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My Cook-era Apple wish list
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besson3c
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Oct 27, 2011, 10:17 PM
 
These are some policy shifts I would like Apple to make under Cook. Nothing terribly radical, just little things that I think ought to happen:

- Be more developer friendly. In the Jobs biography it was said that Jobs was apparently resistent to third-party iPhone apps initially... WTF? Stop making me spend money for the privilege of accessing stuff as basic as documentation and other developer information. I don't know if XCode for Snow Leopard is still unavailable, if so fix that. I don't mind paying to download XCode, but don't nickel and dime people with the other stuff. These sorts of policies obviously haven't hurt Apple a great deal, but they are annoying and frustrating.

- Continue to embrace the cloud. iCloud and being able to restore an OS from the internet is sweet. There is so much exciting potential with this in a number of areas, don't let up!

- To go along with this, embrace web services. Make it so that people can display their iCal events on their website, pull up their Address Book contacts through a web app through iCloud, etc. All of this of course should take privacy into account, but there is a lot of cool stuff that could be built that would involve talking to iCloud, which would be the obvious center of all of this, including perhaps some web hosting of data users want to share. Make people forget about MobileMe and .Mac!

- Embrace virtualization. More and more places are building monstrous VM environments. Don't require that VM hosts be Macs to virtualize OS X. Cannabalizing sales is no longer a huge concern, people will still buy Apple hardware for the form factor of a laptop or iPad, and the people that will get into Hackintosh is pretty inconsequential. With this sort of change Apple can focus on their OS X Server successor and possibly make an impact in this area if they choose to, but also make it easier to support different versions of OS X and iOS (via the iOS simulator), support Macs better in allow companies to deploy Time Machine servers, tools for managing Mac labs, iOS deployment stuff for companies, high performance scientific computing clusters and the like, etc.

- Get your new file system out the door!


In short: make building stuff easier and better and cooler. None of this ought to require a tremendous amount of effort, this is mostly just a shift in attitude and philosophy. Why not?


Your list?
     
ort888
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Oct 27, 2011, 10:29 PM
 
I think they need to make a more affordable Mac Tower or finally create the mysterious xMac. Maybe thunderbolt will allow them to make some form of modular pro computer that you could buy in pieces.

Also, I really think its time they focused on lowering prices across the board. I know that seems silly in light of how much cash they take in, but still, let's be honest, they are putting a hefty premium on their products. There profit margins are through the roof. It's time to give back a little, make things more affordable.

I would also like to see them loosen up the rules on app store apps. Let developers go crazy. If adobe wants to make aN alternate browser that plays flash, let them. We're big boys... We can handle some choice.

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besson3c  (op)
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Oct 27, 2011, 10:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I think they need to make a more affordable Mac Tower or finally create the mysterious xMac. Maybe thunderbolt will allow them to make some form of modular pro computer that you could buy in pieces.

Also, I really think its time they focused on lowering prices across the board. I know that seems silly in light of how much cash they take in, but still, let's be honest, they are putting a hefty premium on their products. There profit margins are through the roof. It's time to give back a little, make things more affordable.

I agree, at least where it is blatantly obvious they are exploiting people with prices that are bordering on ridiculous like a Mac Pro or something.
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 27, 2011, 10:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Don't require that VM hosts be Macs to virtualize OS X.
I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Apple could sell a cheaper tower by using i5/i7 chips, but they haven't. Heck, they could just ship the Mac mini guts in a tower with some slots for a new graphics card and other stuff, but will they? I think the answer is no, because support costs for expandable towers is way above closed systems. Not selling open systems is the reason Apple is making more money than other PC makers.
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 27, 2011, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I agree, at least where it is blatantly obvious they are exploiting people with prices that are bordering on ridiculous like a Mac Pro or something.
I don't think that's true. Xenon towers from other companies are probably similarly priced. I don't know that for sure, but that's how it is with the other Mac products. Apple's products aren't expensive for what they are, they just don't have the cheapest components, which makes Apple's cheapest still more than Dell's cheapest. Apple could sell cheaper laptops with i3 chips, or cheaper towers with i5 chips, but they won't.

