Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009 Archive
- Pismo video performance, better YouTube on older Macs, cheap ATA notebook drives, and more, 12.23. Also Pismo PRAM issues, Linux on PowerPC Macs, end of Flash for G3 Macs, recreating a clean install, and more.
- Last minute Christmas gift ideas for Mac users, 12.21. Moore looks at eight things that he's reviewed and continues to use - software and accessories from $25 to $70.
- Belkin router reputation, ATA notebook drives, YouTube on G4 PowerBooks, and more, 12.16. Also Pismo problems, using Spaces to enhance productivity, extensive OS X browser list, ImageWriters on ethernet, and more.
- Why use Spaces?, chemical sensitivity and older electronics, replacing HyperCard, and more, 12.09. Also Tex-Edit Plus is being rewritten in Cocoa, connecting old printers to new Macs with affordable adapters, and more.
- My New Mac: Snow Leopard Edition is a great introduction to the Mac, 12.08. If you're new to the Mac or know someone who is, this project-based book can help you get up to speed with OS X quickly.
- Pismo a high point in Apple design, pros and cons of Leopard on Pismo, and more, 12.03. Also going the full 1 GB in Pismo, reviving 'dead' $50 Pismos found one eBay, and still loving the PowerBook 1400.
- Thumbs up for Logitech V550, picking the right MacBook, WiFi networking tips, and more, 12.03. Also too early for Apple to abandon PowerPC support, Belkin router problems, Linksys router praise, and Dell Truemobile 1350 WiFi CardBus card.
- Pismo WiFi networking issue finally solved?, 11.24. It turns out the problems wasn't the Pismo, the Buffalo WiFi card, or Mac OS X 10.4. It was the Wireless G router - Linksys to the rescue!
- Why Spaces is my favorite Leopard (and Snow Leopard) feature, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 11.23. Spaces, a feature introduced with OS X 10.5, is like having several monitors on your Mac without the cost and space of using multiple displays.
- Soft touch keyboards, wireless mouse options, loving SeaMonkey 2, and more, 11.18. Also the future of browsing with PowerPC Macs and the multiple mouse input bug introduced with OS X 10.5.8.
- 4 Mac browsers updated recently, 11.16. A look at the release version of Safari 4.0.4 and preview versions of Firefox 3.6, Chrome 4.0, and Opera 10.10.
- More Mighty Mouse alternatives, wireless safety, switching to ClipMenu, and more, 11.11. Also Apple's AirPort Card as the best solution for Pismo, Color It and Snow Leopard, and later revision Mac OS X install discs.
- Putting the SeaMonkey 2.0 Internet suite through its paces, 11.09. SeaMonkey is the successor to Netscape Navigator with its browser, email and news clients, and HTML editor. Version 2.0 puts it on par with Firefox 3.5.
- WiFi paranoia, iMac-o-lantern, Magic Mouse does click, free clipboard managers, and more, 11.05. Also strange time stamps, problem with ColorIt on Intel Mac, and the story behind OS X 10.5.4 install discs.
- Google Chrome Mac Preview has made a convert, 11.02. Officially a developer preview, Google's Chrome has finally made it to Intel-based Macs. It's fast, elegant, and could be your next browser.
- Fixing a narcoleptic PowerBook G4, the future of Tiger support, spam filtering, and more, 10.28. Also installing Leopard, disappearing features, portable Thunderbird, and web page design issues.
- 2 wireless alternatives to Apple's Magic Mouse, 10.27. Whether you prefer buttons to buttonless, are still using Mac OS X 10.4, or don't like Bluetooth, Targus has mice to consider.
- Jumpcut, a free clipboard manager for OS X, 10.26. PTHPasteboard, once a free clipboard manager, has gone commercial. Jumpcut has stepped into the gap and works very nicely.
- A useful Eudora feature, FireWire ports in Apple displays, having enough RAM, and more, 10.21. Also upgrading from Panther to Leopard, Low End Mac's new PC swap list, and reasons to avoid QuickPADs.
- Free Mailsmith Is the BBEdit of email clients, 10.20. If you're looking for an efficient, powerful, flexible, scriptable plain text email client for POP3 email, Mailsmith could be for you.
- Using Tex-Edit Plus and AppleScript for HTML markup, 10.19. Tex-Edit is a great writing tool in its own right, but thanks to AppleScript support, it can be extended far beyond its initial scope as a word processor.
