Today is: Unpredictable Mac

Chris's Unpredictable and Occasional Newsletter

About Unpredictable

BackIssues 2006- 2008
BackIssues 2005
Back Issues 2004
Back Issues 2003
Back Issues 2002
Back Issues 2001

Commerce

Geek Speak Review

Resources

Blog

 

 

Art Prints

iTunes_MacWin_RGB_9mm


 

Apple iTunes

 

 

 

BackIssues

< PreviousNext >


CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS # 52
10/17/02 SPECIAL ORGANIZER ISSUE
Contents Copyright 2002 by Christopher Plummer
===============================================


THIS ISSUE
----------
Riddle me this: When you really love to write a newsletter, get a great sense of satisfaction from doing it, and want to get that next issue out, WHY does it take so long sometimes? Thank goodness I didn't name this newsletter "PREDICTABLE & ON SCHEDULE"! Once again we have a 'theme' issue. Organizers, PIMs, and PDAs, iCal and Address Book. What are they? See the "Geek Speak Review" first, then "Overlooked and Underused", (with capsule summaries of 4 organizers) articles laced with fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit. Remember if it relates to TEN, it's (X), to NINE it's (9) and both or neither for both or neither!! :-)

UPDATES & NEWS - Lots of Jaguar updates, Weird News
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - Do you PALM?
JUST FOR FUN - Hubzilla!
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - No a PIM is not a drink. (That's a Pim's.)
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - (9, X)Address Book
Tips - (X) OmniWeb, Retrospect Express
Freestuff - (9, X) STILL MORE iMovie transitions & filters!
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - Crutchfield
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Quicken Quits Connecting?
DEALS - (X) Unpredictable price for the Jaguar release of Keyboard Maestro
Good News Press Releases - (X) iCal


GEEK SPEAK ALERT: PIM, PDA, Organizer, iCal, Address Book


UPDATES
-------
(X) Apple Updates: iTunes 3.0.1, Quicktime 6.0, Airport 2.0.5, OSX 10.2.1 The first Jaguar patch. (Use Software Update System Preference for these updates.)

(X) OmniWeb 4.1.1 - Browser compatibility with 10.2, bug fixes, security patches, etc.
<http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniweb/download/content.html>

(X) iCal Released! - Apple's calendaring program, announced at Macworld Expo NYC, is available now as a TRULY FREE download. OSX 10.2 'Jaguar' is required to use iCal. More on iCal below.
<http://www.apple.com/ical/>

(X) Retrospect (& Express) - Be sure to get the current versions of your backup software before upgrading to Jaguar. There are a few necessary fixes.
<http://www.dantz.com/>

(X) Keyboard Maestro 1.20 - Yet another Jaguar update, with a few enhancements. Remember, Unpredictable offers a special price on this great product. (See Deals, below).
<http://www.keyboardmaestro.com/>

(9, X) Now Up-to-Date & Contact 4.2.5 - Jaguar compatibility, text smoothing with 10.1.5, fixes and minor improvements, modem dialing (of contact numbers), etc. <http://www.poweronsoftware.com/products/nudc/>
<http://www.poweronsoftware.com/jaguar.html>

(9, X) EarthBrowser 1.6.6 - The UNPREDICTABLY recommended EarthBrowser has had a few updates since reviewed here last. These are mostly bug fixes, with some additions of new volcanoes and webcams. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the review in U&O # 45.
<http://www.earthbrowser.com/download/>




NEWS
----
What's Wrong with this Picture? Er, Sound? - "Five record labels and three music retailers, including Vivendi Universal SA and Tower Records, yesterday agreed to a $143 million settlement of a compact disc price- fixing complaint brought by at least 40 states." These are the same folks who create defective CDs so you can't play or copy them on your computer, and who spend millions lobbying congress to 'fix' the Internet and consumer electronics so their content is protected from duplication. Hey guys, why does a brand new music CD by the most mundane manufactured-in- Florida pop band cost almost as much as the new 'Lord of the Rings' DVD?? Why does a commercial CD cost so much when I can buy a blank CD for 25 cents and a blank DVD for 5 bucks. What gives?
<http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/89248_sony01.shtml>

