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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #39, 02/26/02
Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================


THIS ISSUE
----------
For readers concerned that I may be turning a bit AQUA, for the
foreseeable future I will continue to provide fascinating Mac trivia,
insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit that
relates to NINE and TEN. But folks, I'm a TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONAL. I have
to GET CURRENT, and that means TEN, because NINE is going away. Stick
with UNPREDICTABLE, and I'll help you with the transition to TEN. One of
my U&O goals is to SAVE YOU TIME. So I'm going to identify content: If
it's NINE only, it will be (9). If it's TEN only, (10). If it's BOTH or
NEITHER, you'll either see (9/10) or . As always, I welcome your
feedback, and contrary to the expressed wishes of the Attorney General,
this issue I DON'T leave Microsoft alone. :-)


UPDATES - OS X 10.1.3, MS Office v.X 'Security', Adobe incl. Photoshop 7
NEWS - Bill Concerned About Security of MS Products!
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Lisa and Help!
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW- Tab
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - More on Data Detectors (9) and Services (10)
Tips - iTunes CD Track Names
Know The Difference - MS Media Player Collects Your Info
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - OSXFAQ
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Controlling Startup
Good News Press Releases - A few



GEEK SPEAK ALERT: Tab


UPDATES
-------
(10)
**Patch Office X for Network Vulnerability** -- Microsoft has
released a Network Security Updater for Microsoft Office X that
eliminates a network vulnerability made possible by a flaw in the
application suite's network-aware anti-piracy mechanism. Office X
checks to make sure that every copy running on the network is
using a unique product identifier (PID); if an Office application
detects a duplicate, it shuts down. As discovered by Marty Schoch,
the problem is that the checking code doesn't correctly handle a
malformed PID announcement, causing the first Office application
launched to crash, with the possible loss of data. So although
someone could cause Office applications to crash by sending
malformed PID announcements, there is no possibility that data
could be created, deleted, or modified. For full details, see
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-002. [ACE]

<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/DOWNLOAD/OFFICEX/NetworkUpdater.asp>
<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/officex/>
<http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-002.asp>

[From TidBITS#616/11-Feb-02]


OS X 10.1.3 - Contains a bunch of fixes, enhancements, and added support
for 'digital hub' devices. Use the 'Software Update' System Preference
and let it run. (17+ Mb!) I have no comment on this update yet - it's too new!


(9/10)
**GoLive 6, LiveMotion 2 Shipping, Photoshop 7 Announced** --
Adobe is now shipping GoLive 6, its professional Web design tool.
In addition to Mac OS X compatibility, GoLive 6 adds workgroup
and dynamic content authoring capabilities. LiveMotion 2, also
now shipping, improves several Web animation tools and runs under
Mac OS X. GoLive costs $400, with updates priced at $100;
LiveMotion carries the same pricing as GoLive, but a limited time
introductory price of $200 is currently in effect for new users;
both programs can be purchased in a bundle for $450. Garnering
more attention, however, was the announcement of Photoshop 7,
which adds new features and runs natively under Mac OS X. It is
expected to ship in the second quarter of 2002 for $600, or $150
for upgrading users. [JLC]

<http://www.adobe.com/golive/>
<http://www.adobe.com/livemotion/>
<http://www.adobe.com/photoshop/>

[From TidBITS#618/25-Feb-02]




NEWS
----
Speaking of Microsoft and security, the Marketing people at MS 'leaked' a
memo from Bill indicating that he wants his people to focus on security
instead of new features. There's all sorts of speculation that this is
simply a new Marketing ploy, since there aren't any features on the
planet that don't already exist buried somewhere in Windows and Office.
But the world needs to know that Microsoft is a TRUSTWORTHY partner for
all it's computing needs! Especially if people are going to get caught in
the DOT NET without injuring themselves like a flock of trapped flamingoes.

<http://www.trustworthycomputing.com>

See related story in 'Know the Difference', below.



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
-----------------------------
- Stephen checks in from Australia - Regarding my GSR definition of LISA
in U&O #38, with this comment: "My recollection is that the L stood for
'Local' or 'Locally'. Either way, keep Unpredictable coming!"

Which would make LISA stand for 'Locally Integrated System ArchitecCOULD
BE. I'm flying without instruments on this one. And "Locally Integrated
System Architecture" makes a LITTLE more sense. Thanks Stephen! :-)


- Dave checks in from Apple - "Great job on the newsletter!" He writes,
"Like you, I used to use Claris Emailer...for years, since when it was in
beta. :) I also evaluated ALL of the available mail clients. After
MUCH consideration, I switched to PowerMail from CTM Development...
<http://www.ctmdev.com/>

Thanks Dave! I'm empowered with PowerMail and will be writing more about it!


