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Three products you won't see released at today's special Apple event

Posted on February 28, 2006 at 02:46 AM

Last week Apple sent out invites to those in the media for a special event tomorrow today (it was tomorrow when I started this post) which will showcase a few of their new products. This event will be a little different than previous announcements as it will be hosted at Apple's Headquarters (starting at 10am Pacific) and not the Moscone center in San Francisco. Though, rest assured, the Steve Jobs reality distortion field will be retrofitted for the confines of whatever gather placing this event is held in at the Apple Mothership.

Now, there has always been rampant speculation about any future products to be released by Apple. And while some rumors tend to prove true, others are mostly the product of wild imagination and/or sweet photoshop skills. Though, entertaining nonetheless.

I thought I would throw in my $.02 and give you a list of products that will not be released at today's Apple event:

Fullscreen video ipod

This has been a topic of great debate on the interwebs for the past few weeks, even more so when this picture of a purported prototype of a full screen iPod appeared on various websites:

Realistic enough to fool most people, it soon proved to be a hoax as a video was posted over the weekend which displayed in great detail how the fake fullscreen iPod image was created (link to quicktime mov).

Mac OS 10.5 "Liger"

For those who may not be in the know (at least 95% of you according to Microsoft) updates to Apple's famed Macintosh X operating system have been named after members of the cat family. For instance, OS 10.2 was Jaguar, OS 10.3 was Panther, and OS 10.4 is named Tiger. While OS 10.5 won't be released today, I assume it will rear it's head sometime this year. I can only hope that Steve Jobs picks the greatest member of the cat family to adorn the next release of the Mac operating system, the Liger.

The Apple iPhone

Sure there's been the Motorola ROKR and the new SLVR but neither of these phones were designed by Apple. Hell, the only things these two phones really have to do with Apple is that they run iTunes. I, like many other Apple pundits, assume that there will one day be some kind of Apple designed phone capable of holding thousands of songs, allow you to surf the web, and will integrate with your cheesy .Mac account. But alas, it won't be today.

So what will Apple announce today?

What you will see is an announcement that Apple will make full length movies available for purchase via the iTunes Music store. And probably some iPod related gadgets, most notably some kind of ipod boom box device, but doubtfully hopefully, no new iPods.

update: 11:49am CST - The Apple Store is currently offline, most likely waiting for the event to finish so they can post their new wares. The thought of thousands of geeks rabidly hitting refresh on their browsers just so they can get a glimpse makes this blog chuckle.

For those of you that need your Apple fix now, head over to Engadget where they are providing live coverage of the event. (for as long as their servers hold up)

Posted by joeschmidt at 02:46 AM | Comments (1) | post to del.icio.us

Computer Meltdown Part Two

Posted on February 23, 2006 at 02:03 AM

About three months ago I wrote about how this blog's computer suffered a power surge which fried the motherboard and how I had to replace the motherboard.... yada yada yada, computer mumbo jumbo... and a few dollars later it was fixed. Wouldn't you know it, that damn thing rose up to bite me in the ass yet again.

And what a pain in the ass it has been. Let me bore you with the details.

Right around the time of this blog's birthday, I awoke one morning to be greeted by a strange sound coming from the computer room. It almost sounded like the computer was rebooting over and over as I could hear the tell tale signs of system beeps and the whirring of fans.

As I suspected, the computer was continuously rebooting. I thought to myself, "Oh JOY! A Microsoft update must have installed overnight and, in pure Microsoft fashion, must have corrupted a driver, or worse, the OS. Since the computer is in an endless reboot cycle with only a quick flash of a blue screen of death (hence forth mentioned as BSOD) I found myself having to grab my digital camera to try and capture the BSOD on video just so I could read the error message.

Downloading the video to my laptop I was able to slowly move through it frame by frame and could faintly read the error message. Looking it up via Microsoft's support website it pointed to bad RAM. I replace the RAM with a different module, which was in a known working state, and still got the same message. So then I figured windows must be corrupt. I grabbed a spare hard drive and my XP install disk and tried to install windows.

