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Apple Businesses

A Basket Full of Apple News 444

active8or writes "During hit keynote at MacWorld San Fransico, Steve Jobs introduced the new tools from Apple. One, iDVD was a very powerful tool for making DVDs at home, and iTunes a powerfull MP3 and music ripping, writing, playing environment....for free. This seems to follow their new "killer apps" strategy. In addition, a 733 MHz G4 was introduced, and the entire line got a update. ". The new powerbook looks awesome (if only it had 3 mouse buttons).
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A Basket Full of Apple News

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  • Apple made a good marketing choice in comparing it to the Vaio. Let's instead compare the $2,599 G4 PowerBook to a customized P!!! Dell Inspiron, $2,598...

    Okay, now both have 128 MB RAM, the processor speeds are 400 vs. 800, both have 10 GB disks, both have DVDs, and both have Ethernet (the Dell on a PC Card). The screens are 15.0" for the Dell vs. 15.2" for the Apple. The Inspiron has twice the video RAM.

    So, overall, pretty equivalent machines, for identical prices.

  • I started a thread about this on comp.arch if anyone is still interested.
  • Eh, those of us who use Unix with XFree86 can just use the program "xclipboard" to create arbitrary numbers of different clipboards, save their content to disk, and edit them in place before pasting.
  • Where's 9.1?!!? Did Steve forget about something? Apple fsck'd up the ROM files for all the new G4's so they're not compatible with the older models, AND the newest G4 (with the purple button) ROM is unstable! So are we supposed to sit around until March 24th with flaky computers?!?!? sheesh!

    This [] page lists three ways to get it.

    BTW: your "?" and "!" keys seem to be flaking out and repeating themselves unnecessarily.

  • *BUT* who can say how well the authoring software will cope with fancy menus, anamorphic video, alternate sound and text tracks, etc.

    An excellent point. After all, what's a DVD without some kind of DVD Digest / menu system? iDVD comes with it's own, basic menu authoring system. Each screen can have 6 items (including folders, which can hold 6 more items, ad nausium). Great for basic usage.

    The key here is basic. This will come bundled with the SuperDrive, just like iMovie came with the iMacs. But, if you want to get fancy at all, they also have a complete dvd authoring utility (DVD Studio Pro 1.0 []) which the pro can purchase for a mere $999 to make all the great stuff you see coming from the studios. Just like you can purchase Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 [] for $999 for regular QT files.

    All in all, I was impressed with the basic functionality of both iDVD and iTunes. The PC coule really use something like this. But, then again, if Microsoft controlled all the hardware, I'm sure you'd see some pretty nifty stuff along these lines as well.

  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:36AM (#519380) Homepage
    Not to mention that one new option for the G4 Desktop (and standard on high-end prebuilts) is the "SuperDrive"... a single-tray, multiple-laser drive that basicly combines CDRW and DVD-R. Yes kids, real DVD-R, play it in your consumer $150 DVD deck. Apple sells DVD-R blanks for $10 at Probably can find them cheaper elsewhere.
  • Does anybody know why they removed the Schwe slot? Did they just figure that your memory is allocated better in OS X so you don't need the Schwe slot?
  • by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:40AM (#519393) Homepage
    If only it had 3 mouse buttons.

    You got both hands on the frickin' keyboard anyhow.

    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <mdinsmore&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:40AM (#519394) Homepage Journal
    Before it gets flying too thick, take a look at buying a 533 G4 for $2199 and adding a SECOND processor for a lousy $300, from the Apple Store as a "Build to Order" option. Total=$2499, including 128 RAM, 40 G HD, CD-R/W, Nvidia Card, and Gig-E.
  • OS X *is* MP, kinda.

    If it's a BSD program,
    or if it's a Cocoa (OPENSTEP) program,

    or if it's a Carbon program written to the MP library (other Carbon apps will NOT be MP aware),

    or if it's a Classic program (99% of the software available for OS X right now) - we still don't know if MP library is supported under Classic. . . if so, then same limitations as Carbon, but if not, Photoshop, even WITH MP libs won't be MP aware on OS X in the classic environment, until Adobe releases this carbon port of Photoshop (which was supposedly done in two weeks by an intern two years ago - where is it now?)

  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @02:02PM (#519407)
    But a GUI running on a server is just chewing up clock cycles, and any server that's worth using shouldn't be looked at that much any way, so the GUI is just unnecessary weight. And from all the reports, the Aqua OS is a lot of weight.

    Sorry, this is wrong on multiple counts. First, Aqua or any other GUI takes essentially zero CPU time if you're not actively using it. For example, the iMac behind me is running Mac OS X Beta with a (transparent) terminal window running top. dnetc is using 98% of the CPU, Window Manager is using 0.6%. Second, Aqua is not mandatory. You can drop to a text console and do everything from there, or telnet or ssh in.

    Apple should be spending time making an OS X server that actually lets you remotely administrate the server, with an optional GUI in case you can't

    Which is exactly what they did.

  • Steve Jobs claims that the MPEG-2 (encoding) CODEC that iDVD and DVD Studio Pro use is "much faster than any other". He claims that most other software encoders for MPEG-2 run at about a 20:1 ratio, while the CODEC Apple has can encode at about a 2:1 ratio on a G4... that is, 30 minutes of video can be encoded into MPEG-2 format in about 60 minutes.

    The Sun ULTRA2 (or maybe ULTRA1?) can do two NTSC size MPEG2 streams at once using the "VIS extensions" (which are a bit like AltiVec, SSE/SSE2/3DNow/all the other SIMD extensions). I don't know if that includes an audio track, or disk I/O. The ULTRA2 is many years old and no longer sold by Sun. I assume the newer systems can do a way better job.

    Note: the Ultra2 may not be all that fast, but I think the PDIST (or PDIFF?) instruction is extreamly MPEG2-codec-centric and helps make up a lot of ground in this benchmark.

  • If PacMan had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to electronic music

    Um. I am sitting in a darkened office (none of us likes having the overhead flourescents on), I've got a skittles dispenser on my desk and I'm listening to an MP3. Oh yeah, cube-land does kind of resemble the PacMan maze.

