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ATPM 14.07
July 2008


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Apple Versus Dell

The “Dell Way” is shorthand for execution, execution, execution. “Go do it” is another one of these Dell-isms that suffuse right through the organization.

The net result is that Dell will reward short-termism at the expense of an overall plan.

When Michael Dell came back to run the company, I remember scoffing at his statement of intent, which was, basically, to be better at what they were already doing. As you rightly say, you can only trim so much fat before hitting muscle ’n bone.

The number of times I heard references to the one good idea he had—way back, 20 years ago—suggests that he has no clue other than to keep doing what he knows: assemble commodity PCs.

In that sense, Dell is not in the same market as Apple, meaning they’re not really competitors any longer.



Version 1.0.3 of SpacePig permits registered owners of the game to play the full registered version when not connected to the internet. So now you can enjoy SpacePig on the road (albeit without the music).

—Paul Fatula

How To: Find the Right NAS Drive

I’d like to reiterate the comment made about file names. I bought a NAS drive believing I’d be able to use it to back up a small network of Macs. It networked OK if a little clunkily, but unfortunately the many and varied problems with historic file names I encountered meant that the drive was virtually unusable.

If you are starting out from scratch, clearly you can decide to follow the basic file naming rules that most drives will recognise. But if you already have a ton of stuff on your hard drive, named the Mac way, i.e. any way you please, you will find your backup falls over at the first hurdle.

In a fit of total frustration—and lack of the knowledge to do otherwise—I ended up up reformatting my drive and now use it as a rather expensive stand-alone.

Be warned!

—John Birdsall

• • •

There’s a great program that can fix all those un-Windows-able names called A Better Finder Rename. It’s can even do batch renames.

—Aaron Pressman

Mac to My Back

Thanks for the reminder about this important component of the .Mac service. When needed for troubleshooting or accessing remote files, it sure is a handy feature.

I’m looking forward to the anticipated enhancements in .Mac as Apple further integrates the functionality of its different digital devices through this annual subscription service.

Last week one of my associates used Back to My Mac to access a Mac at a remote location to troubleshoot its wireless network. It saved travel time and the need to try and walk someone through the fixes over the phone.

That one incident made the year’s subscription cost of .Mac more than worthwhile.

—Robert Paul Leitao

Although I run an FTP server in-house (with the excellent CrushFTP 4) I still need the public folder in my iDisk. My ADSL line can send at a maximum 90kps (860kbps) so downloading from me is a slow experience.

It’s easier for me to upload to iDisk for people to collect from there. But I wish Apple would let us use FTP rather than WebDAV, which slows to a trickle if you aren’t careful.

—Mark Tennent

• • •

It’s amazing how Apple takes things that only über-geeks can do and makes it to where anyone can do it. Truly stealing fire from the gods.


Photoshop for the Curious

I just wanted to say, thank you for this site. I am an infant with Photoshop, but I believe that with this detailed and easy-to-understand Web site I will be able to create a master piece and delicate it to you my friend.

—Anne from Australia

Time Capsule (1 TB)

I like Time Capsule. My experiences have been a bit different than the ones detailed in this review.

I’ve been using it as a wireless backup for five Macs in my home, and although a few early glitches occurred, it’s now working quite well and provides peace of mind our Macs are backed up each hour.

As mentioned above, as a wireless router the Time Capsule is top-notch. Migrating my household’s AirPort gear to 802.11n has provided a noticeable increase in wireless networking speed and range. Time Capsule is an 802.11n AirPort device.

Anyone buying a Time Capsule should do the first backup on each Mac via an Ethernet cable rather than wirelessly. It saves time, and it saves hassles.

Most of my early problems were solved by connecting to the Time Capsule on each Mac via of the Finder’s “Go” menu before commencing the first backup. Making the connection to Time Capsule’s hard drive before the backup began via of Time Machine reduced issues to almost nil.

The .sparsebundle format used by Apple for Time Machine backups can create issues if backups are not done regularly. Time Machine is not designed to be used only sporadically or infrequently. Time Capsule is the not the culprit in many of the cases when backups go awry.

While I don’t suggest Time Capsule is “perfect,” I do believe it accomplishes its assigned tasks and makes backing up a household full of Macs much easier and more practical.

