[Apple](http://www.apple.com/)’s latest [iMac G5](http://www.apple.com/imac/) comes with a piece of software called [Front Row](http://www.apple.com/imac/frontrow.html). This software is a pretty interface to the various types of media on your computer – movies, music, photos, and DVDs. The iMac G5 comes with the software pre-installed, and also includes a wireless remote so that you can control your Mac from the couch. But those of us who don’t have the new iMac can’t take advantage of this feature. Or can we?
Enter [Front Row Enabler](http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/19947), a bit of software hackery that will allow users of Macs other than the latest iMac G5 to use Front Row. I downloaded it and installed it today on my Sawtooth PowerMac G4/450 (quite an old machine), and it actually works really well! Of course, I don’t have a remote, so I have to be sitting at the computer to use it. But it’s still pretty cool. Who says you can’t teach an old Mac new tricks?
Howdy all from the floor of the Burlington Mall. Peter and I are sitting patiently in line for the opening of the Burlington [Apple Store](http://www.apple.com/retail/burlington/week/20051106.html). According to a preliminary count we are 34th and 35th in line. All of the usual suspects are here…The young guys next to us who are watching the Simpsons on their iBook, the twenty-somethings with their earbuds plugged in, the dads and moms with thier excited kids…AND the elderly mall walkers who, on each go round, question us as to why we’re in line…and what we’ll win for being here 🙂
Perhaps this is the time to refer you back to my essay [Why Steve Jobs is a Hottie](http://prwdot.org/archives/2005/07/a_shot_in_the_d.html). Enjoy.
We should also note that as of today we have been to the Apple Stores in BOTH BurlingTON (Ma) and BurlinGAME (Ca).
I guess that’s all the news for now…
Update From Peter at 5:30 p.m.
We have [pictures](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/geekiness/apple_store_burlington/)!
The store was pretty nice, with a slightly larger and newer layout than some of the other Mass Apple Stores. This store has “The Studio”, a bar area in the back which seems to be a replacement for the Theater I’ve seen in other stores. It’s basically a place where you can go to get help with creative projects… movies, graphics, music, etc. They have a bunch of PowerBooks setup, and they do periodic workshops on different topics. The store was very crowded, and lots of people seemed to be making purchases. iPods, iMacs, and PowerBooks seemed to be brisk sellers.
The Boston area has two very exciting store openings coming up!
First, we have the [Apple Store Burlington Mall](http://www.apple.com/retail/burlington/) opening on Saturday, November 5 at 10 a.m.. Becky and I will be waiting in line early in the morning for the grand opening. The first 1,000 people through the door get free t-shirts! We probably won’t have much reason to visit the Burlington location on a regular basis, since the [Northshore](http://www.apple.com/retail/northshore/) location is just minutes away from our house. But it will be cool to attend the opening day festivities. For an example of what those festivities might entail, check out the photos from the [Chestnut Hill](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/geekiness/apple_store_chestnut_hill/) opening day event.
Next, we have the [IKEA Stoughton](http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/IkeaNearYouView?storeId=12&StoreName=stoughton) opening on Wednesday, November 9 at 10 a.m. This will be the first IKEA in Massachusetts! Up until now, the closest one was in New Haven, CT. Sadly, we both have to work on the day of the grand opening, but we do plan on taking a trip out there sometime soon to check it out!
In which I discuss Apple’s announcements of a Podcast-capable iTunes and new and improved iPods.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, ***Apple|http://www.apple.com/*** has ***announced|http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/jun/06intel.html*** that they will be transitioning the processors in their Macintosh computers from ***IBM|http://www.ibm.com/***’s PowerPC to ***Intel|http://www.intel.com/*** chips. This transition will start with low-end models by June of 2006, and high-end models by June of 2007. The technology world, Macintosh devotees in particular, has been quite shaken up by this announcement. I’d like to round up some of the coverage, and add a few of my own thoughts.
Becky and I were out doing some shopping today, and we stopped at the ***Apple Store|http://www.apple.com/retail/northshore/*** to buy ***Tax Cut|http://www.taxcut.com/***. While we were there, I got to check out the ***Mac Mini|http://www.apple.com/macmini/*** in person for the first time. It is even smaller than I had thought, from the photos I had seen so far. It literally fits in the palm of my hand (well, with my fingers stretched out at least). It’s ridiculously small. If we weren’t planning this darned trip to Russia, we might actually be able to afford one. 🙂 Here’s some photos I took on the olde camera-phone:
Last week when Apple released some new products at the MacWorld Expo, I briefly mentioned them in a blog post, but didn’t make much commentary. I usually find that I don’t have the time to write a well-thought-out commentary on such things, and I’m particularly unmotivated to do so when other people have already said what I’m thinking, only better. So I just refer you to ***John Gruber|http://daringfireball.net/***’s excellent article, ***Small, Cheap, and Without a Display|http://daringfireball.net/2005/01/small_cheap_no_display***.
Beyond that, my personal opinions:
I like the Mac Mini. The base model is almost three times faster than the fastest Mac I own (a PowerMac G4 450 MHz), has superior graphics and networking capabilities, and has a miniscule form factor. If I was in the market for a new machine, that would be my choice. I don’t need the speed of a G5, nor the expandability that a tower offers. With USB and FireWire Connectivity, I’d be pretty much good to go. I’d probably want to upgrade the memory, which officially has to be done by an Apple authorized repair center, but can most likely be unofficially done by customers, as long as they are comfortable with taking machines apart. Having already disassembled many regular Macs, as well as my own PowerBook, I’d probably be comfortable enough doing it.
I think the iPod shuffle is cool. It’s not for me, because I could never stand not having a display to look at, or not having the ability to navigate to exactly the song I want to listen to. But I think it might be the right thing for some people… and, hopefully, lots of people.
***Apple iLife ’05|http://www.apple.com/ilife/***
***Apple iPod Shuffle|http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/***
***Apple Mac Mini|http://www.apple.com/macmini/***
***Apple iWork ’05|http://www.apple.com/iwork/***
So, who’s buyin’? That is, who’s buyin’ me this stuff? 🙂
This guy is the luckiest Apple Store employee. His whole store, I suppose, is lucky, but he is the one with the photos to prove it.
After having the new ***iPod|http://www.apple.com/ipod/*** for three days, here’s what I have to say about it:
First, I skipped three generations of iPod when I did this upgrade. So many of the features that are “new” to me are really from one of the previous generations.
It’s great to have 20 GB of space to store music in. I had just reached the 5 GB limit on my old iPod, but I think 20 GB will do fine for a while. I have 6.08 GB on there right now.
I like how the iPod automatically pauses when the headphone jack is unplugged, and unpauses when plugged back in. This makes it easy to take it from the car in to work, and vice versa.
The touch/click wheel is cool. The 1G iPod had an actual scrolling wheel that could come off easily, and did many times in my case.
There’s a ‘music quiz’ game which is kind of fun. It chooses random songs from the iPod, and gives you a short clip from each one. As it’s playing, you have to choose from a list of possible song titles. Fun way to pass the time. There are also three other games – Solitaire, Parachute, and Bricks… also good diversions.
The backlight fades in and out, rather than just snapping on and off. A nice, if pointless and time wasting touch. 🙂
Though the height and width of the device are the same as the first generation, the thickness is significantly less. Check out these comparisons:
iPod versus casette|ppp
iPod versus iPod|ppp
I think we have a winner!