The Status Register - June, 2002


This newsletter will never appear on CUCUG.ORGbefore the monthly CUCUG meeting it is intendedto announce. This is in deference to actual CUCUG members. They get eachedition hot off the presses. If you'd like to join our group, you can getthe pertinent facts by looking in the "Information About CUCUG"page. If you'd care to look at prior editions of the newsletter, they maybe found via the page.
News     Common     PC     Linux     Mac     Amiga     CUCUG

June 2002


To move quickly to an article of your choice, use the search feature ofyour reader or the hypertext directory above. Enjoy.

June News:

The June Meeting

The next CUCUG meeting will be held on our regular third Thursday of themonth: Thursday, June 20th, at 7:00 pm (Linux SIG, one hour earlier), atthe Illinois Technology Center. Directions to the ITC are at the end ofthis newsletter.

The June 20 gathering will be one of our split SIG meetings. The Linux SIGwill address the command line interface, it's commands and their uses. JackMelby will be presenting a CD of shareware and freeware utilities to theMacintosh SIG and will be demonstrating several of them. The PC SIG will belooking at laptops, discussing laptop components as they specify and pricecompare various units/configurations.

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Welcome Renewing Member

We'd like to welcome back our returning member, Bill Zwicky. Bill's doneseveral programs for the club over the years and contributes a lot duringdiscussions. He's a valued member and we're glad to have him back.

We welcome any kind of input or feedback from members. Run across aninteresting item or tidbit on the net? Just send the link to the editor.Have an article or review you'd like to submit? Send it in. Have a comment?Email any officer you like. Involvement is the driving force of any usergroup. Welcome to the group.

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Mac OS X 10.1.5 Released

/10-Jun-02

Apple has released Mac OS X 10.1.5, bringing incremental improvements toapplications, networking, and third party peripherals. Adding more spokesto the digital hub concept, Mac OS X 10.1.5 adds support for new Canondigital cameras, Nikon FireWire cameras, and external disc recorders fromSmartDisk, EZQuest, and LaCie, as well as magneto-optical (MO) drives. Mailand Sherlock have received stability tweaks, and Quartz anti-aliasing oftext is now offered for applications that support it (such as the recentlyreleased Microsoft Office X Service Release 1). In terms of networking,iDisk access has been improved, as has file searching on local and remotevolumes, and navigating Windows NT file servers via AFP (Apple FilingProtocol). Mac OS X 10.1.5 is available through Software Update, or as astand-alone 21.4 MB download for users of Mac OS X 10.1.3 or 10.1.4; aseparate 45.1 MB Mac OS X Update Combo 10.1.5 should be used to updateversions 10.1 through 10.1.2. [JLC]




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eMacs for Everyone

/10-Jun-02

In a surprising move, Apple has announced that it is now selling theall-in-one eMac to anyone who wants one, barely a month after introducingthe low-cost, CRT-based system solely for the education market. (See "AppleRolls out Education eMac and Faster PowerBooks" in TidBITS-628_.) The movebrings the clunky cathode-ray tube display back to Apple's mainstreamproduct line after a much-touted shift to an all-LCD lineup with theflat-screen iMac, but there's one strong reason for the reversal: theeMac's $1,100 price tag puts a 700 MHz PowerPC G4 within reach of moreconsumers, some of whom are still balking at the flat-screen iMac's $1,400minimum price tag. The default configuration of the eMac will ship with 128MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard disk, along with a CD-RW drive and a 56K modem(which weren't standard on the education version). Of course, the eMacstill features a 17-inch CRT display, built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet, twoFireWire ports, five USB ports, and an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphicscontroller; an AirPort card can be added for wireless networking. [GD]



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Apple Speed Bumps iBooks

/20-May-02

Apple today announced an update to the slick iBook line that adds fasterCPUs, 512K on-chip L2 cache, a more powerful ATI Mobility Radeon graphicsprocessor with 16 MB of RAM and AGP 2X, larger hard drives, and a newvideo-out port. You can now buy the iBook that has a 12.1-inch screen witheither 600 MHz or 700 MHz PowerPC G3 processors and 20, 30, or 40 GB harddrives; the 14.1-inch screen model features the 700 MHz processor andeither a 30 or 40 GB hard drive. With both iBooks you can choose between aCD-ROM drive and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive and how much RAM you want(starting at either 128 MB or 256 MB, maxing out at 640 MB). Both modelsalso retain their two USB ports, FireWire port, AirPort compatibility, 56Kbps V.90 modem, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and built-in microphone andspeakers. Pricing starts at $1,200 for the 12.1-inch screen models and$1,650 for the 14.1-inch models. Despite the lack of anything revolutionaryhere, these changes make a very good computer even better. [ACE]

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Virtual PC 5.0.3 Released

/03-Jun-02

Connectix has updated Virtual PC to version 5.0.3, adding new features andfixing bugs. The program's new Password Protection feature prevents usersfrom modifying a virtual machine's settings, exiting full-screen mode, orcreating or deleting virtual machines. Virtual PC 5.0.3 also addsSockets-Based Shared Networking (SBSN) under Mac OS X, improving accessbetween computers on a network, and adds more control over COM port usagein the virtual machine. Addressing performance issues, Connectix also addedCPU usage controls, which enable you to dictate how much processor time isused when Virtual PC is the foreground or background application. And forusers whose keyboards lack a forward-delete key (such as PowerBooks andiBooks), a new Type CTRL-ALT-DEL menu item is available when Windows locksup. The 5.0.3 update is a free update for owners of Virtual PC 5.0 andlater, and is a 10.1 MB download. [JLC]


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Eudora 5.1.1 Finally Ships for Mac OS X

/03-Jun-02

Qualcomm has released the long-awaited final version of Eudora 5.1.1 forboth Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. Eudora users still running Mac OS 9 willappreciate a few small bug fixes, but the big news is the availability ofEudora for Mac OS X. Don't expect major changes - what you'll get under MacOS X is almost all of Eudora's capabilities in a carbonized application.One important change with Mac OS X: Eudora is now a package containing allthe ancillary files and folders for plug-ins and user dictionaries(Control-click the Eudora application, choose Show Package Contents, andopen the Contents/MacOS folder for access to the Eudora Stuff folder).Eudora 5.1.1 is a free update for those who paid for Eudora during or afterApril of 2001, while upgrades for those who bought Eudora before then cost$30, and new versions cost $40: details are on the Eudora Web site. Ofcourse, you can still use all of Eudora's features for free in Sponsoredmode with ads, or a reduced set of features without ads in Lite mode.Eudora 5.1.1 for Mac OS X is a 4.0 MB download; 4.3 MB for Mac OS 9. Ifyou're already using Eudora, you can get links to the installers anddocumentation by clicking "Find the latest update to Eudora" from thePayment & Registration command on the Help menu: if you're using Paid mode,the page will also tell you whether you need to pay for the 5.1.1 upgrade.[ACE]



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Mozilla 1.0 released

From: Barry Steenbergh ()
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 12:37:48 -0400 (EDT)

Hi all,

      In case you didn't hear Mozilla 1.0 was released.

CNet's review:

Download it at:

The mozilla site was VERY slow for me though at June 6, 2002 12:37EDT.

Haven't yet tried it myself but CNet liked it...7 outta 10 rating.

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AMD cuts prices to match Intel

By John G. Spooner
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 30, 2002, 7:25 AM PT
URL:

Advanced Micro Devices has slashed prices of its desktop and mobile Athlonprocessors just days after a similar move by rival Intel.

The cuts range from 17 percent to 52 percent for mobile Athlon XP chips andbetween 11 percent and 32 percent for desktop Athlon XP chips. On Sunday,Intel dropped prices of its Pentium 4 processors by as much as 53 percent.

The AMD price cuts help the company keep pace with Intel.

"We're going to do what it takes to stay competitive" on prices, said an AMDrepresentative.

AMD's move is also designed to clear out inventory and make way for fasternew desktop and mobile processors. The company is expected to introduce anew Athlon XP 2200+ 1.8GHz desktop chip early next month, followed by a newmobile Athlon XP 1800+.

Intel has long used price cuts as a tool to speed the adoption of its newchips. Last year, it cut Pentium 4 prices quickly to speed up theintroduction of new versions.

Spring price wars are an annual ritual for the chipmakers. AMD's aggressiveprice-chopping means the company doesn't want to give up market share gains,even at the cost of losses on the bottom line, analysts said.

In a recent research note, Merrill Lynch analyst Joseph Osha said he cameaway impressed with AMD's "tenacity" against Intel and added that thechipmaker is in good shape to "fight the good fight." But he noted that theprice cuts will mean "low margins for AMD over the next three quarters."

Nevertheless, AMD has gained a respectable amount of market share from Intelin the last year and a half, especially in Europe and Asia. As of the end ofthe first quarter, AMD's market share was 18.2 percent, according to MercuryResearch.

To hold those market share gains, however, AMD cut prices across the board.

AMD dropped its top three desktop Athlon XP chips by as much as one-third,for example. The 2100+ chip moved from $330 to $224, a 32 percentreduction, while the 2000+ went from $280 to $193, a 31 percent cut, andthe 1900+ was reduced 22 percent, from $220 to $172.

Price cuts for the company's mobile chips were even steeper for thecompany's mobile processors.

AMD's top mobile Athlon XP chip, the 1700+, dropped by 52 percent, from $489to $235. Meanwhile, the company trimmed the 1600+ by 49 percent, from $380to $192; the mobile 1500+ by 30 percent, from $250 to $175; and the 1400+from $190 to $150, a 21 percent drop.

Battling Intel

When it comes to cutting chip prices, Intel historically has had anadvantage over AMD. Notably, Intel has been able to cut prices onlower-priced chips because it dominates on high-end--and high-margin--chips.

"We expect Intel to dust off its tactic of using high margins in segmentsthat AMD can't address to subsidize aggressive pricing in markets where AMDis competing," Osha said.

Simply put, AMD has less of a cushion to fall back on. Price cuts pinchprofits at either company by lowering the average selling price ofprocessors. For AMD, the severity of price cuts is often the differencebetween profits and losses.

Where Intel has remained profitable despite price cuts, AMD has had troublestaying in the black, reporting losses in the last three quarters. Thecompany is expected to report a loss of 9 cents a share for the secondquarter, ending June 30, according to First Call.

Typically, AMD has been hurt more deeply by price cuts. During the firstquarter of 2002, for example, it increased processor shipments from thefourth quarter of 2001, topping 8 million, but processor revenue declined by3 percent sequentially. In effect, the company sold more chips for lessmoney than in the fourth quarter.

AMD has managed, however, to make greater inroads into the notebook andserver market. Those new markets may help it hold the line somewhat onaverage selling prices because those chips generally cost more than desktopchips.

But Intel is unlikely to let up the pressure, with faster chips coming downthe pike.

Intel is eyeing the 3GHz mark on the desktop and could possibly hit 2GHzwith its Pentium 4-M mobile chip by the end of the year. With new, fasterversions of the chip coming, Intel will cut prices to motivate PC makers tomove up to the new chips.

It is also working to boost demand for Pentium 4-M notebooks. So far,notebooks with the chip haven't sold as expected, according to analysts,especially in the corporate market. Price cuts could prompt consumers topurchase the machines in greater numbers.

"Intel has been extremely protective of its mobile market share in the past,and AMD has less history here than in the desktop" market, Osha said.

But AMD won't sit still. The company is expected to march forward withfaster Athlon XP processors as well on both desktops and notebooks. It willbegin shipping its first new "Hammer" processor at the end of the year. Thechip, which will debut to the public in the first quarter of 2003, will runat 2GHz or faster, the company has said.

The company also cut prices on its desktop and mobile Duron processorsbetween 7 percent and 14 percent and reduced its Athlon MP processors forservers between 12 percent and 25 percent.

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Folding at Home Progress Report

by Kevin Hisel ()

CUCUG is now the 137th most productive team in the Folding at Homeproject. Folding at Home is a way for you to donate your unusedcomputer CPU cycles to a good cause--protein research that maysome day lead to treatments of cures for disease.

