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Apple Businesses

New iMac Announced 1146

MrGHemp writes "The new iMac with a flat panel has been offically announced, and can be seen on the Apple website. According to Steve Jobs the top 3 things we asked for were put into this new design. 1. Flat Panel screen 2. G4 processor 3. Superdrive (DVD burner on one of 3 models)... Apple also announced other new products like a 14' display on some iBooks, and iPhoto - the iTunes of digital photos." It's definitely unique looking ;) Update: Slashdot author ChrisD was there and has a report too.
Linux and the Macintosh are very different things. I don't want to bore anyone with poor analogies, but when Macintosh has glitz, Linux has power. This isn't about Linux though, it just kept on striking me how much Linux lacks in the desire department.

Steve Jobs is terrific at just that, Creating Desire. This is no surprise to us, for sure, but nothing drives it home as much as sitting in the audience and watching him speak. I could tell you how wonderful an orator he is, and how groovy his products are, but I really want to hear what the Slashdot user communtiy has to say about that. I want to talk about what Apple is doing technically.

First: The new iMac is very attractive. It's cool, it's neat. It will be a very popular machine. It's got a good price/feature spectrum and it looks like a pretty decent machine for the consumer. It isn't, in the end, a machine for the linux die-hard, but that's okay. It's slick, it ships with a bunch of very decent apps to manage your digital media. I want one, it's a cool machine. I don't know what I'd do with it (which is the problem), but it's cool looking. It's not particularly a good deal, I mean, you can pick up 200$ 15" tft displays at Fry's and lets get real, the G4 (Excepting the velocity engine stuff) isn't that fast of a chip at any available speed compared to the x86 world. But boy, this is one slick machine. But we know that already from the previous story. I do worry about it overheating, as I did flash back to the cube's cracking problems a bit.

Second: Photoshop for OS X will be coming out "soon". That was the big news. They had a very impressive working demo, I hope to learn more tomorrow on the expo floor.

Third: iPhoto is a decent cataloging program, and one designed to be used easily and generate more revenue streams for apple in the form of booklets and print costs. But it looks very polished and useful.

Superdrive: You'll see the superdrive in the new imac finally, which is nice. Note that this is not the superdrive that everyone remembers from the 80s' :-)

That's about all. The keynote was terrific, but in the end, not so outstanding. I'll post pictures soon. I'm sure a lot of /. regulars will be doing the same. More Tomorrow!

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New iMac Announced

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  • by MontyP ( 26575 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:32PM (#2799647)
    I remember a few years ago when they announced the IMAC, I listened the keynote on streaming audio. I was amazed.. Today I watched the keynote on QuickTime. The new IMAC is very cool. It comes with a 15-inch flat screen display suspended on the base of the computer. This screen can swivel 180 degrees, raise up and down, and tilt forward and backwards. The base itself is only just over 10 inches in diameter! They come with a CD-RW up to Apple's super drive (CD-RW, DVD-R). Starting at $1299.

    Apple also announced a really sweet image editing program that automatically imports, edits and prints images from a digital camera. IPhoto can also publish to a website (provided on apple's servers), order Kodak prints online, and even publish a hard bound book of photos. All in one application. This application and the new iMac completes apples "digital hub"
  • by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:34PM (#2799672) Homepage
    I like the direction that Apple is taking here. Lots of people have things like digital cameras, mp3 players, CD burners, but the software erquired to get them all working together can be a major pain for Joe ComputerUser.

    One machine with sufficient power (700MHz G3 is pretty quick) that makes all that truly easy would be a great thing for most homes. But... the secret lies in the software, not the hardware. I'd like to see something like this for PCs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:39PM (#2799716)
    Apple also announced a really sweet image editing program that automatically imports, edits and prints images from a digital camera. IPhoto can also publish to a website (provided on apple's servers), order Kodak prints online, and even publish a hard bound book of photos. All in one application.

    Sounds like MGI Photosuite. Of course that's been out for 2-3 years.
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento@breYEATSntozar.com minus poet> on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:40PM (#2799723) Homepage
    How are they cooling this new one? It's got a G4, a SuperDrive, a GeForce2 MX, and the power supply, all inside that base, and there's no airflow from the bottom to the top? (There's a cover over the bottom, where the ram chips and Airport card go.) I can't believe this thing isn't going to get toasty-hot. The Cube didn't have a fan, but it had an external power supply, so they were kinda cheating.

