Today is: Unpredictable Mac

Chris's Unpredictable and Occasional Newsletter

About Unpredictable

BackIssues 2006- 2008
BackIssues 2005
Back Issues 2004
Back Issues 2003
Back Issues 2002
Back Issues 2001


Geek Speak Review





Art Prints



Apple iTunes







< PreviousNext >

Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer

I've been CRANKY about finding a mail client for AQUA. Apple's Mail is
lame and MS Entourage is too bloated. Are there any other choices? While
I research that topic, let's lighten up! With fascinating Mac trivia,
insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit. PLUS
I have NEW SUBSCRIBERS! Welcome aboard Chris, Phyllis, and Tom. Be sure
to read the subscription info at the BOTTOM. BTW, in this issue, I DON'T
leave Microsoft alone. :-)

UPDATES - iView Media Pro, URL Manager Pro, Quark, etc.
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - Lisa, Carbonated, WordPerfect, Claris
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - Data Detectors (Part 2)
Tips - Tips for TEN
Know The Difference - Commentary on Dealing with Sauron
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - Dictionary
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - A few Finder Management keys
Good News Press Releases - Too many!!

GEEK SPEAK ALERT: Lisa, WordPerfect, Claris, Novell, Symantec, Desk
Accessory, Carbonated, twistie

iView Media Pro 1.4 - My favorite Carbonated digital media cataloging
tool now supports archiving to CD. (Yes, iPhoto is nice, but it's for Oh
Ess Ten ONLY, and it requires a LOT of horsepower.) Besides photos, Media
Pro also catalogs fonts, Quicktime, and sounds. Download a trial copy and
check it out. UNPREDICTABLY recommended!


URL Manager Pro 3.0fc4 - (Carbon) Manage your Bookmarks, er..Favorites.
Add multiple 'favorite' menus to your web browser. Use the same
'favorites' in different browsers without having to re-type or import.
Even use the same 'favorites' in your 'Classic' browser in Classic and
your Carbon or Cocoa browser in TEN! This is still a 'preview' version,
but it no longer expires after 30 days.


Opera 5.0 - Speaking of browsers..Here's another browser alternative for
NINE users (TEN version is pending).


Adobe InDesign 2.0 - A major upgrade of the page layout program,
Carbonated to run on NINE and TEN. Features better integration with other
Adobe products.


Quark Express 5 - Non-CARBONATED. Quark 5 has Web publishing features,
blah, blah, but these jokers better get on the AQUA train soon, or Adobe
is going to leave them standing in the station, smelling the fumes, and
staring at the railroad tracks.


Let's skip the news, okay? This issue is too long already.

PowerBook Tenor, trying out for position as UNPREDICTABLE SOUTHERN
CORRESPONDENT writes, "The subscriber known as Powerbook Tenor will soon
upgrade his Lombard 333 PowerBook via a Powerlogix Bluechip LS G4 500
processor upgrade.  He was overheard mumbling to himself, 'I love OSX,
but I just can’t take the sluggish response anymore!' It appears that
Apple has successfully pulled off the notorious MS/INTEL maneuver of
selling hardware via the release of a new operating system. - Reporting
from Richmond, VA." [In some FUTURE issue, we'll find out how PBT made
out with his processor upgrade!]

With a little fascinating Mac Trivia.

Carbonated - For our new readers. Yes, I know that Apple likes to call
applications created to work in both OS 9 and Oh Ess Ten, 'Carbon' Apps.
NINE Apps that have been modified to do the same are 'Carbonized'. And if
Apple were a bit less STIFF, they might call them 'Carbonated'.

LISA - Was Apple's pre-Mac graphic-oriented computer, Lisa, really named
for Steve Jobs' girlfriend? Of course not! What self-respecting company
would allow that?! It was REALLY an ANAGRAM for "Logic Integrated Systems
Architecture!" ;-)

WordPerfect - It was a time of choice. The MiddleMac era. There were many
word processors - FullWrite, MacWrite, ClarisWorks, Word, and probably
some others. WordPerfect was the preference of many academics, providing
a high quality, footnote-generating, non-Microsoft alternative to Word.
Then Novell, a networking company of nearly unsurpassed arrogance, bought
WordPerfect. They tortured the Mac WordPerfect for awhile then sold the
Mac version to Corel. Corel in turn let the Mac version of WordPerfect
languish in a dungeon for almost two years before admitting they had no
plans to upgrade, sell, or spinoff the product. Poof. Another victory on
the road to monopoly.