    Are you sure PacMan didn't affest us?
  • I'm on a LinuxPPC box with a mouse with one button. I actually like it better. I've got Middle-Click mapped to F1, and right-click to F2. It works out very well.

  • If you think Apple has problems now, just imagine the problems they'd have if they catered to those who ask for - no, demand - software for free.

    (and yes, I know the different between 'free' and 'Free' in opensource/free-software parlance)

    Apple is a business. If you can provide them with a good reason to see you as a viable market, I'm sure they'd be happy to consider it. Until then, they're not going to waste developer resources while there's more important work to be done.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • ---
    No matter how much Apple benchmarks Photoshop, it's still not a significant metric of overall system performance.

    It's significant when half of Apple's target market spends most of their day in an Altivec-enhanced Photoshop, don't you think?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • Yes, there is a "region zero" code for DVDs which is playable anywhere. The recent re-release of Carl Sagan's Cosmos [] on DVD uses this code. I sure hope iDVD will allow you to pick that as your region code when burning a DVD.
  • This is a cool bunch of stuff, and should blow MS out of the water. Think about trying to get all of that for the average PC, and how much it would end up costing, and how it would break in a year. Yes, the average home user wants to something to plug into the stereo, the TV, and acts like a video phone. Jobs has got it right.

    I'm tempted to get one of these myself. If it lives up to the hype, I will finally be able to eliminate Windows and free up all that disk space. It promises to do all the things I've kept windows around for, but better and all that disk space would be nice as an export directory. Though this is not a substitute for Free software, I'm tempted.

  • Umm... nVidia has no plans right now, but you can get an nVidia...err...3dfx Voodoo 5 for the Mac in PCI version. That should be sufficient.
  • by QuantumFlux ( 228693 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @02:20PM (#519443)
    Apple's Tech Info Library ( 940 []) says,

    "Note: In compliance with the MPAA, DVD-R discs with CSS-encrypted video data cannot be read."
  • You can watch either standard on computer screens all over the world.

    But for playing it on a consumer DVD player it needs to be in the frame rate (25/30) and line number (~600/~500) of the TV it's playing it on.

    When sending your baby movies to the grand parents, you'll certainly have to consider whether they're in NTSC or PAL parts of the world.

    Interestingly, the PAL world is futher divided by PAL-SECAM, which is used in France and a few other places. It has a different color encoding scheme, and maybe also audio difference (don't remember). But since the frame rate and line numbers are the same, both formats use the same discs. The players put out the different signals.
  • Your thinkpad a21p also weighs 7.5 pounds, and does not have built-in ethernet. I love my built-in ethernet on my Vaio z505. Ethernet is rpetty much required these days: anyone who doesn't have it built into their laptop computer is going to have to shell out for a cardbus card to get it. The PowerBook (and the vaio) are also jammed full of industry-standard ports like infrared, ieee-1394, and USB.
  • The product is called the "FireBox 400" from Procomp and is reviewed here [] at tom's hardware. It allows you to connect any ATA IDE device to a firewire bus ... very cool.
  • While Jobs announced 667 and 733 MHz machines, they will not be available until "February". In the special world that is Steve Jobs keynotes "right now" have been known to mean "in three months, if you're lucky", so what "February" really means in this case is anybodys guess.

    Only the 466 and 533MHz are actually possible to buy "now".
  • How well does it run X?

    My 770Z with the 1280x1024 screen has a fantastic display, but it's a bit sluggish to move windows around.

    Still, I wouldn't trade it for anything but another ThinkPad. I wish the powerbooks had pointing sticks instead of those horrid touchpad things. I always wind up activating them by accident, ugh.


  • Because Mac OS updates will trash non-apple drives.


    I've been replacing hard drives in my Macs since 1993; I put a whopping 120MB hard drive in my SE/30 to replace the factory-installed 40MB.

    A few years ago, I replaced the factory-installed 1GB hard drive in my PowerBook 1400 with a 3GB hard drive.

    Sometime this year, I'll probably replace the 10GB hard drive in my iMac with an 80GB hard drive (or I'll use one of those recently announced ATA/100-to-FireWire cases).

    Spread your anti-Apple FUD somewhere else.


  • > Because Mac OS updates will trash non-apple drives.

    Can you provide specific examples? Recent or not.
  • I was kinda wishing steve would tape a few G4 Powerbooks under the seat like he did with the clear optical mice last time. I liked how he had "Sex" to describe it. I guess they are reaching out to another group of people....
  • by Electric Angst ( 138229 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:43AM (#519489)
    Everyone, please, calm down and listen!

    I know all of this stuff seems amazing. In fact, most of it really is. What you need to understand, though, is that your 'oohs' and 'ahhs' are not your own.

    You are currently under the power of Steve Job's mind-control marketing skillz.!

    Now, there is only one way to possibly get out of this situation before Steve has you drinking Kool-Aid and chanting about the glory of NeXT.

    First, go to the Apple Store []. Now, pick out one of the super-hype systems that amaze you so much.

    Play with it.

    Configure it.

    Now, once you've selected every possible option, and loaded this potentially-yours Apple with all the goodies that make these machines so great, look at the price.

    There you go, you're back to normal. These systems are damn cool, but it's probably time to pass...

    (Oh, btw... I am an Apple owner and user, so please keep the flaming down...)
  • Titanium as Cheap as Aluminum? []

    Maybe Jobs is more hip to genuine scientific innovation than you ;)

  • it's a nice little addition, but i think the best part of all the Aqua changes was that it showed Apple actually listened to the user feedback. that's a very good thing.

    some animations of the changes can be found at the recently updated MacOS X Theatre [].

    my favourite change is that it appears the dock can be moved to the right or left side of the screen! i'm a litle surprised Apple didn't make this available through a option+click+drag, but i guess they want to shield all those newbie users from dramatic changes to the interface :). at any rate, it's nice that it's available as a hack from the terminal. the dock on the right will make it feel more like Windowmaker/NeXTStep and that's good news to me! :)

    - j

  • Maybe this time it will stick... most of you guys prolly don't recall but when NeXT machines first came out they had Magneto Optical disks on them.

