keyboard and several wires. And that box ran DOS or some early form of Windows. This portable Mac was complete, could work standalone and had the same GUI as other Macs. And apps like HyperCard and Word ran well enough to be productive (I also used 4D on it for simple database tasks for a while, but don't remember version or year). I can't remember having anything to complain about no backlight or other drawbacks. It had adb, so a mouse could be used instead of the trackball and this machine had the same plug&play connections to printers and network as other Macs. Off course, I had a desktop for when I was at the office, but exchanging documents and applications between Macs has always been very simple. This means that I only used the Mac portable when I needed to work at a clients' location. I have enjoyed the time I spent with that machine and I kind-of feel bad that I don't know where it went after I got something else to use. Funny thing is, after this machine, all I carried with me for a while was an external 500MB scsi harddisk. You could boot any Mac from that disk and still use the apps on the Macs' internal disk and use all connected devices and network options while having my own apps and documents at hand. You could not (and as I believe still can't) do that with PC's.
    Eddy had this to say on May 11, 2006 Posts: 11
    Five Best Macs, Five Worst Macs…So Far
  • Hm, redirect after log-on got me to the wrong topic. Probably due to the use of different tabs. Bummer. Appologies.
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 26, 2006 Posts: 11
    April 26, 1985: The Lisa Becomes a Knock Knock Joke
  • I am a long time Macintosh user and, besides a user of many different application, also a programmer building apps for both MacOS and Windows as well for the web. Personally, I don't understand the comment about the control-key for context menu's. If you are trying to work fast, you need command-click and option-click almost as often as control-click, but your left hand will be conveniently placed as well for undo, cut, copy, paste, close, save, switch-apps and quit, to name just a few. There are many other key commands: space and shift-space to advance or reverse in readers like Safari or Preview or tab to jump from field to field in a dialog or web form. Using space or tab is something I need regularely in PhotoShop and other Adobe applications. Even on Windows, there are many commands that your left hand will be performing while your right hand uses a mouse. And the second button isn't that obvious. As I work with many who have Windows, they often ask me how I performed a certain thing they saw going on on screen. And since I also use VirtualPC (besides "real" pc's) and VPC simulates control-click for the right-button, I only need to be aware that the control-key is pressed with a different finger then the command-key. So a mouse with an extra button would take away just one of the many functions I am performing with my other hand. Big deal. I don't understand the comment about wrist problems, either. Obviously, it is a major concern, since a lot of people are having problems. But after more then fifteen years of mousing around, I have never had any problem myself. And I am making longer hours then regular users. I am not denying the problem. Just commenting that I don't see a relationship between the number of buttons a mouse has and any physical injury people could suffer. I don't even see a good reason to have a scroll-wheel. Personally, I find that the mice Apple builds are durable, at least those that come with their Pro line of computers. They endure day-in day-out use for many years. To get on the topic: as a programmer, I already was aware that HIG was indeed a brain-child from Apple. Refering to those guidelines would be more like: if you want to understand what Apple is thinking, read the HIG. And if you want to be in any position that Apple will acknowlegde your app, you need to follow them closely. One-button mice rule!
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 26, 2006 Posts: 11
    April 26, 1985: The Lisa Becomes a Knock Knock Joke
  • There is another issue, although a bit off-topic: plug&play. A lot of hardware, things connected through USB, need their own driver. The reason is that a device tells the OS what it is, such as - humaninterface device/keyboard or - capture device/camera or - sound device/combo (e.g. a headset specifying both an input and an output part) and for most of the categories will the OS have a standard driver. However, a lot of devices simply say - vendor-specific/vendor-specific and this is when the OS can only access the device when it has it's own driver. Why is this important? Well, creating a driver is complex and if a vendor isn't capable of following specifications for a certain category, why would he be able to follow specification on how to create a driver? A driver has a lot of privileges to access part of the hardware or run at times that the OS is less protected and this makes it a target for attacks: if a hacker knows the vulnerabilities of a popular devices' driver it can use this knowlegde for attacking a machine. Needless to say: I have little trust in devices that come with their own drivers, but if I do need them, I'd rather have a kernel that is more protective. Otherwise the speed would help malware more then it does help me. (The fact that someone is paranoid, does not mean that this person has no enemies)
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 17, 2006 Posts: 11
    How Long Will Apple Keep the MACH Microkernel?
