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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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  • Coool! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rootus-rootus (151960) <dlw@@@taco...com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:02PM (#11323742) Homepage
    This is a very good thing, now I can afford a mac ;-)
  • Yes, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mitchell Mebane (594797) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:02PM (#11323752) Homepage Journal
    Will Pages be MS Word compatible?
  • Hopefully. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BlackEyedSceva (798150) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:04PM (#11323779)
    If the new Ipod has the sound quality of a Ipod I might look into buying one. That is the main problem with small mp3 players today, yeah maybe it can hold 20 miliion hours of music, but it sounds like crap.
  • Perfect Terminal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hbuschme (751015) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:07PM (#11323852)
    The Mac Mini will be a perfect X-Terminal to use with a Linux box in another room. You'll have a silent and small box on your desk and the fat and loud server is down in the basement. Great.
  • by Mablung (723714) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:08PM (#11323854)
    I dropped my IPod in a puddle a few months after I got it, and after that the screen would come and go. If you've got all your settings the way you like them and you just randomize your whole playlist, it works just fine.
  • Just me? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yak_7 (318403) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:09PM (#11323876)
    Just me, or has apple been slashdotted?
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:09PM (#11323877) Journal
    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 and I've been to a few Mac Expos with Mac-owning friends - but I think that's about to change.

    This is the Mac for all of us who said Macs were too expensive. For around £400 (yeah, Apple just like the rest of them loves screwing non-Americans when it comes to exchange rates) I'll have a nice little toy that'll give me some first-hand experience of MacOS 10.4 plus my girlfriend will have a easy-to-use machine that she can play with when I'm hogging my PC.

    Hopefully, it'll work with the PS/2 keyboards and mice that I've got lying around, if not then I suppose that I'll be shelling out for USB ones but that's no great loss.

    Mark my words: these babies are going to sell like hot cakes.
  • No Spreadsheet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NardofDoom (821951) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:12PM (#11323947)
    I'm suprised there's no spreadsheet app in iWork. I'd imagine that a lot of people need an Excel compatible spreadsheet.

    Oh well, I guess I'm sticking with NeoOffice/J for a little while longer.

  • iMac mini (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chief Typist (110285) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:14PM (#11323987) Homepage
    So it's true...

    Wow!

    Now I'm wondering if you can shave 0.25" off of the thing and mount it in a 1U rack. The specs seem good for a cheap & simple web server.

    Also, I predict that there will be some kind of add-on in the next 6 months that allows you to control this Mac with a infra-red remote -- something to run the CD & DVD without a display attached.

    The after-market is going to have a field day with this device!

    -ch

  • by Altima(BoB) (602987) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:15PM (#11323994)
    Judging the crawl at which the normally bulletproof Apple website is moving, it seems the allure of cheap Apple goodies is what it took to bring the weight of the internet to bear on one of the strongest servers out there.

    Raise your glasses, this is a day to remember.
  • Re:ouch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ethelred Unraed (32954) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:15PM (#11323995) Journal
    Except that AAPL is actually zooming downwards [yahoo.com] at the moment. Something like -4% in less than an hour after the keynote ended.

    My hunch is that it's because Apple just fired a big-ass shot across Microsoft's bow with iWork. We can likely say bye-bye to Office v.X for Mac, and with it quite possibly the Mac platform. (At least in my experience, the existence of Office for Mac was one of the few things that kept the platform alive for a very large number of users, both corporate and private.)

    That's the only explanation I can think of at the moment. SJ just delivered an under-$500 Mac and an under-$200 iPod, so you'd think people would be going ape-shit.

    Cheers,

    Ethelred

  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hungry Student (799493) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:16PM (#11324022)
    I agree, this is great, however, with two USB slots and no PS2 ports, a USB hub at least will be required, especially if existing USB peripherals are needed. That said, this is a good move for Apple, right market, right price, should reap rewards. The noise reduction is also rather spiffy, add that to the fact that this box certainly wouldn't be aesthetically at odds in a lounge, Mac OS X Media Edition anyone?
  • by slapout (93640) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:17PM (#11324034)
    http://www.macmerc.com blogged the thing live. I hope they don't made me posting it here.

    01:59 PM - The speech is wrapping up. Please stay tuned to MacMerc for coverage. I'll be moblogging photos from the Apple booth in a few minutes. And if you haven't already, please PayPal us a buck or two (button left column). Thanks!

    01:54 PM - Shipping starting today. Accessories rolling out in the next four weeks.

    01:54 PM - 2 models: 512MB for $99 and 1GB for $149.99.

    01:53 PM - Autofill: button in iTunes to make a playlist sized for the iPod shuffle. You can also manually fill it. You can also use the iPod Shuffle as a USB flash drive (choose how much for songs how much for data).

    01:50 PM - iPod Shuffle: really tiny (smaller than most packs of gum), no screen, weighs under 1 ounce. Cap on the bottom, USB 2. 12 hour rechargeable battery. PC/Mac. Looks about the size of a flash key drive.

    01:46 PM - There is one more thing: iPod marketshare is 65% over double last year. But Apple is going after the remaining flash player market.

    01:45 PM - Motorola: iTunes client on Motorola phones. Showing Motorola e398. Phones shipping this spring.

    01:43 PM - iPods on cars: BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Volvo, Scion.

