What Features Would You Like To See In Future Macs

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davintosh's picture
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What Features Would You Like To See In Future Macs

I was reading through aboutthishack's post about what to add to a blue/white G3's lower slot, and got to thinking about the current Mac lineup, and what I'd do to improve them.

The one thing that I can think of that's missing from every Mac -- current and present -- is front-accessible USB and Firewire ports. While you can always add hubs for these ports and place them within reach, it'd be great to have ports on the front so that if you don't have a hub you don't have to reach around the back of the machine to hook up a USB key or a Firewire camcorder or whatever. If I could get hold of the ear of someone at Apple who could make decisions on product features, that would be my contribution.

How about you? What would you add or change to the current crop of Macs to make them better or more complete?

I don't know if anyone from Apple watches AppleFritter, but maybe they are! Wink

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But there is firewire and usb

But there is firewire and usb ports on the front of the G5

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The IBM ThinkPad effect

Apple's PowerBooks and iBooks are beautiful, wonderful machines. Unfortunately, machines like the titanium G4 and the dual USB iBook suffer the Frank Lloyd Wright effect. Beautiful, wonderful machines, but not exactly the most durable. The IBM ThinkPad is the inverse, solid, well engineered machines (anything from 1999-present i.e. ThinkPad 600e and later) that while not exactly ugly, aren't exactly eye catching.

I'd like to see the aesthetics of the current PowerBooks and iBooks with the solid feel and ruggedness of the ThinkPad. I also wouldn't mind the trackpoint on a PowerBook. I still miss the trackpoint from my days within IBM.

-iantm

H77
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Changes in the lineup

First, I'd love to see a mac mini's guts put in a larger tower case with PCI slots (maybe even AGP) for expandablity. Also, a "headless" iMac G5 for $999 would be awesome.

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Re: But there is firewire and usb

tibookx wrote:
But there is firewire and usb ports on the front of the G5

Excellent point! I forgot all about that! But not everybody can afford or has the room for a G5 tower.

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How about...

... a G5 mini, with a couple of PCI slots, more than one RAM slot, and the $999 price point. Of course it'd need a slightly larger case, and maybe a different name -- how about the Mac maxi? -- but it'd be so easy & cool to keep the same look in a larger machine with G5 (or Intel!) power.

And of course put USB and Firewire ports on front!

H77
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under the monitor mac

Also, where are the Macs that sit under the monitor like a LC? Those are great because they save space. Plus, did anyone notice the single processor G5 tower dissappeared from the mac lineup? Maybe that points to a new "Mac Maxi" too...

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[quote]... a G5 mini, with a

Quote:
... a G5 mini, with a couple of PCI slots, more than one RAM slot, and the $999 price point. Of course it'd need a slightly larger case, and maybe a different name -- how about the Mac maxi? -- but it'd be so easy & cool to keep the same look in a larger machine with G5 (or Intel!) power.

Quote:
Also, where are the Macs that sit under the monitor like a LC? Those are great because they save space. Plus, did anyone notice the single processor G5 tower dissappeared from the mac lineup? Maybe that points to a new "Mac Maxi" too...

A mini-esque pizza box...

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An Xserve is the modern LC w/

An Xserve is the modern LC w/o the Low Cost. A desktop 3u rack and a rack mount LCD drawer, and you've got it.

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Things I'd like to see

PowerMacs:
they'll probably never go back to more than one case type at a time (especially now with the Mini) but a nice little "baby tower" a la Quadra 700 would be nice (like the iMac G5 hack posted here). The current line-up are all pretty expandable, but what about a short version some expandibility, but not as much as the big dogs?

AIOs:
one word: expandibility. would it kill them to make these things upgradable in the future? How many landfills will it take before you have a iMac you can switch out a processor for?

Portables:
there's a nice little foldable keyboard for the Palm Pilots, I would love to see future iBooks and Powerbooks have a keyboard that can be removed and used on a flat surface like that.

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Smaller Portables

Okay, I'll admit that there is a certain appeal to watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" on a 17" LCD whilst riding somewhere, but you know what? I think the folks in Cupertino need to start "thinking different" and think about handhelds and sublaptops again. Of course, there are the persistant tablet computer rumors. I'll admit, a 17" or even 20" iPad (MacPad? tMac?) is a compelling idea, but that market is having a hard time taking off. Meantime, you have writers out there who wouldn't mind having something that can be carried easily.
A Mac equivalent to a Fujitsu LifeBook or HP Jornada. That's all I ask...