For more information about how to join the team, see the CUCUGFolding at Home Team page at:

It's easy to join the team and contribute to this worthy cause.

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Common Ground:

Marker pens, sticky tape crack music CD protection

By John Leyden
Posted: 14/06/2002 at 12:45 GMT
URL:

Music disc copyright protection schemes such a Cactus Data Shield 100/200and KeyAudio can be circumvented using tools as basic as marker pens andelectrical tape, crackers have discovered.

The Blue Peter-style hack, which was first unearthed by a reader of chip.deworks by covering up the outer ring of a copyright protected audio disc.

On copy protected discs this outer track is corrupted, which preventscopying, or even playback, by PCs but is ignored (at least in theory) byregular CD players.

[Editor's Note: A Reuter's article went into a little more detail stating:

Sony's proprietary technology, deployed on many recent releases, works by adding a track to the copy-protected disc that contains bogus data.

Because computer hard drives are programmed to read data files first, the computer will continuously try to play the bogus track first. It never gets to play the music tracks located elsewhere on the compact disc.

The effect is that the copy-protected disc will play on standard CD players but not on computer CD-Rom drives, some portable devices and even some car stereo systems.]

Simply covering up the outer track disables the protection, allowing a discto be played as normal in a PC or Mac.

The cracking technique seems crude, but Reg reader "insomnia skunk" tells ushe was able to use it to defeat the copyright protection on NatalieImbruglia's 'White Lilies Island' CD, early version of which used CactusData Shield 200 anti-rip technology.

He writes: "The process is pretty easy: I took a bit of electrical tape andapplied it to the edge of the CD, the 'shiny side', - just a half inch ofthe stuff - and aligned it with the very edge 'data track session ring'visible on these copy protected CDs. Took the tape out to the outside ofthe CD and put it in my CD Rom."

"And guess what - it played, and ripped, with no problems at all," he adds.

Celine Dion ate my iMac

Record labels are beginning to ship discs with copy protection technologyas a means to tackle music piracy at source, by preventing tracks beenripped on PCs and posted onto the Internet file sharing sites.

Epic/Sony's release of Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come audio disc thismonth, which included copy protection technology from Key2Audio, caused afuror after online sites reported that attempts to play the disc on a PCcaused computers to crash.

The problem can be even more severe for Mac users.

Not only will the Celine Dion audio disc fail to play on new flat-screeniMacs but it will lock the CD tray and prevent the machine from beenrebooted properly. This is not something users can fix themselves and meansa trip to a dealer for repairs. An article on Apple's knowledge baseexplains the issue in more depth.

Jim Peters, of the Campaign for Digital Rights, which is protesting againstmusic industry plans to market copy-protected audio discs, said the problemis caused by labels in creating non-standard and corrupt audio CDs, whichApple can't be expected to have tested against.

"It is clearly Sony's fault, and their warning 'Will not work on PC/Mac'isn't the whole truth - it should be 'Will not work on PC /Will kill youriMac'," said Peters.

The symbol for a corrupt CD should be that used for poison - the skull andcrossbones, he adds. The CDR has set up Web site documenting Sony's use ofcorrupt audio discs, aka "copy-protected CDs".

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Save power and still use Infrared (Palm III)

from Emil Cobb ()

Switching off the 'Beam Receive' option in the preferences->general savesprecious energy, as the Palm scans for IR signals continuously when thisoption is turned on. Switching this option off still allows you to sendstuff, but not to receive it without turning it back on first (and offagain to save energy... pretty tedious).

However, you can switch the IR receiver ON for just one transmission bywriting the following sequence in the graffiti area: shortcut, double tap,and an i (the first character of 'Infrared'...) This pops up a windowinforming you that the Palm is looking for an infrared transmission. Youcan either cancel this window, wait till it times out after a 5 seconds, or... receive the transmission (you didn't really expect somethingspectacular now, did you?).

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Recommended Links

From: George Krumins ()

NVIDIA announces new Pixel and Vertex Shader language
Posted by: Joseph Tan, Thursday, 13 June 2002

URL:

GETTING INTO CHARACTER: ILM Sticks with SOFTIMAGE|3D for Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

URL:

Hot new burners coming
From: Jim Huls
Posted: Wed May 29, 2002 10:13 pm

You might find this interesting as a hint of things to come.

URL:

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Camera Saga

From: Jim Lewis ()

Do you guys remember 'Creative Computers' from the Amiga old-days? I don'tknow if you also remember that they routinely advertised out-of-stock (ormaybe ONE-in-stock) products in an effort to do a 'legal' bait-and-switchafter you placed the order and got your expectations up. My experienceswith them were *never* positive with mail orders. The only times I boughtfrom these people with confidence was at a computer show where they had abooth and I could actually put my hands on the stuff first!! I figuredthey were long gone by now.

But *NO*, they're still at it under some new (and possibly familiar names)!I bought a 1.3mp digital camera from an outfit called 'ecost.com' onTuesday (solid basic camera, USB, CF memory.. CHEAP). They were listed ona site called Pricegrabber.com for $30 less than the nearest competitor,but with a smaller CF memory card. No biggie, as I plan to buy a larger CFcard later anyway.

I got an order confirmation back right away that day, so I was pleased.This morning I went back to check on the shipping status and.. SURPRISE!!

Here's the relevant info:

******************************************************
Item Status Product Description Qty Price
item canceled SC-1300 1.3MP DIGI CAM (SIPIX) 1 $69.00
******************************************************

The explanation of 'item cancelled' below the box is:

*********************************************
*item canceled - This item is no longer
available from Creative Computers and
therefore cannot ship.
*********************************************

CREATIVE COMPUTERS? To say I was a bit surprised would be anunderstatement! Of course, I was able to find the same item in stock (atTigerDirect) for $30 more (but 2x as much CF memory). No surprise there,once I realized who I was dealing with. Just for grins, I did a littlesnooping on these clowns:

*********************************************C:\>nslookup creativecomputers.comNon-authoritative answer:Name:    creativecomputers.com (re-directs to PCMall!!)Address:  209.233.130.34C:\>nslookup ecost.comNon-authoritative answer:Name:    ecost.comAddress:  209.233.130.43C:\>nslookup pcmall.comNon-authoritative answer:Name:    pcmall.comAddress:  209.233.130.34C:\>nslookup macmall.comName:    macmall.com (I put 2+2 together and checked this URL as well.)Address:  209.233.130.40**********************************************
It seems that these IPs confirm it's all the same bunch of shysters. DejaVu, all over again :^)

I can't imagine how these guys have survived for this long with that kind ofapproach. I guess maybe you *can* 'fool most of the people, all of thetime'.

Jeezus!!

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The PC Section:

Hot to get your *fast* file-search back under Windows XP!!

From: Jim Lewis () with an assist fromKevin Hisel ()

1. Start regedit.exe.
2. Navigate to theHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CabinetState subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, String Value.
4. Enter 'Use Search Asst' as the new string value.
5. Double-click the new value, type 'no' in the "Value data" field, andclick OK.
6. Close the registry editor.

I have implemented this hack and it works beautifully. If you want to usethe default (slow) Search Assistant, just enter 'yes' in the "Value Data"field.

I have also posted this in the WinSig Forum [at] Starship CUCUG II...

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Beyond Compare

by Kevin Hisel ()

I just ran across a rather obscure Windows application that Idownloaded and was blown away by.

I needed to compare two lists of web links and none of the standardtricks seemed to be working. I downloaded Beyond Compare() and could not believe how cool andhow easy it was. This program reduced a chore that I estimated wasgoing to take 3 hours down to 10 minutes.

If you ever need to compare two files--source code, text, HTML, etc.--Beyond Compare will make the task easy and accurate.

The download has a 30-day free trial timeout so you can try it before youbuy it. It's $30 to register a single-user license.

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Powertoys for Windows XP

by Kevin Hisel ()

Powertoys for Windows XP have been re-released. Go here:

The 'toys' are all now separate files, so you can just download the onesyou want. It appears they all come with installers so installation should beeasy going. You must uninstall your old Powertoys first, though.

If you don't know what Powertoys are, go check them out. This is acollection of applications for Windows XP that provide helpful featuresand extends the capabilities of the OS. One Powertoy in particular youshould consider is TweakUI which provides dozens of helpful tweaksand control over the settings of Windows XP.

Thanks to CUCUG President Lewis for the heads-up on this.

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Recommended Links

from Kevin Hisel ()

Here are some semi-interesting recent stories:

Wal-mart is now shipping PCs with Lindows...yes, Lindows

British enthusiast downlinks spy plane images on satellite TV

Microsoft comes out against hardware-based copy protection

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Two Helpful Applications

From: Skal Loret ()
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 08:27:36 -0700

I have found that the two points of corruption are the registry and thelittle "extra" files that Windows creates. I have also posted, many times,names of the two applications that I have found that kept me, in about 2years of running 98SE, from having to do the incremental HD Nuke Tango.

They are:

Mijenix PowerTools(sic) Suite, for the defragmentation and registrymaintenance.

Evidence Eraser for the cleaning up of the crap that Windows produces.

They work, and are worth every bit they cost, if not more.

Agita has a price, ya' know...

The other solution is to run a Journaled file system.

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From Lockergnome Windows Daily

from Jim Lewis" ()

Here are some interesting programs and info gleaned from the June 2002issues of Lockergnome Windows Daily. This newsletter is written by ChrisPirillo, host of TechTV's 'Call For Help'. It has lots of stuff useful forNewbies and Savvy users alike.

You can subscribe at:

http://www.lockergnome.com

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Remember "Taglines" in the BBS days? Those funny little one-liners that getappended to your email signature are back in this Freeware application:

Random Tagline Manager v4.4.2 [2.6M] W9x/2k FREE


{A new signature every time} Having a signature at the bottom of your e-mailadds an extra nice touch of personality to your messages. Ya know, as longas you're not quoting the entire second act of King Lear. They're not badfor business contacts, either. Still, people shouldn't have to look at thesame boring signature every time they receive a message from you - so havethis program pick one for you (randomly). Variety is the spice of life, asthey say. "The install contains over 6500 taglines, but you can add MANYMANY more to the database, or replace these taglines with your ownselection. See features page for full listing of features." Also availablefrom the site: TimeTrek: "displays the time, date, day of week. Includes anAlarm, plus a Countdown & Countup type display. Small Desktop footprint;Works with Multiple users; Minimize to System Tray; Displays current phaseof Moon."

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Have you ever wished you could capture a graphic image from a PDF document?Of course you could always do a screen capture and then load the image intoyour favorite paint program to clean it up...But there's a better way. Check it out:

PDF Explorer v1.4 Beta [1.0M] W9x/2k/XP FREE


{Keep Adobe files organized} If you tend to create a lot of PDFs, you mayneed this application at one time or another - especially when it becomesdifficult to find a specific document because you have so dang many of them.Which file included that logo I made? Explore for it! You can even extractimage files from those pre- made documents. "Using the fast search andselect tools, classify your PDF collection over multiple disks, and stopsearching for that file that doesn't want to appear. In the CollectorGrid,it's possible to collect rows from the ScanGrid from multiple scans toprocess later; batch Tools are now implemented; rename filename as title;fast read function (like Fast Edit but without edit fields); auto Update ofchanged info fields option in preferences; possibility to change theappearance of grids, colors and font in preferences; works okay with Acrobat4.0 and 5.0." Certainly, if you have more than 100 PDFs on your hard drive,you'll find this tool to be a terrific time saver.

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Do you dual-boot with Linux? Do you need to transfer files from the Linuxarea to your Windows area? Here's the way to do it:

Ext2Shell

"Ext2Shell is a dynamic link library that will give Windows Explorer theability to explore Linux ext2 / ext3 file systems. You can explore yourLinux system exactly the same way you can with NTFS / FAT16 / FAT32partitions. Copy files from your Linux partition to Windows units via Dragand Drop. The installation / uninstallation is very simple; Ext2Shell isinstalled with the Windows Installer. The utility is 'read only' at themoment (you can only copy files from Linux to Windows, not the reverse). Oneof the consequences is that it is impossible for Ext2Shell to break yourfile system. Improved the user interface by adjusting the way file size isdisplayed to resemble standard folders; copy code completely rewritten; nomore temporary files and a significant performance improvement." Perfect foryou Penguin Shellers out there!

