Apple retires Xserve RAID; MacBook Keyboard Update; more

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Lost in the (iPod) shuffle, Apple on Tuesday quietly retired its Xserve RAID storage unit in favor of third-party devices. Also, a new firmware update for Apple portables aims to cure unresponsive keyboards, Gameloft has hinted at games for the iPhone, and even Adobe spokespeople aren't sure if Flash will be available on the device.



Apple discontinues Xserve RAID



While most attention was centered on the introduction of the 2GB iPod shuffle, Apple on Tuesday removed its Xserve RAID storage device from the company's online store.



Users who try to visit the product page for the three-unit rackmount device find themselves automatically redirected to a page that promotes the VTrak E-Class, a similarly-sized replacement from third-party manufacturer Promise.



The Mac maker bills the VTrak device as an "ideal" storage hub for Xsan 2, its storage area network (SAN) software which was introduced today and touts certification for third-party RAID storage as one of its main enhancements.



Apple has noted that some Xserve RAID units remain in the channel, though without first-party sales is likely to be confined to third-party sales until supplies run out.



Apple posts MacBook, MacBook Pro Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0



Apple has also posted Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0 (876KB) for MacBook and MacBook Pro systems.



The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later and is intended to fix an issue that would cause initial unresponsiveness in the keyboard after the system has remained idle. Some "other issues" are addressed, Apple says.



The fix is believed to address user complaints about multiple generations of either portable line randomly losing keyboard input, which in some cases has required a system restart.



Gameloft exec shows iPhone mockup, aims for iPhone games



Attendees of a keynote speech by Gameloft chief Michel Guillemot for this week's Game Developer Conference were given a surprise when a presentation by the executive showed what appeared to be one of the French firm's games running on an iPhone in a video segment promoting mobile games.



While the image itself is likely a mockup unconnected to any particular release, Guillemot has expressed a desire to bring his company's games to the Apple handset. The official software development kit for the iPhone, due before the end of the month, is expected to ease programming efforts for third parties.



The company is also one of the most likely candidates to provide the first games for the touchscreen phone, having produced key titles for iPod media players.



Adobe staff: Flash for iPhone remains a mystery



Even as reports claim an imminent release of Adobe's Flash animation plugin for the iPhone's Safari web browser, a prominent Adobe worker notes that development, if any, remains secret beyond the most senior officials at the company despite customer demand.



Internet application spokesman Ryan Stewart suggests that no common workers at Adobe appear to know anything about the software, which would grant the iPhone access to a much wider range of websites.



"I assume someone at the high levels of Adobe knows what the status is but I don't and everyone I talk to doesn't. That's because only Apple really knows anything about it," he says.



Stewart in turn suggests that the most likely route to gaining Flash support for the iPhone would be to contact Apple itself, as it controls what software is allowed to run on the cellphone. "This isn't Adobe's device," he says.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    curious about the fix for the keyboards...



    any luck with this update?
  • Reply 2 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post


    curious about the fix for the keyboards...



    any luck with this update?



    I'm unsure if I should install it. I haven't had any problems, and the old adage "don't fix what isn't broken" makes me think I'm better off without it.



    /Adrian
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post


    curious about the fix for the keyboards...



    any luck with this update?



    I used a fix I found on the Apple boards that involved booting into single user mode, repairing permissions, and rebooting. Fixed the problem for me. But it may pop up again if the "wrong" files get updated.



    I think I'll wait till the problem shows up again before updating.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Lost in the (iPod) shuffle...



    That pun was egregious, Kasper. I hope you're proud of yourself.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    I'm running 10.5.2 and my trackpad becomes unresponsive for several moments, as long as a second or more, after using the keyboard. If I use the arrow keys to select among items in Keynote for example, and then go to move the cursor with the trackpad, there is no response from the trackpad. Repeatedly trying to move the cursor by moving my finger across the trackpad does nothing, it's always a time delay and not remedied by more attempts to move the cursor. I've had this problem since I got my MBP last month. I'm getting very frustrated by it and updating to 10.5.2 from 10.5.1 did nothing to resolve the problem.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    im wondering if this could address a problem which i had untill yesterday - an intermittant zero key on my 2.2 SR macbook. it would only work sometimes. sometimes meaning every 3rd press or so of the key wouldnt register. got the upper case replaced under applecare yesterday when they might not have been anything wrong with it! ive got the old keyboard sitting in the cupboard so might have a perfectly fine spare.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,855member
    I have 5 Xserve Raids used for our final Cut systems. Wow this is a bummer. We really liked being able to buy all the components of our systems from one vendor (excepting the Kona cards). The Xserve Raids are so good - ZERO problems over the last few years. I'm sure the Promise raids are good, but . . . .



