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A Detailed Followup to Wired’s “101 Ways to Save Apple” From 1997


Wired's June 1997 cover. Apple was in deep trouble at the time. The article numbers
Wired's June 1997 cover. Apple was in deep trouble at the time. The article numbers "101 way to save Apple"

In 1997, Apple was in deep financial trouble. Wired published a now-famous cover story: “101 Ways to Save Apple.”

Some of the advice was prescient, some was silly, but it was a fascinating list of suggestions. And what actually happened between now and then is even more interesting.

Here, for the first time, is a really detailed followup to each and every one of Wired‘s 101 suggestions.

HP’s Latest TouchSmart PCs Rips Off Apple Touchscreen iMac Patent



When he first showed off OS X Lion last year, Steve Jobs explained Apple’s reluctance to add multitouch displays to their line of iMacs by saying that multitouch needed to be horizontal to be pleasant to use. Use it in a vertical position and you’re always leaning forward to poke and prod the screen, leading to what Steve Jobs calls “gorilla arm.” That’s why Apple has only brought multitouch to the Mac through peripherals like the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. Even so, some patents have shown up over the past year that suggest that Apple’s been experimenting with multitouch-capable iMacs with pivoting displays that pull down to a more appropriate horizontal orientation when a user wants to interact with on-screen elements directly.

If you want to see what such an iMac might look like in the flesh, though, check out HO’s latest TouchSmart PC. Look familiar? Yup, that’s right: it features a pull-down design that drops the multitouch display into a horizontal position to reduce arm fatigue… just like in Apple’s patent!

Nvidia’s Fastest PC-Only Graphics Cards Headed For Mac, Hacker Hints


Nvidia's GeForce GTX 850, currently its fastest Windows-only card, may soone be headed to the Mac, courtesy of a hack.

It looks like Nvidia’s fastest graphics cards could be headed for the Mac — courtesy of an unofficial hack.

The Russian hacker known as Netkas has hinted that he’s cracked Nvidia’s Fermi ROM, the firmware underlying its most powerful cards, which are currently Windows-only.

In a post titled “On the mac’s fermi ROM,” Netkas posted a winking smiley face — a hint that he’s cracked the drivers for Nvdia’s most powerful line of graphics cards.

Netkas is a highly regarded hacker, most famous for his Hackintosh EFI Bootloader hack, which allows generic PC hardware to run Mac OS X.

Given the hacker’s reputation, it is “certain that he has found a way,” says HardMac, which follows graphics hacks closely. Hardmac reckons Netkas was able to adapt the ROM of Nvidia’s Quadro FX 4000, which has Mac drivers.

HardMac is hoping to see Mac ROM for Nvidia’s GTX 580, the most powerful Fermi card available.

There’s a thriving hacking underground that unofficially adapts Mac drivers for Windows PC cards, which are usually much cheaper than their Mac counterparts.

PadDock 10 Will Turn Your iMac Into A Tiny Touchscreen iMac-alike



Yesterday, Steve Jobs took the stage for the Back to Mac event and finally put the kibosh on the idea of touchscreen iMacs. He made some excellent points: namely, that multitouch really requires a horizontal configuration instead of a vertical one, making it only a really pleasant-to-use experience on a device like a tablet or smartphone.

Makes sense to us.If you’re just dying for the touchscreen iMac experience, though, why not transform your iPad into a semblance of one with the PadDock, which will turn your iPad into a tiny approximation of a 10-inch iPad. It contains built-in speakers, 360 degrees of rotation and the ability to charge and sync your iPad while it’s connected.

I mean, look: the PadDock is really just an iPad speaker dock with a novelty shape. That’s cool, but you may well not want to spend $100 on it, especially since the iPad in a vertical docking configuration is going to be subject to the same ergonomic difficulties Steve Jobs says is stopping Apple from bringing multitouch to the displays of their laptops and desktops. But take a good look anyway,because this is the closest to a touchscreen iMac you’re going to get this short of a really ingenious Hackintosh.

What The 11.6-Inch MacBook Air Could Look Like



Last month, the always somewhat suspect Digitimes asserted that Apple intended on going head-to-head with the netbook market by releasing an 11.6-inch MacBook Air something later this year. Here’s one fan’s wishful thinking Photoshop on what such an Air might look like.

