TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 99 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

by Nick DeMello

Never underestimate Steve Jobs. Frankly, I was a little worried after Macworld. Based on the new product announcements, things seemed to be slowing down at Apple. Then, last week at Seybold, Steve Jobs presented a host of new tools and toys that are going to be appearing on a lot of Christmas lists. Here's what I heard:

QuickTime

Jobs began talking about one of Apple's corner stone technologies: QuickTime. He spoke about the recently released QuickTime 4.0 with QuickTime Streaming, and segued into QuickTime TV. This new broadcast network of QuickTime Streaming channels is expanding to include channels by Rhino Records and Warner Brother Records. Jobs pointed out distinctions that make QuickTime TV different from other streaming systems include the interactivity (for example the ability to click on embedded elements to purchase a CD version of a broadcast album). Also, its adherence to industry standards (RTP and RTSP), and the release of Apple's OpenSource distribution of a QuickTime Streaming server.

Mac OS 9

Next up was Mac OS 9. Jobs announced this would be released in October and stepped through nine key features of the new OS. Two predominant (and interdependent) themes were apparent: Internet integration into the desktop and security. Those nine key new features included:

  • Sherlock 2 - The new Sherlock features channels, grouping plug-ins according to categories. Furthermore, there seems to be an API for not just changing how Sherlock parses a web page but letting it connect by different protocols. ODBC from your desktop? With each release Sherlock seems to be blurring the line between network and desktop applications.
  • Multi-user Interface - You now login to all the Mac OS flavors (9 and X), with all your Internet preferences, desktop settings, and user files configured for and accessible only to your login. Very similar to NetBoot.
  • Login by Voice Recognition - Taking a page directly from the Millinium TV series, Phil Schiller (this guy gives the best demos) demonstrated how you login to the new Mac OS, it recognizes your voice as you speak a key phrase. Time will tell how well this feature fares in a crowded office, but it sure looks impressive.
  • KeyChain is Back - Mac OS 9 includes the KeyChain. Save your passwords for your Internet accounts, AppleTalk logins, eMail program, and more on your KeyChain. Then just lock or unlock access to everything with one password - voice recognition protected. If you build software that uses passwords, it's time to look at the KeyChain APIs.
  • Auto OS Updating - The new Mac OS can update itself as new releases are posted electronically by Apple. Is there an API for your application to make use of this functionality? Is my Mac going to prompt me for a credit card number when it's time for a major upgrade? How granular is the control for selecting what you want and do not want updated?
  • Encryption - Security was definitely a theme with this release. In addition to voice recognition and the KeyChain, encryption is built into the user interface. Encrypt files on the desktop. Expect an API for accessing these encryption tools from within your application as well.
  • File Sharing Across the Internet - AppleShare IP at the end user level. This illustrates a trend at Apple that we've seen with the G3, PowerBooks, Mac OS X Server, and across the board. Get it done, get it right, roll it into the main product and look for something new to try. Much better that the old days of installing the latest OS or buying the latest Duo to find out you've just volunteered to be a beta tester.
  • AppleScript Over TCP/IP - Did I say security was the theme? You can now run AppleScripts that control remote computers across the Internet. People are going to be looking at the security issues of this feature very closely.
  • Network Browsing - with Navigation Services 2.0 and NSL (see MacTech Feb '99) you can now browse and mount remote AppleShare IP volumes on your desktop.

Mac OS 9 looked sharp and provided some very compelling arguments to buy Macintosh hardware. Speaking of which...

iMac & iBook

Happy Birthday iMac. On August 15th Apple introduced the iMac, in that first year they've sold 2 Million units. In July, Apple introduced iBook - over 140,000 orders for those have been taken in just over a month.

Steve highlighted two important (and familiar :-) statistics about these sales: 90% of these users are connected to the Internet, and 33% are first time computer buyers.

The fact that he keeps hammering on these statistics illustrates the two places Apple is putting it's focus.

