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Chris's UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS # 66, 01/06/04
Contents Copyright 2004 by Christopher Plummer

OBLIGATORY ADVERTISEMENT... Ready to get rid of the mess and make your little network 'wireless'? Want to share your Internet connection? Convert your LPs and cassettes to CDs, set up an MP3 jukebox with an old Mac, or pick out a new one? I can do this for you, or show you how. Read the details in the SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION section at the bottom. Or email me now: < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com> Enjoy the newsletter! :-)

This Issue
Whew! That was a long break between issues! I just HAD to get an issue out about MacExpo SF, which punctuates this 20th Anniversary year of the Macintosh. We receive a phenomenal amount of feedback from as far as Australia and Ohio, provide more VALUABLE Panther information, introduce "Play List" - An OCCASIONAL recommendation of a song or album, and the rest of the issue is JAM PACKED with tips, fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit! Remember it's (9) for NINE, (X) for TEN, (W) for Windows, and ** precede links that help Support Unpredictable. BTW For those who use the Web Site - I am about 5 issues behind in getting the archives up there. That's why you SUBSCRIBE. To stay current!

UPDATES - Too many!
NEWS - 20 Inch Flat Panel iMac; it's a beauty! MacExpo, Office Mac '04
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Questions, answers, and more!
Tips - Excel, Word, Software Update, iCal
Know The Difference - A Panther Improvement
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - Some DUMMIES pages worth reading
PlayList - Aztec Two-Step
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - iCal Shortcuts

(X) Apple - use Software Update.
Security Update 2003-12-19 - Jeez!
Security Update 2003-11-19 - Panther and Jaguar
iPod Software 2.1 - You got me.
Bluetooth Update 1.4.1 - For 10.3 (Panther)
Apple Remote Desktop Client 1.2.4 - If you know what this is, you need the update.
< >
Mac OSX update 10.3.2 - One of those incremental bug fix and improvement updates, for Panther.
< >
iTunes 4.2 - Compatibility with AOL logins
QuickTime 6.5 - Phone video compatibility.

**Security Update 2003-12-05 Protects Your Cookies** -- Responding
to a security vulnerability where an attacker could gain
unauthorized access to a user's cookies in Safari, Apple
has released Security Update 2003-12-05. The update is available
via Software Update, as well as separate downloads for Mac OS X
10.2 Jaguar (a 1.3 MB download) and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (a 2.6
MB download). [JLC]

[The Security Update blurb is from our friends at TidBITS,
<> ]

Default Folder 1.9.2 - Bug fixes, performance improvements, remember that Default Folder versions prior to 1.9.x will crash Panther.

Menu Extra Enabler 1.0.1 - (Panther) If you have the 1.0 version of this Haxie and use Panther, you should get this upgrade. Read all about it.

Page Sender 3.1.2 - This is an inexpensive Print to Fax utility with more features than the built-in faxing now present in Panther. Bug fixes and improvements.

Stuffit Deluxe 8.0.2 - There were some annoying bugs in the initial 8.0 and 8.0.1 releases, especially problems with Stuffit AVR (Archive Via Rename), which to me is an ESSENTIAL feature. In my case 8.0.2 fixes everything.

Now Up-To-Date & Contact 4.5.1 - The official "Panther compatibility" release. [Although the previous release worked fine for me.]

Check for more updates at <>.

20" iMac Flat Panel - So now we have the "Bicycle Helmet" iMac in 15", 17", and 20" displays. The two bigger ones have 1.25 GHz G4s. $2200 for the new 20".
**(Too much? You can join the G4/SuperDrive club with an eMac and support Unpredictable for $1100.)

