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It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day! Site News
Assuming a couple of things (my pass actually gets me into the keynote, and that the wireless network is working there), then I'll be posting live updates from the keynote a bit later this morning.

To make page loading fast and easy, I've set up a very simple plain HTML page for the udpates:

Macworld 2004 Keynote Updates

If I can't get in or online, you'll know it because the above page won't ever change :).

Update: Well, I was there, but there wasn't any wireless connectivity available (except to Steve!), so no updates. My take on the day's news, after having heard it and toured the floor? The G5 XServes are very slick boxes (though still no dual power supplies, from what I can see); Final Cut Express 2 looks like a solid update; and the iLife updates are all appreciated, especially the speed in iPhoto.

Regarding the iPod mini, here's my take on it after spending a few minutes with one. I much prefer the mini's "buttons on scroll wheel" setup -- the "soft" buttons on the main iPod are just too sensitive to the touch; the mini's buttons require a definite click to activate. The brushed aluminum is really nice, and the size is nice draw. However, I think Apple missed the pricing sweet spot by $75 to $100 or so -- using Steve's own "only $50 more" example from the keynote, for only $50 more, you can get a real iPod, and it's now 15gb instead of 10gb -- so that's 4x the storage for $50. At $149, they probably would have sold as many as they could make; at $249, I think they may find them sitting on shelves ... only time will tell, of course.

I asked someone in the Apple booth about iPhoto and free vs. pay availability. Here's what I was told, at least as of today: The new iPhoto will only be available as part of the iLife '04 package; it will not be downloadable. This matches the treatment that Apple gives iMovie and iDVD -- they're both bundled with new Macs, or they're available as part of iLife. So as of today, it appears the only remaining free iApp is iTunes, and I expect (since it sells iPods) that it will remain free for the forseeable future. From my seat, the speed gains and "on the fly" handling of rotation, rating, and deletion of new photos make it worth the $49 all by itself; the other new features in iDVD and iMovie are just icing on the cake.
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It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day! | 43 comments | Create New Account
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Keynote Stream
Authored by: eo on Jan 06, '04 10:46:57AM
Keynote Stream
Authored by: osxpounder on Jan 06, '04 12:55:21PM

Constantly updating text about the keynote and show:

http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/2004/01/06/liveupdate/

[URL is all one line]

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osxpounder



[ Reply to This | # ]
Keynote Stream
Authored by: mozart11 on Jan 06, '04 02:10:29PM

What a let down. The iPod Mini is to expensive. You want to know "the best $50 you'll spend", buy the 15gig iPod at $299 everyone.
No mention of dot mac at all. Not even us users! I will not renew my dot mac email or 1gig idisk Steve. Update this part of the iLife why don't you.

As anti-climantic as it comes.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: Lizard_King on Jan 06, '04 02:08:27PM

From Macworld:

"iTunes 04 costs $49. Free with every new Mac. Available January 16th."

Pay for iTunes? what features could be worth 49 bucks? I don't know how well this is going to go over.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: M.D on Jan 06, '04 02:10:39PM

They mean iLife'04 costs $49...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: menace690 on Jan 06, '04 02:11:43PM

Ummmmmmm noooo.

That would be iLife for $49.

This includes iTunes yes, but it also includes
iDVD
iMovie
iPhoto
and the new comer.... Garage Band



[ Reply to This | # ]
Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: adrick42 on Jan 06, '04 04:10:55PM
<opinion>
I said it last time they upped the ante on the iLife suite. I don't want to pay $49 for something that I have been getting for free. Can you say "Bait & switch"? When we all started using iPhoto it was free and there has never been any mention of it changing, until now.
And besides, I don't use iMovie or have any intention of using GarageBand to justify $49 on the whole deal.

But this is just my opinion....
</opinion>

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If we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time?

The Merovingian -- 

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Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: friedmaj on Jan 06, '04 04:24:13PM

I wouldn't call it a bait and switch, as you do still have your free product, and it presumably works as well as it did when you got it. If Apple stopped allowing print or book ordering for older versions of iPhoto, for example, then you could more fairly cry foul.



