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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS # 70, 06/03/04
Contents Copyright 2004 by Christopher Plummer

OBLIGATORY ADVERTISEMENT... Ready to go 'wireless'? Want to share your Internet connection? Share your iTunes Playlists with other computers on your LAN? Create professional looking CDs? Or just get the inside info on how your Mac can "Play Nice" with Windows users? 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
Just a brief THANK YOU to all my clients, readers, and friends for providing the support, business, and encouragement that has inspired me to stick with UNPREDICTABLE for SEVENTY issues over three years!! That's all, on with the fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit! Remember it's (9) for NINE, (X) for TEN, (W) for Windows, and double asterisks (**) precede links that help Support Unpredictable. :-)

SHAMELESS COMMERCE - Office 2004 & AirPort, & iPod Mini at The Bottom
NEWS - HotSpots Arrive in Beautiful Western Central NJ, RU IN URL Danger?
UPDATES - (X) Panther 10.3.4, GarageBand 1.1, MS Remote Desktop 1.0.2
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - Wireless Geek Speak up the wazoo
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - (X) Retro-iMac iTunes Jukebox (continues!)
EASY BUT NOT OBVIOUS - What's it all about?
PLAYLIST - (X, W) Jim Boggia
Know The Difference - Flippy Floppy Fiasco
Tips - (9, X) Wireless? You don't know until you try!
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - WiFi Directories
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - On vacation

Shameless Commerce
BUY these OCCASIONALLY recommended items using the links below, and help support UNPREDICTABLE! Need anything else? More Commerce at THE END, or send me an email! < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>.

**MS Office 2004 is available!!

Microsoft Office X for Mac (Student/Teacher Edition) Install onto 3 Macs in your house! Shipping included.<>

MS Office 2004 Standard Upgrade

MS Office 2004 Standard

**AirPort Related Commerce:
AirPort Card

Apple Airport Card Adapter Kit (required for slot-loading G3 iMacs)

AirPort Exteme Card

AirPort Extreme Base Station (ABS)

AirPort Extreme Base Station (ABS) w/modem & antenna port

Geek Speak Alert! USB, iMac, Floppy Disk Drive, Combo Drive, DVD, touchpad, ScrollWheel, iTMS, RJ-45, Ethernet, iTMS

(X) Apple Updates (Use Software Update System Preference.)
Panther update 10.3.4 - Various minor improvements, fixes, etc.

Apple Security Update - 2004-05-03

GarageBand 1.1

(X, W) Microsoft Remote Desktop for Macintosh 1.0.2 - This is an update for improved compatibility with G5s (if anyone out there is fortunate enough to use one!), and for Panther.

(X) Microsoft Office 2004 - Updates to all the Office apps, plus Entourage, and the new "Project Center". Since I qualify for the Student/Teacher Edition, even I will buy this update.
See <> for information, or buy it using the URLs in 'Shameless Commerce' above, and support UNPREDICTABLE!!

Check for more updates at <>.

HotSpots Arrive In Beautiful Western Central New Jersey -
Thanks primarily to badgering by yours truly and UNPREDICTABLE readers, Flemington has at last joined the rest of the universe in offering not one, but two, locations with public WiFi access to the Internet! Both locations are at the Mall on route 202-31. Borders offers pay-for-use access via a T-Mobile HotSpot. Just down the parking lot at Panera, you can get TRULY FREE access. Even if you don't have high-speed access at home, for the price of a cup of coffee and a bagel, you can "surf the web" (as we old timers used to say), and download your latest iTunes TRULY FREE song of the week. If you've never tried this, the secret is to launch your web browser with AirPort on, and try to get to any web page. This will bring you to the "gateway" screen to access the service. The "WiFiFreeSpot" also lists Computer Renaissance in Flemington as having a free HotSpot. Is anyone familiar with them? Do they speak Mac? Now if we could just get the StarBucks in New Hope to go WiFi! See this issue's Unpredictable Favorite Web Site (below) for WiFi directories.

