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Apple Launches New Magical Trackpad, 12 Core Macs 432

theappwhisperer writes "The Magic Trackpad is basically a larger version of the MacBook Pro touchpad, with 80% more surface area for all your swiping and pinching. The entire surface acts as a button, so it's also a possible mouse replacement. And all of the expected gestures are here: two-finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, fingertip rotation, and three- and four-finger swipes. You can enable and disable gestures at your discretion from System Preferences." They also launched 12-core Mac Pros coming in August.
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Apple Launches New Magical Trackpad, 12 Core Macs

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  • So... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by skyride ( 1436439 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:03AM (#33045156)
    What exactly is the benefit of this over a conventional mouse?
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:07AM (#33045242)
    Huge multitouch surface. Two-finger scrolling on my Powerbook's trackpad makes it a useful machine for browsing the web without an external mouse attached. That said, my desktop is most likely always going to have an external mouse attached, so I don't know how much usability gain you get from it.
  • by Kalidor ( 94097 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:16AM (#33045382) Homepage

    So .. since all their touch technology derives from FingerWorks [ [] ]. They revived the iGesturePad from 1999 and added a raiser.

    Question 1) Do we get to see any of the 60 or so gestures they used to use a decade ago that Apple declined to reuse?

    Question 2) Is there a chance that it means the TouchStream LP is coming back in a form I could potentially get for my windows9x+/*nix9x computer again ... without having to pay several hundred on eBay + driver hunts... just several hundred to Apple?

    My hope is that they are answered as followed:

    1) Yes

    2) Yes, more than a chance, and soon.

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:20AM (#33045452) Homepage

    And enhance the biggest disadvantage of trackpads - RSI.

    I really do not want to think on how my hand will feel after 8-10h a day of pinching, zooming and rotating your finger on a touch surface. It is OK on a notebook or a phone once in a while. It will be an absolute ligament killer on a desktop when used in a work environment.

  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:21AM (#33045474) Homepage Journal

    I don't think money is much of an issue for the target market. 12 core machines are aimed at the professional market who will use these devices to make money through rendering and other things lots-o-cores excel at.

    That's why they're using Xeons, I think these one are around $900-$1K per.
  • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <spam&clarke,ca> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:25AM (#33045558) Homepage
    I have an 8-core Mac Pro. It's currently running a 4 core Windows 2008 server VM with 6GB of RAM, a dual core Windows 7 VM with 1.2GB of RAM, a couple app servers natively in Mac OS X, an a host of other applications. This machine has replaced my need for separate development and test servers, and gives me power to spare for the rest of my tasks. Yes it cost probably $4-5k once you count in the 13.5TB of drives, etc., but I use it to get work done. I rarely see my CPUs pegged at 100% for a long time, but it does happen.

    I had a very nicely specced quad core that I built before I bought my Mac Pro, and the Mac Pro absolutely blows that computer out of the water. When you have real work to do, of the type that the Mac Pro is built for, it's an awesome machine and worth every penny. If you don't need the power, then of course it's more than you need.
  • by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:30AM (#33045656) Journal

    It's brilliant, really. We're just complaining about "unified branding". People are forgetting that the prior marketing disaster was "My". My documents, Myspace, yecch.

    "e" was taken and done to death. e-mail, e-zines, etc.

  • by ( 1563557 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:36AM (#33045756)

    Sure, you have +50% cores (12 instead of 8). Now in terms of productivity, how much are you likely to gain?

    I recently tried to spec out a render node for a graphics artist friend of mine. I was trying to convince him that a single CPU mid-range Nehalem based Xeon system might be more cost effective in the long run. His plan was to build a single CPU Extreme Edition Core-i7 system. This was based on Netrender's benchmark utility placing this single CPU system ahead of the dual C2Q systems by a large margin, and even way ahead of dual Nehalem systems.

    My logic failed to win the argument. I simply can't spec a dual quad-core Nehalem that can beat a single i7-EE. Even cost over time, it looks more cost effective to build two i7-EE systems instead of a single dual CPU system.

    So, to answer the question directly, I would guess my friend is looking at gaining perhaps ~1hr a day in rendering time. That might be huge.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Altus ( 1034 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:36AM (#33045758) Homepage

    Here at work I am using one of these Apple touch surface mice. Its the nicest mouse I have used in a very long time. I love the 2D touch scrolling on it.

    I guess multi touch would be nice but I cant see this being better than what I have here for the work I do. Maybe for graphics and video work it would come in more handy.

    On the other hand this thing would be perfect as an input device for controlling my media sever from my coffee table.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:40AM (#33045848)

    Exactly. Say a very good artist makes $50/hour. Cost to his company (Health insurance, his desk, power to his desk, 401k, taxes) is roughly double that: $100/hour.

    If one of these new duodeccore processor computers is $12k. As soon as it saves the user from 120 hours of rendering, it's paid for itself. I can easily see someone hitting that in a year. Between opening a 20MP RAW to saving, to applying filters, etc.

    Now these machines aren't going to be used for just a single year. Figure 3 year life span, at which point it's resold for $2,000 and the user is upgraded to the viginticore.

