MacCast 08.12.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20050812.mp3 [23.5mb 51:15 64kbps]

A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 81. Apple poaching Sony engineers to help build first Xtel laptops, Apple will refund Canadian “iPod tax” money, speculation on 5th generation iPod Specs, Apple fails to get iPod software patent, Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 released, Microsoft is targeting iPod for the Holidays, get subway maps for your iPod, Japanese artist defies label to get on iTunes, new version of BBEdit released as Universal Binary, Apple OS X for Intel, reported hacked to run on non-Apple, Dvorak sees a world with OS X on the average PC, Apple releases PowerBook G4 Graphics update, rumor that Apple has scraped new “switcher” ads and Apple has updated the “Switcher” web site. MacCast interview on Tired Thumbs, cut in Finder tip followup, leaving your Mac on overnight can clear up a lot of issues, launching GarageBand can fix Windows Media issues and searching for the MacCast the lost archives. New music, Wednesday Morning by Slackstring

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There are 18 comments on MacCast 08.12.2005:

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  1. Michael Sherman | Aug 12 2005 - 11:35

    So there was a comment about users with PCs saying that would go for OS X on their PCs as soon as it is available. I disbelieve. The MAIN reason people don’t switch is still software. They are used to Word, Outlook, etc. The introduction of the Mac Mini has called the hand of all these so called hold-outs that complained about the cost of the Mac hardware. I think we’re finding out it’s not about that at all. They just don’t want to leave Windows.

  2. Greg | Aug 12 2005 - 02:32

    Thanks for the tip on BBEdit. Think I have heard of it before, but never checked it out. I downloaded their free editor (TextWrangler) to check it out. Was looking for a color coding text editor for the web code I do. Thanks. :-)

  3. macFanDave | Aug 12 2005 - 03:52

    OK, I’ll be the first to call you crazy!

    Just ’cause Dvorak said something nice about OS X being better than Windows a few weeks ago doesn’t mean that he is suddenly a genuine Apple prophet.

    Here are a few fallacies in your thinking (or channeling of Dvorak):

    1) Apple makes plenty of money on hardware. Interestingly, Macs give Apple about a 27% margin, but iPods only 20%. Macs are not a loss leader for Apple to pimp software.

    2) Software is not a cost-free product. It takes armies of highly-paid engineers years and years to develop and huge support and sales staffs to make it succeed. Microsoft is rich not because a software-only company is so lucrative; it’s because they are thoroughly unethical. You surely don’t want Apple to become an organized crime syndicate, too, do you?

    3) The Mac experience is unique, at least in part, because of the integration of the hardware and the software. The few times I’ve had problems with my Mac, I didn’t have to decide whether it was a hardware or software problem. I made one call and the problem was solved. I’ve experienced (and heard many others suffering through) the back-and-forth finger-pointing between Microsoft and hardware vendors.

    4) According to Rush (the Canadian band, not the right-wing, lying blowhard I have absolutely nothing in common with except for love of the Mac), “If you choose not to decide/At least you’ve made a choice.” (or something like that). If you want Windows or Linux, you have many choices for hardware. If you want to run Mac OS X, you don’t. I assert that when you go the Mac way you are choosing NOT to choose. And that’s a choice ;-).

    5) Apple’s financial performance with regards to revenue and profit is so strong that their business model is currently unassailable. The market share is improving. If Apple were trapped in the morass of the mid 90’s, such a plan might extend the company’s viability.

    I just can’t help but thinking that the Mac experience will be diluted if OS X can run on any ol’ box. A lot of the problems that are caused by the infinite combinations of components that are thrown together in the PC world will get attributed unfairly to Apple.

    Great show, Adam, and thanks for the book! I’ve already found a couple of cool hints.

  4. Neil Boothman | Aug 12 2005 - 04:58

    Running GarageBand actually fixes a whole bunch of problems with other media players like RealPlayer too – I recently had a problem where RealPlayer was refusing to playback any audio from anything telling me there was a problem accessing the sound device on my iMac possibly because another application is using it at the time.

