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15 January, 2008

The MacWorld 2008 Chronicles - Morning of

I'm at MacWorld in San Francisco this week. Yesterday (Monday) I spent the day at a Power Tools session on Mac OS X Server configuration. The class is a 2 day overview on configuring the server. The room was packed to capacity with admins and admin wannabees learning about server configuration.

So, what is going to show up today (Tuesday) when Steve Jobs speaks? It is 6:10 in the morning so I guess I'll find out within 4 hours. One thing that was apparent is that whatever is going to be announced it has something to do with "Air". As in "It is in the Air". So what does that mean?

Here are some of the Possibilities:
A new wireless router - a version of the mightily small Airport Express

An Apple Deoderant comprised of the smells of the average Apple Store.

Another Air Nike collaboration.

A new AppleTV called AirTV.

And the rumour that even the guy scanning bar codes thinks is a good possiblity -
MacAir - a 13" thin lightweight MacBook like notebook. This is all speculation but here are some possible features:

An optional external DVD / CD drive - yep, no internal drive to reduce weight. And if your network connection is fast then you should be able to stream video so why do you need that DVD drive?

The network will be fast: EVDO or some technology built in. Thus, you are always connected (within a cell tower footprint). You'll just have to sign up for a data plan from your iPhone cell phone provider.

Wireless battery charging. Splashpower has a wireless battery charging system. Why not build it into the MacAir?

Touch sensitive screen. Just like the iPhone. But this will go one step better. By using an infrafred transmitter / receiver you won't actually have to touch the screen, just wave your pointy little finger at the screen to drag things around. Helps eliminate all those callouses that build up using the iPhone. By the way I am absolutely am addicted to my iPhone.

No ports. - With all the wireless (in the Air) capability, why use any wires? There will be an optional dock that will give you back those ports, but it will be an option.

And finally, a 64 Gb Solid State Drive ala Samsung. Apple seems to like Samsung as a hardware provider so why not use their 64 Gb drives? Apple is big enough to purchase these en mass in order to reduce the price. Faster boot times, quiet, low power. There is just the speed thing but it is not too bad at this point and will only get better.

Remember, all of Apple first generation products while cool at the time are no where as amazing as their 3rd generation. And the Air just may set a completely new direction in the evolution of the laptop.

I'll just have to wait and see.

One thing that was hinted at yesterday is that Apple will show a new XSAN. This is a 2 drive box, suitable for the home or workspace. Perhaps it will be an add on for AppleTV or the Airport Extreme. I didn't see this unit, only a brown box connected to a Mac Mini.

Why Apple would want to put another 2 drive external storage box on an already crowded market is beyond me. Unless this thing has some really interesting features like a telepathic human interface that can download images straight to your brain. But if this is another USB only box, then ...Yawn! USB 2.0 is horrendously slow for a storage array. You are better off with Firewire 400 then USB 2. Anyway I digress. The people in the know said this was an XSAN so that implies a connection more dignified then USB.

That is it for now. I've got to go and convince myself that I need to stand in line for 2 hours in the cold blustery San Francisco Air. It is the Air!


7:06 Update - I accidently turned the tele on and the local news showed the line to get in to MacWorld wrapping around the building. The reporter was talking to some guy that had a zillion people in line behind him. He said that he won't get into the main hall. He will get in to the overflow bucket. I have decided to go get breakfast and slowly mozzie on over there. I guess I should have paid for the guaranteed seats. Oh well.

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