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Last Updated: Thursday December 20th, 11:38 PM EDT
Mac OS X Update 10.1.2 released via Software Update - 11:38 PM 12/20 - Software Update
Reader Aaron AEffect was the first of many to note the little holiday present that awaits those who would launch the Mac OS X Software Update panel:
It's 30.3MB. This is from the software update control panel....
The 10.1.2 update delivers improvements and new functionality, as well as expanded peripheral support for Mac OS X. Enhancements include:
- Updated and new USB and FireWire device support, including FireWire-based digital cameras
- PC Card storage devices, including media readers
- IrDA modem support for FireWire-based PowerBook models
- Audio, Display, and Speech improvements
- Networking and Printing improvements
- AirPort v2.0
- Apache web server v1.3.22
- AppleScript v1.8
After updating, we noticed that DVD playback on a Pismo G3/400 laptop was significantly improved, particularly while running other resource-intensive tasks in the background. Also, there may be an unrelated reason for this, but with six diferrent Macs, the update to 10.1.2 actually freed up an average of 5MB of RAM, as much as 20MB with systems having more memory (typically 384MB or more) appearing to save the most. The memory savings appeared to be across-the-board, remaining quite steady regardless of whether many applications -- or none at all -- were running.
By and large, the update is primarily a large collection of bug fixes, tied-up loose ends, and added support files -- but apparently there may be a few quiet under-the-hood tweaks that might also result in some real-world performance gains as well.
PowerMac G5 Dodecahedron? Maybe not, but it's still a cool idea - 11:38 PM 12/20 - Speculation
We've posted some far-out ideas in the past, and a few of them have turned out to be winners -- the Cube, for example (well, mostly anyway -- the devil is in the details, after all). We're not going to be placing any bets on this one, but it's a good example of the kind of break-out thinking that is in fact going on at Apple right now. Killer industrial design has always been an Apple strong point, and as the company tries to bridge the gap between the computer world and the consumer digital device industry, that will become an ever-more-important cornerstone of its success. We may not be seeing a PowerMac G5 Dodecahedron any time soon, but take a minute to imagine it, if you will -- everyone will no doubt have their own vision, but the concept is one that will lead readers to a clearer understanding of where Apple is heading:
I have a friend in the UK who does OS X and WebObjects training for Apple over here and in Cupertino (amongst other locations). Like me, he's a former NeXT fan and was recently at a pre-Christmas party in Redwood City with some ex-NeXTers. There was a guy there who's reputed to be in the team within Industrial Design who are doing the new G5. Unsurprisingly, the poor bloke was getting quizzed all evening about the G5 but maintained a wry smile and was refusing to give anything away. However, towards the end of the evening when everyone was "a little the worse for wear", my friend overheard the design engineer confiding in a couple of people about a really unusual feature of the G5's enclosure, dreamt up by none other than Steve: it's going to be a perfect dodecahedron (ie. 12-sided solid)! The materials and styling will be roughly similar to the old cube, but probably darker (more reminiscent of the black NeXT boxes?).
This sounds bizarre, but when you think about it, it makes some sense: 1. it's distinctive, original and innovative; 2. Steve loves unorthodox yet beautiful designs (like a cube, a dodecahedron is a pythagorean solid, and so is perfectly regular and symmetrical); 3. (this is the clever bit) a dodecahedron comprises 12 pentagons (ie. 5-sided shapes -> G5).
When asked about time-scale, the engineer said only top management are involved, but that they'd been told several months ago that they must aim to have working prototypes ready by April (I'd guess in time for WWDC 2002?).
A novel concept -- the shape's moniker is a real mouthful, to be sure, but boy howdy it would look cool! This one will probably go the way of the Eight-Ball iMac and the G4 Sphere, but unlike those pipedreams, it may lead us closer to the future of the Mac than we think. Perhaps Apple will not be ready for such a revolutionary form factor in its PowerMac space, but a consumer machine or a digital device could easily be based around such a geometric shape and come out at a reasonable price point with looks to die for.
As always, time will tell the tale of how much this sort of industrial design does indeed leak out into shipping Apple products. We, for what it's worth, hope it does in some form.
you are weird
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