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ATPM 4.01
January 1998



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On a Clear Day, You Can See the Hollywood Sign

by Mike Shields,

The Last Column of 1997

All the good columns have been taken. In my continuing effort to increase the Mac's market share, I've been seeking guidance and advice by reading other columnists' comments before forming my own opinion. This increases the likelihood that you, the home reader, get your money's worth. OK, I know this is a free e-zine, but you get the idea.

The problem with this grandiose scheme is lately, the opinions I've formed before surfing the 'net, are the same as others have formed and gotten to press first. Check out Don Crabb's latest from his Website, or last week's MacWEEK, for his take on what I touched on last month. <>

I give a short review. Apparently, Apple has abandoned its corporate accounts. To my mind, the corporate sector is a vast resource for Apple to tap. Furthermore, it's been my experience here, at what used to be Huge (I'll touch on that later), that the machine people have at home is what they use at work for compatibility reasons. By this equation, decreased office sales implies decreased home sales. Here at Huge, we have the unfortunate obligation of justifying any Macintosh purchase, as I'm sure you've read in my previous column. If you haven't, you should. I'll wait.

Back already? So, now that we've come to the same conclusion as Don Crabb, I'll try to come up with a variation on 'The Mac isn't Dead' theme. Just about the time I'm ready to put fingers to keyboard, I receive my February Macworld (which no longer incorporates MacUser) and read David Pogue's column. <> In it, he gives various and sundry reasons why the Mac won't go away. Required reading, IMNERHO. You may be wondering why I'm receiving a magazine dated February '98 in December '97. Frankly, it isn't any stranger than receiving the November, December and January issues in January of '98. It's a long story. I've probably already told it. If I haven't, let me know.

Of course, all is not rosy. At this time of year, it seems a good idea to do a "Year in Review" column. Again, I'm beaten to the punch, this time by. For those readers who don't live in California, this publication deftly bills itself as "California's Computer Magazine." Their motto should read, "Computer Magazine of Everyone in California Except Mike Shields," because even their Mac columnists have a limited view about what's good for the Mac. Fortunately, their Year of Hell column is on the Web: <http://microtimes/current/yearofhell.html>

Regarding things good for the Mac, the LA Times fairs no better than Micro Times. In their attempt to explain Myths and Facts about the Mac, their columnist got a little confused as to which are which. Now, newspaper articles on the web are a fickle lot, so you may jump to this article. <http://latimes/HOME/NEWS/CUTTING/t000117810.html> The one thing that stood out in my mind was their opinion that Apple copied Dell's online store. Excuse me, but when you are the company that actually created it in the first place (by virtue of purchasing NeXT, Inc.), how does that make yours the copy? (And some of you thought the NeXT takeover wasn't a good idea.)
There are a plethora of Mac sites out there. Ours is but one of many. The various columnists tend to agree. Get a Mac. So, when I finally come up with my own unique opinion for this month's column, I'll let you know.

Entertainment. Or, at Least Entertaining.
I haven't received a go ahead for the financing of "Diamond in the Rough," yet. Sure, this is personal and has little to do with the Mac. However, the script was written on a Mac using Final Draft 4.1.4, from BC Software. <> I reviewed this software in a previous issue. <>

I'd like to discuss Bill Gates' troubles with the DOJ. At a speech given by Mr. Bill at China's leading technology university, a student asked, "How did you make the most technically unsuccessful product into the biggest marketing success?" He was referring, of course, to our old pal, Windoze '95.

As you may or may not have heard, Microsoft requires all computers shipped by the various Wintel manufacturers to have Internet Explorer pre-installed. Mr. Bill believes that IE is an integral part of Win '95. We Mac users know better. IE is a stand alone program. At least it is on our platform (unless all of you IE users have also installed Windoze '95 and forgot to tell me). Personally, I prefer Netscape. Apparently, many of the PC-afflicted do, too. PC clone manufacturers feel the same way. When they tried to remove IE from their pre-install, Mr. Bill cried, "Foul!" The DOJ responded by slapping a restraining order on Mr. Bill. Currently, Wired magazine online has the best take on the situation. <>

I No Longer Work for Huge Aircrash
Actually, I never did in the first place. I'm an independent contractor, working for a sub-contractor, contracted by another company contracted by Huge. No, I didn't get fired. A couple weeks ago, Raytheon and Huge merged, becoming Raytheon Systems Company. Soon, I'll get a tiny sticker to put over the Huge logo on my badge that says, "Raytheon," in nice block letters. For me, it's the end of an era. I worked at Huge from '83 to '86 as a programmer. These previous two years, I've worked as a Mac Tech. Some other Huge companies exist in addition to Aircrash. They promise nothing will change. We'll see. The same was said when GM bought the company about 12 years ago. I got laid off eight months later.

Happy New Year!

72 and sunny in El Segundo.

e Ya next month.

Disclaimer: Mike will accept praise, flames, and job leads at: <>.
He wants to stay in the LA area and would prefer some sort of Mac job in the
entertainment industry.Blue Apple

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