- WallStreet CPU upgrades, Buffalo WiFi problems, long power outages, and more, 10.14. Also wireless broadband, culprit behind MacBook insomnia, EU iPod volume limits, and QuickPAD connectivity.
- Free TextWranger 3.0 a steal, 10.13. For editing plain text, TextWrangler 3.0 is fast, very powerful, free, and may be all you need in a text editor.
- Eudora 8 beta, Bible study software, one reason to choose an Apple display, and more, 10.07. Also questions about the Plantronics Voyager Pro and finding contentment with a cheap USB 2.0 PC Card.
- Reflections on my first month with broadband, 10.06. Moving from 26.4kbps dialup to 15-60 times faster wireless broadband changes work habits - and turns the Pismo PowerBook into a bottleneck.
- 'Snow Leopard' MacBook insomnia, webmail vs. desktop email, penny a minute dial-up, and more, 09.30. Also death of a G3 iMac, end of Flash 9 support on the Internet, Pismo Target Disk Mode failure, and sanitizing keyboards.
- Free ToyViewer image editor gets major update, 09.28. ToyViewer 5 is the first version designed for Snow Leopard, but the Tiger and Leopard versions seem to suffer in the process.
- The welcome to wireless broadband letters, 09.23. Charles received a bunch of "welcome to broadband" emails in response to "Charles Moore Finally Gets Broadband!"
- Do you trust your email to the Cloud?, 09.22. Webmail is great if you want to access it from more than one computer, but regular email clients have advantages of their own.
- 5 sub-$100 apps for when iPhoto isn't quite enough, 09.21. iPhoto is great for downloading, organizing, and simple photo tweaks, but sometimes you need a helper app with more powerful tools. These range from free to $90.
- Multiple input bug in OS X 10.5.8, where to buy a cheap USB 2 CardBus card, and more, 09.16. Also input bug exists in 10.6, WallStreet has white and multicolor Apple logos, and printing from an old PowerBook.
- Charles Moore finally gets broadband!, 09.15. Moore lives in rural Nova Scotia and has been posting to the Mac Web over slow dialup since 1997. Broadband has finally reached his area.
- Cheap USB 2 CardBus solution, OS 9 and Kanga, mobile Mac value, and more, 09.09. Also a look at several options for using an old LocalTalk printer with a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard'.
- 'Snow Leopard' vs. LocalTalk, new vs. close-out MacBook value, and more, 09.02. Also LC III usability in the 21st Century, Pismo upgrades, and more on Pismo FireWire Disk Mode problems.
- The future of up-to-date browsers for PowerPC Macs, 08.31. With Intel-only "Snow Leopard" shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Tiger on Pismo, LC III just died, installing OS X 10.4 on a DVD free Mac, and more, 08.26. Also problems with Target Disk Mode on Pismo, Mac OS 9 app and extension recommendations, powering your 'Book on the road, and more.
- Weathering Hurricane Bill in Atlantic Canada, 08.24. Hurricane Bill hit Atlantic Canada over the weekend, but with minimal damage.
- Problems getting 'Tiger' on a DVD-less Mac, more text editor suggestions, future of Smulton, and more, 08.19. Also Pismo doesn't require a PRAM battery, and WallStreet, MainStreet, and Pismo compared.
- Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset, 08.17. This Plantronics Bluetooth headset is lightweight, comfortable, and has good sound quality.
- Pismo resuscitation, a possible NotePad Deluxe replacement, Eudora 8 keyboard shortcuts, and more, 08.12. Also looking at TextWrangler and TextMate as potential replacements for the Smultron text editor.
- 2 steps forward: Logitech Control Center 3.0 and Unifying Receiver, 08.11. With the Unifying Receiver, several wireless Logitech devices need only one USB dongle, and the LCC 3.0 software is the best version yet.
- Hasta la vista, Smultron, 08.06. Smultron, a great text editor and information tracker, will no longer be updated.
- Pismo worth a G4 upgrade?, what to do with old Macs, and dangers from texting and talking drivers, 08.05. More feedback from those who love the Pismo PowerBook, whether ancient Macs have much real value, and road risks from texting and talking on cell phones.
- My five favorite OS X apps (and several other useful ones), 08.03. Moore's list of most important apps includes a text editor, email client, browser, image editor, and speech-to-text program - none of them from Apple.
