Charles Moore's Mailbag

Dialup Is Outdated, Eudora on Macintel, Improving Tiger on Low-end Macs, and More

Charles Moore - 2009.02.25 -Tip Jar

Join the 21st Century

From Dru:

Charles -

So the problem with the migration is not the new Intel Mac,but lies within yourself (and your outdated software).

Dialup!?!? Surely you jest. I suppose you still have that AOLaccount, too! :-D

Get with the program, join the 21st century.

Dru

Hi Dru,

I infer that you're a city boy. ;-)

Believe it or not, there is still a sizable proportionof the world, including many locales in North America, where broadbandservice is not available, and I live and work in one of them -specifically a beautiful but out-in-the-boonies region of Nova Scotia,Canada, and the best service I can get here is dialup from one providerover ancient and not terribly well-maintained copper telephone linesand an analog local switching station that gives me 26,400 bpsthroughput on good days.

Canada is actually better connected than the UnitedStates with 85 Internet users per 100 people, putting it in fifth placeglobally compared with a connectivity rate of 73 users per 100 inAmerica, ranking 11th worldwide, but broadband is still not availableto some 15% to 20% (it's improving) of homes and businesses in theprovince.

When it's available, I'll have it.

As for software, philosophically I'm inclined to usewhat works best for me. I'm not averse to switching to more currentsoftware if it will do as good or better job than what I've been using,but I bridle at taking productivity and convenience hits in order tokeep up with the Joneses, so to speak.

LEM publisher/editor Dan just mentioned to me that heis holding off switching to Intel because while 99% of his key appswill work, losing Claris HomePage is something he's not yet ready to accept.

Charles
(Unapologetic Foot-Dragger)

Eudora Working Fine on Macintel

From Mark Rushton:

Hello again, Charles,

FWIW, Eudora 6.2.4 works just fine on my Unibody 2.0 GHz MacBook (well,fine in that although from time to time I get the SPOD for a fewseconds, and maybe a crash every month or so, it is able to send andreceive across multiple email accounts, though I do not usedialup).

I was surprised that in your mention of the Eudora problems andalternatives, you didn't update your readers on Odysseus. I jumpedaboard the pre-purchase beta offer 'way back when, but haven't lookedat it lately to see if there is a stable release available as yet.

Cheers,

M

Hi Mark,

I wish I was getting that sort of reliability withEudora in Leopard on myG4 PowerBook!

It works great in OS X 10.4 but is cranky and slowwith both send and receive over dialup, which I deduce is theproblematical issue in general - and my ISP (and sole alternative),Bell Aliant Sympatico, in particular. Their Port 25 block on SMTP is amajor pain. Gmail's SSL seems to work around it, as does the Lavabit email service,but nothing else, and in Leopard, Sympatico's own native SMTP serverrefuses to work, although it's fine with Eudora when booted fromTiger.

However, so far I've been unsuccessful in sendingemail via any service from Eudora with the Intel MacBook despiteprotracted configuration battles and several application reinstalls,fresh start settings, and so forth. My provisional theory is that theLeopard developers opted to throw dialup users under the bus, at leastby neglect.

I haven't checked in on Odysseus since 1.0 beta 9. Ijust looked, and I see it's up to beta 15 (February 21) so I must takeanother gander. The deal-breaker for me up to beta 9 was the lack ofability to check email accounts individually, which is absolutely vitalwhen you're on dialup and something I would not be satisfied livingwithout under any circumstances. (Update: Unhappily, Odysseus 1.0 Beta15 still can't check accounts individually.)

Odysseus also has (had?) problems with sending mailthrough the Sympatico server over my connection.

Charles

Intel Migration Woes

From Rudi:

Charles -

Nice article on your migration toIntel and the pitfalls that ensue when your workflow depends onvery specific applications.

I knew from your first mention of migrating to Intel that Eudorawould be a sticking point. My partner is a devout Eudora user (part ofthis due to the interface, most of it due to the fact that a goodfriend of hers works for Qualcomm and was on the Eudora project "backin the day"), and she's been toying with Odysseus. However, her needsaren't the same as yours (i.e., she doesn't have email account "bloat"- I do, but I now redirect most of my email addresses to this one), soshe's willing to move to another client if need be.

That said, Odysseus runs quite well on my Intel Mac (had to test fora few holdouts at my workplace who are willing to drop off our supportgrid for the sake of personal workflow), beating the snot out of thePenelope drek that Qualcomm and Mozilla.org are trying to pass as"Eudora 8." It seems to finally work well with SpamSieve, as well, which is an essentialrequirement for any stand-alone client I use.

Looks like beta 15 of Odysseus is about to hit the street, so thatshould be worth a try. I'm not sure about the portability of themailboxes - that's not a requirement I've needed.

But I know we'll never agree on the email front (to me, Eudora is anidea whose time has come and gone for myriad reasons - then again, Ican still GREP my way through Pine on a terminal...), so....;)

As far as a graphics editor is concerned, I'd look at a solutionlike Pixelmator,which is a wonderful app for the price and is Intel native. I've foundPixelmator to be almost equal to Photoshop in function, and certainlymore efficient in execution. Frankly, it runs circles around Color It,so I'd give it a whirl.

TypeIt4Me should work fine in the Intel realm, though I've moved onto TextExpander, which I find much more flexible - still a licenseholder of TI4M, though.

Good luck with the rest of the migration - it can be devilishlytough to retrain workflows to new interfaces, for sure. And I hope youget broadband to your area soon, because I don't think I could standdialup at this point. :)

Cheers from DC!

Rudi

Hi Rudi,

Thanks for the comments.

