[4:40 PM] Clean That Dirty Mac Before Someone Sees It!
Trexar Technologies and Webroot have announced the release of a new utility designed to keep prying eyes from seeing what you have done with your Mac. The new program is called MacWasher and will "clean up" your Mac in several areas. According to the two companies:
MacWasher is a useful program for cleaning up the history of your activities on a Macintosh computer. Many people do not realize that the MacOS, browsers, and other programs store information about what they have been doing on their Macintosh and on the Internet. Anyone with access to the local MAC computer can see previous users' activities, which raises privacy concerns. Furthermore, much of this information can take up valuable disk space, recovering this space can improve overall computer performance.
Manually cleaning up these unneeded tracks can be a tedious chore of removing each history file or entry. If privacy and disk space are to be maintained, this process must be performed every time you use your Mac. MacWasher can automate this process for you! MacWasher's AutoWash will automatically run in the background and clean up whatever tracks you want removed, whenever you want. For the cautious at heart, MacWasher also allows a 'simulated washing', which goes through the process of washing without actually deleting anything. This function allows users to test their configurations before proceeding. In addition, a "bleach" function is also available that will shred the washed files, making them unrecoverable to utilities such as Unerase or Undelete.
MacWahser is priced at US$29.95. You can find more information on the product at the company's web site. The company also offers a free trial version.
[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: The Markets Retreat and Whaddaya Know Apple Soars
by Wes George
Finally, a nice quiet day of profit taking after weeks of record breaking action. On Wall Street they're saying this is a good thing. Apple soared above the down draft because of yesterday's announcement that the iBook is the single best selling notebook computer in the market place.
The Dow sagged 93 points (0.85%) to close at 10995.6. 894 million shares traded. Market breath has been shallow for several days now, perhaps due to early tax related selling. Reports of weak retail sales, because of warmer weather keeping consumers away from stores, made for tough going in the broader market today.
The Nasdaq lost 49.69 points (01.46%) to end the session at 3342.87 with 1.44 billion shares traded. The surprisingly heavy volume for a holiday week makes this the 10th biggest volume day on the Nasdaq. Hardware, chip, telecom, financials and Internet stocks all took hits today.
The S&P 500 lost 16.30 (1.15%) to close at 1404.64.
30-year Treasury bonds were down 2/32 to close at 99, the yield was flat at 6.19% in what was described as a very dull day.
Recently, there have been hints of good things to come from Apple, such as the sighting of Macs at Comdex, and the fact that the iMac was named "design of the decade" by Business Week. But cautious investors paused while waiting for the iBook to captured the imagination of consumers before piling more AAPL on their plates.
Now the trend is official, like the iMac last November, the shockingly advanced design of the iBook is taking the market by storm.
Apple ended the session up 2 3/16 (2.41%) to close at 92 13/16. Apple was as high as 95 1/4 at one point in the day. Volume has returned to a more normal 4.85 million shares traded, up from several weeks of below average volume.
Today was a good day for Apple related stocks, in spite of the weak market. Akamai, Arm Holdings, and Macromedia were all in the green. Symantec was higher all day but closed flat. Adobe lost 1 5/16 to close at 74 3/4.
Akamai was up 25 1/8 points to close at 210 after two big brokerage firms initiated coverage. Morgan Stanley started Akamai with an outperform rating and a price target of $225. Solomon Smith Barney also initiated coverage with an outperform today.
Apple's Power PC partners didn't fair so well, Motorola gave back 3 15/16 to close at 166 13/16. IBM, after a two day advance of about $10 a share, lost 1 3/4 to close at 106 1/8.
Apple's competitors ended mostly lower, only Hewlett Packard beat the trend. Gateway saw some heavy profit taking down 2 1/16 to 77 7/16. So did Compaq down 1 1/16 to end at 24 7/8. Microsoft, Intel, and Dell were down.
For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.
