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Apple Businesses

iPod Shuffle, Mac Mini, iLife '05, iWork 2465

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the steve-puts-on-a-show dept.
A number of announcements from the Mac World keynote this afternoon. The iPod Shuffle is pack-of-gum sized, no screen, weighs less than an ounce. Ships today, $99 for the half gig, $149 for a gig. The Mac Mini is the headless iMac... 6x6x2.5 with all the expected plugs, starting at $499. Lot's of tiger bits, spotlight, virtual folders in Mail.app. iLife '05 will ship Jan 22. iPhoto gets folders and video support. iMovie supports HD. GarageBand gets 8 channel recording. iWork includes Keynote 2, and 'Pages' the new word processor and ships the same day as iLife.
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iPod Shuffle, Mac Mini, iLife '05, iWork

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  • Mac Mini (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deviator (92787) <<gro.aisenma> <ta> <pdb>> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:02PM (#11323746) Homepage
    Nice. These types of things at these pricepoints are the types of things that can change the world - every kid & teenager could end up with one, using their Mom & Dad's hand-me-down Keyboard/Video/Mouse.

  • No screen? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jacobcaz (91509) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:03PM (#11323771) Homepage
    Hmm, I like the price point, but I don't like the "no screen" bit. Part of the allure of the iPod is how easy the UI is to navigate and use. How well will you be able to navigate with no feedback?
  • ouch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by riceforlife (718172) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:04PM (#11323781)
    ::kicks self real hard for not buying apple stock 12 months ago::
  • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:05PM (#11323804) Homepage Journal

    Will Pages be MS Word compatible?

    More importantly, will it be OO.O compatible?

  • $499 Mac? Damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:05PM (#11323805)
    Well now that's it's true...damn, even I might buy one!

    I'm begining to get the feeling that Steve Jobs might be trying to reposition Apple. Hardware is a mugs game, after all. We all know what happened the last time Apple tried to licence the Mac to clone builders..but what if they tried it now?

    It seems to me that over the last two or three years Apple has been working to reposition itself from a hardware company to a more diverse place, where the OS and the services it offers (E.g. iTunes) are what matters more than the hardware. The $499 Mac would seem to enforce that point. The idea is obviously to try and penetrate into the mid range market; make the Mac an everymans computer. If they can do it, and if they can increase their market share, they would certainly seem to have enough room to manovour and licence the Mac to clone builders again..
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rayde (738949) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:05PM (#11323812) Homepage
    i agree. most people have always agreed that mac os x is superior, but price has always been the sticky issue. with price becoming more realistic, perhaps apple can start winning back its market share.

    i think this is just the beginning. if apple stays in this market, we'll see more powerful iterations of the mac mini in a similar price point with more powerful features down the road.

    kudos apple!

  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by singularity (2031) * <nowalmart@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:06PM (#11323831) Homepage Journal
    Given that both TextEdit (Apple's Notepad equivalent) and AppleWorks were as compatible as they could be (without MS revealing file specs), I would strongly guess it would be.
  • Re:Well.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:08PM (#11323855)
    Well, I don't think it will be an "iPod" killer, so to speek.

    On the other hand, this is the first iPod that will be really well suited for running and biking. It's light enough, cheap enough, and all solid state. $99 for a 512 meg player isn't bad, last I checked.

    If it has separate buttons for skipping between albums vs. skipping between songs, it might not be too hard to navigate 512 meg's worth of music without a screen.

  • by moofdaddy (570503) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:11PM (#11323913) Homepage
    There will be a lot of bitching about the new iPod not having a screen. However I say that apple has done it once again. You have to understand the market for the new iPod, it is not meant to hold your entire music folder, its not meant to go with you on long drives.

    The new iPod is for the runners, for the people who take it with them to the gym, etc. These are people who wouldn't be navigating songs anyway, they just toss on a playlist, hit shuffle and go. This is exactly what the new ipod does, with only 200 songs, you don't really need to select your songs.

    If you want a display, if you want to hold other stuff, this iPod isn't for you, get the other ones. If you just want to listen to music while you work out, then this is exactly what you want.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xzzy (111297) <sether@nOspAM.tru7h.org> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:16PM (#11324033) Homepage
    That's not the point, the point is it makes it marketable as a PC replacement. A cheap replacement.

    Apple started hooking PC users in with the iPod, now they can reel them in with a plug and play replacement.

    Gotta admit it's pretty clever. ;)
  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:18PM (#11324064)
    I think a lot will hinge on just how compatible it turns out to be. Personally I don't think the level of compatibility provided by reverse-engineering something that complex is likely to be satisfactory. (Yes, I used OpenOffice and no, I don't send important documents out after exporting from OO to .doc without at least loading into MS Word first - and usually fixing up some tables and so forth).

    I gather Microsoft sometimes licenses .doc code or documentation to proprietary software shops, but how dumb would MS be to help Apple make a viable alternative to Office?

  • Re:No screen? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pfoorion (215620) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:24PM (#11324183)
    It seems to me that the target audience is for people who want to use this for their commute or a workout. I'm interested in how this is integrated with iTunes, meaning how easily can you just swap the playlist on the thing. I could see someone connecting this to their computer and downloading the playlist they want for that particular commute/workout. If you really NEED the ability to switch playlists a lot during the day, then you're likely to have more than the 100 songs and should look at a mini.

