Sixteen years later, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh is still one of the coolest computers every built. I just unboxed mine after about 10 years of storage, plugged it in, and it booted right up.
Here is Sir Jony Ive introducing the product in 1997.
If you imagine an object there is a television, that’s a radio, that’s a computer, whatever computer means. You imagine an object that has an incredible sound system. You imagine all of those functionalities, all of those technologies converging into one object. What should that object be. What on earth should it look like?
From MacWorld – July 1997
The Twentieth-Anniversary Macintosh is also a piece of desktop sculpture, with the components housed in an impossibly slim curved enclosure that combines the all-in-one look of the original Mac with the svelte luxury of a Bang & Olufsen stereo system. The subwoofer and the Mac’s power supply, linked to the main unit by a half-inch-thick cable, reside in a separate oval enclosure that resembles the smokestack on a 1930s ocean liner, with a rubber ring around the top. Visually, it’s a knockout.
Aimed at hard-core aficionados and wealthy collectors, this new Mac is mainly a commemorative item celebrating Apple’s 20th year on the planet–a three-dimensional thank-you note to the millions of Mac fans who remained loyal through the recent dark period, as well as a reminder to the PC crowd that the people in Cupertino still make the most innovative products around.
I’m not sure how I missed this one before but here is a video of András Szalay, along with Burr Johnson, at last year’s Fishman NAMM booth. When asked how he achieved the superior tracking of the Triple Play, András, holder of six midi guitar patents, modestly replies, “I’ve had some experience.”
VGuitar Forums moderator, television producer, and guitar technology guru Elantric brings us the first video of the Fishman Triple Play from NAMM 2013.
In the first clip Benjamin Singer shows how the Triple Play clips on and off a guitar in a flash. Magnetic posts attached with thin adhesive keep the transmitter in place, while a clear plastic channel allows the pickup to slide firmly into place. Background accompaniment for both videos is provided by demonstrator extraordinaire, Burr Johnson (shown above).
Next Andy Lewis walks us through the main interface and some of the bundled software. Check out how easily one can split the fretboard into multiple instruments (2:10).
Will there be a bass version? “Absolutely!” Apparently Victor Wooten (at 3:45) really wants one (and we all really want him to have one, I’m sure), and founder Larry Fishman is a bass player. A floorboard unit with a 5-pin MIDI output is “on the roadmap” (4:50) but Andy did not want to discuss future products. Roland owners should not be holding their breath for 13-pin out (5:23). At 7:50 Andy discusses Fishman’s philosophy on the market and customer for MIDI guitar.
Andy Lewis on tracking accuracy; “A lot of traditional MIDI guitar products require extremely clean playing… to make this product have broad appeal we’ve worked very hard to make the product work with nearly any kind of guitar player. … It took a little extra work to make it work with different playing styles.”
David Mash is the Senior Vice President for Innovation, Strategy, & Technology for the Berklee College of Music. Who better to present The Macintosh for Guitarists tech talk at his year’s Macworld iWorld.
Judging from his slide deck, he gave a comprehensive overview of computer-centric guitar technology with particular emphasis on MIDI guitar interfaces, applications, setup, and usage.
Friend-of-the-site Braccio was at the presentation. He reports from the scene that Mr. Mash, who is a long time Roland Guitar Synth user, is “completely sold” on the accuracy and reliability of the Fishman Triple Play Wireless Guitar Controller (FTP for short). “I saw David play a couple of times this week at MacWorld” said Braccio, ” and he used the Fishman each time with no issues.”
Also in attendance at the session was Robert Godin, founder of Godin Guitars. They introduced a new guitar last week at the NAMM show with an integrated FTP. Braccio reports that Mr. Godin is also ”completely sold on the Triple Play. Godin Guitars will be moving over to using the Fishman rolling out new models in April (nylon string) and May.”
Check out David Mash’s extensive web site at mashine.com .
Braccio, a regular at the VGuitarForums, reports from San Francisco that Fishman Transducers has a presence on the show floor at Macworld iWorld 2013. They are in booth 951. Godin Guitars is also displaying at Macworld for the first time. Coincidence?
This is a great move for Fishman. The technology press will be all over this. Hitching their MIDI wagon to the iPad, and being a first of its kind on the device is a fantastic strategy for lots of free press.
The Fishman Triple Play was also featured onstage during David Mash’s tech talk, The Macintosh for Guitarists. David is Senior VP for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology at Berklee College of Music. A long time MIDI guitar devotee, David is excited about the Triple Play’s uses in transcription and education, according to Elantric who spoke with David at last week’s NAMM conference. Elantric, a long time moderator at VGuitarForums, predicts that most music students will soon own Triple Plays “as part of their 2014 curriculum. Rather like some schools now require iPads.”
Last year when I wrote this article, I was concerned about Fishman entering a product category that a huge company like Roland with all its resources could not seem to figure out how to take it to the masses. Today many of my fears for Fishman, and the future of MIDI guitar, are alleviated. Look for lots of tech, and general public, press about the Fishman Triple Play over the next week or so.
Dang, I wish I had gone to Macworld this year. I was there last year.
If you’re old enough to remember Apple laptops called Pismo, Lombard, Wall Street, andToilet Seatfrom Bondi Blue days gone by, you may remember asking yourself the question “Why did they put the logo upside-down?”. The logo adorning the lid looked fine to the user about to open their laptop, but once opened onlookers were treated to an upside down illuminated Apple logo.
