Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The First Ever Fix Your Thinking Award



Hey, I know it's self-aggrandizing ... but it's my site! Right?

Don't SIIIIGGGGNNNNIIINNN to this ...



As Mac users we have a unique tool in fighting phishing scams ... the mouse pointer. Simply by hovering over a button, or a link found in an email ... you can see the actual URL the link takes you too.



The emails like you see pictured come to me about 4 times each day ... since mid 2005 these emails have gotten more and more sophisticated. The email above only had one small point on the respond now button that was a "scam URL" ... meaning all other links on the page actually linked to real eBay pages.

Usually these emails will take you domains that are like this:

HTTP://WWW.EBAY.SIIIIGGGGNNNNIIINNN.COM/verify.cgh-cgi-bin



As I have pointed out to you several times before ... NEVER click on an email link ... READ AGAIN ... NEVER click on an email link ... not even if your mother sends it to you ... because ... there is a good possibility that your mother's computer may have a virus or may be passing along spyware.

Personally, I don't think eBay is doing enough about this ... there are ways they could work with webhosting companies, Apple, and Microsoft to get rid of the majority of this problem ... much like the printing industry has tried to fight counterfeiting by not allowing printers to print or scanners to copy or scan; US Currency ... there could be some sort of visual filter for email as well.

King: Queen Of The Civil Rights Movement


Age 77.........Age 19 ..........Age 62



Age 36


As reported by Yahoo News:

ATLANTA - Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died. She was 78.


This website features my favorite quote: "Injustice anywhere ... is a threat to justice every where" by the late husband of Coretta King ... The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

More Than Just The Bite Missing From This Apple


* Photo courtesy of ENGadget/Ahkibara

Seems as if the companies who try to capitalize on the Apple name can't even put a scroll wheel on their mice.

I think it's interesting how this mouse is like a cross between the old style Apple hockey puck, the Apple logo, and the fruit.




Apple has been the only company in YEARS to make a truly functional and useful new innovation in navigation peripherals with the Mighty Mouse.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Something more entertaining than reading this website


Over the weekend ... The Steve Jobs Jumping Jack iTunes Visual Plugin was released.

Download here and then go to Library / iTunes / plugins and drop it in the plugins folder ... restart iTunes and watch the visual. Nothing short of hilarious.

I tried several songs ... the funniest being An Apple A Day ... by Aqua

Get An Apple A Day here:


An Apple a Day

Cat's Eye



I'm a movie buff ... I have always thought it interesting that Hollywood often features Macs in a lot of the movies set in the modern era. I also always find it telling of how good a director is, by the subtle elements hidden in the scenery of the movie.

So, from time to time - I post a movie that features famous "apple or jack" keywords, actors, and imagery and/or themes that relate to the content on this website.

The movie I'm featuring today relates to Apple's OS X Operating System naming scheme:

Cats:

Mac OS X 10.0 did not have a feline name

Mac OS X 10.1 (reportedly was called Puma)

Mac OS X 10.2 (called Jaguar)

Mac OS X 10.3 (also called Panther)

Mac OS X 10.4 (also called Tiger)

Mac OS X 10.5 will be codenamed Leopard. This will be the first OS that will have separate Intel and PowerPC versions.

Today's movie is Cat's Eye:



From 1985: This is a collection of 3 stories that are all tied together by a cat named General who is being called by a girl to help her. Through the cat's journey to reach this mysterious girl several stories unfold ...

The first story is called; Quitter's Inc ... starring James Woods ... involves a man who wants to quit smoking for the sake of his family, but finds that quitting the habit isn't easy for a pack a day smoker. He enlists a friend's assistance ... who takes him to a "Help Center" for smokers ... but finds the methods used are very unorthodox.

The second story is called; The Ledge ... starring Robert Hayes ... involves a washed up tennis player who owes a debt ... except the debt isn't just money, he owes the lender an explanation about his wife's infidelity as well. This story follows the tennis player as he has to make his way around a 50 story building ... walking on the ledge ... just to settle the debt with a die hard gambler and loan shark.

The last story brings the cat to a home with a little girl. The General ... starring Drew Barrymore ... involves a new twist on the old wive's tale ... concerning cat's stealing children's breath while sleeping.

Don't let the fact that this is a Stephen King movie fool you or make you not want to watch. There is no blood, gore, and only a very small amount of cursing.

Take into account that Shawshank Redemption is also a Stephen King story.

My favorite of these stories is Quitter's Inc ... if you know a smoker in your life ... this is something that could get them to start to kick the habit.

See if you can spot a very subtle Apple reference as well.

This is a very obscure but often overlooked classic that rivals the best of Twilight Zone episodes. It's also budget priced on DVD. Use the link above and support the FYT website or go to Best Buy where I found it for $6.99 on DVD this past weekend.

BS Follows BR: About Bleu Rose Software Going Out Of Business

As I was going through the archives of older stories to make sure I didn't need to do any more updates or transfers from the old website ... I found a story I hadn't transferred ... turns out ... the situation is even more true today than when I reported on it a year ago. Read this latest message found at bleurose.com ... then read this story!

To those of you who were loyal customers we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your support over the years.
To the psychotics who sent us hate mail regarding our decision to discontinue supporting the Macintosh platform, your ridiculous and often extremely offensive comments were all the more reason to leave you in our dust.




About Bleu Rose Software & Their Decision To Exit The Mac Market


I'm Blue (Doo Dab oh Dee) ~ Eiffel 65 / Listen to it FREE on
Blue (Da Ba Dee) [Radio Edit]






From the Bleu Rose Software website:

-----------------------------------

Public Notice


The release of Black & Bleu™ v10 marks the end of our participation in the Macintosh software marketplace.

The shrinking number of Mac users, the increasing reluctance of those users left to actually pay for software products and the apparently significant number of thieves willing to steal rather than pay at all coupled with Apple's seeming lack of concern about compatibility across its product versions and the alarming problem with its software quality (over 100,000 new bugs reported during the months of October & November, 2004 alone) has combined to render Mac OS software development unprofitable for us.


So with this final release of Black & Bleu™, we will be exiting from the Mac application marketplace and focusing our attention on other areas of endeavor.


Bleu Rose Ltd. will continue to exist but with a much different product direction in the future.


We will continue to make copies of our current products available here on our web site for the next several months.



-----------------------------------


Let's break this down, shall we?

"Public Notice" - one would usually post this right above a no trespassing sign. It is impersonal.

"end of our participation in the Macintosh software marketplace." - do you participate or develop? The question is, do you contribute?

"The shrinking number of Mac users" - what planet is the author of this message from? (click here for contradiction) Mac marketshare is growing significantly. Even if marketshare stays stable (which it has), MORE people are buying ---> 4%-6% of 1000 is not the same as 4%-6% of 10,000.

