Charles Moore's Mailbag

1 Display with 2 Macs, Flash Memory for File Transfer, Quicksilver or TigerLaunch?, and More

Charles Moore - 2008.05.21 - Tip Jar

Using One Display with Two Macs

From Glen:

Hi Charles,

Only get to read your columns sporadically but always find them interesting and of value.

Question I have is I am retiring and going down to one new mini which has the Intel processor, top speed, and DL DVD burner. I have just ordered but not yet received it.

I currently have a G5 iMac and G4 mini, both three years old. I also use some OS 9 programs, and I know the new mini will have Leopard on it and no OS 9 support. I therefore have to keep one of the older machines. Would like to keep the older mini but wondered if there is an elegant solution to 2 minis and one LCD monitor. Is there a switch that I can buy to change the monitor from one to the other without having to unplug and plug cables? If not I will keep my iMac, but space will be a problem.

If you know of a better solution than keeping one of the old ones, I would like to know about that as well.

I appreciate your input.

Glen

Hi Glen,

Thanks for reading.

There are a number of KVM switch solutions available. Here are some links to more information:

Belkin alone makes quite a variety, and they support Macs. You can find a short tutorial on setting it up in How to Connect Two Computers to One Monitor.

I haven't done this sort of setup myself, but it seems like a pretty elegant (and space-saving) solution to me.

Charles

Quicksilver or TigerLaunch?

From Felix:

Hello Charles,

I'm an avid reader and look forward to your columns every week.

This said, I'm curious about something. I see you recommend TigerLaunch over Quicksilver, which you have reviewed very favorably in the past - it was in fact your article what made me give Quicksilver a try, and now I cannot do without it. Do you think TigerLaunch is a better or simpler to use application than Quicksilver, or is it a matter of taste?

Personally, I have never tried TigerLaunch, so I do not really have an opinion one way or the other.

Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Felix

Hi Felix,

Apples and oranges, really. Quicksilver is a vastly more powerful utility than TigerLaunch, which is about as minimalist as it gets.

I should have included Quicksilver in the list, because so many people love it, and if it suits your work style, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with TigerLaunch as a substitute, because they work very differently, TigerLaunch being essentially just a configurable pulldown menu for starting applications.

TigerLaunch, combined with the OS X Dock, pretty much fill the bill for me these days, but if Quicksilver suits your needs and tastes, it's the one for you.

Charles

PowerBook 1400 Running from Compact Flash

From Thomas in response to PowerBook 1400 Upgrade Questions:

Dear Charles,

I have been the happy owner of a PowerBook (PB) 1400c/133 for the past 11 years. You will thus understand that Low End Mac has been a mainstay for me. I enjoy your varied contributions to the site. I couldn't agree more with you and your readers about the PB 1400's sturdy construction, small footprint, and excellent keyboard. It also works out well for me because I have stuck with WordPerfect 3.5e for most of my writing, so I can work interchangeably on the PB and (in SheepShaver) on my Santa Rosa MacBook Pro (MBP).

Reader Elliot's question, about getting files into, and especially out of, the old PB 1400 is a good one. What I have done is switch all PB operations to Compact Flash. The PB 1400 has two PCMCIA slots. I have obtained two Compact Flash PC Card adapters from PSISM.COM Tech Shop @ $9 (plus shipping). I copied the PB's entire 1 GB hard drive onto a 2 GB CF card formatted as Mac OS Standard (probably Mac OS Extended would also have worked; I run OS 8.6, my favorite pre-OS X system, on the PB and in SheepShaver; OS 9 offers few advantages, IMNSHO, if you are not using it to connect to the Web), and have been using it as the PB's main drive. I use a second, identically formatted 1 GB CF as a transfer disk, using a USB CF reader with the MBP and other newer Macs.

The only problem I have encountered is that I cannot seem to eject only the 1 GB CF card, the other, which is the startup drive, tends to come out with it, freezing the machine. I accordingly now only remove, and insert, the 1 GB card when the machine is shut down. (The 1 GB tends not to mount if inserted with the PB running, though other PC cards do.) This is a touch inconvenient at times. I can still use a floppy disk for moving smaller files while working.

In general, though, Compact Flash has given the PB a new lease on life. The only real upgrade I had made since getting the PB in 1997 was to max out her RAM to 64 MB. The CPU and hard drive remain unchanged, though now I have more "hard drive" space on the 2 GB CF. I cannot claim the credit for any of this, but have benefited from hints all over the Web in putting together this solution. Hope this helps Elliot or other readers.

Thomas

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the suggestion and mini-tutorial on using CF cards with the 1400. Sounds like a good and cheap solution.

One thing you didn't mention, and which I'm curious about, is relative speed when running booted off the CF card. Any improvement over running from the hard drive?

I agree that OS 8.6 is the optimum compromise between speed and features for the 1400. OS 9.x is just too slow.

Charles

Hi, Charles.

You're absolutely correct about the speed advantage with Compact Flash, especially over the old, slow hard drive that shipped with the PB 1400.

I have not timed it, but copy and save operations are noticeably faster, as well as silent. Startup takes a while in any case, though Marc Moini's Startup Doubler control panel has helped shorten it, even when starting up from the hard drive.

Tom

PowerBook 1400 File Transfers with Flash Memory

From Paul:

There are other alternatives for file transfer for the PowerBook 1400. I use, at different times, an ethernet PC Card, a wireless PC Card, and a PC Card 6-in-1 adapter for my SD memory card. (I've configured OS 9 on an SD card using my iMac and boot the PowerBook 1400 from the SD card.) No need to go back to floppies or SCSI CDs.