ToC

Here's an alternative way to retrieve messages from your free Yahoo emailaccount. Recently Yahoo stopped providing POP3 forwarding service on itsfree accounts. Here's another way to restore the POP3 access to your Yahooaccounts:

YahooPOPs! v0.2 [373k] W9x/2k/XP FREE

"It's available on the Windows and Unix platforms. This application emulatesa POP3 server and enables popular email clients like Outlook, Netscape,Eudora, Mozilla, Calypso, etc., to download email from Yahoo! accounts. Wedo not go against the license agreements of Yahoo! Mail. This application iscompletely legitimate and well within the realms of legal software. One day,I stumbled across a Perl script called FetchYahoo, which almost did what Iwanted. It downloaded emails from Yahoo's website and presented them in aformat such that email clients like Netscape and Pine could read them. But,the format in which it saved the emails is not supported by all emailclients, including the one that I use. Making a layman install Perl and toget a Perl script to work could be a nightmare. So, YahooPOPs! was born.YahooPOPs! is an open-source initiative to provide free POP3 access to yourYahoo! Mail account."

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Here's a CDDB-like way to catalog your DVDs:

My Review: DVD Profiler Software
Scribbled by Ryan White

I first started subscribing right before your move to California, and didn'teven realize that I had TechTV on my cable system. Before I begin to babbletoo much, I thought that I would point you to a great little utility that Ifound: DVD Profiler. I am unsure if you or Jake have ever mentioned itbefore. It is shareware, but only requires a free registration for a fullyoperational version. I didn't see any spyware installed on my system, and it'sreally nice and easy to use. All you have to do is enter the UPC code fromyour DVD and it automatically grabs the information about the DVD including:special features, a list of the cast, running time, etc. Unfortunately itdoesn't support other media formats at this time (like Movie Collectorz),but it doesn't have the 25-title limit for the free version. I was trying tofind some way to categorize my DVDs - and I know that you also have a largecollection. I just thought that I should try to give something back to theLockergnome community after all of the things that you, Furo, Jake (andAdam), and the other Gnomies have provided me. Note from site: "Premiumregistrants may choose to disable the ad component that runs in the freeversion of DVD Profiler."

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Finally, here's a little Amiga lore for all you die-hards:

On AIFF and Amigas
Scribbled by Banzai Kai

In a recent show, you made an aside while discussing an AIFF file - to theeffect of noting that the Amigas used this file type. Not so. Here's thescoop on Amiga files from an Amigaphile. Back when they were first designingthe Ami 1000, Commodore (CBM) got together with Electronic Arts to design aseries of programs that would show off the machine. These were: DeluxePaint, Deluxe Music, and Deluxe Video. The guys (and gals) at EA decided tomake the files compatible between the programs. This way, anything you didin DPaint or DMusic could be imported into DVideo without a hitch. Theynamed this format "IFF," for "Interchangeable File Format." CBM loved it somuch, that they adopted it as a standard file type for all Amigas andapplications.

It worked like this: every file saved in IFF would have a 64-byte "header"at the start of the file. In that header (byte #12 if memory serves) arefour characters that identify what type of file it is. If it was an"InterLaced Bit Map," you'd see an "ILBM" written there. If it was an 8-bitsound file, you'd see an "8SVX" in there, and so on. The neatest thing aboutIFF was that if a new program came out that did something new, you'd merelyhave to add a new listing for the file type (say "JPEG" for a jpeg), and addit to the IFF database (contained in the "iffparse.library").

When a program would try to open an IFF, it would scan the file header,determine if it was a correct file that it could deal with, and either openor display an error. Cool. The amazing thing is, all this was done back in1985. Before Windows 3.x, before Mac OS 5.x, even before Atari TOS. The bestthing is, you didn't need to have a "dot-3" extension on any file (much likethe Macs and Linux boxes today), since the file header would be scanned forthe correct file type. The header, by the way, also identified the programthat created the file, which, if present on the system, would launch to openthe file (if not present, it would give you an "invalid tool type" error,and you'd have to figure out which program to use). Incidentally, AIFF, wav,snd, and other sound files can easily be converted to / from Amiga IFF usinga version of "Sox" (also available on Linux boxes). To buy an Amiga (orupgrade one), talk to the folks at SOFTHUT.COM.

ToC

The Linux Section:

Unified Linux effort won't faze Red Hat

By Stephen Shankland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 31, 2002, 5:45 AM PT
URL:

A move by four sellers of Linux to unite behind a single version of theoperating system might help those allies--and boost Linux's popularity--butit isn't likely to dent the dominance of the top dog, Red Hat.

Turbolinux and Caldera International in the United States, Conectiva inBrazil, and SuSE in Germany announced Thursday that they will merge theirseparate Linux products into a single version called UnitedLinux by the endof the year. The intent of the plan is for the companies to share researchcosts and to make it easier for software and hardware companies to certifythat their products work with Linux.

Although the move might boost the allies' fortunes modestly, it probablywon't turn the tables on dominant Linux seller Red Hat. Even pullingtogether, the UnitedLinux allies simply don't have enough clout to influencethe market, said analysts.

"Very little will change," said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky, who monitors theworldwide sales and revenue of Linux and other operating systems. "If youadd up all those people's market share by shipments, it adds up to less than20 percent of the market. Red Hat has at least twice that share."

The UnitedLinux name is something of a misnomer because the groupconspicuously neglected to invite Red Hat until the day before theannouncement, and few expect the Raleigh, N.C., company to sign on. Alsomissing are MandrakeSoft, whose software is used on PCs and higher-poweredservers, and Sun Microsystems, which plans to unveil a Red Hat-based versionof Linux in the summer.

"It's definitely a pooling of resources in an effort to gain critical massas a viable alternative to the dominant Linux seller, Red Hat," saidIlluminata analyst David Freund. "They are essentially trying to perform anencirclement maneuver geographically."

Mark de Visser, Red Hat vice president of marketing, said that trimming thenumber of Linux versions is a good way to win support from softwarecompanies, but he added that his company has no plans to join the newalliance. "We have that application support today," he said.

UnitedLinux might not be a miracle cure for its members' financial woes, butit's good for Linux, according to analysts, its members and even Red Hat.And Linux could use a shot in the arm.

A needed lift

When Linux was booming along with the Internet and the high-tech economy inthe late 1990s, the four main sellers of Linux were Red Hat, SuSE, Calderaand Turbolinux. Each signed support agreements with IBM, critical steps ingranting serious credibility to the comparatively young operating system,which began in 1991 as the hobby of Linus Torvalds, then a computer-sciencestudent.

Boosted by an open-source programming method that let companies collaborateand drew swarms of loyal programmers to the cause, Linux rose to the pointwhere Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer named it the company's No. 1threat.

Now times have become more desperate. Start-ups such as Mission CriticalLinux and Linuxcare faltered. SuSE and Caldera have undergone job cuts andreorganizations, while Turbolinux has refocused on higher-level software.Even Red Hat has only flirted with profitability, with $79 million inrevenue for its fiscal year ended Feb. 28.

Linux companies, like all others, now scrape for every computing dollarspent and take any measure possible to eke out an advantage overcompetitors. Out of this dire environment, UnitedLinux was born.

UnitedLinux pools some resources while giving much of the technologicalcontrol to SuSE--a recognition of the reality that SuSE was the only Linuxseller that had a development staff with depth comparable to Red Hat's.

"I almost don't consider Caldera and Turbolinux to be in the Linuxdistribution business anymore," said Bill Claybrook, an analyst at marketresearch firm Aberdeen Group.

Indeed, the combined efforts from the other companies will boost SuSE'sdevelopment staff only by about one-third, said Holger Dyroff, director ofNorth American sales for SuSE and the company's former chief executive.

The first version of UnitedLinux, set to debut early in the last quarter ofthis year, will essentially be the next version of SuSE's advanced serveredition augmented with other companies' features, Dyroff said. Thoseimprovements include better support for Asian language characters fromTurbolinux and basic "failover" software from Conectiva, which lets oneserver take over when another fails.

SuSE's work to gain all-important certification from hardware and softwarecompanies will carry through to the UnitedLinux version, Dyroff said.

With UnitedLinux, each company will sell the same base package of Linux--thekernel at the heart of the software and several higher-level softwarepackages such as user interfaces and configuration tools. They willdifferentiate in marketing and sales techniques, adding their owncomponents, such as Caldera's Volution or Turbolinux's PowerCockpitmanagement software.

While the companies are pooling developers and research funding, each willkeep revenue from the products and services it sells, Dyroff said.

To succeed, UnitedLinux will have to avoid problems that have waylaid priorconsortia in which competitors have tried to cooperate, IDC's Kusnetzkysaid.

"Who's managing this? Is this going to turn out to be a waltz for fourpeople?" he said. "Without any management, this looks to me exactly like theunification efforts of the Unix community in the 1980s, the ACE Initiative.There were a whole bunch of players, no clear leader and a wonderful,dramatic announcement that resulted in no products."

AT&T's ACE Initiative in 1991 sought to unify interfaces that higher-levelprograms would use to communicate with different versions of Unix, but themove failed to fix the fragmented Unix market. UnitedLinux, by contrast,uses identical Linux software at its foundation, not merely compatibleversions of Unix.

Who will gain?

SuSE increased its revenue 40 percent to $35 million in 2001 and believesthe UnitedLinux effort will let the company achieve its goal to increaserevenue a further 25 percent to 30 percent in 2002, Dyroff said.

Conectiva hopes to gain wider support by tapping into UnitedLinux'scertification by major software and hardware companies "that are mainlyoutside our reach," a Conectiva representative said in a conference callThursday. "This will strengthen our capability to deal with large projects."

The biggest beneficiaries, though, likely won't be the UnitedLinux members,but rather companies that are hobbled by having to support a wide number ofLinux versions.

"For us, life is going to be much easier because of UnitedLinux," saidJoseph Reger, chief technology officer of Fujitsu-Siemens, which has to sellits products with different versions of Linux for different geographicalareas.

IBM and Hewlett-Packard, the two largest server sellers, each said they'dsupport UnitedLinux while making it clear Red Hat isn't losing out.

"Our platforms going forward will be Red Hat and UnitedLinux," said JudyChavez, director of HP's Linux program office. UnitedLinux helps HP achieveLinux support with partners such as Oracle, BEA Systems and SAP, she said.

"IBM will fully support UnitedLinux across our entire portfolio of hardwareand software and services," said Scott Handy, director for Linux softwaresolutions at IBM, adding, "We will continue to support Red Hat aggressivelyacross the same portfolio."

But making Linux easier for software and hardware companies to support, andtherefore for customers to buy, might actually backfire for UnitedLinux.

"The more Linux gets accepted in the enterprise, the bigger advantage RedHat has," Aberdeen's Claybrook said. "If Linux moves into the enterprise 50percent faster, then Red Hat is going to gain 75 percent of the advantage."

ToC

The Macintosh Section:

Apple's Xserve rack-mounted server

From: Perry The Cynic ()
Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 07:51:02 -0400

On Wed, May 15, 2002 at 09:24:05PM -0400, Mike Whybark wrote:

      Am I on crack, or does this rock?

I cannot speak to your state of intoxication. :-) As for degree of rockiness,as always, there good news and not-so-good news.

The good news is that power-wise, this is a significant improvement overthe status quo. DDR memory, fast/wide (66MHz/64bit) PCI slots, multipleIDE channels are a Real Advance (and also Way Overdue). This box does,computer-wise, blow away the "top of the line" Power Macs as they existtoday.

The bad news is that it's easy to do that. The up-to-now "high end" Macsaren't anymore, and haven't been for a while. 2GB RAM capacity is low bytoday's server standards (4GB is standard, >8GB if you're into "highend"). DDR memory is standard Out There (that or RDRAM, but it looks likeDDR is winning). The 1GHz G4 is competitive with (say) Athlon MP1800s, butjust barely (or, more likely, not quite anymore). So this isn't a BoldLeap Forward into the lead, it's a Long Overdue Catch-Up.