Claris - What company has cleared the deck of more Macintosh software
than any other? Is it the Dark forces of the North? Hmm. Some might say
Symantec, a software utility company that habitually acquires, strips
down, and then abandons Macintosh utilities. Others might argue that it
was Apple itself!

When the Mac first came to town, Apple provided almost all the software.
MacWrite word processor, MacPaint and MacDraw graphics programs,
MacTerminal, and MacProject project management. All of which had
originated as LISA software. (And yes, they were called, 'LisaWrite',
'LisaTerm', and so on.) MacWrite document length was limited by available
RAM. People created long documents by printing folders full of short
files. Need bigger documents? More RAM! But back then, the Mac was a
'closed box'. Only a few daring and whacko companies would 'crack' your
Mac and solder more memory into it. AT A PREMIUM. It was a very long year
or two before Microsoft came out with WORD, which was a BIG DEAL because
it did footnotes, and was disk - as opposed to memory - based. When WORD
came out, your documents could be as big as the free space on your
floppy! Which was...get this...400k!! Maybe even 800k by the time Word
came out! But your System Folder and Programs had to go somewhere, so you
had to have TWO FLOPPY DRIVES because there was NO SCSI PORT for external
hard drives, and there were NO INTERNAL HARD DRIVES, unless you hired one
of those daring and whacko companies to crack your Mac and put in a BIG

At one point in that murky Mac past, Apple decided the only way to
guarantee there was plenty of quality Mac-oriented software was to spin
off their software division as 'Claris'. Read that sentence again; there
was some good sense there.

In addition to all the original 'MacXXX' software, the spun-off Claris
had ClarisWorks (which had been 'AppleWorks' when it originated on the
Apple II). They acquired Emailer from Guy Kawasaki's Fog City Software.
They obtained Filemaker Pro somewhere. Claris Organizer came from
somewhere else. They had Claris HomePage, for web development, and maybe
some other packages! For a short time, Claris was a well-stocked Mac
software company.

Then somebody at Apple had a bad day, and decided to spin Claris back in.
The people of Claris were SO DIZZY by that time, who can blame them for
what happened? [And I'm so dizzy from trying to remember what happened at
which point, don't blame me if I don't get this straight.] Back in the
Apple fold, Claris started to self-destruct. The original suite of
MacThis and MacThat was completely abandoned. Next someone at APPLE
decided to just VAPORIZE Claris completely! They figured FileMaker had
been the only product worth spinning off, so they sent it on its way
again, as the Filemaker company, which, as far as I know, is still
successful. Organizer went to Palm, where it became the
free-but-hardly-improved-since, 'Palm Desktop'. Apple clung to an
all-but-abandoned Emailer, until, much like WordPerfect, finally
admitting what everyone already knew. It was dead. (But don't worry! Came
rumors from Apple. Oh Ess Ten would come with a KILLER Mail app! Choke.
Gag.) HomePage evaporated. Hypercard languished, and continues to
languish at Apple. And good ol' ClarisWorks got its original name back
and still does well as 'AppleWorks'.

And that, as they say, is that!! :-)

-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
Spell Checkers vs. Dictionaries and Data Detectors RETURN! (Part 2)

You're probably familiar with the concept of a 'Spell Checker'. You write
a document, your Spell Checker checks for spelling errors either as you
type, or when you tell it to. It flags words that might be misspelled,
and suggests alternatives. The Spell Checker looks up spellings in one or
more files usually called a 'dictionary'.

In the ol' Mackey days, every program that had a Spell Checker had its
OWN Dictionary. If you had even a few programs with Spell Checkers, you
had a lot of drive space sucked away with redundant and incompatible
information. Claris, being a smart Mac software company, put a dictionary
(and Help System for that matter) in the System folder so all Claris Apps
could SHARE and PLAY NICE TOGETHER. A few other companies got smart and
offered commercial Spell Checkers that would work in EVERY application.
The great thing was that you only had ONE dictionary. Of course Apple has
taken the concept further in TEN, by providing a SYSTEM LEVEL
spellchecker that ANYONE can use.

There haven't been many real 'Dictionaries', i.e, software that would
actually provide punctuation, definitions, etc. WordPerfect briefly came
bundled with one that functioned as a Desk Accessory. And there were some
CD-ROM-based packages that even SPOKE the word in non-Texanized English
so that everyone could understand. The problem of course was that any
decent dictionary took up considerable storage space if you had the
information locally. If you could access that data quickly, but didn't
have to keep it on a local drive, wouldn't that make a perfect
application for the web???

Which finally brings us to.. DICTIONARY and THESAURUS Data Detectors.
(Only for OH ESS NINE).