    I hope this is not a sort of sideways confirmation of the rumor that Apple wants out of the pro app business. If they aren't going to be selling Final Cut what do they need a raid for?
  • Reply 8 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post


    curious about the fix for the keyboards...



    any luck with this update?



    I'll install the keyboard update tonight. I have occasional keyboard hang-ups in Filemaker and constant 1/2 to 1 second hangs in Visio 2003 running under Parallels 3.0 (when I do duplicates). I'll see. Hope it helps.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Oh yuck. So now instead of wonderful Apple tools for RAID management we'll have to use some half-assed web-based thing that Promise has ported from IE to Safari in a week? Aesthetically the new RAID is no match to the original one as well. Conrad Klahn on macos-x-server list writes:

    Quote:

    We have decided to focus our efforts where we can add the most value, with Xserve, Xsan and Leopard Server.



    and

    Quote:

    Xserve RAID is still available while supplies last and we will continue to sell the 500GB and 750GB drive modules in addition to Apple Service Parts Kits with 500GB and 750GB drives.



    among other things. Oh well. I wonder if it really took such an effor for Apple to develop the RAID system. Things don't look good for the server... I really hope they're not abandoning the space slowly.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    Oh yuck. So now instead of wonderful Apple tools for RAID management we'll have to use some half-assed web-based thing that Promise has ported from IE to Safari in a week? Aesthetically the new RAID is no match to the original one as well. Conrad Klahn on macos-x-server list writes:



    and



    among other things. Oh well. I wonder if it really took such an effor for Apple to develop the RAID system. Things don't look good for the server... I really hope they're not abandoning the space slowly.





    Can you provide the link to the quotes from Conrad? I'd like to read around the topic.



    Regards
  • Reply 11 of 44
    And once again, the pros are left holding the bag. Why is Apple trying so hard to drive the pros away? The minute Apple discontinues support for Xserve RAID, the clock is ticking. One dead drive means my entire $10,000 investment is history once Apple stops shipping replacement drives. Wow. Apple has to know that's $10,000 I can't spend on Apple hardware, since I have to buy a new RAID system. Apple spends all their R&D producing products that are little more than ways of accessing iTunes. They've emerged as the Tower Records of the internet, and that's great, but what about those of us that actually use our equipment for business?
  • Reply 12 of 44
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wirc View Post


    That pun was egregious, Kasper. I hope you're proud of yourself.



    Does that mean it was good or bad?

    Dictionary confuses me here and I'm not a native speaker ;-).
  • Reply 13 of 44
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post


    And once again, the pros are left holding the bag. Why is Apple trying so hard to drive the pros away? The minute Apple discontinues support for Xserve RAID, the clock is ticking. One dead drive means my entire $10,000 investment is history once Apple stops shipping replacement drives. Wow. Apple has to know that's $10,000 I can't spend on Apple hardware, since I have to buy a new RAID system. Apple spends all their R&D producing products that are little more than ways of accessing iTunes. They've emerged as the Tower Records of the internet, and that's great, but what about those of us that actually use our equipment for business?



    Just out of curiosity, why would you buy any equipment from a company that historically has treated businesses like crap?
  • Reply 14 of 44
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post


    And once again, the pros are left holding the bag. Why is Apple trying so hard to drive the pros away? The minute Apple discontinues support for Xserve RAID, the clock is ticking. One dead drive means my entire $10,000 investment is history once Apple stops shipping replacement drives. Wow. Apple has to know that's $10,000 I can't spend on Apple hardware, since I have to buy a new RAID system. Apple spends all their R&D producing products that are little more than ways of accessing iTunes. They've emerged as the Tower Records of the internet, and that's great, but what about those of us that actually use our equipment for business?



