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ATPM 15.02
February 2009






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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the February issue of About This Particular Macintosh! As winter winds its way through the calendar and the economy continues in a deep freeze of its own, the editors of ATPM have compiled our latest issue to bring a little warmth to the long cold nights and shed a little light on the state of Apple-based computing in all of its desktop, laptop, and handheld varieties. As this issue’s cover illustrates, Apple’s continuing bright performance stands in contrast to the surrounding economic and industry terrain.

Stay Tuned

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe the recent changes to iTunes. The catalog of available music, movies, and apps continues to expand, and consumers have more reason to spend more time shopping at the popular online store.

In early January, Apple announced that more than 500 million apps had been downloaded from the iTunes application store, and sales traffic for all areas of the iTunes franchise set record highs in the days after Christmas.

iWork ’09 and iLife ’09

Departing from the historical even-year update schedule for Apple’s lifestyle and productivity software suites, the company announced iWork ’09 and iLife ’09 at January’s Macworld Expo. Reviews of the new products have been generally favorable. Users who found iMovie ’08, a component of the iLife suite, awkward to use should be cheered by this version’s updates.

Goodbye January, Hello June

January’s Macworld Expo may be the last of its kind. The market has changed, and many of the most prominent hardware and software makers are revisiting their commitment to big trade shows. The expensive events are falling victim to the Information Age in which virtual exhibit spaces provide potential product buyers with needed information and vendors increasingly sell direct to clients and consumers.

Apple’s annual conference for developers, held each June, may become the company’s big public event to showcase new products and technologies. Developers are becoming increasingly important to the success of the iPhone and iPod touch platform, and enticing new developers to enter the Apple fold is becoming increasingly important to Apple’s product plans and continuing success.

A Bright Light in a Darkening Economy

For the three-month period ended December 27, 2008, Apple reported record quarterly GAAP revenue of $10.17 billion dollars as well as record GAAP profits $1.61 billion or $1.78 per share. Non-GAAP results (which include the full value of iPhone and Apple TV sales that are realized over the anticipated life of those products) reflect revenue of $11.8 billion and earnings of $2.3 billion. Mac unit sales increased nine percent over the prior-year period, and the company sold a record 22.727 million iPods, including apparently strong sales of the popular iPod touch as well as the inexpensive iPod shuffle.

Please join us each month of the year as ATPM brings to its readers interesting views on the world of Apple computing and insightful product reviews. It’s our mission to celebrate the personal computing experience.

Our February issue includes:

Bloggable: That and 99 Cents Will Get You…

A lot of iPhone applications are free, or priced at 99¢. Is this good for software developers and for users? Last month’s debate over when the price is right for mobile software continues in this month’s Bloggable.

MacMuser: Broadband Endowment

Mark notes that in the UK many broadband users are only getting half the speed they’re paying for, and the loggerheads future broadband stands at.

MacMuser: Phone Bills and Forms

Mark Tennent, our correspondent across the Pond, examines how his phone bills have changed through broadband’s growth and laments the fact that many employment forms are in non-editable PDF format.

Next Actions: February 2009 Master List

This month, we review a few new additions briefly, while updating the list of GTD applications to reflect version changes and additions.

Report: Macworld Expo 2009

Three members of the ATPM staff ventured forth last month to take in the 25th Macworld Conference & Expo, and share their thoughts on their adventure.

Segments: The Zippy Quest for Jazzy Flash

Money can buy you lots of removable storage.

Desktop Pictures: San Francisco

In addition to attending Macworld 2009, Lee Bennett did some San Francisco sightseeing and returned with several scenic shots, mostly around the Golden Gate Bridge.

Qaptain Qwerty

Is bigger better?

Review: Cricket Laptop Stand

Some purists may thing laptop stands are just not cricket, but Frank Wu is impressed with the Cricket Laptop Stand.

Review: MacSpeech Dictate 1.2

MacSpeech has done a major overhaul of their voice-recognition utility, now offering a capable and useful tool for those looking for dictation and voice-command help.

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