In fact, Xserve looks like it's aimed squarely at the low-end co-locationmarket, for companies who want to just plug in a box at their ISP and walkaway. It fits into the typical ISP co-location infrastructure (GigabitEthernet, 1U, serial port(! :-), etc.) and still has OS X "warm and fuzzy"interfaces for people who don't get thrilled at command line interfacesover ssh (though it supports that, too). In this market, box pricingactually isn't the most important factor; if you price out 1U co-location,the price of the box is almost incidental to the price of the whole package,and the cost of a few "have to fly to the ISP to fix a problem" events caneasily exceed the cost of the box itself. (Did you notice the onsite repairoptions? If your offices are in Upper Podunk, IA, and your ISP is inSan Jose, CA, then having Apple go there for repairs means *you* don't haveto fly there.) In other words, that's one market where reliability andpredictability are worth money the customer can smell.

Don't for a moment think this is a "high end" server by today's standards.High end is multiple SCSI channels with hardware raid (or OS software thatdoes raid right - raid-5 that is). Ignore the marketing mumble about howfour IDE drives are better than SCSI; that's just baloney. It's much*cheaper* though, and good enough for a large variety of applications(particularly streaming video). High End also requires clustering features,which OS X hasn't gotten so far. Your proud rack of 42 Xserve boxes (featuredimpressively in marketing pictures) is 42 separate computers, and quiteunlike one computer with 42 times the power.

A word of warning to those who want to install Xserve in their living room.Figure out how *loud* this baby is first; rack-mount computers tend to bequite loud (fans and power supply); after all, who cares? I couldn't findthe decibel numbers in Apple's literature, which means that "surprisinglyquiet" is not an attribute they think applies. :-)

Also note that if you stick Xserve into your audio/video stack, you betterhave plenty of airflow behind it. All of its heat gets thrown back there, andyou better have an external fan to forward it, or at least several feetof room. Even if your Xserve doesn't die the Heat Death, it may well causeyour less-robust audio components to die prematurely from heat prostration.

In total, I'm pretty excited about this box. Now I'm cheering for featureslike that in a workstation form factor...

ToC

Corrupt Audio Discs Stick in Mac's Craw

by Adam C. Engst ()
/20-May-02

Accustomed to playing CDs in your Mac? Beware. A number of music labelshave released intentionally corrupt audio discs in Europe and the U.S. thatlook like industry standard CDs and even play in some CD players (see FatChuck's Corrupt CDs site and the Campaign for Digital Rights site forlists). But if you ignore or fail to notice the "Will not play on PC/Mac"warning label on the outside of the package - if it's even present - youmight be in for a rude surprise.


These audio discs use a copy prevention (a more accurate term than "copyprotection") scheme that makes them incompatible with the Red Book formatthat defines the Compact Disc standard. The desired result is that thediscs should play in normal audio CD players, but not in computer CDdrives. (See "Copyright: Who Should Benefit?" in TidBITS-618_ foradditional coverage of this topic.)

The disc failing to play is annoying in itself, but the rude surprise isthat you may not be able to eject the disc. Apple recently posted aKnowledge Base article on this topic, offering a number of workarounds,especially for newer Macs that lack a manual eject mechanism. Worse,according to reports sent to the Campaign for Digital Rights, these audiodiscs may cause some Macs to crash and some to start up to a gray screen ifthe disc is left in the drive at startup.


If the disc still fails to eject after you've tried all of Apple'ssuggestions, you'll need to take your Mac to an authorized repair centerand have them extract the disc manually. In the initial posting of theKnowledge Base article, Apple included a comment that this repair would notbe covered by your warranty or AppleCare, which, although extreme, wasstill a reasonable position. After all, the blame for this happening liesfirst with the music labels for making and distributing corrupt audiodiscs, and second with the user for inserting it in the CD drive, and onlyminimally with Apple for eliminating the manual eject hole from some Macs.Still, in a situation where Apple was taking the moral high ground, thewarranty comment caused many people to focus on Apple rather than on theperpetrators of these discs, so a modification to the Knowledge Basearticle removed the comment. (What that means for warranty and AppleCarecoverage is thus unknown.) You can read the original in a Mac Observerarticle from last week.

The music labels should be liable for any charges incurred by users whoneed to take their Macs into a dealer for extraction. There's a bigdifference between "Will not play on PC/Mac" and "Do not insert into PC/Macat risk of rendering computer inoperable." Plus, record stores should postlarge warnings near such discs in the store or face potential liabilitythemselves. Sure, users shouldn't put these corrupt disks in theircomputers, but it's certainly possible for someone to miss the warning, ifthere is one (who reads the outside of what looks like a standard compactdisc carefully?). Plus, some people, even knowing that the disc won't play,may be curious about what does happen if the disc is inserted - talk aboutcuriosity requiring the cat take a trip to the vet.

Cartels without a Clue

I don't know what bugs me the most about this situation. High up on thelist is the way the music cartel is treating customers: as thieves andpirates. Computer users aren't the only ones affected either, since manynormal CD players, DVD players, and car CD players also reportedly havetrouble with these corrupt audio discs. Some companies believe that thecustomer is always right; these music companies seem to believe that thecustomer is always criminal.

But can that bit of stupidity compete with the uninformed arrogance thatcopy prevention technologies, particularly when applied in only part of theworld, even begin to dent usage of the peer-to-peer file sharing networks?A cursory search showed that numerous tracks from the Spider-Man moviesoundtrack, one of the albums listed as corrupt on the Campaign for DigitalRights site, are readily available for downloading. It takes only a singleperson to make a copy of an audio disc - even if it requires an extraanalog-to-digital step - before the music appears on the file sharingnetworks. Worse, if certain audio discs are known to be corrupt, I can seemany computer users downloading copies of the songs rather than purchasingthe disc, just to avoid the hassle.

Then there's the fact that covering the outer track of these corrupt discswith a black marker or electrical tape can result in the discs beingplayable in a computer's CD drive. In other words, a steady hand with aSharpie is all that's necessary to defeat the copy prevention technology?Ooo, that's secure.

Of these, I think the prize goes to treating customers as criminals.Believing that copy prevention technologies can't or won't be broken, andthinking that they could make any difference are indeed arrogant anduninformed, but treating your customers as criminals not only encouragesthem to act that way, it also poisons the well for future sales, even forCDs that have no copy prevention technologies in place. I know that mylevel of disgust with the music cartel has distinctly cooled my enthusiasmfor buying music except directly from independent musicians, and I'vecertainly heard similar sentiments from others.

DMCA/EUCD Criminals

I used the term "criminals" above quite intentionally because according tothe U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA - check out the "YMCA"parodies below for a giggle), circumventing copyright protection technologyfor any reason is a criminal offense. There have been many well-documentedcases involving the DMCA - for an overview, read the Electronic FrontierFoundation's recent report detailing the consequences of the DMCA afterthree years. The European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) has many of thesame kinds of provisions and is generating similar kinds of protest.




One spot of light comes from U.S. Representative Rick Boucher (D-Virginia),who plans to introduce legislation that would modify the DMCA to make itlegal to break copy prevention technologies to exercise fair use rights.Boucher isn't attempting to legalize all copying - it would still be aviolation to copy something with the intent of violating the work'scopyright. There's no telling if his legislation stands any chance againstthe deep pockets of the music and movie cartels, but to judge from the listof Boucher's Internet and technology initiatives on his Web site, he has aclue and may be the best hope for action in Congress.


Creative Commons Launches

Another bright spot is the recent launch of the Creative Commons project,which I mentioned in "A Couple of Cool Concepts" back in TidBITS-617_.Creative Commons is a non-profit organization founded on the notion thatsome writers, artists, musicians, and movie makers would rather share theircreations than exercise the full restrictions of copyright law, which,thanks to the DMCA, are Draconian.


Creative Commons plans to create a Web-based application that will helpcontent creators place their works in the public domain or generateflexible licenses that permit copying and reuse of copyrighted works. Plus,they're working on a way that creators can label their works with metadatathat makes clear the available terms of use.

What I like about this approach is that it emphasizes the aspect ofcreation that desires an audience - when I write, I do so because, morethan anything else, I want people to read my words. Yes, I need to earn aliving from my writing, but I've managed to do that in a variety of wayswhile keeping TidBITS free for over 12 years. What I've done with TidBITSisn't rocket science, and although it's also not a model that everyoneshould, or even could, emulate, it shows that the concept of sharing one'screative works and earning a living are not mutually exclusive, as so manyof the powerful industry lobbying groups would have you believe. We'll seehow successful Creative Commons becomes, but I have high hopes for them andplan to use their services myself in the future.

Perhaps the best aspect of Creative Commons, though, is that it's applyingsome creativity to the business end of the copyright debate. We'd all bebetter off if as much creativity was put into business models as intoartistic endeavors and creating copy prevention technologies.

ToC

Mac OS X 10.1.5 experiences

From: "Derek K. Miller" ()

Initially I found the Mac OS X 10.1.5 upgrade annoying, but now it hassuddenly made me happy, largely because of James Denton's Rage Pro "Lombard"fix:


I'm running a Rev. A beige Power Mac G3 with 416 MB of RAM. I have threemonitors -- a 17" Apple Multiple Scan 720, a 14" NEC MultiSync 3D, and a 16"Radius PrecisionColor Pivot (no, it won't pivot!).

The problems I had yesterday were:

- First, my machine would not shut down or logout properly -- I had aspinning pizza of death (SPOD) and had to force a restart from the keyboard.This happened a few times then mysteriously went away.

- Second, while the ability to control Quartz anti-aliasing is sort of neat(though I still find the anti-aliasing works more as "blurring" on my CRTs),as many of us discovered with the Office v.X service release, that featurecauses problems with PostScript fonts, anyway.

- Third, when I first installed 10.1.5, my beige G3 forgot about how I hadmy monitors set up -- it insisted on booting up on my 16" Pivot monitor andputting the menu bar and all my (now jumbled) desktop icons there, eventhough I have it on the left side. Perhaps this was because it runs from themotherboard Rage II+ video, while the other screens run from Rage LT Prochips on (identical) ATI Xclaim 3D Plus cards. At first I thought it waspart of the spinning-pizza logout problem, but it persisted after that wentaway.

[Tonya and I both saw 10.1.5 get confused about the monitor setup too, butit was just the first time. -Adam]

- Last, I saw no graphics improvements anywhere, although 10.1.5 is supposedto offer Rage Pro acceleration support.

While I could use the Displays preference pane to restore the proper menubar and icon arrangement, the machine promptly forgot about it againwhenever I logged out or rebooted. Argh. (It's also always been true that Ican't get Mac OS X to remember that I like the 14" screen at 640x480 -- italways comes back to 800x600, which looks lousy on that old monitor.) Goodthing I don't have to reboot much these days -- thank you for that, Mac OSX.

I tried optimizing the system (a.k.a. updating the prebindings) and findinga Displays .plist or preference file to delete, to no avail. (Anyone knowwhere that info is stored?) I was thinking of this as a downgrade.

Now the good stuff that came today:

This morning, I found out on MacInTouch about James Denton's Rage Pro"Lombard" fix (The Lombard PowerBook G3 also uses a Rage LT Pro chip) and aLogitech Mac OS X beta mouse driver I hadn't noticed back in April. Iinstalled them.

- First, Denton's patch is brilliant. Suddenly, things are much snappier allround. And I can say definitively that it works not only on Lombards, but onolder machines like my beige G3 with Rage LT Pro cards (I think the Xclaim3D Plus may be the only PCI card using that chip).

Aside from general snappiness, I have a great comparison of QuickTimeperformance: I played a movie on the 17" screen, zoomed as big as I couldmake it, and the stops and stutters were gone! Smooth and clean. Then Imoved it to my 16" screen (running from Rage II+), and the herky-jerkys,stop-starts, and sound cutouts (horrible as before) were back. Then I movedit to the 14" screen (Rage LT Pro again), and it played perfectly.