    At the time these were like 3-5k drives... but somehow Steve managed to confuse someone into selling them to him cheap enough to make them standard on Cubes. Now it looks as though he has done it again with DVD-RW. Hopefully this time it will stick around...
  • Fire up your QuickTime Player, hit Command-U or control-U, and paste in this URL: mov

    The quality of the streaming video is much better if you use QuickTime 5 PR2 (get it at []).

  • For those who complain about the "inability to replace" with the middle mouse, I will have to point out (yet again) that the X behavior is exactly the same as the much-lauded "drag and drop" except you don't have to hold the damn mouse button down as you move to the drop site.

    First of all, "Drag and drop" doesn't mess with your clipboard, so the X behavior is NOT the same.

    Secondly, talking about "drag and drop" in response to the "inability to replace" criticism is apples and orages, to put it nicely. MacOS and Windows provide drag and drop IN ADDITION to, and INDEPENDENT OF the clipboard. Whereas in UNIX desktops, if you select some text in your word processor, it automatically erases whatever was in the clipboard. I think the point you were trying to make is that drag and drop, and the X clipboard are so close in functionality that they are mutually exclusive. WhereasMacOS and Windows provide two different mechanisms that are useful in different ways, increasing the usability of the system.

    The lesson is this. Say that "copy and paste" is a wrench, and "drag and drop" is a pair of pliers. Bear with me... Both tools are similar. You can turn a nut, poorly, with a pair of pliers, and you can bend a sheet of metal, poorly, with a wrench. (that is to say, any task involving movign around text can be accomplished, after a fashion, with either mechanism.) But you're much more productive if you have access to both tools. If the tools are independent (as in MacOS and Windows) you can accomplish more complicated things, like (metaphorically speaking) holding one end of something with the pliers while turning the other end with a wrench. (or keeping a couple of important sentences in the clipboard while rearranging other sentences using drag-and-drop.) What X gives you is a monstrous "multi-tool" with a wrench on one end and a pliers on the other, made so that you can't use both at the same time. (or, while you try to move sentences around with drag and drop, your clipboard disappears. Useful, that.)

    As for "having to hold the mouse button down," well, it's not hard to map one of your plethora of mouse buttons to a drag-lock. "Mechanisms, not policy," remember?

  • I sympathize with your views that these things are wasteful. I don't know why they can't just make the case out of a more common metal, or a plastic. I believe that they just think titanium looks neat-o, so they use it. Some people are wasteful.

    However I think you are way off the mark on your power comments. The PowerBook and most other laptops practically sip electrical power. That is, they don't use a significant amount. If you want to go off on someone, try your neighbor who leaves the lights all over his house and his television on all the time, your friend who runs his dishwashing machine half-empty, the guy with the RWD Canyonero that contains more metal than 100,000,000 PowerBooks ever will, and people who hose off their driveway instead of using a broom. I think you can find a more worthy inefficiency target than people who use PowerBook computers.

  • With an affordable DVD burner, you don't even need DeCSS.

    You can do a track by track clone of a DVD and get a perfect copy if you have a DVD player and burner in the same system.

    Netflix [] + new Pioneer Superdrive = big DVD library. Wait until you are buying DVD blanks on spindles like we do with CDRs.

    I predict the first lawsuit will be filed within a month.
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:49AM (#519524) Homepage
    Steve Jobs claims that the MPEG-2 (encoding) CODEC that iDVD and DVD Studio Pro use is "much faster than any other". He claims that most other software encoders for MPEG-2 run at about a 20:1 ratio, while the CODEC Apple has can encode at about a 2:1 ratio on a G4... that is, 30 minutes of video can be encoded into MPEG-2 format in about 60 minutes.

    That's fine and dandy, but how fast are other software encoders out there? Are they really as slow as 20:1? Perhaps they're even faster than Apple's 2:1 claim? Curious.
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @03:04PM (#519525) Homepage
    1000BASE-T creates a 250 megabit full duplex channel on each of the four pairs of wire in a CAT-5 cable. The nodes on each end of the cable transmit and receive in the same frequency band. They use hybrids and echo cancellation, much like a high-speed modem, to separate the transmitted signal from the received signal. A 3COM paper on the subject is available here [].
  • Apple sells the same systems all over the world and goes to great lengths to see that it works everywhere. Besides, the main application is (supposedly, at least) as a medium for your home movies.

    You'll probably have to pick NTSC or PAL though. Or have both side by side.

    And it only writes 4.7 Gig, which is about 1 hour of video.

    The iDvd info pages [] are up now.
  • Some of the specs on the new Powerbook...
    • 1" thick titanium case (13.5x9.5x1)
    • Weighs 5.3 pounds
    • 5 hour battery life
    • 400 or 500 MHz PowerPC G4
    • 15.2-inch diagonal widescreen (3:2 ratio) display
    • Slot-loading DVD drive
    • Up to 1GB of RAM
    • Up to 30GB of disk space
    • Built-in Airport antenna
    With the full release of OS X just around the corner (March 24 I hear), this thing is looking really nice - the uberlaptop. Light, decent battery life, sleek, powerful - and with OS X, it's even UNIX. Plus, who doesn't want a portable widescreen DVD player?
  • Well, the rumors on the new PowerBook were dead on. Even so, the machine is impressive - a lot of stuff in a small space. And elegant - executives will happily tote this around when they wouldn't touch a lime green iBook.

    The price cuts were also no big surprise - of course the audience cheered, but the press had been giving Apple a beating for the past month or so about soft sales. "Soft Sales? Price Cut!" Apple had already been doing it in the form of rebates.

    Even March for OS X was no surprise - CNET called it "late", but that's pretty much what people have been expecting.

    Steve always gives a good show, though.

