A question we often get here at
is “Why do you spend so many pages covering such-and-such?” Compare, for example, the letters we received about two articles in our November issue. Our review of Web browsers? Most of you thought this was a fine topic, even if you disagreed with our conclusions. Our news story about the iPod nano? That one inspired a few readers to ask for more iPod coverage, but they were far outnumbered by people who wish we’d never cover the things again.
Is Firefox the best?
Parrish S. Knight
—One of the main reasons I subscribe to
is that you are almost always right on the nose in your reviews. Unfortunately, you really missed the mark with your high praise for Mozilla’s Firefox (
). Firefox is a terrible browser. For starters, it can’t use many OS X services. I particularly rely on two such services in Apple’s Safari—spelling checks and autofill of contact information from my Address Book. Firefox requires separate plug-ins to do the same things. Also, it doesn’t interact as well as Safari does with other OS X applications. In Safari, I can highlight text on a Web page and then use services to compose an e-mail message with the selected text as its body, to search in Spotlight for the highlighted text, to create a Stickies note containing the highlighted section, and to do all sorts of other things. In Firefox, I can’t. Safari is also fully scriptable with AppleScript; Firefox isn’t. And don’t get me started on Firefox’s interface. The radio buttons, the check boxes, and even the windows themselves have a clunky, old-school appearance. In Safari, each tab has its own close button. In Firefox, the entire browser window has just one close button for all the open tabs; that means you have to switch to a tab before you can close it. True, Firefox can use extensions to overcome some of these problems. But why reinvent the wheel?
Derek Van Loon
—After reading your review of Web browsers, I tried Firefox for three days. I really wanted the program to work out, but, sadly, I found that it offered more problems than solutions. Way too many sites (including Apple.com and Hotmail.com) just didn’t work properly. It’s too bad, because I really like the extensions and add-ons. For now, while I’ll keep trying Firefox at home, I’ll be using Safari or Microsoft Internet Explorer at work, where I need to be productive. Firefox is an excellent start, but it’s far from the complete Safari alternative you described in your article.
Victor F. Gorodinsky
—One small comment about Jeffery Battersby’s review of Web browsers: he talks about Mozilla’s Firefox and Camino, but why doesn’t he mention the Mozilla browser itself? I use it sometimes, and it’s a very decent program. One thing it has that Firefox lacks is the ability to create Web pages, thanks to Composer. I find that feature very useful.
—It has been said before, but you’re devoting several orders of magnitude too much of your magazine to iPods. Yes, they’re cute and clever. Yes, they’re making gobs of money for Apple, which is good. But they have little or nothing to do with using a Mac computer, which is what your readers turn to your maga-zine for. Devoting the cover, and several pages, of the November issue to iPods shows a seriously flawed perspective in your editorial suite. Get back to covering issues related to computer use. Leave iPods, cars, cooking, airplanes, gardening, golf, and lingerie to other magazines.
—I was shocked to read the fine print in your story about the new iPod nano (
November 2005). Why would Apple not allow the nano to sync over FireWire, like my mini? My eMac doesn’t have USB 2.0, so I’ve been using a dock-to-FireWire cable to sync my iPod. The nano looks cool, but I can’t use it if I can’t hook it up.
—I noticed a glaring omission in your story about blogging tools for the Mac (“Spinning a Better Web,”
). It made no mention of
($18), the excellent tool built for the Mac (and for Windows, too, but I’ll forgive them for that). This program works with a wide variety of blogging platforms and makes posting and editing a snap.
Chad Siegel (Product Manager, Adobe)
—Galen Gruman’s review of Adobe InCopy CS2 raised interesting points about how InCopy works, but it didn’t effectively communicate the problem InCopy is trying to solve (
). InCopy isn’t intended to address file versioning between designers and editors in complex publishing workflows, as his introduction suggests. Instead, InCopy tries to streamline the workflow between designers and editors in small creative teams by allowing them to work in parallel on the same layout. With InCopy, editors no longer have to write blindly and then adjust their copy once it is placed in the design, nor do editors and designers have to pass paper proofs back and forth in rounds of corrections. Instead, multiple editors can access assigned content directly within an InDesign layout and then write to fit in the Layout view or in a choice of text views. Meanwhile, the designer can continue working in parallel on the layout. InCopy CS2 cost-effectively brings some of the power and productivity of expensive, high-end editorial systems to smaller creative teams, so they can collaborate more efficiently on content while enhancing quality.
Note that several clarifications were made to this review in light of Adobe’s comments. None of the clarifications affected the mouse rating or our overall buying advice for InCopy CS2.—Ed.
CDMA = No Bluetooth?
—I feel obliged to point out a big piece of misinformation in your November
Get Online with a Cell Phone
). You stated, “If you have a CDMA cell phone […] you may not have Bluetooth.” In reality, Bluetooth has been available on CDMA-carrier phones for over a year now.
Doctor, my eyes
–I have to write about the presentation of the information in your magazine. On pages 54 and 55 of your November issue, you have a sidebar (
) running across the bottom of the pages. The background for the sidebar is dark blue-purple. The title is orange, so it’s readable. The main text is white and is also readable. The illustrations are gray and visible. But the URLs in the article appear in a blue that’s just slightly different from the background color. Please have your editors check layouts more closely for readability.
Shira Hannah Fischer
—The cover of the November issue showed an iPod nano playing exactly the same song, and at the same place in the song, as the inside cover’s Apple advertisement. Why? When your cover art comes from Apple, it makes me wonder how objective your review really is.
It’s difficult to photograph the iPod and make what’s on screen clear and readable; however, in the case of November’s cover, we took our own photograph of the nano (rather than use one supplied by Apple) at the last possible minute. Purely because of our deadlines, we had to use Apple’s supplied nano screen image. We prefer not to use images supplied by Apple. But sometimes, because of time or product-availability constraints, it’s unavoidable.—Ed.