Meanwhile there are those fighting for "Digital Choice and Freedom"
<http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4193841.htm>

And in this battle anyway, OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE are still on the side of
consumers!
<http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4193833.htm>


Macs Under Assault in Schools - Sad but true, there are still schools out there running their Anti-Mac pogroms. Ask the monopoly promoters who would transform our children into sheep this question, "Has any school, or any BIG DUMB CORPORATION for that matter, EVER reduced the size of it's budget or support staff by switching from Macs to PCs?" You tell me the name of the school and I'll publish it here.
<http://www.wap.org/journal/fairfax.html>
<http://www.macintouch.com/filtering.html>


Apple is Doomed, Again
- Apple has been doomed for at least the last twenty years. "Market share is down, Microsoft is upset, and Quark is nowhere to be seen. Apple faces challenges." There must be no news, because that's when the media drags out their implausible "Apple is dead" stories. For the record: As far as the media is concerned Apple's market share is always 'down'. It's margins and profits are UP. So what? "Microsoft is upset?" Since when does Microsoft have any emotions? Poooor Microsoft. Mac users aren't flocking to their overpriced-BLOATED- Windows-oriented-Office suite. Might there be a reason? Mac users don't need Microsoft; we have choices! [Surprise. Before I could get this issue out, Apple & MIcrosoft have announced a special $199 price for Office v.x when you buy it with a new Mac! - Chris] What about Quark? Well, if they can't get Xpress to run on X they're going to be left at the station while gobs of Mac publishing pros switch to Adobe's 'In Design'. So what? And challenges? Since when has Apple not faced challenges? That's what Apple is all about! We're talking about the only computer company that innovates--flat panel displays, wireless lans, digital media, and just about everything else. And we have choices. Why? BECAUSE WE HAVE MACS! HA! HA! HA!
<http://money.cnn.com/2002/09/16/technology/techinvestor/hellweg/index.htm>


Microsoft Doesn't Trust It's Own Trustworthy Computing Systems - From an article about how Microsoft expects to charge customers for 'more' security in its products: "In presenting Microsoft's trustworthy computing initiative, Mundie defended the company's reluctance to follow through and accept legal responsibility for the security of its products. 'If we took that responsibility, say for a big contract at Airbus, I would have to take out a giant insurance policy from Lloyds...' " If you didn't laugh after reading that quote, read it again.
<http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t272-s2123526,00.html>


:-)

more news and updates...
<http://www.macminute.com/>



UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK
--------------------------
Do you PALM? Use EXCEL? READ THIS! Just in time for our UNPREDICTABLE Organizer issue, Excel Developer Bob queries, "I'm thinking of developing a solution for Macintosh (it will also work in Windows, but the need is for Mac.) I'm wondering if you could pose the question to your millions of readers hoping to get an indication of the need."

[Sure Bob, but I don't think we've quite hit the million mark yet! --Chris]

"The Palm OS includes a pretty good Expense application to record expenses. For those Macintosh users who use a Palm Pilot, there is no way (in OS 10 ? and only lame ones in OS 9) to access the Expense application's data. If you own a Macintosh, there is really no way to convert this to an expense report. Is there any interest in a companion application based on Excel that will take this data and produce an expense report? The Expense report will be a normal formatted Excel worksheet that can be printed, combined with others, saved, etc. just like any other Excel sheet. Thanks. I anxiously await the deluge of feedback."