  • I thought that I would mention that there are three button mice out there for macs like this nifty little Logitech [] mouse that's a real cost-effective way of getting 2 more buttons. You MacOS X followers will be interested to know that the scrolly button also works in cocoa applications!
  • by MotownAvi ( 204916 ) <> on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @11:51AM (#519538) Homepage

    A few interesting points:

    • The new PowerMacs come with CD-RW drives (as expected), except for the 733Mhz one which comes with a "SuperDrive" combo CD-RW/DVD-R (not to be confused with the "SuperDrive" high-density floppy drive). The top three models also come with the nVidia GeForce2 MX card, but a Radeon is available as an option.
    • OS X is going to be in stores on March 24 (don't have any idea what that date is), and going to be preinstalled on Macs in the summer. The Apple menu is back on the left side of the menubar, and holds general system-wide stuff. It's not configurable. Folders in the dock, when you click and hold, pop up menus of their contents. The buttons in the header in Finder windows are configurable. If the buttons are shown, opening a folder replaces the existing contents; if the buttons are hidden, a new folder is spawned. There is a new widget on the right side of the title bar of windows for toggling the buttons. A status bar ("2 items, 7.9 GB free") is togglable separately.
    • iTunes (which Jobs accidentally called "iMusic" once) is a mix of SoundJam MP and Radialogic's CD Master. Plays and rips CDs, burns CDs, for free. Go get it from your iDisk.
    • iDVD is quite interesting. It encodes MPEG2 video at half-realtime, and provides a slick, idiot-proof way to build DVDs. The options for menus are varied but limited, and in the demo there always seemed to be an Apple logo in the corner (ugh). There is a pro version of it called DVD Studio Pro, but it wasn't demoed. This is obviously derived from Apple's acquisition of Astarte's software.
    • The Titanium PowerBook is sweet. Widescreen LCD, slot-loading DVD drive, G4. Whoo whee!


  • Umm... one thing that's available only on a Mac:

    iDVD. If you don't think it's cool, watch the keynote stream. It's friggin amazing. And you can get that on a $3500 system. In time, that SUperdrive will probably be available on much cheaper Macs. Sure, that drive could be put in a PC, but there's no software out there remotely like iDVD yet.

    As for other things, well, Mac OS X, for one ;-)
  • I remember back when the original Mac "superdrive" was a 1.44 MB auto-inject/eject floppy drive that would read and write Mac and PC format HD floppies (it was "super" compared to the 400/800KB DD Mac-only drives that were its predecessors). Now we get 4.7GB per disc - super-schweet! You've come a long way, baby...

    My only caveat - does the DVD authoring include CSS-free and region-free options? Can you rip & copy DVD's with it? I'd hate for something this cool to be locked into the MPAA's riduculous regime....

    #include "disclaim.h"
    "All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak
  • Why the fuck would you give your computer illiterate dad Photoshop? Besides which if you don't like Apple's don't fucking buy them. Maybe to you a computer is "a tool" but to a good deal of people it is just another part of a home entertainment idea. Most end users shouldn't even be exposed to the complexities of computers that X forces on them. Macs are excellent for people who don't care. Computers are around to do things for people, not the other way around.
  • Steve Jobs is so much cooler than Bill Gates. I think Jobs would actually kick your ass if you called him a dork, while Gates would just mouth off about how he is not/has never been/and doesn't see how he could be a dork.

  • Apple tried to do this today by comparing performance between a 733MHz Power Mac system and a 1.5GHz Pentium 4. The Mac won handily. Naturally, Apple probably chose the operations that made the Mac look best, but that still implies a G4 is comparible to a Pentium with, say, 1.5 times the MHz.

    Also to note, Jobs implied that iDVD was only possible because of AltiVec. He said that usually software encoding takes 24 hours to encode a one hour MPEG2 video. Using AltiVec, they're doing it in just 2.

    If this is 'true', then the usual criticism that Apple has picked a few specifically favourable benchmarks -- and hence the only thing macs are faster at is a few Photoshop filters, and encoding DVDs -- then that criticism begins to sound a bit lame.

    It would be a little bit like someone sitting in a Rolls, being overtaken by a Ferrari, paw pawing the Ferrari because it's 'only good at speed'.

    But let me be reminded that I know nothing about highly optimised encoding of DVD on similarly priced x86 chips... maybe they can do the same, I dunno.

  • As CEO of Pixar and semi-major player in Disney Movies Steve is part of Hollywood, and probably even a member of RIAA.

    So that would make any attempts to subvert their interest intriguing. But there's probably a catch in the fine print.
  • about try just about any Mac site you can think of:

    Mac Slash [] (they even use Slash!)

    Xlr8yourMac []

    Macintouch []

    ...and don't forget the "big" news sites like: []


    MacWeek []
  • In response to point #2 - I never used a scroll wheel and resented them because they always felt intrusive and annoying sitting there in the center of the bloody mouse.

    I finally decided about 3 months ago to try actually getting one of them to work (I only have unix systems) and after about 20 minutes had it working quite well using imwheel.

    Now, not only does this work on web pages but it gets bound with the PageUp/PageDown so it's very handy with tons and tons of other applications (IRC, terms, editors, hell.. I even have used it with vi)

    Now I'm stuck buying damn wheel mice because I found them to be very useful - you sound like you really haven't used them that much, or given them a fair chance - I know this because I used to sound just like you, before I got used to them.

  • Pay for it fucko. Apple makes alot of money selling Quicktime for a paltry 30$. Linux zealots scream for software to be free if not sourced. If you convince a company those millions of users will pay for the software they will make it.
  • The gigabit ethernet is plenty useful now, if you move huge files around, like a lot of Apple's customers. Apple has had gigabit ethernet standard for quite a while because people asked for it.

    The Mac can also take 1.5 GB of RAM and boot from any fixed or removable disk attached to the system through SCSI, ATA, FireWire, or USB. The PCI bus is over 200Mbs, suitable for high-bandwidth video-editing cards. It has 2 FireWire ports, comes with iMovie, iTunes, an optical mouse, and analog and digital display connectors. The fan inside the box turns itself off when the box gets cool enough, like during sleep. It wakes up completely in one second when running Mac OS X. The CPU daughtercard is upgradable (for real). The motherboard is on the drop-down door, so it's easy to get at it and put in RAM or an AirPort card. Oh yeah, it has antennae inside the box and a slot for a $99 AirPort card that turns the box into a wireless client or a base station for other machines. Pretty good-looking boxes, too.
  • From my standpoint $10 still qualifys as a high cost of media deterrent. I can buy most movies that have been out more than a month or two for $12-15 at Best Buy. Why would I rent a DVD at a cost of $3.50 so that I could burn it onto a $10 DVD blank? Despite the "perfect digital transfer" I've saved $2 at best, don't have the case or chapter guide and have the movie on media that scratches more easily. Sounds to me like playing by the rules is still the better choice to me.
  • Important Note: Power Mac G4 and PowerBook G4 computers introduced in January 2001 are not compatible with Mac OS X Public Beta. []

  • The first thing that struck me when I read the article was the iDVD and iTunes bit. I did a double take.

