Friday, July 23, 2004

Thought for the day

If you are interviewing for a job, there is actually something to be said for being interviewed on one day by all the people you are likely to be working with. It does in many ways beat being called back to the office a number of different times to speak to different people. However, three hours of interviews (involving a total of five interviewers) without a break is pretty brutal just the same. Yes, I am sure many of my readers can describe worse experiences. I have had worse experiences personally. But this was still pretty hard going.

(I think I did well though. I'd rate myself about 50-50 for the job in question).

And Perry de Havilland did manage to ring my mobile in the middle of it in order to ask how my job search was going. No, I didn't take the call. Not a good time to forget to turn your phone off, just the same.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Lots of iPod hype this week.

Including the Newsweek cover story, of course. The iPod mini is now available in Europe, as are the new cheaper 20Gb and 40Gb iPods. It seems to be normal for Apple to update the product once a year, keep the $299, $399, and $499 price points, but improve the models. However, we now have 20Gb at the $299 point, 40Gb at the $399 point, and nothing at the $499 point. This is an interesting coda to Toshiba's announcement a month or so back that it was releasing a 1.8 inch 60Gb hard drive, and that Apple had placed a large order. Steve Jobs was clearly not happy at this sort of pre-announcement of a 60Gb iPod from Toshiba, and conspiracy theorists might conclude that the absence of a 60Gb iPod model now is in a sense payback to Toshiba for not keeping quiet.

Except that I don't actually believe this. I suspect that Toshiba is simply unable to provide the 60Gb drives in large enough quantities for now, and I am sure we will see a 60Gb iPod later in the year: probably just before Christmas.

Another interesting thing is whether we will see an update of the iPod mini before long. This of course uses a 4Gb 1 inch drive from Hitachi/IBM, but Apple has had trouble getting enough drives to satisfy the immense demand for the iPod mini. Interestingly, Seagate now has a 1 inch hard drive, and they are producing a 5Gb version. Presumably Hitachi will not like losing the largest one inch drive crown, and they will announce a bigger drive before too long. At that point, Apple will no doubt announce an iPod mini with a larger capacity. (And let's face it, the 4Gb capacity is the weakness of the iPod mini).

Or of course Apple could source its drives from multiple suppliers. Creative are basing an MP3 player on the Seagate drive, and for now that means they have the highest capacity player of that approximate size. Apple could release a 5Gb iPod mini based on the Seagate drive too, but I doubt they will. 5Gb is not really sufficiently bigger than 4Gb that they can really gain much leverage out of a "new, bigger capacity iPod mini". I suspect they will wait for a bigger drive from Hitachi, although if getting enough drives is the real problem, they might like to have another supplier. I suppose they could sell a 5Gb iPod mini with a dock and accessories that don't come with the 4Gb version as standard, so as to properly distinguish this from the 4Gb version. They did this with the 15Gb and 20Gb full size iPods last year after all.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Modern World
Yesterday evening, I was at a party with the other London based contributors to the Samizdata blog, and it was a very pleasant evening. However, some of the foreign contributors couldn't make it (although Frank McGahon did make it over from Ireland) . Scott Wickstein was in Adelaide, of course, but I was able to do something quite interesting later in the evening, which was to get out my laptop, launch Skype, and get Scott at least into the conversation. My laptop has an internal speaker and an internal microphone, so all that was necessary was to say something vaguely near the laptop and he could hear us. And of course the laptop was running off batteries and was connected to the internet by WiFi, so the laptop was not connected to anything: we were just using it to talk to Scott in Australia.
A couple of non-Samizdata people found this impressive. Hell, I found this impressive, but one lady felt the need to come over and participate in the conversation merely because it was an interesting technological advance, I think.
Update: There are some photos of the party here. You can just see the back of my head in the top photo. My mother should note that I have been a good boy and had a haircut.

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