Thanks to the Internal Revenue Service, April most definitely is the cruelest month. So it's no surprise that most of the mail we received about April's Macworld was from unhappy taxpayers who were concerned about our review of tax-preparation software ( Reviews , April 2001).
H&R Block Financial's Kiplinger Tax-Cut Deluxe claims to allow a user to e-file both federal and state tax returns (in 26 states). But the program will not allow you to do this if you've received income reported on a 1099-Misc form, as independent contractors do. In addition, the state edition overlooks 1099-Misc income when calculating gross income. It totals only income reported on W2 forms.
Gary Schaub, Jr.
I have a PowerPC with a G3 upgrade running OS 8.5.1. According to the system requirements on TaxCut's box, the program runs on 68030 and faster processors, and System 7.5.3 and higher. But I had to upgrade to OS 8.6, at significant time and expense, just to get TaxCut to work.
I also discovered that the downloadable free state-tax software was not available for my state in mid-February, and the company's claim that the software was able to seamlessly download last year's TurboTax information and carryovers was untrue. TaxCut does not recognize TurboTax files.
I e-mailed tech support-identifying my problems and asking for assistance-and waited five days for a response before calling. After holding (at my expense) for 50 minutes, I got a tech-support representative who knew nothing about the Mac.
Giving this program a 4.5 mice. rating was misleading.
Apple's Audio Blues
Regarding your review of Apple's new Power Mac G4 lineup ( Reviews , April 2001): something's missing! What is wrong with Apple? At a time when everyone is playing with music files, recording their LPs, and making MP3s, it removes the audio-input feature from its entire professional product line? This has pre- vented me from buying an iBook and now makes me look at alternatives for the desktop, too.
Your review of the 466MHz and 533MHz Power Mac G4s was right on the mark. I just purchased a dual-processor 533MHz model. Like Mr. Breen, I was unhappy to see no audio-in port. It was apparently replaced with a digital audio-out port, which many of us with great legacy speaker systems will never use.
Galen Gruman's monitor review ( Reviews , April 2001) has some useful information but makes no reference to some important aspects of a good monitor. It would've been helpful if the author had included information about gray-scale accuracy, color-temperature accuracy, and chromaticity coordinates for the three primary-color phosphors. Without this information, a true image professional may as well be working blind.
Madison, New Jersey
Free Doesn't Cut It
I went to FreeSamples.com (" The Great Giveaway," April 2001), and the only things available for free were lollipops and Mrs. Dash. The bank gives out free lollipops.
Mini Mouse, Big Oops
Contour Design's MiniPro Optical Mouse was recently reviewed on Macworld.com. In the review, some errors were made. The mouse does have software for customizing button functions. The MiniPro Optical Mouse software is designed to be downloaded from our Web site. Furthermore, the mouse has two buttons and no scroll wheel for ergonomic reasons. The MiniPro Optical Mouse is designed to be portable and go anywhere. It is too small to have side-by-side buttons or a scroll wheel.
The review has been updated online, and our mouse rating has been adjusted accordingly.-Ed.
Big Brother Likes Dead Trees
Perhaps I missed it, but in James Bradbury's article "Quicken versus the Web" (April 2001), I didn't see any discussion about search and seizure laws as they relate to online bill-payment services. Last time I checked, the restrictions that apply to Big Brother examining bills paid through snail mail do not apply to bills paid electronically. I would be happy to be proved wrong on this.
Los Altos, California
Without going into whether it's easier for the government to pry into bills paid online, I suggest never doing anything online that you want kept secret. Unless you're paying cash, though, you always leave an electronic trail.-James Bradbury
Viva MacPipes! Viva Ihnatko!
I just wanted to thank Andy Ihnatko for recommending the shareware game MacPipes (The Game Room, April 2001). When I was younger, I was addicted to a similar game. Unfortunately, it was on an old 66MHz computer. I'm glad someone found this game for me, and even better, I can play it on my iMac!
West Carrollton, Ohio
I thoroughly enjoyed your story about Macs on the big screen ("Great Performances," Buzz, April 2001). But there was a glaring omission: Jurassic Park. Who could forget smoking Samuel L. Jackson and his Macs that ran the island? And Wayne Knight (Seinfeld's Newman) plotted the theft of dinosaur DNA and sabotaged the entire network with his Mac.
I've been reading Andrew Gore's "PowerBook G4 Diary" (Macworld .com), and I wonder if the keyboard touching the screen is a problem for everyone. I was told that I was the first South American to have one of these mean 500MHz machines, but I don't want to be the first with a marked screen!
Carlos Santa Cruz
La Paz, Bolivia
You can wipe the marks off easily with a soft cloth.-Ed.
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.