Welcome to the March issue of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s often said “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” But it was indeed the last day of February that made a great deal of noise with the announcement of new Apple products. Our coverage begins with the February 28th product announcements.
The New Mac mini
On February 28th Apple announced the immediate availability of new Mac minis with Intel Core Solo and Core Duo processors. Complete with iLife ’06 and Front Row, the latest Macintosh to make the Intel transition starts at $599 for the Core Solo model.
The iPod Hi-Fi
While announcing the new Mac minis, Apple also announced the latest complement to its iPod line of products. Called the iPod Hi-Fi, it’s a high-fidelity speaker system for the popular iPod digital music player. With a retail price of $349, the iPod Hi-Fi is designed to provide iPod owners with a convenient and attractively priced means to use their iPods to provide room-filling sound. The big question to be answered is whether or not the new iPod Hi-Fi will be greeted with high fives from consumers.
One Billion Songs Served
When the first-generation iPod was announced back in 2001, it’s doubtful whether anyone in the Macintosh world would have imagined the size and scope of today’s iPod Nation. First released as a Mac-only peripheral, in its less than five years of history the ubiquitous digital music player has transformed not only the company that makes the device, but also the manner in which people purchase and enjoy music.
On February 22, 2006 the iTunes music store sold its one-billionth song. This milestone followed a quarter in which revenue from iPod sales was greater than Apple’s revenue from the sale of Macintosh computers. The Macintosh-iPod-iTunes combination illustrates the power of creative minds to create new industries and materially enhance the digital life of computer users everywhere.
Sometimes lost in all of the talk about the iPod’s success is appreciation for the seamless integration of iTunes and the “iApps” or iLife suite of Macintosh software products. One reason this is overlooked is that the vast majority of iPod owners and iTunes music store customers are not Mac owners. Those of us who own a Mac might take this kind of integration for granted. iPod owners are now moving to the Mac in droves. The Intel-based iMacs may accelerate this important trend. Dual citizenship in the iPod Nation and the Macintosh world may be the consumer electronics trend of the year.
The Intel Core Duo iMac
In last month’s issue of ATPM we discussed the new iMac with Intel Core Duo chips. In the first few weeks following release, Apple struggled to meet consumer demand for the latest generation of the company’s most popular computer. The new iMac appears to be drawing attention from potential new Mac users as well as platform veterans. At least two members of the ATPM staff are proud owners of the new Mac Core Duo, and anecdotal evidence indicates sales at Apple’s online store have been brisk.
The new video card options and other enhancing features, in addition to the change in chip architecture, set the new iMac apart from its predecessor although the enclosure has remained the same. Sales of the new iMac along with the continuing rise in the popularity of the iPod will provide the company with much-needed time and revenue until the full product line transition to Intel chips is complete.
Disney Buys Pixar
The Magic Kingdom has a new creative prince. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is now the largest shareholder of the Walt Disney Co. following Disney’s purchase of Pixar. Will Disney undergo Apple-style changes with Steve Jobs on board? Can the team from Pixar bring about a renaissance in creativity at Hollywood’s most storied animation firm? Watch for major changes and a few surprise announcements at Mickey’s house as Disney executives move quickly to regain the favor of movie fans, excite theme park visitors, and restore the confidence of investors.
Our March Issue
We enter the month of March with more than half of the Macintosh product line now available with the new Intel processors and even more new Macintosh products in the pipeline. ATPM enters the month of March with an impressive pipeline of the latest news, views, and reviews written with the discerning Mac user in mind. Please join us this month and every month as our team of writers and editors works around the clock, around the world, and throughout the year to bring you our special content in a unique and easy to read monthly format.
Our March issue includes:
The Candy Apple: Just Because We Can Do a Thing, Does Not Mean We Should Do a Thing
Computing in the Stone Age is still just fine, thanks.
About This Particular Outliner: Dossier and Outliner Web Interaction
Ted Goranson looks at the new outliner Dossier 2 and ruminates on Web-outliner interaction.
Segments: Post-Microsoft Entropy
Mark Tennent notes Microsoft’s struggles in the European Union, and the potential effect on Mac users.
How To: Performing a Video Extraction
Extracing DVD video to a format you can bring into iMovie isn’t as hard as you may think. It just takes the right tools.
How To: Installing a SuperDrive Into a Macintosh Cube
Squeezing extra life from a five-year-old Macintosh Cube, this article helps you install a laptop-style SuperDrive into Apple’s original space-saving Mac. It requires a few extra pieces, but adds DVD burning and fast CD reads to a system that normally relied on external FireWire drives.
Desktop Pictures: Quartz Composer
This month’s desktop pictures were created from Quartz Composer models developed by Futurismo Zugakousaku. Apple’s Quartz Composer is a “groundbreaking graphics development environment that allows you to explore the incredible power of the graphics stack of Mac OS X Tiger.”
Things get pretty crazy at Weiser Graphics after a round of fax spamming tactics. Meanwhile, Chad has vague recollections of a shadowy concept known as a life outside the company.
Review: Chessmaster 9000
Practically overflowing with tutorials and exercises, Chessmaster 9000 is a worthy instructor and opponent for all skill levels. This review explores its metaphorical rooms of chess, including the young player area and a vast database of several centuries’ worth of games and events.
Review: Clean and Polish Kit
If you are anal about keeping your iPod in pristine condition, this kit may be a good tool for your arsenal. However, if you’re hoping to bring some semblance of renewal to a neglected iPod surface, move along, there’s nothing to see here.
Review: Data Rescue II
“This is the kind of program you don’t care about until you’re desperate. But if you do have a hard drive failure and haven’t got a recent backup, download Data Rescue II.”
Review: Path Finder 4.0.2
Miraz Jordan provides just a few examples of how this Finder replacement can make your Mac work harder for you.