"the increasing reluctance of those users left to actually pay for software products"


Why is Graphic Converter one of the highest shareware paid programs? Because it's useful, it's well designed, and updated often. Bleu Rose makes novelty software. The Information that comes from Black and Bleu: Mac Error Codes software isn't useful except to someone playing around. Only a tech would find this information useful and an AUTHORIZED tech SHOULD have this info available.

"...Apple's seeming lack of concern about compatibility across its product versions" - how long were Windows users waiting for service pack 2 again? Thank God Apple updates often! Are there issues, sure. But as computers have become more complex, so has the support of different configurations and components. It's not like Apple's base has a Mac Plus from 1986! ( Although I still have mine *smile* )

"...has combined to render Mac OS software development unprofitable for us." Creativity = Profit. Innovation = Profit. Organization/Efficiency = Profit. Bleu Rose Software (does not =) Profit.


Notice no "thank you's" - no wishing us well - no giving the software to the Mac Community as freeware. Nothing. This says to me as a buyer - "Yeah we took your cash, sue us, if you don't like our decision"

Here are a couple of notes about the Bleu Rose website. Umm ... design. Who chose the puke blue with grainy gif images? I see the "site view counter" only said 8300 since the current page was placed on the net in 1996.

Domain Name: BLEUROSE.COM

Registrar: TUCOWS INC.

Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net

Referral URL: http://domainhelp.tucows.com

Name Server: NS.FASTQ.COM

Name Server: NS2.FASTQ.COM

Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK

Updated Date: 05-oct-2004

Creation Date: 02-dec-1996

Expiration Date: 01-dec-2006

According to NETCRAFT the site is hosted on a Linux PC (not a Mac) and was created with Microsoft Frontpage (a program not available on the Mac for quite some time)

I'm not tooting my own horn here, but FYT has gotten 48,786 hits in the month of December alone. The story about MacMice has received over 200,000 hits. The story about Paypal has received over 18,000 hits. FYT will be celebrating it's first year on the 5th of January 2005! This site gets almost zero recognition, other than an occasional posting on Macsurfer and through my own advertising in various Mac forums & Slashdot. The content here isn't interesting to all Mac Users, but at least I'm trying. 8,000 hits in 8 years is very telling!

Bleu Rose blames the lack of purchasing the software on Peer to Peer thieves - hmmm - what was the excuse in 2000 before all of that was popular? Maybe they just don't develop anything that any body wants.

Take in to account that a popular website (XLR8YourMac) has published a small blurb about this. This is actually where I found it. So the website had probably already received several hundred hits just from that.

Versiontracker shows Black & Bleu being downloaded 508 times for all versions. Compare this to a useful utility like; Graphic Converter - which has 596 reviews and has been downloaded 13,900 times for just the OSX version. (Almost 75,000 times for the OS9 classic version)

Same Deja Vu Again: Postal Service Fans Just Thugs too!


* photo courtesy of ENgadget

I wanted to wait a while to post information about the the new Intel advertisement controversy.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about ... I'll give you the condensed version.

At MacWorld Expo '06 Apple debuted a new commercial for the new Core Duo iMac & Core Duo Macbook (I still hate the name Macbook).

The first controversy involved Intel not really liking the tone of the commercial. Several websites reported Intel management were upset with the new commercial because it demeaned Intels other clients by saying:

The Intel processor ... for years it's been trapped inside PCs, inside dull little boxes, performing dull little tasks ... (blah blah shortened) ... starting today, the Intel chip will be set free ... to live life inside a Mac"


Some websites even featured interviews with Intel reps ... saying they had no knowledge of the ads.

As reported by C/NET:

Of course, that's not exactly the way Intel would put it.

"Never would we characterize our customers that way," Intel Vice President Deborah Conrad said in an interview.

Conrad said that Intel cooperated with Apple for some particulars of the TV spot, but added, "We didn't know what the end result was going to be."

"It's probably a good thing that we didn't see them earlier," Conrad said.


Turns out, the Intel reps (a vice president of marketing = read as a nobody who could be fired at any moment) who did these interviews had no knowledge that Intel executive management DID KNOW about the ads. Executive management at Intel just didn't trust the loudmouths in the marketing department ... obviously for good reasons.

Many news sources, including C/NET listed the person performing these interviews as an Intel Vice President ... implying she was executive management ... I don't see her on this page

Then, last week a controversy erupted over the ad being an exact copy of a music video done by a relatively unknown band called The Postal Service.



I immediately watched both videos and saw a resemblance ... then I read the Postal Service website:

"It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers' new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for 'Such Great Heights' made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original. We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent." -Ben Gibbard, The Postal Service


The intent of this message was to get The Postal Service fans (however few there are) in an uproar and the Apple web, where dramatic news travels fast in a discussion about it ... turning it into a controversy. And whatta you know, it happened.

My guess is ... the whole move by The Postal Service wasn't to actually bring any action against Apple, but exploit the Apple web for some free publicity.

Frankly, the music of The Postal Service stinks ... I listened to all of the clips I could hear at the iTunes Music Store and they sound like a mix between an old Nintendo videogame and Moby's worst remix.

MacObserver is reporting that Postal Service's video has climbed to #1 at the Apple iTunes Music Store:

http://www.macobserver.com/article/2006/01/24.12.shtml


And finally ... I have to hand it to watchmactv.com for their excellent side by side comparison of the Apple commercial and the music video ... well worth watching.

http://live.watchmactv.com/flash/100/




Conspiracy theorists have started to draw parallels between this and the recent Apple vs Lugz shoes commercial controversy. I actually saw a lot of merit in Lugz claims.

The difference here is:

1) Lugz didn't bring up a bogus controversy up to sell their stuff

2) The Lugz ad significantly predated iTunes silhouette ads

3) The layout of the Postal Service music video and the Apple Intel ad is a VERY common theme using very common imagery and very common zooming effects and other editting techniques

4) Unlike the Lugz ad ... the same director directed BOTH the music video and the Apple ad ... therefore HE is the one who should be in hot water ... if anyone should be scalded ... I mean scolded.

And here's a note to The Postal Service ... in case you didn't know ... you are copying the US Postal Service by using their name.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The ABC's Of 123 Sending Me DOA I-N-K



Recently I made an HP ink purchase from 123Inkjets ... this is an online inkjet cartridge remanufacturer ... one of the largest.

Typically, for my personal printers I try to avoid remanufactured/reconditioned cartridges ... but in a particular case I needed a lot of ink for a project and just didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on HP OEM ink at retail.

So ... I did my homework and tried to find the best deal out there ...

