More Power to Go: Snow Leopard, Safari 4, the iPhone, and the Internet
I spent a good bit of time watching Apple's Steve-less Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) presentation in San Francisco last week, and I came away with several observations.
Under the we-knew-it-was-coming-but-now-it's-here category - Apple is releasing Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" for Intel-chipped Macs only. The handwriting is not just on the wall, its now being written with a Sharpie.
This means that for all of us G3 owners, Mac OS X 1.4 " Tiger" will forever be the upper limit. G4 owners will have to make due with Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard". If you want the latest and greatest (Snow Leopard), an Intel Mac is in your future.
I may have to start fantasizing about a Mac mini as my next desktop system.
I am really pleased that the new release of Safari 4 has a Tiger version available. I hope this means that Apple will continue to provide updates to software that will run on my old Pismo. So far I have been getting the latest versions of iTunes, and with the new Safari, I am vaguely confident that I can keep using the Pismo, released in 2000, into its second decade of existence.
So far, Safari 4 seems to be quicker on my 500 MHz G3 processor than earlier versions, but the ATI Rage Mobility graphics board is just not up to using the latest features of Safari. Still, it seems to be quicker.
Most of the WWDC concerned the iPhone, an Apple product I do not own. However, it seems pretty obvious to me that Apple is going to be concentrating on portable devices in the future.
What is the one part of the product line that Apple did not cover? Desktops. Not a word about the Mac mini, the iMac, or the Mac Pro. Since the laptop is gaining market share and the iPods and iPhone are dominating their markets, Apple is betting that the future is all about small.
I joke with my coworkers that one day every child will be issued an iPhone at birth. When I look at my own children, I see the new generation with cell phones as permanent accessories. We all know that the iPhone is a cellphone on steroids. So Apple's "gamble" to concentrate on the "small" end of the computer sales universe is wise.
Apple is also well placed with the products it has to continue to dominate the market for a long while.
What's next? Another game changer. That's what those 10" touch screens are for.
Tech in the Real World
Addendum: As I finish this column, the Iranian public has risen up against its rulers. We know this and the details of the methods of repression because of the technology that we take for granted. Although the tyrants of Tehran control the traditional means of communication, demonstrators are using their cellphones to call relatives in other countries, and also to take pictures and send them to Twitter and Facebook. More daring Iranians are shooting videos and downloading them to YouTube.
Does this mean freedom is in Iran's future? I would hope so.
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