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September 23rd, 1999

[4:30 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Tumbles Another 10% In Market Bloodbath

Apple's stock plummeted again today in one of the bloodiest days on Wall Street in the last several years. Tech stocks started a sell-off that quickly spread to the rest of the markets and eventually brought the Dow below the 200 Day Moving Average, a number considered to be a key support level. Breaking below that level is considered a possible signal that the markets could head even lower. According to a Reuters report:

The Nasdaq composite index fell an unofficial 107.67 points, or 3.77 percent, to 2750.50 -- the fourth largest point decline in Nasdaq history. Declining issues swamped advancers by 2,629 to 1,227 on volume of 1.15 billion as 111 stocks made new lows against 84 new highs.

"It was holding up the best by far and it is just succumbing with pressure that's been prevalent in the rest of the market," said Robert Dickey, an analyst at Dain Rauscher, about the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 205.48 points to close at 10318.59 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell below the 1300 support level, closing down 30.11 at 1280.40.

"We broke under that 10,500 level with gusto today and I think that means we will follow through. Investors should not trust an up opening," he said. "On a relative basis, the big caps and the Nasdaq will hold up better than other indices."

Steve Ballmer, the balding President of Microsoft, also caused a ruckus when he announced publicly that he felt tech stocks were overvalued. According to a report from The Motley Fool:

President Steve Ballmer caused a row in tech stock-land today after reportedly making some comments that the valuation levels of technology-related companies are overblown. "There's such an overvaluation of tech stocks it's absurd," Ballmer told a gathering of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, according to Bloomberg News. "And I'd put our company's stock in that category."

Apple ended up falling 7 points to close at 63 5/16, a loss of 7 or another 9.96% on top of the 12.41% it fell on Tuesday after issuing an earnings warning. SInce its record high reached on Monday's closing of 79 1/16, Apple has fallen some 19.90%. Volume continued to be heavy with 10,204,80 shares trading hands. Combined with the shares traded on yesterday and Tuesday, Apple has had almost 3 times normal weekly volume in just the last three days.

The damage was not limited to Apple however. Macromedia, Motorola, and Symantec also saw losses, though Adobe managed to post a 1 point gain. On the PC front, all the major players also got bloody noses with Intel, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Gateway 2000, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq all closing lower.

The Dow closed at 10318.59, a loss of 205.48, while the Nasdaq closed at 2749.83, down 108.33.

For full quotes for all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have 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.

The Mac Observer Spin: Hear, hear! Mr. Ballmer! For once we agree with you, Microsoft's stock is certainly overvalued as are many tech and Internet stocks. Apple is the one exception, being vastly undervalued when compared to the rest of the bloated tech and Internet stocks.

As for where we will go next: Analysts spent the day answering the question of "where is the bottom of this market?" by asking "Where is the bottom of this market?" A viscous circle indeed. There seem to be very few people who know what's going to happen next, and that most certainly includes The Mac Observer. It is possible that investors could once again look at Apple as a safe stock due to its very low P/E ratio, but it is also possible that Apple's stock will remain mired in the muck of the tech sector until good news like the impending iMac upgrade is announced. It is also possible that Apple will simply continue to be swept along by overwhelming market forces no matter which way the tide runs.


[2:45 PM] Team Mac Observer Slips One Place, We Need Your Help!

Team Mac Observer, our [email protected] team, has slipped out of the Top 20 Club Teams, and we need your help. We need every Team member to make sure that their machines are crunching data whenever you aren't using it, and if you haven't already signed up, we need you to join!

We have gotten thousands of new Observers in the last few weeks, so an explanation may be in order. [email protected] is a project run by researchers at UC Berkeley. The UC Berkeley team gets data from a radio telescope that searches the sky for the type of signals that could come from an intelligent source. They then break the data down into small chunks that volunteers, such as everyone in Team Mac Observer, process by letting a [email protected] screen saver crunch the data when their computers are not in use. This process is called Distributed Processing and the participants do not have to do anything other than install the screen saver. The [email protected] project now has over 1 million participants around the world that have contributed thousands of CPU hours to the effort making it the single most amazingly successful demonstration that distributed processing can work on a large scale. We have more information about [email protected]

Since the formation of Team Mac Observer in June of this year, we have rocketed up the Top 100 Club Teams, showing how fast the Mac is at crunching numbers. We have 277 members and have gotten as far as the number #19 team, beating out hundreds and hundreds of other club teams, and have a very fast average of 17 hours and 20 minutes per work unit. In fact, we have one of the fastest Mac teams in the project, beating out even Apple Computer's Corporate team which has an average of 18 hours and 6 minutes per work unit! In the last few days though, Team Denmark and a bunch of Unix geeks calling themselves Chicago Area UNIX Admins have chased us back down to #21. So help us start climbing again and make sure you are crunching or sign up now! It really is easy. We have all the instructions you will need.

A small note here: Apple has just recently shown interest in performing well in this effort and their corporate team has almost doubled in the last 3 weeks. They are now the #8 Large Company Team, far behind #3 Microsoft. Hopefully, Apple will really get on the ball and spank Microsoft in the ground.

