Tag Archives: macbook

The most complete review of Apple’s new OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – the ars technica review

It’s bold, it’s brash, and it’s 25 pages long. Don’t worry it has a table of contents. If you’re short on time, read the TOC and you’ll be up-to-date. Otherwise, sit back and dig in for a feature rich update on your favorite computer.

 

Apple’s traditional desktop computing business has suffered many indignities over the past decade. Once Apple’s flagship product line, the Mac first found itself playing second fiddle to the iPod—a mere music player—in the early 2000s. Today, matters are worse; on a graph of Apple’s revenues, the Mac now appears as a thin strip of earth while iOS devices are the mountain that sits upon it.

Apple presented last year’s release of OS X 10.7 Lion as part of a turn “back to the Mac.” Ostensibly, the tagline was Apple’s promise to bring innovations from its mobile operating system back to Mac OS X. But more broadly, it also meant that the Mac would receive more of Apple’s attention.

That attention resulted in some dramatic changes to aspects of the operating system that had not been reconsidered in decades: application launching, the document model, process management—even basics like window resizing and scrolling. As Apple’s newly refocused gaze fell upon its desktop operating system, many parts of it were deemed archaic and unworthy of continued existence.

At the end of last year’s Lion review, I concluded: “[Lion] marks the point where Mac OS X releases stop being defined by what’s been added. From now on, Mac OS X should be judged by what’s been removed.” Unfortunately, the surgery was not a complete success. There were… complications.

 

Source: ars technica - OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: the Ars Technica review

 

 

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Apple Campus II – 3,600 jobs and the big push into Austin, Texas

Pushing ahead with plans to invest $304 million in Austin, Texas, Apple has secured a deal for three large patches of land adjacent to its existing campus, which — when developed — will expand its presence in the area and result in the creation of more than 3,600 jobs.

The State of Texas offered Apple an investment of $21 million over ten years via its Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), followed by an $8.6 million grant investment from the City of Austin.

As part of its City deal, Apple would need to invest $56.5 million in new facilities and equipment by the end of 2015, with an additional $226 million investment coming by the end of 2021.

 

Source: The Next Web - Apple closes deal to expand Austin campus, moves ahead with $304 million Texas investment

 

 

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Apple’s WWDC 2012 Conference Preview – iOS 6, new Macs, iCloud update

This Monday, June 11, Apple will host one of its biggest events of the year, WWDC, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. First thing in the morning will be the famous Keynote presentation where Apple’s top brass takes the stage to preview the latest treasures in their chest.

Here are just a few of those expected to be announced:

  • iOS 6 – the banners advertising this at the conference are already being hung – a small update compared to iOS 5, but it does introduce Apple Maps (and kicks out Google Maps). A complete Facebook integration and bringing Siri to the iPad, among the rumors.
  • iCloud – photo-sharing to social media sites and video stream, where videos are synced in the cloud.
  • New Macs –  the consensus seems to indicate that the entire Mac lineup will be refreshed with Retina Displays. With that as the primary change there could also be a shrinking of the MacBook Pro size and multiple spec updates.

With Apple’s notorious secrecy there is the potential for multiple big surprises. Plus, this will be the first WWDC without Steve Jobs so it will be interesting to see how Tim Cook and crew pave the way.

For an in-depth look at all these new features9to5 Mac – WWDC 2012 Roundup

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Tim Cook: 5 things about Apple's new CEO

From the Onion:

New Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m Thinking Printers’

Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting…to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. “Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white—the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that…

Cook concluded his remarks by assuring investors the release of upcoming Apple products such as the iPhone 5 would be postponed for at least four years so the company could throw all its time and resources into the creation of high-quality printers for the home and office.

lol

It certainly touches on the fears that every Apple fanboy (myself included) harbors. So I ask, who is this guy, what is he like, and how is he likely to run the company?

Here are 5 quick insights to answer those questions:

1. He’s single (aka gay). An insightful article from Felix Salmon talks about the spicy world of gay executives. How coming out can hurt the brand image while not doing so can get you into trouble. He still hasn’t come out yet and is officially listed as a lifelong bachelor, but there is a printing of him in Out magazine as the most powerful gay man in the world.

2. Jobsian Temperament. If there is anything you know Tim Cook for it is his famous rant on how Netbooks suck, back in 2009:

“When I look at netbooks, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens. It’s just not a good consumer experience and not something we would put the Mac brand on.”

To which Apple promptly released the 11-inch MacBook Air and then the iPad (definitely not Netbooks but directly competing with them).

