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nano2nd

Macworld '09 - New MacBook Pro, New iLife & iWork

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Totally agree. Replacing a whole imac just to upgrade its potential is stupid, expensive and not very ecologic either. If I want a to bring new life to my PC, I just have tho change the CPU or the GPU, o whatever I please: my case, keyboard, monitor, etc will remain the same. I spend less money to achieve the same level of performance with less money and less envoirement damage.

 

And what about the "buy obsolete hardware at premium price"?... its SAD business, Core i7 is already on the street, and from today Phenom II, and the fastest thing you can buy on an imac is a Core 2. Or a quad xeon on the pro models, which is a server (WTF) chip, requiring registered RAM and so on. Got a Quad 6600 Core 2 with an Efix chip, couldnt be "computationally" happier.

 

Ecology and bucks fellaz. And remember: we're on recession. Apple just doesn't make sense right now.

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I disagree on some points with you disappointed people.

 

First of all, those software updates, regardlessly if some technology like faces or any other was implemented before or not, were needed and now make a way more complete Mac out of the box. Remember Apple is also about software not just hardware.

 

The all in one policy is great and in my opinion the best and the classiest and the cool way Apple constructed the Macs is what makes it so much better then anything else out there - again hardware and software, and this includes the glossy screen, which in my opinion (and not just mine) is far better then the mate screen which reduces contrast and color fidelity (antiglare is not really an issue: indoors just mind where you position your mac and outdoors, actually indoors too, in bright light you don't really see much better with mate anyway - personally have no problem with the glossy laptop outdoors) + the other excellent reason was the greener solution which I am glad to see more and more at Apple. If you look at Leopard on a glossy screen and aside on a mate screen you will see a huge difference which was totally worth.

 

Again, considering this all in one and all clean and simple policy, lets see if the mac mini wasn't maybe a compromise from Apple. The hardware so far is well capable of supporting the software, thank God there's this alternative to Vista. So if you want pro applications the MacPro or MacBookPro is capable of supporting it (heck you can customize it to make sure - actually i think the iMacs are also able to support in good speed most pro applications), for anything else even the MacMini is still capable - actually i bet you can even use pro apps with little maybe even no compromise. Again consider a green policy which is way better then the rest of what's happening out there (hardware releases one after another making people buy newer ones even if current works just fine and there is actually no speed compromise actually - like a production or creativity or even fun reducing factor in the already perfect functional owned one).

 

And about DRM, it was the only way to start! Apple had no choice, only that way the companies permitted the deal, specially at the prices that were then. Actually Apple gets the credit for getting DRM free music "legally" to easy prices online, yes the transition expenses make sense and deserve a "thank you" whit that too.

 

Still, I'm sure updated MacMinis and iMacs will arrive, I was personally hoping for the 17" MBPro . Initially seeing the Sony 18.4" I waned more size, maybe even blue-ray ; but I realized that it's still a notebook, not a huge drawing-box book - i guess it's relative. I'd still appreciate a blue-ray option to it.

 

O, and I also was aspecting something about Snow Leopard.. I guess it will be one of the main things at WWDC..

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While I can agree with some of that geekster, you have to look at the bigger picture when you're talking about upgrades. I totally disagree about your position on the mini... it does NOT run anything I'd like it to very well... 90% of that is the fact that I can only have 2GB RAM, and the video card is horribly outdated. Sure if all you're doing is browsing the web or cataloging pictures in iPhoto - you'll be fine (just don't try to edit any of those photos if they're bigger than ~5MP).

 

And I disagree with the environmental side as well... your statement confuses me. I'm with Harlock here... how is it more ecologically sound to 'throw away' (sure you can sell it for almost nothing or better yet give it to someone less financially blessed... but still) a complete system including monitor, keyboard, mouse, HD, memory, etc... when all you needed to replace was a video card to be able to better render 3D artwork, or a faster HD to get better performance.

 

While I can totally see Apple's "place of honor" in the old economy - where people pay a premium for style with little concern for longevity, but that way of life is dying (and good riddance). I'm not saying that there aren't people willing to pay a little extra for something truly exceptional - but what is that in Apple's case??? You can get the exact same LED-backlit, glossy widescreen laptop on about 15 current models in the PC world - in fact I've had one in my Inspiron for almost 3 years now... long before they were available on the MBP. Oh yeah, mine is a 17" too... and I paid less for it than the 13.3" MB Alu goes for today!

 

Now of course, I can't upgrade it's video card either - but I'm not expecting Apple to do much in the laptop area... they are by their nature finite-lifetime machines. However, I'm still using the same case, HD, soundcard, monitor, and I/O on my PC that I was 5-6 years ago - it's had 3 new motherboards, 4 video cards, and 2 CPU upgrades... however, I was easily able to pass then along to other PC users for free, because they didn't represent a $2000+ outlay on my part.

