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Contents Copyright 2001 by Christopher Plummer

I KNOW, I KNOW, I promised an issue on PRIVACY! You have to be FLEXIBLE
in this business. And I'm not only flexible, I'm UNPREDICTABLE. So now
you have a laptop issue enhanced with fascinating Mac trivia, insightful
observations, and personal commentary of questionable merit. If you're
not a PowerBook user you still might want to SCAN IT. 'Privacy' will be
a focus in a future issue, but I might have to pick on MICROSOFT first.

NEWS - Another school for iBooks and TiMacs!!
Know The Difference
Dirty Little Secrets
Special Bonus Keyboard Commands

GEEK SPEAK ALERT: Michael Dell, parallel

Powerbook G4 DVD-ROM Update 1.0 - Anyone else out there besides me with
one of these AWESOME PUPPIES? The Software Update Control panel took care
of this for me flawlessly. Downloaded the Firmware update, restarted, and
the update started up ALL BY ITSELF and was even VERY POLITE in telling
me not to touch my machine until it finished cleaning. Told me when it
finished and didn't even ask to RESTART. I love Macs. :-)

Apple DVD Player 2.7 - If you have 9.1, a slot-loading iMac or Power Mac
G4 (AGP Graphics) or PowerBook (Firewire) this update purports to make
some performance improvements. I haven't tried the Update Control Panel
on it yet, but I'll bet it works!


Looks like a school district in Quaker Valley, PA has chosen Macs over
Dells, although the deal has not reached final approval. Sorry MICHAEL
DELL, but your homely, flaming, high failure rate laptops can't compete
with the GORGEOUS iBook! Expect ugly backroom pressuring from the folks
at Dell to bash this one. If it goes through, the 1600 students in the
district will get iBooks (like the ones in the commercials). Apple has
reportedly offered to provide the teachers laptops at no cost. The 70
teachers will get G4 Titanium PowerBooks (like the one OCCASIONALLY used
to produce this newsletter). So WHO SAYS teachers aren't well
compensated!!?? Quaker Valley teachers! Get on my distribution and GET
CURRENT with the rest of the ELITE O&U readers!!


'John' told me that you typesetting graphics types should be wary of OH
ESS AQUA because both Quark and Pagemaker are NOT HIP to TEN.

Speaking of which, 'Pam' GOT CURRENT and updated to 9.1. EVERYTHING WAS
BETTER, except all her old PageMaker documents acted like they ate one of
Alice's magic cakes and BLEW UP so big they could hardly be recognized!
Using Extension Manager to startup with 'minimum extensions' provided the
correct antidote, but she hasn't identified the specific conflicting
culprit. Anyone seen this and want to help? I couldn't find anything
about it on Adobe's site, which seems to suggest that things are just
HUNKY DORY between old dependable PAGEMAKER and femme fatale 9.1!


Why more about laptops?

Go to MacWorld Expo. You'll see lots of Mac Heads walking around with
their PowerBooks. Do they really NEED to carry their Macs around at a
TRADE SHOW? They're going to be filling up bags full of literature and
posters and marketing doodads. Lugging around junk! But the junk is
invisible if they have *THE MYSTIQUE*. They're not Apple Execs. They're
not corporate execs. They're not rock stars. They're not movie producers.
They're not actually doing presentations. They're not part of one of the
big booths. They're not elite members of the Mac press.


WE DON'T KNOW!! They have PowerBooks. They have POWER. They have *THE

You're a Mac user already so you have some inkling of what I'm talking
about. In the world of elite computer users, Macs stand out, and in the
Mac world, PowerBooks stand out among Macs. Why? *THE MYSTIQUE*. It's
ephemeral, it's mystical, it's like Chi! Who can explain what it is?


Think of this. Everything you like about your desktop Mac. The way it
works for you. The way you've customized it. The programs you like. The
way you keep your finances, your mail, your photo collection, your
autobiography, your website, your loveletters, your treasured copies of
'Chris's UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for MAC USERS'. It's all
there on your hard drive. When it's on your PowerBook - IT'S WITH YOU.
Want to play a DVD? A CD? An MP3? Wherever you go! Whenever you want it!
Whenever you need it! Traveling? Sitting in the Living Room? Lying in
bed? At a friend's? At 'The Friendly Grounds' cafe? Take work home, or
take home to work!! NOW you have *THE MYSTIQUE*.

PowerBook users accessorize. They have special cases, special
peripherals, little lights that run off their USB ports. BECAUSE the
PowerBook is an EXTENSION of their world. It EMPOWERS them. They are
creative powerful people who don't let physical things like walls and
electricity, and phone and network connections, and ugly peripherals
interfere with their creative urges. It takes the Mac experience to a
whole new level. It's about NO LIMITS!!

