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  • 20 Years of iMac: Steve Jobs iconic internet machine that courageously reinvented Apple

    Apple spent a decade doing brain-dead marketing, preaching to the choir and taking their traditional ivory tower approach to absurd levels. Every evening you would see as many as two dozen commercials promoting Intel, Compac, HP, etc. When jobs fired (the vastly underappreciated) Gil Amelio he made some great decisions - getting rid of the Performa glut, the Newton, and a bunch of other stuff, then he recreated the original all-in-one Mac with a 1998 perspective. Other than being the first to create a mass-produced computer with USB, there wasn't any thing revolutionary about the guts of the machine. The looks were polarizing, however. You either loved it or hated it, but by 2000 just about everytype of product was using the iMac look - travel irons, alarm clocks, whatever. Plus PC manufacturers started slapping colorful plastic panels on the front of their boxes.

    Simultaneously with developing the iMac, Jobs spent tons of money on the Think Different campaign. I remember seeing a 73 foot tall banner on the side of a building in Chicago. The campaign was not about a product. It was about telling the world that Apple was not irrelevant. It bought Apple time to develop an iconic product and when the iMac arrived, people responded with a huge amount of enthusiasm. It was a masterful stroke. And then they had the five colors, then the more sedate gray version for offices, and so-on. And then came the lampshade iMac, which was also revolutionary and even more stunning. And then came the I'm a Mac campaign, which was what we Mac users had been requesting for an entire decade.

    Jobs made some missteps, such as the totally cool but expensive and underpowered Cube, but what he did right was truly excellent. Some say that the iMac saved Apple. It was Steve Jobs double-threat of innovation and marketing that saved Apple. I'm glad he did. If I had seen another magazine cover saying "Apple is Dead" it would have been too much.
  • The 2019 Mac Pro will be what Apple wants it to be, and it won't, and shouldn't, make ever...

    At least 50% of pro users don't really need a super powerful machine. Of the others, 80% can be happy with an iMac Pro. Of the others – around 10% of pros – they need a machine that is fast, with tons of RAM, and can be expanded up the wazoo. If Apple were to build such a machine, 25% - 30% of pro Mac users would go for it – some for what it is and the rest simply because it is top of the line.

    Being a creative pro for 25 years, I am tired of Apple tossing iron at me that is essentially prosumer gear. In terms of expandability – without covering the desktop in peripherals – Apple hasn't come out with a new format since the PowerMac G5 in 2004 – twelve freaking years ago.

    When the cylinder came out I expected this to be followed by a matching expansion chassis that would mate precisely with the back of the cylinder. That was five years ago. It never happened. If they are talking about a modular system, this approach would do it. The only thing to hit the market that would fit into this concept was the rack chassis from Sonnet. Apple could have done it better.

    In the meantime, I will continue to wait for Apple to recognize that top level pros need Macs, too.

  • Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

     Regardless of how many Mac users actually run Windows, the fact that the Mac can do this is a big deal for people who might migrate to the Mac.
    If Apple ditches Intel, it will put up a barrier that will ultimately bad for  the Mac.
    My concern is Apple's ivory tower approach. The company has a very spotty success rate in retaining useful, practical technologies. It tends to focus on the new and shiny and, due to it's aloof mindset, tons of great and useful features have simply been forgotten and then left behind.
    If Apple decides to cut itself off from compatibility with Windows apps, it will hurt the company, in terms of the number and variety of apps available, including those that are key to businesses making decisions to buy Macs.
    Having spent my career in corporate settings, I know how businesses think and I am also very familiar with the complete weirdness and paranoia of the Windows-centric IT people. If Apple leaves Intel iron behind the IT people will loudly proclaim that they will want nothing to do with Macs and, with thousands of businesses out there, it will hurt Mac sales.
    I lived as an adult computer user through the eighties and the nineties. Apple should remember the nineties and learn from the experience of those years. 
  • Consumer Reports' dismissal of HomePod a familiar tale to Apple fans [u]

    This is absolutely nothing new. I remember a "computer round up" review in which they shot down a Mac because it did not have an Ethernet card. The Mac didn't need a card. It already had 1000 BaseT built into the motherboard. This ridiculously stupid mistake was never corrected in subsequent issues.
  • Watch: Apple's iMac Pro vs 2013 Mac Pro (Part 1) - benchmarks and specs

    Still waiting for a pro modular. The cylinder was ridiculous – form over function and the all-in-one approach is only for mid-range pros. I'll continue to use my tower until an actual from-the-ground-up Mac _finally_ arrives. We haven't seen the introduction of a totally _serious_ pro machine in a new form factor since the arrival of the G5, which was FOURTEEN years ago. I will never understand Apple's mentality regarding high-end pro users. It is ridiculous.