    I like my 3rd gen iPod and like being able to pick my playlist to fit my mood while I'm on the subway but I usually just pick my playlist in the morning when I leave for work and then put the thing in my pocket, not taking it out again until I want to turn it off. For that I don't need a screen.

    It'll be interesting to see if this takes off. It might just because it says iPod and costs $99.
  • by Nasarius (593729) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:24PM (#11324187)
    The Mac Mini looks like it's the thing for me. I've never owned a Mac in my life - I've used a few in my time

    Same here. I'm very very tempted to go out and buy one right now. Sounds like a perfect portable desktop or server. It's actually cheaper than a similar mini-ITX box [logicsupply.com]. I never really cared about the iPod or the big displays or the software...this is...*jaw drop*.

  • by sydsavage (453743) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:26PM (#11324216)
    Quote from the Mac Mini webpage [apple.com]:

    And yes, Mac mini will take advantage of your two-button USB mouse with scroll-wheel and your favorite USB keyboard. Just plug them in.

    Since you supply the mouse and keyboard, they've essentially nipped that perennial argument in the bud.

  • by javaxman (705658) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:29PM (#11324303) Journal
    Nope. No mouse in the box. No keyboard, either.

    The box is - get this - smaller than the standard iPod box.

    That's what they'll complain about. No mouse sold with the computer. Cheap-ass Apple, expecting me to already have a USB mouse... oh, wait...

  • by doodlelogic (773522) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:34PM (#11324363)
    Exactly. This is a bold move by Apple essentially because they are admitting that they may have been wrong.

    On a 1980s computer, with a more limited set of functions, and a computing public with a lower level of computing knowledge, one mouse button was probably better than two.

    But now, pressing Apple+click to get context menus seems a bit daft so it only makes sense to move over. And if they can't innovate in mice futher at the moment, why not let another manufacturer make the low-margin product so you can concentrate on the profitable computer itself?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:34PM (#11324379)
    your macs crash? mine sure dont...
  • by kmare (748517) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:36PM (#11324396) Homepage
    I don't think it's because of slashdot... but because of the keynote..
  • by b1t r0t (216468) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:36PM (#11324409)
    It shouldn't be any problem. In fact, that's how I got my most recent Mac, a Blue & White G3 for $110. Except in that case, someone would have had to pay me to take that stupid hockey puck of a mouse off their hands.

    I like how Apple suggests on their Macmini page that programmers should get one and a KVM switch, and put it on top of their PC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:38PM (#11324460)
    dude you'd never buy a mac no matter what. So why should Apple try to please you?
  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by soullessbastard (596494) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:39PM (#11324472) Homepage Journal
    Disclaimer: I am a developer for Mac OS X OpenOffice.org and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project.

    Just the fact that you can import and export doesn't exactly mean it's 100% compatible. Heck, even Office v.X/2004 isn't 100% compatible with Windows Office generated files. One of the strengths of OpenOffice.org and NeoOffice is the accuracy of their import and export filters.

    I wouldn't suspect Pages would be successful converting Word documents that have embedded Excel spreadsheets and charts those that go trapesing off to do database queries with macros. I suspect Pages would convert them to tatters.

    While Pages may be sufficient for doing the basics of letter writing and entry-level document preparation, many of the more complex business level documents still will require Microsoft Office or an equivalent alternative. Office may be bloatware, but that doesn't prevent people from finding a way to use all of those features and then complaining when they don't work in another product. That makes true document compatibility a difficult task that can't fully be addrsesed by a word processing application alone.

    ed
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:39PM (#11324479) Homepage
    "the normally bulletproof Apple website is moving"

    Lol. Have you never seen one of their live webcasts before?
  • by ePhil_One (634771) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:40PM (#11324494) Journal
    Exactly. This is a bold move by Apple essentially because they are admitting that they may have been wrong.

    I had a 4 button mouse on my Mac 9 years ago, this isn't even slightly new. The key is that the Mac is still oriented towards a 1 button interface.

    Oh well, trolls will be trolls...

  • Re:$499 Mac? Damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spencerogden (49254) <spencer@spencerogden.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:41PM (#11324508) Homepage
    After selling 10 million iPods (jesus christmas!) I don't think they are moving away from hardware.

    What I see more focus on hardware design, the exact opposite of the clone fiasco. They are getting, and supporting, higher margins on their hardware because of their design engineering. No other MP3 player looks or feels as good as the iPod. The Mini looks looks like another homerun, their first small form factor PC and its uniquely Apple and great looking.

    Apple's focus has shifted to perfecting the Human-Computer interface. This is what it was all about originally. They are focusing on the look and feel of products, both hardware and software.

    Get the details right, and they will come.

  • by Abalamahalamatandra (639919) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:42PM (#11324546)
    Somewhat overpriced, but note that the Mini has a Radeon graphics processor and 32 MB of dedicated graphics RAM.

    I'll just about guarantee you that the Gateway (by the way, ick!) you linked to has a crappy video processor and shared RAM for graphics.

