MacWorld 2K: Like fish in a barrel

And here I thought today was gonna be quiet and boring, but I found an article so funny it gives Something Awful a run for its money. Of course I'm not sure it's supposed to be funny... Anyway, here's the link to the story at, which covers a bevy of announcements made today at MacWorld.

First up is a new keyboard and mouse; in keeping with the fact there's an Apple logo on them, each will cost $59. What cracks me up is this quotation from Steve Jobs: "Some people didn't like the old mouse." I don't think that quite covers it. Some people didn't like serial killer Ted Bundy—the entire world banded together to hate the hockey puck mouse. Ah, well, at least there's a fun quotation to take out of context: "We have many faults...." Sure, he goes on to finish, "but we listen [to compaints]." but it's much more fun to just quote the first part.

Moving on, we get to the new PowerMacs, some of which, according to the article, have dual processors "in a 'velocity engine.'" The term "Velocity engine" is in quotation marks in the article, which I'm fairly certain is reporter-speak for "It's possible not even Steve Jobs knows what this phrase means."

The top-of-the-line model features dual 500 MHz G4's. I'm glad Apple got dual processor boxes at long last—you have to do something if your processor clock speeds are half those of the competition—but then they claim "[t]he power is equivalent to 2 gigahertz in an Intel Pentium III chip . . ." which sounds suspiciously to me like 500 MHz + 500 MHz = 1000 MHz. Anybody who knows jack about SMP boxes knows that this is a load of crap. I'm not even going to comment on the whole "A 500 MHz G4 is faster than a 1000 MHz PIII" thing, as the statement is based entirely on contrived tests of Photoshop filters that are heavily optimized on the Mac side.

But wait, it gets better. Jobs actually has the cojones to say, "These are the first personal computers in history with dual processors. . . ." Hear that, all you readers with your dual PIII boards and BP6's loaded with dual Celerons? I don't know what the hell you think you're computing on, but it's not an SMP personal computer, because Apple's got that market locked up.

Not only has Apple invented SMP on PC's, they've invented a new networking technology. According to the article, "the G4s will feature an added gigabyte ethernet on the motherboard." I assume that's eight times faster than the standard gigabit ethernet. To be fair, that could be a mistake on the part of the article's author, but given the above, I doubt it. Jobs then says that this ethernet port "usually costs $1,000 as an upgrade. . . ." Well, maybe on a Mac it does, Steve, but I found a gigabit PCI card for $285 without too much trouble. Not that I would want one, since gigabit isn't really necessary for personal computers at this point, anyway.

I did get a kick out of the announcement of the G4 Cube, if only because of this story that was on Slashdot yesterday. Apple Insider published some pictures of the G4 Cube yesterday. Another site, The Mac Junkie, proclaimed they were frauds, saying something to the effect of 'I'm very familiar with Photoshop, and I can tell these pictures are obvious fakes. Besides, there aren't any handles on the box, and Apple is big on handles. And there's a vent right on the top; what if you spilled something on it? It'd go straight into the machine!' Of course, I'm paraphrasing, because the page is gone now. Apple's legal department shut down both site's pictures, because it turned out the no-handled, stupid-vent-on-top G4 Cube pics were legit. LOL.

Don't worry, though; all is not lost, becuase Apple also announced.... new iMac colors! Yes, that's right, you can all sleep soundly this evening knowing that soon, iMacs will be available in sage, indigo, ruby, graphite and snow. No word on whether the new iMacs have vents on top for you to pour your drink in like the G4 Cube.

Whew, I've really devoted way too much time to this, but it's just too much fun reporting on MacWorld, especially when Steve Jobs starts talking. I'm gonna go take some Tylenol now; my sides hurt.

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