Blame Walmart for Stevie J's No-show @ Macworld?

Apple fans world-wide are up in arms reacting to Apple pulling out of Macworld ; an example seen here, by Tonya Engst of TidBits, another Mac Blogsite...

Emotionally it is saddening as I will indeed miss the anticipation of the annual ritual of what Apple will release every January since 1985.  But, in retrospect, it may be a good thing as Apple products' releases won't be rushed just for the annual trade show immediately after the frenzy of the Christmas buying season. 

And, though CNBC's Jim Goldman has hinted why Steve Jobs is not speaking at Apple's final Macworld appearance is "more about politics than his pancreas".  I personally think it has more to do with Walmart than IDG/ Apple relations.  Walmart stores are slated to start selling iPhones after Christmas.  And, because of the sheer size of Walmart and its potential to boost iPhones sales despite a weak retail sector in an economic downturn,  Apple, in keeping a good a vendor rapport with the retail giant, may demand Steve Jobs to do an iPhone launch event with Walmart instead of doing his usual Macworld keynote.  This of course is speculation on my part though.  

Apple doing an CES event in Las Vegas this year and stealing the show away from every other competing electronic company this year would also appease most Apple fanboys' tastebuds.  A Steve Jobs "one more thing" appearance at CES would indeed knock the wind out of the likes of Sony, Microsoft,  and Nintendo upon a coinciding launch of a new Apple video gaming console.  Indeed, it would make things a lot more interesting than the usual 'oh, we tweaked the Mini  and revamped the AppleTV again' keynote in San Francisco.

'tis the season for Hoin' gadgets..

TripleHead2Go's  Digital Edition Graphics eXpansion module.. an external video card capable of hooking up 3 monitors..  $356.00 at MacMall online..
Now that's what I'm talking about baby.....  handy little gadget especially if you need dual monitors off a Macbook pro or iMac all in one where it only comes with one mini DVi out slot... this picture here is unnecessary as the Mac pro has options for 4 internal PCI video cards (8 monitors)...


Stevie J won't be giving the Keynote..Let the Rumors Fly...

Apple has announced today that Steve Jobs will not deliver the keynote speech at Macworld next month.  He has done so for the last 11 years.

Rumors have it that there is concern for Steve Jobs' health as he appear gaunt and thin at the last product announcement.  Also, there is speculation Apple has no 'knock ya on your ass' product announcements this year like the iPhone, etc.  

Apple states Macworld is an trade show event which the company will not be participating in after next month as it is a "minor" way it reaches its customers now.  

Weakened consumer spending and a global economy in disarray is more concern for Apple investors as many financial analysts have downgraded Apple, despite it has surprised the Street quarter over quarter, over expectations of the company to face tougher economic environment in the future.

Apple shares dropped $2.49 in after hours trading after the announcement.  

I feel that Apple, due to its success over the last 10 years, is finding it increasingly difficult to produce the 'Wow' factor Apple fans have come to expect in January immediately after a busy Christmas season.  Also, it may be too difficult to top its current lineup of products in time for the Macworld keynote; hence, by opting out of Macworld, the company can release its products within its own timeframe without the pressure of having to 'wow' those at Macworld.


Only 20 more days til Macworld 2009. Here's the latest rumors..

It's 10 days before Christmas and the rumors are out all over the net guessing what Stevie J is going to show us at Macworld 2009 in January...  Other than the revamped Mac mini, 32GB iPhone, and Snow Leopard rumors, here are some of the more interesting ones I have run into as seen in MacLife's latest issue...

The Apple "Tri-Book... multiple screen laptop ;  As Steve Jobs stated before: Apple won't release a cheap 'netbook' so I guess they'll go against the grain and go for the bigger more expensive laptop;  because 17" is just not enough..

The Apple "Gamedock"... the Wii killer or just another attempt to revamp the AppleTV .... 

A Lego Mac mini... why nobody knows.. maybe to cash into the Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones mania... my kids would die for one..

And finally, the "iCom"- a fancy alarm clock, digital picture frame and iPod Touch built into one... nobody definitely needs one of these....that's why it would sell.

