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ATPM 13.10
October 2007



How To



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Creating Seamless Tiles

Instead of Shear, you can also use the Offset filter (Other ‣ Offset…), which allows you to shift the horizontal and vertical at the same time. You will first need to crop your image to the tile area only.

—Joe Minenna

Hey, you’re absolutely right! This is why I’m glad to have reader feedback—pointing me toward newer Filters in Photoshop that I haven’t used.

So then, the new procedure to replace using the Shear command, then rotating 90 degrees, Shearing again, then rotating back, is to instead just use the Filter ‣ Other ‣ Offset… filter. Simply set the values for exactly half of your document size. If your pattern is 600 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall, set the horizontal for 300 and the vertical for 100.

—Lee Bennett


I am totally addicted to Stikkit as well: the fact that entry is plain text and nothing but plain text (though, thanks to Markdown syntax, the output can be formatted) is to me the best thing about it.

I also agree that the biggest limitation is the inability to browse stikkits. My suggestion to the developers has been to implement Forward and Back buttons in order to browse through stikkits that share a given tag. That would be a start anyway.

However, it should be said that for the past few months Stikkit’s developers have been pretty much totally unresponsive. They used to comment regularly on the forums and answer questions, but the last time any of them posted was about six weeks ago, and that was just to explain that there had been some server downtime. I have only sent a couple of e-mails to the help address, but they have gone unanswered, and there have been (as far as I know) no updates or bug fixes in quite some time.

So as fabulous as Stikkit is, it’s hard not to suspect that it’s an abandoned project. If so, I hope someone picks it up and continues development, because it’s a major advance in personal organization software. A desktop version would be a great thing too, in my view.

—Alan Jacobs

EyeTV 250

Aaaargh! I have an EyeTV 250, and it’s a fantastic piece of equipment. After recording, I can export to iDVD, or iMovie HD, or QuickTime. All good so far. Then when I try to burn a DVD in iDVD, or export from iMovie HD to a video camera, the picture becomes unbearable. Basically, everything is fine, as long as it stays on my Mac. This is very limiting for me, and I’m pulling my hair out! I’ve tried everything. Is there some copy-protection device in the unit or something?

—Dan Kendrick

Are You Out There, Steve? It’s Me, Wes

I was a serious iPhone skeptic as well, but when I was finally convinced that it was going to happen I started buying AAPL stock—but interestingly not an iPhone, (no money left after buying stock—must be the expert investor in me…). Anyway, now that the iPhone buying is becoming a kind of steady hum in the market place, the truth is I’m still not going to buy one; actually, I was never that enamored with the phone part of the thing but am/was very interested in everything else it had to offer. (The fact that I can’t get AT&T service where I live might have a little to do with my lack of interest in the cell phone.)

So now here comes the iPod touch, a true video iPod—finally!—and now I’m definitely salivating and chomping at the bit. Am I going to buy one? Uh, actually no…There’s this weird thing happening with the feature sets on both the iPhone and the iPod touch that I find slightly disgusting, and in my mind it just all adds up to a bunch of little conspiracies that revolve around things like contracts with AT&T, and no Flash support for the browsers, no e-mail for the iPod touch, and the list goes on a little longer. Tell me, how can you offer a Wi-Fi device and not include e-mail and calendar sharing? For the record, I don’t believe for one moment that it was any short-sightedness on the part of Apple’s design gurus; it’s just the way that it’s gotta be for now, and for reasons we may or may not ever really know—but it’s still weird.

Long story short, I’m thrilled that Apple is doing well, but I’m still not going to buy either one of these extremely cool devices until we can get all of our eggs in one basket—really—give me a break.

—Mr. Peabody

Running Classic Software on an Intel Mac

Been searching for weeks for some way to run my old software on this MacBook. Thanks! You explained this better than any of the dozen or so other Web pages I’ve visited. It’s still all Greek to me at the moment, and I’d rather pay someone to set this up then to consume all of this information necessary for me to do it myself. I got stuck with one of those iBooks that had the bad logic board! Apple kept repairing it, and it kept breaking! Now I need to get Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver, and several other programs running again! Apple should have created something to support this!

—Ed Richardson

Some Perspectives on WWDC

I really appreciate the perspective that you offer in your article, it comes as confirmation of some suspicions I’ve had and also enlightenment about the state of the art.

I came away with mixed feelings about the developmental life-force that was Apple, and the more solid, more predictable, more obvious thing that Apple has become from the perspective of those of us on the receiving end of these technologies. It seems that survival had to play a big role in what Apple has become, and spurred on in no small part by the fact that in one decade a single software company pretty much took over the world—or at least the important parts of it.

I find it kind of interesting to think about what Apple might become if they ever succeed in getting a significant foothold in the market place—I wonder if that kind of empowerment, combined with the necessary resources, might push them back into a kind of renaissance, developmentally. I like to think there would be a marked difference in a world co-dominated by Apple as compared to what Microsoft has done with their singular dominance.

Oh well, I guess all we can do about that now is wonder—dare we dream.

—Mr. Peabody

PowerBook G4

I have a PowerBook G4, bought around 2004. It has worked fine since the day I got it, and I love it to bits…

My foot got caught around the power lead at the weekend, and when I got up it pulled the laptop off the table and onto the floor.


It would appear to have fallen on the corner where the power lead plugs in, leaving the casing slightly dented. Around 50% of the cable (on the adaptor) appears to be frayed, close to where it plugs into the laptop. The laptop is in sleep mode and no longer turns on (the button on the battery just makes one of the LED’s flash) so I’m thinking I just need a new power adaptor?

When I plug the adaptor into the laptop, it doesn’t glow up green or orange—would this suggest a problem with the adaptor or the socket that it plugs into?


It sounds like you need to find an Apple Authorized Service Provider (if you don’t have an Apple Store in your area) to take a look at it. It could be any number of issues, from the adapter, to the power plug on the motherboard, to the power management unit. You can try resetting the PMU.

—Christopher Turner

Tactile Pro

I recently purchased one of the “black” Tactile Pro 2 keyboards to use on my PC. The key feel is the same as before, good. The problem with the cheap keyboard feet has not been resolved from version 1. (Matias never did send me that replacement foot that they said they would.)

Why can’t anyone just make a good keyboard? All the sales gimmicks are ruining these keyboards.

Case in point: the Tactile 2 has no Caps Lock key. Unbelievable? Well, I’m not making this up. The caps lock key has been replaced by an “optimizer” key, which activates an extra set of functions that pretty much duplicate commands already available to a normal keyboard. Even the multiple cut and paste is not so useful now that most applications have a function that does that.

End result: now I have to hit two keys (Optimize + /) to activate the Caps Lock where before I only hit one. This is not a step in the right direction, as far as I’m concerned.

Most recently, I have been using a Das Keyboard. The keys are mechanical, but with a slightly lighter touch. I think it is superior to the Tactile. There is still a distinct feel to the keys. There is nowhere near as much noise as the Tactile, and the keyboard case is the standard wedge shape that requires no cheap plastic feet to angle it up. Solid black plastic, so no seeing the dustbunnies through the case.

But, you protest, it is blank! Again, a stupid gimmick. I solved the problem with a set of adhesive decals that are available on the Web for converting keyboards from one language to another (or to Dvorak). Now I have my keys with letters and numbers, and the excellent feel of the Das Keyboard.

The Tactile Pro 2 keys are so cluttered, they almost need a set of decals to hide all of the extra crap.

Somebody please just make a solid, mechanical key keyboard—with no stupid gimmicks! No blank keys. No changed keys. No extra useless crap on the keys.

Pretty please?

—Ivan Cat

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