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Santa wish list.

Do away with proprietary Airport slots and add industry standard PCMCIA and/or MiniPCI expansion slots instead. They could still market a house brand of WiFi cards and base stations, but the consumer could choose from other manufacturers, as well as use any other type of card (NICs, audio cards, storage drives etc).

Either that or build in WiFi and Bluetooth across the range.

Onboard hardware RAID on the towers and XServes.

S/PDIF digital audio in and out.

Socketed CPUs - for sure!

A new Newton, iPhone, PDA, eMate, palmtop, slate thingy.

An optional "Hi-Top" lid and expansion bracket for the Mini giving you room for a 3.5" drive (or two) and a PCI/MiniPCI/PCMCIA card (or two) - a third party could always make this, especially if the alleged Airport Extreme-PCI hack works out.

Cross between iPod and Airport Express - an iPod with WiFi or an Airport Express with a hard drive.

... and of course, when the Intels come out, a native-speed Windows environment.

And bring back Connectix Virtual GameStation!

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TV tuners again

That, and Media Card readers.

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Re: Santa wish list.

DrBunsen wrote:
Do away with proprietary Airport slots and add industry standard PCMCIA and/or MiniPCI expansion slots instead. They could still market a house brand of WiFi cards and base stations, but the consumer could choose from other manufacturers, as well as use any other type of card (NICs, audio cards, storage drives etc).

Either that or build in WiFi and Bluetooth across the range.

I think the bundled WiFi would happen sooner than the industry standard slots; I'd still like to see the latter but knowing Apple...

DrBunsen wrote:
Socketed CPUs - for sure!

Yes! but again, knowing Apple...

DrBunsen wrote:
An optional "Hi-Top" lid and expansion bracket for the Mini giving you room for a 3.5" drive (or two) and a PCI/MiniPCI/PCMCIA card (or two) - a third party could always make this, especially if the alleged Airport Extreme-PCI hack works out.

I think there's room for third-parties to come up with the hi-top thing; I've already seen something like it, but it'd be great if someone built one that had a built-in hard drive, front-mounted USB & Firewire, a PCMCIA slot, and maybe card reader slots. Or is that asking too much?

DrBunsen wrote:
Cross between iPod and Airport Express - an iPod with WiFi or an Airport Express with a hard drive.

The Airport Express with a hard drive is already here; it's called the Mac mini. Wink

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Re: But there is firewire and usb

tibookx wrote:
But there is firewire and usb ports on the front of the G5

I don't know about the new white keyboards or if and where there is usb ports on the front of macs but the feature I have been longing for quite some time is powered usb ports "on the keyboard"! It's quite annoying to have to get up from my chair to plug in my flash drive when there is a port inches from my hand.

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I don't think its proprietary

Quote:
Do away with proprietary Airport slots

I'm pretty sure the airport slot is a mini-PCI slot... it has better through-put than a PCMCIA... There needs to be a hack that goes from this to a break-out PCI box... I remember one for the PCMCIA slot that went to a box that had 6PCI slots, it was generally for a portable audio workstation, I think... can't remember what it was called...

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Re: I don't think its proprietary

catmistake wrote:
Quote:
Do away with proprietary Airport slots

I'm pretty sure the airport slot is a mini-PCI slot... it has better through-put than a PCMCIA... There needs to be a hack that goes from this to a break-out PCI box... I remember one for the PCMCIA slot that went to a box that had 6PCI slots, it was generally for a portable audio workstation, I think... can't remember what it was called...

I tried using one of those boxes with a PowerBook G4 500 several years ago, and it was a total failure. There were one or two PCI cards available on the market that were compatible with it under OS 9. It had an ATA bus (or two) but that was even limited as to what drive mechanisms you could stick into it. In the end, it was much less hassle for me to have a second machine on my desk than mess around with that nightmare. It ended up going back to the retailer.

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multimedia

ah yes, a little bit more multimedia built in that g5 or iMac thingies would make them even more attractive. you get a load of multimedia machines today, you can watch tv, record your favourite tv-show, listen radio, etc... a few more connectors for antennas and video-in and -outs and additional sound in- and outputs => et voilá!

hmm, guess that's the only thing missing on my g5... Wink

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