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Contents Copyright 2005 by Christopher Plummer

Issue# 81, 7/3/06
This Issue
Welcome to the 3rd Quarter of 2006!! I'm still experimenting with a new format for Unpredictable, so bear with me. The last issue had a bad formatting day!Unpredictable is best viewed with Apple's Mail program, and of course, best viewed on a Macintosh! It's hard to write what's relevant and get out an issue before it gets old. I was going to save info about my MacBook until next issue, but why wait? Windows on your Mac? I'm your man! There are changes ahead, even if we don't know what they are! One to be aware of is Apple's changing return policy, especially on iPods. (Covered in Podservations, below). As usual, there's plenty here...fascinating Mac and iPod trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit!TheUnpredictable web site is still not current with back issues, so be sure to save your newsletters for awhile!

GEEK SPEAK REVIEW - Bootcamp, Time of Darkness, MacBook Pro, MacBook
Special! - What about Mac viruses?
UPDATES - Apple, and more Universals..
NEWS - NY Store Swamped by Scruffs
WEIRD NEWS - Over the cliff, boys!
Tiger Hunting- Tiger Printing
PodServations- They Break! And Apple won't replace it either!
Know the Difference - The Mouse Hunt Begins
Podcast Review- Avoid and Try!
TIPS - Safari Tab Tips! And more..
Special Bonus Keyboard Command - Safari Bookmark Bar
Shameless Commerce- Puhlease! Support Unpredictable

Geek Speak Review

Definitions full of fascinating Mac trivia, insightful comments, and personal commentary of questionable merit!

BootcampApple's concession to the Mac Whackers who were determined to get Windows running on their new Intel-based Macintoshes. Since they were doing it anyway, Apple created a special program to assist. In short, Bootcamp helps you create and burn a special Windows driver CD which you use when installing Windows onto a special drive partition. Following the guidelines from Apple, you create a Mac that will 'dual boot' into the operating system of your choice (either Mac OS TEN, or Windows 2003 with Service Pack 2). If you must use a Windows application, why buy two computers? Just buy a Mac!! Of course Apple warns users that Apple does not sell or support Microsoft Windows, and that Mac users should be aware of the many (mostly viral) pitfalls of using Windows.
The Time of DarknessThe early to mid-Nineties of the past century. A time when Steve Jobs had been ousted from Apple and the company, headed by a dizzying array of corporate Big Heads, was always referred to in the press as, "beleaguered". The Big Heads worked hard to kill all creativity at Apple. Their goal? Make Macs another tan box, indistinguishable from Windows PCs, so that Big Dumb Corporations would buy millions of them. But of course, they failed, fortunately.
MacBook ProThe "Pro" line of MacBooks replace the 15" and 17" PowerBooks. Why 'MacBook'? Couldn't Our Friends at Apple come up with a better name than that for the next generation Macintosh laptop? Couldn't they just call the new Intel-based PowerBooks, "PowerBook Intel"? Or something like that? Well, not really. Remember the "PowerBook" takes its name not from its great POWER, but from the PowerPC processor that is inside it. And baby, that processor has been REPLACED by something better!! So, okay, MacBook isn't as jazzy. But at least it says, "Hey! I'm a Macintosh!!" And that's what we wantMacsright?
Iinadvertently dropped the PRO from MacBook Pro in the last issue, and in my ignorance spilled the beans on the new NOT PRO MacBooks. These sweet white plastic laptops officially replace the popular white plasticiBooks. With only one screen size, 13 inches, they sport the Intel processorthe same one as the Pro'sthey are thinner, the keyboard has been 're-worked', and the display is wider, brighter, and GLOSSY. The emphasis here is that this is a media computer after all. And, at the 'high end' of the line, there's a black model that presumably replaces the 12" Powerbook.

