My speech went well out in Cali, although I wasn't the happiest with it since I haven't done one of these things pretty much since I moved up to CT. A few more and I'd hopefully get back into the swing of them, but I'd like to keep my traveling to a minimum until I move back to a place where the most convenient airport is a little closer than an hour away :)

One of the items I talked about extensively in my speech was ATI's OCUR device, something that I don't think has really gotten enough attention. Maybe everyone is just content with their current set-top box solutions, but I personally can't wait for this thing to come out. I have yet to find a DVR that has a better/faster UI than MCE, and the prospect of easily sharing content (including encrypted HD/premium content) across your home network is quite appealing. Honestly my only concern at this point is what Apple's plans are for the Digital Home and interacting with (or acting as) a HD-DVR. Right now the Macs on my network play quite well with the PCs, but if Vista ends up being the center of my "Digital Home" then I'm not sure how things will change. Front Row is just as much of a novelty as MCE is today in my mind, add HD-DVR capabilities (or any DVR for that matter) and then we're talking.

The little teaser I posted in my last update didn't end up panning out. The hardware works, but there is something wrong with the performance so we've got to wait until fixed/newer hardware is in our hands. I apologize for leaving you all hanging like that, I just expected things to be a little more final than they were.

And to those who are asking, I should have a Core Duo based 17" iMac in my possession by the end of next week. I'm still working on securing a MacBook Pro but I'm guessing I won't be able to get one before retail availability at least. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that the reason I'm not as impressed/excited about the first Intel Macs is the fact that the design hasn't changed since the last generation. I'm used to, at least in recent history, being blown away or pleasantly surprised by Apple's designs - and to release the first ever Intel based Macs with nothing more than the same designs that we've already had/seen is disappointing. I have a feeling that we'll see something more spectacular at WWDC when Apple has had a little more time and these current Intel-Macs will be examples of an opportunity for Apple to accelerate the transition, but not their best foot forward.

My less than two day trip out to Cali reminded me of why I was so burnt out from traveling after college/high school - almost 7 years of taking red-eyes from the west coast does take its toll on you. It is nice coming home to Vinney and being able to sleep in something other than a hotel or a plane though. The feeling at the end almost makes the tough travel hours worthwhile.

Combining my last two discussion points together - taking off your shoes at airport security checkpoints + my PowerBook's metal chassis = some of the biggest sparks I've ever seen go between my fingers and any object that wasn't a light socket. It's especially bad when you add in the drier weather out west.

I spent a good part of today swapping winter tires/rims off of one of the cars. Winter isn't over but it has been unseasonably warm up here lately, I'm just hoping it lasts for the next 4 months - it would be a nice farewell present :)
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  • coffeeshark - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    I was at Anand's LA speech, I thought it went well, if he wasn't happy with it, it still looked and sounded good to us in the small audience that was there.

    The OCUR was actually completely new to me, and it was good to hear an opinion from someone other than a vendor on the upcoming releases in the computer industry.

    so thanks for the talk, Anand, we enjoyed it and were impressed by your knowledge.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - link

    ...that the suprise is either the OCUR or an Ageia PhysX card. Reply
  • judmarc - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    1. Anything about HD satellite support from ATI, particularly now that DirecTV is transitioning to mpeg4?

    2. Anyone have an idea how I would go about networking my video stuff (mainly satellite) downstairs with my wireless-router-connected PC upstairs? 2a. Any way to transmit the satellite tuner *output* over the network so that it can be viewed on the PC?
    Reply
  • erwos - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I had a feeling it would be the OCUR - the way you were drooling over that thing, there's no way the ATI guys could hold it back from you!

    Could you please stress to them that the ethernet-enabled OCURs would be _greatly_ appreciated? Not all of us have our cable jacks right next to our computers, and I'd much prefer to just run some Ethernet cable than relocate my entire computing setup. It also makes it a lot easier to run an HTPC - instead of buying a midtower to hold all the cards I need, I can buy a much smaller box for doing processing, and a few OCURs to do tuning (dual-tuner variants also would be nice).

    Also, LINUX DRIVERS! Please, please don't leave all those MythTV users in the cold. I personally plan to make a Windows-centered digital home, but I'd prefer actually having the choice, rather than just being forced into the deal. Mac drivers would also be good, depending on where Apple heads with Front Row.

    Finally, make sure they adequately provision it so it can handle 1080p. That involves both the device's internal processor _and_ the ethernet interface on it.

    -Erwos
    Reply
  • michaelheath - Sunday, January 22, 2006 - link

    Hello Anand,

    Having been a long time Mac user and having experienced the Apple cult-like following from both the user and retailer perspectives, I can actually understand the decision to keep the overall design change to a minimum. For a community of PC users that often times openly flaunt their alternative computing and love the pioneering "aesthetic balanced with functionality" components they use, many Mac users are surprisingly conservative and quite fearful of change. There are still Mac users who refuse to update their old machines to Mac OS X that I support at this point, citing that "it feels too much like Windows," and there are people who think that having an Intel processor inside a Mac means that they're one step away from having Windows running on a Mac and having to suffer all the pitfalls that go along with it. It reminds me of way back when Apple announced at MacWorld that Microsoft was going to start making Office products for the Macintosh: everyone in the audience booed.

    My feeling is Apple decided to keep the iMac as it was designed for those who are afraid of dramatic changes like this. First of all, iMac G5's and PowerBook G4's are still available from Apple. Also, in the store where I work, I quietly swapped out the demo iMac G5 for a Core Duo earlier this week, used a FireWire cable to transfer all the data and settings on initial set-up, and let it run on demo without fanfare. Customers who are Apple developers on campus couldn't even tell the difference just by looking at it. They had to run an application with Universal Binary programming for it or open System Profiler to find out what CPU it was running on.

    With any hope, Mac customers can be de-programmed to hate Intel, but I get the feeling there will always be that certain someone with pitchfork and torch in hand demanding their PowerPC-based Macintosh.
    Reply
  • monsoon - Saturday, January 21, 2006 - link

    Hello Anand, glad to hear from you...

    i was wondering if you have spotted any Yonah AOpen mini PCs already; can't wait for your review !=)

    Agreed on the looks of the MacBook Pro; they'll come up with new designs, they just need more time...

    Cheers
    A.
    Reply

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