Convergence and the Future

in General Discussion edited January 2014
This thread pulls from Mac OS X and Future Hardware so this I thought was the best place for it. I wrote this over several days trying to organize and get as much as possible down. The remainder is what was written.


Be forewarned, this is a long post.

Another thread mentioned the convergence of events in Apple history happening now. The release of the greatest system software and the highly speculated PowerMacs to name major ones. Jaguar will put MS so far behind they won't even be able to see the the glow of a little Blue Apple.

The leaked photos suggest serious heat suggesting serious processing power. Then there is of course all the iApps and Apple old and new acquisitions.

The question I put out to you is, "What is Apple's future?" What technology and software will Apple bring to the picture? I don't want, "Apple's dead" or "M$ will be bought by Apple in 3 quarters" crap. I want realistic ideas on what is possible with the tools Apple has shown they have in their arsenal or will within a reasonable timespan. (One year, lets say)


Here's my contribution:

At the very latest, I expect a new CPU with RapidIO (I just converted from HT) to be released at MWNY '03(or might it be Boston next year). Anyway, the mobo could and should have, FIreWire 2, USB2, AGP3.0 (8x), PCI-X, Serial ATA, and be freaking fast. InfiniBand is a possibility on PowerMacs and Servers. Bluetooth and AirPort 2 (802.11b/g) will be built-in to allow for that instant connectivity that you would have had to purchase.

I just read the presentation on Quartz Extreme and a thread about it. The capabilities of QE alone will easily put Apple ahead by years. The other thread mentions depth-of-field, real shadows, etc. QE will let virtual desktops be placed onto a cube (technically a box since screens aren't usually 1:1). What would be really great is if you could do something similar to what you can do with AOL for accounts. Instead of losing your connection just switch users momentarily or even have the capability to check for unread messages in another users account, but not being able to read it. An item in the Apple Menu says "Log In as Different User" a window comes up asking for username and password with Cancel and OK buttons. If log in is successful, the "cube" rotates into the other desktop.

Inkwell will expand the capabilities of the average user to an extent not yet realized. What I would like to see in the next version of AppleWorks is tight-integration with Inkwell. Drawing a table on the tablet puts one in. Write the cell name and data and it's automatically entered in a spreadsheet. Drawing and painting will obviously draw and paint. Drawing could be a little more difficult since it uses polygons, hence straight lines which would be difficult for someone to draw. A drawing device would end up being a mouse and for entering info to change an object's attributes.

I am hoping for many options in using symbols to do things with Inkwell. Similar to Speakable Items, writing an Application name will open it and while writing, once the name it unique you don't have to finish writing it. So "iP" becomes "iPhoto". For names that have the same beginning but one continues, let's say Netscape and Netscape Navigator. To launch Netscape add a star to the end (or some other symbol) to signify that only Netscape is wanted and not to wait for the "N" that isn't coming. There would always be the small delay as it awaits the next letter but then realizes that that's it so launches Netscape.

iChat, Rendezvous, and QTBroadcaster will eventually allow for instant video-conferencing and project management. Take your PowerBooks into the office, plug into a hub on the table and your computers can instantly share information about your work.

More Rendezvous enabled printers will become available making network setup even more simplified.

The yet to be shown potential of .Mac has myself anxiously awaiting the release of Jaguar when some things are to come supposedly. The rumored Internet shopping discounts and the like may become a reality. It would be a good business move I believe. Internet shopping sites would be quick to help 2.2 million people into their stores. Those numbers will dwindle before the new year, when this would be more likely.

As for Digital Hub devices, some kind of video device is not unlikely, especially with QTBroadcaster and iChat mentioned above. What I think would be really cool is a video camera that you can plug into your iPod to record video onto. They should make it work with other FireWire HDs to not upset people who already have them and don't need an iPod. Perhaps only the iPod would allow playback to the camera.

This also lends to the SUN/Apple/Ericsson "Standards-based Wireless Content Delivery Solution". Apple is not the company to provide a set-top box for streaming video, but there is always that possibility. Plug-in your Apple camera and edit on your TV screen. Stream video to and from your computer, along with MP3 streaming throughout the home. iTunes 4 (I think this feature would be more than a "dot" release) will allow two playlists to be going, one on the computer and one streaming. You can set up a "Radio Station" playlist which can be selected by Control-clicking on one and selecting it as such. This way, you don't have to add your entire library to a playlist. It will work similar to QTSS where you can specify the star count and those songs will get repeated more often. Songs without stars will be defaulted as 3 star/average. In this particular implementation of networking, using 802.11a might be a better choice to reduce interference, and I believe the shorter range will keep others from feeding off your stream. Additional Note: There is a standard to be finished next year, basically FireWireless. It only operates at 100Mbps but 802.11a/g get 54Mbps, so nearly double speed is good.

