Charles Moore's Mailbag

Avoiding Lion, Apple Refurb Value, Why Millennials Might Be Avoiding Cars, and More

Charles Moore - 2012.04.17 - Tip Jar

Sticking with Snow Leopard

From Ron:

Charles Moore,

I agree with you entirely regarding Cowardly Lion: 11 Reasons Not to Upgrade to OS X 10.7 Lion.

I use [OS X] 10.6.8 all of the time, except when beta testing 10.7.4 and 10.8 - and don't see that as changing any time soon.

As an AppleSeeder testing Mountain Lion (ML), I find that Lion and ML are simply an attempt to make more comfortable the growing number of newbies to the Mac platform (after they've purchased an iPad or iPhone).

The system is being "dumbed-down" so that they are not able to make mistakes . . . or at least not as many.

The Mac has taken a leap backwards in many pragmatic ways (loss of Save As..., loss of upper right button in windows, etc.) and replaced with lots of gestures and social networking bells and whistles.

It doesn't appear that this will be changing any time soon from the feedback we are receiving from Apple regarding ML.

I'm sure glad SL is so fast and easy to use <g>


Hi Ron,

Thanks for the input.

We seem to be completely on the same page.


Loving the Apple Refurb Store

From Magnus:

I very much enjoyed your featuring of the Refurb Store.

I myself am a repeated customer of the store, and I am always pleasantly surprised. Not only are the products, as you report, virtually indistinguishable from new (save the box), but they often (in my case always!) come with some nice extras.

All Macs in the Refurb Store are advertised with their respective standard configuration, but they may come with way better specification. My Mid 2010 Mini, for example, was advertised as a Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 featuring 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive, but came with 4 GB and a 500 GB disk. Even more spectacularly, my Mid 2011 Core i7 iMac (21.5") came with 8 GB RAM (instead of the listed 4) and a whopping 2 TB hard disk (instead of 1 TB). Considering the enormous costs of exchanging the hard drive in an iMac, the savings were amazing.

I'd also like to mention the website where all stock of the different Refurb Stores worldwide are listed. One can even set an alert to be notified once the desired machine is back in stop (that's how I got the iMac).

Cheers from a cold and freezy Vienna,

Hi Magnus,

It's always great to hear of good customer experiences with Apple, and from happy refurbished hardware customers.

Since Apple very rarely offers discounts (Black Friday one-day discounts are an exception), and seldom other sales incentives, the Refurb stores are a substitute for bargain-hunters who hate to pay full retail.

I did break pattern and paid full retail for my iPad 2 last spring, but I sat on a waiting list for a month just to get one at all under the circumstances that prevailed with demand outstripping supply for months.

Indeed, the rapid development of iOS devices technology and features in general might confound buying refurbished philosophy somewhat in that by the time iPads, for instance, are widely available in the refurb supply pipeline, release of a newer, more desirable model is on the horizon.

For example, my iPad 2 is only eight months old, but the rumored better camera and faster processor in the forthcoming iPad 3 sound tempting. I'll do my best to resist.

However, for Macs, which have (or at least have had) longer service lives, Apple Certified Refurbished machines are the value alternative.

We're finally getting a taste of winter here in Nova Scotia as February draws to a close, although I think most of the cold went to Europe this year.


Car-Indifferent Millennials

From Scott:


I read your article about car-indifferent millennials and immediately thought of a theory as to why the younger set isn't particularly fond of driving. Cars do not offer any sort of instant gratification, which their other devices do.

In the day and age of text messaging, search engines, and online downloads, everything comes within seconds. Even McDonald's seems slow to many millennials. The idea of having to get in a car, drive while avoiding distractions like texting (now illegal in my state of Pennsylvania and many others), and take time to get somewhere frustrates this "I want it now" generation. When they do travel, they prefer to find a method that doesn't temporarily separate them from cell phones or other devices. For vacations, the airplane is usually the only option.

Steve Jobs used to say the journey was the reward in any venture of life. This is true in travel as well. I enjoy traveling by car for that reason. I remember the excitement when I got my permit, then my license, and ultimately my first car. Only a handful of my peers were the same way. (I'm 25.) I babied her big time - waxed her every month (most of my friends were lucky to wash their car once a year), was religious about maintaining the vehicle, and enjoyed every minute I spent behind the wheel, whether it was my morning drive to school or a trip on the turnpike. If I had a rough day, I'd take a long drive, as I found it enjoyable and relaxing. Even though the car was 16 years old when I got it from my grandparents, it got treated as though it was fresh out of the showroom. I even buffed the leather four times every year.