Apple could also sell for less by participating in the ridiculous Intel and Microsoft sticker ads on their computers or cramming their machines with shovelware, which is partly how other PC makers get their prices down.
( Last edited by lpkmckenna; Oct 27, 2011 at 11:51 PM. )
     
11011001
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Oct 27, 2011, 11:40 PM
 
Here is a thought. The next version of server would be built on top of iOS and for ARM based servers. Not that they would do this exactly, but image how many Apple TVs you could fit in a 1U rack, each with 4 cores, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of local flash storage, and some sort of NAS, or Distributed FS, or XSan over gigabit ethernet. That would rock the world.
     
iMOTOR
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:18 AM
 
Just bring back the XServe. The lack of a real server is a problem for me. If Apple could figure out a way for OpenDirectory serve as a domain controller for Win7 clients, that would be nice too.
     
iMOTOR
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:22 AM
 
I would even settle for a Mac Pro that had redundant power/fans/network, hardware RAID, and hardware mgmt.
     
11011001
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:07 AM
 
I would even be willing to pay a premium on OS X to run it on non-Apple hardware, legally.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Just bring back the XServe. The lack of a real server is a problem for me. If Apple could figure out a way for OpenDirectory serve as a domain controller for Win7 clients, that would be nice too.

Or they could allow virtualization of OS X Server on non-Apple hardware, which would be even better for many data centers. Apple could forgo R&D costs on developing the XServe, not have to deal with support contracts and all of that, but continue to make money via software licensing.

lpkmcenna: why do you say I shouldn't hold my breath on this?
     
iMOTOR
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:52 AM
 
Because Apple doesn’t want to get in the business of supporting their software on other companies hardware. And (IMHO) I don’t think that anyone who wants to run Mac server is dying to virtualize it, Linux and *BSD are the platforms to virtualize.
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:02 AM
 
besson3c: because it isn't gonna happen.
     
jmiddel
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:10 AM
 
Please, Tim Cook, allow your faithful to open and replace, on our very own, stuff like hard and optical drives in iMacs and iBooks/Pro/Air.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Because Apple doesn’t want to get in the business of supporting their software on other companies hardware.
They wouldn't have to, OS X would just need to support a generic Intel NIC such as the e1000, some generic video driver, and some generic SATA/SAS/SCSI disk controller. It probably already does.

And (IMHO) I don’t think that anyone who wants to run Mac server is dying to virtualize it, Linux and *BSD are the platforms to virtualize.
Nobody is dying to virtualize it because hardware options for virtualizing it on are very limited. You might be right that ultimately interest would be low, but there is no way to know this now.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
besson3c: because it isn't gonna happen.

Oh! Why didn't you say so in the first place?
     
iMOTOR
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
They wouldn't have to, OS X would just need to support a generic Intel NIC such as the e1000, some generic video driver, and some generic SATA/SAS/SCSI disk controller. It probably already does.
Be that as it may; I don’t think Apple wants to get a call like “Uhh, OSX isnt seeing the password files on the USB thumbdrive hooked into my Dell PowerEdge R200”

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Nobody is dying to virtualize it because hardware options for virtualizing it on are very limited. You might be right that ultimately interest would be low, but there is no way to know this now.
You have to look at what Lion Server is good at:

Running an OpenDirectory master for managing Lion and iOS clients in an organization.
Serving an iCal/Mail/Address Book/Wiki/iChat server.
Managing enterprise wide Time Machine backups.

A Mac Pro (such as it is) can do those things reasonably well for a medium sized organization.

Lion Server is not good for serving massive websites and massive databases, and that’s where you want to be massively virtualizing Linux/*BSD.
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:20 AM
 
Item 1 on my list

Consumer Priced mid sized tower that allows for some level of expandability. $1300 for base model. At least 4 PCIx slots, 4 internal drive bays.

Item 2 on my list

A Car computer system similar to Microsoft Sync but actually works. Bluetooth, 3G and integration with Apple Products

Item 3 on my list

AppleTV with downloadable Apps

Item 4 on my list

A Photoshop level software package

Item 5 on my list

More effort on the Windows version of Safari. A version of iWork on Windows. iLife should stick to Macs only. Maybe iPhoto should be ported as well

Item 6 on my list

DVD / Digital Copy deal. iTunes scans the DVD you already own allowing for a $1.99 download of the digital copy version of it. Since ripping protected DVDs is out of the question like the music, I could settle on paying a couple bucks for the DVDs I already own that i want digital copies of.

item 7 on my list, the most expensive

Apple creates its own consumer internet and cell phone service. It has the cash for it.
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Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Be that as it may; I don’t think Apple wants to get a call like “Uhh, OSX isnt seeing the password files on the USB thumbdrive hooked into my Dell PowerEdge R200”
Why would it?

