BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
Was so glad to hear your pitch for reading books in My Mac. I recently retired from working in a high school library (21 years). Always thought myself extremely lucky to have such close contact with our greatest assets – kids and BOOKS. Many students preferred to watch the video rather than read the book. I remember one student checked out “Misery” by Stephen King for a book report (had special permission from his teacher because he was a reluctant reader). He said he had seen the movie and was going to rent the video and “wing” the book report. I am a King fan (to the surprise of most the students) and I told him the book was MUCH better than the movie which was also good; I mentioned several King-ish scenes from the book which were not in the movie. To make a long story end, the student ended up reading the book, enjoying it and getting a B+ grade which was new to him. He later checked out “Cujo” and several other King books and then started on Dean Koontz.
This particular student would never read “War and Peace” but who cares. That is the great thing about books. There is something out there for everybody.
I want to thank you for the consistently excellent information and assistance you provide through My Mac. It keeps getting better and better.
Hey, I was surprised to find an extra “Chapter” sent out alone last issue. Did this go out to only the Deluxe subscribers? (I am one). I thought it was funny as hell! I knew there was practical joke types of shareware you could download for the Mac, but had no idea what they were called, where to find them, or anything! That was cool, sending all of the one’s you wrote about. (But BrokaMac made my Mac crash!)
Will you do more of these separate one page things in the future?
Yes, that was only for MMD subscribers. I had written the column for THIS issue, rather than as a separate send out to the Deluxe subscribers. But, I decided that since you paid for My Mac Deluxe, you should get a little something extra:-) (Besides the other 5MB of stuff!) Will I do more in the future? Count on it.
As for BrokaMac making your Mac crash, with a name like BrokaMac, what did you expect?
On QuickTime 2.5 and Mouse Pads
Concerning QuickTime 2.5, you say “In fact, this is a must have for every Mac user, IMHO.”
Caution: The installer may install the control panel Sound v 8.0.5 when it shouldn’t, as it did on my Mac, raising havoc which two tech support staff at 1-800-SOS-APPL totally mis-diagnosed. (I will advise Apple of the problem.) The Simple Beep alert sound malfunctioned, and other worse things happened.
Ron Brown, in his interesting dissertation on the e-mail page of My Mac #16 wrote “Back to my thick, nylon-surfaced, oversized pad. Hmmmm……doesn’t seem so bad after all.”
The height of the typical mouse pad of the mid ’80s did not appeal to me. As an alternative, I glued a piece of printer paper on a disk of 1/4″ neoprene which was the left-over cutout from making a circular gasket. In addition to the low profile, an unexpected benefit was that the mouse remained clean much longer than previously. (Occasionally the mouse pad would disappear, indicating coworker approval of this shared pad, so I would make another.)
At home, with a mouse pad like this, during the past four years I have cleaned my mouse probably three times, each time arbitrarily, including just now for comment, but never because of impaired mouse function. This time the ball required no cleaning; one roller had a faint track which wiped clean with a dry paper towel and the other was clean. No lint was visible until I blew into hidden recesses with a drinking straw. Two small lint balls appeared and I removed them carefully with tweezers. (My mouse usage is obviously less than the 7428 hours logged by my computer.)
Remember cut and paste? I have pasted the paper to the rubber with either office rubber cement or with photo mount spray adhesive. The spray adhesive is the easier. Looking at my present pad, I report it would look nicer if I changed the paper, but the mouse doesn’t seem to notice the soiled appearance. On the rare occasions when I change the paper, I clean the rubber with cement thinner. (Heed good ventilation.) One additional comment: 1/16″ thick rubber would probably be equally satisfactory.
For a pad with excellent surface characteristics, easily renewed surface, low adjustable profile, and place for notes, try a pad of paper. You might be pleasantly surprised. Certainly this is an easy way to check the behavior of your mouse on a paper surface. Paper seems to have excellent tooth for the ball, and soils preferentially.
Dimensions? Arbitrary. Mine is circular, 12″ diameter. The paper is tractor-feed for coverage. Smaller would do very well.
On David A. Fuller’s Letter
Tim Robertson wrote : Okay, I can hear all you Mac users out there wondering why this letter is here.
Actually, the greater question would be, ‘why did Mr. Fuller bother to write such a letter to a Mac magazine.’ The answer would appear to be that he still feels his platform is threatened by what he claims is an inferior machine. Why on earth would anyone who uses a PC feel the need to evangelize and defend his platform given its huge market share? It’s like Goliath trying to convince David’s friends to fight on his side.
The answer would be that he either doesn’t truly believe Macs are inferior or that he just wants to let all us Mac users know that, because of our fear of computers and stupidity, we’re getting less than he is. How charitable of him to assist us.
How odd of you to assist him in whatever his agenda is in order to present the impression of a fair-minded publication. You’re not fair-minded, you’re Mac-biased, as are your readers.
