These scooters were to be found at a motor
show... or a computer show... or something... last November. Now you
too can travel in iMac style.
11 March 2000.
Yes, it's designer hair gel - in iMac colours. Released last November.
Apple Wins Again
21 March 2000.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa has
dismissed Microware Systems Corporation's lawsuit seeking to enjoin Apple
from using the name "Mac OS 9" for its current operating system
In dismissing the case, the court held that Apple is entitled to use
the Mac® OS 9 name under the doctrine of "fair use". The
court also issued an order denying Microware's motion for a preliminary
Mac Stands Firm
25 March 2000.
The US Army switched to using Mac G3 Web servers running WebSTAR to host
its main site, citing security concerns with Microsoft servers. But yesterday
the army's servers were attacked by Brazillian hackers.
The hackers were from a group called Crime Boys. The Web sites hacked
were http://www.cpma.apg.army.mil and http://www.2rotc.army.mil.
The Mac servers withstood the attack, but two Windows NT servers running
Microsoft-IIS/4.0 were broken into. The hacked site has already been removed.
Star Wars' Preference
22 June 2000.
There's much politicing that goes on in the platform wars. This from
an anonymous, supposedly-Adobe source regarding Industrial Light and Magic:
The reason JAK and ILM have been quiet about their use of Macs is they've
got this deal with SGI where SGI provides them with free machines in
return for they're NEVER saying they use Macs. In the end, they did
come out and say they use Macs for "pre-visualization" which
is true, but far from the whole truth. In fact, there were many, many
scenes where the FINAL render was done on Macs, using After Effects
and other 3D software. I don't want to bust up the nice deal Lucas has
with SGI, but I do want people to know they can make real movies on
their Macs using off the shelf software.
Applemaster Michael Crichton
1 July 2000.
On the ease of setting up a Macintosh network, Applemaster and
author Michael Crichton has this to say:
Even my most dedicated PC friends questioned their beloved technology
when they tried to install home networks in the 1990s. It took them
days, and often they had to cry for help. I, on the other hand, had
installed and maintained my own networks since the '80s. (It was about
as difficult as plugging in a toaster, which I also do myself, without
And on designing simplicity into a product:
I once had a kitchen stove where the six burner knobs were identical,
arranged in a straight row along the front. I could never remember which
knob controlled which burner. I had to turn the knobs and watch which
burner came on.
Eleven years later, I still hadn't learned. Because I don't think I
should have to use my thinking time to memorize the controls for a gas
stove. The stove designer should take care of that for me.
My parents have a double switch in their dining room. One controls the
dining room light while the other switches the lounge light. They are
unlabelled, and more than 25 years later people still flick the wrong
switch because they are simply the wrong way around. PC-loving father
refuses to let them be rewired.
Mac icons use the full 256 system colours - PC icons can use only 16
present colours. This means that Mac icons can use shading, leading to
almost photo-realistic... ummm... photos for icons (which almost all of
my many homemade icons are). And just by chance, the Firelab director
just today was criticising PC icons because they're so badly drawn and
often hard to understand. (And compared to Mac icons they really are ugly
and clunky looking.)
Why Macs are better than PCs reason 34,577:
Mac mice use acceleration - a non-linear speed relation between the mouse
speed and the cursor speed. PC mice have a linear relationship which can
be set anywhere from almost useable to frenetic. The fine control required
by designers and publishers (while still having a practical speed at larger
mouse movements) make it clear why such a subtle effect helps make Macs
so popular with that group.
Initial experiments with my own Mac mouse show better than a 4:1 acceleration
ratio. When I move the mouse slowly I can move it all the way across my
mousepad while the cursor moves less than half way across the screen.
When I move the mouse quickly I move the mouse half way across the mousepad
for completely traversing the screen. (The customisable control panel
indicates 8 different speed steps/multipliers.)
11 August 2000.
1200MHz G4 aftermarket Macintosh from
a Value Added Reseller (VAR) named Xtrem
supposedly ready by the end of the year. No-one knows if it's for
real yet, but the theory is sound. Overclock a 500MHz G4 to run
at 1200MHz using Peltier devices and liquid cooling. (Yep.) The
case is polished aluminium, allegedly to help cool it - and of course
make it look like an overgrown microphone.
