Charles Moore's Mailbag

Silence Is Golden, ColorIt!, StarMax Upgrades, and More

Charles Moore - 2001.03.12 - Tip Jar

From: Willis Kieninger:

Charles: Thanks for the upgrading article. I want to add more storage capacity to my 3000. Can I daisy chain the OEM hard drive with another, or do I need to replace the internal drive? Any suggestions/cautionary notes would be appreciated. Thanks, Willis Kieninger

Hi Willis,

If you have an empty drive bay, you can add another internal drive and retain the original as well. You have two 3.5" drive bays, and I infer that one is empty.

One of the 3000's strong points is that it has a factory IDE internal bus that allows you to use inexpensive internal IDE hard drives.

From Jim Spitler:

Subject: Loved the winter musings article!

Thanks for a very poetic moment in my otherwise chaotic, multi-tasked work-inferno!

I paid to have my hard drive upgraded quite some time ago (long enough that I lost the paperwork on the drive installed - oops). My system profiler says it finds a 2 GB Conner HD. Do you know who makes Conners now? I believe the company was sold, but am having trouble finding more information. This is an annoyingly noisy HD.

Jim Spitler

Hi Jim,

Glad you enjoyed the winter vignette.

I have never heard of a Conner HD. Checked with my tech guru, and he hadn't either. The only real cure for a noisy PB drive is to replace it.

From: Alex Mathew

Subject: Silence: and Hard Drive Whines...

Hi Charles,

An excellent article... I value silence but also value the little sounds that keep us from going crazy.

Here is a thread I started on MacFixIt that discusses the horrible whine problems with hard drives.

There are links to discussions on Apple's support boards also. The statistics are not valid based on the sample size - but suffice to say that almost ALL major brands of hard drives have a noise problem. Some show up right away but most show up 4 to 6 months after install. Hitachi and Fujitsu 20 GB drives are the only ones reported so far without whines.

High pitched sound drives me nuts - I used to hate the dragging of chalk on blackboards. Now my PowerBook G3 Pismo keeps me insane!

I have finally resorted (thanks to the generosity of a friend) to the Bose noise cancellation headsets when I cannot stand it anymore.

Thanks again for good "ramble".

Alex M.

From Kevin:

Subject: Silence is Golden article


I was glad to read your article, as I also value silence in computing and lament the new noisy CD drives. Just today I was thinking it would be nice to have a preference setting for the CD drive speed. For playing CDs any speed is OK, but for installing software I can put up with the high speed whine.

Also, I just bought a new hard drive for my WallStreet, not because the old was full or inadequate, but because it was too darn noisy. But I fear the quiet will not last.

Anyway, it seems silence is a goal of Apple's, too, so folks like us should be well served in the future.


From Doug Semark:

Subject: ColorIt!

Your thorough review of ColorIt! 4.0 replicates my own lengthy experience and great satisfaction with the program. While I was futzing with Photoshop 2.5.1 lo those many years ago, I lucked into an ad from MicroFrontier offering ColorIt! (2.3?) for free on a single floppy. I think their stated goal was to be "the #1 image manipulation program" on the Mac or something like that.

I've subsequently upgraded both Photoshop and ColorIt! over the years, and I'd have to say that ColorIt! is number one on my hard drive, if not in the Mac universe itself. I probably use it five times for every single time I use Photoshop. As you say, it's quicker, leaner, kinder (I make enough bad choices that multiple undos are a blessing!), and, might I add, "funner."

I'm concerned about its apparent "end of the road" status. No more upgrades? Is there anything we can do?

Doug Semark
San Pedro, CA

From Frances and Mitchell Harris:

Subject: ColorIt! for Mac OS X

Dear Mr. Moore:

Thank you for your recent column about ColorIt! In your column you said that you didn't see much hope for ColorIt! being a Carbonized version of ColorIt! For your information, I pasted below an email I received from MicroFrontier in response to an inquiry about the future of ColorIt! The response was not exactly positive and does not contradict what you said, but perhaps there is hope?

