Macworld was rather disappointing this year. Firstly, because the webcast is either just too overloaded or the file is corrupted. I tried playing it all day and could barely get any sound from it, and the video was severly corrupted.
Secondly, there wasn't anything that great presented. Arpeture is cool, but way out of my league. Intel Macs are here, ho-hum. The MacBook Pro is a lame name. The iMac doesn't offer anything compelling over my iMac G5 except a speed boost. I still find my iBook G4 to be adequate on speed, so my iMac G5 isn't holding me down at all. The addition of an iSight to the MacBook and iMac isn't compelling. I can buy one for little more than $100. Something I've noted that is curiously omitted from all the Apple literature is the expected battery life on new MacBooks. All I can find simply says Battery life depends on configuration and use. It would be sorely disappointing to find out that it's only 2-3 hours. The new power cable for the MacBook is cool. I wouldn't mind having one of those. For the record I was using Macs before they were Intel. I suppose that if I were a PowerBook type of guy I'd be more interested in the MacBook, maybe. And why can't I get Front Row for my old iMac G5?
iPods are selling really well. Duh. An FM tuner from Apple is available. I use my iPod to avoid FM radio. I'm not sure why everyone thinks the radio is so hot.
iWork is probably the biggest disappointment. I really wanted a spreadsheet. Instead, there's freeform shapes and masks. Freeform masks are cool, I admit. But I really wanted a spreadsheet. I've never once used Keynote except to play with it for a couple of minutes. Never given a presentation. Never made one. $79 a year to not use an application is quite a lot. Word for Mac alone is $199, so I guess getting Pages for $79 and Keynote for free isn't bad. I've used Pages twice this year. Once to take notes for a meeting. Second to update my resumé, which at current I don't plan on using. OpenOffice.org is kind of a pain in the ass to use, but it has a spreadsheet (that can't save to network volumes, I might add :-( ) and it's free. What's a guy to do?
iLife. Where to begin? Photocasting? Nice idea, nice extension to publishing albums with iPhoto, but I know exactly two people who ise iPhoto, me and my mom. Not that iPhoto isn't good. It's great, I love it, that's why I use it. But I don't know another single person who uses it. The new editing features are cool though. I'll probably buy it just for that. I can now edit more than one movie at a time in iMovie, but I don't have a camcorder anyway. Widescreen menus in iDVD, but I can't make my own Battlestar Galactica DVDs, so what else would I use it for? Saving videos to the video iPod that I don't have? QT Pro is cheaper. I used iDVD exactly once in the past two years that I've had it. iWeb can publish blogs to .Mac, but I already have a blog and I basically only use .Mac for e-mail storage. I'm not sure if iWeb has any other useful features. It'd be nice if it supported xmlrpc so I could publish to my WordPress blog (which I upgraded to 2.0 today, and the admin interface is just gorgeous). GarageBand is another something I've never used. Looks cool. I have a guitar that I don't play that I may use with GarageBand if I ever did start to play it. GarageBand now does podcasts. I detest the sound of my own recorded voice, but then again so does everybody except the most narcissistic souls. iTunes appears to have been removed from iLife. It's just as well, they give it away free anyway.
Trade your PPC cd's in for Universal Binary CD's for $50 a pop. Rosetta works fairly well. Microsoft promises to support Mac for at least another five years (which as kottke points out probably means they'll get exactly one more release). Big Fraking Deal. Mac OS X 10.4.4 is available today, bug fixes, some new widgets (which were either useless or redundant). Ho-hum, blah blah blah. I really wanted a spreadsheet. And a MacMini-DVR.
A few musings: Everybody keeps saying "now 6 applications in iLife" but Apple doesn't mention iTunes being part of it, when will everyone else catch on? Will GRUB work on the Intel Macs? Someone should buy RMS a MacBook.
I was really excited about Macworld this year. Maybe the hype in my own mind didn't live up to the expectations. The last two years I was so blown away by Macworld, the WWDC and Apple Expo. This year it's kind of cool, but definitely less than spectacular. Maybe that's because this year is more about hardware and less about software, and I'm way less into hardware than I used to be. Intel Macs are significant, I admit. But if Apple does it right the only thing users will notice is "it's faster", so in the grand scheme of things it's really a non-event.