I just thought I'd make a quick post about a few recent Mac related headlines:
Think Secret apparently acquired some Apple part numbers from a retailer's inventory. Shame on the retailer for providing this information to them. It has been speculated on enough that Apple is overdue for iBook and MacMini revisons due to the distance between the last updates. The only reason Think Secret comes out with such sensationalist information is to continue to undermine Apple sales. Continuing to prove the real title to this site should be Trade Secret
See Jackwhispers previous article where I provide EXCLUSIVE content and research about this website and it's owner; Nick Ciarelli.
The January 2005 Archive also has several articles on the topic of Think Secret
Arlo Rose of "Apple stole Konfabulator" fame has managed to undermine Apple again with this quote found in a Reuter's article that says; Yahoo has purchased Konfabulator. I think the only reason Apple didn't pursue a legal case against Rose, for Konfabulator, was because he was a former Apple employee and a well respected developer - Yahoo might find themselves in a legal battle - if Apple so chooses now that Rose has relinquished the software.
"Apple liked the concept so much that it includes a widgets dashboard in the Mac's operating system. With just three employees, Konfabulator designs its widget software to run on the ubiquitous Windows operating system as well"
Actually Apple had created a dashboard concept looooong before Arlo Rose released Konfabulator. Just take a look at this screenshot of System 6.
Read this Jackwhispers story for more details. What A Kon! Arlo Rose Of Konfabulator
And I just wanted to follow up with a comment I found at Insanely Great Mac concerning Bill Palmer. As he recently made headlines calling me "a depraved lunatic":
- Bill Bill Bill
Bill Palmer is the perfect example of a blogger who suddenly thinks he is far more influential than he truly is. I've read his stuff for over a year and been on several of his online MUGS, and his problem is that he is believing his own hype. Just like Thurrott, Dvorak, and Enderle, though on the Mac side.
Bill's problem, so evident here but also evident in many of his other blog entries, is that he determines what's good for Apple based on his own personal preferences, like the eMac and iBook. He has no use for the higher end Macs or iMacs. He blasts those who like the higher end products as "not real mac lovers", mostly because he is jealous that he cannot personally afford those products. (he whined about buying a PB for weeks before finally doing it.) He drives a crappy car, lives in a crappy apartment, is about 27, and generally uses his three mac sites to blast anything he finds against his own taste.
Again, he is not anti-Mac, but he is pompous, ignorant about typical mac users, and venomous in his attacks. Remember, folks, like most bloggers, this is his only claim to fame, and he has been bashing the headless idea for at least a year, if not longer.
The great irony with Bill, that no one has touched on yet, is the fact that he thinks the eMac is the greatest Mac out there for switchers. He is big on switching people to the Mac. So why he would hate the MiniMac is beyond me. My bet is that he made up his mind long ago that this would fail, made his opinion public, and is now so pompous about LoadPod, iPodGarage, etc. that he cannot see how stupid and imbicilic he looks right about now. He will probably be proven wrong, but, happily, he is fuming over the bad press and his ranting prove this. No one will read him again, and he will be the Mac bloggers' own Thurrott, never taken seriously.
Note that this is from January 13, 2005 and in response to a main article at IGM titled: Bill Palmer: Two strikes, no balls, no one on by ron carlson - way before I did MY first post about Bill Palmer. The internet is littered with similar comments about Bill.
And honestly, I feel compelled to back this rant [above] about Bill Palmer with a link to this forum at Macrumors:
Bill goes out of control over a small issue
Thanks to Bill Fox at MacsOnly.com for providing this detailed view of the Henrico County School decision to switch from Apple to Dell for the student laptop program:
Details on How Apple iBooks Lost to Dell Inspirions in Henrico County (VA) High Schools: Apple rocketed back onto the frontpage of K-12 educational computing with a deal to supply tens of thousands of iBooks to the Henrico County (VA) Public Schools for daily use by students, teachers and administrators. This pioneering effort revolutionized K-12 education as many school districts across the U.S. and in Canada followed suit and supplied their students, teachers and administrators with laptops. But, like in all walks of life, success brings serious competitors. In the case of one-to-one classroom portable computing, Apple's success attracted Dell, the company that has been eating Apple's education desktop lunch for some time.
