January 2003

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MacWaves MUG
a SIG of Brookdale Computer Users Group
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Ten for X, Aladdin Systems , $49.

If your move (read “giant leap”) from OS 9 to OS X is giving you grief over the loss of your favorite utilities, weep no more. Ten for X, a collection of OS X-specific utilities will make your Mac work smoother and smarter. The utilities included are:

  • Alarm Clock S.E (multiple alarm types that support just about every music format including mp3, a handy stop watch timer, and a desktop calendar);
  • ExecutiveSync (a file synchronization utility that supports synchronization with Windows servers), FruitMenu (for putting files, folders and disks in the contextual menu, assigning hot keys to menus, and much more);
  • iClean (protects your privacy by covering your computer tracks, removing cache and history files, and deleting cookies from SPAM Web servers);
  • ideaSpiral (keeps all the text files for a project in a single file);
  • LaunchBar (provides quick access to thousands of files, Web bookmarks, email addresses and applications via a short abbreviation. It's adaptive; learning from the user's habits);
  • Limewire Pro (lets you search and share computer files with anyone running Gnutella-compatible software. This is an absolute must if you have an iPod);
  • piPop (lets you navigate files, launch programs and document easily using hierarchical menus; allows for tear-off menus and can display Bundle contents);
  • Pseudo (lets you modify a file by a root user);
  • PrintMagic X (allows you to print selected text via drag and drop);
  • WindowShade X (restores the window shade effect from OS 9); and
  • Xounds (gives you audio feedback when navigating through menus and windows).

These are wonderful utilities that increase the functionality of OS X and in some cases give us the fun stuff we miss in OS 9.

iPhoto: The Missing Manual, by David Pogue, Joseph Schorr, and Derrick Story. O’Reilly, $24.95.

OK. The iPhoto Help file is almost useless. This is the book that will give you not only the essentials of digital photography and editing basics, but show you how to get the most out of the powerful iPhoto application. Not only will you learn how to publish a photo book as seen in the Switcher ad, but you'll finally be able to make your cat your desktop picture. Witty, informative, and enormously helpful, this book is your best guide to getting the most from your digital camera.

Note: All O’Reilly books are available at discount via MacWaves.

Mac OS X, Second Edition by David Pogue, O’Reilly, $29.95.

Jaguar is a whole new operating system and even for those of us who have used Macs for a long time, there is much to learn. This book takes you through the dramatic enhancements in Jaguar's Internet integration, shows you how to harness the power of Unix if so inclined, as well as locate all those familiar features that made OS 9 so comfortable. The Desktop, applications, file sharing, and troubleshooting are all covered in David Pogue's easy, breezy style that makes sense of the most complex concepts. The best part of this comprehensive and comfortable book, however, is the index where you can locate information on any aspect of OS X. For most of us, that's the best place to start.

Digital Photography Pocket Guide by Derrick Story. O’Reilly, $14.95.

The Digital Photography Pocket Guide gives you the knowledge to take the pictures you've always wanted. It's a quick-reference mentor that explains the digital camera's components, shows you what they do, and helps you to choose the right settings.