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My day in geek land

Borders was giving away free passes to MacWorld last week. I've never been (to any computer trade show, really), and I've always been curious, so I snagged one. Yesterday was the big day. I hooked up with SE and SF (Mac geeks and regular attendees both), and we spent the day wandering the expo. I mostly tagged along with SE, who had a list of accessory and software vendors she wanted to check out. We looked at headphones, mice, keyboards, bags, voice recognition software, books... a little bit of everything, for the computer user. The expo was much more shopping oriented than I expected -- I think I was expecting more demoing of new and upcoming stuff rather than vendors presenting their existing products. Maybe there was more of that on the software side of things; we spent most of our time in accessory land. The other thing that surprised me was how many of the vendors were focused on iPod stuff. Headphones, cases, arm straps, bags, FM transmitters and other car stereo set-ups (I will have line-in capability someday), etc. There was a Salon article speculating the other day that Apple might get out of the computer business entirely to focus entirely on iPods and other digital media appliances and software. I hope it's not true, but it's certainly the company's biggest market if the trade show is any indication.

For me, though, the centerpiece of the visit was getting a look at the Mac Mini. T is very intrigued by this computer, so I checked it out for both of us. It really is a tiny thing; it looks like a smallish external CD-ROM drive. Styling is classic Apple; I heard more than one person say it looks like a Mac Cube chopped in half. It runs like a fairly quick iBook, which is about what one would expect from a computer with its specs. And it's so darn cheap! $500 for a Mac? I didn't think I'd ever see the day. T is thinking of it as a replacement for my 5-year-old G4 tower (which may slowly be starting to die), at least in the short term. I really want a new monitor (my current 17" CRT is even older than my CPU -- I bought it when I started grad school!), so I have been dying for one of the new iMacs with the wide flat screen. T is thinking about picking up a Mini for the short term, then using it himself when I get the iMac (the plan for several months now has been to buy one when I get a real job). The very idea that T is thinking of switching to Mac might be the most surprising thing I've heard in years. The Mini might be Apple's new revolution.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
I'm getting an iPod Shuffle as soon as an Apple Store I am near has one in stock. It's perfect for the gym and reduces that (quite great) risk that one day I'll knock my iPod off the stand in front of me and it will get crunched in the gears of the elliptical trainer. If that happens to a Shuffle, it will be "Oh Crap!", not "Oh holy Fuck! What have I done!!!"

And seeing as Scott and I both had independent ideas of sticking a Mini in our entertainment center to be the TiVo offload server, that's looking somewhat likely as well.

Damn Apple for making me want to buy stuff.
Jan. 14th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
We messed with the iPod shuffles a bit, too. They have absolutely no practical application for my life, but I do see how they could be useful for gym workouts. I don't see how they could be anyone's only iPod, though.

Damn Apple for making me want to buy stuff.

Yeah. At least said stuff is a lot cheaper than the usual "oooh I want that!" item from Apple.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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