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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS #41, 03/24/02
Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================

THIS ISSUE
----------
OCCASIONALLY issues take on a theme. Or NOT. We'll get back to more
USEFUL stuff soon. So go ahead and READ, there's plenty of fascinating
Mac trivia, insightful whining, and personal commentary of questionable
merit. UNPREDICTABLY, in this issue, I DON'T leave APPLE alone. :-)

UPDATES - DVD Player 3.1.1
NEWS - iMac Approaches Escape Velocity, Apple Acknowledges iPod PDA
Leanings, Apple Stores Under Fire, Apple Monitors Under Fire
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Another Spacebar Scrolling App
COMMENTARY - iVolunteer 4 Apple's Evip of Drat
GET THE POINT - And the Scrapbook is where??
Tips - ** IE Button Bar Favorite
Know The Difference - Apple Oh Ess Ten Under Fire
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Maybe next time
Not All Good News Press Releases - Apple Raises iMac Prices by $100,
Bluetooth is coming, Giganto 23" Display for Giganto price, and 10 Gig
iPod for $100 more!



GEEK SPEAK ALERT: 3DMF



UPDATES
-------
(10) DVD Player 3.1.1 - "Fixes an issue that could occur on non-English
versions of Mac OS X if using the Graphite Mac OS X appearance theme. In
this configuration, DVD Player 3.1 would unexpectedly quit when opened."
THAT'S NICE. Use Software Update.



NEWS
----
iMac Prices Going Up, Up, UP!! -
Why did Apple raise the price of the new iMac? Because they can! Oh sure,
'components' have gone up. But seriously folks, it's just supply and
demand. Dell and Compaq and Gateway only DREAM of customers waiting six
or eight weeks for a new model. But since Windows PCs are ALL THE SAME,
who's going to wait? They'll just go buy the same boring beige box from
one of the other quadrillion PC manufacturers.

If Apple has such great demand for the new iMacs that they can't deliver
'em, then why not stick the people who have to have one right away?
That's an Apple tradition. I guess I'll wait. (See the Not All Good News
Press Release for details.)


(10) Apple Acknowledges iPod PDA Leanings -
People have been hacking the iPod to store contact names, addresses,
phone numbers and such. Now Apple has introduced Applescripts to import
your contacts from either the OS X Mail Address Book or MS Entourage!
Check it out.

<http://www.apple.com/applescript/ipod/>


Apple Stores and Employees Under Fire -
John Manzione, publisher of "a webzine that professes to 'Celebrate The
Mac!'" writes some OP ED about his less than enchanting experiences with
staff at Apple Stores, including comments such as: "Steve Jobs lives in
an Ivory Tower and doesn't hear his customer's frustrations." Duh.

This is the paradox of THE STEVE. To keep Apple (in the current non-
specific meaningless politic-speak vernacular) 'moving forward,' Steve
can't look back at the slow Macs that won't run Oh Ess Ten, or the
hundreds and thousands of dollars of peripherals we own that don't work
with TEN, or the frustration of the HUGE BASE of existing Mac users, at
the cool OS 9 stuff that is missing from EX, or some of the really stupid
ways that EX bumbles around its interface. Steve can't look back. He has
to look forward. It's his job to get us excited about the UNIQUE design
of the new iMac, at the freedom and ease of wireless networking, and at
the awesome capability of FREE software such as iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto,
and iDVD. His is a forward-looking perspective reflecting the words of
OUR PRESIDENT, 'I think we agree, the past is over.'

http://www.macnet2.com/opinion/oped/index.shtml


Apple Monitors Under Fire -
Too bad this is happening right when Apple introduces the new 23"
display. At MacinTouch there's discussion of an apparent 20% failure rate
of Apple Studio Display 21" monitors and Apple's 'handling' of the issue.
Interesting to note that discussions moved to MacInTouch because they
were censored from Apple's Discussion boards. Is this good for business?
Here's one comment:

"Since we had purchased several hundred iMacs, this has caused our
administration to rethink our relation ship with Apple. Our last hundred
or so computers have been purchased from Dell and Gateway. I don't
approve, but there's no arguing the point."

