Charles Moore's Mailbag

WordPerfect Advice, AirPort via USB, Browser Feedback, the TextEdit Service in OS X, and More

Charles Moore - 2003.01.06 - Tip Jar

WordPerfect

From G. Richter

HI - I have a new OS X Mac, and I need WordPerfect for a specific school job. I have Mac Link Plus, but I can't get it to open documents in WordPerfect. Do you know where I can purchase it? I tried the website I found on your website, but it said it couldn't be found on my server. I would be happy to purchase the program, but it isn't available anymore, and it has to work on my OS X. HELP. Any ideas? Thank you very much.

G. Richter

Hi,

You can't buy WordPerfect new anywhere. Corel has discontinued it. You might find a copy for sale at a flea market, yard sale, or on eBay.

Try here <http://acmfiles.csusb.edu/corel/wpmac.html> or here <http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~jdburto/wpmac35e.html>.

This place <http://www.deakin.edu.au/software/applications.php> still had it the last time I looked, but you need a student password to initiate the download.

Charles

Bad WordPerfect Advice

From Richard Berg

A nice lady, Nancy Egner, wrote you asking about WordPerfect 3.5. She asked if it would run under OS X.

You replied, that WordPerfect is not "ideal". Great. She didn't ask that question. My experience with WordPerfect 3.5e tells me that it is a pretty good word processor. It does spell checking on the fly and has a built in grammar checker.

So what makes Nisus Writer any better? I have tried it, and its interface seems rather quirky to me, to say the least. And it runs under classic mode just like WordPerfect. Your statement implying WordPerfect has no grammar checker is just plain incorrect.

So why buy Nisus Writer when WordPerfect is free? Given its price, it might well be "ideal" for many people.

No development since 1997? Not quite correct. Someone at Corel (Mac fans there?) has put out at least two patches to 3.5e since it was introduced, and those patches help a lot. My patched version of 3.5e works faultlessly in classic mode under OS X 10.2.2. There is really only one feature that I miss - several levels of undoes. Otherwise, it runs pretty well and without the bloat that I see in other word processors.

I currently run OS X, but many people in our office are on Macs mostly running OS 9. At some point we are going to have upgrade everyone to OS X and to purchase an OS X compatible word processor, but I haven't seen anything in Nisus that would make me look favorably upon it. Yeah, I will give it another look when I get closer to making the switch to OS X, but right now the leading contender is, of all things, MS Word, even with its expense and bloat. We might even stay with WordPerfect for a while, since it runs so well in classic mode.

Richard

Hi Richard,

It wasn't my intent to dis WordPerfect. I was a very nice word processor in its day. However, that day is over. The only places you can get WordPerfect any more are a few residual download sites. There is no support from Corel.

Nisus, on the other hand, has a future. The new OS X version looks pretty slick, and the current Classic version is a powerful piece of work.

My comment on grammar checkers was not to the effect that WordPerfect doesn't have one, but rather than Nisus as a potential substitute does have one too, which was one of Nancy Egner's requirements.

BTW, there is a free version (4.1.6) of Nisus Writer available as well as an authorized download from Nisus Software. It has multiple undoes. ;-)

Other current word processors worth considering are Mariner Write, ThinkFree Write (good MS Office compatibility and cheap), and the newcomer from Israel, Mellel.

Personally, I find that Tom Bender's wonderful little text editor, Tex Edit Plus, does the job for about 95% of my word crunching.

Charles

Re: USB 802.11b

From Ed Hurtley

I want to thank you and Miscellaneous Ramblings readers Edward Nigles and Carlos Joaquin, for the information on the Belkin 802.11b adapter. I had looked at almost every manufacturer of USB 802.11b adapters except Belkin! After searching all over town, I finally found that CompUSA carries them, and I just finished installing it on my Rev B. iMac. It works like a charm. My recipe computer in the kitchen now has Internet access. :-)

Ed Hurtley, President & CEO
Rent-A-Geek, Inc.

Hi Ed,

Glad we were able to help, and thanks for the report. Belkin stuff is good and relatively inexpensive.

Charles

Special Gear

From Bob Friede

Charles,

Happy New Year! I just ran across this site: <http://www.worklink.net/products.htm>

I've been using the Renaissance Mouse for many years, beginning with my recovery from a close scrape with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Looking around the site, I thought you'd be interested.

