Products I’m Wishing for These Days

| Editorial

Technology continues to advance and amaze us. Off hand, one might think that we have everything we need. Not even close for me.

Last week, I joined Chuck Joiner and Mark Fuccio on MacJury. Chuck asked us to prepare a wish list of products that aren’t available, but which are possible. That got me thinking, and I thought I’d elaborate on the list for those who haven’t had time to watch the show. My list has grown since then.

These aren’t pie in the sky ideas. They’re just products that don’t exist yet, and for whatever reason, haven’t arrived. Here’s my wish list in no particular order.

1. New MacPro. I always want to have the fastest Mac because, well, I often feel the need for speed. I’d like to see a new Mac Pro with 1) Thunderbolt, 2) a smaller, less massive enclosure, 3) USB 3 ports. Any new Intel chipset would probably have that USB 3 support. Why USB 3? Well because, you know, Thunderbolt has been so phenomenally, outrageously successful and there are a gazillion products built around it.

Mac ProImage Credit: Apple

2. Desktop cordless phones with Mac interface. Recently, I bought a Panasonic KX-TG6641 phone system for use with my new Verizon Wireless Home Phone Connect. The base station and its remotes are nice, but the mentality there is still a Japanese feature phone from the 1990s. It has lots of esoteric features, a complex instruction book, but no interface to my Mac - the one thing I want.  I don’t need a proprietary Panasonic phone book, trapped in that system, but I do need a USB port and an interface to my Lion Address Book. Come on guys. It’s 2012.

Panasonic Cordless PhonesImage Credit: Panasonic

3. Brydge for iPad. I suppose, with funding tight and as many journalists as customers waiting for a unit, I’ll be way down the reviewer’s list. But I want one.

Brydge

Image Credit: Brydge

4. Serious Carrier Operations Flight Simulator for OS X. Years ago, I became irretrievably lost* in the F/A-18 Simulator from GSC on my Blue & White G3. Since then, the computing and graphics power available to use for simulators has grown enormously, but developers haven’t followed up or maintained their carrier operations and combat simulators. There are good flight simulators for other than carrier operations, notably X-Plane.* And there is an iPad app called X-Plane carrier. I might review some of these. [* UPDATE: May 17. I have since learned that X-Plane does, in fact, have a carrier landing mode.  I’m all over it.]

Carrier Landing

Image Credit: Pete Mantx

But I want the real thing. I want a big 27-inch screen, I want a joystick, and I want that carrier out there kicking up foam. I want to see the LSO talking to me. When I’m holding an iPad and playing a game, I feel like a chimp with an Etch a Sketch.

5. Thunderbolt RAID 5. For my, ahem, new Mac Pro. I want this from a company I know and trust, and I want to have an elegant solution to replacing failed drives without having to buy a basket full of extra, matching sized drives at the time of purchase. I don’t know if that can be solved, except to go with a Drobo right now, and I’m not happy with what I’ve heard about the speed of Drobos. I continue to investigate and fantasize.

6. Time Machine Pro. I use DataBackup 3 from Prosoft. It’s a great product. But I also use Apple’s Time Machine, and I often wish TIme Machine were a bit more flexible, powerful, and communicative with me. Hey, Apple, how about Time Machine Pro? It would have all those features we’ve been writing about and wishing for. Someday, I’ll make a formal list, but not here.

7. Affordable, Powerful IPv6 Router. High end, small business routers with CPUs powerful enough to do stateful packet inspection (SPI) are expensive. And they’re hard to manage. Home routers for under US$100 are pitiful when it comes to SPI and intrusion detection. What I want is a first class home router that’s IPv6 certified and blessed by the major ISPs, has serious protection, and doesn’t try to soak me with annual license fees like business routers. And I want a Mac-like, awesome management interface, accessible with Safari. I think $295 is a sweet spot. I’m probably delusional wishing for this one.

Reader Feedback

Okay, I’ve thrown out a lot of URLs and wishes. Most certainly, I haven’t covered every base for every wish. If you have anything to add to help me with this wish list, please chime in below. And while you’re at it, tell us all what products you’re wishing for these days.

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* Start playing at 9 pm. Become immersed. Look at the clock: it’s 11 pm. Carry on. Play some more. Look at the clock. Blink. It’s 1 am. Vow to go to bed. Play a little longer. Blink. It’s 2:30 am. Finally go to bed. Start over the next evening.

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Comments

Lee Dronick

Desktop cordless phones with Mac interface.

With Bluetooth.

skipaq

“Years ago, I became irretrievably lost* in the F/A-18 Simulator from GSC”

Wow, that is the last game I bought a joystick to play. “Crash and burn” was too often my carrier landing technique.

