Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Notes on SteveNote

So the Apple WWDC has landed, and the SteveNote had some interesting stuff, unpicked in fascinating thoroughness by many others, elsewhere. A few things that piqued my interest though:
  • iChat is now a proper calendaring solution, since it supports CalDAV in Leopard. That's good news, long overdue. My own efforts to establish a lightweight, usable system for room bookings and staff timetables amongst my University colleagues was definitely stymied by iCal's inability to edit shared calendars (though also by many other things besides), and the in-built resources handling and conflict resolution (if sensibly done) will be a big bonus. We might yet see a useful solution within my department.
  • Rails is now part of the standard Leopard Server install. That's great news for the Rails guys, and for Apple generally as it'll make using the Mac a no-brainer for Rails dev (if indeed it isn't already). It'd be even better to see it included with the dev tools. A lot of development is done on MacBooks Pro or not (and the iBook/PowerBook before them), and this would get Rails into lots of hands. I'm eager to see what can be done with the DashCode/Rails combination. We're going to see a lot of interesting stuff, I can feel it in my bones.. [UPDATE: According to this press release, rather than the 37 Signals announcement, my wish came true and Rails is shipping on the client developer tools too. Yay!]
  • Now that iChat can replace the background for an iChat video, does this mean that motion tracking is built-in (either to the application or at a system level)? Note that they're not using chroma-key to accomplish this, just sensing the pixels that change when a person sits in front of the camera (yes, it's going to look strange when something moves in your room shot - the hands of a clock for instance, or your cat). I look forward to lots of motion-sensing applications. A few might even be useful..
The internal redesign for the Mac Pro is a big deal and definitely indicates the direction of the line. Despite the 'pro' moniker generally being applied to things that aren't, this Mac lives up to its suffix. Accordingly, the cost of the components is higher too (though the base entry machine is affordable), and I wouldn't bet on those drive caddies or that heat-sinked (sunk?) memory becoming cheap anytime soon. The message is clear: This is a workstation-class Mac (not the long-rumoured "gamers' dream mac" or the oft-rendered Cube-on-Steroids), and it both positions the iMac as the clear solution for ordinary people and opens the way for the Mac mini to evolve into a home media-oriented box (with no doubt a stripped down entry/education version). Don't expect to see this line up take shape until Leopard ships though, alongside iLife 07 ("Next Spring" is code for "When Vista's due to ship, though probably won't": I expect a ship date announcement at January's consumer Mac expo).

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home