— Tom Ierna
Our trusted sources tell us that Snow Leopard will be available in stores on Friday, May 29th!
— Tom Ierna
Things are in flux, right now, a real sea-change in the entire computer industry, from top to bottom, has been in play since the middle of 2006.
- At the top, general purpose servers are giving way to appliances. Storage appliances, firewalls, DNS appliances, mail appliances, loghost appliances, web proxies, load balancers – when someone starts selling turnkey RDBMS and webhost appliances, it’s all-fucking-over for the big iron and the megabuck software applications that run on it.
- At the bottom, Netbooks rule. Linux owns this space in the long haul. For the moment, Microsoft ships on more of them, but this will no longer be true as the price keeps going down. You can get a Dragon processor powered netbook for $200. Pegatron (a spin-off of ASUS) is planning on Freescale-based netbooks in the $150 range, that get 8hrs of battery life, and run cool to the touch. In a return to the Amiga days, they will have specialty chips that offload stuff like HD video from the processor made possible by a special, paid-for Ubuntu distro. Microsoft will have to sell its OS for a few bucks to compete, at which point the Obama DOJ sharpens its anti-trust knives. No can has loss-leader under consent decree. Not yours. ( And speaking of the Amiga, did anyone else see the eee Keyboard? Dude. ASUS out-Appled Apple with this little unit. A full pc, with wireless HDMI out, in a keyboard that looks a lot like Apple’s aluminum one, and, oh yeah, the touchpad is a secondary color LCD display the size of a numeric keypad.)
- In the middle, Apple sold ten million Macs last year. A lot of that was driven by frustration with Vista, and my PC-weenie brother has declared Windows 7 to be the next coming of Windows2000 (without having actually been able to download it yet), but still – momentum is hard to shift. Every one of the hard-core IT nerds I work with owns a Mac at home, now… they’re all nervous and evasive around me when discussing this, because they’re afraid I’ll hit them over the head with “I told you so” smugness. (I’ve grown past that, and am now Nostalgia Guy, waxing poetic about my old Mac Portable, the Powerbook G3, Cyberdog, Burning Monkey Solitaire and how awesome window tabs were on the old MacOS. This might be an equally valid excuse in not discussing your Mac around me, come to think of it.) Steve Ballmer sneers that away with a claim that there were 300 million PCs sold… but he’s wrong. Intel, AMD and Via sold 300 million x86 chips. Nowhere near all of that was used in a Windows PC. In terms of Safari, around 9% of all web traffic is generated by this one, Mac-specific app. Considering the popularity of Firefox, Camino and Opera, it’s a safe bet Apple’s market share is closer to the 15% mark than further… and this is in the middle of a recession!
- In the pocket. Apple’s iPhone changed everything – Blackberry and WinMo are flailing madly, and failing badly, in the face of the New School. Even so, assuming that Apple had a mortal lock forever was a mistake. Google’s Android is generating warm-fuzzy love despite being saddled with a crappy phone… and better, much better, hardware is on the way. And now Palm comes out swinging, hell-bent on doing to the iPhone what it did to the Newton. Palm has been a sleepwalking zombie for the past seven years, and now, the sleeper has woken! Palm’s back, and back in a big, bad way… app store and all. (Despite the unfortunate name, which already has slash-fiction afficionados snickering mercilessly) Oh, and this is Palm, so expect full disclosure of its API and hardware to any and all interested developers, in stark contrast to the Apple Way.
I didn’t just want to buy a new iPhone 3G, I had to.
See, I was at Busch Gardens a few days ago, and when I rode Sheikra, my
old original iPhone fell out of my pocket to a watery grave.
In any case, this video documents the travails that I, my son, and two friends went through to get an iPhone 3G on day one.
Postscript: a couple of hours after we got back, all three of us were able to connect to iTunes and activate our phones.
— Tom Ierna
— Matthew Sparby