Mac Pro, and other thoughts

Well, it’s over, and to be honest, it wasn’t very surprising.
I’m not sure what to make of the Mac Pro’s yet. On the one hand, they seem very well designed and more importantly, a product that I’d be happy with. On the flipside, the cheapest one is $2200 (dual dual 2.0ghz). It’s not a question of whether the base configuration is worth $2200 (I think it is, especially if you look at competitor’s similar products), rather, it’s whether I really need a quad core system, or whether all I really need is a dual core system. I priced a Dell Core 2 Duo system with similar specs otherwise, and it came out to about $1650, including a free monitor. That means I could take the difference and build another box, or get a mac mini, or a really nice monitor.
I also wonder about the upgradeability of the Mac Pro. The CPU’s can probably be swapped out, but the memory modules have those crazy heat sinks. Does that mean 3rd party memory modules will also come with heat sinks? or one be limited to buying only Apple memory?
Interestingly, I also tried maxing out a Mac Pro, and it came to a cool $17,000. Take that “VoodooPC”:http://voodoopc.com !
The keynote almost seemed like a competition between Jobs proteges. Apple has been very successful at generating enthusiasm for their products by having very good presentations, and most importantly, a charismatic presenter. The continued success of the company seems to almost hinge on the next leader’s reality distortion abilities, and the keynote seemed like a stage where potential candidates could show their skills. Out of the three, though, I felt the last guy (forget his name, the one that presented some of the Leopard features) had the best rythm and composure, though not quite matching the enthusiasm of Jobs. He also needed to stand up straighter and maybe where a turtleneck, but hey he’s young, so he’s got a little bit more time to learn I guess.
When I saw Jobs take off his glasses during one of his demos just so he could read the script, I could almost feel an era coming to an end. It’ll be interesting to see how much longer he can last. At some point, there’s gotta be more important things than getting a room full of nerds to be excited about new products.

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