RU IN URL DANGER? New Threat to Mac Security -
Without plunging into the ugly details that you can read elsewhere, Mac Oh Ess TEN contains a 'security flaw' based around the way it launches applications using URLs. Apple has addressed this, sort of, with its latest updates. [It's our policy to always recommend that you GET CURRENT.] To be extra safe, you can download a utility from the good folks at Unsanity Software. It's called "Paranoid Android", and much like a virus protection program, it runs in the background and pops up when it sees a suspicious activity which you can then terminate, or give the nod. UNPREDICTABLY RECOMMENDED.

Unpredictable Reader Feedback
Welcome aboard! To new reader, long-time Mac user, and 747 pilot, Richard, who spotted me with my PowerBook at Panera.

Novelist Brad wrote, "Do you have any idea how I can get my Canon i70 Bubble jet printer to print wirelessly through my Extreme Airport Base Station? <snip> when I try to select 'rendezvous' printers in my print set-up, the printer doesn't show up."

Brad knows that the version of Extreme ABS he bought has a USB port for a printer. Sorry Brad, sounds like you are doing everything right...EXCEPT, you're using Jaguar. My main advice, since Apple has cleaned up printing so much in Panther, was for Brad to GET CURRENT. Abandon the old cat and upgrade to Panther, then see how well it hunts mice. If that doesn't fix it, we'll take the next step. :-)

Geek Speak Review
RJ-45 - This is an 8 wire connector used for (among other things) Ethernet networking. The connector and its corresponding jack, looks like an extra fat phone connector. The plug has a little plastic tab on it that clicks and holds the plug tight when it slips into place. Most computers these days come with built-in Ethernet and an RJ-45 jack.

Ethernet - The predominant LAN (Local Area Network) standard for moving data electronically (generally over wires). It incorporates both the hardware (wires and electronics) and the protocol (electronic language used). Early ethernet used different kinds of cables, but these days everyone has standardized on the use of easy phone-style connectors and phone-type cabling. This standard is called 10Base-T or 100Base-T (the numbers representing the 'speed' of the connection) or 'Gigabit' Ethernet (which would be 1000Base-T, but no one calls it that).

Wireless - For our purposes means any kind of computer connection without wires. These can include Infra-red IRDA, BlueTooth, and WiFi. In general, when people talk about 'wireless' they mean 802.11x, and they also usually mean with a connection to the Internet (you don't have to connect your AirPort to the Internet, but why wouldn't you??)

AirPort - Apple's name for wireless ethernet, using the "WiFi" 802.11b standard.

AirPort Extreme - Apple's name for wireless ethernet using the "WiFi" 802.11g standard. It's faster and backward compatible with AirPort.

ABS - AirPort Base Station. A wireless hub responsible for broadcasting your network.

AirPort Card, or AirPort Extreme Card - The network adapter "card" that needs to be installed in your Mac (if it didn't come with one) so that it can receive from and transmit to an ABS.

Wireless Access Point - What the rest of the whole computer industry calls the box that does the same thing as an ABS. An ABS is a Wireless Access Point. You don't have to use or buy Apple's ABS, there are plenty of other Access Points that work just fine, and cost less. Just be sure you can administer your Access Point from your Mac. Call your trusty consultant if you need help with this. :-)

HotSpot - A location, usually a public location of some kind, where there is wireless Internet access available via an Access Point of some kind. There are 'free' HotSpots, where you might have to click a few buttons on a web browser to indicate that you won't use the free access for any evil purposes (Panera in Flemington). And there are commercial HotSpots where you have to pay (T-Mobile HotSpots at Borders and StarBucks).

iTMS - The iTunes Music Store. Okay, I've been calling it the IMS but the rest of the Mac media is now calling it either ITMS, or iTMS. I could be stubborn (I was into this whole abbreviation thing FIRST, after all) but it's OKAY. Maybe I'll globally change all the IMS entries in the archives so in fact, it was iTMS all along!

