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More on the eMac, Jobs, Creative and the iPod

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Apple's educational eMac is still hobbling on one leg, but will soon be put to rest. Meanwhile, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has found himself in the the thick of things once again, this time smack in the middle of the Creative/Apple spat.

eMac still here, but not for long

Although the eMac has already taken its final curtain-call and exited the consumer scene, Apple continues to fill orders for the friendly looking PowerPC-based Macs for its needy educational buyers. But in light of better things to come, this too will soon end.

By the close of the month, the all-in-one educational desktop should disappear from the Apple radar completely, reputable sources say. Supplies of the machines have already stretched thin, they say, and educational buyers are being urged to processes their final eMac orders "now."

Apple is expected to declare the eMac "end-of-life" for educational buyers in the coming weeks. Based on previous reports, there will be an approximate two-month dry period for educational Mac desktops before the company introduces its iMac Core Duo-styled eMac replacement early in the fall.

Some history on the Creative vs. Apple mess

In its "Zen" patent suit, Creative Technology claims that in the pre-iPod days of 2001, Apple came knocking on its door for help developing its own digital music player. The Singapore-based iPod rival also resorts to some entertaining name-dropping in its explanation of the affairs.

According to the filing, in January 2001, Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs approached a Creative employee at the Macworld trade show to "extol the virtues" of Creative's then popular NOMAD Jukebox.

"They then discussed a possible meeting between Creative and Apple," the filing reads. "Mr. Jobs indicated that Apple wanted a smaller version of the Nomad Jukebox digital music player."

"Shortly thereafter, on or about February 8, 2001, Creative met with Apple representatives, including Steve Jobs, to further explore ways in which the companies could work together," the filing continues. "Creative showed Apple several prototype portable digital media players that showed the patented interface."

Creative claims that Apple initially lead the company to believe a joint venture was in the works before abruptly packing it in and declaring that there is "not enough financial room in the portable digital media player market for two companies."

Instead, Apple proposed that Creative license its technology to Apple. According to the filing, "Apple [also] proposed that Creative spin off its portable digital media player business into a separate company and that Apple would then invest in that entity."

Creative declined the offers and on October 23 of that same year, Apple introduced the iPod.

More on Creative vs. Apple: Creative files suit, seeks injunction; Apple counter sues; Apple counter sues again.
post #2 of 29
The plot thickens...

Maybe Apple isn't the good guy vs. Creative afterall.

*waits for Apple apologists heads to explode*
post #3 of 29
The pirate flag once flew over cupertino...


Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?

Steve Jobs.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by wilco
Maybe Apple isn't the good guy vs. Creative afterall.

Not sure how this news bit suggests that at all. But...whatever.
post #5 of 29
Sneaky Apple, getting into Creative Labs to see the NeXT Column View that Creative copied!
post #6 of 29
Yah, I'm confused. What do you think Apple did wrong???


Business talks happen all the time. They never agreed to do anything together. Creative has nothing to complain about except for their stupidity in not taking Apple's offer when it was on the table, and now they're suffering for it. Thank goodness they didn't though.

The only issue one might bring up is that Apple saw the interface on the Creative players, set up facade meetings between the companies so they could get a better look at the players interface, learned its deepest secrets and used them in the iPod launch. But who would actually believe that!
post #7 of 29
Does anyone have a picture of the Nomad Jukebox (of 2001) interface?

Because I'd really like to know exactly what in the interface display was patented. This concept of menu lists and the opening of another menu list when an item is selected on portable electronics is quite old - heck, it's in my Sony digital camcorder dating from the late 90s.
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
Sneaky Apple, getting into Creative Labs to see the NeXT Column View that Creative copied!

nagromme is right.
The real issue is who invented(or who pantented) the column view first.
NeXT is earliest implementation of this that I am aware of.
There is another company that claims to have delveloped something similar to iTunes column view, but that is a different lawsuit.

Apple needs to aggressively protect this interface concept.
I can't wait to see an Apple iPhone that uses this type of column view/menu system!
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
eMac still here, but not for long

Although the eMac has already taken its final curtain-call and exited the consumer scene, Apple continues to fill orders for the friendly looking PowerPC-based Macs for its needy educational buyers. But in light of better things to come, this too will soon end.

By the close of the month, the all-in-one educational desktop should disappear from the Apple radar completely, reputable sources say. Supplies of the machines have already stretched thin, they say, and educational buyers are being urged to processes their final eMac orders "now."

