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ATPM 10.12
December 2004


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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the December issue of ATPM! As a community, Mac users end 2004 in a vastly different place than where the year began. But we’ve decided not to look back. We will only look forward. For this reason we are calling this our first official “looking-forward” issue of ATPM and our attorneys have asked us to issue the following disclaimer:

This issue of ATPM contains forward-looking statements about the Macintosh, the company that makes the Macintosh, people who use a Macintosh, as well as forward-looking statements about the iPod, the company that makes the iPod, and people who use the iPod. We will not be making any forward-looking statements about the iPod Socks.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties as to whether or not our readers may find our content of interest. Potential risks and uncertainties include non-politically correct comments about the world of personal computing and other statements as they relate to things such as the iPod Socks. Readers are now appropriately advised.

Sock It to Me

At the end of 2004 we have one big question about a very small product: why did Apple release iPod Socks? At $29 for six socks in different colors, what was the company thinking? Actually, that’s now two questions but neither one has been answered to our satisfaction.

As Mac enthusiasts, our editors pride themselves on evaluating as many Mac-related products as possible. When it comes to the iPod Socks, we only need one but they come in a pack of six. We passed the contents of a pack among us. The person who picked the short straw got the pink one. At $29 we figure the iPod Socks, though packaged in different colors, are designed to bring Apple a return in one important color: green.

AAPL: A Long, Winding Road Home

Apple’s stock has finally come home for the holidays. After years of lagging the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index, and the NASDAQ Composite Index in performance since Apple went public, AAPL has now matched the broader market in performance over the twenty-five year period.

Thanks to the mighty iPod (even without the multi-colored iPod Socks), Apple’s share price has risen dramatically throughout the year. AAPL ended November at $67.05 per share.

AAPL has more than tripled in price since the beginning of the calendar year and the share price has just almost doubled in the past ninety days.

Halo Effect

Yes, it’s Christmas time. But we’re not talking about angels and their nimbus glow. We’re talking about iPod-inspired purchases of iBooks and iMacs. Recently an analyst at the research firm Piper Jaffray upped the organization’s estimates of Macintosh CPU sales based on a report that indicated iPod owners in large numbers are dumping their Windows PCs for Macs. The firm raised its target price for AAPL to $100 per share based on the results of the research. The migration of Windows users to the Mac due to the popularity of the iPod is known in financial circles as the iPod’s “Halo Effect.” If this research report holds true, Apple’s share price will continue to have a new glow of its own.

Godzilla Gets a Star, Mozilla Raises the Bar

This week Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as raised the bar in the new competition for Web browsers with the 1.0 release of Firefox.

Frequently assailed for its vulnerabilities and lack of new features, Microsoft’s aging Internet Explorer has seen a significant drop in users since the beta releases of Firefox became available for mass public download. With a major upgrade to Explorer not expected on the Windows side of the computing table until the 2006 debut of Microsoft’s new operating system code-named “Longhorn,” millions of Windows users have waited impatiently for a viable alternative to the outdated Explorer technology. Firefox 1.0 is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X users.

The End of the Microsoft Era?

We’ve forecast the end of the Microsoft era before, and the rise in popularity of Linux and Mac OS X is only part of the picture. With each installation of iTunes for Windows, users also install QuickTime, Apple’s popular media player and avenue for distribution of digital content. Very soon QuickTime will also be used for streaming content on wireless devices such as cell phones. While the OS war may have been won and lost, the battle of the media players has only just begun. In this engagement the underlying operating system becomes irrelevant. Watch for this battle to become more intense as Microsoft battles with Apple for supremacy in the media player market. iTunes is only one part of Apple’s content delivery strategy.

Beyond 2004, What’s in Store?

The editors of ATPM live around the world and work around the clock to bring you the best product reviews and insightful views found anywhere on the Mac Web. Our monthly publication schedule provides us with the opportunity to adequately research new products and appropriately develop our news stories.

2004 has been an historic year for Apple and the people who passionately use the company’s products. While we don’t know all that’s in store beyond 2004, our December issues may provide you, our readers, with a few important clues. Just one little hint—the iPod Socks may not be a big part of Apple’s long-term product strategy.

Our December issue includes:

The Candy Apple: There Are Several I’s in “Individuality”

Self-sufficiency may not be all it seems.

Bloggable: Coming Attractions and the Faithful Past

“Think about Tiger, or ways to avoid Microsoft software, and you’ll see why I’m optimistic after this month’s news.”

The Desktop Muse: Getting More Out of Your GarageBand Loops

“One of the greatest sources of artistic inspiration is accidental discovery.”

About This Particular Outliner: Task Management and Outlining

This month, Ted Goranson’s ATPO outlining column starts a focus on how task management can employ outlining. Also, the ATPO tracker continues to report changes in the outlining community.

How To: Simple Steps To Better Video

“I’m about to say something I rarely say. Start by reading the camera’s manual.”

Cartoon: Cortland

Cortland battles an unlikely foe in the Mudrix.

Cartoon: iTrolls

The iTrolls get hypno-rated, then ponder the meaning of being first and the difference between legal and illegal copies of Windows XP.

Desktop Pictures: Northwest Washington State

Lee Bennett shares photos from the Olympic Mountain range and from Cape Flattery, Washington.

Frisky Freeware

Frisky the Freeware Guinea Pig checks out RadioRecorder.

Review: Corregon 1.0.1

“Corregon is fine for beginning puzzle gamers, but I don’t recommend it for experienced players.”

Review: LogTen 2.5.2

“If you’ve been looking for a better electronic pilot logbook solution than a custom Excel spreadsheet, look no further.”

Review: Mail Factory 1.4

“Mail Factory seeks to streamline the most labor-intensive steps of addressing and printing envelopes.”

Review: PulpFiction 1.1.1

“I find this RSS-as-mail paradigm unpersuasive…It feels like a mismatch to the way I use RSS.”

Review: Jeff Duntemann’s Wi-Fi Guide, 2nd Edition (book)

Though aimed at Windows users with no detail of Apple or AirPort, this book “is more accessible than 90% of 500-page technical books, broken into logical sections and only repeating that which bears repeating.”


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Reader Comments (2)

Arnold Knepfer · December 6, 2004 - 04:45 EST #1

I can't find any comparison of Firefox and Safari. Please advise.


Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 6, 2004 - 11:55 EST #2
Arnold - I found a number of discussions just by Googling "firefox safari comparison."

Try this Mac OS X Hints discussion forum.

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