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Steve Jobs' Macworld 2001 Keynote Speech

By Refrag in News
Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:42:02 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

I just watched Steve's keynote speech at the Macworld Expo 2001. I took as many notes as I could, so here is a summary of his speech from a techie's viewpoint.

Apple's Mac OS X is going on sale March 24th for $129. They'll start pre-loading it on Macs in July.

G4's are going to 733MHz from 500MHz. 5.5Gigaflops. 4 models. All have CD-RW, 133MHz System & Memory Bus, AGP 4x plus write combining, nVidia GeForce 2 MX graphics cards in the top 3 models, Gigabit Ethernet, 5 PCI slots, better sound. The systems will be 466 ($1699), 533 ($2199), 667 ($2799), 733 ($3499) MHz. 533 will be available as dual-proc. 128-256 MB RAM. 30-60GB. SuperDrive: creates DVD-R discs that can be read on a consumer DVD player. SuperDrive (shipping next month) will be bundled into the top-of-the-line G4. G4 733MHz is 33% faster at scripted PhotoShop operations than the Pentium 4 1.5GHz. The bottom two are available today, and the top 2 in February. Accessories: pro-speakers, 15" flat panel display dual USB $799.

iTunes is a new software product. Slick looking CD ripping, MP3 playing, burning software. Integrates very well with MP3 players. It has a visualizer. It even has Internet radio support. I'm not sure if it supports OggVorbis files or not.

Apple's new iDVD software allows you to author your own DVDs that are playable in consumer DVD players. The SuperDrive allows you to burn the DVD disc. Using the Velocity Engine on the G4, Apple was able to decrease the encoding time from 25x to 2x original content time. iDVD is SDI. iDVD has GUI widgets that help you make DVD menus for your own movies. Dropping a movie on the menu automatically makes a thumbnail with a label, this is very slick. iDVD has support for themes for the menus. You can even make custom menu elements. It also allows you to make a slide show from still images. Steve played a DVD he made on a Sony DVD Video player. iDVD is bundled with the SuperDrive. This is a killer app!

The DVD-R discs are going to be $10 each initially.

DVD Studio Pro is their professional level DVD authoring program and will sell for $995. It integrates well with FinalCut Pro.

One more thing... is Apple's new PowerBook. It's a 500MHz G4. FireWire & USB ports. Built in Ethernet. AirPort ready. 1" thick. 5.3 pounds. 15.2" widescreen. It's made out of Titanium! Stronger than steel, but lighter than aluminum. DVD slot load drive. There's a 400MHz model available for $2599, the 500 for $3499. It's available in January. It's .15" thinner than the Sony Vaio. Battery life is 5 hours. It got many, many ohhhs & ahhhs from the audience.


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Steve Jobs' Macworld 2001 Keynote Speech | 27 comments (18 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
mixed views (3.33 / 3) (#1)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 02:07:16 PM EST

The iDVD looks insanely great. Although to be honest I wonder what manner of sordid copy protection dwells within. OTOH, the idea of being able to create digital animation and burn a disk that can get played on consumer DVD players is horrendously cool.

As for the titanium laptop, I'm dissapointed. A five hour battery life spews large chunks. I expect at least eight if not ten. Looks like it will be a few more years before I upgrade my ancient NEC 486dx2-50 based carry around. In a mobile computer, I'd gladly trade off anything > 250Mhz for longer battery life. I guess I'm either in the minority or the silent majority. (On the laptop level, its a pity that rebel.com hasn't put out a Linux based StrongARM powered notebook.)

PowerBook (3.50 / 4) (#2)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 02:12:22 PM EST

Well, you have to look at the PowerBook's battery life as a positive when you compare it to the 2 hours that its competitor the Vaio has.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

2 Hours on A VAIO (3.00 / 2) (#10)
by Crawling Chaos on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:36:42 PM EST

Please, oh please, tell me how you're managing to get 2 hours of battery life out of anything in the Z505 series! I get around 115 minutes under Linux (with very aggressive tuning) and around 95 minutes under Windows.

This is on a Z505-RX, with the standard battery.

Can't post, clowns will eat me...
Can't post, clowns will eat me...
[ Parent ]

We all know... (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by 11223 on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:47:28 PM EST

That the battery life quoted by the PR people is never anywhere near what it is in real life.

To be honest, I really don't know what the battery life is on my laptop, because I'm using it as a luggable - I carry it around, but I use it plugged in all the time. Harumph!

The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

You can do that already (2.50 / 2) (#12)
by delmoi on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:44:50 PM EST

OTOH, the idea of being able to create digital animation and burn a disk that can get played on consumer DVD players is horrendously cool

DVD players can play VCDs. CD-ROMs with Mpeg video on them, they are very popular in Asia. The quality is about as good as a VHS tape.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
VideoCD (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:51:21 PM EST

VideoCD support is not part of the DVD specification. Some of the players support playback of VideoCDs, most (as far as I know) do not.

This <I>is</I> a big deal. iDVD allows you to write high quality video to a DVD-R disc that is playable in 'set-top' DVD players. Everyone and their mother have been waiting for recordable DVD. Apple has just taken a big leap.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

OT: How long? (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:06:54 PM EST

How good is the battery life on your 486?

5 hours is the best I've seen on modern laptops. Of course, it's "up to" 5 hours... how much wattage must a screen like that drain? It's only a 50 watt-hour battery; I doubt a screen like that would eat less than 10W, in addition to other circuity. I doubt it really gets 5 hours in practice. More like 4 hours, given the comparison to the Vaio Z505 at 2 hours (which definitely doesn't get 2 hours). Still, quite good.

