It may have been 20 years since the Mac's debut, but most Macworld readers remember 1984 as if it were yesterday, whether they're feeling nostalgic about the first time they ever saw a Mac or recalling some overlooked detail about the Mac's early days. While the February issue's look back at two decades of the Mac made some readers reminisce about the past, others focused on the present, offering comments and critiques of current Mac hardware and software. That just proves passion about all things Macintosh is still going strong 20 years later -- and that means the future is bright.
I enjoyed " 20 Years of the Mac " (February 2004), but I was surprised that you didn't mention HyperCard in the timeline. Bill Atkinson's groundbreaking application introduced multimedia authoring, visual programming, and hypertext to the masses. Macromedia Director and Flash, Microsoft's Visual Basic, and all Web browsers in existence include features that HyperCard pioneered.
I greatly enjoyed reviewing and reliving Apple's history. Throughout the years, Apple's marketing efforts didn't adequately advertise certain features -- for instance, the early availability on the Mac of long file names such as Letter to Macworld, 1/19/04 (compared with ltmw0119.doc on PCs) -- and acceptance, at least from the Mac Plus era on, of PC-formatted disks (years later, you still couldn't take your disks in the other direction).
More Mac Memories
Tom Bombaci Jr.
Jason Snell invited us to share our Mac stories ( From the Editor's Desk, February 2004); here's mine. Like millions of other benighted PC users, I knew about the Mac, but just peripherally. Once I started teaching an operating systems course at the local branch of New Mexico State University, I decided I needed to have a Mac to speak knowledgeably about it. It didn't take too long for me to get the hang of the new hardware and software and feel at home with it. I still have my Gateway PC, but my main pump is my Power Mac G4. It is easier, more elegant, and more fun than any PC I've ever had. I'm a convert.
I had no idea what to do with a computer prior to 1985. I wasn't interested in programming or learning a command-line interface. A friend at work brought in his 128K Mac and began writing new training manuals for a course he taught. He invited me to try it out, and I was instantly hooked. Soon we were sharing his computer. A few months later, I bought a used 512K Mac and an ImageWriter I printer for $900. With the addition of an external floppy drive, I used my Mac until 1994. The Mac, the HD20, the floppy drive, and the ImageWriter are still in my closet. Occasionally I pull them out and hook them up just to make sure they still work. It's hard to believe it's been almost 19 years since I first started mousing around, but it's been great fun. I can only imagine what my Mac will be like when January 2014 rolls around.
My first exposure to a Mac was in elementary school. We used Classics to play Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? and other educational games. In high school, we used Macs to make the yearbook. I didn't fully convert to Macs until I joined my college newspaper a couple of years ago. I still toy around with a PC, but Windows has never lent itself to an open-source geek and Web-site developer like me. I dabbled in Linux for a while, but OS X converted me. I had all the power of Linux at my fingertips and one of the greatest-looking graphical user interfaces. Now I'm the admin for a lab of assorted G3 and G4 machines.
Are you off your rocker naming Bare Bones' Mailsmith 2.0 the best e-mail client (" The 19th Annual Editors' Choice Awards," February 2004)? Mailsmith may do what it does well, but it's missing a major feature that prevents it from ever spending any time on my Mac: IMAP support. The $100 price gap between Mailsmith and Qualcomm's Eudora (ugly but free) is outrageous.
Your review of Adobe GoLive CS ( ; February 2004) doesn't mention GoLive's biggest asset: building forms. Macromedia Dreamweaver excels at pretty much everything else in a WYSIWYG HTML editor, but GoLive rips through complex and long forms. Dreamweaver chokes on anything more than simple names, addresses, and so on. Most of the sites I build are database driven, so the primary thing I care about in any WYSIWYG program is forms rendering. GoLive consistently saves hours where Dreamweaver takes forever to redraw.
Who got the brilliant idea in Adobe Photoshop CS ( ; February 2004) to drop the File Info window's Load button? I can no longer update the keywords of my pictures at the push of a button, and I have to retype every redundant detail of dozens of pictures every time I do a new shooting. To me, that little omission makes me want to go through the trouble of going back to the previous version of Photoshop.
The Replace and Append buttons within the File: File Info: Advanced pane have superceded the Load button. You can load metadata onto images that way or apply saved metadata templates via the fly-out menu that appears in the upper right corner of the File Info dialog box. To apply a saved metadata template to many images at once with the File Browser, select the images and choose Edit: Append Metadata or Edit: Replace Metadata from the browser's menu bar. -- Jackie Dove
A Perfect Halo?
Michael R. Bagnall
A The Game Room, February 2004)? I have a 450MHz dual-processor G4 with a top-of-the-line graphics card and more than 1GB of RAM, and I get major amounts of screen lag on the lowest settings and resolutions. Halo looks and plays a lot better on the Xbox I bought some time back, which has far less memory, processing power, and graphics hardware.rating for Halo (
A 450MHz dual-processor G4 is below Halo's system requirements. MacSoft recommends at least an 800MHz G4 or G5 processor, OS X 10.2.8 or later, 256MB of RAM, and a 32MB AGP video card. I tested Halo on a Power Mac G4, and it played great. -- Peter Cohen
Peter Cohen's Halo review is right on the mark. I would have given it ten mice.
Keeps on Clicking
I don't believe that the Canon Digital Rebel should get a rating (February 2004). I tried one out, and while the pictures are good, I can't imagine that the cheap plastic body could stand the abuse a serious photographer would give it. I have used a Sony DSC-F707 since it came out and have dropped it, kicked it, and gotten it wet and extremely cold; it still works like a charm.
SuperCard's Still Standing
Regarding Andy Ihnatko's Runtime Revolution 2.1 review ( ; February 2004): does he realize that SuperCard is still alive and well? Look no further than www.supercard.us. I'm using this application every day to work on several shareware apps. It combines everything that made HyperCard easy with all the modern Mac OS power. Macworld reviewed SuperCard 4.0 back in April 2003; its rating is higher than Revolution's. I don't understand the impression the review gives that Revolution is the first application since the death of HyperCard to deliver a development environment for both new programmers and experienced consultants and that this is somehow a real accomplishment. SuperCard did this back when HyperCard was still around -- and it continues to do so.
In our review of the iBook G4s (March 2004), we misidentified the processor speed of the entry-level iBook; it's 800MHz.
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