Charles Moore's Mailbag

Loving Wireless Broadband, iBook G4 Deals, Email Migration from Eudora, and More

Charles Moore - 2010.07.14 -Tip Jar

Loving Wireless Broadband

From anonymous by request:


I have service through Clearwire, and I do like the speed thatthey deliver. The problem that I have is my ping times are between110ms and 200ms. When I had DSL (through the most dishonest phonecompany on earth), I had pings of about 25ms to maybe at worst 35ms,and jitter was very low. I have purchased an Ooma VoIP phone device andam no longer using the big dishonest phone company for anything.Clearwire offers its own VoIP phone service for an additional $20 permonth for the 1.5 Mbps service and $15 per month for the 6.0 Mbpsservice.

The advantage that you have living in Nova Scotia is that you get tolive in Nova Scotia... Nice.

Name and location withheld by request (so Clearwire can not try tokeep my Ooma phone service from working)!

Thanks for the report. My personal frame of referencewith broadband services is limited, but the wireless service I'mgetting here is much faster than the library WiFi hotspot (router to aDSL connection) I used to resort to when dialup was justimpossible.

My daughter, who lives in a city, and my summerneighbor from Cincinnati both tell me that the speed here comparesfavorably with what they're getting at home.

And yes, the privilege of living in a place like thisdoes mitigate the inconveniences of living 50 miles from the nearesttown. On a nice day in July, August, and September, I can't imaginethere being a more pleasant place to be. The downside is that in therest of the year, the weather is, well, "challenging." ;-) Mywife, who is from Bermuda, has other words for it.

Incidentally, check out Live With Regis andKelly on ABC this week (July 12-15, 2010), which is being broadcaston location from next-door Prince Edward Island, which has similarweather to ours.


iBook G4 Deals at

From Mike:

I was looking through the electronics section on It appears that they are selling a (or several)2005 12" iBook G4's.Low price of $260. Although the PPC chip is on the way out, this wouldprobably be great for someone in the market for a netbook, or someonelooking for a cheap replacement for an older PPC laptop that is notworth fixing.

Mike T.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the heads-up. That is a super price for alot of 'Book, and I would definitely prefer a G4 iBook to a netbookpriced similarly.

I'm even tempted at C$331.55, which is what's quotedfor Canuck buyers, and something of a profiteering peg, since theCanadian dollar is trading in the $0.95 to $0.97 range.

My wife is still getting great service from my old1.33 GHz 17" PowerBookG4 running Leopard.


YouTube5 Extension Lets Safari 5 View YouTubewithout Stuttering

From Rob:


Seeing as you wrote such a positive review of Safari 5 onLow End Mac, I thought I'd bring to your attention a rare benefit of"progress".

I enabled extensions on Safari 5 and installed the extensionYouTube5,and now I can watch YouTube videos on my G4 iBook (1.33) withoutbreaks, stuttering, hogging the CPU, or overheating the GPU chip! Lookforward to trying it on my old 867 MHz DVI PowerBook - whenI've rebuilt it and found my Leopard disc.

As I said, in a world where progress rarely benefits those of ususing old Macs, we finally a seamless answer to a difficultproblem!


Hi Rob,

Thanks for the report and tip.

I'm still very happy with Safari 5, which I'm actuallyusing more than Chrome these days - something I never imagined woundhappen given my general underwhelmedness with earlier Safariversions.


Linux Prospects on $37 Netbook Computer

From William:

Hello there (again!).

I read with great interest the first column on LEM where the $37 netbook computer was mentioned.Even with its limited processing power, the concept seemed veryinteresting. I've been sorely tempted to buy one, although it seemsthat the shipping costs more than the computer itself at $39. If I wereto find one being offered with a lower shipping cost, I'd probably justbuy it and see.

It's also not clear whether there is any way to restore the Windows CE operatingsystem to its factory state should something go wrong.

