 Apple fans since 1982

Apple Bytes 6/2004

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The most stable ever…

All of a sudden, with the blink of an eye and the click of his mouse, he simply made it appear on a number of sites. Lo, it was not all home free. The first software update release for 10.3.3 apparently caused a few problems for some. Fortunately just installing the (double sized version,) combo update fixed all issues other than having to reinstall the 5- 24 security update. I cast my vote as well for 10.3.4. I have had no problems yet and it does seem a bit snapier. As Mikey would say, I like it. Others have spoken volumes about this and more will be said too.

Now we wait for Tiger. It was recently announced so we know it will be. Several builds have been created and it is supposed to be officially shown to developers at the forthcoming WWDC next month. Start saving your coins 'cause this one will cost you another 129 dollar bill.

Finally figured out how to activate the security protection on my Airport Extreme. You can see the nework but you can't connect without a password. My Titanium has an 802.11g card and I agree that Aiport Extreme is faster. Up to 54 MB as 802.11g at the same time Airport (802.11b) at up to 11Mbs.

Will the rumors ever stop? I hope not. We still need to have something to talk about…

Kline's Korner
Mac OS X

This update to 10.3 is not only the most stable OS I have ever used, MacFixIt concurs, reporting only token difficulties. Why not? Each update coming with "enhanced functionality and improved reliability", one would have to believe that, if the previous was the most stable, then this latest would certainly have to be even more stable.

As in the past, partial downloads and most any other problems can be fixed by installing the combo updater. Prior to install:

  • Run Disk Utility from the terminal with a command of "diskutil repair Permissions"
  • Boot into single user mode by holding down Command-S and typing "/sbin/fsck –y -f" followed by "exit"

I repaired permissions after the install and reboot and a number of permissions were listed which needed adjustment.

With the biggest security scare not quite not quite closed with 10.3.4 and Security Update 2004-05-24, comfort should come from the fact that there has not been one attack based on any of the reported security holes. There are some useful 3rd-party preferences which give you more control over certain things. We hope to cover two at the next meeting.

More Internet 1.1.1 – is useful for changing the application used by the "Help" protocol from "Help Viewer" to Chess.
"In the Mac OS each Internet Protocol (e.g. http:// , FTP: //) is handled by a specific application of your choice. You can change some of them in Apple's "Internet" preference pane – You can change all of them or add/ remove protocols with the "More Internet" preference pane."

Default Apps – useful for disabling applications such as disk, disks and afp (an ftp protocol.)
"DefaultApp is a preference pane to set the default application used for various URL schemes, file extensions, file types, and MIME types. MacOS X uses the extension and file type settings to choose the application when opening files, and Safari and other applications use the URL and MIME type information for content not related to a file."

Those running OS X 10.2.8 should install the Security Update as it closes a Telnet hole in the Terminal application. Or, you can do nothing. As long as you only visit trusted web pages (ie MacInTouch) you should not be vulnerable.

As M$$$ has promised you that IE will no longer be updated, I trust none you are still using it. As previously mentioned, both Netscape and Mozilla will continue to distance themselves in including the latest web protocols. InformIt has an article which has a similar take on the renewed browser war.

Mozilla is responsible for most of the early shots in this new war.

  • The Mozilla browser is technically better than IE. That is plain fact.
  • Mozilla has innovative and polished user-centric features—that IE doesn't have—such as tab-based browsing. Microsoft has roused from its browser slumber long enough to suggest that the same polished features are coming to IE sometime soon. That alone has raised a few eyebrows.
  • The recent announcement by AOL Time Warner that they will update their own browsers with the latest Mozilla technology also gives Mozilla technology a tick.
  • Mozilla technology just won't go away: Its popularity grows slowly but surely, like tree roots crumbling a rock. As of April 2004, independent statistics show Mozilla to be 4% or more of the global market, but for web developers, use may be as high as 10%. In some markets, such as Germany, use may now be as high as 19%. On some platforms, such as Linux, Mozilla is now the dominant player, and probably swell over 50%. http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=174156

New apartments are coming with built-in internet service.