Support for the VM environment would need to home from the VM/hypervisor vendor, this would be totally outside of Apple's jurisdiction. As far as OS X knows it would be running happily on hardware with the generic drivers I listed, that is it.

You have to look at what Lion Server is good at:

Running an OpenDirectory master for managing Lion and iOS clients in an organization.
Serving an iCal/Mail/Address Book/Wiki/iChat server.
Managing enterprise wide Time Machine backups.

A Mac Pro (such as it is) can do those things reasonably well for a medium sized organization.

Lion Server is not good for serving massive websites and massive databases, and that’s where you want to be massively virtualizing Linux/*BSD.
What about the other use cases I listed?

This is also a chicken and egg thing. People are not going to build stuff for OS X if there is no way to run it. I'm not saying that allowing virtualizing will have some massively profound impact on the world right away, but it be of value to some people, and what is the downside?
     
iMOTOR
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Oct 28, 2011, 04:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why would it?

Support for the VM environment would need to home from the VM/hypervisor vendor
And software vendors like to defer liability to the other software company whenever there’s a problem. I just don’t think Apple wants to license OSX and then be in the middle of “Well vmware says it’s a problem with OSX.” There’s a certain margin of security for Apple and it’s users when Apple controls the hardware their software runs on.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 04:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
And software vendors like to defer liability to the other software company whenever there’s a problem. I just don’t think Apple wants to license OSX and then be in the middle of “Well vmware says it’s a problem with OSX.” There’s a certain margin of security for Apple and it’s users when Apple controls the hardware their software runs on.

I don't think that Apple would get substantially more of those sort of support calls than they do now with people running VMWare or Parallels given that most people running servers would probably be a little more savvy about knowing where support ought to come from.

Doesn't Apple even sell people VMWare and Parallels at their retail stores?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 28, 2011, 05:43 AM
 
Well, nice to see some incredibly old wish list items being resurrected yet again. Ort, its nothing personal but nothing on your list is going to happen or at least Apple would have to be stupid to do it.

I'm not going to reiterate the reasons not to build the mythical cheap expandable Mac tower. Not again.
Any company would be mad to drop prices when they are raking cash in hand over fist like Apple is. I'd love to see this too but Tim Cook is no fool.
Just because you let people choose to wreck their battery life by running Flash, doesn't mean they won't blame you for it afterwards.

Bess, I don't see Apple granting your wish either. The 'control the whole system' mantra has worked too well for them and deviating from it has failed them in the past. I just don't see the benefits to Apple outweighing the headaches for them, though I too would like to be able to do this sometimes.

iMotor, I too would love to see a replacement for the Xserve. I'm not convinced we will see one, but part of me is still hoping that Apple will create one machine to replace the Mac Pro and Xserve in one. Realistically I fear for the Mac Pro. Got a feeling it might not last much longer.
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Waragainstsleep
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Oct 28, 2011, 05:55 AM
 
Here is some stuff I would like to see:

The much touted Apple TV set. I think/hope its just a matter of time. I'm not especially bothered if its just a set-top box (I would prefer a whole TV but could never afford an Apple one) but it must have Siri and it must have a FaceTime camera. The camera would need to have some kind of movement and zoom. Ideally automatic.

I too would love for Apple to branch out to in-car entertainment. Current offerings that integrate with iPod or iOS are shoddy and irritating.

There are some new Server features I would like to see. Firstly, I have always wanted an iTunes Server product. Something that lets you build a media library in your home which can be shared with every Mac, PC, iOS device and TV screen in the house. And lets you make purchases from clients which sync back automatically to the iTunes server. I doubt this will happen now with the advent of iCloud and iTunes match though.

This one would be seriously useful though: FaceTime Server. You should be able to add address book contacts with peoples FaceTime credentials to your server and have it route video calls to any device in your home or office. It would be super awesome if you could walk into a room using FaceTime on your iPhone and transfer the call to an Apple HDTV by flicking the phone in the direction of the screen.
This would involve some sort of check in/out system. I haven't quite cracked that yet but some combination of GPS, Bonjour or even just static IPs so it knows you are home when it can ping your iPhone on the local network.
Of course the server should also leverage Siri to add people to conference calls. This would be a truly killer business feature.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 06:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Bess, I don't see Apple granting your wish either. The 'control the whole system' mantra has worked too well for them and deviating from it has failed them in the past.
It's also been a great success for them at times too, such as the iOS app store. There is nothing wrong with letting developers make cool stuff as long as Apple can control how these interactions and interfaces and such work. That is what APIs are for. Make them, Apple!

iMotor, I too would love to see a replacement for the Xserve. I'm not convinced we will see one, but part of me is still hoping that Apple will create one machine to replace the Mac Pro and Xserve in one
A rackable tower?