After about 30 minutes of research ... I came up with the following:

1. I would go to MYPOINTS.COM and use one of their affiliates under my rewards account located there.

2. 123Inkjets were offering 750 points (roughly equivalent to $5 in MYPOINTS) to MYPOINTS members

3. I found a 25% off coupon for orders over $50 ... used that

4. I would use my Paypal debit card to get 1.5% back

5. As I used each cartridge, I would take them to my local office store to trade in for paper or $3 off my next purchase

6. 123Inkjets was (at the time) running a free shipping promotion.

7. 123Inkjets is, on average, about 40% lower cost than retail

When all was said and done ... I would essentially pay a total of $15 for 6 cartridges (3 black, 3 color)

I placed the order online. Instantly, I was deluged with emails offering me more ink at even lower prices. These all came before my receipt even arrived in my inbox.

Next, I received the order reasonably quick, but I felt that on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being best) that the packaging was about a 5.

I waited about 3 weeks before actually installing the cartridges ... two blacks and one color were nonfunctional (dried up, bad print heads, etc etc)

I called, the ink is pretty much sold AS IS I am told, but that they could give 25% off my next order ... didn't I get that offer through email?

A little background: apparently this isn't the first time 123Inkjets has delivered me DOA ink ... my father reminded me that last year I got him some HP ink for an older printer, he didn't use it for about 2 months and it too was dried up.

Next, after 30 days ... I go to check my MYPOINTS account to see if the points have been rewarded. Nada. I email MYPOINTS customer service ... they tell me I need to send in the receipt and the date and time of purchase. They research it. The points are creditted to my account two days later. I send a followup email asking why the points were not creditted ... the message back ...

There is the possibility of a connection failure at the time during which you visited the affiliate site. 123Inkjets ordering system doesn't always communicate with our servers properly.


It is now 2 months after I ordered the cartridges ... I didn't sign up at 123Inkjets for "promotional emails" ... in fact ... I specifically remember unchecking the box for them to NOT send me ANY emails.

I receive, on average, 5-7 emails from 123Inkjets every week ... despite having also used the unsubscribe at the bottom of the email (several times)

I am also aware that 123Inkjets is a heavy email marketer and has many many affiliates that sell their ink. In other words ... they are just email spammers.

There is a very high likelyhood that that they sell customer email addresses to affiliates, despite saying the contrary on their website.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

OLPC: One Little Pound Children

On the heels of the UN announcing 1 BILLION IN SUPPORT $$$ for the 1 laptop/$100 per child program ... I thought I would repost this previous BLOG entry:



As reported by Macrumors:

The Wall Street Journal reports on an initiative to develop a $100 laptop targetted at school children in developing nations. A non-profit organization called One Laptop Per Child has been formed to oversee the project with plans to put the laptop into the hands of 100-150 million children.

The $100 design remains a challenge and has not yet been solidified, but due to the scope of the project has drawn interest from many industry leaders, including Microsoft and Apple.

According to the WSJ, Steve Jobs offered to provide Mac OS X for free for the upcoming machine. The offer was declined [ due to demand by organizers ] for a 100% opensource solution. This offer was only possible as Mac OS X is now capable of running on the x86 architecture; as well as the PowerPC. The new $100 laptop will be powered by an AMD processor running Red Hat Linux.

Official site: http://laptop.media.mit.edu/


[UPDATE] I've gotten one comment here, an email from a friend, and two other reader emails concerning the title of the article and the feature picture. This is meant to be satirical. My point is strong ... I was criticized on the Macrumors board (where I discussed this early this morning) for not being understanding of children's true needs. I care, I do my part (and then some) ... so I am by no means hypocritical. I constructed the title to separate this article from others discussing this topic. I did the picture to be an eye opener and in some ways a truth. - Philip / Jackwhispers Editor

Am I the only one that is seeing some conflict of interest here? I find it interesting that AMD has been chosen as the supplier of chips ... it is the "chip producer of choice" amongst the Linux community because it's not mega corporation like Intel. AMD embraces Linux moreso than Intel.

This could mean HUGE research money to other parties involved in this; MIT, Red Hat ... trust me ... these entities have dollar $IGN$ in their eyes, not tears for needy children.



The problems with using Linux is that the software is going to be limited, the online support is going to be limited to get the most out of the software used or available, and the big one ... Linux is a mindset .... more than an operating system ... even KDE desktop isn't easy to understand and intuitive like the Mac OS.

I guess this laptop will be able to have Mac On Linux though ... so anyone thinking the Mac OS is still out of the equation ... there is a possibility.

My gripes with this plan:

1) Isn't food, shelter, water, clothing, and economic investment better to pursue? Only if factories for these laptops could be placed nearby that would be support hubs, jobs, and wealth creation would this be a true success.

2) I have a problem with this program going forward without a true plan for the content for education that is placed on the laptop ... what are we going to give them on the hard drives?

3) What will stop someone from selling their laptop on eBay ... you can be assured this will happen or a black market will arise.

4) Will children who are JUST AS NEEDY of this technology receive them in the USA, Japan, and England? A starving body and a starving mind are equal as born into this world.

5) Is there ulterior motive in using Linux that isn't being discussed here? Microsoft has shown interest, but won't fund a Linux project. Microsoft (and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation) have deep pockets. This really wreaks of the communistic/socialist attitude that a lot of Linux types have ... you only need to visit Slashdot to see how apes the Linux community is over this news ... they think it will mainstream Linux and provide them a new avenue for revenue ... Linux isn't as free and open source as most "who use it" would have you believe.

It is mythical that Linux is free ... it is only free to the complex mind ... for people that know how to assemble 100's of components from dozens of sources ... support isn't free ... hey ... Red Hat has to make SOME money or they wouldn't be in business.

The ONLY way there can be success in this is if there was benefit to a larger corporation that would donate in lieu of research gained ... this is why I find the movie Contact so interesting ... how the world gets together to to build the machine ... "that may change mankind" .... but when it comes down to paying ... countries and corporations have to be pawned politically to make it work. I find that insightful into this situation.



Anyone saying iTunes is needed is just wasting breath because while it is "the reason the iPod is so successful" and is the easiest to use - it also connects to the iTunes Music store as a compelling part of its component ... can someone who qualifies for a $100 laptop afford a CD or an iTunes download?

That opens a whole new can of worms in my opinion ... if you think piracy is bad now, put the ability to download, listen to, and play music into the hands of 150 million children who will discover pop culture with these laptops!

... I say we just go ahead with The Modest Proposal

For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being Aburden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public

By Jonathan Swift (1729)


Speaking of which, are those laptops Soylent Green colored?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Song O' The Month: Green Apples by Chantal Kreviazuk


Green Apples by Chantal Kreviazuk

Listen & Download from
Green Apples
^ click on iTunes box above ^


My girlfriend let me listen to a song called Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk. I listened to a number of her songs at the iTunes Music Store ... all sounding a lot like Norah Jones and Nellie McKay. See, if you like this song.

