|Sunday, August 13, 2006
18:56 - All in the family
So I just have to wonder: how long before the MacBook Pro line goes to a mobile Core 2 Duo processor?
It seems like a slam-dunk, doesn't it? Lower power, higher speed, more differentiation from the MacBooks? It's not like people wouldn't appreciate a little relief from the nad-baking heat of the current Core Duo-based MacBook Pros.
There hasn't been much interest in Core 2 Duo on the mobile side for two major reasons; for starters, unlike on the desktop, Intel already had a very competent mobile CPU - the Yonah based Core Duo processor. Seeing as how Core Duo is the predecessor to Core 2 Duo, you can already expect that Intel's current mobile performance is quite good.
The other major reason there's not much hype surrounding Core 2 Duo in notebooks is because there's simply not the level of competition from AMD that we had on the desktop. While AMD's Turion 64 and Turion 64 X2 are good processors, you simply can't find them in nearly enough notebooks, and definitely not in as unique packages as you can find Intel's Core Solo and Core Duo processors. AMD is hoping to rectify this situation by both working on a lower power mobile CPU architecture and acquiring ATI to help complete its platform offering on the mobile side.
Without tough competition from AMD, and with an already excellent platform, there's simply no reason to get excited about Core 2 Duo on the mobile side; we're quite content as is. But with mobile Core 2 Duo processors priced identically to Core Duo processors, there's no reason to complain. Intel isn't asking for any more money, leaving us with two questions: how much more performance are we getting, and what happens to battery life?
"Quite content as is" isn't exactly a phrase you hear too often in the performance-wringing CPU tuner world, is it?
But he seems to have a point. Looking at the performance and power consumption specs in the rest of this article, it seems that the Core 2 Duo (Merom) will only get you a 5-15% speed increase over the Core Duo (Yonah), while power consumption and battery life seem to be all but identical. And apparently Intel won't even be charging any more for the Meroms, and will be selling them alongside the Yonahs for the foreseeable future. If the specs of the two chips are so indistinguishable that we can be "quite content as is" with Yonah, and Intel isn't even going to try to push Merom as a higher-priced upgrade, it does all have the feeling of a collective "Meh".
But it does mean that I ought to be quite content as is with a new MacBook Pro, if I should happen to be in the market for one in the near future. Still, as Anand says in his conclusion: "Of course Apple has this way of making incremental changes irresistible..."
UPDATE: Remember, remember the 5th of September...
|Friday, August 11, 2006
18:36 - Defining an audience
Once upon a time, in the longlongago, I dreamed that one day I would be an automotive designer. One of the guys who puts pencil to paper and whisks out a concept sketch of some fanciful car with deep-dished oversized wheels and deftly placed fun-house reflections on the doors and swoopy angular lines vanishing to a distant point, which throngs of clay sculptors would then take with many a touching of a forelock and make the vision a reality, soon to appear in showrooms near you.
It's this ill-formed dream, and the fact that it necessarily involved being an engineer before an artist, that spurred me into math and science when I would probably have been just as happy (though certainly not as well off) pursuing a career in animation or graphic art; it's why I found myself studying Mechanical Engineering once I got to college, despite the fact that quantum thermodynamics and Bessel functions and solving trusses for force-balance points turned out to hold scant interest for me at best. Which itself is why I'm not designing bridges or gas turbines now, but instead write Web apps for 14-year-old girls and pore over TCP/IP traces and cough out impenetrable books about obscure operating systems, and limit my interest in animation art to being an avid observer on the sidelines.
But one thing that's never changed over the years is that the back of my toilet is stacked to the ceiling with car magazines. Specifically, Road & Track and Automobile.
As I've said, I am not a gearhead. I can barely change a tire, let alone install an upgraded turbo kit or rebuild my brakes. Yet I still find great calming solace in the pages of a car magazine. Particularly the "Coming Soon" section.
I got Motor Trend back in my youth. I'm not sure why I picked that one, but it was the gold standard as far as I was concerned; maybe it was the Chrysler-Lamborghini Portofino on the cover of the first issue I ever got, or maybe it was the fact that it was the only one offered by the sad-sack fundraising kid who slouched to our door offering magazine subscriptions to support his youth group or whatever it was. But I always felt a strange kind of loyalty to it, to the point where I bristled with indignity when I saw a parody in some other car magazine, a purported review of the Trabant in "Moto Rooter". (It was pretty funny, though, in retrospect.)
