First chance today to enter Selfridge's watch hall to view the impressive Apple display. The staff members were knowledgeable and abundant. The guy I chatted to had previously been an Apple blueshirt and certainly had the full lowdown on the Watch and all its iterations. I suspect a number of Apple employees have been seconded to these displays in prestige department stores around the world.
Last weekend I was pondering Charles Babbage's Difference Engine in the Science Museum, London. Now that was a vintage computer. Surprise, then, to find something that looks almost as ancient, has the Apple name, but is only 34 years old.
It's the Apple-1 in an old tea chest and knocked together by Steve Jobs in his parents' garage. At first glance it's a cross between a 1935 telephone switchboard and an 1895 Bell phone. Yet in this modest box lay the first chips of what is today the world's largest technology company. Originally sold for $666.66 - a price no doubt influenced by the film "The Omen" which was published the same year - the Apple 1 could perform only the most basic functions. For storage there was an external cassette drive for an extra $75. All this, of course, was an enormous amount of money in 1976, no less than $3,000 in today's cash. Would you pay three grand for this Apple? It does prove the theory though: At any point in time the most desirable computer with all the latest bells and whistles will set you back $3,000.
Now, with its rarity value and history, one of the few remaining examples is on sale at Christie's and is expected to top $200,000. It comes with a 1976 letter from the great Jobs and with "original printed wrappers, stapled, with original company logo to upper wrapper and warranty within decorative border to inside rear wrapper (short split at food of spine) - double-sided illustrated advertisement sheet with prices - original typed invoice for Apple-1 and Apple cassette interface totalling £741.66 dated 12/7/76, with salesman named as Steven." So just like today's Apple retail stores.
The description of the computer: "APPLE-1 - Personal computer. An Apple-1 motherbord, number 82, printed label to reserse, with a few slightly later additions including a 6502 microprocessor, labeled R6502P R6502-11 8145, printed circuit board with 4 rows A-D and columns 1-18, three capacitors, heatsink, cassette board connector, 8k bytes of RAM, keyboard interface, firmware in PROMS, low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits, video terminal, breadboard area with slightly later connector, with later soldering, wires and electrical tape to reverse, printed to obverse Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976."
The difficult thing to grasp about all this is the age. Only 34 years, not 134 as you might imagine. It's a graphic illustration of the speed of development of technology in the last few decades. It has taken motor cars 120 years to progress as far as technology has advanced in a third of that time. And the rate of progress just gets faster every year.
A fair bit of fence sitting has been taking place at MacFilos Towers over the past month or so. In common with probably a majority of Mac fans, I have fallen in love, hook, line and sinker, with the svelte little retina-screened MacBook. I've written before about the dilemma, whether to go minimalist with the MacBook or buy the relatively boring 13in MacBook Pro that is far more likely to suit my purpose as a road-warrior laptop.
Although I was extremely happy with the black sport band that came with my steel Apple Watch, I had a hankering for something a bit more dressy: A strap that would make the watch look more like a desirable Swiss timepiece.
What to do when a piece of official Apple software just refuses to install on your MacBook. A clean sweep installation is the answer as Mike found out.
This week I have spent a couple of days setting up a new 12in retina-screen MacBook. I bought it with the intention of trying it and then swapping it for a more powerful 13in MacBook Pro if I don't like it. So far, though, the omens are good. I do like it; and above all I love the lightness and thinness. This is one gorgeous little laptop that, frankly, makes the iPad Air redundant.
The problem with small screens is menu-bar creep. The utilities you add, the longer becomes the right-hand platoon of icons. It soon threatens to engulf the lefthand application menu bar and it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees.
All that glittlers..... Apple's gorgeous new all-grey iMac Pro promises blistering performance. But is it money well spent for the keen stills photographer?
RENAMING the unibody aluminium MacBook as the MacBook Pro 13 is a logical and welcome step. Since the launch of the unibody machines it has been obvious that the 13-in model had more in common with the Pro range than with the old polycarbonate white or black MacBook.
But I believe there is more to this can meets the eye and I am surprised none of the other industry watchers have made the connection. The current white MacBook is clearly coming to the end of its life and I believe it will be pensioned off some time in the next twelve months.
This leaves the coast clear for the re-cycling of the MacBook name. What better moniker for the 10-in touch-screen not-a-netbook tablet that everyone agrees Apple are working on?
Which way up does your iPhone land when you drop it? Is it like a piece of toast, always on the buttered side (that is, the glass side)? I don’t believe in semi-intelligent selection of this nature. In theory, the phone can fall on either side, even though it does always seem to fall on its face.