An email answered ...



I received the following email last night:

Dear Jack,

I have been reading your website for almost a year now. I found you through posts you made at Macrumors. I enjoy the different perspective your site provides on the drama that goes on in Apple business and amongst third party developers. As a black man, I have always thought it unique that you feature a quote from the memorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. However, I noticed that on the day we celebrated Dr. King [you made no mention of him]. You did wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. If I remember correctly, you even wished Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak Happy Birthday. Do you plan to wish everyone Happy Valentine's Day? Why do you not see this as just as an important wish for the readers of your website?

Sincerely,

[Avid JW Reader]


The title of this website is followed by this quote:

"Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere"


Interesting to say the least. The last thing I want to do on this website is offend anyone ... although sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes the truth is offensive to those that read their biographies.

I take exception to this reader's mention of Martin Luther King Day being "just as important" as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Would Dr. King (who was also a minister) accept a holiday in his name? Would Dr. King think that he was just as important as Christ? Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birthday. Thanksgiving is another religious holiday ... it was made a national holiday to recognize the first settlers of the US and their thankfulness to God for bringing them here and providing them with a bountiful harvest.

Both of these holidays are celebrated by blacks, whites, asians, and eastern and western indians alike.

One reason I don't like the specific nature of Martin Luther King Day is that it is targetted towards an exclusive group. While King did many things to forward civil rights for all people, not just racial minorities, but economic minorities as well, I still don't see the merit in a national paid holiday. King preached hard work and perseverence ... would he really have wanted us to take a day off to honor him?

There are too many holidays already ... and in actuality (I realize this sounds contradictory to my last statement) ... I wouldn't mind if President's Day or Memorial Day were replaced with Martin Luther King Day. Veteran's Day and The Fourth Of July are inclusive of all military veterans as it is now.

So, my decision wasn't because it wasn't worthy news ... I actually turn down a lot of stories to post.

Lastly, I mention Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs birthday for thematic sake ... this is an Apple Business topical blog. I also post mention of Steve Jobs birthday because it is the same day as my own.

I appreciate all emails ... I respond to any email personally.

Jack Words: Pedagogy & Apple Certified Technician



Jackwords is an exercise in vocabulary building. From time to time I present you with two words ... one that is a vocabulary builder, the other, a laymen definition of an Apple computer related term. Today's words are:

Pedagogy & Apple Certified Technician


Pedagogy as defined by Webster's Dictionary:

pedagogy (as in "teaching") n. : the profession of a teacher


Pronounced: Ped - a - gah - g

Alternate pronunciation: Ped - a - go - g

Want to impress a favorite teacher, instructor, or professor in your life ... work this word into your conversation with them.

Apparently a lot of professors use this term ...

So, you say, why not just use the words educator, teacher, or professor? Well ... impressing an educator or professor doesn't hurt your chances of an A+!

Apple Certified Technician



Many people are confused about what it means to be Apple Certified ... and a lot (read as most) people who claim to be Apple Certified rarely are. There is an immense difference between Apple Authorized, Apple Certified, and Apple Consultant.

Did you know that many (read as most) CompUSA stores are Apple Authorized, but rarely employ Apple Certified Technicians? Technically, if an uncertified technician works on your computer, your warranty is void. Of course, Apple is very lenient with their policy ... and if they do try to argue about such an unauthorized repair ... they quickly back down (with a slight change in tone from your voice)

This also runs vice versa ... your warranty could be voided if the Apple Certified Technician is based out of an unauthorized Apple Service location. This isn't much of a problem if the technician is self employed or an individual consultant.

The Apple Training section of the Apple website is the best place to look on how to become certified ...

Here is a link to become certified to repair Apple Computer Desktops such as iMacs, eMacs, Power Macintosh Desktops (G3, G4, G5, Core Duo): Apple Hardware Repair Certification

Here is a chart of necessary steps tests to take to becoming Apple certified (scroll down about half a page):




























Apple Certified Desktop Technician (ACDT)
This certification is ideal for people interested in becoming Macintosh desktop service technicians, but also worthwhile for helpdesk personnel at schools and businesses, and for Macintosh consultants and others needing an in-depth understanding of how Apple systems operate. 
Learn More ...
Required Exams

Preparatory Course

Prometric exam #9L0-004

Apple Desktop Service Exam




Skills Assessment Guide

AppleCare Technician Training
Prometric exam #9L0-060

Mac OS X 10.4 Service and Support Exam*


OR
AppleCare Technician Training



Prometric exam #9L0-401

Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.4 Exam*




Skills Assessment Guide




Sample Test

Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.4




* The above chart taken from APPLE.COM (some links may not work, just visit site as indicated)

APPLE.COM also notes:

* Persons wishing to become both ACDT (Apple Certified Desktop Technician) & ACPT (Apple Certified Portable Technician) certified need take only one Mac OS exam. The Mac OS X 10.4 Service & Support Exam (9L0-060) is recommended for service technicians or those aspiring to become a service technician, and the Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.4 Exam (9L0-401) is recommended for technicians who also perform help desk support. Note that the Support Essentials Exam (9L0-401) also provides Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS) certification.


Apple certification has always concerned me as a tech myself ... many local Apple Consultants claim to be certified but are not ... and Apple has no real paperwork or diploma for one to be able to show for such certification.

Personally, I would like for Apple to promote within a brochure in every box:



If you would like to know more and or would like help on becoming Apple Certified, don't hesitate to leave a comment or contact me via email using the link in the right hand column "about section".

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tricks of Bad Businesses & The Attorneys Who Represent Them



I'm sure many of you have had experiences with the Better Business Bureau ... the ineffective quasi government agency that claims to be in existence for consumer protection.

Many people would say one of the B's stands for bureaucratic

Recently, I had reported two businesses to the BBB.

Large corporations know that they must respond to all BBB action, regardless of the merit of the consumer's claim. They also know they can't float the terms "litigation" or "lawsuit" around lightly.

Well, in case you didn't know this about a bad company you may be dealing with, the only thing that company has to do to avoid a negative report on their BBB record is to say there is pending litigation concerning the issue at hand ... the BBB will claim they cannot issue a report or even follow up at that time. You will never be able to report the business to the BBB.

To put this issue simply:

* You you go to www.bbb.org and fill out an online complaint for a business.

* BBB forwards report to business and gives them 15 days to respond.

* Bad business gets an attorney to draft a letter that says the case is pending litigation.

* BBB sends you back notice that "the issue" you have reported is outside their purview.

The BBB is one of the least effective ways to report businesses. Probably the best way is to report them to the local Chamber of Commerce, to National Consumer Affairs, and to the FTC fraud divison.

