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New poll posted on Apple hardware surprises at Expo
Authored by: rbsandkam on Dec 10, '08 11:13:01PM

iServe

This would be a hardware/software combo marketed at consolidating and backing up media in homes that have multiple users, as well as providing collaborative data (like calendars).

HARDWARE
mini-tower
3 SATA drive bays (big drives, and pre-configured for RAID 5);
1 optical bay with combo drive;
2 PCI Express slots (one with a special graphics card that has ports geared towards integration with home entertainment systems - like AppleTV);
4 memory slots

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X Server 10 user license
but definitely using the novice setup and management tools introduced in Leopard Server (Server Preferences).

Services that already exist in System Preferences, and are most relevant to this product would be:

File Sharing

iCal - shared calendars for the whole family

iChat, Mail, Web, and VPN could be useful, but most people probably wouldn't run their own internal services.

Services that exist in Mac OS X Server, are relevant to this product, and need simple System Preference interfaces created:

Software Update Server - download once for whole household, and make available from your own server - cuts down on bandwidth usage

Directory Services - shared address book for whole family

NetBooting - users should be able to netboot to a System Disc image at any time, in order to perform maintenance on their computer - this image should be updated on the iServe via Software Update when new models ship.

Services that can be achieved with Mac OS X Server if you know what you are doing, but really need to be developed as core services for this product:

iTunes Server - a central repository for everyone's media files - they can be streamed to various locations from the iServe - they can also be synced with local systems, so users still have libraries available n their laptops when they are away - the same type of relationship that currently exists between your iPod and you MacBook would now exist between you MacBook and the iServe.

iPhoto Server - a central repository for everyone's images - - they can be streamed to various locations from the iServe - they can also be synced with local systems, so users still have libraries available n their laptops when they are away

TimeMachine Server - easily configurable repository for backups from all computers in the home.

There are probably other services I am forgetting.

I don't know. Maybe only a handful of people would actually want this product. But the thing is, with a few tweaks, all the software already exists. And the hardware could also be offered with BTO options for those folks looking for a mini-tower Mac, but not as a server (fewer drives pre-installed, a more "standard" graphics card, Mac OS X Client).

So, why not do it.



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