When pressed, Bob said, "Ask them if they'd be willing to pay US $20" for this little goodie. If I used a Palm, I would! Respond to Bob directly at: <bobgreenblatt@msn.com> or if you prefer, you can send email to < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com> and we'll pass it along! :-)

And WELCOME to new subscriber Terry! ;-)



JUST FOR FUN
----------
Hubzilla! Yes folks, thank goodness in these trying times there are still companies out there with a sense of humor! Charismac introduces Hubzilla, ?The coolest 4-port FIREWIRE Hub on the planet!? Not just any Firewire hub, Hubzilla is an 8 inch tall monster that looks something like Godzilla. When a Firewire device is plugged-in to Hubzilla, his eyes glow red. I kid you not. $74.95 and available only for a limited time. See the pictures.
<http://www.charismac.com/Products/hubzilla/index.html>



GEEK SPEAK REVIEW
-----------------
Organizer - Hardware: Daytimer, DayRunner, Franklin, and so on, are original analog organizers made using antique plant and animal byproduct technology. They require the use of a pen or pencil and no batteries or electricity! Older folks, less adept at adapting to the rapid changes of a digital culture (including Chris) still use them. Software: "Organizer" programs mimic the functions of an analog organizer. They are sometime referred to as "PIM"s (below).

PIM - Software: "Personal Information Manager". PIMs are programs--more commonly called 'Organizers' these days--that mimic the functions of a traditional paper Organizer. They keep your schedule of appointments and recurring events such as birthdays and holidays, and often include or are linked in some manner to what used to be called 'Contact Managers', i.e. Address books that are oriented around human beings, their names, locations, websites, email address and so on. And more and more (it only makes sense after all), the Contact piece is linked to an email client. iCal and Now Up-to-Date, both with updates noted in this issue, fit in this category. Other Mac PIMs of note are Palm Desktop, and Microsoft Entourage.

PDA - Hardware: "Personal Digital Assistant". In fact, they should have called PDA's PDO's, but some marketing genius decided "Assistant" was more cool than "Organizer". These devices are also sometimes called 'handheld', 'pocket', or 'palm' computers. The terms describe wallet- sized computers which often have some handwriting recognition capability. Apple's "Newton" pioneered the genre, but Steve said it had to go, so it did. They're handy for calendars, tracking contacts, and all sorts of other things, and can 'synch' with the calendar or contact manager program on your desktop or laptop computer so all your information is current. Nowadays to most people 'PDA' means a Palm or a Handspring. To corporate sheep, more and more, it means yet another variant of the so- called Windows standard, formerly known as "Windows CE", most recently renamed "Microsoft Pocket".


OVERLOOKED & UNDERUSED - Terrible Tales of Unknown Features
--------------------
(9, X) Organizers and Address Books -
Doesn't O&U normally deal exclusively with "System" software? YES, good reader! And with Jaguar, aka, Oh Ess Ten 10.2, OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE have continued the long-standing tradition of providing system level services that everyone (not just Apple) can use. Let me quote myself:

(from U&O # 35)
"SYSTEM LEVEL INTEGRATION - <snip> Apple believes in providing SYSTEM LEVEL RESOURCES so that everyone can hook into them, share, and PLAY NICE together.Functions that many different programs can use are available to everyone. Why clutter up the hard drive with 6+ Megabytes of Java, the way Netscape does, when there's already Java available?? IE, and the lesser-known browser alternative, iCab, use Apple's Java. Similarly, Apple created an 'Internet Plugins' folder [located in the OS9 System Folder] so Browser Plugins would have a HOME. If you use more than one browser, they can all share the Plugins. No need to load the same Plugin for every browser you use! What could make more sense?" So hurrah! for the new OSX Apple Address Book, which is the foundation of new interactive functionality. Apple's Address Book has room for email addresses, URLs (web addresses), phone & fax numbers, street addresses, a photo, and other contact information. So where would you want to use that information?

The new Address Book is a resource available to multiple programs. Apple's Mail client uses the Address book to send email. Don't like Apple's Mail? Other mail programs (including PowerMail) will soon be able to use the Address Book. Apple's iChat, AOL compatible Instant Messaging program, also shares the address book, and so does iCal, the new OS X calendaring program. Need to schedule an appointment? You don't need to type the name into iCal - if it's in Address Book, just look it up! With any luck, any program that needs a name, email address, phone, or fax will soon be able to get it - or update it in - the Address Book.