Cheers,
Bob Friede

Thanks Bob,

Charles

Browsers

From Chris Smolyk

Charles,

Like yourself, I have a special affinity for iCab, though it is not so stable for me, and I have not taken to Opera, though some of my friends really like it, especially on OS X.

Where Opera really shone forth was when I visited the home of a programmer buddy who works for the DSL dept. of our local phone company - but is limited to 56k since he lives in the country. Opera was my first experience of downloading and installing on a Windows machine (his), and the speed improvement over Explorer dazzled them! Then I turned off Load Images.

They were impressed.

What I find missing from your browser comparisons is WannaBe, which I learned to use a lot with 68k/dialup, and still love on PPC/DSL. It allows me to tunnel through to the links I want to bother looking at and then open them in the browser of my choice.

Have you looked at it?

Chris S

Chris,

I use WannaBe every day, and I have for years. It is a complete lifesaver for someone like myself who works on the Web from a slow, dialup connection. Can't say enough good about it!

I didn't include it because it is really another category of browser, but I use it nearly as much as the full-featured browsers, and as you say, it works nicely in cooperation with them.

Charles

A Solution To Your Problem...

Stephen Becker

Hi Charles,

Just read your article on web browsers where you say, "Unfortunately, when you save a Web page as plain text with Chimera, something I do a lot for research or later reading, it includes the HTML tags and ignores line breaks, which makes the resulting jumble of text pretty useless, so I can't use Chimera for a lot of my browsing needs."

I suggest you use my WebPrint Plus for OS X utility with Chimera - it should solve the problem you've been having, and, as a bonus, it will add many useful information-gathering options to your system. In fact, WebPrint Plus X works with almost any program - even programs that can't save or print their own info!

You can download a free demo from my web site.

Best regards,
Steve

Stephen Becker
MacEase Computer Consulting
Software Development
http://www.macease.com

Thanks, Steve,

Sounds like a solution indeed. I'll check it out

Charles

Saving Web Pages as Plain Text

From Peter Gøthgen

Hi Charles,

I used to have similar problems, but now I've found a far better way in OS X. If you highlight the text portion of the page you want to save (either by double clicking the text or just clicking at the beginning and shift-clicking the end), then go to the services menu, there is a TextEdit option for opening selection in TextEdit. This brings it up as a new document in TextEdit, and you can format (or convert to plain text and not format) to your heart's delight. Whenever I save an article now, I do that (and once I have it formatted, I select the "prevent editing" option from the "Format" menu so that I can scroll it with the arrow keys when reading later.

Hope this helps.

Peter Andreas Gøthgen

Great tip, Peter.

Thanks. I never would have thought of that.

Charles

Articles on browsers

From Frederic Lagrange

Dear Mr Moore,

I have to disagree with you concerning Opera for a very particular reason: Until now, Opera is the only Mac OS X browser that has an acceptable (although not good) support of Arabic and Hebrew script on the Web. IE has none, OmniWeb unusable support (since it reads left to right instead of right to left), and Mozilla/Chimera a very bad one. Opera is very far from satisfactory, but for us users of Arabic and Hebrew script sites the latest version of Opera was the first ray of light and relief from browsing with IE Windows using a very slow Virtual PC.

Frederic Lagrange,
University of Paris IV

Hi Frederic,

I can't argue with that, although it's an issue that would be relevant to only a relatively small minority of users.

Charles

Your article on browsers

From Calvin E. von Weissenfluh

I agree generally with your comments, and I use iCab as my default browser mostly for the same reasons you do.

I'm also a Neanderthal who thinks Cyberdog is kind of neat. I much prefer its Mail part to the Mail in OS X. And the pup is still one of the fastest browsers out there. Oh rue the day Steve killed the dog! Had he been allowed to live he would be a lean mean browsing machine today.

I also use OS 9 more than I do X simply because most of my apps are legacy apps.

Hi Calvin,

I congratulate anyone who continues to get useful service out of old software.

I still haven't found a graphics application that works for me as well as Color It! 4.1, which is supported by my computers from the 9+ year old LC 520 to my new iBook running OS X (using classic mode).

