Charles Moore's Mailbag

Pismo Resuscitation, a Possible NotePad Deluxe Replacement, Eudora 8 Keyboard Shortcuts, and More

Charles Moore - 2009.08.12 -Tip Jar

Pismo Resuscitation

From Charles:

Hi Charles,

There I was going through my spare Pismo and Lombard, making sure they stillbooted up, and my Pismo would not boot! I pressed the reset button, tono avail . . . I was going to do an internet search, put itoff too later, and then after dinner happened to go to Low End Mac andsaw your article on thePismo . . . long story short, disconnecting the PRAMbattery did the trick!

Thanks! Do you or any of your readers know of good sources for PRAMbatteries - or a method to rebuild these things?

Thanks again,

PS Now that Classilla isavailable, I have been enjoying using OS 9 again with my old 'Books.Boy, it takes me back, using the old Finder. I still find using Classicto be a joy!

Hi Charles,

Delighted to have been of service.

Wegener Media still lists new PRAM/BIOS batteries forPismos for $18.99.

I still use Classic Mode with my Pismos for a few appsI like better than their counterparts in OS X, and the speed is ahoot when I occasionally boot into Classic directly. However, I'mpretty addicted to OS X nowadays. ;-)


Pismo Love, 13" MacBook Pro Purchase

From Eric:

Hi, I have also been keeping my Pismo going, but just in the lastweek bought a 13"MacBook Pro. I purchased my Pismo within a week of introduction. Ikeep increasing the size of the hard drives and bumping up the RAM, andadding PCMCIA cards for USB 2.0 and 802.11g.

Within the last year I have been getting the spinning beach ballmore and more and even went to the Apple Store to look at new 'Books afew months ago. I was not impressed by the potential improvement Imight see for what I am currently doing with my Pismo. But with therecent price drops and improvements, seems like the new 'Books mightfinally be a suitable replacement for my Pismo.

I should add that my partner has a 15" G4 that has had themotherboard, etc., replaced by Apple (AppleCare) and still has one ofthe worst trackpads I have ever used (that was one of the things I wasnot impressed with on the new Macs - and I tried quite a few in theApple Store). I have also been keeping a couple of PPC Duo 'Books going for whatpurpose I do not know (maxed RAM, new batteries - soldered and NIMH,new keyboard for one and a new MB for the other, and the tick of deathcapacitor on the dock) just the size and coolness factor I guess.

Anyway, it will be a sad day when I pack up the Pismo to send to mybrother (I hope he decides to give computers another try) or try tofind another home where it will get some use.

Enjoy your articles!


Hi Eric,

Thanks for the kind words.

You've had a great run from that old Pismo, and basedon my own five months' experience with my Unibody MacBook, I'mprovisionally ready to say that you've chosen a worthy replacement.

I won't be as polite as you about the PowerBook G4 andpre-unibody MacBook Pros. The trackpad in my 17" PowerBook, which Iotherwise like very much, is an abomination - absolutely the worst I'veever used.

Happily, I'm finding the big glass buttonless trackpadin the MacBook very acceptable.


Suggested NotePad Deluxe Replacement

From Michael:

Greetings, Charles.

Last time we chatted about BeLight Software's LiveInterior. Recently BeLight announced that it had solved themultiple stories issue, and I went off to buy a copy of the standardversion. I'm still in the learning mode, but look forward to using LiveInterior to help visualize my future dream home.

Like you, I have been using NotePad Deluxe for years and years on mylow-end Macs, but occasionally another product appears which offers thesame relevant features. One of these is Notae, which allegesto run on your Intel Mac. It looks a bit different than NPD but mightserve well for you. If so, please let us readers know how it goes.


If you rub your mind against someone who is different, you come outbetter. - John Hope Franklin

Hi Michael,

Glad to hear that Live Interior 3D is working out foryou.

Thanks also for the tip about Notae. I think I mayhave heard of it, but I've never checked it out. I shall now do so andreport.


TextWrangler as Replacement for Smultron

From Stephan:

Hi Charles,

You mentioned TextWrangler inyour article Hasta LaVista, Smultron.

TextWrangler is scriptable, and there is a nice set of scripts namedVormplus Webtools - thesecould be, amongst others, a replacement for code completion. You shouldreally have a look at them. I use them in combination with Firefox withthe Web Developer and FireBug plugins for web development.