[ Reply to This | # ]
iLife
Authored by: drc on Jan 06, '04 04:29:08PM

$49 gets you iLife. In iLife you get updated iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto and iTunes and all new GarageBand.

http://www.apple.com/ilife/

Check it out. I will be getting it just for the new GarageBand App. I've been need to get an easy audio recorder for a while now and it does all I need and a lot more. The rest of the updates will be a nice bonus. I do wonder if the updated iTunes will be downloadable though or any other iApps?



[ Reply to This | # ]
iLife
Authored by: sfn on Jan 06, '04 06:59:16PM

iTunes is not updated according to the iLife page. It remains at 4.2 so no bonus there.

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-sfn



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Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: saint.duo on Jan 06, '04 05:03:48PM

From what I can tell, iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie are still free.

iDVD and Garage Band will be sold within iLife for $49, and included on new macs for free. (iDVD on machines with superdrives only?)

iDVD has NEVER been free. It in the past has only come on machines with a superdrive, and been a $50 purchase for new versions.

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duo



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Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: rootpoot on Jan 06, '04 05:40:00PM

I think iPhoto is worth $49 on its own. What other app gives you everything it does for less?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: ret on Jan 06, '04 07:48:41PM

I'll be interested to see whether downloadable versions of everything bar iDVD (and GarageBand) turn up for .Mac subscribers....

cheers
RET

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perl -e 'require Signature.pm; srand; printf STDOUT "%s\n", $Signature[rand @Signature];'



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Pay for iTunes?
Authored by: bjmorgan on Jan 06, '04 07:20:13PM

Yeah, as the consensus states. iLife is $49. And is probably not even the close to the real value that I would place on the new Garage Band.

It's nice that they've addressed the iPhoto update. I've never been an iPhoto enthusiast because of it's, "let us say," pokiness (I got a chuckle out of their own willingness to point out its faults). So I expect that this little $50 investment will be a good payoff.



[ Reply to This | # ]
iLife enterring niche market?
Authored by: rkchang on Jan 10, '04 04:10:31AM

I sorta see about the iLife suite enterring a niche market aimed at the amateur artist. Being an amateur musician, I can totally justify spending $49 just to get Garage Band, whose features seem to rival packages that typically cost $150+. I can see the amateur filmmaker spending hours on iMovie and iDVD (rather than pay for Final Cut Pro). Finally, iPhoto will probably be an important tool for the photo enthusiast (though Photoshop is plenty more powerful for photo tweaking).

People who want just typical everyday use are probably using most of the iLife apps minimally (except for possibly iTunes, which is likely to remain free). I have to admit that I tend to avoid iPhoto, and I haven't touched iMovie (though that may change the day I get a digital video camera). My iBook isn't equipped with a SuperDrive for iDVD. I can see the casual user who may still use some of these apps, though not to the extent that the really intense user may.

To the people who are upset over possibly having to pay for an upgrade, you may want to evaluate whether you currently use the software extensively and whether your current version gets your needs done. If so, then why bother upgrading? I can see why some people may be upset by the change from free software to paid software, but let's face it...it's still a deal compared to most paid software suites.

Possibly the saving grace is that supposedly iLife will be bundled with new Macs, encouraging that creative outlet for new users.

---
"I have seen the evils of procrastination, and I vow to change my ways tomorrow."



[ Reply to This | # ]
Will iLife apps be downloadable?
Authored by: SOX on Jan 06, '04 04:17:39PM

In the past you could download iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie for free. iDVD either you had to buy iLife or buy a computer with a super drive.

I wonder how they will do it this time. Obviously they will continue to give away iMusic. So at least some of the apps will be free. I suspect they might give away iPhoto and iMovie as well since those are attractions for the mac hardware.

for example, how will people who have iDVD now get upgrades? Doesn't seem fair to make them pay a second time for the same app a year later.

The other thing I though I heard was that there was going to be support of other DVD burners. Did anyone catch that?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Will iLife apps be downloadable?
Authored by: SeanAhern on Jan 06, '04 05:16:11PM

Yep, I heard that iDVD will support non-superdrives.