Overlooked and Underused
—Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features—

iMac on TEN - (Third in a series on the Cool-Retro--iTunes iMac-Jukebox)

In the last two issues we discussed how to beef up a classic iMac (with a minimum of a G3 400mhz processor) so that it can run OH ESS TEN. We bumped the memory to 1 Gigabyte, we upgraded the hard drive to 120 Gig, and we installed Panther. (Have you run Software Update to make sure you have the latest version of iTunes?) If your iMac has followed us to this point, you've probably already 'ripped' a bunch of CDs and maybe even downloaded songs from the iTMS (iTunes Music Store). You're probably running a playlist right now as you read your email! Why do more? This might be enough for most people. Heck, we've spent a few hundred dollars, and you can get a brand new eMac G4 for between $800 and $1000 US. But in my house, I'm not done with that iMac yet!!

This is a 'Mostly Wireless' issue, and most iMacs of the vintage we're discussing came with built-in antennae and a slot for an Apple AirPort Wireless card. A retro iMac is a work of art. It shouldn't have all kinds of wires hanging out of it! You can pick up an AirPort card for $50 - $100 US. As far as I know, the iMac slot is so unique you can only install a 'regular' Apple AirPort (802.11b) card, not AirPort 'Extreme' (802.11g) or some third party wireless card. But not-extreme-AirPort is just fine. You have to also be sure to get the slot-loading iMac AirPort card adapter (about $20 US). If you haven't made the leap to wireless (no pun intended for you geeks who know what LEAP is), your iMac is ready. The installation is easy, and covered in your iMac manual. This article is really about our retro iMac, and not about configuring AirPort. Honestly, I hate to give away business, but try it yourself first. If you still need help, contact your trusty Mac consultant.
< chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>

Assuming that you got AirPort working on your iMac, the next step for our iMac iTunes jukebox is to SHARE the music stored on our massive hard drive with any other Macs (or even Windows machines if someone has had the sense to install iTunes on them!). iTunes music sharing works over AirPort and over wire (ethernet) as long as you and the other computers are all on the same TCP-IP subnet. This restriction is intended to prevent users from sharing music over the Internet. If you don't know that your home LAN is 'sub-netted', then don't worry about this, you won't have to deal with it.

Share your iTunes:
Once you complete the steps below, you can leave them 'as is', and your jukbox will be continuously broadcasting it's iTunes library as long as it is up and iTunes is running.

Select "Preferences" from the iTunes menu (the main iTunes menu, next to the Apple). When the Preferences dialog appears, click "Sharing". Put a 'check' in the "Share my music" checkbox and decide if you want to share your entire library, or certain playlists. Your "Shared name" should appear automatically. You can change it if you want. Decide if you want to require a password for people to share your music or not. Click [Ok].

Under the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, and select "Sharing". When the Sharing dialog appears, click the "Firewall" tab. [Note: These instructions assume that your Firewall is "On". "On" prevents your Mac from being wide open to potentially malicious probes and attacks from other users. Putting the checkmark in a certain item with the Firewall "On", allows that particular service to work through the Firewall.]

Scroll down the list that appears in the "Allow" window and find "iTunes Music Sharing (3689)" and make sure that there is a check next to it.

Close Preferences. That's it!

Access Shared iTunes:
To get to someone's shared iTunes from your Mac (or PC), you need to be network connected (wired or wireless, either way).
Launch iTunes, and go to Preferences under the iTunes menu (next to the Apple menu).
In the Preferences dialog, click on [Sharing]. On the "Sharing" dialog, make sure that "Look for shared music" has a check in the box. Then click [OK]. Now go to the main iTunes window. Look in the "Source" panel (the one on the left, that lists your Library and playlists). If everything has worked as planned, you should see OTHER libraries or playlists there!! Select one and start enjoying the music from your Retro-iTunes-iMac-Jukebox!

We've covered just about everything you can do to upgrade an iMac and still leave it in the original casing. There are some third party processor (and video?) upgrades, but we're not going there. But the Unpredictable iMac Upgrade bus has at least one more stop, and that's REMOTE CONTROL. Check out the next issue and enjoy the ride!!

[See Shameless Commerce, above, for AirPort parts discussed in this article.]