As far as rackable stuff goes, the XServe's 1U form factor was perfect. The 1U form factor was the least expensive to run on a month-to-month basis, which was appropriate since the hardware was generally on the low end of things as far as servers go. So, point being, I'm not sure how that merge of form factors would work while still retaining the qualities you'd look for in a server. The tower is far more flexible, a pretty box that looks nice is really all you need.

In a perfect geek world Apple would make their money selling devices (including laptops) and software and we could just build our own Macs using Apple-made barebones kits (I doubt they'd be interested in allowing third party kits). I'm not predicting this, but it seems like Apple doesn't really give a hashish about the desktop form factor any longer. Maybe some day?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 28, 2011, 06:20 AM
 
Hey guys,

I'm enjoying reading your general wish lists, but since we've done that sort of thing before how about trying to focus on more policy-oriented things? I know that my list was not strictly policy stuff, but I'm kind of interested in policy since opinionated tech leaders all seem to have their little quirks and things they are particular about. It will be interesting to see what Cook is particular about, and how it will differ from Jobs. How would you prioritize the sorts of policy things you'd like to see shift?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 06:46 AM
 
These two posts highlight why "low-cost tower" is never again going to happen at Apple:
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I think they need to make a more affordable Mac Tower or finally create the mysterious xMac. Maybe thunderbolt will allow them to make some form of modular pro computer that you could buy in pieces.
vs.
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Consumer Priced mid sized tower that allows for some level of expandability. $1300 for base model. At least 4 PCIx slots, 4 internal drive bays.
Sounds similar, but at heart, those are two COMPLETELY different machines.

The fundamental problem is that everybody clamoring for a minitower fails to realize that there's about sixteen different ideas of what a "minitower" should be, and that in order to shut all of them up, Apple would have to diversify to a degree that would be reminiscent of the mid-90s — all just to offer a hodgepodge line of machines in a low-margin segment of the industry that's been on the decline for years.

The other thing is that "xMac" USED to mean primarily "headless iMac", and Apple already BUILDS a fully expandable (well, to 16 GB RAM) machine that's perfectly adequate for almost everybody but the few geeks who'd build a Hackintosh ANYWAY, regardless of what Apple could offer:

     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 28, 2011, 06:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
A rackable tower?

As far as rackable stuff goes, the XServe's 1U form factor was perfect. The 1U form factor was the least expensive to run on a month-to-month basis, which was appropriate since the hardware was generally on the low end of things as far as servers go. So, point being, I'm not sure how that merge of form factors would work while still retaining the qualities you'd look for in a server. The tower is far more flexible, a pretty box that looks nice is really all you need.
I think Thunderbolt gives some extra flexibility here that wasn't there before. The real difference between the Pro and the Xserve was the heat which meant the Pro could have faster chips in it. A 2U Rack mount box with some clever cooling and the ability to add external PCI in another box via thunderbolt would give the best of both worlds. I also think there might be a market for an Xserve that was a bit more like the Mac Mini, an ultra low power rack mount server. One that would fit in a wall mounted comms cabinet instead of needing the extra deep racks. Ideal for small business.

It would be great to see a new Xserve RAID based on Thunderbolt, or at least a Promise rack mount version. Maybe a smaller one too based on the pegasus but rack able to fit in the small cabinet with my new Xserve Mini.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 28, 2011, 07:03 AM
 
My incomplete wish list:

1. Take Games Seriously. Apple is just embarassing here. iD demo'd RAGE at WWDC, and then the Mac version was cancelled, probably because Apple's OpenGL spec is still too far behind. Epic demos iOS games at Apple events, and they still completely ignore the Mac platform. Hire a dedicated porter like Ryan Gordon to work at Apple just to port games and then have Apple publish them.