I'm particularly interested in seeing if iPhoto is a free upgrade. I've been asking Software Update, but nothing so far. I use iPhoto so often that I would probably be willing to pay $50 again for a faster version. Don't tell Apple! :-)

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-Sean



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Will iLife apps be downloadable?
Authored by: Eravau on Jan 07, '04 02:24:05PM

Even if it is a free update, I wouldn't go checking your Software Update 'til January 16th...the iLife update release date.



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Will iLife apps be downloadable?
Authored by: lstewart on Jan 07, '04 03:30:36PM

No, actually iDVD still only supports burning DVDs on Macs with Apple Superdrives. (Or Macs with some after-market internal Pioneer DVD-RW drives that are pretty much identical to Apple Superdrives--which also worked in iDVD 2 & 3.)

I think the confusion comes because for the first time, iDVD4 will allow itself to be installed on Macs that do not have Superdrives. However, they cannot be used to burn DVDs. They can only be used to design them, and then the project must be transferred to a Mac w/Superdrive in order to burn them.



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Why all the whining?
Authored by: jiclark on Jan 06, '04 05:14:02PM

I must say, I find it very discouraging that so many are quick to whine and moan about something that isn't even clear yet. My bet is that, as someone mentioned above, iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie will continue to be free downloads once the new iLife package CD is available on the 16th. This was the case with the first release of iLife. So until then, quit yer beechin'!!!

As someone else said, you've got your free software that works now, you really don't have anything to complain about otherwise!

And as to the iPod Mini, I'm tossed up. Yes, it would have been nice if they'd been able to make it $199, but we all know the price will come down as it evolves. It does seem too close in price to the new 15Giger though, IMHO. I'm just glad to see 'em coming up with new stuff in that realm. It's where they're obviously gaining the most ground, so why not go for it?

Lastly, in a selfish way, I'm thrilled they didn't release anything new on the main G5 front. My new Dual 2Gig gets here tomorrow, and I was hoping I wouldn't get hit with buyer's remorse...

;-} John-o



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Why all the whining?
Authored by: wayneyoung on Jan 06, '04 08:14:04PM

I think people are whining because Apple has changed their marketing approach sooooo much lately. .mac was free then went to pay for one thing. Then there is the hard feelings over the pricing of OSX, especially "upgrades", and the up-to-date program having a short timeframe, the new "point" release structure of OSX being full price. Perhaps there are others I cannot think of right now, but many people who have been using Macs for a lot of years got used to the way Apple did things, now there is a drastic change, and people are having a hard time adjusting and understanding what is going on. Well it is just Steve doing what is best for the company and investors.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why all the whining?
Authored by: BMarsh on Jan 07, '04 10:18:38AM

The point release being full price isn't much different then the Mac OS 7,8 and 9 era really...

7.5.whatever was free updates until 7.6 (about a year appart)
8.0 was another pay for release (about a year after 7.6)
8.1 was free, but was only 6 months after 8.0
8.5 was pay for, 6 months later free 8.6
9.0 was once again pay for, then it was about 2 years before Mac OS X came out which was pay for (all 9.x updates have been free, but essentially for most users 9.1 was the only required upgrade)

10.2 was over a year after 10.1 was released, 10.3 was over a year after 10.2 was released, so this fits with the earlier system.



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Why all the whining?
Authored by: the1truestripes on Jan 06, '04 10:46:42PM
I must say, I find it very discouraging that so many are quick to whine and moan about something that isn't even clear yet. My bet is that, as someone mentioned above, iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie will continue to be free downloads once the new iLife package CD is available on the 16th. This was the case with the first release of iLife. So until then, quit yer beechin'!!!

Er, well...last time...um...they said at the keynote that iDVD (and iMovie?) was "too big to download" so had to come on a CD (for cost), and they threw the other stuff on because "not everyone has broadband".

Unless he said it again, I'm not so sure. I mean yeah, the reasoning is still true, but maybe they need the money more now. Or maybe they want to add it to dot Mac's freebie carrot pile. Who knows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

the 15 Gig Ipod come swith a dock and remote now
Authored by: SOX on Jan 07, '04 12:30:08AM

Looking at the apple web site they did more than simply add 5 gigs tot he 10 gig model, they also bundled it with the dock and remote units that used to come only with the 20 and 40 gig models. these alone are worth over $50. In fact it now makes the price of the 20 gig uint anomolous: 100 more gets you just 5 more gigs.

