Andy Ihnatko's Macworld Feature Presentation: From HUDs to Apple's Future

BOSTON -- Every Macworld opens with some sort of keynote or, in this case, a Feature Presentation. Ready to kick things off for Macworld Boston 2005 was Andy Ihnatko, a contributor to The Mac Observer as well as other publications.

Although Andy quipped that he wanted to do a Steve-like presentation, complete with impressive graphs showing sales growth of iPods, he was unable to do so since Apple hasnit quite yet released their financials for this quarter. Instead, he showed us how to use Tiger to build a navigational heads-up display for your car, using less than two cents worth of materials.

Amazing, but true! This trick involves using an application to create some large text that youid like on your heads-up display, and then choosing Preview in the print dialog. Once the Preview application is launched, choose Flip Horizontal, and when you place the resulting printed text on your caris dashboard, it will reflect in your windshield, giving you a cheap heads-up display! An Automator script for doing this can be found on Andyis Site

Andy Ihnatkois Heads Up Display
(Click the thumbnail to see a larger image)

After this piece of useful information, Andy put in this two cents on Apple changing its chips, saying it was one of the dumbest things theyive done. To switch from a Dallas Semiconductor MOSFET to another brand is certainly controversial...Oh, was that not the processor switch you were thinking about?

Using this gag to illustrate his point, Andy told his audience that the Intel switch will not be bad for the Mac platform. If anything, it will help the Mac market by offering more options.

He further illustrated this by describing a recent experience with a Sony Vaio, on which he got an amazing 6.5 hours of battery life! We PowerBook owners can only imagine such battery life, according to Mr. Ihnatko, but with Intel, he said it should be possible.

Andy then commented on what he called one of "Billis biggest fumbles," referring to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. He took his audience through a tour of Longhorn, and noted that it had been delayed time and time again (the latest release estimate pushes it out towards the later part of 2006).

He questioned what, if any, new useful features will be in Longhorn that wonit already be in an Apple operating system.

The exception to this, he said, might be the DRM technology Microsoft has been working on to make it harder to move your media back and forth among your devices. According to Mr. Ihnatko, this wonit be a big selling point to users.

Andy then compared the difference between Apple and Microsoft development strategy. He compared Apple to a sniper, taking careful shots and hitting their mark. Microsoft, on the other hand, is more like Al Pacino in Scarface, taking a shot at everything in hopes of hitting something.

Product development the Apple way

Product development the Microsoft way

However, it was noted that this strategy may pay off in the video delivery arena, where he said Apple has few offerings other than allowing one to play movies in iTunes. Microsoft, on the other hand, has Windows Media Center Editions, Portable Media Centers, Windows Media Player and Windows Mobile 2005 platform. Mr. Ihnatko asked why Apple wasnit seeming to go after this market, though he then pointed out again the companyis penchant for secrecy.

Andy then had his own "One More Thing..." moment, where he displayed a custom-made ukulele, the iUkelele, made by the good folks at He even played us a short tune on it.

The iUkelele is equipped with a USB port that allows the unit to be used as a MIDI controller with your Mac.

While Andy didnit generate a Reality Distortion Field like Steve Jobs, he did provide a Feature Presentation that was thought-provoking and entertaining.

Andyis jacket made from iMac banners

Bryan Chaffin contributed to this report.