The hole in the front is for a lurid green light. There aren't
any actual photos yet (just high quality CGI), and no tech specs,
which are two good reasons why some think it's a hoax. (Very elaborate
one, though.) It's probably more wishful thinking than a deliberate
Mac in Space
28 October 2000.
SkyCorp has signed an agreement with NASA to fly the first web server
in space. The cool part: The Web server will be a PowerMac G4 running
Mac OS X Server.
The satellite's computer will use a G4 500 Mhz processor running OSX
with a webserver running under Apache. The server will have 10 GB of storage
space and will be hosting up to several thousand websites. The server
will also have a mail server that will allow people to get email directly
The SkyCorp satellite will use the 802.11 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
(DSSS) worldwide industry standard, and will be accessible for operations
purposes at up to 11 Mb/sec. This protocol is the core of Apple's AirPort
wireless technology developed jointly by Apple and Lucent Technologies.
For end users on the ground, Wingo says that 56kbps speeds will be available
to people with wireless devices - when the satellite is overhead.
Mac World San Fransisco 2001
29 November 2000.
Just over a month to go before Macworld San Francisco in early January
2001. Among the expected announcements:
Release of Mac OS 9.1.
Release of QuickTime 5.0.
A firmer timetable for Mac OS X 1.0 along with extensive previews
of new features in latest build(s).
Delayed until March/April: Release of two new Apple multimedia
applications; one is confirmed to be a new DVD Authoring app, the other
is still a matter of disagreement.
Oracle is expected to announce plans to release their 9i database
for OS X.
Numerous developers, including some surprising new faces, trotted
out to trumpet support for Mac OS X.
Evidence that the entire Mac range will be upgraded is Apple's mail-in
rebate for extra memory, valid until 31 December 2000. The offer gives
US$1 off for each extra MB, which means buying a little extra memory with
a computer makes the computer cheaper in total than the standard configuration.
This is not being pushed as a Christmas special, but some voices claim
the discount is merely to try to increase waning sales, not decrease old
inventory for new releases in the new year.
466, 533 and 600MHz G4s in PowerMac line, although possibly speeds
of only 400, 466, 533MHz. UMA-2 motherboards, adding DDR SDRAM support
at 133MHz. All speeds with dual processors.
Indirect evidence is the price drop for the Cube/monitor bundle (see
below), indicating a Cube upgrade. Apple would not have faster CPUs
in the Cube than in the PowerMac - the top of the range Mac.
Powerbook G4. UMA-2 motherboard chipset with 4X AGP graphics, ATi
RAGE Mobility M4 accelerators, ATA-100 storage, and many other new features.
Possibly a 15" 1600 x 1024 widescreen.
Evidence of a big update is a second-hand report of Apple Australia's
prize for its current buy-a-PowerMac competition. Quote the conditions
of entry:"8) The major prize is an Apple PowerBook G4 computer
valued at [AU]$4,700."
Also, Apple is offering US$200 off PowerBooks until 31 December (mail-in
rebate). Apple has also quietly reduced the price on its high-end 500MHz
PowerBook by US$500, with a new minimum advertised price of $2999 (128MB/20GB).
Unknown at this stage if this second reduction is permanent (ie, if
it will apply to January's model). Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Apple
is offering a NZ$400 rebate on the 400MHz, and a NZ$1450 rebate on the
500MHz model. Similar rebates are being offered by Apple Aus.
533 and 600MHz G4s added to Cube line, although possibly only 466
and 533MHz. UMA-2 motherboards, adding DDR SDRAM support at 133MHz.
Evidenced by Apple offering US$300 back on Cube/monitor bundle.
Delayed until March/April: "Cube Portable" whose
shipping name is rumored to follow none of the current schemes (iMac/iBook,
PowerMac/Powerbook, Cube). UMA-2 motherboard chipset with 4X AGP graphics,
ATi RAGE Mobility M4 accelerators, ATA-100 storage, and many other new
Updates to iMac lineup with faster IBM PowerPC 750CX/750CXe low-power
G3 processors and UMA-2 chipset. Possible price reductions across the
ATi expected to release RADEON MAXX dual-processor AGP graphics
card with up to 128MB of DDR video memory for Apple's PowerMac G4 and
G4 Cube; if Apple makes the planned update to UMA-2 for both of those
machines at MWSF, the cards will likely be 4X AGP.
nVidia expected to release Mac version of GeForce MX and possibly
Formac is expected to demonstrate its forthcoming ProFormance
IV, with 64MB of SGRAM, dual 128-bit rasterization processors and an
additional geometry processor on a dual-monitor-capable 2X AGP card.
Support for 3D goggles.