- Texting kills: Cell phone use impairs drivers more than alcohol, 07.27. Driving while talking on your mobile is more dangerous than driving drunk, and texting is even worse. So why is it socially acceptable?
- Medical marijuana: Yes, there's an app for that, 07.23. Medical marijuana laws have been passed in 13 states. These apps are intended to help those with a prescription obtain Cannabis.
- DEVONthink power, blocking content in Opera, USB 2.0 to Ultra SCSI adapters, and more, 07.22. Also refurbished Macs are covered by Apple's Hardware Up-To-Date program and Craigslist postings are too easily deleted by others.
- Of bamboo bikes, notebooks, and other things, 07.20. Bamboo is strong, light, durable, grows quickly, and making its way into bicycles, laptops, autos, and more.
- Optimized builds make Firefox 3.5 and 3.6a faster and more responsive, 07.16. Mac builds of Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 alpha are available for G3, G4, G5, and Intel Macs. Each is optimized for speed.
- New 'Books have better displays, digital vs. analog audio I/O, Craigslist restrictions, and more, 07.15. Also three browsers - Opera, Stainless, and Cruz - compared, and installing Mac OS X from DVD on a Mac that can't mount DVDs.
- Safari 4: 'I actually like Safari now', 07.13. After fixing the looping dialog bug from Security Update 2009-002, Safari is working over dialup - and it's fast.
- 2 promising browsers: Opera 10 Turbo and Stainless, 07.09. Opera Turbo really does turbocharge the Web, even over slow dialup, while Stainless is building a multi-process browser using Apple's WebKit browser engine.
- New browser for classic Mac OS, Safari 4 and OS X 10.4.11, and more, 07.08. Also Mac apps for searching Craigslist and less known options for controlling iTunes and iPhoto behavior.
- Paintbrush: A fast, free, MacPaint-like bitmap editor for OS X, 07.06. Macs no longer ship with a free paint program, but the freeware Paintbrush program replaces MacPaint nicely.
- Refurb MacBook Pro deal, fastest Mac browser, 256 MB modules for WallStreet, and more, 07.01. Also more Safari 4 feedback, praise for Camino, MacBook cracks, looking for Craigslist software for Macs, and more.
- Bravo to Apple for pulling the plug on porn, 06.29. Last week the developers of 'Hottest Girls' moved from lingerie and bikinis to topless images, so Apple pulled the plug.
- Importance of FireWire, replacement battery advice, RAM for WallStreet PowerBooks, and more, 06.24. Also what is IrDA good for? And reflections on Kodachrome, digital photography, and medium format cameras.
- An affectionate farewell to Kodachrome, 06.23. After 74 years on the market, Kodak has discontinued its most famous brand of transparency film.
- Smultron: A fast, free text editor that's great for organizing information, 06.22. NotePad Deluxe didn't fully survive the switch to an Intel Mac, and Smultron became the replacement of choice.
- Death of a Pismo, end of G4 upgrades, 13" MacBook Pro assessment, and more, 06.17. Also ATA100 drives working reliably in Pismos and Eudora 6.2.4 functioning perfectly with Leopard and broadband.
- The 'Safe Sleep' mailbag, 06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- Eudora 8 beta 6 ready for everyday use, 06.11. The Eudora-ized version of Thunderbird finally has the features, familiarity, and reliability users of Classic Eudora expect.
- Eudora successors face off: Eudora 8 working well, MailForge almost ready to ship, 05.28. Qualcom abandoned Eudora, Eudora users often have issues with latest versions of OS X, but Mozilla-based Eudora 8 and MailForge have stepped in to replace the beloved app.
- Odd MacBook sleep behavior, Pismo resurrection and upgrades, end nigh for Classic Eudora? and more, 05.27. Also the end of the road for Lombard and G4 iMac CPU upgrades.
- FireWire sleep issues, Safari 3.2.3 vs. Safari 4 beta, iPhone tips for teachers, and more, 05.20. Also a dead Pismo PowerBook, Orinoco PC Cards in AirPort base stations, iBook backlight repair, and Wegener repair experience.
- Zeppelins return to the sky to promote Disney-Pixar's UP, 05.18. Although best remembered for the Hindenburg disaster, Zeppelin airships have a long and safe history, especially after switching to helium.
