Dear Friends,

Now that Labor Day is over, we can start looking for signs of autumn. I have spotted Canada geese heading south, the maple tree by my garage has some red leaves and the arctic kiwis are ready for eating. Of course, I notice the days are getting shorter, the mornings are chilly and there is usually a blanket of fog as I head into the valley to come to work. Nevertheless, Tony, Matt and I are going to brave the weather and ride our motorcycles over to Geoff’s Forest Lake Camp for our management retreat today and tomorrow.

Apple’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” event was on Wednesday and we were all reading live coverage at various web sites, shouting out the latest announcement as we worked. I wish Apple would go back to a webcast of these events so we could all enjoy the live feed. What other company has this type of following, where announcements of new products are watched with excitement by Apple fans, the press and seemingly, just about everyone? It was great to see Steve Jobs come back on stage with some new products and software but even better to see him well enough to take that leadership role and to talk about his personal gratitude to the donor of his transplanted liver. He says he’s eating like crazy and eating a lot of ice cream. Hopefully, he is filling up on Vermont’s Finest Ben & Jerry’s!

I know that Kali and Ed will talk more about the announcements later in Kibbles & Bytes but I want to highlight what I see as the three biggest announcements. One new feature, Home Sharing, is something I have been waiting for and is now in iTunes 9. My wife and I have separate music libraries (and a lot of different musical tastes), but also a wide selection that overlaps. It has been cumbersome to trade songs, even though we authorize each other’s Macs for iTunes. With Home Sharing it is wicked easy to share and update our libraries. Home Sharing displays Grace’s library when we are at home on the same network and the songs that I do not have are highlighted so I can easily copy them. Finally, we do not have to buy the same songs all the time.

I’ll give Apple’s 100 million credit cards on account at the iTunes store the number two position in important announcements. What an amazing asset! I am sure we will see a lot more ways to spend our money at the iTunes store going forward. Number three is the iPod nano. Apple made the nano more compelling, more versatile and more colorful. They hit the sweet spot with the new nano. Now I am going to have to sell my Flip camera—who needs a Flip when you have a device that takes and plays movies, holds thousands of songs and has a built-in FM radio, voice recorder and pedometer?! This is going to be a huge year for the iPod nano!

Just so you don’t think I am a complete Apple fan-boy, I have to give them the thumbs-down for the petty move of making the yellow and Product (red) iPod nano and the special edition stainless steel iPod shuffle exclusive to the Apple Store. It is an unnecessary affront to their loyal independent resellers along the same lines as prohibiting the sale of the iPhone via these same Apple experts.

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