    What I wanna know is, how soon until I can run Linux on this baby and use it for a way-cool MythTV frontend?
  • No Clones (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:43PM (#11324572)
    If they can do it, and if they can increase their market share, they would certainly seem to have enough room to manovour and licence the Mac to clone builders again..

    Actually I think the exact opposite. Remember, one of the things that killed the last clone attempt was the fact that Apple was having to absorb all the cost of r&d while allowing the clones to cannabilize their own sales. Units like the Mac Mini take a lot of r&d bucks to design, they'd either have to charge exhorbanant sums to their oems (giving them little breathing room on price), or face the same problem as they did last time (which Steve in no uncertain terms made clear that he didn't like). Perhaps the closest we'll get to seeing clones is what HP is doing with the iPod, really just a re-branded unit.
  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:44PM (#11324591)

    Want to share your documents online? Please, for crying out loud, write your documents in HTML and make them actually work on the web instead of uploading a bunch of junk in binary file formats.

    I think you are mistaking the point. If you want to share your documents online, in general PDF is a great format. For example, if you want to distribute a newsletter via e-mail, PDF is a good way to go. If you want to send out marketing info, PDF is a good way to go. It is standard, exact, and a single file. Doc is not standard, and may or may not be readable on your platform, and implies to people that they need to buy products from MS. Doc files also are extra large and may include way too much information about what is on your hard-drive. HTML is great for hosting a file for the Web (note this is not the same as the internet, it is a subset), but it is a crappy way to e-mail things, and is not easy to print. If you have any images, or multiple pages, you end up with a slew of files for a single document.

    In any case, Pages supports export to PDF and HTML so if a person was planning on hosting something as a web page, it should not be hard to make an HTML version. I get a little upset whenever I see the bad reputation PDF has. Every time I open one on a Windows machine, I remember why this is the case. It is because Acrobat reader is a dog-slow piece of crap, that will bring a Windows box to a crawl while trying to load and scroll. On OS X PDFs are great, and finding one in a web page is not annoying. They download in the background, scroll just fine, and do not make your machine go catatonic for 10 minutes while all you want to do is read a few pages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:49PM (#11324681)
    Umm.. That Gateway you reference does not come with Firewire, it probably does not come with DVI, and uses Intel's "shared VRAM" graphics set (as opposed to the Radeon 9200 on the iMac mini).

    Oh, and it is $349 *after mail-in rebate*.

    Also check out the service/support. The Gateway comes with 90 days limited support. The iMac mini comes (like any Macintosh) with 90 days telephone support and is covered for one year.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:49PM (#11324684)
    There are two reasons that Apple doesn't ship two-button mice - one is simplicity for beginning users, the other is that it forces lazy developers to expose functionality in the UI and NOT just bury it in a contextual menu. Windows drives me batty because features are commonly implemented that way.
  • by saddino (183491) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:49PM (#11324687)
    As Jobs noted, the iPod Mini took a nice chunk out of the Flash MP3 player market and thus the Shuffle is meant to take the remainder (low end). However, if the Shuffle were to have a screen (and thus be fully functional) it would almost certainly eat into Mini sales. Thus, the lack of screen is not only a design (elegant) and engineering (fewer parts) triumph, but also a marketing coup (increase marketshare without cannabalizing sales). Impressive.
  • iWant iWant iWant! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaztromo (655250) <yaztromo@mac. c o m> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:50PM (#11324710) Homepage Journal

    It's all so beautiful...[sniff].

    Okay, the new Mac Mini is going to be perfect for my mother. It's certainly going onto the "iWant List".

    iLife 05 and iWork I'm going to put on order today (if I can get through to the Apple Store -- that's for /.'ing Apple everyone ;) ).

    Damn. I had prepared myself this morning to find out that maybe one of the rumours was true, but all of the major rumours turned out to be true. Joy oh joy! It's like having another Christmas all over again :).

    Please allow me to point one last thing out: to all of those here (and elsewhere) who complained that Macs were too expensive, it's now time to put up or shut up. Buy the new Mac Mini, or never speak of the purported high cost of Apple hardware again.

    Yaz.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:51PM (#11324730)
    I consider buying mini Mac having recently playing with older generation of Power Macs.
    They sell on ebay around $300.
    I hope now all of them will go drastically down over next couple weeks. It would be great time to pickup couple for webservers or second computers.
    Let's the killing begin.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:52PM (#11324747) Homepage
    Apple finally delivers a $500 Mac, and people whine that it doesn't have a kb and a mouse.

    Guess what: It doesn't include a 30" HD Cinema Display either. You also don't get to complain that the included mouse only has one button.

    Go to Fry's and spend $10 on a USB keyboard and mouse. Damn...just goes to show you that you can't please everybody.
  • by ollie_ob (580756) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:53PM (#11324760) Journal
    US prices are normally quoted without VAT, UK prices with VAT. £52.70*1.175= £61.92. £62 vs £70 - Not so lame, especially considering GBP's relative strength at the moment.
  • by mapmaker (140036) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:54PM (#11324782)
    However I say that apple has done it once again.

    Right, cuz there aren't already a bazillion small screenless internal-flash-based mp3 players on the market...