[3:30 PM] Gates, McNealy, Dell Play 2nd, 10th, and 11th Fiddle To Steve Jobs
Upside Today has completed a series of the Top 100 most important tech industry people, and guess who showed up in the number 1 position. Heading an impressive list of luminaries, Steve Jobs beat the likes of Bill Gates, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, Scott MacNealy, Chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, and Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell COmputer. There were about 96 other people that Mr. Jobs beat out as well. According to Upside today:
As we prepare to ring in the new millennium and bid farewell to 1999, the editors at Upside toast the movers and shakers that brought us a year of successes, innovations, mergers and buyouts. To create the ultimate guest list, we contemplated the usual invitees and newcomers as well. As we waded through the new names and old faces, we looked past the smart tailored suits and strings of pearls they wore to put their best foot forward, and we judged each guest against his or her fellow digerati. "Who really matters most?" was our question. The result: a commanding roster of the most important participants in the New Economy. Join us as we tip our hats to the 1999 Elite 100 and celebrate the exciting year that has passed--and the one yet to come.
#11 Michael Dell
Chairman and CEO, Dell Computer
Dell's continually fine-tuned direct sales model has Big Blue and other traditional PC vendors green with envy. The 34-year-old's status as the fifth-richest man in the US has the rest of us green, too.
#10 Scott McNealy
Cofounder, Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems
He initially set up fort in the server camp, but recently he has been busy scheming how to create a PC-less planet with Sun's Java-based smart phones and Jini digital networks.
#2 Bill Gates
Chairman and CEO, Microsoft
Although Gates spent most of this year bickering with the US and state governments, Microsoft still managed to cash in on another $200 billion, solidify its grasp on the PC and Net markets, and continue to branch out into new devices.
#1 Steve Jobs
Cofounder and Interim CEO, Apple Computer, Chairman and CEO, Pixar Animation Studios
He's the computer industry's John McEnroe, best known by the media for his tantrums and cocky attitude. But even though he's a poor sport, Jobs' marketing savvy has made Apple's colorful computers as fashionable as The Gap's cargo khakis--and made the competition nervous about its bland boxes.
The rest of the list is also very interesting and we recommend that you check it out. Other ex-Apple members of the list include Ellen Hancock, #66, former CTO of Apple under Gil Amelio and Guy Kawasaki, #84, former Mac Evangelist for Apple and current CEO of Garage.com. Larry Ellison, #37, current Apple Board member and all around "interesting" person, also made the list.
The Mac Observer Spin: It is always amazing how a company the size of Apple generates so much mainstream press attention. Thanks to Steve Jobs, that attention has been almost entirely positive for most of the last 14 months. Mr. Jobs beat out some of the wealthiest people on the planet. In addition to Mr. Gates, the world's wealthiest person, Mr. Jobs took out Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's 2nd in command and another of the world's wealthiest people. Mt. Jobs also beat out the commanders of companies whose sales and marketshare far surpass that of Apple's.
One other note: Mr. Jobs's position at Pixar was also listed (and therefore considered), but the write up concentrated on his success at Apple.
[2:00 PM] 4 USB Macs? Use One Keyboard, Mouse, & Monitor With MoniSwitch USB
Dr. Bott has released a new member of their Moniswitch line, MoniSwitchUSB. MoniSwitchUSB allows users of multiple computers with USB input devices to use only one keyboard, mouse, and monitor for all of their systems. According to Dr. Bott:
Dr. Bott has taken their experience with the original ADB MoniSwitch and created MoniSwitchUSB. MoniSwitchUSB is a Mac friendly KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) switch that allows the use of a monitor and USB peripherals with multiple USB capable computers including Macs and PCs.
Support for both Mac & PC monitors.
Looks and works great with new G4s!
Available for 2 or 4 computers.
Includes all necessary USB and super premium video cables!
PCI Kit available for beige Macs.
Lighted LED indicates selected computer at a glance.
Compatible with Windows 98, Mac OS and other operating systems that support USB.
iMoniSwitchUSB allows use of iMac built-in monitor, keyboard and mouse with up to 3 other Macs or PCs.
Typical Uses: Many people have found different uses for MoniSwitchUSB. Some of the more common include those who are required to use both a Mac and PC. It is also used in server rooms where each computer my only need to be accessed briefly during the day. MoniSwitch reduces the risk of confusion and error that increases when using multiple keyboards, mice and monitors. Obviously, MoniSwitch will save space and will allow redeployment of existing equipment or will save the cost of new equipment in such environments.
