Mac faithful rejoice (and Mac faithful rejoiced)

In today's IT Blogwatch, we look at what's new at MacWorld. Not to mention this day in history (in MacWorld terms)...

No sooner do we close the door on CES than MacWorld begins. The big Jobs unveiling as reported by Tom Krazit was "A new laptop and an iMac computer that use Intel Corp.'s latest processor, six months ahead of the schedule outlined by Apple last year ... Intel's Core Duo processor will be used inside a 15.4-in. laptop now called the MacBook Pro, as well as in 17-in. and 20-in. iMac computers ... five times more powerful than comparable notebooks using the G4 processor ... The 5.6-pound laptop comes with an Apple-developed technology called MagSafe ... MacBook Pros will use a power cord that is magnetically attached to the notebook, so if the cord gets yanked it merely detaches from the notebook rather than taking the notebook with it to the floor ... MacBook Pro will not be available until next month, but Apple is taking orders for the systems now ... $1,999 and $2,499 ... [IDC] was impressed by the performance of the new systems as compared to Apple's previous generation technology, but the prices of the new iMacs were higher than he had expected ... New Apple software, including an operating system update and new versions of its iLife and iWork software released today." [FIVE times more powerful? Your humble blogwatcher remembers Jobs demonstrating how much more powerful PowerPCs were than P4s not so very long ago -- how things have changed. Or perhaps this is another example of the famous Jobs reality distortion field at work, eh?]

» Douglas Schweitzer muses: "My initial reaction to the Intel switch was sadness first, then anger. Now that I've had time to think about the reasoning behind the switch I feel a little bit more comfortable about my next App-tel based computer. Will the other Apple faithful follow?"

» Om Malik didn't appear impressed:  "Maybe its just me, but the Apple hardware news - the big switch to Intel chips - has left me a tad wanting for something with a bit more oomph ... the real news in the keynote was the ongoing sales strength of iPod, iTunes and now the iVideo sales ... Full keynote notes @ Engadget" [a minute-by-minute account and there are many of these like Clint Echer @ars]

» Carlo Longino:  "As usual, they're pretty tasty -- as a PowerBook user, that MacBook Pro is looking pretty sweet indeed. But ... lack of support for mobile data disappointing. ... Other manufacturers are already building in cellular radios to their laptops, but they're typically locked to a single provider ... Such an option would benefit Apple's user experience focus ... By choosing [the next-generation ExpressCard/34] instead of or in addition to PC Card, Apple's relegated users to some strange sort of bleeding-edge obsolesence ... iSync shows just how easy syncing a computer and a mobile phone can be ... High-speed mobile data is still waiting for something to push it over the edge, and Apple could be the company to do it. But not this time around."

» Todd Bishop: "Apple and Microsoft also announced a new five-year agreement formalizing Microsoft's commitment to continue making Office for Mac. See my initial story ... Apple also announced iWeb, a new part of the iLife suite, for publishing Web sites, blogs and podcasts. And Jobs demonstrated a new feature in the existing iLife program, GarageBand, for producing podcasts. In a tongue-in-cheek nod to all the sites and shows devoted to Apple, he created his own podcast during the show, 'Super Secret Apple Rumors.' Here's the audio of him recording his script into the computer: MP3, 0:53 ...  The new MacBook includes an infrared receiver for running the Front Row media browsing program via remote control, expanding that capability from the iMac."

» John Bailo ranted: "Hey, looks like [Jobs] released those Intel machines way ahead of schedule. That usually means one thing: they're desperate to shore up revenue before Samsung, Nokia, Real and everyone's grandma start delivering streaming & portable media on wifi devices. I say its still Goodbye for Mr. Jobs by end of 2006..."

» James Gosling on a positive note: "Now that the new Intel Macintoshes are officially out, it's probably safe for me to comment on my experience as a developer in their transition program: it was completely boring - as it should have been. Things just worked. Java code moved over with zero effort. Even big things like NetBeans just worked. In all the time I've had my Intel Mac box, my experience has been totally painless. Great job! "

» Darren Barefoot:  "Rejoice and throw off  thy garb, for the Blessed Jobs has bestowed new bounty on his people! ... In truth, today's show was pretty ordinary manna from nerd Heaven."

Buffer overflow:

And finally...  This day in history: MacWorld Boston 1997 [highlights: Jobs@5:30; Microsoft@30:20]

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at Also contributing to today's post: Judi Dey, our very own Antipodean.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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