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Mac Pro, Mac OS X Virtual Desktops Announced at WWDC 647

Posted by timothy
from the and-many-more dept.
haym37 writes "Of the many announcements yet to come at WWDC, the first is the announcement of the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro contains two Intel Xeons, up to 3 GHz, and is supposed to be 1.6x to 2.1x the speed of the PowerMac G5 quad. It can hold up to 2 TB of internal storage and up to 16 GB of memory. The graphics card can be up to a Radeon x1900 or an FX4500. The case will be the same as the PowerMac." MacRumors.com is providing running coverage from the floor (Note: "[U]pdates will be automatically inserted at the top of the updates section. Do not reload manually."), including another announcement that OS X will include virtual desktops. What a great idea!
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Mac Pro, Mac OS X Virtual Desktops Announced at WWDC

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  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:25PM (#15860319) Homepage

    I'll go through my impressions mostly in order (I'm writing this in TextEdit as I follow the keynote). Not much surprise in the Mac Pro department (although it's nice to hear that they are actually cheaper). The pure 64-bit OS was predicted and is unsurprising. I like the little jabs at Microsoft. It's one thing to say "MS steals from us" but to put up comparison shots is just great, after all the features are just implemented so closely. The price comparisons were neat, but I wonder how long they will hold (I don't think Dell will take it in stride, their prices will get adjusted I'm betting).

    I've gotta say I love the idea of Time Machine. I'm glad they put that in there. Considering how little hard drive space the average person uses compared to how much space is in new computers, this is an excellent feature. Now I don't have to use some stupid 3rd party program any more. I question the interface a little though.

    They are building Front Row into Leopard. That's kind of neat, although I don't see myself using it right now. Still, if I was in a dorm and had my iMac or something I bet it would be great.

    Spaces! Seems like the true virtual desktops that everyone has been asking for. I like the idea that you can pre-create a space and then launch it and it will bring those apps up (if I'm reading about it right). That would be fantastic.

    I'm glad they improved Spotlight. It is a tiny bit pokey on my 1.67 GHz G4. To use it as an application launcher is great. I used it that way for a while but it was just too slow, so I started using Quicksilver (although I don't use any of QS's advanced features). The ability to search across your home network is KILLER and would save my parents SO MUCH TIME from how they do things on Windows.

    CoreAnimation looks interesting and I bet a few people will do some incredible stuff with it, although it's also one of those features I can see being abused. I found it very interesting they promoted Universal Access. You never hear about that in the Windows world (I know it's there, it just doesn't ever seem to be talked about on mainstream sites).

    Moving ToDos into Mail is interesting. The idea that ToDos can be moved into multiple applications and they all talk with the same database is quite nice. I'm sure quite a few people will like the stationary idea, but to me e-mail is best as plain text. I can only see that ending up like looking at my little sister's AIM conversations. You want to talk about eye-bleeding-color-schemes (and they say men have no sense of color). Notes is great too. I've been using the scheme that I've used since I was on Windows (type them out in TextEdit or NotePad and just save 'em). Still, having the pictures in there well and making it look like the iWeb templates is nice. I haven't seen any other e-mail software really try something like that (not that I've looked).

    Note: iWeb needs a SERIOUS update. It really proves the "Apple 1.0" theory.

    I've got to say, these improvements to iCal and iMail just make me want a new Newton all the more. My Windows Mobile 2k3 device is just so clunky compared to iCal or the Newtons of olde.

    Web Clip looks killer. That is just a great feature. I have quite a few sites where I only look at one little portion and to be able to bring up Dashboard and see that portion would be great. Only Apple seems to make it that easy for an end user. Why go search to see if someone has made the widget you need when you can do it yourself so easily? "See Grandma, computers aren't so scary."

    Being able to show photos to people over an iChat chat is great.

    My only real complaints with OS X as it is now are kind of minor. Dashboard sucks up WAY too much CPU (especially when starting). I'd like to see finder be multi-threaded, you can occasionally see it need it. I'd like to see a special button put on the MacBooks to activate Expose. Using F9-F12 is clumsy when F9 and F10 are already bound to something else and you have to hit "function". Using the screen corners just c

  • Photocopied! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bandrzej (688764) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:26PM (#15860326) Homepage
    About time with the virtual windows! Took them long enough...all other major *nix based window managers have them. Makes their "photocopying" comment at WWDC seem double edged, eh?