That magazine inevitably lost my interest, though, as the years marched on, largely because it insisted upon filling its pages with reviews of trucks, something I have zero to no interest in, and doing so more and more with each passing month. Eventually they were forced to spin off Truck Trend, a sister magazine devoted exclusively to trucks, presumably in response to massive reader protest; but to my dismay, and for reasons I've never understood, the truck-related content in Motor Trend failed to drop after that. I quickly lost interest and didn't renew my subscription.
Fast-forward through college, to where I picked up a new subscription—this time to Road & Track—hot on the heels of my buying my first car, the Jetta, in 1999. Ah! The upcoming hot new concepts. The new-car reviews. The industry insights. All the stuff I'd missed! At last I had something to read at the gym, in those dim pre-iPod days.
But Road & Track being Road & Track, I couldn't help but notice that there was a disproportionate (so I thought) focus on racing, a subject that interests me about as much as the trucks in Motor Trend did. I'd flip past the feature story and some road tests and the latest unattainable supercar puff piece, only to find myself embroiled in some biopic of a guy who'd made a fireball of himself in a grainy black-and-white photo in 1954 on a French racetrack, or an exposé on the life of an artist who spends his life painting impressionistic portraits of sponsor-decal-clad F1 or Winston Cup cars. I'd swear and flip through the aftermarket wheel ads to read the auction news.
But at some point I was also gifted a subscription to Automobile, which I gather is the red-headed stepchild of the car magazine world, an ill-regarded also-ran. But from day one I found myself loving it. Sure, R&T has those oversized pages, but next to Automobile it had nothing to compete with the latter's revelatory focus on design—precisely the thing I want to read a car magazine for. Sure, it has all the same reviews and rumors and even the occasional bit about rally racing or NASCAR—but the bulk of the magazine is about how the cars of the world look.
Every month there's a two-page analysis by Robert Cumberford of some hand-picked specimen, whether a Mazda concept prototype or an Audi F1 racer or a new Jaguar or Rolls-Royce being sent to the factory floor. Little piecemeal critiques on leaders pointing to rear-view mirrors or taillight binnacles or A-pillars or intakes. A three-word judgment in the title: sublime, or fugly. I've learned to look at the lavish photos, develop my own opinions, and then uncover the title to see whether my tastes matched Cumberford's. The amount that they do deepens my affinity for the magazine every time.
It's not only about the design, though. It seems, more and more, that Automobile seems to be more on the ball than R&T, reporting key industry information first, and making fewer blatant errors of fact or judgment. For example: last month, both magazines featured stories on the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. Road & Track showered praise on the car's design, throwing plaudits left and right for one of the best Pininfarina designs since the 308. But then I turned to Automobile, and I found that while their story on the car was appropriately respectful, and while they found its handling and performance to be above reproach, their take on its styling was a little more reserved. They said that the 599 was merely another recapitulation of the same design cues that had been resurfacing every few years since the Daytona; they even dared take Ferrari to task for not striking out on its own with a unique design language, the way Lamborghini has done.
Pretty bold stuff. Not everyone has the stones to say, "Yeah, yeah—what have you done for me lately?" to Pininfarina. But that's what I like Automobile for.
And oh, the chortle that escaped from me the following month, when a Road & Track reader wrote in to point out that if you stripped the weird flying buttresses off the rear shoulders of the 599, you'd end up with a Corvette.
True, Automobile hadn't actually reached that particular conclusion. But the letter-writer seemed to have confirmed their charge that Ferrari's design had become too staid and too derivative, not only of their own past designs, but of cars that seek to define themselves cheekily into the supercar category from below, heretofore dismissed with an airy wave, but now apparently the source for visual inspiration. Sho-ho-ho-hoplifting?!
That isn't where it ends, of course. A flip through the R&T letters page reveals all kinds of reader corrections to previously published information, from engine outputs to e-mail addresses, including sloppy typos. Any magazine will have errors, but surely not this many. It's almost as though R&T is starting to lose the plot. It's hard not to notice, after all, that it's only just now getting around to reporting that the Volkswagen Golf's sixth generation is being accelerated to market due to the Golf V's dismal sales performance in Europe—something like five months after Automobile told us of the same thing; and on the same page is a two-paragraph blurb on the VW Eos, months after Automobile did a full four-page story on it. Was there not enough room to mention these things in earlier issues because of too much racing history or something?