I don't work on cars as of now, mostly because I never had the time to take an automotive technology course. I could tinker around myself, but I want to learn to do these things the right way. However, I always take the time to learn about the car itself and know, in theory, how to do the repairs and maintenance. Once I get the right tools and a bit of training, you can make a safe bet I'll never set foot in a mechanic's shop again.

I have driven a manual transmission and find it both enjoyable and superior to automatic (which I've had in all three of the cars I've owned, including my current one; it's more a question of finding a car with a stick where I live, which is nearly impossible). I'd love to find a pickup truck with a manual to go alongside my Honda Civic, my current vehicle. Yes, I'd be willing to travel a few hundred miles to get one.

On my days off, I enjoy taking road trips. I'll drive a several hundred mile round trip in a day and have more fun driving to and from than actually spending time at my destination. A nice trek down an interstate with some good music in the background is, plain and simple, relaxing. The iPhone gets set aside on these trips. If someone wants to get ahold of me, they get to wait until I arrive at wherever I'm heading. The break from the everyday grind of the world online is worth it. I'm already leaving the offline world behind when I take a road trip, so why not leave behind the second world I exist in as well?

My friends think this idea is nuts. They all think I should be flying if I'm going on, say, a seven hour trip. I also get chastised for the fact I'm using a lot of fuel (at least I can fight back and say I have a Civic, which gets 45 mpg on the highway!) and that I never answer my phone when I'm on the road. I always invite them to join me, but they don't have the patience, since a trip from, say, Pittsburgh to Charlotte, would take eight hours on average one way. They have no idea how much fun they're missing out on with the driving alone.

I, too, miss the old songs about cars. I'm a big fan of the Beach Boys in part because of the emphasis on cars in their music. My favorite has always been "Little Honda", which I know is really about motorcycles, but as someone whose mother had a stick-shift Accord and whose father had a stick-shift Prelude, I used to always think the song was about the cars. (Both cars were dark blue, so when I bought my Civic - my first brand new car that wasn't a castoff from another family member - the color choice was a no-brainer).

Sadly, I know a lot of people who hate to drive who are my age. One got rid of his car entirely and relies on public transit. Many complain about having to drive anywhere, even on vacation. My cousin, who just turned 17, doesn't even want a driver's license. If only they took a nice cruise down the turnpike in the middle of June, free of cellular devices. They too would realize the true joy in driving, one that can be accomplished with anything from the most tech-heavy Ford Focus to an old-school Delta 88 (yes, I'd love to get my hands on a Rocket V8).

Let's keep the love of driving alive!

Hi Scott,

It's truly encouraging to hear from someone your age who is a car enthusiast. It's hard not to notice that people immersed in car culture these days tend to be an older crowd. Case in point: A lot of the people writing for car magazines that I've been reading for nearly 50 years now were there in the 1960s. David E. Davis Jr., who had formative influence on both my car enthusiasm and my writing as editor of Car & Driver, and later as founder and editor of Automobile Magazine, was still writing a monthly column for C&D at the time of his death a year ago at the age of 80.

I think your analysis of the lack of immediacy is probably part of what disinterests the wired generation in automotive pursuits is likely correct. I know that Internet addiction has made me a lot less patient with lack of immediacy than I used to be, so for folks who have never known life without the Internet, it must be significantly more difficult to go offline than for someone like me who first got connected at age 46 (the first day the Internet became available where I live).

Trivia note: While "Little Honda" was indeed written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys, the original hit record was recorded by a cobbled together one-off group of studio musicians under the name "The Hondells," and it hit No. 9 on the US pop singles chart in 1964. The Beach Boys subsequently recorded and released their own version of the song.

I encourage you to keep doing your own maintenance and repairs when practical. A modest set of tools and a service manual will take you a long way. And I hope you someday do get that V8! Nothing else sounds like them.


Congestion Is Killing the Desire to Drive

From Nathan:

Good morning, Mr. Moore,

I felt compelled to comment on your superb article. I am a high school student awaiting my license. To me, the car I will own must be affordable, reliable, look decent (no recent Acura TLs, thank you), and be safe. Oh, and have enough horsepower and suspension tuning to entertain me on California's hidden canyon roads.

That eliminates about 75% of the cars on the market today. As a student with no job, I am hoping to be able to afford the gas for a 1986 Toyota 4x4 truck, let alone the insurance.

