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Stay Tuned for Our Extra-Delicious Macworld Expo Coverage!
We're going to have a little pre-show roundup this week, plus some pretty fancy stuff next week, such as:

The Road to Macworld: My journey to homelessland with my new pal Paulo in our rented Lincoln Towncar
Dave's Macworld Diary: A day by day, sometimes hour by hour, sneak peek into the private mind of Dave, live via 56K from the Cow Hollow Motor Lodge in San Francisco
The Macworld Expo Roundup: What I saw and what it all means
The Creative Mac "Best of Show" Awards: Our picks for the best stuff you creative pros will drool over

 

OPINION JANUARY 3, 2001
Talkin' Smack: Slash and Churn

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Now, how many times in the history of Apple have prices dropped like this? Across the entire pro line, I can't recall a time. But when the mid-range desktop falls to a saw buck below two grand, this has historically meant one thing: new models. In other words, Apple's depleting its inventory of old-school hardware on the eve of the introduction of a whole new product line. Oh, and just in time for Steve Jobs's keynote next week at the Macworld expo.

Either this, or Apple's adopting a new, lower pricing scheme for now and ever. Not bloody likely, not with Steve Jobs at the helm anyway. This is a man who's all about the price point. You only lower the price when it's necessary. This is to say, you lower the price point so you don't get stuck with a bunch of old merchandise when the new stuff comes out.

So what will the new models be like? I think, if nothing else, the sheer desire of users to see a G4 PowerBook will make it happen. But what about speed? The top of the line PowerBook right now boasts a 500 MHz G3 processor. The top of the line desktop boasts a 500 MHz G4. Rumors of a faster G4 desktop aside, there's been no indication of a faster and lower-power G4 chip, the kind you might want to see in a laptop that doesn't set your lap or your house on fire.

And on the desktop side, sure, we're all heard the rumor of a 650 MHz G4. Hardly impressive. I'll be happy with a 750 MHz G4, and no less. I pray to the great Jobs above for a 1 GHz model, but this doesn't seem too likely. Motorola often puts out four or five press releases per day. Hardly seems like the kind of thing they'd be able to keep to themselves.

Still, a boy can dream. It's Apple's quasi-semi-annual time in the spotlight, and I suspect Jobs will put on a pretty decent show during his keynote, hopefully with fewer fibs than we've heard in the past. (Free OS X beta my eye!) In a week, we'll all know definitively. This time, I'm bringing a tape recorder just in case.


Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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