<http://www.macintOUCH.COM/monitor21probs.html>



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
-----------------------------
After seeing my signature in a post on the PowerMail mailing list, Joyce
writes from energy-challenged California, "Is this a real newsletter?"
Yes, Joyce, there is an UNPREDICTABLE. She continues, "I thought I knew
most of these things and then you teach me about Shift/Opt-Shift in
browser windows!! (Incidentally, it works in NN 4.78 as well as IE 5.1 --
but you might remind people they need to click in the actual page, not
still have the cursor in the location bar!!)"

[Thanks for the info, Joyce! "NN" is Netscape Navigator, for those of you
who forgot that web browsers were not invented in Mordor.] And a big
'Welcome' to Joyce, and other new UNPREDICTABLE subscribers Dan, Megan,
Marilyn, and Charles!



COMMENTARY
----------
iVolunteer for Evip of Drat

Back in the old Mackey days, all the Wintel competition had one and two
year warranties on their hardware. Apple, on the other hand, had a 90 day
warranty! Can you believe that? Your Apple salesperson (that would be me)
could GLIBLY claim, "Oh, don't worry! Apple's equipment never breaks.
And if it does, it will happen in the first 90 days! Just be sure to
leave your computer on, all day every day!" (wink). If you bought your
Apple computer from a dealer with any integrity, he might 'help you
out.'. That meant if the repair wasn't outrageously beyond the deadline,
they would FORGE documents to convince the Apple folks the part was still
covered. EVERYBODY made out with this practice. The customer got her
repair, the vendor endeared itself to the customer, and APPLE didn't
catch as much flak as it should have for it's shoddy service practices.

I don't recall when Apple finally bumped the warranty up to ONE YEAR, but
it wasn't that long ago, and it was only after being LAUGHED OUT THE DOOR
of BIG DUMB CORPORATIONS, ridiculed by customer service advocates,
utterly humiliated by the PC press, and buried with tons of self-loathing
WHINE mail in the Mac press from users who HATED the policy but still
LOVED their Macs. Eventually Apple came around. To one year, that is.

In THE NEW MILLENIUM, most PC vendors warranty their hardware for at
least two, if not three years. Interestingly, Apple offers AppleCare
'extended warranty' for two years (and no more) beyond the original one
year warranty. So, besides getting to pay MORE for the honor of owning a
computer designed by Jonathan Ive, Apple Vice President of Industrial
Design, and his award winning team, you can CHOOSE to PAY EVEN MORE for
the same warranty coverage that Wintel computer users get with their
initial (lower) purchase price. In other words, Apple sells Macs the way
New Jersey regulates auto insurance. You want to pay less for insurance?
Okay, just agree that you won't sue anyone for anything when they smash
into you.

What about Apple's customer service? The people that you actually talk to
and deal with? This has been a sore point for years, and continues to be.
As in the pri-Mac-ial past, your best bet is to befriend a local vendor.
If you have to deal with Apple directly, it's a roll of the dice. You
might get treated well, you might not. OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE, know that
they've heard from me more than once as I have attempted to get them to
DO THE RIGHT THING for me or some other Apple customer. In my experience,
you have to PICK A FIGHT with Apple to get them to give you good customer
service.

Clearly, Apple needs an EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF DOING THE RIGHT THING.

This person's job would be to achieve ONE GOAL: insure that Apple
customers are happy. If that means figuring out how to get the nouveau
Apple Unix heads in Development to design the OS so you don't have to
FORMAT your drive and start over from scratch if an update goes bad, then
the EVP of DRT would have the authority to force that issue. If Shawn
Drayton, designer, has a PowerBook, under warranty, that is DEAD, and the
service department is anticipating a wait of three weeks for a
replacement part, then the EVP of DRT would make darn sure that Shawn
receives a brand new replacement PowerBook, instead of being out of
business for nearly a month.