    01:40 PM - We have the iPod and the iPod mini (something else coming???). Holiday 2004 quarter iPod sales: 4.5 million vs. 730K a year ago. Cross 10 million iPods sold, 8 million in 2004.

    01:39 PM - Moving onto iPod...

    01:37 PM - iTMS sold 230 million songs so far. On pace for 1.25 billion.

    01:36 PM - Mac mini is in stores January 22nd.

    01:34 PM - The Mac mini fits in the palm of your hand. Hook it into your own keyboard and mouse, or Apple's. Comes with Panther and iLife 05. Price point:$499 $599.

    01:34 PM - The Mac mini looks like a 3" tall CD drive. A short cube. All the connections, DVI and VGA.

    01:33 PM - Introducing the Mac mini -- ThinkSecret was right!

    01:32 PM - "Why doesn't Apple provide a stripped down lower cost Mac?"

    01:32 PM - iWork available January 22 for $79

    01:27 PM - Phil is out to do a demo of Pages. Start with a blank page or a template. Import photos in pages through iPhoto library (iLife is integrated). Designed by the Keynote team. Word processing with a sense of style.

    01:21 PM - iWork announced, to replace AppleWorks. Built from the ground up for OS X. Includes major update to Keynote: 10 new themes, animated text, powerful animated builds, presenter display, interactive slideshows, self playing kiosk slideshows.
    PagesOther part of iWork, advanced word processor. 40 Apple designed templates.

    01:21 PM - iLife 2005 will be priced at $79. Goes on sale a week from this Friday. Free on all new Macs.

    01:18 PM - Traffic update: about 100,000 pages an hour. Please donate if you have found this useful--the webhost enjoys being paid. (PayPal button sidebar left). Update: Thanks guys, keep em coming. We sprung for a dedicated server for our coverage.

    01:15 PM - John Mayer is on stage showing the new GarageBand (he helped introduce the first version). Notes, "I didn't win any grammy's for playing the piano."

    01:14 PM - GarageBand '05: Up to 8 track recording. Real time music notation (taken from Logic), pitch and timing fixing, recorded tracks now can act as loops, create loops, vocal transformer. Also a new Jampack (#4)

    01:09 PM - iDVD '05: 15 new animated themes, OneStep DVD creation (video to DVD in one step), All DVD formats(+R/W).

    01:05 PM - Spotted on stage, small metallic box with Apple logo...

    01:04 PM - The president of Sony is on stage talking about HD. Steve is a fan of Sony's prosumer HD video camera (just $3499).

    12:58 PM - iMovie 05: Faster, non destructive trimming, more transitions and effects, mpeg 4 video, Magic iMovie (auto movie). Biggest feature: HD.

    12:45 PM - iPhoto '05: Better searching, More formats, far more powerful editing, more book designs, better organization (folders, c
  • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:17PM (#11324038)
    No shi'ite. This little thing, combined with Airport Express and/or and El Gato box, will make one hell of a media server. Perfect for hooking up to a plasma TV/Monitor.

    And I can get the Mrs. a FlashPod to mollify her so I can get what I want. *vbg*

    Best. SteveNote. Ever!
  • by Mad_Rain (674268) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:19PM (#11324094) Journal
    I was thinking about getting a little Small-form factor [mini-itx.com] box to run something like MythTv [mythtv.org], something along the lines of a AMD64. But checking out the Mac mini [apple.com] just makes me wonder about how I could get that going. Anyone think that this box could be a useful solution to that kind of project? I think the fairly standardized hardware would make that pretty simple to do, but being a non-mac person, I have no idea.

    And damn - just in time to consider when upgrading my parents old machines. ;)
  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:22PM (#11324162)
    If you go here:

    http://www.apple.com/macmini/graphics.html, some of the paragraph headings are actually the lyrics to "Headhunter," a techno song by Front 242. With all this good news, I don't actually mind that it started snowing outside!
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cosmic_0x526179 (209008) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:23PM (#11324164)
    I like the mac mini, but...

    Can I put more RAM in it ? That is the question most on my mind now. The HD is more than sufficient, but I would LOVE to have 1GB of ram in it.

    The other thing is that price point almost makes it a WalMart/KMart/Target/BestBuy kind of device. Now wouldn't that be interesting.
  • by danigiri (310827) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:26PM (#11324234)
    (1) add a RAM stick BTO - cheapo
    (2) add bluetooth BTO - cheapo
    (3) add Wifi card BTO - cheapo
    (4) sit unobtrusively to my way-cool existing TV and hook up A/V - nothin'
    (5) hook to already existing wifi ADSL-powered network - nothin'
    (6) bring in my already existing Sony-Ericsson Z600 - nothin'
    (7) ...?
    (8) Profit!

    Lemme see what I get from this:

    (A) iTunes playback
    (B) VLC playback
    (C) DVD playback
    (D) UNIX development
    (E) Surf web
    (F) Check mail
    (7) Photo slideshow
    (8) Remote control via Z600 (see 2,6,A,B,C,E)
    All in the living room sitting comfortably on the sofa (see D)! Yay!
  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jdavidb (449077) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:26PM (#11324237) Homepage Journal

    Want to share your documents online? Pages also offers the easiest way to create great looking PDF files.

    I realize those two sentences may make perfect sense together to anybody who doesn't understand the web, but to the rest of us, it's a non-sequiter. 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 am so sick of navigating my internal company intranet and seeing that HR has no clue what the web is for so they've given us a bunch of random Word documents to download.

