Our ExtraBITS links this week focus on saving money by building your own discounted Mac software bundle, learning how the Pandora music-streaming service managed to survive, noting Apple's repeat top ranking among Fortune's "Most Admired Companies," and checking out John Gruber's backup success story.
TheMacBundles Adds Build Your Own Bundle Option -- Here's a new twist on the discounted Mac software bundle offer - TheMacBundles is acknowledging that some customers might either already own certain applications or might just not be interested in everything in the bundle. Customers can choose either five titles for $29.75 ($5.95 each) or ten titles for $49.50 ($4.95 each). In both cases, more titles can be added at the individual discount prices, and adding TheMacBundles' weekly special reduces the price further.
How Pandora Survived Thanks to an iPhone App -- If you use the Pandora music-streaming service, you're probably aware that the company had long teetered on the edge of survival. So how did it manage to turn the corner and post its first profitable quarter at the end of 2009? The New York Times runs through Pandora's roller-coaster history, giving much of the credit to the Pandora iPhone app, which brought 35,000 new users per day to the service.
Apple Tops Fortune's "Most Admired Companies" List, Again -- We lost track of this news when it happened two weeks ago, but it's worth getting in the record. For the third year in a row, Apple has topped Fortune's list of the world's most admired companies. Although Google came in second (passing Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway), Apple's margin of victory was the greatest ever. Amazon.com placed fifth and Microsoft was eleventh.
Multi-Prong Backup Saves Gruber's Data -- Daring Fireball's John Gruber had a hard drive develop mechanical issues that prevented it from booting his laptop. Between SuperDuper, Dropbox, and DiskWarrior, he didn't lose a single thing. He details his strategy, and advice for achieving the same results. (Needless to say, we also recommend Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups" and "Take Control of Easy Mac Backups.")