by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective
MACWORLD, iTeens & A Side Order Of iTeen iMpact
by Chris Rogers
This year's MACWORLD brought around some pretty nifty things for just about anyone in the market for a Macintosh computer. Many of the announcements were about Apple's internet strategy as well as the OS X client release. But what does any of this have to do with teens? Simple, it has everything to do with teens.
What was released at MACWORLD 2K?
- Mac.com and all of its joys including:
- iTools and more!!
- MacOS X Client
- The Finder
- Powerful graphics acceleration as well as compatibility with past applications
The list can truly go on about what happened at MACWORLD. From the giveaways of Palm IIIe's at the Palm Booth to Maxon Computers award winning Cinema 4D XL applications on display and purchase on the show floor. But what does this mean to a teen?
Apple has brought to Mac users, the best technology in the entire industry. They have also brought to the table some things you will use and some you won't. One thing that I noticed that seems to have a promising future is iTools. With iTools you sign up at Apple's site and have access to everything at mac.com including iReview and a new E-Mail address.
One of the things I see that can be very helpful is iDisk. iDisk is a part of Mac.com where you can keep important documents like school projects. The best part is Apple gives you 20MB, not a dinky 2MB like Angelfire or Xoom. One's answer might be, well we can just use E-mail and send each other a copy. That's an idea but using iDisk, one can upload the part that they are doing for a project. When someone finishes working on their part, or adds anything, they can easily upload it to the web site where the latest version of the document will always be. This ensures that everyone has the most updated copy. If you forget a copy at home, jump on the internet at school and download it! iTeen just might start using the iDisk to keep in touch with each other. We would simply have our computers automatically connect to our iDisk, which would come up on the desktop like a HD, and we can add clippings, new articles, and FYIs where everyone is sure to get them. No more typing up E-Mails, simply copy the file over like you would to a zip drive. There are millions of other possibilities for Mac.com's new features but some other things came out at MACWORLD2K that are also very cool, and one of those is Mac OS X.
Mac OS X brings to the Mac what is has lacked for years, crash-resistance. Why is it suddenly crash-resistant? Simple, it is running BSD U*IX 4.4 under the hood. This release of U*IX has been used by thousands of developers. U*IX has features never heard of in the current MacOS, Memory Protection, Preemptive Multitasking, and Super Powerful Networking, just to name a few.
I received a letter from a reader replying to my MacLinux articles and he made a very good statement: Mixing UNIX and the Mac is like putting UNIX steel under Mac OS GUI Velvet. That brought tears to my eyes, really! The new OS is going to be even stronger than before.
What does this have to do with teens? Well this means we can get our work done even easier. Applications are being rewritten to take advantage of the many engines Apple built into Mac OS X as well as hardware improvements like AltiVec (or The Velocity Engine) on the G4 series computers. With super fast G4s and super fast applications to go with it, you can get more work done than ever before. Render CAD drawings in record time and make them look better than the rest of your class put together.
The possibilities are simply endless with this workhorse system, and the best part is that MacOS X is about 98% system wide crash proof. I saw it with my own eyes people. Apple built an application called Bomb.app and ran it on a G4 machine. The application was purposely built to kill any kind of Mac with the click of it's Light it! button. MacOS X barely hiccuped. The Mission Impossible Trailer was playing in the background (without dropping a frame I might add) while Bomb.app was preparing its kill. The trailer never flickered. Know what this means? Your system won't go completely down if you are surfing the web and a background application goes down.
This has happened to people before, and it has happened to me. I had typed up a 10 page essay for school when AOL froze on me. The whole system went down and I hadn't saved my document for about 3-4 pages. I had to finish the last 4 pages of the essay throughout that night. It was horrible, but with OS X this kind of thing will be practically extinct. If an application like AOL fails, or Netscape, Internet Explorer or even Microsoft PowerPoint, only the application goes down, not the system. The rest of your machine is fine. You can save your document and simply reopen the app that crashed and continue your work. It's that easy and powerful. Mac OS X means power and strength behind Mac Users, it will do its job I guarantee you. If an application specially built to kill a system doesn't work, then you shouldn't have a problem with crashing or freezing at all.
MacOS is great but there is more!
After browsing the floors I ran across my favorite development company, Metrowerks Corporation. They had people parading around in graduation gowns. I said what's up with the suits? Listen up everyone, because this is what's cool. The Metrowerks company is holding FREE, (Yes that's FREE people, F-R-E-E) programming classes for C++ for both Macintosh and PC. The best is that there is more to come. Simply go to www.codewarriorU.com and register. Remember that spots might be limited so sign up quick. If you have ever had any interest in making your own applications, CodeWarrior is the tool to get you there. I've used CodeWarrior for years and still haven't out grown it. In fact, CodeWarrior is the dominant programming development environment on the Mac. I guarantee you that if you learn C++ and are a good Mac C++ programmer, corporations are going to want you with them no matter what your age is! With the Mac market growing as fast as it is, Mac programmers are in demand, and that's why Metrowerks is doing this... to get more people involved in programming. Being a creative teen and knowing how to program will definitely get a software company's attention.
For those that aren't interested in C++ programming, REAL Software released a new version of their award winning REALBasic. This is an awesome programming suite which is powerful enough to build the best applications in the Mac world and then easily recompile them into Windows with the flick of an index finger on the ol' mouse button.
Booths Booths Booths
There is simply no explaining everything that went on at MACWORLD 2K. There just isn't enough time to explain everything that went on. What I want to tell everyone is that iTeens are really making an impact on Apple. (By iTeens, I mean every teenager that is a Mac addict!) I've talked to many corporations, even Apple, and they know who the iTeen's are! It's great that they have noticed the iTeens and all of our work. In fact I have never seen so many Teen reporters before (I was hoping to get into the book of world records as youngest reporter, but it just didn't happen!) If you are seriously interested in Macs and are a teen who wants to get involved in this industry, go for it!
Just to give you an idea on the impact that teens have had on the Mac market, consider the iBook. Just think about it, Apple built a laptop for students, the iBook, the laptop that dreams made. Apple has noticed teens, in fact some of the employees act like teens up there, and it's time that teens show Apple and the Mac market what we really can do for this technological age. Get involved with the Mac and beta test Mac products. Learn to program (if you're interested in it). Make the Mac platform the best it can be.
Around the world, postions in the Mac market are opening. Get your foot in the door. MACWORLD introduced many of those doors to me. Everything from programming to reviewing products. There are many options out there for you. If you have a web site that you want publicized that has to do with Macs and teens, E-Mail me! I'll put your website in an article of mine where you will be publicized to thousands. If you have a service like the Teen corporation of Alpach Software, send me a mail about that too! Let's see what teens really can do!
This is iTeen Chris
iTeen Most Recent Columns
Offering computer news with the teen perspectiv, iTeen Online started with a weekly column at theimac.com under the supervision of Robert Aldridge. When they realized that there was a huge demand for teen computer news, iTeen Online was born. iTeen Online posted daily, original content that anyone (including adults) could read. Hits soared and iTeen Online became the number one source for teen computer news.
Now iTeen Online has once again became iTeen. At The Mac Observer the iTeem will produce a weekly article that will air on Thursdays at MacObserver.com. In addition to the weekly article, the iTeem will give you the same reviews and content that you're used to at iTeenol.com.