The screen display on the mini looks to be one line of text smaller vertically and the same size horizontally. moreover if you buy the ipod at mac mall, the 15,20 and 40 gig units also come with a rubber ipod jacket plus a set of speakers. the mini's dont. With the mini you dont get a dock for free, dont get a remote for free, dont get the extra goodies.



So what it comes down to is styling. the mini is well smaller, and you should expect to pay a preimum for being smaller. I also think its all aluminum case is nicer too. Presumably its more robust than the plastic one on the maxiPod. Plus it works directly with the belt clip without having to harness it in a clumsy jacket. Its in color! it weighs less too and is thinner.

technically, it's usb cable can charge it unlike the maxiPod, so thats a major plus for Windows people. And it has mechaincal tactile buttons which to many people are better too. Apple just switched batter manufacturuers and these may possibly have the new fluidic lithium batteries--could avoid the sporadic battery issues or possibly have more charge cycyles.

So ecomincally there's no benefit on a raw storage/functionality basis. in fact it cost more if you were to add the accessories. But its small and cool. that's worth something.

what the mini is really is for is the up-sell price point. You think about a rio 4 gig unit for 225$ then say well crap for $25 more I can get a 4 gig mini ipod which is a zillion times nicer and the ear buds alone are worth the difference. then you say well crap for 50$ more i can get a whole ipod. and poof that 294$ sticker shock doesn't seem so bad anymore.

the price point really is no surprise. I mean why should the mini cost much less? after all all the parts in it cost the same as the parts in the MaxiPod: battery, screen, dial, eag buds, cpu, case, cables, adapters. heck even the disk drive costs the same, its just smaller in size.



[ Reply to This | # ]
the 15 Gig Ipod come swith a dock and remote now
Authored by: SOX on Jan 07, '04 01:07:16AM

I just called mac mall to order the 15 GB unit and they say its a mis print on the web site. It does not come with the dock and remote unit. bummer.



[ Reply to This | # ]
the 15 Gig Ipod come swith a dock and remote now
Authored by: Eravau on Jan 07, '04 02:47:31PM
Sox said:
You think about a rio 4 gig unit for 225$ then say well crap for $25 more I can get a 4 gig mini ipod which is a zillion times nicer and the ear buds alone are worth the difference.
That's true...the additional features of the 4 gig iPod Mini is worth the difference in price between it and the Rio. But that starts with the assumption that any 4 gig mp3 player is worth $225+. I can't justify that in my head. Shoot...I can't even justify 15 gig for $300. I don't think most consumers are going to jump on the bandwagon for any toy that cost more than $150 - $200.

Just look at DVDs. They didn't really start exploding everywhere (where "everywhere" means non-geek homes and stores) 'til people like Apex started releasing sub-$100 DVD players. Now you can get dozens of DVDs, not just at your local electronics superstore, but at Wal-Mart, convenience stores on the corner, gas stations, etc.

Now a sub-$200 iPod that also has the slick iPod interface and enough storage that nobody need scoff...that would sell like hot-cakes.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Consumers LOVE the iPod
Authored by: gigabarth on Jan 08, '04 11:58:08AM

>>>I don't think most consumers are going to jump on the bandwagon for any toy that cost more than $150 - $200.<<<

Um, 2,000,000 iPods SOLD to date. I'm afraid your concepts about consumers is a little off.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jan/06ipodmomentum.html

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cb - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
iMac G4 800 17" - 512MB RAM - OS 10.2.5
PM 8500 G4 500 - 768MB RAM - OS 9.2.1



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Don't forget the GarageBand!
Authored by: lestmak on Jan 06, '04 06:40:45PM

Rob, don't forget GarageBand in the new iLife as well! So $49 may be much for the old iLife, but GarageBand is worth the $49 on its own in my opinion, compared to most other software out there. Plus the other iApps too, make iLife '04 definitely value for money.