In this time of daily negative Mac press, I think the last thing we need to read is this sort of prattle. I’m not closing my eyes and plugging my ears to it, I’m simply weary of hearing the same song and I really didn’t expect to hear “the PC is better” tune on the My Mac station.
All you’re doing here is contributing to the nagging doubts of Mac users everywhere. If Mac-devoted publications can’t give it a rest, who can? Guy would be disappointed.
I am not sure what to say after reading your retort of my publishing David’s letter. (My Mac #16, August, 1996).
First, while David may indeed have his own agenda, I don’t agree that publishing what he wrote would really help further his goals. As you yourself said, My Mac is a biased, Macintosh oriented publication. But being biased toward Macintosh computers does not mean we are not fair-minded. The two, in some circumstances, are not mutually exclusive of one another. If a new computer came out right now that was more personal, more user-friendly, more “Mac” than our current computers, I would be the first to give it a chance. Why? I am, IMHO, very open-minded. I have given Microsoft a chance in the past, and find that I cannot, on a personal level, support their products. Why? That’s another story. But our policy at My Mac is and will continue to be one of unbiased fairness in reviewing ANY product from ANY manufacturer. Rest assured that Microsoft will be treated as objectively and impartially as would Power Computing, or even Apple itself, for that matter.
Mac-biased we may be. But being open-minded is what makes My Mac a good read. And an honest one. I have not always agreed with the views some of our columnists have voiced, but I still printed them.
Diary of an AOL user
(This was sent in by a AOL reader who wanted to share it with everyone. Hey, I use AOL everyday and still love it, but I couldn’t stop laughing after reading this! Enjoy!)
July 18 – I just tried to connect to America Online. I’ve heard it is the best online service I can get. They even included a free disk! I’d better hold onto it in case they don’t ever send me another one! I can’t connect. I don’t know what is wrong.
July 19 – Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a modem. I don’t see why. He’s just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he think I am?
July 22 – I bought the modem. I couldn’t figure out where it goes. It wouldn’t fit in the monitor or the printer. I’m confused.
July 23 – I finally got the modem in and hooked it up. That nine year old next door did it for me. But it still don’t work. I cant get online.
July 25 – That nine year old kid next door hooked me up to America Online. He’s so smart. I told the kid he was a prodigy. But he says that’s just another service. What a modest kid. He’s so smart and he does these services for people. Anyway he’s smarter than the jerks who sold me the modem. They didn’t even tell me about communications software. Bet they didn’t know. And why do they put two telephone jack holes in the back of a modem when you only need one? And why do they have one labeled phone when you are not suppose to hook it to the phone jack on the wall? I thought the dial tone sounded funny! Boy, are modem makers dumb! But the kid figured it out by the sound.
July 26 – What’s the internet? I thought I was on America Online. Not this internet thing. I’m confused.
July 27 – The nine year old kid next door showed me how to use this America Online stuff. I told him he must be a genius. He says that he is compared to me. Maybe he’s not so modest after all.
July 28 – I tried to use chat today. I tried to talk into my computer
but nothing happened. maybe I need to buy a microphone.
July 29 – I found this thing called usenet. I got out of it because I’m connected to America Online not usenet.
July 30 – These people in this usenet thing keep using capital letters. How do they do that? I never figured out how to type capital letters. Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.
JULY 31 – I CALLED THE COMPUTER MAKER I BOUGHT IT FROM TO COMPLAIN ABOUT NOT HAVING A CAPITOL LETTER KEY. THE TECH SUPPORT GUY SAID IT WAS THIS CAPS LOCK KEY. WHY DIDN’T THEY SPELL IT OUT? I TOLD HIM I GOT A CHEAP KEYBOARD AND WANTED A BETTER ONE. AND ONE OF MY SHIFT KEYS ISN’T THE SAME SIZE AS THE OTHER. HE SAID THAT’S A STANDARD. I TOLD HIM I DIDN’T WANT A STANDARD KEYBOARD BUT ANOTHER BRAND. I MUST HAVE HAD AN IMPORTANT COMPLAINT BECAUSE I HEARD HIM TELL THE OTHER SUPPORT GUYS TO LISTEN IN ON OUR CONVERSATION.
AUGUST 1 – I FOUND THIS THING CALLED THE USENET ORACLE. IT SAYS THAT IT CAN ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS I ASK IT. I SENT IT 44 SEPARATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERNET. I HOPE IT RESPONDS SOON.
AUGUST 2 – I FOUND A GROUP CALLED REC.HUMOR. I DECIDED TO POST THIS JOKE ABOUT THE CHICKEN THAT CROSSED THE ROAD. TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE! HA! HA! I WASN’T SURE I POSTED IT RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 56 MORE TIMES.
AUGUST 3 – I KEEP HEARING ABOUT THE WORLD WIDE WEB. I DIDN’T KNOW SPIDERS
GREW THAT LARGE.
AUGUST 4 – THE ORACLE RESPONDED TO MY QUESTIONS TODAY. GEEZ IT WAS RUDE.
