How D’ya Like Dem Apples?

Apple Computer had a great day on Wall Street today due to incredible 4th quarter financial results as well as some very exciting news about Mac market share. Apple posted a healthy $546 million profit for the quarter beating estimates by a substantial margin. Separately, Gartner announced that Apple accounted for 6.1% of the PCs shipped in the 3rd quarter of 2006. That’s a 31% increase year over year. These two announcements sent shares of Apple soaring about 6%. After hearing all of the doom and gloom stories back in the ’90s, it sure feels good to see Apple doing so well. I can’t wait to see what happens after the holiday season.

The Lazy Revolution Is Back!

After a two-month hiatus, the Lazy Revolution is back with more wit and wisdom and pokes and prods towards the conservatives of the world. The latest rant takes on the annoying political email forwards we’ve all seen over the last few years. It also has a great picture of TB’s dog driving him home after a night of drunken debauchery. Check out the site when you have a chance. It’s entertaining to say the least.

Happy Birthday iPod!

The iPod and I have always shared a special relationship. We share the same birthday, October 23rd. It’s also Johnny Carson’s birthday, but that’s another story.

Anyway, I ran out and bought the first version of the iPod as soon as it came out back in 2001 because I knew it was something special (I also needed a new MP3 player). I kept asking myself, why in the world did Steve Jobs decide to call this thing iPod? Now five years later, we’re starting to see the reasons: music, video, pictures, audio books, podcasts, contacts, notes, calendar, etc.

I remember people having such a skeptical reaction to the iPod. The Windose disciples at my office shrugged it off just because it was an Apple product although every one of them said it looked and felt great. Most, if not all of them, now have iPods. People on the train would look at me listening to this little white thing and ask me what it was. Being a good little Apple evangelist, I would promptly let them feel and listen to my iPod hoping they would run out and buy one too. Slowly but surely, iPods started popping up all over the train. At first, I would count the number of people that had one (yes, I am a huge geek). After a while, I would count the people that didn’t have one. That is when I knew the iPod had changed the world.

With all of the hubbub surrounding the iPod’s fifth birthday, Newsweek posted a nice Q&A on their website with Steve Jobs that’s worth reading.

Happy Birthday iPod! May you continue to change the world for many years to come.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

I’ve been checking out Google’s Writely word processor program for a while now, and they have recently consolidated their spreadsheet and word processor programs into Google Docs & Spreadsheets. I have to say that these web applications are very impressive. I especially like the collaboration aspect of both programs. In fact, I am using Google Docs to write this post. Being a long time MS Word programmer, I hope Google opens Google Docs & Spreadsheets so they can be automated using corporate and personal data. Now that would be pretty sweet.

How Things Should Work . . . At Work 1

This is the first in a series of posts about how I think things should work at work.

In the ten years since I completed my undergraduate degree, I have worked for companies of all shapes and sizes. One thing that seems to be consistent between all of those companies is that managers at all levels have a lot of work to do in the area of communication. Communicating with employees is an immensely important part of management, and when it is not done properly or not done at all; employees become disgruntled and less productive.

Passing along bad news is never easy, and this is most likely a leading reason why managers (and companies in general) seem to have such poor communication skills. Unfortunately, it is most important to deliver the bad news as quickly as possible to avoid rumors spreading like wildfire. Employees respect managers that are upfront and honest and will do whatever it takes to help those managers get the job done. Employees that feel they do not have the whole story and do not trust their managers will not work up to their potential, and the company will suffer as a consequence.

So, I guess my whole point is that managers should keep their employees informed to the best of their abilities. If there is bad news, then give the employees the bad news and tell them what needs to get done to correct the problem. If there is good news, then celebrate it with the employees. If someone gets promoted or changes teams, make sure all of the employee’s coworkers know about it.

Communicate!

There Is Hope

In a recent blog post, I commented on how Gmail is not fully supported on the Safari web browser on the Macintosh. Well, there may be hope after all. It looks like Google has formed a Macintosh team. This is great news for the millions of Mac users around the world. Google makes some great desktop and web based solutions, and I am excited that the Mac is getting the attention it deserves from the company. Now, if they could only fix that Gmail mail thing . . .

What’s The Deal with Gmail?

Let me start out by saying I am a huge fan of Google’s Gmail service. It provides a ton of storage for free, and it doesn’t have nearly as many restrictions on attachment sizes as the other free email services. I also really like how they have integrated Google Talk into Gmail so I have a record of all of my electronic communications in one place.

One thing that really bothers me, though, is that Gmail does not fully support the Safari browser on the Macintosh. There is no rich text email or Google Talk integration in Safari. What can possibly be so different about Safari that Gmail cannot fully support the browser? It works on Internet Explorer 6, which is really a piece of junk. It works on Firefox on both Windows and Macintosh. Why not Safari?

I’m sure at this point, you might be thinking why doesn’t this dude just use Firefox on the Mac? Well, I do from time to time, but I prefer Safari not only because it is faster but also because of the RSS functionality.

I guess the whole point of my rant is that I want my favorite email service to work on my favorite browser. Is that too much to ask?

Google, get to work!

Apple iPhone Talk Heating Up

Well, the talk is heating up again for Apple’s all but certain entry into the mobile phone market.

ThinkSecret reported today that Apple has once again hooked up with Cingular to help them launch the iPhone. While this is great for me and millions of other Cingular customers, my hope is that Apple doesn’t tie themselves down to one service provider for too long. There are just too many potential Apple customers that use the other major cellular providers to ignore them for long, and I don’t really see people switching providers just to get a new fancy phone. It costs too much in fees and penalties to do that.

Of course, because it’s an Apple product, maybe it will be sweet and cool enough to cause a revolution in cellular phones just as the iPod has changed the digital music market for the better.

Is Wal-Mart Really Afraid of Apple?

So, I was reading MacRumors.com the other day and found their post about Wal-Mart retaliating against Apple to be very disturbing. The post cited a New York Post article claiming that Wal-Mart threatened movie studios so that they wouldn’t sell their movies on the iTunes Store. From what I’ve read about Wal-Mart’s tactics, this does not surprise me one bit.

Personally, I do not buy media from Wal-Mart because of their demands to censor albums and movies. Besides that, I can’t really stand going in to their stores in larger cities because they’re completely trashed. The employees or associates or whatever they call them couldn’t care less about the way the stores look. I wish I could say this is an isolated situation, but I have been in Wal-Mart stores all over the country, and they’re always the same. The only time I’ve enjoyed a trip to one of their stores was when I was in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. The people there had pride in their store, and it was a nice experience. Store managers from large cities should go out to these stores out in the country to see how to do their jobs.

Anyway, back to my main point. If Wal-Mart did indeed threaten their suppliers, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Time to take down the Goliath of Retail and let Apple take over the world (big sinister laugh).

The Bears Are 3-0!

So, today’s game between the Bears and Vikings was the first Bears game I’ve seen this season because I’m out on the west coast, and all they play out here are crappy west coast games. It was good to see an old fashioned central division game with great defense. There’s no need for finess in the black and blue division. Just give me some great defense, a great running game, and an occasional pass, and I’m a happy camper. I’m not sure the Bears had any of those things today besides a lucky pass that caught the Vikings off guard. At the end, though, the Bears managed to steal the thunder from the Vikings and pulled off a win for me (they must have known that I was watching).