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Monday, 23 June 2003

WWDC pt2

  • Continued from a previous entry.
  • PDFs: on the fly postscript -> pdf conversion. Finally.
  • Fast user switching: I've got to be honest, Windows beat us to this. XP has this, we're going to do it much nicer. Menu in the corner of the menubar, allows you to switch between multiple users on a machine. Displays username and icon. IT SWITCHES ON A ROTATING OPENGL CUBE LIKE KEYNOTE.
  • Pro Font Management: font installation when you preview a font. Font Book. Categories, collections of fonts, instant searching like in so many other things in Panther. Project collections etc. We think creative professionals are going to love it.
  • iChat: 25% customers are using it routinely, in Panther, we're taking it to iChat AV. Audio chats and video chats. "Video conferencing for the rest of us." Zero setup, configuration, plug in the camera, everything is automatic. Works with any firewire camera, any usb or built in microphone. 56k modem upwards. Broadband for video conferencing. iChat demo with Phil: all tarted up with QE (PIP window sizing), make it fullscreen, whatever.
  • iChat: capability icons of buddies update dynamically, if you plug in a camera, your icon changes to the video camera icon on your list and all your buddies' lists.
  • iChat demo: Al Gore makes a video call to Steve Jobs on stage from UCLA. The crowd goes wild.
  • iChat AV is standards based, but brand new standards. Waiting for people to copy. iChat AV beta out today, times out on 31st December for Jaguar, included in Panther. $29 upgrade if you want it for Jaguar then, but otherwise buy Panther.
  • Panther: Developer previews going out today, will ship before end of the year, will cost $129. Our competition was supposed to be out in '04, but has slipped to '05 and may even slip to '06 (shows picture of a Longhorn after lots of action Panther footage).
  • iSight video camera for iChat AV: fmv up to 30fps, 640x480 24bpp, autofocus f/2.8 aperture, autoexposure, one firewire cable for mic, power and video. Now demoing against competitor cam (best so far): iBot. Camera position is really important - how do we keep iSight in the right position, it mounts on portables (clips on to portables), sticks on to iMacs, sticks on to cinema displays and so on. Three stands for mounting and shutter. All people in attendance at SF get a free camera, for the rest of us they'l be $149.
  • xcode: brand new dev tools for OS X. Single word to describe it? Speed. Fast compiles, using gcc3.3. 101,391 lines of code in new Finder - build new Finder UI in XCode 377 seconds, 223 in Code Warrior, going to keep making it faster. Distributed building, use idle resources automatically. With one more machine, Xcode goes down to 208s, with 4 hosts total, under 100s. If you've got a team of devs, you should go out and buy a bunch of XServes.
  • Turnaround: stop, debug, compile, link run (classic loop). Zero linking. Removed need to link. Predictive compiling: compiles while you edit, shortens compile time (wtf?) Fix and continue: make changes to applications while they are running.
  • Xcode: New UI, "beautiful, clean", uses favourites column on left again. It's not metal! List view and instant searching as in Finder, works not only on the files in your Project, but your targets. Instant search is everywhere. Inspector does documentation lookup. Smart groups for anything you want like in itunes. Lots of stuff for Codewarrior users. Included in Panther. Free.
  • One more thing: some of you may have noticed on the net... The reactions to these specs fell into: too good to be true / it's true / it's brilliant marketing on apple's part. We had a great name for this: "premature specification". It was a mistake, and it's true. Delivering world's fastest PC today. There's the chip, the system and the product.
  • Chip: turned to IBM several years ago to make coolest processor in PC universe. We're calling it the G5. It's 64bit. It's the world's first 64bit desktop processor. Runs existing 32bit apps. 2GHz CPU, 1GHz FSB, designed from ground up for dual processor systems.
  • Chip: Optimised veloc. engine, 2 double prec. fpu, 2 fully symmet. int. units, branch prediction. "I dunno what it does, it predicts branches. It's a good thing". IBM has done a phenomenal job on this, most advanced chip fab 130nm, SOI, 8 layer copper interconnects, 58m transistors, 300mm wafers. He's showing off a wafer of G5s. $3bn fab.
