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The weather’s unseasonably warm in San Francisco, but that just may be because we’re catching some of the reflected heat from Cupertino, CA, where Apple continues to light fires that are burning up the technology world and spreading out to ignite in other fields.
Apple’s products and announcements are so hot that they’re front page news. Not just on Mac Web sites, not just on “nerd” sites such as Slashdot and Ars Technica, but in the mainstream press and on mega-wattage radio stations, too. John Markoff of the New York Times proclaims Virginia Tech’s G5 cluster “one of the fastest machines in the world.” Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal thinks Windows users should switch to iTunes and the music store, and so do radiomen Don Imus and Howard Stern.
Wait till they get their hands on Panther! It’s fast, sleek, elegant and very hot.
I won’t try to catalog the “150-plus” features here. Jump over to
and read Jim Dalrymple’s comprehensive coverage, and then leap to Macworld’s ”
Panther by the Numbers
” feature, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s time to shed your Jaguar coat.
I do want to point out, though, two new features that highlight the “ease of use” that lies at the heart of Panther’s additions to Mac OS X. David Pogue writes that the new Exposé feature is “the biggest graphical breakthrough that operating systems have achieved in years,” and there’s no doubt that it’s incredibly useful. But lying in the tall grass is yet another tremendous navigational tool: Hold down the Command and Tab keys, and a Dock-like window appears in the middle of your desktop, with icons for all of your open applications. Release the Tab key and then scroll horizontally (using either the Tab key, or the left- or right-arrows) to select the app you’d like to make active. I’ve dubbed the feature “Voilá,” and in just a couple hours, it’s already become an integral part of my work habits.
Oh, and there’s Preview, the application that provides a window into OS X’s PDF capabilities. It’s one of my favorite “overlooked” joys of OS X and it’s always opened in the wink of an eye; now it launches so fast that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t already open. And you can now select and copy type from a PDF document, just as you would in a text processor. Or you can drag a page onto the desktop from the thumbnail views of a PDF file. Better and better.
And as if Panther wasn’t enough news for one week, Apple also announced new iBooks with G4 CPUs and updated eMacs. And an almost immediate update to iTunes for Windows to quash a couple minor bugs. It’s getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the company’s doings, and that just may be the hottest news of all.
Apple releases G4 iBooks
Apple on Wednesday announced its revamped line of iBooks with G4 CPUs. The portables also gain support for AirPort Extreme 54Mbps wireless networking connectivity, DDR RAM, and the ability to use an internal Bluetooth module for wireless peripheral connectivity. All iBooks now come equipped with ATI’s Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics card with 32MB of VRAM, 256MB RAM and a slot-loading CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive.
Apple lowers eMac price
Apple/Analysts on the iTunes Music Store, iPod
Apple: 1 million iTunes copies, songs in three days
Pogue on Panther: “Latest 0.1 Adds a Lot”
Mossberg: Virus-wary? Buy a Mac
Haddad: iPod becoming a ‘whole new platform’
Apple’s iPod is “becoming a whole new platform, independent of Macs or Windows” and is “giving Jobs & Co. new life,” Charles Haddad writes in his latest Byte of the Apple column for Business Week Online. Jobs is “going to the people rather than sitting back and waiting for the people to come to him,” he continues, and the result is a major success. In fact, if iPod sales continues to grow at their current rate, it’s possible that they’ll outsell iBooks a year from now, he posits.
NEC offers new line of plasma displays
Stylus Pro 4000 offers high-end printing features
Logitech introduces new 1.3-megapixel camera
New Sony digital cameras due in January
PowerLogix offers dual G4 cards at 1.2, 1.4GHz
Mossberg: iTunes beats Musicmatch, Napster
The Wall Street Journal’s Walter S. Mossberg compares Apple’s new iTunes for Windows music download offering to Musicmatch and Napster, and believes “Tunes is the best combination of a music store and jukebox program for Windows users.” He praises iTunes’ design as “elegant” and “easy to use,” and notes that it’s “the only Windows downloading service that works with the best, and most popular, portable music player, Apple’s own iPod.”
DragThing 5 ready for Panther
MacSoft: Halo ship date set for December 3rd
Cumulus 6 editions due next month
SubRosaSoft products ready for Panther
CandyBar update adds Panther support
Around the Web
First Pocket PC “Supercomputer”
Spb Software House assembled a “supercomputer” of twelve Pocket PCs to compare its performance with that of a typical Pentium II-class desktop computer. (The Pocket PCs communicated via their IrDA infrared ports.). The PC won, but Spb called the results “very promising” for remote location-based calculations “dealing with such problems as positioning and measurement.”
QT movie available of Apple music event
On eve of Napster launch, Roxio posts $11.9m loss
20 great Google secrets
How Spam hurts email and degrades life on the Internet
Herbie Hancock on Macs and music