2. Knock of the stupid interface designs. Address Book and iCal are now hideous monsters.

3. Treat Windows Users Better. iTunes for Windows is universally hated! Dump the OS X design elements and use native Windows controls in iTunes, and do something about the horrible performance.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
My incomplete wish list:

1. Take Games Seriously.
Oh, but they are!

Apple – iPhone 4S – Browse featured games.



(half-joking — FWIW, I've completely stopped playing games on the Mac since Carmageddon stopped working years and years ago, and the only reason I started gaming again at all was that I got my iPhone.)
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 07:29 AM
 
I hope that Apple continues to take pro apps seriously.

I do NOT mean that they shouldn't do bold and crazy stuff like completely revamp the interface (for the better) as with Final Cut: I mean that when they do stuff like that, they are attentive and carefully listen to what people have to say when they're done knee-jerking (as they are with Final Cut).

Logic 9 has alleviated most of my worries that Apple raised during the Logic 8 era (I'm pretty much a happy camper), but I'm still a little wary of just how strong their focus is.
     
mduell
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Oct 28, 2011, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by spheric harlot View Post
the other thing is that "xmac" used to mean primarily "headless imac", and apple already builds a fully expandable (well, to 16 gb ram)
lol, 16gb
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
lol, 16gb
If you *need* more than 16 GB, what the **** are you even commenting on xMac wish lists for?

That market is served by the Mac Pro, and if you really *need* more than 16 GB, it is very, VERY likely that the extra cost is not going to be an issue, because at that level, you generally assess the available choices and then go out and buy what best fulfills your needs, end of story.

The only limitation there right now is the lack of Thunderbolt, which sucks, but is only a temporary situation until the next revision.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Oct 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM. )
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 11:41 AM
 
People always say the xMac means so many different things... but I don't see it.

There is a big need for something like a tower, but not $2,500 bucks.

A system you can get to the hard drive on without suction cups. A system that doesn't have a $600 monitor attached to a computer that will be outdated in a few years.

Make something with an easily replaceable hard drive, a couple RAM slots and a swappable graphics card... and don't worry about making it the size of a sandwich.

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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
People always say the xMac means so many different things... but I don't see it.
I showed you two examples right in my post. Very different machines.

Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
A system you can get to the hard drive on without suction cups. A system that doesn't have a $600 monitor attached to a computer that will be outdated in a few years.
Check out the Mac mini. Comes in quad-core, and has Thunderbolt for extra graphics cards, hard drives, audio interfacing, Lightpipe, what have you.

It addresses everything you've brought up so far. I'm sure there's more on your list, but so far, it's a good match.
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 11:53 AM
 
I am checking out a Mac Mini. That's going to be my next PC.

I just wish it didn't have to be.

Choosing between a Mini, a computer with an expensive built in monitor and a $2,500 mega beast... and none of them really fits my needs. It's frustrating.

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Oct 28, 2011, 11:55 AM
 
So you just want a Mac Pro with a Core i series chip then?

I actually think the Mac Pro is overpriced too but I don't see Apple reducing it much. They just don't tend to do that ever.
If you could put two Core i5s or i7s on a single board, I expect they probably would do that and then the price might come down but sadly I believe this is impossible by (Intel) design.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:02 PM
 
What I really want is a desktop computer with a built in 3.5" hard drive bay that's easy to get to and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
What I really want is a desktop computer with a built in 3.5" hard drive bay that's easy to get to and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
No, you don't: You want something "modular" and "pro":
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I think they need to make a more affordable Mac Tower or finally create the mysterious xMac. Maybe thunderbolt will allow them to make some form of modular pro computer that you could buy in pieces.
See? You're already asking for two different things, because you don't actually KNOW what you want; you just know that Apple's product line means you need to compromise somewhere.

The only way to be truly modular is to have interconnectible modules.

CPU in a small box, expansion chassis in a small box, fast hard drives in a small box, external monitor.

Hello, Thunderbolt.
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:20 PM
 
I could lay out exactly what I would want. I know what that is. When I put forth multiple options, I'm trying to think like Apple and figure out what would serve the most users.

What I want = Todays Mac Mini with a 3.5" Hard drive thats easy to get to and costs $599. I don't care how big it is.

What would best serve the user base...

A computer with a decent core i7 processor, 4 ram slots, a user swappable graphics card and guts that are somewhat easy to get to. Price it around $1,200 bucks. Make a series of thunderbolt add on units that are designed to attach to the base unit or work in some seamless way.
( Last edited by ort888; Oct 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM. )

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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:29 PM
 
Apart from the RAM, the quad-core Mini plus a Magma chassis offers exactly that.