- Anonymous checks in from Nowhere - "Tell Pat to try these MP3 Music
Downloads:"
<http://www.aimsteer.com>
<http://www.limewire.com>



GEEK SPEAK REVIEW
-----------------
Tab - 1) The Tab key on your keyboard. Does anybody really know what
'Tab' originally stood for from (ugg!) typewriters? Does anybody really
care? By consensus, the key used to 'jump' to the next field in a
database entry screen, dialog, or web page form.
2) Dialog Tab - Think of the 'tab' that sticks out of the top of a file
folder, or a divider in a notebook. Though I think there may have been
some progressive Mac programmers who actually invented the Tab as in
interface element in dialog boxes, it was the folks at Microsoft that
owned the whole Tab thing by incorporating it everywhere in Windows 95. A
'tabbed dialog' then, is a way to have only one Dialog Box appear on
screen; you get to different 'panels' or 'pages' of the dialog by
clicking on the appropriate 'tab'. That way you can have tons of settings
in a single small dialog, instead of multiple dialogs or gigantic
dialogs. Of course this can create a real mess too. For example in
certain Microsoft applications there are dialogs with multiple ROWS of
tabs. That's hard enough to deal with, but when you click on a tab in the
top row, the whole top row moves to the front, and the bottom row of tabs
moves to the back. Yuk. Who's great idea was THAT?!




** OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED ***
-- Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features. --
------------------------------------------------------------
(9)
WHOOPS! In the last issue (#38) I didn't check the link I provided to
obtain the Dictionary and Thesaurus Data Detectors. You may have found
them via some flexuous route, but try this eximious link instead:

<http://www.dictionary.com/mac/add.html>


(10)
Services in X (continued from U&O #37)

The Services menu underneath the Application Menu in TEN allegedly
provides connections to, and functionality from, other applications.
Providing some of the functionality that we obtained in NINE from that
other O&U item, Apple Data Detectors.

The APPLE MYSTERY is WHY these items appear on this menu, when it seems
they are ALMOST ALL greyed out - meaning, of course, THEY DON'T WORK. A
trip to 'Apple Help' and a quick search for 'services' brings up a bunch
of pages, but only one that actually talks about the Services menu item,
and that only gives us about as much information as we could guess
ourselves: You have to select something to act upon, and then select the
item from the Services menu. If it's greyed out, then it's not available.
Welcome to 'Mac 101' circa 1984.

We know it CAN WORK because I used the Text Soap services to manipulate
text I selected in the Mail application. So why can't I use the 'Grab'
services to capture a screenshot? If I launch the Grab application I can
do what I need (without Services), but why bother with all that when the
regular keyboard commands all work in TEN to do screen captures? It's
like rolling onto a bumpy and unfinished road in AQUA CITY.

Seeking enlightenment from my peers on this issue, I searched APPLE'S Oh
Ess Ten support Discussion, and the unofficial concensus is this:

Services originally only worked with COCOA applications (such as Mail).
They are now available to CARBON applications too (such as Appleworks 6),
but developers of Carbon apps have to build those hooks into their apps,
and not many of them have done that yet. Meanwhile, some posts on the
list rave about COOL services, such as OMNI DICTIONARY, a web-based
dictionary service. But if it's not available in all applications, then
it's no better than Apple Data Detectors, is it?? And I'll say it again
to OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE, this whole Services thing really belongs in
Contextual Menus anyway!!



Tips
----
(9/10) iTunes CD Track Info
Apple's iTunes will look up CD track info on the Internet for you,
display it, and keep it in a local database, so you don't have to look
it up each time you insert the same CD. If you haven't tried this, insert
a music CD and from the Advanced menu in iTunes select, 'Get CD Track
Names' (of course you need to have a connection to the Internet for this
to work).

If you'd like this to happen automatically, go to iTunes Preferences. On
the 'General' tab, locate the 'On CD Insert' popup, and select 'Show
Songs'. Beneath that, make sure that 'Connect to the Internet when
needed' is checked. Next time you insert a music CD, iTunes will display
the track info if it has it, and will connect to the Internet and get the
info if it doesn't. And to my knowledge, that's all it does. :-) On the
other hand....