I still like last year's rumors that never did appear at Macworld 2008... remember all the  Macbook Touch rumors floating around the net.. still, I would buy one tomorrow upon its announcement!!!

Mac OS X 10.5.6 update is released..

Includes OS fixes and stability and security enhancements... pretty minor..  what's new? click here


What Recession??

Braving minus 30 degrees centigrade temperatures with windchill of up to -41*C, I ran out to do some pre-Christmas errands today and noticed again the massive line ups at various stores and malls for perhaps the 3rd straight weekend.  I understand it is the Christmas season, but, in -30*C weather, news that Canada has fallen into recession,  and amid a global financial crisis, I am intrigued to why or how people are still spending money in Alberta; and lots of it. 

I suppose most Albertans' confidence is much greater than mine as of late; I have taken my licks in substantial losses in the value of my assets over the past year; the market meltdown would make anyone who has any money at all, whether it be in real estate, stocks, mutual funds, or just Canadian savings accounts, to be on edge and take on a negativity towards the markets and government inaction not seen since the tech meltdown.  I try to be very in tune with current events, politics, natural disasters, etc.,  as it has been very lucrative for me and my portfolio in the last 10 years I have been actively trading.  Except, scanning the headlines these days is enough to make most queasy as market leaders such as Merck, AT&T, Yahoo!, and Citibank all announce thousands of layoffs or are faced with the dire consequences that the Detroit 3 are facing currently.  The reason for my pessimism is thus justified:  as exemplified in my posts in the last while.

But, in retrospect, I have to admit that 2008 has been my best year ever in earnings career-wise as it has been for most Albertans;  I have taken more time off this year for holidays and days off by choice than any other year in my 20 years in the Steamfitter trade; I have no outstanding debt, credit card or mortgage; and have been able to pay cash for large purchases such as a Honda Odyssey and a Christmas vacation in Vegas this year.  Granted, I do not live in a large home and bought it pre-Oil Boom circa 1997; it was a used Honda I bought; we are only staying at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas for 5 nights; and, my losses in the market are only paper losses as I still figure I can afford to wait on my core assets, Apple and Potash, which comprise of 95% of my non-cash portfolio, to make a comeback in the next 25 years before I can retire.    
The Alberta jobs outlook is still very optimistic, though a slowdown is evident, but needed coming off the torrid pace of growth it had the last three years.  The Shell Scotford Expansion and Epcor's Keephills 3 power project west of Edmonton are already underway and predicts to ramp up in manpower significantly in 2009; as is various maintenance turnarounds at Imperial Oil and Petro-Canada are slated; which will keep our Building Trades workers at near full employment for the next 2 years.  Stores and restaurants and hotels are still in a hiring spree competing for any available staff this Christmas season.

Agreed that there will be a slowdown and a dip in employment for 2009 as Canada is only at the start of a recession that will last well into the year.  But, because consumer spending or consumption is such a vital part of in maintaining the health of any economy, this shopping orgy Albertans seem to be on, may actually help keep our economy purring along right through this recession.  

So long as Albertans are not getting out of hand with their credit cards; keep paying down their lines of credit; and not using their home equity as if it were an ATM, we will be fine and, I could be a little bit more optimistic in looking at Alberta's near economic future.  So, tell the Big 3 to bring their cars here, make us feel there's something called service around here still , make us feel we're getting somewhat of a good deal, and Albertans will buy just about anything.  But, if Albertans don't watch their debt levels creep up on them and follow in the same footsteps of our American neighbors, spending beyond their income levels can afford, hang on for a very steep fall.

How to buy a personal computer.. Apple's latest gadget.

Remember these bad boys?? The Apple ][  was my first computers circa 1981/82 Junior High School Grade 7 computer literacy.  We learned BASIC which was built into the Apple]['s ROM; played cool games like PONG on it on a B&W screen monitor.  Prices were $1298 USD for the model with 4K of RAM and CPU MOS 6502, 1.oMHz; 6 colors maximum; dual external 143K floppy drives.  
In Grade 8, the school upgraded to the Apple IIe's which came standard with 64kB of RAM, duodisk drives; we learnt Apple ProDOS, played even cooler games like Pac-Man, and Hard Hat Mac on the wickedly cool green screen monitors.