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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #26,
08/13/01
Contents Copyright 2001 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================

THIS ISSUE
----------
A LEAN ISSUE, with minimal Mac trivia, insightful comments, and almost no
personal commentary of questionable merit. UNPREDICTABLY this issue has a
NEW O&U item even before I finish the last, Contextual Menus. But I will
get back to CM's, YOU CAN PUT THAT IN THE BANK! :-)

UPDATES - Conflict Catcher
NEWS - Just the usual MS viruses
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Disappearing Battery Level indicator
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - Date & Time Control Panel
Tips - A good one
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - CERT
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - More File dialog Commands



GEEK SPEAK ALERT: CP, O&U, U&O


UPDATES
-------
Conflict Catcher 8.0.9 Supports Mac OS 9.2 and Mac OS X --
Casady & Greene has released Conflict Catcher 8.0.9, a minor
release of their venerable extension manager. (See "Nice Catch,
Conflict Catcher" in TidBITS-446 for a review of Conflict Catcher
8.) Like so many of the previous releases of Conflict Catcher,
this one doesn't add any major features but updates the program's
internal data to support Mac OS 9.2. However, it's an important
update for Mac OS X users because it fixes a problem with
requesting a serial number when booting into Mac OS X's Classic
mode. Another fix addresses a problem in the sets activated by the
Mac OS X startup set feature. Conflict Catcher 8.0.9 is a free
update for registered users of Conflict Catcher 8; it's a 2.1 MB
download. [ACE]

<http://www.casadyg.com/products/conflictcatcher/>
<http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=05086>

(The above update from TidBits #591, Aug. 6, 2001)



NEWS
----
CODE RED THIS
'Code Red' variants continue to plague Windows-based servers and web
servers. Microsoft's media handlers give us the impression that the
Goliath is being a 'good citizen' and providing patches (for Windows
variants) that will fix the problem. Of course Code Red would be dead if
MS 'bulletproofed' their software BEFORE they shipped it, instead of
waiting for hackers to exploit the swiss cheese nature of Windows
security. For most Mac users the only awareness of the issue may be when
our web access bogs down due to a Code Red attack. The worm also can
affect HP Laser Printers which have Jet-Direct cards, because these have
a certain web server protocol built-in. TOO GEEKY to cover here and I
won't pretend to understand all the complexities, but if you'd like to
know more, check out the Occasional Favorite Web Site.



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
-----------------------------
'PowerBook Tenor' lost his Menu Bar battery level indicator. Where did it
go? See this issue's 'Overlooked & Underused'!



** OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED ***
-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
------------------------------------------------------------
DATE & TIME Control Panel
This may be pushing the limit of the definition of Overlooked &
Underused, but if you haven't explored the Date & Time CP, especially the
'Clock Options', NOW is a good time. You know how to get there, right?
(Apple Menu/Control Panels/Date & Time). :-)

Really, the D&T CP is pretty basic. Maybe that's why it's OVERLOOKED. You
set your 'Date Formats', you set your 'Time Formats', blah, blah. If you
can't figure out these two, you're on your own. Even Apple's usually
thorough Help System has NOTHING to say about these guys. Now look at
your 'Time Zone' section. 'Set Daylight-Saving Time Automatically'. WHY
wouldn't you use this?? If you live in one of those UNUSUAL places that
don't use Daylight-Saving Time, you'd think that the [Set Time Zone...]
button would take care of that. But that's what OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE are
all about, CHOICE!

Next, if you EVER connect to the Internet, be sure to use this most
OVERLOOKED feature, 'Use a Network Time Server.' Your Mac can set it's
clock from a mostly reliable 'Time Server' on the Internet. Put a check
in this box please! Then check the [Server Options...]. You can set it to
update your clock any way you want. I recommend 'Automatically..', but if
you're a CONTROL FREAK and don't like your Mac having an accurate clock
ALL BY ITSELF, you can set this to 'Manually', and it will only check the
time when you tell it. Apple's Lawyers warn that they can't GUARANTEE the
accuracy of the Time Servers, but who cares? We all know that the only
thing that really exists is the PRESENT, right?

Last section of this dialog is the Menu Bar Clock. WHY wouldn't you want
the Menu Bar Clock 'On'? I don't know. Let's assume that you do.

Press the [Options] button. Personally, I like to have the time
separators flash , the day of the week show, and AM/PM appended to the
numeric time. YOU CAN CHANGE ALL THESE to your liking. But, you ask, what
about the DATE? Sorry, you can't have the date display regularly (as far
as I know!). But you can CLICK on the time on the menu bar, and the date
will appear for about 5 seconds before returning to the regular display.
And this works almost always, no matter what else you are in the middle
of doing on your Mac!

And now for this week's puzzler...POWERBOOK users have a nifty graphic
Battery Level indicator that appears on the Menu Bar, giving them an
indication of how well their battery is charged. What do you do when that
nifty 'Battery Level' icon disappears? Where did it go? How do you get it
back? Surely this is an extension that was somehow removed or turned
'off', right? WRONGO! Strange but true, you'll find 'show the Battery
Level' buried deep in the 'Clock Options' dialog of the 'Date & Time'
Control Panel.

And there you have it - almost. Discerning readers ask, "Okay, Mr.
Unpredictable. This still doesn't explain how the Battery Clock
DISAPPEARED from my PowerBook menu. What about that?"

No problema, amiga. Let's just say there's a file called 'Date and Time
Preferences.'It lives in the Preferences Folder of the System Folder (as
do all good Preference files). SOMETHING must have happened to it. It was
deleted or updated or corrupted, or just changed by someone else.
Changing all these settings will change that file back the way you want
it!

That's all, and be sure to see this issue's related Tip! :-)



Tips
----
HERE'S A SUPER TIP.
[Option] + Click on the time on the menu bar - this opens the Date &
Time Control Panel!! Saving you the TIME and trouble of going to the
Control Panels menu or even the Apple menu!



OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE
----------------------------
This is a government funded (and therefore relatively independent) site
devoted to keeping up-to-date information on viruses, worms, and computer
security risks. If you ever question the validity of one of those
RIDICULOUS emails suggesting that you 'send this message to everyone you
know and Bill Gates will send you a dollar for every name..', this is the
place to check. Just do a search on 'hoaxes'. Bookmark this site!

<http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html>


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
File Dialog Navigation Shortcuts #2 -
When you are trying to locate a file in a 'File Dialog' (the window with
file, folder, and volume names), you can move quickly through the dialog
from the keyboard:

[Command]+ UP takes you up to the next level.
[Command]+ DOWN opens the folder you have selected and makes that the
current level.
But it's easier to use [Return], which will open the selected folder, or
has the same effect as clicking the [OPEN] or [SAVE] button in the Dialog.

Also, type the first couple letters of the name of any folder or file at
the current level, and the window will jump to the first match.

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.

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**


 

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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 :-)