OBLIGATORY ADVERTISEMENT: Ready to have someone load your CD collection onto your iPod? 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. I'm also available for contract work with businesses of any size. Read the details in the SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION section at the bottom. Or email me now: < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com> Enjoy the newsletter! :-)

Contactme in iChat! Put me on your Buddy List! <>


Apple Updates - Tiger is up to 10.4.7. Let me remind you every issue, avoid security problems and Get Current! You should run the Software Update System Preference even if you're not using the Stripey current version of the Mac OS. And if you're not - do you still have Panther? Or Jaguar?? Please take my advice. Tiger is the 'mature' currently up-to-date system version. Apple is preparing to release yet another feline by the end of 2006, but unless you're a real heatseeker (or if you buy a Mac that already has the new cat on it), you probably won't want to put it on your Mac until we go through at least a couple of bug-fixing updates. Keep your Tiger current by using the Software Update System Preference, and if you're using another cat,Upgrade!


All the Universals- There are now too many 'universal' versions of software for me to track. If you have an Intel Mac, or are getting one soon, you want the 'universal binaries' that will run best, and fastest, on Intel processors. Of more significance are the apps that are not yet at a Universal: Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Quicken, and the Adobe Creative Suite. They do all run with the aid of 'Rosetta', but we'd like to see them in a Universal Binary, wouldn't we? The sooner the better, please! :-)

Check for more updates at <>.


Apple 5th Avenue Store Premiers in Manhattan- It's a giant glass cube. Seriously. Similar in design to the silver cube Apple Store in Ginza(Tokyo), [visitedrecently by yours truly], the glass cube has a glass stairway and hundreds of iPods and MacBooks for prospective buyers to check out. The store is slated to be open 24x7, indefinitely. Check out the slideshow, courtesy of Businessweek.

Apple Scruffs Swamp NYC Store- Over the weekend of May 19-21, thousands of Apple fanatics stood in line for hours to get into the new Apple store at 5th Avenue. Apple celebrated the event with a webcam on the home page of their web site. I'm all for free t-shirts, but to camp out in front of a store for hours? It's not CSNY, or Bruce, or U2. It's not even a PERSON. It's a store. A STORE!! Couldn't you guys at least protest the war or something while you're standing around? ;-)

Weird iPod News

Apple's Bad News?- First, the business news was alive with stories that Apple's iPods are built by virtual slave labor in China. [Isn't that true of all manufactured goods from China?] Does make you wonder how prices are going to stay low when the rest of the world asks for a decent wage. Apple has stated it will 'investigate' since this clearly runs against their corporate philosophy. Then, in apparently unrelated news, Apple's head in Japan resigned. He was largely responsible for good iPod market penetration in Japan and has interest in starting his own business. Hm. I wonder what he is up to? For the time being, Apple's tower-jumping head of Global Marketing, Phil Schiller, will fill-in.

Nike Deal Borgs Nano Runners- In one more of an endless onslaught of new products and technical innovations from Apple, Nike and Apple are co-advertising theNike Runner's Kit for iPod Nanos. The kit consists of a wireless sensor that goes in your shoe, a receiver that attaches to your iPod Nano, and software. Once configured, the runner can receive real-time audio feedback in his headphones, as the 'kit' tracks speed, distance, and calories burned. Does it also monitor pulse and heartrate? After exercise, the runner can sych the data with software on his Mac or PC, and even upload it to a web site where he can compete with other runners.

Grand Old Party Usurps Flag, is iPod Next?- Do not misunderestimate the significance of President Bush's fondness for his iPod. For providing an opportunity for local Republicans to discuss how to further control the media, monitor all forms of communication for un-patriotic behaviour, enhance corporate profits, and further modify the tax code to their advantage, the RNC rewards 'coffee' hosts with a customized iPod, wrapped in a red,white, and blue flag decal! Can the Democrats top this with a video iPod? Will it contain denial sound bytes and contradictory truths from the current administration? "There absolutely are WMD", "mission accomplished", "anyone that leaks will be fired", "This is not a fishing expedition. These are targeted wiretaps of international callers", and (the Drug plan) "It's not that complicated!". Get yours today!!