—Robert Paul Leitao

• • •

I had some of the same problems as this reviewer. I’ve had my 1 TB Time Capsule for almost three months. About three weeks into using the Time Capsule, the disk image would not mount no matter what I did. It was frustrating to have to delete the backup and spend an entire day with my MacBook tethered by Ethernet to complete the new backup. Also, I have not been able to use the 7.3.1 firmware update because it would make the connection spotty. I’m using the 7.3 version just fine. I don’t know if the latest Mac OS X 10.5.3 update fixed this issue, but I’m not going to gamble another day of backing up to find out.

—Michael Moon

• • •

Two days after I bought a 1 TB Time Capsule, my new MacBook hard drive died. I biked down to the Apple Store, had them replace the drive (free, of course, under warranty), biked back home, asked Time Capsule to restore the drive, went off dinner and a play, and when I came back five or so hours later, all 100 GB (from a 160 GB hard drive) had been restored. Whew! My last CD backup had been a week earlier, so saving me that week of work alone was worth the price of Time Capsule.

So far, for me, Time Capsule has done exactly what I expected when I bought it: automatically wirelessly and reliably backing up my MacBook and my wife’s PowerBook, plus taking over as our AirPort router, allowing us to use our old AirPort Express to beam music from our computers to our stereo using AirTunes.


• • •

I purchased a 500 GB Time Capsule about a month ago, with the hopes that it would live up to its hype. To this day, the Time Capsule will not stay mounted as an external drive. Backups are working, but I would also like to use this for iTunes and iPhoto sources to save room on my main MacBook drive. All software is up to date, by the way. False advertising by Apple, as far as I can tell.

—Rex Handle

Outliner User Interfaces

I appreciated Ted’s response back in 2004, but yes, we’re all stuck with the same problem.

I’m still using Shadow Plan on my Palm OS 4.1 Clie SJ30 in my botany/restoration field work.

Everything I use seems to need an outliner view that would work seamlessly to exchange files.

I want to be able to view my Firefox bookmark collection in outline view, and organize them.

I want to make the labels I create for my botany field work photographs usable in outline form (with links to the images).

Etcetera, etcetera.

Is this just a way of thinking about/viewing/organizing the world that’s done by only relatively few people?

I recall reading about the “House of Memory” method of recalling information (imagine a large house/castle, imagine each room holds some of what you want, imagine each room has places for storing each idea…)—from before the invention of movable type.

That was an outline format.

Where’d it go?

—Hank Roberts

• • •

I’m desperate! I just bought a MacBook Pro with Leopard on it only to discover that AppleWorks doesn’t work!

I have done everything that I have read on the Web. My dictionaries aren’t being recognized.

I have literally thousands of outlines with custom formatting. I am cringing at the thought of having to convert all of those files and losing the hours of labor it took to create them.

What software would you recommend?


Gosh, I wish I had a magic bullet. I just don’t know what to do with this.

If it were me, I think I would do something expensive, like going to Classic, jumping from what you have to FrameMaker+SGML, which I think can be done. Then once in SGML/XML, using their export tool to target whatever new outliner you prefer.

Write us and tell us what you did.

—Ted Goranson

Wings3D 0.98.34

Cool, but please tell how you did all the apple things. I’d especially like to know about the chrome one.


My Apple-logo-style 3D apple took very little time to create from the spherical primitive that you see in the first figure in the review. I subdivided the mesh to get a finer structure, then gradually reduced/increased the diameters to get an overall apple shape. I had a silhouette of the logo in the background to assist in the shaping. Then (I think) I created the top and bottom dimples with the Wings3D magnet tool, although there are lots of other mesh manipulation tools that will get you there. Just try them all!

The UV mapping was pretty simple as well. The leaf had its own UV map cut along the edge, and then I simply superimposed a leaf image onto the map in an image processor.

For the 3D apple, I cut along the edge of the “bite” and mapped that separated, then cut along the back side of apple (away from view) to create a flat map and hide the resulting ugly texture seam (I didn’t making seamless textures, though you can easily). The textures are any images you can find; I found pictures of tiger and leopard fur online and scaled appropriately by trial and error. Getting the right look with texture maps is fussy and can’t be explained easily. You just have to be patient and persevere.

Russell Brown has a good tutorial that shows how you can skin a 3D model right inside Adobe CS3 Extended. Just scroll down about half way in the list.

The chrome texture was a freebie I found on the Web, somewhere, and in fact I also used it to create the chromed man on the June 2008 cover of ATPM. There are numerous Web sites that offer free 3D textures, so happy hunting!

—Chris Dudar

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