    I realize there are cases when useful information can be better presented in specialized formats like PDF and Word (or better still some competing open file format like OO.o ). I'm not talking about those cases. I'm talking about when all you have is a few paragraphs of text to share. Just slap <p> tags around them and upload them; don't pretty them up in a word processor and export to a honking huge file format!

  • by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:28PM (#11324273) Journal
    Depends how you define cheap.

    You can get a half-gig flash based mp3 player for under 50 bucks.

    As for the MacMini, for 499 you get: 1.25ghz G4, 256 megs of PC2700, 40 gig HDD, and a 10/100 ethernet and a 32 meg Radeon 9200.

    Compare to This for 349 [gateway.com] - oh, this comes with a 17" Flat CRT

    Apple is still overpriced, but the Mac Mini is as close as they've ever come to putting it in the "regular folk" price range.

    I'm just not in the market for a 2.9 lb mini-box that I can't upgrade or tinker with myself, or I'd consider one.

    I really wish there was such a thing as a "barebones" mac, or that they'd open the platform up to third parties. But then, they'd face the same software challenges as MSFT, and their OS would perform about as well.
  • Re:Pages? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EvilFrog (559066) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:30PM (#11324306)
    The "i" in "iMac" originally stood for "internet," but has since become a designation of Apple's consumer products. None of Apple's product geared towards the professional market have "i" in the name.

    Consumer Mac: iMac
    Professional Mac: PowerMac

    Consumer Laptop: iBook
    Professional Laptop: Powerbook

    Consumer Video Editing: iMovie
    Professional Video Editing: Final Cut Pro

    You get the point.

    What I find especially interesting is the release of a new consumer product (the Mac Mini) without "i" in the name. This may be a sign that Apple has decided to start moving away from the "i" naming scheme.

    Of course, there's still iWork, which includes the aforementioned Pages. I'm guessing that iWork (which includes Pages and Keynote) is a predecessor to a larger professional suite we'll see in the future. That way when they start pushing Pages as a professional word processor it won't be stuck with the consumer name.
  • Re:No Spreadsheet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:35PM (#11324387) Homepage
    I've wondered if part of the strategy is to not make a complete competitor to MS Office. There's been a lot of talk about, if Apple releases iWork, MS will pull support for Office X, and suddenly Mac looks like a less-promising option for a lot of businesses. So maybe by not completing the suite, Apple's dodged that bullet? It's more common for non-business people to need a word processor anyhow.

    Even if this is the case, it doesn't mean that there isn't an Excel clone in the works. Apple might be holding off, perfecting it, and working on Mail/AddressBook/iCal compatibility with Exchange Server, so that if they release the whole thing and MS pulls the plug on office, it'll be no great loss because they'll have a superior solution ready. Who knows?

  • by mbourgon (186257) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:37PM (#11324416) Homepage
    Two options:
    1) Something like the El Gato EyeTV. This is your PVR functionality.

    2) Someone write a Cocoa frontend for MythTV. I don't think it'd be easy to port over a full fledged version, but a frontend is probably doable.
    (I Am Not A Software Programmer)
  • Re:my thoughts.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nik Picker (40521) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:38PM (#11324445) Homepage
    actually you can moderate this a little to say

    Ihope Ican getI

    you see, the gag is I is the roman numeral for 1 and also sounds like one or can look like an I. so you can say.

    I hope I can Get One

    or

    One Hope One Can Get One

    oh we just laugh and laugh and laugh and then the warder comes round with the little purple pills.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:39PM (#11324481) Homepage Journal
    The other item that makes these particularly interesting that everyone is missing is that they could be great little servers. I have been using a G3 based iMac for a page that routinely serves up 45k hits/day and a served up a recent Slashdotting with 450k hits/day without a hiccup. That was a 400Mhz G3, so I wonder what two or three of these Mac Mini's with a KVM switch could do for very little money.

    I've got my order in.

  • by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:43PM (#11324556)
    An interesting note from MacWorld is something Jobs said about the iPod Mini.

    Before the iPod Mini was released, the flash player market was double what it is today. That means the iPod Mini did NOT canibalize hard drive player/iPod sales but instead got Flash player buyers to spend more money on buying a Mini and claimed the upper end of the Flash Player market.

    This means the iPod Shuffle is being sent in to sweep up the low end market where people are buying $49 128 MB players.

  • Portable (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slapout (93640) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:43PM (#11324571)
    You know, I'm wondering something. I wonder if they made this thing so small to encourge people to take it out and show it off. Want to tell you friends about your new Mac? Just take it over to their house and plug it in to their monitor. Wanna convince the boss that it could be a solution to some of your problems? Take it to work and plug it in!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:52PM (#11324742)
    Another thing to note. A DIN slot (car radio standard size) is 2"x7", the mini mac is 2"x6.5".

    If it had a radio faceplate and a laptop drive, this would be the best car stereo ever.
  • Re:Perfect Terminal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:54PM (#11324784) Journal
    It would be seriously over powered for a dumb X terminal. A 100MHz machine is more than you need for an X terminal (assuming that you have enough network bandwidth). $499 is also a lot for an X terminal (You can usually pick up silent X terminals on eBay for a tenth of that). If you want to run X apps on one of these, a better solution would be simply to modify /etc/ttys so that it boots to X or a command-line login and install Fink/DarwinPorts/pkgsrc (whichever you prefer) and run the Apps locally. Or just install Linux/NetBSD/your favourite non-Darwin *NIX.
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jhan (542783) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:55PM (#11324792) Homepage

    What I can't quite make out is if the MiniMac is fanless? I'm running my own domain (DNS/Mail/Web/etc.) on a noise-ish computer in my bedroom and have been checking out silent machines for a couple of years. My next buy was going to be - grudgingly - a pay-through-your-nose HushPC.