It’s interesting to note that this comment occurred the last time Cook took over for Jobs as CEO.

A Forbes piece from 2008 discusses his personality, stating that his “default facial expression is a frown…his humor is of the dry variety…(and he) is cool, calm, and never, ever raises his voice”. Which would give you the idea that he is the opposite of Jobs until you read this:

“Cook can be brutal in meetings. “I’ve seen him shred people…He asks you the questions he knows you can’t answer, and he keeps going and going. It isn’t funny, and it’s not fun.”

If these remarks are true then it’s easy to see why Jobs named him sucessor. Another “smartest person in the room” who is not afraid to cut through the crap for success.

3. The operations to my design. Cook is generally considered an operations genius. He famously cornered the market on flash memory from 2005 to 2010. He revolutionized Apple’s supply chain, modernized the retail stores, and took over Mac and iPhone telecom operations.

Yeah, when it comes to running the business he is it. Filling in for Jobs greatest weakness, operations. The problem is that Cook’s own weakness’ are design and new products. One has to hope that he is aware of this and actively recruiting a snotty design genius to fill in his gaps.

4. Outside of work. He is the only Apple executive to sit on a board and he sits on Nike’s board of directors. Which means he wears Nike shoes to Jobs New Balance. He does sport jeans like Jobs but thankfully no turtleneck, just a spiffy dress shirt.

After a ridiculous misdiagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis he is a fitness nut, to include cycling and riding in fundraisers for MS. To replenish himself he eats energy bars, a lot of them. Nearly every article talks about how he downs them like candy.

5. Southern charm. Tim Cook grew up in Alabama and went to school in Alabama, at Auburn university. His office is said to be decorated with memorabilia from Tigers football (Auburn).

So you can see him live, here is a video of him giving the 2010 Commencement speech at Auburn.

Other. He is rich, really rich. Last year his salary was more than $50 million (including benefits and stock options). But, that doesn’t matter because he has acquired several hundred million dollars worth of Apple stock in his 13 years at Apple. In his new post as CEO, the Board voted to give him one million shares, but they have to vest. Half of them are his in 2016 and the other half in a decade.

 

Tim Cook: 5 things about Apple’s new CEO

From the Onion:

New Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m Thinking Printers’

Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting…to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. “Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white—the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that…

Cook concluded his remarks by assuring investors the release of upcoming Apple products such as the iPhone 5 would be postponed for at least four years so the company could throw all its time and resources into the creation of high-quality printers for the home and office.

lol

It certainly touches on the fears that every Apple fanboy (myself included) harbors. So I ask, who is this guy, what is he like, and how is he likely to run the company?

Here are 5 quick insights to answer those questions:

1. He’s single (aka gay). An insightful article from Felix Salmon talks about the spicy world of gay executives. How coming out can hurt the brand image while not doing so can get you into trouble. He still hasn’t come out yet and is officially listed as a lifelong bachelor, but there is a printing of him in Out magazine as the most powerful gay man in the world.

2. Jobsian Temperament. If there is anything you know Tim Cook for it is his famous rant on how Netbooks suck, back in 2009:

“When I look at netbooks, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens. It’s just not a good consumer experience and not something we would put the Mac brand on.”

To which Apple promptly released the 11-inch MacBook Air and then the iPad (definitely not Netbooks but directly competing with them).

It’s interesting to note that this comment occurred the last time Cook took over for Jobs as CEO.

A Forbes piece from 2008 discusses his personality, stating that his “default facial expression is a frown…his humor is of the dry variety…(and he) is cool, calm, and never, ever raises his voice”. Which would give you the idea that he is the opposite of Jobs until you read this:

“Cook can be brutal in meetings. “I’ve seen him shred people…He asks you the questions he knows you can’t answer, and he keeps going and going. It isn’t funny, and it’s not fun.”

If these remarks are true then it’s easy to see why Jobs named him sucessor. Another “smartest person in the room” who is not afraid to cut through the crap for success.

3. The operations to my design. Cook is generally considered an operations genius. He famously cornered the market on flash memory from 2005 to 2010. He revolutionized Apple’s supply chain, modernized the retail stores, and took over Mac and iPhone telecom operations.

Yeah, when it comes to running the business he is it. Filling in for Jobs greatest weakness, operations. The problem is that Cook’s own weakness’ are design and new products. One has to hope that he is aware of this and actively recruiting a snotty design genius to fill in his gaps.

4. Outside of work. He is the only Apple executive to sit on a board and he sits on Nike’s board of directors. Which means he wears Nike shoes to Jobs New Balance. He does sport jeans like Jobs but thankfully no turtleneck, just a spiffy dress shirt.

