Power Mac G5 Unboxing

Stumbled across this and felt the need to post it on the eve of WWDC 2013.

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This is from my first Apple computer purchase/unboxing. Pictured are the Power Mac G5 box, extra RAM from Crucial, and an OS X “Missing Manual” book I bought at Amazon. This picture is from September 2004.

These days, I’m on a 27″ iMac. That PowerMac was replaced a couple of Christmases ago, though it’s still on the floor underneath my desk.

Sesame Street: Closeted Apple Fans

Mark Evanier linked to this great video of The Count counting the “You”s in YouTube:

Television shows and movies don’t like to show recognizable logos, for various reasons. Sometimes, as with an MTV reality show, they blur everything out. If it’s a hat with a logo on it, they’ll put black tape over the logo. They’ll use odd camera angles to avoid showing the logo. Whether it’s because they don’t want to be seen endorsing one company over another, or that they’d rather save those logos for the people who buy product placement in such shows, we see it happen often enough to almost not get distracted by it anymore.

However, I laughed at this Sesame Street video for the lengths they went to pull this trick off. Here are three shots with interesting camera angles

  • Quick! Put the kid in front of the camera! Move the camera to the left, to awkwardly block half the screen AND the logo!


  • A Post-It Note! Wait, not, that’s probably just a “yellow sticky” to avoid copyright issues there, too:


* Put a statue in a convenient spot!

Though the more I look at it, the more the angle is wrong. I think they had to go in with a video editor to scrub out the Apple icon here:


To be fair, though, this guy is NOT using an iPhone:

iPhone 5S Rumor – Genius or Financial Pain?

There’s a rumor from a usually reliable source (iMore) that the iPhone 5S might hit shelves as early as August. This is either the genius of Tim Cook in managing his pipeline, or the stupidity of Apple in setting themselves up for a big fall.

Let’s start with the stupidity: The biggest purchasers of the 5S will be people like me who are currently on their 4S. We’re not eligible to get a subsidized phone until October, though, so we can’t buy the phone for the first two or three months it’ll be out. Sales out of the gate will appear “low” for that reason, and the usual link-baiters will point that out, the stock with sag, and woe be to Apple for another couple of months.

Genius: This means steadier sales for the first three or four months the phone will be out. Every time a new iPhone is released, it sells out and people jump on the waiting list. If a large portion of potential purchasers of the phone have to wait until October, the pool of people buying the phone will be smaller at first. So Apple won’t have a problem keeping the pipeline full of phones, selling what they have without putting anyone on a waiting list. And sales of a new phone will be spread across two quarters, boosting quarterly earnings twice. Plus, that gives Apple extra time to build up stock for when October hits and all the 4S owners show up to upgrade.

It’s a plan that makes sense when you think about it for longer than thirty seconds, which puts it out of the range of so many anti-Apple tech and finance blogs, plus Wall Street.

Apple Profits Mightily. Wall Street Plays Games

There’s no hope for Wall Street. It truly is a shell game that slowly destroys companies. Right now, they’re attempting to destroy Apple.

Apple yesterday announced record-setting earnings and profits. When all was said and done, they profited by more than $13 BILLION last year. And then Wall Street tanked the stock. They don’t even bother with the slingshot anymore. Or maybe that’ll come next week

Here are some headlines to help you lose your faith in humanity:

Tim Cook is the guy who ran the business for the last ten years to keep the machines running and the products getting built. Now some in tech “journalism” are calling for his head.

More short term thinking, but that’s SOP for public companies. Going public will kill them all.

Bad Bad App Developer

There’s not a chance you’re going to get me to spend $5.99 on your app when the useless screen shot contains such a blatant typo.

Why the Internet Still Wins: Tim Cook Edition

Apple CEO Tim Cook did two interviews that showed up today. The first appeared this morning via Bloomberg Businessweek. It was heavily linked across the internet. It was presented in question and answer format, and rambled on for many screens. There’s a lot of material to read through with that interview, and it’s worth it. It’s an exciting, interesting, informative piece.

Then, tonight, Brian Williams had the first television interview with Tim Cook. At least, that’s their claim. I didn’t see much of an interview in there. The piece spread out across two segments of the show, but Tim Cook talked for about a minute and a half of it. Most of the piece was a monologue by Brian Williams describing Apple’s successes and challenges, often accompanied by a 5 seconds response from the CEO before quickly cutting away to the next thing before he had a chance to really answer anything or discuss a single topic in any depth. It was the most frustrating waste of twenty minutes I’ve felt from watching TV in a long time.

When Brian Williams tries to get Tim Cook to spill the beans on how Apple would transform the TV industry, I was hoping Cook would say, “By obsoleting you, Brian.” No such luck.

Maybe next year.

By the way, the big news out of the two interviews is that Apple is planning to produce one of the existing Mac lines in America. I’m laying my money down on it being the next Mac Pro. Why? Because that machine is so damned expensive that its buyers won’t notice the extra few hundred they’ll have to spend to have it built here. You can’t make a $999 laptop on an assembly line in America, but a $3000 desktop machine? Sure, that’s a possibility.

This is a question Williams put to Cook during the interview. He asked Cook how much more an iPhone would cost if it were built in America. And just as Cook was starting to explain why the problem isn’t so much the cost as it is the manufacturing talent, the tightly-edited piece quickly whip-panned onto the next segment.

Somehow, Williams was getting together with Josh Topolsky from The Verge for a special live chat about the interview tonight. I don’t know what they plan to talk about, since there was barely any interview shown on my television screen…

iPad Mini

So, yesterday, I made some last minute Apple event predictions. I was wrong on everything. Sorta.

