’Twas the weeks before Christmas and all through the house, not an iMac was stirring, not even the mouse. Then along came a reprieve from national despair and consumers flocked to the Apple Store with the winter fresh air. The TiBooks looked nice on their well-lit display; the iBooks and iPods hearkened all ages to play. It was a holiday season that rivaled those from before, with hardware and software befitting legend and lore.
With the holiday merriment that rekindles love in our heart, the ATPM staff is doing its part to spread holiday cheer throughout our great land with another cool issue that’s always well planned. Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas from our families to yours, may your nicely wrapped gifts be filled with all kinds of Mac toys. This is the end of the bad prose that may seem awful to some, but please accept our best wishes for the New Year to come.
Sugar Plum Fairy Tale
Wrapped in sugar and spice but containing nothing that’s nice, the wealthy folks in Redmond have offered the courts an anti-competitive and singularly self-serving anti-trust settlement plan under the guise of helping America’s poorest schools. In our view, the plan is so insidiously selfish it gives the Grinch Who Stole Christmas reason to pause and take notes.
On the one hand we believe Microsoft is attempting to use their proposed settlement offer to gain monopoly control of the education market. On the other hand we can’t help but believe that this self-serving offer is a de facto admission on the part of Microsoft that unless they give their products away for free they can not adequately compete with Apple in the education market. Steve Jobs has been uncharacteristically vocal in his opposition to the Microsoft settlement plan.
Whether or not the courts approve the plan is anyone’s guess. But even if Microsoft is allowed to proceed with its plan, too many schools and school administrators understand the benefits of having Apple technology in the classroom for the Microsoft settlement offer to make a real difference in Apple’s education market share. Anyone who believes differently, even the folks in Redmond, are better off reading fairy tales. That’s the only place where this kind of self-styled and self-serving offer might find a happy ending for the children possibly affected by this misguided plan.
Word has it that the G5 chip has entered volume production. Some expect to see G5 Macs at Macworld Expo in January. As a general rule the ATPM staff does not publicly comment on rumor or speculation. We do know that the G5 chip has been under long-term development and that the technology advancements slated for the G5 will delight Mac users when the processor comes to market. Whether or not the G5 appears in Mac products in January, we look forward to exciting product announcements soon after New Year’s Day. Until we meet again in 2002, please enjoy our latest issue. Our December issue includes the following columns, commentaries and product reviews:
Apple Cider: The Year of Big Changes
Tom Iovino reviews the happenings in 2001, from hardware like the Cube, the new iBook, and the iPod, to Mac OS X and the Microsoft settlement.
My Apple Wedge: Interview With A New User
Dierk Seeburg interviews a user new to Macs and computing. She found herself in the position where the reasons to finally get her own computer outweighed the hassles of having to deal with having another piece of equipment to maintain, upgrade, and, if necessary, repair or get repaired. So, when a friend offered her a computer for dirt cheap she bought it without knowing anything about it or having seen it. To her surprise, it turned out to be a Macintosh. This interview describes her experience of working with what we have come to appreciate as the best computing platform out there.
About This Particular Web Site
This month’s ATPW takes you to a Web site with extensive information about securing OS X, and a pictorial warning of what happens if you don’t secure your Mac before shipping. There’s also Fun with Spammers and fun with Legos. Finally, in support of our reviews of the iPod and iTunes, there’s a site devoted to the iPod.
How To: About Two-Mac Networks
Whether you’re making a temporary connection to move files from an old Mac to a new one or setting up a more permanent situation, it’s important to know what your network options are. Most Macs will use their built-in Ethernet to make an easy one-cable hookup, but you can also use AirPort wireless connections for AirPort-enabled Macs or connect older, LocalTalk-only Macs with a printer cable to move files around or perform other network tasks.
How To: Sharing USB Printers on a Network
The USB Printer Sharing control panel, included with Mac OS 9 and later, greatly simplifies the task of sharing a USB printer to your home network. Connect your printer to a networked Mac, install the printing software on the Macs that will use it, do a little control panel configuration to get it going, and you’re ready to print from anywhere.
Desktop Pictures: Sewickley, PA
Dan Klein contributes his summer photographs of Sewickley, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Reviews: Shareware Roundup
Want to enjoy some cool Aqua graphics when you’re playing your games? This month’s Shareware Roundup looks at a few “quick” games for Mac OS X.
Review: Bosco’s Foto Trimmer
Paul Fatula reviews a brand new photo editing program featuring great simplicity and ease of use. While Bosco’s Foto Trimmer is still a little rough around the edges, that’s not unusual for a version 1.0 program, and it has a lot of promise for future versions. As it stands, it’s a quick and friendly program for trimming, rotating, and stretching images.
Review: Wildform Flix
Mike Shields reviews Wildform Flix, a utility for converting video files into Macromedia’s nearly ubiquitous Shockwave format.
Daniel Chvatik reviews Apple’s new iPod. Although the iPod is not for everyone, he finds that it hits its particular market segment dead-on, although it’s a bit pricey.
Review: iTunes 2
Apple released this new version in conjunction with the iPod. Gregory Tetrault lacks an iPod to check out the synergy (Please, Apple, how about sending “evaluation” units to us hardworking ATPM volunteers?), but otherwise puts iTunes 2 through its paces. Is it easier to “Rip Mix Burn” with iTunes 2? Read and learn.
Review: Microsoft Outlook 2001
Outlook 2001 for Macintosh—does it finally give Macintosh users parity with their Windows-using counterparts? Gregory Tetrault reviews this multipurpose workgroup mail, scheduling, and personal information management program. The best news: Outlook 2001 is free. Of course, to use Outlook your workgroup needs to be using Microsoft Exchange Server, which isn’t.
Review: Portraits & Prints
Eric Blair review Portraits & Prints, a program that simplifies the process of getting your digital photos out of your camera and into the hands of the people you care about.