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Old 27-02-2011, 14:42   #1
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Thunderbolt: Apple Strikes Again :-)

Apple just launched their new line of MacBook Pro laptops. Not only do they outperform the rest embarrassingly, they also have the all new Thunderbolt interface while the rest of the world will have to wait a year or so.

Thunderbolt (code name Light Peak) was developed by Intel with collaboration of Apple. It's like a smarter USB port with a stunning 10Gbps (!!) speed. In fact, it is an extension of the internal PCI Express bus. You can connect devices that are only available as PCI cards for big desktop computers today. For a boat where we want everything to be as small as possible, this is a big thing.

some links:

thunderbolt adapters - Google Search
What you need to know about Thunderbolt | Computers | MacUser | Macworld

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 14:45   #2
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

I wonder if it will be in the new iPad2 that will be announced on 3-2-2011 next wed?
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Old 27-02-2011, 14:53   #3
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

I heard the IP2 has no connectors other than the OEM 30 pin
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:10   #4
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

And I thought religion was taboo on this forum.
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:23   #5
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

religion: Haha

March 2 and we'll know it all. I am hoping for a GPS (& gyro) for the WiFi-only model. They state 99% certain that the gyro compass will be there but the question is if you need to buy the 3G model or not.

Motorola must be changing diapers at the moment with their Xoom arriving in the stores and Apple announcing their announcement of the iPad-2

The MacBook Pro's will be a big hit though (and we just got the new MacBook Air which is about half the weight of the competition), probably more than iPad2. Also, we're heading for OSX Lion oh oh oh the M$ boys are gonna cry; all they get is a service pack to try to get rid of the bugs haha

ciao!
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Old 27-02-2011, 19:12   #6
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

Apples are good for cider only.

Why pay twice as much for something that can be gotten for half the price?

b.
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Old 27-02-2011, 21:11   #7
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Apples are good for cider only.

Why pay twice as much for something that can be gotten for half the price?

b.
Ha! that's just the thing, you can't get even close to same specs for the same money. The Xoom cost $800 : not very competitive vs iPad to start with and now Apple comes with iPad2 so not a soul will buy Xoom before they know what the new iPad will be like. Motorola is pawned. They deserve it too because they were all laughing their ass off about Apple iPad... how it would fail yada yada. Apple sells 15 million of them (for say $600 average; isn't that 9 billion dollars?!) and now they want to compete.

Then there's thunderbolt: while the Billyboy fan club manufacturers are still bitching about a silly USB-3 serial port with 3.2 Gbps speed, Apple is moving laptops over the counter TODAY with Thunderbolt and it's 10 Gbps speed and PCI-Express functionality. With exclusivity until 2012 when other PC manufacturers can finally catch up. Almost a full year head start, just like they had on the tablet and smartphone markets. And PC's can't be upgraded to Thunderbolt... they have to start selling new PC's in 2012 when Apple will have a solid installed base.

The other manufacturers still don't know what happened when Apple introduced the Retina LCD's and they have failed to follow.

Last but not least is the giant data center that Apple has been building last year and nobody knows what it's for. I wouldn't be surprised if March 2 will see more Apple news than just the Ipad2. My guess about what's coming is as good as anyone's but I think Google will cry when they find out how it feels when others are entering competition with your primary business model. Android isn't really hurting Apple but let's see what happens when the Apple devices get a suite of apps for cloud computing as standard package and storage in that mysterious data-center included. Or a bunch of storage for music and other media files or whatever one can do with a big data center.

I think 2011 will be another interesting year on the computer and gadget front

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 21:40   #8
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

It's always interesting to watch this stuff and wonder who will bite. I'm not a typical user. I have audio and visual recording and mastering equipment talking through a dozen different interfaces and can appreciate a faster USB protocol but most people could be using the same computer they had 10 years ago and make out just fine. The networking and storage facilities are the main things they need. Still it will get people with disposable income excited.

Apple does some nice form factor as well but you're now paying a lot extra when you consider it's a graphics api on top linux running on intel chips ... something many people don't pay very much for. I believe their bus is still superior but that is something that will mostly matter to audio and video professionals.

While google would like to be making money from their storage facilities, bandwidth, apps and etceteras the last time someone pay me enough to care they made 97% of their income from ad revenues which, as far as I know, Apple doesn't do.
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Old 27-02-2011, 22:01   #9
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

I think the price of a Xoom at $800 is a little on the steep side for what you get. I can't imagine them beating the iPad.

To pay high prices for a 10Gb/s speeds seems excessive. I mean, USB3 is not fast enough for most people?

How on earth do you fit a gyro compass inside an iPad?
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Old 28-02-2011, 07:27   #10
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

Oh, I wish I was still a cool kid.

