Tag Archives | Macs

Steve Jobs Keynotes: The (Fairly) Early Years

jobsmacI’m not sure if there’s any consensus among historians about when the first Steve Jobs keynote happened–or, actually, if anyone has even asked that question until now. I like to think that it would be reasonable to say that it was in August 1976, when Jobs attended a computer fair in Atlantic City and demoed the Apple II, which was still a work in progress at the time. (Jobs wasn’t the keynote speaker at the event as far as I know, but that’s OK–he regularly gives Stevenotes these days that aren’t attached to conferences, so the definition of Stevenote encompasses any public presentation by Apple’s co-founder.)

As far as I know, there’s no surviving video from that Atlantic City show, and it’s possible that no footage exists of Jobs showing off later Apple II variants or the Apple III or the Lisa. But we have documentation of him talking about the original Macintosh at the time of its introduction, in the handy-dandy embeddable form of YouTube video.

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Apple Patentmania: 31 Years of Big Ideas

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Apple may be famously secretive, but there’s one guy the company has been confiding in for more than three decades now. That would be its Uncle Sam, in the form of the U.S. Patent Office. The company’s patent filings are a remarkable record of Apple’s brainstorms, from its biggest blockbusters to its most humbling flops to concepts that never got off the drawing board. The thirty-eight images that follow include multiple examples of all of the above. Click on the filing dates, and you’ll go to the patents where the drawings originated, mostly at the indispensable and addictive Google Patents.


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Are Mac Users Worried About Security? Our Survey-Takers Are…But Only a Little.

macvirus2Last week, I got curious about whether Mac users spend any more time wrangling with security problems than in the past…or at least stressing about potential security risks. I decided to conduct a quick survey to get real feedback from real Mac users. The results (via the wonderful PollDaddy) are in, and for the most part they confirm what you might guess: Most respondents aren’t too concerned about security, don’t run much in the way of security software, and have never been attacked by viruses or spyware. Strong security is one reason why they choose the Mac over Windows. But they’re justifiably concerned that the growing percentage of computer users who use Macs could lead to more assaults by the bad guys.

First some disclaimers: We did no screening of survey respondents, so their take on things may or may not map to the Mac population at large. (For what it’s worth, some of the ones who expanded on their thoughts via our final, free-form question are clearly advanced users who are familiar with OS X’s Unix-based underpinnings.) 175 people took our survey–a small pool,  but a statistically significant one. Bottom line: The opinions expressed below are those of the folks who chose to take the survey. (I think they’re interesting ones, and I thank everyone who took the time to participate.)

Full report after the jump…

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Last Call to Take Technologizer’s Mac Security Survey

Just a quick note: We’d like to close our survey on Mac security soon and report the results, but we could use a few more responses. If you’ve got a Mac, could you please complete the survey? It’ll just take a few minutes, and your contribution will help make more more significant, interesting results. Thanks in advance… [UPDATE: We’ve reached our quota and closed the survey. Thanks!]


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Mac Users: Please Take a Quick Survey About Security

macvirus2There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle this week about a subject that crops up every so often and is always good for some spirited debate: Whether Mac users should be as proactive about protecting themselves against security attacks as their Windows-using friends. The Washington Post’s Brian Krebs noticed Apple recommending the use of anti-virus software and tried to reconcile that advice with the gist of some of the company’s TV commericials. It turned out that the Apple technical note Krebs found wasn’t exactly news: MacDailyNews found two examples of the company recommending the use of anti-virus in years past.

I like to nitpick at Apple ads as much or more than the next guy, but in this case I think the company is on safe ground. No, Macs aren’t invulnerable to threats. Yes, Mac users should think at least a bit about security issues. But it’s undeniable that most of the threats in the world are aimed squarely at Windows users, and that Mac users don’t have to stress over them unless they’re running Windows via Boot Camp or Parallels or VMware Fusion virtualization.

You can probably rip apart this metaphor if you want, but to me, it’s a little like arguing over whether people who live in the country need to obsess over securing their homes as those who live smack dab in the middle of the city. On one hand, country folk may well be able to get away without multiple deadbolts, bars on their windows, and elaborate alarm systems. On the other, even they would be foolish to leave their front doors unlocked and open twenty-four hours a day, with a sign pinned up detailing the location and value of everything inside.

Anyhow, to me one of the interesting aspects of all this is the question of just how Mac users are feeling about security these days. Are they blithely oblivious, thinking that Mac users don’t need to stress over this stuff? Or terrified out of their minds? Or in a mental state that’s somewhere in between those two extremes?

I’d like to get at least an anecdotal sense of where their heads are at right now. So I’ve created a quick survey. If you’re a Mac user, I’d be indebted if you take it–it shouldn’t take very long. Once I have enough completed surveys, I’ll report back here with an article in the spirit of our story on the State of iPhone Satisfaction.

[UPDATE: We’ve reached our quota and closed the survey. Thanks!]


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Mac’s Internet Share Rises, Firefox Above 20%

Internet research firm Net Applications has somewhat stunning news: Windows share of the operating system has fallen below 90 percent according to the company for the first time since the mid 1990s. Furthermore, its share of the browser market has also fallen, now below 70 percent for the first time in nearly a decade.

