I want options. I love the "good, better, best" marketing model. It
helps consumers make easier decisions when it comes to a purchase. Three models,
three levels of performance. It works. Yet a goodly percentage of Mac users could
benefit from configurability. A powerful CPU is great, but it wouldn't hurt Apple
to offer its customers some application-specific enhancements, all under the umbrella
of the good, better, best model. Here are some thoughts:
- Video cards. I don't
like the idea of having to throw away my AGP video card to add a new one. And
I certainly don't like the idea of spending a lot of money on a new video card
just to be bottlenecked by PCI. Let's have a choice of cards at the time of purchase:
ATI. 3dfx, Appian, whatever. They're all in the same price range, so I'm not sure
what the problem is.
- Chips. How about
some options for fine tuning your G4 for your specific needs? Rendering on a CPU
is a poor option, even in applications tuned for the Velocity engine. We don't
necessarily need a billion processors to handle a task, but a few special chips
to take some of the burden off the CPU would be nice. One day CPUs will be powerful
enough to handle anything in real time, but for now they need a little help. Third-party
options are available, but expensive because they address the needs of super-high-end
- Expandability. I
don't need a built-in 56K modem, and I don't need AirPort connectivity. How about
a couple more PCI slots instead? The slots couldn't cost Apple any more in manufacturing
than the modem and wireless port. Granted, for some users, five or six PCI slots
still wouldn't be enough. That's why Digidesign, for example, can sell 13-port
expansion chassis. But for too many users, three PCI slots is just one or two
slots too few.
and mouse. I'm going to have to be blunt here. The keyboard
and mouse that ships with Mac systems are freakishly inferior to
virtually anything else on the market. The guy who designed the
keyboard should be drawn and quartered. It's tiny, unresponsive
and prone to skip keystrokes. And the black keys make it difficult
to see letters in all but the most optimal lighting situations.
The mouse, too, is silly. I know all about the buttonless mouse
that Apple's supposedly developing, but, in the meantime, how about
contracting out with MacAlly to include a two-button mouse?
I know OS X is supposed to address all of the Mac's stability woes, but we need
something in the meantime to help us out. OS 9.0.4 is probably Apple's most stable
OS since 6.0.7, but it still leaves something to be desired. I'm surrounded by
PC users here at work. They're all doing the same things I'm doing. Yet I crash
about three times as often as they do. And if you're working in page layout programs,
the problem's even more severe.
Transport configurability. Mac systems have gotten much faster network
speeds of late, but I want the same TCP/IP configurability PC users have. I've
seen people on Windows install a 2 KB file on their systems and double their cable
modem and DSL speeds.
I'm going to end here and
invite you to participate. I'm sure each of you has something to add to this list,
so let's take the discussion over to the Creative
Mac User Forum. We'll collect user suggestions and see what comes of it. See
1 ] PREVIOUS PAGE
Hey! We Have New Sections!
In our ongoing
effort to provide you, the beloved reader, with better information, we've launched
four new sections for specific users.
Audio Pro is designed for users of Mac audio hardware
and software. It includes content from the editors and writers
of Mix Magazine, as well as original content written by
our staff and freelancers.
Video Pro is for digital video professionals, animators
and those involved in streaming video on the Web. It includes
content from our staff, as well as Millimeter Magazine and
Video Systems Magazine.
Interactive Pro is for Web developers who work in
Flash, Director, LiveMotion and VR, as well as Web designers
and professionals who work in HTML.
Mac Print Pro is tailored for those working in the
print medium and includes news and tips about design and