Apple is expected to declare the eMac "end-of-life" for educational buyers in the coming weeks. Based on previous reports, there will be an approximate two-month dry period for educational Mac desktops before the company introduces its iMac Core Duo-styled eMac replacement early in the fall.

releasing it in Sept. really makes no sense unless they plan to debut it at the expo in Paris and even then it's way past the school buying season, unless Apple and schools have a special deal worked out.

I still think that the eMac will debut at NECC convention in July it just makes sense but oh well I guess we'll find out in next few months.
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Apple
releasing it in Sept. really makes no sense unless they plan to debut it at the expo in Paris and even then it's way past the school buying season, unless Apple and schools have a special deal worked out.

I still think that the eMac will debut at NECC convention in July it just makes sense but oh well I guess we'll find out in next few months.

I agree. I don't think even Apple would be that stupid in its product timing. If this rumor is true, people need to seriously be fired.

So... Apple is end-of-lifing their education machine at the start of educational buying season, having nothing to offer for the duration of it, then rolling out their new education machine just as school hardware upgrades end and students are back at school?

If that's what happens, look for a lot of market share lost and some heads rolling at Apple's education division.
post #11 of 29
This whole mess with Creative reminds me of something I heard in this week's "This Week in Media" podcast. One of the contributers made a really good point:

His argument was that, with all of these tech people being trained in problem solving in the same core ways, it's bound to happen that a solution to a problem will inherently present itself in a particular form because that's essentially the "box" in which engineers think. The only difference between engineers is who happens to come to that conclusion first.

A hierarchical menu like iPod uses is essentially a modified outline format. It's a very simple organizational scheme. There's nothing unique here, folks. Anybody who says it was their idea always leaves out the key final word "first."

The spirit of patents is to protect a truly unique idea like the formula for Coca-Cola or eHarmony's personality matching system. Patenting such a simple concept like iPod's interface is like claiming you're the best student in math class because you finished the work sheet before everyone else. So what? You were first. Big deal.
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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
This whole mess with Creative reminds me of something I heard in this week's "This Week in Media" podcast. One of the contributers made a really good point:

His argument was that, with all of these tech people being trained in problem solving in the same core ways, it's bound to happen that a solution to a problem will inherently present itself in a particular form because that's essentially the "box" in which engineers think. The only difference between engineers is who happens to come to that conclusion first.

A hierarchical menu like iPod uses is essentially a modified outline format. It's a very simple organizational scheme. There's nothing unique here, folks. Anybody who says it was their idea always leaves out the key final word "first."

The spirit of patents is to protect a truly unique idea like the formula for Coca-Cola or eHarmony's personality matching system. Patenting such a simple concept like iPod's interface is like claiming you're the best student in math class because you finished the work sheet before everyone else. So what? You were first. Big deal.

I totally agree.

Has Apple ever sued anyone for using a column interface? I think it's just other company's trying to get money out of Apple. They counter sue, but they've never picked a fight over the column view have they?
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider


Although the eMac has already taken its final curtain-call and exited the consumer scene, Apple continues to fill orders for the friendly looking PowerPC-based Macs for its needy educational buyers.

You misspelled prudent or wise; Have you been in a high school lab in 4 or 5 years? kids are BRUTAL to them...I would be really hesetent about rolling out LCDs to 12-17 year old brats that fill todays high schools.
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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
You misspelled prudent or wise; Have you been in a high school lab in 4 or 5 years? kids are BRUTAL to them...I would be really hesetent about rolling out LCDs to 12-17 year old brats that fill todays high schools.

Wouldn't a little bit of Plexiglas solve that problem? Just picture an iMac with a Plexiglas covering, it would be cheap and easy to replace after the little brats scratched it all up.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
I agree. I don't think even Apple would be that stupid in its product timing.

'cos Apple are a really stupid company right?
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
I totally agree.

Has Apple ever sued anyone for using a column interface? I think it's just other company's trying to get money out of Apple. They counter sue, but they've never picked a fight over the column view have they?

Patents and "intellectual property" (run-amuck) will be the death of our civilization. I'm prepared to put serious money up on that proposition.

...If I survive the end of the world, I'll be knocking on what's left of yall's doors to collect... \
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DCQ
Patents and "intellectual property" (run-amuck) will be the death of our civilization. I'm prepared to put serious money up on that proposition.

