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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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  • Mount on wall (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dthable ( 163749 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:34PM (#2799676) Journal
    I wonder if Apple will start selling wall mounting kits. Then you would take up zero desk space.
  • oops (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seanw ( 45548 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:41PM (#2799738)
    The comments about the lack change to the PowerMac desktop line are spot on...Apple has a real problem here.

    The iMac now has a G4 at comparable speeds, a Superdrive, more expandable RAM capability, and OH YEAH it comes with a 15" LCD display. The PowerMac has the same thing, for $600 more, and without the display (so throw in another $500 if you want to be able to actually see the output of your computer). It is more than just is totally illogical.

    I will grant that the PowerMac is more expandable in terms of PCI slots, but...I can no longer think of a single good reason anyone would want to buy a PowerMac, which means unless Apple updates them before the iMacs ship in January, their high-end desktop sales are pretty much going down the crapper.

  • As I stare at my laptop screen each day I wish that I could raise it a bit without having the keyboard end up at my chin. Wouldn't it be cool/useful it laptops came with some mechanism for moving the screen independently from the base? I don't mean simply tilting it, but moving it up and down as well as turning it to either side. Moving it closer to me and further would be useful too.

    The only problems that I could see with a feature such as this is that you might be able to change the center of gravity of the machine enough to tip it over and it might be difficult to design a mechanism that would be both lightweight and durable.

  • Yay, go BSD go! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:42PM (#2799750)
    With Apple's support, the original prototype
    Open Source BSD Unix(tm) is now the largest
    volume shipping Unix(tm), eclipsing all other
    *Linux and commercial Unix(tm) versions combined.
    The new iMac is just one more platform that will
    spread Unix to more and more users.
  • Vertical Use? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SanLouBlues ( 245548 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:43PM (#2799762) Journal
    Are they gonna update OSX so the display could be easily rotated 90 deg. for long web pages and the like? That'd be cool.
  • by Ariane 6 ( 248505 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:45PM (#2799782)
    Is striking...I honestly didn't know what to think of this creation from Apple's labs when I saw the little pictures online, but having seen the thing in action during the keynote, I have to say that yes, I do want one. Too bad I'll have to pay off my TiBook first :P

    Some nice little jabs at Adobe and Time magazine sprinkled in, Photoshop X does look nice, though, and I'm dling iPhoto as I write this. It looks sweet enough to make me want to get a camera.

    Oh, and all those wondering about the Pro Line...I doubt anyone'd bet against new Powermacs at MW Tokyo this March, and unlike what was predicted for this show, I imagine that those really will have the G5.
  • Am I Now Immune... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:48PM (#2799817) the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field? I guess I have to see one in person, but the new iMac looks plain stupid. I so wish I didn't feel that way. I saw the keynote at the Apple Store, and although we all clapped, many expressed disappointment. Under the hood, the improvements are stellar, but on the surface? I was hoping for wireless keyboard and mouse. Can video be sent wirelessly? How about an iMac that "senses" one or more wireless flat panels? H2H gaming! I really hope it does well, but I won't buy one.
  • Re:oops (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 90XDoubleSide ( 522791 ) <ninetyxdoublesid ... t ['ail' in gap]> on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:55PM (#2799865)
    The same thing was true of the Power Mac G3 when the original iMac came out; I would say that the G3 looked even less attractive then than the PMG4 does now, actually.

    The bright side of this is that Apple will obviously have to put out new Power Macs (and probably at least speedbump the Power Books) at Tokyo, and the fact that they didn't announce them at MWSF might indicate that they will wait for G5s rather than bumping them to Apollo G4s.

  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:56PM (#2799872) Homepage Journal
    OK - I love the new iMac. It's great-looking, finally a G4 is included, the screen looks real nice, and the drive combinations are right on. This is probably the Mac that the Cube should have been. The price is about $100 higher than I'd like, but I expect to see the price points all adjusted once the new Pro machines _finally_ ship. Even though they still have old iMacs around for now, they need to get the new one to the sub $1000 point ASAP.

    iPhoto is a compelling new application, and I'm going to download it and play with it tonight - it supports my Olympus 3000 so I'll try it directly instead of just using the reader like I normally do.

    The new reconfiguration of the iBook line is nice, too - and the 14.1" screen on the high-end model will be a plus.

