WWDC Keynote Makes My Brains Go Boom
June 15th, 2007
If you listen to some folks who attended Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference, you'd think that Steve Jobs didn't live up to his 'Master Showman' title. I guess some attending expected to have their brains spontaneously explode after some "...one more thing..." announcement.
I watched the video online. While I agree that there appears to be nothing overtly mind-blowing, or even mind expanding in the keynote, from three thousand miles away, several days later, and upon closer examination, my mind is about to have a melt-down that would put the Bikini Island nuclear test to shame.
What is making my grey matter go boom is the seemingly nebulously connected announcements concerning .Mac, computer file access via the Web, Safari on PCs, and iPhone.
I was watching Mr. Jobs go through the Finder demo again when it became suddenly clear to me that with Leopard and .Mac, it may one day be possible to "reach out and touch" my Mac from my iPhone the way AT&T only wished they could when they ran those commercials many years ago. Since Apple has built this into Mac OS X, and Mac OS X is what makes the iPhone go, the company need merely make it accessible from the iPhone to make it possible.
What's even more interesting is the possibilities this technology presents: What if I could not only share files, but applications?
There is an application called Citrix that allows you to access files and folders through firewalls in the Windows world via well known and secure ports. Citrix also allows you to remotely run applications from within a browser window, and pretty much do what you could normally do if you were sitting at your computer at home.
This technology is not new, but it has been refined to make it far more secure than it used to be. There's an Open Source version of Citrix called Universal Terminal Services (UniTeS) which runs on BSD and could provide the framework for a Citrix-like environment in the Mac world.
What could this mean for the average Joe?
Imagine sitting in a coffee shop sipping on a latte when you remember that you have a presentation that needs editing and its due in the morning. The coffee shop is hopping and the latte is delicious, you are thoroughly chilled and don't want to ruin your groove by rushing home to edit your charts.
No worries. You pull out your iPhone, link to the Web via the coffee shop's WiFi, and log in to .Mac. From there you not only locate your charts, but also Keynote, which is installed on your Mac in the den at home. You remotely fire up Keynote and go through your charts, making edits as you go. You even add a few new slides to your presentation while you empty your latte and order another.
Pretty soon you are done, just as a three piece band setting up in the corner of the shop strikes up some jazz chords. Your presentation looks cool, your fresh latte has arrived, there's someone hot smiling at you from another table, and the night is still young.
Pretty cool, huh? This is not smoke and mirrors, my friends, this is all very possible, and I think Apple is laying the foundation for such a system now. And if Apple isn't doing it someone will.
Is that more exploding brains I hear?
Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.
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