  • Chip: John E Kelly III SVP Tech Group IBM: great day, took core out of Power4, and brought it into this 64bit desktop processor. 2GHz, 1GHz bus. Advanced 130nm tech, gate-length of under 50nm, horizontally shrunk to 13angstroms, 67 layers in the gate. This is very advanced tech. This is why it cost $300bn for a fab. This is just the beginning, IBM spends $5bn/yr on R&D and much is aimed at processor/semiconductor tech. Roadmap to knock your socks off.
  • The System: G5 system controller chip, point to point architecture, one of fastest ASICS in world, dedicated bandwidth to main memory for each subsystem. G5 has 1GHz bus, 6x faster than G4. 8GB/s bandwidth. Can add second processor. Independent busses come into play. One processor does not slow down the other. 16GBps bandwidth when dual. 400MHz 128bit DDR RAM, 2x bandwidth of G4, 6.4GBps bandwidth. AGP 8X Pro Graphics, 2GBps bandwidth, latest chips from nVidia and ATI, and power for pro cards. IO: 133MHz PCI-X, 2GBPs of bandwidth, HyperTranspit interconnect, 1 133MHz 64bit bus, two 100MHz 64 bit slots. Serial ATA to connect to drives, 1.5GBps bandwidth, independent interfaces, Apple designed IO chip. FW800/400, USB2, GigE, Airport Extreme, Digital audio in/out.
  • Products: Dual/single, 8GB memory, 150MB/s bandwidth to disk, 6.4GB/s to RAM. Transfer entire DVD in less than a second. GeForce FX5200 Ultra into low-end models, Radeon 9600 Pro on high-end.
  • New enclosure: new machine out of a rising platform in the stage. All alumnium. Grille on the front and back. Doesn't look that nice. Entire front is a grille to allow air in, as with back. 9 computer controlled fans, independently controlled. Make it a lot quiter, 35dba at normal use at room temp.
  • Systems: 1.6GHZ 256/80/FX5200/4x superdrive/$1999, 1.8GHZ 512/160/FX5200/4x super/$2399, dual 2GHz/512/160/Radeon 9600/4x super/$2,999. Comparing them to Dell Xeons. Comparable Dell Xeon over $4k.
  • World's fastest PC: SPEC tests and real-world. CPUs: 2.00GHz G5, 3.0GHz P4, 3.06GHz Xeon. GCC3.3 on all machines. Veritest independent test lab. Single processor: SPECint2000: P4 889, Xeon 836, G5 800 and SPECfp2000: P$ 693, Xeon 696, G5 840. Dual processors: Single P4 (can't DP P4s) SPECint-rate 1P4 10.3, Dual Xeon 16.7, Dual G5 17.2. SPECfp-rate 1P4 8.1, Dual Xeon 11.1, Dual G5 15.7.
  • Realworld performance: Adobe - some photoshop stuff is much faster than any other machine they've seen. Performance update for Photoshop when this machine ships.
  • Phil Schiller's demo with a Dell: fastest G5 and Dell money can buy. International poster for Finding Nemo, 360MB+ file, 100 actions that the artist did to create the poster, transforms, blurs, lighting, copmositing. G5 is way ahead of the Dell. G5 is about 2.1x faster than the Dell.
  • Another real world demo: Luxology, 3d apps. Blah, blah. Sorry, I'm really not interested in this part at all. App performance, blah. The G5 is fast, the PC is slow.
  • Another real world demo: Wolfram, Mathematica. The G5 is fast, the PC is slow.
  • Another real world demo: Emagic. No offense, but yawn. Something about more than a thousand voices at the same time on the machine. 24bit stereo voices.
  • Another real world demo: some music from BT for the Matrix trailer. PC, then Mac. PC's skipping. CPU performance is high. Blah. The PC has just given up and stopped. Mac: (I guess no skipping and it plays through to the end). CPU utilisation is way low, surprisingly.
  • Steve is back: Adobe Photoshop, 2x faster on the Mac, Luxology, 2.3x faster on the Mac, Mathematica 2.3x faster on the Mac. Realworld tests and spec tests: we've caught up.
  • What about the future? Apple and IBM are today announcing that within 12 months, we'll be at 3GHz.
  • Video: emphasises 64bit processor, Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice, it's the future, dual 2GHz, blah blah. Optimised velocity engine. Dual GHz processor busses. Lots of numbers.
  • Jonathan Ive: 4 distinct thermal zones to allow independent cooling where it matters, yadda yah. Still full of bloody holes, though.
  • Video's over. SJ thanking everyone at Apple who's been working on this, Panther'll be a stunning release, the Xcode team, the iSight team, the PMG5 team. As we finish up these products, we've got awesome support at finance, opps, everyone at the company. Now, our strategy is to innovate. let's go back: less than 6 months ago, the 12in PB and 17in PB, Safari, iLife, Keynote, FCP4, iPod, iTunes 4, iTMS. Panther Mac OS X 10.3, iSight camera, Xcode and PMG5. And it's only the first six months. Wow. So today, we have rolled our next-gen hardware, next-gen software architecture to you, first. Thank you very much, see the stuff, we think you'll love it. The end. PMG5s will be available in September. You can preorder now.
  • New PMG4s for $1299, iSight and iChat AV. Panther expected in September.