If this happens to you ... send notice to the BBB that you would like a case number for the litigation ... otherwise, you would like the BBB to help mediate the situation. This will force them to respond to the action further. Of course, mileage varies from bureau to bureau.

The key is to resolve the situation amicably ... but if no resolution can be made through the report, which rarely happens ... you at least want a strike against the business's record.

One other tactic bad businesses use is; different aliases for their business ... I'll just use the title of this website as an example:

I could list myself under my actual name, no business name: Philip Smith

I could list it with inappropriate spaces: Jack Whispers or even Jac Kwhispers

I could misspell my name: Jaque Whisperes or Jac Whisper

Any of these tactics will usually exclude the business from being located, therefore not allowing you to make a complete report.

But honestly, the newest tool for consumers is the internet ... I hope the site you are reading will assist you in your daily quest to find honest, professional businesses.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Third Party Apple Developers: No Longer Flexing Their Brain Muscle

One of the other things I noticed at Macworld Expo was the lack of differentiation between sellers. They are pretty much all selling the same things now, just with slightly modified inner shell.

For instance, DLO, Griffin, and XtremeMac all announced home docks with remote controls at MacWorld ... each of them doing basically the same thing.

Belkin and Griffin definitely have an advantage with this distribution model because they have a wider distribution than DLO or XtremeMac.

These various product developers are taking trips to Asia ... finding these products and then designing an outer shell for them ... maybe tweaking the insides a tad.

It's disappointing because I have seen prototypes and know of many ideas and directions the iPod has yet to go ... even greater than audio and video. It's disappointing to see these great companies just result to copycatting one another.

One glowing example of copycatting gone wild in the iPod arena is the Automobile FM transmitter area:

Griffin TuneFlex:



Belkin Tunebase FM:



And lest anyone forget ... Jack Campbell tried to release The PodBuddy that looked like this:



He was bashed (even on this site) for trying to release The PodBuddy. DLO, even went as far to make DVForge (now out of business) cease any release of the PodBuddy due to patent infringement. Now, Griffin and Belkin have been added to that list.

I just wish there were a source with more influence than this site has that would tell these companies to Think Different

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Rebrander Rebadged With Out Of Business Sign: Why Minolta Leaving The Camera Biz Is A Good Lesson For Apple.

Apple has done it ... and many big businesses do it. Rebrand.

What do I mean by rebrand?

Examples of Apple rebranding from the past:

All Apple Printers:

EXAMPLE: Portable Stylewriter 2200 ... just a Canon BJC 70



Apple's Quicktake camera was also identical to the Fuji DS-7:



The key is, Apple has never done it under Steve Jobs. Steve ended all rebranding when he returned to Apple.

________________________________________




Big news today from someone you probably never knew was a rebranding company: Minolta.

I could see troubled times ahead when Minolta merged with Konica back in August of 2003.

If you look at this article, it will show you that more than just the camera business was troubled at that time.

Konica was a low end camera manufacturer. The merger didn't make sense. Ever since the two merged ... there has been job cut after job cut announcement. The merger was like Mercedes buying Hyundai.

In the 90's - Minolta started to rebrand more than innovate ... one example was their foray into camcorders that were simply JVC rebrands. Eventually, they started using camera bodies for their film cameras from all sorts of manufacturers.

________________________________________


So, I want to relate this back again to the Apple realm of business ... I have a number of customers in my Apple Tech biz that have Minolta DSLRs ... I wanted to reassure all of them who are reading ... I hear Canon makes a nice camera! But you might want to steer clear of Nikon ... they might be next on the chopping block.

Does anyone remember the 80's Minolta TV ad? It had a ping sound similar to the Intel Inside Ads and carried the catch phrase: "Only from the minds at Minolta"

No doubt!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Should It Be Spelled ReBAIT or Rebate?



While many websites seem to complain about rebates, few, if any (read as; none that I found) give any tips on how to better manage rebates so you can get your rebate quicker and more often. Read this story and find out a method that gets me my rebate 99% of the time. I say 99%, because nothing is foolproof ... I just have FAR less problems if I use this method than my counterparts who don't do this and submit the same rebates.

When You're Good To Mama ~ from the movie Chicago

One of the price gimmicks that I hate to love is; rebates. If you take the time to shop for rebate deals - you can save a lot of money. But there's the hassle and then there's the float time. The float time is the time it takes for you to spend the money vs. when you get your money back. In the case of recent hard drive deals in particular; this could be a substantial amount of money.


Of course rebate companies, retailers, and manufacturers count on up to 25% of purchasers to:

A) Not even bother to send in their rebate
B) Not fill in the rebate properly
(incorrect address - rebates ARE NOT forwarded)
C) Not to submit requirements (making sure to include receipt, UPC bar codes, other requirements)


I have always thought that, rebate companies occasionally participate in "nolo ablego" or in pig latin, 'No senderay'. I think the occasional rebate just isn't sent out, hoping the submission will have been forgotten. After all, rebate processing houses are paid based on the number of submissions, not in bulk. This means that any check that isn't cashed is money back in their bank.

When I submit a rebate I do the following:

1) Have a calendar for just rebates - I mark the week I expect to receive the rebate & write down the customer service phone number along side it.



2) I submit a typed form along with the rebate that reads something like this:




___________________________________________


Item Purchased: Western Digital 250 GB HD

UPC barcode: 7 87698764 314 7

I am expecting to receive this rebate no later than: May 1, 2004

My address (with phone number) is:

John Doe
1234 That Street
That Place, TS, USA

I have included (see stapled): The UPC from the box, the original receipt,

and the rebate form, plus this convieniant information form for you.
Thank you,
John D.

___________________________________________



Sending the little form above serves two purposes. One is to make sure they know my information and know that I know I have submitted the required information and reviewed it carefully. The second reason is to let the rebate submission processor know that I will be trouble if I don't get my rebate as promptly as possible.


There's a catch of course to getting your money back from rebates; especially when it concerns "free after rebate items".

You've got:
a) the pen & ink costs
b) the postage costs
c) the envelope costs
d) your time
AND ONE OF THE MOST OVER LOOKED
e) taxes on the original item cost


By the time you add this up, it's hardly worth sending in a rebate for something costing less than $10 that was promoted as "FREE". Such as this item:


Although this item is $10 before rebate and $0 afterward, this SAME EXACT item is only $6.96 at Walmart. Depending on managers - most office stores won't price match for items that have rebates. That said, if you know how to work the system you can actually take advantage of this kind offer. If you buy from stores that do rebates regularly and give them consistent business, most ANY manager will make an exception for you. This particular remote comes from OfficeMax. They price match by 115% of the difference. This means you would actually get this item for $6.50 + tax. In turn, you would get a $10.00 rebate. You've just MADE money for buying something and you've paid for your time and supplies costs as well.