 

As far as the software - I agree with you that it was necessary... but unveiling a "version update" with a few features that are available in some form or another already in competing products does not spell "progressive company" to my way of thinking. I'm just hoping that Steve Jobs is worse that he's letting on, and that the company is dealing with other things at the moment. I don't mean that I wish Steve bad health - I hope he recovers fully - but releasing version updates of existing software and releasing a laptop that is only equivalent to the lower high-end PC market is NOT what MacWorld should be about.

 

If any other company (esp. Microsoft) had an annual "Mecca" conferrence and basically said in their big announcement - "Hey! We added some features to apps we've already got! Bow down and worship our glory!" - they would get laughed out of the venue. Because it's Apple - all the fanboys did there due worship - although if you look closely at the audience shots during the keynote... there are more than just a few wearing a big "WTF IS GOING ON" look on their faces during much of the presentation. :(

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OK so what amazing new products has Microsoft introduced lately?

 

I don't think Microsoft is the issue here. Microsoft is pretty much software only unless we delve into game consoles.

 

Most of what people are complaining about was the hardware (or lack thereof) announcements at the show. In that case don't look to Microsoft, look to Dell. And Dell comes out with new products so often it's amazing. Want a Core i7? Dell has those. Want a Blu Ray Drive? Got them. Want a Blu Ray *burner*? Dell has those. Want a basic little no frills computer? Dell has those for $300. And it comes with twice as much RAM and 4.5 times the hard drive space as the mini. A $60 processor upgrade gets you a faster processor than that mini too. Not to mention that the Dell system is pretty small too, yet still large enough to take upgrades so that the system doesn't go obsolete so fast. They also have "normal" laptops starting at $480 instead of $1000 (and Dell has netbooks even cheaper).

 

Apple just needs to step it up on the hardware front a bit. They dont' need to clone Dell, but their absolute cheapest system being a $600 outdated slug that doesn't compare to competing machines costing HALF as much is just bad. The basic Mini needs another 1.5" to 2" of height to accomodate an expansion slot, a processor upgrade, double the ram (and default config should be ONE stick not two to allow for ugprades without wasting your existing ram), bigger hard drive, and it needs to be less than $500.

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I kept thinking, no way in hell are Apple going to bring out a raft of new hardware at the beginning of a year when everyone is tightening their recessionary budgets post the Christmas splash out. A modest but powerful Mac Mini, though not so powerful that it would detract away from the iMacs, seemed at least likely. But there is the problem, surely; they can't release a new Mini without at the same time bringing out new and more powerful iMacs. So Apple today find themself in a January/recession Catch-22 with the release of the new 17" MacBook Pro. I am not sure that I can afford the company of people who can afford a new MBP and I am not sure Apple's designer-price-tag image is much helped by the timing. I would have so loved to be able to say to the next person I met who wanted to go the Hackintosh route 'Have you seen the new Mac Mini, bundled with Leopard and iLife09?' 

 

It's a mad, mad, mad Mac-world that we live in.

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OK so what amazing new products has Microsoft introduced lately?

 

Well they don't have a special 'festival' to announce it... but Vista SP2 (to my way of thinking at least) is just as "remarkable" as the updates to iWork and iLife. :P

 

Can you imagine if MS had a major media event just to announce that Office now included inline translation and a more robust image editor?!?

 

I guess what I really mean as response to your question Synaesthesia is... "what amazing new products has Apple introduced lately?" And if you consider the 17" MBP "amazing" or face recognition and geo-tagging in an image cataloger "amazing" then you should check out the "amazing" stuff that Dell and Adobe have released in the past year. :)

 

Don't get me wrong... I like Leopard, I think it's a great OS. I like Apple software and hardware too, I think they are well done (if somewhat heavy on the 'ease of use' and somewhat light on the 'power and flexibility' in many cases). They are definitely, without a doubt, the nicest looking computers available today - but they are not the most powerful, cost effective, or future-proof... in fact, they don't even come in a close second, third or fourth. I could get a quad-core, dual drive, 17"+ laptop from half a dozen manufacturer's for the past year - with blu-ray - all for less than Apple wants for the 13.3 MB alu...

 

I'm just saying that for a company that has always prided itself on developing new and exciting technologies... they are now starting to look more like a designer handbag manufacturer than a technology company.

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Here's my thoughts on what was announced:

 

1) iWork '09 and iLife '09

 

Good ideas here. iWork.com is a definite competitor to the MS Office Server that allows for collaboration on documents. Sounds like a good idea for small businesses who've already switched to using Mac's, but it will be hard to convince businesses who are already using and have purchased the MS Office Server.

 

iMovie '09 basically sounds like they're putting the features back in from iMovie 06 and making you pay for it. If I knew they were going to do this when iMovie '08 was released, I would have then waited for iMovie '09 then.