Ever wanted to capture text in a PDF file you liked? You can usually get most of the text contained in a PDF file copied into your word/text program, even if you only want some of the text. The Acrobat Reader has a "T" or a "Text Select" button which, when selected, allows you to copy and paste text from the .pdf file to any application capable of receiving text. Open a .pdf file and try it.

New domains being considered (.travel & .job ) may make it easier to filter out unwanted url's. For example browsers would be able to screen out sexually explicit material identified by .xxx.


What is Stevie thinking?

That's the $64,000 question. There's a lot of buzz about Jobs' latest move. For those who missed this news because they were watching American Idol, Stevie created a new iPod division and in shuffling around executives, created a new Macintosh division. This latter bit of news shook up a lot of people. How could Apple relegate the Mac to a mere division?

But Macs have long been a division of Apple, and the best known one at that. So far all we really have is a reorganization of the Mac division, and a new one just for the 'Pod. That last part is really interesting. It's going to be (or is) headed by Jon Rubinstein who as we all know was the former head of hardware engineering. That pretty much covered all things Mac-high end, low end, consumer, professional, and all points in-between. Now he's specializing in iPods.

The 'Pod has come a long way since I was harassed into buying one. From the larger form factor of the 5G, to the 40G model that 's smaller than the original, and now to the miniscule mini, it's clear that Apple as put a lot of time and money into the research, development, and marketing of the 'Pod. It has sold millions and made even more so for Apple.

And it doesn't stop with the hardware. iTunes has morphed a few times into something that seems fundamentally the same as v.1.0 but with great new features, some of which tie in tightly to the Apple Music store. Coincidence? I think not.

Now with its own division and Rubinstein at its helm, it's clear that Stevie has not just big, but bigger plans for the most popular music player in the world. Third-party manufacturers have rallied 'round this device with loads of enhancements, extending its range of uses. So what's Stevie got in store besides the AMS? Remember the Apple job ad for a video engineer for iPods? I don't think we'll be watching the next Super Bowl on a 'Pod, but some kind of video is on the way. Perhaps we'll get a color screen showing album cover art while a cut plays. Press a button during that song and on your next sync with iTunes, you've purchased the "CD". I don't know about auto-purchases, but if that cover art thing happens, I'll be buying a lot more Dolly and Charo songs. Does Pammie sing?

So where's that leave our beloved Macs? And my Cube II? And just who the heck is Timothy Cook? A sales guy to head the Mac division?! If he was any good at his previous job, wouldn't we have more than a 3% market share? It's not like Macs were doing so well that we can dial back the sales efforts.

This brings up a scary thought. A lot of people feel that Apple may be easing out of the computer market and into the consumer electronics arena. Knock out unique iterations of products that people didn't even know they needed from the Waaaay Cool Division at Apple. They wouldn't be the first to try this. Look at Sony, Panasonic, and LG. None of them are majoring in the products that gave them their start. So Apple may make the "priciest" music player going, but at least its more affordable than their pricey personal computer line. (Ok, they aren't that pricey.)

Stevie hasn't been making a lot of gains with the G5, in sales or new hardware. This could change soon. He's going to give the keynote again at the WWDC, and he even has the chutzpah to appear at a digital video event in New York City at the same time as the MacWorld Boston Expo (hereafter referred to as MWB). Who says he holds a grudge? We could see a real speed bump in the G5 towers, and maybe a G5 iMac, once again making a splash, or at least a big ripple, in the computing world pond. A G5 Cube or PowerBook isn't likely unless IBM gets really lucky with their 90nm processor. And that ain't anytime soon. (Geeeeze, I'd love to be wrong about all of this.)

And the scariest rumor of all is that Apple has OSX running on an Intel processor. Don't go there!

C'mon, Stevie. Say it ain't so and give us some good news. We can take it.

Until next month– go commando.

June 3rd meeting features…
Another interesting meeting is on tap. We have a special guest speaker, from a well known computer company, to inform us all about fonts. We will discover the real inside scoop on why things are where and how to use Font Book to our best advantage. Be sure to attend and bring a friend.

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