It Coulda Been a ContenderI always enjoy Macworld’s Eddy Awards (”
The 16th Annual Editors’ Choice Awards,” March 2001). But this year I found a glaring mistake. In the Data-Management Software category, you picked SPSS 10.0, saying: “No other program can compete with SPSS in terms of the number-crunching power that it brings to your desktop.”
I have to disagree with that assessment. Stata (800/782-8272,
) is faster, stabler, more programmable and customizable, and completely cross-platform (Mac, Windows, and Unix), and it uses less memory. What’s more, it can be automatically updated via its own Web engine. And unlike SPSS, it has been consistently supported on the Mac platform with simultaneous cross-platform releases. Finally, Stata’s product support is unrivaled in the software industry. SPSS is a great product that I use weekly. However, it’s clear that Stata not only competes with SPSS but also surpasses it in many areas.
Shame on Us
Shame on you for your giving an “award” to MyPalm (”
,” March 2001). This Web-based calendaring application may lack clutter, but it also lacks a Mac synchronization feature.
has stopped supporting the Mac platform, causing this Mac user (and probably others) to scramble for another genealogy program, I find
‘s endorsement of the site-in the form of a “Web Award”-grossly inappropriate.
We also wish the Family Tree software still supported the Mac. However, the Web site is informative and accessible to all.-Ed.
Don’t Trash That iMac!
After reading Andy Ihnatko’s piece about making an aquarium out of an iMac (”
, March 2001), I’m appalled. I am a volunteer in a first-grade classroom, where I help with the computers. There are only three machines in the room modern enough to have a CD-ROM drive.
If you’re thinking of trashing a viable iMac to make an iMacQuarium, please think again and donate it to a school or other nonprofit that may be struggling along with old IIce’s, as this classroom is.
Andy did write that if you’ve got an old, retired iMac that still works, you really should donate it to a school or other nonprofit. We agree that the message is worth repeating.-Ed.
But Still Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?
Though I would love to have one of Apple’s new portables, I have to pick some nits with claims Apple has made about the Titanium PowerBook G4’s case (”
Apple Goes Platinum,”
The Vision Thing
, March 2001). Titanium is neither stronger than many steel alloys nor lighter than aluminum. I was a mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman’s structural test laboratory for ten years, so the claim jumped out at me.
An aircraft alloy of titanium, Ti-5Al-2.5Sn, has a density of 0.162 pounds per square inch (lb/in
), while 6061 aluminum has a density of 0.098 lb/in
. A standard aircraft steel, 4130 Chromium-Molybdenum steel alloy, is easily heat-treated to an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 180 Ksi (1000 lb/in
). Some alloys can be hardened to 240 Ksi and higher. The titanium alloy mentioned above has a UTS of about 115 Ksi-definitely not stronger.
Mail . . .
I wish I had read Lisa Schmeiser’s review of
, March 2001) before I downloaded the program. Using Netscape 6.0, I sent out (or thought I did) 54 e-mail messages. Although I had every indication that the messages went out perfectly,
not one of them was actually sent
I didn’t discover the problem until a week had passed. I could get no help from Netscape, and I had a big job cutting and pasting each and every e-mail message (and adding apologies) into Netscape 4.76. The problem was never solved, and I have since deleted version 6.0 from my G3. An associate at work uses an Intel PC, and Netscape 6.0 for Windows did the same thing to him!
Letters should be sent to Letters,
, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105; via fax, 415/442-0766; or electronically, to email@example.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
H&R Block Financial’s
Kiplinger TaxCut Home and Business
, April 2001) is a Windows product. The Mac version is Kiplinger TaxCut Deluxe.
Macromedia Fireworks 3 costs $299 (”
The 16th Annual Editors’ Choice Awards,” March 2001).