On Wednesday September 13, 2000 at 10:00am Paris Time (7:00pm Melbourne Time), Apple iCEO, Steve Jobs, opened the MacWorld Expo – Paris with the Keynote Speech that lasted for about 90 minuted and although the event was not “webcast” live, it was available tobe viewed at
Dispite floods in the main Expo hall the night before; the Expo went ahead as expected. Jobs even joked about the incident with a couple of one liners – “well something had to leak” and “how fitting since we are introducing Aqua today”
On the hardware front, the big announcements were the improved iBook range.
Standard on all iBooks models are; 12.1″ TFT screen, 256k on-chip Lv2 cache, 64megs RAM, 8 megs VRAM, 10GB hard drive, 10/100BASE-T ethernet, 56k modem, and single USB. New on these models are the single Firewire port and Composite Video Out (Allows you plug into a NTSC or PAL monitor using a special cable).
The base model, which will sell for $2,995, has a 366Mhz G3 processor, 24x CD-ROM and is available in Indigo and Key Lime. The Special Edition, which has a $3,595 price tag, sports a 466Mhz G3 processor, 6x DVD-ROM and is available in Graphite and Key Lime.
On both cases, the Key Lime versions are only available for purchase through the Apple Store online.
Although not mentioned by Jobs during the keynote, Apple have also made slight upgrades to their PowerBook line. Basically the change involves an increase in hard drive size – The PowerBook G3/400Mhz has gained an extra 4Gigs, bringing it up to 10Gig but retaining the its’ $4,695 price tag, while the PowerBook G3/500Mhz has gained an extra 8Gigs to bring it up to 20Gig and it will remain at $6,595. A 30Gig drive is available on the 500Mhz model, along with an extra battery and AC Adaptor for $7474.
MacOS X Public Beta
Apple has finally released to the general public their new modern operating system – MacOS X Public Beta. Now is a good time to point out that it is important to remember that, as the name suggests, this is a “Beta” piece of software, which means that it is still “under construction” and some features are missing or may not work exactly as expected (eg have bugs).
While the Public Beta isn’t the full complete product, which is due early next year, you shouldn’t trust mission critical data or operations to it yet. It will, however, enable you to get a good hands-on feel for the new interface and features and thus come to terms with it far sooner the your counterparts who haven’t trialed it.
MacOS X delivers what has only been promised by failed projects like Copeland – Pre-emptive multi-tasking, true memory protection, automatic virtual memory and symmetric multi-processing on dual-processor G4’s. Buzz-words they may seem, but they really do offer the average user great benefits.
Memory protection means that if an application crashes, it won’t bring the entire system down and prevents the loss of work in other applications.
Pre-emptive multi-tasking allows you to run applications in the background without major impact on the fore-running application and vice versa.
Automatic virtual memory calculates the amount of memory each application requires and allocates extra memory as required, without user intervention.
Symmetric mutli-processing allows applications to take advantage of that second processor, increasing performance. To run MacOS X Public Beta you’ll need a Mac with an originally-fitted G3 or G4 processor, (ie not an “upgrade card” Note that the original G3 PowerBook won’t work either). A minimum of 128MB RAM, although as always the more the merrier. Mac OS 9.0.4 must be currently installed on the system and you’ll need to partition your disk into at least two partitions, with one of them have 1.5Gig free disk space free.
A number of applications ship bundled with the Public Beta, including Internet Explorer 5.5beta, a new email application, Stuffit Expander, new versions of Sherlock and the QuickTime Player. Plenty more can be download via the internet as well.
Mac OS X Public Beta may be ordered from the Australian Apple Store for $55
Mac OS X Public Beta may be ordered from the Australian Apple Store for $55 including GST and shipping. While this may seem a lot when you consider that MacOS 9.04 costs $162 for a “full” version rather than an “un-completed beta”, I still believe it will be money well spent for those who want to try out the new technology now. Besides there is speculation that Apple will be offering a rebate on the “full” purchase for those who actively participate with feedback.
In less than a week from the announcement, over 80,000 copies have already been ordered and people should be receiving their copies within 7-10 days of placing their order.
For further information about MacOS X Public Beta visit the following web sites;
For updates on software releases for MacOS X visit VersionTracker at;
Microsft Office 2001
While not announced during the Keynote, Microsoft were announcing the fact they would have Microsoft Office 2001 for Macintosh in US and European stores by October 11 and will be selling for US$499 for the full version and US$299 for qualifying upgrades.
Note that a Carbonized (otherwise known MacOS X native) version will not ship yet. Even so, the release is still good news for Macintosh users and for some excellent reviews on Microsoft Office 2001 visit the write-ups at Macintouch.
On all Mac’s, including all the laptops, Apple now ships iMovie 2.0 pre-installed. For those with earlier models, iMovie 2.0 can be downloaded from the Apple Store for $89.
In the lead up to MacWorld Paris, a number of predictions were made as what we would see and while the two main ones of new iBooks and MacOS X Public Beta were fulfilled a few weren’t.
MacOS 9.1 – While Apple’s focus is now clearly on MacOS X, one last release of MacOS 9 is still expected which will include some bug fixes and better support for MacOS X Carbon API’s. I still expect we’ll see, but not for a few more months and there probably won’t be a huge fanfare, just a press release and the resulting announcements on sites like VersionTracker and MacCentral.
QuickTime 5.0 – In all honesty the most likely candidate for the release of QuickTime 5.0 was, and still is, the QuickTime Live! Conference to be held in Beverly Hills during the second week of October.
15″ & 21″ CRT Monitors – With the introduction of the new Flat Panel displays at MacWorld New York the was speculation that Apple would fill the gap between the 17″ CRT (ie normal “thick” monitor) and the 22″ Flat Panel Cinema Display with some additional models either as Flat Panels or normal. Personally I don’t think they will as these days the 15″ Flat Panel or the 17″ CRT cover 90% of current purchasers needs and there are plenty of third party monitor suppliers to fill the other niches. On a positive note relating to the new Apple monitors with the new ADC connectors, Apple are now selling a third party ADC to DVI converter for US$39 and expected to ship here in October.
Photographs are courtesy from Apple Computer, Inc
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