The Practical Mac

Pass the Crow, Please

- 2002.07.23 - Tip Jar

It's really not bad once you get used to it. With a little salt and pepper, it almost tastes like chicken. At least I'm not dining alone. Macworld has come and gone, and the top of the line TiBook is still 800 MHz, not the 1 GHz that many (yours truly included) predicted. I am gathered 'round the table with other Mac pundits, enjoying our dinner of crow.

I am proud that I did get a few right, though. As I boldly (and perhaps foolishly) promised last week, we will revisit my pre-Macworld column and see how I did.

Prediction: The G3 line would remain untouched; no G3 products upped to G4. The G5 would not appear.

Scorecard: A+. A home run all the way around! Hooray! Okay, so taking credit for being right about predicting that the G5 would not appear may be a little bit lame....

Prediction: The G3 iMac product line would remain unchanged. Wishful thinking: The price would be lowered.

Scorecard: A-. The phase out of the G3 CRT iMac that some predicted did not happen (at least not yet). My pipe dream of seeing the price reduced did not materialize, however.

Prediction: No significant movement on the iBook. Wishful thinking: Introduction of a bare-bones, $999 entry-level iBook.

Scorecard: A. No significant movement on the iBook. Wishful thinking: Still wishful thinking.

Prediction: No changes to the eMac.

Scorecard: B. While there were no product changes, the previously education-only eMac with a Combo drive is now available for purchase by the general public.

Prediction: Power Mac G4 speed bump.

Scorecard: F. Power Mac G4 at 1 GHz and holding.

Prediction: iMac (flat-panel): Revved up to 1 GHz.

Scorecard: F. Swing and a miss. Flat-panel iMac revved, but to 17" not 1 GHz.

Prediction: TiBook reaches 1 GHz.

Scorecard: F. Strike 3! TiBook still at 800 MHz.

Prediction: OS X Jaguar will be officially announced, and it will be called OS X 10.2.

Scorecard: A+. OS X Jaguar officially announced, and it will be called OS X 10.2. Oh, and welcome back spring-loaded folders, we've missed you.

Prediction: AppleWorks and iTunes receive major upgrades; updates to some other software titles; maybe a surprise addition or two.

Scorecard: A-. AppleWorks untouched, but iTunes 3 announced. Best new iTunes feature: Sound Check, which normalizes sound and makes all songs playable at the same level. Sherlock updated as well. Greetings to the newest members of the iFamily: iSync and iCal.

Prediction: A misc. surprise or two.

Scorecard: P (for pass). Predicting that Steve Jobs has a surprise or two up his sleeve is such a gimme as not to deserve the award of a letter grade that would actually figure into your GPA! Let's see, where do we begin here.
  • The 20 GB iPod was introduced, and the price was lowered on the 5 and 10 GB models. Although there was no "Newton II," some software upgrades to the iPod hint that it may one day evolve into just that. iPod for Windows now available. Hooray!
  • Free to fee: iTools is going away to be replaced by the fee-based .Mac. Boo!
  • Rendezvous: Automatically discovers other devices over an IP network with no configuration necessary. It's like plug-and-play, except you don't have to plug.
  • QuickTime 6: MPEG-4 comes to Apple. Now, only Microsoft left behind.

Report Card: Debatable, but I passed! The other half of the fun will be reading the debates and analysis for the next few weeks. The demise of iTools could turn out to be a very sore subject.

eMac Test Drive Follow-up

I had several readers inquire about user-upgradeability of the eMac. It is almost identical to the CRT iMac. There is a user-accessible panel on the bottom that allows the user to upgrade or change RAM. This is pretty much all that is user-serviceable.

I did not take the case apart, mainly because the eMac wasn't mine. Although I have changed a hard drive on my tangerine iMac, it is not a task I recommend for the beginner. It involves removal of other components as well as a number of screws that look alike, but in fact are not, something you will discover only if you get them mixed up and start putting the thing back together. LEM

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Steve Watkins is the Vice President for Information Technology for a mid-sized bank, an attorney, and an Army Reserve JAG on extended active duty. He has been a Mac user for about 12 years. He has owned some PCs along the way - but always came back to the Mac. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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