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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS # 50, 08/28/02
Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer

I'm baaa-aack.

"Where have you been?" You ask like some Counting Crows lyric.
Vacation, recovering from excessive computing, obtaining my Lotus CLP
certification, and most time-consuming, creating the online archive of
this magazine. Ahem. ANNOUNCING:
UNPREDICTABLE MAC - The Internet Home of 'Chris's Unpredictable and
Occasional Newsletter'!!


FIFTY, yes FIVE-OH, issues of Unpredictable! To celebrate, this is an
ESPECIALLY HELPFUL issue, with a huge selection of tips, websites, and
insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit for
users of TEN labeled (X) and OS9, labeled (9). Next time we'll talk
Jaguar. Let's get going! :-)

UPDATES - (X) 'Security Update xxx infinitum', iPod, PowerMail
NEWS - I make a mistake
Earthdesk, and more!
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - lamers and phreaks
Tips - My gosh, there are a lot of tips!!
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - Dead or Alive? Blue Book? Unpredictable?
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Special bonus Keyboard recommendation
Good News Press Releases - Dual Processor G4s, Changes in iMac & eMac,


(X) 'Security Update 7-12-02 1.0', 'Security Update 7-18-02','Security
Update 2002-08-02 - Not to be confused with 'Security Update July
2002 1.0'. Oh criminy, I give up!! BE HAPPY that Apple is addressing
these security issues.Just run the Software Updater, over, and over, and
over, until it comes up empty handed!


**iPod 1.2 Supports iTunes 3, Jaguar** -- After showing off
iTunes 3 and the new iPod models at July's Macworld Expo (see our
coverage beginning in TidBITS-639_), Apple has released the iPod
Software 1.2 Updater for owners of existing iPods. A new Browse
menu adds the capability to search your song library by genre and
composer (provided that information is included in the songs' ID3
tags), as well as by artist, song, and album title. The software
also adds support for audio books along with the Sound
Check feature introduced in iTunes 3, which balances the volume of
tracks imported at different sound levels. The iPod now includes
on-screen visual feedback to indicate when it is safe to unplug
the FireWire connection from your Mac. And, in preparation for
the release of Mac OS X 10.2, the iPod now includes a calendar
for synchronizing with the upcoming iCal, a clock to keep track
of time (though you can view the time only by navigating to the
Clock menu item; we want to see it also displayed on the main
Now Playing screen in a future version), and an alarm for events
requiring attention. The iPod 1.2 Software Updater is a free 6.7
MB download. [JLC]


[The iPod info above from TidBITS#642/12-Aug-02]

Disc Recording 1.3.4 Update delivers additional iTunes and Finder
support for a number of LaCie, EZquest, and Iomega CD-R devices.
For a specific list of supported devices, visit the Apple CD-R
compatibility site.

(9, X) PowerMail 4.0 - The OSX and OS9 mostly character-based (as opposed
to HTML) mail client built around the design of Emailer now includes a
'recent messages' window, glossary feature, and some other enhancements.

For more news and updates:


I Make A Mistake - Careful readers will note that I misspelled 'Dr.
Seuss' in our last issue! Sorry, Doc, but if I check this issue's
Occasional Favorite Website (below) I can see that it doesn't matter to
YOU anyway.

Mac Users Are Smarter - Mac users tend to be more sophisticated Internet
users, are better educated, and make more money than PC users according
to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings. This is no surprise to us, is it?
Because we use MACS!! HA! HA! HA!

Consumer Reports Ranks Apple number one in customer support - This is a
surprise. I've had good and bad experiences with Apple customer support.
Apparently the Wintel crowd is worse off. HA! HA! HA! "Among the
companies surveyed for the report including Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP and
Compaq, only Apple scored better than average in every category that they
offered services." You have to SUBSCRIBE to see the whole article, but you
can read about it at MacCentral.