Part of the reason for the decline in popularity of cars, at least in SoCal, I believe is due to the concentration of vehicles. My friends like driving as a means to get places without having to bug their parents or ride a bike, but they don't seem to enjoy driving for the sake of driving. My guess is that we have so many cars on the road here that it will take my mom and myself 15 minutes to drive less than 3 miles at some times. That is absolutely ridiculous. Our transportation system has served us well, but with the ever-increasing number of cars on the road, at some point we young folk get frustrated and stop caring about the joy of driving.

Also, the extremely expensive prices of the nicer cars (in ride/handling, economy, safety, and looks) are out of reach for the average person, let alone youth. Some of the cars that I think are almost perfect include the exciting BMW 328i, the safe and beautiful Volvo S60 T5 (look at it in its metallic red), and the sporty and practical Volkswagen Golf TDI. At prices of roughly 35, 30, and 25 grand, they are all (way) out of my reach.

But I still consider myself an automotive enthusiast. What else describes someone who has an entire DVD devoted to rebuilding a small-block V8 engine? Or has a magazine subscription to Motor Trend and NASCAR Illustrated? But, by the same token, reads Low End Mac every day and browses through Macworld's and TidBITS' RSS feeds daily?

No, I don't think the younger generation has forgotten the enthusiasm for cars, but I think they have resignedly dealt with traffic and warnings from parents for so long that we don't think about our initial infatuation with our autos and just plow through the privilege of driving as if it were a chore.

Thanks for listening,
Nate Jones

Hi Nate,

Thanks for sharing your perspective. Great to hear from another young car aficionado - more evidence that car enthusiasm isn't limited to us old guys.

I remember the last year before I turned 16 seemed to drag on forever. I got my own first car a couple of months after my birthday - for $200 off a used car lot. It was a rustbucket, but it taught me a lot in a very short time, and I even managed one longish, several hundred mile road trip in it, albeit with the frame broken in two places.

Good point about traffic congestion. After I moved to a city in my late teens, I would often leave my car in its home parking spot and walk or take the bus to avoid the tedium of traffic congestion and finding a place to park. And that was in the late '60s/early '70s, when it was a lot less crowded on city streets than it is today. And I agree: Prices - both purchase and operational overhead - must be daunting for a young person.

I encourage you to persevere, though. There's plenty of authentic crossover between car and computer enthusiasm, especially these days, and the car hobby can be a real source of enjoyment, as well as a money-saver if you learn to do your own maintenance and fixing.


Cars and Losing the Frontier

From Mike:

Dear Charles,

It's great to see you going off on tangents again. Gadgets are interesting - although Macs are getting less and less exciting with each year - but it is the feedback process of technology affecting, and being affected by, society which is really interesting.

I think the decline in car-love, at least in the US, has to do with the mass migration of people to crowded cities on the coasts. The ridiculous cost of new vehicles, insurance, and spiraling fuel prices all certainly contribute. But I want to seize upon your fond recollection of practicing driving way out on rural roads. How I envy you!

I never saw a country road until I was 25. Cars were always driven in the presence of lots of other cars. You'd be nuts to let a kid drive around here. My dad got often stuck coming home from work in the traffic jams on 8-lane-wide US 19 on his 20 mile commute. Mom wouldn't take me places in Tampa because she was afraid of a stretch of I-275 called "malfunction junction." This wasn't Dead Man's Curve, but more Dead Man's Gordian Knot: three bay bridges funneled into an elevated highway with no place to pull over. Straight through some of the most blighted parts of Tampa, for nobody wants to live under the interstate. Grandfather's green flattop of a Buick was always in the shop getting the air conditioner fixed, but it never seemed 100%. For a straight-laced old New Jersey Catholic transplanted to Florida who was never entirely comfortable outside of slacks and a collared shirt, good AC was important. By the way, I'm not harping on the size of old cars for the sake of the environment: I failed the driving test three times in a Dad's cone-smushing car the size of the USS Nimitz. The fourth time I passed, sparing all the cones in my girlfriend's father's Toyota.

When I was 25 and drove across South Dakota chasing Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, I began to see how driving might be fun. No roads forming bow-tie malfunction junctions out there! 80 miles to the next Steinbeckian oasis of a gas station? No problem! I drove that little rented Neon like it was a 747! Of course, the twisting washboard roads and hills of the Badlands threw a bit of, uh, turbulence my way, and I began thinking about learning to drive a manual when I got home.

