Tag Archives: apple


Keynote Coverage

Musical selections: Some hip-hop track, Vertigo by U2, Technologic by Daft Punk, Speed of Sound by Coldplay, the track from the old Macworld iPod ads.

Video coverage of the attendees shows someone with a Windows tablet (slight booing), someone holding up a laptop that says “JIMMY!” on the screen (cheering), someone holding up an iSight to record (laughter), jugglers (what the hell?), Woz (applause).
10:01 and the “program about to begin” sign shows up. 10:03, copyright notice with “Product specifications are subject to change without notice.”

Steve is out, NO JEANS! “Today’s an important day.”

Conference stats:

– 3,800+ attendees, largest in the last decade
– 45 countries, including China and India
– 110 lab sessions, 39 hands-on sessions
– 95 presentation sessions
– 500+ Apple engineers on-site
– 400+ Design Award entries
– 500,000 ADC members

Retail update:

– 109 stores around the world
– 1 million visitors per week
– $500M in third party products in the last year
– Shows the London store, says it’s “phenominal”
– Video shown at a real estate convention made by the retail team. (Music: Rubberneckin’ Oakenfold Remix.)
– $2 billion in sales by the fourth year
– Average earnings of $4000 per square foot

iPod/iTMS update:

– Know you’ve entered popular culture when you’re on the cover of the New Yorker.
– 16 million iPods sold at the end of last quarter total.
– 76% of the entire MP3 market (including flash and hd-based).
– 430 million songs sold on iTMS to date.
– iTMS owns 82% of the marketshare for online music sales in May 2005.
– Podcasting coming in iTunes 4.9
– Steve elaborates on the “Wayne’s World for radio”; he meant you can do it without a lot of capital.
– Calls it the “hottest thing in radio”.
– Gives a list of the major companies that have jumped on Podcasting.
– You *can* type URLs into iTunes 4.9
– New Podcast item in the source list.
– Quick and easy way to grab new podcasts.
– Apple is going to be doing podcasts of new music weekly. As you scrub through the podcast, the artwork changes – big applause. Shows chapter functionality too.
– Expects this to take podcasting mainstream.

Mac general update:

– Growth rates, year-over-year: PC growth rate has gone from 18% to 13%, Mac growth rate has gone from 8% to 42%.
– Today: QT7 Windows Preview release.
– Over a billion QT downloads over its lifetime.
– Tiger is the “best release we’ve ever shipped”.
– This week, Apple will deliver the 2 millionth copy of Tiger (includes retail/maintenance/new Macs).
– Dashboard widget demo
– Uses Business Week widget to look up top stories about Apple to laughter.
– Gets another Longhorn dig in with the countdown widget.
– Tiger represents 16% of OS X user base. Panther is 49%, Jaguar is 25%, 10.0/1 are 10%. Expects Tiger to be 50% for this time next year.
– Next release of OS X will be Leopard. No focus at the conference today. Intend to release it at the end of 2006/early 2007, right around the Longhorn release.