- 500 MHz iBook keeps going, iBook video repair, a WiFi card that costs less than AirPort, and more, 05.13. Also Dell's alternative to the 12" PowerBook, WiFi hotspot insecurity, and feedback from a Eudora fan.
- Mac-using troubadour launches comeback CD, music industry software, 05.12. Nova Scotian Max MacDonald works for a company that produces software for festival and artist management and has released a new CD of Cape Breton music.
- WiFi hotspot insecurity, iBook longevity, and WallStreet value, 05.06. The dangers of WiFi hotspots, reliability of the 500 MHz iceBook, and the value of a used WallStreet PowerBook.
- External Western Digital drives not recommended for booting any computer and WiFi range reduction, 04.29. Most external Western Digital hard drives can't boot PowerPC Macs, and WD actually says none of its external drives should be used to boot a computer.
- Farewell to Geocities (and some free alternatives), 04.27. Once a popular place to host a personal website for free, Geocities will be closing its doors later this year. However, there are other options.
- Acer One replaces PowerBook, unbootable WD FireWire drives, WiFi insecurity, and more, 04.22. Also keeping a MacBook cool, good enough computing, PowerBook Duo vs. Clamshell iBook, and WiFi range reduction as a security tool.
- Targus USB 2.0 4-Port Bend-a-Hub with Mini USB Adapter, 04.20. This clever, flexible, inexpensive 4-port unpowered hub is light and includes a switch-hitting mini-USB port.
- WiFi security advice, Unibody MacBook or white one?, deleting Mac apps, and more, 04.15. Also getting external Western Digital drives to work with older Macs and a PowerBook Duo prototype found on eBay.
- 'Mac Migration' an excellent resource for Windows users moving to the Mac, 04.13. "'Mac Migration: The Small Business Guide to Switching to the Mac' manages to a pretty much cover all of relevant bases inside of 350 pages."
- The importance of WiFi security, using Internet Sharing to work Around USB modem problems, and more, 04.08. Also more on the Austin Mini, synching an iPhone with a Pismo, and new software from Vertus.
- Nano nano: The Tata Motors Nano and Apple's iPod nano, 04.06. Just as the iPod nano is designed to be the least costly "real" iPod, the Tata Nano is designed to be the least costly "real" car.
- Obsolescence is relative and sub-56k Internet access, 04.01. Also whether a Blue and White G3 is a viable platform for Leopard, growth in dial-up Internet access, and WiMAX in Canada.
- Vertus Fluid Mask 3: A powerful image masking tool for cleaning up image backgrounds, 03.30. If you need to do sophisticated image masking, Fluid Mask provides lots of powerful tools for getting the job done.
- PowerPC viability, Migration Assistant rocks, importing Mail to Eudora, and more, 03.25. Also boosting MacBook memory, limiting CPU usage with SETI@home, and running Windows on pre-Intel Macs.
- Vertus Bling! It: Affordable image masking software for casual use, 03.24. Bling! It can be a useful tool for removing busy backgrounds from product photos used online or in print.
- The World Wide Web at 20: A medium of increasingly trivial pursuits?, 03.19. Invented as a way for researchers to share their findings, the Web has devolved into an entertainment medium increasingly concerned with the unimportant.
- Transitioning from PowerPC to Intel Macs, no Atheros WiFi drivers for Classic Mac OS, and more, 03.18. Also why the computer you have may be all the computer you need, advice on choosing a Mac notebook, Safari for Windows problem solved, and thoughts on a 1-control auto.
- WiFi adapters for OS 9, Safari 4 on pre-FireWire Macs, and paper vs. plastic bags, 03.11. Also another WiFi PC Card for PowerBooks, a problem with Safari 4 for Windows, and someone who loves paper grocery bags.
- Apple Store eliminating plastic bags for customers, 03.09. Apple's ban on plastic bags in its retail stores amounts to more 'green' hype than substance.
- Dialup dependability, Safari 4 and G3 Macs, the best Mac keyboard comes from Apple, and more, 03.05. Also a possible solution to dialup problems in OS X 10.5, 17" PowerBook memory slot problems, 333 MHz Lombard outperforms 400 MHz Pismo, and more.
- Could Steve Jobs save even one of the Big Three?, 03.02. GM and Chrysler are burning through cash at a prodigious rate, but the Ford team seems to have ideas that could keep Ford off the dole.
