This post is probably less about Apple’s latest offering and more about what someone said whilst reporting on it.

On Monday at its World Wide Developer’s conference, Apple announced its next generation MacBook Pro with a starting price of – hold on to your hat – $2,199 for the basic model. The next step up costs $2,799 for a 512 GB solid-state-drive (the basic model has a mere 256 GB), 8 Gigs of RAM & a 2.6 Ghz quad-core processor. If you want to move up to nose-bleed territory, you can completely load of the machine with a 2.7 Ghz processor, 16 Gig of RAM, and a 768 GB solid-state-drive. Throw in the extended warranty and you’re out a whopping $4,098.

Bill Detwiler of Tech Republic expounded on the fact that none of the configurations above include a CD/DVD drive or a plug for an Ethernet connection. Bill states that many Windows ultra books lack those same feature and that Apple is just moving us one step closer to future sans wired connections and optical discs. To some degree, dropping those features does make sense in order to have as thin & lightweight a machine as possible. But Bill goes on to say: “In the next few years, I have no doubt that wired Ethernet will go the way of the optical disc.”

Really, Bill? Really?? I don’t know how things work in the Tech Republic, but on this side of the border optical discs and wired Ethernet connections are still a necessity. Granted, I don’t use my CD/DVD player as much as I did in the past but I still need it. Yes, Dr. Data does download a lot of the applications he uses but he does make a copy of the download files on an optical disc as a precaution and orders critical software like the Adobe Creative Suite on disc so he’ll have a master copy available in case things go wrong which they sometimes do.

Bill believes that cheap USB flash drives have helped to eliminate the need for optical drives. I had a 16 GB flash drive that I kept a LOT of stuff on. One morning, it didn’t wake up and all the 14 or so gigs of “stuff” I had was gone for good. That learned me. Optical drives are still necessary though not in the all ways that they once were.

Moving on to Ethernet connections, wired is still better and faster than wireless. Not everyone has or will have a network connection via either FIOS or cable and plenty of homes and businesses depend on DSL. Further slow down things with a wireless connection and it may be OK for surfing the web in bed but not very practical when you want to get real work done. Besides, you’ll wear out your broom sweeping up all those dropped packets!

Dr. Data hates blanket pronouncements no matter whom they come from.

Read Bill Detwiler’s compleat post at Tech Republic.

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