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Journey to the core of Apple

[intro] My epic trip to Apple's 'product presentation' on Tuesday has begun. Fingers crossed, everyone...[/intro]  And so my journey to the core

[intro] My epic trip to Apple’s ‘product presentation’ on Tuesday has begun. Fingers crossed, everyone…[/intro]  And so my journey to the core of Apple begins. I’m heading to Apple HQ in Cupertino, California, where I hope to witness the birth of a new Mac. Or, at the very least, get to grips with the forthcoming version of the Mac OS. Apple’s PR folk are as tight-lipped as always, but that’s not going to stop me hoping…To get myself into the Silicon Valley spirit, I intend to make use of as much technology as possible during the trip. For example, I’m typing this on my Sony Ericsson P1i smartphone on the Heathrow Express. My thumbs started to ache halfway through the first paragraph, and now feel like they’ve completed their metamorphosis into typing talons. Which suits me fine – they’re more useful like that.In my bag l have my MacBook for serious writing, Skyping home and editing the hi-def video I plan to shoot. I have a Sony Handycam, plus a Nikon D50 for stills. Oh, and a Nintendo DS to keep me entertained.I’m also doing my best to keep up with British telly while away by using the BBC’s iPlayer service. Although iPlayer is Windows XP-only, I’ve managed to get it running on the MacBook using Parallels virtualisation software (£40, but you need a copy of Windows to go with it). Parallels works brilliantly on any Intel Mac with a couple of gigs of RAM, and it’s incredible to see two operating systems running side by side without slowing each other down.  Particularly impressive is Parallels’ Coherence mode, which allows Windows applications to occupy the same desktop as Mac apps, with the Windows Toolbar at the bottom of the screen and Dock at the side. Three years ago this would have been unthinkable – both technically and (to a sad Mac fanboy like myself) morally.But I’m more confident about the future of the Mac platform these days, so I’m happy to run Windows on the MacBook. I’m not alone – Apple’s market share is rising, and while Macs still account for less than 5% of computer sales worldwide, if you factor out corporate purchase, I reckon you’d find a significant number of people buying Macs for use at home. The big question is how many more people could be persuaded.That’s why I really hope that I’ll witness the birth of a new, iconic iMac on Tuesday, together with some revitalised iLife software (in particular a more flexible iWeb and an iMovie that allows multiple video tracks). And if I don’t see any of this? Well, I’ll make the trip worthwhile by finally buying myself an iPhone. I just hope that I can manage to activate it without having to murder someone for their US social security number.