Going All the Way
The Macworld Web Merchant’s Companion
” (June 1999) didn’t go quite far enough in discussing e-commerce site development. Sure, you can set up the best site on the Web using Tom Negrino’s suggestions, but if you don’t market it, few people will ever see it.
While the Internet offers a way to level the playing field for our niche food business, getting eyeballs to view our Web site has been our single biggest challenge. Banner ads, print ads, public relations, and other devices are essential?and often expensive?components in addition to the creation and maintenance of the site.
Since I just bought an iMac, I was very interested to see your recent article on USB products (“USB from A to Z,” June 1999).
I ran down the list of USB-to-serial adapters, hoping I could find one that would allow me to use my Apple Personal LaserWriter LS. However, I found that none of the products listed in the roundup support serial LaserWriters like mine. Do you know of any products on the market (or in development) that do?
You are not alone in wanting to save your LaserWriter, and at least one adapter manufacturer has heard your plea. Keyspan (510/222-0131,
) says it plans to ship a new USB-to-serial adapter that supports LaserWriters by the time you read this.?Ed.
Sanity for Service Bureaus
Thanks for bringing much needed service-bureau submission guidelines to the forefront for all designers (”
Don’t Sabotage Your Professional Print Job,”
, June 1999). The top ten were dead-on but only put a dent in the diatribes of everyday prepress troubleshooting. I was so relieved to find it isn’t just my department that encounters these problems. I can now prove they are not anomalies that we randomly make up as an excuse for not getting a job out on time.
I passed along the information to our clients and our front office in hopes that it will ease our troubled workplace. We feel like an unlimited source of free software training, often allowing our clients to use us in fixing their files just as they flee to another vendor. I keep dreaming of a total cure, but thanks for treating some of the symptoms.
I read Stephen Beale’s article ”
Don’t Sabotage Your Professional Print Job
” with great enthusiasm. I found it to be pretty much on the money. However, I would like to mention a problem we come across too often on the job: stylized fonts. For example, a job will come in where the bold or italic box for a font is selected in QuarkXPress. These fonts may print fine on a laser printer, but if the actual printer fonts are missing, the italic or bold will print in roman on high-end output devices, instead of the way the client intended.
It was nice to see Action GoMac 2.0 get some worthwhile press (
, June 1999). I’ve been a GoMac devotee since version 1.0. And while it was hard to make the leap from $15 shareware, when Proteron owned it, to a $40 application under Power On Software, I’ve found the improvements are well worth the cost.
Christopher Breen’s review left out a couple of GoMac’s more endearing features and conveniences. To manage items in the Start menu, just click on the Start button while holding down the option key, and the window pops open. Also, you can add control-strip modules to the Clock Tray at the right side of the task bar. Simply click anywhere on the task bar and hold down the mouse button, and you get a pop-up menu that includes Add Module and Remove Module commands. So in addition to launching and managing applications easily, you can handle features such as resolution or sound?even Internet connections?on the fly.
Palm’s Poor PIM
Franklin Tessler was way too kind in giving a 31/2-mouse rating to MacPac 2, the new Mac desktop software for Palm handhelds (
, June 1999). As he points out, MacPac 2 sends notes attached to calendar items into limbo, and simply ignores some repeating calendar items.
That violates the fundamental idea that has made the Palm devices so successful?having one body of information available whenever and wherever you want to access it, on a variety of platforms. Now we’re back to the days where we have to say “except on a Mac.” After having had the Mac fully connected to the Palm, we’re back to playing second fiddle to PCs, or maybe we’re playing first violin with only three strings.
Palm designers have been so smart until now. What happened?
Mac users are divided on whether these shortcomings constitute a fatal flaw. Despite its problems, I find that MacPac 2 offers much more functionality than its poky predecessor, but it still falls short of my favorite PIM, the defunct Now Up-to-Date and Now Contact bundle.?Franklin Tessler
I have been using MacPac 2 with a PalmPilot and found a good workaround for the main problem described in the review of this product (not being able to attach notes to tasks or events on the desktop that will appear on the Palm). All you need to do is this: first, create the task or event. Then create a note and name it Handheld Note. Drag and drop the note onto the task or event. The note will be shown as an attached item on the desktop and will also appear as an attached note on the Palm.
3Com/Palm Computing, maker of MacPac 2, admits this solution might work but doesn’t recommend it, as it may lead to trouble down the road.?Franklin Tessler
Opening a Can of Worms?
I couldn’t help but experi-ence deja vu when I read about Apple’s decision to open part of the OS X Server source code (”
Apple Goes Open Source with Mac Server,”
, June 1999). I thought Apple would come to its senses and give up or at least revamp its strategy. But now that I see it in Macworld, I know this cannot be.
Remember Mozilla, Netscape’s open-source spin-off that never really amounted to anything? Apple is following exactly the same approach, and I hope for its sake that it doesn’t end up in the same place.
Open source seems to be all the rage these days with software manufacturers. As Apple’s product manager for Mac OS X Server said in the article, “It’s as if we had hired a huge bunch of programmers for free.” Haven’t we seen the results of this type of corporate greediness and laziness before? Apple, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
I enjoyed Andrew Gore’s column “Where’s Sherlock?” (
The Vision Thing
, June 1999). When I first saw ads for Sherlock, I thought it was just more Web-related hype and brushed it off.
Then I installed OS 8.5 and started to take a closer look. I was very impressed. It greatly simplifies Web searches, and indexing my drives by content and searching for files based on keyword content is really fantastic. It has saved me so much time.
Sherlock is one of those how-did-I-ever-live-without-it tools. I completely agree that Apple should aggressively support and market Sherlock. If only the Web sites that maintain the search databases would get rid of stale URLs, the efficiency and effectiveness of Web searching would really improve!
Apple, don’t flush a good thing!
A ndrew Gore correctly asserts that Sherlock is “the most easy-to-use search technology on any platform.” Not only that, but it renders virtually instant, on-target results every time. I love asking my PC-challenged friends to find their own name. Invariably the final choice is an Internet site that mentions them, since none of them has registered with any search engines. To their amazement, newfound respect, and envy, I have located multiple sites in mere seconds in every case. Sherlock is continued proof that Macs rule!
Don’t Hold Back Now
I am sick of the namby-pamby whiners out there in Macdom who cannot grasp the necessity of change, focus, radical ideas, and direction in Apple. I’ve been reading letters in
criticizing Apple for the new G3 and the iMac, and I have heard enough. Thankfully, Steve Jobs has the chutzpah to take the Mac in radical new directions?forcing needed change in what was a comatose, underachieving platform. You complained when Apple was in the red for years, offering no inspiring technologies and no real OS direction?and now you complain because that’s all history. Number one-selling computers, flexible and efficient new technologies, radical designs, and even a bit of humor. Oh, yeah?this is bad!
The Mac is back in fact and in spirit. It’s time to embrace the radical changes and get on board with the brightest future Apple has seen in years.
There?I feel better now.
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The viewable area for Eizo Nanao Technologies’ FlexScan T960 is 19.6 inches (
Think Big, June 1999).
Contrary to our assertion, Macromedia’s Fireworks 2.0.2 does have tweening capabilities
, July 1999).