So 10.1.5 does enable Rage Pro acceleration, even on old machines with videocards where it's probably not officially supported. Even better, Denton'spatch makes it work even for Rage LT Pro. Rage II+ support is still lacking,and probably will never come, but I can live with that.

- Second, something about installing either the Logitech driver or Denton'sfix suddenly let my machine remember where my menu bar was supposed to be --on restart, everything stayed where it was. (Except the 14" monitor was800x600 again. Sigh.)

So I was grumpy yesterday, but I'm happy now.

--

I wrote:

This morning, I found out on MacInTouch about James Denton's Rage Pro "Lombard" fix (The Lombard PowerBook G3 also uses a Rage LT Pro chip) and a Logitech Mac OS X beta mouse driver I hadn't noticed back in April. I installed them.

Of course, Denton's page is hosted at mac.com, and all my raving about ithere and at MacInTouch, MacNN, and elsewhere has sent people to knock himover the limits we're discussing in another thread. So you probably can'tfind the fix at the URL I posted earlier until traffic dies down and Applelets his page come back to life.

Luckily, Denton informs me that the original discussion of the Lombard RageLT Pro acceleration patch for Mac OS X 10.1.5 (on which he based his littleutility) is at Accelerate Your Mac:

You can find detailed discussion there, including instructions on how toperform the patch manually.

ToC

Avoiding Trouble in the Move to Mac OS X, Part 1

by Adam C. Engst ()
/10-Jun-02

No activity in the Macintosh world has ever inspired as much fear,loathing, and terror as contemplating the upgrade from Mac OS 9 to Mac OSX. People are worried they'll be forced to use the command- line (youwon't) or that they must reformat and repartition their hard disks (it'snot necessary). Others worry that they'll have to spend hundreds of dollarsupgrading software (upgrades can be helpful, but aren't always essential)or that Mac OS X's well- publicized shortcomings will prove to be hugeobstacles (only if you're entirely inflexible). Then there are theimmovable obstacles - old hardware or mission-critical software orperipherals that aren't compatible with Mac OS X.

So the first step is to determine if you can upgrade to Mac OS X. If youlack a relatively recent PowerPC G3- or G4-based Mac, or you're reliant onsoftware or hardware that simply won't work with Mac OS X, you can'tupgrade. Similarly, if you don't have some spare time to install the newoperating system and become comfortable with the new environment, youshouldn't upgrade - the task isn't hard, but if you don't spend the time upfront to do it properly, you'll waste even more time later. No matter what,I strongly recommend that you not stress about the fact that you can'tupgrade. Apple hasn't set the technical requirements of Mac OS X to annoyyou personally, and the reasons why any given program or peripheral aren'tcompatible with Mac OS X are many and varied. In short, if you have aMacintosh setup that does what you need, be happy with that and don't worryabout Mac OS X until it becomes unavoidable (as it will the next time youbuy a Mac).

Set Expectations

If you are ready to make the leap to Mac OS X, the most important thing youcan do is to set your expectations appropriately. Apple's marketingmaterials would have you believe that Mac OS X will somehow change yourlife. It won't. It's a computer operating system with a graphical userenvironment - nothing more, nothing less.

For the vast majority of Macintosh users at this point in time, Mac OS Xwill not enable you to do anything you can't already do in Mac OS 9.Browsing the Web, reading your email, using a word processor or spreadsheet- the primary uses of computers are equally as possible in both operatingsystems. Until fairly recently, in fact, upgrading to Mac OS X meant losingcapabilities for most Mac users. That's less true every week, luckily, andmore important, we're seeing new software appear for Mac OS X that has noequivalent in Mac OS 9.

You will have to put some real time and effort into thinking about how youwant Mac OS X to work, configuring it appropriately and installing thenecessary utilities for interface extras without which you simply cannotuse your Mac. Realistically, it took me roughly a day to do the basicinstallation of Mac OS X and parts of several more days before I'd doneenough configuration that I could remain booted into it. Fortunately, it'seasy to boot back into Mac OS 9 while you're finishing off Mac OS X'sconfiguration, so you don't have to commit a huge amount of time all atonce to the upgrade.

Another expectation you may need to adjust is the amount of control you'llhave over the system and how much you'll know about it. Long-time Mac usershave often built up idiosyncratic filing systems and ways of working thatsimply aren't going to mesh with Mac OS X's rigid directory structure andmulti-user mindset. All I can say here is, get over it, or you'll justspend all your time being angry about a few nested folders - life's tooshort for that. Apple has been pushing us in this direction for a longtime, first with the System Folder, then the special folders inside theSystem Folder, then the Applications and Documents folders, and so on. Youmay not like it, just as you may not like the way Mac OS X can make youfeel like a visitor on your own Mac, but these are deep-seated designdecisions stemming from Mac OS X's Unix underpinnings, and you'll simplyhave to accept at least some of them. Consider it a Zen thing.

It's also hard to accept that you're not going to understand what makes MacOS X tick, particularly if you've built up a store of Macintosh knowledgeacross many years. My advice here is to think back to when you were firstlearning the Mac and remember how much fun that was (well, it was for me).I've quite enjoyed learning Mac OS X's quirks and developing new ways ofworking, and my years of experience have made the process a lot easier thanit was way back when.

Survey Hardware

Assuming that your Mac has sufficient CPU power to run Mac OS X, the nextstep is to evaluate your hardware setup to make sure your system will workwith Mac OS X and, if necessary, determine what steps are necessary to makeit work.

RAM is essential, and although it's not quite the steal it was recently,it's still sufficiently cheap that you should make sure you have lots. 128MB may be the amount Apple recommends as a minimum for Mac OS X, but sincememory is dealt with completely differently than in Mac OS 9, the more RAMyou have, the better (up to about 512 MB for normal use). Check TidBITSsponsor dealram for recent pricing on RAM for your Mac.

As far as hard disk space goes, Mac OS X needs a bit more than a gigabytefor itself. Most Macs that can run it have hard disks of at least severalgigabytes in size, but I'd say that if you don't have at least 2 GB free,you should either free up some space or consider upgrading to a new harddrive. That's what I did: I originally bought my Power Mac G4/450 with a 10GB drive - the smallest available at the time - and when the time came toinstall Mac OS X, I replaced the almost-full 10 GB drive with a 60 GBMaxtor hard drive that cost about $125. (This isn't the place to talk aboutthe specifics of that installation process; suffice to say that I foundAccelerate Your Mac's information invaluable, if a bit rambling.)

Peripherals like printers, digital cameras, external floppy drives, SCSIcards, and tape drives are sticky wickets. Many perfectly functional butolder peripherals are not compatible with Mac OS X, and may never be. Irecommend determining what is and is not compatible with Mac OS X beforeupgrading - that information is usually available on the manufacturer's Website or by calling tech support. If a device isn't compatible with Mac OSX, you have two choices. You can replace it with one that is, handing downor selling the incompatible device as appropriate. Or, if the replacementcost is prohibitive, or if there's simply no compatible replacementavailable, you can reboot back into Mac OS 9 when you need to use thatdevice (assuming, of course, that it doesn't work in Mac OS X's Classicenvironment, which most won't). Obviously, rebooting in Mac OS 9 to use aperipheral isn't ideal, but knowing that it will be necessary is animportant part of setting your expectations.

I recommend making a list of all your devices, and note which ones arecompatible, which ones will require new drivers, and which will needreplacing. For those that need new drivers, record the URL to the pagewhere you can download those drivers.

Survey Software

Once you've evaluated your hardware situation, it's time to do the same foryour software. My experience is that most Mac users use more programs thanthey realize. Here's a trick that can help you determine which programs youreally use in Mac OS 9. In the Apple Menu Options control panel, set thenumber of recent applications to track to 99 (the maximum), and then useyour Mac normally for a week or two. When you think your usage has beenrepresentative, open the Recent Applications folder in the Apple Menu Itemsfolder, view it by name, and copy the listing to a word processing document(select all the files, press Command-C, switch to the document, and pressCommand-V) where you can make notes.

First, delete from the list installers or other applications that you won'tuse again. Then, for the remaining applications, visit their Web sites andtry to determine if you need an upgrade. If so, note in your list how muchthe upgrade costs, the URL to where you can get it, and if you'll be ableto run the older version in Classic mode temporarily. For instance, Ihaven't gotten around to upgrading to the Mac OS X-compatible version ofTimbuktu Pro, and for the few times I've needed to use it, it has workedacceptably in Classic.

As with your peripherals, if you have an application that you can't dowithout but which has no upgrade and isn't compatible with Classic, youhave two options. Either reboot into Mac OS 9 when you need to use it, orfind a replacement program. I won't pretend that these are good options -the main consolation I can offer is that most applications I've tried haveworked fine in Classic. A few others, such as the heavily used QuarkXPress4.1, are compatible with Classic but miserable to use. (When switching fromanother application to Quark, I recently discovered, you must refresh thescreen with Command-Option-Period, something that's perhaps best done witha macro; also, if you're accustomed to switching tools using Command-Tab,you need to use Command- Control-Tab instead or try the Shift-F8 shortcutfor switching between the two most commonly used tools.) I'm lookingseriously at Adobe InDesign 2 for the next iteration of my iPhoto book.

Survey Interface Usage

There's a class of software that has likely escaped your notice in theprevious step - those invisible utilities that make life so much easier ina myriad different ways. Check your Control Panels and Extensions foldersand add any utilities you rely on to your list of software, paying specialattention to subtle bits like the Retrospect Client software, for whichyou'll need to upgrade Retrospect backup servers as well. And don't forgetto note items that don't necessarily reside in your System Folder such asPalm synchronization conduits (located in the Conduits folder within thePalm Desktop application folder), which still don't exist under Mac OS Xfor many applications.

Also go back and read the articles I've written about the top Mac OS Xutilities for ideas on how you can replace not just third party utilities,but also some of the aspects of Mac OS 9 you can't imagine living without.For instance, my father was flummoxed by Mac OS X's static Apple menu andthe Dock; once we installed ASM and FruitMenu, his comfort level increasedsignificantly.



Gather Software

Once you've completed your lists of hardware, software, and interfacemodifications, I'd encourage you to go out and start downloading everythingyou can, purchasing programs like Microsoft Office X if necessary, andacquiring any necessary hardware. Obviously, there's no reason you must dothis before installing Mac OS X, but doing it beforehand lets you do it atyour leisure, rather than all in a rush after installing Mac OS X. Makesure to store all the things you're downloading together so you can get tothem easily once the time comes to install. If you're not absolutelycertain you will stay with Mac OS X after upgrading, feel free to put offpurchasing upgrades to applications you can run in Classic or replacingperipherals that work fine in Mac OS 9.

If you have a slow modem connection to the Internet, not only willdownloading these updates in advance remove stress after you installed MacOS X, you can also get the various Mac OS X updates that you'll need, sinceotherwise you'll be stuck waiting for Software Update to download verylarge files as part of the installation process. Plus, should you ever needto reinstall, you won't have to download these installers again.

I'll cover more on that in the second part of this article, as we get intothe nitty-gritty of preparing your hard disk, actually installing all thissoftware, and taking your first steps in Mac OS X.

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Examining Microsoft Office X Service Release 1

by Tonya Engst ()
/03-Jun-02

Microsoft has released the first major update to Microsoft Office X in theform of Office X Service Release 1 (SR1). The update, an 11.9 MB download,updates each primary Office program (Excel, Entourage, PowerPoint, andExcel) from version 10.0 to 10.1. The ReadMe files for SR1 enumerate manychanges ranging from specific fixes (you can now type accented and otherspecial characters reliably) to expanded features that did not survive thetransition from Office 2001 to X (pasting in custom toolbar buttons) toimprovements in speed and stability.

Microsoft also released MSN Messenger 3.0, which adds the capability totransfer files, import and export contact information, and create groups ofcontacts. This version also updates the interface to more closely resembleMac OS X's Aqua look and feel. MSN Messenger is a free update, and a 2.3 MBdownload.