And while R&T has made some admirable efforts to focus more on automotive design in the last few issues, notably bringing in Gordon Murray of McLaren F1 fame to commentate through lavish sketches and design critiques upon the Bugatti Veyron and the aforementioned 599 GTB, it has the feel of an afterthought, something forced by marketplace competition. I welcome any items with any design analysis in them, through which I can indulge that part of me that never got to exercise that youthful dream of penning droolworthy wheeled shapes, and at least reassure myself that if I can't do, I can at least critique. But that's not what R&T is about, nor will it seemingly ever be. That niche appears to have been ceded to Automobile. And I know which I'd choose if I were to take one onto a desert island.
I had just about made up my mind to write this post when this month's issue of Automobile arrived. And emblazoned across the top of the front cover were the words: THE DESIGN ISSUE.
"The 25 Most Beautiful Cars Ever," it continued. And inside, in an introduction titled "The Importance of Good Design," Robert Cumberford wrote:
It's always amusing to see the solemn list of criteria people claim to use when they are choosing a car. Sometimes they give fuel economy as their principal consideration, and sometimes reliability, safety, or another responsible, practical, and respectable value such as overall cost of ownership. Never 0-to-60-mph times, and certainly not something as frivolous as styling or design.
What total nonsense.
This issue has a whole two-page spread showing the hire dates and employers of all the top designers in the business, each name accompanied by a face caricature by Mark Dancey, who also did one of chief editor Jean Jennings in place of her usual mugshot. This is the automotive equivalent of studying the careers of the Nine Old Men of Disney, or reading John Kricfalusi's blog, if you're an animation geek. And it's precisely what I've always wanted out of the world of cars.
UPDATE: Equally excellent to me are the stories in Automobile of great road trips, accentuated by cool cars. Like this month's tale of a burger run—from the magazine's offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to the nearest In-N-Out Burger, in Prescott, Arizona. Without pause. In a C6 Z06 Corvette.
It's broken down into per-mile diary entries, and contains this one:
24:15:55, 1447.0 miles—New Mexico. I wake up to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" blasting from the speakers and Jeff braking the car down from what looks like 140 mph.
"Jeff," I ask, "were you doing a buck-forty?"
"Oh," he says, "you noticed that?"
HIGHEST SPEED OF THE TRIP: I-40, New Mexico, Mile Marker 317. No traffic on either horizon, fresh concrete for miles; it's like a gift from God. 172 mph.
NOTICE: If you're reading this and are currently employed by the state of New Mexico, Quay County, or the Department of Homeland Security, then I am making up all of the above, and this paragraph is purely for entertainment purposes. If you are not reading this as an employee of the aforementioned, then please note the following: Damn, that's fast.
17:44 - One life to live
I run a number of different websites and have been in a position of power, or at least of making decisions and building an established name, in a number of disparate communities over the years. I have probably at least three or four completely separate things that could be called "careers" all at the same time. Plus hobbies.
It's not that I bring to the table anything particularly special; I was no great shakes in my college class, and indeed found that I couldn't hold my own against a pretty sizable majority of them. In fact, I dropped out after two years. I did fight my way back in, and I did graduate, but it wasn't with any particular distinction. (Well, except that it was Caltech, which is something of a distinction in and of itself. Good thing, too, because that name is about the most valuable thing I got for my parents' $150K.)
So I'm not exactly what you'd call a big-time smart guy. When I don't think about something for a while, it gets swapped out and shoved to the back of my brain to a degree that's probably more severe than in most people. I used to do contour integrals and Fourier transforms on a daily basis; but the other day, in an interview, the guy abruptly gave me a rudimentary two-statement/two-variable word problem, one that would probably look fairly at home in one of the first chapters of a Saxon pre-algebra book. And you know, it's true what the seniors told me, that first day when they took me and a few other wide-eyed high-school kids through the steam tunnels during Prefrosh Weekend, skulking beneath the Chem. E. labs and losing track of which darkened tunnel to duck into: you learn higher math and you forget how to count. It must have been a hoot to watch me crash my brain hilariously into the wrong gear and stall out a few times. I'd pushed everything I knew about TCP/IP and routing and security into the forefront of my brain in preparation for the interview, and look how far it got me in trying to figure out how many birds would fit on how many lily pads in a pond. I'm convinced the guy did it just to see what I looked like squirming.
