The OS Quest Trail Log #21: Macworld Edition

Macworld is over and the good news is there’s nothing I feel the need to run out an buy or regret not waiting for.

The MacBook Air was the big new product of the event. To me, this fulfilled the rumors about Apple moving into the enterprise. This is a executive suite computer if I ever saw one. It’s not intended to replace the MacBook or MacBook Pro and if success is defined as selling more than either of those models then it’s doomed to failure. But if success is defined as raising Apple’s image then it’s a hit. All ultra-portables have compromises. A built-in optical drive is a frequent compromise and Apple’s Remote Disc solution seems like an original solution. Besides, there’s an optional external drive which is usually the case for other ultra-portables.

The lack of an ethernet port is an interest compromise but probably not a huge problem for the people who’ll buy this. There’s a USB adapter for those who want it. In my home, where my MacBook is my second Mac, I never connect via ethernet and always use 802.11n. I don’t think I’m alone and I do think the MacBook Air is a second Mac, not a persons only Mac.

In any event, the Air isn’t for me. Hopefully some of it’s technology will work it’s way into other Macs by the time I’m looking to replace my current machines.

I see iTunes Movie Rentals and Apple TV Take-Two as related products. The updates to Apple TV break it’s link with a computer. It can now stand on it’s own in the living room. The price drop helps too. As an Apple TV owner (and fan) I’m looking forward to the update.

The Rental service is interesting. The terms are hardly unique to Apple (Amazon Unboxed as the same 30-day/24-hour windows for one) yet a lot of people seemed to think Apple is the first in the space. It will be interesting to see if Apple raises the profile of online rentals. Even though I’m an Apple TV fan, I’m skeptical about this really taking off.

The last product introduced was Time Capsule. This product falls into the “why not?” category. Can’t say I’ve seem similar products but it’s hardly revolutionary. Integration with Time Machine on multiple Macs is nice. The pricing is reasonable when compared to the original Airport Extreme and considered a hard drive option. I’m just not going buy this to replace existing hardware and I don’t think many others will either. Hopefully this means an update to Time Machine will enable it to work with any networked disks.

Software Updates

Apple pushed out some security and Macworld related updates this week. In addition the QuickTime 7.4 and iTunes 7.6 I also received two other updates.

iMovie 7.1.1 was described as addressing…

…issues when publishing movies to a .Mac Web Gallery, improves overall stability, and addresses a number of other minor issues.

I don’t use iMovie so couldn’t say what affect, if any, this update had.

Front Row 2.1.2 was also released and has the generic description…

…provides for bug fixes and improved iTunes compatibility.

I use Front Row mainly for playing DVDs and iTunes Videos on my Intel Mac Mini. I haven’t noticed any difference when using it.

Ubuntu Server

Things are moving along with my Ubuntu Server VM. OpenSSH was set up on the server and public/private keys were set up to connect from my Mac. This week I hope to get the firewall setup (with just basic settings for testing) and then start installing the actual server software.

 

Frustrations

This week was remarkably free of frustrations.

 

The week ending was uneventful. I’m hoping the week ahead lets me spend time with Windows Home server in addition to continuing to build the Ubuntu server.