    Steve Jobs is not as dumb as a lot of people say he looks. Not only is he including tools, standard, to manipulate two of today's more popular media formats, but he's doing what very few other major computer manufacturers are not... not bowing to the interests of Holywood (at least that we know of, and there's no reason, given Apple's past track record, that they would). You can bet your asses that the MPAA & RIAA aren't happy with this.

    And for that, I have to congradulate him.
  • by tbo ( 35008 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @03:43PM (#519587) Journal
    Here's my brief review of iTunes. I'm comparing it (indirectly) to other Mac MP3 players, such as SoundJam, Audion, and MACAST (formely MacAmp).

    iTunes kicks ass.

    Functionally, it has more cool features than most other MP3 players. The CD burning ability is really great and intuitive (just build a playlist, and hit the Burn CD button), but it unfortunately does not support my CD burner (Ricoh 7060A). The interface is very pretty, although some people may miss skin support. I haven't checked the quality of iTunes-encoded MP3s, but all the right options are there, and it of course automatically gets track info from CDDB when ripping songs from CDs.

    Its "Browse" button organizes MP3s in a heirarchial fashion by Artist, Album, and Song, in a manner I haven't seen in other MP3 players.

    What's missing? Support for my CD burner would be nice. It would also be good if ID3 tag info could be edited directly in the playlist window, instead of by opening a "Get Info" window for the song. Other than that, a great first version.
  • You can see the notes I took at my homepage [] and Drop [].

  • > until Adobe releases this carbon port of Photoshop
    > (which was supposedly done in two weeks by an
    > intern two years ago - where is it now?)

    Photoshop will probably ship the same day as OS X ... kind of like the way the Cincinnati Reds used to always open the baseball season. It will be the first big product release, and it will give all those Photoshop-all-day-long Macs out there a good reason to want to run OS X right away.

    The two-week update of Photoshop was what was required to get a demo up and running on Mac OS X ... that's pretty good, considering how incomplete Carbon was at that time, and how different the two operating systems are.
  • The Darwin kernel is a modified Mach 3.0 kernel, with SMP.
  • The Sun ULTRA2 (or maybe ULTRA1?) can do two NTSC size MPEG2 streams at once using the "VIS extensions" (which are a bit like AltiVec, SSE/SSE2/3DNow/all the other SIMD extensions). I don't know if that includes an audio track, or disk I/O. The ULTRA2 is many years old and no longer sold by Sun. I assume the newer systems can do a way better job.

    Note: the Ultra2 may not be all that fast, but I think the PDIST (or PDIFF?) instruction is extreamly MPEG2-codec-centric and helps make up a lot of ground in this benchmark.

    Aren't you thinking of MPEG2 _decoding_? Ultra 1s ran at, what, 167MHz, something like that? Ultra 2s maxed out at something like 300MHz. I seriously doubt a 300MHz UltraSPARC II is about 4X faster than a Motorola "G4".

    The only cpu in the UltraSPARC II days that could do real-time MPEG2 encoding was the Alpha 21264, let alone two streams.

    Correct me if I'm wrong :)

  • You want to replace a 7 watt 733MHz G4 chip that you could hide in your hand, with a 50 watt 1.2GHz monster that is a little faster for some tasks and a lot slower for others? You understand that Apple's towers have one little fan that turns itself off when it's not needed, right?
  • > (Oh, btw... I am an Apple owner and user, so
    > please keep the flaming down...)

    I never flame people, but you are an idiot. Go and find me the competition for the high-end Power Mac. There isn't any. Nobody else is offering a $3500 all-in-one solution for making DVD's, let alone one that also makes CD's in the same drive. Nobody else is offering to bump you up to pro DVD making software for only $995. People have been spending $5,000-$10,000 per seat for DVD-authoring workstations.

    Even without the SuperDrive, there is so much extra shit in one of these PowerMacs that you just don't get on the PC ... built-in antennae and AirPort, FireWire, booting from USB and FireWire drives, faster PCI bus, mobo on the door, 1.5 GB RAM capacity, one little fan.

    Just because you think the PowerMac is too expensive for you to do email with doesn't mean it's too expensive. Apple has iMacs and iBooks for Web and email and such. iBooks are a steal ... 6 hour battery life, wireless, etc. Go get one if that has the right combination of features and economy for you. Or spend $1500 on a beige box with three fans that crashes Windows spectacularly.

    Check out the prices on Suns, SGI's, and HP and IBM's workstations. I'm not comparing Macs to those, just asking whether things like the SuperDrive and Mac OS X might merit a place somewhere between those and a generic PC.
  • Isn't that a hardware solution that you're talking about, though? The point he made in the keynote was that running this stuff in software can take many more hours. Keep in mind that this is a consumer-level software product. He's not talking about their pro level product, there.
  • The IBM runs half speed on batteries, too, doesn't it? Is the 4.5 a typo? On an Intel notebook? I think you mean 2.5. Is the IBM really only an inch thick? The VAIO is thicker than that.

    Apple's notebook prices are usually fantastic. The battery life is way up there, the CPU's are the same as the desktop models and run full speed, and they can always take a large amount of RAM. Also, AirPort is fantastic, and having the antennae inside the box is the only way to go.
  • From the Apple page.

    Just 1 inch thick and weighing a mere 5.3 pounds, the PowerBook G4 is a heavyweight in an ultralight body-the world's first notebook computer made of 99.5% pure grade CP1 (meaning commercially pure) titanium.

    It's nice to see that Apple has taken a cue from the rest of the marketing world, and decided to try and convince us that titanium is the next cure for cancer/solution to world hunger/answer to all your spiritual questions.

