Welcome to the September 2000 issue of ATPM (About This Particular Macintosh). This issue contains:
Apple Cider: Too Much Information
Tom Iovino presents his thoughts on today’s information overload and how it affects our lives and relationships. Do we really need all that technology?
“Today, the world moves a whole lot faster than it used to. The speed limit on the information superhighway is fast approaching the speed of thought.”
Beyond the Barline: My Summer at Camp—Part One
David Ozab reports his experiences with the Metasynth summer camp, and he explains the basic functionality and the special characteristics of the program.
“I’ve come to realize lately that there are two kinds of music software: closed systems—like sequencers, hard disk recorders, software synths, or samplers—are designed to perform a specific task; open systems—examples include Metasynth, Kyma, and Max—provide a paradigm, but do not prescribe the results.”
Hollywood: I Couldn’t See It
Mike Shields gives us his take on recent events in digital video, among others the MPAA lawsuit about DVD playback software.
“If I buy a DVD, I should be able to play it on the machine of my choosing, whether that be a DVD player or a computer with a DVD drive. The software that allows me to do this should be transparent.”
About This Particular Web Site
David Spencer introduces MacLotto (lottery of Macintosh products), DealMac (deal finder), OpenTable & Foodline (restaurant reservations), EarthCam (Webcams around the world), and VersionTracker (tracks new versions of software).
Segments: Why My Next Mac Will Be A Cube
Matthew Glidden shows his philosophical reasons for wanting the new G4 Cube. It’s not just design, although that’s part of it.
“Computer design is like Dr. Dolittle’s pushme-pullyou beast, simultaneously seeking the opposing goals of contextual simplicity and computational power.”
Graphics and the Internet: The Animated GIF
In this short tutorial, Grant Osborne teaches us how to create animated GIFs, when to use them, and when to avoid them.
“Your eyes are naturally drawn to anything that moves. Imagine settling down to read your favorite daily newspaper and finding at the bottom of the page a little guy jumping up and down, trying to put an envelope in a dancing mailbox.”
DoorStop Personal Firewall 2.0—Paul Fatula
Firewalls used to be primarily for corporations. Times have changed, and always-on Internet connections require improved security for Macs at home. Can DoorStop Personal Firewall 2.0 deliver that security?
“With more personal computers being left online 24 hours a day, the desire, if not need, for a firewall of some sort is on the rise. Like NetBarrier, DoorStop offers Macintosh users protection from the network. However, the similarity ends there. With a very different user interface, and a feature set that sticks to the basics, DoorStop will likely appeal to novice Mac users.”
Gerry’s ICQ d44.1—Daniel Chvatik
You thought “You’ve Got Mail” was in? Think again. Gerry’s ICQ takes Mac instant messaging and chatting to new heights. Is it time to join the crowd?
“ICQ has developed beyond simple talk, and Gerry’s ICQ reflects that. In addition to messaging and chatting, it lets you send files or URLs.”
icWord 1.0—Brooke Smith
Microsoft’s Word has become the de-facto standard format in word processing. But what if you don’t own the program? icWord to the rescue!
“icWord seems to be a practical and user-friendly program for those Mac users who don’t have Word and need to read Word documents. The simple toolbar layout is easy to navigate without the help of the documentation. The Tile and Stack Windows options are very useful, and the overall look of the program […] is clean and tasteful.”
Kyma 5.0—David Ozab
David Ozab takes you into the world of Kyma, a software interface for the Capybara 320 sound processor.
“You get what you pay for, and, for the price, Kyma 5.0 is an unbelievable bargain. For the same cost as a typical keyboard workstation you get a true black box—synthesis, sampling, MIDI, audio processing, algorithmic composition, and real-time interaction; it’s all there.”
Nomad II 32 MB—Eric Blair
The third-generation MP3 player Nomad II may just have what it takes to draw you into the world of MP3 music. Or maybe not?
“It’s long been said that a technology is not truly useful until its third generation sees the light of day. If that adage is to be believed, now is the time to jump on the portable MP3 player bandwagon.”
PGPfreeware 6.5.2 and SafeMail 2.1—Gregory Tetrault
Want to protect your e-mail communication but don’t know how? Gregory Tretault takes two encryption programs for the Mac under a probing light. See for yourself what he uncovered.
“I highly recommend PGPfreeware. It handles all your e-mail signature and encryption needs and costs nothing but download time. Its manuals and help files are excellent.”
StoryBox Picture Frame (Preview)—Daniel Chvatik
Daniel Chvatik previews the promising new picture frame from Weave Innovations and the accompanying StoryBox picture exchange and content delivery system.
“Computers used to be simply tools for work, and many people were happy to enter a computer-free environment after the work was done. Staring at a flickering screen for several hours a day is quite enough for them. But as speed, bandwidth, and memory capacity keep increasing, computers and the associated technologies are no longer restricted to the workplace.”
Cartoon: “In Your Dreams”
Michael Morgan on the sexyness of speed.
“I don’t obey no speed limits where processors are concerned.”
Desktop Pictures: Mark Montgomery
ATPM reader Mark Montgomery has submitted some stunning photographs with various motives.
Desktop Pictures: Konstanz Part II
Jens Grabenstein concludes the second part of his picture series from Southern Germany.
Trivia: Crack the Code
Edward Goss dares you to crack the code names of Apple’s PowerBooks. Do you have what it takes?