 

2) DRM Free Songs on iTunes and the new pricing structure

 

Now this doesn't make me happy. Not that the songs are going DRM free, but the fact that they are charging you for it when you've already purchased it. Now some may say that you are getting twice the bitrate with this too, but I don't buy that reasoning. Give me the ability to remove the DRM without having to do things that involve decompressing the audio and recompressing it. In other words, build in the ability to strip out the DRM from the music without having to pay for it. If I want to get a better quality version, that's fine for charging me for it. I think of that like buying the blu-ray version of a movie when I had bought the dvd version a few years back. But don't think I'm gonna pay you money to remove the DRM of music I own already.

 

Now the pricing structure of $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29; we know the music companies got what they wanted. Didn't Steve Jobs for years say that he wanted to keep the pricing structure of only $0.99 a song because it was simple to understand. Does that mean he was lying all these years now that this has come out? Or does it say that he gave into the music studios demands? Or does that say that he lost the argument within the company of keeping the price at $0.99?

 

3) Non-removable battery in the new 17inch MacBook Pro

 

This I do not like. I don't care that it is more powerful or lasts longer. If my notebook battery dies because I've been using it all day and I can't replace it the moment it dies with a second battery that is fully charged, that's useless to me. Now I see Apple doing this to all their laptops since they did it to the 17 inch one. All so that it can look better. Clearly they favored looks over functionality here and for those Mac users who do use their macbook pro 17" for business who always carry a second battery, won't buy this laptop. How much functionality are mac users willing to give up for looks? We shall soon find out.

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First of all. I love tech and innovation.

 

Then DiGiCiD@L said "they are now starting to look more like a designer handbag manufacturer than a technology company". Couldn't agree more.

 

The beauty of tech innovation is making something more powerful, more usable, more eco friendly without increasing price tag or decreasing good looks. Or making something completely new. Recently: eee. Making something prettier and therefore much more expensive just for the sake of it is vacuous. And a ripoff.

 

If I buy a Gucci handbag (to continue DiGiCiD@L example), I do it because I want to be exclusive, because I'm rich o I pretend to be. A 10€ handbag carries stuff exactly as well than a Gucci one, because in handbag world, function is something secondary. You cannot sell more of them because "mine carry stuff better". So, moving this concept to computers is useless, because some work better than others. So I think that here's where Apple, from my point of view, is wrong.

 

And I'm talking strictly about hardware here. Love Leo, that's why I'm here.

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Agreed, I also like leo... or I wouldn't be on this board ;)

 

I guess the best way to sum up my position on Apple hardware is this:

 

If you are going to make computers that are either $3500+ or have no user-upgradeable components... then you are left with two choices... either make new platform releases every 60 days or so - and provide a 'trade-in' program for those that want a little more power or a newer feature. Or just resign yourself to never getting a majority market-share and remain the 'luxury brand' of computing devices.

 

I've posted many places here and elsewhere that I think Apple is too expensive... and always the fanboy army unites against me with comparisons of "X" PC vs. "X" Apple machine having the same hardware and the same or almost the same price. I don't dispute that at all... for the first 3 weeks that any particular Apple model is released, it is very reasonably priced... however, the computer-buying market does not all upgrade their hardware during April or September. If you are like me, and are currently in the market for a small HTPC to add to your entertainment center... which is a better buy? A Mac Mini with 18+ month old hardware, or a Dell Studio Hybrid with a much more recent set of options - especially considering that with promotions, the Dell is often less than the Mini...

 

The same goes for the iMac - sure it's pretty fast, but it's nowhere near as fast as a comprably priced corei7 system for about the same cash.

 

The only justifications are aesthetics (which are definitely in Apple's favor) and the ability to run Leopard flawlessly - I'm willing to pay a small premium for the latter, however I'm not for the former. I'm not saying that good design and appearance don't play into a product's appeal for me - but to me a computer is a tool just like a drill or saw... I'm more than happy to pay extra for one with better durability or power, but not to get it in the color I like. That's reserved for art and music, and despite what Steve Jobs might like me to think... a Mac is NOT a work of art.

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$99 for iLife 09 and $79 for an upgrade, not much of a deal. I wonder what Apple's policy is for MacBooks purchased within the last 30days...I bet its still $79 for the upgrade :D

 

I think $99 dollars is the right price because you got like 5 bundled softwares and not just any software, you got Apple high quality design into these products. iMovie and GarageBand are softwares that if you think about it could easily put each at $50 dollars or more a piece.

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nano2nd, this still doesn't make up for your horrible write-up on December 25, 2008.

 

It wasn't very good was it. But, you know what, guyin916, I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to gaining your acceptance and approval. Will try harder next time I promise.

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It wasn't very good was it. But, you know what, guyin916, I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to gaining your acceptance and approval. Will try harder next time I promise.

 

;)

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