June 11 2007

Steve Jobs – The Magic Man

Ah, it’s that time again. Time for Steve Jobs to make me wish I was made of money. One of his infamous keynote speeches was today, and, as always, it made me weep like a little girl… um… made me weep man tears of joy. For the record, all my info is coming from Engadget and MacRumors.

First off, Mac users can rejoice, the game publishers are coming back! (bout freakin’ time from what I hear from my Mac lovin’ friends) EA is back in July, and ID Software is working on a bunch of new stuff.

Then he moved on to Leopard. For whatever reason, when Apple started with OS X, they got obsessed with big cat names, who knows why. Leopard is the upcoming release, and it’ll have, according to Steve, 300 new features, 10 of which he showed today. Some of it boring, some of it exciting. Being a PC user still, I’m not sure why everyone was so hot and bothered over the new feature named “Stacks”, it’s supposed to clean up your desktop, but I am sure Luis will be better able to explain it than me.

The second feature was an update to their in-computer search function, “Finder”. It sounds an awful lot like Google Desktop to me as you can search more than just your computer now, but all computers on a network. It will all be done in a similar fashion to iTunes Cover Flow (where you flip through the album covers) and can be done on other machines on your network… yes, including the PCs on your shared network. The kicker though is that going through .Mac, you can even browse your other computers over the internet, drag and drop files and so on, but both computers must be Macs. Sounds a lot like, but, ya know, smoother. Damn those Mac people.

Next up was Quick Look, adds the ability to look at files without opening a separate application. I would need to see this in person before I got excited. For the true geek in all of us though, Leopard is going 64 bit. Without boring you all to tears… think “much faster brain”. The fifth feature was something called Core Animation, again, I think I have to be a Mac user to get excited over this.

Exciting to those of us looking to switch from PC to Mac is the addition of Boot Camp in the actual OS. Boot Camp, for those not in the know, is a method that allows you to boot up Windows on your Mac. There is an odd thing going on though with Apple actually helping out a third party company with their product Parallels. This system allows you to run Mac and Windows at the same time without rebooting. Basically, however you want to run Windows on your Mac, you can, the method you do it by is up to you.

Feature #7 was “Spaces”. It allows you to group things on your desktop, move them between spaces, even while running and so on. It’s another desktop organization system, and yes, I would need to play with it before I got excited about it. Feature #8 sounds cool, but, also a way to clutter up your desktop more? Basically it’s a new system for you to make new Widgets for your desktop from any portion of a web page. So, while cleaning up your desktop, Apple is also giving you more ways to… clutter it. Yeah, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. Feature #9, iChat, Lots of new toys for the built-in chat system, and sharing of files with each other. More of a toy than anything.

Feature #10… ah yeah! Time Machine! This feature alone is worth the price of a Mac to me. One click, one time, setup of automatic back-ups to a second hard drive. It also features “versioning”. This means every time you hit save on a document, you’ve created a new version, Time Machine will allow you to go back for “X” number of saves (you determine the number). Multiple computers? No problem, set up a hard drive on your network, even wirelessly, they can all save to the same hard drive. I want this so bad, I can taste it.

Whoa… this is unexpected. They are releasing their web browser, Safari, as a public beta as of today for the PC. I’ve heard great things about Safari, but never gotten to use it. You can get it here, shortly. I know I’ll be jumping on this.

Lots of stuff about iPhone. I know I was excited back when this was first announced, but now I’m a bit leary of it, especially with the touch screen keyboard. I know, people are saying wait until you try it, but with my huge fingers, it worries me.

Well, all done and… still no new iPods. I think this may be the longest stretch ever without a new generation.

All-in-all… kind of a let down.

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