Ever since I had my first hard disk failure about 11 years ago and lost a substantial portion of my data, I am more concerned with data back than most computer owners/users. Every new computer that I purchased since then had also included provision for data backup. I started out with magnetic tapes that while worked, took long time to back up even a moderate amount of data. Not to mention the longevity of the tapes were always in question. Even with the popularization of CD-ROM/RAM or even DVD-ROM/RAM, I never used it as a backup medium. Capacity is too low and unless I paid for top quality disks, longevity again was suspect.
I causally mentioned to my friend at work who is also an Apple user that I may get the Apple TV when it is finally out. His reaction was, "What? Why would you want to watch video blow up?"
I explained to him that I want to watch my video podcasts on the TV instead of in front of my computer, despite the fact I have a very nice 24" LCD monitor. My friend just rephrased his question and wanted to know why I would want to watch low resolutions video on my 46" HDTV.
Then I realised that he thought all the video podcasts on iTunes are sized for the video iPod. He did not know some video podcasts are in hi-def, such as MacBreak which is in glorious 1080p. Others such as Diggnation and Merlin Show are in decent quality 480p which should scale OK on the big screen. But the most important of all are the TV shows that we've bought from iTunes: Smith, NOVA, etc. which we would not watch unless it is easy to put onto the big TV.
Yes, there are cheaper ways to get video from our macs to the TV but Apple TV takes the hassle out of the whole equation. Do I really want to figure out how to stream video from my Mac Pro to my PowerBook (probably using VLC), then onto the TV using S-Video (i.e. no HD)? How would I control the playback? Certainly not through a remote control and an onscreen display that Apple TV would provide. Do all these worth $299? To me definitely, probably not for most of you geeks out there. But then, I just want to watch video from my computer on my HDTV, not doing my annual geek certification exam.
For once I am slightly on the leading edge instead of following the trend. I heard about Twitter* on MacBreak Weekly's MacWorld podcast but I wasn't even remotely interested in it until I saw Iconfactory's Twitterrifc app this morning. Right now I have no friends so I don't know who is doing what (cue sad face), but hopefully some of my invites will sign up and soon we will all be 'twitting' (?).
* Twitter is a social networking web
service that lets you stay in touch with friends, family or even the
public at large thanks to short posts or “tweets” that describe what
you are doing at any given moment. The concept is simple, strangely
addictive and fun through and through. Tell friends, colleagues or
strangers what you are snacking on, your current interests, favorite
websites or just plain goofy nonsense!
I've heard about Dolby Headphone encoding for a while now and was impressed by the demo track. But the latest MacBreak Weekly podcast @ TWiT is encoded using it and I must say, I am very impressed. I hope they continue to encode their regular podcasts using Dolby Headphone too.