Feedback

Loose Change For many years I've subscribed to Macworld and found your reviews to be informative and helpful in making purchasing decisions. But your current one-column reviews are mostly worthless, especially for expensive products.

You mentioned that some readers thought reading Macworld was like doing homework. I can't afford to waste hundreds of dollars on bad products; I need details and comparisons. In other words, I have to do the homework before I make a purchase, to learn all I can. It's too bad that Macworld will no longer be my tutor.

Erin Doak
Denver, Colorado

As a longtime reader of Macworld, I think the recent redesign is great. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Roger Ebert, Thomas Dolby ("Change," September 2000), and Douglas Adams (Buzz, September 2000). I am a fan of all three and hope that you continue to include more real-life articles about famous Mac users describing how they use their Macs.

Nate Benditzson
Chicago, Illinois

No End to Trend After reading Thomas Dolby's thoughts ("Change," September 2000), I think the music industry is scared of losing control of the pipelines between artists and audiences, and that it's suing Napster to slow down this process. With new Internet-based technology, middlemen can be eliminated and the prices consumers pay for music can be reduced. However, a fair solution for compensating artists for the use of their intellectual property is needed. Perhaps finding a way to degrade the sound quality of work that does not come from a properly authorized source will make music piracy go by the wayside.

Riding on the Freeway Your review of Freeway 3.0 disappointed me (Reviews, September 2000). For Freeway's target audience--designers--your "cons," although correct, are weighted with too much importance.

Even for those of us who are more technically inclined, Freeway gives access to just about any customization of HTML that a user may desire. We've found that we can always do what we need with the program--JavaScript, forms, FileMaker databases, and more--and the Freeway actions automate much of the process. I see the world as code, but I'd rather use Freeway for Web design than anything else.

Joe Muscara
Houston, Texas

There is a significant difference between Freeway's ability to open a dialog box so you can add snippets of HTML or other code to a page, and other programs' ability to open a window and let you review and edit the underlying code for the whole page. Freeway is a good product for people who don't need full code access. People who do need that should be aware that Freeway isn't designed for them.--Tom Negrino

Running a Tab You described "OS 9's tab menus" ("Change," September 2000), but I cannot find this feature on my computer. Is it a shareware tool or an OS 9 feature?

Jason Connor
Richmond, Washington

Bruce Tognazzini was referring to the tabs you can get if you drag a folder window to the bottom of your screen. The tabbed window in the screen shot that accompanied Tognazzini's essay was James Thomson's share-ware DragThing, available at http://www.dragthing.com.--Ed.

What Mac Is That? Looking carefully at all of Macworld's former covers ("Welcome," September 2000), I wondered what kind of Mac was featured on the September 1996 cover. I don't recall ever seeing it for sale.

Jonathan Daley
Medina, Ohio

That was a Power Macintosh prototype, created by Macworld and Frogdesign, that existed only on paper.--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.

CORRECTIONS The price for QuickTime Pro (Reviews, October 2000) is $30.
Current versions of Hard Disk Toolkit (Reviews, September 2000) do support HFS+ volumes. Our revised rating of the product is

30 mice
.

Glub, glub, glub. No, that's not the sound of the Titanic sinking--it's our Feedback editor's mailbox taking on water under the weight of all the mail we got about Macworld's redesign.

When you get thousands of letters, e-mail messages, and online forum posts, it's tough to distill the responses, but Feedbag is up to the challenge. "I don't want to be entertained," wrote reader Steve Katz, "at least not in the Jerry Springer sense of the word." Well, great. Now what do we do with our January cover story, "Two-timing PowerBook Users and the G4-owning Bikers Who Love Them"?

Reacting to a Macworld.com story about the U.S. Navy switching to Windows 2000 for its new shipboard computer systems, one wag noted, "Why do you think military intelligence is an oxymoron?" More troubling was a report from an Australian reader about his country's navy: "They're working on a highly expensive submarine project which has produced subs with the same level of stealth as Metallica." You mean the subs are calling press conferences and demanding the shutdown of Napster, too? Bummer.

But how do those of us not aboard U.S. Navy vessels make clear our undying love of the Mac? An anonymous reader suggests wearing graphite ribbons on every lapel, "to spotlight the plight of Mac users everywhere." Instead, perhaps it's time to don a navy-blue ribbon--for all our sailors who go to sea with their lives in the hands of Bill Gates and a boatload of Windows support technicians.

Be glad, then, that you use a Mac--or at least that you use Mac OS 9. Macworld reader Jane reports that she "nearly lost it" when an Apple representative told her that Mac OS X will make the Mac experience more like "the way PC users are used to working." Ahoy, matey! Cap'n Jobs would like a few words with you down by the brig.

If we are truly destined to evolve into PC users, perhaps Apple will one day place a second mouse button underneath that opposable thumb. This would please a reader by the name of "Bababooey," who is so frustrated with Apple's insistence that two-button mice are confusing, he's ready to throw a barrel of Apple Pro Mice out of the nearest porthole: "If Apple is really making Macs for people that stupid, why don't they include drool bibs?"

Maybe with version 2.0, Bababooey.

But let's get back to that redesign. Jonathan Foerster may have summarized reader sentiment best: "Keep this up, and I might start wallpapering my house with your magazine." So long as it's not the bathroom, we'll accept the compliment.

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