Thursday, August 24, 2006

Not the best news for Apple ...

Well, first for the fanboys claiming that Apple was the original inventor - well, it seems that Creative might actually be right - but since the wise business decision was to avoid a long court battle I guess they weren't so eager to just prove Apple wrong again ... and they took the money :)

Far more dangerous is the fact that Apple is no longer the 'cool player' - the latest Sandisk is twice better for the same price and has a LOT of extra features (including a decent inexpensive way to change your battery - not the total ripoff that you get from Apple).

In other news Dell is silently exiting the MP3 player market - they were never serious about that and the product was pathetic so no loss here ...

Monday, August 21, 2006

SoftHints - programs that Microsoft should consider adding to Vista ...

In a previous post here I went on the record saying "another important suggestion would be to use the huge pile of Micro$oft money and buy a few small companies with 'power-user toys' that should be added as optional features in the higher-end versions of Vista" - it was only a coincidence that weeks after that Microsoft bought Sysinternals (AND Winternals) and I certainly consider that as a very wise move - the only small problem is that those amazing Sysinternals tools from Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell are pretty much on the 'very technical end' and free in the first place while the other even more advanced Winternals programs (like ERD Commander) were very much enterprise-oriented and will most likely remain non-free Microsoft tools!

So what should be next ? Obviously Microsoft marketing experts might have their own agenda - but here are by very first two suggestions (from a longer series, just keep reading this blog during the next weeks :) - and we'll also continue with some CoolHints !)

The very first suggestion would be Total Commander by Christian Ghisler - it is certainly the most famous, longest supported and pretty much the best of the commander-like file managers or orthodox file managers and it will be a great power-toy to extend/replace your Windows Explorer! What can I say more - if you are a power user you probably have some idea of what I'm talking or you can just try the evaluation version and see for yourself, if not ... your bad :) It will also be a well-deserved moral (and probably not only) reparation since Microsoft (pretty much illegally) forced the author to rename his product from the original Windows Commander (used for more than 10 years) to the current Total Commander ...

The second suggestion is also a small program called WhereIsIt and is a very usable 'catalog manager' to keep track of your disks/archives and not only - again a power-user tool but my feeling is that with the advance of digital photography many people will discover that it's a good idea to keep archives of your ever growing collection of digital photos ... and searching in the WhereIsIt thumbnails certainly beats searching by manually inserting each CD/DVD and viewing each file one by one :)

So now you have the first SoftHints - feel free to comment and add your own and keep an eye on this site for the next group of suggestions!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

SteveJ pulls a BillG - in at least 3 different ways :)

My 2006 WWDC predictions were just way, way ... how should I say this ... too optimistic - from the 6 listed I only got about 3 - the new desktops are here , Leopard is NOT impressive (but see below) and indeed some 64bit hype was somehow mentioned ...

The main "surprise" was the obvious 'Vista envy' - and on top of that they also managed to "copy" the 'Vista delay' - so now Leopard is not only quite pathetic but will also be late - and it will come after Vista :)

I also find incredibly funny the crash of the demo machine - I believe that after copying the automatic backups (from many others, including Windows) and the virtual desktops idea (again something you could easily get in the last century on Linux or Windows) Apple also decided to copy the "crash during worldwide demo" part - after all why should only BillG be embarrassed and not also SteveJ ?

So let's count again - onstage crash - check, delay - check, stealing features and presenting them as 'innovation' - check, so YES - SteveJ pulls a BillG - in at least 3 different ways :) WOW, Apple hype is getting thinner at such a speed :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Apple - any surprise ahead ?

Well, after half year of announcements that were no surprise ('the x86 architecture is vastly superior' - maybe a surprise only for a brainwashed MacZealot) or even worse (the boombox and leather case) we are now close to WWDC and the media is again full of rumors - yeah, right, we haven't seen that before :)

What I expect ? The OBVIOUS :
- new desktops with the latest Intel Core2 Duo;
- a new iPod - probably the 8 GB nano, eventually some cellphones;
- Leopard (not so impressive);
- quite likely a new Merom-based MacBookProExtreme - as usual announced weeks in advance over Dell and delivered at about the same time;
- maybe some plans for a new 64 bit future (but I doubt, even if the 'bragging rights' would be needed - since there is almost nothing to brag about in the latest Apple products - a new transition so close to the last one would be very bad news);
- finally - but I don't hold my breath on this one - the "all screen iPod" - but if it will be anything less than:

(and with less than 80 GB) most people will be disappointed.

I will end with a few links - the first about how a Mac (and a PC, by the way) can be hacked in 60 seconds , then a funny one with a love-hate Apple relationship and the best of all - the fake diary of SteveJ - hilarious as only something so close to reality can be !!! (the best one is where SteveJ looses his iPod, including the Walt Mossberg's rave reviews for next week, which he just finished WRITING :) )