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ATPM 5.07
July 1999


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Welcome to the latest issue of About This Particular Macintosh ! This month we’re pleased to release our star-spangled pre-party planner. What party? Macworld Expo, of course! Later this month Mac users will converge on the Big Apple for a whole week of hi-tech, high-profile hoopla! Get out the barbecue grill, the funny red sauce, and all the other summertime fixings. We’ve prepared a juicy pre-party picnic. Just take a look inside this month’s issue for our Audacious Tidbits and Puckish Musings about the “big show.”

The Sound Of Silence

With the exception of Apple board member Larry Ellison (who sometimes can’t control his glee), very little has been publicly mentioned about new products that may be announced at Macworld Expo. We think this is a good thing. Computer buyers need to make decisions based on what’s available today, not on speculation of what might be available tomorrow.

P1 2B?

Speculation about the mythical Apple consumer portable has reached fever pitch. Some recent rumors have actually suggested that the product may never come to market. The challenge of designing a low-cost, portable computer that will capture the imagination and provide unique functionality is a difficult one.

The editors of ATPM claim no special insights into Apple’s thinking. We have no inside information, but we do consider ourselves to have a certain amount of common sense. The Macintosh is not a philosophy or a religion. It’s a product line produced by a for-profit enterprise. For this reason we believe that when the P1 comes to market it may not have all the features and expensive ports Mac fanatics crave, but it will be a breakthrough in what we call “form factor functionality” (please say that three times quickly).

The P1 will not be a cheap alternative to a professional-level PowerBook. If you need a portable Mac for presentations or design work, please buy a PowerBook now. If you’re interested in a portable computer that runs the Mac OS and functions like a portable iMac, please wait and see what Apple has to offer. We have no doubts it will be a cool mobile product with some spiffy stuff for its price range.

Rumor, Rumor On The Wall...

For the past four years Apple Computer had been known as the “beleaguered” computer company and rumors of its demise circulated far and wide. Now that Apple has returned to profitability, the rumor-mongers have changed their tune. No longer beleaguered, Apple is now rumored to be the computer industry’s best-known takeover target.

What would a potential purchaser acquire with their cash or stock? Certainly not the unquestioned loyalty of millions of Mac users. Mac users are loyal to their computer company of choice because of quality products and cutting-edge technological innovations. The Performa debacle illustrated that consumers will pay a small premium for Apple-branded products only when the goods provide greater value in terms of ease-of-use or higher performance for the end-user. Take away the cutting-edge technology and thoughtful design and you have little more than a box with an interesting logo.

Acquiring Apple Computer would not be cheap and the transfer of ownership of the only OS that is a viable consumer alternative to Windows would invite not only an exhaustive government review of its anti-trust implications, but also a fair number of shareholder lawsuits. Apple Computer has survived as an independent corporate entity for more than 20 years. This is due, in part, to the fact that it would be difficult to integrate Apple’s hardware products, software technologies and end-user expectations into the product offerings of a different company. Simply put, there would be few cost savings realized by combining Apple’s operations with those of a larger organization. The billions of dollars it would cost to acquire Apple Computer is a lot of money to pay for a logo and a brand name. QuickTime and other Apple technologies can be licensed for far less than the cost of acquiring the company.

Say It Again, Sam

We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again—do not make illegal installations of commercial software. A recent poll conducted by the Business Software Alliance and the Software & Information Industry Association indicates that roughly 40% of business software applications installed during 1998 were performed from pirated copies of commercial software packages. This is a startling figure! Revenues from application sales drive product innovation. Piracy can only lead to higher software prices.

One of the biggest (and often ill-informed) complaints about the Macintosh platform is that there are too few applications available for the Mac compared to the number of applications available for Windows. Installing pirated copies of Mac software reduces software sales and artificially depresses retail demand for Mac-based titles. Please do not give copies of your licensed applications to friends and co-workers. In turn, please do not ask others to violate the law.

ATPM T-Shirts Are Now In Stock!

ATPM’s 100% cotton, pre-shrunk t-shirts are now available! Think of them as the perfect gift for the Mac enthusiast in your life who has everything (else). Emblazoned with the eye-catching ATPM logo and our thought-provoking motto, the t-shirts come in sizes from small to XXL. Order yours today. One price fits all! Please see the ordering details.