BOB has gone WIRELESS. 802.11b. He went the less-expensive (non-Apple
Airport Base Station) route and bought "...the Netgear MR314.
Macconnection has it for $138.95". Bob also took my recommendation and
bought the Epson C80 wireless printer, which he now has working with his
Macs and a Windows PC! Cool!

(9, X) Mac Accounting for your business? DON'T BUY QUICKBOOKS. Although
Intuit owns the Mac personal accounting market with Quicken - which I
still use for lack of something better - five plus years ago they
abandoned development on, but continued to sell, Quickbooks for the Mac.
The jerks. Mac users who want to get the 'current' version of Quickbooks
sometimes use Virtual PC and buy the Windows version (yuk!). A recent
issue of TidBits has a good article about this situation, which
encourages Mac users to take a look at Intuit competitor MYOB's two
accounting packages, 'First Edge' US $99, and 'AccountEdge' US $249.


(9, X) "Marine Aquarium" - You can't use the word 'unbelievable' to
describe this incredible screen saver/application because it is TOO
BELIEVABLE. Makes your Mac screen into an amazingly realistic salt water
aquarium. You can download it and run the free demo with only 3 fish, or
purchase the whole shootin' match and get 21 fish for just $21.95. (The
NINE version is in Beta.) This is definitely one of the most fun
UNPREDICTABLY recommended packages out there. Tip: If you have trouble
sleeping, leave your Mac on and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of
your aquarium. This is good for OSX too, as there are UNIX utilities that
are scheduled to run late at night.
If you don't leave your X running at night, you need MACJANITOR.

(9, X) "Earthdesk" - OH ESS NINE users are NOT left out on this one! This
is a Carbon app that displays changing satellite photos of OUR WATER
PLANET, or maps of same, on your Mac desktop. Similar in concept to but
very different in execution than the highly recommended Earth Browser.
Try the download, and pay the $19.95 if you use it!

"Nada Chair" - As the poet says, "Please take my advice. PLEASE, take my
advice." Back pain can really whack your Mac. If you begin to associate
nagging, debilitating, neck, back, and shoulder pain with using your Mac,
you'll find yourself in a conundrum! I want to use my Mac, I don't want
to hurt!! It's so easy to get sucked into the reality of our Macs when
we work on them! DON'T sacrifice your health in the process!! There is NO
SINGLE solution. You've got to work all the angles. Sit up straight, get
a comfortable chair and keyboard (see 'Special Bonus Keyboard Commands',
below), increase your AWARENESS of your body so you can maintain good
posture, take breaks, stretch, do Tai Chi, Yoga, go for walks. And I have
four words about vacations - TAKE ONE, NO COMPUTER! That said, I use a
bizarre contraption that looks sort of like a seat belt for your desk.
I'm talking about the 'Nada Chair', which has a sling that goes around
your lower back and straps that go over your knees. With this device,
your legs and thighs support your pelvis, helping you to keep a straight
back. I have the "S'port Backer" $39.95 US, and the "Slouch Buster"
$25.00 US. I tried one at Macworld Expo, and bought them immediately.
Heck, they cost less than a massage or visit to the chiropractor, both of
which you'll need if you don't take good care of your back! I use my Nada
Chair almost every day, and this, along with the rest of my regimen, has
me finally attaining relief!! Unpredictably recommended!

MacExpo NYC Wrap
Let's keep this short... I ALWAYS enjoy being around so many creative Mac
people. Steve was his usual entertaining self, though I missed most of
the keynote because I was watching it from the line waiting to get in the
exhibition hall, and the FileMaker folks kept losing the Quicktime
Streaming feed (ahem..). Apple released the 17" Flat Panel iMac - a
beautiful machine, made a lot of noise about the next release of X, which
they call JAGUAR, and what else?

Okay, so I got it slightly wrong. The new product wasn't iCar, the
automobile, it was iCal, the electronic calendar. It looks pretty good. I
hope Apple doesn't put everyone else out of business with all these
iApps. You have to have JAGUAR to use it...