MacWorld Expo SF Quick Review - And I mean quick. I watched most of the Steve's Keynote on Quicktime. In two hours, the feed only choked twice. Pretty good! From Apple, we have Panther version of the server software, updates to the server and raid hardware. For "real" consumers, there's the new mini-iPod line, in (you guessed it) brushed aluminum, which do come in a choice of colors. Starting at $300. (Please explain to me why I would want the mini at that price, please?) The high point of the keynote was "Garage Band" a new addition to the upgraded iLife package. Singer/songwriter/musician/teen heartthrob John Maher performed onstage and chatted enthusiastically with the Steve about using the software to practice guitar, compose, and record music. Steve "played" the recorded/synthesized backup band while John played a live guitar lead over the top of it. The audience loved it. The iLife package will sell for $50, and Garage Band will come free with new Macs.

Office 2004 - Microsoft was at MacExpo to help Apple celebrate 20 years of Mac, announcing the soon-to-be-released Office 2004. I'm sure there's more, but the demoed features left me, well, dumbfounded. Word has a new "notebook" capability, copying features found in any number of Mac shareware packages. Also new in Word, the ability to record Audio notes and attach them to a document. HELLO? This was a feature from way back in Word 5.1 for Mac OS 7.5 (or so). Now it's a big deal? And get this, Excel now has a "Page View" feature. So you can see just what the print out will look like before you print. HELLO? HELLO? Sure this is a great idea, but it seems like something so basic, so fundamental, that it should have been there all along!! And it seems to me that it was! But maybe that was WAY BACK in the early Macozoic when there were a couple of other Mac spreadsheets around. And one feature that seemed pretty neat, the "Project Tracker" (I think..) which improves the integration of Office and Entourage, allowing you to have a place to keep notes, documents from all sorts of applications, etc. and view the information in various ways. Does this work with non-Microsoft apps? It would be nice to know. This is actually not a new concept either, but a Microsoft copy of several applications such as Creo's "Six Degrees".

More News: <>

Unpredictable Reader Feedback
- All the way from "Down Under", Stephen Withers claims to have known "a long while ago" the solution to the Keyboard Mystery posed in U&O #63 and solved in U&O #64:

<snip> "your readers might like to know of a similar problem associated with the International keyboard settings. In Mac OS X (and I think this happens in 9), if you type command-space - which isn't hard to do accidentally - you switch keyboard layouts. The fix is to open Preferences, click International, select the Input Menu tab, and then uncheck all the keyboard layouts except the one you normally used (US, Canadian, Australian, or whatever). If you like having your national flag displayed in the menu bar, you'll need to have at least two keyboard layouts checked."

In any case, leave the Character Palette item checked - it can be more convenient than Key Caps for entering special characters that you rarely use. Regards, and keep up the good work."

[Thanks Stephen! Readers can check SW's blog at: <>.]

Laurie from Ohio has some suggestions for software developers:
"While multitasking this week and bouncing between PhotoShop, Quark, Mail, Excel and NowUpToDate and Contact...<snip> I got a message that everything must come to a grinding halt as my 'scratch discs were full.' Not knowing what a scratch disc is (place for Jaguar to sharpen claws?), I clicked on help and did a search for those words. Nothing<snip> about a 'click here' link to help from the warning message?<snip> I deleted a bunch of photos that I wasn't using, and it seemed to solve the problem."

[Unlike many of you, I'm a graphics wannabe. But I do know that PhotoShop (and Quark?) have their own memory schemes in Oh Ess NINE, where they use a "scratch disk". This is basically a large temporary file. If it's too small, if it gets too big, or if it means you run out of disk space, it can cause problems. There is a setting for it, which I found once, buried deep in a PhotoShop manual. I don't really know if this happens in TEN. - Chris]

Laurie continues, "Which leads me to a second thing <snip>...When I delete trash, I no longer know how much I'm throwing away. As a person with inherent clutter problems, I always got a great deal of satisfaction knowing how much 'space' I was freeing up.<snip> they have taken away some of my fun. Thanks for all of the info on the newest Cat.<snip> Keep up the good work. Laurie Faithful Ohio fan."

