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ATPM 17.10
October 2011




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Nisus Writer Pro 2.0

I have no experience or opinions about the software in question. But 1,200 fonts?

You, my friend, need a font management program. There’s never a reason to have more than a hundred or so fonts active on a computer. I work in design and print production; I use a Mac Pro with 8 cores, 12 GB of RAM, and over 6,000 fonts. But thanks to font management I never need to have more than a couple of dozen activated at a time. There’s never a need! Who would want to scroll through a menu of a thousand fonts, ever?

By the way, there are many options, but Linotype FontExplorer X is the best I’ve used.

—Paul R

• • •

I have used Nisus Writer Pro since it became available and Nisus Writer Classic prior to Mac OS X. Solid program, very easy to learn, yet very powerful. For short, every day projects this is my choice. For longer, Hebrew oriented work, I use Mellel. Both are superb.


• • •

I would agree that the full-screen mode is horrible, if it were anything like you described. Fortunately it is not, at least in 2.0.1. You can easily choose a color tint to get rid of the glaring white background, you can easily change the screen font size to whatever you like in a few seconds (Command-Plus, Command-Minus), and by grabbing the bottom right corner of the screen you can alter the size of the window from full-screen to matchbox size in a couple of seconds; and you can easily get rid of the displayed tool drawers. Voila! There is still a very serious lack: inability to show a split-screen view of the document you’re working on. But the Nisus team have shown they care about improving their (very cheap) program. Where else can you buy the world’s best word processor for less than the price of a good dinner for two?


SleeveCase for MacBook Air

I have Waterfield cases for every item in my electronic arsenal, and they are all great! I just go the iPad slip case that fits my iPad with it’s cover. Elegantly made and extremely durable.

—Paul Rider

• • •

I’m another long-time user of Waterfield cases. I bought another one when I purchased my iPad 1 after trying two or three others. The slip case for my iPad is another example of well-made, well-executed design.

I can recommend Waterfield Designs’ work.

—David Thompson

Desktop Pictures: New York City

I wanted to let you know that the picture of the twin towers published on the ATPM Web site is also featured in the movie REBUILD about redevelopment of the WTC site.

—Jens Grabenstein

Coping With Mac OS X’s Font Rendering

I bought a 2011 Mac Mini with Lion, and sadly the font situation hasn’t improved. This is my first Apple product, and I took the plunge after several years of juggling Windows and Linux for their various functionalities. While I love the OS overall, the blurry fonts are making it much harder to use than I expected. This might be accentuated by the fact I’m using an older 19″ LCD running at 1280×1024. I’m considering buying a full HD 21.5″ display for the higher DPI, but I won’t do so until I take a trip to the nearest Apple Store to see what the fonts look like on a new 21.5″ iMac.

As for my background, on Windows I never used anti-aliasing for fonts under 14 points because it made everything look out of focus. Same with Linux. Both Cleartype and FreeType do a better rendering job than the Mac OS X system, though. I also have decent eyesight being a commercial pilot and not wearing glasses.


13-inch MacBook Air

I am actually getting a new MacBook Air 11″ in two weeks’ time and simply can’t wait to get it. After being stuck on a PC for the first 12 years of my life, and a dog-slow (not bad for a eight-year-old) used PowerBook G4 Aluminium 1 GHz for a year, I am going all the way up to a Core i5 piece of beauty.

Yes, you guessed it, I am a teenager, who switched to the Mac, dumped his Dual Radeon 5770 gaming rig and most of his games for a simple Mac. I still play games on my Mac, like Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 2004.

Oh, just to comment on the article a little bit, the MacBook Air 11″ isn’t all that dodgy; the screen real estate is actually perfect for most everyday users, especially with Lion’s new fullscreen mode. I tried it out at an Apple authorised dealer in Singapore, compared it to my 15″ G4, and found that it was actually OK, in terms of the real estate I lose for the portability I gain.

—Lee Joonmin

Hacking the Cable Modem

I was reading your article about “Hacking the Cable Modem” in ATPM 9.17. Funny how the bumper sticker “will work for Bandwidth” doesn’t seem to really apply much now that clouds and generally lightweight server based, client friendly applications have started to become the norm.

However, as a streaming-TV-company subscriber I did arrive home one month to find my router reporting I was dangerously close to the limit for my cable company. The other rather limiting thing about the consumer contract is that you are not allowed (in theory or contractually at least) to run your own servers, and additionally your mileage may vary with P2P and other services on various cable networks.

After a bit of research I ponied up. Actually divorced the cable modem from my residential package (which is fine for TV, etc.), and I am now paying the premium for business service.

Don’t let the initial shock and awe of the statement take you aback. Yes it is more expensive by a number I hate to admit to myself. But on the business line there is:

  • no bandwidth cap
  • ability to run your own servers
  • much better equipment delivered to your home to service your need (in fact I had to upgrade my router to cope with the incoming network speed and allow network clients not to receive a cut down speed)
  • a raft of business-level tools including DNS redirection, Exchange mail, and Sharepoint, Web space etc.

So there are some pieces I don’t use and others I do. But here’s the key thing about the service also: the company has an SLA for getting me back up and running in the event of an outage. And I don’t mean call the consumer line and get a pre-recorded message telling you they know you are affected and are working on it. But actually people, Technical Support, to set you up. And if things go south, I call and get a person and a time to fix the issue—fast.

Living in a residential area, the cable that gets damaged may be the same as next door is using. But having the extra support and features offers peace of mind and a good solid service.

I have not mentioned company names as that is not particularly useful—but by doubling (gulp I said it…) the price of my service, I get fast service all the time. Plus the personal service to back it up.

If you can swallow the price, you can ignore the caps and slowdowns and barriers to your traffic and just get on with it.

—Angus Wathen

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