May 1999

by Louis Bookbinder





This month's Free Sample Shareware has not been selected.-------------------------------------------------

SMUG May '99 Disk of the Month

Assembled by Thomas Carlson  

David's SIT Patch
Stuffit Expander 5.1 resets the internet preferences every time it is run to make Stuffit Deluxe the creator application and Stuffit Expander the helper application for downloaded files. This action takes place regardless of the user's actual wishes. This patch program applies a patch to Stuffit Expander to prevent the internet preferences being changed. It also changes the icon for stuffed files, as well as the icon for the Watch Folder. Freeware.

DesktopJanitor 1.0.2
DesktopJanitor is a utility that stores your desktop and restores its status, including Desktop Theme, Window condition (status), Icon locations, Screen settings (height, width, depth), and Application Switcher status. It is especially useful for restoring the desktop appearance after it has been changed by other people you share the computer with. Shareware fee $2.

DragAnyWindow 4.5
DragAnyWindow is a way cool control panel that allows you to easily move any kind of window, including dialogs, alerts, game windows and other non-movable windows. It lets you bring back to the desktop any window that has gone out of sight, or center the front window on the main screen with a single keystroke. This version also allows the entire image of a window being dragged to be moved (solid drag), instead of just a dull outline. Another option allows the screen exposed by a solid drag to be updated on the fly. Shareware fee $10.

HTML Markdown 2.1
HTML Markdown is a Macintosh drag-and-drop application that allows you to convert HTML documents into plain text files. Version 2.1 also allows you to "spit" all of the URL's in a group of files into a single text or HTML file. You can also have HTML Markdown save each individual URL in a separate MacOS Internet Clippings file. Mac OS 8.5 and later recognize this special type of file as an Internet address and will open it in the browser of your choice when double-clicked. Shareware fee $7.

HTML Markup 2.2.1
HTML Markup is a fast, effective, economical, and customizable way to put your existing text documents on the World Wide Web. Several conversion options are available, and useful combinations of options may be saved as easily recallable sets. The program is also scriptable. The current version is fully compatible with OS 8. Shareware fee $15.

MandelMovie 1.0.3
MandelMovie is a program that draws color images of the Mandelbrot set. After a small region of the set has been zoomed in on, MandelMovie can be made to also record a Quicktime movie that zooms in on this small region. Freeware.

PowerXplorer 1.0.5
PowerXplorer is a program that lets you explore the Mandelbrot set by zooming in on successively smaller regions of it. It operates very quickly since it uses the math co-processor on a 68K machine or the native math instructions on a PowerPC. Freeware.

Rainbow Painter 0.9.0
Rainbow Painter is a new paint program for the Macintosh with a unique user interface. It features multiple views of the picture, multiple color palettes, multiple layers, transparency, a complete set of painting tools, masking, and many picture effects. Complete instructions are built into the program. Shareware fee $12.

SoundApp 2.6.1
SoundApp can play and convert sound files from a variety of computer platforms and in many different formats. It can be used with WWW browsers to play sounds, as SoundApp supports many more formats than any browser or other sound players. SoundApp also offers Play Lists which allow you to group together a set of sounds for playback or batch processing. It also has extensive AppleScript support. Freeware.

StripLaunch 1.2.1
StripLaunch is a Control Strip module which will give you a small menu containing your favourite applications, most commonly used documents, best scripts and anything else you desire, just by clicking on it in the Control Strip. StripLaunch is small, fast and stable, and uses none of your system resources when you are not using it. Shareware fee $10.

TetsubinStamp 1.5.1
TetsubinStamp is a simple utility program which applies stamps to icons. The operation is simple. Just drag an icon onto TetsubinStamp, and choose a stamp. The resulting combined icon is saved as a custom icon for the item it is associated with: folder, document, application or disk. Freeware.

TextDock 1.1
TextDock is a text drag-and-drop utility for Power Macintosh computers. It provides a palette window of frequently used text clippings which can be dragged to any drag-and-drop aware application. Use it to store your frequently used text, such as names, addresses, URLs , email addresses, email signatures, form letters, code snippets, smileys, phrases for chat sessions, etc. The possibilities are endless! Shareware fee $10.

TypeLaunch 1.0.0
TypeLaunch is a small program that launches other applications based on a typed name or part of a name. It uses whatever is typed to match the name of an application, and narrows the match as more characters are typed. So long as you can remember something about its name, an application can be launched without descending through the folder hierarchy. Shareware fee $10.

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As reported in MacFixit: "Versions 5.1 (and 5.1.2) of the StuffIt Engine, installed by Drop Stuff 5.1 or higher, do not work properly with StuffIt Browser 5.0.2. Any attempt to add more than one file at a time to a large archive (say, one containing more than 100 items) using StuffIt Browser leads to a Finder restart, a freeze, or the two in sequence."