[Thanks Laurie! Sure enough, I don't see any simple way to find out how much stuff is in the trash in Panther. Any readers care to take up this challenge? - Chris]

And from the Heart of UNPREDICTABLE country in Western Central New Jersey...

Leon raves:
"I just received my Endo Spire carrying bag last week and it is AWESOME! The quality is great and it comes with a removable sleevecase as well."

Pat reports:
"..thanks for your enlightening letter (again). my daughter went to college with a powerbook this fall and has enjoyed the cult feeling of being a visible mac user! she is getting such a kick out of instant acceptance into "the family" when she is spotted or spots other mac users!"
['Cultish' Mac Users?? I don't get it! ;-) - Chris]

Elisa reacts:
I thought you would get a kick out of this!
[Remember back in U&O #65 when I mentioned all the DLS's about the IMS?? Here's another one dealing with iPods!! Their $250 non-replaceable battery only lasts about 18 months. Their warranty only lasts 12! Apple now has a $99 return policy to get a new battery. That's still a hunk of change! - Chris]

More on Panther
Fast User Switching and Multiple Monitors - In U&O #65 I reported that the "Cube Effect" doesn't work when using Fast User Switching with multiple monitors. But I didn't try it after Apple came out with release 10.3.1. Now it appears that it DOES work. The Cube effect occurs on your main "internal" display, but not always. I haven't figured out just what makes it work or not. When the effect DOES work with multiple monitors, it works on the "main" monitor, the one with the menu. Your external, secondary display cleanly switches to the other user's desktop with no effects.

(X) MS Excel v.x - Worksheet Window Gets Buried Under Toolbars
In Excel you can bury the Worksheet window under the Toolbars that line the top of your screen, making it impossible to grab the "Title Bar" at the top of the window and reposition the worksheet. Sure you can grab all those darn toolbars and shift them around or close them, but how about this idea? Click on the Finder icon on the Dock. This hides the toolbars completely, but keeps the worksheet window visible. Now all you have to do is click on the Title Bar at the top of the window, keep holding the mouse button down, and move the sheet as you normally would. When you finish the move, the toolbars reappear! You ask,"Can't I use Exposé for this if I have Panther?" Sorry kids, Exposé won't help on this one. Maybe in Excel 2004?

(9, X) Open Word Doc - If you use AppleWorks 6 (or maybe even 5), you should be able to open MS-Word documents that people send you. Besides the configuration issues in NINE which I will ignore here, this can get a little tricky: Someone sent me a Word document. Because the document came from a Mac Oh Ess Nine user and the file had a "Resource" ID within it indicating that it was a Mac Word file, AND because I still have Word 98 (for Oh Ess NINE) installed on my Mac, the document appeared on my Desktop with a big "W" icon - the icon of Microsoft Word documents. When I double-click the document, Panther is kind enough to ASK if I want to launch the "Classic" environment (OS9) so it can open the document in Word 98. But I don't want to do that, so I say NO. I want to open the document in AppleWorks in Oh Ess Ten. What do I do?

No problem, I'll [Control]+Click the file (or "right click" as they say in the Windows world, where MORE is BETTER and everybody has at LEAST two buttons on their mouse), and from the contextual menu I'll tell Panther to "Open with.." and pick an application from the list that appears in the menu. That's a pretty cool capability, isn't it?

But no applications are displayed in the menu! What is going on??

"Open with" just isn't quite smart enough. I need to have the insight of years of experience, and rename the file with the DOS/Windows standard extension ".doc" (filename.doc), and then try it. Walla!! A list of applications that can open the document appears, including (in my case) Appleworks!! (You can also use the Get Info window to tell TEN to always open .doc files with Appleworks.)

(X-Panther) Software Update Pestering - Is Software Update bugging you to install updates that you don't need? New iPod software and you don't have an iPod? AirPort Extreme and no AirPort? Make it stop!! In the Software Update window, select the update item, then go to the Update menu and select "Ignore". OR just press [Command] + [Delete]. If it asks you if you really want to ignore the update, well, tell it how you feel! :-)

(X) iCal - A handful of tips:

Edit Calendar Item - You can edit a calendar item 'in place', that is, by double-clicking the item and either typing directly into it, or by [Control]+clicking on it and using the pop-up Contextual menu to make changes.

