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No, no, no, thank you!

I've just finished reading the April issue cover-to-cover. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks. My husband isn't done yet. We both love it. We'll try to come up with some anecdotes, etc. from time to time, since we moonlight as Mac consultants. Thanks much for all the work you and your staff have put in. You're appreciated!

Ed & Mary Ann Edman, America Online

We appreciate letters like this to no end. ATPM began as a labor of love, and remains so to this day, a free service to Mac owners for their persistence, dedication, and passion. If you derive a little laugh or a little usefulness from our efforts, we are pleased to have provided them.

Scott Adams is a god.

This from Lynn Roseborough, who wrote in ATPM 2.04 about problems with her recently purchased Dilbert denim shirt being WAY too big for her when it arrived. Editor.

There's a fairly significant error in the footnote to the Lynn Goes Shopping Story in the new ATPM. Scott Adams replied to me within four hours, not four days, which changes the tone of his accessibility. Especially since he was only cc:'d the letter, which was sent to United Media, who never even sent me a form email. Here is Scott's actual reply:

> Subject: Re: Received my DNRC Denim Shirt Today!
> >> Or are all computer people really THAT BIG?
> All of our demand is for even larger sizes! Wash it twice and it's a
> barbie shirt. (I'm 5'8" and thin and my large fits just right now.)
> Scott Adams

Not much more to be said. We regret the error, of course, and reiterate that we think Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is next to cleanliness.

The Evil Empire's Browser

To the editor: I read Mr. Tsai's review comparing Netscape Navigator to The Evil Empire's Internet Explorer in ATPM 2.04.

There is one feature omitted from the review, and it is the one that really swung my preference to Netscape. Using Netscape, I can designate where to build the cache folder. Using MIE, the cache folder is forced to be in my preferences folder on my system disk. I have my drive partitioned and try to keep from having transient files, such as cache files, written onto my system partition to cut down on the fragmentation. I much prefer being able to choose my data partition, which I can safely defragment regularly without fear of corrupting the system. It was for this single reason that I trashed MIE.

There is a second major factor that almost forces me to choose Netscape, and that is the attempted monopoly of the software industry by The Evil Empire. A few years ago, the US government threatened IBM with anti-trust action; when IBM chose to fight the action instead of settle the issue, the government had to withdraw from the fight because Big Blue had more money to throw at the case than Uncle Sam. The Evil Empire is bigger and more litigious than Big Blue ever was, and recently won a similar anti-trust case for the same reason.

Mark Nobles, Internet

[Michael J. Tsai, ATPM's Associate Editor of Reviews, and the author of the Microsoft Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator comparison in ATPM 2.04, responds. Editor.]

Thank you for writing!

That's a good point, and I should have mentioned that limitation of Internet Explorer. Your system of putting transient files on a separate partition is a good idea, especially given that the relatively small sizes of the cache files, and the large number of them waste space on large partitions due to the allocation block size. This is a solid reason to prefer Netscape Navigator.

As for 'The Evil Empire,' you're right about its attempted monopoly. However, users should choose their web browser (or any other piece of software) based primarily on its quality. If the chief goal of choosing software was to stop monopolies, I might be forced to recommend Internet Explorer. According to percentages, Netscape Navigator has a larger monopoly in the Web Browser industry than Windows does in the Operating System industry.


Base64 is ugly.

Thanks for sending me ATPM. I noticed that this was the first time you've sent it encoded with MIME (or base64). It was much more difficult to decode on my system (as the mail system doesn't handle it). Is it possible for you to continue to BINHEX the files as you've done in the past? Thanks,

Corbett Enders, Internet

A number of readers have sent mail regarding this. To a person, they are former eWorld subscribers. When we send out subscriptions to old eWorld addresses, they get forwarded to your new addresses, and at that point get transcribed as AOL's baseline encoded document, which is a Base64 code. We hate it here, and wish AOL would switch to a BinHex code, and we've told them as much. In the meantime, if you can't decode the gobbledygook you get when you download your subscription, let us know. We'll do what we can. Thanks for reading ATPM despite these problems.

Your picture... not so ugly.

This was directed at RD Novo, our erstwhile artsy columnist regarding his new column photo from ATPM 2.04, as compared to the old, distinctly blue one in ATPM 2.03.

The new photo is a vast improvement over the last one, which frightened my children. Who are 16 and 19, by the way.

Bill Beall, America Online

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. The old picture was, well, a wash. I was playing with Illustrator a lot and it was fun and I don't know what got into me. When she saw the new one, my mother merely said, "It's so nice to see your face," or something like that. So this picture stays until I get a cool color picture. RD.