Most items available for rebate are this way. Usually items are higher priced so the store has a good margin to work with and can pay the rebate processing companies they use. For this particular item - I always buy it month after month along with a few other items. I then turn around and sell them to family and friends and even customers for $3. These remotes go for $5 to $9 on eBay as well - the MSRP is as $19.99.

Retailers have teams of marketing geniuses trying to take advantage of your psyche - you just have to learn how to take advantage of them.

One company that took the rebate process to an extreme during the dot com boom was: cyberrebate.com. The site featured 100's of items that were free after rebate. Shipping was free. You simply ordered items off the site, got them by UPS a few days later, then submitted the rebate. Sounds great right? The catch was, items like a single votive style wax candle, were $40.00. This same candle was a retail candle for $4 at even the highest of retail stores. Another example was a creative nomad jukebox Mp3 player. Cyberrebate price = free after rebate BUT $2695.00 BEFORE rebate. Yes that's TWO THOUSAND! This item retailed at CompUSA for $399.99; a few short months later; only $199. Rebates from CyberRebate would take about 10-12 weeks to reach you. (That's 3 months when you count normally) I admit, I tried it; mainly because you could combine rebates into one submission. One rebate check would come back to you. Rebates were unlimited to the submission address (unlike most rebates which are limited to one submission per household).

Only one store (that I know of) allows multiple rebates in one envelope (such as CyberRebate did) - that's OfficeMax.



When I went to the CyberRebate website to research this story, I see that, the lawsuit that was filed back in 2002, is now ready for reimbursement. I haven't heard much mention about this on Slashdot or in the news. CyberRebate's "rebate baiting" backfired on them and they couldn't afford to pay out the rebates. They got so far in debt ($2.5 million) that they had to shut down. Some people were left without getting their money.

An interesting message now appears on the Cyberrebate homepage that was just updated January 31st of this year.

Another way to make money/save money with rebates is to use a credit card that pays percentages back. In the case of the Western Digital 250 Gig hard drive pictured on the front page - this equals $3.75 with the Paypal cash back program of 1.5%. Best Buy, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Staples all have loyalty programs that yield 3%-5% off as well.

Occasionally you can apply coupons to online orders and usually shipping (when ordered online) is free. This week if you ordered all of OfficeMax's free after rebate items - used a 1.5% back credit card and used their loyalty program MAXPERKS + used a $30 off $150 coupon - in 8-10 weeks it's like you were being PAID $60 to buy those items.

I have always been surprised that Jack never tried rebates at MacMice. Maybe even he can see that rebates are just a marketing ploy that results in bad vibes with some customers.

Is it just me?

Or does anyone else feel like this is going to be an amazing year for Apple?

Apple is owed a lot of applause for increasing its market share, its brand recognition and maintaining a product worthy of any one who sells, repairs, or consults for Apple. And I say Apple (and not Steve Jobs) ... because while Jobs is owed credit ... even as he puts it ... it is his team that succeeds.

Read about Apple Computer's record quarterly earnings here

Anyone willing to try this for the sake of review

My best friend and I were talking about diet plans this evening ... I had remembered when I was searching for new things to advertise on this website I had seen a book called, The 3-Apple-A-Day plan.

I don't really like to promote anything I don't use on a daily basis or that I haven't experienced first hand.

Anyone out there willing to try this diet plan? I'll buy the book for you ... if you will report the results and allow me to publish them here on Jackwhispers.



Since I already eat lots of Apples (not 3 a day though) and I have an athletic build ... I don't need to diet ... but I'd certainly be willing to help anyone try this one and thereby help me with a review.

From the website this diet apparently involves eating one apple before each meal and the book claims to detail the following:

How to increase your metabolism to achieve permanent fat loss.
Why it’s important to balance your carbohydrates, protein and fats.
The difference between over fat and overweight.
How and why apples are used as a fat loss supplement
How to plan and prepare quick, delicious meals
How to overcome barriers and excuses.
Why men lose weight faster than women—the role of genetics, age and gender.
Why the scale may sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
Personal stories and photos of people who share their past struggles with weight loss and their success on the Plan.

Change your Life ... or at least edit it

One of the most compelling things I have ever seen that would sell a computer was Steve Jobs' demonstration of iLife '06 at MacWorld Expo last week.

Many people were upset when Apple announced they would be charging for the iApps starting in the summer of 2004 - bundled as iLife. I don't feel the first iLife was worth the $79.99 charged ... but iLife certainly was and now iLife '06 is nothing short a miracle as far as pricing.

The new iMovie effects are nothing short of incredible ...

I've searched for my ocal customers to find the best price ... right now it's 10% off at Amazon ... use this link and Jackwhispers gets a small portion of the proceeds:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Don't forget about the Constitution



Just remember ... the side bar to the right has a link to download the entire US Constitution to your iPod for FREE!!!

Use it! Carry your rights!

Just know this ...

;-)


Quick post: The Register UK is reporting that people have started to receive emails asking them to verify their Apple ID ... this is an attempt to steal your information and purchase computers and music with the credit card you have registered with your iTunes or Apple store account.

Just know this ... it would be national news if something like this happened AND Apple (or any other large corporation) would never send you an email asking you to visit their site and type in details.

Remember, online sites such as Apple, Paypal, eBay, Amazon, and your bank ... all have this information ... they have it backed up twice over ... they just don't have the need to ask for additional "verification" and they would never publicly announce that they had a security breach ... the national news would announce that for them.

PS - don't confuse this phishing scam with Apple's ID resetting emails ... if someone has tried to log into their Apple ID account 3 times - you are sent an email requesting that you reset your Apple ID.

Read this story to see what I mean: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/6440

Here is Apple's page discussing Apple IDs:

http://www.info.apple.com/support/howtoid.html

;-)

Why The Cherry Or The Pear May Be Apple's Next Lemon

This is one of the last three stories I have to move over from the old site ... it's pertinent to today's discussions for several reasons, the main being, what if ...

Did the creator of the Cherry OS, Arben Kryeziu, actually have wind of the project inside Apple this whole time? I know it's floating a conspiracy theory and I know that he was caught for stealing code from PearPC (read the story below for details) ... but ... in case you hadn't noticed, Rosetta almost exactly matches the claims made by Kryeziu. (About 50-75% PowerPC performance on an Intel processor ... 2Ghz Intel = 1 Ghz PowerPC performance.

It's something to think about as we revisit this story considering Macs with Intel processors.

Just remember that Jobs revealed at WWDC in 2005 that Apple has had concurrent versions of PowerPC/Intel for Mac OS X since 10.0.

