Monthly Archive for June, 2005

Help Save PBS funding

Instead of forwarding this to all of my friends, I figured I’d post it here. I personally don’t mind my taxes being used to support PBS. My kid watches Sesame Street, and I listen to NPR whenever I’m not listening to my iPod.

Subject: This time, it’s for real: Save NPR and PBS

Hi,

You know that email petition that keeps circulating about how Congress is slashing funding for NPR and PBS? Well, now it’s actually true. (Really. Check at the bottom if you don’t believe me.)

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS:

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with “Sesame Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” and other commercial-free children’s shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. The loss could kill beloved children’s shows like “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Arthur,” and “Postcards from Buster.” Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

Already, 300,000 people have signed the petition. Can you help us reach 400,000 signatures today?

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

Thanks!

P.S. Read the Washington Post report on the threat to NPR and PBS at:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=745

Comments in the Statesman on Apple to Intel

I was quoted in the local paper today as a “Mac user”. Funny… I will never forget one of my bosses in college telling me I was never going to get anywhere in business if I was a Mac user. Sure, being a Mac user hasn’t gotten me anywhere in business specifically, but it hasn’t hurt me either:

Apple’s switch to Intel: Some say it’s smart; others say it was inevitable.

By Helen Chernikoff
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Monday, June 13, 2005
Time was, Mac fans would have been outraged by any concession, or even connection, to Microsoft Corp. or Intel Corp.

Those days are gone. Apple Computer Inc. made peace with Microsoft in 1997. Last week, Apple said it will switch to Intel chips by 2007.

And that’s OK with many Mac loyalists. “There was some cachet to being an iconoclast, to being different,” said Bob LeVitus, the Central Texas author of 49 books about the company’s computers. “But there are downsides to the road less traveled.”

Chips made by Motorola Inc. (now Freescale Semiconductor Inc.) and, later, IBM Corp. have been losing ground to Intel for years. Like Apple’s unique software, they were one more barrier between Macs and the rest of the computing world.

Many Apple enthusiasts not only have accepted the change, they’ve embraced it.

Theories abound as to why. Apparently, Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ charisma did the trick.

“Whatever (Jobs) says is true. It doesn’t matter how true it is, everybody believes it, and it’s true,” said John Engler, a Mac user and local salesman for a New York multimedia company.

Macs remain as offbeat as ever, others say. What makes Macs special is their sleek design and user-friendly software, said Kramer Wetzel, the kind of Mac partisan who, upon entering a coffee shop, automatically tallies the iBooks versus other makers’ laptops.

“It’s like a car: It’s still going to be a steering wheel, a brake and a gas pedal. The engine doesn’t make that much difference,” said John Booher, who owns the Wizard of Austin, a computer training and support outfit.

Switching to the Intel chip is just good business, he added.

Jobs pulled the plug on PowerPC because the alliance didn’t deliver the goods, the superfast, 3-gigahertz chip he’d promised the Apple faithful two years ago, Booher said. Intel’s massive scale — it provides more than 80 percent of the world’s desktop PC chips — also should translate to lower prices. Maybe Apple will pass those savings onto consumers, Booher said.

“Being in bed with the big player who’s got the economies of scale ought to be really good for Apple,” Levitus said. “It’s going to be rough the first few years but once the transition is made, we should get lots of benefits and faster.”

For what it’s worth, I was commenting on the Steven P. Jobs Reality Distortion Field, which is a known phenomenon amongst long time Mac users, or more specifically Mac journalists.

OS X on Intel

Did you see the news?

Marketwatch: Apple to switch to Intel’s PC chips
WSJ: Apple Announces Shift To Intel as Chip Supplier
Apple PR: Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006

The feedback seems to fall into two camps:

1) Good for Apple… I hope they succeed and continue selling great products.
2) Holy Shit! I’ve been drinking the “the PowerPC is superior” koolaid for so long, I don’t know what to say now.

At this point in my life, I’m falling more into the #1 camp. I personally don’t care what chip is in my machine, as long as it continues to “Just Work” which has always been what drew me to the Macintosh platform.

From a PR standpoint, this sucks for IBM and Freescale more than it hurts or helps Apple or Intel, in my opinion. Can’t be long after the real Mac OS X on Intel software ships that someone gets OS X to run on AMD hardware easily… and after that, the hardware truly becomes a commodity (already is in the Windows world). It’s the Experience that becomes the reason to buy a Macintosh… but no Windows box makers have been successful with that strategy… I wonder if Apple can continue to be?

Should you respond to that RFP?

I’ve been a big fan of Steve Clark since I started reading his stuff a while ago, but his latest post “What To Do When The Prospect Just Wants You To Bid” is great advice for anyone that sells anything where RFPs are part of the process. Enjoy the lesson. Thanks Steve.