    I'll be watching the whole deal just to see how they pull that off. If they can cool that thing without a fan, I'll be impressed.
  • by PeterClark ( 324270 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:48PM (#2799816) Journal
    This just brings to mind a quote that the Times Canada article (now pulled) had from Jobs: "Victory in this industry is survival." He goes on by saying that Apple intends to survive by "innovating." Well, we all know that "innovation" is buzzword-compliant and really doesn't mean much these days, but it is clear that innovation for Apple (at least with this iLamp) is more centered around form than function. Yes, there's the usual bit about how much easier computing is going to be. Ra, ra, ra. Great for the grandmas of the world that have lived all their life quite hapilly without such features as iPhoto and whatnot. The real question is, will this new form shore up Apple's declining business?
    Personally, I would be concerned any time a business equated "victory" with survival. However, given the current tech industry, perhaps that's not so far off.
  • by vought ( 160908 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:49PM (#2799823)
    As much as people will probably bash it here, it's groundbreaking in a lot of ways.

    The industrial design proves that you don't have to put a computer in a box. As consumers get used to having their electronics packaged their way, this type of talent will become more and more important.

    Witness the 'shabby chic' home decoration that's become the rage among new boomers. They want things familiar and comfortable, not boxy.
  • by SideshowBob ( 82333 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:51PM (#2799839)
    ... was the announcement that Mac OS X is now the default boot OS on every new Mac Apple ships.

    At last the long awaited dream is realized: UNIX for the masses. The last, best hope of stemming the Redmond tide. Laugh at my hyperbole but Moms everywhere are a lot more likely to be UNIX users now than ever before. Thats really something.
  • by Kranium ( 211344 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:51PM (#2799841)
    Sure it is. Possible, but enjoyable? I would rather have this than XP on some clunky PC box.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:56PM (#2799877) Homepage Journal
    Slow CPU speeds? If the *only* thing you're comparing is Mhz, then of course Pentium wins hands down. But the effective speed of a processor is derived from much more than the clock speed. A 1.5Ghz G5 would make a 1.5Ghz PIV seem like a turtle on exlax.
  • by Methuseus ( 468642 ) <methuseus@yahoo.com> on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:01PM (#2799910)
    Also, I don't get how you're supposed to upgrade it. It says "Remove the cover on th ebottome to access the upgrade slots." But then I'd be really afraid of hurting the LCD when I turned it over. I never thought they'd go back to the supreme unupgradeability of the PowerPC line. I remember almost losing a couple fingers when I upgraded RAM on a few of them.
  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:03PM (#2799931) Homepage Journal

    I was thinking this too, at first.

    The more I ponder this release, though, I think they are 'reinforcing the front line' before they make a significant advancement. Had they announced G5 powermacs, this iMac might seem a little underpowered and it would dim some of this limelight. As it stands, the new iMac is undisputibly incredible. People like yourself are comparing it to the professional line. No criticism can even be levelled at it. In fact, the only criticism is that it's "too good".

    Let Apple sell a couple months worth of these, then MacWorld Tokyo. Boom. A new reason to buy a new computer for those of us who wouldn't budge on the new iMac.

    I'm on a 1998 B/W G3 450mhz box, so I'm watching these releases intensely. I need a new computer to play Wolfenstein. I want to record DVDs. With only 32 megs on the Geforce2, I'm holding out for the new PowerMacs. I bet they'll have Geforce3s with 64 like the current ones do.
  • by ambclams ( 171322 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:09PM (#2799974) Homepage
    The new iMacs do look pretty cool, but I can't help but think that the keynote was bound to be disappointing in light of the amount of hype it received.

    After all, the Mac community is filled with sites tracking the latest Apple rumors. Even at a 'normal' MacWorld, the community-generated hype leads to people expecting Apple to announce something that's totally revolutionary, and whatever actually does get announced pales by comparison.

    And this time Apple gave themselves even higher expectations to live up to by creating their own hype too. For the first time anyone can recall, they publicized the expo, with new slogans on their website every night: 'a backstage pass to the future', 'way beyond the rumors sites', 'to boldly go where no PC has gone before', etc. Surely Apple must have realized that new iMac, iPhoto, and larger iBooks, while impressive, couldn't live up to people's expectations with that much hype?

    (And claiming that they were going to announce something 'way beyond the rumors sites' was surely a mistake. These are the same rumors sites, after all, that were expecting LCD iMacs many months ago. This expo's predictions included the iWalk PDA, much faster pro-line desktop machines, and even a G5 Dodecahedron or two.)

    It seems to be the case that people will always be somewhat disappointed with whatever Apple releases. But Apple doesn't need to make it worse by claiming that they've created something revolutionary and amazing; this new iMac just can't live up to that standard.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:13PM (#2800002)
    The iMac isn't for people that care about fsb.

    The iMac is for the consumer, it's been 3 and a half years but alot of Slashdotters don't understand this.