MoniSwitchUSB is available in both 2 and 4 computer models. The 2 computer switch is available for US$139, while the 4 computer switch is available for US$199. You can find more information at the Dr. Bott web site.
[12:30 PM] Move Over Dell & Toshiba, Here Comes The iBook! Apple Claims 11% Of Portable Market
Apple announced late yesterday afternoon that the company commanded a significant share of the US portable market in October. Apple claimed 11% of the US portable market ad the Blueberry iBook took the top spot. According to Apple.
Apple's blueberry iBook is the number one selling portable computer in the US retail market in October, according to the most recent monthly hardware report by PC Data. The complete report is available at www.pcdata.com. Based on this report, the combined sales of Apple's iBook and PowerBook® portable computer lines give Apple® an 11 percent share of the US retail portable market in October.
"iBook is clearly hitting the mark with consumers," said Stephen Baker, PC Data senior analyst and director of Hardware Research. "iBook sales momentum heading into the holidays appears very strong."
"iBook is the first portable designed expressly for consumers and students," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "Customer response has been incredible and we are working hard to meet the tremendous demand."
iBook features a 12.1-inch TFT display for super-crisp images and video; a PowerPC G3 processor for Pentium-toasting performance; built-in 56K modem and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet networking; and a built-in USB port and CD-ROM drive. iBook is the first "wireless ready" portable computer, with two built-in antennas and an internal slot for Apple's AirPort wireless networking card (optional). With AirPort wireless networking up to 10 computers can share one Internet connection at speeds up to 11 megabits per second and distances up to 150 feet (half a football field)all without wires. iBook's design innovations include a rubber-coated translucent enclosure for durability, a pullout handle for safe carrying, and a unique "latch-less" closing mechanism for faster and easier access.
The Mac Observer Spin: One month does not a computer empire make, but this is a darn good month's announcement indeed. The real news will come with the full 4th quarter (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter) and the holiday buying season. If Apple can claim that kind of market share for the full quarter, the iBook will definitely proclaim itself as a market force.
It is also very interesting to note that despite the Girlie epithet and other insults hurled at the iBook in its short life (so far), consumers have obviously taken to the little beast. Just like the iMac before it, which was also called a failure by the PC punditocracy from the onset of its introduction, the iBook is so far showing that Steve knows best.
One warning is in order though. When Apple first released the PowerBook in 1992, the first year it was a blowout product. The following year the PowerBook did not maintain that performance as the pent-up demand among existing Mac users was met during the first year. It is always possible that this will be the case for the iBook. Apple has never had a true consumer portable in its product line. It is possible that the initial success of the iBook is occurring as pent-up demand is being met. If that is the case, sales will fall off as that demand is met. The big difference between Apple then and Apple now is Steve Jobs and his executive team. It is likely that no such comparisons can be made.
Our outlook is that the iBook will be an ongoing success, just as its bigger brother, the iMac, has enjoyed. What do you think? Talk back in The Mac Observer Forums.
[8:30 AM] New Mac Advertising Network Launches
A new publishing/advertising agency, focusing in online Macintosh publications, has launched. Cortland Media hopes to help start up Mac publications, as well as providing another advertising/marketing option for existing Mac sites. According to Cortland Media:
Cortland specializes in online Mac publications, including publishing several in-house. Along with this, Cortland has a Mac advertising affiliate program. Inaugural client websites include MacBC, 1984-Online, Cortland's own MacMilitia.com, and many others.
Joey Cooper, co-founder of Cortland Media and Director of Business Development, says, "We're positioning Cortland Media to have a very active part in the growth of online Mac publications." This includes providing many start-up websites with revenue to help growth. He goes on to say, "In addition to this, we can provide advertisers with incredible impression counts at a very fair price. This means everybody wins: the Mac webmaster, Mac vendors and companies who advertise, consumers who read the sites, and Cortland Media itself."
