Thank You Nike!

It has been pretty quite on the review front recently, but it has been anything but quite on the new product announcement front – and that has really got me thinking (well plotting to be more accurate) on what I want and more importantly how I can get it.

Let me explain what I mean by get. I mean convince my wife that all the perfectly adequate stuff that we already have, that I told her would “be enough for years” only 12 months ago now needs to be replaced!!!

So, on the assumption, hope and prayer that she isn’t going to read this …………………

When I bought my PowerBook G4 in January, in fact even before that when I was deciding what to buy, a friend of mine Scott told me that I would love the Mac so much I would eventually replace my Desktop and Notebook with Macs as well.

I was skeptical to say the least. My Sony Media Centre PC and Sony Notebook were less than 12 months old, I loved them (OK Windows not brilliant but have never been anti it as much as many Mac users), and I just couldn’t see how swapping them out would make my system any better.

I still have the Desktop and the Notebook (which my wife now uses) but their days are pretty much numbered! My problem isn’t so much getting rid of them, more what to replace them with – the PC’s NOT my wife!

I really like the look of the new MacBook (possibly even in black although I had expected it to be the shiny black a la iPod, not matt black) but even I can’t justify one as I have only had the PowerBook for 4 months. My cunning plan is to convince my wife that she needs one! Now the problem is that a new computer is way down on her list of priorities. She isn’t even that interested in updating her iPod Mini to a Nano. I can’t really blame her as her Mini is 4GB so a Nano doesn’t add any capacity but if the rumors of an 8GB Nano are true, and with the recent Nike+iPod announcement, there is a slight opportunity. She does a lot of running and training and when I showed her the Nike advert last night she was pretty impressed. Actually she really liked the Nike training shoes, thought the Nano accessories where neat, and liked the idea of syncing with the Mac. Result!!!

So thanks to Nike, I can buy my wife a new pair of running shoes and matching accessories, then wait for the 8GB Nano to appear to purchase that, and then “of course” she will need a MacBook to sync the Nano with and track all the data she will have recorded. Of course this isn’t going to be my MacBook but I will get to set it up and maintain it no doubt, and as it will sit on our network I will be able to split our iTunes and iPhoto libraries across the two Mac’s and use that facility. I can live with that – especially as I will get my Windows Notebook back which is pretty useful for some of the work that I occasionally do.

As for the Desktop replacement, this can’t happen for a while because Apple don’t produce what I want! My desire is to have a Mac that connects to the TV and that will:

– record stuff from the TV to the hard drive,
– will playback the recorded stuff on the TV (so that I can build up a library of recorded films, TV series etc – stored on multiple external hard drives),
– that will allow me to copy my existing DVD’s onto the hard drive(s) so that I can sell/clear out the 200+ DVD’s that we have,
– that will allow me to view via Front Row all the films, TV, Photo’s, Music etc that I have stored on the Mac(s), and
– will allow me to do this from any of the TV’s that I have in the apartment (we have 3 B&O TV’s linked via BeoLink so that they are all controlled from one remote for example my music plays through all the speakers and TV’s at the same time, through the Airport Express).

In my ideal world I could hook up the Mac to the main TV (so a Mac Mini makes most sense at the moment) and use the Mac remote and Front Ro to set a slide show of my pictures, or show my iTunes libraries from across the two Macs (I have assumed success with the Nike plan you can see), select a DVD etc to watch and then view what was showing across the existing TV “network”. I think that I am pretty close but that I need Apple to improve the Home Theatre offering to allow me to conclude this project? Of course any advise or suggestions really welcome. Living in Europe we don’t have access to all the TVO stuff, although they have just released a Slingbox that works on PAL. EyeTV looks good, but I don’t want to add even more boxes to an already cluttered system – so come on Apple, “make my day”.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been increasing the “education” of my wife’s appreciation of “all things Mac”. We are both soccer fans (coming from the UK we would be) and are looking forward to the World Cup. I found this neat little application that allowed you to download all the fixtures. What was really great was the difference (read EASE) the Mac version had over the Windows version. B&O use the PowerBook on one of their pages to highlight the wireless BeoLink option, so that gained some credibility for my plan. The other evening we were watching a great program on the BBC called New Tricks and the character played by Alun Armstrong had a new PowerBook, only they didn’t want to show it as a Mac. They blocked out the Apple log on the case, but still showed the distinctive dock, iTunes and GarageBand (as they where solving the problem using these applications) but in a couple of scenes they forgot to block out the logo – all very funny and good for the overall plan!!

As you can see the plan is underway – wish me luck.

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