But I like to think that just because I haven't done algebra since 1999 doesn't necessarily mean I haven't been spending my time wisely. What's been occupying my cycles since then has been Perl, MySQL, Apache, FreeBSD, networking, and all that Mac and iPod-related stuff. Tying all of it together has resulted in professional websites internal and external, frivolous personal projects, big thick book contracts, and a woeful lack of free time. (Also a bunch of other ongoing projects, just as important to me, but less relevant to this topic.)
I know it's not that I'm particularly smart; I can't do things like some of my classmates could, like alphabetize all the letters in every word in a sentence while speaking the reshuffled words as naturally as in their original form, or recite pi to 30,000 places. (One time, while we were gathered in the Blacker Hovse lounge watching a laserdisc, the bulb burned out in the projector. Someone pulled out the disc and spun it on his finger, while someone else bounced a laser pointer off it. A third guy pretended to decode the movie in real-time; and what made it especially funny was that none of us were sure that he couldn't.)
But I guess what I do have going for me is an obsessive streak, or what could more charitably be called focus or drive. I don't give up on things, and I don't accept mediocrity, let alone failure.
But even these things aren't enough to accomplish the sort of stuff that I've managed; there are millions of people who pound away their whole lives without getting their names into the front pages of Google on any search, let alone three or four unrelated ones. It also takes luck. Of the "right place at the right time" sort of variety.
So when I got a message yesterday, sent through the feedback form of this site, from someone named Sergey located here, it really rocked me back on my heels a bit.
My first visit on your site was in May, 2000, when I phricked up goverment phone station in an order to get access in the internet. At that time, in the suburb of Samara, where I lived, there were are no telephones for ordinary people, only for the corrupted officials. Your site was the first site which I saw in the internet. I was very happy to see a lot of information about a film which I saw in 1994 on VHS and which I came to love. Although it became now better with the internet, at least I have a telephone, but your site was the first. I and want to say you thank you. You one of not many people which would conduct so large and known project such long time. And I was pleasantly surprised recently, when saw in a bookstore the book of "FreeBSD Unleashed" in Russian edition. What all the same are the formed and talented people, as you. Alas, the internet is accessible in Russia only in Moscou, here only dialup on enormous prices from monopolists, here in the suburb of Samara of the internet it is not practically, connection is developed very badly. But I often read your blog and look updates on this site. Thank you for your excellent work, you are an outstanding man. All the best. Sorry for my bad English, I was never engaged in a serious study him.
This isn't the kind of thing you get every day, or indeed every decade. Naturally it makes you sort of look around you and think about all the things that have brought you to where you find yourself. Some of it is self-motivation and stubbornness, true; but it's also the luck of being born somewhere where those kinds of traits can bear fruit, surrounded by the technology and the freedom to use it that people in other parts of the world won't ever enjoy.
Yeah, it makes me take stock of what I've managed to do thus far. But it also makes me all the more determined not to let a second of life slip past without being used to create something. I mean, if I can do it, then I'd damned well better do it.
There's only so much creative opportunity in this world... and while it's slowly but surely expanding, it does nobody any good if it goes to waste.
Apologies for the unaccustomed self-indulgent ramble. I don't like talking about myself, but there seemed no other way in this case. And this isn't the kind of thing that I can in good conscience allow to pass by without appropriate reflection.
11:24 - OUTATIME
Sure, Time Machine is conceptually nothing new; there have been version-control systems for developers and administrators dating back to VMS, and reinvented numerous times since then (including by me—I have a document checking/archival system at work that lets you retrieve any revision in a doc's history).
But what's interesting about this (aside, of course, from the whiz-bang execution) is that it's bringing this kind of automated history eraser button to the consumer, in a way that anybody can use and understand.
Time Machine brings the benefit of revision control-and the kind of power you could only get by installing filesystems like ZFS-to the masses, and goes a long way to answer those who may be swayed by Mark Pilgrim's grounds for switching to Ubuntu: that staying with Mac unacceptably endangered the longevity of his data. Scott Forstall went on and on about how devastated he would be if he lost a photo of his children, sounding almost Pilgrim-esque. Nothing about the closed file formats that bug Mark so much, but this has a very strong "we heard what Mark's saying" vibe to it.
