Tue, 07 Jan 2003

MacWorld Keynote 1st Impressions

  • New powerbooks
    • The 12" is teensy! The question is, how small is too small (i.e. how easy to use are the keyboard and trackpad?) The battery life, is, of course, excellent.
    • The 17" is droolworthy, of course, but a little rich for my blood. That auto-sensing/self-backliting keyboard is pretty scifi, and I dig the profusion of ports on the thing.
    • The new ad is hilarious. I don't think it's on the site yet. I won't spoil it for you... you'll know it when you see it.
  • The software
    • I'm posting this entry with Safari right now. It's blazingly fast, but I'm severly missing tabs. I wonder why they went with KHTML instead of Gecko? All I can figure is that the project must have been well underway before they hired Hyatt.
    • Don't have much to say about Keynote, as I'm not the target market, but the Quartz-enhanced effects look nice.
    • I'm curious about the X11 server -- namely, will I have to recompile my Fink-installed stuff for it to work?

Overall not a bad keynote. Faster desktops would have been nice, or course, and we're still waiting for Apple's next handheld move, but the new Powerbooks and software seem pretty good.

:: 15:27
:: /tech/computers/os/osx/apple | [+]
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The Magic Word:
Which planet is closest to the sun? (hint -- it's Mercury...)




It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but
it is also very memorable. I vividly recall the night we decided how to
organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360. The
manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and
I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.
The architecture manager had 10 good men. He asserted that they
could write the specifications and do it right. It would take ten months,
three more than the schedule allowed.
The control program manager had 150 men. He asserted that they
could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating;
it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.
Futhermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling
their thumbs for ten months.
To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control
program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time,
but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality. I did, and
it was. He was right on both counts. Moreover, the lack of conceptual
integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would
estimate that it added a year to debugging time.
— Frederick Brooks Jr., “The Mythical Man Month”