This year the four-year contract for high school laptops in the Henrico County Public Schools was up for re-bidding. Dell was awarded the new four-year contract over Apple (and CDWG) through votes of 9-0 by an evaluation committee and 5-0 by the school board. Apple retains the contract for elementary and middle schools, at least for now. But how did Apple lose unanimously at every stage in the high school contracting process?
Three principal issues were brought up by students, parents and teachers for consideration in designing the new contract: downtime for maintenance, the fees the schools charged parents and teachers and the desire for Microsoft Office. On the surface, none of these issues appear to be decidely in favor of Dell over Apple. In fact, the maintenance issue would seem to subtantially favor Apple and Mac OS X over Dell and Windows XP.
The iBooks' maintenance rate was 4-5 per cent of the laptops at any given time and Apple was 96 per cent effective at fixing things within 24 hours according to a school system report. This is actually surprisingly good performance to us, especially for laptops in the hands of high school students. Downtime could be reduced to near zero by having a small percentage of the laptops available as loaners as some school districts have done. Indeed, this is the approach taken by Henrico County and both Apple's and Dell's bids contained a 2 per cent overage for loaners. But, according to a school report, Dell also bid that it would increase the number to 5 per cent if that proved necessary. Dell appears to have been the smarter bidder by promising to cover the repair rate experienced with iBooks and appearing to offer a no downtime solution. But what if the Dells experience a repair rate that greatly exceeds the iBooks 4-5 per cent and fails to meet Apple's 96 per cent rate of repairs in 24 hours? The school district loses, of course. What data did Henrico County look at to determine if the Dells would have an expected repair rate lower than 5 per cent? The schools system's report does not say. The next four years will tell if the school system got bamboozled. We think they did.
The fee issue is partly an issue of how the laptop program will be paid for. But if eliminated, the fees are simply transferred to the cost of the contract and the county's school revenue sources rather than individual parents of students and teachers using the laptops. Doing so will also likely have the effect of increasing the repair rate since the damage waiver fee for students is an incentive to maintain the laptops. Henrico County kept the $50 student use fee but eliminated the $50 teacher use fee and the $100 student damage waiver. Care to guess which way the repair rate is headed?
Penultimately, there's the Microsoft Office issue. Dell's bid included Microsoft Office, of course, and Apple's included AppleWorks. As far as I am concerned, AppleWorks is perfectly fine piece of software and meets any possible actual requirement for high school use. But since the users expressed a desire for Microsoft Office, this issue is a no-brainer. If you offer people what they say they want, all things being equal they are going to take it, no? Even if all things are not exactly equal, an expressed desire is really an unwritten requirement that very definitely will be weighed in the decision, like it or not, especially when it is a voting situation rather than a strictly technical decision. Apple could have offered Microsoft Office but doing so probably would have increased the cost of its bid more than that of Dell's.
Finally, there is price. Dell bid $256 lower for each of 15,800 laptops than did Apple, i.e. $1,130 per 14" Inspirion 600m versus $1,386 per 12" iBook. The Henrico County Public Schools report did not include an estimate of the total cost of ownership. The report does mention a transition cost that it will bear in switching to the Dells but it did not reduce it to dollars for comparing the bid prices.
So, it looks like meeting repair rate expectations, Microsoft Office and price beat Apple. We think the first is bogus and Henrico County will regret its decision on this issue alone but only time and good, honest monitoring will tell. Microsoft Office, like it or not, is a monopoly just like Windows and the only way for Apple to win in situations where Microsoft Office is a desired element is to offer it. The only way that Apple can do that and come close on price is to license Microsoft Office for many if not all of its computers just like the Windows computer makers. It is curious that a base Inspirion 600m with 256MB RAM and base Microsoft Office sells for $1,610 on Dell's Web store while a base 12" iBook sells for $999 on Apple's Web store. On the surface, it looks as if Apple could have done better on price. Apple will have to do better on price or come up with some new killer innovations to beat Dell. We are betting on the latter. [Bill Fox]
I have nothing to add to that really. Just a shocking truth. Based on my own experiences though; Dell provides kickbacks to school district employees who assist in switching from Gateway or Apple.
In Late August, I plan to publish a week's worth of updates to all the stories posted on Jackwhispers thus far. I have also been updating stories for grammar and current information.