"It's what separates us from the ladies," a colleague solemnly informed me, with a fatherly hint in his voice of Tom Skerritt in Top Gun. He'd learned to drive in the back woods of West Virginia. Now trying to get used to the clutch in the concrete gray tinsel sprawl of West Central Florida . . . it was hellish. Getting pulled over by cops who think you might be a drunk driver, stalling all over the place at major intersections, jumping forward and then conking out right in the middle. This is not the stuff of John Denver songs and Fahrvergnügen.

I don't know about your impression of American Graffiti, but I came away with an overwhelming sense of open possibility: of a small town in a very big, spacious countryside, in a giant country still (deservedly!) riding high after saving the world from murderous madmen. There were places to drag race, watch submarine races, and be the victim or perpetrator of obnoxious pranks. The space age was being born; the same minds who had once made terror weapons were now putting men in space! American Graffiti seemed to me a warm-up for Star Wars - but with gas-burning cars as the plot vehicles instead of space ships running on magic (the Force?). It even had Harrison Ford playing a bad - but not really all that bad - boy on the edge of town.

I fear we Americans have lost this sense of frontier, perhaps for good. In many places the town has no edge, or if it does, it's just an administrative boundary dividing it from an adjacent town. Why go there? Both towns are the same anyway, each having the usual fast-food chains, surveillance cameras at all the stoplights, and the company store. (You know which company I mean. We owe our souls to it!) Going places in cars and other vehicles and having adventures, sense of wonder, new frontiers, I can't help feeling all this good stuff is born of family, which in turn, we appreciate all the more when returning home. (In empty houses, with Mom & Dad at work all day and grandparents left moldering in some "facility," even submarine racing fans needn't leave home, but just pick up the cell phone.) For some strange reason, Americans of all ages have been turning away from family, the birthplace of the adventurous spirit, and replacing it with that morally indifferent crucible of conformity, the corporation.

If you want to see a George Lucas film more apropos of (sub-)urban living and driving, try watching THX-1138.

PS: The iCar looks like something made for Stormtroopers.

Hi Mike,

I immensely enjoyed reading your lyrical commentary on my reminiscent ramblings, and I concur with your analysis, especially about family as a cultural anchor and the contemporaneous fragmentation of a once coherent culture.

Incidentally; big cars. Still love 'em. I've owned several over the years including a couple of early-mid '60s full-size Chevs, a '67 Pontiac Parisienne (Canadian equivalent of a US Catalina), a '73 Dodge Polara, and my current 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis.

I've had poor luck with air conditioning too, although here in Nova Scotia you only really miss it about five days in July and August.


Why Some Millennials Are Oblivious to Cars

From Alex:

You discovered the precise reason why some millennials are oblivious to cars. Then you sat there, using your advantage of having experienced the days when a luxury car cost $10,000 and what would be $1 million+ cars even in 2000 were $50,000-$640,000 tops, and gas prices were such that $16 would buy more gas than your car could hold several times over, and you sunk back into unreality.

Reality is when something that once was affordable enough to make it worthwhile, and then starts costing higher order multiples of what it used to, and in the case of gas is less intrinsically worthy (being ethanol blended BS or almost totally ethanol super-BS) and also costs higher order multiples of what it used to, it would have taken Apple doing at least what Harley Davidson did with the F-150, where Apple makes a certain model of car and puts their branding on it, but with Apple giving free stickers away, who of my type of millennial wants to spend extra money on an Apple branded car unless we thought it was worth more than a computer that has much less initial outlay and maintenance costs?

I mean, surely you're not supporting the insurance companies and companies pumping out ethanol corrupted gas that costs as much as gas without ethanol used to cost relatively without inflation?

Even die hard car fans say that insurance companies and oil companies are just about legalized robbery, because you have to pay them and they don't want to pay you and sometimes flat out won't even if you try to force them to.

A computer requires much less equivalent to oil (as in Internet), especially if you're like me and don't have an iPhone with a huge monthly contract. Same way with the equivalent to water (power, as in good 120/240 VAC). We may have to get a car to pay off student loans, but we're not going to be happy about it.

Set me back in the 1960s with that same car you gave your daughter that you gave her outright, and I'll have the same reaction as she did, because computers aren't there to be a much cheaper time-spending equivalent to cars.

My Daddy wasn't able to give me a high intrinsic worthiness index car, and there's no way I feel like paying $20,000 for something only worth $2,000, $50,000+ for something only worth $10,000-$640,000 tops.

A lot of people my generation might not be so "give me everything for free"-minded if the cost of living was what it was in the 1960s. Even with period wages. (I know the last part is applicable to me for sure.)

