The Mac Set
22 November 2006.
Wow - three and a half years since the last entry. This was too good to pass by, though. It's the best idea I've seen in ages. A configurable input system, as shown in a recently released patent.
The keyboard of Apple Mac laptops was already easy to pull open (and remove), to add extra memory or show off the innards, but this takes it a little further. For musicians or video editors this has the potential to be almost revolutionary.
Also really cool would be to have an OLED keyboard, where every key is a tiny OLED display, which means each application could have it's own unique keyboard.
Final Cut Pro 4 announced
7 April 2003.
We're not actually going to get it until June, but at least Apple announced it today. But what did they announce?
It slices, it dices, it fertilises!
PowerPC 970 rumour update
5 April 2003.
It is said that pessimists are never disappointed. So sooner had I released my prediction for a September rollout of PPC970 Powerbooks (OK, a day after) MacWhispers comes out with this rumour (repeat, rumour):
This seems suspicious because it comes just a day after my own prediction for a September release (5 April here being April 4 in the States). While I will very happily be proven wrong, I can't see it happening any time soon. I stand by my September prediction. And if I'm wrong, it's about time that Apple moved away from Motorola and their can't-speed-up G4. MacWhispers is the only Mac rumour outfit that is claiming it will happen so soon.
In further refutation of my own objections, MacWhispers claims "a PPC 970 variant of the largest PowerBook is 'only slightly behind' its mid-size brother."
Please note that MacWhispers is the same outfit that predicted the 970-powered iPod for release earlier this week. It didn't happen. (It was probably a joke.) MacWhispers doesn't have a great reputation for accuracy.
PowerPC 970 in a Powerbook
4 April 2003.
The rumour mills are running hot with the possibility that the soon-expected 15.4" aluminium case Powerbook (to replace the current 15.2" titanium case Powerboook) will have a PPC970 CPU instead of the current G4. Some of the pros and cons:
It's clear that the reasons against a 970 Powerbook appearing anytime soon are stronger than those in support. What's not in question is that the 15" Powerbook does need updating to the aluminium case soon (with faster RAM, backlit keyboard, Firewire 800, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, no MacOS 9, different screen aspect ratio, etc). Some people claim that if there weren't so many titanium Powerbooks still with retailers it would have been done already.
However the reason mentioned above that a G4-powered aluminium 15" Powerbook would have the same clock speed as the current one may mean we won't see any update to it for several months - there simply isn't much point. The 12" Powerbook doesn't have Firewire 800 (probably no room for it) and very few people would need it anyway. Airport Extreme is a plug-in card away, as is Bluetooth (USB dongle). The light-up keyboard sounds pretty cool, and fast RAM is always desireable (depending on what you do with it).
So just for the record, I'm predicting the there will be no PPC970 Powerbooks before September 2003 at the earliest.
But the iPod is way overdue for an update.
Final Cut Pro 4 at NAB 2003?
26 March 2003.
Another week goes by and we have more than rumours to work on. Apple has sent out invitations to a press conference at National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2003 (7 to 10 April) where they will announce their "strategic direction for digital video production technologies". This is significant because:
Final Cut Pro 4 Rumours
19 March 2003.
Just catching up on Final Cut Pro 4 rumours. This from LoopRumors on 22 Feb (which was 23 Feb here):
Like I said, we're overdue for an update, but the rumour sites are still saying "next month." I don't know if the rumours about low-end Shake (compositing) features being incorporated into FCP4 are based on anything but fancy, but it would certainly serve the purpose of setting Final Cut Pro 4 apart from Final Cut Express. When Apple bought Nothing Real (makers of Shake) in February 2002 they were only getting started. Apple purchased the RAYZ and Chalice composition software from Silicon Grail in July 2002. "RAYZ is a compositor based on Chalice, which provides effects and color correction tools for cinema. The program has been used on movies like Deep Blue Sea, Titanic, Star Trek Insurrection, Men In Black, and many others." All of those purchases were months after the real-time colour correction of Final Cut Pro 3 (released in December 2001).
For more on how RAYZ works read this article.
29 January 2003.
I suppose that in the States it's still yesterday. Either way, please note that I got my prediction out there just in time - before Apple released their new PowerMac G4s. The fastest has dual 1.42GHz CPUs, and yes, the all three new PowerMacs have Firewire 800. The system bus for the top two models is up from 133MHz to 167MHz.
As with the PowerBooks released at Mac World San Francisco, Mac OS 9 is being phased out. According to the tech specs none of the new PowerMacs boot to Mac OS 9. As with the PowerBook, "old" models are still available which will boot to Mac OS 9.
Still no sign of a new version of Final Cut Pro, sadly. A quick check around a few rumour sites indicates the first week of February (hey, that's next week!) may present a few updates.
27 January 2003.
Hmmm. Don't quite know what happened to 2002. Maybe I was too busy using my Mac...
Anyway, at this year's Mac World San Francisco in early January, updates were made to both software and hardware that is not the top of the line software or hardware. This means that us Mac fans are in the surest position for a long time for expected updates - bizarre since this is just after major announcements.
Expect updates to Final Cut Pro and the PowerMac very soon. Hopefully the FCP update will fix the problem of it only working with QuickTime 5 instead of the current version 6. And maybe, just maybe, we'll see the G5 with its 400MHz system bus.