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CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS # 73,10/28/04
Contents Copyright 2004 by Christopher Plummer

OBLIGATORY ADVERTISEMENT...Your own UNPREDICTABLE Mac Consultant. :-) Ready to go 'wireless'? Want to share your Internet connection? Share your iTunes Playlists with other computers on your LAN? Create professional looking CDs? Or just get the inside info on how your Mac can "Play Nice" with Windows users? HIRE ME! I can do this for you or show you how. Read the details in the SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION section at the bottom. Or email me now: < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com> Enjoy the newsletter! :-)

Put me on your Buddy List in iChat! <zokabooba@aol.com>


This Issue
Did you wonder if there would ever be another Unpredictable? I did! Fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit! Remember it's (9) for NINE-fading away, (X) for TEN, (W) for Windows, and double asterisks (**) precede links that help Support Unpredictable. Oh, and, just one more time, this issue, I don't leave Microsoft alone! :-)

SHAMELESS COMMERCE - Join the iSight Revolution!!
GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - MUYO, subscription economy, text messaging, IM
UPDATES - Apple, Office, Quicken
NEWS - Apple Stock Up, iPod Photo
WEIRD NEWS - Apple Stock Up
UNPREDICTABLE READER FEEDBACK - New Readers, Brad's Canon, & more!
OVERLOOKED AND UNDERUSED - iChat
EASY BUT NOT OBVIOUS - A few EBNO items in iChat
PLAYLIST - Deja Vu
Know The Difference - AIM, iChat, etc.
Tips - TWO Windows, TWO announcements in iChat??
OCCASIONAL Favorite WEB SITE - Sign up for your free AIM account
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands - Gratuitous iChat KC's


Shameless Commerce
** BUY these OCCASIONALLY recommended items using the links below, and help support UNPREDICTABLE! Need anything else? Send me an email! < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com>


Apple iSight Camera - $149.00!!

iPod Mini

Buy my phone! the Sony-Ericsson T616 (AT&T). is a bluetooth phone that works great with the Salling Clicker. Send text messages from your Mac keyboard using the Address Book.

MS Office 2004 Student & Teacher Edition


Geek Speak Alert! AIM, iChat



Geek Speak Review (the ‘GSR’)
MUYO - "Make Up Your Own".

Subscription Economy - We hardly own anything anymore! You pay for your car with a lease or loan. You have monthly payments for your Cell Phone, your long distance service, your television reception (cable or satellite), your Internet access (dial-up, dsl, cable, or satellite). Some people subscribe to digital radio, GPS, DVD rentals, movie downloads, .MAC, iTunes music downloads. Not to mention 'real' utilities like electricity and water. We subscribe to everything, and most of it is electrons, with just a shade more of a real product than our subscriptions to life, auto, and health insurance!! And let's face it. It's true of our software too. You buy-in the first time you get Quicken free, or Oh Ess Ten with your Mac, or pony up to the Macromedia or Adobe creative suites, and from then on, you have to pay every year or so for the latest update. Welcome to the subscription economy!

BDC - Big Dumb Corporation, or Big Dumb College. If you work for one, you know it.

Text Messaging - Usually refers to text messages sent from one cell phone to another. Very similar to IM, but using SMS (a phone messaging protocol) and using messages that never actually traverse the Internet. If you want to use Text Messaging, check out the pricing before you get hooked! Prices vary from carrier to carrier, but most cost around 10 cents per message. AT&T doesn't charge for messages received, Verizon does. At&T recently introduced AOL Instant Messaging for the same rate of 10 cents per message. Don't kid yourself, this is a BIG revenue stream for the cell companies. Especially when they supplement subscription rates that are still competitive.

IM - Instant Messaging. Generally, text messages sent over the Internet in 'real time'.
There are now 'gateways' or special services that allow you to participate in Internet based Instant Messaging using your cell phone.



Updates
Apple Updates -
(X,W) Quicktime 6.5.2
(X,W) iTunes 4.7
(X) iPod Updater 3.0.4
Some fixes and improvements, but mostly related to the new 'iPod Photo'.

There's always a new Security Update. Be sure to get the latest Java 1.4.2 Update 2. Use Software Update System Preference.
<http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/>

Microsoft Office - Microsoft Office Service Pak 1. Use Microsoft's Software Update function: Launch any Office App, go to Help>Check for Updates, and follow the prompts and dialogs. Make sure you have a fast internet connection or are ready for bed; it's about 22 Mb.
<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/>

Quicken 2005 for Mac - Mentioned here previously. Okay, here's the scoop. It might be a *little* faster. Otherwise, I can't see any difference. It may be Cocoa it may be Carbon. Do I care? Make your annual payment and GET CURRENT. It's a subscription economy.
<http://www.intuit.com>


Check for more updates at <http://www.versiontracker.com>.