A SHORT synopsis of Mac Organizers:

Palm Desktop is a (truly free) calendar and contact management package which can send mail to your choice of mail programs, though it supports vcard and vcal (more on those some other time...) the Desktop address book is only accessible through Palm Desktop. Provided by the Palm folks to give you Desktop Macintosh access to your Palm information. Applescriptable, and scripts allow it to download contacts to iPods. I used Palm for years, starting when it was Claris Organizer.

Runs on: (9, X) Carbonized
Download/demo available: Yes, it's free
Calendar sharing: vCal yes, groups no
Uses Apple Address Book: no
Applescriptable: yes
Synchs with iPod?: yes, with scripts
Synchs with Palm?: That's what it's for!
Other: I think the intuitive interface and customizability are leaps
ahead of the competition. If only it had a mail component! Other than
Carbonizing Desktop, Palm, since acquiring it from Apple has pretty much
done nothing to enhance it. The interface is nearly perfect, just don't
expect it to get better!
<http://www.palm.com/software/desktop/mac.html>


Now Up-To-Date and Contact are a commercial ($120) combination similar to Palm Desktop. Although Now has a nifty calendar sharing capability, it has the same limited email address book scenario as Palm. It can be customized to be even more beautiful than Palm, but the interface is not as smooth , linking is not as easy, and you can't link two contacts to one appointment as you can in Palm. I now use Now, but I still dream of going back to Palm Desktop. If only I could have the best of both!!

Runs on:(9, X) Different versions for each.
Download/demo available: Yes
Calendar sharing: yes with a special server
Uses Apple Address Book: no
Applescriptable: yes
Synchs with iPod?: yes, with scripts
Synchs with Palm?: absolutely
Other: In OSX I find the alarms never work right. If you depend on
them, test this thoroughly first. I don't think any of the others have
this, a TIMER in the Contact manager, so you can clock time spent with
clients etc.
<http://www.poweronsoftware.com/products/nudc/>


Microsoft Entourage. (US $435, or $199 when you buy your new Mac!) You can't buy Entourage alone; you get it when you buy Microsoft Office. Entourage doesn't share with ANYBODY who doesn't have Microsoft in their name, that means it works great with Word. It does everything, including email. I was frustrated by the very limited ability to customize the calendar, the need to purchase Office, the confusing interface (that's what happens when you try to do EVERYTHING), and as with the MS Office suite, it's bloated and slow. Has a lot going for it, but I just couldn't go steady with Entourage.

Runs on: (X) (9 - if you use the OLD version)
Download/demo available: Yes, with Office Test Drive, but demo version
is not Applescriptable, meaning you can't get Apple Address Book data
imported into it...MS, you know...
Calendar sharing: no
Uses Apple Address Book: no
Applescriptable: very
Synchs with iPod?: yes, with scripts
Synchs with Palm?: took MS awhile to get these going, but yes
Other: There's a big Mac community that talks about and writes scripts
for and supports each other with Entourage. This can be a big plus when
you need help.
<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/officex>


Apple iCal, Address Book, Mail - This is a viable and truly free combination. Calendaring in iCal includes the ability to post your calendar to the web (via .Mac) and to 'download' other calendars on top of yours. To show how cool this is, Apple posts a number of 'public' calendars with the schedules of sports teams, concert tour dates, and so on. Address Book is what it is. And Mail - well, I prefer a full-featured mail client, but Mail in Jaguar is way better than it was before, when it could best be described as LAME. Toss in the ability to use your Address Book with iChat and maybe even FAXStf. Together they're a pretty good combo.

Runs on: (X)
Download/demo available: Address Book & Mail come with X, download iCal
Calendar sharing: yes w/.Mac or a WebDAV server
Uses Apple Address Book: yes
Applescriptable: yes
Scripts to download info to iPod: yes
Synchs with iPod?: yes, with iSync or scripts
Synchs with Palm?: Using iSync!
Other: The potential advantage of the Apple tools is CHOICE. With any
luck in a year or so you'll be able to mix and match components with
commercial or shareware mail clients, calendars, etc.
<http://www.apple.com/ical/>
<http://www.apple.com/isync/>



Tips
----
(X) OMNIWEB Browser image loading troubles
When I go to Apple's Home Page with the Omniweb browser almost none of the images draw until I click on them. What gives? I check Preferences/ Images: 'inline images' is set to 'automatically load with page' and 'background images' - set to 'draw on screen'. You'd think this would make all the images appear right? Nope, the problem lies with Privacy Preferences. At the bottom of the panel I have checked "Don't automatically load images" "whose sizes match the standard sizes for ads". Guess what? Most of Apple's website contains images that are 'standard sizes of ads'!!


