Sunday, November 27, 2005

Apple shenanigans

Neat realization about blogs number 13 or can write pretty much whatever you want...and possibly ignorant of general interest. If the glowing white apple doesn't tickle you're fancy, check this action out:

Otherwise, read on.

SNL does Jobs

While I'm in the midst of referrals, here's some neat stuff to check out:

^This is a recording of an SNL Weekend Update Sketch, in which Steve Jobs releases the iPod Micro; the iPod Pequeno (spelling?); and the iPod Invisi.

The cleverness of the skit is underlined a bit further if you're at all familiar with apple's webcasts of Steve Jobs' "unveilings" of iPods and other such things. Here's a link to the webcast premiering the iPod Nano: As you may see by comparison, SNL does a pretty bang up job.

iPod Video

High on my list of things to do during my weekend at home was to go to Best Buy and just play around. No intention to buy anything at all, but just try out the gadgets and gizmos (particularly, iPods and laptops) on display. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Best Buy stocks Apple computers, preventing me from fulfilling my Wayne Campbell: Fender Stratocaster :: Rob Nguyen: iBook complex. However, that's not to say that I didn't run into a bunch of other stuff that was just really neat. From what I heard about the Apple iPod, people've stressed, it's music first, clearly video player second. But I've got to say, that's not to say that the video player is all that bad at all. I had thought it'd be a dinky thing that was a sort of neat gimmick, with a screen that go all LCD wash out and such at sharp angles. Au contraire, as they say in Italy, not the case. The Pixar short that was playing on it looked pretty clear (or at least, more than I had expected), even from a slightly oblique point of view, and the screen isn't so small that it feels too tiny to watch stuff on. That might change, were I to try to watch it during a long bus ride...but otherwise. Pretty neato.


I was watching the Making Of documentary on Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and due to my Mac-craziness, I paid not a little attention to what sort of machines the production personnel were using.

SIDE NOTE: the making of takes a really neat approach. It looks at one section of film- the bulk of the lightsaber duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan, a section that clocks un about under 60 seconds (though I think they cut their selection of the fight down for purposes of the concept), and examines the jobs of each person involved in making that minute of film happen. Theoretically, it's that same array of people doing the entire movie, but the big point behind the approach is- for anything to happen on screen in a movie like Star Wars, there are hundreds and hundreds of people that work to make that happen, between the more obvious jobs, like the CGI animators or costume designers, to the less obvious ones, like the caterers, staff accountants and production office staff. It is really neat.

Anyway, another rule of thumb in the Macs vs. PCs debates that I'd heard growing up was that Macs are the best computers for professional video/photo/graphic design. Looking at the use of computers by the behind the scenes people, this seems to be the tendency. In terms of desktop machines, however, I was surprised to find that the split seemed pretty 50/50. There were a number of obvious Apple workstations, but there were just as many PC ones. Most with a dual monitor setup (and I had thought all this time that that was primarily a luxury enjoyed by gamers wanting to be able to see their desktop at the same time). In terms of laptops, though, the rule of thumb seemed to be the Powerbook, most often the 17". They'd have a production meeting to go over a sequence, and most of the staff would have their Powerbooks with them, on which to make notes, additions, or get some work done on the spot. As touted on the website, it would seem that the Powerbook really is the standard for portable workstation for video/sound professionals.

Which would make me wanting a Powerbook seem a bit unnecessary. I've had my eye on the 12" iBook for sometime as a backup, portable computer (there are all sorts of reasons why I most likely will not make this purchase...unless, for whatever reason, I have some sort of really bad day and need $949 worth of purchased compensation). And the iBook serves that sense....but then...the Powerbook. Me purchasing a 12" Powerbook instead opens up a whole different dimension of the luxuries of consumerism. iBook would be purchasing something that I could possibly need....Powerbook would be purchasing something that I would most likely never use for the purposes it is designed. It woudl be the luxury consumer good, made even more superficially satisfying by my knowing that I had bought a luxury item that I would perhaps never even use towards the ends for which it is designed. Like buying a gold plated toilet seat, and using it as a door stop.

This is an exaggeration. If ever I get a laptop, I'd probably overuse it 'till it died.