According to Apple TIL article 24881: Command-Option-Shift-Delete (to bypass a corrupted startup hard drive and/or load from another device, such as a bootable CD) no longer works with the new Blue and White G3 Macs.


Tip O' the Month

From Your Shareware Team

Which ISP (Internet Service Provider)?

I get asked this a LOT. But look - I CAN'T advise you because everyone has different needs. I do fine with Earthlink, because it gives me net access and email and web hosting and this is just what I need. I don't need chat groups or streaming video or high bandwidth or direct phone service. AOL has lots of services many friends appreciate. What do YOU need?

First of all, think of buying an ISP just like buying a magazine subscription. Do you look for the one with the most pages? How about the brightest colors? The most free offers? A travel agency on the side? Come on - you are looking for specific content of interest to you NOW. Maybe you try those special discount deals the high-school students are always peddling, but how many of those do you keep subscribing to? Sit down and ask yourself what you NEED from the internet. Information? Mail? Connection to work? Does it have to be really fast? Why? Will you need it when you travel? If so, where are you going, and does the ISP have local connections there?

Now, talk to your friends. Club members can help. Get their feelings on reliability, speed, and the accessibility of their technical support. I guarrantee that the cheapest service in the world is too expensive if you can't get help.

Pricing is not a big deal. Most services are competitive. Many computer magazines compare prices. Most services offer 2 or more service levels, with a base price offering mail, and 10 hours a month, anything over for an hourly rate. For occasional users, this is your best buy. If you are going to be using it more than 10 hours a month (which is about one night a week), or your usage will gyrate wildly over time, go for a primium rate giving you unlimited hours a month (and mail and disk/web space) for a higher fee. Worth the cost. For business purposes, shop around for business packages. You will probably want multi-user accounts with high bandwidth/speed, and maybe archiving or security/firewall service. You will have to do some research.

Eschew "free" services. Unless you need a constant dose of advertising to stay sane.

Finally, don't stop your research for a good ISP just because you HAVE one. There are always new deals and better offers. If something is especially good compared to your current ISP, 1) tell your ISP about this deal and say that if you can't get something similar from them you will go away and never come back, and 2) Move as soon as you can if your ISP does not listen to you. In fact, plan NOW to move to a new ISP, so that if you have to, tommorrow, you can, without the world crashing down around you. It is called Contingency Planning.



Mac basics we sometimes forget

How to launch a program? Classic method: find the icon and double-click.

But, Apple, and other vendors, too, have developed more ways to do it. Since day one, there has been the Apple Menu. Click on the apple, go down to your application (name), release. A variant of this is OtherMenu, an AppleMenu lookalike you can put on the right side of the menu bar. Since version 7.5 or maybe earlier, you can use the Launcher, a pallet with the application icons you want. I have seen maybe a dozen variants of this. And a tool similar to these is the control strip - a really wizzy item you can customize and keep handy, or hide. (See also Desktop Strip and Extensions Strip). And, last but not least is Contextual Menus, which came in with MacOS 8. And there are a few other utilities I have seen for such weird methods as Command Line Interface. Or you can launch from find file - using double click again.

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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

ColorSync First Aid 2.6 - corrects ICC profiles that don't display in listing

Adobe Acrobat 4.0 - now shipping the PDF document creation package

CopyPaste 4.3.1 - replaces Apple's clipboard offering multiple clipboards & much more

DiskDup 2.9.2 - eases duplication of removable media using a single drive, also Pro v1.3.2®

Aladdin DropStuff 5.1.2 - compress & archive files and expands most archive formats

Adobe Premiere 5.1a - fixes & new QuickTime effects for digital video editing app

QuicKeys 4.0 - now shipping: excellent tool automates any task, multi-step or repetitive action

Rainbow Painter 0.91 - image/photo editing app with layer, alpha channels, mask support ®

Realmz 6.1.1 - fantasy role playing epic game, 6.0.x to 6.11 update

Aladdin StuffIt Expander 5.1.2 - used to expand-decode downloaded files from the net

Tex-Edit Plus 2.5.6 - excellent text editor with all the features for most text file needs

Connectix Virtual PC 2.1.3 - fixes for their Windows emulation software

YA-NewsWatcher 4.2.2 - excellent usenet newsreader for OS 8.5, use v3.1.8 for others SMUG Navigation Bar

Andromeda Galaxy


©copyright 1999, Louis Bookbinder -
other sources credited where known. Trademark credits, where omitted, remain with their owners  -   updated 14 February 1999


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