Revolution OS 9
cover story “Inside MacOS 9” (December 1999) was one long advertising paean to software I’d designate a beta version to be used strictly at your own risk. I made two mistakes: purchasing OS 9 and installing OS 9. I lost my Hewlett-Packard printer (I couldn’t even access the Page Setup dialog box), I lost my scanner, and I lost my Internet connections. In brief, I lost the ability to do much of what I do with my computer. Perhaps I am unique in this experience, but I doubt it, and I can’t believe that Bortman’s article expressed only sweetness and light. I lost nearly 20 hours removing OS 9; erasing my hard drive to make sure it was completely gone; and reinstalling 8.6 and all my various applications, settings, and files. I’ve learned my lesson and shall hereafter be as suspicious of Apple’s products as I am of those from Apple’s competitors.
As a Mac user and a person who protects himself with PGP, I am interested in learning more about Mac OS 9’s built-in encryption. The only information on Apple’s site is more of a sales pitch than a useful guide to the company’s encryption methods.
doesn’t mean a whole lot.
So which algorithm does OS 9 use for encryption? IDEA? Blowfish? DES? As each has a different speed and efficiency rating, I’d be curious to know how OS 9 matches up.
OS 9 uses 56-bit Apple Secure Compression (a technology generated by Apple and based on RSA Security’s PKCS 7, an MD5 encryption algorithm). Of course, 56-bit isn’t particularly impressive, but Apple says that it had to use this bit length to make the OS exportable. The Keychain, which can encrypt only passwords and is therefore exempt from export restrictions, employs 128-bit Fast Elliptical Encryption.Ed.
Reading about the sweet “new” Keychain included in Mac OS 9 (but originally from the 7.6 era), I can’t help wondering why Apple doesn’t give a Cyberdog-like Internet application a chance. Sadly, Apple ditched Cyberdog along with OpenDoc, but maybe it shouldn’t have. Offering an Internet application that did everything under the sun positively screamed Think Different to me. While some might argue that specialized client programs are better and that Apple would have quite a time trying to bust in on the browser market, I think that a non-OpenDoc Cyberdog 2 would tie in beautifully with a Sherlock 3, both to be released exclusively with OS X.
Game Hall of Shame
I am quite disappointed with “1999 Macworld Game Hall Of Fame” (December 1999). Christopher Breen did not include what may be one of the most remarkable games in years: Bungie Software’s Oni. Terminal Reality and Gathering of Developers’ Fly also gets no mention, while the then-unreleased Madden NFL 2000 from Aspyr Media, MacSoft’s Unreal Tournament, and Activision’s Quake III: Arena took center stage. I thought Macworld rated only shipping products!
Also, I firmly believe that Apple does not yet deserve the award for best Mac game supporter. While the ATI Rage 128 in the pro systems is a step forward, Apple’s hardware still has a long way to go. Any developer would tell you that Apple lags behind PC manufacturers in 3-D sound, foolishly underclocks the Rage cards in the G3s and G4s, and is slow to improve input-device support. Perhaps the iSub signals the end of Apple’s deafness to gamers’ cries for better audio, but we have yet to hear anything about a sound system for the G4s.
This year, as in past years, we attempted to include as many games slated to appear in the current year as possible. With this in mind, we contacted the major game vendors and asked for prerelease copies of their products. We saw enough of Madden, Unreal Tournament, and Quake III to know we had some extraordinary products and worthy Game Hall of Fame entrants in hand (although you’ll notice that we did not, in fact, rate the games, as they weren’t shipping). Bungie wasn’t sure that Oni would be released by the end of the year and therefore chose not to send us an early version of the game. As for Flyyou’ll have to complain to the committee. They simply found MacSoft’s Falcon 4.0 to be the better flight simulation.Christopher Breen
Eudora Has No Socks
As a longtime Eudora user, both at home and work, I agreed with most of Tom Negrino’s assessment of Qualcomm’s Eudora Pro 4.2 (
, December 1999), except for one thing: when Eudora sits behind a Microsoft proxy firewall, it’s only a functionless chunk of code. Unlike the Windows version, the Mac version cannot be configured for Socks. So, like it or not, all of us Mac users at work have been strong-armed into using Microsoft Outlook Express. Sure, one could rail against the obvious Microsoft strategy of making its proxy software incompatible with competing software, but why hasn’t Qualcomm come up with a solution? If Eudora loses the e-mail-client war, it will have itself to blame.
InDesign Printing Woes
InDesign has so much going for it, with its flexible and versatile plug-in architecture, that I believe it will eventually beat QuarkXPress (
, December 1999).
But there’s a price to pay for these capabilities: heavy hardware requirements and the need for at least a PostScript Level 2 printer. So where does that leave us small freelancers who need to print color proofs on our ink-jet printers? How do I fax pages to my clients if InDesign cannot tap into the QuickDraw engine? I don’t have the spaceor the moneyto splurge on a Postscript 2 (or 3) color printer. Must I go through the work of creating PDF files before printing or faxing? Sure, I have StyleScript, which I use every so often. But as I understand it, InDesign doesn’t like emulators such as this one, even though StyleScript uses true Adobe Level 2 routines.
Make no mistake, I intend to go with InDesign, if only for the typographical features. Now if I can only find an affordable, small, Postscript Level 2 laser printer.
review of Intuit’s Quicken Deluxe 2000 (
, December 1999) says that it has OFX support and that shortly after its release users had trouble downloading from some institutions.
My version of Quicken Deluxe 2000 did not have OFX support, and as of late October, Intuit had not supplied a patch or fix for the downloading problems, which are severe. These problems were so bad that Intuit’s Quicken technical support recommended I go back to Quicken 98.
What’s really aggravating is that Intuit sold a product that is essentially unusable and that the company didn’t inform users when it would fix the problems. That is unethical, to say the least. Your readers should know what kind of a company Intuit is. Quicken Deluxe 2000 doesn’t work, and Macintosh users intending to use the software on the Internet shouldn’t purchase it.
Quicken finally released a patch for Quicken Deluxe 2000. It is available at
You mention in your review of Musitek’s SmartScore 1.2.2 (
, December 1999) that Coda Music Technology’s Finale can read SmartScore’s files, but this is not true. Unfortunately, there are currently no programs for the Mac that read native SmartScore files.
Although this feature was announced with the release of Finale 2000, it is available only in the PC version and is not slated for the Mac until the release of Finale 2001. For now, you can import SmartScore files as MIDI files, but you lose valuable notation data. Hopefully,
Hopefully, Finale 2001 will resolve this by next year, and perhaps we’ll see an upgrade for SmartScore as well.
I have been a devoted
subscriber since 1994. But
never seems to write about the people who drive the Mac industry. And I’m not talking about Jobs and Gates. What about John Warnock of Adobe, Jeff Raskin, Bill Campbell, Woz, the programmers at Bungie who were kicking out great games for the Mac single-handedly when no one else was? All these people have a story to tell, and no one is telling their tales. Now is your chance.
I would venture to say that your readers are pretty affluent. I would also guess that we read more than most people. We want to be engaged at a higher level. Give us a perspective that no one else does. My gosh,
interviewed Jobs, Gates, and even Jonathan Ive. Where have your reporters been? Rehashing the new iMac we’ve known about for two weeks? Any Mac news site can give me that.
Your magazine has clout. Start thinking different. Sure, I make my living with the Mac, but the Mac means more than that to me. I want a story. I want to be engaged, not just educated or entertained.
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