Mitchell Harris

ColorIt! for Mac OS X

Yes, we are in the process of investigating what's involved to produce a "Carbonized" version of ColorIt! and our other products to run native under Mac OS X. At this time, however, there is not a schedule as to when it would be completed; final work on this can't even begin until the release version is out on March 24th.

Wayne Davis
MicroFrontier, Inc.

Perhaps some expressions of interest to Mr. Davis would be helpful.


From Tim Robertson


While I agree with you that the cheaper ColorIt! 4 does many of the things Photoshop does, it has around 1,000 features less, most notably layers. As such, when you write "ColorIt! also supports Photoshop plug-ins, which work exactly the same in both programs," that is not true. Many PS plug-ins use layers, so these will not work at all with ColorIt!.

Also, when you note it will run with only 2,048 KB of memory, that is ONLY if the image your manipulated is very small. It won't work with that little amount of memory with a larger graphic.

But I agree. For a "graphics dabbler" it is a very cool program. I use it for simple things as well.


Hi Tim,

As I said in the article:

"If you're a graphics professional, or an amateur with serious aspirations, you need Photoshop. The vast majority of Mac users, particularly ones without fast G3 or G4 Macs do not...

"ColorIt! will do almost anything I would ever do in Photoshop, and considerably more besides, and it does it at little more than the price of average shareware....

"There are distinctions and differences of course, but not ones so radical that you have to climb a steep learning curve when switching."

The operative qualification is "will do almost anything I would ever do in Photoshop." Obviously, plug-ins that relate to features ColorIt! doesn't have won't work, but where supported, the Photoshop plug-ins work the same. My scanner software, for instance works, exactly the same in other programs.

From Mike Cohen:

My favorite free email service is They provide IMAP as well as POP3 and SMTP, plus they offer 10 MB of space, rather than 3-5 MB like most of the others.

They're very reliable, although they had some down time last week.

I also use several email forwarding services including & ( is one of the domains offered by - I have about 5 different addresses forwarded to my POP3 mailbox. I've never given out my actual ISP email address, since I've changed ISPs several times when I've moved and switched from dialup to cable modem.

For my real, personal mail, is by far my favorite service. They provide only forwarding for up to $35/year depending on the service options. I use lots of filters as well as their standard spam filter to keep my email spam free. You can get up to three aliases (all forwarded to the same mailbox), or add additional ones at extra cost, and if one of them gets too much spam, you can easily change or cancel it.

From: Kit Fitzpatrick

Subject: Farallon SkyLine card

I was searching the web and came across your article (17 Sept. 1999) about the Farallon SkyLine card. I have been using one of their cards in my PowerBook for several months now, and it works well, all except one annoyance. I have a wireless network both at home and in the office. I use the Location Manager to set up all of the network settings in the two places - all except for the Farallon card :-(

I have written tech support about how nice it would be for them to properly support the Macintosh and use the Location Manager. Their reply was that nobody has ever requested that feature and they can't see incorporating it in their product. As a Macintosh developer, I even offered to write it for them. They didn't even respond. As someone who is in touch with a wide audience of Macintosh users, I'd like to know if I'm really out to lunch, or is this a really good feature for Farallon to add to their product? I wonder if you agree that it is and know of a way to build some sort of demand for the feature.


From Blair Wilson:

Subject: A minor item

Hi Charles.

I read the Low End Mac page regularly. I like the vast majority of what you write. (You and I differ in opinion on the active vs. passive screen issue. :-) ).

In your "'Book Review" column, you use the phrase "Without further adieu." I think you mean "Without further ado." I only noticed it because such things are so rare in your columns.

Keep up the good work!


Gak! That was a boner. :-(

I can't blame that one on the dictation software!

PS: I still like passive screens well enough, but I would never choose one over an active by preference. My point is that I could live quite happily with a passive screen.

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

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