TV-PGNovember 8, 2001: When is a G5 not a G5? When it's a "G5." Meanwhile, Apple tweaks the UK price for an iPod again (or does it?), and some reports indicate that a Carbonized Photoshop is closer than you might think...
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A Chip By Any Other Name... (11/8/01)
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So now the whole Mac community's all hepped up on hyper-juice because of these recent rumors of imminent G5-age, right? And with good reason, too: if reports that Apple has already seeded top developers with 1.6 GHz Power Mac G5s with FireWire 2, USB 2.0, a 400 MHz bus, and DDR RAM didn't get your heart a-pumpin' doubletime, rumors of prerelease G5 processors already reaching as high as 2.4 GHz are enough to make anyone's ears shoot a little steam. The big question on everyone's mind, though, is "when?" The most optimistic bunnies are looking forward to a big G5 Extravaganza when Steve Jobs does his keynote thing at January's Macworld Expo; more cautious prognosticators are leaning more towards a springtime intro.

Ah, but what of the Naked Mole Rat? Massive controlled substance abuse aside, that is one seriously plugged-in rodent when it comes to knowing what's what in the Land of Macs To Be. Well, as luck would have it, faithful viewer Michael Gemar tipped us off to the fact that the Rat has just made one of his semiannual returns to consciousness, and was lucid long enough to fill us in on his take on the Big When. Optimists rejoice: unless it's the inhalants talking, the Rat has it on good authority that Apple is prepping new "professional-strength desktop systems" for a debut in January-- and indeed, these new Macs "will finally leave the 1 GHz mark far behind."

The bad news, however, is that Apple may be playing the name game again. See, we may be hallucinating (just reading the Rat's reports is enough to give us a contact high), but we seem to recall that when the G4 first shipped, a bunch of gearheads noted that its specs weren't quite up to snuff, at least compared to Motorola's original plans for the G4 architecture; word got out that, due to time issues, Motorola had to bag a bunch of features at Apple's insistence, and thus the first G4 we got didn't have all the "oomph" some of us were expecting-- it was more of a pumped-up G3 with AltiVec grafted on. Well, apparently that may be happening again: according to the Rat, the G5 we'll see in January is "actually a superpowered G4" that lacks some of the "bells and whistles that Motorola has staked out as central to the PowerPC G5 architecture."

Reportedly this little piece of "ah, just call it a G5" creative marketing comes courtesy of His Steveness himself, which, if true, is hardly a surprise; remember way back when Mac OS 8 was going to be Copland, complete with many of the buzzwords that finally only surfaced in Mac OS X? After Copland was canned and Steve took over, suddenly the definition of Mac OS 8 changed dramatically: same old System 7 architecture with a new look and feel. So the man is no stranger to the name game-- but even if the chip that arrives in January isn't so much a G5 as a "G5," hey, it's still running at over a gigahertz... and you just know the onstage bake-offs are going to be spectacular.


 
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Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing! (11/8/01)
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OW! Quick, somebody put together an up-to-the-minute online UK iPod price tracker and fast, because we're getting whiplash trying to keep up with all the changes. Hmmm, do we feel a lawsuit coming on? Someone fetch us a couple of neck braces-- maybe we can hop on the litigation train and give Apple's lawyers a nice, simple personal injury suit to relax with as a refreshing counterpoint to stock fraud class actions and racial discrimination allegations.

As we wait for www.ipodpricetracker.co.uk to go live, allow us to explain the weirdness that has us in such a tizzy. When the iPod first debuted, it cost £329 in the UK, right? But as we noted a couple of weeks ago, shortly after its introduction, its price suddenly climbed to £349. Needless to say, many Britain-bound Mac fans were none too pleased at this apparent slap in the face-- although, given Apple's semi-recent history of shafting the English, one would think they'd be somewhat used to it by now.

But the story doesn't end there; this morning reports were flying that, perhaps as a conciliatory gesture to appease the UK market, Apple had changed the price again-- this time dropping it below its original price, to £323. Sure enough, the Apple Store UK was reporting that new price this morning. Having confirmed the reports, we merrily set about writing a pleasant little scene wherein Apple saw the error of its ways and knocked the UK iPod price down to a level that, before adding England's scary 17.5% value-added tax, was darn close to the pre-tax price of an iPod here in the States. Happy endings all 'round.

Then, from out of nowhere, WHAM! Faithful viewer Stuart Ingleston blindsided us with a tip that Macworld, who had reported the price reduction earlier, was now retracting that story; apparently Apple did not cut the price of the iPod, "despite every indication to the contrary." According to Apple, £323 is the educational price of the iPod in the UK, and the price change "was mistakenly added to the non-educational part of the Apple Store." Mmm-hmm... a likely story. Down, up, down, up-- what is this, a sticker price or a Mortal Kombat fatality combo?

And meanwhile, what about our whiplash? Hey Apple, tell you what-- send us a couple of iPods and we'll forget the whole thing ever happened. But hurry, because this "neck pain" is getting worse, and our fake-moaning is getting more and more convincing with practice...


 
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Two Months And Counting? (11/8/01)
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Well, in our opinion it's not nearly as much fun as rampant speculation about a massive rift between Apple and Adobe leading to skipped Expos and a dearth of Mac OS X-native applications, but heck, we figure you deserve to hear it anyway. You may have noticed that Adobe recently shipped its first big creative app for Apple's new operating system: Illustrator 10 is now available, and it boasts full Mac OS X support. This is, of course, a fine first step, and we imagine that the other two apps that Adobe showed off in July (InDesign and GoLive) will follow soon. But the question on everyone's lips is still, "Where the heck is Photoshop?"

Hang in there, Ned, because rumor has it that it's a-comin' any month now-- specifically, a month that starts with a "J," ends with a "Y," and rhymes with "Splanuary." Faithful viewer David H. Dennis noticed an article at The Register which indicates that "two separate sources" have leaked that the granddaddy of all image-editing applications is currently in a late-ish beta stage, and therefore Adobe may be "on course to announce the product at Macworld Expo San Francisco." So sit tight and you'll be faking nude celebrity photos in no time-- Aqua-style.

Better still, another "source" reports that the show this January will "mark the arrival and announcement of almost all of Adobe's key applications" for Mac OS X, including the previously-mentioned InDesign, as well as Premiere and LiveMotion. What about GoLive, you ask? Fear not-- it's "expected to be announced sooner," and so is After Effects. Looks like the floodgates have been opened, at least at Adobe-- well, maybe. An official Adobe spokesperson reportedly called The Reg's details "completely inaccurate," so don't bet the kids on it or anything. But with a full stable of Adobe products probably shipping sooner rather than later and Microsoft Office arriving this month, it sounds to us like last July's "coming-out party" for Mac OS X may finally be happening any day now.


 
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