On average, Cortland websites and Cortland's client sites get a total of 120,000 banner impressions monthly. Expected growth in the next few months will place that number even higher. Advertisers can choose any number of different ad campaigns, from simple affiliate-wide banners to specific readership-focused ad slots. Andy Cooper, co-founder and Director of Advertising Sales, says "Our focused and wide-range of advertising options provide vendors and companies a great way to reach customers."
You can find more information at the Cortland Media web site.
The Mac Observer Spin: One aspect of the many great Mac sites on the Internet is that most are not focused on making a good living for their creators. Cortland Media could indeed help bring more professional funding to more of these sites which would only make the community stronger.
[8:30 AM] Deneba Officially Unveils Canvas 7
Deneba Software released version 7 of the award winning design application, Canvas. The new version includes new features which Deneba calls SpriteEffects and SpriteLayers. According to Deneba:
SpriteEffects(tm) technology tops a list of over 150 new features and enhancements contained in this major upgrade. For the first time, graphics software users have the ability to apply unlimited image editing filters to any combination of objects - text, vectors or bitmaps - while retaining full edibility of the original object. In addition, the new version
provides cutting-edge web capabilities, such as highly optimized GIF/JPEG export, animated GIF features, direct dynamic HTML export, rollover buttons and built-in FTP capabilities. Enhanced vector drawing tools and innovative performance improvements also highlight the new Canvas 7.
"As soon my machine boots up, I open Canvas 7," says T. Lewis, syndicated cartoonist in print and on the web. "As a web tool, it is a conduit thorough which I pass everything. The new FTP feature is a great idea and it is very easy to use. It truly saves a lot of time and effort. The new JPEG and GIF interface has put to bed all the other apps and utilities that I have been using. It has excellent file compression. I'm impressed."
Canvas 7 is available for US$375 for the full, CD version. An electronic download version is available for US$129.95, and owners of previous versions can upgrade for US$99.95. You can find more information at the Deneba Software web site.
AuctionMac software has released VolumeKnob 1.01. VolumeKnob allows the Mac's system volume to be controlled via keyboard commands, rather than having to go to the systems sound volume controls. Keyboard based sound controls are common on many laptops, and having similar desktop functionality could prove useful. According to AuctionMac:
AuctionMac Software is proud to release VolumeKnob v1.01! VolumeKnob is a Macintosh utility that allows you to easily raise and lower your system sound volume directly from the keyboard. With powerful options and more precise settings, VolumeKnob will replace your volume control strip. VolumeKnob is perfect for music lovers, headphone users, sound masters, MP3 users, or anyone that frequently needs to change their system volume quickly and precisely.
VolumeKnob offers these killer features:
Set system volume directly from the keyboard from within any application!
Use VolumeKnob Control to set your own personal preferences!
Multiple, easy to remember key combos for up, down, min, and max settings!
Disable or enable the system beep that you normally hear when switching the volume settings!
Set your volume more precisely... Set your own volume shift intervals on the Mac 0-255 scale.
Automatically set sound volume to minimum or maximum with one key combo!
Don't interrupt your music with an annoying beep... Turn system alert 'beep' off while switching!
VolumeKnob is available as shareware for US$8.99. You can find more information at the AuctionMac web site.
In celebration of their Eddy Award nomination, Power On Software is offering a deal on ACTION Utilities. The ACTION Utilities collection includes, among other, the popular Windows like task bar, ACTION GoMac. According to Power On:
The ACTION Utilities collection has been chosen as a finalist for Best Utility Software of the Year by Macworld Magazine.
The ACTION Utilities collection includes four award-winning titles that are also available separately:
ACTION Menus, ACTION Files, ACTION GoMac, and ACTION WYSIWYG. The collection combines all the separate products in a single package, at a substantial savings.
"It's really quite gratifying to be nominated for an Eddy award," said John Wallace, President of Power On Software. "Making ACTION Utilities available on the Web at a reduced price is our way of thanking our customers and everyone at Mac Publishing for this honor. We look forward to putting this amazing collection of productivity tools into the hands of as many Mac users as possible. I am confident that users will appreciate the value and convenience of buying online during this special offer."
For a limited time, ACTION Utilities is available as an electronic version for US$79.95, a US$10 savings over the CD price. You can find more information at the Power On Software web site.