Expo Product Thoughts

2 minute read

I’m going to review the new Apple product announcements inwhat I consider increasing importance.

iLife ‘05

To me, this is pretty incremental. I don’t use anything in iLife (sans the free iTunes and iPhoto). Garageband fans will be overjoyed with a full 8 tracks to manipulate. At $79, I’m not sure I’ll be getting it though. I don’t need the new version of iPhoto that badly.


Apple finally tried to update AppleWorks for the new millenium with iWork ($79). Apparently though, they only had two tickets for the trip, taking along a word processor (Pages) and a slideshow app (Keynote). Spreadsheets and database manipulation were sadly left at the station with their heads hanging dejectedly. Pages looks really cool, like a publishing application more than a wordprocessor. However, if I’m going to have an office suite, I want a speadsheet application. End of story.

iPod shuffle

At first, I really disliked the iPod shuffle. There’s no screen and very limited storage. However, at $99 (for 512 MB, 1GB for $149), it’s got that small price feel to it. It’s almost to the point of an impulse buy. It’s certainly ideal for running or working out because it can’t skip and one generally doesn’t stare at the screen during those activities. What began to sell it to me was that it was basically the size of a USB thumb drive. In fact, it can be used as one. Combine that with the fact that my 512 MB thumb drive cost a little less than $200 when I got it, these things are pretty useful and a value. Would I give up my iPod for one of these? Hell no. For some people though, it might be just the ticket. I’d seriously consider getting one if I needed a new thumb drive.

Mac mini

Oooooh. The first ever sub $500 Mac. Overall, I like it. The specs are:

  • 1.25/1.42 GHz G4 processor
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Radeon 9200 with 32 MB VRAM
  • 40/80 GB hard drive
  • Firewire 400 port
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • DVI port (with VGA adapter)
  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
  • 56k modem
  • Headphone port
  • Optional Airport Extreme and Bluetooth

Those specs are a perfect fit for my father (who is still using a rapidly aging Powermac 7600 with an upgrade card). Well, the RAM I’d have to bump up to at least 512 MB. The problem is, the one slot it seems to have isn’t user accessible. The details on this aren’t clear yet, but I’m hoping that it won’t actually require an Apple tech installation. It’s a nice low cost machine for those that may still have a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse aren’t even included (which is fine by me as I’d rather use my iceKey and Intellimouse Explorer anyway). It seems like the perfect computer to draw in some more Windows users. We’ll just have to wait and see how it does.

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