Bug Fixes

The Service Release ReadMe files list a number of fixes. For instance, youwill no longer experience "out of memory" errors when trying to open anExcel X file in Excel 98. Plus, you can now print from Excel X with asetting other than "High" chosen in Excel's Page Setup. And in a fixespecially welcome to anyone doing PowerPoint presentations from aPowerBook or iBook, Microsoft has squashed a crashing bug that could appearwhen waking a laptop that went to sleep while connected to a second monitoror projector.

Improved Database Support

Microsoft has improved Office X's FileMaker support - you need not have theentire FileMaker database on a local machine to work with it; instead itcan be on a server. ODBC support has returned as well, though it is noteverything that ODBC users have wanted. The 10.1 version of Excel includesthe necessary hooks to talk to Microsoft Query, the software necessary tocreate ODBC queries, but you need the separate Microsoft Query for Excel Xto make it work. Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Query for Excel X atsome point, but it's not in Service Release 1.

However, you can refresh queries created in some other version of Excel inExcel X, assuming you have a driver installed. The gotcha there is thatMicrosoft no longer supplies ODBC drivers; they suggest that peoplepurchase drivers elsewhere, such as OpenLink Software. It also might beworth checking out ODBC Router from August Software, and other ODBC driversmay be available.


In other database news, the database file that holds a user's entirecollection of Entourage X email, contacts, and calendar events can now growas large as 4 GB instead of the previous 2 GB limit. (That file, in caseyou want to locate it to back it up, lives in your user folder in/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office X Identities/Main Identity/Database.If you named your identity something other than Main Identity (or havemultiple identities), navigate to the appropriate folder within the OfficeX Identities folder.)

Palm Synchronization and Transparent Fills

Palm synchronization for Entourage did not make it into SR1; it will beavailable on 15-Jul-02, according to Microsoft. Another fix you won't findis the capability to print the slick, transparently filled chart objectsthat the Office X press materials emphasize as an example of how Office Xtakes advantage of Mac OS X's Quartz display technology. Transparentobjects with simple, single-shade transparencies should print from Officeprograms, but as soon as you apply a gradient (as you must in Excel X), theobject prints solid, not transparent. Though this is a minor problemoverall, as a press person who blindly jumped on the "wow-that's-a-great-feature" bandwagon, I was chagrined to discover this limitation. (Theclumsy workaround is to take a screenshot and print it; instead, Irecommend making more chart elements visible by rotating the chart orchanging the series order.) Microsoft claims a fix may come in a futureupdate to Mac OS X.

Stability and Performance

While using the Office X SR1 beta versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint(but not Entourage) on a 733 MHz Power Mac G4, I noticed fewer outrightcrashes. In addition, under the 10.0.0 version of Office, I often foundmyself unable to switch to an Office application (especially Excel) byclicking an interface element, such as a toolbar or window; instead, I hadto click the application's icon in the Dock. This problem has disappearedfor the most part, though not entirely.

I haven't noticed speed improvements in Excel or Word, though in my smalland medium-sized documents performance was already quite good. The ReadMefiles suggest that Excel's speed should remain the same, whereas Word'sspeed should pick up in only a few specific situations such as scrolling inlong documents.

However, Microsoft specifically touts speed improvements for PowerPoint10.1, so I decided to compare a few real-life files between PowerPoint 10.0and 10.1. I solicited files from a few family members, plus a few peoplewho posted PowerPoint complaints on the Internet. Testing files in this waycan be incredibly time-consuming, but it can also reveal information thatI'd never stumble upon otherwise.

My youngest sister sent a presentation created for a college assignment.Slides with larger graphics loaded somewhat slowly in 10.0, but 10.1handled them smoothly. My father's slides had scads of complex graphicsillustrating data warehousing, and these graphics did indeed load extremelyslowly in PowerPoint 10.0. Happily, Microsoft's improvements enabledPowerPoint 10.1 to handle them efficiently; it moved from being annoyinglyslow to offering a smooth user experience.

However, other files suggest PowerPoint could stand another round ofimprovements. My other sister shared a presentation about chestnut treegrowth, which contained many embedded Excel charts, each based on fourcolumns of data. She noted that PowerPoint 2001 couldn't even open thepresentation, and that instead of PowerPoint 98 on the Mac, she uses aWindows machine because switching between Excel and PowerPoint to edit thecharts takes too long. PowerPoint 10.0 opened her file but ran into troublewith the charts; I expect the actual problem relates to OLE (Object Linkingand Embedding, Microsoft's method of sharing data between Officeapplications). Switching into Excel after double-clicking a chart tookabout ten seconds, as did returning to PowerPoint. Editing the chart inExcel was unacceptably slow, with several-second pauses just to open amenu. Office X 10.1 performed slightly better - the time to switch betweenPowerPoint and Excel was a few seconds faster, and editing in Excel wasokay. Someone using Office X 10.0 would welcome this improvement, but Istill can't recommend that my sister switch to Office X, given thissluggish behavior and her need to switch fluidly between Excel andPowerPoint.

Another source sent a 40-slide presentation that his company exported to aQuickTime movie to play in a public kiosk. Most of the slides contained afew graphics, which both PowerPoint versions handled smoothly. Three of theslides contained QuickTime movies, each about 30 seconds in length. Thoughperformance in PowerPoint was fine, exporting to a QuickTime movie (whichMicrosoft terms "PowerPoint Movie" format) took about ten minutes in bothversions of PowerPoint X. Removing the QuickTime movies didn't decrease theexporting time. Other presentations exported much more quickly (about 30seconds for one of my father's 33- slide shows); presumably something aboutthe original presentation's graphics is causing the delay.

Further, though the necessary QuickTime movies were in the same folder asthe PowerPoint file, neither version of PowerPoint X could find them orrecognize them as QuickTime movies until I reinserted them by hand. Inlimited testing, failing to recognize movie files appears to be a generalproblem, perhaps related to creating the presentation under a previousversion of the Mac OS, and perhaps similar to a problem in Office 2001 thatMicrosoft fixed in Service Release 1 for Office 2001.

All Together Now

Office X Service Release 1 also installs fixes previously made available bythe Office v.X Combined Updater 10.0.03, which in turn brought together theEntourage X Hotmail Update, the Network Security Update (summarized inMicrosoft Security Bulletin MS02-002), and the URL Security Update(explained in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-019).


Service Release 1 doesn't fix every problem in Office, but it doesrepresent a decent effort on Microsoft's part to chisel away some peskyproblems. I do recommend installing the service release - your Officeexperience is unlikely to change profoundly, but you'll hopefully avoidfuture problems.

[Among many other projects, Tonya Engst just completed a big chunk of themanuscript for Office X for Macintosh: The Missing Manual, which should beavailable shortly.]

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Font installation on OS X

From: John Melby ()

[Editor's Note: I had a work related font question and I fired it off toour Mac SIG Chairman Jack Melby. His response was so informative, I thoughtI'd pass it on.]

The font you sent [graphitelite.TTF] is a PC font. Try putting the attachedone in your Classic System Folder's "Fonts" folder (after expanding it,naturally). Restart Classic, and everything should be OK. I converted thefont from PC to Mac format [with a little utility called TTConverter 1.5,an OS9 or below program], tried it with Nisus Writer, and it worksbeautifully.

(BTW, fonts stored in your Classic System Folder's "Fonts" folder are*always* available to OS X, even if Classic is not running [provided, ofcourse, that the disk/partition containing the Classic System Folder isselected as such in OS X's "Classic" preference pane in SystemPreferences]. Fonts stored in any of the OS X font folders, on the otherhand, are always inaccessible to Classic applications.)

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Service Manuals

From: John H. Snow ()

mpno wrote:

> Looking for the service manual for a Laserwriter 12/640, none of the old
> links to service manuals seem to work. Thanks in advance.

Did you try:

and:

Here's where I downloaded my LW 16/600 manual.

Here's another one.

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The Amiga Section:

Latest Amiga One News From Eyetech

Amiga Update Newsletter, 30 May, 2002

The AmigaOneG3-SE

The first model in our AmigaOne range is the AmigaOneG3-SE. This isin effect a 600Mhz G3 Amiga accelerator with built in 10/100 ethernet,USB, PCI/AGP interface and memory slots for up to 2GB of SDRAM. Aswell as being many times more powerful and at (UKP350/USD500/Euro600*)around half the price of the previously most powerful Amiga PPCaccelerator (the phase 5 Cyberstorm PPC 604 240MHz).

In fact you can regard the AmigaOneG3-SE as a high performanceaccelerator that comes with a free, built in computer! This means thatyou no longer need an attached A1200 or special tower case if you onlyintend to run retargetable Amiga applications. (For hardware-hittingapplications an interface card to connect an Amiga 1200 motherboard tothe A1G3-SE a PCI card interface will be available from Escena). TheA1G3-SE also comes with a full range of legacy peripherals, and willrun PPC Linux (and PPC UAE) in addition to running the new PPC-onlyOS4 natively.

The AmigaOneG3-SE will not be shipped to end users until OS4 isready, but boards for OS4 developers and beta testers are already outin the field.

Amiga Inc, Hyperion and ourselves have also decided to bundle OS4directly with the boards which we ship to dealers, mainly to reduceshipping and handling costs - and that has resulted in a small overallprice reduction to end users of the A1G3-SE + OS4 bundle to ukp382.94*. There will be equivalent reductions on the dollar and europrices of the bundle to usd550* and euro652.50*.

Finally it is important to note that the AmigaOneG3-SE is fullyquality-validated and licensed by Amiga Inc to run OS4, with alllicence fees/royalties paid. AI's licence terms also stipulate thatall boards capable of running OS4 must ship with an OEM version of OS4and must have built-in hardware protection to keep OS4 piracy to aminimum, and this has been built into the AmigaOneG3-SE from theoutset.

A list of dealers who have already ordered demonstration /familiarisation boards is posted on our web site(). Don't worry if yourfavourite dealer is not listed - several have either missed theordering window or decided to wait until the end user boards and OS4is shipping. These dealers will be added to the list on our website atthe time they order end user boards from us.

Although we are advertising the A1G3-SE as an entry-level machine,have no doubt with OS4 installed it will really fly. The 600Mhz 750CXecpu that is shipped with it is effectively that fastest G3 cpugenerally available and some PPC experts reckon it is likely todeliver several hundred times the performance of an '030/50 with manyapplications.

Planning for the next AmigaOne - the AmigaOne-XE

We have always said that the AmigaOneG3-SE was to be the first, entrylevel, board in a range of AmigaOne boards which we have planned toproduce. Many people have asked us to give some outline details ofwhat we have planned for later boards in the series. So here is ataster.

The next AmigaOne board we have planned is for an up-market (readmore flexible but more expensive) addition to the range. Furtherdetails will be published on the Eyetech website and on the AmigaOnemailing list at Yahoogroups at the appropriate time (but not before!).

One of the prime requirements is to provide a socketed cpu module sothat user-upgradable performance enhancements can be made as and whenfaster and more complex chips - and operating system enhancements thatuse them - become available. Our engineers do not believe that theIntel Slot-1 socket (as planned for the original AmigaOne-1200) isreally suitable because of the need to minimise trace lengths betweencpu and SDRAM memory at higher clock speeds. In addition both theIntel Slot-1 socket and the Apple ZIF cpu socket are now obsolete andtherefore not a sensible choice for a new product not yet launched.

So for the next version of the AmigaOne, the AmigaOne-XE, we haveborrowed the latest cpu socket technology from Apple in the form ofthe purpose-designed `Megarray' socket. This means that we can makelow cost, tightly coupled cpu modules using either G3, G4, dual G4,(and possibly G5 - but information on the G5 is still very sparce)technology - for use on the same AmigaOne-XE motherboard. Upgradingcpu power therefore only needs a simple module exchange. The prototypesocketed AmigaOne-XE board and the associated plug-in G3 and G4modules have already been built and tested.

