Editorial: Who’s your baddy?
By David Leishman,
“Always presume that the enemy has dangerous designs and always be forehanded with the remedy. But do not let these calculations make you timid.”
— Frederick the Great
When the Mac was introduced in 1984, Apple’s enemies weren’t trivial, but they weren’t overwhelmingly strong, either. IBM had introduced its first PC during the previous year, and Apple placed an ad that bespoke its own brand of chutzpah: ”
Welcome, IBM. Seriously. ” And while Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system was successful, world domination with Windows was just a dream in Bill Gates’ head.
But during the last twenty years, Steve Jobs discovered that someone he thought of as an ally could be the one to kick him out of his own company. Now, even his detractors will admit that he’s a smart fellow, and he’s learned how to balance, and embrace or divorce his business partners as need decrees.
IBM is certainly back in his and Apple’s favor, although maybe a blistering note or two about the delay in faster G5 chips has sped from Cupertino to Armonk. Just as Toshiba, the iPod’s best buddy, is now
feeling the heat about the 60GB-drive news leak that blurted out Apple’s plans to incorporate it into the next-generation music player.
Sony’s newest music download strategy might qualify as enemy action, but its effort seems weak. Bill Palmer has
cut down to size Sony’s new deal with McDonald’s for music downloads, even noting that the name of its compression format — ATRAC — brings back ugly memories of the worst music format of the 70s and 80s. On a side note, Sony this week declared it
won’t launch new Clie handhelds in the U.S. this year.
But before we dismiss entirely Sony’s chances for survival, it’s important to note what’s down the road. The company is hard at work with its new best friend — IBM, no less — on a “Cell” cpu that is scheduled to deliver two teraflops in a 64-core configuration by early next year. Although the “expected” use of the chips is to drive workstations that handle digital content creation for PlayStation 3 software development, The Register’s Tony Smith notes that film-makers and special effects houses could
likely use such a chip, too.
Why would IBM help to develop a chip that might rival the G5 it’s building for Apple’s Power Mac line? Because it can, and it can get paid for it. And it makes a better return-on-investment with the higher-end of Power chips it uses in its own machines. Perhaps Lou Gerstner is walking his corporate halls quoting Salvador Dali: “Let my enemies devour each other.”
Fortunately for Mac users, Jobs and company seem to be at their best when they face a challenge — even a perceived, or misperceived one. So, as we wait for the next round of power-packed desktops, let’s root for Sony. Because as Frank Herbert said, “Enemies make you stronger.”
“>Apple lines up for Toshiba’s new 60GB drive
Toshiba is planning to launch a 60GB version of its 1.8-inch hard disk drive in the coming months and has already found a customer in Apple Computer, the company said Wednesday at the Computex 2004 exhibition in Taipei. The drive will enter mass-production during July or August, and feature two disc platters whose capacity will be increased to 30GB per platter.
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Visit MacCentral’s Apple
Apple Software forums.
Griffin announces iTrip mini FM transmitter
Griffin Technology has created a new iTrip mini FM transmitter for iPod mini users. The iTrip mini works the same as its predecessor does for the larger iPod: It plugs into the top of the iPod mini and transmits an FM signal that you can play back on any FM receiver within range, enabling you to play your iPod’s music on nearby stereo receivers in homes, cars, hotel rooms and elsewhere.
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MathWorks ships Matlab 7, Simulink 6
Technical computing developer The MathWorks announced on Wednesday the release of major upgrades to two of its key software applications: Matlab 7, the algorithm development, data analysis and visualization tool, adds new tools, an enhanced MATLAB Compiler and more; and Simulink 6, the simulation and embedded system development package, gains model-based design for complex projects.
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Around the Web
Digital Music Superguide
Macworld magazine offers a comprehensive look at how to make the most of your digital audio assets, with a series of step-by-steps for ripping and organizing your music; mastering the iTunes Music Store; playing digital music from your Mac, iPod, or stereo; and using GarageBand to create perfectly timed soundtracks for your iMovies.
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