14 years later Joe Moreno, an Apple employee from 1998 to 2007, illuminates us on the logic behind this very deliberate choice. We all know that Steve Jobs really cared about the user experience. Perhaps we didn’t realize he considered it (at the time) more important than visual branding.
Joe explains in his blog that the decision came out of user testing. When the logo was pointed away from the user when closed…
…the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.
A quick glance at any current MacBook shows that Steve eventually reversed this decision, but the story is a great reminder of how seriously Apple takes the subject of human interface.
No, it’s not a Video Toaster DVE, but this psychedelic “zoom with trails” probably isn’t what Apple intended to be the elegant transition from one iPad 3 app to the next. My guess is that it’s a problem with the display chips. Here is a video of the “effect.”
Apple stores open early tomorrow, but if you can’t wait for 8:00 AM to scoop up some New iPad goodness there is an alternative. PC Magazine is reporting that WalMart will have a “limited supply” of 16GB Wifi-only iPads for sale at 12:01 AM local time. As for any other early rising retailers, PC Mag says:
Rivals do not appear to be matching Walmart’s early opening. Spokespeople for Best Buy and Radio Shack said their stores will keep normal hours of operations tomorrow. Target did not reply to a request for comment by press time.
My preordered iPad did not make the first shipment, so it is probably still on the production line at Foxconn. I have done my fair share of Apple line sitting in the last few years, but this time I decided to sleep in.
7:30 PM Update – A call to a nearby Walmart verified that they (at least this one) will have all models available tonight for sale, not just the 16BGs. Hmmmm, maybe I will head over there around midnight, buy one, cancel my Apple order and sleep in even later tomorrow.
11:30 PM Update – Three people in line at this Wallmart. My daughter and I are number 4.
One of the mysteries that had Apple watchers guessing during construction of the Highland Village Apple store was the whereabouts of the back-of-the-store area. With such an open air design, where would the offices, break rooms, product storage and restrooms be located?
Rumors flew about a secret underground chamber. As one swamplot.com reader observed during the initial excavation:
I saw an excavation that was far deeper than needed for a typical strip center foundation. … [The excavators] were at full extension which would suggest a foundation 15’ below grade. Sounds like a basement to me.
Another reader responded to the contrary.
In the real estate industry, we call basements in Houston “underground swimming pools”.
The clues to the real backstage location were visible all the time, but only made themselves clear over time. It is easy to be misdirected by all the activity on the construction site, but keen observation revealed a change happing over the next door neighbor. The window above Sprinkles, the cupcake shop, disappeared over a few months. Coincidental renovations?
Back in December I postulated that this would become the backstage area. Construction documents filed City of Houston later revealed that Apple had taken about 3,500 sq. ft. of space above two adjacent stores. The extra deep excavation turns out to be a 7-ft.-tall tunnel for access to the store’s electrical and display systems. A few days from now the store will open and all this will seem obvious. That’s why I am hurrying to post this tonight
Special thanks to Apple watchers Gus Allen and Jeff Peoples for use of photos.
At first I was a bit disapointed finding that the Highland Village Apple Store roof would not be transparent. Having survived many hot Houston summers, I can appreciate the necessity. But still, why go with glass if you want opaque? Here’s why.
When I caught a glimpse of the ceiling a few months ago, I thought it looked odd but I could not place why. The photo at the right shows the underside of the center ceiling panels. I shot it one night when winds were high, blowing the black tarps about. The interior of the store was brightly lit, but the ceiling seemed overly reflective for what I thought, at the time, to be clear glass.
We now know that most of the ceiling will be opaque and after reviewing some of my older photos tonight I believe it is more than just a concession to Texas weather. Check out the night time shot to the right. It’s a dark photo without much detail, but notice how the roof shines so brightly that you can see it’s glow even through the black tarps.
Adding the light grey opaque layers in the glass roof panels make them more reflective than transparent glass. They bounce that interior lighting back like a lighthouse mirror, causing the ceiling to shine like a beacon in the night. This will create a much more impressive display at night than a clear roof ever could.
The panels of an Apple store glass roof are a 9-layer cake of delicious 21st century glass technology, 15 feet long by 8 feet wide and gently curved.
The new Houston store, opening in Highland Village this Friday, features two types of panel and a slightly different approach to glass ceilings than the topper on the NYC Upper West Side store that inspired it.
The 28 center panels feature four layers of “Low-Iron Fully Toughened” glass, an air cavity, a couple of “SGP Interlayers” and two layers of 100% opaque white frit. The Fritting process involves screen printing ceramic frit paint onto the glass and fusing it onto the surface during the heat strengthening process. The result is a tough decorative glass. The opaque frit layers are white on top and light grey on the underside.
The 26 perimeter panels have a 50% opaque grit filter layer. This combination of opaque and semi-opaque panels, along with the clear glass front and back walls, should let in plenty of light without making customers feel like ants under a magnifying glass during the hot Texas summers.
Almost all of the drawings, observations and guesses previously made on this blog regarding the Highland Village Apple store have been confirmed, according to documents filed by Apple with the city of Houston. Here is an update on previous reports, along with some interesting new details.
The 9,000+ square foot Highland Village store will feature a gently curving glass roof, supported on either side by faux stone slabs (slate veneer over steel structure.) The store is clearly cut from the cloth of the rumored next-generation design seen in recent architectural renderings of yet-to-be constructed California stores.
The ceiling consists of 54 custom fabricated, quadruple layered glass panels. Unlike the clear glass ceiling of the NYC Upper West Side store, the main area of the Houston roof is completely opaque, creating a much needed barrier to battle against the Texas sun, with 26 semi-transparent panels around the edges.