As for the iPod minis, great idea. With respect to the higher end ones, they're as much a price gap filler in the market to prevent other new entrants as much as a genuine product on it's own. Ok, for an extra few bob you can get the full blown iPod, but without this one, the price gap is too big, and someone could sneak into Apple's market share by launching an in-between product... And of course, this way, they might even shift a few more low-end iPods through the clever strategic marketing...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Don't forget the GarageBand!
Authored by: the1truestripes on Jan 06, '04 10:51:55PM
Rob, don't forget GarageBand in the new iLife as well! So $49 may be much for the old iLife, but GarageBand is worth the $49 on its own in my opinion, compared to most other software out there. Plus the other iApps too, make iLife '04 definitely value for money.

I'm not musically inclined (as in no musical talent), so I'm kind of assuming GarageBand's value to me is close to zero. If it does help the musically inept they ought to have made the first release downloadable for free to hook people.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't forget the GarageBand!
Authored by: lstewart on Jan 07, '04 03:36:47PM

GarageBand is specifically designed for both musical and non-musical people. Steve himself put together a song on-stage; it was kind of cool. But on the downloading idea: GarageBand is much less impressive without the 1000 loops and 50 software instruments that come on its installation DVD (not CD!), and making all that (>1GB) part of a download (especially for free) is really not practical.



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day!
Authored by: JonathanBoyd on Jan 06, '04 07:10:39PM

I think a lot of people are missing the point about the price. The 15GB iPod isn't $50 more than the mini; it's $100 more than the high end CF drives. The mini isn't going for the HD market, but rather the high end flash drive market. Someone looking to spend $200 on one of those won't spend an extra $100 on a 15GB iPod, but might just spend an extra $50 on a mini.



[ Reply to This | # ]
it's genius.
Authored by: abriening on Jan 07, '04 12:46:34AM

and it's still 2.5 Gb over the competition.



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day!
Authored by: kman on Jan 06, '04 07:19:39PM

The iPod mini price is exactly where it should be. In fact, one might even call it very competitive. Take a look at what's on the market and how much it costs:

$200-$250 range:
1.5GB - http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10354815&loc=19062
256MB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1051806328065&skuId=5446957&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002
1.5GB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1055388006391&skuId=5584389&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002
256MB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1056281016474&skuId=5720071&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002
1.5GB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1056281016670&skuId=5720213&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002

$100-$175 range:
128MB - http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90124361&loc=19062
128MB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1057490637350&skuId=5767716&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002
256MB - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1056280971206&skuId=5714863&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat10200050002
128MB - http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&catoid=-8721&qp=0333704353341&bookmark=bookmark_3&oid=69536
256MB - http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&catoid=-8721&qp=0333704353341&bookmark=bookmark_8&oid=76322

Do any of them work with iTunes as well as the iPod?
Are any of them as stylish as the iPod?
Do any of them work as well with an internet music download site as the iPod?
Do any of them offer all the added functionality of the iPod?
Do any of them come in a variety of colors?
Are any of them available with custom laser engraving, which by the way is free right now?

I'm not saying I like the price or that the iPod wins in all categories. However, if someone were in the market for a portable music player and did a bit of research into what is available, the new iPod mini would be a definite contender. Too bad the price is too high for ME. I think that's the real complaint most people have.



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day!
Authored by: Eravau on Jan 07, '04 02:51:58PM

What's it matter if it's priced in line with all of the others...when the pricing for them all is...well, out of line?



[ Reply to This | # ]
1984 video with iPod...
Authored by: josephaw on Jan 06, '04 10:43:40PM

Ah, I noticed that the video was slightly different...
The new girl now has an iPod!

http://www.apple.com/hardware/ads/1984/

Joe



[ Reply to This | # ]
New iPods
Authored by: dlelash on Jan 07, '04 03:06:41AM
But... if Apple loses a $250 sale to themselves, in favor of a $300 sale, wouldn't that be a good thing? IMHO, the only sales revenue they stand to lose is from those who would have bought at $300 and now buy at $250, and how many is that, really? They will gain people who will bite at $250 rather than $300, and people who want the smaller size. Nothing wrong with expanding market dominance down...

[ Reply to This | # ]
New iPods
Authored by: robg on Jan 07, '04 10:32:30AM

I think my perspective is that they'll miss out on most of that 31% that Steve said they're going after. They're priced $50 above the high price point. Yes, you get more (much more), but if you were to dig into that 31% slice, you'd find that the average selling price is nowhere near the high selling price -- it's probably closer to $149 than $199 (perhaps even lower).