You earned some things, but the times you were born and lived in were times I would give every computer and accessory I have ever had, have, and will ever get in the future, both new and used, working and not working, affordable or very expensive, to live in provided I could keep parents with an equivalent intrinsic worthiness index as my own. God didn't give me that choice, and more than any earthly thing, the choice of when to be born, live, and die, is one that I do feel I should be entitled to.

Given that God screwed me over in terms of time to be born, live, and die, while still keeping good parents, I try to do the best that I can.

(Speaking of the article, there's a car commercial that was on as I was starting to type this sentence, and while you might have had good car experiences, since mine are all negative in the end - as are my experiences with team work and trust with other people - I have learned to come as close as possible to cussing out car commercials for representing something that has been utterly ruined for me.)

Instead, Daddy's car make preferences are what I prefer, and commercials for other makes and models just off-put me to the point where you could replace off-put with the nearest same starting letter four letter word.

Even my Daddy says that if his father could have afforded to just outright give him the same car you gave your daughter, he would flip. From the article, it seems like she appreciated the intrinsic worthiness of the car, but not the kindness of the gift.

That part may have gotten lost in translation though, that last part was just an observation based on apparently poor understanding of the context, so that it could be cleared up and the editorial process brought to a more satisfying conclusion for the both of us.

That's my take, that for a big portion of millennials like me, economics is such an overwhelming reason that we just sit there and wait until the rubber just has to meet the road, and then we can't get what want (which is a V8 with the gas to keep it happy), so we get the I4 crap poop and are horribly unhappy with it but we're stuck with it.

Now there are some of us like the millennials related to Chevron/ExxonMobil/Conoco-Phillips/etc. or Ford/Chrysler/GM/Toyota/Honda/Kia/etc. bigwigs on either a national, continental, or even global level, they probably still find cars as interesting as your daughter did with the Austin. For the rest of us lowborn millennials, what happens in the preceding paragraph is more like it.

(And I think cars should be redesigned to use Wankel engines. It like the aesthetic properties of such an engine, and the difference between it and a boxer, inline, or V engine that have a three way stranglehold on the market. Profits go into the ashcan, both because I want a Wankel engine, and because I think if profits didn't exist, life would be oh so much better to boot! Only a true motorhead or history buff would know what that is. A bigger knowledge test, the first pretest was I4.)

Why did the Chinese force us and hundreds of generations of ancestors going back to the original philosopher to live in interesting times? It's been happening to every generation during and since, and that person deserves ling chi, death by slow slicing, technically death by up to 10,000 cuts, although usually you were officially known to be dead by 1,000. The catch was some executioners during some dynasties carried out the sentence in such a way that sometimes you could stretch it out to the full 10,000.

Life is interesting, but I would settle for the interesting you have had.

Better go before I spend all my life responding to one article.

Kind wishes sincerely most,

Hi Alex,

Thanks for another thoughtful and engrossing musing. Don't get me going on ethanol blend fuel. Here in Canada, it's mandated by the federal government, never mind that Canada is a net exporter of petroleum and that most of the ethanol that gets blended here is shipped in from the US - and almost certainly has a greater carbon footprint than real gasoline would have.

An investigative report by Road & Track magazine's longtime engineering editor Dennis Simanaitis noted that some experts he consulted admitted that the US has barely enough corn-growing capacity to support near-term renewable fuel source (RFS) goals, let alone those set for 2015 and beyond, and makes the commonsense observation that increasing corn production has consequences in terms of of water use, pesticide runoff, and inherent risks of a monoculture. Simanaitis also says researchers who've studied greenhouse-gas emissions and the total environmental impact of biofuel sources conclude that US corn, Brazilian sugar cane, and Malaysian palm oil as biofuel sources all are shown to be a greater environmental detriment than gasoline, although ethanol produced from basic cellulosic feedstocks (such as wood chips, grass, or household garbage) holds more promise.

Slightly more encouraging, Simanaitis notes that at least the Energy Independence and Security Act has "offramps" built into it, with annual assessments to be made and RFS goals to be modified if necessary, suggesting that's a very good thing because nobody really understands the implications of producing 36 billion gallons of ethanol annually. Time for politicians in power, in Canada as well as the US, to admit that grain-based biofuels are a mistake and modify (preferably terminate) subsidy policies accordingly.

