Letters

After reading Home-Movie Magic (April 2000), I wanted to add some points. I agree that Apple did not put enough thought into iMovie's sound capabilities. The program lacks the ability to control levels and to mix two audio tracks. Still, Jim Heid should not have stressed these omissions. To its credit, iMovie is not a full-fledged digital video editor; it does a satisfactory job of letting novices try video editing.

I just wish Apple would sell iMovie to users whose systems and needs are compatible with this entry-level program. Forcing users to buy either a new iMac DV or a third-party product is not much of a choice.

Mike Flynn
Indianapolis, Indiana

When I began reading your review of digital video camcorders ("Camcorder Casting Call," April 2000), I was excited and hoped your coverage would be balanced and unbiased. However, I was disappointed by Macworld's subpar coverage of this important emerging technology.

You manage to review three models by Sony, and you pick one of them as your Editors' Choice. Yet you reviewed only one model each from Canon and Panasonic. I just leased a Canon Ultura camcorder and find it superior to your Editors' Choice in many ways?not the least of which is its much lower price for slightly better performance.

Those manufacturers' product lines are more diverse than you present them, with several models that might fit into the indiscernible criteria you used for your selection process.

Perhaps Macworld can write a fol-low-up article that is more carefully researched, reviews more models, and has a more logical evaluation process.

Mike Peterson
Tuscon, Arizona

We sent our criteria to the manufacturers, and we tested the models they sent us. Check our Web site, http://www.macworld.com, for reviews of more camcorders as they arrive in Macworld Lab.?Ed.

I enjoyed reading Adam C. Engst's article E-mail for Everyone (April 2000), but I feel that the article missed covering a large group of people: the disillusioned America Online masses. After a good many years of disappointments with the service, I intend to leave AOL for another service provider. However, I can't import my AOL 4.0 address book into Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0.1. Is there any way to do this? Claris Emailer can import addresses from AOL, but only up through AOL version 2.7. AOL 4.0 has no export capability of any kind, and who knows if AOL 5.0 can do this? I'd appreciate any help you could offer. Retyping my entire address book doesn't sound fun at all.

Lenn Hann
Naperville, Illinois

Try a free utility, AOL 3.0 Address Extractor, available at http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n10057. It works with AOL 4.0 and can move addresses to Emailer 2.0. And there's another free utility, Emailer2Eudora, available at http://www.vivaladata.com/downloads/emailer2eudora.sea.hqx, that moves addresses into Eudora.?Adam C. Engst

In your review of Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 6.0.1 (April 2000), you state that Dr. Solomon's Virex is in limbo. Why do you say this? I currently use Virex on my iMac, and after reading the review of NAV, I'm wondering whether I should switch programs.

Philip Minnitte
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

After months of silence on the fate of Virex, Network Associates has released an updated version. Look for a review of Virex 6.1 elsewhere in this issue.?Ed.

In your February 2000 issue, you measured how long it took a Mac G4/350 to perform various operations ("Power Macintosh G4/400," Reviews). The latest issue shows similar tests for both versions (Yikes and Sawtooth), but the times are different ("Power Macintosh G4s," Reviews, April 2000). In some cases the February G4/350 performed better than either of the April G4/350s with a Photoshop Gaussian Blur and in SoundJam. In other tests, its performance was worse. The tests for the G3/400 also show variations. What causes the differences? Are the test files the same in all cases? I noticed that the systems tested in the February issue used OS 8.6, while those in the April issue used OS 9. Does that make a difference? Some of the variations look significant. Should we make performance comparisons only within a given test, or can we compare time performances from earlier issues, subject to the obvious caveats such as different operating systems and different amounts of RAM?

Mark V. Paris
Rome, Georgia

The variations between the February and April scores were due to changes in the OS and updates to Adobe Photoshop and SoundJam.?Ed.

Iam getting disappointed by Macworld's brief, one-page test articles, especially for computer systems. Your tests used to be comprehensive, but now they're little more than summaries.

