Steve Jobs

Has just released the following statement

Dear Apple Community,

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.

Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.

I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause — a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.

Steve

At least it’s not a recurrence of cancer. The market seems to be ok with it, AAPL is up in premarket.

MacBook Pros

IMG_0135

I’ve been using the late 2008 version of the MacBook Pro now for about two months (on the right). I had my previous MacBook Pro, the mid-2007 model as a point of reference. There are differences, some good, some bad, but overall the latest model wins it – and for one very good reason – the new trackpad.

Not that the 2007 model was anything bad. It originally had OSX Tiger, which I upgraded to Leopard in December 2007. It is a reliable and sturdy laptop, and never let me down. But it was only when I started using the late 2008 model that I could see what I was missing.

IMG_0136

The trackpad on the new model is a wonder. Using any other trackpad on any other computer feels clunky by comparison. Because it is made of glass, it is smooth to touch. It is larger and easier to use than its predecessor. When I go back to using the older MBP, the plastic trackpad feels ugly.

Of course the biggest advantage of the new trackpad is the multitouch. For someone who has not used it, it might be hard to explain just how much this changes how you use the laptop. In OSX it is a god send. My most commonly used gestures are four-fingers in an upward movement to minimise all windows, and four-fingers downward to show all windows in expose. I find myself unconsciously trying to perform the gestures on the old MBP, before I realise I can’t do them. That’s how used to it you become. You don’t even think about it.

In terms of the screen, both models are LED backlit, meaning excellent colour saturation and viewing angles. Both are glossy screens, the first by choice, the late 2008 model only comes in glossy. I never find this to be a problem, though some do. Even in direct sunlight I can clearly read the screen. The colour on the new model seems to be slightly superior, it just feels more defined.

On the downside though, the USB port on the right side of the MBP has disappeared, to make way for the side rather than front slot loading DVD drive. This means that when you attach a wired mouse, the cable plugs into the left side, while the mouse is on the right. A minor inconvenience, but I guess are expecting us all to have a wireless mouse.

The keyboard on the latest model is one of the new flat-keyed versions originally featured on the MacBook Air, and now on all models minus the 17-inch MBP and the still available white MacBook. I like the new keyboard. The older model keyboard was nice too, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. It does what it says on the tin.

IMG_0138

Overall, I would recommend to anyone considering a new laptop, or a move to Mac, to go Britain and pickup a base model MacBook Pro. They are deadly cheap thanks to a weak sterling. If you are Windows user and are worried about compatibility or usage issues, don’t be, Leopard is many times better and easier to use than either XP or Vista. And if you have Windows apps you want to use, then installing VMware Fusion is a breeze, and you can have both operating systems running side by side.

I was a PC user for the best part of 13 years. I will likely never go back to PC.

The iPhone Nano

Rumours abound again about a smaller version of the very popular iPhone. Engadget report on leaked pictures of specs for the protective covers for the anticipated iPhone – which could be launched at MacWorld next month.

iPhone Nano?

I would argue that it is inevitable, whether next month or not, that Apple will release a scaled down version of the iPhone. There are two very good reasons to do this, IMHO. One, many people, especially women, complain about the size of the iPhone. Two, many people complain about the size of the iPhone. It will also likely be lower cost, and attract customers who previously would have considered the option too expensive. It also gets you a new sector of the market.

I have been mulling an iPhone purchase for some time now, but I will wait until after MacWorld next month before I decide on a purchase.

Monty Python comes to YouTube

Rather that issuing take down notices, the lads of Monty Python created their own YouTube channel. Smart guys. Here is their blurb:

For 3 years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube. Now the tables are turned. It’s time for us to take matters into our own hands.

We know who you are, we know where you live and we could come after you in ways too horrible to tell. But being the extraordinarily nice chaps we are, we’ve figured a better way to get our own back: We’ve launched our own Monty Python channel on YouTube.

No more of those crap quality videos you’ve been posting. We’re giving you the real thing – HQ videos delivered straight from our vault.

What’s more, we’re taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions. And what’s even more, we’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there!

But we want something in return.

None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.

I look forward to some great clips. Legally.