After a ridiculous misdiagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis he is a fitness nut, to include cycling and riding in fundraisers for MS. To replenish himself he eats energy bars, a lot of them. Nearly every article talks about how he downs them like candy.

5. Southern charm. Tim Cook grew up in Alabama and went to school in Alabama, at Auburn university. His office is said to be decorated with memorabilia from Tigers football (Auburn).

So you can see him live, here is a video of him giving the 2010 Commencement speech at Auburn.

Other. He is rich, really rich. Last year his salary was more than $50 million (including benefits and stock options). But, that doesn’t matter because he has acquired several hundred million dollars worth of Apple stock in his 13 years at Apple. In his new post as CEO, the Board voted to give him one million shares, but they have to vest. Half of them are his in 2016 and the other half in a decade.

 

Steve Jobs Health, Forced Sabbaticals, and His Brilliance

“No one wants to die,” said Steve Jobs. “And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Those words are from a famous keynote Steve gave at Stanford in 2005, nearly a year after his brush with cancer. It is well worth a listen to for it’s inspiring message of Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (text version). A message that Steve says he wishes for himself and perhaps one he now is forced to live by.

Last week on Jan 17, 2011 Steve announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence from Apple. This is his third medical leave, with the previous two for removal of cancerous tumor and a liver transplant. One can only guess what painful problem the man is facing now. You could also guess how this changes a person, what it does to you. Facing death and triumphant returns over and over. It got me thinking what Steve has accomplished after each of these bouts with death.

To uncover this I did a little research and the story starts on July 9, 1997, when Steve was named interim-CEO of Apple. It was the first of his triumphant returns. Twelve years earlier he had been forced out of the company and watched it slowly turn into a disaster. Facing crippling financial losses, record low stock prices, and even a denouncement from Michael Dell, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Then in 1997, an acquisition brought Steve back into the company and he quickly took the reigns as CEO. Not long after things starting happening like small tectonic shifts. Three major products were announced and soon the world was dramatically altered:

  • 1998 – iMac
  • 2001 – iPod
  • 2003 – iTunes Store

All three were huge successes and quickly put Apple back on top. The iPod sold over 100 million units, the iTunes Store sold over 10 billion songs, and the iMac breathed life back into their computers. Together they brought the company back to profitability and, individually, they revolutionized computers, consumer electronics, and music.

Then in July of 2004, Steve was again forced to leave Apple, this time due to a cancerous tumor. After having it removed via the  Whipple procedure, Steve triumphantly returned and released the following:

  • 2005-06 – MacBook
  • 2007 – iPhone
  • 2008 – App store

Three even more successful products. Each one revolutionizing laptops, mobile phones, and, for the app store, creating a whole new paradigm. At this point the company was on the move with the stock price catapulting and revenues soaring.

Then, in 2009, Steve’s third forced sabbatical hit. This time it was a liver transplant, a common ailment arising from the Whipple procedure. Upon returning he released the:

  • 2010 – iPad

Another extremely successful product which appears to be revolutionizing computer operating systems and the entire computer industry.

This takes us back to the present day and the announcement of Steve’s fourth sabbatical. To which many are predicting not a another leave of absence but a final departure into the sunset. After all, Tim Cook is at the helm as he has been in the two previous sabbaticals. Plus, Steve has no need to keep going since he has already accomplished so much and left the company in such a profitable condition.

I can see that happening, but I can also imagine another possibility. One that is in line with the “stay hungry, stay foolish” mantra. Is it possible that Steve has come to love these vacations?

I mean look at what he has accomplished after each one, not even a delay in success or a few years for the product “to hit.” The gratification is so instant it’s like a perfect test for Dr. Pavlov.

I’m not being callous about his health either. Pancreatic cancer is one of those rare, one-in-a-million forms that is completely curable. Most patients are known to have perfectly normal, healthy lives nearly indistinguishable from any other patient. However, there can be complications like liver failure, and this latest medical leave means something else is wrong.

All of these are painful problems and I empathize for Steve, but it does point out that he could likely be poised for another triumphant return.

Why not? Sabbaticals exist for this very reason. Leave at a point of high success and/or anxiety to recover and recoup. It’s a time honored tradition that is too often derided by others. Our community spirit says to work, work to death.

In some ways the move is inspiring. A CEO taking off time to improve his health, be with his family, and then return to change the world.

That is awesome. How many other examples like that do we have?

Have you ever taken a sabbatical?

What would it take for you to take some time off and recoup?

Photo by Peter Denton