    The 'machine' cost $10,000. They can subtract depreciation from taxes. Saved countless hours (one second at a time) of their artists.

    / These numbers are made up to be round. I have no clue what graphic artists make, so don't get on my case about that. Adjust numbers accordingly. //I also don't know Latin. I just copied wiki.

  • by V!NCENT ( 1105021 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:52AM (#33046038)

    In case you missed it:
    Mac OS X 10.5's entire userspace app collection is agressively multi-threaded. Even the e-mail client runs multiple threads. Browsers like Google Chrome and now Firefox are multithreaded. Not to mention the tons of processes that take up lots of time if serialised. Now couple that with the driver for you graphics card that compiles on the fly and runs on the CPU and you might get the picture.

    In case nobody does: multiple cores prevents everything from slowing basically everything down. Not to mention the multi-thread potential of eventually stuff like ray tracers and whatnot. But oh well... my clue train needs to be driven to some other place. *choo-choo*

    BTW which idiots modded that guy insightful? -_-

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:58AM (#33046188)

    I haven't used a mouse in 6 months, laptop trackpad only. No indications of RSI and my hand and wrist actually feel better than when using a mouse. I for one have wanted a track pad off to the side instead of below my typing surface as it is a more natural movement for me.

    So now I can close my screen, use only my external monitor, and use a wireless keyboard and trackpad. No wires or moving parts on my desktop.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:02PM (#33046244)

    Why do cheaper Imacs have more base ram? But only have ATI Radeon HD 5750 with 1GB in the $2000 system 27" screen and apple wants to push games on mac os x?

  • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:14PM (#33046434)

    Depends, how much is your time worth? I worked as an IT guy for a medium sized production house that switched from a mix of PC's and Macs to all macs back in 2002 - 2004. It saved them something like $100,000 in salary costs per year because the 3 MCSE's on staff were let go. All they did was update anti-virus and then clean all the malware & viruses off the machines the AV missed.

    In 2005/2006 I left the company and did some freelance editing & 3D (lightwave) work for other videographers I knew in the area. These were mostly smaller shops that maybe had a couple jobs a year that had such requirements. Between the lot of them, it was enough work to keep me busy and earning a good living while studying for the LSAT. I used a Quad Core G5 with 8GB of Ram that set me back about $12k at the time for monitor and everything. Why? FCP & Shake were big reasons. But the other reason had to do with time. I think an equivalent Windows based PC would have been around $9K and I even bought my RAM aftermarket from Crucial for the G5. I studied for the LSAT while projects were rendering. So even if I was not in front of the computer, it was still making me money. I would set some projects to render over night. So while I was sleeping, the machine was working.

    Given the performance hit of AV + 3 - 4 hours of down time per week for scanning + another 2 - 3 hours a month cleaning all the crap the AV missed would cost me something like $1200 per month in opportunity loss. And I had the work to keep the machines running. In fact I bought a few Mac Mini's to use as full time rendering nodes.

    Then there would have been large software purchases to switch to PC. I was used to FCP & Shake and would have had to spend $$$$ to purchase windows equivalents and then spend more time learning the new programs.....

    Lot more to think about there than just the initial cost of a machine and E-peen factors of who has the latest and greatest video card.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:16PM (#33046458) Journal
    I had a fairly persistent ache in the middle finger of my mouse hand from using the scroll wheel, back when I had a desktop. I've not had any discomfort from the trackpad on either of my Macs, and I really miss the two--dimensional scrolling support when I'm using any other pointing device. My trackpad predates the other gestures, but the two-finger scroll is incredibly useful.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:36PM (#33046766) Homepage


    A 12 core MAC is not for the rich uber-idiot that uses it for Facebook. It's for real Graphics work and Video editing. And those people ARE here on slashdot and Therefore the target demographic. Final Cut suite is the best video editing suite out there and giving it 12 cores would make editing that damned abomination called AVCHD better than it is now. Problem is It's priced at a point that all the small guys (Less than $1.2m yearly sales) cant even think of affording it. I need to upgrade 3 editors and I'm not looking at apple. I cant get 3 screaming fast i7 dell pc's running windows 7 and the latest vegas 9 suite AND the adobe after effects for composting and CG.. It's less powerful and far slower workflow than Final Cut and Motion but I can pay for training, all new software + computers for 3 editors for the price of 1 12 core mac editor.

    I dont want to switch, but apples pricing and their horrible nasty inefficient implementation of AVCHD in final cut makes switching to Vegas9 a no brainer choice. I hate Sony becauset hey created the AVCHD abortion... but it's what the industry is standardized on for broadcast HD right now that comes out of these cameras... The JVC cameras shoot MOV, but they utterly suck in video compared to the Panasonic and Sony cameras that networks like Discovery networks and even NBC uses.

    I'm not the only one... Apple is pricing themselves out of the market right now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:40PM (#33046870)

    The i-somethings are not really shared memory anymore: each socket has it's own set of DIMMs to play with. The MacPro is a NUMA trying to look like a SMP. Unfortunately MacOSX was not able to deal properly with that fact in the last few versions. I hope they get it right this time.

