Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Spin control.

OK, so here's the scenario. On Monday, Apple introduced the AirPort Express, which seems like a pretty gee-darn revolutionary idea. An audio-streaming, print-serving Wi-Fi repeater. Pretty cool. (And not, apparently, able to do what I'd intended, but I may be wrong.) Lots of good press ensues. The Mac world is chockablock with good feelings. Gizmodo junkies everywhere are dancing in the streets like the filthy hippies they are.

On Wednesday, Apple unleashes new PowerMacs. Only, they're not that cool. Last year Steve Jobs promised that there would be a new 3GHz G5 out within a year. They're down to the final two weeks on that promise, and Apple just threw in the towel. Not only that, but they're also saying not to expect a PowerBook or iMac G5 at all anytime soon, either. Apparently the suckers are just too darn hard to cool – and the top-of-the-line model has resorted to liquid cooling in order to keep the dual 2.5-GHz processors from setting your house on fire.

What's happening here is that the new machines are pretty nice, but they're really not that much more amazing than their predecessors, which is where Apple is yet again paying the price for setting up our expectations and then regretfully shooting 'em down. The aforementioned Gizmodo-scouring hippies are now slumped on their back porches, morosely sucking mary jane through their iBongs.

Me, I'm looking at this whole state of affairs and thinking, Dang, a dual 1.8Ghz G5 for $2000. Not too freakin' shabby. And they're apparently available now. If I had the green for this project, I could go down to the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue and lug one of these babies home. (Of course, I don't have the greenbacks, yet – bring on the projects!) The new Macs aren't that much cooler than the old Macs, but they're a damn sight cooler than what I have right now, and would go quite nicely with this 1.25GHz PowerBook.

The other thing that I find myself wondering about: Where the great bloody flipping hell are the new displays?! The G5s have been out for almost a year. There have been rumors in the channel about new displays for even longer than that. Get with the freakin' program and get those suckers out the door, and I mean right now – the buzz was there for AirPort Extreme, but you've now lost some of your shine due to your missed promise. There have to be some Apple PR guys in Cupertino jumping up and down and crying, "Spin, baby, spin!"

There is one more additional little interesting tidbit in the new G5 package, one that I'd wondered about before. In the earlier models, if you wanted the Apple Bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard, you had to buy them in addition to the ones in the box. That seemed really dumb to me. Now, if you pony up an extra $99, you can get the Bluetooth module and the wireless stuff instead of the standard set – and that Bluetooth module would've set you back $50 anyway. Nothing huge there, but a nice fix.

We'll see. If those new displays don't show up this week, they'll probably appear at WWDC in two weeks. It seems like the kind of thing that Steve would like to whip the sheet off of. Me, I'm already earmarking some pennies for a new machine and monitor. One thing at a time.

Post a Comment