  • by nadadogg (652178) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:55PM (#11324802)
    I know, I've been putting off buying a mac for quite some time, this makes it much harder to just say no.
  • by mindstrm (20013) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:55PM (#11324803)
    A bold move?

    OS X has never been limitd to a 1 button mouse. IN fact, every mac user I've seen who uses a mouse uses a typical multi-button optical mouse, or other exotic device. Almost nobody uses the stock 1 button mouse.

    The only reason it's even mentioned here is because apple doens't supply peripherals with the mini.

    You plug in a two button mouse, and it behaves as you would expect, it's not a "kludge" or anything like that. THis is nothing new, macs haven't been limited to one button mice since along, long time ago.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @02:57PM (#11324826) Homepage Journal
    Frankly at this price point it could be the New Commodre 64. The computer that every kid has. Unless you had an Atari. Will games soon follow. And what about schools? if they have old keyboards and monitors they could "upgrade" the the mac mini for cheap. Wonder what apple will sell them to schools for? Not to mention the lack of spyware, virus, and other nasties floating around your average school computer lab.
  • by soullessbastard (596494) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:03PM (#11324943) Homepage Journal
    Disclaimer: I am a developer of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project

    No, the new iWork is definitely not a replacement for the old AppleWorks/ClarisWorks suite. AppleWorks really did try to do a "kitchen sink" approach as well as give you the flexibilty to embed one type of document in another. I really suspect their decision to focus on word processing is very good from a market driven perspective.

    Most people tend to want to be able to write simple letters on their computer. TextEdit could do this, of course, and for simple tasks I do know people who use it. The next class of users is advanced home and entry-level business personnel. Think of the kind of people that want to make a flyer advertising a store event or the people making a newsletter for their little league. These are the exact target audience for Pages.

    Pages comes with 40 templates that are customizable in the sense you can add in your own graphics easily to creat new templates (I think...). This makes it easy to create newsletters, corporate letterhead, and the like. The transparency allows for easy watermarking of documents.

    Pages will also probably be sufficient for opening most Word documents generated by these similar types of users, home or small business users who have Word pre-installed on their Windows box and use the DOC format to e-mail their newsletters as attachments. In that respect it's great to have a similar pre-installed option available on the Mac that can support that market segment.

    Whether they will target spreadsheets and database connectivity in the future is still up for speculation. After all, even Claris killed its own standalone spreadsheet application (Resolve) by selling it off to C&G. For users who want an integrated suite full featured spreadsheets, charting, macros, database connectivity and the like, there's only a few remainingplayers in the Mac market: Microsoft Office, NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org] (OpenOffice.org, but without the X11), ThinkFree, and Mariner. I don't think Apple's about to compete with Microsoft Office anytime soon as they use Office to help sell the platform. The death of AppleWorks now leaves us open source guys as one of the remaining strongest office suite competitors on the platform.

    ed
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:05PM (#11324989)
    While the awesome power of /. is enough to make George Foreman Grills everywhere tremble with fear, the millions of Mac fanatics worldwide who bide their time patiently awaiting new instructions from Steve are more to blame.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gunnk (463227) <gunnk&mail,fpg,unc,edu> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:05PM (#11324991) Homepage
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that putting Apple in Microsoft's position would be a good thing. What WOULD be a good thing for everyone -- whether you use Windows, OS X, or Linux -- would be for Apple to have a larger marketshare than it does currently. Why? Because competition in the OS marketplace is GOOD. It would be a much healthier market if Microsoft only had, for example, 60% of the market.

    Markets without a clearly dominant player tend to be more innovative, more dynamic, and more responsive to the needs of their customers.

    Apple may or may not be "less evil" than Microsoft, but regardless of that, real competition is still a Good Thing.
  • Re:ouch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nelsonal (549144) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:06PM (#11324998) Journal
    That combined with the concern that Apple will be selling $500 systems to the same people they were selling $1200 systems to without adding enough additional computers to offset the loss.
  • You miss the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:06PM (#11325013)
    That Gateway is huge, comparatively. And it comes with Windows.

    Think of it as a G4 iBook in a small case, designed for desktop use. For $499 I get a more or less feature complete Apple Macintosh with OS X on it, ready to use whatever hardware I already have (for input and display.)

    With that other one you'd have to either use Windows or fight to get a useable Linux install.
  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:07PM (#11325042) Homepage
    If you'd ever been on a phone call with your grandmother trying to explain the difference between the right and the left mouse button, you'll know...APPLE WAS NOT WRONG.

    The one-button mouse is a good default. The fact that they support a richer interface for the people that want one is great.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rho (6063) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:10PM (#11325079) Homepage Journal
    Jesus... Slashdot is the new home for the perpetually whiny.

    8 years ago, it was "why doesn't Apple have a sub-notebook?" Now everybody wants a huge, testicle-frying Super-notebook.

    6 years ago, it was "why doesn't Apple have a server?" Well, golly, Apple's server offerings kick everybody else's ass, but of course, since you actually have to pay money for them, some people bitch about them.

    2 years ago, it was "if only Apple sold a cheap headless Mac, I'd buy one!" Okay, your time is now, hero.