    The iMac is for people that want a computer they doesn't take knowledge of computers to use.

    College kids that arn't in CS, Grandmas, Mothers, cousins, aunts. The Art kids or the math kids at my work, they don't give a shit about a front-side bus speed or a clock multiple. It's an iMac. It can connect to your digital camera without drivers or installing anything and it works. It'll burn CDs and DVDs too if you want it.

    It's an iMac, it just works. That's why it's got a 100 MHz fbs. Because it's market doesn't care about 100 vs. 133 fbs or what kind of RAM is in it.
  • by Refrag ( 145266 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:16PM (#2800027) Homepage
    Not significantly. My 600mHz iBook torches my 600mHz Pentium 3 workstation when crunching numbers (SETI@home), or ripping AC3 from DVDs. A 800mHz G4 processor can probably hold its own with a 1.6gHz Pentium 4 and will beat it on apps that use Altivec.
  • by Gogo Dodo ( 129808 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:24PM (#2800075)
    The Register [theregister.co.uk] says there is a fan in it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:36PM (#2800169)
    All I can say is congratulations Steve. You have patented the future of desktop computers.

    Why (isn't it obvious)?

    It is the only design that meets the criteria, other than a round cone shaped base. This is the only way you can have a swivel tilt flatscreen attached to a base, with 180 degrees swivel and full tilt in any position.

    I have sat here with my Solidworks program ( I quickly modeled this thing), and can see this was the creation of necessity. Nothing else will work as well, and allow the same amount of interior space.

    The base must be round to give the maximum interior space and allow the monitor to fully swivel and go full down or tilt in any position. Furthermore, the hemisphere is superior to the cone in that it provides the maximum interior room for the design, while meeting the viewability criteria. Greater room inside and outside means cooler temperature as well.

    And of course you can bet apple will sue the pants off of anyone who infringes on this patent.

    This is a very well thought out unit.
  • they forgot #4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by option8 ( 16509 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:46PM (#2800250) Homepage
    According to Steve Jobs the top 3 things we asked for were put into this new design. 1. Flat Panel screen 2. G4 processor 3. Superdrive (DVD burner on one of 3 models)

    they forgot #4, and i think the loudest of the reactions to the old design: a 17'' screen.

    they can very easily upgrade the new line with a 17'' option - and i think it will be the first thing they do when they revamp the line in a few months (along with dropping the price). look at it: just lengthen the swing arm a bit and put a larger display at the end of it; hell, it's almost something a user could do on his own...
  • The "future" now. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheGS ( 54669 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:01PM (#2800354)
    Now that I've had a few hours to digest the new appearance, it seems to me that the new iMac looks like a terminal/workstation out of a futuristic anime. I could imagine seeing it in an episode of Cowboy Bebop.
  • Re:oops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:11PM (#2800415) Journal
    I have to buy a adapter to get the vga-out to work?

    If it's like the iBook, the VGA adapter is just a little pigtail to convert from the microscopic port on the computer to a standard HD15 socket. And it comes bundled with the computer.
  • by megaduck ( 250895 ) <dvarvel.hotmail@com> on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:17PM (#2800460) Journal

    is that it doesn't look like a computer. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that Apple is the one computer company that is doing anything original with case design and form factor. Sony has the most stylish x86 boxes out there, but they still look like... boxes. We've hit the point where we don't HAVE to build computers that look like bricks, but you wouldn't know it by looking at PCs these days.

    Kudos to Apple for daring to do something a little different, even if it does make us think of a desk lamp. ;)

  • by rho ( 6063 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:22PM (#2800489) Homepage Journal

    ... and after all, all those companies making Super El-Cheapo "$699 Internet Specials" are doing so well. Witness eMachines. Witness Joe Bob's PC-o-Rama.

    Making Yugos does not make money for a company. Making Hondas does make money. Get over it.

    And, if you're not posting to /. from a $699 Internet Special, what do you know about the "market" that Apple is "cutting themselves off from"?

  • by ebooher ( 187230 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:27PM (#2800520) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or does the bottom of this new iMac look like the top of the Death Star? Although, I have to admit, I've been trying since the Keynote ended to get Apple to take my MasterCard information. Steve's Sphere of Unreality strikes again, and I had just told myself that I'd probably never use a mac again.

    Yet, there is something about this new machine that just speaks to me. It's probably the voices in my head, but I am intrigued by this new iMac. I've been saying for a long time now that they need to include a flat panel display into them, and here is the fruit of that labor.

    The most interesting thing to me, though, is that they are using the G4 processor in their new "consumer" line. This just helps to enforce the fact that at the next Apple event they are set to introduce what ever is going to be termed as the G5 processor for the Pro line. They did it with the first iMacs. Remember the Blue and Whites?

