Whom should you tip? Food servers, cab drivers, and — unless you want to end up looking like someone who belongs in a Flock of Seagulls tribute band — anyone who cuts your hair. But after the April 2004 issue featuring Panther pointers, some readers think Macworld editors also need tips — but not of the monetary variety (although that isn’t an unwelcome idea). Readers want to share their suggestions on how to get the most from a Mac. And if there’s one tip we can offer you, it’s that you’ll never go wrong listening to Mac lovers talk about what they know best.
Rob Griffiths suggests utilizing Fast User Switching when a presentation requires a software demonstration (”
Panther Secrets Declassified,” April 2004). The problem with this is that you have to escape from the full-screen presentation to do it and then restart the presentation when you return. A cooler and easier way to do it is to use Exposé. Start up a PowerPoint full-screen presentation and then press F9 or F11 to show all open windows or the desktop. Then select the app you need to work with (you may need to click on the desktop to bring up the Dock), and when you’re through, just click on the PowerPoint icon in the Dock. You’ll instantly be brought back to the point where you left your presentation, still in full-screen mode. This is one more feature that makes Windows users’ jaws drop.
I love the fact that I can just use the Script menu and make my own Apple menu, as outlined by Rob Griffiths. But after I create my own Scripts folder in my user’s Library folder, I seem to get the spinning wheel whenever I click on the Script menu in the menu bar. I have to log out and log back in to make it go away. I had to take my customized Scripts folder out of the Library folder just so I could access the Script menu again. What gives?
It’s possible that you’ve added too many items to your Script menu. The Script menu must scan the contents of every included folder and subfolder, which can take a long time if there are hundreds of included files. As I cautioned in the tip, you should limit your Script menu to the documents and applications that you use most often. — Rob Griffiths
MICHAEL D. MORTILLA
To switch between programs in OS X (10.3) you can indeed press 1-tab, as Rob Griffiths writes. What he didn’t mention is that you can continue to hold the 1 key, release the tab key, and then press the Q key to quit the highlighted application. The screen display of running applications remains active. Then (while continuing to hold the 1 key) you can press tab to move to another application and use the Q key to quit that one. That way, you can quit several applications in one shot. If you have lots of programs running and pass the one you want, continue to hold the 1 key and press the tilde (~) key. You’ll be able to select the running programs in reverse order.
Quicken versus Moneydance
I was deeply disappointed by Macworld’s roundup of
personal finance software
(Reviews, April 2004). Quicken has a longtime bug that many users have seen often: a failure to properly reconcile accounts. I often reconcile accounts and find myself off by one or two cents or some other small amount. If I clear the Reconcile window and start over again, things balance. This is a sad behavior from the Mac’s “preeminent personal financial program,” as you call it. I switched to Moneydance a number of years ago, and I find Jeffery Battersby’s review to be a bit uninformed. There are indeed default categories in Moneydance; they are called accounts. Battersby failed to mention that Moneydance supports direct download of transactions from within the software, the way that Quicken does.
As someone who paid for both Quicken 2002 and Moneydance, I can’t understand Jeffery Battersby’s attitude toward the latter. Features that I could never get to work in Quicken worked the first time in Moneydance. I had no end of trouble with Quicken, and each problem resulted in a $49 support call that never fixed the problem. Everything worked flawlessly in Moneydance. The one question I had about Moneydance was answered through e-mail, for free. In the end, I spend much less time doing finances with Moneydance than I ever did with Quicken.
Moneydance’s rating resulted not from any lack of accounting capability, but from significant and reproducible interface bugs that marred the usability of the program and that were acknowledged by the developer at the time of the review. These issues appear to have been corrected in the version released in April 2004. — Jeffery Battersby
In your reviews, one aspect of software often ignored is longevity. This has been especially important to me in regard to personal finance software for searching for expenses, even far in the past. Sometimes it’s helpful to look up the repair history of appliances or to track utility costs over long time spans. I think I got a bargain back in 1992 when I bought Andrew Tobias’s Managing Your Money, because I still open those files. I probably wouldn’t be able to do so if I didn’t use the same program today (admittedly in Classic mode).
ARUNA HARDER (Quicken Mac Product Manager, Intuit)
I was thrilled to see Quicken 2004 rated as the top choice in your Mac financial software roundup. More important, I wanted to let your readers know that we followed up on the issue Jeffery Battersby brought to our attention regarding miscalculated capital gains on stocks sold short. A patch release that came out in February fixed that issue. The patch is available at: www.intuit.com/support/quicken/updates/qkn_updates _mac2004.html.
