Brief thoughts on WWDC 2006

Overall, I don’t have much to say about the new stuff unveiled at WWDC this week. The new MacPro turned out to be pretty much what everyone expected. As powerful as this machine is getting, I can’t help but think Apple is limiting the market for them. I mean, who really needs two dual-core Xeons in their desktop machine? Some people do, sure, but this number has got to be getting smaller with every one of these updates. I said last year that our single processor G4 desktop was sure to last us a couple more years, and our needs haven’t changed since then. I can’t imagine actually buying one of these desktop systems now, or even less another couple years down the line. At this point I think that, when the time comes, our desktop will be upgraded to an iMac, not another machine in the pro line. We’ll save money and space and still have a computer that does more than we need it to.

While not much was given away about the next version of OS X, “Leopard“, and what was talked about wasn’t real earth-shaking, there are a couple items that piqued my curiosity. What I found most interesting was Time Machine. Apple has been talking about porting ZFS to OS X and ZFS, the file system used in Solaris 10, supports exactly this sort of filesystem snapshot capability. I don’t know that they’ve had enough time to do this yet but it’s an interesting coincidence nonetheless.

Time Machine is the big one, but Spaces is cool too. I’ve been looking at third-party virtual desktop managers for OS X lately and now that I’m running Linux at work I’m getting back into the habit of using them. I like the way Spaces has an Expose-like system for viewing and manipulating the individual desktops.

It’s cool that Ruby on Rails is being included in Leopard. It’s not a big deal, as it’s easy to install yourself (assuming a non-broken Ruby installation to start with, unlike in Tiger), but the fact that it comes with the system shows that Apple has taken note of the fact that nearly every Rails developer out there seems to be using OS X.


Kevin says:

Oh, I’m sure we will end up needing those chips before long. Sigh…

We have the dual 2GHz G5, and considering that we pretty much just use the web and email you’d think that we’d be going great. But with the number of sites using Flash and AJAX, combined with tabbed browsing, I frequently find the computer has slowed to a crawl. We then have to go through all our open browser windows trying to find the one that’s responsible.