Macworld 2008 Predictions

What's an Apple fan to do while waiting for Macworld Expo to arrive? Post their predictions of course, just like I did for WWDC.

  • No tablet - I still don't see this happening.

  • The heavily rumored ultraportable is just the return of the 12" PowerBook as a MacBook Pro. The 12" PowerBook is/was loved by those that have/had them. I'm really surprised we haven't seen it return already. I imagine they were waiting for a case redesign, which I do expect for the MacBook Pro. The existing MacBooks won't change much at all. I think a Blu-ray drive will be an option for them.

  • The 12" MacBook Pro will not have an optical drive (but the other ones still will). This isn't the machine that you use to rip CDs and you'll just have to deal with not watching DVDs, unless you rip them or use the external drive. Treat yourself and buy a fresh movie over Wi-Fi while you wait for your plane to board.

  • iTunes movie rentals. I'll guess $2.99 for 48 hours, but I would like to see a model similar to Netflix, without waiting for the post office. Pay $19 a month and have 3 movies out at any time. Return one and you get to download and watch something else. How cool would it be if Apple built in BitTorrent tech to save their bandwidth bill?

  • New Cinema displays, hopefully at more competitive prices.

  • We'll get iPhone SDK details and see demos of some apps in progress from some big names, although I can't really think of who.

  • 16 GB iPhone at $499 pricepoint. No change in price on existing models

  • Apple TV software update - I love my Apple TV but folks don't seem like they'll be happy until it dies a painful death. Apple is certainly going to give it one more wave of software at least. I doubt the hardware will change, even though I would like to see my Mac nano dream come true.

  • Steve will tell us all about Leopard being the best OS X ever. Vista is flopping and folks are switching.

Those are my predictions. Feel free to mock me when I'm wrong.


Albums of the Year: 2007

  • LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

  • Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City Bloc Party - A Weekend In the City

  • Aesop Rock - All Day: Nike+ Original Run Aesop Rock - All Day: Nike+ Original Run

  • Underworld - Oblivion With Bells Underworld - Oblivion With Bells

  • The Chemical Brothers - We Are the Night The Chemical Brothers - We Are the Night

  • UNKLE - War Stories UNKLE - War Stories

Not much to say other than these albums were the ones that got repeated, consistent play throughout the year. Some discs spent months in the truck CD changer before ever making it inside the house for an iPod rip. iTunes, Beatport, and Amazon now let me buy plenty of individual tracks, but I still have massive respect for the album. To create an inspired and varied, yet cohesive, body of work will always be an amazing feat. Long live the album.

What were your favorite albums of the year?


Sexy Sub

Leave it to my mother. I tend to think she over-decorates. Here's a good example. It's the holiday season, so we have to make the subwoofer look festive, right?

It looks like a garter. We have women's clothing decorating the home theater. What's next, a flat screen mini-skirt?

How about a loudspeaker bra?

Do you find this as ridiculous as I do?


I'm Jimmy From the Blog Next Door

Just a quick pointer for those of you with Blogger blogs that you can turn on OpenID commenting.

I wasn't aware of OpenID [wikipedia] when I wrote my earlier comment post, but it sure seems like it provides the follow you identity that I want.

The Big Book

I know some readers of this blog are actively seeking better and bigger storage solutions. After a long search, I decided to go with the Western Digital My Book 1TB Studio Edition. This is the mini-review.

Design - This is a great looking drive. It was even smaller than I expected it to be. To give you some perspective, I photographed it next to an iPod.

I've also found that you can stick this between the iMac foot and screen. You don't lose any desk space this way, but it looks a little silly and puts the light in a place that is distracting. I still have it there, but I plan to move it to a shelf up behind the computer soon.

The Studio edition is formatted for Macs, and they did a decent job matching the silver of Macs. It isn't exactly the color of the latest iMacs, but it is really close and you really can't tell unless you shine some direct light. I'm also happy that the power supply is a small wall wart. Some folks don't like wall warts, but I hate the inline bricks even more. It's really hard to hide wires when there's a box of animal crackers in the middle of the wire.

Noise - The drive is fairly quiet. You can hear the tick tick of the drive head searches, but only when it is quiet. I have not heard a fan spin up loudly like some other external drives.

Software - If you're like me, you don't want software to run a hard drive. The drive came with a "button controller" for OS X that is supposed to control the fuel gauge light on the front of the drive. I installed it, or at least I think I did. It gave me no indication that it worked or not. I never saw the drive light behave any different in a week of use, so I uninstalled the driver.

Drive light - You'll love this or hate it. The light slowly pulses when the drive is asleep. It marquees Knight Rider style when the drive is being accessed. I wish I could turn the light off completely.

Interfaces - I'm using FW800 (remember kids, USB drives burn processor, FW doesn't). It seems fast, but I didn't benchmark it. It cranked across nearly 500GB in the first Time Machine backup.

Power - The drive has a feature where it will turn off completely when the computer is off. Folks tell me this is pretty common, but I've not had this on previous external drives. My Kill A Watt says the drive has used less than a KWH in 8 days of use and that includes a few days of Time Machine activity.


Worthless Double Covers

Allow me to pick on the Simpsons, again.

What is the deal with the cover over the DVD cover? Why do so many DVD releases add this extra packaging that is nearly identical to what is under it? It is such a waste. It's an extra step between me and DVD and what good does it do?

Ohh, they put some puffed up graphics on the cover. Do they think this makes me buy it? It doesn't. It hides the plastic wrap and makes it more attractive to buy. Again, I'm not buying DVDs because of cool covers. Never have, never will.

The only good use I have for these superfluous covers is placeholders when I loan the real DVD out! When I find the empty box in my shelf I remember "ohh yeah, Jimmy has my Simpsons DVD. Jerk!"


XPS One vs. iMac

I've been trying to get my parents to switch to an iMac. While thinking about it, I wondered how the iMac stacks against the recently released Dell XPS One. I picked a common price point that my parents would probably buy at. Here's the raw facts.

Before today, I didn't know that Dell was bundling Adobe Elements studio. That is a decent bundle to lay against iLife '08 even though they aren't exactly made of the same types of applications.
It is only fair to point out that the XPS One also has a built-in TV tuner (nice). So what else did I miss? Leave a comment.

Which do you think is the better deal?