Welcome to the January 2006 issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We start this new issue and the new calendar year with many unanswered questions from the year just past. This month we will travel some of the digital highways and byways of the Macintosh world to bring you the best news and reviews in our easy-to-read monthly format. This month’s Welcome will take a few scenic stops along the way to find answers to some of last year’s lingering questions and pose some new questions for the new year.
Time and the Macintosh Continuum
In a special way the Macintosh world has its own and unique continuum. The element of time establishes a fourth dimension to the dynamic universe of the Macintosh experience. Once the focus or primary measure used to gauge and benchmark the platform’s reemergence and progress, time has become an essential yet virtually transparent element of the Macintosh continuum.
Not long ago the Mac community lurched abruptly and often awkwardly forward and back on the results of the semi-annual expo product release calendar and the often impractical and unrealistic quarterly expectations of industry pundits, self-proclaimed experts, and ill-informed Wall Street analysts.
Yet through the passage of time the Macintosh continuum is marked more by the virtually imperceptible changes that illustrate an almost seamless progression and development of extraordinary products and solutions that move the user experience to new levels of satisfaction and fulfillment. It is the passage of time that reveals conspicuously the distinct and often stark differences between this platform and its hebetudinous and unequal yet paralleled competitors.
It’s a Macintosh continuum and continuance of development and growth. The calendar may change days, months, and even the year, but success continues as the community of Mac users continues to expand.
It’s All About the ’Pod?
Forget the “O.” Overstock.com has reported disappointing sales for the critical holiday sales period and publicly advised that the company will consequently miss its estimates for 2005 revenue and earnings. Electronics retailers such as Amazon.com are reporting that there was strong demand for electronic items such as video games and Apple iPods during the Christmas shopping season.
Pick up most recent news stories about Apple and an uninitiated reader might not discover that the company makes anything other than the ubiquitous digital music player. Clearly the iPod had another record-setting quarter and will most likely carry the Mac maker to another superlative financial quarter. How long can the iPod phenomenon last? Few analysts and commentators are willing to publicly make a guess.
When Will it Be About the Mac?
Unbeknownst to most people outside the Macintosh community, the popularity of the iPod has also sparked new interest in the Macintosh and ignited explosive growth in Macintosh unit sales. But perhaps all of the attention on the iPod has done Apple and Mac users a great deal of good. Apple may have stepped down its marketing focus on the Mac as it retools production and development for the Intel chip architecture. New Macs with Intel chips will arrive in 2006. Day in and day out, year in and year out, Apple’s fortune rises and falls on the Mac, not the iPod. Watch for the Macintosh marketing effort to return with a vengeance as new Macintosh products are rolled out early this year.
But Isn’t it All About the Games?
No doubt computer games push computer sales. Despite serious efforts to address the platform’s perceived deficits in the gaming arena, the Macintosh is still not considered the solution of choice for computer gaming. With the transition to the Intel architecture, Apple will take significant strides in first establishing parity and then supremacy in the gaming market. Mac OS X provides for a robust and stable gaming development environment, and the availability of popular video cards on the Mac following the transition will accelerate the sales of Mac among serious gamers. Watch for surprise announcements from Apple concerning the gaming market in the next few months.
Hasn’t it Mostly Been All About the Price?
Perhaps one of the most remarkable transitions in the Macintosh continuum has been a change in focus on price. For years Apple was criticized for what many thought were high prices for the Mac. The Mac mini, the feature-packed iMac G5, and the lower-priced iBook have changed the debate.
This day the issue of price focuses on Apple’s share price. AAPL finished 2005 trading at $71.89, giving the company a market capitalization of over $60 billion. This puts the company’s total market value in the range of PC market leaders Dell and HP. No matter the gargantuan size of Apple’s much larger competitors, the Mac maker is considered the market leader in design and feature-rich functionality. We will cover Apple’s financial results in our February Welcome.
It’s Really All About You!
Similar to the development and user communities we cover, ATPM has established a continuum of its own. The issue marks the beginning of our twelfth calendar year of publication. Day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out, it’s really all about you, our readers. Our circulation continues to grow, and the universe of products and topics we cover continues to expand. We look forward to being with you throughout the year and providing you with our unique blend of news, views, reviews, and commentary each and every month of the year.
Our January issue includes:
The Candy Apple: Wikipedia Is Not the Lovefest We Thought
Something is rotten in the state of Wikipedia. Maybe.
Bloggable: Colder Than a Sunday in Hell
This month’s blogosphere topics discuss the arrival of the Intel-powered Macs and what devices we may see first.
The Personal Computing Paradigm: Coping With Mac OS X’s Font Rendering
“It’s not possible to make text on Mac OS X look like it did on Mac OS 9, but with the right settings and applications you can in many cases get the best of both worlds.”
How To: Curing That Newbie Feeling
When was the last time your Mac gave you that “I’m a complete newbie and don’t know what’s going on” feeling? Next time it happens, try these remedies.
Desktop Pictures: Wyoming
Christopher Turner offers more photos from his family vacation to Wyoming earlier this year. This set focuses on the Jenny Lake area of the Grand Teton National Park.
This month’s Cortland, (we rate it PG-13 for violence) attempts to allude to as many science fiction motion pictures as possible, as several plotlines converge.
Review: Aperture 1.0.1
We took Aperture 1.0.1 for a test ride and feel Apple is justified in believing it will become the photographic equivalent to its industry-dominating and award-winning Final Cut Pro.
A cheaper alternative to heavyweight financial applications, but could use some interface improvement.
Review: iMac G5 20″
The 20″ iMac G5 that debuted this summer is a technical marvel on the inside, and comes with a bunch of new features. Come check out what Tom Bridge has to say about the newest member of the iMac family.
Tivoli Audio jumps in to the iPod stereo system market with its signature styling and quality, and offers more features than most of its competitors.
Review: Mapwing Creator Pro 1.0.2
As an alternative to QuickTime VR, Mapwing is worth a look—just guard yourself against the sticker shock.