News
Apple Stock Up - See Weird News.

iPod Photo - There's a new iPod in town, one with a COLOR screen. You can synch your photos from iPhoto (using the new iTunes 4.7 update), and it will display your album art! 40G for $500 and 60G for US $600. There's also a new BLACK iPod U2, $350, 'signed' by the members of that band. (If you really want to pay that much to have an engraved signature of BONO on your iPod, well, have fun...)
<http://www.apple.com/itunes/>

U.S. to Attempt to Elect a President -Trying again after it's failure four years ago to elect a President, the United States will be holding elections on November 2. Government officials have warned that elections might have to be cancelled or postponed due to terrorist threats. In spite of attempts by the Democratic party to prevent other candidates from appearing on the ballot, and in spite of attempts by judicially-appointed co-President Dick Cheney to equate a vote for elected United States Senator and war-veteran John Kerry as 'a vote for terrorism', there are still expected to be a minimum of two names on the ballot in most states. Fox News has declared that based on their special access to Absentee Ballots and Diebold voting machines and exclusive interviews of National Guard and regular Armed Forces detained in Iraq until their votes are 'verified', Fox is prepared to declare the winner of the election on October 31.


Weird News
Apple Stock Up - Apple Computer, the frequent whipping boy of market analysts, the company whose stock is driven DOWN when they announce better profits and new products, is now in the good graces of those fickle fiends. So the price goes up. Apple announces profits, sells more iPods and the price is up, and up, and up! From the low 20's a few months ago to $47+ today. What does this mean? You can only ask yourself the question, "How high will it go??" The analysts still call it a "BUY". Buy in at $47 a share? And what? It's going to go up to $80?? Maybe. I'll hang onto my meager shares a bit longer and watch the price of gas, which will soon affect everything.


Microsoft Anti-trust Appeal Expires - The U.S. case against the Microsoft monopoly has expired quietly along with such concepts as 'Fair Use' copying of music you purchase and 'Equal Air Time' for political views expressed on the publicly owned airwaves. Un-deterred by the news, Bill 'Pinky' Gates, attempting to placate his wife, is busily buying sponsorships on NPR and otherwise giving away mouse-bite-size bits of his fortune, while Steve 'the Brain' Ballmer continues to do what he does every day, "try to take over the world!".

In related news, Microsoft 'told' the record industry to adopt its (Microsoft's) proprietary CD copy-protection standard which will be included in the increasingly long and getting longer awaited next version of Windows, appropriately named 'Longhorn'.

"Meanwhile, today in Brussels Microsoft argues that its being forced to offer a version of Windows with no Windows Media Player would strike 'at the very heart of Microsoft's business model and design of Windows', which strikes us as not necessarily constructive from the point of view of Microsoft's appeal, given that Microsoft's business model and design of Windows are fairly widely thought of as problems that ought to be tackled." (From The Register)

<http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/16/ms_cd_copy_protection/>
<http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/01/chin_laments_us_vs_ms/>

More News: <http://www.macminute.com/>



Unpredictable Reader Feedback
Welcome to new subscribers Neil and Jay.

Brad Shoots his Canon - Long-suffering reader Brad notified me via iChat video conference that his Canon printer and both his Macs are finally speaking over his AirPort Extreme connection. What was the solution? Brad gave up on his own Mac and used the wife's Powerbook to configure the printer. This worked! When he went back to his own Mac, the Canon printed from there too. I could theorize that one of the Macs had either a newer or older version of AirPort software that somehow 'unstuck' the printer access to the AirPort Base Station, but that would be guessing. Sorry folks. It's a Mac Mystery!!

Former 747 Pilot and fellow Panera Wi-Fi user, Dick writes, "Just a short note to let you know how much I appreciate your newsletters. Please keep them coming." [Thanks Dick! Unpredictable is becoming more unpredictable, but I'm trying!—Chris]

Just the usual Accolades (Thanks!)