    Too bad about natural virtualization in OS X though. At least VM Ware is now coming to the party.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:28PM (#15860342) Homepage Journal
    I consider it a bit of a double standard to be criticizing Microsoft for "photocopying" on one hand and then unveiling a bunch of features that have been done before. Virtual desktop yes, but also the whole "time machine" which is really just a versioning system from the looks of it. VMS had that years and years ago, it's nothing new.
    It just seems like they are stretching with Leopard. They promoted the hell out of tiger before the WWDC where it was first shown off, and for good reason. I personally will be sticking with Tiger till my next mac, which won't be till 2008 provided my powerbook doesn't get stolen.
  • Why criticise? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by also-rr (980579) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:29PM (#15860348) Homepage
    Good features *should* be copied from operating system to operating system - that way everyone gets the best of what is available! Who cares who invented it first, as long as people are implimenting the slickest ideas and improving on them where possible.

    I just hope they get around to copying window shading, window tabbing and focus on mouse as fast as possible.
  • by illumin8 (148082) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:35PM (#15860401) Journal
    First of all I have to say that the specs on the new Mac Pros are great, but as I've been looking at replacing my gaming machine with a Mac Pro, I'm a little disappointed by the lack of SLI graphics support... How come Apple doesn't have an SLI or Crossfire option? This is 2006 and users want the capability of running two graphics cards, if for no other reason than the ability to dual-boot into Windows and play some games every now and then.

    Too bad; I was hoping to replace my gaming machine and my Mac with a single machine that would be the best of both worlds... Looks like I'll have to wait for rev. B and hope that Apple wakes up and includes this technology.
  • Re:Underwhelming.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:37PM (#15860421) Journal
    I concur. The versioning FS is nice, but it's really just a pretty UI on something that VMS had a couple of decades ago. Spotlight over the network? The pre-Tiger technical docs I read about Spotlight said that it was a Tiger feature; the fact that I didn't even notice that they'd pulled it shows how useful it is.

    Core Animation? Maybe nice, I'd have to see. It sounds like they're really going after Adobe with that one though; I hope it doesn't backfire...

    Mail stationary? I hated that 'feature' in Outlook Express a decade ago, and I can't imagine not hating it today.

    The most disappointing thing was the lack of Core 2 MacBooks. I was planning on ordering one this evening. The Mac Pros look nice, but I can't imagine buying a desktop in 2006.

  • by THotze (5028) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:38PM (#15860426) Homepage
    so it looks like Apple's Mac Pro and the new XServe are relatively powerful, etc., etc., but....

    who fired their design team? I mean, Apple hasn't released a new form factor since the Mac mini... two years ago now, nearly? And I understand that there are technical challenges with making the transition to Intel, and that the Mac Pro is all new on the inside even if its little different on the outside.... but... Apple's products used to be items to be lusted over because of their looks alone.

    The only new look from the Intel transition is the MacBook (not Pro) and... its almost uninspiring. Its like they took an iBook and flattened it a little... and while it is a pretty sexy form factor, its not like the days of yore when the PowerBooks were new and beautiful (and now you can get the SAME enclosure, almost unaltered, in a MacBook Pro, 3 years later), the iMac went from cute to beautiful, etc.

    And I don't buy that Apple's worried about scaring away people with new form factors with the Intel transition - I mean, would anybody REALLY be that surprised by a new physical enclosure? I mean, really?

    Sure, there are issues to be sorted out - MacBooks yellowing, MBPs burning at corona-like temperatures... but I feel like these are start up issues that would be the same whether Apple played it safe with new form factors or not.

    So it looks like OS X is less about the new shiny than before, and their hardware's less about the shiny than before. Before, OS X and Apple's hardware were both technically advanced AND beautiful - why is Apple just saying "job's done, lets move on" with the beauty aspect?

    Tim
  • by timster (32400) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:39PM (#15860435)
    Maybe I should just avoid the Apple rumors sites from now on?

    +1, Insightful

    This is a developer's conference, not E3.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:43PM (#15860456)
    Steve did say there were top secret stuff. Everything shown has good use for the developers (ie, use Core Animation, use the new built-in todo list, etc.). Obviously shown for the developers to use on the developer preview at the developer conference.

    I would assume that all the fun user stuff wasn't shown due to Microsoft's "photocopiers".
  • by gabebear (251933) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:44PM (#15860461) Homepage Journal
    The presentation made it clear that 32bit apps would run on 64bit machines, although I hope they make it easy to support both 32bit and 64 bit machines easily. I just ordered a MacBook and I'm a little worried about how quickly the current line will become legacy machines since it is pretty certain that Apple won't be shipping 32bit Intel machines in a year and has only been shipping 32bit Intel machines for a little while.

    all well... no since in worrying too much about something that might not be an issue and that you have no control over.
  • by toQDuj (806112) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:45PM (#15860465) Homepage Journal
    Let me be the one to crush your arguments... please?

