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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #15, 4/10/01
Contents Copyright 2001 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================

THIS ISSUE:
-----------
WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?
YOUR chance to get consulting time with ME at a GREAT PRICE!
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
UPDATES
GETTING READY FOR 9.1
MORE info on OS X
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands



WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?:
--------------------
This is a good question to ask yourself now and then. In my case, I'm
asking this question about UNPREDICTABLE. (Ignoring the OBVIOUS Shameless
Self-Promotion, of course). What is my purpose? I know the answer, and
maybe you should too. UNPREDICTABLE is not the end all and be all of Mac
news. It's also not the ultimate 'support' source. There are plenty of
Websites for that. Which, if you've been keeping track, I refer to in
this and previous issues.

The purpose of UNPREDICTABLE is to MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO USE AND LIVE
WITH YOUR MAC. To provide you with HELPFUL information, that unless
you're a real Mac Geek, you might not otherwise know about. To EDUCATE
you about the Mac OS and expose some of its finer but lesser known
features. To inform you about the Mac in a historical context as well as
to 'place' it in the context of the Internet and other operating systems.
Although the length of UNPREDICTABLE may lead you to believe otherwise, I
also want to help you SAVE TIME. Skip down to the 'Keyboard Commands' if
you want. GET WHAT YOU NEED. LIFE IS SHORT, Tai Chi is Long. Hopefully in
the process we both get to HAVE FUN and do some COOL stuff. :-)



ANNOUNCEMENT: PREDICTABLY, CHRIS AUCTIONS CONSULTING!!
-----------------------------------------------------------
It's THAT TIME. This year (as last) I'm donating consulting hours to the
Delaware Township Community Education Foundation at their annual fund
raising Auction. The auction is a GALA SOCIAL EVENT with lots of fine
food and drink, held under the stars at the quaint and historic
PRALLSVILLE MILL on the Delaware Canal on the outskirts of beautiful
Stockton, New Jersey. Come and have a great time! [You might find me
tending bar.] This year I'm offering TWO sets of TWO hours of Macintosh
consulting. You have to attend to bid. Come, have a great evening, and
maybe pick-up some help at a GREAT PRICE. I know last year someone did,
DIDN'T YOU? Please remember, I DON'T DO WINDOWS. The Auction will be
held on May 25th. Call Jane Roosa for information and tickets,
609-397-0848. Subscribers from other parts of the world, this is your
chance to see Beautiful Western Central New Jersey at it's best!! I'll
honor the consulting time, but if you want me to come to Australia
(PLEASE!), you'll have to cover my travel expenses! Is there a Marriott
in Sydney? I'll bet there is.



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK:
------------------------------
PowerBook Tenor wrote that he finds his USB external drive TOO SLOW and
recommends using FIREWIRE instead. This same SINGER has almost
successfully moved to System 9.1. (He has trouble with his ANTIQUE
four-year-old SCSI scanner.) Drivers baby. GET CURRENT.

Some have asked for BACK ISSUES. THEY'RE FREE FOLKS. Just email me with
the numbers you want and I'll be glad to burn a few electrons for you.


GEEK SPEAK ALERT: firmware, screenshot or is it 'screen shot'?


UPDATES:
--------
THE APPLE FIRMWARE UPDATE/MEMORY FIASCO (from UNPREDICTABLE #14):
Glenn Anderson, formerly obscure, now famous Mac programmer, has written
a utility that will check your RAM for the main 'out of spec' issue
BEFORE you run the Apple firmware update. Now WOULDN'T IT HAVE BEEN NICE
IF APPLE HAD DONE THAT??

Read about it here:
<http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0104/04.dimmcheck.shtml>

Download the utility here:
<http://mactcp.org.nz/dimmfirstaid.sit>

Get the Apple firmware update here:
<http://asu.info.apple.com/>

From this page, type 'firmware'. When the search results come up (they're
sorted by most recent first), check for your Mac model. Click on the link
and read about the update. It might not even apply to you (slot loading,
9.1 iMacs only, for example).

Be sure to read 'Getting Ready for 9.1' (below) for more update info.



[OS X UPDATES] - It's TEN! TEN! Gee, can't we just call it 'AQUA'?
OS X versions of iMovie and iTunes (missing from the initial release) are
available for download. A 'preview' OS X version of AppleWorks 6 is there
too.

