3 Jan 2002 opie   » (Observer)


Tasked with installing IPMeter, but no one is around to give me the passwords to the boxes I need. The joys of third shift.

What I find interesting is that the docs continually promote BSD for use, saying the Linux packet capture mechanism is too unreliable.

I find this interesting. Was it written before the newer stuff (ipchains/iptables) came out? Is it BSD partisanship? Or is it really that bad (thousands and thousands of context switches compared to BSD)? Its interesting, though, to see what a complete package they put together.

Looked at the "spy report" on the Apple iWalk PDA. Got the videos and images. Probably a fake. The stills are very good, but the movies give it away. There are obvious hacks in the Newton-style handwriting recognition movie: pay VERY CLOSE attention to the upper-left-hand side of the screen. You'll see a blinking cursor, that matches the blinking cursor on the screen. I find it highly unlikely this artifact somehow made it into the movie/capture.

There are other things that scream "fake". The device appears to be a Cassopeia/Jornada with plastic bits glued on. There are problems with the OS as shown: the 't' in QuickTime isn't capitalized, for instance, although this could be explained away by the fact that this video is, in fact, slightly old and running a pre- release (ie, not 100% ready-for-primetime) OS version. The other interesting bit is that it says "Apple iWalk" on the boot-up screen (boot up time is about 2 seconds). Someone mentioned that the name "Apple" never appears in a prominent fashion on anything but their business cards and letterhead. It appears nowhere on the G3/G4 towers (except for "fine print"), iMac/iBook, or Powerbook. Also nowhere in OSX except for the 'About' dialog, and its small compared to the rest of the window.

There was also lots of debate about the viability of an Apple/Mac-branded PDA. The market is getting swamped with them, Palm is apparently going down as WinCE devices climb. The device, if it does exist, will certainly cost more than an iPod (I'm guessing it'll be no less than $600, probably closer to $800 for the first model). Pushing a grand gets you closer to iBook territory, and does it make sense to hurt iBook sales? I know lots of people that bought iBooks just because they were cheap, would run OS9, OSX, or Linux, and were not bad machines overall (just small screens).

Still, an Apple PDA would sell very well to the Apple faithful (who are somewhat abandoned by Palm, and totally ignored by MS). The fact that its probably an embedded G3 or G4, with a stripped-down OSX build, means you won't have to futz about with building for a new architecture (no cross-compiler needed, probably just some additional libraries). This would almost instantly solve the software availability problem, something Apple is struggling with daily.

One can dream, I guess.

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