We live in a cyclical world, though it's sometimes hard to look past the quickly turning wheels of weeks and months to the slower yearly revolutions. A month ago, in writing about how we were trying some new revenue sources due to reduced revenues from our long-standing corporate sponsorship program, I noted that we might be seeing a rebound in the final quarter of the year. It has been particularly gratifying to have called that one accurately, and I'm happy to announce two new long-term sponsors this week, joining our existing crop of Small Dog Electronics, Bare Bones Software, and Fetch Softworks (whose $5 discount offer ends Tuesday, by the way!).
But what hammered home the cyclical nature of the Macintosh industry is an article I wrote almost exactly five years ago, just as the industry was coming out of the slump caused by Apple's near-death spiral. Steve Jobs put an end to those problems with the iMac and his renewed emphasis on design and innovation, and in early October of 1998, we saw the results of the industry's recovery reflected in several new sponsors joining us. It seems now we may be back where we were five years ago, with the fortunes of the Mac world once again on the upswing. Let's hope both that I'm not hallucinating and that the recovery continues.
Aladdin Systems Sponsoring TidBITS -- We're pleased to welcome back as a sponsor Aladdin Systems, makers of StuffIt Deluxe, Spring Cleaning, the Ten for X collections, and DragStrip, along with some older Mac OS 9-only utilities like FlashBack and ShrinkWrap. With Connectix selling Virtual PC to Microsoft and Casady & Greene declaring bankruptcy, Aladdin's longevity is even more pronounced. Few Macintosh developers have lasted so long or given as much to the community, ranging from continued development on the free StuffIt Expander to its annual charity drive and supporting groups like TidBITS. Through the end of October, TidBITS readers can also take advantage of a special offer on StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 that drops $30 from the list price of $80; upgrades remain $30. See the sponsorship area above for the link. [ACE]
CS Odessa -- Also rejoining us this week as a sponsor is the Ukrainian software company CS Odessa, makers of the intelligent diagramming and business drawing program ConceptDraw (see "Make the Connection with ConceptDraw" in TidBITS-553 for a review of an earlier version of the program). ConceptDraw V is in public beta right now, so if you want to see what it's like to create a document in which graphical objects understand their relationships to one another, it's definitely worth a download.