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


A special THANK YOU to all my subscribers and clients. Thank you for your business, thank you for reading, and thank you for your UNPREDICTABLE feedback! Here's wishing you all a Peaceful and Prosperous 2003!!

End of year wrap up: Circulation - Forward UNPREDICTABLE to your friends if you must; I prefer subscribers and feedback to keep me motivated! Reprints - Except where noted that other sources are responsible, material in U&O is Copyright by Christopher Plummer. Non-profit, non-commercial publications may reprint articles if full credit is given. (Please provide UNPREDICTABLE with a copy.) Book or Web publishers prepared to PAY for content or editing, please contact me!!
< chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>

Good News Press Releases - On the website, I have removed all the Apple Press Releases from back issues - these belong to Apple, and it is too much content and work to keep them in the newsletter and on my site.

USE THE WEB SITE!! - Can't locate that GREAT tip I wrote about playing iTunes in your car? Looking for the URL to the Ellen Feiss Switcher ad? Can't remember the Keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots? It's all in the archives on the Unpredictable Web Site. Every issue is there all the way back to the first single paragraph Issue #1. No, this no-budget site does not have a search engine, but you can use the Back Issues Index page and use [Command]+F in your browser. Or just re-read them all!

It's been two years of fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit. Every 2 weeks, every 3, once a month, that's why we're OCCASIONAL. Remember if it relates to TEN, it's (X), to NINE it's (9) and both or neither for both or neither!! :-)

WEIRD NEWS - Apple #1 in Service, More on Feiss, more..
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Getting better all the time..
(9, X) Tip - Please take my advice
(9, X) Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Create & Name a folder
Good News Press Releases - GONE

GEEK SPEAK ALERT: No Geek Speak Allowed

(9,X) Apple SuperDrive Update - The SuperDrive Update page details potential problems with the drive and new high-speed media, and offers information on updating systems. The page also lists frequently asked questions and contains a link to the iMac SuperDrive Firmware Update 1.0.


(X) Apple Jaguar Oh ESS TEN update 10.2.2 - Bug fixes and "useability" improvements. Use the Software Update System Preference.

(X) Dantz Retrospect, Express, Client, Workgroup Server 5.0.238 - More bug fixes, ability to erase removable media.

(X) Watson 1.6.1 - Adds Address Book, iTV, PriceGrabber

(X) FAX STF X 10.0.8 (for Jaguar only) - Yet another update for Jaguar users. Use this whole URL (below) if it wraps. The download is free.

(9,X) PowerMail updates to 4.1 - In X PowerMail now uses Apple's Address Book and built-in spell checking. [Back in U&O #52 I told you this kind of integration AND choice was coming! Nifty!!-Chris]

Weird NEWS
Apple Still Doomed, Still, Again - Shortly after U&O #52 hit the stands announcing that Apple was profitable despite the fact that is was doomed, Apple posted a loss for its fiscal fourth quarter. Apple's stock price went UP on the news. The stock price going up is yet another clear indication that Apple is still doomed. If the stock goes down, well, that proves it too.

Radical Peacenik Apple Honors Carter - In a move that angered true Americans everywhere, Apple's website briefly posted a new 'Think Different' series of photos showing the 2002 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, former president Jimmy Carter. In an obvious 'slap in the face' to the oil industry and current President 'Curious' George W. Bush , Mr. Carter was shown in various poses, negotiating for peace, making personal sacrifices to lend a hand building a home for a family that couldn't afford one, and speaking with world leaders about environmental concerns and the need for renewable energy. In a rare display of common sense (dare we say 'patriotism'?), Apple has since removed the ads and replaced them with the 'Switcher' ads of allegedly reformed Windows Weenies such as 'dabomb' Gianni Jacklone, IT Director.


Apple Ranked #1 in Service - If you've ever had a scuffle with Apple about that missing S-Video adapter for your PowerBook (which I still haven't received!), or for that matter, just tried to call and ask a question without having to pay through the nose, you might wonder at this: PC World magazine's survey of computer support ranks Apple as #1. So no matter how bad it seems, remember, it's better than if you had a Windows PC! Don't worry, be happy, we have Macs!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Special Bonus Apple Support Tip - Take your questions (and your Mac, if it's a laptop) to your local Apple store on a weekday. Every Mac store is supposed to have a "Mac Genius" who can answer all kinds of questions, and you wouldn't want the Genius to get bored!!

Read about the "Spam King" in the Detroit Free Press. Yuk. What a creep.

Ellen Feiss Followup - She's fifteen and she was on Benadryl. Catch the interview with the Brown Daily Herald. "The funny thing was, I was on drugs," Feiss told the Herald, the college newspaper of Brown University. "I was on Benadryl, my allergy medication, so I was really out of it anyway. That's why my eyes were all red, because I have seasonal allergies. But no one believes me."


