Hanging up on the iPhone

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No carrier

The iPhone is sleek, gorgeous, multifunctional, and ultracool (“Hello, iPhone,” March 2007). But it has one major flaw. How un-Apple-like is it to have your mobile phone provider selected for you? Because most mobile phone users are already locked into multiple-year contracts (and because the penalties for breaking those contracts could easily pay for an iPhone), I think the marketing strategy behind this decision was laaaaame! —Beverly E. Barton

Stop the madness!

It was with disbelief and then anger that I read the article “Too Much Integration” in March’s Mac Beat section. An iTunes buyer is filing a class-action lawsuit because her music plays only on an iPod? Doesn’t she realize she has a choice? She could have purchased her music from any number of other sources and played it on whatever MP3 player she liked. A Toyota air filter doesn’t fit in a Ford. So what? Go out and buy the part that fits a Ford. —Mike Kenfield

In defense of Safe Eyes

I have read many reviews of products that Macworld has not been pleased with, but rarely have I read that a product was “difficult to recommend.” I was surprised that you said just that about Safe Eyes 2006 ( More Reviews, March 2007 ). Sure, the program lacks some features and has an annual fee if you want to take full advantage of all it has to offer. But I must say that I have tried other applications that try to protect kids online, and none of them has worked better than Safe Eyes. It’s probably one of the most important applications I have on my Macs. If you find this product “difficult to recommend,” please suggest something better. —Steve Pederson

Our reasons for giving Safe Eyes such a low score were all detailed in the review: The interface is definitely not Mac-like; you can’t block chat or peer-to-peer communications (two big areas of concern for parents); you can’t set daily time limits; and there are many features that just don’t work on the Mac. As for alternatives, we haven’t comprehensively reviewed other kid-oriented security products, but we hope to do so soon.—Rob Griffiths

Drip, drip, drip

In your review of all-in-one multifunction printers (March 2007), you named the HP Photosmart C7180 printer a Top Product. I agree that this printer is a fine performer for the money, but it has one glaring defect: In my experience, the inks it uses (particularly the black) are extremely water-soluble. Just one drop of water accidentally splashed on a page of output can create an illegible mess. No ink-jet ink is completely water-fast, but the inks in the latest HP printers bleed far more readily than those of previous HP printers or competitors. —Michael G. Sills

A simpler way

In response to Kirk McElhearn’s article “Resize Partitions On-the-Fly” ( Geek Factor, March 2007 ), I question the use of a Terminal command to do this. For me, Coriolis Systems’ $45 iPartition is safer and extremely useful. For two years I have relied on iPartition to resize my drives without fear of losing my data. The price is very reasonable for the quality and power you get. That is about as geeky as I want to be. —Jim Babcock

Right hand, left hand

In the Mac OS X Hints column in your March 2007 issue, Rob Griffiths wrote that “uninstalling programs [in OS X] is very simple … OS X has no strange .dll files or registry.” But in the Mobile Mac column in the same issue, Joe Kissell wrote, “Many apps stash resources all over your hard drive, making it hard to delete all of them manually.” So which is it? —Robert Gerard

It’s true that programs may leave tiny little bits of code on different parts of your hard drive, but they aren’t like the .dll files that Windows apps leave behind: they aren’t executable, they don’t load into memory, and they consume a small amount of drive space. The only programs that can be tricky to uninstall are those that insinuate themselves into deeper levels of the OS—drivers for graphics tablets, for example, or programs that capture audio and video, like Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro. Fortunately, many of these programs come with their own uninstallers, so it’s not hard to get rid of them. As a general rule, if you install a program via drag and drop, you don’t need to worry about the other pieces it leaves behind—unless (as Joe was explaining) you’re really trying to eke out every last megabyte of disk space.—Rob Griffiths

Please, Apple, please

I have never begged a company to make a product before, but here I go: I have been using Apple computers since 1982. I love them. I also use a Palm, but it has become a colossal pain to use it with a Mac (even with Mark/Space’s The Missing Sync). I’d love to use Address Book, iCal, and some kind of list-making app on a simple, light, handheld Mac-like device. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Apple made its own PDA—a scaled-back iPhone without the phone? How hard could that be? —Judy Hancock

I am now on my sixth Apple laptop—a top-of-the-range MacBook Pro—and have been with Apple since the days of the Mac Plus. I have to confess, though, that I felt a deep twinge of jealousy this week when I opened up a box containing a laptop for a colleague. It wasn’t an Apple laptop. It was a superlight (2.5-pound) B5-sized Panasonic Toughbook, a best-seller in Japan. I long for the day when Apple produces something like this and makes OS X not only the best, but the most portable operating system in the world. How about it, Apple? —Crispin Bates

Sony versus Apple

I was excited about buying one of Sony’s new high definition camcorders—specifically, the HDR-SR1—which I planned to use in conjunction with Apple’s Final Cut Express HD. But in doing my research, I read that Final Cut Express is not compatible with Sony’s camcorders. Is this true? If so, what are my best alternatives? Is iMovie HD compatible with the Sony HDR-SR1? —Stebin Horne

Final Cut Express works only with DV and HDV video; these new Sony hard-drive camcorders use AVCHD encoding. Your best bet is a tape-based camcorder that has a FireWire connection.—Jonathan Seff

Bye-bye, iSight

Why would Apple discontinue the iSight Web cam without replacing it? Many loyal Mac users don’t have the newest of Apple computers, which have an iSight built in, but we’d still like to have a Web cam. I love my Mac but am frustrated with the company’s constantly leaving loyal customers in the dark. —Susan Caplan

Can’t please everyone

I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t use your magazine to further your political views. I don’t need to see screenshots of Nancy Pelosi (“Hello, iPhone,” March 2007) or hear about how cool it’d be to watch Al Gore’s Current TV network on the Apple TV (“Inside Apple TV,” Mac Beat, March 2007). I don’t expect to see stories or pictures about George Bush or the Republican agenda in your magazine either. Just keep to technology—enough with the glimpses into your political views! —Jeff Jones

No political statement was intended. And for the iPhone, we were limited to the screenshots that Apple provided.—Dan Miller

You guys might as well change your name to Mac Gadgets. I haven’t learned anything useful about my Mac in Macworld in over a year. —Sharon Skinner

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