iMacs at Sears -- Apple announced that Sears, Roebuck, and Co. will begin selling iMac computers later this month in approximately 825 retail locations throughout the U.S. Although Sears sold Macs from 1992 through early 1998 with unspectacular results (see "Apple in 1998: Retreat or Focus?" in TidBITS-416 for some analysis of Apple's past relationships with Sears and retail outlets), Sears's renewed interest in Macintosh systems probably stems from the iMac's continuing success among first-time computer buyers looking for easy-to-use systems. If nothing else, the announcement indicates rising mainstream confidence in Apple and the Mac. Sears also plans to carry selected USB peripherals such as disk drives and printers. Judging from comments in TidBITS Talk and elsewhere, we hope Sears improves on CompUSA's variable but often pitiful performance. [GD]
Mac OS X Zip Expanding Utility
Firefox (and possibly other applications) may ask you what you want to do with .zip archives that you download from the Internet. If you want to expand them with Mac OS X (rather than StuffIt Expander), you may be unsure of which application actually does the job. You're looking for Archive Utility (in Leopard and later) or BOMArchiveHelper (in Tiger). In either case, the application is stored in Hard Drive/System/Library/Core Services/. Don't move it from there, though, or you'll confuse matters.
- Apple in 1998: Retreat or Focus? (09 Feb 98)