Recycled Computing

More Power to Go: Snow Leopard, Safari 4, the iPhone, and the Internet

- 2009.06.16

I spent a good bit of time watching Apple's Steve-less WorldwideDeveloper Conference (WWDC) presentation in San Francisco last week,and I came away with several observations.

Snow Leopard

Under the we-knew-it-was-coming-but-now-it's-here category - Appleis releasing Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" for Intel-chipped Macsonly. The handwriting is not just on the wall, its now being writtenwith a Sharpie.

This means that for all of us G3 owners, Mac OS X 1.4 " Tiger"will forever be the upper limit. G4 owners will have to make due withMac OS X 10.5 "Leopard". If you want the latest and greatest (SnowLeopard), an Intel Mac is in your future.

I may have to start fantasizing about a Mac mini as my next desktopsystem.

Before we all go ape over this, consider that Tiger and Leopard are still availableto us old timers. Apple has provided us with modern operating systemsfor our old stuff.

I am really pleased that the new release of Safari 4 has a Tigerversion available. I hope this means that Apple will continue toprovide updates to software that will run on my old Pismo. So far I have beengetting the latest versions of iTunes, and with the new Safari, I amvaguely confident that I can keep using the Pismo, released in 2000,into its second decade of existence.

So far, Safari 4 seems to be quicker on my 500 MHz G3 processor thanearlier versions, but the ATI Rage Mobility graphics board is just notup to using the latest features of Safari. Still, it seems to bequicker.

Growing Small

Most of the WWDC concerned the iPhone, an Apple product I do notown. However, it seems pretty obvious to me that Apple is going to beconcentrating on portable devices in the future.

What is the one part of the product line that Apple did not cover?Desktops. Not a word about the Mac mini, the iMac, or the Mac Pro.Since the laptop is gaining market share and the iPods and iPhone aredominating their markets, Apple is betting that the future is all aboutsmall.

I joke with my coworkers that one day every child will be issued aniPhone at birth. When I look at my own children, I see the newgeneration with cell phones as permanent accessories. We all know thatthe iPhone is a cellphone on steroids. So Apple's "gamble" toconcentrate on the "small" end of the computer sales universe iswise.

Apple is also well placed with the products it has to continue todominate the market for a long while.

What's next? Another game changer. That's what those 10" touchscreens are for.

Tech in the Real World

Addendum: As I finish this column, theIranian public has risen up against its rulers. We know this andthe details of the methods of repression because of the technology thatwe take for granted. Although the tyrants of Tehran control thetraditional means of communication, demonstrators are using theircellphones to call relatives in other countries, and also to takepictures and send them to Twitter and Facebook. More daring Iraniansare shooting videos and downloading them to YouTube.

Does this mean freedom is in Iran's future? I would hope so. LEM

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