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ATPM 11.10
October 2005




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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the October issue of About This Particular Macintosh! Each month our editors meet in a virtual space to discuss our latest issue. Since it’s college football season, many of the meetings occur at half time. Depending on the scores and the excitement of the games, our virtual meetings can last anywhere from several minutes to a nanosecond. It’s the only place lately a nano isn’t coming first. Introduced in early September, the iPod nano has quickly found its place in the iPod product line.

A Nano for the Nano

Not withstanding Apple’s admission a few of the iPod nanos may need a screen repair, the newest addition to the iPod line quickly dates the iPod mini and makes the Nano the item to buy for the fast-approaching holiday season.

Competition in the music player market has become more plentiful, but nothing that attempts to rival the iTunes-iPod combination has found favor with the public. How long will the iPod phenomenon last? Only time will tell. But the diminutive iPod nano, with its color screen and all-white or all-black case, will extend Apple’s product leadership well into the new calendar year.

In today’s economic game, results are put to the test every ninety days. There isn’t an economic half time, but there is a warning period close to the end of each calendar quarter. No news during the warning period is good news. But we do have to wait until mid-October to get the final score. We’ll cover Apple’s most recent results in our November Welcome section.

Got Group?

It’s October. That means .Mac renewal time for original subscribers. This is an annual game Apple plays by offering new .Mac features, capacity increases, and functionality enhancements. Apple’s subscription service recently added a “Family Pack” for up to five family members to share the full range of .Mac services, rather than one full services account and e-mail only services for the rest of the family. Now .Mac has group services for members, and between family packs and group services Apple is seeking to raise attendance at this year’s .Mac renewal game.

iTunes, Part 5

Anyone with an Internet-connected Mac running OS X has been prompted at least once to upgrade to iTunes 5.0. The latest version of iTunes offers music lovers a free general admission ticket to the best digital music stadium in town. But song prices are rumored to be on the rise. Published reports indicate major music labels are pressuring Apple to increase the costs of new songs to consumers. Who will win the pricing game? If the game were baseball, higher prices wouldn’t help the music industry beat the Pirates.

When Is an Upgrade Not an Upgrade?

Mac users enjoy playing the upgrade game. We all want new computers with the best possible specs at the lowest possible prices. This time Apple has surprised the crowd. Apparently, new Mac minis have been released with faster processors and better components. But Apple won’t say which Mac minis have the new goods. Many Mac mini buyers may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Is an upgrade an upgrade if a Mac mini’s box doesn’t tell the news?

It’s Time to Play the New Issue Game

Don’t watch the clock. Rather, please keep an eye on the calendar. Around the first of each month a new issue of ATPM is released for your reading pleasure. No matter your favorite team, our editors work hard to make every reader a winner.

Our October issue includes:

The Candy Apple: The Silver Screen Keeps Shrinking

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Bloggable: Rock and Roll Fantasy

Some songs are instant successes. Others take time to build. Still more flop. Apple announced two products on September 7. Which kind of song is the iPod nano? Which is the Motorola ROKR E1? Can Wes Meltzer write a column without resorting to cheap analogies or dumb gimmicks? What color underwear did you wear on Labor Day? Find out in this month’s Bloggable!

Outliners: Tao and OmniOutliner Pro

In this month’s outliner column, Ted Goranson compares Tao and OmniOutliner Pro.

FileMaking: Common Functions

Charles Ross continues looking at FileMaker’s calculations and functions, focusing on some of the most popular features.

Desktop Pictures: Italy

Reader Mark Dickson shares images from a June 2005 trip to Italy.


While Cortland enjoys his time with Angie and later admires Todd’s work, the evil geniouses’ plan takes shape, revealing that Cortland may no longer be the primary target.

Frisky Freeware: PsyncX

Frisky the Freeware Guinea Pig checks out PsyncX.

Review: Airfoil 1.0.6

Watch in amazement as your AirPort Express Base Station becomes a one-stop shop for all of your streaming audio needs.

Review: Disk Catalogers

Michael Tsai reviews Catalog 1.2 and CDFinder 4.5, two utilities that can help you keep track of the files you’ve stored on hard disks, CDs, DVDs, and other removable media.

Review: Business Card Composer 3.1.2

A better mousetrap for those in need of business cards.

Review: iPod nano 4 GB

“There it was, hiding in Steve’s watch pocket the whole presentation, and none of us saw it coming. The iPod nano is a testament to good design engineering.”

Review: Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID

A Mini Me RAID hard drive for your aluminum Macintosh.

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