    The new MiniMac looks like it could be fanless. The front and sides seems to be hermetically sealed, but there are these ridges on the back that look suspisciously like air intakes/outlets. ...or are they just radiator fins?

    If this is a sub-BTX 1.5ish MHz PPC $600 machine w. FireWire that is <blink><yell><explode part="head"> utterly silent</explode></yell></blink> there is nothing, repeat nothing on the market that can compete with this. I'm getting five.

  • Mac Mini Analysis (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Dink Paisy (823325) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:55PM (#11324793) Homepage
    The Mac Mini is aimed clearly at PC users looking to switch, but featurewise it is a disappointment.

    It has a DVI video port (with VGA adapter included), and it comes with no monitor, mouse, or keyboard. Although Apple states on their website that "Mac Mini will take advantage of your two button USB mouse with scroll wheel", I think that decision is a mistake. Most PC users don't have USB peripherals, and will find the Mac Mini somewhat, err, nonfunctional upon purchase.

    Hardware-wise, the specs are pretty low-end (what do you expect from a $500 Mac?). Comparing them to a local no-name store, here's what you get when comparing the cheapest options:

    Price-the cheap PC is $450 Canadian, the cheap Mac is $500 US. The PC is significantly cheaper.

    Processor-the Sempron 2200+ is slow, for a PC. It would quiver beside the 2.0+ GHz Powermac G5's, but it beats the crap out of the 1.25 (or even 1.4 GHz upgraded) Mac Mini. PC wins again.

    Video-the Mac's discrete Radeon 9200 is an ok chip, the PC's integrated video isn't. Easy win for the Mac Mini.

    Memory-they both come with 256 megs, so where's the contest? The Mac Mini is only upgradeable to 1 gigabyte. Slashdotters considering purchasing one may want to avoid it for this reason. Another victory for the PC.

    Peripherals-the PC comes with a monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, and speakers. All cheap junk, but still a much better deal than the Mac, which doesn't come with any of that.

    Optical drive-both come with CD burners, but the PC's doesn't read DVD's, and the Mac's does. Another point for the Mac Mini.

    Cool factor-the Mac is much smaller and less of an eyesore. I don't know about volume, since neither manufacturer gives specs. This is a big plus for the Mac.

    OS-Mac OS X versus no OS included. Victory for the Mac, although the PC will probably end up with Windows XP. Most users will prefer Windows since it is compatible with more programs and they are more likely to be familiar with it, although opinions can be very polarized about which is better. (=

    Warranty-each offers a one year warranty. Victory for the Mac, since Apple service is much easier to get if you go outside of southern Ontario.

    Connectability-the Mac offers a modem, IEEE1394 and DVI, as well as USB2 ports. The PC offers only VGA and USB2 for modern peripherals, although it has old style serial and parallel ports, and PS2 keyboard and mouse jacks that the Mac lacks. Both machines include 10/100 ethernet. I prefer the modern options, so the Mac gets a slight win.

    Other specs such as hard drive and sound capabilities seem similar, so I won't use them for my conclusions.

    To anyone who complains about the white box vs. brand name comparison, show me a white box Macintosh and I'll yield the point. But not much, since Dell offers a similar system (with more RAM plus Windows XP, but a Celeron processor and $499 Canadian price point).

    Overall, the Mac just isn't a good deal compared to the PC. The price is significantly higher, and you still need to get a mouse and keyboard. Further, the limited memory expansion means that it isn't a good deal for hobbyists like the Slashdot crowd who would like to play with a Macintosh. I suspect sales will be decent, but that many customers will be unsatisfied when the performance is no better (or even worse) than their current PC, and they are forced to make a second trip to the store to shell out for a new mouse and keyboard. Although they may cash in on the current ipod craze, this machine is unlikely to win users for Apple in the longer term, or to stop Apple's market share from shrinking.

  • by radixvir (659331) * on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:57PM (#11324831) Homepage

    You could use it for a frontend. But since it doesnt have video out it wouldnt be much good. I would recommend an old pc or an xbox if you are looking for just a frontend. a brand new mac (even the cheapest one available) doesnt seem like a good investment to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:59PM (#11324867)
    I can't wait to get 20 of these things running in a cluster, with linux.
  • by pyros (61399) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:59PM (#11324869) Journal
    Also, unless they've changed it, Apple applies a blue paste (don't know for sure what it is) to the screws before the final assembly is made

    Probably just Locktite, it's used to hold the screws in tight and keep moisture from seeping through the screw-hole. Should be able to buy it anywhere and re-apply.

  • by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @03:59PM (#11324874)
    your post makes me think that this would be a great time for Apple to bring back the Switch campaign, as this thing is totally geared towards PC users.
  • by Infamous Coward (642174) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:07PM (#11325023)
    Hidden costs indeed. If you upgrade the Mac mini to 1GB of memory through the Apple store, the additional cost is $425! So that $500 marvel is now $925. And for OS X to really sing, mucho memory is required.