Like others, I wondered about the possibility of using Linux onthese. Windows CE just isn't very exciting software. (But oh, how itcould have been! It's a long story . . . if you'reinterested, I'll tell you about it in a separate message.) The machinesthemselves seem to be using a Wondermedia or VIA CPU (Wondermedia is adivision of the Taiwanese chip design giant, VIA) with an ARM core. Oneof the first things I found in my search for more information is amassivediscussion on the Ubuntu forums. This is - as one of the linkedpages below points out - a big mess. Still, it does have some usefulinformation.

I ran across a few other links that seem to have some usefulinformation as well. One of these suggests that the Wondermedia-basedunits behave differently than the VIA-based units, so it may be wise totry and find out what you will get, if possible.

The EasyPC Wiki looks promising but seems to be largely broken. . . or maybe it was never finished?


Hi William,

Thanks for the links and additional information. Theshipping cost is a bit daunting indeed.

I don't claim to be any sort of authority on thatmatter, but my inference would be that Linux should work - perhapsbetter than Windows CE that comes loaded.

However, this machine has only a 300 MHz processor and128 M of RAM, a spec that hasn't been contemporary in Apple laptopssince the WallStreet in1998/99. I did, however, successfully install both SuSE and Yellow DogLinux on a 233 MHz WallStreet, and it performed decently. Today you canget more power in a smartphone.


Windows CE 'Embedded' on $37 Netbook?

From Mark,

Hi Charles,

I understood Windows CE was usually "embedded" in devices, so Idon't know if it can be replaced. However, the photos and specs lookvery similar to the Linux Netbooks shown on, somaybe!

Hope this helps someone.


Hi Mark,

You could be right. My ignorance of Windows CE isvoluminous. However, if these are Asus seconds, as has been reportedelsewhere (but not confirmed), then I would imagine that Linux wouldwork.


Email Migration from Eudora

Charles Moore,

I saw your review ofMailForge from last year.

I'm a suffering Eudora orphan. I have PC Eudora (current from 1997 to 2010 (running via Parallels) and Mac Eudora filesfrom 1994 to 1997. I want to move it all to native Mac.

Despite its limitations, I'm inclined to move to [Mac OS X Mail] andsee what add-ons will get me some of the things I like (multiplepersonalities and signatures, etc.). It looks like Eudora MailboxCleaner can help me move my files over . . . so I'm lookingfor a consultant to migrate my data and help me get up to speed.

I've enjoyed being a beta-tester since my early days as one of thefirst desktop publishers, and am also open to considering any of theEudora-wannabees - Thunderbird/Penelope, which is now the just-releasedEudora OSE, or MailForge 2.0b2 - but they all seem dubiously"in-development" forever. And the Mac/Rosetta Eudora 6.2.4 sounds likeit's missing too much. But if you use one of these as your primary mailapplication, I'd like to see it and consider that option.


Hi Felix,

I share your pain. After years of serenity andefficiency running classic Eudora, my email client world is fragmentedthese days.

Actually, I'm still using Eudora 6.2.4 in my oldPismo PowerBooks thatrun on OS X 10.4 Tiger, but onmy MacBook in Leopard and Snow Leopard, I've sort of settled onalternating between Eudora 8/OSE and Thunderbird - usually whicheverhas the latest new release. I've found Thunderbird to be a very decentemail client, while the Open Source versions of Eudora offer afamiliar-looking user interface appearance. T-Bird and Eudora OSE alsoboth use a common settings/archive folder (Thunderbird folder), soswitching back and forth is very simple.

It's been a while, but T-Bird was able to import andarchive my mailboxes from Classic Eudora with little hassle using theImport command.

Another T-Bird based alternative is Postbox, which recently released afree "Express" version.

I'm still not an Apple Mail fan, but I guess it'spretty good email software for those who don't object to its tendencyto want to do too much for you. I like manual control, and I'm also notsmitten with Mail's integration with the Address Book, which I've neverlearned to love.

You can find an overview and profiles of Mailalternatives in SevenSweet n' Free Mac Email Clients. (I'm a bit confused, however,about PowerMail beingincluded in a list of purportedly free apps. The website says it'sstill commercial software.)


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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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