March 2000

by Louis Bookbinder




A note from the coordinator

I wish there were a cheap data format intermediate between CD-ROMs and HD floppies. Each month when we put together the DOMs we bemoan the same problem: Too much shareware is too big for floppies, but it takes too long to fill a CD-ROM. As you know, a floppy can hold 1.4M of data, a CD-ROM 650M. A factor of almost 500. What we would like is something like 10M or even 20M. CD-ROMs are pretty cheap, but not as cheap as floppies. They DO have advantages - high speed and safety from accidental erasure. The drawback is that if you are done with one, you can't use it for anything except a drink coaster!

I would like other members of the club to think about this. A monthly CD is out of the question - we do not have the resouces to fill one each month. A mostly empty CD seems like an awful waste. But floppies are just about obsolete. One idea was to fill up a CD with some large standards like IE and NN and other free, standard software that we need to change infrequently, and have a variable section for new shareware. Since we charge $10 for CDs, we could keep the last 2 months on the CDs so you would have to buy them half as often - and spend the same amount - to get all the shareware we collect. (I think this might reduce our annual CD-ROM sales, but maybe I am wrong)

But I would like other ideas. It is quite a problem. We have to get out of the floppy era, but need something practical for us all. Email any of the shareware team with your ideas.




This month's Free Sample Shareware is no longer available. See current month. -------------------------------------------------

SMUG March '00 Disk of the Month

Assembled by Bob Markevitch

Decoder 2.07 - Shareware
Decoder will decode any file that has been encoded using the uuencode, binhex, AppleSingle, MacBinary (I, II, or III), or MIME encoding formats. Just drop a file, multiple files, or a folder, onto the Decoder application icon and it (they) will be decoded. Decoder will determine the encoding method and decode accordingly. $20

Earthbrowser 1.0.3.sit - Shareware
This beautifully-rendered 3D model of the Earth shows you, in real-time, how the night shadows are falling onto it and the clouds overhead in any given part of the world. The clouds are updated four times daily and are automatically downloaded and displayed onto your model with your Internet connection. It features city lights and locations, ocean depth colors, full-screen mode, screen saver mode, global time calculation for any city, and more. Requires a PPC running Mac OS 7.5 or later, Open Transport, and an Internet connection. $19.95

Gerry's Attraction 2.0b3 - Postcardware
This app will allow you to explore two popular "attractors", shapes defined by the evolution of equations that model convection over time. The program traces up to 5000 points following either set of equations from the original Lorentz Attractor or the Rossler Attractor. To the non-physicist, this eye-candy of an app will let you play with visual particles that scatter and flow as you tilt the plane or move the mass directionally. Free

IPNetMonitor PPC 2.3.2 and IPNetMonitor 68K 2.2.1
This set of tools is for anyone who regularly surfs the Net. This package contains a collection of internet tools, including Test Connectivity (Ping), Trace Route, Name Server Lookup, Who Is, Finger, Monitor, and Subnet Calculator. Requires a PPC running at least Mac OS 7.5.3 and Open Transport 1.1.1. $20

Redux 2.6.2
Redux is a simple but comprehensive Backup utility. It is simple to use, will do scheduled backups. The backups can be from any volume to any other volume, internal or external. However, it will not back up to CD-Rs. Free.

SCSIProbe 5.1.2 - Freeware
This freeware SCSI diagnostic and mounting utility will display pertinent information about your SCSI connected devices. There is no support for this software, so use at your own risk. 68k and PPC compatible. This is Adaptec's version.


Tip O' the Month

From Your Shareware Team

Saving your work

A few months back I warned about a bug in MS Word which could cause you to lose saved work IF YOU SAVE TOO OFTEN! Paradoxically, MS Word would keep saving copies to a work file, and then after about 250 of them, lose track of where they were and start all over! If you did that last save and then quit, you ended up with nothing!

A friend of mine had something like that happen - with Claris Works. I don't really know if the same bug exists in CW or not - but I know what you should do to keep from having your work evaporate:

  1. Save regularly. Every page will do, every paragraph if you cherish every word.
  2. If you leave your computer for any reason, close the document. This forces the application to save to a document with the name you gave it. The application can't just keep it in a work file.
  3. Maybe it would be convenient to back up to a floppy. Can't hurt.
  4. Can't hurt to print a hard-copy, too. Sometimes reviewing on paper you catch errors you don't see on screen.



Mac basics we sometimes forget

Nice View

If you ever open a folder and see - NOTHING - but the bar at the top says 3 items, check the scroll bars. Sometimes something happens and you get scrolled way, way far from the icons.

Easy to solve, without resorting to a lot of scrolling: in the View menu either change to list, or click Cleanup. Click on the resize button to get the best window for what you have.

Another use of the View menu - if large icons are STILL too small, set them to buttons. They get bigger AND one click launches the application!

And finally, one change with MacOS8 which was a step backward - you can no longer change the order of the fields in list view. But you CAN remove one of the fields. If you remove the "Date Modified" field, the next one should be size, which is PROBABLY what you want. They fixed this in MacOS8.5. And remember, DONT SHOW FOLDER SIZES! It slows the system down enormously!



My choices, only, out of hundreds of items every month. Drop me a note for YOUR favorite. Links below are either info about or actual downloads, and include commercial products, as well as shareware. These do NOT include demos or beta releases. You might check out Version Tracker for more.
® means update to recently released DOM item. Wish we could catch them all....

APPLEapple icon

AirPort 1.1 - for the AirPort Card and the AirPort Base Station

Mac OS 9 Audio Update 1.3 - improved audio support for USB Macs

MRJ 2.2 - Mac OS Runtime for Java to run Java apps & applets, SDK also new

Default Folder 3.0.5 - enhances Open/Save dialog boxes for more efficiency & ease of use

CorelDRAW 8 LE - new freeware version of the popular graphics application

Eudora Pro 4.3.1 - popular email client, now offered as freeware

GraphicConverter 3.8 - view, edit, and convert most any graphic file format

AOL Instant Messenger 3.5898 - instant chat/voice notification utility between online users

LinuxPPC 2000 - Unix OS for Power Macs

Intuit Quicken 2000R3 - finance management software

SETI@home 2.0.2 - client for the collaborative effort: Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

Aladdin ShrinkWrap 3.5.1 - creates and mounts exact duplicates of disk images, server busy

C&G SpellCatcher 8.1.1 - multi-lingual spell checker, dictionary, thesaurus...

Tex-Edit Plus 2.9 - excellent text editor with all the features for most text file needs

SMUG Navigation Bar

Andromeda Galaxy


©copyright 2000, Louis Bookbinder -
other sources credited where known. Trademark credits, where omitted, remain with their owners  -   updated 18 February 2000


save the mac