A pen/stylus/tablet device cannot be ruled out either. New gyroscopes and sensors can allow for a pen to detect it's motion so no tablet is needed. Theoretically, such a device could be used on a monitor (so long as it didn't scratch). A point, most likely in the menu bar, to maintain availability, would be used as the starting point for all motion on the screen. Or maybe the pen could be "calibrated" to the screen size when it is set up. On the new iMac, pull the screen down and tilt it out as a drawing table then use your little Bluetooth enabled pen to point and write on the screen. Apple displays can have an extra leg in the that can flip down to tilt the screen when it is laying down. There is already a pen that uses optical tracking to position itself which is available. What would be cool feature is to have the keyboard have an "inkwell" to put the pen in to automatically recharge the battery. I think USB should be able to provide the power necessary. This would also tell the computer that the user is no longer using the pen. I don't know how much power Bluetooth would use but I think a battery should last relatively long outside of the charger.

On to Apple's recent acquisitions. emagic and Logic have serious potential on the Mac. I was recently looking through a music catalog and found at least half the apps ran on Mac, and Mark Of the Unicorn's software being Mac exclusive. Digidesign is integrating FireWire into their products and MOTU has had constant Mac support. Logic will become the next pro-App. Shake will also become the next pro-App. Let's see: Final Cut Pro3 w/ Cinema Tools and Shake for high-end video work ($3500), DVD Studio Pro ($1000), Sound Stage Pro (or whatever) ($1500, I forget what they said pricing would be). Add in a new PowerMac and Apple can provide the video production solution for maybe $25,000 if you really max out on everything. Maybe buy two PowerMacs so those Shake renders go a little faster when distributive computing comes along. Actually, technically, Apple owns emagic as a subsidiary so they wouldn't change the name of Logic for marketing and because it's not and Apple app but an emagic app. The great thing about emagic, as well, is that they make the hardware as well as software. All of that cash flow becomes part of Apple. The Apple Profession Digital Media Studio (education only I believe) is around $25,000. Let's say no edu discount, $28,000. Max out the systems for another $9,000 maybe (this is all guesswork, but i'm trying to be generous), get a digital audio mixer controller for $4,000 (I'm not sure how much the new Mackie product is, but that was co-developed with MOTU so I don't know about compatibility with Logic) Then put in Shake, Cinema Tools, and Logic which I don't think are included for another $12,500. So that's less than $60,000 for a complete video/audio/DVD production system. I didn't put every piece of software on every computer, but I doubt you'll need everything on every computer. If your budget is $60,000, you also have money for a nice RAID system.

PowerSchool is another matter to consider. Apple's resurgence into schools creating less attention now. With Jaguar and the hardware offerings of Apple, school network setup will become a breeze. I am 16 and believe that for about $1,000,000 I could completely redo my High School in Macs, using the existing network hardware. That would be around 560 computers with software. Rendezvous and Workgroup Manager will restrain resource usage and ease network setup. NetBoot and NetInstall will also ease administration.

Updates in Jaguar are pushing MS out. Sherlock reduces the need to use IE due to the built-in capabilities with searches of every variety. I'm not sure but this could also lend to .Mac services. Do a search in Sherlock for travel info and get it and a discount with your .Mac account. iSync will maintain up-to-date information on contacts and schedules with iCal. No more Entourage. With Chimera already at the 0.4 release, Apple has a brand-new free browser up and coming.

I've spent several days writing this all down and can now think of no more to write. (Some will be happy about that.) This is my first contribution to this thread, if I can bring anything else to the table, I will.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    Well if nothing else I am impressed that at the age of 16 you are looking at the big picture. You are spot on in many of your observations, and I think you will be fortunate to grow up in the golden age of Macintosh.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    aphelionaphelion Posts: 736member
    [quote]Originally posted by blue2kdave:

    <strong>Well if nothing else I am impressed that at the age of 16 you are looking at the big picture. You are spot on in many of your observations, and I think you will be fortunate to grow up in the golden age of Macintosh.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    My sentiments exactly! I especially like the "Desktops in a Cube" metaphor.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Thanks to all. It is great to be growing up Mac. I've said before that I am working on ACTC Certification ($300 isn't worth it at this time), by this time next year I should have my CCNA from Cisco, and I've read so many Manuals on AirPort Setup, Server Admin, HyperTransport, RapidIO, InfiniBand, and a bunch of other stuff I'm going nuts. (I'm trying really hard to get a girl friend so that should make things a bit more teenage like.)

    Let's see if I can actually bring my thread to life instead of just giving it a shock. And so the Admins don't lock it for being so far off topic.

    Is any of this feasible? There has got to be some programmers out there who know how to make this stuff happen. How far out am I? Apple has demonstrated cubes with QT playing on each side being warped in realtime, and that was years ago even. I think all of the technology I mentioned for that awesome mobo has completed specs. (802.11g isn't quite, I think, and AGP3 is at .95, but still they should know enough to be able to at least work on new boards so when the specs are done it doesn't take much.
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