I've never claimed on this blog or in any other forum to be a man of deep thought. I think that I have made a revelation. I feel that I already understand where the Jobs machine is motoring the future of Apple computing. I feel my recent experience has given me familiarity with the technology involved and was pondering the question posed by Harlem on the Freshubuntu podcast interview "How would I compare the Eee Pc to the new Macbook Air?".
I feel I need to explain my twisted logic and then summarize my conclusions. First Harlem's musing got me to ask the first and simple question that is "What is similar about them?". I had not until that point thought about them in the same class at all. In my mind they were not even attending the same school or grade. After some reflection, there are some similarities that both of these machines are hitting on. Size, weight and solid state disks which are faster but may not offer the same space one might ask for in their day-to-day PC.
This got me to thinking about my "computing in the cloud" analysis with the Eee PC. "Cloud Computing" is the obvious choice with the limited disk space of the Eee PC. But how much more removed is it from the Air? I know plenty of people who will not be able to put their entire iTunes library on 64 Gig. It was mentioned on a popular podcast that I listen to on the TWiT network that they would probably not recommend the Air as a first or primary computer and that sounds like good advice with some of the hardware that is missing. I probably wouldn't recommend the Eee PC to a user that didn't have a primary machine already either.
Remember that the Air was announced on the same day as their new product Time Capsule. This little device seems like just an over-priced external hard drive with wifi access. So, I ask you...is Apple, through their product development, potentially teaching Apple users how to "compute in the cloud"? Is it such a removed idea that the large iMac in the home office actually becomes the house server? Could Apple not start offering server machines that would potentially compete with Windows Home Server? Do they not already have the media extender idea pretty much working with shared iTunes library over a LAN?
So, my grand conclusion is that the Air and Time Capsule are a primer and a "cloud computing" for dummies course via product release. We all know that Apple has gotten where they are by thinking like chess GrandMasters about 20 moves ahead. They are the masters of creating demand where there is and should be none. I feel that the Mac community may be getting spoon feed how to really embrace "cloud computing" via these new products. Which would allow Apple to make many devices that just access centralized information, rather than needing to store it locally too.
Ok, conspiracy over. Breath deeply. By the way, we Linux geeks have lots more experience at the client-server model. While Windows offers minesweeper and solitaire for new users to learn how to use a mouse, Linux has freeciv both the client and the server ;)