Charles Moore's Mailbag

Browser Wars, OCR, and More

Charles Moore - 2001.12.05 - Tip Jar

Browser Wars

From: Scott Thomas-Fitch

I read both Mr. Kleiman's and your article on the best browser for newer Macs, and I can't help but put my vote in for OmniWeb. In fact it wasn't even included and has the most amazing options such as opening a browser window behind the current one and many of their preferences including security are nowhere on on Netscape or Opera.

While its stability is not as good as Mozilla it is far better if not up to par with that of Explorer.

Omni lover,
Scott Thomas-Fitch in Barcelona

Re: The Best Browser for Recent Macs: Another View

From Christiaan Briggs

What about OmniWeb?

Hi Scott and Christaan,

It wasn't an intentional snub on my part. I simply haven't used OmniWeb because I haven't made the transition to OS X yet.

StarMax 4000/200 VRAM Upgrade

From Chris

I found your page on the Net, and I don't know where or how to do this, so I figured you would be the one to ask. I have a StarMax 4000/200 with a Sonnet G3/350 upgrade and I would like to max out the video ram. What do I need and where do I get it? Hope you can send me in the right direction.


Hi Chris,

Other World Computing lists two VRAM upgrades for the StarMax 4000
  • Techworks 4 MB VRAM Upgrade for StarMax/PowerMac 4400, new with lifetime warranty, $19.99
  • Techworks 2 MB VRAM Upgrade for StarMax/PowerMac 4400, new with lifetime warranty, $6.95


From Orjan Larsson

I have tested OmniPage 11 for Windows and was blown away. It is far faster than OP 10 and as accurate as FineReader 5. In short, it was even better than FineReader 5.

While I tested it, I got info that ScanSoft actually was working on a Macintosh-version, which they hoped to have released late this year or early next year. I don't hold my breath, but if they do, they surely will use the OCR-engine from the Windows version. (The way Abbyy do in FineReader 5 for Mac.) Will really make life interesting.

I haven't tested ReadIris 7 for Windows, but I hope they will keep a Mac-version at the same version number.

Orjan Larsson

Thanks for the info, Orjan.

I hope they do release a new version of OmniPage and do something about the price.

Miscellaneous Ramblings/OCR article

From Nina

Mr. Moore,

Your recent article on OCR software for the Mac is interesting, but I'd like to point out that though you stated:

ABBYY FineReader 5 Pro for Mac is an OCR program from Russia with a high level of word accuracy and format retention - even when converting complex pages and poor quality documents - and claims to be the most Mac-friendly OCR on the market.

and further down:

You can Download a trial version of FineReader which works like the full-functional version for 30 OCR sessions. After the trial time elapses, the application switches to a demo mode that cannot save the recognition results.

I went to the Abbyy website and the only demo offered is for Windows. And when describing the software they mention various flavours of Windows as supported OSs. Where is the Mac stuff??


Hi Nina,

Give the website another try. The Mac 30-day "Try &Buy" version should be available now at:

Junk faxes over DSL

From Roger

I can't claim to be an expert on the issue either, but here's my take on the deal:

DSL uses the high frequency band of a phone line, higher than most people use for talking anyway (>4 kHz). That's why when DSL is installed, high frequency filters are placed at all of the phone jacks so that people talking on the phone don't have to listen to the high pitch squeal of the DSL signal. The problem is that modems and faxes do use this +4 kHz range. That's why you can't do dial-in/fax on the line as DSL. As for the junk faxes, I think this is referring to the legitimate faxes that turn out all jumbled because the fax and DSL are fighting for the same frequency band (and interfering with one another).


Editor's note: We had DSL at home for a short time, and that included the inline filters. Our fax machine and modems have worked just fine with the filters in place. dk

Re: 4.7 anything exclusion

From Jima


You just gave me an important clue I had been ignoring, in text formatting in tables.

Jeez. Blind man here, given the number IE users.

I occasionally purge MS, then cave in to the bells and whistles. You have relit the dump MS fuse.

Thanks so much,


Auction Prices on for Apple laptops

From George Mogiljansky

Hello again,

Last time I mentioned an unknown reseller of used Macs in Tennessee. This time I'd like to draw your attention to's final bid prices for Apple laptops. If I'm not totally batty, some G4s have been going for less than $1,000 Cdn. I was tempted to bid, but there was very little time to contact the seller to find out warranty conditions, etc. If you don't have time to check out this story, I will conclude by saying that the seller(s) appeared to have feminine names (at least in the email addresses) and did not always have a reserve price or a minimum starting bid.

In French, there's a saying: "ca fait rever" or "it makes one dream".

Cheers from Montreal

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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