(X) RETROSPECT Express 5.x always asks for password
In Oh Ess Ten, every time I try to launch Retrospect, or to get access to it when it launches automatically, it prompts me for my password. This can get pretty tedious!! Is it supposed to work this way?

The Dantz web site will answer this and many other questions. But I'll SAVE YOU SOME TIME and tell you the answer. Dantz calls this password prompting a 'feature', which protects your System from unwanted intruders. If you're using Oh Ess Ten with multiple users, you might want to leave this the way it is. If you are the only (or main) user, and you use autologon at startup, you can turn this feature off in Retrospect Preferences. Click on 'Security' in the Preference Navigator (the list on the left), and on the Security panel uncheck, "Always require authentication". Hooray. No more annoying password dialogs!!

<http://www.dantz.com/index.php3?SCREEN=search_form>

:-)



FREESTUFF!!
----------
(9, X) iMovie 2 - SIX MORE FREE iMovie Effects!!
Yet another company that sells iMovie plug-ins, and is happy to give them away to get your attention! Including 'Dream Border', 'Flame', 'Soft Focus', and 'Extreme B&W'.
<http://www.virtix.com/products/SampleEffects.asp>



OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE
----------------------------
If you're ever looking for consumer electronics, especially for your auto, check out the Crutchfield web site. Crutchfield is a company focused on customer service, and it shows. Want to shop for a CD Receiver that will fit in your old Saturn SL2? Click the link called 'What fits my car?" Answer the questions, and you'll eventually come up with a list of only those systems that will fit. From the list you can sort by price or brand, and you can easily eliminate systems that you are not interested in. When you get it down to 3 or 4 choices, you can compare those on specific details. When your done comparing, order online. I'll tell you, this is how a commercial web site should work. In addition to the online experience, Crutchfield provides you with an installation kit and all the cables and directions so you can install the system yourself. Highly recommended from personal experience!! I love my new Blaupunkt!!

<http://www.Crutchfield.com>



Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
-------------------------------
(9, X) Quicken - Sometimes when you go online on Quicken, you might encounter a communications problem. Quicken informs you that it could not complete your transaction, and that it will try again the next time you connect. That's okay if it works the next time. But sometimes it gets stuck, and all you'll see is the same message every time you try to dial your bank. Try this secret keyboard command. When the dialog comes up the next time, while you click [Okay], hold down

[Control] + [Option]

This combination produces another dialog box asking if you would like to *skip* trying to repeat the activity that was interrupted previoiusly. Answer YES. And Quicken will clear this little roadblock and start again from scratch!!



DEALS
-----
UNPREDICTABLE has made a special discount arrangement with Claireware, the company that makes Keyboard Maestro! If you buy using this method, I get a smallcommission too! (And you want to support UNPREDICTABLE, don't you??) KM is normally $20.00. If you buy it using the special URL below, you save $3.00 and get it for only $17.00!! There are several options to pay, but you only get the discount if you buy it through Order1.net. So think about it, try it, and if you decide to buy it, be sure to use this URL:

<https://www.order1.net/ssl/buy/order.cgi?Spkey=claireware-
kb1&Coupon=UnpredictableMac&DefaultPrice=20&Quantity=1
>

This will give you a discount from the regular price of $20.00 to $17.00.

If you somehow mess up the LONG URL, you can still get the discount by paying through order1.net and specifying the coupon code "UnpredictableMac" (minus the quotes).


THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!!

:-)



==================================================================
** CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for Mac Users **
(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.
Unsubscribe - email with "Stop Unpredictable" in the Subject.

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




 

Apple Logo Contact Me: AIM
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 :-)