Starting Line – My Mac Magazine #56, Dec. ’99

>Merry Christmas!

I’m very excited… I’m getting a cable modem hook-up in a couple of weeks! Unfortunately, it’s past deadline for this article, however, once up and running, I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m excited about the potential for speed and the stability. While I do like AOL, it’s still much too hard to get on, and when you are on you get kicked off far too often. Sorry, but I expect better service than that. I understand that, in the scheme of things, Internet technology is still new, but still…

I have a reason to brag: My youngest step-daughter, Brianne, has become a first degree black belt! Asah! What a little karate kid! Okay, not so little, but the youngest are always the babies of the family!

In the October issue of Presentations, the Editor, Tad Simons, wrote a very interesting column on how the G4 ‘redefines speed altogether.’ He’s right. It crushes the competition. It is rightfully defined as a supercomputer. This is power, baby! And the most interesting and astute point Mr. Simons makes is at the end of his column: “Because even though the G4 is the fastest personal computer the 20th century has ever seen, it will ultimately be viewed as one of the slowest computers of the 21st century.” The future awaits, baby…

Helpful Hints

Desktop patterns: I just learned this recently and I am thrilled! It is SO easy!

Okay, say you are upgrading your Mac and you want to keep some of those desktop patterns that are on your older system. (Notice, I didn’t say taking patterns from someone else’s desktop. We don’t want to run the risk of any copyright issues!) You open your Desktop Patterns as normal (Apple; Control Panels; Appearance or Desktop Patterns depending on which version OS you have), click on the desktop pattern you want and drag to the floppy disk.

Then, when on your new computer, open your Desktop Patterns, open the floppy, click the pattern and drag the pattern to your new Desktop Patterns. It’s that easy! I was so excited when I discovered this. I was able to move several Desktop Patterns I had from an old Performa to my iMac.

Fonts Explained: These are always confusing. Sometimes you may notice a font, usually a unique one, looking very jaggy on the screen.Why? Well, the font needs two type of files or directions: how to look on the screen and how to print out. If it doesn’t have the appropriate screen file–and these must be exact, like Helvetica 12–it will look for a scalable TrueType font or use Adobe Type Manager ( If it can’t find any of these, you get a rotten-looking screen font that probably prints out very nicely.

Other times, the font looks fine on the screen, but prints badly. When printing, your Mac looks in the printer memory, then for the downloadable version of the font (the how to print out portion mentioned in the paragraph above), then the TrueType version. If your Mac can’t find anything, you get a very jaggy looking type.

Control Strip: The normal position for the Control Strip is the lower left corner of your screen. But what if you want to move it? Simple. After holding down your Option key, click and hold the end of the strip not attached to the outer edge of your screen. You can now move it up or down or from left to right.

If you don’t like all the modules and want to strip it down, open the Control Strip folder in your System Folder and just pull out the modules you want out. Or, if you want to rearrange the modules, with the Control Strip open, click Option then click and drag the module you want moved. Too easy to be true. In fact, I just rearranged my Control Strip just before writing this Helpful Hint!

One of the most well-known commands common to any Macintosh is Command-Shift-3. This creates a PICT file of your entire screen which can be opened with SimpleText. It can also be opened in pretty much any image manipulation software package, such as Microfrontier’s ColorIt! or Adobe Photoshop.

However, what do you do when you only want a portion of the screen and don’t have fancy software for editing? Press Command-Shift-4, then click and drag over the portion of the screen you want to copy. Voila!

Internet Sites of the Month: For those of you who know The Artist formerly known as Prince, you will love this site. For those of you who crave superb web design, you will love this site! Next to My Mac, this is the only site that I’ve ever truly wanted to experience in virtual reality.

The new millennium is right around the corner…

Barbara Bell

Websites mentioned:

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