    Some people are never satisfied. You got what you wanted--now you want more? If they included a mouse, you'd bitch about how it was the 1-button Apple mouse, or you'd bitch that the keyboard wasn't wireless.

    Buy your own goddamn keyboard and mouse and STFU.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rew190 (138940) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:13PM (#11325138)
    The Mac Mini is aimed clearly at PC users looking to switch, but featurewise it is a disappointment.

    It has OS X and is an affordable Apple computer. That is all it needs to succeed in the market Apple is shooting for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:15PM (#11325186)
    Did Apple annouce a release date for Tiger?

    It might be worth waiting until it comes with the Mac Mini (and save yourself $150).
  • by Snocone (158524) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:19PM (#11325288) Homepage
    The fact that I can't carry a few spare AAA batteries

    Ahem.

    " ... Extend the playback time of your iPod shuffle with the Battery Pack, powered by two AAA batteries..."

    Won't work as a plain ole' USB thumb device

    Ahem.

    "... Store files along with your music ..." ...Closed systems ... gouge me on a replacement battery ... doesn't play OGGs...

    Nobody. In. The. Target. Market. Gives. A. Flying. Fuck.

    Should I keep going?

    Well, you haven't actually started yet, so please.
  • by mjpaci (33725) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:21PM (#11325322) Homepage Journal
    Apple used to ship Macs without a keyboard on most machines. It wasn't until either the beige G3s or the iMac that every Mac included a keyboard.

    This was, at the time, a point PC users would harp on. Then Apple includes one and people harp about no choice. Now we're back to no keyboard. Let's see.

    --Mike
  • by rekoil (168689) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:24PM (#11325382)
    And at the time, you couldn't use a standard PC keyboard on a Mac thanks to the ADB interface, which I'm sure was a big reason people were screaming about that so loudly. Mac keyboards were much more expensive.

    The standardization to USB makes that much less of an issue today than it was back then.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:29PM (#11325473)
    The great thing about Pages is that it sounds like InDesign for the rest of us - that is, something that can serve as a simple page layout program.

    Word is not well suited to exact placement of anything really, and if the UI is really good it could win over a lot of people that traditionally have bought things like Print Shop Pro.
  • by kzinti (9651) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:30PM (#11325495) Homepage Journal
    Who in their right mind buys memory from an OEM? Don't get on Apple's case about expensive memory, because it's true in the PC world too! Whether it's Dell, Sony, IBM, whoever - you're almost always better off dollarwise to buy your system with the least available memory, then buy the upgrade from someone else. With the exception of the occasional special deal, this has been true for as long as I can remember.

    Of course, this begs the question: does the mini allow user upgrades? Can't check because the Apple site isn't responding at the moment, but that little box looks to be shut tighter than a virgin's iPod.
  • by Bullet-Dodger (630107) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:30PM (#11325496)
    Would you care to provide a link to one that's as small, light, cheap, and has as much room? As well as syncing as nicely with the music on your computer. (Not trolling, I'd actually like to know)
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:34PM (#11325559)
    A firewire port that you can connect to your cable box to use as a DVR?

    Bluetooth that you can use for a great wireless remote?

    Ability to play songs from the #1 online music store?

    Ability to print a picture you are watching on the TV from where you sit, or mail it to someone?

    Real VGA/DVI output for people with projectors or advanced displays?
  • by edgar_is_good (684481) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:38PM (#11325626)
    Note that machine comes with a CD-ROM. The CDRW/DVD drive is an extra $50. The apple is still more expensive, but comes with the mac iLife programs, which are worth the price to many people.
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:38PM (#11325628) Homepage
    What will the Apple trolls carp about now?

    Oh, they'll find something. "Why doesn't the iPod shuffle have a screen? 1GB? That's not enough space!" or, "They don't ship Mac minis with keyboards by default?! What am I supposed to do without a keyboard?!"

    Trolls don't need good reasons to carp. In fact, if you have a good reason to complain, it's kinda not a troll.

  • Re:No Spreadsheet? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by keytoe (91531) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:39PM (#11325634) Homepage
    I believe the iWork moniker is intended to be the counterpart to the iLife package. Over the years, Apple has added new applications to the iLife bundle, and I assume they'll do the same with iWork. There were rumors running around about an app called Cells - which fits the naming scheme.

    Apple is already firing a shot across Microsoft's bow with this - and firing two shots at once by releasing a word processor and spreadsheet might have been a bit much. Who knows - maybe Keynote and Pages are enough on their own to push MS out of the Mac market...
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:45PM (#11325718)
    All of the points you got wrong are related to who is going to buy this in droves - people have have PC's who like iPods and are tired of the PC world.

    In that world, the computer might be a little old - and slowed further by virus/spyware that have crept in. This computer will seem like a rocket.

    Plus of course it's like 1/10 the size of a clunky Dell box, a plus for anyone.

    The firewire port is also not a "slight win" for anyone that likes to play with video, which is all parents in the US.