You'd think this would be simple, but there is no EVP of DRT at Apple.
Getting through to someone at Apple who has this kind of common sense
requires good contacts or a HERCULEAN effort, or both. The Evip of Drat
should change that. When the bozos in Apple Finance whine that margins
are DOWN because Apple warranties are too long, and complain that the
EVIP has too many people working in Quality Assurance and Customer
Service, then YOU'LL KNOW the EVIP is doing a great job!!

My resume is available upon request. I'd be glad to travel all over the
world and attend MacWorld Expos. Though I'd be willing to jump off a
tower with an iBook in my arms now and then, I don't think the Evip
should spend too much time on the stage. Better to be down among the Mac
throngs, lending an ear, a shoulder to cry on, and an Apple business card
with a URL to a special web site, designed to gather information and
resolve ugly issues and ultimately, make the Apple customer happy. And
no,thank you, I won't relocate to Silicon Valley.

:-)



GET THE POINT
-------------
(10) (This is my Oh Ess Ten Column - in case you forgot.)

And the Scrapbook is Where?

WHERE IS THE SCRAPBOOK??? I don't see it anywhere! I LIKE THE SCRAPBOOK.
The Scrapbook is an awesome tool covered as an 'Overlooked and Underused'
item way back in issue #4. So, Steve, where did it go??

Maybe I'm the only Mac guy on the planet who thought the Scrapbook and
all the Scrapbook replacements were mondo cool and definitely set the Mac
apart from the boring Windows wannabe-a-graphics-machine world. Remember,
the Scrapbook can store ALL KINDS OF MEDIA. Quicktime movies, QTVR
(Quicktime virtual reality), regular old graphics in a variety of
formats, sounds, clipping files, screen shots, and what else? Color
palettes, icons, code snippets, buttons, JPEG (photos), background
patterns, and 3DMFs. (And whatever happened to 3DMFs? Are they dead too?)

iSuppose that I can use iView Media Pro to do most of that stuff, but
really guys. A 'digital hub' needs a digital Scrapbook. Let's not go
overboard in removing functionality to make Oh Ess Ten appeal to Windows
users, okay?

<http://www.iview-multimedia.com>

P.S. I just read that 'Stickies' in Oh Ess Ten is a replacement for the
Scrapbook. Can this be?? More, UNPREDICTABLY in some future issue...

:-)



Tips
----
(9/10) Internet Explorer - Want to add a website to the button bar? In IE
Go to the page you want to add. Then click on the @ symbol in the URL
window and drag it down to an empty space on the bar directly below. Let
the mouse button up. WALLA!



Know The Difference
--------------------
(10) Most Windows users know that when things get really screwed up (as
they usually do, it's just a matter of time), the stock solution is save
your data, format (wipe out) your 'boot' drive, and completely reinstall
Windows and all your applications. Yuk. Mac user's have historically
reinstalled a 'clean system' as a last resort. Even then, it could nearly
always be done without having to format the drive or reinstall software.
(Except your System utilities - and Conflict Catcher could help with that).

But Apple has recently revealed that if you have problems with 10.1.2 or
10.1.3, you should not reinstall 10.1 on top of it. You should wipe the
partition clean and reinstall from scratch, adding about a bizillion
updates until you are 'current'. Just like Windows. Ug.

Mac Mavens Christopher Breen in his MacWorld Mac 911 column, and Bob
Levitus, in various places, have jumped all over this, and have both
suggested what you heard from me way back in O&U #30, that you keep X on
one drive or partition and OS 9 on the other. Bob L. even suggests
putting all your data as well as apps (if they'll behave) on the non-Oh
Ess Ten partition. I'm inclined to agree.

Keep in mind the utility Carbon Copy Cloner, shareware that allows you to
move your Oh Ess Ten installation from one disk or partition to another
(and therefore, to 'clone' a copy of it in a safe place!).

<http://software.bombich.com/ccc.html>

As a friend of mine says, "It's a New Millenium."

Peace Out.

:-)


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>.

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**
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 :-)

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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 :-)