    There have been plenty of people point out the fact that the mac line as a whole doesn't have the Ghz numbers it needs to dominate the field. I have to ask, though, what does anyone really and truly need with a 2 Ghz machine? Let me qualify this question.

    My current main workstation is a dual Pentium II 300 Mhz machine with 128 MB of RAM and Windows 2000. I have two SUN SparcStations (a 2 and a 10) one of which (the 2) has a black and white framebuffer. I have five Socket 7 based Pentium machines at varied Mhz's and a Power Macintosh 8500/120. Oh, and my 486 33Mhz Linux router.

    I do everything I need to do all these machines. Run services, send and receive email, run some websites, encode digital video, both MPEG1 and MPEG2, encode digital audio, watch streaming applications and DVD's, etc, etc, etc, ad nausium.

    Then again, I'm a professional UNIX / Cisco user, not a professional game player. Though Diablo II runs just fine on my main workstation. What *are* you people running?!

    Now I sit here ranting away on Slashdot, because I can't get the Apple store to accept my order for a new iMac that I have no actual good use for in my home. Sure, being able to burn DVD's will be fun for a while. Playing with the UNIX'esque kernel of Mac OS X will be a real hoot. Wonder how much Linux software still needs to be ported.

    Come on, I don't care who you are, you have to admit that it does look kind of cool. Yes, it is a laptop on a stick, I guess. But so is the Gateway version of the same style of unit. LCD screen with an integrated CPU all in one type of deal.

    So why didn't I rush out to buy the Gateway when it came out months ago? Hmmm .... *snaps fingers* .... Oh yeah! I don't ever expect to upgrade a mac. Those always sit as they come, regardless of what people tell me. An x86 machine *has* to be in an ATX case, because there is always something new and fun to put in them.

    Oh well, guess I will go see if the Apple store has decided to play friendly yet, and leave you nice people alone.
  • Linux die-hards? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:27PM (#2800525) Journal
    It isn't, in the end, a machine for the linux die-hard

    A Mac OS machine, not for the Linux die-hard. Who knew?

  • by axis-techno-geek ( 70545 ) <robNO@SPAMgoshko.ca> on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:28PM (#2800526) Homepage
    The DVD-R drive is good, but limiting in making of actual "DVD" compatable disc. They do not suppport lossless linking or variable bit rate MPEGs. I think a DVD+RW drive would have been the better choice.

    Check out DVDplusRW.org [dvdplusrw.org] for more info.
  • by king_ramen ( 537239 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:30PM (#2800548)
    Noting that you can pick up a 15" flatscreen is very misleading. The difference between DVI (http://www.ddwg.org/) and Analog (SVGA) is amazing.

    Matching a digital screen w/ an analog input is a bastardization that best belongs on the Island of Doctor Moreau. Having end-to-end digital costs a couple hundred bucks (generally) but makes all the difference in the world.

  • by marktwain ( 523893 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:45PM (#2800651)
    No the IBM doesn't. Watch the videos on the Apple site. The IBM doesn't have the "mobility" of the neck in moving the monitor around. And the IBM doesn't ship with iDVD, iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie, nor does it have OS X with Darwin under the hood and Apache ready to be launched. This new iMac will add the best of both worlds, the *nix and the GUI/Applications needs. Too many Linux users live in their own little world. Have a good friend who bought a TiBook and runs nothing but Mandrake on it, getting ready to add OS X. Name of the game is partitions. Run Mac OS 9, OS X, the Darwin *nix (including X Windows), and your favorite flavor of Linux. The drive in these new puppies is big enough for all four. And say goodbye to Microsoft forever. :-)
  • by rho ( 6063 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @06:05PM (#2800813) Homepage Journal

    Well, we have it. It's done. Consumer oriented flat-panel computers are here. CRTs will be relegated to pre-press shops and collectors.

    If you look at LCD monitors in the light of Apple's success with pushing USB, expect to see imitators abounding in a few months.

    To those who pooh-pooh the price, I ask to you show me a comparable machine by any competitor that fulfills the same criteria:

    • Fast machine
    • CD-RW
    • LCD monitor
    • Small footprint
    • Full complement of ports
    • Equipped with software that allows you to:
      • Easily make movies
      • Easily manage your digital music
      • Easily manage your digital photos
      • Easily allows you to get a printed and bound book for $30 (Christmas gifts ahoy)

    And do all this for $1300. Show me the comparables, please. And, consider the inevitability of production ramp-up. LCDs are cheaper now than a year ago. With Apple's push towards commoditizing the LCD market, imagine what the economies of scale can bring!