    But - what about the Pro line? Apple's margins are fattest on the tower Macs, and they're not announcing anything today. Unless they do something soon, expect a bad quarter. I don't know about Motorola's yields, but Apple must be pretty pissed at them since they obviously can't get enough G5 (or fast G4 - whatever) processors to announce anything yet.

    So, they'll sell a ton of iMacs, but I was hoping for a little more this time around.
  • Re:oops (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Genom ( 3868 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @03:58PM (#2799894)
    That's the strategy - make the new iMac comparable, but cheaper than the existing desktop line. People buy 'em up. Then, they release the new desktop machines, and we all drool over 'em again. More people buy 'em up.

    From a business perspective, it's killer - from a customer's perspective, it's nonsensical.

    Personally, for a non-geek household, the new iMac seems like a hell of a deal. Most geeks, of course, will want something with a bit more oomph in the server department or the gaming department - but for the average Joe who needs to type a letter or throw some pics up on the 'net, it's pretty good.

    Now...if they'd made it a *bit* more expandable (for example, being able to replace the 15" LCD with a special iMac-ized version of the Cinema display)...

    I was expecting updates to the G4 tower and TiBook, but alas, that will have to wait for MWNY (or *possibly* MW Tokyo...)
  • Re:No USB 2.0? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:13PM (#2800006)
    and it's a good thing too..
    Firewire is for the perofrmance things. USB2.0 what a waste... my keyboard and mouse communicate at 100Mbps... big whoop.

    Firewire, the only sane choice... If I'm wrong, then WHY does every video camera have it and not USB?
  • by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:16PM (#2800021) Homepage Journal
    Throwing that word around.. the word is supercomputer []. Every damn Apple ad, every new machine they launch is called a supercomputer. It's got the same old, clunky 800 mhz G4 processor, which they have the nerve to call 'pentium-crushing'? AMD and Intel have processors running at 2+ times that clock speed.. gimme a break.

    Am I the only one who's bothered when Apple says with a straight face, "The PowerPC G4 with Velocity Engine can perform complex calculations two to four times faster than processors found in run-of-the-mill PCs"? I'm sure they're still using their old, tired Photoshop benchmarks to back up those statements. Only Apple could get away with calling an 800Mhz G4 a 'pentium crushing' 'supercomputer.'

    They even mention Quake on the page.. how about they pit that puny Geforce2 MX against a real PC? Let's see.. lowest iMac has 700mhz CPU, 128MB RAM, 40GB HD, CD-RW, flat panel. You can get an AthlonXP system with all that, and money to burn on a Geforece3 card. Then see which one is the 'supercomputer'.
  • by d-e-w ( 173678 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:17PM (#2800037)
    OK - I love the new iMac. It's great-looking, finally a G4 is included, the screen looks real nice, and the drive combinations are right on. This is probably the Mac that the Cube should have been. The price is about $100 higher than I'd like, but I expect to see the price points all adjusted once the new Pro machines _finally_ ship. Even though they still have old iMacs around for now, they need to get the new one to the sub $1000 point ASAP.

    To tell you the truth--I don't think that the consumer price point is sub-$1000 right now unless that consumer is willing to buy an Emachine or something similar (cheap hardware, off-brand.) After Xmas, we went shopping with my father-in-law for his new computer. Outside of processor speeds (which can't be compared on a one-to-one basis between Intel and Apple, anyhow) the machines we were looking at were very similar to the low-end iMac/Lamp. We could have picked up an open item for under $1000, but nothing from a name brand, even Dell (every time you clicked through the front page "deals" the price jumped!) The price range everywhere we looked (online, offline) was about $1099-$1399 for the system/hardware he wanted. This iMac, if it had been out (and if he was willing to go with an Mac, which would have been the bigger struggle ;) could have easily been in the running. And that's what really surprised me, out of everything announced today. $1,299 is pretty close to what is on the market right now. And it's a lot slicker-looking ...

  • by bryan1945 ( 301828 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:27PM (#2800096) Journal
    Almost every Apple event gets mucho hype by the rumor community now. People speculate like mad, heck, I know 2 guys who actually made bets on what was going to be announced.