Also, Time Machine finally brings *useful* 3D to the desktop, unlike Sun's Looking Glass and other abortive attempts. It turns out that the third dimension is temporal, not spatial.
Yeah. There's an impulse in software design that says we must use all our hardware to its utmost capacity in bringing ever more awesome graphics to the common operating system environment. Yeah, well, screw that. There comes a point of diminishing returns, when adding drop shadows and translucency-based compositing gives an OS an advantage that's purely aesthetic and that nobody has even noticed since 2001. You'll notice that the really visually swoopy features of Mac OS X these days rely on good old 2D scaling; thanks to the fact that you can do it live in Quartz, we get functionality in Exposé and Dashboard that frankly does not need all that much horsepower in order to look really sweet. And it's way more functional than something like SphereXP, which is more CPU-intensive, less pretty, less live and interactive, and doesn't show you everything at once (sort of defeating the purpose of a desktop organizer, and making it instead into a gee-whiz curiosity that the user runs long enough to show his friends and then turns it off when he gets sick of it).
Microsoft is now putting translucency into Vista, with bonus glass-brick distortion effects and reduced navigational awareness at no extra charge. But we also remember the earlier demos, back when it was Longhorn, of windows that waved and fluttered like flags in the breeze, taking advantage of a new blow-Quartz-out-of-the-water compositing and 3D engine that was supposed to underpin the new operating system and revolutionize the world. Because, see, what's really standing in the way of our productivity on our computers is the fact that our windows don't flutter in the breeze.
The visual effects in Time Machine are pure 2D goodness—the same routines we've come to know and love in Exposé and Dashboard. But while some people have pushed for wacky ideas like replacing the Desktop metaphor with a time-based thing (where documents exist in a "stack", where they're closer to you the more recently you've looked at them, and future appointments and other such items come toward you visually from The Future), fighting against the well-understood tenets that the human brain likes working with vague spatial references ("the document is over there") rather than temporal ones ("the document was last touched in mid-June"), Apple seems to have embraced the idea of temporal navigation only as a sideshow to the main event—only coming into play in the rare occasion when you need to expand your data along the hidden temporal axis.
Interestingly, Xcode 3.0 brings another form of simplified revision control to an audience that you wouldn't expect to need it, since they already generally use subversion or cvs: developers. Check out the sidebar about Project Snapshots: http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/xcode.html
Interesting. CVS is certainly a well-established technology and workflow, but I'm not sure how well it would handle a wholesale reversion to a specific date. Probably just fine, depending on the front-end software doing it well. But if Apple's got the Time Machine hooks built into the structure of the OS, hell, why not make it available to everything? It's free. It'll be interesting to see whether anybody jumps on that particular bandwagon, or if Project Snapshots turns out to be less versatile than CVS by sheer dint of newness.
Naturally, Time Machine will have to have some safeguards built in before it can be rolled out for general use—the ability to exempt certain kinds of files, for instance, or files above a certain size (I have lots of 60MB-plus Photoshop files); or to clear out all the historically saved revisions of a certain document or class of documents all at once, essentially making the user no worse off than they were before Leopard, at least for those files. Even with those safeguards it will depend on average users having tons of disk space available, because even a non-savvy user who isn't into tweaking the knobs can create large data files that Time Machine would then have to duplicate through time with every revision. But Apple's touting this as being the backup solution for "your digital life", meaning that it's supposed to be geared toward your photos and videos every bit as much as to your shopping lists and term papers. I agree with evariste—this almost seems like a feature that was kicked to the top of the priority stack in response to people reading Pilgrim's blog and freaking out over Apple's seeming lack of attention paid to media archival. Well, here's the answer. Those four drive bays in the Mac Pros are going to be more welcome than any of us realize.
UPDATE: More thoughts on this subject from Kevin at Atomic Glee. The gist of his examples is that it's not a particularly good idea to try to imitate real-world devices (with real-world physical limitations) in software. It doesn't gain you anything except possibly a career-enhancing demo. See also the iTunes widget in Dashboard, which still suffers from the I-work-like-an-iPod-even-though-I'm-software moronism of its beta days.
|Wednesday, August 9, 2006
18:46 - Big Honkin' Mac
The Mac Pros have heat-sinks on the DIMMs?
