No More iPhone Gripes!

By now most everyone on the planet has heard about Jobs’ keynote at WWDC. The new iPhone has GPS, 3G, and better battery life. It will be sold in 22 countries around the world starting with the initial release on July 11. AT&T is still the US exclusive carrier right now and they are offering it for $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB). This is all awesome news. However, there is also a lot of griping on the intarwebs about the price hike of the AT&T data plan. It’ll be $10 more a month. I want to say something to the honking noises of the masses on this.

The total cost over the 2 year contract will be $40 more than it is now. That’s $200 off the price of the phone and $240 added back for the data plan price increase. Some people have felt the need to moan about how we are getting screwed by this new way of charging us and that the new deal isn’t actually a deal at all. I disagree. The phone has newer and more efficient hardware. The device is now fully 3G capable. It has a full GPS built into the unit. I’m pretty sure the market value of these changes equates to more than $40. So guess what, we’re still getting a deal on the phone…more of one in my opinion. If you don’t like it…go buy a RAZR. I paid $400 for my Tilt with a 2 year contract. The iPhone does almost all of the same things now in a much smaller package. Not to mention it is a far better media player than my Tilt.

I can’t understand what drives people to concoct these ludicrous conspiracy theories every time a corporation makes any kind of change. It’s just as bad as people whining about Windows security for a decade and then bitching because Vista takes on a security model not unlike that of Linux. Sure the Vista implementation is a little rough around the edges and always in your face when you try to install software or change system settings. Remember the market for Windows machines, though. These aren’t the people that are going to do a Stage 1 Gentoo install over an entire weekend. It has to be more intrusive because Microsoft has to deal with a lower common denominator of computer savvy.

This is the problem with the masses. You take things in the worst possible light at every possible opportunity. Relax a bit and just imagine what the iPhone might have cost if Jobs had decided to keep the same deal with AT&T. The iPhone could easily have been more expensive with the same plans. At least this way you aren’t forced to cough up the extra dough up front. You get to spread it out in micropayments made over the 2 year contract. So sit down, shut up, and be thankful there’s a plan in place to get more iPhones in more hands. The more we see on the market, the more applications we’ll see to make the iPhone an even better communication tool.

Macbook Pro 15″ vs Dell XPS M1530

Things have been a bit busy lately which is why the laptop pricing comparison has taken so long. But I’m here with the results of building up two similar laptops. If you’ve been following my comparisons, you would probably think that I’m an Apple Fanboy (fanboi?). One would be wrong. Why? Well I still have my Dell Inspiron laptop and it’s still a better deal than a Macbook. Let’s look at the breakdown: Continue reading “Macbook Pro 15″ vs Dell XPS M1530”

Mac Pro vs Dell Precision

Continuing my previous post, I thought I needed to compare the higher end Apple systems with something from Dell or HP. The problem is…they each only have like one high end workstation with dual Xeon processors. It took a fair amount of digging around to finally get something similar to the Mac Pro from HP and Dell, but I manage. Guess what, the Mac Pro still comes out as the cheaper system…let’s take a look: Continue reading “Mac Pro vs Dell Precision”

iMac vs XPS

I’m the first to admit that Apple’s upgrade pricing is completely insane (though it has been toned down some since the iMac refresh). But I am so tired of hearing that Apple hardware is way overpriced for what you get. Quite to the contrary, Apple’s systems are right in line with similar systems from other manufacturers. Let’s compare the 20″ iMac with a Dell XPS all-in-one system and see what we get: Continue reading “iMac vs XPS”

Parallels Desktop Bundle

Just a quick update, all of the applications in the MacUpdate Parallels Bundle have been unlocked. That’s right, for 64.99 you can get Parallels with nine other apps. These are the full versions of said software and the cost is less than the price of Parallels alone. So if you are in need of Parallels and think you might be interested in some of the other applications in the bundle, hurry over to MUPromo and snag a copy. Move fast, the bundle is only available for four more days.

A Mac Software Deal

MacUpdate is currently running a software bundle special. The MUPromo bundle has 10 full versions of shareware apps for the price of 64.99. Most notable is Parallels Desktop. This is the application that lets you run Windows in a virtual space inside of OS X. Other applications include handy tools from file management to programs that integrate iCal into your menu bar clock. Now, since the total cost for these applications separately would run somewhere over $250, one might wonder if there is a catch. Well, the answer is yes and no.

Yes there is a catch of sorts. Three of the applications are “locked”. That is, they do not come with the license keys for the full versions. What happens is that as more of these bundles are sold, these applications become “unlocked” and everyone that has purchased the bundle get the license key sent to them for the full version. Once 5,000 are sold, Sound Studio will be unlocked. Then you get BannerZest at 10,000 and finally Parallels at 15,000. This should not be a deterrent to getting the package. On the contrary, it should encourage everyone with a Mac to pick up the bundle.

Apples aren’t all roses

Don’t get me wrong, I love my new iMac. It’s sleek, fast, and easy to use. Every program I use regularly at home on my Vista laptop has an OS X counterpart. But I do have a bone to pick with Jobs’ company about one thing. While the overall prices of the base models are in line with the cost of PC’s with similar specs…prices on the upgrades are somewhere in the realm of stupid. Continue reading “Apples aren’t all roses”

Life with an iMac

So I had the DOA Superdrive replaced. It was as easy as dropping it off Monday afternoon at User Friendly, the local Apple service center and then picking it up on my way home on Tuesday. Don’t let their website fool you, these guys are a full blown Apple retailer that really knows their stuff. I spent about an hour in there on Tuesday talking shop. I know that we are getting an official Apple Store in the Jackson, MS area, but I think I will continue to give the guys at User Friendly my business. There’s a lot to be said about a friendly atmosphere of knowledgeable people that don’t pressure you into purchases you may not want or need. Continue reading “Life with an iMac”

iMac – First Impressions (updated)

As I mentioned previously, I am not a Mac user. I use Windows and Linux for my computing needs. But now my iMac is in and I have been playing with Mac OSX Leopard for a few hours. Let me just say to Microsoft, this is where the Wow is.

The initial setup of OSX when you first turn on the iMac is as simple as you could ask for. It finds your network, wireless or wired, and prompts you to input any necessary configuration information to connect to said network. It asks you to create an account password and picture (using the built in iSight camera…more on that in a minute) and then let’s you into the desktop. It quite literally took less than five minutes to get the entire initial setup completed. Are you listening Microsoft? I really don’t need Vista taking in excess of 15 minutes on the initial startup. It’s a waste of my time and I don’t have all that much to spare. Continue reading “iMac – First Impressions (updated)”

An Apple a day

I have finally decided to go to the dark side. Already my house is populated with both Windows and Linux systems. It is now time to add Mac to the list. I ordered my iMac earlier this week and it should be in tomorrow. Honestly, I haven’t really spent any quality time with an Apple system since my early childhood when I spent countless hours with my mom’s Apple ][e running Apple DOS 3.3. Oh how that was such a monster system for its day. It had the 80 column card, 64k of memory, two 5.25″ floppy drives and a 300baud modem. Seriously, this thing was a powerhouse. But alas, that computer eventually died and I entered the world of the Commodore and Adam and TI99-4a computers. Eventually it settled down into the PC world with my purchase of a Packard Bell 486sx-25. Continue reading “An Apple a day”