- Return of the best computer keyboard ever?, 03.02. Unicomp uses IBM's legendary 'buckling spring' technology in its line of keyboards, which work with both PCs and Macs.
- Test driving Safari 4 Beta, 02.26. Safari 4 has some clever and useful new features, but it's not the fastest Mac browser for those using dialup.
- Dialup Is outdated, Eudora on Macintel, improving Tiger on low-end Macs, and more, 02.25. Ongoing frustrations with Eudora and dialup, ways to tweak Tiger for better performance, and problems with a WD MyBook external hard drive.
- Color It 4.5 does work with Intel Macs, 02.23. Color It runs just fine using Rosetta, but you may have to reinstall it or trash your prefs after copying it from another Mac.
- MacBook design limits USB ports, Unibody audio prolem solved, G4 upgrades disappearing, and more, 02.18. How to get the headphone jack on Unibody 'Books working again, no more dual 1.8 GHz G4 upgrades, and a letter of appreciation.
- Is the Mac the Volkswagen of computers?, 02.16. Apple has been called the BMW, Porsche, and Volvo of computers, but perhaps Volkswagen is a better parallel.
- The Unibody MacBook, MacBook Pro sound problems, welcome to Macintel, and more, 02.11. Also the joys of using a small Intel iMac with a big external display and issues with 1 GB of RAM in the Pismo PowerBook.
- A few words in appreciation of Steve Jobs, 02.05. "...Jobs has been instrumental in conceiving, popularizing, and enhancing technological innovations that really have changed the world profoundly . . . enriching the lives of millions of users."
- Used 'Book value, overheating 12" PowerBook, Target Disk Mode weirdness, and more, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 02.04. Also Leopard breaks wireless printing for some printers supported by Tiger, and Unibody MacBook the right choice over polycarbonate MacBook.
- 4-way Touch Scroll in Targus mice more than just a cool gimmick, 02.02. Instead of a scrollball or scroll wheel that moves sideways, Targus uses an optical sensor that works like a champ and won't gum up.
- Wikipedia: The Missing Manual available as book and wiki, 01.29. If you're at all interested in contributing to Wikipedia, this book should teach you everything you need to know.
- Reset an unknown admin password, cheap dialup on the road, $999 MacBook updated, and more, 01.28. Also a Pismo that won't enter Target Disk Mode and connecting a PowerBook 170 to the Internet.
- Eudora 8 beta 5 making progress, not quite ready for prime time, 01.27. "Eudora 8 is making gradual progress, and in a pinch I think I could use it, although not happily at this point...."
- How should The Italian Job have ended?, 01.22. The original Italian Job had great chase scenes, lots of auto carnage, and featured a computer. How should it have ended?
- Camino pros and cons, notebook video reliability, overheating since 10.5.4, and more, 01.21. Also the joy of a 'Big Al' PowerBook, Unibody MacBook Pro a work of art, recycling an iMac for a cat, 64-bit PowerPC support, and password needed to install software.
- Camino, Firefox, and Opera reconsidered, 01.19. Camino 1.6.6 seemed promising, but increasing sluggishness and lockups meant going back to Firefox, Netscape Navigator 9, and Opera.
- OS robustness, Mac reliability, and the upgrade cycle, 01.15. This user has no compelling reason to upgrade from his 5- to 9-year-old PowerBooks, yet he finds the Intel 'Books alluring.
- Overheating PowerBook, 7200 rpm in a G3 iMac, getting online during blackouts, and more, 01.14. PowerPC support in iLife 09 a pleasant surprise, no overheating issues with 7200 rpm drive in an iMac, and dialup access as a good backup plan for power failures.
- Is Camino now the best browser for older Macs?, 01.13. Camino 1.6.6 works very will with Mac OS X 10.3 through 10.5 and seems especially well suited for slower PowerPC Macs.
- Blackouts and Web access, death of a Kanga, the future of PowerPC Macs, and more, 01.07. Also another email client suggestion and whether a G3 iMac can handle a 7200 rpm hard drive without overheating.
- Adventures with an overheating PowerBook, the 10.5.6 update, and other things, 01.06. After three years of reliable service, the PowerBook began to run so hot that the fan was almost always on. What was causing the problem, and what would fix it?
- more in the Miscellaneous Ramblings archives: 1999-2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
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Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
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the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