– There is a TON of muttering under breaths.
– Mac in its history has had two major transitions.
– 680×0 to Power PPC
– Classic to OS X, set up for the next 20 years
– Time for the third transition
– It’s true (small intel style e)!
– PowerPC to Intel processors starts now for developers and for customers in 2006-2007.
– “Why are we doing this?” We want to be making the best computer for our customers looking forward.
– Brings up the G5 laptop and the 3.0 GHz Tower, but these aren’t the most important reasons.
– Looking ahead, while we have great products right now, we have ideas of future products and we can’t make them with PPC
– Power consumption is a big key to this motivation (gives an integer comparison chart).
– Next year, at this time, Macs shipping with Intel processors
– In 2007, at this time, transition will be mostly complete, totally done by the end of 2007.
– Two major challenges in this transition.
– First: Making OS X “sing” on Intel
– OS X has been leading a secret double life for the last 5 years.
– #1 rule: Designs for OS X must be processor independent
– #2 rule: Every project must run on Intel and PowerPC
– EVERY release of OS X for the last 5 years has been compiled for Intel and PowerPC, confirming rumors.
– Demo system he’s been using has been runing on this morning is Intel (Pentium 4, 3.6 GHz)
– It’s singing, it’s really indistinguishable from G5 chips.
– Very far along, but not done, going to put this in developer hands.
– Second: Your apps
– Four types of apps
– Widgets/scripts/Java – just work
– Cocoa apps: “Small tweak (few days) and recompile”
– Carbon / Xcode – “Tweak (few weeks) and recompile”
– Carbon / Metrowerks – “Switch to Xcode, tweak (few weeks), recompile.”
– Top 100 developers, over half are using Xcode, 25% are in the process of switching.
– This is “nothing” like Carbonization.
– Trots out Mathematica who he called last Wednesday to port over to Intel.
– Theo Grey out to talk about the process.
– Took two hours to get running on Intel.
– “Twenty lines of source code from a dead cold start”.
– “YMMV”
– Xcode 2.1 out today
– When you build, check a box for Intel or PowerPC.
– Universal Binary, runs on both PPC and Intel.
– Both processors supported for a “very long time”.
– Not every app is going to be universal on Day 1.
– Technology called Rosetta.
– Translates PowerPC to Intel
– Runs existing apps
– Dynamic binary translator
– Transparent to users, nothing like Classic
– Lightweight, no big memory footprint
– “Fast (enough)”
– Demo: Word opens fine. Excel opens fine. Quicken runs fine. Photoshop works fine, although it’s a little slow on load – fine on file open after it’s loaded. Photoshop plugins work fine.
– Developer Transition Kit
– 3.6 GHz Pentium 4
– OS X for Intel 10.4.1
– Xcode 2.1
– Universal Binary Porting Guide
– Development platform only, NOT A PRODUCT
– Have to return by end of 2006
– Select and Premier ADC members only
– ***$999***
– Shipping in two weeks
– From Microsoft: Roz Ho, General Manager of MBU
– Not a great speaker.
– Final touches on updates for Exchange users
– Releasing a new version of MSN Messanger in the next few months
– Team has been working closely with Apple on the Intel thing
– Planning on releasing universal binaries
– No actual solid announcement, just “looking forward to working together into the future”.
– From Adobe: Bruce Chizen, CEO
– “Absolutely committed to putting apps running natively on new Intel boxes.”
– “We will be the first with this transition, as we were for OS X.”
– “Found something pretty amazing: They’re kind of like us.”
– Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel
– “We are so excited at Intel to have been given the opportunity to work with Apple to bring you really great products.”
– The story:
– Intel founded in 1968 in Mountain View.
– 1976, Apple founded 5 miles away.
– Bob and Andy Grove were early investors in Apple.
– 1976, Apple went with MOS, IBM went with Intel.
– 1993, Apple goes with PPC, Intel launches Pentium.
– 1996, Apple sets fire to Intel’s bunny man.
– Shows commerical just for kicks, much cheering.
– 2005, “The most innovative computer company and the world’s most innovative chip company finally team up.” Big applause.

Where does this leave us?

– Apple is strong.
– Mac is strong.
– Great time to start building for the future.
– We know transitions.
– We’re getting ready.
– Time for you to get ready, too.
– 90+ of the sessions include content about Universal versions.
– 100+ dev transition systems in 7 labs this week.
– “Soul of the Mac is it’s operating system, and we’re not standing still.”

WWDC Sendoff

Today is the magic day; in six hours, I’ll be leaving on a jet(blue) plane, winging my way towards San Francisco towards what will be a week of me taking in sessions, meeting up with people, and plugging things in to recharge them on a regular basis.