Well, it's $2000 that way, but since you threw in a smattering of Thunderbolt that-or-the-other, it comes out to the same thing.
     
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If you *need* more than 16 GB, what the **** are you even commenting on xMac wish lists for?

That market is served by the Mac Pro, and if you really *need* more than 16 GB, it is very, VERY likely that the extra cost is not going to be an issue, because at that level, you generally assess the available choices and then go out and buy what best fulfills your needs, end of story.
"Because you want more than $80 worth of RAM, you need to start with a $2500 tower."
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:20 PM
 
Oh, so you've changed the argument from hardware needs to one that highlights how cheap RAM has become?

A year ago, 16 GB cost something like $1000. And it wasn't an issue in situations where it was NECESSARY. Actual needs have changed rather little since then.

Also, a DDR3 8 GB stick currently costs around 110€ (cheapest SO-DIMM I could find). But that's not really relevant to the discussion.
     
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:39 PM
 
To all the people still hoping for an "affordable tower" - don't hold your breath. I believe it's very likely that we've seen the end of the Mac Pro. With thunderbolt, there isn't a need for PCIe slots within the machine. Things like this and this are replacing the need for "Pro" machines. With those two products, there isn't anything a Mac Pro can do, that an iMac (or even a Mac mini) can't.
     
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
To all the people still hoping for an "affordable tower" - don't hold your breath. I believe it's very likely that we've seen the end of the Mac Pro. With thunderbolt, there isn't a need for PCIe slots within the machine. Things like this and this are replacing the need for "Pro" machines. With those two products, there isn't anything a Mac Pro can do, that an iMac (or even a Mac mini) can't.
Unless, of course, you're in a production environment, where time is money and twelve cores are a LOT of saved time.

No, the Mac Pro will continue to exist for some time.

The mid-range tower market, however, has been dying for some time, and the Thunderbolt-equipped Mac mini has just made it *completely* irrelevant for Apple.

Also, do note that my "xMac" pic up there is a Mac mini with a Magma expansion chassis.
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:16 PM
 
Yeah, and it's $2,000 bucks, making it's purchase over a Mac Pro pretty silly.

It's very comical to me, that the one computer that is solidly targeted at Pro users, and carried a ridiculously high price tag, is the only computer in their lineup that doesn't have Thunderbolt.

Apple is really sending a clear message to pro customers. And that message is, "We don't really make you a priority anymore."

EDIT: It's been 458 days since the Mac Pros have seen any update at all. Most other lines have been updated twice in that time frame.

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boy8cookie
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Unless, of course, you're in a production environment, where time is money and twelve cores are a LOT of saved time.
I work in a production environment, cores are not the limiting factor.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:24 PM
 
Are you a pro?

Is that the message you are reading?

Because all the ones I know don't lust after their work gear. They choose among what's available and use that for as long as possible, and if the vibe is that there's an upgrade imminent, purchases are possibly postponed.

In this case, Thunderbolt would be nice, but it probably won't really come into its own until a few years down the line, and seriously, if you're running a production house and are given the chance RIGHT NOW of buying machines that will still run Snow Leopard or waiting a few months for one that will only run Lion, you'd be stupid to wait.

The Mac Pro market works very differently from the rest of the computer market.
     
ort888
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
I am a Pro in what used to be a Mac Pro kind of place, but we switched to iMacs because Mac Pros are too expensive.

To be fair, iMacs work great for us. Consumer grade products are now fast enough to do most pro level tasks.

That still doesn't change the fact that Mac Pros are too expensive, and that there is a huge hole in Apples product lineup.

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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
I work in a production environment, cores are not the limiting factor.
Photoshop is completely irrelevant.

Are you in video or audio?
     
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Photoshop is completely irrelevant.

Are you in video or audio?
Both. We are a production house, with green screen studio and 14 edit bays. When it comes to rendering, RAM is always the limiting factor. After that, we're limited by storage capacity and transfer speed. At the moment we have 120 TB of data stored on a SAN (out of 200TB avail).
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I am a Pro in what used to be a Mac Pro kind of place, but we switched to iMacs because Mac Pros are too expensive.
Presumably, iMacs also offer no performance disadvantage to what you're actually doing?
     
 
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