Saturday, October 22

Apple media center? --And my Apple wishes

An interesting article speculating on Apple's future in the Media Center PC business.

For what it's worth, my first reaction when I saw the new iMac was that they should put FrontRow into a Mac Mini with video-out ports. If they market it as a DVD player with a hard drive (which, by the way, also runs OSX), I think it could be a huge winner.

Since I'm pontificating on products I think Apple should make, let me also add that a Powerbook tablet would be awesome. Tablets are the computers that are basically just a touch-sensitive screen, but the ones that exist only run Windows thus far. There are also convertibles, which are basically laptops whose screens swivel around to become Tablet PCs. I'm not sure if the Apple tablet should be a convertible (John C. Dvorak thinks convertibles negate all the coolness of the tablet idea, anyway), but I'd really love to be able to view PDF documents on a screen rotated to Portrait orientation... especially if I had a PDF viewer application that I could use to make notes that are saved with the PDF itself (for example, by saving an additional graphic layer that is superimposed onto the PDF). If I had this, I could cut the number of pages I actually print at work by at least 50%... most of my printing is because I need to look at proofs and scribble edits on them, just to make the edits to the file and print them out again. The MusicPad Pro by Freehand Systems does basically this very thing, but it runs a customized and stripped-down Linux distro. I'd really like to be able to use a tablet that had the full power of OSX on it in addition to viewing and note-taking capabilities.

So, the media center Mini, the tablet Mac, and... the iPod PDA. There are actually very few changes Apple would have to make in order to flesh the iPod out as more of a PDA. Fore example, using only the controls they've implemented already, it should be simple to add a feature that lets you check and uncheck to-do items (as mentioned in the first comment on the iPod nano review to which I linked earlier. It would be very cool if they could somehow include a slide-out QWERTY keyboard or something as well, but any minor ability to perform any sort of input or edit actions on calendar, todo, or contact data would be awesome.

So, Steve-O, if you're listening... I want:
1. an iPod PDA (nano would be even cooler than full-size)
2. an OSX tablet (and a PDF reader that allows recordable edits via the touch-screen)
3. a Mac media center (but this is nowhere near as useful as the other two; it's just cool)

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.