    Then, after each show, a large number of people are disappointed and a few are wildly happy. A couple of in between the 2. But mostly people are just disappointed in Apple for not living up to their expectations! Granted, this time Apple _did_ beat their own drum way too loudly, but I can't think of any other computer hardware company that gets this kind of press, rumor mongering, and vast discussion after the event.

    Just wondering if anyone has a good idea why Apple inspires all this? Is it Steve-o and his RDF? Because Apple is the underdog? Apple's penchant for always pushing the boundry on HW design (like, love, or hate it)? Personally I think it's because Apple keeps innovating, whether it's a success like the original iMac or a failure like the Cube, keeps people wondering "Just what the hell are they gonna pull next?!"
  • Re:Mount on wall (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:32PM (#2800128) Homepage
    Actually, what would take up even less space is putting the thing inside your desk with only the monitor pivot sticking up through a tiny hole. Might have heat issues though.
  • Re:Vertical Use? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ambclams ( 171322 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:43PM (#2800222) Homepage
    Are they gonna update OSX so the display could be easily rotated 90 deg. for long web pages and the like?

    That would be pretty cool indeed. I seem to recall a monitor from long ago that would do that, the Radius Pivot. It could detect when the monitor was physically rotated and change its orientation from landscape to portrait. Of course, this was during the days when most Macs had built-in monitors and needed a (expensive) video card to use an external monitor, so its use wasn't all that widespread.

    Speaking of vertical orientation, I wonder if the iMac could be rotated and mounted vertically on a wall. That seems like it would make for a really space-efficient workspace, especially if the monitor could be moved out of the way when it's not in use.

    I don't know if this would be possible. I imagine it's not physically possible out of the box, but maybe with some additional mounting hardware. The only question is whether the iMac could survive such an orientation -- I would think it could, but it might be a problem for the hard drive or DVD/CD. Also, the monitor may not be able to swivel or reach far enough to position itself in a useful configuration with the base mounted on the wall.

    Still, it sounds interesting, even if purely for the coolness factor.

  • Re:Vertical Use? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by g0at ( 135364 ) <ben&zygoat,ca> on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:51PM (#2800281) Homepage Journal
    Well, until there's a Mac with a laterally-rotatable display, there's prolly not much pressing need.

    What're you going to do, mount the iMac onto a wall or something with the monitor arm sticking out horizontally? 8)
  • I like it but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Asikaa ( 207070 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:55PM (#2800312) Homepage
    Just a few thoughts...

    - If you had the screen adjusted in a low position (because of your seating position, setup or whatever), wouldn't you have to move the screen up every time you want to change disks in the drive?

    - How are they cooling this thing? I can see a vent around the top, but if it has a fan surely two vents would be needed, intake and outflow?

    - Apple should have made it an option to mount it upside-down, effectively hanging it from the top shelf of a workstation. The screen would need to be rotatable through 180 degrees and the drive would need to be capable of being remounted upside-down too. Maybe it's hackable.

    - How long before we see the colors that the existing iMac demographic love so much? :)
  • by Perrin-GoldenEyes ( 4296 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:58PM (#2800333)
    Yeah, but what this misses is the whole Digital Hub philosophy. And no, that's not just the latest marketing catch-phrase. Apple seems to have remembered that the idea behind computers is to make all our lives easier and more enjoyable. They're trying to do it by streamlining things that we already do (or would like to do but didn't feel like dealing with the hastle). And I think they do a fantastic job of it with their Digital Hub software/hardware. I have an iPod and I think it's great. Jobs wasn't just blowing smoke when he quoted all the reviews saying it's the best digital music player ever. And the integration with iTunes is not a small part of that. iTunes is an extremely easy to use, yet flexible app. The integration with iPod is seamless. The iMovie tutorial I did was pretty cool, and I can't wait to play with it when I actually have some video I want to mess with. I haven't used iDVD yet (probably won't happen until I make my iMovies). I can't wait to use iPhoto. One of the reasons I don't use my digital camera much is that it's just so much of a hastle actually making anything of the images I take. Sure, I can drag and drop them onto my Wintel machine and then I can edit them with some other utility. But iPhoto appears to share one of the greatest features of iTunes...its library function. Sure, functionally it's not a whole lot different from what you can normally get from the filesystem. But it does add a LOT more convenience and accessibility.

