close this bookVolume 8: No. 24.2
View the documentAI news
View the documentApple news
View the documentApplied jobs (in our CAJ 8.24 digest this week)
View the documentMultimedia resources
View the documentVirtual reality resources
View the documentSpeech recognition

Apple's $1,300 iMac is going on sale 15Aug98, with something like 30K on store shelves and another 150K already reserved. Developers are showing interest in this "consumer Mac," but most of the new software packages are upgrades or ports of older software. (Of course, iMacs will run the 10K existing Mac applications. How many swine farm management programs do you need?) Game titles are in particularly short supply, and tend to lag Windows versions. Ditto for speech recognition software, and latest versions of most business productivity software. Analysts also fault the machine for lack of a floppy drive, which would have added about $50. Consumers can get an external drive for $99, or $189 for one that also reads special 100MB disks. The iMac also lacks connectivity to most printers and other existing peripherals, at least until vendors make adaptor cables available. "Interim CEO for Life" Steve Jobs is betting that USB ports will be the only peripheral connection needed in the future -- aside from built-in Ethernet and phone/Internet ports. Maybe it's best to wait a few months, to give the future a chance to arrive. [SJM, 09Aug98, 1F.] (The Mac is strong on photo processing and Web graphics. Leaving out the floppy drive was probably a favor/payoff to Larry Ellison, Apple board member and champion of diskless network computers. It may yet turn out to be a smart move, if Apple can find new customers who have little investment in floppies. Anyway, Dartmouth likes the idea and is recommending the iMac to new students. And investors are happy, with stock price tripling since Dec97.)

FAST is an unmoderated discussion of future Apple hardware/software systems technologies. Send a "subscribe fast your name" message or subject line to , or see . [Vince Sabio , NEW-LIST, 22Jul98.]