The OS Quest Trail Log #37: 2009 Kick-Off Edition

Yea, I know, I just did a trail log and there hasn’t been much happening since then, so what else could there be? Well, not much actually. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or stuff like that, but despite that I’ve spent some time recently thinking about where the Quest should go this year and have already begun some changes. I decided to put things on the record so I could compare my plans to reality at the end of the year.

Hopefully by the time the next Trail Log appears there will be a new picture in the top left as the Quest HQ expands. Most of the parts from my planned computer builds have arrived, but the keyword there is “most”. I have two planned, a Windows Home Server and Vista desktop. As Murphy planned I’m missing one critical component from each. In the case of the desktop it’s the OS and in the case of the WHS it’s, well, the case. So it’ll be next weekend before I can do the builds. So for now I’ve been doing some rearranging of my office, moving equipment around and upgrading the network.

While I’m still an Apple fan most of the new plans are Microsoft and Windows related. I’m actually looking forward to Windows 7 (unlike Vista) and will probably go so far as to install the beta once it’s released. I’m a big fan of their Windows Home Server and look forward to having a second one to play with. The Windows Live Essentials (which includes Live Writer which I’m using to write this) and Windows Live Wave 3 (web services) are also intriguing, although a bit confusing.

New, Improved and Frustrating Software

I used UltraISO for the first time this week when I had a bootable CD ISO image and needed to add some files to it. It worked great. I opened the ISO file in UltraISO, added the files to it, and saved the updated file which I then burned to CD. UtraISO is for Windows and costs $30. I was able to get what I needed using the demo copy but with it’s ability to extract files from a CD/DVD ISO image it’s something I’ll probably be buying and adding to my toolkit.

The improved software was WordPress 2.7. I finally got around to upgrading this site. The upgrade was smooth and went without a hitch.

The frustrating software was Windows Live Mesh on my Mac. I like the concept behind Microsoft’s Mesh but the latest version just won’t work right on my Mac. It starts to sync just fine but then loses the connection to the web and stops connecting. If I deleted configuration files I could set everything up again and it would work for awhile. Mesh is still in the “tech preview” phase so I can’t complain too much and it’s not worth the time to troubleshoot.

Predictions

I have absolutely no qualifications to make predictions but since that doesn’t stop others I won’t let it stop me. So here are my predictions for Macworld and the year that follows:

  • Steve Jobs will still be alive, healthy and running Apple at the end of 2009.
  • Apple won’t bring out any interesting new products in 2009, just evolutionary upgrades to current products. No iPhone Nano and no larger iPod Touch. I might be wrong on the larger iPod Touch although it’s probably my own hopes getting in the way.
  • Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote at the 2010 CES.
  • iWork will not move to the cloud. Although they may include greater iPhone and iPod Touch integration they will remain primarily desktop apps through 2009.
  • The ecosystem around Windows Home Server will continue to grow and it will continue to increase market share and fans. (Ok, this may be more wishful thinking.) Although sales numbers will pale compared to desktop windows, it will be public relations success for Microsoft.
  • Google Android based cell phones will outsell the Apple iPhone in the U.S. by the end of 2009. Although it will be due to the numerous models and their ability to run on non-AT&T networks.
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile will be on life support by the end of 2009. Naturally it won’t die, but between the iPhone and Android it will be an also-ran with few prospects. Android will hurt Windows Mobile much more than it hurts the iPhone.
  • Apple will ignore analysts calls to introduce bargain laptops and other low cost computers. It will also report record profits despite the recession.

Keep in mind, I when the first iPod was released I said people wouldn’t pay that much for a music player. Not only was I wrong, it wasn’t long before I bought my first Apple product – a 1st generation iPod.

Happy New Year.