Overlooked and Underused
—Terrible tales of misunderstood and unknown features—
iSight Camera and iChat Video, MUST BE SEEN AND HEARD TO BE BELIEVED!!
PART 1 of at least TWO

Some time ago while everyone was waiting for the next 'Killer App', all the kids on the planet discovered Instant Messaging. They did it a variety of ways, but AOL was, and is, the king of IM. You can get a free account, you don't have to do anything but download the IM client, and if you don't like AOL, you can even find some shareware and freeware clients out there that do almost as much as AOL Instant Messenger. Let me say that again. Your account is FREE. We're not talking about the AOL online service. We're talking about the ability to send text messages over the Internet, anywhere in the world.

If you have a teenager, you know what this is all about. They sit next to the computer, typing their essay in Word, looking up information on the web, and chatting with five or six friends in little popup windows all over the screen, all at the same time. How do they do it? I don't know. And why do they do it?? To find out, TRY IT! It's more 'real time' than email and doesn't require the effort or courtesy of a phone call. But there are protocols. You generally should say "Hello" and "Goodbye", but everyone understands that if the dog goes tearing out of the room chasing your rabbit, or the phone rings, or your boss walks into the cube farm, you're going to disappear without answering their last question. Sometimes you can chat just to say 'hello' and not much more. And that's okay.

Most people in 'the industry' ignored IM for years, until adults actually started using it to be productive. Since you can see from your 'Buddy List' who is online, if you have a quick question or comment, you can just IM that person. Right then. In the present. Before you forget. When they are available. This has been enormously useful for consultants working in teams inside corporations, and even for the more enlightened of corporate personnel. Unfortunately, most corporations are so paranoid about security issues, or so compulsive about their employees doing anything that does not have an immediate dollar value to the BDC, that they have found ways to shut down Instant Messaging services.

The other side of the coin is the patent ABUSE of IM. Where overbearing managers or consultants INSIST that their staff be available at all times with their IM software 'on'. Nevermind that I have web-based email, POP email, corporate email, a land-line phone, and a cell phone, when someone wants to get ahold of me, I better have my Instant Messaging client on!! What can be more insulting or counter-productive than to have your time micro-managed every instant? To be at the immediate beck and call of anyone who has you on their Buddy List, anywhere in the globe, and in the worst case, any time of day or night? These time-wasting abusers are the same so-called 'managers' who insist that you keep your IM client running on your home computer, your laptop, wherever your are. It brings a whole new meaning to the term 'indentured servant' er, 'employee'. It also introduces the concept that many of us need to learn, that is - turning 'off' the phone, ignoring the call, and taking control of our own lives and time.

Enough tirade? So launch iChat and try it out!! I won't go into all the details here. It is SOOOO simple. Go to your Applications folder and find it, and launch iChat. Take a trip to the Preferences and start learning what your options are. On the [General] tab, be sure to put a checkmark in "Show status in menu bar". This will put (yet another) boring monochrome Apple icon on your menu! It looks like a little cartoon dialog bubble, and it gives you quick access to some iChat functions (so you don't have to keep your Buddy List visible all the time). You're going to need an AIM or .MAC account (see Occasional Favorite Web Sites - below - for details), or if you're on a LAN with a bunch of Mac users, you can use iChat with Rendezvous (Another topic to learn about!! You can enable Rendezvous in the [Accounts] tab of the iChat Preferences. This will give you a second chat window, in addition to the Buddy List.) Be sure to look at [Alerts]. Why not set up your computer to TELL YOU when someone is online? Mine says, "Dude! Sarah is available for a chat!". Be sure to check the other options too. And then try it. If you don't have any buddies, I'll be your buddy!!

Put me on your Buddy List in iChat! <zokabooba@aol.com>

Now take some time to appreciate iChat, and in our next UNPREDICTABLE issue, I predict we'll discuss AUDIO and VIDEO chats!!

:-)



Easy But Not Obvious
A few of MANY Easy But Not Obvious things about iChat:
1) How do you get photos of the people on your Buddy List to appear ON your Buddy List?
If the buddy already has a photo or icon that s/he has assigned on his/her online service, it will probably just appear there.

Your Buddy information is stored (in a sensible, integrated, Apple fashion) in your Apple Address Book. If you have a photo of someone, you can add that photo to your Address Book. (It's pretty easy, and I won't explain it now.) If your Buddy doesn't have a photo or icon, and you have one in your Address Book, your photo of that person will probably appear in your Buddy List.

I say probably, because there's an extremely Easy But Not Obvious setting for this.

In your Buddy List, [Contro]+Click (or Right-Click if you have non-Apple mouse) on the Buddy's name.
In the Context Menu that appears, select "Get Info".
At the top of the window on the "Show:" tab, make sure "Address Card" is selected.
Here you can manage the information about your Buddy that goes in the Address Book.
And WALLA! You can put a check in "Always use this picture", which forces your Buddy List to always use the picture in your Address Book!