Sit down at one of those crowded tables at the Javits center and pull
open your PowerBook, make a LIVE wireless CONNECTION to the Internet and
show someone the actual website you just wrapped up last week. SURELY you
get my point by now. If that isn't *THE MYSTIQUE*, then what is???

(Which begs the question, is an iBook really a PowerBook??. JUST LOOK AT
THAT NEW IBOOK AND TELL ME IT'S NOT! We're all on the same team, baby!)


Short Interview:

O&U: Okay, Chris, 'iBook or TiBook?' is an article that appears in the
recent issue of TidBits. Don't you wish you'd bought the iBook instead of
spending all that money on the PowerBook G4 that you keep blathering


CHRIS: Look. The iBook is BEAUTIFUL. IT'S AWESOME. And my well-beloved
old 1400 was very much like the new iBook. The price (starting at around
$1295) is hard to beat. I would recommend it to just about about anybody.
But if you really want the horsepower and that UNBEATABLE display, the
TiBook is the only way to go. I don't regret the decision one bit.

O&U: OH REALLY? Chris, didn't you have some awful problems with the
Trackpad in that Tibook? What's up with that??

CHRIS: I did have an awful time when I first got it. All I can say is, it
seems to be 'broken in' now. The button no longer seems too stiff. The
'cursor jumping' hardly ever occurs, and the super-weird telepathic
cursor bounce doesn't happen at all. Maybe I'm thinking different.

O&U: Ug. Are you going to put your 1400 up for sale in O&U so one of your
faithful readers can learn first hand about *THE MYSTIQUE*?

CHRIS: I haven't decided yet. But right now I have a magazine to get out!
Thanks for stopping by!


Try the POWER button.
You know, the funny one with the 'universal' power symbol. It looks sort
of like a Green Bay Packers logo gone ninety degrees counter-clockwise.
On my TiMac with OS 9.1, hitting the Power button while the Mac is
running is a quick way to either [RESTART] [SLEEP] [CANCEL] (if you want
to bail) or [SHUT DOWN]. Pretty cool. What does it do on YOUR Mac? Isn't
it time you found out??

Know The Difference
"So, those uh," pointing his thumb towards my cube where the much-admired
Titanium Powerbook G4 resides, "Apples, finally got competitive in their
pricing, huh?" This is a big concession. He's already grudgingly admired
the sleek design and mind-blowing display of my TiBook. So what brings up
this comment from one of our LAN guys? They've had to purchase 25 laptops
for the sales force of this BIG DUMB CORPORATION.

They shopped around, never considering Apple of course, that wouldn't be
'standard'; and finally decided on Dell's new 'Latitude'. The Latitude,
with 128Mb of RAM, DVD drive, 20 Gig hard drive and 14 point something
inch display comes CLOSE to the PowerBook G4. Close in a clunky, Dell,
Wintel, kind of way. Less RAM, larger hard drive, NOTICEABLY smaller
screen. It weighs more. It costs more.

"Hey look!" They say, showing me a video Control Panel with two screens
on it. Suddenly I'm Dr. Who, visiting the primitive past. It looks
shamelessly like the 'expanded desktop' Radius Control Panel that Andy
Hertzfeld wrote for the Radius Full Page Display attached to a Mac Plus,
uh, fifteen years ago? With Windows 2000 they can support two displays on
their laptop.Yeeees, a hand drill does work better than a sharp bone.
Have you ever seen a CORDLESS drill?

I do a quick survey of the machine. The entire backside and half of the
right side is covered with ports. Jeez, no wonder the thing weighs seven
plus pounds!! (TiMac 5.3, iBook 4.9) I count them. Parallel. Serial.
'What's the serial port for?' 'That's for printing too,' they tell me,
'Or for a mouse.' PS2? 'Yea, it has that too.' What about USB? Don't you
guys use a USB mouse? 'Oh, there's a USB port!' He says optimistically.
'We can use that for a mouse, but the keyboard isn't USB.' I move on.
INFRARED. DOCKING. By the time I'm done, I've counted FOURTEEN ports,
including one FIREWIRE.

They point, 'Look, it has these swappable bays'. 'Uh huh. We had those
about four MODELS ago. With 5 hour batteries, there's not much need." I
ask, 'Is that a FLOPPY DRIVE?' 'Yep.' I can't believe it. Why doesn't the
PC world get rid of some of this baggage and INNOVATE. No wonder the
thing costs more than a TiMac. It's not a laptop. It's a museum!!

And That's The Difference.

Dirty Little Secrets:
Why does the Dell Lattitude still look so much like the Apple PowerBook
1400? Could it be because Dell hired away a bunch of people from Apple's
PowerBook design group around the time the 1400 came out? Like, six years
ago? Hmm?

Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
Use the [Option] key when opening a Folder that sits inside another
folder or volume. This will cause any parent windows for folders or
volumes to close as it opens. Makes for a tidier desktop! (Thanks for the
tip John!)

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

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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 :-)