Event Planner, Kate told me, "Your 'Organizer Issue' was awesome! Even a non-Mac user could read it and understand what you're writing about!" [What? I must be slipping. :-) That would be Issue # 52, available on the Unpredictable web site. — Chris]

And readers are migrating to X and Jaguar!

Excel Developer Bob writes: "Well, I finally did it – upgraded to Jaguar. I chose the upgrade install rather than the archive. Everything went perfectly (but surprisingly slowly) until it was starting up after reading the second CD. I then got a warning dialog that said that the software for my Kensington trackball may make the system unstable. And, sure enough, after about 10 seconds the console appeared with a crash log. Everything, including the trackball seemed OK, so I quickly got onto Kensington.COM and downloaded the latest drivers, installed them and restarted. Everything was fine. I then loaded Software Update and grabbed 10.2.2 and an EPROM update for my DVD drive. After the install and restarting, everything has been great.<snip> I was impressed that the installer got all my settings right and transferred everything (including my rather weird Mac/PC wireless network) to Jaguar without a hiccup. Everything is noticeably snappier.<snip> I particularly like the movie feature of Sherlock and Jaguar’s ability to connect directly to my PCs. Now I can uninstall and get rid of PCMaclan, which has been very good and mostly trouble free package. But, anything I can remove from Window’s house of cards is bound to make it more stable."

John the Typesetter has taken the plunge and rebooted his new iBook into TEN. After a few calls to his trusty consultant (ahem), he downloaded the AOL client for TEN, got it working with AOL, and setup the connection to his Office Printer over ethernet. "I have to get with the program," he told me, "I can't sit with NINE forever." Way to go John. Now if we could just get those dopes at Quark to release their TEN version!!

MP3 - MP3 is a popular high-compression technology for recording and playing digital music. It's the file format that iTunes uses, and the important point here is file size. A "regular" CD music file takes up 10 times more space. Which means you could "Rip" roughly ten Audio CDs worth of music and burn all of them onto ONE data cd (now called by many, an 'MP3 CD'). No, the sound quality is not identical. The "perceptual" compression scheme in MP3s loses quality, but if you RIP (record) at the iTunes "high" quality level, it'll be hard to tell the difference. Try it!

RIP - I suppose this originates from the term "rip-off". It means to RECORD or CONVERT regular CD-Audio, or Analog Vinyl, or Analog Tape, to MP3 format. It's kind of a rough term, which is why teenagers like it and why it scares some adults and terrifies the big Music Monopolies. You have a legal right to make a single "backup" copy for your own personal use (just as you do with software), at least until the DCMA and other Monopoly-sponsored legislation and technology changes all that. [See U&O #54 for details.] I won't get into the legal, ethical, or moral arguments and rationalizations about "ripping" CDs from other people, your local library, or via downloads from the Internet. You decide.

Patriotic Economy-Boosting Suggestions
I ALWAYS give you Patriotic Economy Boosting Suggestions. But I've been awful busy boosting my own economy, and you KNOW how much I hate to write what everyone else already here are a couple of tips if you're still looking for ways to spend money on yourself, your Mac, or some Mac using person you love!!

You can always poke around at Apple's site:

But for a really thorough collection of Gift ideas, check out the TidBITS GiftBITS issue:

My personal suggestion: If you're buying any kind of CD or DVD player, get one that plays MP3s, and if possible, look for one that also supports CD-RWs. What does that mean? It means you can buy an auto CD or 'Walkman'-type player that will read and decode MP3 CDs. (You can create MP3 CDs with iTunes if you have an Apple supported burner.) When you buy a DVD player, pick up one that also plays audio CDs and can decode MP3s. That way you have every format covered. (Every format that matters anyway. Microsoft has a 'proprietary' Windows Media format, but WHO would want that??) When you're checking the specs for a possible purchase, find out if the player can handle CD-RWs. These are read/write CDs, which can be erased and re-used. Most players these days have lasers strong enough to read these, but older units often can't.

(9, X) iMac Firmware Updates - It's a good idea to make sure you GET CURRENT with firmware updates. If you have a slot-loading iMac, be sure to check with Apple for firmware updates before migrating to TEN, or before upgrading to Jaguar. There may be a firmware updater ON the CD for TEN or Jaguar. Overlook this at your peril. It's possible to permanently corrupt the PRAM on your logic board if you don't apply the firmware update first. Too much geek speak? Just be sure to GET CURRENT. Check Apple's web site:



If you are one of the many who at this time are reflecting on Peace, check out:


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
(9, X) You can create a new Folder in the Finder with [Command] + N in 9 and [Command] + [Shift] + N in X. What about NAMING the folder? In 9 you click, wait for that litttle pause, and you just type in the new name, same in X, right? SORRY. If you are in List View, you have to press [Return] first. In the other views it doesn't matter.

** CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for Mac Users **
Not exclusively for, Mac Users in Beautiful Western Central New Jersey.
Published Unpredictably at least once a month!

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 at:
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 :-)