Hillary's Hits Hit the News-But wait! Just when this party starts to fade, we've got news of Hillary's iPod, and my gosh, what's on it?? It was Bill's gift to her, and it's full of Eagles, Beatlespretty much what you would expect. Jeez. Everybody wants to be a cat. :-)

SanDisk Launches anti-pod Campaign- What? Not enough weird news already? How about this: SanDisk, makers of some MP3 player-or-other has decided the way to sell more notPods is to call iPod purchasers iSheep. They call their campaign 'iDon't', and tell people they are not being creative or different by going with a mainstream product (the iPod). A similar strategy nearly killed Apple in The Time Of Darkness. Apple alienated billions of potential customers by calling Windows/IBM users 'lemmings'. Yep, that really helped Michael Spindler move a lot of those slow, clunky, beige Macs. So, good luck SanDisk!

More News: <>

Unpredictable Reader Feedback
Steven Withers writes from Down Under,"What have you got against Mighty Mouse anyway?" Good to hear from you again Steven! Just that the 'touch sensitive' buttons don't work as well as a real right and left mouse button, the scroll pea doesn't work with iPhoto, and the 'squeeze' side button is too hard to even bother with, and is advertised by Apple as two buttons when it only functions as one. Other than that? It's okay I guess.

Switcher Marc, who recently purchased a G5 iMac, just bought his mother an Intel iMac and told me, "I like the Mighty Mouse!"Okay, guys, I surrender! Maybe when they come out with the Bluetooth version I'll give it another try.

Diplomat Richard, on the way to a new assignment, wrote with the good news, "I have ordered an Apple laptop, returning to the Apple fold after 8 years ofWindows/Toshibas."Welcome back! BTW, we call them "MacBooks", or in your case I suspect, "MacBook Pro". With your new Mac we can video conference! I'm here if you need any help there in Rwanda.

Writer Brad (It's almost a high school reunion this issue!) video chatted with me long enough to tell me that the geniuses are still puzzled by the intermittent bad behaviour of his PB G4 12" which has now undergone an 'archive and install', and worse, they gave him a hard time when he returned his non-functional iPod Nano.At this point I'd guess, maybe there's some bad RAM in the PB. As for the Nano...See Podservations, below.

ZebraTale client Neil recently announced the release of not one, but two new architectural design books, created on his Mac, and available on!! Macs at work, I love it!


Tiger Hunting
File Sharing
IsitjustbecauseI'msittinginaloudStarbuck's? Because everyone is rushing around, that I want to just give you the quick and easy answer? Is that what our era is all about? Give me the goods, don't waste my time, don't tell me how it used to be, I don't care about the connection to the past, just get on with it dude! Well, if that's what it's all about, skip the next 5 paragraphs, or read a manual. I'll recommend some good ones. Me, I'm going to take my time and use a few complete sentences.

Computer users older than Eminem, maybe as old as Madonna, but not as old as Neil Young, will remember how Macs were so incredibly innovative, letting you actually share a folder, or even a whole drive, on a network without having to buy, install, or maintain a 'server'. You could even play "network administrator" and assign users different levels of access, assign them passwords, the whole hot air balloon. Of course one minor flaw with this scenario was that by default when the 'owner' of the Mac logged in on another computer, she had TOTAL access to the whole drive. Although in many years of working with thousands of Mac users I NEVER saw this happen, theoretically a bad person could log in as the owner and trash the owner's whole computer. Cynical IT types, and people marketing Novell and Microsoft Server software, pointed to this feature as a 'major security flaw' in the design of the system. Oh well. Things are different now.

Darn it if Our Friends at Apple didn't lock down security in Oh Ess TEN, especially when it comes to File Sharing.

