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We put two of Apple’s hottest new products—the AirPort Express and the Click Wheel iPod—on the cover, and what do readers want to talk about? E-mail clients, of course. Macworld readers exhibit the same loyalty to their e-mail clients (as well as their browsers, their word processors, and pretty much every other piece of hardware and software they own) that other folks reserve for football teams and presidential candidates—and woe betide the editor who questions that devotion.

Mail about E-mail

Andrew Laurence The “E-mail Survival Guide” ( October 2004 ) neglects to mention a critical point in Eudora’s favor: manual filters, executed by a key command. While automatic filters can cause mail to slip your attention, manual filters are perfect for quickly dealing with messages that must be read.

Bill Ganon (Vice President, Eudora Products Group, Qualcomm) Your decision to exclude Eudora from your list of alternative e-mail clients, because of what you saw as deficiencies, is troubling—especially when you consider the long history of favorable reviews Eudora has earned from Macworld.

I’d like to respond to a few of your specific criticisms. In terms of displaying HTML messages, we plan on giving users much better HTML handling in Eudora 6.3 for Mac, scheduled for release in spring 2005. As for Eudora’s “limited filtering options,” we’ve found that the vast majority of users create filters with only one condition. And while AppleScript support is important to some, it is unknown to the vast majority of Mac users.

Finally, you recommend Mailsmith for power users, but I’d question that recommendation, given that program’s lack of IMAP or LDAP support—something our power users have been demanding. To that point, IMAP improvements have already been made in Eudora 6.2, and more are on the way.

Parrish S. Knight I enjoyed your “E-mail Survival Guide.” A comment about Apple Mail and spam: Once you’ve got the Junk Mail filter well trained, you may not have to turn off the “Display images and embedded objects in HTML” messages. If a message is flagged as spam, Mail refuses to load images in that message unless you tell it to do so—therefore, unless spam manages to get past the filter, bugs are automatically defeated. My false negatives are now low enough that I leave “Display images” on.

K. Thorne For a variety of technical reasons, Apple’s Mail program doesn’t work for me. Eudora does, but I find it unfriendly and old-fashioned looking. In Canada, Microsoft Entourage is available only as part of the Office suite, and I don’t need Word, Excel, and so on. Finally, I found GyazMail. It looks like Mail, works with Apple’s Address Book, solves my ISP compatibility issues, is infinitely customizable and inexpensive ($18), and seamlessly integrates with SpamSieve. You also get fast, helpful responses from the author; in fact, I e-mailed the author about a couple of things I wanted to see in the program, and he implemented some of them in the next release. What other app would offer that kind of service?

Konfabulations

Sean Rose In “Developer Two-Step” ( Mac Beat, October 2004), the author points out—correctly, I think—that many OS features (such as a TCP/IP stack) are natural evolutions; they become part of the OS out of necessity. But the article failed to mention another important issue: Why didn’t Apple just buy Konfabulator? (Or Watson?) It could have stopped the Windows port and would have enjoyed a positive PR spin. Whatever the cost would have been, I’m sure it would’ve been less than the negative impact Dashboard has had on OS X developers.

Ed Fochler Regarding the controversy about Konfabulator: While I admit that Apple could be a better citizen by either buying competing technology or giving credit to those fine developers for having the right idea, if you’re charging extra for what Apple gives away for free, you aren’t benefiting users. If you give your product away for free but Apple decides to supersede you with a free product of its own, then users benefit and you don’t have to maintain your product. In short, the cheese has moved. Move after it. If you choose to whine after your cheese, that’s up to you, but keep it to yourself.

Acrobat, Begone!

Lynn Jenkins I have one thing to say about your tip for banishing Acrobat from Microsoft Office (“7 PDF Power Moves,” Working Mac, October 2004 ): Yahoo! I spent an hour one day trying to figure out how to get rid of that irritating (and useless) feature, without success. Thank you for the answer.

Ed Volchok In “7 PDF Power Moves,” your advice in tip 5 (for removing the Acrobat PDF toolbar from Office apps) doesn’t work. I’ve trashed PDFMaker.dot, PDFMaker.xla, and PDFMaker.ppa, and the toolbars disappear. But when I reboot the computer and launch Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, the toolbars are back. How do you drive a stake into the heart of these toolbars? I use Office 2004 and OS X 10.3.5.

Unfortunately, this tip applies only to Office v. X, not to Office 2004. You might try renaming the Startup folder in your Microsoft Office: Office folder—but this isn’t an ideal solution. Doing so will disable all Office startup items, not just PDFMaker.—Ed.

Sharp-Eyed Readers

Bill Wilcox You did a nice job with the October cover photo. There it is in all its glory, an Apple iPod playing “Revolution” by the Beatles. Given the litigious relationship between Apple Computer and Apple Records, was this your way of giving Apple Records a digital poke in the eye? Who knows, maybe one day Apple Records will get in touch with digital reality and settle the “music thing” with Apple Computer.

We intended no poke in the eye. “Revolution” is simply an appropriately titled song by a well-loved band.—Ed.

Nadrell Evans I’d like to know where I can buy the tables shown in “ Macworld’ s $6,000 Challenge” ( August 2004 ), the ones holding the products that Adam C. Engst and Christopher Breen chose. Both tables appear to be wall mounted, but the pictures could be deceiving.

You’re right about one thing:pictures can be deceiving. As realistic as those tables look, they’re illustrations (created by John Kocon).—Ed.

FileMaker’s Flaw

Michael Young FileMaker Pro 7 (   ; Reviews, October 2004 ) continues the long line of good FileMaker Pro products, but it’s still missing one simple feature that users have been requesting for years, something William Porter even mentions in his review: “FileMaker Pro still can’t trigger a script automatically when the user exits a field.” I should not have to buy a third-party plug-in to implement this feature, which competing products have had for many years.

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