    Sadly, the math is starting to break down...
  • by SilveRo_kun (741555) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:08PM (#11325054) Homepage Journal
    I wonder why the hell did they decide not to add a microphone jack... Maybe for aesthetical reasons, or are they planning on selling USB mikes?
  • Re:Mac Mini (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trurl's Machine (651488) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:11PM (#11325102) Journal
    What I can't quite make out is if the MiniMac is fanless?

    I'm typing this right from the showroom in mini-MWSF in Paris. Silent work is also quite important for me. What can I say is that Mini Mac is totally silent when it works (I literally did press my ear to it). Maybe it has a fan that kicks in once in a while, like in iBooks, but when it just runs - it runs with no fan.
  • Hats off to Cringely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HishamMuhammad (553916) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:19PM (#11325280) Homepage Journal
    Well, so the rumors in Bob Cringely's Predictions for 2005 [slashdot.org] were confirmed... From his article:

    3) Apple will take a big risk in 2005. This could be in the form of a major acquisition. With almost $6 billion in cash, Steve Jobs hinted to a group of employees not long ago that he might want to buy something big, though I am at a loss right now for what that might be. Or Apple might decide to throw some of that cash into the box along with new computers by deliberately losing some money on each unit in order to buy market share.

    We might see that as early as next week with the rumored introduction of an el-cheapo Mac without a display. The price for that box is supposed to be $499, which would give customers a box with processor, disk, memory, and OS into which you plug your current display, keyboard, and mouse. Given that this sounds a lot like AMD's new Personal Internet Communicator, which will sell for $185, there is probably plenty of profit left for Apple in a $499 price. But what if they priced it at $399 or even $349? Now make it $249, where I calculate they'd be losing $100 per unit. At $100 per unit, how many little Macs could they sell if Jobs is willing to spend $1 billion? TEN MILLION and Apple suddenly becomes the world's number one PC company. Think of it as a non-mobile iPod with computing capability. Think of the music sales it could spawn. Think of the iPod sales it would hurt (zero, because of the lack of mobility). Think of the more expensive Mac sales it would hurt (zero, because a Mac loyalist would only be interested in using this box as an EXTRA computer they would otherwise not have bought). Think of the extra application sales it would generate and especially the OS upgrade sales, which alone could pay back that $100. Think of the impact it would have on Windows sales (minus 10 million units). And if it doesn't work, Steve will still have $5 billion in cash with no measurable negative impact on the company. I think he'll do it.

    So, $249 was a bit of wishful thinking in Bob's part... ;)

  • by prockcore (543967) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:22PM (#11325350)
    Load Shuffle before bed, take a whole day's music (and much more) out the door in the morning. Always different. Freakin' genius. Once again, Apple changes how we manage our music.

    Give me a break. Even Nike has a flash mp3 player that does shuffle. It even has an arm band, designed specifically for runners.

    The iPod Shuffle is not innovative, or revolutionary. In fact, it's identical to the players already available by *shoe* companies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:28PM (#11325467)
    A real "Media Center" Machine has SPDIF audio output.

    The Mac mini doesn't.
  • Mac Mini Mod (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lsmeg (529105) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:33PM (#11325536)
    OK, so how long till someone mods the Mac Mini to fit in one or two PC drive bays? :) Maybe route the usb through to the PC's usb headers, a custom bracket in the back of the PC for DVI... Hmm, that could actually work...
  • by lamz (60321) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:36PM (#11325592) Homepage Journal

    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.

    Good point. There once was a time when you had to explain to people what double-clicking meant. (And if they had an Atari ST, they had to learn to double-click really really quickly.)

    I would add that the day it made sense to have a two-button mouse over a one-button mouse was the day that contextual menus were invented, because that was the first time that a consistent meaning was applied to the second button. Not to pick on my poor old Atari ST, but the uses for the second mouse button varied so much between applications that it was more trouble to try and figure out what it did than use it.

    Notes for MS Bigots: The Atari ST shipped with a two-button mouse years before PCs even had mice. IBM first introduced contextual menus with OS/2 Warp.

  • My new media box... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JakiChan (141719) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:45PM (#11325723)
    This will be my new media box. My current media box is a full sized PowerMac 1GHZ sitting next to my 50" LCD RPTV and it's noisy and distracting. (And let's not forget the 250GB firewire drive with neon lights on top. Damn you Western Digital!) This will replace it easily and fit under the TV with the rest of the stereo gear. It lacks digital out, but I already have an M-Audio Sonica which works great. Now admittedly I'm not the target user (I mean you have to run SwitchRes X to get a good resolution on the TV) but this will look very nice next to the rest of the HT gear!
  • by STrinity (723872) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @04:55PM (#11325853) Homepage
    The one mouse button - any application designed well should only need one button.

    So tell me, when I click a link in Firefox, should it behave as a left-click and open the page in the current tab, middle-click and open the page in a new tab, or right-click and open a context menu so I can save the link, bookmark it, or copy it to the clipboard?
  • by sellers (89043) <cgseller@macAUDEN.com minus poet> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:13PM (#11326159) Homepage
    Hrmm. These things seem perfect for setting in a remote closet and doing network intrusion or packet monitoring. They are realitively cheap, are all put together w/ OS (unlike the small boxes that you build yourself).

    I wonder if this will get into the interprise market. Maybe Apple could sell a stripped down version w/ a hardened OS on it and a web or SSH interface for just such a purpose. I see this formfactor becoming more than just a headless Mac desktop....