    It's a box for people that want to buy a computer without having to worry about a computer. It's for people who like iPods and wonder what else Apple can do. Shortly it may well be anyone looking for a high-end DVD player and PVR. It's basically a computer for anyone that has not got a PC yet, or wants something different - dare I say a PC for the rest of us?
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tedwilliamsis (671858) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:48PM (#11325758)
    Wait, wait, I thought I just heard you call Slashdot the "new home for the perpetually whiny"

    I think you must be what's new around here
  • by acomj (20611) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:54PM (#11325847) Homepage
    The give you imovie and garage band. Both very cool high quality prosumer apps.

    The video editing is really quite good and garageband is a lot of fun( you can record into it and use drum/bass/keyboard loops.) and comes out quite professional. Good stuff.
  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:11PM (#11326131) Homepage
    Look at all the icons in your system tray. Take an inventory of all the functions that are available with the right click, and then all the things that happen with a left click. I've been using computers for 20 years, and I not infrequently have to try both.

    This is poor, poor design. Yes, it's poor design by the coders, but it's abetted by the availability of a right mouse button. Too many UI designers use that as a crutch. Don't know where a function should go? Sure, put it in a contextual menu.

    With the Mac, all contextual menus are optional. I simply don't use them very much. I use middle-click for new tabs in Safari, and I like the scroll wheel, but neither of those features are critical to making the operating system function.

    Try to run Windows without a right mouse button. It's possible, but MUCH harder.
  • by solios (53048) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:13PM (#11326153) Homepage
    If you haven't noticed, we've just now gotten the word processor, after Keynote's been around for awhile. Give it some time. :P
  • by Frobozz0 (247160) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:22PM (#11326295)
    Good points!

    My favorite windows UI quirk is how every application out there seems to duplicate every menu item in an icon stop. Because, yeah, it really helps me to see a thousand little indecipherable icons that have commands that also show up in the menu.

    Oh-- and let's not forget how you restart a PC (not that you have to do it much)! Click "start." Select "shut down." Now select "restart." Yeah, I would have found that.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:35PM (#11326493) Homepage Journal
    why the fuck did they ever build that mouse in the first place

    At home I'm a Mac user with an eleven button trackball. At work one of my duties is to administer a small lab full of Winders machines for our students. I would *love* to find a source for cheap, one-button PS/2 mice. Now that I deal with so many first-time computer users, I totally understand it.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rho (6063) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:46PM (#11326642) Homepage Journal
    Why use Linux? If you have a Mac already, you can use the remote desktop to admin it graphically. If not, well... it runs a Unixalike already. You won't get that much of a speed boost from Linux at the cost of having to beta test drivers for the hardware.

    If you do go this route, and install Mac OS X Server, you'll be in the unique position of paying more for your server license than for your server hardware!

  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:47PM (#11326655) Homepage
    There are just as many ways to access things on MacOS. The difference is, at least way is well designed, accessible, and consistent. That's only very occasionally true with Windows.

    Many options is not always good design.
  • by jfw25 (618692) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:54PM (#11326768)
    Because the Firefox developers followed the Mac user interface guidelines on the Mac version, when you click a link in Firefox with a one-button mouse, it performs the action most commonly expected -- open the page in the current tab. If you click AND HOLD, or if you press the control key, it brings up a contextual menu which offers you a wealth of other choices (new window, new tab, download, bookmark, ...).

    Many people find the hold-down-one-button paradigm to be easier to learn and use than multiple buttons. Other people find having multiple buttons easier to learn than multiple actions with the same button. Curse Apple for trying to make their computers useful to both kinds of users!

  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:07PM (#11326969) Journal
    "There are several niches that the Mac Mini doesn't quite satisfy..."

    Of course, this raises the question: if you satisfy every niche, is it still a niche product?
  • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:15PM (#11327104)
    The thing that struck me while reading about iWork Pages was that they're really emphasizing the "great design, real easy" aspect of it, same as iLife always has. MS Word is about making great business documents; Pages is about making great-looking newsletters.

    Additionally, Apple's got a long way to go before they can overtake MS in the business environment. Spreadsheets are mainly a business tool. Not much room in an Excel document for photos or sophisticated one-click text wrapping. (Yes, I know some people abuse Excel for documents it was never meant to process.) Home users who aren't bring their work home with them don't have much use for spreadsheets. Some, sure, but not much.

    I don't think Apple is marketing iWork as an MS Office replacement--yet. There's too much functionality there for Apple to try and match it, and much of it is business-only. What they can do is take Office, pick out the multimedia-heavy apps, and make them prettier and easier to use.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:21PM (#11327179)
    Do not forget that every Apple laptop sold has only a trackpad and single button. By having developers target a UI that can work well with one button and keyboard chording, it makes life much easier for laptop users.

    I have always found it awkward to use right mouse buttons on Windows laptops.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:11PM (#11327905) Homepage
    They could have also included a free pony. If they'd raised the price to about three grand.

    Jesus...it's the best looking SFF PC on the planet. Add the peripherals you need. What's the damn problem?
  • Re:$499 Mac? Damn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WiggyWack (88258) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:19PM (#11328030) Homepage
    I'm begining to get the feeling that Steve Jobs might be trying to reposition Apple. Hardware is a mugs game, after all.

    Yeah, everyone buys the iPod for the software.