    First of all, why post in this particular thread? Your issues are unrelated to this.

    Sure, the hardware _could_ be easily abused, but as of yet it isn't. So all your speculations, whilst nice, remain nothing more than that.

    And yes, each chip has a unique serial number. Which is more or less the point. Of a _serial_ number. That it is different, unique. So you can track its production history if it decides to fail, for instance.

    Bye for now!
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:45PM (#15860468)
    I agree, Time Machine sounds like just VMS file versioning - but I wouldn't discount Apple bringing a lot of good UI on top of that. There's a lot of value into bringing versioning to people who otherwise would not be able to use it.

    I was actually pretty glad to see Time Machine as the file versioning coming in Vista was the one thing I was wishing I could get in Leopord, and did not expect to see.
  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:46PM (#15860474)
    So from your comment it sounds like the only good industrial design (as far as you're concerned) is new industrial design. I personally feel that the designs of almost all of their machines are quite nice and I don't care that they haven't changed in a while. When you find something that works, stick with it...
  • by zmotula (663798) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:57PM (#15860559) Homepage
    Just a versioning system? Indeed. But Apple is the first to design a versioning system my father can use...
  • by k2r (255754) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:57PM (#15860568)
    and nobody's talking about

    "xcode 3.0 released today" ...

    k2r
  • Re:Underwhelming.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wirelessbuzzers (552513) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:58PM (#15860571)
    I don't think TimeMachine is a versioning FS. I think it's just a pretty GUI over incremental backups.

    I think if they want to do a versioning FS they'll go to ZFS.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:02PM (#15860599) Journal
    I find the main problem with Dashboard (apart from the UI disaster caused by adding a new desktop modality) is the VM subsystem in OS X. Widgets are usually not used for a while, and so their RAM gets swapped out. This includes fairly large things like their display buffer (remember; all windows on OS X are double-buffered). When you invoke dashboard, they all get swapped back in. This takes a long time; in many cases it would be quicker to just discard the out-of-core copy and start a new one, especially considering that most widgets are close to being stateless.
  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:02PM (#15860603)

    I suspect they may still be gnawing on ZFS for a future version, but for now it would appear the "Time Machine" is built on top of HFS+, since there is no talk of reformatting your drives to take advantage of the new feature.

    As well, the keynote mentioned that Time Machine could also be used to back up a file system to another hard drive, which is not exactly what ZFS is or does, and will be interesting to see how they implement it-- I've been looking for a Retrospect [emcinsignia.com] replacement for quite a while, and if Time Machine can do the backups to /dev/sa0, then I'm done.

  • Look at History, please.

    When Apple adopted the G3 in the PowerMac, they kept the Beige style case for a generation before releasing the B&W G3 case.
    When Apple adopted the G4 in the PowerMac, they kept the G3 style case but changed it's color to silver
    When Apple moved to the G5 PowerMac they moved to a new style case, but now that they have switched to Intel they kept the G5 style case (at least for now)

    When Apple released a new iBook, it was with a G3; it was upgraded to the G4 with no real changes, and then when they moved to the Intel CPU it remained essentially the same, with only the keyboard being brand new.

    The PowerBooks tell a similar story, moving to Titanium with the G4, then aluminum for several generations, the keeping the aluminum with the switch to Intel.

    There is a reason to not redesign something: Less bugs, less cost, higher reliability. Wait until they work out all the kinks with the new CPUs, motherboards, and electrics, then introduce a new case with new problems.
  • What, automatic, free, version controlled backup isn't a leap forward? Data loss is probably the next biggest thing a user can encounter outside of spyware and viruses, and so far the Mac has proven itself relatively immune.

    Then there is the free built in video conferencing, desktop sharing, and remote access made possible with iChat.

    And on top of that is the network capable Spotlight, allowing a private network to access public files from any machine... a great reason to have a second machine :)

    Data is:
    1) No longer trapped on a single machine (think end users who require floppies and CD-Rs to transfer files)
    2) Data loss is less of an issue (think end users to delete whole directories by accident)
    3) Remote access is easy (think end users who don't know how to use the Control Panel to update their settings)
  • That's great that it was in VMS. But the last time I saw a system capable of running VMS it wasn't under my desk and didn't cost under US$3000.

    now if file versioning was in Linux natively, or Windows, or OS/2, or the Amiga, or some other desktop operating system like BeOS I'd think you'd have a point. But that's like saying the Honda Civic is cool but the GPS in it is late to the party because the Audi A8L has had it for 5 years. That's comparing two cars that aren't in the same class just like comparing a multi-user VMS box to a single user desktop.