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WWDC

Feel free to ignore this if you're not some sort of cultist: I'll be at Apple's Clarendon store at 1pm EDT today watching the WWDC keynote and expect to be updating this entry while I'm there (clue: apparently there'll be big news, and if you want to join in with the rapture, here's how).

  • 12:33 The store is packed out (for certain values of packed).
  • 12:50 The feed (mostly incredibly thrilling crowd shots) is now being shown on screen, and the Apple Store is down.
  • 13:02 Steve is on stage.
  • Airport extreme bumf, ratification of 802.11g and software update to bring the cards and base stations up to date with the finalised spec. First to ship 802.11g in the industry and first to ship 802.11 years ago. Pleased to report that 300k 802.11g products have been shipped since launch.
  • Retail stores: 58 stores open now, 25 months since first one, 17m visitors to the stores so far. Opening Chicago, Tokyo and San Francisco. SF not built yet ("this is a rendering, I wish it was this easy to build them")
  • iPod: couldn't be happier, just introduced 3rd gen (lots of recapping) - today's a milestone: will ship one millionth iPod.
  • itunes 4/ itms: 8 weeks ago, sold over 5m songs online. Ran an ad campaign about itms and you know when you run an ad campaign if it's really working if people start to parody it, wasn't long until saw a Jay Leno NBC parody: Osama singing with an iPod.
  • Safari: fastest browser on the mac, best browser on any platform: 5m downloads, added tabbed browsing (slickest impl) 6 month beta (sounds like it's going gold today), think they've got a solid browser now, today it's 1.0, going on the web in a few hours, and webkit is coming out today.
  • Mac OS X: doing really, really well. over last two years, gone from 0.5m active users to 7m active users of X. 7k native OS X apps, both adoption curves accelerating. "We have a kickass OS". But today, for all of us in this room, Jaguar is over. Today, we're gonna preview Panther for you, the next major release of OS X, 10.3. Its name is Panther and it's the 4th major release of OS X, after Cheetah, Puma and Jawyre. 100 major new features.
  • Unix: OS X most popular unix: x11r6, nfs file locking, ufs, kerberos, bsd 5, IP6, lots more unix stuff in panther.
  • browse smb in finder, smb printing, smb home directories, ipsec based vpn, active directory in panther.
  • BRAND NEW FINDER: what was wrong with the old finder? the old one was computer centric - column view in the old finder was in the rightmost column - four levels down. how can I be the most important if I'm four levels down?
  • User centric finder: "from some of the stuff we've learnt over the years" kind of like a favourites bar on the left of the window, like playlist in itunes/photo albums in iphoto. really, really simple. finder is metal now.
  • More finder: fast searching, action buttons. some couldnt' find get info. action button is contextually sensitive on toolbar, can tell you waht you can do with the document/folder you've selected. labels are back. new, cleaner open/save panels.
  • More finder: Username is shown in topright corner of menubar, scrollbars disappear, favourites bar poofs like the dock, dvds can be ejected from a rollover in the favourites bar. action menu: can label things (yes, label breaks higs), fast search: home directory, can search hd, anywhere, demoing search for xserve docs. SEARCH RESULTS APPEAR AS YOU TYPE YOUR QUERY.
  • new finder recap: user centric, fast seaching, action button, labels, dynamic network browsing, open/save panels. "I think we've finally got there".
  • iDisk: for dotmac customers, idisk becomes a local folder that syncs to dotmac automatically in the background. really shines when there's more than one computer: put stuff in the idisk folder and it automatically gets synced to other computers too, through dotmac. really works well with untethered portables: minute connected to network, airport, etc. changes sync instantly.
  • new feature: expose. we've all been there with hundreds of windows open: how do you find the one window you're looking for to the front, you move everything out of the way, just to find one window. use applescript to demo--open a whole bunch of apps and docs, lots of stuff: woah: quartz extreme dynamic resizing JUST LIKE THAT for each window, they all go translucent. it's fucking amazing.
  • expose: screen corners, or dock button. expose will also let you assign another button to clear all windows off the desktop, they all resize and fly off to the nearest corner exposing the desktop.
  • Expose is using Quartz Extreme: instantly see all windows, one app's windows, desktop and activate by screen corners or by the mouse. To set up activation, new preference that lets you set it up.
  • file vault: new feature, requests came from companies with sensitive information that was on notebooks, and that info was available to a thief if the notebook was stolen. secures your entire home folder. Encrypts everything in home directory on the fly, and once you log out, it's safe. Security with one checkbox.
  • Mail: much better, a lot faster, safari webkit rendering built in, addresses are "objects" you can move around, view and manage your mail by threads in a really cool way. when you type addresses in, they become objects, you can set it up so any address out of a certain list of domains show up in red.
  • Mail: Demoing webkit rendering in mail, now demoing compose. once you type in an address, it becomes an object (objects displayed differently, translucent, drag 'em around. If you have two email addresses, you can flag anything outside of the domain list in red. Threads.
  • New IPSec VPN, industry standard, built into Panther and Panther Server, if you want a complete VPN end/end solution.
  • Fax now built in to Panther, behaves just like printing, on every print panel. Fax panel does full address completion out of address book, push it and you fax.
  • New QT codec: studio grade quality on a personal computer for 1st time in history, it's called Pixlet and it's from Pixar. Super high quality codec, based on wavelet technolgies. HD quality, 48bits per pixel, only codec to go above 24bpp source data. No noticeable visual artifacts, no itner-frame compression for easy editing and back/forth scrubbing. Also half HD, 960x540, 24fps, stereo sound, can decode with 1ghz g4 mac and above. I'm annoyed. Can scrub the Finding Nemo trailer. Not really that impressed/impressive. Now Matrix reloaded: I guess you have to be there and not watching over a crappy satellite link.
  • Preview: fastest PDF reader in the world. Upgraded it to be fast. Rendering: PDF1.4 spec 978 pages, 71s for Acrobat 6/win, Preview takes 28s. Same with searching. He's demoing it on the same machine he used for the pixlet demo, god knows it's a ppc970...
  • Continued in part two.

