Starting Line
My Mac Magazine #37, May ’98

Dear Readers:

I absolutely LOVE the new Mac commercial… you know, the one where the Pentium dancer is on fire! Too funny! I also like the fact that Mac commercials are not only popping up more frequently, but the campaign itself is evolving-it’s about time!

I found a very interesting story this past month. You see, one of the first things I read each month is the back column in Macworld. The March issue tells an interesting tale of higher education. The gist of the story is a new IS guy at Yale. He took it upon himself to not only set a “standard platform” of Windows PC, but he smudged some statistics to back up his decision. What makes it really interesting is that he has no support in this endeavor, yet seems to command enough power to do what he wants.

I found two interesting points in this article:

1) Apple doesn’t fight back when things like this happen. Why? I don’t know. I think it’s a bit silly on their part to let huge chunks of their education market disappear. At the very least, on-campus advertising to students and incoming freshman should be done.

2) Gartner Group cost studies. I emailed David Pogue, the columnist of Macworld’s last page and the author of the article. He was very supportive and responded quickly (thanx, David!). He told me that copies of the studies were very expensive. However, Apple had summaries on their Web site. I printed one. In a nutshell, it says that mixed platforms (Windows and Macs) are less expensive than Windows only.

There are various reasons why, but the biggest reason is that Macs are just less expensive to run and network than Windows machines. If you are interested, here are the URLs: and

Helpful Hints

HH#46: Removing unnecessary files-This helpful hint came from our own Pete Miner!

“For anyone who downloads a lot of crap off the Internet, like I do, I found a quick and painless way to free up some space on my hard drive. Normally, I don’t delete the .sit, .sea, or .hqx files that I end up with after downloading and unstuffing an item. So, rather than going through the myriad of folders looking for stuff to throw out, I just use the trusty ol’ Command-F in the Finder and typed in .sit, hit Find, and was presented with 38 stuffed files. After looking closely at the list to make sure I didn’t want to keep any of the compacted files (who really needs a stuffed copy of Internet Explorer 2.1?), I did an Command-A (selecting all) and dragged them to the trash.

“I did the same with .sea and .hqx files and within a matter of five minutes cleared my hard drive of 57 megabytes of stuff (well, he used a different word here, but stuff is close enough!). I only wish it were so easy to clean out my garage!”

And I’ll bet you thought Pete’s only strong point was his sense of humor!

Thanx, Pete!

HH#47: General Information-Here’s several tips that may help your computing.

  • Let’s say your computer won’t restart, and there’s a CD in the CD drive. Well, it’s possible that your Mac is trying to start from the CD. With the computer off, remove that CD and restart your Mac.
  • You’re in the middle of typing a letter to Grandma and your application suddenly quits. It’s possible that your Mac ran out of memory. Quit all programs and restart.If you want to use Virtual Memory, turn it on, then restart your Mac. (Virtual Memory is located in your Control Panels.)

    You can also try increasing the available memory to the particular program. With the program unopened, click on its icon once. Hit Command-I (Get Info) and you’ll see a nice little dialog box with the memory allocations in its lower right corner. Increase the amount of memory you see stated there. If you have the user’s manual for the application, refer to it for the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • Your pointer isn’t moving. Well, check those mouse cables! Make sure they are not only connected tightly, but are connected in the right places. That’s where the little icons Apple puts on its cables come in handy. But, if you want to be double-sure, refer to your Mac user’s guide. As always, turn your Mac off before plugging in or unplugging any cables.Please remember, these are suggestions and certainly not an all-inclusive list. Your problem may, unfortunately, not be so easily solved. However, I’ve found it’s good policy to check the “no-brainer” stuff first because, nine times out of ten, that’s what went wrong.

    Internet Site of the Month: CompareNet, the interactive buyer’s guide, at The closest comparison (no pun intended) would be the world famous Consumer’s Digest. Compare products and decide what best fits your needs and budget!

    Well, here’s my plea: Each month it gets a little bit harder to find relevent Helpful Hints for beginners. I know there is a whole slew of information just waiting to be published, but as an experienced user (okay, that’s stretching a bit… how about semi-experienced?), I sometimes lose track of what is important to the folks who have just hit the power button (the little triangle button on your keyboard!).

    So, what I’m asking is this… email your experiences, thoughts, and suggestions to me. Any issues you ran across when you first started using your Mac are perfect! The whole goal is to make life easier for folks just starting up and sharing your horror stories will accomplish just that.

    Looking forward to hearing from you! 😉


    Barbara Bell

    Websites mentioned:

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