    Apple is just doing a great job of integrating hardware and software. They do both. It amazes me how many people I hear say that Apple must open their hardware to cloners and become a software company like MS to be successful.

  • Euro screw (Score:2, Insightful)

    by illustir (92508) <alperNO@SPAMdds.nl> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:28PM (#11328138) Homepage
    I don't get it. The listed price for the mini is €499.

    $499 should be something more like €380. (€499 is $654). Source: www.xe.com .

    I'm a bit tired getting screwed and seeing Americans eat all those free lunches.

  • by Psychic Burrito (611532) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:40PM (#11328286)
    Well I use the standard mouse and am quite happy with it. Which good reasons to you have for right-mouse-drag on OS X?
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Macgrrl (762836) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @07:01PM (#11328545)

    *nod*

    I was thinking - this would go neatly next to the GCN as a media centre, put an airport Card into it and hook it up into the home theatre system for playing back video we have downloaded (the have just started playing season 6 West Wing over here - they were making a big deal in the press the other day about Zoe being found *sigh*, yes we get TV by BT). I do most of the admin of my old iMac from my PowerBook anyway, it shouldn't be any more difficult to run the Mini-Mac the same way.

  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @07:28PM (#11328885) Homepage
    You are a power user. I am a power user. My grandmother isn't.

    The right mouse button is a useful feature for advanced users. That's why Apple has supported them IN THE OS since 1996, and Kensington supplied excellent functionality in their multi-button mouse driver back to 1994 (or earlier...that's when I bought one).

    Look, when the PlayStation came out, developers had to make their games playable on the d-pad, since the DualShock gamepad wasn't available at ship time. The developers were forced to design to the least common denominator. However, most games that benefit from the analog control scheme had it built in...as an option.

    I'm not saying that d-pads are better than analog control. I'm saying that forcing developers to cater to inexperienced (OK, ignorant) computer users is a good design decision, and a good business decision.

    All the rest of us can plug in whatever mice we like. : )

    (Oh yeah, and if you like keyboard shortcuts, check out keyquencer. This is the macro setup God uses.)
  • Re:Lets do a deal (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @07:36PM (#11328996)
    Unless you get caught smuggling it in. 'Cause if you were gonna pay the VAT, well, £305 vs £339 doesn't quite cover a plane ticket.
  • by Scudsucker (17617) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @07:42PM (#11329076) Homepage Journal
    Plus it has an LCD screen, voice recorder and FM radio.

    True, true and true.

    smaller, lighter, just as cheap, and has just as much room

    False, false, false, true.

    The Shuffle is 2 millimeters shorter, 12 millimeters narrower, and half as thick. The Jetflash weighs 3 grams more, and thats WITHOUT the battery. The 1 gig version is $4 more than the Shuffle of the same size, but the half gig version is 14% more expensive than Apple's.

    This ipod shuffle really is just a "me too" product.

    Only if you count a cheaper model at half the size to be "me too". Yes, the Jetflash has a voice recorder, for the .0005% of the population that needs one. The built in radio is a nice feature, if the reception is good, for those who want it.
  • by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:17PM (#11329481) Homepage Journal
    If I'm reading this right, then you are attempting to implement a feature such that Mac users with a stock setup will not be able to use it.
  • by JamieF (16832) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @09:23PM (#11330160) Homepage
    If all you want to do is look at your hardware and run benchmarks (a.k.a. 3D FPS games that bore anyone over 12 years old), that's great.

    Watch the keynote and look at the software. Apple is not trying to make a Windows PC that looks nice. They're making software too, and leading the pack in many categories.

    Most people actually want to accomplish tasks with their computers, and a few percentage points in hardware price/performance don't make nearly as much difference as better usability (which is measured in units of time to accomplish a specific task).

    But, if you just like to spend your whole day messing around with your computer instead of getting anything done, by all means, avoid Macs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @09:47PM (#11330351)
    That would probably because 10.4 isn't out yet, so nothing ships with it.

    If you can hold out for a bit longer, and Tiger actually ships in the first half of this year, I'm sure that it'll come with the Mac Mini.
  • by lsmeg (529105) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @09:50PM (#11330369)
    You may be right about the tray, but everywere else it's a godsend. When I need to get something done I usually right-click and I can get it done without resorting to top menus or toolbars.

    I think the point here is that there shouldn't be any functionality that's only available by right-click. By shipping their systems with only one button mouses, they ensure that developers can't make functionality only available under a right-click since they can't assume their user has 2 buttons. I've found myself randomly right-clicking things in various windows apps trying to figure out how to do something because I couldn't find it on the menu or toolbar, which is poor design.

  • by Whatsmynickname (557867) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @11:10PM (#11331075)

    I was seriously looking at building a Shuttle, but let's compare it to the Mac Mini

    For the Shuttle, you can either buy a complete system from them [shuttle.com] and spend twice as much or build a system [newegg.com]. Don't forget the CPU [newegg.com]. And the RAM [crucial.com], and the hard drive [newegg.com], and the DVD drive [newegg.com]. At this point, it's about the same cost as a base Mac Mini.

    Even if you add the Mac Mini DVD burner, larger hard drive and extra RAM, you're still not saving much with the Shuttle. I'm not even going to mention the operating system and having to set it all up...