    But my God, that laptop does look sweet. It's interesting, though, that it takes Apple to give us a "wide screen" laptop like this. I wonder how long before we start seeing Dell's and IBM's like this?
  • Hopefully these next two quarters Apple will kick some serious ass against its competitors. In my skewed perception of the world I think out of most other contenders they offer the best OEM package you could ask a computer company for. They've got beaucoup RAM and hard drive space, really fast processors (dispite a low clock speed compared to Intel and AMD processors), and all the built-in extras you need for just about anything. To boot you even have the option of making your box a dual 533 machine. I bet in a few months Newer and Sonnet will come out with dual processor upgrade cards for older G4 Macs. One thing I wish Apple would emphasize is its support for delveopers. The ADC provides beaucoup resources for anyone wanting to develop MacOS software. They ought to also make some inroads into putting Mac programming into the classroom. A good deal of schools teach C on Windows and Unix but I've never heard of any using Macs (although there probably are some). The disadvantage to the ADC is it can be fairly expensive (Select membership is 500 bones). I think they ought to offer a public version of their student membership (which is 99 bones). One thing Apple users miss out on is the amount of little pieces of software (good IRC, FTP, or NNTP clients for instance) that users of other platforms take for granted.
  • Actually I think it is pretty common that the same X clipboard is used both for the middle-click and the ^X,^C,^V.

    For those who complain about the "inability to replace" with the middle mouse, I will have to point out (yet again) that the X behavior is exactly the same as the much-lauded "drag and drop" except you don't have to hold the damn mouse button down as you move to the drop site. If you don't believe me, please think about it more carefully... What you are actually complaining about is also a limitation of "drag and drop", which is even worse. At least X lets you rearrange the windows to locate the drop site!

  • To defend against people throwing things at you during office meetings. Since, considering you are carrying a Mac, will probably happen. :)
  • Apple should put a divide-by-2 on the clock input. Magically the chip is twice as fast! You could even try a divide-by-4 but that may not be believed by the public.

    Seriously, wasn't there a time when chip makers actually did this to make their chips look faster?

  • Sorry for the self-promotion, but there's full coverage including live keynote news, impressions of the keynote, and a PB G4 vs Sony Vaio comparison, at []
  • PowerBooks are very popular with business users, which is why they never got colors and all the other lines did, at least temporarily. The 5 hour battery, true desktop speed, and the nice styling are very attractive. I don't know how PC notebook users get all their work done on two hours of battery life ... it sounds like a drag.
  • Except that it makes sense on the macintosh - remember the whole "verb" thing that went into the design... verbs with the left hand, manipulation with the right? Your "verb" is "context", your manipulation is "click". Easy. Just like hitting Apple-Q with the mouse in the right hand.
  • Hrmn. I've found a PC software program that does all of this. It's called... (drumroll please...) BeOS 5. It'll burn discs from MP3's, encode your MP3's, allow you to extend their attributes and sort them any way you please, etc., etc.

    And, the interface is nice too.

  • Apple has crippled the free/consumer iDVD app to support just 1 hour of video per DVD-R disc. The full DVD Studio Pro package from Apple ($995, same cost as Final Cut Pro) does not have this limit.

    How do you get past this sorta crippleware crap? Write letters. Boycott. Use linux DVD solutions. Whatever it takes. No one is forcing you to buy a G4 with a DVD-R drive and forcing you to use iDVD.
  • by gig ( 78408 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:05AM (#519639)
    > when they should be focusing on speed
    > and reliability.

    Speed ... OS 9 is not getting any faster when it has only three months of service left as the current OS ... OS X Public Beta is not performance-tuned ... it's a beta.

    Reliabilitiy ... OS 9 is not getting any more reliable when it has only three months of service left as the current OS ... OS X Public Beta is obscenely reliable already.

    Yes, Mac OS 9 is stretched to the breaking point. So, what? Mac OS X is 10 weeks away and runs more Mac OS 9 apps than Windows 2000 runs Windows 98 apps. Plus, there are lots of updated apps coming.

    Also, to say that Apple's only innovation is candy colors is really ignorant. All of their computers have AirPort and built-in antennae, optical mouses, no fans except in the tower (which has one little one that turns off when cool), more than twice the notebook battery life of their nearest competitor, the biggest shipping LCD display, numerous industrial design awards ... not just for the looks, but also for things like the fact that all Macs have easy-open doors for users to install RAM, even the notebooks (the keyboard pops-up).

    Geez, they also invented pull-down menus, drag and drop, overlapping windows ... introduced the first CD-ROM, first CD-R/DVD-R combo, first consumer UNIX, invented FireWire, open sourced the core of their commercial OS (where is Windows, where is OS/2?).

    AND, what if their only innovation was candy colors? I read an article from the head of some plastics association who said that Apple had driven the plastics industry forward by creating translucent, transparent, textured, colored, and intricately-shaped plastics. That's a great innovation ... these devices that surround us are getting better-looking.

    Give them a break already ...
  • Ah, but iTunes is based heavily on SoundJam MP, which, according to AppleInsider [], Apple bought, programmer and all. (Yes, it's a rumors site, but playing with iTunes easily confirms it.) So the good performance and quality are mostly inherited from SJMP.

    Which probably means the end of the line for SoundJam, which is a shame because iTunes can't use skins, and it's not loading the SJ visualization plug-ins even though it has a folder for them.


  • by gig ( 78408 )
    Change "Apple" in your post to "Sun", and change "multimedia" to "enterprise management". Now, see how much sense it really makes.

    Mac OS X comes out in three months, and the new version of Mac OS 9 that came out today (9.0 became 9.1) is so unexciting to everybody in the Mac community that it didn't even merit a mention in the Steve Jobs keynote. Don't you think that represents a factor that might mitigate against positive sales performance? It's not that people aren't willing to pay what Apple's asking, it's just that everybody and their brother is hanging on as long as they can for the start of this new era for the Mac.

