Welcome to the October issue of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s been a harrowing month for the American people and the American economy. In response to the President’s call to return to a state of normalcy in America, we turn our attention to our favorite pastime—Macintosh computers and the millions of people who use them.
Less than one week ago Apple Computer released Mac OS X, version 10.1. That’s Roman numeral X, Arabic numerals 10.1. Owners of the previous commercial versions of OS X can obtain a free upgrade CD at any of the new Apple Stores or for $19.95 plus tax through Apple’s up-to-date program.
Before we get to this month’s columns and reviews, we’d like to mention Apple’s new product called PowerSchool. PowerSchool is a Web-based student information system that allows students and parents to get up-to-the-minute information about student grades, homework assignments, and other school-related information. ATPM Contributing Editor Robert Paul Leitao is currently implementing a PowerSchool solution at a private high school in Southern California. He’ll be providing readers with an in-depth look at PowerSchool in an upcoming issue of ATPM.
Later this month Apple Computer will release its financial results for its fiscal 4th quarter and its 2001 fiscal year. Although recent events have dampened consumer confidence, we expect Apple to post respectable numbers for the quarter. Apple has indicated that it has regained lost share in the education market and that its portable line of computers, the iBook and PowerBook, continue to be popular with consumers. We will report on the company’s results in the November issue of ATPM.
To the Mall!
Now that Apple’s retail stores are opening across the country, Tom Iovino braves the crowds at the Tampa Bay Area’s newest mall to see what the hubbub is all about. Will the experience leave him clamoring for more, or will Apple’s newest sales tactic fall flat? As an added bonus, Tom lets you in on his secret tactic for finding a parking spot in a crowded mall parking lot!
Mac OS X 10.1—First Impressions
Michael Tsai takes a critical look at Mac OS X 10.1. He finds it a bit improvement over 10.0.4, in most respects. However, he disagrees with Apple’s stance on file name extensions and find some other usability problems lurking beneath the surface of Apple’s slick new OS.
Dierk Seeburg reminds us that good housekeeping is good business, taking us through a tour of basic hardware cleaning and wire maintenance, anti-virus measures, backing up, operating system upkeep, installations management, system and file integrity maintenance, and file organization—facilitated by some essential utilities.
Segments: DSS and SMTP Authentication
Evan Trent starts off with a rant about Windows-only satellite Internet access. He then segues into a discussion of why ISPs’ restrictions on outgoing mail don’t serve their intended purpose and only annoy legitimate users. And is spam really so bad?
Segments: Software License Agreements in Everyday Language
Robert Paul Leitao pokes fun at software license agreements: “You have just shelled out really big bucks for something you really don’t own. We own it….if our product causes your computer not to work, it’s not our problem because you own the computer and our lawyers can prove that you should have taken better care of it.”
Networking: Switches and Hubs
Matthew Glidden covers the difference between switches and hubs and how they fit into your network. There are also a few bits about connecting LocalTalk and Ethernet, since adding a hub or switch to your network often brings this issue to the forefront.
Networking: Ethernet Faux Pas: Home Phone Networking
When it’s too difficult or expensive to set up a home Ethernet network, a good alternative is to use the existing phone lines in the walls of your home. Matthew Glidden explains what you need to do to get this working, from commercial solutions to do-it-yourself ones.
Desktop Pictures: The House on the Rock
This month’s desktop pictures were taken at a museum in Spring Green, Wisconsin called The House on the Rock. While it began as a residence built by and for Alex Jordan, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s, it evolved into a huge and eclectic museum featuring collections of everything from carousel horses, to self-playing instruments, to dollhouses.
Shareware Roundup: Screensavers
Ever think about getting a screensaver again? Or replacing your old one? This month’s shareware review looks at a few screensavers to help you out. Check out Whalesaver, courtesy of Greenpeace, or choose from a variety of screensavers in Setting Sun. Don’t worry, there’s a screensaver out there for everyone.
Review: AppleScript in a Nutshell (book)
Gregory Tetrault finds that AppleScript in a Nutshell is a good and well-organized reference for intermediate to advanced scripters on how to use AppleScript with Mac OS software. However, it contains no information on scripting common business or graphics applications.
Review: Pong: The Next Level
Paul Fatula reviews this modern version of Pong that features many different variations. He likes the updated graphics but finds that the slow gameplay prevents it from being addictive.
Review: StuffIt Deluxe 6.5
Michael Tsai reviews the latest version of StuffIt, which brings Magic Menu to Mac OS X and adds the StuffIt Express drop-box making utility. The improvements from 6.0 are nice, but was update rushed out before its time?
Review: Super Get Info 1.0.2
Eric Blair takes a look at Bare Bones Software’s newest offering, Super Get Info. Although not a replacement for OS X’s Info window, this utility gives users more information about and control over their files.