Mail Call

You might think that putting a topic like home networking on the cover of your magazine—as we did with our July 2004 issue—would earn you nothing but glassy-eyed stares and an empty mailbox. But we weren’t worried. We know that Macworld readers can get just as fired up about Powerline devices as they can about PowerBook reviews. When readers are as passionate and well informed about technology as ours are, an empty mailbox is one thing you never have to worry about.

Network News

Paul Rothrock: I enjoyed “Get Connected” (July 2004), but, having just completed a similar project, I think you omitted a couple of potentially useful points. You didn’t show users how to make their own Ethernet cables. This is much less expensive than buying premade cables, takes little technical savvy, and saves a lot of hassle because you can make the cables as long or as short as you need. Also, you didn’t talk about using access-point antennas to extend the range of an AirPort Base Station. This is an excellent way to expand the area of reception without mucking about inside the case of your PowerBook, something that most people don’t want to do. And you didn’t cover hiding the network equipment. I put mine between the joists in my basement, behind the drop ceiling. This gives me easy access and keeps the equipment out of sight.

Joey Bentley: The day before your July 2004 issue arrived, a few coworkers and I were discussing networks. I mentioned that I wanted to set up my computers at home on a wireless or Ethernet network. I just wanted to thank you all for the perfect timing and for the helpful information. The only thing I noticed is that you didn’t mention anything about what would be involved with hooking up a Mac and a PC on the same network.

Larry Herzberg: The “Where to Buy” chart indicates that D-Link does not make Mac-compatible Powerline networking products. But D-Link’s Web site seems to indicate the opposite—at least if you take “operating system independent” to imply “Mac compatible.” Am I missing something here?

It’s true that D-Link and a few other companies sell Powerline adapters that will work on a network that includes Macs, but we didn’t include them in our chart because you must have a Windows machine to set up their security features.—Ed.

Assaulting Batteries

MD Zuteck: Thanks for including some comparative battery run times in Henry Norr’s PowerBook review (July 2004). Sadly, the data shows that Apple just doesn’t get the real needs of road warriors. If you can’t get to a power source, how long a laptop runs has much more bearing on how much you can get done than how fast the machine runs, especially if you’re mostly reading or writing.

Missing Notes

Scott Yoho (Finale Product Specialist, MakeMusic): Thank you for your review of Finale 2004 (   ; July 2004). While Peter Kirn mentioned that you can specify a pulse after you record a MIDI performance in Finale, it may be helpful to note that you can also tap in a tempo (steady or changing) while you play (using the sustain pedal, for example). Finale 2004c for Macintosh, which is a free update for owners of Finale 2004, can now be downloaded from our Web site. It offers EPS export and the ability to compile PostScript listings directly from Finale’s File menu—two cons cited in the review. (To be clear, all versions of Finale 2004 for Mac were able to compile PostScript listings via printing to file and specifying PostScript as the format.) We also wish you had mentioned Finale’s ability to create SmartMusic files that utilize all SmartMusic features.

Quiet Quicken?

Duane Busch: The letter from Quicken Mac Product Manager Aruna Harder rubbed me the wrong way ( Feedback , July 2004). I’m glad to see that Intuit followed up on the bug that Macworld brought to its attention. But what about the bugs—the inability to correctly calculate the ROI in Portfolio view, the incorrect cost basis after a stock split, the incorrect display of the number of securities held in an account—that I have reported on Quicken’s Web site?

The Driving’s the Thing

Roy Gilkin: Regarding the Rally Shift review in The Game Room (   ; July 2004): It appears that Peter Cohen has failed to grasp that driving games are for driving. In this, Rally Shift is exemplary. I am a former racer and can vouch that Rally Shift drives very much like the real thing. Damage modeling and pretty landscapes are for poseurs. That this is shareware and not the effort of a major game publisher makes it particularly praiseworthy.

Volunteering Thanks

John Parascak: Since being volunteered as the network administrator/computer guy at our small company, I’ve been looking for good information about networking, server setup, configuring firewalls, and so forth, but I hadn’t found step-by-step, easy-to-understand information—especially from a Mac perspective—like the kind Mark H. Anbinder provided in “Put Panther on Your Server” ( Hands On, July 2004). I bet there are a lot of volunteered Mac administrators out there who, like me, enjoy the challenge and fun of putting together a useful network but don’t have the time to get a computer degree. As long as people like Mark keep writing articles, we volunteered Mac administrators may actually have enough time to get our regular jobs done.

David Marshall: One small objection: Mark H. Anbinder suggests that you “use a tool like the free GraphicConverter” to create warning images. GraphicConverter, from Lemke Software, is shareware ($35; download, $30).

I Want My MP3s!

Randy Hampton: “Not the Same Old Song-and-Dance” ( Mac Beat, July 2004) listed iTunes 4.5’s supposed improvements. But like Apple, the article failed to mention that the principal change is iTunes 4.5’s inability to convert iTunes-purchased AAC files into MP3s. Like lots of people, I like to put the songs I’ve legitimately purchased on my MP3 player, which is not compatible with AAC. I understand why Apple feels compelled to make AAC files hard to liberate. But to put out cryptic “improvements” that are not mentioned and make legitimately purchased music impossible to use with legitimately purchased audio devices sends an unfortunate, self-amplifying, and adversarial message of distrust to an incredibly loyal and dedicated group of customers.

Print Shop in Business

Joe Pallavicini: The Print Shop is a nice program (   ; June 2004), but it does have one problem. I installed it in OS X, and when I tried to make Name Tags, I couldn’t bring up the Name List. In desperation I installed The Print Shop in OS 9.2, and then I was able to bring up the Name List.

If you’re using a predesigned template, delete the Name Here text box. Then create a new text box, delete the automatic placeholder text, and go to Insert: Address Field. Choose First Name. If necessary, go to the menu again and choose Last Name. When you print the document, choose Mail Merge from the Print window, and select the list of names you want to use.—Ed.

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