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ATPM 14.02
February 2008





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by Mark Tennent,

One Click of My Finger

Long-time jaded Mac users must surely be astounded at the coverage this year’s Macworld has generated and in particular the keynote speech. To those of us who’ve been Macced up to the eyeballs since Clive Sinclair drove the C5 down the cul-de-sac of naff technology, the keynote always hits a bum note. And that’s not counting the whoops from the idiots in the audience, who insist on their stupid utterances like the ululations from professional funeral wailers, every time Steve Jobs finishes a sentence.

These events are Apple’s way to screw dosh from punters for the latest must-haves conveniently on sale at the Apple Store as soon as the speech finishes. Payments go straight into big bags saying SWAG on the side. Forget the pound/dollar conversion ratio, just swap their symbols and keep the digits after.

Two Bucks to the Quid

With nearly two bucks to the quid, Apple kit is effectively more expensive than ever before. The $229 Apple TV retails at £199 and not the £116 it ought to be. The MacBook Air at $1,799 should sell at nine hundred quid and not the twelve hundred Apple charges. They even don their stripey T-shirts and masks for shipping costs, which is free over $50 (£25.49) in the Land of the Free, rather than the £78 minimum here on Treasure Island. As Jobs said, with one click of his finger…he can take us for millions.

The new Time Capsule explains how Time Machine suddenly lost its ability to back up to hard drives connected to Apple’s AirPort Extreme wireless router’s USB port. It was such a good idea that Apple decided to make even more dosh by creating a whole new box of tricks with the hard drive built in, but at the same time preventing us from buying our own hard drives and connecting them to our existing wireless routers. Some believe Apple will add this feature to the AirPort Extreme via a software update.

As it is, the Time Capsule is quite lust-worthy, but at what a price. With stand-alone 500GB drives at less than £100 and Time Capsule not having an ADSL modem built in, it is as overpriced as the iPhone.

That Old System Is So Last Year

To make matters worse, the one big event many of us have been waiting for just didn’t happen. Leopard is still in need of some serious under the hood tinkering, but the mechanics at Apple seem to have spent more time playing iPhone apps to get their hands dirty with last year’s operating system. As well as working out how to present a new thin laptop to the world at a ridiculously high price for its quite leisurely performing CPU. Especially when it can only connect to the hard-wired world via micro-DVI, USB, or earphones.

But I want the new trackpad gestures, please.

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