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]

battery life on ye olde laptop (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 10, 2001 at 11:51:49 AM EST

How good is the battery life on your 486?

The battery life blows chunks. I get 90 to 100 minutes of use. But I also only payed $230 w/ shipping. It came with no operating system, which was part of the reason that no one else on ebay wanted to bid on it. I checked the Linux compatibility lists and Debian slink went on smooth as silk (this was last spring).

Given, that it does what I want it to do, the only advantage I can think of a new laptop might have for me is one I could keep on all day as an .mp3 jukebox. Until a laptop can get eight to ten hours of battery life so I can listen to tunes while I hack away on the bus, and at my desk and in the can, I'll just make do with what I have.

[ Parent ]

A few things... (3.50 / 4) (#6)
by 11223 on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 02:20:10 PM EST

MacNN has some more notes on the whole thing. One important item: Three of the four new single-proc G4's ship with Geforce 2 MX's in them. Nifty! They'll make excellent gaming systems.

The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.

Need More Games (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by mattyb77 on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:26:25 PM EST

I completely agree that it will make a great gaming platform, but only as long as game developers continue to throw their support to Apple. So far, so good, I guess, considering that Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Diablo II, and others are available on Mac OS.

I just wish that more games could be ported quicker or are developed along with the PC versions. Baldur's Gate, for example, came out in the Fall for Macintosh, IIRC, and doesn't even have all the full capabilities of the original PC version. Of course, porting Baldur's Gate was probably an after-thought, anyway.

None-the-less, I'm excited as hell about the announcements today, but I won't be buying a new Mac anytime in the near future. :-(

"I bestow upon myself the `Doctorate of Cubicism', for educators are ignorant of Nature's Harmonic Time Cube Principle and cannot bestow the prestigious honor of wisdom upon the wisest human ever." -- Gene Ray, the wisest human ever
[ Parent ]
Games (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:47:51 PM EST

Heh... the three games you mentioned are the only ones installed on my Wintel computer right now. :)


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

GeForce 2MX making a 'great' gaming system (2.50 / 2) (#22)
by Tumbleweed on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 07:34:33 PM EST

It would've been much better if they'd gone with the GeForce 2, 2 Pro, or 2 Ultra, rather than the budget version. This is a $100 video card we're talking about. *whoopee* They should've gone the extra $35 and included TwinView (dual-head) enabled. *shrug* That's Apple for ya - never do anything unless it's half-way.

[ Parent ]
More NVIDIA's doing (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by Remy on Wed Jan 10, 2001 at 08:27:33 AM EST

Currently, the GeForce2 MX is the only chipset that has any Mac compatability.

I'm sure as time rolls by and Nvidia becomes the more favored Apple OEM (ATI cards are still available, after all), more chipsets will follow.

But this wasn't really something Apple had a choice on.
-- "The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms." - Morpheus, Deus Ex
[ Parent ]
Mac OS X (picture) (4.50 / 2) (#11)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 03:43:26 PM EST

"Apple Computer Inc. will release its new operating system OS X on March 24 and bundle the software with computers starting in July, chief executive Steve Jobs said on January 9, 2001. Jobs said the new operating system OS X would be both more powerful and easier to use, with improvements in the treatment of menus, toolbars and user preferences." (Apple via Reuters)
I still really don't get why he's holding out on bundling OS X with systems until July if it's hitting the shelves in March. Isn't that just going to force people to hold out on buying hardware for another few months?


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Apps (4.50 / 2) (#14)
by Rand Race on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:05:04 PM EST

Steve had this graph thingy showing when apps are currently slated to be released in carbonized or cocoa format. The graph was a bell curve with the crest being in July. The reasoning is that Apple will start preloading when the apps are there.

All the Steveisms aside, I bet a fully carbonized Photoshop is slated for release around, oh.... July. The second most used Mac business type app is QuarkXpress; I would guess, knowing the Quark people, it should be available in carbon around July of 2004.... only two years after the completely PPC optimised version should show up. </required Quark bashing>

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

good point (3.50 / 4) (#18)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:26:20 PM EST

But, one would still think that he would make it available as a no-cost option (in place of OS 9.x) for new systems.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

New hardware (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by Potsy on Wed Jan 10, 2001 at 08:11:07 AM EST

July is when MacWorld in New York takes place. There are usually some big hardware announcements at this show. Probably the plan is to start pre-installing at the same time the new machines start shipping. At the very least, it would save the trouble of having to change the production lines once in March and then again in July. Plus, the extra time gives them a chance to get some customer feedback. If X turns out to be a disaster (which I think it will), they can always postpone pre-installing it on new hardware until they have a chance to fix the things customers don't like.

[ Parent ]
Mac OS X Enhancements (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by Malicose on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 04:13:55 PM EST

It appears that Apple is actually willing to acknowledge and implement beta testers' feedback. MacSlash posted these details concerning the latest Mac OS X features [edited]:
  • Toolbars: shrunk with an added status bar; toolbar is now customizable, including the ability to hide it; also, when the toolbar is closed, the finder spawns new windows
  • Font Panels: new licensed fonts from Apple; if one shrinks the font panel, it turns into pop-ups
  • Apple: moved from the middle of the top bar to the left hand side; finder items have been moved to the Apple menu (sleep, logout, shut down, location manager, dock preferences) so they're accessible at any time
  • Dock: items now have hierarchical menus, so it's replaced the Apple menu

Steve Jobs' Macworld 2001 Keynote Speech | 27 comments (18 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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