Macworld Roundup, Day Three


Day three was good, but, I must say, not quite as interesting as day two.

I talked to an Apple representative who was standing near the iPhone that was on display, and I asked a couple of quesitons. She confirmed that the iPhone’s battery is not removable. When I asked her if third-party developers would be able to make widgets for the iPhone, she said that she was not allowed to tell me, so I also didn’t ask whether or not you could use Tiger / Leopard widgets on your iPhone, not just those made for iPhone.

Then, I went to the Apple TV area and tried playing around with the interface.

I noticed two things:

  • The interface feels quite slow, because there are so many fades and transitions between screens. This is actually quite annoying.
  • Movies from the iTunes store, which are encoded at a resolution of 640 x 480, look pretty bad on a big television. They’re not nearly DVD quality, and look really pixelated, even from six or eight feet away. I asked the representative whether Apple would ever offer HD movies on the iTunes store, but he told me he couldn’t comment on Apple’s future plans.

After that, I went to see Joel Meyerowitz’s presentation, which I expected to be a little bit boring, but actually turned out to be really interesting.
Meyerowitz is a really relaxed speaker, and his photos are beautiful. His best point was that, when you are taking street photos, you have to act like you own the street, not like you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing.

Then, I went to the AppZapper / Disco booth and talked to Brian Ball of macZOT, who was representing AppZapper and Disco.
(AppZapper is an app for trashing application support folders and preference files when you want to remove an application from your computer, and Disco is a disc burning utility.)

I found out that you can get Disco to spew smoke without having to burn a disc by launching Disco while holding the shift key.
I also suggested that AppZapper have a feature to automatically zap apps that you drag into the trash, but Brian simply suggested that I set up an automator workflow.

Then, I went to check out CrashPlan. CrashPlan is an application for backing up your hard drive across the internet, to a drive anywhere in the world. It looks pretty awesome, and the person I talked to was extremely knowlageable.
I just might buy it tomorrow, taking advantage of their show special ($60 app for $20).

Last, I went to the games area and played Prey. I’ve heard it’s a good game, but I ran around the first level for five minutes, hitting aliens with a wrench. It was pretty boring, but I could get better as the game goes on.

On that note, I had an idea today. I think that game developers should construct a special level for demoing the game. The level would be easy, but you’d get good weapons and fight cool bad guys. It could also show off the graphics and other cool features of the game.

This would solve the existing dilemma of: should they drop you in a later level where you have cool weapons, but you’ll die fast; or should they put you in the first level, where you’ll learn how to play but it might be a bit boring.

Or, they could just start off the whole game with a fun, interesting level, like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, which drops you right into D-Day.


Julian Bennett Holmes

I must admit, I haven’t been home so I haven’t been able to test the Disco shift-key trick on my own computer, but Brian Ball demonstrated it for me and it worked.

Maybe it’s just working on some development build or something?

I’ll stop by and ask them again today about that.

Brandon Eley

Re. the Apple TV and movie quality – I downloaded an entire season of 24 and it looked horrible on my MacBook Pro. I was so disappointed in the quality I downloaded a few free trailers and such to make sure the quality was the same. I’m sure it’d look good on a 2.5″ screen, but they market the movie store to make you believe the movies look great on computer, TV, etc.

I’m not paying DVD prices for something that only fits on a 2.5″ screen. I paid as much for the season as I could’ve bought the boxed version on Amazon. Unless Apple changes the quality to that of DVD or HD, I’m afraid they’ve lost a potential customer for the movie store.


“iPhone’s battery is not removable” …well that is a deal breaker for me. Can’t go and pay 600 for something that can’t have it’s battery replaced. unless they can give me three years worth of warranty.


Strange, I can’t seem to get that shift-key trick to work, and mine will spew smoke only when it’s burning a CD. Anything else special I need to do?


Sweet. I might have seen you there, I was around the App Zapper booth for a bit while I was walking the floor today.

Julian Bennett Holmes

Doesn’t work on your MacBook Pro? That’s funny, the Disco site says that any Mac with a non Nvidia graphics card with floating point texture support should work, which I think qualifies any modern Mac.

I’d mess around with the prefs a bit if I were you, see if you can get that to work.

Richard Neal

Hm, the ability to do smoke without burning a disc would be awesome, but it doesn’t work for me on my MacBook Pro…

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