    I mean, did you rush out and buy a Windows NT 4 Service Pack 5 machine just three months before Windows 2000 shipped? Did you grab a new Windows 3.1 machine in April of 1995? Nobody wants to buy a machine and then upgrade the OS to a dramatically different version only a few months later.
  • well a few people have already responded, but a few that i can think of from the last couple of years would be: firewire and usb standard (usb was going nowhere under wintel), consumer level video editing, standard and trivially simple wireless networking, an intuitive and consistant user interface, drag-and-drop integrated CD burning, personal DVD authoring, and hey, how about bringing a full-powered UNIX operating system to consumers (something Linux, after all the hype still can't seem to come close to doing).

    perhaps they're not the innovations that are important to you but that doesn't make them any less valid. but Apple is consistantly one of the first to bring new technologies (especially those that bring more integration) to the computer industry. meanwhile the PC world is happy to sit back and be painfully backwards compatible, scared of any new standard and eventually implement whatever sticks around the longest. Apple takes a good technology and runs with it.

    everybody's saying the PC industry is dying off -- they're seeing a slowdown in growth. why? because the major players are too chickenshit to actually implement anything novel. they sit back and take whatever Microsoft feeds them, and it's in Microsoft's best interests not to change anything. Apple's not always right, but i feel quite frankly that they're doing a hell of a lot more to progress the PC industry than any other group out there, including Linux.

    so yes, Apple innovates. and this example of being able to author your own DVDs to play in consumer level DVD players, is an apple innovation. and if it's important to you, you'll pay the "innovation premium."

    - j

  • Apple gives the Quicktime player away to everyone in order to entice them to buy the $30 unlocked version. Why not follow the same strategy with Linux?
  • by TWR ( 16835 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:02PM (#519648)
    The operating system supports (sort of) two button mice, so its not really that limiting. Many applications don't support Apple's method of accessing the second mouse button (Microsoft, Netscape, ahem!) but that's not really Apple's fault -- if the developers don't want to use the system's services, that's their choice.

    I'm not sure what you mean. I've been using my two-button wheel mouse with my iMac for a year. Right button is mapped (via USB Overdrive) to control-click. Works everywhere, including in MSIE and Netscape. The wheel just works beautifully in all apps (as a wheel, third mouse button, and clicked-up/clicked-down).

    This might be due to the fact that USB Overdrive is without a doubt the coolest bit of shareware around. Now that Apple is in a licensing mood, it should be rolled into the Classic OS ASAP...


  • Buried in the (deserved) hype surrounding the new hardware is the OSX improvements. Airport and printing support is fixed. The apple menu is back. The dock is now resizable and has a hierarchical pop up feature. The os9 finder is sortof back, with it's multiple windows (if you want it).
  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:03PM (#519659)
    it'd be a crime to only have one mouse button on a UNIX box.

    Alas, it was once thought to be a crime for a UNIX user to think they even needed a mouse at all.

    It's not a Gnome box, or even an X-Windows box... it's an OS X box. This GUI does not need a third button, or even a second button. Get over it.

  • This seems unnecessarily shortsighted - March is only 2.5 months from now, and come that time, you'll kick yourself for not getting the MP system.

    But The Register points out that the March intro date for OSX seems "suspicously" close to MacWorld NYC and the NEXT traditional Mac intro date. They speculate that we'll get multi-processor 733mhz machines then, so it would probably be best to wait until then to get your system if at all possible.

    I have one of the G4/450 systems running dual boot MacOS 9 and X and I'm extremely pleased with it.


  • Aren't you thinking of MPEG2 _decoding_? Ultra 1s ran at, what, 167MHz, something like that? Ultra 2s maxed out at something like 300MHz. I seriously doubt a 300MHz UltraSPARC II is about 4X faster than a Motorola "G4".

    I think it is encode speed, but I can't find my "VIS Propaganda Manual" anywhere. I'm pretty sure the pixel-distance instruction that does the work of about 40 other instructions in a single cycle and most of the work a macro block needs made it a whole whole whole lot faster.

    I'll look for the thing when I get back to work, it may be on my bookshelf there. If it wern't for the fact that I know the pixel distance instruction is useless to a decoder I would doubt my memory.

    To Job's credit Sun did such a stunningly poor job of selling that feature, that iDVD on the Mac years later still looks stunning. Even to me :-)

  • Seems they've dropped their line about multiprocessors, since the only model that ships with them is the 533 MHz model. I can't seem to find any information on if they include an empty socket or not for the other configurations...

    As far as I could tell from the two hour long quicktime they all have slots for a second CPU, but jobs didn't think supply would match demand on the faster CPUs and they are not offering the second CPU except thruough channel partners (read "very expensave").

    He also seemed to say the G4 PB wasn't actually available until the end of the month. Which sucks because I want to return my G3 one right now for the G4 :-)

    Of corse the G4 one also says it won't run OSX-PB2, so I may have to wait two months for the real relase...

  • Why would you buy RAM and hard disk from Apple? I can kinda understand getting the flat panel, as it is far prettier (and according to all the reviews I've seen, simply better) than all the other flat panels out there. But if you want to cut $4K off the price...


  • I liked aqua the way it was!

    It wasn't mac classic, it was something new, a hybrid between *nix and mac, and better than any of the themes I had on my linux boxen...

    I'm not sure... if the PB doesn't break in March, I may just keep using it, debug code and all.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by SteveM ( 11242 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:04PM (#519677)

    As part of the announcements, Apple will be selling blank DVD-Rs for $10 each. One of the arguments against DVD piracy has been the high cost of blank media. Poof!

    So can I put a DVD in one machine, send via ethernet to another with a superdrive and make a copy?

    Think we'll ever see something like this in a Sony?

    Steve M

  • What 6 months? Count along with me:
    1) January,
    2) February,
    3) March.

    Its not all of March, its March 24th, and part of January's already gone. Its like 2 1/2 months.

    As for not being MP, they're selling dual processor and OS X is based on Darwin which is Open BSD which IS MP. And Carbonized apps will be able to use MP in MP machines.

    As cool as the Titanium notebook is, it isn't likely to be MP anymore than the Sony Vaio.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:14PM (#519688) Homepage Journal

    Link given ( . mov) was broken due to the magic of "spacedot," that lazy perl code that adds rand om sp a ces to lon g wor ds, as if mySQL or Perl or HTML really had such wordwrapping limits.

    Fixed: mov []

  • by Shadow Knight ( 18694 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:06PM (#519691) Homepage

    Mac OS 9.1 was also released, but it wasn't mentioned at the keynote. Got to Apple's Mac OS 9 page [] and see for yourselves!