  • MacOSX comes in two 'flavors': for common users and for servers. The servers have the same technological design as the regular version, but seemed to be 'tuned' differently (insert car-engine analogy here). Speed might be more important for servers and these are often in the hands of people with more in-depth knowlegde about the inner workings of the machines (and thus about security issues). Perhaps monolithic kernels become an option or a feature in servers before the regular version makes the same switch. With the references to Avie Tevanian, I wonder what causes what: Avie leaving causes a move or the desire for the move causes Avie to leave? It there is a move at all. I woudn't be supprised if it turned out internally Apple is having OSX running on top of various distro's (they ran on different processors for some time, too, remember?). Wasn't the choise for FreeBSD because of licensing? We'll see. I for one am mostly interested in the MacOSX user experience. A lot of 'speed' comes from this UI, anyway.
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 17, 2006 Posts: 11
    How Long Will Apple Keep the MACH Microkernel?
  • This is an old thing. When I got my PowerBook G3, I worked in an office with laptop-PC users. It annoyed the heck out of me: either keep the fans constant or not at all, but switching them on in rather short intervals (minutes) is distracting. (can't that be a setting: slow constant or fast intermittant?) I discussed it with them: I couldn't even tell if my machine had a fan or not. Never heard it and actually never thought about it. I assumed there was none. On a really, really hot day, I sat at home in the garden, I couldn't wear more then shorts, and I was doing some work. I heard a faint noise that I could not make out. It went away soon enough, but it came back later. Turned out: in full sunlight the machine heats up enough to start puffing. So, only if ambient temparature is high would the G3 turn on it's fan. Later Macs would produce more heat, but still: noise is something Apple is aware of.
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 17, 2006 Posts: 11
    When Hot Is Not
  • Many PC makers feel they have to stick with BIOS as a way to boot the machine and here we have Apple showing that EFI-based machines can be used just as easily. The difference is not just something geeks will appreciate, it is something that even regular users might see as important. With EFI, drivers are something that the OS uses, not something that the OS needs to provide. This should lead to much cleaner installations and perhaps even less vulnerability, since the drivers are better protected. So, we Mac users have an advantage when running the same XP because our hardware is more modern. The largest group of new Macintosh users is probably scientists: running their unix applictions alongside Office and email was the main reason. People will want to do the same with apps written for Windows. Bootcamp is an interesting move to make people think about their next purchase. Someone who is going to buy their computer at a supermarket probably won't be using it much anyway. They won't switch, but with Apple as a well known brand, many might consider it.
    Eddy had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 11
    Boot Camp: Apple's Insanely Bad Idea
  • I think that a lot of PC users are aware of the fact that they just do dull little tasks. It is not that they couldn't do more exciting things, it is just that these dull little tasks are hard enough to perform and PC users are glad to get them done. PC users aren't looking to do more thing, but are looking to do these things more easily. If they would get more comfortable, they would get the courage to start to do more interesting things. I regularely help PC users when they need to do something that they never did before and I notice that confidence fades fast when I show how to do the things that needs to be done. Doing the same kind of tasks on a Macintosh, e.g. manage your photo's or even simply organising your documents, is a lot more exciting, even if these are the same dull little tasks that Windows users can perform just as well. Simple games, such as cardgames, look a lot better on a Mac even it is just another Solitair or FreeCell. Confidence is built sooner on a Macintosh and you'll find yourself doing things that you couldn't imagine doing yourself on a PC. I think the message to Windows users should be: stop blaming yourself for not getting the most out of your computer. Buy a Mac and do things that you currently are only dreaming about. The message in the ad comes very close to this.
    Eddy had this to say on Jan 26, 2006 Posts: 11
    That Damn Ad
  • The response of the public was indeed very low. At the beginning of the speech, Steve told about the number of iPods sold. If you have been following the news then predictions were around 10 mln, later upped to 11 mln. Then came the stories of inventory and the speculation that Apple could not buy enough components. So prediction were lowered to between 7 mln and 9 mln. Even the highest predicted number of 11 mln was exceeded, not by just mere decimal points but by several million units to a total of 14 mln. I applauded and I was watching the delayed broadcast. I was amazed by the lack of response from the public. And then Steve did something that was a historic first: he disclosed Apple's revenue for that quarter. Again: all the public did was yawn. I have given my share of presentations and I know it is very hard to swallow a dissapointment when there is no response for something you think is big. Unfortunately for Steve, the public remained cool. I think expectations were to be entertained, not to be informed. Apple is growing up with it's line of products. New versions of existing products will always be less exciting then new products. And now, with the transition going on, is not the time to introduce something new. Personally, I think that we see that Apple choose a path and this speech was a confirmation that Apple is on a very good track. It was a good keynote.
    Eddy had this to say on Jan 11, 2006 Posts: 11
    Lackluster Performance At The Keynote