    Right now Apple's concentrating more on useability and convenience than sheer power. And at the moment, that's most of what I'm looking for. Yeah, I'll probably always keep a Wintel machine to play games on. But to an increasing degree, that's ALL i'm doing on Wintel. The user experience on the Macs is hard to leave behind. And that's really where Apple's adding the value. Not simply in the basic power of the hardware. Though the hardware isn't all that bad either (especially when "Velocity Engine" comes into play).
  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @04:59PM (#2800338) Homepage Journal

    I forget how long it takes to decrypt a DVD

    EfDTT [] by Charles Hannum, whose source code fits under half a kilobyte, can descramble CSS data in real-time using only 10% of a G4 Cube's CPU power. Think of what an implementation that uses more tables [] can do.

  • design (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:02PM (#2800359) Homepage

    I'm amazed at how only apple manages to sell weird designs.

    * Dell quietly discontinued a similarly designed box.

    * Intel has demonstrated many similar designs to this since 1997 at their IDC. (remember the fish-bulb thing, and the ziggurat?)

    * Even AMD had the flat-screen-on-a-bun concept box (interchangeable neon colors)

    However, only Apple actually sells any of these weird shapes. I wonder why they take the risk of weird designs when Dell, Gateway, Compaq and IBM don't.

    I also wonder how many times the new iMac it can handle being hoisted by the "neck".
  • by Bullfrog ( 19683 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:06PM (#2800384)
    There is a "rosette" pattern of perforations on the top of the base unit, and a ring of closely spaced slots around the base, under the bottom lip. A single fan draws air from the base trough the top of the unit cooling all internal components. The fan, according to the Apple website, runs at about the same db level as the hard-drive (~25db) so it should be very quiet.

    I trust that this provides adequate cooling and depending on the environment the iMac is used in, won't get fouled by dust and crap, as packing all that kit into such a small package means the chances it will clog up over time are quite high. At least in my beige box there's room for that crap to accumulate without adverse effects to my components.

  • Re:Intellimouse sux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Maserati ( 8679 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:08PM (#2800398) Homepage Journal
    The Intellimouse has a design flaw. There are hard plastic edges surrounding the join between cord and mouse. This will eventually cause breaks in the cord and the mouse starts acting erratic. When wiggling the mouse around turns the red light back on, it's time for a new one.

    I called MS to bitch, and their program is: fax in a photocopy of the bottom of the mouse (with serial number legible) and they'll replace 'em. I had a half dozen replaced last year, that costs MS for shipping, customer service time, and of course the cost for the replacement meeses,

    Scotch tape carefully inserted as padding around the cord entry point (tuck it inside the joint) will also extend the life of the mouse and may repair the damage in some cases.

    And OS X recognizes the Intellimouse out of the box, with all buttons and the wheel working. Heck, OS X DP3 supported the Intellimouse.

  • by cheezus ( 95036 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @05:30PM (#2800549) Homepage
    And isn't it a shock that for $1300 you can build yourself a top-of-the-line athlon box with tons of ram and a geforce 3?

    Yes, for $1300 you can do that. However, people who would do that are not part of Apple's target market. People keep forgetting that Apple is a premium brand. They aren't competing with people who would order their own parts and build a box. With a $1300 entry price they aren't even competing with Compaq etc in the bargain market. Your same argument can be used to take a knock at Sony's PCs as well. Point is, for a premium brand like Apple, you pay a premium price.

  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Monday January 07, 2002 @07:15PM (#2801246) Journal
    That is 100% it. Apple has realized, (and hopefully the consumers are realizing too) that a 2+ Ghz processor with a 60 Gig harddrive and whatever is of no use to the average person if the software running on it is too complex. Another 400 mhz of clock speed might enable the computer to encode mp3's twice as fast, but that advantage is wasted if crummy software requires me to spend twice as long organizing my songs and setting up the CD.

    iMovie isn't full featured by any means, but it's incredibly easy to use. I can do things with iMovie on an ibook faster than can be done with something like premier on any type of hardware you care to throw at it. And hey, it's free as well. Hard to beat that.

    The new iMac is about more than itself. It's more about creating a home for the software. It's about creating a new interaction between people and computers. This interaction won't mean that much to powerusers, at least not in the beginning, but that's why it's targeted at the everyday consumer. I think it's quite brilliant.

User hostile.