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Friday, December 23, 2005

What's Next for Apple in 2006, the iTub?

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With what some media sources are now calling Apple's "Crushing Dominance" in the portable music player arena due to the sleeker than ever evo;utions of this year's iPod line, Apple is raising eyebrows, expectations and blood pressure readings around the computer, electronics manufacturing and entertainment industry?

2005 was such a big year, how big could 2006 be? Shouldn't this be it? How creative could Apple and Steve Jobs be anyway? Surely they could not keep up the pace of the last few years with more big advances in technology, software and engineering to make the use of computers in our life faster, simpler, better, more elegant and increasingly more fun.

I wouldn't put any money against them. No way.

First of all, Apple hasn't even seen the beginning of its revenue share from video and music sales. Not even close. At the rate Nano's, just Nano's have been flying off the shelves, the sales for music look very promising indeed. Then video. The door is only opening and as you can see in the news article attached, rumours appear to be spreading about a sales model that includes just watching video rather than downloading it, as well as software improvements to make "Front Row" and other Mac experiences better and more convnient than ever.

So is this year's sucess atypical? A lucky break for the little kid at the table? Fat chance.

All of the advances in the last few years are typical of what long time Apple users have come to expect from the company that created the computer desktop when other machines greeted you with a c prompt.

The c prompt looked like this:

c:\>

Ah, consider yourself lucky then, that is what the old timer used to call the DOS Prompt, because it doesn't prompt you to do anything. Eventually, you could program it to blink and other neat stuff. Well, in the DOS world neat is a relative term.

If you don't remember those days, imagine that promt at the top of your screen, waiting for you to enter commands, as your entry into your computer experience.

C:/> Dir *.*

Would give you a list of all the files and directories on your hard drive.

C:/> Erase *.*

Would erase every file in your root directory and with the right switches it could erase your whole hard drive.


C:/> Format C:

Would reformat your main hard drive. The great thing was, just about anyone who knew that could walk right up and type that! Especially if they had had the time to restart your machine with a boot disk.


C:/> Help me open up a file

Would produce either this:

C:/>

or an error message. Fun huh. Forgive me if I am forgetting something. But that is how things were in the early 1980's and before.

Yep, that was back when you actually had to know and type commands to get computers to do stuff and their internal memory might be anywhere from 64 kb (yes, for those under 21 that is NOT a typo) to who knows how much, 128K? The point is, you would see that c prompt and not much else. No menu bars or help screens until you were actually running a program, and often not even then.

Very hard to use.

Apple changed made things massively easier with the first Macintosh, making Apple computers the easiest to use in the land, and the most intuitive, and they are doing that again, now, with the new iPod line, and the new iMacs, and their new core software.

With Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) it seems to have finally gotten through to computer users that computer life does not have to be about the Blue Screen of Death. And spurred on by iPod curiosity they have made the switch and banished it! (If an application crashes in OS X you quit it only, and all your other applications run merrily along saving countless hours of time, money and data, which is money.)

As for next year?

I'm hoping for the iTub, a bathtub that syncs to your iPod or Mac (or Windows machine) with an underwater "sub"-woofer, yellow, of course and option, has tub lights that boogie like a disco floor, and varies the water pulses with the beat or soundtrack on demand.

The iClod, heavy duty workshoes with waterproof, mud proof speakers built in that can send music out, or in through your bone, structure. The iClod shuffle comes with dance choreography built in.

The iNod, puts Winkin and Blinkin to rest, just hide it under your pillow and attach the little EEG leads to 3 spots on your forehead and the iNod matches special sleep music to the state of your slumber to that you get the maximum benefit of your sleep hours. It also tracks irregular sleep rhythms and calls for help in an emergency.

The iSquad, complete with tiny cameras that fit in the badges and hats of policemen on the job. Perfect for making more careful observations of crime scene data that a police officer might miss the first time through, doing Mirandad and offical interviews, and to make offenders wary of doing any violence during a traffic stop since everything would be caught on film.

And finally, the iPocket, that is, an iPod in my pocket before the end of 2006. I'm hoping that at least one of these comes true. Especially the latter.


Hope you get what you want under your tree this year.

Peter
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