Apple Slides Java To The Side

I’m typing on a shiny Macbook pro. I like Macs. I have possession of several Apple devices from iPhones to laptops, to an Apple TV unit. Therefore I am qualified to tell you what your next Mac is gonna look like. Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because you haven’t seen what your next Apple computer is gonna look like. Are you ready? Brace yourself because its a shocker! I should sketch up a prototype in my graphics editor, but I’m all too excited to reveal the breaking news. (Maybe I’ll stick something towards the end of this post.) The following post is inspired by (and I hope my non-technical readers are forgiving since this makes no difference to anybody but me) the glaring omission of the Java runtime from Apple’s new beta operating system, Lion. Even though Java can be installed through the Java Preferences I was shocked to find it absent and it prompted me to consider the trends of current Apple devices as typical features have been dramatically altered over the years leading up to things like reversed scrolling and missing scroll bars. Without further ado, especially since I’ve completely exhausted my “ado” allowance for the month…

Introducing the Mac of 2012
I was going to begin by listing what the next Macs won’t have but actually it might makes sense to describe it in terms of what it will have because it will take far less words. You’re next Apple computer will be a screen hardwired to both your finger and a twelve core CPU. Apple plans to employ every human being on the planet in their factories, pay them zero wages while hardwiring each individual to the units it pushes out of its factories. After your unit is manufactured your position will be terminated at which point you are to visit yourself in your local Apple store and purchase your right to walk out with your new unit. Upon arrival you will have a choice among which model you wish to buy, though details are currently sketchy on how the selection process will work. Most individuals will likely opt for the lower models due to their current economic status but a certain amount are expected to buy into their more powerful product lines. Apple will still feature a 30 day customer satisfaction agreement which individuals can take advantage of should there device fail to perform to their expectations. Reimbursement would require customers to return the product to the original place of purchase so it (and the customer) may be sent off for refurbishing. This new process is referred to as the new Apple Care package which will come bundled with each device at rates forecasted to be competitive to the current warranties.

What you’re giving up…
Apple plans take the user computing experience to the next level by removing all legacy technology from its product lines. Optical drives are a thing of the past and will no longer be included. Gone also are the spinning hard drives, physical keyboards, track pads, power supply, speakers and camera. Indeed, expect your new Apple devices to be razor thin and ultra compatible with everything from the $4,500 Mac you’ll still need to return to the store and purchase to boot your new device to none of your thousands-of-dollars-worth of existing Apple equipment. Apple is removing all hardware compatibility from its stack in flavor of the new compatibility layer it has yet to complete at the time of your purchase. While most people value the ability to plug or wirelessly pair their mobile devices to things such as the stereo in the car Apple recommends you pair only with devices from their Apple certified product line which, at the time of this writing, excludes every vehicle, headset, speaker dock, television, or other electronic device manufactured and currently under manufacture at the time of this writing.

This has been a sneak preview reporting of what’s coming in tech. I’m your insider, Cliff, and I’ll catch you back here next time. For now, good night!

Apple must hate me, and most of you too

So I’m checking out the iPhone SDK this weekend. But I’m checking it out window shopping style because I can’t actually use or touch any of it. It’s like that JVC car stereo head unit I wanted back when I was 18 with no steady income. I could see it at the store. I could dream about it. I thought it looked really cool. But I couldn’t take it home and have my way with it. The iPhone SDK is just like that. How did we get to this point? How is it that an eager developer such as myself has absolutely no access to a a toolkit that would allow me to create products which help raise the visibility of a major platform owned by the same company that makes the toolkit? It’s all the result of the assumption many engineers have that everyone shares their vision. In other words, because I’m running Windows Vista SP47 everyone else must be as passionate about Windows upgrades and as paranoid about system updates so they should also be running Vista SP47.

Here’s the real problem. I got a Macbook pro, a pretty recent model. The iPhone SDK lists OS X 10.5 as a requirement. I’m running Tiger 10.4. I haven’t upgraded to Leopard. I mean I could, but why should I? My primary development is mostly Java and from what I hear Leopard takes a dump on JDK 5 and higher. I don’t even know if it supports JDK1.4.2. So an upgrade would be counter productive for me. Even if I wasn’t a Java developer, why should I spend how many more dollars for the upgrade? Just to develop for the iPhone? If Apple really wants to entice me to upgrade they should do so with a shiny new JDK release on Leopard. Lastly, I started the download of the iPhone SDK yesterday before I was certain of the system requirements. At 2.1GB my download monitor was reporting 2 1/2 weeks to complete the transfer. (Ok, my router got a little glitched and started affecting my throughput reducing my 1.5 DSL to less than 28.8K dial-up but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.) I thought the JDK was getting beefy when they stuffed a DBMS and started approaching the 100MB threshold.

In all, yes – I’d like to use the iPhone SDK. I like what I see in the XCode demos. (I wanna see how the latest XCode stuff compares with IntelliJ Idea.) I’m eager to start. There’s just this hurdle in my way and I’m not sure if I’m ready to jump.