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Monday, June 6, 2011

Initial comments on Keynote Address

Initial Comments on the WWDC Keynote

$29.00 for Lion. That is an aggressive price. Apple wants everyone with the hardware that can run Lion to run Lion.

Only available through the Mac App Store. I thought about Apple slashing the cost of its inventory and implementing quality control.

This may seem a bit esoteric, but a lot of America’s capital is tied up in inventory. It costs money to keep stuff on hand. Imagine how much money Tower Records had to spend per store just to store those thousands of CDs. Rent for the store, electricity for the lighting and cash registers, the costs of trucks to bring the physical product into the stores, and the cleaning service to keep the place looking nice. That just touches the surface of those expenses that the accountants have to subtract from sales to arrive at net profit.

If your inventory exists as bytes on a hard disk (more likely, several big RAID arrays in different geographic areas) that you transmit via broad-band to your customers, then you’ve slashed a lot of your costs. You don’t have to worry about store signage, security for each store, and a cleaning crew for each store.

By keeping sales restricted to ONLY its on-line store at a very attractive price, Apple brings back previous customers and assures quality. If you didn’t buy it from Apple, the copy of Lion you got from a pirate site more than likely is loaded with malware. Don’t take chances. Spend a few dollars, less than the price of a tank of gas for my 2005 Dodge Neon, and get the real McCoy.


I’m not the only one who wonders about the lack of a DVD option. I recently backed up my MacBook with Super-Duper, then reformatted the internal hard drive. Then I reinstalled 10.6 from the DVD. After that, I downloaded several gigs worth of updates.

But I needed that DVD to get started. What do I do the next time I need to reinstall the OS that I lack the DVD for? In the future, will I always need a known good installation of Lion to clone to another drive via Carbon Copy Cloner/Super-Duper? Think of it as the starter for sourdough bread.

As well as lacking a physical DVD option, Apple gave no hint about Rosetta, the software that enables old PPC applications to run on an Intel Mac. So far, no Rosetta in the Developer’s Previews of Lion. A lot of us will feel shocked if our favorite old application that’s run since 10.2 just stops cold.

A few suggestions: If your scanner won’t work under Lion with the manufacturers proprietary applications, try Apple’s own Preview or Image Capture. I’m running an Epson 1200U from 2000 using Preview. I’ve also used Image Capture. For more advanced needs, try Vuescan from


It looks like Lion needs at least Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 or a Xeon to run. My 2006-vintage MacBook with its Core Duo CPU won’t make it this time.

Yes, I’ve seen that tip in about borrowing a friend’s recent Mac, install Lion to an external disk drive, plug that hard drive into your older Mac and delete a file. Will it work with the downloaded version? Sigh. I don’t know.

Who’s got a good deal on a Mac Mini with a Core 2 Duo?

Tom Briant

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