Welcome to the November issue of ATPM. Issue 6.11 contains the following articles and reviews—but first a look at the most important news items of the past month:
- Connectix released a demo version of its widely popular Virtual Game Station, featuring unlimited play time and thus making the demo almost as good as the full version.
- Motorola introduced a 1 GHz version of the PowerPC G4 processor.
- Apple released a preview of QuickTime 5.
- Microsoft released the long-awaited Office 2001 for Mac.
- Napster introduced Napster beta 1 for the Mac, building on the success of Blackhole Media’s Macster client.
Last month’s reader poll asked for the operating system you are using. The results found 54% using Mac OS 9.x, 36% using Mac OS 8.x, and 5% using some version of Mac OS X. This month we want to know whether you own stock in Apple Computer. Go cast your vote!
Apple Cider: Cast Off Your Vote
In honor of the upcoming US presidential election, Tom Iovino’s unusual Cider this month takes us into the arena of politics and the strange things politicians sometimes say.
“‘It’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.’ —George Bush”
Beyond the Barline: My Summer at Camp—Part Three
David Ozab covers the third part of his experiences at the MetaCamp. This month he explains how to separate pitch from time and notes the introduction of Videodellic, a new video editing program fitting between iMovie 2 and Final Cut Pro.
“As anyone who’s ever played with the playback speed of a tape deck or record player will recall, pitch and duration are intimately linked in a recorded medium. As speed increases, pitch rises and duration shortens, while as speed decreases, pitch lowers and duration lengthens. This same principal governs the keymapping of hardware and software samplers, but loops generally cover the duration changes. But what if you want to change pitch without changing duration, or duration without changing pitch?”
Graphics and the Internet: Seven New Deadly Internet Graphic Sins
Grant Osborne continues his series on Graphics and the Internet with seven more deadly sins that should be avoided in Web site creation, ranging from intrusive Web music to endless pages.
“3. Not Finding the Spel Chekker. Just about evry HMTL creaytor has a spel chekker. Find it and yooz it. Unsure about a spelling? Visit Dictionary.com.”
Segments: Apple’s Results Revisited
H. M. Fog shares his views on Apple’s recent disappointing quarter. Did the market overreact? Are Apple’s financials better than they appear?
“Still, Apple is in much better shape than the share price suggests. Only time (and a coherent strategy) will improve the price. There is so much value behind each share I’m surprised new shareholders aren’t arrested for stealing shares at the current price. Wall Street is betting against Steve Jobs and Apple. Personally, I’d rather wager on the side of innovation and technology leadership than stock charts and hearsay.”
Segments: Response to “A Worm in the Apple”
Robert Paul Leitao and reader Bob Zemeski respond to David Hewson’s article in the London Sunday Times.
“You say that Apple needs a miracle to survive, but weren’t you one of those who had Apple written off a few years ago? Yet it seems you were strangely quiet about Apple’s subsequent recovery! For the last four years Apple has been one of the most profitable personal computer makers. That’s more than can be said for IBM or Compaq.”
Eric Blair keeps us updated on changes in Web Devil 5.0 and ConceptDraw 1.55.
Backyard Baseball 2001
Mike Shields takes a look at the newest baseball game from Humongous’ popular children’s software series. And although it’s aimed at kids, it can keep “adults” quite busy.
“Admittedly, this game is made for elementary school age kids; however, I was having so much fun, my playtesters almost didn’t get a turn, and I almost didn’t get this review in on time!”
Daniel Chvatik evaluates the merits of the innovative Lapstation as a “portable workspace.” Does it work as well as it looks?
“I think the Lapstation is a great idea. I wanted to love it and tried hard to do so, but I just couldn’t find more than one comfortable way to use it. It’s quite a bit to carry around (though you can get a special carrying bag as an accessory), and the price tag seems to be too high to justify the limited functionality.”
Monsoon iM-700 Ice Flat Panel Speakers
Daniel Chvatik explains the appeal of this popular series of flat panel speakers. It’s a round world, but some things just look and sound better when they are flat.
“Choosing speakers is a bit like choosing a car: there’s no clear best choice. It depends on what kind of car you want, what color you like, and how much you want to pay. But of all the flat panels I have seen and tried, the Monsoon iM-700 is simply the coolest pair at an attractive price.”
Outlook Email Archive 1.9
Gregory Tetrault explains why this e-mail archiving system may be a solution to some problems created by Outlook Express 5’s single e-mail database.
“Outlook Express (OE) allows you to organize your e-mail into folders on the OE ‘desktop.’ Default folders include Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, Drafts, and Deleted Items. You can create more folders as necessary, and you can use rules to direct e-mail into specified folders. This organizational scheme seems to meet the needs of most users, except for one fact: your e-mail files exist in one large database. Even the folders are ‘virtual.’”
Raena Armitage explains why the Sensiva macro software, a new program that lets you execute commands by drawings symbols on the screen, may be the solution to your stylus cravings.
“A lot of shortcut and macro programs exist to make life on your Mac just a little bit easier, but Sensiva is the only one I’ve seen that doesn’t require you to learn big strings of keystrokes or leave menus and floating windows everywhere. It’s been theorized that people are better at remembering symbols and pictures than strings of text and numbers, and if this is the case then Sensiva is ahead of the pack in terms of an easy and intuitive interface.”
Kodak Smart Picture Frame
Daniel Chvatik completes his review of the digital picture frame and explains why he likes what he sees.
“The frame makes a great gift for a family member who lives far away and is not quite tech-savvy enough to check the Internet for your images. You can upload the images to their frame remotely, and they can enjoy new family pictures without ever having to do a thing. I rarely have time to watch the news or get a weather report, so the frame’s channels actually proved quite helpful to me. All it takes to get the information is a glance at your frame at the right time.”
Brooke Smith introduces Space Bug, a little arcade-like action game with a simply goal: save the Earth!
“For all those who pretended to be X-Wing fighter pilots after seeing Star Wars, Space Bug is for you—smash and crash those bad guys to protect the Earth from doom.”
Web Confidential for Mac 2.1 / for Palm 1.1
Eric Blair explores whether Web Confidential is the solution to today’s information overflow. Allowing you to store passwords, Web sites, credit cards, and much more information, it promises to act as a gateway to the outside world.
“Like its predecessor, Web Confidential 2.1 provides a central location for storing Web passwords, e-mail contacts, PIN numbers, and the like. It still features strong security features to protect this information. Furthermore, by making one-button submission accessible to all major Web browsers, Web Confidential has eliminated one of its major flaws from the previous version. However, some of the interface problems remain from the previous version, and they keep Web Confidential from getting an Excellent rating.”
Are you a Macoholic? Fill out Michael Morgan’s questionnaire and you will find out!
Desktop Pictures: France
ATPM reader Janet Mobley takes us with her on a trip to Montpellier, Chambery, and Paris.
Desktop Pictures: Maine
Katarina Neef shows us how beautiful a fall day in Maine can really be.
Trivia Challenge: VPs if You Please
This month, Edward Goss challenges you to match US Vice Presidents with the Presidents they served under.