Easy but not Obvious
What is "Easy But Not Obvious"?? Remember "Ease of Use"? Heck, that was from the DARK AGES of 1984!!! We've moved beyond that. Even the smallest baby now knows how to use a mouse, a menu, a dialog box, and so on. The rule used to be, "Don't make assumptions about what the user knows, and make sure there are plenty of ways to do the same thing." After all, some people like menus, some prefer keyboard commands, others want to see a button, and still others think a special contextual menu should appear when they 'right click' on something. So to make the interface easier, Apple used to make sure that one task could be accomplished all those different ways. That's what computers were about. Using processing power to make work easier and more intuitive. But no more. Welcome to the new millennium. Our first EbnO column [in U&O #69] discussed the SINGLE [Buy] button in the iTMS and how easy it is to lose. We've also discussed some of the oddities of buttons and the brushed aluminum interface (which Apple has improved since then, BTW), but there's plenty of territory to cover in future issues.

And that's Easy but not Obvious!!

(X,W) Did the new version of iTunes copy my "sharing the playlist" idea? Not really. My Playlist is really just one song... Check out this sample from "Fidelity is the Enemy", by Philly local talent and member of "4 Way Street", Jim Boggia.

Know the Difference
Do you realize that when the first iMac came out there was a HUGE controversy because (gasp!) it had NO FLOPPY DISK DRIVE? Oh my gosh. I wish I had a dollar for every word that was published about this insane, radical move by those whacky-anything-goes-engineers at Apple! There were PC weenies who proclaimed, "I've always liked Macs, and I've even considered buying one, but now they've just gone TOO FAR!!" Not to mention all the Macintosh people who had a hard time letting go of the shoe-boxes full of floppy disks that filled their desk drawers! But LUCKILY lots of companies came to the rescue and created external floppy disk drives that plugged into the iMac's RADICAL new USB PORT. Where are all those drives now?? I think I have two in my "junk closet".

It's been quite a ride, hasn't it? How do you suppose Panther and G5 Macs will look in ten or twenty years?

And That's The Difference.

(X,W) Do You Already Have AirPort?
Many Mac models come standard with AirPort networking built-in. And let's face it, there are SO MANY cool features to learn about in a new Mac that you might have completely forgotten that you had AirPort. How can you tell? There are a number of ways, but the easiest and most USEFUL would be to try to turn on AirPort.

For NINE users, UNPREDICTABLE support is fading, but you can look in your Control Panels, under the Apple menu, or try the Control Strip. AirPort icons are those orange stripey things. From there, you're on your own. Apple stopped developing NINE about 3 years ago folks, it's time to join the Cat Crowd.

For OH ESS TEN users, first look for the little pie wedge in your menu bar. If you don't see it
1) Go to Apple Menu/System Preferences/Network. (Sorry Jag users, I know this is slightly different, but I'm using Panther. Upgrade or Improvise!)
2) In the dialog that appears, in the "Show" pop-up, select "AirPort".
3) At the bottom of the "AirPort" panel make sure that "Show AirPort status in menu bar" is checked.
4) While you're here, you can also click on "AppleTalk" and make sure "Make AppleTalk Active" is also checked.

If you try to check it and get a message along the lines that "AppleTalk can only be active on one network port at a time", (you already have AppleTalk running elsewhere, probably on your 'Built-in Ethernet'.] , hit [Cancel], and stick with our first change.

5) Click, [Apply Now]. Look for the Pie Wedge in your menu.

You should see it there now. If it has stripes in it, AirPort is already 'on' and it sees at least one Access Point broadcasting a network! Click on the menu again to see a list of the networks that are available. These will appear in between "No Network Selected" and "Create a Network".

If there are no stripes, click on the pie wedge. Select "Turn AirPort On" and see what happens.

If you get a message at any time that says, "No Airport adapter found", then you don't have AirPort. So buy it!!


Occasional Favorite Web Site
Directories to FREE WiFi Internet Access:
<> Panera Directory.
<> more current.
<> better interface.

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.
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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


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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 :-)