Welcome to the November 2001 issue of About This Particular Macintosh! This month, residents of the US celebrate our venerable old holiday called Thanksgiving. What began as a spontaneous celebration of thanks by a group of early North American settlers from England has become one of our nation’s most loved holidays.
Why shouldn’t we love Thanksgiving? It was declared an official national holiday by one of America’s most loved presidents, Abraham Lincoln. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, and it became an official American holiday in 1863. By 2001, it has become not only a day for Americans to give thanks, it’s long been considered the day that begins the holiday season.
But the fact remains that the first Thanksgiving wasn’t a planned event, and no records indicate that the settlers credited with creating it ever repeated a celebration of its kind. Our Thanksgiving traditions are based on a mixture of myth and reality.
A mixture of myth and truth also beguiles Apple Computer and the perception of its award-winning products.
Why Is It?
Why is it that most analysts suspend the laws of logic when it comes to Apple? A simple look at the company’s balance sheet indicates a retained earnings figure that would be considering staggering for any company but Apple. Apple Computer is one of the few personal computer companies that actually knows how to make money. We present as evidence a quick overview of Apple Computer’s most recent quarterly results for the period ended September 29, 2001:
- For the three-month period, Apple reported a net profit of $66 million.
- During the three-month period, Apple’s gross margin on products sold was 30.1%.
- On September 29, 2001 Apple had on hand over $4.3 billion in cash.
What Is It?
Is the Apple iPod an MP3 player, an external FireWire Drive or both? Hint: it can do two things over one FireWire port.
Is the iPod the “breakthrough” product Apple claims it to be? Hint: holiday sales will provide the one-word answer to that question.
There are some who treat Apple Computer’s products as if they should be myth, packed with features and prices that defy the realm of reality. We’re just happy that Apple continues to develop products that are useful and fun to use.
Let’s give thanks this month that the number of Mac users continues to grow, and that Apple’s release of award-winning and useful products is not a spontaneous, one-time event. Who knows? Years from now a popular American president might declare a national Apple Day! Sigh, perhaps Think Not.
Included in this month’s Thanksgiving issue:
Apple Cider: Legends in Their Own Time
Grab your Sherlock Holmes hat and magnifying glass. This month, Tom Iovino goes in search of the origins of the Urban Legend and stumbles across a great resource. Plus, discover what Tom liked to do at birthday parties—and it never involved cake or ice cream.
Beyond the Barline: Too Much Hype
David Ozab returns from hiatus just in time to give his first reaction to Apple’s new iPod. Does it live up to the hype? Is it worth the price? And, most importantly, will someone buy David one for his birthday?
My Apple Wedge: Visitors at the Apple Retail Store
Following in Tom Iovino’s footsteps, after he wrote about his recent experience at the Apple retail store in his neighborhood, Dierk Seeburg braves the crowds and takes a trip to the new mall in Chandler, AZ, to witness the opening of Apple’s latest retail store at Chandler Fashion Center. Check out his observations about the store and the results of his customer survey.
About This Particular Web Site
Back after a break last month, a new ATPW offers links to a pair of useful sites for Mac OS X users and a site where you can find literally Everything USB, as well as a page listing CDs you won’t be able to rip to your new iPod, and the Annals of Improbable Research.
Segments: Credit Where Credit Is [Not] Due
Judging from the buzz, Microsoft software writers have released a new version of Internet Explorer that’s worthy of OS X’s “cool” factor. It’s too bad this feat seems to have gone to their heads—so much so that they have managed to blame a security problem on the OS itself instead of the real culprit: their own browser.
Network Guru: Mac and Windows File Sharing Using FTP
Despite their differences, Macs and Windows can easily move files around your network using a simple and inexpensive FTP server. This article covers setup of both the FTP client and server, helping you get your files where they’re needed most.
Network Guru: Networking Tutorial
Matthew Glidden introduces Macintosh networks, from terminology and what networks are good for; to LocalTalk, Ethernet, and AirPort; to software and hook-up basics.
Desktop Pictures: Berlin and Mt. Auburn Cemetery
Katarina Neef contributes her desktop pictures of Germany’s capital and the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts.
Review: Mandrake Linux 8.0 PPC
David Ozab takes a look at Mandrake PPC, the popular, easy-to-install, Linux-based operating system now available for all PowerPC-based Macs. It’s a viable option for those who want the Unix experience on a Mac without the financial or computational price tag of OS X.
Review: Panorama 4.01
Gregory Tetrault reviews Panorama 4, the latest version of ProVue’s 13-year-old database application. Panorama is a full-featured flat-file database that generates small files and always loads entire database files into application RAM.
Eric Blair checks out the Kensington PocketType—a handheld keyboard for the Handspring Visor that shows promise but is still rough around the edges.
Paul Fatula reviews MacSoft’s implementation of the classic Atari game, Q*bert. Unlike their version of Pong, this Q*bert is nostalgically true to the original, complete with cheesy 80's arcade sound effects and pixellated graphics. It also offers a fresh take on the game that lets you play on countless different playfields.