Switch Event from One Calendar to Another - Select an item, and from the contextual menu you can switch an event to a different Calendar. (See the similar item below for multiple items.)

Email Events - From the contextual menu, with an event selected, choose "Mail Event" to send a notice of the event using email. The notice message contains a special iCal.ics file. Double-click this file when you receive it to ADD the event to your own iCal calendar!

Use Info Drawer - You can get much greater control of editing an item by making changes to the item in the Info "drawer" that appears when you click the "i" button.

Change Calendar of a bunch of items - If you have a bunch of entries that you want to move from one calendar to another, you don't have to move them one at a time. Use [Shift]+Click or [Command]+Click to select multiple items. If the Info Drawer is open, it will display how many items you have selected. You can [Control] + click your selection to make changes that affect all your items - such as moving them all to a different calendar.

(X - Panther) Networking - Can't find any of the servers you are looking for?? Open the "Directory Access" application in the Utilities folder and make sure that the correct directory service is "checked". If you are looking for Appleshare servers and don't see them, make sure that "AppleTalk" is enabled. For most networking, AppleTalk, Rendezvous, and SMB will get you connected to Macs and Windows. You might also check "Active Directory" for more 'modern' Windows networks.

Know the Difference
"Such and such server has unexpectedly shut down" - Missing since Oh Ess Nine; back in Panther. Hooray! This user-friendly notification, (or something resembling it) appears in your Panther window when you are disconnected from a server volume that you have been sharing. Of course Oh Ess NINE handled this situation elegantly, but until Panther, TEN would probably just put up the Endless Spinning Pizza from Hell with no indication as to why. Thank you, Apple.

And That's The Difference.

Occasional Favorite Web Site
Some DUMMIES pages...
Communicating via iChat in Mac OS X
[ ]

Understanding the Only Macintosh Specs That Matter
[ ]

Becoming Familiar with the QuarkXPress Interface
[ ]

Play List
No subtle allusions here. Introducing an OCCASIONAL recommendation of a song, album or artist. If you have music you'd like to recommend to other Mac users, especially music local to Beautiful Western Central New Jersey, send me an email!!

"He's like the dancing gold prairies that will never be mowed,
The wind in the sails that's about to explode,
He's like fire and rain, bringing pleasure and pain,
And he learned all he knows from the ways of the road..."

The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)
Aztec Two-Step


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
(X) iCal Keyboard Shortcuts

Create New Event - [Command]+n
Create New Calendar - [Command]+[Option]+n
Create New "To Do" - [Command]+k
Open/Close the Info "Drawer" - [Command]+i
Go To Today - [Command] + t
Go To Date - [Command] + [Shift] + t
Hide/Show "To Do" List - [Command]+[Option]+ t

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. (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.
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Back Issues available at the Unpredictable Archive:

Shameless Self-Promotion
Ready to get rid of the mess and make your little network 'wireless'? Want to share your Internet connection? Convert your LPs and cassettes to CDs, set up an MP3 jukebox with an old Mac, help you pick out a new one. I can do this for you, or show you how to do all kinds of cool things with iApps. Big projects or little jobs. Maybe you'd just like to know that you have someone knowledgeable to call for support and encouragement when you finally go to OH ESS TEN? I've worked with computer novices, small businesses, and large corporations. I'd prefer not to do WINDOWS, but I've got more experience with MS operating systems than many PC consultants! I'm IBM Certified in Domino Development and Administration. I can teach you how to share files with PC users, use common fonts and printers, connect to their networks, and send them email with attachments that they can read. And I can write and edit. Reasonable rates, 20 years experience, satisfaction guaranteed.
Email: < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>.

Thanks for Stopping By!



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 :-)