But before you rush off and cancel your pending AmigaOneG3-SE ordersto buy the AmigaOne-XE instead, bear in mind that this extraflexibility will come at a price, and until OS4 supports the G4'sAltivec coprocessor, without much performance benefit either. And atthe moment, unless you are Apple, G4 cpu's are on very tightallocation, which means that it will be several months before they areavailable to anyone other than Apple at a reasonable price. At themoment the target price for the AmigaOne-XE board with the single G4700MHz cpu module is around UKP200/USD300/Euro350* more than theAmigaOneG3-SE - and possibly less if Apple's demand for these cpu'sdrops significantly when the G5 starts shipping.

So does this mean you should cancel your existing AmigaOne-G3 orderand wait a few more months? Not at all. We anticipate a high privateresale value of used AmigaOneG3-SE boards, but to take the uncertaintyout of the process, we, and the majority of other AmigaOne dealers,will underwrite a trade-in value of your AmigaOneG3-SE during a periodof 6 and 12 months after its purchase against the purchase of a newAmigaOne-XE with single G4 cpu module. (You are of course still atliberty to sell the board privately for a higher price!).

This trade-in will be at 75% of the current retail price of anA1G3-SE 6 months after its purchase falling by 1% per month (to 69%)at 12 months after its purchase. The board must be traded in to theoriginal dealer where it was purchased, by the original purchaser, bein full working condition and be used as part payment against anAmigaOne-XE with a single G4 cpu module. Individual dealers may alsoopt to have their own trade-up scheme instead, so please check withthem when making your original purchase. Finally this offer does notapply in conjunction with any other discount offer, such as thatapplied to the A1G3-SE developer boards.

If you've been sitting on the fence wondering whether to buy anA1G3-SE or to wait until an upgradable G4 AmigaOne is available, youcan now have the best of both worlds. Order a new, low costAmigaOneG3-SE now and upgrade within 12 months. What are you waitingfor?

* Prices quoted exclude local taxes and shipping charges.

Follow-Up From The Net

{After the information presented above was first made known, wediscovered the following exchange on the NET. Alan is Alan Redhouse ofEyetech. Some text removed for readability and to remove e-mailaddresses of participants. Brad}

30 May 2002

----- Original Message -----

> Hi Alan.>> About prices... The UKP 382 for an A1 + OS4 is minus VAT, so in total> it's just shy of UKP 450 with taxes. Presumably, when you trade in> for a G4 model, you won't need to get OS4 again, so UKP 200 more than> a G3 is UKP 550 plus taxes, or a bit more than UKP 640. When you> trade in, you get 75% of the boards cost, is that 75% of UKP 350 or> 75% of UKP 410 (350 + VAT)?>> Regards,> Paul
Answer:

As far as OS4 is concerned all boards, new and refurbished,rewarrantied will need to ship with OS4.x

The offer is primarily made on the hardware, but ....

Personally I would be very surprised if there was not an enhancedversion of OS4 which took advantage of some of the G4 features at thetime the AmigaOne-XE ships, and it is highly likely that purchasers ofthe new board would want that IMO.

So as far as we are concerned the easiest solution would be to offera trade in on the A1/OS4 bundle, and I think that that would be whatmost of the customers would want to do too. Obviously _we_ can replacethe licensed OEM CD of a genuinely traded in copy and destroy theoriginal so that there are no coffee stains etc on the version that isresold.

alan

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The CUCUG Section:

May General Meeting

reported by Kevin Hopkins ()

As you all know from the email I sent out soon after the May 16 Generalmeeting, I was unavoidably detained at an event at my daughter's school,and, as a result, unable to take my usual meeting minutes for this month'snewsletter. Also, due to the unexpected nature of my absence, I hadn'tprepared to cover myself with a substitute note taker. So, I resorted to aplee to "everyone who was at the meeting to tell me something, anythingabout what happened there - your impressions, a bit of information you cameaway with, a funny quip, anything" via email reply. I promised to "stitchtogether anything I receive in order to inform those that didn't make it tothe main meeting (including me) as to what transpired." I would like toextend my deepest gratitude to Norris Hansell, Kevin Hisel, Dave Witt, GregKline, Mark Zinzow and Jim Lewis for their help in this regard. As Jimnoted, "I find it easy to write about the stuff I'm directly involved with,just not anything else." That was all that was required.

Concerning the Linux SIG, that takes place in the hour before the Mainmeeting, Dave Witt remembered that "the Linux group watched a Sundancechannel movie on Linux."

Moving into the Main meeting, Norris Hansell offer this:

Norris Hansell asked about the font, OpenType Palatino, which is includedin Windows XP, does not appear on any MS web site nor any MonoType website. He wants to see if it works in the Mac version of Adobe InDesign 2.0.In theory, it should, including the entire, new range of type-settingoptions. No information was readily available around the table. Created byHerman Zapf of MonoType, it is said to contain scores of thousands ofglyphs and may be embroiled in licensing disputes. Norris remainsinterested.

We heard about an excresence of worms and remedies for same.

We saw a networking demo involving machines with Linux, Windows and Mac. Itemployed several utilities unfamiliar to me.

We heard Mac is backing away from further development of OS 9.

There was the usual, warm helpfulness of members to each other.

Kevin Hisel reported:

I brought up a few items.

- Some Japanese fellow has figured out how to fool fingerprint readersusing about $10 worth of household supplies. There goes hundreds ofmillions of dollars in R&D and product development down the drain.

- Microsoft's legal ploy to get Lindows.com shut down because of trademarkinfringement may have backfired on them. Not only did the judge not shutthe site down, but he questioned whether MS had the right to claim the word"Windows" as a trademark. Ouch!

- I asked Jim [Lewis] about the new Pentium 4 2.54GHz chips and the newmotherboard requirements to run such a beast. Jim said that you'll need aspecific MB to support the new chips and super-duper fast memory. He threwaround a lot of specs but my eyes sort of glazed over.

Someone brought up a new SSH terminal emulator called Putty. It's a FREETelnet/SSH client that allows you to log into the command line of a machinesecurely. Apparently it's pretty good and the price is definitely right.

Greg Kline contributed the following:

PC news: Jim Lewis said his 40X CDRW drive had gone belly up, and someoneelse reported the same problem with the same brand of drive. (Jim can tellyou what the brand is.)

[Editor's Note: I asked Jim about this and he responded: "I had ordered andreceived a LiteON 40x12x48 CDRW drive back about 6 weeks ago fromMwave.com. I finally got my new 'Archive' box built (ABit BX6-v2, P3-850,256MB, 70GB, Win2K Pro) which was to be its home, so I installed it.Zip-Nada-Zilch! Wouldn't even boot. Take the LiteON off... now it worksfine. Gotta be the CDRW!

So, I emailed tech support requesting an RMA. Later that day I got theauthorization and the drive is now in transit. I'll keep you posted on whathappens."]

Greg continued:

Pentium 4 Celeron chips are shipping, making the P III Celerons discussedat the last meeting not quite the value that they were. AMD is expected toweigh in with its response soon.

Mac news: Apple has previewed OS 10.2, code name Jaguar, which is expectedto speed up the operating system a lot by off loading its graphicsoperation to the Mac's video cards, if you have a 32 MB card to takeadvantage.

Apple announced a new line of rack-mount servers. Jim Lewis said they lookcool but are expensive. Jim Huls said you have to factor in the unlimitedoperating system license that goes with them, which makes them moreattractive from a price perspective but still expensive.

Other: Sony dropped PlayStation2 prices by $100 to $199 and Microsoft isfollowing suit with the X-Box.

Some Japanese researcher has been able to defeat finger-print recognitionsecurity systems by taking latent prints, from a coffee cup for example,and reproducing them on a Jello layer he then stuck on the end of hisfinger.

Mark S. Zinzow reported that ....

At the last meeting, I mentioned the upcoming LAG and PCUG meeting topicson campus.

Tomorrow [May 22] is the Linux cluster talk, and on the 2nd Tuesday in June[June 11] the main PCUG topic will be the latest Corel Office (Wordperfectin particular) and OpenOffice. We may also have a presentation on keyboardlogging hardware.

[Editor's Note: Anyone interested in getting on the announcement list ofthese meetings, should probably contact Mark.]

That covers the Main meeting. I arrived in time for the presentation of theevening - networking platforms from the three main operating systems thatCUCUG actively supports: PC, Macintosh and Linux. But, like Norris, Isuffered from unfamiliarity with the intricacies of the topic and so mynotes here are sparse, to say the least. Luckily, Jim Lewis steps up to theplate and fills us in "regarding the PC portion of our networking demo".

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The Presentation: Networking the PC, Mac and Linux Platforms

by: Jim Lewis ()
Copyright CUCUG, 2002

Our objective: to network three different platforms (Mac-Win-Linux) on a LANand share files among all three.

The PC process:

We started the project with an agreement on which networking protocol to usefor our file sharing. As most of you know there are several to choose fromon each platform. Since the Linux box was supposed to be the most complexto configure (don't tell Rich Rollins that :^), we opted for TCP/IP withNetBIOS enabled on IP Class C 192.168.0.x, per Jon Ross' suggestion.

Our equipment consisted of the Club PC, the Club Mac, John Ross' Linux box,an inexpensive Addtron 5-port 10/100 switch and some CAT5 patch cables. Ofcourse, we had a glitch right off with our WindowsXP installation.Unfortunately, we had forgotten to install the 3Com NIC drivers! Luckily,when we installed XP, we retained the option of Dual-Booting back intoWindows98 SE, which did have the proper drivers installed. The balance ofthe program was thus conducted in Win98.

Win98 natively supports several network protocols: NetBEUI (proprietaryMicrosoft file-sharing from the Windows 3.1 days, since obsoleted with XP),IPX/SPX (normally for Novell-based networks and games) and TCP/IP (theprotocol of choice for enterprise-level server-based operating systems andthe Internet). Due to security concerns, we had previously set the PC upusing TCP/IP *without* NetBIOS support for browsing the Internet only.Local file sharing was accomplished via IPX/SPX with NetBIOS support enabledon that protocol. In order to conform to our network topography for thissession, we had to enable NetBIOS over the TCP protocol and assign a uniqueIP address in the same Class C segment as the other units. This is easy todo, but it does require a reboot with Win98.

Once the reboot was done, our PC was able to 'ping' the other two unitssuccessfully. 'Pinging' is a simple packet transfer between two computersthat verifies the connection of the two, as well as the transfer speed ofthe sent and received packets. for our purposes, just a simple command-linetest to make sure the target computer is connected and the TCP protocol isfunctioning properly.

Next, we had to enable 'sharing' on the hard drive to allow others on thenetwork to use our resources. Win98 allows you to make some decisions aboutread-only or read-write access with password protection for either or both.This is available on the entire drive or just certain folders. We firstshared the full drive with full access but later modified this to oneparticular folder only. In Win98 (and WinXP) this is pretty easy to set upand does *not* require a reboot.

After everyone's configuration was done, the PC was finally able to see bothof the other machines in 'Network Neighborhood' and access their sharedfolders just fine.

As a side note, the Linux and Mac platforms require additional programs tobe installed (Samba on Linux and Dave or SoHo on the Mac) to connect to anetwork of this type. In Linux's case, Samba is included in the OSdistribution. With the Mac, you have to buy it. I am told this willfinally be incorporated into a forthcoming upgrade of Mac OS X.

Inter-platform networking has certainly come a long way in the last fewyears! It wasn't all that long ago when this project would have required 3network administrators and a bout of hair-pulling to accomplish. Tonightwithin about 45 minutes, three hobbyists had all three machines up andtalking to each other. I have to admit, I was impressed!

Jim Lewis

[Editor's Note: Thanks again to all who stepped into the breech and helpedout with these notes.]

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May Board Meeting

reported by Kevin Hopkins ()

The May meeting of the CUCUG executive board took place on Tuesday, May 21,2002, at 7PM, at Kevin Hisel's house. (For anyone wishing to attend - whichis encouraged, by the way - the address and phone number are both in thebook). Present at the meeting were: Jim Lewis, Emil Cobb, Mike Latinovich,Kris Klindworth, Rich Hall, Jack Melby, Kevin Hopkins, and Kevin Hisel.