_________________________________________________


Why The Cherry Or The Pear May Be Apple's Next Lemon

* Originally posted October 13, 2004 *

From The iTunes Music Store: Cherry Bomb ~ John Mellancamp


We knew this day would come. At least we thought someone would attempt to make this day come. October 12, 2004, a company appeared to have brought the Mac OS to the Windows world - essentially turning a PC into a Mac. The key word is "appeared"



I wanted to follow this press release for at least 24 hours before I posted a story here on JackWhispers. I wanted to ask a few questions of the company and research the different forums that came up yesterday. Most of the regular Mac news sites just posted the story to get hits without really delving into the details. Your insightful Jackwhispers editor has dug up some very juicy details about the "Cherry OS".

The description is simple on the website:

CherryOS is a G4 Emulator giving you the option to use OSX on your PC.

• Our solution, CherryOS, is to turn a PC into a Macintosh clone, and to run MacOS and Macintosh applications directly on the PC. You benefit from the lower cost and faster speed of the PC, and still keep the use of your Macintosh applications.




That's where the simple and believable description stops. The software promises full PCI, USB, firewire, sound, hard drive, and peripheral support as well. If that were true, this would have been a much greater breakthrough and Apple would have IMMEDIATELY shut the software site down.

But, that's not where the fantasy ends:

• The software claims to run an equivalent speed of 80%

If you were to translate this properly - Apple's CPUs are about 1.2X as fast as the equivalent Pentium 4 and Pentium 3 (compare to Apple's G3 & G4 respectively) - so essentially the claim is saying it will run a 100% equivalent Mhz / speed ratio. This means if I had a 3Ghz Pentium 4 with 1 Gig RAM - I would have the equivalent of a 2.4Ghz G4!!

The claims also go on to say that there is FULL iApp support. Meaning, you could use the entire iLife suite of applications. That equals; iDVD, iMovie, Garageband, iPhoto, iTunes. These programs take up enormous amounts of computing resources and depend tremendously on hardware. This claim is certainly misleading.



My supposition is that this is an outright scam - essentially a facelift and theft of the PearPC program; which is the previous OS X emulator. [By the way, it's also open source and free] PearPC is believable because I have actually seen it run. It runs only as an OS shell. In other words, it doesn't really turn your PC into a useable Mac System. It just lets you use programs and run Mac OS X on TOP of Windows. No hardware is actually supported. You can think of PearPC as "playing the Mac OS X game" on your screen. On a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4, I have seen PearPC runnning Mac OS X Jaguar. It runs at about the speed that a 233Mhz iMac runs OSX. (That's pretty abyssmal, in case you didn't know)

Concerning CherryOS.com: The webmaster appears to be a very talented graphic design artist. The website is really well done. Just remember what FYT told you about pretty websites? SpyMac has one of the most elaborate websites within the Mac community. The owner also pulled a teriffic hoax by making a video showing an Apple PDA called the iWalk.



None of my emails to Arben Kryeziu were returned or answered. Arben is the owner and seems to be one of four total people at the company; MXS. The claims, for credibility of the Cherry OS, are that the streaming video product VX30 that is produced by the company is very up and coming. I couldn't find anyone that is using this technology; a java video player, or how it differs from the other java video applications that already exist. Was this another piece of coding that Arben Kryeziu may have lifted and reinterfaced, and then given a pretty website to wrap around it and sell it?

My advice is to see how all of this pans out before sending your $50 to "test drive" the software.

Where this presents a real problem to Apple is; if true, this could mean a significant number of people may start purchasing the Mac OS to install on PCs using programs such as CherryOS or PearPC. This could cause an enormous amount of confusion and a significant cost in phone support and Apple Store support; not to mention the small Apple consultants around the world. This is one reason I hope Apple will put a stop to this. As an Apple consultant, I don't want to share this new support burden.

_________________________________________________


Now, in a little bit off topic commentary, I thought I would share some knowledge about Windows emulators and the companies that produce them. I had conducted an interview with FWB a while back and didn't get any real substance from the interview to publish, but there were some interesting details. The reason this relates is; I'm seeing a pattern that emulation may be the next "get rich quick scheme" to hit the tech world. Since computers have become so fast, emulation of older systems and cross platform systems has become one of the hottest development areas in software. Read this Mac history that I have gathered and see what you think.

Both Connectix and Insignia (the two main companies that produced Windows emulation for the Mac) were actually just venture capital firms. This is why Connectix, at the height of every product launched, would just sell it off as an asset.

• Connectix Quickcam = Logitech Quickcam
• Connectix Virtual Game Station = Sony Buyout
• Connectix Virtual PC ( at an undeniable breakthrough point) = Microsoft Virtual PC




Insignia was the same:

In an email interview with Mark Hurlow, President of FWB he stated that they simply licensed the code rather than bought it from Insignia for SoftWindows. The reason they never released an update after leasing the code was because they didn't see any merit at the time in releasing a new OS X version and didn't have the development time to dedicate to it before the lease ran out.

Insignia is supposedly shopping their emulation solution around to others that may want to develop it.

I have found that these two companies were essentially started up by venture capital and paid off their investors, dumped their employees, and the owners got filthy rich.

[UPDATE]

Here are some insightful comments posted to the FYT comments:

"1. The CherryOS website is actually a template. I've spent quite some time looking for it, but decided to call it a day...

It's either Design Galaxy, Boxed Art or Template Monster.

Either the company didn't have the time to design one themselves or couldn't be bothered.

2. The domain name was only registered recently.

3. I find it hard to believe the whole thing (CherryOS) was created in less than 4 months. It must've taken only 2-3 months to come up with a working version.


_________________________________________________


A reader from engadget.com observed a VERY recent change to the CherryOS website:

It seems the author of CherryOS is really claiming 25% of speed or so. If it was really 80% your 3.2Ghz would yield 2.56Ghz not 800Mhz as he says below. Funny math.

"CherryOS has been tuned for performance. You can expect to get about 80% of your processors power when working in the Apple Environment. For example a 3.2ghz P4 would run as fast as a 800 MHz G4 machine."

Found at: http://www.cherryos.com/what.html

_________________________________________________


Taken from a MacMinute forum response and the FYT BLOG:

"Apple makes their money on hardware, not software. A Cherry OS sale could be a lost Mac sale. A MacOS X sale doesn't make up for it."

Actually, Apple made 213 million in software sales last quarter alone. They average about 1 billion a fiscal year in software sales. I'm not sure if this includes the Filemaker division or not. But the point is well made. Apple could potentially lose hardware sales over such a product. But at the moment - it's not even a remote threat as the Cherry OS has ficticious claims on performance and almost certain hardware problems. It's almost a given that this is stolen PearPC code.

Please read these followup FYT stories related to this topic:

Cherry OS On Hold

Cherry OS Stands For Cherry Open Source???