The one part I did get right is Apple’s move away from the numerical naming convention. They launched a ‘new’ iPad today, which is really just a mid-cycle revving of the internals of the device. It makes it fast enough to feel like a new devices, yes, but it’s still just swapping in newer parts for older parts. Everything else stays the same. It’s not a new number device, you know? And Apple can do that easily without marketing hassle because it’s just “iPad.” It is the same way they rev the internals of their computers as time goes by. There might be a new faster processor introduced that they can slide into last year’s laptop. There’s no event to monumentally launch it. Sometimes, there’s not even a press release. Apple just updates the specs on the website, and it’s done.

They can sort of do that now with iPads, even after just seven months. They’re not held back.

As for the iPad Mini, itself: $329 is too much to knock out Amazon and Google, but it’s plenty cheaper enough to attract some new buyers. It’ll be more attractive to schools, who don’t want to pay $399 or $499 for full-sized iPads. There’s likely a slight discount, too, for larger educational purchses. That’s huge, particularly as they continue to sell iBooks into schools.

So the iPad Mini will have its fans, but it won’t destroy the rest of the competition. Maybe next year they can unveil the retina iPad Mini (not “iPad Mini 2″) for $329 and lower this iPad Mini down to $249 or even $199 and wipe everyone out.

The best trick Apple pulled off today was in showing how ridiculously thin the new iMac is. It’s a great photographic trick. They were very careful to show it only from the one angle where you didn’t see the bulge behind it. Once you see that, the illusion is ruined.

What will I be buying? None of the above. I don’t need any of them, and I don’t get paid to be a tech pundit, so there’s no tax write-off. I’ll be getting an iPhone 5S in a year, probably, though. Can’t wait!

Apple’s Parts Leaks

Everybody complained that the iPhone 5 announcement was boring because all of the rumors were correct. And that’s because all the rumor sites had access to parts coming out of the Chinese manufacturers.

So answer me this: if there is, indeed, a new smaller iPad coming out in the next month, why haven’t we seen any of those parts leaking yet?

Does the iPhone just overshadow everything and we will start to see those parts appearing next week? Is there no financial incentive for the Chinese manufacturers to “leak” those parts yet? Did Apple learn from the iPhone and found ways of “doubling down on secrecy” for the new iPad?

Or, if I may put the tin foil hat on for a moment, is there no new iPad?

I doubt it’s that last option but, hey, you never know.

iPad(3) First Impressions

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First Impressions of the iPad 3

I’m writing this before I’ve even plugged it into the computer at home. In a brief window of wi-fi opportunity, I was able to configure my email and download the Comixology with a couple of comics.

  • Comixology has not upgraded its iPad App to the new retina display resolution, but it’s tough to tell. My main demo around the office this afternoon was “Justice League” #1 with Jim Lee art. The Superman splash page at the end was a big hit, with people calling it three-dimensional. More about this to come in Pipeline on Tuesday.

  • It is heavier than I expected. Since this is my first iPad, I’m not comparing it to the marginally lighter iPad 2. I just mean that the image in my mind I always had was of a slightly lighter device. It’s not a bother, though.

  • The size is huge. I’m so used to a phone where my thumb can travel the entire area of the screen in a half second. Now I’m holding a tablet with two hands and running fingers all over a display that’s four times the size or so. It’s weird.

  • When I go back to reading the iPhone, it feels so tiny.

  • Finger prints! Everywhere! Might work better in a slightly more dim room. Need a microfiber cloth to take care of this.

  • Must download lots of apps tonight. Will start with Instapaper, as I’ve recently realized how it will fit into my life. It won’t be Retina Display-ready for another week or two, but it’s a free upgrade, so no worries. More about that in this blog next month, I’m sure.

(This just in: Instapaper updated tonight, after all, about an hour after I downloaded it. Nice timing!)

Now excuse me while I go load more comic book files onto the device for, er, “testing.”..

Steve Jobs

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I haven’t watched the whole thing in years. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 was even better than I remembered. You can see Steve Jobs almost doing a victory lap on stage there. But you also see why he’s so good on stage: You believe everything he says because it doesn’t sound like a script, and he’s not reading off cue cards. He’s sure of himself. He’s a little cocky. He’s not afraid to throw a barb. He’s clear spoken. He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t use corporate doublespeak blather. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and see how far we’ve come in the last four years.

And, on a personal note, here’s my first blog post from my first Mac in September 2004. That computer still sits under this desk, though it’s been replaced by a late model iMac.

New iPods Are Coming

Isn’t it amazing how the thought of new iPods causes us to yawn now? For years, this September announcement was an exciting thing. You never know what was coming next: size, price point, color, form factor. Nowadays, who cares? We’re already committed to our iPhones as Apple Geeks, and the rest of the world already has enough iPods that a new one isn’t all that exciting. It’ll be nice to see a camera in the iPod Touch, but that’s hardly a shocking announcement.

Are we expecting too much from Apple? Does EVERY event have to announce an iPhone to get excitement surrounding it? That hardly seems fair.

I don’t know what we’ll see for sure this year, but I’ll say this: If it’s Facebook/Twitter integration for iTunes, then I’m staying off those sites for a few days. You’re going to know what EVERYONE is listening to for a few days, because everyone will want to test it out and let the rest of the world know what “random” (i.e. pre-selected to make them sound cool, not necessarily something that they like) track they’re listening to Right This Very Minute.

That Beatles Rock Band game looks cool, though, doesn’t it?