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Apple: Creator of the Reality Distortion Field or Creator of Cool Products? January 11, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Technology.
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Original Mac 128k

While it’s true that I have owned Apple Macintosh computers ever since the first Mac was released to the public in January 1984, I can’t say that I have always been impressed with what Apple has done with their hardware and software. In fact, several times over the past 20+ years I have wondered if they had lost all of their innovative employees to some other company or maybe they were recruited by Disney to add to their stable of imagineers. Well, I no longer wonder if Apple can innovate. Based on the technology they’ve developed and released over the past few years it’s clear they are hitting their stride, again.

Tuesday’s keynote address by Steve Jobs at the annual MacWorld conference in San Francisco showed the world that Apple is on the front edge of technological innovation, once again delivering what people wish for when they struggle to do things on their computers. Yes, I was impressed by the number of things, big and small, that Apple released, yesterday. Not the least of which was the fact that they are ready to ship a new Intel based PowerBook, though they won’t call it that. The new Intel dual core processor laptops will be called MacBook Pro. Catchy, isn’t it! But wait, that’s not all. They will run more than twice the speed (using the benchmark SPECmark standard) of the computer I am typing on right now — the PowerBook G4 (1.6 Ghz). Now, that’s an impressive improvement in speed, and all for the same price as it’s older, but still available baby brother, the PowerBook G4.

Not only was the hardware innovative and the new computer specs impressive, but also the application software updates were awesome. With iLife ’06, they have simplified the process of working with digital still photos as well as movies and putting it all together to burn to a DVD or publish it to a web server (they recommend using .Mac, for obvious reasons). And, they have really simplified the process of recording and publishing podcasts and vodcasts (video casting).

One of the smallest little gadgets that Apple released today was the iPod remote control device with an FM tuner built in so you can listen to the radio on your iPod. Now, that’s kind of cool, in a rather limited way. The only down side is that it will only work with the iPod Nano and the current (5th) generation video iPods (of course, I have a 4th generation iPod). But, it’s still very cool.

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