Don't Be A Troglodyte!
There are all kinds of ways to share files. You probably don't use floppies any more. Does anyone? Not that long ago, you needed a JAZ drive and a big wallet-sized cartridge to hold a Gig of data. And we thought that was great! Except that Jaz cartridges had a tendency to get corrupted, and sometimes the drives would destroy every cartridge you put in...jeez.For awhile it looked like CDs or DVDs were going to be the way to move files aroundand they still serve a purpose but in case you haven't noticed yet, the way to go is to use a USB (memory) drive. These puppies go by different names, like 'Cruzer'. They are so convenient, they've gotten so inexpensive, and can hold so much data, why would you not have at least one? Now you can get up to 2 Gigs on a stick for under a hundred dollars (or way less for less capacity), and wear it around your neck. Plug it in to any Mac since the first iMac, and any Windows PC since...since they put USB ports on them. (They all have USB now, don't they??) The stick appears just like any other drive volume in your Finder (or Windows desktop), and you can drag and drop files, and dump them in the trash when you're done. These things are so great, I am dumbfounded when I encounter technologytroglodytes who haven't discovered them yet! So don't be a troglodyte, get a USB drive and have some fun!

cknowledging that Tiger is an improvement, but that IT'S NOT PERFECT, we looked last time at the annoying Microsoft Proxy problem. In this issue we take a mercifully quick look at printing.

PRINTING - I know, I know, I've gone on before about things most of you don't remember, like how EASY it was to pick and configure a printer when we had a "Chooser" in Oh ESS NINE. For you youngsters, it was about like this: Open a window, choose a local network segment, look at the list of printers, and pick one. You could tell the Mac to configure the printer itself, it would 'query' the printer and choose the right Postscript driver. In fact, the printer team at Microsoft scrambled day and night for seventeen years, (from what I hear, only breaking, once annually, for less than an hour, to celebrate Bill Gates' birthday), to copy this incredible 'ease of use' into Windows. Although some of the team had retired as stock-option millionaires by then, with the release of Windows XP Professional, they did it! They made cofiguring a printer in Windows, easy.

"Stop living in the past, OLD MAN!" You shout.

Okay. Has printing improved in Tiger?? If you're the average user, if you're lucky, you can go to the "Printer Browser", click on [Default Browser], and a 'Rendezvous' printer will appear. The printer driver is built into your Tiger version, and that's about all you have to do. And that's the way it should be.

But, not true with my HP All-in-one 1600. I had to 'install' the drivers from a CD. Then, I had to run the HP Printer Selector. What the heck is a Printer Selector? And why does my Mac need it?? Did that really happen? Or was it a bad dream? It doesn't seem possible, but I'm sure it happened...and, everything works great now, did I get there?? It wasn't easy, but it was relatively painless.

If, however, you have a network of even minor complexity, or yikes! work at a Big Dumb Corporation (BDC) or a BDSchool that has lots of different types of printers and networks and protocols, BE PATIENT. Eventually, you will probably get this to work! But it requires persistence, and many trips to the Printer Setup utility (formerly known as 'Print Manager'). And please, don't be shy about asking for professional assistance.

Macintosh printing has not gotten easier. The Mac can print to just about any printer on the planet, over almost any network on the planet, using any protocol in the universe. If you like to be confused by a labyrinth of choices, confounded by incredible compatibility, or puzzled by ponds of protocolsUnix, Windows, Appletalk, IP, Bluetooth, Firewire, USBthe whole Geek Speak printer library is right there in the "Print & Fax" System Preference. This is definitely a place where 'Windows Envy' rightfully exists, because configuring a Windows printer is STILL easier, and has been ever since X first appeared. I HATE to say it, but it is TRUE.

Next time, what happened to file sharing??? :-)



They Break!- iPods break.I've pointed out in the past the incredibly high failure and replacement rate of iPods, and I STILL suggest that if you plan on keeping your pod more than the year that it is covered by the warranty, that you invest $50 in the Applecare 2 year extension.

