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ATPM 5.12
December 1999


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Apple Cider: Random Squeezings from a Mac User

by Tom Iovino,

It’s Almost Here

Yeah, it’s hard to believe, but after all the hype and doom-saying, we are now in the shadow of the arrival of Y2K.

I have to confess that I’m probably one of the happiest people in the world to see the arrival of Y2K. First, I am hoping the local radio stations will finally stop playing The Artist Formerly Known As Prince’s old standby 1999 in their heavy music rotation.

And, I have had it with all the doom-sayers who have nothing better to do than buy late night programming and sell their point of view. I have seen more ads for survival gear and I’ve seen prophets who claim that the end is near. I mean, come on, when January 1st rolls around, no one is going to burst into flames or be abducted by aliens and whisked off to some planet for weird biological experiments.

Well, just as local business owners, the local government, and others have been encouraged by these wackos to back up their data, collect canned goods, and load up on shotgun shells, I will be downloading some data onto you as we get closer to the witching hour—just to be sure I have my bases covered:

Random Saved Thought #1

Thank you, Aspyr Media!

Okay, for years the big glaring gap in the software available for the Macintosh has been a top-of-the-line sports game. Sure, if you were into hunting, bass fishing, or pool, you could play on your Mac, but I’m talking about the big money games. You know—Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey.

I have always heard my friends with PCs—and those Mac friends who had a Sega system at the house—bragging about the latest version of Madden Football, but I have never been able to convince my wife that a Sega system was a good item to add to the family budget.

Groceries. Sheesh. Who needs ’em anyway?

But now, I have to tip my hat to the folks at Aspyr for bringing the Madden franchise to the Macintosh community. And, I think they will be pleased with the reception they get from the Mac faithful. After all, if you look at the increased numbers of Mac owners (especially credit the iMac for bringing people to the fold), there is a significant user base to market their software to.

I am certainly hoping to get a copy under the tree this year (hint hint, Santa Claus).

Random Saved Thought #2


Well, it seems that U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had seen enough from Microsoft to determine that it was indeed a monopoly. He felt that Microsoft Corp. possesses monopoly power in the market for PC operating systems and harmed consumers through its anti-competitive behavior.

The majority of this finding was obviously due to these facts—Microsoft holds over 90% of the OS market share, and it has lorded this elephant-in-the-living-room fact over software manufacturers such as Apple, Netscape, and Quicken, and such hardware manufacturers as Apple, Dell, and Intel.

But, I’m convinced that a good portion of this decision came about through the recalcitrant attitude of the Microsoft officials who testified. From Bill Gates down to the other vice presidents of different departments, each had proven to be, well, pretty nasty. As I had written earlier, Judge Jackson has not been entertained by the antics of the Microsoft crew, and, to me, it seemed as if this result was a foregone conclusion.

So, needless to say, when it gets to the penalty phase, the Justice Department and the 19 states involved in the case will have a big say in the lumps that Microsoft is going to have to take. And, you can probably guess there are any number of penalties which can be handed out—all the way to an AT&T breakup. People have speculated that Microsoft may want to roll the dice and try its luck in the penalty phase, but, I have my own ideas.

Why leave things to chance?

If I were Bill Gates, I would retreat into my MegaMansion with a crack team of lawyers and figure out how I would like to see the penalty phase shake out. So, what if Microsoft had to spin off a new company that handled Office and Internet Explorer? As long as Microsoft came to the table with something like this, it could possibly hold on to its operating system—which has to be in a computer, otherwise it is just an expensive space heater. Microsoft keeps its core market. The money continues to roll in. Maybe that would keep the whole shebang from being broken up lock, stock, and barrel.

Random Saved Thought #3

Hey, how about that Apple Stock?

Buoyed by the Microsoft finding, I think I may have had a nosebleed by the rapid rise of Apple’s stock price.

Not only has the price of the stock risen, it has risen to the highest it has ever been, tickling the 100 mark at the time of writing. It makes me wish that I bought some back in the dark days of sub $20 a share.

I might be able to afford that mini-van we were looking at today...

Random Saved Thought #4

Did anyone watch that Macy’s Parade on Thanksgiving morning?

Has the Internet become too pervasive?

And, can someone please explain the whole Ask Jeeves balloon to me?

• • •

Finally, don’t know how you are going to be celebrating the new year. Perhaps, you will be cruising in the Mediterranean. Or scaling the heights of Mt. Everest. Or traveling to Greenwich, England to celebrate at the Prime Meridian.

Unfortunately, I can tell you where I will be—in the Emergency Operations Center of the government I work for. This is the same bunker-type facility I have to report to in the event of a hurricane. This is so the decision makers can keep their fingers on the pulse of Y2K developments as they happen.

Just in case.

In case of what, I don’t know. But whatever that event may be, I’ll be there trying to keep the populace—or that portion of it who aren’t completely drunk out of their minds at a New Year’s Eve bash—calm.

So, while you find yourself delayed at the Customs counter trying to get checked through or you find that the airlines’ computers have crashed and you can’t get a flight home, at least I will have a good supply of MREs.

They should come in handy once the Y2K riots begin...

apple“Apple Cider: Random Squeezings from a Mac user” is copyright © 1999 Tom Iovino,

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