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Is This The Real Apple News?

April 3, 2007

If you live in Britain (and I suspect most of the rest of the world) you can’t help having heard about the EMI/Apple deal to sell non-DRMed, higher quality music through iTunes. It’s certainly good news if you buy downloads… if just for the increase in quality… but I don’t think it’s as big as the other Apple news that snuck under the radar.

Here’s a question for you… how much would you be willing to spend on a supremely easy to use, basically foolproof, virus-free PC? £1,500?… £1,000… £750?… £500? … £199?

Let’s open this out a bit… suppose you have to replace a lot of aging PCs in a school because they are failing fast. Even with discounts, you know that you’ve got to spend quite a bit to keep up-to-date… and in doing so, you are going to be throwing a lot of keyboards and mice out… not to mention all the time spent keeping a school network safe from viruses…

OSX on ATVMaybe the time has come to start thinking laterally… maybe the time has come to start thinking smarter… maybe the time has come to start thinking different!

The news that has got me all excited is that some hackers have managed to get Apple’s operating system, OS X, to run on an Apple TV. Being realistic, it is not of much use to anyone except the hard-core hackers at the moment… except it is reminiscent of the excitement that surrounded Apple’s switch to Intel processors. There seemed to be several groups of people competing with each other to get Windows to run on the new Mac Intel chips… then a couple of weeks after the first Intel Macs started shipping, it happened! But what really set the cat among the pigeons was the announcement last April that Apple had a programme called BootCamp which made it easy to load Windows onto an Intel Mac. Suddenly you could have the best of both worlds in one machine…

What I want to know is this: Is Apple TV the thin edge of the wedge? Now that the hackers have succeeded in turning the Apple TV into a full blown (if limited Mac) are Apple about to announce an upgrade to the ATV that will turn this £199 box into the cheapest PC on the market… and if they do… what impact will that have on school’s ICT budgets?

ComicLifeInClassThis is pure speculation at the moment, but if I thought I could get 3 or 4 ‘Macs’ for the price of one Dell, I know what I’d be asking the budget holder for… especially if they shipped with the iLife suite and ComicLife…

Am I being too optimistic? I don’t know… but It could be an interesting decision for budget holders torn between buying new machines and/or upgrading to Vista… why not just get a nifty little box that does most of the things that schools need and save the extra cash to buy the really important things like books? We’ll see.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2007 8:15 am

    Fascinating – well worth watching what happens. For what it’s worth though, I have two machines running Vista at the moment (a 32 bit and a 64 bit) and both have huge compatibility problems. The 64 bit machine won’t let me install a load of software, even though the day before when it was a 64 bit XP machine, all the software worked fine. IMHO leave Visat well alone at the moment!

  2. April 4, 2007 9:55 am

    I’m very struck by the parallels between what the hackers are doing with ATV and the Intel switch…

    As to Vista, it sounds as though M$ have copied the Mac OSX 1.0 compatibility problems as well ;0)

    I think it’ll be a ‘wait-for-service-pack-1’ option for many (including me!)

  3. April 7, 2007 8:16 pm

    “Am I being too optimistic?”

    I would say so; It’s got a 1GHz x86 processor (so no 64-bit for you) and 256Mb of RAM, the version of OSX they have running is completely unsupported by Apple (rightfully so).

    Everyone should just build their own PCs. My new PC cost me £470, and it’s fairly high-spec. I’m running Windows XP SP2 on it and have only once encountered a BSOD (which was my fault; perhaps pushing 3.3GHz out of a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo on air cooling with no vCore change is not the best of plans).

    The moral of the story? Don’t buy a mac, it’ll make me cry 😥

  4. April 29, 2007 12:59 am

    you’ve been watching too many mitchell+webb adverts…. macs aren’t virus free. They’re a lot safer than windows based pcs for sure, but if they continue to grow the evil twins of those who just hacked the apple tvs will start writing more viruses for them pronto.

    Surely schools should be buying pc components in bulk, then teaching the kids to put them together (or let the kids do it, while the teachers watch in amazement) then load them up with Linux… cheap, cheerful, safe… and a far better education than giving them a ready made machine.

    And maybe if sales of Vista suffer microsoft will realise that if we wanted a hideous, made for morons OS that looked like OSX … we’d have bought a mac…

  5. April 29, 2007 8:35 am

    Hi dk,

    With regards to viruses on the Mac the default setting on Macs (and I believe Linux/Unix) means you have to type in an administrator password to effectively install a virus… You might as well send an ‘honour-based’ virus where you ask people to delete their own files and then send the virus on to everyone in their address book!

    I like your point about buying cheap components and teaching kids to put them together. I’m an English teacher so I will immediately order a couple of trees and lots of caustic chemicals so that we can start making the paper we need to write on… or then again… I could just go and use ready made paper, and similarly I could use a ready made computer.

    While your point about Linux is a good one, I have long since realised that the majority of users are just that, users… They are not interested in what goes on under the hood, they just want to get from point A to B as quickly (and as pain free) as possible. I prefer Macs, but that is personal… In school , I use Windows machines… I have no axe to grind per se… but I do have the advantage of using both systems a lot, so I do feel that unlike many Mac or Windows users, I am speaking from a position of knowledge!

    I suspect that your final jibe at Macs (‘…made for morons…’) is equally true of the majority of Windows users… and for the majority of computer users. We don’t need or want to know how it works… and this simple reality really annoys a lot of the geeks who cannot be impressive in any other way! 😉

    Thanks for your comment! You’ve given me something to think about, which I appreciate!

  6. October 24, 2010 11:13 am

    ביטוח משכנתא

  7. October 24, 2010 11:25 am

    ביטוח משכנתא

  8. February 26, 2011 3:23 pm


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