Charles Moore's Mailbag

More on Being Microsoft Free, Gatekeepers, Fighting Spam, Freezes, OCR, and Redux

Charles Moore - 2002.05.16 - Tip Jar

Microsoft Free Website

From Dustin

Although the name of one of the websites is rather crude, <> and <> are dedicated to promoting alternatives to Microsoft's products (free and commercial). They have great explanations on why Microsoft is so bad and a list of anti-Microsoft sites. Enjoy.

-Dustin D

Experts & Gatekeepers

From Steve Mansfield


Truly the Internet is a wondrous place. I came across this page while looking for MCSE Brain Dumps! Anyway, I thought I would ask if in the US you have the same culture of academic teaching being superior to all other forms of teaching and learning. What I mean by this is that I have had many jobs, and the ability of the individual to perform them was not really linked to one's academic ability.

There are some obvious examples: sportspeople, TV presenter, fighter pilot.

Here in the UK, the educational system seems to be going the way of 'one size fits all'. I would say that we need at least 2 types of school and maybe 3, in order to allow people to fulfill their potential. Also, the only measure of whether a school or other educational establishment is any good is taken from its exam results. The result of this is that kids are examined like never before, and the schools get more money / less money depending on their results. The teachers likewise get assessed on the exam results.

So we are teaching our kids to pass exams, which is oddly how I found your page. The subject is deathly boring, but success will be beneficial! Hopefully I will get the piece of paper, but I won't have any more ability or wisdom. My problem solving (what real world IT is all about IMO) will be unchanged, I'll just have a piece of paper that ignorant potential employers and customers will find reassuring.


Hi Steve,

Certainly here in North America (I'm actually in Canada), academic teaching holds the highest prestige.

However, my daughter, who was homeschooled through middle school, and is just completing what would normally be three years of high school in two years at age 17, with the highest grade average in the school, winning a major scholarship to one of our best universities, says that she has learned nothing, and indeed gotten stupider since entering the formal academic stream.

Food for thought.



From: Steve Watkins

Hi Charles,

Great article! I have used POPmonitor 1.1.1 for OS X for a couple of months now and have had the same great experience as you. I am often accessing my email through a dialup connection (and occasionally it is even a long-distance call) and have found this to be a real asset. Like you, I get around 50 junk emails a day. From some of the examples you gave in the article, we appear to have found our way to some of the same mailing lists :(

I previously used a program called Musashi. While it served the purpose, I have found POPmonitor to be more stable and easier to use. I am looking forward to the OS X native version 2 in May.

Steve Watkins

G4 Freezes

From Bruce Mc Gowan

Hi, every time I start up my Power Mac G4, a bus error appears at startup. And when I use my software, it sometimes freezes. What's the problem? I use Mac OS 9.2...

Please help me, I'm just a Graphic Designer, not a technician!


Bruce Mc Gowan

Hi Bruce,

The bus error thing is not normal. You should try running some diagnostic software like Norton Utilities/SystemWorks, Alsoft DiskWarrior, or TechTool Pro to see if they turn up anything.

A clean system reinstall might be a good idea too.

As for freezeups, they are not uncommon with certain software in the Classic Mac OS. OS X is reportedly a lot more stable for high end graphics use, and a crashed application won;t take the system down.

Hope this helps,

OCR for Macs

From: Eric Aborjaily

I saw your info and wonder what is the best OCR software for Macs that will output in an Excel or Excel readable format retaining columns, etc.



Hi Eric,

Please check out these recent articles on Low End Mac

 • OCR Software for the Mac
 • Browser Wars, OCR, and More


Redux 2.6.2

From Michael

Hi Charles,

I accidentally came across Redux on Version Tracker while looking for some other utility.

It seemed a great little product, so I downloaded it.

In its "Read Me" file, it talks about scheduled backups, filtering, and so on, but I can't seem to do that with what I have downloaded.

I have a 20 GB HD, and I need to be able to selectively indicate which files to update for the first run. When I run Redux 2.6.2, it attempts to read all my files but then stops when about 8,000 files have been read. How do I overcome this problem?

It also talked about the scripting language "BackTalk", but when I go to the site it suggests, it fails.

I came across your site using Sherlock 2, and the site you recommend to find out more also fails.

Could you help me out?


Hi Michael,

Sorry, I can't be much help. I haven't a clue what the problem is.

However, perhaps one of our readers can shed some light.


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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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