If you still need another reason to join, the Mac platform is the #2 ranked platform, although we are now far ahead of #3 Sun-Sparc-Solaris platform. Who's the #1 platform? You guessed it, Windows. So if you want to help catch up to Windows, join now!

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a very fun project to participate in and the screen saver is handy, and very easy to use. Oh, we have nothing against Unix or Unix geeks, we are Mac geeks ourselves after all. :-)

Team Mac Observer

[2:15 PM] MacSoldiers Seeks New Daily Editor

Our good friends at MacSoldiers are looking for a new daytime editor. Jon Bonner sent us a note detailing the requirements. According to MacSoldiers:

MacSoldiers is currently seeking a candidate to fill the position of Daily Editor. This position should - at this time - be considered volunteer based, however compensation may be negotiable in the future based on advertising revenues.

Candidates must posses strong HTML knowledge and have a good grasp on the English language. Candidates must also be willing to work on a daily basis five days per week. Time requirements depend largely on the amount of work involved per day - which varies - combined with the candidate's skill level. On average, four to six new columns will be published on MacSoldiers weekly.

The Daily Editor's responsibilities would include:

  1. Receive all new content submissions from MacSoldiers staff.
  2. Proof read submissions for accuracy. (For example, making sure a link is valid, checking for typos, and running a spell checker. Don't worry, we're not looking for a copy editor.)
  3. Publish new content on the web site within a 12-24 hour time frame using predefined HTML templates.
  4. Send out a press release regarding the new content.
  5. Contribute to the site with original work - at least one column or review per week on average.
  6. Contribute on the staff mailing list to help make editorial decisions, etc.
  7. Have fun and enjoy gaining valuable web site experience.

Anyone who is interested in this position should contact Jon Bonner.

Please include your resume and/or demonstrate your knowledge of the required abilities (examples of previous HTML work are preferred). References, if available, are also encouraged and welcome.

If you are interested in helping to run a Mac web site, let M. Bonner know. If you would like more information abut MacSoldiers, go and check it out!

The Mac Observer Spin: Judging from some of the mail we get from people who think they could do it better, there must be some interest out there! :-) [Editor's Note: We apologize for that last joke, but it seems we couldn't resist...]


[Column] Ask Dave - Networking and PowerBook Questions Answered

[1:30 PM] VideoScript Updated With New Performance Enhancers

VideoScript Inc. has announced that version 1.8.1 b3 of VideoScript is now available. VideoScript is a scripting language for real-time digital video and image processing. According to VideoScript, Inc.:

This is the very latest beta for VideoScript Mac OS. It includes significant bug fixes in many areas, and a huge performance boost in movie indexing speed, especially with movies which have few key frames.

Changes in version 1.8.1b3

  • Improved installer.
  • Fixed crash with About box!!!
  • Prepend movies now works with complex cases.
  • Frame.Grab() function is now slightly faster.

The new Beta is free to registered owners of VideoScript Pro and VideoScript Lite. The full version has a wide array of prices. You can find more information at the company's web site.

VideoScript Inc.

[8:30 AM] Data Hammer Web Summary Tool Updated

Glucose has released a maintenance update to the World Wide Web summary tool, Data Hammer. Data Hammer 2.2.5 allows web based "articles" to be summarized and presented in abstract form. According to Glucose:

Whenever Data Hammer encounters a page that appears to be an article, it automatically flips into summary mode. All unnecessary navigational links are stripped away, leaving only a short abstract. Then, you can simply use Data Hammer's slider to increase or decrease the page's level of detail.

This is a major bug fix release of Data Hammer. In addition to fixing lots of problems sent in by users, we've added automatic HTTP proxy support as well as brand new help documentation.

Data Hammer is available from the Glucose web site and is currently listed at US$24.95. You can find more information, at the company's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Data Hammer is one of the finest names for an app that we have ever heard. We have not used the product, but we love the name. :-)

On a more serious note, there is a huge potential market for this product. As our society gets closer and closer to an information overload state, more and more people will no doubt appreciate the ability to have their information cut down into more manageable levels.


[8:30 AM] Atomic Mac Updated With New Super-Heavy Elements

Black Cat Systems has release version 3.5.1 of the Atomic Mac. The Atomic Mac is a periodic table of the elements on steroids for the MacOS. Version 3.5.1 is a maintenance release adding new features while addressing and correcting known bugs. According to Black Cat Systems:

This version adds information for some of the newer super-heavy elements, and fixes a bug that could cause a crash when clicking on an element to get more information.

The Atomic Mac is a periodic table of the elements for the Macintosh. In addition to the usual information found in such programs, The Atomic Mac also contains a wealth of nuclear information on each isotope, including half life, decay mode, and daughter products. X-ray data (fluorescence and binding energies) is also available. A molecular weight calculator makes it easy to find the molecular weight of compounds. A shaded diagram showing the ranges of physical properties makes it easy to visualize relationships across the periodic table.

The Atomic Mac is available as shareware for US$25. You can find more information at the company's web site.

Black Cat Systems

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