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Dear Santa Steve: Newton, Rentals and a Consumer Tower please

Date: 12/19/2007

To: Santa Steve

Re: Making your list, checking it twice

I have been a very good girl been a good girl attempted to be pleasant and accommodating not been indicted this year, even as a co-conspirator, and I sincerely hope that you will inscribe me in the book of life send me the following presents this year:

An unlocked 3G G3 iPhone with an optional yet affordable data-only + WiFi service. I know, I know. You're rolling your eyes at Rudolf right now and making snide comments about how much money you earn from the AT&T kickbacks on the cellular voice plans -- but I'm telling you, St. Steve, it's all about volume, volume, volume. If you earn a bit less per customer but you quadzipple your installed base, we're talking win-win here...


A Newton. No one wants a cruddy 320x480 iPod when there are glorious 600x800 Kindle pseudopaper displays. Or so Scott keeps telling me. He's not letting me touch his Kindle so I can't take it apart and play with the OS. So would you do me a favor and just stick a couple of 320x480 screens together, add on stylus input (even if the stylus has to generate an electrical charge), and release a web-browsing multitouch Newton for me? It would be kickass for movie playback, a killer game platform and make those movie rentals -- they're just a few items down on this list -- work a lot better. Many thanks, much obliged. I'm just laptop-impaired. I've never really gotten the hang of those gadgets.

Better AppleTV. Yeah, yeah. I love my Apple TV. Really, I do. But right now it's simply an overclocked underpowered Mac Mini with fewer features and not a lot else going for it. It's fabulouso for hacking but kind of boring in my living room. Would you please add some features like a tuner, a bigger disk, some Wii-killer gaming and movie rentals?

Video Rentals. Oh yeah, did I forget about the rentals thing? I hate paying $14 for an iTunes movie that I can buy at Walmart on DVD for $10, complete with extras and subtitles and funny games and which I can play back using nearly any DVD player I encounter, plus make a backup file (thank you HandBrake) sans DRM. But on the whole, I don't really want to watch movies and TV shows more than once or twice. Renting TV Shows, Movies (and better-than-wii Gaames) would seriously help the iPhone, Apple TV and my spiffy new Newton be better platforms. And keep the price way down. Remember our little chat about "volume"?

A Consumer Tower. Dearest Santa Steve, why do you have this allergy to providing regular users with customizable computers? What'd be lovely would be some Macs where you can add video cards, Macs that let you add USB ports and internal disks. We know they exist, because they are out there and they are called "Windows PCs" and they do not cost $2,000 a pop. The Mac Pro is lovely for the well-heeled media professionals, but please bring us the miniTower for cheaps.

I could go on and on (especially about the upcoming iPhone SDK), but I know I've taken enough of your time Santa Steve and there's only a week left until you board your sleigh Segway Gulfstream and go visit all the good little Mac boys and girls -- and just about a month until your keynote. So, thanks in advance and all that. I left some cookies for you next to my G4 PPC tower -- they should stay nice and warm.

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