In his roundup of
(Reviews, April 2004), Michael Genrich states that you could buy the unlimited-client version of Apple’s Mac OS X Server 10.3 for $999. But the ten-client version of OS X Server ($499) doesn’t refer to mail accounts or concurrent mail sessions. The ten-client or unlimited-client aspect of the Server edition refers to the number of concurrent Apple Filing Protocol connections. So even if you need AFP, if you don’t anticipate more than ten concurrent sessions, you could still have hundreds of accounts on the server. If you need e-mail and/or Web services, the ten-client version will do just fine.
It is utter madness to place an e-mail server online that doesn’t have strict antivirus, antispam, and practical access control. Your review seems to treat virus and antispam controls as extras that can be overlooked. When you consider the costs of antispam and antivirus software, Mac OS X Server seems like a much better bargain.
While I realize your primary goal is to review Mac products, leaving out coverage of enterprise or server products that may not run on OS X but can have OS X clients seems to solidify the perception of the Mac as a niche player. I noticed this with your OS X–only mail-server review. I’m sure you realize 95 percent of corporate America uses Exchange or Domino as back-end mail servers. Macworld should review these products. Although they’re not OS X products, they do have Mac clients. Reviewing the server and client for their features and functionality would be very useful.
A Wireless Vision
I was in awe after reading ”
I Spy with iSight
” (Geek Factor, April 2004). Two big thumbs-up to Evological Software and Bensoftware for thinking outside the box for the iSight’s use. To think even further outside the box, I think Apple should develop a wireless version of iSight (be it AirPort- or Bluetooth-based) to break free from having to hardwire this camera to a host or remote computer. Mac users could then carry the camera around at functions (within 150 feet of the host computer) without worrying about whether someone is going to trip over any cables. Whether it’s for a family reunion where you can introduce people over the Internet to relatives who were unable to attend, or for changing camera angles so would-be criminals don’t always know where you’ve placed your home surveillance camera, a wireless remote iSight camera would be a technology many Mac users would love.
Better Secure Than Sorry
” (Mobile Mac, April 2004) was great. I have a couple of suggestions. While password-protected accounts are a good idea, a thief could easily bypass the protection by starting up with a CD-ROM and holding down the C key. To prevent this, the user should invoke Apple’s Open Firmware Password utility. This will require a password for starting up the computer when holding down the option, C, or T keys, keeping all but the most dedicated hacker from breaking into your computer. The article also describes putting labels on the outside of your computer and making a “dummy” guest user account in which to place recovery information. In addition to these steps, the owner can edit the file Aqua Blue.jpg in the folder Hard Drive: Library: Desktop Pictures to put recovery information on the screen background used on the login page.
Jason Cook writes, “Since the Kensington-size slot is a widely used standard in the PC world, too, you can often find third-party cables that cost less.” Be careful — I put a non-Kensington cable lock on my brand-new iBook last year, and then I couldn’t get it out. The locking mechanism — which flipped up, unlike Kensington’s, which turns — got itself stuck inside the iBook’s case and was digging into the plastic there. Fortunately, I had only been testing the cable and hadn’t actually locked it to anything, so I was able to take the whole thing in to a dealer, where — after I showed several forms of proof of ownership — they took the case apart to remove the cable.
I See an Angry Reader . . .
I was very surprised and dismayed to see you employ the services of an astrologer and a psychic in “Future Fortunes” (Mac Beat, February 2004). I’d be much more likely to take seriously a prediction by Adam C. Engst than one by any psychic. I’m offended by the implication that a Mac-using psychic’s predictions should be taken seriously. This deals in the realm of the spiritual, not the scientific, and has no place in Macworld.
The psychic warned us you would feel this way. — Ed.
Due to an editing error, our April 2004 review of personal finance packages stated that Moneydance 2003 lacks predefined accounts. In fact, Moneydance ships with an extensive set of predefined accounts.
Focus on the iPod
” (May 2004), a tip on creating smart playlists based on song lyrics was incorrect. In fact, when you paste text into the Comments field of an iTunes song, only a portion of that text will be retained. Our tip works only if you pull keywords from a song’s lyrics.
Post comments on our forums (www.macworld.com); send them by mail to Letters, Macworld, 501 Second Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107; or send them by e-mail to email@example.com. Include a return address and daytime phone number. Due to the high volume of mail we receive, we can’t respond personally to each letter. We reserve the right to edit all letters and posts. All published letters and forum comments become the property of Macworld.