As the little ones all head back to school, most Mac users are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mac OS X 10.1. The initial release of OS X was, well…shy of perfection. There has been a good deal of discussion among ATPM staffers as to the ins and outs of OS X and what the future may hold. We are all enthusiastic and optimistic that OS X will indeed flourish into the revolutionary operating system it foreshadows. We are equally hopeful that this next release will smooth out enough of the rough edges (and perhaps fill in some of the gaps) of OS X and represent a big step forward for Apple and its loyal user base. Apple has always been the best innovator in the industry—no one would argue that it has come up with some of the best “ideas” in computing history. But it’s no longer enough for Apple to have the vision. Visionaries are falling by the wayside as DSL companies drop like flies and technology stocks continue to fall (it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings). The time for action is nigh. Some might even go so far as to say long past due.
Apple Cider: Hey, I Recognize You!
Tom Iovino discusses the communal joy of being a Mac user this month. “In fact, after Independence Day premiered, I was able to tell PC supporters that while it was great that 90% of businesses were using Wintel boxes, the Macintosh was the computer that saved the world.”
Beyond the Barline: And They’re Off!
David Ozab sums up the state of the Mac music software industry in the context of OS X’s new API “Apple has released ‘OS X Audio Features Documentation’ a document describing their new Core Audio system, a set of APIs that tackle the issues of timing and latency created by the preemptive multitasking and virtual memory capabilities of OS X’s BSD core.”
My Apple Wedge: Organized Mobility
Dierk Seeburg bites the bullet and buys a VisorPhone, with a tip of the hat to Evan Trent and his review of the Smartphone in issue 7.08. A revealing comparison of the two is provided. “You can get the same functionality of the Smartphone (except for voice dialing and speakerphone) by buying a Handspring Visor for US $200 and you will still come out ahead. In the end, with the Handspring, you have a complete computer solution that sports virtually unlimited expandability through the Springboard slot, which is what attracted me to the Visor in the first place.”
Legacy Corner: How Old Did You Say that Mac Was?
Ed Goss continues the exploration of older Macs in The Legacy Corner, fields a letter from a gent with a IIci running a network chat server, and provides some tasty trivia treats.
Oooh Baby Baby It’s a Wild Web
Paul Fatula shares some great Web sites with readers this month, including one which will bring a smile to any Net surfer who has encountered a 404 “File Not Found” error when trying to pull up a Web page.
Takin’ Care of Business (and Workin’ Overtime)
Evan Trent goes off on a rant, with a nod to Dennis Miller, questioning the prominence of the PC in the business world. “My supply of sympathy is running dry, and I have grown tired of banging my head against the wall as I listen to yet another PC-based excuse for failure to perform or communicate.” Who knew that he had this much pent up frustration? He seems polite enough when he responds to reader mail.
Low End Mac Lore
Muzamil Akram interviews Daniel Knight of Low End Mac fame. For those readers who aren’t familiar with Mr. Knight or his site, this is a great introduction. For the fans out there, check out the juicy details.
Michael L. Bovee and Jens Grabenstein provide the photos for this month’s desktop pictures series. About a gorgeous set from Israel, Bovee writes “This selection of photos is just a tiny sample of the hundreds I took in February 2000, on my first trip to the Holy Land, Israel, and also my first excursion with a brand new Nikon CoolPix 950.” Grabeinstein’s photos are from the wetlands of Long Island’s North Shore. Have a look at these great shots!
Daniel Chvatik takes a look at a uniquely enjoyable gaming suite for the Mac. “What makes Airburst a hit is its flawless combination of amazing graphics, well-done music and sound effects, and addictive game play. Another reason why I still am drawn to the game after many hours of game play is the sheer quantity of variation the game has to offer. There are twelve game types, which run on many different levels with unique characteristics.”
Eric Blair checks out a snazzy design tool for generating Web buttons. “I used the ATPM tutorial on a few of my earlier Web sites. The result were, admittedly, rather bland. Using eClick, I am able to create much nicer buttons in a fraction of the time. Also, it’s far easier and less expensive than Photoshop. Each of eClick’s six steps is straightforward and makes sense in the grand scheme of things.”
Review: Snapz Pro X
Daniel Chvatik reviews Snapz Pro X, the OS X version of an invaluable Macintosh screen shot utility. Those readers who already use Snapz Pro 2 will be pleased with Ambrosia’s latest offering. “Among the new features in Snapz Pro X are the abilities to add borders, drop shadows, thumbnails, and even overlays of watermarks or copyright messages. Another new feature is the FatBits function, accessed by pressing Control while in any of SPX’s modes. FatBits displays additional information about the capture, like the current location of the mouse pointer, the size of the selection, and a magnified view of the area around the cursor for more precise selections.”
Chris Turner gives the new TiBag a try. “The TiBag is a courier-style bag designed to be worn over one shoulder, like a backpack, or across the chest, messenger style. It features three main pockets, with two smaller ones. The first big pocket is on the flap of the TiBag itself, accessible through the large zipper that dominates the top of the flap. The flap affixes to the main compartment via a velcro strip at the bottom.”
Eric Blair enjoys Tropico, the latest game from MacSoft. “Tropico is one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a long time. It takes the classic concept of the city building simulation and twists it around into something new and original.” If you’ve always wanted to rule your own Caribbean island, here’s your chance.
Paul Fatula reports on a French-English dictionary from Ultralingua. “Ultralingua has created a number of language-to-language dictionaries, as well as monolingual dictionaries in French and English. In addition to Macintosh (classic and X), there are versions available for Windows and Palm, the latter of which I’d think could be extremely useful to travelers.”