    RealPlayers customer support desk only mentioned updating or reinstalling the sound cards drivers to solve this problem and detailed how to do this under Windows 2000 and XP but no mention of OS X. I emailed their customer services department and they haven’t got a clue and are investigating both my problem and other instances of this error on RealPlayer 10 under OS X 10.4.2

    So I got fed up and emailed the engineers about it as they’ll probably have a better understanding of the problem and within half an hour they had mailed me back and told me just to run and then close down GarageBand as it “will fix most audio related issues on recent Apple hardware” they said… sure enough, RealPlayer is working perfectly now and now I can watch the news. ;)

  5. maccast | Aug 12 2005 - 04:04

    Just a couple things:

    Apple will not have to change margins on their hardware if the start
    selling OS X for other PC hardware. Like I said they can remain a high
    end supplier for hardware running OS X.

    Where did I say I though software was a “cost-free” product? I am a
    software engineer, so i know what it takes. I also know software has
    much smaller margins, but you sell more of it more often. Software
    updates can be as often as once per year. Most people upgrade hardware
    every 3-5 years. With OS X on more machines Apple can sell more
    software, iLife, iWork, FinalCut etc.

    The Apple control over the integration of hardware and os would be
    maintained if you purchase Apple hardware. Apple would make Dell,
    gateway or whichever OEM installed the OS on their hardware support
    it. I am pretty sure this is what M$ does.

    Also if OS X is running on more system more component vendors will
    work harder at getting their stuff to work under OS X.

    Besides, obviously the average computer user seems to be fine opting
    for a mediocre computer experience. They seem to be willing to accept
    that just so they can buy the cheapest hardware available to them. I
    say let’s let them have the same experience, but run OS X. I don’t
    understand it, but some people don’t seem to mind.

    The mac experience may be diluted, but only for those who choose to
    have it diluted. I say give the people what they want. For you and me
    it will be running OS X on Apple hardware and having the best possible
    user experience. Let the others eat cake if they want.

  6. Adam | Aug 13 2005 - 08:56

    Hi Adam,

    Have you considered making your podcasts iTunes enhanced? Your format seems to fit it really well, so that I could perhaps flip through stories I’ve already heard many times.

    Just a thought. Thanks, great show!

  7. Robert | Aug 13 2005 - 09:50

    I have seen OS X running on an intel box. I think it was an IBM. I thought it was cool to see. If people get a taste of OS X they will see what I have been telling my Pee cee friends about how cool this os is. We may get more switchers. Who knows. I also tell them if they want to continue fighting with their machines instead of using them, then stay on windoze..

  8. Justin Winokur | Aug 13 2005 - 09:11

    i would like to see OS X run on anything but my reason for wanting it goes directly against what Adam is saying. I love my mac but if i could get the same OS on a cheap $500 (monitor and other stuff included) than i would rather than buying apple’s hardware. If i could afford it, i might but Dell and others do make some nice boxes for less.

    Thats not to say i don’t love apple hardware, i just think that many of the techie but broke users would not stick with apple.

  9. Ryan Gray | Aug 13 2005 - 08:57

    Mac OS X running on any Intel box would cause Apple a huge headache in trying to support all the different configurations just like Microsoft tries to do. The experience will be poor because of that – not because OS X running on an ordinary ugly PC box would somehow be less spectacular.

    I like the theory that Apple might purposely let the developer releases of the Intel version run on ordinary hardware and allow it to get out. These would be obsoleted soon enough or even have a time limit built in to keep them from being used forever. The purpose would be for people to be able to try Mac OS X on their Intel boxes like a Linux distribution, but it would neatly be not officially Apple supported so that they wouldn’t have to support it, but it’s basically a bootleg that exposes OS X to people.

