January 5, 2004


Due to what I can only assume was temporary insanity on my part, I forgot to register to attend the Macworld Expo this year. I, of course, find this shocking and you should too because I’m pretty sure it’s one of the signs of the apocalypse. Maybe the eighth sign. At any rate we can all watch the keynote live on the web (out of the corner of our eye as we dutifully work the morning away) and swarm Apple.com afterwards for all the details. For what it’s worth here’s my take on the rumors:

  • GarageBand: If Apple comes out with software that makes it possible for any schmuck with a microphone and iTunes to sell their work through the iTMS, well, deezamn.

  • Safari 1.2: I’m hoping Safari gets an upgrade sooner rather than later. I don’t think there’s another program that I spend more time in than Safari and every little tweak and improvement is a delight.

  • iPhoto 3: I didn’t like the early versions of iTunes and the same goes for iPhoto. It still feels clunky and wrong but I’m hopeful that the “major iLife upgrades” rumor will translate into iPhoto’s transcendence into iTunes-like perfection.

  • Document: A long-rumored $100 competitor to Word a la Keynote and PowerPoint. If it can import Word documents (like Keynote can import PowerPoint docs) I’ll snap it right up.

  • FileMaker Pro 7: Can someone explain to me how to make two tables talk to each other in this program? I hope version 7 brings some legitimate “R” to this RDBMS.

  • Final Cut Express 2: I don’t have a digital video camera but if I did I’d use this software and would be thrilled for a major update.

  • PowerMac G5 2.5GHz: Likely to happen soon in order to keep on track for the promised 3GHz models in July.

  • New Cinema Displays: I’m hoping for the 20” to become the new low-end model priced around $1,000 and for a new 28” model to swoop into the high-end. Drool.

  • miniPods: First off, I’m really hoping that Steve doesn’t have a +40GB iPod up his sleeve but if he does, whatever, mine rules. As for the smaller versions, fantastic. Apple needs to compete in the low-end portable MP3-player market.

  • G5 Xserves: Pretty much completely outside my sphere of knowledge but hey, why not?

Previous Post


Sean Peisert

TextEdit can already import basic Microsoft Word documents. Although it isn’t a serious competitor for the functionality of Word (or even StarOffice), I use it for all of my writing that requires simple formatting, leaving Word exclusively for collaboration on formatted documents (as opposed to the textfiles we scientists send around).

I think that new miniPods and cinema displays sounds reasonable to believe.. I also have my horses on a safari update (I have it the same way as you - it’s the most used app of them all here).

Sean: TextEdit just isn’t good enough :/

Walt Dickinson

Re: Document. TextEdit is amazingly good (esp. with the system-wide Mac OS X spell checker built-in) but a company (like Apple) would do well to sell an affordable, feature-rich (but not bloated), word processor that could read sophisticatedly styled Word documents. At least, they’d get my money.

AppleWorks, by the way, needs to die. =-)

Re: FileMaker. The “R” in RDBMs is deserved in FileMaker, just step away from viewing relations as SQL queries (which is the common mistake, most people familar with other RDBMs have). Thinking of it in purely table format, all you need is a key. Example: Relate a phones file to a people file. in People you have: peopleID, name, address, city, state, zip, etc.; in Phones you have: phoneID, peopleID, phone, extension, type.

SQL allows you to do, pretty much on the fly relations, by querying: select the phone numbers related to peopleID. You then create the views of that data, using whatever, PHP, Access View Maker, etc.

FileMaker just has you define the view. If your creating a layout in the Contacts table, where you want to display phone data, you just store the relationship (Phones = People.peopleID::Phones.peopleID) in the table. Then point to it where ever you want the related data to display.

Sean Peisert

Due to what I can only assume was temporary insanity on my part

Or because you were shopping for an engagement ring.

Michel Christensen

So you got scored five points in the prediction ;o)

Mark Shewmaker

Walt, don’t worry about losing your mind. For the past couple of years, MWNY has been only a few short subway stops away. I still haven’t made an effort to check it out.

This is ironic considering that I used to pay for flights and hotel rooms to check out MWSF every January.

Scott Yager

Seems to me that the iPod mini should be cheaper. You could pay $50 more and get a 10GB iPod. Sure, the mini one is small…but iPods are small already. I don’t really see the value.

But GarageBand looks fun.

Rachelle Bowden

scott, you’d actually get 15 gig for $50 more

Scott Yager

Yeah, I noticed that after I posted it. So really, that’s even better.

Walt Dickinson

Anonymous: It’s hard to bend one’s mind from the relative ease of PHP/MySQL to the FileMaker scheme but I’ll give it a shot again one of these days. Thanks for coming to FMP’s defense.

Sean: Yes, that may have had something to do with it. =-)

Michel: I was going for a summary rather than predictions but you’re right, I did do rather well. I’ll have to add “likelihood” rankings next time.

Mark: And now MWNY is gone forever isn’t it? I’m kicking myself for not being able to play with GarageBand and iPod minis before everyone else.

Scott: There should be a cheap iPod that competes with ultra-crappy MP3 players but the minis aren’t it (yet). I suspect the prices will drop or the line with diversify in about six months but iPods will never be cheap.

Scott Yager

Do they give away free stuff at Macworld?

Walt Dickinson

They give away posters and buttons and demo CDs and such. Some booths do raffles for software. I scored a free (with the purchase of CandyBar, which rules) Panic shirt last year in a fit of fanboy geekery.

Sean Peisert

I heard they gave away a 1984 poster.