Welcome to the April edition of About This Particular Macintosh! This month we’re rather “bumfuzzled.” That’s the spiffy ATPM word for that special place that rests between perplexed and dumbfounded. We’re a little dumbfounded by the continued success of Apple’s iMac. Ten months after its public debut, no other manufacturer has released a compelling all-in-one competitor to the multi-color machine. We’re a little perplexed that with all its success, the depiction of Apple in the mainstream press has only marginally improved.
Later this month Apple will report its sixth consecutive quarter of positive earnings along with substantial year-over-year gains in unit shipments and gross revenue. The G3 blue and white minitower is very popular with professionals and “Wall Street” version PowerBooks have continued to sell at an astounding pace. There’s no logical reason for continued pessimism about the Macintosh platform and its future.
ATPM is intended to be a monthly e-zine for everyday computer users. Our editors are not financial or computer industry experts. However, we do spend hours each day keeping abreast of changes in the Macintosh market. From our vantage point, we’re not the only ones who are “bumfuzzled” on this beautiful spring day. When Apple reports its latest quarterly results the executives in Cupertino will most likely tell the world that the company has almost $3 billion dollars in cash and net profits for the quarter, well above last year’s performance. In our view, there’s no reason the company’s debt should be rated below investment grade. In addition, the continued success of the iMac indicates that consumers are willing to invest their hard-earned dollars in a quality computer that comes in different colors. It’s a high-tech, multi-colored corporate turnaround.
Before we delve into all the exciting news and views inside this month’s issue, we’d like to remind all of our readers to do something good for Mac users everywhere. Please stand up and be counted or, in this case, registered. There’s a lot of debate about the size of the Macintosh for education and entertainment software. Much of the uncertainty about platform’s software market share is because many titles are sold on hybrid CDs. Therefore, unless you send in the registration card (or register the software over the Internet) Macintosh sales can go uncounted. Be Macsmart! Register your software and let every Mac sale be counted.
The widespread adoption of USB and Apple’s own FireWire means that Mac users will have many new and exciting choices when selecting hardware peripherals. It takes only a moment or two to fill out your warranty card. Please remember to mark the Macintosh box on the warranty questionnaire.
At press time Mac OS X Server was making its way to retail shelves. While much of the computing world has been preoccupied with the ascent of Linux at the expense of Windows NT, the release of Mac OS X Server is cause for celebration. Not only do Linux and Mac OS X Server have a common Unix ancestor, Apple’s new networking software offers compelling solutions to schools and enterprises that want modern server technology without the need for a staff of techno-wizards to make it work.
Everyday Mac users should educate themselves about Apple’s new server software. It offers many cool previews of features that will be included in the Mac OS X consumer product that will be released later this year.
Schools administrators will be delighted by Mac OS X Server’s easy of use and the advanced features which will allow teachers the opportunity to better use technology to educate students. Mac OS X Server’s NetBoot capabilities (allowing several Macs to be booted simultaneously from the same server) is a compelling feature that is sure to excite technology-minded IT managers and administrators.
There is no better way to improve technology than to allow others to contribute to its development. It’s our view that the time and talent of thousands of engineers and programmers working together to improve Mac OS X Server’s Open Source code is of greater value than hundreds of additional engineers hired to further develop a proprietary product. By making an Open Source commitment, the company that ignited the personal computer revolution may be blazing a new Open Source trail for proprietary software companies.
In this month’s Personal Computing Paradigm, Michael Tsai takes riders on an unmetered tour of a new and exciting Web browser called iCab. In our world of bloated applications and Web browsers that do everything but help you surf the Web quickly, iCab offers Mac users an inexpensive and efficient way to travel the highways and byways of Cyberspace. Please read more about what iCab has to offer inside this month’s issue.
If there was ever a request made by Apple to its loyal customers it can be summed up in the title of the famous pop song recorded by Ben E. King, “Stand By Me.” Many years after the song was originally recorded by Mr. King it became the theme for a very successful motion picture. In this month’s trivia challenge Ed Goss offers readers the chance to test their knowledge of popular songs that have been used as titles for motion pictures. Please don’t miss Ed’s review of Icon Tools 1.6 which is also inside this month’s issue.
Bill Lovett, ATPM‘s shareware reviews editor, has very high standards for shareware applications and utilities that claim to make a Mac user’s computing life better or easier. This month Bill casts his discerning eye on navigation helpers such as DragThing and FinderPop.
In this month’s issue Evan Trent takes on the Herculean task of exploring the many benefits of AppleShare IP 6.1. If you’re a computing super hero, this is the review for you! We swear the guy must have X-ray vision. It’s the most penetrating look we’ve seen at this very important software offering. Now if we could only get the guy out of the ATPM telephone booth! Please don’t miss this exhaustive review inside our latest issue.
At last month’s annual meeting Apple iCEO Steve Jobs revealed that he had been interested in acquiring 3Com’s Pilot (not just the device but the technology, brand name and other applicable rights, title and interest). However, the fine folks who make the handheld device informed him that the Pilot was not for sale. We think interest in acquisition is among the greatest forms of flattery.
It’s our understanding that Mr. Jobs also informed Apple’s investors that the Cupertino-based company was now licensing technology to 3Com and that the two companies were working on an Apple branded Pilot-like product. We eagerly await the results. Please look inside this issue for Eric Blair’s review of Go Type, a Pilot keyboard. The more ways that data can be easily entered into a handheld device the more popular these products will become.
At press time we’re awaiting news on Apple’s consumer portable, Lombard-version PowerBooks, Mac OS 8.6 and the much talked about AltiVec technology. The next few weeks will be full of cool announcements about hot new products. We’ll be there with you. Until next month, please enjoy our latest issue!