    It is a surprise. I've seen at least one web site that showed people how to use them on non-Apple clusters

    I think they would have to keep replacement parts available at least three years from today. If nothing else, I imagine there will be services that swap hard drives from their cartridges. After three years, I think it's a matter of how long Seagate and the like keeps making ATA ES hard drives. Being ES, I'd think they'd support the drives for quite some time but you should ask the hard drive makers.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    I have 5 Xserve Raids used for our final Cut systems. Wow this is a bummer. We really liked being able to buy all the components of our systems from one vendor (excepting the Kona cards). The Xserve Raids are so good - ZERO problems over the last few years. I'm sure the Promise raids are good, but . . . .



    I hope this is not a sort of sideways confirmation of the rumor that Apple wants out of the pro app business. If they aren't going to be selling Final Cut what do they need a raid for?



    Isn't using 3rd party RAID systems better in the long run because it will be easier to move an Xserve into the enterprise? With OS X 10.5 being a true UNIX will it be easier for other RAID suppliers to offer products that support Leopard?
  • Reply 16 of 44
    Those guys have a 25 year culture of saying the stupidest things.



    "It's not our device..." sounds remarkably like the Adobe line on Acrobat PostScript issues over the years, which was always, "since we wrote the language, the PS 'problems' you speak of must not be PS at all, but something wrong with your printer or your workstation... perhaps a user issue..."



    Jerks.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcatma61 View Post


    Jerks.



    Amen! Plus, they've gotten way too big for their own good. We desperately need someone to take on Adobe in the DTP and image editing field! Monopoly is bad and Adobe just proved that once more with their CS3 suite.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcatma61 View Post


    Those guys have a 25 year culture of saying the stupidest things.



    "It's not our device..." sounds remarkably like the Adobe line on Acrobat PostScript issues over the years, which was always, "since we wrote the language, the PS 'problems' you speak of must not be PS at all, but something wrong with your printer or your workstation... perhaps a user issue..."



    Jerks.



    Am I mistaken? Was the 'it's' not if reference to the iPhone. If so, what is your problem?
  • Reply 19 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    It is a surprise. I've seen at least one web site that showed people how to use them on non-Apple clusters

    I think they would have to keep replacement parts available at least three years from today. If nothing else, I imagine there will be services that swap hard drives from their cartridges. After three years, I think it's a matter of how long Seagate and the like keeps making ATA ES hard drives. Being ES, I'd think they'd support the drives for quite some time but you should ask the hard drive makers.



    We can only hope, I doubt they'll update the XRAID's firmware to accept drives beyond 750GB in the coming years, I doubt they'll update the XRAID's RAID software. Although the name "Promise" is the cheesiest name for a RAID and makes their articles difficult to read, the Promise RAID does not seem all that bad, but for us who invested heavily in Apple technology this is Dejavu, no sign of support for future firmware or software. The 250GB drives must be bought from Apple because they are 2MB larger than the ones in the market; otherwise you'll need to replace a dead 250GB with a 500GB and format it as a 250.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    It's sad to see the Xserve RAID go away. When it was introduced, it was one of the cheapest RAID systems out there. The neat thing is it really looked nice in a rack with a couple of Xserves. The great thing is that it just WORKED. I've worked with a couple dozen units and have only seen the occasional drive failure, which is to be expected.



    Now, I've worked with a few other company's RAID systems and the experience has been anything but stellar. From the cheap desktop RAIDs to the $20,000 systems. The problem is long term support. These RAID companies tend to come and go, or get bought and sold. When that happens, the old products are left abandoned with no support at all. How long has 'promise' been around? Will they be here in 5 years?



    Typically, if you install a RAID like this, you expect at least 5 years of functionality out of it, maybe more.



    I have old Xserve RAIDs that I still do upgrades on on occasion. We were able to install them with the 'promise' that they could be upgraded in the future. It's going to be a tougher sell for this third party solution unfortunately, especially since the cost of entry is twice what the Apple solution was.
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