email page My Mac #20, Dec. 1996


In your column of November 1996 you stated:

“Of course, I then use HDT Prober to mount it on my desktop, because any SCSI device will only mount if it is turned on either when the Mac is started up, or before.”

I think you mean that any SCSI device will not AUTO mount unless it is turned on before or when the Mac is started up. I frequently turn on a little used external HD on my IIci well after the Mac has been started, and I use SCSI Probe 4.3 to mount this HD. Works every time.

Like your trash can idea! I had the same idea recently; it works great when you’ve been doing a lot of downloads and have a lot of .hqx files lying around (I keep the .hqx files until I am sure that everything came through ok, then trash them, as opposed to changing the preferences in StuffIt Expander).

Keep up the good work. I just found My Mac and I really enjoy it.

Bob Eye

Thanks for the letter, Bob!
I do the same thing with my .hqx files as well. Usually I will toss them out after I have tested the downloaded software first. I then archive the .sit or .sea archive to ZIP, then do away with the .hqx file. Good practice for people to get into.


I’m not too sure that it’s safe to introduce any SCSI devices on the SCSI chain (e.g.
turning on the ZIP drive) while the machine is ON. In fact, Apple and others see it as
dangerous. Same with ADB and other devices (you may blow the ADB chip in the Mac…I
have seen this done to my friend’s old LC).

Just a suggestion. The ZIP drive does have a sleep mode that draws less power after
about 15 minutes or so. Or just keep the machine on 24-hours a day like I do.

Future device busses (like FireWire) will supposedly support hot-plugging devices.


While it is true that you should never plug a SCSI device into your computer when it is on, that rule does not apply when turning on a device, such as a ZIP or a scanner, if the SCSI cables are plugged in already.

Simple rule: if you have to plug it into your Mac (be it a mouse, scanner, keyboard, monitor, or what have you) you should always turn the Mac off first. If it is already plugged in, you can safely turn it on. If it is a SCSI device (big cable) you may need SCSI port scanning program, such as HDT Prober, SilverLinning, or SCSI Probe.

SCSI, by the way, is pronounced “Scuzzy.”


Easier Internet

Hi, just a quick comment on your “An Easier Internet”. You mention the idea of caching your web activity on your ISP server. When AOL launched their Internet/Web service I thought that was one of their big marketing points. They supposedly were keeping the most popular sites cached locally in order to improve response for their users. Something like that. I tried to find the “letter from Steve Case”, but they only go back a year… Anyhow, it is an interesting thought.

Brett Turner

Netscape also uses a Caching file for Web sites you hit. It is in your Preference folder. Of course, I tell this to those who did not already know that. Brett did:-)


Mac Clone Names

Hi Tim,

About Mac clones; how about naming them raincoat or windshield or windcheater (I like that one) or weathershield.


Bill Sisk

How about MacPC or MPC for a name for macintosh clones.

yeah, they’re lame but that’s all I got.

aaron cary

Anyone else?

Subscriber Mailings


I’m a mymac suscriber

I think is great idea

My best salutations

How about giving subscribers a choice? I receive MY MAC at work, where I have e-mail access but not Web access. Please consider letting subscribers sign up for delivery. (That’s kinda the definition of “subscribers,” anyway, isn’t it?)

Many thanks,

Drat! I actually *preferred* having MyMac sent to me. Now I probably won’t read it as much because I just don’t surf around on the Web all the time.

Andree Leighton

Well, win some, lose some. While I know that some people who receive My Mac via email cannot get to the WWW or FTP site, most can. As I said last issue, the list of subscribers is simply too large for one person (me!) to manage alone. It much more time than I have every month to send it out.

However, if you do not have internet web access, please send a letter to me at, and we will send the issue to you direct.


I’ve got an idea for a Mac commercial!

You should have a setup where there’s some guy with a PC looking frantically for something with Windows. Soon, his boss enters and says something like “Smith, do you have it?” (Somewhere in here there has to be a Windows sign on the computer.) The guy with the PC looks and smiles uneasily at his boss. Then the screen goes black and there‘s an Apple symbol, and in anti-aliased text: “got mac?” Cool, no?

I agree with not-so-great comercials, but admit it, that one called “Where’s the dinosaurs?” was funny. BTW I love your ezine!!!

– J a c k

PS: How do I subscribe?

I like your idea! I will forward it to Apple next month, along with some of the other ideas sent in. Perhaps they will take note, and send it to their PR firm? Can’t hurt, right?

If you have yet to send in your idea for a Macintosh commercial, please do so by December 31st. 1996.