Regarding the old Austin I gave my daughter when she was 13, it was a '61 model that I originally bought in I think 1976 for the princely sum of $300 and put a ton of miles on between then and 1989, when I stopped using it. It was the first car she ever rode in - home from the hospital as a newborn. I did have a bunch of other cars in the meantime, all old and inexpensive. She sold the Austin to an old car buff in 2005 for $500 I think - not bad reverse depreciation!. Today she's still hotrodding on a budget, with a 1968 Imperial Le Baron convertible and an ex-RCMP Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

When I got my driver's license in 1967, gas was selling here for about 43¢ Canadian per Imperial gallon, and I was making 65¢ an hour sanding cars in my cousin's body shop. In that general context, I'm not sure that gas today at about $5 Canadian per gallon is proportionally more expensive, although I agree that a lot of other car related costs are.

Wankels: A buddy of mine was a Wankel enthusiast back in the day. At one point he had a Mazda RX-2 and a big Suzuki (I think) motorcycle also with a Wankel engine. I never drove the bike, but the RX-2 was downright eerie the way it would rev to the redline with little noise and no vibration until the audible "shift idiot" warning went off. Unfortunately, Wankels, while elegant in many ways, are not very fuel efficient, and rotor tip seal issues were never entirely solved. The last time I saw my old friend a couple of years ago he was driving a nicely restored late-'60s Chevelle 2-door hardtop with a honking big V8 and symphonic sounding dual exhausts.



Yep, before I discovered the magnifying glass trick, my whole iPad writing experience was really frustrating. Once I discovered it, I could then copy and paste much easier, so much that the onscreen keyboard is passable and my iPad is much more portable as a result. Of course, my iPad had to get a screen scratch as a result, but then again a Windows 7 netbook I had got Dr. Pepper spewed into it liberally, which was far worse, so I guess I should look on the bright side, which I have an infamously hard time doing.

I must say, the iPad is amazing, even if it tries to replace something that doesn't need replacing - the Mac 128K and it's Snow Leopard Intel Mac descendants.

Sent from my iPad

Hi Alex,

I've found that Infovole's text processor (with many keyboard enhancements and selection shortcuts) - and lately Nebulous Notes as well (best Dropbox sync yet) - have proved the charm for me, and I'm using the iPad a lot for composition. I find the onscreen keyboard a lot easier to live with than I had anticipated, but Textkraft's enhancements make it better yet.

My iPad 2 came pre-equipped with a screen scratch that I didn't notice until several days after the purchase, so I opted to live with it. However, installing a fuse Antibacterial Screen Guard, which also protects against fingerprints, static, and grubby residues and covers the entire touchscreen surface, also covers the scratch with a thick film of clear plastic that should protect against further scratches. Once the Screen Guard is successfully installed, it's not obviously visible, and you pretty much forget it's there unless you're thinking about it, and a happy bonus is that it doesn't seem to attract finger smearing as efficiently as the iPad's own glass screen.


iPad Browsers and Writing Tools

From Eric:

Mr. Moore,

Just read your column re browsers on Low End Mac. Since Safari updated to version 5, I've found it to be a memory hog on my 2008 MacBook Pro and mostly use Chrome.

In the iOS world, I use Safari (tabs made it much more useable) but spend most of my time in Grazing, which you didn't mention so thought I'd pass along. It's fast and stable and very customizable (i.e., I can send links to Instapaper, Reader, and Pinboard with one click). Don't work for them, just a happy customer, as the saying goes - I use Grazing on the iPad and iPhone. Oh, and it has adblocker built in

And as an aside, as I know you like text editors, have you tried Nebulous Notes on your iPad? What I like is the extra row of keys up top that can be set with macros. There's a free version as well. My other current favorites are Phraseology and Daedalus Touch.

Guess that's enough Mac rumblings for the day :)


Hi Eric,

Thanks for the comments. I really can't perceive any compelling reason to use Safari other than its tight integration with the Mac OS (or now just OS X), and that's a mixed blessing. There is Reader, which is useful at times, and Safari starts up fast, but neither is a must-have feature, and I just like Opera, Chrome, and Firefox better.

On the iOS front, I hadn't heard of Grazing. Looks like it has some interesting features, but I'm skeptical that any Web browser that isn't freeware will make much of an impact in the market. Too many good ones available for free.

Thanks for the tip about Nebulous Notes. I've downloaded it and have been trying it out, and it's a great little app. It doesn't match Textkraft for text handling features, but has a great interface, and I think it's Dropbox implementation is the best I've encountered yet.


Go to Charles Moore's Mailbag index.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

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.

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

at BackBeat Media (646-546-5194). This number is for advertising only.

Open Link