Charles

PC cards

From Chris Smolyk

Charles,

While I agree that you need to see ethernet and DHCP as available options, I have some tips in another area.

And I am aware that since you already are using the Verizon service, you may well know this stuff already. But since you did not say whether you were already set up with the router, I thought I'd go ahead and cover these points, as they are some of the most frequent stumbling blocks.

I work in call center doing tech support for AT&T Broadband, who, like numerous other providers, have switched from manually "provisioning" modems (horrible delay and backlog in that method, leading to many irate customers) to using an online registration of the modem and NIC. Before you can surf, you are able to set proxies in the browser and go to a tFTP site where this registration takes place. Only then can you add in the router, once the connection is made.

And you must sign up and pay for IP addresses for each computer that will be online.

In my case, using a Coyote firewall-on-a-floppy, I use only one fixed IP from my ISP, which then assigns DHCP or static IP to each of my units in the network.

Another step of complication is the new wave of kids wanting broadband only/mainly for gaming, and who get upset that a computer must be used to register the modem and connection before the game box can be registered.

While online registration works much better, there are these steps which must be taken, and which confuse and frustrate the customers.

Thanks for the info, Chris. Point of clarification, though. I'm not using the Verizon service or a router. I'm on a dialup service that gives me 26,400 bps connections on a good day. It's all that's available in this neck of the woods.

Charles

CD-RW in iBook

From Stephen F Wassenich

I saw the Le Hack article about putting a CD-RW in an original iBook referenced in Miscellaneous Ramblings 12/23. Wegener Media, www.wegenermedia.com, will install and test it for you and ship it back via 3-day FedEx for US$215. I've not tried this personally, mind you, just noted that the service if available. They also have an option for faster return shipping and another for installing it yourself. They'll also install a larger hard drive and the CD-RW at the same time, which would be a nice upgrade if you really, really like the clamshell iBook.

Steve Wassenich


Dell's recycling program: Apple can do better

From Alvin Chan

(also submitted to Apple Management)

Thank you for your time. Dell, along with Gateway and Hewlett-Packard, has done it again, now with it's recycling strategy it will bring people closer to it's products more than ever. It has a recycling facility, people can either donate their PCs, printers to lower cost and to influence the hearts of the people.

As I have suggested this kind of donation, trade in before, and I'm sure others as well. It's time for Apple and for the Apple community to have an inevitable program like this. There will be a time when California and the rest will make recycling obligatory. It get better as always.

This also means Dell can now lower it's prices and have better services because of this. Apple and the Apple community can do better for there is always room for improvement. It can recycle not just PC, Macs, printers from all vendors, but also other peripherals as well. This will save the planet, which educators love as well because they mostly educate children to also be responsible for the environment, and it will lower costs too without sacrificing quality.

As to the issue of old PCs or Macs being reused in churches and schools, I disagree because shouldn't the future the children and upcoming church leaders have the best computers. It's better to give them the latest because with recycling Apple computers are now more affordable.

I do hope in the nearest possible time Apple creates a state of the art recycling facility to be spread all over the world to be the best again this time in humanitarian department. We must work together with all companies from all industries this new year. Pollution prevention is equal to lower costs, better products, better health (asthma and other children diseases gone) for the children and for the churches.

God bless,
Alvin

Hi Alvin,

But in the meantime, don't you think churches and schools would be happier to have some old Macs than no computers at all?

After all, my wife still happily uses our old LC 520 (25 MHz '030), although there are several newer and faster computers in the house.

Charles

Pismo CD-R install

From Steve

You showed that the system recognized it, but does Toast work with that Sony drive? If so thanks for the info!

Steve

I haven't personally used that drive, but Toast seems to work with most anything.

Charles

Re: More on Bible Software for the Mac

From Brian Heath

Would love to have an email when Online Bible is ready for Mac OS X.

Thanks,
Brian Heath

Hi Brian,

In the meantime, check out iBible 2.1.

Charles

Re: Misc. Ramblings, 12.09

From Andrew Main

IIRC = common abbreviation for "If I recall/remember correctly".

Thanks. Shoulda Googled this. Found <http://www.acronymfinder.com/> - "The web's most comprehensive database of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms. 259,000+ definitions!"

Andrew


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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 Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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