08. 08. 2006
The Apple MacPro and 10.5 Leopard previews
Apple held its World Wide Developer Conference yesterday, and the rubber finally hit the road. Some of the rumors, like the ones about a video store and the iPhone, didnít pan out, but what did come down the pike is very exciting to the nerds of the world. New desktop towers have been released; and theyíre packed full of computing power at a very affordable starting price. Each new Mac Pro will come with two 64-bit Intel Xeon 5100 dual core processors boasting 4MB of shared onboard cache. Speed choices are 2, 2.66 and 3.0 GHz, and the machines support up to 16 GB of fully buffered memory. Apple is claiming that the new architecture is up to twice as fast as the quad G5 systems.
Apple is also planning enhancements for the 10.5 (Leopard!) release of the Mac OS, but claims to be holding all the juicy bits a secret until closer to release. The exciting things that were mentioned are a virtual desktop implementation called Spaces, more powerful search tools through Spotlight, and automatic data backup through Time Machine.
The promised release of Time Machine is hot on the heels of Symantecís announcement that millions of people are in danger of losing their digital photo albums. Desktop data backup has always been a slightly annoying task that required extra hardware and software. Users donít always stay vigilant even with pushbutton external solutions. Time Machine makes a running incremental backup to an external hard drive, and allows restoring single files in the timeline. The intuitive interface reminds me of flipping through a Rolodex file. Time Machine also tracks file revisions, so it will no longer be a big deal when I accidentally save over an important document.
One of my longstanding complaints with Apple is that they spent a decade worrying about their image and not working on new features. Itís nice to see them come full circle and once again concentrate on providing the neat features that make using a computer fun.
Edit: Just to clarify, the WWDC isn't over yet, but the Steve Jobs keynote was the big event for those of us who don't code. Thanks to Angela Mitchell for smacking me upside the head with the reminder.