Editorial: 28 and growing
By David Leishman
Congratulations to Apple, which yesterday celebrated its 28th anniversary. Time magazine has named the company’s founding one of the ”
80 days that changed the world,” and notes that Apple went on to “create the look and feel of every desktop in the world and start our love affair with the personal computer.”
In light of this, it’s ironic to remember that Steve Jobs declared “Microsoft won. The OS wars are over,” at Macworld Expo/Boston, in the summer of 1997. Or did he call them “the desktop wars,” as some folks report? I don’t think it really matters, because given his penchant for masterful misdirection, he once again led many to focus on what he was saying, rather than what he was doing.
Which was leading the introduction of the most commercially successful Unix-related operating system ever released. And, to judge by Apple’s actions over the last seven years, Jobs was also taking to heart Sun Microsystems’ CEO Scott McNealy’s statement that “the network is the computer.”
Mac OS X, after all, is a network-centric OS. And since Apple’s introduction of the Xserve two years ago, it has moved relentlessly to ride the twain of hardware and software to the sites of new wars. “The network,” “the lab,” “the studio,” or “the digital hub” — whatever you call them, Apple is establishing serious new footholds.
Enough so that on its anniversary, it isn’t resting on its laurels, but is instead
winning a Best of Show award at Bio-IT World Conference + Expo for its recently announced Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics.
The cluster’s entry price of $27,999 might stretch the budget for most of us, but it’s a bargain for its intended audience — those on the path to scientific discovery. Its specs include up to 15 Xserve G5 Cluster Nodes with up to 8GB of error correcting RAM — that’s 32 processors! And you can get it wrapped in Apple’s XtremeMac Xrack Pro case, which the company claims suppresses the noise level of an Xserve to that of a desktop G4.
Take a peek.
Apple this week also
introduced the Xgrid Preview 2 software, courtesy of its
Advanced Computation Group. Xgrid lets Mac users build a grid computing cluster to speed the processing of complex calculations by distributing operations over a network. The company has dubbed it “high performance computing for the rest of us,” and that’s who it’s
available to, for free.
Even Pixar, Steve Jobs’ other company, got in on the distributed computing act this week by
releasing RenderMan Pro Server for Mac OS X. So, for those keeping score, that’s the addition to the Mac platform of Oscar-winning software and Best of Show-winning hardware. All in a week’s work, I guess. Happy anniversary, Apple.
Apple tries to patent iPod interface
Apple is attempting to patent its interface for the iPod with the U.S. government. Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office made public patent application number 20040055446, covering “graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player,” which lists three inventors: Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Jeffrey L. Robbin and Timothy Wasko.
Apple unveils $99 ProCare
Apple wins Best of Show at Bio-IT World
Apple G5 claims disputed by Better Business Bureau group
Apple posts WWDC session information
Apple promo knocks $500 off Cinema HD Display, G5
Apple Hardware and
Apple Software forums.
QuickerTek antenna increases wireless Al PB range
QuickerTek recently introduced a new antenna designed to double or even triple the wireless range of 15- and 17-inch Aluminum PowerBooks. Pricing is US$89.95. Like QuickerTek’s other antennas, the new one comes with software that measures wireless system performance both before and after installation.
Canon debuts two new portable photo printers
WiebeTech offers Quad BayDock 800
Miglia offers FW800 laptop card
aMac adds intra-oral camera support
Wacom drops prices on Cintiq interactive pen displays
Pixar releases RenderMan Pro Server for Mac
Pixar Animation Studios has announced the release of RenderMan Pro Server 11.5.3 for Mac OS X 10.3. The package includes RenderMan, Pixar’s core 3D graphics and animation rendering technology; Irma, a re-renderer used for accelerating shading and lighting; and Alfserver, the remote execution server. The Academy Award-winning software has been used in the production of films such as Finding Nemo, The Mummy, Men In Black II, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
Aspyr ships Lord of the Rings: Return of the King game
Photoshop alternative Gimp 2.0.0 built for Panther
MacSoft ships Unreal Tournament 2004
MathType 5.0 offers slew of new features, more
Native Instruments intros new music products
Around the Web
Macworld Review: iLife ’04
How does Apple’s new iLife suite of applications stand up to scrutiny? Macworld magazine put the four programs to the test, and by and large, liked what it found — especially the newest addition, GarageBand. To quote: “The programs’ simple interfaces and tight integration let you ignore pesky concerns about talent, so you can set your inner director, photographer, or DJ free.”
Xbox: Now and next
Harvard Law’s legal case study of iTunes’ business model
Apple headphones: Playing smart, acting dumb
Borrow an iPod from Virgin Airways
X OS X apps that make life a lot easier
Apple, Adobe drifting apart
Sony-Ericsson P900: Almost, Almost