Arben Says, "I can not tell a lie, I chopped down that cherry tree"

Drunk, but alert enough to write a masterpiece

Losing A Classic: The Why & How Of Keeping OS 9

Monday, January 16, 2006

Just How Many Apple Computer Users Are There: The Definitive Answer On Apple's Market Share



JackLooks is a post of searches that I make on the internet that relate to Macs. I often make interesting searches. Sometimes, the results are hard to sort through. I try to make sense of the searches and then pass my own education along to readers. Enjoy!

Trying to find data regarding Apple's true marketshare is like trying to find a haystack in a needle factory.

It's almost as if it were some political statistic. You never can know the truth or accuracy of any statistic about Apple's marketshare because of several factors:

1) Those bias towards Linux or Windows tend to conduct the surveys about market share.

2) Surveys for Linux market share usually include systems that have Linux installed on them, but are not user operated ... meaning manufacturing machinery and the like.

3) Surveys for Windows usually are for Windows only ... meaning a flavor survey ... Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP

4) Surveys for Windows (if they do include other OS's) tend to lump all of them into an "other" category.

5) The Mac OS and Apple market share is very centralized. For instance, my hometown of Greenville SC has a much higher percentage of Macs than Apple's national average and so does a large college town nearby ... however, my state as a whole has a lower than the national average number of Apple Computers.

6) Some of these surveys only count computers that are connected to the internet that use the Internet Explorer browser. While many Mac Users still use Internet Explorer for the Mac ... it is dwindling down to the low double digits.



So, the point behind those bullet points is that it is very hard to pin down any precise numbers.

A good link to analyze monthly market share: http://marketshare.hitslink.com <--- For browsers and operating systems.

One of the mistakes that is made when calculating Apple's market share is reading into quarterly market share. On average, Apple has about 5% of the quarterly sales of all computers. Many people would say that 5% is miniscule ... but they fail to realize that car companies like BMW have 5% or less marketshare in the automobile market. Would anyone call BMW a failure with low market share? Market share is rarely a term associated with BMWs.

Many surveys also have cut off points as well ... mostly at 4 years. Meaning ... a survey may be worded like this:

In the last 4 years, have you purchased a computer? If so, continue to question 2.

I have actually taken one of these surveys ... it was worded exactly like this.

Whether you have personally had this experience or not ... Apple Computers just last longer. Apple computers have never really made it into the commodity market either (even with the budget priced Mac Mini). A PC User with a problem requiring a greater than $300 repair will tend to just buy a new computer. Conversely, this threshhold for a Mac user seems to be around $750.

One of the reasons this is so ... is because Mac Users tend to be creative professionals ... they require consistency in their jobs. Upgrading may require one to learn a new operating system (OSX) or learn new software like Photoshop vs Freehand or InDesign vs Quark. For the average Mac user ... the cost of upgrading to the latest, greatest Mac is significantly higher ... requiring thousands of dollars of software purchases as well.

One other reason it's so easy for a Windows user to upgrade their machine with ease is ... Mac users are more honest. The average Windows using customer that comes into my store will often remark ... I'll just use my copy from my old computer, or borrow Office from my friend" My average Mac user, buys the new software and typically buys separate licenses for EACH machine.

Another thing I have found about surveys on market share is that they tend to negate multiple computers in the same household.

The average Mac user retains their older Mac for nostalgia, backup, and even simultaneous use. Whereas, the average Windows user, discards, trades, sells, or donates their computer.

Everything I have told you thus far is my first hand knowlege as I interact with people in my own store and my daily work.

Typing several terms into Google yields a mix of numbers ... most only revealing quarterly sales figures/market share.

The average figure places Apple's current worldwide market share at around 4.5%. I find this statistic highly suspect. I'm not quite sure why Apple doesn't advertise that these statistics are bogus - at least on their website.

Here's an insightful comment made by John Gruber on his site DARING FIREBALL:

Overall PC market share covers large market segments where Apple isn’t competing — including markets where Apple doesn’t want to compete. Fifteen or 20 years ago, personal computers were generally only purchased and used by people who were “into” computers. Today, however, many computers are purchased for use as generic business machines, modern-day typewriters and adding machines.

PCs are used everywhere from telemarketing cubicle farms to supermarket checkout registers. The much ballyhooed “network computer” platform never emerged the way companies like Sun and Oracle had hoped (meaning “no Microsoft”), but very cheap PCs are frequently used as little more than network terminals. And Apple simply doesn’t make machines that would be good choices for extremely low-end tasks.

...The idea of overall PC market share, as currently conceived by IDC, is not so much like overall automobile market share as it is like overall motor vehicle market share. It’s like counting everything from golf carts to tractor trailers as a single category, thus making the “overall market share” look worse than it is for a company that only makes actual passenger cars.


Interestingly, Jack Campbell wrote a piece back in 2002 for SpyMac regarding this topic ... while he was criticized for making up many of the statistics he placed into the article (which has since been removed from the SpyMac site) I have to agree with some of the points he had made there. Here is a discussion thread about his article at MacRumors

He made the assertion that the Apple Computer Installed Base (Apple Computers in use) was probably close to 11%. Since 2002 (when the article was written) Apple has gone from 2.5% quarterly market share to about 4.5% quarterly market share. The sales of computers have gone up significantly as well ... so Apple's gain in marketshare is more significant than the small 2% gain that this increase indicates.

If I were to just guess (educated of course) I would say Apple's installed (and in daily use) base is hovering around 12% of all computers worldwide.

From September of 2004 to September of 2005 Apple sold 4.534 million computers - approximately 100.521 million computers were sold worldwide in this same period.

It is estimated that approximately 40 to 50 million computers are disposed of worldwide each year. (This is inclusive of Apple Computers I believe) - this was a tough statistic to pin down by searching through Google.

I used to buy surplus on a regular basis - the majority of the Macs I bought were recycled and resold. The majority of the PCs I bought were stripped and disposed of - used almost solely for parts. So a disposal figure lumping all computers together may be skewed when you consider Apple computers.

If you would like more information into Apple Market Share ... review Apple's 10k Report. This is a yearly filing Apple has to make concerning its sales to the Securities & Exchange Comission (SEC):

While it does not appear to be so, this is a direct link to the Apple website where the last 6 years of 10k reports can be found:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=107357&p=irol-reports

Each report is linked on this page in the form of a PDF file.

[UPDATE] Interesting side note news coming out today:

As reported by New York Times:

Steve Jobs sent an email message to employees that read, "Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve."


Jobs' email references a statement made by Dell's CEO in 1997. Micheal Dell was asked what he would do to fix Apple, which was financially troubled at the time. He replied "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

[UPDATE #2] Newsweek is carrying brief tidbits from an interview with Steve Jobs reiterating a 5% quarterly market share

[UPDATE #3] Here's an exhaustive detailed look at Apple Market Share * updated September 20th 2006