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Tom Briant

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Editor's Year-End Summary for 2014

Everyone has year-end business to clear up. In some cases, business will post year-end entries to the accounting systems. Inventories will be taken.

In other cases, people will get over year-end colds & flu brought in from work, school, or the mall. Student still snuffing will work on terms papers. 


In my cases, I’ll post accounting entries tomorrow for payroll. I avoided the malls and got my flu shot at work, so I haven’t come down with any diseases. I don’t have any papers to write for a class. I do have to write my year-end round-up for the MacValley Blog.

This is my personal view. If you would like to respond to it, my e-mail address is at the top of the page. 500 words in plain text, RTF, Word, Pages, or OpenOffice format. Pictures submitted separately from article, please. 


The Single Biggest Event relating to  Apple in 2014

The iWatch marks the biggest event for Apple in 2014. Portable health monitoring is the next big frontier for Apple to tackle. Of course, it’s expensive to begin with. So were the iPod and iPhone at their inceptions. 

Screen Shot 2014 12 28 at 11 17 51 AM


Will other companies want to imitate Apple? Of course. I expect a flood of Android imitations. 


The Second Biggest Event relating to Apple in 2014

The introduction of the low-end iMac and the low-end Mac Mini mark the first time Apple has attempted to compete in terms of price in some time for the desktop computer market.  


The Third Biggest Event relating to Apple in 2014

The high-end iMac with the 5K display puts Apple ahead of its Windows competitors, such as Dell and Lenovo. If you want to do high resolution photography or CAD, this is your option. 

Screen Shot 2014 12 28 at 11 32 53 AM


Now for a few quickly selections from the Editor

1. LibreOffice 4.x 

This app doesn’t have the sexiest user interface, but it does solve the problem of “HELP! I’ve got old files that I need to read and save in a modern format!” In particular, it solves the problem of what to do with old ClarisWorks/AppleWorks word processing and spreadsheet files. 

If you’ve got old WordPerfect files, this is the program that can open them. Lotus 1-2-3? This is it. Database files in .dbf format? This is it. About the only old format it doesn’t open is Wordstar 3.3

This is a perfectly good word-processing/spreadsheet/presentation/database office suite. For a $5 or $10 donation, it doesn’t get much better than this. 


2. Synergy 1.6.2

 This software project has gone from a freebie that no one could figure out how to set up, to a $10 program that works very well. If you need to knit together disparate systems, from OS X 10.6 on up with Fedora Linux and Windows 8 so that they only use one keyboard and pointing device on your physical desktop, this is your answer. 

Between Windows and OS X, you can even drag files from one screen to another. You share a clipboard between Windows, OS X, and Linux so you can copy and paste text and pictures between platforms. 

You don’t  have to fiddle with the terminal, not even in Linux. 


In Conclusion

Apple is in a very strong position financially and possibly could become the first company valued at a trillion dollars. The whole world waits to see what the Apple Watch will bring. Rumors persist that Apple will bring out a 12” iPad Pro “next year”. So we’ll see what happens. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog












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