January 9 (11:39 p.m.)
Married White Male Seeks PowerBook
G4. Will Trade Rented Lincoln Town Car.
This isn't going too well. Obviously, I'm not updating this Diary
as often as I had hoped. Why? My devil boss won't buy me a PowerBook.
And now that the new ones look so amazing, I think it's time for
him to correct this errorand throw in wireless Internet access
so I can update the news from the show floor. You may e-mail
him and tell him this yourself, if you'd like. (Do it for your
ol' pal Dave.)
I got to see the keynote speech this morning. Truly inspiring. I
thought I would be upset with any G4 running at less than 750 MHz,
but Jobs really managed to pull this one off by offering a 733 MHz
model with a DVD-R/CD-RW combo drive, plus free DVD authoring software.
You just think about that. It's like buying a DVD burner and getting
a free, top of the line Mac, plus authoring software thrown in on
top and a $600 rebate to boot. See, DVD burners sell for about $4,000.
The new high-end Mac runs $3,400 with a built-in DVD burner that,
incidentally, can also burn CDs. iDVD, the authoring program that
will ship with the new model, is a fairly full-featured piece of
software. In some ways, it feels like iMovieyou know, consumerishbut
then again, it's the only free DVD authoring suite available, and
it has a lot to offer. This is the first time in Apple's history
that the high-end Mac seems the best deal.
to the PowerBooks, I have to say I'm utterly relieved that Apple
finally put a G4 into a portable package. What's more, they put
it into a stunning, super thin package. It makes me proud to be
a Mac user once again.
OS X: You have to see the latest build. It's beautiful, infinitely
better than previous incarnations, with several new features that
make it behave like the classic OS. Delivery date of March 24? That's
what Jobs promised. We'll see. As I've said before, I'm still waiting
for Rhapsody. I'll believe an OS X ship date when and only when
I get my own copy.
So what else did I and my peecee using companion, Paulo de Andrade,
do at the show today? Well, for one thing, we heading back to the
Cow Hollow Motor Lodge right after the keynote to do some news updates.
However, San Francisco being the worst city in the world, we were
unable to get much done, owing to San Franciscans being the worst
drivers and parkers in the world. I swear to Jobs, these people
not only can't drive, but they also can't walk without getting in
my way or begging me for money. (In case you didn't know, everybody
in San Francisco is homeless.)
I missed a ton on show floor time owing to crazy traffic and spent
the rest of the day just trying to catch up. (It took an hour and
a half to get from the Cow Hollow Motor Lodge to the show floor.)
Hence, no updates all day.
However, I did
find time to meet with a number of companies coming out with some
great stuff for the Mac. I first met with Digital Voodoo, makers
of the D1 Desktop line of 10-bit capture cards, who recently updated
their software and announced support for OS X. They also informed
me that their uncompressed HD card is mere weeks away from shipping.
Next we hooked
up with Media 100, who introduced us to their latest streaming product,
CineStream. This is a nice little piece of software that not only
provides tools for editing media for the Web, but also includes
EventStream, the QuickTime interactive technology found in Media
100 i and Cleaner 5. CineStream is actually the latest version of
EditDV with several enhancements for working on the Web. It also
includes Cleaner 5 EZ. The suite will ship in February for $499.
Cleaner 5 EZ, this brand new "lite" version of Cleaner
5 is also included with Adobe Premiere 6, which started shipping
yesterday. We missed our appointment with Adobe today, but we'll
try to catch up with them later for more info on Premiere.
Next we met
with Nothing Real, the company that produces the super-high-end
compositing application Shake, previously available only on Irix,
NT and Linux. We saw a very early version of the OS X port, and
it looks to be pretty special. We're in for a treat when this thing
finally does arrive on the Mac some time around summer or a little
later. (It will be timed to coincide with a major update on the
other platforms.) I can't overemphasize the significance of Shake
on the Mac. It's an incredible toolat least from what I've
experienced in the NT versionand one that will be sure to
have a big impact on the Macintosh creative community. We intend
to work with Nothing Real in the future to bring you tutorials and
feature explorations on Shake. Of course, we have to wait for OS
X. But, one funny point, Nothing Real has put about two weeks of
development into the Mac version, and it was actually running. They
credit the quick port time to Mac OS X's Unix core, which makes
it relatively easy to bring Irix/Linux applications to our platform.
met with the good folks at ElectricImage, who have been showing
off the next incarnation of their pro-level 3D suite, Universe.
I'm not sure what I can say that could properly express the quality
of the renders I saw from this thing. It's beautiful. And the interface
is quite intuitive, with a top-notch feature set. We'll bring you
more on Universe as it nears release.
EI was also
showing off their brand, spanking new Amorphium Pro, the next generation
of the 3D modeling, animation and rendering package targeted toward
graphic designers. Not only does thing thing include some simply
incredible modeling tools, but it also exports directly to the Flash
format. Can't wait to get my hands on this puppy. Units should be
going out in the mail this month. It's selling for $379, with a
$50 rebate for previous owners of Amorphium 1.0. (Well worth the
upgrade, from what I've seen so far.) We'll bring you an in depth
review when we get ahold of our own copy.
it for today. Stay tuned tomorrow for more news from the show, plus
info from a whole new slew of vendors we'll be meeting with.