Digital Video for All?
The new imacs look great (”
The iMac Is Back,” January 2000)! It’s about time Apple created a Mac that retails for under $1,000. My problem is that the iMac DV has what looks like some great digital-video-editing software?iMovie. I already own a blue-and-white G3 and would love to use iMovie, but Apple won’t sell it separately. I understand that it’s made for Macs with FireWire, so why won’t it work with all of them? What a waste! And don’t tell me to buy Final Cut Pro. If I had that much money, I’d buy a new iMac. Come on, Apple, wake up and smell the coffee. People want digital-video-editing software that costs less than a new computer. Give us a break and make iMovie available to all Mac users.
Merrimack, New Hampshire
I became very discouraged after reading about the new generation of iMacs. Let me see if I have this straight: I just spent almost $1,500 upgrading to a new iMac because of its new features?DVD and digital-video editing. Now I learn that the DVD audio loses sync with the video and I’m unable to run a professional video-editing program on my new machine. I feel duped.
But I Like the Mouse
Your magazine, like many others, has criticized the Apple mouse and keyboard. True, most people need to adjust to the mouse, but all it takes is a different way of holding it. The mouse is great for kids; it fits their hands perfectly. And after all, the iMac is a consumer item intended to be easy for children to use. Personally, I think the keyboard is better than others; it has a crisper response and takes up less space. I’ve learned to use the mouse, too. While I think you should let readers know that the keyboard and mouse are different, that doesn’t mean you should criticize them so strongly.
San Francisco, California
The debate over which is better, QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign (”
QuarkXPress vs. InDesign: The Great Debate,” January 2000) ignored a crucial product feature?customer support. Adobe’s excellent customer service beats Quark’s Machiavellian customer relations hands down. Now that Adobe offers an up-to-date page-design program, Quark is roadkill. After enduring ten years of abuse from Quark, I look forward to the company’s demise. Macworld, please report Quark’s death throes in detail. I will savor them.
Yellow Springs, Ohio
I just used adobe indesign for a 71-page, camera-ready scientific document. Based on my experience, I believe the glowing praise of InDesign in your January 2000 issue is unwarranted.
One only has to look at the topics on Adobe’s own user forum to see what’s going on here. One forum, titled “Unbelievably Bad Performance,” cites numerous instances of molasses-like speed. I have a 400MHz G3 with 128MB of RAM assigned to InDesign. My article had 15 small photographs, but mostly comprised text set in a single PostScript type family. Small changes that caused linked text to reflow made my hard drive churn for 30 to 60 seconds, during which I couldn’t do anything else.
I also found it impossible to print to an Apple PostScript Level 2 printer with the supplied printer driver. Random substitution of individual characters was rampant. I had to export to PDF format and print from Acrobat Reader. Over 70 user-forum postings complained about printing problems, such as lack of support for any non-PostScript device?including all Epson ink-jets commonly used for proofing.
Since this is a young program, I’ll overlook that I desperately needed a table editor as well as indexing and table-of-contents capabilities. But features such as vertical text justification can be had in inexpensive, stable, and quick software such as Ready,Set,Go. On the plus side, InDesign’s Multi-line Composer does set gorgeous type.
It seems to me that Adobe let fly with nothing more than a quirky beta version. My advice to readers is to hang on to their money and let this software age for a while.
We recommend that you try Adobe FrameMaker (800/833-6687,
) for scientific or very long documents.?Ed.
Don’t Slam the Rugged iBook
Andrew gore’s review of the iBook (
, January 2000) was pretty rough on this new product, although rightly so in terms of the iBook needing at least 64MB of RAM and more ease-of-use features, including a separate numeric keypad. However, if you have a child who has bad handwriting, the iBook could be a very useful tool. It’s rugged, the function keys are easily programmable, the keyboard is quiet, and the inexpensive wireless option allows students to print to a remote printer or connect to the Internet while in a classroom. Computers and typing are generally seen as disruptive in a classroom. Too often, they are relegated to separate computer labs as if they were not relevant to a student’s primary studies. Please be aware that the iBook is targeted at educational users. It has one-of-a-kind features that may change the way things are done in a classroom.
Little Rock, Arkansas
AOL Doesn’t Play Well with Others
We bought one of the first available AirPort setups for the iBook. We installed the AirPort but couldn’t get it to connect with America Online (AOL), so we took it back to the store. After eight days of effort and repeated conversations with Apple, the people at the store informed us that the AirPort is incompatible with AOL?despite the fact that Apple installed AOL on the iBook.
How could Apple put out a communication product incompatible with the largest portal in the country? We bought our first Macintosh in 1984. We were hoping that Apple was on the way to recovery. We are so sad.
John and Betsy Robinson
Unfortunately, America Online does not adhere to the industry-standard PPP connection method. Therefore, it’s not compatible with the AirPort.?Ed.
Infrared Secrets Not So Hot
Your article ”
Join the Infrared Revival
, January 2000) was very timely, as it hit my desk within days of the arrival of my new PowerBook G3. Unfortunately, almost all the information in the article was out-of-date, as I soon discovered while attempting to share files with a bronze PowerBook and HotSync with my Palm V. It seems that the latest PowerBooks, whether they ship with OS 8.6 or OS 9, use only the IrDA protocol, not the IRTalk option recommended in the article. No Apple IR File Exchange exists either.
A trip to Palm Computing’s Web site revealed that Palm, too, was ahead of Mr. Schorr. The latest Palm Desktop software, version 2.5, defaulted to an infrared connection on install, and I couldn’t find a Palm Extras folder, described in the Macworld piece, in the new install or on the Web page specified.
I know it takes time to get an article to press, but this PowerBook G3 information was months out-of-date.
San Francisco, California
You’re correct that the newest 400MHz PowerBook G3 Series computers support only IrDA, and Apple IR File Exchange works only with IRTalk.?Ed.
I just got your latest issue and wanted to let you know that although you say there is no company that makes Mac software for lenticular technology (”
Lenticular Art Comes of Age,”
, January 2000), there actually is. Two weeks ago, I downloaded a Mac-only lenticular program from a company called Lexer (
Saint Louis, Missouri
Forty Bits Bites Back
I laughed out loud at joe Lewis’s gripe about 40-bit encryption (”
Forty Bits Bites,”
, January 2000). He complained that the AirPort’s 40-bit encryption was inadequate, particularly for sending a 128-bit-encrypted secure Web communication. These fears are silly. For one thing, the range of AirPort transmissions is limited to 150 feet. In theory, someone could park outside your home or office and intercept, decode, and steal your credit-card number, but I doubt the cost of this surveillance would justify the limited yield. Also, while the 40-bit encryption occurs between the iBook transmitter and the AirPort, the 128-bit encryption occurs in the Mac. In fact, you’ll see stronger encryption, as the 40-bit encryption is on top of your browser’s 128-bit encryption.
People often confuse where security risks are. Hackers don’t sit wielding antennas in your parking lot. They filter Internet transmissions along a server or other such places and then search them for credit-card and Social Security numbers. The AirPort’s 40-bit encryption should be plenty for its purpose: to protect transmissions from anyone, such as a neighbor, who may be nearby listening with an AirPort-equipped Mac.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Letters should be sent to
, Macworld, 301
Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105; via fax, 415/442-0766; or electronically, to
. 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