Stories by Tom Yager

MacBook Pro is built to last

Apple has done a complete and meaningful redesign of its top-selling commercial notebook, the MacBook Pro, for durability, serviceability, energy efficiency, and eco-consciousness. A one-piece, rigid, machined aluminum frame ("unibody") forms the MacBook Pro's internal structure, a design feature it shares with the new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Air. As with the MacBook Air, the clamshell laptop that upended the thin-and-light PC notebook market, Apple made some marvelously unorthodox design decisions for the MacBook Pro.

Apple gets iPhone 3G right for business

With the iPhone 3G's banner opening weekend and newsstands looking like a rack of brochures for the device, a review of the iPhone 3G at this point might be pro forma, except for one thing: Much of the iPhone 3G and the new iPhone 2.0 software remains an enigma to professionals and enterprises, users set apart by, among other things, their tendency to use punctuation in their e-mail. These users demand more from a handset than a cellular browser and YouTube.

Apple's little big iron

If I'm not otherwise engaged next Thursday morning, I just might spend my economic stimulus check to enter the PC server business. I could go shopping for a wholesale 1U bare-bones rack server, with my primary criteria being that it boot DOS from a floppy and require you to take your server off-line to change basic system settings. I'll stuff that two-socket black box with RAM, CPUs, and disks; charge you for your choice of Windows or Linux; and unless you're buying these things by the gross, stick you with desktop-grade support. Since I had no involvement in your server's design and engineering, I'll rely on BIOS and driver updates from my volume motherboard supplier. I'll selectively pass these on to you, flagged with warnings about how they may render your system unusable if you misapply them, until my supplier stops issuing them. Don't worry, you'll have a solid year before that happens.

Windows Server 2008, the host with the most

A standing complaint about Windows Server is its resource footprint. Those in IT just take as rote that it requires lots of memory, lots of CPU, and lots of disk to put any substantial services on the air with Windows Server 2003. I think it's safe to say that the typical x86 rack server's characteristics reflect the requirements of Windows Server. Microsoft's big OS has always been designed under the presumption that it will have a full physical server to itself.

Leopard Server: The people's UNIX

Apple's desktop Macs are incomparably well suited for the full range of uses from general productivity to technical and creative design, with the entire user skill and requirements spectrum covered by a rich, engaging, intuitive platform. It took Apple several years to get its head out of hardware long enough to perfect its client software. But the combination of broad feature set and usability that Apple brings to desktops, with the idea that one can sit down and start working immediately, didn't stand a chance of making it to servers.