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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

iPod becomes the Nano Mac (or should, anyway!)

A lot of speculation is out there about the future of the iPod, but the future seems obvious enough. Apple has a been slowly building up to this, and it's only a matter of time before we will be able to purchase it. This is not based on any rumors or insider information, but on common sense and a scoop of speculation. Consider the following as science fiction.

Right now Apple offers the iPod, that cool little number that can carry around up to 60 gigabytes of information. At the same time, they offer the Mac Mini, a headless Mac torso, the cheap version of which has only a 40 GB hard drive.

So here's the next little must have doodad that Apple should tease us with, that everyone will want. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Nano Mac. This will look and function like an iPod until you plug it into a dock connected to a keyboard, video and mouse, and it becomes a bonafide Macintosh. Dongle instead of a dock sold separately.

Plug it in, plug it in
The Nano Mac could function as your primary computer, but will really be flexible if you have an existing network. The dock will have extra ports for things like an external DVD burner (the SuperDrive) and printers. There is a huge market for accessories and external components that have Apple style and utility so that doesn't seem far fetched. The old 3.5" floppy drives on the old Mac Plus set the precedent for external attachments as a viable answer to making the computer more useful.

Pocket Portability
You will be able to carry around your computer in your pocket and when you arrive at your destination, you can plug into the dock at that location and use the computer. This means you won't be able to do much more with it in the car or on the train than you can with a traditional iPod, but away from home you'll have the same machine you left with, without the need for a briefcase or a backpack. The advantage for schools could be in the savings of purchasing and upgrading computers every year since the lifespan of KVMs outlast the rest of the hardware on computers by huge margins.

Speaking of KVMs, if your family had a few Nano Macs, they could provide a way to daisy chain these docks together by firewire or USB. When you needed to select which one was active on the keyboard, video and mouse, you could touch a button on the front of the respective dock.

Gutless iMac and iPod 360
Another option for those who commute and are not in charge of steering their vehicle would be a gutless iMac with a port for the Nano Mac. Again, you could safely and quickly shift the brains of your computer from one desktop station or kiosk to another. On this same line of thought, if Microsoft had any desire to break into the iPod market, they could take their removable hard drive from the Xbox 360 and make it play mp3s, or whatever encoding it is they use for making life difficult.

Why not now?
There seems to be no real barriers to the Nano Mac becoming a reality. The technology is available. While it's true that the price of flash keeps falling, the small hard drive prices are dropping as well. Apple has proven itself as a leader in innovative technologies, as practically all of it's products prove.

Steve Jobs says there's no reason to create an iPod that does video since there doesn't seem to be a huge demand for it yet, and truthfully, even if the screen size on the iPod was increased it would still make a crummy TV. We want bigger screens and smaller computers.

Why not a computer that could fit in your pocket?


Blogger Gibbytron said...

Nice. Another method of world domination!

11:35 PM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger Matt Smith said...

It would be nice, huh?

3:05 PM, September 22, 2005  

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