The interest in the keynote from Steve has risen sharply in the last 12 hours as CNet swears that Apple is going to announce a switch to Intel chips. I’m a little dubious still – I had my money on an Intel-based tablet, not a full architecture switch – but I consider this to be most interesting. Either CNet will have burned all of what little was left of their credibility, or there will be blood splattered on the walls of the Presidio. Win-win in my book.

As a reminder, my WWDC Itinerary is fully up to date and contains all the info you need to stalk me like a wild animal through the halls of Moscone West.

I will be blogging every session I’m in while at WWDC, but only the keynote thoughts will appear on this blog. Individual sessions will appear on my workblog, which (unsurprisingly) isn’t available to those people who don’t work for OAC. Be sure to also keep your eye on the Flickr pool, as it’s sure to have a variety of strange happenings.

Also, the customary navel-gazing birthday post will appear promptly on June 6th. I know you can’t wait for that.

(Picture above is from last year at WWDC, of the not-quite-unfurled Apple logo.)

Quartz Composer: Tiger’s Sleeper Hit App?

Tiger is now officially out, and around the world Apple users are experiencing what I can only dub as “Christmas in April”. A whole new OS, new updates for a ton of major OS-critical apps (J2SE 5.0! ARD 2.2! Server Tools 10.4! Quicktime 7! Xgrid 1.0!), new updates for most apps people use on a daily basis to either fix bugs in 10.4 (Transmit) or add new features (Quicksilver, Delicious Library).

Apple’s pushing hard on the 200 new features, and there’s a lot of shuffle right now to get lost in. But I’d like to focus our eyes on one little thing in particular: Quartz Composer.

Quartz Composer is…well, let me quote Apple’s “feature of the week”:

> Use the advanced graphics capabilities of Mac OS X Tiger and the free developer tools to create your own screensaver module. Combine Core Image plug-ins with OpenGL, QuickTime and RSS to make dazzling effects which will amaze and delight your friends. Quartz Composer’s graphical interface requires no programming skills or tedious layout markup, though you will need to understand basic logic flow. Have fun!

If you have the developer tools installed (they’re on the DVD, right below the OS installer), you can find Quartz Composer in `/Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools/`. When you open it, try picking “Mac OS X Screen Saver”. Notice the little preview window? Congratulations, you’ve got a self contained screen saver just like that.

Quartz Composer works on a very easy-to-follow logic flow module. Items have inputs and outputs, and they plug into each other. Apple’s provided a lot of basic objects to build off of, and if you spend a few hours monkeying around with it and seeing what hooks together, you can leverage Core Image and build some seriously cool stuff without any programming. Like this:

Yup, I’m that much of a NYC nerd, that I took an image I found on Google of the Union Square Clock, and with the logic listed in the Ask Gothamist article about said clock, built a Quartz Composer screen saver of the beloved and perplexing Union Square clock. It’s not flawless – I’m having a hard time getting the text positioning exactly right, especially since the Perspective Filter is a pain in the ass – but it’s close. You can download it here:

If you have 10.4 and Quartz Composer, you can download this and open it up to see the basic logic I used – I’ve even commented the damn thing so it’s easy to follow.

If you have 10.4 but are lazy or not interested, you can download it and dump it in your screensavers directory (`~/Library/ScreenSavers/`) and it’ll work just like any other screen saver.

I know the community is all aflutter over Spotlight, Dashboard, and Automator – one more amazingly cool app couldn’t hurt.

Apple Easter Eggs Still Exist

I was digging through some tech notes this morning for work to find some help with this authentication problem I’m bumping into, and I found this gem in the localizatition section of “Authorization for Everyone”:

> With this right specification you will see that, when prompted to authorize, a user who prefers English over Australian English will see the message “You must be authorized to do alpha.” while a user who prefers Australian English over English will see “Strewth! You must be authorised to do alpha.”. For Australians it’s very important that every sentence contains an expletive (and that “authorised” be spelt with an ‘s’).

It was a needed laugh on a crappy day. Carry on.