For instance, in the April 2000 issue, the combined test of the 350MHz and 450MHz G4 desktops contains only about 12 column inches of text ("Power Macintosh G4s," Reviews). While I realize these models had previously been reviewed, this is still inadequate. I'd like to know, for instance, how the DVD-RAM drive works. How does its performance compare to that of the old standard CD-ROM drive? Has Apple fixed the video-playback problems? As it is, the article provides no more information than a spec sheet and the Lab test chart.

Also, why has Macworld stopped publishing the standard MacBench test results for the G4s? The tests are still used for all the other models?how is a reader to compare performance across models when you use different tests for different models? What is the purpose of using the "enhanced application" performance for G4s? Why not provide both?

James P. Anderson
Marysville, Washington

MacBench does not take advantage of the G4's Velocity Engine. For this reason, we did not include a MacBench score. We strive to include tests that will be most useful for our readers.?Ed.

I enjoyed John Rizzo's article comparing Quicken MacInTax Deluxe '99 with Kiplinger TaxCut '99 Deluxe Filing Edition (Reviews, April 2000). Please inform your readers that for the 1999 tax year, only Kiplinger TaxCut supports older 68030 and 68040 Macs. I found this out the hard way when I ordered MacInTax, tried to start it up on my Quadra, and watched as it told me I needed a PowerPC processor. After using Kiplinger TaxCut, I found my experience was similar to Rizzo's.

James Hanrihan
North Port, Florida

I want to thank Christopher Breen for his latest column ("Hot-Rod Your Mac," The Game Room, April 2000). I'm not much of a gamer, but his step-by-step instructions inspired me to yank the standard-issue IDE hard drive out of my beige G3 and replace it with a new one?a very fast IBM EIDE 7200-rpm, 2GB hot rod with a 2MB buffer?for a mere $199.

Chris Rose-Merkle
Ashland, Oregon

David Blatner wrote a clear, accurate column on the sharpening tools in Adobe Photoshop ("Sharper Images in Photoshop," Create, April 2000). I would just like to correct one statement.

He mentioned in passing that there is no way to bring an out-of-focus original back into focus. In fact, advanced optical processing software?which runs on Unix and similar platforms?can correct for defocus by a convolution process. In brief, the software can analyze a blurry image and figure out what sort of blur pattern the out-of-focus camera produced when it captured the image. The software can then use this information to recover an in-focus image.

I will grant that Photoshop doesn't have this capability, and that this type of optical software is rather expensive. But focus--and other aberrations--can be corrected digitally.

Carl Witthoft
Acton, Massachusetts

While David Pogue's analysis of the Macintosh rumor mills ("Reality Check 2000," The Desktop Critic, April 2000) was largely right-on, he seems to have overlooked the one source that made the most accurate long-term prediction I know of to date: Macworld. Flipping through a pile of back issues, I came across Guy Kawasaki's November 1994 column on the very same back page of Macworld. He jokingly predicted that Apple would acquire Next and use its technology for a next-generation Mac, and even that Steve Jobs would return as CEO. That's some crystal ball you must have--with six-year accuracy, perhaps your publication should begin a rumor mill of its own.

Joseph Engel
Baltimore, Maryland

Letters should be sent to Letters, Macworld, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105; via fax, 415/442-0766; or electronically, to letters @ macworld.com. Include a return address and daytime phone number. Due to the high volume of mail received, we can't respond personally to each letter. We reserve the right to edit all letters. All published letters become the property of Macworld.

In "E-mail for Everyone," (April 2000) we incorrectly stated that Bare Bones Software's Mailsmith uses a single database to store mail. Mailsmith uses multiple databases, one per mailbox.

Contrary to our statement in a review of FontAgent 8 (Reviews, April 2000), you can use the program to copy fonts while keeping them in their original locations, by clicking on the option Don't Move Existing Fonts in the Problem Font Options window. Macworld's rating for the program remains the same.

We incorrectly referred to DropStuff as free software ("StuffIt Deluxe 5.5," Reviews, April 2000); it is a $30 shareware product.

July, 2000 page: 17

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