    Please don't counter with a el cheapo price quote from some other scum dealer either, just Newegg [newegg.com]... If you counter, make sure it has the same features also...

    Or buy the Mac Mini, with the OS installed, plug it in, and have it up and running.

    The mini has a DVI output for an HDTV monitor and Firewire for either DV or cable box (MPEG-TS) input. I personally think the Mini price is great for what you get. Especially if you want it in your living room next to your HDTV as a Media Center...

  • by Fwonkas (11539) <joe@fEEElappingc ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @12:32AM (#11331593) Homepage
    Plus it has an LCD screen, voice recorder and FM radio.

    None of which are necessary for a jog. Seriously, I know we're all geeks here, but try to understand why the iPod and the iPod mini succeeded. Hint: it wasn't because of lots of extra special features.

    Face it, folks. Apple has managed, with the iPod line, to embody the unix philosophy - do one thing and do it very well.

    I know someone is going to point to iPod photo. But the iPod photo has not (as far as I know) been as successful as the basic models.

    I used to use a Muvo. It did one thing and did it so-so. I would have been happy with it (despite only 64MB of space and no display) if it weren't so unreliable and if the batteries didn't die every day. Something tells me the iPod shuffle will be a much better product.

    I now own a 20GB 4G iPod. The abundance of space is nice, but after owning 4 crappy MP3 players, what I really enjoy is the simplicity and predictability. You know, the same thing I like about grep and cat.

  • by Kyusaku Natsume (1098) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @03:44AM (#11332573)
    The schools would still buying it:
    - it's far harder to steal,
    - the eMac sports a tempered (sp?) glass that protect the CRT-important for the safety of kids-
    - is easy to keep clean
    - the all-in-one design helps to keep the classroom's desks clener, only one power cord per machine.
    - In the case of CRT failure, always the schools buy support contracts anyway (or sould, regardless of vendor).
    - And last, the eMac uses common optical drives and HD, the two components of a computer more prone to failure or to need a upgrade.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Slack3r78 (596506) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @06:43AM (#11333239) Homepage
    Agreed with you on most points, though I really wish they'd gone with the "other" lowend GPU - the FX5200 Ultra. The reason? The 5200 is on the list to be supported by CoreImage in Tiger, the 9200 is not. Sucks that an all new machine won't support one of the major features of an OS update that's only a few months away.
  • by oscast (653817) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:09PM (#11340027) Homepage
    You (like every other person on the web that has compared prices) is mitigating the cost of iLife on the PC. If you're going to compare them across the board, you need to find matches for iMovie, iDVD and Garageband for the PC. I've done the comparison and found that comparable products for Windows will set you back an additional $250 - $300.

    So in reality, the price difference is $222.86 (conservative) in favor of the Mac mini.
  • by SnowDog74 (745848) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:58PM (#11350966)
    The funniest part about that story in the URL is that Microsoft tried to solve the problem of three uninformative function labels by reducing them to a one-size-fits-all label that is even more uninformative, given that it provides you no context for the variety of things hiding within the menu.

    Put it this way... If a person isn't curious enough to explore three menus that very poorly describe where they lead, why would they be inclined to explore one button that tells them even less?

    Apple's answer to this came in the form of the Dock. Probably realizing just how prevalent the use of desktop shortcuts had become, they decided to integrate the dock which... compared to XP, gives the user a wealth of information in one uniform lexicon that isn't very hard to grasp because one can immediately correlate the visual response with an action they performed that only someone lacking basic cognitive association functions could not interpret: 1. Available applications

    The dock shows a series of icons, some of which may be familiar, others which give the user a good idea what they do... iPhoto, for example, is represented by an icon of a camera and a photograph.

    2. State of an application

    When an icon is clicked, it bounces, and eventually the application comes up. A couple of attempts at this and most people can deduce their clicking on said icon launched a particular app.

    Once the app is launched and open, an indicator shows that it is running... the user can also make this correlation. Each application, once launched, has a file menu that is represented not by the word "File" but by the name of the application. It seems far more logical that the "quit" function for that app is under the app's name in the menu bar.. rather than "File"... which is where you find all file-related functions.

    Contextual in OS X actually means contextual.

    3. Advanced information

    The more a user becomes familiar with OS X, they will find that the dock is the place to locate the application itself... the contextual menu for each icon has a "Show in Finder" function, as well as "Quit" or "Force quit".

    By contrast, Windows continues to couch "Exit" under "File" and the only way to force-quit an application that's gone apeshit is to launch task manager... for the entry-level user, this may not be as immediately obvious as, well, looking at the application status icon.

    Someone mentioned the eject function earlier... While in previous iterations of Mac OS, it was couched under "File" in the menubar or by drag-dropping to the trash, OS X is ingenius, again, with not only contextual menus but contextual icons...

    Instead of, as another poster pointed out, showing you nine zillion indiscernable icons that are all redundantly represented in the menu... OS X has some icons that appear only when appropriate.

    The best example is when you grab a removable volume/disk, and take it to the dock... in the trash can's place appears the universal "Eject" icon... the very same that can be found on any optical disk playback device.

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