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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #10, 03/11/01
Contents Copyright 2001 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================


THIS ISSUE:
-----------
SPECIAL INTERNET ISSUE #1
Well I've done it again! One single item, the Internet Control Panel,
just one more term in the HUGE Geek Speak Review that I'm working on,
became an OVERLOOKED & UNDERUSED article of it's own. And not a short
one! The result? This has become SPECIAL INTERNET ISSUE #1 and most of
the ever growing Geek Speak Review has been pushed back. (Does it seem
like I bring up the first part of one topic and then don't get back to
it? I WILL. I PROMISE!! How can this be UNPREDICTABLE if you always know
what the next issue is about??) And believe me, I'VE GOT SOME GOOD STUFF
in the works!! Were you waiting for the next installment on CRASHING AND
HANGING? IT'S NOT HERE! But hey, go to the Special Bonus Keyboard
Commands at the END of this issue. There's a little something there, JUST
FOR YOU.


GEEK SPEAK ALERT:
No! No more please!!


UPDATES:
--------
OS X - that's 'OS TEN' - not 'EX', in case the marketing bozos haven't
brainwashed you properly yet. Apple has announced that the OS X 'Golden
Master' is finished. ISN'T THAT GREAT!!? WHAT THE HECK DOES IT MEAN?
Isn't this a fun industry where they have things like 'Golden Masters'? I
mean, is it coming from Nepal or something? 'Golden Master' means that OS
X is coming out REAL SOON. March 24th. Don't worry. Be happy. If any of
my faithful readers write to me about it, I'll comment on it. Otherwise,
we'll deal with OS X WHEN I GET AROUND TO IT.



GEEK SPEAK REVIEW #2
'INTERNET EDITION' (I'm going to try out for an MS marketing job):
------------------------------------------------------------------

What the h*** is a "URL"?:
Stands for: Universal Resource Locator (and other similar definitions).
Most people pronounce this "You - Are - EL", but some people pronounce
it, "Yerl". Internet commoners believe that URLs only begin with
"http:\www". But actually URLs can be of many types - "http" - which
probably stands for "hypertext transport protocol" is just one. True
Internet snobs can tell you about all the other URLs, which include FTP,
and email addresses. MEMORIZE THIS URL-->

<http://www.info.apple.com/>

Brackets surrounding the URL <> are the generally accepted manner of
setting a URL off from the text around it, also making it possible for
programs to recognize the URL as a link which (if the program or OS is
smart enough) can become 'live'. That means you can click on the URL
(even in your word processor or email program) and your web browser
should open the page to which it refers. Be sure to read the O&U article
below for more on this EXCITING topic.

Some common Internet 'conversational' Abbreviations:

BTW:
Abbreviation for BY THE WAY. The use of which shows EVERYONE ELSE that
you are Internet Savvy, hip, part of the IN crowd. Maybe even a fellow
GEEK. But IMHO this could be trouble because AFAIK you'd better be
prepared to be challenged, and if you fail, FLAMED.

TIA:
Thanks in advance

IMHO:
In my humble opinion

AFAIK:
As far as I know

LOL:
Laughing Out Loud --> DON'T EVER USE THIS!!! IMHO the most overused
abbreviation. Let me give you an example. LOL. Was that really funny?
Maybe not, but I thought so. LOL. Blech. It's much "cooler" to use
smileys. And we want to be cool, right? ;-)

The fun thing about these abbreviations is that sometimes you can
actually figure them out! Usually once you introduce them to people, you
can JUST USE THEM. Even better, make up a new one and throw it into the
mix. TFSB. (Thanks for stopping by!)



** OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED ***
-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
------------------------------------------------------------
THE INTERNET CONTROL PANEL
(The Control Panel Formerly known as Internet Config)

The idea of putting a whole slew of Internet settings in just one place
on your Mac (instead of having to type them in, over and over, in every
web browser, mail program, FTP program, Newsreader,etc.) came from a
group of pioneering Mac hackers and shareware authors. While they were
being brilliantly creative, they also came up with the idea of
standardizing on a uniform way to identify (and therefore react
programmatically to) URLs IN ANY PROGRAM. Someone with the dilligence and
patience to research this topic could credit them all, but the one who
comes to mind because of his memorable 'handle' is Quinn ('the Eskimo').
These people created the Internet Config Extension and Control Panel, and
an Extension called IceTee to do all the things mentioned above, and they
made public the information necessary for other programmers to 'hook'
into these centralized Internet settings.

Apple watched as hoardes of Mac Internet savvy early adopters and
software developers jumped on this train. Someone at Apple realized that
this was a GOOD THING. Plus it fit into Apple's concept of including
useful services at the SYSTEM LEVEL so that ANYONE can use them.
Eventually Apple bought rights to Internet Config, making minor changes
to it, and including it as part of the System as the 'Internet' Control
Panel.