I WAS SO ANGRY THAT I POSTED AN ANGRY MESSAGE ABOUT IT TO REC.HUMOR.ORACLE. I WASN’T SURE IF I POSTED RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 22 MORE TIMES.
AUGUST 5 – SOMEONE TOLD ME TO READ THE FAQ. GEEZ THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO USE
AUGUST 6 – SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME TO STOP SHOUTING IN ALL MY MESSAGES. WHAT A STUPID JERK. I’M NOT SHOUTING! I’M NOT EVEN TALKING! JUST TYPING! HOW CAN THEY LET THESE RUDE JERKS GO ON THE INTERNET?
August 7 – Why have a Caps Lock key if you’re not suppose to use it? Its probably an extra feature that costs more money.
August 8 – I just read this post called make money fast. I’m so excited. I’m going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions and posted it to every newsgroup I could find.
August 9 – I just made my signature file. Its only 6 pages long. I will have to work on it some more.
August 10 – I just looked at a group called alt.aol.sucks. I read a few posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face of the earth. I wonder what an aol is.
August 11 – I was asking where to find some information about something. Some guy told me to check out ftp.netcom.com. I’ve looked and looked but I can’t find that group.
August 12 – I sent a post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. hopefully someone will help. I can’t ask the kid next door. His parents said that when he comes back from my house he’s laughing so hard he can’t eat or sleep or do his homework. So they won’t let him come over anymore. I do have a great sense of humor. I don’t know why the rec.humor group didn’t like my chicken joke. Maybe they only like dirty stuff. Some people sent me posts about my 56 posts of the joke and they used bad words.
August 13 – I sent another post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. I had forgot yesterday to include my new signature file which is only 8 pages long. I know everyone will want to read my favorite poem so I included it. I’m also going to add that short story I like.
August 14 – America Online is a local call! So, since I do not have to call long distance, I decided to just leave it on so I won’t get anymore busy signals!
August 24 – My computer froze up a few days ago. Since I could not choose “Shut down”, I left it alone, waiting for it to unfreeze. Today my wife unplugged it so she could vacuum, and now it works!
August 25 – America Online canceled my account, saying my Visa card would not accept the bill. They say the bill was for three hundred dollars. I can’t figure it out?
August 26 – America Online must want me to join up again, because they sent me another disk in the mail today! I will call later!
Greetings from the Gulf
Here I am, a military trainer on contract in the Saudi Arabian Desert, and the sun has just set in the west, and a yellow moon has broken through the desert floor in the east, rising to light the skies in competition with the illumination rounds being fired from the mortar tracks to my direct front. The HE (high explosive) rounds have been fired, eliminating a designated target out to the front a few klicks out. The forward observer continues to call for fire as the moon ambles on the rise.
Dinner was a couple of cokes, bottled water, canned tuna and croissants we picked up at an Arab grocery store on the way out here. According to the GPS tracking systems, we are about thirty miles into the desert north of Tabuk. It’s almost nine o’clock at night, and we expect to be here for a few more hours as the mortar rounds continue to blast away. If we stay here longer, someone will start cooking a goat. Yummy.
My PowerBook 540c is still running on battery power, has been for the past three
hours or so. I’ll have to plug it into the Jeep to recharge soon. The Saudi senior sergeant comes by to check out my email over my shoulder. He is pleased to go back and inform his commander that I will relay his platoon’s accomplishments to the world (you guys) in the next few hours. whoaa…nice shot, one of the mortar crews corrected the data on one of the guns and re-fired a flare. Nice plot. They are now painting the skies with brightly burning magnesium flares.
You can’t believe how dark it is out here. It seems like the moon has to claw its way with it’s light rays just to get to our firing point. The only light in the immediate area is from the computer screen. When the flares go out you get a serious taste of DARK, like inside-of-a-coffin-in-a-graveyard dark.
Off to my right the moon seems to have a wierd glow beneath it from the hanging dust, as if a skirt of white lace is dragging it back to the desert floor. The stars are coming out, punctuating the flares and explosions in a concerto of sound and light. Every time the round goes down, another star comes out to greet it, celebrating its burst on target. In another sense, it’s as if the mortar crews have a star in each shell, and a celestial holy mission to hang them up in the night sky. But even the starlight seems to struggle against the Darkness of the Arabian Desert. Hence, more shells. We brought 200 rounds with us, and it seems as if we hung the same number of stars in the heavens above tonight.
The only thing missing are the tracers, but that’s on the Bradley range, where the other sections are doing their night fire mission, shooting anti-tank missiles and 25mm cannons.
Our 4th of July holiday celebration was cancelled because of the terrorist threat, so tonight we had our own fireworks show while training some troops.
Happy Birthday, America!
Bertie M. Hall
Tabuk, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Thank you for the belated birthday greeting from the Gulf. We’re glad to see that My Mac has found its way to where you are and that you took the time to remember all of us even with what has been going on in Saudi Arabia. Keep safe!