(9, X)DOT MAC...Let the Whining Begin - Oh, yea, Apple wants to make a
profit. They want to CHARGE for people to use what were previously the
TRULY FREE functions of 'iTools', which they are now calling DOT MAC. Can
you imagine? The nerve!! To actually pay for a totally Mac-oriented
website, email address, Internet share drive, etc. Oh, they've added a
few goodies, such as a Backup program (I already use Dantz Retrospect), a
virus checker (I stopped using a virus checker about 4 years ago), and
more disk space. I DON'T REALLY CARE. If you want it, pay for it. If you
don't, then don't. But my gosh, as much as I like Mac folks, they REALLY
are a bunch of WHINERS! You wouldn't believe all the complaining about this.

(X)JAGUAR - Oh, yea, and did I say that Apple wants to make a profit?
They're charging $129 for OS X 10.2, aka 'Jaguar'. You can actually find
it for around $98 if you shop and can deal with a rebate. And everyone is
whining about this too. The only way that OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE will let
you 'upgrade' is if you bought 10.1 or a new Mac on or after JULY 17,
2002. Um, let's see, I bought a brand new PowerBook for, let's face it,
THOUSANDS of dollars, at the beginning of May. Hmm...not quite 4 months
ago. And the only way I can (legally) get the 'current' OS is to pay
about $100 for it. I'm not whining, but that's pretty STEEP for what 10.2
offers. More on that, next issue.

(9, X) I came, I saw, I bought games - I ALWAYS like to buy a few games
at MacExpo. I got the SIMS 'Hot Date' Expansion Pack, $29.95, although
I'm not sure if it's appropriate for my daughter, who already has her
SIMS drinking magic potions, shooting off rockets in their house, and
creating ghosts (not to put TOO fine a point on it).

(X) EyeTV - There were number of TV products. You can now get a USB TV
tuner for well under a hundred dollars. Or splurge and get the 'EyeTV'
for $199.99 US. This puppy tunes in your channels, records to the hard
drive, and can dump VCDs onto your CD burner. It's sort of a 'low end'
TIVO. I was very tempted, but this system only works on Oh Ess Ten, and
my home entertainment iMac is going to stay on NINE for the foreseeable

What else? I was hoping to ingratiate myself with any book publishers,
authors, or media pundits who might some day PAY for my contributions. I
was with my own UNPREDICTABLE entourage, and although EVERYONE WAS THERE
on opening day, I didn't see any celebrities, didn't bump into David
Pogue, didn't see my friends from PMUG, didn't even see my friend DAVE
from Apple. Still, it was fun.


Hackers, Crackers, Phreaks, and Lamers
Let's face it, I've been plugging away at my own Geek Speak Review and
it definitely has its fine points. But, NIHIL SUB SOLE SOLUM! Check out
'The Jargon Lexicon' - full of definitions and fascinating info about
hackers, crackers, Phreaks, and Lamers. If you've never stepped up to
that brink on the Internet, the EDGE where the real Netizens dwell,
well, this will give you a little peek.

-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
Were you waiting for more on wireless? Remote control of iTunes? Sorry,
no room in this issue, but you can do your homework and read up on
'Designing Airport Networks' until we return to this topic in some future



Tips, Tips, and MORE TIPS and Giveaways
Chris's Smart & Simple Laptop Tip for the Great Outdoors
Even with the BRIGHT screens on the new iBook and PowerBook G4 models,
using your laptop outside may be difficult or impossible except on a
very GLOOMY and BLUSTERY day. Why? Not enough light coming from the
screen and too much light reflecting off the screen from elsewhere. Of
course you should turn the Brightness up all the way, but what then? You
could look in the back of MacUser and find one of those funny 'hoods'
that goes over your laptop, but first try this: wear a DARK shirt. I'm
not kidding. Most of the light that reflects off your screen is coming
from the person sitting in front of it. Wear a black T-shirt and try it. :-)

