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ATPM 8.12
December 2002





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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the December issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We’re in the middle of the 2002 holiday season. Economic reports indicate that shoppers are choosing to cut back on spending this year compared to holiday seasons in the past, and consumers are looking for bargains before Christmas rather waiting for sales after Christmas day.

But here’s a little bit of holiday cheer: Hoping to spur consumer interest in its products during the holiday season. Apple Computer recently announced a $100 rebate on the purchase of the Combo Drive version of its eMac. Apple is also offering a “double the RAM” promotion on all Macintosh models. For an additional $40 consumers can double the RAM on all new Macs purchased through December 31, 2002 at the online Apple Store and at Apple retail store locations.

Shoppers with a Mac user or two on their holiday shopping list can avoid the crowds and parking problems at America’s shopping malls. The Apple Store offers a convenient and easy-to-navigate Holiday Gift Guide for online shoppers.

New Titanium PowerBooks

In early November Apple released its first PowerBook with a slot-loading SuperDrive. The Titanium PowerBook with SuperDrive can burn both DVD and CD media. At the same time, Apple dropped the price of its entry-level iBook to $999. PowerBook sales were off 40 percent in the third calendar quarter as Apple worked off inventory ahead of the new model’s release.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Apple opened its 50th retail store. The company now claims that its retail stores are within a fifteen-mile drive of one-third of the US population. Apple’s retail stores sold more than $100 million in products during the third calendar quarter and the retail store strategy has become key to Apple’s efforts to increase its US market share. Apple claims that 40 percent of Apple retail store sales are to people new to the Macintosh platform.

Serve’s Up!

Recently, Xserve, Apple’s first product in enterprise market for business server solutions, has garnered a great deal of press attention. The Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server help to make the Xserve an attractive product for business customers seeking Unix-based solutions. Watch for more news about Xserve soon after the first of the year.

Products That Gladden the Fiscal Season

Will the 2002 holiday shopping season bring glad tidings to the folks at Apple? The updated Titanium PowerBook and the Windows version of Apple’s Pod, which is now sold at a variety of major retail stores, should help Apple’s revenues and earning for its first fiscal quarter.

The ATPM staff wishes you a happy holiday season. We’ll be back in January with the next edition of your favorite monthly Macintosh electronic magazine.


Our December issue includes:

The Candy Apple: Finding the Bright Spots in a Murky Day

The Candy Apple finds fulfillment in a sweetened coffee drink. Or something like that.

Roll Your Own: Try to Handle This

Charles Ross continues his in-depth course on how to use AppleScript to write your own programs. This month he looks at how to check for errors when you’re developing your own “killer app.”

Networks in Action: Serving Files Using FTP in Mac OS X

Mac OS X includes built-in FTP support, easily controlled through the Sharing view of the System Preferences application. FTP provides no-frills network file transfer for Macs, PCs, or any computer that can connect to the Internet. This article covers the how’s, why’s, and wheretofore’s.

What’s Under the Hood: ’Tis the Season

What would a December issue of a magazine be without gift suggestions? Robert C. Lewis tells us about lots games for your favorite Mac person.

Segments: Mac OS X: Powerful But Awkward

David Zatz looks at Jaguar, warts and all. Find out what he thinks of the new cat on the block.

Segments: Me and My Macs

Forty is a stage in one’s life when one looks back. Sylvester Roque examines his Mac experience from the perspective of someone who has used Apple products for over half his life.

Cartoon: Cortland

This month, Cortland has several takes on shareware, paranoia, and other funny goings-on at the office.

Desktop Pictures: Chile

ATPM reader Yaniv Eidelstein brings back some great desktop pictures from his recent vacation to Chile.

Review: AlphaSmart Dana

The AlphaSmart Dana, a portable Palm-based computer, gets taken through the paces by Paul Fatula. He finds the Dana a successful combination of power and ease of use, making it an ideal tool for professional and amateur writers.

Review: BBEdit 7.0.1

Michael Tsai looks at what’s new in BBEdit 7, the latest revision of the popular text-editing program. This version offers new features to make several old tasks easier to accomplish and introduces menu commands for accessing CVS (Concurrent Versions System).

Review: .Mac

Over the past few months, you have probably heard plenty of hype and plenty of complaints about .Mac. Now, Eric Blair cuts through the static to make sense of it all.

Review: icKeys (PowerBook G4 Keyboard Illuminator)

If you’ve ever caught yourself squinting at your PowerBook’s keyboard in the dark, icKeys may be just what you need. Chris Lawson reviews a simple hardware upgrade that will provide illuminated F and J keys.

Review: Kids GoGoGo 6.2

Gregory Tetrault offers up a review of Kids GoGoGo, an application to watch over children’s use of the Internet when parents aren’t around to supervise. While its protections can be worked around by a computer-savvy child, it can protect a child from inadvertent exposure to some of the Net’s seedier offerings.

Review: Mac OS X Killer Tips (book)

Mac OS X Killer Tips is a book offering just what its title promises. While its tips can be of use to all OS X users, reviewer Kirk McElhearn finds that the book would be of best use to beginners and intermediate users.

Review: Ponere 1.0.1

This month’s round of reviews has offered a number of useful products, so here’s something fun. Ponere 1.0.1, reviewed by Gregory Tetrault, is a two-dimensional puzzle game offering sixty levels of play to challenge gamers of any skill level.


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