I'm sure returns have finally hit Apple and they are now making it much harder to return a damaged iPod. In Brad's case, they pointed out a tiny bit of rust on the connector. I've also overheard them pointing out dents and scratches as signs of 'abuse', and politely explaining that other third party services might be able to repair a damaged iPod, but that they can't replace it. No longer do they simply walk into the back room and come out with a refurbished replacement.

AND they're 19 day no-questions-asked return policy now includes a 15% re-stocking charge. :-)

Know the Difference

Mouse Hunt(Part 2 of 3)- Last issue, we took the Disneyland tram through Mouse History World, ending up in Apple's disappointing and mis-spelled "Mighty Mouse" display. There are, friends, many mice out there.I've been SEARCHING such a long, long, time for the right mouse, and I'm going to say nowforever putting an end to those who claim I am an apologist for Apple"Forget Apple mice". Better yet, when you buy a new Mac that comes with Might Mouse (I'm sure that was its real name, and someone added the 'y' by mistake), return it to Apple store, if you can tolerate waiting behind the long line for broken iPods, and tell them to fix the darn thing! That said,does anyone still use a "mechanical mouse"? You can probably buy a 'mechanical' mouse somewhere, but WHY would you want one? Because it costs two dollars? SO WHAT? Optical means no rollers, no dirt and dust, no MOUSEPAD. [See Ridiculously Obvious Mouse Repair in 'Tips', below.] Blind technology is old technology, and when you're talkin' technologyand we areold is bad. So, we're talking optical mice here.

I'm talking about mice, not desktop pointing devices, track balls, and all that junk. Mice.Finally, I'd like to have a good WIRELESS mouse, because, who wants wires? So I'll cover that a bit.

Here's what I've found:

The 'Basic Optical' Microsoft Mouse- I didn't want to use a Microsoft Mouse, and I certainly am too prejudiced to pay for a high-end MS mouse, but someone handed me a basic MS mouse, so I tried it. It works. That's about it. Unlike MS Mice of yore, the design is symmetrical, so you can use left, right, or both, hands. [Actually ALL these mice are symmetrical. We've come so far!!] It is definitely 'basic'. It feels cheap and hollow, kind of like a meringue with a wire, and the cursor jumps all over the place. I actually tried a couple of these because I couldn't believe this mouse was as jittery ahe right mouse??? More mystical mouse ruminations next time!

And That's The Difference.

Podcast Review

Avoid -Ask A NinjaThis ise these, and have been known to roll around on the floor laughing at the silly Ninja answers.

Try - The World: TechnologyPublic Br

The content is out theresend me your suggestions, or reviews!


Scroll Mouse TipOnce you start using the scroll wheel (or the 'scroll pea' on the 'Might Mouse'), you begin to expect onscreen controls to work with it. At this point nearly ALL applications (except Lotus Notes for the Macintosh) support the scroll-wheel scrolling of windows and dialogs. But why not try it anywhere that makes sense? Such as the System Volume control available on the Volume menu item. And the iTunes Volume control. Sometimes you have to click near or on the control to make it active, sometimes you just need to move the mouse over or near the control. I think the scroll wheel should work everywhere there is a slider control! How about in the Font dialog??

Secret OS/X Speed UpA cert

Ridiculously Obvious Mouse RepairWe've

Safari Bookmark Secrets!We'veMore Tips next issue!

Special Bonus Keyboard Commands

Safari: Show Bookmarks Bar[Command]+[Shift]+[B]




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iPod Loading! And support. Now that you have your iPod, you discover you are too busy, or your time is worth too much to spend it feeding your Mac one CD after another for HOURS. Can't someone do it for you??? Of course!! HIRE ME!! For a minimal fee I'll load your iPod from your (commercially manufactured) CDs. And of course this service is available to both Mac and Windows iPod owners. Other options include custom playlists and DVD backup. Email me now and put "LOAD MY IPOD" in the Subject: < chris AT Unpredictablemac dot com> :-)

**Chriss UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for Mac Users **

Oriented towards, but not exclusively for Mac Users in Beautiful Western Central New Jersey.
Since 2000, 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.

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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 :-)