iPod for Two
I used to have this fantasy of dancing with my girl, both of us wearing
headphones, plugged into one Sony Walkman. We'd be dancing together in
some plaza or subway station, like a couple of nuts, we'd hear the music,
nobody else would. Kind of 'romantic', eh? Well, IT CAN BE DONE.
(Although you should give some thought to the kind of dancing - remember
you have those wires to deal with..) To share your iPod, Walkman, CD-
playing Laptop, etc. with someone close to you, buy a 'splitter', also
called a '2-to-1' adapter or 'stereo-to-stereo headphone' adapter at your
local consumer electronics store. Around $5. Then all you need is a
second set of headphones. Dance a dance for me! :-)

Epson Print Drivers
I can't tell you why, but supposedly there are printer drivers on the
Epson UK website that are not posted on the Epson USA website. And either
way, the UK site looks a lot EASIER to navigate. If you download one of
these drivers and your printer spits out POUND or EURO symbols instead of
$, DON'T BLAME ME!! ;-)

(X) Script Menu
X users know that 'Menu Items' are little add-ins that go on the Menu
Bar. Apple provides a free 'Script Menu' item that can launch
Applescript, Perl, and Shell scripts. (If you don't know what that means,
just TRUST ME, it's cool.) It comes with a bunch of scripts to do
different things, and 'Extra Scripts' are available too. I use 'Add to
File Names' all the time. It allows you to select a bunch of files and
append text to all of them in one shot. See the next item, too!

(X) Customize Finder Toolbar
Did you know you can customize your Toolbars in X? In a Finder Window,
click [Command]+B to toggle the Toolbar. To customize the Toolbar, from
the Finder 'View' menu, select 'Customize Toolbar...' In addition to the
options that Apple provides, you can drag and drop just about any
application, file, or folder onto the Toolbar. Maybe this should be
'Overlooked and Underused' - it's a great feature that makes up for some
of the OS9 functionality missing from TEN!

(X) ToolBar Scripts
While you're customizing your Toolbar, take a look at the custom Toolbar
scripts that Apple provides. 'Change Names', 'Open URL', and 'Rotate
Images' for example. You might find one here that you'll use ALL the time.

(9,X) Photoshop Plug-ins
'Dreamy Photo' - 'Give your photos a dreamy look,' it says at the AutoFX
website. They'd love to sell you other plug-ins, but this one is free!
Just download it and register. For Photoshop or any program capable of
using Photoshop plug-ins.

iMovie Plug-ins
Apple provides a free iMovie Plug-in Pack with additional transitions,
effects, and titles for your movies.

iMovie File Limitations
iMovie only allows you to have 'video stream' files of 2 Gigabytes. If
your video comes in a bigger 'stream', it breaks it into smaller files.
To get your big file back, you have to patch the streams back together.

iMovie Project Location on Drive
iMovie is kind of weird about where it saves your files. If you want to
save your data somewhere different than where it is doing it 'now',
create a new Project, and save it wherever you want it to go. (There's no
Preference for this. As I said it's a little weird.)

(9) And if you haven't noticed, AFAICT, if you're using OS NINE, iMovie
takes over your whole Mac the way some games do. Don't expect to do stuff
in iMovie and be switching all around to other applications!!

(X) iPhoto Plug-ins - iPhoto is ONLY for Oh Ess TEN. Sorry folks. This
situation is just going to get worse...

iPhoto Toast Export Plug-in - enables you to burn CDs of pictures,
albums, or your entire photo library from within iPhoto. You need iPhoto
1.1.1 (or later) and of course you need to have Toast (CD burning
software) for this to work!

iPhoto Mailer Patcher
In iPhoto, the 'main' functions are listed in buttons below the catalog
window. When you click on 'Share', a row of buttons appears. These
include buttons to run a [Slide Show], make the photo your [Desktop]
background, or use photos as part of your [Screen Saver]. You can also
[Mail] selected photos (including the ability to size the photos before
you send them). When you click this button, it automatically opens your
mail program, creates a new message, and attaches the photos. But this
only works with Apple's 'Mail' app. Unless you use this patch, which
gives you the same capability with Entourage, Eudora, Mailsmith,
PowerMail, and Quickmail Pro!

