When in Doubt, Go with the Old Favorites

3 minute read

As we draw close to Macworld Expo San Francisco, the number of rumors generally increases. The reason is multiple fold. First, supposedly more leaks happen closer to the expo. Second, people’s desire for rumors increases exponentially. Finally, it’s a quick and easy way to draw traffic as a Mac based website. Yes, I’m a traffic whore too, so let’s review

Flash-based iPod

For almost as long as the iPod has been around, this has been the popular rumor. And why not? It seems like a natural progression. Flash memory based MP3 players tend to be smaller and cheaper than hard drive based players. The ridiculous, respect-less rumor wells throw caution to the wind, ignoring hard real analysis (done by such people as John Gruber). It combines tiny size (as if the iPod mini’s compact flash hard drive is bloating it terribly and flash memory is that much small) and low costs (as flash memory is so cheap, still hundreds of dollars for any significant size) to make for a some people’s wet dreams. Ignore the fact that the iPod’s main attraction is having your entire music collection in your pocket. We’ve got a rumor to foist upon the public and get attention. To make the situation worse, iPod sites such as iPodlounge are encouraging the rumor with iPod flash Concepts contest. Dangle some expensive headphones in front of work starved artists and watch as you get hundreds of designs that are either physically impossible or hopelessly stupid. Yeesh.

The Headless iMac, or the Rumor that Won’t Die

Continuing in the tradition of hoping for something that’s absurd but what a few want desperately, we have the rumor of the headless iMac. A low cost machine that doesn’t come with a monitor (the “head” of the machine), it appeals to those who think that it’s the single and only solution to Apple’s small market share and cheapskates. To be fair, the latest rumor came out of Think Secret which generally is right. The rumored specs are:

  • $500
  • 1.25 GHz G4
  • Combo drive
  • 40 – 80 GB hard drive
  • 256MB of RAM
  • USB 2.0
  • FireWire 400
  • 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
  • 56K V.92 modem
  • AirPort Extreme support

But as soon as the rumor hit the streets, the whining started. It’s like music… Britney Spears b-side music. It’s only a rumor and thus sparked the normal questions/complaints:

  • Still too slow
  • Too little RAM
  • Where’s the Firewire 800?
  • Why not Gigabit Ethernet?
  • How about an integrated TV tuner?
  • It should have an upgradeable video card.

Fuck! No sooner does someone publish a rumor that essentially gives what people have been ranting about for months, if not years than people have to piss all over it. A quick summary as to why these concerns are moronic: It’s a low cost machine. There’s a reason my ‘97 Cavalier didn’t have a GPS. It’s not a high end car! Does it make any sense for a low cost (loss leading) computer to have more stuff/better specs than it’s more expensive siblings, the eMac and the iMac? No. I’m still skepticle of this rumor, but if we are going to buy it, it needs to be bought as is.


A favorite of the rumor since the half-assed adaptation of AppleWorks to OS X has been an updated version. Again, nothing new, except for the name: iWork. Again, Think Secret has thrown its weight behind this rumor, giving it special creedence. The fact that another company originally owning the name iWork has sold it to Apple as reported in Macminute makes this a strong rumor.

Slow Rumor Expo, Run the Usual

Note that none of the rumors above are new (Mac Rumors will likely have a roundup in the coming days). In fact, they all go back several years, which I find rather uninspiring. Where are the shocking rumors? The last minute slipups on Apple’s site? What about product revision rumors? What happened to all the Powerbook G5 rumors that were causing us to wet ourselves? I guess I don’t have to worry about getting access to this year’s keynote video.

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