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ATPM 3.08
August 1997



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C’mon, 8 is Great

Hi! I’ve been a devoted reader of ATPM ever since I got the first issue from some library in eWorld. I’m running Mac OS 8 right now, and just finished reading your story about OS 8 in your July ’97 issue. I agreed with most of the stuff said there. It would be kind of nice if you could set a system-wide option for window preferences (i.e. calculate folder sizes). However, you didn’t mention enough of the new improvements and made it sound like there was lots of room to improve, which I disagree with. C’mon, it’s what Mac users like have been waiting for for years! While it is missing some key features of Copland like having the, uh, appearance manager, I think you called it, it still has so many improvements that make users far more efficient. Plus, Apple obviously left out some features to ensure compatibility. By the way, the compatibility is great! Every program on my hard drive works with it except for a few extensions. And it’s incredibly stable! Anyway, I think Mac OS 8 is great, and, as computer columnist Don Crabb says, “The best Mac OS ever.”

Walter Tersch
While Mac OS 8 is missing key features from Copland—pre-emptive multitasking, protected memory, the theme manager, and numerous Finder features—I agree that it’s the best Mac OS yet and recommend that anyone with an ‘040 or greater system upgrade to it. —MT

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8's Great, Buy It

I’m in Switzerland but couldn’t wait till Apple/Claris finally got around to selling US-versions here, so I borrowed a fc5 version from a developer friend (I have every intention of buying OS 8 - Apple needs the money and version 8 deserves every cent of it!)

As I don’t think there were any changes from final candidate 5 to golden master to shipping version, I can only say that version 8 is great. Stable!!!, quite fast (though I can’t see much of a difference between 7.6.1 with SpeedDoubler and 8 without), and all these nice features!

I had Hidden Finder Features installed with 7.6.1, so some of the new commands aren’t new to me (alias by dragging (new: command-option-drag), Reveal Original, Move to trash), but the context menus are quite handy (especially when one has a two-button mouse) and the spring-loaded folders are indispensable. What I find interesting is that hardly anyone mentions the “magnifying glass” as a handy feature (I couldn’t care less about all-native Finder - I had SpeedDoubler: same effect). But to be able - finally - to burrow through hierarchies of folders without littering the monitor with open windows! It’s a pity this “one-and-a-half click” isn’t better documented!

Well, about my two cents. If one’s Mac supports it, go get MacOS 8!!


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7 > 8 -- At Least In Some Ways

Hello. I’ve been working with Mac OS 8 for almost a week now, and I have to say that I like it. I’ve really only had two main problems: having to move my old preference files, fonts, and a printer drivers over to the new system folder, and having to buy the latest version of RAM Doubler because I couldn’t find the master disk. My Mac isn’t crashing as much as it used to, and trouble apps are behaving better. As far as the new interface goes, I like it. I just have to get used to double clicking the title bar instead of triple clicking it for WindowShade. The new way of using the menus is great, and I’m finding it easier than the old way, esspecially for those trips to the apple menu.

But, there are a couple places where I liked System 7 better. To get to certain apps, I used to be able to type the first couple letters of the volume, press command-O, type the first couple letters of the next folder, press command-O, and so on until I’d opened the app, but for windows with many icons in them I’ve found that this doesn’t work. Typing what I want for the next window while before it’s opened, but after having been told to never seems to work. This is making it much slower to work with my Mac in OS 8. It also seems to be slower in some other areas. Overall, it’s a great improvement over System 7, but there are some things that I can do faster and easier in System 7. Let’s hope the review changes for the next version of the MacOS I get.

Neal Wilson

I used to use the “first couple letters, command-option-O” method of opening files. It’s really too bad it doesn’t work well in OS 8. I guess spring-loaded folders were designed to make this method more accessible. Unfortunately, they’re slow, especially when you have to scroll one of the windows. —MT

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It’s Not By Choice

I found your magazine yesterday and really liked it. I am a Mac lover, but reduced to using Win 95 since work is my only computer access right now. I enjoy the opinions expressed here and am looking forward to your next issue. Keep up the good writing!

Mike and Nancy

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Extensions Strip

I was just reading your article “Tuning Mac OS for the Future: Part II”. In regards to “Application Switching: Keyboard,” I have found a neat little gismo to do this very thing. It is similar to Shortcuts and has the ability to use window shades. It also leaves a little bar anywhere I want to put it. I am left handed so it makes sense for it to be place on the left of the screen. I found the application menu very difficult to use, and it caused me discomfort to switch quickly because I had to menuver the arrow to the top right hand corner to change applications. This gismo folds up when not needed, but stores the icons of all the open applications as I open them. The one that is open is shown in the upper right hand corner of the menu bar so I always know which one is open, even when the application bar is folded up. When needed, it is close to where I’m working, and I just open the shade by clicking on the little open-shut button, and it opens. I click on the icon of the application, and it automatically changes to that application, placing the icon in the menubar. While it is in the process of changing, I close the shade by clicking on the button, and it keeps on working until the menu appears with the icon of the menu in the right corner of the menubar. This gismo called “Extentions Strip” has been very useful. I placed it in my Startup Items folder in the System Folder. I always have it to work with, and it is never in the way. As a dedicated Mac user I have found this to be and excellent little gismo to make Me and My Mac work more efficiently together. I recommend it for a standard feature in the new Mac OS.

Heather Isaacson

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Information, not Opinions

In the five years sense I bought my first Mac, one thing that stands out is the fact that everyone has an “opinion.” PeeCee users are of the opinion that I don’t have a real computer, which is almost understandable from their prospective. However Mac users also have an “opinion” about who should be hired/fired at “Apple Central”, what good/harm the clones are doing, and the big one “What Apple should do is <fill in the blank>!” I am tired of opinions, I am now on my second Mac (a PowerMac 7200/120), it is a damm good computer, even better than the 68030 I kept for years. I don’t care about “opinions” but I would appreciate any information that will help me use my Mac better.

Cal Clift

It’s funny that you should bring up such a concern at this particular point in time. I am currently planning a column which should address your interests head on. I too am getting tired of every writer under the sun discussing how Apple should be run. While this may be of concern, it is certainly out of the hands of the average user. What is of more immediate concern is how to make Apple’s computers work for our readers. FYI, I too hung onto an ‘030 machine for a while, and then made the jump to an ‘040, and from there took a leap to an 8500/120.

Keep your eyes open, because in the next few issues I intend to provide some very helpful information regarding how to best make use of your Macintosh. Topics should range from automating tasks, to optimizing speed, to some basic programming and Applescripting and ‘general tips on computer maintenance. If you've got some suggestions or questions, please by all means send them on! I could really use some input on what our readers would like to read in terms of computing advice.

Thanks for your feedback!

Evan Trent
ATPM Webzinger

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We'd love to hear your thoughts about our publication. We always welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions, and praise at Or, if you have an opinion or announcment about the Macintosh platform in general, that's ok too.

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