  • by willutah (556976) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:29PM (#11326389) Journal
    Why would anyone buy the eMac now? It was the budget mac, but an all-in-one design is not an advantage. If your monitor dies on an eMac, it will cost a lot more to repair than simply swapping out the monitor of your MacMini.
  • store.apple.com (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeff Carr (684298) <slashdot@com.jeffcarr@info> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @05:29PM (#11326394) Homepage
    I pulled this off Netcraft, and thought it was kind of interesting.

    store.apple.com
    11 Jan 2005, Solaris, Netscape-Enterprise/3.6 SP3
    05 Jan 2005, MacOSX, Apache/1.3.27 (Darwin)
    05 Jan 2005, MacOSX, Apache/1.3.27 (Darwin)
    04 Jan 2005, Solaris 8, Apache/1.3.27 (Darwin)

    I wonder whether they switched before or after they got nailed today?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:00PM (#11326849)
    sell millions? well i hope so. but they have to be able to manufacture and product millions first. apple hasn't been good at that in the past.
  • Set top box? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zoltamatron (841204) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:33PM (#11327324)

    Could the MiniMac revive the idea of the set top box? This thing is smaller than a DVD player and does a hellova lot more. Hook it right up to your TV and edit movies, play games, surf the net, watch slideshows, play DVDs, listen to music, etc. all right at your entertainment center. Maybe this box will serve a dual purpose: a cheap computer for PC switchers and an entertainment hub for your living room?

    Can anybody tell if there is an infared port on this thing? I guess you don't really need it with bluetooth.....

  • by jmenon (576558) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:36PM (#11327383) Homepage

    "Another thing to note. A DIN slot (car radio standard size) is 2"x7", the mini mac is 2"x6.5"."

    Combine that with the integration of the iPod with additional car models--Volvo, Nissan, and Mercedes Benz were mentioned today--and you reach an inescapable conclusion: Apple is set to blow away the market for in-car computing.

    I was just in a taxi the other day here in Como, Italy, where I live, and the driver had a brand new navigation computer, complete with TV and DVD capabilities. Of course, car navigation computers are not new in Europe, providing GPS and all kinds of other in-car services. I have a friend living in Switzerland who had to drive to Luxembourg for work once a week, and he is so dependent on his in-car navigation system that once when it crashed, he couldn't find his way back home.

    Think about it. It would take Apple only a baby step or two with the new Mac Mini to completely take over this market. Installing a car navigation system can cost you thousands of dollars, but Apple's core component would only cost you $499.

    Imagine not only being able to plan a trip, but to have your kids do it on your desktop Mac, and then beam the instructions through AirPort to your car in the driveway. Car media centre? No problem, with a Bluetooth keyboard and a screen attached to your stereo slot. Or what about a snap-on interface connected to the USB and video-out ports on the back of the Mac Mini? But the greatest potential lies in the business uses of a car that is fitted as a fully-capable mobile office for less than a thousand bucks: the term "working remotely" takes on a whole new meaning.

    Now you can be serious about taking your work to the beach.

  • by dowobeha (581813) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:49PM (#11327605)
    What I want to know is, how well would the Mac Mini work for MythTV? I know MythTV on OS X isn't quite ready for prime time yet, but what about running Linux on it instead?

    As long as the optional TV-out adapter [apple.com] still works in Linux, I don't see why it wouldn't work just fine.

  • by INeededALogin (771371) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @06:54PM (#11327651) Journal
    "It is better to remain quiet and risk being thought an idiot
    than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    You know, spell checker is global in OS X.
  • Strange port choices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dfl (808355) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:06PM (#11328609) Journal
    I don't get the Apple port choices -- which really matters on a machine that isn't easily moddable. Where are the audio IN ports? Also, the mini-plug audio out is a mistake. There's a market for hard-disk audio recorders, and an 80GB mini running iTunes would pretty much own it IF it had real audio ports. Hey Apple: the Yamaha recorder / burner sells for $799, and what has it got that the mini doesn't, except the expected digital and analog in and out? http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/DVD_CD/CDRHD130 0.htm [yamaha.com]

    Is there a third-party sound processor that plugs into the USB?

    BTW the video out doesn't bother me so much, since a converter from DVI/VGA to component video should be cheap and lossless.

  • by rat_herder (527991) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:06PM (#11328616)
    Drag and drop premiered on MacOS and it has always been via the left mouse button, even if you are using a 2 button mouse. Why would OS X need to support it via the right mouse button???
  • by Pope (17780) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:07PM (#11328628)
    Don't be so damn mysterious, what is this NEED for right-dragging? What function does that do and in which OS? TELL US DAMN YOU! :)
  • by Moofie (22272) <leeNO@SPAMringofsaturn.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:34PM (#11328971) Homepage
    If Apple's OS doesn't appeal to you, don't buy it. If you're happy with your Dell, go that route.

    Apple just destroyed all the economic objections to Mac ownership. They just. Don't. Exist. Anymore.

    Some people wouldn't buy a Mac if it came with a free steveJob. (that's a blowjob from Steve Jobs) The rest of us are delighted with this new piece of hardware.
  • by lunartik (94926) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:43PM (#11329086) Homepage Journal
    I'll have a nice little toy that'll give me some first-hand experience of MacOS 10.4 plus my girlfriend will have a easy-to-use machine that she can play with when I'm hogging my PC.

