Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Mimsy Were the Technocrats: As long as we keep talking about it, it’s technology.

MacWorld 2006 mini-roundup

Jerry Stratton, January 10, 2006

Well, no 50 inch plasma display running Front Row with built-in iSight, Airport, and Bluetooth. Honestly, it isn’t really necessary. Even before Front Row I’d already started using my June 2005 iMac as a DVD player/TV set: at 20 inches widescreen, it is, for widescreen movies, the same size as my 27-inch television set. The video is much better quality: I can even read the movie credits clearly. But, oh, for a giant wide-screen television set running OS X for only a little bit more than a 20-inch iMac! That would have filled the cup.

Podcasting with Garageband

I will be buying the new iLife just for Garageband’s new podcasting features. I’ve been using Garageband for podcasting FlameWar, and the new sound effects will undoubtedly help. All I need is a computer-like bell. What I’ve done so far is open the Sound System Preferences and click on “Hero” to note that the next bit of text I’m reading is from a news article.

If the new Garageband can do noise removal, that’ll be nice, too. Currently, my podcast process is:

  1. I record in Garageband, edit in Garageband, export to iTunes;
  2. In iTunes, I drag the huge AIFF file to the Desktop;
  3. From there, I open the AIFF in Sound Studio and save it;
  4. And then I open it in Audacity to remove the loud background noise (possibly the fan), and then save it as a WAV file;
  5. And finally I import the WAV file back into iTunes and convert to MP3.

The Sound Studio step is necessary because Audacity crashes if I open the Garageband-created AIFF file directly into Audacity.


As expected, this version of iMovie supports the built-in USB iSight on the iMacs. Most likely this is the same iSight present on the new Intel iMacs and Macbooks. This will make video podcasting using the iSight a whole lot easier.

New iMac

Speaking of my June purchase, I am now very glad I made the decision to buy an iMac in June rather than a tower. Rather than looking at 2010 before I get a new computer, I’m now looking more at 2007--right about when all the bugs have been worked out of this Intellifed iMac. Hell, the heat drop alone might remove most of the background noise on my podcasts.

The G5 Powerbook

Ha ha, just kidding. So, no G5 Powerbook. The Macbook Pro 15-inch looks quite nice, but it also looks like a placeholder: like they released it today because the G4 versions were simply too outdated. The new Macbooks lose FireWire 800 and S-Video out, though the latter is likely fixed by purchasing an inexpensive adapter. There is no compact (12-inch) and huge (17-inch) models. They seem to have dropped double-layer DVD burning. They don’t appear to even know how long the battery lasts yet. I expect new Macbook Pro models as soon as they can design them (perhaps after they get rid of all the iBooks they have in stock...).

The missing rumors

Besides the lack of a 50-inch iMac, there are a few other somewhat reasonable rumors missing. There is no new iPod Shuffle. No disappointment there at all: the shuffle can’t get much smaller without becoming too easily lost, and it can’t get bigger without losing its purpose. About the only thing the shuffle could get that would really make it more useful would be an internal clock, so that it knows what time it played each track, and could report that back to iTunes.

The new Macbook also doesn’t include flash memory for longer battery life. That’s going to be a cool feature, but would require a significant redesign of either the OS or the hard drive (or both). If the Macbook really is an interim design, that’s the kind of thing that will come later.

April 24, 2006: New 17-inch MacBook a real Pro

Just a quick note: the new MacBook Pro 17-inch has FireWire 800 and dual-layer DVD burning, making it look a whole lot more “pro” than its 15-inch brother.

  1. <- Boston Globe Inept
  2. iLife ’06 ->