Know The Difference
-------------------
>Microsoft Program Tracks User Info
>By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
>February 20, 2002
>
>WASHINGTON (AP) -- Microsoft's new version of its popular Media Player
>software is logging the songs and movies that customers play.
>
>The company said Wednesday it was changing its privacy statement to
>notify customers about the technology after inquiries from The
>Associated Press.
>
>The system creates a list on each computer that could be a treasure for
>marketing companies, lawyers, or others. Microsoft says it has no plans
>to sell the data collected by Media Player 8, which comes free with the
>Windows XP operating system.
>
><snip>
>As part of downloading the information about songs and movies from the
>Web site, the program also transmits an identifier number unique to each
>user on the computer. That creates the possibility that user habits
>could be tracked and sold for marketing purposes.
>
>Privacy experts said they feared the log file could be used by
>investigators, divorce lawyers, snooping family members, marketing
>companies or others interested in learning about a person's
>entertainment habits. It also could be used to make sure users have paid
>for the music or movie, and have not made an illegal copy.
>
><snip>
>
>Jonathan Usher, another Windows Media executive, said Microsoft has no
>plans to market aggregate information about its customers' viewing
>habits, but would not rule it out.
>
>``If users tell us that they want the ability to get recommendations,
>that's something we could look into on the behalf of users,'' Usher said.
>
>In a recent memo, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates ordered his company to
>check for privacy and security concerns before adding new features.
>
>``Users should be in control of how their data is used,'' Gates wrote.
>``Policies for information use should be clear to the user. Users should
>be in control of when and if they receive information to make best use
>of their time.''
>
>Privacy researcher Richard Smith, who researched how Media Player stored
>and transmitted the information, questioned why the program has to give
>chapter information for DVDs at all because almost all discs have
>chapter listings in an interactive menu within the movie.
>
>He said the feature seems to conflict with Gates' directive.
>
>``You can really see the Microsoft culture coming through that Gates
>wants to change. These guys are digging in their heels,'' he said.

And That's The Difference.



OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE
----------------------------
(10)
Bob Levitus, alias 'Dr. Mac', along with David Pogue, Gene Steinberg,
Maria Langer, and one or two other people, is one of the few writers
actually able to make a living by writing about Macs. [Hey! Move over!
Make some room for me! -Chris] Bob has started a website (and an OS X Tip
subscription email newsletter). Take a look:

"Check Out The OS X News, Forums, Tutorials, Tips, Hints, & FAQ's"
<http://www.OSXFAQ.com>



Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
Controlling Startup

(9)
You probably knew this, but just in case you didn't...
Restart your Mac, and hold down the [Shift] key until you see a message
that says something like, "Welcome to Macintosh..Extensions Off". This is
one way to restart your Mac when it is having trouble starting up. If it
comes up okay with the [Shift] key down, you almost certainly have an
'Extension Conflict'. Meaning that something that is trying to load in
the Startup process is preventing your machine from coming up. What would
do that? Probably a driver, or the last bit of software that you loaded.
To figure it out, it's time to do some research or to contact your trusty
Mac consultant. :-) Whole books have been written on this topic and I
sure won't try to rewrite them here!


(10)
The 10.1.3 update finally brings us some similar functionality to Oh Ess Ten.

There are no 'Extensions' per se in TEN, but there are 'Login items'.
These are bits of code (or whole programs) that launch automatically when
you log in to your Mac and could potentially cause problems. (You can
identify them by going to System Preferences 'Login', and looking at the
'Login Items' Tab.)

To temporarily prevent these items from starting when you start your Mac,
use the [Shift] key. When the Mac is starting up, hold the [Shift] key
down as soon as, but not before, the progress bar panel appears on the
screen. If your Mac starts right up without displaying the Login panel,
you can let the [Shift] key up when the Desktop appears. If you have to
enter your username and password, let the [Shift] key up while you log
in, and then press and hold it again, until you see the Desktop.

(Jeez, these instructions remind me of Unix System V, release 4! Mutatis
mutandis.)

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 to subscribers upon request.
**
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
My accountant has advised me to come clean in every issue. Yes, I am a
consultant and am available to HELP YOU on a one-to-one basis. Macintosh
Networking, Internet Connectivity, Desktop Support, Training.
Satisfaction Guaranteed. Oh, and Lotus Notes and Domino Adminstration,
Development, and Support. Interested in help from a long term MAC
Professional? Don't hire some Windows kid who tells you to get rid of
your Mac because HE doesn't GET IT! Send me an email:
< chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>

TFSB :-)

THE END








 

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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 :-)