Hi Stef,

I wasn't aware of those scripting resources, and Iabsolutely should check them out and will do so.

I really like TextWrangler, and indeed it is anindispensable tool in my production applications suite for it's superb"Zap Gremlins" feature. If I can use scripts to get it to do otherstuff that I need, it might even be a challenger for good old Tex-Edit Plus.

Tom Bender told me late last year that he intended toget back to updating and improving TE+ in 2009, but so far no newversions since Sept. 2008 I think.

Thanks so much for the tips.


Could TextMate Replace Smultron?

From John:

It should work. I've built Smultron many times in Xcode. It's codebase is clean and a well-done example to any budding developers.Somebody will definitely continue it in some capacity. It's prettypopular.

And by the way, TextMate is oneof the best apps I've ever paid for. Well worth it's price forthe power and utility it provides. If you haven't tried it, I suggestit is well worth the money, and way better than BBEdit (not to mentioncheaper) and TextWrangler.

If you need a text editor, don't count out Xcode either...


Hi John,

Being that my ignorance of the arcanities of coding isnear-encyclopedic, I happily bow to your greater erudition. I hopeyou're optimism that someone will continue on with Smultron provesaccurate.

I have tried TextMate, and even reviewed a very early version many years ago. I can well appreciateits appeal to coders,

For me, perhaps even more so than BBEdit, it was justa lot more than I need.

Thanks for the info and comment.


Eudora 8.0 Keyboard Shortcuts

From Vickere:

Hi Charles,

I've just read your Low End Mac write up of Eudora 8.0 and first wanted tothank you for your comments.

I've been a dedicated Eudora user for perhaps 15 years, in largepart because it's the only Mac email software I've seen that lets meavoid using a mouse almost entirely. I use Cmd-\ to switch betweenwindows, <space> to open windows, Cmd-E to queue messages, Cmd-Mto check mail, and cmd-l to open the address book (and can then juststart typing to find the person I want), along with the lovely Cmd-1and Cmd-0 for the In and Out boxes.

With hand problems that are aggravated pretty much only by mouseuse, I'm seriously hoping the new Penelope Eudora 8.0 beta stillincludes all these no mouse features. Do you know? I am stillsuccessfully using Classic Eudora 6.0 on a Mac mini, even after upgrading to10.5.x (fingers crossed), but am on a DSL line, so different issuesthan you have.

I'd give it a try, but since my existing Eudora still works, Ihesitate to risk perturbing it with a version I then can't use....

Any feedback you have would be most welcome.


Hi Vickere,

I have to confess that I've never really availedmyself of Eudora's extensive keyboard shortcut capabilities. I sufferfrom mousing pain also, but find that the choice of mouse can make amassive difference (current fave is Logitech's V550), and I also use a foot mouse at my officeworkstation for clicking.

Anyway, Eudora 8 is a totally different program fromEudora Classic - essentially a skin containing some adopted EudoraClassic features on top of Mozilla's Thunderbird email client. However,Mozilla does say that some keyboard shortcuts from the original Eudorawere moved to Penelope (Eudora 8), and you configure whether theseshortcuts in Penelope or the original Thunderbird ones are used in thePenelope panel of the Options/Preferences dialog in Eudora 8.

At give an overview of the shortcuts - which of those have beenimplemented and which of those are problematic - which should be ofsome help.

Probably the best thing would be to download Eudora 8and try it out for yourself. You can import your email archives andsettings in from Eudora Classic without disturbing the originals, soit's a no-risk venture, and you can always go back to Eudora Classic ifthe new one isn't what you are looking for.


Thanks so much for the helpful response, Charles. I'll go to thewebsite and have a look-see and go from there.

On the mouse thread (oh, does a pun ever feel called for, but nonesprings to mind...), I use themini mouses that Logitech makes, plain ol' two buttoners with"tails", and have one for each hand so I can swap back and forth. Ilike the minis because they keep my small hands much more relaxed. Ontop of everything else, I have had a trackball mouse injury (de Quervain'sTenosynovitis) and so avoid them like the plague, because theyrequire much too rigid use of my thumb. I've thought about getting afoot mouse, but since I use keyboard shortcuts, I don't have to clicktoo much, but good to know they're workable.

Okay, enough rambling. Thanks for the inputs! I'll check it out andcross my fingers.


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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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