Starting Line
My Mac Magazine #30, Oct. ’97

Dear Readers:

More interesting changes are taking place in the world of Apple. I read Apple bought out the Power Computing license. Is this the end of the clones? Maybe, maybe not. One thing I do know: It means one more Windoze maker (Power Computing responded by letting the world know they will become another Windoze manufacturer.) Depressing.

Now, I’ve heard both sides of the argument. One side says purchasing clones takes money and market share away from Apple. The other side states that, as a longer term strategy, clones equal more people using the Mac platform, and hey, Apple does receive royalty payments. Whichever argument you prefer, the bottom line is Apple never came across as particularly committed to their clone makers. Because they are perceived as uncommitted (or is it noncommitted?), the clones never had a chance of making money for Apple. And for users? We have fewer choices, at least for now. We’ll see what Apple has in store for us. Maybe I’m panicking…only time will tell.

On to other topics: One of the nice things about being located near a major metropolitan area are all the free seminars that come up. For instance, Apple, Adobe, and Xerox of New England are holding a “Color in Concert” seminar, showcasing the “latest Apple and Adobe updates” as well as the “newest additions to the Xerox color family.” (If you recall, the college student who color-copied $10,000 worth of $20.00 bills for his tuition used a Xerox color copier!) They always have nice giveaways at these things, too. This one is holding drawings for:

  • Digital color camera
  • PagisPro software (what is that?!)
  • Celtic tickets
  • The old standbys: T-shirts and mouse padsNow, if only I had the time and energy to attend all these conferences!

    I had a wonderful response to my rantings about AOL last month. Jed (
    ) wrote of having the same problem of losing bookmarks when he upgraded to version 3.0. He even went so far as calling tech support! Do you think that solved the problem? Think again! To make matters even more interesting, his spontaneous logging off happens when he hears the “Welcome!” At least I’m on-line for a few minutes before problems occur. AOL tech support has provided no help. Jed has reinstalled the software, increased the RAM, decreased the RAM (RAM devoted to AOL, that is), re-installed every component, cut back on non-essential extensions and zapped PRAM. If anyone has any suggestions, please e-mail him! Jed has a Performa 6400/180.

    I also received an e-mail regarding printer problems. Bill Ingraham (
    ) wrote that his DeskWriter 520 would not print for several days. The error messages stated either the printer was not turned on or the connection was faulty. He upgraded to DeskWriter Driver 6.0.3 which ended up being a bug fix. His problems vanished. Lesson learned: Upgrading does not always mean the latest and greatest. Upgrades are also bug eliminators.

    Before I move on to this month’s helpful hints, I just have to brag a little bit. My boss bought a PowerBook 3400/200. What a magnificent machine! We were able to take advantage of the Macworld show specials: free 32MB RAM upgrade and a few miscellaneous other items (I only really care about the RAM!).

    The screen on this thing is bigger that what she had on her old Mac II (yeah, it’s a huge upgrade in equipment for her). It’s fast, very lightweight, and the floppy drive pops out for replacement by a CD-ROM drive. If I looked, I could probably find a couple of other things to stick in there as well! 🙂

    As soon as the RAM arrives, we’ll be loading up Virtual PC and MS Works 97. Not by choice, but out of necessity. We work in a Wintel environment and they absolutely freak out over Macs. In fact, many people were surprised she purchased a Mac. It’s surprising how many Wintel folks just don’t know that compatibility has been a non-issue for years!

    Alright, enough of my rambling. Let’s go to the important stuff…

    Helpful Hints

    HH#27: Upgrading RAM- After you’ve added RAM to your Mac, enter the Memory Control Panel. Click on Use Defaults and your System will check the amount of RAM it has. Your cache level will change appropriately. (To find the Memory control panel, go under the Apple in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Click and hold. Scroll down until you see Control Panels and open it up. Look around until you see the Memory option and open it. There you are!)

    HH#28: Automatic Opening Windows- With most CDs and some diskettes, inserting the item automatically opens a Window (try this with your Disk Tools diskette or with any of your CDs). If you find this annoying for whatever reason, there is a way to keep the Window from opening. Just hold down the option key while inserting the CD. I tried this, it works!

    HH#29: Opening Extensions Manager during start-up- Hold down the space bar during start-up. This opens the Extensions Manager so you can do what you need to do quickly! (Reminder: Holding down the shift key during start-up prevents all extensions from loading.)

    Internet Site of the Month: Law on the Net,
    . Written in plain English. I highly recommend it. AOL also has a very good law references. Use the Find function under the menu item Go To. Type in the word Law, and you’ll get lots of stuff, including the AOL version of Nolo.

    Last, but certainly not least, if you have a particular area that’s giving you trouble, e-mail me. I’ll answer you both personally and in the column. I promise I won’t use your name if you don’t want me to!

    Have a fabulous and safe Halloween! Adiós!

    Barbara Bell (

    Websites mentioned:

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