First, that "i" stands for Internet. Sherlock, File Sharing over IP, personal Web Sharing, AppleScript over TCP/IP, NSL, QuickTime TV, Nav Services 2.0, KeyChain, 100 base T ethernet, AirPort - if anyone hasn't figured it out yet, Apple is trying to make the Macintosh the ultimate Internet access and navigation tool. Not a Thin Client, or a dumb terminal, Apple wants Macintosh to be to the Internet, what a BMW is to the autobahn. You don't need a Mac to check eMail, browse the web, or move files across the Internet, but Macintosh is making it so easy and feature rich that that doing it any other way is starting to feel like a bicycle on the freeway.

Second, easy to use. Jobs reminded attendees that Apple had embraced USB and FireWire and the advantages of each. Hot swappable drives, plug-in play keyboards, mice, and more. As of Seybold, 125 USB devices were shipping for Macintosh, 250 more were announced. Sixty FireWire devices were announced, and 24 were shipping (plus about 7 million FireWire cam corders already out there).

All in all, these G3 based machines have been a big hit. Which brings us to the next point...

G4

Apple introduced its new desktop powerhouse. Dressed up in Apple's "new pro colors" of carbon and clear and based on the blue and white G3 desktop case, Apple's G4 processor made its debut.

A super computer is defined as a machine that does over 1 billion floating point operations per second (1 gigaflop). According to Jobs, the new G4 does 2 gigaflops with a theoretical limit of 4. This incredible speed is largely due to the Velocity Engine (nee AltiVec, see MacTech July '99). The Velocity Engine, is a Vector co-processor, allowing the parallel processing of arrays of data - accelerating graphics, encryption, communication, and many other types of processes.

Immediately, Apple began shipping the first of three configurations, a 400 MHz G4 machine for only $1,500. Two weeks later a 450MHz with optional wireless (ala AirPort) connectivity for $2,300 is scheduled to ship, followed by a 500 HMz with DVD RAM (removable, rewritable 5 GB media) will begin shipping.

Phil brought out a 600 MHz Pentium III - the prize of the wintel world. The usual bout of Pentium thumping demos followed. While we were waiting for the Pentium to finish, Steve announced that (to be fair) Apple had exposed the new G4 system to the battery of performance tests that Intel has on their website. These are the tests that Intel uses to tout the performance of their Pentium III processor, so one would expect them to be a little slanted towards the strengths of that processor. Sure enough, the G4 was reduced to (on average) only 3 times faster than the Pentium III.

Mentioned in passing, the new G4's not only sport an optional wireless card for interfacing with Apple's AirPort wireless base station - they can act as a wireless base station using software emulation of the AirPort system.

As the sale of super computers are still restricted by the US government, it seems the G4 machines will be for sale in the states only - it seems exporting a Macintosh is now a breach of national security. (Pentium based machines are ok to export though, the U.S. Government thinks they are harmless)

Oh, One More Thing...

So after all that Steve thanked us and started walking for the door. Then stopped, snapped his fingers, and said that there was just one more thing. He then unveiled Apple's new Cinema Display. This spectacular display is a 22" 1600 x 1024 letterbox flat LCD display. This is the largest LCD display brought to market and sports a digital connection to the new G4. In extremely limited quantities, this display will be available on October 1st, only from the Apple web store, and only in the 500 MHz G4 bundle above.

Santa's going to be very busy come December.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Kodak Returns to CES With New Consumer Produ...
Former photography colossus Kodak is returning to CES for the first time in three years where the Kodak booth (#21818 South Hall 1) will showcase a wide range of innovative, imaging-related products... Read more
Invaluable Launches New Eponymously -Named A...
Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace, hhas announced the official launch of the Invaluable app for iPad, now available for download in the iTunes App Store. Invaluable... Read more
IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Appli...
International Data Corporation (IDC) last week hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions 2015 Predictions Web conference. The session provided organizations... Read more
Hello Vino Wine App Launches “Safe Ride Home”...
Hello Vino has announced addition of a new “Get a Safe Ride Home” feature in its Food & Drink app with a direct connection to Uber, the technology platform that connects users with rides. The... Read more
DEVON-technologies Releases DEVONthink To Go...
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based DEVON-technologies, LLC has updated DEVONthink To Go, its mobile companion to DEVONthink, to version 1.5. The update includes an iOS 8 extension, compatibility with the... Read more
The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.