Gene King

Suppose you took the electronics of the top iMac and included the router equipment and placed it in a cube shaped box designed to run quietly. Could this be beast justify being the X-Mac that many want?

KitsuneStudios

I’m hoping the new MacPros and iMacs come out pretty soon near each other. I’m planning on a 2012 iMac, but if they release a Pro with a decent entry-level price point and power, I’d love to get one of those instead.

Personally, I kind of wish that Apple would release a pair of basic ATX motherboards: a single-slot LGA1155, and a dual slot Xeon 2011, with the OS included. That would restrict people from making AIO or laptops to compete directly with Apple’s products, allow third-party warrantee support for niche markets, maintain a high level of control over the core driver support, and allow a direct hardware profit without having to go into potentially risky licensing agreements.

geoduck

New Mac Pro would be nice. I have no need or wish for one but it would be a reassuring show of support for both the Mac and the Pro market. Love the sarcasm about USB3/Thunderbolt. Yes TB adoption has been very disappointing.

A Mac Landline Cordless Phone? Really? Landline phones are so 20th century. We haven’t even owned one in 5 years and at least half of my friends have gone cell only as well.

Brydge or iPad is brilliant. Yesterday I proposed the idea of an iPad docking station rather than a MacBook/iPad hybrid. This is even better than what I was thinking of.

Time Machine Pro is a great idea. The Cloud is just not enough for backups. I’m using TimeMachine but it’s very limited, but it’s free.

John Martellaro

geoduck:  It’s a cordless phone, but it’s not on a land line.  The base station is connected to the Verizon wireless box, which is over the air, and acts like a cell phone.  But we can do multiple extension calls as if it were a land line. It’s pretty slick.

geoduck

It?s a cordless phone, but it?s not on a land line.

Oh, Ok that’s different. Now that I think of it I seem to remember you talking about this a good while back.

Gene King

I’d like that too!
This prompts a question:
What is the demand for headless desktop Mac equal to the
iMac?

jess S.

I want a new Mac Pro tower BAD!!! I understand that they’re not a source of great money for Apple BUT the pro users being so LOYAL is what helped get them a following. The simple notion of IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE PROS, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME! I heard that numerous times from people asking what we use at our design company.

mrmwebmax

+

After now pushing nine+ months on my Franken-iMac (crashed internal hard drive last summer made me opt to use an external LaCie FW800 as a boot disk—hey I’m using it now!), I’m ready for the tower experience again. I had an 800MHz QuickSilver Mac Pro—and there was something so beautiful about pulling that latch and having access to all of the innards—that I’m ready for that again (and I am absolutely murder on mechanical hard drives….).

So long as said tower is as quiet as my iMac.

The MP 800Mhz QS sounded like a 747 at full take-off thrust. I am now Jobsian-spoiled: All my future computers must be as quiet as my iMac, which is as quiet as, well, silence. Sure, if I launch into Cinema 4D I’ll get fan noise, but there’s something very Zen-like to working on this thing with the quiet babbling-brook of a nearby cat fountain coming through loud and clear.

Power. Ease of hard drive replacement. Built-in Time Machine drive. QUIET. Oh…and affordable. Yeah…good luck beating the iMac on that one! DEspite the blown and useless internal hard drive (and no, I’m not about to jam suction cups into my screen, lift off the glass, and assume I won’t break anything replacing the internal), the price-to-performance issue is going to be hard to top between an iMac and a Mac Pro.

But if anyone can do it, its Apple. Apple, listening???

Tiger

A headless iMac? How about the taking the guts of an iPad and putting it into the old Cube form factor. Should fit just about perfectly and be 10x the machine the Cube was. (too soon abandoned by Apple)

geoduck

How about the taking the guts of an iPad and putting it into the old Cube form factor

Actually I thought about doing that with a Mac SE case. The screen is about the same size. And it would be about 100x the computer the original was

KitsuneStudios

The Cube was not abandoned by Apple. It became the Mini. The things that mattered to Jobs and Apple (silent running, compact, low power)  were kept. The compromises Apple made (external power adaptor, stupid bottom mount ports) are gone. The only thing the Mini lacks over the Cube was the easy user access to the guts, which is likely overrated, given the comparative success of the Mini over the Cube.

It would be nice if Apple developed a Shuttle-style Mac with limited expandability but user access to the graphics card, hard drive and RAM. I doubt Apple is interested in risking iMac sales for that.

Still, perhaps there’s an option if Apple shifted their line-up a little: i3/intel graphics for the mini, i5/mobile-mid-range for the iMac, i7 and consumer desktop graphics card for the “Cube+”, then Xeon and Quadro/FirePro for the MacPro.

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