    Will this significantly alter Apple's market share? Not likely. There are too many people who look at a problem and readily come to the wrong solution, i.e. "Let's go buy a computer based solely on the price, rather than what we want to accomplish with it". This is not Apple's market, just as they are not GNU/Linux's market. Apple is selling to a group of people who want the computer to be a part of their lifestyle, not as a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses consumerism.

    Bravo, Apple. I look forward to the future devices you have in store.

  • by cjhuitt ( 466651 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @06:47PM (#2801091)
    just so it will take up more room in their briefcase/backback

    That's not the only reason... some people will actually want their monitor to have that pixel depth, but cause less eyestrain trying to squint at the smaller display.

    I hate to admit it, but as I get older, I'll probably want the same sort of things myself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2002 @06:59PM (#2801170)
    Apple has always been the little guy.

    They brought computing to the public, with a true personal computer.

    They have a love (or possibly obsession) with innovation, and beauty in technology.

    It's hard not to find that inspiring.

  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @07:08PM (#2801213) Journal
    That is it exactly. The only other place that the computer industry moves is in numbers. It's nice to see processor speeds go up, or watch HD sizes increase, but it's not suprising. It's expected and demanded. Apple changes the way computers look, work, and interact with people. It's exciting.
  • by anfloga ( 139529 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @07:37PM (#2801332)
    Ok, I've seen this over and over and over. In response to, "Why don't they throw in 2 Ghz G5's and a 22" LCD in the iMac, along with 4000 expansion ports?", the answer is, "because they aren't for geeks they are for consumers who know nothing".

    I disagree. I am a programmer, professionally now, but have been doing it since the age of 8 on an Atari 800 as a hobby (don't worry I've changed machines a few times since then!). At one point I remember hand-assembling machine code and entering it into ATARI BASIC (using a construct something like "USR("[buncha obscure control characters]"). I fit nicely into the geek category I imagine.

    And I love my main machine, an iMac 500 CD. It does everything I want it to do, except perhaps play DVD's. Of course, that's what my DVD player is for.

    Running on BSD, and PowerPC, and everything just kind of works. What more could I ask for?

    In fact the truth seems to be that programmers don't always need to run on the hottest, latest hardware. In fact, I could see a consumer wanting or needing that more than a programmer. If you spend all your time with your computer on games, and applications like DV authoring, you need beefy, expensive hardware. If you spend it instead on programming, I know from experience that an Atari 800 can be made to work. In any case I am very impressed with all the software that Apple includes in with the box (or, in the case of the new machines, "bump", plural, "bumpen"), especially the full-featured programming IDE, the best I've ever seen, which can be downloaded and used by anyone (with a Mac) for free. And this of course is why I don't complain about price either. Sure, I could have gotten a machine with better specs (arguably) on the Intel side. But I get a workable office suite, the equivalent of the pay version of Real Jukebox in iTunes (that goes for about $50 and crashes if you sneeze at it), better digital camera software than any camera comes with normally, and so on and so on... Total package? Even without the "Apple aura", the Apple comes out clearly ahead (as of Mac OS X 10.1) for me. Now I know I can fix just about anything that goes wrong with this thing. What about those times I just don't wanna? I just call Apple. Their support is awesome. They have a nice knowledge base on their support site as well. Anycase, enough ranting. I just don't buy the ubergeek=I bought a big machine, therefore I'm 'leet vs. consumer=bought a small or moderate machine because I don't know what I'm doing. Shouldn't it be, if anything, the other way around?

  • by binarybits ( 11068 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @08:00PM (#2801439) Homepage
    *You* can build a box from scratch with commodity parts. My mother can't. You don't care if your computer matches the furniture. My mother might. You can figure out how to use cumbersome GPL-ed tools to manipulate images, video, audio, etc. My mother would never even try such a thing.

    The iApps aren't targeted at you. They are targeted at average consumers who aren't tech-savvy. And for many non-tech-savvy users, paying an extra $200 for a machine that's tightly integrated with software, includes simple plug-and-play apps, and requires a minimum of behind-the-scenes tinkering is a great deal. For many consumers, paying an extra $50 so their computer can be a conversation piece rather than an eye-sore is money well spent.

    Perhaps you're not one of them, but that doesn't make it wrong. And slashdot's motto isn't "News for mascochistic nerds with no aesthetic taste." Not all nerds like to spend their weekends wrestling with their souped up, built-from scratch athlon box. Some of us value our time and are happy to pay a premium for quality, superb industrial design, good aesthetics, and an OS that blows both XP and Linux out of the water.

Forty two.