Welcome to the February issue of About This Particular Macintosh! February’s the shortest month of the year. Therefore we will try to keep our intro as brief as possible. We don’t want to run the risk that an expanded Welcome coupled with our exhaustive coverage of everything Mac would keep you reading our February issue past the beginning of March. To wit, we declare this issue of ATPM to be our official “sans” publication.
This is not an easy task! January’s announcements from Cupertino could fill an almanac, sans the weather forecasts. Speaking of forecasts, Steve Jobs and Co. announced that in the December quarter, Apple’s first fiscal quarter, the company shipped 743,000 Macs. This resulted in net profits per share before extraordinary income and expense items of $.03. This was inline with Wall Street estimates. Extraordinary charges relating to restructuring expenses put the company in the red for the three-month period. The company lost $.02 per share inclusive of the extraordinary items. The company’s cash and investments grew in the December quarter to more than $4.4 billion.
Where the forecasts come in to play is that Apple executives estimate that the current three-month period will be similar to the past three-month period, sans the extraordinary expenses. This means the company, like most technology companies, won’t predict when a turnaround in commercial and consumer technology spending will begin. Sans real estimates, we can expect little more than for the PC industry to continue to tread water while waiting for computer buyers to return to the stores.
Speaking of stores, Apple’s retail stores rang up about $150 million in retail sales in the December quarter. The company continues to aggressively market the stores as a key component of its efforts to lure Windows users to the Mac. Research reports that Apple slightly increased its overall market share in the US in the final half of 2002.
In early January Apple released two new PowerBooks—a 12" aluminum PowerBook and a 17" aluminum PowerBook. In addition to the change in casing material, the new PowerBooks sport faster FireWire ports, internal Bluetooth wireless support, and DDR RAM. Apple claims PowerBooks and iBooks will increase their percentage of overall Mac sales during 2003. That’s one forecast that will probably come true. The mini-tower line has been sans a serious upgrade for quite some time, and at the end of January Apple cut the prices on its mini-tower line.
In other news, Apple released a public beta of Safari, its homegrown Web browser. More than 500,000 free copies of Safari have been downloaded to date. Keynote, an Apple alternative to Microsoft’s popular PowerPoint presentation software, debuted during the first month of the year at $99. Final Cut Express, a $299 version of Apple’s $999 Final Cut Pro digital editing software, became available mid-month. Final Cut Express is positioned as a product for digital pros and home enthusiasts who want the power of Final Cut Pro but sans some of the high-end editing features used by major production houses and movie studios.
There’s more to come in our official “sans” issue of ATPM. This month we’ll sans our Welcome editor’s verbose lead and introduce you to our February release. Please enjoy!
Our February issue includes:
The Candy Apple: St. Valentine’s Day Observations
Ellyn decides the only date she needs for Valentine’s Day is her very own Mac.
On a Clear Day You Can See the Hollywood Sign
Whether or not you are a football fan, the Super Bowl hype tends to grab your attention at this time of the year. Find out how Apple leveraged this event to go after more Switchers…and not necessarily in the way you think.
Roll Your Own: The Object of Programming
For those of you who been following Chuck Ross’ series on writing your own software, this month he introduces a tool to make your job easier—Object Oriented Programming in AppleScript.
What’s Under The Hood: Eye Candy for the Mac
Bob Lewis has a new Pismo. Find out about the utilities and other goodies that he finds indispensable…or just plain fun “under the hood” of his latest Mac.
How To: Personalizing Your Mac 101
We all know that the original Mac OS was made for customizing. It was for creative folks, after all. Find out how you can do the same in OS X.
Glenn McDonald recounts his switch to the Mac and the larger personal journey that comprises it.
Is this the beginning of the end for our friend Bill, at least on the Mac platform? Cortland has a look.
Desktop Pictures: Bora Bora
If it’s cold in your part of the world, maybe you should warm up with some pictures from the South Pacific.
Shareware Roundup: Count Your Pennies
In case you plan to do a little traveling this year, find out how much your dollar is worth around the world. Check out these currency converter shareware programs.
Review: Brother HL-1470N
Paul Fatula reviews a personal laser printer that connects via Ethernet or USB.
Review: Inspiration 7.0a
Gregory Tetrault reviews an organization tool that can help you with flow charts, concept maps, storyboards, and other diagrams.
Review: Mac OS X Disaster Relief (book)
Kirk McElhearn reviews this book from Mac troubleshooting experts Landau and Frakes, and finds that it’s best suited as a guide to setting up Mac OS X.
Review: SharingMenu 1.0
If you frequently find yourself digging into the System Preferences to turn various flavors of Sharing on and off, this utility is a sanity saver.
Review: SMART Toolkit 1.2
FWB SMART Toolkit tries to give you a heads-up on potential hard drive failures. Eric Blair looks to see whether or not it succeeds.
Review: The Wireless Networking Starter Kit (book)
Kirk McElhearn reviews this cross-platform guide to 802.11 networking.