Welcome to the May issue of ATPM.
Last month’s reader poll asked what other retro color motif would you choose for the next iMac line, now that Apple has introduced Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian? Lava Lamp led the fray, gaining 28% of the vote. The second most popular answer, interestingly, was “I don’t like retro,” claiming a whopping 25%. The remaining votes were divided among Tie Dye (21%), Disco Ball (10%), Mood Ring (8%), and Pollock-Style (8%).
This month we want to know which version of the Mac OS you use most often. Go vote!
Tom Iovino shares his joy with ATPM readers, as he announces the arrival of the latest Iovino.
On Friday, April 13th, I became a dad for the second time. I know it sounds like bad luck, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our new son, Steven Michael, is one healthy, handsome fellow. He’s a lot of fun to be around. Except for one problem…
David Ozab explains why upgrading to OS X is unwise for those ATPM readers who use their Macs for MIDI or other professional audio applications.
The present lack of support for MIDI and audio applications is quite possibly the worst kept secret on the Internet. Despite the self-conscious silence on the part of both Apple and all major third-party developers, the issues are numerous and appear unlikely to be solved anytime soon….Two stumbling blocks on the path to carbonization (that is the modification of existing software to run in OS X) specific to audio and MIDI applications respectively make a significant change in this situation unlikely in the short term.
Michael Tsai shares his experiences with OS X:
These days I spend most of my time in OS X. This is partly because programs like Terminal and OmniGraffle let me do things that were impossible on OS 9, and partly because Mac OS X really is the future and I’d best start learning about it. Every night I reboot into OS 9 so that Retrospect can do its backup. But other than that I can do most of my daily work in OS X. Apple clearly has a lot of work to do, but I am confident that in the coming year it will add the requisite optimizations and polish so that veteran Mac users will enjoy using it. Despite all my complaints, I can’t help but be pleased that Apple has finally succeeded in shipping its next-generation OS. It is not the same product that was envisioned back in the late 80s; but, unlike Pink and Taligent and Copland and Gershwin, it is here today.
Mike Shields expresses his remorse over the end of a Super Bowl tradition:
Apple, arguably the company that started the big Super Bowl ad campaign craze with “1984,” was conspicuously missing from the proceedings. OK, there were a smattering of dot com ads this year, a huge contrast from last year, when every other spot was from a dot com company. At $600K per thirty-second spot, no less. Probably why most of them went bankrupt.
This month, Paul Fatula provides some interesting Web sites containing information on editing Macintosh resource forks; shopping for tea; Paul Valery, and other authors; the first 1000 digits of (Pi); and a successful lawsuit against spam.
Brooke Smith compares MacCleaner, Trash Sack, Mac Strip, Greg’s Browser, and Navigator—a group of shareware utilities that help users trim the fat from their hard drives, and keep files organized intelligently:
I sometimes wonder what we would do without filing cabinets. They keep our papers and file folders together (usually in alphabetical order) so we don’t have papers strewn across the floor. Nowadays, most of us still have those filing cabinets but have also acquired a computer. But computers, too, need organization. They too have their share of files that could be scattered at random across the desktop (I’ve actually seen this and it’s not a pretty site).
Paul Fatula tests a unique input device with a uniquely high price tag:
The Datahand is not another run-of-the-mill ergonomic keyboard with a slight curve between the keys of the right and left hands. Rather, it was designed from the ground up around the human body, the hands and muscles involved in the typing process. The result is decidedly strange-looking, but it is also far better than any other ergonomic keyboard I’ve tried.
Jamal Ghandour reviews what some readers might label the ultimate WYSIWYG Web site design suite:
Despite the ease with which WYSIWYG editors generate Web pages, they tend to generate sloppy code that makes a large Web site’s maintenance difficult, if not impossible. This is, in fact, the most frequent criticism that WYSIWYG editors have been subject to….Developers who are not impressed by these editors will have second thoughts with the introduction of Macromedia’s Dreamweaver…Dreamweaver may well be the first visual authoring tool that successfully combines the flexibility of WYSIWYG with the simultaneous ability to generate a clear and easy-to-edit source code. Dreamweaver also offers high-end features such as Dynamic HTML (DHTML), Cascading Style Sheets, and Layers.
Jamal Ghandour evaluates a robust set of plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator:
FILTERiT4 offers a wide variety of options, from basic distortion to 3D Transform on outlined objects. The 3D Transform filters come in 12 different shapes and forms. 3D Transform makes FILTERiT4 exceptional because of its refined algorithms for Bézier curves. Version 4 makes this feature even easier and faster than before. It not only allows you to rotate the object after the effect has been applied around the XYZ axis, but you can also rotate the original object even before you apply the effect, so that creating various transformations is possible. A new trace option makes preparing images for Web animation a snap.
Ellyn Ritterskamp checks out the latest game from MacSoft:
Monopoly Casino makes me wonder what would happen if someone constructed casinos using game themes from other favorite board games. Can you imagine a casino based on Clue, for instance? You’ve got all your separate rooms for various games; the dealers could be characters from the game—now that’d be lots of fun, playing blackjack in the Conservatory with Colonel Mustard as the dealer! For added excitement, if you started winning too much money from the house, they could send someone in to bop you over the head with a candlestick—well, okay, there are a few kinks to work out. For now, we’ll stick with giving them the Boot in Atlantic City.
Eric Blair reviews a useful networking add-on for Mac OS X users:
Sharity does not just let you access Windows shared directories. In fact, it can access any computer that uses the CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol. In all likelihood, most users will only be exposed to shared Windows computers, but systems like SAMBA and OS/2 also serve files using the CIFS protocol.
Dierk Seeburg sounds off on an audio recording and editing suite for the Mac:
As you may have guessed from its name, Sound Studio is essentially a little recording studio for your Mac! You can use it for audio playback, recording, and editing in various audio file formats. In particular, it features two-channel editing, several effects filters, sample rate conversion, and support for many file formats including AIFF, Sound Designer II, System 7 Sound, WAVE, and anything QuickTime can import: movies, MP3, etc.
Matthew Glidden enthusiastically shares his experiences with this fast-paced first-person shoot-’em-up:
If you made the initial choice between Quake 3 and UT and went with Quake, this is a good way to see what you missed. The better Mac gaming climate means better Mac games, and this choice of first-person shooters is a good example. I prefer UT’s weapons “feel” myself, and will probably spend more time behind the UT rocket launcher over the long term.
The Hawaii pictures were taken in September 2000 on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i by Christopher Turner with a Nikon CoolPix 950. They include shots of Hanalei Bay, made famous by the song “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul & Mary; Opaeka’a Falls; Waimea Canyon, which rivals the Grand Canyon in beauty and bests it in depth; the Na Pali Coast; and the most sought-after shot in all of the South Pacific, the Kalalua Valley.
The London pictures were taken by John Miller. The pictures were all taken in the early 90s when he was aspiring to be an architectural photographer. London was less congested with traffic, and the shops were closed on Sundays. They were all taken on a 4x5" Sinar camera and the original transparencies were scanned using a Linotype Hell (now Heidelberg) Jade flatbed scanner.