But it was in the mid-1990s that I last owned Apples, a bunch of PowerMacs and Quadras for desktop publishing. Cost an arm, a leg and a testicles. Ridiculous.

I started doing DTP for myself in 1996 on a P-90 with PageMaker, and then InDesign. Haven't looked back and have considered the Apple vs. PC debate moot since...unless you're a cool kid!
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Old 28-02-2011, 07:32   #11
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
To pay high prices for a 10Gb/s speeds seems excessive. I mean, USB3 is not fast enough for most people?
The 10Gbps Thunderbolt ports are on the MacBook Pro's as sold right now; there is no price increase.

It isn't just the speed; the important feature is that it is an extension of the internal PCI-Express bus. This is what links all components together, like CPU, Memory, Graphics, disk controllers etc. and thus one single Thunderbolt port can be used to daisy chain many (9 or so I think) hight speed devices. USB is just a serial port.

Quote:
How on earth do you fit a gyro compass inside an iPad?
Well, the new iPhones have it already and they are a fraction of the size of the iPad

cheers,
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Old 28-02-2011, 07:42   #12
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

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Apple does some nice form factor as well but you're now paying a lot extra when you consider it's a graphics api on top linux running on intel chips ... something many people don't pay very much for.
Yes, true. But if you start looking at details, a different picture emerges. The Darwin kernel is a descendant from BSD Unix and I'm not sure if that is the same heritage as Linux. Also, while X-11 comes with the Apples, the graphical shell that is enabled by default in OSX is far superior of course.

Bigger differences are in the hardware. Find me a laptop with Intel Core i7 CPU, dual graphics engines incl. a new Nvidea GPU, aluminium unibody housing, insane high quality LCD etc. and the list becomes very short and prices don't go much lower than the MacBook's. And the others come with Windows and without Thunderbolt.

I agree that many cruisers only need a $350 netbook, but in the marina here, I see more MacBook's than netbook's now.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 28-02-2011, 07:53   #13
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

At the current moment, Thunderbolt is just annoying. The problem is, there are no drives fast enough to utilize the thunderbolt transfer speed, so a USB 3.0 port would have been a better choice.

The Thunderbolt port can also be used for adding external monitors, but no monitors use a Thunderbolt connection, so you have to spend another $50 on an HDMI adapter.

Then, these first generation Thunderbolt ports have metal wiring versus optical wiring, so from what I understand, once drives are developed to utilize the speed, these first-gen ports will still bottleneck them.

In two years, it might be great, but for now, it's just a PITA.
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Old 28-02-2011, 08:08   #14
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spaceshipping it all out ;-)

Quote:
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Ha! that's just the thing, you can't get even close to same specs for the same money. (...)
Are you by any chance planning on extending your travels into the outer space? ... ;-) Hence the ship's name ... ;-) Otherwise why would you need the specs now that we know that any netbook or tablet will run 99% of onboard software lightningly fast?

PS Sure I too think Apples are good at what they are supposed to do. Sure I think they are 'overpriced' - sort of like a HR is 'overpriced' and Porsche too! Nothing wrong with having a Leica even though one cannot say which picture was taken with which camera. Neither will a code run faster only because the programmer used a fast machine to write it on.

Cheers,
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Old 28-02-2011, 08:09   #15
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Re: Thunderbolt: Apple strikes again :-)

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How on earth do you fit a gyro compass inside an iPad?
If you haven't followed the developments in small solid state motion sensors lately you will be totally shocked at what they have done to miniturize those devices. You can now buy devices that include a six axis accelerometer and a three axis rate gyro in something that doesn't amount to much more than fat computer chip. This is how they have managed to get the price of all of the Wii and similar hand held game devices down to a price that consumers can afford. I have a friend that is building an autopilot system for remote control helicopters out of these things. You can now get a flux gate compass on a single chip for less than $10. This should allow someone to really bring down the cost of boat autopilots and and nav systems, but since they're for boats I doubt it will ever happen.

Though I poked a bit of fun at Apple zealots in a previous post, I do have to admit that the Ipad tablet is a revolutionary device. Tablet computers have been around for some time, but have never quite taken off. The Tablet version of Windows was never quite as user friendly as it needed to be. The interface on the ipad series is probably as revolutionary as the original Mac graphical user interface was in 1984. While the apple practice of keeping things proprietary is good for it's business model, it unfortunately is not conducive to industry wide adoption. Will Apple ever produce a weatherproof version of their device for example, probably not as the market for that kind of device is limited. In the Wintel environment a small manufacturer could address that niche market but historically Apple has never licensed it's technology to another manufacturer. Apple makes great and at times revolutionary products but widespread adoption has always been limited by their business model.
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