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Apple has finally announced a ship date for OS X 10.4 and 10.4 Server; it’ll see its official release on April 29th.

It’s honestly rather strange, now that we’re four years into OS X, how Apple manages to keep cramming in new useful features into each major OS revision. My appreciation for Apple’s engineers grows with each OS revision as they refine and enhance the interfaces I see so much over the course of a day. Just as often, my forehead wrinkles in confusion when menu items move, key commands change, and functionality disappears – but as they always say, “Adopt, Adapt, Improve”.

One of the key reasons I’m both dreading and cheering on Tiger is the b40 release of Quicksilver. The developer [dropped a few notes](http://forums.blacktree.com/viewtopic.php?t=1956) on the forum a short while ago; a synopsis:

– B40 will be released around the same time Tiger is; it will be a Tiger only build.
– B36 will be released at the same time as B40; it will be the last Panther build and have no expiration code (as all the previous betas have).
– Features in Tiger that will probably be leveraged include “*Core data for the catalog storage and used in a few of the plugins (iTunes). Core image for Superflous Visual Effects once i can figure out how. New XML tools for the plugin management. Spotlight for a new catalog sources and some additional functionality. Automator for workflow actions, and (hopefully eventually) individual action*”
– It will have a shiny new icon.

It speaks a lot to the power of Quicksilver that one of the key reason I’m excited for a whole new operating system is not the incredibly useful Dashboard, not the thousand-times-better Mail.app, not the wizzy services I’ll get to use on 10.4 Server, not even Spotlight. No, it’s that Quicksilver will again be moving forward and enhancing my day-to-day work in new and exciting ways.

(The reason I’m dreading it? Because I know I’m going to have to overhaul my tutorials for the fifth time.)

A Different Take on iTunes 4.0.1

Looking around at the headlines on various blog friends…

“iTunes 4.0.1 Goes Straight To The Top Of My ‘Blow Me” List’ – Corey Tamas

“iTunes 4.0.1 = ass” – Peter Cohen

…you’d think Apple has pulled the biggest boner in history with iTunes 4.0.1.

For you non-Mac users (and it’s required by bloglaw that I describe the situation), iTunes 4.0 had the ability to stream music over the Internet, as a offshoot feature from the Rendezvous sharing. The community bit into this like a rabid dog, and immediate there were twenty ways to steal MP3s via this manner, never mind huge listings of places you can stream off of people. iTunes 4.0.1’s biggest change is that you can only stream off of people on your subnet.

Before I start off on my little anti-anti-Apple rant, let me just say that I agree with Peter that it’s silly to try and use technology to police human nature. And I agree with Corey that Apple trying to push this as some sort of great, positive upgrade is hugely boneheaded.

But honestly, what’s the option for Apple here? Their product is getting exploited for uses that it wasn’t designed for. Are they supposed to ignore that? Are they supposed to just leave the feature in and go, “Hey guys, cut that shit out”?

And needless to say, we are talking about Apple here. The company where every move they make is followed by a flood of criticism, no matter what the decision is. Faster machines? Well, they aren’t cheap enough. New OS X upgrade with tons of new features? Well, shit, we shouldn’t have to pay $130 for it, we should pay $20 instead. Losing support for my machine from 1996? Those bastards, how dare they. Won’t get Quartz Extreme to run on my Rage IIc with 2MB VRAM? I hate Apple, I’m going to go buy a PC.

This isn’t a forced upgrade, although I would imagine things will break as much as Apple can make them break if you’re still using 4.0 – which isn’t very much. You can’t stream on a LAN between 4.0 and 4.0.1. Maybe somehow they can disable the IMS for 4.0 users – but to the people that are really fighting this upgrade (the ones who quite possibly might’ve been abusing the internet streaming), is that really going to matter?

I think that given all the options, Apple made the only decision they really could – and I’m not going to begrudge them of that just because they took away a feature I barely use.