The Apple of Politics

My grandfather, who is 97, says that nothing surprises him anymore except the statements of the great-grandchildren. In my own twisted logic I wonder if that includes Rush Limbaugh. For those of you who don’t scan MacSurfer you may have missed Rush’s latest claim. But first a little background, Rush is a big Mac fan, has been for years. Viewers of his program are able to see Apple’s Cinema 22″ display quite prominently. Rush also extols Apple’s virtues quite regularly including the article listed below. However, last week Rush targeted Steve Jobs for his liberal political bent because Steve didn’t see sales increasing for the next 6-9 months. Rush goes on to claim that if he would advertise on Rush’s EIB network Apple would have a 10-12% market share. Anyone who has listened to Rush knows that he is a great salesman, he rarely says anything in a way that can be disputed. Also, he never gives anyone a chance to dispute with his rapid-fire tongue. However, Rush is way off with his attack on Steve’s flat-growth statement versus his own ego-driven prediction. Would Apple increase sales if they advertised on the EIB network? Yes. Would they double their market share? Not even close. Realistically, a one to three-tenths of a percent increase for the year might happen as long as Apple also advertised with Don Imus as well.

This was Rush’s way of saying, “Steve, you’re a Clinton-loving scum-sucker, but I’ll take your money anyway”.

.Mac Debate
Apple must love fighting off class action lawsuits, after all, they never seem to want to go without fighting one for more than a year. Anyone who has bought a Mac (and possibly OSX) since the debut of OSX potentially has damages coming to them if they signed up with iTools and received a .mac email address. Apple promised purchasers free email address along with webpage page hosting. Now I’m no lawyer (thank God), but it doesn’t take more than two or three more brain cells above a Jerry Springer guest to see that the change to a fee-based setup breaks a contract. The actual agreement that 99.999999% of email users just clicked thru (me included) may have a loophole for Apple to get by with. But I’m betting that in a meeting with actuarial bean counters that it was decided that it would be cheaper to settle any lawsuits than continue with a free service.

Many pundits have suggested that Apple try to “Think Different” on the issue. Offering a tiered approach to the service. A single email address and a 1 meg webpage would be free. Services beyond this would be fee based depending on what services were selected. In defense of Apple’s decision, they have added value by providing McAfee’s Virex software and have increased personal file storage to 100 megs. But the sad truth is that Apple has forgotten the value of goodwill and free advertising. I used to be able to brag about all the offerings that I got with iTools in comparison to my friends hotmail accounts, but that has ended. Will I pay the $50, probably so, I like my .mac email address and for me Virex is worth the investment.

Blind Spot Follow Up
I have received some interesting comments regarding my article, Apple’s Education Blind Spot. It seems as though many people agree that the gang in Cupertino have lost track of education software development. I even received a letter from Greg Conygham of Integrated CADD Services.

I recently read your article titled “Apple Education’s Blind Spot” on and couldn’t agree more. A few months ago I presented to a number of educators (around 350!) over 2 days at Apple Technology Updates for Educators ran by some of our New England Apple Edu. Execs.. I spoke with many afterwards and was a little surprised by the lack of adoption of OS X but even more surprised to hear about the lack of available software offerings. We were showing ArchiCAD 7.0 for OS X which we sell in a University Lab Pack for $150 for a 50 user license and were bowled over by the response. Many of the educators we spoke with were considering switching over to Win due to a lack of CAD software for the vocational programs within their schools. After seeing ArchiCAD 7.0 on OS X we had 14 school districts purchase it in short order.

In this case, it wasn’t that the software didn’t exist, Graphisoft had released the OS X version in 2001, just that the educators didn’t know about it until we reached out to show them! I have continued our efforts to reach out to the education community and show Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD 7 on OS X and hope to show more educators that there are affordable software programs developed for Mac OS X available to the education market.

For those of you in the education profession I highly encourage you to create a bookmark to Stephen Woods site. Stephen’s site is just not for math teachers, the link I provided takes you to his educators news section. Continually updated, it provides some of the best links for classroom teachers. I also want to thank the editor at for listing the article.

Mark Marcantonio

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