An iPhoto plug-in that gives you way more control over the HTML pages
that are exported from iPhoto, and lets you create your own templates.

OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITES (a bunch)
Dead or Alive? - Whatever happened to 'The Skipper', Alan Hale, Jr. from
'Gilligan's Island'? Is he still with us? How about Jack Paar? Larry
Hagman? Did you know that the painter Edward Hopper died as recently as
1967? And for that matter, how does NPR come up with, "So-and-so was born
on this date in 1948"? Go to this site and find out!!

Bluebook Value - Okay. Find out what your car is worth before you try to
sell it. The Kelly Blue Book website has a great little calculator to do
just that. Type in your make, model, year, mileage, and zip code, and be
HONEST about its condition, and they'll give you the average value!

(9) Because you NINERS are starting to get left out, LORD OF THE RINGS
SCREEN SAVERS!! Go to this FLASHY site, and click on 'The Legend', and
click on 'Downloads'. Then select 'Screensavers'. Yes, you can have
Arwen, or Aragorn, whatever you prefer! :-)

File format listings - DOS files were .BAT, Mac sound files are AIFF,
everybody knows .html or .htm right? If you ever want to find out about a
file extension (and there are HUNDREDS!!) this is the place to look.

(X) OS X 10.1 Chart of Available Software Updates: no kidding.

The Ten Immutable Laws of Security - From those TRUSTWORTHY COMPUTING
EXPERTS at Microsoft. Try not to laugh too hard!

UNPREDICTABLE BACKISSUES! - How could I leave this out?


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
How about a Special Bonus Keyboard Review instead?
Part of why UNPREDICTABLE has been so unpredictable lately, is that yours
truly has been suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous overuse of
technology. Or as my chiropracter says, "Sit in front of a computer for
eight to ten hours a day for twenty years, and you're going to pay the price."

In my case, the price has been horrendous, chronic, back pain that has
manifested in the past six months. It has been very difficult for me to
sit down in front of the ol'PowerBook at times, because as much as I like
it, like Pavlov's dog, I want to avoid pain. Anyway, I'm not here to
share the pain (or feel yours for that matter), I'm here to HELP YOU OUT,
and make your MAC life easier. So listen close. Get up from that
keyboard. Go for a walk. Take a break. Stretch. Breathe. Do Tai Chi.
Yoga. RIGHT NOW!! (We'll be here when you get back.) Spend some time with
your loved ones (even if you have to pry them away from the TV!) BALANCE
is one key to a long and happy life.

And speaking of keys, make darn sure you're comfortable and aligned
properly when you're using your keyboard. I'm about to give another JIVE
design award to Apple for the keyboard on the Titanium G4. I LOVE that
machine, but if you have big hands, as I do, there is no way to squeeze
your fingertips over the keys without bending your wrists at an awkward
angle. This is a no-no. Everything you read, including your Mac manual,
will tell you that your wrists should be straight, aligned with your
fingers. The Apple keyboard that comes with the iMac and other Macs, is
better than the PowerBook keyboard, but it's not all that great.

What to do? I recommend a 'Split' keyboard. These are available from any
number of manufacturers in a wide range of prices and with a variety of
features. They look pretty weird, and take a little getting used to.
Basically, the keyboard is split in half right down the middle, and the
keys are pulled apart, farther apart at the bottom than the top, and
mounted on a little 'hump'. Your hands end up in a much more natural
position while you type.

Adesso Trueform Keyboard $68.95
Adesso Tru-Form USB Touchpad Keyboard $108.95


** 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.

SEND requests and feedback to < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>.

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 :-)