  10. Jeff Guenther | Aug 14 2005 - 06:46

    I have found a website with two torrents with clips of OS X booting on a Intel Laptop. Here is the link:
    So, it has been done. On a laptop nonetheless, a machine which is more difficult to adapt an OS to. Try setting up LINUX on a latop. There are lots of little things you have to tweak for things to work.

    I still wouldn’t buy OS X for my PC. I would buy a Mac. The design of Mac a lone makes it worthwhile. If I want a Mac I will buy one, but it sure would make it easier for my friends to switch.

  11. maccast | Aug 14 2005 - 10:42

    I do make an iTunes enhanced version of the show. Look for the eMacCast on iTunes.

  12. macFanDave | Aug 15 2005 - 08:58

    I think Ryan Gray is on the right track. I don’t want Apple to distribute OS X to run on any ol’ PC, but I wouldn’t mind if even the dullest “hacker” could make it do so. It would be a violation of the License Agreement to run OS X on a non-Apple computer, and the main consequence would be no support from Apple.

    With that arrangement, any computer enthusiast can try OS X, but they would be on their own. This would be unacceptable to institutions (businesses, schools, governments, etc.)

    I am currently reading the book, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell and I think that Apple may be getting to one. The book chronicles things like surges of popularity of products that may have languished for years. We, the True Faithful, who’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, who’ve been drawn into the RDF, have always bought in to the Apple business model of tight hardware-software-OS integration by our favorite monopoly. We could be sitting on one of the biggest “I-told-you-so’s” in recent history (the lunatics who said that Iraq didn’t have WMD’s in 2002-3 scored a big one over those of us who drank Colin Powell’s official Kool-Aid).

    As far as the cheap PC crowd is concerned, let me say a few things: 1) Did you see how Dell got kicked in the teeth for selling too many low-end boxes? The race to the bottom has killed eMachines, Compaq, and many others and even harms the king of the cheap, Dell, 2) People who plead poverty and want OS X on cheap generic PC’s are too poor to be buying software that would help out Apple, and 3) Wait until the Nipples (Intel-in-Apple) come out and consider the price/performance/value equations of those machines before you ask Apple to take such a drastic and desperate action.

  13. Bill | Aug 15 2005 - 03:14

    Two items for the show notes:
    On the topic of the Canadian Copy Levy, the tax was taken off the iPods but have existed on CD-Rs for 5 years. The current levy is $0.21 per CD, considering CDs bought in bulk are $0.50 each. This is about a 50% tax. Not including Provincial and Federal sales tax!

    On BBedit, if you want to get it on the cheap, download textwrangler first, register it, then you can get the crossgrade price on BBEdit. This drops the price from $199 to $129, all for 5 min of downloading and registering a ‘free’ product. See: PLUS: if you had done this around Macworld in July there was a 20% off sale which would have dropped it to about $100.

    Great show,

  14. jon from vancouver | Aug 15 2005 - 03:47

    The only thing I will say about OSX on retail shelves is… remember the rumor of Marklar. Anything is possible. End of story.

  15. Peter | Aug 16 2005 - 05:51

    I was interested to hear about the OSX self maintenance that runs at 0300am. Would not resetting the macs clock make it run at a more sociable time, and that would save leaving it on all night ?

  16. Paul | Aug 16 2005 - 05:44

    You mnetion that the updated MSN Messenger client communicates with other IM services and that you believed them to be vaporware. The site states that those features are when using Live Communication Server 2005. I would like the multiple IM feature in iChat personally.

  17. Peter | Aug 16 2005 - 05:34

    Hey Adam,
    I’m with you and Dvorak. I don’t think Apple has anything to loose by licensing OS X to other hardware vendors, such as Dell. None of the Mac users I know would every buy non-Apple machines, and most of the PC users I know would gladly switch to Mac OS. I think it would be a smart move.

  18. Hans | Sep 08 2005 - 10:19

    In this podcast (okay, so I’m behind, what’s new) you talk about using the OS X cd to boot from to run Apple Disk Utility, but when I try to boot from my OS X cd I only seem to be able to install. What am I doing wrong?