Hi Paul,

Thanks.

Yes, ethernet or SD cards would be an excellent solution, provided one has the hardware.

Charles

Transfer Files with Flash Media

From Keith:

I just read your reply to Elliot about his new 1400. I found an easy way to transfer files from a 1400 to another computer. I use a PCM card reader and a Flash media card. Using the card slot on the 1400, I put the files on the flash card, take it out, and then insert the flash media in a reader hooked up to the other computer. This method has never failed.

By the way, I do agree that the 1400 is a great computer. I am reluctant to part with mine, so this summer I am converting it to a portable juke box. The only things on the hard disk will be the system, iTunes, and a lot of songs.

Keith

Hi Keith,

Good tip.

Glad to hear that you are still getting useful service from the old 1400.

Charles

Compact Flash for File Transfer

From Andrew Hunn:

In response to Elliott's questions - One of my PB 1400's makes a clicking sound, annoying as can be, and I believe it's the hard drive (or its controller). I plan to replace it with an internal adapter and a CF card. I can boot easily from a CF card in the PC Card slot with an adapter, but when I try to shut down or remove the internal hard drive, I get other issues.

The PC Card adapters are cheap, and so are Ativa USB adapters at Office Depot, which is how I transfer files back and forth. I save them on a CF card in the PC slot, then remove it and stick it in the USB adapter for use with newer machines. Each adapter is usually less then ten bucks. MS Word 98 runs well on the 1400 and is file compatible with everything since, and I keep the CF card in PC format so I can plug it in wherever I go. Word 98 can usually be had on eBay for no more than 20-30 bucks.

Thanks to Low End Mac a few years ago for helping me figure out how to get writing tools on the cheap!

- Andy H.

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the interesting information and suggestions.

Good to hear that you've found Low End Mac helpful.

Charles

Mac OS 9 Very Nice for Browsing without Flash

From Lonnie:

Mr. Moore:

Surfing the Net is delightful with OS X, but there are times I still use OS 9. I have found that the problem with using OS 9 browsers is not the browsers themselves, but Flash. More websites are using more Flash animation, and when Adobe stopped writing updates for OS 9, it essentially killed OS 9's Internet future. [Editor's note: Flash Player 7 was the last version with Classic Mac OS support. dk]

Or not. There is one advantage to using an OS 9 browser to check my mail or search eBay: many flash ads don't work. Sure, I can't watch YouTube videos, but I get to check my mail and not have to see some annoying, bandwidth-hungry mortgage ad. Aww. I can type in my Pepsi Points at PepsiStuff.com and not see a large ad for music I don't want anyway stutter across my screen.

And then there's always Craigslist, thankfully Flash-free. Yay!

Lonnie Buchanon

Hi Lonnie,

Yes, one can still get along reasonably well in OS 9 with Netscape 7.x, Mozilla 1.3, iCab, or even Internet Explorer 5 I suppose. However, the OS X browsers are an awful lot better, and getting more so all the time.

Charles

Format=Flowed in Eudora

From Leif Halvard Silli, continuing the discussion in Odysseus Anticipation:

Thanks for that link! Yes, I downloaded and tested very very briefly.

Have you tested if it supports the Eudora invention format=flowed? (I think the only reason I have not switched to GyazMail log ago is its lack of support for format=flowed.)

Format=flowed is part of what I want most: A good writing milieu. Hope he doesn't forget that side of Eudora, and hope he doesn't only look at the Mac Eudora.

Regards,
Leif

Hi Leif,

I confess that I had to look up what format=flowed was. My ignorance of Windows software is near-encyclopedic, and I'm not sure the format=flowed feature was ever included in the Mac version of Eudora.

I'm guessing that there may be some indication of whether that feature will be included in the Windows version of Odysseus once a beta is ready. Note that many things are not yet implemented in the Mac beta at this point.

Charles

Agree. However, think you are wrong about format=flowed and the Mac version of Eudora.

Leif

Hi Leif,

You may be right. However, I can't find any reference to format-flowed in Eudora 6.2.4 for Mac Help.

Where does one find it in the program?

Charles

One of the most enlightened introductions (and one of the few introductions at all) to format="flowed" is probably Joe Clark's page.

You only need to look at the source code - or the mail headers - to see if the message - e.g. from Eudora - was sent out with format="flowed". For instance, the message from you had this header:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

So if you sent that message using Eudora for Mac - which I think you did* - then we have the proof in hand.

*Why do I think you used Eudora? Well, except for knowing that you are a Eudora aficionado, the program - as much as I remember and unlike, for instance, Thunderbird - never inserted any User-Agent heading in its messages. Thus, one of the best ways of knowing if the message was sent by Eudora is to check if the message is lacking a User-Agent heading. ;-)

- Leif Halvard

Hi Leif,

I stand corrected. You learn something new every day. This is a nuance of Eudora that I was completely unaware of (or unobservant of) previously.

Thanks for the tutorial! :-)

Charles

There are many who are not so very aware of format=flowed, I guess. Hence, I guess it is a good subject to touch in an article about email or Eudora or Odysseus. :-) Yet another thing to praise Eudora for! And also another issue to make sure that the Odysseus developer gets right.

Leif Hallvard

Go to Charles Moore's Mailbag index.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

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.

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link