Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Last minute thoughts on MacWorld Expo's rumors

All rumors are floating around, some even made lines in CNN and other major news publishers. Mac Rumors article+thread had summarized all the rumors about the upcoming MacWorld Expo. Also, today's Think Secret article listed 10 of the annoucement Steve Jobs might make in the Expo (with nice & short summary).

So, here is my thought regarding things I care about:

  • iHome, this is! (with Yoda's "My home, this is" voice).

    It should be nice as a home media center, for watching DVDs, listening to music, and viewing photos on the TV or computer screen. The system will sport G4 processor with 256MB of memory, which is quite capable for those tasks. However, I don't know where exactly will Apple target this machine. While it would be nice and serve really well as a home media center mentioned above, it's still a computer which could and should do more things, like ordinary word processing (writing school report or family newsletter). I want to know whether people will be able to use it as ordinary computer, or have to use special interface that wrap around Mac OS X exclusively for those home media tasks. People looking for another computer for normal tasks (me, coding and compiling) will be quite disappointed then. Or else, find ways to put GNU/Linux or normal Mac OS X on it (like someone did with XBox).

    Note from the lastest Think Secret article: the pictures found in the website linked above are fake.

  • New PowerBook G4

    The word new here is used sarcastically, as it actually yet-another-speedbump update to the current PowerBook line, using new PowerPC MPC7447A from FreeScale with clock speed at 1.5Ghz and 1.67Ghz. There might be minor updates in other hardware, such as BlueTooth and SuperDrive as well.

    After a long wait, the PowerBook line, one the flagship line for Mac, get its update. But if this is all it got after such a long wait, it will spell a major disappointment. This means we have to wait for at least another half-year for a real new line of PowerBook, be it a G5 (likely) or a Dual-core G4 (quite likely months ago, less likely now). The release of the new PowerBook should then be coincide somewhat with the release of Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4.

    I will wait for revision-B anyway, since the first models are likely to have problems.

  • iPod flash (or iPod shuffle)

    1GB Flash memory, approximately 250 songs. Screenless. Random shuffle only.

    Hmmmm ..... mixed feeling. Well, it's only 250 songs, so I can just copy my top-rated songs (which is now containing 216 songs, about 8xx MB) or create another smart playlist containing tracks that I'm sure I like listening to, then I can live with the random shuffle only (with skip/backward buttons). The problem is, even that, sometime I can be pretty selective when I'm in a certain mood. Then the iPod flash is not a good choice. Nevertheless, I want to get one, but have to see it first.

    Also, there might be updates to the current iPod family. For instant, iPod mini might gain capacity to 5GB (25% increase).

  • New Apps

    I'm exciting to see Pages, a new word-processing application, and the new Keynote. From what I heard the last time, Pages might not be a word processor (as is Microsoft Word) but rather a semi-publishing software (in other words, a combination of features between MS Word and MS Publisher). So it should help creating a professsional looking (or at least, nice-looking) contents without much effort (like Keynote did for creating presentation).

    iLife package might get a new version, too. There are also several apps that people heard of in terms of codename and I have no idea about that, so I'm not commenting on them.

That's all about my own interests in this MacWorld Expo. Can't wait for the real keynote, but sadly, the webcast will be delayed by 9 hours. And the server should be pretty loaded at that time anyway, so I have to wait longer to see it. (Well, reading people's summary and seeing Steve Jobs's Reality Distortion Field is very different and have much different effect).

So, time will tell and we will see.