Take a look at it now, in the Control Panels folder under your Apple
menu. Internet.

Truth is this is really more OVERLOOKED than it is UNDERUSED. If you
managed to get set up for the Internet already, you probably USE this
Control Panel ALL THE TIME without knowing it. In fact, I'm not going to
go into much detail here because Apple's Help covers this pretty well.
From the Internet Control Panel click on the (?) button in the upper
right corner. When the Help Viewer comes up, it lists a bunch of topics.
Take a look at the one called "Connecting to the Internet". This is the
one to use if you're just starting, or if you totally messed up your
Internet settings, because (if you haven't deleted it) it launches the
'Internet Setup Assistant'. ISA could be another O&U item because you
probably used it when you first setup your Mac, and then forgot all about
it. ISN'T THAT GREAT? But here it is if you need it again, along with
tons of details and links all related to what the ISA does for you,
step-by-step, automatically. When it's done, your Internet Control Panel,
along with a bunch of other Control Panels, all have the settings in them
necessary to get you where you want to go. AND YOU WANT TO GO ONLINE.

Once you configure everything in Internet Control panel, you just tell
your Internet program preferences to "use Internet Config". Think of it!
Now, if you change your ISP, you only have to change the settings in one
place. All your programs will FIGURE OUT what the settings are from their
FRIEND, the INTERNET CONTROL PANEL! And if you decide to use iCab instead
of Internet Exploder as your browser of CHOICE, you just tell iCab to use
Internet Config, and you tell Internet Config that your Default Browser
is iCab.

<http://www.icab.de/>

On the Mac, MOST programs that conform to the standard of using 'live'
URLs use a [Command] +Click in the middle of the URL. (You know the
[Command] key, is the same as the [Apple] key, is the same as the
[Cloverleaf] key, right?) SOME use a single click, and I've even seen
OTHERS use a double-click. If everyone PLAYED NICE, it would be one
standard. I vote for the original, [Command] +Click.

Speaking of HAVING TO BE DIFFERENT, standards CAN be democratic and
benefit everyone. They don't have to JUST BENEFIT ONE BIG GREEDY COMPANY.
I'm not going to say anything about U-KNOW-WHO here, instead I'm going to
blast ADOBE!! Did you know PDF files can have 'live' URL links? Have your
PDF jump to an up-to-date web site. Pretty cool. Sort of like Apple's
Help system. But GET THIS! Can you believe that you have to tell Adobe
Acrobat Reader what browser to use?? No kidding. Launch it, then go to
File/Preferences/Weblink. In the dialog that appears, find the field "WWW
Browser Application". There's NO button there that says, [Use Internet
Config]!! You have to click the [Select] button and navigate to your
browser. But don't try to select iCab! If you do, Acrobat tells you
"Unsupported Browser or version, select a supported browser." Only BIG
BOYS get to play with MY TOYS. Jeez.

Hey ADOBE PEOPLE, let US decide which browser is 'supported'. Think, if
the URl link in your PDF is pointing to a website, how can Adobe POSSIBLY
KNOW that your browser will or won't handle that website properly? These
are platform independent, company independent, Internet standards folks!
C'mon Adobe, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!! And use Internet Control Panel!

Now there is WAY MORE to the Internet Control Panel than I've discussed
in this UNBELIEVABLY short article. You can setup multiple Internet
settings 'Sets'. You can even switch them on the fly! You can even setup
different Return Addresses to appear in the email messages you send out.
But I'm not going to tell you about that now. You can learn it. Just be a
little cautious. You don't want to mess up a working 'Set'. If you do
mess it up, I have time available in my busy consulting schedule. :-)



Know The Difference
-------------------
There is no Internet Config in Windows. If you use ALL MICROSOFT
APPLICATIONS for EVERYTHING, they MIGHT share Internet settings. But not
with anybody else. Which probably doesn't matter. Is there any software
running on Windows that's NOT from Microsoft?

And That's The Difference.


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
Here are just a few keyboard commands that might help with Hanging and
Crashing until I can get back to that topic in depth!

[Command] + [.] (Period):
In the Jurmassic era you could actually use this to abort the launching
of a program that you accidentally started. But only if you hit command
period FAST enough. I don't know that any programs still support this
feature. Command + Period will still stop most Applescripts, and is sort
of a generally accepted way of saying "STOP!!!" with the Mac keyboard.
When something runs amuck, try it.

[Command]+[Option]+[Shift]+[Esc]:
For hanging programs, once in a rare while this will 'quit' the program
and return control of your Mac to you. The dialog that appears is
self-explanatory. If it works, great. Save any work in any other
programs, and Restart your Mac because the program that crashed has
probably left your Mac in a somewhat UNSTABLE condition. It sure beats
having to use the Reset button, or CLOBBERING your Mac with the power
switch. Give it a try.

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. 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.

Sample Issue - email with "Sample Unpredictable" in the Subject.
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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 :-)