...If I survive the end of the world, I'll be knocking on what's left of yall's doors to collect... \


ummmm.. You can put your money where your mouth is actually:

http://www.longbets.org/

From Danny Hillis and Jeff Bezos...
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Mozzarella
nagromme is right.
The real issue is who invented(or who pantented) the column view first.
NeXT is earliest implementation of this that I am aware of.

There were designs for it far earlier than NeXT. One was in design for the Lisa interface (late 70s):

http://home.san.rr.com/deans/prototypes.html

(sixth picture down)

Which in turn was based on a Smalltalk interface, which in turn goes back to early developments from Doug Engelbart's team.

It's a very old concept, dating from before software interfaces were even patentable.

Creative got their patent because they added "on a portable device." And because the USPTO is fundamentally broken when it comes to software patents.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
You misspelled prudent or wise; Have you been in a high school lab in 4 or 5 years? kids are BRUTAL to them...I would be really hesetent about rolling out LCDs to 12-17 year old brats that fill todays high schools.

From what I understand, they are to equip the LCD's with a "Bullet proof" type of screen protector layer that will make it more durable than the former crt screens. Also the crt is the most expensive part on the current emac, for production and repairs. The new imac design will greatly reduce the cost and allow that cost to be applied to the computing itself. The reason the imac lcd sunflower type or any other lcd version was not implemented to schools, was because of the more fragile LCDs and the moving parts (i.e. the screen mount). with the current all in one imac design, and a new design on the LCD, those issues are to be resolved. This is great news for educators, and for mac as well, as the latest look will be what people are learning on, not the old "Console TV look". Not to mention the new fire in software due to the sale to parsons, and the networking and even the integration with the ipod use in education.
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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by michaelb
There were designs for it far earlier than NeXT. One was in design for the Lisa interface (late 70s):

http://home.san.rr.com/deans/prototypes.html

(sixth picture down)

Which in turn was based on a Smalltalk interface, which in turn goes back to early developments from Doug Engelbart's team.

It's a very old concept, dating from before software interfaces were even patentable.

Creative got their patent because they added "on a portable device." And because the USPTO is fundamentally broken when it comes to software patents.

Wow! Thanks for that great link!
I had a feeling I had seen in in the old OS 6/7 days but couldn't remember for sure. Apple has done so much work in GUI development that they probably have some prior art for just about anything you could imagine.

One of the other distinguishing characteristics of Apple's iPod menu system is the transitions that it employs.

When you make a menu selection the whole screen slides to the left and the sub menus slide in. As you drill down and back up it is easy to understand exactly what is happening. These transitions give a sense of continuity and frame of reference that I have never seen before in a menu system.

Every other similar menu system on portable devices just cuts to the next screen with no transition. Creative has started to copy this concept in their players as well.
post #21 of 29
Yes creative apple got you into meetings so they could LOOK at your music players interface so they could steal it. Instead of just sending a secratery to the store to BUY IT so they could look at it and copy it.

HEAD OF CREATIVE: Mr Jobs is that a camera in your hat?

JOBS: NO! Now show me that NOMAD interface again!

HEAD OF CREATIVE: Ok here it is....

JOBS: OMFG I love this shit!

HEAD OF CREATIVE: I know it's nice huh?

JOBS: Yeah I've never seen anything like this before, no one could make an interface so perfect and complex....yet simple!

HEAD OF CREATIVE: Yeah it took every ounce of R&D we had but it's done.

JOBS: (suddenly) John did you get that feed? OVER.

IVE: (through a microphone) Yeah Steve. OVER.

HEAD OF CREATIVE: What was that? Who are you talking to? Who's voice was that?

JOBS: Ummm no one. OMG I just remember I left some Tofu burgers on the grill - I gotta go - bye!

And a few months later the iPod was born.
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post #22 of 29
ROFLMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
post #23 of 29
Well, at least now we know why Creative is so pissed. They could have had half of this whole "iPod" thing.

I'd be pissed to.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay


set up facade meetings between the companies so they could get a better look at the players interface, learned its deepest secrets and used them in the iPod launch.

This happens all the time with technology companies so it really isn't surprising to me at least.
post #25 of 29
Heh... The iPod Code: The iPod "bloodline" has Creative in it. The original iPod is not the Son of Steve as we know it. The Priory of SimWongHoo has kept this secret for all these years, waiting for the right time to release this shocking truth to the world. Perhaps a murder at the 5th ave NYC glassCube will set things in motion. Muah aha ha ahh ah ah ha.