Jim Lewis: Jim began by saying that he thought "the meeting turned outsurprisingly well for what we attempted." With only a few glitches, we wereable to accomplish file sharing between a PC, a Mac, and a Linux box. "Allthe machines worked as advertised."

Kris Klindworth asked how much use it had been to the average user and theconsensus was "probably not much." But, just knowing it could be donewithin that short a period of time and with the fact that home networkingis becoming more and more popular, most agreed that it had its value. RichHall made the point that if he were going to network several computers inhis home, they would probably be of the same type (rather than crossplatform, as in the demo). But, Kevin Hopkins said just the fact of seeingit done and now knowing who to ask questions of, if one were going toattempt such a thing, was a real benefit.

Concerning the absence of a note taker at the Main meeting, Jim mentionedthat he had made an appeal for someone to take on those duties temporarily.He had to admit his disappointment that no one came forward.

Emil Cobb: Emil reported that 21 members attended the Main meeting. Therewere 14 at the Linux SIG.

Mike Latinovich: Mike said the video shown in the Linux SIG was "prettygood." It would have been better had the screen been bigger.

Mike brought up the topic of Socials. We haven't been doing them asformally as we have in the past and there was some question about the Swapmeet portion of those meetings. The Board expressed their approval foranyone to bring in anything they'd like to swap, sell or get rid of to anymeeting they like. It doesn't require a specific meeting anymore. Breaksare a great time to conduct this sort of thing.

Mike continued with his favorite part of the Social meetings - thedoughnuts. He noted that this time they were very good, despite the factthere weren't any.

Mike said there had been a lot of interesting questions during the mainpart of the meeting. Norris Hansell had asked a question about OpenTypefonts. Mike noted that OpenType and TrueType fonts are virtually the samething. "OpenType is TrueType version 2."

Mike had harsher words for the networking demo. He said, "The Linux, Mac,PC thing was a big mess. It looked rushed and unprepared." Jack Melbycountered, saying "That was the way it was supposed to be." We were goingfor the uninitiated's discovery of how to performing the networking task.

Kris Klindworth: Kris said the networking demo was "an interestingexperiment."

As to future Linux topics, Kris noted that there had been a request for"command line stuff - basic commands and switches." He said they wouldaddress that next month. They will look at shell scripting.

Kris asked if there could be a Linux SIG archive on the club's web site forthe collection of handouts that had been generated. Kevin Hisel said,"Absolutely."

Kris said he wants to do "security" in the Linux SIG. It could be a threemonth series.

Jim said the WinSIG would look at the command line.

Rich Hall: Rich noted that there had been a few re-ups. Bill Zwickyrenewed his membership.

Rich said he liked the additional, Commo-Hawk newsletter sent to members.

Jack Melby: Jack pointed out that all OS X applications will save in PDFformat, as it is built into the operating system.

Jack said next month he would bring in CDs of OS X freeware and sharewareutilities. He said enough new stuff has come out since the last time he hadcreated a club CD. He said there were a lot of really nice things. For theMac SIG, he would demo the stuff from the CD. The CD will be available for$3 each.

Mike Latinovich asked if all of the club Amiga disks had been put on a CD.Kevin Hisel said "No' but that sounds like a perfect project for you."

Kevin Hopkins: Kevin said he had included the Commo-Hawk newsletter inhis mailing because of that issues extensive Linux coverage. Did the LinuxSIG members find of value? Kris responded positively. Kevin said it hadgenerated some favorable comments and that he could continue to send it outmonthly if the members so desired.

There was a discussion of the pros and cons of doing our newsletter in PDFformat: the software requirements, the time requirements, and even thedesirability of of the format in te first place.

Kevin Hisel: Kevin said he'd vote against PDF. He said, although good forprinting, it's not a good format to read and "I've got a 21" monitor." KrisKlindworth said he liked text, too. There was a discussion of just doingthe web version of the newsletter and using the emailing to notify membersthat the issue was available. Kevin offered a few examples of link-onlystyle notices. Jim Lewis said he would like the ability to put a fewpictures into the newsletter. The web version does offer this.

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College of Dupage Computer Show report

Jim Huls
Sun May 26, 2002 10:45 pm

This month Jim Lewis, Emil Cobb, Rich Rollins, and myself all went to theshow to check out the goodies.

Little did I realize that I would fall in to my temptations and pick up anew video card. I'm not going to claim it's the bargain of the year by anymeans. It's a simple GForce 4 Ti 4200 from Gainward with 64 MB ram that Igrabbed for $165. I was planning on getting one of the 4200's originallyand ultimately thought I would just go for the low-end with 64 rather than128 MB. One reason it was cheaper and two, the memory is slightly fasterthan the 128 version even though the "experts" claim the 128 would be thebetter investment based on some of the games coming out down the road(notaccording to my wallet though). Cheap is what really won out though. I justgot it installed and am having a hard time adjusting to it in UnrealTournament. It's so silky sooth in higher resolutions than what I was usingwith my old ATI AIW128 and at 32 for the bit-depth as opposed to 16. It'sjust amazing but has definitely thrown my aim off. What can I say but,wow!?!? 2D quality seems to up there pretty well also. I've heard from manyhow the Nvidia cards typically don't use quality parts to maintain a goodsignal but this looks every bit and maybe even better than the AIW128 I hadwhich was noticeably better than many cards I've tried.

The show was fun and busier than I would have thought with a holidayweekend. Lots of used goodies at reasonable prices. Not sure what theothers got other than Jim L. and his two UPS's for something like $30total. Not too bad. The food was good and the ride was ahhh...relaxing.Lots of police cars on the way there and back so probably a good thing Richdrove or the trip "could" have potentially been longer.

For those interested and someone usually is the LiteOn burners were about$75 for the 32x while the 40x was about $83. I almost scored what I thoughtwas a wireless PCI card for $45 until I discovered that it was just the pciadapter. Gotta watch those things. The pcmcia card would have probably beenanother $40 at least. Not what I wanted to spend.

All in all a good time. It'd be fun to get a bus load to go up there. Nota lot to attract Mac folks except a few peripherals, harddrives, memory,etc. Cheap, used systems for Linux folks would be in heaven there I wouldimagine.

Jim Lewis ()
Mon May 27, 2002 5:22 am

Yes, I did pick up a pair of ultra-cheap 700va UPSs by Best Power..Hee-Hee!! Not as well known as APC (in the consumer market), but along-time player in this industry and a well-respected name in EnterpriseUPS. In the past, they have ranked right behind APC in terms of popularityand I have no reason to think this has changed. At these prices, it pays totreat these units as 'disposable', just working them until the batteriesgo, then pitching them in favor of another used unit. If you're reallyhard-core (or find a really *nice* unit), replacement batteries areavailable locally at the Interstate Battery dealer out on North Mattis.

Once again, if you were looking for a PII or PIII unit, there were manyretired-from-service selections with prices starting at about $100..Particularly notable, was a Dell P3-500, 256MB, 8GB, NIC & sound for$275.. Not a bad server or Linux box! Rich can report on used laptops, hescoured the floor looking for a 'give-away' unit, but didn't find one. Itseems that laptops are the one item these vendors are up to snuff on,price-wise. 'Got your ears' on, Rich??

Emil was even able to get a couple of Mac-related items, although Macsupport at these events is usually limited to items common with the PC(hard drives, printers, scanners, monitors, hubs, switches, routers, etc.).

Attendance was about 2/3 the norm due to the Holiday weekend, I'm sure. Itwas actually quite pleasant to be able to move about the aisles withoutbeing mobbed to death by 11:30 AM!! Of course there were a few 'Show Babes'worth a second (or maybe even a third) look, milling around after lunch

.For any who are interested in 'pre-owned' UPSs or Laser printers, pleasecontact me! The vendor I got the UPSs from (also the previous home of the$70 HP LJ-6P!!) says they have a couple of *pallets* of UPSs, monitors &printers available!! I intend to take a pass by there (Streamwood, IL)mid-week and buy up a few items. The more I buy, the less they will cost,so let me know ASAP! We'll share the deals .

As to the CUCUG sponsored bus trip... I think it's something we could do onan ongoing basis, maybe every couple or three months. It's been a longwhile since we've done a CUCUG road trip (Gateway Amiga show in St. Louis),and this one has potential benefit for all our members. It also lets usprovide a very valuable service to our members that we haven't done forsome time.

BTW, could the organizers of that last trip to the Gateway show pleaseemail me with the details on who we used for the bus charter, cost, etc?This was long enough ago, that I don't remember any of the particulars(other than almost being CO-ed to death in the back of that lousy bus :^)

Richard Rollins ()
Mon May 27, 2002 12:57 pm

Well now for something completely different....

I enjoyed the trip as much as everyone else but did not bring anything homebut my friends. I tried to make a few deals on various laptops from HewlettPackard or IBM Thinkpads but the venders were not willing to move on theinflated prices that they were selling them at. The most important thing atany of these shows is to NEVER buy at the venders posted price. There weremany deals up there that many in our group (CUCUG) would like to have Ibelieve. Hope we can all make the trip up sometime. Remember the speedlimit so the many police on the way don't have to meet you...... :wink:

The printers and UPS's that Jim talked about are just great and anyonethinking about getting one should contact him.

Well until the next time....

Rich

Jim Lewis ()
Wed May 29, 2002 7:21 am

Maybe we could start a dedicated Forum for show trips? As the time getscloser, we could all check at one place for info...

Also under consideration is a CUCUG-sponsored vehicle rental for theseexcursions on a semi-regular basis (maybe every 2-3 months). A passengervan with shared driving responsibilities (one person drives up, another thereturn trip) and maybe a $5/person donation to help cover some of theexpenses could be a good way to accomplish this.

Lets hear the feedback, folks...

Jim Lewis
President,
Corporate Agent,
WinSig Chairman
CUCUG, Inc.
Email:
www.cucug.org

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The Back Page:

The CUCUG is a not-for-profit corporation, originally organized in 1983to support and advance the knowledge of area Commodore computer users.We've grown since then, now supporting PC, Macintosh and Linux platforms.

Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at theIllinois Technology Center. The Center is located at 7101 Tomaras Ave inSavoy. To get to the Illinois Technology Center from Champaign or Urbana,take Neil Street (Rt 45) south. Setting the trip meter in your car to zeroat the McDonalds on the corner of Kirby/Florida and Neil in Champaign, youonly go 2.4 miles south. Windsor will be at the one mile mark. Curtis willbe at the two mile mark. Go past the Paradise Inn/Best Western motel to thenext street, Tomaras Ave. on the west (right) side. Tomaras is at the 2.4mile mark. Turn west (right) on Tomaras Ave. The parking lot entrance isimmediately on the south (left) side of Tomaras Ave. Enter the building bythe front door under the three flags facing Rt 45. A map can be found onthe CUCUG website at http://www.cucug.org/meeting.html. The Illinois Technology Center is also on the web at www.IL-Tech-Ctr.com .

Membership dues for individuals are $20 annually; prorated to $10 at midyear.

Our monthly newsletter, the Status Register, is delivered by email. Allrecent editions are available on our WWW site. To initiate a user groupexchange, just send us your newsletter or contact our editor via email. Asa matter of CUCUG policy, an exchange partner will be dropped after threemonths of no contact.

For further information, please attend the next meeting as our guest, orcontact one of our officers (all at area code 217):

   President/WinSIG:   Jim Lewis                621-2343                    Vice-President:     Emil Cobb                398-0149                    Secretary/Editor:   Kevin Hopkins            356-5026                       Treasurer:          Richard Hall             344-8687                    Corporate Agent:    Jim Lewis                621-2343                    Board Advisor:      Richard Rollins          469-2616                 Webmaster:          Kevin Hisel              352-1002              Mac SIG Co-Chair:   John Melby               352-3638              Mac SIG Co-Chair:   Charles Melby-Thompson   352-3638               Linux SIG Co-Chair: John Ross                469-0208     Linux SIG Co-Chair: Kris Klindworth          239-0097       

Surf our web site at

CUCUG
912 Stratford Dr.
Champaign, IL
61821

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