IE now stands at 69.77 percent, down 1.5 percent or so from the previous month. Contrast this with Firefox, who now has about 20.8 percent of the market, up about .8 percent from the last month.

This has to have Redmond worried. I clearly remember pinging my Microsoft sources back a year or two ago when Mozilla really began to pick up market share. The response was “oh, they only expect them to peak at 15 or 20 percent and that will be it,” or something to that effect.

Well, we’ve now blown through that, and look to be poised for more gains. Firefox is beginning to move from the alternative to the competitor catagory when it comes to browsers. That’s something many — including Microsoft — did not expect.

The bad news doesn’t end there. Apple’s Mac OS is resurgent. It’s share is now up to 8.9 percent, the highest market share ever recorded by the firm for Apple. Contrast this with Microsoft, whos .8 percent drop to 89.6 percent was the biggest drop in over two years.

Vista’s adoption is still awful: only one in five users use it two years after it was released. While it has generally grown by about a percentage point each of the past few months, this shows that the computing public has generally given Microsoft’s latest OS the Windows Me treatment.


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25 Unanswerable Questions About Apple

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Everybody has two businesses, the old saying goes: their own business, and show business. It’s the same with technology, except everybody’s two business are their own business…and Apple’s. No other tech company on the planet is followed as avidly, nor is any so routinely second-guessed. And if anything, controversy over Apple’s decisions and dramas intensifies with time: I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if someone, somewhere, still contends that Jobs and Wozniak should have slashed the $666.66 pricetag of 1976’s Apple I to better compete with the $495 Altair.

Apple’s long history is rife with defining moments…and, therefore, with roads not traveled that might have led to radically different places. I call the twenty-five items in this story “unanswerable questions” because none of them have right answers: Nobody knows what would have happened if things had turned out differently. All you can do is speculate. Which is what I do, briefly, for all of the questions below. But mostly, I’m curious what you think. These questions may be unanswerable, but it’s still a blast to try and answer them anyhow, as I hope you’ll do in the comments…

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? After the jump, that is…

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Are Macs More Expensive? Definitely–Just Ask Microsoft!

[SHAMELESS PLUG: Technologizer will be liveblogging the Apple notebook event on 10/14/2008 @ 10am PT. Please join us.]

A couple of months ago, I had a lot of fun comparing the cost of various Macs to various Windows PCs, with my goal being to determine if Macs are pricey. I learned that it’s a really complicated matter. Today, another observer has chimed in with a fresh look at the question. And that observer is…Microsoft.

Girding itself for the possibility of an $800 MacBook being unveiled tomorrow, the company has been talking to reporters about the notion of a “Mac Tax” that Mac users pay compared to comparable PCs. Its PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, sent along a prepared statement to me that attempts to provide a lot of supporting evidence for this idea.

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Our Live Coverage of Apple’s Notebook Event, Plus a Recap of the Story to Date

Economic meltdown, election, playoffs–can we put them all on hold for one morning, please? On Tuesday, the nation’s eyes will turn to Apple headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, where the company will unveil new notebooks. And Technologizer will be there. I will liveblog the event from my seat in Apple’s Town Hall auditorium–connectivity willing, of course–and will provide further analysis as the day’s events warrant. Ed Oswald will provide additional coverage. And I hope you’ll be here too to share your two cents on the news, whatever it may be.

Meanwhile, here’s everything we’ve published on the subject to date–just about all of which will be rendered hopelessly obsolete before the event is done:

Is Apple’s “Brick” a Breakthrough Manufacturing Process? Rumor has it that Apple will carve new MacBooks out of solid blocks of aluminum.

The Fuzzy-Wuzzy World of Tech Spy Shots: A glimpse at a blurry photo of what’s allegedly part of the case of one of the new MacBooks.

Hey, Let’s Build an $800 MacBook! I try to figure out what sort of Mac Apple might build for the money.

New Apple Portables Due Next Week: A Rumor Recap and a Poll: Everything we think we might know, much of which is hopelessly wrong.

Twitter Chatter: What Are We Hoping Apple Announces on Tuesday? My Twitter pals share their dreams and desires.

Apple’s Tuesday Notebook Event: Please Don’t Call These Predictions: I speculate in excessive detail about what we may learn tomorrow.

See you Tuesday!


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Is Apple’s “Brick” a Breakthrough Manufacturing Process?

[SHAMELESS PLUG: Technologizer will be liveblogging the Apple notebook event on 10/14/2008 @ 10am PT. Please join us.]

For the last few weeks, lovers of Apple gossip have been having fun speculating about an alleged Apple project supposedly code-named “Brick.” Most assumed it was a new computer or device of some sort. But now Seth Weintraub of 9 to 5 Mac is asserting the “Brick” is actually a revolutionary new manufacturing process that lets Apple use lasers and jets of water to carve seamless, “super light, super strong and super cheap” MacBook cases out of aluminum.

I have no clue whether there’s anything to this. (There are at least three possibilities here, judging from past Apple rumors: It’s either precisely true, totally false, or somewhere in between.) But I want it to be true, for several reasons…

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