Somewhere beneath starry skies in a deep valley by the sea lies entombed the bones of the first Apple-Creative iPod-like prototype. Moved many times over the years by the Priory, she has not rested easy...



***Seriously man, I've been waking up in the middle of the night past few nights thinking about how one might write a good parody of DaVinci Code but instead dealing with the story of how now we know the iPod may not be as "pure" as we thought.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Heh... The iPod Code: The iPod "bloodline" has Creative in it. The original iPod is not the Son of Steve as we know it. The Priory of SimWongHoo has kept this secret for all these years, waiting for the right time to release this shocking truth to the world. Perhaps a murder at the 5th ave NYC glassCube will set things in motion. Muah aha ha ahh ah ah ha.

Somewhere beneath starry skies in a deep valley by the sea lies entombed the bones of the first Apple-Creative iPod-like prototype. Moved many times over the years by the Priory, she has not rested easy...

Awesome!
post #27 of 29
The summer wind spins softly across the 5th avenue plaza where Steve Job's impressive glass cube lies glowing in the deep New York night. Lt Cole looks across to Detective Cachety, muttering something under his breath. Cachety, unfazed, fixes his gaze on the man emerging from an NYPD patrol car next to the plaza.

Cachety looks Linus Namar up and down. "Not such an odd time of the early morning for a Tech writer to be up an about, hey?". Linus, slightly agitated, keeps quiet, the digital photo sent to his mobile phone still reverberating disturbingly in his head. He did it to himself, they say. Linus thinks back to the past few days, covering useless press events on the East Coast. I could have stayed back in San Francisco, he thinks, noting the pleasant rolling fog of the SF summer.

"So, what do you think of our big glass cube?", Cachety asks. "Very impressive, of course, a stunning statement of corporate tech-America.", Linus responds.

"A blight on our otherwise beatiful city. Trust someone from the West Coast to try and show us up.", grunts Cachety, motioning Linus to the glass elevator that leads down from the cube into the sprawling Apple Computer store beneath the plaza.

"Can't we take the stairs?" asks Linus nervously, shuffling slowly to the elevator. They descend into the flagship Apple store, whose opening just weeks ago was marred by a technical glitch in the glass elevator. The very one they ride down on now.

There was no ghost in the machine tonight, and Linus surveys the scene before him, Cachety still quiet, revealing nothing of why Linus, he, of all reasons, was dragged out of an otherwise good late night online chat session back in his hotel room.

"They call him the Grizzly", Lt Cole had said, in a tone both of warning and intimidation, New York Police Department style. It was Cole that knocked on Linus' hotel door, giving Linus some time to gather himself while Cole went on ahead to the scene of probably just another New York City crime.

A 24/7 operation, the Apple Store was fully lit, with various white machines proudly glowing with swirling colours on one side and a slew of iPods of all models on another. Linus looked over to the sales counters and the Genius Bar. No one seemed in sight. Probably shepherded out to be questioned in a dank room with only bad coffee on offer.

"Like the handiwork?", asks Cachety. Linus holds his arm against his nose, covering his eyes slightly. A young man, with spiky blond-dyed hair, lay on the floor, in a pool of thickened dark blood. He seemed to have ended up right in the middle of the store. "He obviously did yoga", Linus mumbled, trying desperately to lift the dull silence.

Apparently a Genius Bar employee, the agile man lay in a T, legs spread perfectly wide apart, with his body bent fully forward. He'll be missed at the fitness club, I suppose. "What do you make of this?", interrupts The Grizzly, shining a CSI-type glowing blue wand over the left leg of the tragic employee.

37 20 24 , 122 4 6
OH DRACONIAN MOBIUS
OH LAME ANTICRIST

"How the hell am I supposed to know?" shouted Linus, both irritated and horrified by the perplexing scene. He still had no idea why he had been called, apart from the fact that he wrote many an article on Apple. But so did Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. Why wasn't Walt here? He would no doubt be sleeping comfortably right now, or in front of his favourite Apple machine typing up a storm.