    Believe me, she'll hardly get to use it. These things have a way of sucking you in.
  • Re:MythTV Frontend (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Psykechan (255694) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:46PM (#11329125)
    There is a very functional MythTV frontend for OSX already [mythtv.info].

    Backend is another story but the frontend is working great. I think this would be great to sit underneath a Gamecube and just use a Bluetooth remote to operate it. Mmmmmm...
  • On the Mac Mini (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @08:52PM (#11329195)
    Steve Jobs hits often and rarely misses. This new stunt is so right on. Since the days he came back to apple and rescued the lot with his candy flavoured who-the-fuck-still-lets-his-users-adjust-a-screen macs he's been on the road to king of the common appliance computer. Everything a half-way tech savy computer user would think of as "gee, this would be nice to have", he comes up with it 2 years later and at least 5 years ahead of everybody else. OS X has fully matured, is solidly welded onto a 100% percent predictable hardware base, is based on 30 years of Unix OS experience with 10 years in the OSS training camp, is practically virus and exploit free and comes with all the goodies anybody would want with a computer an the ability to upgrade the one or other OSS speciality needed in 5 minutes flat.
    Bottom line:
    I couldn't have done any better, and probably wouldn't have (the meager 128 Megs are probably a teeth gritting compromise they had to swallow, to hone costs and margin-leak).
    As of today, I bet all my money on Apple and my pocket cash on OSS. This is the first industry strength 20 inch stainless steel nail in a long series of nails in the coffin of Microsoft and the weedy mess of proprietary x86 crappiness and it's shortcomings. Mark my word.
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @09:12PM (#11329426) Homepage
    Because portable computers wear out so quickly, I've been trying to come up with a realistic system that I could carry from place to place, comprised of parts that are cheaper than a portable. I'm willing to make the compromise of having to plug in to standard AC. Given that, the mac mini seems like a nicely sized cpu/disk combo at a price I'd be willing to pay. I can use a foldable portable keyboard, no problem. Now the part I haven't been able to figure out: what screen could I use? Small screen is perfectly fine. Sometimes I imagine using some pda screen, like a zaurus running vnc logged in over wireless, but I feel it should be possible to undercut the price/size performance of a zaurus when all I need is a screen itself. Anyone know of cheap, small screens that a person can buy a la carte?
  • by bware (148533) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @09:49PM (#11329847) Homepage
    Give me a break. Even Nike has a flash mp3 player that does shuffle. It even has an arm band, designed specifically for runners.

    Yeah, my gf just spent something like $250 getting one of those from Nike with a whole 256M of memory (and a pedometer). We spent an hour setting up the lousy (compared to iTunes) jukebox/download software.

    She's boxing it up tonight to send back and placing her order for the Shuffle.
  • by KrazzeeKooter (593834) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @10:46PM (#11330346)
    Think about this, what computer is "safe" enough and cool enough and cheap enough to buy for your kid.

    What computer is going to sit in a kids bedroom. What can you throw a few bucks at without worrying to much about where it's going to be in a year... without worrying about viruses, without worrying about maintence. Something your kid can IM on, send email to their friends, play with photos and video, do their homework, watch a movie. What computer can give a reasonable amount of control to the parent and freedom to the kid? What computer not only will look good in every kids room in america but is safe enough to go in every kids room in america.

    You might need to disable software downloads and get some nanny blocker software on the web browser, but that's it! I think you're looking at the first computer that can and will make it into the rooms of every kid in america.

    It's got the garage band and all the editing software you need for music, photo and video. It can come with the .mac account, with web hosting, and the email, the blogging software. It can even burn DVDs at $599. Throw in the cheap digital still/video camera, wireless keyboard and mouse, a nice little flat pannel, don't forget the iPod Shiffle. What about a Music Store allowance! Not all at one time, a birthday here, christmas, whenever. We're still talking well under a grand.

    Dude kids are going to grow up on this shit the way we grew up on atari and nintendo and I'm fuscking jealous!
  • by wwwillem (253720) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @11:21PM (#11330654) Homepage
    Just bought (also Canada) a handsomely equipped Shuttle (AMD 64 3000+, 1 Gig, 80 Gig, DVD-R, no WiFi), so that sounds comparable to your Mac Mini config. And I paid also little above CAD 1000. I know you can buy a 500 bucks (400 US) PC, but then "you get what you pay for". So, even in Canadian dollars, I think this mini Mac is decently priced.

    Anyway, if you're so serious about it being too expensive in Canada, Apple luckily made it small enough that you can just buy one at Fry's and take it home (in your coat pocket :). It's even cheap enough that you don't have to pay duties on it when bringing it back home.

    My only concern with this Mini Mac next to my monitor and keyboard would be that I would be so tempted to put my beer mug on it. It really looks like a thick coaster .... the bad news being of course that the beer will warm up pretty quickly :-).

  • by dfl (808355) on Tuesday January 11, 2005 @11:25PM (#11330684) Journal
    Thanks for the link. The M-Audio Transit does what I was thinking of. So that's good news. But...

    I appreciate the fact that Apple is trying to keep their margin up (retail price down), but if I get a macmini, I'm not going to be happy to pay $99 for digital audio in/out ports. And there's nothing elegant about this solution: attaching an additional sound card connected to the USB bus. Apple saves almost a dollar by not soldering those ports onto their sound card, it is true. But Bill Gates is the one who profits, I think. 'Cause this kinda thing doesn't happen in Wintel land.

