So this story has been all over the place (at least if you read computing/HPC news). Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and designer of the historically significant Apple I and Apple II, took a job as chief scientist at a startup I was already aware of, Fusion-io. They’ve been designing PCIe boards loaded with flash memory to deliver super high performance storage to servers and maybe high-end gamers. In theory it’s using similar technology to SSDs, but they’re able to achieve significantly higher bandwidth and IOPs than has been achieved in an SSD that is focused on stuffing flash into a conventional SATA hard drive form factor.
Looks like Apple has finally realized that there are a lot of people who would like a high res notebook. Previously, their “pro” line of notebooks (aka PowerBooks) topped out at a piddly 1440x900 on a 17" LCD. Just think about that a moment. My Thinkbrick (that’s a couple years old at this point) does 1400x1050 on a 14" display. Their 15" was equally pathetic at 1280x854. They’ve just bumped up the 15" model to 1440x960 and the 17" to 1680x1050.
Apple is full of interesting surprises this year. First they announced they’d be ditching PowerPC in favor of x86. Now, they’ve gone and released a multibutton mouse. But without any buttons. Er… something like that. In place of buttons, it features touch-sensitive capacitive sensors beneath the top shell (ala the iPod) that “detect where your fingers are and predict your clicking intentions”. Or at least that’s according to their marketing speak.
I’m a little late in posting this (ISCA ‘05 in Madison and all that rot), but in Steve Jobs’ keynote at Apple’s WWDC he dropped a bombshell… Apple’s dropping the PowerPC and switching to Intel/x86. Engadget has some analysis on the decision, but I guess it largely boils down to limitations they’ve experienced with the PowerPC platform. To recap, Motorola had been making all the PowerPC chips for Apple until their G5 schedule didn’t meet Apple’s needs.
As I suspected, the 10.4.1 update for Tiger has been released. Looks like they’ve fixed quite a number of things (seems to have possibly solved some of the crashes/lockups I’d experienced so far… at least, don’t think I’ve had one since I updated).
So it would seem that the release of iTunes by Apple largely killed off the other music playing apps (ie mp3 players). Which is lame because I find the interface a little bulky, doesn’t seem like I can have it sort based on directory structure, and I find it a little annoying that by default it wants to copy all of your music to a “My Music” type folder when you import new stuff.
Looks like Tiger’s new Dashboard could use some refinement when it comes to security. Looks like it’s pretty trivial to make a user auto-download a widget when they visit a webpage in Safari, it’ll then auto-install if they’re using the default Safari settings, and then they’ll be running a potentially very obnoxious (and possibly even malicious) widget that’s impossible for average Joe user to remove. With any luck they’ll refine this a bit in 10.
Looks like Apples’s released Java 1.5 for Tiger. Not quite sure why people aren’t talking about this (was released same day as Tiger’s “official” release date) since a lot of people had mentioned it being present in the Tiger developer test releases and that it was absent from the final version released to the public. Looks like I can finally see about getting Liberty’s LSE up and running on OS X.
Looks like there’s a new version of Adium X out. Looks like there’s all sorts of new stuff in this release: Adium 0.80 brings a completely new status system with available messages and invisibility on supported protocols, built-in secure encrypted messaging via Off-the-Record Messaging, the long-awaited file transfer progress interface, customizable built-in Growl notification system support, blocking, customizable service and status icons, full OS X 10.4 compatibility, and much, much more.
So apparently GCC4 should be released before too long. Release candidates are out and release date is set for some time in April. Recently found out Fedora Core 4 will include it, which made me a little wary of trying it out (seems like it took a while for the GCC3 release to settle down and for apps to fix compatibility issues). Weird thing is, I was looking through a feature comparison for OS X (Tiger.