2) If you change the "Show:" tab to "Actions", you can make all kinds of things happen when all kinds of 'Events' specific to that particular Buddy occur. Such as having your computer speak a specific line of text, or play a sound when your Buddy Becomes Available, or invites you to a VOICE or VIDEO chat.

There's plenty more, but I've gotta go!

:-)



Playlist
John Fogerty, "Deja Vu All Over Again"—John Fogerty, singer-songwriter and founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival, releases an album with a title song hauntingly reminiscent, in both sound and content, of earlier 1960's hits, especially "Who'll Stop the Rain?". Does John have some issues with women? Well, there's: "Honey Do" (this, honey do that), "She's Got Baggage", and (She's got the) "Radar" (workin'), along with the charming father to daughter love song, "I Will Walk With You" [And I will, Sarah!—Chris]. There are a number of down-home throwaways on the album, like "Rhubarb Pie". Besides the title song, the pick of the crop is "Nobody's Here Anymore", a clever portrayal of our world, where everyone's connected but nobody is "mindin' the store". It's not a lost Dire Straits cut, though you'd think so because of classic leads by Mark Knopfler. If this song doesn't make you turn off your iPod and think for a few minutes, then you'll never be MINDFUL.
UNPREDICTABLY RECOMMENDED

Use this link to sample and/or buy it at the iTunes Music Store and support Unpredictable!
**



Know the Difference
What about the America OnLine (AOL) Instant Messenger client? Why not use that? Shoot! Go ahead. It has some features that are missing from iChat. You can put up a news and stock ticker. You can even run Applescripts based on all kinds of events. My daughter prefers it because...well, I guess because all the other kids use AIM. But it ONLY works with AOL, whereas, iChat works with iChat and AIM. And, AIM is full of advertisements. And iChat doesn't have ANY.

And That's The Difference.



Tips
iChat - If you set iChat to make an announcement every time you are connected, you might get tired of hearing your computer say, "You are logged in!" So go to Preferences and change the setting. Does it have TWO windows on the screen and say "You are logged in!" TWICE? You probably have Rendezvous turned-on. If you don't use Rendezvous, turn it off! In Preferences in the [Accounts] tab, uncheck "Enable Rendezvous messaging".



Occasional Favorite Web Site
AIM - If you're going to IM you've got to sign up! You need a .Mac account, or an AIM account. The AIM account is free, the .Mac account is $100 a year (and, to be fair to OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE, offers a lot more). If you just want to AIM or iChat, or HOPEFULLY iChat in VIDEO, then sign up for AIM!

<http://aim.aol.com/aimnew/Aim/register.adp>


And BTW, when you get tired of writing LOL and want to show how hip you are with some other Internet acronyms, you can go to AOL's Acronym dictionary:

<http://www.aim.com/acronyms.adp?aolp=1#q>

And PLEASE, when you get tired of those, MUYO! It's a LANGUAGE; it's supposed to be alive!!



Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
Gratuitous iChat Keyboard Shortcut:

[Option] + [Command]+M - NEW MESSAGE

Why not [Command] + N?? - Because that's for a New CHAT. Where you have multiple participants in a single window!!

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 or URL.) 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 are available at the Unpredictable Archive:
<http://www.unpredictablemac.com>
Keeping the archive current is a never-ending task. If you need to GET CURRENT, subscribe. If you need an issue that is not on the Unpredictable site, send me an email. If you'd like to help with the site for absolutely no compensation other than my gratitude, send me an email.



The Bottom
** MORE COMMERCE - BE sure to use the whole URL!

Apple iSight - REALLY OVERLOOKED! $150
<>

iPod Mini's

PANTHER OSX for $109.99 - Get free shipping, and support UNPREDICTABLE!

PANTHER OSX Family Pack (for up to 5 Macs) $187.99: (The shipping is free!)




**
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.

Services:
Macintosh - Interested in help from a long time MAC Professional?
Macintosh Wireless Networking, Internet Connectivity, Desktop Support,
Training. As a rule, I DON'T DO WINDOWS, but I know a lot about
getting your Mac to work in PEACE and HARMONY with the Windows world.

Writing and Editing - I would love to write for your publication or
edit your work. I have plenty of samples of all kinds of writing—not
just this newsletter.

Lotus Notes and Domino Adminstration, Development, and
Support.

Reasonable fees. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

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 :-)