Like your significant other, I am a great fan of theEudora user interface (or non-interface - I even keep the toolbarturned off) and will give it up very grudgingly. I haven't given up onclassic Eudora yet, which is one reason I haven't switched to theMacBook for production, but I do have to take into consideration thatEudora is a lame duck and that it probably doesn't make a lot of senseto invest a great deal of time (always short) and effort into coaxingit to work, especially since I am obliged to work around the addedcomplication of a slow dialup Internet connection for who knows howlong yet.

I'm going to have to resign myself to the fact thatthe transition to Intel is going to be fraught with vastly moreangularities and aggravations than say the migrations from 680x0 toPowerPC or from the Classic Mac OS to OS X. For example, I canmanually drag mail archives that were created in Eudora 1.x on my oldMac Plus running System 6into Eudora 6.2.4 running under Leopard 10.5.6 on my PowerBook, andthey open. Odysseus may turn out to be the key for email (I'mdownloading beta 15 as I write this - it'll take an hour and 45minutes). Hopefully they've added the ability to check individualaccounts separately.

Actually, I've been using Pixelmator since the firstfinal version was released and have enjoyed tracking its progress. Igot version 1.4 down this week. I agree that it's beginning to givePhotoshop Elements a run for its money, but it's not quite thereyet.

I use Pixelmator and PSE regularly for stuff thatrequires their power and deep feature sets, but I still find that ColorIt! (which I now have working nicely on the MacBook :-) )tends to be my first resort for stuff it will do, which is quite a bit,and it does some things more satisfactorily than either of the newerapps. It's also lightning-fast, has a lithe, non-ponderous feel to itthat I prefer, and drag & drop image editing works better than withany other graphics app. I've used. Pretty cool for a program that datesback in interface and function conventions to the days of 68020processors.

Charles

Eudora on Intel Macs

From Michael:

Charles,

I've been using Eudora (6.2.4) on my MBP for over two years now,through Tiger and Leopard. The only problem I had previously heardabout was with Eudora playing some sound files when mail comes in.Since I'd previously turned off notification sounds anyway, I don'tknow if this would be a problem or not.

I only have 3 accounts set up, not 22, and I realize that may be ahuge difference. But I would still hold out hope that this would workfor you!

By any chance, have you talked to Tonya Engst about this? While shepublicly (and painfully) switched to Apple Mail a year or two ago, shemight be able to tell you how she kept Eudora going while switchingcomputers.

Good luck,
Michael

Hi Michael,

Thanks, I haven't noticed any obvious issues withmultiple accounts configuration on the Intel machine. I'm more inclinedto suspect that the problem for me is the known (from running Leopardon my G4 PowerBook) problems Leopard seems to have with either my slowdialup connection (26,400 bps on good days), Sympatico.ca's Port 25block and generally obtuse SMTP server (can't send through it inLeopard from the PowerPC Mac in Leopard, although it works fine inTiger), or a combination thereof.

My problem right now is time. I don't have any.Getting to bed at 4 a.m. or later the past few nights, and it'scatching up with me, so have been taking the path of least resistanceand getting along (quite contentedly) with the 1.33 GHz PowerBook,which is still a superb platform. I don't gainsay that it may bepossible to get Eudora 6.2.4 working on the MacBook, but I'm wonderingif the investment in time is justifiable given the likelihood that SnowLeopard will administer the coup-de-grace to this fine old pieceof software.

I am, of course, familiar with Tonya Engst's excellentwriting, but am not acquainted with her.

Charles

Helping Tiger Run Better on Low-end Hardware

From Roger:

Hi Charles,

I just read your Tiger hardware article (What's the Minimum Mac or 'Book for Mac OS X 10.4'Tiger'?) and have a suggestion for the lower end of what you haverecommended. I personally have no use for Dashboard and always strip itout of lower-end Macs. I also remove languages and only install theprinter drivers that I need. Doing this lets Tiger run about the sameas Panther on lower-end hardware.

Doing this Tiger Lite makes OS X 10.4.11 quite usable on a 500 MHz iBook with max memory.This even makes a 10 gig hard drive somewhat useable with about 6 gigfree after the OS install.

The software for removing languages is Monolingual, and you can use Bye Bye Dashboard orother similar software to turn off Dashboard.

Best wishes
Roger

Hi Roger,

Thanks for the tips and links.

Another solution for the Dashboard is one I use tokeep it disabled unless I really want it (not often) is DashQuit,a freeware add-on - works well.

Charles

Editor's note: I've had great luck with is Delocalizer 1.1, whichworks with OS X 10.2 and later. DisableTigerFeaturesis a good tool for turning off Spotlight and Dashboard, which I do onlow-end G3 Macs. dk

WD MyBook Home External Hard Drive Causing KernelPanic

From Lee:

Hi Charles

MyBook Home500 GB drive listed 10.3.x compatible.

  1. Will not go into Trash even with all applications off.
  2. Is causing kernel panic on two different Macintoshes: PowerBook Pismo and Blue and White G3 (OS X10.3.9)
  3. In trying to remove Button Manager, neither backed up .dmg files will open. An attemptto find an uncorrupted copy on your website proved fruitless. Pleasepost Button Manager app in an accessible location
  4. Would the firmware update or the turbo drivers help. Listed asbeing for OS X 10.4.x or 10.5.x. This provided I can remove ButtonManager and Drive Manager

I seem not to be alone with these problems.

AppZapper requires beingable to find the application. Don't know about Yank.

Thanks
Lee S.

Hello Lee,

I hadn't heard of this issue and can't shed much lighton what might be happening. Perhaps some of our LEM readers will beable to. Let us know if you get any useful help from WesternDigital.

Charles

Editor's note: The Western Digital site says theMyBook Home drives require Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, while theMacEdition simply requires Tiger or Leopard. The WD website doesn'tlist any of its external drives as compatible with 10.3.x. There arewidespread reports of problems with the Button Manager software.dk

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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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