There’s nothing too hard to buy about the way Apple would choose to layout the keyboard on an 11.6-inch MacBook: as netbooks have shown, twelve inches is the sweet spot when it comes to not compromising keyboard size. Nor is the trackpad hard to swallow, given the fact that Apple will doubtlessly eliminate the physical button from future Air trackpads.

Making the Air even thinner seems like a pipe dream, though: Apple’s not about to switch over to an Atom chip, which means a thinner Air would come at the expense of battery life. And where’s the black glass bezel that Apple’s favored for all of their modern computer designs?

Still, I’d buy a smaller Air if the price was right and Apple could match the existing MacBook line’s battery life: my Hackintosh netbook is getting woefully long in the tooth.

[via 9to5Mac]

WaterField Designs Two Attractive Cases For Your Magic Trackpad



At first, I didn’t quite understand WaterField’s press release, announcing a new line of attractive cases specifically designed to ensconce your new Magic Trackpad.

Hey, there’s no denying it: these cases are nice. The $12 Socket is a simple padded pouch that will protect your Magic Trackpad’s glass surface from key scratches and the like, while the $25 Slip is a ballistic nylon case with a lightly padded liner and multiple trim options. Like I said, nice…. but who is taking their Magic Trackpad on the road with them? It’s a desktop device: your MacBook already has a Magic Trackpad built into it.

I was ready to delegate this conundrum to the Department of Redundancy Department, but then I actually opened my MacBook for the first time in a couple of weeks and realized how luxurious that 80% larger Magic Trackpad really is. It’s pretty hard to go back…and don’t even get me started about the postage stamp sized trackpad of my Hackintosh netbook. So maybe I do want to take my Magic Trackpad out on the road. I guess that means I need a case.

Canny, WaterField! Canny!

Psystar Asks Court To Appeal Ban On Selling Mac Clones



Once infamous Hackintosh manufacturer Psystar’s name is popping up again in the newsfeeds. That’s discordant enough to have me tapping the flux capacitor trephined into my right temporal lobe like a faulty odometer: is it somehow 2009 again?

But nope, Psystar’s well and truly back after filing an Opening Brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking them to overrule the order that has prevented the company from making Mac clones.

According to the Mac Observer, Psystar’s strategy is “getting the court to adopt a radical revision of the Copyright Misuse doctrine that would in effect destroy copyright and force all copyrighted works to be licensed.”

Video: 17-inch iMac G4 Hacked Into Multitouch Windows 7 PC


This heavily modded iMac G4 boasts a touschscreen, courtesy of Windows 7.
This heavily modded iMac G4 boasts a touschscreen, courtesy of Windows 7.
Photo: Jon Berg/YouTube

Jon Berg injected some fresh life into his broken 17-inch iMac G4 by cramming a touchscreen PC’s guts inside and re-skinning the desktop to resemble OS X.

I wonder, though, why he didn’t decide to make it a dual-boot hackintosh. Windows 7’s multitouch is a total hack job. It’s hardly worth sacrificing OS X as your day-to-day operating system.

China unleashes plastic unibody MacBook Air knock-offs with netbook specs and glowing logos



The techno-sweatshops of Beijing have never seen an Apple design they weren’t willing to ineptly rip off, but these MacBook Air knock-offs spotted by M.I.C. Gadget are the first I’ve actually liked.

Basically, what we have here is a white plastic simulacrum of the MacBook Air’s aluminum unibody chassis, crammed with the innards of your stock, last generation netbook: an Intel Atom N280 processor with up to 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive.

I love it, right down to the lid’s pulsing, multichromatic logo! If Apple ever introduces a plastic unibody Air, this is exactly what I would imagine it looking like. It’s unfortunately a Windows machine, but at around $249 I’m tempted to pick one up anyway, just to see if it’s as easily Hackintoshable as my Asus Eee PC 1000HE. What a coup one of these MacBook Air netbooks with Snow Leopard installed would be for my gadget cred next time I showed up at the blogger’s hall at CES.