What’s Right with PowerBooks

PowerBooks are wonderful but problematic. They can be too expensive, a poor desktop replacement, and not really that portable by the time they are packed up for traveling. Many people get caught up in the marketing around PowerBooks or iBooks when they would be better off with a different Mac.

What’s Wrong with PowerBooks

2001 – There’s a chasm that separates the promise and the reality of PowerBooks. Maybe it is marketing or collective delusion, but PowerBooks can be a horrendous value for many people. Many PowerBook users just don’t get their money’s worth.

Comparing High-End PowerBooks

2001 – I’ve had the chance to own a lot of high-end PowerBooks. First it was the PowerBook 180 (instead of the top of the line 180c). Then the PowerBook 540. Lately I owned a Pismo PowerBook G3, and next week I’ll get my hands on a PowerBook 3400/180.

Zero Click Web Surfing

How many clicks or keystrokes did it take you to get to Low End Mac? I used to do nine clicks and keystrokes to get to Low End Mac. One click on iCab on my launcher program called Malph. One Cmd-L to open a URL, and then six keystrokes to type “www.lo” – at which […]

Mac Network Appliance: Make Your Own MP3 Server

Computers are supposed to make life easier, right? It seems like if I have a faster computer, I should be able to get things done more quickly and have more free time for important things – like talking to my fiancé or getting some exercise. But often that isn’t the way it seems to work […]

Optimizing Mac Software

In my earlier articles about speed, I made the point that much of speed depends on what software you choose and how you set it up for the way you work. In How to Pick Faster Software, I gave some yardsticks you can use to measure how good your software is. Now I’d like to […]

Picking Fast Software

I have been thinking a lot about speed lately. Speed is the most touted feature of each new computer, but it is equally relevant to low-end Macs. Low End Mac’s webmaster, Dan Knight, puts it this way: Eventually every computer becomes low-end.

3 User Accelerators

In this article I’m going to look at three common types of Mac users and offer a suggestion for each that should make them faster.

Web Browsing with Espy

A few weeks ago I wrote a series of articles about fonts. In A History of Font Technologies, I looked at the four major trends in Mac fonts: bitmapped, PostScript, TrueType, and anti-aliasing.

Bottlenecks: What Is Your Mac’s Slowest Component?

Last week, I reconsidered computing speed and came to the conclusion that time spent picking the right software and customizing it for the way you work is time well spent. With speed in mind, I think it is right that I discuss the slowest component of most Macintoshes.

Speed Reconsidered

For years I have been following Macintosh hardware advances. When I first started using Macs in 1990, the wicked fast 40 MHz Mac IIfx was on the top. I was in college at the time, and I knew two frosh in my dorm who owned IIfxs. I did not realize then how rich their parents […]

Using the Espy Font

In my previous article, Macintosh System Fonts, I surveyed the fonts that have shipped with the Mac OS and suggested that people without printers use a bitmapped font called Espy for everything on their system. Now I’d like to give a little more information about Espy.

Macintosh System Fonts

In A History of Font Technologies, I talked a bit about font technologies on the Mac. If you are unfamiliar with terms like “bitmapped” or “outline” fonts, you might want to read that article first. Here I am going to discuss the fonts that Apple has shipped with the Mac. I am on my way […]

A History of Font Technologies

Fonts have been central to the Macintosh experience since the very first Mac. By looking at the history of font technologies on the Mac, I’m hoping to derive some suggestions about how you can get your fonts to work best for you. This is the first article in a short series.

Back & Forth

Jonathan Ploudre first started using Macs in 1991 with a Mac IIsi. He’s a technophile who especially enjoys making things usable. He’s a Family Doctor in Mount Vernon, WA, where he lives with his wife and three girls. He wrote for Low End Mac from May 2000 through Sept. 2002.