So now, instead of just a $50 bump for all the extra features, it's a $100 (or more) bump ... and for most people, that's a different purchasing decision. So while I think Apple will be quite successful at cherry picking the top tier of that 31% slice, the vast majority within it will probably not change their purchase behavior -- there's too much of a price jump.

I guess we'll see how well it's accepted :).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day!
Authored by: dogboy on Jan 07, '04 10:36:03AM

Maybe they will appeal to a different demographic: people who don't need the storage, want a cuter device and still have money.



[ Reply to This | # ]
iDVD 4
Authored by: plugh on Jan 07, '04 01:43:07PM

Does iDVD4 work with an external dvd burner? Sounds like the answer is No from the Apple site. Does anyone know for sure?



[ Reply to This | # ]
iDVD 4
Authored by: lstewart on Jan 07, '04 03:46:17PM

The only way to know for sure is to have it, and no, I don't have it yet. But I carefully watched the keynote, and have read about it many places, and my understanding and that iDVD will definitely NOT work with external drives--it will still only work with *internal* Superdrives (or equivalent drives).



[ Reply to This | # ]
iDVD 4
Authored by: greggomer on Jan 09, '04 03:24:10AM

You are correct from my understanding as well. No you can't use iDVD with and external Firewire burner. However.... that being said... I think the confusion here comes from what Steve said.

He did announce that iDVD 4 will allow users to save their projects as an archived project, that then can be moved to a superdrive equiped mac for burning. So it's a step in the right direction. And that should now mean that you don't need a superdrive equiped Mac to install iDVD anymore.

here is a quote from the iDVD web site

"If you're not watching a DVD on your next cross-country flight, you can take advantage of iDVD's new Save As Archive feature and begin your next DVD project enroute. Because archiving lets you save iDVD projects as self-contained units that are completely portable. Start them on one Mac. Finish them on another. You say your iBook doesn't have a SuperDrive? Not a problem. Choose Archive Project from the File menu, and when you get home, move it to a Mac that has a SuperDrive and burn it there."

It says you can use it on your iBook, so you can for sure use it on a computer without a superdrive. So it's a step in the right direction, still full external DVD support would be nice.



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's Macworld 2004 Keynote day!
Authored by: vsmith1 on Jan 08, '04 11:32:35AM

xServe and xRAID - nice updates but as you say if they haven't got redundant PSU in them then they are lacking. I wished that they'd gone for a 2U xServe and added more slots, redundant PSU, fans, etc. Hopefully these and the sort of stuff that Virginia use - InfiniBand connectivity and the new xGrid preview software from Apple will make the redundancy questions even less. Also its about time that we had the choice of more than just Dantz for backup. Get talking with Veritas, CA, and get some Systems management work done with HP, IBM and CA. That'll get it acceptable by more enterprise customers.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Redundant PSU unimportant comared to MTBF
Authored by: SOX on Jan 08, '04 11:54:20AM
Redundant PSU is probably not needed for nodes (server's yes, nodes maybe not). With nodes the cost of failure is not great since there are presumably losts of them. With disk servers or a master node, the cost of down time is intolerable.

The cost of down time on a node comes from two sources. When you have a lot of nodes, you want the proabblity that any one of them is down in a given week to be small so that its a maganagable job for a service tech. The second cost is that you need the probability of a long duration job failing due to a node dieing to be very small. How small is becomeing less important with time because of better checkpointing and adaptive cluster healing scheduling. But still you want most jobs to run with out a node dieing.

since the costs for node dieing are simply costs proportional to up-time and not catostrophic costs, then simply using more reliable part in thepower supply to reduce the probablity of failure is just a better solution than redundant power supplies. that is if a pSU fails you still have to schedule a service tech to replace it. thus two crappy by redundant power supplies will be more expensive to maintain for most people than one high quality PSU with say a 2x to 10x beter mean time between failures.

I bought apple xserves for exactly this reason. so far they have a 10,000X better Mean time between failures than my previous Athlon 2U computers did. this translates to about a 100X lower TCO for me.

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