Everything in Its Place
Feedback is an archive of Mac-related musings that may not fit anywhere else in the magazine. And here at Macworld, we do try to find a place for everything. So it's fitting that this month we include responses to October's "Tame Your Brain" feature, which was about organizational tools and techniques. You'll also find readers' comments about our coverage of digital photography, their thoughts about a few of our product reviews, and a couple of letters that defy categorization. Keep sending your feedback -- knowing what our readers think helps us keep Macworld in order.
Unfit to Print?
I'm greatly disappointed with your review of the Hewlett-Packard Design-Jet 120nr ( ; October 2003). It's well researched and points out real problems, but it lacks a vital piece of information: the $335 Adobe PostScript 3 RIP that actually makes this a graphic-arts printer doesn't work with OS X. And HP doesn't have a target date for an OS X version. Some graphic artists will buy this product thinking that they'll get color matching with the additional RIP, only to find that they can't use it with OS X.
This is a good point. Although we noted the RIP's existence, we didn't test it. It doesn't work in OS X. If you must have a RIP, we suggest that you look into one of the third-party OS X RIPs that now support this printer. -- Ed.
Honorable but Not Mentioned
ERIC H. DURBROW, PH.D.
In your October 2003 issue, you reviewed organizational tools such as OmniOutliner and NoteTaker ("Tame Your Brain"). You made a serious omission: Circus Ponies' NoteBook. Although similar to NoteTaker, NoteBook triumphs in tech support, ease of use, good looks, and grace.
When October's Macworld arrived, I flipped straight to the article on outliners. Lately, after many workflow headaches, I've been using one for project management. I'm an OS 9 holdout and have looked at Inspiration but find it slow and clunky on my iBook. OmniOutliner probably suits my needs best, but it runs only under OS X. Remember Acta? I picked up a copy about two weeks ago, and it's been just brilliant. It's available for free and has everything I need. It allows text styling across siblings and generations, has some decent print options, and even records sound.
How can an article on outlining programs fail to mention the granddaddy of them all, More? It's old software, easy to use, and free. I use it every day.
Several readers wrote in to suggest a favorite outlining tool, expressing regret that we hadn't included it. In this article, we examined tools that provided a visual way of organizing ideas. (The exception, OmniOutliner, was included because of its integration with OmniGraffle.) And our decision to focus on OS X applications forced us to exclude some venerable (and still very popular) programs. -- Ed.
Thank you, Andy. "Monsters of Metal" (Ihnatko, October 2003) hit the nail on the head. As a lifelong Mac fan, I tolerate iTunes and its metal windows -- a couple of times a week. But Safari or any app that's constantly in use? Sorry. I don't care how fast or how free it is -- the fake metal constantly irritates. It's sad that Steve Jobs's definition of elegance has come to this. Apple: the PT Cruiser of computing. Pretty cool if you're 17.
This Way, That Way
DENNIS B. SWANEY
Under step 1 of "Make Your Mac Faster" (Secrets, October 2003), Anton Linecker says that even if you're running OS X, you ha
It's true. You can check your Boot ROM in OS X, but if you need to update the firmware, you must do so from OS 9. Apple's Firmware Updater for the computers in this article doesn't work with OS X. -- Anton Linecker
The Whole Picture
SUE KRIEGSMAN AND LEE MANDELL
We applaud you for your recent article on digital images ("Hot Shots," October 2003). We were happy to see a brief mention of metadata and archival issues, but long-term preservation goes beyond simply burning CDs, storing them off-site, and preserving the bits. Analog photographs can be viewed with our eyes and light. Digital images require a known file format, stable physical media, a mechanism to read the media, an operating system, an application, and compatible hardware. Long-term preservation requires that we address all of these issues.
Lab's Labour's Lost
More than 5,000 independent photo and imaging labs around the country can print from any digital file and produce an archival print that's higher in quality, lower in cost, and less time-consuming for the customer than a print from an online photo service. It's easy to find a certified digital-photo processor near you.
As to your recent article on digital printing, you would be remiss if you didn't let your readers know that there is no faster, higher-quality, or cheaper way to get prints from a digital camera than to go to your local digital-photo lab.
Independent photo labs are responsible for the initial growth of the digital-photo labs. My lab has been processing online photos since 1998. We use services such as Fotowire to download images from your home directly to your local lab. And soon, Fuji Photo will launch its digital-photo–developing Web site, with a Web-based order form for sending digital-photo orders to your local lab from any Web browser.
On the Wrong Track
As a musician, I appreciate Apple's plea that the public not steal music. However, with its introduction of Soundtrack, which boasts license-free loops and lets amateurs create broadcast-quality music, I wonder where Apple's interests really lie. More professional musicians make their living by composing jingles, special promos, and the like, for film, TV, and video, than work as major-label artists. Apple is fostering a trend that Sonic Foundry's Acid started, and placing more and more legitimate musicians out of work. No self-respecting working musician would ever buy Soundtrack.
In Peter Cohen's review of SpyHunter ( The Game Room, October 2003), there was a glaring omission on the part of Aspyr that Peter failed to mention. Aspyr took a console game and ported it to the Mac, and that's great. But in its haste, the company neglected to add compatibility for steering-wheel and pedal input devices that control the G-6155 Interceptor. I don't know anyone who drives a car with arrow keys or a game pad, so this seems like a gigantic oversight to me.