    I'm not saying versioning hasn't been done before, but when has it been native to the operating system itself? All I kept thinking about it was 'well, there goes the one redeeming features for .Mac for me' because I bought it to use Backup primarily.
  • by mblase (200735) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:13PM (#15860680)
    who fired their design team? I mean, Apple hasn't released a new form factor since the Mac mini... two years ago now, nearly?

    Good question. I'd have to guess that Apple's more concerned about getting the internal changes right than any new external stuff. And from a marketing perspective, it's easier for Apple to sell all-new Intel guts if we all see the same ol' iMac or Mac Mini on the outside.
  • And... iCal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilStein (414640) <{spam} {at} {pbp.net}> on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:18PM (#15860718) Homepage
    Let's face it, folks. The open source community has been a FAILURE when it comes to beating Exchange & Outlook at calendaring. Don't waste my time with Mozilla "Lightning" or Sunbird. They have managed to create exactly *dick* in the past few years. (See my previous posts about it.)

    Here comes iCal, doing everything that Sunbird should have done several years ago. Here is the first chance at an "Outlook killer." Mail 3 & iCal = notes, to do, free/busy scheduling, auto scheduling, resource scheduling..

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/ical.html [apple.com]

    The year of Linux on the Desktop? No. It's the decade of OS X taking over the desktop.
  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:22PM (#15860749)
    What I don't get are all these style/design criticisms about machines announced at a DEVELOPER conference.

    While certainly a large part of Apple stuff is the design, I don't honestly see the developer audience saying "Okay, the specs are nice, but... It's not PRETTY enough to handle my development work."

    Release the heavy-duty stuff at developer conferences, and release the pretty stuff at consumer oriented shows - makes sense to me.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:23PM (#15860759) Journal
    So when Apple includes the BSD utilities, it's "insightful", but when Microsoft includes a BSD networking stack, it's "stolen"?
  • by yabos (719499) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:26PM (#15860772)
    This is nothing like System Restore. Please read about it before commenting. This is a versioning system for your whole computer or probably for specific folders you want it to watch. You can save over your file by accident and use TimeMachine to get the old version back. Can't do that with SystemRestore. SystemRestore only works for system updates and program installations, not all your documents. Also if you delete a file and later decide you want it back you can do this with TimeMachine. Can't do that with System Restore. It's also not like shadow copy or the Backup utility in WinXP because it works with different versions of specific files and you can choose to recover only a single file instead of restoring the whole thing. Plus you can easily preview the backed up file before restoring it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:30PM (#15860818)
    I'm not surprised that they didn't change any of the design elements (case, etc.). An important part of the marketing strategy during the transition to Intel was to assure mac fans that "it's still a Mac, even if it has Intel inside". Keeping the same industrial design highlights that the change of chip doesn't make them any less Mac.
     
    Now that the transition is over (no PPC macs left in the product lineup), expect a future release of the new generation of apple design (judging from the MacBook and Nano... I'm betting on black, which will be "the new white").
  • by frankie (91710) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:30PM (#15860822) Journal
    System Restore? You must be joking. First, it's a system-wide snapshot, all or nothing. Second, you have to pick time points for snapshot creation and let it run. Third, SR is only to protect Windows System files from corruption (which Mac users don't worry about), not user documents.

    Time Machine (from what we've seen) is granular to individual files, and works transparently in the background every time you change a file.

    Sheesh. You may as well claim that iTunes is an imitation of WMP.
  • by wazzzup (172351) <astromac&fastmail,fm> on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:35PM (#15860859)
    From what I understand, staying with the current industrial design was an intentional decision. They wanted to impart the feeling that the new Intel Macs are just like the old PPC Macs. They look the same and function the same - only faster. If they introduced a new architecture as well as new industrial design that may have felt to "jarring" for some that are wary of (or feel betrayed by) the Intel change.

    I'm not saying I'm in this "change is scary and bad" camp but there are a lot of folk living there.
  • by acomj (20611) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:43PM (#15860926) Homepage
    I want a mid range mac to replace my g4 dual tower. I don't want a huge tower and I want more than the mac mini. The trouble is.. there is nothing in the 1000$-1200 range without a screen.