Over There, Over There, Spread The Word Over There To Beware!

The iMac continues to take the world by storm. In Japan, Singapore and other foreign markets the iMac is quickly becoming a must-have item (not unlike our new 100% cotton, pre-shrunk ATPM T-shirts). This is a good thing. We welcome Mac users from all over the world to join our growing ranks of rabid readers. ATPM was created to celebrate “the personal computing experience.” Our e-zine is a wonderful online companion for people discovering the world of Macintosh computing.

Not since the release of the original Macintosh in 1984 has a personal computer created as much enthusiasm and consumer interest as the ubiquitous, multi-colored iMac. We must caution first-time Mac owners that no matter what the color of your new computer, your friends may all turn the same color—green. Mac-envy doesn’t stop at border crossings!

Grandpa, Tell Me ’Bout The Good Ol’ Days!

The release of the Lombard version of the G3 PowerBook marks the end of an era. It will most likely be the last Macintosh-branded product to ship with a SCSI port. We can only speculate that the SCSI port remained as a cost or time saving measure and that it will be replaced by a FireWire port in the next update to the PowerBook line.

Long-time Mac veterans can remember the many late-night hours spent diagnosing and repairing SCSI chain problems. SCSI technology was cool for its time, but we’d prefer to spend more time with our families and less time at our computers. Newer Technology has promised a FireWire card for PowerBook owners who would like to take advantage of Apple’s own FireWire technology. Before you forget, please write down your favorite SCSI horror stories. They’ll be fun subject matter for family campfires in the years to come. If that isn’t enough to keep the little ones up all night, tell them about life before TV remote controls, Sega and Nintendo!

Humble Pi

The popularity of the Internet has caused a sharp decline in Mac user group memberships. Information that once could only be gathered through attendance at a monthly meeting is now readily available from sources in cyberspace. This can be a good thing. But the Internet cannot replace the opportunity to meet with other Mac enthusiasts in a fun and entertaining group environment. A user group meeting is a cool place to see the latest in software and talk with local Mac experts.

One of the best local Mac user groups is Washington Apple Pi, located just outside our nation’s capital. In addition to monthly meetings, the organization provides members with an informative newsletter and makes available CD-ROMs with gobs of goodies. There’s an understated charm to the low-key way they do things. Stop by their Website. If you don’t live near Washington, DC, please consider joining your local Macintosh user group. Virtual reality can be entertaining, but there’s something to be said for meeting others over a hot cup of the other kind of Java. #articleTitle "News And Reviews Just For Youse!"

Lost In Cyberspace

Web veterans may remember the days before cumbersome e-commerce logins and annoying cookies. Sometimes we all feel a bit lost in the strange menagerie of virtual product offerings and make-no-sense Web sites. Daniel Chvatik, ATPM’s managing editor, seeks to recapture the spirit of the old wild, wild Web. In his new column, About This Particular Website, Daniel will scour the Web for sites that captivate the mind and thrill the senses. Please read his inaugural column inside this month’s issue.

We’d also like to welcome Chris Orcutt to our list of regular contributors. You’ll appreciate Chris' offbeat and sometimes hilarious outlook on the world of Mac computing.

In this month’s Personal Computing Paradigm, ATPM’s editor Michael Tsai continues his personal crusade to enlighten our readers about many of the lesser-known features built into today’s word processors. Michael completes his two-part report with an exhaustive evaluation of the benefits of style sheets.

Goss! He’s Good!

Ed Goss, ATPM’s trivia columnist and all-around cool guy, has been burning the midnight oil. We admire his digital doggedness. This month our inquisitive seeker of interesting Mac stuff reviews the NavCom Cache Control Panel. Please take a look at Ed’s review inside this issue.

Do You Know The Way to San Jose?

Actually, he’s more interested in finding the way from Tampa Bay to Cupertino. In the latest edition of Apple Cider, Tom Iovino uses a few gender stereotypes to make a point about Apple’s product roadmap. Has Apple Computer lost its way in terms of bringing a consumer portable to market? We caution readers that Tom’s newest column isn’t very “PC.”

Please take a look inside for more news, views and reviews. We hope you enjoy our latest issue.

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