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ATPM 9.10
October 2003





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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the October issue of About This Particular Macintosh! This month’s issue contains a medley of stories, reviews, and columns designed to enhance your personal computing experience. I wanted to use the word potpourri to describe this month’s content. But Chris Turner, our managing editor, doesn’t like words that might hint at incongruous things. Instead, we talk about our content as a tightly woven blend of harmonious articles carefully crafted and compiled to synthesize our work and to epitomize the best of the Mac Web. Don’t believe me? Then please read our October issue!

Speaking of Hyper-Synthesis…

The folks at Virginia Tech have undertaken an ambitious plan. They are crafting a supercomputer to synthesize the work of 1,100 dual 2 GHz G5 Macs that will rival the top supercomputers in terms of performance and best the other contenders on price.

Virginia Tech’s request for 1,100 of the high-performance Macs delayed delivery of Apple’s latest and greatest top-of-the-line product to retailers and other customers. At press time the Virginia Tech Mac-based super computer was coming online. The price/performance ratio of the G5s makes the Virginia Tech effort not only a significant technology accomplishment; it has also been put together at a fraction of the cost of other world-class supercomputer clusters.

101 Iterations

What comes in black and white (mostly) and numbers out at 101? No, it’s not another movie about dogs and Cruella DeVille, it’s this issue of ATPM! Our October issue is the 101st edition of your favorite monthly Macintosh Internet magazine. Since April 1995, the editors and writers at ATPM have been covering the dog-eat-dog world of personal computing from the Macintosh point of view. In an industry filled with super villains and an occasional hero, we continue to report on the ever-changing state of the Mac in a unique and often entertaining way. We appreciate your loyal support!

.Mac Attack

Well it’s not really an attack by .Mac, but inaugural subscribers of Apple’s fee-based service may feel a bit of a pinch in their wallets during October. The first year of .Mac service (which was discounted for subscribers who migrated from the former iTools program) has come to an end. The $99 annual renewal fee will be charged to credit cards this month. Apple has been adding new promotions to the service over the past few months and is offering either a $20 coupon redeemable at the online Apple Store or a free game from a short selection of titles to subscribers who gladly renew their accounts.

New Products for the New Year

That is of course new products for the new fiscal year. Apple ended its fiscal year at the close of September. The 2004 fiscal year begins as this issue is distributed to readers. Before the end of the September quarter (and thus the fiscal year) Apple refreshed its PowerBook and iMac lines for the holiday season. The first fiscal quarter of each year is traditionally Apple’s strongest quarter for sales and earnings. There’s something to be said for starting the year off right. The Windows version of iTunes is scheduled for release this quarter and will compliment the new 40 GB and 20 GB iPods recently released by Apple. At press time Apple has not announced a release date for the Windows version of its popular music service.

Fiscal Fourth Quarter Webcast

Apple’s results for the fiscal fourth quarter and the fiscal year will be discussed with Wall Street analysts via of webcast on October 15, 2003. Analysts will be interested in learning the scheduled release date for Panther (Mac OS X 10.3), the renewal rate for .Mac subscribers, and the total number of G5 CPUs shipped in the September quarter. Of course, the debut of the Windows version of iTunes and the iTunes Music Store will be on every investor’s mind. We will provide coverage of Apple’s financial results in the November issue of ATPM.

10.2.8 We Hardly Knew You

Within hours of posting the Mac OSX 10.2.8 update on its servers, Apple Computer quietly pulled the file. Users who were quick to update their Mac OSX system software to 10.2.8 are left guessing as to when a new update will be released. Those of us who did download 10.2.8 eagerly await a fix for the problems many of us have encountered.

But We Won’t Keep You Guessing

One thing’s for sure! The latest issue of ATPM will provide each of our readers with answers to many Macintosh questions. No longer are we known as an eclectic collection of Audacious Tidbits and Puckish Musings. ATPM is now a symphony of sight, a harmony of contributed text, a veritable ensemble of the finest Mac-related literary work available in a monthly publication format. That’s why our managing editor makes the big bucks (or at least gets first pick of the software to be reviewed).


Our October issue includes:

Apples, Kids, & Attitude: Good Morning America, How Are You?

Robert Paul Leitao, his kids, and their digital devices embark on a cross-country train trek.

The Candy Apple: How Do You Like Them Apples?

Right there during your morning java, up popped an applet…

Machine Language: California Dreamin’

Matt Coates takes measure of California’s impending anti-spam law and is ready to sit back and see what happens.

Segments: Consumeritis

Andrew Kator notes the shift towards buying Macs as a statement of identity and looks at the future of Macintoshes in the consumer market.

Segments: 9 Ladybugs at the X Ladybug Picnic

Striving to not specifically advocate one over the other, Andrew Kator sifts through the major pros and cons of upgrading to OS X or sticking with OS 9.

The Legacy Corner: Picking the Optimal OS for Your Mac—Part 2

Chris Lawson is back again with part two of his run-down on how to pick the best system software for Macs that are still able to run OS 9.

Quick Tips in Design: Line

Andrew Kator continues his series of graphics tutorials looking at the use of line and how to suggest proximity, continuity, and value.

About This Particular Outliner: Outliner Features—Part 1

This month Ted Goranson continues his overview of outlining as the second column in his About This Particular Outliner. There is no well accepted definition of what an outliner is. So this month, Ted begins a review of every feature related to outlining ever found in any outliner, with examples.

The Bottom Line: Are You Ready for a Disaster?

After enduring a crippling fire in her home and later lying in wait for power to be restored in the wake of Hurricane Isabel, Mary E. Tyler evaluates what she’s learned and shares her tips for prevention, preparation, and how to prevail.

Cartoon: Cortland

An unexpected twist finds Cortland facing an uncertain future.

Cartoon: iTrolls

The iTrolls learn to speak Unix, take pride that at least one technology won’t be “assimilated,” learn the consequences of revealing the secrets of Unix to newbies, and are introduced to “the agonizer.”

Desktop Pictures: Grand Canyon & Kona

Reader Philip A. DiMarzio contributes photos from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and reader Marijke Wilhelmus shares shots taken in Kona, Hawaii.

Review: Amazon Hacks (book)

So, you want to be an guru? Eric Blair has the book for you.

Review: iSight

Robert Paul Leitao and Clayton Spayer remind us that even though videoconferencing is, in no way, the same as actually being there, using an iSight and iChat A/V is often a better, and cheaper, solution for both personal and professional communications.

Review: PagePro 1250E Laser Printer

Syvester Roque chooses a new laser printer for its speed, connectivity, cost, and flexibility.

Review: Spring Cleaning 6.0

In spite of some nit-pickable items, Robert Paul Leitao is largely pleased with Aladdin’s Spring Cleaning.

Review: Sling Pack

Lee Bennett discovers an extremely functional backpack for his PowerBook that meets a very specific and unpredictable need.

Review: TypePad

Raena Armitage tries out TypePad and finds it to be an attractive weblogging tool for newcomers and veterans, alike.


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Reader Comments (1)

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 4, 2003 - 00:34 EST #1
Some photos of the G5 supercomputer project are available.

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