    Come-on apple. There is a middle ground between "pro" and "home"
  • by gjh (231652) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:58PM (#15861024)

    Okay, I scanned down the comments here and saw people complain about not overhauling the finder. People want...

    • Get rid of spatial and give me an Explorer hierarchy!
    • Give me more buttons!
    • Replace everything with Spotlight
    • Give me keyboard shortcuts

    Am I the only person here who loves the Mac's Finder for what it is? Clean. Spatial. Mouse-driven, including Exposé gestures. I can't keep my file organized on a Windows machine. Windows' file organization makes me feel chlostrophobic and I lose stuff. With a Mac, I stay organized.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Monday August 07, 2006 @04:18PM (#15861140)
    Uh, there's a few things wrong with your comment:

    1)Get rid of spatial and give me an Explorer hierarchy!

    The current OS X Finder isn't spatial. At all. If you turn off the toolbar, it kind of pretends to be spatial a little bit, but it's still not. The easiest way to tell is the following: Will Finder show the same folder in two different windows? If so, it's not spatial. (And, yes, Finder will... even in the psuedo-spatial mode.)

    In addition to that, if you *do* set Finder to psuedo-spatial mode, it'll get turned off the next time you download and open a disk image that wasn't set as psuedo-spatial. Sometimes it'll just randomly get turned off for no reason at all, or at least no reason I can tell, even if you set "open all windows like this". At best, it's buggy, and at worst, it's so poorly designed that it's almost impossible to tell if a given window will open spatial or not when you double-click the folder.

    Am I the only person here who loves the Mac's Finder for what it is? Clean. Spatial. Mouse-driven,

    I'm presuming that you've never used Classic MacOS. The Finder in system 8.5 and later was brilliant... seriously brilliant. I still long for pop-up folders, a feature which has never been replaced after being removed. (And no, Apple, context-clicking folders in the Dock is NOT the same.) It was fast, it was clean, it was beautiful, and it worked. It was also 100% spatial, in a way no other OS has ever been.

    The reason most Mac users say the Finder sucks ass is, because compared to the Finder in system 9.2.2, it *does* suck ass. Finder has gone WAY downhill while everything else in the OS has been progressing at record speed, and it's almost ridiculously stupid at this point.

    Oh, I should mention that the Spotlight interface on Finder windows is terrible.

    I can't keep my file organized on a Windows machine. Windows' file organization makes me feel chlostrophobic and I lose stuff.

    Yes, but Windows Explorer can connect to file servers without spacing out (most of the time.)
    It has Filmstrip view, which I find extremely handy... to the point that I'll use Windows File Sharing so I can connect to my Mac's photo directory and use Filmstrip view to organize things.
    Explorer doesn't completely clog your CPU up while creating image previews, and it creates all the previews instead of just giving up halfway through the window like Finder does.
    Explorer doesn't randomly forget your window settings, like Finder does.
    Explorer gives you more options on which application should be used to open files.
    Explorer handles printers much nicer, IMO. (Except it still doesn't allow dragging a print job from one printer to another, but neither does any OS.)
    When Explorer creates invisible files, it doesn't show them to other OSes when file-sharing.

    Sure, Explorer has quirks... personally I hate "Explorer.exe" mode, and I hate how Control Panel windows don't have entries in the task bar... but it's actually pretty good.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Even if you disagree with everything I've just typed, you have to admit that Finder's handling of network folders is broken.
  • Re:FP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Monday August 07, 2006 @04:21PM (#15861159)
    I think that that a more ambitious and useful plan would be if GNUStep project were rebooted to implement Cocoa / OS X rather than a dead operating system (NextStep 3.3). That might actually invigorate the project to the point that it becomes more mainstream and useful. It wouldn't hurt either if it adopted the GTK theme engine and other modern UI guidelines so at least it looked and felt like just another application rather than some weirdo UI with its own window manager.
  • by sickofthisshit (881043) on Monday August 07, 2006 @05:02PM (#15861501) Journal
    Actually, the Dell equivalent is the 2007WFP which goes for US$460. Not $300.

    On the other hand, the Dell has analog VGA, S-video, and composite inputs, while the Apple has only the DVI. And $460 is still much less than $699. Somehow, I find it hard to justify $250 for Firewire ports, nicer enclosure, and just possibly some barely perceptible difference in the contrast or backlighting.