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Friday, 06 June 2003

Drugged Up

Every year around this time my eyes invariably undergo some sort of transformation from "useful seeing apparatus" (though the extent to which they are useful is normally dependent upon whether they have ludicrously powerful lenses balanced in front of them) to "hideously painful scrunched up balls of streaming tears with red hot pokers being stuck in them", my nose decides to explode periodically and my sinuses do a very good impression of London's public transport infrastructure at rush hour.

It's not so much the red hot pokers in the eyeballs--to be honest, sometimes it feels more like a spoon because, you know, it hurts more--nor really the periodic explosive noises, more the fact that I feel like a complete idiot lugging around an entire truck's worth of Kleenex balmed tissues lest I trail mucous behind me wherever I go in a rather sick impression of an overgrown snail.

Yes, it's hayfever season and my nemesis is out in full force. Mostly, I cope with an unholy amount of Clarityn, but this year the entire might of American pharmaceutical knowledge has been applied and I am thus drugged up on not only Clarityn but Benadryl, Dayhist and what appear to be industrial strength eyedrops.

The former is merely a roundabout way of explaining why, exactly, I haven't been exploring downtown DC and am instead in a wonderfully air-conditioned (and simultaneously heated) room.

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Friday Morning, EDT

  • A very, very interesting writeup of Apple's iTunes Music Store presentation to selected indie labels at CDBaby.
  • The Register reads a Slashdot story, summarises and repackages as Tivo-style recording for radio, omitting the fact that the recorder in question is nothing like Tivo and more like, um, a digital recorder with a timer.
  • Fonts on Linux suck.
  • My friends and I have an entirely non derivative list of (some) favourite books.

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Wednesday, 04 June 2003

Somewhat disappointed

People are starting to pick up the Wolfowitz "Iraq oil" quote story, but I'm somewhat disappointed in The Guardian for running with the context-free quote in Iraq war was about oil. Here's a transcript and coverage at ABCNews.

Okay, so it's not that much of an excuse, but it's certainly not the same as the sky crashing down on Blair's head, nor the foot-in-mouth blunder people are reporting it as.

Update: The Guardian has posted the inevitable retraction.

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Well, it made me laugh

I was in Borders the other day and saw the following sign in the men's restroom:

ALL EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS

which is fairly typical. Then I noticed the Braille notice underneath.

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Tuesday, 03 June 2003

Tuesday Afternoon, EDT

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Monday, 02 June 2003

Look ma, no wires!

I was sitting in a car parked on a street on Friday afternoon and idly reading email when the laptop unexpectedly announced the presence of a wireless network. An unsecured one, no less. The signal was a little too weak to get a good connection (I ended up angling the laptop's antennae windows out of the car in a comical fashion), but hey, it was a novel experience.

Of course, by now, it was all rather exciting: catching on to wardriving a little late, maybe, but interesting nonetheless. A short drive to the cinema to catch l'auberge espagnole [official site, IMDB] resulted in catching forty nine networks, of which ten were secured using WEP, the most alarming of which was a CVS Pharmacy network (SSID cvsretail) which didn't have WEP enabled. Now, I know WEP isn't exactly secure, but there's no harm in trying--provided you're implementing something else as well, is there?

Judging from the SSIDs, around forty percent of the secured networks were for residential use anyway.

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