    The keyboard / mouse / monitor thing is a different issue altogether -- leaving off extras is fine because many people want to use a brand or design of their own choice. If Apple wanted to let me choose my own sound card, I'd be thrilled. Instead they offer me the equivalent of a built-in 5-inch CRT.

  • by Malic (15038) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @12:38AM (#11331256)
    As I've been saying all day, the Mac Mini is just a bluetooth remote and an iLife application away from being a PVR with content served from a not-yet-but-soon iTMS. That's iTV Movie Store.

    Look for it at MacExpo 2006.
  • by gg510 (742395) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @01:19AM (#11331525)
    I haven't seen this mentioned so far:

    Think of all the instances where you have a customer who needs an inexpensive processor/controller similar to an industrial PC, or an "adjunct device" to add functionality to another system.

    For example infrastructure in commercial buildings (HVAC control, energy-systems control, security & access control) and residential equivalents, various types of process-control, science lab applications, etc. All of those industrial use-cases that currently tend to default to Windows machines (which in turn go buggy when some nitwit pops in a CD full of infected games they downloaded) or where you want to (or have to) scratchbuild a machine to run an open-source OS.

    In the past you'd assemble a PC from parts (about $250), compile and/or load your preferred OS, test & debug, etc. (a few hours' labor, often non-billable time). Then you load your custom apps and connect it to (whatever) at the customer's site.

    Depending on how you value your labor, the Mini ends up being the same or lower cost than the custom-built PC by the time you're done. A more profitable way to use your time and your customers' money than troubleshooting, debugging, or fixing stuff that breaks.

    Think of it as a compact, inexpensive BSD machine, with a clean user-interface, that can be stacked, racked, or wall-mounted if need be. A standard little box you can get off-the-shelf from a local supplier, load your custom apps, install quickly, and never have to worry about. Less hassles, more time to develop new apps and bring in new business.

    I think the Mini is going to become a regular part of the geek toolkit immediately, and we're going to see these things popping up in plenty of (previously) unexpected places.
  • by juiceCake (772608) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @02:55AM (#11332111)
    I'd like to thank you for providing an excellent example. Comparing an AMD 64 3000+ system to a G4 system with half the RAM perfectly highlights the price and performance ratio that makes the Mac Mini less than attractive to yours truly and is indeed the main point I have made.

    Thanks for the support.

    Of course if performance isn't a major factor and preferences differ than one's opinion differs as well. I applaud Apple for filling in a niche for those who are interested in it.
  • by wdebruij (239038) * on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:07AM (#11332653) Homepage
    with more than 2100 posts already chances are noone is going to read this. Who cares, I'll just listen to myself then.

    The presentation app, keynote, appears to be a godsend. It has a number of features that I always wanted (but was too lazy to code):

    - a dual-monitor setup so that you can have a presentation on the beamer and an overview on your laptop. Do modern laptops carry dual-out, by the way?

    - a timer to go with your overview page. The days that I have skipped content just to fit the deadline are nearly over. Finally.

    however, there is one feature that I'm still missing. This one is especially useful for technical design, etc: construct individual slides from `master' images that are possibly larger than the slides. In a CAD environment it means flying into a detail of your design.

    In general this technique should lead to a more natural progression from slide to slide. Perhaps it can be generalized even. I'm thinking along the lines of first creating a story and only afterwards chopping it up into bytesize chunks. The aforementioned design-issue is just an example. Read "presenting to win" by Weissman (yeah, horrible title) for more useful comments on holding presentations.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @01:40PM (#11337167)
    USB Audio: Kludgy and for a price higher than an Nforce motherboard with built in Digital out(I have one; it is great).

    Cute case only gets it so far. In this day everything should have built in digital Audio out. I won't buy a computer that doesn't have it.

    This was my whole point in stating there should be another model better suited to being a Media PC.

    With Apples great interface design team making a usable pvr/player SW and more A/V IO they could make a Media PC that leaves the XPC media PC's in the dust. While nice the mini isn't quite up to that task.

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

    by Pentomino (129125) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:36PM (#11340365) Homepage Journal
    Well, the keynote did a good job of explaining the rationale.

    What do other Flash players have in common, he asked aloud, as a picture of some amorphous no-name flash player loomed behind him. And the four bullet points read:
    • Tiny screen that's too small to read
    • Tiny hard-to-press buttons
    • Torturous user interface
    • Takes disposable AAA batteries, which can cost you $100 per year (unless you use NiMH like I do.)
    The iPod Shuffle addresses all of these problems. First, they lose the screen. Second, they reduce the buttons to something you can operate by touch. Third, they provide visual feedback in the form of strategically-placed LED's. And finally, they let you charge it with USB.

    Also, iTunes has an AutoFill feature that'll dump a playlist to it right away.

    Looks like a pretty competitive product.
  • by andreyw (798182) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @09:10PM (#11381987) Homepage
    They wisened up in the other sense too... my UMAX dual 604e PowerMac uses buffered EDO/FPM 5-Volt DIMMs. Most computer hardware of that age used 3.3v DIMMs, with the exception of some intel server mobos and Sun (maybe HP/SGI too?) workstations. Now Apple uses standard DDR memory. I'd rather they stuck with SCSI drives like they did in the past, but IDE is significantly cheaper and more ubiquitous.

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