  • 1: OS X tends to have lower latency than Windows out of the box (you can disable services in Windows to help things). This, combined with the fact that Macs do not need a CPU and I/O draining antivirus program resident 24/7 means that a Mac Pro can outperform a similarly configured Windows machine.

    I agree with most of your points except this. I have an antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials) on my netbook, barely notice it's presence on my netbook. I also disabled all services (Windows 7 Home Premium), more for psychological (I don't like crap running I don't need) than any measurable gain. We are talking about a single Atom processor here - so do you think this would make a difference on a 12-core monster processor? Yeah, you may gain a few millisecond render time here and there, and well it can add up to a few seconds (maybe even a minute!!!) over a year... but seriously, this is not exactly a huge advantage ;)

    As for reason #3 I think that's more an argument for why not. #7 I'm not sure, you can buy a G5 Mac Pro now for 200$, that's a fraction of the original price. The loss seems to me pretty much on par with (over 90%) PCs. I also wonder about your latency claim - I don't dispute it, I just don't know what to think... do you have any proof? The only benchmarks I saw comparing the three platforms (PC/Linux PC/Win7 Mac/OsX) was on phoronix, and I don't trust them too much (but the mac box lost on almost all benchmarks).

  • by takev ( 214836 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:34PM (#33047888)
    Microsoft Security Essentials in pure virus scanner mode is no problem.

    But when it is in active mode, scanning data from the network, etc. It does slow down your machine. I had it running when playing EVE Online, and every second the frame rate/update rate would drop a bit, it was very noticeable. When I turned of the active part, it ran smooth again.
  • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:47PM (#33049672)
    CPU (pick one):

    2 x AMD Opteron 6168 (1.9GHz) - $760 x 2 = $1520
    2 x AMD Opteron 6172 (2.1GHz) - $1000 x 2 = $2000
    2 x AMD Opteron 6174 (2.2GHz) - $1300 x 2 = $2600


    ASUS KGPE-D16 Dual Socket G34 - $439

    Everything else is cheap.
  • by profplump ( 309017 ) <> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @07:33PM (#33051954)

    If you want to run linux that's fine. I run lots of linux machines myself, where OS X is not an appropriate choice for a variety of reasons. But if you want to be take seriously you can't complain that OS X isn't UNIX-y enough based on the default choice of a case-preserving file system.

    A) It's trivial to add another, case-sensitive partition to your system. The standard Apple tools allow this without even the need to seek a command line or a secondary boot disk.

    B) Even if you're too lazy to resize your partitions, you can use disk images to simulate partitions. They mount just like regular partitions and again can be easily created and auto-mounted at login with the stock toolset.

    C) While there are some apps that have lazy case conventions for file names, none of the base system does. So you can move the OS to a case-sensitive filesystem and just keep a case-preserving one around for "bad" apps that can't handle it (I'm looking at you Adobe). This one requires a reboot, but can still be done without a second boot disk, and without running the OS installer -- just copy the files around and resize the partitions. Or with a third-party tool and a separate boot disk you can convert in-place without copying anything.

    D) All of the bad apps can be fixed with a simple rename or symlink to allow the file to be accessed be the expected name. It's sometimes a hassle to figure out what the file name is, but it's easy to fix once you do.

    E) All major desktop OSes have had either case-insensitive or case-persrving file systems for decades -- DOS, Windows, OS/2, Mac OS, Mac OS X -- case sensitivity is not going to become the default in any desktop OS because it would confuse *most* computer users. Heck, many of the major file-sharing protocols, including those in use on UNIX systems, don't even *support* case-sensitive file names.

  • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:20PM (#33052350)

    and it's absurd for you not to consider 1/3 of the equipment in a price comparison.

    A) Its not 1/3rd of the price. That would be $1100 worth of equipment.
    B) I didnt ignore it. I just didnt detail it.
    C) absurd is the inclusion of a $50 firewire card, and a $100 OS, for a server.

    The bulk of the cost is in the CPU's and Motherboard, and I still had as much as $1340 of headroom. You don't like that fact, thats fine. But dont try to muddy the waters... we are comparing a 24 core AMD server vs an 8 core Intel server sold by Apple for $3300. AMD wins massively on performance in this comparison. AMD also wins on price.

    I also have to question the value of the 12-core CPUs from AMD. They have advantages in certain applications, but even in fairly high parallel use environments like VM hosting, Intel's 6-core versions do at least as well, and support a higher clock speed for better single-thread performance.

    Really? You dont bother to worry about price anymore? Those 6 core chips that actually compete with AMD's 12 core chips in "high parallel use enrivonments", are significantly more expensive, which is the point. A Mac Pro is a server built on Intel, but AMD is the performance king of the servers at every price point they offer, and thats before the Apple tax.

    We'll see what Apples price will be for their 12 core server. My guess is around $4000 considering the difference in price between Intel's 4 core and 6 core server offerings. It will be a huge ripoff.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.