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Steve Bogart

News, Pointers & Commentary: May 15-31 1997

30 May 1997  
Something cool is coming: The new PC emulator for Macs that should be out sometime this summer (June or July), VirtualPC by Connectix, is looking quite excellent in early tests. It's supposed to run at least twice as fast as Insignia's SoftWindows and run ANY PC software (Windows 3.1, 95, NT, OpenStep, OS/2, whatever) since it emulates a Pentium PC rather than any particular flavor of Windows like SoftWindows does.

It will also cost less than SoftWindows, though probably more than $100 if a copy of Windows is included (license fees to Microsoft, you know).

If you're curious about more details, see: MacOS Rumors, MacInTouch, or Connectix. For a screen shot, see

Cool stuff! With a fast Mac and some cheap software you get a fast-enough PC for those times when you're stuck with proprietary software. One machine does it all...

29 May 1997  
I keep getting asked the question "So what is it that Macintoshes do that PCs don't?", implying that the PC has caught up in every area that matters. For one answer, see PC Week's An Intel-igent proposal for the Wintel platform A couple of quotes for your amusement:
A few weeks back, I needed to prepare an extensive presentation incorporating multimedia, screen-capture and audio in a short time. I selected Windows NT and PowerPoint, thinking that it was the most robust and simple approach.
    ...[after experiencing all the hassles inherent in current Wintel solutions]...
Perhaps, for all the talk, Apple truly is the way to go when you're in a pinch.
28 May 1997  
Computer Retail Week: MMX speed not matched by developers. People aren't buying the Intel hype.

PC Week: Office 97 gets mixed reviews. Look before you leap.

27 May 1997  
I have my Newton MessagePad 2000 and there will be a Scribble written about it (and on it) in the next day or two. I am so far very satisfied with it and excited about incorporating it into my routine. In the meantime, check out the following reviews from Newton owners:
the postgraduate Newton by Geoffrey Klingsporn
Apples to Oranges: MessagePads to PalmPilots by N. Jude Mansilla III

For a detailed (but straightforward) report on Apple's new Rhapsody OS, see John Norstad's WWDC 97 Trip Report (he's the author of Disinfectant and NewsWatcher, two indispensable Mac programs).

23 May 1997  
Today's Yeesh: Okay, check out this little news brief from Ziff-Davis:
BULLETIN: Analysts praise Newton decision
Analysts praised Apple's decision to split off its Newton division. Yet, questions remain whether the move will help the ailing company or its wayward son. "Both [Apple and the Newton division] are trying to fight a battle they lost long ago," said Tom Rhinelander, analyst with Forrester Research, Inc. Story to follow. -- Rob Lemos, ZDNN
Does anyone else see an imbalance here? Would I be too terribly inaccurate in restating the story this way?:
BULLETIN: Analysts praise Newton decision
Multiple "analysts" who we won't waste space on think this is a good idea. The only analyst we're going to bother quoting says this doesn't matter, the Newton is doomed and has been for years. We'll give him much more space in this brief than all the other analysts since we like what he has to say. -- ZDNN
For somewhat less negative coverage, try any of the following:
Apple Spins off Newton on TechWeb
Apple Spins off Newton Division on
Apple to spin off Newton by the San Jose Mercury News
One point I'd like to make about the articles I highlight as 'less negative' - they're NOT from Mac-centric publications like MacWeek, MacUser, MacWorld, MacAddict, etc. It would be too easy to find Newton-is-alive, Apple-is-not-doomed stories from them. I intentionally find OTHER sources so I can't be so easily dismissed as a wishfully-thinking Apple-blinded Mac-head. Hoo ha and take that.

Finally today, MSNBC points out that the patch Microsoft has posted for Win95 and NT which is supposed to protect them from specific network attacks in fact doesn't. Somehow people are surprised by this.

22 May 1997  
Well, raise my rent! Apple has unexpectedly (to me, anyway; others have been speculating about this for a while) spun off the Newton into its own wholly-owned subsidiary unit. USA Today has the story: Newton unit will separate from Apple's core. My first reaction is, "sure, why not": Claris has done very well for itself in a similar arrangement. USA Today thinks this will make Newton sales go UP immediately; I'm not sure about that, but if they want to be optimistic, I say let 'em.

In other Newton news, I finally got sick of waiting for my order through our campus computer store. Apple hasn't even gotten back to them with an ETA, and it's been a *^%#$ month since I ordered it. So instead, I ordered it from Small Dog Electronics. Their price was almost as good as the academic price I would have gotten, and they actually have Newtons to ship. I may have it by this weekend, when I'll have long plane flights to play with it on. I hope I hope I hope...

20 May 1997  
56K modems are a crock, at least for now; don't waste your money. Someone in California is mad enough to sue about it. See Lawsuits Charge Modem Makers with Fraud in Wired News.
19 May 1997  
Exercises in spin: The various summaries of Apple's developer conference are a fascinating read; they tell almost as much about the originating publication as they do about the conference. Surprisingly enough this time around, the vast majority of them have a basically positive interpretation of the announcements and demonstrations, even the articles published by non-Mac-specific publications. For instance, see:
TechWeb's Apple Developers Show Optimism,
WebWeek's Apple Developers Delight in Rhapsody Cross-Platform Plans, and
@Computerworld's Mac developers upbeat as Jobs discusses Apple's future
But fear not, PC Week reliably provides (as always) its negative view of Mac land in Apple Rhapsody to play on PCs: Company wants to win converts, but strategy may be too little, too late. Their consistency is touching.

More accolades for the eMate: This little green Apple may boost Newton's reputation, from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Check it out for the cool pictures of the eMate (which I've still never seen in person). It's a nifty-looking piece of hardware.

Finally today, a glimpse of the future: On the MacOS Rumors site there's an absolutely stunning screen shot of the interface possibilities for Allegro (a MacOS update due in 1998, I think). Whoa...quite a bit more opportunities for customization than under Windows 95's Desktop Themes...looks pretty exciting to me!

15 May 1997  
The Good News: Apple seems to have its act together at the Worldwide Developer's Conference this week. Developers are reasonably happy with what they're hearing, and so far NONE of the onstage demos has crashed. :) For conference coverage, I'm finding MacOS Rumors and Stepwise to be the most valuable.

The Bad News: Well, there's really not any bad news today. The stories in the press are actually pretty balanced about the conference so far. Oh, here's some bad news: I ordered my Newton 3 weeks ago and still don't even have an estimated ship date from the campus computer store. Bah.

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