Sheesh. I guess that means no buying cheaper RAM from third-parties, eh? (The article talks like FB-DIMMs will be generally available, but using Apple's non-standard spec; and that can't be cheap.) But those Xserve-style hard drive bays look pretty sweet. And apparently FireWire is definitely here to stay, now that FW800 is on the front panel.
These things look niiiiice.
This is funny, though:
One of the biggest benefits of switching to Intel processors is that they use less energy and, therefore, generate much less heat than the PowerPC processors Apple was using previously. Less heat produced means less cooling required, so by removing fans and other design elements implemented specifically to keep air flowing, Apple reclaimed a lot of space. Gone are the four separate air-flow conduits of the original G5, as well as the special molded-plastic interior door that kept air flowing even if you removed the G5’s external door. And the two Xeon processors fit beneath a heat sink that’s actually smaller than one of the dual-processor Power Mac G5’s two heat sinks.
Remember when the advantage of the PPC was that it used so much less power than Intel?
|Tuesday, August 8, 2006
01:20 - Eat Up Martha
"Now, Microsoft is not happy we showed you that video; and it wants you to know they're blaming ambient noise for the failure. But as you can hear, it was quiet up until it didn't work and everyone started laughing. Live television's rough."
You know, voice recognition is a technology problem that has been solved already, numerous times over. Wheels are round, guys: that one's free. Thank me later.
(Now, I can understand how ambient noise might cause problems like this, and how it could ruin a live presentation in front of a crowd when noise conditions are different from what could have been reproduced in rehearsal. But, yeah, it was quiet. C'mon...)
|Monday, August 7, 2006
10:31 - Oh yeah, that
WWDC today. Forgot about that, between the electrician and the boulder delivery.
Here's a nice auto-updating feed. Mac Pros thus far—same case, but Core 2 Duos. Nice specs. And Xeon-based Xserves?
Still waiting for the guy with the conduit and the contractor's license, so I won't be updating much. That's okay—these guys are.
UPDATE: Okay, I lied.
Holy hell. "Time Machine"? As in, a per-file revision tracking system with secure archival hooks, built in natively? Just a guess, but could that possibly be what they mean?
10:37 am with time machine, you can get those files back by entering a date or time
10:36 am finder windows
10:35 am ever had time where you work on a doc and you do a save as and overwrote the wrong one?
10:35 am coolest part - and reason we call it that - whole new way of backing up files
Guess so. Huh!
10:38 am can go back a day - or two days
10:38 am timeline on right-hand side
10:37 am visual representation of moving through time
10:37 am finder windows move through timeline on the side of the machine through time - very cool to watch
10:37 am instantly back
I want this.
10:39 am desktop "warps" back to place in time
10:39 am file previews without going through full restore
10:38 am devs are impressed
10:38 am finder windows "warping" forward
I soooo want this.
10:41 am moved to backup system
10:40 am can find entire roll of deleted photos back in time
10:40 am works in iPhoto
10:40 am series of windows receeding into the distance
10:40 am can search for documents in the past
10:39 am great for finder - but can work with 3rd party apps as well
10:39 am it is that easy to go back in time and restore what you want to restore
Someone at Microsoft is saying bad words right this very second.
Dantz and other backup software vendors too, probably.
UPDATE: James A. says:
Actually, the same feature was announced in Vista last week as "Previous
Versions", which is hilarious as the time machine segment came directly
after the "Redmond, start your photocopiers" bit. Not to mention the
concept dates back to VMS in the late '70s.
Oh. Okay, well... I still want it!
UPDATE: Apparently the Mac Pros are based on dual-core Xeons (Woodcrest), rather than the Core 2 Duos (Conroe) that everyone was expecting. Chris's theory is that Woodcrest and Conroe are the same thing with the exception of a faster front-side bus (1.3 GHz vs. 800 MHz for Conroe), but Intel isn't being very forthcoming with details. Ah well—either way, nice-looking machines.
As for Leopard, I'm sure the big-cat geeks of the world had already been lined up to castigate Apple for making a distinction between "panther" and "leopard" in the first place; but now they're going to be even more livid, as Apple has used cheetah spots in the background of the main panel of the site.
UPDATE: Time Machine is only half a product. Where's the slider that lets me go into the future?