Your Mac, More Ways
As thorough as Christopher Breen was, he left out a crucial customizing application (" Your Mac, Your Way," February 2001). Even with all the enhancements Breen listed, my Mac still just sat there and stared blankly back at me. Well, not anymore!
With Kineticon 1.7.1 ($15; www.kineticcreations.com ), my desktop has smiley faces winking at me, flickering candles, spinning Apple logos, nuclear explosions, and more. I even created my own animated icons with Kineticon.
New York, New York
Your article on customizing your Mac desktop didn't refer to two programs I often use. The first, a freeware application called ApplWindows 2.0.2 (available at www.versiontracker.com ), allows you to use arrow keys to cycle through open applications and an application's windows.
The second, a shareware application called AliasMenu 2.2 ($25; www.widemann.net ), helps you create pull-down menus in the system menu bar. These menus can be subdivided and organized, just like your Favorites menu in Microsoft Explorer. You can also assign custom icons to each menu, to save space on the bar. A programmable-hot-key feature allows you to open any item in any of the menus from the keyboard.
Bruce Tomlin's SoundMaster shareware, briefly mentioned in " Your Mac, Your Way," made the Mac come alive for users who like audio feedback. My Mac sounds like a typewriter when I type, complete with a carriage-return bell. It chimes the hour like Big Ben and gives me short audio reminders of every quarter hour.
But I am surprised that you did not seem to be aware that the last Mac OS that could run this gem was 7.5.2. When Tomlin declined to go on with SoundMaster, Ricardo Ettore came to the rescue with Sounds4Fun 1.0 ($14; www.users.dircon.co.uk/~r-ettore/Sounds4Fun.html ), essentially an updated and improved version.
William D. Bandes
El Cajon, California
Spinning Out of Control
Why, in the PageSpinner 3.0 review (February 2001), does the screenshot's caption read "PageSpinner's approach to Web pages falls between WYSIWYG and plain-text editors," dismissing PageSpinner as "Quasi-Wizzy"? I've been using PageSpinner for nearly four years, and it is no more WYSIWYG than SimpleText is a graphics application. It is an HTML text editor that is both powerful and easy to use.
One could make a stronger argument that BBEdit is "Quasi-Wizzy" because of its Table Builder function. Perhaps the editors at Macworld should cross-reference their Mac application reviews with the user feedback from VersionTracker.com. There you will find nothing but stellar reviews of PageSpinner-from people who have actually used the program!
Third Time's a Charm
Paging through my February 2001 issue of Macworld, I couldn't help noticing that Feedback and Mac 911 included nearly identical tips for creating simple AppleScripts that allow you to use function keys in place of the power key, which is missing from the Pro Keyboard. Clearly, a good idea bears repeating, but I believe I can top both of them.
After installing Speech Recognition on my G4, I modified the Restart This Computer applet provided in Speakable Items-I replaced restart with shut down and sleep as appropriate. I then named the commands "Restart," "Shut Down," and "Sleep," respectively. Now, when I'd otherwise be reaching for that power key, I simply say, "Computer, shut down."
Top that, Windows geeks.
The Desktop Critic: nEUtered in an Austrian Bar?
David Pogue must have spent some time in a dark bar in Salzburg if he agreed to buy a digital video camera for $4,000 (" Unexpected Lesson in Europe," The Desktop Critic, February 2001). One can buy a Sony DCR-TRV900 in Europe for $2,200 or less (I have a DCR-TRV900 that I am very proud of). This camera has FireWire in and out. And now you can find many more cameras with FireWire capabilities for less than $2,000. Austria is more expensive than some places, but not that much more expensive. $4,000 is far too much to pay for such a camera, even there. A little less wine and a clearer head might be better for Pogue when he visits Europe in the future.
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The photographs of the iBook Special Edition and the AirPort Base Station in " The 16th Annual Editors' Choice Awards " (March 2001) were created by Stan Musilek.
The large-format printer we reviewed online in March 2001 (Macworld.com) was the " Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 500."
Apple's iDVD can write only an hour of video to a DVD disc due to the single-layer DVD disc and the limitations of the SuperDrive mechanism. We misreported the reason in " Disc Warrior, Come Out to Play " ( Buzz Extra, March 2001).
Visual effects used in Macworld's February 2001 cover images were created by Dan Doerner.
The photograph that appeared in " Test Cases " ( The Vision Thing, April 2001) was created by Stephen Sugg.