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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #44, 04/22/02
Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================

THIS ISSUE
----------
How could such a SHORT issue take so LONG to get delivered? EDITING!! Otherwise it would be a LONG issue that took so LONG to get delivered. :-) Remember this HELPFUL and FUN information enhanced with fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit is marked (9) for OS 9 only, (10) for OS X, both for both, or nothing for neither. FINALLY, know anyone that needs to be UNPREDICTABLE? Have them send me an email! :-)

NEWS & UPDATES - Together at last!
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Just the usual Accolades.
ANGEL OR DEMON (10) - Tame the Beast (part 2) - System Sounds with Zounds!!
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - System Sounds in 9
Tips - Use CM's to Eject
Know The Difference - Dark Riders Mobilize on Multiple Fronts
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Use 'E' Not 'Y'



NEWS & UPDATES
--------------
Apple Security Update, AppleWorks 6.2.3 (9), 6.2.4 (10), Retrospect 5.0.203, and more:

<http://www.macminute.com/>
<http://www.versiontracker.com/>



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
-----------------------------
Just the usual Accolades (Thanks!)



(10) ANGEL OR DEMON - Tame the Beast (part 2)
-------------------
In our last TAMING session, we returned some functionality to the Apple menu. This time we'll look at System Sounds. Is that a mixed metaphor? :-) If you're unfamiliar with this O&U feature, you might want to read this issue's Overlooked & Underused article (below) which is about...System Sounds!

Oh Ess TEN, or AQUA, if you like, HAS NO SYSTEM SOUNDS. This in itself is a shame, because TEN really suffers elsewhere from the lack of feedback. Spinning beachballs and sluggish Finder windows alone just don't cut it with me. Hearing what your Mac is doing really helps to make it feel like it RESPONDS to your input.

On Ten, System Sounds are GONE!! Let's bring them back!

The only way I know of is with the shareware utility 'Xounds', from Unsanity Software, the same folks who make 'Fruitmenu'. Like Fruitmenu, Xounds, once installed, is easily accessible as a System Preference. It's $7, and if unregistered, works for an hour per login and then disables itsellf. Not a bad way to try it out. If you have existing Sound Sets (as I did) it will attempt to convert them to its format. My Star Trek set converted without a problem. You have the choice of preloading the sounds in RAM, which speeds things up a bit if you can afford the RAM.

Okay you TEN TYPES, check it out, and HAVE FUN!!

<http://www.unsanity.com/haxies.php>


:-)



** OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED ***
-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
------------------------------------------------------------
(9) System Sounds
System Sounds are fun, true, but they really ARE functional as a form of feedback. TRUST ME, once you've used them, you'll notice the difference without them. Haven't tried Sounds in NINE? Jeez. Go to the Apple menu and select Control Panels. From the Appearance Control Panel, select the [Sound] tab. Unless someone has already added a custom sound set to your Mac, you probably have only ONE choice, 'Platinum Sounds'. (Besides the default sounds that came with your Mac, you can poke around on the web and download all kinds of sounds. I have a special 'Star Trek' set.) You can turn these on for activities in Menus, Windows, Controls, and the Finder. As is usual with O&U items, these are better TRIED than DESCRIBED. So go ahead. Check it out, NOW. We'll be here when you get back!

Did Apple invent 'System Sounds'? Of course not! Science fiction authors INVENTED them, as they invented just about everything related to computers. Did Apple implement them first? I don't know - supposedly this was an 'unimplemented' feature for years, back when Macs couldn't afford to be slowed-down with any unnecessary processing.

There was even a (shareware?) package called 'SoundMaster' that offered much of this functionality. Oh yea. But believe me, it didn't take long to tire of your Mac saying, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that," whenever you tried to format a locked diskette. Finally Apple gave it to us, Platinum sounds that just make nice little techno noises, and in Apple's usual stellar attention to detail, made the sounds function in STEREO! Drag something from left to right, and the DRAG SOUND, moves from left to right! What's happened to sounds since then is LESS THAN STELLAR.

My iMac with System 9.1 has SIX tabs in the Appearance Control Panel: Themes, Appearance, Fonts, Desktop, Sound, and Options. A quick trip to the Apple Menu to select 'About Appearance' reveals that this is Version 1.1 of the Appearance Control Panel. In Classic, under OS X, I use System 9.2.1 and MYSTERIOUSLY it has Appearance CP Version 1.0.1! Did I do that? Or did Apple? Ya got me. Apple has been kind of weird about 'Appearance' after coming up with the idea back when the 'new' OS was going to be called Copeland, or Pink, or some other such nonsense. They really want a Mac to look like a Mac. Period. Your mileage may vary. Hopefully you'll have a Sound Tab.

And of course, EX has no sounds at all! See 'Angel or Demon' (above) for more on that.

Now enjoy those sounds and HAVE FUN!!

:-)



Tips
----
(9/10)
Use CM's to Eject
If you're not using Contextual Menus, WHY NOT?? ('WHAT ARE THEY?' You ask? We've covered that already! See if you can figure out what CONTEXTUAL menus - also called 'Context Menus' or 'CMs' - are, from the CONTEXT of this piece!)

If you have a mouse, trackball, or other device with more than ONE button, then you probably don't have to use [Control] + Click to get a CM to pop up. Oh Ess TEN by default recognizes multiple button mice and scroll wheels and such, and by default you can 'Right Click' - as they say in the Windows world - to get your Contextual Menu.

So if you have the hardware, 'Right Click', otherwise, [Control] + Click, on a CD, diskette, or other volume on your Desktop. Among the items that appear in the popup menu is, EJECT. For more on Ejecting, see 'Special Bonus Keyboard Commands' (below).

:-)



Know The Difference
-------------------
Is Microsoft still trying to 'take over' the Internet?
Microsoft and IBM are trying to create a 'Toll Booth' on the Internet by creating network protocols that will be licensed.

<http://www.macintouch.com/>
<http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2861123,00.html>

Would you trust Microsoft and Microsoft products to provide 'secure' access to U.S. Federal government services? (And how could we expect the government to view a monopoly upon which it was so dependent?)

"Feds might use Microsoft product for online ID"
<http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgibin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=passport18&date=20020418>

U.S. Readers, Contact your State Attorney General if you'd like to comment on either scenario.

States Attorneys General: <http://www.naag.org/ag/full_ag_table.cfm>

And That's The Difference.



Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
Have any Special Bonus Keyboard Commands you'd like to share? After 43 issues, I'm beginning to RUN OUT. I'm sure recycling a few would be okay, but if you'd like to help see some new ones, EMAIL ME!!

(9/10)
From the Desktop, get used to using: [Command] + E to Eject a CD or other removable volume (including a diskette - if you still use those!).
[Command] + E worked in OS Zero thru Nine, and so did [Command] + Y, which did more or less the same thing. In TEN, 'Y' won't work.

So use 'E'.

Got it?

:-)


THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!!



=========================================================================
** 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. (Please provide UNPREDICTABLE with a copy.) 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 companies.

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TFSB :-)

THE END





--
"I apologize for the length of this letter. I did not have time to write
a shorter one."
- Mark Twain


 

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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 :-)