Linus looked closer at the words, with Cachety still holding the blue wand firmly in his gloved hand. "Magic Markers", Linus said, referring to the invisible pens used by Apple technicians and a few other select employees. Apparently when a computer is sent in to be diagnosed or fixed, various scribbles are made in the special ink, both as a tool to track computers that might be tampered with ("modded" as the geeks say) and as a way to make notes outside of the standard Apple computerised support tracking system. A long held rumor, Linus felt privileged to see real evidence of the Magic Markers, though the circumstances held his exhilaration at bay.

Suddenly there was a burst of activity at the entrance to the cube, and a young red-haired woman came assertively down the stairs. I guess she heard about the elevator incident.

"Somebody hired a cryptologist?", she said, her tone surprisingly jovial, yet with a hint of urgency. Detective Cachety turned, grinding his teeth. "Well, I guess so, Missy Sue". Almost ignoring Cachety completely, the woman strode up to Linus and introduced herself. "Susan Nancy, cryptologist covering the Manhattan precinct. Well, one of the CSIs covering the city that never sleeps."

Susan took the blue wand from Cachety and bent over the strange words. Linus held the urge to glance at her, she was attractive in an intellectual kind of way, and any brief look at her figure would attest to a gym-enthusiast ayurvedic-spa-pilates-something or other woman in her early thirties.

As though reading his thoughts, Susan got up and looked at Linus, studying him a short while. Kelly Clarkson, digitised and contorted into a mobile ringtone pierced the air. Winking at Linus Susan walked over to look at the iMacs, flipping out her cell phone and started chatting, just out of earshot.

At the same time, Linus' cell came to life, this time with a more standard, quieter clip of Nokia number 4. "Move away from Cachety, towards the stairs". It was Susan! But how?. "Umm, give me a second, bad reception, you know," Linus signalled to Cachety, who looked impatient but seemed somehow entranced with the long row of iPods, some glistening, some heavily smudged. "Fingerprinting these damn things would bring up the entire NYPD database", he thought.

Gradually edging toward the steps, Susan murmured some more instructions to Linus. She had turned on some music on one of the iMacs in front of her. Cachety looked up briefly but then returned to studying the gadgets his daughter and her friends seemed so crazy about.

"Mr. Namar, you are in grave danger. Do not look at me, and just pretend to talk into your cell. There is something I must show you, but not now. I am going to hang up now, but you stay on your phone for a while longer". And with that Susan ended the call while Linus shouted, "Mum, do you know what time it is on this side of the world? Is everything okay?".

A third cell phone rang, this time Cachety's. Giving Susan and and Linus a quick glance, he started walking towards the glass elevator. "Gotta check something on the patrol car's screen. Look around but touch nothing, Namar".

Once the portly detective was out of sight, Susan walked rapidly to Linus. "We don't have much time. This is the fourth line of the message on the floor, which Cachety rubbed off before you got here. You're a suspect, Mr. Namar."

"Linus is fine", he replied, looking at Susan's cell phone screen. The fourth line read:

NS CALL LINUS NAMAR

Susan moved closer to Linus, her eyes almost hawk-like now. "Did you have a Genius Bar appointment with this young man on the floor, Linus?". Feeling his frustration rise, Linus barked under his breath, "I was planning on taking my laptop in here for a checkup while I was in town but I hadn't made a specific appointment, I just called and chatted with someone for a short while. What the hell is going on? What has all this got to do with me?"

Grabbing Linus by the arm, she ran over to the message on the floor. "Think, Linus, what this message could mean. Search the deepest, geekiest recesses of your mind and tell me, what could this be?". "You're the cryptologist," replied Linus. Susan snapped back almost instantly, "The damn numbers have no algorithm, code or symbology that strikes me. Maybe it has some reference to Apple technology, people or..."

"History.", Linus interjected. "The numbers are latitude and longitude figures that mark the place where Apple was founded - on Crist drive, in Los Altos, California. Mobius must refer to 1 infinite loop, the road name of Apple's current location. The Apple I personal computer kit was sold at US$666.66, obviously the sign of the devil for some but probably a joke by the then playful founders of the company."

Linus looked at Susan in disbelief. All his years of covering technology news and researching quaint trivia had somehow paid off today. There was a glow in Susan's eyes now, as she whispered, "Excellent. I knew you were the right man for the job."




....END OF EXCERPT......Look out for more in the coming days.....if inspiration strikes .................................................. .......................
(just like Dan Brown's work, there's a lot of inconsistencies in this story. Plus I haven't been to NYC recently )
post #28 of 29
^ Me likey.
post #29 of 29
Heh. This stuff writes itself, man..!!
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