<http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/>




GETTING READY FOR 9.1:
---------------------
NOW that the dust has settled, word is 9.1 offers improved stability,
slightly better performance, and is a required step in the migration to
OS X. Translation? I'm almost ready to take the leap.

It's usually best to GET CURRENT with all your software BEFORE you
upgrade to the next OS version. That way, you've already fixed the
problem before you make the unhappy discovery that SOMETHING BROKE.

Here are some of the updates I've applied:

Quicken 2001 Deluxe Release 2 - EVERYBODY KNOWS what Quicken is right?
I've been using Quicken 98 until a few weeks ago when my bank INSISTED
that I upgrade or they would cut off my online banking services; they
helped persuade me by sending the 'Quicken 2001 Deluxe' CD! Once
installed, Quicken promptly told me (yes built right into the program!)
that an update was available. 'Release 2' update is free and fixes a few
9.1 issues. So far I really like this new version of Quicken, tho it's a
bit slow on the ol' PowerBook 1400. I may really do something
UNPREDICTABLE...but more on that another time!

<http://www.intuit.com/support/quicken/updates/qkn_updates_mac2001.html>


Conflict Catcher 8.0.8 -- Conflict Catcher is the premier Extensions
management and conflict catching tool for the Mac. If you actually LIKE
to muck around in your System Folder (NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THE MEEK AND
THE UNBACKED-UP MASSES - see U&O #13), OR if you are a heavy user of
Extension Manager, you might consider Conflict Catcher. This update
includes compatibility and sets for OS 9.1 and some enhancements for
"Classic Mode" under OSX. Free download for CC 8.x owners.

<http://www.conflictcatcher.com/>


TechTool Pro 3.0.3 - Don't know what TechTool Pro is? It's really a Mac
Geek or technician's tool. The 'Norton Utilities' of the Mac. (I know
there is a Norton Utilities for the Mac, but BELIEVE ME you'd rather have
TechTool.) If you don't know that you need it, you definitely don't.


MACFIXIT has a HUGE PAGE about software updates related to 9.1. Don't be
intimidated, just look for software that you own. And DON'T PANIC! YES
there are some reports of Epson printers not working, BUT READ THE WHOLE
ARTICLE about Epson printers. It doesn't sound that bad.

<http://www.macfixit.pair.com/reports/macos9.1-a.shtml#tips>



MORE ON OS X?
-------------
OKAY, let's face it. If we're sticking with the Mac (and I am), then
we're going to be going to OS X sooner or later. That AQUA interface is
sure pretty, and I can hardly wait to have my PowerBook wake and sleep in
a FLASH! I'm going to OCCASIONALLY mention OS X stuff to help EASE your
way. The first step in change is AWARENESS.

Read a LONG, thorough, and pretty much non-technical article about OS X
at MacCentral.

<http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0103/24.primer.shtml>


David Pogue, one of the more PROLIFIC of Mac Authors, checks in with a
LOVE FEST article about OS X from the New York Times. One of MY APPLE
FRIENDS sent it to me so I guess it's OKAY FOR ME to forward it to you
(attached at the bottom).


If you're itching to do it, there's a GREAT article in TidBits by Rita
Lewis, that tells you step by step how to make the transition to AQUA.
(BIG HINT: Upgrade to System 9.1 first.)

<http://www.tidbits.com/database-cache/tbart06384.html>



Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
[Command] + [Shift] + [3]
Create a screen snapshot (Known in the trade as a 'screen shot'.)

[Command] + [Shift] + [4]
Turn the cursor to a 'crosshairs'. Then drag your mouse to create a
selection rectangle of
any part of the screen to create a screen shot of the contents of that
rectangle. If [CAPS LOCK] is down when you do this, you get a 'bullseye'
cursor, and clicking your mouse will capture a screen shot of the current
window.

These screen shots will appear as SimpleText documents in the 'root' of
your System Volume, labeled 'Picture 1', 'Picture 2' and so on. Screen
shots definitely have the potential for a future OVERLOOKED & UNDERUSED
article!


TAFN 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.
Subscribe - email with "Start Unpredictable" in the Subject.
Unsubscribe - email with "Stop Unpredictable" in the Subject.

Back Issues available to subscribers upon request.
**


 

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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 :-)