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ATPM 15.01
January 2009




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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the January edition of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s cold outside. The holidays are over. The Patriots aren’t in the NFL playoffs. The economy appears headed for a deep freeze of its own. What to do? Read this “Let it Snow” edition of your favorite Internet-based monthly magazine!

Let it Snow!

This month’s cover of ATPM features an image of a snow leopard. The big cat is uniquely and marvelously adapted to its environment. For those who have seen footage of this rare feline, the moving images are a sight to behold. The snow leopard’s natural habitat is high mountain elevations and terrain that would challenge human existence. Deftly moving between rugged rocks and steep climbs, the snow leopard is a fierce and silent predator, able to fell prey two to three times its own weight. But it’s the natural habitat adaptations of this beast that brings the snow leopard to this month’s cover.

Snow Leopard is the marketing name for the next commercial release of Mac OS X, scheduled to make its retail debut in June. Mac OS X 10.6 is being optimized for Intel Macs and is being adapted to incorporate graphic processor resources for computing tasks. Theoretically, this will increase the Mac’s performance and make more effective use of components already on the motherboard. This optimization, as well as efforts to make OS X’s code more efficient, will set the next release of this product apart from its Windows competitor.

Windows 7, the much-anticipated successor to Windows Vista, is scheduled for release in time for next Christmas. With a six-month lead on its next competitor, Snow Leopard promises to heighten the Mac’s performance superiority over Windows no matter Microsoft’s efforts to repair Vista’s damage to the Windows brand name and the planned release of yet another OS with striking visual similarities to Mac OS X. Snow Leopard will distance its competitors at performance elevations Windows just can’t match.

No Steve, No Jobs

While the economy continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate, it’s the disappearance of Steve Jobs from this month’s Macworld Expo that is setting off its own media alarms. Phil Schiller will be replacing Steve Jobs as the Apple spokesperson for the event’s keynote address, and the company has signaled that this will be the last appearance of an Apple executive in the keynote.

Apple’s decisions to have Mr. Schiller deliver this year’s keynote and to reduce its role at future IDG January expos have raised new concerns about the health of Steve Jobs and increased speculation as to whether or not a leadership transition is underway in Cupertino. Let us all be reminded that Steve Jobs isn’t the only employee at Apple and that trade shows in the Information Age are both costly for companies and staff-intensive events. Economic considerations are much behind Apple’s recent decision. Reaching customers is no longer a concern for Apple. The many Apple retail stores provide excellent connect points for millions of customers each year.

Cell Phone Snow Job

We’ve all seen the ads for cell phone handsets designed to compete with the iPhone. Aside from the more than 10,000 applications available instantly to iPhone and iPod touch owners, there are many reasons to forego the cheap price of an iPhone wannabe. Apple offers free software upgrades to iPhone users, enhancing functionality and easy-of-use months after purchase.

Additionally, there are many more accessories available for the iPhone than any other smart phone on the market, as well as products that extend the iPhone’s uses into the home and living environment. Don’t get snowed, and advise friends and family members to think before grabbing at something that might look similar to an iPhone but cannot deliver on the iPhone’s user experience nor take advantage of thousand of free and low-cost applications.

Now available at Walmart, the iPhone is not only the best smart phone on the market, but it’s also becoming the easiest smart phone to buy and supply.

Snowed In?

This winter season has already been marked by early snow storms and hazardous travel conditions. Although ATPM isn’t yet available at Walmart (it would be quite challenging for the mass merchant to undercut our already low price), each issue is conveniently delivered free-of-charge to your digital door. Thank you for joining us again this month.

Our January issue includes:

Apple Talk: Xmas Exchange

Angus Wong finds himself an unwitting iPhone evangelist.

Bloggable: Alpacas Cynics Foremost, Revised

Wes Meltzer is back with a new installment to cover the blogosphere dialog about Psystar and the supposed John Does.

Mac About Town: When Worlds Collide

What happens when one thing you want conflicts with another thing you want? Mac About Town meets a Sprint exec and discusses the bottom line on how we market cell phones and cell phone service.

Next Actions: Article Line-up

Ed Eubanks Jr. begins 2009 asking readers for input on shaping his articles for the coming year.

Desktop Pictures: Ken Aspeslagh

Reader Ken Aspeslagh offers several beautiful landscape photos from around the world, including Vietnam, New England, and France.

Qaptain Qwerty

Excuse me, waiter…

Review: Freeway 5.3.1

Ed Eubanks Jr. is pleased with this Web editor, which includes tools to help build an iPhone-friendly version of your site.

Review: ShoveBox 1.6

Paul Fatula reviews Shovebox, a versatile and unobtrusive application that lets you store, organize, and access the links, documents, and images that would otherwise clutter up your desktop.

Review: Vizor SUN

Ed Eubanks Jr. is very pleased with this hands-free adapter, which includes a solar panel to keep the battery charged.

Review: WordSoup 1.0

Excuse me, waiter, but there is a fly in my WordSoup.

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