To subscribe to My Mac, send a email to “” with the word “Subscribe” somewhere in the message. This is not a list serve, and I do read every letter that comes to any of my email accounts. So write some other words in there as well! 🙂


Secret About Box

I receive My Mac and really enjoy it. I do have one question about something you wrote, however.

I tried to see the Secret About Box by typing “secret about box” (without the quotes) in my Note Pad, selecting the text with my mouse and dragging it to the Desktop.

Since I am running System 7.5.1, according to you I should see a flag with an iguana fluttering over Apple’s headquarters. Nothing happened, however.

Am I supposed to double click on the text clipping to get the image to appear, ’cause I did that as well without anything happening other than the note pad opening and displaying the words “secret about box”?

I await your reply at your convenience. Thanks for your time.


Andrew and I have gone ’round and ’round trying to get this to work on his computer. I have tested it on many Macs, and have yet had it NOT work. If anyone knows what Andrew is doing wrong, please let us know.



I’ve just been reading My Mac November (I finally got down to downloading it) and read up on the 809 scam. May I include that area code 809 spans just about the whole Caribbean, not just the Virgin Islands? Thanks.

Francis Moralles — DrMac —

Thanks, DrMac!


Too much Mac passion?

I just finished reading My Mac #19 and, as always, I was thoroughly entertained. You & your staff produce a fine ‘zine. You should all be very proud. I could go on, but there is another purpose to my writing this letter.

I wish to respond to Daniel Ramos’ letter, which was printed in the aforementioned issue, wherein he rails against the notion of Apple incorporating the ability to run Windows applications directly within MacOS 8. In truth, I had the same horrified gut reaction he did to the idea, but then a few points came immediately to mind. They are, in no particular order, as follows:

* This is still only a rumor, so there’s no point in us getting our drawers in a twist.

* If true, this can only be a good thing for the Mac as a platform. Think about it, a more stable platform which can also run those programs people like to use in Windoze. Can’t you just see the rise in market share? It’s like the ad says, “Windows users aren’t evil, they just don’t know any better.” It will be up to Apple (and third party developers) to support continuing development of applications which run more smoothly and more efficiently on the Mac than Windoze apps will.

* In the event that Apple does make this ability a reality, I honestly don’t think it will be a feature we won’t be able to turn off. Besides, even if we can’t disable it, who’s to say we have to use Windoze apps on a Mac just because we can? I can’t think of any common daily use program which runs in Windoze that does not have a Mac counterpart. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any Windoze program I’d want to use anyway.

Mr. Ramos should be commended for the strength of his loyalty. All I ask is that he temper his passion with reason. As Mac users, we must set an example of decorum. For too long we were arrogant in our pride concerning our platform of choice. Apple’s recent monetary & current equipment problems were just the opening the press needed to try to knock us all down a peg or two. We must learn from our mistakes & rise above all the trash talk. If this rumor turns out to be true, the question we must ask is how can we use this to our advantage?

Thanks. Please keep up the good work. I look forward to watching the continuing growth of My Mac as a journal of valuable information & opinion.


L. West Nelson


America Online 3.0

I really disagree with your reviewer’s opinions about the Mac beta of AOL 3.0. What a pain to install. I think I had to restart the computer 4 times. It disabled the connection to my ISP and requires a restart every time you switch between AOL and your ISP, assuming you knew when you logged off which you were going to want to use next time. If you guessed wrong it is start, log on, log off, restart and log on to the other service. Only a PC user would put up with that.

As for the interface. It may work all right but it has the same obtuse appearance of unlabelled symbol buttons that caused Compuserve WOW to sink beneath the waves. It reminds one of the button city of MS Word.

The MAC community has complained about MS ripping off MAC technologies and pretending that they invented it. I wonder why so many MAC users are willing to use MS when they rip off Netscape. I don’t know what the financial arrangements are, but I hate to think of part of my AOL bill going to MS every month.

Winsor Crosby

A simple way to avoid the ISP problem with AOL 3.0 is to disable “AOL Link” in the preferences.

I would also agree that AOL 3.0 has too many buttons. Of course, you can turn off that menu bar as well. Everything in the menu bar has a pull down menu.

While I respect the reviewers’ opinions, I also don’t always agree with them. AOL 3.0 has both good and bad points. I love the new email functions, although the beta I use is a little buggy, and some menu options seem to be disabled. I hate the “Buddy List,” a feature that will alert anyone who puts you on it that you are online. Oh, goodie, now everyone and their sister can send me an instant message every time I am online. I had to get a new screen name so that I can sign on and be left alone.

Thanks for the letter, Winsor, and everyone else who wrote in this month. We do love getting email, on each and every subject known to man. Well, perhaps not every subject. We hate getting those darn PC autoexec.bat questions…


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