WARP NINE review: Apple Data Detectors are a free Apple technology that
allows you to 'detect' data in your documents, and depending on what kind
of data it is, to take 'action' on that data, even by using other
applications, such as your browser, mail client, and so on. Previously,
we discussed the Add Address to Address Book, Open in Browser, Send Mail
with Internet Config, Bookmark, Get Map of Selected US City, and Lookup
Zip Code Actions. Remember, ADD depends totally on Contextual Menus
(CM's). And you already know what all this stuff is, because I explained
it all last year, right? [See U&O #33]

Get Apple Data Detectors 1.02 Installer here first. This should also
include the Internet Address Detectors:


Then get the Geographic Detectors here:


Finally, get the Dictionary and Thesaurus detectors. Follow the
instructions an install them.


When you have these detectors, you have access to a GLOBAL dictionary and
Thesaurus on the Internet! Just select a word or group of words.
[Control] + click on the selection, and in the pop-up menu that appears,
you will see all the words you selected. Slide the mouse pointer down to
the one you're curious about, and if you have both detectors installed,
you will have the option to 'Dictionary lookup with Internet Config'.
This means that ADD will go to or launch your 'default' browser, take the
word you selected, and direct your browser to a website that will provide
you with a definition of your word! Obviously, the Thesaurus action
provides a similar function.

Is that not cool? Go forth and research!!



If you have an application that takes up most of the screen area, and
you then want to look at the Desktop, in NINE you might click on a piece
of the
desktop visible outside of the application's window to switch. In OS X,
this indeed switches to the Finder, but it doesn't change the window
layers, it simply 'activates' the Finder. To view the active Finder
click on the Finder icon in the dock. This will bring all the Finder's
windows to the top. This is somewhat different than prior OS versions, and
pretty handy when you get used to clicking on the Finder icon. Sure beats
hiding all of the other application's windows!
[Thanks for the tip Bob!]

Know The Difference
"[The settlement] does not change Microsoft's incentives to undertake
anti-competitive acts to stifle consumer choice by thwarting potentially
superior products. It alternatively ratifies Microsoft's existing
conduct... and suffers
from toothless enforcement procedures that would allow Microsoft to reap
the fruits of its monopoly for a significant, and potentially indefinite,
--Joseph Stiglitz
Nobel prize-winning former chief economist for the World Bank
Good Morning Silicon Valley

The Microsoft settlement "is so ineffective in controlling Microsoft that
it might as well have been written by Microsoft itself."
--Judge Robert Bork

And That's The Difference.

You don't have to use Apple Data Detectors to look up words on the web!
Next time we'll discuss the Sherlock plug-in!


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
In the OS9 Finder, if you have a Window open with a BUNCH of files and
folders in List View and you want to clean it up FAST, try this:

[Command] + A (Select everything in the current window)
[Command] + [Left Arrow] (Close selected items)

Want it back the way it was? Can't do that exactly, but
[Command] + [Right Arrow] will open every selected item. If you follow
the steps above and don't de-select anything, this will open EVERY folder
'twistie' in the window.

TFSB :-)

** CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for Mac Users **
Oriented towards, but not exclusively for, Mac Users in Beautiful Western
Central New Jersey. Published Whenever - About Whatever!

Non-profit, non-commercial publications may reprint articles if full
credit is given. Others please contact the editor. Accuracy of articles
is UNPREDICTABLE and not guaranteed. Caveat lector. Publication,
product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their

Sample Issue - email with "Sample Unpredictable" in the Subject.
Subscribe - email with "Start Unpredictable" in the Subject.
Unsubscribe - email with "Stop Unpredictable" in the Subject.

Back Issues available to subscribers upon request.
My accountant has advised me to come clean in every issue. Yes, I am a
consultant and am available to HELP YOU on a one-to-one basis. Macintosh
Networking, Internet Connectivity, Desktop Support, Training.
Satisfaction Guaranteed. Oh, and Lotus Notes and Domino Adminstration,
Development, and Support. Interested in help from a long term MAC
Professional? Don't hire some Windows kid who tells you to get rid of
your Mac because HE doesn't GET IT! Send me an email:
< chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>

TFSB :-)


Apple Logo Contact Me: AIM
All contents copyright 2000-2008 by Christopher Plummer, ZebraTale LLC, except where noted. Accuracy of articles is UNPREDICTABLE and not guaranteed. Unpredictable was published from 2001 to 2008. Although updated occasionally, this is a historical archive - expect dead links. Caveat lector.
Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their companies. TFSB :-)