    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity

  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @01:14PM (#519710)
    A) The people all over the world behave that way. The Americans don't have a monopoly on wasteful behavior. For example, people in China dump waste into the Yellow river. People in India do the same thing to the Ganges. People in developing contries waste natural gas through poor training (and laziness, it takes a while to light a gas stove.) If they could afford it, Europeans and Asians would waste just as much as Americans do. If you don't believe me, then go to Bankok, Thailand. You'd think you were in LA, sans the tight air-control standards. (BTW, I'm not talking out my ass, I've *lived* in these places)

    B) Don't get *me* started on democracy. There is a reason for the electrol college which you stupid populists don't seem to get. (BTW, I'm a rabid democrat.) The electrol college assures that the majority does not totally outweight the minority. Do you really think that the politicians would give a damn about the jews in Florida if it weren't for the electrol college? How about blacks, arabs, and other minorites? Of course not! If it was just population, then they'd only be playing up to the white majority. The debate over majority rule was settled two hundred years ago during the first few presidencies. A general concensus was made (by politicians *far* more qualified than Hilary Clinton) that while the majority did in fact control the country, their power had to be kept in check to protect minority rights. The whole American democracy is based on checks and balances (and if you jaded Americans think that the US democracy is overrated and corrupted, try living in Asia or parts of Europe...) Well, welcome to one of these checks.
  • You can do a track by track clone of a DVD and get a perfect copy if you have a DVD player and burner in the same system.

    well no, not exactly. by the looks of things, i'm not really sure there is a way to do a track-by-track copy of a DVD. as far as i know there's no "ripping" option to make an image of a DVD, and from what i've seen, there's no "burn from image" option on these new Macs.

    while it would be possible to "rip" the video stream and re-encode it to a new DVD, you'd be without the DVD menu, or any of the extras that ship on DVDs these days. not to mention the fact that this would be an extremely long procedure, and not worth it to most people.

    i imagine the real "danger" would be from people downloading DiV/Xs from the net, converting them to Quicktime, and then burning them to iDVD. still not ideal, as you only get the "bare movie," but probably good enough for most casual pirates.

    still, unless i'm reading all of this wrong, there's no way to make bit-for-bit copies of DVDs using this drive. this could all change in the future however, as it seems that the only thing holding it back is the availability of proper software.

    a couple of things: it should be noted that Apple will be selling blank DVD media (that will play in commercial players) for $10/each. that's amazing. secondly, i really hope it's possible to burn region-free DVDs. i don't want region coding infecting the movies i create.

    - j

  • Perhaps they're even faster than Apple's 2:1 claim? Curious.

    possibly, but the Apple encoder is highly Altivec enhanced. after you get through all the Marketing hype surrounding Apple products, Altivec is still a very impressive technology (albeit a Motorola technology, not Apple).

    remember, the G4 completely wipes the floor with a Pentium 4 ... when the applications are Altivec enhanced. this is one of those cases where i imagine the G4 really would outperform a top-of-the-line Pentium, as something like encoding MPEG-2 is pretty much what Altivec is designed for.

    - j

  • by Erasmus Darwin ( 183180 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:11PM (#519744)
    With an affordable DVD burner, you don't even need DeCSS.

    First, that doesn't address the issue of region coding. A byte-for-byte copy of a disk from another region is going to be just as unplayable in a standard, region-based player.

    Second, I believe that burned DVDs have a lower capacity than commercially pressed DVDs. According to the first hit [] on "DVD burner" in google, it appears that the DVD-R specs are just for burning a single-side/single-layer, giving 4.7 gigs of storage. Certainly worth drooling over, but not enough for massive movie piracy.

  • by Bearpaw ( 13080 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:11PM (#519745)
    I'm not an Apple user, but it's nice to see Apple finally getting the G4 a bit more upto par with AMD/Intel speeds (after all Joe Average buys more often than not on the machines MHZ value). Hopefully this will give AMD and Intel a bit more competition and lower prices even further.

    That'll only happen if Apple can get it through Joe Average's thick skull that actual performance is only partly a function of MHz. This might be a little easier than it would have been if Intel hadn't shot itself in the foot with the Pentium-4.

    (No offence meant to anyone out there named Joe Average.)

  • the irony here is that i waded through the download-frenzy to get 2.4.0 so i could so i could use my apple-branded, no-button, all-optical clear mouse on my linux laptop.... only to find that gnome with one button is unusable (really, i could have figgured that out if i'd put some thought into it first...)

    the point is: macOS is designed for one button mice. Winders is designed for 9buttons/3wheels/2levers/1footpedal mice. linux gui-makers fell into the the "more-is-better" mentality somewhere after that.

  • by gagganator ( 223646 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2001 @12:21PM (#519760)

    it would seem they have silently released a new version of os x server that is the same rev as mac os x

    see this [] page

  • by gig ( 78408 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @12:06AM (#519771)

    If only it had 3 mouse buttons.

    Compare the PowerBook G4 and the Sony VAIO, here:

    PowerBook G4 Specifications []

    The PowerBook outclasses the VAIO badly. It's thinner, can take many times more RAM, has AirPort, Ethernet, FireWire, slot-load DVD, more cache, 3 hours more battery life, and the full-speed 500MHz G4 chip easily kills a 650MHz "mobile" (stripped and slowed down) PII. Also, the design is much better, construction looks better, and you get pure titanium instead of a magnesium alloy. The only thing the VAIO has is that it's $50 cheaper, and 2 pounds lighter. Once you add an external modem/ethernet PC card and external CD/DVD drive to the VAIO, you lose the price and pounds advantage completely.

    Now, after looking at the above, how can a reasonable person say "if only it had ...". I wouldn't mind if he said "too bad I use x86 Linux and don't want to switch to LinuxPPC or Mac OS X" ... or "too bad nobody is making x86 notebooks with these kinds of features". Too bad it doesn't have 3 mouse buttons. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Played with one at Macworld today ... the wide screen is really nice, and it makes it very small front-to-back ... much easier to fit into a bag or carry under your arm. Nice. Runs cool and quiet, too, and you can pop-up the keyboard to put in more RAM ... takes only a few seconds. Beautiful technology in every respect. It is solid like a brick ... not flimsy or cheap in any way.

    Mac OS X is all that's missing, and it's only about 10 weeks away (March 24).

There's no future in time travel.