Same damn error message. Curse you BSOD, curse you.

I was always leery of that motherboard I bought to fix the last problem I had and quickly suspected it might be the source of my problems. Sure it seemed to work well up until that point, but it was a Chaintech motherboard. Who the hell has ever heard of Chaintech?

So I head over to tigerdirect.com and order yet another motherboard thinking this would be the cheapest fix as a new processor could cost hundreds of dollars. This time I chose a well known MSI board that had a few more newer features like serial ATA and the ability to support faster memory, etc... The new board arrives and I slap it in but with only the bare essentials, RAM, CD drive, hard drive, nothing else. To my chagrin I found the same problem had occurred.

You have got to be kidding me.

By this point I had replaced everything in the computer with either new or at least known working parts. I was down to either the processor being bad or possibly a faulty power supply. I rationalized that if the power supply were to blame the system most likely wouldn't even power on. So now it was off to get a new processor. But trying to find an AMD processor from around 3 years ago that would work in my motherboard and fit my wallet would become somewhat of a daunting task.

I first turned to my friend eBay.

Doing a search on eBay for an AMD athlon XP processor yielded many results, though most of the processors I found were of used quality. I quickly realized that buying a used processor off of eBay would be like buying underwear from the Goodwill. Sure, it may look fine and get the job done but I'd probably be left with a uneasy feeling in the end. (ed. note: this blog has never bought underwear from the Goodwill)

Ditching the eBay route I turned to my other friend Froogle to search far and wide for a reputable dealer that could provide a processor at a decent price. As luck would have it, Tigerdircet.com had an AMD Athlon XP 3000 for $139, an unbelievable price for a great processor. As fast as I could, I whipped out my credit card and ordered it. The price was almost $100 lower than any other store on the web. This was working out almost too well for my luck.

Wouldn't you know it...

I get on-line the next day to check the shipping status of my new purchase. It was listed as backordered. "Great." I thought, I'll give them a few more days until I call customer service.

About 4 days went by and it was still listed as backordered. I called customer service at TigerDirect and was greeted by a rather rude individual. He explained that the item must have been in high demand and quickly went out of stock by the time I placed my order. He had no information on whether the processor would be in stock again, if ever, and reminded me that I wouldn't be charged anything until the product shipped. End of conversation.

At that point this blog became, how shall I say, a little less than pleased.

About a week goes by and I just happened to check the order status of my processor. To my utter and absolute surprise, it status was listed as shipped! I had been seriously thinking about canceling the order, taking the computer to the highest bridge I could find, and chucking it off the side. But with my luck, someone would have seen me and charged me with either computer homicide and/or littering. (Yes, I have that kind of luck.) Good thing I refrained.

So today the processor arrived at the JoeSchmidt.com world headquarters. I spent about an hour pulling out the motherboard, installing the new processor and putting all the components that had been strewn about for the last god-knows-how-many-weeks back into the box. I reconnected all the cables to the computer and, with great reluctance, I cautiously pressed the button to boot it up.

You know, I never thought I would be happy to hear that annoying windows startup sound.

The system has been up for a few hours now and has withstood the typing of this blog post (I suppose if that hasn't killed it, nothing will) Though now I have to contend with one last thing. Re-activating Windows. You see, anytime you change out a major system component like a motherboard or processor, windows makes you reactivate your windows license. If you don't, you won't be able to log into your machine after about three days. So now I get to spend a half an hour waiting on hold with Microsoft to re-activate windows. Lovely.

You know, I get paid for doing this kind of stuff during the day, it really sucks to have to do it for free at night. I think I should ask the JoeSchmidt.com CEO/Head of the Culinary Arts Department for a raise.

Posted by joeschmidt at 02:03 AM | Comments (0) | post to del.icio.us