    The US$300 models typically have analog VGA only.
  • Re:Photocopied! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lars T. (470328) <[moc.liamelgoog] [ta] [regearT.sraL]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @06:11PM (#15862037) Journal
    I use one desktop per major application, and a few for the remote terminals.

    I guess that means you use an OS where drag'n'drop doesn't work too well.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Monday August 07, 2006 @06:16PM (#15862077) Homepage
    very old idea and there are products today that do it. thank God we have Apple to invent it again for the very first time!


    Well, there's inventing something and then there is skillfully integrating it into a GUI that's easy enough to use that your mom can (and will) use it. An implementation may be the bee's knees in terms of what it can theoretically do, but if it's too hard (read: not click-and-drool dead simple) to use, then for 95% of the people out there it might as well not exist.


    That said, I wonder how Time Machine will affect system performance for developers... will I need to disable it to avoid losing all my drive spacing to useless copies of obsolete object files? And if it does its synchronization action every day at midnight, does that mean that it won't work on my Mac that I power down when I leave the office?

  • Re:Apple pages (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phroggy (441) * <slashdot3@@@phroggy...com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @06:19PM (#15862096) Homepage
    i noticed nothing was said about the finder.. shame.

    Yes, that omission seems rather conspicuous. It's almost as if Apple has something to hide.

    Oh wait, Jobs said they do!

    My money's on significant improvements to the Finder, and they didn't want to show it off because they don't want Microsoft stealing it yet. I'm hoping they fix network integration; I have all kinds of weird problems accessing SMB volumes, and FTP has never really worked at all. But I'm sure there are all kinds of UI improvements they've been working on, that they want to keep under wraps. I certainly hope so - Lord knows there's room for improvement in that area!
  • Re:And... iCal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvilStein (414640) <{spam} {at} {pbp.net}> on Monday August 07, 2006 @08:46PM (#15862952) Homepage
    Spoken like someone that has no idea of how the corporate world works. Obviously you've never spent time pushing and fighting for open source solutions to be added to your environment only to be shut out because the END USERS that you SUPPORT demanded a functional application based groupware solution. Outlook & Exchange fit that bill. Opengroupware is a nice try, but it's still mostly web based crap, which the users don't want. Your comment is fucking ridiculous. Calendaring *IS* where it's at. Why the hell do you think people actually migrate to Exchange and Outlook? For the superior IMAP features? NO! It's the goddamn CALENDAR. Outlook Calendar type functionality is a *HUGE* user request. Evolution, Sunbird, opengroupware - they all lack the features that users actually want. Scalix [scalix.com] comes pretty damn close, but once you look at the pricing, the pointy haired turkeys start saying shit like "Well, we can get a discount on Exchange, so let's just use that. This Linux solution isn't free." And it's all downhill from there. The open source community is a failure when it comes to taking down Outlook. So far, Apple is poised to actually make headway against Outlook & Exchange.
  • Virtual Desktops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by palndron (37455) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:32PM (#15863405) Homepage
    I just watched the spaces demo, and I don't know of any VD implementation that looks that good.
    So to the original poster's sarcasm I offer this counter:

    Who's implementation of Virtual Desktops is that cool, that user friendly and that well done? If not, who will be the first X related desktop to pull off copying Spaces? Will you submit that article?

    Just wondering.
  • by mstone (8523) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:36AM (#15863860)
    No, the sheer mental cost of remembering how the offscreen information is organized is more than most people can handle. Either you have to memorize the positions and contents of Y layered windows on X different desktops, or you have to train yourself to follow some kind of 'this information goes on this desktop' work scheme, or you have to play 'hunt like hell' for that one window you were using five tasks ago, which has the information you want.

    Those problems are intrinsic to virtual desktops. The whole point of virtual desktops is to make some (and usually most) of the user's working data invisible at any given time, and any time you make information invisible, you impose a load on the user's memory. In most cases, people switching between apps do so because they're trying to accomplish something and their minds are focused on doing that job, not on remembering how all the offscreen information is arranged. The 'what I'm doing right now' task and the 'keeping the virtual desktop organized' tasks end up competing for the user's mental resources.

    It takes skill to use virtual desktops effectively and efficiently. Most casual computer users lack those skills, and for those people, the virtual desktop environment ends up being more of a nuisance than it's worth.
  • Re:Photocopied! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Budenny (888916) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:46PM (#15869507)
    It sounds just like virtual desktops on Gnome or KDE have been working for years. Its nice, sure, nothing wrong with it, but its a bit like holding a conference to announce your car has intermittent wipers. Finally.

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